After defeating Wattson you’ll find the path northward open, as you’ll now be able to use Rock Smash to continue your journey. Before you do, though - or perhaps even before you battle Wattson, should you need the extra levels - there are two Routes to the east and west of Mauville City. The trainers on these short Routes can provide you with some much-needed experience and make the following stages of the game that much easier. We’ll start by heading west, to Route 117.

Route 117

Pokemon Rarity Version Time of Day Location
Illumise Common (OR), Rare (AS) Both Either Grass
Marill Rare Both Either Grass
Marill (horde) Rare Both Either Grass
Oddish Uncommon Both Either Grass
Oddish (horde) Rare Both Either Grass
Roselia Rare Both Either Grass
Roselia (horde) Rare Both Either Grass
Volbeat Common (AS), Rare (OR) Both Either Grass
Zigzagoon Common Both Either Grass

(Late in the game, once you have the National Dex, you can return to this Route to find new pokemon via DexNav sneaking. A list of available pokemon can be found here.)

- The first thing you’ll find on this Route is a house. This is the Pokemon Day Care, a handy care-taking service whose owners will take your pokemon and raise them in your absence. Your pokemon will receive experience for every step you take, and can even level - though you won’t have the option to choose which moves they learn. How much it costs to get your pokemon back depends on how many levels they earned while you were away. You can leave two pokemon behind, and if they’re sufficiently compatible they can have an egg which will hatch into a brand-new pokemon with the species of the mother and the moves of the father. Fancy.

- The path splits to the west. Whether you head north or south you’ll run into trainers. Go south, however, and you’ll also find a dirt patch with eight Pinap Berries. You can also skip the trainers by heading straight down the middle. There’s a suspicious tree here, but you can’t do anything about it just yet.

Triathlete Dylan
  • Doduo, level 18
Reward: $720

Meh. Doduo are hardy, but not that hardy.

Sr. and Jr. Anna & Meg
  • Zigzagoon, level 17
  • Makuhita, level 18
Reward: $864

Makuhita can be dangerous with the wrong team. Zigzagoon… is a Zigzagoon. Meh.

- Beyond you’ll find an open area populated by a number of trainers and wild pokemon. If you check the top-left corner of the area you’ll find a bush that you can Cut down to find a Revive. If you check beside the bottom-left field of flowers you’ll find a small side path that leads to a Great Ball, and if you check through the field of flowers you'll find a path that leads to a dead end with a hidden Repel...  and a Mawilite. Oooo.

Pokemon Breeder Lydia
  • Wingull, level 17
  • Shroomish, level 17
  • Azurill, level 17
  • Goldeen, level 17
  • Skitty, level 17
  • Budew, level 17
Reward: $680

A full team, but none of them are terribly dangerous. They’re all first-tier pokemon. Go into this battle with something that can counter water-type pokemon in particular and you should be fine.

Bug Maniac Derek
  • Nincada, level 15
  • Dustox, level 15
  • Beautifly, level 15
Reward: $420

Nincada is no big deal. Dustox is the more painful of the latter two thanks to its ability to poison. Both butterflies are also a little more durable than they look - though only if you don’t have fire- or flying-type moves (or anything else that might wipe out bug-types, which will be less common at this point in the game).

Pokemon Breeder Isaac
  • Whismur, level 17
  • Makuhita, level 17
  • Zigzagoon, level 17
  • Aron, level 17
  • Poochyena, level 17
  • Taillow, level 17
Reward: $680

Lots of pokemon, but none of them are terribly powerful. Makuhita is probably the most dangerous, and even then only if you send out normal-types. You can muscle through the team pretty easily.

Verdanturf Town

On the far end of Route 117 you’ll find tiny Verdanturf Town. It’s not nearly so important a location as most towns, as there’s no gym, but there are still some things of note to wrap up while you’re here:
  • The Poke Mart in town is the first in the region that sells Ultra Balls. A bit expensive, and overkill for your current area, but still notable.
  • Wally’s (well, Wanda's, technically) house is in the south. Stop by and say hello.
  • A woman in the house next to Wally’s will rate your level of friendship with your lead pokemon. Woo.
  • There's a little girl next to Wanda's house who is missing her Shroomish. Investigate the large sign south of the Pokemon Center to bring it out of hiding. The little girl will give you an Intriguing Stone in exchange. If you take this to Mr. Stone in Rustboro City's Devon Corporation he'll ID it as Pidgeotite.
  • There's another Contest Spectacular Hall here. Same as the last you found, really, though a woman inside will give you TM45, Attract. Fancy.
  • If you visit Verdanturf after defeating Wattson you can enter the east end of Rusturf Tunnel. Check to the west of the entrance and you’ll find a small portion of Route 116 where you’ll find an HP Up, as well as a man looking his glasses. Check the ground directly east of him to find hidden Blackglasses
  • Return to the entrance and head north and, a trainer aside, you’ll find a Max Ether… and a pair of people, pining over each other through a heap of rocks. Bust up the rocks with Rock Smash to create a path to Route 116 and the dude on the other side will give you Aggronite. Woot! If you go all the way through to Route 116, you'll find a scientist who will give you a Repeat Ball for your efforts.
Hiker Mike
  • Geodude, level 16
  • Machop, level 16
Reward: $512

No big deal. Keep normal-types away and you'll be fine.

That’s all for Verdanturf. Head back to Mauville, then head east through the city. The other (smaller) Route awaits. Not much to see here besides some fairly easy trainers, though if you check the rock beside the fisherman you’ll find a hidden Heart Scale. North of here is a Stardust.

Route 118

Aroma Lady Rose
  • Oddish, level 16
  • Roselia, level 16
Reward: $512

Grass-types! A flying- or fire-type will take 'em out easy. Psychic-types can also do the trick.

Fisherman Wade
  • Carvanha, level 17
Reward: $544

Mind that you'll take some damage from Rough Skin with a physical hit. Otherwise, not terribly distinctive.

Guitarist Dalton
  • Magnemite, level 16
  • Whismur, level 16
Reward: $512

If you beat Wattson before now you'll have a strategy for dealing with steel-types. Use it to take down Magnemite. Whismur is a pushover by comparison.

Area equals complete, since you don't have Surf to fully explore either of these Routes. Time to explore north of Mauville City, hopefully to continue your Pokemon journey. Tally ho!