When it comes to creating teams of Pokémon, most fans lack imagination. Back in the day, we could only make a team out of the limited amount of creatures available in Pokémon Red & Blue. Nowadays, players can use the Internet to trade for any Pokémon that they want. This allows people to create teams full of creatures that have an advantage in stats and abilities over the other Pokémon in the game. The Pokémon competitive scene is stagnant for this reason. People just pick from the same small pool of Pokémon, because they have proven results in battle (barring the one brave Pachirisu who conquered the world).
The fans of Pokémon have come up with numerous self-imposed challenges, in order to make the game interesting. We are here today to offer a new level of challenge for Pokémon players. These are teams composed of Pokémon that represent some of the most important franchises in pop culture today. Do you have the skills to conquer Alola with a team of Star Wars or Game of Thrones Pokémon?
Here are 15 Themed Pokémon Teams You Need To Try!
15 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
When it comes to choosing Pokémon who can properly represent Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo, we have been given a lot of options. Despite there being several prominent animals without Pokémon representation (like ravens, cheetahs), there have been many turtle Pokémon over the years. In order to give the best spread of types and abilities, we have chosen these four to represent the TMNT - Blastoise, Tirtouga, Torterra and Torkoal.
With the four turtles sorted, that leaves two positions to fill. April O'Neil might seem like an obvious fit. The problem is, there are no Pokémon that are known for wearing a giant yellow jumpsuit (or being objectified by Michael Bay). Therefore, the fifth spot goes to Splinter. Rattata is the best fit, as its purple body more closely resembles Splinter's robes. The final spot should go to Casey Jones, the Turtles human ally who fights crime alongside them. There is only one choice for Casey Jones and that is Cubone. They both have the scary mask and fight with improvised weapons.
14 Star Wars Aliens
The Star Wars franchise is home to some of the most imaginative and interesting monsters in all of science fiction history (and Jar Jar Binks). It is harder to come up with Pokémon equivalents for the main characters unless you want to pretend Farfetch'd's leek is a lightsaber. When it comes to the alien races of Star Wars, there are a lot more Pokémon to choose from.
Our first choice for a Star Wars Pokémon is Ursaring. He looks like Chewbacca if he was on his way to a job interview. For Jabba the Hutt you have none other than Snorlax, who is also a big fatso that carries great power in his frame. For the Wampa, you have the icy ursine goodness of Beartic. Eevee can represent the Ewoks. Palossand will be the mysterious Sarlacc pit monster. For one final powerhouse monster to round out the team, we have Groudon representing the mighty Rancor.
13 Harry Potter Monsters
When coming up with a team of Harry Potter Pokémon, the first instinct is to use creatures based on the animals that make up the symbols of the four Hogwarts' houses. This cannot be done. It might surprise you to learn that there has never been a Pokémon based off a Raven or a Griffon. There is a badger Pokémon (Linoone), but it does not resemble the black and white badgers that live in Britain (that make up the Hufflepuff symbol).
This leaves us with the numerous fantastic beasts of the Harry Potter world to make up our Pokémon team. Firstly, we will use Dusknoir for the Dementors. For Dumbledore's precious Phoenix, we will use Ho-Oh (as it more closely resembles the design of a Phoenix than Moltres does). The Basilisk from Chamber of Secrets can be represented by Seviper. The mysterious horror of the Boggart can best be shown with a Mimikyu. Finally, we have many options for a Dragon. In this instance, we will use Flygon as a representation of the Common Welsh Green.
12 Super Mario
When it comes to Nintendo's biggest franchises, Mario is first and Pokémon is second. There is quite a big divide between these two numbers, as Mario has sold 528 million games worldwide and Pokémon has only sold 280 million. Despite this, the first generation of Pokémon games combined has sold more than any single Mario title.
Outside of Mario and Pikachu beating the crap out of each other in the Smash Bros. series, there is no rivalry between the two franchises. With the Mario series containing so many iconic characters, it is easy to create a team of Pokémon that can best represent the Mushroom Kingdom.
