Wonderlocke The Avengers Initiative -- Typhlosion's X Wonderlocke

Typhlosion

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"There was...an idea..."

Hello, challenge aficionados, I am back! I told you there would be more after my Yellow Nuzlocke and I meant it. Welcome to my X Wonderlocke! This kind of challenge is nothing too crazy, but should be a lot of fun, and there's no better game to try it than the one where it was first possible. A Wonderlocke is a bit more complicated in a technical sense than a Nuzlocke, though, so I'll be adapting my rules from our very own Marriland's Y Wonderwedlocke. Let's take a look.

  • Any Pokémon which faints is considered dead. It must be permanently boxed and cannot be used again. Standard 'locke business.
  • I must nickname all my Pokémon. This won't be possible in-game, since they'll all come through Wonder Trade, but I'll give them names anyway and use those here. The theme, of course, is Marvel characters.
  • I may only catch the first Pokémon I encounter in any given area (once I have Poké Balls and am able to catch Pokémon). Gift Pokémon count towards this. In-game trades are allowed and don't count as the encounter, as long as I can legally obtain the required Pokémon. However, whatever I receive in the trade is still subject to the following rule.
  • Immediately upon acquiring a Pokémon, I must Wonder Trade it away. The new Pokémon is treated as my encounter.
  • I will not Wonder Trade my starter until I have a second Pokémon. I will trade that, train it up to level 5 if it's below that, then trade my starter. This prevents me from having only Pokémon that are too weak to fight.
  • I will be playing with Dupes Clause, though this applies only to the permanent team members acquired through Wonder Trade and not to whatever my initial encounters are.
  • I will also be playing with level caps, which can be found here. Any Pokémon I receive over the next level cap must be Wonder Traded again.
  • Any Pokémon I receive which has a base stat total of 580 or greater at the time I receive it must be traded back. If I get a Dragonite or a Mewtwo I must send it back. However, if I get a Dratini or Dragonair, that's fine to use and I may still evolve it into a Dragonite myself.
  • Male Combee clause. Yeah.
  • If I find a Shiny Pokémon you can bet I'm catching it. It won't have anything to do with the challenge, however, and will go straight to the PC.
  • If I have no Pokémon on hand which can use a required HM I may catch something to perform that task. This may also include pulling a dead teammate out of the PC.
  • I may use a total of two healing items in each battle. Not as strict as some people, but still a step up from my last challenge. Held items and Poké Balls are fine; X items are not permitted.
  • EXP Share, Super Training, Pokémon-Amie, Mega Evolution, etc are not permitted. The exception is using Amie only enough to potentially evolve Eevee into Sylveon.
  • Choice of starter Pokémon, choice of Eeveelution, etc. will be determined by my Trainer ID.
  • Battle Style will be Set.
  • The run is successful upon entering the Hall of Fame, or failed if I am entirely out of usable Pokémon in both my party and PC.
  • If I've forgotten anything I'll make a note of that in the run.
Route 2: Ned Leeds the Caterpie -> Metapod -> Butterfree
Route 3: Loki the Pansage
Route 4: Pepper Potts the Fletchling -> Fletchinder
Route 5: Darcy Lewis the Raticate
Route 6: FRIDAY the Lotad -> Lombre
Route 7: Hela the Magikarp
Route 8: Wong the Oddish
Route 9: Doctor Strange the Trapinch -> Vibrava -> Flygon
Route 10: Hulk the Tropius
Route 11: Nebula the Qwilfish
Route 12: Killmonger the Zangoose
Route 13: JARVIS the Skiddo -> Gogoat
Route 14: Black Widow the Kecleon
Route 15: Encounter failed
Route 16: Morgan Stark the Pikachu -> Raichu
Route 17: Ava Starr the Illumise, traded for Wendy Lawson the Snubbull -> Granbull
Route 18: Drax the Totodile -> Croconaw -> Feraligatr
Route 19: Gamora the Mawile
Route 20: EDITH the Luvdisc
Route 21: Hawkeye the Froakie -> Frogadier -> Greninja
Route 22: Cassie Lang the Flabébé -> Floette -> Florges
Aquacorde Town: Ebony Maw the Poochyena -> Mightyena
Lumiose City: Ayesha the Whismur
Ambrette Town: Betty Ross the Wurmple -> Silcoon -> Beautifly
Cyllage City: Okoye the Makuhita -> Hariyama
Shalour City: Goose the Skitty
Laverre City: Captain America the Lucario
Couriway Town: Yellowjacket the Ninjask
Victory Road: Encounter Failed
Santalune Forest: Rocket the Zigzagoon -> Linoone
Parfum Palace: Taserface the Numel -> Camerupt
Connecting Cave: Aunt May the Torkoal
Glittering Cave: Happy Hogan the Luvdisc, traded for Bill Foster the Volbeat
Reflection Cave: Michelle Jones the Scatterbug -> Spewpa -> Vivillon
Tower of Mastery: Laura Barton the Bunnelby, traded for Sharon Carter the Bidoof
Azure Bay: Encounter failed
Lost Hotel: Lady Sif the Absol
Frost Cavern: Ancient One the Gible -> Gabite -> Garchomp
Terminus Cave: Scarlet Witch the Tentacool -> Tentacruel
Pokémon Village: Irani Rael the Drifloon
Team Flare Secret HQ: Ultron the Zweilous

With that out of the way, let's not waste any more time!

There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people. That idea was mine. My name is...none of your concern. You can call me Fury. Everybody does. I call this project of mine the Avengers Initiative. I wanted to see if these people could become something more: to see if they could work together when we needed them to, to fight the battles that we never could. Some have no place to go, some are trying desperately not to go back where they're supposed to go. They come from all over the world, the galaxy, even the universe. I guess it's time to find out if I'm right. They do their job, the world spins on. If not...they'll stand ready to avenge it.
 
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Typhlosion

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I grab my brother's old copy of X (don't worry, I checked with him first), Bank all his Pokémon save a Lvl 4 Pidgey, and wipe the save. When I boot up the game again I'm greeted by Professor Sycamore. He reads me the usual opener speech, and I tell him I'm a boy and that he can call me Fury, thanks very much. I choose the dark skin tone to help me stay in character. I must admit that I chuckle when he yells at me, "Fury! Your adventure begins now!"

Fury is woken up via dive-bombing by bird. Falcon will pay for that. Before anything else I check my Trainer ID. The last three digits are 7-2-6, which means Glaceon, Bulbasaur, and Fennekin. Okay. Fury then goes downstairs only to be stopped by the World Security Council, who insist he changes into something a little more suited to the job. Having done away with his pajamas, Fury's able to make it outside, where's he greeted by Maria and another agent. Good to see you, Hill.

After they tell me to go to the next town, Fury spends some time checking out Vaniville Town. There's absolutely nothing here, of course. A mirror identical to his own, but in Hill's quarters, doesn't allow him to put his pajamas back on. Blast. Moving out.

Two seconds later Fury's in "the next town over." How Kalos Route 1 ever received the OK is beyond me. A squad of agents led by Hill flags me down. Trevor and Shauna I can put up with but Tierno is seriously freaking me out. I forgot how strange his model looks, with his disproportionately large eyes, heavy eyebrows, and complete lack of a neck. He suggests nicknames, and after I try to be mature about the suggested options of F-meister, L'il F, and Big F, I inform them that they can call me Nick. And that associated with the use of that name is a slight risk of waking up with a switchblade in their ribs.

Once that's out of the way Fury is partnered with Fennekin. In the spirit of the Locke I decide to nickname my encounters anyway. Something low-effort: Trainer classes, so say hello to Firebreather the Fennekin. Hill gives me a letter for the Council, from some fancy-pants smarty-pants up in the capital. Ugh, must be Howard. On my way out of town Shauna and her Pokémon challenge Fury to a battle, which is over in two Embers from Firebreather.

The Council doesn't see fit to tell me what all is in the letter once I deliver it, even though presumably it's about me. Then, since they think it's their job to hand me my pacifier and change my diaper, they ask if I know how to use the Town Map. I think I do.

Fury makes his way back through Aquacorde, thanking Thor, Loki, and any other gods out there for the Running Shoes. The scripted Pidgey on Route 2 doesn't count. Maria shows us how to catch Pokémon, and gives me a nice allowance of 10 Poké Balls. Time to get my team together. The first recruit is a level 2 Scatterbug, Bug Catcher. I change my PSS profile message to #Wonderlocke! so I won't feel guilty about sending people terrible stuff, then Bug Catcher takes the plunge. It's a Level 3 Spanish Caterpie. Are you kidding. There are plenty of bug heroes out there but nothing on such a low level as a worm. This is the bug that sits back and watches other bugs fight. Welcome, Ned Leeds. To be clear, I can't actually nickname any of these Pokémon; I'll only refer to them by their nicknames.

:caterpie: Obtained Ned Leeds the Caterpie from Route 2! :caterpie:

Fury switch trains Ned Leeds to Level 5 as per the rules, then it's time for Firebreather to ship out. I go through a Spanish Ducklett, a Japanese Geodude, and an Italian Glameow, all above the level cap, before getting a Level 2 Japanese Poochyena. The usefulness of Run Away for training is balanced by a Timid Nature to reduce Attack. Can't say I'm jazzed about this team so far. I struggle for a nickname, but the one I come up with is pretty darn good.

:poochyena: Obtained Ebony Maw the Poochyena from Aquacorde Town! :poochyena:

I did the trade on Route 2 but he counts as the Aquacorde encounter because that's where Fury got Fennekin. Just like that, it's time to grind. I can neither progress nor even think about leveling Ebony Maw until Ned Leeds gets two more levels and evolves. With subpar stats and no STABS on either of Fury's Pokémon, training is as slow and painful as you'd expect. Ned Leeds hits level 7 and evolves into Metapod, and after a frankly shameful number of trips back to the healing house in Aquacorde, Ebony Maw hits 7 as well. That'll do for now. I'm concerned about the Youngster guarding the forest and his level 5 Zigzagoon, but to my surprise Ebony Maw takes it out just fine. A Howl boost and a little speed tie luck certainly helped.

Fury makes his way into Santalune Forest, eager to recruit another Avenger. The encounter is a Level 4 Fletchling named Idol. The first Wonder Trade yields what else but a French Metapod. Thanks, Dupes Clause. I double check that I'm not trading away Ned Leeds before exchanging the other Metapod for a Level 2 Italian Zigzagoon. Right.

:zigzagoon: Obtained Rocket the Zigzagoon from Santalune Forest! :zigzagoon:

I wouldn't call this anything other than Rocket regardless, but it helps that it's male, Bold, and has Pickup.

The forest itself is fine. Rocket's first Pickup yields an Ultra Ball. Ned Leeds is level 9, so close to evolving, and the other two are Level 8 by the time Fury leaves.

On Route 3 Maria flags down the whole squad to give us a copy of the regulation manuals. I knew she was by-the-book but this is a little ridiculous. Two of these were already written on Fury's computer back home. Sheesh, the Council really does think I'm a baby.

There are precisely three squares of grass accessible before the first Trainer battle here. I want the encounter first so its training can start ASAP. It's another female Fletchling, but that's no concern of Fury's, and he catches Lass anyway. Wonder Trade spits out a Spanish Sandshrew, which I'm rather excited about, but it's Level 17. The second try gives...uh...Feuillajou, a Level 4 French Pansage. Ugh. With a Bug Gym coming up it would have to be the Grass-type monkey, wouldn't it? He'll be called Loki. Frustrating, smart-alecky, likely going to be useless for a while, possibly headed for some kind of redemption arc. Also a vague association with the color green.

:pansage: Obtained Loki the Pansage from Route 3! :pansage:

Nice to get something that A) doesn't know Tackle and B) doesn't make me feel like I'm playing ORAS. I like how Rocket and Loki have exact opposite Natures. The new addition does better than I had hoped against the next two Trainers, taking them out all by himself. The way to Santalune City is clear at this point, so Fury goes to rest up. Once in the Pokémon Center, Fury is assaulted by Agent Tierno, who explains all about the PC, the Center itself, and the Poké Mart. I suppose this is actually the first Pokémon Center in the game, but when will they leave us alone?

Loki continues to shine on the rest of Route 3. He mops up a Trainer with a full team of the three elemental monkeys, growing to Level 8 and learning Lick in the process. After that, interrogating all the inhabitants of Santalune City yields an Antidote, a Great Ball, and some X items. Fury isn't allowed to use those, but they'll be good for a little pocket change. Rocket beats up the Roller Skater's Zigzagoon in front of the Gym to score a pair of roller skates. Finally, I pop into the boutique to see if I can upgrade Fury's look. Everything there is either the opposite of his style or really expensive, so I settle for removing the sunglasses on his hat. It's something.

While training Rocket learns Headbutt, which is nice, and Ebony Maw learns Sand-Attack, which is very not nice when Fury is still waiting for Bite. After that there's still Route 22. Loki fights a Trainer's Psyduck, who uses Water Sport the turn before it faints. The Trainer then sends out a Litleo, whose Ember does 1 damage to Rocket. Amateurs. Then it's time for the encounter. Fury enters the grass and finds...a Riolu.

In the words of a certain actor whose name rhymes with Pam Lackson...mother****er.

If this was a normal Locke this would be incredible luck, but of course it's not. Battle Girl the female Riolu gets launched into the void in exchange for an English Magikarp. Oh no, please not again after the Yellow Nuzlocke. I check its stats, and it's Level 13. HAH! There's a chance. What's next is a Level 7 English Flabébé, yellow flower. Finally, something with a distinct advantage against Viola. Say hello to Cassie Lang.

:flabebeyellow: Obtained Cassie Lang the Flabébé from Route 22! :flabebeyellow:

Fury's next step will be to defeat Viola's Gym Trainers. I want to make sure I have a clear path to her before I worry about the level cap. Against the first one, a Youngster with a Ledyba, Ned Leeds reaches Level 10 and evolves into a Butterfree! He also learns Confusion, which is much appreciated. In every challenge I've ever done (never mind that there are only two) I've wound up with a Butterfree before the first Badge. Hopefully this is a good sign, and Ned Leeds will serve me as well as Phosphorus.

It occurs to me that none of these Bug Pokémon actually use any Bug-type moves, so Cassie Lang's Bug resistance doesn't count for as much as I'd hoped. One Spewpa uses Harden a lot, so before long I can barely touch it. Fury nerfs it with a ton of Sand Attacks and Play Nices before sending out Cassie Lang, three levels lower, to wrap it up with Fairy Wind.

Once that's done, Fury also goes to take care of the rest of the Trainers on Route 22. That experience, plus a single wild battle to top off Loki, sends the whole team easily to Level 11. Cassie Lang picks up Lucky Chant, Rocket upgrades Growl to Baby-Doll Eyes, and Loki forgoes Leer for Vine Whip. I have to say that Ebony Maw is falling off faster than I ever would have imagined possible. Having only Tackle for damage and the lowest Speed of anyone on the team are not good for his battling prospects. Still, the team doesn't look half as bad as it did a couple hours ago. Amazing how Fury ended up with Pokémon of all different languages.

