In both games, Geodude can be found in the following places prior to defeating the Elite Four: Mt. Moon, Rock Tunnel, Victory Road, Mt. Ember, and Kindle Road. Graveler can be found in the following places prior to defeating the Elite Four: Kindle Road, Rock Tunnel, and Mt. Ember.
Geodude is quite an interesting Pokémon. While its physical stats are amazing, its special stats are absolutely awful. It has a great in-game typing, but is also defeated extremely easily by any opponent with a Water- or Grass-type move. It’s available quite early, coming almost immediately after you defeat the first gym, and its Rock-typing helps it tank nearly any physical move for the first half of the game. Unfortunately, if you somehow cannot perform the trade evolution necessary to evolve Graveler into Golem, you’ll be stuck with a not-fully-evolved Pokémon that, while useful for most of the game, really starts to lose its luster in the later stages. Its quad-weakness to common Water- and Grass-type moves also starts to become annoying, as Water-types start to become very prevalent around the time you get your fifth badge. However, Golem and Graveler are both very competent physical tanks that you can always count on to take a SelfDestruct or bash heads in with the famed STAB QuakeSlide combination, and can retain their usefulness throughout the entire game. While not the absolute game-breaking monster that the Geodude line is notorious for being in the Johto games, the Geodude line is a quite solid choice in a Nuzlocke of FireRed or LeafGreen thanks to its good physical stats, nice typing, and early attainability.
Rival (Cerulean City): If you chose Bulbasaur (so your rival has Charmander here), Geodude makes mincemeat of this fight. If you chose Charmander or Squirtle, keep him away from your rival’s starter, as it will have a STAB move that is 4x effective against Geodude, but otherwise you should be good here.
Gym #2 - Misty (Cerulean City, Water-type): Don't even bother using Geodude here. It’ll be OHKOed by either of Misty’s Pokémon, and won’t even be able to serve effectively as death fodder.
Rival (S.S. Anne): Geodude is probably a Graveler now, presuming you're keeping with the level curve adequately. Keep away from Kadabra (it has high Special Attack, which will screw you over pretty easily) and non-Charmeleon starters, but still makes quick work.
Gym #3 - Lt. Surge (Vermillion City, Electric-type): Hah. Decently high Magnitude numbers (pretty much anything above Magnitude 5) should be able to OHKO everything in this gym.
Rival (Pokémon Tower): Once again, Charmeleon and Pidgeotto go down easily to Rock Throw/Rock Slide. Keep Graveler away from Kadabra, as Confusion will still do a massive amount of damage due to Graveler’s low Special Defense. Gyarados may be a small challenge, but it's completely doable; its only move that can even use that might pose a threat to you is the specially-based (at least in this generation) 60 base power Bite, which, off of Gyarados’s awful Special Attack stat, will barely do anything anyways. Graveler completely walls its normally dangerous Thrash, thanks to its mammoth Defense stat and resistance to Normal-type attacks. Feel free to use it against Exeggcute here too, since its only attack is Barrage! As always, if your rival picked either Squirtle or Bulbasaur, do not use Graveler against his evolved starter. You can take down Growlithe down pretty easily with STAB super-effective moves if your rival has one.
Gym #4 - Erika (Celadon City, Grass-type): Don’t even think about using Graveler in here. Giga Drain, Vine Whip, Absorb... every single Grass-type move used in this gym has a high chance of OHKOing you. Don’t risk it.
Giovanni (Rocket Hideout, Ground-type): Graveler makes this fight pretty easy. You still have Magnitude, right? It easily takes down Onix and Rhyhorn, and Kangaskhan can't really touch Graveler aside from the wimpy Bite.
Gym #5 - Koga (Fuchsia City, Poison-type): You can’t use Earthquake (which you should probably have by now) on anything but the Muk, as both of his Koffings as well as his Weezing all have Levitate, but the quad-resistance to Poison-type attacks and being able to resist and tank the SelfDestructs from his Koffings makes Graveler a very nice Pokémon to have for this gym.
Fighting Dojo (Saffron City, Fighting-type): It's a mixed bag. Graveler and Golem both have great defenses and can probably tank a STAB super-effective Fighting-type move or two, but don’t overdo it. It’s better to just play it safe and use a Flying or Psychic-type here.
Rival (Silph Co.): Pidgeot is still easy, as it’s beaten handily by any Rock-type move in your arsenal. Exeggcute now packs Confusion, making it a bit trickier, but definitely still manageable, as for some reason, it lacks any sort of Grass-type STAB attack. Alakazam is both easier and harder to take down; it isn’t as dangerous anymore, due to its only attacking move now being Future Sight, but Reflect makes it annoying to kill. Gyarados still lacks good special moves and should be one-shotted or two-shotted by any of your Rock-type moves. Charizard now has to be targeted by Rock-type moves instead of Ground-type moves, but that's not much of an issue, as even a single Rock Throw sends it packing. As always, keep away from Venusaur or Blastoise if your rival happens to have one. Growlithe can be handled easily with a single Earthquake.
