My Pokemon Team Over The Years


I’ve been thinking about Pokemon a lot lately. Part of this is because of the nice commenters on the Best Of and Worst Of Pokemon lists I posted a while ago. People were mad about which ten I liked best, and equally mad about the ten I liked least. So I figured I’d finally come out and show what my teams were over the many years I’ve been playing. This includes only the Game Boy and DS games since the games on the GameCube were, well, meh. These are the versions I owned and played, and this list isn’t intended to be a “Best Pokemon Strategies” retrospective, but rather a “This Is How I Got Through The Games” retrospective. So kick back and enjoy a nice trip down memory road.

Blue Version:

I know some of your are going to argue that Red Version was better. I don't care; I know you're wrong.

As with most Pokemon fans, I started with the first generation, specifically Blue Version (I don’t care if you think Red Version’s better, I didn’t play that one so shove off). I played through the whole game a few times, but I came to prefer a few specific Pokemon over others. Naturally, my Jolteon was my favorite, having a Thunder attack that never missed, plus Pin Missile for Psychics-types and Double Kick for any Rock-type that tried to take Jolteon down.

No one should ever question my Jolteon. No one. He'll eat your family and not care.

Second to Jolteon was Mewtwo, entirely overpowered with Psychic and Recover, but come on, if you have a Psychic-type and didn’t teach it Psychic, you were playing the game wrong. In fact, I taught Psychic to pretty much every Pokemon that could learn it. My Gengar for instance had a nice variety of attacks, Psychic included, as well as Thunder and Giga Drain, a big overkill against Water-types but very useful in a pinch. Combo those crazy-powerful moves with Hypnosis and it was almost like cheating.

Also critical to my team was a beastly Rhydon that knew the all-important Ground-type move, Earthquake. There just wasn’t a better Ground-type move in my eyes. Besides knowing Horn Drill, a one-hit K.O. that somehow hit way more than it was statistically supposed to, I taught my Rhydon surf. Did you know Rhydon could learn Surf? Dang, if not then you’re REALLY playing the game wrong.

I didn’t know a lot of other players who favored Golduck, but he was one of my original favorites (he was in the top 15 of my original Best Of list). I gave him Surf, as required, as well as a few other attacks, but it was Confusion that gave him the best edge since most Grass-types were also Poison-types during the first generation.

And hey, why not? Can't go wrong with the ol' fire starter.

My last Pokemon was Charizard (check the Deviant Art yo!) with the classic Fire-type move Fire Blast. I also gave him Fly to deal with fighting types and Dig to combat the Rock-types whenever they came out. Overall, I stuck pretty much exclusively to this team, specifically when going through both Pokemon Stadium 1 & 2, and it worked out for me pretty well. It was rare that I’d have to use more than two Pokemon per battle, so I must have done something right.

Yellow Version:

Game Freaks: Smart move making Pikachu a Pokemon actually worth using.

By the time Yellow Version came out I was pretty well addicted to Pokemon, and when I learned that it actually adhered closer to the anime in terms of story and a few other things, I thought it was awesome. While my team didn’t initially seem all that interesting (my team was almost exactly Trainer Red’s team from Pokemon Gold/Silver), it was when I decided to take on the Poke Cup in Pokemon Stadium that I knew I’d need some serious strategy, so I planned accordingly. I’m extremely proud of this team, but it may look odd for a few reasons. However, it makes sense if you understand the restraints of the Poke Cup: Pokemon between levels 50-55 only and when you select three Pokemon for a particular match their combined levels cannot equal more than 155.

I was very addicted to the Pikachu the game provided me with, (as well as most recently with this Deviant Artist’s Pikachu) so I used him as the usual opener for most battles. He knew Thunder Wave and Thunderbolt, two good Electric-type moves for reliability. If I intended to go the distance in a fight, I paralyzed my opponent, then started spamming Double Team for stupid-high evasiveness. And if I needed one last good oomph, I used Mega Kick.

Charizard returned with moves identical to the ones previously described from my Blue Version party. And while he was effective, my real beast this time became a Nidoking that knew Earthquake, Toxic, and Ice Beam. Oh man, knowing an Ice-type attack comes in so handy when you least expect it, especially these generations. If you can take any advice from me, it’s to teach Ice-type moves whenever possible.

