Ash Ketchum’s Pokémon journey has been such a long adventure that he’s explored numerous regions and experienced eight generations of Pokémon. Generally speaking, there are around eight Gym Leaders in each region and each picks a specific type to specialize in. Naturally, there have been several overlaps with Pokémon used by multiple Gym Leaders over the years.
However, this is by no means a bad thing. Pokémon being used in different regions and generations allows Gym Leaders to experiment with different combinations within their typing restrictions, which often makes for more exciting interactions and battles against Ash and his Pokémon.
12 Lenora & Cheren’s Herdier Proved That Normal-Types Are Not To Be Underestimated
Stoutland is known for its emotional, heartbreaking death in the Sun & Moon anime, as it was a close friend of Ash’s Litten. Stoutland’s previous evolutions, Lillipup and Herdier, have also had their own anime moments.
Normal-type Gym Leader Lenora first used a Lillipup against Ash’s Tepig in Unova, but she used its evolved form in their rematch. Herdier put up a good fight before eventually falling to Tepig. The Loyal Dog Pokémon was also used by Cheren, the new Aspertia Gym Leader, in an unofficial battle against Ash. This time around, Herdier emerged victorious over Ash’s Oshawott.
11 Since Its Introduction, Abomasnow Has Been The Most Formidable Ice-Type
Introduced in Diamond & Pearl, Abomasnow became one of the most formidable Ice-types in the Pokémon universe despite its major drawback as an Ice-Grass type combination. Ash first encountered Abomasnow’s power when facing Snowpoint Gym Leader Candice in Sinnoh, where it easily defeated his Staraptor and Grotle before Chimchar exploited its Fire-type vulnerability. In Kalos, Wulfric also used an Abomasnow in two battles against Ash. This time around, fans got to see Abomasnow’s Mega Evolution, but Ash and Greninja still won.
10 Ramos’s Weepinbell Restored Its Respect After Erika’s Poor Display
For most Pokémon fans, Weepinbell has never been impressive in the anime, despite Jeanette Fisher’s Bellsprout receiving a memorable and humiliating victory over Ash’s Pikachu. Notably, Weepinbell has battled against Ash in two separate Gym Battles: once against Celadon’s Erika in Kanto and a second time against Ramos in Kalos.
While Erika’s Weepinbell was easily defeated by Ash’s Charmander, Ramos’s Weepinbell defied expectations and managed to take down Ash’s Fletchinder and Hawlucha. Ramos’s Weepinbell eventually lost to Frogadier.
9 Luxray Is A Loyal Companion For An Electric-Type Specialist
Originally appearing in Diamond & Pearl, Shinx was shown to be a loyal companion to many young and upcoming trainers. Its evolved forms, Luxio and Luxray, are more suited for battle. The Gleam Eyes Pokémon, Luxray, has been used in two Gym Battles against Ash: once by Volkner and again by Ash’s friend Clemont.
In the Sunyshore Gym Battle, Volkner’s Luxray was too much for Pikachu to handle but it lost to Ash’s Infernape. Ash’s second battle against Luxray was surprisingly more of a challenge. Clemont’s Luxray powered through both Pikachu and Hawlucha before losing to Goodra in a fierce contest.
8 Korrina & Maylene’s Lucario Channeled Their Fighting Spirit
Ash’s journey to obtaining his own Lucario has certainly been a long one with several battles along the way. The most notable Lucario Ash faced belonged to Gym Leaders: Veilstone’s Maylene in Sinnoh and his friend Korrina in Kalos.
Despite being part Steel-type, Lucario is often favored for its Fighting-type capabilities. Its Aura-based offense and powerful strikes are especially impressive. While Maylene’s Lucario forced Ash and his Buizel to a tie in their Gym Battle, Korrina’s Lucario managed to achieve Mega Evolution and picked up a variety of wins and losses in the process.
7 Jasmine, Byron, & Brock Have All Utilized The Sheer Power Of Steelix
Steelix debuted in Gold & Silver and has been used by many strong trainers in the anime, due to its sheer size and power. While Steel-type trainers and Gym Leaders aren’t exactly common, Steelix has still been used in multiple Gym Battles. Olivine Gym Leader Jasmine’s Steelix knocked out Ash’s Pikachu but eventually lost to Cyndaquil.
