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IRL – How many teams can you have?

I want to fight with a team of these!

I want to fight with a team of these!

One of my favorite aspects of Pokemon is the ability to construct any team you want.  The later games really helped promote non battling Pokemon with side quests and such so that Bellosson (my favorite), doesn’t just get tossed aside because it’s weak against everything!.  So, here’s a simple question.  Playing the original R/B, how could the diversity of your team look like at some gyms with some basic rules?

(Picture Credit: Cute Bellossom by ~RequestFag)

For simplicity’s sake, you’re trying to catch all the Pokemon in a region without the Internet.  So we’ll have to include some funny rules to see what you get. For example, it was feasible, if you walked around forever, to get a Pikachu in Viridian Forest. However, a player who doesn’t know that can’t search for it. So we’ll roll a die on it using Dungeon and Dragon rules.  For Pokemon that have appearance rates equal to or less than 10%, we’ll flip to “guess the location” (invisibility rules).  Then, to make it a little bit harder, we’ll roll a percentage die (100 sided die) to see if we get it again.  The number to get will be two times the appearance rate.


Against the Onix and Geodude, you could have 6 possible teams.  Nothing too fancy and if you picked up Charmander, I hope you picked up a Mankey on Route 23, else your silly scratches will only make Onix feel better…  And here’s a bit of math to explain what I did.

In addition to the flips above to include the fact that you don’t have a guide, I simply count the Pokemon that you’d probably catch given that you stocked up on the Pokeballs in the previous city.  You’d miss the Pikachu in Viridian Forest and the Spearow on Route 23 along with the really rare “other Pokemon,” the Weedle/Caterpie splits.

Then, we use the binomial coefficient to quickly calculate how many different combinations of teams there are.  Here, I assume your starter is not going to be one of those you’ll put in the computer when you face a gym leader…. Well unless you chose Charmander.  (Alternative: “Metapod, Harden!”)


The power of math has arrived.  You’ll most likely catch 12 Pokemon at this point (No, you don’t get Jigglypuff, Clefairy, or Abra).  And now with 12 Pokemon, you have 462 different possible teams to fight Misty with.  She’ll be a pushover at this point unless you filled your teams with Metapod, Pidgey, Spearow, Zubat, and Charmander.  In which case, I’d suggest you change tactics.

There are some inherent flaws in this, and I won’t bore you with the math through each gym leader.  In a later piece, I’ll explore your team options at the Boss (Giovanni, of course, the Italian…) and at the Elite Four.  

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