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Pokémon: Every Single Gym Leader From Weakest To Most Powerful, Officially Ranked

Considering that there are seven generations of Pokémon games, it stands to reason that there would be a lot of trainers. Every regional League uses Gym Battles (with the exception of the Alola Region) to test the merit of the player, and allow them to move on with their Pokémon journey.

Of course, not all Gym Leaders are created equal. Each League is designed so that the Gym Leaders get tougher to beat as the game goes on. There are a lot of different ways a Gym Leader can become more powerful— increasing their Pokémon's level, giving their Pokémon challenging moves, or having the Trainer use a type that is all-around more challenging or resistant to the Pokémon they player might have.

We've compiled a list of every single Gym Leader in the Pokémon game franchise across six generations (since the Alola region does not have Gyms), and ranked them based on just how tough they are to beat!

This list only takes into account battles where the character actually holds the title of Gym Leader, and does not count rematches, tournaments, or special events. It does not include Elite Four or Champion challengers, as they are designed to be the most difficult battles in the game. If a Gym Leader becomes a Champion or Elite Four challenger in later games, such as Koga, Wallace, Iris, or Blue, only their appearance as a Gym Leader is counted.

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55 Falkner

via deviantart.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver
  • Gym: Violet City (Johto League)
  • Type: Flying
  • Badge: Zephyr
  • Trivia: Falkner's Pokémon are the lowest-leveled of any Gym across all regions.

Falkner is the first Gym Leader in the Johto region and is intended to be easy to defeat. He only has a Pidgey and a Pidgeotto; shockingly, neither of these are above a Level 10. None of the starter Pokémon types are impacted by Flying-type moves, but strong attacks can make quick work of Falkner.

(art by nilampwns on DeviantArt)

54 Roark

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
  • Gym: Oreburg City (Sinnoh League)
  • Type: Rock
  • Badge: Coal
  • Trivia: Roark has a rivalry with his father, Byron, who is also a Sinnoh League Gym Leader.

Roark is also the first Gym Leader in the Sinnoh region. He battles with a Geodude, an Onix, and a Cranidos. They mostly use attack moves, but it's important to note that Rock types inherently have a higher defense stat. However, the Geodude and Onix have a dual Ground-type, which makes them particularly vulnerable to Grass and Steel.

53 Viola

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  • Appears in Pokémon X/Y
  • Gym: Satalune City (Kalos League)
  • Type: Bug
  • Badge: Bug
  • Trivia: Viola is also a professional photographer.

Yet another Gym Leader first in their league. Bug-types are not particularly powerful this early in a game, and the Surskit's additional Water typing balances out Bug-type's resistance to Grass. Players should watch out for the Vivillon's Infestation move, which can cause repeated damage over the course of a few turns, but Viola is still a pretty easy trainer to beat.

52 Cheren

via: bulbapedia.net

  • Cheren appears in Pokémon Black 2/White 2
  • Gym: Aspertia City (Unova League)
  • Type: Normal
  • Badge: Basic
  • Trivia: In the original Pokémon Black/White, Cheren is actually the player's rival.

Cheren becomes Normal-type Gym-Leader for the region in Black 2/White 2, replacing Lenora. His Lillipup and Patrat can both use the move Work Up to bring up their Attack and Special Attack stats, which can add an extra kick to attack moves. Cheren's Normal-type Pokémon won't be super-effective against any of your starter-types, though, so they won't be too much of a threat.

51 Korrina

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon X/Y
  • Gym: Shalour City (Kalos League)
  • Type: Fighting
  • Badge: Rumble
  • Trivia: Korrina gives the player the Mega Ring so they can use Mega Evolution.

Korrina battles with a Machoke, Mienfoo, and Hawlucha. Her Pokémon have higher Attack stats but lower Special Attack stats. Everyone of them has the move Power-Up Punch, which raises the user's attack stats even further whenever it successfully hits a target. Hawlucha’s Flying Press does extra damage to Pokémon vulnerable to either Fighting or Flying-types.

50 Busgy

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  • Appears in Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver
  • Gym: Azalea Town (Johto League)
  • Type: Bug
  • Badge: Hive
  • Trivia: Bugsy discovered the move Fury Cutter, which is his Scyther's signature move.

Bug-types overall have lower stats and more type vulnerabilities. Bugsy uses a Metapod, Kakuna, and Scyther. Obviously, the Metapod and Kakuna will be easy to defeat for pretty much any player, as they are mostly defensive Pokémon with a few weak attack moves. The Scyther is probably the biggest obstacle to defeating Bugsy,

49 Roxanne

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  • Gym Leader in both Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and OmegaRuby/Alpha Sapphire
  • Gym: Rustboro City (Hoenn League)
  • Type: Rock
  • Badge: Stone
  • Trivia: She is considered an expert on Fossils.

Roxanne’s Geodude and Nosepass can be easily defeated if a player picked a Grass or Water-type starter. Players who picked Fire-type may have additional difficulty, as any Normal or Flying-types the player picks up aren’t very effective against Roxanne's chosen type either. However, being an early-game Gym Leader, she’s intended to be pretty easy to defeat.

48 Lenora

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Black/White 
  • Gym: Nacrene City (Unova League)
  • Type: Normal
  • Badge: Basic
  • Trivia: She steps down from her position as Gym Leader in Pokémon Black 2/White 2 to work full time at the Nacrene Museum.

Lenora is the Normal-type Gym Leader in Pokémon Black/White, being replaced by Cheren in Black 2/White 2. She has a Herdier and a Watchog, both of which have some Dark-type attack moves. However, it's unlikely that a player will possess a Pokémon that will be vulnerable to these moves this early in the game. They also both use the move Retaliate, which does extra damage on their first turn after the other one has fainted.

47 Brawly

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire
  • Gym: Dewford Town (Hoenn League)
  • Type: Fighting
  • Badge: Knuckle
  • Trivia: Brawly is also an avid surfer.

Brawly's lineup consists of a Machop and a Makuhita, plus an additional Meditite in Pokémon Emerald. His Pokémon already have high Attack stats, and they have a few moves that can buff up their Attack and Defense stats even further. This can make their Attack moves really damaging if a player doesn't watch out.

46 Grant

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon X/Y
  • Gym: Cyllage City (Kalos League)
  • Type: Rock
  • Badge: Cliff
  • Trivia: Grant is the only Rock-type Gym Leader to not use a Geodude or Onix in some capacity in the games. However, he does have an Onix in the anime.

Grant uses a Tyrunt and an Amaura. This is a much different lineup than most Rock-type trainers, as these Pokémon have rather unusual secondary types (Ice for the Amaura, and Dragon for the Tyrunt) that can throw players for a loop. Grant's strategy is to hit with a lot of attack moves, so it's important for trainers challenging Grant to strategize and think about type-matching.

45 Burgh

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Black/White and Pokémon Black 2 / White 2
  • Gym: Castelia City (Unova League)
  • Type: Bug
  • Badge: Insect
  • Trivia: Burgh is very fond of bug puns, using them throughout the game and his battle.

Burgh uses a Whirlipede, Dwebble, and Leavanny, and the Whirlipede is subbed for a Swadloon in Black 2/White 2. Burgh's Pokémon are surprisingly powerful for Bug-types. The Leavanny and Swadloon's Razor Leaf move can do a lot of damage if you’re not careful, and the Whirlipede can also cause poisoning.

44 Roxie

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  • Only appears in Pokémon Black 2/White 2. She replaces Chili, Cillian, and Cress.
  • Gym: Virbank City (Unova League)
  • Type: Poison
  • Badge: Toxic
  • Trivia: Roxie is also a famous musician. She is often shown holding or playing a bass guitar.

Roxie uses a Koffing and a Whirlipede. Her Pokémon's poisoning moves have a 30-40% chance of success, so her strategy is to get opposing Pokémon poisoned quickly to whittle away at their HP. The Whirlipede's Poison Point ability can also poison Pokémon on contact, and its Venoshock move does double damage if the target is already poisoned.

43 Wattson

via fandom.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire
  • Gym: Mauville City (Hoenn League)
  • Type: Electric
  • Badge: Dynamo
  • Trivia: He is the founder of Mauville City, where his Gym is based.

Wattson's lineup consists of a Magnemite, Magneton, and Voltorb in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire and OR/AS. In Emerald, Electrike is added, and the Magnemite is subbed for Manectric. Wattson's Pokémon have plenty of moves capable of causing the dreaded Paralyze status effect, and the Voltorb in Emerald can also use Selfdestruct. Players challenging Wattson should carry a few Paralyze Heals.

42 Maylene

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
  • Gym: Veilstone City (Sinnoh)
  • Type: Fighting
  • Badge: Cobble
  • Trivia: Maylene is close friends with fellow Gym Leader Candice.

