How To Beat Whitney in Pokémon HGSS

Whitney Gym Battle Vignette Screenshot in HeartGold

The easiest way to defeat Whitney is by having a Lv12+ Gastly in your team that knows the move “Curse”. Using the move against her Miltank will constantly drain its HP, turning the gym fight into a battle of attrition. This will give you an easy leg up in the battle.

You can catch Gastly from Sprout Tower in Violet City at night (from 6:00PM to 3:59AM in-game).

Status effects and other stun-locking moves like Gastly’s “Confuse Ray”, Cyndaquil’s “Smokescreen”, Pidgey’s “Sand-attack”, or TM70 Flash will help you survive longer while waiting for the curse to complete.

How To Defeat Whitney (Quick Guide)

Here’s a quick step-by-step overview of our strategy in this gym battle:

  1. Lead with your strongest Pokémon (Ideally your starter) and KO Clefairy
  2. (optional) Switch to any Intimidate user, then immediately switch to a sacrificial Pokémon and allow Miltank to KO them
  3. (optional) Repeat step 2 until you run out of sacrificial Pokémon
  4. (optional) Allow Miltank to KO your Intimidate user to safely switch out
  5. Switch to any Pokémon with “SmokeScreen”, “Sand-Attack” or “Flash”, and use Accuracy-reducing moves between 3-6 times
  6. Switch to Gastly and use Curse

Whitney’s Pokémon Team

Whitney runs a Clefairy and a Miltank in her team.

Pokémon Level Type/s Ability Held Item Moveset

Clefairy (♀)
Lv. 17 Normal Cute Charm
Contact with the Pokémon may cause infatuation
  • Mimic
  • Encore
  • DoubleSlap
  • Metronome

Miltank (♀)
Lv. 19 Normal Scrappy
Enables moves to hit Ghost-type foes.
Lum Berry
  • Stomp
  • Rollout
  • Attract
  • Milk Drink

Whitney’s gimmick revolves around infatuating enemies, so try to avoid using male Pokémon against her if possible.

Preparing Your Lineup

Here is a list of Pokémon that we suggest you put in your party, listed in order of importance.

Essential Pokémon, Abilities, and Moves are in bold text.

Pokémon Type/s Level Ability Suggested Move/s Location
Gastly Ghost/Poison 12+ Any Curse
Confuse Ray
Sprout Tower (Night)
Pidgeotto Normal/Flying 19+ Any Sand-Attack Routes 29, 30, 31, 35, 36, National Park (Daytime)
Sandshrew (HG) Ground 19+ Any Sand-Attack
Defense Curl
Union Cave (1F)
Ekans (SS) Poison Any Intimidate Routes 32, 33
Growlithe (HG) Fire Any Intimidate Route 36
Stantler Normal Any Intimidate Sand-Attack Route 36
Machop Fighting 19+ Any Low Kick
Karate Chop
Goldenrod Dept. Store (5F, Trade for Drowzee)
Geodude Rock/Ground Any Any Defense Curl Union Cave (1F)
Onix Rock/Ground Any Any Harden
Union Cave (1F)

Note: We have also only listed locations that are accessible at this point in the game.

Your starter is the most important part of the team, because it will likely be your strongest Pokémon at that point. Have them lead your party.

Next, you will need a Pokémon with an accuracy-reducing move. If you are not running a Quilava with “Smokescreen”, you can use another Pokémon with either “Sand-Attack” or “Flash”.

Then, you need to catch a Gastly. You can find them at night in Sprout Tower, located in the northern section of Violet City.

Sprout Tower, connected to Violet City via bridge / Pokémon HGSS
Sprout Tower, connected to Violet City via bridge.

You only need it at level 12 so it can learn the move “Curse”.

However, if you can manage to get it to level 19, it will also learn “Confuse Ray” which will increase your chances of defeating Whitney.

The most basic team you can use is a Gastly with “Curse” and a Cyndaquil with “Smokescreen” / Pokémon HGSS
The most basic team you can use is a Gastly with “Curse” and a Cyndaquil with “Smokescreen”.

