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At the beginning of their journey, trainers are given a starter Pokémon. This Pokémon will be used to battle the first wild Pokémon that the trainer encounters.
Once another Pokémon is caught, the starter Pokémon may be retired, but it is often with this Pokémon that trainers learn friendship and trust. As such, even advanced trainers may still use their starter Pokémon, and they will often be the most powerful Pokémon on their respective teams.