I used a Gyarados for my Water-type needs, though I also taught it Thunder in case I was fighting another Water-type. Oh, and Hyperbeam, just because Hyperbeam is such a cool attack. Totally ineffective if you use it at the wrong time, but man, when it finished a match, it was just sweet.

For a real change I threw in Dragonair. Why not Dragonite? Because Dragonite would have to be level 55 and I had to plan my team properly. It worked better to have most Pokemon at level 51 and 52 so that I could balance stats better. Having the rest of my party a few levels higher was much more beneficial than having one at the max level. Anyway, my Dragonite knew Thunderbolt, Blizzard, and Surf, making it a good all-around Pokemon for usefulness and raw power in most situations.

Okay, I'll admit, maybe I didn't hate Mew all that much.

But I still needed a suitable Psychic-type in my team, otherwise I’d get stomped way too easily. Therefore, Alakazam was brought in with Psychic and Dig, just in case it needed to escape for an attack round. To be honest though, the reason I had an Alakazam was because I learned my Mew couldn’t be used in the Poke Cup, even though I had trained it with Psychic, Rock Slide, Mega Punch, and Metronome in case I wanted a last-ditch attack. This team someone led me to victory in the Poke Cup, and since then I haven’t used nearly as much strategy in my teams.

Silver Version:

While Silver Version was my favorite, I didn’t have the energy required to think out elaborate strategies for teams and then go about training them properly. Things were just quickly becoming too much for me to handle. Still, I had a few staples of my party.

Staples like this beast right here.

My number one, Feraligatr, was my go-to guy for the majority of the game. The Elite Four were a real pain in my side until I came up with the genius idea to teach Feraligatr Ice Punch, thus making him an ultra dominator against Lance’s entire team of Dragons. And if Psychic-types appeared, a good old-fashioned Bite sent them packing. Feraligatr went through the Elite Four more than fifty times, helping to raise dozens of younger Pokemon to evolution.

And while Feraligatr was incredibly useful, sometimes I still needed a good Psychic-type to deal with wannabies. Lugia was good for that, knowing Psychic, Recover, and Surf, plus Aeroblast just because. Still, while Lugia was pretty useful against most types, against other Psychic-types the best option was my Tyranitar with Crunch, the Psychic-killer. He also knew Rock Slide, Earthquake, and Fire Punch to axe any poser getting too close.

The rest of my team was kind of hit-or-miss, getting used the majority of the game but not really standing out much. I used an Ampharos for a while that knew Thunder, Thunder Wave, Iron Tail, and Fire Punch, giving it pretty decent coverage against opponents, but no matter what I did, Ampharos never felt that powerful. I used a red Gyarados with no real spectacular moves, and a Donphan that knew Earthquake and Rollout. See? My Silver Version team is just unspectacular. I didn’t need anyone other than my Feraigatr, Lugia, and Tyranitar.

LeafGreen Version:

That's actually me in the background there, by the way. It was before the beard.

Are you wondering where my Sapphire Version team is? To be honest, I looked through the game to see whom I’d used and the results were painfully boring. I didn’t even put any time into catching and evolving the other Pokemon of the game. I simply just didn’t care.

LeafGreen is almost as bad. In fact, it might be worse because in looking at my team I can see that I haven’t even beaten the Elite Four yet. I also didn’t get a chance to trade any key Pokemon to evolve, so I have a Kadabra, a Haunter, and a Graveler rather than an Alakazam, a Gengar, and a Golem.

I didn’t even pick a starter I was happy with. My Squirtle became a Blastoise really quick, but I couldn’t make him very effective in any setting despite knowing Surf, Bite, and Dig. I don’t even have a sixth slot filled, currently in flux between one of the three Legendary Bird Pokemon of the game.

Maybe it was because he was a big stupid turtle with a canon on his back.

The only real standout here is my Persian, which I’ve mentioned before. I was absolutely determined to make this Pokemon work, so I taught it Dig, Bite, and Shock Wave. I don’t know why I expected that to be so cool, but that was as good as I could do, and it didn’t even provide me with a victory over the Elite Four. I promise you though, my fourth generation Pokemon are better.

Diamond Version:

I had the luck of having two close friends also huge on Pokemon at the time of Diamond and Pearl’s release. I picked up Diamond the same as my friend Trinh, whereas Thomas had Pearl. Along with this camaraderie came a significant drive to ACTUALLY play the game I bought. Just the other night I popped Diamond Version back into my DS and took on the Elite Four to train a few random Pokemon, and even though I had only beaten the Elite Four once before, this second time was no problem whatsoever.

I chose Piplup as my starter, deciding that a Water/Steel-type in a final evolution was a cool type to go with, even though I secretly wanted to have Chimchar (I just couldn’t get past the whole “It’s just Torchic but a monkey” thing). Now an Empoleon, it knows Blizzard (take that Dragons!), Drill Peck, Metal claw, and its all-powerful move Surf. I took town most of my opponents just by surfing them to death. Surf is the best Water-type move rather than Hydro Pump. Don’t believe me? Just use Surf enough and you’ll trust it over Hydro Pump.

This isn't me riding an Empoleon, but you get the picture.

I also found a ton of use out of my Staraptor, being another Pokemon I obtained almost at the very beginning of the game. While three of its four moves are Flying-type attacks, they all have a different use. I have Fly for most occasions, Aerial Ace for most others, and Brave Bird when I need to make sure my last attack finishes the battle. His fourth and final move is his best, though: Close Combat. A Fighting-type move for a Flying-type is so danged useful I don’t know why more people wouldn’t be singing its praise. All Steel, Rock, Normal, and Dark-types are screwed, especially since my Staraptor is holding a Fist Plate, making that close Combat even stronger.

Next up is a more traditional favorite, Gengar, back with some new moves. Still keeping Thunder, we add on Shadow Ball and Dark Pulse. Turns out Shadow Ball gets the most use of its four attacks, but Thunder does come in pretty handy. Also in the “classics” category is Golem, stacked with Earthquake, as all good Ground-types should be.

Luxray was a surprisingly great Electric-type, knowing Thunder Fang and Spark, but also learning Charge, enabling it to spend a turn powering up if I knew I wasn’t hitting my opponent that very second. Toss in Crunch and you’ve got yourself a real winner.

Holy crap! Shoop-da-whoop of Time!

And following all of these in my party as my “Reinforcement Pokemon” is Dialga with Metal Claw, Dragon Claw, Ancient Power, and the attack with the greatest name ever, Roar of Time. I don’t even care that it takes a turn to rest after wiping out my opponent; it is just too awesome.

So there you go, now you know my teams. I’m sure some of you have much better strategies than I do, so why don’t you tell me all about them in the comments. Be warned: If you outrage me enough I may unleash Roar of Time at you, and I promise you won’t like it.

Looking for more retrospectives? Check these out:

Mario: A Retrospctive

Zelda: A Retrospctive

Smash Bros: A Retrospective


About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.


  1. My team: It gets better from gens
    Feraligatr: Surf Crunch Ice fang Aqua tail
    Tentacruel: poison jab poison powder surf strength
    Dragonite: Twister (IKIK) Fly steel wing surf
    Beedrill: Pin missile, poison jab, poison powder, wing attack
    Snorlax: Rest slam take down strength
    hitmonlee: hi jump kick mega kick mega punch protect

    Charizard: Flamethrower air slash earthquake dragon claw
    Blastoise: Skull bash hydro pump rain dance ice beam
    Flareon: Endeavor flamethrower giga impact rock slide
    arcanine: Flamethrower heat wave extremespeed crunch
    Alakazam: Psychic future sight thunderbolt flamethrower
    Nidoking: Earthquake Megahorn Surf Thunderbolt

    Swampert: Earthquake Surf Hammer arm rock tomb
    Ursarang: Hammer arm Facade rock slide giga impact
    Rayquaza: Outrage Surf Protect Flamethrower
    Kyogre: Surf Sheer Cold Ice beam Strenth
    Groudon: Fissure earthquake solarbeam eruption
    Medicham: Protect Detect Toxic Fake out

    Palkia: Spacial Rend Surf Dragon breath Draco meteor
    Torterra: earthquake seed bomb solarbeam rock slide
    Floatzel: Aqua Tail ice fang surf grass knot
    probopass: Iron defense Magnet rise protect flash cannon
    Ramparados: Head smash brick breack protect flamethrower(REGRET)
    Magmortar: Flamethrower rock smash earthquake grass knot

    Soul Silver:
    Swampert: Curse muddy water earthquake rain dance
    Typhosion: Eruption Flamethrower grass knot retrun
    Sceptile: Leaf storm Leaf blade detect night slash
    Garchomp: Dragon claw earthquake rock tomb fire blast
    Gengar: Thunderbolt shadow ball poison jab psychic
    Milotic: will o wisp recover surf protect

    BLACK AND WHITE!!!:Made for doubles

    Gliscor/ SkyCutta
    Hyper Cutter Earth plate
    Thunder Fang
    Swords Dance

    Flygon/ Lord oda Flies
    Levitate Flying Gem

    Garchomp/ Gorchamp
    Sand Veil Wide lens
    Dragon rush
    Iron Tail

    Lucario/ Fists of Steel
    Justified Wise Glasses
    Aura Sphere
    Flash Cannon
    Dagon Pulse
    Extreme Speed

    Ferrothorn/ RvngWlcrs
    Iron barbs Rocky Helmet
    Leech seed

    Alakazam/ Joro MKII
    Magic Guard Life orb
    Energy Ball
    Shadow Ball
    Focus Blast

  2. My Black team is:
    Embour:lv 100
    Resirum (however u spell it):lv100
    Hydredegon(however u spell it):90 (still working on it)

  3. My first game was emerald. I picked a mudkip and it was AWESOME! The game was easy until Tate and Liza ( I thought Tate was a girl) when my strongest pokemon, kadabra, ( the rest were in the 20s and he was in the 50s) failed me in the gym. Then DP came out so I migrated anything of worth. After I beat DP, i got back into emerald and grinded marshtomp to a swampert and destroyed t&l. I then proceeded in the game. It was smooth sailing until Wallace. My swampert was at full health, full pp was beating Wallace until his ludicolo giga drained me. Swampert got demolishedband the rest of my team who were in the low 20s all died. I then started to grind swampert and co for revenge. When I re Halle GED the elite 4, my level85 swampert destroyed everything in one hit. It was easy. My current team is this:
    Swampert 85, surf, return, ice beam, earthquake.
    Aggron 50, earthquake,take down, iron tail, crunch
    Metagross 45, metal claw, strength take down, psychic
    Salamance 50, dragon claw, fly, fire blast, headbutt
    Vileplume 50, solar beam, giga drain, sleep powder, cut
    Wailord 50, dive, waterfall, surf, bounce/ tropius 40 (hm slave) fly, rocksmash, flash, strength

  4. mine is

    1.blaziken lv 69

    2. rayquaza lv73

    3. krogre lv 50

    4. aggron lv 57

    5. shedinga lv 32

    6. zigzagoon lv 15 (only because he knows surf, rock smash, strenth and seacret power)

  5. My pokemon team is Empoleon Blizzard,Avalanche,Surf,Hyperbeam

    Roserade Gigidrain,Hyperbeam,Solarbeam,Petal dance

    Luxray Hyperbeam,Discharge,Thunder,Strength

    Staraptor Hyperbeam,Fly,Return,Brave bird

    Giratina Rock climb,Dragon Pulse,Draco Meteor,Earthquake

    Scizor Hyper Beam,Cut,Rock Smash,Double Hit

  6. My HeartGold team is as follows:
    Dragonite (Lv.79)
    Ampharos (Lv.55)
    Typhlosion (Lv.54)
    Donphan (Lv.49)
    Lapras (Lv.22)
    Lickilicky (Lv.35)
    At the moment, I’m battling Red, but Dragonite’s Outrage is extremely strong.