Fury heals up at the Pokémon Center and heads for the Santalune City Gym a second time. Rocket will be running point on this one.

Viola's Surskit doesn't hit super hard but it's fast, so by the time Rocket has knocked it out with three Headbutts he's under half health. I switch to Ned Leeds while Vivillon wastes the turn with Harden. String Shot is met by another Harden, then Fury orders String Shot once more to help the rest of the team. Vivillon's Infestation barely scratches Ned Leeds but the trapping and chip damage are a problem. Confusion in return also does hardly any damage, and that's when I start to worry. Five Confusions leave Vivillon at about a third of its health, while Ned Leeds is in range of fainting from one more Tackle plus Infestation damage. Fury has to use one of his two allotted Super Potions; I know I'm in trouble. One more Confusion will just make Viola heal, but after the uses of Harden, none of Fury's physical attackers stand much chance of finishing the battle. With nothing else to do, he orders Confusion again, and it Knocks Out Vivillon with a crit. Well alright then. Ant, meet boot. Rocket jumps to Level 13, while Ned Leeds gets to 12 and learns all three special condition powders. Maybe I should have done that first.

"You and your Pokémon have shown me a whole new depth of field! Fantastic! Just fantastic!"

Fury received the Bug Badge!


With that questionable victory Fury has secured the Bug Badge, the first of eight. There's a deeper purpose to these, though, one that hardly anyone knows. Anyone who holds all eight Infinity Badges is said to possess an unstoppable power. Fury doesn't believe in fairy tales, but it's something that needs investigating all the same.

:butterfree:
Ned Leeds (SPA Butterfree) ♂
Level 12
Shed Skin, Quirky Nature (neutral)
-Sleep Powder
-Stun Spore
-Poison Powder
-Confusion

:poochyena:
Ebony Maw (JPN Poochyena) ♂
Level 11
Run Away, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Tackle
-Howl
-Sand Attack

:zigzagoon:
Rocket (ITA Zigzagoon) ♂
Level 13
Pickup, Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Tackle
-Baby-Doll Eyes
-Tail Whip
-Headbutt

:pansage:
Loki (FRE Pansage) ♂
Level 11
Gluttony, Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def)
-Scratch
-Play Nice
-Vine Whip
-Lick

:flabebeyellow:
Cassie Lang (ENG Flabébé) ♀
Level 11
Flower Veil, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Tackle
-Vine Whip
-Fairy Wind
-Lucky Chant
None yet!
None yet!
 

Gokudera

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Young man, do you know how to use a map?

Of course I do!

Oof. Aftertotally knowing all the references to Marvel looking them up, poor Ned Leeds. That's a bit mean. But at least he used to be Green lol.
Maybe that's why he got a crit on that Confusion. To prove you wrong.
Glad you got through the Bug gym. That team you compiled does not enjoy Bug types.
 

Typhlosion

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@Gokudera There's no denying that the crit from Ned Leeds may have saved my bacon against Viola but I don't regret the nickname. Don't worry, I've had to look up a few Marvel things myself for all these names.

On his way out of town, Fury is flagged down by Dr. Selvig, who gives him the Tesseract (codename: EXP Share). This thing, of course, is "too dangerous to be used," so it's turned off and buried in the Bag. Maybe we'll see Selvig again, though I doubt he'll be important.

Now, Route 4. A female Ledyba is what appears first, in a patch of red flowers. Picnicker is caught with the help of Ebony Maw and Wonder Traded for...a Fletchling. Level 3, female, and Mild, a thoroughly garbage Nature for this species, but maybe she'll get along well with Cassie. I'm not surprised a Fletchling showed up eventually, but why couldn't it have been before Viola and not before Grant?

:fletchling: Obtained Pepper Potts the Fletchling from Route 4! :fletchling:

I want to make sure everyone else can handle themselves before switch-training her, so Fury sticks her in the back of the party for the moment. Neither the Trainers nor the wild Pokémon around here are too much trouble, so the opportunity comes along quickly and Pepper Potts is soon level 11 too. A Preschooler says he just traded for a cool new Pokémon, and then proceeds to send out a Level 9 Magikarp. Oh, kid. The world is a cruel place. Speaking of which, a couple Poké Fans actually heal their Pokémon with Super Potions, which catches me off guard. Fury also finds a Poison Barb, which is the first item in the game so far that's meant to be held, but none of his Pokémon have any damaging Poison-type moves. Oh well.

Everyone's Level 13 now, which seems to be a magic level for moves. Ebony Maw FINALLY gets Bite, while Pepper Potts picks up Quick Attack and Peck and Loki replaces Scratch with Fury Swipes. At the far end of the Route a couple of strange characters are waiting. Unusual clothes... bragging about their accomplishments... desire to show off... this must be the Collector and Carina. How Howard even knows about them is beyond me but whatever. They offer to guide me to the lab. Fury initially turns them down, since I don't like being dragged along places, but it becomes apparent I have to accept to progress. They give me the TM for Return so it's not a complete waste.

Lumiose City. Being the sort of person who has to talk to everyone wastes an awful lot of time in a place like this. Construction workers keep popping up to warm Fury about blackouts, but tons of people are always walking right past them anyway, so someone's not telling me the full story.

Because of that, there's not much to do before hitting up Stark's lab, so that's what Fury does. When the Professor challenges him to a battle, Fury leads with Leeds, who easily dispatches Bulbasaur in two Confusions. Charmander is a different story. Sleep Powder puts it to sleep, but only for that turn. It wakes up when Fury switches to Pepper Potts, who eats an Ember that also burns her. Quick Attack doesn't do much so Ebony Maw comes out. Due to SmokeScreen and Growl it takes several turns for Bite to finish Charmander. After that, though, Squirtle goes down in two hits from Loki's Vine Whip.

Stark then offers us the choice of a Kanto starter; Fury's Trainer ID dictates that it will be Bulbasaur. He's forced to accept it, so Ebony Maw briefly goes to the box since he's Level 14 now. To my surprise, the Bulbasaur is female, so I can nickname her Aroma Lady before firing up Wonder Trade and receiving a Level 14 Whismur. Fury dubs her Ayesha. It's always a nice feeling to have a full team plus some reinforcements in the PC.

:whismur: Obtained Ayesha the Whismur from Lumiose City!

As soon as he can get away, Fury heads for the Pokémon Center to retrieve Ebony Maw. In the lobby, however, he's stopped by a conversation between Carina and...some other weird guy. He raves about "beauty" for a while before leaving. Fury has never put much stock in "beauty." Anyhow, this stuff in the lab unlocks a little more of the city. Fury will never have to buy Poké Balls in his life due to how many people keep giving them away; he picks up sets of Luxury, Timer, and Quick Balls from various people. One girl also gives him a Quick Claw which goes straight to Ebony Maw. One guy has the audacity to talk about the Miracle Seed without giving him one. I also take Fury to get a haircut. The "very short" style is still a far cry from bald but I think it's the best we can do.

Hill had asked Fury to meet her at Café Soleil, so that's what he does. I walk in the door and WHOA WHOA WHOA why do I hear creepy music??? It's that freaky red-haired guy again, talking more crazy villain BS with some lady he identifies as a movie star. On his way out I barely manage to catch his name. Lys-anos? Something like that. Maria just wanted to tell Fury that they should work together to keep their skills sharp, which of course I agree with. Moving right along.

In the gate to Route 5, some dude wearing entirely hot pink flags me down. I...don't even listen to what he has to say, honestly. Where does S.H.I.E.L.D. find these people? Fury makes it about four more steps before someone else gets in his way. It's some roller-skater chick named Korrina who says she's another Gym Leader. That's cool. She just wanted to stop by for a moment so her Lucario could have a staring contest with Fury, or something. Where does S.H.I.E.L.D. FIND these people?? They should know by now that Fury is only willing to put up with so many crackpots.

There's a nice patch of grass immediately available on Route 5, so Fury checks it out and finds a Bunnelby. Rather amazingly, it's the first one he's seen all game. The male is named Worker and Wonder Traded for a Raticate. Huh, neat. This one is at Level 24, perfect for Grant's level cap of 25, so I can actually keep it. Raticate looks like a Darcy. She's there and puts in good work, but I'm not sure she's reaaally anybody's favorite.

:raticate: Obtained Darcy Lewis the Raticate from Route 5! :raticate:

After that it's some good old battling. A pair of Twins in a Double Battle with Plusle and Minun take forever to beat, but they're no real threat and they give a TON of EXP. Something I never thought would happen takes place in this battle: Cassie Lang's Ability Flower Veil actually does something since she's out with Loki, protecting him from Growl. Next up is a guy with a Level 13 Kadabra. Wait, that's illegal. This might have been a slight challenge except that I don't think the game counts on the player having a Dark-type by this point. Ebony Maw gets a Quick Claw trigger to make even faster work of this thing.

Tierno and Trevor show up next, and to my surprise, Tierno challenges Fury to a battle. Ned Leeds is out against his only Pokémon, a Level 12 Corphish. This is rather dastardly, but I figure the best way to take out a dancer is to stop him being able to dance: Ned Leeds nails Corphish with a Stun Spore before taking it out with three Confusions.

Fury skates around some more, picking up things like the TM for Hone Claws, numerous Super Potions, and an Oran Berry. He gets his first taste of Horde Battles against a gang of Level 5 Scraggy, but as he has not a single spread move they are not worth his time. Then, a rather dim-witted wild Gulpin uses Yawn against Rocket, immediately followed by Poison Gas. It's way easier to fight while poisoned, so thanks. The last Trainer on the Route, a Youngster, sends out a Pansage of his own while Fury's is in the lead slot, which is funny to me considering Loki's habit of disguising himself as other beings. Some more moves have come Fury's way, too: Razor Leaf for Cassie Lang, Flail for Pepper Potts, and Gust for Ned Leeds. Despite how incredible Sleep Powder was in my Yellow run, the status condition is far less powerful nowadays, so that's the move he forgot to learn Gust. I'm coming to realize that, since this is a Wonderlocke and every Pokémon is an outsider, therefore gaining boosted EXP, the level cap might be an actual concern. Fury is only at Camphrier Town and his whole squad is pushing Level 16; there's still a ton of game to play before he makes it to Cyllage City. Furthermore, Wonder Trade has NOT been kind when it comes to Fury's matchup vs Rock-types. If someone like Loki or Cassie Lang gets to Level 26, the run could be in real danger.

So, Camphrier Town. I have no idea how these people can complain about feeling neglected and out of the way when they're smack on the main route between the capital and the western coast, but at least they give Fury a ton of free stuff to tempt him to stay. He also meets Cassius, who's in charge of the PC system for the region, so it's goodbye Someone's PC. Shabboneau Castle is as boring and depressing as ever, but a man at the western gate won't let Fury pass until he's checked it out. There he meets Shauna again, who still insists on calling him Nick and also insists they go to Route 7. Not like I was already trying to go there anyway.

Just because he can, Fury tries everything to get away from Shauna. She won't let him go to Route 6 but he's able to duck into the Berry Fields. I get some Berries and the watering can from the old farmer. Growing Berries is a lot of fun in XY so it's a shame I don't really have the time to wait for this now. I debate whether to count this as a separate area, where I can get a new Pokémon, but ultimately I decide it's only part of Route 7. Way back in the far corner, though, Fury finally picks up the Miracle Seed, which is given to Loki.

Once we are informed there's a Snorlax blocking the bridge and we'll need to go retrieve the Scepter (codename: Poké Flute) to move it, Fury is free to check out Route 6. While battling a tourist Loki levels up and learns Leech Seed. Due to the rapidly increasing team levels Fury decides to entirely skip the side portions, so instead he takes his encounter from the shaking bushes along the middle boulevard. Ned Leeds hits the Level 10 female Venipede with a Stun Spore, but it begins Rollout. After Ebony Maw comes out and wears it down with Tackle, I realize he's only one more shot of Rollout away from dying. If the Venipede breaks out I'll risk a death, so Fury uses the one Net Ball he found earlier to catch it. He names her Guitarist. The first Wonder Trade yields a Zigzagoon like Rocket, so it's traded again for a Japanese female Lotad. Umm...FRIDAY should work as a name. Chilling inside a computer for now but maybe she'll get her shot. To my great surprise, she came holding a Mental Herb.

:lotad: Obtained FRIDAY the Lotad from Route 6! :lotad:

Then it's on to Parfum Palace. There are wild Pokémon to be found here but they all require a fishing rod, so Fury will deal with that later. One of the many rooms in the palace has an Amulet Coin, very nice, that goes to Ned Leeds. A person in the hall says that it's illegal to sleep in the king's bed, and the next room Fury looks in has the king's bed, so he immediately goes to sleep in it. It even heals all his Pokémon.

In one of the hedge mazes outside, Fury stumbles across the HM01 Cut. I had completely forgotten that was here. Only Loki and Rocket can learn it but Loki will have a much better selection of TMs later on, so Rocket drops Tail Whip. Since Tackle was buffed to 50 power and Cut only has 95% accuracy, there's no reason to ever use Cut in battle, but it's nice to have. Since I'm much older and wiser than the last time I played this, the Furfrou puzzle takes about 10% of the time. Fury takes a second nap during the fireworks display, missing whatever it was Shauna tried to say to him. At the end of the day the Asgardian who owns the palace opens up his treasure vault and forks over the Scepter. Let's go banish a Snorlax.

This fight is something else. Snorlax is a scripted encounter so I can still catch something else on Route 7 later. I don't particularly care about the EXP but I'm sure Snorlax would be a pain to catch, so I just knock it out. Pepper Potts is out first; she Growls against Amnesia, Growls against an ineffective Lick, and Growls against a Defense Curl. Oh. Snorlax raising both defensive stats is a problem. Fury quickly goes to Ned Leeds for a PoisonPowder, then to Ebony Maw to fish for flinches with Bite. Ebony Maw takes a critical hit Tackle on the switch, being knocked from full health (39) to just 5. Mayday. Rocket switches in, which turns out to be beautiful timing: poison drops Snorlax to half health, it eats a Sitrus Berry, and then Pickup triggers to grab a Sitrus Berry. Headbutt hardly does anything, so Cassie Lang comes out to set up Lucky Chant just in case. At this point Loki is the only one who hasn't had a chance against Snorlax, so I figure what the heck. Fury sends him out, and by this time poison damage has done enough that one Vine Whip finishes the fight. Several Pokémon level up from the EXP, including Pepper Potts, who hits 17 and evolves into Fletchinder! She even learns Ember to boot.

Snorlax runs off and Fury needs to heal. At the Pokémon Center he also remembers a couple Cut trees just on the other side of Camphrier Town. One has nothing behind it but a Trainer, which is weird as heck in my opinion, but his Carvanha and Pancham are no match for Cassie Lang's Fairy Wind. The other tree guards a Sharp Beak: perfect for Pepper Potts. Everyone's looking good as Fury turns his attention to Route 7 a second time.

