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Favorite/least favorite Evil Team

Feb 16, 2018
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What is your favorite of the evil teams from the main games? What is your least favorite one? For me:
I liked Team Rocket, and not just because of nostalgia (due to starting with the Gen 1 games). They didn't have a plan that involved world domination or something. It was just about the money. I think I don't really enjoy world saving stories, because you know that in the end, the world will be saved. I'm not really sure.

I think my least favorite might be Team Galactic and Team Flare. Like, why Cyrus? Why would you want to live in a universe where you are the only living creature? Similarly, with Team Flare: Why kill everyone who is not a member of Team Flare? Yeah, there would be enough resources to go around, but you would still have fighting over stuff and selfishness and greed. Eventually, it will run out.
my favorite is skull. something about guzma and his story, along with his team as a whole, just resonates a ton with me.
least favorite is flare. they're just dull to me. if i had to describe them with one phrase, i'd use "bastardization of galactic with more eugenics-related undertones."
(btw cyrus's goal wasn't really a world where he was the only living creature, he just wanted to be the god of a world with no emotions as he viewed emotions as the source of all of humanity's suffering. his logic is basically "humans do destructive things in pursuit of happiness, and sadness and anger bring us suffering and can cause us to do more destructive things in return, so if we just get rid of emotions, the world will be rid of such problems." it's an oversimplification, but that was roughly what his thought process was. not that he was correct by any means, he still tried to destroy the universe and rewrite it for the sake of his entirely misguided plan...)
Fave is Aqua. They totally are pirates and that is so cool. Also Matt calls Archie "bro" and that is the coolest thing ever, no other team admin except maybe Plumeria and a few Team Star ppl would have the guts to call their leader like that but they kinda don't... Archie seems to genuinely care about Matt and Shelly at the Delta Episode too...

Least favorite is similarly Magma. While all of Maxie, Tabitha and Courtney are characters, they do not feel as cohesive of a group. Leader is a scientist, but all the goofy outfits make the science part feel... off. Courtney has major anime archetype vibes in a not good way, Tabitha is... chill, but a bit too aloof and not as connected to the rest of the team? Disclaimer, I have played AS much more than I know about OR anyway, so I may miss some details...
my favorite is skull. something about guzma and his story, along with his team as a whole, just resonates a ton with me.
least favorite is flare. they're just dull to me. if i had to describe them with one phrase, i'd use "bastardization of galactic with more eugenics-related undertones."
(btw cyrus's goal wasn't really a world where he was the only living creature, he just wanted to be the god of a world with no emotions as he viewed emotions as the source of all of humanity's suffering. his logic is basically "humans do destructive things in pursuit of happiness, and sadness and anger bring us suffering and can cause us to do more destructive things in return, so if we just get rid of emotions, the world will be rid of such problems." it's an oversimplification, but that was roughly what his thought process was. not that he was correct by any means, he still tried to destroy the universe and rewrite it for the sake of his entirely misguided plan...)
I must have been thinking of the anime as there, he said that the world was only for him. I think.
Courtney has major anime archetype vibes in a not good way
courtney felt like an attempt at writing an autistic character... by an allistic person who has never met or spoken to anyone with autism. she's like, sheldon cooper levels of stereotypical (coming from someone on the spectrum)
Favorite is BW Team Plasma. They were legitimately threatening, had actually decent Mons that weren't just the Com Mons (as they had things like Scraggy, Sandile, Trubbish, and their evolved forms instead of the bog-standard Zubats), their motives were creative for Pokemon, their theme music rocked, and Ghentis was a well-crafted villain/man-behind-the-man. They went down the tubes in B2W2, becoming more generic, which was a letdown, but at least they improved their Mons further (even if it did include Zubats and such). So BW Team Plasma gets the win for me.

