Pokemon Comparison FAQ by Magicxgame

Version 1.02, Last Updated 2012-11-04

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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)

Name: Tynamo -> Eelektrik -> Eelektross

Type: Electric

Ability: Levitate

Evolution: Evolves at level 39; evolves with a ThunderStone

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Tynamo355540454060
Eelektrik658570757040
Eelektross85115801058050

First Encountered: You can encounter Tynamo in the Chargestone Cave.

Rating: Mid (Mid-Low)

No weak! Eelektross has great attacking stats, backed up by its solid defenses and no weaknesses. Its only flaw is its low Speed. In addition, it has an expansive movepool. So far so good, right? Well, if you really want that Eelektross, you have to deal with a Tynamo until level 39. To make matters worse, it's in the Slow Experience group. It's even worse than babying Joltik, since Tynamo has worse stats and reaches its next form slower.

The pain doesn't stop there. Tynamo's natural movepool consists of Charge Beam, Spark, Tackle, and Thunder Wave. That's on par with Volcarona's starting moveset, but at least the moth had fierce stats and could learn Signal Beam! Tynamo will be absolutely hopeless for 11 levels.

When Tynamo finally evolves into Eelektrik, it learns Crunch (level 39), the best physical Dark attack. Now, you have a choice: immediately evolve Eelektrik into Eelektross, or wait five more levels for Thunderbolt (level 44). The Thunderbolt TM is obtained at the end of the game, so getting it earlier is a real perk. I recommend evolving Eelektrik immediately, as Eelektross can use Thunderpunch to take advantage of its higher Attack stat or relearn Discharge to compensate for its low Speed. Eelektrik can also learn Acid Spray (level 49) to give its numerous special attacks more kick, but it is definitely not worth the wait.

That's it for the Tynamo line's natural movepool, so let's focus on Eelektross' numerous TM and tutor moves. Teach it Thunderpunch right off the bat for a solid physical Electric attack. When you get the Wild Charge TM in Victory Road, it should become Eelektross' main attack. Thunderbolt is also an excellent attack if you dislike the recoil. Acrobatics is a boon to any Pokémon, even though Eelektross lacks STAB. Fire Punch, Aqua Tail, and even Signal Beam are other options.

Like all Electric-types, Eelektross does well in the Mistralton and Humilau Gym and against the numerous Water-types later on.

While finding and nurturing Tynamo is terrible, it evolves into a pretty good Pokémon. Granted, I've stated that type coverage is overrated in-game, but Eelektross' combination of power and bulk eventually pays off. These two factors cancel each other out and give it a "Mid" rating. Adjust the rating based on your patience.

Name: Frillish -> Jellicent

Type: Water/Ghost

Abilities: Water Absorb or Cursed Body

Recommended Ability: Cursed Body, as the opponents won't use water attacks on the Frillish line. Disabling a clutch move can also be helpful.

Evolution: Evolves at level 40.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Frillish554050658540
Jellicent10060708510560

First Encountered: You can encounter Frillish by Surfing in Virbank City. However, I recommend catching one by Surfing on Route 13 instead, since the Virbank Frillish are very underleveled.

Rating: Mid

Female Jellicent just wants to give you a big ol' smooch! Go on, give it a big one!

Jellicent's HP and Special Defense are notable, though the rest of its stats aren't. Its Water/Ghost typing gives it two immunities, which is always helpful, while Cursed Body can screw your opponents over at random times. It evolves at level 40; however, since level 25-40 Frillish can be caught on Route 13, this isn't too bad. I'll assume you're catching a higher-level Frillish.

Since you should have Surf and Shadow Ball by the time you catch Frillish, almost none of its level-up moves are notable. Ominous Wind (level 27) has an incredible effect, although its power and PP are terrible. Jellicent also learns Hydro Pump(level 53), whose power makes up for Jellicent's slightly lacking offense, although you're better off with the more reliable Surf.

Surf and Shadow Ball should be Jellicent's staple STABs. Ice Beam is another excellent move, while Blizzard is a nice substitute for the Opelucid Gym as long as you use accuracy modifiers. Due to its Ghost immunity, Psychic is also a handy attack. Giga Drain is helpful against fellow Water-types, and makes up for the damage Jellicent should take since it will probably move last. Don't use Energy Ball Jellicent unless you want someone to rage.

Jellicent does well against Caitlin and Marshal (keep in mind that half of Caitlin's Pokémon have Shadow Ball), although Shauntal and Grimsley can prey on its weaknesses.

Jellicent's just another ho-hum Water-type. It does well against Caitlin and Marshal, though.

Type: Water

Abilities: Healer or Hydration

Recommended Ability: Hydration. Rain is rare, but at least it's a reliable ability.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
1657580404565

First Encountered: You can encounter Alomomola by Surfing in Virbank City. However, I recommend catching one by Surfing on Route 21 instead, since the Virbank Alomomola are very underleveled.

Rating: Bottom

Oh boy, we're in trouble. Alomomola has a staggering 165 base HP, backed up by a decent 80 base Defense. However, its special stats are simply horrid, while its other stats are mediocre. Alomomola's natural movepool is geared towards supporting its team, but it doesn't pan out well in-game. Double and triple battles aren't common enough to necessitate the use of moves such as Heal Pulse (level 17), Helping Hand (level 49), or Wide Guard (level 57). Healing moves such as Wish (level 37) and Healing Wish (level 57) are rendered obsolete by healing items. Alomomola's main flaw, however, is its complete lack of offense. Its only physical STAB attack before Waterfall is Aqua Jet. Yes, the 40 power Aqua Jet. You could teach it Surf, but Alomomola's Special Attack is terrible.

Waterfall should be slapped on Alomomola as soon as it gets the HM. Return gets nice synergy alongside Waterfall, but Alomomola will still be a poor attacker. Toxic is also an option, since it won't be inflicting any damage otherwise.

Alomomola will have trouble in major matchups due to it inability to inflict significant damage.

The in-game environment is cruel to Alomomola. It can't take advantage of its vast supporting movepool, it has problems dealing damage, and it will take a lot of damage from special attacks despite its high HP. It levels up quickly, but that's not enough to save it from the depths of obscurity. Ignore this.

