Bugsy’s fight is trivial if you chose Cyndaquil as your starter, since Bugsy’s Pokémon are weak to Fire. But if you chose another starter, the next best way to defeat Bugsy would be to use Pokémon like Onix or Spearow (both have great type advantages).
We suggest using either Geodude or Onix, since they will also be useful for fighting the next Pokémon Gym in Goldenrod City.
Avoid using Stat-reducing moves like Growl or Sand-Attack on Bugsy’s Scyther if he still has another Pokémon alive. His Scyther knows the Move U-turn, which will prevent you from stacking debuffs on it until you defeat his other Pokémon.
- You can catch Geodude in Union Cave, or in Dark Cave via the Violet City Entrance.
- You can catch Onix from Union Cave. A special Onix can be also obtained by trading a Bellsprout to the boy in the house next to the Violet City Pokémon Center.
How To Defeat Bugsy (Quick Guide)
Here’s a quick step-by-step overview of our recommended strategy:
- Lead the party with Geodude/Onix.
- Use Harden/Defense Curl at least thrice (maximum of six stat increases).
- (If using Onix) Use Rage at least twice (maximum of six stat increases).
- Spam Rock Throw or Rock Tomb until you defeat Bugsy.
Bugsy’s only notable Pokémon is his Scyther, as the other Pokémon on his team pose little to no threat to you.
Powers up the Pokémon’s weaker moves.
|Lv. 15||Bug||Shed Skin
The Pokémon may heal its own status problems.
|Lv. 15||Bug/Poison||Shed Skin
The Pokémon may heal its own status problems.
Bugsy’s strategy revolves around Scyther using the Move U-turn to get free hits while switching to his weaker Pokémon. This combo is especially dangerous if you chose Chikorita as your starter.
We will counter his strategy by stacking buffs on our own Pokémon while his weaker Pokémon are in battle, so that we will be prepared when Scyther switches back out.
Preparing Your Party
Here is a list of Pokémon that we suggest you put in your party, in order of importance.
Essential Moves are in bold text.
|Union Cave (1F), Trade (Bellsprout)|
|Dark Cave (Violet City Entrance), Union Cave (1F)|
|Route 33 (Day)|
|Routes 29, 30 & 31 (Day)|
|Routes 29, 30 & 31 (Night)|
|Routes 32 & 33 (Night), Dark Cave (Violet City Entrance), Union Cave (1F), Slowpoke Well (1F), Ilex Forest|
Note: We have only listed locations that are accessible at this point in the game.
You may use any of the listed Pokémon for their Type advantage against Bug or Flying, but we recommend bringing either Geodude or Onix.
Not only will they resist Scyther’s attacks, but they also have Moves that buff their Defense.
Tip: Geodude and Onix will also be good to use against the next Gym, as they resist Normal-type attacks!
Our Team Comp
The team I used for this guide is as follows:
It is protected against 1-hit KO attacks.
Powers up Grass-type moves in a pinch.
In theory, Onix should be able to win solo, but we opted to bring our starter as backup.
Option 1: Getting Onix/Geodude
After beating the Violet City Gym, wild Onix can be encountered in Union Cave, south of Violet City. Union Cave connects Violet City directly to Azalea Town, so you can’t miss it.
However, if you’re not planning on keeping the Onix on your team for the long-term, we suggest getting the Trade Onix from Violet City instead for the increased experience gain.
We’ve written a more detailed guide on how to get the Trade Onix in our Falkner Gym Guide.
Geodude can also be caught in the same area as Onix in Union Cave. We recommend catching one there if you haven’t yet, as they will be higher level than the ones in Dark Cave.
Option 2: Catching Other Pokémon
Flying-type Pokémon are strong against Bug Pokémon, and they are plentiful in the early areas as well. You can choose any of them for this fight, as long as they have an offensive Flying-type Move.
Note: Flying-types will be at a major disadvantage against the next Gym Leader Whitney, so be sure to plan ahead!
Another Pokémon you might use against Bugsy is Flaaffy. Flaaffy evolves from Mareep, which can be caught in the tall grass on Route 32.
Although Flaaffy’s Electric typing does not resist Bug-type moves, they have the Static Ability which gives them a chance to Paralyze opponents that make contact. Additionally, they have access to the Move Thunder Wave which is a Status Move that also causes Paralysis.
Paralysis, unlike stat reduction or Confusion, is a non-volatile effect. So it will persist even if the opponent switches out.
Bugsy will begin the battle by sending out Scyther.
You should lead your team with Onix or Geodude, and immediately use Harden or Defense Curl. Make a mental count of how many stat increases you’ve stacked.
Note: Scyther might use Leer to counter your stat increase. If they do this, subtract one from your counter.
Scyther will eventually use U-turn and switch with either Metapod or Kakuna.
Either way, you may safely continue to use Harden or Defense Curl until you reach at least three stacks. Just be careful with Kakuna’s Poison Sting and immediately use an Antidote if your Pokémon gets poisoned.
Tip: We recommend maxing your Defense stacks to +6 to ensure your victory against Bugsy.
Once you’ve raised your Defense stat enough, you may optionally use the Move Rage if you’re using Onix. This will increase your Attack stat if the enemy attacks you.
Since both Metapod and Kakuna only know one attack, they will always trigger Rage. Use this to your advantage and raise your Attack a couple of times.
Increasing your Attack twice should be enough to One-hit-KO Scyther once they switch back.
After stacking enough buffs, you may proceed to use Rock Throw or Rock Tomb.
Your attacks should be able to make quick work of Bugsy’s team by now.
Continue spamming your Rock-type Move and you will eventually win the battle.
After defeating Bugsy, he will award you with the Hive Badge, as well as TM89 U-turn. You will also gain the ability to use HM01 Cut outside of battle.
- How To Beat Bugsy in Pokémon HG/SS