Tag: Pokemon Sun & Moon

Preparing for battle – The 2017 International Challenge for February

I put a lot of pomp and circumstance around my entry (or lack thereof) in the Pokémon Sun and Moon Alola Friendly battle competition when it came around last month.  With Pokémon standing in pretty consistently as my favorite video game series, competitive team building and battling has been one of the things that has helped elongate my interest and playtime since I began to do it in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

Of course, I’d been planning on trying out a team in the Alola Friendly competition, but I missed the registration window.

Luckily, the 2017 International Challenge for February has a prize worthy enough to encourage me to remember to register on time this time.  For participating, players get access to the Mega Stones for Mawile and Beedrill, which up until now have been unavailable in Generation 7.

Mega Mawile happens to be my favorite Mega Evolved Pokémon, so I jumped on the opportunity to get those stones right away:

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See?  Totally signed up this time.

Given that the 2017 International Challenge for February is a doubles battle competition, I decided to breed a whole new team just for the occasion.  I do have a wonderful combination sitting in my box with Wishiwashi and a Speed Swap using Ribombee, but I didn’t have a lot else to work alongside them.

Therefore I built a squad around a doubles combination I wanted to try, and I’m actually pretty proud of how it turned out.  Again, it might not be smart to give my strategy away ahead of time… But I also just love to gush about these things.  So here goes anyway!


Big Chungus

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My Elective is actually the first Pokémon I have competitively built that I didn’t personally name.  I was a little stuck on just what to call him and let my friend Juan name him instead.  Thus, Big Chungus was born.

It’s grown on me, admittedly.

This Pokémon was the reason I initially wanted to build this specific doubles team in the first place.  I had the idea of running a Motor Drive Pokémon holding a Cell Battery so I could get both an attack and a speed boost at the same time.  Combined with a Discharge user, I figured he could become a real beast in the field.

But of course I never decided to look up this strategy online ahead of time.  If I did, I would’ve found out that Motor Drive absorbs the Electric-type attacks before they can do things like activate items.  So that strategy kind of flew out the window.

While this development was disappointing, it didn’t lessen my zeal to build a powerful Big Chungus to sweep away the competition.  He still gets a speed boost from Discharge and now has the chance to hold a berry so he can heal some health when knocked down a few pegs.  By using a consumable item like this, I still have the opportunity to play with Thief and steal the items of opponents once it’s gone – the plan I had going for Cell Battery use as well.

Thunder Punch serves as Electivire’s primary STAB attack while Ice Punch gives him an opportunity to take down pesky Ground-types that gets sent out (a particularly useful strategy against Pokémon like Garchomp).  Finally, Cross Chop gives him more of a super effective damage spread against Normal-types, Ice-types, Rock-types and Steel-types.

The crux of Big Chungus’ skills only really become fully apparent when combined with his partner, so I should probably introduce him too.  Thus, without further adieu:


Schnoz 

This protruding proboscis Pokémon, aptly deemed Schnoz, is my team’s Discharge dealing defensive wall and the proud partner of Big Chungus whenever I get the chance to use them.  While this is mainly because of discharge, other factors help contribute to that as well.

Firstly, Schnoz has Magnet Pull as his ability.  As a result, no Steel-types can switch out when he’s on the field.  This doesn’t mean a lot for Probopass himself, but it does mean that Electivire can spam some Cross Chops while they’re out together.  Other team members benefit from this magnetic pull as well, like a certain other monkey I’ve trained, but he really is meant to work with Big Chungus.

Wide Guard is another example as to why they’re meant to work together.  Even though the Air Balloon Schnoz holds allows him to dodge Ground-type attacks until hit, Wide Guard lets him block Earthquakes for both himself and his partner.

Let me tell you, it’s incredibly satisfying to block an Earthquake from a Garchomp that’s killed by Ice Punch that same turn.

Flash Cannon and Stealth Rocks finish off Schnoz’s moveset, giving him a pretty powerful STAB attack and another utility option to damage opponents as they switch into battle.

