Throughout the years, we’ve come to know quite a few different teams of villains trying to ruin the world of Pokemon. From Kanto to Alola we’ve thwarted their plans every step of the way.
With Pokemon Sword and Shield on the horizon, we’re looking back at all of the teams we’ve fought along the way.
We’re going to rank each team based on their wild ambitions, how evil their plans really are, and how competent they are at actually trying to carry them out.
6. Team Skull
Team Skull doesn’t have any direction outside of “we are here to disrupt anything and everything that exists.” Their leader Guzma, has the high ambitions of being a puppet of Lusamine, President of the Aether Foundation.
Guzma learns the hard way what being a puppet of someone so corrupt can lead to. Guzma’s actions lead him to the land of the Ultra Beasts, where he loses his mind.
Team Skull accomplished very little than being a slight nuisance in the Alola Region.
This makes the team one of the weaker Pokemon villains for sure, fortunately, Sun and Moon has the Aether Foundation to serve as an actual threat to the Alola region and provide a little more juice to the Sun and Moon story.
5. Team Rocket
So Team Rocket is only right above Team Skull on the list because their plans never amount to more than trying to make a quick buck despite being significantly more competent.
Featured in both Kanto and Johto, Team Rocket has probably the most half-baked ideas in all of the series.
Selling fossils in Mt. Moon, and overpricing Slowpoke tails in the small Azalea Town sum up some of their more ambitious plans.
Sure, they run experiments on a Magikarp to unnaturally evolve it into a red Gyrados, but what does that get them? Some shiny Pokemon? We have plenty of those.
Also, we defeat Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, and he just gives up. We even time travel to the future with the help of Celebi and beat him again, leaving him in a cave to live out the rest of his days like the real loser he is.
4. Team Magma/Aqua
Team Magma (Ruby) or Team Aqua (Sapphire) have grander ambitions than Team Rocket and Skull, but their goals are very ill-advised for everyone including themselves.
Team Magma wants to rid the world of water and make one giant landmass with the help of the legendary Pokemon Groudon, while Team Aqua wants the world to just be water with the help of Kyogre.
If you think about this plan for more than five seconds, you realize just how silly this is, and even as an eight-year-old playing the game, I realized that these adults were just plain stupid.
Seriously, that’s the whole plan, and of course, we stop them. So their plans never come to fruition, but I really don’t understand how this would benefit anyone including themselves.
3. Team Plasma
As we move further down this list, these villains start to get their act together. Team Plasma actually has a goal that goes beyond selling stolen goods or being a minor disruption.
Team Plasma’s “leader,” N, was an orphan who was essentially raised by Pokemon. N was later found by the sage Ghetsis, who only allows N to interact with Pokemon who had been hurt by humans.
This gave N a warped concept of what the relationship between Pokemon and humans was and pushed him to believe that Pokemon needed to be liberated from human control.
Actually, a kind of noble goal, since to be frank, the Pokemon-Human relationship is kind of messed up despite what the game might tell you.
Team Plasma’s true leader Ghetsis, found a way to manipulate N in order to further his goal of ruling all of the Unova Region with the most powerful Pokemon, Reshirom or Zekirom, depending on which game you purchased.
At least here, Team Plasma has a purpose and a coherent plan to help their leader accomplish their goal of taking over the world by using an idealistic but powerful Pokemon trainer to do their bidding.
This is what we call “attainable goals” and they actually could have pulled it off if it wasn’t for us meddling kids.
In another universe, Ghetsis actually succeeds and is in general just a total jerk. So it’s wise that we didn’t underestimate him.
2. Team Galactic
From the get-go, Team Galactic isn’t playing around. Their plan is to destroy and remake the universe in its entirety using the power of the Legendary Pokemon Dialga and Palkia.
You’re first introduced to them in Jubilife city, where they are trying to steal Professor Rowan’s research. After quickly defeating them you won’t see again until you catch them trying to siphon power from the Valley Windworks.
After that, Team Galactic remains out of the way, in the shadows plotting their next move until finally, an explosion goes off at Lake Valor.
They blow up Lake Valor to uncover secrets they need to summon these powerful Pokemon. They’ve proven that they won’t stop at anything to get what they want. Their leader Cyrus is ready to do whatever it takes to see his vision through.
The final showdown takes place at the Team Galactic headquarters and continues on to the peak of the Spear Pillar, which is where Dialga and Palkia are summoned. The player must defeat Cyrus atop this mountain to save the universe.
After Cyrus is defeated and the legendary Pokemon captured, Cyrus vows that his work is not finished and disappears. Even in the face of defeat, he refuses to give up.
In Pokemon Platinum, Cyrus harnesses both Dialga and Palkia’s powers at the same time but is quickly sucked into the Distortion World by the legendary Pokemon Giratina. Cyrus decides to stay in the Distortion World and live out the rest of his days there.
Team Galactic is left in Saturn’s hands, and they begin to collect ransom money from citizens by threatening to cause Mt. Stark to erupt.
Their ideas go far beyond destruction, they want to remake the universe, obviously for evil purposes, but as I said, I admire ambition.
1. Team Flare
Team Flare is the most devious Pokemon villains in the mainline series. Similar to Team Galactic, they want to remake the world, but instead of erasing what was using time and space magic, they plan just to obliterate everything with a 3,000-year-old weapon.
The player meets Lysandre at Professor Sycamore’s lab at the beginning of the game, where he tells the player he sees potential in them.
It actually isn’t revealed Lysandre is the leader of Team Flare until after the player receives the seventh badge.
Team Flare’s leader Lysandre is charismatic, well-dressed, and is a real fleshed out villain. He’s looking to make a world filled with rich and beautiful people, which is a crazy notion, but something we haven’t seen in previous games.
Team Flare themselves cause trouble constantly all over Kalos. The power plant, Poke Ball Factory, Glittering Cave, and Forst Cavern just to name a few. Team Flare’s secret lab is located under the Lysandre Cafe, which is a killer place to have a secret lab.
With the use of this powerful weapon created by the King of Kalos, Lysandre and Team Flare are set to remake the world in their image, and frankly, I fell for Lysandre’s charm during the game and actually questioned a few times if maybe he actually had the right idea.
The combination of their extremely charming leader and just how persistent Team Flare is at causing trouble lands them the number one spot on this list.
Which Pokemon Villain Team is your favorite? Let us know down the in the comments below, and when Pokemon Sword and Shield release in November, we will be sure to see how Team Yell ranks against these teams.
Featured image via Bliitzit on YouTube