In the typical Pokemon game, you begin your journey and have to start building a team from the few Pokemon available to catch within the first route or two. This is different with Scarlet and Violet, as these games bring a surprisingly satisfying selection of Pokemon to catch throughout a much larger first explorable area.
This area is known as South Province Area One and is available early in the game as you travel alongside Nemona to your first day at the Academy. As soon as you reach South Province Area One, you will get free rein and get dibs on any Pokemon you encounter. This is a great place to start building a team within the prologue phase, as the real story kicks off once you reach the Academy.
While some have been chosen for their reliability and core team member potential, others have been selected because they are new Pokemon and an exciting choice to start training early on. Either way, you can find every Pokemon on this list within the roads, grass, ponds, trees, and sky areas of South Province Area One.
Everyone lost their minds when Lechonk was revealed in teasers and trailers leading up to the game, and it’s easy to understand why. Not only is this little pig Pokemon adorable, but Lechonk’s name is totally hilarious, too, causing it to become the center of many memes before Scarlet and Violet’s release.
Plenty of fans had planned to capture Lechonk as soon as it was revealed. Some plan to keep one as an essential member of their team, while some wish to grab one for the novelty or Pokedex purposes, and others want to capture Lechonk simply for the meme. No matter why you want to capture Lechonk, the good news is they’re available as one of the first Pokemon you’ll encounter. Plenty of Lechonk can be found running around all locations throughout South Province Area One, meaning you’ll have no trouble finding one.
Fletchling is one of the most popular low-level bird Pokemon since its debut on Pokemon X and Y. This is because its final evolution, Talonflame, has massive potential as a reliable, core member of your team. Talonflame brings excellent speed and offensive capabilities to the table, as well as its dual typing covering both the Flying and Fire types.
Most people have at least one Flying-type Pokemon on their team for a good portion of the game, and Fletchling is the best early-game choice for this role in Scarlet and Violet. Not only is it relatively easy to find, often flying around trees or hopping along the grass, but Fletchling is also very easy to capture at this stage. Talonflame is known to do quite well in competitive battling with its Gale Wings ability, so if you’re looking to invest in a great Pokemon that’ll cover Fire/Flying type moves, pick up a Fletchling. It’ll be worth the investment once it fully evolves at level 35!
Buizel is a good choice for covering a Water-type spot in your team and only gets better when it reaches level 26 and evolves into Floatzel. Floatzel has massive potential to be a significant threat to your opponents, is one of the fastest Water-type Pokemon with a speed stat of 115, and can be seriously hard to stop when combining its Swift Swim ability with its type coverage.
Luckily, Buizel are scattered throughout the South Province Area One, mostly found near streams, ponds, rivers, and other bodies of water. Specifically, as you enter the area from the direction of the lighthouse, you can find Buizel by the stream to the left of the bridge. As a reliable choice to kickstart your team, Buizel is a great Pokemon to pick up here at the start of the game. Buizel also evolves fairly quickly at level 26, so if you level grind for a bit, you can get Floatzel in your team early and have a seriously competitive Pokemon on your hands.
Paldean Wooper captured the hearts of many from the moment of its reveal, so it’s only natural that everyone wants to capture one for themselves in-game! Luckily, Wooper is available from the very first location in the game and can be found near the small ponds and streams within South Province Area One.
Wooper is a Pokemon that makes for a great early addition to the team due to its unique Poison/Ground typing. Because of this typing, it’s easy to train against other wild Pokemon in South Province Area One, as it learns Poison Tail at level 8 to do decent damage. On top of this, both of Wooper’s abilities give it a nice boost, with Poison Point giving a chance to poison your foe and Water Absorb negating its weakness to Water-type moves, instead restoring HP if it’s hit by one.
Fidough is the adorable little food puppy Pokemon nobody asked for but everybody needed. What’s not to love about this sweet little thing? Fidough is a fun, cute Pokemon concept that had fans eager to catch it from the beginning. Thankfully, you won’t have to wait long, as it can be found in South Province Area One, in the grass fields just outside Los Platos.
Fidough is a viable Pokemon to capture when you need a Fairy type to rely on. Sure, there are other options, such as Iggybuff in the same location, but if you’re going for adorableness, Fidough has to be your pick. Plus, it evolves into Dachsbun at level 26, allowing you to add an even more adorable, crispier baked goods doggo to your team after only a little while of level grinding.