Least favorite is Team Flail... I mean Team Flare. Basically a rehashed Team Rocket (who is already bottom of the barrel to me) with the added "flair" of mass genocide in an already lackluster game. At least they evolved their Mons and had some decent selections in grunt teams. But not only were they about as dumb as Team Galactic grunts (who I actually like because it was clever of Cyrus to do something like that, since anyone smart would've bailed if they knew his true intentions), but their plan was an almost generic doomsday plot to "save" resources. And Lysander was so obviously evil right out of the gate that the fact the cast (especially Sycamore) couldn't see it until it was pretty much too late was just stupid. Definitely the worst evil team. Their anime version, on the other hand, absolutely rocked! Easily one of the best evil teams in the anime. The games, not so much.
If you don't mind me asking, what would you want out of a "villainous team?"
I don't really like the concept of villainous teams, I feel like they shouldn't have to build the story around a team.
But I thought the shadows from Pokémon Colosseum were an okay team, they could be a believable villainous group if they had less "quirky" admins.
There's a scene in the Jirachi movie where Butler shows his experiment to all of Team Magma but the experiment fails and all the members mock him. I thought it was a pretty powerful scene, but even if a villainous team was involved, it's not the villainous team that was interesting, it was Butler's character.
Best: Rocket, for being lower key and not sticking out as something the plot should have been more focused on like others.

Worst: Flare. I was initially going to say Yell, but as I considered it I realized Flare exemplifies everything I dislike about the evil teams; the narrative clearly wants me to take them seriously as a threat but I can't because they come across as woefully incompetent and skating by on plot armour and the player character being infected with Cutscene Idiocy (TM) at key moments.
Favorite: Team Plasma (BW, specifically) and Cipher (Colosseum, XD) if spinoffs can count.

Team Plasma for being more manipulative in their plot. They didn't even really want Reshiram/Zekrom as a weapon, they wanted it as a tool to twist public opinion in their favor by echoing the legend of the ancient hero.

Cipher because they felt so entrenched in Orre. Pretty much every other evil team feels like a societal disruption; Cipher felt like it was baked in everywhere under the surface. They don't feel threatened at all until someone pops up that literally sees the shadow aura leaking out of their altered Pokemon. So, apparently they had been distributing freakishly violent Pokémon to Trainers for who-knows-how-long without any fear of being found out. That's pretty telling of how lawless and cruel Orre can be. They're not the ones going against the grain...you are. The fact that they come back in XD with even more ambitious unethical research and experiments only reinforces the feeling.

Least favorite: Team Yell. No contest whatsoever in my mind. They did almost literally nothing. They were supposed to be troublemakers, but they didn't actually make trouble for you that often. And while Team Skull was proud of being rebel troublemakers, Team Yell slunk off with their tails between their legs at the slightest scolding from Marnie. Team Flare had many flaws, but at least they were committed to the role they were cast in. With Team Yell, I feel like nothing would have been lost if they'd just shown up as Piers' wildly devoted Gym Trainers in the Spikemuth sequence and then followed Marnie and Piers during the climax. There was no point in slapping the "Team" designator on them.

(Honorable mention: I really like Team Star, but matching them up against the other Teams feels like comparing apples to oranges (or, err...grapes to oranges?). They were barely even hooligans.)
My favorite will always be the Aether Foundation, I love the idea of a science-based team which present themselves as good people, the white aesthetic is great and the dynamics between Lusamine, Wicke and Faba is great in various media.

Least favorite...Probably Yell. Piers and Marnie are cool but they felt more like people that happened to be associated with them rather than their actual leaders. Your encounters with them are very forgettable and their main theme feels a little boring after Skull.
Team Rocket is the most realistic evil team. Not always the most interesting but nobody really seems like they want to harness the powers of magic. They’re just out there to become great Pokémon trainers and steal valuable Pokémon for profit.

Team Plasma is the most realistic-sinister team. There’s the shadow triad and its crazy leader Ghetsis.

Team Star is definitely a cohesive team and a great example of that. The leaders are all in it together. Though, I feel it lacks any sinister evil to consider it a great evil team.