Giovanni (Silph Co., Ground-type): Just about as easy as the last fight with him. Speed forth with Earthquake! All of his Pokémon except for his Kangaskhan are weak to Ground-type moves, and Kangaskhan can’t do much back to you, since it only has Normal-type moves.
Gym #6 - Sabrina (Saffron City, Psychic-type): There are going to be a lot of strong special attacks thrown around here by powerful Pokémon such as Alakazam and Mr. Mime. If at all possible, keep Graveler/Golem out of this fight.
Gym #7 - Blaine (Cinnabar Island, Fire-type): Despite there being plenty of strong, specially-based Fire-type attacks in this gym, Graveler/Golem shouldn't be too tough to use here. Just watch out if your health gets to around half, as a critical Fire Blast from any of his Pokémon, especially his Arcanine, will hurt quite severely. Thankfully, spamming Earthquake should result in quick KOs for you.
Gym #8 - Giovanni (Viridian City, Ground-type): Both Rhyhorns can be handled relatively easily with Earthquake, as they’re very slow and you’ll probably outspeed them. It’s a bad idea to use Graveler/Golem to fight against his Dugtrio, Nidoking, and Nidoqueen, though, as all three are packing STAB Earthquake off of relatively high attack stats. All three will probably outspeed you and hit very hard with that, so make sure to be careful. Graveler/Golem can definitely be used with great effect in this gym, but make sure to do so wisely.
Rival (Route 22, pre-Elite Four): Exeggcute, Alakazam, and Gyarados all suddenly have powerful special moves. Keep away from the latter two, but you can try to handle Exeggcute, although you’ll have to switch out if you don’t OHKO and it starts to charge up SolarBeam. Keep away from non-Charizard starters, as Blastoise and Venusaur can both easily OHKO you. Charizard, Pidgeot, Growlithe, and Rhyhorn are a snap, though, as you can use the appropriate STAB super-effective move to take them down.
Elite Four Lorelei (Indigo Plateau, Ice-type): Keep away from this battle! Every single one of her Pokémon has a strong, special-based STAB move that is super-effective against Graveler/Golem. The only one you might be able to switch into is Cloyster, as its only attacking move is Dive. Make sure to switch out if it starts to use it, though.
Elite Four Bruno (Indigo Plateau, Fighting-type): You should be able to one-shot both of Bruno’s Onixes with Earthquake, but make sure to keep away from his Fighting-types. All three have STAB super-effective Fighting-type moves that will easily 2HKO you, and both Hitmons will definitely outspeed you, while Machamp is bulky enough to tank an Earthquake. Try not to use Golem too much in this battle unless you want your lovable rock ball to be one-shotted by a nasty crit.
Elite Four Agatha (Indigo Plateau, Poison-type): Her Haunter as well as both of her Gengars all have Levitate, rendering Earthquake useless. Arbok should be OHKOed by a single Earthquake, but watch out for its super-effective Iron Tail, which also has a chance to lower your Defense. Her Golbat can also be demolished with any sort of Rock-type move that you have. Other than that, you should be fine; Agatha’s Levitating Ghosts have moves that are mostly just meant to annoy, though you need to be wary of moves like Nightmare and Dream Eater if they succeed in putting you to sleep. Use your Poké Flute as soon as possible, or go into the fight with a Chesto Berry.
Elite Four Lance (Indigo Plateau, Dragon-type): Lance’s lead, his Gyarados, doesn’t have any Water-type moves, so you’re safe using Graveler/Golem against it. His Aerodactyl can’t really hurt you, since all of its moves will be not very effective, so you’re probably best off using Golem to counter it. Watch out for his two Dragonairs and his Dragonite, though, as all three of them have a powerful STAB Outrage, which, thanks to the lack of the physical-special split in Generation III, is a special-based move. Counting in STAB, it has 135 base power (Outrage only had 90 base power until Generation IV), and all three of them can even use Safeguard to prevent themselves from becoming confused afterward. You’ll be better off just using a Water or Ice-type with Ice Beam to take these Dragons out.
Champion Rival (Indigo Plateau): You can, as usual, take out Pidgeot with any Rock-type move, but it might use FeatherDance to sharply lower your attack, so you might want to switch out after killing it to make sure that the attack drop doesn’t linger. Be wary of Alakazam, as its STAB Psychic will hurt a lot and will probably score a 2HKO on something as specially flimsy as Golem. Try not to use it against Alakazam. Rhydon might not be OHKOed by Earthquake, as it has massive HP and Defense stats, and it can also fire back with a STAB super-effective Earthquake of its own. Be very careful of that. Exeggutor now has Giga Drain and Gyarados has Hydro Pump, so Golem is definitely not safe against either of them. Arcanine can be handled pretty easily, but Intimidate will nerf your attack and may cause Earthquake to not even OHKO. As always, steer clear of Venusaur and Blastoise, but drop rocks on Charizard.
