With PokémonGO Kanto Tour less than a week away, and you may not have made your decision on what version you are wanting to choose. Each version will have exclusive spawns and may be the deciding factor, especially if you are hunting for optimal PVP IVs or candy. In this article I’m going to cover the various reasons for choosing either the Red or Green version of the Kanto Tour ticket based on the usefulness and viability of the version-exclusive Pokémon. This list will swap between versions to compare the counterparts.
The Tail of the Monkey and the Cat
Mankey | In the Red Version, you’ll definitely want to be searching for this Pokémon. Primeape’s usability may not be as obvious in open great league considering it’s outclassed by other Counter users such as Medicham or Machamp, and its moveset (Counter, Cross Chop, and Night Slash/Close Combat) does not hit the relevant meta very hard. That said, Primeape does manage to punch its way to victory in more confined metas such as the Silph Sorcerous Cup, where it can easily pressure Alolan Marowak and other Ghost types when it’s up in energy. Personally, I really like Primeape for GO Stadium's Cliffhanger style matches because it’s a well-stated Counter user at 0 points.
Meowth | Persian is not the PVP menace Giovanni would like it to be. It definitely sits in the CATegory of spice/niche. Due to its weak fast move options of Scratch and Faint Attack, it is only able to take wins off of a few meta Pokémon in the main open Great League - Alolan Marowak, Mew (Mewvset dependent), and Hypno (you “tie” in the 1S on paper, so it's health and energy dependent). Any of the other top 10 most used Pokémon will deal with your pretty kitty very easily. Silph is always coming out with new metas, however, so make sure to save a decent Great League IV Meowth, just in case. Perrserker also really appreciates the Meowth candies, especially for Ultra League.
Electabuzz and Magmar, the OG rivals.
Electabuzz | If UL is the type of thing that tickles your fancy, I would recommend choosing Red for Electabuzz. Electivire has some very strong wins in ULP (both the Shadow and non-Shadow variants). Being an Electric type with access to Wild Charge and a fairly high attack stat, it has the potential to finish off a lot of teams with shields down or shield advantage. Using Ice Punch as its bait/coverage move gives it the ability to easily take on Dragons such as Dragonite. Even with Ice Coverage, because it lacks STAB, Electabuzz (and its family) does not really threaten everything, still allowing the opponent to switch to popular Grass types like Abomasnow and Venusaur that will resist the Electric moves of Electivire.
Magmortar | Both Magmar and Magmortar are spicy picks regardless of which league you choose to play. The recent energy per turn buff to Karate Chop has improved their form, just not by enough to push it into the realm of staple. The best use for this Pokémon is Magmortar in ULP. It defeats the Pokémon you would expect a Fire type to defeat, plus Thunderbolt gives it a win over Lapras, provided you shield every surf.
The Fox and the Hound!
Growlithe | Arcanine’s moveset and subpar statline are what’s keeping it out of the big leagues. However, with access to Snarl and Wild Charge, Arcanine does have decent closing potential in UL and ULP.
Vulpix | Over the past four months, it would seem someone at Niantic has revealed their secret love for Ninetales as there have been a few changes that have buffed both the Alolan and Kantonian versions of the Pokémon. Powder Snow got a buff and Ninetalesgot access to the Weather Ball that corresponds with its type. The other buff for the two was the level cap increase to 50. Now with better stats and moveset, Alolan Ninetales(XL) can compete with one of the most popular Ice types - Abomasnow, and even wins against it and Machamp. This Pokémon is a very good incentive for choosing the Green version.
Scyther | If you’re picking the Red Ticket, you should definitely try to find a good IV Scizor for your UL team. Its Steel typing allows it to resist a very good chunk of the popular meta, such as Cresselia, Articuno, and Togekiss. Additionally, having access to Night Slash gives it the coverage to pressure Ghost types like Giratina and Gengar. It also has use in ULP, beating out Pokémon like Gallade and Venusaur. As of the time this article is being written, I have also seen a few pop up in the GBL Love Cup. So if you find one, you may as well save a decent GL one.
Pinsir | Ever since I was young, I’ve always thought Pinsir was a powerful & intimidating looking Pokémon… Unfortunately, looks don’t win PGo PVP battles. In an attempt to shine a positive light on an otherwise bland Pokémon, grab a low CP/good IV one and hold onto it in case it gets a change to its awful charged movepool of X-Scissor, Submission (Legacy), Close Combat, Superpower, and Vise Grip.
Plot Twist! This Next comparison is in favor of Green.
Ekans | I’m not here to trash talk any Pokémon, so I'll only say positive things about Ekans. It’s really good at not being a good Pokémon. This Pokémon is enjoyed by players who like a challenge. If you spell Ekans backwards you get Snake. Honestly, there isn’t much more to say about it.
Sandshrew | The Kantonian version is outshined by its Alolan cousin (you just want the candies from this event). Although its spammy moveset (Powder Snow, Ice Punch, Bulldoze/Gyroball) provides a lot of charged move pressure, its poor bulk combined with double weakness to Fire AND Fighting make it a lot less viable in the open GL meta. A-Slash gets to shine in more confined metas where there’s not as much access to Fighting and Fire types. For those of you who enjoy UL and ULPspice, you should be grabbing as many XL Sandshrew candies as possible. In ULP, it plays the same role Abomasnow does except it trades wins against Swampert and Empoleon for wins against Skarmory and Togekiss.
The One Thing That's Always in the Back... Razor Leafers
Oddish | Bear with me; there’s a LOT to talk about here. I’ll start by saying this is all for GL. There’s a total of 3 Pokémon from the evolution line that have viability in some way, shape, or form: Gloom, Vileplume, and Bellossom. I’ll start with Gloom. Gloom has to be level 40, so it requires a lot of candy. It’s been a very powerful pick in a few Silph cups in the past. Where I've seen it put in the most work is GO Stadium’s Cliffhanger style matches as a 0 point pick. On the topic of 0 points in Cliffhanger is Vileplume,one of my personal staples on my team (Check out this page for Cliffhanger Details). The tankiest of the three is Bellossom, which has uses in the open league. It's also got access to Bullet Seed which can allow it to serve a different role than just fast attacking your opponent down. If you’ve picked Red then you’re going to need an incredible amount of candy to finish off all three Pokémon and/or their shadow variants.
Bellsprout | I’m pretty sure we all know where this section is going, but I’m going to mention it anyway. Shadow Victreebel is crazy good,arguably the best Razor Leafer in the game. If you’ve picked Green, this is definitely one of the main Pokémon you should be grinding the candies for if you haven’t already built both the regular and the shadow variant.
Personally, I know I will be choosing Red; It’s always been one of my favourite colours.
TLDR: Mankey is a niche fighter, worthy of hunting for IVs and candies. Meowth is not very useful at the moment, but you never know with Silph. Electivire is a nice pick for ULP- definitely grab one. If you can handle some spice, by all means, you’ll want to invest in a good Magmortar for UL. Vulpix is a great mon for GL and possibly UL. Grab lots of candy for your Alolan Vulpix. Growlithe has some play in UL, but is otherwise not viable. Scizor is a fun pick in ULP, so definitely find yourself a good Scyther. Pinsir leaves a lot to be desired. Ekans slithers its way out of any reason to catch it. Alolan Sandslash has some nice Silph play. Collect enough candies for a UL one as well. Oddish - you’re gonna need to catch so many of these little herbs. Bellsprout - same old story, same old song and dance.
Thank you for reading my first article here on Stadium Gaming. I hope I've provided some info to help you make your decision!