Challenge Pokemon Black 2 - Bug Monotype Run [Mistralton Complete]

Last year, I did a playthrough of Pokemon Sun using only Bug-type Pokemon and no Z-Moves. Since that was a lot of fun to do, and since I’m at home now due to the virus, I figured I’d do the sequel with a much more difficult game: Pokemon Black 2. The selection of Pokemon that I can access is worse in this game than in Sun, the old version of the Exp. Share necessitates more grinding and smarter play, and the Trainers that I’m facing will be more difficult than in Pokemon Sun, so it’ll be a change of pace from the last challenge.

Getting right into the rules:
  • Once I catch a Sewaddle on Route 20 (first Bug-type available), I may only use Bug-type Pokemon for the remainder of the run. A brief exception exists to be able to use Surf when necessary, as no Bug-type can learn it in this game, but that’s it. Said Surf user is never allowed to battle.
    • This list of allowed Pokemon consists of: Sewaddle line, Venipede line, Dwebble line, Combee line, Heracross, Pinsir, Shelmet, Karrablast (I do not own another DS or another copy of the game, so these two cannot evolve), Larvesta line, Joltik line, Durant, Skorupi (which is not allowed to evolve), Shuckle, and the Yanma line.
    • As for Hidden Grottos, I get one shot for each Grotto that generates on a given route. If a Bug-type Pokemon isn’t generated in the Grotto, I’m not allowed to keep trying until one appears. This means that I am most likely not able to obtain a Pinsir, as this is the only way to get one in Black 2.
    • No duplicates of the same evolution line are allowed.
  • Join Avenue cannot be built up and use of the Entralink is not allowed. While tedious and not really feasible since the Wi-Fi networks were disabled, Join Avenue can be built up to get shops that can be used to get useful items. Simpler to just ban it outright.
  • This will be played on Normal difficulty, because even though I’m probably a masochist by doing this run in the first place, I don’t hate myself enough to do this on Challenge mode.

I start off the game in the normal fashion, and make sure to pick Tepig. This ensures that Hugh picks Oshawott, which is neutral against Bug-types, but also ensures that he’ll have a Simisage later on. This also makes the two trainers in Alder’s house have a Pansage and Panpour. My advantages in this run are limited, so I’ll take them where I can get them. I play through normally to Floccesy Town, but I don’t face any Trainers other than the first rival battle so this really doesn’t matter. Once I get to Route 20, I have to face two mandatory Trainers with my starter, but here the run essentially begins by catching a Sewaddle. They appear from Level 2-4 on this route, so I take a little extra time to catch one at Level 4. This doesn’t make a huge difference in the long run, but it does save me a little bit of time grinding. Once it’s in my possession, I head back to Floccesy Town and box my starter forever.

The Beginning

The very beginning to the monotype challenge isn’t great. Sewaddle has okay defensive stats, but it’s at a low-level and has to solo the entire beginning of the game up until the first badge. It takes Sewaddle seven Tackles to take out the first Pokemon it sees, a Level 4 Purrloin. After some grinding, Sewaddle reaches Level 8 and learns the move that will carry it through the first part of the game: Bug Bite. A 60 BP STAB move is a godsend at this point in the run. I continue up towards Floccesy Ranch, and go in at Level 9. Right away, there’s a rival battle with Hugh, but thankfully he hasn’t added any other Pokemon. His Oshawott easily goes down in two hits. I was surprised by how Sewaddle essentially snapped the early-game over its knee here. The Herdier sidequest is no trouble either, and I rescue it and head back towards Floccesy Town. Alder pulls me aside and makes me battle his students. Both of them are easily taken down with two Bug Bites each. With that out of the way, it’s off to get my first Gym Badge with a Level 14 Sewaddle.

Aspertia Gym

I really thought this would be more difficult than it actually was. Both of Cheren’s two students have a Patrat and a Lillipup. As with Alder’s Trainers before, both of them are easy 2HKOs with Bug Bite. Moving on to the Gym Leader, Cheren’s Patrat is first up, and is 2HKO’d with Bug Bite while Sewaddle absorbs a Tackle for 6 damage in return. His Lillipup is tougher, and while my first Bug Bite takes off over half his health, the second one got a low damage roll and didn’t finish the job. Lillipup used Work Up on both of these turns, and on the third turn Cheren used a Potion to heal Lillipup, but the next Bug Bite was a crit and took it down, earning me the Basic Badge. With the victory, I also get TM27 (Return), which I immediately teach to Sewaddle over the useless String Shot.

Heading back to Route 20, I defeat the Hiker and can access the rest of the route. Cheren shows me the dark grass section, which is important to me because I can add a new Pokemon to my team here. Venipede appears in the dark grass 20% of the time, and its Poison immunity will come in handy for the next Gym. It takes a few tries to get one to appear, but it’s an easy catch and addition to the team. Most of the Trainers on this route aren’t an issue, with the exception of the Nursery Aide that has a Dunsparce with Rollout. Once I get to Virbank City, I heal up and head straight to the Complex to grind. Once I’m at a satisfactory level, I head for the Gym. Roughneck Nicky has a Grimer and a Koffing, and Guitarist Billy Jo has a Venipede and a Koffing. The same strategy was used for both: by using Defense Curl into Rollout, they can be taken out with little trouble. While Rollout doesn’t have the greatest accuracy, Venipede is immune to being poisoned and resists most of the Gym trainers’ attacks. Roxie is a little more complicated. I wanted to use the Defense Curl/Rollout strategy again, but the Rollout missed after one turn and I couldn’t build a combo. After an Assurance crit from her Koffing put me down to 3 HP, I used up a turn to heal with the free Fresh Water, then managed to get a 2HKO with Rollout from about 60% health. From there, Roxie sent in her Whirlipede, which was taken down from full health with a single Rollout, giving me the Toxic Badge.

I still had a few housekeeping items to take care of first, though - I had to do the horribly dull Pokestar Studios tutorial and deal with an annoying Team Plasma sidequest with a Patrat that just kept spamming Sand Attack and Detect. I also got Cut from Roxie, which I taught to Sewaddle since it's mildly useful and I didn't really have anything else to do with it. With those out of the way, I was finally able to board the boat to Castelia City.

In the next update, I’ll probably finish Castelia City and Nimbasa City and their Gym battles, and possibly Driftveil City if I have time. I’ll also be able to add Dwebble, Combee and Heracross to the team at various points in the next update.

The team at Castelia City:

Sewaddle, Level 17
  • Cut
  • Return
  • Bug Bite
  • Razor Leaf
Being forced to solo the entire stretch through the first Gym badge, Sewaddle stepped right up and did it. Bug Bite is ridiculously powerful for this point in the game, and Razor Leaf is great type coverage as well. This Pokemon should be a big part of the early-game run.

Venipede, Level 18
  • Defense Curl
  • Rollout
  • Venoshock
  • Protect
Venipede is pretty fast at 57 base Speed and has good stats for this point in the game. Its movepool is a little lacking right now, but it gets Poison Tail at Level 19 and Bug Bite at Level 22 right before it evolves into Whirlipede. The Poison immunity is very useful as well. Venoshock soloed Roxie and will come in handy against Burgh as well.
 
Castelia City

I made it to the big city! Before I continue with the story, I collect the Bike, the Exp. Share, and quickly complete the Harlequin Hunt for a Rare Candy, which I’ll save for later. After stopping by the Gym to find out that Burgh isn’t there, I head off to the Castelia Sewers with Hugh. This area can be used for grinding since Hugh heals you after every battle, but Zubats are annoyingly common and my bugs don’t match up with them well, and the wild battles don’t give enough experience to be worth it at all. I’m in and out of here in only a few minutes. Before going to the Gym, I stop and defeat all the trainers in the Battle Company, and while I’m here, Sewaddle reaches Level 20 and evolves into Swadloon.

Burgh

The Gym trainers here aren’t too threatening, as they all have Sewaddle, Combee, Swadloon, or Dwebble. The two trainers with Dwebble are mildly annoying because they like to spam Sand Attack, but they’re dealt with without much trouble. Venipede also evolves into Whirlipede before the Gym Leader battle, so that was a big help. Next up is Burgh, the Bug-type leader, so this will be a battle for insect-training supremacy. Tight unexpectedly proved to be very difficult, requiring three attempts to beat. I start with my Whirlipede with Bug Bite, Poison Tail, Protect, and Iron Defense, and he leads with Swadloon. His Swadloon isn’t a threat, so I take this time to set up to +6 with three Iron Defenses. On my successful run, once this is done, I use two Bug Bites, but this can’t take him down. Burgh uses a Hyper Potion, so I go for a Poison Tail and luckily get the 10% chance to poison, which brings him down into the range where I can end his Swadloon with Bug Bite.

Burgh’s next Pokemon is a Dwebble, and it proved to be a massive headache. Dwebble will do nothing but spam the super-effective Smack Down, which was why I took the time to set up with Iron Defense. On my successful run, I had 36 HP remaining, and he went first due to String Shot from Swadloon. While playtesting on the first two attempts, I found that at +6 defense, all Bug Bite does was put Dwebble straight into Hyper Potion range before Whirlipede is taken out with Smack Down, so that wasn’t an option. Each Smack Down did 6 HP of damage due to the defensive boosts, so I used Poison Tail with Whirlipede to try and inflict status, and Protect on alternate turns so that if I did manage to poison Dwebble, I could try and stall out his 15 PP of Smack Down. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the status effect on any of the five Poison Tails, and Whirlipede went down. Swadloon came in and managed to finish off Dwebble in two Bug Bites while taking a Smack Down for about ⅓ damage in return. Burgh’s final Pokemon was his Leavanny. My Swadloon took a Struggle Bug for chip damage while using Bug Bite to steal Leavanny’s Sitrus Berry, which was a big help. Another Bug Bite took him down into Hyper Potion range, and a crit Bug Bite finished off Leavanny to earn me the Insect Badge, and TM76 (Struggle Bug), which I’ll probably never use. Swadloon also reached Level 24 and got the requisite Friendship to evolve into Leavanny, resulting in what will probably be the first member of my long-term team to reach its final form.

Route 4, Desert Resort


With three badges in hand, I can move on to Nimbasa City and continue my jou-

“Oh, it's you again! If it's not an inconvenience, may I have a look at your Pokémon?”

God dammit, I didn’t plan for Colress. He’s a Steel-type trainer, which is one of the worst types for my team of two Pokemon to face right now. Luckily, it’s not an ambush encounter, and he just moves ahead to Route 4 to wait for me. My Band-Aid solution was to use the TM94 (Rock Smash) that I got from the Virbank Complex and teach it to Whirlipede, overwriting Protect (which I can get back later anyway). Colress’s first Pokemon is a Magnemite. I go for Rock Smash while he uses Thunder Wave to paralyze me. I’m not able to 2HKO it right away because I get fully paralyzed once and Colress just uses a Super Potion, but luckily Magnemite can’t really do much to my Whirlipede. On my next Rock Smash, I manage to get the Defense drop and 2HKO Magnemite. Colress sends out his Klink next. It obviously goes first because I’m paralyzed, but it just goes for Charge twice. On my second Rock Smash, I get another Defense drop from Rock Smash and the 3HKO on Klink. Not the prettiest battle, and I’ll have to face him again on the Plasma Frigate with a much better team, but I’ll take the win.

Next up is the Desert Resort, where I can add a new Pokemon to my team. I’m searching for a Dwebble of my own, which eliminates critical Fire and Flying weaknesses. It’s only a 10% chance to appear in the deep sand, but thankfully I don’t have to go deep into the Resort proper and I get one at Level 21 on the second wild encounter. With the newest addition to my team, I heal up at the shack near the construction site and go to work grinding for Elesa’s Gym.

Once I get to Nimbasa City, I head straight over to Route 16, where I have trainers to grind and the Lostlorn Forest to access. There are two Pokemon I want to add here: Heracross and Combee. However, the odds of getting these Pokemon to appear are annoyingly small, at 10% for Combee and 5% for Heracross. I got lucky and the first Combee I encountered was female, so that was no trouble to add to my team. Heracross was more trouble. It took a lot longer to find it, and its catch rate of 45 is on par with some Legendary Pokemon. I didn’t end up catching it as of now, but I’ll give it another go later as it will be a big help with Clay’s Gym. After a quick battle with the Subway Bosses where Combee evolved into Vespiquen afterwards, it was off to the Nimbasa Gym to earn my fourth badge.

Elesa

This battle took me two tries to beat, and honestly I got really lucky here. I had a strategy going in, but Elesa made some questionable plays that helped me win. I led off with my Dwebble, which I had taught Dig to deal with this battle, while she sent out Emolga first. Now, if they have the opportunity, Elesa will have her Electric-types use Volt Switch almost every turn, so Speed has to be carefully taken into account to determine what to do and Ground-type moves have to be carefully considered because of the possibility that the Emolga can come in. Her Emolga leads with Volt Switch and goes out to Flaaffy, so I actually go for Dig because the Flying-type will no longer be a factor. However, Dwebble outspeeds Flaaffy, so it comes up first and hits Dig for pretty good damage before being taken out by Flaaffy’s Volt Switch back out to Emolga. My Whirlipede went in second. Emolga used Volt Switch out to Zebstrika, and I used Poison Tail and got the 10% chance of status. Now here’s where things get weird. Zebstrika has Flame Charge, which is super-effective against my Whirlipede, but for whatever reason it just...didn’t. Zebstrika used Pursuit instead, which didn’t really do anything, and Whirlipede’s Bug Bite critted, which both put Zebstrika into the range where the poison damage took it out on that turn and also stole the Sitrus Berry for a little extra health.

With her ace gone, Elesa sends out Flaaffy next. I use Poison Tail again, which gets another 10% poison but also triggers Static in the process and paralyzes Whirlipede. I’m expecting another Volt Switch from Flaaffy, but instead it uses...Take Down, and the poison damage finishes it off. Elesa’s final Pokemon in this fight is a full-health Emolga against my paralyzed Whirlipede with about ⅓ health. Whirlipede actually has really good defenses, so it’s able to survive one Volt Switch while firing off a Poison Tail that doesn’t get status before being taken down by the second one. After that, it’s simply a matter of sending in Leavanny to take Emolga down by chipping away with Cut.

In the next update, I’ll go through the Driftveil and Mistralton Gyms, and (actually) catch a Heracross this time! If I can manage it, I’ll also try and add Volcarona. It has a really low catch rate, but I do have a plan for working around that.

Until next time!

The team after Nimbasa Gym

Leavanny, Level 27
  • Cut
  • Bug Bite
  • Razor Leaf
  • Protect
Whirlipede, Level 27
  • Bug Bite
  • Poison Tail
  • Iron Defense
  • Rock Smash
Dwebble, Level 28
  • Dig
  • Strength
  • Rock Polish
  • Smack Down
Vespiquen, Level 26
  • Power Gem
  • Gust
  • Bug Bite
  • Return
 
So in the last update, I failed to catch a Heracross. As it’s pretty much necessary to beat Clay and I don’t get another shot at catching one until after the sixth Gym, I went back to Lostlorn Forest and started looking. It was a lot easier to snag this time around. Popped up on the second wild encounter, stayed in the Great Ball. Done. It needed a bit of levelling to catch up to the rest of my team, so I head over to Route 5 to grind and progress. The main trainer here to battle is Motorcyclist Charles, who introduces the mechanic of Rotation Battles, but he’s not difficult at all. Once he’s dispatched, I can head over the drawbridge to Driftveil City. I can’t battle the Gym yet and my levels aren’t quite up to scratch anyway, so I head for the Plasma house. I have to battle Rood, but with only a Herdier and Swoobat, he isn’t difficult at all. With that sorted, I spend some time grinding on Route 6 northwest of Driftveil City. I could have gone into Chargestone Cave itself to grab a Joltik to train up, but as it doesn’t have a use against Clay I didn’t bother going in. Whirlipede also evolved into Scolipede while I was out here, granting me another fully-evolved team member. Once my levels were decent, I entered the Driftveil Gym to take on the fifth Gym Leader, Clay.

Clay

As is probably evident by now, for some of these later fights I like to do a “scout” fight where I go in, not really expecting to win, but just to see what Clay’s tendencies are and how much damage my Pokemon can get on their attacks so I can adjust my game plan. I did the same here, which is why it took me two attempts, and I’ll just talk about the successful run. Clay always leads with his Krokorok. It has Intimidate, so I send in my Leavanny to sponge it. For whatever reason, he uses Bulldoze even though it’s 4x resisted when he has Crunch, so I switch in my Vespiquen which is basically a free move. Bug Bite doesn’t quite OHKO at the level my Vespiquen is at, but it takes off most of Krokorok’s health while I take a Torment in return. He uses a Hyper Potion while I go for a Gust (because I have to), then finish it with Bug Bite.

Clay then sends out his Excadrill next, and this is pretty much the sole reason that I needed to get Heracross when I did. This fight requires a little bit of luck here. Against my Heracross, Excadrill likes to do nothing but spam Rock Slide. I can survive two Rock Slides and Brick Break from Heracross 2HKOs back, but since Excadrill is faster I either need it to miss one Rock Slide or not get flinched on either of the two attacks. The first Rock Slide flinches me, but the second one misses and I’m able to take it down with a second Brick Break while surviving on low health. Clay’s final Pokemon is a Sandslash, which can’t really do anything to me and gets 2HKO’d by Leavanny’s Razor Leaf, handing me the victory. Clay rewards me with TM78 (Bulldoze), which is a pretty useful move that will have a place on my team.

I’m not quite allowed to move on from Driftveil City yet, though, as there’s a few other things I have to take care of. First is the Pokemon World Tournament, where in this one I’m required to defeat Hugh, Cheren and Colress in three-on-three Single Battles. I went with Leavanny, Dwebble and Heracross for this tournament, and I won’t get too in-depth with the battles, because you get to keep the levels you’re at while the opponents are at Level 25, so it really wasn’t that difficult. Even Colress’s Magneton, which would normally be a massive pain due to being Electric/Steel-type, was one-shotted by Dwebble’s Dig. With a victory under my belt, I can finally move on...or I would, if the Plasma Frigate wasn’t docked right outside. There are some mandatory battles that I have to go through, and my team isn’t great against the Poison-types that the Team Plasma grunts like to use, but fortunately they’re all Multi Battles, so I can rely on a strategy of “let Cheren’s Stoutland or Hugh’s Dewott kill everything”.

There is one more thing I want to do before leaving Driftveil City, however, and that’s to catch Volcarona. While its level-up movepool is pathetic before the endgame, its Special power, speed and bulk are incredible and it can learn some very useful moves, so if I can add it to the team I want to gladly do so. It’s also the only Bug-type in the game (and still one of only two ever released, along with Vikavolt) that can learn Fly. I can catch it in the Relic Castle by going through the Relic Passage from the PWT, and I fortunately don’t have too much trouble with it. First encounter, first Ultra Ball, and it’s caught. No soft-resetting required. I then fly back to Driftveil City and go back into Chargestone Cave. In addition to progressing through here to get to Mistralton City, I can also catch Joltik here, which is the last new useful Bug-type I can add to my team (Durant and Yanma are locked behind the postgame and Skorupi, Shelmet, Karrablast and Shuckle don’t help my team). Since I want to add it immediately to my party and start levelling it for the next Gym without having to backtrack, I decide to leave Vespiquen behind and box it for the remainder of the run. It has pretty good power and great defenses, but it’s slow and other than a Ground immunity it doesn’t really offer anything useful that isn’t covered by another team member, as Leavanny as a 4x resistance to Ground and Heracross knows Aerial Ace to deal with Fighting-types.

Chargestone Cave is fairly straightforward. I want to get a Joltik that has Compound Eyes rather than the useless Unnerve, and I eventually find one at Level 25. A bit lower-level than I’d like, but I can make it work. Since it needs to be a Galvantula for me to have a chance in the Gym battle, I want to get it as much experience as possible, so I made heavy use of switch-training in this area. Soon enough, I made it to Mistralton City. I’m still too underleveled to take on Skyla’s gym, so off to Route 7 it was to grind and climb the Celestial Tower to ring the bell. Along the way, I picked up several useful TMs, including TM81 (X-Scissor), which I taught to Leavanny, and TM65 (Shadow Claw) which was given to Heracross. Professor Juniper also gives me the Lucky Egg here, which comes in handy for powerleveling. After the bell is rung, I head back to Chargestone Cave to do even more grinding, and after doing that and defeating the Gym trainers, Joltik evolves into Galvantula, Dwebble evolves into Crustle, and I’m ready to go.

Skyla

This fight took me two attempts and required me to adjust from my planned strategy to win. In the plan that ended up being successful, I led with my Crustle. The reason for choosing Crustle over Galvantula to lead is simple: Skyla’s first Pokemon is a Swoobat, and this thing is infuriating. It’s incredibly fast, so Galvantula’s Electro Ball can’t take it out in one hit, and has Heart Stamp, which has a chance to flinch, and Galvantula’s Defense kind of sucks so it can’t take too many hits. But that’s not the worst part. This Swoobat also knows Attract and is female, and my Galvantula is male. During my failed battle, I got immobilized by love twice, allowing Swoobat to knock out my Galvantula, and at that point the battle is essentially over. Skyla’s last Pokemon is a Swanna, which can sweep my whole team if the Galvantula is off the field.

Anyways, in the successful run, Crustle was flinched by the first Heart Stamp, but it barely did anything, so Crustle was safely able to OHKO with Rock Slide. Skyla sends out her Skarmory, and I actually decided to switch to Scolipede here. The reason for this is simple: Baton Pass. Scolipede uses Agility to boost its speed while taking an Air Cutter, and then Baton Passes out to Galvantula. I did need a bit of luck in that Skarmory didn’t use Air Cutter on the switch-in, instead using Agility, but this point it’s just a matter of spamming Electro Ball until the Skarmory eventually faints. Skyla’s Swanna comes in, but at this point I just have to click Electro Ball for the OHKO and the victory.

The next update should include the last two Gym fights, but it might take a little while to get that out because it includes what is easily the most difficult battle in the game up to this point: Drayden. If you thought this run wasn't difficult enough, don't worry, because there are plenty of brutal fights coming up: Drayden, Colress, Ghetsis, and of course the Elite Four and Champion. His three dragons all have great stats and movesets, and what makes this more difficult is that nothing on my team has access to a single Ice- or Dragon-type move to hit them super-effectively, so it’ll be a straight-out power brawl. I need to grind a lot for this battle and figure out a strategy.

Until next time!

The team after Mistralton Gym


Leavanny, Level 34
  • Cut
  • Razor Leaf
  • X-Scissor
  • Return
Crustle, Level 36
  • Rock Slide
  • Rock Polish
  • Bulldoze
  • Strength
Heracross, Level 33
  • Take Down
  • Aerial Ace
  • Brick Break
  • Shadow Claw
Galvantula, Level 37
  • Volt Switch
  • Electro Ball
  • Slash
  • Signal Beam
Volcarona, Level 35
  • Fire Spin
  • Gust
  • Leech Life
  • Fly
Scolipede, Level 34
  • Agility
  • Baton Pass
  • Bulldoze
  • Poison Tail
 

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