Pokemon: Making The Perfect Gen III Team

Generation III of Pokemon introduced a lot of fun and powerful fighters that made PVE runs a breeze and changed the metas of PVP. Also notable for this generation is that a starter Pokemon ended up becoming a staple for competitive matches.

If you want to build a fun offensive team to breeze through any gym battle in the story or if you’re looking to kick butt in the competitive arena, than this team should do the trick. To no one’s surprise Leftovers are a good default held item though some exceptions like Choice Band will be explored. It should also be noted that this team won’t include any legendary Pokemon as some competitions bar their use and most players will already have effective counters for them.

Updated December 27th, 2020 by Tanner Kinney: Hoenn Pokemon, aside having some of the most iconic designs in the series, are also capable fighters. Even some of the underappreciated Pokemon have their edge cases and can shine in the right environment. Pelipper is a big example of this glow-up, becoming a mandatory member of any self-respecting Rain team. However, there are plenty of other effective options from Gen III to include in any team composition, even a Gen III exclusive team. If the main six Pokemon here don’t entice you, we’ve added four alternative options that serve as substitutes (or outright replacements) for the perfect Gen III team.

10 Swellow

Swellow is, one its surface, just another early-level bird Pokemon. However, it’s an interesting Pokemon with a couple of options for builds that it can pull off. The first is a tried-and-true build that Swellow ran with for the earlier generations. Using its ability in Guts, Swellow can equip a Toxic Orb and go to town with STAB Facade at a high speed tier. However, its movepool lacks coverage for bulky rock and steel-types.

An alternative, and the most prevalent, build for this bird now uses its Hidden Ability, Scrappy. This allows it to bust ghost-types with high powered Boombursts, an egg move it learns. This, combined with Choice Specs, can make Swellow quite the powerhouse. It still requires support in the form of trap removal, but it ends up being a serious threat.

9 Flygon

Flygon is often overshadowed by the universally more effective Salamance, but still can pack a heck of a punch. Levitate is a great ability, and its movepool works great with its strong attack stat. It also has a respectable speed stat, allowing it to work well offensively with and without a Choice Scarf.

However, Flygon isn’t a one-trick pony. Levitate just so happens to also work incredibly well in combination with Defog, allowing it to clear Stealth Rocks at no risk to its health. It even gets access to Roost, which is perfect to give it some recovery in longer battles. It still has some glaring weaknesses, particularly since its defensive typing is just outright worse than other dragon-types. It might not be the staple of a team, but it is a great supportive option.

8 Milotic

Milotic, on its surface, is just another bulky water-type. It has a very solid statline that leaves it without too many obvious weaknesses, although its offensive presence is lacking. The unique part of Milotic comes in the set of moves it can bring, along with its two great abilities. The most common set for singles uses Marvel Scale and a traditional defensive statline and moveset. It can put out solid damage and keep itself healthy with Recover.

The more interesting set for Milotic is in double battles, where it gets a chance to really shine. Intimidate is a common ability in double battles purely because of the value it has, and Milotic packs the ability Competitive. This gives it a free boost to special attack upon getting a stat lowered. Getting hit by one Intimidate gives Milotic enough of a boost to actually be a serious offensive threat. If you’re looking for a doubles partner, Milotic is a great catch.

7 Blaziken

Blaziken is the best Pokemon in the entirety of the Hoenn region. It makes Rayquaza quake in fear, Groudon and Kyogre sweat when it rolls up. It was always a threat, boasting great offensive stats only hindered by underwhelming speed and a useless ability. However, Black and White changed both of those with the addition of its Hidden Ability, the absurdly busted Speed Boost. This sent the flaming chicken from pretty good to literally legendary tier.

Blaziken has a pretty standard moveset, taking three attacking moves and a supportive move in their Protect or Swords Dance. It does need to take Low Kick to check some of the heavyweights in the Uber tier, but Flare Blitz and Stone Edge provide a high-power core to its set. And, at least currently, it hasn’t been sent to Uber-prison in Sword and Shield’s metagame. Invest in Blaziken now before it’s too late to farm the easiest wins.

6 Ninjask

Ninjask should be your starting Pokemon as he will open up with Baton Pass to enhance one of your heavy hitters. His high speed makes him ideally suited for this task as he’s pretty much guaranteed to get the first turn. Leftovers will give Ninjask some longevity to apply more stats boost, though a Leichi Berry or Starf Berry can be used to squeeze out a few more stats just before making the switch.

