Thursday, December 12, 2013


Here's the thing, guys. As I sit here typing, I beat the wacky space queen chick and got my seventh gym badge in the Kalos region. I have been Nuzlocking for a couple weeks now, and you haven't read a thing about it.

The reason? Other then a dream a couple nights ago where my Beedrill died, I haven't lost any Pokemon.

There have been a couple close calls, but honestly, there hasn't been much drama. This has been the easiest Nuzlocke ever for me. I'm sure the exp share has a lot to do with it, keeping my party a little OP without any grinding to speak of. Maybe it's the fact that the supertraining mechanic allowed me to EV train all my dudes just about immediately. I think a big difference, though, between my run and Joe's is that I'm essentially using the first 6 pokemon I caught (excluding a combee that was totally lame), and they were a diverse, effective party that's served me well. With no losses, basically none of the exp I've earned in my travels has gone to waste, and I haven't had to hold my party back in order to train up a weaker guy even once.

So here we are. One badge to go, then the elite four. Here's my party. I am so proud of them.

Shirley the Delphox is my starter, now a fire/psychic foxy fox that has been utterly dominant on the battlefield for pretty much her whole life. She's trained heavily in SpAtk and Speed, and it pays off.
Lvl 62
Ability: Blaze
Item: Rocky Helmet (for now)
Flame Charge
Light Screen
Barb the LinooneHonestly, I never expected Barb to be in my party for the long haul. My first catch (excluding the automatic Pidgey encounter on route 2), I originally kept her around for Pickup, but then I just never saw fit to replace her. She's been the weak leak in multiplayer battles, though, and because of this, she insisted on learning Belly Drum as soon as she could, despite my obvious reservations. With Belly Drum, a Sitrus Berry, and some epic speed, she's not to be underestimated, because when her opening gambit pays off, she's unstoppable.
Lvl 62
Ability: Pickup
Item: Sitrus Berry
Baby-Doll Eyes (a fairy version of Growl that automatically goes first)
Rock Smash (for now)
Belly Drum

Wally the Beedrill
Another guy I who blew away my low expectations. Sure, Beedrill's been better than its reputation since good bug moves started showing up in later generations, but with his myriad of type weaknesses and flimsy defense, I didn't think he'd have the brawn to survive this long, but he totes does. For a while I was using him as a staller, poisoning folks and using Infestation (a new fire-spin-type move) with Protect to outlast them, but now he's living up to his true calling, a speedy attacker, a force to be reckoned with.
Lvl 62
Ability: Protect
Item: Black Sludge
Poison Jab
Toxic Spikes
Fell Stinger (a new bug move that sharply raises attack if it finishes a dude off. SO COOL.)

Francine the Azumarill
She's the tank, man. Trained in HP, Def and SpDef, and with Thick Fat further keeping her there, this newly Water/Fairy powerhouse has what it takes to outlast the noobs. She's never let me down. Even in multiplayer, she's one of the few of my party who can stand up to the properly trained epic teams people use in non-nuzlocke endgame, and nobody really expects it.
Lvl 63
Ability: Thick Fat
Item: Leftovers
Power-up Punch (new fighting move that always raises Atk)
Aqua Ring
Play Rough (Fairy attack that can lower foes Atk)
Carlton the Farfetch'd
This guy's a little rascal -- the rogue of the team. Trained in Atk and Speed but also SpDef, just because, his stats are mostly pretty balanced. He's a jack-of-all-trades, a wild card. No one knows what to expect of him -- unless they're reading this right now.
Lvl 62
Ability: Keen Eye
Item: None
Swords Dance
Air Slash (for now)
Jiminy the Venusaur
Finally, you may remember this brave hero from my winning Yellow Nuzlocke team. He and Hella Jeff the Snorlax have found new life in this version (Jeff is in perpetual daycare as my first backup, but no one's ever gonna die, so...). I didn't expect to have Nuz-legit catches of my two star players from that run, who, tragically, cannot be ported into newer versions from their primitive cartridge, but their spirits live on in these new bodies, who have now even surpassed their old in level and prestige.
Lvl 62
Ability: Overgrow
Item: Venusaurite (that's right. he megaevolves)
Hidden Power (SHHH)
Sleep Powder
Leech Seed
Petal Blizzard (new awesome Grass attack -- basically heat wave)

also, gen 6 trainer cards are here at last. wahoo!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Paul's Yellow Nuzlocke: The ELECTRIFYING Conclusion