Ralts has been a popular Pokemon since its Gen 3 debut, and it’s understandable why. Not only is it an adorable little Psychic-type buddy to accompany you on your adventure, but its final evolutions, Gardevoir and Gallade, are seriously awesome Pokemon to include in the composition of your primary team. They’re powerful, have competitive potential, and were recipients of some of the best Mega Evolutions in the franchise.
And while it seems they’ll likely be missing their Mega Evolutions, thanks to the new Terastallizing mechanic, Gardevoir and Gallade are still two solid contenders to have on your team. With Ralts available in South Province Area One, you can get your hands on one ASAP and start training. However, finding it can be tricky, as it has a 5% appearance rate within a tiny square of the map. To locate Ralts, you’ll want to head towards Los Platos and have the Pokemon Center in sight. Search in the grass along the cliffside to your left. If you can’t see the Pokemon Center, you’re too far away, and if you reach the Pokemon Center, you’ve gone too far – but don’t worry, Ralts is definitely worth the search.
Pichu is a natural contender for one of the best Pokemon you can grab early in Scarlet and Violet. After all, almost everyone wants to catch a Pikachu when playing a Pokemon game, right? Well, thanks to Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, you’ll be able to find Pichu running through the grass fields in South Province Area One. Catching one early means you should be able to evolve it into Pikachu pretty quickly, and then you’ll have the franchise mascot as one of your companions!
As cool as having a Pikachu is, Raichu is another option to look at in the Pichu line if you’re willing to sacrifice a Thunder Stone for further evolution. It’s a strong Pokemon with decent moves, and just like Kanto’s Lt. Surge and his Raichu, you too can zap your way to victory in Paldea. No matter the reason for capture or how you may plan to evolve it, not picking up a Pichu as you pass through would be almost criminal – I mean, look at how adorable it is!
As the token Electric-type rodent Pokemon for Generation 9, it’s only natural that Pawmi is one of the Pokemon people can’t wait to catch. Thankfully, the wait will only be short, as Pawmi is available for capture near the entrance to South Province Area One and just outside of and around Los Platos. Pawmi is ridiculously cute, and if the Pikachu cliche isn’t quite your thing, it could be a great addition to your team.
Pawmi also has an adorable evolution line, gaining spiky fluff as it evolves into Pawmo at level 18. This is a pretty low-level evolution, so training up your Pawmi while you’re early on in the game will only help this process. Pawmi then proceeds to evolve into Pawmot after taking 1000 steps alongside you outside of its Pokeball. How could you say no to that? What an adorable excuse to have Pawmi and Pawmo running alongside you at all times!
Shroodle is a funny looking little guy that is easy to go unnoticed, or be run into by you on accident as you traverse South Province Area One. However, Shroodle is one of the best Pokemon you can capture and add to your team this early in the game. This is because at level 28, it evolves into Grafaifai, the mischevious little lemur that captured everyone’s hearts just weeks before release.
Grafaifai is such a cool-looking, eye-catching Pokemon that I’m surprised Shroodle was made available this early on in the game. Regardless, it’s a great Poison-type to add to your team, and there’s not much of a struggle in order to grind the levels needed to reach evolution. To find a Shroodle ASAP, keep an eye on the ground as you explore – as such a small Pokemon, they’re often hiding behind rocks or long grass that makes them blend into the map a little.
Azurill is adorable, that’s for sure. But while the little Water-type’s cuteness factor may make you think it lacks any considerable power, this is where things get interesting. Instead, Azurill has decent potential as a core member of your team. This is because as soon as your Azurill becomes a Marill through friendship and hits level 18, it can evolve into Azumarill, who showcases both cuteness and power.
Azumarill is a solid contender for your team and fills the spot of both Water and Fairy types as an offensive powerhouse. Azumarill has significant attack, threatening strength, and a move pool that allows for some powerful competitive builds. To pick up an Azumarill as early as possible, you can look around South Province Area One’s ponds, bodies of water, and surrounding grass to find Azurill happily bouncing around. From here, you can capture and start training your little blue friend up for greatness immediately.
And that’s it for the 10 best Pokemon to catch at the start of your Scarlet and Violet journey! Which of the contenders are going to make it into your team? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Also make sure to check out our other Pokemon Scarlet and Violet content. We have answers to all your burning questions, guides of where to find things and what to do, and all of the latest news about the game.