Gym Leader Level: 44–45
Path to Alfornada
If you’ve beaten the Lurking Steel Titan in eastern Paldea, you have the ability to do a high jump with your Koraidon/Miraidon, and you’ll need to have that in order to take this route. From the Pokémon Center west of Cortondo, by the windmills, follow the road to the south to a cave.
You’ll need to use your high jump ability to climb the ledges in the cave, but once you’ve done that, you can make your way through the cave, focusing on climbing upwards, and optionally exploring however much of the cave you feel like. At the end, you’ll find a nice plateau with Alfornada easily visible in the distance.
Detour to Alfornada
If you haven’t beaten the Lurking Steel Titan and can’t high jump, don’t worry, you can still reach Alfornada, but you just have to take a bit of a detour, which is shown on the map above. Go to the Pokémon Center to the west of Cortondo, by the windmills, and follow the path down to the south leading to a cave. You won’t be able to proceed through the cave, but there’s an alternate route down the cliffs to the west. How do you get down there? Well, there’s a really long path that leads you all across southwestern Paldea, but really you’re best off just jumping down and not being afraid of heights, at least for that step.
Jump down the cliffs to the sandy beach area and then follow that cliffy coastline upwards, climbing along a curvy path, and eventually entering a section of the cave. You can keep following the path upwards and you’ll eventually find your way to the plateau where Alfornada is at, all without needing high jump.
There are a lot of houses and buildings around Alfornada, as well as a very cool stadium with retro Pokémon sprites adorning its side. You’re going to want to make your way to the Gym, though, which is in the back of the town and shouldn’t be too hard to find.
There’s TM092 Imprison behind a fence south of the Pokémon Center, along with a Light Clay just a bit to the east of that, by one of the houses. There’s also TM103 Substitute behind a large building to the south of the Gym. You can also find TM158 Focus Blast on one of the circular platforms while climbing the stadium, and TM064 Bulk Up behind the Gym building itself. There’s also a Nugget in front of the warehouse south of the Gym.
Phew, that’s a lot of items—and those are just the noteworthy ones!
After accepting the Gym Test from the receptionist, you’ll need to go outside and to the nearby area directly outside of the building. The Gym Test is administered by one of the school teachers, Dendra, and you’ll need to engage in some Emotional Spectrum Practice, or ESP for short. It’s basically a simon says mini game, where you just have to press the button that matches whatever emotion is shown on the screen.
There are two rounds for this mini game. To clear the first round, you really don’t have to do anything, you can actually just sit there if you want, although you might as well at least try. After clearing the first round, you’ll need to fight a Gym Trainer with a Gothorita Lv. 43 and a Kirlia Lv. 43. The second round is the same as the first, but this time you’ll need to at least press some buttons—you should be fine as long as you hit about 40% of the buttons successfully, so there’s plenty of room for error. Also, just because it has to be said, you only need to press the button once—you don’t need to mash the button.
After fighting against another Gym Trainer—this one using a Grumpig Lv. 43, a Medicham Lv. 43, and a female Indeedee Lv. 43—you’ll be cleared to take on the Gym Leader herself.
Gym Leader Tulip
- Zen Headbutt
- Energy Ball
- Dazzling Gleam
- Quick Attack
- Shadow Ball
- Petal Blizzard
Tulip uses a variety of Psychic-type Pokémon on her team, although some of their typing helps counter Pokémon seeking to take advantage of their weaknesses, so you’ll want to watch out for that. Bug-type Pokémon and moves are a great option all around, while Dark- and Ghost-type moves and Pokémon are also good, other than for her counters to them.
She leads with her Farigiraf, the Psychic/Normal-type evolution of Girafarig, which means Ghost-type moves will have no effect against it. It likes to set up Reflect on the first turn, meaning your Physical-based moves will only do half damage for the next five turns. That’s not good if you’re depending on Physical-based moves, so try to knock it out as quickly as possible, use Taunt, or have something with Brick Break or Psychic Fangs—even if they aren’t effective, they’ll break the Reflect, which will help in the long run. Farigiraf also has Zen Headbutt and Crunch.
Her Gardevoir is a Psychic/Fairy-type, so it has an answer to Dark-type Pokémon and takes neutral damage from Dark- and Bug-type moves. Ghost-, Poison-, and Steel-type moves are the way to go against it. It has some hard-hitting moves: Psychic, Dazzling Gleam, and Energy Ball, but at least you don’t have to worry about it setting up Reflect or anything else.
Espathra is fairly straightforward, just a pure Psychic-type (not even part-Flying, don’t worry), and it packs Psychic, Shadow Ball, and Quick Attack. Again, Ghost-type Pokémon should be careful around this thing due to Shadow Ball.
Lastly, she uses her Florges, which is normally a Fairy-type Pokémon, but will Terastallize on the first turn into a Psychic-type. Florges has incredibly high Sp. Def, so you’ll want to use Physical-based moves against it, whether they’re super effective or not. Even super effective moves that are Special-based may not do as much as you’d hope, which is why it’s really important to avoid Farigiraf setting up Reflect or waiting it out. It has Psychic, Moonblast, and then the fairly tame Petal Blizzard for its moves.
After beating her, she’ll reward you with a badge and will give you TM120 Psychic.
Where to Go Next
Regardless of whether you’re following the Victory Road storyline or you’re following the recommended order for taking things down, your next destination is the final of the Victory Road Gyms and it waits at the top of Glaseado Mountain at the Glaseado Gym.