Continuing my blog series of favorite stuff from Pokemon, we have 2 blogs left, and the first of that will be my favorite Gym Leaders in the entire series. There's 45+ Gym Leaders in all that could've been on here, since we have 40 Gym Leaders across 5 regions, plus Gym Leaders who become one or lost their status between games featuring their region. But this is my top list, and I hope you like it. :3
Misty, second Gym Leader of Kanto, and the first Water-type specialist of the games. She uses the fast-as-a-jet Starmie as her signature main Pokemon. Handing out the Cascade Badge and either the TM for Bubblebeam or the TM for Water Pulse, Misty makes for a great Gym Leader. She has a pretty decent personality which is fleshed-out between FireRed/LeafGreen and the sequels to the Kanto games. Both of her prize TMs are also decent mid-game Water attacks, and I love both Bubblebeam and Water Pulse. She also uses other Pokemon that are interesting, such as Golduck, Quagsire, and Lapras. Out of all early-game Gym Leaders, Misty is certainly the one I'm most fond of.
Ice-type specialist, and the 7th Gym Leader of Sinnoh. Her trademark Pokemon are Abomasnow and Froslass, though the latter only became a staple to her team from Platinum onward. She gives out the Avalanche TM upon victory. The trek up to her gym is quite a journey. You have to take an exit out of the gigantic cavern/mountain dungeon prior to getting to her, then up a couple of routes covered in snow, which gets harsher and harsher the farther north you go. Then, you finally reach her hometown, also covered in snow (and the only town in the entire series to be this way). THEN you get to deal with a challenging snowball-pushing puzzle in her gym with a floor covered in slippy-slidy ice, and when you do face her, she has quite a strong team. If it weren't for another Ice-type Gym Leader on this list who has more personality, she'd by my favorite Ice-type specialist.
Marlon, the second Water-type specialist on this list, and final Gym Leader of Unova as of Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2. Using an unusual but neat team of Wailord, Caracosta, and Jellicent. He gives out the Brine TM when you win. Being carefree, he has an eccentric attitude, which I like. Honestly I just found it hilarious how he speaks in the game. It just made me laugh to the point I found him a fun character. Seriously, this is part of his quote when you meet him trying to challenge him, and he's outside the Gym:
"Sup, you must be here to challenge the Pokémon Gym! I'm the Gym Leader, Marlon. Sorry to make you look for me, yo. I was swimmin' with the Pokémon, and it felt real good, so I kept goin' and goin'. I'll be waitin' in the Gym, 'K?"
Ahhh, the big bad of Team Rocket and Pokemon Red/Blue. He is to this day the trainer who shocked players the most on their first play of Red/Blue. You just didn't see it coming that the big boss of the bad guy team being also the final Gym Leader in your way before the Pokemon League. He specializes in Ground-type, and prior to Clay in Unova, was the only specialist. The TM he hands out in the original games was for Fissure, but in the remakes, he gave out... wait for it... Earthquake. Yeah. His main Pokemon in the final encounter is Rhydon (unfortunately demoted to Rhyhorn in FireRed/LeafGreen, one of a few minor complaints I have about boss rosters in that game...), but Nidoqueen deserves special mention as one of his major Pokemon.
Brycen is an Ice-type specialist. He's the 7th Gym Leader of Unova. He's an oddball in appearance, and he hands out the unorthodox TM for Frost Breath, an Ice move which is weak in base power, but lands critical hits 100% of the time. His main Pokemon is Beartic, which is oddly physical-based where many Ice-types are Special-based attacks. He has a type advantage over both the Gym Leader before him and the one after him, making him an interesting Gym Leader based on placement. His home is Iccirus City, which sits near the mystical Dragonspiral Tower, and the city itself is filled with ponds which freeze over in the winter. The sequels revealed him to be in the movie business (which he went back to after resigning from his position as a Gym Leader), which made him pretty interesting, and for that reason, I got to liking him a lot more.
