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Pokémon League Battles

Vincent Lau

Unlike the Pokémon games released over the past few years (since Black/White in 2011), these battles are fought sequentially.

BOSS: Elite Four Sidney

Pokémon Type Moves
"Mightyena" IconMightyena Lv. 50 Dark Swagger, Take Down, Sucker Punch, Crunch
"Shiftry" IconShiftry Lv. 50 Grass/Dark Fake Out, Feint Attack Extrasensory, Leaf Blade
"Cacturne" IconCacturne Lv. 50 Grass/Dark Leech Seed, Payback, Needle Arm, Spiky Shield
"Sharpedo" IconSharpedo Lv. 50 Water/Dark Crunch, Poison Fang, Aqua Jet, Slash
"Absol" IconAbsol Lv. 52 Dark Aerial Ace, Night Slash, Psycho Cut, Slash

Rewards : $8,320

"Mightyena" IconMightyena is mostly here to annoy you through its Intimidate and then Swagger. It loves to take advantage of those with prior knowledge that intend to use Fighting Pokémon, first weakening them for their first blow and then strengthening them to only confuse them in the same turn.

It’s actually moderately potent if you’re at an average level. Leading with a Special-attacking Pokémon would be best for this fight, particularly one that can use Focus Blast, such as "Kadabra" IconKadabra/Alakazam and "Gardevoir" IconGardevoir. "Gardevoir" IconGardevoir also works well for the Fairy moveset portion of it.

"Shiftry" IconShiftry is mostly here for a straight-up offense; avoid using Sunny Day or it’ll receive a nasty Speed buff. Straight-up weakness-targetting is the best way to return the favour. Bug is the preferred type for the double-damage, but Poison, Ice, Flying, Fire, Fairy, and Fighting also work well.

"Cacturne" IconCacturne is much in the same vein as "Shiftry" IconShiftry, and should be handled in the same fashion. Contact attackers are discouraged here since Spiky Shield will take away a chunk of your HP; it’s better to stick to Special attackers as a result, again like "Gardevoir" IconGardevoir and "Kadabra" IconKadabra/Alakazam.

"Sharpedo" IconSharpedo is another straight offensive Pokémon where contact moves should be avoided, this time due to Rough Skin. Likewise, avoid Fairy-types, due to Poison Fang, and Fire-types, due to Aqua Jet. Otherwise simply pound with Grass, Electric, Fighting, Fairy, or Bug moves.

"Absol" IconAbsol is the cornerstone of Sidney’s team, and is rather threatening since it has a good chance of outpowering and outspeeding you. In this instance, "Gardevoir" IconGardevoir would be great to use, as would be Fairies in general, for their ability to resist and then return back super-effective damage.

Bugs and Fighting Pokémon are mostly a bad idea unless you’re fairly overleveled and thus can outspeed since Aerial Ace and Psycho Cut pose problems. It’s pretty simple, though.

BOSS: Elite Four Phoebe

Pokémon Type Moves
"Dusclops" IconDusclops Lv. 51 Ghost Shadow Punch, Confuse Ray, Curse, Future Sight
"Banette" IconBanette Lv. 51 Ghost Shadow Ball, Spite, Will-O-Wisp, Feint Attack
"Sableye" IconSableye Lv. 51 Ghost/Dark Shadow Claw, Foul Play, Power Gem, Fake Out
"Banette" IconBanette Lv. 51 Ghost Shadow Ball, Grudge, Toxic, Psychic
"Dusknoir" IconDusknoir Lv. 53 Ghost Hex, Fire Punch, Ice Punch, Thunder Punch

Rewards : $8,480

"Dusclops" IconDusclops is mostly here to screw you over with Curse and Confuse Ray. Curse is particularly nasty since it causes you to lose a lot of HP in small periods of time (since "Dusclops" IconDusclops is Ghost), so taking him out fast is of the utmost importance.

Generic Dark Pokémon should work adequately here, as would Shadow Ball from good Special attackers, or simply a good STAB move from your highest-leveled Pokémon.

"Banette" IconBanette #1 should have been a threat but really isn’t too much. It is here to screw with your PP and to Burn you. The PP thing can be a bit harmful if you have low PP moves and few ways to restore PP (eg. Ethers, Elixirs), but generally not an issue if you healed before the League.

