Monday, December 12, 2016

Still Nuzzin' Baby.

Wow, guys!  I sure fell off the wagon for a few days there. Sorry, thousands of loyal readers. You can relax now! My nuz is fine. I've just been busy doing family stuff and not played a whole ton.

Here's what has happened though.

Remember that Ghost trial Joe was writing about, where the Mimikyu is all spooky and stuff? Yeah, Slamuel rocked every ghost in the whole area, and the Mimikyu was no exception. With his ghost immunity and newly learned Sucker Punch, and Yawn and U-Turn for when his usefullness ran out, he was a ghost killing machine. Aoife, also immune to Ghost attacks, was the backup plan, and I hardly needed her.

I caught a Skarmory on my way there, and on the way out I caught a Klefki. Steel types are great to have for tanking, and I had space in my party, so I let Chastity the Klefki join the A-Team. As a Fairy/Steel Pokemon, she's immunte to Dragon and Fairy and only weak against Fire and Ground, if I'm remembering right.

Eventually I made my way to that dumb town that Team Skull took over like big jerks. I had a lot of nice fights, but against Team Skull Boss Guzma my luck finally faltered. He led off again with his water/bug behemoth, Golisopod, who led off with a terrifying Swords Dance. In a Nuzlocke, you never really want to see that happen. The best strategies can only do so much against a fast foe with huge attack power. Without anyone I could confidently tank with, I let Slamuel do his disarming thing for a bit, dropping a Yawn and preparing to U-Turn, when the Golisopod one-shotted him and he was dead. RIP, Slamuel the really cool, perpetually asleep koala who hit like a hammer. Or a slammer.

A bunch of plot stuff has since happened, including a big series of boss-type battles on the approach to and arrival on the Aether Island - the grumpy rival, the Dark-type Kahuna, the Aether Corp miniboss. Then I fought Guzma a third time and rolled him this time with Aiofe. Then Lusamine, the Aether Corp leader, took me on. Joe's mentioned that her team is basically themed around classy-looking Pokemon rather than any specific type, but I was able to take her down without any losses. The only close call was her Liligant's Petal Dance taking Kagimarp down to 2 hp. Woof.

This week I've been exploring the fourth island pretty uneventfully. For now I've filled the last spot in my party with a Gastrodon named Jason Bourne, his Ground/Water typing filling the last scary gap in my party's type coverage - finally I have someone to send out against Electric pokes, and his Special Defense might be the highest in my party. I'd still rather be using another Gen 7 Pokemon, but Jason Bourne will do for now.

New Catches from the last several routes:

Scarsdale the Skarmory
Bleric the Aerodactyl (a giveaway in the fourth island's first town)
Woodbert the Exeggutor (Alolan form, definitely might add him to the party with his hilarious height and Grass/Dragon/Psychic attack coverage)
Pickles the Pinsir (first one caught in the Pokemon Pelago minigame - giving myself one catch from there)
Slope the Slowpoke
Fabsol the Absol
Pasta the Torkoal

and, of course, Chastity the Klefki.


Image result for komala


Image result for incineroar singing
Struan the Incineroar
-Every time I send him out I imagine him singing a Disney-style "Mwahaha, I'm the villain!" song

Image result for toucannon]
Aoife Toucannon
-Did a little move reshuffle; she now has Steel Wing, Drill Peck, Beak Blast, and Roost. She roolz.

Image result for machamp lol
Macho the Machamp
-Just learned Stone Edge, the first move that will benefit from No Guard's 100% accuracy guarantee. Cannot wait for Dynamic Punch.

Image result for gyarados
Kagimarp the Gyarados
-Just learned Dragon Dance, making him utterly unstoppable. I hope.

