Top 10 Pokemon Gym Leaders

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Iris pokemon Capture

For all those trying to become Gym leaders in Pokémon Go, come and learn from the best. Gym Leaders in the poké-world play one of the most important roles, they separate trainers from champions. They are the strongest members of a gym and their job is to make sure only the people who are strong and prepared reach the elite four of the region. Gym leaders are in charge of matching the theme of their Pokémon type to their establishments and it’s always something to look forward while playing the game or watching the anime.

For now, it's a mystery how a person becomes a gym leader but there have been hints that in some cases they inherit the gyms, they can be assigned by the elite four or they can even take it as a normal job. Gym leaders excel in their chosen types but they have to adjust accordingly to the level of the gym they are dealing with, even if they possess highly trained Pokémon, they cannot use them against novice trainers. We invite you to learn more about the roles of the gym leaders through our top ten Pokémon gym leader list!

10. Olympia

Olympia pokemon

Olympia is a psychic type gym leader from Anistar City in the Kalos League. Her gym, having the same name as the city, can be accessed in the game Pokémon XY. She projects a mystical and wise appearance with a galaxy theme, complete with starry space cape and the ability to predict the future.

Olympia is very graceful and poetic, she speaks in verses of Haiku most of the time. Her many predictions are seen to come true in the anime. Aside from a wise look, she also speaks wise words which we would like to quote one of her most powerful sayings in the game “Create your own path. Let nothing get in your way. Your fate, your future.”


9. Trio Badge Leaders

Trio Badge Leaders pokemon

Striaton City is the home of the trio gym leaders Cress, Chili and Cilan, the holders of the Trio Badge. Although they are not strong, they surely are unique, as they are the first trio gym leaders to specialize in different Pokémon types. Depending on the starter Pokémon you chose, is who you will face for the badge, for example, if you picked the water type Cilan will be your rival. Their types are matched with their style; Chili the redhead uses fire types, Cress the blue haired uses water types and Cilan, the green haired, uses grass Pokémon. They all also have names of food condiments and their gym is butler cafe themed where the leaders also serve customers in their waiter uniforms.

In the anime, Cilan becomes part of Ash’s team to learn a few more tricks as a connoisseur while in a Pokémon journey.


8. Skyla

Skyla pokemon

The most kawaii gym leader title comes from the Unova region; the Keeper of the Jet Badge, Skyla. With the nickname “The highfly girl” you can already imagine she is the Flying-type Gym leader, but not only that, she owns her own airport! Aside from literal relation to flying, her head also sits waaay above the clouds and her gym methods in the anime can relate to a bird: cuckoo.

She only challenges trainers in her so-called Air Battles, who aren't even normal battles… its imaginary battles she develops in her head based on the opponent's Pokémon team. If she believes you can beat her, she will give you the badge, if she thinks you will lose, you won't get the badge; of course, this doesn't happen in the Games.


7. Elesa

Elesa pokemon

Elesa is the supermodel of the poké-world, her beauty and fame transcend into the real world as she is rather popular among Pokémon fans. She is the electric type gym leader from Nimbasa city and her yellow and black outfit matches the color theme of strong electric Pokémon like Electabuzz and Zapdos. Her debut was in Pokémon black and white, a peculiar easter egg she hides as her main Pokémon is Zebstrika, a zebra Pokémon whose colors are well… black and white.

Elesa and her gym go through serious design changes in her return to Pokémon BW2, her gym now goes from theme park to a catwalk and her fashion changes drastically to her having black hair with white accessories and a completely different attire. This caused some confusion among fans, thinking it was a different gym leader with the same name, but it is clear her change of style was upon her own request, as she mentions it at some point to Skyla. Elesa is a gym leader that clearly shows you can be beautiful and strong at the same time.


6. Cheren

Cheren Pokemon Black and White 2 Introduction Movie

Surprise, surprise! Cheren really showed us what the element of surprise is all about. Cheren starts out as a kid and your rival in the game Black and White but in the second stage of the game, BW2, Cheren returns as a grown up... and a gym leader! He is the first game rival to become a gym leader (as if that doesn't make you feel like crap because you started your journey together!). All those years of training for him to become... a normal type gym leader... what? That is possibly THE worst position you could have.. and on top of that, the badge he can hand out is called the BASIC badge… aw, is our rival Cheren getting bullied? Before, you could get the same badge in another gym in a different place but it looks like this person desperately wanted out of that job and looked for a young trainer willing to work to pass on the burden of the lame basic badge and its normal gym.

You think it can't get worse? Cheren also has a side job as a teacher, in a classroom located inside his own gym… as if his title and gym don't earn him enough money, hahaha. Poor Cheren even won against Ash but Ash didn't even ask for a rematch because he already previously owned a Basic Badge! So Much for that...what has your life become, Cheren!?


5. Clemont

Clemont Pokemon XY

“The future is now, thanks to science!” is Clemont’s signature phrase. As we can see he was made with the idea of a ‘scientist’ (geeky, knowledgeable, inventor and huge glasses). He is a child prodigy in making machines and devices that -usually- fail to deliver. Even if Clemont is shown as a proficient electric type gym leader in the game he is but a novice gym leader in the anime.

