Moveset Guide by KholdStare88

Version 1.0, Last Updated 2012-10-16

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Pokemon Black & White In-game Strategies/Moveset Guide
Version 1.0
by KholdStare88

Versions & Updates

  • Version 1.0, October 15, 2012
    • General Strategies finished.
    • TM/HM List finished.
    • Movesets finished.

To Do

  • Fix any typos/mistakes I may find
  • More detailed TMs/HMs section
  • Example of balanced teams

Introduction

Pokemon is an interesting franchise. It managed to keep my interest for such a long time even if I no longer watch the TV series. I still remember the Pokemon craze that was Red, Blue, and Yellow when I was in middle school, and thought it was somehow ridiculous. But soon after that (soon being a year or so), I bought my first Pokemon game which was Crystal, and became immediately enchanged. The experience prompted me to play at least a game each generation afterwards. So here I am, writing a guide about Pokemon, my second I believe, because for some incredible reason I still enjoy playing it very much.

This guide is more for those who are new to Pokemon and would like some help on what to capture without using a full walkthrough. I will list which Pokemon I think are good to use and their movesets, so you will you have an easier time playing the game. It is my belief that if you have your Pokemon right, then you don't need step by step instructions on what to do at specific points of the game, hence the lack of needing to use a walkthrough. Instead of catching a new pokemon just to beat a gym, you'll use your own Pokemon and form your own strategies. Sounds fun?

Some people will say that you can beat the game with any Pokemon. This is mostly true. But with inferior Pokemon, you might have to spend extra time leveling them up to beat a gym, or catch more Pokemon than you wanted. It might even turn what would normally be a 8-10 hour game into 25+ hours, which prompts the new Pokemon trainer to ask why everyone likes this horrible game so much. However, I will say that if you like a Pokemon, then by all means go ahead and use it, no matter what its stats are! I give you suggestions on how to improve your team, but they are not rules. It's important to balance planning and having a good time.

Aside from movesets, I will also give general guidelines about what types of Pokemon you should have in your party and which moves you should keep and forget. You may even read that section and come to the same movesets as I did! The difference between this guide and a Pokemon wiki/Pokedex is that I take into account where you are in the game and the limitations that are available at that point. For example, it's great that you know Archeops can learn Earthquake, but you can't get the TM before beating the game! Therefore, I added sections such as listing the TMs/HMs as you get them so you don't have to worry about surprises in the future.

Thank you for taking your time to read this guide, and I hope it will prove to be useful.

General Strategies

In this section I will first about how to build your party so it will be efficient and good enough to tackle any gym. After you get the concept down, it's time to look more closely at each Pokemon and see what moves they should get.

Building Your Party

If you play RPG games like Suikoden and Fire Emblem, then you should know what it means when the game gives you a huge pool of usable characters. You will soon figure out that it's better to focus on some characters instead of using them all. The same applies here. While Pokemon's motto is to "catch 'em all", you don't have to train them all. Doing so would take way more time to finish the game than required, and if training up many Pokemon is your thing, then you should do it after you finish the game. But until then, it's best to focus on your main party only.

You can carry around a maximum of 6 Pokemon, so it makes sense to use only 6 or less. I would say your target is 3-4 strong Pokemon before legendaries. Using less Pokemon means your Pokemon will be higher leveled and you will spend less time training. Why not use all 6 Pokemon you say? Well, first, you will actually get quite a few high-leveled Pokemon right before the end of the game. Second, you will need to keep a few Pokemon around for key HM moves, which are either needed or makes life a lot easier, but not strong enough moves to be put on your main Pokemon. Let's explore what I mean.

HM Slaves

I actually think the term "HM Slaves" is somewhat distasteful, because why reference something that has such a painful history? Alas, these types of Pokemon are most commonly referred to as such. First, what is an HM? They are hidden machines, but the better description for them is "field moves". By this definition, HMs are moves that can are used outside of battle which has a field effect. For example, Cut will cut down trees.

Because of how useful these moves are, it then becomes obvious that we want to have them while we're traveling. Some HM moves are good battle moves too, like Fly, Surf, and Waterfall. But others are lacking, which is why we usually dedicate 1 or 2 HM Slaves as Pokemon that you won't use to battle with but is there for field HM usage. Besides, even if Fly and Surf are good, using them on your main Pokemon means you've committed yourself to having a flying and water type, which will hurt your flexibility.

Note that while Black & White does not require HMs to advance the plot besides Cut (HM 01), it's good to have them anyways because they are nice to have. For example, having Strength means you get access to an area unneeded to finish the game but trains for experience along with some rare items, maybe even a TM! Having Fly means you can revisit any town you want for any reason, very convenient if you ask me! Some TMs such as Flash have field effects too, so they are useful to have but useless for battles.

If you are using 6 Pokemon to battle, you can spread the HMs across each Pokemon, which is fine. The disadvantage is each Pokemon will be a little bit weaker due to having HM moves, but you'll have all 6 Pokemon to use for gyms and whatnot. Or, since Cut and Strength are most used, just get a 1 HM Slave that can learn both and have Fly and Surf learned on your other 5 Pokemon. This does means you need a flying and water type though. Lastly, you can have complete flexibility with your 4 main Pokemon if you decide to have 2 HM Slaves, which is what I will recommend you do.

Getting Really Choosy

Now it's time to discuss what Pokemon you should have on your team. Let's say you decided to have 4 main Pokemon and 2 HM Slaves. Does it make sense for all 4 of your Pokemon to be grass? Probably not, because then your entire party will be weak once you encounter a fire or flying type. The first rule is for all 4 of your Pokemon to different types. It's fine you have a Water/Ground and then Ground/Dark, since that's still some variety. But having two of the exact same types is not very good. If 3 of your 4 Pokemon are flying, that's also probably not a good thing, regardless if they are dual-type or not. And there's definitely no reason for you to have two of the exact same Pokemon!