Burning is also problematic, particularly for Physically-oriented Pokémon, but that can be handled with a Full/Burn Heal. So, yeah, "Banette" IconBanette’s not that big of a problem; take him out however you wish.

"Sableye" IconSableye is interestingly only weak to Fairy, and he doesn’t play his intended role of status crippler (notice he has Prankster, which makes status moves go first?) very well. I mean, really, not one status move. "Sableye" IconSableye is weak in general, too; that’s his only real use.

In this case, "Sableye" IconSableye’s only threat is through Foul Play, which will hurt high Attack Pokémon. But he shouldn’t get to use a move at all considering he’s so frail. Spam a Fairy move if at all possible, but otherwise even a generic STAB move should score an One-Hit KO.

"Banette" IconBanette #2 is only slightly more of a threat than the first. Other than Burn you, it can Badly Poison you through Toxic, though that’s another thing that can be easily healed. (And, due to its early damage accumulation pattern, probably ignored for a few turns too.)

Grudge is more threatening than Spite was since it’s a loss of all PP for a move if it works and it probably will. Still, you should have several Pokémon to combat these guys, so it’s not a major thing. Its Shadow Ball and Psychic aren’t troublesome, particularly if you’re using Dark-types.

"Dusknoir" IconDusknoir is perhaps the culmination of the team, playing a nice sweeper role. The main problem is that "Dusknoir" IconDusknoir is more about bulk than actual offensive prowess. Still, sweeping is sweeping. Indeed, you should still be using a Ghost or Dark Pokémon (ideally), so it’s not that much of a threat.

Hex is the main threat in this fight, and probably what the "Banette" IconBanettes were setting you up for; it will be double power (+ STAB) on those who are Burned or Badly Poisoned - in this case - which can accumulate pretty fast from a base 60 Power.

If you have an ailment on you, heal it and then you’re more or less in the clear unless one of the Punches ails you, in which case cure it again. Handle it in the general way; weaknesses!

BOSS: Elite Four Glacia

Pokémon Type Moves
"Glalie" IconGlalie Lv. 52 Ice Light Screen, Ice Shard, Hail, Crunch
"Froslass" IconFroslass Lv. 52 Ice/Ghost Confuse Ray, Blizzard, Hail, Ominous Wind
"Glalie" IconGlalie Lv. 52 Ice Protect, Ice Shard, Hail, Freeze-Dry
"Froslass" IconFroslass Lv. 52 Ice/Ghost Draining Kiss, Blizzard, Hail, Shadow Ball
"Walrein" IconWalrein Lv. 54 Ice/Water Surf, Body Slam, Blizzard, Sheer Cold

Rewards : $8,640

"Glalie" IconGlalie #1 is mostly here to set up Hail and in turn aid the later "Froslass" IconFroslasses in their dodging efforts. Besides this, it also plays a supportive role in setting up Light Screen to mess with you if you’re using a Special Attacker that’s super-effective against Ice Pokémon; that is, Fire, Steel, Fighting, and Rock.

In any case, Ice Shard and Crunch throw up negligible amounts of damage at best given "Glalie" IconGlalie’s rather poor Attack stat, so it’s mostly just nuking him outright if you can to avoid the set-up of Hail/Light Screen.

"Froslass" IconFroslass #1 mostly serves to set-up Hail if it’s not there yet; Hail is the weather this team largely relies on, mostly for Snow Cloak and to maximize hit rate of Blizzard. Other than that, it will try to Confuse you and capitalize on Blizzard’s maximized hit rate of still alive.

Mostly hit it with its weaknesses (not Fighting anymore, which is swapped for Ghost and Dark); it’s frail and will likely die in one hit.

"Glalie" IconGlalie #2 plays much the same role as the first, but it has Protect to potentially stall and take advantage of the Hail damage.

"Froslass" IconFroslass #2 is much the same as the first one, but more offensively oriented since it has Shadow Ball and Draining Kiss instead of Ominous Wind and Confuse Ray; it is probably the biggest threat in the battle, to be honest.

That said, it is also quite frail, and has a tendency to use Hail if it’s not active still, leaving it wide open to One-Hit KO attacks if they abuse weaknesses, or even simply STAB-boosted.

