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Gameplay Journal An Interesting Gen 3 Randomizer...

Discussion in 'Other Pokémon Games' started by DuoM2, Jun 13, 2022.

  1. DuoM2

    Groudon Egg
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    I FORGOT TO MENTION THIS IS POKÉMON EMERALD LMAO

    I doubt anyone remembers this, but almost two years ago almost down to the exact day, I posted a thread for a Nuzlocke I was doing that randomized everything and multiplied opposing trainers' levels by ~1.7x (e.g. the Level 5 rival battle becomes Level 9, etc.) Over the past few days, I've revisited the idea with the intention of actually finishing it. I've also added a small twist - every Pokémon's types, learnsets, and abilities are also randomized. Also did not want to do a Nuzlocke because of this twist.

    I'm going to go a bit more in detail about how everything works for those who are interested -
    - First off, as I mentioned, every trainer's Pokémon was multiplied by around 1.7x. I might have messed up the EXACT number since it's with a slider but in order for the randomizer to do this, I had to multiply them by 1.35x, then again by 1.3x. The sole purpose of this was to make the Champion's ace Level 100, which did end up working as I had hoped.

    - Every Pokémon's type combination is randomized and typically kept similar across evolutions. If you have a Fire-type for example, then evolve it, it might be pure Fire or it could have an added type like Fire/Dark.

    - Every Pokémon's level up learnset is changed. The moves a Pokémon learns will usually match one of their types, but not always. Something that is Steel/Ghost will normally learn Steel and Ghost moves, but there's still a chance it levels up and learns a Grass move for example. TMs were also randomized and it was randomized what could learn them.

    - Trainer Pokémon were randomized. Most trainers will have one central "type" themed around them, and every Gym will be pretty realistic in that each of its trainers will specialize in the same type. Both these and the randomized wild Pokémon will try to match the BST of the Pokémon they're replacing, so that wild Poochyena you find cannot be randomized into a Moltres, but a Caterpie would make sense.

    - Lastly, every Pokémon's color palette will be partially randomized. These will somewhat be based around what type a Pokémon is, but not always. Some colors that match a type aren't very obvious, and some are very similar to one another, like for example both Water and Ice could be blue, so there's no dead giveaways.
    With that out of the way, I'll mention that I'll be posting the actual gameplay itself gym by gym. I've completed this challenge already, but will just be using this to split up my posts. That means that there will be no images though unfortunately. Hope you guys enjoy reading, first post including the starter choice -> first gym will go up shortly!
     
  2. DuoM2

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    So immediately when I get into the game, I'm hit with a purple Hitmonlee from the Professor Birch intro, then try my best to speed through the beginning of the game. I had to reset a few times because of one or two details with the randomization not working properly, but eventually I got it working fine and got to choose my actual starters - a Gastly that was slightly more pinkish, a dark red Bulbasaur, and a very nice lavender Torchic. Gengar is probably my favorite final stage of the three options, but I wanted to go Torchic just because I really liked the new color scheme. With the knowledge of how the color palettes worked, I thought that the pinkish Gastly and Torchic could be Ghost, Poison, or Psychic, and I felt like Torchic with any of those types would be far more interesting than anything Gastly could take from that.

    First battle with the wild Pokémon attacking Birch apparently was not randomized, and I was fighting a Zigzagoon that looked almost the exact same as its shiny color scheme. My Torchic wasn't any of the three types I had guessed, but it was actually pure Normal. Really weird to say, but there's something about pure Normal Torchic that I really love here. It's a type combination that's completely out there in the most bland and basic way possible. The starting moveset had Rapid Spin and Body Slam on it.

    I click Body Slam and the Zigzagoon resists it, and I immediately realize how great it is to have a Normal-type for a challenge like this. It's neutral against a lot of things, but for the things that it isn't neutral against, it gives me a lot of info about my opponent. If they resist it like this Zigzagoon, that confirms the opponent has one or more of Rock and Steel, and that gives me that information about the whole Zigzagoon family. If they are immune, they are 100% a Ghost, no questions asked. And even with that, clicking Body Slam will work decently against everything else, so I already have a decent catch-all answer to whatever might come in my way.

    Once I get done with the Zigzagoon fight, I go off to fight May up north, and then I remember that I boosted the trainers' levels. She started with the Gastly and it was Level 9, while my Torchic hadn't even gained a level since I ran away from all of the wild encounters. I thought I technically had a chance until she clicked Psycho Boost and my Torchic died immediately. Ouch.

    I did have to grind for a bit, and I picked up a few things on some Pokemons' typings. Wooper was presumably pure Psychic as well, for example, since it had one Psychic type move and also was a purplish color. The one that really stuck out to me was a copper Metapod, once again almost exactly like its shiny, and its one move to replace Harden was Thunder Punch. It also resisted Body Slam, so that lead me to think it could've possibly been Rock/Electric. Sounded awesome, I took a mental note wanting to catch it later and moved on.

    I had to get to Level 9 before I challenged May again and won, then being able to move on and catch the Metapod like I wanted. I was extremely wrong about its type combination. This Metapod was Steel/Dragon, which was once again a very cool typing. It's especially nice having something like that in the early game because of all of the resistances even if Metapod's special attack stat isn't amazing.

    As I moved through the routes, I started to see the same few Pokémon over and over again. Most of the Poochyenas, Zigzagoons, and whatever else you'd see at this point in the game have very similar base stat totals, so the pool of Pokémon that could possibly be found here are very similar. Even though I could only use Electric and Normal moves with my current team, I could still gather a lot about opponents' types from those attacking moves, plus my opponents' learnsets and color. If there's a black and gray Seedot that resists Body Slam, you'd think it's Steel from that and would know to use Metapod. I had stuff like this for every Pokémon in the area and was able to memorize everything quickly.

    The level scaling made me very cautious with trainers, though. There was a fisherman just west of Petalburg City that in the base game had one Magikarp that was very high level because it just had Splash, but this randomized into a Steel-type Sentret. Because of the level curve, this was Level 16 and my team averaged at around 9. Thankfully this was an optional trainer, but I still challenged him once and lost.

    Another cool thing I quickly learned was that having a Normal-type that tended to learn completely random Normal-type moves was really cool. I had Body Slam as my main attack and the paralysis chance was great, but I later learned Weather Ball and Pain Split, which are two moves that you don't get to use often ingame, but were still great options at that point in the game given my limited options. Weather Ball proved to be really funny early on with the randomized abilities, since by sheer coincidence, just about every Pokémon in the early game that had something like Drought spawned a weather they were weak to. There was a Totodile that had Drizzle that I could always defeat easily since it ended up being part Ground.

    The Torchic also learned Odor Sleuth very early on, which was extremely important, as Metapod wasn't strong enough to take out the Ghost-types that came up shortly after. Specifically, there was an extremely dangerous Ghost-type Spinarak that had Blast Burn and could make quick work of my Metapod, which would have otherwise been my only option to damage it.

    Very soon before the first gym, my two Pokémon both evolved into Combusken and Butterfree. Nothing particularly interesting came of that in terms of types or ability changes, they both had the same types and kept bad abilities they had before, but the Butterfree had quickly gained some very interesting moves. Before the first gym, its moveset quickly became Thunder Punch / Ancient Power / Metal Claw / Iron Tail, which was all very nice coverage to have in the early game. Little did I know that Thunder Punch especially would be extremely useful.

    The first gym had randomized into a Water-type gym. Something really fun about gyms is that they always are a dead giveaway about part of the type combinations of many different Pokémon. Skitty, Corphish, and Kirlia were the three Pokémon used by the gym trainers, and every single one of them had a shade of blue and were weak to Thunder Punch. This also happened to make the gym very easy, as Butterfree's partial Dragon typing made it resistant to the Water-type attacks thrown its way and its stats were very high for this point in the game.

    Then I had to go up against Roxanne, and this is where the levels started to get especially crazy. Her first two Pokémon were both Corphish that didn't attack me, but her ace was an Onix. Very fitting with Nosepass being basically an Onix mirror. The thing with this Onix though is that it was Level 26. My two Pokémon were both ten levels below this monster.

    However, even this Onix wasn't a problem, and I knew it wouldn't be as soon as I saw it. Why? Well for those of you who don't know too much about base stats, Onix has that stereotype that a lot of Rock-types do where it has insanely high defense, but extremely low special defense. Thunder Punch is a special attack in Gen 3, and since Onix's attacking stats are both notoriously bad, there wouldn't be much it could do to stop me unless the randomizer was extremely unkind to my specific team. It would need to be Ground-type to block Thunder Punch or Fighting-type to hit me with a STAB Superpower or something, but neither of those were the case and the battle was won.

    TEAM RECAP
    Butterfree | Steel/Dragon | knows Thunder Punch, Ancient Power, Metal Claw, Iron Tail
    Combusken | Normal | knows Rapid Spin, Body Slam, Odor Sleuth, Weather Ball
    Whismur (low level HM fodder) | Dark | knows Skull Bash, Pursuit
    I don't have images unfortunately, might go back into the game to screenshot individual Pokémon but I didn't play the game with intention of making this post. There is one exception, though -
    So normally, during Wally's catching tutorial, it's very possible for the wild Ralts to defeat the Zigzagoon. It normally requires a critical hit or two, but it is possible. If this happens, the game progresses as if Wally caught the Ralts. However, that's not what happened to me.

    The catching tutorial was not randomized. The wild Ralts was a Water-type with STAB Crabhammer, and the Zigzagoon he used was Ground-type, as I learned through Thunder Punching it with Metapod. Zigzagoon also has Drizzle in this game. Needless to say, it fainted in one hit.