Like some of the other Pokémon I’m using on this team I’ve built, I never expected I would ever use a Probopass in my life.  In fact, I was pretty opposed to his overall design not too long ago.  Now that I know what he can do, particularly in conjunction with my big, strong electrical ape, I’ve come to like the mustachioed magnetic rock.

Or at least, I like seeing the two of them in battle together.  If it wasn’t weird to say it out loud, I might even say that the two are the flagship couple on my squad.

But it is pretty weird to say, so let’s move on shall we?


Capuchin 

This semester I’m taking a course on primate behavior at Cal State Fullerton.  It’s easily my favorite class that I’m taking right now and I could probably argue that it’s one of the most fun courses I’ve taken in college in general.  Something about the subject matter and the professor just really click together for me.

One thing I’ve learned through the class so far is that the Capuchin monkey has to be my favorite primate ever.  Not only are they cute, but their tool usage is pretty incredible to watch, and I still haven’t gotten tired of it.

Seriously, check it out:

That’s some really cool stuff.

Anyway, the reason I’ve gone on this little tangent about primates is because it happens to coincide perfectly with this particular team member, a Passimian simply dubbed Capuchin.

Not only is there an intrinsic pun just in using a monkey name with ‘cap’ in it for a monkey wearing a shell like a hat, my Passimian likes to use stone tools as well.  His Hard Stone both improves his Rock Slide attack that hits both sides of the field and makes Fling a powerful 100 base power Dark-type move.

The Receiver ability works real well in a doubles battle setting as well, allowing Capuchin to steal his partner’s ability when they faint.  He could wind up able to absorb all Water or Electric-type attacks, he could gain an immunity to priority attacks, he could trap a Steel-type opponent against a Pokémon that’s super effective against them and more.

Really it’s just about a win-win no matter what he gets since a jolly speed-oriented heavy attacker is the monster in question.  I really do love having this team member around, and I’m looking forward to seeing him take some lives during the competition.


Tharja 

Tharja the Mandibuzz is essentially my main defensive wall.  While Schnoz fits that role pretty well too, Mandibuzz intrinsically has an immunity to Ground-type moves that balances the two weaknesses I have.

My strategy for using her is pretty simple honestly.  Knock Off and Brave Bird are strong STAB attacks with the prior also allowing me to nullify most of my opponent’s items.  Toxic is there so I can make use of the hefty bulk behind this bird in situations where those two attacks just won’t cut it.

Now Roost is where things get interesting.  With her hidden ability, Tharja gains two speed boosts at the cost of one defense stat debuff whenever she gets hit by a physical attack.  This boost compensates for her middle-tier base speed stat and helps her outspeed most opponents.

Once she’s that much faster, Z-Move Roost recovers her health AND replenishes her stat debuffs, making it so she has all the speed with none of the fallen defense.  It feels fantastic to pull it off on an opponent, especially if a Brave Bird or two can sweep up the rest of their side.  Plus, Z-Move Brave Bird can really pack a punch when I need to use it instead.

Before Tharja came along I never really imagined I’d ever use a Mandibuzz, but now I really dig what she can do.

Oh, and I figure I should add that she’s named after the Plegian mage from Fire Emblem Awakening because she has that darkness-and-death vibe going on.  Also because Fire Emblem Heroes has gotten me way back in the mood for any and all things Fire Emblem.

Seriously that game is like my current addiction.


Peach

Named after arguably the most famous princess in all of video game history, my Tsareena is here to kick ass and take names.

Literally.

Because kicking is her thing.

It’s a joke, see?

Anyway, moving on.  Tsareena actually wasn’t meant to be on this team I’ve built.  Originally I intended to run a Hyper Voice Sylveon thanks to the accessibility of the move via Poké Bank, but with this competition being limited to the Alola Pokédex I wasn’t sure whether I would be allowed to use a Pokémon with the pentagon icon indicating origins in Generation 6.

