Pokemon Comparison FAQ by Magicxgame

Version 1.02, Last Updated 2012-11-04

Would you recommend this FAQ? Yes No You must register to leave a comment. Submit

Table of Contents

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

Pokémon Reviews (Continued)

Names: Sewaddle -> Swadloon -> Leavanny

Type: Bug/Grass

Abilities: Swarm or Chlorophyll

Recommended Ability: Swarm. Neither should be too useful, but it's not worth setting up Sunny Day for a Speed boost since Leavanny is already pretty fast.

Evolution: Evolves at level 20; evolves through happiness.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Sewaddle455370406042
Swadloon556390508042
Leavanny7510380707092

First Encountered: You can encounter Sewaddle on Route 20.

Rating: Mid (Mid-High)

Marriland loves to hype Leavanny. :D Don't mistake Sewaddle for a crappy early-game bug, as it's actually quite decent once it gets going. Leavanny has high Attack and nice Speed, along with decent defenses. Its typing is a mixed bag; it gets some useful resistances, but a whopping six weaknesses (including two quadruple weaknesses to Fire and Flying). Grass and Bug get decent coverage, although there are also six types that resist both types.

It starts with Tackle, but picks up Bug Bite at level 8, which has a respectable 60 power for the time. It can also steal Oran or Sitrus Berries from Gym Leaders' and Elite Four members' main Pokémon, but its side effect is situational otherwise. Razor Leaf (level 15) is a Grass attack that is nearly as powerful and has an increased critical hit ratio.

At level 20, it evolves into Swadloon and learns Protect (level 20), which isn't too helpful in-game. Now, you need to raise its happiness for it to evolve into Leavanny. Fortunately, you should be around Castelia City at this time, so you can easily raise your Pokémons happiness with massages or by riding around on the Bicycle for 15 minutes, allowing you to get Leavanny before the third Gym. Now, some people may call this a form of "abuse", and that's fine; they can have fun with their weak Swadloons while others run around with a Leavanny. While Swadloon doesn't learn any attacks other than Protect, Leavanny continues to learn attacks, which is another reason to evolve Swadloon ASAP.

It picks up a few good attacks as a Leavanny. Leaf Blade (level 36) is a straight improvement over Razor Leaf since it has 90 power and the same effect, and will be Leavanny's main Grass attack. X-Scissor (level 39) and will be its other main STAB attack, though you should get the TM shortly beforehand. Swords Dance (level 46) turns Leavanny into a nice sweeper. Finally, Leaf Storm (level 50) is a decent filler Grass move to use against high Defense foes.

The Sewaddle line doesn't have a lot of useful TM or tutor moves. Return, Aerial Ace, and even Shadow Claw provide additional coverage, but none are too useful. Seed Bomb can be learned at the PWT, but Leavanny should pick up the superior Leaf Blade before long.

The Sewaddle line's major matchups are a roller coaster. It does poorly at the Virbank Gym, but actually does fairly well against Burgh's Swadloon and Leavanny since it can strike with a super-effective Bug Bite while they can only use the weak Struggle Bug. Elesa's Zebstrika preys on the line's quadruple weaknesses (her Emolga only knows a Flying attack in Challenge Mode), but does well in the Driftveil Gym. Skyla smashes it, but it does well in the Humilau Gym (watch out for Marlon, since his Carracosta has Smack Down and his Wailord knows Bounce). Unfortunately, its late-game matchups are notably poor. All of Ghetsis' Pokémon besides Seismitoad and possibly his Rock Slide Hydreigon destroy Leavanny. It also doesn't have good matchups against the Elite Four; although its STAB Bug attacks are effective against Dark- and Psychic-types, Leavanny won't be able to set up against Grimsley's Aerial Ace Liepard. The Champion's team is especially cruel. Team Plasma's Poison-types also bother it.

So Sewaddle reaches its final form fairly early, and picks up some solid STAB attacks. Unfortunately, those six weaknesses really come back to bite it, especially in the late game. Overall, it's a pretty good Pokémon, and one of the better Mid tiers once it gets rolling.

Names: Sunkern -> Sunflora

Type: Grass

Abilities: Chlorophyll or Solar Power

Preferred Ability: Chlorophyll, as it gives the Sunkern family a chance at sweeping. Solar Power makes it more destructive, but it will have to take two hits setting up.

Evolution: Evolves by using a Sun Stone.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Sunkern303030303030
Sunflora7575551058530

First Encountered: You can encounter Sunkern on Route 20.

Rating: Bottom

Sunkern is a practical joke rather than a legitimate Pokémon. It has the lowest Base Stat Total of any Pokémon, and its base 30 stats across the board are bad even in the early game. To make matters worse, the first Sun Stone is found in Nimbasa City, so you're stuck with those stats until around the fourth Gym. Now, Sunflora has great Special Attack, and it has solid HP and Special Defense. However, its Defense is terrible and its Speed doesn't improve, making it as fast as Slowbro. It's also a pure Grass-type, which means that it will struggle in major battles.

Like Snivy, Sunkern is basically locked to Grass-type attacks. It starts off with STAB Absorb, which is even weaker than a non-STAB Scratch. Okay, so it has low Special Attack and a weak attacking move at base. Check! GrassWhistle (level 7) has a 55% crapshoot of putting an opposing Pokémon to sleep. At level 10, it learns Mega Drain, finally gaining a solid STAB attack. It learns Leech Seed (level 13) soon, but the idea of a tanking Sunkern is hilarious. Razor Leaf (level 16) is more powerful than Mega Drain. Giga Drain (level 22) is a great Grass-type attack and will make up for all the damage Sunkern will probably take.

You'll want to evolve your Sunkern by level 28, as Sunflora learns Petal Dance at that level. Petal Dance is a 120 power Grass attack that locks its user into the move for 2-3 turns, though the user is confused afterwards. Despite its poor coverage, it's a powerful move at any point in the game, and is obscenely powerful when Sunflora picks it up. Since attacking is the only thing Sunflora is decent at, you might as well pick up the move. The confusion isn't an issue, since you can always switch out after KOing an opponent's Pokémon or heal the confusion with a Casteliacone. (Or your opponent could KO Sunflora before the confusion kicks in.) SolarBeam (level 34) and Sunny Day (level 40) form a decent combo that doesn't lock Sunflora into an attack. Leaf Storm (level 43) but blowing away its only good stat isn't a wise idea. It could work for a hit-and-run Sunflora, though.

TMs and tutor moves. It learns Energy Ball for a moderate power attack with no drawback, but you're better off with Giga Drain, which has a healing effect and is only slightly weaker. It can learn Earth Power at Lentimas Town for some extra coverage; obviously, don't use it against Fire-types, or Sunflora will be outsped and burnt to a crisp.

Like Snivy, the Sunkern line suffers at most of the Gyms. As a recap, the Virbank, Castelia, Nimbasa, Mistralton, and Opelucid Gyms are all hostile, while Team Plasma also gives it problems. The Elite Four and Champion are also unkind.

Sunkern is abysmal. First, you have to put up with a Pokémon with atrocious stats until the fourth Gym. While Sunflora has good Special Attack, its Speed and typing hurt its chances at sweeping, and its bulk isn't enough to compensate for its lousy Speed. If you want a good Grass-type, go for Petilil instead. Ignore Sunkern.

Names: Lillipup -> Herdier -> Stoutland

Type: Normal

Abilities: Vital Spirit (Intimidate as Herdier and Stoutland) or Pickup (Sand Rush as Herdier and Stoutland)

Recommended Ability: Vital Spirit/Intimidate. Intimidate contributes to the Lillipup line's respectable bulk. Plus, there are no Pokémon during the storyline with the Sand Stream ability, and the Lillipup line cannot use Sandstorm to take advantage of Sand Rush.

Evolution: Evolves at level 16; evolves at level 32

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Lillipup456045254555
Herdier658065356560
Stoutland8510090459080

First Encountered: You can encounter Lillipup on Route 20.

Rating: High

Lillipup is leagues above its competitor Patrat, and is actually a pretty good Pokémon. The Lillipup line has high Attack, solid defenses, and decent Speed, making them well-rounded Pokémon. The Lillipup line also evolves fairly early, which is another chip in their favor.

Lillipup starts off with a STAB Tackle, which will inflict pretty nice damage coming from its "high" base 60 Attack. It also learns Bite (level 8), though it won't be hitting for super-effective damage for quite a while. Lillipup's real boon comes from Take Down (level 15). Despite its recoil and 90% accuracy, this is an excellent move for Lillipup, as its power is on par with end-game moves such as Psychic, Surf, Thunderbolt, and so on, making it stupidly powerful in the early game. Herdier has a nice 80 base Attack to abuse Take Down with, and a Silk Scarf is found around the second Gym to boost its power even more. Enjoy abusing Take Down during the early-mid game for an absurd amount of damage.

Herdier only gets a couple of notable moves. Work Up (level 20) boosts its attacking stats, but you're better off spamming Take Down. Crunch (level 24) provides additional coverage and makes it a good Ghost counter. Not like you need anything else when Herdier can just spam Take Down for a while.

The Lillipup line only gets a couple of notable TMs. Frustration works well in the very early game. Strength is an alternate to Take Down, as it trades 10 power for perfect accuracy and a lack of recoil. Eventually, you'll want to give Stoutland Return. Dig and Superpower are useful for additional coverage for additional coverage against Rock- and Steel-types. Stoutland can re-learn the elemental fangs (Thunder, Ice, and Fire Fang) from the Move Relearner, but even super-effective Fangs will hit for less damage than Take Down or Return unless they strike a rare quadruple weakness.

The Lillipup line is fine in most major matchups, although it can't do much to Colress' Steel-types with its STAB moves.

Lillipup's a good Pokémon, but it slowly declines as the game progresses. It starts off hitting hard with STAB Tackle and hits like a tank with Take Down, but it can't compete with the other powerhouses in the Unova region such as Darmanitan and Excadrill. Still, it starts off well and is a solid Pokémon at worst, so it's worth picking up. Don't just shrug it off as "early-game trash".

Names: Mareep -> Flaaffy -> Ampharos

Type: Electric

Ability: Static

Evolution: Evolves at level 15; evolves at level 30

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Mareep554040654535
Flaaffy705555806045
Ampharos9075751159055

First Encountered: You can encounter Mareep at Floccesy Ranch.

Rating: Mid

I was so depressed when the Mareep family was removed from Crystal. :( Like in the Johto games, Mareep is the first Electric-type you can obtain. However, don't expect it to be as great in Unova. Electric-types are typically powerful, fast, and frail. While Ampharos has excellent Special Attack, it eschews the latter two stereotypes, sacrificing Speed for some solid bulk. Since Electric-types only have one weakness, it works out decently. STAB Electric attacks have great coverage, and are better than in Black/White due to the addition of more Water-types. However, Electric-types have one big hurdle to overcome in BW2: the best Electric-type moves aren't found until the end of the game. The Wild Charge and Thunderbolt TMs are found in Victory Road, so the Electric-types will have very little time to spam their best attacks. This really hurts some Pokémon, but the lack of these attacks can be overcome. It also evolves fairly early, which is nice.

Mareep starts off with Tackle and Thunder Wave. While the former is nothing special, the latter is an excellent status move that compensates for the Mareep line's lack of Speed, and can be used in a combo with one of the Mareep line's later attacks. ThunderShock (level 8) serves as Mareep's Electric attack for 17 levels, so get used to it. Charge (level 15) boosts Mareep's Special Defense and doubles the power of its next Electric attack. Its buffing effect is okay, but the second effect is fairly pointless since you can always use an Electric attack twice for the same results.

Flaaffy finally picks up another Electric attack at level 25, Electro Ball (level 25). Electro Ball is a special Electric attack that inflicts more damage the faster the user is than the opponent. The Mareep line doesn't naturally have the Speed to take advantage of the attack, but Electro Ball can be used in conjunction with Thunder Wave. Although it's a two-turn setup, it's an improvement over ThunderShock. At level 29, it learns Confuse Ray, which can be used in conjunction with Thunder Wave for "parafusion". Once a Pokémon is confused and paralyzed, it only has a 37.5% chance to attack. It's unreliable, though, and more of a "fun" tactic.

Once Flaffy evolves into Ampharos at level 30, it learns Thunderpunch (level 30), a physical Electric attack. It finally picks up a decent special STAB attack ten levels later, Discharge (level 40). Discharge has 80 power and a 30% paralysis rate to make up for Ampharos' lacking Speed. This is the best move Ampharos learns naturally, but couple of other attacks deserve some nods. Cotton Guard (level 46) raises Ampharos' Defense by a whopping three stages, so it can max out its Defense in two Cotton Guards. While I've been hyping offense throughout this FAQ, that level of resilience is hard to ignore. Signal Beam (level 51) grants Ampharos some additional coverage, especially against the Grass-types that resist its STAB moves.

The Mareep line only gets a few notable TMs and tutor moves. The Mareep line should immediately learn Thunderbolt when you obtain the TM, but there are a few other special Electric moves in the meantime. Volt Switch has 70 power, which is solid when you obtain the TM, but forces the user to switch out and split experience. Thunder only has 70% accuracy, but its 120 power and 30% chance of paralysis makes it notable. It can be combined with Rain Dance for perfect accuracy if you desire, although the Mareep line will take more damage from any Water-types they're trying to counter. Charge Beam is a fairly weak Electric move, but has a 70% chance of boosting the Mareep line's Special Attack (63% chance when factoring in accuracy).

Signal Beam can be learned early at the PWT. Ampharos can relearn Fire Punch for a Heart Scale or learn it at the Driftveil tutor (it's recommended that you give up a Heart Scale unless none of your other Pokémon need Driftveil tutor moves), which allows it to maim Grass-types and dual Steel-types that resist Electric, such as the Magnemite and Ferrothorn lines. However, it runs off of Ampharos' lower Attack.

The Mareep line is fairly slow throughout the first part of the game. However, the Mistralton Gym comes up right after you get the Lucky Egg, so Ampharos should quickly shoot up in levels. The Undella Bay and area around Humilau City are filled with Water-type trainers, so your Ampharos will start growing like weed throughout this time.

The Mareep line are decent Electric-types. However, it takes a while for the line to pick up solid Electric-type attacks, and it faces competition from some other early-game Electric types. However, it's worth a spot on a team, especially if you're nostalgic for the Johto games (Generation II was the best generation!).

Names: Psyduck -> Golduck

Type: Water

Abilities: Damp or Cloud Nine

Preferred Ability: Cloud Nine. Although both abilities are pretty worthless in-game, at least Cloud Nine prevents the Psyduck line from taking damage from the permanent sandstorm in the Desert Resort.

Evolution: Evolves at level 33.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Psyduck505248655055
Golduck808278958085

First Encountered: You can encounter Psyduck at the Floccesy Ranch.

Rating: Mid

Psyduck and Golduck were part of the original 151, and are two of only six Pokémon to appear in every regional Pokédex (the first two members of the Zubat and Magnemite families are the others). So what can Psyduck do, besides agitate Misty?

Well, it's pretty much a no-frills Water-type. It can be obtained early on, and is pretty decent throughout the whole game. It has nice Special Attack, but all of its other stats are pretty average. It consistently learns solid attacks, though, which is more than I can say about some Pokémon (Mareep). It evolves at level 33, so you probably won't have a Golduck in time for Clay unless you grind against Audino. It's in the Medium Fast experience group, though keep in mind that it will actually grow slower than Medium Slow Pokémon until level 68 (aka the entire storyline).

It picks up its first STAB attack, Water Gun (level 8) early on. Disable (level 11) has perfect accuracy in Generation V, so it can come in surprisingly handy. For instance, it can be used against Cheren's Lillipup to prevent it from spamming Work Up or its STAB Tackle. Confusion (level 15) is useful at the Virbank Gym. Soon afterwards, Psyduck upgrades to Water Pulse (level 18), which is a solid STAB for the time. Although Zen Headbutt (level 29) runs off of the Psyduck line's lower attacking stat, it's surprisingly useful against the Plasma Grunts' numerous Poison-types. Aqua Tail (level 32) is learned right before Psyduck evolves; however, you get the more powerful and accurate Surf around the same time, so it's only useful for PP conservation. Golduck's only notable move is Hydro Pump (level 54), which is less consistent but more powerful than Surf.

The Psyduck line obtains a handful of useful TMs. Obviously, Surf and Ice Beam are staple attacks for any special Water type. Blizzard is useful at the Opelucid Gym when combined with a Wide Lens or X-Accuracy, while Ice Punch is a weaker alternative with perfect accuracy.

Psyduck can drown the Ground-types in the Driftveil Gym with its powerful Water attacks, although it probably can't stand up to Clay's powerful Excadrill. Past that point, it isn't really spectacular at any point in the game.

Psyduck is a decent Water-type that you can pick up early and remains solid throughout the entire game. That said, it's not really special, which prevents it from getting a higher rating.

Names: Azurill -> Marill -> Azumarill

Type: Normal for Azurill; Water for Marill and Azumarill

Abilities: Thick Fat or Huge Power

Preferred Ability: Huge Power, as it makes the Azurill line usable. Thick Fat versions are simply garbage.

Evolution: Evolves through happiness; evolves at level 18

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Azurill502020204020
Marill702050205040
Azumarill1005080508050

First Encountered: You can encounter Azurill at the Floccesy Ranch. However, you may want to just wait until Route 6 and pick up a Marill instead.

Rating: Mid

Good old Pikablu. Of course, kids today won't even know what I'm yammering about.

Azumarill has solid stats. It's a bulky Water-type, with high HP and solid defenses. Its low Speed is a bummer, but it's not a dealbreaker. Due to Huge Power, its base 50 Attack is deceptively low. Now, with max Attack, a level 100 Azumarill is on par with behemoths such as Groudon and Rayquaza with 150 base Attack (Azumarill has 436 Attack, while the others have 438). Don't get too excited; this is in-game, so you won't have perfect, EV-trained level 100 Pokémon with 31 IVs across the board. While Azumarill still has high Attack thanks to Huge Power, don't expect some uber-level smackdowns.

You have two options: Raise an Azurill from scratch or just wait for Route 6 to pick up a Marill. If you raise an Azurill, you can get an Azumarill by the third Gym due to Marill's early evolution time. However, if you start with an Azurill, you're not going to have a good time. While its HP is acceptable for a first-stage Pokémon, its low Speed means it will take a ton of damage early on. While most of your Pokémon will evolve by the Virbank Gym, you'll be stuck with a crappy Azurill until Castelia City. To add insult to injury, the Castelia and Nimbasa Gyms are hostile towards it. I recommend waiting for a Marill.

Since Azurill's natural movepool is horrid and consists of special non-STAB attacks such as Water Gun, slap on the Frustration TM instead. Make sure you evolve your Azurill by level 20 at the latest; Marill learns Aqua Tail (level 20) at that level, while Azumarill learns the attack one level later (level 21). Aqua Tail will be Azumarill's main attack, so make sure you don't miss out. From there, things start looking up. Double-Edge (level 25) is a very powerful attack when Azumarill learns it (although a STAB Aqua Tail inflicts more damage), and is an alternative to Return. Water and Normal attacks receive excellent coverage, so it's worth a nod. Superpower (level 42) is Azumarill's only other notable attack.

Return gets great coverage alongside Aqua Tail. Waterfall is a late-game alterative to Aqua Tail due to its improved accuracy, although Azumarill is too slow to take advantage of the flinch side effect. Ice Punch complements Aqua Tail nicely, and is useful in the Mistralton and Opelucid Gyms. It does well in the Driftveil Gym, and is a great temporary Pokemon if you don't happen to have a Water-type since you can just drop by Route 6, pick up a Marill, and quickly evolve it into an Azumarill.

Azumarill is a pretty good Water-type. It can't reach its full potential in-game, but it reaches its final stage early and has a respectable movepool. Plus, it's pretty cute. :)

Names: Riolu -> Lucario

Type: Fighting; Steel/Fighting

Abilities: Inner Focus or Steadfast

Preferred Ability: Either. Inner Focus is better if you're impatient, while Steadfast means Lucario will get a free Speed boost from Fake Out users.

Evolution: Evolves through happiness when leveled up during the daytime.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Riolu407040354060
Lucario70110701157090

First Encountered: You can encounter Riolu at the Floccesy Ranch.

Rating: High

Lucario heralded the advent of Generation IV, and immediately received an explosion of popularity. Unfortunately, Riolu was atrocious during the Sinnoh games' storyline, since it was received as a level 1 Egg around the sixth Gym.

Lucario has high attacking stats and solid Speed, though its HP and defenses are unimpressive. STAB Fighting attacks are impressive, and Lucario's nine resistances give it a surprising amount of bulk in-game. If you raise your Riolu's happiness in Castelia City, you can get a Lucario around the third Gym. (Theoretically, can also run around as soon as you get a Riolu to get a Lucario before the first Gym. However, this is unnecessary, and I doubt anyone will actually do this.)

At the start, Riolu is stuck with Quick Attack. Joy. Unfortunately, Riolu shouldn't learn its first STAB attack, Force Palm (level 15), until after you defeat Cheren. Still, Force Palm is solid in the early game, and has a 30% chance of paralyzing the target. You'd better get used to it, because Lucario doesn't learn another STAB attack until level 51. Yes, you read that correctly. Lucario has access to two other Fighting attacks through TMs and tutors, though you'll have to put in some effort to obtain them. If you're not going to put in the time, just lower its rating to Mid or Mid-High, since that's a pretty notable detriment.

Lucario's next notable attack comes around the mid-game, where it picks up Swords Dance (level 37). Lucario can easily set up in-game due to its array of nine resistances, and the boost makes up for Force Palm's low base power. Calm Mind (level 47) is an option for special Lucario, although you're better off with the more powerful physical Lucario. Aura Sphere (level 51) is a powerful Fighting attack that never misses and runs off of Lucario's slightly higher attacking stat. However, the crown jewel is Close Combat (level 55), a 120-power Fighting attack that lowers Lucario's Defense and Special Defense after use. Since Lucario's defenses are already unimpressive, this is an excellent attack for Lucario. Its last notable move is Dragon Pulse (level 60), though it has limited use since the Champion's three Dragons can all smack Lucario for super-effective damage.

If you want your Lucario to have a Fighting move other than Force Palm, you'll have to put some work into it. Brick Break is an excellent Fighting attack that will carry it over the game, although it requires three to four winning streaks in the Battle Subway. Drain Punch is also a Move Tutor option, though it comes later in the game.

Dig and Rock Slide are other physical options. You can also teach Lucario Low Kick, though it's very inconsistent in-game since trainers use plenty of light Pokémon. Iron Tail is a powerful Steel-type attack, though its 75% accuracy is aggravating. Ice Punch and Thunderpunch are helpful.

As stated earlier, Riolu shouldn't have Force Palm in time for the Aspertia Gym. Its STAB attacks do poorly in the Virbank Gym (unless you mindlessly run around and obtain a Lucario, which will dominate the Gym). Lucario will also do well in the Castelia Gym, and resists the attacks of Drayden's powerful Haxorus (although it will still take notable damage due to its low Defense). Colress, Grimsley, and the Champion are all good matchups for Lucario, though Marshal is a problem. The Driftveil Gym is a mixed bag; although Lucario has Fighting attacks for the Sandile line and Excadrill, it's weak to Ground attacks.

Lucario is a good, albeit overhyped, Pokémon. While it's stuck with Force Palm for a while, it's decent for the first half of the game, and picks up Swords Dance right when the attack becomes sub-par. Once again, if you're not going to hunt for an attack such as Brick Break, lower Lucario's rating. Still, if you put in the time, Lucario is a good Pokémon.

Name: Dunsparce

Type: Normal

Abilities: Serene Grace or Run Away

Preferred Ability: Serene Grace, since it has some effect in battle.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Dunsparce1007070656545

First Encountered: It is encountered in rustling grass at the Floccesy Ranch, but only after you receive the Basic Badge. Dunsparce is encountered normally in the wild at Route 20, but I recommend capturing one on Route 6 instead since Route 20 Dunsparce will be extremely underleveled.

Rating: Low

Dunsparce is one of those strange Pokémon that seems forgettable, but always springs to mind during a discussion on overlooked Pokémon.

Dunsparce's stats are actually good at joining time, though they're pretty mediocre in the long term. Its HP is nice and it has decent defenses, but it has mediocre attacking stats and low Speed. 70 base Attack seems nice early on, but it's quickly eclipsed by Pokémon like Herdier and Pignite, who evolve early and become even more beastly when they reach their final form. In fact, its base Attack is only five points higher than Servine's.

Due to the lack of Egg moves, Dunsparce can't pull off its main niche as a "paraflincher". Since Serene Grace doubles the chances of secondary effects, Dunsparce's STAB Headbutt has a 60% chance of causing the opponent to flinch. When coupled with paralysis, the opponent will only have a 30% chance of attacking per turn. However, Headbutt and even Bite are Egg moves, so Dunsparce has to make do with the non-STAB, 90% accurate Rock Slide for a flinching move.

Dunsparce learns a surprising amount of notable moves. The only STAB move it starts with is Rage, so just ignore that and slap on the Frustration TM. It also comes with Defense Curl and Rollout, which is a nice combo for the Castelia Gym, but isn't notable in the long run. AncientPower (level 19) has a 20% chance of boosting all of Dunsparce's stats with Serene Grace, but it only has 5 PP and runs off of Dunsparce's slightly lower Special Attack. Take Down (level 22) is handy since Frustration should have run its course, but Dunsparce shouldn't have a full-power Return. Glare (level 29) can be used to compensate for Dunsparce's low Speed. Thunder Wave is generally preferred due to its perfect accuracy, but at least Glare can hit Ground-types. Dig (level 31) provides extra coverage, but you should have the TM by this point. Double-Edge (level 34) is a 120 power Normal attack that serves as a respectable replacement to Return. The recoil can be nasty, but you can always use healing items after the battle. Coil (level 37) turns Dunsparce into a (mediocre) tank, but don't expect it to be as effective as Serperior. Drill Run (level 43) is a Ground move with the same power as Dig, but an increased critical hit rate. Finally, I want to give a shout out to Endure (level 40) and Flail (learned at level 49). Ideally, Dunsparce is supposed to survive a fatal attack with 1 HP, then wail on the opponent with a 200 power STAB attack. Except its 45 base Speed ruins this idea. As well as priority moves. So, no.

Dunsparce also picks up a ton of TMs. Return is an obvious STAB attack. Thunder Wave can be used to slow opponents down. Another notable is Rock Slide, which allows you to pull off the paraflinch combo. Keep in mind that Rock Slide only has 90% accuracy, so you only have a 63% chance of disabling your opponent if you use Thunder Wave and Rock Slide.

Dunsparce can learn Drill Run early from the Driftveil tutor, while Aqua Tail and Zen Headbutt can be found at the Lentimas Town tutor for a Coil set. Dunsparce also gets a wide special movepool. These special attacks can be used in conjunction with Charge Beam, which is guaranteed to raise Dunsparce's Special Attack (if it hits) due to Serene Grace.

Dunsparce is best at joining time, when it should have a relatively high BST compared to your other Pokémon. It's also a contender for the Castelia Gym with the Defense Curl and Rollout strategy, as mentioned above. Colress and Marshal are problems.

Dunsparce is alright for a while, but is quickly eclipsed. As I've stated multiple times, Lillipup evolves into Herdier at only level 16, which has slightly higher Attack and can utilize a brutal Take Down. More importantly, it evolves into Stoutland, whereas Dunsparce is stuck with the same stats the entire game. Without its main niche in paraflinching, it's not really worth using.

Name: Audino

Type: Normal

Abilities: Healer or Regenerator

Preferred Ability: Regenerator, as guaranteed healing is better than a crapshoot of healing an ally of a status effect in a rare double or triple battle.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Dunsparce1036086608650

First Encountered: It is encountered in rustling grass on Route 20. However, I recommend waiting for the Virbank Complex or even Route 16 rustling grass, since the Route 20 Audinos will be severely underleveled.

Rating: Low

This Pokémon serves one main use: experience farming. If you ever have an underleveled Pokémon, Audino will solve your woes.

Audino is the Unova region's Chansey, but with more balanced stats. It has high HP and nice defenses, but low attacking stats and Speed. It's meant to function as a cleric, healing teammates with Wish and Heal Bell, or as a supporter during double or triple battles with moves such as Helping Hand and Heal Pulse. Unfortunately, it can't serve as a cleric since Wish is an egg move. It learns Heal Bell from a move tutor, but you're better off using Casteliacones. In addition, double and triple battles aren't common enough to warrant the use of moves such as Helping Hand. So, uh, you're left with a Normal-type with poor offenses.

It starts off with Pound, but picks up DoubleSlap (level 10). It has an average of 45 power, but only 85% accuracy. Really? You're better off with Frustration. Attract (level 15) can immobilize the foe if you're lucky.

Secret Power (level 20) is an interesting attack. It is a 70 power physical Normal move, so it has respectable power when Audino picks it up. More importantly, it has a 30% chance of inflicting a status effect depending on the terrain (similar to the Geomancer class in a handful of Final Fantasy titles). Here are the various effects (thank you Bulbapedia):

TerrainSide Effect
Building, Normal TerrainParalysis
SandAccuracy lowered by one stage
Cave, RockFlinch
Tall grassSleep
WaterAttack lowered by one stage
PuddlesSpeed lowered by one stage
Snow, IceFreeze

As you can see, it's a rather gimmicky attack that's typically not worth using, but the status effects can be helpful. On ice tiles, Audino has a ridiculous 30%(!) chance of freezing the foe, but Audino can only take advantage of this in a handful of Plasma battles.

Take Down (level 30) is a solid attack if Return isn't up to par. Heal Pulse and Simple Beam are too situational to use in-game.

It learns a ton of TM and tutor moves. Return is a staple STAB attack. Work Up increases its mediocre offensive stats, and Audino has the bulk to set it up. If you want to go on the defensive, it can set up Reflect and Light Screen, though their follies have been noted previously. Offensive moves include Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, and their souped-up counterparts. Dig, Psychic, Charge Beam, and Surf are other attacks to mess around with.

Colress and Marshal are both hard on Normal-types, but Audino will struggle to inflict damage in most battle.

Overall, Audino wants to function as a tank. However, offense is the more efficient way to go in-game, and Audino isn't a great tank anyway. Audino should just be a masochist, smiling as your monsters beat the tar out of it.

Names: Pansage -> Simisage

Type: Grass

Abilities: Gluttony

Evolution: Evolves with a Leaf Stone.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Pansage505348534864
Simisage7598639863101

First Encountered: You can encounter Pansage in shaking grass in the Lostlorn Forest.

Rating: Mid

Pansage is the first member of the elemental monkey trio. In Black and White, the elemental monkeys were used as part of a gimmick in the Striaton Gym to teach newcomers about the Grass-Fire-Water type triangle. Most people ditched their elemental monkeys soon after clearing the first Gym, but since their respective evolution stones were found around the third Gym, they could reach their final forms quickly.

So without the Striaton gimmick, how's Pansage in Black 2/White 2? It's still a decent Pokémon. There's a hidden Leaf Stone in the Lostlorn Forest, so it still reaches its final form fairly soon. Simisage is built like a glass cannon; it has nice attacking stats and Speed and okay HP, but low defenses. The pure Grass typing doesn't help it, either.

First and foremost, evolve your Pansage ASAP. While Pansage learns a couple of nifty moves such as Acrobatics (level 31), Grass Knot (level 34), and Crunch (level 43), it is not worth dragging along a Pansage for a while. Keep in mind that Simisage learns no new moves, though. Pansage itself knows Seed Bomb at joining time, a respectable 80 power physical Grass move that will probably serve as its main STAB throughout the game.

Although Simisage's movepool is barren, it can be augmented with TMs. Work Up boosts Pansage's attacking stats, and can even let it function as a mixed sweeper. Energy Ball is an alternative Grass attack that has a 10% chance of lowering the foe's Special Defense. Acrobatics, Dig, and Shadow Claw all provide physical coverage. Don't be tempted to slap on Rock Tomb or Rock Slide, as the Pansage line is weak to all of the types the Rock-type moves would be effective against. Low Kick is an option from the Driftveil tutor.

As a pure Grass-type, the Pansage line struggles in the Virbank, Castelia, Nimbasa, Mistralton, and Opelucid Gyms, the Elite Four, and Team Plasma. At least there are plenty of Water-types for it to attack later on.

Pansage is a solid Pokémon. There are better glass cannon Pokémon out there, and it will struggle with later Gyms since it's a Grass-type, but it's worth using.

Names: Pansear -> Simisear

Type: Fire

Abilities: Gluttony

Evolution: Evolves with a Fire Stone.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Pansear505348534864
Simisear7598639863101

First Encountered: You can encounter Pansear in shaking grass in the Lostlorn Forest.

Rating: Mid (Mid-Low)

Pansear was the weakest of the elemental monkey trio, since it received the worst STAB moves of the lot. The same remains true in the sequels, especially since there are more Fire-types available. Fortunately, like Pansage, Pansear reaps the benefits of early evolution since a Fire Stone can be found as early as the Desert Resort.

It starts with Flame Burst, which is weaker than Pansage's Seed Bomb or Panpour's Scald. If Flame Burst is used in a double or triple battle, it inflicts a small amount of damage to the target's adjacent allies, but it's only a little damage and the effect is somewhat situational. Once again, evolve your Pansear ASAP, even though it learns no new moves after evolution.

Like Simisage, Simisear has access to moves such as Work Up, Dig, Shadow Claw, Rock Slide, and Low Kick. You'll definitely want to teach Simisear Fire Blast later on, and possibly Flamethrower as well. Before you have access to these TMs, you may want to teach Simisear Fire Punch at the Driftveil tutor, which is slightly more powerful than Flame Burst. Heat Wave can be taught at the Lentimas Town Move Tutor. Although it's weaker than Fire Blast and less accurate than Flamethrower, it strikes all foes in double battles.

Simisear's matchups are nothing to write home about. It struggles in the Driftveil and Humilau Gyms, but can fry Colress' Steel-types to a crisp. Overall, it's not bad in major matchups, but don't expect it to be amazing.

Simisear is okay. It doesn't have the raw power of Darmanitan, Emboar, or Chandelure, and Arcanine possesses superior stats all around, but you can get a fully-evolved Simisear early on. It's best during the period between the Nimbasa and Mistralton Gyms, where the other Fire-types should still be coming into themselves. After the sixth Gym, though, the aforementioned Pokémon should reach their final form, and Simisear will be eclipsed. It's still usable, though, if you want a fully-evolved Fire-type ASAP.

Names: Panpour -> Simipour

Type: Water

Abilities: Gluttony

Evolution: Evolves with a Water Stone.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Pansear505348534864
Simisear7598639863101

First Encountered: You can encounter Panpour in shaking grass in the Lostlorn Forest.

Rating: Mid

Panpour was the best elemental monkey in Black/White. It was slightly underrated, considering that it was the second best Water-type in the game behind Oshawott (Tympole be damned) due to the previous Unova region's drought of Water-types. A flood of new Water-types came pouring in BW2, though, so Panpour doesn't stand out as much.

Unfortunately, Panpour cannot reap the benefits of early evolution like its siblings in BW2. While the other monkeys' stones are found early on, you get the Water Stone after you've obtained Surf. This means you're stuck with a Panpour in the Driftveil Gym, which is a real drag. It's worth noting that you can find Water Stones in the Castelia Sewers or Relic Path dust clouds. However, the chances of getting a specific item are so low that I wouldn't even bother searching.

Fortunately, Panpour comes with Scald, which is a much better STAB move than Seed Bomb or Flame Burst. It's especially nice in BW2 since the Scald TM is obtained so late. Since you'll have to deal with Panpour for a while, it may learn Acrobatics. It's nice, even though you'll get the TM for it soon after Panpour learns the attack. Needless to say, evolve your Panpour ASAP.

Simipour's TM selection is slightly nicer than the other monkeys', though. Surf and Ice Beam are staples. Since you won't have Ice Beam by the Opelucid Gym, Ice Punch or Blizzard can work in its place. Shadow Claw gains additional coverage, though even a super-effective Shadow Claw is only slightly more powerful than Surf. Work Up is an option to boost its attacking stats. It gets some physical attacks, but they get pretty redundant coverage alongside Simipour's Water- and Ice-type attacks.

Water-types are solid in major battles. Panpour will struggle in the Nimbasa Gym, but other than that, it doesn't have any poor major matchups.

If you obtained the Water Stone earlier (or if you have the patience to go dust cloud hunting for God knows how long), Panpour would be much better. As it is, it's still better than a lot of Water-types in the region. Early on, it struggles a little bit since it's caught near the Nimbasa Gym and has to deal with the Chargestone Cave right after it evolves, but it drowns the Ground-types in the Driftveil Gym and evolves at a reasonable time. If you didn't pick Oshawott and don't feel like waiting for a later Water-type like Staryu, Panpour can fulfill the role of the obligatory Water-type.

Names: Venipede > Whirlipede > Scolipede

Type: Bug/Poison

Abilities: Poison Point or Swarm

Preferred Ability:

Evolution: Evolves at level 22; evolves at level 30

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Venipede304559303957
Whirlipede405599407947
Scolipede6090895569112

First Encountered: You can encounter Venipede on Route 20.

Rating: Low

Woo hoo, it's another Bug! Scolipede's stats are kind of strange; it has good Attack, high Speed, and decent Defense, though its other stats are fairly low. (Oddly, Whirlipede actually loses 10 base Defense and Special Defense upon evolving.) Now, Scolipede actually has several things going for it, but getting there is the hard part. Venipede's Attack may be okay in the early game. However, level 22 is a late time to reach its second stage, and Whirlipede's Attack just isn't cutting it. At least it reaches its final form at level 30, which is fairly early for a final stage Pokémon.

Movepool! You have access to Defense Curl and Rollout, which is once again a decent combo for the Castelia Gym. Its main STAB attack, though, is Poison Sting. Enjoy that 15 base power. Its next notable move doesn't come until level 19, where it learns the 50 power Poison Tail (level 19), which at least has two effects: a chance of poisoning and an increased critical hit ratio. Bug Bite (level 22) is learned right before it evolves. Unfortunately, Venipede doesn't learn any notable attacks. Venoshockruns off of its crap Special Attack stat, while Scolipede won't need Agility due to its high base Speed.

So, you've put up with a crappy Pokémon for around 20 levels. Is Scolipede worth it? Well, it certainly brings some new moves to the table. First off, go to the Move Relearner and teach it Megahorn, a 120 power Bug attack. That is sick, especially around the fifth Gym, and almost makes you forget about Venipede and Whirlipede's crap damage.

Dig and Rock Slide provide coverage, while Aqua Tail and Superpower are learned at the Lentimas Town tutor. Unfortunately, the Poison Jab TM is found in the post-game, so it's stuck with Poison Tail as its most powerful Poison attack. Still, it has Megahorn, so it's not a huge deal.

Surprisingly, Venipede does alright against the early Gyms. It does okay in the Aspertia Gym, and even does fine in the Virbank Gym since it resists Poison-type attacks. (Keep in mind that Roxie's Whirlipede can use Protect to stop a Rollout rampage.) It does well against Burgh's Swadloon and Leavanny, though Dwebble will smack it down. Elesa's Flame Charge Zebstrika isn't too kind to it, though, and the Driftveil and Mistralton Gyms give it problems.

While some people may praise Scolipede, I believe the Venipede line isn't worth it. Although Scolipede is a solid physical sweeper, you have to put up with a fairly poor Pokémon for 20 levels (despite its decent Gym matchups), and it starts struggling against Gyms right when it comes into its own. It doesn't help that a lot of Pokémon resist Scolipede's Megahorn. If you really want a good Bug-type, go with Heracross. Sewaddle is also a good option. You don't need to baby a Venipede.

Names: Koffing > Weezing

Type: Poison

Ability: Levitate

Evolution: Evolves at level 35

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Koffing406595604535
Weezing6590120857060

First Encountered: You can encounter Koffing in the Virbank Complex

Rating: Low

Look at the cute little toxic ball! (:DOX) Koffing has been a mascot for various Pokémon websites, the most prominent of which is Smogon.

Weezing has impressive Defense along with solid attacking stats, but the rest of its stats are unimpressive. Poison is an unremarkable offensive and defensive typing, but Weezing has one immunity and a solid four resistances. Unfortunately, Koffing evolves all the way at level 35, so you're stuck with those stats for a while.

Koffing's starting movepool is unremarkable. Smog has a 40% chance of poisoning the target, but has a measly 20 power and only 70% accuracy! You're better off with Assurance (level 12), even though it's a non-STAB attack with only 50 power. Clear Smog (level 15) provides another 50 power attack, but it has STAB and removes the target's stat changes. It will tide Koffing over for a few levels until it picks up Sludge (level 18), a 65 power Poison attack with a 30% chance of poisoning the target. Koffing finally picks up a good STAB attack, Sludge Bomb (level 34) right before it evolves into Weezing. Sludge Bomb has 90 power and a 30% chance of poisoning the target. It should serve as the Koffing line's main attack for the remainder of the game.

The Koffing line picks up a decent amount of TMs. If you're feeling lucky, you can try using Venoshock early on. However, Koffing has no reliable way to inflict poison until it picks up Toxic. By the time you get Toxic, Weezing should just be hurling Sludge Bombs at the foe. If you insist on trying Venoshock, use Sludge to poison the foe; even though Smog has a higher chance of poisoning the foe, it only has a 28% chance of poisoning a foe when accuracy is filtered in. Weezing can use Fire Blast or Flamethrower to hit Steel-types. It also learns Thunderbolt, but that TM comes at the end of the game, so it'll have to make due with Thunder until then. Dark Pulse is also there.

Gym matchups. Koffing does well in the Castelia Gym (watch out for Dwebble), but it's absolutely terrible against Colress' Steel- and Psychic-types and is also poor against Ghetsis. Caitlin also causes it trouble.

I can't recommend Mr. Smiles, unfortunately. Its damage output is simply lacking, and its major matchups don't cut it. Couple this with a long evolution time, and you have an underwhelming Pokémon. It should make you crack a smile, though.

Names: Magnemite -> Magneton -> Magnezone

Type: Electric/Steel

Abilities: Magnet Pull or Sturdy

Recommended Ability: Sturdy. Neither ability is useful in-game, but Sturdy is more practical since the computers don't switch. Save the steel trapping for competitive play, where Magnezone can terrorize Skarmory and Ferrothorn.

Evolution: Evolves at level 30; evolves when leveled up at the Electric Rock in Chargestone Cave

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Magnemite253570955545
Magneton5060951207070
Magnezone70701151309060

First Encountered: You can encounter Magnemite in the Virbank Complex.

Rating: High

Magnemite and Magneton are two of the six Pokémon that have been in every regional Pokédex (the others being the Psyduck and first two members of the Zubat families), and is one of three Pokémon to get a type change through the generations. While the Magnemite line is interesting for trivia, how do they fare in battle?

Like the Mareep line, the Magnemite line has high Special Attack, but trades an Electric-type's typical Speed for bulk. It pulls this role off better than the Mareep's line due to higher defenses and a spectacular defensive typing that grants twelve resistances and one immunity. Magnemite should reach its final form slower than Mareep, and has to wait until level 30 to evolve even once, but at least it should get its second evolution soon after its first one.

Before you pick up Magnemite, you'll need to decide if you want a Magneton or a Magnezone. While Magnezone seems like the clear winner, Magneton actually has a couple of advantages over its evolution. Magneton's biggest advantage is the Eviolite, which boosts both of its defenses by 50%. This makes Magneton bulkier than Magnezone, despite its 20 lower base HP. Magneton is slightly faster than Magnezone as well, though it's nothing to write home about. Although its base Special Attack is lower, Magneton still has a great 120 Special Attack to work with. On the other hand, Magnezone has more flexibility with its items, as it can use items such as Lucky Egg without sacrificing its defenses. Magnezone also has an excellent 130 base Special Attack, and its damage output can be enhanced with items. Basically, it comes down to bulk and slightly higher Speed versus slightly higher Special Attack and item flexibility. I prefer Magnezone since it can equip the Lucky Egg without sacrificing its defenses, but it comes down to personal preference.

Remember Mareep's drought of good STAB Electric attacks? Magnemite has it even worse, as it starts with ThunderShock and doesn't pick up another special Electric attack until an outrageous level 34. At least it gets a nice 95 Special Attack to utilize ThunderShock with, but still. Magnemite also starts off with SonicBoom, which inflicts a flat 20 damage. SonicBoom inflicts solid damage when Magnemite joins, though it quickly becomes obsolete. It gets Supersonic at joining time and learns Thunder Wave (level 15) , so it can attempt the parafusion combination. However, Magnemite's even less reliable at this combo than Mareep since Supersonic has an awful 55% accuracy, so just stick with Thunder Wave. Magnet Bomb (level 18) is a 60 power special Steel attack that never misses, and will serve as Magnemite's main STAB for a while. Mirror Shot (level 25) is a decent special Steel attack at 65 base power, and has a 30% chance of lowering the target's accuracy. However, 85% accuracy is abysmal for such an attack. Metal Sound (level 29) is much better. Since the computer won't switch out, just use Metal Sound to really crank up the damage.

Things look slightly better for Magneton and Magnezone. At level 34, it finally picks up another Electric attack, Electro Ball. Once again, the Magnemite line isn't naturally fit for this attack due to their low Speed, but you can combo it with Thunder Wave. Flash Cannon (level 39) is an excellent 90 power special Steel attack, and should be a permanent part of Magneton/Magnezone's roster. The last notable move learned is Discharge (level 51) which is a nice Electric attack with a 30% chance of paralysis. You should soon get Thunderbolt to replace it, though.

The Magnemite line only learns a handful of notable TM and tutor moves. Obviously, when you get Thunderbolt at the end of the game, immediately teach it to Magnezone. Signal Beam is useful for additional special coverage. Charge Beam can be slapped on due to the line's dearth of special Electric-type attacks, while Rain Dance and Thunder are also options. Volt Switch is an option if you desperately want a special attack, but its in-game drawbacks have been mentioned above. While I normally gravitate towards offensive moves, Iron Defense can be fine during a long battle due to the Magnemite line's many resistances.

It's worth noting that the Magnemite line does really well at the Gyms. Obviously, it's terrible in the Driftveil Gym, and two members of Drayden's team will rip it apart with Ground- and Fighting-type attacks. However, it's a perfect counter to the Virbank Gym, since Magnemite is immune to their STAB Poison attacks and resists the Poison-types' other weak attacks. It also resists the STAB attacks of Burgh's Pokémon, though it will have to resort to SonicBoom for decent damage against Swadloon and Leavanny. While Elesa's Zebstrika has Flame Charge, the Magnemite line can easily shrug off the attacks of her other Pokémon (though there's an even better option for this battle). Magnezone dominates the Mistralton and Seigaiha Gyms, and can even stand up to Drayden's deadly Haxorus by resisting all of its attacks and paralyzing it to counter the Speed boosts from Dragon Dance. Its slew of resistances even make it handy against Caitlin's teams and half of Shauntal and Grimsley's teams.

The Magnemite line has a killer Special Attack stat, and solid defenses backed by a slew of resistances. However, it doesn't get a decent Electric attack for 20 levels, which undermines its great Special Attack. Due to its late first evolution, it will also start lagging for a while around the fourth Gym. Still, Magnemite's nice Gym matchups and resilience make it a good choice for an Electric-type.

View as a single printable page: Variable | Fixed-Width | Source Code