This guide will help you tackle the first Totem Pokémon in Pokémon Sun: Totem Gumshoos!
Totem Gumshoos is a level 12 Normal-type Pokémon that has access to the following moves:
First of all, is the powerful move Super Fang, which is Normal-type and reduces the HP of the target to half regardless of how much or little it is. This move can be very devastating when used against Pokémon who have lots of HP.
It can also use Bite, which is a Dark-type move that might flinch the target, preventing it from acting that turn if the target is slower than the user.
It also has two non-damaging moves; Leer and Scary Face. Leer reduces the target’s Defense by one stage, making it more vulnerable to physical attacks, while Scary Face reduces the target’s Speed by two stages, making it more likely that it will attack last (and making it vulnerable to Bite’s flinch chance).
Next to its moves, it also useful to know that Totem Gumshoos has an aura boost of +1 Defense, which makes it receive less damage from physical attacks. It has the Ability Adaptability, which powers up moves of the same type, however in this battle this is irrelevant. Finally, it's holding a Pecha Berry, which can cure it from the Poison status once.
Gumshoos summons an ally Yungoos of level 10 at the end of the first turn. This ally is a Normal-type Pokémon with the following moves:
Leer works just as explained with Totem Gumshoos. Tackle is a Normal-type move which just deals damage. Pursuit is a Dark-type move, that has doubled power if used on a target that is switching out of battle. Bide is a Normal-type move that takes three turns; the user endures attacks for the first two turns, then attacks on the last turn with double the damage it took in the first two turns.
Furthermore, the Yungoos has the Ability Stakeout, which doubles the damage dealt to the target's replacement if the target switches out. So switching out as little as possible is advised here.
Ghost-type Pokémon are particularly useful for this battle, as they are immune to all Normal-type damaging moves. However, they receive super-effective damage from Bite, so you should still be careful when using them.
Rock- and Steel-type Pokémon receive not very effective damage from Normal-type attacks, however they still receive regular damage by Super Fang.
Finally, Fighting-type Pokémon are also useful as they can hit for super-effective damage.
Drifloon is a Ghost/Flying-type Pokémon that can be found at Hau’oli Cemetery during daytime. It is a good idea to use it for this battle and it will also prove extremely useful later. It also has the Aftermath Ability which damages a Pokémon that makes it faint; this can be useful if it is taken down by Dark-type moves.
Makuhita (which can be found on rustling spots in Route 2) and Crabrawler (sometimes found when interacting with Berries underneath trees, such as the ones above the Route 2 Pokémon Center) are both good Fighting-types to use for this trial.
All these Pokémon can be obtained at good enough levels for this point in the game.
Totem Gumshoos is more vulnerable to special attacks rather than physical. Unless you are using Fighting-types (which tend to only have physical attacks at this point in the game), physical attacks should be otherwise avoided.
As with almost all Totem Pokémon battles, it is advisable to focus on the Totem first and the ally later, as the ally alone isn’t nearly as menacing. Note that Ghost-type Pokémon cannot be hit by any of Yungoos’ attacks.
The TM for the Fighting-type move Brick Break, that can be useful in this battle, can be found within Verdant Cavern as you progress through the trial. You may want to teach it to one or more of your Pokémon immediately.
It would also be a good idea to inflict a status condition on the Totem Pokémon. However, Poison is not a good idea as it is holding a Pecha Berry. Sleep is useful because it prevents it from acting, but it doesn’t last long. Burn cripples its Attack stat which make Bite hit for much less, while Paralysis cripples its Speed stat which makes it easier to outspeed it (in which case Bite cannot cause a flinch effect).