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Rank the evil teams!

Discussion in 'Pokémon General' started by RadEmpoleon, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. RadEmpoleon

    RadEmpoleon Empress of Randomness

    Level 21
    Jun 4, 2018
    Comet Shard ★★★★Poké Doll ★★Trainer Card - Cave Theme
    Rank the evil teams from worst to best! Based on any traits- motives, plot significance, admins, character designs, music, nostalgic value... you get the idea. Feel free to explain why you ranked them how you did.
    I want to apologize in advance if some of the reasoning isn’t very strong, or it’s something like “I just don’t like them”.
    11. At the bottom of my list is Team Rocket. This is mainly because I haven’t really played through any games with them, so I have no experience with them. Also part of the reason is that in terms of the other teams, they are a bit overrated, since they were the first evil team.
    10. Aether Foundation. Idk why, I‘ve just never considered them an evil team. (No, it’s not because theirs doesn’t start with “team”.) I don’t remember why they were considered “evil”. Also I don’t like Faba. But Lusamine’s themes do be popping.
    9. Flare. I genuinely forgot they had admins (except for the dude). Their designs have way too much orange. The grunt and boss theme are different themes, but they are a bit too similar, which is a bit strange, since these themes are generally supposed to be mostly different and blah blah...
    8. Rainbow Rocket. I never played UsUm, so I don’t really know what they’re about. I do appreciate the bringing back of all the previous team leaders and the remixing of their themes.
    7. Magma. Idk I guess I’m indifferent to them- I don’t like them, but I don’t hate them. Maxie is ok, and I do like the Magma grunts.
    6. Yell. Questionable as an “evil” team (as far as I know they didn’t do anything “bad”), but I like the idea of them being basically Marnie stans. Their battle themes are outstanding, and I love Piers, he’s my new favorite team leader.
    5. Skull. They’re a very unique team compared to previous teams (would’ve said the same about Yell if they didn’t come right after Skull) in that they’re not really meant to be taken seriously. Our boy Guzma is great, and I love their goofy antics.
    4. Aqua. If not for their ORAS redesigns, they’d probably be lower down the list. I think the newer designs really make them feel more like pirates. (I do be loving Archie’s redesign) The updated boss theme is so fitting for Archie, more so than for Maxie. (It’s also one of my favorite themes in the games, so yeah.)
    I’m sure you all expected Plasma and Galactic to be at the top of the list, but pretend you didn’t...
    I actually can’t decide between the two of them which I like better, I’ll come back to it later hopefully... but I prefer the designs of the B2W2 Team Plasma grunts to the BW Team Plasma grunts (which I will be counting as 2 separate teams for the sake of this list)
    Did I forget a team? If so they’re at the bottom of the list because I forgot/didn’t know they existed.
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    #1 Feb 5, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
  2. Wizard

    Wizard Who Needs Luck?

    (Decidueye (Cupid))
    Level 95
    Jan 18, 2016
    Look, I have an opinion:
    8. Team Yell: I have no words of positivity for Team Yell. They do not add a single thing to the game for me and serve little to no purpose other than checking off the box of having a "Team" in the game. A massive disappointment for sure, considering sports fans can be absolutely insane and impossible to deal with. An alright premise with horrid execution.

    7. Team Flare: These guys do not check off any of my boxes for what I'm looking for in an antagonist. Pokémon is not great at approaching serious villains in my opinion, and Team Flare, as fashionable as they may be, simply are not intimidating in the slightest and have such a dumb premise for their actions that I do not even know where to begin. In other words: I forgot the name of this team and had to look it up. This is how bland their impact was on me.

    6. Team Galactic: Finally, we start straying outside the realm of horrible teams. Galactic actually manages to be slightly menacing at times, which is uncommon for Pokémon. However, I think their overall presence is simply not enough. I appreciate the attempt at creating a villain that wanted to create "a new world", but the concept has been overdone in a bunch of media outlets and Team Galactic didn't have much to give me on this front.

    5. Team Magma: Despite being lead by someone who appears to be smart, this team really is just dumb. They are good fun, but nowhere near their counterparts in Team Aqua.

