Scramble [COMPLETE] Start of a Dynasty: LeafGreen Scramble

icelandic

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So I started my LeafGreen Scramble, with the extra rule imposed that my Pokemon need to be three breeding pairs.

The Pokemon assigned are:

Wigglytuff from Neb.
Jumpluff from Ardent.

Nidoking and Snorlax from Vivid Stardust.

Raichu and Raticate from Lorekeeper.

Restrictions: Battle style SET, and no looking up the moves Pokemon will learn.

I'm not going to try any fancy prose this time, just straightforward updates of my experience. LeafGreen, and Pokemon games in general, are well-trodden paths for me but hopefully this team should make things interesting, considering how much I usually try and optimize my teams and movesets.

--------------------------------------------------

Team
Keeper Rattata ♀
Level 19
Quiet with Guts
Hyper Fang / Quick Attack / Tail Whip / Tackle

Update
I suspect both Bulbapedia and Serebii are incorrect in listing Pikachu as a 5% encounter rate in Viridian forest. I started to think, where's my Pikachu, so I started counting encounters and I reach a hundred with no Pikachu. (Not including the battles before I even started counting). Basic statistics says that if the 5% encounter rate is correct then I've had a 1 in 170 piece of bad luck. Rarer things happen, but still, I'm suspicious. Could there be some sneaky requirement to do something else before Pikachu will appear? Or, considering it's LeafGreen, an RNG bug.

Anyway I decided that was enough and I'd just go up against Brock and brute force it with Keeper's Hyper Fang. A nice move at this stage of the game, 80 BP with STAB when most stuff is running around with much weaker. Beating Brock was a bit of a close thing and I got a big help from sub-par AI, Onix only used Rock Tomb once before switching to its weaker attacks, but a badge is a badge. I find myself wondering when Rattata will learn Bite, I'm pretty sure it does at some point and that would provide much-needed coverage for Rock and Ghost types. (No, don't tell me when!)

I'll probably end up getting a Pikachu in the Power Plant instead. For now, my next task is to grab a Jigglypuff and start training it up a bit.
 

icelandic

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Progress in brief: Arrived in Vermilion, though not beaten Misty yet.

Team
:nidoranm: MR. NIDO Nidoran♂
Level 13
Lonely with Poison Point
Double Kick / Peck / Focus Energy / Leer

:pikachu: Lore Pikachu ♂
Level 18
Docile with Static
Thundershock / Quick Attack / Double Team / Thunder Wave

:jigglypuff: Neb Jigglypuff ♀
Level 20
Jolly with Cute Charm
Pound / Rollout / Disable / Sing

:raticate: Keeper Raticate ♀
Level 25
Quiet with Guts
Hyper Fang / Quick Attack / Focus Energy / Tail Whip

Update
A Jigglypuff was fairly easily caught, as was a Nidoran♀ that I would need later. Neb Jigglypuff started at a very low level and with no attacking moves so of course I had to get on with switch training her, and it wasn't too long before she could handle some battles herself as I explored the side paths in Mt Moon, scurrying back to the Pokemon Centre after each one.

Before making the final push to get through Mt Moon I decided to have one last go at getting a Pikachu, allotting 35 battles to either get one or give up and move on. And unlike last time, this time I did! Actually I encountered two, but the first was female, good thing the second was the male I needed. After that, with Neb already at a decent level it was Lore Pikachu's turn to be switch trained.

Mt Moon is the first slightly tough dungeon in the game and I think what you're meant to do is start using items to help get through it. Whereas what I actually do is, like mentioned before, scurry back to the Pokemon Centre to heal because I'm a cheapskate. But in the event, with the side routes explored I made it through the main path with a severely worn-down team and rolled into Cerulean.

Blue was easy. However the Nugget Bridge and Cerulean Cape trainers, while none of them ever threatened to beat me, they could often KO at least one of Pokemon so I was rushing back to town to heal after every battle. Machop are a big threat to my team, hitting Neb and Keeper super-effectively while if Lore takes them on, unintentional paralysis from either Thundershock or Static just gives the Machop a free power boost. With those trainers having been enough of a problem I decided to leave Misty until later and head for Vermilion. On the way there I got the chance to trade the Nidoran♀ I caught earlier for the male I need, adding my team's fourth member.

Thinking about my team so far:

Mr Nido has only actually fought once, taking out a Raticate that Lore had paralyzed, all his other battles have just been switch training. Being a trade, albeit an in-game one, he's also doing the whole disobedience thing at the moment and I suppose will do until I beat Misty.

Lore has weak attacks and frail defense, but now he has Double Team he can set up after Neb puts a foe to sleep. It's never a sure thing but evasion boosts can work wonders for keeping Pokemon alive.

Neb is really growing in power with Sing for sleep (usually - wish it was more accurate) and Rollout for coverage or high-risk power, and even Disable is sometimes useful (but will probably end up forgotten).

Keeper is very much my "big gun", her Hyper Fang will take out just about anything, and I expect she'll retain until I catch Snorlax, and the reason I never really worry about actually losing a battle.

I didn't realise it at first, but I've got three stone evolvers. That's going to make things interesting as I get towards the later parts of the game since I'll want to be absolutely happy with my movesets before evolving and of course there's always FOMO, but on the other hand without evolving my Pokemon will struggle against late-game Gym Leaders.

Now to explore Vermilion then hit the SS Anne for some much-needed training of my team's weaker members.
 

icelandic

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Progress in brief: Beat Misty and Surge and made it through Rock Tunnel.

Team
:raticate: Keeper Raticate ♀
Level 28
Hyper Fang / Quick Attack / Focus Energy / Cut

:jigglypuff: Neb Jigglypuff ♀
Level 27
Doubleslap / Rollout / Flash / Sing

:pikachu: Lore Pikachu ♂
Level 27
Thunderbolt / Quick Attack / Double Team / Thunder Wave

:nidorino: MR. NIDO Nidorino ♂
Level 29
Lonely with Poison Point
Double Kick / Horn Attack / Peck / Focus Energy

(I'm going to put the team in order of joining rather than in level order, because level order will keep changing).

Update

Started off with training on the SS Anne, was going back to the rest room all the time as usual. Mr Nido was the most petulant and disobedient thing you can imagine and deserved to get KOed by that Horsea I let it fight! I'd forgotten how bad the disobedience could get, it's not just using the wrong moves but skipping turns and he even took a freaking nap. Twice. So yeah, getting knocked out, serves him right!

By the time I'm writing this I can't remember the Blue battle really. Then it was off to beat Misty. She went down without too much trouble but her Starmie did take out both Lore and Neb, leaving Keeper to finish off as usual. Then back to Vermilion to beat Surge, after I got past the annoying door locks at least. Turns out the puzzle is a bit cheesy and the second lock can be in a trash can that was empty when checked before finding the first lock. Surge went similarly to Misty; the now obedient Mr Nido easily took down his first two Pokemon but his Raichu was a job for Keeper. It seems to have been an apt name for my Raticate; much like the keeper in football or hockey, she's become my last line of defence in most battles.

I made the run through Diglett's Tunnel to grab Flash as well as check the back room in the Pewter Museum, and then it was off to route ... 9 is it? .... and Rock Tunnel. I decided it was time to stop being so stingy and actually used Repels and Potions to keep my Pokemon going through the tunnel in one run. On a sidenote, it's kind of neat how the game makes Rock Tunnel feel like a big maze when actually it's just two floors and mostly just one path with short detours. Although it's nothing compared to some of the caves in Johto, Game Freak did a really good job of that in GSC.

So far Keeper's strong as always.

Neb seems to be falling off a bit. Rollout's powerful when it gets going but it's quite easily stopped by Sand-Attack/Smokescreen or status, moves wild Pokemon and NPCs use a lot, so a lot of battles Neb just uses Sing then switches out. Having to carry Flash is doing her no favours either. (But I'm not using a HM slave that's not one of the scramble mons unless I have to.)

Lore now has Thunderbolt, hurrah! Learnt it in Rock Tunnel and it's such a big improvement to his power.

Mr Nido is the one who's really grown since last time with the level gain and evolution, and is crucial to my team as the best answer to Rock/Grounds with Double Kick. The ground weakness doesn't help but he can usually take a Geodude Magnitude and KO it back.

My next plan is to rush to Celadon and the Department Store. In the older Pokemon games I'm always hoarding the once-only TMs, but I hope to make good use of the ones the Store sells to give my team some much needed coverage.
 

Vivid Stardust

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So far, so good! It looks like your team’s doing well right now!

I think it’s cute that you’re naming team members after the people that gave them to you (...except MR. NIDO, but it fits him).

I don’t know how you’re going to handle Erika. As far as I can tell, you don’t have anything that can specifically deal with grass types. But many gym battles have been won with blunt force, so I think you’re fine.

I’ll be following this! I’m looking forward to how this turns out!
 

icelandic

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Progress in brief: Beat Blue (Pokemon Tower) and Erika, completed Rocket Hideout and Pokemon Tower, just lost to Koga.

Team
:raticate: Keeper Raticate ♀
Level 38, holding Blackglasses
Hyper Beam / Hyper Fang / Pursuit / Cut

:jigglypuff: Neb Jigglypuff ♀
Level 23, holding Lucky Egg
Strength / Rollout / Rest / Sing

:pikachu: Lore Pikachu ♂
Level 22
Thunderbolt / Brick Break / Double Team / Thunder Wave

:nidorino: MR. NIDO Nidorino ♂
Level 33
Lonely with Poison Point
Horn Attack / Dig / Double Kick / Peck

:snorlax: Stardust Snorlax ♀
Level 33 with Quick Claw
Body Slam / Surf / Rest / Snore

Update

Indeed. It seemed like a logical way to name them - and now yours truly has joined the team! MR. NIDO I can't rename, being the in-game trade, but he'd be "Vivid" if I could.

The department store's TM selection turned out to be mediocre. Still, Brick Break is a very welcome coverage move and Hyper Beam gives Keeper a massive attack. The Game Corner's selection is more interesting but I can't afford to buy the coins and I don't feel like playing slots, so I'll come back later. After teaching my Pokemon some moves I went to take on Blue in the Pokemon Tower, and Erika after that. I'm afraid I forgot the details of those battles, d'oh! But I don't remember them being especially difficult.

The Rocket Hideout is so much less tedious in the remakes just because the spin tiles are about ten times the speed. I'd forgotten Giovanni had a Rhyhorn, but my team's improving coverage meant it wasn't the menace it might have been earlier. As for the Pokemon Tower, thanks to having learnt Pursuit Keeper pretty much soloed the place, knocking out all the Channelers' Gastlies in one hit each time.

I then decided to zoom down to Fuschia, avoiding almost all the trainers on Cycling Road, to get the Strength and Surf HMs. But first I had to catch Snorlax. The first try it was female, and a crticial hit Brick Break from Lore KOed it, d'oh! Then it took several resets before encountering another female one, which I paralyzed then caught with the first Great Ball at full HP. Meant I kept the Chesto Berry which is nice. I broke her in spectacularly by getting her KOed to a Biker's Machamp.

I got the Safari Zone items, and a few Pokemon too including a Chansey, hurrah! My neglect of my Pokedex has started to hinder me a little, in that I can't get the Amulet Coin yet. On the other hand as shown above at least I now have some held items for some of my team - they're rather sparse in FRLG. Turns out only Snorlax can learn Surf in my team, still, it's a good move for her - I think Normal/Water is unresisted coverage back in 3rd Gen? I also got rid of Flash from Neb using the Move Deleter.

Then I thought whatever, I'll go fight Koga. Just from the levels some of the Gym Trainers had, I wondered if I might have bitten off more than I could chew, but I went for it anyway.

