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Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: Gym Leader Guide

Patrick Bonifacio

As with any other title in the mainline series of Pokemon games, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet both involve going through the Pokemon League — which requires trainers to go through Pokemon Gyms, beating each gym leader in the region. Each of them specializes in a specific Pokemon type, including (but not limited to) Normal, Psychic, or Water, and are a cut above your average NPC trainer.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Gym Leader Paldea

Image Credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

These trainers are meant to test and challenge the player’s Pokemon, as they often employ Pokemon with high stats and use moves that hit harder than what you would otherwise find on other NPC trainers’ teams. Gym leaders’ teams are also of a higher average level compared to NPC trainers.

Where Scarlet and Violet set themselves apart from the rest in this regard, however, is in the fact that these games are open world titles. Players are thus practically free to challenge gyms in any order they choose, as long as they have the required traversal tools to get there. This is a bit of a double-edged sword, however, as neither Scarlet nor Violet feature any sort of level scaling — gym leaders included. Players can therefore essentially challenge gym leaders that are way above their level range, which necessitates some grinding before going in.

But everything else is pretty much the same as always: beat the gym leaders in Pokemon battles, earn gym badges, and challenge the Paldean Pokemon League. So, if you want to know the “logical” order of the gyms and how to defeat each leader in that order, we’ve got you covered with this Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Gym Leader guide.

Cortondo Gym: Katy

  • Type: Bug
  • Weak to: Fire, Flying, Rock
  • Average level: 14
  • Team:
    • Nymble (Bug, level 14)
    • Tarountula (Bug, level 14)
    • Teddiursa (Normal, level 15)

At an average level of 14 and with one of the weakest types in the campaign in terms of stats, the Cortondo Gym Leader Katy is the first stop for trainers going through the Pokemon League. Her preferred type has three weaknesses, one of which is covered by Fuecoco, the Fire-type starter Pokemon.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Gym Leader Katy

Image Credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

As the “tutorial” gym, this one is pretty easy. All you really have to watch out for here is Teddiursa, which starts out as a Normal type, but Terastalizes into a Bug type on the first turn Katy sends it out. Don’t get baited into sending out a Fighting type like Pawmo, as its Fighting type attacks won’t deal much damage to Teddiursa after it changes type.

If you didn’t choose Fuecoco, we recommend catching a Fletchling in the South Province area. Its dual Fire/Flying typing absolutely demolishes everything on Katy’s team, and Fletchling itself eventually evolves into the speedy physical attacker Talonflame.

Artazon Gym: Brassius

  • Type: Grass
  • Weak to: Fire, Flying, Ice
  • Average level: 16
  • Team:
    • Petilil (Grass, level 16)
    • Smolive (Grass/Normal, level 16)
    • Sudowoodo (Rock, level 17)

Brassius is much like Katy in the sense that his weaknesses carry over from the previous gym, minus the Rock type. Instead, it’s replaced with the Ice type, which isn’t really useful this early in the game as access to Ice-type Pokemon is often limited to the mid-to-late game. So, our advice remains the same: roast Brassius’ Pokemon with Fuecoco, Crocalor, Fletchling, or Fletchinder.

Brassius

Image Credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

If you choose to go the Fletchinder route, though, be aware that Brassius’ Sudowoodo carries Rock Throw — which Fletchinder has a quadruple weakness to. Rock Throw will likely score a one-hit KO (OHKO) as a result. And while Sudowoodo will turn into a Grass type after Terastalizing, its ability Sturdy allows it to survive attacks from Fletchinder that would otherwise KO it from full. This gives it a golden opportunity to strike back with Rock Throw in return, so you’ll want to watch out for this strategy.

Levincia Gym: Iono

  • Type: Electric
  • Weak to: Ground
  • Average level: 23
  • Team:
    • Wattrel (Electric/Flying, level 23)
    • Bellibolt (Electric, level 23)
    • Luxio (Electric, level 23)
    • Mismagius (Ghost, level 24)

There is a noticeable jump in difficulty here at the Levincia Gym, thanks to increased levels. Also, there is a particular Pokemon here that teaches new players that taking advantage of type matchups only works if you can figure out a Pokemon’s type in the middle of a battle. We’re talking about Iono’s Wattrel, a dual-type Electric/Flying Pokemon that would normally be weak to Ground-type attacks without its secondary type.

Instead, it’s completely immune to Ground-type moves. It also has a neutrality to Electric-type moves, since its primary type cancels out the weakness of its secondary type. Of course, there are still other ways to deal super effective damage to Wattrel. Rock-type moves come to mind first and foremost, as they hit Wattrel’s weakness while ignoring its Electric typing.

Iono

Image Credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

The rest of Iono’s team is also quite dangerous. Bellibolt’s ability Electromorphosis, which increases the power of its next Electric-type move, punishes opposing Pokemon for trying to chip away at it slowly. Luxio’s Intimidate ability, on the other hand, neuters physical attackers like Diglett, and Sprigatito’s evolution Floragato.

But nothing is more fatal than her Mismagius. It is also immune to Ground-type moves by virtue of its ability Levitate, and it gets a significant power boost to its Charge Beam thanks to its Electric Tera Type. Its base Speed stat of 105 also means it will likely outrun anything else on your squad. The best thing to do against it is to just send out a Ground-type Pokemon that has moves that cover its immunity to Ground-type moves, such as Diglett with Rock Tomb (TM36).

Cascarrafa Gym: Kofu

  • Type: Water
  • Weak to: Electric, Grass
  • Average level: 29
  • Team:
    • Veluza (Water/Psychic, level 29)
    • Wugtrio (Water, level 29)
    • Crabominable (Fighting/Ice, level 30)

Here’s another gym that amps up the difficulty. Kofu’s team is composed of vicious physical attackers, particularly the Fighting/Ice Pokemon Crabominable. Its base Attack stat of 132 allows it to wreck many Pokemon that would otherwise check it, especially coupled with its 100 base power Crabhammer boosted by its Water Tera Type and its Iron Fist ability.

Having Floragato or even Meowscarada here would be a godsend. Meowscarada in particular is faster than both Veluza and Wugtrio, its speed allowing it to KO them with Flower Trick before they can retaliate. Should Flower Trick not be enough, Meowscarada can resist a few Water-type moves, allowing it to survive for the follow-up.

Kofu

Image Credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

Crabominable does threaten it somewhat, though, as it is decently bulky and has access to Rock Smash, which hits Meowscarada super effectively. Fortunately, Rock Smash’s base power of 40 means that it doesn’t really hit too hard off the bat. It does have a chance to lower the target’s Defense stat by one stage, though, so try not to mess around with it as Crabominable can easily soften up your Pokemon in a hurry.

Otherwise, there’s Electric-type Pokemon out there like Pawmot, Raichu, and Magneton. Magnezone in particular is quite good here thanks to its high Defense stat, which directly counters Kofu’s strategy of overloading on physical attackers. You can find Magnemite (which evolves into Magneton and then Magnezone with a Thunder Stone) in the East Province, Area Two.

Medali Gym: Larry

  • Type: Normal
  • Weak to: Fighting
  • Average level: 35
  • Team:
    • Komala (Normal, level 35)
    • Dudunsparce (Normal, level 35)
    • Staraptor (Normal/Flying, level 36)

Like Kofu, Larry carries three physical attackers in his team. Staraptor is the strongest of his Pokemon by a long shot, with access to Intimidate, Aerial Ace, and the status move-punishing Facade. It also loses its weakness to Rock, Electric, and Ice upon Terastalzing to Normal, meaning the only way to do super effective damage to it is through Fighting-type moves.

Facade also has a whopping 140 base power when Staraptor is burned, poisoned, or paralyzed. Burning it with Skeledirge’s Will-O-Wisp is therefore not a good idea, as it doubles Facade’s power instead of halving it. Putting Staraptor to sleep with Hypnosis from a Psychic-type like Gardevoir or a Ghost-type like Gengar is therefore ideal, forcing it to skip turns while you figure out how to stop it.

Larry

Image Credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

Incidentally, Rock-type Pokemon perform really well against Staraptor. They resist both Facade and Aerial Ace, and can safely switch in after Staraptor to avoid Intimidate.

But there’s the other two Pokemon to worry about as well. Komala’s Yawn is extremely irritating, as it forces you to switch your active Pokemon out or be put to sleep the next turn. Slam gets same type attack bonus (STAB), and with a base Attack stat of 115, it’s definitely going to sting if unresisted. Sucker Punch also allows Komala to go up against faster Pokemon, thanks to its increased priority. It only works when Komala’s opponent uses a damaging move, though, so this can be exploited with status moves like Will-O-Wisp.

Dudunsparce on the other hand is ridiculously durable, thanks to a base HP stat of 125 and respectable defenses at 80 Defense and 75 Special Defense. It will take a lot to bring this Pokemon down, which won’t be easy because it also sports 100 Attack. Dudunsparce can therefore dish out what it can take, so you’ll want to be prepared with something that resists its moves, like a Rock or Steel-type.

Quaquaval will have a heck of a time here, though, especially if you’re able to boost its Speed a few times with Aqua Step.

Montenevera Gym: Ryme

  • Type: Ghost
  • Weak to: Dark, Ghost
  • Average level: 41
  • Team:
    • Banette (Ghost, level 41)
    • Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy, level 41)
    • Houndstone (Ghost, level 41)
    • Toxtricity (Electric/Poison, level 42)

The Montenevera Gym is home to Ryme, who employs Ghost-type Pokemon on her team. Aside from Toxtricity, which we’ll talk about later, the biggest threat on this team has to be Houndstone. Its bulk facilitates its offensive power, as it is able to tank hits from opposing Pokemon while firing off strong moves like Play Rough, Crunch, and Phantom Force. Crunch and Phantom Force particular are very dangerous, as they cover Ghost-type Pokemon that would otherwise threaten it with their own Ghost-type moves.

Ryme

Image Credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

You’ll also want to watch out for its Sand Rush ability, especially if you have Sand Stream Pokemon like Tyranitar or Hippowdon on your team. Sand Rush doubles Houndstone’s Speed stat as long as there is a sandstorm active, so if you were hoping to wear it down with passive damage from Sand Stream, you might want to look at other such methods.

Toxtricity, meanwhile, is normally quadruple-weak to Ground-type attacks, thanks to its Electric/Poison dual typing. But once it Terastalizes to Ghost, this isn’t really a viable way of OHKO-ing it anymore. Fortunately, this means that those who picked Fuecoco at the start of the game will have an excellent time. Just burn Toxtricity with Will-O-Wisp, then proceed to use Hex on it.

Those that picked Sprigatito will also find this place easy. Night Slash tears Ghost-type Pokemon to shreds, especially if it scores critical hits. Moreover, Dark-type Pokemon resist Ghost-type moves.

Alfornada Gym: Tulip

  • Type: Psychic
  • Weak to: Ghost, Dark, Bug
  • Average level: 44
  • Team:
    • Farigiraf (Normal/Psychic, level 44)
    • Gardevoir (Psychic/Fairy, level 44)
    • Espathra (Psychic, level 44)
    • Florges (Fairy, level 45)

Tulip is another gym leader that tricks the player into trying to take advantage of a type matchup that she actually wins. Farigiraf would be weak to Ghost-type moves, except it’s actually immune to them thanks to its primary Normal type. Shadow Ball, Hex, and the like will simply go through it, so if you want to hit this thing super effectively, go for a Bug or Dark-type move instead.

The trickery doesn’t stop there. Gardevoir is part-Fairy, which means that Dark-type Pokemon might be in for a surprise going up against it. Not only can it hit Dark-types super effectively with Dazzling Gleam, but it also has a neutrality to the Dark-type moves that would otherwise destroy it. Poison-type moves are an option against Gardevoir, but only if it’s not carried by a Poison-type Pokemon; its powerful Psychic will obliterate Poison-types.

Tulip

Image Credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

Espathra is nothing to really write home about, as its mono-Psychic typing leaves it weak to three types. Its moves are just standard fare, too, so just try to either outspeed it with Meowscarada or outlast it with Skeledirge.

If you don’t have either of these Pokemon, Bisharp is perhaps the best answer to everything that Tulip brings to the table. Iron Head deals with both Gardevoir and Farigiraf, while things like Knock Off and Night Slash will decimate Espathra and Florges after it Terastalizes to Psychic. Its primary Dark type also gives it full immunity to all Psychic-type moves.

Glaseado Gym: Grusha

  • Type: Ice
  • Weak to: Fire, Rock, Steel, Fighting
  • Average level: 47
  • Team:
    • Frosmoth (Ice/Bug, level 47)
    • Beartic (Ice, level 47)
    • Cetitan (Ice, level 47)
    • Altaria (Dragon/Flying, level 48)

Here it is, the final gym in “logical” order: the Glaseado Gym. Grusha is no joke, with some really strong Ice types at his disposal. Beartic in particular can smash your team to bits with its 130 base Attack — tied with pseudo-legendary Pokemon such as Garchomp. It is very slow at 50 base Speed, though, so a fast Fighting or Fire type can dispose of Beartic before it gets to bring all that power to bear (pun intended).

Grusha

Image Credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

Cetitan is another big problem. As if its base HP stat of 170 wasn’t enough, it has 113 base Attack, on top of having access to Liquidation. This allows it to go toe-to-toe with Skeledirge, despite Skeledrige normally having the type advantage in the matchup. Not to mention that its Thick Fat ability reduces damage from Fire-type moves by 50 percent, so even Fire-type Pokemon don’t just get a free KO if they happen to be faster.

And then there’s Altaria, which Terastalizes into the Ice type; ironic considering its quadruple weakness to Ice before changing type. This thing has so much coverage that it’s not even funny: it has Ice Beam, Dragon Pulse, Moonblast, and Hurricane. A Steel-type Pokemon like the Bisharp we suggested above works wonders against it, as it resists all four of its moves. Steel-type moves will likewise clip Altaria’s wings.


And that’s the end of the guide! We hope our tips will make your journey through Paldea and the act of going up against the eight gym leaders easier. We’ve got more Pokemon Scarlet and Violet content coming up, so stay tuned for more of our guides in the coming days.

Patrick Bonifacio

Patrick Bonifacio

Patrick has been playing Dota since the dawn of time, having started with the original custom game for WarCraft III. He primarily plays safe lane and solo mid, preferring to leave the glorious task of playing support to others.

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