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The Pokémon world is split into different regions. Each region has its Pokémon league where the best trainers battle for supremacy to become the Pokémon league champion.
To become a Pokémon champion, you must collect all eight gym badges in that region and defeat the Pokémon elite four. Once the elite four is beaten, you have to defeat the area’s current reigning champion.
Each region has a current champion within the games, requiring you, the player, to defeat them, notwithstanding, each champion being notoriously powerful. Some are more powerful than others. Here are all the Pokémon champions ranked strongest to weakest.
Note: This list only includes main series champions that you battle as champions in-game and does not include champions from non-main series games such as Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee.
Cynthia is a Pokémon fan favourite and the champion of the Sinnoh region. Cynthia has a notoriously powerful Pokémon team and is considered one of the strongest champions in the franchise.
The trainer is present in the Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum games and has cameos in other games such as Black and White. Cynthia has a mighty team consisting of many powerful Pokémon such as Milotic, Lucario, Sprirtomb and her signature pocket monster, Garchomp.
The sheer variety and balance in Cynthia’s Pokémon in terms of types and power make her a formidable opponent with very few weaknesses. Likewise, Cynthia has a deep knowledge of Pokémon lore/legends and helped stop the evil Team Galactic. Thus, she is the most powerful and most competent of all the champions and the strongest Pokémon champion in the franchise.
The famous champion Leon from the generation eight games comes a close second as the strongest champion. Leon has a strong team consisting of favourites such as Aegislash, Cinderace and the most popular Pokémon of all time, Charizard.
Each creature on Leon’s team has a robust move set and can pack a real punch. Leon’s signature creature, Charizard, can also gigantamax, making the already overpowered monster even stronger.
Leon’s Pokémon team is mighty but does have a weakness in water and dragon types. Nevertheless, Leon is one of the strongest Pokémon Champions.
Iris is the champion from generation six of the franchise and the Unova region champion in Black and White 2. Iris is a powerful trainer rising from a gym leader to a champion within Unova as a child.
Iris has a strong team consisting mainly of dragon types such as Hydreigon and Haxorus. Iris’s team is well balanced and offers effective counters to her team’s weaknesses through using ice type creatures such as Lapras.
As a result, Iris ranks high on this list from sheer skill and strength as one of the strongest champions, not to mention she is around half the age of other champions adding further credibility to her as champion.
Steven was the champion of the Hoenn region during the generation three ruby and sapphire games. Steven has a formidable line up of Pokémon, including Skarmory, Cradilly and Metagross and is one of the franchises most powerful champions.
Although his team has some weaknesses, Steven’s team is strong, with creatures such as Metagross being a powerhouse in both attack and defence. This, combined with his use of fossil pocket monsters that balance out each other’s type disadvantages, make his team formidable.
Steven also can mega evolve his Metagross, placing him high up on this list as one of the strongest Pokémon champions.
Blue was champion of the Kanto region in generation one of the series. Nostalgia aside, Blue’s team was formidable with a solid selection of strong generation one Pokémon such as Gyarados, Alakazam and Pigeot.
At the time, Blue’s team was unbeatable with a well balanced but mighty group that could withstand most counter-attacks.
Although Blue’s team is still powerful, it stacks up less well to current champions, with his team being notably weaker than some champions on this list. Nevertheless, he is still a powerful Pokémon champion and thus ranks high.
Lance is the champion from generation 2 of the franchise and one of the most influential trainers in the regions of Kanto and Johto.
Although a member of the elite four during generation one, Lance eventually made his way to the top of the league and became the league’s champion. Lance is immensely powerful and uses a whole lineup of dragon-type Pokémon, including fan favourites such as Charizard and Dragonite.
From a sheer power perspective alone, Lance has one of the most powerful teams of any champion. However, his team is critically weak to ice types.
Using an ice type can effectively allow you to defeat half of his team in one swoop, with the rest of his squad being easy pickings. Thus, although Lance’s team is powerful, it does have a significant flaw.
Diantha was the champion of the Kalos region during generation seven of the franchise. Despite not being the most famous Pokémon champion, Diantha has a solid team with an outstanding type balance between her many Pocket Monsters.
Her team consists of powerful dinosaur Pokémon such as Tyrantrum and Aurorus and generation two creatures such as Gardevoir. Nevertheless, compared to Pokémon champions higher up on this list, Diantha’s team lacks powerful standout Pokémon that would otherwise place her at the top.
Alder was the champion of the Unova region during the Black and White games. Although Alder has a strong team with legendary pseudo creatures such as Volcarona and consequential ice types like Vanilluxe, the trainer hasn’t precisely held his own against oncoming challengers.
His notable defeat to N in Black and White, his failure to hold onto his title as league champion and his team’s significant weakness to fire type Pokémon puts him near the bottom of this list, despite his team being strong.
Wallace was the champion of the Hoenn region during the Pokémon Emerald games. Wallace is one of the weakest champions in the franchise. Despite having powerful creatures such as Milotic on his team, Wallace’s team has one main weakness: grass types.
Nearly all of Wallace’s team is weak to grass type moves. Thus, bringing along a grass type to take down the champion will allow you to instantly wipe out nearly all of his team. His team is incredibly flawed and thus ranks him as one of the weakest Pokémon Champions.
As highlighted, the Pokémon franchise has many different champions, which vary in their strength and power. As the franchise continues to evolve, new trainers will take up the mantle as Pokémon Champions.
For more Pokémon-related news, including updates surrounding Pokémon Snap’s release next month, keep it locked on Hacker Noon.
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