Which Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Gym Leader Is Easiest (& Why)

admin2021January 8, 2023

A combination of game mechanics means that one of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Gym Leaders is, without a doubt, the easiest for players to defeat.

Although Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Gym Leaders can be challenged in any order, there is one who is undeniably easier to beat than all the others. The latest Pokémon games allow players to explore Paldea however they please. However, it quickly becomes apparent that there is still an intended order that drastically affects gameplay.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, in keeping with the growing theme of open-world exploration present within the most recent Generations, allow Gyms to be challenged at any time. However, the Gym Leaders’ teams remain static and do not scale in response to the player’s own growing strength. This poses a problem for Scarlet and Violet players in Gyms, as it shows a ‘correct’ order still exists. Moreover, deviation from this order can see a player finding themselves to be either over-leveled or under-leveled for any given Gym battle. To ensure that Gyms remain challenging, players must therefore either capture new Pokémon or follow the optimal order regardless of their technical freedom.


Related: Pokémon Scarlet & Violet’s Open World Has A Big Leveling Problem

Katy Is The Weakest Gym Leader in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Gym Leader Katy preparing to battle in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

If players leave Mesagoza by its western gate, as Nemona urges them to in the early stages of the game, then in all likelihood the first Gym they challenge will be the Cortondo Gym. As such, Cortondo is clearly telegraphed as the intended first stop on Victory Road, one of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s three storylines. Led by the Bug-type user Katy, the Cortondo Gym is undoubtedly the easiest to overcome. Katy’s Pokémon have the lowest levels for any Gym battle, with two (Nymble and Tarountula) at level 14 and one (Teddiursa) at level 15. This clearly makes her team the quickest to train for and defeat.

Katy’s Pokémon Have Major Early-Game Type Disadvantages

Gym Leader Katy upon being defeated in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

In addition to their low levels, Katy’s Pokémon have another key weakness. Bug-type Pokémon are weak to a variety of others, including the Fire-type. This means that players who chose Fuecoco as their starter will have a natural advantage against Katy from the very start of the game, perhaps making it the best starter for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet if focussing on Victory Road. Of course, players do have other options as well; while traveling through South Province (Area 2) to reach Cortondo, players have the chance to catch Fletchling. This is a Pokémon that has an advantage over Katy similar to Fuecoco, with access to both Flying- and Fire-type moves.

Of course, it must be acknowledged that Artazon’s Brassius is nearly identical to Katy in all these areas. Potentially a player’s first Gym Leader should they follow Arven eastward out of Mesagoza, Brassius uses Grass-type Pokémon. These are similarly weak to both Fuecoco and other wild Pokémon found on the journey to Artazon, such as Growlithe and Rookidee. This makes him another one of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s worst Gym Leaders. However, Brassius uses a Petilil and Smoliv, both at level 16, and then a Sudowoodo at level 17. This ultimately makes him slightly stronger than Katy in terms of levels.

Whether players consider levels or the potential Type matchups with readily obtainable Pokémon, it is clear that Katy is the easiest to beat of all the Gym Leaders in Paldea. Her Bug-types are simply too weak to stand up to the average player. Of course, if Scarlet and Violet had implemented level scaling, then encountering Katy later on could have provided a much greater challenge. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case. Although the best Gym feature from Pokémon Sword and Shield, the audience, has been kept in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Gyms have not been improved much further. This leaves Katy undeniably at the bottom of the power rankings.

More: Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Should’ve Used Legends: Arceus’ Best Mechanic

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