Maylene possesses a Meditite, Machoke, and a Lucario in all versions. Meditite can heal itself by draining opponent HP using Drain Punch, and can also use Confusion. Machoke can use foresight to allow it to use moves that wouldn’t normally work (such as Fighting moves on a Ghost Pokémon). All four of the Lucario’s moves can cause damage to an opposing Pokémon, which is a rare feature.

41 Gardenia

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Plaitnum
  • Gym: Eterna City (Sinnoh League)
  • Type: Grass
  • Badge: Forest
  • Trivia: Gardenia is afraid of Ghost-type Pokémon.

Gardenia uses a Cherebi, Turtwig, and Roserade in Diamond/Pearl (the Cherebi becomes a Cherrim in Platinum). Each Pokémon can use the move Grass Knot, which does more damage to larger Pokémon. The Roserade is surprisingly powerful— its move Magic Leaf cannot be evaded, and it can also inflict Paralysis with Stun Spore and Poison with Poison Sting.

40 Ramos

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon X/Y
  • Gym: Courmarine City (Kalos League)
  • Type: Grass
  • Badge: Plant
  • Trivia: He's had his signature pair of gardening shears for 30 years.

Ramos uses a Jumpluff, Weepinbell, and Gogoat. The Jumpluff and Weepinbell prioritize either poisoning or leeching, so players should keep an eye on their Pokémon's HP during this battle, as it can dwindle quickly. The Gogoat is more about outright physical attacks, and can be a surprisingly tough enemy if player's aren't careful.

39 Elesa

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  • Elesa appears in Pokémon Black/White and Black 2/White 2
  • Gym: Nimbasa City (Unova League)
  • Type: Electric
  • Badge: Bolt
  • Trivia: Elesa is a fashion model, and has one of the most dramatic redesigns between Pokémon Black/White and Black 2/White 2.

In Black/White, she possesses two Emolga and a Zebstrika, and one of those Emolga is subbed for a Flaaffy in Black 2/White 2. Each Pokémon can use the move Volt Switch, which subs out another Pokémon immediately after attacking. This can make it difficult to get in attacks that compound damage, or are affected by a specific stat of the opponent's.

38 Chili, Cilian, & Cress

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Black/White only.
  • Gym: Striaton City (Unova League)
  • Type: Fire, Grass, or Water
  • Badge: Trio
  • Trivia: Each brother's personality reflects the type they specialize in. Chili (Fire specialist) is loud and passionate, Cilian (Grass specialist) is jovial, and Cress (Water specialist) is calm and reserved.

These brothers are replaced by Roxie in Pokémon Black 2/White 2. Each brother has a Lillipup, and will use a Pansear, Pansage, or Panpour. The battle is designed so that the player will always have a type disadvantage depending on the starter they picked. Each Monkey Trio Pokémon will have one offensive move of their type (Fire, Grass, or Water), which will always be super-effective against the player's starter type.

37 Clemont

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon X/Y
  • Gym: Lumiose City (Kalos League)
  • Type: Electric
  • Badge: Voltage
  • Trivia: Clemont is credited as the inventor of Super Training.

Clemont battles with an Emolga, Magneton, and Heliolisk. These Electric-type Pokémon have moves that have a chance of causing paralysis, which can make or break a match if a player is not careful. The Emolga and Heliolisk also have moves like Aerial Ace and Quick Attack, which prioritize Speed stats and hitting first.

36 Misty

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  • Appears in Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow, FireRed/LeafGreen, Gold/Silver/Crystal, HeartGold/SoulSilver, and Let's Go! Pikachu/Eevee
  • Gym: Cerulean City (Kanto League)
  • Type: Water
  • Badge: Cascade
  • Trivia: She thinks that the Cerulean Cape has high potential as a romantic date spot, and can be found there on a date in Pokémon Gold/Silver.

Misty has a Staryu and Starmie in most versions, and may also have a Psyduck, Quagsire, or Lapras in others. Being an early gym leader means that players may not have a very diverse or full team when challenging her. She's easiest to defeat in Pokémon Yellow and Let's Go! Pikachu due to her Water Pokémon's weakness to Pikachu's electric attacks.

35 Clay

via fandom.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Black/White and Black 2/White 2
  • Gym: Driftveil City (Unova League)
  • Type: Ground
  • Badge: Quake
  • Trivia: : He is president of a big company. Although it's never outright said what the company does, Clay's title as the "Miner King" might suggest something.

