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.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

4. Mecha mothra vs King Ghidorah

Spoilers: this post goes up until just before the 3rd island's second trial
   Before leaving Island 2 I peruse my box to see if there‘s anyone I’d like to add to the team to fill in for Macho. I ultimately decide to leave his spot open for now in case Island 3 gives me anything I’m really excited about. Plus, I’m starting to think a big part of the reason I’m struggling is I’m too reactionary. Every time I train a new teammate up the rest of my party stagnates and lets the opposing trainers’ teams catch up. I’m going to focus on 5 for now and make them rock solid. Another reason to do so is I have 3 pokemon (Dartrix, Sloan and Murphey) who are close to evolving. I need to take special care to avoid another Macho debacle.
   Prior to reaching Island 3 we take a brief detour to the Aether Paradise. A shiny white metal floating island made by the Aether Corporation and their headquarters for the quest for pokemon conservation. The sterile, professional structure is a stark contrast to the gangsta buffoonery of team Skull, the lovable antagonists of the story thus far. I meet the CEO or whatever and she gushes about how much she wants to save pokemon while at the same time throwing out some seriously creepy vibes. If she ends up being a bad guy it will be the most subtle villain introduction of any pokemon game to date. That's not saying much but fingers crossed. While there we encounter our first Ultra Beast, which are pokemon from another dimension or something? It goes down quickly but we’re expecting to see more of them soon and there’s some fairly ominous dialogue about the Aether corp’s intentions.
Ultra Beast #1
    Moving on to Island 3. My first catches of note are Remy the Grimer and Brisbane the Skarmory. Both respectable but I decide to wait and see before I commit to training one. I add Brisbane to the party as an emergency distraction but leave him underleveled. As I make my way up to the electric gym both Murphey and Sloan evolve and I catch ??? the minior. So named because I have no idea what to make of this thing.
"What happened to Murphey???" - Lizzy
??? the Minior

[I'm still not posting a picture of Salazzle]

     The electric trial is filled with Grubbin and Charjabug, projecting the totem pokemon will be the sweet jet fighter that Candycorn could have been had I been more careful (RIP). Sure enough, the Totem poke is a Vikavolt and my heart aches for the awesome Vikavolt vs. Vikavolt Top Gun style dog fight that could have been were Candycorn still with us. While less dramatic I did have a very practical solution to this totem battle. Enter Murphey the Mudsdale. Murphey hasn’t had any exercise since evolving and is rearing to leave hoof prints in some fools. Every totem poke has gotten a boost to a specific stat at the start of the battle, attack, defense, speed, etc. Vikavolt was the first the get a boost to ALL of its stats. I found out quickly that vikavolt has also levitate as its ability, so this wouldn’t be a 2 turn sweep like I’d hoped. Murphey had recently learned a move called High Horsepower, which is hilarious, that had thus never never failed to drop an electric type in one hit but that wasn't going to solve this fight unfortunately. Had it been a 1v1, the vikavolt may have given Murphey a run for its money despite not being able to use its electric attacks. Initially its bug bites did a decent amount of damage (why isnt bug super effective against ground again?) but it was hosed by its own partner, charjabug. Charjabug’s piddly damage only served to boost Murphey’s defense even quicker, to the point where after three rounds you needed a magnifying glass to determine how much the Vikavolt was doing to Murphey. This left Murphey free to do a merry riverdance of stomps on his opponents’ heads until they both expired. Man I love that horse.

I think I remember this
episode of magic school bus

Maverick! Your ego is writing
checks your body can't cash!
After the trial I run into the boss of Team Skull, Guzma, for the first time. Up until this point my main reaction to the grunts has been “haha, gang symbols”. I was excited to meet their leader, hoping that he to would be just as un-self serious and entertaining. Unfortunately our meeting was not as positive as I’d hoped. He leads off with Golisopod, a definitely Japanese monster I have not seen yet. Its probably… Bug type? Could be poison? Maybe even dragon? Casper is at the head and does meager damage with draining kiss. Golisopod leads off with a swords dance and my hackles start to raise. I don’t know what this is but it scares me and Godzilla is nowhere in sight to fight it off. Casper attacks again and it responds with Razor Shell. Ohhhh… its a WATER type. Even though I was expecting it to be bad I had a mild stroke when Casper’s health tanked until stopping aburptly at 1 HP. His affection saved him from death (thanks cheesey mechanic). Welp, that was almost a disaster. I quickly switch out Casper for Dartrix as he’s the only member of my team who resists water but he is still dropped to right around half health. OK, we’ll try someone beefier. I send out Gooby and pray his tankiness will see him through but I am totally let down. A critical hit razor shell slices through him and Gooby, my second catch, has been wipe from existence
RIP Gooby
This is the point in the battle where panic begins to set in and I need to slow down and think. Gooby is dead, Dartrix and Casper seriously injured, and Sloan and Murphey have type disadvantage. Any one of them would be one shot by this thing. My only option is sending out the untrained Brisbane and heal up Dartrix. I silently thank Brisbane for his brave sacrifice and heal up Dartrix. I watch sadly as the razor shell connects and Brisbane’s health begins to plummet. Suddenly, for the second time this match, my pokemon’s HP bar freezes at 1. This time not because of abusable game mechanics, but because Brisbane’s ability was sturdy, something I hadn’t even bothered to check. This was followed quickly by another miracle. Since I now had an extra turn I wasn’t expecting, I opt to put a little more damage onto him before Brisbane bites it. We outspeed the Power Rangers villain reject and hit it with an air cutter. Brisbane is pretty wimpy but the attack is super effective (so it is water/bug) and it's brought to just under half health. This triggers Golisopod’s ability that I was until now completely unaware of, which automatically switches him out.This means he loses his sword dance bonus and I have a second to breath. I had just blindly stumbled my way out of this awful match. Golisopod is replaced by an ariados. Brisbane has the look of someone snatched from the jaws of death as its swapped out for Sloan, who promptly toasts the spider. When Golisopod returns I’m barely able to put it down with a full health Dartrix thanks to type advantage it's lost attack boost. Another disaster barely averted at great sacrifice.
brb, destroying Tokyo


        On the plus side, afterwards I caught a torkoal and named it Vapelife, so thats cool?


Monday, November 28, 2016

Ula'ula Island Is A Stupid Island

As soon as we set foot on Ula'ula Island, my rival challenged me to a battle. He picked the grass starter, the stupid thing Joe has, so he's been a total pushover so far. This time his Dartrix was still a pushover, being thoroughly pushed over by Struan, but boy was I unprepared for his new Raichu.

What had been a silly Pikachu in previous battles was now a speedy, hard-hitting force. Electric is weak against Grass, so I let Snusan take a stab at him with her grassy ways. But he didn't just know Electric moves, no. He busted out a whopping Psychic that took Snusan down into yellow health. I knew he was too fast for Snusan and another hit would take her out, so I super potioned up. He used psychic again. Repeat and repeat and repeat. This was going nowhere, and I was running out of super potions. I didn't want to be stuck without healing items for the rest of the fight, so I bit the bullet and let Snusan take another hit. She was no more.

The rest of the fight was fine because his Raichu was fairly squishy and Dartrix is a pushover.

I flew back to the second island to hatch the fossil I'd been given there to fill out the gaping wound in my lineup. This became Gord the Shieldon, a stocky Rock/Steel tank from Gen IV. He was a good kid.

While training him up against random trainers, I faced off against a Black Belt with a Hariyama. I knew the thing would hit hard, and Gord would be wrecked, so I switched out. The safest choice would have been Kagimarp, to get that type resistance and the leadoff Intimidate, but I was not making good choices this day. I had it in my head that Bouncee would resist Fighting, maybe from the abundance of Grass/Poison types throughout the years who most definitely did have the resistance. Well, Grass is not resistant to Fighting. In one move, one Vital Throw, the Hariyama ripped Bouncee out of the ground and chucked her into a stupid grave.

Was Bouncee my Waifu? No, not quite, but she was a great Pokemon, hard hitting and reliable, a brilliant example of her type. Maybe if we'd had more time together. Sigh.

Image result for butterfree ash crying
Pour one out for Bouncee yall

And so the perennial pinch hitter, the eternal backup, the leader of the B team, Delbert the Makuhita joined the party once more. But the death toll wasn't done climbing yet.

There's an ability called Magnet Pull that stops Steel Pokemon from retreating. Just Steel types. Normally this doesn't matter at all. It's kind of a worthless ability because it's so rarely useful. It had never occurred to me to worry about it when training Gord in the tall grass. I should have.

A wild Magnemite appeared. Gord, with Rock Tomb and Take Down as his only offensive moves, wasn't the right guy to fight it, so I opted to switch... but it failed. Gord wasn't going anywhere. As the Magnemite cut right through Gord's defenses with Sonic Boom and summoned a second Magnemite to the battle, my heart sank. This wasn't an issue of being conservative with my healing items like with Snusan (in hindsight, she was worth far more than I gave her credit for). This was just a straight up hopeless situation. I could buy a little time with Protect, but against double Sonic Booms, and with Gord doing almost zero damage with his attacks, it was over before it began. So long, Gord. I barely knew yee.

My luck turned around when I caught my first new wild Pokemon in a while. Or did it? I've been using Slamuel the Komala for a couple days now, and I still have no idea if he's good or not. Let me explain. He's a little Normal-type Koala who's just napping against a little log. He doesn't seem to evolve. His gimmick lies in his ability, Comatose. Basically, Komala is perpetually sleeping. Like, it never wakes up. Not in battle, not out of it. It is literally in a coma.

