The new free-to-play mobile game Pokémon Go is a fierce battle to be the very best, and players all around the world have picked their sides. Upon reaching level five, trainers are asked to ally themselves with one of three Pokémon Go teams: Instinct, Mystic or Valor. From then on, one of your main goals is to capture gyms throughout the real world and claim them for your faction.
The differences between the teams are somewhat arbitrary, but since the game was released, each group has developed its own sense of community, complete with websites, Twitter pages, wallpapers, T-shirts, and more. They have also become quite fierce and competitive, although it’s mostly all in good fun.
Here’s everything you need to know about Team Mystic and its online community.
1. Their Leader is Blanche
Every Pokemon Go team has a leader, and Mystic’s leader is Blanche.
Not a whole lot is known about her, and in fact when the game was first released, we didn’t even know what she looked like; all players had was a silhouette. But at Comic-Con 2016, the full image of Blanche was revealed: she has white hair and wears mostly blue, with a blue coat and blue boots.
As soon as the image of Blanche was revealed, fans went wild with some incredibly creative art of Blanche used to promote Team Mystic. For more, check out our collection of the very best fan art from the blue team:
2. They Value Logic & Wisdom
The game itself doesn’t provide that much information about Team Mystic, but there is one word Blanche uses to describe the group: wisdom. She believes that the wisdom of the Pokémon is immeasurably deep, while she also mentions that she is researching why exactly the Pokémon evolve.
Finally, Blanche says that the team will emerge victorious thanks to a calm analysis of every situation.
Not everyone picks their team based on the philosophy; some just like Articuno or the color blue. But those drawn to the belief system of Mystic tend to like it for its focus on science, logic, and maintaining a cool head.
For comparison, Team Valor is all about being the best, with Candela emphasizing the importance of strength and power. And Instinct is about trust, as Spark mentions players will never lose if they follow their instincts.
3. They Are the Most Popular Team
If the battle between the three teams was a popularity contest, Mystic would have a pretty substantial lead. In the Pokémon Go online community, they are the most popular team.
A recent Kotaku poll of 100,000 players found that 37 percent of respondents were on Team Mystic. Valor came in a distant second with 29 percent of the vote, while Instinct received 23 percent.
On Reddit, the Team Mystic subreddit has the most number of subscribers of the three, with 31,646 Redditors making use of this subforum. For comparison, the Team Instinct subreddit has 28,798 subscribers, and the Team Valor subreddit has 18,360 subscribers.
4. They Compare Themselves to House Stark
Members of Team Mystic often compare themselves to House Stark from Game of Thrones, using the motto, “Team Mystic knows no bird but the bird in the North, whose name is Articuno.” This is a reference to Lyanna Mormont’s refusal to ally with Stannis Baratheon, writing to him, “Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is Stark.”
On the Pokémon Go subreddit, another user took this analogy even further, rewriting Lyanna Mormont’s speech in the Season 6 finale to fit Team Mystic:
Your team was butchered at the Red Wedding, MysticLuver6969, but you refused the call,” “You swore allegiance to Team Mystic, PokeBluBoy, but in our hour of greatest need, you refused the call.” “And you, LordMystic, your gym was skinned alive by Team Instinct. Still you refused the call. But Blue Team remembers. The North remembers. We know no team but the bird in the North whose name is Articuno. I don’t care if he’s an Ice bird. Lugia’s blood runs through his veins. He’s my bird from this day until his last day.
Several users responded to that post saying that this alone had convinced them to join Team Mystic.
Speaking of Game of Thrones, while Mystic is compared to House Stark, Valor traditionally is compared to House Targaryen. Part of this might just be because blue and red line up with Stark and Targaryen. But there’s also the fact that Team Valor is driven by power, as Candela says in her in-game introduction. What is Daenerys Targaryen all about if not power, strength, fire and blood? Meanwhile, Mystic is driven more by wisdom, a quality that has come to define members of the Stark family.
5. They Really Hate Team Valor
Even though there are three teams in Pokémon Go, right now, it’s mostly a battle between Team Valor and Team Mystic. They’re the two most popular groups in the game, and they’ve focused their hated primarily on one another, while Team Instinct is out there doing its own thing.
In fact, many of the the memes created by Team Valor and Team Mystic are directed towards each other, while you will rarely see Instinct getting involved in the fight very much. Valor accuses Mystic of being smug about their large numbers and superiority, while Mystic sees Valor as being a bunch of angry, viscous trolls.
Of course, they don’t really hate each other; the trash talk is merely part of the fun.