Image result for klefki
Chastity the Klefki
-Prankster ability means her Thunder Wave is a priority move, so she's an amazing leadoff poke
-Flash Cannon and Foul Play hit hard, and Light Screen helps my whole team's Sp Def issues

Image result for gastrodon
Jason Bourne the Gastrodon
-He's just a beefy bruiser with balanced stats (but no speed), hitting with Sludge Wave, Muddy Water, and Body Slam
-Storm Drain means he absorbs water moves, so he's fun to send out when I can anticipate those


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

7. Pre E4 training and the final team

Well, here I am. My core team has been reduced to Murphey, Brisbane, and Stena (who has only been with the team a handful of levels, but my standard for “core” is at an all time low right now) and they are all sitting right around level 50. My rivals’ teams were in the low to mid 50’s, so I’m expecting the elite 4 to be even higher than that. Time for a REAL training montage. I opt to train up Sherpa (mid 40’s) Andre the Exeggutor (low 40’s) and Lulabell (low 20’s) for my team. 20+ levels of grinding will be a pain for Lulabell, but without her I will have no special attackers and I’d be more disadvantaged than I already am. Sherpa’s training goes smoothly and soon he’s a level 50 battle-ready Glalie. I think I would have preferred a Frosslass but Sherpa is a dude so we’ll work with what we have. Andre’s training didn’t go as smoothly. I taught him flamethrower to mow down the hordes of Snowrunt in this damn cave and for a while it was going swimmingly. About a level and a half into training (ie, 4000 snowrunts) one of them survived with what must have been about 8 hp and responded with a 4x effective blizzard that wrecked poor Andre. I didn’t even know they learned blizzard. Sherpa doesn’t know blizzard. Wtf.
RIP Andre, lvl 42-43
  Too much time later Lulabell is a level 50 badass starmie. That was mind numbingly boring but I know it's going to be worth it. My last spot is still open due to Andre's abrupt end and I fill it with Astro the level 42 gastrodon. At this point I need to just move on, I can’t bring myself to train another 8 levels on Snowrunts and Golbats. It’s like when you give up studying at 2 in the morning before a final. At this point you’ll either pass or you won’t. Unfortunately for Astro, that means his official position on the team will be “meatshield”.

Here is the team going into the elite 4.

Imma brick.... hooorse
Ability: Stamina
Moves: Earthquake, double kick, heavy slam, stomp
Item: leftovers
Notes: Literally and figuratively carries the team around on his back. Is a wonderful mix of tank and offensive bombshell. At this point is my longest standing team member and I’m pretty sure has seen more death than any other past or present.

Toxic is love, toxic is life
Ability: Sturdy
Moves: steel wing, fly, toxic, slash
Item: leftovers
Notes: Brisbane is known for pulling miracles out of his butt from the moment I added him to the team. Like Murphey, he has a very patient battle style and isn’t too proud to let the poison do the work when we really need a win.

These boots are made
for stomping
Ability: Leaf guard
Moves: Trop Kick, High jump kick, stomp, toxic
Item: grass z crystal
Notes: Despite being added on the last island, Stena finds herself as the 3rd most senior member of my team. She hasn’t really been put through her paces yet, but she kicks really hard. Looking forward to having her russian dance on some elite faces.

Glalie doesn't have a
lot of "epic" poses
Ability: Ice body
Moves: Toxic, ice beam, protect, rest
Item: chesto berry
Notes:I’ve never used a glalie before and I wasn’t really sure what to do with him. His base stats are literally 80 all the way across, so I could do pretty much whatever I wanted with him. I opted for what seems like the safest route, another toxic staller. We can always use more of those, right?

Whoops wrong picture
Ability: Illumination
Moves: Scald, Psychic, grass knot, Ice beam
Item: water z crystal
Notes: Man I love this move set.  Lulabell is ready for all comers, provided she never gets hit. She is the definition of glass cannon. Usually not what you want in a Nuzlocke (RIP Sloan) but desperate times, right?

Pls don't have grass moves pls don't
have grass moves
Ability: Sticky hold
Moves: Earthquake, body slam, toxic, protect
Item: sitrus berry
Notes: The red shirt of the party. Astro is here to give me switching options when things get tough and a chance to heal up the rest of the team. Hopefully it never comes to it but can be sacrificed for the good of the team.

Tune in next time, as I either achieve Nuzlocke victory or crash and burn.