You probably understand now the important of having variety in your team, let's talk about the Pokemon themselves. You want to pick something that last you for a long time and won't fade away near the end of the game. This means you want Pokemon with high stats. For example, when you capture Woobat it has two strong moves, Gust and Confusion. If you evolve it to Swoobat, it will probably nuke a lot of things with Air Slash and Psychic. But when you get to the Pokemon League, Swoobat is no longer very good and will be OHKO'd often. Usually you'll need to refer to a Pokedex to figure out which Pokemon have good stats and which are not, but this is exactly why I created this guide! You'll have that information easily at the tip of your fingers later on.

Lastly, we want to talk about stat distribution and availability. A Pokemon may have high total stats but is extremely slow. Now there's nothing wrong with slow but bulky and powerful Pokemon, but depending on your playing style, you may quickly become annoyed at your Pokemon getting hit first all the time. Therefore, for in-game purposes, you generally want fast Pokemon. Stat distribution also means you don't want an extremely average Pokemon with no strong points. You have 4-6 Pokemon, so let each of them specialize instead of having one being completely boring. Even if a Pokemon is good, you need to consider when you get it too. If you get a really good Pokemon after the 6th badge and you have to train it from Lv1, then you might decide that it's not worth it.

Picking the Right Moves

One of my gripes about Pokemon is how you can only have 4 moves at a time, so after 4 you will have to forget a move to learn a new one. This means you need to carefully pick what moves you want, or you'll regret it. There is a way to relearn forgotten moves, but it costs a rare item each time so you won't be able to make many mistakes. So in this section, I'll be giving you tips about how to decide which moves you want on your Pokemon.

Having Different Types of Moves

The first thing you need to know is actually quite intuitive. If you've read the lecture about having Pokemon of different types above, then it should be no surprise for you when I recommend that you have moves of different types on your Pokemon. Let's say you have a Sawk, a fighting type, and all you have are fighting moves. When you face something that resist fighting, you would be at a huge disadvantage. Having moves of different types would remedy this.

There are some exceptions to this rule of course. If you have Confuse Ray and Shadow Ball, that's fine. Both are grass moves, but one inflicts a status effect and the other one actually deals damage. Even then, there are some cases where you can have two damage moves of the same type on a Pokemon. This happens when one of the moves have too low PP (Fire Blast) so you can't use it a lot or if it has a secondary effect like lowers speed (Bulldoze) or heals user (Giga Drain). I'll explain this in more detail for each Pokemon later on, so for now just keep the "all moves should of different types" mentality.

Damage Category, Power vs. Accuracy

After that, you should consider your Pokemon's stats. Let's use Sigilyph for an example this time, a Pokemon with low physical attack (Atk) and high special attack (SpAtk). In this case, you would know to not give it Fly, a 90 power physical attack, but instead Air Slash, a 75 power special attack. Although Air Slash looks weaker, Sigilyph's SpAtk almost doubles its Atk, making Air Slash do more damage.

Next, you have to consider power and accuracy. Both Ice Beam and Blizzard are power special attacks and ice type, but they have differences. Ice Beam is 95 power with 100% accuracy, while Blizzard is 120 power with 70%. Usually, choose accuracy over power, so in most cases Ice Beam is preferably over Blizzard. Also consider PP as well, which is how many times your Pokemon can use each move. Ice Beam has 10 PP and Blizzard has 5 PP. So Ice Beam is a bit less damage, but way more accurate and you can use it 10 times. That beats Blizzard, which may or may not hit and you can't use it many times.

Same Type Attacking Bonus (STAB)

STAB is so important that it deserves its own section. In short, if you use a move that has the same type as the Pokemon's type, then that move is 1.5x more powerful. A STAB Fly has 135 base power instead of 90 base power. Therefore, even though you want moves of different types, don't forget to use moves that matches your Pokemon's type too! In short, if your Pokemon is Sigilyph, a flying and psychic better, then you better keep a flying move and a psychic move! It's as simple as that, but never overlook STAB.

As an aside, STAB is what makes normal type Pokemon boring to most trainers. Normal moves are not strong against any type, so a STAB normal attack won't be super-effective against anything. That's sort of a waste, don't you think? I only have two normal type Pokemon on my list of usable Pokemon, and one of them actually has a second.

Non-Damaging Moves

Over the course of your adventure, your Pokemon will learn moves that raises or lowers a stat, or inflicts a status effect. I'm talking about moves like Tail Whip and Growl. Most of the time, you want to avoid using these moves because attacking is better. If you use Tail Whip and attack twice, that would be exactly the same result as if you attack three times. And for most battles, you can win with attacking twice. Therefore, they are sort of useless.

There are however some exceptions. Swords Dance will raise your Atk not once but twice! This immediately doubles your damage, so Swords Dance + attack is the same as attacking twice. Other moves like Quiver Dance raises 3 stats at once, SpAtk, SpDef, and speed. Now isn't that nice! Sleep Powder is inaccurate, but if it hits, your opponent will spend up to 5 turns doing nothing. That's worth a slot on your Pokemon. I will note these exceptions on my Pokemon list further on.

While attacking is the fastest way to win, stat changing moves are actually incredibly strong. If you use Work Up (which increases your Atk and SpAtk once) six times, throwing in a potion or two to keep your Pokemon alive, then that Pokemon can pretty much beat anything. But here's where you have to a decision. Do you want to spend every battle boosting up your stats? Or do you want to just win and get on with it? This is the reason for preferring attacking moves over non-damaging moves. You give the nod to stat changing moves for being potentially really good, but you also understand that you don't have all day either.

TM/HM List

Rating:

  • 1: Not very useful, or only for specific movesets
  • 2: Somewhat useful for a few levels
  • 3: Useful in some situations
  • 4: Useful immediately, might be replaced later
  • 5: Very useful, probably a keeper to beat the game

Markup:

  • TMs that are bolded are given by gym leaders. This means all TMs before that are usable to fight that gym.
  • TMs that are italicized may not be available at that point of the game, but it is my best guess.

