Pokemon Comparison FAQ by Magicxgame

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    Pokemon Comparison FAQ by Magicxgame

    Version: 1.02 | Updated: 11/04/12 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
      1. Ranking Guidelines
    2. In-Game Tier List
    3. In-Game 101: A Refresher
      1. Don't Use a Full Team
      2. Diverse Movesets are Grossly Overrated In-Game
      3. Using Legendary Pokémon isn't a Sin
      4. "Good" and "Bad" Attacks In-Game
      5. Seriously, Use Items
      6. Set Up on Leads and Sweep
    4. Abbreviations
    5. Pokémon Reviews
      1. #000 Victini
      2. #001-003 Snivy Family
      3. #004-006 Tepig Family
      4. #007-009 Oshawott Family
      5. #010-011 Patrat Family
      6. #012-013 Purrloin Family
      7. #014-016 Pidove Family
      8. #017-019 Sewaddle Family
      9. #020-021 Sunkern Family
      10. #022-024 Lillipup Family
      11. #025-027 Mareep Family
      12. #028-029 Psyduck Family
      13. #030-032 Azurill Family
      14. #033-034 Riolu Family
      15. #035 Dunsparce
      16. #036 Audino
      17. #037-038 Pansage Family
      18. #039-040 Pansear Family
      19. #041-042 Panpour Family
      20. #043-045 Venipede Family
      21. #046-047 Koffing Family
      22. #048-050 Magnemite Family
      23. #051-101: Growlithe-Krookodile
      24. #051-052 Growlithe Family
      25. #053-055 Magby Family
      26. #056-058 Elekid Family
      27. #059-060 Rattata Family
      28. #061-063 Zubat Family
      29. #064-065 Grimer Family
      30. #066-067 Woobat Family
      31. #068-070 Roggenrola Family
      32. #071-072 Onix Family
      33. #073-075 Timburr Family
      34. #076-077 Drilbur Family
      35. #078-079 Skitty Family
      36. #080-081 Buneary Family
      37. #082-083 Cottonee Family
      38. #084-085 Petilil Family
      39. #086-087 Munna Family
      40. #088-090 Cleffa Family
      41. #091-098 Eevee Family
      42. #099-101 Sandile Family
      43. #102-150: Darumaka-Floatzel
      44. #102-103 Darumaka Family
      45. #104 Basculin
      46. #105-106 Trubbish Family
      47. #107-108 Minccino Family
      48. #109-110 Rufflet Family
      49. #110 Braviary (Route 4)
      50. #111-112 Vullaby Family
      51. #112 Mandibuzz (Route 4)
      52. #113-114 Sandshrew Family
      53. #115-116 Dwebble Family
      54. #117-118 Scraggy Family
      55. #119 Maractus
      56. #120 Sigilyph
      57. #121-123 Trapinch Family
      58. #124-125 Yamask Family
      59. #126-129 Tirtouga-Archeops
      60. #130-132 Klink Family
      61. #133-135 Budew Family
      62. #136-138 Gothita Family
      63. #139-141 Solosis Family
      64. #142-143 Combee Family
      65. #144 Emolga
      66. #145 Heracross
      67. #146 Pinsir
      68. #147-148 Blitzle Family
      69. #149-150 Buizel Family
      70. #151-200: Zorua-Landorus
      71. #151-152 Zorua Family
      72. #153-154 Ducklett Family
      73. #155-156 Karrablast Family
      74. #157-158 Shelmet Family
      75. #159-160 Deerling Family
      76. #161-162 Foongus Family
      77. #163 Castform
      78. #164-165 Nosepass Family
      79. #166-168 Aron Family
      80. #169-170 Baltoy Family
      81. #172 Volcarona (Relic Castle)
      82. #173-174 Joltik Family
      83. #175-176 Ferroseed Family
      84. #177-179 Tynamo Family
      85. #180-181 Frillish Family
      86. #182 Alomomola
      87. #183-185 Axew Family
      88. #186 Zangoose
      89. #187 Seviper
      90. #188-189 Elgyem Family
      91. #190-192 Litwick Family
      92. #193-194 Heatmor-Durant
      93. #195-196 Cubchoo Family
      94. #197-200 Cryogonal-Landorus
      95. #201-249: Skorupi-Ninetales
      96. #201-202 Skorupi Family
      97. #203 Skarmory
      98. #204-205 Numel Family
      99. #206-207 Spoink Family
      100. #208-209 Drifloon Family
      101. #210-211 Shuppet Family
      102. #212-213 Pelipper Family
      103. #214 Lunatone
      104. #215 Solrock
      105. #216 Absol
      106. #217-218 Tangela Family
      107. #219-220 Mienfoo Family
      108. #221-222 Gligar Family
      109. #223-224 Pawniard Family
      110. #225 Cobalion
      111. #226 Virizion
      112. #227 Terrakion
      113. #228-231 Tympole-Stunfisk
      114. #232 Shuckle
      115. #233-234 Mantyke Family
      116. #235-236 Remoraid Family
      117. #237 Corsola
      118. #238-239 Staryu Family
      119. #240-241 Wailmer Family
      120. #242 Lapras
      121. #243-245 Spheal Family
      122. #246-247 Swablu Family
      123. #248-249 Vulpix Family
      124. #250-300: Bronzor-Genesect
      125. #250-251 Bronzor Family
      126. #252-253 Sneasel Family
      127. #254 Delibird
      128. #255-257 Vanillite Family
      129. #258-260 Swinub Family
      130. #261 Ditto
      131. #262-264 Beldum Family
      132. #265-266 Seel Family
      133. #267 Throh
      134. #268 Sawk
      135. #269 Bouffalant
      136. #270 Druddigon
      137. #271-272 Golett Family
      138. #273-275 Deino Family
      139. #276-297 Kyurem
      140. #298 Keldeo
      141. 299 Meloetta
      142. #300 Genesect
    6. Notable Item Locations
      1. Quick Flowchart
      2. Held/Evolutionary Item Locations
      3. TM Locations
      4. Battle Subway/Pokémon World Tournament Items
      5. Rare Candy Locations
      6. Heart Scale Locations
    7. Move Tutors
      1. PWT tutors
      2. Opelucid Tutor
      3. Driftveil Tutor
      4. Lentimas Tutor
      5. Humilau Tutor
    8. Helpful Links
    9. Credits
    10. To-Do List
    11. Contact Info
    12. Legal Information
    13. Version History


    Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 are the second paired Pokémon games for the fifth generation, and are sequels to Pokémon Black and White. The games take place two years after Black and White, and follow a new protagonist through an updated Unova region. While a handful of new Pokémon formes and items were added, the battle system remains the same.

    However, the regional Pokédex doubled in size. The updated Unova Dex contains all of the Generation V Pokémon, as well as 145 Pokémon introduced in previous generations, bringing the total to a whopping 301 Pokémon. The staggering number of Pokémon may overwhelm players when they try to construct an in-game team, so I'm here to help. All of the Pokémon that can be found in Black/White 2's storyline will be ranked and analyzed based on their in-game prowess, so you can easily construct your dream team.

    This guide contains spoilers. You've been warned.

    Ranking Guidelines

    Everyone plays through the Pokémon games at their own pace. Some players like to take their time and lovingly raise a team of their favorites, while others just want to barrel through the storyline with the best options available. Certain players may be able to trade, while others don't have that luxury. Since everyone's playthrough experience can vary wildly, I'd like to explain how I rank each Pokémon. Based on your playstyle, your mileage may vary.

    I assume that you are doing a "normal", self-sufficient playthrough; in other words, self-imposed challenges such as Nuzlocke and mono-type playthroughs aren't taken into account. This FAQ only covers the main storyline, which begins when the player starts their journey and ends when he becomes the Champion. I assume you're playing on Normal mode, since not everyone will have access to Challenge mode. (Challenge mode isn't difficult anyway.)

    Only Pokémon that can be caught in the Unova Dex during the storyline will be ranked. (The two exceptions are Keldeo and Genesect, which were distributed around the time of BW2's worldwide release.) Each Pokémon will be evaluated based on factors such as their base stats, movepool, and evolution time. Version exclusivity has no effect on a Pokémons ranking. A Pokémons entire playtime is taken into account: sure, Haxorus is frighteningly powerful, but you have to deal with its pre-evolutions for around 20 levels. Unless stated otherwise, I assume that you catch each Pokémon as early as possible. Since the opponents' frail Pokémon generally fall in a couple of hits and players can heal their Pokémon at any time, offensive strategies take priority over defensive ones.

    I also assume that you will be able to trade to evolve trade-evolution Pokémon, since most of them aren't worth using without trading. Besides that, I will not take trading into account. The reason is twofold: Not everyone has access to trading, and there are too many variables to take into account. For instance, you can trade in certain Pokémon and items early, trade in overleveled Pokémon, bring in Pokémon that aren't in the regional Pokédex, and so on. Feel free to trade, but I won't list any tips here.

    In my reviews, I will not list every single worthless attack a Pokémon knows. I feel I've been comprehensive, but if there's a notable level-up move that I missed, feel free to contact me.

    In-Game Tier List

    Yes, it's a tier list. Those two dreaded words may conjure images of elitists "debating" with one another, which generally boils down to petty insults and rambling posts backed by arbitrary, contradictory guidelines. (See: Fire Emblem tier threads.) In reality, everyone subconsciously tiers Pokémon: when you declare a Pokémon to be "good" or "bad", you're ranking it. This tier list is just a convenient way of recommending Pokémon.

    Pokémon are ranked into five tiers: Top, High, Mid, Low, and Bottom. Top and High tier Pokémon are highly recommended, while Mid tier Pokémon are solid choices. Low tier Pokémon have notable problems, and are only recommended if you're looking for a challenge. Bottom tier Pokémon are in dire straits, and should only be used if you really like the Pokémon. Keep in mind that the quality of Pokémon in the Mid tier vary wildly; for instance, the Aron line is much better than the Numel line. Some of these positions will be clarified as "Mid High" or "Mid Low" in the reviews.

    Once again, this is just my opinion. Any Pokémon can be used effectively with enough devotion, and this list has zero effect on actual gameplay.

    The (Dreaded) In-Game Tier List
    • Top Tier
      • Braviary (Route 4)
      • Cobalion
      • Darumaka -> Darmanitan
      • Drilbur -> Excadrill
      • Eevee -> Espeon
      • Genesect
      • Heracross
      • Keldeo
      • Metang -> Metagross
      • Oshawott -> Dewott -> Samurott
      • Staryu -> Starmie
      • Tepig -> Pignite -> Emboar
      • Terrakion
      • Virizion
    • High Tier
      • Clefairy -> Clefable
      • Gligar -> Gliscor
      • Growlithe -> Arcanine
      • Karrablast -> Escavalier
      • Lapras
      • Lillipup -> Herdier -> Stoutland
      • Litwick -> Lampent -> Chandelure
      • Magnemite -> Magneton -> Magnezone
      • Petilil -> Lilligant
      • Riolu -> Lucario
      • Sandile -> Krokorok -> Krookodile
      • Scraggy -> Scrafty
      • Timburr -> Gurdurr -> Conkeldurr
      • Volcarona (Relic Castle)
      • Zorua (N's) -> Zoroark
    • Mid Tier
      • Absol
      • Aron -> Lairon -> Aggron
      • Axew -> Fraxure -> Haxorus
      • Azurill -> Marill -> Azumarill
      • Bouffalant
      • Buizel -> Floatzel
      • Deerling -> Sawsbuck
      • Drifloon -> Drifblim
      • Dwebble -> Crustle
      • Eevee -> Umbreon
      • Elekid -> Electabuzz -> Electivire
      • Elgyem -> Beheeyem
      • Ferroseed -> Ferrothorn
      • Frillish -> Jellicent
      • Golett -> Golurk
      • Gothita -> Gothorita -> Gothitelle
      • Joltik -> Galvantula
      • Magby -> Magmar -> Magmortar
      • Mareep -> Flaaffy -> Ampharos
      • Minccino -> Cinccino
      • Numel -> Camerupt
      • Onix -> Steelix
      • Panpour -> Simipour
      • Pansage -> Simisage
      • Pansear -> Simisear
      • Pidove -> Tranquill -> Unfezant
      • Piloswine -> Mamoswine
      • Pinsir
      • Psyduck -> Golduck
      • Remoraid -> Octillery
      • Roggenrola -> Boldore -> Gigalith
      • Roselia -> Roserade
      • Sandshrew -> Sandslash
      • Sawk
      • Sewaddle -> Swadloon -> Leavanny
      • Sigilyph
      • Skarmory
      • Skorupi -> Drapion
      • Sneasel -> Weavile
      • Snivy -> Servine -> Serperior
      • Solosis -> Duosion -> Reuniclus
      • Spoink -> Grumpig
      • Swablu -> Altaria
      • Tangela -> Tangrowth
      • Throh
      • Tynamo -> Eelektrik -> Eelektross
      • Zangoose
      • Zubat -> Golbat -> Crobat
    • Low Tier
      • Audino
      • Baltoy -> Claydol
      • Banette
      • Basculin
      • Bronzor -> Bronzong
      • Buneary -> Lopunny
      • Castform
      • Combee -> Vespiquen
      • Cubchoo -> Beartic
      • Ducklett -> Swanna
      • Dunsparce
      • Eevee -> Flareon
      • Eevee -> Jolteon
      • Eevee -> Vaporeon
      • Emolga
      • Klink -> Klang -> Klinklang
      • Koffing -> Weezing
      • Lunatone
      • Mandibuzz (Route 4)
      • Maractus
      • Mienfoo -> Mienshao
      • Nosepass -> Probopass
      • Patrat -> Watchog
      • Pawniard -> Bisharp
      • Pelipper
      • Rattata -> Raticate
      • Rufflet -> Braviary
      • Seviper
      • Shelmet -> Accelgor
      • Shuckle
      • Solrock
      • Trapinch -> Vibrava -> Flygon
      • Venipede -> Whirlipede -> Scolipede
      • Vullaby -> Mandibuzz
      • Vulpix -> Ninetales
      • Woobat -> Swoobat
      • Yamask -> Cofagrigus
      • Zebstrika
    • Bottom Tier
      • Alomomola
      • Corsola
      • Delibird
      • Ditto
      • Grimer -> Muk
      • Purrloin -> Liepard
      • Skitty -> Delcatty
      • Sunkern -> Sunflora
      • Trubbish -> Garbodor
      • Zweilous -> Hydreigon

