Gardenia + Eterna City Gym Puzzle (Pokémon Platinum)

Battling Gardenia in Eterna City Gym (Pokémon Platinum)

The Sinnoh region’s second Gym Leader battle is against Gardenia, who resides in Eterna City.

Her team consists entirely of Grass-type Pokémon around level 20.

The most dependable way to defeat Gardenia is by playing on type advantages with one or two solid Flying-, Fire-, or Bug-type Pokémon, while also being aware of the status effects her Pokémon can inflict on you.

Quick Strategy (tl;dr)

Battling Gardenia isn’t as difficult as battling Roark was.

Grass-type Pokémon have five total weaknesses:

  • Bug
  • Fire
  • Flying
  • Ice
  • Poison

But even aside from that, enough has happened in the game that you should have at least one of these types close to level 16-17. This is our recommended level threshold for entering the gym for the first time.

Easily-obtainable Pokémon that are strong against Grass-types are listed in the main guide below, but as an easy example:

One of the first Pokémon you caught at the beginning of the game should have been a Starly. If you’ve since evolved it into Staravia, leveled it to around level 17 by the time you first enter the gym (before fighting the trainers inside), and let it learn at least one Flying-type attack (like Wing Attack), you should have little issue beating Gardenia by the time you defeat the other trainers in Eterna Gym.

You might also want to bring along a few Super Potions and Paralyze Heals, but chances are good that you won’t need them.

Before Entering Eterna Gym

Leader Gardenia standing in front of Eterna Gym. / Pokémon Platinum
Leader Gardenia standing in front of Eterna Gym.

Eterna Gym is located in the southeast corner of Eterna City, just above the southern gate.

The first time you approach it, Gardenia will be standing in front of the entrance. Speak to her, and she will enter the gym and wait for you.

It’s always a good idea to bring some Potions into a major battle like this. But if you’re running short, you can snag a free Super Potion behind the building. Simply enter a gap beneath the top row of trees on the left-hand side and follow it around.

Slipping through a gap in the trees. / Pokémon Platinum
Slipping through a gap in the trees.
Super Potion behind Eterna Gym. / Pokémon Platinum
Super Potion behind Eterna Gym.

It might be a good idea to bring along a couple of Paralyze Heals as well.

Gardenia’s signature Pokémon, Roserade, uses Stun Spore: a move that will Paralyze your Pokémon and hinder its movement considerably.

Party Comp Ideas

This battle isn’t too tricky. Just make sure you have a Pokémon in your party that is strong against Grass-types.

The below table shows some Pokémon that both have a type advantage over Grass, and are easily obtainable at this stage of the game:

Good Pokémon to Use in Eterna Gym
Pokémon Type Location Recommended Moves
Staravia Normal/Flying As Starly: Routes 201, 202, 203, and 204, Lake Verity Wing Attack (learned at level 9)
Monferno Fire/Fighting Chose Chimchar as a starter Ember (learned at level 7)

Flame Wheel (learned at level 19)
Dustox Bug/Poison As Wurmple: Routes 204 and 205, Eterna Forest;

As Dustox: Route 205, Eterna Forest
Confusion (learned at level 10)

Gust (learned at level 13)
Beautifly Bug/Flying As Wurmple: Routes 204 and 205, Eterna Forest;

As Silcoon or Beautifly: Route 205, Eterna Forest
Gust (learned at level 13)

Note: Both Dustox and Beautifly are part of Wurmple’s evolutionary line; Dustox evolves from Cascoon and Beautifly evolves from Silcoon. Wurmple will evolve into either Cascoon or Silcoon depending on its personality value (which can’t be seen or controlled by the player, making Wurmple’s evolution ostensibly random). As the odds of encountering Wurmple, Cascoon, and Silcoon are significantly higher than those of Dustox and Beautifly, it might be faster to focus on evolving earlier evolutions into a Dustox/Beautifly.

It’s worth mentioning that a Kadabra can take down Eterna Gym nearly as easily as the Pokémon mentioned in the table, due to its high Special Attack stat and its move Confusion, which Poison-types (like Budew/Roselia/Roserade) are weak against. Feel free to take one along if you have it.

When you have your team organized and healed, enter Eterna Gym.

Eterna Gym Puzzle Guide

Eterna City’s Gym revolves around the mechanic of a “floral clock” in the middle of the room.

Each time you defeat one of the Gym trainers, the floral clock’s flower petal hands rotate to tell a different time, allowing you to walk over the petals and into the next section.

Eterna Gym’s floral clock. / Pokémon Platinum
Eterna Gym’s floral clock.

Because of this, it is impossible to reach Leader Gardenia without defeating every trainer in the gym.

This is fine, however, because these trainers provide tons of easy experience points.

Make sure you have a Pokémon with an advantage over Grass types in your first slot, and speak to the first trainer, Lass Caroline.