Comments

  • item: Probably appears on the ground as a PokeBALL
  • given: Someone gives this to you for free or after doing something
  • battle: Someone gives this to you as a direct result of a battle
  • shop: You can buy this in a shop

Pre-League TMs/HMs

#NameRtgLocation & Comments
TM 83Work Up2Gym 1: Striaton City
HM 01Cut1Striaton City (given) - teach it to an HM Slave instead of your main Pokemon
TM 46Thief2Wellspring Cave (item)
TM 94Rock Smash2Pinwheel Forest (given) - you can get this before challenging Lenora, outside of the forest
TM 67Retaliate2Gym 2: Nacrene City
TM 86Grass Knot3Pinwheel Forest (item)
TM 44Rest1Castelia City (given)
TM 70Flash1Castelia City (given)
TM 45Attract3Castelia City (given)
TM 76Struggle Bug2Gym 3: Castelia City
TM 54False Swipe3Nuvema Town (given) - visit Prof. Birch after you have seen 30 Pokemon (you should have this much by now)
TM 41Torment1Route 4 (item)
TM 28Dig4Route 4 (given)
TM 39Rock Tomb2Desert Resort (item)
HM 04Strength2Nimbasa City (given)
TM 49Echoed Voice2Nimbasa City (given)
TM 22SolarBeam3Pinwheel Forest (item) - once you entered Nimbasa and helped the daycare man, the right side of Pinwheel opens up
TM 21Frustration1Shop: Nimbasa City
TM 27Return5Shop: Nimbasa City
TM 73Thunder Wave3Shop: Nimbasa City
TM 74Gyro Ball1Shop: Nimbasa City
TM 16Light Screen1Shop: Nimbasa City
TM 20Safeguard1Shop: Nimbasa City
TM 33Reflect1Shop: Nimbasa City
TM 66Payback2Route 16 (item) - you can get this before challenging Elesa
TM 76Volt Switch2Gym 4: Nimbasa City
TM 55Scald4Cold Storage (item)
TM 78Bulldoze3Gym 5: Driftveil - you'll get it a bit later after beating Clay
HM 02Fly5Driftveil City (battle)
TM 17Protect1Nuvema Town (given) - visit Prof. Birch after you have seen 60 Pokemon (you should have this much by now)
TM 07Hail1Shop: Mistralton City
TM 11Sunny Day3Shop: Mistralton City
TM 18Rain Dance3Shop: Mistralton City
TM 37Sandstorm1Shop: Mistralton City
TM 58Sky Drop1Mistralton City (item)
TM 57Charge Beam2Route 7 (given)
TM 81X-Scissor5Route 7 (item)
#NameRtgLocation & Comments
TM 61Will-o-wisp5Celestial Tower (item)
TM 65Shadow Claw4Celestial Tower (item)
TM 62Acrobatics5Gym 6: Mistralton City
TM 40Aerial Ace4Mistralton City (item) - this appears on the airstrip after you beat Skyla
HM 03Surf5Twist Mountain (battle) - you can get a lot of new TMs after getting Surf!
TM 84Poison Jab5Route 6 (item) - use Surf to access
TM 80Rock Slide5Mistralton Cave (item) - needs Surf to access the cave, then Strength inside the cave
TM 47Low Sweep3Wellspring Cave (item) - needs Surf to access
TM 52Focus Blast3Wellspring Cave (item) - needs Surf to access
TM 06Toxic3Route 17 (item) - needs Surf to access
HM 05Waterfall5Route 18 (item) - not needed to beat the game, but useful to get more items
TM 24Thunderbolt5P2 Laboratory (item) - between Route 18 and Route 17
TM 19Telekinesis1Route 18 (item)
TM 91Flash Cannon5Twist Mountain (item)
TM 90Substitute1Twist Mountain (item) - winter only
TM 31Brick Break5Icirrus City (given)
TM 14Blizzard1Shop: Icirrus City
TM 25Thunder3Shop: Icirrus City
TM 38Fire Blast5Shop: Icirrus City
TM 36Sludge Bomb5Route 8 (item) - you can get this before challenging Brycen
TM 42Facade2Route 8 (given) - you can get this before challenging Brycen
TM 79Frost Breath4Gym 7: Icirrus City
TM 10Hidden Power1Nuvema Town (given) - visit Prof. Birch after you have seen 100 Pokemon (you should have this much by now)
TM 63Embargo1Dragonspiral Tower (item)
TM 30Shadow Ball5Relic Castle (item)
TM 43Flame Charge1Tubeline Bridge (given) - she moves really fast
TM 56Fling1Route 9 (given)
TM 15Hyper Beam3Shop: Route 9
TM 68Giga Impact3Shop: Route 9
TM 82Dragon Tail1Gym 8: Opelucid City
TM 05Roar1Route 10 (item)
TM 12Taunt1Victory Road (item)
TM 02Dragon Claw5Victory Road (item)
TM 93Wild Charge5Victory Road (item)

Post-League TMs

#NameRtgLocation & Comments
TM 32Double Team1Route 18 (given) - sage
TM 75Swords Dance5Dreamyard (given) - sage
TM 85Dream Eater3Dreamyard (item)
TM 04Calm Mind3Runic Castle Depths (given) - sage
TM 26Earthquake5Runic Castle Depths (item)
TM 01Hone Claws3Cold Storage (given) - sage
TM 69Rock Polish1Chargestone Cave (given) - sage
TM 71Stone Edge3Challenger's Cave (item)
TM 50Overheat3Route 11 (item)
TM 53Energy Ball5Route 12 (item)
TM 29Psychic5Route 13 (item)
TM 89U-Turn1Route 13 (given)
TM 13Ice Beam5Giant Chasm (item)
TM 03Psyshock1Giant Chasm (item)
HM 06Dive1Undella Town (given)
TM 08Bulk Up3Route 14 (given) - sage
TM 35Flamethrower5Abundant Shrine (item)
TM 92Trick Room1Abundant Shrine (item)
TM 09Venoshock3Route 15 (item)
TM 23Smack Down1Shop: The Battle Subway
TM 48Round1Shop: The Battle Subway
TM 87Swagger1Shop: The Battle Subway
TM 88Pluck1Shop: The Battle Subway
TM 34Sludge Wave5Shop: The Battle Subway
TM 51Ally Switch1Shop: The Battle Subway
TM 59Incinerate1Shop: The Battle Subway
TM 60Quash1Shop: The Battle Subway
TM 64Explosion1Shop: The Battle Subway
TM 77Psych Up1Shop: The Battle Subway
TM 95Snarl0Event: Not yet existed
HM 01: Cut
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Don't bother teaching this to any of your Pokemon, unless you're doing a 6-Pokemon party without HM Slaves. It's not a great move and if you need a normal attack, Return is much better.
  • Field: I believe there's only one spot where you absolutely need to use Cut to advance the plot. You still want to keep around an HM Slave with Strength though because you can get more items as you travel with Cut.
HM 02: Fly
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: This is actually a pretty good move. It has 90 power and 95% accuracy, not bad. The only annoyance is that like Dig, it takes more time to execute. If your flying Pokemon has a high Atk, don't pass on the opportunity to give it Fly.
  • Field: You do not need Fly at all. If you're just advancing through the game linearly like me, then you may never need to use Fly. So if you don't have a main Pokemon you can give it to, put it in an HM Slave that you don't need to carry around.
HM 03: Surf
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: Surf is a move like Thunderbolt/Flamethrower/Ice Beam. It's very good. Because of the physical/special split, however, Pokemon such as Samurott might benefit more with Waterfall or Aqua Tail.
  • Field: Have it on a Pokemon, main or HM Slave, at all times. You will need to surf a lot during the game if you want more TMs and item. It's probably more valuable than Cut in the field! Surf is, however, not required to beat the game.
HM 04: Strength
  • Rating: 2
  • Comments: You get this HM very early. Even though Return is much better, you might want to use it now because your Pokemon might not be happy enough for Return to overpower Strength. Remember, however, that you can only remove Strength by the 6th gym. So plan ahead carefully.
  • Field: The new change is that once you use Strength on a rock, you never have to use it again. This means you can put Strength on a rarely-used HM Slave and put it in a box like Fly for when you need it.
HM 05: Waterfall
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: Pokemon like Carracosta and Samurott would love Waterfall. It's more accurate than Aqua Tail, and it may also flinch. Use it for water Pokemon that has a higher Atk than SpAtk.
  • Field: There aren't a lot of places to use Waterfall. I believe you need to get the TM 32: Double Team and TM 50: Overheat. Other than that, teach it to something and put it in your box until you go surfing or something.
HM 06: Dive
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: You know something's off when you get Dive after you beat the game. Well, it's a terrible move like always, because Surf or Waterfall is better, depending on what Pokemon you're teaching it to. I've always wondered how you can use Dive on land, but...
  • Field: You only need to use it once, so just teach it to a Pokemon for that occasion, and...that's it.
TM 01: Hone Claws
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: Hone Claws has its uses, but it's way too limited because only a few Pokemon can learn it. And from the ones that do, you have legendaries that don't need it or those who can also learns Swords Dance/Dragon Dance. Because of how inaccurate Rock Slide and Head Smash is, Hone Claws could be used on Excadrill or Krookodile.
TM 02: Dragon Claw
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: This is a great move. Even though we no longer have a dragon-only champion, there are some still dragons such as Reshiram/Zekrom and Hydreigon that are so annoying that you definitely want someone that can use Dragon Claw in your party. Other than that, it's a a solid 80 power, 100% accuracy move that you can spam in random battles.
TM 03: Psyshock
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: This move is weird. It uses your SpAtk but attack your opponent's Def. That could be interesting on psychic type that doesn't learn a lot of moves, but in most cases you don't want it to replace Psychic (the move). I don't see this move used in the metagame either, so if it does have a use, it's obscure and specific enough for have a rating of 1.
TM 04: Calm Mind
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: This is a nice move. Unlike the previous generations, the trainers in BW1 are strong, or at least strong enough so that you can't OHKO everything. This means stalling tactics and defense is more important, and Calm Mind improves both your offense and defense, making it a great setup move.
TM 05: Roar
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: There's not a lot of reason to use this for an in-game moveset. Even if you want to force switching, Dragon Tail can be taught to a lot of Pokemon.
TM 06: Toxic
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: It's a nice move that I didn't include in any of my movesets. Aside from having it on a Pokemon that use stalling tactics, poisoning a Pokemon a full health will occasionally prompt the opposing trainer to waste a Full Restore!
TM 07: Hail
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Unless you build your team completely around Hail, there's no reason to use it. You want to hit and run in-game, not sit there and wait 30 turns for your opponent to faint. That said, I do have Hail on one of my movesets, but that's rare enough for a rating of 1.
TM 08: Bulk Up
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: This is a nice move. Unlike the previous generations, the trainers in BW1 are strong, or at least strong enough so that you can't OHKO everything. This means stalling tactics and defense is more important, and Bulk Up improves both your offense and defense, making it a great setup move.
TM 09: Venoshock
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: Venoshock is nice in theory. On a bulky Pokemon with Toxic, it can wreck havoc. The problem is not a lot of Pokemon learn it, so right now it doesn't get a lot of love.
TM 10: Hidden Power
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: It's impossible to use this move without PokeSav or something similar. Even if you get a type you like, it can have only 43 power. It's mostly used in the metagame where you can control IVs and hit specific Pokemon for 4x damage.
TM 11: Sunny Day
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: I like this move. Along with boosting fire moves, it sets up SolarBeam. Even though you may not have STAB for SolarBeam, a grass move will help counter water types if you happen to be a fire type trying to make a living. Don't forget it reduces water damage too, and have other quirks as well, including making Pokemon with the Chlorophyll ability faster.
TM 12: Taunt
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: It's not for in-game usage. Mostly, it's used for Pokemon that have only one attacking and everything else stat enhancing/status inflicting.
TM 13: Ice Beam
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: Extremely useful to water types, it helps them cover their grass weakness. The problem is that you can't get it in BW1 until post-League.
TM 14: Blizzard
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: This hard-hitting move only has 70% accuracy, which makes it useless for the most part. It does have 100% accuracy in Hail, but if you read what I said about Hail earlier, you'll guess that you won't be using Blizzard much.
TM 15: Hyper Beam
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: It's definitely useful. No, I don't mean have it and spam Hyper Beam all the time, losing every other turn. But when you almost faint or when your other attack takes off almost half an HP bar, use this to guarantee a KO.
TM 16: Light Screen
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: You can use it to make sure certain Pokemon will have the chance to set up, but if you're going to do that I'd prefer someone with Sleep Powder or Thunder Wave + Confuse Ray.
TM 17: Protect
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Ludicolo much? Unless you're making some kind of Toxic staller, you definitely don't need this. It's mostly for the metagame.
TM 18: Rain Dance
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: Like Sunny Day, I like it. Your water moves power up and Thunder never misses. Because water Pokemon don't usually learn Thunder and electric Pokemon don't usually learn water attacks, it has less opportunies to be used than Sunny Day. You can still use it on a Seismitoad with Swift Swim to increase its speed though.
TM 19: Telekinesis
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: This might be more useful if it lasts 5 turns, at least. But as it stands, there's no reason to use it.
TM 20: Safeguard
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Not many of the in-game trainers utilize moves like Thunder Wave, so you'll be fine not to pick up this move.
TM 21: Frustration
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Horrible. I don't even know how you can achieve maximum power for Frustration. Just ignore it.
TM 22: SolarBeam
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: Usually you don't care about this move since it needs to charge up. But it fits well with Sunny Day, and in fact, it's the only reason to ever use SolarBeam. Even so, it's a great move if you want to use it.
TM 23: Smack Down
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: This is supposed to be good, but it doesn't get a lot of use. Just do the math. Let's say you're a ground type with STAB Earthquake, then it's still better to do Rock Slide twice, if your opponent isn't flying/electric or something.
    • Smack Down + Earthquake = 50 * 2 + 100 * 1.5 = 250
    • Rock Slide + Rock Slide = 75 * 2 + 75 * 2 = 300
TM 24: Thunderbolt
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: This is of course a great move. It's 95 power and 100% accuracy. The best part it, you get it before you challenge the Pokemon League.
TM 25: Thunder
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: This move is okay, mostly because it has 10 PP. You should combine it with Rain Dance. In Galvantula's case, it's 91% accuracy, which makes it reliable enough to use it over Thunderbolt.
TM 26: Earthquake
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: Not only is it a great move, but a lot of Pokemon can learn this. Like Brick Break, you might overuse it in your party. Unfortunately, you won't get this until after you beat the game, but Dig is a great alternative.
TM 27: Return
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: This is a great move that can be put on any Pokemon with a high Atk stat. Even without STAB and without maximum happiness, an 80-90 power attack is nothing to scoff at, and you'll surely reach maximum happiness when you challenge the league if your Pokemon doesn't faint a lot.
TM 28: Dig
  • Rating: 4
  • Comments: This is a move that I bring into the Pokemon League. It's sort of a replacement for Earthquake, even though when you do get Earthquake you'll want to replace Dig, if possible. Ground is super-effective against a lot of types, including that annoying Klinklang.
TM 29: Psychic
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: It's a nice move that hits poison and fighting types. That's pretty much it. It's special, and many fighting types have low SpDef. You can't get it pre-League however.
TM 30: Shadow Ball
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: It's less power than Psychic, but it has its uses. Many psychic Pokemon don't learn much else besides Psychic and Shadow Ball, which makes this ghost move needed for coverage against other psychic types.
TM 31: Brick Break
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: Brick Break is great, but like Earthquake, it can be overused i your party. Also like Earthquake, it is strong against many types, most notably normal which you see too often and the annoying steel type. In any case, having a Pokemon with Brick Break in your party is a good idea.
TM 32: Double Team
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: I guess you can really win any battle with this, but it's against my conscience to use evasion moves. It doesn't matter, since you need to finish the game to get it.
TM 33: Reflect
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: You can use it to make sure certain Pokemon will have the chance to set up, but if you're going to do that I'd prefer someone with Sleep Powder or Thunder Wave + Confuse Ray.
TM 34: Sludge Wave
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: A good move for sure, but in my opinion a wave of a TM slot. It does the same thing as Sludge Bomb but for 5 more base power. Even in double/triple battles, it hits your allies too. My main complaint is that not a lot of Pokemon can learn this move for a 5 base power upgrade. It's great if you can teach it to something though.
TM 35: Flamethrower
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: Like Ice Beam and Thunderbolt, Flamethrower is strong and accurate. If you can learn it, you probably should.
TM 36: Sludge Bomb
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: Like Shadow Ball, it's not a great move for coverage (only super-effective against grass), but it's nevertheless another high power move. It's useful for when your Pokemon's main STAB move is weak against something but Sludge Bomb is normal-effective.
TM 37: Sandstorm
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Sandstorm is not very useful for in-game battles. I did suggest it to a Pokemon, but like Hail, it's too bothersome to use because it hits your own Pokemon if you don't have a specific team.
TM 38: Fire Blast
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: Fire Blast is actually pretty good. For 120 power, it has a decent 85% accuracy compared to Thunder and Blizzard's 70%. It still has 5 PP, but you can put it on a non-fire Pokemon for good coverage. For fire types, I'd still prefer Flamethrower's accuracy because STAB makes it plenty strong.
TM 39: Rock Tomb
  • Rating: 2
  • Comments: It's...not very good. It has the same accuracy as Stone Edge but half the damage. Yes it does lower speed, but it's too unreliable. When you get it, you might want to teach it to some Pokemon so you have coverage against bug and fire types, but you will quickly get tired of it and replace it.
TM 40: Aerial Ace
  • Rating: 4
  • Comments: Aerial Ace is nice, especially on non-flying types that can learn it, or physical flying types that can't learn Wing Attack. It's a nice 60 damage that never misses, and you can use it to beat fighting/grass/bug Pokemon. Note that you probably want to get rid of it when you learn better moves:
    • Surf/Flamethrower/Ice Beam/Thunderbolt/Psychic/Sludge Bomb/Leaf Blade with STAB > super-effective Aerial Ace
    • Shadow Ball/Scald/Dragon Claw/Dig/Energy Ball/Poison Jab/Waterfall/Crunch with STAB = super-effective Aerial Ace
TM 41: Torment
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: You won't need this. Even in the metagame, nothing really uses it except for Heatran. That says a lot.
TM 42: Facade
  • Rating: 2
  • Comments: Well, it's not something you want to use in-game. Crippling yourself with poison/burn to activate Guts and use Facade is a valid strategy, but there are better options with non-phazing in-game trainers.
TM 43: Flame Charge
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: This move is great...sort of. It allows Pokemon like Emboar to become a powerful sweeper by raising its speed once after using. Other than that, there isn't a lot of Pokemon I can think that benefits from Flame Charge, and it does waste a move slot, which is why I have its rating at 1.
TM 44: Rest
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: If only Sleep Talk was a TM again, then I might consider. But why use Rest when you can just use a Hyper Potion?
TM 45: Attract
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: It's interesting. You can be really cheap with it if you're underleved in the Pokemon League. Since TMs are reusable now, let's say you teach it to a female Pokemon to face Marshal, who only has male Pokemon. After that, you get rid of Attract by teaching it a TM that it used to have. So by using the "teach TMs on the fly" strategy, you can use Attract very successfully.
    • Marshall only uses male Pokemon
    • Grimsley only uses female Pokemon except for Scrafty (later on Sharpedo)
    • Caitlin only uses female Pokemon (some non-gender in rematch)
    • Alder only uses male Pokemon (post-game)
TM 46: Thief
  • Rating: 2
  • Comments: It can be helpful to teach your Pokemon a weak dark-type attack early on for type coverage, but it will only be useful for a while.
TM 47: Low Sweep
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: This move is quite nice. If your Pokemon has low Speed opposing a Pokemon that you can't 2HKO, then try Low Sweep to see if you can go first and KO your opponent in the next turn.
TM 48: Round
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: So, anyone that can learn TMs can use this. But uh, it sucks. It's a normal type, so it can't be super-effective against anything. It's also only 60 power.
TM 49: Echoed Voice
  • Rating: 2
  • Comments: This move is like a special version of Rage that starts at 40 power and increase by 40 power each consecutive usage, regardless if you, your opponent, or your ally uses it. Don't use it, but with STAB it could be nice to use twice in a row early on.
TM 50: Overheat
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: It's not a bad move. I don't like using this on fire Pokemon though; Flamethrower is better. But if your other moves are all physical, then having this is nice. Use Overheat for massive damage, your SpAtk lowers, but it won't affect your other physical moves.
TM 51: Ally Switch
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Okay...just forget this move exists.
TM 52: Focus Blast
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: This is a terrible move like Blizzard or Thunder without the accuracy boost. At 70% and no way to make it always hit with a weather condition, it's sort of not useful. But if your Pokemon's movepool is lacking, then this move is quite useful for coverage.
TM 53: Energy Ball
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: It's a great move. I would've prefered a 95 power 100% accuracy special grass move to be available, but this will do fine. A lot of non-grass Pokemon like Chandelure can learn it, which provides nice coverage. You can't get the TM until after you beat the Pokemon League.
TM 54: False Swipe
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: The entire point of this move is to capture Pokemon more easily. You should only have it on a Pokemon that you don't use regularly. For example, Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion can all learn it, and you capture them at a high level. You probably won't be using all 3, so teach the one you don't use False Swipe to use when you want to capture a difficult Pokemon.
TM 55: Scald
  • Rating: 4
  • Comments: I love this move. You can get it before Surf which turns your water Pokemon into something fearsome. Along with Dig, it's one of the best TMs that you can get somewhat early. Of course you would probably want to use Surf when you get that. But some Pokemon like Emboar can learn Scald but not Surf. This is great since Emboar can hit other fire types hard with it.
TM 56: Fling
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: This move is awful. Forget it exists.
TM 57: Charge Beam
  • Rating: 2
  • Comments: I like this move. Weird non-electric can learn it like Sigilyph, if only temporarily for type coverage. In short, it's one of those moves you want to have until your Pokemon learns better STAB moves. You can actually use Charge Beam's 70% +SpAtk to setup, but it's still not very reliable.
TM 58: Sky Drop
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: This move is...I prefer Fly. Like Sludge Wave, very few Pokemon can learn this so it's a waste of a TM slot in my opinion.
TM 59: Incinerate
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: I seriously don't know why this move exists. The fact that you can only get it after you beat the game makes even less sense.
TM 60: Quash
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Hey look, a third useless move in a row! Well, it probably does have some move in 2v2, but don't use it otherwise.
TM 61: Will-o-wisp
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: This is a great move. It has a 75% chance of hitting, which doesn't sound very much. But when you remember that burn status cuts physical attack in half, you'll be thinking of all the possibilities you can use this for. I use it on Simisear.
TM 62: Acrobatics
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: I love this move. Not a lot of Pokemon can learn it, but for those who do, it's a great 110 base power flying move if you hold no items. Most noticeably, Simisage/Simisear/Simipour can learn it.
TM 63: Embargo
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: This might actually have a use in-game where gym Pokemon have berries and gym leaders use potions. But I still think it's better to just attack, so I never use it.
TM 64: Explosion
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Even when Explosion used to halve Def, it was quite stupid to use it in-game. If you want a last-ditch effort at defeating a Pokemon, try Hyper Beam/Giga Impact instead.
TM 65: Shadow Claw
  • Rating: 4
  • Comments: This move is nice, I guess. Apart from Shadow Force, which is a signature move, there isn't a stronger physical ghost move. So it's good, but only because there's nothing better. Non-ghost Pokemon can use this, but you might be replacing it later with more powerful moves.
TM 66: Payback
  • Rating: 2
  • Comments: This move isn't too good. It's not like anything switches out in-game, although you can sort of predict when gym leaders use potions. I like this move because it's another move you can use mid-game for coverage, and it's strong than Thief. Other than that, it's pretty useless later on.
TM 67: Retaliate
  • Rating: 2
  • Comments: It's a great move for when you get it. With 70 power and 100% accurate, you don't even need the special doubling effect of Retaliate to kick in since 70 power is very good. The only problem is that it has 5 PP, but keep it for when your STAB move is not very effective...until you get a better coverage move that is.
TM 68: Giga Impact
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: It's definitely useful. No, I don't mean have it and spam Giga Impact all the time, losing every other turn. But when you almost faint or when your other attack takes off almost half an HP bar, use this to guarantee a KO.
TM 69: Rock Polish
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: This is the rock equivalent to Agility. However, it's a bit more useful than Agility because rock, ground, and steel types learn Rock Polish, and those Pokemon are often slow. Still, it's not worth a move slot, but it's up to you.
TM 70: Flash
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: You could have it on an HM Slave (even if it's not an HM) to light up dark caves. Combat-wise, it's not very good. Even Double Team is better.
TM 71: Stone Edge
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: I hate this move. The only reason it's any good is that it's super-effective against flying, fire, bug, and ice types (that's four!). But for in-game, it's better to use Rock Slide for better accuracy. It's ultimately up to you if you want to go for power and less accuracy. If your Pokemon is really slow, you can give it Zoom Lens to give Stone Edge 96% accuracy.
TM 73: Thunder Wave
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: This move hits 100% of the time. Not only does paralysis give your opponent a 25% chance of not attacking, but it halves its speed. Combining this with confusion or attract and you can be very annoying and effective.
TM 74: Gyro Ball
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Yes, everyone knows wild Ferroseed can do a lot of damage with this move. But for in-game, you rarely want to use slow Pokemon, and it also depends on how fast your opponent is too. In short, don't use it.
TM 75: Swords Dance
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: This move is great. It basically doubles your attack power, so Pokemon like Scolipede can sweep. The only problem is it comes after you beat the Pokemon League.
    • Interestingly, Lilligant can learn Swords Dance. What it would use after that is a mystery...Giga Impact? Cut?
TM 76: Struggle Bug
  • Rating: 2
  • Comments: Struggle Bug is not bad. Like other move that has a rating of 2, you will eventually find better moves. With some exceptions, you have to be a bug type to learn this TM, so it's nice to use on a Whirlipede.
TM 76: Volt Switch
  • Rating: 2
  • Comments: You may think that Volt Switch is useless, but it's not. Like U-Turn, it lets fragile sweepers exit the stage quickly. Galvantula can use this move, which gives it STAB too. But like U-Turn, it's very annoying for random battles, so you might not want to use it.
TM 77: Psych Up
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: It's not very useful for in-game uses nor 1v1 uses.
TM 78: Bulldoze
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: This move is quite nice. If your Pokemon has low Speed opposing a Pokemon that you can't 2HKO, then try Bulldoze to see if you can go first and KO your opponent in the next turn.
TM 79: Frost Breath
  • Rating: 4
  • Comments: Because it always critical hits, you can think of this move as 80 power and 100% accuracy, a not bad replacement for Ice Beam, except mostly ice types can learn it. Remember, critical hits go past stat boosts like Calm Mind.
TM 80: Rock Slide
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: I like this move, and I prefer it over Stone Edge. It's more accurate, and if you want you can easily give it 99% accuracy with Wide Lens. It can flinch, but most of the reason why I like is because it can be super-effective to four types.
TM 81: X-Scissor
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: Is it any coincidence that you get this TM before going to the Celestial Tower, which is filled with trainers using psychic Pokemon? A lot of non-bug Pokemon can learn this, and you will like how it is super-effective against psychic Pokemon, and more importantly dark Pokemon that someone in the Pokemon League uses. Megahorn is probably better if you get it, however.
TM 82: Dragon Tail
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Even though I recommend it to a few movesets, it's a niche move for in-game. Think of it as a Roar/Whirlwind that does damage. Don't think you can use this move to take down dragon Pokemon, because if you want to do that get Dragon Claw. In short, you don't want to use it.
TM 83: Work Up
  • Rating: 2
  • Comments: I don't like this move at all. I don't mind moves like Bulk Up and Calm Mind that boosts both attack and defense. But Work Up just feels wasteful by boosting both Atk and SpAtk. I just use it to not waste Retaliate's PP or something for a while, then ditch it.
TM 84: Poison Jab
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: It's not as strong as Sludge Bomb, but it's physical for those with higher Atk than SpAtk. You might find some use for it, but remember that it's not a good coverage move. It's only super-effective against grass types, but may be normal-effective against something your STAB move is weak against.
TM 85: Dream Eater
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: It's a great move if you use it, 100 base power and 100% accuracy. The catch is, of course, your target has to be asleep. If anything, it makes Lilligant that much better because Lilligant doesn't learn much else. But unless you have a reliable move to put your opponent to sleep, you shouldn't bother.
TM 86: Grass Knot
  • Rating: 3
  • Comments: This is more of a post-endgame move than anything. You already encounter "heavy" Pokemon in the Pokemon League, but it's the rematches where Grass Knot becomes very reliable. A lot of non-grass Pokemon can surprisingly learn Grass Knot. You get it early, but don't use it yet. Save for later.
TM 87: Swagger
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: This move confuses the target and raises is Atk by 2 stages. It's supposed to make getting hurt my confusion lose more HP, but most of the times it won't benefit you. Save it for competitive battling.
TM 88: Pluck
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: It's good, I guess. You should really use Wing Attack or Aerial Ace, the latter you get before you get Pluck.
TM 89: U-Turn
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: You may think that U-Turn is useless, but it's not. Like Volt Switch, it lets fragile sweepers exit the stage quickly. Archeops can use this move when it activates Defeatist. But like Volt Switch, it's very annoying for random battles, so you might not want to use it.
TM 90: Substitute
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Substitute is mostly use for bulky Pokemon that have a defensive setup, and mostly for competitive battling. You shouldn't need to use it, although I do suggest it for one Pokemon.
TM 91: Flash Cannon
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: This, like Sludge Bomb, isn't a great move. It's only super-effective against ice and rock, but that may be useful. For example, Vanillite wants a move to defeat other ice types, and this is it. Other than that, I try not to have a random steel move for my Pokemon. It still deserves a rating of 5 for its decent power and 100% accuracy.
TM 92: Trick Room
  • Rating: 1
  • Comments: Ignore this move, because it's motly for competitive battling.
TM 93: Wild Charge
  • Rating: 5
  • Comments: I am tsundere with this move. It's a high power physical electric move that many non-electric Pokemon can learn. But its recoil is quite painful, which means even though I have it, I don't really want to use it. When you do need it, it will be very helpful.
TM 94: Rock Smash
  • Rating: 2
  • Comments: You get this move on the outer edge of Pinwheel Forest, which you can obtain before challenging the second gym. It has no field use in BW1, so it's only restricted to helping you defeat some normal types early on. You'll soon want to replace it.
TM 95: Snarl
  • Rating: 0
  • Comments: You shouldn't have this TM...yet. And from what I see, it's not that great, not for a move that you can't get in-game to help you beat gyms.

Pre-League Movesets

In this section, I'll be listing what I think is the best moveset for the final evolutions of each Pokemon that I think are good to use. Of course, many Pokemon are not included because I don't think it's going to be fun training them up and using them in-game. I also included a rating for each Pokemon and the moveset I gave. There will be no rating below 4/10 because I using the 1-10 scale fully. This means there exists Pokemon with a rating below 4/10, but for those Pokemon I disregard them as being very useful and therefore won't give them a subsection.

I will not include Pokemon that requires to be traded, Pokemon that comes so late, or Pokemon that hatches from an egg and requires too much training. I will also not include moves that requires a Post-League TM or a move that requires breeding.

Serperior

Item: Miracle Seed

  • Coil
  • Leaf Blade
  • Return
  • Giga Drain

Serperior's movepool is quite limited. To make the best of it, use Coil to make it more tanky while improving its average Atk for Leaf Blade and Return. Because you're a tank, I chose Giga Drain as your last move. Use Leaf Blade to take away a good chunk of HP then Giga Drain to finish off an opponent while healing. I actually really dislike Serperior as a starter, and I think it's one of the worst starters of all time. It's still usable though if you switch in at the right time and set up Coil.

Rating: 5/10


Emboar

Item: Charcoal

  • Flamethrower
  • Wild Charge
  • Scald
  • Low Sweep / Flame Charge

Perfect. Low Sweep to deal damage while letting Emboar go first (probably) for the rest of the fight. Flamethrower is special, but I'd rather have that over other fire moves. Wild Charge is electric, which guards against water types. Scald is water, which guards against rock and ground types. What's not to love? Flame Charge raises Emboar's Speed after using, which is great, but it will replace a fighting move, so it's up to you.

The reason I prefer Low Sweep over Hammer Arm is that most of the time you get hit the same number of times. Usually Hammer Arm's damage (100) will OHKO most fast normal type, but you will get hit. Low Sweep twice is the same effect, except with more power (120) and more accuracy (100%), and you also get hit once.

Rating: 8/10


Samurott

Item: Mystic Water

  • Swords Dance (Lv57)
  • Aqua Tail / Waterfall
  • Megahorn
  • Return / Slash

Samurott is, in my opinion, the best starter, but it only beats Emboar by a little. While Emboar can cover all its weaknesses, Samurott is an outright sweeper with Swords Dance. Its speed isn't too bad either, and can be fixed by resetting Oshawott for a speed nature/high speed IVs, or feeding it a lot of Carbos to raise its EVs.

It's pretty obvious what to do here. Just Swords Dance, then Atk with whatever that works. Usually the STAB Waterfall is enough here, having more PP and 100% accurate for just 10 less power. But you can go with Aqua Tail if you so choose. Megahorn is for those grass types, but can do well against grass/poison too. Return or Slash is your choice, both are great for general attacking.

The problem is you won't get Swords Dance until Lv57, so you might want to keep Aqua Tail until you do. If you're only playing 2 Pokemon + 1 Legendary, then your Samurott could very well reach level 57 early or midway through the Pokemon League. But if you're training a party of 5-6, then Samurott might not be for you. It's still a reliable mixed sweeper with Surf, Megahorn, Dig, Return.

Rating: 9/10


Stoutland

Item: Silk Scarf

  • Return
  • Crunch
  • Wild Charge
  • Dig / Giga Impact

I sort of love Stoutland, and if it weren't for my hate of normal types, I'd have it on my team. With a low SpAtk, it gives room for of Stoutland's other stats to be higher than expected. It also has a very respectable 80 base speed, which equals some of my favorite "in-game sweepers" such as Tyranitar and Heracross. But the reason why I love it is its ability, Intimidate. It makes Stoutland's decent HP/Def stats become good. It has a great movepool as well. The ability to learn both Crunch and Wild Charge is nice. If you want to go out with a bang and use revive, then Giga Impact is for you.

Rating: 7/10


Simisage

Item: None

  • Seed Bomb
  • Crunch
  • Acrobatics
  • Rock Slide

No items for Acrobatics for fire or fighting types. This allows you to be super-effective to...a lot of things. Although Simisage is not that great stat-wise (too low defenses), if you manage to switch it in when you can deal a super-effective blow to something, then you may be able to 2HKO most things and not get damaged a lot. Rock Slide is there to counter fire or flying types. The advantage of Simisage is that you get a second elemental Pokemon very early in the game.

Rating: 6/10


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