    The following Pokémon are in the Unova Dex, but cannot be caught during the storyline or through events outside of Japan:

      • Archen -> Archeops
      • Carnivine
      • Corphish -> Crawdaunt
      • Croagunk -> Toxicroak
      • Cryogonal
      • Durant
      • Eevee -> Glaceon
      • Eevee -> Leafeon
      • Heatmor
      • Igglybuff -> Jigglypuff -> Wigglytuff
      • Kyurem
      • Landorus
      • Larvitar -> Pupitar -> Tyranitar
      • Lickitung -> Lickilicky
      • Meloetta
      • Munna -> Musharna
      • Reshiram
      • Slakoth -> Vigoroth -> Slaking
      • Stunfisk
      • Thundurus
      • Tirtouga -> Carracosta
      • Tornadus
      • Tropius
      • Tympole -> Palpitoad -> Seismitoad
      • Victini
      • Yanma -> Yanmega
      • Zekrom

    In-Game 101: A Refresher

    The following tips should look familiar:

    • "Having a full team is the best way to play."
    • "Your Pokémon needs a diverse moveset. Don't double up on STABs."
    • "Ugh, items are for noobs. Don't use them."
    • "Legendary Pokémon are cheap and dishonorable. Don't be an uber noob."

    Do not take any of these tips to heart. Some of the tips are misleading, while other tips will actually hurt you.

    As I stated in the introduction, everyone has their own playstyle. However, people continue to parrot flawed and inefficient advice. Some of the hints attempt to cram competitive mentalities into an in-game playthrough, while other hints simply impose arbitrary restrictions on the player. It's time to ignore archaic advice and learn how to get the most out of your playthroughs.

    Don't Use a Full Team

    Using a full team is the worst way to play through the game.

    At first glance, this tip seems counterintuitive. After all, a larger team gives you more options. Champions and other major trainers use full rosters, while full teams are a given in competitive play. The game gives you six Pokémon slots, so why shouldn't you use a six-man team?

    One word: Experience. While computer and competitive players don't have to worry about raising their Pokémon, you have to raise your Pokémon from scratch in-game. As your team grows larger, you'll have to spread experience across more Pokémon and your team's level average will decrease. In order to compensate for lower levels, you'll have to spend time hunting down and grinding wild Audino. Level grinding was especially painful in earlier generations, since the best late-game option was to grind against underleveled Victory Road Pokémon.

    Why go through all that trouble? Just use a few Pokémon. You'll have to do a bit of grinding in the early game, but for the rest of the game, opposing trainers should supply all of the experience that your Pokémon need. When you reach the Pokémon League, you can simply use any Rare Candies you picked up to patch your Pokémons levels instead of endlessly grinding. You can use the extra Pokémon slots for HM slaves so that you don't have to run back and forth to your PC.

    Technically, using one Pokémon is the most efficient way to play the Pokémon games; this is why Pokémon speedruns only use one Pokémon. Even crappy starters like Chikorita will be able to blow through the game with ease. However, playing with one Pokémon is boring, so using three to four Pokémon is a good compromise. For instance, a team of Samurott, Magnezone, Darmanitan, and Excadrill can breeze through the game without any troubles (yes, it has a triple Ground weakness, but Samurott can cover any Ground-types). Marill and Skarmory can fill in the final two slots, as they cover every HM move and Flash.

    Admittedly, this tip is more useful for the older Pokémon games. Raising low-level Pokémon is easier in Generation V due to Professor Juniper's Lucky Egg, wild Audino, and Generation V's level-based experience system. Additionally, HMs see less use in the Generation V games, so HM slaves aren't as useful. Still, remember that using a full team is inefficient.

    Diverse Movesets are Grossly Overrated In-Game

    Old-school players remember the classic story of the amateur with the Fire Blast/Flamethrower/Fire Spin/Ember Charizard. Every single in-game source you read will harp about the importance of a well-rounded moveset and bash Pokémon with shallow movepools. Now, this advice makes sense for competitive play. Human opponents will switch constantly, so your Pokémon needs to be well-equipped to handle any Pokémon that switches in.

    However, the in-game AI is as dumb as a rock. Since your opponents will switch once in a blue moon, you don't have to worry about leaving your Pokémon in a bad matchup. Why would you teach your Emboar Wild Charge to hit Water- and Flying-types when they easily thrash Emboar? Switch to an Electric-type or even a Pokémon with a neutral matchup, since the computer won't get into a switch war. Don't waste your time teaching Simisage Rock Slide, since it's weak to all of the types that Rock Slide would be effective against. Just switch your poor monkey out. Aqua Tail Serperior? It has Grass attacks for Rock- and Ground-types, and it's weak to Fire attacks. Don't bother.

    If you have a well-rounded team, your Pokémons STAB attacks will suffice. The example team of Samurott, Magnezone, Darmanitan, and Excadrill hit 11 types super-effectively with just their STAB attacks, while they obtain neutral coverage on the other six types. You don't need to stress out about giving your Pokémon a "well-rounded" moveset when you'll just be using STAB attacks over 90% of the time in-game.

    In fact, you may want to double up on STAB attacks. In competitive play and post-game battle facilities, your team is healed after every battle. This isn't the case in-game, so you have to keep an eye on your Pokémons PP since PP-restoring items are rare. A Fire-type Pokémon can get by with just Fire Blast in competitive play, but its 5-8 PP may be a problem during long treks away from a Pokémon Center. If you run an alternate Fire-type attack, your Fire-type can continue to blast opposing Pokémon with a STAB attack instead of resorting to a sub-par move. While PP conservation isn't a major problem, you might as well double up since non-STAB attack are less important in-game.

    Now, don't feel obligated to stick to STAB attacks. Teaching a Samurott Ice Beam to nail Dragon-types is a good idea, since Dragons only have two weaknesses and Samurott isn't weak to Dragon attacks. Teaching a Rock move to a Ground-type is also fine, since it can slaughter the Flying- and Bug-types that laugh at its STAB attack. Feel free to flesh out a Pokémons moveset to cover any holes in your team. Just don't teach your Pokémon a move that's only useful in a bad matchup (such as Wild Charge Emboar).

    While type coverage is nice, there's no need to give your Pokémon four diverse attacks. Your Pokémon will mostly get by with STAB attacks, making Pokémon with shallow movepools (e.g. Escavalier) more viable. It may sound "noobish", but why teach your Pokémon plenty of attacks it will rarely use? It's just a waste.

    Using Legendary Pokémon isn't a Sin

    If you want to stomp through the game with your Kyogre or Giratina, go right ahead. If you use an "uber" legendary Pokémon, there's no in-game police to stop you. There are no tiers limiting the Pokémon you can use in-game (or in official tournaments, for that matter), so use what you want. Haters gonna hate.

    "Good" and "Bad" Attacks In-Game

    Once again, you have to let your competitive mentalities go. Some ubiquitous techniques in competitive play are impractical in-game, while the computer can still be trumped by attacks that a human can easily play around.

    Competitive Attacks to Avoid

    • Entry hazards: This term refers to a trio of attacks that damage an opposing Pokémon that switch in. Spikes and Stealth Rock directly damage the foe, while Toxic Spikes poisons the foe. These attacks punish opponents for constantly switching, and can even force your opponent to sacrifice a Pokémon if it would faint while switching in again. However, since the computer doesn't switch and in-game opponents rarely use full teams, entry hazards aren't nearly as useful in-game. Why would you waste three turns setting up Spikes just to strip a quarter of an opposing Pokémons health once or twice? Toxic Spikes is marginally useful in conjunction with Venoshock, as you can unleash a 130 power Poison attack as soon as an opposing Pokémon switches in. It's not as impressive as it sounds, though: since Toxic Spikes + Venoshock is a two-turn setup, Venoshock only averages to 65 damage per turn if used once, and 86.7 damage if used twice. Generally, you should stay away from entry hazards.
    • U-turn and Volt Switch: These attacks are so common competitively that there's an entire strategy based around them ("VoltTurn"). U-turn and Volt Switch allow the user to scout out an opposing Pokémon, hit it for some light damage, and then switch out to a counter. This helps the player to keep momentum, and forces the opponent to keep switching to rack up entry hazard damage. The computer doesn't switch, though, so there's no need to scout; just switch to the counter! More importantly, these attacks split experience since you'll have to fight with multiple Pokémon. That being said, Volt Switch may be decent on special Electric-types, since the attack has decent power when you receive the Volt Switch TM and there's a dearth of good special Electric attacks.
    • Recover variants: Since you can't use man-made items such as Full Restores in competitive play, moves such as Recover keep your tanks in tip-top shape. However, why not just use an item in-game? Chances are, recovery items will heal more than half of your Pokémons health, and slower Pokémon don't have to worry about being attacked before they can heal. Instant recovery attacks are simply a waste of a slot.

    Non-Competitive Attacks to Use

    • Hyper Beam variants: Newer players are constantly advised to stay away from Hyper Beam variants. The reason is two-fold: due to the recharge turn, Hyper Beam variants only deal an average of 75 damage per turn, and human opponents can switch in a counter to beat the tar out of the immobile Pokémon. However, Hyper Beam variants are effective finishing moves in-game, since you're allowed to switch out your Pokémon if it KOs an opposing Pokémon. Elemental Hyper Beam variants are especially useful, since they're more powerful and accurate versions of attacks such as Fire Blast and Hydro Pump. Keep in mind that the user will be immobile for one turn even if the attack misses, though.
    • Acrobatics: Acrobatics is rarely used in competitive single battles, since Pokémon prefer to hold permanent held items such as Life Orb. Since you can easily eschew held items in-game, you're free to spam a 110 power Flying attack. Unfortunately, your Pokémon won't be able to hold useful items such as the Lucky Egg or Amulet Coin, but this is a worthwhile trade-off.
    • Fly and Dig: These attacks see no competitive play, as they're horribly predictable: your opponent can just switch to a counter before the Pokémon strikes on the second turn. Since the computer doesn't switch, you don't have to worry about this drawback. Keep in mind that Fly and Dig only average 40-45 damage per turn, though, so attacks such as Aerial Ace and Bulldoze will actually inflict more damage if used twice in a row.
    • Stat-lowering moves: Moves that lower the opponent's stats, such as Screech, see little competitive play since the opponent can switch out to nullify the drop. This isn't a problem in-game since the computer doesn't switch. Self-boosting moves are more useful, but moves such as Screech and Metal Sound are useful as a reverse Swords Dance or Nasty Plot.
    • Defensive stat-boosting moves: Critical hits, Taunt, and "phazing" moves such as Roar and Whirlwind make defensive stat-boosters unreliable in competitive play. However, the computer rarely uses Taunt and phazing moves, and you can heal your Pokémon if it's in danger of falling to an unlucky critical.

    Seriously, Use Items

    The major hate-on for items baffles me. Over the years, some players have developed the ludicrous notion that using items is a sign of weakness. While the other pieces of advice have some logic behind them, this is pure idiocy. I can only think of two reasons people refuse to use items:

    1. People treat in-game battles like competitive battles. Once again, this is not competitive play; you are allowed to use man-made items in battle. The computer uses items, so why should you hold back?
    2. People just try to show off. They claim, "I don't need items!" Guess what? Items are a core part of the game, and there's no shame in using them. No one cares.

    Unfortunately, many YouTube Let's Players try to appease the vocal item haters, and only end up making their playthrough look worse. In major battles, these players try to fight mano-a-mano with the AI, refusing to use items even if their Pokémon are low on HP. When their Pokémon inevitably faints, they bring out a reserve Pokémon, only to have that Pokémon struggle and faint. When half of their team has fainted for no reason, they finally...bust out a healing item anyway! Meanwhile, their opponent continues to pound on them.

    Yes, people actually play like this. I'm not talking about amateurs, either; I'm talking about people that have played Pokémon for years. This "strategy" is nonsensical and looks terrible. Let's Players, you don't look impressive when you grapple with the AI; it just looks pathetic when you're struggling in a normal playthrough. Just think for a second: Using items is a poor strategy, but letting your Pokémon faint for no reason is fine? Please use items and save yourself some embarrassment: no one needs to see 15-minute battles of a player struggling against a brain-dead opponent.

