Although you’ve visited the Motostoke Stadium before, during your first trip to Motostoke, you weren’t actually able to fight against its Gym Leader until now, now that you have the Grass Badge and the Water Badge.
It’s a Fire-type Gym, so you’ll want to have Water- or Rock-type Pokémon in particular, but Ground-type Pokémon are also pretty good for most of the Stadium. Having several Burn Heal is also a really good idea — it’s very easy to become burned while going through the Gym Mission, and you won’t want to be burned going into the Gym Leader fight.
Getting Through the Gym Mission
The Gym Mission is definitely different from the other Gym Missions you’ve tackled before — instead of fighting against Trainers, you fight against wild Pokémon. Yes, wild Pokémon, inside of the Gym.
You’ll need to score 5 points in order to qualify to fight Kabu. You’ll earn 1 point if you knock out any of the wild Pokémon you encounter in the three patches of grass, or 2 points if you catch any of the wild Pokémon instead (you are not provided any Poké Balls to do so, so you’ll need to use some you brought in).
However, it will be a two-on-one battle, with another Trainer “teaming up” with you. They may try to knock the Pokémon out with their own Pokémon, which means you’ll get 0 points for that fight, or they may even try to hinder your Pokémon by afflicting it with a status condition or stat decreasing move.
- The southwest patch of grass has a wild Vulpix to fight. Gym Trainer Darren will use a Rolycoly, which increases its Speed if it is hit by a Fire-type move. It will hit the Vulpix quickly in that case; try to take it out or catch it in as few turns as possible, with your strongest attacks. Vulpix may also burn you with Will-O-Wisp.
- This is also an opportunity for you to catch Vulpix if you’re playing Pokémon Shield.
- The northern patch of grass has a wild Litwick to fight. Gym Trainer Chaka uses a Sizzlipede. Sizzlipede will often use Bite against the Litwick to do a hefty amount of damage while Litwick will often use Will-O-Wisp on your Pokémon to reduce its Attack, then use Hex to hit for increased damage.
- The southeast patch of grass has a wild Sizzlipede to fight. Gym Trainer Elle uses a Salandit. This is a dangerous fight because Salandit will often start by using Fake Out on your Pokémon. It will also burn your Pokémon with Will-O-Wisp.
Pokémon in the Gym Mission will respawn, but not until you’ve fought a different Pokémon first. Again, you’ll need a total of 5 points, so you’ll need to fight at least three battles to achieve that, but it’s possible you may need even more than that.
After you’ve earned 5 points, you’ll be able to take on the Gym Leader. Make sure you heal up first, though, because it’s likely your Pokémon may be burned or otherwise weakened.
Gym Leader Battle
Kabu does not mess around with his Pokémon choices, leading with a powerful, fully-evolved Ninetales. This fearsome foe has high Speed and good Special Defense as well as Special Attack, so you have to watch out. It has Will-O-Wisp to burn your Pokémon, so equipping Rawst Berries before the fight is a good idea. Thankfully, his Ninetales doesn’t have overly strong moves, but its high stats still make it a potent threat.
His second Pokémon is his Arcanine and it has Intimidate to lower your Pokémon’s Attack as soon as it’s sent out, plus it has very high stats all across the board. It hits much harder than Ninetales with its Flame Wheel move and it, too, has Will-O-Wisp. Also watch out for Agility to raise its Speed substantially and Bite to hit for decent damage.
Finally, he has his Centiskorch, which is not just capable of Dynamaxing, but Gigantamaxing, causing it to assume a particularly powerful form with an exclusive move unique to that Pokémon — in Gigantamax Centiskorch’s case, it’s G-Max Centiferno, which has very high power and will also prevent you from switching for a few turns. It has very high stats but an incredible weakness to Rock, so using Rock-type moves should be your primary way to defeat it, but otherwise Water- or Flying-type moves will work as well, since it is part Bug-type.
If you aren’t able to take it down by the time it’s done with its Gigantamax form, you’ll have to deal with annoyances such as Coil, which raises its Attack, Defense, and accuracy by a stage, and Smokescreen to lower your accuracy. These can quickly spiral the fight out of control if you’re not careful.
One great Pokémon to counter Kabu’s team is Carkol, the evolution of Rolycoly, especially if it has Steam Engine for its ability. Being a Fire/Rock-type, it is resistant to every move on every Pokémon on Kabu’s team, and has either Ancient Power or Smack Down to whittle away the enemy’s health with.
You’ll receive the Fire Badge after beating Kabu, which allows you to catch Pokémon up to level 35, meaning there are plenty of Pokémon now available for you to catch in the Wild Area.
You’ll also receive TM38 Will-O-Wisp, a useful Fire-type move that does no damage directly, but burns the foe it hits. You’ll also get the Fire Uniform for beating him.
Your next destination is Hammerlocke, which you can only access by crossing through the Wild Area, taking the bridge on the northern side of North Lake Miloch, over to the Motostoke Riverbank and then northbound.