From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
The Elite Four (Japanese: 四天王 Four Heavenly Kings) are four Pokémon Trainers who are regarded as the toughest in their regional Pokémon League, short of the Pokémon League Champion. Those who challenge the Elite Four must have won all eight Badges from that region and face all four and the current Champion consecutively without losing to any of them.
One group resides on Indigo Plateau in Kanto, and are considered the best Trainers in both Kanto and Johto; another is in Ever Grande City in Hoenn; two more reside at the unnamed Pokémon Leagues in Sinnoh and Unova.
Kanto/Johto Elite Four
Generation I and III
In the Generation I games Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, and their Generation III remakes, the Elite Four at Indigo Plateau consists of:
Generation II and IV
In Generation II and Generation IV, the Elite Four at Indigo Plateau consists of:
Hoenn Elite Four
In Generation III, the Elite Four in Ever Grande City consists of:
Sinnoh Elite Four
In Generation IV, the Elite Four at the Pokémon League consists of:
Unova Elite Four
The Unova Elite Four may be challenged in any order the player wishes. In Generation V, the Elite Four at the Pokémon League consists of:
In the anime
The Sinnoh Elite Four in the anime
Ash and his friends infrequently meet the members of the Elite Four, who then impart them with battle strategies. So far, Ash has encountered the complete Kanto group:
Ash has also met Koga in The Ninja Poké-Showdown, though merely as Fuchsia City's Gym Leader and not as an Elite Four member.
From Hoenn, Ash has met:
Ash has also met the entire Sinnoh Elite Four as well:
In Unova, Ash has met:
It has been stated by Lucian in An Elite Meet and Greet! that when a Trainer wins their respective region's Conference Tournament, they can participate in the Champion League, fighting the four members of that region's Elite Four, and then possibly the Champion as well.
In the manga
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In the Pokémon Adventures manga
Kanto Elite Four in Pokémon Adventures
The Kanto Elite Four made their first appearance in A Charizard...and a Champion watching the final battle between Red and Blue before serving as the primary antagonists for the Yellow chapter of the manga. They are each said to be so powerful that triad leaders of Team Rocket, Koga, Lt. Surge, and Sabrina all had to (begrudgingly) team up with the protagonists and Blaine to take just a single one of them.
The Johto Elite Four is formed at the end of the Gold, Silver, & Crystal chapter. It consists of accomplished Pokémon Trainers that were formerly part of criminal organizations, who would eventually rise as the official Elite Four of Indigo Plateau. Will, Bruno, Karen, and Koga united to train together after they were no longer being controlled. They reappeared in the HeartGold & SoulSilver chapter participating on the Pokéathlon and later fighting against Lance's Dragonite.
Hoenn Elite Four and Champion in Pokémon Adventures
The Hoenn Elite Four made an appearance in the Ruby & Sapphire chapter, helping to find and catch the legendary golems in order to contain the massive surge of energy created by the clash of Kyogre and Groudon alongside Steven and Wallace, their two regional Champions.
The first Sinnoh Elite Four member to debut in the series was Flint, who made a cameo appearance in the last round of the Diamond & Pearl chapter. The other members appeared in the Platinum chapter, where they were enlisted by the Pokémon Association Chairman to decode the ancient writings in Charon's memobook.
The Unova Elite Four first appeared in the Black & White chapter as Black cites them during his daily pledge. However, they haven't appeared to the main characters as a group yet. Besides Caitlin, who already appeared in the Platinum chapter, Grimsley meets Black, Shauntal meets White and Marshal meets both on different occasions.
- In the Kanto-based games, every Elite Four member has at least one Pokémon not of their specialty type during the first battle.
- The Hoenn Elite Four members are the only ones that don't have higher level Pokémon in future rematches with them in any game.
- Prior to Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the Elite Four typically progressed in level with their Pokémon in the games. The rematch teams in HeartGold and SoulSilver don't progress in level like in all previous games and even the pre-Kanto teams used by the same Elite Four. In Generation V, all members of the Elite Four use Pokémon of the same levels, as they can be challenged in any order.
- In Platinum, the highest-leveled Pokémon of Bertha, Flint, and Lucian (Rhyperior, Magmortar, and Gallade, respectively) match the final Pokémon that the Sinis Trio uses from Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, in that same order.
- Also, Aaron's highest-leveled Pokémon, Drapion, and one of Bertha's Pokémon, Gliscor, match Kincaid's first and second Pokémon, respectively.
- Black, White, Black 2, and White 2 are the only games where Elite Four members used fewer than five Pokémon in their initial parties.
- It is also the only Elite Four thus far that does not force the player to battle its members in a specific order.
- The Sinnoh Elite Four and Generation I and III Kanto Elite Four are the only Elite Fours in which all members have made appearances in the anime.
- In Generation V, all Elite Four members' type specialties have been used exactly twice in Elite Four of other regions. The Indigo Elite Four used all of them, spread in its two variations (with a Fighting-type specialist in both), the Hoenn Elite Four has Dark- and Ghost-type specialists, and the Sinnoh Elite Four has a Psychic-type specialist.
- Pokémon Puzzle League features its own Elite Four: Ritchie, Lorelei, Bruno, and Gary. Gary serves as the leader of the Elite Four and the Puzzle League Champion.
In other languages