The Elite Four
The Elite Four have gotten significantly stronger since your first battle against them prior to beating the game; they now each have 6 Pokemon on their team, with levels ranging from 71 to 73. You can still fight them in whatever order you want, but they'll be much trickier for you to take down. Having a full supply of items like Hyper Potions, Revives, Full Restores, Full Heals, and X items (X Defend, X Sp. Def, X Attack, etc.) will make the world of difference between your survival and your demise.
Like I said, you can fight them in any order, but I will be detailing their teams in the order that works best for something I like to call...
You can train your Pokemon up to level 70 - 75 to try have a fighting chance against the Elite Four, or you can use your own ingenuity and crush them using what you have available to you rather than bothering with training.
For this quick and easy way to beat the Elite Four, you're going to need a little luck, but mostly you're going to need everything I tell you. Before fighting them, make sure you have the following:
- The Volcarona L70+ that you got from the Relic Castle Catacombs. It should know the following moves:
- Quiver Dance
- Bug Buzz
- Substitute (TM)
- Psychic (TM)
- You will also need the TM for Flamethrower for later
- An Altaria L59+, which you can catch in the thick grass (10%) on Route 14. It should know:
- Cotton Guard
- Dragon Dance
- Dragon Claw (TM)
- Substitute (TM) or Earthquake (TM)
- All of the following items:
- Hyper Potions (x20)
- Full Restores (x10)
- Revives (x15) (Max Revives work, too, but they are harder to get)
- Full Heals (x5)
- X Attacks (x20)
- X Defends (x15)
- X Specials (x20)
- X Sp. Defs (x15)
- X Speeds (x10)
- Ethers, Elixirs, Max Ethers, or Max Elixirs
- All of the following TMs:
- TM35 (Flamethrower) (Find in the Abundant Shrine)
- TM02 (Dragon Claw) (Find in Victory Road)
- TM29 (Psychic) (Find on Route 13)
- The following TMs are helpful, but not necessary:
- TM32 (Double Team) (Route 18, given to you by a Plasma Sage)
- TM11 (Sunny Day) (Mistralton City Pokemon Center; $50,000)
- TM26 (Earthquake) (Find in the Relic Castle)
- TM90 (Substitute) (Found in Twist Mountain in the winter)
Obviously, any help your other Pokemon can be will only make this task easier, but any of the special strategies I have (the "Lazy Way" strategy) will try to assume you have nothing but Magikarps or something sitting on the rest of your team.
This is not the only way to beat the Elite Four! Not at all. It's just the "Lazy Way" that might save you some training time, especially if your Pokemon aren't fully leveled up yet. Please, feel free to use whatever strategies you'd like in taking them on.
All of Grimsley's Pokemon use nothing but Physical-based attacks, so keep that in mind when you're considering what to use against him. Reflect comes in handy if you can pull it off (Scrafty has Brick Break, though), but it's not necessary. They're nearly all weak to Fighting-type attacks, except for Drapion, who fears Ground-type attacks more.
Grimsley has changed his lead to Sharpedo, making for an interesting start Pokemon. It has some strong moves, high Attack and Speed, and also Earthquake to combat any Electric-type attackers you might send out against it. Thankfully it should be taken out in one hit from a super effective attack, or even one hit from someone with high Attack or Sp. Atk.
Scrafty is defensive as ever stat-wise, but picks the pace up with its array of damaging attacks. Head Smash can hit for a lot of damage, but it will also inflict heavy recoil on the poor thing.
Krookodile and Bisharp are the only major threats left. Krookodile can hit very hard with Earthquake and Outrage, while Bisharp is packing Night Slash and the chancy Guillotine, so watch out!
Since Grimsley leads with a Sharpedo that uses nothing but Physical-based attacks, you need to use your freshly caught Altaria to get through him. If Volcarona can pull off one Quiver Dance against anything not named Sharpedo, it should be able to inflict heavy damage on just about anything on Grimsley's team, but Altaria is the best choice if you can manage.
Save your game before fighting him, of course, because the first three turns will determine if you can pull off the win or not.
- Against Sharpedo, do the following...
- Turn 1, use Cotton Guard to give +3 to your Defense. You should be left with 25% - 35% HP left since Altaria goes second and Sharpedo will almost certainly use Night Slash.
