Sandstorms a' Brewin'!
All of the battles fought in the desert of Route 4 and the Desert Resort will have a constant Sandstorm weather effect, which inflicts 1/16 a Pokemon's max HP in damage each turn. Equip the Leftovers you hopefully picked up in the Castelia Sewers or use Rock-, Ground-, or Steel-type Pokemon, who are unaffected by the sandstorm's damaging effects.
|Sandile||/||Lv. 14 ~ 17||35%|
|Darumaka||Lv. 14 ~ 17||35%|
|Trubbish||Lv. 14, 15, 17|
|Minccino||Lv. 14, 15, 17|
Sandile makes for an interesting mix of Ground/Dark-type and has the capabilities of serving each role fairly well. It evolves into Krokorok at level 29 and then Krookodile at level 40, so those are certainly acceptable ranges to level up (although you'll be glad when it evolves for the first time). Fully evolved, it has a lot of Attack, respectable Speed, and good HP; its defensive stats are more than sufficient to take a hit. It comes with either Intimidate or Moxie as far as abilities go; Intimidate is nice for lowering the foe's Attack and effectively raising Sandile's Defense because of it, while Moxie raises Sandile's Attack by one stage every time it knocks out a Pokemon, letting it set up for some pretty good damage. Both abilities are great on it.
It's best that you pick up a level 14 or 15 Sandile, because higher level ones (16+) will have Assurance instead of Bite, which will be a bit of a pity, and Sandile doesn't learn Crunch until level 28. It isn't a huge deal, but it's nice to have a little bit of extra attacking power. You should teach it Dig right away (you get a TM while you're out here in the desert). Useful attacks that it learns are Foul Play at level 42 (Krookodile), which uses the foe's Attack stat to attack with, making it less desirable than Crunch in-game, Earthquake at level 54 (yay!), and even Outrage at level 60. Useful TM moves to give it are obviously Dig, but also things like Rock Tomb to help take down Flying-types, replacing it with Rock Slide when you get the TM for that, Aerial Ace for some Flying-type attacking power, and Dragon Claw to get you by until you get Outrage. It can learn Shadow Claw, but don't bother with it, because its Dark-type attacks are superior. Snarl is an option that may work well with the Intimidate variety, since it lowers the foe's Special Attack. It won't hit as hard, but between that and Intimidate, you can assure yourself weakening your foe's attacking stats one way or the other.
All and all, I'd say Sandile is a good addition to your team. It has sufficient stats in just about every regard and makes for a great Dark-type Pokemon to use. Excadrill winds up being a better Ground-type Pokemon thanks to its monstrous Attack and getting Earthquake early on, but that Dark-type diversity and ability to hit with Dragon-type attacks keeps Excadrill from being a clear-cut choice. I'd recommend Sandile.
Darumaka grows into one of the most powerful Fire-type Pokemon in the game, Darmanitan, at level 35. That's a pretty long wait, but its base 90 Attack should have it hitting hard enough in the meanwhile. It has the Hustle ability as a Darumaka, reducing its accuracy to 80% of usual, but increasing damage of Physical-based attacks by 50%, meaning its attacks will hurt if they hit. After evolving, it has an Attack stat that surpasses both Excadrill and Gigalith, tying with Conkeldurr, but it has very good Speed and also awesome HP. Its defensive stats are a little lackluster, but not terrible, particularly factoring in its HP. Not only that, but its ability changes to Sheer Force, which increases the power of any of Darmanitan's attacks that have some sort of beneficial secondary effect (such as a chance of burning the foe, flinching, etc.) by a staggering 30%, but then removes the chance of that secondary effect happening. That's downright amazing.
Darumaka should start off with Fire Fang and Headbutt for worthwhile moves, then picks up Fire Punch (beautiful!) at level 22, the 120-power Thrash at level 27, Belly Drum for an insane gamble (damages self by half of max HP, but boosts Attack stage to MAX), and then Flare Blitz at level 33. If that wasn't enough, it picks up Hammer Arm when it evolves at level 35, then Superpower at level 47 (although Hammer Arm should be enough). Fire Punch and Flare Blitz both get a boost from Sheer Force, too, thanks to their chance of burn (though you still receive recoil from Flare Blitz). Good TM moves to consider for Darumaka early on are Rock Tomb and Dig, while after evolving, and later on in the game, you'll want to look at Bulldoze (roughly same power as Dig thanks to Sheer Force, except used in one turn; it won't lower Speed, though) and Rock Slide (boosted by Sheer Force). It naturally learns all the moves you really need, though, which is great.
Overall, I have to give my recommendation to Darumaka and Darmanitan. The only real downside it has is the amount of time it takes to evolve it, but once you've got Darmanitan, you have literally one of the most powerful Pokemon in the game. It's so powerful that it can easily replace Emboar if you started with Tepig. Heck, with the Sheer Force ability, Darmanitan hits even harder than Reshiram, and is even quicker than it to boot!
Oh, Trubbish. What an odd bag of trash. For an unevolved Pokemon, its Speed isn't half bad, neither are its defensive stats, but its Special Attack is pretty darn low. After it evolves, it stats are fairly rounded, with higher Attack than Special Attack by a long shot, which is a shame, because it learns so many Special-based attacks.
Trubbish and Garbodor were terrible in the last games, but since you get them earlier on in Black 2 and White 2, plus you get the TM for Venoshock early on, you have hope. Toxic Spikes is one of the key moves for a Trubbish early on. Use that at the start of a Trainer battle that has multiple Pokemon in it and then any new Pokemon sent out will be poisoned, whittling away at their HP and also helping you inflict more damage with Venoshock (despite its low Special Attack, that 130 power will hit pretty hard). You can also spam Acid Spray to do moderate damage and lower the foe's Special Defense by two stages (it's a Special-based attack). Sludge (also a Special-based attack) at level 18 has a 30% chance of inflicting Poison. It gets Stockpile and Swallow at level 23, but only Stockpile should be worth considering; raising its defensive stats is kind of nice. At level 25 it gets Body Slam, but that's really the only useful attack until after it evolves at level 36, when it gets Toxic at level 39 and finally Gunk Shot at level 54, which is a very powerful Physical-based Poison-type attack (120 power!), but it is pretty inaccurate. TMs don't really help it, either; aside from Venoshock and Return, you probably won't find anything that helps it, thanks to its low Special Attack (it learns so many Special-based attacks).
These two had the potential to be very interesting Poison-type Pokemon if only they weren't totally crippled by having a low Special Attack stat. Seriously, switch their Attack and their Special Attack, and this thing would be a great contender, but as it is now, I really cannot recommend using Trubbish when the likes of Koffing, Venipede, and even Grimer outshine its end potential.
This cute little fluffball lacks much in the way of stats until it evolves, other than decent Speed. You can evolve it into Cinccino with a Shiny Stone, which you get a little later on, and that gives it some pretty good Attack and great Speed. Its defensive stats wind up a little lacking, but it is far from totally frail. It comes with either the Cute Charm or the Technician ability. Definitely go with Technician; it boosts the power of all of Minccino and Cinccino's attacks by 50% as long as their base power is 60 or less, and it specializes in weaker attacks that hit multiple times to trigger Technician.
It starts off with some rather underwhelming attacks, although Tickle can be kind of fun for softening up the foe. At level 25, it gets Tail Slap, which is probably Minccino's signature move; it hits 2-5 times with a base power of 25 per hit, triggering Technician and effectively boosting it to 37.5 power per hit. Not too bad. It gets Charm at level 27 to soften the foe's blows, Wake-Up Slap at level 31, which would normally be a real bummer, but its 60-power is actually perfect for triggering Technician and boosting it to 90 power, making it a great move for Minccino. There aren't too many more moves you'll want it to learn naturally, but once it evolves, it cannot learn any new ones, so make sure you're set before evolution. After evolution, if you take it to the Pokemon World Tournament and trade a Heart Scale, you can reteach Rock Blast and Bullet Seed, both of which are multi-strike 25-power attacks, although are Rock- and Grass-type respectively. That gives Cinccino some interesting diversity. Tail Slap definitely ends up hitting the hardest, though, assuming you can hit 3 or more times (and hit in the first place).
As far as TM moves go, there sadly are not a lot of options that take advantage of its Technician. Dig is about the only Physical-based one. Thunder Wave and Attract can be good for support. Also, for 2 Red Shards, you can teach it Covet by taking it to the Move Tutor in Driftveil. It's a 60-power, Normal-type attack that gets the Technician boost and is more reliable than Tail Slap, although doesn't have the potential to hit as hard (but doesn't miss and doesn't hit for just two strikes). That's pretty cheap and may be an option.
Overall, Minccino and Cinccino are interesting Pokemon to use. They have a theme — Technician — and tend to do a good job at fitting it. While they lack a lot of the beef of other Pokemon, they're still fun to use and make for a decent Normal-type Pokemon. I give slight recommendations for it.
For goodness sakes, get a belt, Scraggy! This odd-looking Pokemon has decent defensive stats as well as sufficient Attack, but that's all you're going to get until it evolves... at level 39. That's basically an eternity to wait before getting your Scraggy to evolve, so you really have to consider if it's worth it or not. It has either Shed Skin or Moxie for abilities. Shed Skin has a 30% chance of healing status conditions between turns, which actually comes in more handy than you'd think in-game, while Moxie raises Scraggy's Attack by one stage each time it knocks out a Pokemon. Both are alright, but Moxie is probably a little nicer. When it finally evolves, it gets a big boost in Defense and Special Defense, capable of taking hits without thinking about it, and its unusual Dark/Fighting-type combo gives it only two weaknesses: Fighting and Flying. It also gets a fair amount of Attack after evolving.
For attacks, thankfully it keeps up at a good pace. It should start with Faint Attack when you catch it, as well as Headbutt and even Swagger (level 16). Scraggy's defenses let it pull off Swagger just fine. But at level 20, it gets Brick Break, which is quite early and will be more than sufficient. At level 31, though, is when it gets the top-of-the-line Fighting-type attack, Hi Jump Kick (hi!), which has an astonishing 130 power, although if you miss with it (it has 90% accuracy), you do half of your max HP in recoil damage. Ouch! But it's just so powerful that it's often times worth it. If you're playing Black 2, you can get a Wide Lens on Route 4, which will make it safe to use (it may be available elsewhere in White 2). Anyway, it also picks up Crunch right before evolving, at level 38, and then doesn't learn anything remarkable until Head Smash at level 65, which does massive damage, but also hits massively in recoil damage back.
Dig and Rock Tomb are good TMs to start it off with. Later on, the likes of Rock Slide and possibly even Dragon Tail will be appreciated (Dragon Claw towards the end is even better!), but really it is the moves it picks up naturally that make the biggest impact. By the way, it can learn a whole ton of Move Tutor moves; I won't spoil you on them, but just keep that in mind.
Well, the biggest downside to Scraggy is how terribly, terribly long it takes to evolve. You're going to have to deal with it as a Scraggy for 22 levels if you catch it now. That's a long time. It's second biggest downside is its slow Speed, but its bulky stats makes up for that. I'd say it's pretty good, but there are also better options for Fighting-type Pokemon out there. I still have to recommend it, though, so long as you're ok with waiting an eternity for that evolution.
Route 4 (White 2)
You can actually visit Route 4 before getting your Insect Badge, but you just can't go very far in it until afterwards. Regardless, head north and fight the Backpacker there with his Sandile L16 and Herdier L16. Head west of the Backpacker and then fight the PKMN Breeder, who has a Drilbur L16 and a Marill L16 — watch out for her, because she, like every other PKMN Breeder in the game, will fight you again every time you leave the area and return!
After beating him, he'll give you a Protein for your trouble to help raise the Attack stat of your Pokemon, then he'll walk off. Well, at least he cleared the path for you.
Before you head that way, check out the bottom left corner, heading down the steps and fighting the two Fisherman there if you'd like. The top one has a Basculin L17 and the bottom one has a Psyduck L16 and a Basculin L16. Right by them is the Mystic Water, a held item that boosts the bearer's Water-type attacks' damage by 20%.
Anyway, head back up the stairs and to around where Colress was, then head north, down into a little village thing in the dunes. The house to the west can actually be entered. You can talk to the lady in there and she'll play a game with you, where she'll make the cry of a Pokemon, and then you need to guess which Pokemon it was; if you answer correctly, you'll get a Poke Toy which can be used to run from a wild Pokemon fight (though it uses up the item). Presumably you can do this once per day. Directly outside of this house is a hidden Red Shard, which can be found with your Dowsing MCHN.
Right by the building, back on the main path, are some Twins you'll have to fight in a Double Battle. They use a Cottonee L20 and a Petilil L20. Just north of them is a Rich Boy with a Herdier L22 on his team. Equipping the Amulet Coin you picked up in Castelia City is a good idea to earn some extra money. If you use the Dowsing MCHN just above him, you can find a hidden Hyper Potion.
To the west of the Rich Boy and then north, behind the house, is the valuable TM28 (Dig). This TM is very important due to its Ground-type and respectable 80 power, so go ahead and see if any of your Pokemon can learn it, because it's quite useful to have around.
Just to the east of the Rich Boy is a Lady — again someone you want to have the Amulet Coin equipped for. She uses a Liepard L22. Directly south of her is a Stardust, which can be sold for some money, and the house directly to the right of her has two Ace Trainers in it; the boy will want to see a Pokemon that has an Attack stat above a certain number. If you have a Pokemon with a stat above that number, he'll give you a Swift Wing; if you have one with exactly that stat, he'll give you a total of five Swift Wings instead. You can do this once a day. The number will change, too.
The house directly to the east has a boy who will trade a Cottonee for your Petilil (this is in White 2 only, obviously). That's a great way to get a Cottonee in White 2, since you can't get it in any other way. Right next to him is the BrightPowder, which is a held item that lowers the foe's accuracy by a little bit in battle. It can be handy to equip. Just outside of that house is a Backpacker who will fight you with her Woobat L21 and Pidove L21.
Keep going east, past the Backpacker, and you'll find a clearing. There's some hidden Stardust in the sand and there's a Pokefan ♀ with a Darumaka L22 on her team. It can hit surprisingly hard, so be careful! There's a Green Shard hiding nearby, plus you can walk behind the buildings to the northeast of her to find a Light Clay, which, when held, increases the duration of the Pokemon's Light Screen and Reflect attacks, which is very nice if you plan on using those.
Feeling Braviary on Mondays!
If you look around the houses back here by where the Pokefan ♀ is on Monday, you can find a Braviary L25 sitting outside, ready for you to battle it and hopefully catch it. Braviary makes for an amazing Flying-type Pokemon for your team, with high Attack, Speed, and HP, and since you can't catch Rufflet for a long time (and also since Rufflet normally evolves at level 54), this is a great catch. Not only that, but this Braviary even has its Hidden Ability, Defiant, which raises its Attack by two stages if any of its stats are lowered. Keep in mind that this is for White 2 only; Black 2 players get a Mandibuzz instead, so read in that section if that's what you're playing.
While Braviary wasn't really all that great in the original White due to how late you got it in the game and how long it took to evolve, in White 2, you have a chance to catch it quite early on in the game, fully evolved, at level 25. That makes it extremely viable for a spot in your party. Its Attack is very, very high, close to Gigalith and Conkeldurr status, while its Speed and defensive stats are both sufficient. It has a wonderful amount of HP, too! For abilities, normal Braviary would have either Keen Eye, which prevents accuracy drops, or Sheer Force, which increases all of Braviary's attacks' power by 30% if they have a beneficial secondary effect, but it shuts off that effect. The one you catch on Route 4 has the Secret Ability, Defiant, which raises its Attack by a massive two stages if ever its stats are lowered by a foe's attack. That's great for all of the Growls and Leers your opponents like to use.
For attacks, it starts off with Aerial Ace, Scary Face, Hone Claws, and Wing Attack. Wing Attack is in every way (except for PP) inferior to Aerial Ace, while Scary Face and Hone Claws are unnecessary (although Hone Claws is better than Work Up). It gets Slash at level 28, which will be nice until it is happy enough for Return to do more damage. Tailwind at level 37 is interesting for raising your whole team's Speed for a few turns. Crush Claw at level 46 is a fairly strong Normal-type attack (75 power), but it has a 50% chance of lowering the foe's Defense by a stage — if you have Sheer Force, you don't have that chance, but its power increases to 97.5. Since Return maxes out at 102 power at maximum happiness, Crush Claw should only be used if your Braviary has Keen Eye or Defiant, but I'd just stick to Return anyway. It gets Superpower at level 51, which is a very strong Fighting-type attack (120 power!), but it lowers your Attack and Defense afterwards, meaning you'll want to switch out after your knock out. Even though they're late, Brave Bird at level 63 and Thrash at level 70 are also good options for Braviary.
Braviary gets a few helpful TM moves early on. Rock Tomb is a nice option, plus it gets a Sheer Force boost (for the non-Defiant Braviary out there, just, uh, just in case). Later on, Rock Slide will get one as well, so having Rock Slide on your Braviary is a great move, with or without Sheer Force. Shadow Claw is another attack to consider. Return and Fly are essentially must-haves, though, particularly once your Braviary is happy enough with you to do maximum damage. Lastly, while it is typically something I advise against, Braviary can make good use of Giga Impact. Since it has a monstrously high Attack stat and it is a Normal-type Pokemon, a STAB Giga Impact will hit with effectively 225 power off of that great Attack stat, almost certainly assuring a knock out against anything that doesn't resist Normal-type attacks. Assuming you're not facing another player or fighting in the World Tournament (or have your battle style set to Set), you can just switch out afterwards to circumvent the recharge time. It makes a good "I gotta do a LOT of damage RIGHT NOW" attack.
Overall, Braviary is the second strongest non-legendary Flying-type in the game (Archeops is first, but it's unavailable before beating the game; also, Crobat and Yanmega both have higher average stats, but Braviary will hit harder). It's a great choice if you're looking for a Flying-type Pokemon and, thanks to how early in the game you catch it, it is a very viable option. It's also extremely powerful at this point in the game. The only problem is it doesn't get that much diversity, though I definitely recommend it.
Go back to where the Backpacker was except now head south and you'll find a Pokefan ♂. He uses a Growlithe L21 and a Sandshrew L21. The house next to him has a few people in there, although the Black Belt inside will give you a generous 3 Sitrus Berries for talking with him. Finally, hiding right behind the house is a Yellow Shard (again, use the Dowsing MCHN).
Now you should be done with everything in the village area down here, so go back to the center part (over to the west, just above where you fought Colress) and then head north, climbing up the stairs until you see a Backpacker to your right and then a girl to your left. Over by the girl leads to the Desert Resort, which you can go to now, if you want (it's optional, but nice), or you can just go on and fight the Backpacker with his Riolu L21 and Timburr L21, take him out and then head north to reach the Join Avenue, which is on your way to Nimbasa City!