[Top 10] Best Pokemon Gym Leaders That Are Great

Best Pokemon Gym Leaders
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Ever wonder who are some of the best Pokemon gym leaders?

If you’re like me and have been around since the original Red and Blue, you’ve seen countless gym leaders in your time. Some are better than others, but all of them are unique in their own special way. Here I have compiled a list of who I believe to be the top 10 best gym leaders.

10. Misty

Misty in her Let's Go! Gym

In the Red and Blue games, as well as a few others, Misty will be the second gym leader that you face. She excels in the usage of water-type pokemon, so if you picked Charmander as your starter, this gym, like Brock’s, will be a challenge, however, not impossible. All you need to do is catch yourself a grass type on the way to her gym, which shouldn’t be too difficult. Oh, but watch out for her Starmie, this tough pokemon will overwhelm you if you aren’t prepared.

Why is Misty so important in the games though? Because she is the first female gym leader to be shown in the first games. You see, before Pokemon Crystal was released, the player character was always a male, there was no option to choose a girl character. So, seeing Misty so early on in the game made young girls feel like they too could be powerful pokemon trainers too, that the sport wasn’t just for men. Yes, there are other female gym leaders in the Kanto region, but Misty is the first one that we encounter.

Excels In:

  • Water Type Pokemon
  • Swimming



9. Piers

Piers in his Spikemuth City gym.

Piers is the first gym leader in any of the games to specialize in dark-types. This is a surprise because dark-type was introduced in the second generation, so why did it take so long to have a gym leader who only uses dark types? Well, regardless of what that answer is, it was definitely worth the wait.

Aside from Giavonni, Piers is the second gym leader we face who is a boss of an enemy organization. Although I don’t really see Team Yell as antagonistic as Team Rocket was. If anything, Team Yell is more like an obsessive fan base, which by the way, I would join in an instant.

I love the type of rebellion Piers represents in the game, not only does he refuse to move his gym after Rose asks him to, but he also refuses to use dynamax no matter how much he is pressured to do so. This young man understands how fun it can be to just have a simple battle and he does it well. He represents freedom and conviction by opposing authority and being true to himself by following his dreams of musical performance rather than being a gym leader.

Excels In:

  • Dark Type Pokemon
  • Hair Products
  • Singing and Overall Musically Inclined
  • Being a Good Big Brother
  • Stealing my Heart



8. Valerie

Valarie, looking cute.

Valerie is the fairy-type gym leader of Laverre City and she is originally from the Johto region. Her outfit weighs a total of 33 pounds, so I’m sure underneath all that fabric is a young lady with muscles strong enough to rip a dragon in half -- which is exactly what her pokemon can do. Valarie is the first fairy-type gym leader that was ever seen in the franchise and for those of us who underestimated the power of fairy-type, it was a surprisingly tough battle.

The fairy type was brought into the franchise to balance the strength of the dragon and dark types and prove that you can be both beautiful and dangerously powerful. Valerie represents magic and beauty which is very much like the pokemon she uses.

Excels In:

  • Fairy Type Pokemon
  • Wearing the Highest of High Heels
  • Fashion



7. Volkner

Volkner, ready to cause an electrical blackout.

Sunnyshore City sounds like a nice place to go and relax, maybe enjoy the sun and water. However, to the gym leader, this place is almost too relaxing. Volkner really embodies how lonely it can be at the top and because of his bored restlessness he created the puzzle in the gym. I haven’t seen another gym leader like him, and would really like to. Most of the gym leaders we see in each generation aren’t bored with their position. This poor guy has forgotten how fun a Pokemon battle can be, that is, until you, the player takes him on and defeats him.

Excels In:

  • Electric Type Pokemon
  • Causing Rolling Blackouts
  • Being Besties with Flint.
  • Building Electrical Equipment



6. Morty

Morty's Gold and Silver design.

Morty is the leader of the Ecruteak City Gym in the Johto region. He specializes in ghost-type pokemon and is even friends with the wild ghost-type pokemon. This makes things a little rough for the player character because, at this point in Gold and Silver, you don’t really have a sure way to defeat ghost types. He is very good at strategizing, he’ll have his Gangar use hypnosis then dream eater to destroy your team. Oh, by the way, in HeartGold and SoulSilver, he won’t battle you the moment you walk into Ecruteak City. Actually, you have to do a bit of work first. You need to go find him in the Burned Tower and then you need free Entei, Raikou, and Suicune. Once you have that all out of the way, it’s time to battle!