There's a massive amount of gameplay in XY between the first and second badges and this update is getting long so I'll split it here. See you next time.

:butterfree:
Ned Leeds (SPA Butterfree) ♂
Level 17, holding Amulet Coin
Compound Eyes, Quirky Nature (neutral)
-Gust
-Stun Spore
-Poison Powder
-Confusion

:poochyena:
Ebony Maw (JPN Poochyena) ♂
Level 17, holding Quick Claw
Run Away, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Tackle
-Odor Sleuth
-Sand Attack
-Bite

:zigzagoon:
Rocket (ITA Zigzagoon) ♂
Level 16
Pickup, Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Tackle
-Baby-Doll Eyes
-Cut
-Headbutt

:pansage:
Loki (FRE Pansage) ♂
Level 17, holding Miracle Seed
Gluttony, Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def)
-Fury Swipes
-Leech Seed
-Vine Whip
-Lick

:flabebeyellow:
Cassie Lang (ENG Flabébé) ♀
Level 17
Flower Veil, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Tackle
-Razor Leaf
-Fairy Wind
-Lucky Chant

:fletchinder:
Pepper Potts (FRE Fletchinder) ♀
Level 17, holding Sharp Beak
Flame Body, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Flail
-Ember
-Quick Attack
-Peck
:whismur:
Ayesha (ENG Whismur) ♀
Level 14
Soundproof, Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Pound
-Uproar
-Astonish

:raticate:
Darcy Lewis (ENG Raticate) ♀
Level 24
Guts, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Hyper Fang
-Sucker Punch
-Scary Face
-Crunch

:lotad:
FRIDAY (JPN Lotad) ♀
Level 10, holding Mental Herb
Own Tempo, Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
-Flail
-Growl
-Absorb
-Bubble
None yet!
 
Last edited:

Calaf

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Oof, that Snorlax. I guess it's a good thing it went for Tackle instead of Headbutt when it got that critical hit!

I got a little worried when you got all those 'Route 1 critters' for your first few Wonder trades that it would be like that all the time, but your luck seems to be looking up now: that Modest Lotad :lotad: may come in handy against Grant!
 

Typhlosion

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@Calaf Yeah...Route 1 critters. On paper that Lotad would be incredible against Grant, but his team isn't as simple as Geodude and Onix. You'll see.

In a patch of yellow flowers on Route 7, Fury finds a Swirlix. This thing is only Level 14 but she's strong, nearly killing Rocket and forcing Loki to assist with the catch. She's named Baker and the Wonder Trading begins. Fury receives a French Poochyena (Dupes Clause), a Japanese Luvdisc (level 35, over the cap), and finally a German Magikarp. This one ticks all the boxes so he's stuck with her. It's Hela: trapped in a weak prison now, but watch out once she regains her true power.

:magikarp: Obtained Hela the Magikarp from Route 7! :magikarp:

Fury runs from all other wild encounters on the Route, except for a swarm of Hoppip. Ebony Maw is out, and with no damaging attacks they're practically begging to be beaten. The same goes for a few Trainers. An artist with a Smeargle surprises Ned Leeds by using Ember, but the move is so weak it's no problem. Must be one of those Smeargle that has a full set of weak elemental attacks. A pair of Smeargle later on, used by two artists in a Double Battle, gives me a far bigger shock. I see Metal Claw from one and Helping Hand, Twister, and Confusion from the other. What the hell are they getting at? The surprises keep on coming, though; the experience causes Ebony Maw to reach level 18 and he evolves into Mightyena! I hadn't expected that until at least level 20 but it's much appreciated nonetheless. Thanks to the jump in his Speed, I'm better off moving the Quick Claw to Cassie Lang.

There's only one other Trainer on the route, but remembering my commitment to avoid some EXP where possible, I leave him alone. The agents in Fury's squad, however, seem to have other plans. Trevor flags him down twice to point out the Day Care and then the Battle Chateau, two places in which I have no interest whatsoever. At the end of the long east-west stretch, him plus Tierno and Maria all roll up together. Fury's partner says everyone should have a battle, which I think means I'll get to battle her, but then a VS screen shows both Tierno and Trevor. Oh, so it's a Double Battle. The fight itself is no trouble at all, no thanks to Hill. Loki cleans up Tierno's Corphish while Hill's Fletchling suffers against Trevor's Pikachu. Once it faints she sends out Frogadier; I know it's only because Fury picked Fennekin that her whole team is weak to Electric, but come on. After Loki beats Pikachu too, I switch to Fletchinder just to flex and destroy Trevor's Flabébé with Peck. That was fun. Loki replaces Fury Swipes with Bite.

All that's left is to grab a Persim Berry, a Tiny Mushroom, and a Silver Powder from the western end of Route 7 before heading into Connecting Cave.

Fury tries the north fork first, just to be belligerent, but all he finds is a Breeder to battle before Strength boulders block the path. He does run into a Level 14 Axew as his encounter. Ned Leeds is a little weak but I figure there's no way it has Dragon Rage at such an early level. Stun Spore and Confusion, followed by Axew becoming confused and hitting itself, in exchange for a Dual Chop weakens it enough to catch with a Great Ball. I name her Champion since Iris uses a Haxorus, and then it's Wonder Trade time. While checking Axew's summary I see that she does in fact know Dragon Rage: Ned Leeds was way closer to death than any of us realized. Fury gets a Zigzagoon first before a French Torkoal, very cool. She's below the level cap so it's valid!

:torkoal: Obtained Aunt May the Torkoal from Connecting Cave! :torkoal:

The south fork of the cave is a barren, straightforward path save for a Scientist who offers to heal Fury's Pokémon, so just like that he's made it to Route 8! Right outside the cave he meets up with the Collector and Carina again, who upgrade his Pokédex. Cool. I can literally see the entrance to the Cyllage City Gym from here, so it's quite frustrating that I still have to wait so long to get there.

The first wild encounter is a Level 14 Spoink who's easily caught. Fury nicknames her Psychic and Wonder Trades her for a male Oddish. That's the first male Pokémon he's gotten in quite a while, actually. I don't have a great nickname for this but I can see him having a similar role and attributes to Wong.

:oddish: Obtained Wong the Oddish from Route 8! :oddish:

This part of the Route goes by pretty quick. Fury dodges around a couple of Trainers but accidentally runs straight into one of them; she has only a Level 19 Axew, which is getting the better of Rocket until Fury remembers he has a Fairy-type. Cassie Lang gains enough experience from the battle to reach Level 19 herself and evolve into Floette! I had no idea when that would happen so it was a pleasant surprise. I'll need a Shiny Stone to evolve her further. Fury does find a Leaf Stone at the end of the Route, which can be used for Loki later, and then he's in Ambrette Town.

Just outside of town, Hill runs up and says we should check out the Fossil Lab. Uh, okay. Fury looks around the aquarium first, where he scores an Old Rod. It doesn't seem like there's anything preventing him from exploring the lower half of Route 8, but fine, I'll play the game's little game. A lady standing outside gives away the TM for Rock Smash! That's about the most interesting thing here, though. Not much happens inside the Fossil Lab. Hill and Fury learn from one of the scientists that their colleague in Glittering Cave would be the best person to ask about Mega Evolution, so that's where we're going next.

Fury is given the Rocky Helmet from a lady inside the gate to Route 9. Ebony Maw can have that; now everyone except Rocket has a held item, but he wouldn't get one anyway so I can use Pickup. A female Sandile who gets named Delinquent is the first wild Pokémon Fury finds. In exchange for her he is Wonder Traded a male Trapinch! A grounded, materialistic Pokémon who, upon evolving, gains the ability to fly and purported mystic powers? I know who that sounds like.

:trapinch: Obtained Doctor Strange the Trapinch from Route 9! :trapinch:

By the end of the Route everyone is at level 19 except Ebony Maw. For the sake of equality I decided to challenge the one Trainer on the Route, whom I otherwise would have left alone. However, he's a Sky Trainer. I forgot until too late that Ebony Maw wouldn't be able to participate, so Ned Leeds is dragged out to dispatch the Level 21 Ledian. That's a troublingly high level, but it's only a Ledian. Ebony Maw levels up anyway from the one wild Pokémon Fury finds between the Trainer and the entrance to Glittering Cave.

I really like the way they handle wild encounters in this cave. However, Fury's is a level 17 Onix. I try to weaken and paralyze it with Loki's Lick, but Onix takes the opportunity to boost its Attack with Rage several times, making it dangerously strong. Fury switches to Cassie Lang but Rock Tomb shaves off a full 50% of her HP. I drop a Super Potion and Onix obliges me by going for Rage again. One Razor Leaf weakens it just enough that Fury makes a lucky catch with a Dusk Ball. That was close; for a couple turns I really thought I might have to give up on the encounter. Since it's female I don't want to call it Hiker; Poké Fan the Onix is shipped out in exchange for a male Luvdisc. Fury recognizes him as Happy Hogan. He's only trying to do his job, but not many people take him seriously.

:luvdisc: Obtained Happy Hogan the Luvdisc from Glittering Cave! :luvdisc:

As I go through the cave it becomes even more apparent that Rocket desperately needs to evolve. It takes him 5 Headbutts to defeat a Cubone three levels lower. He stands no chance whatsoever against a Mawile; in fact, I realize Pepper Potts is the only thing on the team that does. Past that Mawile is another Onix, whom Loki demolishes with Vine Whip since Fury isn't worried about catching anything else. Turns out those last two were guarding the TM for Shadow Claw: not a bad move at all.

In the deepest cavern I immediately see some smashable rocks. Fury considers teaching Rock Smash to Rocket, but as soon as he steps forward he's noticed by some...thing wearing a ghastly red suit. It babbles for a while about striking fear into people's hearts and ensuring that no one in the world except the people on its "team" will be happy. Is this one of those Chitauri things? Fury doesn't have time to think more about it before the creatures launches into an attack. He leads with a Houndour up against Rocket, and now I really wish I had taught him Rock Smash. Rocket's first Headbutt does around 40%, while a Smog poisons him. The second Headbutt does far more damage and knocks out Houndour, even though the game didn't show any critical hit message. Weird. What's far more important is that the experience allows him to reach Level 20. Ebony Maw comes out for the Chitauri's last Pokémon, a Zubat. Zubat does more damage to itself in Rocky Helmet recoil than it does to Ebony Maw with an Intimidate-nerfed Bite. One of Ebony Maw's own Bites finishes the job. Once the battle is over, Rocket evolves into Linoone!

I end up teaching Rock Smash to Ebony Maw, since Rocket has decent moves already, and using him to smash all the rocks in the vicinity. The next Chitauri soldier is no big deal either. Fury proceeds through the back of the cave until he comes to where two Chitauri are blocking the way. Maria runs up behind him and the two agree to team up.

The two soldiers have a Croagunk and a Scraggy, both at the relatively high level of 20 compared to Loki's 19. The fight starts off well enough: Hill fights like an absolute idiot but the enemies seem content to target her instead of Loki. Her Psychic-type Espurr decides to go for a pathetically weak Covet with a Croagunk sitting right there. Loki's Vine Whip doesn't do much to Scraggy, while both foes hit Espurr with Faint Attack. Espurr goes down immediately on the next turn, giving Scraggy a Moxie boost. Hill sends out Frogadier and the third turn begins. If I had bet money she would try to use a Water-type move on something with Dry Skin I would be a richer man now. Her Pokémon gets slapped with a Swagger from Croagunk in return while Scraggy targets Loki, who's at 39/53 HP, with a Headbutt.

A critical hit! That 39 becomes 0.

Lost Loki the Pansage
:pansage:
"No resurrections this time."

I have to admit, up to this point, the game didn't feel much like a challenge run. I did all the proper catching and trading rules, of course, but the battles for the most part were all very smooth and it was hard to think that if anything fainted, that was the end for them. I'm sorry, Loki. You were fun to use and you had a lot of potential, but we never got to see you truly shine.

Scraggy only has a sliver of health now so Fury sends out Cassie Lang to finish it with Razor Leaf. Frogadier decides to do something right for a change and takes care of it with Quick Attack, so I look pretty dumb hitting a Croagunk with Razor Leaf. Neither Croagunk nor Cassie Lang end up doing much damage to each other; Frogadier kills itself in confusion and Hill sends out an Absol to help Fury end the Chitauri's last Pokémon. Ouch.

With them beaten we're free to go and meet the Fossil specialist. He gives Fury the choice of two Fossils. The rightmost unused digit of the Trainer ID is 7: the second half of 0-9, so Fury picks the Sail Fossil. The Scientist leaves and I pick up an Escape Rope right next to him, but I like Glittering Cave so I'm content to run back through the long way. Backtracking along Route 9 to Ambrette Town is predictably uneventful.

The first thing Fury does back in town is remove Loki's Miracle Seed and lay him to rest in the PC. He holds off on a replacement in favor of taking his Fossil to the Lab and having it restored into a male Amaura, nicknamed Collector. Not the Collector, mind you. Wonder Trade gives an English Fletchling and then, for the valid encounter, an English Wurmple. Nothing I love more than weak first-Badge species. This one will be named after a relatively frail character who's not suuuper important either. Seems fitting. Sorry not sorry.

:wurmple: Obtained Betty Ross the Wurmple from Ambrette Town! :wurmple:

Sigh. Okay. Fury's definitely not putting her in the way of Grant's Gym. I wrestle with the decision for a while, taking into account base stats, matchup against future Gyms, and the nature of Grant's Pokémon themselves. There's no clear choice and I can't entirely get rid of my misgivings, but for now I have to go with Doctor Strange the Trapinch.

Before proceeding to Cyllage City, I figure I might as well go back for completion's sake and beat the three Trainers I skipped. Cassie Lang picks up Wish, which I don't anticipate using much but might be better than Tackle. Doctor Strange does a great job demolishing a couple hordes with Rock Slide and Bulldoze, but he also nearly dies thanks to an Inkay's Swagger. I sure hope his massive Attack and his matchup against Rock-types are able to justify dancing around his atrocious speed and mediocre defenses. I give him the Quick Claw and, for lack of anything better, give Cassie Lang the Miracle Seed to power up Razor Leaf. Once Fury gets back to Ambrette Town his squad is Level 21 across the board.

