|Bouffalant||Lv. 49, 51||25%|
|Sawk||Lv. 48 ~ 49|
|Throh||Lv. 48 ~ 49|
|Bouffalant||Lv. 54, 56||25%|
|Sawk||Lv. 53 ~ 54|
|Throh||Lv. 53 ~ 54|
|Shaking Grass / Swirling Dust||Level(s)||Rarity|
|Audino||Lv. 48 ~ 51||80%|
|Basculin||Lv. 40 ~ 55|
|Basculin (Blue)||Lv. 40 ~ 55|
|Buizel||Lv. 40 ~ 55||30%|
|Surfing (in surfacing fish)||Level(s)||Rarity|
|Buizel||Lv. 40 ~ 55||60%|
|Basculin (Blue)||Lv. 40 ~ 55|
|Basculin||Lv. 40 ~ 55|
|Floatzel||Lv. 45 ~ 55||10%|
Sawk used to be one of the best Fighting-type Pokemon in the original Black and White due to how early you could catch it and how great its stats were in comparison. Now, though, it's found towards the end of the game, meaning you've already had a chance to choose from several other potential Fighting-types. Sawk's Attack is very strong, giving it a lot of oomph behind its punches. Its defensive stats are sufficient, its Speed is pretty nice, and its Special Attack is about as low as can be — which is just fine, because it really didn't want it anyway! It has either the Sturdy or Inner Focus ability. I'm sure you're familiar with Sturdy by now that I don't need to tell you it can be helpful, while Inner Focus just prevents it from flinching, which can come in handy against things that use Fake Out against you. I'd say Sturdy is the better ability, though it should be mostly for those surprise moments you weren't expecting.
It already knows most (if not all) of its moves by the time you catch it. Close Combat is very nice for it to have, as it hits extremely strong (120 power!), but lowers its Defense and Special Defense afterwards. It is typically fast enough to run on a stream of those, but using it will leave you vulnerable. Switching out afterwards resets those stat droppings, so keep that in mind. Helpful moves in its past that can be retaught via swapping Heart Scales are Brick Break for some steady, reliable damage, and Bulk Up, which raises its Attack and Defense by one stage and can be pretty handy to increase the potency of its punches. It actually learns a lot of damaging moves, but since you're already towards the end of the game, they're mostly outclassed now.
Rock Slide is a helpful TM move for it, as is Dig, but Bulldoze can replace Dig if you'd rather try to nail their Speed. Poison Jab can add some diversity to its moves. Payback won't usually do the extra damage, but sometimes having a Psychic-type attack is handy. After beating the game, Earthquake and Stone Edge are also great options to consider. As far as Move Tutor moves go, Sawk gets a whole ton of great ones! The Dragon-type Dual Chop can be picked up for a mere 6 Red Shards, which is very helpful against Dragon-type Pokemon. However, it can also get Ice Punch for 10 Red Shards, which will do at least as well, plus it covers other types, too. ThunderPunch and Fire Punch (10 Red Shards each) are also available, which give it a very ample amount of diversity. Definitely consider slapping on one or two of the elemental punches onto it.
The problem with Sawk is that it has so many options to compete with: Mienshao, Lucario, Conkeldurr, Heracross, and the entire legendary trio of Cobalion, Virizion, and Terrakion, not to mention its cousin Throh. Heracross would typically be completely superior to it, but it doesn't learn the elemental punches; however, Lucario and Conkeldurr both do (as well as Throh). It also doesn't get the helpful Drain Punch like Mienshao and Conkeldurr do. It's a good Fighting-type Pokemon and all, but there are just so many other options now that just doesn't really shine like it used to. Because of that, I really can't recommend Sawk over the other options listed.
Throh, like its counterpart, Sawk, used to be a lot more of a force to be reckoned with in the original Black and White due to how early in the game you got it combined with its strong stats. However, now that you get it so late in Black 2 and White 2, it's not quite as viable of an option, especially with so many other strong Fighting-type Pokemon in the running long before you have a chance to catch the bulky red fighter. It specializes in its massive HP along with respectable defensive stats, giving it a lot of resilience. Its Attack, while not as stellar as most other strong Fighting-type Pokemon, is still capable of delivering a solid punch. Special Attack is abysmal, but that's just perfect; its Speed is very low, though, meaning it will rarely get the first strike against equal-level Pokemon. It has either Guts or Inner Focus for abilities. Guts raises its Attack by 50% if it is affected by a major status condition, plus it prevents Burn from lowering its attack, while Inner Focus merely prevents it from flinching. Guts is definitely the preferred option, especially if you combo it with the Flame Orb or Toxic Orb, which you get in the Reversal Mountain (depending on version).
For moves, there are virtually no moves it learns by level up by the time you catch it — Reversal is the only remaining move, which it learns at level 53, and some Throh (the ones in the thick grass) are already at that level. It will definitely come equipped with Superpower, which hits very hard at 120 power, but lowers its Attack and Defense afterwards, meaning you can't use it too many times in succession. You're best off switching after using it to nullify the effect. Wide Guard is like a Protect for any multi-target attack such as Surf or Earthquake and is only useful in Double or Triple Battles. It can actually be pretty nice in those if that is something you're concerned about. Circle Throw is available for any wild Throh lower than level 53 (otherwise you'll have to swap a Heart Scale to reteach it), and it's a Fighting-type attack that hits moderately hard (60 power) but also forces the foe to switch out afterwards if it doesn't knock them out. It'll almost always strike last thanks to its low priority, but hey, Throh is used to that anyway. There are some noteworthy moves it can learn thanks to swapping Heart Scales, too. Bide, while not usually an option I recommend, may suit Throh well thanks to its resilience and high HP. It basically takes two hits from the foe and strikes back for double the damage dealt in those turns, which is usually enough to knock out the foe, so long as it isn't slacking. It's riskier, though. Vital Throw hits for 70 power and has perfect accuracy, sneaking around evasion and accuracy modifiers, but it causes Throh to move last — something it is not terribly bothered with. Revenge hits for 60 power normally, but it is doubled to 120 power if Throh is damaged on that turn by the foe, plus it also forces Throh to act last (seems like a lot of things do this to Throh, huh?), so it works as a good powerhouse move for it, although it won't do the extra damage unless it itself is damaged, so it is weaker against Pokemon that like to set up against it. Storm Throw has only 40 power, but it always strikes a critical hit, meaning it has an effective power somewhere around 75 or so, though it also gets around any positive modifiers on them or negative modifiers on you. Body Slam is a Normal-type attack hitting for 85 power, but it has a sizable 30% chance of paralyzing the foe, which can help Throh's Speed problem (although Bulldoze is probably a more reliable option). Lastly, Bulk Up is nice for raising both its Attack and Defense, giving it both more oomph and more bulk with a single attack. As you can see, there are quite a few options for it, move-wise.
As far as TMs go, though, it is a lot more limited. Bread and butter staples like Dig and Rock Slide are both around, although Bulldoze may very well be preferred over Dig to give Throh a chance to outspeed the foe (although it still isn't likely). Poison Jab and Payback are also options for type coverage. Toxic can help add on some damage while you play around with Bulk Up or Rest, but since it is capable of doing damage with its attacks just fine, it's not so necessary. Taunt works well with it as a lot of Throh's strategies rely on the foe damaging it, so shutting off their support moves is helpful for that. After beating the game, Earthquake and Stone Edge both become very solid options for it. It does get some helpful Move Tutor moves, too. Low Kick (8 Red Shards) works well against heavier foes and tends to do a pretty good amount of Fighting-type damage anyhow (especially helpful since Brick Break is harder to get). Fire Punch, Ice Punch, and ThunderPunch are also all learnable for 10 Red Shards apiece and help add a lot of elemental coverage. They should definitely be considered.
Throh is definitely very bulky, but the problem is its bulk doesn't translate into quick, fast-hitting results like a lot of the other Fighting-type contenders. In Pokemon, often times the best defense is a good offense, because knocking out the foe in one hit before they can strike means you aren't even scratched, and Throh's low Speed means it will almost always take a scratch or two before it gets the chance to knock out the foe. On top of that, it doesn't even hit as hard as the similarly-slow Conkeldurr, so it may take two hits to knock stronger foes out where it'd take Conkeldurr only one. Its moves play into its strategy, which is nice to see, but its strategy isn't any more effective than the likes of Lucario, Mienshao, or Heracross, who are capable of striking quickly and strongly, plus, if you need bulk, the legendary trio of Cobalion, Virizion, or even Terrakion are at least as bulky, plus have better moves. Because of that, I can't really recommend Throh over any of them, but if you really want to use a Throh on your team, it's not so bad if it uses the kind of strategy you like.
The big ol' buffalo Pokemon, Bouffalant, may have some pretty impressive hair, but how does it stand up for a spot on your team at this late in the game? Well, it has some pretty solid stats, that's for sure. Its Attack is very sufficient, while its HP, Defense, and Special Defense are also very high, giving it a punch along with a lot of bulk. Its Speed is below average, but it will outspeed slower Pokemon. Lastly, its Special Attack is awful, but that shouldn't bother you and should instead encourage you to just stick Physical-based attacks on it. It has two possible abilities: Reckless and Sap Sipper. Reckless raises the power of attacks that can inflict recoil damage by an impressive 20%, while Sap Sipper effectively gives it an immunity to Grass-type attacks and raises its Attack by one stage whenever it is hit by one. Reckless is the better ability in general for it, because it boosts a lot of its vital moves.
Unless you catch the level 49 one, you're not going to have access to its signature move, Head Charge, without exchanging a Heart Scale to reteach it. Head Charge is great for it, though, as it is a Normal-type attack hitting for a massive 120 power, but it inflicts 25% of the damage dealt as recoil damage. This is a double-edged sword, as it receives a helpful boost from Reckless, but using it over and over will quickly whittle away Bouffalant's health, so it should be reserved for those must-win moments where you just need to do maximum damage. Other than that, it packs Megahorn, which is a strong 120 power Bug-type attack, although its accuracy is a little wobbly at only 85%, but that's still fine to use for it. Thrash is another nice move for it, hitting for 120 power as well, but locking it into using the attack for two to three turns in a row, and then confusing it afterwards, which can thankfully be remedied by switching it out afterwards. Even though it is redundant, having both Head Charge and Thrash can actually work to your benefit by giving you a strong alternative to the heavy recoil damage you'll receive for those weaker Pokemon you are confident you can take out. You're better off using Thrash over Head Charge if you're using the Sap Sipper variety of Bouffalant, though. It also gets Swords Dance at level 56, which is great for raising its Attack by a lot and giving it a chance to hit even harder. Revenge can also be retaught to provide a solid Fighting-type attack hitting for 60 power, or hitting for 120 power if it is damaged on that turn — keep in mind that it forces Bouffalant to strike last, though, but it is fairly used to striking last anyhow.
Rock Slide is a helpful move for it to help with type coverage, but the best TM move you can slap on it before beating the game is Wild Charge, which is an Electric-type attack hitting for 90 power that also inflicts 25% recoil damage, triggering a helpful boost from Reckless. Bulldoze is an option for it to do some Ground-type damage and lower the foe's Speed (plus it doesn't get Dig, meaning you'll have to wait until Earthquake post-game for a strong Ground-type attack). Payback can be nice, because Bouffalant often moves last anyway, meaning its damage is doubled. Aerial Ace and Poison Jab can provide additional type coverage, but neither are necessary or even recommended in most situations. If you want an alternative to Thrash, Return works very well on it once it is at max happiness. It gets a few more moves via the Move Tutor, too. Iron Head costs a mere 4 Red Shards and provides extra type coverage (plus pretty much nothing, aside from Frillish/Jellicent, resists both Normal + Steel). Zen Headbutt gives it some Psychic-type coverage for 8 Blue Shards, but that's about it, as it's not the most impressive attack in the world for it.
Bouffalant works out to be a powerhouse that's capable of delivering a hit. It doesn't have a lot of type diversity, but it hits solidly, takes hits pretty well, and it does sport a pretty sweet 'fro. That lack of Speed is a big problem for it, but it's still certainly usable if you feel the need to add something generic to your team as far as damage goes (it's mostly hitting for Normal-type damage).
There's a house right near the entrance with an Ace Trainer inside. She'll heal up your Pokemon if they're weakened.
Across the bridge and then to the north is a Battle Girl, who will fight you with her Throh L53. Keep going along the path to the north until you find an Ace Trainer with an Emolga L53 and a Jellicent L53. Further along the path is a Hiker, and he's got a Piloswine L51 and a Probopass L51.
Head east until you see some stairs moving up, but before you go there, if you have Surf, you can cross the water and visit a nearby house. Talk to the old man inside and he'll give you the powerful TM35 (Flamethrower), which is one of the best, most reliable Fire-type attacks in the game and definitely a good asset for your collection of TMs.
Climb the stairs and you'll run into another Ace Trainer. She uses a Swanna L53 and a Galvantula L53. Across the bridge to the right is a hidden Rare Candy, which you'll definitely want to pick up. Do so, then head back to the Ace Trainer. From here, you can take a detour south of her to traverse the bridges above where you came from, or you can proceed west to actually continue on the route.
I like to cover stuff, so I'll start by guiding you south, across the bridge. There's an Amoonguss L56 masquerading as an item in the grass. Yikes! Across the next bridge to the south and then a little to the west is a PKMN Ranger with a Stunfisk L52 and an Amoonguss L52. He'll give you a Sitrus Berry after beating him, plus there's TM05 (Roar) right next to him, which roars the foe away and forces them to switch or ends a wild Pokemon battle.
Going east of the Amoonguss will take you over to a Black Belt, who uses a Sawk L53. South of him is a bridge leading east, but there's also a hidden Star Piece right by the start of the bridge, plus there's an Iron (out in the open) just south of that. Pick those up, then cross the bridge and head on over to the other side. If you have Cut, you can take a shortcut to get to the item, but otherwise you can still get to it by circling around. It's a Star Piece over there, so it doesn't hurt to get it. On top of that, there's a Hidden Grotto near the southern part of this little cliff. It may not look like much of a forest, but it's just enough for Pokemon to hide in.
|Route 23 Hidden Grotto|
|Zangoose Lv. 50-55
|Seviper Lv. 50-55
|Golduck Lv. 50-55
|Absol Lv. 50-55
|Gligar Lv. 50-55
|Eevee Lv. 50-55
Ok, remember that one Ace Trainer, way back by the stairs? Well, now it's time for you to head back to her, and then head west instead. Over to the west of the Ace Trainer is a PKMN Ranger, and she's got a Floatzel L53 and a Lucario L53. She'll give you a Sitrus Berry after beating her.
To the north of the PKMN Ranger are steps that lead up to Victory Road! (Well, the Badge Check Gate first.) But further to the west of the PKMN Ranger leads you to a lot more stuff to explore if you have Cut, so go on over that way and check it out, unless you're impatient or unless you don't have a Pokemon with Cut handy.
Cut the shrub down and keep going west until you see some steps to the southwest. Go over there and pick up the Full Heal, then push the boulder south into the hole with Strength. That's all you'll be able to do there, but you want to make sure you do this, because it's important for later on when you'll be pushing more boulders.
See where there's a shrub you can cut down to the north? Ignore it for now and head over to the west. Over there, you'll find a Hiker, and he uses a Boldore L53 and an Aggron L53. Cut down the shrub next to him and quickly head south so you can push the boulder south. It'll help later on. To the west of there is an Ace Trainer with a Scolipede L54 and an Arcanine L54 on her team. Past her is a path that leads you to a Black Belt that's blocking the path. Don't talk to him yet! You'll want him to move out of the way later, so go back to that shrub I told you to ignore.
Cut that shrub down and then head into the forest. Head northeast and you'll find a hidden Ultra Ball over by the trees. If you hug the northern wall and head west, you'll find a Repeat Ball hiding (not technically hidden, just very well-concealed) behind the trees there. South of that Repeat Ball is an Ace Trainer with a Magmar L54 and a Mamoswine L54.
Further south of him, wander west through the forest until you find that Black Belt from earlier. Go on and approach him, which should cause him to move out of the way. He'll use a Gurdurr L53 and a Scrafty L53. To the north and then west are some stairs which lead to a HP Up, but that's sadly it, so you're going to need to go back to the other side of him now that he's moved, so head out of the forest and make your way west.
Eventually you'll find a shrub you can cut down, so do so and head south until you find a Calcium. Jump down the ledge to the north and you'll wind up right where that other path would have taken you.
Now it's time to have some fun with boulders. Avoid pushing any boulders unless I tell you to, otherwise you could mess things up! (Particularly the boulders on the far east side.) Ignore the water for right now and just head on north until you reach that area from earlier with the boulders. Push the first one you see, over by the steps and the ledge, one to the left, then go back and surf on the water over to the other side. Before you jump down the ledge to push that one boulder, be sure to push the boulder to the south into the hole for easier access.
Jump down the ledge and push the boulder to the north. You'll have to move it later. See the boulder by the first one you pushed, way back? It's sort of in the northeast corner of this little area. Well, push it one to the right, so you'll be able to push it later south into the hole. Head on over to the west and then south a bit to find a hidden Yellow Shard to the south (it's hidden in a rock).
Alright, I know this is confusing, but you're going to want to go back to where the water was and surf across it, then head back east and push that boulder two spaces to the right, then one up so it falls in the hole. That will let you push another boulder to the east and push it into a hole, which will in turn let you push the boulder in the northeast corner to the south, into a hole, and will finally let you push that final boulder to the east, into the hole, granting you access to the stairs.
Before climbing the stairs, head north through the grass. The first "item" is, predictably, an Amoonguss L56. North of that is a Green Shard for you to take, though, as well as a ledge you can jump down to reach Victory Road. Don't go there yet, though, and go back to the stairs. You've only got a little bit more to explore!
Up the stairs, you'll find a Battle Girl with a Gurdurr L53 and a Mienshao L53. East of her is a Max Potion behind a tree. Keep going east until you find a bridge, then north. Pick up the PP Up hiding in the empty tile in the grass, then head west until you eventually find TM12 (Taunt), which seems like it was an awful lot of work to get something that's not really all that great for in-game purposes (it's much nicer battling against other players or in the Battle Subway/Pokemon World Tournament, though).
Finally! Finally you're done with the route. Make your way all the way back down the big stairs, then north through the grass until you reach the ledge. Jump down the ledge, head west until you find the PKMN Ranger, then head north into Victory Road!