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Top 10 Elite Four Members in "Pokémon"

In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.

What Are Elite Four Members in Pokémon?

After venturing across regions and collecting eight Gym Badgers, Pokémon Trainers face their ultimate challenge against the Elite Four. Similar to Gym Leaders, these powerful opponents specialize in a certain type, but wield creatures of particularly high levels, often with versatile movesets that balance out their weaknesses.

They can also use Full Restore items to completely rejuvenate their units, making it difficult to finish off their injured warriors, and you have to face them back-to-back without healing in a Pokemon Center (though you can use items in-between battles). But with dozens of masters encountered throughout the years, which adversaries reign supreme? These are the 10 strongest Elite Four members! Note: we're not counting champions (the fifth and final obstacles), as they're technically not members.

Hoenn Elite Four member Drake

Hoenn Elite Four member Drake

PokemonLevelType

Shelgon

52

Dragon

Altaria

54

Dragon/Flying

Flygon

53

Dragon/Ground

Flygon

53

Dragon/Ground

Salamence

55

Dragon/Flying

10. Drake

First Appearance: Generation 3
Specialty: Dragon

As the last non-champion Hoenn Elite Four member, Drake wields a formidable array of high-level Dragon Pokémon. This was before Fairy's advent, giving less weaknesses; however, his team suffers an amazing weakness to Ice, with four of his five members suffering quad weaknesses to it (although Altaria's later shift to Dragon/Fairy would reduce its vulnerability).

Throw in the fact that Drake repeats units (bearing two Flygons and same-family members Shelgon and Salamence), and he's a surprisingly predictable adversary. Overall, his high levels and stats would present a huge challenge to those who can't exploit his crippling weakness to Ice.

Johto Elite Four member Karen

Johto Elite Four member Karen

PokemonLevelType

Umbreon

42

Dark

Vileplume

42

Grass/Poison

Murkrow

44

Dark/Flying

Gengar

45

Ghost/Poison

Houndoom

47

Dark/Fire

9. Karen

First Appearance: Generation 2
Specialty: Dark

Like other Johto league members, Karen's team isn't as high-leveled as you'd expect, but due to the region's relative quickness, the player's will likely be similarly-underleveled.

Karen is the last non-champion member of Johto's Elite Four, meaning your squad will be greatly weakened when they reach her, and two of her creatures don't even possess her Dark preference, helping balance her assortment. Plus, Murkrow's Flying nature and Houndoom's Fire adeptly reduce Dark's weakness to Bug while Gengar is immune to Dark-trumping Fighting types. Other than her low levels, Karen's only real weakness is a lackluster moveset, but it's easily forgiven considering most early-generation Elite Four share this flaw.

Kanto Elite Four member Lorelei

Kanto Elite Four member Lorelei

PokemonLevelType

Dewgong

54

Water/Ice

Cloyster

53

Water/Ice

Slowbro

54

Water/Psychic

Jynx

56

Ice/Psychic

Lapras

56

Water/Ice

8. Lorelei

First Appearance: Generation 1
Specialty: Ice

Lorelei is the first Elite Four member we ever fought, and despite having to face us with a fresh party and with lower-leveled Pokémon (compared to her peers), she did a fine job of weakening our teams. Despite her listed type preference of Ice, Lorelei wields a balanced team that also emphasizes Water and Psychic, rounding out her weaknesses.

Remember, Psychic was particularly good in generation 1 since Dark and Steel didn't yet exist, and Lorelei is the only original Elite Four member who doesn't wield duplicates of any Pokémon, further straightening her squad.

Alolan Elite Four member Acerola

Alolan Elite Four member Acerola

PokemonLevelType

Sableye

54

Dark/Ghost

Drifblim

54

Ghost/Flying

Dhelmise

54

Ghost/Grass

Froslass

54

Ice/Ghost

Palossand

55

Ghost/Ground

7. Acerola

First Appearance: Generation 7
Specialty: Ghost

Since Ghosts are weak to other Ghosts, attempting to type-type trump Acerola with her own element usually puts you at the same disadvantage. Thus, unless you have a Dark Pokémon handy, you're in for a tough fight against a team with powerful moves and several dual elements, letting them utilize multiple STAB (same-type attack bonus) techniques.

Plus, unlike many Elite Four members, generation 7 captains like Acerola actually equip a single held item (in this case, giving a Ghostium Z to Palossand), meaning they can use formidable once-per-battle Z-moves against you.

Alolan Elite Four member Molayne

Alolan Elite Four member Molayne

PokemonLevelType

Skarmory

61

Steel/Flying

Alolan Sandslash

61

Ice/Steel

Magnezone

61

Electric/Steel

Metagross

61

Steel/Psychic

Alolan Dugtrio

61

Ground/Steel

6. Molayne

First Appearance: Generation 7
Specialty: Steel

While only an Elite Four member in remakes Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (he replaced Hala), Molayne leaves a lasting impression. Steel is simply one of the game's best defensive types, and his variable line-up throws in several additional types to keep you on your toes. For instance, Klefki's Fairy nature and Metagross's Psychic both counter Fighting, and Dugtrio's Ground helps dissuade Fire.

Type-trumping aside, Molayne wields a team with powerful stats, no repeats, and a potential Z-attack on Dugtrio, who holds a Steelium Z.

Alolan Elite Four member Kahili

Alolan Elite Four member Kahili

PokemonLevelType

Skarmory

54

Steel/Flying

Crobat

54

Poison/Flying

Oricorio

54

Fire/Flying

Mandibuzz

54

Dark/Flying

Toucannon

55

Normal/Flying

5. Kahili

First Appearance: Generation 7
Specialty: Flying

Kahili commands a versatile bunch, with each ally bearing a different secondary element. Oricorio and Skarmory's Fire and Steel types negate their weakness to Ice (and Skarmory's shields against Rock), and Toucannon holds a Flyinium Z for a a powerful Z-attack.

