How would you rank the Pokémon Villian leaders from least favorite to favorite
(Feel free to include the Orre games)
I actually haven’t played the Orre games (YET... though I very much want to) So I’ll just rank all the team leaders from the main series 👌
Also I’ll give Rose an honorable mention since I haven’t finished SWSH yet and so I don’t really have a full sense of his plan. I do think he is delightful so far, though. Love his energy.
Another honorable mention is Colress, he’s not a team leader, he’s more of a high-ranking admin, but I still want to come out and say that he is wonderful and I love him a lot.
SO here’s the actual list, from least favorite to most favorite: (under the cut because this gets long)
Lysandre: Poor Lysandre...it kills me because I think he had so much potential as a villain, but his scheme is honestly really forgettable to me despite him having a really cool design and aesthetic. I love the orange and black color pallet, but it can’t really save him from being kind of an underwhelming villain to me. (Honestly, I think the entire X and Y plot had so much missed potential but I’ll probably save that for a different post some other time.)
Giovanni: Now from here on out, I actually really like all of these villains so it was a bit tricky to order them :’) But Giovanni is a really good team leader, and one of the scarier ones I think. Team Rocket is really threatening and shows that Gio really just cares about money, even when he has to hurt people or Pokémon to get it. His dynamic with his son Silver is really heart-wrenching and his involvement with the Mewtwo project is so despicable. And his role as the last Gym Leader is definitely one of the best plot twists in all of gaming. He’s intimidating, he’s ruthless, he’s honestly really great.
Lusamine: Yeah, I’ll include the Aether foundation president here despite not being a “team” she is the main antagonist of SM/USUM. And she is a delightfully cruel one too. She’s so self-absorbed that she had no problem pushing her own family away, including her two children who she practically disowns because they’re not “beautiful” enough for her. She’s honestly so despicable, but somehow manages to still be such a fascinating antagonist whose actions really did hurt me while playing the game. And bonus points because she has an awesome fusion with the Ultra Beast and it really shook me to my core when I first played. Her story (and honestly the whole plot of this game as a whole) is so rich and deep and underrated imo.
Archie and Maxie: I’ll put these two together since in the context of the games they’re mostly the same just a different coat of paint (ORAS made them a lot more individualized though, which is really nice and appreciated ) but they were the ones to kick off the “Harness the power of the ancient legendary Pokémon to accomplish my goals” series of plotlines, and though I think theirs is a bit more underwhelming than the other goals of leaders I’ll talk about soon, I do think it’s super iconic. They’re also one of the few leaders to actually show remorse for their actions and want to stop the mess they created. I don’t think I can pick a favorite between the two, they’re both very enjoyable in their own ways. I also love their rivalry and how they tend to dig at each other from time to time, it’s really entertaining.
Guzma: GOSH I adore this boi, he is SO delightful. Despite him not really being “evil” per se, he does have a good amount of chaotic energy and he just gives me a great big smile whenever he comes into the scene. I love how he is such a softie deep down, adopting all these misfits to be a part of his team and clearly considering them to be like a big family. They’re like a canon found family and you have no idea just how much pure joy that gives me. He’s also probably the most quotable of all the villains, giving us gems such as “It’s ya boi, Guzma” and “Y’all are stupid!”. He’s honestly such an absolute delight and I love him so much.
Cyrus: So Cyrus is one of the villains I only recently started to appreciate once I started getting back into replaying the main series and realizing just how deep his character goes. Game Freak gave this man a tragic backstory and you know I had to go and dig into it as much as I could. You can learn so much about him just by reading in between the lines of how he talks and how others talk about him. He’s sad, lonely, cold-hearted and wants to create a world lacking in spirit so that no one has to ever feel the pain of sadness ever again. But by doing that, he is getting rid of all emotions, even the positive ones. So he’s really willing to stop feeling happy if it means he won’t get to feel sadness anymore either. It’s insane and really something that stands out to people once they grow up. I know I certainly didn’t realize this as a kid. I just really feel for him and want him to be happy,,,
Ghetsis: And finally we arrive at my absolute favorite evil team leader, and the one probably no one expected! I hate him so much, and I think that’s why he's just so great. His writing makes him so devious, so twisted and terrifying that it really makes me feel so strongly about the already genius story of BW. He is admittedly one of those villains that’s mostly evil for evil’s sake and I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s as complex as Cyrus. But darn it, I can’t feel anything but absolute loathing for this man and his twisted ambitions, the way he raised a child to be nothing more than his human puppet...the way he manipulated the whole region to nearly go against us and separate humans and Pokémon from each other for good... the way he was so close to actually accomplishing his goals...the way he was so bitter about losing to the hero of BW that he actually goes out of his way to try and murder the hero of BW2...this man is just absolutely insane and probably the most terrifying villain Pokémon has to date and I will always get such enjoyment out of beating the crap out of him whenever I go and replay BW.
WHEW this took me nearly a whole hour and a half to write, hope you enjoyed my ramblings :,)
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