- Turn 2, use Cotton Guard again; if it looks like you're at less than 20%, heal first and then use Cotton Guard (remember, though, that this next Night Slash is going to do a lot less unless it is a critical hit).
- Turn 3, if you haven't already, use a Hyper Potion to refill your HP; if you have already done this, use the second Cotton Guard.
- If in these first three turns, you've gotten hit by a critical hit, your Altaria is probably toast and you should reset to try again.
- Now, if you have it, use Substitute to protect you from a potential critical hit. Hopefully you won't be hit by one this turn or the next.
- If you don't have Substitute, it's not the end of the world, because you'll still be faster than everything and will likely be able to knock out whatever you need to. All Substitute does is keep you safe from critical hits and Bisharp's Guillotine.
- Earthquake makes a good replacement for Substitute if you don't have it, because it is great against Drapion and Bisharp.
- Use Dragon Dance 6 times total, replacing your Substitute whenever it breaks and healing whenever you get down to 25% HP (immediately after using Substitute). It should break after every second hit, unless hit by a critical hit. You will not be KO'ed by a critical hit in this time, but one might still break your sub.
- After you've pulled off all 6 Dragon Dances (should have 14 PP left) and have a Substitute up, use Dragon Claw to knock out Sharpedo. You'll be hit by a little damage from Rough Skin.
- Against Scrafty, one Dragon Claw should be enough to take it down, but it might take two. Head Smash will break your Substitute, but you should keep using Dragon Claw regardless.
- Krookodile is the deadilest threat remaining, since it can use Outrage to hit hard (40% to 50%) even through the +6 Defense boost from Cotton Guard. Try really hard to have a Substitute up before it comes out, otherwise you'll lose one stage of Attack due to its Intimidate. Hit it with a Dragon Claw and hope it KO's it; if it doesn't, do NOT set up a Substitute on the following turn, but use Dragon Claw instead to ensure a KO. If Grimsley uses a Full Restore, just keep hitting it with Dragon Claw, because he will run out eventually.
- Liepard loves to open up with Fake Out. You won't flinch if you're behind the Substitute and it probably won't break it, but if you're not behind one, maybe use that turn to heal. Next turn, one Dragon Claw should do the trick. Being behind a Substitute is nice after you've taken out Sharpedo, Scrafty, and Krookodile (the order they come out may vary, but probably not), but it's not necessary until you get to Bisharp.
- Drapion will probably take two hits to KO, but there's nothing it will really do to you that's threatening, unless it gets a very lucky critical hit when you're not behind your sub.
- After KO'ing Drapion, your Altaria should have gained enough EXP to reach level 62, where it learns Dragon Pulse. Since you're almost certianly out or close to out of PP for Substitute, you can replace it with Dragon Pulse to restore the PP, and then reteach Substitute via TM after the battle. It'll save you an Ether at least.
- Bisharp is resistant to your Dragon Claw, but you should still take it out in two or three hits. It can use Night Slash, so be wary of critical hits, and it can also use Guillotine for an auto-KO — unless you're behind your Substitute, where it won't matter. By the way, Volcarona can also two-hit KO Bisharp with Flamethrower without any boost, so if you want to let Volcarona out to play, feel free.
Marshal is just as fierce as ever, except he's now added a few new Pokemon to help round out his roster. The first one you'll notice is his Breloom, which is exceedingly annoying with its perfect-accuracy Spore attack; it puts you to sleep reliably all the time! There's not much you can do to get around it, other than quickly administer Awakenings or Full Heals. Yes, a Chesto Berry is an option, but you're probably better off with a continual use item equipped anyway. Try take it out with a powerful Flying-type attack like Acrobatics, preferably before it gets the chance to Spore you.
Most of his other Pokemon perform about the same, although the red and blue brothers — Sawk and Throh — are now packing Retaliate to avenge their fallen comrades, and Sawk even has Sturdy to keep you from taking it down before it gets the chance. They can also hit rather hard in general with several different types of attacks, although Psychic-types are definitely your best bet against them.
Toxicroak may look threatening, but it shouldn't be too tough at all. Just don't stay afflicted with its Toxic attack for long, otherwise it will hit for a very powerful strike of Venoshock!