I started out with the strategy of having Neb put Koga's lead Koffing to sleep, then switching to Lore and Double Teaming up. It didn't work - two Sludges hit and Lore was down. Then Koga's Koffing blew up on MR. NIDO, and we went to a matchup of Stardust Snorlax vs Muk. And what an epic struggle that was. Koga went for the evasion stall tactic with Minimize and Acid Armor it was working out a lot better for him than it had for me, but Stardust could just about take three Sludges and Rest off the damage while chipping away at Muk. But Koga, the dirty lowlife, used Hyper Potions and eventually the inevitable happened, Sludge scored a crit and Stardust was down.

Muk proceeded to shrug off a Hyper Beam from Keeper, but a Pursuit and another Hyper Beam eventually finished it off. Koga's second Koffing went down quickly, but Keeper had been Toxiced and fell. So it was down to our last Pokemon each. Neb vs Weezing, an 11 level disadvantage for me. Neb took a Toxic but Sing worked and I Rested, but then that jammy dodger Koga used a Full Heal! The following Sludge dropped Neb from full health in one hit.

Oh well. Better go kick some biker behind to train up.

:raticate: Keeper is still, even as I close in on my 5th Gym Badge, a great Pokemon, and thanks to Pursuit is now my best answer to ghost types, though I suppose I've got past the bulk of those. I'd wondered if she'd end up relegated to HM slave, but no.

:jigglypuff: Despite having got rid of Flash, Neb's still in the doldrums a bit. I might have to look at alternatives to Rollout, it's a fun move but isn't always useful and does nothing for coverage.

:pikachu: Lore's doing alright, although Double Team hasn't proven as useful as I'd expected. Mind you I'm not sure if he has any better options.

:nidorino: MR. NIDO somehow isn't standing out. He's not weak at all, I think it's rather that he doesn't have the clearest role or purpose on the team.

:snorlax: The newcomer, Stardust, has already shown her worth. She's not invincible, but with Rest and Snore she's not going to go down easily.
 

icelandic

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Progress in brief: Cleared Team Rocket out from Silph Co, then beat Koga.

Team
:raticate: Keeper Raticate ♀
Level 40, holding Blackglasses
Hyper Fang / Pursuit / Super Fang / Cut
Giving up the mighty power of Hyper Beam was a wrench, but I want the controlled damage of Super Fang for use capturing Pokemon. Keeper's still a competent fighter.

:jigglypuff: Neb Jigglypuff ♀
Level 40, holding Lucky Egg
Strength / Mimic / Rest / Sing
I'm not sure Mimic's better than Rollout, but I'm hoping it'll be interesting sometimes. It'd really work better on a faster Pokemon though. Neb has passable bulk but lacks power and her main duty is to try and put stuff to sleep.

:pikachu: Lore Pikachu ♂
Level 39, holding Amulet Coin
Thunderbolt / Brick Break / Agility / Thunder Wave
Agility is kinda pointless, but Double Team wasn't working out for me either. Lore's not too bad offensively, but very frail.

:nidorino: MR. NIDO Nidorino ♂
Level 40
Horn Attack / Dig / Double Kick / Peck
Moveset unchanged. I wish MR. NIDO had a good STAB move, even though poison's not a great attacking type he could use the power. As it is, he's a pretty mediocre team member.

:snorlax: Stardust Snorlax ♀
Level 41, holding Quick Claw
Body Slam / Surf / Rest / Sleep Talk
Sleep Talk has an annoying habit of calling Rest, maybe I should have kept Snore. Stardust is now, by far, my team's MVP. I owe you one @Vivid Stardust !

Update

I trained up on Cycling Road, and did some capturing to fill my Dex and get the Amulet Coin and Itemfinder. I then went around most of eastern Kanto with said Itemfinder. With that out of the way, I decided to go and do Silph Co. I've played these games often enough that I know my way round the place, but what I didn't know is just how many hidden items are in there! Diligent use of the Itemfinder got me quite the haul, filled up the bag actually so I've stashed some stuff in PC storage. I think 3rd Gen was the last that you couldn't have everything in the bag at once?

Blue was little challenge. I lead with Lore against his Pidgeot and beat it down with Thunderbolts, but Blue's Gyarados by some miracle survived the TBolt, clinging on with the tiniest sliver of HP, and took Lore down. The Gyara got paralysed by Static for its trouble though, so I went to Neb for the revenge kill, then put Blue's Charizard to sleep, switched to Stardust, and cleaned up despite taking a Smokescreen when Charizard awoke.

Giovanni also was little more than a bump in the road. Again I lead with Lore, against Giovanni's Nidorino, and got a TBolt paralysis but my Pikachu was clearly disadvantaged. I went for my own MR. NIDO for the mirror matchup, trusting that Dig would give me an advantage. Giovanni's Nidorino went down, but his Kangaskhan proved able to handle the Double Kicks and Mr. NIDO was on the wrong end of a Mega Punch-out. I sent Lore back for the revenge kill with his trusty Brick Break. Giovanni's Rhyhorn, however, had the defenses to handle my Pikachu's attack, so again I simply went to Stardust with his Surfs. One took down Rhyhorn, but Giovanni's Nidoqueen scored a lucky Body Slam paralysis. Playing cautiously, I Rested, and despite Sleep Talk not cooperating I in due course won the battle with two more Surfs.

Then it was down to Fuschia again, via Cycling Road because my team doesn't have a flyer, for a second go at Koga. This time I opened with Neb, planning on going for a Rollout, forgetting that I forgot Rollout! Whoops. It was moot though because Koga's lead Koffing went for the SelfDestruct right away. Rude. (And blooming good thing this ain't a Nuzlocke!)

Then it was Lore vs Muk. Koga's Muk is by far the toughest NPC Pokemon I've encountered so far, it's streets ahead of anything else. With steel types inaccessible in FRLG until after defeating Koga, I reckon most teams without a powerful Psychic-type, or maybe a Ground, are going to struggle. First order of business, Thunder Wave it to get some advantage.

