How to Evolve Basculin in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

A Basculegion swimming in front of a yellow and blue background with congratulatory text underneath them.

Key Takeaway

To evolve White-Striped Basculin into Basculegion, you'll need to let your Basculin lose 294 HP from recoil damage without fainting. Thankfully, this can be done across multiple battles.

Basculin, one of the most underrated Water-type Pokémon, was given some love in the form of a new evolution. However, evolving them into Basculegion in Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be a unique challenge—unless you pick the right targets to battle.

Table Of Contents

    Tips for Taking Recoil Damage Without Fainting

    A player in red clothes telling their White-Striped Basculin to attack a Graveler with Wave Crash.

    To evolve Basculin, the Pokémon will need to take 294 HP worth of recoil damage (cumulative—this doesn’t have to be in a single battle). A natural conclusion to draw would be to battle a Pokémon with a lot of HP (like a Chansey) using Basculin. Such a tactic can help you reach the recoil damage threshold for evolving, but it can also be dangerous.

    While it’s tempting to use the alpha Chansey in the Cobalt Coastlands as a damage sponge for your recoil attacks, there is a safer way. That Chansey, while easy to reach after you catch a White-Striped Basculin, can hit back pretty hard.

    Plus, it has so much HP that your Basculin can potentially knock itself out from recoil damage if your fierce fish does enough damage to Chansey. Never underestimate the power of an alpha Pokémon!

    Where to Find the Best Battle Buddies for Your Basculin

    You’re better off waiting a short while to evolve your Basculin. This is due to the easier time you’ll have after you reach the Coronet Highlands. In the west of this mountainous location, you’ll find Bolderoll Ravine (south of the Summit Camp and Moonview Area). This spot is packed with Graveler between level 40 and level 60.

    Most Basculin that you can catch in the Cobalt Coastlands will be around the same level, which means your white-striped rascal will be able to dominate the Graveler due to a huge type advantage. Most of the time, your Basculin will be able to one-shot the Graveler here. This eliminates most chances of getting knocked out, which will speed up the process.

    How to Rack up Recoil Damage Efficiently

    It’s ideal to use Wave Crash on the Graveler instead of Double Edge. Wave Crash, being a Water-type move, will be the better attack for taking down Graveler, since they have an x4 weakness to this type. Plus, since Graveler’s HP stat is actually quite low, you’ll have an easy time taking them down.

    The Graveler in Bolderoll Ravine, on average, have about 150 HP, and users of Wave Crash take 33% of the damage dealt as recoil damage. As such, your White-Striped Basculin will only take around 50 HP worth of recoil damage if they one-shot a Graveler with Wave Crash.

    Therefore, you’ll be able to evolve your White-Striped Basculin after only needing to take down about six Graveler. This can be done in less than five minutes due to how many Graveler there are nearby.

    Make sure to bring some healing items with you or visit the Summit Camp to rest once in a while. Any recoil damage Basculin takes that results in them fainting will not count towards the total needed to evolve them. For this reason, it’s important to keep your piscine pal healthy.

    Once your Basculin has taken enough recoil damage, you’ll get the “Can Evolve” message on the left of your screen. Simply head into your party menu and then evolve them into Basculegion.

    Reasons to Use Basculegion on Your Team

    A red and green fish-like Pokémon gently swimming in a river.

    Arguably the new Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus that has the best design, Basculegion also has great typing, stats, and a solid move pool. Furthermore, both male and female Basculegion are almost equally viable in battle.

    You’ll want to consider using male Basculegion on your team if you need a powerful Water-type Pokémon. On the other hand, if you need a great Ghost-type pocket monster, a female Basculegion can be the better choice.

    The Difference Between Male and Female Basculegion

    Firstly, there’s a visual difference between the two genders of Basculegion. Males will have red markings all over their bodies as well as a more angry expression. Females, on the other hand, will have light blue markings all over their bodies and a more calm expression.

    What’s more, there are some offensive stat differences between males and females as well. Males will have higher Attack stats, but lower Special Attack stats. The females will be the opposite with higher Special Attack stats and lower Attack stats. However, all other base stats remain the same between genders.

    In this regard, what moves you should teach your Basculegion will depend on their gender. Males are better suited for using physical moves while females are more ideal for using special moves.

    The Best Moves for Male Basculegion

    Both genders of Basculegion can learn the same moves. However, which you should choose for males will differ from the ideal moves for females.

    While leveling up, Basculegion will learn viable physical damage-dealing moves like Zen Headbutt (at level 18), Crunch (at level 25), and Wave Crash (at level 34). All three of these moves have decent base power and will let male Basculegion bash opponents sufficiently.

    It should be mentioned that even though they can also learn Double Edge (at level 43), it is inferior to Wave Crash. This is due to Basculegion getting a Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) when they use Wave Crash. Put simply, this will let it deal more damage. Plus, Wave Crash passively increases the user’s action speed whereas Double Edge does not (unless used in Agile Style).

    Furthermore, there are some nice options that you can learn from the move tutor. Here are the best physical damage-dealing moves Basculegion can learn from them:

    • Ice Fang [Ice-type] (65 base power)
    • Aqua Tail [Water-type] (85 base power)
    • Giga Impact [Normal-type] (120 base power)

    Additionally, it can be a good idea to teach Basculegion Calm Mind (also learned from the move tutor). In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Calm Mind temporarily boosts both offensive stats (Attack and Special Attack) and both defensive stats (Defense and Special Defense). Due to its universal viability, it can help in many situations.

    The Best Moves for Female Basculegion

    Female Basculegion are arguably better when you take a look at their potential moves. This is the result of Basculegion learning a wider variety of special damage-dealing moves than physical ones. A prime example of this is the fact that Basculegion cannot learn any physical Ghost-type moves, but they can learn a few special ones—which grants them another great STAB move.

    Through leveling up, there is only one truly viable special move for female Basculegion—Shadow Ball (learned at level 25). However, this is greatly offset by the solid coverage moves Basculegion can learn from the move tutor.

    Although, as opposed to male Basculegion, females won’t be able to learn many great Water-type moves, as they only have access to one special Water-type attack. With that said, here’s a list of the best special damage-dealing moves you can learn from the move tutor:

    • Water Pulse [Water-type] (60 base power)
    • Ice Beam [Ice-type] (80 base power)
    • Psychic [Psychic-type] (80 base power)
    • Hyper Beam [Normal-type] (120 base power)

    It should also be mentioned that, like with male Basculegion, Calm Mind can be a great move on this fierce fish—and for the same reasons. Try to use Calm Mind at the beginning of a battle so that your following attacks can hit harder.

    Why Basculegion’s Typing Makes it Stand Out Among Water-Type Pokémon

    Basculegion, being both Water and Ghost-type, shares this typing with only one other fully evolved Pokémon: Jellicent. However, since Jellicent does not appear in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Basculegion is alone in this niche.

    Much like Jellicent, Basculegion benefits defensively from its Ghost typing. Whereas pure Water-types have two weaknesses, four resistances, and no immunities, Water and Ghost-type Pokémon have four weaknesses, six resistances, and two immunities.

    While the addition of two weaknesses is a downside, gaining two resistances and two immunities more than makes up for this. As such, Basculegion will have favorable matchups against more foes than pure Water-types.