A few monsters admittedly have some questionable moves (like Supersonic on Crobat), but not nearly to the extent of early Elite Four members. Kahili's biggest weakness is to a strong Electric foe, but even then, Mandibuzz's Ground-type Bone Rush mitigates the issue.

Sinnoh Elite Four member Flint

Sinnoh Elite Four member Flint

PokemonLevelType

Rapidash

58

Fire

Steelix

57

Steel/Ground

Drifblim

58

Ghost/Flying

Lopunny

57

Normal

Infernape

61

Fire/Fighting

4. Flint

First Appearance: Generation 4
Specialty: Fire

Despite looking like Ronald McDonald without his makeup, Flint is a surprisingly competent battler. He's the third trial in Sinnoh, meaning you'll have been softened up by two predecessors, and his team is perhaps the most well-rounded of any Elite Four, with only two Pokémon (Rapidash and Infernape) sharing a type, and even they're separated by Infernape's dual Fighting element.

Thus, you'll need to switch in and out far more than normal to tackle his robust arrangement, and be careful if you think Water will take you all the way, as Rapidash knows the Sunny Day/Solar Beam combo. Flint's also smart enough to give Infernape a Sitrus Berry held item, offering a free heal when his companion suffers an injury.

Kanto Elite Four member Agatha

Kanto Elite Four member Agatha

PokemonLevelType

Gengar

56

Ghost/Poison

Golbat

56

Poison/Flying

Haunter

55

Ghost/Poison

Arbok

58

Poison

Gengar

60

Ghost/Poison

3. Agatha

First Appearance: Generation 1
Specialty: Ghost

Agatha is an oddity, as she supposedly favors Ghost, but actually possesses more Poison-types. She also repeats three Pokemon (counting prior-evolution Haunter), but considering there was only one Ghost family in Kanto, it's easily forgiven. As the third Kanto member, you'll be fatigued when you reach her, and her plethora of status effects can quickly ruin your day.

Remember, back in generation 1, sleep took an extra turn to recover from, making her Hypnosis attacks a big threat. Also, Dark and Steel resistances didn't yet exist, and Psychic types (who can counter Poison) were rare, meaning many of us weren't properly prepared for her clash.

Ground moves could help, but Golbat's Flying negates them, and Gengar's past capability of learning the Levitate ability (in generations 3-6) also blocks them, offering yet another barrier towards type-trumping her frightening battalion.

Kanto Elite Four member Lance

Kanto Elite Four member Lance

PokemonLevelType

Gyarados

58

Water/Flying

Dragonair

56

Dragon

Dragonair

56

Dragon

Aerodactyl

60

Rock/Flying

Dragonite

62

Dragon/Flying

2. Lance

First Appearance: Generation 1
Specialty: Dragon

Lance later becomes the actual champion in Gold and Silver, but he was still a formidable force back in generation 1. While he repeats Pokémon and suffers a weakness to Ice, Ice wasn't common and Fairy (not to mention the internet) didn't exist at this time, making Lance troublesome to the unsuspecting Trainer. He's also the fourth member you face, challenging you after Agatha's fierce battle.

Plus, Dragon resists all starter Pokémon types of generation 1 (Fire, Water, Grass, and even Pikachu's Electric in Yellow). But if you suffer a loss against Lance, don't feel too bad—he's notorious for cheating the move "Barrier" onto his Dragonite despite it not being able to learn the technique. Like many early-game masters, Lance's initial movesets aren't ideal; Aerodactyl doesn't possess a Rock move to counter Ice types, Gyarados has Leer, and all three Dragons have Slam, giving you an edge you may very well need in this cumbersome battle.

Sinnoh Elite Four member Lucian

Sinnoh Elite Four member Lucian

PokemonLevelType

Mr. Mime

59

Psychic

Girafarig

59

Psychic/Normal

Medicham

60

Fighting/Psychic

Alakazam

60

Psychic

Bronzong

63

Steel/Psychic

1. Lucian

First Appearance: Generation 4
Specialty: Psychic

Lucian's the last member in the Sinnoh Elite Four, bearing the highest leveled Pokémon (excluding champion Cynthia) and ensuring you're weary when you encounter him. His team does a great job of reducing Psychic's weaknesses, with Girafarig being immune to Ghost, Bronzong's Steel dampening Dark, Ghost, and Bug (Steel's resistances were a bit different in generation 4), and Medicham's Fighting type letting it smash through Dark and Steel opponents.

Pure Psychic-type Alakazam can counter the same elements thanks to Focus Blast, Bronzong (who also has a Sitrus Berry held item) checks its Fire weakness with Earthquake, and Medicham can hit Flying enemies with ThunderPunch. Throw in the long-lasting defenses that Mr. Mime's Reflect and Light Screen offer, and you have a high-level and versatile team that can counter nearly any element.

Changes to the Elite Four Across Generations

While the rules of facing the Elite Four have largely stayed consistent, they've slowly altered their challenges. For instance, they upgraded from Max Potions to Full Restores in generation 2, begin altering their team and movesets upon rematches, and (as of generation 5) allow you to tackle them in any order. The Unova and Kalos (generations 5-6) members also strangely reverted to four Pokémon per member before returning to the standard five in Alola.

Time will tell what other surprises future Elite Four members have in store, but for now, as we eagerly await Nintendo's next batch of endgame obstacles, vote for your favorite master and I'll see you at our next Pokémon countdown!

© 2018 Jeremy Gill