Gaming

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: A Guide to Gym Leaders and the Best Order to Challenge Them

The world of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is brimming with exciting new features and mechanics, making it a must-play for fans of the franchise. These ninth-generation titles offer players the freedom to explore an open-world adventure and embark on their journey to become the very best. With three primary story paths to choose from, including the classic quest of defeating eight Gym leaders and facing the Elite Four, trainers have the flexibility to tackle the challenge in any order they desire. In this article, we’ll guide you through the best order to challenge the Gym leaders in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

Cortondo Gym (Bug-type)

The bug gym leader apologizing.
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The first Gym we recommend taking on is the Cortondo Gym, led by Katy and specializing in Bug-type Pokémon. To stand a good chance against her Bug team, it’s advisable to have a team of around level 10 or higher. Having a Fire, Flying, or Rock-type Pokémon to counter her Bug team would also be advantageous.

Located in Cortondo City, which lies to the west of Mesagoza, the Cortondo Gym awaits you at the southern end of the city. After completing the Gym Test, you can challenge Katy to a battle. Her team consists of the following Pokémon:

  • Nymble — Level 14 (Bug-type)
  • Tarountula — Level 14 (Bug-type)
  • Teddiursa — Level 15 (Normal-type with Bug-type Terra form)

As long as you have at least one Pokémon that is super effective against Bug-types, claiming your first Gym Badge should be a breeze. In addition to the badge, you’ll receive TM021, which grants you the Pounce move.

Artazon Gym (Grass-type)

A tired looking gym leader.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

After the Cortondo Gym, the next challenge awaits at the Artazon Gym, a Grass-type Gym led by Brassius. To take on Brassius and his team of three Pokémon, it’s recommended to have a team of around level 15. Grass types are vulnerable to several types, including Fire, Bug, Flying, Ice, and Poison.

To reach the Artazon Gym, head east from Mesagoza into the South Province, and continue east through the canyon until you spot the town with a windmill. The gym is located to the right of the windmill. Pass the test, and you’ll face the following Pokémon in your battle against Brassius:

  • Petlil — Level 16 (Grass-type)
  • Smoliv — Level 16 (Grass/Normal-type)
  • Sudowoodo — Level 17 (Rock-type with Grass-type Terra form)

With multiple options to counter Brassius’s team, defeating him and obtaining the badge should be a straightforward task. As a reward, you’ll receive TM020, which grants you the Trailblaze move.

Levincia Gym (Electric-type)

It's time to enter the Iono Zone!
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The challenge becomes more intense at the Levincia Gym, where you’ll face off against Gym Leader Iono and her Electric-type Pokémon. To tackle this gym, it’s advisable to have a team at least around level 20, but level 25 is recommended for a smoother experience. Electric-types are only weak to Ground-types, but Iono throws a twist into the mix.

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Reaching Levincia is relatively simple, as it is one of the largest cities in the game, located north of Artazon. The city’s massive buildings and spotlights shining at night make it hard to miss. Heading into this gym, having a team at around level 20 will suffice, though level 25 is recommended. Electric-types only have one weakness, Ground-types, but Iono’s team introduces some surprises.

Before your main battle against Gym Leader Iono, you’ll face some challenging battles along the way. Be prepared for these encounters. Here are the Pokémon you’ll encounter in your showdown against Iono:

  • Wattrel — Level 23 (Electric/Flying-type)
  • Bellibolt — Level 23 (Electric-type)
  • Luxio — Level 23 (Electric-type)
  • Mismagius — Level 24 (Ghost-type with Electric-type Terra form)

While Ground-types are effective against Electric-types, it’s worth noting that Mismagius, the final Pokémon, adds a Ghost-type to the mix. To counter this, having a Normal-type Pokémon on your team will prove beneficial. Defeat Iono and claim your badge, along with TM048 for the Volt Switch move.

Cascarrafa Gym (Water-type)

Kufu getting ready to fight.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As you would expect, the Water-type gym is located in an oasis resort known as Cascarrafa. To take on Kofu, the Water-type Gym Leader, you’ll need a team of level 30 or higher. Water-types are weak against Grass and Electric-types, but Kofu has some surprises in store.

To reach the Cascarrafa Gym, head southeast from the Asado Desert and due north from Cortondo. This Gym serves as another level check, so having a team of level 30 or higher is recommended. While Water-types are weak against Grass and Electric-types, Kofu’s team is not limited to a single type.

After completing a lengthy gym test, you can challenge Kofu. Prepare yourself to face the following tough opponents:

  • Veluza — Level 29 (Water/Psychic-type)
  • Wugtrio — Level 29 (Water-type)
  • Crabominable — Level 30 (Fighting/Ice-type with Water-type Terra form)

Ground and Grass-types will help you overcome Kofu’s first two Pokémon easily. However, be cautious when facing his Crabominable, as Grass-types are vulnerable to Ice-type moves. Consider using Electric-types or switching to a different strategy altogether. Defeating Kofu will reward you with a badge and TM022 for the Chilling Water move.

Medali Gym (Normal-type)

Larry holding a pokeball.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

After having conquered the Water-type Gym, you’re ready to take on the Medali Gym, specializing in Normal-type Pokémon. This Gym, led by Larry, can be tackled right after the Cascarrafa Gym if you have the appropriate counters. To challenge Larry, you should have a team at around level 35. Normal-type Pokémon don’t have specific weaknesses or strengths against other types, but they are vulnerable to Fighting-types. But beware, there’s another twist to keep in mind.