Canalave City Gym Leader Byron’s Steelix was another tough test for Ash, but it ultimately lost to Chimchar. Fire-types are frequently shown as the bane of Steel-types, but Brock used a Mega Evolving-Steelix in a non-Gym Battle against Kiawe in Sun & Moon. Brock’s Steelix defeated Kiawe’s Turtonator in a fierce contest.
6 Gyarados Has Fallen To Pikachu In Every Gym Bout
The Atrocious Pokémon, Gyarados, is undoubtedly one of the most memorable Pokémon in the franchise due to its formidable battling prowess and intimidating nature. Despite its terrifying stature, Ash has found a way to easily defeat it in battle. As an Electric-type, Ash’s Pikachu has a natural advantage against a Water-Flying type like Gyarados.
Pikachu has defeated Gyarados in two Gym Battles: once against Dragon-type specialist Clair in Johto and a second time against Pastoria City’s Crasher Wake in Sinnoh. Cerulean City Gym Leader Misty also owned a Mega Evolving Gyarados in the anime that lost to Pikachu despite using Mega Evolution.
5 Fantina, Morty, & Temporary Gym Leader Agatha Have All Used A Powerful Gengar
As part of the original 150 Pokémon, Gengar has made numerous anime appearances under the ownership of strong trainers, from Drake to Ash Ketchum himself. The Shadow Pokémon essentially carried the Ghost-typing through the first few generations.
Gengar has also made appearances in Gym Battles under the ownership of Ecruteak’s Gym Leader Morty in Johto and Hearthome City’s Fantina in Sinnoh. Ash Ketchum outwitted both Gengars with clever strategies. Gengar was also used against Ash at the Viridian City Gym by Elite Four Member Agatha while she was the temporary Gym Leader.
4 Geodude Has Been Used By Three Gym Leaders To Exhaust Opponents
Geodude is a common occurrence when it comes to Rock-type specialists and Gym Leaders. Considering that Rock Gyms are often encountered towards the beginning of Ash’s explorations, it makes sense for him to run into plenty of Geodude.
Brock’s Geodude managed to utilize its type advantage and knock out Ash’s Pidgeotto early on. While Oreburgh Gym Leader Roark’s Geodude managed to knock out Paul’s Azumarill, Ash quickly overpowered it. Notably, Roxanne’s Geodude in Ruby & Sapphire was able to knock out Ash’s spirited Treecko before ironically losing to Pikachu.
3 Onix Is Seen As The Reliable Rock-Type Giant
Ever since Brock’s Onix debuted in Ash’s first-ever Gym Battle in the anime, Onix has made multiple appearances. Onix’s poor base stats in the games have long been resented by fans, but its performances under Gym Leaders in the anime have helped rectify this injustice.
Brock’s Onix humiliated Ash by nearly suffocating his Pikachu. In Diamond & Pearl, Oreburgh Gym Leader Roark’s Onix defeated Ash’s Pikachu and Turtwig with brute strength. In X & Y, Cyllage City’s Gym Leader Grant used an impressively quick Onix to defeat Viola before being surprised by a Froakie.
2 Magnemite & Magneton Haven’t Had The Strongest Showings Despite Numerous Gym Battles
Magnemite, has been around since the first games but has never been particularly strong in the anime. Despite this, Magnemite has still been used by three Gym Leaders: the Electric specialists Wattson and Clemont, and the Steel-type Gym Leader Jasmine.
While Clemont mostly just left his Magnemite back at the Lumiose Gym, Wattson and Jasmine actively used theirs in battles against Ash. Notably, they were easily defeated by Ash’s prized Pikachu. Its evolved form, Magneton, has also been used by Watson and Clemont, but Magneton’s impact wasn’t any different than their pre-evolution counterparts.
1 Machoke Has Been Used By Three Separate Gym Leaders
Machoke has been a favorite of Fighting-type specialists with three Gym Leaders using its strength and power. Notably, the Machoke belonging to Korrina, Maylene, and Chuck have all lost to Ash in Gym Battles without their Machoke getting a single win against Ash’s Pokémon.
Oddly, Machoke’s original form and evolved form, Machop and Machamp respectively, have both earned one win each in Gym Battles. Dewford’s Brawly used Machop in Hoenn and Team Rocket used a Machamp to defeat Ash’s Squirtle.
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