Lore whittled away Muk's HP, but Muk was boosting its defenses with Minimize and Acid Armour, and Koga kept it healed with a Hyper Potion as I was forced by Toxic to switch Lore out. (Even though this isn't a Nuzlocke, I still don't like sacrificing my Pokemon). I went to MR. NIDO, but by now Acid Armour meant that Muk was shrugging off its Digs, when they even hit that is. I was hoping for a crit but no luck, as again Koga Hyper Potioned, and again I was forced to switch. Time for my Snorlax.

Stardust and Muk duked it out for I don't know how long. With her better defenses since last time, Stardust could handle Muk's Sludges and Toxics and Rest it off, but meanwhile Muk was dodging just about everything Stardust threw at it. I actually stalled Muk completely out of Sludge, but it still had Toxic and Stardust for her part ran out of Sleep Talk and Surf too! Eventually a few Body Slams connected and Muk was down.

With his best Pokemon out of it, Koga crumbled. A single Body Slam sufficed for Koga's second Koffing. His Weezing put up a little more resistance, but I got lucky with the Body Slam paralysis and sealed the deal.

Three major wins in a row for Stardust now, and with all those Surfs she threw around I think the Safari Zone warden's going to need to call Aquaman. Meanwhile, next up is the Fighting Dojo and Psychic Gym. If I remember rightly Sabrina's Pokemon are a little higher levelled than Koga's, but so far the typically-frail Psychics have been easy for my team's big physical attackers.
 

icelandic

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Progress in brief: All eight Badges of Kanto obtained!

Team
:raticate: Keeper Raticate ♀
Level 47, holding Amulet Coin
Hyper Fang / Pursuit / Super Fang / Cut
Keeper's still pretty good. As the original "early rodent" you'd think she might be falling off by now, but her Hyper Fang still hits hard.

:jigglypuff: Neb Jigglypuff ♀
Level 48, holding Lucky Egg
Strength / Mimic / Rest / Sing
Mimic's been useless. Neb herself has been showing her capability though. She won't bust up whole teams, but with Cute Charm and Sing and a bit of luck she can often take down stronger Pokemon one-on-one.

:pikachu: Lore Pikachu ♂
Level 47
Thunderbolt / Brick Break / Thunder Wave / Rock Smash
Thunderbolt and Brick Break between them offer pretty much all the coverage my Pikachu is going to get. I considered adding Dig, but it works out that the effective power of a resisted Thunderbolt is still better than a neutral Dig, so the only thing it'd be good for is Nidoking/queen. Therefore I let Lore take the burden of Rock Smash.

:nidorino: MR. NIDO Nidorino ♂
Level 48
Horn Attack / Dig / Double Kick / Peck
I'm suspecting MR. NIDO never will get a strong poison attack. (As ever, I'm not going look it up). He's got a solid niche handling fighting and poison types anyway.

:snorlax: Stardust Snorlax ♀
Level 49, holding Quick Claw
Body Slam / Surf / Rest / Sleep Talk
As you can see I level up my Pokemon evenly, but frankly I needn't bother. Stardust could solo the rest of the game. She's got perfect attacking coverage, massive defenses, extra resistances from Thick Fat, and RestTalk makes her the closest thing to invincible this side of the Elite Four. My sole complaint, and it's a very tiny grumble, is I wish her Surf had a little more power. I might get Stardust a Mystic Water for that.

Update
The Karate Master was dispatched with ease. Lore's Thunder Wave was blocked by Hitmonlee's Limber ability, so I just switched to MR. NIDO who handled the Hitmons. I took Lee myself, since Hitmonchan is seriously disadvantaged in Gen III back when the elemental punches were special. Though I guess it's moot as I'm not using either.

Sabrina's Pokemon aren't so high levelled. I was thinking of Yellow where she has level 50s, but in FRLG her strongest is only 43. She showed some rare strategic nous from the AI though, with Mr Mime using Barrier then Baton Passing the boost to Venomoth and she had Reflect up too, but it still wasn't enough. Stardust stomped her team.

Not wanting to tackle Seafoam Islands yet, I took the route via Diglett's Cave and Pallet Town to reach Cinnabar. The Pokemon Mansion has one of the weirder musical themes of the game, perhaps fitting with the Mewtwo backstory. In Blaine's Gym, I of course spoke to and fought each trainer first, then answered the quiz question. I'm not being robbed of my EXP and money!

I lead with MR. NIDO against Blaine's Growlithe, we traded blows but Growlithe secured a Hyper Potion assisted win. So of course I went to my surfing Snorlax. She was wrecking things but somehow Blaine's last Pokemon, Arcanine, clung on in the face of a Surf! It didn't help Blaine though, because Arcanine's Take Down might have KOed Stardust but the recoil knocked it out too.

Then it was the Sevii islands. They're a really neat addition in FRLG, though I wonder why they didn't do the anime's Orange Islands instead? Whereas I know most of the Kanto games inside-out I'd forgotten the story in the Sevii sidequest so it was fun to experience that. I think the biker gang are some of the few "bad guys" in the games that aren't part of a main villainous team? I beat them anyway, rescued Lostelle, then explored Mt Ember.

I made an attempt to catch Moltres. Whittled down its HP with Keeper's Super Fang, then used Neb to inflict sleep. Once Neb was KOed I tried to paralyze Moltres with Lore's Thunder Wave, but it was faster and downed Lore in one hit. Even at low health, an unstatused Moltres broke out of every one of my too-small supply of Poke Balls. Since legendaries don't respawn in FRLG I reset, and I'll come back after the Elite Four.

Just one badge to go. Against Giovanni I opened with Neb attempting the sleep to no avail, so of course I went to my Snorlax who stomped his team. It was a very close thing though, Giovanni's Nidoking reduced Stardust to one HP with a Thrash before I could Rest! If Giovanni had used Earthquake instead of changing move, I'd have had a much harder time finishing the battle.

One more "major" battle, Blue before the Pokemon League game, This time Neb got the sleep against Blue's Pidgeot, helped by Cute Charm, and I naturally went to my electric type, but Pidgeot awoke quickly and got a Quick Attack crit. A second attempt at causing sleep failed and I let Keeper take down Blue's lead. He sent in Rhyhorn, so I went to Stardust. I think you know the rest.

So 8 badges obtained. What next? Well I've still not explored the coast road to Fuschia, or the Fuschia-Cinnabar sea routes. I plan to fight all the trainers there, not so much for experience but to get money to buy Game Corner TMs. (I guess I can always use the VS Seeker too if I want). Once I've done that, I'll figure out what my Pokemon's final movesets will be and then, at long last, I'll evolve my three stone evolvers before taking on Victory Road.

:snorlax:
 
Last edited:

Vivid Stardust

~ Like Stars In The Sky ~
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I didn’t realize that Snorlax could be so good...whoa! I’m glad I gave you one!

You’re really close to the end now! I think that you’ll be fine (especially with the best Snorlax on your side). Good luck with Victory Road!
 
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icelandic

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Indeed Snorlax is a powerful, albeit slow, Pokemon. But I think some aspects of my playstyle and of this challenge have specifically helped it shine. I almost never use healing items in battle so a Pokemon that brings its own healing is a big advantage; Snorlax would be nowhere near as potent without Rest. And I'm unwilling to use irreplaceable TMs either so Snorlax doing well with natural and HM moves has helped it. As far as this Scramble goes, it is one of only two fully-evolved Pokemon currently; I will have to see if Stardust still stands out once the others "catch up" as it were. It's also in a team with no other water or grass attacks so Surf's coverage is even more vital, especially as the last two gyms are both weak to water.
 
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icelandic

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Progress in brief: Evolved everyone, taught many Pokemon new moves, completed Victory Road, then lost to Blue twice. :seriousazurill:

Team
:raticate: Keeper Raticate ♀
Level 55, holding Quick Claw
Strength / Shadow Ball / Super Fang / Cut
Keeper finally has the coverage she wanted in Shadow Ball. Despite her low stats she continues to be a decent attacking force with a niche against ghosts, though Agatha still puts up a much stiffer challenge than Lorelei or Bruno. Keeper is the frailest of the team's three normal types and that does at times force me to switch her out for a more bulky Pokemon.

:wigglytuff: Neb Wigglytuff ♀
Level 55, holding Leftovers
Double-Edge / Ice Beam / Rest / Sing
Having evolved to Wigglytuff gives Neb the second-highest HP in the team. With her low attacking stats she needs the base power of Double-Edge to make up for it, and I let her take Ice Beam for coverage. Despite having the lowest SpAtk in the team she's a competent answer to Lance's dragons. The poor accuracy of Sing is really starting to show though.

:raichu: Lore Raichu ♂
Level 60, holding Lucky Egg
Thunderbolt / Brick Break / Thunder Wave / Rock Smash
Lore has evolved and is a pivotal member of my team, since Thunderbolt hits so many important targets. Four of Lorelei's team, for a start. Lore's the fastest member of the team and, at the time of writing, the strongest special attacker narrowly ahead of MR. NIDO. Despite that, I still wish his Thunderbolts were a little stronger. Lore is frail, meaning he has to be a lead or a revenge killer.

:nidoking: MR. NIDO Nidoking ♂
Level 60, holding Mystic Water
Earthquake / Megahorn / Surf / Thunderbolt
It's all change for MR. NIDO's moveset. I spared the Earthquake TM so he'd have a powerful STAB move, the biggest attack on my whole team. Megahorn learnt by Move Relearner is another hard-hitting option despite no STAB, while Surf and Thunderbolt round out the coverage hitting enemy grounds and fliers respectively. There's not many Pokemon MR. NIDO can't take on, but he's especially important against Bruno.

:snorlax: Stardust Snorlax ♀
Level 55, holding Leftovers
Body Slam / Surf / Rest / Sleep Talk
With other members having evolved, Stardust isn't the standout she used to be. That said she's still a strong all-rounder capable of taking on most Pokemon, except for fighting types. Sleep Talk and her bulk are especially useful against the numerous sleep-inducers in the Elite Four's teams. She tends to me my "backup" after my first-choice Pokemon gets stopped.

Update:
I will do a full update later.

After two losses I think I'll do a little grinding. I could just go for it again, but my problem is that with most of my team only having two relevant attacks each, I'm concerned about PP restore items. Two attempts at the E4 have used up all my Ethers, though I still have Max Ethers and Elixirs. So I want to make sure that the third time is a success.

Question:
Since it seems to be the done thing in challenge threads. What status do people favour for catching Legendaries? If I remember rightly sleep is more potent, but it needs to be reapplied, whereas paralysis is set-and-forget but doesn't improve capture rates as much.
 

icelandic

Adept Trainer
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Nov 8, 2018
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274
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Progress in brief: Trained everyone up to level 62 then kicked Blue's behind.

Team is unchanged from above except for leveling up.

Update: (also covering what was missed from the previous post).

I explored everywhere that remained, fighting trainers for money and Exp, and systematically using the itemfinder to locate treasures. Thanks to having bought more Poke Balls I was able to capture Articuno and Zapdos, for both of them I tried to use Neb for sleep but the legendaries just woke up and KOed my then Jigglypuff so that didn't work, so I resorted to Lore's Thunder Wave.

I also found the Leftovers by dumb luck during my Itemfinder-ing! That was a big boon to Neb and Stardust, boosting their bulk even further.

With my earnings combined with selling all the vitamins I had stocked up, I was able to get one of each of the TMs from the Game Corner. (And enough money left over for a Mystic Water too). It was time, at last, to evolve my Nidorino, Jigglypuff, and Pikachu, and to plan out the final movesets for my team. I consulted online coverage checkers and ummed and ahhed a bit on this, mainly over who should carry Ice Beam with its crucial role against Lance's dragons, but settled on what you see above. It leaves a lot of my team walled by steel types but I know there aren't many of those to worry about in the Kanto games. Although part of me still regrets not having Light Screen on Lore Raichu.

Victory Road wasn't too hard, though it took a couple of runs back to the Viridian Pokemon Centre.

As I mentioned, it took me three attempts at the Elite Four before I beat Blue. No save scumming, I take my losses. First time round everyone entered at level 53 excepting MR. NIDO way up at 58. Second was a little higher, and for the third attempt everyone was trained to level 62 first.

Lorelei posed little challenge, Lore and his Thunderbolts are made for taking her team down, especially as she always went for Jynx last. That said her Lapras was able to stop Lore on two of the three battles thanks to its bulk, Confuse Ray, and chance for an Ice Beam freeze. But I've got a full team of strong Pokemon behind my Raichu so I broke through.

Bruno likewise posed little challenge, despite my team's weakness to fighting types. It was MR. NIDO's show and he could basically handle Bruno's whole team by himself. First battle Bruno's last Pokemon, Hitmonchan, withstood the Earthquake and KOed back, only to get Poison Pointed for its trouble and immediately dropped by the poison!

Agatha is rather tougher. Keeper is the intended answer to her ghosts but it's not that simple, Agatha's Arbok with Intimidate would force me to switch out, and her Haunter with the trapping moveset and second Gengar's powerful Sludge Bombs are also major threats. Stardust, the designated sleep absorber, shows a weakness in his slow speed meaning she'd often wake up when I'd clicked Sleep Talk, then get Hypnosised again the next turn. Especially first time round, it took most if not all of my team to get past Agatha.

Lance I think is maybe a little less threatening than Agatha actually. He leads with Gyarados so the obvious opening from me is Lore, easiest win in the world that matchup. He then always goes to his first Dragonair, and with Gyara having Intimidated Lore that calls for a switch. Neb's my main Pokemon against Lance's dragons, making light work out of the two Dragonairs. Lance likes his Hyper Beam on a lot of his team but Neb has the bulk to take the hit, Sing on the recharge turn, then Rest off the damage. Two of the three battles Neb beat Dragonite too, helped by Cute Charm taking effect; in the other battle Stardust dealt with Dragonite and Aerodactyl.

So that's the Elite Four summed up. They're not trivial, but even first time round my team had the balance and diversity to handle them. Something I do note is the E4 as a whole, and for that matter Blue as well, have a lot of electric weaknesses. Four from Lorelei, one on Agatha, three from Lance, and two or three on Blue (depending on your starter choice). Only Bruno had nothing for my Raichu to zap down. Maybe that's why I seem to use electric types so often, even when it's not a scramble.

Now for Blue.

Round One, Fight! Go, Stardust!

I lead with the big lady, only to have Pidgeot's FeatherDance shut her Body Slams down, forcing me to switch to Lore as Blue Full Restored. Thunderbolt's zapped down the giant pigeon and Blue naturally sent in Rhydon. I didn't trust Lore's Brick Break to do enough damage and I thought Stardust's Surf could deal with the rhino. Yeah, I thought wrong there, Rhydon Earthquakes hit HARD, so it was up to MR. NIDO to revenge kill.

Blue knows his types and went to Alakazam. He doesn't know I have Megahorn, but he puts up Reflect anyway, allowing Zam to survive the hit and drop MR. NIDO with a psychic. Lore, being my team's speedster, comes in for revenge. Next up, Exxegutor, one of very few Pokemon that totally wall my Raichu. So it's a quick Thunder Wave then a switch to Keeper, who despite taking a Sleep Powder still beat down the coconuts with Shadow Balls. A Super Fang dented Gyarados before Keeper got knocked out; naturally, Lore went back in to knock a Gyarados out of the sky for the second time in the Indigo Plateau.

Blue was down to his last Pokemon, his Charizard. I had two, Lore and Neb, so the game should have been won right? Nope. Blue's marquee Pokemon, the Kanto OG, dropped Lore and Neb straight down with Fire Blasts! icelandic paid out P6300 to the winner...

Round Two, Fight! Go, Lore!

Since I knew Blue would lead with Pidgeot, I sent my electric straight in this time. It nearly took down Pidgeot, but Blue did the unthinkable, switched to Rhydon! Since when has the AI known how to do that?! The battle then proceeded much as it did last time. I hadn't learnt, I sent in Stardust against Rhydon again and thanks to suffering an Earthquake crit lost her again, then MR NIDO took out Rhydon but got dropped by Zam, then Keeper took out Zam.

But after that was when it went horribly wrong. This time round Keeper wasn't able to get past Exeggutor, so I went to Neb, and she got dropped as well! I only had Lore left, and, well, a Raichu with Thunderbolt and Brick Break against an Exeggutor, the result's predictable despite my best efforts. Blue 2 - 0 icelandic

Round Three, Fight! Go, MR. NIDO!

I'd learned my lesson. My Pokemon were several levels more powerful than before, which I hoped would be the edge I needed to win. I'd noted how crucial Lore was to my team against Blue, so decided to lead with MR. NIDO instead, who also has Thunderbolt for Blue's opening Pidgeot.

Pidgeot went down with me taking only a Sand Attack for my trouble, and next up was Alazakam who this time fell to the now more powerful Megahorn, though not before it threw up Reflect. Next, however, that Sand Attack bit as MR. NIDO took a Surf miss against Rhydon! Somehow the Nidoking clung on to consciousness in the face of the Earthquake, and it was second time lucky from Surf.

But where Alakazam had failed, Exeggutor succeeded in withstanding the Megahorn, by the narrowest of margins, and KOed my crippled MR. NIDO back. As Blue used a timely Full Restore, I went to Neb, and her now more powerful Ice Beams gave a 2HKO on Eggy.

Neb wouldn't be much use against Gyarados, especially not with her Double Edge cut down by Intimidate, so I put it to sleep with Sing to bring in Lore easily. Blue was down to his Charizard, and this time luck favoured me, the Fire Blast missed letting me claim a shocker of a Championship with a pair of Thunderbolts!

Oak said some platitudes about love and trust for Pokemon. No, that's not why I won. I won because I level grinded and because I learned from my losses and changed my strategy a bit.

Next up, it's the rest of the Sevii Islands quest, capturing my last team member (so so late), and then beating the Elite Four in the rematches.
 

icelandic

Adept Trainer
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Nov 8, 2018
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Progress in brief: Made it 2-2 against Blue challenge complete.

Update:

First things first was to make a beeline for Five Island to catch my team's final member, Ardent the Hoppip, and put the Exp Share on him to level him up. Then the Sevii Islands quest, which I think is a nice addition to the game. It's got quite an open feel, I'm free to go to the islands in any order I like, though the numbering does suggest the logical order. Ardent levelled up rapidly as I kicked Team Rocket's butt and explored the rest of the isles, reaching the high 50s. I then trained him a little further with the VS Seeker and got his final moveset with the help of the move relearner. Once Ardent hit level 65, it was back to Indigo Plateau.

Lore :raichu: took out Lorelei's Dewgong, only to go down to her new Piloswine's Earthquake. I sent in MR. NIDO :nidoking: to revenge kill with Surf. He easily despatched Cloyster and Jynx, but Lapras withstood two Thunderbolts and KOed with its Surfs. I sent in new boy Ardent :jumpluff: planning to revenge, but Lorelei used a Full Restore, so I Sleep Powdered then went to Stardust :snorlax: to Body Slam it to death. Not a complete walkover, but a fairly straightforward win for my team.

I let Ardent head things up against Bruno, but I was not expecting his Onix to have become Steelix! A lucky Rock Tomb miss cleared the way for me to drain it down. A quick wake-up however allowed Hitmonchan to take Ardent out with Rock Slides, so the rest of the battle was left up to old faithful MR. NIDO. Overall, even though his Machamp now packed Earthquake, Bruno was still pretty non-threatening.

Agatha was Keeper's :raticate: show as usual. I got lucky against her lead Gengar which missed two Hypnosises, then was scared out by her Crobat's Sludge Bomb and sent in Lore to handle it. More switching ensued as I sent in MR. NIDO, straight into an Arbok Earthquake! It seems like everybody's got Earthquake here now, I never even knew Arbok could learn it. My own EQ was much more powerful however, and took the Arbok down in one. Next up Agatha sent out her new member, Misdreavus. I tried Keeper, falling to Psychics, so sent in Lore for the revenge. Lore and Agatha's second Gengar traded Psychics and Thunderbolts, and the winner was the electric rat. Agatha's team is surprisingly potent, but by now I'm used to her ways.

Lore opened against Lance as usual, him still using his Gyarados. He went to Aerodactyl next, which surprised me a little, and I rather suspected it had Earthquake. It did, and it survived the Thunderbolt and took down Lore. Lance went for the cheesy Full Restore, but Stardust's Surfs were a 3HKO. Next Lance sent in a Dragonite, which turned out to also be using Earthquake. Do any of the Elite Four's Pokemon not have it!? and I opted to keep Stardust in and RestTalk, beating it down handily, followed by new guy Kingdra and the second Dragonite with its surprisingly pathetic Outrage, I guess in Gen 3 dragon attacks were always special. It wasn't "the script", but Lance was beaten.

Blue had beaten Lance first again? Hmmm ... I think there might be some gameplay and story segregation here. MR. NIDO took the lead, but I got surprised as Blue opened with Heracross. That guy gave me a world of trouble. It started by lulling me into a false sense of security with Rock Tombs, before pulling out another blasted Earthquake that put MR. NIDO to 2 HP. I sent in Ardent on the Full Restore, Sleep Powdered, switched to Neb :wigglytuff: but I'd forgotten my type chart, d'oh! Ice doesn't hit bug, and Neb went down. I let Lore do the revenge kill.

Then Blue went for Gyarados. Seems bizarre but let me guess, that thing's got Earthquake. Well I've got Thunderbolt and I'm faster, so bye bye Gyara. Blue's Charizard was up next and it took a Thunderbolt and did have Earthquake, but Lore survived and KOed with a second TB.

Then Blue's new guy, Tyranitar. Lore was on the ropes but TTar's 4x weak to fighting so I went for the Brick Break, yet it did less than half damage. That thing is B U L K. I went to Stardust for her Surfs, but realised that with the Sandstorm raging she wouldn't take another EQ, so swapped to Ardent. All Ardent did was get off the Leech Seed before getting critted by Aerial Ace, but that was all Stardust needed to come back in, survive an Earthquake with 3 HP, and Rest. Despite another Full Restore, the seeded and paralyzed (Body Slam) Tyranitar was doomed.

Alakazam put up a Reflect, and Blue threw yet another of his Full Restores at it. I decided that if Blue was using items I would too, and popped an Elixir, before finally downing Zam.

Blue was down to his last Pokemon, Exeggutor. The turn spent using that Elixir came to bite, as Stardust fell before she could Rest again, and I too was effectively down to my last member in Keeper. Eggy took a Shadow Ball, Sleep Powdered, and it was down to the wire!

Keeper went down to Psychic, I sent in MR. NIDO at 2 HP. This battle would be won or lost by Sandstorm damage. The Sandstorm buffeted...Exeggutor.

I think that just might be the narrowest of margins, and on the finest detail of game mechanics, that I've won by.

Oh, I caught Mewtwo as well. That was a doozy, first attempt I got through 50 Ultra Balls, was onto Great Balls, and ended up running it out of PP and it fainted from Struggle recoil. D'oh! Second time lucky.

Final Team and commentary on how they've been throughout the game.
(Levels in brackets are before I entered the Elite Four rematches)
:raticate: Keeper Raticate ♀
Level 65, holding Silk Scarf
Quiet (+SpA, -Spe) with Guts
Met in Route 1 at Level 4
Strength / Shadow Ball / Super Fang / Cut
She's the original early game rodent, but she's proven better than that dubious status might suggest. She shone in the early and mid game as one of my team's first members to fully evolve, though fell off a bit towards the end. I got caught out by her not learning Bite though, I really thought Raticate did, but it only gained that move in Gen 4. Shadow Ball proved a passable alternative.