:butterfree:
Ned Leeds (SPA Butterfree) ♂
Level 21, holding Amulet Coin
Compound Eyes, Quirky Nature (neutral)
-Gust
-Stun Spore
-Poison Powder
-Confusion

:mightyena:
Ebony Maw (JPN Mightyena) ♂
Level 21, holding Rocky Helmet
Intimidate, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Tackle
-Rock Smash
-Sand Attack
-Bite

:linoone:
Rocket (ITA Linoone) ♂
Level 21
Pickup, Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Odor Sleuth
-Baby-Doll Eyes
-Cut
-Headbutt

:floetteyellow:
Cassie Lang (ENG Floette) ♀
Level 21, holding Miracle Seed
Flower Veil, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Wish
-Razor Leaf
-Fairy Wind
-Lucky Chant

:fletchinder:
Pepper Potts (FRE Fletchinder) ♀
Level 21, holding Sharp Beak
Flame Body, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Flail
-Ember
-Quick Attack
-Peck

:trapinch:
Doctor Strange (ENG Trapinch) ♂
Level 21, holding Quick Claw
Arena Trap, Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
-Bulldoze
-Sand Tomb
-Rock Slide
-Dig
:whismur:
Ayesha (ENG Whismur) ♀
Level 14
Soundproof, Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Pound
-Uproar
-Astonish

:raticate:
Darcy Lewis (ENG Raticate) ♀
Level 24
Guts, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Hyper Fang
-Sucker Punch
-Scary Face
-Crunch

:lotad:
FRIDAY (JPN Lotad) ♀
Level 10, holding Mental Herb
Own Tempo, Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
-Flail
-Growl
-Absorb
-Bubble

:magikarp:
Hela (GER Magikarp) ♀
Level 10
Swift Swim, Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
-Splash

:torkoal:
Aunt May (FRE Torkoal) ♀
Level 15
White Smoke, Rash Nature (+SpA, -SpD)
-Withdraw
-Rapid Spin
-Fire Spin
-Smokescreen

:oddish:
Wong (ENG Oddish) ♂
Level 11
Chlorophyll, Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
-Absorb
-Sweet Scent
-Acid

:luvdisc:
Happy Hogan (JPN Luvdisc) ♂
Level 15
Swift Swim, Serious Nature (neutral)
-Charm
-Water Gun
-Agility
-Take Down

:wurmple:
Betty Ross (ENG Wurmple) ♀
Level 5
Shield Dust, Gentle Nature (+SpD, -Def)
-Tackle
-String Shot
-Poison Sting
:pansage:
Loki (FRE Pansage) ♂
Level 19
Gluttony, Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def)
-Bite
-Leech Seed
-Vine Whip
-Lick
Killed by a critical hit Headbutt from a Team Flare Grunt's Scraggy.
 

Deva

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Be thankful for Cassie Lang versus the level 19 Axew. Knew Dragon Rage. (Edit: Skimmed too fast over the level 14 knowing it also. Prepared you, in a sense. Who decided to give it that move so early?)

Good luck versus Grant. Agrees on Grant being trickier than you might think. Cannot underestimate base 89 attack with Strong Jaw.

Hopes for more interesting Pokemon too. Expected an Eevee, Froakie, or Honedge by now. Will probably get Bunnelby, Pidgey, and Weedle at this rate, though.
 
Last edited:

Gokudera

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Espurr not attacking a Croagunk. I...got dang it, Hill.
Seriously, though. Did they purposely make the Rival AI worse?
Loki: We have an army
Hill:I have **** AI.


The long long stretch between the first two badges is almost over, though. Heres hoping Tyrunt isn't too tough.
 

Calaf

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Oh, double battles: truly the bane of Locke challenges, all the more so when you're paired up with the rival AI.

It's a shame Loki was cut down before he got to shine, and with a Leaf Stone already in the Bag too. RIP.
 

Typhlosion

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@Deva They probably felt bad for Axew after making the Fairy-type. I've still avoided the Pokémon you mentioned, but I got one thing that's close enough.
@Gokudera Tyrunt might hit hard but it's really Amaura who worries me more. That thing has some tricks up its sleeves.
@Calaf Yeah, that really felt like a two-on-one fight most of the battle. Loki was so close to evolving too, since after Seed Bomb at Level 22, TMs take care of everything else.

It's the final push. Fury wraps around the southern part of Route 8, back within the borders of Ambrette Town, collecting valuable items and smashing rocks as he goes. Heading north, he gets to a Mago Berry tree growing on the edge of the shore. Mago Berries are still terrible this Gen, before Gen VII improved them, but Fury grabs it anyway because why not. Something about this spot is jogging my memory; I run around checking every tile for a hidden item until Fury catches the eye of a Sky Trainer waiting offshore. Right, that's what it was. He has two solid Flying-types so he happily accepts the challenge.

It's Ned Leeds out front against the first of the Sky Trainer's two Pokémon. Fury's opponents leads with a Level 28 Mantyke. Um...what the hell is that? It would have been one thing if Mantyke was even a good matchup for Fury's Pokémon, but that species has a STAB supereffective against both. Ned Leeds is still faster and hits a Stun Spore, while Mantyke uses Confuse Ray. Great, that's the last thing I need. Ned Leeds does manage to pull off a Gust next turn, which does negligible damage. Oh boy. Wing Attack, by contrast, deals 75% of Ned Leed's max HP. I use a Super Potion while Mantyke is fully paralyzed. Next turn Ned Leeds hits himself in addition to taking another Wing Attack. Fury has to drop his second and final Super Potion while fortunately Mantyke tries Confuse Ray again. Ned Leeds fires off another hopeless Gust next turn after snapping out of confusion while Wing Attack cripples him again. All Fury can do is order one last Gust before Ned Leeds has his last few HP taken away.

Lost Ned Leeds the Butterfree
:butterfree:
"We're all gonna die!"

The carnage doesn't end there, as Pepper Potts is forced to take the stage. Mantyke has quite a bit less Defense than Special Defense, so Peck actually does a noticeable amount of damage, but the Sky Trainer's Pokémon is still at over half health when Pepper Potts is oneshot from full health by Mantyke's Water Pulse.

Lost Pepper Potts the Fletchinder
:fletchinder:
"Now...you can rest."

Fury blacked out!

Fury hands over some money to the airborne Antichrist and finds himself back on the beach. He may have gotten the blackout screen but 2/3 of his Pokémon are still healthy. Ugh. That SUCKED. I want to punch the damned bloody moron who programmed that. I get that the Sky Trainer gives you the option to accept their challenge but I had zero reason to see that coming. I was especially excited about Pepper Potts; had she evolved into Talonflame I was planning to change her name to Rescue to reflect the evolution of the character as well.

Suddenly my odds against Korrina and Ramos are looking much worse. Nothing for it but to head back to the Pokémon Center. Fury deposits Ned Leeds and Pepper Potts, then withdraws FRIDAY the Lotad as well as Aunt May the Torkoal. I don't expect her to be good for anything during a stretch of the game that's almost exclusively Water- and Rock-types, but she's the only decent Pokémon left that doesn't double up on types. I can train her later.

The rest of Route 8 goes by smoothly. A Swimmer gives Fury the Dowsing Machine, so he spends a couple minutes running around pulling all the valuables out of the beach. FRIDAY is switch-trained against the Fishermen and Swimmers, so it's not too long before she hits Level 14 and evolves into a Lombre. The stat buff is nice but it's not like she's usable at this level yet.

I can't really say why but I've never been a huge fan of Cyllage City. I'm not a beach guy so maybe that's it. Anyhow, Fury is given a free Bicycle (he chooses the yellow one) and buys himself a new hat at the boutique. He also meets a woman who sells Soda Pops by the dozen, which are astronomically better than Super Potions. There are a ton of X items lying around this city for whatever reason, which is just money to us, and up on the bicycle racecourse Fury is met by Grant himself. The Gym Leader hands out the HM for Strength before explaining that we'll need a Badge to use it and inviting us to his Gym. All in due time, my guy. Some of us are still training new recruits.

Speaking of new recruits, I stumble across a delightful possibility inside the Cyllage City Pokémon Center. An NPC offers to trade his Steelix for a Luvdisc, and by pure coincidence, Fury has a Luvdisc. I know some people avoid in-game trades in their challenges, but I've never seen a problem with it, because the net number of Pokémon you have doesn't increase. So, Fury bids farewell to Happy Hogan in exchange for the NPC's female Steelix.

:steelix:

This is the part where I have to be honest and admit I made a mistake. I was so tilted about losing to that Sky Trainer and so happy to finally have some real insurance against Grant, that I forgot I was supposed to Wonder Trade that Steelix again. I even decided to call her Janet van Dyne. However, by the time I realized my mistake, all I had done with her was beat one random Trainer on Route 10, and then grind for a single level (to 21 up from 20) against wild Pokémon. Hadn't even set foot in the Gym. I resolved to Wonder Trade the Steelix right away, no harm, no foul. Judge me as you will.

Fury bids a hasty farewell to Janet van Dyne and receives a Volbeat. With Grant coming up that's about the worst deal imaginable: it doesn't even have Swarm, just Illuminate! There's no way in hell I'm using a Volbeat, so we're back to Aunt May. This Volbeat's had some experience traveling through technology across time and space, and he caused me some stress related to Janet van Dyne, so I think Bill Foster sounds like a perfect name.

:volbeat:

This whole misadventure ended up with a surprisingly tidy resolution, all things considered. Now that Fury's team has settled a bit, I shuffle around some items and teach Rocket Rock Smash. I also grind FRIDAY up to level 22, on par with the others, and Fury finally goes to check out the Gym.

These Trainers are ridiculous. The very first Pokémon I face is a Dwebble that brings Doctor Strange down to 9 HP with some good Rock Blast luck, and then the same Trainer has the audacity to send out a Relicanth. Cassie Lang has to deal with that. Later on is a Rising Star with a Solrock and a Lunatone. Solrock goes down in two easy Bites since Fury led with Ebony Maw, but Lunatone has no problem hitting multiple Hypnosis and Rock Throw attacks despite taking three Sand Attacks. By the time Fury reaches Grant he's feeling distinctly battered, but of course there's no way I'm taking on the Gym Leader just yet.

Fury heads back to the Route 8 cliffs to hit the level cap. Despite the wild Pokémon being, on average, 10 levels lower, it's the most reliable grinding spot at this point. I figure that as long as I have her, I might as well level up Aunt May some too because I may need all the firepower I can get.

Aunt May's very first battle is against a Level 14 Inkay, one level lower than her. It hits a couple weak Psywaves while she chips away with Fire Spin. The next turn I click Rapid Spin instead out of boredom while Inkay goes for Swagger, but my move hits anyway. Then Inkay chooses to use Foul Play. It's a devastating combo but I figure Aunt May's huge Defense should help her survive, which it does, but with just 1 HP. Then it's her turn to move...and she hits herself in confusion.

Lost Aunt May the Torkoal
:torkoal:
"Well, hope you got a few good licks in."

Her very first battle. That...went better in my head. Fury taps Darcy Lewis as a replacement, but I start to think maybe I should check out my Cyllage City and Route 10 encounters just to see what I can get. The grinding up to Level 25 goes well. Hordes of Zangoose are nice to fight since they give good EXP and waste some time attacking the Seviper that shows up. FRIDAY upgrades Bubble to Bubble Beam while Cassie Lang replaces Wish with Magical Leaf. I wanted to keep Razor Leaf too so I have at least one spread move on the team.

Back to Cyllage City. Ebony Maw smashes rocks on the beach until he finds, interestingly, another female Onix like in Glittering Cave. This one's an easy catch and I name her Rising Star in honor of Grant's Rock Trainers. The Wonder Trade bestows upon Fury a Makuhita. Wait...that could be just what I need! She has Guts instead of Thick Fat, which would have been good for Amaura, but a bulky Fighting-type Pokémon could still be a prayer answered.

:makuhita: Obtained Okoye the Makuhita from Cyllage City! :makuhita:

Now for Route 10. Fury comes across a Golett in the yellow flowers. I realize I don't have anything I trust to reliably weaken it, so I just lob a Quick Ball and hope for the best. It works; the genderless Golett is named Veteran and the Wonder Trading commences. Fury cycles through an Italian Wurmple, an English Fletching, and a Spanish Golem of all things before a valid trade goes through: a Level 23 Tropius! Hmm, that could be nice later. The male Pokémon has Solar Power. A big green guy, made stronger by radiation? Yeah.

:tropius: Obtained Hulk the Tropius from Route 10! :tropius:

Those were some refreshingly decent trades. Fury finds a PC to deposit Darcy Lewis in favor of Okoye. Her one problem is that she's only Level 12, and I can't even switch-train her since I can't risk any of Fury's stronger Pokémon going over the level cap. It'd be kinda nice to have a Smoke Ball right about now. Fury picked up a Destiny Knot somewhere, so he gives that to her for lack of anything better. Fury's in for a tedious grind with a lot of backtracking, but I think the results will be worth it.

The thing I come to realize about Okoye is that she's abysmally slow. She can almost never successfully flee from anything, so I really have to pick my battles--literally. Numerous wild Pokémon encounters end with Fury switching to Ebony Maw or Rocket just to be able to run away. To begin, Fury goes all the way back to Route 6, where defeating a single one of the Audino from the bushes boosts Okoye by nearly three levels. A good start. I figure that as long as he's that close to Parfum Palace, his one remaining encounter at this point, Fury might as well go for it. He heads to the pond out back in the garden and breaks out his Old Rod. A Level 15 male Magikarp is fished up, nicknamed Fisherman, and Wonder Traded for a Numel. Not bad, but Fury hasn't had the greatest track record of keeping Fire-types alive. Also, why have all my Fire-types been French? Anyhow, let's see about this guy: dimwitted, explosive, and not the prettiest thing around. Sounds like Taserface.

:numel: Obtained Taserface the Numel from Parfum Palace! :numel:

Then it's back to the grind for an hour or two. I only have one close call but it is scary. After weakening her with a couple other attacks, a wild Level 18 Binacle scores a critical hit Clamp against the Level 19 Okoye. After the trap damage she's left at just 1 HP. Fury can't even switch out so he's forced to use a Soda Pop. You'd think a Fighting-type would do okay against a Water/Rock type, but no. Okoye's stats are bad. I have to do most of the training on Route 9, which takes a while due to its horrendous encounter rate. However, all this only lasts until Level 24, when Okoye evolves into Hariyama! She's got disgustingly high HP at this point, in the triple digits, as well as the highest Attack on the team. Grinding for the last level feels like a dream. Knock Off is the only worthwhile move Okoye learns all the way up to level 25, so it replaces Sand Attack, and then she's ready to go.

Fury heals at the Cyllage City Pokémon Center and mentally prepares himself for Grant. The plan is to have Rocket break past Amaura with Rock Smash, so Fury equips him with the one Cheri Berry in his possession. Okoye is given Fury's lone Sitrus Berry because she can use it most efficiently and because she'll be primarily responsible for Tyrunt after Ebony Maw's Intimidate nerfs it. Despite their ostensibly good matchups against Rock, I really hope not to have to use FRIDAY or Doctor Strange if I can help it. As for Cassie Lang...naturally low Defense along with a Defense-reducing Nature relegates her to a cheerleader role this time. She's still rocking the Amulet Coin.

