Bulbasaur is obtainable from Professor Sycamore after defeating him in his lab in Lumiose City alongside the other Kanto Starters.
With the addition of the powerful Mega Venusaur, the Bulbasaur family makes its 3D handheld debut in impressive fashion, packing balanced stats and a movepool that leaves it fit for any situation. Favourable Matchups across the game leave this Pokémon family an ideal choice if you're looking for a bulky Grass type with the power to leave foes trembling in its wake, even if the road to Venusaur is a rocky one.
Tierno (Route 5): The Corphish, although weak to Vine Whip, is just a tad too bulky for Bulbasaur to get rid of before it gets a Swords Dance in, and Vicegrip hurts after the boost. However, Sleep Powder does render this fight a joke.
Tierno and Trevor (Route 7, tag battle with rival): Ivysaur doesn't really care what Pikachu or Flabébé have to throw at it, resisting everything but their Normal type moves, with Venoshock laying the hurt on the fairy. Corphish is significantly less threatening with the stat increase brought on by the evolution, however take it lightly at your peril.
Gym #2 - Grant (Cyllage City, Rock-type): This is a shaky spot for Ivysaur. While Razor Leaf might hit Amaura for decent damage, Refrigerate Take Down will probably OHKO in return. Meanwhile, Tyrunt isn't even weak to Grass moves and hits hard between STAB Rock Tomb and Strong Jaw boosted Bite. Still, it's probably more manageable than Amaura and Sleep Powder is a valuable asset against both of them.
Korrina (Geosenge Town, Fighting-type): The only thing Iyvsaur can actually do to the double Lucario mess that is present here is put them to sleep, due to their Steel typing. Don't try and tank them as Feint will hurt coming off Lucario's attack stat at plus 2.
Rival (Tower of Mastery): Looking at that two that are consistent regardless of your starter choice, Absol and Meowstic, this provides a less than ideal proposition between Meowstic's special bulk, STAB SE Psybeam and Absol's sheer offensive power making Bite difficult for Iyvsaur to handle. Venusaur does handle the later significantly better if it's evolved. In regards to their starters, Quilladin and Frogadier are easy between Venoshock and Razor Leaf, while Braixen might be a tad rough thanks to Psybeam.
Gym #3 - Korrina (Shalour City, Fighting-type): Venusaur happily takes on Mienfoo and Machoke through its great bulk, status spreading abilities and Razor Leaf or Petal Dance laying down the hurt. Hawlucha is slightly rougher due to Flying Press being neutral on Venusaur, which, combined with Hone Claws to boost its attack power and a resistance to Grass makes this a slightly unappealing fight.
Rival (Coumarine City): Congratulations, you now have access to Mega Venusaur, which, besides Meowstic, utterly destroys everything the rival has at this fight.
Gym #4 - Ramos (Coumarine City, Grass-type): Everything dies to the wrath of Mega Venusaur, expect maybe Jumpluff because STAB Acrobatics is pretty scary when it's super effective.
Aliana (Kalos Power Plant): Mightyena is not a threat to something as bulky as Mega Venusaur, just blow this clown away with Petal Dance.
Gym #5 - Clemont (Lumiose City, Electric-type): Right, besides Emolga potentially being a pain due to STAB Aerial Ace, this gym is actually pretty easy for Venusaur. Just remember to go and pick up the Bulldoze TM in order to deal with Magneton, and remember that Electric Terrain prevents sleep. Enjoy your free TM 24 Thunderbolt.
Rival (Route 14): Again starting with the two that are present regardless. Stay away from Meowstic, as STAB Psychic is not fun. Absol, on the other hand, is still relatively free for Mega Venusaur to fight as long as you're careful of Swords Dance. Delphox is not a good idea here through STAB Psybeam and Mystical Fire but the other two are simple enough, even if Chesnaught might stick around for a while due to its bulk despite weakness to poison.
Gym #6 - Valerie (Laverre City, Fairy-type): Bulldoze Mawile into submission. Mr. Mime might be a problem due to STAB Psychic and being faster on a 2HKO, however, higher leveled Mega Venusaur should be able to take this out through Toxic and Venoshock. This combination also rings true in regards to Sylveon regardless of Venusaur's level.
Celosia and Bryony (Poké Ball Factory, tag battle with rival): Manectric has nothing for Venusaur, mega or not and will probably focus on biting the Rival's Meowstic to death instead. Liepard... is a Liepard and doesn't pose a threat to Mega Venusaur unless it gets multiple crits.
Mable (Frost Cavern): In contrast to the many dangers littered throughout this frozen hell, Mable's Houndoom is actually not that big of a deal to Mega Venusaur thanks to Thick Fat nerfing the canine's Fire Fang. It's not advisable for regular Venusaur however.
Rival (Anistar City): Okay, now things are actually pretty interesting. Meowstic still has STAB Psychic to ruin your day and Absol is still manageable with care. They now have an Eeveelution on their team. However, none of them are actually that threatening to Mega Venusaur through its bulk and ability, although Flareon is actually somewhat of a threat to regular Venusaur through STAB Lava Plume, which is more than Jolteon or Vaporeon can claim. All three can pick off a weakened Venusaur with Quick Attack, so just be mindful of your Pokémon's health. In terms of their starter, Delphox is a danger regardless of mega evolution through STAB Psychic and Flamethrower, Greninja is still an easy target and Chesnaught is doable.
Gym #7 - Olympia (Anistar City, Psychic-type): Everything has STAB Psychic, don't bother.
Lysandre battle #1 (Lysandre Labs): Mienfoo has Acrobatics and Swords Dance, however it's unevolved and even at plus 2, it only can 2HKO, while Mega Venusaur hits back significantly harder. Pyroar hits surprisingly hard with Fire Blast thanks to Rivalry and Venusaur being commonly male, might just be best to avoid this or sleep him first and then switch as Mega Saur is able to take at least one Fire Blast. Murkrow is doable due to its limited offensive presence combined with having Aerial Ace as its main offensive move here, and Mega Venusaur provides a pretty solid stop to Gyarados, although it is recommended that you switch it in on the sea serpent to avoid Intimidate in order to target its weaker physical defense.
Aliana (Lysandre Labs): Mightyena still isn't breaking through Mega Venusaur anytime soon and Druddigon also has troubles, although Sheer Force Crunch and STAB Dragon Claw are not to be underestimated. As a side note, Mightyena's main threat here is the risk of it outspeeding and using Taunt. Although Sucker Punch chip damage is also annoying.
Celosia (Lysandre Labs): Manectric is now a problem for regular Venusaur as a result of it getting Flamethrower this time around. Mega Venusaur still isn't concerned as a result of Thick Fat, although Thunder Wave can be a nuisance. Drapion can do a lot of damage through stray critical Night Slashes and Acupressure can result in it getting out of hand very quickly. Liberal usage of Sleep Powder and/or Bulldoze is advised.
Bryony (Lysandre Labs): Liepard's main tools of irritation are Fake Out, Taunt and Sucker Punch. However, that's all it is, an annoyance. Bisharp doesn't really care about anything Mega Venusaur has to throw at it right now besides Hidden Power and Bulldoze. However, it also has issues hurting the tank outside of Iron Head or Night Slash, more so the later due to its critical chance. Just use Sleep Powder.
Mable (Lysandre Labs): Keep non-mega variants of Venusaur as far away as possible from this fight, STAB Flamethrower and Ice Shard from Houndoom and Weavile are not to be messed with. However Mega Venusaur happily handles these two through Thick Fat and their relative fragility, although Snarl and Night Slash can be problematic, particularly when combined with Ice Shard's priority.
Xerosic (Lysandre Labs): No, just in general. Mega Venusaur's main weaknesses are Psychic and Flying, both of which are present here in Crobat's Air Slash and Malamar's Psycho Cut. Both have noticeable bulk in order to take a few hits and Crobat is almost certainly outspeeding.
Lysandre battle #2 (Team Flare Secret HQ): With his entire team evolved this time around, this fight becomes a giant ball of nope for either form of Venusaur. While Honchkrow is still only limited to Aerial Ace, the sheer power boost it has over Murkrow is too much for even Mega Venusaur to handle. The same applies for Mienshao and Acrobatics. What applied to Pyroar and Gyarados back in his labs still applies here.
Xerneas (Team Flare Secret HQ, X only): It's a mandatory catch that will keep repeating if you knock it out, just use the Masterball and be done with it. Although, if you intend to spare said item, Mega Venusaur is among the best options for contending with Xerneas, with Sleep Powder, a resistance to Moonblast and the bulk to tank said move as well as Megahorn.
Yveltal (Team Flare Secret HQ, Y only): Again, it's a mandatory catch that will keep repeating if you knock it out, just use the Masterball and be done with it. Unlike Xerneas, however, this is a terrible fight for Venusaur to be involved in, simply because of Oblivion Wing, which will shred either form of Venusaur with ease, while also undoing any damage dealt to Yveltal.
Lysandre battle #3 (Team Flare Secret HQ): For everything not named Mega Gyarados, see his previous fight. In regards to his Mega, it's actually easier for Mega Venusaur to deal with it than its base form due to actually being weak to Grass. Although be ready to heal when needed and use Sleep Powder frequently in order to keep this thing at bay.