He becomes Ash’s companion in the anime and travels together with him and his little sister Bonnie, leaving his Lumiose City gym in charge of his (best?) creation yet, Clembot. We can share many adventures with Clemont in the anime XY arc where we see how he inspires viewers to create, invent and promote scientific studies.


4. Iris

Iris Pokemon Best Wishes!

Iris is our little dragon tamer and gym leader in Opelucid City’s Gym. We see our little Iris grow from being a dragon master as a child in Pokémon Black and White to becoming the Champion of the Unova region’s Pokémon league in BW2. Of course, this awesome character needed to become part of Ash’s team in the anime, where we see her grow and mature as a dragon-master more in detail. Iris has always been the wild adventurous type of girl, just like the soul of a dragon. Iris shares so many things with dragon Pokémon that she’s even scared of ice, dragon type’s weakness.

Iris has been declared a child prodigy trainer as she excels in battles and is very confident in her skills, ones she likes to show off in many Pokémon competitions during her journey with Ash. Her strength and passion as a trainer are felt by Pokémon themselves, as all of her Pokémon have joined her willingly and none of them ever caught through battle.


3. Brock

Brock Pokemon

Brock as a gym leader is meant to be weak as he is the first Gym leader we face in the game as well as the first gym leader for Ash in the anime. Brock has stronger Pokémon but he cannot use them because it would break the rules of his gym in Pewter City, which serves as a mere training lesson for Lvl 15 or lower trainers; we can get a hint of this in Pokémon Origin when Red fights him for the Boulder Badge.

His real dream is to become the greatest Pokémon Breeder and marry a beautiful woman, perhaps he just works at the gym to be able to sustain his many young siblings? After leaving Ash for a long time to train under Professor Ivy, he decides to become a Pokémon Doctor instead, ultimately leaving the Gym business to his dad, Flint. Brock has a rock-solid position in every Pokémon fan’s heart because he was making us laugh ever since 1998 with his silly occurrences.

Brock Pokemon Capture


2. Misty

Misty (Kasumi) Pokemon

Misty was every guy's first tomboy crush and for girls the perfect romantic couple for Ash. Her rough ways melted slowly into our hearts and finally left everyone baffled as she decided to leave the team to go back to her gym. You follow the love of your life half around the world and he never noticed you? I guess going back to the Cerulean City Gym as a gym leader was easier to deal with than a broken heart.

In the anime, she was a tough gym leader for Ash, showing she was a very skilled and determined water Pokémon trainer. In the game, she was no pushover either; if you went unprepared to her gym, thinking that it would be just as easy as Brock, surely you had a bad time. In the game’s future Misty, she’s actually doing great as a leader, she became a tough trainer, using her all-attack water Pokémon she became the strongest in her region; she even gets a boyfriend!

Misty (Kasumi) Pokemon Capture


1. Giovanni

Giovanni Pokémon

Pokémon’s greatest villain mastermind and the head leader of the criminal group Team Rocket needed to be number one. Giovanni is probably the gym leader with the most badass background story and he is of crucial relevance to Pokémon history as he is the creator of Mewtwo. Giovanni’s strive for power couldn't be quenched JUST being a gym leader, he needed to have the most rarest and powerful Pokémon on his command, whatever it took. Giovanni’s gym, the Viridian City gym was the closest one to Pallet Town but it is the last one we challenge, as he was busy leading the mischievous Team Rocket elsewhere.

The boss of Team Rocket and the owner of the Earth Badge was designed based on the image of a mafia boss or a powerful Yakuza member. He possesses a great power which he uses to terrorize the poké-world stealing away other trainer’s strong and rare Pokémon, using a group of scoundrels from all over the region. He owns several buildings in the Kanto region, as well as a casino but, his most precious possession is the lab where he experimented with the DNA of the Pokémon in hopes of creating the ultimate battle Pokémon. He succeeded and created indeed, the strongest Pokémon, Mewtwo, who we can see being used in the gym against Gary Oak.

After being defeated by Red in Pokémon Origins, he disbands Team Rocket and since then has gone missing, leaving the Viridian City Gym in the hands of trainer Blue Oak (aka Gary).

Giovanni Pokémon Capture


Final Thoughts

All these gym leaders are special in the anime or the game in one way or another. They all have exclusive traits in the game which provide either a strong or a fun fight that will go down in our memories forever. Some of them may not be strong opponents, but they stand strong in our hearts as we shared many memories with them while they traveled alongside Ash in his journey. Although in the game we never see the friendly side or personal opinions of our favorite gym leaders, we can always go to the anime to feel like we get to know them a little more.

With the new Pokémon app game, Pokémon Go, you can become a gym leader yourself! What kind of gym leader would you like to be? Would you ever like to roleplay as your favorite leader now that you have the chance? What is your favorite Gym Leader and why? Let us know in the comments below!

Yanayme Roman

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Author: Yanayme Roman

Yo! I'm yet another anime lover that lives in japan! I also love RPG games! My goal in life is to work in an animation studio! I love drawing anime! Love all related to anime!!

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