There's a hidden Ultra Ball right near the statue thing you'll see as you first enter the area. Keep going west, across another bridge, to see a skirmish between a Team Plasma Grunt and a... Team Plasma Grunt?! Yeah, it turns out the new Team Plasma has some disagreements with the Ex-Team Plasma, who side with N.
After a little bit of dialogue, Hugh will run in and tackle the Team Plasma Grunt, then chase him off into the city. The Ex-Team Plasma person will tell you that the new Team Plasma sided with Ghetsis and his ideals. He then tells you that you should go check out their new "base" just north of the Gym.
The first house you run across upon entering the city has a guy that will give you a Shell Bell if you've seen a certain number of Pokemon (I received it when I saw 70). This item restores the user's HP by a fraction of the damage they deal. Take the elevator on up to the 19th Floor (there's nothing worthwhile on the 14th Floor), then talk to the Axew to receive a free Haban Berry, which reduces the damage received from a Super Effective Dragon-type attack (although it's used up afterwards). Probably not that useful right now, but it may come in handy later.
Leave the building and then head further west. You can either go north or south at this point, but since there's just the one building south for now, go and check that out. The Lady in there will ask to see a Pokemon knowing a certain TM move if you answer yes to her question. This is usually an easy TM move to teach; in fact, you may even have one of your Pokemon knowing it. If you show her a Pokemon with that move, she'll reward you with a Heart Scale. She changes the move she wants to see each day and will give you another Heart Scale each day you show her the move she asks for. Neat! Now head up to the 23rd Floor and talk to the Waiter there and he'll give you an Everstone, which, when held, prevents your Pokemon from evolving — use it only if you get annoyed by canceling each time your Pokemon tries to evolve (which you can normally do by pressing B).
Just to the north of that building is the Driftveil Market, which is a good place to buy items. The Team Plasma guy (the original kind, don't worry!) sells you a variety of incenses which can be used in breeding later on, but also have additional effects for now.
- Odd Incense — raises the power of your Psychic-type attacks by 20% when held. Can also be held by a female Mr. Mime to breed for a Mime Jr.
- Sea Incense — raises the power of your Water-type attacks by 20% when held. Can also be held by a female Marill or Azumarill to breed for an Azurill egg.
- Rose Incense — raises the power of your Grass-type attacks by 20% when held. Can also be held by a female Roselia or Roserade to breed for a Budew egg.
- Wave Incense — raises the power of your Water-type attacks by 20% when held. Can also be held by a female Mantine to breed for a Mantyke egg.
- Rock Incense — raises the power of your Rock-type attacks by 20% when held. Can also be held by a female Sudowoodo to breed for a Bonsly egg.
- Pure Incense — lowers the encounter rate of wild Pokemon when held by your active Pokemon. Can also be held by a female Chimecho to breed for a Chingling egg.
- Luck Incense — doubles the amount of prize money ($) you earn when held and participating in a Trainer battle. Can also be held by a Chansey or Blissey to breed for a Happiny.
- Lax Incense — increase the holder's evasion in battle by 10%. Can also be held by a female Wobbuffet to breed for a Wynaut.
- Full Incense — makes the holder always move last in battle. Can also be held by a female Snorlax to breed for a Munchlax.
Keep in mind that you can't do any breeding until after you've beaten the game, as the Day Care is on Route 3, and not all of the Pokemon listed above are even available in the wild in the game. But their effects are still pretty handy.
The Maid directly above the Team Plasma person will sell you Moomoo Milk for $500 each, and sells them either one-at-a-time or buy the dozen. Moomoo Milk is a great healing item, so I definitely recommend stocking up on a dozen or two, because it's cheaper than a Super Potion and heals twice as much. It'll be effective until your Pokemon's max HP starts passing 150 or so, when you'll want to switch to Hyper Potions (which are $1200 apiece, making them a lot less cost-effective).
The person in the shades in the top-right stall will give you an Expert Belt if you have a Pokemon in your team that is at level 30 or higher. This belt increases the damage dealt by the user's Super Effective attacks by 20%, making it pretty handy for Pokemon with a variety of attacks. Lastly, the man just south of him sells the herbal medicine stuff, which is somewhat inexpensive, but lowers your Pokemon's happiness after using it. I don't recommend buying any of it, as there are better options all around.
If you sneak behind the market (over to the west), you'll find Charles riding around back there. He'll ask if you want to hear the rules for a Rotation Battle, and, afterwards, will ask if you want to try one out. He'll use the same Pokemon as before (Sigilyph L26, Archen L26, and Tirtouga L26), but in the Triple Battle (Black 2) or Rotation Battle (White 2) style instead. Sneak into the side of the market (there's an entrance there!) and you'll find TM63 (Embargo), which prevents the foe from using items or held items. Not really all that useful in-game.
|Bug Bite||60||100%||20||One Nearby|
|Drill Run||80||95%||10||One Nearby|
|Signal Beam||75||100%||15||One Nearby|
|Iron Head||80||100%||15||One Nearby|
|Super Fang||varies||90%||10||One Nearby|
|Seed Bomb||80||100%||15||One Nearby|
|Dual Chop||40||90%||15||One Nearby|
|Low Kick||varies||100%||20||One Nearby|
|Gunk Shot||120||70%||5||One Nearby|
|Fire Punch||75||100%||15||One Nearby|
|Ice Punch||75||100%||15||One Nearby|
As you can see, there are plenty of great attacks you can learn for some Red Shards. You get 10 Red Shards for free for talking to a guy in the Nimbasa City Pokemon Center, so you should be able to teach any of these moves if you want. Bug Bite is really cheap, while Signal Beam and Drill Run are also affordable options — a lot of Pokemon can learn Signal Beam, too. The elemental punches also make for great attacks, too, and are learnable by a ton of Pokemon — they're just rather expensive.
Shard to Find!
Need more of the different colored Shards? One way to acquire a whole ton of them is to take a bike ride in the Relic Passage. Stock up on 30-50 Super Repels (they're most cost-effective than Max Repels), use one, then ride your bike back and forth, preferably in a wide-open area of the Relic Passage. Just keep riding around until you find some swirling dust. In the Relic Passage, you'll find Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green Shards in the swirling dust, as well as Drilbur and Onix. You can usually amass a pretty decent amount of shards this way. Super Repels aren't that expensive in the big picture, plus there are so many ways to make money that you shouldn't have any problems.
There's a Gentleman on the top floor of this building, too, that gives you an Air Balloon, which gives your Pokemon an immunity to Ground-type attacks until it is damaged by an attack, which pops the balloon (for good!). It can be useful against the upcoming Gym Leader, but save it for then, because it's a fairly hard item to get.
In the Pokemon Center, there's a person up top that will give you 3 Luxury Balls, which has the same catch rate as a normal Poke Ball, but starts the Pokemon you catch with much higher happiness, plus it increases the rate your Pokemon's happiness rises. The Poke Mart also sells the useful Dusk Balls, which have 3.5x the catch rate of a normal Poke Ball during night time or in dark areas like caves — for reference's sake, Ultra Balls have only 2x the catch rate, so Dusk Balls are very good, especially if you play at night.
On the top floor of the building to the east of the Pokemon Center, a Veteran will give you a Big Root after talking to him, which increases the amount of HP attacks like Mega Drain and Giga Drain absorb from the foe, as well as Ingrain and Leech Seed, by an extra 30%. Keep in mind that it does not increase the damage dealt, but just increases the HP you heal. Unless you use Leech Seed and Giga Drain together, you're probably best off just using the Miracle Seed to raise damage by 20%; you won't heal quite as much, but you'll still get +20% healing and even do more damage in the process.
In the north part of town, there's a path west that leads to Route 6 (which you can go to now if you want, but I'll cover it after getting your badge). That road also heads east over to the Gym, but it's blocked off for now, so instead climb up the steps. The Worker will block your path down into a tunnel thing until after you've beaten the game, so don't bother with him and just head east up there instead. You'll run into an Original Team Plasma Grunt talking to Rood of the Seven Sages. He'll then want to see your abilities in battle, so say Yes and begin your battle against him.
After beating him, Hugh will dash on over, and then Rood will invite the two of you inside. Hugh and Rood both swap their stories, then Hugh gets upset, demanding to know where his sister's stolen Purrloin is. Of course, this old faction of Team Plasma doesn't deal in the business of stealing Pokemon anymore, so Hugh instead runs off to the Gym.
Rood will then ask if you'd like to take care of a Zorua, who was left here by its old Trainer. If you have room in your party, you'll be able to pick it up immediately; otherwise, you'll have to make room and then come back for it. It turns out the Zorua was actually once a friend of the one and only N. It starts out at level 25 and is a traded Pokemon, as it has N's Trainer ID and everything. Cool!
Finally, you have easy access to a Zorua in the game without having to rely on transferring event Pokemon from previous generations! The fact that the Zorua you get from Driftveil City is a traded one helps level it up much quicker, too, which is a definite plus. It starts off with decent Special Attack, and then fairly alright Speed and Attack (for an unevolved Pokemon). It evolves at level 30, though, so you don't have to wait too long to get yourself its evolution, Zoroark. After evolving, it has very high Special Attack as well as quite high Attack and Speed, but it is very fragile as far as its defensive stats go. Zorua and Zoroark both have the Illusion ability, which causes it to take on the name and appearance of the last Pokemon in your party, so don't adjust your TV set when you see something random sent out in the battle — it's actually your Zorua or Zoroark. This can be used to fool Trainers and is particularly nice if you put a Fighting- or Poison-type Pokemon in your last slot to hopefully cause them to use Psychic-type attacks against your Dark-type, rendering it useless.
As far as moves go, sadly Zorua and Zoroark tend to be rather lacking in moves learned, which is a real shame. It starts off with Faint Attack for a decent attacking move, but gets Foul Play at level 29, which has higher power, but uses your foe's Attack stat to determine damage, making it rather unreliable. Upon evolving at level 30, it gets Night Slash, which is a 70 power Dark-type attack (Physical-based, sadly) that has a high chance of inflicting a critical hit. The rest of the moves it learns for awhile, though, are mostly just support moves that it doesn't really even need. Pretty much the only worthwhile move it learns is at level 54, which is Nasty Plot to sharply raise Zoroark's already high Special Attack. At level 64, it learns its best attack, Night Daze, which is an amazing 85 power Special-based Dark-type attack that has a whopping 40% chance of lowering the foe's accuracy. It's just too bad you have to wait until level 64 to get it. At the Pokemon World Tournament, you can exchange a Heart Scale to have it learn U-Turn, which may be an interesting move for Zoroark, as it does some damage and then switches it out, potentially fooling your foe. It's more of a gimmick, though.
Due to its lack of worthwhile attacking moves until level 64, you'll have to rely on TMs and even Move Tutors to bridge that gap. Thankfully, you should already have access to Snarl (gotten in the Lostlorn Forest on Route 16), which is a great move for Zorua and Zoroark for now. 55 power on a Special-based attack is great (well, compared to the alternatives...), but so is lowering the foe's Special Attack by one stage for sure. It can also learn Dig early on, too. Later on, you'll want to consider Shadow Ball and even Flamethrower on it. Flamethrower makes it pretty sweet, actually. Now, even though I try to avoid Move Tutor moves, there are two worth mentioning: Uproar can be purchased right away in Driftveil City for 6 Red Shards, and being a 90 power Special-based attack (it's Normal-type, though), it should hit pretty hard — it'll hit slightly harder than Snarl will. When you get to Lentimas Town, you can also use the Move Tutor there to teach Dark Pulse, but at the steep cost of 10 Blue Shards. If you can accrue them, Dark Pulse will be an amazing move for Zoroark, taking full advantage of its high Special Attack. Otherwise, you've gotta wait for level 64 to get a really strong Dark-type attack.
At the end of the day, Zorua and Zoroark are cool Pokemon. Illusion is a weird ability, though it will probably throw you off more than it will the in-game foes. There aren't really any Special-based Dark-type Pokemon available for you at this point, so it isn't really competing against Scrafty or Krookodile. I'd say use it if you want to, but know it may take awhile before it really gains the right moves to attack with and prove its worth. Subtract half a star if you aren't going to learn Dark Pulse, too.
Now you'll be able to head to the Gym, which is down the steps and then to the east. You'll see Hugh waiting outside there. Make sure your Pokemon are fully healed, then head on in!