Clay uses a Krokorok, Palpitoad, and Excadrill, with the Palpitoad being subbed for a Sandslash in Black 2/White 2. These Pokémon rely on hitting first and hard. Each one possesses the move Bulldozer, which lowers the targets speed upon impact. Clay's Pokémon have anywhere from 75% to 100% attack moves, which means that they can do a variety of damage if not stopped quickly.

34 Chuck

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver
  • Gym: Cianwood City (Hoenn League)
  • Type: Fighting
  • Badge: Storm
  • Trivia: Chuck is married, and is one of the few married Gym Leaders whose spouse can be seen or interacted with.

Chuck uses a Primeape and Poliwrath in all versions. Fighting-types are not particularly effective against any of the starter types, but they still have higher average attack stats. Players with Flying, Normal, or Psychic-type Pokémon may want to sub them out, as they are especially vulnerable to the many Fighting moves Chuck's Pokémon can use.

33 Koga

via bulbapedia.net

  • Koga appears in Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow, FireRed/LeafGreen and Let's Go! Pikachu/Eevee. He is replaced in other games by his daughter, Janine.
  • Gym: Fuschia City (Kanto League)
  • Type: Poison
  • Badge: Soul
  • Trivia: Koga was a student of medicine, and heals his Pokémon with potions that he makes himself.

Unlike most Kanto League Gym Leaders, Koga does not appear in Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver, as he is promoted to the Elite Four. His daughter Janine takes over as Fuschia City Gym Leader for Johto League appearances.

In Pokémon Red/Blue, Koga has Muk, Koffing, and Weezing. In Yellow, his party consists of Venonat and Venomoth. None of the Pokémon starters have a type advantage over Poison-types, and Poisoning can be a devastating status effect if not cured quickly.

32 Janine

via deviantart.com

  • Appears Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver only
  • Gym: Fuschia City (Kanto League)
  • Type: Poison
  • Badge: Soul
  • Trivia: Janine is the only Gym Leader to not appear in the anime in any capacity.

Despite being a Kanto League Gym Leader, Janine doesn't appear in any original Gen I games. However, she does replace her father, Koga, as Fuschia City Gym Leader for all Johto League appearances.

Janine uses Weezing, Venomoth, Crobat, and Ariados. Like Koga, Poisoning attacks and status effects are still a major concern. While the Crobat and Ariados do not use any moves that can cause the Poison status effect, the Crobat can still wreak havoc with its Confuse Ray.

(Art by ViViVooVoo on DeviantArt)

31 Norman

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  • Appears in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire
  • Gym: Petalburg City (Hoenn League)
  • Type: Normal
  • Badge: Balance
  • Trivia: Norman is the player character's father in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire

Norman's lineup (Slaking and Vigoroth, plus Spinda and Linoone in Emerald) is full of Pokémon with surprisingly powerful moves. Every single one of his Pokémon possess Facade, which doubles its power if the user is afflicted with a status effect. Slaking and Vigoroth have Feint Attack, which never misses, and Slaking can also use Slack Off to regenerate HP.

30 Crasher Wake

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
  • Gym: Pastoria City (Sinnoh League)
  • Type: Water
  • Badge: Fen
  • Trivia: Crasher Wake is also a professional wrestler.

Most of Crasher's Pokémon possess Brine, which can double in power if an opponent is already weakened to half HP. His Gyarados’ Dragon Rage will always do at least a little bit of damage regardless of type-matching. This can be useful against a Pokémon that normally wouldn’t take as much damage from Water-types.

29 Erika

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  • Appears in Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow, FireRed/LeafGreen, Gold/Silver/Crystal, HeartGold/SoulSilver, and Let's Go! Pikachu/Eevee
  • Gym: Celadon City (Kanto League)
  • Type: Grass
  • Badge: Rainbow
  • Trivia: Erika also teaches flower-arranging, which is why most of her Pokémon look like flowers/weeds.

Erika has a Victreebel, Tangela, and Vileplume in Red/Blue, and may also has a Jumpluff and a Belossom in later versions. While her Grass-type Pokémon have a type advantage against Pikachu's Electric-types in Pokémon Yellow and Let's Go! Pikachu, her Pokémon are much less powerful in those games. Overall, players should be ready to combat the several status effects her Pokémon can cause with moves like Poison Powder and Sleep Powder.

