Solo Quina's Quisine Quest: Platinum Munchlax Solo Run. Moveset Poll Open! (Dynasty Episode 2).

Quina's Attacks: Return, Earthquake, and ?

  • Fire Punch

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ice Punch

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Natural Gift

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Rollout

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • (Keep) Surf

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Thunder Punch

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Zen Headbutt

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1

icelandic

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World very simple place. World only have two things: Things you can eat and things you no can eat.

4068


The world's least impressive family tree, but everything has to start somewhere. This is the second in my plan for a "dynasty" of challenge runs, following on from my LeafGreen scramble last year. Since I will also need to send offspring from LeafGreen to Emerald for a challenge there, I opted to do a solo run of Platinum, and my mind was drawn to Munchlax. I think for a number of reasons. I kind of like the design, I think the stat spread could make for an interesting challenge, and it was after all the very first 4th Generation Pokemon to be revealed.

Not to mention Quina's mother, Stardust, was the MVP of my LeafGreen run. Can Quina live up to his family name? Let's find out!

And as the nickname and opening quote indicate, this is also a tribute of sorts to everyone's favourite - or is that least favourite - character in Final Fantasy IX.

------

Rules:

Quina is the only Pokemon who may battle. If Quina is KOed, the battle must be intentionally lost.

Other Pokemon may be used for field moves, contests, and other non-battle roles.

Quina may not evolve.

------

So far not much to say. I had bred the Munchlax egg in Pearl, then it took a good few hours to Poke Transfer the old mons on my Platinum save away ready for the reset. I picked Piplup as my starter because it learns the water HMs, and stuck with the theme by naming him Steiner. Platinum opens up trading very early, so I caught a Starly to send away and it was then a lot of running around Sandgem Town to hatch the Munchlax egg.

What did I get:

:munchlax: Quina Munchlax
Level 1
Quiet with Pickup
Tackle / Earthquake / Thunderbolt / Surf

He's male, well that answers that question at least! The nature is meh. It's already one of the slowest Pokemon around and it's made even slower, and buffing the paltry special attack probably won't mean much. I think on balance I'm glad to have Pickup for the ability, it's good fun to see what the Pokemon gets.

Of course the standout here is that moveset, courtesy of his parents. Those are some big hitting attacks for this early stage in the game, and also bring great coverage against rock types. That should get this challenge off to a flying start.

I switch-trained the first few levels before letting Quina stand on his own feet.
 

Kaori

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The moveset on that Munchlax is pretty insane! Especially EQ which should serve you well throughout the entire game.

You get Return really early in Platinum as well so once you get that happiness maxed out, Quina will be a monster.

Good luck on your challenge!
 
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icelandic

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The journey begins

Youngster Timothy: You're a Pokemon Trainer, and so am I! Our eyes met, so battle we must!
Me: A Pokemon Trainer I am, and are you too? Met our eyes did, so must we battle?

OK, enough of the Zorn and Thorn act, this is supposed to be about Quina. Just for some reason that line, from the very first trainer in the game, reminded me of the jesters.

Jubilife's more impressive than I remembered. It's no Alexandria Castelia or Lindblum Lumiose, but it's got a decent size to it. And thinking about it, the tall buildings show off the 3D graphics in DPPt - again, it's not at the level BW took it, but there's a bit of parallax that the 3rd Gen games didn't have.

The Poketch is actually kind of useful for this run. I keep it on the Pokemon info app, and it tells me at a glance whether Quina has got a Pickup item so I can take it promptly. No need to manually check the Pokemon menu.

Oreburgh City

Roark: Go, Geodude!
Quina: Is stone edible? Or is for barbeque? No answer... I think I lick it.

So yes, I did open the Roark battle with Lick because of that quote. Thereafter I washed his Pokemon away with Surf. I followed that up with an easy win over Barry, thanks to him just spamming Withdraw from Turtwig. Pro tip: Setup can be good, but you do have to actually attack in order to win!

Back on the road, Route 204 has a trainer who brags about getting his first Pokemon from his dad. The Pokemon? A Magikarp. Kid, I hate to say this, but I think your dad might not like you very much.

Eterna City

Up until here I'd already noticed Quina was a bit stuffed against Grass types - Ground, Electric, and Water all being resisted by Grass. With the next leader being a Grass specialist I had to change that. It's a wrench, but I replaced Thunderbolt with Return. With the big difference in Atk and SpA stats, it should actually be more powerful even against stuff weak to electric.

I then went against Gardenia all confident, simply spammed Return ... and lost. She got up Reflect, then seeded Quina, and it was a Grass Knot crit from Cherrim that did me in. I've realised that Leech Seed, and even worse Curse, are major threats to me in this run - I can't switch out to cure them, and Munchlax's slowness means I've no chance of KOing the opponent before they can use such moves. I'll just have to hope I rarely encounter either.

I'm tempted to trade in a TM for Cook Flamethrower, but that's kindof cheating. I think if I just get a couple more levels and actually buff my defences next time, I should win. Also I should remember to equip the Quick Claw!

As he stands, Quina is at level 25 with Return/Earthquake/Surf/Stockpile. He's already trying to evolve into Snorlax, so his friendship - and therefore his Return - are near their maximum.

The non-fighters are Steiner Piplup (Cut), Amarant Geodude (Rock Smash), and Kazza Abra (Teleport; the in-game trade).

Edit:

I gained one more level, then went for Gardenia again. This time I equipped the Quick Claw and started with three Stockpiles, enabling Quina to much better tank any hits. It also meant that after Turtwig went down, the Reflect wore off promptly. Turtwig's Sunny Day put Cherrim into its more powerful form but to no avail, and the Quick Claw secured me the KO on Roserade before it could do anything.

So there's nothing wrong with Quina's power, the problem is just the dummy pushing the buttons!
 
Last edited:

Deva

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Good luck with the challenge, especially Maylene. Will definitely take hits with that bottom tier Base 5 speed. Makes for a good challenge, though.

Cannot forget the true test, of course: being unable to run from wild battles. Stuck the Smoke Ball in the foggy area of Route 210, unfortunately.
 

icelandic

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Do not be restricted by your knowledge and experience. This place turns logic upside down. What's big is small, what's strong is weak, and heaven is earth.
- Sign outside Ipsen's Castle​

It's been a while since my last update. Things I expected to be a breeze were anything but, and things that some expected to be a challenge were not. It called to my mind Final Fantasy IX's Ipsen's Castle and the quote above; a place in that game where the weapon strength formula is inverted.

(Dang, I could have used that quote for the Distortion World. Oh well, I'll cross that antibridge when I come to it.)

After Eterna I headed south down Cycling Road then explored the route below. Then of course I got nicely lost in Wayward Cave! I was really running low on PP when I found the NPC trainer (Mira) who pairs up with me and kept Quina healed. Quina proceeded to show his own spectacular lack of coordination in double battles, his Earthquakes regularly KOing not just the wild Pokemon but Mira's Kadabra as well! I hope Mira has deep pockets because she must have been getting through Max Revives like no tomorrow.

Then it was off to Hearthome. After paying my respects to Aeris in the church oh wait wrong game, the diversion of Pokemon Contests awaited. I've never really got much done with Contests in the past and I'd quite like to change that. So, how did I win my first contest? Simple:

4388

Tree on Head

Fantina's Gym

I thought this would be easy. Normal's immune to ghost and I had a big level advantage, being in the high 30s at the time. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Quina really is not cut out to handle ghosts. His big two attacks, Return and Earthquake, are useless against most leaving only the much weaker Surf. The result was one of the Gym trainers, Ace Trainer Catherine, handed me a crushing loss that shall haunt me forever. She opened with Haunter which used Curse, I've previously mentioned that as a major threat in any solo run, but that's not the only trick the ghost type has. Next was a Misdreavus who knew Spite. In pretty short order Quina was ran out of Surfs and left completely helpless. The simple tactic had undercut all Quina's strength and the loss was inevitable.

(I suppose technically I could have tried to expend the PP of Quina's other moves in order to use Struggle, but I don't think I had anywhere near enough healing items.)

On the rematch Catherine opted to eschew Spite, and Quina was able to prevail. Many other battles in the gym were fraught, with confusion and sleep also in the ghost type's arsenal, and battles regularly won by luck and the skin of my teeth.

I faced up to Fantina with fear struck into me, but in this topsy-turvy world she turned out to be a cakewalk, for the simple reason that she doesn't have the deadly Curse on any of her Pokemon. Her Duskull was one of the then-few Pokemon Quina actually managed to outspeed, and her other team members fell relatively easily.

On the road to the next badge

After all that, I spent some well-deserved time entering contests with my Eevee before hitting the road again. I held to the old saying: "train hard, fight easy" and to this end I continued past Veilstone and onto Pastoria, fighting all the trainers on the available routes. The highlight from this exploration was probably Rich Boy Liam, "boss" of the 5-maid challenge, who is apparently so rich he can afford to Fling a Rare Candy at my Pokemon! (Sadly, it doesn't increase the target's level when flung.)

The game insists I fight Maylene before Wake, so with Quina sitting at a massive level 51 I went back round to Veilstone. And in dramatic contrast to Fantina's, Maylene's Gym turned out to be a pushover. "It's Super Effective" is no match for a 20, 25 level disadvantage. Even with the lowest base speed in the game, Quina outsped and OHKed most of the gym trainer's Pokemon, and the one that got a hit off (a Meditite) did little damage.

Maylene's Meditite chipped at Quina with a cheeky Fake Out and a Drain Punch, before falling to a single Return. Her Machoke didn't even get a move in before being KOed likewise, and her Lucario could only bring Quina down to just under half HP with another Drain Punch before being demolished by Earthquake.

Yeah, maybe my levelling was a little overkill.

Quina is now Level 52 with the same Return/Earthquake/Surf/Stockpile moveset as before. I was tempted by Last Resort, that 130 base power is exceptional even with the limitation, but it's the low PP that put me off.

Assisting Quina on his journey are Steiner Piplup (Cut), Amarant Geodude (Rock Smash), Vivi Psyduck (Defog), and Zidane Eevee (Contests; currently Daycared to learn some new moves actually.)

My thoughts

Maybe I should have enforced a level cap. A solo run results in the chosen Pokemon getting so much experience that I find myself thinking virtually any Pokemon could do it. That said, Quina has shown his weaknesses. His stats and level, and the option to use Stockpile, mean that brute force attacks are unlikely to break through but status in general is an issue. Ghost's Curse is severely damaging and Leech Seed also problematic, since neither can be cured. Sleep is a nuisance because of Quina's slowness, meaning there's little point healing it since the opponent can just re-apply. It's no big deal by itself thanks to Quina's tanky stats but it becomes lethal if paired with stuff like Curse. Confusion is also a nuisance because it can't easily be healed, and flinch could do me in if I'm unlucky.

The current moveset is also completely stopped by Shedinja, but I won't see that until after the Elite Four.

Now to kick some Galactic behinds.
 

icelandic

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Which Third Attack?

Quina and I have just rolled into Canalave. I'll post a full update later, but this is an important milestone in Quina's quest: It means the chance to forget Surf and replace it with another move. And as is common with Normal types, there's a lot to choose from. So I've made a shortlist, and I'm throwing it open to the forums with a poll!

The options and my thoughts:

All the move options are at least capable of hitting airborne ghost types. I'll be reviewing the move choice after the Elite Four, so no need to worry about Shedinja yet.

Fire Punch could be useful against Bronzong, though Heatproofzong will take the same damage from a neutral Fire Punch as from a resisted Return. A similar argument applies to all the elemental punches - considering STAB, Return is twice as powerful before type effectiveness comes in.

Ice Punch is very appealing to nail Cynthia's infamous Garchomp. It'll also handle anything flying that resists Return such as Drifblim, and it'll smack Giratina too.

Natural Gift is interesting. Now that I have plenty of berries, I could use it to take a move of any type I like into battle. However to use it more than once I'll need to also take Recycle, giving up the defensive boost of Stockpile.

Rollout works. Being a solo run it becomes a very high-risk high-reward strategy though.

Keeping Surf is not out of the question. It's proven to be a suitable all-round backup option, but being off Quina's much weaker special attack means it doesn't have much power.

Thunder Punch I can't think of anything special about. It'll hit Drifblim, but so will Ice Punch.

Zen Headbutt deals with Gengar and has a shade more power than the elemental punches.

For complete(ish)ness, Rock Slide would give me classic Quakeslide coverage but I'm nowhere near getting it. Gunk Shot and Seed Bomb are postgame-only.
 

icelandic

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4623

Maybe, just maybe, he'll find what he's looking for.
Find what?
A place to call home.
- Zidane and Garnet

And, of course, the relevant soundtrack for the screenshot above:

Well, I've still yet to catch a Pokemon to represent Garnet. But that's not what you're here for. This thread is about the Munchlax extraordinaire, Quina. Quina's home ought to be the Great Marsh, I suppose. I've yet to do an awful lot there and I bet there are more items, maybe that should be my place to return to next.

Barry in Pastoria was another of the usual pushover battles. Even after the Intimidate from his Staravia, only his Grotle could survive a Return. Against Wake I faced another Intimidator in his Gyarados, and went for a Stockpile strategy, winning handily.

Something Platinum does suffer from is annoyingly contrived obstacles. I'm looking at you, headache Psyduck. JRPGs normally do keep the player on the railway tracks, but some manage to be a bit more subtle about it. With the Psyduck out of the way it was on to Celestic.

I take short notes about my major battles ready for these updates, and I have written simply "Cyrus in Celestic was a walkover".

After all these easy wins, Barry in Canalave finally put up some more resistance. At last! He's got some quite strong physical hitters on his team and that is something that can threaten Quina. Barry didn't stand a realistic chance of winning, but he did at least force me to use a Hyper Potion to ensure Quina's survival.

I hit up Iron Island, mainly for the exploration. With Quina so highly levelled I've taken to using Repels to speed things up a bit and cut down on the nuisance battles, and there are still plenty of trainers to fight. I took care to avoid double battles though it doesn't really matter much. After that I went digging in the underground, looking for and not finding shards. Dangnabbit.

And now I can delay no longer. I don't have Quina's new move yet but it's time to hit the Canalave Gym! Surf's actually a handy move round here, hitting Steelix on their own weaker side. Earthquake smacks up most other targets. I had a scare against a Scizor though, which withstood the EQ and fired back with a critical hit X-Scissor that took off a big chunk of HP. I need to be careful, don't want any more losses like I had in Hearthome.

On a sidenote, Canalave Gym is another of the places that shows off the 3D engine in the DS games. Though I do wonder how that huge space fits inside a building that looks half the size from the outside. Maybe "Looker" really is The Doctor and he gave Byron some TARDIS tech? (Or maybe it's just following the age-old JRPG convention. Nah, I'm voting TARDIS tech :-D )

Time for Byron. Who I've only just realised has that name because it's like 'iron'. I opted to give Quina a Sitrus Berry for the battle. I opened the battle by shrugging off a Magneton Thunderbolt and Stockpiling 1, before Quina dodged the Metal Sound and KOed with Earthquake. I Stockpiled again against Steelix, outspeeding it and taking little from it's Earthquake, then KOed back with Surf.

I had thought Byron's final Pokemon might be Lucario, that's why I was using Stockpile, but in fact it's Bastiodon. It's Stone Edge did little, and it was dropped by an Earthquake.

Byron gave me the Mine Badge. But if it was already mine, why does he need to give it me.

gets hat
 
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