As a follow up to his Kanto teams, Kyle Moffat researches the Johto Pokemon games, to create teams for venturing through the region.

Third year BA English and Film student and Gaming Editor.
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Recently, I created several teams for the Kanto Pokemon games based on their usefulness

Pokemon. Now, its time to do Johto, which is the following games:

  • Pokemon Gold, Silver and Crystal
  • Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver

Before I begin, there are a few rules:

  • No Legendary (Mewtwo, Rayquaza etc), Mythical (Celebi, Darkrai etc) or pseudo-legendary (Dragonite, Garchomp etc) Pokémon, as they can make the games too easy.
  • Choosing the teams will depend on power, enjoyment of use and when you can catch the Pokémon.
  • Accessibility is considered, so using version exclusive Pokémon or Pokémon which require trades will be very limited and when used, substitutes will be shown.
  • I will try to pick teams consisting of Pokémon that debut in a specific region. Pokémon such as Gyarados and Crobat will not be used for every region.
  • I will choose one moveset for the Elite Four and Champion, then another before the fight with Red.

Pokemon Gold, Silver and Crystal

Typhlosion (Fire)

A very easy choice for the starter Pokemon. Meganium has a poor movepool and there are a more decent Water types than Fire types in Johto, so no Feraligatr. Typhlosion is massively helpful in three Johto gyms, as well as generally being a strong Fire type with an okay movepool. Its stats are strong, meaning it is a capable mixed attacker while being able to out speed opponents.

Moveset – Elite Four:

Fire Punch – very good move with Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB), which also takes advantage of Typhlosion’s incredible 109 Special Attack. Fire Punch is purchased for 3000 Pokedollars at the Goldenrod Department Store.

Thunder Punch – provides decent coverage against Water types and does decent damage with 75 power. Use the same method for getting Fire Punch and Thunder Punch.

Swift– A move you may not use often but can always be useful if your accuracy has been lowered. Swift is learned at level 45.

Dig/Earthquake – covers a lot of types including Rock. All you require is patience for a two turns. It is found outside of the National Park. In Victory Road, you can pick up Earthquake, which is a significant upgrade.

Moveset – Red:

Flamethrower – learned late at level 60 but is a very worthy replacement for Fire Punch.


Thunder Punch



Getting this Pokemon:

Evolve Cyndaquil into Quilava at level 14, then evolve into Typhlosion at level 36.


Crobat (Poison/Flying)

I am so glad they gave Golbat an evolution in Generation Two, especially one as good as Crobat. Crobat has an incredible 535 base stat total including 130 Speed, which makes it a very valuable team member. It is very likely going to hit first but can also soak up a couple of attacks, so long as they are not super effective and STAB. What more could you ask for from your flyer?

Moveset – Elite Four:

Bite – useful Dark move providing coverage against Psychic but also dealing with Ghost types. Bite is learned at level 12 as a Zubat. This move can help you decimate the Ecruteak City Gym.

Confuse Ray – sometimes a very useful move to have, giving you the chance to avoid a hit and cause the opponent to hit themselves. Zubat learns Confuse Ray at level 19.

Fly – required to get around the map so definitely worth having. Fly is given to you by a woman outside of the Cianwood City Gym.

Wing Attack – Fly is here for necessity to travel, whereas Wing Attack will be a move used regularly in battle. 60 power is not amazing but its okay thank to STAB. Wing Attack is learned at level 30.

Moveset – Red:

Confuse Ray

Steel Wing – if you can afford to unteach Fly, absolutely do to get Steel Wing. It provides coverage for two of Crobat’s weaknesses: Rock and Ice. Steel Wing is found in the Rock Tunnel and on Route 28.

Wing Attack


Getting this Pokemon:

Zubat is incredibly common and can be found as early as the Dark Cave. Evolve into Golbat at level 22 and increase its friendship to have a Crobat.


Espeon (Psychic)

Espeon is a very powerful Psychic type that hits hard and fast thanks to its 130 Special Attack and 110 Speed. Like Generation one, Psychic Pokemon do not have a plethora of weaknesses. Few Ghost and Dark Pokemon exist at this point and while Bite is a common move, it should not take Espeon out in a single hit. Overall Espeon has a decent movepool and solid set of stats.

Moveset – Elite Four:

Psybeam/Psychic – this really depends on your level when you face the Elite Four. Psychic is incredible with 90 power whereas Psybeam has 65. Espeon’s Special Attack is high enough however that Psybeam should be very useful. Psybeam is learned at level 36 whereas Psychic is level 47.