28 Brock

via fandom.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow, FireRed/LeafGreen, Gold/Silver/Crystal, HeartGold/SoulSilver, and Let's Go! Pikachu/Eevee
  • Gym: Petwer City (Kanto Region)
  • Type: Rock
  • Badge: Boulder
  • Trivia: Brock's dream is to become a renowned Pokémon breeder.

Despite being the first Gym Leader in his region, Brock is this high on the list because of just how difficult he is to beat in Pokémon Yellow and Let's Go! Pikachu. Most of Brock's Pokémon (such as Geodude, Onix, and Graveler) in any version have a dual Ground-type, which makes them completely immune to Pikachu's electric-type attacks.

27 Skyla

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Black/White and Black 2/White 2
  • Gym: Mistralton City (Unova League)
  • Type: Flying
  • Badge: Jet
  • Trivia: Skyla is passionate about flying, and owns an airport.

Skyla battles with a Swoobat, Unfeasant, and Swanna in Black/White, and the Unfeasant is swapped for a Skarmory in Black 2/White 2. All of these Pokémon have plenty of Flying-type moves that prioritize Speed, which means that they will most like attack first each turn, and they are immune to Ground-type moves.

26 Candice

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
  • Gym: Snowpoint City (Sinnoh League)
  • Type: Ice
  • Badge: Icicle
  • Trivia: Candice doesn't think she acts like most Ice-type trainers because she's not "cool and distant".

Candice possesses a Snowver, Sneazel, Medicham, and Abomasnow in Diamond/Pearl, while Platinum subs out the Snowver and Medicham for Piloswine and Froslass. Snowver and Abomasnow’s Snow Warning ability causes a hailstorm that damages all non-Ice types. The inclusion of Medicham is unusual, as it's just a Fighting/Psychic type capable of using Ice Punch, but it's still a pretty tough opponent.

25 Morty

via fandom.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver
  • Gym: Ecruteak City (Johto League)
  • Type: Ghost
  • Badge: Fog
  • Trivia: Morty is the only male Ghost-type Gym Leader.

Morty battles with a Gastly, two Haunters, and a Gengar. The Ghost-type Gym Leaders can be tricky to defeat without a basic knowledge of type-matching. Normal and Fighting-type moves are completely ineffective against Ghost-type moves, and vice-versa. Additionally, Morty's Pokémon can cause repeated damage by poisoning, using Curse, and draining HP using Dream Eater.

24 Jasmine

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver
  • Gym: Olivine City (Johto League)
  • Type: Steel
  • Badge: Mineral
  • Trivia: Jasmine's Gym in Olivine City is also the city that the player character in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald is from.

Steel-type Pokémon are some of the toughest in the game. They have a higher average defense and attack stat, don't have very many weaknesses, and are completely immune to being poisoned. Jasmine is the first Steel-type Gym Leader to appear in a Pokémon game, and battles with two Magnemite and a Steelix, which have high defense stats.

23 Lt. Surge

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  • Appears in Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow, FireRed/LeafGreen, Gold/Silver/Crystal, HeartGold/SoulSilver, and Let's Go! Pikachu/Eevee
  • Gym: Vermillion City (Kanto League)
  • Type: Electric
  • Badge: Thunder
  • Trivia: Lt. Surge served in the army. He specializes in Electric-type Pokémon after they saved his life multiple times during "the war".

Lt. Surge has a Voltorb, Pikachu, and Raichu in most versions, and may also have an Magnemite/Magneton and Electabuzz in others. He's also surprisingly hard to defeat in Pokémon Yellow, as Electric-type moves are only half as effective on other Electric-types. Having a diverse team is essential to this battle.

22 Flannery

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire
  • Gym: Lavaridge Town (Hoenn League)
  • Type: Fire
  • Badge: Heat
  • Trivia: Flannery's grandfather was once a member of the Hoenn Elite Four, and she seems to struggle living in his shadow.

She uses two Slugma and a Torkoal in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire and OR/AS, and has Slugma, Torkoal, Numel, and Camerupt in Emerald. All of these Pokémon possess the extremely powerful Attack move Overheat, which also severely reduces the user's Special Attack stat after use. This means that while her initial onslaught of attacks can be devastating, her Pokémon will also burn out very quick.

21 Whitney

via fandom.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver
  • Gym: Goldenrod City (Johto)
  • Type: Normal
  • Badge: Plain
  • Trivia: She is the only Gym Leader whose Pokémon's movesets do not change between Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/Soul Silver.

