Alright, we now continue to the second part of this article. In this part, we shall cover the remaining Ice-type specialists. Here, we find out that even though Ice-type teams might not necessarily be flexible, the specialists have diverse characteristics and backgrounds. If you are ready, please read on.
In Sinnoh, Candice is the Ice-type Gym Leader, and the seventh Sinnoh Gym Leader. Located in Snowpoint City, this appropriately-named snowy area is where the Gym is. She seems to be in a perky stance in all appearances, and the games gave her a cheery personality, which I just learned is unusual for ice people.
Candice is described as someone who is deviant for what the normal personality of an ice person. Normally, an ice person is someone who is indifferent, yet Candice is someone who is more outgoing. I suppose I should have expected ice people to be cold, but it’s likely that this trend is less common now than before, since we have some perky ice people (Elsa comes to mind).
Perhaps this trait is reflected on her attire of choice. Like most of the previous Ice-type specialists, she dresses as if it’s warm, as shown by the jacket tied around her waist and exposure of the leggings, though there are leg warmers to help out. We do get to see what she is like in that jacket a few times, though not in the games.
Sinnoh’s type imbalance was more severe than in Hoenn, at least until Platinum. In the original versions, she has Medicham, which is clearly not an Ice-type. Moreover, Snover was used to fill the team since the original only has two Ice-type families. In Platinum, the expansion allowed for more choices, for she had Piloswine and Froslass replacing Snover and Medicham.
Overall, Candice is a solid member of the Ice-type specialist group by providing some variety in terms of personality and appearance.
+ Took an active role in anime and manga
– DP team lacks variety
Unova’s Ice-type specialist is Brycen. Like the two previous Ice-type Gym Leaders, Brycen is the seventh in the Gym Leader lineup. He certainly looks like a tough guy.
Brycen seems to have a previous career before taking up the role of the Gym Leader. He was a movie star, but suffered an injury. That seemed to depress him, but Alder advised him to take up the Pokémon training, and possibly becoming a Gym Leader. In the sequel series Black 2 and White 2, Brycen is not a Gym Leader, but instead participates in the PokéStar filming studio, meaning he’s gone back to what he did before.
Amusingly, he plays the role of Brycenman in his series of film, where he uses Dark-type Pokémon, and is treated as a Dark/Psychic-type. One would have thought that he would use the type of Pokémon he uses, but I’d say that’s an interesting twist. He’s also got another role in another film about metal cops. Still, he participates in the Pokémon World Tournament as an Ice specialist.
Brycen is characterized as a tough and serious person, as seen by his stiff look. This could mean that he’s a disciplined person, or that he wants to act professional. He’s even got skill in martial arts in the manga. Interestingly, the National Gymquirer in the sequel series mentioned him sneezing, as though he stopped his Gym activities due to not being able to stand the cold. I guess cold places could actually make someone sick if they’re not dressed properly.
He’s always donning his eye mask on, as if he’s hiding his true face. On your first encounter with him, he’s already having that mask on, possible as a remnant from his movie-acting days. Perhaps he doesn’t want to attract unwanted attention due to his popularity? I doubt that, since the disguise is thin, and besides, he’s possibly still using his real name since we know of his past career. Interestingly, he also wore an eye mask in his other roles.
Brycen’s choice of Pokémon is simple, where he only use Ice-types found in the Unova region. That means he uses Vanillish, Beartic and Cryogonal. It would seem that he should use Vanilluxe instead, but I imagine Vanilluxe might be more challenging to face. Since his team is the only Ice specialist that share the same type (all of them are pure Ice), it is easier to manage since their weaknesses are compounded. The closest you get in coverage is Beartic’s Brine, which hits Fire- and Rock-types super-effectively.
Unova’s Gym Leaders all have extra backgrounds that go beyond their Gym Leader status. They have a career, their Gyms are designed after their career and they have extra details that made them more developed. It would seem odd that Brycen’s is not moulded after his actual career, but based on the numerous martial artists in the Gym, it could be more of an endurance training place.
Brycen might not necessarily be the best Ice-type specialist, but he seems like the best we have now. He has possibly the most background of the leaders, if not counting the manga (otherwise Pryce takes that honour), making him the most developed and interesting.
+ More than a Gym Leader
– Real identity not known
Finally, we have Wulfric. Compared to the past three Gym Leaders we touched on, he is the eighth Gym Leader, which is a first. Based on how the trainers are ordered, this makes his Pokémon the highest-leveled.
With that said, he’s stated to not only be a strong trainer, but also a kind one. It’s even rumoured that he keeps a photo of his dearest Pokémon in the locket around his neck. As to what that Pokémon is, it’s not mentioned, so that’s up in the air. If I were to guess, it’s probably Avalugg, since that Pokémon is Kalos-native and the strongest Pokémon in the team.
Unlike the previous Gym Leaders, Wulfric has a tough build. Also, he’s not one to be afraid of the cold, much like the others. Even though he’s hanging that jacket around his neck, only bound by the collar, at least it’s not out of reach. His extra fat might also be helpful in withstanding that cold, as with his long (presumably insular) pants and his boots. His ability to stand that coldness is justified.
There is an interesting tidbit on Wulfric that references Unova. It is mentioned that Wulfric adored the Brycen-man series a lot, which is a nice reference to the past. Considering how Black 2 & White 2 occurred during the same time frame as X & Y, the movie might be a recent showing.
His choice of Pokémon is interesting. There are three Pokémon in the team like the other Gym Leaders in Kalos (except the first two), but he does have a new Pokémon in the team. Joining Abomasnow and Cryogonal is Avalugg. Since the other Ice-type is already used in the Rock-type Gym (Amaura), this is the only remaining option to use. It has some good Ice-types that include one with great Special Defence (Cryogonal), a Hail starter (Abomasnow) and one with the best overall Defence stat (Avalugg).
With that look of his, I am surprised that Walrein is not his main Pokémon, or at least one of his Pokémon. Comparing both him and that Pokémon, they look similar. His moustache look like tusks, the black frill looks like Walrein’s foamy whiskers and the rounded top are similar between Gym Leader and Pokémon. I wonder if his design and Walrein’s design are coincidental, because it fits his look too well not to use it. I take it back: his locket must have Walrein in it instead of Avalugg.
Wulfric, like Candice, gives the Ice-type specialist group a huge variety. Not only that, Wulfric is actually one of the most appropriate Ice-type specialists we have, in terms of physical appearances. He seems like a likeable Gym Leader as well.
+ Gentle giant
– Does not have Walrein as main Pokémon
And we are done! We are almost done with the Ice-type series, for the final article will be about awards for all Ice-type related things! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.