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I wanted to use my starter competitively (Cinderace), and I was wondering if any starters available in Gen 8 are competitively viable.


What format?

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Both Rillaboom and Cinderace are quite strong with their hidden abilities. Grassy Surge, combined with Grassy Glide, gives Rillaboom a very strong priority move. Rillaboom sits comfortably in the OU tier, currently as B-tier in the OU viability rankings. In VGC, Rillaboom's solid bulk and access to fake out, as well as the grassy glide/grassy surge combo, make it a solid choice for both support and offense.. According to Pikalytics Rillaboom is on just over 1/4th of Series 12 teams.

Cinderace is also very strong. Its Libero ability, great coverage and high speed make it a powerhouse, especially in Smogon singles, where it is banned from the OU tier. In VGC, Cinderace has fallen off in usage with the introduction of restricted Pokemon like Kyogre and Groudnon, but in non-restricted formats, Cinderace is an incredibly strong Pokemon that really works well dynamaxed/gmaxed. Since all its moves get the same type attack bonus, it's max moves hit incredibly hard. The only downside to Cinderace is its lack of bulk, but that can be handled with proper play.

If you wanna use Cinderace, I recommend using its hidden ability Libero, an offensive item like Life Orb, and to pick strong physical moves like Pyro Ball, High Jump Kick, Bounce, Gunk Shot, Sucker Punch, U-turn and more.

Inteleon unfortunately has not seen much competitive use yet. It resides in the NU tier in Smogon singles, and has never seen much consistent use in VGC doubles. I did use it once to some success in early VGC 2020 longside Silvally-grass to take advantage of the Water-Grass pledge combo, but it was gimmicky. Even with gmax considered, Inteleon is underwhelming.

I don't play Battle Spot Singles or Smogon doubles, so I don't have much to add for those formats, but from what I know Rillaboom is great in Smogon doubles, and Cinderace is strong in Battle Spot Singles. Hope this helps.

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I would argue that Cinderace being in Ubers actually makes it worse than if it was in OU, due to there being much better options that make Cinderace somewhat less viable.

Additionally, the Kanto, Hoenn, and Alolan starters are available in SwSh. How do those fare competitively?
That's a good point on Cinderace's viability in Ubers. As for the other starters, a quick answer is:

Kanto: All are great with their gmax forms, even in restricted formats. Unfornately, those forms are banned from OU and Ubers. Without their gmax form and signature gmax moves that do 1/6 chip damage over four turns, they are lackluster.

Hoenn: Sceptile has been lacking for a while. I had some fun using unburden weakness policy+partner's ice shard set in VGC, but it was gimmicky. Blaziken was once very strong, and is still a respectable UUBL mon with a B- rank in the OU viability rankings, but the loss of z-moves and prominence of checks/counter like Slowbro and Landorus can make setting up difficult. Swampert is a solid defensive pivot in UU, and can be used with success in OU as well. It's great bulk and Flip Turn give it a lot of merit. Swampert also had some use in restricted Gen 8 vgc formats as a support pokemon with moves like Wide Guard and Roar, but it isn't seen much nowadays.

Alola: Decidueye struggles overall, Incineroar is incredibly common in doubles thanks to it's great Intimidate ability and utility moves like fake out, snarl, taunt and parting shot,. Seriously it is everywhere. In singles it is not as strong. Primarina, much like Blaziken, is not super strong in OU but is definitely viable. Primarina really shines in UU, where its great typings and high special attack really shine.
Thanks! I wanted to use my in game starter, and I didn't know how good Libero Cinderace actually was!
If you are using your Cinderace you received from the professor it does not have Libero
Two Words: Ability Patch
Ik I was just making sure you knew