Pidgey can be found in the following areas before the Elite Four have been beaten: Routes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 24, and 25, Bond Bridge, Berry Forest. Pidgeotto can be found in the following areas before the Elite Four have been beaten: Routes 13, 14, and 15, Bond Bridge, Berry Forest.
The Pidgey line, while the butt of many jokes in the past, can be useful throughout the entire game if used right. And pray to Arceus you use it right, because there’s damn near zero chance you wouldn’t get one. While some could make the point that Dodrio or Fearow is probably better once you’re at that point in the game, some people won’t get those, for better or for worse. The fact of the matter is that while Pidgeot is less offensive than Dodrio/Fearow, its presence on a team can be defensive as well. In fact, there are two ways to play a Pidgeot, colloquially referred to as the Warrior and the Thief. Mage, unfortunately, is not possible due to the paltry Special Attack and equally paltry special movepool. Nevertheless, the choice of having Pidgeot versus not having Pidgeot is yours to make. It is definitely useful even in later parts of the game. If for some reason you don’t want to have a Pidgeot as a permanent member of your team, keep it. You’ll never know when a Fly slave might be useful, even if you have access to Dodrio/Fearow. The main pluses that it has over the other common Normal/Flying birds are that it has better bulk than both Dodrio and Fearow, and it comes very early and is very useful in the early stages of the game. STAB Gust and Quick Attack are surprisingly strong until around the time you get your third badge. While Pidgeot may not necessarily be the best Pokémon in a Nuzlocke, it isn’t bad at all; just look at Nate’s Final Team Frequency thread, where it holds the #4 spot in the list of the Top Ten Most Successful Pokémon in Nuzlocking.
Rival (Route 22, optional): Pidgey can be pretty good in this battle, especially if you picked Squirtle. Unless you’re stupid, your Pidgey will have better stats than the rival’s Pidgey, so that fight should be easy. Squirtle and Charmander are enemies Pidgey is not too keen on, but nothing’s stopping you. It’s definitely not a bad choice to walk into this fight with just Pidgey and a starter, either. Bonus points for irony if you do that.
Gym #1 - Brock (Pewter City, Rock-type): Keep Pidgey away from this one. You don’t have Steel Wing yet, so Pidgey won’t be able to lay a finger on either of Brock’s two Pokémon. Onix is a rock-hard no, but Geodude actually isn’t that much of a threat. If you can keep Pidgey healthy, it’ll become a war of attrition. Unless you can do something better, you’ll really have no other options, so consider this.
Rival (Cerulean City): Really the only thing Pidgey is afraid of in this battle is Pidgeotto and maybe Charmander, but it’s really starting to lose its edge right before evolution, so be careful. Rattata’s Hyper Fang is also decently scary. Really only use Pidgey for Bulbasaur if you have to, and Abra unless you have something better to train on that thing. Unless you’ve evolved it into Pidgeotto already, in which case, go nuts.
Gym #2 - Misty (Cerulean City, Water-type): While Pidgeotto isn’t bad in this gym, it’s not necessarily good in this gym. Water Pulse is scary, and the other moves of Misty’s team aren’t that bad either. Don’t really use it unless you have nothing better. If you’re this desperate, make sure you have healing items at the ready. STAB Quick Attack can be useful in knocking that last sliver off of Starmie’s health bar, if you need to do just that.
Rival (S.S. Anne): Your STAB by now comes down to just Quick Attack and Gust, so Pidgeotto should really just sit this one out, with the possible exception of Ivysaur and Raticate. Ivysaur has a type disadvantage and Raticate is noticeably lower level-wise than Misty.
Gym #3 - Lt. Surge (Vermilion City, Electric-type): No. Just no.
Rival (Pokémon Tower): Unless you’ve roamed the new areas a bit and gotten Fly before coming here, your Flying STAB is still Gust. This isn’t really an issue, since the rival has now ditched his rat in favor of completing his Grass-Fire-Water core. The fact that this core contains Grass means that you’ll always have something to beat up with your bird. Be it Exeggcute or Ivysaur, it shouldn’t be that difficult. Ivysaur is more of a stall, and should easily drop at the mention of a type advantage as long as you can keep heals up. Exeggcute’s Defense is, unfortunately for you, its highest stat. Fortunately for you, you can cut it in half with your type advantage that you have. It is also recommended to send Pidgeotto out against Kadabra, who can be easily dispatched with a tactical Quick Attack or Fly, as its physical defense quivers at the mention of “neutral hit”.
Giovanni (Rocket Hideout, Ground-type): Don’t use Pidgeotto for this. Onix carries Rock-type STAB, Rhyhorn can Stomp you flat and Kangaskhan is revered for being extremely powerful. Even if you have Fly.
