Creatine is actually a great supplement to be taking,
mono-hydrate creatine is the creatine that will result in water retention, you can take tri-creatines which will give you the same results as mono hydrate without all the water retention. and can help increase your strength
the best thing personally is to take a stack(combination of supplements). Taking protein alone is not a bad thing at all. but if you want great results, stick to whey protein, BCAA supplement(building blocks of protein), tri-creatine, glutamine, multi vitamins.
of course the best way to get strength is to stick to your training plan.
hope i helped a bit.