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Which changes would you do in any of Ash's companions' teams?

Ghost Diplocaulus

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A while back, @Enzo made a thread about making changes to Ash's teams, which inspired me to make an offshoot regarding the teams of his regional companions. The topic is the same: if you could, would you make any changes to the companions' teams?

Personally, these are the changes I would make:

To start off, I wouldn’t repeat species in between companions because I feel it’s better for teams to be as varied as possible and because when a companion catches a Pokémon Ash has owned in the past, they inevitably get compared to their predecessors unfavorably, most notably the starters. The sole exceptions to this rule will be Pokémon with branched evolutions and regional variants since the former will end up as completely different Pokémon anyways and the latter I feel are distinct enough to stand out from each other due to having different designs and typings. And now with these parameters set, let’s get to the teams proper…

Misty
  • Staryu-->Starmie (I seriously never got why she had both of these, so I’m compositing them into a single character)
  • Psyduck (Unlike in canon, Misty would actually make real efforts to train him, resulting in Psyduck eventually becoming a competent battler along the lines of what we saw in the SUMO episode where Misty and Brock returned, except… you know… much earlier)
  • Togepi-->Togetic (Like with Psyduck, Misty would train Togepi so they learn actual moves besides Metronome, culminating in an evolution during early Johto. Also, unlike in canon, Misty would not release them, and they’d eventually become a Togekiss for Misty’s future comebacks)
  • Poliwag-->Poliwhirl-->Politoed
  • Corsola
  • Magikarp-->Gyarados (instead of relegating it to a side special, Misty would bond with this guy in the series proper)
Brock’s teams remain mostly unchanged except he wouldn’t catch Mudkip in Hoenn because…

May
  • Torchic-->Combusken-->Blaziken
  • Wurmple-->Silcoon-->Beautifly
  • Skitty
  • Swablu-->Altaria (May would get to keep and train the injured Swablu she befriended in that one episode and eventually evolve it)
  • Mudkip-->Marshtomp (…May would catch this instead. Would help give this stater line more proper screentime, and I honestly feel this fits her more than Ash)
  • Egg-->Eevee (obtained earlier due to Squirtle’s absence. Just like in canon, Eevee would evolve into Glaceon for May’s return in Sinnoh)
Max
  • Ralts (as a sort of prelude to Bonnie’s Dedenne, May would catch this for Max and become his companion. Would be a big help on the character development department too, since it would be a neat opportunity for Max to learn that raising a Pokémon to become strong is not as easy as it looks, and this would hopefully mellow him out so he’s less arrogant and bratty towards Ash and May)
Dawn
  • Piplup
  • Buneary-->Lopunny (I get that they didn’t let her evolve because of her crush on Pikachu, but I personally thought it was weird, since Buneary evolves via happiness and she and Dawn share a close enough bond, so why not? Besides, Lopunny being bigger imo wouldn't be that much of an impediment to a ship with Pikachu. If anything the female being the larger one is kinda neat)
  • Pachirisu
  • Swinub-->Piloswine-->Mammoswine
  • Egg-->Growlithe (since I don’t want Dawn to have a Cyndaquil, this would be her Fire-type instead. I don’t know why, but for some reason Growlithe feels like it fits Dawn, and hey, it IS obtainable in HeartGold, so…)
  • Girafarig (Originally I was okay with letting Dawn keep Togekiss, since I was going to keep Misty’s release of Togetic at first until I changed my mind at the last second, so I had to change it. Honestly, Girafarig is only here not just because of HGSS promotion, but because it’s a Pokémon I personally like a lot and would like to see it on the main cast, and I felt Dawn was the most apt person to catch it :p)
Iris
  • Axew-->Fraxure-->Haxorus (evolving him fully because that was his and Iris’s goal. Axew would get more battles and realistic development rather than being constantly handed OP moves that he honestly didn’t earn)
  • Excadrill
  • Deino-->Zweilous (Iris should have really caught an actual Dragon-type early on rather than getting an eleventh hour Dragonite. It could even help with Axew’s growth, having a sort of Torchic/Beautifly situation where Iris using Deino more due to being more reliable gets Axew to finally put on his big boy pants and put some actual effort into improving himself)
  • Archen-->Archeops (this thing can learn plenty of Dragon-type attacks and Iris has one in the games, so why not?)
  • Gible (since Ash wouldn’t have one in my version of the anime, it’s safe to let Iris keep this)
Cilan
  • Pansage
  • Dwebble-->Crustle
  • Emolga (since Iris already had five Pokémon, I decided to give Emolga to Cilan, and she’d take Stunfisk’s place altogether. Emolga was quite gluttonous, so I think she’d like having a trainer who is a great cook and has food puns as his whole shtick)
Serena
  • Fennekin-->Braixen
  • Pancham
  • Eevee-->Sylveon
  • Egg-->Noibat-->Noivern (she’d get this instead of Ash because he’d get a Trevenant as his sixth Pokémon in my version and there’s really no harm in making Serena’s team a little bigger. I’d even add a subplot of Sylveon becoming a big sister figure to him so that she doesn’t just fade into the background after evolving. Ash’s Hawlucha would still be the actual mentor figure, though)
Clemont and Bonnie’s teams would remain unchanged, as would those of the Alola gang except for Lana, who would catch a Dewpider instead of an Eevee. For the sake of Let’s Go promotion I’d just have Illima rejoin the cast for a few episodes or something: his main Pokémon is already an Eevee, so might as well use what’s already there instead of introducing a completely new character only to waste them entirely. It could even be a good opportunity to make Illima at least a little bit less bland. Since Journeys is still ongoing at the time of writing I won’t make any alterations to Goh’s or Chloe’s teams yet, but so far there’s not much I would change anyway.

So, what about you guys? What changes would you make to the companions' teams?
 
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Enzo

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Hey!!!! @Ghost Diplocaulus I'm glad I inspired someone here! lol

The only change I would do to your ideas would prob change would be not getting Girafarig neither Growlithe, and keeping Ambipom and Togekiss, but with a few mods. And a little to Serena's too.

Especially after Lumiose Trainer Zac's review, I'm even angrier that they build up a story about a Pokemon realizing it prefers Contests over regular Battles, having a whole thing about being traded, and they just kicked it out with the lamest reason ever just to make room for a Cyndaquill that was honestly useless and barely did anything, only to promote HGSS. So no egg for Dawn, especially this late.

And while I do want to keep her Togekiss and find the story about it being a gift quite cute, and being an ''aerial'' Pokemon for Dawn so she could also not be locked to the ground during her perfomances, and besides having the potencial for being an agile powerhouse for her team (let's be frank: her only true powerhouse is Mamoswine), it should've been introduced MUCH earlier. Since in my version she doesn't let Ambipom go and the Egg is not a thing, I have decided she should get it in the same way she got it originally, but this time, as a TOGETIC. In the space of ''The Ambipom Farewell'' moment in the timeline (keep in mind it doesn't happens this time) she should get it, and evolve during the HGSS arc, as an way to showcase that Johto Pokemon also got evolutions in gen 4.

OH, and I wouldn't add Noivern in Serena's team either. Since in my version of XY Ash doesn't gets Goodra (since, well, it wasn't that useful tbh), he would get the egg a lot earlier as an result. Since this is not about Ash, I will expand: It's not that I don't think that Serena deserves a 4th mon. Not at all. But given the context of Showcases not being too Battle Heavy and focus solely on the permance itself, I feel like less Pokemon to coordinate the better. Not only does it makes it harder to create and design an perfomance, but it can feel overcrowed and harder to control, besides having to find something for everyone to do at the same time and keep it looking good.
 

Hidden Mew

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For Misty, I'd rework her team from the ground up for the most part:

Staryu--Starmie: While I'm pretty sure that they were originally trying to mirror Misty's in-game team at the time, it makes much more sense for them to have it just be one Pokemon instead, especially when Staryu got way more screentime than Starmie ever did anyway.

Psyduck--Golduck: I definitely prefer the idea of Misty actually training Psyduck to use its powers. I know it is a gag Pokemon, but it would have made Misty look like a much better trainer to actually work with Psyduck instead of yelling at it all the time during the original series. I also feel like she really should have gotten a Golduck after that Orange Island episode teased the audience with it. Plus, it has a pretty cool design and they could have saved it for the end of the original series too.

Togepi--Togetic--Togekiss: Even though I was fine with Togepi evolving and being released in AG, I think it would have been better for Misty to keep it and showcase Togekiss, if only because I don't want Dawn to get it instead. Much like Psyduck, Togepi would be at least a bit more active during Johto. They'd find out about Togepi being able to learn attacks and actually doing something with it. It could have evolved near the end of Johto instead. I'd give Misty at least a small appearance in DP to show that her Togetic had evolved into Togekiss too.

Poliwag--Poliwhirl--Politoad: This was one of Misty's best battlers, so it stays.

Corsola: I'm tempted to replace this with a Chinchou instead given that it would be more useful battling other Water type Pokemon, but I was fine with Corsola as it was and giving her a Water/Rock type would make battles more challenging anyway.

Horsea--Seadra--Kingdra: Horsea really should have been used more after having such a good and memorable capture episode. I can kind of see why that didn't happen when it needs to be in the water to move around and battle, but Misty getting a Kingdra would have been pretty neat. It might have made her team a bit too overpowered, especially when realistically she needed less Pokemon given her role in the series, but this is a fantasy setup, so I just went all out. Plus, having a stronger team might have helped out with her goal if she was also able to battle a bit more frequently.

I'm pretty much okay with most of Brock's Pokemon from his various teams too. I think that he just needed to do more with them rather than be removed or replaced. Geodude evolving into at least a Graveler might have been nice, if only so that it could have stood out more, and Vulpix desperately needed more screentime despite how they made a big deal about Brock taking care of it in its debut. Zubat practically disappeared between its capture episode and Johto. After thinking about it, I think I'd even let Brock keep Mudkip. As much as it was a bad choice to give Brock a starter Pokemon, it had a pretty solid capture episode that really showed more of Brock's strengths as a caring trainer. Plus, I really loved how they split the starters among the main cast. It was such a cool idea and if Mudkip had been handled better, it would have been great. The only difference is that Mudkip would have evolved sooner so that it could be a Swampert by the end of AG, if only because it would have been so cool for the main cast to have all three fully evolved Hoenn startrs.

As for May, Blaziken and Beautifly would be the same, but as for the major changes:

Skitty--Delcatty: While I didn't mind that Skitty didn't evolve, I think that they could have made it work given that it was still marketable cute and Skitty never showed any disinterest in evolving. It would also be kind of refreshing to show a Pokemon being comfortable with a stone based evolution since that doesn't happen too often.

Swablu--Altaria: Even though May already had a Flying type in Beautifly, she really should have kept that Swablu. They bonded so much throughout the episode and she was just about to catch it right when its flock showed up. It was such a cruel tease. Plus, a Pokemon like Swablu would have been perfect for Contests.

Bulbasaur---Ivysaur--Venusaur: I loved Bulbsaur's capture episode and the heart shaped mark on its head was just adorable. The main differences is that it would go to the Battle Frontier instead of being left at Professor Oak's to bond more with Ash's Bulbasaur and that it would evolve into an Ivysaur during that arc as well. I always felt like they ditched May's Bulbasaur way too soon and it could have used some more screentime. Having more battles and evolving into Ivysaur certainly would have made its five second cameo as a Venusaur less jarring. Plus, I really like Ivysaur, so seeing it in a Contest battle would be cool.

Eevee would also be the same since it would still be a Glaceon when May appears in DP.

I definitely like the idea of Max getting Ralts. I can kind see why they didn't do it when they were very set on characters younger than ten couldn't have their own Pokemon, but it really would have given Max something to do, especially when he was pretty much just there for the Battle Frontier arc. Not to mention there wasn't much of a good reason for them to separate when both Ralts and Max wanted to stay together. The Kirlia and Gardevior wanted it back, but you'd think that they'd be okay with letting it go if Ralts wanted to be with Max.

Dawn would still have Piplup, Pachirisu and Mamoswine. The only real change I'd make for Mamoswine is having Dawn use Swinub and interact with it prior to its evolution. It's capture episode was good and it laid a good foundation for their bond to develop, but it pretty much does nothing between its capture episode and first evolution, which does make it harder to sympathize with Dawn to a degree when it refuses to listen to her. As for the major changes:

Buneary--Lopunny: This is another change that I agree with. I can kind of see why they didn't evolve it when Buneary is still more marketable cute, but despite being Dawn's first capture, Buneary didn't really have a lot of stand out moments. It didn't even learn a fourth move. Having Buneary evolve a bit before the Grand Festival would have been so much better than Dawn being handed a Togekiss on a silver plate. It would have given Buneary some more focus, given its a proper fourth move and Dawn still would have had a different Pokemon for her battle against Zoey.

Aipom--Ambipom: Dawn should have kept Ambipom. Having Ambipom quickly leave Contests in favor of Pokemon Pinball was such a terrible decision. It really made it seem like only Buizel got the better end of the trade in the end. Ambipom deserved to get to the Grand Festival way more than Togekiss did. I would have just given Ambipom a couple of new moves to help make its appeals and battles more refreshing.

Cyndaquil--Quilava--Typhlosion: Now I don't think that Ambipom was replaced to make room for Cyndaquil, mainly because Dawn didn't even have a full team until right before the Grand Festival, so there was room for both of these Pokemon at the same time. I'm sure that I'm biased here when Cyndaquil was my first starter Pokemon and I loved the HG/SS arc as it was too, but I liked seeing Dawn with Cyndaquil. It was nice to see her raise a Pokemon from an egg. As cool as it would be for her to raise a Togepi instead, I think that Dawn needed a Fire type for her team and I really liked her Cyndaquil too. The only changes that I'd make are that I'd have it evolve during DP instead of in a special and maybe save its evolution into Typhlosion for Dawn's return in BW. Again, I'm biased here, but Typhlosion really needs all the anime appearances it can get.

Iris's team would also be pretty much reworked from the ground up.:

Axew--Fraxture: As temping as it is for Axew to fully evolve, I think just having Axew evolve into Fraxture would have been fine. It would still give Iris something to work towards after BW and ideally it would have felt earned if they made Axew gradually become stronger over the course of the series instead of giving it a bunch of broken moves out of nowhere.

Druddigon: I think that this would have been a better choice than giving Iris an overpowered Dragonite. It doesn't evolve, but it can still look tough and powerful.

Deino--Zweilous: A part of me thinks that it might be over kill to give Iris all of the non-Legendary Dragon Pokemon in Unova, but the anime had the bright idea to give her a Dragon Master goal when so few Dragon types were introduced in that generation. Plus, I actually thought that her episode with taking care of another trainer's Deino was pretty good. Or at least I don't recall being frustrated with it as much as virtually all of the other Iris focused episodes in BW, so having her raise another small Dragon type alongside Axew could be interesting.

Excadrill would mostly stay the same, although I think its disobedience arc would have been improved upon and I'd alter its backstory with Iris so that she wouldn't come off as such a gifted young trainer. I don't have much of an opinion on her Gible, mostly because I never saw the special where she caught it, but I wouldn't be against her catching it in BW proper. Four Pokemon would probably be enough with Iris's goal in mind though.

I'm pretty much fine with Cilan's team, but I really like the idea of Cilan catching Emolga instead of Iris. Iris getting Emolga felt so forced and ultimately unnecessary. It didn't really help with Iris' goal or make her look like a better trainer. I think that they just wanted the new girl to get the newest Electric rodent after Pachirisu worked so well for Dawn. I didn't mind Cilan's Stunfisk, but I'd be okay with Cilan getting Emolga instead or just catching both of them.

I'm pretty content with the teams for the XY companions. If I had to give Serena a fourth Pokemon though, I'd give her a Skiddo. Even though Serena didn't like training to be a Ryhorn Racer, it would have been interesting to see her possibly use those skills with a Skiddo in her Showcase performances. I also really liked the episode where Serena defeated her mother in a Skiddo race. It's one of her best episodes in my opinion and having that episode build up to another episode where she captures her own Skiddo would have been neat. Plus, I think Skiddo is cute and should have been featured more in the anime in either Serena or Ash's teams. I ultimately think that three Pokemon was the best amount for Serena's goal in mind, but a fourth Pokemon wouldn't have hurt and it could have made it easier for Serena to have different performance combinations in mind. The only change I'd make for Clemont's team is to give Luxio a bit more to do before it evolved.

I was fine with the SM teams too. Almost none of them were battle active, so they didn't need more Pokemon. I kind of would have liked for Kiawe to get his Marowak as a Cubone though. He was the only cast member aside from Ash with a battle active goal, so raising a Cubone into an Alolan Marowak would have worked. Plus, it would have been interesting to see a regular Cubone evolve into an Alolan Marowak. I'd be fine with Lana still getting Sandy too. Much like Brock's Mudkip, the problem was more on how Sandy had virtually nothing to do rather than being caught by Lana, so just giving it some screentime that wasn't in Lana's arms would have been fine.
 

Rainbow-Rain

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On the topic of Dawn's Buneary I think the reason why it didn't evolve into a Lopunny had less to do with it's marketability and crush on Pikachu and more to do with the fact that Lopunny's design is arguably.... Well somewhat Risque tbh

While I don't think it was designed for "THAT" specific purpose I can see why the writers wouldn't have it on the main cast.
 

Enzo

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On the topic of Dawn's Buneary I think the reason why it didn't evolve into a Lopunny had less to do with it's marketability and crush on Pikachu and more to do with the fact that Lopunny's design is arguably.... Well somewhat Risque tbh

While I don't think it was designed for "THAT" specific purpose I can see why the writers wouldn't have it on the main cast.
While I CAN see that... I think that, universe-wise, I do think Dawn's ''opposites'' type of Contest style was something very proeminent on her perfomances. Like how she uses fire and ice types moves together, or ice and electric. And since she has some small Pokemon (Piplup, Buneary, Pachirisu) also being paired with Mamoswine (who's a VERY big pokemon) and latter Togekiss. Idk, I think this perfomance style is Very ''Dawn''. Like how Nando used a lot of music and sound-based moves on his, and Jessie used a lot of poison.
 

GrookeyFan77

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Misty
Staryu->Starmie
No Starmie, instead Staryu evolves in Johto
Make her have Psyduck in EP001
Horsea->Seadra
No stupid Goldeen fish.
I'll keep Politoed Togetic Corsola Gyarados but no Azurill and Luvdisc.
Brock
Same but no Comfey and Marshtomp. Ash catches Mudkip and it becomes an OP gag Pokemon.
May
All of May's Pokemon other than Munchlax and Blaziken suck. This will have the most changes.
Blaziken and Munchlax are same
Beautifly and Skitty
Same but give them more screentime and personality.
Ralts->Kirlia->Gardevoir
I was suprised when she never caught a Gardevoir.
Max would have the Ralts kinda like Dedenne.
Eevee->Glaceon
May will catch it WAAAAY earlier and it will have personality.
Swablu->Altaria
I'll have May catch that one Swablu in that EP, I was suprised when she did not catch it.
Dawn
Same but no disgrace of a Quilava instead Ambipom stays and Togekiss get's more screentime.
Iris
No Dragonite.
Axew->Fraxure
Evolves very late, probably around BW140
Deino->Zwelious
WHY IRIS NO ZWEILOUS?
Druddigon
More Dragons yey!
Cilan is same, but Emolga replaces Stunfisk.
Serena same but she catches Skiddo
Clemont is same but travels with Heliolisk
Bonnie is same
Alola is same but no Eevee instead Araquanid.
Goh no crybaby Sobble, Ash catches it instead.
Chloe is same
Also, I feel there should be one of these for rivals/Team Rocket. I could make em if no one's up to it.
I'll do it.
Which changes would you do in any of Ash's rivals' and Team Rocket's teams? I did it.
 
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Ghost Diplocaulus

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Yeah, if we're gonna let fanart influence our choices then by that logic Gardevoir, Lucario, and really any Pokemon that's a conventionally pretty humanoid or an anthropomorphic animal would be completely off-limits.

I mean, Tsareena is also a "risque" Pokemon and that didn't stop Mallow from having one.
 

Nicolas721

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Kanto Misty: Not use Goldeen or Starmie. Keep Horsea.
Johto Misty: Use the Fast ball in Poliwag, get Corsola earlier, send Horsea to the gym.
Kanto Brock: Evolve Zubat.
Johto Brock: Send Geodude and Onix home. Use the heavy ball in Shuckle.
Hoenn Brock: Evolve Mudkip earlier.
Sinnoh Brock: Evolve Happiny earlier, catch Rhyhorn.
BF May: Evolve Eevee.
Dawn: KEEP THE ***** AMBIPOM. Evolve Cyndaquil & Buneary, Not catch Togekiss.
Iris: Evolve Axew to Fraxure, catch Dragonite as a Dragonair.
Cilan: Not catch Stunfisk, catch Duosion and evolve it to Reuniclus.
Clemont: Replace Bunnelby with Heliolisk.
Lillie: Catch Zoroark around the middle of the series and share it with Gladion.
Sophocles: Catch Meltan instead of Ash.
Lana: Evolve Eevee to Vaporeon, even if it's just for the final episodes.
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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I'd be fine with Lana still getting Sandy too. Much like Brock's Mudkip, the problem was more on how Sandy had virtually nothing to do rather than being caught by Lana, so just giving it some screentime that wasn't in Lana's arms would have been fine.
Sorry to be a nitpicking nancy, but how exactly would you fix Sandy's problems when he was introduced so goshdarn late (and no, unfortunately he can't really be introduced earlier because Sandy was meant to be Let's Go promotion, so he'd have to appear close to those games' release)? You agreed with my choice to give Emolga to Cilan based on the electric squirrel not doing anything really substantial for Iris's character or goal, and that's something that also applies for Lana catching Sandy: Lana was not benefitted in any way from having him in her team, and everyone's discussed at length how outright detrimental it was for Sandy to be caught by Lana. I mean, at least Emolga got actual screentime.

Sorry if I'm coming off as rude, but I kinda would like to see you expand on this because I'm genuinely intrigued at how you'd fix this or why you think that's a fitting catch, as the only reasonings I can see for Eevee being a fitting Pokemon for Lana is because she's a main girl (which to me feels extremely flimsy at best, since that really shouldn't be an iron-clad law to be followed to the letter every single time. Plus, there were multiple main girls in Alola, so why exactly is Eevee better off with Lana than Mallow or Lillie?) and that it can evolve into Vaporeon (which, if we're gonna use this logic, then literally any of Ash's Alola companions could have caught it, since they all specialize in types that Eevee can evolve into)
 

Hidden Mew

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Sorry to be a nitpicking nancy, but how exactly would you fix Sandy's problems when he was introduced so goshdarn late (and no, unfortunately he can't really be introduced earlier because Sandy was meant to be Let's Go promotion, so he'd have to appear close to those games' release)? You agreed with my choice to give Emolga to Cilan based on the electric squirrel not doing anything really substantial for Iris's character or goal, and that's something that also applies for Lana catching Sandy: Lana was not benefitted in any way from having him in her team, and everyone's discussed at length how outright detrimental it was for Sandy to be caught by Lana. I mean, at least Emolga got actual screentime.

Sorry if I'm coming off as rude, but I kinda would like to see you expand on this because I'm genuinely intrigued at how you'd fix this or why you think that's a fitting catch, as the only reasonings I can see for Eevee being a fitting Pokemon for Lana is because she's a main girl (which to me feels extremely flimsy at best, since that really shouldn't be an iron-clad law to be followed to the letter every single time. Plus, there were multiple main girls in Alola, so why exactly is Eevee better off with Lana than Mallow or Lillie?) and that it can evolve into Vaporeon (which, if we're gonna use this logic, then literally any of Ash's Alola companions could have caught it, since they all specialize in types that Eevee can evolve into)

Don't worry. I don't think that you came off as rude, but I appreciate the concern. I can understand the confusion when Sandy didn't really do much of anything. Part of the reason why I'd still be in favor of Lana catching it is because I thought it had a good capture episode. People were upset at the time that Ash didn't catch Eevee and while I can understand wanting Ash to get it instead, the episode showed Popplio and Eevee bonding pretty well to the point where Lana wanting to capture it felt believable. Having good capture episodes can help make a Pokemon standout more, even if it is handled poorly afterwards. That's a big reason why I'd still want Brock to keep Mudkip. Plus, out of all of the SM girls, I think Lana was probably the best choice to get an Eevee. None of the girls were battle active in SM, including Lana despite getting Primarina, but I don't think getting Sandy would have really benefited Lillie or Mallow either. Lillie didn't really have much of a goal between overcoming her fear of Pokemon and mastering her Z-Move with Snowy. Mallow's goal barely involved Pokemon and for some reason, she didn't consider making food that's great for people and Pokemon until her own kind of trail late into the series. I still don't think Lana was particularly battle active, but it would be easier to put her in battles than Lillie or Mallow by comparison.

