Saturday, 29 August 2015

How to: Be a Pokemon Gym Leader

Ever dreamt of running your own Pokemon Gym? Currently running a Gym but wondering how to improve your Gym Leader skills? Then this is the right place for you! Whether you're a newbie, play some serious VGC Pokemon tournament matches or just want to for fun, this guide has been designed to be simple enough for any aspiring Gym Leader to follow.
Kanto gym leaders by Anime5ful on DeviantArt

Step 1: Choose your specialty
First thing's first - choose the type of Pokemon you wish to specialise in. You could absolutely or maybe you're a bug catcher who took his obsession a step further.
If you are unsure of what type to specialise in it's recommended you have a think about:
    • What type of Pokemon would best suit your personality? If you're a bit of a hot-head or energetic go-getter maybe fire or electric Pokemon are your thing. If you're cool and like things calm maybe grass or water is your thing. 
    • Is there any Pokemon that may suit other aspects of you such as your personal style or job? For example if you tend to like lolita fashion perhaps fairy Pokemon would be your thing but if you're more goth then perhaps consider dark or ghost types. If you're in a particular profession there might be Pokemon which would come into the theme e.g. being a florist and specialising in grass types.
    • What Pokemon do you usually most often? Chances are you may already have a preference for one type of Pokemon in particular. 
Step 2: Prepare your team
You've chosen a type of Pokemon to specialise in and now your next step is assembling a team together. Here are some tips for getting a top 6 as well as some rotational Pokemon to use as well as how to ensure your team is the best that it can be:
  • Have at least 10 or so Pokemon in mind for your team. Brainstorm what you think would work best in combinations. 
  • Breed and EV train! You want your team to be as perfect as possible! If you're just a casual Pokemon player breeding and EV training isn't essential but if you want to play VGC it's a must. (EV training guide coming soon to this site)
  • You may not be the very best, the best there ever was, but that's alright! You don't have to be Champion in order to be a gym leader so you're free to spend 80% of your gym budget on potions and full restores if you find you need them.
Step 3: Get the look!
Okay, whilst you may be thinking this part is unnecessary - for the most part Gym Leaders tend to dress in a manner which reflects upon the type of Pokemon they specialise in and let's face it - being a gym leader is really mostly about making a fashion statement. Let's look at some examples shall we?
For example; Clair styles her hair and dresses in a blue body suit reminiscent of Kingdra, one of the Pokemon on her team, and also sticks with capes and which give her away as a dragon type trainer. 

If you want to dress daringly then this your opportunity to go for it! Wallace of Sootopolis City certainly loves taking his outfit a step further from all the other gym leaders.

Step 4: Learn to Talk Like a Gym Leader.
This may seem straightforward but it's a really important step in becoming the best gym leader you can be. You have the look but do you have the attitude to go with it?? If you already talk like a pretentious erudite English major then you probably already have this step covered so you can skip straight to step 5. You have to have a short but memorable and pseudo-inspirational speech ready for when trainers challenge you and if they manage to defeat you so you gotta be prepared to make yourself sound like a pretentious expert! One tip is to go on Tumblr and look up as many pseudo-inspirational quotes as possible and if you're reaaaallly bad at writing just hire a speech writer - don't feel embarrassed since that's what politicians do anyway! 

Step 5: Design Your Gym
Your gym is where all the battles are going to take place and as such you have to make it memorable and relevant. E.g. you don't want a pool in your fire type gym unless it's a pool of lava! Like your outfit, your gym is supposed to be a reflection of you and the type of Pokemon you use. 
If you're designing a Gym in your secret base think carefully about which decorations you'll use and where. Look at the layout of other gyms for inspiration. You usually don't want a challenger to be able to step through the door and walk straight to you without first encountering some obstacles you've placed - where would the fun be in that? 
Here are some Gym Layouts you can use for inspiration:

Saffron City's leader Sabrina specialises in psychic type Pokemon and as such her gym employs a teleportation point puzzle approach to challengers. 
Bugsy of Azalea Town specialises in bug Pokemon and this is reflected with his appropriate use of trees and shrubs as well as a spiderweb puzzle addition to his gym. 
As you have probably noticed many of these gyms also have other trainers the challenger must face prior to facing you and many of these trainers are also specific to the type of gym. For example, in Bugsy's gym many of the trainers will be Bug Catcher trainers who use bug Pokemon similarly to Bugsy. When looking to include other trainers in your gym this is definitely something you must consider. You want trainers who are weaker than you but have a type similar to yours e.g. using Mediums in a ghost type or psychic type gym.

Step 6: Design Your Badge
Last but not least we have designing your badge which is probably one of the most important steps in becoming a gym leader. Remember that every successful challenger who passes through your gym is going to be taking with them one of these badges as your recognition of their skills as a Pokemon trainer so you're going to need to make something which not only symbolises the Pokemon you use but you and your gym as a whole. It has to be bold. It has to be simple. Just keep in mind that people like Gary Oak are going to be showing off about your badge.

Congratulations! You are now well on your way to honing your skills as a gym leader. If you feel like you are confident in your gym leading abilities and would like to progress that big step further stay tuned for our upcoming sequel to How to Become a Gym Leader - How to Be a Member of the Elite 4.

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