Substitute is used to hide the frail bug-type Ninjask behind a more durable Pokemon while the player boosts its stats with Silver Wind and Swords Dance. Though Silver Wind can be swapped for Hidden Power Flying to get some surprise hits in. Once the stats are high enough or Ninjask’s health is low enough Baton Pass in another Pokemon and enjoy the enhanced stats.

5 Swampert

Swampert is the aforementioned starter that’s an absolute beast in competitive matches and can carry teams in PVE. It’s a strong defensive Pokemon that packs quite the punch. Ideally, this is the Pokemon you want Ninjask to Baton Pass to. For a held item use Leftovers to keep Swampert in the game as long as possible to bring the pain.

Earthquake and Ice Beam are no brainers as they can counter a lot and do impressive damage. Roar is nice for disrupting your opponent’s strategy, though this can be swapped for Protect to give your Swampert time to heal with Leftovers. For the final slot chose either Hydro Pump, Surf, Toxic, or Curse and which you pick is largely based on what you expect to be countering, though Toxic pairs well with Protect if you go that route.

4 Metagross

Metagross is a powerhouse wildcard that can obliterate your opponent’s best fighters or severely injure key players when used correctly. Metagross is all about maximizing damage and should be outfitted with a Choice Band to increase that damage to ridiculous levels with powerful attacks.

There are really only a few moves you should consider using with Metagross. Meteor Mash is an excellent STAB attack, especially when coupled with Choice Band and can do some serious damage, Earthquake can tear apart opposing Metagross, and Explosion can be used to rip apart MVPs on your opponent’s team. You want Metagross to live as long as possible to dish out damage, but don’t be afraid to sacrifice it when a golden opportunity arises for you to use Explosion. Really the only consideration to be made is whether you want Metagross to use Rock Slide to smash legendary birds or Hidden Power Bug to counter an annoying Celebi.

3 Salamence

Salamence is your sweeper and does a fantastic job at it. Because it’s a Flying/Dragon type it has resistances to Fighting and Bug moves which enable it to go toe to toe with competitive staples like Heracross. You might be tempted to give Salamence a Choice Band, but you want it to be capable of switching gears as new Pokemon get thrown at it so just slap on some Leftovers and leave it alone.

Salamence is good at the beginning of a battle with a Baton Pass or towards the end when everything is weakened. Dragon Dance is used to nudge its stats up so you can deliver powerful moves like Hidden Power Flying, Earthquake and either Rock Slide or Fire Blast. Go with Rock Slide if you’re facing legendary birds or another Salamence and choose Fire Blast if you expect something else.

2 Aggron

Aggron is a sturdy Rock/Steel type that can fill in for Swampert if it’s fainted or you need to counter something dangerous. It has a great attack stat that you’ll want to exploit and its typing ensures few foes will get a good bonus against it, though watch out for Ground and Fighting types. Leftovers is the item you want as Choice Band limits your options when you need them.

Rock Slide is nice for flying types, Ice Beam will freeze nasty foes, and Focus Punch can humble even the most durable Water types, like opposing Swamperts. Substitute is handy for giving Aggron some sustainability. Basically you want Aggron to keep the enemy on their toes and take care of any problems that Swampert or Megatross couldn’t get to. Just keep an eye out for really solid tanks that have Rest or other means of recovering damage. Reflecting Solrocks are also an effective counter, though not very common.

1 Gardevoir

Gardevoir can fill a variety of roles and many use it to act as an effective sweeper. But with this team setup it acts as a pseudo healer, providing a little bit of support and acting as a special wall with teeth. Having Leftovers equipped is absolutely necessary for sustainability so Gardevoir can have more time to heal teammates or harm foes.

Wish is the healing move of choice and requires a well-planned lineup. You’re only going to bring Gardevoir out if that particular Pokemon slot needs healing, otherwise it’s a last resort stall. Psychic is a must for dealing effective damage and either Ice Punch or Thunderbolt is the other attack of choice. Which one you choose entirely depends on what you need Gardevoir to counter. The final move is Protect so Gardevoir can recover with Leftovers. The name of the game is healing allies, recovering from damage, and dishing out what it can before it ultimately falls.

Next: 10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade, Ranked

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Starting with a secret copy of Warcraft II on his parent’s Windows 95, Ben has developed a lifelong obsession with video games. Drawn to darker and more horrifying games, he enjoys diving into the lore, secrets, philosophies, and complex characters found in those grim worlds. His only hope is there are other odd balls out there who are also attracted to the writhing things found in the digital void.

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