The Kalos Gym Leader music is quite nice and it really matches my mood as Fury challenges Grant with Rocket vs Amaura. Rocket is faster; his Rock Smash just puts Amaura into yellow health but also drops its Defense. Amaura goes for Thunder Wave. Rocket eats the Cheri Berry to heal itself and finishes Amaura with Rock Smash next turn. So far so good, and Tyrunt comes out. Fury goes into Ebony Maw for the Intimidate drop while Rock Tomb does around a quarter of his health. I could stay in to Rock Smash once or twice but there's no real reason to. Okoye doesn't mind the Rock Tomb she takes on the switch since I'm positive she's slower anyway. Fury orders Fake Out because why not, but the following Arm Thrust is stopped by a Stomp flinch. Yeah, that's what I was worried about. Each individual Stomp doesn't hurt Okoye much but they could add up quickly. The second Stomp doesn't flinch, but Arm Thrust only hits twice. A third Stomp puts Okoye at just over half health, but the first strike of her Arm Thrust is a crit, allowing her to finish off Tyrunt in just two hits. The experience causes Ebony Maw to level up. Grant's Rock-type Pokémon are no more!

"You have proven to be a wall that I am unable to surmount!"

Fury received the Cliff Badge!


Fury returns in triumph to the Pokémon Center to heal, as well as replacing Okoye's Sitrus Berry with the Destiny Knot again and loading up with another dozen Soda Pops. There are a couple things to take care of before he goes in search of the next Infinity Badge, but those can wait until next time.

:mightyena:
Ebony Maw (JPN Mightyena) ♂
Level 26, holding Rocky Helmet
Intimidate, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Tackle
-Rock Smash
-Sand Attack
-Bite

:linoone:
Rocket (ITA Linoone) ♂
Level 25
Pickup, Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Rock Smash
-Baby-Doll Eyes
-Cut
-Headbutt

:floetteyellow:
Cassie Lang (ENG Floette) ♀
Level 25, holding Amulet Coin
Flower Veil, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Magical Leaf
-Razor Leaf
-Fairy Wind
-Lucky Chant

:trapinch:
Doctor Strange (ENG Trapinch) ♂
Level 25, holding Quick Claw
Arena Trap, Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
-Bulldoze
-Sand Tomb
-Rock Slide
-Dig

:lombre:
FRIDAY (JPN Lotad) ♀
Level 25, holding Miracle Seed
Own Tempo, Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
-Fury Swipes
-Water Sport
-Absorb
-Bubble Beam

:hariyama:
Okoye (ENG Hariyama) ♀
Level 25, holding Destiny Knot
Guts, Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spe)
-Focus Energy
-Knock Off
-Arm Thrust
-Fake Out
:whismur:
Ayesha (ENG Whismur) ♀
Level 14
Soundproof, Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Pound
-Uproar
-Astonish

:raticate:
Darcy Lewis (ENG Raticate) ♀
Level 25
Guts, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Hyper Fang
-Sucker Punch
-Scary Face
-Crunch

:magikarp:
Hela (GER Magikarp) ♀
Level 10
Swift Swim, Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
-Splash

:oddish:
Wong (ENG Oddish) ♂
Level 11
Chlorophyll, Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
-Absorb
-Sweet Scent
-Acid

:wurmple:
Betty Ross (ENG Wurmple) ♀
Level 5
Shield Dust, Gentle Nature (+SpD, -Def)
-Tackle
-String Shot
-Poison Sting

:volbeat:
Bill Foster (ENG Volbeat) ♂
Level 13
Illuminate, Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Tackle
-Double Team
-Confuse Ray
-Moonlight

:tropius:
Hulk (ENG Tropius) ♂
Level 23
Solar Power, Jolly (+Spe, -SpA)
-Sweet Scent
-Stomp
-Magical Leaf
-Whirlwind

:numel:
Taserface (FRE Numel) ♂
Level 17
Oblivious, Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
-Ember
-Focus Energy
-Magnitude
-Flame Burst
:pansage:
Loki (FRE Pansage) ♂
Level 19
Gluttony, Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def)
-Bite
-Leech Seed
-Vine Whip
-Lick
Killed by a critical hit Headbutt from a Team Flare Grunt's Scraggy.

:butterfree:
Ned Leeds (SPA Butterfree) ♂
Level 21
Compound Eyes, Quirky Nature (neutral)
-Gust
-Stun Spore
-Poison Powder
-Confusion
Killed by a Wing Attack from a Sky Trainer's Mantyke.

:fletchinder:
Pepper Potts (FRE Fletchinder) ♀
Level 21
Flame Body, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Flail
-Ember
-Quick Attack
-Peck
Killed by a Water Pulse from a Sky Trainer's Mantyke.

:torkoal:
Aunt May (FRE Torkoal) ♀
Level 15
White Smoke, Rash Nature (+SpA, -SpD)
-Withdraw
-Rapid Spin
-Fire Spin
-Smokescreen
Hit herself in confusion that was inflicted by a wild Inkay.
 

Gokudera

Vocalist
Staff Emeritus
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Devin
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Sky Trainers are a decent idea, but but thisnhighlighted the issue: You never know what they could have, and being limited to *some* Flying types and other hoverers makes it hard to counter some.

But this is a damn good example of turning a tragedy around.
As sad as losing Ned and Pepper is, they were both quad weak to Amura and Tyrunt. So managing to get a Makuhita as replacement is fantastic. And now that She's a Hariyama, she can be a huge asset. And if you ever manage to snag a Flame Orb, that Guts can be amazing.
Rest in Peace, Pepper and Ned. Go meet up with Tony, Pepper. I'm sure he's missed you.


This has nothing to do with this, but I always thought Hariyama's in game cry made it sound like its trying to say its name. At least in earlier Generations.
 

Typhlosion

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@Gokudera Having Okoye has been a godsend, no doubt. I've relied on her several times.

Having earned the Cliff Badge, Fury now has the ability to use Strength outside of battle. This opens up some business to take care of before progressing. He teaches the move to Ebony Maw as a much-appreciated upgrade to Tackle and then goes to Connecting Cave to clear all the passages. Behind one of the boulders is the TM for Aerial Ace! Also, now that Connecting Cave actually connects places, Fury can get to Route 8 much more quickly, where something else is waiting for him. On a ledge that had been blocked by another boulder, Fury picks up a Water Stone! FRIDAY's looking forward to using that in a few levels.

Now it's time for Route 10. Fury has already claimed his encounter here, so he can traipse freely through the flowers and grass. A small Strength puzzle near the beginning of the route yields the TM for Thunder Wave, another solid move. The rest of the Route isn't too bad. Halfway through Fury runs into some Chitauri warriors--the same ones from Glittering Cave, actually, based on their rosters. They've brought an additional friend along this time, but she's no more of a challenge than the first two.

A battle with a wild Hawlucha, however, forces Fury to confront a bitter reality. Cassie Lang is out front, who would have been my first choice anyway. Her Fairy Wind does over half health to the Hawlucha, but only after its Wing Attack does 50% to her first. Fury can't risk leaving her out, but nothing else on his team wants to be in the way of this thing either. In the end he calls upon Ebony Maw's Intimidate and hopes not to take a Fighting-type attack on the switch, but since Hawlucha only went for Roost, two Strengths knock it out. This encounter turned out all right in the end, but it's not clear to me how I'll be able to say the same against Korrina's Hawlucha, her Flying-Press-using ace. I miss Pepper Potts more than ever.

Once in Geosenge Town, Fury heals at the Pokémon Center but quickly spots another Chitauri. It doesn't notice him back, so he tails it to the northwestern side of town where it seems to vanish. Then, Fury's partner Maria runs up for about five seconds to ask if that was a Chitauri she just saw, before dashing off again. That was...weird.

There don't seem to be any Pokémon that can be obtained in Geosenge Town, so Fury's ready to move on. The eastern gate was initially blocked by a bunch of Backpackers doing...something or other, but the way is clear now. Just before he passes under the stone arch, however, a voice from behind stops Fury. It's that roller-skating girl from earlier, Korrina. This time she actually wants to battle, and the VS screen announces her as Leader Korrina. Am I about to get another Badge already?

She leads with a Level 25 Lucario against FRIDAY, at Level 26. This is slightly concerning; I recall these Lucario having only weak moves, but my enthusiasm doesn't last long when I see that one of them is Power-Up Punch. Oh boy. I'll need to end this as fast as possible, but FRIDAY's Bubble Beam only does around a third of its health. Fortunately Lucario chooses Metal Sound and Feint next, but FRIDAY's next two Bubble Beams leave it with a sliver of its health. Right, time to roll out my original plan for this fight. Okoye only takes a few damage from Feint on the switch and her Fake Out ends this Lucario. Korrina's second one goes down on the first turn thanks to Arm Thrust hitting five times. Cool, where's my Badge? The experience boosts Okoye to Level 27. I ponder having her learn Belly Drum, but with Speed like hers, the risk probably will never be worth it.

Korrina informs us that Shalour City is just past a nearby cave, and we should by and say hello. I don't bother to warn her that whenever Fury stops by anywhere "to say hello" things often get blown up. It's not his fault; it comes with the territory. There'll be a rumble for this Rumble Badge, all right.

So, Route 11. Everyone's at Level 27 once Fury deals with Korrina and strikes out from Geosenge Town. He picks a Sitrus Berry from the tree, grabs the TM for Rock Polish, and gets a Nidorino for his encounter. I know this thing doesn't have any serious Poison-type attacks so I'm comfortable allowing Cassie Lang to stay out. It take four Fairy Winds to weaken the wild Pokémon to red health but a single Luxury Ball catches it. Fury parts ways with Ace Trainer in exchange for a Qwilfish. You don't see one of those every day, but I know they can be caught at rather high levels, so I have to check...oh, she's at Level 1. That's fine, that's fine. The new level cap is 32.

:qwilfish: Obtained Nebula the Qwilfish from Route 11! :qwilfish:

Near the top of the Route Fury gets a call on his Holo Caster from none other than his sponsor, Howard Stark. The professor tells Fury about a man we should meet in Shalour City, who knows all the secrets of a great power and sometimes bestows them on other Trainers. His name is Odin. Guess we'll have to check that out. The only other interesting thing on the route is a Double Battle against two guys with a Machoke and a Mr. Mime, and they are tough. I had led with Ebony Maw, which was nice for Intimidate, but he still takes over half health from Machoke's first attack and I can't use him to soak up the wicked Psybeams from Mr. Mime for fear of a Fairy-type attack. Mr. Mime spends a couple turns setting up Light Screen and Reflect, while Machoke only goes for my left position, so that gives FRIDAY a few uninterrupted turns to take out the Fighting-type with Bubble Beam. I still struggle for a while to take out Mr. Mime, though, especially since its Psybeam ends up confusing Rocket. FRIDAY just keeps chipping away, though, and she manages to take it out. In the end I see its full moveset of Light Screen, Reflect, Psybeam, and Encore, so I guess I could have used Ebony Maw once Machoke was gone, but there was no realistic way for me to know that. Fury darts back to Geosenge Town to heal again before taking on Reflection Cave.

His encounter comes almost as soon as Fury sets foot in the cave, and to my horror it's a Level 22 Wobbuffet. Doctor Strange was sent out but he has only physical attacks, without any tricks to get around Counter, while this Wobbuffet must have Shadow Tag. Fury chucks a Quick Ball and mercifully it works. The female Wobbuffet is named what else but Team Rocket, and Wonder Trade spits out a Spanish Scatterbug. I guess that one was never a matter of if, but only when. Continuing with my loosely-established trend of naming early bugs after Spider-Man supporting characters, I'll call her Michelle Jones.

:scatterbug: Obtained Michelle Jones the Scatterbug from Reflection Cave! :scatterbug:

For the most part Reflection Cave is all right. Fury has quite a tense time against a certain Battle Girl with a Throh and, again, a Hawlucha. Fury has to cycle through almost his whole team to find a way to beat them. None of this bodes well for the Korrina fight. I'm also very concerned when Rocket ends up locked in a death match with another wild Wobbuffet, but due to it making some very poor move choices, I'm able to whittle it down with Rock Smash and Defense drops until Headbutt deals a final crushing blow. Fury had been running from wild Pokémon before then, to avoid the EXP, but this incident causes him to dive into his stash of Repels gathered through Pickup. Speaking of EXP, that's turning into a huge worry again. Fury's whole team is at level 30 and he's not even out of this cave, to say nothing of whatever's waiting in Shalour City.

In the basement of the cave Fury finds a Black Belt (the item, not the Trainer) which is massively appreciated by Okoye. Tierno also stops him to share a TM for Flash. Fury dodges around as many more Trainers as he can through the rest of the cave, which amounts to four. He skips an entire side path in the basement which is blocked by an Ace Trainer, so I hope there was nothing important back there.

Fury emerges from Reflection Cave into Shalour City. The Pokémon Center is nearby, and in a house close to that, a Scientist bestows an Eviolite upon Fury. This could not have come at a better time...I mean, it definitely could have, but this is when I really need it. It's given to Cassie Lang. A Breeder east of town won't let Fury leave while he still has business with Korrina. How the hell this dude knows about that is beyond me, but whatever. Back in the center of town, Tierno and Trevor stop Fury to remind him that Sycamore wants them to go see Odin. Right, right, I didn't forget, but there are more important things to worry about right now.

On a hill in the northwest Fury finds what he was looking for: the Shalour City Gym. My heart drops when I see the Gym guide standing out front blocking the door. No, no, no. He explains that Korrina is away training in the Tower of Mastery. Damn it! If Fury has to do the whole dumb Mega Evolution sidequest before he can challenge this Gym he'll need to train up a whole new team. Nothing for it but to head to the Tower of Mastery.

:mightyena:
Ebony Maw (JPN Mightyena) ♂
Level 30, holding Rocky Helmet
Intimidate, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Strength
-Rock Smash
-Sand Attack
-Bite

:linoone:
Rocket (ITA Linoone) ♂
Level 30
Pickup, Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Rock Smash
-Baby-Doll Eyes
-Cut
-Headbutt

:floetteyellow:
Cassie Lang (ENG Floette) ♀
Level 30, holding Eviolite
Flower Veil, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Magical Leaf
-Razor Leaf
-Fairy Wind
-Lucky Chant

:trapinch:
Doctor Strange (ENG Trapinch) ♂
Level 30, holding Quick Claw
Arena Trap, Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
-Bulldoze
-Sand Tomb
-Rock Slide
-Dig

:lombre:
FRIDAY (JPN Lotad) ♀
Level 30, holding Miracle Seed
Own Tempo, Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
-Fury Swipes
-Water Sport
-Absorb
-Bubble Beam

:hariyama:
Okoye (ENG Hariyama) ♀
Level 30, holding Black Belt
Guts, Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spe)
-Focus Energy
-Knock Off
-Arm Thrust
-Fake Out
:whismur:
Ayesha (ENG Whismur) ♀
Level 14
Soundproof, Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Pound
-Uproar
-Astonish

:raticate:
Darcy Lewis (ENG Raticate) ♀
Level 25
Guts, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Hyper Fang
-Sucker Punch
-Scary Face
-Crunch

:magikarp:
Hela (GER Magikarp) ♀
Level 10
Swift Swim, Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
-Splash

:oddish:
Wong (ENG Oddish) ♂
Level 11
Chlorophyll, Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
-Absorb
-Sweet Scent
-Acid

:wurmple:
Betty Ross (ENG Wurmple) ♀
Level 5
Shield Dust, Gentle Nature (+SpD, -Def)
-Tackle
-String Shot
-Poison Sting

:volbeat:
Bill Foster (ENG Volbeat) ♂
Level 13
Illuminate, Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Tackle
-Double Team
-Confuse Ray
-Moonlight

:tropius:
Hulk (ENG Tropius) ♂
Level 23
Solar Power, Jolly (+Spe, -SpA)
-Sweet Scent
-Stomp
-Magical Leaf
-Whirlwind

:numel:
Taserface (FRE Numel) ♂
Level 17
Oblivious, Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
-Ember
-Focus Energy
-Magnitude
-Flame Burst

:qwilfish:
Nebula (ENG Qwilfish) ♀
Level 1
Poison Point, Quiet Nature (+SpA, -Spe)
-Spikes
-Tackle
-Poison Sting
-Brine

:scatterbug:
Michelle Jones (SPA Scatterbug) ♀
Level 3
Compound Eyes, Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Tackle
-String Shot
:pansage:
Loki (FRE Pansage) ♂
Level 19
Gluttony, Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def)
-Bite
-Leech Seed
-Vine Whip
-Lick
Killed by a critical hit Headbutt from a Team Flare Grunt's Scraggy.

