Pokémon

Whitney’s Miltank remains relatively difficult

We get it—there’s a Machop available!

I’ve seen a couple of posts this week claiming that Whitney’s Miltank wasn’t as hard to beat as we all thought (see Pokémon: Whitney’s Miltank Isn’t as Difficult as Fans Remember from earlier today and Whitney Wasn’t Hard – We Were All Just Bad At Pokemon Gold & Silver from 2020). Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing, now that we’re all 20+ years older and wiser? But the truth is the difficulty level is relative to how we play the game and how experienced we are.

One of the most popular ways to play Pokémon after the first standard playthrough is a Nuzlocke. One of the most popular strategies for beating Whitney’s Miltank is to trade a Drowzee (which you could find on Route 34, south of Goldenrod City where Whitney’s gym is located) for a Machop and training it up so it can use its Fighting moves (since Fighting type moves are super effective against Miltank, which is a Normal type). But what happens if Drowzee isn’t your encounter for that route, or any other route you could get a Drowzee in your Nuzlocke? And if you’re not Nuzlockeing, what if you don’t want to use a Machop?

Let’s keep it real: Rollout was a broken move in Gen 2. And Miltank has 105 Defence and 100 Speed which were pretty high in Gen 2 and a rare combo. But its Special Defence was fairly low so if you didn’t want to go for the Machop strat, you could hit it with Special attacks instead. Or get a Ghost type somehow (not really possible in a Nuzlocke as none are available in Gold/Silver/Crystal before you beat Whitney and Miltank’s Scrappy ability in the Gen 4 remakes mean it can hit Ghost types).

Here are some alternative strats that I can think of:

  • If you’re Nuzlocking without a level cap or item bans in battle and you picked Cyndaquil as your starter, your Quilava should be able to hit it on the Special side (thanks to 109 base Special Attack) and you can set up with X Specials and 1 X Speed on the opening Clefairy to outspeed it and knock out Miltank before it has a chance to make Rollout a problem. Yes, it’s weak to Rock but the speed and power should be enough.
  • Or if you’re lucky to get an Abra and evolve it to Kadabra, same strat with high Special and Speed (but frail so be warned).
  • Or if you picked Totodile, you should have a Croconaw by then and you can set up Rage as it uses the same mechanics as Rollout, doubling its power on each turn (some X Attacks and X Speeds should help too).
  • Or if you caught a Geodude in Union Cave or Dark Cave, you can teach it Rollout via TM04 (found on Route 35) and it will already know Defense Curl. For those who don’t know, Defense Curl + Rollout doubles the damage output, making it hit even harder on each turn. And if you’ve evolved it to Graveler by then, it should pack enough of a punch to get the job done (I’d still recommend those X Speeds!)
  • You could also use a Pidgey/Pidgeotto to set up Sand Attacks but that could be a risky strat, especially in a Nuzlocke
  • Or go with Machop.

Whatever works for you! It’s achievable but don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy.