Pokemon Gotta Catch-Em-All

Fastmav347 wrote:

Oh I was under impression it was already out

Edit: it's also so unusual for me to be playing a game this early in its life cycle it seems.

Oh they'll let you PAY for it right now. You just won't get anything for it until summer.

So there are a few updates on the Pokemon and Pokemon-adjacent front.

First, a new mythical Pokemon has been announced, release date TBD.
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/ne...

Second, TemTem now has a roadmap out there for updates for the next year and beyond, with an expected 1.0 release in Spring 2021.
https://www.thegamer.com/temtem-comp...
What's also interesting is some of the alternative modes and competitive things they plan to release in Summer 2021, including a PvP draft mode, and an official Nuzlocke rules mode (for those not familiar, its a self imposed challenge mode for the Pokemon games where a player limits how many Pokemon they can catch, and release/box up any that get knocked out). Kinda impressed they decided to put that in there as an option, honestly. I'm still waiting until a bit more content first before I hop in, but I'm very interested to see where it goes, and what/if Pokemon ultimately does anything as a response to the competition in future generations.

So a few days ago was Pokemon day (the series’ birthday in Japan), and I wound up watching a lot of the episodes from the first couple of seasons of the anime (which was a huge part of my childhood) on Twitch.

And that got me wanting to play a Pokemon game again, as a game I play on the side. And since I had mentioned Nuzlocke runs in reference to TemTem, and since I’ve never actually done one, I think I’ll take a shot at it. My game of choice will be Pokemon X, since X and Y throw a ton of unique Pokemon at you early and often, so it’s not just a waterfall of Pidgey and Rattata for the first five routes. Rules will be:

1) Can only catch the first Pokemon I see on each route.
2) Everyone I catch gets nicknamed
3) Anyone who gets knocked out is boxed permanently
4) No legendaries
5) No experience share

I may post updates if anything interesting happens, or if I get stuck using anyone unusual.

Huh. That's an interesting set of rules. I kind of like that idea.

ccesarano wrote:

Huh. That's an interesting set of rules. I kind of like that idea.

Yeah. It's definitely intended as a challenge mode, which is why I like the idea of it. It forces you to deal with a random batch of Pokemon, many of which probably aren't going to be the ones you're most comfortable with (although there are some safe standbys like Gyrados you can generally get if you really need one).

There are also a bunch of other rules people sometimes add, such as no switching Pokemon after a knockout during trainer battles, you can only use a Pokemon center a set number of times, you can only use items you find, etc. Not going to mess with those this time.

I did a Nuzlocke run for X. I used almost the same ruleset you outlined above except for a couple differences. Rule 1 was I could only catch the first new Pokemon I encountered on each route. Some routes had repeats. I didn't want to catch any duplicates. I also went with the Set instead of Shift battle mode stipulation. That made things much more difficult.

It's a fun way to inject some challenge into what is normally an incredibly easy game.

Dyni wrote:

I did a Nuzlocke run for X. I used almost the same ruleset you outlined above except for a couple differences. Rule 1 was I could only catch the first new Pokemon I encountered on each route. Some routes had repeats. I didn't want to catch any duplicates. I also went with the Set instead of Shift battle mode stipulation. That made things much more difficult.

It's a fun way to inject some challenge into what is normally an incredibly easy game.

Good point on switching to set. I may add that in. Hasn’t really come into play yet.

I’m up to Camphier town, which is somewhere between the first and second gyms, and have had some interesting stuff happen so far. I'll throw some of my thoughts on how things are going into spoilers since it's a bit lengthy.

Spoiler:

I chose Chespin my starter, since 1) I’ve never used her before, and 2) since her line is more durable than the other two starters which reduces the likelihood of a random knockout. I’ve never been a big fan of fragile Pokemon and especially fragile starters, who are often the core of your team, so I was never a fan of the Greninja line. I’ve also caught a couple of Flechlings, which would be a normal choice for my team due to their speed and offense. Honestly, they tend to be fragile, so I would not be surprised is I lost one or both down the line. I also took the Squirtle from the professor in Lumiose city, as that’s one of my old faithfuls. May get replaced later by something shinier, but since Nuzlocke makes me play more carefully, the defense is important to me.

The rest of the team is where it gets a little unusual. I don’t think I’ve ever used a Litleo or a Furfrou before, but they’re what I have now, so I’m trying to think of how to use them in general. Litleo has the highest special attack of anyone on the team, but is just a bit frail. And apparently Furfrou has an ability that halves physical damage taken which is pretty darn good (always boxed immediately after catching, so somehow I didn't know this), so she may have found a place as a physical wall, maybe with toxic/protect combination down the line. And I do a bit more grinding than usual to keep everyone leveled, since I never know when someone might get pressed into service. It’s not too bad since I turned off the battle animations. I just have to avoid too much carelessness when grinding, since sometimes you take a random K.O.

Speaking of which, I also had my first casualty. I had raised up a Scatterbug to a Spewpa, but it got knocked out by a random wild female Combee on Route 4. This is annoying for two reasons: 1) I don’t want anyone getting knocked out, even if they aren’t likely to be on the team long term, and 2) female Combee are the only ones that evolve and are pretty rare (like 1 in 8 Combee are female), and I couldn’t catch her since she wasn’t the first Pokemon on the route that I ran into.

So far, my Pokemon are:

Party
Quilladin (“Spike”) lv. 17
Fletchinder (“Emberd”) lv. 17
Litleo (“Nala”) lv. 17
Wartortle (“Leonardo”) lv. 17
Furfrou (“Dogeminer”) lv. 12

Box
Fletchling (“BackupBird”) lv. 3
Skitty (“Tilt”) lv. 10

Memorial
Spewpa (“Scattermoth”) lv. 9

The other thing I’m really remembering from replaying X is how spacious the first half of the game is. Rather than have a bunch of gyms in rapid succession, they spread it out mix it up and have a lot of early cities with no gym, just story, and a good mix of Pokemon on the routes in between. It made the world feel very large, which I liked. The first four gyms maybe take up 2/3s of the game. The final four gyms then get jammed back to back, like they ran out of budget to space the rest of it out or something (which considering the franchise prints money, shouldn’t be the case). Or maybe they just upped the pacing, since that’s when the story starts moving. Either way, I’ll see if my memory holds up.

Continuing on with my Nuzlocke run in X, I’ve made it up through the second gym. Posting thoughts and impressions in spoiler as usual.

Spoiler:

So far nearly everyone still on the team has come close to being knocked out at one point or another, but I think I’ve found my standouts so far.

Quilladin is successfully holding down the fort for me; good enough defense to hang in there in tough battles, and leech seed for when I can’t quickly knock someone out. Furfrou has continued to be a nice surprise, able to do better than expected damage and can soak up hits like nobody else. Just taught her thunder wave as a utility. She's probably mainly helped by being fully evolved while early in the game and will likely slip off the power curve eventually, but that physical damage halving ability will play for quite awhile.

But the new superstar on the block is Sandile. She’s got the worst defensive stats on the team, but good attack and speed, plus Intimidate, plus a so-far-very-good defensive type combo (ground/dark) means I can toss her in against lots of enemies and let her shrug off the hits anyway with resistances, and a few good attacks that level the competition. Can’t wait til she evolves, and we can get her more caught up to the rest of the team stat wise.

The one issue with the team is Fletchinder. He’s fast, but he’s frail and also has a bad movepool (no fire attacks besides ember until he hits his third form). I’ll probably need him for the 3rd and 4th gyms, but he’s probably the most likely to get shelved when something better comes along.

We’ve had a rash of casualties. I lost my Wartortle to a random trainer’s Axew, who dropped a dragon rage on me which was instant death. I forgot how ridiculous 40 guaranteed damage is at low levels. I also missed out on catching my own Axew, since I knocked it out accidentally. But I didn’t have any Ultra Balls, so catching it was going to be difficult anyway. I also caught a Spoink, but she got knocked out while trying to level her up. And lastly, Litleo, who had been promising something with the highest special attack stat on my team, got dropped by a wild Golett. Wasn’t paying close attention, and I guess he knocked her out with rollout or an earth attack or something. She was down before I knew what happened. That seems to be the biggest danger of the Nuzlocke run: carelessness. And random crits. If I’m not careful, I may be doing a single Pokemon challenge before too long.

It’s also interesting that the game seems well balanced for Exp. Share being turned off (the levels of wild Pokemon and trainers are very close to yours if you do just a little grinding), but of course it’s turned on by default. And I’m digging how slow paced the early game here is, and how it lets the adventure breathe. I had mentioned it before, but since I’m playing it again here, I’m really appreciating it.

Party
Quilladin (“Spike”) lv. 27
Fletchinder (“Emberd”) lv. 26
Furfrou (“Dogeminer”) lv. 26
Sandile (“Suzie”) lv. 26
Hawlucha (“LuchaHawk”) lv. 25
Onix (“StoneCold”) lv. 17

Box
Fletchling (“BackupBird”) lv. 3
Skitty (“Tilt”) lv. 10
Illumise (“LadyLadybug”) lv. 13
Espurr (“Chewtoy”) lv. 14
Tyrunt (“Chomper”) lv. 20
Steelix (“Thumper”) lv. 20 (got it from in-game trade, not against my rules)
Hariyama (“Yokozuna”) lv. 22
Mime Jr. ("Marcel") lv. 11

Memorial
Spewpa (“Scattermoth”) lv. 9
Wartortle (“Leonardo”) lv. 19
Spoink (“Pearl”) lv. 13
Litleo (“Nala”) lv. 22

Mystery Dungeon DX is the ray of cheer that I need right now. What a delightful and wholesome game!

I saved myself $60 and fired up Super Mystery Dungeon again. I do enjoy these games since they're slightly demanding but not as tough as Shiren.

I've appreciated the mystery dungeon games from a distance, and tried to get into Explorers of the Sky since I heard that was the best one, but just couldn't stick with it. I think my problem was that I approached it at a time when time was more limited, and so playing a game where I might wipe and have little to no progress to show for a gaming session just wasn't going to work for me. It's one of those ones where I think if I had gotten to it when I was younger, I might have really gotten into it.

My Nuzlocke writeup was a bit longer this time (as tends to happen), as I’ve made 3 gyms worth of progress, and some of the chaos that you know can happen in a Nuzlocke run but don’t think will happen to you since you know what you’re doing started happening anyway.

Spoiler:

Right after I posted my last update, I went into the Cave of Reflections. It was a bloodbath. I lost both my birds, Hawlucha and Fletchinder, to a single trainer’s Hawlucha. Mine was OHKOd with an Aerial Ace, and Fletchinder went down to a Rock Tomb (how often do trainers use TMs?!?!?!) If it wasn’t for a combo of Quilladin’s leech seed and Furfrou’s ability to tank even super effective hits, I might have had a total party wipe there, which I would have considered game over.

As it is, I lost two fragile members of my party that would have been useful for the next two gyms. Steelix was quickly pressed into service since I needed Pokemon who wouldn’t die easily (and has stealth rock), and Mime Jr. was added and quickly evolved since I needed someone to counter the fighting-type gym. I’m comfortable with Steelix going back to Gold and Silver, but I don’t think I’ve ever used a Mr. Mime in any generation, since he seemed like a worse option than any other psychic types that were available (see: Alakazam). Thought about Hariyama, but I was planning on us the gift Lucario that I would get later on the team, and didn’t want to waste the experience. I also grinded my now core survivors (Quilladin, Furfrou, and Sandile) up to level 28-29 to reduce the odds of the random death in the cave, and also to evolve Sandile to improve her durability. (I also gave her the eviolite stone once I got it to improve defenses further)

The now ready Mr. Mime easily wiped up the 3rd gym (although there was a close call vs. a random trainer who used Take Down instead of a fighting move), and I got the gift Lucario and added him to my team. I also taught Furfrou Surf when I got it, for lack of better options and her special attack is marginally better than physical, so I figured wynaut. I expect Lucario to be a staple of my team, for the good stats, good movepool, and ability to Mega Evolve.

The 4th gym was grass type, so again for lack of better options I threw Poison Jab onto my Quilladin and Lucario, and let them go to town. However, both of them nearly went down to the gym leader (flying attacks from Jumpluff nearly killed Quilladin and earth attacks from Gogoat nearly killed Lucario), so it was Furfrou to the rescue, shrugging off neutral hits, throwing Thunder Wave around and drawing some parahax, and generally just walling the gym leader out. I don’t know if Furfrou will by my overall MVP (if I had to guess now, it will be Lucario for the reasons stated before), but darn it if he isn’t my best panic button for when things start spiraling out of control so far. Those defenses (and that ability) are nothing to sneeze at. And when I got back to Lumiose City, I gave him the star-shaped haircut, since he’s been the star of my team.

That’s the other fun thing about the Nuzlocke run; not only are you using Pokemon you wouldn’t normally, you use them in ways you wouldn’t as well, since there are normally other or more efficient options (like teaching Surf to your water type, since why wouldn't you have a water type). I’m just glad that Lucario has a ridiculous movepool through TMs, and can be Johnny-on-the-spot for me whenever I need a specific-typed move (same reason why I love Nidoking/queen). I also find myself using way more support moves, like Reflect, Leech Seed, and Thunder Wave in normal battles, just to reduce the risk that something goes wrong. And more than once I’ve had someone down to like 1 or 2 HP, which is always a pit in your stomach since you don’t know where the bar is going to stop.

The 5th gym went off without a hitch. Krokorok ran through most of the gym with ground attacks, and mostly handled the gym leader with ease, with a little help from Lucario when her health started getting low and her accuracy dropped due to Magneton’s Mirror Shot. Probably could have finished it by herself, but I don’t want to risk anybody at this point.

Now I’m up to Route 14, and with the exception of needing a water or a fairy type at some point to deal with dragons, my team is largely set. And the only Pokemon on the team that I’ve ever used in a playthrough before is Lucario (and he’s handed to you on a silver platter), so the randomness is working as advertised.

The only thing I think I would do differently now is to take the fire starter instead of the grass starter, since I checked Delphox's stats and they have better defenses than I remembered, plus I could really use another special attacker. Right now only Mr. Mime and Lucario have good special attack stats, and Mr. Mime has a limited movepool (Psybeam and Thunderbolt!) and I don't have any good special TMs for Lucario besides Grass Knot.

Party
Chesnaut (“Spike”) lv. 37
Furfrou (“Dogeminer”) lv. 36
Krokorok (“Suzie”) lv. 38
Mr. Mime (“Marcel”) lv. 36
Lucario (‘Mascot”) lv. 36
Onix (“StoneCold”) lv. 17 (he has strength and rock smash)

Box
Fletchling (“BackupBird”) lv. 3
Skitty (“Tilt”) lv. 10
Illumise (“LadyLadybug”) lv. 13
Espurr (“Chewtoy”) lv. 14
Tyrunt (“Chomper”) lv. 20
Steelix (“Thumper”) lv. 20
Hariyama (“Yokozuna”) lv. 22
Wingull (“BurgerThief”) lv. 13
Trapinch (“AntDragon”) lv. 26

Memorial
Spewpa (“Scattermoth”) lv. 9
Wartortle (“Leonardo”) lv. 19
Spoink (“Pearl”) lv. 13
Litleo (“Nala”) lv. 22
Hawlucha (“LuchaHawk”) lv. 25
Fletchinder (“Emberd”) lv. 26

I’ve cleared a couple more gyms in my Nuzlocke run, and am getting closer to the end. And after many close calls, this time, someone didn’t make it out. Who was it? You’ll just have to read on to find out.

I’m also having fun jotting my thoughts as I go and writing these up, so they keep growing.

Spoiler:

On route 14, I caught a Karrablast. Normally I don’t use these bugs, but I could trade it with myself via GTS (I have both games, but only one 3DS, so it’s risky but doable). His evolution’s stats are really good except the speed, so there’s promise there if someone else goes down before the Elite 4.

The Fairy gym proved to be a bit hairy, since I don’t have a good fairy-type resist. Against the gym leader, I could use my freshly evolved Krookodile to take out the Mawile, but her Dark-type left her weak to the remaining attacks that the gym leader could throw at me. I swapped to Mr. Mime to wall out the opposing Mr. Mime and paralyze him, but was quickly outdamaged and shifted to trusty old Furfrou, who’s special defense is decent but not as good as the physical defense. He was able to easily knock down the defensively weak Mr. Mime, but out came Sylveon. I paralyzed him as well, but quickly found that the incoming Dazzling Gleam would narrlowly 3HKO Furfrou, unless there the damage diceroll went against me by a hair, in which case it was a 2HKO, and I could only get in one hit between hyper potions. And I don’t like having to rely on the diceroll to keep my team alive. I used several hyper potions while hitting with full-power Returns, but Sylveon started using Charm which reduced my offensive capability to nothing. I shifted again to use Bite to go for some paraflinchhax, but quickly triggered Sylveon’s ability, which infatuates Pokemon of the opposite gender on physical contact. The hax was not on my side this round. Out of options for Furfrou, I switched to Lucario, who promptly ate a Dazzling Gleam and took 2/3 of his health right out. But the battle was already decided, since the paralysis cut Sylveon’s speed. A quick Poison Jab, and the match was mine.

My takeaway seems to be that I have decent defensive stats and abilities on my team (Fur Coat, Intimidate, Filter), but not enough reliable resists to switch Pokemon in. And here is where being on the SET switch mode hampers me, since there are no free switches anymore. Unless I could solve this with future additions, this would continue to be a problem in the future, especially against the Elite 4 and Champion.

Route 15 might be by favorite route in the entire Pokemon series. It’s a combination of the leaves on the ground, the autumn atmosphere, and the music that really put me in a good mood. And then I love the music in the snow city right after it. I think I just like a lot of the back half of this game, design wise. The autumn and winter themes work really well.

Everything was going fine until I got to the Frost Cave. There, I ran into a random trainer with a Doublade, which not many Pokemon I had on my team had much of a counter for (really only Krookodile, but with her weak defenses I didn't want to swap her in). But then the trainer used Iron defense twice to shoot the defense stat up, and then Power Trick to swap physical offense and defense stats. Suddenly I was getting hit by Iron Heads that were taking massive chunks out of even Furfrou, so something had to be done quickly before this spun out of control. I tried to get in Chesnaught to Leech Seed it to wear it down over a battle of attrition, but two (!!!!) critical hits later, Chensaught went down. Krookodile then safely switched in and could outspeed the Doublade to land the killing blow, but my starter was headed for the Memorial box. The only saving grace here is that at this point Chesnaught was the least critical member of the team, since Lucario did the fighting thing better and had access to more useful moves, and Furfrou is a better defender, but still you don’t want to lose someone at this point that so much time and effort went into (and I had literally just spent a Heart Scale to teach him Hammer Arm).

After looking at my options, I swapped in my recently caught Litwick, which has better than expected defensive stats when fully evolved to Chandalure, and a sky high special attack, which I need. And I was wrong before about needing ice attacks or fairy attacks to kill dragons later – I already had Mr. Mime, who is part fairy now (I keep forgetting that happened in Gen 6), so I’m all set there. I still wanted a good water type, and my only options in-house were Poliwag and …..Wingull? I wasn’t impressed by my options, so I instead went and caught a Gyrados at Parfum Palace, which I hadn’t caught anything at yet (the only thing you can catch there is via fishing, and I don't think I even had a rod when I got there). This gave me a more than capable water type that I have a lot of experience with, although his slow experience growth rate is a bit annoying, especially since he’s about 10 levels behind my main team members.

This put me up to a party of six, and I don’t even know if I would stick with this entire team (it’s a lot o grinding now to keep everyone leveled), but it covers most of the types I usually like to have, which include Water, Ground, Psychic, and Dark. I also have a ton of immunities now, and with two Intimidates (Krookodile and Gyrados), I have more chances to get free or cheap switch-ins for my team, which solves some of the problems I was having earlier. Only problem with Chandelure is the moveset – Flamethrower only through a TM, and Shadow Ball only through TM that I get after the 7th gym or a Heart Scale, plus the Dusk Stone also can be obtained after the 7th gym. Made getting him up to speed kind of annoying, since he is only slightly better than dead weight until I get him better equipped.

The Psychic gym was an anticlimactic walk in the park. Krookodile, with her speed, attack, and STAB Cruch, made quick work of everyone in the entire gym. I think only one random Gardevoir survived more than one hit. Krookodile definitely comes off as one of those Pokemon who isn’t particularly flashy (ground types seldom are), but gets the job done (like ground types often do). Intimidate plus Dark type attacks make for a nice addition as well.

And now, because Pokemon games have to be about saving the world and not just being a kid who travels the continent with their Pokemon, I have to go keep Team Flare from wiping off most of the life on the planet. I think I will probably do two more of these; one to cover the fight with Team Flare and the 8th gym, plus preparations for the Elite 4, and then finally one write up for the endgame fights. Who knows what will happen?

Party
Furfrou (“Dogeminer”) lv. 47
Krookodile (“Suzie”) lv. 51
Mr. Mime (“Marcel”) lv. 48
Lucario (‘Mascot”) lv. 47
Lampent (‘Lumiere’) lv. 41
Gyrados (‘Destroyer’) lv. 36

Box
Fletchling (“BackupBird”) lv. 3
Skitty (“Tilt”) lv. 10
Illumise (“LadyLadybug”) lv. 13
Espurr (“Chewtoy”) lv. 14
Tyrunt (“Chomper”) lv. 20
Steelix (“Thumper”) lv. 20
Hariyama (“Yokozuna”) lv. 22
Wingull (“BurgerThief”) lv. 13
Trapinch (“AntDragon”) lv. 26
Onix (“StoneCold”) lv. 17
Karrablast (“Quixote”) lv. 30
Poliwag (“Record”) lv. 15
Skorupi (“Velagunder”) lv. 35
Phantump (“SleepyHollow”) lv. 35
Beartic (“Baloo”) lv. 40

Memorial
Spewpa (“Scattermoth”) lv. 9
Wartortle (“Leonardo”) lv. 19
Spoink (“Pearl”) lv. 13
Litleo (“Nala”) lv. 22
Hawlucha (“LuchaHawk”) lv. 25
Fletchinder (“Emberd”) lv. 26
Chesnaught (“Spike”) lv. 44

Enjoying these writeups, I'm particularly intrigued to see how the elite 4 go, because I am a pretty amateur-grade player who has trouble with them even without Nuzlocke run restrictions!

Farscry wrote:

Enjoying these writeups, I'm particularly intrigued to see how the elite 4 go, because I am a pretty amateur-grade player who has trouble with them even without Nuzlocke run restrictions!

Glad to hear people are enjoying these. I've got some ideas what I want to do with the Elite 4 writeup to have some fun with it at the end of my first Nuzlocke run.

Closing in on the end of my run, and made it up to the doorstep of the Elite 4. I’ve been setting up my team for success with all sorts of new moves, have been stocking up on healing items. Here’s the penultimate update.

Spoiler:

Starting my assault on Lysandre Labs, and Gyrados is immediately wrecking things. He’s a good 5-10 levels lower than the Pokemon he’s up against, but the sheer force of his stats (and Aqua Tail) is tearing through the competition. I wish I had had one of these guys sooner, since I always forget how much great they are at giving and taking hits. Lampent, however, wasn’t quite as solid. I tried switching him into one of the Admin’s Drapion, predicting it would Poison Jab or an Acupressure like it had the last few turns, to take advantage of its weakness to Flamethrower and to get Lampent a good experience bump; instead, Lampent switched into a supereffective critical hit Night Slash to the face and went down in one blow before he could do anything. Whoops. And for the record, I’ve always found Drapion to be annoying to face, since his types play well off each other.

The admin at the end of Lysandre Labs was another fight that threatened to spiral out of control. His Malamar had the fighting attack Superpower (which reduces the users attack and defense stat after usage) and the ability Contrary (which flips any stat changes), so losses are now gains. You guessed it, every time he attacks with it, he gets an attack and defense boost. I used Mr Mime here, who gets a 4x resistance to fighting, to get him to stop that and switch to using another move. Would have been nice to have a ghost right around now (cough Lampent cough), but I work with what I have. I threw up a reflect to take the edge off, healed up to cover myself, and then started whaling on him with Dazzling Gleam (which hits for neutral, since it’s immune to Psychic). He went down shortly thereafter, crisis averted.

The first Lysandre fight was a tough one, and I had to make judicious use of both Mr. Mime’s Reflect and a lot of hyper potions. That really seems to be a big part of surviving these fights: attack, heal, attack, heal, attack. Mr. Mime in general seemed to be the antidote to all of Team Flare: Psychic and Fairy attacks (plus the odd Thunderbolt) were supereffective against most of the Pokemon I faced.

I caught Xerneas with the Master Ball. Won’t use it, but didn’t want to drag that fight out.

Route 18 and the Terminus Cave were weirdly hard. All the enemies were at my level and some were using stat boosters like Sword Dance, so I wound up having to grind everyone a bit to get caught up to speed. And finally I’m getting a lot endgame moves and Tms to round out the team (like Shadow Ball, Brick Break, Waterfall, and Krookodile learning Earthquake). A lot of those Tms are usually mid game moves, so I guess I forgot that they come late in XY.

Wulfric went down without a fight; Lucario punched his way through the entire gym in one go, only needing to be healed once. I then went around and collected a few more Tms once I could use Waterfall, like Rock Slide, Stone Edge, and Dark Pulse.

I think the XY Victory Road might be my favorite in the series because of the atmosphere. Going through caves and outside through run down castles while overlooking valleys is a lot better than just caves and block puzzles. Although I can really only remember the Victory Roads from the first three generations at this point, so maybe some of the others are better. And it’s hilarious to me how badly Krookodile wrecks Serena (the rival) in this game. He’s immune or resistant to most of her Pokemon, and hit’s all of them with something supereffective, usually oneshotting her entire team.

I’m now up to the Elite Four, so there’s nothing left to do but grind up some more to get my team ready, and stock up on healing items.

Party
Furfrou (“Dogeminer”) lv. 62
Krookodile (“Suzie”) lv. 62
Mr. Mime (“Marcel”) lv. 61
Lucario (‘Mascot”) lv. 61
Gyrados (‘Destroyer’) lv. 63
Wingull (“BurgerThief”) lv. 13 (he has fly as I do end game wrap up)

Box
Fletchling (“BackupBird”) lv. 3
Skitty (“Tilt”) lv. 10
Illumise (“LadyLadybug”) lv. 13
Espurr (“Chewtoy”) lv. 14
Tyrunt (“Chomper”) lv. 20
Steelix (“Thumper”) lv. 20
Hariyama (“Yokozuna”) lv. 22
Trapinch (“AntDragon”) lv. 26
Onix (“StoneCold”) lv. 17
Karrablast (“Quixote”) lv. 30
Poliwag (“Record”) lv. 15
Skorupi (“Velagunder”) lv. 35
Phantump (“SleepyHollow”) lv. 35
Beartic (“Baloo”) lv. 40
Xerneas (“XxTREExX”) lv. 50
Ursaring (“RedBird”) lv. lv. 50
Bisharp (“Pierce”) lv. 50 (got from ingame trade)
Gligar (“Jersey Devil”) lv. 24
Lickitung (“GeneSimmons”) lv. 58

Memorial
Spewpa (“Scattermoth”) lv. 9
Wartortle (“Leonardo”) lv. 19
Spoink (“Pearl”) lv. 13
Litleo (“Nala”) lv. 22
Hawlucha (“LuchaHawk”) lv. 25
Fletchinder (“Emberd”) lv. 26
Chesnaught (“Spike”) lv. 44
Lampent (Lumiere”) lv. 41

And my first Nuzlocke run is over. How did I do? You’ll have to read on to find out.

This one got pretty long. Before I started, I typed out my team, my impressions of them, and my battleplan to try to win this thing. And once I started the gauntlet, I went ahead and jotted notes down as things went along and what I was thinking throughout.

Spoiler:

First, the opponents. There is the Elite 4 who specialize in a single type (Fire, Steel, Dragon, and Water), plus the Champion who has a mix of stuff, but ends with a Fairy/Psychic Mega Gardevior, who is the only one I’m particularly worried about since that damage output is ridiculous, and I really only have access to one good supereffective attack (Lucario’s Poison Jab) to use, so I expect to have to find another way. Generally when I play these games, I build my team thinking about who is going to match up with which E4 member or Champion, and I’ve done that here so I have some decent options. Obviously, I’m more limited in the Nuzlocke run. Still have a few gaps that I would prefer be filled in better ways, but I work with what I have.

Now, for my team.

Gyrados (“Destroyer”) lv. 67
My ringer. He’s been on the team the shortest amount of time, and I can’t Mega Evolve him, but if you’ve ever used one of these guys in a run you know what they are capable of and why they can be plugged into most teams and be a credit to the cause. Good to great defensive stats, Intimidate to reduce the opponent’s attack stat, sky high attack, more than acceptable speed, and a functional enough movepool. Waterfall for an accurate STAB move, Earthquake for the Steel types, and Ice Fang for the Dragons. And most importantly, Dragon Dance. That’s the clincher here, since, especially against most Champions, you’re probably not going to have one Pokemon who lines up against every single Pokemon they have since they have a good diversity; and since Nuzlocke has no free switches, whoever goes in there needs to hang around and do as much damage as possible. So I think Gyrados is my best bet to beat the Champion, since he can Dragon Dance up several times against someone who can’t kill him quickly, heal up, and then tear through a team untouched with overwhelming speed and attack. So I want to keep him alive til the Champion. If he dies before that, it could get ugly.

Lucario (“Mascot”) lv. 65
The backup plan if Gyrados goes down. The plan with him is equally simple; boost his attack with Swords Dance, Mega Evolve for the better speed, and try to not die too quickly. Stat boosters are probably going to be the difference between winning and losing for my team. And I would need the speed boost from Mega evolving, since the good mix of resistances doesn’t offset how fragile this guy is. He’s all the way physical attacks, with Close Combat (talk about becoming more fragile), Earthquake, and Poison Jab for Mega Gardevoir. But he can learn darn near every move, so if I need to slap some other attacks on him and use him for an unexpected battle (like giving him Dragon Pulse for the Dragon E4), I can. I expect to gear him up for each of the upcoming battles, in the chance he has to come in.

Krookodile (“Suzie”) lv. 67
Taking a look at the Elite 4, I think she’s going to get a lot of work in early on. I don’t want to risk Gyrados to early, so Suzie (a reference to Crocodile Rock, if anyone was ever wondering) will be taking point. And she seems to line up well. Between Earthquake and Rock Slide, she can handle the Fire E4 member, and outside of maybe Klefki isn’t really threatened by the Steel E4 member, so I think she gets both of them. Well, Scizor worries me a bit. She also gets access to Outrage and Dragon claw, so she’s probably my backup against the Dragon E4 member.

Mr. Mime (“Marcel”) lv. 67
Having never used a Mr. Mime before, my take is good type and ability, but mediocre stats. Don’t get me wrong, he has better defenses than Alakazam (who I compare him to in my mind since they were some of my options in the Kanto games), but his speed and special attack are inferior, so he often winds up taking extra hits because of that. From level up, he seems to get a bunch of support moves, so my guess is he’s better in 2v2 matches where his wacky movepool could be put to use. For now, he’s got the setup of Psychic, Dazzling Gleam, and Thunderbolt, and Reflect for survivability, but I can sub in Energy Ball and Shadow Ball as well for coverage. Because of the Grass and Electric attacks, he’s my best matchup for the Water E4 (less than ideal), and because of his Fairy typing he’s the best for the Dragon E4 member. He’s also the one I most expect to get bumped off to the reasons I mentioned above. With that in mind, I’ll probably do the Water E4 before the Dragon E4 since I have more backup options for the Dragon E4 member, so Marcel goes down I don’t have to scramble as much.

Furfrou (“Dogeminer”) lv. 65
She’s my stopper, and I’m sticking with her to the end one way or the other.

Several weeks ago when I started this, and realized that Furfrou actually had good physical defenses with his ability, I wondered how she might be useful in the end of the game when her offensive skills fell behind. And I came up with something that’s very simple.

Toxic + Protect.

Simple, no?

For those not familiar, this is incredible dirty and (ingame) incredibly effective, since as Toxic takes off bigger and bigger chucks of health, you can use Protects and healing items as you stall them out. I successfully used this a few years ago when replaying Crystal, when my Umbreon did this to half of Red’s team at the end of the game, when the Red’s team was about 20 levels higher than Umbreon was. Now, Umbreon is better defensively than Furfrou, but the principle still holds. I just need to max out the uses of Protect, be well stocked on healing items and ethers, and hope for no crits. The AI only has so many Full Restores and uses them predictably, so it’s a winnable battle of attrition if it comes to that. It probably won’t work against entire teams since I’ll run out of Protects (but maybe not healing items), but if I have to bring her in to stop the bleeding against someone if things spiral out of control, especially against someone like the Champion? I’ve got a plan, at least. Return is her main regular attack, but I don’t know if it will even get used.

Lickilicky (“GeneSimmons”) lv. 62
I caught this goofy dude in Victory Road, and quickly evolved him up. He has some shockingly solid defensive stats, sure, but his real purpose in life it to switch in and take hits while I heal someone, or to be killed so I can get a free switch to someone else. Any damage he can do is bonus. I went ahead and slapped Earthquake and Toxic on him, to give him something that can do damage, and to start up a war of attrition if he can’t. And he already knew Power Whip and Screech, which he might use for the Water E4 if Mr. Mime goes down because it amuses me.

So I think the order I want to tackle them is Fire (with Suzie) > Steel (with Suzie) > Water (with Marcel) > Dragon (with Marcel/all hands on deck) > Champion (with Destroyer).

With the plan in place, here we go.

Starting off I guessed the room wrong (the colors at the top of each room are faint and at an angle, so they’re hard to read), so first went with the Steel guy. Suzie was still up first, and Earthquaked both Klefki and Aegishield into obilvion. Scizor got in one good X-Scissor, which hit supereffective and took off ¾ of Suzie’s health. But, she didn’t follow it up with a priority move like Bullet Punch, so the second Earthquake hit first and took her down. I had to heal up against Probopass, but he stood no chance. The only reason that went more than one turn was because Sturdy saved him. So, first battle down by the numbers. And Suzie leveled up, since I gave her the Lucky Egg to maximize leveling.

Up next was the Fire lady, so Suzie was still on, with a few less uses of Earthquake to work with, but enough to do her job. Pyroar came out, only to go down to a quick Earthquake. Talonflame came out, and got off a Flare Blitz before eating a Rock Slide and going down. Torkoal came out and got sent back to his Pokeball before even moving. And Chandelure stood no chance to the earth shaking beneath her.

So that’s eight up and eight down for Suzie, with not even a full health bar of damage taken in return. It turns out a fast earthquake with a good attack stat behind it goes a long way. Didn’t see her as a key enforcer on my team when I caught her, but here we are.

Now for the Water guy, and for Mr. Mime to show me what he can do. I stuck both Thunderbolt and Energy Ball on him to cover as many double weaknesses as possible, and threw Grass Knot onto Furfrou as a backup option. Clawitzer was first, and could be 2HKOed with Thunderbolt, but even his water pulses were taking 40% of the Mime’s health so I started worrying about the mime's fragility. Got Clawitzer down taking only the one hit. Gyrados was next, and somehow Mr. Mime outsped him and killed him easily with a Thunderbolt. Barbaracle was third, and was one shotted with an Energy Ball. Starmie was last, who is well balanced enough to cause problems at any time. I healed Mr. Mime while waiting to see what Starmie would do. A light screen came to take the edge off my special attacks, which was less than ideal. I hit Starmie with a Thunderbolt which did a little under half the health, and Starmie then attacked with surf, which did around a third of my health, so a quick eyeball check of the health bars told me we could win a running battle. We exchanged another round of blows, and then both healed on the same turn. We resumed trading Surfs and Thunderbolts, but then the light screen faded, so on the next attack Starmie took off another third of Marcel’s health, but lost all of theirs in return. I honestly thought Starmie would hit harder than that; I guess Mr. Mime’s special defense was better than I thought (and Clawitzer’s special attack is significantly better than Starmie’s).

So, three down and no casualties. Marcel didn’t win as cleanly as Suzie had, but wins are wins. Up next be dragons, so Mr. Mime gets his chance to stay alive even longer. Up first was Dragalge (the poison/dragon), who I was actually a little worried about due to Mr. Mime’s weakness to poison. A Mind Plate boosted Psychic attack nearly killed Dragalge straight out, but that left a sliver of health, and a Sludge Bomb came back at me. However, Mr. Mime’s special defense (plus the ability Filter) meant that Mr. Mime only took about 40% damage from a supereffective hit. I made the opponent burn several Full Restores with a Psychic onslaught before Dragalge went down. Up next was Altaria, who nearly went down in one shot to a Dazzling Gleam herself. However, she used Sing and put me to sleep. I meant to use a Full Restore, but accidentally attacked again which accomplished nothing, but Altaria used a Moonbeam, which did negligible damage but lowered Mr. Mime’s special attack. I then healed, but along came another Moonbeam and another special attack decrease. Altaria went down to a couple of Dazzling Gleams, but Mr. Mime was largely rendered useless at this point with his special attack cut in half (I think that's how the calculations work). When Noivern came out, I switched to Gyrados for the easy Ice Fang kill, but in the process Gyrados took two Air Slashes and was under half health. Druddigon was the last opponent, and I switched to Suzie, to keep Gyrados safe and to hit Druddigon with an Intimidate. However, a Dragon Tail forced Suzie out and Furfrou in, which was not the matchup I had in mind. Still Toxiced him, and took only a sliver of damage from a supereffective Revenge attack. This is endgame stuff, and Furfrou is still shrugging the physical attacks off. It’s a thing of beauty. A couple of Returns and some poison damage later, Furfrou came out on top.

So as expected, the Dragon fight was kind of an all hands on deck affair, but I have a full team going into the Champion. And I’m feeling pretty good about where I stand, since I’m pretty well leveled, have a primary (Gyrados) and backup (Lucario) plan, plus and emergency release valve (Furfrou). This is the point where you see if your plans throughout the entire game will work; the rest up to this point are just the setup, and to see who makes it. As prep, I healed everyone one last time, gave Gyrados the Leftovers so he could auto-heal a bit while setting up his Dragon Dances, and taught Shadow Ball to Mr. Mime, since Thunderbolt wouldn’t be much use anymore and it could be useful against Gardevoir if it comes to that.

Gyrados lead off against the Champion’s Hawlucha. Gyrados’ Intimidate took the edge of Hawlucha’s Poison Jab, which let me get in two Dragon Dances before she Swords Danced to boost her own attack and Poison Jabbed again, poisoning Gyrados. I pushed my luck, and got in two more Dragon Dances, for a total of 4 boosts to attack and speed before using a Full Restore to heal up from low health. An eyeball test told me I could safely take that much damage, but of course if a crit lands then it falls apart very quickly. The Hawlucha Sword Danced again for a net of 3 boosts to her own attack, so I wasn’t going to risk taking any further hits; it was time to go for the sweep.

Critical hit Waterfall killed Hawlucha in one hit

Aurous came out and went down to one Waterfall

Tyrantrum went down to one Earthquake

Gourgeist came in, and Ice Fang missed her and she used the Ghost Type Dig attack, that renders them invulnerable for a turn. I took the opportunity to get in another Dragon Dance while waiting for the attack to come, which was shrugged off with the help of the leftovers. The second Ice Fang didn’t miss.

Goodra came in and was felled by a single Ice Fang

And in came Gardevoir, who Traced my Intimidate and bumped Gyrados’ attack down a stage to +4. She Mega Evolved, but a critical hit Waterfall did the work in one shot.

