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Best Order and Strategies for the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Gym Leaders

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Like most other Pokémon titles, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet have eight gym leaders that players need to take down in order to prove themselves through the games’ story. Due to the open world structure of Scarlet and Violet, you can technically fight the gym leaders in absolutely any order you want, a first for the series.

“Can” and “should” are very different things though, because the gym leaders aren’t going to scale or change their Pokémon based on the order in which you play. That means that unless you’ve got a really good reason, you should try and fight each gym leader in increasing order of difficulty based on your level.

Here’s what order you should fight the gym leaders to finish the Victory Road storyline, starting with the one with the lowest-level Pokémon to the highest. That’s not the end of your journey however, as you’ve got the Elite Four after that, plus two upcoming expansions that will further increase the number of Pokémon you can collect.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet gym leader order

Here’s the order to fight the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet gym leaders with recommended levels for each one. Then, we’ll jump into the specifics of each gym leader.

  1. Cortondo Gym (Katy) - Recommended Level 14
  2. Artazon Gym (Brassius) - Recommended Level 16
  3. Levincia Gym (Brassius) - Recommended Level 23
  4. Cascarrafa Gym (Brassius) - Recommended Level 29
  5. Medali Gym (Brassius) - Recommended Level 35
  6. Alfornada Gym (Tulip) - Recommended Level 41
  7. Montenevera Gym (Ryme) - Recommended Level 44
  8. Glaseado Gym (Grusha) - Recommended Level 47

Cortondo Gym (Katy), Bug-Type

Cortondo is the adjacent town just west of Mesagoza, the place you go to school. The wild Pokémon don’t differ much in levels, so it should be easy to cross the field to the other town. Nemona even suggests this as your starting point for the Victory Road storyline.

Patisserie Chef Katy is the most easygoing gym leader in Paldea, so it makes sense that she’s one of the first to take down. She’s also one of the first stops we recommend in our “where to start” guide, partially because her Pokémon are the lowest level out of any boss across the three storylines. Thankfully, her Bug Pokémon are also weak to many types you can find surrounding Cortondo.

Katy’s Pokémon don’t have any dual types to worry about, so you can just focus on Bug-type weaknesses: Fire, Flying, Poison, and Rock. Any of the Flying-types nearby like Fletchling can help. If your starter is Fuecoco, even better.

Here’s her full party:

  • Nymble (Level 14) — Type: Bug
  • Tarountula (Level 14) — Type: Bug
  • Teddiursa (Level 15) — Type: Normal, Tera Type: Bug

Artazon Gym (Brassius), Grass-Type

Meanwhile, the first gym to the east of Mesagoza is the one in Artazon. It’s also the perfect place to stop after encountering the first Titan Pokémon in the Path of Legends story. The two points are a short distance from each other and require similar levels to complete.

It makes sense that Brassius would be an artist in the fittingly named town of Artazon. Like Katy, his Grass-type team has plenty of weaknesses including Bug, Fire, Flying, Ice, and Poison types. Out of these, Fire and Flying types outside of your hometown will be the most convenient to catch. Anyone you use against Cortondo gym leader Katy should also work for Brassius.

Here’s his full party:

  • Petilil (Level 16) — Type: Grass
  • Smoliv (Level 16) — Type: Grass
  • Sudowoodo (Level 18) — Type: Rock, Tera Type: Grass

Levinicia Gym (Iono), Electric-Type

Levinicia is nearby one of the Team Star’s bases — the Fire Team led by Mela. If you’re under Level 30 but still looking for a fight after breezing through Cortondo and Artazon, the Levincia Gym is the perfect pitstop. Just travel farther toward the northeast corner of the map nearby the water.

Iono, Paldea streaming superstar, is an Electric-type specialist. Unfortunately, Electric-types don’t have many counters besides Ground. At this point in the game, a Pokémon with Mud-Slap or Dig will be your most realistic counter. Alternatively, you can face Iono with Pokémon that are resistant to Electric types like the evolved form of Grass-type starter Sprigatito.

Iono’s party doesn’t have many pesky dual-types that will get in the way except for Wattrel. It’s status as an Electric/Flying type means that Ground moves will have no effect. Even worse, it can peck through Grass-type Pokémon that you might have on your team. Thankfully, Flying types have weaknesses like Ice and Rock-type moves to take advantage of.

Here’s her full party:

  • Wattrel (Level 23) — Type: Electric/Flying
  • Belibolt (Level 23) — Type: Electric
  • Luxio (Level 23) — Type: Electric
  • Mismagius (Level 24) — Type: Ghost, Tera Type: Electric

Cascarrafa Gym (Kofu), Water-Type

Cascarrafa is the nearest gym to Cortondo, just below Medali. However, Kofu is much stronger than Katy. If you’re not at least Level 25, it might be best to migrate toward the east side of Mesagoza before coming back to explore Cascarrafa and its surrounding regions.