For the invincibility star, you can use Staryu. For Toad, you have a choice of several different mushroom Pokémon (like Gloom or Amoonguss). For the green Koopa Trooper, you can use Turtwig. For the shy ghost known as Boo, you have Mimikyu. The vicious Piranha Plant can be played by the equally fierce Victreebel. Finally, for the dreaded Blue Shell that haunts the nightmares of Mario Kart players across the world, you can use Squirtle.
11 Final Fantasy
The Final Fantasy series has its own cadre of unique monsters and iconic villains. It is not hard to choose a team of Pokémon that can properly represent this classic series on the battlefield.
One of the most iconic Final Fantasy creatures is the Chocobo. Luckily, Pokémon also has a big yellow bird that we can use to get around. Its name is Zapdos. With the frightening power of a Legendary Pokémon at its command, Zapdos is a wee bit more terrifying than your average Chocobo.
For the recurring Flan monsters, we have Ditto. For the hulking horned Behemoth monster, there is Terrakion. For the explosive Bomb monster, we have Voltorb. For the status effect spewing Malboro, we have the equally annoying Amoonguss. Finally, for the recurring Cactuar monster, we have Cacturne.
10 Star Trek Aliens
Due to Star Trek primarily being a TV show rather than a movie series, its aliens tended to look more like actors in makeup than monsters. Star Wars could get away with a huge CGI monster that is intended to look impressive in a few scenes in a single film. When you have the Klingons and the Romulans showing up every week, then their appearance needs to be affordable.
Star Trek gives us a lot less to work with in terms of monsters. We will have to get creative and look through the whole history of the franchise to make up our Pokémon team.
One of the few races in Star Trek that can easily be represented by a Pokémon is the Borg. For them, we will use the Unown. The Unown are bizarre machine-like constructs that communicate in a hive mind sort of way. The Gorn (especially the famous Gorn Captain who battled Kirk in "Arena") can be Sceptile. Joltik is the closest thing Pokémon has to ball of fluff, making it perfect for the role of the Tribble. Diancie can be the Crystalline Entity. Arceus can represent the Q Collective. Finally, Muk can be Armus, the slime covered jerk who killed Tasha Yar in "Skin of Evil".
9 The Avengers
In the first Avengers movie that was released in 2012, the team had exactly six members. Some might argue that Nick Fury is a member of the team, especially considering his role in the later movies. Since 2012, the Avengers have been joined by several new heroes. For the purposes of this list, we are sticking to the original six from the first movie.
The leader of the Avengers is Captain America. As there are no real "shield" Pokémon to represent him, we will go with Wartortle instead. They share a similar colour scheme, as well as similar wings on the helmet. For Iron Man, we will go with Genesect (due to his ability to change attacks via technology). For the Hulk, there is the shiny variant of Machamp (which makes it bright green). Pokémon Sun & Moon have given us Decidueye, the archery Pokémon, who can represent Hawkeye. Thor is, of course, Pikachu. This leaves us with Black Widow. For her, we will choose Ariados, the Pokémon that most closely resembles the black widow spider.
8 The Justice League
The Justice League are one of the oldest superhero teams around. For the longest time, they were considered to be the most popular superhero team in the world. That title was stolen from them by the X-Men (who then it had stolen from them by The Avengers). With the Justice League movie coming out in 2017, can this classic superhero team reclaim their prestigious title?
When it comes to Pokémon representation, we have many members of the Justice League to choose from. There are many bat Pokémon in existence, meaning Batman has a lot of options. We will go with Noibat, due to its sheer power compared to the other bats. For Wonder Woman, we will use Aegislash (due to the movies solidifying her as a sword & shield user, rather than a punching superhero). Martian Manhunter can be represented by the shape-shifting alien Pokémon known as Deoxys. Hawlucha can pull double duty and act as either Hawkman or Hawkgirl (depending on your preference). For the Green Lantern, we have Reuniclus, the Pokémon that is always shrouded in green.