    4. Team Rocket: Now we enter the realm of teams that accomplish what they set out to do. Team Rocket is simple in approach and fulfill their job well. Not only do we get to see the weakened brand of the Team in Generation Two, we get to see them at the height of their power in Generation One. They intimidate people on many fronts, hold people hostage, and are just straight criminals. Solid villains that do not over-impose on the player. Also, the Giovanni being the last gym leader plot twist is still a 10/10, so I feel the need to bring that up.

    3. Team Plasma: A lot of my like for Team Plasma comes from BW2. A complete rehaul in design and the dynamic between old and new plasma members is neat to see. I love the sleek, pirate design of the grunts and the introduction of associated characters such as Colress. In BW, this team actually presents a semi-interesting philosophical argument for the world of Pokémon and it is neat to see how it pans out. I think as far as serious villains go, this is as good as it gets for Pokémon.

    2. Team Aqua: One word: Archie. Archie was already excellent in Generation Three, but was truly brought to life and made an instant classic character through ORAS. His reasoning for wanting more oceans is simple and it does not need to be anything more than wanting more water. Villains like this are fun and make me smile, and Team Aqua accomplishes that easily.

    1. Team Skull: They. Do. Everything. Right! Their music is funny, their hand gestures are funny, and Guzma was an instant favorite of mine. Team Skull was not taken too seriously by Gamefreak and the result is magnificent! Unlike Team Yell, I have nothing but good things to say about Team Skull!
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  3. Duo

    Duo The Cruelest

    (Palkia Egg)
    Level 19
    Jul 7, 2019
    Let's go from worst to best so we can end on a positive note. It's been a while since I've played some of these games, and while I know I have the general idea of all of them, I might have gotten a few details wrong, so forgive me for that.

    The absolute worst team in my opinion is Team Flare. This is one of few evil teams where I'd say the character design is actually bad, and there are no exceptions on the entire team. The team's motives feel extremely generic and empty, and while I can see what they were going for with Lysandre, it backfired pretty badly. Another thing that makes me wish we got a Pokémon Z, I imagine that could have tweaked Lysandre, and if they did that I would like them a lot more.

    Next up, Macro Cosmos and The Aether Foundation. Another thing I didn't mention with Team Flare is that they had a pretty bad influence on the series's evil teams, with it seeming like every generation needs a twist villain of some sort. That in itself is not a problem, but Game Freak really doesn't know what to do with the grunts once they do this. The Macro Cosmos and Aether Foundation grunts both just kind of blindly follow orders and don't really have much else to them, which makes them feel empty and unrealistic. I think The Aether Foundation is better here, Lusamine is a fantastic character while to this day I'm still conflicted about whether or not I like Rose since he has some great ideas but poor execution in some areas. I think they really need to stray away from making more twist villains like this unless they think harder about the grunts.

    Next is Johto Team Rocket. It's fine that they brought Team Rocket back for what was meant to be the finale of the series, but they just aren't involved in the games at all. You have a little fight at Slowpoke Well, and then they do nothing until after you have your 7th badge, when the big plot points finally come in like with every other game. Why are they so absent from the story? I think their motive to find Giovanni is interesting even if that has its own issues but they could have been handled so much better.

    Next up, I'm lumping two more evil teams together, Aqua/Magma, which is a pretty weird case in that I think they were only really explored well in Emerald. I'd consider them "good" in Emerald, not fantastic but not bad. Their dynamic is what makes them interesting, and in RS we don't get to see them fighting as often as I wish they would, and one or the other just ends up lacking a presence in comparison to the other depending on which game you play. They're about the same to me, because while I prefer Archie to Maxie, I think Team Magma's ideas are much more reasonable than Aqua's even if both are pretty stupid for an evil team that the game seems to try to make you take seriously (iirc). Not the best, but I'd say Aqua has a slight edge over Magma for Archie alone, and the ORAS versions outdo the originals for having more interesting and less bland admins.

    Those are the "bad" evil teams, and there's only one team I'd call average - Team Rainbow Rocket. The concept behind them is actually pretty great in my opinion, and I don't think Gen 1 pandering applies here because I don't think they'd realistically take grunts from all of the teams and what other team would lead the rest here? This falls under the same issue as Gen 2 Team Rocket in that it's heavily underexplored, kinda just shoved to the endgame of a game that's extremely similar to another that came out a year before it. Just imagine how great this would be, though - imagine if Gen 9 has Team Rainbow Rocket as the evil villains, with the Champion constantly trying their hardest to keep off Giovanni, and during the main part of the plot he summons the leaders from all other evil teams to this point. Imagine how fantastic that would be? But we lost that potential. Disappointing team, but not a bad one in my eyes.