And with that, the battle, and my first Nuzlocke run, ended in victory at just under 34 hours. (beating AZ was a walk in the park at this point)

Everyone on the team pulled their weight over the course of the adventure, but I have to give special shout outs to Krookodile and Furfrou, neither of whom I had ever used in a game before. Krookodile was a do-it-all core part of the team whose combination of offensive stats, immunities, and ability made her an invaluable offensive and defensive fixture, and Furfrou for being the surprise dark horse for saving my run a couple of times. Got respect for the poodle now, when I had written her off as another generic normal-type mammal before.

Lucario turned out to be the most overrated part of the team; even with the resistances of the steel type couldn't save the fragile defenses in a game mode where I couldn't switch him in for free during a battle, and he really didn't want to be taking hits, so if he didn't lead off he probably was never getting on the field.

Wow, that final Champion battle went down more easily than I expected, good work!

I've never used Mr. Mime, so that was interesting to follow as well. And Furfrou, what a surprise, I've grossly underestimated that one's staying power.

I think the hardest element of the Nuzlocke run sounds like the "no free switching". I'm certainly a very proactive switcher, probably to the point where it's a bit of a crutch.

34 hours also sounds fairly quick, but I think most of my long playtimes in these games comes from extra time spent hunting & catching!

Farscry wrote:

I think the hardest element of the Nuzlocke run sounds like the "no free switching". I'm certainly a very proactive switcher, probably to the point where it's a bit of a crutch.

I’m normally happy to take the free switches, so it was a significant change in my play style and who I deemed viable to use. I didn’t think someone fragile like Fletchling was going to make it to the end, for instance. And I was right. The other hard part is releasing anyone who gets knocked out, since it’s hard to explain during the course of the normal game how many bad reads and random critical hits leave your Pokémon almost dead. More go the wrong way, and you have like two Pokémon left at the end of the game. Also why I was interested in getting a Gyrados during the run, since Dragon Dance and sweep is effective against a lot of boss characters.

And I wasn’t thinking about this before, but in the pregame analysis I had mentioned that Mr. Mime’s problem is he can’t straight knock out many opponents, then versus the dragon elite four the first two Pokémon he faced were left with a sliver of health and the subsequent incoming fire forced me to scramble. So I predicted that one without meaning to.

Still, I would recommend trying a Nuzlocke run to anyone interested. It’s a fun change of pace. I’ll probably try doing more in the future with some of the other games in the series.

Cleared the main story of Mystery Dungeon DX this past weekend, and wow, I didn't expect that there would be even more dungeons/content in the post-game than there are in the main story! And here I was, starting to feel a bit bummed that I was wrapping up the story and wanting to spend more time with my rescue team.

This game is absolutely massive. Very happy with it!

Yessir, PMD games go on infinitely, really. It's why I didn't buy the Switch remake and went back to Super PMD. Only 500+ Pokemon left to catch...

Well, we have a release date for the first Pokemon Sword/Shield expansion: June 17.
https://www.usgamer.net/articles/pok...

And it looks like they've announced a few new Pokemon as well, including some floating deer head thing, and Thunder and Dragon type Regis (Think Regice, Regirock, etc.) They may have announced these before, but this is the first I'm seeing some of them.
https://swordshield.pokemon.com/en-u...

Is anyone planning on getting this? It seems like it could be cool, but it's just not grabbing me atm. Maybe after the second expansion comes out and if the reviews are positive.

And the part where they lock new Pokemon behind an expansion is irritating, and kind of eats away at the whole Catch Em All thing. There were new Pokemon in each new generation, of course, but never in the third game/sequels that I can recall until they did it in UltraSun and UltraMoon with new Ultra Beasts. And they made getting Meltan and Melmetal in Pokemon Go a pain in the butt unless you bought one of the Let's Go games, although evolving Meltan is still a pain in the butt. So maybe this is just what they do now.

I picking up the expansion but only because my kids are both heavily into pokemon atm. If it was just me I wouldn't bother.

I'm just not a very big DLC player, I typically move onto something else rather than really double down on a single title.

I'm planning on getting this, it was a very welcome positive distraction for me when I initially played it, wouldn't mind spending more time in this world.

New Pokémon Snap. BOOM!

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/ne...

Oh, and the first of the DLC is out today as well.

Sundown wrote:

New Pokémon Snap. BOOM!

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/ne...

Oh, and the first of the DLC is out today as well.

Oh, nice. I have fond memories of the Pokemon Snap on the 64. I hope it's a concept that'll hold up today.

I'm honestly quite excited for this. I have no interest in the main series Pokemon games, but I loved Pokemon Snap. Trying to set up Pokemon for the best photos to max out your score was so much fun. A sequel has so much potential.

I'm stoked for Snap. The kids will love it.

I'm even more stoked for Smile, which will be PERFECT for my three year old. Already downloaded and ready to go!

Here's the trailer for New Snap, in case anyone doesn't want to dig through the Direct.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYuN...

I don't expect it to be open world, but it looks big and polished, which is all I really want from this. I do hope it's longer than the original, which I beat in an afternoon back in the day. But considering how many Pokemon there are to put into a game, I figure there'll be a decent amount of content.

Pokemon Snap is the perfect game to play with my 4 year old. Too bad it's difficult and expensive to get a Switch.

Sundown wrote:

I don't expect it to be open world

And thank god for that. Pokemon Snap is an arcade-style puzzle/shooter score attack game. Turning it into an open-world, exploration-based collectathon would be a completely different game from the original. It would be like turning Contra into a visual novel. I do want the game to be a bit longer, but let's not change it into something it's not.

The newest project, Pokémon Unite, just got announced, and it’s......a MOBA made in partnership with Tencent? Not totally sure what to think about this one yet.

Edit: here’s a link:
https://www.gamespot.com/amp-article...