    But that's not where the story ends.
    upload_2022-6-14_2-45-6.png
    Yeah this is what happened to me. Wally doesn't have any more Pokémon, and for some reason, I had full control of this menu. Clicking yes made the game """send out""" a new Pokémon, either a Bad Egg or a blank space for a name. None of these things it sent out actually resulted in a Poké Ball being thrown out with the new Pokémon, the text just showed up and it prompted me to use next Pokémon once again. After clicking yes repeatedly, it eventually sent out a "Zigzagoon" with the same thing happening as the other two, no Poké Ball animation or other new sprites. The HP was still at 0, but it went back to the Fight / Pokémon / Bag / Run menu. Wally had control of the menu and clicked Fight, then nothing happened and the menu in the image popped back up again. Clicking No eventually let me run even though it kept trying to send out more stuff whenever I couldn't escape.
    Next post likely coming tomorrow!
     
  3. DuoM2

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    Next up, Brawly. There's not really much that happens between the first gym and the second, so this part in particular is going to be short. There is still stuff to note, however.

    First off, the optional May fight. Her Gastly was now a Haunter that was around Level 26, although I forget what other Pokémon she had. This Haunter was still insanely dangerous and ended up defeating my team pretty quickly after her first Pokémon did some minor damage to Butterfree. After that, though, something I was partially expecting ended up happening.

    At the end of my last post, I mentioned that I had a low-level Whismur that was only on the team for HM fodder? Well this Whismur is pure Dark-type, and the Haunter is pure Psychic-type. The Haunter knew Swagger, Trick, Psywave I think, and Imprison. Psywave cannot damage Dark-types, so her only way of damaging the low-level Whismur was through Swagger. One of the Whismur's attacking moves was Skull Bash, so I could raise my Defense to counterbalance my rising Attack stat and cushion the confusion damage. This was the one point in the game where I used healing items, and it was because I honestly just really wanted to see this moment happen. I had damaged the Haunter a decent bit with my Combusken and Butterfree beforehand, so Whismur could actually slowly take it down with Cut and Skull Bash. Didn't even need to get to struggle.

    Funny enough, I had something almost identical to this happen to me as a child. In vanilla HGSS, I had a Level 7 Togepi against Morty's Level 25 Gengar. Gengar can only damage Togepi with Sucker Punch, and Togepi could spam Charm and Growl while its PP lowered, or Extrasensory after it was out of Sucker Punch. Then the Gengar would struggle against Togepi, and provided they don't land a critical hit, the Togepi would be able to tank the Struggles. Really fun way of dealing with otherwise a relatively difficult Pokémon for child me.

    After that, I do all of the story stuff with retrieving Peeko and getting the Pokenav....not really many battles at all there, I had a few trainers on the route east of Rustboro but otherwise I found myself in Brawly's gym quickly. Once I scout out the type, I realize that it ended up not being randomized and was still a Fighting-type gym. Both of my team members are weak to Fighting. I thought this was enough of a problem to go out of my way and add a third team member, that being a Bug/Poison Marill I found in Granite Cave.

    At this point, I quickly realized how much of a pain grinding was in this game. I needed to raise this Marill to be Level 18 to evolve, and that would still be below my other Pokémon. That would also be well below even the average trainer of this game, much less the gym leader himself... But it still took a LONG time. I needed to look into where I could find the Lucky Egg in this game. Unfortunately, the only place you can find Lucky Eggs is through wild Chansey and Blissey, and this is a randomizer. I could use the Area tool in the Pokédex to find them once I've seen one of them in a battle, but I haven't seen either of them yet and likely wouldn't for a while. So I was stuck.

    At a certain point though, the Marill evolved. Azumarill isn't bad ingame even without Huge Power, and this one especially had an amazing moveset with Megahorn and Sludge Bomb already, so I felt good about my chances. On top of this, my luck with Butterfree's moveset kept going further, and it ended up learning Dragon Rage. I meant to ban this from low level Pokémon when randomizing, but I didn't, so I was lucky to be able to reap the benefits of that. I was Level 20 at this point, but I could still 2HKO just about everything I wanted to.

    Another thing worth mention with this Azumarill is that I trained it with the intention that it would be a temporary team member, only for important fights where it was needed. My team was not ready for a third Pokémon because that would spread the EXP gain way too thin for this point in the game. I kind of needed it for this fight, though, and it could come in handy if there's another gym leader where I needed help somewhere down the line.

    Going into Brawly, I forget what his first Pokémon was, but he ended up having two Wingull after that, the better of which was Level 31...and somehow, my Butterfree solod the whole gym with Dragon Rage! The reason for this was because that by a stroke of luck, none of his Pokémon knew any Fighting-type moves. Or at least, I thought it was luck in the moment. I would later realize that it wasn't, and that Roxanne had a similar issue, but I'll get into that later.

    I was a bit happy, a bit surprised, and mostly upset by this outcome. It's great that I didn't have to spend as long as I had thought on the battle, but at the same time, I had just spent all that time grinding up a Pokémon that I didn't even need, and I could have to do it again if I expected the team to struggle. I didn't really expect the team to come into any other major issues though, since Fighting was the big problem matchup. Pure Normal Combusken is still a decent catch-all, and wherever it struggles, Butterfree can come in clutch.

    Otherwise, that's it for Brawly. Memory may get a bit spottier over what happened at these next parts, and I'll be able to get the big picture for most of it, but might mess up some minor details. Next one will be posted soon!

    TEAM RECAP
    Butterfree | Steel/Dragon | knows Thunder Punch, Ancient Power, Dragon Rage, Iron Tail
    Combusken | Normal | knows Rapid Spin, Body Slam, Odor Sleuth, Weather Ball
    Whismur (low level HM fodder) | Dark | knows Skull Bash, Pursuit, Cut
    Azumarill (on standby) | Bug/Poison | knows Megahorn, Sludge Bomb, Twineedle, Pin Missile
     
  4. DuoM2

    Groudon Egg
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    Gonna do another right after!
    The journey to Wattson was much more interesting than to Brawly. A lot more happened.

    First off, something I should mention is that I gave my starter a Mach Bike when randomizing them so I could navigate more quickly. I didn't know how to speed up the game at the time, but this did end up being pretty nice. This actually had a pretty funny, yet minor sequence break. Since I had a bike early, I could ride up the Cycling Road and completely skip that route, which meant I could choose when I would be able to do that notoriously difficult May fight. However, that wasn't even the issue here.

    At the start of that route, there was a VERY difficult double battle that I could not skip. They lead with a Raichu and a Pelipper, both of which were very annoying. Pelipper was a Fighting-type with a proper moveset, and it had a much higher level than most average trainers. Because this fight basically had the first competent fully-evolved Pokémon I'd seen in this game, that made it much bulkier than the other surrounding trainers, all while being capable of dealing big damage to whichever of my two teammates it wanted to.

    What's worse, the Raichu basically just spammed Mud-Slap the whole fight and I forgot I had my Azumarill and Whismur in the PC. Why did I put them there at all? I don't even remember and couldn't even whip out a random guess. I had more Pokémon as well that I had caught to check their typings, so this was deliberate. The point is though, my two Pokemons' accuracy would be down for this whole battle.

    To make things even worse, the trainer with the Raichu also had a Ground-type Seadra with Earthquake. This always knocked out Butterfree at the points in each battle where I got to it, and it always 2HKOd Combusken. In order to beat it, I would have to act quickly, which is kind of impossible with the constant Mud-Slaps I'd have had to deal with to get there. If I choose to defeat the Raichu first, then I would have both the Pelipper and the Seadra to deal with at the same time, which would also be a massive problem.

    However, I didn't consider it against my own rules to use the Mach Bike to go up the Cycling Road and avoid this double battle. I didn't give myself the Mach Bike knowing this would be possible, I just wanted to move around fast, and call it a cop out, but I didn't really want to deal with this fight given my team's current situation. A lot more can go wrong in a double battle where the opponent's team is significantly stronger than yours. So I didn't even really need to think twice, Cycling Road it was.

    On the way up, I saw a Shroomish that had Intimidate and was immune to Body Slam. I used Odor Sleuth on it, and it resisted it, which meant it was either Rock/Ghost or Steel/Ghost. Either a very unique or a very strong typing. I sent out Butterfree and used Iron Tail to confirm that this was indeed a Steel/Ghost-type. With Intimidate. On something with an insanely high Attack stat. That sounded like an awesome Pokémon and I felt like I needed one on my team as soon as I could possibly get it.

    I checked the Area feature on the Pokédex, and it was actually not too far away! It was on the route just north of Mauville. This could have meant it was either a fishing encounter, a surfing encounter, a Rock Smash encounter, it could be found in the grass in that route, or it could be found in the Sandstorm area. Ideally it was fishing so I could get it quickly, but worst comes to worst, I get it after the fifth badge.

    I also checked the Pokédex to see if there was anything else I wanted. I caught a Psychic-type Cleffa earlier that I didn't want to evolve with friendship, so I checked the Pokédex and saw that Clefairy also was on the same route as Shroomish. Cool. More of a chance I get something sooner. I may not be using them until I feel like the level curve allows for it, but it'd still be nice not having to wait to catch it.

    Either way, I started deliberately avoiding trainers until I got to Mauville so I could check that route to see if I could find either of those Pokémon, or potentially something else interesting. No such luck. But since my next Pokémon would be part Steel, and since Butterfree always kinda was an early-game Pokémon, I figured I would stop training Butterfree and put a bigger focus into training Combusken. Butterfree would still be on the team, but I wouldn't use it in battles unless I needed to, and every bit of EXP possible would be going straight to Combusken.

    I fought Wally, and he had a...Weedle...nice. I knocked it out in one hit. Never learned what typing it was. Moving on.

    After fighting a few of the trainers with Combusken, but leaving plenty for any new team members, I felt like going straight to Wattson because I was eager to see if either of the new Pokémon were in the grass in the route up north. I had no idea what type his team was, but felt like going into the battle anyways. I would be using Butterfree here since there was no way Combusken would be doing this on his own.

    First Pokémon comes out and it's a Clamperl, which I found out earlier was part Ghost. I had no idea what its other type was, but it resisted Thunder Punch, so this was a job for Dragon Rage. Not a particularly difficult Pokémon to deal with. Next up was Ditto, though, which I was confident in being pure Dragon from earlier fights. This was a difficult Pokémon to deal with, as while Ditto only knows one attack in a randomizer like this, that one attack was Brick Break, which my team struggles against. But then something started to hit me.

    The Ditto used...Transform? Okay, not complaining, but that is a bit weird. Then he sent out a Politoed that used Hypnosis and Perish Song, an Umbreon that used Mean Look and Pursuit...what's going on here? Well, when creating this file, I had to put the game through multiple randomizers to get all of the desired results, and it seems like I randomized the movesets of the Pokémon after randomizing their typings and the trainers that had them. For the rest of this battle and only this battle, the movesets will be the same. But after this, I would have to re-randomize the game. This would have a few unfortunate side effects.

    For one, gym types that already were used might pop up again. Water, Fighting, and Dragon were now back on the table for the rest of this game. I still don't know what the new typings of the first three gym leaders are, and it doesn't really matter at this point. All that I need to know is that it's possible for the types to repeat so I don't write off any other Pokémon's or Gym's typings. Second, this may slightly change the BST range possible for randomized Pokémon. It might be possible for random trainers to have legendary Pokémon where they wouldn't have otherwise. This isn't a major problem, since the new range isn't massive, but did cause a few hiccups in the gameplay.

    Otherwise, the gym battle wasn't too bad, but definitely was harder than the earlier gym fights. Clamperl was easy enough, since it had Water moves and had a very low HP, so Dragon Rage was an easy kill. After that, I would go out to Combusken for the Ditto, since Body Slam's big paralysis chance was a big help in the mirror match. One Body Slam as it transformed took it down to red, and it had to heal, meaning that I would always have at least two Body Slams, which in total means a ~50% chance for it to be paralyzed before it can do anything. Then it has to win a Speed tie to even land an attack. Worst that can come out of this is that the Ditto wins that Speed tie and paralyzes me.

    After that, Combusken stayed in for Politoed. Combusken's ability is Early Bird and this is one of two places in the whole playthrough that this even came up. The Politoed would normally spam Hypnosis until it worked, then Perish Song, then I think use Double Slap but it hardly mattered because its attacks didn't do much damage. It would normally live for a while because of Politoed's high natural bulk and the fact that it was very overleveled. I would chip it with Body Slam where needed, but Wattson was able to switch out when our Perish counts hit 1.

    Lastly, Butterfree had to come out to fight a Level 42 Umbreon. My Butterfree was Level 27 and Combusken Level 30. Dragon Rage happened to be my best way of damaging Umbreon, which as you'd imagine by the level, did not do much damage. Umbreon's best way of hurting Butterfree was through Confuse Ray, since Pursuit and Quick Attack did very little. A very slow fight, but one I could consistently win.

    After that, I had two Pokémon remaining against a Politoed who only posed any threat thanks to Perish Song. A pretty easy way to finish the fight. This whole battle was slow and tedious from the latter two Pokémon being the big threats, but it was never hard. It took me two attempts in total to finish this fight, and that was only because both the lack of planning and unfortunate Body Slam paralysis from the Ditto. Still, not complaining!

    Hope you're ready for the journey to Flannery, because that's where things get real interesting.

    Butterfree (On standby) | Steel/Dragon | knows Thunder Punch, Ancient Power, Dragon Rage, Iron Tail
    Combusken | Normal | knows Rapid Spin, Body Slam, Odor Sleuth, Weather Ball
     
  5. DuoM2

    Groudon Egg
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    This in my opinion is where the run get interesting again, probably the most since the beginning of the game when I was getting a feel for everything's typings.

    If you read the last part, I had two Pokémon I wanted to get on the Route north of Mauville, those being Clefairy and Shroomish. They could be in a number of places, between the water, the sand, the grass, or smashable rocks. I could check the rocks now that I had the third gym badge, but in those there was nothing but Jigglypuff. I then checked the grass and still didn't find either of them.

    Instead, I did end up finding and catching a Tentacool. This Tentacool's body was fully a reddish color and Tentacruel is my favorite Pokémon, so I thought it would be interesting. This Tentacool ended up being pure Fighting and knowing Jump Kick right out of the gate, as well as Mud Shot as somewhat redundant, but still appreciated coverage. I decided that this would be my next teammate just because I like Tentacruel, but little did I realize that this probably wasn't the greatest choice.

    When I went to train it against the trainers I had skipped before, its power seemed passable. Tentacruel's Attack and Sp. Atk stats are not far off from one another, so I felt this would be fine. I realized that Jump Kick may be the strongest attacking move that it ever learns, but decided to stick with it anyways, thinking that would be the only concern. However, I failed to realize that I was comparing Tentacool to unevolved Pokémon that were the same level as it. Once the levels would really start rising and the Pokémon started to get bulkier, Tentacruel's higher Attack stat would not be able to keep up. I didn't realize any of that in the moment and just kept going onward.

    This portion of the game is the first major trek from one point to another. Going all the way from Mauville to Meteor Falls, then up the gondola to descent from a mountain to reach Lavaridge is all a lot more than anything I've had to do thus far. A lot of it wasn't really that noteworthy, but Combusken did evolve before I got to Fallarbor. I also noticed that a trainer's Pikachu was using Spikes, a pretty interesting move for a game with a level curve like this, so I kept note of that and went to see where to catch it. It was...the same route as Shroomish and Clefairy. Nice.

    Once I got to Fallarbor though, something interesting happened. I had forgotten that I had two new settings for this game. You could now not only buy as many evolutionary stones as you wanted, but you could also buy as many Heart Scales as you wanted. This made me wonder where the Move Relearner was, and I quickly realized he was in this very city. This had the potential to be absolutely amazing, and it did not disappoint. Because pre-evolutions and evolutions learn different level up moves, I went to check Blaziken with the Move Relearner, and it had some absolute gold hidden in its level up learnset.

    First off, Heat Wave. Normally I used to rely on Odor Sleuth with Body Slam to deal with Ghost-types, and this was especially pressing with Butterfree not being trained anymore. This was a one-turn method of dealing with many Ghosts, although there were things like the Clamperl earlier that resisted it, I would still take this over Odor Sleuth any day. Goes without saying that Odor Sleuth was the move I replaced.

    Second off, and significantly more importantly, SKETCH. This move is incredible and might be even better than it sounds for some of you. In case you don't know, once you Sketch a move, even if you learn it only once by level, you can teach it again as long as you don't have Sketch itself as one of your four moveslots. This meant I could give Blaziken any move that I could find for it. ExtremeSpeed, Spore...you name it. I quickly taught it this over Rapid Spin.

    And wouldn't you know it, the dig guy gave me the TM for ExtremeSpeed. Because I didn't randomize TM learnsets by type. Blaziken unfortunately could not learn it directly. All this basically meant is that I had to wait to teach it that, since Tentacool couldn't learn it and one of my final teammates might, which was fine by me. The fact that it would be easy to get was more than enough to tide me over until the day inevitably came.

    As I was on the route near Meteor Falls, my Tentacool evolved as well, and it ended up changing its color palette. Its gemstones in its head were now blue, which made me wonder if it had become part Water-type. Immediately after I ask myself this, it starts to learn Crabhammer. Awesome. You might think it'd be disappointing to me that this thing shares a type with its base game self, but I personally don't mind at all. It being Fighting-type is enough of a difference for me to use the Pokémon differently, and that's what I appreciate.

    I had to backtrack a bit to go up the mountain, where I fought Maxie. This is where the difficulty began to spike hard. His lead was a Bug/Fighting Dusclops that had Speed Boost, and this was a massive problem. Tentacruel wasn't strong enough to damage it quickly, and Blaziken had Heat Wave, but would faint to a single Fighting move. This Dusclops was Level 42, and my team's levels were still around 32 and 38 respectively, with Butterfree still being usable at less than 30 if I needed it. I didn't want to beat this fight with items if possible, so I started to rack my brain for ideas on how to beat this, and I eventually did come to a solution.

    I would lead Tentacruel and hit it once with a Crabhammer and then Mud Shot it repeatedly. The Dusclops was fast enough to outspeed Blaziken after a few Speed Boosts, and Mud Shot counterbalanced that, while Crabhammer did a decent chunk of damage. After that, they would hopefully be below half of their max HP by the time they could take out Tentacruel and Blaziken could beat it from there. It took me a while to devise this plan when thinking about the rest of my options, but it did eventually work. After that, Maxie sent out Lickitung, which I could deduce was also a Bug-type from some bright green markings on its chest. Heat Wave OHKOd easily and Blaziken outsped Lickitung, making it a very consistent part of the fight.

    Last up was Gardevoir, who I had no idea even had a secondary type until this fight revealed that it's Bug/Water. I click Body Slam against it, which takes it down to about half, and then it attacks with Octazooka. Since their movesets match the Pokémon's level up moveset up until that point, and the random level up movesets don't teach higher power moves later, this was the best it could do. It could also set up Tail Glow but it really wasn't an issue. Blaziken ended up winning this 1v1 as well because of Octazooka's low power, and this is something that could easily happen again later in the game. So not a terrible fight, but definitely leagues harder than anything else up until this point.

    As I go down the mountain, I come across a Larvitar that looks almost identical to its original appearance. I catch it because I'm curious about its typing in particular, and it ended up being Bug/Electric. This is a pretty cool one in my opinion, especially for something with the stats of a pseudo legendary Pokémon. In addition, one of the other changes I made to the randomizer was that every Pokémon evolves at Level 40 at the latest, meaning it would actually be feasible to use Tyranitar at a decent point in the playthrough. I caught this and added it to the team.

    This Larvitar actually had a pretty amazing starting moveset. Thunder Wave, Thunder, Silver Wind, and Blaze Kick. That coverage is very nice, and Thunder Wave was really cool for all the catching I'd be doing soon, plus you have a stronger STAB move that's less consistent and a weaker one you can just throw out if you have nothing better to do. I like a moveset like this ingame, although it's obviously not perfect and more would need to be added as I got later in the game. The Move Relearner didn't help unfortunately, as I expected, since this Larvitar wasn't super high level when I caught it.

    The Move Relearner did kind of give me a terrible idea though. I wanted to give Tentacruel Cross Chop instead of Jump Kick because I didn't want to randomly Jump Kick a ghost and lose a ton of HP. I may know a lot of Pokémon's typings, especially whether or not something is Ghost thanks to the Normal and Fighting moves my team has, but I'm not perfect and don't want to make that mistake. Plus, 80% accuracy can't be that bad, right?

    In hindsight, I wish I never thought about this. 80% accuracy WAS that bad, and I didn't even get much benefit from it. I almost never actually had issues from a random Ghost-type in the face of Cross Chop, and for the cases I did, they were mostly unimportant trainers that I could beat with ease anyways. Even if it was an important trainer I did this against, I'm at the point in the game where I have to scout teams for strategies anyways. This would just be another thing that would need to be scouted. The added crit bonus of Cross Chop hardly ever came into play, either.

    At this point, I needed to train Larvitar to around the level my Tentacruel was, so I did this. It evolved into Pupitar, and that gave me access to some incredible moves through Move Reminder. My new moveset was Thunder Wave, Megahorn, Thunderbolt, and Ice Beam. Don't ask me how I got all of that, because that was just about the best I could've possibly asked to come out of that. Absolutely zero complaints.

    My Blaziken's level was still very far above the other two team members and I didn't particularly feel like training those two up to its level at this point. With that, I realized it'd probably be a decent idea to deliberately overlevel Blaziken and keep everything else close to one another. Having a Pokémon that's decently fast at such a high level would be nice, especially because of the catch-all nature of having a Normal-type with coverage for Steels. It would be pretty easy to rely on something like that in most situations where I'm struggling.

    The first thing I have to mention with Flannery's gym is actually not the Gym Leader herself, but two of the trainers within the gym. This was a Normal-type gym where one of the trainers had a Normal/Electric Regirock, and another had a Normal/Poison Articuno. This was my first time seeing any legendary Pokémon in the game, and I have no idea how it happened twice. I expected that to happen when I fought Norman. Probably had something to do with me randomizing the trainers twice.

    Regirock actually caused me a lot of trouble, more than I was expecting from any gym trainer. Regirock is known for its absurdly high Defense stat, and being a higher level than my entire team, that ended up causing some major issues. My only special attacks that could hit it were either not STAB-boosted or were coming from Tentacruel, who could not withstand a Volt Tackle. As it turns out though, using Heat Wave from Blaziken did more than Body Slam. I learned this a little too late and ended up blacking out here.

    Coming back, I lead with Pupitar and paralyzed it, then repeatedly using Ice Beam before it took me down. Next up I sent out Blaziken. It seems like a no-brainer to send out Tentacruel against this for its Fighting moves, but trust me, Heat Wave does WAY more than Cross Chop. It actually is a 4HKO, but it had Milk Drink, meaning I had to be a bit lucky with either proper paralysis turns or a critical hit. It would only use Milk Drink if it was below half of its max HP when the CPU clicks the move, so it would normally be at around a quarter of its max HP when it was able to use the move. It didn't take me too terribly long to win this battle, I won on my second attempt after some stall wars and I didn't even need to bring out Tentacruel.

    The Articuno was no trouble. The real issue with Regirock was its absurd Defense stat and healing, but since this Articuno didn't have nearly the same extremities, it wasn't really a big issue. It did take longer than the average Pokémon to take down because of its high bulk and level, but still, didn't even lose to this thing or need any kind of strategy.

    Flannery, and I say this with yet another trainer, was gearing up to be the hardest fight so far. Her lead was a Smoochum, which was an easy knockout, but after that her team got more and more threatening. Her ace was a Level 51 Normal/Electric Slowking, and she also had a Normal/Fighting Venomoth and a pure Normal Primeape with Hidden Power Fighting and Double Team. You might be able to see what the issue is there. Many Fighting moves is bad news for this team, but Slowking was actually the worst part of this fight. It was insanely bulky and had access to many powerful Electric moves, strong enough to take out even my Electric-resistant Pupitar pretty easily. This was a fight that I had to plan carefully and make many attempts to execute the plan as well as possible.

    Tentacruel would first take a Blizzard from the Smoochum and knock it out easily because of its Fighting weakness and paper-thin defense. I opted not to use Cross Chop because Tentacruel's HP wasn't the most important thing out there for this battle. Tentacruel being out early would bait Slowking to come in, and I'd sent out Pupitar and click Thunder Wave. If Zap Cannon or Thunder miss, then the battle is very much in my favor from this point on, but the big choke point isn't quite done yet.

    Once it's paralyzed, I can send out Blaziken and begin spamming Body Slam, which much like Heat Wave with the Regirock, 4HKOs. Through paralysis turns and inaccurate moves, this would normally be fine enough for my Blaziken to win the exchange, sometimes even completely unscathed. This was by far the biggest problem with the fight. This part came down purely to luck, and although it felt like a lot could've went wrong for me, it felt somewhat often that I would get past this point, but for many of those tries I still was planning out what to do against the other Pokémon.

    For Venomoth, I'd send out Tentacruel. A Fighting move would put it in range of a Potion, so I would use Crabhammer and let Tentacruel faint so I could get an easy chance to send in Blaziken. This Crabhammer put it in range to be knocked out by a Body Slam. After that was Primeape, who would always Double Team turn 1. This gave me a free chance to Thunder Wave with Pupitar, who also happened to resist Primeape's strongest attack. From there, it was down to Blaziken and Pupitar to be able to hit it through the possibly several double teams.

    My winning run was just about flawless in RNG even though it didn't need to be, since I was done devising my plan. Slowking didn't land a single hit on Blaziken, and Pupitar had good luck and hit Primeape below half of its max HP, so it was down to Blaziken hitting it through Double Team. It kept spamming Double Team more, and it did use Hidden Power once, but Blaziken being at full meant it could survive and take it down with a Body Slam.

    So that fight was hard in an enjoyable way. Some of the RNG could be frustrating for sure, but not as much as it was enjoyable for me to find an optimal strategy to deal with this fight. It felt extremely fair and like the team had gaps in it that I could learn about and exploit, but was still threatening enough for it to not be easy. This was a little bit foreboding, though; would the game become just impossibly difficult as I went on? I'd figure out for myself soon enough. For now, I was just looking forward to catching three new potential teammates.

    Blaziken | Normal | knows Weather Ball, Body Slam, Sketch, Heat Wave
    Tentacruel | Fighting/Water | knows Mud Shot, Cross Chop, Vital Throw, Crabhammer
    Pupitar | Bug/Electric | knows Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, Megahorn, Ice Beam
    Butterfree (On standby) | Steel/Dragon | knows Thunder Punch, Ancient Power, Dragon Rage, Iron Tail
     
  6. DuoM2

    Groudon Egg
    (Groudon Egg)
    Level 10
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    Put simply, most of what happens here relates to my team. Norman was still a difficult fight, but there was a lot of teambuilding stuff that came before then.

    Firstly, just for fun, I was able to get the Claw Fossil and the Wynaut Egg and just wanted to see what both of them were. The Claw Fossil was a Dragonair, which was Poison/Flying, and the Wynaut Egg hatched into a Skarmory, which was Water/Flying. Cool, but I wasn't especially interested in either of those, especially since I had two, possibly three new teammates coming up soon.

    All three of Pikachu, Clefairy, and Shroomish were caught in the Sandstorm area of that one route, though. Don't even know how that happened, but I'm glad none of them were super late in the game or anything like that. I was also able to evolve all three of them just about immediately, too, since Shroomish evolves in the early 20s and I was able to buy the evolutionary stones for both Pikachu and Clefairy. Before this, I went to Fallarbor Town to make sure I could give them the move reminder moves and TMs that they would have wanted to use the most.

    For my Steel/Ghost Shroomish, it weirdly learned almost no Steel or Ghost-type moves before it evolved into Breloom. The one exception was Iron Tail at Level 22, one before it evolved. After evolving, though, I gave it Steel Wing and Shadow Ball through Move Reminder. The one move that had kept the same since I had caught it was Super Fang, which I felt would be useful given how high-leveled the Pokémon I fought would be.

    For my pure Psychic Clefairy, there unfortunately weren't very many options. It learned Extrasensory, Psycho Boost, Thunder Punch, and Soft-Boiled through its level up moves, but there really wasn't much else I could give it. There weren't even any meaningful TMs it could learn, and this kind of stayed the case throughout the rest of the game. Pretty unfortunate honestly, this thing just ended up becoming a Psychic move machine because Thunder Punch isn't very strong.

    For Pikachu, I wasn't even certain if I'd use it until I learned it was Normal/Ground, which immediately reminded me of my ExtremeSpeed TM. Pikachu couldn't learn it, but Raichu could. Before this, I had to raise it to Level 26 for Spikes, and it already had Earthquake in its moveset so I didn't have to worry about that. I also taught it Rock Tomb from a TM, and then used Blaziken's Sketch to copy ExtremeSpeed. Now I had two Pokémon with STAB ExtremeSpeed, which could prove highly valuable in a pinch.

    Side tangent about the Rock Tomb TM - a setting I included was to make the TMs you get have 95 copies to emulate what the newer gens do in making them "infinite." The game only did this for a few TMs I ever got. Rock Tomb and Zap Cannon were the two I remember, but there was a third that probably was even more worthless. Unfortunate but it didn't really end up changing too much anyways, most of the TMs I got weren't that useful.

    Next step was grinding the rest of my team members up to around where Tentacruel and Pupitar were. This took some time because I had no Lucky Egg. At around this point in the game, I was able to check where Chansey was since I had seen it in a battle, and it was in Pacifidlog Town. So I had to get Surf, and technically didn't need to beat Winona, but didn't really want to sequence break that hard. So I just grinded everyone to Level 35ish.

    With all of that done, I was able to go fight Norman. His gym was Steel-type and it proved to be pretty difficult. Because of the similar BST randomization, there was a very high chance I had to fight two legendary Pokémon here, and sure enough, he had two Level 50+ Steel-type Moltres. They both had Steel STAB, Thunder Punch for Tentacruel, and Speed Boost because why wouldn't they at this point? The Gym also had a Bug/Steel Dugtrio and Lickitung, but those were hardly issues.

    I would lead with Pupitar and paralyze the Moltres, but then what? Go into Raichu and die to a Metal Claw, or Breloom and die to Thunder Punch? I had no plan for this. I don't think I ever came up with a full strategy for the whole fight. Lickitung and Dugtrio both lost to a single Blaziken Heat Wave, and Dugtrio got a free hit in but would normally only use Iron Defense, so the Moltres tag team was the hard part. Dealing with two identical, powerful Pokémon when your team had no healing items was HARD. Pupitar may have been able to soften up one of them, not even beating it on its own, but that then left me with nothing against the second, higher-leveled one. This, once again, was the hardest fight in the game up until that point.

    I don't remember exactly what happened, but on the attempt I won, things went horribly wrong with the first Moltres. I was able to paralyze it with Pupitar and it deals little damage back, then immediately go out to Breloom. It took heavy damage from Thunder Punch, but Intimidate lowered its Attack a little bit. I ended up going to Raichu, who fainted after getting some decent damage off, and then I went Tentacruel who also took heavy damage, but did finish the job. One Moltres down and half of my team is either fainted or heavily damaged, and those Pokémon that are damaged are extremely important to my team.

    Because the Tentacruel finished it off, Norman immediately sent the other Moltres out to revenge kill with Thunder Punch. I was able to paralyze it again with Pupitar, then using both Pupitar and Clefable to chip down the Moltres. After those both went down, I sent out Blaziken again. With the chip done, Blaziken was able to defeat the second Moltres, but not before taking serious damage and becoming paralyzed from a Thunder Punch. Blaziken and Breloom were both very weak and happened to be my last Pokémon standing. Rough situation.

    Lickitung came out next and it clicked Iron Defense as I clicked Heat Wave, simple enough. But then came Dugtrio, who I was actually moderately scared of after the scouting attempts. I went Breloom, but it was too weak to take repeated hits and I couldn't risk losing Blaziken in an attempt to Intimidate spam, so Breloom went down. If Dugtrio clicked Megahorn on Blaziken then it was over, and it did - but it missed, and I was able to OHKO with Heat Wave.

    Very tough battle that I got pretty lucky to get past. Even had I not been paralyzed the outcome wouldn't have changed, that Megahorn miss was crucial. My strategies had not been perfected yet because this battle had a lot of overwhelming difficulty that made it hard to learn, but I got kind of a free pass on this one. The next fights would not be the same, though, and I had to go into them with this in mind.

    After the battle, I set Clefable and Raichu to the back of my party, only for use in important battles. My other team members are all far too important or are already established parts of the team. They're still on my team at all times, but I don't pull them out unless there's an emergency. Also, because I have a full team now and Tentacruel doesn't learn Surf, I had to give Pupitar Surf over Ice Beam :c

    Blaziken | Normal | knows ExtremeSpeed, Body Slam, Sketch, Heat Wave (i went back to teach it sketch again btw)
    Tentacruel | Fighting/Water | knows Mud Shot, Cross Chop, Vital Throw, Crabhammer
    Pupitar | Bug/Electric | knows Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, Megahorn, Surf
    Breloom | Steel/Ghost | knows Steel Wing, Shadow Ball, Iron Tail, Super Fang
    Raichu (on standby) | Normal/Ground | knows Earthquake, ExtremeSpeed, Spikes, Rock Tomb
    Clefable (on standby) | Psychic | knows Extrasensory, Thunder Punch, Psycho Boost, Soft-Boiled
     
  7. DuoM2

    Groudon Egg
    (Groudon Egg)
    Level 10
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    There's a decent amount of important fights here, but surprisingly little to go over otherwise. My team was mostly finished up to this point and saw extremely little change from here to the end of the game, since levels were getting higher and level up learnsets were running out of moves to hand out. It was now starting to get to just trucking through the rest of the game with the tools you had given yourself.

    This was distinctly the part of the game I remember where even regular trainers were starting to put up more of a fight. Their levels were on par with the rest of my team for a while, but this was the first part of the game where trainers had distinctly better Pokémon than mine. My team was around the high 30s and theirs were the mid to high 40s. My Blaziken was around 47 at this point, so it still was able to contend with them directly even without ExtremeSpeed, and that was a major help in a ton of battles.

    And, as expected, Breloom was amazing. It started showing this with the fifth gym's trainers, but it especially started to show here that having a Steel/Ghost-type with Intimidate really is an incredible boon. There were so many Pokémon that just got completely stonewalled by Breloom even despite its middling defenses, it was honestly kind of insane. Most physical Pokémon that were not Ground-type just did not want to take that thing on at all.

    The evil team's raid on the Weather Institute was...completely free, actually. I had zero trouble getting through that place at all. It really helps that there's a bed in there for free healing, and it also was great that Pupitar finally evolved. Not much really changed with that thing otherwise, but the stat difference between Pupitar and Tyranitar is massive. Beat everyone up, got a free Flying-type Glalie for it, moving on.

    May was also extremely easy. I honestly have zero memory of what her fight was like except for the fact that I had something to perfectly handle every single Pokémon on her team. Didn't expect her to get so much easier as the game progressed, but here we are I guess. Moving on again.

    Once I got to Fortree City, I was pretty quickly able to fight Winona, who was a Ground-type gym. My team has zero Ground resists. Her team included two Normal/Ground Grumpig, two Ground/Ice Feraligatr, and a Water/Ground Solrock. This fight wasn't particularly easy, but even that was only because my team lacked a Ground resist. None of her Pokémon were that threatening and I quickly found a way to cheese through the fight.

    Her lead was one of the Grumpig. I could lead Breloom and then go out to Clefable, who cares a lot less about what Grumpig has to do. The Grumpig revealed Bone Rush, Howl, and Psycho Boost, and the worst it could do is boost with Howl. Worst comes to worst, Clefable could always weaken it into range of a Blaziken ExtremeSpeed securing a kill. This was a trade I was fine with making.

    Then a Feraligatr would come out, and my plan for this was pretty fun. I would send out Breloom first once again. Since the Feraligatr's main attacking move was Dig, I could react to this and switch out to something more able to take the hit, like Tentacruel. Ideally it would just click Dig again, I would be able to repeat this, and then I could eventually go out into Raichu instead so I could set up Spikes. This whole loop made Feraligatr a non-issue though.

    Next would be the other Grumpig, and Clefable would have typically fainted to the first one, making this one a bit trickier to deal with. Normally I would go out into Breloom, then immediately switch to Tyranitar, who had Surf. I would sometimes have to send out a second Pokémon afterwards but I don't remember what the conditions were for that. Not bad even if inconsistent, two mons to go.

    Next was the Solrock. I had no plan for this. It had very strong STAB moves and I had nothing to hit it super effectively, so my best bet was to go Blaziken if I didn't need it for the earlier Grumpig. Blaziken normally did win this one-on-one, but not always, and things would go south quickly if Winona was able to use one of her Potions on Solrock. If I could beat Solrock, though, then I'd be set.

    Her ace was Feraligatr. Same strategy as before with Breloom. As soon as I realized what I could exploit with Dig, the fight became pretty easy, even if still probably harder than Wattson or any of the fights before him. Before then it was difficult, but afterwards it didn't become that difficult to have a gameplan, even if parts of it were shaky at best. All of this with nothing that resisted Ground, a team that was severely underleveled, and no items during a battle. People should start believing me when I tell them that Pokémon is an easy game.

    And for the first time, I got a useful TM after defeating a Gym Leader - Sing! This may not seem like much, but Breloom could learn it, and that is just the Pokémon to abuse it. Its low accuracy is unfortunate for sure, but Breloom gets so many free turns it's not even funny, so it wasn't a deal breaker. Most of my team was fragile simply because of their low level. Being able to switch Pokémon in and out for free with a Steel/Ghost-type with Intimidate was a massive bonus. The only real downside of it was that strategy introducing more RNG into the fights that used it thanks to the amount of turns you're asleep not being consistent. Amazing pickup nonetheless.

    Blaziken | Normal | knows ExtremeSpeed, Body Slam, Sketch, Heat Wave
    Tentacruel | Fighting/Water | knows Mud Shot, Cross Chop, Vital Throw, Crabhammer
    Tyranitar | Bug/Electric | knows Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, Megahorn, Surf
    Breloom | Steel/Ghost | knows Steel Wing, Shadow Ball, Sing, Super Fang
    Raichu (on standby) | Normal/Ground | knows Earthquake, ExtremeSpeed, Spikes, Rock Tomb
    Clefable (on standby) | Psychic | knows Extrasensory, Thunder Punch, Psycho Boost, Soft-Boiled
     
  8. DuoM2

    Groudon Egg
    (Groudon Egg)
    Level 10
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    Heads up - this part is going to be a bit shorter. There is very little to say.

    On the way to the next city, I was expecting nothing to really happen since the trainers still weren't particularly difficult, but there was this one trainer with an especially noteworthy Suicune. It wasn't noteworthy because of any difficulty; it was actually quite easy. But it actually had something my team was looking to fight against since I had only three badges, that being the move Spore. In case you had forgotten, Blaziken still had Sketch just so it could learn this move on a moment's notice, so I ended up dropping everything to teach it Spore.

    I saved in the middle of the Suicune fight, before I had sent Blaziken out. Its moveset was Spore, Detect, Hydro Cannon, and Whirlpool. Normally this would be obnoxious to try and Sketch, but thankfully, Blaziken had Early Bird, and this was one of few points in the game where it was actually useful. Since I outsped it, what I could basically do was hope for it to Spore me, then go for a Turn 1 wakeup and Sketch immediately. This route had rain on it, though, so it could easily click Hydro Cannon and knock Blaziken out. If it did this or if it used Detect to intercept my Sketch, I had to reset. It took me AGES to get this, but it did eventually happen.

    There wasn't really much of note to happen after that. I fought May, easy as ever, then fought Maxie again. Despite Maxie being very high-leveled, that was still a joke of a fight as well. Not even the STAB Water Spout that his Gardevoir now had could scare my team. ExtremeSpeed Blaziken and Raichu were too good, and it wasn't even that hard to keep both until that point where I'd felt I needed them.

    I was looking forward to getting all of the TMs in the Department Store, but most of them were bad Fighting-type attacks except for Flamethrower, which I kept until later. Moving on.

    The seventh gym was a Water-type gym, which I felt alright about. Having a specially-bulky Pokémon that resisted Water was pretty nice even if I knew it couldn't do much damage. The gym trainers weren't that bad, with the one exception being a Water/Ground Solrock like the one I saw last gym funny enough. My biggest worry was the leaders being a double battle potentially messing me up, so I did end up going into this fight a bit more nervous than usual.

    The leads were a Water/Electric Starmie and another Water/Bug Gardevoir, both in the mid 70s in level. Didn't sound terrible until both of them used Water Spout, basically wiping my leads before they could get a chance to attack. I defeated the Starmie to reveal a Water Spout Togetic in the back, but it was over by this point. This was basically my worst nightmare, an extremely powerful spread move coming from two different Pokémon that outsped most of my team. I would have to use Blaziken early on, which I didn't think would bode well for the rest of the fight.

    I start again with Raichu ExtremeSpeeding the Gardevoir and Blaziken using Spore on the Starmie, and...both of them ended up living. I knew the Gardevoir had Tail Glow and banked on it using that, which it did. I could then double target it with ExtremeSpeed, thus bringing out the Togetic, although I did have to worry about Starmie waking up quickly. It did, but it ended up using I think Thunder Wave at Blaziken? I don't remember, it wasted a turn and Raichu could chip it down to where another Water Spout wasn't too big an issue and Blaziken ExtremeSpeeded Togetic to the point where it was under half its health after one move.

    After this, Tate and Liza just kinda fell apart in front of me. Raichu fainted and I had to send out Tyranitar, who somehow was faster than the Togetic. Okay. Then I knock out the Starmie and they send out a second Togetic. Suddenly my whole team outsped both of their remaining Pokémon, and neither of the Togetic were very strong after I lowered their HP for Water Spout. Those two being so slow was bad for them and boy was it great for me. My next Pokémon could just wear the two Togetic down as it proceeded to do nothing back. I won second try and it wasn't even hard.

    I probably got kind of lucky with this. If it ended up being two Solrock and not two Togetic it may have been tougher, but the fight had an insanely difficult start and nothing to back it up. I'm absolutely not complaining though.

    Once I got done, I got another useful TM - Recover! Breloom learned this which was very exciting, but I wanted to think about it before actually using it. I was still completing this game without any mid-battle items, so Recover could become invaluable later on over something like Steel Wing, but being able to clean routes was far more important in the moment. Maybe later though.

    Blaziken | Normal | knows ExtremeSpeed, Body Slam, Spore, Heat Wave
    Tentacruel | Fighting/Water | knows Mud Shot, Cross Chop, Vital Throw, Crabhammer
    Tyranitar | Bug/Electric | knows Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, Megahorn, Surf
    Breloom | Steel/Ghost | knows Steel Wing, Shadow Ball, Sing, Super Fang
    Raichu (on standby) | Normal/Ground | knows Earthquake, ExtremeSpeed, Spikes, Rock Tomb
    Clefable (on standby) | Psychic | knows Extrasensory, Thunder Punch, Psycho Boost, Soft-Boiled
     
  9. DuoM2

    Groudon Egg
    (Groudon Egg)
    Level 10
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    ₽155.3
    Immediately after beating Tate and Liza, I move on to the invasion of the Space Center, and little do I know that the scariest thing I would ever see waited before me.

    The way this randomizer works is that it scales enemy trainers' Pokémon levels by about 1.7x. Roxanne's Nosepass is Level 26 now, so on and so forth. What I didn't realize is that this meant it would not apply anything to a teammate's Pokémon, and there was a multi battle with Steven in this area. The opposing Pokémon were in the 70s. Steven's team was in the 40s and had no randomized movesets to match their typings. I had to carry this fight, and I had to carry HARD.

    And yet somehow it was the easiest fight in the game.

    I just lead Blaziken, clicked Spore whenever I saw something awake, and clicked Body Slam whenever I didn't. Steven did next to nothing that whole game but just about every individual Pokémon on the opposing side got to act once, maybe twice in the whole fight, and most of them did nothing as well. If anything, Steven actually was a pretty good punching bag. The enemy Pokémon did attack him a lot since they probably saw it as an easy kill next to my Blaziken.

    With that fight done, I had to fight Archie later on and he was also extremely easy. I honestly can't even remember what Pokémon he had on his team or even the type he used. His team was in the high 70s, but my team was very well-equipped to deal with stuff in that range at this point, even if Blaziken was only around 65 and the rest were around 50. It was honestly a bit disappointing how scary everything was starting to get in this game only to fall immediately to my basic strategies in each fight.

    I did the Rayquaza stuff, fought Wallace without even grinding with any of the gym trainers, and it turns out his gym was a Fighting-type one. Fighting-types in this game all folded to Breloom. His best option to even damage it was Outrage Medicham. His team was in the high 70s as well, I think his ace even dipping into the low 80s, but I just cheesed the whole fight with Breloom. It says a lot when the hardest part of this boss fight where I was sorely underleveled was trying to maintain Super Fang PP when it kept getting messed up from Full Restore spam.

    So uh, that's it for the gyms. Would the game really be this easy from here on out? Of the eight gyms, I struggled with only three of them, and all of them were in the midgame. I hoped that the Elite Four would be different because if it hadn't, it would have felt like I was wasting my time.

    Little did I know that I was about to get exactly what I was looking for.

    Blaziken | Normal | knows ExtremeSpeed, Body Slam, Spore, Heat Wave
    Tentacruel | Fighting/Water | knows Mud Shot, Cross Chop, Vital Throw, Crabhammer
    Tyranitar | Bug/Electric | knows Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, Megahorn, Surf
    Breloom | Steel/Ghost | knows Steel Wing, Shadow Ball, Sing, Super Fang
    Raichu (on standby) | Normal/Ground | knows Earthquake, ExtremeSpeed, Spikes, Rock Tomb
    Clefable (on standby) | Psychic | knows Extrasensory, Thunder Punch, Psycho Boost, Soft-Boiled
     
  10. DuoM2

    Groudon Egg
    (Groudon Egg)
    Level 10
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2019
    Posts:
    521
    PokéPoints:
    ₽155.3
    This is it. I was at the Elite Four. This is where things had the potential to get REALLY hairy for me. Opposing levels were in the high 70s now, but the Elite Four would start in the low 80s and gradually rise until Wallace's best Pokémon would be level 100. I wanted to keep grinding minimal, and still I was using no items during battle, so I would be sorely underleveled.

    In preparation, I grinded my whole team to Level 57 and Blaziken to exactly 70. Breloom was taught Recover over Steel Wing and Tentacruel was taught Flamethrower over Mud Shot. I had meant to go get a Leftovers since hold items were fine in my book, but I didn't do that. Only time would tell if that ended up being a mistake.

    Typical strategy for battling against the trainers was to scout out where was needed and use Breloom to stuff out most physical attackers for my other Pokémon to handle more safely. That combination it has of Intimidate and being Steel/Ghost really is incredible. If something faints, it usually was weakened enough for Blaziken to come in and use ExtremeSpeed, but if not then Blaziken also was sometimes fast enough to use Spore, but not always. The hardest battles were typically those where Blaziken and/or Breloom especially weren't very useful.

    First Elite Four member I think was Bug-type, the second I don't even remember, and the third was Fighting-type. All three of those were absolute cakewalks. All I really had to do for the Bug-type and Fighting-type ones was preserve Breloom properly, only really needing to scout out one or two Pokémon that could actually damage it. I think I literally beat the Fighting one on my first try, which speaks volumes about how far this challenge had fallen off since Winona. The levels were getting to be in the low 90s and I honestly don't even remember a single thing about the second Elite Four battle.

    Then came Drake, the fourth member of the Elite Four. This was where I would eat my words and the game would become more difficult than anything before it, yet still fair enough to be enjoyable. I was able to get consistent enough at it to the point where I could beat it with that team again nine times out of ten with minimal luck required. It did take a lot of planning though, and the fight overall took me around twenty minutes or so.

    Drake was the Ghost-type Elite Four member who had a lot of fast Pokémon, which meant a lot of bad things for Blaziken. I couldn't use any of my stronger STAB moves, including ExtremeSpeed which it relies on, and Spore saw much more situational use than before. In addition, one of his midgame Pokémon had Drizzle, which makes Heat Wave significantly weaker. Blaziken was basically limited to a Spore machine for the whole match, which did not bode well for my team's offensive prowess.

    Drake's lead was a Ghost/Normal Kabutops with Water Spout, Signal Beam, Curse, and Morning Sun. At the start of the battle, I would lead Tentacruel. Most of the time here he used Curse, but if he didn't, the battle wasn't over, but it could get out of hand quickly. I would then either Flamethrower to get him in a very specific range of HP where Water Spout wouldn't do much to Breloom, but the AI also wouldn't want to use Morning Sun or a Potion. If this Kabutops healed, the game was as good as dead, but I was semi-consistently able to avoid that range. From there, I would minimize its Attack with Intimidate by switching between Breloom and Tentacruel, and it wouldn't really be able to damage either. Usually it would end up using Curse again before I could secure a kill with something else, but if not I believe I was able to go Tyranitar and Thunderbolt would be enough.

    What he would use after that depended on what Pokémon was out when Kabutops fainted, but on the winning battle, he sent out Electrode next. This was also Ghost/Normal and had Mega Kick, Curse, Shadow Punch, and some fourth unrevealed move. Here, I could constantly switch between Breloom and either Blaziken or Raichu until its attack was minimized, since it would normally try Shadow Punch into Breloom and Mega Kick into my Normal-type. It would sometimes use Curse, which basically just meant free 50% at the cost of one of my own Pokémon's 25%. From here, I would normally be able to put it to sleep, heal Breloom with Recover if needed, and secure the kill in some way. This usually happened with either Raichu's Earthquake, Blaziken's Heat Wave, or it'd Curse itself to death.

    Next was Aerodactyl. This Pokémon had Drizzle, which further limited Blaziken's use. It was Ghost/Electric and had Thunderbolt, Shadow Punch, Razor Wind, and Scary Face. This Pokémon was Drake's ace and was at Level 96 because of that. Big big level gap between my main team not even having hit Level 60 yet. This whole moveset was susceptible to the same issue as Electrode, but Razor Wind opened up some unique opportunity because of it being a two-turn move. Raichu was immune to Thunderbolt and Shadow Punch, so the Aerodactyl would either Razor Wind or Scary Face. I could safely switch between it and Breloom, and on the turns it clicked Razor Wind, Breloom got a free turn. I could either heal Breloom here, chip the Aerodactyl down with Shadow Ball, or put it to sleep. This was the point where Raichu would set three layers of Spikes because of the free turns. Pretty easy kill every time.

    Next was Huntail and this is where the battle would usually get a bit more dicey. It was Ghost/Dragon and basically always ended up being an Outrage machine, but that was a strong move that only Breloom resisted. Breloom's special bulk isn't that good. The one saving grace here was that it was slow, so Blaziken would be able to outspeed and use Spore against it, but I could do very little back to it. This was where RNG effected the battle the most, since a low number of Sleep turns could greatly damage my team's structure for the rest of the fight, especially if Huntail happened to be sent out earlier on. It didn't help that my only way of dealing super effective damage was with Breloom, who I couldn't really afford to take a heavy blow.

    However, at this point in this battle battle, it was already late enough to the point where it didn't really matter. Breloom ended up taking unrecoverable damage after getting to use Shadow Ball only once, but that was enough for Blaziken to Spore again and another teammate to secure the kill. If I were more cautious I probably could've lowered its Speed with Raichu, since I didn't need it for Aerodactyl anymore. At this stage though, Breloom and Tentacruel were low enough on HP to basically be down for the count, and it was on the rest of my team to deal with Drake's last.

    His last Pokémon was a Ghost/Dark Manectric with Icy Wind, Thief, Snatch, and some fourth worthless move that I can't remember. Despite the wonky moveset, this is actually where things could go especially bad. I had no consistent way of dealing with this Manectric. Thief was strong enough to pose a big threat to Breloom and even if Tentacruel was healthier, its low attacking stats alongside the level gap meant I wouldn't be able to deal much damage. What's worse is that there was often at least one Full Restore left that was meant for this since Electrode, Aerodactyl, and Kabutops would typically go down without him needing one. This was not the Pokémon I would want to get Full Restored.

    What my best way of dealing with it ended up being was Thunder Waving it with Tyranitar and hoping for the best. The AI would sometimes go for Snatch for no reason, which gave me more time to damage it with Thunderbolt or Megahorn, usually the former for consistency. Tyranitar would usually go down here, but the rest of my team doesn't really have too much in the way of handling it. Tentacruel is usually practically dead, Breloom can't get super far, Clefable's Thunder Punch is very weak, and Blaziken has the Heat Wave + Drizzle problem. Thankfully I had Raichu at this point in the battle, and I imagine I normally would if I were asked to recreate this battle.

    This fight still was not easy, though. It took a lot of careful planning and I had to practically scout out every Pokémon's movesets to determine what my best course of actions would be, and that was with every Pokémon on their team being extremely dangerous before I knew anything and many of them still being dangerous after it. I would definitely call this the hardest battle I've faced up until this point. Despite that, with my team, this was a fight you could easily be consistent with, and it was very enjoyable because of that.

    Blaziken | Normal | knows ExtremeSpeed, Body Slam, Spore, Heat Wave
    Tentacruel | Fighting/Water | knows Flamethrower, Cross Chop, Vital Throw, Crabhammer
    Tyranitar | Bug/Electric | knows Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, Megahorn, Surf
    Breloom | Steel/Ghost | knows Recover, Shadow Ball, Sing, Super Fang
    Raichu (i meant to say these last two weren't on standby anymore last time but oh well) | Normal/Ground | knows Earthquake, ExtremeSpeed, Spikes, Rock Tomb
    Clefable | Psychic | knows Extrasensory, Thunder Punch, Psycho Boost, Soft-Boiled
     
  11. DuoM2

    Groudon Egg
    (Groudon Egg)
    Level 10
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2019
    Posts:
    521
    PokéPoints:
    ₽155.3
    If you read the last battle, I closed saying it was a very difficult, yet enjoyable fight. I went into this challenge seeing how difficult it would be to play a Pokémon game where the levels are upscaled by an extreme amount, and Drake's levels ended up being 92-96 while my team sat in the high 50s, with one outlier being Level 70. When I approached Wallace, though, this challenge was about to become very obnoxious very fast.

    Wallace had randomized to become a Fire-type user, which I knew meant bad things for my team. This was one of Breloom's two weaknesses out of all 18 types, but at least Ground-types were physical attackers that I could abuse with sleep and Intimidate spam. It goes without saying that Breloom was borderline useless for this fight, and that was my main anchor for this whole run. Blaziken may have felt "useless" last game, but being a Normal-type and having a fast Spore gave it some use. For this fight, Breloom was death fodder and nothing else. This was a massive problem, but at the very least, I could quickly tell that my usual strategies didn't work and dug through my TM bag. I gave Rock Tomb to Clefable over Psycho Boost and Meditate to Blaziken over Heat Wave.

    His lead was a Level 96 Fire/Dragon Politoed with Blast Burn, Overheat, Blaze Kick, and Fire Blast. By leading Clefable, I could bait it into always using either Blast Burn or Overheat, both of which I had separate strategies for. Regardless, I would usually sacrifice either Breloom or Tyranitar here, as neither were going to be useful for this battle. No matter what, I would go back out to Clefable, but my strategy would change a little bit depending on which of the two it used.

    If it used Overheat, which was the more common of the two, I would be able to spam Soft-Boiled as it chose random Fire moves until it used Overheat again. From here, I would Rock Tomb until it was at around half HP. At this point I would stall out turns waiting for it to be at -6 from Overheat and either use Blast Burn from its random move selection or knock out Clefable with a critical hit. Once I got a free switch from either of those, I would go out to Blaziken.

    It wouldn't often use Blast Burn, but if it did, more problems could arise. I would then go Clefable, Rock Tomb once, and then we'd be in the same scenario. It would always either Blast Burn or Overheat, presumably because one of those two moves would be the only things to OHKO from that range. I would repeat the process, sacrificing the other of the two Pokémon I didn't before, and hope for an Overheat. If it Blast Burned again, which hardly ever happened, I would go Blaziken, but if it Overheated, I would go back to Clefable and attempt the process mentioned last paragraph.

    Once I was out to Blaziken, I would immediately Spore. Rock Tomb was important to guarantee the Speed drop, since without it, Politoed would outspeed and I wouldn't be able to do everything I needed with it. I would then get as many Meditates off as possible while putting Politoed back to sleep after it woke up. Normally this would happen twice, and even despite it being at -6, this would normally put me at less than a third of my max HP. If and only if I was at +6, though, I would click Body Slam and the fun part would begin.

    Although the battle I won, I actually was able to optimize it a bit further. If I was able to Meditate twice before it woke up, I would be able to click Body Slam and knock it into Full Restore range. It may have been one Meditate instead of two required for this, can't remember. This would give me a guaranteed Spore and would lock the Politoed in for much longer. I would need to be at +6 anyways and a +6 Body Slam always killed, so all this would equate to is less chip damage on Blaziken.

    This reduced chip damage was absolutely crucial though. All of Politoed's moves had a chance of missing, and normally, I had to bank on that plus good sleep RNG to get Blaziken healthy later on in the fight. This was a big gate that locked me away from learning more about the rest of the battle, and it took me around 40 minutes to figure out the Full Restore strategy, so I didn't have as good of a plan for the rest of the battle. I would have taken way less time had I figured this out sooner, but I wasn't used to a strategy like that, so it was understandable that it took me so long.

    After this point in the fight, though, my knowledge of Wallace's team became much more limited. There wasn't much of this fight that I needed to plan out since most of it was reliant on Blaziken getting good mileage off of +6. Even being at +6 wasn't enough, though, since the level gap really was just that big and I didn't think to check my bag for even a Silk Scarf or something Blaziken could hold.