Marco Cosmo is definitely the worst if can even be considered an evil team. They really only have one main appearance which is fighting the player in Rose Tower.

Team Yell and Team Skull are definitely not that bad when compared to Marco Cosmo. Though, I’d definitely like to see a more evil type of team like Team Yell and Skull.
My favorite evil team is probably Team Skull. While they don't bring as high of stakes as villains before them they provide comedic relief for the plot and do actually perform some kind of serious business throughout the game with Guzma's difficult boss fights, Skull's takeover of Po Town, and grunts even running Pokemon Centers. I also like how self aware they are as for example there were two female grunts arguing with each other over one wearing the other's shirt. The one wearing the other's shirt said to write her name on the shirt and the other pointed out that all their names were grunt so...

Edit: If this counts I'd also like to bring up Team Rainbow Rocket. I'm just impressed Giovanni managed to bring together a group of leaders who all had tough teams with legendaries to face off against, and the battle against Giovanni himself was so epic there. I also love how he went on to become a GO Rocket leader and whip out a different legendary every couple of months for us to ragdoll him, and also love how he's alternatively a leader in Pokemon Masters who takes control of the entire villain arc and somehow manages to get hold of Hoopa-Unbound then unleash legendaries everywhere.

My least favorite evil team is Team Galactic. Where do I even begin? Excuse my rant. This is going to be long. This may look incoherent, but maybe you'll see where I'm coming from.
Their motive is really stupid and irrational. While this by itself isn't bad I have no idea why it's praised so much and Team Flare's is seen as stupid when it's outright dumber than Team Flare's in every aspect. Kid gets made fun of and ostracized from preferring machines over people and Pokemon so he feels emotional pain then grows up deciding to end the universe so he can no longer feel this pain. Just get a therapist dude. You're not even ostracized anymore. You have an entire group of people who support you for who you are no matter what. Team Galactic doesn't even know about Cyrus's goal. They just want to make him happy. What's the deal with this? Why do they make Cyrus go out of his way to not care about any of this? Mesprit was in the game, Uxie was in the game, Azelf was in the game. Uxie could control Cyrus's memories to weed out the bad ones or emphasize on the good ones. Mesprit could have changed Cyrus's emotional state by force to see the good side in life. Azelf could've given him the willpower to strive for a new life and work to make an ever-lasting tech business with his own team. It's bizarre. He even had a Crobat on his team as a potential way to show he's changed, but nope. They decided to unreasonably keep going this route all the way through.

Not to mention the way they executed their strategies were BS considering the level of Pokemon they were dealing with. They weren't just messing with average legendaries, they were messing with entire gods with full control over the state of the universe, maybe even multiverse. Uxie is the embodiment of knowledge. It knows everything including what Cyrus was doing, when he was doing it, and how to work around it. Mesprit could've controlled Team Galactic's emotional states to dissuade them from capturing it, and Azelf could have removed all of Team Galactic's willpower by itself. These are full blown gods in charge of keeping Palkia and Dialga under control. They are absolutely powerful enough to blow through this team especially when almost every other legendary box art has done the same despite being canonically weaker. Team Galactic even bombed Azelf's lake. Azelf could have literally used its psychic energy to blow them away in one blast. Uxie could've just opened its eyes and all Team Galactic members in its vicinity would have their memories wiped. In the very worst case scenario, all 3 lake trio members could've done the exact same thing Mesprit typically does upon every first encounter to the player, instantly teleport somewhere far away. The fact they were captured in the plot was so ridiculously forced it's not even funny. Not to mention the Red Chain was some stupid plot device that makes absolutely no sense. Palkia and Dialga are infinite presences who span across time and space. Technically the literal nanosecond Dialga arrived it could have reversed everything Team Galactic was doing and even relocated the bomb Team Galactic dropped elsewhere to stop Azelf from being captured. Palkia could have also just erased Cyrus from existence while not even being in the area, as its full self is omnipresent throughout all space, meaning it should be able to see what's going on with incredible efficiency. Pokemon designed to be equal to Palkia/Dialga opposing them makes sense, but some random device that can be cloned and forcibly ripped off gods who had 8 billion different ways of dismantling Team Galactic is just pure plot induced stupidity in every regard whatsoever. This team SHOULD NOT be praised for being close to succeeding at all. They only made it as far as they did solely due to abysmal plot writing, the lack of care for the legendary Pokemon involved in Sinnoh's plots, and the sorely missed potential to develop Cyrus in a meaningful way. It completely disregards the power level of Pokemon Team Galactic tampered with and makes the entire Sinnoh lore look like a joke within its own generation. This is not only an awful feat no other generation accomplished, but one that occured where it mattered most in the series.