"Walrein" IconWalrein it mostly depends on his luck with Sheer Cold, which is a One Hit KO move with low accuracy, but becomes more accurate if it’s higher Level than your Pokémon (and less accurate if it’s lower Level). Getting a high-leveled Pokémon will be very helpful in avoiding this.

Sheer Cold will be the main threat; Surf, Body Slam, and Blizzard all pose threats of their own in terms of offense, but "Walrein" IconWalrein simply won’t have the stats to back it up, even with STAB, so long as you’re not using something weak to those move types.

BOSS: Elite Four Drake

Pokémon Type Moves
"Altaria" IconAltaria Lv. 53 Dragon/Flying Aerial Ace, Cotton Guard, Dragon Pulse, Moonblast
"Flygon" IconFlygon Lv. 53 Dragon/Ground Earthquake, Dragon Claw, Rock Slide, Supersonic
"Kingdra" IconKingdra Lv. 53 Dragon/Water Dragon Pulse, Surf, Yawn, Ice Beam
"Flygon" IconFlygon Lv. 53 Dragon/Ground Flamethrower, Boomburst, Dragon Pulse, Screech
"Salamence" IconSalamence Lv. 55 Dragon/Flying Dragon Rush, Zen Headbutt, Crunch, Thunder Fang

Rewards : $8,800

"Altaria" IconAltaria , as usual, plays the general role of a wall in this battle, at least to some degree: he’s more oriented toward offense than usual, though Cotton Guard still makes an appearance to stave off your physical attackers.

It still doesn’t have the stats to back up its offense very adequately, though, unless you happen to use a Pokémon weak to the types of moves that it uses (and, even then, a One-Hit KO is unlikely). Ice moves are the preference here, but Dragon, Rock, and Fairy also work.

"Flygon" IconFlygon #1 is oriented to an offensive strategy and does so quite well… if only he had the stats to truly back it up. (That’s a problem with a lot of the Elite Four: they have good ideas and strategies, but their Pokémon don’t have the stats to back them up.)

In this case, "Flygon" IconFlygon can nonetheless be a problem if you’re weak to one of its moves; Dragons and Ice Pokémon are at threat here, since "Flygon" IconFlygon is pretty fast. A good Fairy Pokémon is ideal here for that. Just beware Supersonic especially if you’re using a physical Pokémon.

"Kingdra" IconKingdra is another here mostly for offense, and does so better than anyone else on the team, mostly because he doesn’t have a double weakness that can be abused, just Fairy and Dragon.

For the most part, hit the weaknesses and try to avoid Yawn. Yawn can be an annoying status to deal with since it causes Sleep in a couple of turns, but it’s simply something to heal and move on. Hit weaknesses and move on.

"Flygon" IconFlygon #2 is much the same as the other one, but Specially-oriented rather than Physically, which is a drawback to "Flygon" IconFlygon as a whole since it’s better for Physical moves. Handle it in the same way as the other, and with the same considerations.

"Salamence" IconSalamence is the cornerstone of Drake’s team and itself runs a pretty standard moveset for competitive battling (more or less) and clearly plays the role of a sweeper Pokémon. A lot of your Pokémon are threatened by this one; Dragons are the main ones of its weaknesses you’ll want to avoid.

Ice Pokémon are still okay, as are Fairy and Rock Pokémon, so spamming those (Fairies or Ice especially) will work really well. A straight-up Pokémon battle, more or less, across the board.

BOSS: Pokémon League Champion Steven

Pokémon Type Moves
"Skarmory" IconSkarmory Lv. 57 Steel/Flying Toxic, Aerial Ace, Spikes, Steel Wing
"Claydol" IconClaydol Lv. 57 Ground/Psychic Reflect, Light Screen, Extrasensory, Earth Power
"Aggron" IconAggron Lv. 57 Steel/Rock Stone Edge, Earthquake, Iron Tail, Dragon Claw
"Cradily" IconCradily Lv. 57 Rock/Grass Giga Drain, Ancient Power, Sludge Bomb, Confuse Ray
"Armaldo" IconArmaldo Lv. 57 Rock/Bug X-Scissor, Rock Blast, Metal Claw, Crush Claw
Mega "Metagross" IconMetagross Lv. 59 Steel/Psychic Bullet Punch, Zen Headbutt, Meteor Mash, Giga Impact

Rewards : $11,800

"Skarmory" IconSkarmory leads Steven’s party, and loves to play its role in setting a hazard in Spikes before proceeding to Badly Poison your Pokémon. Other than this, "Skarmory" IconSkarmory is mostly filler material as it is not that strong of an attacker.