:butterfree:
Ned Leeds (SPA Butterfree) ♂
Level 21
Compound Eyes, Quirky Nature (neutral)
-Gust
-Stun Spore
-Poison Powder
-Confusion
Killed by a Wing Attack from a Sky Trainer's Mantyke.

:fletchinder:
Pepper Potts (FRE Fletchinder) ♀
Level 21
Flame Body, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Flail
-Ember
-Quick Attack
-Peck
Killed by a Water Pulse from a Sky Trainer's Mantyke.

:torkoal:
Aunt May (FRE Torkoal) ♀
Level 15
White Smoke, Rash Nature (+SpA, -SpD)
-Withdraw
-Rapid Spin
-Fire Spin
-Smokescreen
Hit herself in confusion that was inflicted by a wild Inkay.
 

Calaf

Advanced Trainer
Rainbow Rocket Grunt
League Champion
Join Date
Dec 15, 2018
Posts
533
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The Netherlands
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Male
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GMT+1
Oof, having three losses back to back like that is brutal. You did a good job rebuilding though, the team is looking stronger than ever before!

Also, on the topic of 'Hariyama confessions': as a kid playing through the gen 3 games, I always thought that line between Hariyama's head and torso was its mouth and that brown patch on it chest was its chin. So, yeah.
 

Typhlosion

Flaming Torch
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Rainbow Rocket Executive
Join Date
Oct 23, 2018
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@Calaf Huh, I can definitely see that on Hariyama. As for rebuilding my team, I've been fortunate to have a few decent options to choose from. I have needed them.

Fury arrives at the Tower of Mastery first but soon his entire squad is there: Tierno and Trevor, then Shauna, and finally Maria Hill. They're met by Korrina, as well as the Mega Evolution guru Odin. After a lot of chitchat Odin makes clear he'll only be bestowing Mjolnir on one of us. Looks like Hill's about to get that battle she asked for a while back.

Maria leads with a female Meowstic against Ebony Maw. Two Bites take it out while its Disarming Voice is nothing to worry about, and Absol is next. Rock Smash does under half and doesn't get a Defense drop, which worries me at first, but the Rocky Helmet recoil from Absol's Slash allows just one more Rock Smash to do the trick. Frogadier is last and Fury switches to FRIDAY. The starter Pokémon alternates between Water Pulse and Quick Attack. Absorb is so weak it requires four hits to get the knockout, but FRIDAY's in no danger. The experience does push Ebony Maw all the way to Level 32, but it's okay, I planned for that. He had a good matchup against Hill's team and wasn't going to be much use in the Shalour Gym. Odin explains that Fury should go challenge the said Gym before returning to learn more about Mega Evolution. That's a relief.

Here's my thought process. I can't use Ebony Maw anymore up until the Gym Battle itself. If anything does end up becoming overleveled, I want to have some kind of plan in place. To that end, Fury returns to the Pokémon Center, deposits Ebony Maw into the PC, and withdraws Nebula the Qwilfish. She's only Level 1, meaning she can't train by herself. I can switch-train her against some of Korrina's Gym Trainers for at least a few levels, until she can fight against certain things for herself.

The Fighting acolytes are just as brutal as I expected. The first one has a Level 28 Sawk with Double Kick and Counter that no one but Okoye can hope to beat. Even so she ends up with around a quarter of her health, only for the Roller Skater to send out a Hariyama of her own at Level 29. Fury sends out the fully-healthy FRIDAY hoping to tank a hit, only for it to Whirlwind into Cassie Lang. That's fine but she's too weakened from Sawk to fight, so I switch into FRIDAY again and Hariyama uses Belly Drum. That's not good. I can't think of anything to do but order Bubble Beam. It does very good damage but not a KO, and Hariyama Whirlwinds again. I think I'm saved, since one more hit will finish it...and Whirlwind calls out Nebula. Of all the...my heart sinks. I'm frozen; I don't want to sacrifice this new team member, but something has to die. I know FRIDAY can win if she miraculously gets in unscathed. Maybe Hariyama will Whirlwind again. FRIDAY pops out of her Quick Ball, staring death in the face, as a +6 Knock Off takes 100% of her HP.

Lost FRIDAY the Lombre
:lombre:
"Life functions critical."

No, no, not FRIDAY too. So much for that Water Stone. This is the same blasted thing that happened to Loki. Rocket comes out to wrap things up with a Headbutt.

Nothing else dies against the Gym Trainers, though it's not for lack of trying. Okoye learns Force Palm to replace Focus Energy in the act of defeating the last one. Even with the Eviolite Cassie Lang takes a full 50% of her health from a Heracross's Brick Break. Her puny Defense stat is shooting her in the foot every other second. With every breath I curse the Sky Trainer who robbed me of Ned Leeds and Pepper Potts. Grant was supposed to be the real challenge! This Gym was supposed to be a piece of cake!

Time to go train for Korrina. Fury deposits FRIDAY and withdraws Hela the Magikarp. I'm not jazzed about using a Gyarados again since I used one for most of my last challenge but I can't deny the power of a Flying-type with Intimidate. She's only Level 10 so there'll be some major switch-training involved, but Nebula can handle that. As with Okoye, Fury goes back to Route 6 to begin and then slowly progresses back through the game from there. Nebula does quite well thanks to her evolved-Pokémon stats, and both Water-types progress steadily up in levels.

Hela hits 15 and learns Tackle, though she's still not usable by herself. A couple levels later Fury reaches upper Route 8. Hela is at 18 and Nebula is at 19 when a wild Level 15 Absol appears. That should be some decent experience. As Fury switches from Hela to Nebula, Absol uses Pursuit. I find that funny for some reason and I even smile to myself. I'm not concerned about the boosted power since a Magikarp's defenses are still decent and Hela is at 100% health...A critical hit!

Lost Hela the Magikarp
:magikarp:
"I'm not a queen or a monster. I'm the Goddess of Death."

Are you...are you kidding me. She was only two levels away from reclaiming her power, one with the EXP from that Absol. Fury writes himself a note to stay away from Dark-types on Route 8; that's twice now. Somehow this entire run is falling down around my ears. Fury hurries to Ambrette Town to say goodbye to Hela. Next in line is Hulk the Tropius. Forget about beating Korrina; at this rate I'm going to be lucky to keep six Pokémon alive long enough to challenge her.

Training Hulk and Nebula goes smoothly enough. It's a damn good thing Fury has the TM for Aerial Ace, as Hulk doesn't actually have access to any Flying-type moves naturally at this level and I'm using him way more for the Flying than the Grass. Fury starts by smashing a lot of rocks in Cyllage City until he gives fishing a try to break the monotony, and realizes the Luvdisc give more EXP than the Dwebble and Onix. I'm looking away at something while one of them is fished up, and I hear an unusual sparkling noise. I look back to my game where, lo and behold, the Luvdisc is Shiny! Full odds and everything! I nab it in a Quick Ball and immediately save the game. I have a tradition of nicknaming my Shiny Pokémon based on their altered color palettes and, well, it's a gold fish.

Caught Goldfish the Shiny Luvdisc!

This has no bearing on the challenge, so it goes straight to the dead box, but it's super cool nonetheless. It even came holding a Heart Scale.

Once his new recruits are strong enough to progress to Route 10, Fury makes a nice discovery. Hulk knows Sweet Scent to instantly trigger horde battles. The horde species that appear here are Nosepass, Houndour, and Yanma, none of which appreciate Nebula's Bubble, a spread move. Courtesy of hordes on demand, her level skyrockets, and Hulk can keep up well enough thanks to the high-yielding and common Hawlucha. Even Rocket grabs a level while saving Hulk from a Sigilyph with Air Cutter, maxing himself out at 32.

When Hulk reaches Level 30, Fury decides it's time for some payback and returns to lower Route 8. The Sky Trainer who killed Ned Leeds and Pepper Potts doesn't stand a chance when he tries picking on someone his own size. Mantyke goes down in two Aerial Aces while using Confuse Ray. Jumpluff also goes down in two hits while only attempting weak Fairy Winds, and Hulk never hits himself in confusion. That was satisfying. Beating the Trainers in Reflection Cave that Fury skipped earlier allows Hulk to reach Level 32 with Nebula at 31. Before Fury tops her off he decides to pick up his Shalour City encounter. His trusty Old Rod yields another Level 15 Luvdisc, nicknamed Honeymooner and Wonder Traded for a female German Skitty. It's a perfect opportunity to name her after the most prominent cat in the MCU, but someone tell me what I did to deserve a PC that's 2/3 Bug- and Normal-types.

:skitty: Obtained Goose the Skitty from Shalour City! :skitty:

Fighting a couple more hordes in Reflection Cave is sufficient to raise Nebula to Level 32 as well, so it's almost showtime. The last thing to do is swap out Rocket for Ebony Maw in the PC. They're both about equally ill-suited for facing Korrina, but at least Ebony Maw packs Intimidate.

Fury leads with Hulk for the Gym Battle. Korrina's Mienfoo gets off a Fake Out but is no match for Aerial Ace, which scores a clean OHKO. Next is Machoke, who's knocked into the red by Aerial Ace and responds with Rock Tomb for about a third of Hulk's health. Hulk continues with Aerial Ace as Korrina drops two Hyper Potions in a row, which is fine with me since it means they're not going to Hawlucha. Machoke has a chance to strike again thanks to Rock Tomb's Speed drop, but it uses Leer instead before fainting. Last is Hawlucha, the real threat. Fury recalls Hulk in favor of Nebula and Korrina's ace boosts with Hone Claws. Nebula takes the resisted Flying Press twice in a row for around a third of her health each time while Hawlucha takes two Brines for a quarter of its health each. The second one barely tipped the bar to yellow, so I really hope that Hawlucha is actually under half health. That way Brine should be able to KO. I do the math and it looks like Nebula should be able to take one more Flying Press. She'll have to, as Fury can't switch anything else into Hawlucha directly. Nebula survives with 5 HP, a calculated risk to be sure, and Brine strips away the last 50% of Hawlucha's HP.

"How could it be?!"

Fury received the Rumble Badge!


Fury breathes a sigh of relief. That battle went as well as possible, and incredibly, he wasn't forced to rely on Cassie Lang at all. Upon being defeated, Korrina shares the TM for Power-Up Punch with Fury. After an unforgivable number of puns around the word "roll," she invites him to challenge her atop the Tower of Mastery as a Mega Evolution user. Hulk grew to Level 33 at the end of the Gym Battle, which underscores that the next level cap, for Ramos, is only Level 34. Fury could jump directly from the Shalour City Gym to the Coumarine City Gym and be perfectly fine, but for now, it seems his Avengers are being called upon elsewhere.

:mightyena:
Ebony Maw (JPN Mightyena) ♂
Level 32, holding Rocky Helmet
Intimidate, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Strength
-Rock Smash
-Sand Attack
-Bite

:floetteyellow:
Cassie Lang (ENG Floette) ♀
Level 32, holding Eviolite
Flower Veil, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Magical Leaf
-Razor Leaf
-Fairy Wind
-Lucky Chant

:trapinch:
Doctor Strange (ENG Trapinch) ♂
Level 32, holding Quick Claw
Arena Trap, Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
-Bulldoze
-Sand Tomb
-Rock Slide
-Dig

:hariyama:
Okoye (ENG Hariyama) ♀
Level 32, holding Black Belt
Guts, Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spe)
-Force Palm
-Knock Off
-Arm Thrust
-Fake Out

:qwilfish:
Nebula (ENG Qwilfish) ♀
Level 32, holding Poison Barb
Poison Point, Quiet Nature (+SpA, -Spe)
-Revenge
-Bubble
-Poison Sting
-Brine

:tropius:
Hulk (ENG Tropius) ♂
Level 33, holding Sharp Beak
Solar Power, Jolly (+Spe, -SpA)
-Sweet Scent
-Stomp
-Magical Leaf
-Aerial Ace
:whismur:
Ayesha (ENG Whismur) ♀
Level 14
Soundproof, Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Pound
-Uproar
-Astonish

:raticate:
Darcy Lewis (ENG Raticate) ♀
Level 25
Guts, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Hyper Fang
-Sucker Punch
-Scary Face
-Crunch

:oddish:
Wong (ENG Oddish) ♂
Level 11
Chlorophyll, Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
-Absorb
-Sweet Scent
-Acid

:wurmple:
Betty Ross (ENG Wurmple) ♀
Level 5
Shield Dust, Gentle Nature (+SpD, -Def)
-Tackle
-String Shot
-Poison Sting

:volbeat:
Bill Foster (ENG Volbeat) ♂
Level 13
Illuminate, Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Tackle
-Double Team
-Confuse Ray
-Moonlight

:numel:
Taserface (FRE Numel) ♂
Level 17
Oblivious, Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
-Ember
-Focus Energy
-Magnitude
-Flame Burst

:linoone:
Rocket (ITA Linoone) ♂
Level 32
Pickup, Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Rock Smash
-Baby-Doll Eyes
-Cut
-Headbutt

:scatterbug:
Michelle Jones (SPA Scatterbug) ♀
Level 3
Compound Eyes, Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Tackle
-String Shot

:skitty:
Goose (GER Skitty) ♀
Level 8
Cute Charm, Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
-Tail Whip
-Tackle
-Foresight
-Attract
:pansage:
Loki (FRE Pansage) ♂
Level 19
Gluttony, Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def)
-Bite
-Leech Seed
-Vine Whip
-Lick
Killed by a Moxie-boosted critical hit Headbutt from a Team Flare Grunt's Scraggy.

:butterfree:
Ned Leeds (SPA Butterfree) ♂
Level 21
Compound Eyes, Quirky Nature (neutral)
-Gust
-Stun Spore
-Poison Powder
-Confusion
Killed by a Wing Attack from a Sky Trainer's overleveled Mantyke.

:fletchinder:
Pepper Potts (FRE Fletchinder) ♀
Level 21
Flame Body, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Flail
-Ember
-Quick Attack
-Peck
Killed by a Water Pulse from a Sky Trainer's overleveled Mantyke.