His gym is designed as a huge hole in the ground with an invisible bridge, which to me, sounds downright terrifying. How many trainers have fallen to their deaths in the Ecruteak City gym only to become one of Morty’s ghost friends? At least, that’s how it was in the original Gold and Silver. In HeartGold and SoulSilver, his gym is a tad easier to navigate.

Once you defeat him, you’ll receive the Fog Badge, and fog is definitely an element that represents Morty. This is because Morty is a lover of legends and over time legends become convoluted with fog. It’s up to him to see through that nonsense and find the truths that he is looking for.

Excels In:

  • Ghost Type Pokemon
  • Changing his Eye Color Between Generations
  • Studying Legends
  • Strategizing



5. Whitney

Whitney and her scary Miltank.

I still have nightmares about Whitney and her Miltank to this day. Whitney is the Goldenrod City gym leader and IF you beat her you are given the plain badge. It may be called the plain badge, but her battle is anything but plain -- more like pain.

Whitney has an almost childish personality; she cries when she is defeated but usually, she is friendly and highly energetic. To me, I feel like her character represents how beauty can be used to an advantage. She is often described as pretty and her pokemon often use attract to keep male Pokemon from attacking.

Excels In:

  • Normal Type Pokemon
  • Being Emotional
  • Eye Color Changes Between Generations
  • Softball



4. Clair

Clair battling in season 5 of the Pokemon anime.

Clair is the leader of the Blackthorn City gym and she specializes in dragon-type pokemon. She is cousins with Lance, who she claims is the only person to have ever defeated her in battle, aside from the player character of course.

Clair was one tough lady because fairy-types hadn’t been introduced at the time, not to mention her dragon-type pokemon had a variety of different attacks to use. Then as soon as you think you have an advantage, she slaps you in the face with her Kingdra or Dragonite.

If you are able to defeat her, she will not immediately accept that she has been defeated. You’ll have to prove yourself again by going on a very specific mission. Depending on if you’re playing the original Gold and Silver or HeartGold and SoulSilver, the mission will differ slightly. However, the location will remain the same and that is to go to the Dragon’s Den.

Excels In:

  • Dragon Type Pokemon
  • Wearing Shoulder Pads
  • Not Being a Graceful Loser



3. Raihan

Raihan being perfect.

Raihan, being the final gym leader of the Galar region and King of Selfies is a tough opponent to face. He’s Leon’s rival for a reason, after all. This young gentleman specializes in dragon-type pokemon. In another life, Raihan was probably a magical weather-controlling meteorologist, because this dude always has to change weather conditions. Battling him can be tricky, but with the right strategy, it is possible to take him down.

Raihan is definitely one of the most driven and goal-oriented gym leaders out there. All he wants to do is defeat Leon and he is willing to work as hard as possible to achieve this dream. It’s rumored that if he were to relocate to another region, he’d easily be able to become the Champion there. But becoming a Champion is meaningless if it doesn’t involve dethroning Leon.

Excels In:

  • Dragon Type Pokemon
  • Taking Selfies
  • Being Tall
  • Being Leon’s Rival



2. Wallace

Wallace with his Milotic.

If you think a water-type gym sounds easy to beat especially so late in the game, well then, you haven’t fought Wallace.

Not only is Wallace the final gym leader of Hoenn, but he also becomes the pokemon Champion and he does all this while winning pokemon contests in the Master Rank Beauty Contests. Wallace is a busy guy but he still takes care of himself and his pokemon. When challenging him, you may think all you need is an electric type to wipe out his team -- well guess what! You’re wrong! As soon as he pulls out that Whiscash of his all your electric types will basically be useless.

Wallace is achievement and perfection all while being elegant and graceful. Being the top gym leader of Hoenn wasn’t good enough so he took the challenge and became the Champion.

Excels in:

  • Water and Ice Type Pokemon
  • Winning Pokemon Contests
  • Elegance
  • Being Beautiful



1. Brock

Brock in his Let's Go! gym.

Oh, Brock, this man, oh he was the very first gym leader I’ve ever encountered and I’ve never been the same since. Brock uses rock-type pokemon, so if you picked Charmander as your starter, you probably had a difficult time beating this leader.

It’s only fitting that the first gym leader of the entire Pokemon franchise is a rock leader. Rocks have to be sturdy or they’ll crumble under the elements, and in the same way, Brock has to stay strong and hold up all the other gym leaders that came after him. Not to mention he is one of the most recognizable characters of the franchise, even to the younger generations who never got the chance to play the original Red and Blue.

Excels In:

  • Rock Type Pokemon
  • Being a Ladies Man
  • Helping his Community


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