Re: “If you were in the Pokémon games, what would you pick as your team?”

I’ve had somewhat limited exposure to video games as a kid—there were a few games that I played a ton of, but I didn’t play a wide variety of different games. Out of the games I did play, Pokémon is one of the games that I played a lot—my first Pokémon game was Yellow Version, I’ve played the games fairly seriously up until Generation IV, and I’ve at least had some degree of gameplay exposure up until Generation VI.

After people find out that I like Pokémon and even collect Absol cards of every type, variant, and language I can find, a lot of people ask what team I would have if I was a gym leader or another NPC in the Pokémon games.

I don’t think I would be the type of person to run a Pokémon Gym. I’m not really the type of person to look up to someone like people look up to gym leaders, or otherwise place people on a pedestal and respect them more than any other human being simply because of their status. Naturally, that means that I don’t want other people to do that to me either—I firmly believe that I am just a regular person who doesn’t need special treatment.

In alignment with that philosophy, I wouldn’t necessarily want to be a gym leader. However, I do like the idea of being in a Pokémon game as somewhat of a random encounter, similar to how you hunt Suicune, Raikou, and Entei in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal—I am simply out exploring the lands like any other trainer, but with some luck, you can run into me and battle me out in the wild.


Moves: U-Turn, Bullet Punch, Swords Dance, False Swipe
Ability: Technician
Nature: Adamant

I think Scizor would be a good lead for my party. It has a priority same-type attack bonus (STAB) move in Bullet Punch to quick­ly clear out wild encounters, Swords Dance to buff attack for longer battles, and U-Turn if he’s in trouble and needs to switch out.

I also like the idea of having False Swipe in the moveset, a move that otherwise would make no sense except for lore purposes. When I was younger and played Pokémon Gold on the Game Boy Color, Scizor was literally the Pokémon I used to catch wild Pokémon by bringing them down to 1 HP using False Swipe, and I think leaving that in acts as a nod to the practicality of my team and an indication that I am just a regular Pokémon trainer out catching and training Pokémon like everyone else.


Moves: Air Slash, Tri Attack, Flamethrower, Fly
Ability: Serene Grace
Nature: Timid

Back when I used to play Pokémon Showdown, I ended up picking Togekiss as my special attack sweeper (and I don’t quite re­mem­ber why). The Togepi evolution line isn’t particularly my favorite or anything, but I guess Togekiss has grown on me up to the point that I’d want to include it in my team.

Similar to False Swipe being on Scizor above, I like the idea of just randomly having Fly on Togekiss, as that would make sense lore-wise that I am a random encounter because I’m out adventuring. However, if I were to be implemented in a static location any­where, I would probably replace Fly with something like Ominous Wind to fully commit to the Serene Grace gimmick.


Moves: Psychic, Hidden Power (Ice), Grass Knot, Substitute
Ability: Synchronize
Nature: Modest
Gender: Female

My second favorite Pokémon is Eevee. I like the fact that Eevee just looks like a normal pet that you could have in real life. I also like potential, i.e., the capacity and power of being able to do many things and/or whatever you want is very appealing to me. Eevee obviously has a lot of potential, considering that it can evolve into several different Pokémon of different types and stat dis­tri­bu­tions.

I like the idea of having a “pair” in my party, and Eevee evolutions seem like the best way to do that. Espeon and Umbreon also represent balance—light and dark, offensive and defensive—another one of my core values.

Espeon is strong but fragile. Umbreon is “there to protect her,” but I also like the idea of Espeon being able to stand up for her­self when needed, so I have her built as a special attacker with Substitute for a bit more durability.


Moves: Curse, Payback, Protect, Wish
Ability: Synchronize
Nature: Careful
Gender: Male
Item: Leftovers

I wouldn’t really consider myself an avid shiny hunter, but after I finish the storyline and have beaten the Elite Four a countless number of times, I do end up looking for some new things to do in-game. Umbreon would be a shiny on my team, not nec­es­sar­i­ly be­cause I’m enthralled to shiny hunt an Eevee, but mainly simply because I like the visuals of the blue in the sprite.

As you’d expect, Umbreon is on the team to break up the opponent’s momentum and try to put a stop to any sweepers that may have had an opportunity to set up. In theory, Umbreon could also support his partner Espeon by casting Wish for her to help her recover from the health penalty of using Substitute.


Moves: Aqua Jet, Swords Dance, Metal Claw, Earthquake
Ability: Torrent
Nature: Adamant

I like having a bit of chaos and unpredictability in my life. I know it’s become a meme now to “never let anyone know your next move,” but I do think there is real value in doing things in an unconventional way.

Empoleon is generally used as a special attacker (and sometimes a bulky one), so being a Swords Dance attack sweeper with a priority STAB water-type move that also gets boosted by its ability, a STAB steel-type move that can even further increase attack, and an all-around solid move in Earthquake is very powerful.


Moves: Night Slash, Psycho Cut, Stone Edge, Superpower
Ability: Super Luck
Nature: Adamant
Item: Scope Lens

My team wouldn’t be complete with my favorite Pokémon, Absol. Considering it is my favorite, if I were to spend time shiny hunting anything, Absol would be first in line, so I decided to put a shiny variant on my team.

In addition to its looks, another aspect of Absol I really like is its lore. It is often referred to as the Disaster Pokémon because it comes down from the mountains to warn people of upcoming disasters, but because of the timing, many people think it is Absol it­self that is bringing the doom. Because of this, I’ve specifically built my Absol around the theme of luck—both its ability and item increase its critical hit ratio, and three out of its four attacks inherently have higher critical hit rate.

Absol would be my signature Pokémon, and if the game allows me to have an overworld sprite, Absol would be the one standing by my side.

If you’d like to make a fan game or write fan fiction themed around Pokémon that includes me, keep in mind that you do not have to ask public figures for permission prior to including them in works of parody or transformative content, as long as you are not infringing on their right of publicity or com­mitting com­mer­cial appropriation.

With that being said, I actually enjoy seeing creative fan-made content, as long as it is not intended to falsely discredit my reputation, spread false in­for­ma­tion construed as statement of facts, imply any commercial endorsement or agreement, or otherwise be made in bad faith. If you plan on in­clud­ing me in your personal projects, you may use my team and lore from above, but also feel free to modify it in any way you’d like to fit the format of your work.