We stepped through the tiny, uncelebrated little door at the back of Indigo Plateau's little Pokemon Center/Mart as a party prepared. I grinded through about ten levels with my core party before adding a couple levels each to my backups and applying TMs and Rare Candies liberally. We were:

Agnes the Venomoth
Level 54
Sleep Powder
Mega Drain

Hella Jeff the Snorlax
Level 54

Body Slam

Julio the Kadabra
Level 54
Seismic Toss
Thunder Wave
Double Team

Jiminy the Venusaur
Level 56
Razor Leaf
Double Team
Leech Seed

Ashley the Nidoqueen
Level 48
Fire Blast

Sam the Pidgeot
Level 37
Sand Attack
Quick Attack
Razor Wind

Lorelei started our Elite Four challenge by sending out her level 54 Dewgong, which, due to its liberal use of Rest, was suprisingly resilient. After Agnes put it to sleep and Hella Jeff tried unsuccessfully to Body Slam it to pieces, we risked the ice weakness and sent out Jiminy, who succeeded marvelously due to Razor Leaf and a few Double Teams, plus Leech Seed, just for fun. He dispatched the Cloyster and the Slowbro in the same way. When Lorelei sent out her Jynx, I decided that without the type advantage, Jiminy was too much at risk, so I sent my usual psychic hunter, Julio. I quickly wished I hadn't, though, because the Jynx started thrashing. One thrash took Julio's HP down from 127 to 86. Mathematically, I figured we could take a critical hit from another thrash and be alright, so I elected for a Thunder Wave before healing up. Critical hit. Julio was dead. I cradled his big goofy head in my arms as my tears soaked his ridiculous mustache, saying I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry. I should have known. After what happened with Blaine... I should have known.
Hella Jeff swooped in to the rescue, Body Slamming the Jynx into oblivion with the help of his magnificent girth and surprisingly agile haunches. But he wasn't ready for Lorelei's Lapras, who, after some deceptively ineffective Body Slams of its own, started to seriously bog Jeff down with repeated critical hits of Blizzard and Hydro Pump. Between healing and some risky attacks, we finally made use of what would prove to be Jeff's trump card: Amnesia. In Gen 1, "Special" is attack and defense, so effectively, the move sharply increases both of those. Golly. In a couple moves, these huge attacks were barely scratching Jeff, and he brought us to a decisive victory.

After collecting the spois, Agnes and I were sitting on the edge of the ice block, mourning Julio.

Agnes, I said, you know what this means, don't you?

Agnes twitched her antennae.

You're our psychic now. You need to make Julio proud.

But I'm not as fast, and I'm weak against psychic attacks, she twitched.

I know, I said. I hugged her. I know.

Jiminy killed all of Bruno's Pokemon without batting an eye.

Then came the battle that could be thought of as AGNES VS AGATHA, in which Agatha's mix of Poison and Ghost/Poison pokemon all met the same end: Agnes' Psychic. Agnes had become what she thought she couldn't, friends. Agnes, the bug/poison, was a psychic powerhouse. The world stood still.

Who better to face a butt ton of dragon pokemon? After a brief experiment with Jiminy, it was Hella Jeff. See, a Snorlax with maxed special stats can basically take any attack, from all of their various Blizzards and Thunders and whatever dumb crap they were throwing at him to the immense (physical) Hyper Beams, and Hella Jeff had the kills to kill 'em all. And he did.

So there it was. I had become... the Pokemon Cha-- WHAT? NURPLES HAS COME BEFORE ME??

It was time to kill my rival's pokemon. Again.

Honestly, with the supremacy that my core 3 members displayed in the Elite Four challenge (did you notice that I never used my backups?), it wasn't too hard, except for when Nurples sent out that huge Alakazam he has. See, ordinarily, Julio would have no problem with that sleazebag, but he was gone, and Agnes would have crumpled under his psychics. Jiminy and Ashley also had type weakness. So I did what any self-respecting trainer would do -- I sent out my vastly underleveled Pidgeot.

Sam immediately took a Psybeam to the face, but survived with a few points of health in his health tank. He responded by Sand Attacking the bejeezus out of the nasty beasts, who, obviously intimidated by Sam's show of confidence, responded by using Recover with full health and failing to use Kinesis to lower Sam's accuracy. Two Sand Attacks later, Hella Jeff was back, and he was sitting on top of the Alakazam's goopy carcass.

Friends, we won. We won the Yellow Nuzlocke. The last battles were hard fought, but we prepared and it paid off. In retrospect, I might have grinded another level or so before each gym instead of saving it all for the end, but I sure wasn't overleveled at any point, so I'm pretty happy with out it went. Here's my party.