Professor Sycamore (Couriway Town): Mega Venusaur hard walls both his Venusaur and his Blastoise, while Charizard relies on Wing Attack to do any relevant damage. This is a pretty easy fight all things considered, particularly because you are likely higher leveled than his team by a noticeable amount at this point, although it might be worth leaving Charizard for something else to deal with.
Shauna (Route 19): Delcatty is a joke, although Cute Charm may be annoying if it somehow lives a Petal Dance. Also STAB Return is still a thing, even if it is only a Delcatty. Goodra is significantly more threatening and walls Mega Venusaur pretty hard between Sap Sipper and its natural bulk. Add in a pretty well rounded movepool (Dragon Pulse, Sludge Wave, Earthquake, Body Slam) and it is something that Mega Venusaur should avoid. Greninja falls over to a single Grass move, although Double Team and Extrasensory can make this a troublesome fight. Delphox has STAB Psychic to destroy Venusaur and Chesnaught is pretty much the same as when the Rival has it, only this one gets to test your new Sludge Bomb TM.
Tierno (Route 19): He leads with a Talonflame which has Acrobatics, should be pretty self explanatory why this is a bad idea. However, Mega Venusaur handles Roserade and Crawdaunt pretty well. A relatively simple fight, just ensure Crawdaunt doesn't try anything silly with Swords Dance.
Trevor (Route 19): Raichu can only really paralyze Mega Venusaur with Nuzzle before going down to your move of choice and Florges is hard walled and then KO'd by Sludge Bomb. Sadly, Mega Venusaur is still light enough for Aerodactyl to use Sky Drop on, because otherwise this would be a pretty easy fight. Sky drop isn't that powerful in fairness (only achieving a 3HKO at equal levels) so this is probably doable.
Gym #8 - Wulfric (Snowbelle City, Ice-type): Regular Venusaur? No. Everything wants to kill you with STAB Ice Beam or Avalanche in Avalugg's case. Mega Venusaur, on the other hand, has a field day through Thick Fat. In this scenario, Sludge Bomb Abomasnow, shatter Cryogonal with Return and slay Avalugg with the strongest special attack you have. Just be careful of chip damage from Hail and Cryogonal's Confuse Ray.
Rival (Victory Road): Again, you want nothing to do with Meowstic because of STAB Psychic. Absol is once more manageable with care, although critical Night Slashes will hurt. Newcomer Altaria cannot really do anything to Mega Venusaur, although your options are rather limited (and by that I mean Sludge Bomb). The Eeveelutions are exactly as last time, just higher leveled; in regards to their Starter, Delphox is still a terrible idea while the other two are pretty easy to deal with, although Greninja may pose a threat to regular Venusaur with Ice Beam.
Elite Four Wikstrom (Pokémon League, Ironworks Chamber, Steel-type): Earthquake goes a long way in dealing with most of his Pokémon here, which when combined with Sleep Powder, makes dealing with this four piece pretty easy. However, Klefki can put a halt on this scheme through Torment, which may be a problem. Scizor and Aegislash are still threatening due to their incredibly high offensive stats combined with their Steel STAB, so handle with care.
Elite Four Malva (Pokémon League, Blazing Chamber, Fire-type): Earthquake everything not named Talonflame with Mega Venusaur and you should be okay due to Thick Fat. Even then there are better options for this fight and neither form wants anything to do with Brave Bird.
Elite Four Drasna (Pokémon League, Dragonmark Chamber, Dragon-type): Dragalge is dispatched rather easily by Earthquake, although its Dragon Pulses will hurt. The rest are best dealt with Sludge Bomb. However, it is probably better to send out whatever you have for a Fairy Pokémon or the Water type with Ice Beam here.
Elite Four Siebold (Pokémon League, Flood Chamber, Water-type): Venusaur tears through Clawitzer and Barbaracle with its Grass move of choice. Starmie is best avoided because STAB Psychic isn't something that you want either form of Venusaur to contend with. Gyarados is best handled by Mega Venusaur due to its combination of Ice Fang and Dragon Dance, which can get out of hand for regular Venusaur.
