Every Pokémon trainer has been there. There always seems to be that one gym leader you come up against in every game that makes life difficult and takes losing half of your money over and over again before you manage to blast past them. There are so many reasons this can happen — it's an early gym and your starter isn't equipped to handle that gym leader's type, their move set is better than yours, your party isn't diverse enough, or you simply haven't taken the time to settle down in a route full of trainers and level grind.
If you do find yourself in this eternally frustrating position, take a deep breath. Here's how to ensure you can go back and take down that gym leader once and for all.
Cue battle theme music!
10 Try To Be Strategic With Pokémon Types
The most obvious way to get past that gym leader is to be strategic with your Pokémon types. Your water starter may be your strongest Pokémon but if you're up against a bug-type gym, this probably isn't going to fly. You'll want to focus your training on a type that can beat them. Got a flying type? Great, focus the training on them on the lead up to the gym.
If they aren't quite strong enough yet, then give them an exp. share at the very least and use a stronger Pokémon to fight the battles leading up. It's a less frustrating way to power up other Pokémon types.
9 Disable Their Best Move, If Possible
Sometimes, it's that one specific move that keeps getting you. In Pokemon Gold & Silver, the Goldenrod gym was infamous for Whitney's Miltank which used rollout every time. Rollout isn't a strong attack initially, but it gets more and more powerful with every use and by the time the third attack rolls around, your Pokémon will probably be dead.
If there's a similar move that the gym leader you're stuck on utilizes, it's time to try to disable it. Psychic Pokémon might know this move, and you can always Google the ones that do. Disable that move and you're good to go.
8 Find A Move That Works Great Against The Hardest Pokémon The Leader Has
On the flip side, find a move to teach your Pokémon that works against theirs. For example, coming up against Brock in Fire Red & Leaf Green may seem impossible if you started with Charmander, but if you can get Charmander to a high enough level, he'll learn metal claw — which just so happens to be super effective against rock types. Sure, it doesn't block Geodude's rock throw at you, but it'll sure do some damage.
7 Potions, Potions, Potions
Sell whatever you need to to stock up on potions (and revives!). Sell anything in your bag you don't need and empty the money on items to help you win this fight. You can always make the money back up later, when you're fighting trainers after the gym battle — and of course, the money you'll win from the gym leader themselves when you eventually beat them!
6 Use Your Low Level Pokémon To Save Your High Level
Even if you only have four decent Pokémon that stand a chance against the gym leader, it's better to have two weak Pokémon at the edge of your party than just four all together. The reason for this is if all four faint, you have a chance to revive and heal them while your other two Pokémon are being blasted.
Sure, probably not ethically great when it comes to caring for your Pokémon, but it may just win you the fight. Even if your low level Pokémon resent you for it.
5 Grind Against Trainers, Not Wild Pokémon
Grinding against wild Pokémon to up your levels will do very little. The experience points you get are not great, and even fighting a Pokémon at a lower level but that's owned will get you more. If possible, grind against trainers rather than wild Pokémon. Circle back for trainers you missed, check if any are down for a rematch.
4 See If You Can Continue On, Then Come Back
If you can't find any trainers, you can always try moving ahead of the city and coming back. Some cities won't let you do this — the road will be blocked by an NPC who only moves when you defeat the gym leader, or an obstacle you need the gym badge to break apart. But there are some cities who will let you travel a bit further on without defeating the gym leader, and face some trainers who are a tiny bit easier before circling back.
3 Use Your Status Moves At The Start
If you have Pokémon who know some status moves like sleep powder or thunder wave, it's best to deploy these Pokémon at the start of the battle — or the moment the most powerful Pokémon comes out. Gage when the best time would be between these and then do it. The gym leader may have a full heal or cure for them, but if you manage to do it a couple of times, it should seriously destroy their chance of winning the battle. Think about how agonizing it is when it happens to you!
2 Or Start By Really Decreasing Accuracy
Another tactic is to start the battle by severely decreasing accuracy. Using attacks like sand attack or mud slap, you can limit the amount of times the opposing trainer can actually hit you with attacks. Some stronger attacks such as thunder or rollout have poor accuracy as it is, so if you take them down a notch, you're bound to essentially get a few free hits.
1 Try To Get The Leader To Waste Their Potions
If you want to play extremely tactically, you can find out how many potions a gym leader has in their bank and force them to waste them on the weaker Pokémon. Get the weaker ones down to low hit points without ending them completely, and wait. The gym leader should keep using potions on them, where they wouldn't have had the chance to had their Pokémon fainted, and this means by the time they send out their Big Bad, they'll have none left to spare.