RIP: (brb on this)

Thank you for your support, friends.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Xisode 10: the Pokemon League

WARNING: this episode goes in to REALLY explicit detail about my battles. Sorry if its tedious, work has been slow today.

quick cheat sheet for nick names:
Smithers = Blastoise
Colby = Chesnaught (Starter)
Bellatrix = Malamar ( physical sweeper squid)
Goomba = Goodra
Verde = Venipede
WHHYYYYY??? = Druddigan

Alright here we go. I've assembled the best team possible from my bedraggled box of pokemon. It's now or never. I will either emerge a champion, or crash and burn and the sacrifice of 19 of my friends will have been for naught. The pokemon league is set up the same as gen 5, which is different from previous generations. Most notably, you can fight the elite 4 in any order you choose. They each have 4 pokemon and they don't get progressively harder. This coupled with my overleveling should make this a very doable run. Fortunately for me, a lady outside the arena told me what type each of them was using so I was able to plan accordingly. The types I will be facing are fire, water, dragon and steel. My party is as ready as they will ever be. I take a deep breath, and take my first step past the point of no return.

1st battle,Wikstrom. Type: SteelVSWikstrom.png
 Strategy: This is the battle I'm most excited for so I did it first. Bellatrix knows super power for this exact reason. I'm hoping to spam super power enough so that her contrary ability ups her attack and defense to the point where she can sweep. Another thing to note, I'm playing with a "set" battle style, meaning I dont get a free switch out every time I slay an enemy. It has to be done after my opponent sends out his dude, giving him a free attack.

Bellatrix vs Klefki: klefki's fairy typing prevents super power from being super effective, but it still brings her down to the red. She responds with a super effective dazzling gleam that brings bella from 220 to 100 hp in one hit. Wikstrom burns 2 full restores keeping it alive but it eventually falls. The strategy is working in that bella now has a 2.5x bonus to both attack and defense, but her health is precariously low and has a 4x weakness to the next opponent. I decide not to risk it and switch her out at the start of the next battle.
Colby vs Scizor: With Bellatrix out of the battle, I switch to Colby who has my second strongest fighting move. Unfortunately, he sends out Scizor, who also is not weak to fighting. Colby does what he does best and leech seeds/tanks through the scizor while losing only a small chunk of health.
Colby vs. Aegislash: Still no type advantage for me. Aegislash is ghost/steel so no fighting moves this time either. It's like Wikstrom knew my strategy beforehand and built a team around countering it. Fortunately for me, Colby is a better staller than him and leech seed wins the day again.
Colby vs Probopass: FINALLY something weak to fighting. Despite a 4x weakness the Probopass is bulky enough to withstand colby's first hammer arm, but not his second. One down, three to go!

Aegislash has an attack form and a defense form that it shifts between mid battle.

After this battle, I confirmed Paul's fears to be true. I was decently over leveled. With the exception of WHHYYYY??? all my guys were at 70. Wikstroms were either 63 or 65, and the other elite 4 weren't going to get any higher. Feeling pretty confident at this point, I placed an additional restriction on myself for the sake of being sporting. I wouldn't use any healing items the entire run. Ryan strongly advised me against it, but I was feeling pretty good. I figured if I lost horribly, I could start over without the handicap and only live on with a moderate amount of shame, assuming I didn't lose twice. Here goes nothing...

2nd battle, Malva. Type: fire    VSMalva.png
Strategy: Smithers.

Smithers vs. Pyroar: Pyroar is the gen 6 arcanine. Still not a good matchup for a mega blastoise. 2 scalds later she is down for the count.
Smithers vs. Talonflame: one kit KO scald.
Smithers vs. Torkoal: Boom, headshot.
Smithers vs. Chandelure: This one surprised me. Chandelure survived my first scald and confuse ray'd me. Smithers overcame and knocked it out next turn. Win 2 procured. Smithers took only a small amount of damage from Pyroar, so he's in good shape.

m/f Pyroar                          Talonflame. This is what Fetch could have been :(

3rd battle,  Siebold. Type: water    VSSiebold.png
Strategy: Goomba knows both thunderbolt and the heavy hitting grass move power whip. That should cover most water types. Worst case scenario, I can switch to Colby for seed bomb. He's at less than half health from the steel battle though so I'd rather not.

Goomba vs Clawitzer: Goomba immediately set up a substitute, because why not? Lucky for me I did, clawitzer knew dragon pulse and has a huge special attack. This is the first epic battle of the challenge. Goomba kept trying to hit Clawitzer with power whip, but I found out it has TERRIBLE accuracy. Meanwhile, Clawitzer was having an equally hard time due to repeated substitutes and a couple well timed evasions by Goomba. Goomba emerges victorious.
Goomba vs. Starmie: Goomba stayed in pretty good shape thanks to substitute and leftovers, so I decided to risk the ice beam and stay in. Instead of ice beam, starmie had the super effective fairy attack dazzling gleam, which she peppered me with while I continued to miss with power whip. Eventually I gave up and used the weaker thunderbolt to finish it in two hits instead of one.
Goomba vs. Gyarados:  Thunderbolt does 4x damage. LOL. This battle by itself made teaching it to Goomba worth it.
Goomba vs. Barbaracle: I had NEVER seen this pokemon before. Boy is it hideous. My best guess was that it was rock/water based soley off of its looks. Perfect for power whip. I had a little more luck with my accuracy, but it still takes a couple hits to finish him. He also hits pretty hard and Goomba was brought to about half health before I walked away with my 3rd victory. Goomba sweep!

Clawitzer is pretty badass                                                   Boy, is Barbaracle ugly.

4th Battle, Drasna. Type: Dragon    VSDrasna.png
Strategy: I was dreading this one. Goomba and WHHYYYY??? are both weak here. Goomba's special defense is near god like, but if he gets hit by an outrage, he's probable down for the count, plus, he's still weak from the prolonged water battle. My only supper effective attack was Smither's ice beam. This made me really miss grumble, he had super effective moves and was immune to dragon attacks.

Smithers vs. Dragalge: Another pokemon I havent seen before. I was pretty sure its unevolved form is water/poison, so I gambled that this one is dragon/poison. Otherwise, ice beam wont be much help. Smithers Mega's up, and sure enough ice beam was still super effective. Smithers brings it down, but not before it got off two thunderbolts that left smithers at a precarious 82 health.
Smithers vs. Altaria: dragon/flying means its 4x weak to ice. I really want to switch smithers out, but this was too good to pass up. Fortunately, Smithers outsped it and took it out in one shot.
Smithers vs. Noivern: Yet another I hadn't seen yet, but I knew this one was also dragon/flying. Against my better judgement, I took the bait again and have smithers use another ice beam. My heart almost stops when it was faster than me. Smithers, one of the rocks I built my team on, had his health plummet from the foe's dragon pulse. For an instant I thought this is the begging of the end, but then the bar freezes at 42 hp. I trained Smithers in the art of special defense, and his is second only to Goomba's. With a sigh of relief, ice beam wasted the Noivern.
Team vs. Druddigon: No way was I risking Smithers a second longer. I switched to Colby who promtly leech seeded and prepared to settle in for the long haul of protect stalling. Druddigan had other ideas, however, and knocked him back to the bench with dragon tail. The wounded Bellatrix was dragged out. This put me in a stressful situation. Depending on what move he uses he could KO anyone in my party.  Goomba and WHHYYYYY??? were weak to him and have low defense, Smithers and Colby were at too low health, and Verde is weak to potential rock attacks/made out of paper. I started having flashbacks to the death of Lorraine, who was killed by the very same druddigan that was now on my team.  The only option was to leave Bellatrix in and hope she could do enough damage for someone else to finish him off. Bella's first attack took the druddigan into the red, and by some miracle she dodged the surely fatal dragon tail. Drasna used a full restore, but Bella crits next turn and OHKO'd the fiend to secure my 4th victory. My stupid gambit somehow paid off.

Dragalge: almost as bad as Claire's kingdra.                      Noivern: a heart attack on wings

And so I had defeated the elite 4. I'd kept all of my team alive thus far, but the champion would be significantly stronger, and have a full team of 6. In addition, I had no clue as to what was on her team. Here are the hitpoints of my team immediately before the final battle.
Smithers 41/254
Goomba 212/269
Verde 182/182
Colby 102/253
Bellatrix 117/220
WHHYYYYY??? 190/190

Bellatrix actually recovered a little bit of health in the last battle thanks to the leech seed on druddigan. I may actually feel comfortable using her again this battle (intentionally this time). Verde and WHHYYYY??? need to start pulling some wait (though to be fair, they are the two last minute additions to the team), and Smithers is effectively retired at this point.