You could argue that Raticate should be dumped in the mid-game, and I think that does have merit despite the Exp 'lost' in switching members. Nonetheless, it's certainly usable right to the end if you wish.

:wigglytuff: Neb Wigglytuff ♀
Level 65, holding Nevermeltice
Jolly (+Spe, -SpA) with Cute Charm
Met in Route 3 at Level 3
Double-Edge / Ice Beam / Rest / Sing
One word comes to mind for Neb: inconsistent. At times she has been potent, taking out things I never would have expected and punching way above her weight, especially as a Jigglypuff. Other times she's fallen flat. The poor accuracy of Sing and luck factor of Cute Charm have played a big part in this. She's far from the strongest, but she's been a valuable member of the team.

I wouldn't say Wigglytuff is exactly bad, just I do think other Pokemon do it better, at least in the earlier gens. If you want a sleeper, get someone with a more accurate move than Sing. If you want a bulky normal Clefable, Blissey, and Snorlax all outclass Wigglytuff. If you want a Rollout user for fun I again think there are better options.

:raichu: Lore Raichu ♂
Level 71 (70), holding King's Rock
Docile (Neutral) with Static
Met in Viridian Forest at Level 3
Thunderbolt / Brick Break / Thunder Wave / Rock Smash
Throughout the game Lore has proven the value of an electric type, as both a Pikachu and a Raichu. And yet, especially as a Raichu, Lore has also so often been agonisingly short on power. So often he'll fire off a super-effective Thunderbolt but it doesn't get the OHKO, and since he's not bulky either he gets hurt. To be fair, it may be just because I've leant on Lore so much that this has happened so often. He has also suffered from limited coverage options.

I think that while Raichu is a decent Pokemon and available very early (provided the RNG doesn't mess with you), other electrics are better. I also think, from previous experience, there's a case for getting a Light Ball and keeping Pikachu Pikachu.

:nidoking: MR. NIDO Nidoking ♂
Level 72 (70), holding Mystic Water
Lonely (+Atk, -Def) with Poison Point
In-game trade
Earthquake / Megahorn / Surf / Thunderbolt
MR. NIDO started out nothing special but definitely improved through the game, especially once I secured his final moveset. Given how often I get my first-choice Pokemon KOed, MR. NIDO's massive coverage, and power to back it up, has meant he's always ready to step in and handle things.

I'd use a Nidoking again in a hearbeat. He might not be the best Pokemon competitively, but in-game his all-rounder stats and massive movepool make him a great asset. Just watch out for the game giving practically every AI Pokemon Earthquake!

:snorlax: Stardust Snorlax ♀
Level 66 (65), holding Leftovers
Sassy (+SpD, -Spe) with Thick Fat
Met in Route 16 at Level 30
Body Slam / Surf / Rest / Sleep Talk
Stardust is the team's MVP and showed it again in the Elite Four rematches. She's not quite as invincible as I once thought and should definitely be kept away from powerful fighting types, but otherwise she can take on just about anything. My style of rarely using items has meant her RestTalk combo really shines.

If you're playing with little or no in-battle item use, I think the only reason not to use a Snorlax in-game is because it seems kind of obvious. Or you're playing a challenge and don't get the choice. It's that good.

:jumpluff: Ardent Jumpluff ♂
Level 65, holding Leftovers
Calm (+SpD, -Atk) with Chlorophyll
Met in Five Island at Level 8
Giga Drain (8 PP) / Leech Seed / Sleep Powder / Flash
Ardent, I'm sad to say, has done nothing to change my dislike of the grass type. He's fast and has tolerable defense, but his offensive ability is abysmal. Cruddy stats are compounded by naturally learning Mega Drain, Tackle, and that's it as far as direct attacks go. The best he has with TMs is 60 BP STAB moves, unless you fancy Sunnybeaming; I spared the Giga Drain TM and threw PP Ups at that in an effort to give Ardent a fair chance. He doesn't even learn Fly so I'm left hiking and biking everywhere! Ardent does get the usual range of grass type status moves, and this at least let me give him a credible moveset to slowly whittle enemies down which is actually somewhat effective. But for storyline play, slowly whittling enemies down gets tedious. The rock weakness does him no favours either.

I suppose without him I would have lost to Blue, so in the end Ardent did prove his worth.

But put it this way, if I encountered a shiny Hoppip early in a game, I think I'd probably box it. Jumpluff is that crummy. Why use a grass type who can do little more than status and Leech Seed, when I'm sure there are others who can do that and have vaguely decent attacks.

And really, the Sevii Islands was too late to get a new team member. By the time he'd levelled up enough to fight by himself, there was only the E4 rematches left.

Closing notes:

Overall, it's been a great run. @Lorekeeper @Neb @Vivid Stardust and Ardent (I think has a different name now), your choices of Pokemon have taught me that teams don't need to be perfectly and painstakingly balanced to go through the stories. That even a seemingly big weakness might only need one member to deal with it. And that while a Pokemon might seem weak, even useless, it can still find its role.

I've also learnt that for stone evolvers at least, I think next time I'll look up the blooming movesets so I'm not waiting forever to evolve.
 

Lorekeeper

Rookie Trainer
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Nov 15, 2018
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I haven’t been on here in a while but I am really glad to see how you did. I may be starting my own scramble soon so we will see. I am super pleased to see keeper do so well. I have used a raichu plenty of times but haven’t really used a Raticate as much. Congratulations on your run!
 

Vivid Stardust

~ Like Stars In The Sky ~
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Nov 9, 2018
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Vivid, Apollo
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First of all, congratulations on finishing your scramble! It clearly took a lot of work to get through the game, especially when you had less than the full six members for most of the game.

I think the team for this scramble worked out pretty well, and it was fairly balanced in terms of what each member could handle. I also like how some of the Pokémon were unexpected standouts that did well throughout the game!

Nice job!
 
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