How to Catch a Zangoose in Pokémon Y
Where is Zangoose?
Zangoose is located in the same place where Seviper can be found in Pokémon Y. Upon exiting Connecting Cave, you'll find yourself on Route 8. A lot of Pokémon can be found in the grass on this route. It is possible to happen across a horde battle that is comprised of four Seviper and one Zangoose, but this is where the problem begins.
Since they were both introduced in Ruby and Sapphire, Zangoose and Seviper have been at each other's throats. Now that you've managed to get a horde battle with them you can just catch the Zangoose right? Wrong. Only one Pokémon can be captured in a horde battle. Killing the Seviper seems easy enough, but that will also prove to be false. Picking the Seviper off one at a time will not work because after your Pokémon attacks once, the enemy Pokémon all get to attack. They're low levels so they're no threat, but the Seviper won't be attacking your Pokémon. They'll attack the Zangoose!
How can four Seviper be cleared in one turn without killing the Zangoose? Clearly an attack that hits multiple targets is what's needed, but anything too strong will kill Zangoose as well. This can be easily done by taking advantage of Seviper's type weakness. Seviper is a Poison type so it is weak to Ground and Psychic types. Ground is famous for its multi-target attacks so its easy enough to find an attack to do the job, but using too strong of an attack can still kill Zangoose as well. Landing a weak ground move should be enough to kill the Seviper and leave Zangoose with low health for you to snatch it up in your Pokeball of choice.
How to Get Hordes
Once on Route 8, a horde battle must be started. This can easily be done by walking around in the grass, but that can take quite a long while.
An easier way to initiate a horde battle is to use Honey, but Honey is an item so it is possible to run out of it before finding the horde battle of Seviper and Zangoose.
The easiest way to get a whole horde of Pokémon to attack you is to have a Pokémon use Sweet Scent. Many Grass types learn Sweet Scent at some point so you shouldn't have too much trouble gaining the ability to start horde battles at will. The only problem is that it can sometimes rain on Route 8 which prevents Sweet Scent from working. All you can do is wait for the rain to stop or try one of the other methods to start horde battles.
Slaying the Sevipers
Once you get the desired horde battle of four Seviper and one Zangoose, you need to have a weak ground type Pokémon with a weak ground type attack. Two potential moves are Magnitude and Bulldoze. Magnitude can be used because its power can potentially be very weak, but it can also be very strong so it is up the player if they want to risk clearing the battlefield. Bulldoze has a base power of 60 so it may be beneficial to use this move as it poses less of a risk.
Now we just need a Pokémon to use the move without being too strong and killing the Zangoose as well. It needs to be fast enough to use the move before the enemy Pokémon get a turn, but not too strong or it will clear the field with a single attack. I chose to use a Diglett at level 16 that knew Magnitude, but at level 18 it does learn Bulldoze if you want to use that.
To get Diglett you will need to capture a female Dugtrio on Route 13 and breed a baby Diglett. I say a female Dugtrio because getting Ditto can't be done without getting to the Pokémon Village towards the end of the game or by trading with someone. If you've already gained ownership of a Ditto, then feel free to capture any Dugtrio.
One Magnitude later, and you should be left with a low health Zangoose and a Seviper-free screen. Enjoy your Zangoose!
If you choose to use Diglett:
- Capture a Dugtrio on Route 13
- Breed a Diglett
- Raise the level of your Diglett until it learns either Magnitude or Bulldoze
- Continue to level your Diglett until it reaches a level you feel is high enough to go first in the battle, but not kill Zangoose
How to Catch Zangoose:
- Go to Route 8
- Go to one of the patches of grass near Connecting Cave (This is where I found the most Seviper and Zangoose Hordes, but anywhere on the route should work)
- Use Sweet Scent as long as it is not currently raining on the route
- Continue doing step 3 until hordes of Wingull stop showing up (You may even find a Taillow horde)
- Once you come across a horde battle of four Sevipers and a Zangoose send out Diglett
- Use Magnitude or Bulldoze and all of the Sevipers should faint
- Depending on the remaining health of the Zangoose, either throw a Pokeball of choice to try to capture it or use the move False Swipe to leave it with a single point of health before choosing to use any Pokeballs