    Here are some quick item tips:

    • X-Items: These are the most criminally underrated items in the Pokémon games. Marriland has explained the virtues of X-Items, and speedrunners have been abusing X-Items for years. However, the vast majority of Pokémon players simply refuse to use X-Items. Why not? They're free stat boosters that don't take up a moveslot, and you'll have more than enough money by the time you can actually purchase X-Items. Simply using a couple of X-Attacks or X-Specials on a sweeper with no stat-boosting moves or a X-Speed on a slightly sluggish Pokémon can turn a Pokémon into a killing machine. You can even throw on X (Special) Defends and healing items to make your Pokémon invincible!
    • Revival Herbs: This is another amazing item that people overlook for some reason. They're $2800 Max Revives, and can be purchased as soon as you arrive at Driftveil City. The Herbs have no drawback unless they're used on a Pokémon that knows Return or evolves through happiness. Your Pokémon should rarely faint, but they might as well come back at full health, right?
    • Drinks: When you get access to vending machines, never buy Super Potions again. Super Potions are a ridiculous rip-off; even if they restore a full 50 HP, they cost a whopping $14/HP. In comparison, Fresh Water costs $4/HP when used to its full potential, while Lemonade costs $4.38/HP. Potions are an even bigger rip-off than Super Potions ($15/HP at full uses), but you should collect Potions anyway since you don't have any comparable alternatives at the time. Likewise, don't buy Hyper Potions: although they're a much better deal than the lower-level potions ($6/HP), Moomoo Milk ($5/HP) will suffice for healing until the late game. In the late game, you should just use the superior Full Restores.
    • Items to Sell: If you just want to beat the storyline (or plan to cheat for every item later), sell any vitamins you pick up. They sell for $4900 a pop, putting them on par with Nuggets. When you can pick up a type-boosting item at Castelia City, pick up the Charcoal and sell it for $4900. (You can find another Charcoal shortly, which you can also sell or give to a Pokémon with a Fire-type move.)
    • Don't be afraid to use your Master Ball!: Again, if you just want to beat the game (or if you're a cheater), just use the Master Ball on one of the legendary musketeer members or Volcarona. It's better than throwing Dusk or Timer Balls for 50 turns, right?
    • Quick Balls are terrible: In the past, it was believed that a Quick Ball had 4x effectiveness for the first five turns, then decreased by 1x effectiveness every five turns. This was later proven false: Quick Balls only have 4x effectiveness on the first turn, then only have 1x effectiveness, making them as effective as a basic Poke Ball. Dusk Balls are flat out superior, as they have 3.5x effectiveness at all times at night or in a cave. Don't use Quick Balls.
    • Don't Use Full Heals: In BW2, just use Casteliacones; you can buy a dozen for $100 a pop once per day. If you don't mind fiddling with your DS, just change the clock to buy Casteliacones over and over. (Keep in mind that messing with the clock will cause all of the Join Avenue shops to stop offering services for a period of time.) To sweeten the deal, you can sell Casteliacones for a $2300 profit each to the maid on Route 5.

    Set Up on Leads and Sweep

    This tactic is utilized in speedruns, but is typically ignored in regular playthroughs.

    If you're about to participate in a major battle, check the opponent's moveset, and send in a Pokémon that resists most of the opposing Pokémons attacks. For instance, Grimsley's starting Liepard knows Fake Out, Night Slash, Aerial Ace, and Attract, so it would be wise to switch in an Excadrill since it resists all of Liepard's attacks. From there, you can set up your Pokémon with stat-boosting moves or items, and proceed to destroy your opponent's team. Make sure to keep your Pokémon healthy in case of critical hits. (This is the same philosophy used by "Trick teams" in Smogon's Battle Tower/Subway records. A Pokémon cripples the opposing lead by Tricking it a Choice Scarf, paralyzing it, and lowering its stats, then a sweeper sets up on the neutralized Pokémon and destroys the opponent's team.)

    Now, some people may think this is "cheap" or isn't a "real victory". Says who? The game certainly doesn't care, and it's a cleaner victory than a mindless slugfest. I never get tired of seeing my Excadrill set up to +6 Attack while the opponent struggles to damage it, then watch it OHKO all of the opposing Pokémon. :)


    • BW2 = Pokémon Black/White 2
    • PWT = Pokémon World Tournament
    • STAB = Same-Type Attack Bonus
    • BST = Base Stat Total

    #000 Victini

    Victini cannot be found in Pokémon Black 2 or White 2.

    Names: Snivy -> Servine -> Serperior

    Type: Grass

    Ability: Overgrow

    Evolution: Evolves at level 17; evolves at level 36

    Base Stats:


    First Encountered: You can receive a level 5 Snivy as a starter Pokémon from Bianca.

    Rating: Mid

    Your starter Pokémon is the most important Pokémon in the game, as it serves as your starting pivot and shapes your main team. Starter Pokémon are usually excellent due to their high starting level, availability, and solid stats backed by a wide movepool. Unfortunately, Snivy is one of the worse starters in the series. Despite its cool design, its typing and underwhelming attacking stats make it the most difficult starter to use.

    Strangely, Serperior is a speedy tank, with respectable defenses and 113 base Speed. However, its mediocre HP lowers its defensive prowess. Its mediocre attacking stats are also slightly annoying, as offensive strategies are more effective than defensive strategies in-game. Pure Grass typing is a mixed bag both offensively and defensively. While there are plenty of Water-types for the Snivy line to prey on later in the game, Grass is resisted by a whopping seven types. Grass comes with a set of four resistances, but at the cost of five weaknesses.

    The Snivy line's movepool consists of Grass, Grass, and more Grass. Like the other starters, it starts off with Tackle, but quickly picks up Vine Whip (level 7). It's a marginal improvement over Tackle, as it has 52 power with STAB, though it has less power and PP than Tepig's Ember or Oshawott's Water Gun. Snivy picks up a better STAB, Leaf Tornado (level 16) right before it evolves. Leaf Tornado is notably more powerful than Vine Whip and has a 30% chance of lowering the opponent's accuracy, although its 90% accuracy may be a little annoying.

    Servine's movepool is more tankish. Leech Seed (level 20) is too slow for in-game purposes, as Servine should be able to finish off foes in a couple of attacks. Mega Drain (level 24) inflicts damage and heals Servine, but is much weaker than Leaf Tornado. You're better off just using Leaf Tornado and healing Servine after battle if necessary. Towards the end of Servine's stint, it picks up the two attacks that will form its main strategy for the rest of the game: Leaf Blade (level 32) and Coil (level 36). Leaf Blade is a real Grass attack, with a solid 90 base power, and its increased critical hit ratio can make up for the Snivy line's lacking attack. Coil is the main attack, though, as it boosts the Snivy line's Attack, Defense, and accuracy by one stage. This attack turns Serperior into an effective tank.

    Serperior only picks up two notable moves. Giga Drain (level 44) is a souped-up Mega Drain, and is actually worth using against high Defense foes. Leaf Storm (level 62) is a 140 power Grass attack, and the Special Defense drop shouldn't hurt since Serperior should be a physical sweeper. However, since it's learned so late, Serperior probably won't learn it during the storyline.

    The Snivy family learns a smattering of TMs and tutor moves. Aerial Ace and Return give the Coil sweeper some extra coverage. Toxic and Double Team can be combined with Leech Seed for a stalling Serperior, but the Coil sweeper is more efficient. Reflect and Light Screen allow Serperior to function as a "pseudo-passer" by allowing its teammates to set up more easily. However, since the Light Clay is only found on wild Golett and Golurk near the end of the game, the screens will only stay up for five turns. Since setting up the screens takes a turn, your other team members will have three turns to set up once the Snivy member switches out (four turns if the Snivy member sets up or faints while it's setting up the screens). This is only useful for major trainer battles, since most trainer battles will be over too quickly to take advantage of the screens. Light Screen could be a decent filler move on the Coil sweeper.

    Seed Bomb can be learned at the PWT, but Servine should soon pick up Leaf Blade. Dragon Pulse allows the Snivy line to take on the Dragon-types at the Opelucid Gym, although it's not boosted by Coil. Finally, Frenzy Plant is a solid move in-game, since it has a whopping 150 base power. If Serperior KOs an opposing Pokémon with Frenzy Plant, it can avoid the recharge turn by simply switching out. It's certainly a worthwhile filler move. Don't be tempted to use Aqua Tail in-game, since Grass attacks hit Rock- and Ground-types for super effective damage and Serperior shouldn't be staying in on Fire-types.

    Unfortunately, the major trainers are unkind to Snivy. The Virbank, Castelia, Nimbasa, Mistralton, and Opelucid Gyms are all hostile towards the Snivy line. The Team Plasma higher-ups Colress and Ghetsis also hate Serperior, while Plasma Grunts use plenty of Poison-types. These poor matchups extend towards the endgame, since all of the Champion's Pokémon resist Grass-type moves or carry a super-effective STAB attack. The Snivy line does well in the Driftveil and Humilau Gyms, but overall, its major matchups are poor.

    Phew, that was a mouthful! Don't worry, all of the analyses won't be this long. Snivy is a decent Pokémon. It helps you get through the early game, and makes a decent tank once it picks up Coil. However, it struggles since it's a pure Grass-type with mediocre offenses. It's definitely the weakest starter, but it's definitely not bad.

    Names: Tepig -> Pignite -> Emboar

    Type: Fire for Tepig; Fire/Fighting for Pignite and Emboar

    Ability: Blaze

    Evolution: Evolves at level 17; evolves at level 36

    Base Stats:


    First Encountered: You can receive a level 5 Tepig as a starter Pokémon from Bianca.

    Rating: Top (or High, depending on your patience)

    Tepig was neck-and-neck with Oshawott for the best Black/White starter. Though I usually picked Oshawott, Tepig was arguably the better starter since it had favorable matchups against the Unova Gym Leaders and was an offensive powerhouse. However, several changes in BW2 have toned it down.

    Emboar is the third Fire/Fighting-type fully evolved starter. It has impressive Attack and good Special Attack, along with a varied movepool. It has low Speed and defenses, but its high HP makes it reasonably bulky. Fire and Fighting is an excellent offensive typing, allowing Emboar to smash seven types super-effectively with its STAB attacks alone. Emboar also comes with a surprising eight resistances, which further makes up for its low defenses.

    It starts off with Tackle, but picks up the STAB Ember at level 7. At level 15, it picks up a more powerful fire attack in Flame Charge, which raises Tepig's Speed by one level but only has 50 power. This makes it weaker than the Oshawott line's Razor Shell and even the Snivy line's Leaf Tornado, which isn't good for the offensive starter.

    After it evolves into Pignite, it gains a secondary Fighting typing along with the Fighting-type move Arm Thrust. Arm Thrust hits 2-5 times for 15 base power a time, giving it an average base power of 45. Although it's slightly weaker than Flame Charge, Arm Thrust gets better coverage, especially against the omnipresent Normal-types.

    Unfortunately, Pignite is stuck with Flame Charge and Arm Thrust until level 31. Since the Brick Break TM can no longer be obtained in the main story, it has to be purchased at the Battle Subway or the PWT for 12 BP. The best way to do this is to team up in the Multi Battle Subway with Rosa/Nate and tell them to use an offensive team. Since your partner's Pokémon should be stronger than the computer's, you may have an easy time. Keep in mind that your partner's Pokémon are selected at random, though, and your own Pokémon will be pretty weak at the time. You earn 3 BP per the first two streaks, and 10 BP for beating the Subway Master. Each streak should take around 15 minutes, so you can scrounge up enough BP in 45 minutes if you're lucky. If you think the Subway Master will be too difficult, just repeat the first streak four times, which should take around an hour. If you're lucky. If you don't feel like taking this diversion, then drop the Tepig line's rating to High, since Pignite's stuck with weak attacks for quite a while.

    At level 31, Pignite begins to pick up useful attacks. Heat Crash (level 31) will be a surprisingly powerful attack due to Emboar's weight. Once Emboar evolves, immediately take it to the Move Relearner and trade a Heart Scale so it can re-learn Hammer Arm. Although it lowers Emboar's Speed, it's a powerful attack and Emboar is rather sluggish to begin with. It picks up Flamethrower (level 43), which is extremely useful since the Flamethrower TM is found fairly late. Head Smash (level 50) is actually more powerful than Flamethrower (150 power vs. 142 power with STAB - remember, Pokémon formulas exclude decimals) and provides a little extra coverage, although the 80% accuracy and recoil is off-putting. Flare Blitz (level 62) is an amazing Fire attack, but is learned too late to really be useful. Even if Emboar learns it during the storyline, Fire-type attacks aren't useful against the Elite Four or Champion.

    Emboar learns a slew of TM and tutor moves. As stated before, you can pick up the Brick Break TM at the Battle Subway. Blast Burn is an excellent option for major damage, and Emboar can always switch out after it KOs a Pokémon to negate the recharge turn. It also picks up the Fire Blast TM for massive damage without the nasty "lose a turn" effect. Rock Slide and even Scald are other options.

    Fire Punch and Low Kick can be picked up at the PWT, although Low Kick is unreliable at the time and it will learn Heat Crash soon anyway. Thunderpunch and, late in the game, Wild Charge can be used for additional coverage, although Emboar is weak to the two types that the moves would be useful against.

    Unfortunately, Tepig's Gym matchups are a mixed bag. The Aspertia Gym comes up before you should have a Pignite, although Tepig can easily make it through the Gym. It also does pretty well in the Virbank and Castelia Gyms. However, it's at a disadvantage against the final four Gyms. (Although two of Clay's Pokémon are weak to Fighting attacks, they probably won't be OHKOed by Arm Thrust and will outspeed and 2HKO it with Bulldoze.) It also struggles against Caitlin. On the bright side, it does fairly well against Colress and is a great choice against Grimsley. Still, Tepig has excellent coverage against most foes, so it's not a major problem.

    Tepig is a great choice for a starter, as it eventually turns into an offensive powerhouse with a decent amount of bulk to back it up. However, it has problems with later matchups, and is stuck with weak attacks for a notable period of time if you don't go out of your way to pick up the Brick Break TM. Still, it's a fine starter to use.

    Names: Oshawott -> Dewott -> Samurott

    Type: Water

    Ability: Torrent

    Evolution: Evolves at level 17; evolves at level 36

    Base Stats:


    First Encountered: You can receive a level 5 Oshawott as a starter Pokémon from Bianca.

    Rating: Top

    The cute little otter is the best starter in BW2. Samurott has well-balanced stats, with nice Attack, Special Attack, and HP, solid Defense, and alright Special Defense and Speed. Water is also a solid offensive and defensive typing, with nearly every in-game team carrying one. Unlike BW, there aren't a drought of Water-types in BW2, but the Oshawott line's availability and solid stats make it a contender.

    Oshawott starts off with Tackle, but quickly learns Water Gun (level 7), which thankfully runs off of its higher Special Attack stat. Right before it evolves, it learns Razor Shell (level 17), which is more powerful than the Snivy line's Leaf Tornado or the Tepig line's Flame Charge. Although it runs off of the Oshawott line's lower Attack stat, it's a powerful attack in the early game, and has a Defense-lowering side effect.

    Dewott eventually learns Water Pulse (level 25); although it only has 60 base power, it runs off of Dewott's higher Special Attack stat, and can cause confusion if you're lucky. Aqua Jet (level 33) is a bit situational, but can be handy to finish off a weakened Pokémon. Right around this time, you should obtain the HM for Surf, a fantastic Water attack with 95 base power. (Unfortunately, the HM can only be obtained after the Driftveil Gym, even if you go to Route 5 early.) This attack should be the Oshawott line's bread and butter for the rest of the game. Surf is obtained much earlier than attacks with equivalent power, such as Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, and Psychic, which is quite handy.

    Samurott learns a few notable attacks, though none are as useful as Surf. Aqua Tail (level 45) has a respectable 90 base power and can be used in tandem with Surf for PP conservation, though it runs off of Samurott's slightly lower Attack stat. Swords Dance (level 57) makes a physical Samurott somewhat worthwhile. Hydro Pump (level 62) may be learned in time for the Pokémon League, but Surf is a more reliable special attack. Samurott can relearn Megahorn, the most powerful Bug-type attack. However, it only has 85% accuracy and limited coverage, with Samurott being weak to one of the three types that the move would be effective against.

    The Oshawott line also has a smattering of good TMs. Surf has previously been mentioned. Blizzard is obtained before the Opelucid Gym; despite its poor accuracy, it really helps out against the Dragons. Its accuracy can be mitigated with an X-Accuracy, which boosts Blizzard's accuracy to 93%, or even a Wide Lens, which boosts its base accuracy to 77%. When used in tandem, a Wide Lens and X-Accuracy give Blizzard perfect accuracy. The more reliable Ice Beam is obtained in the Giant Chasm, and should immediately be slapped on Samurott. Waterfall, X-Scissor, Aerial Ace, and Return are options for physical Samurott, but you're better off with Surf and Ice Beam.Hydro Cannon is useful for Samurott as a hit-and-run attack, since it can switch out after it KOs a Pokémon to avoid the recharge turn.

    How does the Oshawott line fare against the Gyms? It struggles in the third and fourth Gyms, and can't do a lot in the final Gym, but does well in the Driftveil Gym (though it may struggle against Clay's Excadrill) and does adequately in the other Gyms. If it has Blizzard, it also does well in the Opelucid Gym. Be careful when using it against Colress, though, since he uses a couple of Pokémon from the Magnemite line.

    Overall, Oshawott is a great Pokémon. It's a great starting pivot, and is the earliest Water-type you'll obtain. Unlike the Snivy line, it doesn't have offensive issues, and it picks up solid attacks all throughout the game, unlike the Tepig line. I highly recommend that you pick Oshawott as your starter.

    Names: Patrat -> Watchog

    Type: Normal

    Abilities: Run Away (Illuminate as Watchog) or Keen Eye

    Preferred Ability: Keen Eye. It's not a good ability, but at least it has an effect in battle. Plus, if you're anything like me, you'll want to avoid random battles.

    Evolution: Evolves at level 20.

    Base Stats:


    First Encountered: You can encounter Patrat on Route 19.

    Rating: Low

    Patrat is the typical early-game rodent. Most early-game rodents and birds are frowned upon, even though they can be solid (Spearow, Taillow, Lillipup, and even Rattata are all viable choices) or even amazing (love you, Starly!). Unfortunately, the Patrat line confirms the stereotype of "early-game trash". While Patrat reaches its final stage early, all of its stats are mediocre. While its Attack will suffice for a while, it will quickly be eclipsed and fade into obscurity during the long run.

    Patrat comes with Tackle. Unlike the starters, Patrat actually gets STAB on Tackle, so that's a plus. Bite (level 6) can cause the opponent to flinch, but you won't face any Ghost- or Psychic-types for ages. Bite is quickly rendered obsolete by Crunch (level 16), which is slightly more powerful than STAB Tackle. Hypnosis comes along at level 18, which has a 60% chance of putting the opponent to sleep. Although missing an attack isn't fatal in-game, it's still an unreliable attack that should probably be ignored.

    Watchog learns Super Fang (level 22), which halves the target's HP. Since in-game Pokémon aren't bulky, it isn't as useful as it seems. Hyper Fang (level 32) can tide it over until Return is powered up, but Strength is obtained earlier and has the same power. Additionally, Strength's perfect accuracy is probably more useful than Hyper Fang's situational flinch rate. Mean Look and Baton Pass could theoretically allow Watchog to trap an opponent and pass to a counter, but this is pointless since the computer won't switch. Finally, I just want to give a shout out to Slam (level 43) just to point out how worthless it is. It has the same power as Hyper Fang and Strength, but it has no effect and only 75% accuracy! Wow, that was worth the wait!

    Frustration sounds unorthodox, but is actually a solid attack for Patrat early on due to its low starting happiness. Most Pokémon, including Patrat, only start off with 70 happiness, so Patrat has access to a 74 power STAB early on, which is on par with the Oshawott line's Razor Shell. However, Frustration's power quickly diminishes. Since there's no way to track a Pokémons exact happiness in-game, just play it by ear. Return is much better in the long run, as it caps out at 102 power and the TM is obtained early on. Strength will tide Watchog over until it obtains Return, and can be boosted by the Silk Scarf found in the Virbank Complex. The Patrat line gets plenty of special attacks, but due to the line's poor Special Attack, they aren't worthwhile unless you want to use Work Up several times. Dig is a decent attack for additional coverage.

    Watchog can also pick up Seed Bomb, Low Kick, and the elemental punches at the PWT, as well as Aqua Tail and Zen Headbutt at the Lentimas Town Move Tutor.

    The Patrat line's matchups are generally decent. It doesn't do well against Colress' Steel-types unless it has Dig (watch out for his Klinklang's Air Balloon!), and fails against Marshal, but its matchups are fine otherwise.

    While Patrat is decent for the early game, it's not worth using in the long term. Lillipup is also an early-game Normal-type, but manages to remain a solid choice throughout the entire game. Although it gets an early evolution, unevolved Pokémon like Pignite, Darumaka, and Drilbur manage to match its base Attack and become much better over the long run. Patrat's not worth it.

    Names: Purrloin -> Liepard

    Type: Dark

    Abilities: Limber or Unburden

    Preferred Ability: Limber. Consumable items are rarely used in-game, and Liepard doesn't need to boost its great base Speed.

    Evolution: Evolves at level 20

    Base Stats:


    First Encountered: You can encounter Purrloin on Route 19.

    Rating: Bottom

    Hoo boy. Okay, Purrloin. Liepard has decent attacking stats and great Speed, reaches its final form quickly, and it even gets Limber to prevent paralysis from ruining its Speed. However, its defenses are terrible, so don't expect it to last long.

    It's stuck with Scratch for a while, until it picks up Fury Swipes (level 12). Fury Swipes has an average base power of 54, which is decent for the early game; however, 80% accuracy is not. Pursuit (level 15) is its first STAB attack. Its power doubles if it's used on a switching Pokémon, but it might as well have 40 power at all times since the computer switches once in a blue moon. I hope you like Pursuit, since that's the best STAB attack Purrloin will have for 16 levels.

    As a Liepard, it picks up Fake Out (level 22) for some free damage, which is nice since the cat's so frail. Hone Claws (level 26) boosts its Attack and accuracy one stage, although the meager set-up boost isn't worth it. Liepard eventually learns Assurance (level 31), which upgrades its STAB attack to...50 power! Assurance's damage doubles if the opponent takes damage before Liepard strikes; however, Liepard will probably outspeed its opponent, and recoil damage is somewhat rare. Liepard finally upgrades to Night Slash (level 43) which has 70 base power and a high critical hit rate. It only took around 40 levels, but Liepard finally has a solid STAB attack! Sure, it may be a little underwhelming by this point, but Liepard will take what it can get. Nasty Plot (level 50) is an excellent move which boosts Special Attack by two stages, which can be used in conjunction with Dark Pulse. Near the end of its stint, it picks up Sucker Punch (level 55), an 80 base power STAB attack that only works if the target uses an attacking move.

    TM time. It gets Payback, a 50 power STAB attack whose power doubles if the user moves last. However, Liepard will normally strike first, so don't count on the second effect. Snarl helps to cushion special hits, and will sadly be the strongest STAB attack Liepard has at its arsenal for quite a while.

    I recommend picking up Dark Pulse at the Lentimas Town move tutor, since it will be Liepard's strongest Dark attack, has a flinch rate to keep the opponent from preying on Liepard's frailty, and can be boosted by Nasty Plot.

    The Purrloin line actually does okay in the Pokémon League, since Dark-types work well against Shauntal and Caitlin and can set up against Grimsley's pathetic Liepard. Needless to say, it's terrible against Marshal. It's not so hot against Colress, though. However, it's really not worth dragging along for the entire game.

    Okay, I gave Purrloin a fair analysis. Now I'll be honest: Purrloin sucks. Although it gets an early evolution, it doesn't get a decent STAB attack until after the sixth Gym, and it takes hits about as well as a wet paper bag. There are plenty of better early game Pokémon and Dark-types out there, so pass this one up unless you really like kitties or something.

    Names: Pidove -> Tranquill -> Unfezant

    Type: Normal/Flying

    Abilities: Big Pecks or Super Luck.

    Recommended Ability: Super Luck. A chance at increased damage is always nice, and you can pull off some cute combos with it.

    Evolution: Evolves at level 21; evolves at level 32

    Base Stats:


    First Encountered: You can encounter Pidove on Route 20.

    Rating: Mid

    This bird is such a disappointment compared to Staraptor. :( Pidove first evolves at level 21, which is fairly late, but reaches its final form at a respectable level 32 Unfezant has low Special stats, but solid stats everywhere else.

    Unfortunately, the low Special Attack is actually a problem. Pidove starts a curious trend of Pokémon that have high Attack but learn predominantly special attacks. For instance, it starts off with Gust, which is a respectable STAB Flying move with 40 power, but runs off of Pidove's low Special Attack stat. Quick Attack (level 11) is the only notable physical attack Pidove naturally learns for a while. Air Cutter (level 15) which is a 55 power Flying attack with an increased critical hit rate. The combination of Super Luck and Air Cutter could be cute...if it wasn't for Pidove's low Special Attack.

    Tranquill learns Detect (level 23), which could be okay on a gimmicky stalling Unfezant. It picks up Air Slash (level 32), which is a 75 base power Flying attack with a 30% chance of flinching. Guess what? It's a special attack!

    Unfezant learns a couple of notable moves. Featherdance (level 41) is also an option for an underwhelming stalling Unfezant. Facade (level 50) will double in power if Unfezant is poisoned, paralyzed, or burned, so it's more powerful than Return if you get Unfezant intentionally poisoned (burn and paralysis will kill its chances at sweeping). It's probably not worth the hassle, though.

    Fortunately, TMs save Unfezant. Frustration is okay early on, but you'll want to slap on Return and Fly for the long term. Fly can also be used in conjunction with Toxic, Featherdance, and Detect for a stalling Unfezant, but it's faster to just mindlessly attack. If you really don't want Unfezant's Special Attack to go to waste, it can learn Work Up to boost both of its attacking stats. Unfortunately, it misses out on the stupidly powerful Acrobatics. :( Finally, Heat Wave can hit Steel-types, but is unfortunately a special attack.

    The Pidove line does well against Roxie's Whirlipede, and fares well against most of the Pokémon in the Castelia Gym. From there, its matchups quickly decline, as it does poorly in the Nimbasa Gym and the high Defense Pokémon in the Driftveil Gym, and does poorly against two of Marlon's Pokémon. It's especially underwhelming against Colress. Using the Pidove line against Marshal is risky, since most of his Pokémon carry Rock-type attacks.

    If Pidove had a better physical movepool or Special Attack, it could be an interesting Pokémon. As it stands, it's just an unremarkable Normal/Flying type that takes a while to get off the ground. It does decently at the first few Gyms, and eventually picks up some good moves, but doesn't really stand out like Staraptor did.