Swift – a Normal physical move, but one that never misses, so will occasionally be useful. Swift is learned at level 30.

Bite – good for Psychic and Ghost Pokemon. Bite is learned by Eevee at level 23, so make sure to not evolve it before then.

Flash – can be useful for lowering an opponent’s accuracy. There are not too many other moves for Espeon, so we may as well have Flash. Defeat all the trainers in Sprout Tower and Flash is yours.

Moveset – Red:




Toxic – much more useful than Flash. Gradually lowering your opponent’s health with Toxic is a smart strategy, especially if they keep raising defences or lowering your accuracy. Toxic is earned after beating the Fuchsia City Gym.


Getting this Pokemon:

The player receives Eevee from Bill in Goldenrod City. Evolve Eevee by having high friendship in the day. High friendship and evolving at night will instead give you Umbreon, so make sure this is done in the day.

Sudowoodo (Rock)

Perhaps an unconventional choice, but Sudowoodo is a great asset if used correctly. It has a good movepool for Generation Two which really allows it to fill in the gaps this team may have. Just 30 Speed is not great, and neither is its 65 Special Defence. However, put Sudwoodo against a physical attacker and you will have a great time. Just be careful to use Sudowoodo in the correct situations, as it has five weaknesses.

Moveset – Elite Four and Red:

Rock Slide – thanks to Sudowoodo’s 100 Attack, Rock Slide will decimate Fire, Flying, Bug and Ice types, especially due to being a STAB move. Rock Slide is learnt at level 28.

Low Kick – an okay Fighting move with 50 power and 90 accuracy. Again, Sudowoodo’s 100 Attack will help, as well as being Supereffective against five types.

Strength – a HM, but one with 80 power and 100 accuracy, so it is worthwhile to have for battling. Strength is given to you in Olivine City.

Attract – sometimes a useful move, only working on Pokemon of the opposite gender. When it does work, the opponent only has a 50% chance to use a move while against Sudowoodo. Attract is earned after beating the Goldenrod City Gym.


Getting this Pokemon:

Sudowoodo is found once on Route 36, so take your opportunity, because you will not get another.


Quagsire (Water/Ground)

Despite only a 430 base stat total, Quagsire is very useful. It has a diverse moveset and its only weakness is Grass, which is comfortably covered in this team. By no means is Quagsire a hard hitter but it does the job and that is all you need. Plus, how can you hate Quagsire? it is just so derpy and oddly cute. Some of you may call for Lapras, Gyarados or Starmie, but I just love Quagsire so much.

Moveset – Elite Four and Red:

Surf – necessary HM but as always, a very good Water move. It is earned after defeating the five Kimono Girls in Ecruteak City.

Earthquake – a move that makes the most of Quagsire’s 85 Attack, and covers many types. Quagsire learns Earthquake at level 35.

Ice Punch – provides coverage against Grass and also helps to take out the strong Dragon types towards the end of the main game. Like the other punches, this is purchased in the Goldenrod Department Store.

Amnesia – raises Quagsire’s lacklustre Special Defence by two stages, which is massively helpful. Amnesia is learned at level 23.

Whirlpool – Only needed at one point in the game, so you can delete Ice Punch and repurchase it after Whirlpool has fulfilled its purpose. Whirlpool is gained after defeating Team Rocket in Mahogany Town.


Getting this Pokemon:

Wooper can be annoying to be find. Nonetheless you can catch one at Night on Route 32.


Ampharos (Electric) – Gold and Silver

Not your typical fast Electric Pokemon but like Typhlosion, its Special Attack (115) is remarkable. Ampharos has okay defences as well with 75 Defence and 90 Special Defence, meaning it can take a hit, especially with only the one weakness of Ground. This is the Pokemon you will rely on to take out most Water types, so I would heavily recommend picking one up.

Moveset – Elite Four and Red:

Thunder Punch – for some reason, Thunderbolt can only be learned in Crystal, but not until after facing the Champion. Even so, Thunder Punch will do the trick, for the same reasons as with Typhlosion plus the added STAB damage. Thunder Punch is learned at level 30.

Fire Punch – now this seems like symmetry with Typhlosion, but Fire Punch is very useful for dealing with Grass types, in which Electric is not very effective against. Buy Fire Punch from the Goldenrod Department Store.

Light Screen – always useful to have Light Screen, as it gives a massive team boost due to doubling Special Defence for five turns. Learn Light Screen at level 42.