So, in came Tsareena as a replacement.  Not only is she strong against Ground-types (which I apparently felt was something I needed to correct against), she has quite a few weaknesses to make use of a Weakness Policy alongside her immunity to priority attacks and her diverse move pool.

Plus Trop Kick is just great.  I had quite a few experiences while practicing where I would lower the attack stat of a Pokémon using a super effective move and get a sweet stat boost as a result.  Pretty solid strategy also courtesy of my friend Juan.

Tsareena’s moves round out with Acupressure, which is more of a gimmick I was looking to try out in the moment.  Rapid Spin may have been smarter, but I like the idea of being able to strengthen my other Pokémon during a calm moment.  Hopefully the random nature of Acupressure doesn’t wind up screwing me over.


Nessie 

Like Tharja and Peach before her, my Lapras (named after the infamous Loch Ness monster) has a rather simple role on this team.  She’s the strong special attack wall to balance out the more physically oriented group around her.  With 237 HP and a 161 special defense stat (boosted to about 240 or so thanks to her Assault Vest), it’s pretty hard to take her down.

She even lived against a Thunder in the rain from a Tapu Koko during one of the practice battles I did.  It’s nuts.

Past her amazing walling status, Nessie also has a pretty wide typing coverage.  Hydro Pump is STAB and hits Fire, Ground and Rock-types.  Freeze Dry is also STAB and hits Flying, Grass, Dragon, Ground and specifically Water-types.  Dragon Pulse hits Dragon-types and isn’t resisted by much.  Finally, Psychic hits Fighting and Poison-types.

I’d considered running Perish Song as a way to take down Pokémon that are trapped by either Magnet Pull or a Mean Look from Schnoz, but I preferred having the walling capabilities that only an Assault Vest can bring.

I also decided to run Nessie with Water Absorb rather than Shell Armor so that I can switch her in whenever I’m expecting a Water-type attack to come my way, even if I’m stuck with taking potential critical hits as a result.

Though she has no particular gimmick, Nessie really rounds out my team well.  Her strength and attacks are solid all around and make her a good Pokémon to bring out for a wide variety of situations.

I’ve always loved Lapras, and I’m glad to finally get the chance to help her shine.


Tonight is the last night to register for the 2017 International Challenge for February, and battles will go underway throughout the weekend.  I’ll be keeping a log of how I do and there will probably be an update on that coming by Monday or so… Assuming the world doesn’t fall apart in the newsroom again like it did this last week.

While I’m really looking forward to putting this team to work, I’m also always looking for more ideas to build in the future.  If you have any comments about my team and how it shapes up or if you have any teams in mind you want to see built, I’d love to hear any and all of it!

Good ideas are never a bad thing to stockpile, I’d say.

Saying Sayonara to 2016


As the holiday season and the year 2016 come to a close (very conveniently at the same time in this case), I feel like I can’t help but take a moment to reflect on some things.  As I mentioned in my last post about Carrie Fisher’s passing, the general attitude seems to be that 2016 can’t end soon enough.  Globally, the world is a bit of a mess.  In the United States, the incredibly divisive presidential election we just completed left everything feeling a little bit fractured and not-so-unified.  In the world of popular culture lots of people who were well-known and highly adored by the general public passed away.

It’s understandable why people feel the year was so bad, and admittedly there’s some of that I’ve gotten bogged in too over the last couple months.  However, for me personally, the year really hasn’t been all that awful.  In fact, it’s been a fairly great year all things considered.

One thing I always find interesting as a gamer is reflecting on what games “defined my year,” as it were.  Granted I didn’t necessarily diversify my interests a whole lot, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of things I played.

Toward the beginning of the year, I was still riding some of my Wii U hype.  I just got my system as a present last Hanukah, in fact, so games like Super Mario Maker were still huge time sucks, moreso than they are now.

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Image provided by Wikimedia Commons

Another thing that I’d gotten for Hanukah in 2015 also continued to take up my time, and that was The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes.