I don't think that the problem was that Sandy ended up with Lana. I don't think it would have been significantly better under any of the other characters' care, including Ash given his SM team was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of screentime and development. The problem was just not having anything to do. The comparison with Emolga is understandable. You can make a good argument that both captures are just tacked on cute marketable Pokemon for the current girls in the main casts. But I don't think Emolga really got that much screentime, mainly because I still forget that Iris even caught one from time to time. Plus, it didn't really amount to anything despite being caught much earlier than Sandy. It really stands out the least among all of her other Pokemon, even though that's mainly because I find Iris' team immensely frustrating and poorly written from top to bottom. Sandy didn't progress Lana's goal, but most of the goals in SM were pretty weak in my opinion. Lana wanted to travel the ocean floor in Popplio's bubble. There isn't much to make something like that compelling. They could have given Sandy at least the Water type move from Let's Go Eevee though. That would have connected with it enjoying the water, made it stand out and could have resulted in Lana using Sandy in some interesting ways whenever she did battle. Sandy getting all of the Elemental moves would have been neat, but I think at least a Water type move would have been enough.

I also don't really see the need to evolve Sandy. I can understand why people wanted that, even if it was just for the end of SM, but I think just giving her a Vaporeon would have been kind of boring. Not to mention it would kind of be weird with the Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee promotion in mind. Getting Sandy earlier would have been more ideal, but like you mentioned, they were kind of limited to that time frame due to Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee promotion. I just think giving Sandy a bit more screentime and learning the Water type move from Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee would have made it better. Giving it to another character wouldn't have really worked and I don't think it needed to be removed entirely. The worst thing about Sandy in my opinion was that it got nothing to do after being hyped up, not that Lana caught it, so getting more to do after Lana caught it would have ideally made the capture feel more justified and earned.
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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Don't worry. I don't think that you came off as rude, but I appreciate the concern. I can understand the confusion when Sandy didn't really do much of anything. Part of the reason why I'd still be in favor of Lana catching it is because I thought it had a good capture episode. People were upset at the time that Ash didn't catch Eevee and while I can understand wanting Ash to get it instead, the episode showed Popplio and Eevee bonding pretty well to the point where Lana wanting to capture it felt believable. Having good capture episodes can help make a Pokemon standout more, even if it is handled poorly afterwards. That's a big reason why I'd still want Brock to keep Mudkip. Plus, out of all of the SM girls, I think Lana was probably the best choice to get an Eevee. None of the girls were battle active in SM, including Lana despite getting Primarina, but I don't think getting Sandy would have really benefited Lillie or Mallow either. Lillie didn't really have much of a goal between overcoming her fear of Pokemon and mastering her Z-Move with Snowy. Mallow's goal barely involved Pokemon and for some reason, she didn't consider making food that's great for people and Pokemon until her own kind of trail late into the series. I still don't think Lana was particularly battle active, but it would be easier to put her in battles than Lillie or Mallow by comparison.

I don't think that the problem was that Sandy ended up with Lana. I don't think it would have been significantly better under any of the other characters' care, including Ash given his SM team was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of screentime and development. The problem was just not having anything to do. The comparison with Emolga is understandable. You can make a good argument that both captures are just tacked on cute marketable Pokemon for the current girls in the main casts. But I don't think Emolga really got that much screentime, mainly because I still forget that Iris even caught one from time to time. Plus, it didn't really amount to anything despite being caught much earlier than Sandy. It really stands out the least among all of her other Pokemon, even though that's mainly because I find Iris' team immensely frustrating and poorly written from top to bottom. Sandy didn't progress Lana's goal, but most of the goals in SM were pretty weak in my opinion. Lana wanted to travel the ocean floor in Popplio's bubble. There isn't much to make something like that compelling. They could have given Sandy at least the Water type move from Let's Go Eevee though. That would have connected with it enjoying the water, made it stand out and could have resulted in Lana using Sandy in some interesting ways whenever she did battle. Sandy getting all of the Elemental moves would have been neat, but I think at least a Water type move would have been enough.

I also don't really see the need to evolve Sandy. I can understand why people wanted that, even if it was just for the end of SM, but I think just giving her a Vaporeon would have been kind of boring. Not to mention it would kind of be weird with the Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee promotion in mind. Getting Sandy earlier would have been more ideal, but like you mentioned, they were kind of limited to that time frame due to Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee promotion. I just think giving Sandy a bit more screentime and learning the Water type move from Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee would have made it better. Giving it to another character wouldn't have really worked and I don't think it needed to be removed entirely. The worst thing about Sandy in my opinion was that it got nothing to do after being hyped up, not that Lana caught it, so getting more to do after Lana caught it would have ideally made the capture feel more justified and earned.
I guess I can see that. Part of the problem was also that every Lana-centric episode after Sandy's capture was more focused on Popplio's development, so it would have been a good idea to have Popplio evolve into at least the Brionne stage before Sandy enters the main cast so that way there'd be room for the Eevee to do something afterwards now that there'd be some vacancy. The goals of the Alola gang barring Lillie's and Kiawe's in general needed a complete overhaul. Lana for example could have had the goal of studying marine wildlife or perhaps become a professional surfer (which would have tied in neatly to her Popplio learning Surf and Sandy effectively using the Mantine surfing sidequest to arrive at Alola), an activity that in the Pokemon world feels really easy to incorporate the eponymous creatures themselves into, as seen with Brawley, who even used surfing to train his. Another way to give Sandy more screentime would be to make the second round of the Alola League a 2v2, which would in itself completely solve the "Sandy didn't even get a single notable onscreen battle" problem, even if he would have more than likely ended up not taking out any of Guzma's Pokemon, so long as he actually put up a good fight. Emolga didn't do much either, but she did at least get a couple of onscreen battles, including one where she managed to beat Stephan's Sawk. Sandy needed something like that at the bare minimum.

