I’m normally always happy to fight a Team Rocket Grunt. They look so spiffy in their little matching black and red outfits, and their silly one-liners. None of them are particularly hard to beat either. Since they scale with your trainer level, they’re never going to be THAT hard unless you use Pokemon they are super effective against.
In fact, when I started a secondary account, I specifically wanted to try Team Rocket fights. And most of them were pretty doable! The only boss I ever failed to beat was Sierra with the double Lapras lineup. This was because I had no fighting types at all and, even with the lower trainer scaling, my highest CP Pokemon was about 900 and her Laprases were STILL CP 1900.
Anyway, yes, I love fighting Team Rocket Grunts, to the point that I have the gold medal, which requires 1000 Team Rocket fights. But there’s one particular Team Rocket Grunt I hate.
Most of the grunts are fine.
None of these grunts have names. I mean, they’re grunts of course. So I just call them by their type. But some types have different Pokemon. The Water-type Female Grunt has Pokemon like Psyduck and Mudkip. Meanwhile, the Water-type Male Grunt will legitimately fight you with 3 Magikarps and wonder why he lost. Occasionally, he may surprise you with a Gyarados, but it goes down insanely fast, even if you are using a Grass-type Pokemon.
Generally, Female Grunts tend to be slightly harder than Male Grunts. Male Grunts tend to use simpler Pokemon with more weaknesses and are generally all of the same type. Female Grunts will mix things up. I’ve fought a female Grunt that had two Lapras in her lineup, but this was nowhere near as hard as the Sierra variant. Mostly because they are lower level AND most people will have farmed up some charge attack energy on the Snover she starts with. Oh and you can much more easily abuse the delay between switches, unlike old Sierra.
The Grunt I hate though has little variation. And doesn’t make that much sense.
I’m looking at you, Dark-type Grunt!
This Grunt is female and she ALWAYS starts with a Stunky. Her other Pokemon are Skuntank, Sableye or Shiftry. Out of all of these, only half of them are properly weak to standard Dark-type counters Fairy and Bug, and only one is actually weak to Fighting. The Poison/Dark typing on Stunky and Skuntank means that Fighting isn’t super-effective against them, and Fairy is also going to struggle. Sableye’s Ghost-type also means it resists fighting.
Shiftry is a glass cannon so it’ll just die to a stiff breeze. It’s a shame that Skuntank and Stunky are resistant to Bug Types because a Scizor or Scyther here would kick its ass.
Still gonna punch them.
Thankfully, there’s still a somewhat easy way to beat them. You just have to abuse Cross Chop and Power-Up Punch. with these two fast-charging charge attacks, you can just constantly spew out attacks, so the NPCs can’t fight back. Power-Up Punch is generally better but few Pokemon have it. The only Pokemon you’re likely to use is Lucario, but Lucario has a secondary issue in that he’s quite squishy. You’re most likely gonna need a second Pokemon no matter what though, because even Bite will chew through Pokemon that resist it.
Alternatively, just use a Dialga, which is what has been carrying my small account this entire time.
I still hate this Grunt though.
Sure, she’s beatable. Easily beatable. But the Dark-type Grunt seems to be insanely common, as common, if not more than the Grass and Water Grunts and on a similar level to the Normal-type Grunt.
But what annoys me more is that, 99% of the time, it’s just Stunky and Skuntank. We actually have quite a few Dark Pokemon available, but it’s always Stunky. Where’s the Poochyeena, the Murkrow or the Houndour fights? Heck, why not have Alolan Rattata and Meowth as the first Pokemon? Or Tyranitar or Weavile as the last Pokemon? There’s tons of options for Dark-types yet we have none of them.
It’s just all-round sucky. You get a boring fight with basically no variation. Most other Grunts have way more variation than the Dark-type Grunt does. Heck, there isn’t even a male Grunt to go alongside her…