Deaths: 14

Monday, December 5, 2016

6. And the wheels start to fall off

With the main baddies trapped in the ultra realm for time being I set off to conquer my last island. Immediately I notice a jump in difficulty when fighting the trainers and wild pokes on the island. I went from fighting hordes of grunts with dudes in the mid to high 30’s to wild pokemon in the low 40s and trainers in the mid 40’s very abruptly. I’ll have to keep my guard up. My first catch is a Granbull who I’m not too interested in training because Casper is my resident fairy, but I quickly find a trainer who wants to trade her Steenee for one. Enter Stena the Steenee, who in one level evolves into Stena the Tsareenna. She came complete with her own grass z crystal and a cool grass move called trop kick that lowers opponents attack. Something felt right about Stena. I had just lost a physical attacker grass type who was very dear to me and I knew she’d do her best to live up to Decidueye’s legacy.
Why are the so many
sexy pokemon in the gen?

The plot of this island is to make it to an ancient ruin so we can summon the game’s legendary to help us travel to the ultra realm and rescue the people there. On the way we fight the island’s ground type kahuna who used gastrodon, flygon, alolan dugtrio and a mudsdale. It was my first time facing a mudsdale, I had always sort of taken how scary Murphey was for granted until I had to face another. The fight itself was pretty straightforward but It took a lot of healing and waiting for the opposing mudsdale to die of poison. That thing was a brick and it hit HARD.
I continue my trek through the island’s winding caves and valleys fighting veteran after ace trainer after veteran. The battles are tough and I find myself using way more healing than I’m used to but my team is performing admirably. Suddenly I see the end of the trail in sight. I know its the end because there are three veteran trainers right in a row before the entrance to a big cave. Veterans are a pain in the butt to fight because in addition to having high-leveled, evolved pokemon they usually employ some semblance of strategy.
The last veteran battle got interesting. His golem sets up stealth rocks and promptly uses explosion before Murphey can finish him off. This causes a brief panic but the attack misses (HA!). The veteran follows up with Cloyster who sets up spikes before getting flattened. I’m not too worried because Murphey has this under control and I’m not planning on switching him out. The Vet’s last mon is a Granbull who only uses roar to keep my dudes switching out and taking stealth rock damage. This is not a problem until Sloan gets forced out. She was sitting at about ⅓ health safely on my bench until the super effective stealth rocks drops her into the single digits… and then the spikes finishes her off. What a steaming pile of Mudsdale feces. The stupidity of the whole encounter is almost enough to keep me from weeping for my best special sweeper.