The cheese part of the strategy involves catching a sacrificial Pokémon with the “Intimidate” Ability. The easiest to get are Growlithe for HeartGold and Ekans for SoulSilver.

  • Ekans can be caught at any time of day in the tall grass on Routes 32 and 33, which are south of Violet City and East of Azalea Town, respectively.
  • Growlithe can be caught on Route 36, north of Goldenrod City, just beyond the National Park.

If you’re very lucky, you might also encounter a Stantler in Route 36. You may use them instead if they have the ability “Intimidate”.

Ekans with the “Intimidate” Ability. Their level does not matter for this strategy / Pokémon HGSS
Ekans with the “Intimidate” Ability. Their level does not matter for this strategy.

We will abuse this Ability by having other sacrificial Pokémon in the party we can switch to, so that we can activate “Intimidate” at least 3 times.

A complete team with 4 sacrificial Pokémon, only one of them needs “Intimidate” / Pokémon HGSS
A complete team with 4 sacrificial Pokémon, only one of them needs “Intimidate”.

Preparing Your Items

It’s a good idea to bring plenty of recovery and battle items.

We’ve listed some notable items you can use, where to find them, and when to use them.

Item Location When to Use
Quick Claw National Park Equip on your starter
X Speed Goldenrod Dept. Store (3F) Use on your starter if slower than Miltank
X Defend Goldenrod Dept. Store (3F) Make your strongest Pokémon tankier
TM70 Flash Goldenrod Dept. Store (5F) Teach as an alternative to Sand-Attack
TM17 Protect Goldenrod Dept. Store (5F) Teach in order to stall every other turn
Fresh Water Goldenrod Dept. Store (6F) Recovery, cheaper than Super Potion
Soda Pop Goldenrod Dept. Store (6F) Recovery, cheaper than Super Potion

Fighting Whitney (Breakdown)

Our strategy against Whitney is to apply attack and accuracy debuffs to Miltank so we can safely use Gastly’s “Curse” against her.

Whitney begins the fight by sending out Clefairy. Just bring out your strongest Pokémon first and you should be fine.

Once Clefairy goes down, switch to your Pokémon with “Intimidate”. This will significantly reduce Miltank’s damage.

Activating Ekans’ “Intimidate” ability once will reduce Miltank’s Attack by 33% / Pokémon HGSS
Activating Ekans’ “Intimidate” ability once will reduce Miltank’s Attack by 33%

Switch to another of your sacrificial Pokémon and let Miltank KO them. Afterwards, switch back to your Intimidate Pokémon. This will trigger “Intimidate” again. Repeat this until you are out of sacrificial Pokémon.

Let Miltank KO your Intimidate user so you can safely switch to your accuracy-reducing Pokémon.

Note: At this point, don’t be afraid to use recovery items to keep your remaining Pokémon healthy. Pop a Revive if any of your main Pokémon faint.

Use “SmokeScreen”, “Sand-Attack” or “Flash” against Miltank at least 3 times. You can use these moves up to 6 times to maximize the debuff.

And then finally, switch to Gastly and use Curse. This will ensure your victory.

Gastly using Curse - the literal “Nail” in Miltank’s coffin / Pokémon HGSS
Gastly using Curse – the literal “Nail” in Miltank’s coffin.

Once you’ve applied the curse, you can pretty much do whatever you want. Just make sure to have at least two Pokémon left in your party in case one of them faints.

Eventually, Miltank will go down and you will have won the gym battle!

Cyndaquil beating Whitney / Pokémon HGSS
Cyndaquil beating Whitney

Upon defeating Whitney, she will cry and refuse to give you the Gym badge. To get the badge, just walk 1 tile away from her until one of the trainers stop you. They will tell you to go back and talk to Whitney again.

When you talk to Whitney again, you’ll obtain the Plain Badge and TM45 Attract.

Crumble Thorn

20 articles

Game Developer, Digital Artist, and Lifelong Pokémon enthusiast. Writes about pretty much anything Pokémon-related, and also covers other games that they happen to hyperfixate in.

View Writer's Posts →