The new mobile game Pokémon Masters is sure to delight fans of the non-Pokémon characters in the Pokémon universe. Pokémon Trainers from throughout history appear in the game as special sync pairs with their partner Pokémon, and players can join forces with them to take on all sorts of powerful opponents.
Among the first sync pairs you'll encounter in Pokémon Masters is one of the most beloved characters of all—Pewter City's Gym Leader, Brock, along with his Onix. This famous fellow from the Kanto region has been popping up in a lot of places recently. In addition to his prominent role in Pokémon Masters, he's also been waiting to challenge players in Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! for Nintendo Switch. Brock has also made recent appearances in the Pokémon TCG and Pokémon the Series.
Several months ago, we took a closer look at Brock and Cerulean City Gym Leader Misty in a Trainer Spotlight article, but Brock's featured role in Pokémon Masters prompted us to catch up with the Rock-Solid Pokémon Trainer to see what he's been up to lately.
In Pokémon the Series
Pokémon the Series has been on the air for more than 20 years, and one aspect that remains constant is that our hero Ash Ketchum always has at least one traveling companion as he explores the Pokémon world. As one of Ash's first (human) partners on his ongoing journey, Brock is still fondly remembered—in fact, he's even made recent appearances in Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon and Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Legends.
We're introduced to Brock when Ash challenges the Pewter City Gym (“Showdown in Pewter City”) for his first badge. Gym Leader Brock gives Ash a harsh lesson in type matchups when he pits his Onix against Ash's Pikachu (as a Ground type, Onix is immune to Pikachu's Electric-type moves). Later, we learn that the seemingly gruff Brock is actually a tender caregiver who takes care of his many younger siblings in the absence of their parents. Don't mistake Brock's tenderness for weakness, though. During a fierce rematch with Ash, Brock is dedicated to pushing his Pokémon to the limit, urging his Onix to keep fighting even after it's weakened when the Gym's sprinklers are set off during the battle.
When Ash calls off the fight due to the circumstances, Brock is inspired by his opponent's spirit and reveals that his true desire is to become a Pokémon Breeder. The surprise return of Brock's father gives Brock the opportunity to join Ash and Misty to pursue his dream.
Brock has a natural instinct for taking care of people and tends to dole out advice to his friends in an effort to keep them out of trouble. He is also a skilled cook and frequently prepares meals for Ash, Misty, and their Pokémon partners...although he does have an odd tendency to mistake onigiri (Japanese rice balls) for donuts or sandwiches. One quirk of Brock's personality is his habit of developing an enormous and immediate crush on just about any woman he meets—just ask Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny. This often leads to Misty angrily dragging him away when he won't leave the ladies alone. (In Misty's absence, Brock's Croagunk is usually the one who ensures he stays in line.)
Despite Brock's close relationship with Ash, circumstances force them to go their separate ways, but they remain good friends and continue to reunite on occasion. Notably, Brock rejoins Ash when Ash travels to the Hoenn region in Pokémon Advanced, the sixth season of Pokémon the Series. In the Sun & Moon season, Ash takes a break from his journey in the Alola region to return to Kanto for a brief visit home, and his friends from the Pokémon School come along for a field trip! This prompts a reunion—and a few heated Pokémon battles—with Brock (“Alola, Kanto!” and “When Regions Collide!”). The travel itineraries get flipped when Brock later travels to the Alola region for a vacation. In addition to showing off his cooking prowess, Brock gets to bond with Kahuna Olivia of Akala Island over their love of Rock-type Pokémon (“Alola, Alola!” and “Heart of Fire, Heart of Stone!”).
In the Video Games
Brock has been part of the Pokémon video game series right from the start, with his appearance as the Pewter City Gym Leader in Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue. He returns as a Gym Leader in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver and then shows up again in Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 as an opponent in the Kanto Leaders Tournament at the Pokémon World Tournament. You'll even find him in Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Stadium 2, and Pokémon Puzzle League!
The people of Kanto speak highly of Brock. As a Gym Leader, he is liked and respected by other Pokémon Trainers, and he is known to take his responsibilities seriously. Brock is a master of Rock-type Pokémon, and he boasts of his partners' strong will and “true-grit determination.” Of course, Brock's trademark Onix may be big, but even it is vulnerable to a strong Water- or Grass-type attack.
Recently, Brock has returned in Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! His battle strategy hasn't changed much after all these years, so you should be able to earn the Boulder Badge with no problem!
As mentioned earlier, Brock plays an important role in Pokémon Masters for iOS and Android devices. He joins up with your characters right away in their adventures, and—true to his nature—he acts as both a close friend and a mentor. He's always ready to support you with a handy Potion, and given his status as a Gym Leader, he's very well-known by many of the other sync pairs you'll encounter during the game. Brock's characterization in Pokémon Masters seems to be an amusing blend of his serious approach to battling from previous video games and his slightly goofy nature from Pokémon the Series.
Brock even has a special sync pair story to play through that will help you form even more of a connection with him. When you play through Pokémon Masters for yourself, you'll get a better idea of how he thinks as a Pokémon Trainer as you explore the bond he has with sync pair partner, Onix.
In the Pokémon TCG
As such a prominent character in the world of Pokémon, Brock has been part of the Pokémon Trading Card Game since the early days. He was introduced in the Gym Heroes expansion way back in 2000, and he had his own theme deck that included cards focused on him, his Gym, and his Pokémon.
The original Brock card plays into the character's nurturing side, allowing the player to heal 10 damage from each of their Pokémon. Brock's Training Method lets the player search their deck for any Pokémon that bears Brock's name and put it into their hand. Fortunately, several Pokémon in the Gym Heroes expansion are on Brock's team, so this card is a good way to get one of the Rock-Solid Pokémon Trainer's best battlers into play.
Brock appeared again in the Gym Challenge expansion with Brock's Protection, which works somewhat like a Pokémon Tool card—you attach it to one of Brock's Pokémon, and then your opponent can't remove that Pokémon's attached Energy by using an attack or a Trainer card.
Brock returned in the XY—Evolutions expansion with Brock's Grit. This card lets players shuffle a combination of six Pokémon and basic Energy cards from their discard pile into their deck. It's a nice representation of Brock's determination and drive to take a strategy that has seemingly been defeated and urge it back into action to continue the battle. This card recently made a reappearance in the Sun & Moon—Team Up expansion.
There's no doubt that Brock is one of the most popular characters in the world of Pokémon. Given his long-running popularity, we wouldn't be surprised to see this charismatic Gym Leader make more appearances in the future. Until that time, though, please look forward to our next Trainer Spotlight!