Lass Caroline
Pokémon Level EXP Gained Money Earned
Cherubi 17 247 272
Roselia 17 553

After you defeat Caroline, the hands of the floral clock in the middle of the gym will move to the 6:15 position, allowing you to move to the trainer on the eastern end of the room.

The floral clock after beating Lass Caroline. / Pokémon Platinum
The floral clock after beating Lass Caroline.

Move north and east to the next section and speak to the second trainer.

Aroma Lady Jenna
Pokémon Level EXP Gained Money Earned
Budew 15 217 544
Budew 16 232
Budew 17 247

Beating Jenna will cause the garden clock’s hands to move to the 9:15 position, so you can run straight across to the next battle.

The water fountain below Jenna will also turn off, allowing you to exit the gym and heal your Pokémon, if needed.

The floral clock after beating Aroma Lady Jenna. / Pokémon Platinum
The floral clock after beating Aroma Lady Jenna.
Aroma Lady Angela
Pokémon Level EXP Gained Money Earned
Roselia 19 618 608

Winning this battle results in the floral clock reaching the 12:45 position, allowing you to battle Gym Leader Gardenia at last.

The water fountains beneath Angela will also disengage, allowing you to leave the gym.

The floral clock after beating Aroma Lady Angela. / Pokémon Platinum
The floral clock after beating Aroma Lady Angela.

With all the EXP from the previous three trainers, your strongest Grass-killer Pokémon should be at least 19 or 20. But the higher it is, the better.

Heal your Pokémon if needed, save the game, and speak to Gardenia whenever you’re ready to start the battle.

Battling Gardenia

Eterna Gym Leader Gardenia. / Pokémon Platinum
Eterna Gym Leader Gardenia.
Leader Gardenia
Pokémon Level EXP Gained Money Earned
Turtwig 20 273 2640
Cherrim 20 570
Roserade 22 961

This battle is far easier than the previous Gym battle with Roark, but Gardenia still has some tricks that can throw you off.

For starters, her Turtwig will usually use the move Reflect right at the start of the battle, halving the damage Gardenia’s team sustains from Physical moves for five turns.

Because Gardenia will likely use a couple of Super Potions in this battle, it can take a while for you to whittle her Pokémon’s health down with Reflect in play.

Once Turtwig goes down, Gardenia will send out Cherrim.

This Pokémon shouldn’t take much effort to beat, but it will probably use Leech Seed to siphon health from your Pokémon and use it to heal itself. This, in conjunction with the team’s lingering Reflect status, can take a surprising toll on your Pokémon.

Just mind your HP and keep attacking.

Roserade is Gardenia’s ace in the hole. It has very high Special Attack and Special Defense stats, as well as couple of moves that can affect the Status of your Pokémon.

Gardenia with her Roserade. / Pokémon Platinum
Gardenia with her Roserade.

Of particular note is Stun Spore, which will inflict your Pokémon with Paralysis, cutting its speed by 75% and rendering unable to move (“fully paralyzed”) 25% of the time.

Paralysis can turn the tide of battle quickly, so use Paralyze Heals if you’re losing the upper hand.

Roserade can also use Poison Sting, a weak attack, but one that has a 30% chance of Poisoning your Pokémon and damaging you after every turn.

Don’t waste turns using Antidotes to heal the Poison, but be mindful of your HP, using Super Potions where necessary.

Your Pokémon should be strong against Roserade’s other two attacks, Grass Knot and Magical Leaf. But its high Special Attack stat can close that gap significantly.

Just focus on using your type-advantaged attacks and heal when you need to.

Before long, Roserade will faint, and you will have earned your second Gym Badge.

After Winning

After defeating Gardenia she will award you the Forest Badge, which grants you control over all Pokémon up to level 30 that you receive in trades.

You will also be able to use the Hidden Move Cut outside of battle.

Gardenia awarding you your second Gym Badge. / Pokémon Platinum
Gardenia awarding you your second Gym Badge.

Gardenia will also give you TM86 Grass Knot, a Grass-type special attack that inflicts more damage to heavier Pokémon.

And beating Gardenia opens several new areas to explore.

Now that you have access to Cut, you can backtrack to previous areas of the game and chop down small trees to uncover many hidden paths that were previously blocked off.

Thin trees can be cut down. / Pokémon Platinum
Thin trees can be cut down.

You can also begin the process of picking up the Bicycle as well, which is needed to reach the next Route and advance the story.

Outside the bicycle store / Pokémon Platinum
Outside the bicycle store.

Chris Haygood

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Chris is an American freelance writer and lifelong gamer. RPGs have been his genre of choice ever since he got Pokémon Blue in 1867, but if he finds a good rhythm game, he will prioritize playing it over both eating and breathing.

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