Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 In-Game Tiers [QUALITY CONTROL]

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A distant memory
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Doing this on my own accord, I feel like this tier list needs a re-do before putting it back to C&C. Old Thread


The perfect Pokemon for an in-game team is one that is obtainable at the beginning of the game, can OHKO enemies with no item/set-up reliance, takes very little damage in return (if it gets hit at all), and matches up well against every required storyline battle. Such a perfect Pokemon does not exist in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, but those that are closest to this ideal will generally be the best to use.

The goal of this in-game tier list is to recommend a select group of Pokemon for an efficient (casual) playthrough of Pokemon Black 2 and White 2. The Pokemon that fit most closely to the above requirements will generally gravitate towards S-Rank and A-Rank. Those that are not very efficient, however, will generally gravitate towards C-Rank and D-Rank. Pokemon that possess some of the ideal attributes but suffer from noticeable flaws tent to gravitate towards B-Rank. Pokemon are ranked on the following criteria:

  • Availability: Availability looks at when a Pokemon can be caught and its level relative to the battle level at the point of the game it is caught. Pokemon that are available earlier is a more desirable trait, though (relatively) highly leveled Pokemon that are caught late (eg. Legendary Pokemon) are fairly desirable as well.

  • Stats: For an efficient (casual) playthrough, you obviously want Pokemon with good stats. In these playthroughs, stats can matter, but not to the same extent as other types of playthroughs (eg. speedruns) due to potential variance in stats. Generally, offensively inclined stats will tend to be more favorable as they trend towards a Pokemon clearing a required battle faster.

  • Typing: Typing looks at the Pokemon's typing and how it matters offensively and defensively in relation to the required fights in the game. The best typings are those that provide useful STABs with plenty of coverage while leaving the Pokemon with few relevant weaknesses. Types can play a big part in terms of determining a Pokemon's match-up for required fights.

  • Movepool: Movepool looks at a Pokemon's movepool and what useful moves it can learn and how early it can get access to these useful moves. Pokemon that get strong moves via level-up and TM are more desirable, the earlier the better. TM reliance is not a factor in Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 unlike earlier games because TM's can be reused infinitely.

  • Power: Power looks at the Pokemon's stats, typing, and movepool, and combines them to judge a Pokemon's ability to efficiently beat trainers. Being able to beat multiple trainers without needing to heal is essential for clearing the game in an efficient manner.

  • Match-Ups: Match-Ups look at a Pokemon's ability to defeat required trainers (in particular, Gym Leaders, Hugh, Team Plasma Leaders, and the Elite Four). Pokemon that can more easily handle the more important trainers are more desirable.
An efficient run is not the same as a speedrun. Speedruns of Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 will generally aim to complete the game in the fastest possible time, often through the use of some luck manipulation (generally through changing the DS system clock) and can be done in multiple segments. An efficient run on the other hand assumes you want to beat the game in a short amount of time.

In terms of party size, using a party of one Pokemon and using a party of five or six Pokemon affects the performance of an individual Pokemon a lot. This is because over the longer term, the level difference between smaller and larger parties will increase to the point that it will matter; that Excadrill might be able to beat Marlon without many difficulties in a solo run (or a speedrun), but it might end up struggling if it tries to do the same in a larger party of six. For this tier list, a minimum of three party members (excluding HM slaves) is considered as it is large enough that the Pokemon will not be too overlevelled, while being small enough to stay on the level curve without grinding (and being efficient).

For this tier list, Pokemon from the Dream World, Events, Hidden Grottoes, and owned by N are not considered for the purposes of tiering.
  • Dream World and Event Pokemon are not in the game to begin with and must be obtained externally.

  • Hidden Grotto-exclusive abilities rely far too much on luck to be efficient (needing to get the chance for a Pokemon, the desired Pokemon, and the Hidden Ability).

  • N's Pokemon requires two Nintendo DS systems, a copy of Pokemon Black 2 or White 2, and a copy of Pokemon Black or White, which not everyone has access to.

  • The exceptions to this are Skill Link Minccino (which is guaranteed during your first visit to the Route 5 Hidden Grotto) and N's Zorua (which is a Gift Pokemon available to everyone irrespective of having access to what is needed for N's other Pokemon).

The locations for each Pokemon represent the first time that Pokemon is available to be captured. This tier list assumes that the player is playing on the standard difficulty setting.


A distant memory
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Name: Braviary
Availability: Braviary can be found on Route 4 as an interactive encounter on Mondays [White 2].
Stats: Braviary has very high attack from the start with good Speed to back it up. Its bulk, while not amazing, is passable.
Typing: Normal / Flying gives it very decent STAB's offensively. Defensively the weaknesses become more common late-game but otherwise are not bad.
Movepool: Aerial Ace and Slash are good early powerful STAB moves for Braviary to use, while Hone Claws gives it set-up potential. Later on, Slash can be replaced with Return as Braviary's happiness rises. Braviary has access to Fly for HM purposes as well as being a good STAB for the rest of the game, while Superpower and Shadow Claw provide coverage.
Major battles: Braviary does not have any major fights where it easily breezes through (save Undella Hugh), but can find a way to make healthy contributions throughout these fights. It can definitely sweep some fights, but oftentimes relies on setup to do so.

Name: Darumaka
Availability: Darumaka can be found in Route 4 with a 30% chance.
Stats: It has a high Attack stat and good Speed upon evolution. Despite a decent HP stat, low defenses make it quite frail defensively.
Typing: Fire doesn't hit a lot of things super effectively, but it can prove to be useful in some major battles like against Burgh. Defensively however, its weaknesses show up quite a bit throughout the game, resulting in some matchup issues.
Movepool: It has a lot of good physical attacks. Fire Fang, Fire Punch, and Flare Blitz give it good STAB moves. Dig, Rock Slide and Superpower provide relevant coverage.
Major battles: Darumaka is available right before Burgh and can help get through that gym quickly though Dwebble can prove troublesome. Clay and Marlon are bad matchups. Champion aside, its hard-hitting prowess is a valuable asset for most other major fights.
Additional Comments: Darumaka is stuck with the Hustle ability until it evolves. While this helps give Darumaka good physical power, the accuracy penalty will often come into play and can result in setback-inducing misses. Wide Lens can help remedy this [Black 2 Only].

Name: Drilbur
Availability: Drilbur can first be found in Relic Passage Dust Clouds with an 80% chance.
Stats: Great Attack coupled with good Speed. Gains nice bulk upon evolving.
Typing: Starts out as a pure Ground-type, which gives a good STAB to work with. An additional Steel typing upon evolution grants more resistances and better matchups.
Movepool: Will start out with Dig or learn it soon after capture. It also has access to Metal Claw, and later, Rock Slide and Swords Dance. Waiting two levels before evolving gives it Earthquake early. Outside of this, Drilbur doesnt have much in the way of coverage (that isn't outclassed).
Major battles: Won't do extremely well against Burgh, but can beat Dwebble. Elesa is child's play for it, but needs to be careful around Emolga. Clay's Excadrill is beaten easily if evolved with early Earthquake. Due to its good offensive capabilities, most major battles should not be tough for it. However, stay away from Pokemon with potential super effective moves such as Humilau Gym.

Name: Heracross
Availability: Heracross can be found in Lostlorn Forest with a 5% chance [Black 2].
Stats: Heracross has a high Attack stat, which allows to tear teams apart; 85 Speed is good enough to outrun the majority of Pokemon. Its special bulk is decent enough to take advantage of, and the other stats are decent.
Typing: Offensively, STAB Bug/Fighting coverage hits a lot of relevant typings super effectively (Dark-, Psychic-, and Steel-types in particular). Defensively, the weaknesses to Fire, Flying, and Psychic trouble Heracross throughout the game.
Movepool: It gets Brick Break one level after you catch it, while Close Combat at Lv34 and Megahorn at Lv46 make up its best STAB coverage. TM-wise, Heracross only really would like Rock Slide, while Shadow Claw (or Night Slash from the relearner) can be useful for Ghost-types (and Psychic-types before Megahorn).
Major Battles: Heracross beats Clay easily. It can take on Marlon's Carracosta, as well as some of Drayden’s frailer Dragon-types due to its sheer power. Heracross can take on Ghetsis's Hydreigon and Colress' team with relative ease, as well as Kyurem. Heracross has an excellent showing during the Elite Four with it's combination of coverage and resists, beating Grimsley's whole crew (Watch out for Liepard) and most of Caitilin's crew, and can defeat Iris' Aggron and Lapras.

Name: Magnemite
Availability: Magnemite can be found in the Virbank Complex interior with a 25% chance.
Stats: Has a great Special Attack stat, with decent physical bulk to back it up. Its special bulk is passable, but not amazing.
Typing: Steel/Electric is arguably the holy grail of defensive typings, with resistances to everything bar four types, though its Ground- and Fighting-type weaknesses are fairly common. Offensively, this typing is adequate and is complimented by Magnemite's stats and movepool.
Movepool: Magnemite comes with Sonicboom, a godsend earlygame that can 2HKO everything. Aside from that, it has Thundershock, and later Mirror Shot. Magnemite doesn't get any good STAB moves until Flash Cannon, but it can hold on with STAB Volt Switch, Thunder, and a tutored Signal Beam. Thunder Wave can provide nice utility if you need to cripple a threat.
Major Battles: Magnemite steamrolls over Roxie, Burgh, Skyla, and Marlon by virtue of its typing alone. It helps a lot against Drayden, but needs to watch out for coverage moves such as Earth Power. Its Pokemon League performance is acceptable where it easily beats Pokemon weak to its STAB coverage and walls a lot of others, but should keep away from Marshall and other Pokemon with SE coverage.
Additional Comments: Sturdy is the better ability as it guarantees that Magnemite can survive attacks to respond, while Magnet Pull hardly ever comes into play.

Name: Minccino
Availability: Minccino is a guaranteed encounter in the Route 5 Hidden Grotto on the first visit.
Stats: Minncino has average stats, with a slightly above average speed. Upon evolving into a Cinccino, it has a very high speed and slightly above average attack. All its other stats are below average, so it shouldn't be taking many hits.
Typing: Both Minccino and Cinccino are of the Normal-type which isn't great, but gives it neutral STAB coverage on most Pokemon alongside one weakness and one immunity defensively.
Movepool: It may have a shallow movepool, but it has what it needs to function. It starts with Double Slap and learns Tail Slap at level 25. Upon evolving, it can relearn Bullet Seed and Rock Blast by the move relearner which give it much needed coverage that works with Skill Link. The only TM worth teaching is Dig for coverage though Return can provide a reliable alternative to Tail Slap.
Major Battles: It struggles against any Steel- or Fighting-type that can hit hard if they get a chance to attack. Other than that, it does just fine and will pull its own weight and more against anything else, bar Rock- or Ghost-types before getting the fifth gym badge.
Additional Comments: Skill Link Minccino is required for its top tier placement, and Cinccino needs Tail Slap, Bullet Seed, and Rock Blast to function. Shiny Stone can be found as early as Route 6 after beating Clay.


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Name: Axew
Availability: Mid Game, Mistralton Cave, 20%
Stats: Average bulk, but above average Speed and a whopping base 147 Attack to boot in its final form.
Typing: Dragon is a good typing, with excellent neutral coverage and nifty resistances.
Movepool: Great offensive movepool with good physical coverage, but the real gems lie in Dragon Claw and Dragon Dance. It needs to be tutored Low Kick or Superpower, or learn Brick Break through TM, to beat Steel-types.
Major Battles: There is no real horrible matchup for Axew in the game. Against most major battles, it is a simple matter of using Dragon Dance 1-2 times against an appropriate opponent. Otherwise, you can just make use of Axew's excellent power to deal heavy damage against those you cannot reliably use Dragon Dance against.
Additional Comments: Mold Breaker should always be used over the inconsistent Rivalry, as it allows Axew to OHKO the several Sturdy Pokemon in BW2. Also, one thing to take into account when using Axew is that raising it is difficult in the beginning due to its late evolutions.

Name: Azurill
Availability: Early Game, Floccesy Ranch, 20% (Azurill) - Mid Game, Route 6, 5% (Marill)
Stats: Only really lacking in Speed, but Azumarill is both bulky and packs a real punch when using Huge Power. It has essentially 150 Base Attack.
Typing: Water is a great typing both offensively and defensively. Water STAB in general is a huge asset and there are no principle Grass- and Electric-type trainers to worry about.
Movepool: Azurill gets access to Frustration as soon as it is obtained, and then Return immediately after the first gym. This goes well with its Normal typing and its evolution type. After that, Azumarill gets Aqua Tail at level 21, and then access to Waterfall and Superpower, as well as Ice Punch through tutoring.
Major Battles: It has uses against most of the gyms, just through sheer strength. Clay should prove no obstacle, and you can even smash through Drayden's Dragons. Against the Elite Four it is a similar story, just by using sheer strength. With Ice Punch you can take on Iris in a similar fashion, taking hits and firing back with super effective moves.
Additional Comments: Only use Huge Power. The other abilities will not help you at all. All you need is to take advantage of that wonderful Attack.

Name: Cobalion
Availability: Late Game, Route 13, Stationary
Stats: Cobalion will rely on its massive Defense and high Speed. Its Attack stat average at best.
Typing: Cobalion also relies on its typing. Steel/Fighting is great defensively, while it grants Cobalion a good offensive STAB.
Movepool: It starts off with Sacred Sword and Iron Head. These will be its main moves throughout the rest of the game. It will learn Swords Dance 5 levels after its capture which will help it take down opponents easier with its subpar Attack stat. Its great bulk will help it get boosts.
Major Battles: Cobalion doesn't really struggle against what's left. Drayden won't be difficult to deal with. The only real problems are Marlon and Marshal, as well as some few Pokemon on each Elite Four's team.

Name: Eevee - Espeon
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Castelia City, 5%
Stats: As Espeon, Eevee has a high 130 base Special Attack. Its Speed sits at a high base 110.
Typing: Psychic hits Fighting- and Poison-type super effectively, which will give it some good matchups. Defensively, it can't go up against Ghost-, Dark-, and Bug-types.
Movepool: You should try to evolve Eevee before level 21 so it can get Psybeam early. For the rest of Espeon's movepool, you should aim for Psychic. For TMs, Espeon mainly wants Shadow Ball. For Move Tutor moves, it should only ever want Signal Beam. You can add in Morning Sun here too.
Major Battles: For major battles, the best situation you can use Espeon in is against Marshall in the Elite 4. However, with its high Special Attack and Speed, Espeon succeed in a lot of major battles, like against Marshall and Caitlin.
Additional Comments: Since Eevee evolves into Espeon through happiness, you can get Espeon really early in the game, but it will eat up some of your time.

Name: Eevee - Jolteon
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Castelia City, 5%
Stats: Jolteon's Speed is at a high 130, while its Special Attack is a high 110.
Typing: Its pure Electric typing gives a good offensive STAB, but will leave it vulnerable to Ground-types.
Movepool: Jolteon has pretty much nothing in its early levels. You'll mainly want to aim for Thunder Fang and Work Up until its learn Discharge. You'll also want to look for the TM Shadow Ball and Signal Beam from the move Tutor.
Major Battles: Skyla and Marlon are the two most major battles in which you can use Jolteon. You can also do fairly well against Elesa because of its ability.

Name: Eevee - Vaporeon
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Castelia City, 5%
Stats: Vaporeon is quite bulky with nice HP and Special Defense; it can also utilize its high Special Attack. It is, however, quite slow.
Typing: Pure Water comes with only 2 weaknesses in Grass and Electric, which are not super common in the game
Movepool: Very shallow. Vaporeon needs Aurora Beam for coverage so it is worth relearning if missed. Surf is obtainable from Cheren on Route 6. Work Up is a good boosting move. It learns Ice Beam and Blizzard through TM.
Major Battles: Vaporeon can be used against Clay and its Ice coverage against Drayden. Marlon walls it. Can be used against Iris's multiple Dragon- and Rock-types as well.
Additional Comments: It is recommended to complete 1 streak in the Battle Subway (Multi Train with NPC partner is the easiest) to quickly gain the Battle Points for a Water Stone.

Name: Elekid
Availability: Early Game, Virbank Complex, 25% (Inside) [White 2]
Stats: Elekid, and its evolutions, are reasonably fast and have good attacking stats, so you can utilize both physical and special attacks
Typing: Pure Electric means it is only weak to Ground. It can also beat up on Flying and Water types so it comes in handy for 2 gyms
Movepool: It learns many Electric moves like ThunderPunch, Discharge, and Thunderbolt. Many of its best TM moves come late but it can make use of Return, Psychic, Flamethrower. You can also tutor it Ice Punch with the 10 free red shards for coverage.
Major Battles: Even with Ice Punch, Electabuzz struggles in Clay's gym so don't bother. However he bounces back against Skyla and cleans her out. Marlon is even easier, especially if you traded right away to evolve into Electivire. If you have Ice Punch he can do well against Iris as well
Additional Comments: If you have access to trading it is worth evolving to Electivire; however, if you don't, Electabuzz is still good. It actually has higher Speed than its evolution and can abuse Eviolite.

Name: Lillipup
Availability: Early Game, Floccesy Ranch, 40%
Stats: Very decent for a Pokemon you get early in the game, with above average bulk, an average Speed stat, and a pretty powerful Base 100 Attack in its final form.
Typing: Normal-type gives you loads of neutralities both offensively and defensively with a lone weakness to Fighting-types. An immunity to Ghost-types is very nice.
Movepool: Lillipup comes with a very good level-up movepool with Tackle and Bite early on, Crunch and Work Up coming not too far afterwards, and the elemental fangs later on in the game via Heart Scales. Dig and Return stand out as notable TMs to teach Lillipup, and Superpower by tutoring.
Major Battles: With the exception of Marshal, there is no matchup in the game that stands out as terrible for Lillipup. Against virtually every matchup, Lillipup will be able to reliably make a decent contribution towards the battle—especially in the early gyms—whether it be taking hits or dishing out the damage.

Name: Litwick
Availability: Late-Mid Game, Celestial Tower, 100% (1F)
Stats: Chandelure has a massive base 145 special attack. 80 speed is decent in-game, and it has enough bulk to take a few hits.
Typing: It has good STABs to work with, and a nice immunity to work with. Fire complements Ghost's inability to hit Steel-types well.
Movepool: Comes with Flame Burst and a Hex + Will-O-Wisp combo. Shadow Ball, Fire Blast, Energy Ball, and Calm Mind are all good TMs to teach it.
Major Battles: Easily KOes most run of the mill trainers, but doesn't shine particularly against the remaining Gyms or the Elite Four. Only advantageous match is versus Caitlin, but be careful of Shadow Ball on Gothitelle and Sigilyph. Colress goes down easily from its firepower.

Name: Oshawott
Availability: Starter
Stats: Balanced stats across the board, with some emphasis in Attack and Special Attack.
Typing: Water gives it a nice variety of options, but it doesn't give Oshawott a lot of strong matchups throughout the game.
Movepool: Oshawott gets interesting movepool options, most notable being Megahorn from the move relearner (or X-Scissor from TM), Superpower from move tutor, and Ice Beam and Blizzard from TM. It also gets Swords Dance, allowing it to pull off sweeps on some foes.
Major Battles: Oshawott is one of the best options against Clay, an otherwise difficult battle. Its coverage options make it a legitimate pick for Drayden as well. In the E4, Samurott shines as a backup to almost everything, with a strong varied movepool to pick off weakened teams.

Name: Petilil
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Route 4, Trade (Black 2) - Early-Mid Game, Castelia City, 35% (White 2)
Stats: Lilligant has a high base 110 Special Attack, which is supported by a solid base 90 Speed.
Typing: Grass isn't a particularly good type because several common types resist it. It also has 5 weaknesses, although resistances to Ground and Water are quite helpful.
Movepool: Lilligant has a thin movepool with limited coverage, but it has everything it needs to work. As a Petilil, it has early access to decent STABs in Magical Leaf and Giga Drain. After that, Petilil has no particularly important moves, so you can evolve it early to gain Quiver Dance at level 28. At level 46, it learns Petal Dance, which makes it an even better sweeper.
Major Battles: Lilligant works best against Elesa, Clay, and Marlon. Its typing isn't particularly helpful against the other Gyms or the Elite 4.
Additional Comments: Petilil can be evolved with the Sun Stone obtained in Nimbasa City. It's recommended that you don't raise it past level 28 until you evolve it so you can get Quiver Dance right away. Petilil's preferred ability is Own Tempo to prevent Petal Dance confusion: the Petilil in Black 2 comes with Own Tempo.

Name: Pidove
Availability: Early Game, Route 20, 25% (5% Summer)
Stats: Above average Attack and Speed with decent bulk.
Typing: Your early-game Normal/Flying type. Offensively, strong against Fight, Bug, and Grass, while weak to Rock and Steel.
Movepool: What it needs, and nothing more. It gets STAB Return before the first Gym, and doesn't get a physical Flying-type move until Fly. Its movepool is shallow, so it doesn't learn anything else that's noteworthy.
Major Battles: It is strong against Burgh and Marshall, although it doesn't get any good options against Bug-type by Burgh.
Additional Comments: It has what it needs to function, and nothing more. Play it to its strengths and it will help out against most trainers.

Name: Pinsir
Availability: Mid Game, Lostlorn Forest, 5% [White 2]
Stats: Pinsir has an amazing Attack stat, coupled with respectable Defense and Speed.
Typing: Pure Bug typing is both good and subpar. Offensively it's a bit middling, but it doesn't have as many weakness as other Bug-type combinations.
Movepool: Pinsir starts out with 2-3 Fighting-type moves, with Brick Break being the most useful. It learns X-Scissor at level 29 and is pretty much set. Teaching it Return and Rock Slide from TM will help it a lot.
Major Battles: Pinsir will be able to break through Elesa and Clay with brute force. Skyla can be more challenging, but if you got Rock Slide it should go relatively easy. The rest of the big guys will go down with some powerful moves, with Grimsley and Caitlin being easy targets. Shauntal will break it though.

Name: Riolu
Availability: Early Game, Floccesy Ranch, 5%
Stats: Riolu's strong points are its base 70 Attack and 60 Speed. Upon evolution, Lucario gets a great 110 Attack and 115 Special Attack along with a nice 90 Speed.
Typing: Fighting/Steel is shared only with Cobalion, and Lucario can take advantage of it to switch in on weaker attacks.
Movepool: Lucario's main Achilles heel in-game. He is restricted to Force Palm for Fighting STAB until level 51. Close Combat comes at 55, barely making it before the Elite Four. He has Bone Rush for Ground-type coverage and Metal Claw as an additional STAB. Dark Pulse is learned at base and has good coverage with his Fighting moves. Tutor-wise, the main moves you will want to save up for are Ice Punch and possibly Drain Punch.
Major Battles: He beats Cheren pretty handily with Force Palm if you have it. Lucario has its advantages and disadvantages against the other Gyms though. For the Elite Four, Dark Pulse and Close Combat/Aura Sphere will destroy Caitlin, Grimsley, and Shauntal.

