The third Gym Leader you’ll battle in Sinnoh is Hearthome City’s Fantina. Her party consists of Ghost-type Pokémon with levels in the mid-20s.
Ghost-type Pokémon are notoriously tricky to fight, as they have multiple immunities and few weaknesses. And none of those weaknesses are especially useful at this stage in the game.
The best strategy would be to employ a strong Normal-type Pokémon that can use non-Normal-type moves. You’ll also want to be well-stocked with Revives, Burn Heals and Super Potions.
This can be a tricky fight. Ghost-type Pokémon have few weaknesses, and chances are high that you won’t have the means to exploit them at this point in the game.
However, keeping a few pointers in mind can help you win against Fantina:
- Try to get your Pokémon’s levels up to at least 25. A couple of levels can make a huge difference in this battle.
- Defensively, pay special attention to type advantages. Ghost-type moves are super-effective against Ghost- and Psychic-type Pokémon. It’s generally not worth bringing Ghost-types to this fight—although both your and Fantina’s Pokémon will be weak to each other, Fantina’s Pokémon are quick, and they have a few priority-based moves that might wipe you out before you can even act.
- Use Normal-type Pokémon with non-Normal-type moves. Normal types are immune to Ghost-type attacks, limiting Fantina’s move repertoire. Ghost-type Pokémon are immune to Normal-type moves, so make sure your Pokémon is equipped with non-Normal-type moves (such as a Staravia with the Flying-type move Wing Attack).
- Bring Revives, Burn Heals, and Super Potions. By now, you hopefully have found a decent number of Revives. Plan on reviving and healing your strongest Pokémon where necessary.
Before Entering Hearthome Gym
Before you can even step inside Hearthome City’s Gym, you’ll first have to locate its Gym Leader Fantina. The front door will be blocked by an NPC until then.
Fantina can be found in the Pokémon Contest Hall, in the north-central part of town.
To get there, head east from Hearthome City’s Pokémon Center.
When the road branches off to the north, follow it up to the giant coliseum-type building.
This is Hearthome City’s Pokémon Contest Hall.
Once inside the Contest Hall, speak to the purple-haired woman to your right.
The woman will introduce herself as Fantina, Hearthome City’s Gym Leader. She will then exit the Contest Hall and return to the Gym.
Leave the Hall and head east down the road, where the entrance to the Gym will no longer be blocked, and head inside.
Hearthome Gym Room Puzzles
In contrast to the pleasant, friendly city that surrounds it, Hearthome Gym’s theme is ghosts and shadows, in line with the Ghost-type Pokémon the trainers all use.
The Gym consists of three main rooms.
Each of the first two rooms is immersed in darkness, and has a puzzle that needs to be solved.
These puzzles work as follows:
- Using a flashlight to find your way around, you must search the floor for a blue tile
- Memorize the symbol displayed on the surface of the tile
- And then proceed through whichever door in the back has the matching symbol on the red tile in front of it.
The blue tile locations and pictures are randomly changed every time you enter a room. If you choose the wrong door, you will be transported back to the Gym’s entrance and have to try again.
Each of these two rooms is also full of trainers, which you can easily spot, since they’re holding flashlights similar to yours. These trainers are an excellent source of EXP, and it is recommended that you fight each one before proceeding.
Once you’ve solved the puzzles in the first two rooms, you will find Leader Fantina standing alone in the third and final room.
Note: After you’ve completed a room, re-entering that room will cause the darkness to be less pronounced. The following screenshots were taken after completion for the sake of clarity.
The first room is very small, and it only has three doors to choose from.
There are two trainers wandering around in this room.
They are, from left-to-right:
These trainers are quite easy; fight both for the experience.
Afterward, find and memorize the symbol on the blue panel, and leave through the door that matches it.
This room is several times larger than the first.
It contains five doors and four trainers, who are a bit tougher in this room.
Clockwise from the bottom-left, they are:
|School Kid Mackenzie
|Ace Trainer Catherine
|Ace Trainer Allen
|School Kid Chance
Again, fight them all for experience and money, then match the blue tile to the corresponding door and pass through it.
Gym Leader Battle Room
The final room contains only Leader Fantina herself.
Save your game, heal your Pokémon, and then speak with her to instigate the battle.
Ghost-type Pokémon are the only types with more than one immunity—Normal- and Fighting-type moves will have no effect on them—and they only have two weaknesses:
Dark-types and other Ghost-types.
You won’t find any Dark-type Pokémon at this stage in the game without trading for one. And the pool of Dark-type moves available to you now is small.
The obvious problem with using a Ghost-type is that your Pokémon will be just as weak to Fantina’s Pokémon’s moves as theirs are to yours.
Fantina’s Pokémon are quick and powerful, and some have priority attacks, so they would likely knock your Ghost-types unconscious before yours even had time to act.
One effective strategy is to have a Normal-type Pokémon use moves that are anything other than those of Normal- or Fighting-types.
An example would be a Staravia using:
- Wing Attack
- Aerial Ace
- Or other Flying-type moves
Fantina will generally avoid using Ghost-type actions against Normal-type Pokémon, since Normal-type Pokémon are immune to Ghost-type moves. That gets rid of some of her strongest attacks.
The first Pokémon Fantina sends out will be Duskull, who isn’t especially difficult, but possesses some tricky moves. The most noteworthy are:
- Shadow Sneak, a Ghost-type move that has a priority boost
- Will-O-Wisp, which can leave your Pokémon with the Burn status effect
You might want to use a Burn Heal to clear this up before Fantina sends out her next Pokémon, as all those instances of minor Burn damage add up.
You’ve been fighting Gastlies and Haunters since you entered the Gym. And although Fantina’s Haunter is stronger than the previous ones, the strategy is the same.
Because Haunter is a Poison-type as well as a Ghost-type, Psychic moves are super-effective against it; a quick Psychic Pokémon like Kadabra might be able to defeat it with a one-hit KO.
Tip: Watch out for its Dark-type move Sucker Punch, which carries a priority boost like Duskull’s Shadow Sneak did. And try to knock Haunter out before it has a chance to use Hypnosis or Confuse Ray, both of which will cost you valuable turns.
Mismagius is Fantina’s strongest Pokémon by far.
It has high Speed, Special Attack, and Special Defense stats, and a very well-rounded arsenal of moves:
- Shadow Ball
- Magical Leaf
- Confuse Ray
Don’t use any Water-, Rock-, or Ground-types, since Magical Leaf is likely to wipe them out instantly.
Using the Normal-type Pokémon strategy here will render Shadow Ball, Mismagius’s strongest attack, useless.
Just focus on gradually chipping her HP away, healing when necessary.
After You Win
Once Fantina has been defeated, she will award the player the Relic Badge (which is technically Sinnoh’s fifth badge, even though it is the third Badge you earn in Pokémon Platinum).
Having the Relic Badge in your possession will allow your Pokémon to use the Hidden Move Defog outside of battle. It will also trigger Pokémarts to carry Great Balls, Super Repels, and Revives.
Fantina will also give you TM65 Shadow Claw, a somewhat powerful Ghost-type move.
Now that Fantina has been defeated, you will be able to leave Hearthome City through the southeast gate (which was previously blocked off by some NPCs) and take Route 209 to Solaceon Town.