The totem poke I fight immediately after this is a Kommo-o. These things are so badass but can do pretty much nothing to hurt Brisbane and Casper, who make short work of it.
Kommo-kommo-kommo-kommon get
wrecked by my moonblast
I complete the ritual to summon the legendary Solgaleo. It creates a portal we use to travel to the ultra realm and I have to face off once again with the president of Aether corp. At this point she is completely bonkers and wants to stay in the upside-down with her precious squids forever. I’m inclined to let her, but the plot demands I take her in. She uses the same team as the last battle, but this time they’re all boosted like the totem pokes have been. To make matters more annoying, all of her team members have some sort of healing move. I put in Remy vs. her Clefable and immediately max out evasion and defense. Time to sweep (or more accurately, be an unkillable brick and wear out everything they throw at me). Unfortunately, her Clefable has the magic guard ability, meaning poison does no damage, and moonlight, meaning it can heal almost all the damage I put on it. It probably would have been a lot faster to send out something that does more damage than Remy, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to give up all these stat boosts. One eternity later, the Clefable lies dead, and the cycle continues with Milotic/recover. Fortunately, Milotic is susceptible to poison, so once a lucky poison jab connects it goes much quicker. Wash, rinse, repeat with Bewear and its hella annoying pain split. Remy is able to one shot her last two, Mismagius and Lilligant thanks to type advantage, and the battle is over.
We return to the real world, bad dudes in tow, and I’m told that Solgaleo wants to come with us. I have to battle him for it though. He must have really wanted to come with, because I threw one quickball and the battle was over. yayy.
You know, the guy from the cover of the game
At this point, having defeated all totem challenges and Kahunas, I am invited to challenge the newly constructed pokemon league. Veler the Russian railgun comes out of the box to fill in for Sloan and we set to work getting him caught up with the rest of the team. I slog to the top of a snowy mountain and am set upon by my sort of rival Gladion. I haven’t talked about him yet because he doesn’t show up much, but he’s the one who destroyed Candycorn’s dreams of becoming a fighter pilot way back in episode 2. Veler takes out his Crobat easily, but he follows up with a Lucario he’s never had before and I’m forced to switch out. Sloan could have dispatched it easily but I have limited options against it now. In short order my team is all in the yellow and I’ve done little more than put a glorified dent in this damn thing. My last healed up team member is Casper, who I've been loath to send out due to her weakness to steel, but at this point I have no choice. She does a sizable chunk of damage, but is hit in return hit with a crit that drops her down to 1 hp. Remember how I mentioned this fight was on top of a snowy mountain? Well it just so happens that hail has been on this entire battle. My sigh of relief gets caught in my throat as a chunk of sky ice wallops Casper in the face after she fought so hard to cling to life. After Decidueye died last episode, Casper had become the most senior member of my team. It was weird playing a pokemon game without a starter forming a foundation for the rest of the team, but this goofy bowtie covered cat had done a great job filling in. R.I.P. Casper.
Brisbane is able to slowly whittle the Lucario down to zero and I’m face with another previously unseen pokemon, Sylvally. This one is annoying because its a sort of legendary whose type changes based off the item it holds, so it could be anything. Once I discover that it’s a fire type through trial and error, Murphey makes short work of it.
Sylvally. Obviously a fire type, right?
I opt to leave the Murphster in against Gladion’s final pokemon, Weavile, despite the type disadvantage because of the defense boost he received while fighting the Sylvally. Weavile’s first attack takes about ⅖ of Murphey’s health off, so I decide to leave him in and go for a 4x effective double kick to try and end it. Naturally, Weavile’s 2nd ice shard crits, bypassing Murphey’s boosted defense, and drops him down to 1 hp. This all-too-familiar situation means that if Murphey can’t finish the battle this round then hail will become the deadliest enemy in the game thus far. I go from never-lucky to occasionally-lucky though and the double kicks connect, ending the battle before the murderous water chunks can annihilate my precious horse. I’m now down two members of my team in the course of mere hours.
I trudge on up the mountain and finally reach the pokemon center just before the entrance to the elite 4. I take a little bit of time to recenter my team. I bring out Sherpa and MrsBombastic, the Ribombee to fill the numerous holes in my bench, but they serve as bench warmers for now until I can get Veler up to fighting form. Commence training montage. I catch Sherpa the Snowrunt in my last area before the E4 and get down to some mindless grinding. I’m rudely awakened when Veler is brought low (read: dead) by  a crit from a wild absol. I hadn’t really even gotten to know Veler yet, but the loss of a growing friendship stung, and the 10+ levels of experience I’d sunk into him for no payoff certainly hurt.

I take some time off of grinding to keep from losing my mind and do some exploring of the mountain top. My head connects forcefully with my desk when I take a step too far and am set upon by my OTHER rival, Hau. How silly of me to think there would only be one rival battle immediately outside the Pokemon league. I am not prepared for this. I switch to Murphey to battle his Raichu but have to immediately take him back out when Raichu’s psychic takes him well into the yellow. Remy’s dark typing makes him perfect for this and I fall back into my old strat of minimize x3, acid armor x3. Lets do this. Remy takes down Raichu, Komala, and flareon without much trouble. Hau’s last poke is Primaria, his water/fairy starter. Remy’s super effective poison jab drops is down to just a sliver of red health, and it responds with a water z move. I don’t know if z moves cant miss or I’m just really unlucky, but Remy is brought from 100-0 by one of the first moves of the whole fight that hit him. I'm am too emotionally drained to deal with this.
Primarina got tired of being pooped on by Decidueye the
first 6 times we fought and finally got her revenge. 

My team is in shambles now. I had finally made it to the homestretch and in short order I had lost three core members of my team in Sloan, Casper, and Remy, and one late but powerful addition, Veler. There is nothing between me and the Elite 4 now but I am not ready for it. I think that's enough pokemon for right now.

Deaths: 13 :(

RIP Sloan, Casper, Veler and Remy (Dammit, you made me google Salazzle again)

Friday, December 2, 2016

5. Spooky junk

Remy looks delicious
By saving me from a near assured wipe, Brisbane has cemented himself a place on my team, but due to Gooby’s untimely demise, I’m still short a pokemon. Remy the Grimer gets drafted from the box to fill the Gumshoos-sized hole on my bench. Fortunately he’s amorphous so he can fill holes of any shape. Plus, his alolan form poison-dark typing will be invaluable in the next trial which I find out will be ghost type (Poison/dark is only weak to ground, how awesome is that?). Datrix also evolves into Decidueye who I will not be using in the trial out of fear for his life, but how cool is he??? He has a hoodie and his wing turns into a bow and arrow when he attacks and he’s Ghost/grass so no more 4x weakness to ice! My little starter is all grown up.
And we just got a fancy Decidium Z crystal as well
  The ghost trial takes place in an abandoned shopping mall. I have to walk around it in the dark and use my camera to see invisible ghosts who are committing various poltergeisty shenanigans. If you’ve ever heard of the game Fatal Frame it's a lot like that but with less gruesome death. This is probably my favorite trial so far simply because I like the concept so much. I photograph and fight a gastly, haunter, and gengar in succession (all of whom Brisbane takes Handily) and make my way to a closet in the back. The room is claustrophobic and covered in creepy children’s drawings but for a few seconds I can’t find anything through my viewfinder. I turn around slowly and OH GOD IT'S RIGHT BEHIND ME.
*Screeching stringed instruments*
The totem poke is Mimikyu. I’ve heard about him but have not seen one yet. It’s schtick is that no one loves it because it's an unknowable eldritch horror so it pretends to be a pikachu. From a game standpoint this means the first attack against it has no effect. Ghosts are especially worrisome in a nuzlocke due to mean look/curse/destiny bond shenanigans, but I have a plan that while not very sporting, should keep my team pretty safe. Sloan the Salazzle leads off and uses toxic. Then uses toxic again because Mimikyu was annoyingly carrying a lum berry. Then I switch to Brisbane and… wait for it to die from poison. Thats it, thats the whole strat. Nothing interesting happened the whole battle but it worked. GG EZ.
I catch TRADE FODDER the haunter on the way out of the building, so named because I met a dude in a pokecenter who was offering a graveler for one. Pretty soon I have a fancy new electric-rock Golem named Veler (I take back what I said about NPC’s using uninspired names). He’ll be riding my bench for now, but I’ll definitely look him up if I need a rail gun on my team in the future.
Battle cruiser operational! 
Afterwards, I discover that a friend of the ghost captain has had her yungoos stolen by the incompetently nefarious team skull. While up until recently their involvement in the story would have made me excited for their hoodlum antics, the death of Gooby at the hands of their leader has made me a mite more resentful. I set off on my quest to rescue the abducted rodent and receive a Sharpedo jet ski (awesome) to help me get to the town Team skull has permanently taken over. This ironically makes them the most competent team of villains in any pokemon game in some way. They are the only ones to take a town and keep it for more than 5 minutes. I arrive at the Skull stronghold and wade through a swarm of grunts until I reach their leader Guzma. Who for some reason is the one who ended up with the stolen Yungoos? We do battle for the second time, but this time I am ready. Brisbane is now fully trained up and is able to take down the golisopod and ariados himself. I hope he starts showing up in that damn bug’s nightmares.
Before leaving the island I encounter the 3rd island’s kahuna who uses dark type. I didn't take any notes on this other than Remy, Brisbane, and Casper all had resistance and that it was easy so it must have been pretty boring.