Kofu specializes in Water Pokémon, which are weak to Grass and Electric-types like Sprigatito, Pawmo, and Shinx. His Pokémon range between level 29 and 30, but yours can be slightly less than that if you take advantage of type weaknesses. The only downside to a Grass Pokémon instead of an Electric one is their weakness to Ice-type moves. Crabominable, Kofu’s strongest Pokémon, is a Fighting/Ice type.

Here’s his full party:

  • Veluza (Level 29) — Type: Water
  • Wugtrio (Level 29) — Type: Water
  • Crabominable (Level 30) — Type: Fighting/Ice, Tera Type: Water

Medali Gym (Larry), Normal-Type

Medali is the town right next to Cascarrafa. Kofu and the Medali gym leader, Larry, are around the same level, so you can beat both at around the same time.

Larry’s the internet’s most relatable gym leader because of his disdain for the 9-5 workday and deadpan demeanor. He’s so “normal,” which is why it’s so fitting that he uses Normal-type Pokémon. It’s a harder matchup than you’d expect, so come prepared. Normal Pokémon don’t have many glaring weaknesses besides Fighting types and can even avoid Ghost-type moves. Riolu, Makuhita, or any Pokémon that knows Fighting-type moves like Pawmo can help.

In addition to Fighting Pokémon, bring another party member that can use Electric or Rock-type moves to counter Larry’s Staraptor. It’s a Normal/Flying dual-type with moves like Aerial Ace that can one-hit KO Fighting Pokémon with low defense stats or at lower levels. Plus, Staraptor has a high Attack stat that won’t be easy to withstand for even Pokémon with types that aren’t weak to Flying. The man’s a gym leader and a part of the Elite Four. He’s no joke!

Here’s his full party:

  • Komala (Level 35) — Type: Normal
  • Dudunsparce (Level 35) — Type: Normal
  • Staraptor (Level 36) — Type: Normal/Flying, Tera Type: Normal

Montenevera Gym (Ryme), Ghost-Type

Montenevera and Glaseado are two gyms to hit one after the other, preferably starting with Montenevera. Ryme has lower-level Pokémon than her fellow gym leader, Grusha, but not by much. She can spook trainers with her powerful Ghost-type Pokémon and intense rap skills, even if only one of them matters for this battle.

Prep for the occasion with Pokémon that know Dark-type moves, or Dark-type Pokémon (single or dual-type) like Houndoom. Ghost types are weak against other Ghost-types, so they aren’t ideal participants in this battle. Ryme has a Mimikyu, which is part Fairy-type, so you might want to take it out with another party member to save your Dark-type for later.

Here’s her full party:

  • Mimikyu (Level 41) — Type: Ghost/Fairy
  • Banette (Level 41) — Type: Ghost
  • Houndstone (Level 42) — Type: Ghost
  • Toxtricity (Level 42) — Type: Electric/Poison, Tera Type: Ghost

Alfornada Gym (Tulip), Psychic-Type

Alfornada Gym is one of the hardest to reach. Only players who somehow find their way through a maze of caves or obtain the Climbing ability from the last Titan Pokémon in the Path of Legends story can make it there, which makes sense because Tulip is one of the strongest gym leaders.

Tulip uses Psychic Pokémon, which means Ghost, Bug, and Dark types will be ideal. Many Pokémon like Gyarados, Luxray, and Pyroar can use Crunch, so you don’t even need to go out to catch new Pokémon if you have one of those. If you must, Bannette, Sinistea, and other Ghost-types can be found roaming the grassy areas around Alfornada.

Beware: Tulip has some Fairy dual-type Pokémon on her team. These can threaten Dark types, including a fully evolved Meowscrada. That’s another reason why capturing Pokémon that can learn Dark-type moves without the drawbacks of actually being one can help. Here’s her full party:

  • Farigiraf (Level 44) — Type: Normal/Psychic
  • Espartha (Level 44) — Type: Psychic
  • Gardevoir (Level 45) — Type: Psychic/Fairy
  • Florges (Level 45) — Type: Fairy, Tera Type: Psychic

Glaseado Gym (Grusha), Ice-Type

Grusha is the gym leader with the highest-level Pokémon in the Paldea. He specializes in Ice-type Pokémon, which means a strong Fire-type would be ideal. Rock, Steel, and Fighting types also work, but there are just much more Fire Pokémon roaming around the region. If you don’t know who to use, you can capture a Pyroar in the mountains surrounding Glaseado.

Grusha’s range between Level 47 and 48, so your Pokémon should be around the same level to have a chance at taking him down. Here’s his full party:

  • Frosmoth (Level 47) — Type: Ice/Bug
  • Beartic (Level 47) — Type: Ice
  • Cetitan (Level 47) — Type: Ice
  • Altaria (Level 48) — Type: Dragon/Flying, Tera Type: Ice

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are currently available for the Nintendo Switch.

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