    First good team on the list is Team Galactic. Motives aren't the best but the rest of the team is pretty good. Cyrus is a great leader, the admins are all memorable (except Charon why was he added to Platinum) and overall the team doesn't have any big weaknesses. Not much to say about this one, except I do think it's a tad overrated.

    Next up is Kanto Team Rocket. I think they're honestly pretty simple, but effective. They're just a gang who wants money. They have a place for kids to gamble so they can profit from that, they want to sell fossils for profit, and they hold hostages sometimes for seemingly no reason. Giovanni being the last Gym Leader was a pretty interesting twist too. If I recall correctly, Team Rocket creating Mewtwo was only an anime / manga adaptation thing, I'm not certain if it's implied in the Cinnabar Lab or not, but if so then that's another pretty interesting thing to add to them. It's kinda hilarious that the best iteration of Team Rocket was the first one to me, in the game where Game Freak messed up a lot of things, but that's just how it is sometimes.

    Getting close to the top, we have Team Yell. I wasn't a huge fan of them as I was playing through Sword and Shield since they were just kinda roadblocks that cheered on Marnie for no reason, but as soon as I got to Spikemuth, everything clicked. These people are trying their absolute hardest to root for their hometown hero, but because they're from a rough town, they don't always do things in the most kind or socially accepted ways possible. That honestly seems so genuine and charming, something really refreshing that I wasn't expecting to find from THIS team. Piers is technically their leader, and he's one of my favorite characters in the franchise. All he wants is to keep his people happy, and he cares for them even if he's kind of sarcastic himself. They do have a drawback, though - their designs are really bad. That's not enough to keep me from liking them a lot, though.

    Next up is Team Skull. Team Yell has a lot of parallels to Team Skull, but they're still pretty different, enough so for me to like them on their own merits. Team Skull isn't as charming as Team Yell, but they still have that going for them: they're a group of society's misfits lead by two rejected trial captains. Their movements and their music are both amazing, and it helps that Guzma is a fantastic character for more reasons than the obvious. The fact that he looks up to Lusamine as a motherly figure after it's implied that his parents abused him into running away is an awesome dynamic, and Guzma has such a big personality that can be shown whenever he's on screen. The one negative I can really say is that Plumeria could have been better, but she's still not even that bad. All in all, fantastic evil team, definitely one of the best.

    The best evil team for me though is Team Plasma. Put simply, Team Plasma makes the story of Pokémon Black and White and their sequels fantastic and helps push them into the best games in the main series, and a lot of it is because of Ghetsis. Ghetsis first gets people to join him by telling them that they're fighting for Pokémon's rights, which is actually something unexpected, unique, and completely realistic from the Pokémon world, which are three things that I don't get often from Pokémon games' stories. Ghetsis then twists this power into a way to force himself to becoming effectively a ruler of Unova at the climax of the story. In BW2 though, things are just as if not even more interesting. Some people are a part of Team Plasma and feel betrayed by Ghetsis, while others are genuinely evil and want to stand by Ghetsis. That's actually an awesome plot point, again partially because of how reasonable it would be. N is also a great character that at least deserves a mention. Team Skull and Yell are great, but in my eyes, Team Plasma is as close to the perfect evil team as we may ever get. Their only flaw to me is that the seven sages are forgettable, but that's easily excusable for the rest of what we have.
    #3 Feb 5, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
  4. Gazi

    Gazi Rival

    Level 18
    May 27, 2018
    I haven't played the majority of the games, so I'm going to be ranking the evil teams as best I can based off of what I know of them.
    9-Aether Foundation. I haven't played the games, but I've watched the anime, and the Aether Foundation is nowhere near being an evil team in the Sun and Moon anime, so they're last on this list.

    8-Team Yell. I know nothing about them, except that they look and feel like ripoffs of Team Skull. Their designs don't even look that great.

    7-Team Plasma. Again, I don't really know anything about them. Their costumes in Black and White look a little ridiculous, but they look cool in Black 2 and White 2, so they get bonus points.