Name: Axew -> Fraxure -> Haxoru

Type: Dragon

Abilities: Rivalry or Mold Breaker

Recommended Ability: Mold Breaker. While Haxorus can't take advantage of the ability in-game, Rivalry is too inconsistent to use.

Evolution: Evolves at level 38; evolves at level 48

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Axew468760304057
Fraxure6611770405067
Haxorus7614790607097

First Encountered: You can encounter Axew in Mistralton Cave.

Rating: Mid (Mid-High)

I expect some people are up in arms over Axew's "Mid" rating. Just calm down and put the pitchforks away for a second. Yes, I gave the Axew line a "Mid" rating. The Axew line was grossly overrated in Black/White's storyline, generating an absurd amount of undeserved praise. People gushed over how powerful and awesome Haxorus was, neglecting to mention that they would only get a Haxorus when they were at the Elite Four's doorstep. As if that wasn't bad enough, it had a poor matchup in the Icirrius Gym and a questionable matchup in the Opelucid Gym, making it harder to train. I would go so far as to give it a "Mid Low" ranking in Black/White. However, this is BW2, and the higher level cap means that you have more time to bash heads in with Haxorus.

Haxorus has a monstrous 147 base Attack, a great 97 base Speed, and a solid 90 Defense. Its HP and Special Defense aren't special, though. To make matters even better, only Steel-types resist its STAB attacks. Of course, getting a Haxorus is the hard part. Since Fraxure evolves so late, you'll only get a Haxorus after clearing all of the Gyms. Fortunately, a Dragon Dance Fraxure holding an Eviolite can hold its own in the meantime.

Axew comes with Dragon Claw, which will serve as its main attack the entire game. A couple of levels later, it learns the amazing Dragon Dance (level 32), which boosts its Attack and Speed by one stage. These two attacks are the Axew line's bread and butter. Eviolite Fraxure appreciates Dragon Dance, as it patches up its low Speed while the Eviolite boosts its low defenses. However, Haxorus learns Swords Dance (level 50), which boosts its gargantuan Attack by two stages. Since Haxorus is fast enough in-game, I recommend using Swords Dance instead. Or you could just keep both attacks. Unfortunately, Outrage (level 66) is learned too late to use during the storyline.

Dig smashes the Steel-types that resist Dragon Claw, while Shadow Claw and Rock Slide are TMs. Dual Chop can potentially break through Sturdy, though most Sturdy Pokémon have high Defense and Dual Chop's 90% accuracy is a turn off. Aqua Tail is another useful tutor move.

Training the Axew line in the Opelucid Gym is iffy, since they can dish out plenty of damage with Dragon attacks, but take plenty of damage in return.

Haxorus is an extremely powerful Pokémon that can tear through teams with ease. However, you'll have to nurture Axew and Fraxure for nearly 20 levels before you get this powerful weapon. If you're willing to put in the time, Haxorus will make it worthwhile. It's not "godly" or "broken" or anything, but it's solid enough during the storyline.

Type: Normal

Ability: Immunity

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
7311560606090

First Encountered: You can encounter Zangoose on Route 7.

Rating: Mid

I'm sure Generation III fans know which Pokémon is coming up next.Zangoose is a glass cannon, with high Attack and decent Speed, but low defenses. It's in the Erratic Experience group (600,000 EXP to reach level 100). Immunity is an okay ability, but nothing special.

Zangoose's only notable starting move is Crush Claw, which should tide it over until it has a powered-up Return. Crush Claw is slightly weaker than Strength, but has a 50% chance of lowering the opponent's Defense. X-Scissor (level 36) is okay, but you get the TM on the same route you can catch Zangoose. Swords Dance (level 43) is a welcome boost for Zangoose. Close Combat (level 47) represents Zangoose's glass cannon nature perfectly.

Return should be Zangoose's main attack. Shadow Claw is also an excellent coverage move, since Zangoose is immune to Ghost-type attacks. The elemental punches, Drain Punch, Dig, and Rock Slide are other options. Zangoose also gets a slew of special attacks, but its 60 base Special Attack makes this a poor option, even with Work Up.

Zangoose does decently against Shauntal since it's immune to the STAB Ghost attacks of her Pokémon, though they can still smack Zangoose around with their other STABs. Keep Zangoose far away from Marshal!

Zangoose can dish it out, but it can't take it. Swords Dance and Close Combat make it stand out, although it isn't as adept at setting up as Excadrill, Volcarona, or even Lilligant. It's a pretty good Pokémon, but Stoutland is probably a better Normal-type due to its bulk.

Type: Poison

Ability: Shed Skin

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
73100601006065

First Encountered: You can encounter Seviper on Route 7.

Rating: Low

This Pokémon is proof that Game Freak is creatively bankrupt. "Let's take Arbok and add a stripe! Boom, done for the day." It's supposed to be Zangoose's rival, but Seviper clearly got the short end of the stick in development. Like Zangoose, Seviper is a glass cannon. However, while its HP and defenses are on par with Zangoose's, its Attack and Speed are notably worse. It has a high Special Attack, but the lower Attack, crappy Speed, and worse STAB make it a losing trade. It has more resistances than Zangoose, but don't expect it to take a hit. Shed Skin is unreliable, but it may save a Casteliacone.

Its most powerful attack from the get-go is Venoshock. You don't get the Toxic TM until late in the game, so you'll have to rely on Poison Fang for a 30% chance of bad poison. Night Slash is also in Seviper's starting repitroire, but Seviper is still a poor match against Psychic-types. Poison Jab (level 42) is probably Seviper's best Poison attack, even if it is slightly underwhelming for a main attack. Crunch (level 45) should replace Night Slash. Coil (level 49) turns Seviper into a mediocre tank.

TM time. Aqua Tail provides coverage. Flamethrower and Dig are for Steel-types that are immune to Seviper's main STAB attack. Sludge Bomb is unavailable during the storyline. Don't be tempted to use Toxic in tandem with Venoshock, as you're better off using Poison Jab.

Seviper is terrible against Caitlin and Colress, and isn't really special in any major matchups.

Do yourself a favor and save a Poke Ball. Seviper makes a mediocre sweeper due to its lackluster STAB, poor Speed, and poor defenses, and there are better Coil users out there. At least it's better than the Trubbish line.

Name: Elgyem -> Beheeyem

Type: Psychic

Abilities: Telepathy or Synchronize

Recommended Ability: Synchronize, as double and triple battles aren't common enough for Telepathy to be useful.

Evolution: Evolves at level 42

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Elgyem555555855530
Beheeyem7575751259540

First Encountered: You can encounter Elgyem in the Celestial Tower.

Rating: Mid

Dude, bro, I totally saw a UFO! Beheeyem has a similar stat spread as Reuniclus: both have 125 Special Attack and a decent 75 Defense, along with nice Special Defense. However, Beheeyem trades some of Reuniclus' massive HP for a smidge of Attack and Speed, which is a terrible trade. Elgyem evolves at an agonizing level 42; although you can find level 32 Elgyem in the Celestial Tower, you still have to baby it for ten levels while the rest of your party should be reaching their final forms.

Elgyem's problems continue at joining time. It starts with a Psychic attack, Zen Headbutt, but it runs off of Elgyem's low Attack. It can relearn Psybeam, though it's a poor use of a Heart Scale. Elgyem finally gets its act together at level 39, when it learns Psychic (level 39). Beheeyem quickly learns Calm Mind (level 45), which boosts its special stats by one stage. Since the Calm Mind TM is only avaiable in the post-game, this gives Beheeyem a niche over other Psychic-types in-game.

Shadow Ball, Energy Ball, and Thunderbolt are other choices.

Once more, Psychic-types aren't great during major battles. Beheeyem does well against Marshal, but doesn't fare too well against the Team Plasma higher-ups, Shauntal, or Grimsley. All of Drayden's Pokémon carry Dark-type attacks as well.

Beheeyem has solid stats, and access to Calm Mind is welcome. However, you'll have to baby Elgyem for a little while, which can be annoying. Espeon and Sigilyph are both superior, but Beheeyem is decent enough.

Name: Litwick -> Lampent -> Chandelure

Type: Ghost/Fire

Abilities: Flame Body or Flash Fire

Recommended Ability: Flame Body, as the opponent won't use Fire attacks on Chandelure. Besides, its Special Attack is already overkill.

Evolution: Evolves at level 41; evolves with a Dusk Stone

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Litwick503055655520
Lampent604060956055
Chandelure6055901459080

First Encountered: You can encounter Litwick in the Celestial Tower.

Rating: High

This is one of those reviews I'm sure everyone's been waiting for. I admit, I underrated Litwick's in-game prowess for quite a while. I guess you could say I've warmed up to the little guy.

Chandelure's claim to fame is its phenomenal 145 base Special Attack, which is the highest of any non-legendary Pokémon and the highest that you will encounter during the storyline. It also has solid Speed and good defenses, though its HP is low. Fire/Ghost is a mixed bag as a defensive typing; two immunities and several resistances are always welcome, but five weaknesses are not. Still, Chandelure has the firepower to blaze through its opponents before they can exploit its weaknesses. Still, to get a Chandelure, you'll have to baby a Litwick until level 41 before using a Dusk Stone. While Litwick is awful, you also get the Lucky Egg in the Celestial Tower, so it's not the end of the world. Make sure you catch a level 33 Litwick at the top of the Tower.

Litwick's only notable starting move is Flame Burst, which will remain on its arsenal for quite a while. It only has 70 base power, but Chandelure's monstrous Special Attack should make up for it. Hex can be combined with Will-O-Wisp. Needless to say, Litwick will have offensive issues. When Litwick finally evolves into Lampent, immediately use a Dusk Stone to evolve it into Chandelure. Litwick's only notable moves are Shadow Ball (level 53) and Overheat (level 69), and you should get the TM for the former at around the same time you can get a Dusk Stone.

Shadow Ball is Chandelure's staple STAB attack. You can pick up the Fire Blast TM for it a little later, but you should also keep Flame Burst due to Fire Blast's low PP. Heat Wave is an option from the Humilau City Move Tutor, but you're better off waiting for Flamethrower. Psychic is a solid option; watch out when using it against Marshal, though, since three of his Pokémon carry Rock-type attacks. Energy Ball is an option, though Chandelure is weak to all of the types that Energy Ball would be effective against.

Chandelure actually isn't notable against most major trainers. It's amazing against one of the Team Plasma higher-ups. However, you should only have a Litwick by the time you take on the Mistralton Gym, and the Opelucid and Humilau City Gyms have super-effective attacks for Chandelure. Caitlin is the only Pokémon League member that Chandelure is really effective against. Chandelure's Ghost attacks are effective against Shauntal's Pokémon, though they'll deal massive damage in return. It's immune to the STAB attacks of Marshal's Pokémon, but as stated earlier, almost all of them carry Rock-type attacks. It's not too hot against the Champion, either.

Chandelure's massive Special Attack and well-balanced stats make it a fine choice. It takes a while for Litwick to come into its own, and its late matchups aren't favorable. Once you reach the strange house, though, all bets are off.

#193-194 Heatmor-Durant

Heatmor and Durant are unavailable during the storyline.

Name: Cubchoo -> Beartic

Type: Ice

Ability: Snow Cloak

Evolution: Evolves at level 37

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Cubchoo557040604040
Beartic9511080708050

First Encountered: You can encounter Cubchoo on Route 7 in the winter.

Rating: Low

Generation V's Ursaring. Seriously, their designs and base stats are eerily similar. Like Ursaring, Beartic boasts great Attack and HP along with decent defenses, but low Speed. Don't expect to take advantage of Snow Cloak in-game. Pure Ice is a mixed bag; while Ice is an excellent STAB typing, it's a horrid defensive typing, as it has one resistance and is plagued by four weaknesses. Level 37 is pushing it, but you may have a Beartic by the Mistralton Gym.

Cubchoo's starting moveset is terrible. Enjoy Charm, Brine, Endure, and Fury Swipes or Slash (level 33). You may want to go back to the Driftveil City Move Tutor and teach Cubchoo Ice Punch if you're serious about training it. Flail (level 36) is meant to be used in tandem with Endure, but just like Dunsparce, the Cubchoo line is terrible at pulling this off due to its low Speed. When you get a Beartic at level 37, it learns Icicle Crash, which has a respectable 85 base power and a 30% chance of causing the opponent to flinch. Beartic can't make use of its side effect due to its low Speed, though, and 90% accuracy is a little disappointing. Still, it should be slapped on Beartic. Thrash (level 59) is its last notable attack. Don't bother with Hail (level 53); Blizzard (level 45) is not worth it due to Beartic's mediocre Special Attack, and Snow Cloak is too unreliable to take up a moveslot. Beartic can relearn Aqua Jet, but it's probably not worth it due to its low base power. Superpower is also an option, and you're better off having Beartic relearn it rather than spending 10 Blue Shards at the Lentimas Town Move Tutor.

As stated earlier, Ice Punch is a good option for the Cubchoo line. Although it's weaker than Icicle Crash, it has perfect accuracy, and its side effect will be more useful to the sluggish Beartic than Icicle Crash's. Low Kick is another decent option. There's also Dig, Rock Slide, Shadow Claw, and Return.

Beartic has an advantage against the Mistralton and Opelucid Gym's specialty types, but it's not sunshine and roses due to Beartic's weaknesses. It's only decent against Skyla, since her Skarmory will hit Beartic for super-effective damage with Steel Wing and neither it nor her Swanna is weak to ice attacks. All of Drayden's Pokémon are hit super-effectively by its ice attacks, but Drayden's Druddigon and Flygon will hit hard with a fully-powered Revenge and Rock Slide, respectively. (To add insult to injury, Flygon even has a 27% chance of flinching Beartic with Rock Slide, so it has around a 1-in-4 chance of beating Beartic one-on-one if Beartic is 2HKOed by the attack.) Four of the Champion's Pokémon are weak to Ice attacks, but all except one can hit Beartic for super-effective damage in return.

Beartic's not a good Ice-type. While Ice attacks are excellent, the bear's multiple weaknesses and low Speed make it a sub-par physical attacker.

#197-200 Cryogonal-Landorus

Cryogonal cannot be captured during the storyline. The Kami trio members Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus cannot be found in Black 2 or White 2.

Name: Skorupi -> Drapion

Type: Poison/Bug; Poison/Dark

Abilities: Sniper or Battle Armor

Recommended Ability: Sniper, as it makes Drapion's Night Slash attack lethal. Battle Armor is an acceptable alternative if you'd like to rely on Crunch.

Evolution: Evolves at level 40

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Skorupi405090305565
Drapion7090110607595

First Encountered: You can encounter Skorupi outside of Rebirth Mountain.

Rating: Mid

Drapion was the sturdiest Pokémon to use in the Generation IV Battle Tower. It could max out all of its stats with Acupressure, while Battle Armor protected it from critical hits. It helped Jumpman16 get a mind-boggling 2,366 wins in the Platinum Singles Battle Tower. (That's 337 full streaks, and God knows how long it took.) So while it's clearly useful in the post-game, how handy is it in the main game?

Drapion has a well-rounded stat spread. It has excellent Defense, nice Attack and Speed, and decent Special Defense, although its HP is underwhelming. Poison/Dark is a solid defensive typing against the Elite Four, as Drapion is immune to the STAB attacks of Caitlin's Pokémon and resists the STAB attacks of Shauntal and Grimsley's Pokémon. Skorupi evolves at level 40, which seems terribe; however, since it's encountered at level 35 or 37 in tall grass, it's not too bad.

Skorupi's starting movepool stinks. However, it learns Night Slash (level 38) quickly. Drapion gets STAB on this attack, which has a 1/8 chance of striking with 210 power thanks to Sniper. Drapion learns Crunch (level 49), which deals more damage than Night Slash on average even without the increased critical hit ratio (Night Slash deals 87.5 damage on average while Crunch deals 90 damage on average, factoring in Sniper and critical hit rates). However, if you give Drapion the Scope Lens to further boost its critical hit ratio, Night Slash will deal slightly more damage on average (105 VS 100, same factors as above). The choice is yours. The last notable move it learns is Cross Poison (level 57), which is basically a Poison-type Night Slash that also has a slight chance of poisoning the foe. If you're interested, Drapion can relearn Acupressure. However, due to PP reasons, you can't simply spam Acupressure until Drapion's stats are maxed out in every battle. Otherwise, it'd be Top Tier. The elemental fangs are available, though they're weak.

Aqua Tail, Dig, and Rock Slide can be taught to Drapion.

The Drapion line is solid. It does very well against every Elite Four member except Marshal and can even spam Acupressure to max out all of its stats against Ghetsis. While Sniper is a fantastic ability, it just isn't reliable, and Acupressure is also unreliable when it has limited uses. Use it if you feel like.

Type: Steel/Flying

Abilities: Sturdy or Keen Eye

Recommended Ability: Sturdy. While Keen Eye actually has some use in-game, this ability will make sure Skarmory isn't OHKOed by a surprise critical.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
6580140407070

First Encountered: You can encounter Skarmory outside of Rebirth Mountain.

Rating: Mid

Skarmory has been a staple of competitive play since its induction and, barring some massive upsets, will likely continue to be. However, competitive prowess doesn't translate into in-game prowess, so don't expect Skarmory to be nearly as fierce.

Skarmory has an okay stat spread. Its 140 base Defense is phenomenal, but its HP is mediocre while everything else is decent at best. The key lies in Skarmory's typing: Steel/Flying grants two immunities and nine resistances, with only two weaknesses in return. Sturdy is an okay ability, but you should see Electric- and Fire-type attacks coming from a mile away, while physical attacks have a low chance of OHKOing Skarmory.

Its natural movepool isn't too hot either. Steel Wing is its only notable move; a 70 power Steel attack with a 10% chance of raising Skarmory's Defense. Its power is decent, though the effect is overkill. Spikes aren't useful in-game due to the small team sizes and lack of constant switching. Autotomize (level 39) increases Skarmory's Speed by two stages and halves its weight, allowing it to attempt a sweep. Its only notable move is Night Slash (level 50), which provides extra coverage.

Aerial Ace is Skarmory's best Flying attack. Fly is another option, and can be combined with Toxic, though it deals less damage per turn. Iron Head is an alternative to Steel Wing, since it's more powerful and Skarmory can take advantage of its flinching effect after an Autotomize. Heck, even Return is an option.

Skarmory can wall Drayden's Pokémon, as well as a couple of Ghetsis' Pokémon all day. Only Grimsley's Scrafty (which is convinently weak to Flying attacks) can do much against Skarmory, and half of Shauntal's team can't do anything either. It also works against Marshal, though it trades a Flying-type's normal weakness to Rock attacks for a neutrality to Fighting attacks.

While opponents will struggle to damage Skarmory, it can't really damage the opposition in return due to its decent Attack and lackluster STABs. Feel free to use it, though there are more efficient Pokémon to use.

Name: Numel -> Camerupt

Type: Fire/Ground

Abilities: Oblivious/Magma Armor, Simple/Solid Rock

Recommended Ability: Simple/Solid Rock, as Magma Armor is extremely situational.

Evolution: Evolves at level 33

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Numel606040654535
Camerupt70100701057540

First Encountered: You can encounter Numel or Camerupt outside of Rebirth Mountain. (White 2 only)

Rating: Mid

If you've played Pokémon Ruby or Emerald, I'm sure that Team Magma has made you sick of the Numel line. Camerupt is a slow but solid sweeper, with nice attacking stats and low Speed. Unfortunately, it has lackluster bulk, so it will be hit for a decent amount of damage before it can strike. Fire/Ground provides excellent STAB, along with a handful of resistances and an immunity. The Water and Ground weakness hurt, but at least Earthquake and Water-type moves aren't everywhere like in competitive play.

I recommend catching a level 35 or lower Camerupt, as it will come with Lava Plume and Earth Power, both great attacks. If you catch a level 37 one, you'll have the inferior Yawn (level 36) over Lava Plume. Curse can make Camerupt into a tank, and Yawn can provide some free setup turns. However, Camerupt doesn't get a good physical Fire attack, so Curse isn't too useful. Earthquake (level 46) is a staple Ground attack, even if it comes a bit late. Don't bother with Eruption (level 52) due to Camerupt's low Speed.

If you hold off on evolution, Numel can learn Flamethrower (level 43), but you're better off evolving it or just catching a Camerupt to begin with.

Fire Blast is a good Fire attack, though you should keep Lava Plume around due to Fire Blast's low PP. Eventually, Lava Plume should be replaced with Flamethrower. Rock Slide obtains nice coverage with Camerupt's Ground-type moves. Rock Polish boosts Camerupt's crappy Speed.

Drayden's Flygon and Marlon are both hostile towards Camerupt, and the Champion doesn't like Fire-types either. At least it can roast Colress' Steel-types.

Camerupt obtains excellent attacks, but its low Speed and sub-par bulk let it down, and its offenses aren't high enough to compensate for it. It can't hold a candle to the likes of Darmanitan, Chandelure, or Arcanine, but it's decent enough.

Name: Spoink -> Grumpig

Type: Psychic

Abilities: Thick Fat or Own Tempo

Recommended Ability: Thick Fat, as additional resistances are always welcome.

Evolution: Evolves at level 32

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Spoink602535708060
Grumpig8045659011080

First Encountered: You can encounter Spoink and Grumpig outside of Rebirth Mountain. (Black 2 only)

Rating: Mid (Mid-Low)

Piggy! Grumpig has a decent stat spread. It has excellent Special Defense, along with solid Special Attack, Speed, and HP, but low Defense. Thick Fat provides two extra resistances.

I'll assume you've caught a level 33-37 Grumpig. Grumpig is yet another Pokémon with an unimpressive starting movepool. Its only starting STAB, Zen Headbutt, is unfortunately a physical attack. At least Power Gem (level 35) is a special move. If you're desperate for a special Psychic attack, you can reteach it Psybeam.Psyshock (level 42) finally provides Grumpig with a good special STAB move, though you should get the Psychic TM before long. Speaking of Psychic, Grumpig learns the attack at level 52, but you shouldn't have to wait that long.

Psychic is a staple attack for any special Psychic-type. Shadow Ball smashes fellow Psychic-types. Energy Ball and even Charge Beam are other options for it.

Yadda yadda...Psychics do well against Marshal, aren't so hot against Drayden, the Plasma higher-ups, or against half of the Elite Four.

Grumpig's a decent Psychic-type, even if it lacks a good STAB attack for a while. It's not as bulky or powerful as Reuniclus or as well-rounded as Gothitelle, but at least it comes into its own faster.

Name: Drifloon -> Drifblim

Type: Ghost/Flying

Abilities: Aftermath or Unburden

Recommended Ability: Aftermath. While your Pokémon should rarely (if ever) faint, you shouldn't be using consumable items by the time you get Drifblim.

Evolution: Evolves at level 28

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Drifloon905034604470
Drifblim1508044905480

First Encountered: You can encounter Drifblim outside of Rebirth Mountain.

Rating: Mid

In the Sinnoh games, you could encounter Drifloon on Fridays. It was a failed attempt to bring back the magic of the Johto games' Lapras, which made a triumphant return in HeartGold/SoulSilver. The first thing that should stick out is Drifblim's massive 150 base HP. However, this is counterbalanced by its awful defenses. At least it has good Special Attack, while its other stats are decent. Ghost/Flying provides three immunities, but five weaknesses in return. Drifblim's situational abilities don't help it either.

Drifblim always starts out with Stockpile and Hex, but its other moves depend on its level. Level 32-33 Drifblim will know Payback and Ominous Wind, while level 36-37 Drifblim will know Spit Up and Swallow. The only move worth keeping is possibly Ominous Wind for the stat boosts. Shadow Ball (level 40) is Drifblim's best Ghost attack, though you get the TM for it around the same time. Baton Pass (level 52) is cute, but not worthwhile in-game. You'll definitely want to re-teach Drifblim Minimize.

Thankfully, Drifblim learns the powerful Acrobatics and has a decent Attack stat to utilize it. You also get the Shadow Ball TM around the same time you can catch Drifblim, so you can teach Drifblim two STAB attacks right off the bat. Toxic can be used in synergy with Minimize and Stockpile to harass the opponent if you're patient. Psychic is an option for extra coverage against Poison-types. Charge Beam can boost its attack, while Thunderbolt is a late-game option.

Like Sigilyph, Drifblim does poorly in the late battles. All of Drayden's Pokémon hit it for super-effective damage, It doesn't do too well against the Team Plasma higher-ups, and is weak to the STAB attacks of Shauntal and Grimsley's Pokémon (though it can hit Shauntal's Pokémon with Shadow Ball in return). All of Caitlin's Pokémon except Reuniclus carry a super-effective attack against Drifblim, while all but one of Marshal's Pokémon carry a Rock-type attack. Over half of the Champion's team is hostile to it.

Drifblim is a mixed bag. On one hand, it has three resistances, it gets access to Shadow Ball and the amazing Acrobatics at joining time, and can become a mean tank with Minimize and Stockpile. However, its multiple weaknesses make it less than stellar in the late battles, while its low defenses undermine its massive HP. Overall, it's a usable Pokémon.

Name: Shuppet -> Banette

Type: Ghost

Abilities: Insomnia or Frisk

Recommended Ability: Insomnia all the way, as only a handful of in-game Pokémon utilize held items.

Evolution: Evolves at level 37

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Shuppet447535633345
Banette6411565836365

First Encountered: You can encounter Banette in the strange house.

Rating: Low

If there was a Pokémon watch list, then Banette would be on it alongside Hypno and Drifloon. Seriously, Game Freak, why are you trying to creep out your target audience? Banette's stats are sub-par. It has high Attack and decent Special Attack, but its other stats are low. At least an immunity to sleep is nice.

All Banette start with Hex, Shadow Ball, and Faint Attack. Level 32 Banette come with Curse, while level 34 Banette come with Sucker Punch (level 34). Curse may be worthwhile on stalling Banette, since the computer doesn't switch and you can always heal Banette after it uses the attack, but it's a poor idea with Banette's low defenses and Speed. Sucker Punch compensates for its low Speed, but the in-game AI is somewhat erratic and its coverage overlaps with Shadow Claw. None of its other attacks are worth noting.

Immediately teach Banette Shadow Claw. While it only has 70 base power, it's Banette's most powerful physical attack. Return is also an option for Normal-types, and is only slightly weaker than a STAB Shadow Claw at full power. Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt, and Psychic run off of its decent Special Attack.

Banette does decently against Caitlin (watch out for Shadow Ball) and Marshal, though it's iffy against Shauntal and poor against Grimsley. It also has problems against Colress.

Banette was abandoned for a reason. Like Camerupt, it has poor defenses and Speed, but Banette can't even take advantage of Camerupt's amazing STAB attacks. Leave it.

Name: Wingull -> Pelipper

Type: Water/Flying

Ability: Keen Eye

Evolution: Evolves at level 25

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Wingull403030553085
Pelipper6050100857065

First Encountered: You can encounter Pelipper on Route 13.

Rating: Low

I doubt anyone is looking for a Pelipper review, so I'll make this quick. Pelipper has nice Defense and solid Special Attack, but its other stats are underwhelming. Its crappy ability doesn't help.

Pelipper only has a couple of notable moves. Stockpile (level 39) is okay on its own, but don't use it in tandem with Spit Up or Swallow (both level 39). Hydro Pump (level 58) is an alternative to Surf due to Pelipper's slightly underwhelming Special Attack. It's a stretch, but Hurricane (level 63) may be an option for it as well. If you're going to overlevel, though, pick a better Pokémon than Pelipper.

Surf is a no-brainer. When you get the Ice Beam TM, it should go on Pelipper as well; Blizzard will suffice for the Opelucid Gym. Rain Dance boosts Pelipper's Water-type moves and gives Hurricane perfect accuracy. Toxic and Fly can be used in conjunction with Stockpile to make Pelipper a mediocre tank.

Have fun spamming Blizzard in the Opelucid Gym. Pelipper isn't notable anywhere else, though.

By the time you encounter Pelipper, you probably have a superior Water-type. Just stick to whatever you have.

Type: Rock/Psychic

Ability: Levitate

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
705565958570

First Encountered: You can encounter Lunatone on Route 13.

Rating: Low

I wonder what Pokémon is coming next?

Lunatone's stat spread is mediocre. It has nice Special Attack and solid Special Defense, but its remaining stats are mediocre. It has an immunity to Ground attacks and a handful of resistances, though it comes with a whopping six weaknesses.

Lunatone starts off with Psychic, so at least it doesn't have to put up with a crappy physical attack for several levels like Grumpig. Cosmic Power is an okay attack to boost its defenses, though those multiple weaknesses put a damper on it. Unless you want to reteach Lunatone the inaccurate Hypnosis, those are the only notable attacks it learns.

Rock Polish can bolster its mediocre speed. Earth Power and Shadow Ball provide coverage. Unfortunately, it can't learn Power Gem or Calm Mind.

It does fine against Marshal, but does poorly against Colress, Ghetsis, Shauntal, and Grimsley.

Lunatone is probably the worst Psychic-type you'll encounter on your adventures. Its Special Attack is decent; However, its numerous weaknesses, unimpressive other stats, and lack of Power Gem hurt it. Use another Psychic instead.

Type: Rock/Psychic

Ability: Levitate

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
709585556570

First Encountered: You can encounter Solrock on Route 13.

Rating: Low

Look familiar? Solrock is slightly better than Lunatone, though not by much.

Solrock's stat spread is nearly identical to Lunatone's; the physical and special stats were simply swapped. At least Solrock gets decent STABs for both of its types, although it's still stuck with the weaknesses.

Solrock's notable starting attack is Rock Slide. Stone Edge (level 41) is an alternative, although Rock Slide is more reliable. That's it for Solrock's natural movepool.

Immediately teach Zen Headbutt to Solrock. Rock Polish can help it attempt a sweep. Return and Iron Head are "fun" options.

Again, it's fine against Marshal, but poor against two other Elite Four members and the Plasma higher-ups.

Solrock's STABs are weaker than Lunatone's Psychic, but at least it gets a good Rock-type attack. Still, its mediocre stats and weaknesses mean it's outclassed as a physical sweeper.

Type: Dark

Abilities: Pressure or Super Luck

Recommended Ability: Super Luck, as extra criticals are always helpful. Pressure is wasted on an offensive, frail Pokémon.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
6513060756075

First Encountered: You can encounter Absol on Route 14.

Rating: Mid

Meet Absol, a fan favorite that has managed to find its way in every new region since its inception. Absol's amazing 130 base Attack should quickly jump out. Unfortunately, its Speed is mediocre while its defenses are just poor. It's a glass cannon without the Speed, although it gets an attack to make up for this.

Swords Dance is the only notable move in Absol's starting repritoire, as it has no STAB attacks at joining time. This is quickly remedied with Night Slash (level 41), which has a 25% chance of landing a critical thanks to Super Luck. Psycho Cut (level 49) also receives nice coverage alongisde Night Slash. Sucker Punch (level 52) is Absol's main STAB attack, and compensates for its low Speed. Simply use Swords Dance, then smack the foe with a powerful Sucker Punch before it can even attack! Unfortunately, Sucker Punch has low PP, and you may waste it on the AI's erratic actions.

Absol doesn't get much in the way of TMs or tutor moves. Zen Headbutt is inferior to Psycho Cut due to Super Luck, while Superpower gives it a powerful Fighting attack. Return, Rock Slide, and X-Scissor are other options.

Absol does well against Shauntal and Grimsley and can set up against Grimsley's weak Liepard. Obviously, don't use it against Marshal.

Absol lives up to its name of the Disaster Pokémon with its excellent 130 base Attack, along with Super Luck to increase its damage output. It also gets STAB on a powerful priority move. It's frail, though, and its two main STAB attacks are each unreliable. Landing criticals left and right is fun, though, so use Absol if it appeals to you.

Name: Tangela -> Tangrowth

Type: Grass

Abilities: Chlorophyll or Leaf Guard

Recommended Ability: Chlorophyll, as it patches up Tangrowth's low Speed.

Evolution: Evolves when it knows AncientPower and levels up

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Tangela65551151004060
Tangrowth1001001251105050

First Encountered: You can encounter Tangela on Route 13.

Rating: Mid (Mid-High)

For a decade, Tangela had a rough life. In Generation I, it stood alone as the only pure Grass-type. While Tangela was decent at its job, Exeggutor took the throne as the King of Grass-types. Unfortunately, it was shredded by Generation II's special split, as Game Freak strangely gave it an atrocious base 40 Special Defense. The addition of other pure Grass-types took away Tangela's only name to fame, and it languished away in the dark depths. Generation IV decided to rectify this mistake with Tangrowth.

Tangrowth has four beastly stats: its HP, Attack, Defense, and Special Attack all pass the base 100 mark. Its Special Defense and Speed are terrible, but the latter can be patched up with Chlorophyll. Unfortunately, Tangrowth has no way to boost its poor Special Defense and has five weaknesses for enemies to prey on. Its STAB is also mediocre.

Tangela always starts off with Giga Drain, which is the best special Grass attack. AncientPower (level 40) is a bad move for Tangela since it's weak to all of the types that the move would be effective against, but it needs to learn the attack to evolve. Wring Out (level 49) is a cute move for Tangrowth, as it strikes for 121 power if its target is at full health. You're better off with the more reliable Return, though. Power Whip (level 53) is another excellent Grass attack that should make it on Tangrowth's roster. Make sure you reteach Tangrowth Sleep Powder. You can also reteach it Growth, which boosts both of its attacking stats and raises them by two levels in the sunligh.

Tangrowth has a few notable TMs. Sunny Day patches up Tangrowth's low Speed, and can be used in conjunction with Growth and Solarbeam. However, this is a gimmicky option: you're better off just saving a moveslot by using Growth and Giga Drain. Using Growth twice as the same effect as using Sunny Day and Growth, while two Giga Drains deal more damage than one Solarbeam (three deal slightly less than two Solarbeams) while healing Tangrowth. Return, Rock Slide, and Payback are other options.

Unfortunately, as a Grass-type, Tangrowth isn't great in any major matchup aside from Marlon. Its high Defense, Sleep Powder, and resistance to Flygon's Earth Power makes it a solid choice against Drayden, though.

The pile of weeds is definitely one of the better Grass-types in the storyline. As always, pure Grass is a mediocre typing, but its four great stats and Sleep Powder make up for it. Tangela may be terrible, but Tangrowth definitely makes up for it.

Name: Mienfoo -> Mienshao

Type: Fighting

Abilities: Inner Focus or Regnerator

Recommended Ability: Regenerator. Reliable healing trumps an immunity to Fake Out's side effect.

Evolution: Evolves at level 50.

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Mienfoo458550555065
Mienshao65125609560105

First Encountered: You can encounter Mienfoo on Route 14.

Rating: Low

The Mienfoo line is yet another addition to Generation V's influx of Fighting-types. The line was terrible in Black/White, as you were stuck with a Mienfoo until the very end of the game. How does it fare in the sequels? A little better, but not much.

Mienshao is the classic glass cannon: it has excellent Attack and Speed, along with surprisingly high Special Attack, but low defenses. Fighting is also an excellent STAB, so it will be kicking butt with its main attacks. Don't expect to see these stats for a while, as you'll have to put up with Mienfoo all the way to an agonizing level 50. Yes, you'll be done with the Gyms before your Mienfoo evolves. Mienfoo may be the king of Little Cup, but it's not nearly as tough when it goes up against the big kids. Mienshao should come just in time to take on the Team Plasma higher-ups, but its evolution time is just awful.

Mienfoo starts off with Drain Punch, a solid STAB attack that will make up for all of the damage it will take. It also starts with Calm Mind, but you should focus on the Mienfoo line's more powerful physicals. You may also catch one with Jump Kick (level 37), which serves as its main STAB attack for a while. U-turn (level 41) allows it to inflict a little damage and switch out for a teammate while Regenerator kicks in. Since the computer doesn't switch, though, it's only useful if Mienfoo finds itself in a bad starting position. Mienfoo can relearn Fake Out for some free damage, though it's not worth blowing a Heart Scale on. Mienshao eventually learns Hi Jump Kick (level 56) just in time for the Pokémon League, which deals an outrageous amount of damage.

Acrobatics, Rock Slide, and Dig are notable tutor moves for Mienshao.

Mienshao is very destructive, and can tear through Colress, Grimsley, and half of the Champion's team with its STAB attacks. It's also useful against Marshal due to Acrobatics. However, you'll have to drag along a Mienfoo while the rest of your team should be fully evolved, and you'll still have to put up with Mienshao's bad defenses once it evolves. Sadly, Mienshao's late evolution time overshadows its raw power.

Name: Gligar -> Gliscor

Type: Ground/Flying

Abilities: Hyper Cutter or Sand Veil

Recommended Ability: Hyper Cutter, as blocking random Intimidates is always useful. There are no obtainable Pokémon with Sand Stream, and Gliscor doesn't need to waste a turn using it.

Evolution: Evolves when leveled up at night while holding a Razor Fang

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Gligar6575105356585
Gliscor7595125457595

First Encountered: You can encounter Gligar on Route 11.

Rating: High (Mid-High0

It's batman! Gligar was an excellent Pokémon for Platinum in-game: it had great stats for its joining time, could learn Earthquake right after the second Gym via TM, could evolve right around the fourth Gym, and had advantageous matchups against plenty of major trainers. It's not as useful in BW2, unfortunately, but it still pulls its weight.

Gliscor has a balanced stat spread. It has excellent Defense along with nice Attack and Speed, but mediocre HP and Special Defense. Hyper Cutter is always handy to prevent Intimidate's Attack drop. Ground/Flying make an excellent STAB combination, and provides Gliscor with two immunities. So far so good. Unfortunately, you can't find a Razor Fang just lying around. You can buy it for 8 BP at the Battle Subway (which takes three streaks). (In case you're wondering, the Route 13 NPC that dispenses random treasure no longer gives away evolutionary items.)

Level 37-39 Gligar come with Acrobatics, while level 41-43 Gligar come with X-Scissor (level 40) instead. It doesn't matter, as you should have the TMs for both attacks. Make sure it knows Acrobatics! Sky Uppercut (level 45) is a decent attack for Gliscor. Swords Dance (level 50) is always a welcome stat-boosting move. It can relearn the elemental fangs, but once again, they're weak. Ice Fang is useful for Dragon-types, though. You may also want to reteach Gliscor Night Slash.

Since Gliscor can't learn Earthquake, immediately teach it Dig. Rock Slide provides nice coverage with Dig. Aqua Tail can smack around Rock- and Ground-types.

Gliscor is a great Pokémon due to its typing, Swords Dance, and solid stats. While it does poorly against Marlon, it holds its own against Drayden due to its high Defense, and can set up on Colress and every Elite Four member except Shauntal. Obtaining a Razor Fang is time-consuming, so feel free to lower its ranking if you're not patient.

Name: Pawniard -> Bisharp

Type: Dark/Steel

Abilities: Defiant or Inner Focus

Recommended Ability: Defiant, as getting a free Swords Dance from random attack drops is usefl.

Evolution: Evolves at level 52

Base Stats:

HPAtkDefSpASpDSpe
Pawniard458570404060
Bisharp65125100607070

First Encountered: You can encounter Pawniard on Route 9.

Rating: Low

If the Pawniard line existed in Generation I, what would their type be?

Bisharp has excellent Attack and great Defense, but its other stats are mediocre at best. Defiant increases its damage output by giving it random stat boosts, though. As always, Steel is an excellent defensive typing, and Bisharp's typing gives it two immunities and nine resistances. There's bad news, though: Pawniard evolves at level 52, which is absolutely ridiculous. You actually have some time to use it in BW2, but are you really going to drag a pathetic Pawniard to your final fight against Team Plasma?

Pawniard's starting movepool is bad. Don't expect anything notable until Night Slash (level 49). Bisharp learns Iron Head (level 57), though you should just use the Driftveil Move Tutor instead. Finally, it obtains Swords Dance (level 63), but you'll have probably beaten the game by the time Bisharp learns the attack. Bisharp can relearn Metal Blast, which inflicts 150% of the damage Bisharp took during the current turn to the opponent. However, Metal Blast fails if the user moves first, and Bisharp resists most attacks. Besides, it can inflict damage on its own. Unfortunately, Sucker Punch is an egg move.

Teach Pawniard Iron Head immediately to give it a decent STAB attack. Payback is a decent option if you feel that Bisharp will move last. Dual Chop has limited use against Dragon-types, but you should still have a weak Pawniard at the Opelucid Gym, and the Champion's three Dragon-types all hit Bisharp for massive super-effective damage. You also have Dig and Return.

To add insult to injury, when you finally get a Bisharp, it's not that great in major battles. It does fairly well against Caitlin (watch out for Reuniclus' Focus Blast), but Marshal's Pokémon destroy it, while half of Shauntal and Grimsley's teams can utilize powerful, super-effective STAB attacks against it. It does well against the Champion's Archeops, but her other Pokémon smash it.

The Pawniard line is crap. Despite its good defensive typing, it evolves stupidly late, it has weak STABs, and it's not even useful in major battles! It's not completely hopeless, as you can catch Pawniard as high as level 44, and Bisharp makes a decent sweeper once it gets its STABs. Still, stay away from this line.