Name: Roselia
Availability: Mid Game, Lostlorn Forest, 15%
Stats: Roserade has a great Special Attack and good Speed. This will help when breaking down opponents.
Typing: Its Grass/Poison typing will give some powerful STAB, and a good advantage against Ground- and Water-types. Its weakness to Flying will be a problem at times.
Movepool: You need to wait to evolve Roselia to get Giga Drain at level 25. It learns Venoshock, Sludge Bomb, and Shadow Ball via TM.
Major Battles: Roselia has a good matchup against Clay and Marlon. It can do good against Elesa, but watch out for Emolga. The other Gym Leaders give Roselia trouble. The Elite Four is a mixed bag.

Name: Sandile
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Route 4, 35%
Stats: The main thing Sandile will be relying on is its Attack and Speed. When Sandile evolves into its final stage, it has 92 base Speed and a high 117 Base Attack.
Typing: Offensively it's not bad, as it hits 6 types super effectively.
Movepool: For its level up movepool, you can get Bite at level 4 so you should try to catch it at level 15; any higher and Bite will be replaced with Assurance. As for the rest of its movepool, you should mainly get Crunch, Earthquake, and Outrage. For TMs you should aim for Bulldoze and Rock Slide.
Major Battles: Sandile can solo the 4th Gym pretty easily so long as you get Rock Tomb. It can also do pretty well in the 6th Gym if you get Rock Slide. For the Elite 4, Sandile can defeat Catlin and Shauntal on its own.
Additional Comments: For its ability, Moxie is the slightly more recommended option as it increases Sandile's Attack when it KOes a Pokemon.

Name: Scraggy
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Route 4, 5%
Stats: Scraggy has solid Attack and defenses. Upon evolution, its defenses overtake its Attack, meaning it remains bulky before and after evolution. It is fairly slow though.
Typing: Dark + Fighting make a great combo, as only Heracross and Toxicroak resist them, both of which are rarely seen.
Movepool: Scraggy starts off with Faint Attack and Headbutt, then gets Brick Break at level 20. It gets Payback, Hi Jump Kick, and finally Crunch right before evolution. It can learn Rock Tomb by TM, and Ice Punch through tutoring.
Major Battles: With access to Dig and Rock Tomb, Scraggy can take on Elesa easily. Its Fighting attacks do well against Clay's Krokorok and Excadrill. Crunch can take out Skyla's Swoobat. With its bulk and strong attacks, Scraggy can go head-to-head to Drayden, only fearing Druddigon's Revenge. Scraggy manhandles Marlon's Jellicent and stomps both Zinzolin and Colress, while taking on any of Ghetsis's team bar Toxicroak. Scraggy has a positive matchup against 3/4 of the Elite Four and takes on most of Iris's team.

Name: Sigilyph
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Desert Resort, 10% (Desert)
Stats: Sigilyph's stats are well distributed for in-game runs. It has high Special Attack and Speed and its defenses are more than enough to take hits repeatedly when required.
Typing: Psychic/Flying STAB provide plenty of neutral and super effective coverage, but they are stopped by Steel-types. 4x Fighting resistance and Ground immunity are helpful. It has 5 weaknesses but some of those are rare.
Movepool: Air Cutter and Psybeam provide early power, and Air Slash and Psychic replace these to keep it going late-game. Shadow Ball from TM is useful for coverage on Psychic-types, and Signal Beam is a more expensive alternative for both Psychic- and Dark-types. It gets walled by Steel-types for most of the game, so Heat Wave is an option late-game if you have the shards.
Major Battles: It can use its STABs to beat most Team Plasma grunts. Its typing is only advantageous against Marshall (watch out for Rock attacks), but it has enough power and Speed to at least contribute against pretty much any gym.

Name: Staryu
Availability: Late Game, Undella Town, 30% (Surf)
Stats: Staryu and Starmie have an great amount of Speed and good Special Attack.
Typing: Water/Psychic is good typing, allowing for a lot of powerful moves, but it has a few weaknesses.
Movepool: Bordering on shallow. It relies on TMs to function well, but if you have Surf and Psychic, you can dish out some serious damage. Moves like Ice Beam, Blizzard, Thunderbolt, and Thunder are great for coverage.
Major Battles: It has trouble with Drayden and Colress. It is able to solo Marshal, but performs pretty poorly against the rest of the Elite 4.
Additional Comments: Definitely evolve as soon as possible. It has nothing worth learning naturally.

Name: Tepig
Availability: Starter
Stats: Bulky. It has a huge HP stat and can take all sorts of hits well. Has an excellent base 123 Attack stat and an usable Special Attack at 100.
Typing: Fire and then Fire/Fighting. Great for offense, not so great on the defense. There is a large amount of Flying-types and you might be struggling against some of the birds.
Movepool: Gets what it needs. Flame Charge boosts its Speed, Flamethrower is usable, and it can get Return and Brick Break from TMs. It can also learn ThunderPunch and Strength.
Major Battles: Does pretty well against half the gyms, the other half it can have issues with. Elesa, Clay, Skyla, and Marlon all give it trouble. Caitlin can give Emboar problems in the Elite 4 as well, but the others will take a fair bit from his Fire-type moves.

Name: Terrakion
Availability: Late Game, Route 22, Stationary
Stats: Amazing Attack for in-game with great Speed.
Typing: Rock/Fighting hits everything in-game neutrally, save Golurk.
Movepool: Comes with workable STABs in Rock Slide and Sacred Sword, both of which can last through the game. Tutoring Zen Headbutt is an option for beating Golurk.
Major battles: Terrakion can cheese Corless and Grimsley easily, and is a good option against Ghetsis and Iris. It suffers against Shauntal, Caitlin, and Marshal on basis of type advantages, but can still contribute through options such as Rock Slide and Zen Headbutt.

Name: Virizion
Availability: Late Game, Route 11, Stationary
Stats: Virizion's stats are a bit unusual. One should take advantage of its great Special Defense and mixed offensive capabilities coupled with its great Speed.
Typing: Grass/Fighting is a bit subpar, but grants Virizion good matchups during the late game, as well as solid STABs.
Movepool: Virizion comes with Sacred Sword and Giga Drain. It learns Swords Dance at level 49 to give it a needed boost for Sacred Sword. It can be tutored Seed Bomb for another physical STAB. Return can help out with coverage.
Major battles: Virizion can struggle a bit against Drayden, especially if it doesn't get a Swords Dance boost. Marlon should be an easy win, as should Grimsley. The rest of the Elite Four are matchup based.

Name: Zorua
Availability: Mid Game, Driftveil City, Gift
Stats: As a Zoroark it is fast and can hit hard with both its offensive stats. It is quite frail though so don't expect it to take a hit.
Typing: Pure Dark. Comes with 2 resists and an immunity, be careful of Fighting-types though. Offensively its STAB can be used well against Ghost- and Psychic-types.
Movepool: Zoroark has many options, but they all come very late in the game, so it will be stuck with Dark moves most of the time. It's worth relearning U-turn instead of buying the TM. Night Slash and Snarl will probably be your main attacking options. Its Hidden Power type is always Fighting, which is helpful if you have access to it
Major Battles: Zoroark does not excel in any gyms on its own, however, it can sweep two of the Elite 4 with its STAB alone.
Additional Comments: Because Zorua used to belong to N, it gains boosted experience, so it is quite easy to train.


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Name: Aron
Availability: Middle. It can be located in the Mistralton Cave, which can be accessed by surfing east of Route 6.
Stats: Aron is a slow physical attacker with amazing Defense and good Attack, but its Special Defense and Speed are lacking.
Typing: Aron maintains its Rock/Steel typing throughout its evolutionary line. It's a very hit-or-miss typing, meaning that it either takes huge damage from an attack or it completely shrugs it off.
Movepool: While it lacks a powerful Rock-type STAB move, it gets access to the reliable Iron Head upon capture and the less reliable Iron Tail soon afterwards. Protect, which Aron learns naturally, helps it scout for an opponent's super effective move. Bulldoze, learned by TM, not only provides a useful coverage move but can also slow down a dangerous opponent. Although Metal Sound doesn't directly benefit Aron, it can allow a teammate to blow through a strong wall.
Major Battles: Aron performs well against Skyla and Drayden's gyms, but struggles against some of the Pokémon they use. It can handle entire waves of Team Plasma grunts if needed, as well as keep Zinzolin's Weavile in check.
Additional Comments: Sturdy is the preferred ability, because it guarantees that Aron can get a crucial attack off even in unfavorable matchups. Be aware that Mold Breaker ignores it, however.

Name: Baltoy
Availability: Middle. Baltoy has a 100% chance to appear in the Relic Castle, but be aware that it only appears in Volcarona's room.
Stats: Baltoy has quite underwhelming stats overall, with even its Self-Destruct having an unimpressive damage output. Evolution gives it much better bulk and decent attacking stats, but it's still quite slow.
Typing: Ground/Psychic means that Baltoy has five weaknesses, but these are somewhat balanced out by its two immunities (by virtue of its Levitate ability) and four resistances.
Movepool: Baltoy is going to learn moves such as Extrasensory, Self-Destruct, and Cosmic Power (the latter of which works very well after it evolves) by level-up, while it gets a reliable Ground STAB early on by using the Bulldoze TM.
Major Battles: Baltoy is dead weight in most battles until it evolves, and even then it has to deal with a type disadvantage in the final gym. However, it does well against some opponents such as Colress and Marshal.
Additional Comments: Baltoy pairs well with Psychic-types, because it covers both of their weaknesses and it appreciates having its opponent poisoned.

Name: Basculin
Availability: Mid Game, Route 6, 70% (Surf)
Stats: Basculin has good Speed and offensive stats, allowing it to be a decent mixed attacker. Its defenses are poor, however.
Typing: Water is a good offensive and defensive type. There are plenty of regular trainers with Water-weak Pokemon out there, though it isn't as useful against stronger trainers.
Movepool: Basculin starts with Surf, and it learns Aqua Tail fairly early. Combine that with Adaptability and you have a Pokemon capable of 1-2HKOing most Pokemon you encounter effortlessly. Basculin also gets Blizzard/Ice Beam, Double-Edge, and Crunch, but it will be using its STAB moves most of the time.
Major Battles: Unfortunately, Water isn't particularly helpful against the last Gym Leaders. Basculin's better match-ups are against Shauntal and Grimsley since both carry Water-weak and/or frail Pokemon on their teams. It can also take down Iris's Archeops and Aggron.
Additional Comments: You should always use Adaptabilty on Basculin because it provides it with impressive sweeping potential against regular trainers.

Name: Buizel
Availability: Late Game, Route 14
Stats: It has very bad stats as a Buizel. When it evolves, it gets decent Atk, SpA and Spe. It still can't take hits, however.
Typing: Water is a good offensive and defensive typing with few enemies resisting it and its weaknesses are uncommon.
Movepool: It comes with Aqua Tail. Floatzel also gets Ice Fang and Crunch from the move relearner. You can also teach it Surf, Low Kick, and Waterfall.
Major Battles: Assuming Aqua Tail, Ice Fang and Crunch, Floatzel can be useful against Drayden, Shauntal, Caitlin and Iris. If taught Low Kick, it can even fight Colress (not Magnetons) and Grimsley.
Additional Comments: You should always wait until Buizel learns Aqua Tail before evolving it as it learns it very late as a Floatzel.

Name: Cottonee
Availability: Early. In Black 2, Cottonee can be caught in Castelia City, while it can be obtained from an in-game trade for a Petilil (which appear in the same location) in White 2.
Stats: Cottonee has average stats except for its notable Speed.
Typing: Cottonee is stuck with the Grass type, meaning that many attacks will hit it super effectively.
Movepool: Cottonee's movepool is what makes it into the ultimate support Pokémon. Whether it's slowing down a speedster with Stun Spore, stacking residual damage on a wall with Poison Powder, or Charming an opponent's off-the-charts Attack stat down to zero, Cottonee always has something to offer. Relatively early access to Giga Drain means that it can hold its own when it needs to, and it even learns a good coverage move in Hurricane if you evolve it.
Major Battles: Cottonee doesn't have too many good gym matchups because of its bad typing, but it completely dunks on Clay and Marlon. Even if Cottonee can only get one attack off before it is KO'd, that attack can lead to very helpful consequences for its teammates.
Additional Comments: The traded Cottonee grows quickly, so it's relatively low-maintenance even though it won't be getting many KOs. Cottonee can evolve with a Sun Stone from Nimbasa City, but be aware that it loses access to most of its moves after it evolves. It does best with slow breakers like Tepig and Remoraid.

Name: Cubchoo
Availability: Late-Mid Game, Route 7, 25% (Winter only)
Stats: Before it evolves, Cubchoo is frail and slow, although its offenses are decent. It becomes much bulkier as a Beartic. Base 110 attack is very good but base 50 Speed isn't good late-game.
Typing: Ice is a great offensive type. Super-effective coverage on Dragon-types is rare and Beartic can provide that. On the other hand, Ice is one of the worst defensive types because it only resists itself and it's weak to Fire, Rock, Fighting, and Steel.
Movepool: Decent. Its movepool isn't that good before evolving, but it learns Icicle Crash right after evolving, guaranteeing it access to a powerful physical STAB. Superpower can be relearned by Beartic with a Heart Scale. It gets goodies like Dig, Shadow Claw, and Rock Slide from TMs.
Major Battles: Beartic is decent against Skyla's gym, although only 1 of Skyla's Pokemon is actually weak to Ice. It's very good against Drayden and it should be able to survive at least one super effective hit. It isn't that helpful against Marshall, but the other Elite 4 members carry at least 1 Pokemon weak to Icicle Crash, and it can work well against Iris's Dragons.

Name: Deerling
Availability: Mid Game, Route 6, 30%
Stats: 100 Attack and 95 Speed makes Sawsbuck a good physical attacker.
Typing: Normal/Grass grants STAB on key moves such as Return and Horn Leech, but struggles against Fighting- and Flying-types.
Movepool: Return and Horn Leech are Sawsbuck's main attacks, and it also gets Jump Kick and Megahorn for added coverage.
Major Battles: Clay and Marlon are pretty simple battles, while Skyla is a big no-no. In the Elite 4, it performs decently against Grimsley and Caitlin due to Jump Kick and Megahorn, but keep it away from Shauntal and Marshal.
AC: It's recommended to use the gift Deerling due to Serene Grace's superior usability. The initial issue of no Grass moves can be fixed by tutoring Seed Bomb, which can tide until Horn Leech. 2 ways: either as a gift from the Weather Institute (which comes with its Hidden Ability of Serene Grace) or a normal encounter at 30%.

Name: Ducklett
Availability: Mid Game, Marvelous Drawbridge (shadow)
Stats: Ducklett has horrible stats until it evolves into Swanna, who possesses decent Atk, SpA and Spe.
Typing: Water and Flying STAB is almost unresisted in the game.
Movepool: Shallow. However, Ducklett comes with Bubblebeam and can be instantly taught Fly. You also get the Surf HM not long after obtaining it. You can teach it Ice Beam late-game to have coverage against Dragon-types.
Major Battles: Fails horribly against Clay due to Ducklett's horrid stats. Takes down Iris's Dragon-types easily with Ice Beam. It also doesn't hit hard enough to sweep Marshall. Average in most battles.
Additional Comments: Ducklett's stats are horrible and it will get KOed back most of the time. While Swanna has decent stats, it still lacks power, especially if it doesn't hit the opponent Super Effectively.

Name: Dwebble
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Desert Resort, 10%
Stats: The Dwebble line focuses on defense, although Dwebble's Attack is decent too.
Typing: Bug/Rock is a neat offensive type that covers 6 types super effectively. Steel-types wall it, but these can be covered by other moves.
Movepool: Dwebble starts with Smack Down and gets Bug Bite soon after. Rock Slide at level 29 is excellent, and it learns X-Scissor later on too. It can learn Dig, so Dwebble can achieve fantastic coverage right from the start.
Major Battles: Dwebble can contribute against Elesa and Clay but a full sweep is unlikely. Skyla's Swoobat and Grimsley's Liepard should be easy to deal with.

Availability: Middle. Ferroseed is a common sight in Chargestone Cave.
Stats: Although the Ferroseed line's high defenses and low Speed are obvious, the Thorn Seed Pokémon is more powerful than it might appear.
Typing: The sturdy Grass/Steel typing means that as long as you keep Ferroseed away from Fire-type moves, it should do fine.
Movepool: Unfortunately for Ferroseed, it's stuck with only Steel-type moves and the weak Pin Missile until evolution, meaning that although it can take hits, it often can't do much damage in return. Ingrain and Iron Defense are good support moves that strengthen Ferroseed's longevity; for example, after a few uses of Iron Defense, even most Fighting-types can't break through Ferroseed. Despite its bad coverage, Ferroseed starts with Gyro Ball, which usually has very high power due to its nonexistent Speed. After it evolves, Ferroseed's bad coverage is remedied when it gets access to Bulldoze.
Major Battles: Ferroseed does okay against the sixth gym, but it can't get past Swanna and Skarmory. It does very well in the two remaining gyms, however, and it completely stops most Plasma grunts as well as Zinzolin's entire team. Even the Champion carries many Pokémon that can't hurt Ferroseed.
Additional Comments: Metal Claw will miss.

Name: Frillish
Availability: Middle. It can be found in most bodies of water as soon as you have access to Surf.
Stats: Although slow, Frillish can take a few hits, but it's fairly weak. After evolution, though, its power and bulk significantly increase.
Typing: Frillish and its evolution sport the impressive typing of Water/Ghost. Due to the rarity of its weaknesses in the game, most attacks directed at Frillish will be hitting it for neutral or resisted damage. Additionally, it has helpful immunities to Normal, Fighting, and possibly Water, depending on its ability.
Movepool: Since Frillish is caught in the water, you can teach it Surf as soon as you capture it, serving as both a way to traverse the sea and as a powerful Water-type STAB move. Recover, which is known upon capture, can be used instead of expensive healing items; for major battles, though, you'll want to bring items that can heal more than half of Frillish's HP in a single turn. For Ghost STAB, Frillish is stuck with the unreliable Ominous Wind and the weak Hex until you find the Shadow Ball TM in Reversal Mountain. Coverage moves are unnecessary because Frillish can hit most Pokémon neutrally with its STAB moves.
Major Battles: Frillish has neutral matchups in most major battles, making them simply a test of strength; however, it should be kept away from Grimsley. Although it has to watch out for his Weavile, Frillish can take on both of Zinzolin's Cryogonal easily because of its high Special Defense and resistance to Ice Beam. It can easily beat common Normal- and Poison-types used by Team Plasma grunts.
Additional Comments: Either ability works fine for Frillish. The Shadow Ball TM can be found behind the Strange House. Since Audino learns only Normal-type damaging moves by level-up, Frillish completely walls it.

Name: Gligar
Availability: Late Game, Route 11, 15%
Stats: Gligar comes with impressive Physical bulk that can help it tank physical attacks easier, and an above average Attack and Speed stats to boot. Its special bulk is rather average, and its Special Attack is forgettable.
Typing: Ground/Flying gives it unfortunate weaknesses to Water and Ice, but it gets two useful immunities to Electric and Ground, and just three resistances. Offensively it is no slouch, with very broad coverage and key Super Effective coverage.
Movepool: Gligar comes with a broad movepool that gives it great offensive potential, getting the Elemental Fangs, Acrobatics, Swords Dance, U-turn, X-scissor, and Sky Uppercut from its Level-up movepool, as well as Bulldoze, Dig, and Rock Slide from its TM movepool.
Major Battles: It fares poorly against Marlon and Zinzolin, but Gligar can handily take on Marshal and Caitilin, as well as do a good job against Colress. Gligar can do a decent job in all the other major battles left in the game.
Additional Comments: Unless you can put up with Gligar until the endgame before getting the Route 11 Razor Fang, you can find its evolved form (Gliscor) at the same point in the game as Gligar in shaking grass, albeit at a 5% Encounter rate.

Name: Gothita
Availability: Route 5, 30% chance in tall or long grass [Black 2].
Stats: Its best stat is Special Defense, but it also boasts a base 95 stat in Defense and Special Attack. Unfortunately, it suffers from a base 65 Speed.
Typing: Pure Psychic-typing isn't bad, but Team Plasma runs a lot of Dark-types and it's weak to two of the Elite Four members.
Movepool: Gothorita learns Psychic at a relatively early Level 39, so its best STAB move is already available once it reaches its final stage. Gothitelle can also get Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball, and Energy Ball for type coverage.
Major Battles: Gothitelle is neutral to all four gym leaders after it, but Charge Beam will come in handy against Marlon. However, Gothitelle is weak to two members of the Elite Four (Shauntal, Grimsley) while only being super-effective against one (Marshal). Try to keep Gothitelle out of matches with Team Plasma - the Grunts use a lot of Dark-types, everything the Shadow Triad uses has a type advantage over Gothitelle, and it's weak to half of Ghetsis' team.
Additional Comments: Unfortunately, Frisk is just awful as an ability because almost no trainers stick items on their Pokémon.

Name: Growlithe
Availability: Early Game, Virbank Complex, 20% (Inside)
Stats: Overall very good. Its Attack and Special Attack are equally usable, and it's fairly fast too. Its also quite bulky, with good HP and average defenses.
Typing: Fire is a decent type in this game. It hits a good amount of Pokemon for super effective damage, but it's weak to Water, Ground, and Rock, all of which are very easy to tke advantage of.
Movepool: Poor overall. It learns nothing useful by level, except for STAB moves and Crunch; Extremespeed is cool, but isn't very useful. To get its best physical STAB, Flare Blitz, you have to keep it as a Growlithe until level 45, which sucks. It can't learn Wild Charge, its best supplemental coverage, until Victory Road, at which it's pointless. Thunder Fang is available, but is a rather poor move in general.
Major Battles: It can be a good asset against Roxie, and it destroys Burgh and Colress. Other than those two, it doesn't do particularly well against any other important trainers, but it's only really useless versus Drayden and Marlon.

Name: Joltik
Availability: Late-Mid Game, Chargestone Cave, 39% (1F)
Stats: Decent Special Attack, high Speed. Don't let it take too many hits.
Typing: Bug/Electric makes it neutral to Ground, but gives him a weakness to Rock. Its offensive STABs hit many things quite well.
Movepool: You're going to be limited Volt Switch, and Electroweb at first, but later it gets Charge Beam. Signal Beam can also work late-game, but overall its movepool is shallow.
Major Battles: Grinds cleanly through Skyla, but faces trouble with Drayden. It can wreck Marlon with STAB Thunder. Against the Elite 4, it can handle Grimsley and Caitlin with Signal Beam/Thunder depending on the Pokemon.

Name: Karrablast (With trade)
Availability: Karrablast is found on Route 6.
Stats: Karrablast has unimpressive stats apart from decent Attack. After it evolves, it becomes a bulky tank with very high Attack but low Speed.
Typing: Bug is a mediocre typing overall, but Karrablast gains the impressive Steel subtype after it evolves. This allows it to resist most hits thrown at it and only leaves it with one weakness to Fire.
Movepool: Karrablast is stuck with only the weak Fury Cutter and, later, the stronger Bug Buzz that unfortunately comes off its lower Special Attack. Once it gets access to the X-Scissor TM on Route 7 and learns Iron Head by level-up, however, it really starts to get going. Karrablast can be taught Rock Smash by TM to help it beat Steel-types, which likely can't deal much damage in return.
Major Battles: Karrablast is forced to rely on mediocre moves until the 6th gym, but from that point on it does very well. It doesn't have very many bad matchups.
Additional Comments: Unlike Shelmet, which needs to be evolved only after it learns Yawn, there is no downside to evolving Karrablast immediately after capturing it.

Name: Klink
Availability: Late-Mid Game, Chargestone Cave, 24% (1F)
Stats: Klink suffers from low speed until it hits its final form, but it does make up for very decent bulk. Its attacking stats are competent, though unspectacular.
Typing: Steel-typing blesses Klink with many resistances and an immunity to Poison-types, but three weaknesses to common types in the game leave it much to be desired.
Movepool: Klink is a case where its movepool is so shallow, yet so precise. It is gifted with its signature Shift Gear and Gear Grind by level-up which grants it amazing sweeping capabilities as well as the ability to pierce Sturdy and Focus Sash, and it is complemented by Electric and Normal coverage. Wild Charge can come in handy as well for the end-game.
Major Battles: Klink handles Skyla very well, while Marlon, Zinzolin, Caitilin, Grimsley, and Shauntal are all handled by Klink to a degree, especially once it gets Shift Gear.

Name: Koffing
Availability: Early Game, Virbank Complex, 15% (Inside)
Stats: Koffing's major traits lie in its exceptional Defense stat, which allows it to tank hits a lot on the physical side. It has okay mixed attacking stats, an average HP and Special Defense stat, but its Speed is mediocre.
Typing: Poison in an okay typing, with three resistances and a sole weakness to Psychic (Levitate takes out its Ground weakness). Offensively it is average, only hitting Grass-Types super effectively.
Movepool: Average. Its level-up movepool is mainly physical Normal and special Poison moves, but it has great TM coverage from Ghost, Electric, and Fire moves, allowing it to hit Steel-types and other types super effectively lategame.
Major Battles: Koffing has no super bad matchups besides Caitilin and Skyla. Otherwise, it can handle Burgh very well and tank a lot of physical attackers, but in general, it is only average in most matchups.
Additional Comments: Clear Smog can be used to help you in a pinch against several set-up attackers in the game, particularly against several Clefairy and Iris' Haxorus.

Name: Magby
Availability: Early Game, Virbank Complex, 25% (Inside) [Black 2]
Stats: The Magby line has above average Attack, Special Attack, and Speed, but also mediocre defenses.
Typing: Fire is an acceptable offensive type, and the coverage against Steel-types in particular is appreciated.
Movepool: Its level-up movepool is limited to STAB and Faint Attack. Flame Burst at level 22 is nice for early power, and Lava Plume and Flamethrower replace it later. Magmortar learns some cool moves, although Thunderbolt arrives too late to see a lot of use. ThunderPunch from the move relearner can be used in the meantime.
Major Battles: Does well against Roxie and Burgh, and is very good at dealing with Colress, the Shadow Trio, and Zinzolin. It deals with Skyla's Swoobat and Skarmory nicely, but most of the other gym leaders are strong against Fire and there aren't many Elite 4 Pokémon that stick out as being countered by Magmar or Magmortar.
Additional Comments: Magby's main problem comes from late evolutions. Magmortar is very good but Magmarizer comes too late for Magmortar to have much of an effect.

Name: Mandibuzz
Availability: Middle. Mandibuzz is a stationary encounter on Route 4; it appears only on Thursdays [Black 2].
Stats: Mandibuzz is very bulky, but its attacking stats and Speed are only average.
Typing: Dark/Flying typing leaves Mandibuzz with few weaknesses. It's walled by Steel-types, however.
Movepool: Mandibuzz starts out with Nasty Plot but doesn't really get anything to use with it; you can tutor it Dark Pulse and Heat Wave to fix this at the cost of BP. Foul Play can be tutored instead if you want to use a more defensive set. Later, it learns Air Slash and Dark Pulse by level-up.
Major Battles: Mandibuzz loses in the fourth gym and suffers from the prevalence of secondary types that resist its moves, such as Steel and Dark, in the fifth one. After that, though, it starts to do okay, although its attacking stats start to get underwhelming at this point.
Additional Comments: Mandibuzz is guaranteed to have Weak Armor, which helps it sweep but reduces its walling capabilities. It synergizes well with Fighting-types.

Name: Maractus
Availability: Early. It can be found in the Desert Resort with a 10% encounter rate.
Stats: Maractus has impressive Attack and Special Attack stats, but it has only average defenses and mediocre Speed.
Typing: A pure Grass typing holds Maractus back because of many weaknesses; in addition, lots of Pokémon resist its STAB moves.
Movepool: Maractus's best moves are learned through level-up, removing the need to hunt for Shards or TMs. It gets a great STAB move at Level 26 in Giga Drain, but what really sets it apart from other Grass-types is Acupressure at Level 29. Although luck-based, Acupressure can allow Maractus to sweep through any Trainer in the game provided it's well-trained enough. Synthesis, which Maractus knows upon capture, can help get through long routes without the need for healing items. Sucker Punch is useful to beat weakened opponents by getting around Maractus's low Speed, but it isn't very powerful.
Major Battles: Maractus comes at just the right time. It can handle Elesa's entire Gym by itself, although it is recommended to have Giga Drain by the time you battle the Gym Leader. Clay and Marlon can be beaten just as easily, but the two gyms in between them are more difficult: Maractus is weak to Flying-type moves, and it can't set up on Drayden due to Dragon Tail. Despite having its STAB moves resisted, Maractus can handle Colress with Acupressure, because none of his Pokémon can quickly defeat it.
Additional Comments: Water Absorb is the recommended ability for Maractus because it can synergize with a Pokémon that knows Surf in Double Battles. Although raising a Maractus can be exhausting at times, it can be very fun to use.

Name: Mareep
Availability: Early Game, Floccesy Ranch, 10%
Stats: It may be fairly slow, but it has a powerful 115 base Special Attack as Ampharos, and respectable defenses.
Typing: Electric is a decent typing, with only one weakness, and a handful of resistances. Electric is also pretty good offensively, with few things resisting it.
Movepool: It learns almost everything it needs by level-up. A powerful STAB move in Discharge and a decent coverage move in Signal Beam. You could also teach it Focus Blast for additional coverage.
Major Battles: It's not very useful against Burgh, Elesa, Clay, or Drayden. On the other hand, it destroys Skyla and Marlon.

Name: Metang
Availability: Late Game, Giant Chasm
Stats: Metang has decent Def and SpD which can be augmented with Eviolite. It gains great Attack and Def with decent SpA and SpD as a Metagross. It also has usable Spe.
Typing: Steel / Psychic is an incredible defensive typing with only 2 weaknesses and Fire is uncommon.
Movepool: Huge movepool. It comes with Meteor Mash and Psychic and can be taught Bullet Punch, Zen Headbutt and Hammer Arm by move relearner. You can also teach it Iron Head (for a no-miss STAB), Ice Punch, Bulldoze and Shadow Ball.
Major Battles: It is useful against Kyurem, Ghetsis, Marshall, Caitlin, Grimsley and Iris. If taught Shadow Ball, it can do a job against Shauntal as well.
Additional Comments: Metang should evolve one level after you catch it and from there it can beat almost everything. However, its availability and low catch rate counts against it.

Name: Mienfoo
Availability: Late Game, Route 14
Stats: Decent Atk when you get it. Great Atk and Spe when it evolves.
Typing: Fighting is a great STAB that hits many enemies such as Team Plasma and Colress Super Effectively. Unfortunately, Flying is a common-type in-game and Ghost and Psychic are both used by Elite Four members.
Movepool: Comes with Drain Punch and will eventually learn Jump Kick (very soon) and High Jump Kick (around Elite 4). Acrobatics and Rock Slide gives you some coverage to hit Fighting and Flying types.
Major battles: Average in battles against Drayden and Marlon. It can beat Team Plasma and Grimsley but loses horribly to Caitlin and Shauntal. If taught Acrobatics, it can be put in work against Marshall although it won't hit hard enough to sweep before being KOed back.
Additional Comments: I would say Inner Focus is a better ability in-game as you don't flinch from Fake Outs. While Regenerator is great, you should have enough Hyper Potions in-game.

Name: Numel
Availability: Late Game, Reversal Mountain [White 2].
Stats: It has very bad stats but gains a lot of Atk and SpA when it evolves. It is still very slow.
Typing: Fire / Ground is a great Offensive typing but bad defensive typing with few common resists and common weaknesses.
Movepool: Use the move relearner to teach it Lava Plume and you should be set. It gets a lot of good moves such as Earth Power, Lava Plume, Rock Slide and Earthquake. You can also teach it Bulldoze.
Major Battles: It is useful against Colress and Hugh. It doesn't shine anywhere else. Keep it away from Marlon.
Additional Comments: It should evolve about 1 or 2 levels after you get it. You can also catch Camerupt which can be found in the same area.

Name: Onix (With trade)
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Relic Passage, 20% (Dust Cloud)
Stats: Onix has massive Defense and decent Speed, but its other stats are horrible. When it evolves, its Attack, HP, and Special Defense improve significantly, in exchange for Speed.
Typing: Rock/Ground has six weaknesses, including 4x weaknesses to Water and Grass, but its Normal and Fire resistances, and Electric immunity are quite useful. It becomes Steel/Ground after evolving, gaining a ton of resistances in exchange for its Fire resistance.
Movepool: Wide. Onix's access to STAB Dig helps make up for its low Attack early on. It also gets Strength and STAB Rock-type attacks, providing it with good coverage. Steelix has wide coverage between its STAB moves, Crunch, Double-Edge, and the elemental fangs.
Major Battles: Onix is a great counter to Elesa, but doesn't do well against Burgh and Clay. Steelix can beat most of Skyla's and Drayden's teams, but hates Swanna and Flygon. Aside from Marshall, it can contribute against the Elite 4.
Additional Comments: You have the option of evolving Onix right away (Magnemite can hold Metal Coat) or waiting until Chargestone Cave. If you choose to wait, give Onix Eviolite to boost its defenses.

Name: Pansage
Availability: Early. It can be found in shaking grass in Lostlorn Forest with a 10% chance to appear.
Stats: Pansage starts with unremarkable stats, but it gets impressive attacking stats and Speed after it evolves.
Typing: A pure Grass typing means that Pansage will face many type disadvantages, but the few types it can hit super effectively are relatively common.
Movepool: Pansage starts with all the moves it needs: the reliable Seed Bomb and the helpful Leech Seed. However, it can use lots of TMs to cover certain opponents; for example, Acrobatics helps Pansage do well against Bug- and Grass-types, which resist Pansage's STAB.
Major Battles: Despite its relatively low stats, Pansage can do well in the fourth and fifth gyms by virtue of its typing. Leech Seed helps it survive for a long time, meaning that it gets many chances to use Seed Bomb instead of wasting its turn on a healing item. Pansage faces bad matchups in the next two gyms, but it can provide Leech Seed support for the rest of the team.
Additional Comments: The Leaf Stone is hidden in Lostlorn Forest. Use the Dowsing Machine to look for it.

Name: Pansear
Availability: Early. It has a 10% chance to appear in shaking grass in Lostlorn Forest.
Stats: Pansear has average stats all around, but its Attack, Special Attack, and Speed become more impressive after it evolves.
Typing: Mono-Fire typing means that although Pansear will often be hit super effectively, it has a type advantage against many opponents as well.
Movepool: Pansear starts with the weak but usable Flame Burst complemented by the potent Yawn. Although Pansear makes a bad Yawn user because of its unreliability against strong opponents, its high Speed after evolution gives it a reason to hold onto the move. Pansear gets access to many TMs, such as Acrobatics and Work Up, so you can teach it moves to suit your needs.
Major Battles: Pansear does okay around the time you get it, but its power starts to drop off around the fifth or sixth gym. At that point, the best it can do is try to survive a hit and use Yawn before it faints. Once it evolves, it starts to pull its weight in other battles, but it suffers in the two remaining gyms due to type disadvantages.
Additional Comments: The Fire Stone, needed to evolve Pansear, can be found in Lentimas Town.

Name: Pawniard
Availability: You get Pawniard considerably late in the game as you have to reach Ocepluid City first, which is the city of the seventh gym.
Stats: Pawniard's good Attack and physical Defense are pretty good and its Speed is decent at best. Its other stats, however, are mediocre.
Typing: Pawniard's typing resists a total of 9 types in total although most of those types are rather rare, it also can take out common types as well such as Psychic- and Rock-types. Although it resists all these moves, Pawniard is weak to three common types which are Fighting, Ground, and Fire.
Movepool: Pawniard has powerful STAB moves that go well with its Attack stat, it also has great coverage which can hit other Pokemon outside its usual targets which might help your team in dire situations.
Major Battles: Pawniard fares somewhat well against the seventh gym as it resists Dragon-type moves with its good Defense stat, although it needs to watch out for coverage moves like Flamethrower which can be run on some of the Dragon-types. Bisharp does very well in the Elite Four as it can help take out most of Shauntal and Caitlin's team thanks to its powerful Dark-type moves although again it needs to watch out for powerful coverage from the likes of Chandelure, Reuniclus, and Metagross. Bisharp fares quite poorly against the champion as all of her Dragon-types can take Bisharp out with strong coverage moves, and even though you think it can take out Lapras, it has powerful special attacks that hit its weak Special Defense, the only Pokemon Bisharp can take out reliably is Archeops.
Additional Comments: You get Pawniard considerably late but it makes a nice addition to your team as a powerful physical with great typing that can greatly help you when taking out the Elite Four, just be careful not to exploit Pawniard's common weaknesses and Special Defense as it will surely have to be careful for that when taking out strong opponents.

Name: Pelipper
Availability: Late. Pelipper can be commonly found in grass on Route 13.
Stats: Pelipper has mostly mediocre stats, only possessing decent physical bulk.
Typing: Pelipper's Water/Flying typing honestly isn't that bad, granting it several useful resistances at the cost of only two uncommon weaknesses.
Movepool: Pelipper can run many different moves to some success. It can set up with Stockpile if needed, run a stall set with Protect alongside status support, or utilize the HMs Surf and Fly alongside Roost to fill the role of a bulky attacker. However, keep in mind that its low Special Defense often holds it back.
Major Battles: Pelipper struggles in the eighth gym, taking lots of damage from moves such as Starmie's Psychic or Jellicent's Ominous Wind, while not being able to do much back. After that, though, it can serve as a decent stop to physical attackers such as Ghetsis's Bouffalant, even being able to eat a super effective Rock Slide or two if needed. Despite its low Special Attack, it can pose a threat by fishing for Scald burns.
Additional Comments: If nothing else, Pelipper can serve as a decent HM utility Pokémon because of its access to both Surf and Fly.

Name: Piloswine
Availability: Late. Piloswine is a common encounter in the Giant Chasm. It can be found in both the grass and the surrounding cave.
Stats: Piloswine is strong and has decent Speed; it isn't held back by low bulk, either. It has high stats all around except for its terrible Special Attack.
Typing: Piloswine's Ice/Ground typing gives it a few weaknesses. However, it's very good offensively, hitting nearly every opponent neutrally and many super effectively.
Movepool: The coveted Earthquake is only a couple of levels away from when Piloswine is captured, but Piloswine doesn't have a better physical Ice STAB than the disappointing Ice Fang; special moves, such as Blizzard, are usable if you don't want to spend a Heart Scale. Piloswine can learn many Rock-type moves from TM for even more coverage.
Major Battles: Piloswine has some bad matchups, but some good ones as well. A type advantage over Dragon-types is important at the point in the game Piloswine is obtained, and beating Colress is no small matter either. However, it struggles with a weakness to Fighting in the Elite Four.
Additional Comments: Although it requires a lot of effort to get, a Choice Scarf massively benefits Piloswine because it allows it to move before threatening opponents such as Hydreigon; the item also has postgame use.

Name: Psyduck
Availability: Early Game, Floccesy Ranch, 10%
Stats: Relatively good as a Psyduck with good Special Attack. Its stats become more solid when it evolves, gaining better Speed and mixed offense potential.
Typing: Water is a good typing. Has both good and bad match-ups, which makes relatively balanced.
Movepool: Psyduck learns mostly Water- and Psychic-type moves, although the Water-type ones come with high power. Surf and Zen Headbutt will be its main offensive moves towards the end of the game. Can be tutored Ice Punch as well. Can also be taught Dig.
Major Battles: Psyduck will have problems with Elesa. Clay and his Gym will prove to be easier for Psyduck do deal with, but it can have trouble with Excadrill. Later in the game, Drayden and Marlon can be difficult, but Ice Punch can help.

Name: Roggenrola (With trade)
Availability: Roggenrola can be found in the Relic Passage, accessible from the Castelia Sewers. Alternatively, an evolved Gigalith is obtainable from an in-game trade for an Emolga on Route 7.
Stats: Roggenrola has impressive Attack and Defense, but it's slow and it has low Special Defense.
Typing: A Rock typing means that Roggenrola can completely wall some opponents, but it falls flat against others.
Movepool: Despite having to rely on the fairly weak Smack Down until it learns Rock Slide by level-up, Roggenrola can hit fairly hard. It has access to Bulldoze by TM, which can provide helpful super effective coverage against foes, but its extremely low Speed means that it will often be outrun even after it's lowered the opponent's Speed. The traded Gigalith has immediate access to Rock Slide, so it can deal lots of damage right from the get-go.
Major Battles: Roggenrola has only a neutral matchup against the third gym because of the prevalence of the Sewaddle family, while it struggles in the fourth gym due to its low Special Defense and has a type disadvantage in the fifth. It completely destroys the sixth gym, though, even bypassing Skarmory with Smack Down into Bulldoze, and it does relatively well after that.
Additional Comments: The traded Gigalith has an Adamant nature, giving it even more firepower. This, in addition to the time it is available and the bonus experience it gets, means that it might not be worth training up your own Boldore instead of waiting to get the Gigalith.

Name: Sawk
Availability: Late Game, Route 23, 25% (Black 2) - 5% (White 2)
Stats: Incredibly powerful with workable Speed. Average but not terrible defenses.
Typing: Fighting-typing gives it favorable matchups against many types, but is also resisted by many, increasing reliance on coverage moves. Its Dark and Rock resistances can be of mild benefit.
Movepool: If it doesn't already come with the obscenely strong Close Combat, it only needs one level to learn it, so it can put in work immediately after you get it. It doesn't learn any worthwhile level-up moves at that point though, so it needs TMs or tutors to diverge from its current moveset, such as the Brick Break and Rock Slide TMs and Ice Punch from the Driftveil move tutor.
Major Battles: While it can thrash Grimsley quite easily as well as dispose of Iris's Hydreigon, Lapras and Aggron, it has awkward if not outright bad matchups against Caitlin and Shauntal while being vulnerable to Archeops. Close Combat's defense drops can also make its neutral matchups shaky, further warranting the use of coverage moves.
Additional Comments: While Sawk isn't a bad Pokemon to pick up, there are way more powerful Fighting-types one can access before it, most of which offer an additional typing and STAB as well as actually contribute early- or mid-game. If you do choose to use Sawk, go for one with Sturdy.

Name: Sewaddle
Availability: Early Game, Route 20, 35%
Stats: Solid overall. It has high Attack, with enough Speed and bulk to get by.
Typing: Grass/Bug provides some useful coverage, but also resisted by 4 types. It's also a lousy defensive typing.
Movepool: Bug Bite at level 8 gives it a good STAB move early on, and X-Scissor and Leaf Blade give it power late game. Unfortunately, its movepool outside of its STABs is poor and provides mostly unhelpful coverage. Swords Dance is available for sweeping.
Major Battles: Sewaddle's best match-ups are against Clay, Marlon, Burgh, Caitlin, and Grimsley. It can contribute against all of these, but must be wary of its weaknesses. Sewaddle does well against Team Plasma's Dark-types, but tends to struggle a bit against their Poison-types.
Additional Comments: Swadloon evolves into Leavanny with high happiness. Although this means that you can't predict when it will evolve, it should evolve fairly early.

Name: Skarmory
Availability: Late Game, Reversal Mountain, 15% (Double Grass)
Stats: Skarmory possess fantastic physical defense and workable Attack and Speed.
Typing: From a defensive standpoint, 9 resistances and 2 immunties in exchange for 2 weaknesses is nothing short of amazing. Offensively though it doesn't cover as much, though Steel at least hits Rock-types that resist Flying.
Movepool: Adequate. It starts off with Steel Wing as its best move, though it can be quickly replaced with the much better Iron Head from Driftveil's move tutor. Skarmory is one of those Flying-types that actually needs Fly for good STAB, but it makes use of it decently. Other options include X-Scissor and Night Slash via level up, and Rock Slide and Swords Dance via TM.
Major Battles: Skarmory's Dragon resist allows it to perform marvelously against Drayden and later Iris. It also wastes literally every Plasma Grunt you see after obtaining Skarmory, and does well in the Elite 4 provided you avoid Thunder/bolts and Fire Blasts.

Name: Skorupi
Availability: Late Game, Reversal Mountain, 30% (Outside)
Stats: Good. It's fairly fast, has solid defenses, and a decent attack stat. Nothing exceptional, though.
Typing: Skorupi is Poison/Bug, but shortly after you catch it, it will evolve into Drapion, which is Poison/Dark type. Poison/Dark is a good defensive typing with decent offensive presence.
Movepool: Fairly shallow. It gets nice STAB moves in Crunch and Cross Poison. It also learns the elemental fangs, but those are fairly weak, and its only other usable moves are X-scissor and Dig.
Major Battles: As a Dark-type, it fares well against Shauntal, Caitlin, and Marlon's Jellicent. Because of it's poor coverage, however, it doesn't do particularly well against any other important trainers.

Name: Snivy
Availability: Starter
Stats: Snivy is very fast with base 113 Speed at the end, and has quite good bulk as well. Its offenses are average, though they can be worked around.
Typing: Grass is not that great, as it is resisted by many common types found in the game. It also comes with five weaknesses which hurts, but resistances to Water, Ground, and Electric are quite helpful.
Movepool: Below average. Coil, Leaf Blade, and Giga Drain are its best level-up moves, while the TM pool is rather shallow and not really worth looking into, apart from Return. Its tutor movepool is not any better.
Major Battles: Snivy does very well against Clay, Marlon, and Caitilin (with Coil), but does terribly against Roxie, Burgh, and Skyla. Everywhere else it is rather average, but it is not dead weight.

Name: Solosis
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Route 16, 30% [White 2]
Stats: Solosis, all the way up to Reuniclus, has a huge base Special Attack. They are also fairly bulky, but incredibly slow.
Typing: Psychic is ok offensively being able to hit Fighting- and Poison-types super effectively. Defensively, it's subpar, being able to resist Fighting-type but being taken out by Ghost-, Dark-, and Bug-types, which all have significant trainers in-game.
Movepool: You'll mainly want to aim for Recover, Psyshock, and eventually Psychic. For TMs, you'll mainly want to look for Shadow Ball. Signal Beam is available as a move tutor move.
Major Battles: Solosis won't do well against most Gym Leaders. It can take on Marlon, Caitlin, and Marshal with relative succes. Especially against Marshal. Solosis will have an advantage against most Team Plasma Grunts though.
Additional Comments: You should always go for Magic Guard.

Name: Spheal
Availability: Late. It can be found by surfing in Undella Bay in winter.
Stats: Spheal has solid bulk and decent attacking stats, but it has an only average Speed stat.
Typing: Water/Ice means that Spheal doesn't have many weaknesses. Additionally, it hits most opponents for neutral damage with its STAB moves.
Movepool: Spheal starts out with Aurora Beam, and, by TM, Surf. It gets Rest, meaning that it's less reliant on items, and it also gets Hail to chip down opponents while healing Spheal.
Major Battles: Spheal can 2HKO most Pokémon in the seventh gym because of its type advantage. It finds itself walled in the eighth, but it can take many hits in return. It matches up poorly against Marshal and Colress, but it does decently in other battles, standing out against the Champion.
Additional Comments: You can use the Blizzard TM to give Spheal access to a very strong move that complements Hail well. However, it has low PP, so it's not very useful outside of major battles.

Name: Tangela
Availability: Late. Tangela is found in the grass on Route 13.
Stats: Tangela has decent attacking stats and it's very bulky physically. However, it is slow and vulnerable to special attacks.
Typing: Tangela has lots of weaknesses, but it's fortunately found at a point where most of them are nowhere to be seen.
Movepool: Tangela starts with the weak Mega Drain and the even weaker Knock Off, but a few levels patch up its movepool. Giga Drain does lots of damage while keeping Tangela healthy, and Ancient Power provides coverage against many Pokémon that hit Tangela super effectively. Stun Spore provides good team support. Natural Gift could be used in combination with a Berry, but unless you plan to develop Join Avenue, its limited use means that it's only suited for important battles.
Major Battles: Tangela does pretty well. It easily beats Marlon if it's evolved, and from then on its worst matchup is against Colress; everything else is neutral. Tangela can survive an attack from Ghetsis's Hydreigon and stop it with Stun Spore, and it does very well against Marshal because all of his Pokémon hit physically.
Additional Comments: Tangela can only evolve if it learns Ancient Power, so don't decline to learn it.

Name: Timburr
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Relic Passage, 20%
Stats: On one hand, you have an incredible Base 140 Attack, with impressive physical bulk to boot. On the other hand, it is very slow with average special bulk.
Typing: Fighting-type allows it to hit a lot of Pokémon super effectively, and gives it a few resistances, but leaves it weak to Psychic- and Flying-types, both of which are common.
Movepool: Below Average. You do not get a strong, reliable STAB until Hammer Arm at level 45. On the other hand, it gets Bulk Up and Rock Slide as useful level-up moves, as well as Bulldoze, Dig, and Payback from TMs. Thunderpunch and Ice Punch stand out from its tutor movepool.
Major Battles: It does well against Clay and Grimsley, but other than that, it is pretty unspectacular. Keep it away from Skyla and Caitilin, however.

Name: Trapinch
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Desert Resort, 5% (Desert)
Stats: Trapinch is very strong, but frail and slow. Once it gets to be Flygon, however, all of it's stats are respectable, with high Speed and Attack.
Typing: Ground is a solid typing, but having some common weaknesses makes it have a hard time. As Vibrava and Flygon, its secondary Dragon-type removes some of them, while it provides a great secondary STAB.
Movepool: Sadly, it can't get Earthquake during the main story unless you keep it as a Trapinch until level 55. Dig or Earth Power serve as decent substitutes, though, and it learns Dragon Claw by level. It gets nice coverage moves like Fire Blast and Rock Slide. You can also use it for Fly.
Major Battles: It does really well against Elesa. It can also do work against Skyla with Rock Slide, while Dragon Claw helps against Drayden. Its Ground-type moves will be helpful against most of Team Plasma.

Name: Venipede
Availability: Early Game, Route 20, 20% (Double Grass)
Stats: Venipede doesn't stand out in any category before evolving. As Whirlipede, it gains solid defenses in exchange for some Speed. When it evolves to Scolipede, it carries 112 Speed and 90 Attack.
Typing: Bug/Poison provides decent, albeit redundant, coverage. The type has a few nasty weaknesses, but 4x Fighting- and Grass-type resistances are useful.
Movepool: Venipede doesn't start out with much but it quickly learns Poison Tail and Bug Bite. Scolipede gets Megahorn via the move relearner. Dig is learnable as Scolipede and is useful for coverage against Poison- and Steel-types.
Major Battles: Scolipede can contribute against most important trainers thanks to its Speed, but the fact that every Gym Leader and Elite 4 member has at least 1 super effective move against Bug/Poison hurts it.

Name: Volcarona
Availability: Late-Mid Game, Relic Castle, Stationary
Stats: Excellent 135 SpA, with a good 100 Speed.
Typing: Has annoying weaknesses that can be taken advantage of easily, such as Rock and Water. A x4 resistance to Grass isn't very useful, but a Fighting resist works.
Movepool: Signal Beam can be tutored immediately to fix its horrible movepool, and it gets Fire Blast and Giga Drain for coverage. Fly works as utility.
Major battles: Does basically nothing against Skyla and Marlon, and doesn't have the physical bulk to take hits well for Drayden. Shines pretty nicely against Zinzolin and Colress though, but is mediocre against the Elite 4 in general.
Additional Comments: While initially seeming strong and overlevelled, Volcarona is put down by his bad movepool, forcing it to rely heavily on the inaccurate Fire Blast.

Name: Zangoose
Availability: Late-Mid Game, Route 7, 5%
Stats: Zangoose's high Attack and good Speed are ideal for an efficient playthrough.
Typing: Normal has wide neutral coverage which makes it ideal for regular routes, but lacks super effective coverage.
Movepool: Very Wide. Zangoose has Return and Frustration for easily accessible STAB, and Close Combat and Shadow Claw cover all the types that resist Normal. X-Scissor, Rock Slide, Aerial Ace, and the elemental punches are viable alternatives for coverage.
Major Battles: Zangoose is very effective at sweeping through Team Plasma grunts using its STAB. Its performance against other trainers depends on its moveset. ThunderPunch is good for Skyla and Marlon; Ice Punch deals with Drayden; Shauntal and Caitlin are weak to Shadow Claw; and Grimsley can be dealt with using Close Combat. Ice Punch and Close Combat cover all of Iris's Pokemon.

Name: Zebstrika
Availability: Late-Mid Game, Route 7, 20%
Stats: Zebstrika is one of the fastest Pokemon in Unova, and it also has decent 100/80 offensive stats.
Typing: Electric is a very useful offensive type late game because Water- and Flying-types are pretty common.
Movepool: Zebstrika's main problem is its thin movepool. It has decent STAB options, but other than that it is limited to Flame Charge, Signal Beam, Strength, and Bounce.
Major Battles: Zebstrika does well against Skyla and Marlon, and this is the main reason why you would want to use it. It also has some use against certain Elite 4 Pokemon, although it isn't going to sweep any of the Elite 4 members.

Name: Zubat
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Castelia Sewers, 45%
Stats: Zubat has average stats across the board. Golbat has above average Speed and average everywhere else. Crobat, though, has ridiculously high Speed and slightly above average Attack.
Typing: Defensively, weak to Rock, Ice, Electric, and Psychic, while resisting Poison and having a double resist to fight, grass, and bug. Offensively, it is strong against Grass, Bug, Fight, while being resisted by Steel and Rock.
Movepool: Decent, although mostly off of its weaker offensive stat in the late game. It also lacks a physical Poison STAB until after your 5th gym badge. Its only good physical STAB moves are Fly, Acrobatics, and Cross Poison. It can also use Return and Bite, plus a few tutor moves.
Major Battles: Annihilates most Bug-types in the Castelia City gym and is a good choice against Marshall, but is easily defeated by Elesa and Caitlin, and Colress's Steel-types. It can pull its own weight against other trainers, but it won't be a star.


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Name: Absol
Availability: Late Game, Route 13, 15%
Stats: Decent. Its defenses are bad, and its Speed is only average. However, its base 130 Attack is amazing.
Typing: Dark is a mediocre typing, both offensively and defensively. Any Ghost- or Psychic-type will fall before it, but those types are uncommon. Thankfully, its weaknesses aren't too common either.
Movepool: Decent. It knows Swords Dance when you catch it, and learns Night Slash soon after, a reliable STAB that becomes even better if you have the Super Luck ability. Learns Psycho Cut and X-scissor for coverage, and if you can spare the Shards, it can be tutored Superpower in Lentimas Town. It also learns Fire Blast, but it's SpA isn't really high enough to viably use it.
Major Battles: It's only really good against Shauntal and Caitlyn, whom it can defeat single-handedly, and it also defeats Marlon's Jellicent with ease. However, with Superpower, it becomes quite useful versus Colress, Ghetsis, Grimsley, and Iris. Keep it away from Drayden and Marshal, though.
Additional Comments: Absol is not a very good Pokemon unless you can teach it Superpower, at which point it becomes a very powerful asset to your team. If you're not going to teach it Superpower, you should probably use some other Pokemon.

Name: Audino
Availability: Early Game, Route 20, 90% (Shaking Grass)
Stats: Audino's Speed and attack stats are at least on par with most of the unevolved Pokémon at the start of the game, but they lag late-game. Audino's strengths lie in its nice 103/86/86 bulk.
Typing: Pure Normal is a bland typing with a Ghost-type immunity, a Fighting-type weakness, and no super-effective coverage. It does have good neutral coverage though, which is ideal for taking on consecutive trainers on routes.
Movepool: Very wide. It has plenty of STAB options to pick from, with Return being available near the start. It has a lot of coverage moves as well, such as Ice Beam and Surf. You can mix and match moves to suit your team.
Major Battles: Mostly depends on what moves you teach it, but late-game it'll find that it's too weak to sweep teams. Basically just pick match-ups that suit its moves.
Additional Comments: Regenerator is definitely the preferred ability. Note that you need to get the first badge before shaking grass starts appearing.

Name: Banette
Availability: Middle. Banette can be found in the Strange House.
Stats: Banette has decent Attack and Special Attack, but it's held back by mediocre Defense and Speed.
Typing: Banette's pure Ghost typing means that it has helpful immunities to Normal and Fighting, but it suffers from Dark and Ghost weaknesses.
Movepool: The most effective tools in Banette's movepool are available immediately. It starts with the useful Sucker Punch and the powerful Hex, along with a reliable STAB move in Shadow Ball. Banette can use readily available TMs to learn potent moves such as Will-O-Wisp and Shadow Claw.
Major Battles: Most Dragon-types are physically based, so Banette can Will-O-Wisp its way through the seventh gym. It suffers from weaknesses to two of the Elite Four's types, but its immunity to Fighting makes it a good choice against Marshal.
Additional Comments: Banette is best paired with a Pokémon that can spread paralysis, such as Cottonee, Nosepass, or Elekid. This is because paralysis support, in addition to patching up Banette's low Speed, makes its Hex extremely powerful.

Name: Bouffalant
Availability: Late. Bouffalant is a common encounter on Route 23.
Stats: Bouffalant is impressively bulky and has a nice Attack stat to go with it. It is rather slow, though.
Typing: Bouffalant's Normal typing is more of a hindrance than anything else when you get it. This is because it doesn't hit anything super effectively, and many attacks do super effective damage to it in return.
Movepool: Focus Energy/Megahorn/Reversal/Thrash, Bouffalant's starting moves, are good enough on their own, but you can teach it stronger attacks such as Return. It learns Revenge with a Heart Scale, while it gets Swords Dance by level-up. Bouffalant can beat Ghost-types such as Cofagrigus if you use the Payback TM on it.
Major Battles: Bouffalant is too slow to take on more than one opponent at a time without healing; however, it only has one weakness, so it can usually take a hit from even strong opponents. It loses to Marshal, but it can beat more passive opponents such as Musharna.
Additional Comments: The Payback TM is found on Route 16. Bouffalant might not look very good, but it can patch up your team by putting a stop to Pokémon like Archeops.

Name: Buneary
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Castelia City, 15% [Black 2]
Stats: Its Speed is great, and its Attack is decent.
Typing: Normal-type is decent, but coupled with it's overall poor defenses, it won't be taking too many hits. It does get a nice strong STAB in Return, however.
Movepool: Very wide. However, because of its very low Special Attack, it can't use most of its TM movepool well. Its only viable attacking moves are Jump Kick, Bounce, Dig, and it's Normal STAB. It can be tutored one of the elemental punches in Driftveil City.
Major Battles: Because of it's decidedly neutral typing, it doesn't stand out much in any major battles. However, as long as you keep it away from Shauntal and Marshal, it won't do too poorly.
Additional Comments: Buneary's base happiness is 0, the lowest possible value. To get it to evolve, you must get its happiness to at least 220. Because of its low base happiness, you'll probably be stuck with a Buneary for a long time.

Name: Clefairy
Availability: Late. Clefairy is found in the Giant Chasm.
Stats: Clefairy has decent stats all around; its Attack is a bit lacking, though.
Typing: A pure Normal typing means that most of Clefairy's matchups are neutral.
Movepool: Clefairy starts with unimpressive moves, but the use of Heart Scales can give it gems such as Cosmic Power, Minimize, and Stored Power. This turns Clefairy from a mediocre tank into a looming threat.
Major Battles: As previously stated, most of Clefairy's matchups are neutral. Winning most battles is a matter of whether Clefairy is at a high enough level to set up safely and sweep. However, beware-- one critical hit could end it all.
Additional Comments: Clefairy can evolve with a Moon Stone, which is found in the grass inside the Giant Chasm.

Name: Drifblim
Availability: Late Game, Reversal Mountain, 20% (Outside)
Stats: Drifblim's low defenses are balanced by its HP stat, while it has decent offenses and Speed.
Typing: Flying/Ghost has acceptable coverage and is advantageous against much of the Elite 4 on paper, but it's walled by Steel-types.
Movepool: Drifblim starts with STAB Acrobatics, and it gets STAB Shadow Ball at level 40. Psychic arrives soon after via TM, and it also gets Thunder/Thunderbolt later. It lacks a good move for Steel-types though.
Major Battles: Drifblim seems good against the Elite 4 in theory, but many of their Pokemon can hit Drifblim super effectively. It may be able to take 1 or 2 of Marshall or Shaultal's Pokemon down but it can't sweep when it's taking Rock and Ghost moves in response. Caitlin is its best match-up, but even there it has to deal with Thunderbolt and Shadow Ball.
Additional Comments: Aftermath is useful because it can make a Pokemon easier to kill by a teammate if it dies.

Name: Druddigon
Availability: Druddigon can be found can be found very late game at Route 23 and that is the only place you can find it before defeating the Champion.
Stats: Druddigon has a great Attack stat and good defenses and HP. Its Speed and Special Attack are rather poor.
Typing: Dragon is a very good typing defensively and offensively as only Steel resists it, although it is only super effective against other Dragon-types. Druddigon's typing also resists the starter types and Electric which are all pretty common. Druddigon is weak to two quite rare types being Ice and Dragon.
Movepool: Druddigon gets a lot of STAB and coverage moves which are almost all physical to its benefit. This vast movepool allows Druddigon to hit a wide variety of Pokemon other than typical Dragon-type targets.
Major Battles: Druddigon does very well against your rival's Simipour, Simisage, or Simisear as it can resist their main moves and take them out relatively easily with its coverage moves, it also fares well against your rival's Emboar if it has one, as it can resist its main Fire-type moves and hit it rather hard although you need to watch out for Emboar's powerful raw strength. Druddigon does neutrally against the Elite Four because it isn't weak or strong against their Pokemon so it can be used as a backup option, and against the Champion, Druddigon does horribly as it is outsped by the opposing Dragon-types which are Hydreigon and Haxorus and can have trouble against an opposing Druddigon and Lapras.
Additional Comments: Druddigon is a very late partner but is quite useful as a Dragon-type if you're too lazy to train up Deino or Axew. Your team should be very solid by the time you reach Druddigon which makes it a struggle to try and fit it in your solid team as you have come very far in your journey and it is almost about to end. Overall Druddigon is still worth considering as its stats and its moves won't disappoint you.

Name: Eevee - Flareon
Availability: Early Game, Castelia Sewers
Stats: Eevee has horrid stats at the time you get it. It gains good Atk, SpA and SpD as a Flareon.
Typing: Good offensive typing as it does hit a lot of Pokemon Super Effectively. However, Water-types, Ground-types and Rock-types are also pretty common.
Movepool: Nothing notable outside of Fire-type moves in its natural learnset. You will have to rely on Dig and Return until it learns Fire Fang and later, Lava Plume. It also doesn't get anything notable from Move Tutors outside of Superpower.
Major Battles: Flareon has a horrid match-up against most Gyms and is fairly average against the Elite Four. It can win against Skyla's Swooobat and Skarmory but that's about it. It does beat Colress and Team Plasma easily.
Additional Comments: You can get a Fire Stone as early as Nimbasa City. Its available to buy for 3BP at the Battle Gear. It might be tempting to try and take advantage of Flareon's great SpD and Dig against Elesa but you take too much damage from Volt Switch and doesn't deal enough back.

Name: Elgyem
Availability: Middle. Elgyem can be found in the Celestial Tower.
Stats: Elgyem's best stat is Special Attack. It has decent bulk, but its Speed stat is mediocre.
Typing: Elgyem has a somewhat disadvantageous pure Psychic typing, rendering it weak to three types without giving it many useful resistances.
Movepool: Elgyem starts with Zen Headbutt, which is decent but nothing special. Hidden Power should be tested to discover its type, because it can potentially be a powerful asset. Later, Elgyem gains the strong Psychic, letting it easily overpower Pokémon weak to it. Signal Beam provides coverage against Dark-types, while Steel Wing is aesthetic.
Major Battles: Elgyem suffers in the Elite Four because of two type disadvantages. It does decently outside of that, though, even having an advantage against a third Elite Four member.
Additional Comments: Elgyem certainly does well once it evolves, but it's dead weight for quite some time. It appreciates support from Pokémon that can paralyze opponents due to its low Speed.

Name: Emolga
Availability: Mid Game, Route 16, 10% (Shaking Grass)
Stats: Emolga has excellent Speed and its offensive stats are good initially. However, Emolga is very frail, and its attack stats start to lag behind badly late-game.
Typing: Electric/Flying is an excellent typing; its STABs provide good coverage by themselves. It has useful resistance to several types, including Fighting and Ground, and it's only burdened with 2 rare weaknesses.
Movepool: STAB Acrobatics at level 30 is surprisingly powerful. Emolga has several option for Electric STAB, but its strongest moves arrive disappointingly late. Aside from Signal Beam, Emolga's movepool is thin outside of its STABs, but its STABs have good coverage by themselves so it isn't a huge problem.
Major Battles: Acrobatics can tear through most of Team Plasma, and it does well against Skyla and Marlon. Its stats don't really cut it against other gyms though, and it really isn't doing anything against the Elite Four.

Name: Foongus
Availability: Middle. Foongus is found on Route 6 in fake items or grass.
Stats: Foongus has decent stats all around except for its high HP and terrible Speed.
Typing: Grass/Poison isn't the best defensive typing, and it's walled by many opponents as well. However, it has its time to shine.
Movepool: Foongus learns the useful Giga Drain surprisingly early, but it doesn't get any similarly strong moves for a long time. It can be tutored Foul Play if you're willing to get the BP, and it can use the Toxic + Venoshock combo, but these moves don't cover many opponents. If you patiently level up Foongus enough, it will learn the amazing Spore, allowing it to win much more.
Major Battles: Early access to Giga Drain helps Foongus win against Clay and Marlon, but it should stay away from the two gyms in between them. Foongus struggles against Caitlin and Colress, but does exceptionally well against Marshal.
Additional Comments: If it's prevented from evolving, Foongus can learn Spore at only level 50, allowing it to be much stronger later at the cost of sacrificing the immediate power of Amoonguss.

Name: Golurk
Availability: Late Game, Victory Road, 30%
Stats: Golurk is a rather slow Pokémon with average bulk, but a great Base 123 Attack to use its Physical Attacks off.
Typing: Ground/Ghost-typing is fairly great considering you only have the Rival and the Elite Four to go, as the three immunities and STAB coverage can come in handy at the point you get it.
Movepool: Golurk gets Earthquake nearly immediate after you get it—or even have it already—while Shadow Punch is its only decent Ghost-type STAB, obtainable via Heart Scale. It also gets Rock Slide and the Elemental Punches as useful moves from TM's and the Driftveil Tutor, as well as Hammer Arm if you can be bothered grinding Golurk to Level 60 before the Elite Four.
Major Battles: Golurk fares decently in the final Rival Battle and against Caitilin, Marshal, and Iris' Aggron, but is otherwise unspectacular. It mainly depends on what you teach it.
Additional Comments: Always use Iron Fist over Klutz, especially if you get Shadow Punch for it. In short, Golurk may come at the end of the game, but makes up for it for being at a decent level, as well as being of some use in the remaining battles in the game.

Name: Grimer
Availability: Early Game, Castelia Sewers
Stats: Decent HP and Atk stat as a Grimer. Good HP, Attack and SpD as Muk.
Typing: Poison is a poor offensive typing in the game. It does have noteworthy resistances to Bug, Grass and Fighting.
Movepool: Grimer doesn't learn much moves naturally outside of Special-based Poison and Ground-type moves. It can also be taught Gunk Shot, Fire Punch, Ice Punch and Thunder Punch from the Driefveil Move Tutor.
Major Battles: Beats Burgh easily with its typing while losing horribly to Clay. Dig also helps it against Colress. Outside of those, it is fairly average.
Additional Comments: Gunk Shot can be taught to Grimer at Driefveil. This is its most powerful Physical-based STAB move and outdamages a Super Effective Elemental Punch. However, you can have Grimer learn it naturally at a high level and use the Shard to learn an Elemental Punch.

Name: Lapras
Availability: Late Game, Village Bridge, 5% (Surfing Spots)
Stats: Very well-balanced. High HP and decent defenses make it good at taking hits repeatedly, and 85/85 offenses allow it to hit reasonably hard.
Typing: Water/Ice is a strong offensive typing; its STABs have very good coverage, although they're stopped by other Water-types. Defensively, Water/Ice leaves a lot to be desired because it has 4 weaknesses and just 2 resistances.
Movepool: Wide. Lapras will likely know Ice Beam upon capture (it learns it at level 32), and Surf is obtained beforehand. Thunder (and Thunderbolt later on) is available for coverage on Water-types, and Psychic does the same for Fighting-types.
Major Battles: Lapras works very well against Drayden with Ice Beam (it should be able to take Revenge or Rock Slide). If it has Thunder, it can counter Marlon too, especially with Water Absorb. It should be strong enough to see use against the Elite 4 (it works wonders against Iris' Dragons), but it should stay away from Marshall.

Name: Lunatone
Availability: Late Game, Route 13, x%.
Stats: Lunatone has decent stats all around. It doesn't have any big flaws, but none of its stats are exceptionally good either.
Typing: Rock/Psychic, shared only by Lunatone's solar counterpart, suffers from many weaknesses but offers its share of strengths as well.
Movepool: Lunatone knows two strong STAB moves, Rock Slide and Psychic, upon capture. It can't learn many coverage moves, but it has access to interesting support moves such as Cosmic Power and Heal Block.
Major Battles: Lunatone has a neutral matchup against the seventh gym, but it faces many type disadvantages in subsequent fights. It can usually take at least one hit, allowing it to either hit back or throw out a Heal Block.
Additional Comments: Keep Lunatone's Levitate ability in mind, because sometimes it can come in handy.

Name: Nosepass
Availability: Middle. Nosepass has a 10% chance to appear in Chargestone Cave.
Stats: Nosepass is very bulky, but it has mediocre attacking stats and it is extremely slow.
Typing: Once Nosepass evolves, it becomes Rock/Steel-type. Although it resists many common types, such as Normal and Flying, it takes tons of damage from Fighting- and Ground-type moves.
Movepool: Nosepass starts with the useful Thunder Wave, but it only has the unreliable Rock Blast and the weak Spark for starting attacks. It can deal more damage when it learns stronger moves like Power Gem and Rock Slide.
Major Battles: Nosepass should do well in the sixth gym as long as you evolve it first. However, it faces the threat of strong coverage moves, like Flygon's Earth Power, in the seventh gym. Even in the bad matchups it faces, Nosepass can offer Thunder Wave support.
Additional Comments: Conveniently, Nosepass can be evolved by leveling it up in Chargestone Cave, right where it's caught.

Name: Panpour
Availability: Early. It's found in the Lostlorn Forest with a 10% chance to appear in shaking grass.
Stats: Panpour's stats are fairly low, but it becomes a fast, powerful sweeper after it evolves.
Typing: Panpour has a pure Water typing. Hindered by only two weaknesses, it can usually take a hit from even strong opponents.
Movepool: While Panpour is stuck with the ineffective Water Sport as a support move, unlike its simian brethren, it has access to the amazing Scald right away. With Scald, Panpour can burn threatening opponents in addition to dealing lots of damage. It gets Surf as an additional option through HMs, allowing it to deal even more damage at the cost of Scald's burn chance; because of the values of both moves, it is recommended to hold on to both Scald and Surf. Panpour can even deal lots of damage against some opponents which would normally beat it, such as Hydreigon, by using TMs.
Major Battles: Panpour is useless in the fourth gym, but has an advantage against Clay. Despite having its Water-type moves resisted in the last two gyms, it can utilize Return to hit hard, or use Scald to fish for burns on Pokémon like Haxorus.
Additional Comments: A Water Stone, which is needed to evolve Panpour, is located on Route 19. It is only accessible by using Surf.

Name: Patrat
Availability: Early Game, Route 19, 50%
Stats: Watchog's stats are mediocre in the long run, although 85 Attack and 77 Speed should be sufficient early-game. Its power peaks right after it evolves.
Typing: Normal's strong point is its wide neutral coverage (ideal for Trainers on regular routes). It also has no resistances, so Watchog will be relying on its shaky defenses to take hits.
Movepool: Decent. Patrat has access to Frustration and Return pretty early and Crunch at level 16. The move tutors gave it Seed Bomb, the elemental punches, Zen Headbutt, and Aqua Tail to pick from for coverage.
Major Battles: Early-game, you'll find that Watchog works well in most Gyms because it can hit fairly hard against most opponents. Late-game, Watchog's stats just don't cut it anymore and it'll often lose against stronger Pokemon.

Name: Rattata
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Castelia Sewers, 45%
Stats: Rattata's stats aren't great but they are well distributed. 81 Attack and 97 Speed are decent, but it has poor defenses.
Typing: Normal-type is bland offensively and defensively. However, it has wide neutral coverage so it works well for cleaning up regular routes.
Movepool: Rattata starts with Hyper Fang for STAB, and Return can replace it once you get its happiness up. Facade is a good option late-game because it works well with Guts. Crunch and Dig both arrive early for coverage. Super Fang has some use for weakening wild Pokemon for capture.
Major Battles: It's not particularly useful in Gyms. Early-game, it can beat the weaker Pokemon just as well as anything, but late-game it just isn't strong enough.
Additional Comments: Guts is the preferred ability. Note that there is a Toxic Orb (B2)/Flame Orb (W2) in Reversal Mountain so that can be used with Guts.

Name: Remoraid
Availability: Late. It can be found by surfing on Route 21 with a 5% chance to appear.
Stats: Remoraid has no survivability but high Speed and good attacking stats; evolution sacrifices its Speed stat for higher attack and average bulk, turning it into a powerful tank.
Typing: Remoraid has a pure Water typing before and after evolution, leaving it with only two uncommon weaknesses. However, it doesn't have many resistances to exploit either.
Movepool: Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, and Bullet Seed, all known upon capture, grant Remoraid perfect coverage. Surf provides a good Water STAB, whether it replaces the more powerful but less accurate Hydro Pump or is used alongside it. After it evolves, it can learn Rock Blast and Gunk Shot through the use of a Heart Scale, but these are generally not worth it due to the lack of opponents that are hit harder than by one of Remoraid's other moves.
Major Battles: Due to Remoraid's low Speed and defenses, it will usually get outsped and 2HKO'ed, allowing it to get one powerful attack off at best. Although this sounds like a bad thing, it means that Remoraid can act as an emergency stop to dangerous opponents. Because of its few weaknesses, there isn't much that can OHKO a well-trained Remoraid. It appreciates speed control moves, such as Bulldoze, because it can rarely OHKO a target back.
Additional Comments: Although Remoraid performs well after you get it, it's very tedious to track down and may not be worth keeping an open team slot. Both of its abilities are situational, but Sniper is probably the better one because it goes well with Bullet Seed, which is more likely to get a critical hit.

Name: Roggenrola (No trade)
Availability: Early. Roggenrola can be found in the Relic Passage, accessible from the Castelia Sewers.
Stats: Roggenrola has decent Attack, and it's very bulky physically. However, it's slow and it has low Special Defense.
Typing: Roggenrola's Rock typing means that it can shrug off many types of attacks, but it's hit super effectively by quite a few others.
Movepool: Roggenrola starts with only weak Rock-type moves, but it learns gradually stronger ones when it levels up. It gets Bulldoze after the fifth gym for useful coverage, allowing it to beat opponents like Aggron.
Major Battles: Roggenrola does well for a while after you get it, but it eventually starts to drop off after it has its chance to shine in the sixth gym. After that, it suffers from both type disadvantages at every corner and numerous opponents with plainly higher stats. It can still contribute to the team somewhat, such as surviving a hit from Colress's Magneton with Sturdy and Bulldozing it back, but its lack of evolution shows.
Additional Comments: Boldore can use Eviolite if you intend on using it throughout the whole game. It pairs well with Pokémon that synergize with its type, like Grass-types.

Name: Rufflet
Availability: Late. Rufflet is a rare encounter on Route 23 [White 2].
Stats: Rufflet has decent bulk and speed, with high Attack.
Typing: Rufflet's Normal/Flying typing is a great advantage at the point where it is available, because it has an advantage against two Elite Four members.
Movepool: Rufflet starts out with decently powerful Normal-type moves. Later, it gets the insane Brave Bird, and it can utilize Return once its happiness is high enough. Additionally, you can use a Heart Scale to teach Rufflet Superpower after it's evolved.
Major Battles: If Rufflet has Brave Bird, its only concern while facing Marshal is recoil damage, and it can even beat some other opponents such as Musharna. The more a Pokémon is trained, the better it will perform; this is especially true for it because a freshly caught Rufflet stands no chance.
Additional Comments: Rufflet is held back by its late availability and the training it needs to succeed; if you have the choice, it's recommended to use the Braviary on Route 4 instead, which has neither of these problems.

Name: Sandshrew
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Desert Resort, 15% (Desert)
Stats: Decent. It's Attack and Defense are rather high, but the rest of it's stats aren't very good, including it's mediocre HP and low Special stats and Speed
Typing: Ground-type is a mixed bag. Offensively, it's amazing, hitting 5 types for super-effective damage, with only three types resisting it. Defensively, Ground is somewhat poor, with its weaknesses being very common and its resistances not so common.
Movepool: Good, it gets Swords Dance and powerful STAB moves by level-up. It appreciates being taught Rock Slide to augment its coverage, but the Rock Slide TM is easy to get, so it shouldn't be an issue.
Major Battles: It completely laughs at Elesa, and is also useful against Colress. Other than those two, it doesn't shine anywhere in particular, but it doesn't really lose to anyone except Burgh and Marlon.
Additional Comments: It evolves very early, and doesn't really need any special treatment to be effective.

Name: Seel
Availability: Late. Seel has a 10% chance to appear on land in Seaside Cave.
Stats: Seel has mostly mediocre stats except for decent Special Defense.
Typing: Water/Ice is decent defensively, granting Seel a couple of resistances. Offensively, it's very good, hitting every type but Water for neutral damage.
Movepool: Seel starts with Aurora Beam and Surf, two useful attacking moves, and it gets Ice Beam later on. It can use Aqua Ring in longer battles so it doesn't get worn down as easily. Additionally, it can learn Encore by using a Heart Scale, and it gets Drill Run from the Move Tutor.
Major Battles: Seel can take on the seventh gym if it's leveled high enough, but its low stats start to let it down after that. It can still beat opponents weak to its STABs, such as Iris's Aggron, and it can help against opponents that use setup moves such as Dragon Dance by using Encore. However, that strategy can be unreliable.
Additional Comments: Seel learns Ice Beam very late, so consider buying the Blizzard TM from Lacunosa Town and using that instead.

Name: Seviper
Availability: Middle. Seviper is a rare encounter in grass on Route 7.
Stats: Seviper is relatively slow and has low bulk, but its Attack stat is decent.
Typing: Poison isn't a very good type for Seviper, because it can't OHKO many targets due to the lack of opponents weak to its STAB.
Movepool: Seviper is salvaged from uselessness by its good movepool. It gets helpful Dark-type coverage, allowing it to hit other types super effectively, but its main selling point is Glare. Glare paralyzes every opponent, no matter its type, making it a fantastic support move. Seviper later gets Coil, which can sweep opponents if Seviper is at the level needed to safely set up.
Major Battles: Seviper has mostly neutral matchups, only being completely walled by Colress, before the Elite Four. It completely fails against Caitlin because of the super effective moves her Pokémon have; however, it can potentially sweep Marshal with Coil because of its Fighting resistance and Coil's Defense boosts.
Additional Comments: It's very easy to let Seviper fall behind in experience, but the support it can offer is wasted if you do that.

Name: Shelmet (With trade)
Availability: Middle. It can be found in the tall grass on Route 7.
Stats: Shelmet has a sizable Defense stat, but it's fairly underwhelming outside of that. It casts aside this trait after evolution to become the fastest Pokémon available before the Champion, and its Special Attack also undergoes a significant rise. You will often see Shelmet move first even after the opponent boosts their Speed.
Typing: A pure Bug typing means that Shelmet suffers from weaknesses to common types, but it has good matchups against Grass- and Psychic-types.
Movepool: Although its stats depict it to be a fast attacker, the truth of the matter is that Shelmet works better in a supportive role. It's stuck with the miserably weak Struggle Bug and Mega Drain until Level 37 as its only methods of dealing damage, making it considerably more useful when it utilizes its blazing Speed stat to get off a guaranteed Yawn. This move can help your team against powerful opponents like Clay's Excadrill, allowing a slower but more powerful teammate to beat them. Recover can help Shelmet survive through the opponent's Yawn stage, and Final Gambit at Level 56 fills the same roles as Yawn, except without potentially endangering a team member in the event of a 1 turn sleep. It requires you to sacrifice Shelmet, however.
Major Battles: Shelmet is limited to using Yawn against all Gym Leaders up to Drayden, and even with Giga Drain, it needs lots of training to be able to stand up to Marlon's Water-types. Even Bug Buzz can't OHKO the multitudinous Hydreigon without a big level advantage. Shelmet can outspeed and 2HKO Ghetsis's Seismitoad with Giga Drain without being OHKO'd back, and has good matchups against half of the Elite Four, though.
Additional Comments: Don't use Me First against Drayden. It might seem like a good idea, but it's not. Remember that Shelmet learns Yawn naturally, but Accelgor doesn't have access to it, so level Shelmet up to Level 25 before evolving it.

Name: Sneasel
Availability: Late. Sneasel is an uncommon encounter in the Giant Chasm's cave.
Stats: Sneasel has high Attack and Speed, but low bulk and Special Attack.
Typing: Ice/Dark means that Sneasel has lots of weaknesses, but it hits super effectively a lot as well.
Movepool: Sneasel has a bad movepool. It's forced to pay BP for a strong Ice STAB in Ice Punch, and it requires a Heart Scale to learn Night Slash after it evolves. Although it's pretty good with these moves, it's practically forced to get them. Low Kick is a nice coverage move, though.
Major Battles: Sneasel is fast enough to outspeed most opponents, such as Archeops and Hydreigon, and it can OHKO them if it has the right move. It does well in two Elite Four matchups and has a great matchup against the Champion. However, if it ever misses a KO, it will usually get OHKO'd back.
Additional Comments: Sneasel can be evolved if it holds a Razor Claw and levels up at night; a Razor Claw can be found inside the Giant Chasm's forest. There's no downside to evolving Sneasel except if you want it to learn Ice Shard first.

Name: Solrock
Availability: Late Game, Route 13, 10%
Stats: Below average. 95 Attack is its best stat, and its defenses are not great. A large amount of Pokemon can hit it for super effective damage.
Typing: Rock/Psychic. An interesting and virtually unique combo. Rock-type moves work well with its Attack stats, but Psychic-type moves are left desiring for more power.
Movepool: Extremely Shallow. Rock Slide and Psychic might seem great initially, and then Stone Edge arrives a few levels after capture. However, you can get Zen Headbutt for 8 blue shards in Lentimas Town which greatly increases Solrock's usability.
Major Battles: At this point you already have 6 badges and the major battles left can be a struggle for Solrock. Team Plasma has lots of Dark types, Colress resists both STABs and it only has a single resistance to one Elite 4 member. If played well, you can try to set up on Marshall and go for flinch hax with Zen Headbutt, but it is risky.
Additional Comments: Zen headbutt is almost a must for this Pokemon, it is well worth the shards. It has decent coverage against random trainers out and about with its niche dual STABs.

Name: Spoink
Availability: Middle. Spoink can be found in Reversal Mountain [Black 2].
Stats: Spoink has good special bulk and decent Special Attack. It's not that slow, either.
Typing: Spoink's Psychic typing leaves it with three weaknesses, but some opponents are weak to its STABs as well.
Movepool: Spoink starts with only the mediocre Psybeam as an attack, but it gets cool support moves like Magic Coat and Confuse Ray. However, it learns tons of coverage moves such as Power Gem and Bounce, and the Move Tutor gives it endless possibilities.
Major Battles: Most of Spoink's matchups are neutral, but it faces two disadvantages in the Elite Four. It does well if it has the right coverage move, though.
Additional Comments: Spoink learns all of its important moves, like Psychic, earlier if you stop it from evolving.

Name: Swablu
Availability: Late. Swablu can be found on Route 14 with a 20% chance of appearing; its evolved form, Altaria, has a 5% chance to appear on the same route.
Stats: The weak Swablu can be evolved a couple of levels after capture. Despite the added power from evolution, Swablu's attacking stats are still incredibly underwhelming, although it has decent defenses and Speed.
Typing: Normal/Flying is average overall, having few weaknesses but few resistances. After evolution, Swablu's type becomes the interesting Dragon/Flying, giving it an additional weakness to Dragon and amplifying the damage it takes from Ice-type moves but providing good resistances to types such as Water, Fire and, by the loss of its Normal typing, Fighting.
Movepool: Swablu will want to learn Fly after it is caught for a reliable Flying STAB. DragonBreath, and later Dragon Pulse, are useful Dragon-type STAB moves learned by leveling up Swablu once it has evolved. Cotton Guard, which Altaria learns at Level 42, can help in some major battles as well.
Major Battles: Swablu comes at a bad time. It needs significant training to outspeed Drayden's Dragon-types, and even then, it doesn't have enough power to OHKO them for several levels. The normally useful resistances granted by its Dragon typing become moot with the high number of opponents that can hit it super effectively. It does poorly in every major Team Plasma battle, and it needs tons of grinding to take on Iris.
Additional Comments: Without either of the physical Dragon-type moves it wants, Dragon Claw and Outrage, available to it before post-game, Altaria can't use Dragon Dance effectively. It can make use of a Dragon Gem to hit hard in major battles, though.

Name: Throh
Availability: Late Game, Route 23, 5% (Black 2) - 25% (White 2)
Stats: Exceptionally Bulky. 120/85/85 Defenses are incredibly robust and 100 Attack really lets it put on the hurt.
Typing: Fighting. Not great being so late in the game, but it still sweeps Grimsley easily.
Movepool: Average. You will likely need to spend some time teaching TMs or using Heart Scales. Ice Punch is available from the Driftveil Tutor.
Major Battles: Defeats Grimsley easily with Fighting STAB and should even be able to tank Aerial Aces from his Pokemon. With Bulk Up he can try and set up against Marshall too.
Additional Comments: It comes way too late to be of much use.

Name: Trubbish
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Route 4, 25% (Black 2) - Mid Game, Route 16, 20% (White 2)
Stats: Average. Decent defenses let it take attacks well. Garbodor has usable Attack, but not a lot to use it with.
Typing: Poison. Pretty solid defensive typing. Decent match ups throughout the game.
Movepool: Poor. For being a physical orientated Pokemon, it has very few good physical moves. Body Slam helps out your team, as does Acid Spray (making its low Special Attack usable).
Major Battles: Its solid defenses in partnership with Stockpile allow it pull of a good defensive role against most of the Gym Leaders (Avoiding Clay). Toxic Spikes can aid you in longer matches, especially against Ghetsis and Iris.
Additional Comments: It can get Drain Punch in Humilau for added coverage and for hitting Steels which otherwise wall it.

Name: Tynamo
Availability: Late-Mid game, Chargestone Cave, 8% (B2F)
Stats: You'll be holding onto Tynamo for a while which has pretty poor stats. However, it gets a significant boost upon evolving. However, like some others it is awfully slow.
Typing: Pure Electric but with Levitate. This means it has 0 weaknesses and keeps its resists. It also comes right before a Flying type Gym leader.
Movepool: As Tynamo its only 4 moves. Eelektrik and Eelektross have movepools which are pretty big through TMs and tutors; including Acrobatics, Flamethrower and other moves.
Major Battles: Comes right before Skyla, but the moves it has probably won't be much help. As soon as it evoles it'll be a big help against Marlon and does reasonably in the Elite 4.
Additional Comments: It has reasonable Bulk to go with its high offences, mixed attacking Electric- types are rare. Can also be found as both Tynamo and Eelektrik in the Seaside Cave (before the Plasma Frigate).

Name: Woobat
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Relic Passage, 31%
Stats: Woobat's only great stat is its Speed. Base 114 Speed as a Swoobat ensures that you'll always go first so it works ok for sweeping routes. Aside from an average base 77 Special Attack, Swoobat's other stats are awful.
Typing: Psychic/Flying is a decent offensive type, Steel-types aside. Defensively, 5 weaknesses is a lot for such a frail Pokemon.
Movepool: Woobat starts with STAB Gust and Heart Stamp, and Air Cutter comes at level 21. Air Slash (level 32) and Psychic (level 41) are the late game replacements. Shadow Ball from TM provides coverage, and if you hoard shards you can get Heat Wave for coverage against Steels.
Major Battles: Woobat works well against Burgh, but hates Dwebble. It doesn't really work that well anywhere else. It may seem like it would work well against Marshall, but most of his Pokemon have Rock moves that destroy Swoobat, and they can survive a hit.
Additional Comments: Woobat evolves by happiness, so you're going to have to work hard to keep the frail Woobat alive to prevent it from hating you.

Name: Yamask
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Relic Castle, 40%
Stats: Defensive. Cofagrigus has one of the best Defense stats in the game and can still pack a punch with decent special attack. Only issue is very low speed means you will be getting hit a lot.
Typing: Pure Ghost. Walls a fair few trainers outright, and most fighting types won't give you problems.
Movepool: Gets Shadow Ball via TM or Level Up, Will-O-Wisp and room for a coverage move or two. Hex is worth a shout as well.
Major Battles: Comes at a good time. Defensively it can stand up to Zebstrika and Excadrill (burning both if needs be) and with Eviolite before it evolves its hard to crack. After it evolves it becomes the teams main defensive wall. Excells against Marshall at the Elite 4 and can hold its own against Iris' Haxorus.
Additional Comments: It's Movepool is fairly small but its one of the few Pokemon that can fit all the moves it needs onto its moveset.

Name: Zweilous
Availability: Late Game, Victory Road, 20%
Stats: Zweilous is an offensive juggernaut thanks to a base 85 Attack stat and Hustle It's quite slow though, and it will be outsped by the majority of the remaining Pokemon. Eviolite can help by bolstering its decent bulk.
Typing: Being a Dragon-type give Zweilous a great STAB to use as almost nothing resists it. Dark STAB is also great for upcoming battles. On the defensive side, Dark/Dragon is good as well.
Movepool: A pseudo-legendary usually comes with a great movepool, and Zweilous is no different. Unfortunately, most of its moves come from either tutors or TMs, so your options are pretty limited outside of those. Crunch and Dragon Rush will take you far though, but Dragon Rush has poor accuracy with Hustle.
Major Battles: Zweilous comes very late and the only thing you have to beat is the Elite Four and Iris. Zweilous make short work of Caitlin and Shauntal, but it will have a little more trouble against the others. Iris beats Zewilous with her faster Dragons, while Marshall does the same with super effective Figthing-type moves.
Additional Comments: Hustle is nice for an ability, but due to your main Dragon STAB only having 75 accuracy, it can be a pain as well. Hydreigon is not worth getting, as it just needs far too much grinding to evolve. It will take a good while to get Zweilous up to level 64, which is when it evolves.


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Name: Alomomola
Availability: Mid Game, Route 4, 95% (Surfing Spots)
Stats: It has the highest HP of all the Pokemon you can find in the game. It has okay Attack and Defense.
Typing: Water is a solid typing offensively and defensively. You only need to worry about Electric- and Grass-type Pokemon, but they are not very common after you capture it.
Movepool: Terrible. It gets Aqua Jet and Protect early on, which is okay, but most of the decent attacking moves it gets come off its terrible Special Attack stat. It is an okay supporter, however.
Major Battles: To put it simply, while Alomomola is not going to be dead-weight against any of the remaining major battles bar Colress, it is not going to be much of a help either.

Name: Bronzor
Availability: Late Game, Abundant Shrine, 15%
Stats: Very good defensively, but suffers from low speed and only average offensive stats.
Typing: Steel/Psychic is an incredible defensive typing with many resistances—and only two weaknesses—allowing it to take several hits, but the STAB coverage it has is nothing home to write home about.
Movepool: Bronzor's movepool is rather average ingame. Gyro Ball and Payback are the only real level-up moves worth using. Other than that, it gets some okay TM coverage with Psychic/Psyshock, Shadow Ball, and Bulldoze. If you have not used your free Red Shards yet, you could also look into Iron Head/Signal Beam from the Driftveil Tutor as well.
Major Battles: It can do a half-decent job in most of the remaining major battles, but do not expect it to sweep through any of those teams, because it is so slow and it only has average offenses. Its best bet of doing something is against Marshal with its super effective Psychic-type attacks.
Additional Comments: Levitate is generally preferred to Heatproof due to the immunity it grants. Because it only comes at Level 32—or 36 and evolved in dark grass—and the point where you get it, if you plan to use this for the Elite Four, be prepared to set a couple of hours aside to get Bronzor up to par with the rest of your team.

Name: Castform
Availability: Mid Game, Route 6, 5% (Shaking Grass)
Stats: 70's across the board are not great, but it does make for an interesting special attacker.
Typing: Normal when there is no weather or Sandstorm. Water for Rain, Fire for Sun and Ice for Hail.
Movepool: Honestly, not great. Weather Ball is a must and at least 1 weather changing move (Likely Sunny Day or Rain Dance) which helps out both Castform and the rest of your team. It can also learn several TM's depending on which weather you pick. Thunder for Rain or SolarBeam/Flamethrower for Sun.
Major Battles: The best bet for Castform during major battles is to help out your team by providing weather support. You can pick one up before battling with Clay, and Rain can help you out (You could even go on the offence with Weather Ball if you are confident). Castform is not strong enough to keep up with the endgame trainers or plot points.
Additional Comments: Castform is an extremely interesting Pokemon that can Provide huge amounts for its team. With a Damp or Heat Rock it can extend the length of the weather it creates, assuming you have a team which can utilize it.

Name: Combee
Availability: Mid Game, Lostlorn Forest, 10%
Stats: Amazing bulk as a Vespiquen, with decent 80/80 offenses.
Typing: Bug/Flying has an excellent Fighting resist, but has a crippling Rock weakness.
Movepool: It gets decent STAB moves in Air Slash and Attack Order, coupled with Rock Gem for some coverage. Can be taught Aerial Ace to work better with Attack Order.
Major Battles: Vespiquen is really bad against Elesa and Skyla. It's decent against most other trainers, but it's best to keep it away from Marshal, who packs Rock-type attacks.
Additional Comments: While Vespiquen may seem decent, one fatal flaw is that it can only evolve from Combee when it is a female, which is hard to find.

Name: Corsola
Availability: Late Game, Humilau City, 30% (Surfing Spots)
Stats: Decent defenses but coupled with bad speed and horrible offence.
Typing: Water/Rock. This type combination brings some interesting STABs to the table which can work together well.
Movepool: Surprisingly good. Access to Power Gem and Earth Power make a Special EdgeQuake combo with less power, and add into that Surf and you have a reasonably workable moveset.
Major Battles: You won't want to use it in the battle with Marlon, but it might see some use in the E4 against Shuantel and Grimsley. In terms of Plasma, Water/Ground coverage can work pretty well against Colress (Although watch out for Electric type moves).
Additional Comments: It comes a bit late to be of real use and its fairly rare typing can be both a bonus and a negative. Its movepool would be really excellent on a Pokemon with more offensive presence.

Name: Delibird
Availability: Late Game, Route 22, 5%
Stats: Poor. Extremely poor. No defenses, no offense; the only salvageable stat is Speed.
Typing: Ice/Flying. Nice STAB options for nearing the end game, but not enough power to back them up.
Movepool: Present. And then any TM's or tutor moves you wish to spend on it. Hustle with Fly/Aerial Ace can work well, as well as Ice Punch. Even with Hustle it's not hitting particularly hard.
Major Battles: Marlon, Giant Chasm, Ghetsis, and Elite 4 left. If Delibird had better stats, it would be usable in some of these matches. The STAB Combo is great, but its faint to everything.

Name: Ditto
Availability: Late Game, Giant Chasm, 15%
Stats: Poor. It won't have Imposter, so it still have to take a hit with paltry 48 stats across the board.
Typing: Normal, but then whatever it transforms into.
Movepool: Transform.
Major Battles: Giant Chasm, Ghetsis, and the Elite 4 left. If you transform into the right thing, you can probably go from there... But good luck getting that Transform in place.

Name: Dunsparce
Availability: Early Game, Route 20, 10% (Shaking Grass)
Stats: Immediately good, but he drops off horribly as you work towards even the middle of the game. Decent HP is all it really has. It's not that strong on offense and his defenses are lackluster. It is also horribly slow.
Typing: Normal. Pretty average. Has good STAB but there is a large amount of Fighting-types and Intimidaters, which really hurt it.
Movepool: Return and Dig can be useful, Glare and Coil as well. Drill Run comes at a time when you need the extra power. Apart from that, it's pretty shallow. Rock Slide works well with Serene Grace after a Glare.
Major Battles: It's good for the first few gyms, being relatively bulky and hitting OK, but after that it just falls away. The main use it has is for Glaring things and then trying to flinch them.
Additional Comments: You could try some sort of weird gimmick set with Charge Beam and Serene Grace, but Run Away probably has more utility at the start of the game with being able to escape random stuff (which you'll need given its slow speed). Needs first badge.

Name: Eevee - Umbreon
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Castelia City, 5%
Stats: A defensive behemoth in terms of stats, you won't find a lot which can dent Umbreon. Its offenses however are way under par.
Typing: Dark. It has solid matchups but with such poor offensive stats it doesn't work well.
Movepool: Terrible. Even if you wanted to try a support set, most of the good support options are off limits due to breeding. Bite and Faint Attack are your best STAB options unless you drop 8 Blue Shards for Foul Play in Lentimas Town. Access to Shadow Ball gives you almost nothing and your best physical move is Return or Last Resort.
Major Battles: Like most other Dark- Types it can handle Caitlin and Shauntal okay. With its top notch defenses it can be hard to kill for some of the stronger enemies, but you are not dealing a huge amount of damage back. Slow and Steady would be a reasonable assumption to make.
Additional Comments: Needs to be night time to evolve it and also max happiness. If you're given the choice, go with Espeon.

Name: Karrablast (No Trade)
Availability: Mid Game, Route 6, 5% (Black 2) - 25% (White 2)
Stats: Mediocre all around. 50/45/45 bulk means it is not going to take hits, base 60 Speed is below average, and its base 75 Attack is only average at best.
Typing: Bug-typing gives it some use with super effective coverage against Grass-, Psychic-, and Dark-types, but it is resisted by a lot of common types.
Movepool: Very shallow. Its level-up movepool is littered with Normal- and Bug-type moves with only X-Scissor, Swords Dance, and Double-Edge being really worth it.
Major Battles: Most of the time, Karrablast will faint before it gets to do something, so generally it is better off as death fodder if you need it. Its best bet of doing something is against Caitilin as long as she has Musharna out.
Additional Comments: If you want Karrablast to deal some damage, then you could run Eviolite + Swarm to help it survive something and deal some powerful STAB damage in return. Otherwise, use Shed Skin instead. Generally, unless you grind like mad, Karrablast is not going to help you that much ingame.

Name: Onix (No trade)
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Relic Passage, 20% (Dust Cloud)
Stats: Onix's stats are the complete opposite of what you want in an in-game Pokémon. Onix has great Defense and decent Speed, but its other stats are dismal.
Typing: Rock/Ground STABs have good synergy, and the combination has nice resistances to several types. However, it dies to pretty much any Water and Grass attack, and the Fighting weakness isn't appreciated.
Movepool: Onix gets Dig for a good early STAB, and STAB Rock-type attacks and Strength provide decent coverage. Onix misses out on some of the moves that Steelix has access to, but it doesn't really miss them too much since what it does have is acceptable.
Major Battles: Onix hard-counters Elesa's entire gym and it has some use against Skyla's gym (avoid Skarmory, Ducklett and Swanna). Other than that, its stats and typing don't really let it do much in other gyms, and it has little use against the Elite 4.
Additional Comments: Sturdy is the preferred ability to protect Onix from surprise Water and Grass attacks, although Rock Head is OK if you want to use Double-Edge. Since Onix will be unevolved the whole time, give it Eviolite to boost its defenses.

Name: Purrloin
Availability: Early Game, Route 19, 50%
Stats: Slightly better than Skitty... Which isn't saying a lot. Liepard gets usable base 88 offences and good speed. Bulk is no where to be seen.
Typing: Dark. It has solid matchups but with such poor defensive stats it doesn't work well.
Movepool: Terrible. Your best STAB move until Lv 31 (Where you get the equally poor Assurance) is Pursuit. Return could help it out early game with its average Attack. In terms of overall movepool, the most powerful move it learns via level up is Sucker Punch which is only 10 more power than Night Slash.
Major Battles: While it comes early, and with an OK Return it can damage Roxie, it loses horribly in Burghs Gym. It's defenses aren't going to be good enough for the majority of Gym matches. You can always abuse it vs Caitlin at the E4 with a Hone Claws set.
Additional Comments: Probably better of using it to aggravate people competitively... Prankster can be most annoying.

Name: Shelmet (No Trade)
Availability: Mid Game, Route 6, 25% (Black 2) - 5% (White 2)
Stats: Its bulk is okay, but its attacking stats are rubbish, and its Speed is terrible.
Typing: Bug-typing gives it some use with super effective coverage against Grass-, Psychic-, and Dark-types, but it is resisted by a lot of common types. Defensively, it gets resistances to Grass-, Fighting-, and Ground-types, which help, but weaknesses to three common types hurt it.
Movepool: Shallow. Giga Drain and Bug Buzz, stand out in its level-up movepool, but the rest of the movepool is bad. Steel-types completely wall Shelmet.
Major Battles: Most of the time, Shelmet will be dead weight due to its rubbish attacking stats. Its best bet of doing something is against Clay, Caitilin, and Grimsley.
Additional Comments: Shelmet should always hold an Eviolite in order to survive more attacks and attempt to make a contribution. Otherwise, the fact that it is terrible offensively means that it is more often than not going to be very disappointing to use.

Name: Shuckle
Availability: Late Game, Seaside Cave, 5% (B1F)
Stats: Shuckle's Attack, Special Attack, and Speed are laughably poor. It has options to boost its Attack, but its low Speed will prevent it from sweeping opponents effortlessly.
Typing: Rock/Bug is a decent offensive typing with coverage on Flying, Grass, Fire, Psychic, Dark, and Bug. Defensively it isn't so good, with just 2 resistances, although Shuckle can survive anything regardless.
Movepool: Shuckle has a few moves to boost its lousy Attack: Power Trick (massive Attack boost, but is physically frail and still slow); Shell Smash (Attack/Speed boost, but needs many boosts and becomes frail); and Power Split (also weakens your opponent, but comes later than the others). It gets Rock Slide and Bug Bite from level up, and Bulldoze from TM for coverage against Steel-types.
Major Battles: Shuckle will never be the best option for a match-up, mostly because its Speed is so low. Power Split should allow Shuckle to do well against Caitlin, although its low Speed will make a sweep difficult.
Additional Comments: Sturdy is the better ability, although it won't affect Shuckle's performance significantly (so don't worry if you get unlucky and encounter a Gluttony Shuckle).

Name: Skitty
Availability: Early-Mid Game, Castelia City, 15% [White 2]
Stats: Abysmal. Even after evolving it caps out with two base 70 stats.
Typing: Normal. Not all that terrible, but any fighting type move is going to kill you. Along with Normalize you get STAB on every move you learn.
Movepool: Vast (Shallow if Normalize). If you have Normalize you are totally countered by anything Ghost-typed. It has access to a huge selection of TM Moves, but with it's stats it still won't be hurting anything. Thunder Wave from Nimbasa is also pretty useful.
Major Battles: You get it early enough for it to be of some use. Normalize Thunder Wave allows you to paralyze Elesa's Electric absorbing Pokemon, and also Clay's gym. This tactic works in pretty much every major battle left, just be aware of how slow Delcatty is.

Name: Sunkern
Availability: Early Game, Route 20, 5% (26% Summer)
Stats: Poor. Lowest BST in the game, and upon Evolution gains a strong Special Attack stat, but you are slow and not very bulky.
Typing: Grass. Not all that terrible overall, Grass- is reliable on offense, but is fairly mediocre for defending.
Movepool: Shallow. Leech Seed, Giga Drain and Petal Dance are all you really need. Make sure you evolve him before Level 28 for Petal Dance. Earth Power is also available, and it can also learn Cut for some utility.
Major Battles: It fairs badly against all but two gyms (Clay and Marlon). Even then you'll have to watch out for Rock Slide flinches vs Excadrill if you decide to stay in. Elite 4 is not so bad, use it where Grass is strong and you should have no problems KOing a few of their Pokemon.
Additional Comments: You can evolve it in Nimbasa City by finding the Sun Stone. Sunkern will have to be at level 20 or so at this point to keep up with your team.

Name: Vanillish
Availability: Late Game, Giant Chasm, 15% (Inside)
Stats: Average. Reasonable Attack and Special Attack, and OK defenses. Nothing to really write home about.
Typing: Ice. Surprisingly neutral to most stuff left on defense. Be careful for the odd Steel/Fire/Rock move.
Movepool: Terrible. Ice Beam/Mirror Shot is all it has via level up, adding in Signal Beam from tutors. There is no real fourth move. It may be worth relearning Taunt or Icy Wind to help out its teammates.
Major Battles: Can be useful against Ghetsis's Hydreigon, and it works OK in the Elite 4 (apart from against Marshall). It'll also help out against Iris's Dragons with STAB Ice Beam.
Additional Comments: Comes very close to evolving into Vanilluxe. The power increase from the evolution is pretty big and is definitely worth doing. Also, it's an Ice Cream.

Name: Vullaby
Availability: Late Game, Route 23, 5% [Black 2]
Stats: Solid defensively, they become pretty exceptional when Vullaby Evolves. 110/105/95 is good bulk, but it lack offensive prowess.
Typing: Dark/Flying. Not bad for the Elite 4, boasting resists to everyone bar Marshall.
Movepool: Nasty Plot is worth using a Heart Scale for, and in addition to Air Slash and Dark Pulse makes for good dual STAB.
Major Battles: Elite 4 and a rival battle is all you have left. Typing alone gives it a great chance against Shauntal and Caitlin, whilst it resists Grimsley but probably lose to Marshall. Mandibuzz's defenses will also help it out against Iris.
Additional Comments: It's not bad, but it comes so extremely late and probably a few levels below your team. It comes with Air Slash and Dark Pulse at that level, and is is only a few from Evolution. Eviolite may work well if you plan on going onward without evolving it.

Name: Vulpix
Availability: Late Game, Abundant Shrine, 20% (Double Grass)
Stats: Decent. Ninetales has reasonable offense and good Speed. Its physical Defense is lacking though.
Typing: Fire. At this point in the game, no principle trainers left are weak to its STAB. On the plus side, nothing is super effective against it either.
Movepool: Shallow. You will need to spend some Heart Scales on Vulpix before evolving it in order to get the best out of its moveset. Flamethrower and Energy Ball give good coverage and Will-O-Wisp gives you something to do against Physical Attackers. Ninetales gains Nasty Plot via Heart Scale, which could be useful to fire off some super high powered offensive moves.
Major Battles: Elite 4. No good or bad match ups against any of the Elite 4 members. The only thing it hits super effectively with STAB (against every primary trainer left) is Grimsley's Bisharp. Iris will likely brute force through Ninetales with no problems.
Additional Comments: Its late catch place and movepool cost are really huge negative points. Its stats do not befit its late placement, nor does its type.


A distant memory
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus

Pokemon listed here are untiered because they are either unavailable until after beating the Pokemon League or are only obtainable through special means (such as events at the time).

Name: Archen

Name: Carnivine

Name: Corphish

Name: Croagunk

Name: Cryogonal

Name: Durant

Name: Eevee - Leafeon

Name: Eevee - Glaceon

Name: Genesect

Name: Heatmor

Name: Jigglypuff

Name: Keldeo

Name: Kyurem

Name: Landorus

Name: Lickitung

Name: Meloetta

Name: Munna

Name: Palpitoad

Name: Pupitar

Name: Reshiram [White 2]

Name: Stunfisk

Name: Thundurus

Name: Tirtouga

Name: Tornadus

Name: Tropius

Name: Victini

Name: Vigoroth

Name: Yanma

Name: Zekrom [Black 2]


A distant memory
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus

Thread Managers
Stellar - Managed the original incarnation of the Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 Tier List [Thread]
SuperJOCKE - Managed the second incarnation of the Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 Tier List [Thread]
Its_A_Random - Managed the third incarnation of the Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 Tier List [Thread]

Individual users who worked on each entry

Braviary (Route 4 stationary) [White 2] - SuperJOCKE
Darumaka - TM13IceBeam
Drilbur - SuperJOCKE
Heracross [Black 2] - RegiFlame150
Magnemite - TM13IceBeam
Minccino - Mulan15262

Axew - Its_A_Random
Azurill - DHR-107
Cobalion - SuperJOCKE
Eevee - Espeon - KurashiDragon
Eevee - Jolteon - KurashiDragon
Elekid [White 2] - cant say
Lillipup - Its_A_Random
Litwick - Twins
Oshawott - TM13IceBeam
Petilil - atsync
Pidove - Mulan15262
Pinsir [White 2] - SuperJOCKE
Riolu - RegiFlame150
Roselia - KurashiDragon
Sandile - KurashiDragon
Scraggy - Punchshroom
Sigilyph - atsync
Staryu - illixo
Tepig - DHR-107
Terrakion - TM13IceBeam
Virizion - SuperJOCKE
Zorua - cant say

Aron - Silver_Lucario42
Baltoy - Silver_Lucario42
Basculin - atsync
Buizel - Random Passerby
Cottonee - Silver_Lucario42
Cubchoo - atsync
Deerling - TM13IceBeam
Ducklett - Random Passerby
Dwebble - atsync
Eevee - Vaporeon - cant say
Ferroseed - Silver_Lucario42
Frillish - Silver_Lucario42
Gligar - Its_A_Random
Gothita [Black 2] - SwampySwampert
Growlithe - Tyranitarphantom
Joltik - RegiFlame150
Karrablast (With trade) - Silver_Lucario42
Klink - Its_A_Random
Koffing - Its_A_Random
Magby [Black 2] - atsync
Mandibuzz (Route 4 stationary) [Black 2]
Maractus - Silver_Lucario42
Mareep - Tyranitarphantom
Metang - Random Passerby
Mienfoo - Random Passerby
Numel [White 2] - Random Passerby
Onix (With trade) - atsync
Pansage - Silver_Lucario42
Pansear - Silver_Lucario42
Pawniard - Conni
Pelipper - Silver_Lucario42
Piloswine - Silver_Lucario42
Psyduck - SuperJOCKE
Roggenrola (With trade) - Silver_Lucario42
Sawk - Punchshroom
Sewaddle - atsync
Skarmory - Punchsroom
Snivy - Its_A_Random
Solosis [White 2] - KurashiDragon
Spheal - Silver_Lucario42
Tangela - Silver_Lucario42
Timburr - Its_A_Random
Trapinch - Tyranitarphantom
Venipede - atsync
Volcarona - TM13IceBeam
Zangoose - atsync
Zebstrika - atsync
Zubat - Mulan15262

Absol - Tyranitarphantom
Audino - atsync
Banette - Silver_Lucario42
Bouffalant - Silver_Lucario42
Buneary [Black 2] - Tyranitarphantom
Clefairy - Silver_Lucario42
Drifblim - atsync
Druddigon - Conni
Eevee - Flareon - Random Passerby
Elgyem - Silver_Lucario42
Emolga - atsync
Foongus - Silver_Lucario42
Golurk - Its_A_Random
Grimer - Silver_Lucario42
Lapras - atsync
Lunatone - Silver_Lucario42
Nosepass - Silver_Lucario42
Panpour - Silver_Lucario42
Patrat - atsync
Rattata - atsync
Remoraid - Silver_Lucario42
Roggenrola (No trade) - Silver_Lucario42
Rufflet [White 2] - Silver_Lucario42
Sandshrew - Tyranitarphantom
Seel - Silver_Lucario42
Seviper - Silver_Lucario42
Shelmet (With trade) - Silver_Lucario42
Skorupi - Tyranitarphantom
Sneasel - Silver_Lucario42
Solrock - DHR-107
Spoink - Silver_Lucario42
Swablu - Silver_Lucario42
Throh - DHR-107
Trubbish - DHR-107
Tynamo - DHR-107
Woobat - atsync
Yamask - DHR-107
Zweilous - Darknesscrusher

Alomomola - Its_A_Random
Bronzor - Its_A_Random
Castform - DHR-107
Combee - TM13IceBeam
Corsola - DHR-107
Delibird - DHR-107
Ditto - DHR-107
Dunsparce - DHR-107
Eevee - Umbreon - DHR-107
Karrablast (No trade) - Its_A_Random
Onix (No trade) - atsync
Purrloin - DHR-107
Shelmet (No trade) - Its_A_Random
Shuckle - atsync
Skitty [White 2] - DHR-107
Sunkern - DHR-107
Vanillish - DHR-107
Vullaby [Black 2] - DHR-107
Vulpix - DHR-107


A distant memory
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
Why am I bringing this back to this subforum?

Simply put, this tier list was not ready to be put into C&C. There are multiple reasons for this:

-Wailmer and Mantyke are catchable before the postgame but are not ranked or have write-ups. This is self-explanatory, and I would appreciate some people testing these out.

-Most of these write-ups were done in 2013. Back then, there was much less rigour applied to these write-ups and tier placements. So it makes sense that I would like each and every entry on this list to be tested with the same amount of rigour that most other tier lists go through these days.

-What this means is that I am asking for this Tier List to undergo quality control in this subforum. This means testing the accuracy of each and every entry in this thread. Some entries might need minor touch ups. Some entries might be fine the way they are now. Some entries may need to be completely re-written. That is fine.

-This also means that placements of each Pokémon are subject to change. What might have been considered a High Tier Pokémon in 2013 might actually be Mid Tier in 2021, and this is perfectly fine.

-The ultimate goal of this thread is to get every entry on the tier list to a point where I (or another, more capable set of hands) can take this back to C&C with just copy-editing and what have you to be done.

-I promise to remain active, but I can only guarantee it as long as this thread remains active. I'm not exactly cut out to give each entry the rigourous testing others can provide (Doing BW1 S-Rank testing in a rigourous manner kinda burned me out), but I am willing to listen and keep a close eye on things. Just be respectful, okay?

-Also I'm calling them Ranks instead of Tiers. It is all ultimately nomenclature, but Rank rolls off the tongue much better. And if we are going with the SABCD thing to be more in line with Viability Ranking Threads (which, true story, was the entire reason we swapped from High/Mid/Low to SABCD in the first place), might as well go all the way.

-I'd prefer we prioritise the higher ranks first and work down from there if anyone wants a direction to go for.

Anyway, standard forum rules yadda yadda yadda. Let's just get this over and done with.






Useful Resources

Black 2 / White 2 TM / Tutor Availability
TM21 Frustration (Floccesy Ranch, Plasma Grunt)
--GYM 1--
TM83 Work Up (Gym 1 Prize)
TM27 Return (Aspertia City, Bianca)
TM46 Thief (Virbank Complex)
TM94 Rock Smash (Virbank Complex, Beat three Workers)
--GYM 2--
TM09 Venoshock (Gym 2 Prize)
HM01 Cut (Roxie, Beat Plasma Grunt)
TM44 Rest (Castelia City [Castelia Street], 11th Floor of western building)
TM45 Attract (Castelia City [Route 4 Street], 47th Floor of southeastern building)
TM70 Flash (Castelia City [Narrow Street], Man behind Dumpster)
HM04 Strength (Castelia Sewers, Hugh)
--GYM 3--
TM70 Struggle Bug (Gym 3 Prize)
TM28 Dig (Route 4)
TM16 Light Screen (Nimbasa City, $30,000)
TM33 Reflect (Nimbasa City, $30,000)
TM66 Payback (Route 16 [Strength])
TM95 Snarl (Lostlorn Forest [Zoroark / Backpacker])
HM02 Fly (Route 5, Bianca)
--GYM 4--
TM72 Volt Switch (Gym 4 Prize)
TM63 Embargo (Driftveil City)
Driftveil Tutor (Driftveil City, 10 Free Red Shards in Nimbasa)
->Covet, Bug Bite, Drill Run, Bounce, Signal Beam, Iron Head, Super Fang, Uproar, Seed Bomb, Dual Chop, Lock Kick, Gunk Shot, Fire Punch, Thunder Punch, Ice Punch
--GYM 5--
TM78 Bulldoze (Gym 5 Prize)
TM39 Rock Tomb (Relic Castle B1F)
HM03 Surf (Route 6, Cheren)
TM53 Energy Ball (Aspertia City [Surf])
TM41 Torment (Castelia Sewers [Spring/Summer, Surf])
TM56 Fling (Route 6 [Surf])
TM80 Rock Slide (Mistralton Cave, 3F [Surf, Strength])
TM07 Hail (Mistralton City, $50,000)
TM11 Sunny Day (Mistralton City, $50,000)
TM18 Rain Dance (Mistralton City, $50,000)
TM37 Sandstorm (Mistralton City, $50,000)
TM58 Sky Drop (Mistralton City)
TM81 X-Scissor (Route 7)
TM61 Will-O-Wisp (Celestial Tower, 2F)
TM65 Shadow Claw (Celestial Tower, 4F)
--GYM 6--
TM11 Acrobatics (Gym 6 Prize)
TM40 Aerial Ace (Mistralton City)
TM57 Charge Beam (Lentimas Town)
TM30 Shadow Ball (Reversal Mountain Exterior)
TM54 False Swipe (Reversal Mountain Interior, Fill Habitat List)
TM69 Rock Polish (Reversal Mountain Interior)
TM29 Psychic (Route 13 [Surf])
TM14 Blizzard (Lacunosa Town, $70,000)
TM25 Thunder (Lacunosa Town, $70,000)
TM38 Fire Blast (Lacunosa Town, $70,000)
TM15 Hyper Beam (Shopping Mall Nine, $90,000)
TM68 Giga Impact (Shopping Mall Nine, $90,000)
--GYM 7--
TM82 Dragon Tail (Gym 7 Prize)
Draco Meteor Tutor (Opelucid City, Drayden)
TM42 Facade (Marine Tube, Humilau Side)
TM06 Toxic (Seaside Cave)
--GYM 8--
TM55 Scald (Gym 8 Prize)
TM67 Retaliate (Plasma Frigate)
TM13 Ice Beam (Giant Chasm Cave [Surf])
TM03 Psyshock (Giant Chasm Crater, Beat Ghetsis)
TM05 Roar (Route 23)
TM12 Taunt (Route 23 [Cut, Strength])
TM35 Flamethrower (Route 23 [Surf])
TM92 Trick Room (Abundant Shrine [Surf, Waterfall])
TM01 Hone Claws (Victory Road Entrance)
TM24 Thunderbolt (Victory Road, Beat Hugh)
TM93 Wild Charge (Victory Road [Surf, Waterfall])
Battle Subway/PWT TM's [Requires BP]: TM10 Hidden Power TM17 Protect, TM20 Safeguard, TM23 Smack Down, TM31 Brick Break, TM32 Double Team, TM34 Sludge Wave, TM48 Round, TM51 Ally Switch, TM59 Incinerate, TM60 Quash, TM64 Explosion, TM75 Swords Dance, TM77 Psych Up, TM79 Frost Breath, TM87 Swagger, TM88 Pluck, TM89 U-Turn
Lentimas Town Tutor [No Easy Blue Shards]
Humilau City Tutor [No Easy Yellow Shards]

TM03 Dragon Claw (Dragonspiral Tower)
TM04 Calm Mind (Striaton City, $80,000)
TM08 Bulk Up (Striaton City, $80,000)
TM19 Telekinesis (Route 18)
TM22 Solar Beam (Pinwheel Forest)
TM26 Earthquake (Route 15)
TM36 Sludge Bomb (Route 8)
TM43 Flame Charge (Tubeline Bridge)
TM52 Focus Blast (Wellspring Cave [Surf])
TM71 Stone Edge (Twist Mountain)
TM84 Poison Jab (Moor of Icirrus)
TM85 Dream Eater (Dreamyard)
TM86 Grass Knot (Pinwheel Forest)
TM90 Substitute (Twist Mountain)
TM91 Flash Cannon (Twist Mountain)
HM06 Dive (Undella Town, Hugh)
Nacrene City Tutor
Black 2 / White 2 Useful Items Availability
X Speed (Floccesy Town)
X Attack (Floccesy Ranch)
X Defend (Trainer's School)
--GYM 1--
Dire Hit (Route 20)
Ether (Virbank Complex, Talk to Scientist three times)
Silk Scarf (Virbank Complex)
X Accuracy (Virbank Complex)
--GYM 2--
Amulet Coin (Castelia City, Route 4 Street)
Bicycle (Castelia City, Entrance)
Charcoal / Miracle Seed / Mystic Water (Castelia City, Battle Company)
Destiny Knot (Castelia City, Unity Pier)
Ether (Castelia City, Battle Company)
Eviolite (Castelia City, Route 4 Street, 40+ Pokémon Seen)
Exp. Share (Castelia City, Battle Company)
Guard Spec. (Castelia City, Battle Company)
Heart Scale (Castelia City, Prime Pier)
Miracle Seed (Castelia City, Castelia Park)
Quick Claw (Castelia City, Skyarrow Bridge Gate)
Rare Candy (Castelia City, Find the Harlequins)
Scope Lens (Castelia City, Battle Company)
Heart Scale (Castelia Sewers [Spring/Summer])
Leftovers (Castelia Sewers)
Rare Bone (Castelia Sewers)
Twisted Spoon (Castelia Sewers)
X Sp. Atk (Castelia Sewers)
X Sp. Def (Castelia Sewers)
Hard Stone (Relic Passage)
Mystic Water (Route 4)
--GYM 3--
Bright Powder (Route 4) [White 2]
Grip Claw (Route 4) [Black 2]
Light Clay (Route 4) [White 2]
Power Anklet (Route 4, Trade) [Black 2]
Power Weight (Route 4, Trade) [White 2]
Wide Lens (Route 4) [Black 2]
Fire Stone (Desert Resort)
Ground Gem (Desert Resort)
Heart Scale (Desert Resort)
Max Ether (Desert Resort)
Soft Sand (Desert Resort)
Macho Brace (Nimbasa City)
10x Red Shard (Nimbasa City)
Soothe Bell (Nimbasa City)
Sun Stone (Nimbasa City)
Thunder Stone (Nimbasa City)
Leaf Stone (Lostlorn Forest)
--GYM 4--
Air Balloon (Driftveil City)
Big Root (Driftveil City)
Everstone (Driftveil City)
Expert Belt (Driftveil City, Lv30+)
Incenses (Driftveil City, $9,600)
Shell Bell (Driftveil City, 70+ Pokémon Seen)
Moon Stone (Route 6)
Shiny Stone (Route 6)
--GYM 5--
Ether (Pokémon World Tournament)
PP Up (Pokémon World Tournament)
Rare Candy (Relic Passage [Strength])
Rock Gem (Relic Passage [Strength])
Rocky Helmet (Pokémon World Tournament, Relic Passage [Strength])
Expert Belt (Route 19 [Surf])
Water Stone (Route 19 [Surf])
Heart Scale (Route 20 [Surf], Route 6 [Surf])
Rare Candy (Route 20 [Surf, Autumn], Virbank City [Surf])
Black Glasses (Castelia City, Back Alley [Surf])
Black Sludge (Castelia Sewers [Surf, Spring/Summer])
Poison Gem (Castelia Sewers [Surf, Spring/Summer])
PP Up (Route 6 [Surf], Celestial Tower)
Dragon Gem (Mistralton Cave)
Electric Gem (Chargestone Cave)
Magnet (Chargestone Cave)
Metal Coat (Chargestone Cave)
Thunder Stone (Chargestone Cave)
Flying Gem (Mistralton City)
Master Ball (Mistralton City)
Sharp Beak (Mistralton City)
Elixir (Route 7)
Leaf Stone (Route 7)
Ghost Gem (Celestial Tower)
Lucky Egg (Celestial Tower)
--GYM 6--
Fire Stone (Lentimas Town)
Spell Tag (Lentimas Town)
Dusk Stone (Strange House)
Rare Candy (Strange House, Route 12)
Fire Gem (Reversal Mountain) [White 2]
Flame Orb (Reversal Mountain) [White 2]
PP Up (Reversal Mountain, Route 12, Village Bridge)
Smoke Ball (Reversal Mountain)
Toxic Orb (Reversal Mountain) [Black 2]
Water Gem (Reversal Mountain) [Black 2]
Heart Scale (Undella Town, Undella Bay, Route 14 [Surf], Village Bridge [Surf])
Prism Scale (Undella Town)
Shiny Stone (Undella Town)
Draco Plate (Undella Bay)
Splash Plate (Undella Bay)]
Max Ether (Route 13, Village Bridge)
Power Lens (Route 13) [Black 2]
Power Band (Route 13) [White 2]
Metronome (Lacunosa Town)
Float Stone (Opelucid City)
Ring Target (Opelucid City)
Smoke Ball (Opelucid City)
Dark Gem (Route 9)
Elixir (Route 9)
X Item Shop (Shopping Mall Nine)
--GYM 7--
Black Sludge (Marine Tube, Poison Barb)
7x Heart Scale (Humilau City, Luvdisc needed for five)
Shell Bell (Humilau City)
PP Up (Route 21, Route 22)
Heart Scale (Seaside Cave)
Rare Candy (Seaside Cave [Strength], Route 22)
Poison Barb (Route 22)
--GYM 8--
Electirizer (Plasma Frigate) [White 2]
Magmarizer (Plasma Frigate) [Black 2]
Max Elixir (Plasma Frigate, Giant Chasm Crater Forest)
Power Band (Plasma Frigate) [Black 2]
Power Belt (Plasma Frigate) [White 2]
Ice Gem (Giant Chasm Cave [Strength])
Moon Stone (Giant Chasm Cave, Giant Chasm Crater Forest)
PP Up (Giant Chasm Crater Forest, Route 23 [Cut, Strength])
Razor Claw (Giant Chasm Crater Forest)
Sun Stone (Giant Chasm Crater Forest)
Heart Scale (Route 23 [Cut / Surf])
Rare Candy (Route 23)
Grass Gem (Lostlorn Forest [Surf, Waterfall])
Rare Candy (Lostlorn Forest [Surf, Waterfall], Abundant Shrine [Surf, Waterfall], Victory Road [x2])
PP Max (Abundant Shrine [Surf, Waterfall], Victory Road)
Shiny Stone (Abundant Shrine [Surf, Waterfall])
Razor Fang (Route 11 [Surf, Waterfall])
Dragon Fang (Victory Road)
Dragon Scale (Victory Road)
Dusk Stone (Victory Road)
Max Elixir (Victory Road [x2])
Normal Gem (Victory Road)
PP Up (Victory Road)
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Glad to see this thread back from the dead, I'm a huge fan of BW2 and it's cool to see it get the attention it deserves again. Although this thread was made more with the intention of qcing the writeups, I want to pay more attention to the ranks themselves. You yourself admit they're really old at this point, and I think that's reflected in how overinflated some mons' ranks are. Stuff like Sawk, Pelipper, and Maractus are way too high for what they actually contribute (I think the majority of B rank could use some clearing out but that's a topic too big for one post), but I think the most egregious example is one that absolutely no one questioned back in the day and will no doubt be a controversial topic. So to kick it off with a bang:

Magnemite to A

Magnemite suffers plenty of hiccups throughout the game that should disqualify it from S rank. This really comes from Magnemite itself, who on paper is a good mon for the point at which you catch it but in practice comes short of what you'd expect. For one, the stats are really bad. IDC how many types you resist, base 25 HP is really bad. This leads to Magnemite getting worn down over the course of a battle, with its low speed forcing it to take extra hits not really helping either. This wouldn't be so bad if Magnemite could kill things quickly, but that 95 special attack is a complete bait when your movepool sucks as much as Magnemite's does. This is a problem that affects the line over the course of the game but I feel it's felt most in the Mite phase. Sonic Boom is cool when you first get it but it never outright ohkos anything and post-Roxie is pretty bad. By the time you get to Burgh you're 5hkoing Leavanny which is just pathetic. As for its other options, there's Tshock, which is also really weak and resisted by a majority of the opponents you'll be battling with Magnemite, and while Mirror Shot eventually comes along it doesn't improve the major battles at that point much at all and is really only notable for route trainers. All of this culminates to make its performances against the gym leaders really disappointing. Roxie is a stomp, obviously, but past her you really start to struggle. The majority of Burgh's pokemon resist your only STAB move by that point, so you have to settle for spamming Sonic Boom, whose pathetic damage rolls lead to you getting worn down over the course of the match, especially when you consider Razor Leaf crits and Sonic Boom missing. If you're not running Lefties here you will absolutely require a potion and even then this mon is just not very efficient for this fight. Elesa is the other gym you'll be fighting as Mite and yeah, it gets worse. You're STILL resigned to just spamming Sonic Boom since Elesa's mons will also resist Mirror Shot, and since they're hitting you on your weaker Sp Def with strong STAB Volt Switches, you run out of steam super quickly. You can't even paralyze her ace cuz of Motor Drive, so that supportive function is out the window unless you're really scared of Emolga or something. You NEED a Magneton to perform here but even then it's not a good mu by any means. This whole period just sucks so hard and since you're stuck catching it at Virbank complex, and are therefore forced to suffer through this period, it should really lose Magnemite its S spot by default. But I can still say more about this mon.

After Mite is over things do start to pick up. Clay completely blanks you, obviously, and taking a fat L from one of the harder bosses in the game sucks a ton, but after that start to improve a fair amount. Evolving into Magnezone fixes the bulk issue a lot and your movepool is steadily unlocked with Flash Cannon at 39 and more access to better Electric moves, although none of them are really preferred over Discharge, which is gonna come far later than you'd like. I'd say the period from Skyla to Colress is where Mag really shines, as it gets 4 good to great mus right in a row. Being able to stomach just about anything Colress throws at it is really appreciated, plus it does well against Skyla which is a sleeper threat in my eyes but that's really my personal take. After this period, though, Zone starts to slip a bit again. It never becomes outright bad like Mite does, but it hardly steamrolls teams either. Ghetsis , Shauntal, Grimsly, and Iris all have too much coverage for it to reliably sweep, and while it isn't as bad against Marshall as it could have been that's not really a S rank performance either. The only really good mu at e4 is Caitlin, and that's because, well, it's Caitlin, any mon who can abuse Musharna to set up shits all over her. It's e4 is not impressive by any means, something I would really expect out of an S rank pokemon, but unfortunately it's just too vulnerable and, weirdly, too weak to perform super well there. Mag's typing is great defensively but offers few opportunities to hit things super effectively, and I find that to be a death knell in the late-game where you'll be incapable of ohkoing things otherwise without a ton of boosts under your belt, which, besides Caitlin, is either not gonna happen at all for Mag or if you do get the boosts, you'll be cut off from sweeping by some mon with EQ / Flamethrower, which is more common than you might expect.

To summarize, Magnemite suffers from an overall mediocre early game and end game that I think robs it of its S potential. This arises from a lot of chinks in its armor (bad movepool, bad stats as Mite, mediocre offensive typing by the endgame) that drag it down way more than I think people give it credit for. It still has its high points, and the general utility it brings with its defensive typing and access to Thunder Wave is very much appreciated, but I don't think they're enough to overshadow its flaws. A is still a great rank, but after testing it I really don't think Mag holds a candle to the other S ranks.

Thanks for reading this light novel, I plan on touching on a lot more pokemon but I think Magnemite is important enough to have a post entirely to itself. If anyone has questions about my exact experiences with Mag I have detailed logs I can post here, or I can give you them through DM here or on Discord, feel free to ask. In any case, good luck with the thread IaR and I hope to post here again soon :psyglad:
I want to second Magnemite in A. Yes, I’m actually using it myself.

Ceal pretty much covered it above, and while I’m at Marlon right now I’d say the analysis above is accurate, though I’ll say Mirror Shot REALLY gives Magnemite the power it needs, but it’s not SE on much so you still 2HKO. And of course 85 accuracy is annoying.

Honestly Magnemite is a weird Pokémon to talk about. It beats everything on paper but in practice it leans hard on its resistances, and the Speed and eh matchups hold it back from S in my eyes. It’s just not as fast and efficient as I find Darmanitan or Excadrill to be, though Magnemite is far from a bad mon.
Mostly lurking on the In Game Tier Threads cause i don't have the time to test, although a couple of points i remember from the last run i did about a year ago, and a couple of things i noticed:

Scraggy probably has a case for S Tier as in B/W? Losing Brycen, but gaining Colress is probably overall a wash in terms of major fights it's good at. In theory, gaining elemental punches at driftveil could allow it to contribute against Skyla more than in base B/W, and I assume thunder punch lets it sweep Marlon (not that he's particularly challenging).

Dwebble feels closer to A to me than B. A little rough pre-evolution, but post evolution it basically always gets to contribute in major fights thanks to sturdy until it gets shell smash which lets it sweep most major trainers in my recollection.

Deerling - Agree with B.
Litwick - Agree with A.
Zorua - Agree with A.

In the same way Flare Blitz is noted, I'd probably note Flamethrower at Level 34 as a good breakpoint to evolve Growlithe.

I assume this list is based on Normal mode? Are there any comments about Challenge mode? Examples escape me, but I could see cases where the extra experience helps certain mons reach key moves for earlier fights making them actually perform better in Challenge mode?

Finally, there is a little inconsistency about pronouns in the writeups - I don't know if Smogon has a style guide on this, but i noticed Electabuzz refereed to as he, and figured we should probably be consistent.
some things I noticed about placements

- Pidove in A seems way too high. There's nothing special about it really.
- Panpour is in C tier while the other monkeys are in B. I think It's pretty safe to bump Panpour up a tier.
- some mons like Buizel and Litwick seem really high for how late they come around. They are great eventually, but it takes quite a while to get there.
- in fact, I think a lot of the late game mons are too high. What are Cubchoo, Metang and Pawniard doing in B?
- I can't imagine Dunsparce being that bad. I haven't used it, so this is pure theorymonning, but it seems quite similar to Audino. They both have mediocre stats made up for by a fantastic movepool and early availability.
some things I noticed about placements

- Pidove in A seems way too high. There's nothing special about it really.
imma stop you right there

Pidove is amazing. Instant Frustration / Return not long after, solid neutral matchups across the board, good and concise movepool, earlier Fly, Silk Scarf...it's SO much better than the awkward mon it was in BW1.

Maybe it was because I had Adamant but Pidove should absolutely be up there with the good mons. I legit sololed Elesa with Unfezant, no joke. Want proof? Here are my logs from each leader in order. Idk where the save for this run is atm, but I do have the leader logs.

Pidove (12): Roughly 2HKOs Patrat with Frustration (it’s a range), while I think Tackle does like 9 damage to you. +1 Tackle from Lillipup does 18 damage and thus 2HKOs Pidove, while you seem to barely 4HKO with Frustration (note he is faster, but you can nab the last hit easily with Quick Attack). In my first attempt I soloed with a Quick Attack critical hit. +2 Lillipup can hurt with Tackle, but you can just barely live with Patrat’s prior damage. Notably, it is possible to get past Patrat if it spams Work Up, as even if he uses a Potion, you are still outspeeding and killing after two Frustration uses. In 2 out of 3 attempts, I was able to solo with Pidove, so I’d say it’s pretty good here with some luck. Didn’t try X items.

Pidove (18): Pidove is super good for Roxie. Swept with +3 Return. Koffing never went for Smog and you can easily Roost off the minimal damage it does. +2 Return knocks Whirlipede to red, while Venoshock is a 3HKO (tho Koffing damage might put you in 2HKO range). Unboosted Return doesn’t 2HKO Koffing, but it 3HKOs Whirlipede. You might Speed tie with Whirlipede; also use a Pecha Berry for it. Unboosted Air Cutter looks like a 3HKO. Also, worth noting you can 1v1 Whirlipede with an Air Cutter crit, no matter your speed.

Tranquill (23): Scope Lens. You need +1 for Air Cutter to OHKO Swadloon (knock it to red otherwise). +1 Air Cutter 2HKOs Dwebble (3HKO with Smack Down), and I think Smack Down is about a 3HKO (annoyingly it outspeeds if Swadloon uses String Shot which it tends to turn 1). Leavanny doesn’t do too much with Cut (looks like a 3HKO) while you OHKO with +1 Air Cutter. Smack Down damage can be Roosted off. With Eviolite Dwebble becomes loads easier; Smack Down is a 5HKO. While Leavanny did live in red from +1 Air Cutter this time, I managed to solo without Roost at 18 HP. Good with Eviolite.

Unfezant (32): Cheri Berry. Zebstrika Volt Switch does 2/3. You should outspeed and OHKO the others (you OHKO Zebstrika with Return too). You don’t even need Silk Scarf, Return rips through them.

Unfezant (33): Silk Scarf Return OHKOs Krokorok even with Intimidate. Unboosted Return (without Intimidate) 3HKOs Excadrill. With Work Up, +1 Fly knocks Sandslash to red while +1 Return OHKOs it. +1 Return seems to 2HKO Excadrill even with Sitrus, but this seems like a range because I have Adamant nature. Notably, +1 Fly and then +1 Return avoid activating Sitrus and seem to 2HKO, but remember I am Adamant. Crunch from Krokorok is a 4HKO, and Rock Slide from Excadrill is a clean 2HKO doing 2/3 of your HP. Torment is annoying but manageable if Krokorok goes for it, but if you don’t want to knock Sandslash into healing with Fly, just Roost on it as Crush Claw does like nothing. Fairly good chance to solo.

Unfezant (39): Destiny Knot can help with Swoobat if your Unfezant is male; Swoobat likely dies from unboosted Return though (it’s a range, and buffing doesn’t help because of Unaware, but Silk Scarf seems to guarantee the OHKO). Swoobat Acrobatics is a 4HKO. You outspeed Swanna, but Featherdance can be annoying if it goes for it. Return knocks Swanna (you outspeed) to low yellow, cleanly 2HKOing through Sitrus Berry while Swanna seems to 3HKO with Air Slash. Skarmory is annoying and does like 30 damage with Steel Wing, but you SHOULD be able to outlast it with Roost and Work Up. Unboosted, it’s probably best left to something else. Overall, this matchup is just…annoying. Relatively solid and you CAN solo, but that likely requires healing or Roost spam. The RNG just isn’t too kind here (Attract which is rare but possible, Heart Stamp flinches, possibility of Featherdance, and even the 10% Defense raise from Steel Wing can be annoying against Skarmory).

Hugh Undella Unfezant (44): Silk Scarf Return OHKOs Unfezant, 2HKOs Samurott, and OHKOs Simisage. Easy sweep.

Unfezant (48): +1 Silk Scarf Return OHKOs Druddigon (Revenge does nothing) and Flygon and Haxorus are outsped and OHKOed by +1 Return. Easy sweep. Unboosted Return knocks Druddigon and Flygon to red and Haxorus to mid-yellow.

Unfezant (51): Silk Scarf. Not the best for Carracosta; you 4HKO with Return while it 3HKOs with Smack Down. You can Roost off the damage fine but it’s gonna take a while and you’ll knock him into Potion range so probably best to avoid. +1 Return OHKOs Wailord while Wailord’s Scald is a rough 2HKO. Jellicent Scald is also a rough 2HKO. Wailord is knocked to red by unboosted Return while it derped with Amnesia. Jellicent would be 2HKOed by unboosted Fly if not for Sitrus Berry (Scald seems to be a clean 2HKO). You likely aren’t sweeping, but it can at least take Wailord with Rawst Berry (tho I didn't try it).

So yeah. Pidove deserves A. B at the absolute worst but it just put in so much work for me. And having Unfezant for Elesa isn't unreasonable - it fits within the "2 levels above ace" policy these lists usually employ. Don't know if I'll be able to finish this run unless I find the file, but those matchups should definitely shed some light on how good it is, though I'd imagine it's not quite as dominant at the League.
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The biggest advantage that B2W2 Pidove gets return (and frustration) much earlier, and that some of its matchups are slightly better I guess. Is that worth 2 tiers of difference compared to BW?

Now to be fair, the BW list has an extra E-tier, so the distribution of all Pokemon is different in this list compared to the BW one. Maybe we should add an extra tier to the B2W2 list as well, to make it more similar to the modern lists.
The biggest advantage that B2W2 Pidove gets return (and frustration) much earlier, and that some of its matchups are slightly better I guess. Is that worth 2 tiers of difference compared to BW?

Now to be fair, the BW list has an extra E-tier, so the distribution of all Pokemon is different in this list compared to the BW one. Maybe we should add an extra tier to the B2W2 list as well, to make it more similar to the modern lists.
It is absolutely worth the difference. BW1 Pidove's biggest flaw was the garbage earlygame. BW2 Pidove is infinitely better. I urge you to try it for yourself, it really is good.


Robot from the Future
is a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributor
Orange Islands
- I can't imagine Dunsparce being that bad. I haven't used it, so this is pure theorymonning, but it seems quite similar to Audino. They both have mediocre stats made up for by a fantastic movepool and early availability.
It really really is. I managed to get one all the way up to level 60 and it was just awful at every step. Even compared to other mons on my team it was bad. Was used alongside Solrock and Sunflora and it was a lot worse than either of them. I don't remember ability off the top of my head, I think it was run away, but even a Charge Beam Serene Grace set (which is mentioned in the write up) probably wouldn't have saved it. I ran Coil/Drill Run/Return/Glare and apart from the odd Para on something (which even then usually outsped it), it didn't deal a huge amount of damage and had to be healed a lot.

Not sure where you are getting "fantastic movepool" from, as realistically its pretty mediocre. Defence Curl + Rollout shenanigans can carry you until Return, and then you just hope Return does enough damage as you gain happiness. Lv16 Yawn might have been wiser to keep (instead of Glare), but I don't think it makes a lot of difference at the end. Neither are particularly efficient for hurting stuff. Your only real play is to have a gimmick set with Serene Grace, and then its all down to luck. Audino has a lot more bulk and a similarly bad early movepool, but it opens up considerably midgame AND it gets access to Workup. Its just a better Pokemon (hence it being a tier higher).


A distant memory
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
Pokémon BW2 Final Team.png

I wasn't super rigourous, but here's some observations I had:
  • Level Curve: I picked up Lucky Egg but I found myself quite underlevelled for most of the game. To give a rough ballpark of where I was:
    • 18's into Burgh
    • 23-25's into Elesa
    • 27-28's into Clay
    • 31-32's into Skyla
    • 37-38's into Drayden
    • 42-43's into Marlon
    • Frigate 2 and Frigate 3 fixed levels such that I was back on the curve come Zinzolin 4 / Colress 3 / Ghetsis
    • This was with running into a fair few optional fights, so I'd consider this a rather lowball estimate level-curve wise with a party of four.
    • Didn't get Magneton until Mistralton Gym, Darumaka didn't evolve until after Zinzolin 1 (yet still one shot his party)
    • The low levels for most of the thing meant that most gym leaders I had to use all members just to break through and as such, I'm not sure if it can be reflective of much. No Rare Candies were used in the run.
  • Magnemite:
    • You might notice that I used Magneton here instead of Magnezone. The reason for this is the extra bulk with Eviolite (40 species found, can get at Castelia City) as well as the extra 10 Speed coming into play at times. The only reason to use Magnezone is for the extra power with the Magnet and the +10 SpA. This can actually matter, but so can the extra bulk from Eviolite allowing you to wall things and stopping potential sweeps (even with Sturdy existing). It's a personal preference as to what you use, but Eviolite Magneton is just as valid as Magnezone.
    • ceal's assessment of the Burgh matchup was fairly accurate. I swept at lv18, but needed two Potions and Sonic Boom spam. Did have a little bad luck at one instance and several boom misses, but it's an inefficient steamroll of Burgh
    • For Elesa, It handles Emolga and Flaaffy fine with Thunder Shock/Sonic Boom respectively, but Zebstrika walks all over it with Flame Charge.
    • Skyla is what you'd expect, I suspect Marlon is the same but I didn't really check. It's handy for Drayden's Haxorus as well.
    • Found it to be handy against Colress 3 for breaking Sturdy on Magneton and handling Magnezone. Didn't check much else but I suspect it doesn't have much else in troubles because of its typing and Eviolite.
    • Final Moveset was Thunder Wave / Flash Cannon / Thunderbolt / Electro Ball. Had Volt Switch for a decent portion of the game since it was better than Thunder Shock. Nature: Bold.
    • I agree that its placement in S-Rank is a little suspect. On one hand its not that great at efficiently dealing with things (especially early on), but on the other hand, it makes for a handy tank (especially if you go down the Eviolite Magneton route) and its typing and bulk allow it to win a lot of matchups. I'll look for more opinions or a consensus on this one.
  • Darumaka:
    • This is S-Rank without question lol. Darumaka phase is still an annoying RNG simulator, but you have Darmanitan for a lot longer in this game compared to BW1 and its usefulness in one-shotting or two-shotting a lot of things. Charcoal is a good item.
    • Belly Drum wasn't as useful as I hoped though it ended up helping me (barely, 1 HP survival) sweep Grimsley with it (1 X Speed, 1 Hyper Potion). It has its place, but do mind its downsides.
    • Final Moveset was Fire Punch / Belly Drum / Flare Blitz / Superpower. Nature: Rash.
  • Braviary:
    • I'm not too sure how I felt on this one. Defiant is sometimes helpful, I felt a little underwhelmed by this one. Maybe I might need to give it another spin, but it felt a little ehhh. Need more opinions on this one.
    • STAB Return is really good, and its natural bulk helps it take a hit or two (good enough that mine was a range to survive a +1 Dual Chop from Iris' Haxorus). Hone Claws gives it sweep potential.
    • Scary Face is an underrated support move that I got quite a bit of mileage out of. Hone Claws + X Speed on Clay's Krokorok so I can then Scary Face the Excadrill (to allow Darumaka to outspeed it) was how I managed to get past Clay at the levels I was at.
    • Sweeps Ghetsis at Lv50 by setting up Hone Claws on Cofagrigus (1 X Speed, 2 Full Restores), so that's a thing.
    • Marshal solo was a little complicated, need 1 X Defend (use on Throh and hope for Rock Tomb hit for Defiant, going for more is a bad idea), you need to outspeed Conkeldurr at -1 Speed, and you need good luck (and potions) on Sawk. Ended up having to use Lucky Egg for my particular solo just so I had the experience to level up after Throh as I was speed-tying with Conk otherwise and Conk lives after a Bulk Up and destroys you with Stone Edge.
    • I guess in general it's a useful beatstick that can hit hard and being obtainable early really helps its case. You cannot expect it to sweep much, but it is pretty handy to have in general.
    • Final Moveset was Return / Hone Claws / Superpower / Aerial Ace. I skipped Fly / Shadow Claw. Nature: Lonely.
  • Minccino:
    • Guaranteed Hidden Grotto Encounter variant. You can get the Shiny Stone as soon as you get access to Driftveil, but no move-relearner until after Clay so you don't have Bullet Seed for him...
    • Overall I feel like its placement is a little suspect. It's quick and Skill Link spam allows it to hit hard, but it's incredibly frail and relies on 85/90% accurate moves, making it a luck simulator. Wide Lens in Black 2 and X-Accuracies help remedy that, but that means you either cannot give it Silk Scarf/Lucky Egg or you are giving up a turn to set up with something that is really frail.
    • Basically, when it's on song, it can be pretty devastating. But when it's not, it just... rolls over and dies.
    • It's also reliant on outspeeding things to an extent. For example, the Zinzolin matchup changes depending on whether or not you outspeed the Cryogonal (since they hit really hard w/ Ice Beam, hard enough to one/two-shot)
    • Minccino phase was really underwhelming, it struggles with Elesa's gym and it's pretty difficult to get it going, though it certainly can.
    • Can sweep Marlon at Lv42 (Itemless), especially with some crits. Carracosta is one shot, Wailord can use Amnesia for whatever reason and is two shot, Jellicent can live a +1 Bullet Seed and troll with Cursed Body. On my attempt, Cinccino got barely enough levels to tank a Scald + Burn and barely finish off with Rock Blast.
    • Can almost sweep Grimsley with X-Defend and some Work Ups but Bisharp puts paid to that. At least it comes out last so you can one shot Scrafty at +2 (w/ Silk Scarf) and one shot Krookodile.
    • It can sweep Shauntal through set up on Cofagrigus, but you want an X-Sp. Def and good luck. Chandy dies to an unboosted Rock Blast (w/ a crit at least iirc?), and should be able to two-shot Golurk / Drifblim at minimum.
    • Final Moveset was Bullet Seed / Rock Blast / Tail Slap / Work Up. Encore is a useful alternative move to use. Didn't try Dig or Return. Nature: Lonely.
Just some loose thoughts on things I used and whatnot. I'll look at some of the write ups and more administrative things soonish, but I decided to get these impressions off my chest now that I have reacquainted myself with the game over a full playthrough.
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  • Braviary:
    • I'm not too sure how I felt on this one. Defiant is sometimes helpful, I felt a little underwhelmed by this one. Maybe I might need to give it another spin, but it felt a little ehhh. Need more opinions on this one.
    • STAB Return is really good, and its natural bulk helps it take a hit or two (good enough that mine was a range to survive a +1 Dual Chop from Iris' Haxorus). Hone Claws gives it sweep potential.
    • Scary Face is an underrated support move that I got quite a bit of mileage out of. Hone Claws + X Speed on Clay's Krokorok so I can then Scary Face the Excadrill (to allow Darumaka to outspeed it) was how I managed to get past Clay at the levels I was at.
    • Sweeps Ghetsis at Lv50 by setting up Hone Claws on Cofagrigus (1 X Speed, 2 Full Restores), so that's a thing.
    • Marshal solo was a little complicated, need 1 X Defend (use on Throh and hope for Rock Tomb hit for Defiant, going for more is a bad idea), you need to outspeed Conkeldurr at -1 Speed, and you need good luck (and potions) on Sawk. Ended up having to use Lucky Egg for my particular solo just so I had the experience to level up after Throh as I was speed-tying with Conk otherwise and Conk lives after a Bulk Up and destroys you with Stone Edge.
    • I guess in general it's a useful beatstick that can hit hard and being obtainable early really helps its case. You cannot expect it to sweep much, but it is pretty handy to have in general.
    • Final Moveset was Return / Hone Claws / Superpower / Aerial Ace. I skipped Fly / Shadow Claw. Nature: Lonely.
Alright lemme give an opinion on Braviary for you Random.

Braviary to me felt like a definite A tier. It comes incredibly powerful out of the gate with that crazy base 123 Attack, but I never thought it was a game breaking S tier at all. I thought it was a solid choice in almost all matchups in the game, but a lack of type advantages in pretty much every major battle leaves it in the position of a reliable tank who can always hit hard with Return and later Brave Bird, but it will almost never be walking over all matchups in the game like an S tier should.

It is exceptionally dependable and the Speed and bulk are good, but S tier is a huge stretch with its neutral matchups everywhere and it feels more at home in A.

And yes, Darumaka is a definite S: it breaks BW2 arguably even worse as it can Rock Slide Skyla’s Swanna if evolved. The only matchup it can’t stomp is Marlon who is basically impossible to sweep no matter what, but yeah, still S no question.
Will throw my thoughts into the mix as well

Level Curve: I picked up Lucky Egg but I found myself quite underlevelled for most of the game. To give a rough ballpark of where I was:
  • 18's into Burgh
  • 23-25's into Elesa
  • 27-28's into Clay
  • 31-32's into Skyla
  • 37-38's into Drayden
  • 42-43's into Marlon
  • Frigate 2 and Frigate 3 fixed levels such that I was back on the curve come Zinzolin 4 / Colress 3 / Ghetsis
  • This was with running into a fair few optional fights, so I'd consider this a rather lowball estimate level-curve wise with a party of four.
  • Didn't get Magneton until Mistralton Gym, Darumaka didn't evolve until after Zinzolin 1 (yet still one shot his party)
  • The low levels for most of the thing meant that most gym leaders I had to use all members just to break through and as such, I'm not sure if it can be reflective of much. No Rare Candies were used in the run.
I wanna ask, more out of curiosity than any sense of accusation, how did you get to be so underleveled anyways? I find that in BW2, with the Lucky Egg and the wealth of routes and trainers to explore, it's far easier to be overleveled rather than underleveled, to the point where I've had to make sure I wasn't past the level curve in some parts of the game. Ten levels behind Drayden is crazy. Not that it's seemed to influence your overall opinions of your mons that much (they mostly line up with mine, fwiw) but it definitely makes the difference in some cases i.e. having Darumaka for Clay when you could easily have a Darmanitan, turning what would be a great mu for Tan into a bad one for Maka.

Using Magneton is certainly an interesting strategy. The raw bulk Ton provides is useful for a mon that's mostly about taking hits, and since Magnezone isn't really ohkoing things later into the game unless they're weak to electric, the difference in power may not matter that much. I do wonder though whether Eviolite Magneton or Leftovers Magnezone is more bulky in practice, as the passive recovery might honestly make the difference; it did for me at Burgh, at least, and while I dropped Lefties in that run soon as I got Magnet, it might make for an interesting comparsion as to who gets worn down faster. Overall, I'm glad you agree with me that Magnemite's current placement is questionable.

Honestly nothing needs to be said here, Daru is the easiest S in this game and almost nothing comes close.

Currently in the middle of a run with Braviary, so I can't give my full opinions on it just yet, but up to Skyla, Braviary has really failed to impress me. It hasn't swept a fight thus far, and while it can 1v1 mons fairly easily, its mediocre speed makes it easy pickings for any mon that's faster since it's getting worn down over time. It's a good mon by all means, but not successful enough to be S, imo. Maybe if it hits a stride for me this opinion will change, but honestly I doubt it.

Both surprised and happy to see this sentiment being shared; when I ran with Minccino, I had very similar feelings, but didn't really wanna stir the pot with them since I'd already be taking on Magnemite. It certainly feels borderline S, cuz when it hits, oh boy does it hit, but the misses are quite punishing. Not connecting with Tail Slap can be a death sentence in certain mus, and sometimes it'll still need a Work Up under its belt because of your average attack stat, so you'll be taking a hit regardless. Overall felt a little too inconsistent to reach S status, especially when Minccino itself is more or less deadweight for the time you have it, but I wouldn't be entirely against having it stay, I guess.

Also just a few noms, since I have the time:

:Tepig: to B: Tepig fits into this Tank class of pokemon I've been seeing crop up a lot in my testing, essentially a mon that has high offensive stats and at least somewhat high bulk but is forced to take hits on account of low speed. Azurill and Magnemite are also examples of this. As a tank, Emboar really suffers from its lack of defensive capabilities; its low defenses compromise its high HP, and its typing offers little in the way of useful resistances and saddles it with some common weaknesses such as ground, water, flying, and psychic. All of these typings have a major battle representing them in which Emboar does poorly. Its ability to 1v1 pokemon is still intact, and it's pretty good at that, but sweeps become next to impossible for this thing. Maybe conserving Flame Charge would make a difference but that requires you forgoing Hammer Arm, which, idk how you're gonna do that. Overall still a good pokemon, especially in the early game, but suffers far too many hiccups to be A material.

:Azurill: to B: Similar flaws as with Tepig, really; Azurill lacks the speed to really sweep in most instances. Azumarill has overall better bulk and a better typing as far as having fewer weaknesses goes, but it still has its problems. Water types feel kinda punished in BW2 where they only really have 1 good mu (Clay) and have to suffer vs several others (Burgh, Elesa, Colress), while needing to rely on their own individual strengths to succeed in neutral mus. If you're something like Vaporeon, that's easy, but Azumarill can't really get going as well, as it's just gonna get worn down over time. That said, it has some tech utility in certain mus (beating Clay is always great, and it actually has a strong Cheren mu thanks to Frustration and Charm), but same tank problems, different day. Really wishes it had Aqua Jet.

:Trapinch: to C/D: I say D on the grounds that this list's tiers get expanded to the more classic S-F format, which would be far better for representing different levels of pokemon, but if it stays the way it is, C is just as well. No matter which way you cut it, Trapinch is below average. It does great in exactly one mu, Elesa, and is either bad or medicore for the rest. Being stuck with Trapinch and Vibrava for a lot of the game is just torture, the latter especially as it even lacks the good attack stat Trapinch has. Flygon itself, meanwhile, is just disappointment incarnate. On a personal note, I had it in my head that I could teach this thing Draco Meteor as a way to make up for its lacking power, but the tutor is locked til post-game, so its stuck with Dragon Claw at 55. Which is fine when you're at league, I guess, but it doesn't have a good STAB up until that point and missing Dragon coverage for Drayden is just so bad when that could've been an easy mu for it. Its best ground STAB is either Earth Power or Bulldoze, btw, so have fun with that. It does well enough at League to redeem itself a bit, but still a below-average pokemon imo. Sorry fellow Flygon fans, I tried.

Will probably post more noms once I get this current run cranked out, I'm at that slogfest between Skyla and Drayden but I think I can motivate myself fine. Should have that done within the next week or so, depending on how things go.


A distant memory
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
I wanna ask, more out of curiosity than any sense of accusation, how did you get to be so underleveled anyways? I find that in BW2, with the Lucky Egg and the wealth of routes and trainers to explore, it's far easier to be overleveled rather than underleveled, to the point where I've had to make sure I wasn't past the level curve in some parts of the game. Ten levels behind Drayden is crazy. Not that it's seemed to influence your overall opinions of your mons that much (they mostly line up with mine, fwiw) but it definitely makes the difference in some cases i.e. having Darumaka for Clay when you could easily have a Darmanitan, turning what would be a great mu for Tan into a bad one for Maka.
I'll respond to this just to clear things up.

Let's say you want to cut out as many fights as you can to get through the game. When you consider fights you must do between gyms, here is what you are limited to from Castelia onwards:
  • Between Gyms 3 and 4: Colress, two/three trainers in Nimbasa Park. I think there is another mandatory fight on Route 4?
  • Between Gyms 4 and 5: Heartbreaker Charles, Sage Rood.
  • Between Gyms 5 and 6: Frigate 1 Battles, a Scientist on Route 6 (which you can fight early), one/two fights in Chargestone Cave? Note that Lucky Egg can be obtained from Celestial Tower 1F without needing to fight an extra trainer. PWT gives no Exp so it doesn't count.
  • Between Gyms 6 and 7: One Double Fight and a Single Trainer in Reverse Mountain (plus one extra mandatory fight in Black 2), Hugh, Zinzolin 1 Double, Gentleman Stonewall, Pokémon Breeder Magnolia (the only breeder you cannot dodge).
  • Between Gyms 7 and 8: Three Plasma Grunts, Zinzolin 2, One Shadow Triad member.
  • There's probably some that I missed, but these are the ones I know that you have to fight on the critical path.
As you can see, not including gym trainers, the number of trainers you absolutely must fight is quite small and most field trainers are optionals. So with the absolute bare minimum, you end up getting underlevelled to the point where you want to fight optionals to keep up (especially if you catch a lot of Pokémon you want to use early on). And I hit quite a few optionals (accidental or otherwise) and took on all gym trainers just to keep up.

In other words, I cut a lot of trainers out that I did not need to fight and only went to optional locations to get something (e.g. Celestial for a Lucky Egg, Desert Resort for a Heart Scale). I don't know if I would recommend doing that with a party size of 4 and above, however, but there is more than one way to play a Pokémon game after all!


A distant memory
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
interesting strategy. would that really be a good idea in this gen though? this is the hardest time to acquire experience, lucky egg notwithstanding.
Gen V (and Gen VII onwards) uses scaled experience such that the lower levelled you are, the more experience you gain from a battle. This is what allows one to keep up to an extent despite skipping so many optional trainers as you'll be able to level up off 1-3 trainer Pokémon most of the time (accelerated with the Lucky Egg). That alone is not enough to stay with the curve when you are using a party of a decent size so I do recommend taking on optionals here and there to not fall too far behind to the point of not being able to win. In the end, the reason I caught back up in my run is due to mandatory + optional Plasma Grunts in Frigate 2+3 alongside the level curve flattening noticeably between Marlon and Ghetsis (Ghetsis' Hydreigon is only one level above Marlon's Jellicent).


I currently do not have any real plans to expand beyond D-Rank. If there are large enough intra-rank gulfs when all is said and done maybe I will consider an E-Rank, but I don't think going as far as F-Rank will be necessary. It's easier to think of the Ranks as they are as Top Tier/High Tier/Mid Tier/Low Tier/Bottom Tier.

I do want to see some more opinions on those currently in S-Rank though. I'd like to get them to a consensus with regards to their placing and make sure they are good to go write-up wise. For example, I did some minor editing of Minccino below to note Work Up as well as removing the wrong information about Shiny Stone being after Clay.

Name: Minccino
Availability: Minccino is a guaranteed encounter in the Route 5 Hidden Grotto on the first visit.
Stats: Minncino has average stats, with a slightly above average speed. Upon evolving into a Cinccino, it has a very high speed and slightly above average attack. All its other stats are below average, so it shouldn't be taking many hits.
Typing: Both Minccino and Cinccino are of the Normal-type which isn't great, but gives it neutral STAB coverage on most Pokemon alongside one weakness and one immunity defensively.
Movepool: It may have a shallow movepool, but it has what it needs to function. It starts with Double Slap and learns Tail Slap at level 25. After evolving, it can relearn Bullet Seed and Rock Blast, giving it much needed coverage that works with Skill Link. Dig and Work Up are the only TM's worth teaching, though Return can provide a reliable alternative to Tail Slap.
Major Battles: It struggles against any Steel- or Fighting-type that can hit hard if they get a chance to attack. Other than that, it does just fine and will pull its own weight and more against anything else, bar Rock- or Ghost-types before getting the fifth gym badge.
Additional Comments: Skill Link Minccino is required for its top tier placement, and Cinccino needs Tail Slap, Bullet Seed, and Rock Blast to function. Shiny Stone can be found as early as Route 6.
Its_A_Random, i haven't actually played b2w2 (only the originals) but out of curiosity, how long does it take to evolve riolu into lucario?

if you can get lucario before the first or second gym, should that not be like s-tier levels of insane power?
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