Now, I shouldn't have to explain the basics of Pokémon Football to you, but for the sake of our discussion, standard rules apply:

  • Pok√©mon #1-150 only. Mentioning any Pok√©mon past #150 is cause for a permanent ban from the Pok√©mon Football League.
  • Flying powers, as well as psychic powers used to affect the movement of the ball, are subject to a 10-yard penalty.
  • Special attacks can only be used in conjunction with a football play (at the discretion of the referee.) Example: Pikachu may use Quick Attack in conjunction with catching a football, but may not use Thunder Shock while in contact with a defender in order to gain an unfair advantage.

With these rules in mind, let me show you how to construct an ideal football roster out of Pokémon.

Now, granted, there are a lot of opinions about proper Pokémon Football roster construction out there - there are old-school coaches who'll still put a Snorlax on their offensive line, or a Charizard in at running back - but before you start loading your roster with exotic Dodrios and Flareons in a modified West Coast Offense, let me teach you how to put together a PFL team the right way.

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Let's start with the offense:

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QUARTERBACK: Mewtwo

An undeniable leader. Strong arm, big body, can read the play with psychic clarity - this is definitely who you want as your signal-caller.

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RUNNING BACKS: Arcanine

These guys are just bruisers. Fast, aggressive, and great ball control in those jaws. These are your workhorses who'll bust through the line for a big gain when you need it.

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WIDE RECEIVERS: Raichu

Sure, they might be cocky, and a little soft - but what you can't deny is the speed they bring to this team. With their lightning-quick explosiveness, they'll be able to blast downfield and avoid defenders to make big plays.

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TIGHT END: Nidoqueen

In a pinch, you could sub in Nidoqueen's bulkier armored brother, Nidoking - but for my money, you want a more mobile TE in this offense. Nidoking and a lot of other TE options (Kangaskhan, Rhydon) might be tanks in your blocking schemes, but if you want someone who can make receiving plays in the mold of a Jimmy Graham or Gronkowski, you need Nidoqueen.

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OFFENSIVE LINE: Blastoise

This is one of the most hotly-debated positions among Pokémon Footall League coaches. Some will opt for sheer size in the form of a Snorlax, or the big tie-'em-up arms of a Graveler. But in the modern PFL, it's not enough to have pure blocking size - you need the speed and explosiveness of tanks like Blastoise. Literal tanks. Like, with cannons coming out of their backs.

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Now, on the defensive side:

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DEFENSIVE ENDS/TACKLES: Rhyhorn

At DE/DT, you need these absolute beasts up front. Combining rock-solid tackling power with nasty speed, these guys will be racking up sacks in your classic 4-3 alignment.

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LINEBACKERS: Machamp

One of the strongest players on the entire field, Machamps are lethal tacklers - but also, with their four arms, they provide flexibility to either tie up an opponent or bat passes out of the air.

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CORNERBACKS: Electabuzz

Not only do they offer the size to take down receivers and break up plays, but thanks to their electric powers, they're sneaky-fast in coverage down the field. Not to be overlooked.

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SAFETIES: Hitmonchan

Quick, aggressive and powerful, these heavy-hitters provide an effective line of last resort for when you really need to take a runner down.

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Feel free to share your (invariably wrong) Pokémon football roster-construction takes below.