Remembering that all of Marshal's attacks are Physical-based is also important. X Defends can mean the world of difference between winning and losing, and using two of them will effectively double your Pokemon's Defense. Using Reflect is also a great option given Marshal's lack of Special-based attacks to get around it with.
Marshal isn't all that challenging thanks to Volcarona having access to Psychic, but the difficult part of Marshal is the fact that his Sawk has Sturdy, which means you need to handle it with caution or else risk taking a Stone Edge to the face. Not a pleasant experience for a Bug/Fire-type with a quad weakness to Rock! That's why you're going to need to replace Flamethrower with Substitute for this battle.
Breloom won't do that much, even with Sky Uppercut. Spore is annoying and you should heal right away from it to avoid problems. You should start off by using an X Defend right away to keep Sky Uppercut's damage to a minimum, since you are going to need to have a Substitute up in order to take out Sawk.
Make sure Breloom is doing less than 25% damage with Sky Uppercut, make sure you've used three doses of Quiver Dance, and then set up a Substitute. Breloom can be taken out with Bug Buzz or Psychic if you want to conserve your PP. The rest need to be taken out with Psychic.
After KO'ing Breloom, he'll send out Sawk. Do not use Psychic! You should use Bug Buzz, since he will just heal if he hangs on anyway, and Bug Buzz will hopefully keep him in the orange. Sawk will hang on with Sturdy (or will not take enough for it to activate) and will then Stone Edge you. If he hits, it breaks your sub; if he misses, sweet, you get to keep your sub up and you can take him out next turn.
The remaining Pokemon on Marshal's team should all be taken out in one hit with a +3 Psychic without any worries, other than possibly a Fake Out from Mienshao.
Shauntal's back with her gaggle of ghastly ghosts, adding to her team two Sinnoh spooks — Froslass and Drifblim. She still starts with that Cofagrigus, though, and it has the same tricks it had in the past. It likes to burn you with Will-O-Wisp, it will take away your ability if you touch it directly with a Direct Attack (Earthquake, Rock Slide, and Stone Edge are Mummy-proof, though), and it has a good amount of defenses keeping it bound to this earth. Attacks like Shadow Ball or Bug Buzz are your best bet against it, although any Ghost-, Bug-, or Dark-type attack will put it in its place after a turn or two.
Her Jellicent has become rather powerful with its Hydro Pump and Sludge Wave attacks. Electric-type attacks are the way to go on it, although it has plenty of weaknesses for you to exploit and not a lot to really show for it. Be careful of its ability, though, which may disable your attack after striking it, even if it isn't a Direct Attack! That means you'll have to wait a few turns before you can use it again, so try to set up or weaken it before going in for the kill.
Chandelure is still as frightening as ever with its viciously high Sp. Atk, but as long as you can withstand Fire Blast and live to hit it afterwards, you'll probably have a better time taking it out than you did in the past thanks to having access to many more Pokemon.
Other than that, remember how to take out Ghost-types, and remember that they don't usually intersect with any other weaknesses, meaning there's always plenty of weaknesses to exploit.
Thankfully, the fights get much easier from here on in. Even though Shauntal's Ghost-types are resistant to Bug Buzz, Flamethrower will work just fine against most of them, and there's nothing all that threatening that your Volcarona has to worry about.
Go ahead and replace Volcarona's Psychic with Flamethrower via TMs, since you have no further use for Psychic. Restore some PP with either an Ether or two for single moves or an Elixir to restore several. No need for 'Max' of either, since you don't have much more than 10 PP anyway.
Now, as far as Shauntal goes, she starts off with a Cofagrigus that knows nothing that will do much damage to you. There's no reason in the world you can't let loose and go on a Quiver Dance binge. Use Quiver Dance six times, making note of how much PP you started with in case it is less than full (don't use more than six dances, obviously).
After six Quiver Dances, use a Hyper Potion (you'll probably be low on health) and then take Cofagrigus out with Flamethrower. The only thing that can go wrong is getting smacked with a critical hit on the fifth or sixth dances, where your HP is rather low, but it's unlikely.
Flamethrower fries Cofagrigus. Jellicent should come up next. Hit it with a Bug Buzz, because even a +6 Flamethrower probably won't take it out in one hit and there's a chance you might wind up with Flamethrower disabled due to its ability. The worst it will hit you with is for about 20% with Hydro Pump after all of your Sp. Def boosts.