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Image provided by Wikimedia Commons

While the game wasn’t a traditional Zelda game like we’d all been waiting for in the relatively soon-to-be-announced Breath of the Wild, it was still a blast to play.  The game had some awesome multiplayer functionality both with friends and with strangers, and to this day I don’t think I’m over how hilarious it is to spam the cheerleader pom-pom Link emoji.

On top of that, you could literally dress Link up as a cheerleader and it was one of the most viable costumes in that game.  Not sure I ever thought I’d be so gung-ho to get Link to cross dress in all honesty, but I was.

Also earlier on in the year, while I was still getting into the swing of the Spring semester, I remember binging every Shantae game that’s been released thus far.

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Image provided by WayForward

Not only did I play the original Shantae for the Game Boy, I played Shantae: Risky’s Revenge and Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse.  I fell in love with the series fast thanks to the lovable characters, the quirky and fun writing, the beautiful animation style and of course the music (composed by Jake Kaufman, who also produced the music for another one of my favorite games in the same general style: Shovel Knight).  I literally played through all three in a row and loved every minute of it, even if none of the games were necessarily all that beefy.

I do know that I can thank MowtenDoo for really sparking my interest in the series thanks to his indescribably wonderful rendition of one of the game’s songs, “The Nightmare Woods (Run Run Rottytops!)” in a way that’s truly unforgettable and continues to be one of my favorite videos on YouTube.  Seriously, I listened to this way too many times this year I’m sure.  But it was worth it.

Doing a little bit of research, it looks like the latest installment in the series, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, has been released just recently, but it apparently slipped under my radar somehow.  I’m wholeheartedly Ret-2-Go with that game as soon as I can pick it up, as there are a few too many games in 2016 that I unfortunately missed despite wanting to play them.  Didn’t have quite as much time to devote to these things as I would have liked.

Next on the list of my year’s rundown is the first in what I would consider my ‘return of old gaming loves’ trilogy.  That, of course, was Fire Emblem Fates.  All three together technically, but Birthright was undoubtedly my personal favorite.

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There’s a few things I’ll never forget just leading up to the games being released.  First, I’ll never forget the hunt my friends and I went on trying to find some of the special edition three-in-one game cartridges for Fates that was a resounding failure but had some great moments.  Like getting literally laughed at by a guy in a Game Stop one time.  That was awesome.

I’ll also never forget getting the first game, Birthright, as it was actually a gift that was given to me by the editors of the News section on the Daily Titan, Micah and Brianna, as thanks for being their assistant for the Fall 2015 semester.  Seriously, check it out, I still have the note here:

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It was really awesome, especially considering it apparently took a lot of work to build up to the reveal, including using my friend Kaleb as a spy to figure out which version of the game I wanted more.

Fire Emblem took up a huge chunk of my life from there on out, as I went on to play all three versions.  In a row.  In hindsight, admittedly not the best idea, but I’m really into the games so it was the decision I made at the time.  Birthright was incredible, rose-colored glasses or not, Conquest literally made my just about cry on multiple occasions from how unnecessarily difficult it got to be at times (Seriously, screw the port level.  If I never play that game again, the port level is to blame) and Revelations was… Admittedly underwhelming.

I meant to talk about it on here a little bit, but beyond just being burnt out on the games by the time I hit the third, there were a few things that really sort of killed the experience for me unfortunately.  First, I padded it out too much for myself.  I tried to grind all the characters up to have a ton of diverse skills rather than planning ahead what I would’ve wanted, and it wound up being far more effort than I was honestly willing to put in.  Second, they killed off my favorite character in what was literally the worst possible way in my opinion.  I have a huge, huge rant still built up about it because the moment was so caustic for me, but this isn’t really the time or the place, so perhaps I’ll still come back to it later.  Third, there was another game coming on the horizon that left me rushing to finish, which took away a lot of my enjoyment toward the latter half of the storyline.  Who knows, maybe if I go back to it now I’ll have a better time, but for now Birthright will continue to be the high point of my memories for Fire Emblem Fates.