You probably won’t be able to kill "Skarmory" IconSkarmory before it gets done with Spikes (Sturdy), but try to KO it before it gets done with Toxic. Focus on Fire and Electric Pokémon for the kill.

"Claydol" IconClaydol is one of several aberrations from Steven’s specialization in Steel, this one being weak to Grass, Water, Dark, and Ghost.

He mostly plays the role of a weak support through Reflect and Light Screen while his offensive moves aren’t very strong, even though STAB-boosted. Smack him with a super-effective/STAB move or the like and move on.

"Aggron" IconAggron is a powerful enough Pokémon to throw you some trouble, particularly with the sweeper set he’s using, but the main problems lie in two areas: a lack of Speed and a double-weakness to Fighting and Ground. Hit him with those kinds of moves twice (again, Sturdy) and move on.

"Cradily" IconCradily is normally used as a wall, but Steven seems to favor him as a Special attacker. Lucky for us, "Cradily" IconCradily doesn’t have much Special Attack to begin with, so this will mostly be a clean sweep: it’s weak to Ice, Fighting, Steel, Poison, and Bug moves. Just be wary of Confuse Ray.

"Armaldo" IconArmaldo is probably the second-biggest threat in this battle, because of his somewhat decent movepool and power. Luckily, his movepool’s variety is poor enough to give us some wiggle room, especially given he won’t hit the Pokémon he’s weak to.

In terms of weaknesses, there is Steel, Rock, and Fighting. Rock can be hit super-effectively, but Metal Claw’s low power makes it tolerable enough for you to get in that killing second hit. He’ll mostly focus on his STAB moves for the most part anyway.

Mega "Metagross" IconMetagross is tough; save an ace or two for it.

"Metagross" IconMetagross is overwhelmingly the largest threat on Steven’s team and of the Elite Four run in general. After Mega Evolving, in addition to receiving a significant boost to stats, he’ll also gain Tough Claws, raising the power of his contact moves (i.e all of them) by a further 33%.

His moves are used varyingly, but Zen Headbutt and Meteor Mash are the big ones to worry about as they’ll have a base 135 power with STAB and 180 after Tough Claws: almost as strong as super-effective hits. Don’t forget Bullet Punch, which usually goes first, compensating for low Speed.

The main way to kill it is to get rid of it ASAP with strong, STAB-boosted super-effective (Fire/Ground/Dark/Ghost) attacks. "Blaziken" IconBlaziken is fast enough to make this work with Overheat, Blaze Kick, or Flare Blitz, at least in part, and "Swampert" IconSwampert works amazingly well for it with Earthquake.

You can also teach Shadow Ball to your "Latios" IconLatios/Latias - it won’t be STAB, but it will still hurt. Finally, if all else fails, Primal "Kyogre" IconKyogre or "Groudon" IconGroudon both work well, easily resisting a number of these moves and throwing back obscenely powerful ones in return, mostly because of their high stats.


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms,
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    28 November 2014
  • Last Updated
    7 December 2020
  • Guide Author
    Vincent Lau

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Relive your adventures in Hoenn or start a brand new journey with this re-imagining of a much-loved game. Collect and battle your way to the Pokemon League for the right to challenge the Elite Four. Hunt legendary Pokemon, breed them and become the best Pokemon Master you can be with the help of our guide!

  • A full walkthrough for all badges and the Pokemon League challenges.
  • Side quest information on legendary Pokemon and the different Routes and Caves.
  • Information on breeding, Pokemon Contests, the Battle Maison and much more!
  • Full-color screenshots throughout and useful tips to help you along the way.
  • Comparisons between the original game and remake.

Updates (Aug 2016):

  • Added Encounter Rates to Wild Pokémon table lists as well as general locations making it easier to find your favorite Pokémon.
  • Fixed some formatting issues and general editing.
  • Expanded Introduction with loads of new information.
  • Restructured Extra Activities section (at the end) for easier navigation and reading.

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