Pokémon Black and White: Unova Gym Leader Lineups

Unlike the first four generations of Pokémon RPGs which had only eight Gym Leaders, the region of Unova has a whopping eleven! Of course, you’ll only encounter eight of them as there are still only eight gyms. Below is a list of all eleven Gym Leaders, their Pokémon lineups and the movesets for each one. Use this list to plan your battles accordingly and ensure you’ll be on your way to facing the Elite Four!

Gym #1: Striation City Gym

The very first Gym in the game actually has a whopping three Gym Leaders. Who you face is determined by who you chose for your starting Pokémon. No matter which Pokémon you chose, you’ll be facing the Gym Leader you have a type disadvantage against. Make sure you’ve picked up a few extra Pokémon along the way or have leveled up your first Pokémon enough that it can offset the type weakness.


Gym Leader Chili (If you chose Snivy)

Pokémon #1: Lillipup (Level 12 – Normal)
Moveset: Work Up, Helping Hand, Odor Sleuth and Bite

Pokemon#2: Pansear (Level 14 – Fire)
Moveset: Work Up, Lick, Fury Swipes, Incinerate


Gym Leader Cress (If you chose Tepig)

Pokémon #1: Lillipup (Level 12 – Normal)
Moveset: Work Up, Helping Hand, Odor Sleuth and Bite

Pokémon #2: Panpour (Level 14 – Water)
Moveset: Work Up, Lick, Fury Swipes, Water Gun


Gym Leader Cilan (If you chose Oshawott)

Pokémon #1: Lillipup (Level 12 – Normal)
Moveset: Work Up, Helping Hand, Odor Sleuth and Bite

Pokémon #2: Pansage
Moveset: Work Up, Lick, Fury Swipes, Vine Whip

As you can see, each of the three Gym Leaders here have the same first Pokémon, and aside from a Type difference and a STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus) attack, their second Pokémon is pretty much the same. Oddly enough, the biggest problem you might have with the elemental monkeys is not their main attack, but Lick. Lick is a Ghost attack with a 30% chance of paralyzing your opponent. In the early game, getting paralyzed can be killer, so counter this by having a strong Normal type Pokémon in your lineup as Normal Pokémon are immune to Ghost attacks. Also Anime fans….you’re going to be seeing a lot of one of these Gym Leaders in the future in the same way you saw Brock.


Gym #2: Nacrene City Gym

Gym Leader Lenora

Pokémon #1: Herider (Level 18 – Normal)
Moveset: Leer, Take Down, Bite, Retaliate

Pokémon #2: Watchog (Level 20 – Normal)
Moveset: Hypnosis, Leer, Crunch, Retaliate

Another Gym Leader with only two Pokémon. By this point, you should be able to beat her with sheer numbers and cannon fodder even if you lack a balanced party or a decent moveset for your Pokémon. Take care with using Ghost or Psychic Pokémon here, as both of Lenora’s Pokémon have strong Dark attacks. A good fighting Pokémon should work wonders here.


Gym #3: Castelia City Gym

Gym Leader Burgh

Pokémon #1: Whirlipede (Level 21 – Bug/Poison)
Moveset: Poison Tail, Pursuit, Screech, Struggle Bug

Pokémon #2: Dwebble (Level 21 – Bug/Rock)
Moveset: Faint Attack, Sand Attack, Knock Down, Struggle Bug)

Pokémon #3: Leavanny (Level 23 – Bug/Grass)
Moveset: Protect, Razor Leaf, String Shot, Struggle Bug

Burgh’s Bug Pokémon should be pretty easy for long time Pokémon fans. Leavanny takes four times normal damage from Fire attacks, so even something like Ember should knock it out in one hit. The one to watch for is Dwebble, because it’s Bug/Rock dual type helps protect it from the usual Fire and Flying attacks trainers use against Bug Pokémon. It’s weak against Rock, Steel and Water, so try using those.


Gym #4: Nimbasa City Gym

Gym Leader Elesa

Pokémon #1: Emolga (Level 25 – Electric/Flying)
Moveset: Aerial Ace, Pursuit, Quick Attack, Volt Change

Pokémon #2: Emolga (Level 25 – Electric/Flying)
Moveset: Aerial Ace, Pursuit, Quick Attack, Volt Change

Pokémon #3: Zebstrika (Level 27 – Electric)
Moveset: Flame Charge, Quick Attack, Spark, Volt Charge

Elesa has some interesting Pokémon. Both Emolga can fall quickly to Rock or Ice attacks, but their Electric/Flying combination makes them immune to Ground attacks, which are usually Electric’s big weakness and they only take half damage from Grass attacks. The downside to using Rock attacks is that Pokémon that have them are usually slow and Emolgas are pretty quick so you might take a lump or two before knocking it out. Zebstrika should be met with Ground attacks. Don’t use a Grass Pokémon like Snivy here, or Zebstrika will use Flame Charge on it, Ko’ing it pretty quickly.


Gym #5: Driftveil City Gym

Gym Leader Clay

Pokémon #1: Krokorok (Level 29 – Ground/Dark)
Moveset: Crunch, Level Ground, Swagger, Torment

Pokémon #2: Palpitoad (Level 29 – Ground/Water)
Moveset: Aqua Ring, Bubblebeam, Level Ground, Muddy Water

Pokémon #3: Excadrill (Level 31- Ground/Steel)
Moveset: Hone Claws, Level Ground, Rock Slide, Slash

Clay is the first Gym Leader that should really give anyone pause, and even then it’s because his Pokémon aren’t pure ground Pokémon like you were expecting. Each combination presents a different challenge for you. Krokorok should actually be the easiest as it’s weak to common attacks like Water, Bug, Grass, Ice and Fighting. Taking out Palpitoad is just like fighting a Mudkip in its higher evolutionary forms. Grass is its only weakness. Exacdrill is weak to Fire, Water, Ground and Fighting so if you chose Tepig and have evolved it into either of its latter stages, you should be able to cakewalk through Exacdrill.


Gym #6: Mistralton City Gym

Gym Leader Skyla

Pokémon #1: Swoobat (Level 33 – Psychic/Flying)
Moveset: Amnesia, Acrobatics, Assurance, Heart Stamp

Pokémon #2: Unfezant (Level 33 – Normal/Flying)
Moveset: Air Slash, Leer, Quick Attack, Razor Wing

Pokémon #3: Swanna (Level 35 – Water/Flying)
Moveset: Air Slash, Aerial Ace, Aqua Ring, Bubblebeam

I know, right? We’re to the sixth Gym and still they only have three Pokémon to your six. Get used to it. Once again, you have a pretty easy time with the Gym Leaders. Swoobat has an interesting type combination, but it also leaves it weak to five different attack types, making it pretty easy to beat. Unfezant can be taken out like any Normal/Flying Pokémon and Swanna takes 4x damage from Electric attacks so it’s pretty obvious what to do there.


Gym #7 Icirrus City Gym

Gym Leader Brycen

Pokémon #1: Vanillish (Level 37-Ice)
Moveset: Acid Armor, Astonish, Ice Breath, Mirror Shot

Pokémon #2: Cryogonal (Level 37 – Ice)
Moveset: Aurora Beam, Ice Breath, Rapid Spin, Reflect

Pokémon #3: Beartic (Level 39 – Ice)
Moveset: Brine, Icicle Drop, Slash, Swagger

Oh Ice, the only type that has more weaknesses that strengths. This should be a pretty easy battle for you. Pure Ice is very easy to beat, so just know your type advantages and take Brycen down.


Gym #8: Opelucid City Gym

Gym Leader Drayden (Black)/Iris (White)

Pokémon #1: Fraxure (Level 41 – Dragon)
Moveset: Assurance, Dragon Dance, Dragon Rage, Dragon Tail

Pokémon #2: Druddigon (Level 41 -Dragon)
Moveset: Little by Little, Dragon Tail, Night Slash, Revenge

Pokémon #3: Haxorus (Level 43- Dragon)
Moveset: Assurance, Dragon Dance, Dragon Tail, Slash

Although you’ll have a different Gym Leader in each game, their Pokémon are exactly the same in terms of levels and movesets. They’re also all pure Dragon, so you should know what hurts them: Ice and Dragon attacks. This should be a fairly straight forward battle for you – just like all the Gym Leaders in Unova.


So there we are – all eleven Gym Leaders in the Unova region. You’ll definitely find this to be the easiest set of Gym Leaders in a Pokémon game so far. Of course, there is a big difference between beating the Gym Leaders and beating the Elite Four. Come back tomorrow to see the lineups of those Trainers and learn what you’ll have to do to surpass them and hopefully get a shot at the Pokémon Champion himself.

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