Gym Leaders are the classic challenge gauntlet across the Pokemon games, and that hasn’t changed with Scarlet and Violet. There are additional activities that award badges — hunting Titan Pokemon and taking down Team Star — but you aren’t going to face the Elite Four and the Champion without defeating Paldea’s eight Gym Leaders first. With that in mind, you’ll want to know the best gym order.
You start your Pokemon adventure in the southern regions of Paldea. However, until you defeat the Open Sky Titan in the western part of the map and unlock the ability to swim, you won’t be able to take on any Gym Leaders north of the river separating the continent’s two halves. As such, you only have access to two Gyms from the get-go, but once you can swim, the world is your oyster.
We’ve listed the best Gym order based on the level of each Leader’s ace, the Pokémon they’ll Terastallize, but we’ll also list the level of the other members of their team.
Gym Leaders Order
Katy: Cortondo Gym
Katy is a Bug type specialist and can challenge any Trainer who takes her on unprepared. Her ace is a level 15 Teddiursa with Bug as its Tera Type and Fury Cutter on tap, a move that quickly ramps up in power as it’s used.
Her other two Pokemon — Nymble and Tarountula — are both level 14, and while they don’t have as much raw power, they can pose a problem to underleveled teams.
Brassius: Atrazon Gym
Brassius is all about Grass Pokemon, but his ace, a level 17 Sudowoodo, has the Grass Tera Type, completely negating the weaknesses that come with Rock. It still has Rock Throw if you try to counter it with a Flying or Fire type, and the Grass move Trailblaze for additional coverage.
His other two Pokémon are a level 16 Petilil and Smolive, which Flying and Fire should make quick work of, but if you aren’t careful, they can also put you in a tough spot.
Iono: Levincia Gym
The battle against Iono can be something of a shock to the system as she brings four Pokemon to the fight, two of them in their final evolutionary forms. Her ace is a level 24 Electric Tera Type Mismagius that’s immune to Ground attacks thanks to its Levitate ability.
It also loses its weakness to Ghost moves when it Terastallizes, meaning no move in all of Pokemon can do super effective damage. The rest of her team are all level 23 and consist of the Electric/Flying Wattrel and the pure Electric Bellibolt and Luxio.
Kofu: Cascarrafa Gym
Kofu is something of a break from the tough Gym challenges, as his ace is a level 30 Water Tera Type Crabominable and has none of the mean weakness negation as the previous sets of Gyms.
His ace also doesn’t have any direct counters to the Grass or Electric types that will bring it to its knees, so the main hurdle you need to overcome is the level difference. His other Pokemon are level 29: the Water/Psychic Veluza and pure Water Wugtrio. If you picked Sprigatito as your starter or have another good Grass or Electric-type on your team, you should have no issues taking Kufo down.
Larry: Medali Gym
Don’t let Larry’s unassuming appearance fool you. His team can put on some serious hurt if you let them. His ace, in particular, a level 36 Staraptor, can take out every Pokemon you have if you give it a chance. Worse, you don’t want to apply any status effects to it, as its Facade move doubles in power while it’s Poisoned, Burned, or Paralyzed, so bring a Fighting-type like Lucario, Pawmo, or Annihilape as a counter.
Don’t underestimate Larry’s level 35 Komala or Dundunsparse either, as their Attack stats can knock out even the hardiest Pokémon.
Ryme: Montenevera Gym
Ryme is all about Ghost types, which are only weak to other Ghost or Dark attacks. Her ace, a level 42 Ghost Tera Type Toxtricity, doesn’t have much to counter a Dark-type Pokémon, but its access to the Hex attack puts other Ghosts on notice.
Its Discharge attacks also gives it some additional coverage. As you fight Ryme in a Double Battle, you’ll always be facing one of her other level 41 Pokémon, which include the pure Ghost Banette and Houndstone and the Ghost/Fairy Mimikyu. Watch out for Houndstone’s Play Rough, a Fairy-type attack that can be a real problem for any Dark-types you’ve brought to the battle.
Tulip: Alfronada Gym
Specializing in Psychic Pokémon, Tulip can be a serious roadblock if you don’t have anything to counter that historically extra-strong type. Her ace, a level 45 Psychic Tera Type Florges, uses the Psychic attack and Moonblast, a 95 Power Fairy-type move perfect for countering any Dark-types you bring to the fight.
Its third move, Petal Blast, covers a lot of additional ground. The rest of her team — a level 44 Farigiraf, Gardevoir, and Espathra — are easier to deal with, but they all have something to deal with Psychic’s weakness. Farigiraf is part Normal, negating Ghost, Gardevoir has Dazzling Gleam for Dark, and Espathra has Shadow Ball for Ghost as well.
Grusha: Glaseado Mountain Gym
Ice Types are not historically the most powerful in Pokemon, but Scarlet and Violet added several bruisers to the mix. Grusha takes full advantage of Tera Typing and the best the Ice type offers.
His ace, a level 48 Ice Tera Type Altaria, which retails its weakness to Rock and gains a Fire vulnerability, doesn’t have any direct counters to its Fire weakness, is still a force to be reckoned with. Don’t count the rest of his team out, as the level 47 Frosmoth, Beartic, and Cetitan can all dish out damage against any Pokémon unlucky enough to be even a few levels under them.
Hopefully, that list of Gym Leaders gives you a solid foundation to start building a team to take them down. You are, of course, welcome to challenge the Gyms in any order you wish, and there is something to be said for exploring your way to overpowered. That’s part of enjoying an open world RPG, after all.
However, if your goal is to make your way through Pokemon Scarlet and Violet and defeat leaders in the most efficient way possible, the Gym order presented here is a great way to do that. For more on the latest Pokemon title, check out our guides to the best Titan order and how to get the Amulet Coin. Our guides hub has more content to enjoy, and we’ll be adding plenty to it in the days to come.