Hello again Mortals! I already have run dry of creepy Pokémon Rom hacks.. I planned a review of Pokémon Dark.. for you all but this ended up being edgy dialogue in the first two towns and then reverting to a normal Pokémon Ruby run. Since I already did a ghost pokémon top 5 .. twice.. and talked about their pokédex entries a lot I needed a new angle! During the Pokémon Games we have encountered a lot of Ghost Pokémon Trainers.. but most of them have been odd! Either by the lack of ghosts in their respective generation. Everyone of these trainers has a clear theme going on in their appearance.. yet non have a theme matching that! Today we will fix that.. at least for the first three! With Part 2 coming the day after.
For this post I will give every trainer a team of five Pokémon. Most Elite 4 members run around with themes of that approximate size. Teams will never have doubles but previous forms of Pokémon are allowed. Each member will get two lower tier Pokémon, two mid tier pokémon and an ace. This doesn’t mean the High tier pokémon actually have to be Amazing or the low tier entries having to be bad monsters.. it all has to do with their respective level. I will not go in depth on movesets but will discuss their fighting style..which names some moves. For description of those moves, feel free to use google or ask me in the comments.
I will not take their original aces into account as that would give Agatha, Morty AND Allistair a Gengar as an ace. Usually aces have some overlap with their generation while in hindsight other pokémon are clearly better fits. This one is all about the air a trainer has. All will be placed around an Elite 4 ish level or “rematch” team level to have access to the widest amount of Pokémon. None of them have legendaries but since they have a sixth slot still available you can tell me what Legendaries they should have in their final party slot or something. I do not look at generations and more or less assume a timeline as if made as a present day remake. The type of ghost is more so determine in what kind of environment they would be in rather then their actual region.
Agatha is the O.G. Ghost Pokémon trainer appearing in the first game and the many many remakes and rom hacks of Kanto. She is the one who least follows a theme and is just “the old ghost lady”. She is famous for her quote to tell people not to use the strongest pokémon but their favourites. Which might be an element we can use. So if we consider Agatha as a grumpy old lady.. who showcases using favourite pokemon and not just the strong I think this is the team we would get.
Low Tier 1: Sinistea
Obviously an old woman would drink a lot of tea in the world of stereotypical anime characters. So it would make sense for her to have the tea pokémon.. and yes the fact that she has the cup does indeed mean that the pot is higher on her team list but no one has just a teapot or just a teacup it’s kind of a set. I imagine Agatha’s elite four room having one of these cast iron bistro tables where she is sipping her tea and when a trainer steps in she taps her cane on the floor and the teacup comes flying to her aid. This is where she proclaims she is a ghost pokémon trainer and about the power of using your favourites. The teacup would then fly into battle as the match begins.
Low Tier 2: Shedinja
This Pokémon is famous for only having 1 hp , but the ability wonderguard, which only makes it take damage from super effective moves, hazards and status effects.. and weather. If you do not come prepared for a Shedinja though you will have a very bad time. I think Agatha would want that to be a lesson we learn! Always be prepared. Since Shedinja is a Bug and Ghost it would hard counter the Psychic type that Gengar is so known to be weak too, it is likely that a trainer would have such a pokémon because Bruno is the trainer they fight before. While Shedinja can be deemed a terrible Pokémon Agatha is all about making it work. It can fall very easily but if ill prepared you will suffer inevitable defeat. Almost like a lecture! I think that fits Agatha quite well.
Mid Tier 1: Gengar
The third Pokémon Agatha is likely to send out, unless the AI smartly swaps would be Gengar. It is the defining pokémon from her generation and the way she summons a Gengar from the shadow of her staff is too cool not to use. It might no longer be her ace because I think that is a bit too cliché it still fits her pretty well as a monster. Something that is almost as old as she is. She would not run it in any Mega form or Gigantamax form because she feels those new methods are poppycock.. revealing a bit of a Genwunner style of thinking would really fit with Agatha’s older mind thus justifying this Pokémon.
Mid Tier 2: Decidueye
I remember my dad’s aunt collecting owls, and it seems like a pretty grandma thing to do. I know a few old ladies that collect owl statues or even owl macrame and stuff like that, plus the whole theme of Wisdom applying to Agatha makes a lot of sense as well. We can even go further and explain that this archery owl pokemon has been based on an extinct and ancient owl that used to live on hawaii in some of it’s glory days before it was tainted by tourists etc. The old versus the new world is once again a theme that really can work with our old little lady trainer.