The second game in my personal trilogy was Monster Hunter Generations.

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I talked about it on here a bit, so I don’t think I need to go into too much detail, but this game sucked away quite a bit of my time as well.  Though I’ve only been playing Monster Hunter since the last major release, Monster Hunter 4U, it has quickly become one of my favorite franchises.

The seemingly near infinite levels of customization thanks to a wide range of monsters and a progression-based-on-skill system is something almost totally unique to Monster Hunter in my gaming experience, and it ticks boxes like crazy for me.  There are very few games that I get super in depth about building sets and doing hours of research into said sets and also things like lore, but Monster Hunter is definitely one of them.  It’s also one of the favorite games of my friend Juan, so we always have a good time going on extravagant hunts as a super powered duo, Hunting Horn and Charge Blade in hands.

Granted, I’ll admit that the game wasn’t quite as invigorating as MH4U for me, since that was the game where I truly had a skill curve to learn and overcome so I could truly become a master, but Generations was still a blast to play through and through.

Last, but certainly not least, comes what must be an obvious entry on this list.  Hell, there’s only one game that really defined not only the latter half of my year, but also most of what I’ve built my blogging experience on so far.

And that game is, of course, Pokémon Sun and Moon.  Because technically they go together even if they’re two separate games.  Because Pokémon works like that.

Images provided by Serebii.net

Really I’ve said more than enough about these games in many, many posts over the last year, so I don’t think I need to waste too much time on it right now.  Not only were the games beautiful and fun experiences in themselves, surpassing what I consider to be some of my favorite and some of the best constructed games in the series thus far, they reinvigorated the love of competitive Pokémon breeding that I fostered in Alpha Sapphire and got me back into the Pokémon YouTube communities I followed around the same time.

I have been and will continue to do some breeding in the games, especially once the Pokébank opens in January, and I’ve considered doing more competitive battling in 2017.  There’s an official battle competition coming up pretty soon that I’m pretty sure I’ll be entering, so I’m sure there will be plenty more posts in the future on the subject as well.

Beyond those massive entries that took up my time, there are a few other games that permeated my year’s experiences.  The 20th Anniversary of Pokémon for me included the continued playing of Pokémon Shuffle and Pokémon Picross on my 3DS, which were my puzzle game obsessions that I’ve only recently seemed to kick.

Images provided by Serebii.net (here and here)

The summer was undoubtedly defined by Niantic’s Pokémon GO, the game which really felt the most universally unifying during the sub-par situations of the year surrounding it.

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My whole family was playing the game together and I still remember wandering El Camino College hatching eggs after my summer classes there.  Though I wound up a little disillusioned with the game, and still haven’t jumped in to catch the start of the Generation 2 Pokédex, I still can’t imagine Pokémon GO won’t hold a place in history in some way or another.

Also hitting the mobile gaming scene this year was Super Mario Run.

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I gave my thoughts on the game in depth a little while ago, and as a small follow-up I will say that having spent money on the full game has made the experience even better for me.  I’ve gotten really into collecting all the colored coins in single player on long road trips and I have a pretty well developed town so far.  As a first jump into the mobile scene for Nintendo, I can personally say that Super Mario Run has been a success, and I’m looking forward to seeing more.

I also replayed quite a few older Steam games that I adore but haven’t touched in some time this year.

My friend Samantha and I played Terraria for a long stretch of time together, progressively getting better and better as we learned and built more complicated structures and items together.  The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth ate up huge chunks of my time in brief intervals throughout the year, as it’s always an addictive rogue-like experience that I’ll never get tired of.  The same could be said for FTL, which I can only describe as a real-time rogue-like spaceship command and battle simulator.  For anyone who hasn’t heard of the game it can be hard to explain, but it’s one of my favorite games of all time.

