The Fluff: Not a Weird Countdown: My Top 5 Elite 4 Members


Hello, my dear PUCLonians, and welcome back to The Fluff! This week we’ll be looking at those guys most of us trample on our way to the Champion, those condemned to have a far worse name in any translation (because “Four Heavenly Kings” is unbeatable), those we deal with mostly by spamming the same move for the highest possible amount of times: the members of the Elite 4!

Some of them are memorable, some… not so much. Some are really hard to beat, some… see my move-spamming comment above. Some of them actually usa a team made up entirely of the Type they claim to represent, some are lying liars who lie (Agatha is a Poison-type Trainer and that’s it).

Some of them are my favorite, and here’s why!

Number 5: Karen


Karen is a less well-developed character than most others on this list, but if you know me, you know why she’s here.

It’s the quote, isn’t it?

Of course it’s the quote, Whimsicott. It’s the quote every desperate, stubborn mule like myself whips out when people try to teach them that no, insisting on bringing a Sunflora to an OU match is NOT a good idea:

Strong Pokémon. Weak Pokémon. That is only the selfish perception of people. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with their favorites. I like your style. You understand what’s important.”

Suddenly we get validation, my fellow mule-headed Trainers! And that much is enough to bring Karen to this Top 5. Bonus points for her saying this after presenting herself as a cool-looking, condescending Trainer of Dark Types (the new, cool, supposedly OP thing in Gen II) and saying she loves them because they’re strong. I love it when characters like this show an unexpected soft side.

Number 4: Flint


Flint may look a tiny bit like Ronald McDonald, which is kind of freaky, but one of the very few things I remember from Gen IV is how great of a friend he was to Volkner. Pretty much every line of dialog he has is about telling the player that they need to bring Volkner’s mojo back by finally giving him a real challenge in a Pokémon battle.

wait a second.

What, Whimsicott?

You’re shipping him and Volkner, aren’t you? Is that the only reason he’s here?

No! I mean, I’m 100% shipping them (that double battle!), but whichever way you want to see things, Flint is such a nice and considerate guy for someone who wants to look boisterous all the time, and who’s supposed to be kind of superficial (Volkner says he chose to be a Fire-type Trainer just because he learned that a flint is used to start a fire). I really like characters who support their friends and are not ashamed to ask for help in order to do so. Way to go, Flint!

Number 3: Malva


Malva makes her way into this Top 5 by having the audacity to be an Elite 4 member who is also part of the region’s evil team… who was in your face the whole time as the face of the Holocaster news, only you didn’t realize it. You’d think this would mean she’s an “all women for themselves” kind of girl, what with her taking advantage of all the opportunities she can find, but in the Looker Missions, she asks you to stop Xerosic, and she helps you with that, because, she says, he’s sullying the honor of Team Flare. She says she and team Flare were doing what they thought was right, but now Xerosic needs to be stopped. Malva is such a strong character! I admire her a lot.

She’s quite stylish, too, and that’s quite an accomplishment for a member of Team Flare.

Well, her pants are way too bold for my taste, but hey, to each their own. Malva manages to be a much more interesting character than the Champion in her region, and what other Elite 4 member can say that?

Number 2: Phoebe


I know, Phoebe is perhaps less interesting than all other characters here, but I just like her a lot, OK? I love all her contrasts: she’s a happy, bubbly young girl wearing cheerful Hawaiian beach attire and giant flowers in her hair… but she’s a Ghost-type Trainer who communicates with said Ghosts and says her strategy is to confound enemies with “indefinable” Pokémon.

Well, then her attitude and looks may all be part of her strategy, right?

I suppose so, but it’s still fascinating, you know? I’m also a fan of her nice relationship with her grandmother, and I like the thought of her cheerful self training all the time on gloomy, spooky Mt. Pyre. Bonus points for her room at the Elite 4 giving us the super-creepy ghost girl scene in ORAS! That was so cool. And scary.

Number 1: Lance


This might be a bit of an overrated or common choice, but at least I think I like Lance for slightly different reasons than most.

How so?

Well, usually people like Lance because he’s all cool and strong and, like, The Father of Dragons. My reasons for liking him have more to do with his attitude when he joins forces with you to neat Team Rocket in Johto, and with his dorky obsession with capes (which he buys at the Department Store).

Yeah, that detail is just too precious.

Yes! And you know, in spite of being a super B.A. who goes around having his Dragonite Hyper Beaming people, he’s very considerate of all Pokémon, and he insists that you take all the credit for stopping Team Rocket with him, saying that the player is the hero. At the very beginning of this plot, he says: “I’m Lance, a trainer like you”. That’s quite humble, isn’t it? I really like that. And so it’s not Lance who cheats and evolves his Dragonite too early and curb-stomps people who’s my favorite; my favorite is Lance who is humble and buys dorky capes in the store and probably has to cope with his cousin Clair’s whining on a regular basis.


What about you, my dear PUCLonians? Do you have a favorite Elite 4 member? Do you think my choices are silly? Do you also think Flint and Volkner make a very cute couple? Let me know in the comments, or you can wait to tell Snag in his Anything Goes article next week!

Until next time,

The Fluffiest Whimsicott


I discovered Pokémon at 17 and never looked back (thanks, Team Rocket, for making the anime more fun and making me want to pick up the game). I'm now 31 and I'm not in the least ashamed to still love Pokémon... especially Grass types! I'm from Italy, so time zones will be a thing if we want to battle or trade. Sorry in advance. Trivia: my first Pokémon ever was a Charmander.

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