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I tried fishing in the water ripples on route 1, like it told me to, but I did it for a half an hour and still haven't encountered one!

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Another way is to trade it while it holds a prism scale.

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The chance of finding Milotic at Route 1 is only 5%. If you want to take a less tedious route to obtaining a Milotic, you can catch a Feebas and evolve it. Feebas is found with the same method as Milotic, with a 65% chance of appearing. Much easier than what it was in Emerald.

Once you catch it, find a Prism Scale (available in Route 1 and Undella Town by normal means and Route 18 with the Dowsing Machine) and make the Feebas hold it while getting traded. Again - much easier than what it was in Emerald. You could try the original method of making it reach maximum beauty, but this is quite hard to do as the best berries to do this are now only Dream World accessible. Just do the former option, the latter is too difficult. (Although it can never be more difficult than what it was Emerald).

Hope I helped. :)
Source: Multiple parts of Serebii. Above links weren't really sources but if you want them to be sources now they are

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