Last but not least, we have Aquaman. Luckily for us, Pokémon also happens to have a useless character that operates solely in water. Magikarp is the Aquaman Pokémon. They both even share an orange colour motif.
7 The Sinister Six
The Sinister Six have gotten a bad rap over the past few years. Their first appearance in the Amazing Spider-Man movies was scrapped after Sony worked out a deal to put Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If that wasn't bad enough, they looked like a bunch of Power Rangers villains on the David Letterman Show, when they were used to promote the horrible Spider-Man musical.
When it comes to creating a gimmick Pokémon team, a group of exactly six villains is just the right fit. Pokémon Sun & Moon gave us Palossand, the sand castle Pokémon. He can easily represent the Sandman (and you can retcon it in your head so that he murdered Red's father, which inspired him to become a Pokémon trainer). Electabuzz can be Electro. Mandibuzz soars through the skies like the Vulture. Liepard shares the dress sense of Kraven the Hunter. Tentacruel strikes with its many limbs like Doctor Octopus. Finally, we can use Zoroark, the illusion Pokémon for Mysterio.
6 The Smash Bros.
The original game in the Super Smash Bros. series was being developed during the period when the Pokémon franchise was taking the world by storm. It seemed a natural fit to include some of them as playable characters in the game, as well as adding others as summonable monsters through the Pokéball item.
With the release of the latest Smash Bros. game for 3DS/Wii U, there has been a total of nine playable Pokémon throughout the series. Creating a powerful team of six out of these is easy, as some of the best Pokémon in the game have been chosen to represent their series.
For a Pokémon/Smash Bros. team, we would choose Pikachu, Mewtwo, Greninja, Charizard, Jigglypuff and Lucario. If you are playing at an event that bans legendary Pokémon, then replace Mewtwo with Ivysaur. Whatever you do, don't use Pichu, as it is just as useless in Pokémon as it is in Melee.
When Undertale was released in 2015, it took the gaming world by storm. This Kickstarter-funded game that was made by a relative nobody turned out to be one of the best games of the year. Undertale used games like EarthBound as inspiration, for creating one of the funniest and most heartfelt RPGs ever made. Undertale attracted a massive fanbase, who helped the game to win GameFAQS Best Game Ever Contest. Undertale beat out games like Final Fantasy VII, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Chrono Trigger to take the award. This should prove how passionate the fans of this game are.
Due to Undertale's cast being mostly composed of wacky monsters, it should be easy to come up with a team of Pokémon that can best represent them. We will start with the villainous Flowey, who has a Pokémon counterpart in Sunflora. For the two skeleton brothers, Sans and Papyrus, we have Duskull and Marowak. The Monster Kid can be Scraggy (due to the two designs being eerily similar). The Annoying Dog can be Furfrou. Mimikyu would make a perfect fit for Napstablook.
If you wanted to create an Undertale team in Pokémon Red & Blue, then you should definitely include Missingno as W.D. Gaster. This is because Gaster was most likely inspired by the unintentional creation of Missingno.
4 The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda series is proof that review scores are meaningless compared to mass-market appeal. The Zelda games are almost always universally acclaimed. Ocarina of Time was the first game to ever receive a perfect score in Famitsu magazine. Link Between Worlds was a handheld Zelda title that was battling it out for Game of the Year awards against The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V. Even though all of the games have received incredible scores (with the exception of Skyward Sword), the Zelda series has barely sold a quarter of what Pokémon has. This is despite the fact that the Pokémon games tend to receive above-average scores at best.
With this bitter rivalry in hand, it is time for Link to take the battle to the world of Pokémon. For this, he will need a Honedge to take the place of his Master Sword. For a guide, he can use Floette to take the place of Navi. Ganondorf can be replaced by Grumpig, the Psychic-type pig Pokémon. Link can ride around on Rapidash instead of Epona. He can also use Golurk in place of the Phantom Hourglass statues that Princess Zelda uses in battle in the latest Smash Bros. games. Finally, Link can use Noctowl in place of that annoying owl from Ocarina of Time who gives you lots of pointless information and asks if you want him to repeat it, with the cursor already hovering over "Yes".
A lot of people have accused the Digimon franchise of being a blatant ripoff of Pokémon. It is a shame that those people never gave Digimon a chance. While the games generally weren't that good (at least until recently), the Digimon anime was a lot better than Pokémon. Digimon tended to deal with subjects that were rooted in real world problems. This allowed the young audience to better connect with the show. It's easier to sympathise with characters who are being bullied or having to deal with their parents getting divorced, than with a kid who's Charizard won't listen to him.
Due to Digimon and Pokémon using the same creatures from mythology and real world animals for inspiration, it was only natural that there would be some similarities. This is a team of Pokémon who have almost identical counterparts in Digimon.
Digimon's mascot creature is Agumon, who most closely resembles Charmander. Sunflora looks a great deal like Sunflowmon. Due to them both being giant birds made of fire, Moltres can be Birdramon. Swanna and Swanmon is a given (as they are both just swans). Muk can be the slime Digimon known as Raremon. Finally, we have Torterra as Ebonwumon.
The aim of this team is to inspire horror in your opponents. While this may not be easy when you are relying on a team of cute anime monsters to scare your enemies, it is possible to do this by invoking one of the most terrifying years in human history: 2016.
It was hard to choose only six bad things to represent in this team, as 2016 was a bloodthirsty year. The leader of the pack would certainly have to be Donald Trump being elected as the president of the U.S.A.. Is there a pokémon that can capture the reality show judge with a bad wig? Luckily for us, Pokémon Sun & Moon gave us Gumshoos, the Pokémon that bears an eerie resemblance to Donald Trump.
For the remaining five slots, we have chosen a mixture of celebrity deaths and moments of political significance. The second slot goes to the death of Harambe, who can be represented by Oranguru. Next, we have Brexit, which can either be represented by Weezing or Vanilluxe (depending on your type preferences). The death of David Bowie and Prince were big losses to the music world during 2016. They can be represented by Zangoose (due to its resemblance to the Ziggy Stardust outfit that Bowie used to wear) and Ditto (due to the fact that it likes the colour purple and is a good match for anyone). The final slot goes to the death of Muhammad Ali, who will naturally be represented by Hitmonchan, the boxing Pokémon.
1 Game Of Thrones
The world of Game of Thrones is filled with terrifying creatures. It is a shame there aren't any Pokémon that resemble humans, as they are the true evil of Game of Thrones. The White Walkers at least had the decency to sit behind the Wall playing Super Nintendo for years while mankind wasted their opportunity to prepare for them. They also didn't murder anyone at a wedding.
Luckily for us, there are at least a few monstrous creatures that can be emulated within Pokémon. We have Daenerys' three dragons to start off with. For Viserion, the white/cream dragon, we have good old Dragonite. For Rhaegal, the green/bronze dragon, we have the shiny variant of Salamence. For Drogon, the black/red dragon, we have the shiny version of Charizard.
With the remaining three slots, we shall use Lycanroc from Pokémon Sun & Moon to represent the Dire Wolves owned by the Stark kids. The Children of the Forest are a perfect match for Whimsicott, the powerful Grass/Fairy-type Pokémon that bears a resemblance to them. Finally, we have the White Walkers themselves. Who better to represent them than the shiny version of Abomasnow (which adds blue to its colour scheme). Abomasnow has a built in ability which activates the "Hail" weather effect when they are summoned to the field. This means that Abomasnow brings Winter itself with it into every battle.
What's your favorite themed Pokemon team? Let us know!