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Gym leaders are a crucial part of the Pokémon franchise, and are often the most colourful and exciting characters in any given game. There’s never too much of a story, apart from a fairly clunky villains take over the world plot, but the gym leaders usually have a bit of a self contained story to them.

These mini stories, alongside the leader’s design, team, challenge and overall impact on a play through have all been taken into consideration here. The gym’s themselves, especially the more funky ones which enrich their regions, aid their cause too.

We already know some of the Galar gym leaders, with Nessa especially gaining popularity, but they haven’t been considered here; there’s just not enough to go off. Still, it will be interesting to see what Galar does, especially with Bea exclusive to Sword and Allister to Shield.

Let’s just get this out of the way at the start too: neither Brock nor Misty will feature here. They’re fantastic characters in the anime, but as gym leaders they’re very meh. Their teams are weak (especially for Bulbasaur trainers), their gyms are bland and their designs are plain. Pokémon has much better to offer.

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