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The most infamous battle of the second generation, though, has to be against Whitney, the Leader of the Normal-type Gym in Goldenrod City. Whitney has terrorized players for 20 years, but is her fearsome reputation truly deserved? A common complaint about modern Pokemon games is that they're too easy. This can be seen with the Gym battles in each game, most of which can be steamrolled by the starter Pokemon chosen by the player.
The most infamous battle of the second generation, though, has to be against Whitney, the Leader of the Normal-type Gym in Goldenrod City.
Whitney has terrorized players for 20 years, but is her fearsome reputation truly deserved? A common complaint about modern Pokemon games is that they're too easy. This can be seen with the Gym battles in each game, most of which can be steamrolled by the starter Pokemon chosen by the player.
This mechanic was dropped in later entries in the series, leading to most Gyms becoming a cakewalk for the player. This couldn't be further from the truth in the competitive scenewhere Pokemon like Chansey, Snorlax, and Tauros were rightly feared for their prowess on the battlefield.
It seems that Game Freak had something to prove when it came to the Normal-type Gym in particular, as it's still regarded as one of the hardest in the series. Her first Pokemon is a Clefairy which can be dangerous due to random chance.
It knows Metronome, which means it can potentially use any attack in the game. Fortunately, it's more likely to use its other moves, like Encore or Mimic, which are far less of a threat. Once Clefairy is taken down, then the infamous Miltank comes out to play.
This was an incredible moveset for a Gym Leader, especially in the earlier games. Attract drastically lowered the offensive capabilities of male Pokemon, Milk Drink healed Miltank, Stomp dealt damage and could flinch enemy Pokemon, and Rollout gained strength for each consecutive turn that it successfully hit the enemy.
The reason many players struggled against Whitney was because they treated her like any other Gym Leader in the game. Whitney's Miltank brutalized most players, thanks to the stalling power of Stomp, the growing strength of Rollout, and its ability to heal damage with Milk Drink. Miltank could outlast entire teams of enemy Pokemon. Most players just threw their starter and whatever other Pokemon took their fancy at Whitney and farmed her Clefairy for EXP, while hoping to get lucky against Miltank.
What these people didn't realize is that Game Freak gave us plenty of options for taking down Whitney. Gastly is a Ghost-type Pokemon, which means most of Whitney's moves won't work against it. Gastly also has access to Hypnosis, which makes it a great opener against Miltank, as it can knock it out and potentially keep it down for a few turns.
It's worth noting that Gastly isn't a foolproof option, as it can still be harmed by Rollout, but it's still a reliable ally. The best weapon for fighting Whitney's team can be found in the Goldenrod Department Store, as there is a trainer who is willing to trade a Machop for a Drowzee.
This is a female Machop, which means that it's immune to Miltank's Attract. All the player needs to do is train the Machop up to level 19 an easy feat, as it gains bonus EXP for being a trade Pokemon to give it moves like Karate Chop and Seismic Toss.
The other two options for fighting Whitney are Geodude and Onix. There is an abundance of Pokemon that can be assembled to defeat Whitney, but most players couldn't be bothered tailoring their team for the task of defeating her. The rest of the Gym Leaders in the series were such a pushover that most preferred to just power level, rather than think strategically or prepare for the fight.
Miltank is also holding a Lum Berry, which means it will instantly heal any status condition as soon as it's inflicted, but only once per battle. This means Gastly won't last long against Miltank, as it won't have a chance to inflict Hypnosis before being stomped into the ground. Whitney could be an incredibly frustrating foe to battle, especially for young kids who were new to the series, but this level of challenge left an impression on fans.
So many of the Gym Leaders in the Pokemon series are little more than mandatory encounters that don't leave an impression on the player. Scott has been writing for The Gamer since it launched in and also regularly contributes to Screen Rant. He has been gaming since the days of the ZX Spectrum, when it used to take 40 minutes to load a game from a tape cassette player to a black and white TV set.
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