In all versions, Whitney uses a Clefairy (which was Normal-type prior to the introduction of Fairy-types in Gen VI) and a Miltank. Don't let her modest lineup fool you— Whitney is surprisingly hard to beat. The Miltank's Rollout move is the bane of any player's existence, as it attacks over the course of five turns, getting stronger with each hit, and it can devastate pretty much any Pokémon it encounters.

20 Brycen

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Black/White only. He is replaced by Marlon in Black 2/White 2
  • Gym: Icirrus City (Unova League)
  • Type: Ice
  • Badge: Freeze
  • Trivia: Brycen used to be a movie star, but became a trainer after being injured on set.

Brycen battles with a Vanillish, Cryogonal, and Bearctic. This match prioritizes using moves that raise defense stats, making the opponent stronger and more resistant to damage. The attacks used by these Pokémon are less powerful in the grand scheme of things, but they have a higher chance of landing critical hits or causing your Pokémon to flinch.

19 Tate and Liza

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appear in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire
  • Gym: Mossdeep City (Hoenn League)
  • Type: Psychic
  • Badge: Mind
  • Trivia: Tate and Liza are twins, and are able to read each other's minds and the minds of their Pokémon.

Tate and Liza are the first and only Doubles-Battle Gym, which can be tricky to navigate for inexperienced players. They use a Solrock and Lunatone, with an additional Xatu and Claydol in Emerald. All of these Pokémon can use devastating Psychic attacks, and they are also all immune to Ground-type attacks (the Xatu due to its dual Flying-type, and the rest due to possessing the Levitate ability).

18 Byron

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
  • Gym: Canalave City (Sinnoh League)
  • Type: Steel
  • Badge: Mine
  • Trivia: Gym Leader Roark is his son. They are the only parent-child Gym Leader duo to appear in the same region at the same time.

Byron uses a Bronzor, Steelix, and Bastiodon in Diamond/Pearl, with the Bastiodon being subbed for a Magneton in Platinum. At least two Pokémon regardless of version will possess Flash Cannon. The Bronzor's dual Psychic-type enables it to use Hypnosis and Confusion. All these Pokémon have high Attack and Defense stats.

17 Sabrina

via TheGamer.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow, FireRed/LeafGreen, Gold/Silver/Crystal, HeartGold/SoulSilver, and Let's Go! Pikachu/Eevee
  • Gym: Saffron City (Kanto League)
  • Type: Psychic
  • Badge: Marsh
  • Trivia: She has the power of telephathy and telekinesis, and can see into the future.

Sabrina has one of the most diverse lineups across the games, but always has something from the Abra evolutionary line (usually Alakazam). Mr. Mime is another Pokémon that she uses quite often. She also has an Espeon in Gen-II games.

Her Pokémon have plenty of moves that can cause confusion, put an opponent to sleep, or cause other environmental and status effects.

16 Winona

via youtube.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire
  • Gym: Fortree City (Hoenn League)
  • Type: Flying
  • Badge: Feather
  • Trivia: Winona's Altaria is a Level 33, although Swablu cannot evolve into Altaria until Level 35.

Winona battles with a Swellow, Pelipper, Skarmory, and Altaria, swapping the Swellow for a Swablu and adding a Tropius in Emerald. All of Winona's Pokémon have a different secondary type, which can add an additional challenge to type-matching. Her team prioritizes Speed, with each Pokémon possessing Aerial Ace, which cannot be dodged or evaded.

15 Pryce

via youtube.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver
  • Gym: Mahogany Town (Johto League)
  • Type: Ice
  • Badge: Glacier
  • Trivia: Pryce is quite possibly the oldest Gym Leader. He has been training Pokémon for over 50 years.

Pryce battles with Seel, Dewgong, and Piloswine in all versions. Seel and Dewgong’s ability to use Rest to regenerate health can make them tricky to beat. Additionally, Pryce’s Pokémon can create an environmental effect using Hail that causes damage each turn for all non-Ice Pokémon. A good Fire, Fighting, Rock, or Steel-type Pokémon can go a long way with this battle.

14 Juan

via aminoapps.com

  • Only appears in Pokémon Emerald
  • Gym: Sootopolis City (Hoenn League)
  • Type: Water
  • Badge: Rain
  • Trivia: Juan was Wallace's mentor, and takes over the Sootopolis City Gym after Wallace becomes Champion in Emerald.

