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Many things have changed from Pokemon Black and White to Pokemon Black and White 2, from entire cities to the Pokemon in the Unova region. However, the Elite Four remains mainly unchanged, aside from the Champion (spoilers), Iris. It’s the same types, same people, even the same Pokemon this time around. The only difference is that they’re at higher levels since the game has higher level Pokemon throughout. Despite this, leveling shouldn’t be a problem, as the old strategy of simply grinding your Pokemon still works just fine in Black and White 2. Just like in the original Black and White, it doesn’t matter what order you battle the Elite Four in, but the Champion is always last.

She is all about Ghost types, if you couldn’t tell by her ghastly alias. This is probably the mid-tier of the Elite Four, but she still has a couple aces in the hole. Ghost types are weak against Dark and Ghost moves, which are plentiful. Many Pokemon learn moves like Bite and Crunch as they level up, and even more can learn TMs like Shadow Ball and Dark Pulse, so you don’t have much to be worried about that. Be careful of her Cofagrigus, though, as its Will-O-Wisp move will burn your Pokemon, lowering attack and HP each turn. Of course, you could nip away her Pokemon by their secondary types: Golurk and Chandelure are both weak against Water types, and Drifblim is weak against Ice. You have the most wiggle room of all the Elite Four when you fight Shauntal. A good Vaporeon with Surf and Ice Beam should do the trick, and Vaporeon’s ability to use Shadow Ball can’t be ignored when facing purely ghost types.

Fighting types are what Marshal brings to the Elite Four. None of his Pokemon have secondary types – it’s all about Fighting. All you need is a good Flying and Psychic type on your side, and you’ll wipe the floor with Marshal in no time. I personally used my Chandelure that knew the move Psychic, because Fighting types can’t do a lot of damage to Ghost types, leaving Chandelure largely unscathed. With no other types besides Fighting, I’d say Marshal is the easiest of the Elite Four. Even so, watch out for Conkeldurr, as his Attack stat goes through the roof. One critical hit, and you’ll need to grab a Max Revive. He’ll try to use Bulk Up to stand up to whatever you throw at him, but a Special Attack move like Psychic or Aeroblast will do the trick. Some great Pokemon for this battle would be Swanna, a Water/Flying type, Espeon, a sly Psychic-type, or Munna, another Psychic-type that is more of an HP sponge that saps your opponents health away.

Again with the clever names. Grimsley deals with the Dark types. Dark types are weak against Fighting types, plain and simple. But Grimsley does have some counterattacks toward Fighting types. Namely, his Scrafty, a dual-typed Dark/Fighting type. While you still do super-effective damage, he’ll be able to hit you back, no doubt. Krookodile may give you some trouble with the Intimidate ability, which lowers the Attack stat, but if you do what I do and have a Lucario with Aura Sphere, a Special Attack move, you’ll wipe the floor not only with Krookodile, but all of Grimsley’s team. If you do opt for Lucario, watch for Scrafty. Lucario being part Steel type gives Scrafty the same advantage you have. Other recommended Pokemon would be Conkeldurr and Emboar. They have nice defensive styles that go with their Fighting types.

Psychic types are plentiful in Caitlin’s arsenal, but you’ll find that the same strategies for Shauntal work just as well here. Psychic types are weak against Dark, Ghost, and Bug types, and the same principles apply; many Pokemon know Dark/Ghost moves and can learn those kinds of TMs as well. Caitlin does play it a little more defensively, however. Her Musharna and Sigilyph both have moves that build up her whole team while recovering HP. I again used Chandelure in this round due to a clear type advantage, but you can go at Caitlin in a lot of different ways. Psychic types aren’t built for defense, so you can try a neutral ground approach with Fire or Ice types this round. Other great Pokemon you could try with are Bisharp, a nice Steel/Dark Pokemon, or for a wild card, try an Espeon with Shadow Ball. You pick up Shadow Ball late in the game, but Psychic Pokemon can’t damage other Psychic Pokemon very well.

Pokemon Champion Iris

Iris has been a part of your journey since the beginning, but now she gets to show her true colors. Just like in Black and White, Iris specializes in Dragon types. Only Ice and Dragon types are super-effective against Dragon types, so there’s not a lot of margin of error here. Right out of the gate, she throws a Hydreigon at you, which will wreck shit up unless you have a solid Fighting or Ice type at your side. Her team is only half-Dragon types, though. The others are Aggron, a Steel/Rock type; Archeops, a Rock/Flying type; and Lapras, a Water/Ice type. You have to deal with the Dragon types with another Dragon type, or if you’re lucky enough to find Ice Beam late in the game, use that in combination with a good Water type. That same Water type can wipe the floor with Aggron and Archeops.

For Lapras, you’ll need a good Fighting type on your side (who can also deal with Aggron and Archeops well). Archeops gave me a lot of trouble, as Fighting types will get slaughtered by Archeops’ Flying-type moveset. However, the king of Iris’ castle is definitely Haxorus. You really have to watch out for this guy, because his Attack stat is gigantic, and when a couple Pokemon have already had the wind knocked out of them, you’ll need all the offensive power you can get. With enough Revives and Hyper Potions at your side, you’ll prevail. If it’s not clear, save after each battle. Nothing hurts you more than losing to the Champion, then having to fight the group all over again. I know from experience…

Once you’ve beaten the League, an entirely new game opens up to you in Black and White 2. The post-game is where the games really shine, where you’ll be able to catch Legendary Pokemon from across all regions, have an entirely new mode for the game, and really start to make your picture-perfect Pokemon pugilists. Look for a guide for the entire post-game in the next few days.

Want to see what we thought of Pokemon Black and White 2? Check out our review of Pokemon Black and White 2!

Want to learn how to catch ’em all? Head over to the Pokemon website!