He still fights somehow. Comatose doesn't show up as the Sleeping status effect, rather he's somehow immune to all other status effects and fights normally. I think? I think that's all there is to it. And that's all good - I haven't found a drawback at all, except maybe that he can't use Rest, and who cares. As a fighter, Slamuel is pretty well rounded, with a surprisingly hard-hitting STAB Slam and lots of good utility moves - I caught him with Yawn and Rapid Spin, and he's since learned Sucker Punch and U-Turn. So far he's come through every time I've needed him.

With Slamuel and Delbert filling in the gaps left by Bouncee and Snusan, I pushed onward, fighting some Team Skull goons and training against a number of wild Pokes and trainers... until we got to the Electric captain.

Another bossy trainer greets you at the door, using Steel Pokemon and giving you a Steelium Z crystal after the fight. He was a pleasure to battle, and Struan wiped the floor with him hardily.

Oh, I should also mention that at this point Joe, the sweet boy whose Nuz runs parallel to mine on this blog, traded with me to evolve Macho into a Machamp. I HAVE A MACHAMP NOW.

So I encountered Sophocles, the endlessly entertaining chubby shut-in engineer buddy who summoned the Electric Totem Pokemon. This time it's a gigantic Vikavolt with all his stats boosted, summoning Charjabugs for backup - both Electric/Bug types.

Two of my most reliable sluggers, Kagimarp and Aoife, who recently evolved into Toucannon, were weak to Electricity, so I started out with Slamuel - good for initial status attacks, ready to U-turn out at the first sign of danger. We landed a Yawn right out the gate that kept the Vivavolt sleeping for several turns. Slamuel tried a Slam, decided it wasn't doing enough, and U-Turned, and out came Delbert with the Fake Out and Bulldoze. He probably should have used Fake Out on the Charjabug, not the sleeping Vikavolt. But I was a fool, and then Delbert was Thunder-Wave paralyzed. He missed the next turn due to paralysis, the Vikavolt finally woke up, using Spark. We healed, and the Vivavolt used Charge to boost its next Electric attack. We tried Bulldoze again. That's when I learned the hard way that Vivavolt's ability is Levitate. Bulldoze killed the Charjabug, but another immediately took its place. And Vivavolt's charged Spark was not forgiving.

Delbert, you gave it your all just to please me. Even though I never let you be on the A team, constantly choosing Macho over you as my Fighting-type buddy, you never stopped loving me and doing your best. Now that you're gone, there's so much I wish I'd said to you, so much I wish I could say now. Maybe you can read this from my graveyard box in my PC. I hope you are.

The Vikavolt didn't go down easy. Struan softened it up a lot, but once he was paralyzed I U-Turned him out of there. The Vikavolt was in the red health now. I just needed someone fast who could land the final blow. It was then that I made what could have been my stupidest move yet: sending out Kagimarp, he of 4x Electric weakness, to seal the deal. Yeah, he would probably be fast enough. Yeah, the Charjibug on the side probably wouldn't kill him. But I was going out in faith alone. I was so lucky that it worked.

We won, and I've been taking it slow and coasting off of that intensity. After the battle Struan evolved into a Digimon, or maybe a '90s Disney movie villain. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but Struan the Fire/Dark Incineroar is psyched af about his new bipedalness, humungous pecs, and giant hammy forepaws. But with Delbert gone, on top of all the other deaths, it's a bittersweet victory for my weary party of five.

RIP: Snusan :( Gord :( Bouncee :( Delbert :(
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Struan the Incineroar
-Signature move: Darkest Lariat, a hilariously dramatic pro wrestling move
-Now has the combo of Flame Charge and Swords Dance, making him a really legit sweeper

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Aoife Toucannon
-Her facial expression makes me laugh constantly. She's always giving the side-eye, with her giant beak and judgmentally furrowed brow. Sometimes, because of our deep-ass bond, my avatar says things to her during battle, and her look in the camera's direction is so deadpan, like "dude, can't you see I'm fighting a battle here"
-Her signature move is Beak Blast, which charges up at the beginning of the round but attacks at the end of it -two parts, but one turn. If she's hit directly while charging, the foe is burned. I love this move so much.

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Macho the Machamp
-Still has no guard. Can't wait to learn weird moves that take advantage of that
-Evolved af

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Kagimarp the Gyarados
-Finally learned Aqua Tail, so this dude can wreck

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Slamuel the Komala
-Sleeping. Not sure if he knows who I am.

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Small Doggo the Herdier
-C-Team, he's here in case I need a sacrifice.
-He's got Baby-Doll eyes, which takes priority to lower attack, so he'll be able to make a slight difference even though he's underleveled
-Also Thunder Wave, if he can manage to sneak it out.

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