Silver Pokemon League - Master Level
How I see each member of the Silver Pokemon League if they were at their full potential
Credit to Where Credit is Due
Before we start I do want to give credit to SilphSpectre on Youtube for inspiring me to do this and the Indigo League article. He did a series of videos detailing his versions of each Gym Leader, Elite Four member, and Champion's team, I give him full credit for the idea behind this article and encourage you to visit his channel and watch his videos through the link below:
Indigo Pokemon League - Master Level Original Article
As the title states, this article features the Silver Pokemon League or, more commonly, the Johto League. Over a year ago I made teams for each of the Indigo Pokemon League members and fully encourage you to read that article. A link to the article is below:
Disclaimers & Provisos... The Fine Print
- Instead of limiting myself to Pokemon that each trainer has owned, I will open it to Pokemon that were introduced in Kanto or Johto as well as any evolutions or regional variants those Pokemon received in later generations.
- These builds are meant to be in-game and will not be intended for competitive play.
- No Ubers or Legendaries, I do not like using them in-game and while the trainers in the Indigo League most likely could obtain them I will not include them here.
- The trainers will not be limited solely to their specialty type, but at least half of their team will be their specialty type when possible.
- I will try to limit each team to one Pokemon from each evolutionary line, barring branch evolutions or regional variants.
- No Megas will be included and I will not be doing items, natures, abilities, or move lists, just the teams themselves.
- Only Gym Leaders and Elite Four Members from the Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold & SoulSilver games will be featured below. Since the Kanto Gym Leaders have had their own list I will be excluding them from this list.
With all that out of the way let's get into the teams!
The first Gym Leader of the Silver Pokemon League is Falkner, the Flying-Type leader of the Violet City gym. For Falkner, I gave him the theme of Sage of Sprout Tower which is why I gave him a Victreebel and Xatu. They both tie with the tower and mystical.
For the Flying-Types I chose to give him Mantine and Gliscor to give his team access to types that will counter or resist the usual weakness of Electric, Rock, and Ice. With the greatest respect to Pidgeotto and its line, I have decided to drop it from the team and give Dodrio a spot instead. I like Dodrio's look better and the role of Falkner's early route bird Pokemon will go to his new ace.
I am sure you figured it out from the photo above, but I made Falkner's new ace Noctowl. It not only is native to Johto, but it fits his team's theme better than Pidgeot and is one of my favorite Pokemon from Johto.
The second member of the Silver Pokemon League is Bugsy, the Bug-Type Gym Leader from Azalea Town. Bugsy's theme was rather simple, the Bug Catching Champion! Bugsy is also the first member to have a team comprised solely of their specialty typing.
For Bugsy's team I tried to make it as visually diverse as possible so tried to incorporate as many different species of insects as possible. Venomoth being a moth, Pinsir a beetle, Yanmega a dragonfly, Kleavor (the Hisuian evolution of Scyther) a mantis, & Beedrill a bee.
When it came to Bugsy's ace I knew I wanted to keep it Scyther, but decided to evolve it up to Scizor. It, along with Kleavor, helps to center Bugsy's team around the Scyther line which was Bugsy's ace in the original games.
Next comes a leader whose name is only said in hush whispers in the Pokemon community, one who caused many GameBoys to be thrown in frustration and sorrow alike. Whitney, the Normal-Type Gym Leader from Goldenrod. For her team I did want to keep her specialty typing Normal-Type, but decided to infuse her team with the Fairy-Type which came out after Whitney debuted.
For the new Fairy-Types on her team I gave Whitney Togekiss which evolves from Togetic who was Normal-Type in Gen 2, Wigglytuff who was also Normal-Type in Gen 2 and is now Normal-Fairy, Galarian Rapidash which fully fits Whitney's "cute" Pokemon, and have Clefable which is the evolved form of Clefairy which Whitney used on her team and was also Normal in Gen 2 like Togetic and Wigglytuff. As for the sole, non-ace mono Normal-Type on her team I gave her Lickilicky, an elegantly... dressed... Pokemon which also has access to the dreaded Rollout move.