I guess removing Sandy entirely might be going a bit overboard, but like I said, Illima had an Eevee already, and to me it feels a lot more practical to just use a single character to cover everything than distribute roles that ultimately result in everyone's screentime being minimized. Besides, two major characters (Illima isn't exactly a main character, but he did have enough appearances to qualify as more then just a recurring extra. He did do way more than Hau, after all, and Hau's supposed to be a main rival) having Eevees at the same time feels like a bit too much for me. Don't get me wrong, I love Eevee, but even I would say that's a bit of oversaturation, so if Sandy has to stay then I'd say make Illima's main Pokemon something else and have Sandy be the one to use Extreme Evoboost. I get that Lana getting two exclusive Z-Moves might feel like too much, but again, that'd give Sandy something to do so I wouldn't mind. In short, just have one Eevee that covers everything promotion-related for maximum efficiency. I know its impossible in the games to have both Partner Moves and Z-Moves at the same time, but the anime has always played fast and loose with game rules anyway, often in way more egregious ways than combining game mechanics.

I will admit that another part of the reason I'm against Lana getting an Eevee is something wholly personal in that I just... don't think that particular species fits her. I know that Eevee's an extremely easy Pokemon to slap onto any team due to how versatile and marketable it is, but even with that I don't think it's going to fit just about every character in existence, and Lana just so happens to be one of them. This is mainly because in the games Lana's choice of Pokemon are some very bizarre and unorthodox species like Wishiwashi and Araquanid, and the fact that the anime opted to give her a more stereotypically cutesy team is something that for some reason really rubs me the wrong way (now don't get me wrong, I don't have any issues with girl characters catching conventionally cute Pokemon or even filling whole teams with them, but the act of girlifying a tomboy just feels really iffy to me. I just don't see why we can't have both tomboys and girly girls in the main cast, especially since Lillie and Mallow were already plenty girly in the games, so really there was no reason to not keep Lana as a tomboy who was really fond of gigantic aquatic spiders and eerie swarms of fish that acted as a single creature). I give Primarina a pass because at least it's typing is the one Lana specializes in and also because, as a starter, it obviously has to be showcased somehow, so having the Water specialist use it as her main Pokemon feels apt. Another thing that doesn't help is the fact that they decided to give Lana an Eevee that obviously wouldn't evolve because of Let's Go promotion when the type she specializes in is far and away one of the most common ones in the game, and the Alola series didn't even have the excuse that the cast was limited to Gen 7 Pokemon only like the BW cast was (hence why I tend to be more lenient with Iris catching non-Dragons, since her options were severely limited anyway. Not to mention that her specialty type is far rarer in general), so I admit I find it a bit infuriating that the only catch Lana got during the whole series was something not even of her specialty type when there was literally no shortage of options to give to her.

...wow, this got long. Sorry XD it's just that Sandy is one of the more frustrating characters in recent Pokemon anime memory for me due to how badly they dropped the ball with him. I feel kinda bad dunking on Sandy all the time since the problems with him are completely story-based than character-based: I actually found him to be really adorable in the shorts leading up to his debut, so it's not like it's even the poor thing's fault. What's even worse is that with Chloe's Eevee doing a far better job at representing Partner Eevee in a single episode than Sandy ever did during his entire tenure in the Alola saga, the latter's capture and position as part of the main cast just feels even more pointless and superfluous in hindsight than it already was.
 
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Eitarou

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Part of me wonders if Sandy was conceived as an Ash-mon, but they started doing changes once they were told about Meltan and Melmetal. Maybe some higher-ups forced the change so they could promote the games.
 

nickdt

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Brock: In Kanto, i would let Geodude evolve into Graveler. In Johto, i would have given him that baby Stantler, but he would also get a Corsola and participate in the Whirl Cup (Misty gets enother water type). For Hoenn, i would give Brock one additional Pokemon - Nosepass, which he receives from Roxanne after helping her and the school get rid of Team Rocket. At the Battle Frontier, May and Ash aren't the only ones receiving new Pokemon or evolutions. I would let Graveler evolve into Golem and give Brock a Sandslash. He still receives the same Pokemon in Sinnoh, but obviously, with an additional evolution for Nosepass into Probopass.

Misty: Like people already said before, there is no point she has 2 Pokemon of the Staryu line. However, i would let Misty start out with Staryu and later on let it evolve into a Starmie. Still giving her 2 Pokemon early on, Poliwag replaces Starmie as her second Pokemon. The rest of her team stays relatively the same, although she would get a Krabby instead of Ash and the Krabby evolves into a Kingler during the Orange Islands Arc. In Johto, Misty doesn't get Corsola. Instead, she gets a Wooper, to be faithful to the Gold and Silver games, where she has a Quagsire in her team. Both Wooper and Poliwhirl evolve in Johto. In Hoenn, during the Battle Frontier to be exact, she will showcase Wingull on her party and Caserin the Luvdisc in the pool back in the Gym and Horsea in the meantime has evolved into Seadra (Seadra replaces Azurill, however, she will still get one, but later on). In the Alola-Kanto Arc, Misty shows she has received an Azurill egg from Tracey. When Brock and Misty show up in Alola, Misty shows that the egg has hatched in Azurill.