    6-Team Flare. Maybe this is just me projecting my dislike of the XY anime series (yeah, I didn't enjoy it so much, fight me), but besides the leader, Team Flare was just forgettable for me. I don't even remember what their goal was.

    5-Team Agua/Team Magma. One of the few games that I've actually played (which is good, because I haven't watched the anime series with these guys, so I wouldn't know them from there). They weren't the best, but their outfits are distinct and fun, and their goal is very clear (very stupid, but very clear).

    4-Team Rainbow Rocket. The outfits are fun, and the concept of bringing in the leaders of all the other evil teams just sounds awesome.

    3-Team Galactic. Again, this might just be my bias towards the Diamond and Pearl anime series speaking, but I really liked Team Galactic. I don't exactly remember what their goal was though, but I do remember really enjoying watching the episodes that they were in. Memorability is important, but so is enjoyability.

    And now for my top two, probably controversial choices.

    2-Team Rocket. Yep, the original evil team. The main reason why they claim number two is because of how memorable they are, and I'm not just talking about Jessie and James. I don't think anyone could ever forget what Team Rocket's goals are. Plus, the manga series has my three favorite gym leaders from the Kanto region (Sabrina, Koga, and Lt. Surge) as the admins, which is is a lot of fun.

    1-Team Skull. They're loud, they're annoying, they're kinda pathetic, but they're also a family, and I kinda enjoy watching them. Especially when Guzma was brought in. But not only does Team Skull have a really memorable leader, they also have a memorable admin in Plumeria, and she's probably the only admin that I not only remember the look and name of, but also her personality. I know Team Skull isn't popular, but I really like them.
    *Edit* I didn't look at what other people ranked until after I'd made my list, as I didn't want to be influenced, but I was pleased and surprised to see that my enjoyment of Team Skull isn't actually that controversial. Sure, my opinion comes solely from the anime and other's used the games, but still, it's nice to know they're appreciated.
    #4 Feb 5, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
  5. Nova Ozuka

    Nova Ozuka Ruin Maniac

    (Mystery Egg)
    Level 6
    Jan 11, 2017
    I'm basing my rankings on how evil they are and how close they came and what I can remember.

    12. Team Yell is at the bottom of my list tied with the Marco Cosmos company. Neither of them were particularly evil. Team Yell were just the Spikemuth Gym Trainers and Marnie's fan club. They only try to get in the way to ensure Marnie becomes Champion. The rest of the time, they're shown to be genuinely good people for the most part. MC on the other hand, their employees seem more sinister in comparison, yes, but Chairman Rose isn't really evil either-he just wanted to solve an energy crisis ahead of time.

    11. Team Snagem are near the bottom as well. They were just pawns in Cipher's scheme in the Colosseum and aren't very active in XD. When they were introduced, they were still a bit of a threat, but severely crippled by Wes's betrayal. When we see them in the next game, they just want to get back at Cipher and are basically in shambles from the events of the first.

    9. Magma and Aqua are tied. Like Yell and MC, they aren't exactly evil. They do get more interesting in ORAS. They both have similar but opposite goals and endanger the world when they're finally successful in reviving the ancient Pokémon. They can't even control them, especially in Emerald when they are seen fighting each other.

    8. Next is Aether Paradise. They aren't exactly evil either, but they seem more sinister in the SM than Ultra. In the originals, Lusamine just wanted to visit Ultra Space I think, and was completely obsessed. In Ultra, she instead tries to stop Necrozma.

    7. Next we have Team Galactic. They nearly succeed in creating a new universe and even manage to summon Dialga, Palkia, or both depending on the game. In Platinum however, it backfires as Giratina emerges and takes Cyrus into Distortion World. They tried very hard to be what Team Rocket once was, running their own Game Corner and all. They did have a massive team too.

    6. I'm placing Team Skull here because they aren't really evil-just a nuisance. I admit though they're very good at that. The most they've accomplished is taking over a whole town and gathering every single Bugium Z in Alola. While it isn't much in comparison to the other teams, it's still pretty impressive for what was basically a darker version of Team Yell. As a whole, they aren't much of a threat until they collaborate with Aether. Guzma on the other hand fills the bad guy role pretty well. He and Plumeria seem like they do a good job picking up the slack for their team.

