The legendary Pokemon trainer, Red, the protagonist of Pokemon Red and Blue, returns in Gold and Silver as the final and most challenging fight in the game atop the intimidating Mt. Silver.
With some of the highest leveled non-player Pokemon throughout the franchise and an abundance of type coverage, Red is a phenomenal final challenge for players of Gold and Silver. For those looking for a little help settling on a good team to face the legendary trainer, here's a pre-made team that would work wonders.
As this is a guide made for both Gold and Silver, version-exclusives, like Lugia and Ho-oh, will not be included.
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the opinion of the writer.
The best team to beat Red in Pokemon Gold and Silver
#1 - Tyranitar
Tyranitar will certainly be difficult to raise up for the fight, considering that its base form can't be found until Mt. Silver itself. But should the player spend the time necessary to bring Tryanitar up to speed, it will prove to be a devastating force against Red's team.
Tyranitar can immediately wipe out Red's highest level Pokemon, Pikachu, with a good Earthquake. The rock-tyrant Pokemon can also come back later on as an effective counter to both Espeon and Charizard with Crunch and Rock Slide, respectively.
Unfortunately, due to its slow speed, Tyranitar would be unlikely to be able to sweep Red's team without a solid number of X-Speeds and a few X-attacks for Snorlax.
#2 - Zapdos
Zapdos is a dangerous threat that's great for any team and is effective against three members of Red's team.
Thunderbolt (or Thunder, if the player decides to scrap the rest of this team in favor of a Rain Dance team) can easily clear out Charizard. The tankier Blastoise has a decent chance to survive a hit and its Blizzard puts Zapdos at risk. But with Blizzard's low accuracy, and Zapdos's better speed and decent special defense, the legendary thunderbird is more likely than not to score the two-turn KO on the Kanto Water starter.
Running Drill Peck gives Zapdos an answer to Venusaur, even if Zapdos's attack isn't the best.
#3 - Skarmory
Skarmory fits the team well as a solid back-up plan, checking Red's Venusaur and, more importantly, his Snorlax.
Snorlax has a difficult time dealing with physical attackers already, and with Skarmory's high defense and resistance to both of Snorlax's offensive moves, the chunky Normal-type has no choice but to sit there while the player stacks enough Curse buffs to easily wipe it out despite it having Rest.
Drill Peck is the offensive move of choice, with it having STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus) and countering Venusuar.
#4 - Lanturn
Lanturn is an unorthodox pick for sure, but it certainly has its place on this team.
Thanks to its Water and Electric-typing, Lanturn boasts a resistance to Fire, Flying, Water, Ice, and Electric-type moves. This effectively causes two members of Red's team to rely on non-STAB Normal-type attacks and causes another to do next to no damage to the deep-sea Pokemon. The only real threats to Lanturn on Red's team are Espeon and Snorlax.
The most effective use for Lanturn is to deal with Blastoise, though it's also useful for Pikachu (should it escape Tyranitar) and Charizard. It wouldn't be a bad idea to bring Ice Beam, just in case Lanturn ends up facing off against Venusaur though.
#5 - Gengar
The mischievous Ghost-type Gengar is already a particularly strong Pokemon. With its massive and diverse arsenal, it can end up rounding out just about any team's type coverage.
Unfortunately, all Ghost-type moves are physical in Generation II, making Shadow Ball and such, less than effective. Still, there is a solid possibility that a STAB Shadow Ball from Gengar can OHKO Espeon. Other than Shadow Ball, Gengar can run Thunderbolt for yet another Blastoise and Charizard counter and Ice Punch for Venusaur.
The player can choose for themselves whether they would want Destiny Bond to guarantee an Espeon take-down or Dynamic Punch for a faster Snorlax takedown. Since Snorlax can't damage Gengar at all anyways, Destiny Bond is likely the better choice.
#6 - Umbreon
Umbreon is the absolute last line of defense should anything go wrong, on top of being the perfect counter to Espeon. With a combination of Moonlight, Toxic, Bite, and Confuse Ray, Umbreon can outlast just about any single Pokemon on Red's team.
Snorlax is the biggest threat to this strategy, closely followed by Venusaur. But with Skarmory and Gengar heavily countering Snorlax and every other member of the team, other than Tyranitar, having a super-effective move for Venusaur, these two should pose no real threat to Umbreon.