Thunder Wave – getting a status effect such as paralysis can be useful, slowing an opponent down and having a chance to avoid an attack. Thunder Wave is learned as a Flaffy at level 18.

Flash – useful for venturing through some dungeons. Use this before Light Screen can be learned. Flash is earned from defeating every trainer in Sprout Tower.


Getting this Pokemon:

Catch a Mareep on Route 32. Evolve into Flaffy at level 15 then Ampharos at level 30.


Lanturn (Water/Electric) – Crystal

Ampaharos cannot be obtained in Crystal unless through trade, so Lanturn will be its replacement. Lanturn is okay. Having 125 HP is good and adds some Defence to, but the rest of Lanturn’s stats are okay at best. This does not stop Lanturn from being a useful team member, as it picks up decent moves and has the stats allowing it to pack a punch.

Moveset – Elite Four and Red

Surf – powerful HM that has STAB and takes advantage of Lanturn’s 76 Special Attack. Get Surf from defeating the Kimono Girls in Ecruteak City.

Thunderbolt – provides coverage against Water and Flying Pokemon and is a very powerful move. There is a move tutor in Goldenrod Game Corner every Wednesday and Saturday. You can only buy one TM at a time so buy this before Ice Beam for 4,000 coins.

Ice Beam – provides coverage against Grass and is also super effective against Dragon, Flying and Ground types. Buy this the second time the move tutor appears in the Goldenrod Game Corner, again for 4,000 coins.

Waterfall – not as good as Surf, but a HM so it is necessary. Waterfall is picked up in the Ice Cave.


Getting this Pokemon:

Use the Good Rod on Route 41 until you find and catch a Chinchou. Chinchou evolves into Lanturn at level 27.


Due to having two water types, there is a big weakness to Grass. Alternatively, if you think two Water types is unnecessary, you can pick up a Donphan to serve as your Ground type. Bear in mind that if you are to choose Donphan you have a big weakness to Water across your team.

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver

There is more choice with a team in HeartGold and SoulSilver due to Sinnoh evolutions being carried over. I am not including any of these in this team, but the likes of Mamoswine, Glaceon, Togekiss and Magnezone are valuable team members. I will pick exclusively Johto Pokemon for this team.

Typhlosion (Fire)
Maintaining Typhlosion is a no brainer for me. This Fire type is easily the best Johto starter because it performs a role that cannot be replaced effectively.

Ability – Blaze

Moveset – Elite Four and Red:

Flamethrower – no surprise here in the slightest. Flamethrower is learned at level 42.

Earthquake – again, no surprise and no change from the Gold, Silver and Crystal moveset. Earthquake is found on Victory Road. Rock Tomb and Dig can be useful moves before Earthquake is learned.

Strength – a necessary HM but again, one that can deal a lot of damage, thanks to its 80 power. Strength is given to you by a hiker on Route 42.

Sunny Day – a useful set up move if you want to sweep a trainer’s team, thanks to doubling the power of Fire moves. Or you may want to reduce the power of Water moves. Sunny Day is at the top of the Goldenrod Radio Tower.


Crobat (Poison/Flying)

Again, Crobat is just so good and is perhaps the best Gen 2 flyer. Fast, powerful and useful for getting across Johto and Kanto, so what can you hate about Crobat?

Ability – Inner Focus

Moveset – Elite Four and Red:

Fly – like mentioned before, always a useful HM to have around. It now has 90 power so it can really pack a punch. You can get Fly just after beating the Cianwood City Gym.

Dark Pulse – provides a Special Attack and on average will cause more damage than Bite. Dark Pulse is found on Victory Road and you can use Bite before.

Confuse Ray – very useful, especially for Crobat due to its Speed. It is often useful to get the confusion and prevent them from attacking or setting up. Confuse Ray is learned by Zubat at level 21.

Wing Attack – in case you don’t want to wait a turn with Fly, but are happy to have lower damage. Wing Attack is learned by Zubat at level 17.


Heracross (Bug/Fighting)

Heracross is just amazing. It is one of my favourite Generation Two Pokemon but catching Heracross in Gold, Silver and Crystal is a nightmare. Fortunately, it is made easier in HeartGold and SoulSilver. Hera cross is incredibly strong so you want to pick this Pokemon up. 125 Attack is ridiculous and its movepool makes the most of this. Just avoid Flying Pokemon and you should be fine.

Ability – Guts

Moveset – Elite Four:

Brick Break – always good to have a 75 Fighting move that can destroy Reflect and Light Screen barriers. It is also significantly helpful for beating Whitney and her horrifying Miltank. Brick Break is learned at level 19.

