Geeta, the League Champion from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, left many fans feeling underwhelmed. While her striking design and intriguing backstory hinted at the potential for an engaging character, her actual team and battle strategy were often considered lackluster. But is this criticism justified? Who truly stands as the best Champion in the Pokémon series, and what defines an exceptional Champion?
This pondering began after I came across a TikTok video by @amarcheo. They meticulously assessed the competitive viability of each Champion’s teams, utilizing data such as type coverage and other statistics. While their conclusions were thought-provoking, I felt there was more to the story. Thus, I decided to personally evaluate each Champion’s team to determine who reigns supreme in the Pokémon world. To simplify matters, we’ll focus solely on the Champions we encounter at the outset of each game, excluding rivals and characters who ascend to Champion status during the storyline.
- Lance (Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, Green / Gold and Silver):
Lance, specializing in Dragon-types, fails to impress in the original games, mainly due to the limited availability of Dragon-type Pokémon at that time. While his later appearances feature a more diverse team, his initial team remains uninspired, making him vulnerable to exploitable weaknesses.
- Wallace (Pokémon Emerald):
Wallace, with a team centered around Water-types, struggles against Electric-type Pokémon, making him relatively easy to defeat. His limited options for countering Electric-types dampen his overall effectiveness as a Champion.
- Iris (Pokémon Black 2 and White 2):
Iris, another Dragon-type specialist, faces similar challenges. Her team is susceptible to Ice-type moves, which can swiftly dismantle her dragon-based roster. While her team boasts greater variety than Lance’s, it remains vulnerable to specific counters.
- Alder (Pokémon Black and White):
Alder’s team, while not specializing in a single type, heavily features Bug-types. Unfortunately, this choice results in a lack of type coverage and strategic depth. His team’s weaknesses make it vulnerable to several common strategies, particularly those involving Fire-types.
- Kukui (Pokémon Sun and Moon):
Professor Kukui’s team is a mix of various types, offering better type coverage than the previous Champions. However, it lacks adaptability to different starter choices and can leave significant gaps in his team’s strategy. While his team has some variety, it struggles to respond to various circumstances.
- Geeta (Pokémon Scarlet and Violet):
Geeta’s team exhibits potential but suffers due to a design decision regarding her signature Pokémon, Glimmora. As Glimmora is meant to be a setup Pokémon, its late placement in her team hampers her strategy. Placing Glimmora at the forefront could have improved her overall performance and perception as a Champion.
- Hau (Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon):
Hau’s adaptability and choice of an Eevee evolution based on the player’s starter make him a more formidable opponent than some other Champions. However, his starters’ limited move sets can be a drawback, hindering the full potential of his team’s type coverage.
- Steven (Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire):
Steven successfully balances his Steel- and Rock-type theme with a diverse moveset, making his team versatile and challenging. His well-rounded team provides an exciting final battle, showcasing both strategy and power.
- Diantha (Pokémon X and Y):
Diantha’s team demonstrates a balance of strength and elegance. While her team shares a Fairy-type weakness, she is the only Champion with super-effective moves against every Pokémon in the Pokédex. This versatility sets her apart and underscores her underrated status.
- Leon (Pokémon Sword and Shield):
Galar’s Champion, Leon, fields a team of powerhouses with unexpected movesets to counter common strategies. His innovative tactics and adaptability make him a formidable opponent, providing an engaging battle experience.
- Cynthia (Pokémon Diamond and Pearl):
Cynthia, the Sinnoh Champion, reigns supreme as the epitome of a Pokémon Champion battle. Her team’s diverse types and well-thought-out movesets create a challenging and strategic encounter. She stands out for her intelligent gameplay, unmatched type coverage, and sheer strength, making her the ultimate Pokémon Champion.
In the end, while Geeta’s team had potential, it was hindered by a design choice. The best Pokémon Champions are those who balance diverse types, strategic movesets, and adaptability. Cynthia, with her unparalleled combination of strength and tactics, takes the crown as the ultimate Pokémon Champion.