Team Yell is the featured “evil team” in Sword and Shield, as far as we currently know. Each Pokémon game has featured at least one evil team that is central to the main plot of the games. Generally, they are stealing Pokémon, breaking things, and trying to release legendary Pokémon. With the information we have about Team Yell, we will try to determine what their role might be in these games; villains, or nuisances.
To start with, we need to look at the history of evil teams. Their activities, methods and mantras will help us figure out more about Team Yell.
The original gangsters, operating primarily in the Kanto and Johto regions, this evil team seems relatively simple on the surface. They steal Pokémon, objects, or even take over specific locations. Their leader Giovanni is most definitely meant to be a classic mob boss. But underlying their seemly basic crimes may be a further plot, with the end result to control one of the strongest pokémon of all time; Mewtwo.
Team Aqua & Team
This is where Game Freak decided to really crank up the disaster-scale of villain intentions. Team Magma and Team Aqua both are borderline fanatical cults, attempting to awaken primordial Pokémon to create “the ideal world”.
Team Magma wants to increase landmass by waking Groudon, so there’s more room for people and land-based Pokémon to live in. Meanwhile Team Aqua wishes to unleash Kyogre to flood the world with water, believing it to be necessary for life. Their activities were highly focused; obtaining a method to get to the resting places of these sleeping titans and use ancient artifacts to wake them.
The peak of crazed, cultish, villainous teams. Cyrus, the leader of Team Galactic, wants to create an entirely new universe by opening a hole in the fabric of our world, bringing forth a legendary Pokémon of creation. These methods are once again very similar to Team Aqua and Team Magma, and this is when the formula of villainous teams is really solidified: obtain specific artifacts or technology; attempt to unleash the power of a legendary Pokémon.
This was the first big attempt by Game Freak to shake things up. At first, Team Plasma seems pretty standard. They appear in public places to make grand speeches, try to steal Pokémon, the usual shenanigans. But their supposed purpose is to set Pokémon free. This puts an interesting spin on things, with civilian NPCs even questioning if they are “evil” or are they actually right in their way of thinking. In the end, the leader of Team Plasma, Ghetsis, reveals he has been manipulating the prince N, and has been evil all along.
This is a return to the old formula; a villain who wants to take control of a legendary Pokémon to “create a new world” by stealing Pokémon, commanding control over multiple locations locations and harnessing The power of ancient artifacts. But this time, they do it with style. Lysandre wants everything to be beautiful. But really, he just wants to rule everything, making the underlying intentions of Team Flare no different to that of an “ordinary” evil team.
Team Skull & Aether Foundation
In Sun and Moon, we see another big shake-up in the presentation of the evil teams. Initially, we clash with Team Skull, who do some pretty evil things, like stealing a Pokémon here and there, but mostly Just causing a ruckus. It becomes pretty clear they are generally incompetent and not much more than street thugs; misunderstood youths who make mistakes in life. The true villains are later revealed to be the Aether Foundation, which we initially trust as a good scientific corporation. Lead by Lusamine, they want to open portals to other dimensions to gain control of Ultra Beasts; a somewhat new take on the control of Pokémon but still…
This finally brings us to Team Yell. From our current information, we know they are obsessed with one of our rival trainers: Marnie; an edgy teen who doesn’t seem to particularly enjoy their carousing. We know that in battles against Marnie, they will show up to cheer her on. It also seems that they will be aggressive towards anyone who doesn’t support Marnie. Their outfits are that of punk-rock superfans, less of cult members and lab coats.
Our guess? They will be somewhat similar to Team Skull. The goofy gangsters of the Alola region were almost lovable, with their zany poses and their vibe of pranking and tom-foolery. Team Yell looks like it may take a similar route. Sure they will show up and cause trouble, and we will definitely need to stop them from going overboard, but it’s a safe bet to say they aren’t a true threat; definitely not on the same scale as evil teams of past.