Close Combat – a great risk if you need to take out a Pokemon but are prepared for a Defence and Special Defence drop. Close Combat is learned at level 37.

Aerial Ace – a Flying move that never misses is very handy. It also deals with fellow Fighting and Bug as well as Grass Pokemon. Heracross learns Aerial Ace at level 13.

Night Slash – provides coverage against Psychic and Ghost Pokemon. It also has an increased critical hit ratio so could get you out of a tight spot. Use a Heart Scale in Blackthorne City to teach Night Slash to Heracross. Heart Scales are easy enough to come by thanks to the Pokeathlon.

Moveset – Red:

Brick Break

Close Combat

Aerial Ace

Megahorn – a huge upgrade from Night Slash, going from 70 to 120 power, and that’s without including STAB. Megahorn is learned at level 55.


Getting this Pokemon:
You can get Heracross very early in Azalea Town. You want to use Headbutt on all the trees until you get a Heracross. It may take 15-20 minutes, but it is certainly worth it.

Ampharos (Electric)

Ampharos is easily the best Electric choice in Johto, especially if you use Eevee for anything but Jolteon.

Ability – Static


Thunderbolt/Discharge – Thunderbolt is slightly better, but you have to do some work to get it. It will take around two or three hours, but you can grind to 10,000 coins in the Goldenrod Game Corner to buy the TM for Thunderbolt. If not, Discharge is learned at level 34 and can still be very useful thanks to its 80 power and 100 accuracy

Thunder Wave – paralysis is often a very useful status effect to place on an opposing Pokemon. Thunder Wave is learned as a Mareep at level 14.

Signal Beam – provides useful coverage against Grass, Dark and Psychic Pokemon. Learn Signal Beam at level 42.

Fire Punch – Ampharos has much Special Attack, but Fire Punch can still be highly useful against Bug, Ice and Steel Pokemon. You will need a Heart Scale to learn Fire Punch from the Move Reminder in Blackthorn City.

Flash – again, use to get through certain caves in the game. Get Flash in Sprout Tower.

Moveset – Red:


Thunder Wave

Signal Beam

Power Gem – takes advantage of the 115 Special Attack and is slightly more useful than Fire Punch, making quick work of Bug, Ice, Flying and Fire Pokemon. It is learned at level 59.


Quagsire (Water/Ground)

Again, Quagsire is just such a good Pokemon despite its base stats.

Ability – Water Absorb

Moveset – Elite Four and Red:

Ice Beam – always a useful move to have, especially against the very powerful Dragon Pokemon. You want to get this from Goldenrod Game Corner, despite the time it will take.

Earthquake – learned at level 36.

Waterfall – the HM is found on the Ice Path.

Yawn – a much more useful move than Surf in battle. Waterfall should do the job as your Water move, so you could catch a random Water Pokemon to teach Surf and Whirlpool to. Yawn is learned at level 31.

Surf – earned after assisting the Kimono Girl in Ecruteak City. Again, perhaps catch another Water Pokemon to teach Surf to.

Whirlpool – the same situation as with Surf. But it is not a big deal as Whirlpool is only required one time. Whirlpool is once again given by Lance after defeating Team Rocket in Mahogany Town.

Espeon (Psychic)

Even in Generation Four, Psychic Pokemon are still very good so keep Espeon around.

Ability – Synchronize

Moveset – Elite Four:

Psybeam – unfortunately, you won’t be getting Psychic until after the Elite Four, but with Espeon’s 130 Special Attack, this is not a big issue. Psybeam is learned at level 36.

Shadow Ball – a great move for battling Ghost Pokemon and fellow Psychic types. Shadow Ball is given to the player after beating the Ecruteak City Gym.

Reflect – provides Espeon (and the rest of the team) a massive Defence boost for five turns. You can purchase Reflect from the Goldenrod Department Store for 2000 Pokedollars.

Light Screen – similar to Reflect but for Special Defence instead. Light Screen is much more useful for the team boost rather than just for Espeon. Similar to Reflect, buy it from the Goldenrod Department Store for 2000 Pokedollars.

Moveset – Red:

Psychic – a fine upgrade to Psybeam! Psychic is given to you in Saffron City

Shadow Ball


Light Screen

Raticate can be useful for teaching Cut and Rock Smash to.

That is it, these are my Johto teams. There are some fine Pokemon in Johto and it is difficult not to dip into the Kanto Pokemon, but an entirely Generation Two team is possible.

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