  7. I have only played White and Red. I know, I suck.

    Red Team
    Charizard, lvl79
    Umbreon lvl84
    Espeon lvl83
    Glaceon lvl82
    Ninetales lvl80
    Pidgeotto lvl81
    (I kept them all at different levels)

    White Team
    Serperior (rocks)
    Zekrom (sucks)

  8. i though that that all psychic pokemon ruled and on soul silver i had a team of

    mewtwo – shadow ball, psychic, aura sphere and psycho cut. (best pokemon EVER!!)

    alakazam – psychic, psycho cut, hypnosis and night shade.

    gardevior – psychic, magical leaf, giga impact and thunder.

    metagross – aura shpere, hammer arm , meteor mash and hyper beam

    typhlosion – fire blast, eruption, lava plume and flare blitz

    togikiss – aura sphere, sky attack, extreme speed and air slash

    i was unbeatable (psychic pokemon rock!!!)

  9. My Blue team:
    Venusaur- with Solar Beam, Stun Spore for catching pokemon, Body Slam, and Razor Leaf, which I used more than Solar Beam because I’m really impatient.
    Dugtrio- with Dig (of course), Earthquake, slash, and Rock Slide.
    Chansey- with soft-boiled, double-edge, ice beam, and Psychic.
    Dragonair (because its not weak against rock like Dragonite)- with Strength, Thunder Wave, bubblebeam (back when it was good), and Blizzard.
    Pidgeot- with Fly, sky attack, mega drain (to take out all the rock types), and Mimic.
    Victreebel (because it’s a giant man-eating plant. I don’t care if it overlapped with Venusaur)- with Toxic, Cut, Sleep powder, and Solarbeam.

    If I needed surf I either used my other Dragonair or a Dewgong.

  10. my pearl team is empoleon, arceus, swampert (that i got from my emerald) blazekin (from sapphire) and (sceptile from ruby) other than that, ine every otehr game i jsut use my starter pokemon and maybe one other pokemon (usually swampert and shedinja because emerald is my favorite pokemon game of all time) in any otehr game it almost always just my starter pokemon and some other low leveled pokemon.

  11. i had diamond and i dominated with legendarys. all i really used were my legendarys and my torterra which was better then all my legendarys. i taught it leaf storm, razor leaf, frenzy plant, and earthquake. i beat most of the gym leaders and elite4 guys with just torterra. my 3 most dominant legendarys were dialga, giratina, and heatran. dialga was beast, and he had pretty much the same moves as yours did. i forget which moves i taught giratina and heatran, i just remember they were wicked. i filled up my last 2 slots with hm slaves and my diamond experience was very fun and successful

  12. The Brick Wall on

    I played Fire Red through with a pretty good team nice and strong I sucked as a kid but when I started over I PWN everyone if PWN was a status condition every pokemon I faced would’ve had it. Here’s my team when I beat the Elite 4 (Note: I’m not the best player in the world move set-wise so just hang in there okay?)
    Venusaur-Frenzy Plant, Sleep Powder, Synthesis, Razor Leaf
    Fearow-Aerial Ace, Pursuit, Fly, Drill Peck
    Persian-Fury Swipes, Screech, Bite, Pay Day (In Case I got Broke)
    Arcanine-Fire Blast, Flame Wheel, Strength, ExtremeSpeed
    Lapras-Psychic, Surf, Hydro Pump (ALways got lucky with it.), Ice Beam
    Dragonair-Slam, Thunder Wave, Waterfall, Dragon Rage
    So I did okay I bet you all had better moves than I did so yeah. Brick Wall Out.

  13. Leaf Green was the only game I decided to put absolutely no strategy to and create a unique, un-cookie cutter team. No Mewtwo, no Dragonite. Just go with the flow, screw the typing and moveset, and have some fun.
    …Probably the most difficult game I’ve ever played, but it was worth it.
    I started off with Charmander, because I knew that I’d need it, to help my, ahem, suckish, team members. It was the only serious battler I had. I taught it Flamethrower, Aerial Ace, some random electric move, and Metal Claw. Which I kept as a tribute to my first gym victory.
    Later,I caught a Bellsprout, because Misty was creaming my only Pokemon. It was pretty much a Wall Pokemon, just for stopping water and rock types. The only damage dealing move I taught it was Mega(or was it Giga?) drain. Not that handy, but it worked when I wanted to weaken a Pokemon before letting Charizard have a go at it.
    In comes cycling road and Dodou. Never. Use. A. Dodou. It simply sucks. Fast, but doesnt hit hard or anything. It knew Tri Attack, Aerial Ace(I have some addiction to that move) , Quick Attack( Extremespeed wasn’t out yet, ugh), and Fly.
    Graveler. Oh, it was decent. Just couldnt evolve it. Earthquake, Selfdesruct just to annoy people, Stone Edge(I think), and some random crappy stat move. Another wall Pokemon.