    5. Team Plasma is kind of hard to rate. They were misguided in BW and split into two groups in BW2. The first of these groups, ExTeam Plasma, is a purified version of what Team Plasma was originally. They continue to follow N and attempt to make amends. The other group, Neo Team Plasma, is the reason why I rate them higher than the above. Neo is lead by Ghetsis, the man who was behind everything in the first games. They manage to retain all semblance of a major threat from the first games and even expand on it using Kyurem and taking Reshiram/Zekrom from N. Overall, they're one of the most memorable teams throughout the franchise.

    4. Team Flare managed to get their hands on a super weapon. Overall, they managed to be even more of a threat than Team Plasma. Their uniforms weren't very good, I admit. Their leader, Lysandre, even had his own company, which gave them plenty of assets. They even had a member of the Elite Four, which is something no other team can say.

    3. I would rate Team Rocket higher, but they were rather lackluster compared to some of the newer teams. They were very good at what they did, however. In the original Gen 1 games, they hid a hideout under a Game Corner. They also had a lot of clear influence in Celadon and Lavender Town, not mention their secret recruitment near Cerulean. Giovanni being the 8th Gym Leader was THE plot twist of the whole game. Team Yell is the only other team that can say they have a Gym Leader as a boss. In the Gen 3 remakes, Team Rocket even manages to spread their operations to the Sevii Islands. Gen 2 gave us the aftermath of Team Rocket's disbandment, which still depicted them as a major threat. They even took over Goldenrod's radio tower. They've done so much more than the majority of the above teams, even without their leader.

    2. Cipher makes it as the second member of my top 3 with some of the flashiest uniforms I have seen overall. Out of everyone, they're the only ones to come as far as Team Rocket, and they made just as much of a comeback as Team Plasma on top of that. Turning Pokémon evil is something no other team has done. In the first game, their boss, Evice, was the mayor of one the cities, which was an even bigger plot twist than Giovanni being the 8th Gym Leader. They even spread the Shadow Pokémon using Pyrite Colosseum. Then there was the Under, which was under their complete control. They even launched attacks on Agate Village to prevent Pokémon from being purified and Mt Battle as well. The even used another team as pawns in their scheme: Team Snagem. Team Snagem stole the Pokémon, and Cipher turned them into Shadow Pokémon. Three of the four admins even had Legendary Pokémon: the three beasts of Johto. That was just their first game.

    Their second game had Greevil as a surprise villain, something a player would only suspect if they did not trust the man that was always smiling. Not only did they return five years later, they managed to get four more Legendary Pokémon: the Legendary Birds of Kanto and Lugia. Not only that, but they made Shadow Lugia impossible to purify by normal methods. When we start playing the game, the first thing we see is the same Lugia under Cipher's control take a cruise ship out of the water. That same ship is later found in the desert of Orre. We even see them take complete control over Phenac City. Oh, remember that lab they used in the first game? They have a factory now. For making Shadow Pokémon. With this weird dark sludge flowing around it like a river. That speaks for itself. If not for Ultra Sun and Moon, I would argue that they are the best (and by the best, I mean the worst of the worst) of all Evil Teams.

    1. Team Rainbow Rocket. Remember everything we saw Team Rocket do? These guys are what Team Rocket would have become without the player's intereference and more. Their admins are made up of the leaders from every mainstream team before Gen 7 from worlds where the player was not around to stop them. They even had Legendary Pokémon in their possession, one for each of them with Giovanni in possession of a Mega Mewtwo. Do you remember Festival Plaza? They take it over and keep you from using your own Pokémon while you're there. Your ability to restore Sophocles' control over Festival Plaza rests in whatever Pokémon you can use from the Battle Agency. Not only that, they take over Aether, and Faba helps them. Things by that point have actually gotten so out of hand that big bad Guzma comes to help you. Even after Giovanni is defeated, they simply start looking for another world to go after.
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  6. Jeydis

    Level 17
    Aug 11, 2017
    Poké Ball ★Trainer Card - Cave Theme
    Ahh the evil teams. They might be cheesy but I enjoy having a foil in these games even if they vary in quality a lot.
    Overview: Team Skull > Team Meanies > Team Skull (PMD) > Team Aqua/Magma > Team Rocket > Team Galactic > Team Plasma > Team Yell > Team Flare > Macro Cosmos

    Will work on the detailed opinions later, short on time.
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