Obviously this Pokémon would be Agatha’s ace. Not only is it a perfect pokémon for an old lady, it also is VERY VERY powerful if used properly with stored power. So it fits for what is most likely the most powerful ghost trainer out there. It’s ability that will boost it’s stats when taking physical damage/decay is a perfect allegory for Agatha’s age as well. While her body withers her experience only makes her stronger and stronger.You can easily imagine the anime Brock going “That’s Polteageist ability Weak Armor, as it’s body crumples the spirit goes so much faster” and then Agatha saying “That is right.. just like me.. while my body crumbles my mind has already figured out what you will do next.. I will always be one step ahead of you”. Black tea is also her favourite flavour of tea.. so it really works out very well!
Morty is the “cool” guy of Pokémon trainers. He is fairly noble and caring for pokémon. He is engaged with the whole death at the burned tower and feels more like a guy who watches over the dead. So his team would have a few members that follow that theme a bit. He still is a bit bland and is by far my least favourite ghost trainer. He feels like he might have some things in common with Spark from the Pokémon Go memes, but instead of talking to an egg he still talks to the dead. Other than that.. he just is some blonde dude!
Low Tier 1: Phantump
Morty is the gym leader of Ecruteak city, which is near a fairly forested area. While it isn’t officially a forest he still lives fairly close to Ilex forest as well and seems like the type that would go pray at a shrine. So either if it is the woods in front of his town or the forest of Ilex he seems the wandering type. Phantump is the spirit of a boy or girl who got lost in the woods and starved to death. Being a sort of guardian figure of the dead it makes perfect sense if Morty picks one of these up and soft core uses it as his “Pikachu” but a bit weaker.
He seems like the type that would have a pokémon sitting on his shoulders to me at least and this would be the one! Of course it would not be a great member of his team but he can still annoy you with leech seed.
Low Tier 2: Doublade
While he doesn’t have that much flavour Morty does have a bit of that J-RPG protagonist look. Wandering into dangerous places to help the dead it seems like he should use a physical tool that allows him to fight with his pokémon. As to me he seems like the type that would do that. He misses the mystical qualities most of these ghost trainers have so his ghost team would most likely be focussed on a more physical approach. Not completely but still! We don’t have a lot to work with here! He does seem like the type he would be very friendly to his pokémon so I see him being very touchy and affectionate to his pokémon so it makes sense if he would litteraly carry as many of them with him as he possibly can.
Mid Tier 1: Golurk
While this pokémon officially belongs to Shauntall I never really saw the connection! It looked cute to see her fly one in the Manga but it is more of an opposites thing. With Morty however Golurk works like an ancient protector. Once again a physical attacker that is more straightforward than most ghost pokémon. Golurk is also one of the most good natured ghost pokémon out there being truly created as a protector and laborer and I think those are values that belong to Morty WAAAAAY more than they would ever do to Shauntal!
Mid Tier 2: Dusknoir
This one is mostly on the list because everyone seems to think this ghost pokémon is really cool looking and i have to agree! It is however a pretty worthless battler that has a horrible moveset… Which makes it perfect for Morty as he probably canonically is the weakest trainer of the lot. He is the fourth gym trainer which is only matched by Fantina.. but she as a trainer in the games has actually been hard! She is trying hard while Morty is more laid back. Dusknoir embodies this feeling quite a bit as it is not so much about attacking but more about out-stalling it’s opponent. Even better for Morty this Pokémon is said to take lost spirits in his body and guide them home! That does seem to fit Morty!
This cheerful little pokémon seems like a perfect ace for Morty! It might be a bit mischievous but it is also quite the workhorse. It seems to have the right vibe for Morty trough and trough! Once again it seems like a spirit he can take care off. It could even be his gym puzzle. Where Rotom possesses all sorts of electrical appliances or electric doors and you have to make him jump to a new object to pass. Befriend a spirit and make it move on. It could be a fun way to tie in puzzles with the gym leader and the team.
Phoebe is the least spooky ghost trainer ever. When you see her you think you are facing a water pokémon trainer.. but no you already faced that in Ruby and Sapphire, even in Emerald. Maybe fire then as she is one of those Hawaiian Hula girls and Volcano’s and all? No Flannery took care of that. So how do we fix Phoebe?! Well it’s quite simple! Hawaiian Beach theme …for GHOSTS! Phoebe feels bright and bubbly! With a charismatic personality, a healthy skin colour and what must be a purple deficiency among ghost trainers it is time to do her right and give her a great team.