Main Plot spoilers to follow. If you haven’t made it to the 4th island yet skip the rest of this post for now.

The various Aether employees, who were so welcoming on my first visit, have turned vicious and I fight my way through them as I search through secret underground labs for the lost power puff. What seemed like a legit conservationist organization has had dastardly experiments going on just below the surface the whole time! While pillaging the place, I find a TM for Toxic, which I have been waiting for because it will help Brisbane become what he was always meant to be: A royal pain in the ass. Toxic+fly 4 EVA.
Can't you just tell
he's the worst?
The first real challenging battle I have in the place is with one of the Aether leaders, a goofy dude named Faba. Its a double battle with my rival Hau against him and a grunt. I send out Murphey with Hau’s Raichu. We dispatch the grunt’s only pokemon and Faba’s first pokemon, slowbro, easily but not before both of our pokemon are yawned. Faba sends out the water/psychic type Bruxish, and I send out Decidueye due to his double type advantage and Murphey being asleep. Raichu is still asleep and doesn't get to attack, but Decidueye takes the Bruxish down to about 1/10th health with one razor leaf. My brain is already thinking about who to switch to next to optimize my team’s leveling but I’m dimly aware of my rival’s Raichu getting knocked out in one hit by the near dead Bruxish. I’ve already entered in my next attack command before the ramifications of this dawn on me. I didn't notice what attack was used, but Raichu is electric/psychic in Alola. If that fish had an attack that could one shot him, it was probably dark. Decidueye is ghost type. But that means… oh God no…
Nintendo didn't like that Pikachu's
evolution wasn't as cute.
Sure enough, the Bruxish outspeeds Decidueye and hits it with crunch. Decidueye has great attack and special attack, but its speed, HP and defenses have never been spectacular. I’ve always took special care to keep him out of situations like this in the past but this time my own inattentiveness has doomed him. My heart falls alongside his health as I pray I will be saved by affection and his HP will freeze at 1, but it was not meant to be. Decidueye, my starter, the foundation of this team. Was slain. For a moment I feel like giving up the nuzlocke, or pretending it didn’t happen. No one would have to know other than me and I could keep fighting the good fight with my favorite pokemon in this gen. But he wouldn’t have wanted me to. Any glory I may have attained with him still on my team would be a sham and a disrespect to his memory. I must soldier on. The Aether corp has taken my starter from me, but so help me Arceus I will burn their entire organization to the ground. Except not literally in this battle, because Faba uses water types and Sloan would get wrecked too if I tried it.
RIP Decidueye
The rest of Fubu's or whatever the hell his name is pokemon are eliminated with extreme prejudice, but before I can stop the president, I need to go through Guzma a third time. At this point, these battles feel much more routine. I can almost see the look of “oh no, not again” in Golisopod’s eyes when Brisbane comes out. What started as a near challange-ending encounter has turned into an entertaining little vacation for my metal bird friend. I enter into the president’s secret lair and engage
When not battling, Bruxish enjoys
sucking the blood from infants with
its stupid, ugly mouth and working
on its Hitler/Judas crossover fanfic
her in a last ditch attempt to prevent her from unleashing alien pokemon into the world.
I send out Sloan to fight the president’s clefable and use nasty plot, with the intention of sweeping with her, which would be easy if the rest of her team is fairy type as well. It works for clefable but unfortunately her team theme isn't “fairy type” but rather “pretty.” the subsequent Milotic forces me to switch out for Remy. Remy mostly ignores the milotic’s attacks and uses minimize 3 times for max evasion. I draw great satisfaction from the thought of Remy hurling his putrid mass onto the faces of this immaculate lady’s cutsy pokemon. With the help of a couple pots Remy is able to sweep through milotic, Bewear, Mismagius and liligant without much trouble. Of course we’re too late to stop her evil plan but who cares. Decidueye is dead and I’m sure I’ll have opportunity enough to thwart her in the future. We set off for the 4th and final island. Just once I’d like to wrap up one of these posts on a positive note.