    The rest? Weeellll…I kept them empty. Yeah, I know I suck. But I was doing his for the challenge of it, and it turned out a lot of fun, using Pokemon I would normally never use. I still have no idea how I pulled through the Elite 4.
    After the game I’d occasionally put in my trusty Nidoking, who strangely had the same moveset as yours. And Nidoqueen was there, because I figured Nidoking would be lonely. ;A;

  14. I only played blue to completion, and my first end team consisted of

    Kadabra (was a while before i had anyone to trade with)

    On multiple playthroughs i’ve used other pokemon including Garydos, exeggutor, and Golem

    Recently, about 7 years after my version of Pokemon blue dropped off the face of the earth, I played on emulator.

    If I could put together a proper endgame team today, it would contain at the very least of in order of importance:


    I would also consider filling the empty slots with


  15. Fellow Jolteon Lover on

    Y’know, reading this article was like talking to myself!
    I totally think Jolteon is the one and only Electric-type!!
    -Starmie with a myriad of different moves
    -Dugtrio, while not as strong as Rhydon, had decent attack and hit fast
    -good ol Jolteon with Thunderbolt (Lol, I’m never lucky with Thunder), Pin Missile, Double Kick and Thunder Wave
    -Charizard: Best. Starter. Ever.
    -Mewtwo: Who DIDN’T?
    -Mew: Why the hell not? lol
    CRYSTAL: Nothing changed much, since my team was so solid, but I threw Charizard out for Ho-Oh
    SAPPHIRE: Bleh. I didn’t care for that game much, either. Except maybe Sharpedo. He was awesome.
    DIAMOND: And the only other Pokemon to move my heart since Jolteon was Garchomp, who I now have a sacred place in my team.
    And it wasn’t since Crystal that I got this serious with a team. Infernape is AMAZING as well.
    WHITE: *Working On*

  16. Your pokemon teams are good but there are way better pokemon than persain or pikachu. Dragonites are good along with Salamences and yes, Flygon PWN everybody, but I’m glad Bidoof wasn’t on there XD. I made the mistake of training him but ended up using him to vent off HM’s and as a sacrifice to guard my pokemon while I try to revive them! XD! Best Choice ever!XD HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!

  17. In my first blue game, my Blastoise kicked ass. I trained it to lvl 100, then just for kicks, put the rest of my party in the computer and took on the elite 4 with it alone. I also refused to heal it. I took them down. In leafgreen and firered, i used the obvious charizard for my starter, with a zapdos, (the greatest pokemon in existence) mewtwo, tyranitar, (never really liked it) a dragonite, and a lapras. (the biggest tank ever) my favorite was my blaziken in my emerald though, which knew earthquake, blaze kick, thunder punch, and sky uppercut. kyogre is great to teach psychic, thunder, surf, and ice beam. it’s ability, drizzle, makes it rain, making thunder 100% accurate.

  18. thats an awesome looks just like my plush..nice team although i would advice that persian is a bad chice in normal type pokemon unless u coun the persion in the anime that could perform thundershock or the meowth in boots.legandary pokemon are to cliche and lame..use regular pokemon that are stong like ninetails or flarion

  19. i had a firered version and it was pretty darn good with a venusaur just because I never actually had used it before in my party, a pidgeot for a while but after i caught zapdos i stopped using it for obvious reasons, my surfing pokemon was lapras, the fire type was arcanine which turned out to be pretty good, later in the game i caught and used mewtwo and it was awesome, my sixth slot was sort of odd because i mainly used it to level up younger pokemon but from what i remember it was alakazam mainly and for some weird reason venomoth anyways that is a pretty good list chris

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