Winona is the 6th Gym Leader of Hoenn, and a Flying-type specialist. She gives out the cool Aerial Ace TM when you beat her. Her main Pokemon is Altaria and boy, was it a pain to fight. Her team is really unique among Flying-types, with pretty decent secondary types. She has Skarmory, too, which is another cool Pokemon. The reason I like her so much is for me, she is THAT ONE BOSS in Ruby/Sapphire, the one that I am almost never ready for, the one that I will get curbstomped by if I am not properly leveled, and the one that always tends to provide a good challenge.
You just got 15 Badges in Gold/Silver or the remakes, and you've got one last challenge before Oak will permit you to trek to Mt. Silver, when- wait who is that? IT'S GARY MOTHERF***ING OAK. I mean, BLUE OAK. That's right, after being de-Champion'd by his rival Red, and after Giovanni's disappearance, Blue becomes the Gym Leader of Viridian City, although he doesn't specialize in any type. He is the final Gym Leader players face in G/S and HG/SS, and is the one of a series of characters who induces pure nostalgia immediately when you see him. Lance may be the first, but Blue is one of the biggest shots of "Hey, remember me?" the games have. He has no signature Pokemon in his time as Gym Leader, but he uses many powerful Kanto-homed Pokemon such as Pidgeot, Alakazam, Rhydon, Machamp, Exeggutor, Arcanine, and Gyarados. His team tends to switch up often, and he gains other Pokemon that reside outside of Kanto when you fight him in rematches. He might be a special case of Gym Leader, but he's still one of the downright coolest ones.
I have always found Jasmine to be a big favorite of mine. Steel-type specialist, kind-hearted and shy, and taking a big badass Steelix with her to deal with her opponents. She is the 6th Gym Leader of Johto, though you may fight her immediately after you cure Amphy at the lighthouse, so she might end up the 5th just as easily. Regardless, by the time you get to her, she is a powerhouse. Her team isn't very varied in your first fight with her, but I found her personality and a specific battle I had with her which was total epic hax, to be enough to land her way up here. It helps she trades you a Steelix in Generation IV games and even cameos in Sinnoh's Diamond/Pearl visiting Volkner in Sunyshore City, which has music, suspiciously Johto-like...
Blaine~!! He's grown to become my favorite Kanto Gym Leader. He is a Fire-type specialist, 7th Kanto Gym Leader, and a tricky old man. His signature Pokemon varies from game to game, but he is known for Magmar, Rapidash, and Arcanine the most. He holds a quiz in his gym originally for players to optionally take to make it to him without fighting. He's an eccentric, high-energy man who even despite his entire home being victim to a volcanic eruption, managed to keep his gym intact by moving it to Seamfoam Islands (which is ironic considering that place is home to an Ice-type legendary Pokemon, but that's a story for another day). It's his attitude that makes him such a cool Gym Leader, and no doubt without that attitude, I wouldn't like him so much. But being fought just after the climax of the adventure in Red/Blue, and fought just as the climax of the Kanto adventure in Gold/Silver, he is a very good boss trainer for his position in the games.
Speak of the devil. Badass-looking, sporting my favorite Pokemon (Luxray) on his team as a major member, and a seasoned battler. In fact he is introduced to the player as bored with battling trainers (whom he typically just defeats outright), and ends up taking a break from his duties to renovate his Gym, which is filled with electrically-powered puzzles based around switches that change the direction of gears in his Gym which have walkways on them. He actually was (in-universe) considered so strong, he was going to challenge the Elite Four for a position there and be alongside his friend Flint (which would've been badass because honestly Bertha is a REALLY disappointing Elite Four member, would've been nice to move her out for the sake of having Volkner). An Electric-type specialist, he gives the player Charge Beam, a neat Electric move which while weak has a very high (50-70%) chance of increasing its user's Special Attack whilst also doing damage (if you're a lucky player, this is a dream move, dealing damage while simultaneously building up strength for other Special Attacks to unleash). All in all, I just find Volkner really cool, and he is without a doubt my favorite Gym Leader in not only all of Sinnoh, but the entire series in general!
Join me next time when I complete my Top Pokemon blogs with my favorite non-Gym Leader NPC Trainers, which will consist of rivals, evil team leaders, Champions, and Elite Four!? You'll see next time. Till then~