FINAL BATTLE, Diantha. Type:???    VSDiantha.png
Strategy: Survive
Verde vs. Hawlucha: Crap. I sent out Verde the venipede first because he was fresh and if the first matchup was good he could get a couple sword dances in and hopefully sweep. Hawlucha's flying type made this the opposite of a good matchup and I switched out to WHHYYYYY??? the druddigan. Hawlucha's free attack brings WHHYYYYY??? to just over half health, but is in turn knocked out by two accurate rock slides. WHHYYYY???? hangs on dangerously with a red health bar.
WHHYYYYY??? vs. Aurorus: Having fought one of these before, I know its pretty much guaranteed to know an ice attack. I switch back to Verde who, sure enough, is slammed in the face by a blizzard that brings him down to 1/4 health. Poop. I'm in that same situation again where no one I could switch to would survive that attack. I have to cross my fingers and go for it. Verde strikes first with an earthquake that brings it down to just under 1/3 health. I brace myself for the sure kill but it doesnt come. The Aurorus opted to use reflect instead. This will likely be a headache later, but for now I'm just thankful Verde is alive. He slays the beast with another earthquake.
Verde vs Tyrantum: I still can't risk switching to someone else. I throw the dice again and Verde uses earthquake. Despite being super effective, reflect keeps the Tyrantum at about 2/3 health. The head smash that would have ended Verde gloriously misses so he fights another day. Since I know what attack is coming, I switch into Colby. He only has 102 health, but he's resistant to rock attacks. The head smash still brings him down to 54 health. Colby stalls another turn with spiky shield, and when the reflect fades, he goes for tyrantum's throat with hammer arm, slaying the beast. Jeeze I am so lucky.
Colby vs. Goodra: Yeesh, that thing is scary. My time training Goomba has made me acutely aware of how much hurt a Goodra can dish out. Colby is at too low health, so I switch back to Verde, who ironically has the best chance of surviving an attack from this monster. Unfortunately, Goodra uses fire blast and Verde goes down in literal flames. My first death of the league challenge. The one advantage this gives me is I no longer have to switch into an attack. Goomba is at lower health but still has a small level advantage. I send her out for some epic goodra-on-goodra action. Goomba leads with substitute, which is immediately broken by the foe's dragon pulse. At least now I'm sure she doesnt know outrage. Goomba's own dragon pulse takes the enemy down to about 1/3 health. She is in turn knocked down to 80 hp before finishing the job.
Goomba vs. Gourgeist: I hope to substitute/leftovers stall for a little bit to maybe gain some health, but the gourgeist comes out swinging hard and its quickly made apparent this wont be sustainable. Goomba can't take another hit. Verde is dead.  WHYYYYY????, Colby,  and Smithers would all be killed if I switched them in. My only option is Bellatrix. Gourgist's attack brings her down to a mere 44 hp. Bella responds with a super effective critical night slash that floors the ghost type in one hit. Which is perfect because Bella would not have survived another attack.
Bellatrix vs. Gardevoir: Diantha's last pokemon. Only two levels behind the strongest members of my team and with significantly more health, things are looking dire. I still can't switch to anyone. The plan is just keep throwing my friends at her one by one, hoping they can do enough damage to finish her off before she sweeps me.Her new psychic/fairy typing means the only super effective attack I have against her is shadow claw on WHHYYYY???? but he's slow as butt and would never get the chance to actually attack. Bellatrix squares off for the final battle. Things go from bad to worse when THE DAMN THING MEGA EVOLVES. Seriously, I thought I was the only one who was supposed to be able to do that. Frig frig frig. Undaunted, Bella charges ahead with the first strike, knowing this could be the end. Her night slash connects squarely, Gadevoir's health starts to drop... and drop... and drop....  CRITICAL HIT NO FREAKING WAY. Bellatrix slays the beast that I thought for sure was going to be the end of me in one fell swoop. When things were most hopeless Bella came up super clutch and scores two consecutive critical hits to kill the champion's last two pokemon, thus saving the rest of her team and winning me the battle. I am so freaking lucky.

Nuzlocke challenge completed! The curse has been lifted, and I consider myself free to play through the end game without worrying about my team dying.

Thank you all for actually taking the time to read these crazy long updates. This is only my second successful nuzlocke run (after leaf green) and I really enjoyed sharing it with you. 

Final League kill count
Bellatrix: IV
Colby: IV
Smithers: VII
Goomba: V
Verde: I

MVP: I thought for sure it was going to be Smithers, who was damn near close to sweeping two elite 4 members, but Bellatrix came up huge when we needed help most. She potentially saved the entire team by staying in and facing near certain death on two seperate occasions resulting in 3 critical one hit KO's between Diantha and Drasna.

Final Tally
Badges: all
Deaths: 20
Cheats: 3