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Is it so bad that it isn't viable in those games, or is it possible to use but just really difficult?

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Weak against Faulkner, Bugsy, Pryce, and Koga
STAB attacks resisted by Faulkner, Bugsy, Morty, Jasmine, Clair, Koga, and Lance
STAB attacks super effective against no Gym Leaders or Elite 4
Solid defenses
Okay HP, attacks, and Speed
Level up movepool is pretty shallow
Learns decent moves like Earthquake, Body Slam, Giga Drain, Energy Ball, Petal Dance, and Poison Powder

Meganium @ Miracle Seed / anything else
Ability: Overgrow
- Giga Drain
- Earthquake
- Strength
- Body Slam

Definitely the worst of the three starters. It faces an immediate disadvantage against the first two Gyms, and isn't super effective against any. It's definitely useable, simply harder to use than the others. There are better Grass types in the game as well, like Victreebel and Tangrowth.

Hope I helped!

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Catching a Mareep or a Geodude may help on Falkner and Bugsy, Mareep learns Thundershock at Level 10 which gets STAB and Geodude learns Rock Throw at Level 11 which also gets STAB.
This is for people who started with Chikorita and having troubles.
I just finished a HG playthrough with a Meganium partnered with an Ampharos and a Quagsire. It held its own quite well, and was very useful in Kanto.