Gym #4 - Erika (Celadon City, Grass-type): If you need a comprehensive guide on how to beat Erika with Pidgeotto, just stop nuzlocking and go find some other hobby that requires less brain power.
Gym #5 - Koga (Fuchsia City, Poison-type): Koga’s Koffings blow (up), and Weezing is a physical wall, so Pidgeot is a no-go here. To be fair though, by the time you get here, you should definitely have something better in stock. If you really have to use Pidgeot, use it for Muk. However, Muk can be even worse than Weezing thanks to Acid Armor, and Toxic will quickly turn this into a war of attrition. If you’re brave enough, you can use Pidgeot against Koga’s Koffings to try and make them explode while you’re in the air with Fly. You deserve applause if you succeed, but failure results in a dead Pidgeot.
Fighting Dojo (Saffron City, Fighting-type): This is Pidgeot’s freaking lunchtime, seriously. Forget Erika, the Fighting Dojo can’t lay a damn finger on Pidgeot in its entirety. Even the elemental punches from Hitmonchan are nothing to be scared of.
Rival (Silph Co.): Exeggcute now packs Reflect, but you now definitely pack Fly, so even a war of attrition shouldn’t be an issue. Alakazam also packs Reflect, but its Defense is so low that it won’t make much of an impact if you play your cards right. Venusaur will still attempt to stall, but it should be of little consequence.
Giovanni (Silph Co., Ground-type): Unless you can do something better, use Pidgeot against Nidorino here. It can’t really hurt you. The others are still scary. Kangaskhan is more of a threat than last time, Nidoqueen is like a differently typed Kangaskhan, and Rhydon now packs STAB in the form of Rock Blast.
Gym #6 - Sabrina (Saffron City, Psychic-type): Kadabra puts up screens and Mr. Mime BP’s Barriers, but Venomoth is really nothing to worry about. Honestly, (unless you have something better to use) using Pidgeot against Venomoth is highly recommended, as Venomoth can’t touch this. Big Zam isn’t that much of an issue if you place your Fly correctly.
Gym #7 - Blaine (Cinnabar Island, Fire-type): There’s no reason not to use Pidgeot here... oh wait, there is. Fire Blast is strong as hell if it’s not resisted, especially off of Arcanine’s high Special Attack. Granted, to get to Cinnabar, you need a Pokémon with Surf, which can sweep Blaine, so really there’s no reason to use Pidgeot here.
Gym #8 - Giovanni (Viridian City, Ground-type): In this battle, Dugtrio can’t touch anything that’s Flying-type with anything but Slash, so Pidgeot should be relatively okay for that one. Nidoking is scary, Nidoqueen is kinda less scary than Nidoking but still something to worry about, and the rest carry Rock-type STAB.
Rival (Route 22, pre-Elite Four): Rival now carries a Rhyhorn, but he’s made the foolish mistake of no longer carrying Reflect, which opens up his resident Grass type AND his Alakazam for easy pickings. The rest aren’t really something Pidgeot has to trifle with.
Elite Four Lorelei (Indigo Plateau, Ice-type): One does not simply use Pidgeot against Lorelei. And by not simply, I mean not at all. With the exception of Cloyster, all of Lorelei’s mons carry Ice Beam, and Cloyster’s physical defense is high enough that it can shrug off any of Pidgeot’s greatest hits.
Elite Four Bruno (Indigo Plateau, Fighting-type): Ah, now here’s a party. Except for the two Onix, Bruno is really just a Fighting Dojo re-run. If you grinded all the way up to the champion fight’s levels, Pidgeot will have no issue outspeeding and OHKOing all three of Bruno’s fighting mons before they can use their coveted Rock Tomb coverage, which Hitmonlee is even missing for some reason. Wing Attack should do against the Hitmons, as they both have very low defenses, but Machamp will probably require a Fly if you want a shot at taking it down in one hit.
Elite Four Agatha (Indigo Plateau, Poison-type): I see little harm in using Pidgeot to take out Agatha’s ghosts, seeing how they have but a ghost of a defense stat. Arbok and Golbat I’d rather stay away from with your bird. Golbat requires a swift OHKO from something else before it causes major Confuse Ray shenanigans, and Arbok carries Intimidate, which cripples our little bird.
Elite Four Lance (Indigo Plateau, Dragon-type): You’ll probably come prepared for Lance with your Surf-user who’ll be carrying Ice Beam to take out his dragons and Aerodactyl, so Pidgeot will really only be useful for Gyarados, except it won’t, as Gyarados has Intimidate. Pidgeot should just sit this one out.
