Pokemon Scarlet & Violet DLC crowns a new strongest trainer ever

strongest pokemon trainer

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s The Indigo Disk DLC crowned a new strongest trainer in the games, with a surprising name unseating Red, Cynthia, and Leon.

Whether it’s the video games, anime, manga, animated spin-offs, Pokemon media has been generally consistent in projecting a few different characters as the strongest trainer in the world. While things have shifted to some degree over the series’ 25 years of history, a few characters have been protected consistently in a way that projects them to be the best.

Gen-one protagonist Red was established as a uniquely strong trainer when he became an optional post-game superboss in Pokemon Gold and Silver. Cynthia arguably took that title when her Garchomp steamrolled players in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, returned in Black and White, and went undefeated in the anime for more than 15 years. Leon was introduced as the Galarian champion, with Galar’s Pokemon circuit presented as Premier League football while everywhere else was only regional-level.

Leon Pokemon Anime
Leon is canonically the strongest Pokemon trainer, but isn’t that tough in the games.

In terms of the games though, all of them fall short against one of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s seemingly wimpy characters. They now have what is the strongest team of any champion in series history. Warning, major spoilers ahead for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet DLC.

Who is the strongest Pokemon trainer ever?

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s Nemona and Kieran are the strongest trainers in the history of the Pokemon video games. The pair have the highest average Pokemon levels of any trainers in series history, and uniquely powerful lineups.

Nemona needs little explanation. She is established early in the game as a unique talent and is even more powerful in the DLC. Her team from the final battle of the base game is upgraded and has the highest average level of any trainer in any Pokemon game.

pokemon scarlet violet nemona

Kieran is likely even stronger, though. 

Some might be wondering how Kieran can qualify as the strongest trainer, while others might be wondering who he even is. Kieran was introduced as a wimpy “friendly rival” to the player in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s The Teal Mask DLC.

He has an obsessive interest in the legendary Pokemon Ogerpon, but ultimately gets rejected by the Pokemon in favor of the player. This lit a fire in him, and he is reintroduced in The Indigo Disk as Blueberry Academy’s champion.

pokemon scarlet violet teal mask kieran

In the post-game content, the Pokemon on Kieran’s team are leveled up comparably to Nemona’s, albeit 0.33 levels lower on average. What makes him the strongest trainer in Pokemon history is that his team is specifically designed to have synergy. 

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s The Indigo Disk DLC is built around the game’s more complex double battles, and Kieran’s team is built to utilize effective strategies fit for the ranked ladder. His lead is a Drizzle Politoed, which sets up rain at the start, alongside a Dragonite with Thunder and Hurricane, two moves that benefit from rain. Alongside these are competitive staples like Reflect-Light Screen Grimmsnarl and offensive Incineroar.

pokemon scarlet violet indigo disk kieran

The strongest version of Kieran’s team includes:

  • Level 85 Politoed
  • Level 85 Dragonite
  • Level 86 Grimmsnarl
  • Level 86 Porygon-Z
  • Level 86 Incineroar
  • Level 87 Hydrapple

The one area where Nemona and Kieran fall short is that they don’t have the highest-leveled individual Pokemon in series history. Red’s Pikachu in Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, and Cynthia’s rematch Garchomp in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are both level 88 while Kieran’s Hydrapple and Nemona’s starter are only level 87. But ultimately, neither of them have teams with the strong balance, coverage, and technique that Kieran has.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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