Juan battles with Luvdisc, Whiscash, Sealeo, Crawdaunt, and Kingdra. Every single Pokémon in his lineup can use Water Pulse, which isn't especially strong but has a 20% chance of causing confusion. The Crawdaunt’s Crabhammer move has an especially high critical hit chance. Additionally, the Kingdra and Sealeo both have moves that can regain HP, making them more difficult to defeat.

13 Wallace

via deviantart.com (Hakkasm)

  • Wallace appears in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire and OmegaRuby/Alpha Sapphire.
  • Gym: Sootopolis City
  • Type: Water
  • Badge: Rain
  • Trivia: Wallace becomes Champion in Pokémon Emerald, making him the first Gym Leader to later become Champion.

Wallace fights with a Luvdisc, Whiscash, Sealeo, Seaking, and Milotic. Every single Pokémon can use the move Water Pulse, which isn’t particularly powerful, but possesses a 20% chance to cause confusion. Sealeo and Milotic both possess moves that can recover HP, and Luvdisc and Milotic can use Attract to make the player’s Pokémon less likely to attack.

(Art by hakkasm on DeviantArt)

12 Olympia

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon X/Y
  • Gym: Anistar City (Kalos League)
  • Type: Psychic
  • Badge: Psychic
  • Trivia: Olympia speaks almost entirely in haiku form.

Olympia's lineup consists of Sigilyph, Slowking, and Meowstic. Each Pokémon can use the move Psychic, and can also drastically change the playing field through status and environmental effects. The Sigilyph can only be damaged through direct attacks, and the Meowstic can land a hit through barriers and substitutes. Overall, Olympia's Pokémon can be pretty tricky to beat.

11 Giovanni

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow, FireRed/LeafGreen, and Let's Go! Pikachu/Eevee. He is replaced by Blue as Gym leader in Gen II games.
  • Gym: Viridian City (Kanto League)
  • Type: Ground
  • Badge: Earth
  • Trivia: Giovanni is the only game antagonist to appear as a Gym Leader.

Giovanni is the final Gym Leader players must beat before tackling the Elite Four. His most common Pokémon are Onix, Rhyhorn, and Kangaskhan. The Kangaskhan is subbed for his trademark Persian in Yellow, and Let’s Go! adds Nidoqueen and Nidoking. His Pokémon have high Defense stats, which can make defeating him slow-going.

10 Blaine

via youtube.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow, FireRed/LeafGreen, Gold/Silver/Crystal, HeartGold/SoulSilver, and Let's Go! Pikachu/Eevee.
  • Gym: Cinnabar Island (Kanto League)
  • Type: Fire
  • Badge: Volcano
  • Trivia: Blaine was inspired to train Fire-type Pokémon after a Moltres rescued him from freezing on a mountaintop.

Blaine's most commonly used Pokémon are Arcanine, Ponyta, Growlithe, and Rapidash. He may also have a Magcargo, Magmar, or Ninetales in later versions.

Even if a player isn't faced with a type-disadvantage, Fire is an inherently offensive-driven type, and Blaine's Pokémon have plenty of attack moves that can cause a lot of damage and Burn status effects.

9 Valerie

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon X/Y
  • Gym: Laverre City (Kalos League)
  • Type: Fairy
  • Badge: Fairy
  • Trivia: She dresses to make herself look more like a Pokémon. Her outfit weighs 33 pounds.

Since Fairy was a new type introduced in Gen VI, Valerie is the first and currently only Fairy-type Gym Leader. Fairy is a surprisingly strong type, with a complete dominance over Dragon-types and very few weaknesses. She uses a Mawile, Mr. Mime, and Sylveon, all of which are capable of a variety of attacks and environmental effects.

8 Clair

via fandom.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver
  • Gym: Blackthorn City (Johto League)
  • Type: Dragon
  • Badge: Rising
  • Trivia: Lance, the Elite Four Dragon-type Master from the Kanto region, is her cousin.

Dragon-type Pokémon were nigh-unstoppable until the addition of Fairy-types in Gen VI, so it makes sense for our first Dragon-type Gym Leader to appear so high on this list. Clair battles with three Dragonair and a Kingdra in Gold/Silver/Crystal, with one of those Dragonair being subbed for Gyarados in HeartGold/SoulSilver. They all can use the move Dragon Breath.

7 Marlon

via zerochan.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Black 2/White 2 only. He replaces Brycen.
  • Gym: Humilau City (Unova League)
  • Type: Water
  • Badge: Wave
  • Trivia: Marlon is very laid back trainer who also enjoys swimming and fishing.