In Gen 6's case, Team Flare was able to get a hold of Xerneas/Yveltal by sneaking them into their base while they were sleep. Lysandre tried to get their life energy drained but they eventually woke up on their own, broke free from the weapon, took back their life energy, and showed Lysandre who was boss. - This is reasonable

In Gen 3, Archie and Maxie raided building after building ran by human communities everywhere in order to gather the resources needed to access the legendary box art. They've obtained the resources and then reached out to Kyogre/Groudon, who then proceeded to break free, go out of control, and show Archie and Maxie who's boss - This is also reasonable.

A similar thing happened with BW as with Gen 3 except a legendary Pokemon willingly sided with the main antagonist of the game. N did not attempt to force Reshiram/Zekrom under his control.

In B2W2, Kyurem was captured and used. Okay sure, but conceptually, Kyurem is a soulless empty shell of a Pokemon deprived of any motivation to do anything but eat and sleep. It needs help. It needs to see the light in truth or ideals in order to gain the motivation to do something. This is a reasonable explanation for how Kyurem managed to get captured and used by Team Plasma in B2W2. Additionally, Kyurem was designed to be nowhere near the level of deities that control time, space, or all of existence. Kyurem is just able to freeze the world with ice. Not shape up entire universes or define the entire nature of Pokemon as we know it.

In Gen 7 the only legendaries captured by human antagonists were baby Pokemon. Aside from that, Necrozma managed to get control of Solgaleo/Lunala but Necrozma was designed to be a force above them anyway.

Gens 1 and 2 didn't really use their legendaries much in the plot aside from making them glorified trophies. Gen 9 turned their legendaries into glorified regular Pokemon with little substance.

Gen 8 simply had legendary Pokemon do their jobs. Nothing more.

Team Galactic were actively messing with Pokemon gods, whether it was Uxie, Azelf, Mesprit, Palkia, or Dialga. Almost all of them canonically had the power to see what Galactic were doing well ahead of time and intervene. All 5 of these Pokemon had every capability possible with billions of methods to avoid the situations they were stuck in. I just don't understand the direction they went here and never will. It's a shame because Gen 4 was set to be the gen where they wrote their definitive pieces of lore but the execution of it was irreparably damaged.
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Favourite: Galactic, loved the Grunts' battle theme and the fact they actually did manage to capture the lake trio.
Least favourite: Yell, they look ridiculous, and I never liked the fact they were glorified roadblocks.
i think my favourites would be team rocket and team skull. what team rocket does is awful, sure, but i do like the vibes (and outfits) and how it does legitimately feel like an underground criminal organisation. other than team plasma and i would actually say team skull, it feels like one of the most realistic in a way too. for team skull, like i said i can see something like it happening irl, and also i just love how silly they can be and how much character everyone has.

least favourites would have to be team yell and, honestly, team flare. i would want to defend team flare since i love xy, but honestly... it's just a bad team. as other people have said it has very very strange undertones that are kind of impossible to excuse, and it's just overall very poorly written. only redeemable part of flare is the grunt outfits bc i love suits. as for team yell, they just felt like... a poor imitation of team skull, without the... loveableness, if that's a word? in general they also felt pretty boring, like they were just put there because they had to have a team, and their motivation felt very lacking.
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