Drifblim won't be a problem unless you got disabled by Jellicent, which stinks because it can hit hard with Acrobatics. Up to a KO if you're not careful, so stall behind Substitutes and use a Hyper Potion when you're low to stall for time until you can Flamethrower again. One Flamethrower takes it out, though, so don't worry too much.
Chandelure has absolutely nothing it can do to hurt you and will probably spend most of its time with Payback for about 20% - 25%. Flamethrower takes it out in one hit anyway.
Golurk and Froslass obviously go down in one hit from Flamethrower, so that's all there is to taking down Shauntal. Lazy style. Yo. (Froslass CAN pop you with an Ice Shard, not for much, so don't be stupid if you're low on HP!)
Caitlin's Psychic-type Pokemon still hit hard and hit fast, but just not quite as many of them as in the past. She leads with her Musharna to soften you up, putting you to sleep with Hypnosis and then absorbing your HP with Dream Eater. Use Awakenings or Full Heals right away after becoming asleep to pretend it never happened; her Dream Eater will fail on that turn. Reflect will raise her Pokemon's Defense for five turns, so consider that when taking out Musharna. Special-based attacks are still effective, so things like Shadow Ball, Bug Buzz, and Dark Pulse are going to work great against any of her Pokemon, even if she can pull off the Reflect with her Musharna. It will also hit fairly hard with Psychic, too, so watch out for that.
The next several Pokemon she sends out will be based on what you used, but regardless of which she chooses, expect some very strong Psychic-type attacks in your future. All of her Pokemon except for Metagross know Psychic, and most all of them have the Sp. Atk to inflict a good amount of damage with it, too.
Sigilyph is packing a stealthy Ice Beam while Gothitelle and Reuniclus are both sneaking some Thunder or Thunderbolt into their jive. Bronzong isn't as much of a threat as you'd think due to its lower Sp. Atk, but it is very defensive and has only one weakness: Fire. Ground-type attacks are completely null against it thanks to Levitate.
That Metagross is a definite twist in her strategy, possessing a lot of Attack power and formidible defenses on all fronts, but a strong Earthquake or two, or something powerful like a Fire Blast or even Flamethrower will take it out before long. Just be careful, though, because it has Bullet Punch to deal with Rock-types looking to use Earthquake and also it has an Earthquake of its own to scare Fire-types away!
Saving the best for last, here. Caitlin is absolutely the easiest, so don't worry, you have very little to worry about. First, check your Volcarona's PP: does it have at least 3 shots of Flamethrower, 4 shots of Bug Buzz, and 3 Quiver Dances available? Try to save the Elixir until after you've beaten her, but at least make sure you have that much to get through.
She starts off with Musharna, and all it has for attacks is Psychic and Dream Eater. It will obviously try to hypnotize you with Hypnosis, but so what, it's not a big deal and it very well may miss. Plus, just heal that turn and you'll get hit with an ineffective Dream Eater. All you need is three uses of Quiver Dance to sweep through her team, so once you've got those down, Bug Buzz that purple puff to smithereens.
Sigilyph comes up next. Remember, it doesn't have a weakness to Bug or Fire thanks to its Flying-type, so hit it with Flamethrower since it is a little stronger — unless you have the Silverpowder or Insect Plate equipped or something, which is a smart move. You can probably take it out with Bug Buzz even without the boosting item, but everyone's mileage may vary and Sigilyph does pack some fair Sp. Def.
The two other wild cards are Metagross and Bronzong, but one shot of Flamethrower is all it takes to send them running. Metagross may Bullet Punch you, though, but you're resistant and it won't do too much damage.
Other than that, all she has left is Reuniclus and Gothitelle, both of whom are obliterated by a +3 Bug Buzz like it's going out of style. And that is how you take down Caitlin with ease.
After you've beaten all of the Elite Four, just like last time, you'll be able to enter the glowing pillar of light in the middle of the center area to be transported to where you will face the Champion. However, this time, you will actually face him, so heal your Pokemon back up to full and make sure you have enough PP to get the job done!!
When you're ready, head on into the light and down to your destiny... Oh yeah, and don't forget to press A to activate the statue!