    Next was a Girafarig. Girafarig is a pretty fragile Pokémon, so I OHKOd this with ExtremeSpeed. It never once in any battle even got to use a single move. I had PP Maxed ExtremeSpeed so there was no worry about running out of that. Moving on.

    Next was a Water/Fire Steelix with Crabhammer as one of its moves. I was faster than this one so I could always Spore it, and normally two Body Slams would do it. Only two bad things could possibly happen to me here. It could either wake up on turn 2 and attack, which didn't happen much, or it could live two Body Slams, which also didn't happen much. If this happened, it would Full Restore as I would ExtremeSpeed, then Sporing again and clicking Body Slam to hopefully secure the knockout. If it attacked I would be in trouble but that didn't happen much so Steelix was not an issue. Next.

    There was then a Poliwrath that was also Fire/Dragon and knew Eruption, Dragon Claw, and Fire Spin. This was where the fight could get really dicey. ExtremeSpeed didn't knock it out from full without a critical hit, only knocking it to red, and it was between Eruption and Dragon Claw for which it chose to use, usually the former if I was below half. However, if I had above half, it would always use Eruption. Since it was low on HP when using the move, it would do around an eighth of my max HP, meaning I would basically always survive unless things went wrong earlier. I did not outspeed it so I could not use Spore, and here's where something sad comes in.

    One time, after Blaziken was outsped and knocked out, my Raichu came in and was able to outspeed it. The Poliwrath didn't use anything like Roar that had different priority, so this meant that its Speed stat was between my Raichu and this Poliwrath. My Blaziken's Speed stat was 178 and my Raichu's 181. If my Blaziken had just one more level, maybe two at most, or if the randomizer had given me slightly different Pokémon for Blaziken to defeat earlier on in the game, my Speed stat would have been high enough to remove a major choke point in this battle. But that's just not what happened. Ultimately this would have been fine with my Full Restore strategy from earlier making it a lot more consistent for it to be forced into Eruption, but this was still very sad.

    Things only got worse from there. His next Pokémon was a Level 99 Sand Stream Mew with Doom Desire, Yawn, Will-o-Wisp, and Fire Spin. That moveset might not seem like much, but Doom Desire being typeless means every time it was used, a team member would immediately faint. Its typing means that Blaziken couldn't get past it easily, as I had no TMs to deal with it better, and its typing meant that my methods of dealing quick damage to it were limited. It would always Doom Desire when there wasn't a Doom Desire active, which meant Blaziken could get a Spore off, but trying to knock it out with Blaziken often meant it would wake up and Will-o-Wisp and Doom Desire would probably also activate. Blaziken was forced out, and my main scapegoat for setting up with it was out.

    My one saving grace was that Raichu's Earthquake 2HKOd it, but Doom Desire was a constant, looming presence and I had limited sacrifices to go around. I had basically no strategy going into this Mew. There was no possible way for my team to avoid some kind of damage from it, as the Mew outsped everything and could burn my Raichu. I don't remember for certain but I think Breloom was also off the table because the one time it would ignore the Doom Desire rule was if Fire Spin could kill, and Fire Spin definitely killed. Tyranitar and Breloom especially were two of my star players, and Blaziken was worthless against it, so my team basically had to scramble for whatever options it had there.

    If I defeat the Mew, which didn't happen often, Wallace's ace was a Level 100 Girafarig, much scarier now that I didn't have a +6 Blaziken. Fire Blast instantly knocked out most of my team except for Tentacruel, which it would often just set up Sunny Day on and then proceed to outdamage. My strategy here was to hope that my remaining teammates could chip it down enough for Blaziken and Raichu's ExtremeSpeed to finish it off. There was no way to get it into range of this, though, and I had no idea how much damage both of those did.

    On the fight where I won, I had Tentacruel, Raichu, and Blaziken. I don't remember why exactly, but the Girafarig hadn't used Sunny Day before knocking out Tentacruel. Between that and Raichu, it was down to about half of its max HP. Blaziken was weak enough to the point where Mew's Sandstorm would knock it out in around five turns, and Girafarig both outspeed and had Fire Blast. I knew my one wincon was Fire Blast missing so I could Spore it, and that's exactly what happened.

    The clock was ticking, though. As soon as that Girafarig woke up, it was game over, and even if it didn't I still had Sand to deal with. I also had to accurately guess how many Meditates it would take for the half-health Girafarig to faint to one ExtremeSpeed, since undershooting it even slightly would lead to Wallace using a Full Restore and the battle being over. I would be able to Spore it again, but Sand would knock me out before I could do anything. I did have the previous Girafarig and other calcs to gauge this one, so I guessed it would take two Meditate boosts to make this Girafarig faint. I was correct and ended up winning the hardest fight of the entire challenge.

    This fight ended up being very luck-based at a glance, but that Full Restore strategy on Politoed would've helped make the fight a lot more consistent. RNG would still be a factor for sure, but I could've even devised something for Mew now that I would be able to pass the Poliwrath consistently. Breloom may have even come in handy for Sing and Super Fang later on in the fight, Rock Tomb may have had merit on Raichu, so on and so forth. That ended up being my first battle where I used the Full Restore strategy, though, so luck definitely had a factor in that, but if I had more time with it, I likely could've come up with something.

    My team wasn't even optimized for this. I'm gonna have a team review thing because I like doing those to myself and this is a journal, but there were several Pokémon that just did not carry their weight. There were some obvious standouts here, but even those could've used some tweaking. I didn't have any hold items on any of my Pokémon, and I'm sure I could've gone back to sketch Swords Dance and possibly an appropriate coverage move for Blaziken if I knew what was coming. This was just an ingame team built with Pokémon I felt like using because they looked fun or something else. God knows what I could've come up with if I actually wanted to build a fully-optimized team for this.

    And, keep in mind - all of this without using any held items during the battle. If I had access to X Items, Revives, or Potions during the battles, things would've been way easier.

    This was definitely not the kind of thing I'd recommend everyone try. It was fun at first trying to learn everything's typings, but the battles shifted out to eventually becoming a matter of forming good strategy in spite of several battles being uphill. Often those strategies were unfortunately a bit easy to come by, and Wallace pushed it by being a bit too much, but the challenge hit just my kind of fun for those middle portions of the game and Drake especially.

    TEAM RECAP + REVIEWING HOW GOOD THEY ARE

    Butterfree (former) | Steel/Dragon | Thunder Punch, Ancient Power, Dragon Rage, Iron Tail
    Butterfree served its job pretty well. Being a fat Steel early on was nice, the Water resistance was nice, and its stats were really great for that point in the game. Helped a lot in counterbalancing the rising levels of the early-game. Kinda does the exact same it does in the base games - can do incredible things early on, but falls off hard later in the game.

    Blaziken | Normal | knows ExtremeSpeed, Body Slam, Spore, Meditate
    A huge, huge help to this team, big part of the reason why it all worked. I'm definitely lucky to have had a Pokémon with Sketch and if I do something like this again, I will be going out of my way to check my Normal-types's move relearner sets to see if any part of their evolutionary family has Sketch. ExtremeSpeed was amazing, Spore was amazing, and its raw stats given its high level left me very well off against a lot of fights where I may have had a much harder time otherwise.

    Tentacruel | Fighting/Water | knows Flamethrower, Cross Chop, Vital Throw, Crabhammer
    Big, big disappointment. Its damage output was very bad later on in the game. It was fine as a bulky Water-type but it did little in the earlier fights and needed extremely specific situations to deal actual damage in the later game in spite of its good coverage. Attacking stats less than 90 really doesn't cut it with the level gap this game had, and it really didn't help that Vital Throw made it slower and its other moves either lacked STAB or missed when I needed them not to.

    Tyranitar | Bug/Electric | knows Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, Megahorn, Surf
    Definitely my best Pokémon that didn't use any overly cheesy strategies. Thunder Wave was nice for the speed drop and its STAB combination is quite nice, plus its stats are all quite good. May have taken longer than the others to train but it was worth it.

    Breloom | Steel/Ghost | knows Recover, Shadow Ball, Sing, Super Fang
    Probably my best Pokémon, just narrowly above Blaziken. I cannot explain to you just how good Steel/Ghost with Intimidate is. All of its moves were extremely useful and it carried me through just about every fight in the game, save Wallace. Invalidated some important fights just by existing and I don't think you can ask for much more from a Pokémon.

    Raichu | Normal/Ground | knows Earthquake, ExtremeSpeed, Spikes, Rock Tomb
    Really unique and fun Pokémon to use and also not bad to boot. Spikes were cool even if I don't think they were crucial to any fight, STAB Earthquake and ExtremeSpeed were both nice, and I ended up using Rock Tomb more than you might expect because of the Speed bonus being so nice. Really fun to use and decently effective too, around where Tyranitar was I'd say.

    Clefable | Psychic | knows Extrasensory, Thunder Punch, Rock Tomb, Soft-Boiled
    I don't really have a lot to say about Clefable because it did just about nothing while I used it on my team. It came in really clutch against Wallace, which means there's more that I can say with it than Tentacruel, but it just did nothing other than that one moment of fame. No cheese strategies, wasn't strong, was kinda bulky when backed a little bit with Intimidate but not especially so. I don't know whether I'd say this was worse than Tentacruel or not but those two were definitely my weakest, I could've easily picked up something with bigger stats or maybe something with Toxic and/or Amnesia.


    So there ends my run. Definitely would do again with a different seed, it'll be interesting relearning everything's type combination and devising new strategies, but it'll be a while. Wallace fight left too bad of a taste in my mouth. If anyone wants to do this exact same challenge, with the same or different randomization, you're free to DM me for help!
     

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