Champion Rival (Indigo Plateau): Strange as it may sound, it is recommended to open with Pidgeot here, if you brought it along. Rival’s Pidgeot can only attack with a glancing Aerial Ace, all its other attacks are support, which doesn’t work very well against your Fly turn of invincibility. Other than that, the resident Grass-type is of notable weakness. Alakazam has Reflect again, and is now extremely scary, so steer clear of it with your bird, since you probably can’t outspeed and OHKO before it puts up Reflect. Rhydon has Rock STAB and others aren’t worth mentioning because they’re easier for other Pokémon, which you should have, to deal with.
Like most other Pokés, Pidgey starts with the classic “offensive-defensive” combo. Here, these are Tackle and Sand Attack, the latter of which you’ll be getting at level 5, but is a vital component in the Thief build. Level 9 brings Gust, which will, unfortunately, be Pidgey’s Flying STAB throughout most of the early game and the early-midgame. At level 13, Quick Attack is learned, a reliable move to finish off an enemy who has little health left. Keep it if you want to. Level 20 gives us Whirlwind, which possibly fits on either set but really only use it if you know how to. With level 27 comes Wing Attack, strong and reliable, but really redundant because you’ll have access to Fly at that point anyway. FeatherDance is learned at level 34, and is a great asset to the Thief build. Agility, at level 48, isn’t that good, but can be useful if used at the correct time. The final Mirror Move can be used to great effect against an unsuspecting Ground/Rock Pokémon, but comes in too little too late to be too useful, at level 62.
The TMs is where most of Pidgeot’s Warrior build lies. Fly, Steel Wing, Return, Facade, possibly even Hidden Power (HM02, TMs 47, 27, 42 and 10 respectively) all carry significance in this set. Fly is, for better or for worse, the strongest Flying STAB Pidgeot can hope for in this generation. Steel Wing is beautiful coverage if you’re stupid in the head and want to take on Lorelei with this bird anyway or get stuck against a Rock-type with no better options, and can be generally a nice guy when dealing with things you wouldn’t otherwise hit very well (there’s not many of those though, then again there’s not many attacks Pidgeot gets). It’s your choice whether you want Return or Facade, or possibly TM43 Secret Power. Return is Pidgeot’s best Normal STAB (TM15 Hyper Beam can’t be counted if you're playing on Set mode, as it requires a severely hindering recharge turn; however, if you're playing on Shift, you can use it as a powerful finishing move), but you might want to use it on something else, instead giving Pidgeot the somewhat weaker Facade, which has situational use, or Secret Power, which carries a lot of utility to an offensive set. Hidden Power brings an edge in coverage that can vastly change what you can use Pidgeot against, as an Electric one, for instance, can make Pidgeot useful against Gyarados. Physical types are obviously better for your birdie, but a special Hidden Power shouldn’t be dismissed easily, as Pidgeot’s Special Attack is nothing to sneeze at (but nothing to write home about either).
The only thing really useful from the tutors is Double-Edge, which is sadly only available in Victory Road, but still pretty harmful. And not just to your enemies. So, it should be used with caution. While it is even a little stronger than Return, recoil moves in Nuzlockes are generally an awful idea.
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.
Pidgey Line Ratings
What Nature do I want? Really any nature that doesn’t nerf Attack or Speed or boost Special Attack is useful, and Pidgeot has an abundance of most stats to spare and appreciates a boost to any. One that lowers Attack should be avoided on a non-Thief build, and one that boosts Special Attack is utterly useless unless you have access to a special Hidden Power. A lowered Speed is generally unpleasant, and could force you to have to carry Agility.
At what point in the game should I be evolved? This is really one of those Pokémon who evolves just about at the points where it starts losing its edge. You should have a Pidgeotto before coming out of Nugget Bridge, and you should have a Pidgeot before Koga. It’s probably worth the one or two levels to get it evolved prematurely, even if you risk being slightly overleveled to do it.
How good is the Pidgey line in a Nuzlocke? Between the stats and the movepool, the line is relatively mediocre. The Thief build definitely requires testing beyond one person’s usage, and to be quite honest, Dodrio/Fearow can both probably do both jobs better sans FeatherDance access. However, again, not many people are lucky enough to have Dodrio and/or Fearow, so Pidgeot is still the third best option, and not too shabby for a third best option, not to mention it’s damn near everywhere. It’ll probably be redundant as a Flying-type if you picked Charmander, but is useful as a Fly user even if you have Dodrio/Fearow, as those two have better Flying STAB in Drill Peck. What gives Pidgeot edge over them however, is the higher defensive stats, allowing it to tank some hits they cannot. Overall, the line serves as somewhat of a rival to Fearow, but is definitely more useful in the late-game thanks to defensive presence. Not to mention Pidgey shows up on a wide range of routes, which is something the game quite literally doesn’t allow you to pass up.