Every Kanto Pokémon Gym Leader, Ranked By Difficulty – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Pokémon’s Kanto region is full of gym leaders with varying degrees of difficulty.
The Kanto Region's gym leaders were the first-ever gym leaders in the Pokémon franchise. Most of them established themselves as formidable opponents, with arsenals that set them apart from the typical trainer, and their various strategies cemented their memorability.
Related: Pokémon: 10 Easiest Gym Leaders In The Games (& Their Team)
However, while the game is supposed to get trickier as the player progresses, this case does not always apply to the difficulty of the gym leaders. Some leaders know how to utilize the best of their respective Pokémon types and account for their weaknesses. But, alas, others are held back by Generation I's limited mechanics and are helpless against their advantageous foes.
Erika is Kanto's fourth gym leader and specializes in the Grass-type. Her Pokémon are known for using moves like Sleep Powder and Bind that can immobilize opponents for a long time due to how those moves worked back in Generation I.
Unfortunately, these strengths do not compensate for the Grass type's many weaknesses. There exists a wide availability of suitable Fire or Flying types, which can make quick work of Erika's Pokémon due to their average bulk and speed. On top of that, the move Ice Beam is readily available in the city and can provide an edge to Water types.
Lt. Surge utilizes the Electric type. His Voltorb and Pikachu have a few tricks in Pokémon Red and Blue but are lacking in terms of power. The real danger lies in his Raichu, which can do massive damage with Thunderbolt to any target that doesn't resist it.
Related: 10 Anime Characters Who Would Be Great Electric-Type Gym Leaders
However, viable Ground types, which carry immunity to Electric-type moves, are readily available, especially with Diglett and Dugtrio in the nearby Diglett's Cave. Pokémon Yellow gives Raichu a higher level in addition to Mega Punch and Mega Kick to make it more challenging. However, given that it's his only Pokémon and the moves' shaky accuracy, it's not the best improvement.
Blaine's specialty shines in the Fire-type. Although the type was relatively limited in movepool and Pokémon back in Generation I, his team carved out some potent uses.
Two of his Pokémon have relatively high speed and access to Fire Spin, which can keep the opponent from doing anything for two to five turns. His Ninetales in Pokémon Yellow can frustrate opponents with Confuse Ray. Finally, his Arcanine has suitable bulk, potent attacking moves, and even Reflect to halve physical damage. There are plenty of ways to possess an advantage over Blaine, such as through a Pokémon with Surf or Earthquake, but he does not go down without a fight.
Brock is Kanto's first gym leader. As a result, he's responsible for setting the bar high for gym leaders right off the bat. However, his difficulty primarily depends on the player's starter. Those who picked Grass or Water Types will easily defeat him, while those who chose the Fire Type or play Pokémon Yellow may find themselves locked in a long battle if fighting alone.
Brock's Rock Types may not have any Rock Type moves, but they have strong Defense that makes physical attacks useless. They're both decently leveled, and his Onix's attacks can be overwhelming if a battle goes on too long.
Every region has seas swimming with a wide variety of Water-type Pokémon. However, Misty of Cerulean City merely uses two from the same family: Staryu and Starmie. Her Staryu isn't too difficult, but her Starmie is another matter.
Starmie has formidable stats more than anything a player can get at that point in the game. It can boost its Defense through Harden or its Special through Misty using the item X Special. The item powers Starmie's Bubblebeam, which, in turn, can reduce the opponent's Speed.
Team Rocket's leader is also Kanto's final gym leader and primarily uses Ground-type Pokémon. While a Water or Grass type can make quick work of most of his arsenal, it doesn't keep him from bringing effective strategies.
Giovanni's Dugtrio can annoy players with Sand Attack and effectively utilize the one-hit-ko move, Fissure, with its high speed. His Persian in Pokémon Yellow always has a high critical rate with Slash and can equally irritate with Double Team. Likewise, his Nidoking and Nidoqueen in Yellow can catch unsuspecting Water types off-guard with Thunder, which can easily inflict paralysis if not outright KO.
While the Poison type wasn't the best Pokémon type, Koga proved to be a memorable foe in utilizing them. His gym has a unique gimmick involving invisible walls, and his team manages to hold legitimate interest.
Related: Pokémon: 9 Things You Didn't Know About Poison Types
The level spike from Erika to Koga is downright daunting across all three Generation I games. Although his team is far less diverse in Pokémon Yellow, they focus primarily on status moves that can frustrate players to no end. Between Toxic, Smokescreen, Minimize, Sleep Powder, and so forth, Koga packs some sinister techniques that can cause increasing infuriation. His levels are a wake-up call that the player can't get too complacent in grinding.
Back in Generation I, the Psychic type effectively had no weakness. However, due to a glitch, they were immune to Ghost types, and despite Bug-types being a weakness, the latter type had nothing to threaten them.
Sabrina of Saffron City showcased this trepidation down to the letter. While brute physical force can overpower most of her team, very few things enjoy taking a Psychic attack. Anything that does will likely take a hefty amount of damage and have their Special lowered. Her Alakazam is particularly fast and can mitigate physical attacks with Reflect.
NEXT: 5 Things Pokémon Legends: Arceus Does Better Than The Previous Games (& 5 It Does Worse)
Neal Sastry is 25 years old and has a passion for the world of entertainment. For four years he has specialized in writing articles about various movies, TV shows, and video games. Some of his areas of expertise include Marvel, DC, and Disney. His hobbies include working out and reading.
Subscribe to the CBR newsletter for exclusive comics, TV & movie news, reviews, interviews & much more!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *