You may have checked out my previous guides regarding Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, but a new generation just hit the streets and with it comes new stuff that you should know if you want to be the very best. Consider this your introduction to Pokemon Black & White.

First and foremost, you probably want to know what’s different between Black and White. The biggest difference is the signature legendary: Black gets the Fire/Dragon type Reshiram and White gets the Electric/Dragon type Zekrom. Both have similar movesets and stats and could obliterate everything else in a fraction of a second, so the choice really comes down to personal preference between Reshiram’s emphasis on Special Attack and Zekrom’s on Physical Attack. Both have three weaknesses, two of which are Ground and Dragon, while Reshiram has 5 resistances and Zekrom has 6. Honestly, you really can’t go wrong here.

Beyond legendaries, each version has a few pokemon specific to it. New to Generation V, White gets access to Reuniclus, Braviary, and the Kami trio member Thundurus whereas Black gets Gothitelle, Mandibuzz, and Kami trio member Tornadus. There are also some previous generation pokemon that can only be captured in each, with a full list available at Bulbapedia.

If you’re really interested in every new creature in this game, check out the complete list of all 156 new pokemon.

There are a ton of new moves and passive abilities that you’ll need to learn about, such as Sheer Force and Moxie. This one is going to be the big strategic point for anyone who cares about battling in B&W because the new pool of moves and abilities changes everything about previous strategies.

As far as training goes, you’ll find out quickly that TMs are now unlimited use just like previous generation HMs. This is a godsend given how awful it used to be to grind BPs for that 7th or 8th Earthquake TM or the hoops you’d have to jump through to breed something with an ability just because you had already used up your only TM for it. Smeargle, you were awesome, but I’ll take unlimited TM use over chain breeding any day.

In regards to breeding, you can now breed for independent values (IV) in addition to nature. Remember how giving the mother of a breeding pair an everstone gave the offspring a 50% chance to have the mother’s nature? Well now you can give the EV-boosting items to the father and the offspring has a 50% chance to inherit the father’s IV for that stat. For instance, if you have a mother with an Adamant nature and a father with a great Attack IV, you can give the mother an Everstone to hold and the father a Power Bracer and the offspring has a 25% chance to have both an Adamant nature and the father’s IV in attack. Given the previously super low chance of getting good IVs, this is also a very welcome change.

Looking to catch those new pokemon? Well, Dusk Balls are still awesome, but now even more so because encounter rates have been changed so that they’re the same at all times of the day. No more waking up early to get a better chance at something or staying up late so you can get that ghost pokemon: all encounters are the same all of the time. This means that you can stock up on Dusk Balls and do all of your hunting at night with a lovely 4x capture rate!

Remember my guide to catching pokemon and training them? How it’s useful to have False Swipe, pokemon with Synchronize, and something with Flame Body or Magma Armor or the uses of the Exp. Share and Lucky Egg? Black and White make all of that so much easier than any previous generation, so here’s your step by step, detail by detail guide on making it all work in this generation.

1) False Swipe is obtained from a TM given to you by Professor Juniper in Nuvema Town after you’ve seen 30 pokemon. TMs are unlimited use now and almost everything can learn False Swipe, so you should have no trouble building up a good catching pokemon now.

2) Munna and its evolution are your only choice for Synchronize from strictly Generation V pokemon. You can find Munna in the Dreamyard east of Striaton City. I recommend catching a male and a female and just breeding them for the natures you want since they’re kind of rare (20% in normal grass). You should probably do this as soon as possible to help you catch good-natured promo pokemon like Victini. This brings us to…

3) …Litwick, your best and only (for a while) option to get Flame Body/Magma Armor to speed up egg hatching. Litwick is readily available in the Celestial Tower north of Route 7.

4) Once you’ve got these, you’ll probably be wondering where to get Everstones. Never fear! Go to the Wellspring Cave north of Route 3 where you’ll find tons of Roggenrola. You can either pick up the TM for Thief and teach it to one of your pokemon (recommended) or you can just catch tons of Roggenrola. Either way, they have a 50% chance to be carrying an Everstone, so this is easily your best bet.

5) If you want some help leveling your lower level pokemon, you know that the best way to do that is with an experience share. In Generation V, lower level pokemon actually get a big bonus when defeating higher level pokemon, so Exp. Share gets even more useful in Black and White! You can get yours in Castelia City on the 55th floor of the Battle Company building on the main street. Defeat the Boss/Janitor and it’s all yours.

6) But what about the Lucky Egg? Even easier. Professor Juniper gives you one upon entering the Chargestone Cave on Route 6. Back in the day, we had to jump through hoops to get fight Chansey and hope they were carrying a precious lucky egg; now they’re giving those things away like candy. Kids these days, right?

7) Finally, the EV boosting items you’re used to (Power Bracer, Power Anklet, etc.) are available once again in Black and White. This time around, you can get them from points earned in the Battle Subway in Nimbasa City. It’s pretty straightforward, but make sure you come prepared with powerful pokemon level 50 or higher.


And that’s really it for now. As I get more familiar with the new intricacies of online play, the new triple and rotational battles, and what kinds of strategies are out there I’ll do another post about advanced tips and tricks, but until then good luck with all of your new pokemon!