Fly to Aether Paradise and make your way to the northern exit of the indoors Entrance area. You’ll find Lillie and Wicke standing by the exit. The pair will brief you on the situation, which is about as bad as you’d expect. Of course, there’s only one Pokémon trainer capable enough to handle the situation–the Champion, you, yourself.
As encouragement, you’ll receive a Big Malasada from Wicke. When you’re ready, follow Lillie through the exit. Nearby, a Team Rainbow Rocket Grunt will try to stop you, but Lillie will distract him for you. Head north towards the residence. Along the way, you’ll need to battle a couple of Grunts yourself.
At this stage, none of these Grunts should pose a problem for a Pokémon trainer of your caliber. Most Grunts only field one Pokémon, although a small number have two. Their Pokémon are also highly predictable, very often Poison-types found in the Kanto region. All of their Pokémon are Kantonian form as well.
Rather than a challenge, the Grunts are meant to be a nuisance. Or a nostalgia trip. Or an easy way to gain experience points. You choose. As such, we won’t bother wasting time dissecting their teams, instead consolidating their details and leaving the strategizing (which generally boils down to "hit them with your strongest Pokémon") to you.
Team Rainbow Rocket Grunts
|First Grunt along the way to the residence.||Primeape (Lv. 61)|
|Second Grunt along the way to the residence.||Persian (Lv. 61)|
|Third Grunt along the way to the residence.||Haunter (Lv. 61)|
|Fourth Grunt along the way to the residence.||Golbat (Lv. 61)|
Once you’ve dealt with all four Grunts in your path, ensure that your Pokémon are in perfect condition before continuing ahead. As you approach the transformed building, Lillie will catch up. Before you can proceed inside, an unwelcome guest comes to interrupt your progress. Only one person could be dumb enough to try and stop you…
Aether Branch Chief Faba and Aether Foundation Employee
During this battle, you’ll fight alongside Lillie who makes her first proper debut as a Pokémon trainer! While Lillie has done well to train up her Pokémon in the space of a few days, you’ll have to do most of the heavy lifting. She’s only brought one Pokémon–Clefairy–and it specializes in support rather than offense.
Faba has his usual brand of Psychic-types, which you battled against while infiltrating Aether Paradise. As before, Claydol is weak to Water, Grass, Ice, Bug, Ghost and Dark. Water-types need to be careful of Grass Knot, especially if they’re heavy, while Ice and Bug-types can be hurt by Ancient Power.
Bruxish is still a brute, able to use Psychic Fangs to break Clefairy’s barriers and inflict heavy damage, as well as Aqua Jet to finish off weakened foes. You’ll want to KO it fast before Clefairy drops to the floor. Grass, Electric, Bug or Dark-types are ideal. Ghost-types also work well, but will need to anticipate Crunch.
Finally, Faba’s Hypno has the annoying Hypnosis that has a 60% chance to inflict Sleep, but always seems to work when you least want it. If your Pokémon are asleep, it can use Dream Eater to deal heavy damage and absorb HP. Dark-types will avoid its Psychic-type moves, including Dream Eater, but are susceptible to its Focus Blast.
Similar to Lillie, Faba’s Aether Foundation lackey plays a support role. But instead of boosting the defenses of Faba’s Pokémon, he will try to enfeeble your Pokémon instead or, worse, render them unable to fight. His first two Pokémon–Granbull and Scrafty–only use Snarl. This is a Dark-type move that reduces Special Attack when hit.
Granbull is weak to Steel and Poison, but fielding a Poison-type is dangerous considering Faba’s Pokémon are all Psychic-types. Leaving Steel as the prime choice. Meanwhile Scrafty is incredibly weak to Fairy, and weak to Flying and Fighting. Likewise, Fighting-types should be avoided due to Faba’s Psychic presence.
Last but not least, the lackey has a Shiinotic that uses Spore to send a Pokémon to sleep with 100% accuracy. Just in case Hypno’s Hypnosis wasn’t already bad enough. When asleep, it will barrage both Pokémon with Dazzling Gleam. If you have non Poison-types with Poison-type moves, they will be ideal. Otherwise stick with Fire or Steel-types.
The easiest way to deal with this battle is to focus on removing the Aether Foundation Employee. Faba’s Claydol lacks offense and combined with Clefairy’s Light Screen, both your Pokémon and Clefairy should be able to last many hits from it. Whereas the Employee’s Pokémon will continue to be a nuisance throughout the battle.
Having proven just how much of a fool Faba is (again), he’ll step aside. Enter the crimson-colored castle via the front door.
Team Rockets Castle
Inside, head for the door directly ahead, which should lead to Lusamine’s room. Unfortunately the teleporter behind the mirror is inaccessible. Follow Lillie’s advice and return to the entrance of the castle to find another way forward. You’ll bump into a pair of Rainbow Rocket Grunts all too eager to send you scurrying.
Team Rainbow Rocket Grunt x2
This time, Guzma will lend you a hand with his potent team of Bugs, starting with Golisopod. Your foes are absolute wimps, so this is mainly an opportunity to show off your prowess alongside the big bad, ex-boss of Team Skull. To make things easier, you should focus on Fearow to give Guzma breathing space.
Afterwards, the Grunts will retreat separately and, in their haste, they’ll forget to close off their escape route. Now’s your chance to give chase! Before that though, Lillie will heal your Pokémon; she’ll then retreat to the back room in case you need more healing. From here, you can venture east or west through the doors that the Grunts left open.