:torkoal:
Aunt May (FRE Torkoal) ♀
Level 15
White Smoke, Rash Nature (+SpA, -SpD)
-Withdraw
-Rapid Spin
-Fire Spin
-Smokescreen
Hit herself in confusion that was inflicted by a wild Inkay.

:lombre:
FRIDAY (JPN Lotad) ♀
Level 30
Own Tempo, Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
-Fury Swipes
-Water Sport
-Absorb
-Bubble Beam
Killed by a Belly Drum-boosted Knock Off from a Roller Skater's Hariyama.

:magikarp:
Hela (GER Magikarp) ♀
Level 18
Swift Swim, Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
-Splash
-Tackle
Killed by a switch-boosted critical hit Pursuit from a wild Absol.
 

Deva

"Regular" Trainer
Rainbow Rocket Grunt
Join Date
Nov 1, 2018
Posts
476
Time Zone
US Eastern Time
3DS FC
4210-4539-8161
IGN
Deva
Lucky in Luvdiscs, but not in criticals. Go figure.

Fared well against Korrina, even with the depleted team. (Also that vile Hawlucha trainer in the cave of reflection.) Good luck...not going over the level limit for Ramos? Sees little room for luck there. Technically proved otherwise with Hela, though.
 
Last edited:

Gokudera

Vocalist
Staff Emeritus
Rainbow Rocket Grunt
Join Date
Oct 23, 2018
Posts
1,053
AKA
Devin
Gender
Male
RNJesus really hated you this time.
RNJesus: I'm sorry. Would a full odds shiny Lusdisc make it up to you?
Hell no!
RNJesus: oh...well, here. Have one anyway.
Two Water types killed before they reached their full potential. Such a damn shame. It felt good seeing you get revenge on that Sky Trainer, though. But...he had a Skiploom, too? That is not a combo you expect from a Sky Trainer.
Hariyama using Whirlwind didnt make sense to me until MHA. Kendo's Quirk let's her make her hands huge, and she can cause whirlwinds. So hooray! Lol.
 

Typhlosion

Flaming Torch
Moderator
Rainbow Rocket Executive
Join Date
Oct 23, 2018
Posts
2,511
Location
All over the world
AKA
Ben, A_T
Gender
Male
Time Zone
US Central (GMT -6:00)
3DS FC
2724-0144-2557
IGN
Ben
@Deva Eh, a Shiny is always nice. Hawlucha are not nice. But I never expected the level cap to be one of my greatest enemies XD
@Gokudera Yeah, Mantyke and Jumpluff. Those two deaths weren't fun but my Qwilfish has done a great job carrying on the Water-type legacy.
@Pendraflare Good to see you! I know my updates can take longer to read than most. I didn't expect to have this many deaths either, heh.

The first order of business once Fury has the Rumble Badge is to deposit Hulk back into the PC in exchange for Rocket. I had never planned for him to be a permanent member of the team, at least not until someone else dies. I want to be true to the original squad. Then Fury returns to the Tower of Mastery; at the very top, Successor Korrina is waiting. Whosoever holds this Stone, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Mega Evolution. Fury is found worthy to receive the Mjolnir Ring, and Korrina challenges him to a battle to test this new power. One of her own Lucario joins him.

To start with Fury orders a Power-Up Punch, the only Fighting-type move Lucario has. It does about 75% to Korrina's Pokémon, who promptly OHKOs in return with its own Power-Up Punch. Um, okay. Is that supposed to happen? Fury loses since the game only lets him use Lucario, and yet he's immediately thrown back into the same fight with both Lucario mysteriously healed. This is just weird. Dormammu, I've come to bargain? Do I have to keep repeating this fight until I win somehow? Fury goes into the same sequence since he doesn't have any better ideas. This time his Lucario hangs on with a bit of health and is able to knock out Korrina's Lucario on the second turn with Bone Rush.

Korrina congratulates Fury on his victory and offers to let him keep the Lucario. I nickname it Successor, because why not, and he's forced into the party which sends Nebula to the PC. I check Successor's summary and he's Hasty Nature, +Spe -Def, which may have something to do with him moving faster and dying faster than the other Lucario. Here's hoping Korrina doesn't feel too bad about watching her prized partner get Wonder Traded right in front of her eyes, but some lucky lad is about to get a Lucario. Fury, by contrast, gets a Level 3 female Bunnelby. I knew this would show up sooner or later.

:bunnelby: Obtained Laura Barton the Bunnelby from the Tower of Mastery! :bunnelby:

Honestly, I'm running out of appropriate names for female Normal-types. Fury's free to leave the city now, but just in front of the gate to Route 12 Hill stops him to share HM03 Surf. Oh yeah, I guess that is a thing now. Rocket and Okoye can both learn it too, but it goes to just Nebula for now as an upgrade to Bubble. On the other side of the gate, the Breeder who stopped Fury earlier now wants to give him a Lapras. That'll do just fine for an encounter, but this jerk won't let me send something directly to the PC to make room. Fury has to run back into Shalour City to deposit Nebula manually before he can receive the Lapras. He then names him Sailor and gets ready for another Wonder Trade, in which he receives a male Zangoose. Alright, still a Normal-type, but at least a stronger one this time. We're learning. Zangoose is neither black nor a panther, but it's got some big claws and an attitude problem so I know what he'll be called.

:zangoose: Obtained Killmonger the Zangoose from Route 12! :zangoose:

After another delay to retrieve Nebula again, Fury is finally ready to progress. He's once again in the mindset of "avoid EXP wherever possible" since the level cap for Ramos is only two levels away. He runs from every wild Pokémon and dodges a Swimmer before checking out the Baa de Mer Ranch, which is hiding a Shiny Stone in a far paddock. Cassie Lang isn't quite ready for that, but soon. Fury also finds Leftovers, a powerful item that's way better than a Poison Barb for Nebula.

The first unavoidable Trainer on the Route is a Breeder who leads with Seviper. Cassie Lang doesn't want to fight that but Doctor Strange destroys it. Next, though, is a Miltank, which is instant war flashbacks of Whitney. I go into Nebula and Miltank uses Zen Headbutt, of all things. It's even a damn crit. That forces Fury to switch once again and it's ultimately Ebony Maw who wraps up the fight. Cassie Lang grows to 33 and replaces Razor Leaf with Petal Blizzard.

Decision time. The only other worthwhile level-up moves a Floette learns are Moonblast and Petal Dance, but those don't come for a long time. Having only Fairy Wind as STAB is rough, but I'll have the TM for Dazzling Gleam from Valerie before Cassie Lang learns Moonblast and I think she could use the stats buff. Plus, Florges gets Moonblast and Petal Dance at level 1, meaning I could teach them to her at Dendemille Town. That does it. I can't make the same mistake as with Loki and FRIDAY, so Fury pulls out his Shiny Stone and uses it to evolve Cassie Lang into Florges!

There are two more unavoidable Trainers along Route 12 but none of them are tough. Fury speaks to a lone Fisherman on the strip of beach leading to Azure Bay, hoping he'll pass out the Good Rod, but instead he challenges us to a battle. Oh well. Turns out it's the token Magikarp Trainer, so Doctor Strange has a field day beating up six fish in a row. The unevolved Ground-type is no ATV, but he's a nice nuke in the right situations.

Just like that Fury is in Coumarine City. I'm completely skipping Azure Bay. Fury's whole team minus Okoye is Level 33 already, which means gaining more experience is actively detrimental when I've still got Gym Trainers to get through. A couple steps inside the city limits, Hill calls up Fury on the Holo Caster saying that she challenges him to a battle in front of the Gym. Heh, welcome to the modern era of Pokémon. Fury wanders around town picking a couple of items, including the Good Rod. I knew that was around here somewhere. A man also gives him a Silk Scarf. That item can be a godsend in the early game when Normal attacks are all anything has, but here it's about three Gyms too late. Inside the monorail station Fury runs into none other than Howard Stark, along with the mysterious woman who was talking to Lysanos in a Lumiose café. Stark's here to pass on HM02 Fly. Again, just a sign of the times that you're given the strong Flying-type attack right before you go challenge a Grass-type Gym.

Cliffside, Fury is given Black Sludge in the gate to Route 13. Well, Nebula can make just as much use of that as of the Leftovers, but it frees up the latter item for Okoye, so I'll take it. Then Fury heads over to the Gym for a bout against his partner. He leads with Doctor Strange. The level cap is just one too low for him to evolve into Vibrava, meaning he won't be any use in the Gym, so I'll sink all the EXP I can into him now. The Quick Claw triggers to let Doctor Strange hit a nice Dig for half of Maria's Meowstic's health, but the subsequent Bulldoze doesn't KO while Psybeam takes exactly 50% of Doctor Strange's health. Hmm. Cassie Lang comes out and the stat gains from her Evolution are immediately apparent. She outspeeds Meowstic, which I didn't expect at all, and polishes it off with a single Fairy Wind. Its teammate Absol is also outsped, and while Absol barely avoids being oneshot, its Slash even on a crit only does about 60% of Cassie Lang's health. Finally, the Fairy-type shrugs off Frogadier's Quick Attack and OHKOs with Magical Leaf. Dang, that was fun, though the experience pushes both her and Doctor Strange to Level 34. Doctor Strange replaces Sand Tomb with Crunch, but since the Trapinch won't do well in the Gym and Fury can barely use him anymore anyway, he switches him out for Hulk the Tropius at the Pokémon Center. The big Flying-type is taught Fly in place of Stomp because why not.

Gym time, and a couple of the four Gym Trainers offer more resistance than I expected. One has a Plant Cloak Wormadam with Confusion, making Nebula and Okoye struggle, and a Hidden Power which must be Fighting-type since it's super-effective against Rocket, making Rocket and Ebony Maw struggle. The last Trainer Fury fights leads off with a Gloom, easy enough, but then has a Level 31 Exeggutor packing Psyshock. Only Hulk can realistically take that on, though Psyshock still would have knocked him out in three hits. After mopping them all up, Hulk is at Level 33 and everyone else is at Level 34, which should be perfectly fine. Not fearing for my life against a Gym Leader is a nice change of pace. Fury hits up the Pokémon Center once more and just like that, it's time to challenge another Gym Leader.

Poor Ramos. He might be the single most forgettable Gym Leader in the franchise, although I don't know the Gen 8 ones. His Jumpluff hits Hulk much harder than I expected thanks to Acrobatics, but Fly is a oneshot in return. Ramos then surprises me by sending out his Level 34 Gogoat next, his ace, instead of saving it for last. Gogoat moves first and hits a hefty Take Down, leaving Hulk at a quarter of his health, while Fly pushes Gogoat into red health. Ramos will likely heal, but if he doesn't Hulk will die, and I'm not risking that. Fury switches to Ebony Maw as Ramos uses a Hyper Potion. I settle for wearing it down with Rock Smash, and while it's weak, several of those combined with recoil from Take Down and Rocky Helmet push Gogoat to quite low health. Still, I only get one Defense drop in all that time and I can't take it out before Ebony Maw is as low on health as Hulk. Fury has to switch again, this time to Rocket, and more recoil from another Take Down on the switch lowers Gogoat's health just enough that Ramos uses another Hyper Potion. Man, this is taking longer than I thought. Rocket takes a couple hits in return, but three Headbutts are just enough to finally topple Gogoat. When Ramos sends out Weepinbell I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. All three of the Pokémon I would want to fight this are too low on health to safely stay in or switch in. Nebula would be fine but she could hardly touch Weepinbell in return, and after Jumpluff surprised me with Acrobatics, I'm not letting Cassie Lang take the risk that Weepinbell knows Poison Jab or something. Guess it's Okoye. She takes PoisonPowder on the switch but Leftovers helps that a bit. Fake Out alone nearly pushes Ramos's last Pokémon into yellow health. Knock Off easily ends the battle next turn, but not before Okoye takes an absolutely massive Grass Knot which does well over half her HP. Yikes. That ended up being a lot closer than I had thought it would be.

"Yeh can't take things too quickly when it comes to forming a friendship with yer Pokémon, sprout!"

Fury obtained the Plant Badge!


Rocket grows to Level 35 from the battle and learns Covet. I've been hanging on to Baby-Doll Eyes for a long time, tempted by the utility of priority Attack reduction, but in reality it's been forever since I've used it. Rocket doesn't mind having a middle ground between Cut and Headbutt. Fury accepts his Badge and the TM for Grass Knot, and then runs to the Pokémon Center for some much-needed healing. Everything worked out fine but perhaps I did underestimate Ramos a bit. I'll try not to make the same mistake against Clemont, though I'm looking forward to Doctor Strange's reign of terror in the Lumiose Gym.

:mightyena:
Ebony Maw (JPN Mightyena) ♂
Level 34, holding Rocky Helmet
Intimidate, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Strength
-Rock Smash
-Sand Attack
-Bite

:linoone:
Rocket (ITA Linoone) ♂
Level 35
Pickup, Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Rock Smash
-Covet
-Cut
-Headbutt

:florgesyellow:
Cassie Lang (ENG Florges) ♀
Level 34, holding Miracle Seed
Flower Veil, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Magical Leaf
-Petal Blizzard
-Fairy Wind
-Lucky Chant

:tropius:
Hulk (ENG Tropius) ♂
Level 34, holding Sharp Beak
Solar Power, Jolly (+Spe, -SpA)
-Sweet Scent
-Fly
-Magical Leaf
-Aerial Ace

:hariyama:
Okoye (ENG Hariyama) ♀
Level 34, holding Leftovers
Guts, Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spe)
-Force Palm
-Knock Off
-Arm Thrust
-Fake Out

:qwilfish:
Nebula (ENG Qwilfish) ♀
Level 34, holding Black Sludge
Poison Point, Quiet Nature (+SpA, -Spe)
-Revenge
-Surf
-Poison Sting
-Brine
:whismur:
Ayesha (ENG Whismur) ♀
Level 14
Soundproof, Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Pound
-Uproar
-Astonish

:raticate:
Darcy Lewis (ENG Raticate) ♀
Level 25
Guts, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Hyper Fang
-Sucker Punch
-Scary Face
-Crunch

:oddish:
Wong (ENG Oddish) ♂
Level 11
Chlorophyll, Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
-Absorb
-Sweet Scent
-Acid

:wurmple:
Betty Ross (ENG Wurmple) ♀
Level 5
Shield Dust, Gentle Nature (+SpD, -Def)
-Tackle
-String Shot
-Poison Sting

:volbeat:
Bill Foster (ENG Volbeat) ♂
Level 13
Illuminate, Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Tackle
-Double Team
-Confuse Ray
-Moonlight

:numel:
Taserface (FRE Numel) ♂
Level 17
Oblivious, Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
-Ember
-Focus Energy
-Magnitude
-Flame Burst

:trapinch:
Doctor Strange (ENG Trapinch) ♂
Level 34, holding Quick Claw
Arena Trap, Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
-Bulldoze
-Crunch
-Rock Slide
-Dig

:scatterbug:
Michelle Jones (SPA Scatterbug) ♀
Level 3
Compound Eyes, Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Tackle
-String Shot

:skitty:
Goose (GER Skitty) ♀
Level 8
Cute Charm, Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
-Tail Whip
-Tackle
-Foresight
-Attract

:bunnelby:
Laura Barton (ENG Bunnelby) ♀
Level 3
Cheek Pouch, Impish Nature (+Def, -SpA)
-Tackle
-Agility
-Leer

:zangoose:
Killmonger (ENG Zangoose) ♂
Level 14
Immunity, Gentle Nature (+SpD, -Def)
-Leer
-Quick Attack
-Fury Cutter
-Pursuit
:pansage:
Loki (FRE Pansage) ♂
Level 19
Gluttony, Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def)
-Bite
-Leech Seed
-Vine Whip
-Lick
Killed by a Moxie-boosted critical hit Headbutt from a Team Flare Grunt's Scraggy.