Post-Game: The Elite Four rematches are pretty much the same as the first round. Check Bulbapedia for moveset changes in order to be safe. As for the new Champion fight, Golem is far more limited. Charizard is the only real safe thing it can kill, since Pidgeot has been replaced by Heracross, Rhydon by Tyranitar (with Crunch and Earthquake), and even then, Charizard has Dragon Claw and Earthquake. Golem can still handle Arcanine with relative ease, though.
Geodude starts off with Tackle and Defense Curl, and should also have Mud Sport by the time you catch it. Tackle will be your only real attacking move until you get Rock Throw at level 11. Don’t bother wasting your Rock Tomb TM that you got from Brock on Geodude, since Rock Throw has the same power and even higher accuracy. At level 16, you’ll get the very nice Magnitude, which, though possessing variable power, often can score OHKOs on frail Pokémon with low rolls such as Magnitude 6 or 7. At level 21, you’ll mash B to make sure that your Geodude doesn’t learn SelfDestruct, or else you fail as a Nuzlocker and we are all disappointed in you. After evolving into a Graveler at level 25, you get the high-risk high-reward move Rollout, which combines well with Defense Curl, but really isn’t worth it most of the time. It often either misses at a crucial moment or turns you into fresh meat for strong special attackers. Rock Blast at level 37 is very nice (Graveler and Golem learn moves at the exact same levels, so don’t worry about when you evolve), but its low accuracy at 80% generally makes Rock Slide a more desirable option. The all-powerful Earthquake comes at level 45, and it should go over the woefully unreliable Magnitude. At level 53, repeat what you did at level 21, because Explosion is terrible and if you ever used it, you would be cast out and shunned by the entire Nuzlocke community. Double-Edge at level 62 is extremely nice for Gravelers/Golems with Rock Head, as it can serve as a “coverage” move of sorts that works well against Pokémon that either resist your STABs or Flying-types that you don’t want to risk a Rock Slide/Rock Blast miss on.
As for TMs... well, Focus Punch and Toxic are always interesting options, but both are a little hard to pull off. Both combine well with Substitute, which can be taught via Move Tutor (Fuchsia City). By the time you get TM26 Earthquake, you should’ve already learned the move through level-up; if you haven’t, be patient and grind a little. A little grinding never hurt anyone (except for the wild Pokémon population butwetrytoignorethat). Return is always a possibility if you either need extra coverage or are not willing to wait for Double-Edge, and Dig can be a more reliable alternative to Magnitude. Brick Break is always a nice coverage move to have, but keep in mind that a super-effective Brick Break hits only as hard as a STAB Earthquake. You could try Flamethrower or Fire Blast if you want to be some weird hipster who thinks special-based moves on a Pokémon with horrible Special Attack is “cool”. Don’t bother teaching Rock Tomb, as it’s outclassed by just about every Rock-type move you’ll learn through level-up. Strength could also work if you’re desperate for a move that hits Flying-types and doesn’t miss 10% or 20% of the time. Also, Counter and Seismic Toss are both Move Tutor options that could be fun.
Recommended moveset: Earthquake, Rock Slide / Rock Blast, Brick Break / Focus Punch, Double Edge / Strength / Substitute
Grass types: Those double weaknesses to both Water and Grass speak for themselves. Give Golem a Grass type teammate to counter Water and Grass moves and it will, in turn, deal with those pesky Bug, Flying and Fire types.
Water types: Golem takes Electric moves for them, while they easily sweep away opposing Rock and Ground types, some may even take on Grass types, provided they have access to an Ice move and aren't in danger of being taken out.
Flying types: Flying types can deal with Ground, Fighting and Grass, due to being immune to the first's STAB and hitting super effectively the latter two. Golem, in turn, can absorb Electric attacks or simply wall strong physical moves in their stead.
Minimum stats are calculated with 0 EVs, IVs of 0, and a hindering nature, if applicable.
Maximum stats are calculated with 252 EVs, IVs of 31, and a helpful nature, if applicable.
Geodude Line Ratings
What Nature do I want? Any of the natures that lower Special Attack (Adamant, Jolly, Careful, Impish), neutral natures (Quirky, Hardy, Bashful, Serious, Docile), and natures that lower speed but do not raise Special Attack (Brave, Relaxed, Sassy) are all good. Careful and Sassy boost its normally quite bad Special Defense a slight amount, while the other natures increase other already great stats.
At what point in the game should I be evolved? You should have Graveler by about Lt. Surge, and... well, unless you alter the game so you can evolve Graveler into Golem without trading (or have a physical copy AND someone to trade with), it's not becoming a Golem. At about Koga/Silph Co. is fine.
How good is the Geodude line in a Nuzlocke? Overall, the Geodude line is a pretty decent line for a non-competitive playthrough, more than what most people make of it. Great physical stats more than make up for the lacking special stats, but it could be better. It certainly isn’t the NuzGod that it was in the Johto games, but it’s still quite a good addition to your team, thanks to its resistances to Normal-type moves.
Weaknesses: Ground, Steel, Ice, Fighting, Grass (x4), Water (x4)
Resistances: Flying, Normal, Fire, Rock, Poison (x0.25)