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Sorry if this is a basic question (haven't played Pokemon in ages), but I'm planning to play Black again as sort of a nostalgia trip. When I was a kid, I picked Tepig, but I was wondering which starter provided more of a challenge overall in the game.

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Ok, let's review all of them:

Snivy: Good support with decent Def and SpDef, better than the other Starters. It also has a great Speed.
However, when it evolves into Serperior, it doesn't have that good of a level-up moveset with only Grass, Normal and Poison moves.

Tepig: Good in the early gyms (second and third) as it evolves into a part Fighting-type against the Normal-type gym. When it evolves into Emboar, definitely a better level-up movepool and a great Attack. Also, Emboar is dual-type, which gives it more STAB options. It has an awful speed, but if you're just playing in-game it should be manageable.

Oshawott: Has nearly equal Attack and Sp.Atk, so close that the difference doesn't really matter and you can use it for either or go for a mix. It also has the least weaknesses, however, it also has a really bad speed. Not many defenses or HP to stand hits well, but also doesn't hit very hard.

Overall, I think that Tepig is the best Starter choice, being good both in-game and competitively. The hardest Starter is probably Snivy in-game, as it is used mostly for its support qualities (which don't come too often in-game) or for its hidden ability, Contrary (which you can't get through a Starter).

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Samurott's 108 special attack is only a little bit worse than Emboar's 123 physical attack. Also Emboar relies on hammer arm (which lowers speed) and heat crash (which has variable power), while Samurott learns the very spammable surf.
2 votes

Snivy.

Snivy is the most difficult starter to play with. His move pool frankly sucks, his typing doesn't change (which can be good, but in most cases having a double-typed Pokémon on your team is better; it allows for more coverage among your 6 Pokémon), and he has below-average stats (other than Speed, which is excellent but not enough to save the rest of his stats). He is pretty weak overall and is vulnerable to many gym leaders throughout the game. If you really want a challenge, this is your starter.

It is only good against Clay and bianca and struggles or even against other big battles.
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Hope I Helped!

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