Is there any guess as to what I made Whitney's ace? Seeing as it's in the graphic above I would say not. Her ace is Miltank, whose utters of fury were the reason why the Gameboys were thrown.
The forth member of the Silver Pokemon League and the first Gym Leader of my favorite type is Morty, the Ghost-Type Gym Leader of Ecruteak City. His theme is the Guardian of the Towers, the Burned Tower and the Bell Tower. The two non-Ghost-Types of his team, Honchkrow and Wyrdeer (the Hisuian evolution of Stantler) are evolutions of Pokemon often found in the woods surrounding the towers.
The main Ghost-Type core of Morty's team also help him protect the towers with Alolan Marowak guarding the entrance of the Burnt Tower and Cursola (the Galarian evolution of Corsola) guarding the entrance to the Bell Tower. With the greatest respect to Gengar, I have demoted it from the role of his ace but it still is on his team to help him scare away anyone who tries to enter the towers.
I have given the honor of Morty's ace to Mismagius, the evolution of Misdreavus who was the sole Ghost-Type introduced in Gen 2 and the Pokemon who I believe should've been the ace of his original team.
Next is Chuck, the Fighting-Type master of Cianwood Island who is the second on this list to have a team solely made of his specialty type. Coincidentally he is the only person on this list whose original team appears in its entirity here. Being from an island I decied to give his team a more tropical feel.
The tropical/island themed Pokemon I have given Chuck are; Primeape a monkey, Heracross an exotic bug, Sirfetch'd (evolution of Galarian Farfetch'd) a bird, and his former ace Poliwrath a frog. To finish out his team I decided to give him Machamp to give him another strong mono Fighting-Type.
For his new ace I knew from the beginning I wanted it to be Hitmontop, one of the new Fighting-Type Pokemon introduced in Gen 2 who strangely went to someone else in that generation, someone who I think already had plenty of Hitmon's on their team.
Then there is Jasmine, the Steel-Type Gym Leader of Olivine who sends us across the sea before we can challenge her. For her theme I stuck with Lighthouse Caretaker, a role we saw her in when she was caring for the sick Ampharos that lights the tower who also appears on this team. With her closeness to the lighthouse and the sea I also gave her Corsola, a Pokemon she would get to know well during her stays at the lighthouse and visits to the beach.
The main Steel-Type part of her team includes Magnezone whose base form Magnemite she used on her team, Skarmory which was introduced in Gen 2, and Perrserker whose preevolution she could easily obtain from a traveler from the Galar region since Olivine is a major port city.
Jasmine's ace remains Steelix, a massive steel serpent whose strong defenses make it a nightmare to take down.
The seventh and second to last Gym Leader of the Silver Conference is Pryce, the Ice-Type master of Mahogany Town. For his theme, I gave him the title of Guardian of the Ice Path and gave him a mono-Ice-Type team. To help him guard the Ice Path, I gave Pryce Weavile, who evolves from Sneasel who is found in the Ice Path, and Lapras to help him quell rampaging Gyarados on the Lake of Rage.
Given his age, Pryce is bound to have traveled and met many people in his lifetime, which is where the next three Pokemon come in. Alolan Ninetails, Alolan Sandslash, and Mr. Rime are Pokemon he obtained through trades and during his travels around the Pokemon World.
I decided to keep Pryce's ace the same but evolve Piloswine up to Mamoswine. I feel like Piloswine is iconic to Pryce and with Swinub being available in the Ice Path it makes sense to leave it be.
The eighth and final Gym Leader of the Silver League is Clair, the firebreathing Dragon-Type master of Blackthorn City who sends us into the Dragon Den to prove our worth after defeating her. With Clair came the issue I ran into with Lance and Agatha in my original list, her type specialty is short on Pokemon, even with the broader base I am pulling from.
To get around this issue I decided to focus her team on serpent-like Pokemon while adding as many Dragon-Types as I could. Arbok, Gyarados, and Steelix are here to fill the roles of serpents on her team while Dragonite and Alolan Exeggutor are the non-ace Dragon-Type Pokemon she uses.
When it came to her ace Clair was another member of the Silver League who I knew would retain her original. Kingdra was such a monster to take down in Gen 2 and, being one of the few Dragon-Types available, had to return.
The first member of the Silver Pokemon League Elite Four is the enigmatic Will, a Psychic-Type master who replaces Lorelei as the first Elite Four member. For his theme, I gave Will the theme of Masked Performer and included Jynx, Mr. Mime, and Alakazam to reflect the theme.
I wanted to ensure Johto Pokemon were included on Will's team, and with Xatu going to Falkner I decided to add Espeon for its strong stats and Girafarig to add a Pokemon that is immune to Ghost-Type. While I like Xatu and tried to incorporate the original ace of each team, I just did not feel like it was a good fit for this build.
The new ace of Will's team is Galarian Slowking, the masked counterpart of Slowking and is the Pokemon equivalent of Will himself.
The second Silver Pokemon League Elite Four member is the newly promoted Koga, the former Gym Leader of Fuchsia City and now the Poison-Type master of the Elite Four. For Koga's theme I gave him the title of Gate Guardian, him and his Pokemon protect the gates in front of the Pokemon League and repel anyone who tries to enter without earning the badges.
Koga's team helps him in guarding the gates with Galarian Slowbro and Alolan Muk standing at specific points within the series of gates, Tentacruel patrols the water portion, while Gengar and Weezing patrol throughout the area.
I had a hard time deciding who Koga's ace would be, but did finally decide on Crobat. It fits Koga's ninja aesthetic while showing that he is a strong trainer who does care for his Pokemon.
The third member of the Silver Pokemon League Elite Four is Bruno, who was elevated up a position from his Indigo League post. For his theme I made Bruno the Steward of Victory Road with him and his team keeping the cave safe for the many challengers who pass through it on their way to face the Elite Four.
I decided to keep several members of Bruno's original team, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, and Steelix who is Onix's evolved form are all returning members of his original team. For the next two slots I wanted to try to add another Steel-Type and a Rock-Type, which is why I decided on Melmetal and Aerodactyl whose typings help the rest of his team.
When it came to his ace I decided to give him one of the OG Fighting-Type Pokemon, one who was on his original team making it the forth and final returning team member. Machamp.
The forth and final member of the Silver Pokemon League Elite Four is Karen, the first Dark-Type master we meet and whose parting words to us after her defeat continue to inspire us to this day. For her type specialty I gave Karen Umbreon and Honchkrow who is the evolved form of Murkrow who was on her original team.
For the rest of her team I wanted to give Karen a more nightly elegance feel. I swapped her original Gengar for Mismagius who, had it existed in Gen 2, I feel would've been on her original team, I added Galarian Weezing whose Fairy-Type helps the team's Fighting weakness, and brought back Vileplume who was on her original team.
I do admit I did momentarily think about switching Karen's ace, but did decide on bringing back her original ace of Houndoom. It was her words in the game that made me do this, Houndoom was her original ace meaning it had to be her favorite. Denying her her favorite Pokemon would go against what she was trying to teach us.
The last person we are going to cover today and the Champion of the Silver Pokemon League is Lance, the Dragon-Type Pokemon Master and previously the final Elite Four member we faced in the original games. For his team I wanted to do a medieval theme that helps to balance the weaknesses of the dragons.
Sirfetch'd and Melmetal are medieval knights who are super effective against Rock and Ice, & Rock, Ice, and Fairy respectively. Charizard will always be a dragon in my heart who helps eliminate Ice and Fairy types. Lapras is a sea serpent who can address Rock and Dragon types while Kingdra is another sea serpent and one of the two actual Dragon-Type Pokemon on the team.
Was there any guess as to what Lance's ace would be? Given the graphic above spoiled it probably not. Dragonite will always be Lance's ace!
To be continued...
Before I get flooded with comments asking if I will do the post-game Kanto gym leaders, I am already in the process of designing their teams. To avoid making this article overly long I wanted to focus on the Johto leaders and new Elite Four. In the mean time please visit the original article if you haven't read it already.
About the author
Certified movie nerd with concentrations in Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Marvel, fantasy, horror, and sci-fi.
Also an avid hiker, camper, racquetball player, cat dad, and loving uncle/godfather.