Low Tier 1: Pink/Female Frillish
There is a surprising amount of Pokémon that fit Phoebe like a glove! However not a single one stems from her generation! It would take two generations before there even came along a pokemon that even remotely fitted her. While once again the fact that I used a non fully evolved pokémon indicates that I indeed have taken its evolution as one of her squad as well and arguably the Blue Frillish would be better given her dress.. I chose the pink one because I do not like the evolution of the female version, while I do like the look of the male evolution. To give her a bit of diversity! Ghost Water isn’t an amazing typing so Phoebe probably is worse with this team than she was before it really does fit her like a glove. Aqua Jelly ghost! Just look at her! She even has a little pink element! And Frillish looks tropical enough to boot!
Low Tier 2: Dhelmise
While Dhelmise is not a low tier Pokémon but since it will get Gyro Ball we put this on the lower level themed slot so the speed difference is larger. Dhelmise being a ghost Anchor once again ties in with Phoebe’s all tropical theme..Perhaps she dives for shipwrecks and fights of pirate ghosts.. it seems like something she might do! Heck even if she just hunts for pearls at the bottom of the ocean her ghost pokémon can help her here. With Dhelmise helping her sink faster. It is a Ghost Grass type which means Phoebe will end up with a Fire, Water, Grass core making her seem like a somewhat justified Elite four member!
Mid Tier 1: Blue/Male Jellicent
Frillish evolution looks kinda strange in it’s male form but at least it does not have that weird lipstick mouth it’s evolution has. I do not mind Wobbuffet having that or even Jynx ..despite the questionable design ethics on her in general.. but a water pokémon having a puckered up lips sticky mouth seems wrong. It lives underwater.. and it’s a ghost! Why! I do not get it.. but hey Phoebe’s Dress is blue and that staple that female trainers can only use female pokémon in the game is outdated and should be taken out of the game anyway so now we have some incentives for that as well. I can imagine really cool visuals that part of her dress is the Jellisent slowly manifesting from it’s ectoplasmic shapes! We should make this happen! Now I need an animator who loves pokémon and works for free!
Mid Tier 2: Palossand
With a Ghost, Ground type that mimics a sandcastle I do not think I have to try hard to convince you it belongs to this girl, although it’s pre-evolution will be given to a trainer on the second half of this article. The ground typing gives Phoebe gives an answer to electric types and as a good Elite 4 member you should have a varied mix of secondary typings to make your opponent sweat! Where Agatha focusses a bit on mixed strategy with a bias on good special attack, Morty focusses on Bulk and Physical attack, Phoebe even more so seems like the defensive ghost type specialist. This makes her a great early elite four member because her role is not persé to win but to burn you out of resources, something that seems like a nice little challenge for a second elite four member. Palossand is an embodiment of that role as well as it fits her quite well.
Ace: Alolan Marowak
Phoebe at least to me has a dancer estetic, it seems like she might have been born in the Alola region given her dress style and more pigmented skin fit the location quite well. So it seems to me that giving her the fire dancer pokémon that also happens to be a ghost type is the perfect fit for her ace. I could easily see them dancing together. Like Morty, Phoebe seems one of the better and more socially natured ghost type users so it also makes sense that she would get a good guy or girl ghost as her ace. While most Gym Leaders are good natured with phoebe it seems a bit more a dominant trait. At least when we compare her to Allister, Shauntal and Fantina even compared to Accerolla. Fantina is flashy and cocky, while Shauntal is more an egghead and a slight clutz. Accerolla is more of a child and Allister is just creepy. Phoebe seems much more the type that rescues lost animals on her island or fights pokémon poachers or something. You know.. the main character’s female friend from one of those ecological awareness cartoons of the early 90’s. Alolan Marowak is easy to unify with that.
Tomorrow we will finish up this list with Fantina, Shauntal, Acerola and Allistair! What is your favourite team so far? The day this post goes up live I am still in the mid of a move so I might be slow in replying to your comments! do not let that stop you though! Speaking of not stopping I could always use more money to help me move! If you have some money you do not seem to be using, consider supporting my Kofi! I thank you all and have a good fright night!