Charmander is objectively the most powerful generation one starter Pokemon

It’s science

It has been known for 20 years now: Charmander is the right choice. For one, its tail is on fire. For two, it’s a lizard, which is better than a turtle or a whatever Bulbasaur is supposed to be (some sort of gremlin, probably). For three, it evolves into a dragon. You can’t beat that. But those are all very feely reasons to pick Charmander during the first visit to Professor Oak. Now we have some cold hard facts to back it up. I’m talking straight science.

Thomas Codd, a natural sciences student at the University of Leicester, wanted to know which of the three starter Pokémon is the most offensively powerful, so he crunched the numbers. Specifically, he looked at the energetic output of each Pokémon’s signature move in its fully evolved form. He compared Charizard’s Flamethrower, Blastoise’s Hydro Cannon, and Venusaur’s Solar Beam, and it was a blowout.

By measuring the size of Venusaur’s petals, Codd determined the amount of solar energy converted to the beam to be about 194 kilojoules. The volume and velocity of water from Blastoise’s cannons nearly double that at 386 kilojoules. Charizard puts both to shame with the heat from its flames producing about 7 billion kilojoules of energy. That’s about 18 million times as much as Hydro Cannon.

To put it into perspective, the energy produced by Hydro Cannon could power a 60 watt light bulb for about 107 minutes. Meanwhile, the energy produced by Flamethrower could power that same light bulb for almost 3700 years.

Good game, Blastoise, but you need to realize when you’ve been bested. I don’t care if you’re Super Effective against Charizard; it still has you beat by several orders of magnitude.

Darren Nakamura
Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011. While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strategy, and rhythm games, he takes particular interest in independent games. He produced the Zero Cool Podcast for about four years, and he plays board games quite a bit when he can find willing companions.