I will do the other ones later.
 
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Misty:
-Staryu > Starmie
-Horsea > Seadra > Kingdra
-Psyduck
-Togepi > Togetic
-Wooper > Quagsire
-Corsola

Gym:
-Magikarp > Gyarados
-Poliwag > Poliwhirl

Kingdra would be swapped with Gyarados after she leaves the main cast.

Brock (Kanto):
-Onix
-Geodude
-Zubat > Golbat > Crobat
-Vulpix
-Pineco > Forretress
-Stantler

Brock (Hoenn)
-Vulpix
-Lotad > Lombre > Ludicolo
-Mudkip > Marshtomp > Swampert (becomes Marshtomp in Hoenn and Swampert in BF)
-Aron > Lairon
-Shroomish > Breloom
-Bonsly

Brock (Sinnoh)
-Vulpix
-Bonsy > Sudowoodo
-Croagunk
-Shieldon > Bastiodon
-Happiny > Chansey

He also still gets Comfey in Alola

May (Hoenn):
-Torchic > Combusken
-Wurple > Silcoon > Beautifly
-Skitty > Delcatty
-Ralts (she would just catch it for Max to keep but it would still take up a slot in her team)
-Swablu > Altaria
-Bulbasaur

May (Battle Frontier):
-Combusken > Blaziken
-Altaria
-Ralts
-Squirtle
-Munchlax
-Eevee

Dawn:
-Piplup
-Buneary > Lopunny
-Pachirisu
-Magby
-Swinub > Piloswine > Mamoswine
-Togetic > Togekiss

Iris:
-Axew > Fraxure > Haxorus
-Excadrill
-Deino > Zweilous > Hydreigon
-Dragonite
-Druddigon
-Gible


Cilan:
-Pansage
-Sewaddle > Swadloon > Leavanny (basically Ash's Leavanny)
-Emolga
-Dwebble > Crustle

Serena:
-Fennekin > Braixen
-Pansage
-Eevee > Sylveon
-Noibat > Noivern

Clemont:
-Bunnelby
-Chespin
-Dedenne
-Electrike > Manectric > Mega Manetric (would be the same as Luxray but it would mega evolve)
-Heliolisk
-Rotom

Gym:
-Magnemite
-Magneton
-Emolga

Lillie:
-Snowy
-Clefairy
-Alolan Sandshrew

Mallow:
-Bounsweet > Steenee > Tsarena
-Miltank (usually stays at restaurant)
-Fomantis

Lana:
-Popplio > Brionne > Primarina
-Dewpider > Araquanid
-Sandy

Kiawe:
-Charizard
-Turtonator
-Magmar
-Fletchinder
-Alolan Marowak
-Growlithe > Arcanine

Sophocles:
-Togedemaru
-Charjabug > Vikavolt
-Alolan Geodude

Goh (only main team members):
-Scorbunny > Raboot > Cinderace
-Scyther > Scizor
-Grookey
-Cubone
-Pikachu > Raichu
-Aerodactyl

Chloe:
-Eevee
-Galarian Ponyta
-F-Nidoran > Nidorina
-Yamper
 
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cricketlaxwolvesbandy

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Brock: Have him evolve Marshtomp to Swampert
May: Evolve Skitty, leave Bulbasaur as is
Dawn: Keep Ambipom, ditch Cyndaquil
Iris: Evolve Axew during BW and get Hydreigon
Clemont: Bring Heliolisk with him
Serena: Evolve Braixen into Delphox, have her get a Mudkip
 

PkmnTrainerV

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Lillie: Vulpix > Ninetales
Sophocles: Replace Vikavolt with Magneton > Magnezone (Vikavolt goes to Ash in this AU)
Go: Give literally any of the Galar starters to Ash instead of him. I think it could be whatever.
 

CyberKitten05

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I thought of a concept where we go back to Alola and all of the Trial Captains counterparts are now Gym Leaders as part of the Alola League's expansion. I know it's stupid but it gives me an excuse to give full teams for all the Anime Trial Captains.

Kiawe:
Turtonator
Charizard
Alolan Marowak
Salazzle
Houndoom
Camerupt

Lana:
Primarina
Lapras
Vaporeon
Araquanid
Wishiwashi
Gyarados

Mallow:
Tsareena
Lurantis
Shiinotic
Shaymin
Tropius
Roserade

Fat Clemont:
Togedemaru
Vikavolt
Alolan Golem
Magnezone
Manectric
Stunfisk

Acerola:
Mimikyu ⭐
Palossand
Banette
Gengar
Dusknoir
Trevenant

Ilima:
Eevee
Smeargle
Mega Kangaskhan
Gumshoos
Kecleon
Furfrou

Mina:
Ribombee
Granbull
Wigglytuff
Mawile
Gardevoir
Comfey
 
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