After visiting the gateway to the stars, it’s time to return to terra firma. Let Charizard fly you to Malie City, then head north-west from the Pokémon Center to Malie Garden. As you set foot in the garden, there’s a crowd gathered below the bridge up ahead. Go forward to meet the big, bad boss of Team Skull himself.
Team Skull Boss Guzma
Guzma appears to be a fan of creepy crawlies. His Golisopod, evolved from Wimpod, can be a terror for first-timers. This goliath can use First Impression, a powerful Bug-type move that will nearly always go first. However, it only works on the very first turn that it’s sent out, much like Fake Out.
Therefore you should absolutely send out a Pokémon that resists Bug to deter Golisopod from using this move. Pretty much the only safe Type to use is Flying, since it can use STAB Razor Shell to wash away Rock-types. Also be wary of its Sucker Punch, which goes first if you use an attacking move.
Next up is his Masquerain, which is no less of a threat. This critter, evolved from Surskit, can use Bug Buzz and Air Slash for powerful STAB damage. Rock-types are ideal since they deal 4x damage, while Electric, Flying and Ice-types are also great to have. Flying-types should be wary of Icy Wind though.
Hold your own against Team Skull’s head honcho and Kukui will reward your bravery with a unique Z-Crystal for your starter Pokémon’s fully evolved form: Decidium Z for Decidueye, Incinium Z for Incineroar and Primarium Z for Primarina. For your information, you can receive the other two Z-Crystals later on.
Having reported back to Kukui and returned his… friend’s mask back, you’ll be free to explore the rest of Ula’ula Island. However, there’s a neat throwback if you exit Malie Garden and re-enter. At the bridge directly ahead, several Pokémon trainers have gathered to re-enact the Nugget Bridge, a gauntlet found in the Kanto region.
Rising Star Elijah
The thing you need about these trainers is that their Pokémon are exactly the same as those used by the original Nugget Bridge trainers. Except they are much higher Level. As such, especially after the Guzma battle, these battles aren’t so much about the challenge, but the experience.
Anyway, these are two Bug Pokémon found in Kanto’s Viridian Forest. Caterpie is also native to Alola, but Weedle is nowhere to be found. If you have any Fire, Flying or Rock-types, you know what to do with them.
Rika has two Pokémon commonly found in Kanto, but are absent from the Alola region. Pidgey is essentially the predecessor of Pikipek, the early Normal/Flying-type that can evolve twice. Nidoran (F) is notable for being a gendered Pokémon before Pokémon genders were widely discovered in Pokémon Gold and Silver.
For a change, these are all Pokémon that inhabit Alola, although the Rattata is an original one. If you have a Psychic-type, here’s a good chance to let them loose.
These are the exact same Pokémon used by Rika. Did the original pair of trainers copy each others homework? To be fair, back in the days, there weren’t many Pokémon to choose from. Only 150 versus 800 and counting!
Rising Star Sean
To wrap up the challenge, we have a lonesome Mankey. It’s not particularly scary, but you’d be silly to underestimate any Pokémon. This one know Swagger, which causes confusion and increases your Attack–a painful combination if your Pokémon hits itself.
Defeat all five trainers and you’ll receive your reward: a mouth-watering Big Nugget. As you attempt to leave though, you’ll be persuaded to join a very evil-sounding organization. You could try explaining that you’ve got better things to do, like completing an island challenge. Nope, we didn’t think that would work.
After facing off against the Team Skull boss, this “Team Rocket member” should be easy mode for you. Just let your Psychic or Steel-types play around for a bit and the battle should be over before you know it.
Having conquered Nugget Bridge or otherwise, head east from the bottom of the bridge. Before reaching the small pagoda, there should be a Lass and her Dewpider standing in the middle of the path. Approach the pair and the Lass will tell you about her woes–the only solution being a Pokémon battle, of course.
You can find wild Araquanid in this garden, so an unevolved one should hardly frighten you. In any case, it’s weak to Electric, Flying and Rock, although the latter is weak to Dewpider’s Water-type moves.
After the battle, you’ll receive 5 Net Balls. Well, that’s enough frolicking in the garden; it’s time to press on and seek out the next island trial! Once you’ve finished preparing for another lengthy journey, travel towards the south-west corner of Malie City. When you reach the Sushi High Roller restaurant at the corner of the road, exit south to reach Route 11.
Riddle Me This!
After humbling Guzma at Malie Garden, there’s something new to be found if you return to the room in Hokulani Observatory where you undertook Sophocles’s trial. Near the bottom-right corner is a scientist who has revamped the Charjabug puzzle board. If you complete all four of his brain-bending puzzles, you can earn a rare PP Max.