:butterfree:
Ned Leeds (SPA Butterfree) ♂
Level 21
Compound Eyes, Quirky Nature (neutral)
-Gust
-Stun Spore
-Poison Powder
-Confusion
Killed by a Wing Attack from a Sky Trainer's overleveled Mantyke.

:fletchinder:
Pepper Potts (FRE Fletchinder) ♀
Level 21
Flame Body, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Flail
-Ember
-Quick Attack
-Peck
Killed by a Water Pulse from a Sky Trainer's overleveled Mantyke.

:torkoal:
Aunt May (FRE Torkoal) ♀
Level 15
White Smoke, Rash Nature (+SpA, -SpD)
-Withdraw
-Rapid Spin
-Fire Spin
-Smokescreen
Hit herself in confusion that was inflicted by a wild Inkay.

:lombre:
FRIDAY (JPN Lotad) ♀
Level 30
Own Tempo, Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
-Fury Swipes
-Water Sport
-Absorb
-Bubble Beam
Killed by a Belly Drum-boosted Knock Off from a Roller Skater's Hariyama.

:magikarp:
Hela (GER Magikarp) ♀
Level 18
Swift Swim, Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
-Splash
-Tackle
Killed by a switch-boosted critical hit Pursuit from a wild Absol.
 

Typhlosion

Flaming Torch
Moderator
Rainbow Rocket Executive
Join Date
Oct 23, 2018
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2,511
Location
All over the world
AKA
Ben, A_T
Gender
Male
Time Zone
US Central (GMT -6:00)
3DS FC
2724-0144-2557
IGN
Ben
For the second time Fury thanks Hulk for his services and sends him to the PC, returning Doctor Strange to active service. On his way out of Coumarine City Fury receives a Holo Clip from Lysanos himself, congratulating him for having received Mjolnir. Whatever, not like I can use it. Then, in the gate, the Collector and Carina appear to provide another upgrade to Fury's Pokédex. Coumarine City does seem to be the place for reunions, but it's time to move on.

No doubt about it: Route 13 sucks as much as I remember. The first underground Pokémon to ambush Fury is a Level 28 Dugtrio, who's knocked to perfect catching range by one Bulldoze and secured in an Ultra Ball. I name her Twins; too bad there's no Triplets, but close enough. Wonder Trade yields a Spanish Skiddo. Out of Fury's 12 reserves, the only one which isn't Normal-, Bug-, or Grass-type is a Numel. This isn't much fun, Wonderlocke.

:skiddo: Obtained JARVIS the Skiddo from Route 13! :skiddo:

At first Doctor Strange does fight all the wild Pokémon Fury encounters. I get a scare when a Dugtrio rolls a Magnitude 9 with Doctor Strange already not at full health, but he tanks it like a champ thanks to me having replaced his Quick Claw with the Eviolite. It's only four or five fights before Doctor Strange hits Level 35 and evolves into Vibrava! Even though Dig may have technically been the strongest move in Doctor Strange's arsenal, that's the one he used the least, so that's what he forgets to learn Dragon Breath. This evolution is what I was waiting for. I needed Levitate since so many of the wild Pokémon here have Arena Trap, and thanks to that, Fury's now able to return to his strategy of running from all wild Pokémon. And trust me, there's quite a lot to run from.

Fury combs the plain as best he can, picking up items with his Dowsing Machine in hand. That Dowsing Machine is what allows him to find a discarded Power Plant Pass lying near a boulder. Hmm, curious. Perhaps it's not a coincidence that just ahead on the road is a red-suited Chitauri warrior. Nebula is in the lead as he challenges Fury to a battle, which is just as well since the Chitauri sends out a Houndoom. That goes down pretty quick, but the subsequent Golbat actually forces Fury to use both his allotted healing items due to an Air Cutter crit and some Confuse Ray shenanigans. After his defeat, the Chitauri starts panicking and babbling about how Fury definitely shouldn't go to the Power Plant. Cool, let's definitely do that then.

Knowing that the Kalos Power Plant music is waiting for me is what makes the trek across Route 13 worth it. Even if the loop is criminally short, this little theme is gorgeous in my opinion. Fury's peace is soon shattered, however, by the presence of numerous Chitauri warriors. It falls to Nebula to handle most of them. I may as well let her get some experience now since she's not going to enjoy the Electric-type Gym. Fortunately none of the Chitauri pose a major threat, though the large numbers of Golbat are very annoying due to their tendency to use Confuse Ray. A couple of Swalot also take a good long while to defeat thanks to Amnesia and Encore. The last one boosts Nebula to Level 37, the cap.

When Fury makes his way to the power plant's central controls, he finds two unfamiliar enemies waiting for him. The first, a Chitauri Leviathan, challenges him with a Level 36 Houndoom, not too shabby. Its Fire Fang stings but Rocket takes it out in three hits. The second doesn't seem as much like a Chitauri: she identifies herself as Aliana, a HYDRA scientist. Somewhat to my surprise, Fury's given a moment to himself before being forced to challenge the scientist. Just another sign of the times. Since Rocket leveled up, Ebony Maw takes the front position. I laugh when Aliana sends out a Mightyena of her own. It's three levels higher, at 38, but it's no match for Ebony Maw's combination of Rocky Helmet and Rock Smash.

Once they're all defeated they quickly flee the scene. The Collector and Carina arrive instead out of nowhere, wearing some weird masks. They continue to act even weirder than normal but at least Fury gets some Full Restores for putting up with them. The Power Plant workers send him on his way with some neat gifts to show their gratitude. Fury isn't done with new faces yet, though. On the edge of the badlands, near the gate to Lumiose City, a literal giant is wandering around. Who the heck is that? He mutters something about a flower Pokémon with eternal life before vanishing into the distance. Huh, having Pokémon with eternal life doesn't sound to bad to Fury right about now. I've got a feeling I should remember that guy.

In the sort of uncannily abrupt ecological shift that characterizes the whole Pokémon world, a single step into dazzling Lumiose City leaves the desert far behind. Shauna drags me along to witness Clemont and Bonnie lighting up Prism Tower. Whoop-de-doo. I'll be back here sooner or later but there's a lot of city to explore first. Fury ends up with some decent loot, including a Prism Scale, an Expert Belt, and a couple TMs.

Before Fury heads to the Gym he exchanges Nebula for Hulk and Flies to Cyllage City to restock on Soda Pops. Then he Flies to Santalune City. There are a couple Cut trees here that weren't accessible earlier, but more importantly, there's also a trade. Now, Bunnelby is an okay Pokémon. I wouldn't mind using one, but I'm sure there'll be more later, and if I get a second one that just violates Dupes Clause. I might as well get rid of the one I have now, so Fury trades Laura Barton for a Hiker's Farfetch'd.

:farfetchd:

It was matched up with Laura Barton and it's known for cutting stuff, so I guess this must be Ronin. Unfortunately Ronin won't be staying in Fury's company for long, since he'll be Wonder Traded as per the rules. Fury gets...a Bidoof. Well then. I had hoped this would be like losing a dime and finding a dollar, but it appears I've simply exchanged one dime for another. Bidoof are usually relegated to minor roles on a team but they do have their uses, so welcome aboard, Sharon Carter.

:bidoof:

Fury then Flies back to Lumiose City to take on its Gym. This isn't like Blaine's Gym, where getting the correct answer allows you to skip battling entirely, but Fury's only required to beat a third of the Trainers on his way up to Clemont. Some of them are annoying or pack quite a punch, like a Rest Dedenne and a Level 36 Ampharos, but nothing is a massive threat with Doctor Strange around. I figure that once I reach the Gym Leader I can go back and fight some of the rest to top off my levels. That idea quickly goes to hell when I actually reach Clemont, go back through the Gym, and realize none of the extra Trainers will allow me to challenge them. Well that sucks. Fury has to content himself with running around the back alleys of Lumiose and challenging all the random NPCs who hang out there. I'm fine with the team being at only Level 36, since I don't expect a ton of trouble with this fight, but I do raise Doctor Strange all the way to the level cap of 37 since this will be primarily on his shoulders.

In the end Clemont goes exactly according to plan, though there are a couple dodgy moments. Doctor Strange doesn't have the best Attack anymore, so it takes Rock Slide, Crunch, and Rock Slide again to beat Clemont's Emolga. Meanwhile, its three Aerial Aces aren't weak, leaving Doctor Strange in red health. All of Clemont's remaining Pokémon are weak to Fighting so I could switch to Okoye, but I decide to just heal up with a Moomoo Milk when Magneton comes out. Its Mirror Shot does nearly half of Doctor Strange's health, so I'm not sure if the Eviolite is on vacation or what. Next turn Magneton only sets up Electric Terrain while Bulldoze almost knocks it out from full. Clemont then wastes his time with a pair of Hyper Potions before a few more Bulldozes take out Magneton. Last is Heliolisk. I'm sure an Electric Terrain-boosted Thunderbolt from this thing would be absolutely wicked, but being a Ground-type, all Doctor Strange has to worry about is the weak Quick Attack from Heliolisk's pathetic Attack stat. This is mostly why I didn't switch to Okoye. Two Bulldozes easily take out Heliolisk, and having soloed the Gym Leader's team, Doctor Strange grows to Level 38.

"Your passion for battle inspires me!"

Fury obtained the Voltage Badge!


It's rather refreshing to not be right up against the level cap for the first time in about three Badges. Fury will have some breathing room against Valerie. He's over halfway there; only three Infinity Badges remain to be collected before their true power will become apparent!

:mightyena:
Ebony Maw (JPN Mightyena) ♂
Level 36, holding Rocky Helmet
Intimidate, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Strength
-Rock Smash
-Sand Attack
-Bite

:linoone:
Rocket (ITA Linoone) ♂
Level 36
Pickup, Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Rock Smash
-Covet
-Cut
-Headbutt

:florgesyellow:
Cassie Lang (ENG Florges) ♀
Level 36, holding Miracle Seed
Flower Veil, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Magical Leaf
-Petal Blizzard
-Fairy Wind
-Lucky Chant

:vibrava:
Doctor Strange (ENG Vibrava) ♂
Level 38, holding Eviolite
Arena Trap, Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
-Bulldoze
-Crunch
-Rock Slide
-Dragon Breath

:hariyama:
Okoye (ENG Hariyama) ♀
Level 36, holding Leftovers
Guts, Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spe)
-Force Palm
-Knock Off
-Arm Thrust
-Fake Out

:tropius:
Hulk (ENG Tropius) ♂
Level 36, holding Sharp Beak
Solar Power, Jolly (+Spe, -SpA)
-Sweet Scent
-Fly
-Magical Leaf
-Aerial Ace
:whismur:
Ayesha (ENG Whismur) ♀
Level 14
Soundproof, Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Pound
-Uproar
-Astonish

:raticate:
Darcy Lewis (ENG Raticate) ♀
Level 25
Guts, Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Hyper Fang
-Sucker Punch
-Scary Face
-Crunch

:oddish:
Wong (ENG Oddish) ♂
Level 11
Chlorophyll, Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
-Absorb
-Sweet Scent
-Acid

:wurmple:
Betty Ross (ENG Wurmple) ♀
Level 5
Shield Dust, Gentle Nature (+SpD, -Def)
-Tackle
-String Shot
-Poison Sting

:volbeat:
Bill Foster (ENG Volbeat) ♂
Level 13
Illuminate, Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Tackle
-Double Team
-Confuse Ray
-Moonlight

:numel:
Taserface (FRE Numel) ♂
Level 17
Oblivious, Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
-Ember
-Focus Energy
-Magnitude
-Flame Burst

:qwilfish:
Nebula (ENG Qwilfish) ♀
Level 37, holding Black Sludge
Poison Point, Quiet Nature (+SpA, -Spe)
-Revenge
-Surf
-Poison Sting
-Brine

:scatterbug:
Michelle Jones (SPA Scatterbug) ♀
Level 3
Compound Eyes, Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Tackle
-String Shot

:skitty:
Goose (GER Skitty) ♀
Level 8
Cute Charm, Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
-Tail Whip
-Tackle
-Foresight
-Attract

:bidoof:
Sharon Carter (ENG Bidoof) ♀
Level 6
Unaware, Impish Nature (+Def, -SpA)
-Tackle
-Growl

:zangoose:
Killmonger (ENG Zangoose) ♂
Level 14
Immunity, Gentle Nature (+SpD, -Def)
-Leer
-Quick Attack
-Fury Cutter
-Pursuit

:skiddo:
JARVIS (SPA Skiddo) ♂
Level 1
Sap Sipper, Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def)
-Tackle
-Growth
:pansage:
Loki (FRE Pansage) ♂
Level 19
Gluttony, Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def)
-Bite
-Leech Seed
-Vine Whip
-Lick
Killed by a Moxie-boosted critical hit Headbutt from a Team Flare Grunt's Scraggy.

:butterfree:
Ned Leeds (SPA Butterfree) ♂
Level 21
Compound Eyes, Quirky Nature (neutral)
-Gust
-Stun Spore
-Poison Powder
-Confusion
Killed by a Wing Attack from a Sky Trainer's overleveled Mantyke.

:fletchinder:
Pepper Potts (FRE Fletchinder) ♀
Level 21
Flame Body, Mild Nature (+SpA, -Def)
-Flail
-Ember
-Quick Attack
-Peck
Killed by a Water Pulse from a Sky Trainer's overleveled Mantyke.

:torkoal:
Aunt May (FRE Torkoal) ♀
Level 15
White Smoke, Rash Nature (+SpA, -SpD)
-Withdraw
-Rapid Spin
-Fire Spin
-Smokescreen
Hit herself in confusion that was inflicted by a wild Inkay.

:lombre:
FRIDAY (JPN Lotad) ♀
Level 30
Own Tempo, Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
-Fury Swipes
-Water Sport
-Absorb
-Bubble Beam
Killed by a Belly Drum-boosted Knock Off from a Roller Skater's Hariyama.

:magikarp:
Hela (GER Magikarp) ♀
Level 18
Swift Swim, Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
-Splash
-Tackle
Killed by a switch-boosted critical hit Pursuit from a wild Absol.
 
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