You can reach the Medali Gym by heading west out of Levincia and going through Zapapico or by going in the direction of Porto Marinda from the Asado Desert and then turning northwest. Being around level 35 should give you a good chance at victory. Normal-type Pokémon don’t have specific weaknesses or strengths against other types, but they are vulnerable to Fighting-types. However, Larry adds a surprise to the mix.

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After completing the required test, you can challenge Larry and his team of three Pokémon. Prepare yourself for the following opponents:

  • Komala — Level 35 (Normal-type)
  • Dundunsparce — Level 35 (Normal-type)
  • Staraptor — Level 36 (Normal/Flying-type with Normal Terra form)

The flying moves used by Larry’s Staraptor can pose a challenge to your Fighting-types. As there are no other type advantages to exploit against Normal-types, having a tanky Pokémon on your team will be crucial in powering through Larry’s final Pokémon. Make sure to exclude any Ghost-types from your strategy, as their moves won’t affect Normal-types. Defeat Larry, claim your badge, and receive TM025 for the Facade move.

Montenevera Gym (Ghost-type)

A pathetic rap battle.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Next up is the Ghost-type Gym, located in Montenevera. This Gym, specializing in spooky Ghost-type Pokémon, poses a unique challenge. To take on the Gym Leader, Ryme, it’s recommended to have a team at around level 40. Ghost-types are weak against Dark Pokémon, which are not as common. However, there are exceptions to keep in mind.

To reach Montenevera Gym, head north up the mountains, following the path, until you reach the town at the peak. A team at or around level 40 is advised for this challenging Gym. Ghost-types are weak against Dark Pokémon, but there are a few exceptions to prepare for.

After warming up the crowd with a pre-fight test, you’ll finally face off against Ryme. Prepare yourself for the following team of four Pokémon:

  • Banette — Level 41 (Ghost-type)
  • Mimikyu — Level 41 (Ghost/Fairy-type)
  • Houndstone — Level 41 (Ghost-type)
  • Toxtricity — Level 42 (Electric/Poison-type with Ghost Terra form)

Once again, Dark Pokémon will be your main force during this battle. Having a good Steel-type Pokémon will also come in handy when facing Mimikyu. It’s worth noting that the battles in this Gym follow the same rules as the test beforehand, where knocking out one of Ryme’s Pokémon will give you a stat boost, while getting KO’d will give Ryme’s team a boost. Outperform Ryme to earn your badge and TM114 for the Shadow Ball move.

Alfornada Gym (Psychic-type)

Gym Leader Tulip.
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In close proximity to Mesagoza lies the Alfornada Gym, specializing in Psychic-type Pokémon. This challenging Gym, led by Tulip, is best to save for later in the game because of the strong Pokémon you’ll face. To tackle this Gym, we recommend having a team close to level 45. Psychic-types are weak against Bug, Dark, and Ghost-types, giving you some options to work with.

Despite its proximity to Mesagoza, it’s best to avoid the Alfornada Gym until this point in the game due to the high level of the Pokémon you’ll encounter. To reach this town, head southwest from Mesagoza and make sure you’ve unlocked the high jump ability for your legendary Pokémon to scale the mountain path. Having a team close to level 45 will give you a good chance of success. Psychic-type Pokémon are weak against Bug, Dark, and Ghost-types, allowing you to choose a strong strategy.

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After a somewhat lengthy test, you’ll be ready to challenge Tulip, the Gym Leader. Prepare yourself to face her complete team:

  • Farigiraf — Level 44 (Psychic/Normal-type)
  • Gardevoir — Level 44 (Psychic/Fairy-type)
  • Espathra — Level 44 (Psychic-type)
  • Florges — Level 45 (Fairy-type with Psychic Terra form)

Having a good Bug, Dark, or Ghost-type Pokémon on your team will help you handle the majority of Tulip’s lineup. Additionally, having a Steel-type Pokémon in your lineup to counter her Fairy-types will prove useful. With no other tricks up her sleeve, defeating Tulip will grant you your badge and TM120, which allows you to use the Psychic move.

Glaseado Gym (Ice-type)

Grisha introducing herself.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The eighth and final Gym in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is the Ice-type Glaseado Gym. This Gym, located on the highest point in Paldea, presents a unique challenge. To take on Gym Leader Grisha, a team of level 45 or higher is required for victory. Ice-types are weak against Fire, Fighting, Rock, and Steel-types, so be sure to bring at least one of these types along for the battle.

To reach the Glaseado Gym, head north from Dalizapa and climb up the snowy mountain path. Being at least level 45 will give you a good chance of victory, while level 50 is a safer level to aim for. Ice-type Pokémon are weak against Fire, Fighting, Rock, and Steel-types, making them excellent choices for this Gym. Additionally, Rock and Steel-types will be valuable against the final challenge.

After riding the slopes during the gym test, it’s time to face Grisha. Prepare yourself to battle the following chilling team of Pokémon:

  • Frosmoth — Level 47 (Ice/Bug-type)
  • Beartic — Level 47 (Ice-type)
  • Cetitan — Level 47 (Ice-type)
  • Altaria — Level 48 (Dragon/Flying-type with Ice Terra form)

While any previously mentioned counters will work well against Grisha’s initial lineup, we specifically mentioned Rock and Steel-types because they can exploit both Ice and Dragon-type weaknesses. While Altaria, Grisha’s final Pokémon, poses a challenge, having a strong Ground-type Pokémon on your team will give you the advantage. Defeat Grisha to claim your eighth and final Gym Badge, along with TM124 for the move Ice Spinner.

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  • The best Pokémon Scarlet and Violet mods

This article is brought to you by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.. Enjoy your Pokémon Scarlet and Violet adventure!

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