Gameplay Mistake 2 – Pressing B with Combusken

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Torchic EvolutionMistake #2:  Holding Back Combusken from evolving into Blaziken (‘pressing B’)


The setting is generation 3, Pokemon Ruby, and true to my previous promise I chose Torchic, the fire type Pokemon, as my starter.

Torchic evolves intoCombusken at level 16, which later evolves into Blaziken at level 36.

Now, we all probably know that you can stop a Pokemon from evolving by pressing B during the evolution stage. Why would anyone want to do this? Well, often pre-evolved Pokemon learn the same moves as their evolved forms, but at an earlier level. So if you don’t want to spend as much time training/leveling them up to get to a certain move, holding it back from evolving can accomplish this goal faster.

So here we are in my game, Combusken reaches level 36 and starts to evolve into Blaziken. I decide I’m in no rush to evolve it, why not let it learn some power moves first and then evolve it later, just before facing the elite 4? I press B and Combusken stops evolving. We chill for a while, training, I wait for it to learn a higher damaging fire move. At this point it’s still only using Ember as its fire move, which is something Torchic learned at level 10, and is in my opinion, a pretty basic fire move.

Finally at level 39 – it wants to learn a new move! … It wants to learn the move ‘Slash.’ What the heck? When is it going to learn a better fire move than Ember!? I turn to the internet to check Combuskens learnset, to see at what level I can expect something better.

Did you know?

Combusken NEVER learns any more fire moves after Ember, which Torchic learned at level 10.

Combusken Learnset
Combusken learnset – taken from

What!? How is it possible that a level 39 starter fire Pokemon would only know Ember as its fire attack!?

I check Blaziken’s learn set. For Blaziken, the next fire move after Ember is Blaze Kick. It is Blaziken’s signature move, physical type with 85 power and same type attack bonus. And it is learned by Blaziken WHEN IT EVOLVES at level 36.

This means that by holding back my Combusken from evolving I missed learning Blaze Kick forever!

Now, luckily I’ve seen that in later generations they have changed the learnset so that no matter what level Blaziken evolves it will learn the move Flame Kick at the time of evolution. If I had also bothered waiting/ training more Blaziken (and even Combusken) could still have learned Sky Uppercut, which is a fighting type move with similar power and suits Blazikens type (Fire/Fighting). In reality I ended up teaching it a stronger move than Ember from a TM, which got the job done, but felt somewhat unsatisfying.

My top Pokemon Sapphire and Pokemon Ruby tip is this: if you’re going to hold back a Pokemon from evolving, always check the learnset of the final form first, to make sure they don’t miss learning any moves. Sometimes a move is only learned by the final form.

Have you ever missed learning moves by holding back your Pokemon from evolving? Have you ever made any other evolution mistakes? Or felt like you chose the wrong move for your Pokemon to learn? I’d love to hear your stories. Comment below!

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