Champion Diantha (Pokémon League, Radiant Chamber): Hawlucha is manageable due to its lack of SuperEffective coverage against Venusaur, but it can become a danger if Swords Dances start piling up; if that happens, resort to another teammate. Mega Venusaur can hold its own against both of Diantha's fossil Pokemon, but there's a caveat: Tyrantrum can deal loads of damage with Head Smash, and Aurorus will obliterate regular Venusaur with STAB Blizzard. Keep regular Venusaur away from Aurorus, and the STAB Blizzard that follows. Gourgeist is relatively simple to deal with if you're careful of Trick-or-Treat followed by Shadow Force/Sneak, which will hit for super effective damage due to the former making Venusaur part Ghost type. Goodra still walls most of Venusaur's options through Sap Sipper and its own bulk. Yet, this time, the only effective move the the Dragon type has against Mega Venusaur is its STAB Dragon Pulse. Just keep regular Venusaur away because of Fire Blast. You also want nothing to do with Mega Gardevoir mostly because STAB Psychic off base 165 Special Attack is not something Mega Venusaur wants to deal with, ever.
Post-Game: You've beaten the League by now, AZ is a joke. In regards to the actual postgame XY has to offer, just keep on trucking, Mega Venusaur has gotten you this far, there isn't much that can take it down now.
When obtained, Bulbasaur starts with Tackle, Growl, Leech Seed and Vine Whip, which is a pretty solid kit for an early game Grass type. At level 13, it gets access to the very useful Sleep Powder and Poison Powder, but do note that these don't effect Grass types in this generation. Just before evolving, at level 15, Bulbasaur will try to learn Take Down; while the increase in power makes this a better option than Tackle, be wary of the recoil damage it has as a drawback. As an Ivysaur, Razor Leaf at level 20 provides a solid upgrade over Vine Whip, while Sweet Scent and Growth, at 23 and 28 respectively, are rather gimmicky. Double Edge at level 31 repeats the pattern seen with Take Down back when it was a Bulbasaur, however, by this point Return should be near max power and serves as a better option due to the lack of recoil. Upon evolving into Venusaur, it attempts to learn Petal Dance, which, while incredibly powerful, has the problems of locking the user in for 2-3 turns and confusing afterwards. As a power option alongside Razor Leaf it is a useful tool, however. Worry Seed at level 39 isn't worth the effort or moveslot in a non-competitive setting. Synthesis, however, comes at level 45 and certainly is potentially worth the investment, restoring half of the brick wall that is Mega Venusaur's HP in normal weather conditions. Petal Blizzard at level 50 is an ideal option for physically inclined Venusaur, while Solarbeam at 53 comes with the issue of a charge turn without sunlight, leaving it outclassed by Venusaur's other STAB options.
In regards to the line's TM movepool, there's a decent selection to choose from to supplement its natural learnset. Venoshock is a great early game STAB option, made all the more powerful by Poison Powder. Sludge Bomb is a powerful option later on the game, and doesn't rely on other supporting moves for its power. Energy Ball serves as a good alternative to Petal Dance. Earthquake and Return offer powerful coverage moves. Other options include Nature Power, which can provide a surprise coverage move that Venusaur would normally lack, and Hidden Power, which is relatively weak but can offer further coverage, provided the right typing. The support moves on offer here provide less options, with Light Screen and Toxic being the main attractions.
Special: Energy Ball, Sludge Bomb, Sleep Powder, Earthquake/Nature Power/Return
Steel-yypes: Mega Venusaur is only weak to Psychic and Flying, both of which are conviently handled by one type. Pokémon like Magnezone and Bisharp effortlessly handle the two problem typings the line has and enjoy Mega Venusaur's fatness against Fighting, Fire and Ground moves.
Water-types: As always, Venusaur synergies extremely well with Pokémon such as Lapras, Gyarados, Greninja, etc. through it being able to provide a solid switch in for any Grass or Electric type threatening whatever Water type you have on you.
... You know what? Mega Venusaur is just an extremely good glue Pokémon, it even works well alongside other Grass and Poison-types.
Minimum stats are calculated with 0 EVs, IVs of 0, and a hindering nature, if applicable.
Maximum stats are calculated with 252 EVs, IVs of 31, and a helpful nature, if applicable.
Bulbasaur Line Ratings
What Nature do I want? It really depends on what you desire Venusaur to do; if you want a special attacker, Modest or Timid are ideal, Physical attackers prefer Adamant or Jolly while the bulky versions would like Bold, Impish, Calm or Careful, depending on which stat they intend to attack with.
At what point in the game should I be evolved? At 16 and 32, so before the double battle on route 7 and around Korrina's gym battle respectively. There's not much of a gap between getting moves here, and the stat buffs are potent.
How good is the Bulbasaur line in a Nuzlocke? It's fantastic, from its incredible bulk as Mega Venusaur to its competent coverage allowing it to handle almost anything Kalos has to throw at it, just be careful not to throw it at Olympia and this plant dinosaur will provide a solid defensive backbone to any team it ends up on.
Bulbasaur's, Ivysaur's, and Venusaur's type matchups: