On your way out of Floccesy Town, Bianca will stop you and then upgrade your Pokedex, allowing you to see what Pokemon are available in a route or area you've been to. It's the Habitat List feature. When she asks you if you need her to repeat what she just said, answer no, otherwise she'll keep talking.
How it works is there's a little button in the bottom-left corner of the Pokedex that says Habitat List. Touch that and then you'll be shown a list of the areas you've been to. Select any of them and not only will it show you where it is on the map of Unova, but it will also show little icons of the Pokemon you've encountered there on the bottom screen. Any that you've caught will have a little red Poke Ball stamp next to them, and if you catch all of the Pokemon in a route or area, you'll receive a stamp of approval for that area.
Anyway, head on over to where the Hiker was on Route 20. He'll challenge you to a fight now that you have the Basic Badge. He uses a Riolu L11. After beating him, he'll let you through, though there's a Preschooler with a Psyduck L10 that stands in your way down the stairs.
When you walk past the Preschooler, Cheren and Hugh will show up. He'll show you the thick grass (also called dark grass), which tends to hold higher level Pokemon in it, but also has the potential to sometimes fight two Pokemon at once in a Double Battle inside it. He also gives you and Hugh some Pecha Berries, saying they'll be handy for the Virbank Gym, then heads back to his Gym.
|Route 20 (Spring/Autumn/Winter)|
|Pidove||/||Lv. 9 ~ 10||25%|
|Purrloin||Lv. 10 ~ 11||15%|
|Sewaddle||/||Lv. 11, 10||15%|
|Route 20 (Summer)|
|Sunkern||Lv. 9 ~ 11||26%|
|Purrloin||Lv. 10 ~ 11||14%|
|Sewaddle||/||Lv. 11, 10||15%|
As you can see, the Pokemon here are quite a bit stronger, plus you can find Venipede here, which turns into a pretty fierce Poison/Bug-type Pokemon if you give it enough of a chance to evolve it to its final form, Scolipede.
The little bug, Venipede, is definitely a step up from the likes of Weedle and Wurmple before it, but it still has its issues. First of all, it's a Bug/Poison-type that focuses on Defense and Speed, of all things. It evolves into Whirlipede at level 22, when it gains plenty of Defense and Special Defense, but surprisingly loses some of its Speed. That all changes when it evolves into Scolipede, who has some excellent Speed and pretty good Attack and Defense, while lacks Special Attack. Its stats go all across the board between its evolutions. It has either the Poison Point or the Swarm ability. Poison Point has a 30% chance of inflicting the attacking Pokemon with poison after it makes direct contact with Venipede or its kin, while Swarm raises the power of its Bug-type moves by 50% as long as it has less than one-third its maximum HP remaining. Poison Point is probably the preferred ability, although neither are really required for it.
It starts off with Poison Sting and Rollout for attacking with, although it also has Defense Curl to enact the Rollout + Defense Curl combo to improve its damage from the get-go. It also has Screech, which can be surprisingly helpful against certain foes, particularly the upcoming Gym Leader if you play your cards right. It gets Pursuit at level 12, which is a Dark-type attack, though it won't hit for much. Protect is learned at level 15, though it won't do you much good. Poison Tail is a good step up from Poison Sting, hitting with 50 power and having both a chance of poison and a higher chance for a critical hit. Bug Bite at level 22 — right before evolving — is even nicer, hitting harder and being a Bug-type attack. It also tries to learn Iron Defense immediately after evolving at level 22, which raises its Defense by two stages. It's nice and all, but not really that helpful. No other moves are really worthwhile until it evolves at level 30, when it gets Baton Pass immediately upon evolution. Baton Pass is interesting, as it forces you to switch to another of your Pokemon, but you retain all stat bonuses and penalties among other effects. That can help pass things like Iron Defense or Agility, which is learned at level 33. That's all you really have to pass for learned moves, though, so don't get too excited. It gets its signature move, Steamroller, at level 39, which is a 65 power Bug-type attack with a 30% chance of causing the foe to flinch. It does double the damage if the foe previously used Minimize, but that doesn't happen all that often, really. Rock Climb, a former HM, is learned at level 50 to hit for 90 power (85% accuracy, though...) and has a 20% chance of confusing the target. Lastly, it gets Double-Edge at level 55, but the recoil damage on that renders it really risky. You can also learn Megahorn by giving a Heart Scale to the Reminder Girl in the Pokemon World Tournament, which is a nice 120 power Bug-type attack that should definitely be on Scolipede's list. The lower accuracy is a problem, but that kind of strength is just too good to pass up.
For TMs, Venipede can learn Rock Smash and Venoshock early on. Rock Smash is nice for type coverage, although loses its potency quickly. Venoshock, unfortunately, isn't as effective as you'd like it to be, despite Venipede having Poison Point to trigger poison left and right. Its Special Attack is just too low to rely on it, but it's still not too shabby early on, so definitely consider it. Scolipede gets plenty of options when you get that far. Dig, Rock Tomb (later Rock Slide), and X-Scissor are all choices to consider. Toxic works well in conjunction with Venoshock, but that's about it, since Scolipede doesn't really need that and it should be poisoning things with Poison Point anyway. Aqua Tail can be taught in Lentimas Town for 8 Blue Shards, which gives it some interesting Water-type coverage, while Superpower is another decent option for 10 Blue Shards, giving it a Fighting-type attack to fall back on, at the cost of lowering its Attack and Defense afterwards (meaning you'll probably want to switch out afterwards).
Ultimately, though Venipede and its family has some attacks, there's nothing really that spectacular in there. It feels like it goes for a strategy, emphasizing on the things needed to make Venoshock work, but then falling short of pulling it off well due to its low Special Attack. For Bug-type Pokemon, you're better off with Sewaddle for sure, while Koffing or Crobat make for better Poison-type Pokemon. I don't recommend using one, but there are certainly worse choices you could make. I know I've heard a lot of people really dig their Scolipedes.
In addition to the Thick Grass, after you've gotten your first Gym Badge, you'll now be able to encounter rustling grass. Rustling grass is grass that is shaking and contains a rare Pokemon or an EXP-bearing Audino for you to fight. Only normal grass will shake, not thick grass, and the best way to run into shaking grass is to run back and forth a few squares away from a patch of grass. You'll be able to hear it shaking as well as see a single patch of grass shake. Make your way into it and fight the Pokemon inside!
|Route 20 (All Seasons)|
|Shaking Grass / Swirling Dust||Level(s)||Rarity|
|Audino||Lv. 2 ~ 4||90%|
Audino is more of a lover than a fighter. While its stats may seem rather impressive when you first get it, its underwhelming attack power is a major detriment to its growth. There are much better Normal-type options out there, like Lillipup or quite possibly even Patrat (due to its Hypnosis).
However, since there are a lot more Double Battles and Triple Battles in this game, moves like Helping Hand and Heal Pulse are a lot handier than they were in the original games. It also has the potential to use tons of different TMs, ones that not even Lillipup or Patrat can use. It's definitely better than it was in the first games, but I still don't recommend it.
It's the original Stunfisk! Yeah, that's right, Dunsparce is available in the shaking grass right from the get-go. It has high HP, but mediocre (though not terrible) other stats. Its Speed is particularly low. The interesting treat it gets is the Serene Grace ability, which it will have 50% of the time. That doubles the chances of an effect happening from its attacks. Sadly, AncientPower is the only move it learns naturally that takes advantage of this, but other TM moves can be helpful. It can also learn a lot of TM moves like Audino can.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but I would say it is a little more interesting than Audino is, plus it has access to debilitating moves like Yawn and Glare, as well as buff moves like Coil.
If ever you need to do any training to raise your levels, the best way to do so is by running around outside the normal grass until you see it shake; odds are you're going to find an Audino inside, which gives a TON of EXP when you knock it out! It isn't too difficult to knock out, either, and makes for a wonderful source of EXP.
Always try to fight the highest level Audino you can in the most recent area to raise your EXP very quickly, and remember, it's ok to do switch training to help train two of your Pokemon at once by switching the weaker one you want to train out of the active slot in the first turn of the battle. That will split their EXP, although the weaker Pokemon will get a lot more EXP, due to it being at a lower level.
You can also find a Great Ball right next to Hugh in the Thick Grass, so be sure to pick that up, because it has a higher chance of catching Pokemon. Now head on over to the next Preschooler, who uses a Lillipup L10. Just past her is an Antidote. Over to the left of her is a Nursery Aide who uses a Dunsparce L11. Head up the stairs and pick up the Dire Hit and then fight the Twins, who use two Sunkern L9 against you in a Double Battle.
When you're ready, head on into the gate to go to Virbank City. As you enter, though, you'll be called over by the gate attendant and given a Great Ball.