Marlon uses a Carracosta, Wailord, and Jellicent. The Carracosta and Wailord have few Water attacks; instead, they have plenty of strong physical attacks because of their high Attack and Special Attack stats. Wailord can also Burn with Scald and Paralyze with Bounce. Jellicent has more Water-type moves, and can also recover HP.

6 Volkner

via youtube.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
  • Gym: Sunyshore City (Sinnoh League)
  • Type: Electric
  • Badge: Beacon
  • Trivia: Before encountering the player character (or Ash, in the anime), Volkner was getting bored with being Gym Leader and was contemplating leaving the Gym to challenge the Elite Four.

Volkner uses a Raichu, Ambipom, Octillery, and Luxray in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl. The two non-Electric types are replaced with an Electivire and Jolteon in Platinum. The Electric-types have a lot of damaging moves, and usually at least one that can cause paralysis or flinching. The Ambipom and Octillery are odd choices, but the Octillery’s Aurora Beam and Octazooka may take players by surprise if they’re not careful.

5 Fantina

via bulbapedia.net

  • Appears in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
  • Gym: Hearthome City (Sinnoh League)
  • Type: Ghost
  • Badge: Relic
  • Trivia: Fantina is an immigrant from another country, and speaks in a combination of English and French (in the English version of the game).

Fantina uses a Drifblim, Gengar, and Mismagius. In Platinum, The Drifblim is swapped for a Duskull, and the Gengar is demoted to Haunter. In addition to the usual Ghost-type immunity to Normal and Fighting attacks, her Pokémon are also immune to Ground attacks due to the Levitate ability. The Mismagius is surprisingly powerful, with it’s only non-damaging move still being able to do damage by causing confusion.

4 Wulfric

via fandom.com

  • Appears in Pokémon X/Y
  • Gym: Snowbelle City (Kalos League)
  • Type: Ice
  • Badge: Iceberg
  • Trivia: Allegedly, inside of the locket around his neck is a photograph of his dearest Pokémon.

Wulfric battles with an Abomasnow, Cryogonal, and Avalugg. While the attacks for all of these Pokémon are powerful and high-damage, they have a much lower speed stat. It's important for players to strike first with moves that are super-effective (Abomasnow is particularly vulnerable to Fire-type attacks), or else Wulfric's team will roll right over yours.

3 Iris

via: bulbapedia.net

  • Iris is Gym Leader in Pokémon White only. She goes on to become Champion in Pokémon Black 2/White 2
  • Gym: Opelucid City (Unova League)
  • Type: Dragon
  • Badge: Legend
  • Trivia: She sees her Pokémon Black counterpart, Gym Leader Drayden, as a kind of adoptive father figure. She sometimes refers to him as her "grandpa".

Iris battles with Fraxure, Druddigon, and Haxorus, with the same exact moves and abilities has her Pokémon Black counterpart, Drayden. These Pokémon have very high Attack and Defense stats. They also all possess the move Dragon Tail, which swaps out the target with another Pokémon in the party and makes type-matching challenging.

2 Drayden

via fandom.com

  • Appears in Pokémon Black and Black 2/White 2.
  • Gym: Opelucid City (Unova League)
  • Type: Dragon
  • Badge: Legend
  • Trivia: He is also the mayor of Opelucid City

Drayden and Iris are lumped together because their lineup is identical in Pokémon Black/White— Fraxure, Druddigon, and Haxorus (however, his Haxorus is subbed for Flygon in Black 2/White 2). Like Iris, all of his Pokémon can swap the player's Pokémon using Dragon Tail, so it's very important that the player only put Pokémon in their party that can hold their own in this battle.

1 Blue

via: bulbapedia.net

  • Blue is only Gym Leader in Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver, replacing Giovanni.
  • Gym: Viridian City (Kanto League)
  • Type: ???
  • Badge: Earth
  • Trivia: Blue is the inspiration for Gary Oak in the anime. Although he's become much more mature since taking over the Viridan City Gym in the games, he can still be a bit arrogant at times.

Blue is the last Kanto League opponent to beat after the player becomes Johto League Champion, so he's meant to be the toughest battle. The biggest (and most unique) challenge is that he has no preferred type, making his lineup (Arcanine, Gyarados, Exeggutor, Rhydon, Pidgeot, and Alakazam/Machamp) much more difficult to face due to the wide variety of types and attack moves.

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