My 2016 was defined by more than just the video games I played, however.  It marked the end of my first year at college. It also included my first semester as an editor for a college paper, one which I feel went really well considering all the crazy things that happened politically while I was in charge of the News page.

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2016 was where I really feel like I got into the rhythm of driving and being able to get myself places.  It was also the first year where I got to vote for a serious election – despite how divisive it might have been as far as an election went.

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However, because of my time as a journalist, I felt like this was the first time I really got to apply what I was doing and learning to a real-world event.  Literally the more I learned, the more prepared I felt to vote in November.

On top of that, I feel like I really learned a lot just in general.  Two semesters and a summer intersession at college had me taking classes all over the proverbial spectrum at two different schools: Cal State Fullerton and El Camino College.  Not only was the subject matter of the things I learned interesting, I also got to explore more places at the same time, which I also enjoy doing.

I got my first few relatively well-paying jobs in 2016 between being an editor on the Daily Titan and working for Boom: A Journal of California.  Thanks to that, I’ve felt more independent than I ever really have before.

In 2016, I went to New York for the first time in I honestly don’t know how long.

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I used to have a lot of family living out there, but now most of my close relatives live here in California, so I rarely ever get to go out to the East Coast anywhere that isn’t Florida.  The trip was amazing and so much fun, and I really felt like I got close to a lot of my friends and colleagues in the newsroom that went with me.

While I was there, not only did I get to visit the Nintendo store inNew York (an experience you can read more about in one of my earliest posts):

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I also got to relive a part of my Dad’s childhood by finding his old high school.

So, all and all, I’d say that trip was probably one of the most memorable parts of the year for me.

I got to visit SpaceX for the first time this year, and though I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures inside, it was still a phenomenal place to see.  Seriously, some of the stuff they have going on in there is incredible.

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In my opinion, I really started to come out of my shell a little bit more in 2016, and that helped me meet and interact with some people who I can really see myself continuing to talk to for a long time to come.  Both those in and out of the newsroom.

2016 was also the first year I’ve let my beard grow out.  It started as a No Shave November thing we did for the Daily Titan, but in the end I wound up getting such a positive reception that I kept the hair grown out.

Seriously, what a difference a little bit of hair will make.  I look totally different from one picture to the other, if you ask me.  Probably helps that I had more hair on top of my head to cover my forehead in the first picture too… But that’s another story.

Finally, 2016 was where I really got into blogging.  Yeah, seems like a silly thing to cap this whole list off with, but you are literally reading this on my blog.  I started this blog back on February 18, a day after my birthday, thanks to some school assignments I had to do.  My Communications 233 class required us to have a blog that we posted 20 things on of any subject we chose.  Naturally, I chose to make this a blog about video games and about my journalism experience.

Though it started as an assignment, one that I literally had to come up with ways to finish by coming up with admittedly silly things to post, I’ve come to really love doing this.  Writing is a passion of mine, and getting the chance to write more often has been wonderful.  It’s also been a way to voice my opinions and thoughts on various subjects, which I don’t tend to do in a largely public forum like this very often.  I may be a relatively small blog still, but I feel like I’ve found somewhat of a rhythm thanks to Pokémon Sun and Moon, and I’m looking forward to writing more on whatever comes up in 2017. As goofy as it might be to say it, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to try and write more next year, so I hope you all stick around to see whatever it is I come up with to write about.

Really, from the bottom of my heart thank you to everyone who’s following my blog, everyone who’s read anything I’ve wrote and to all my family and friends who have helped me explore, encouraged my writing ambitions, and worked to make sure I put my best foot forward.  If you have any of your own favorite memories from 2016, or if you just want to send a good riddance sendoff to the year, feel free to share them down in the comments below.

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year, and here’s to 2017 being a happier time overall than 2016 seems to have been!

November 30, 2016 Article Published

Two articles in two days?  Fairly unprecedented, but certainly not a bad thing I’d say.

While yesterday’s story was my profile for the Features page, this story is quite a bit more entertaining.  I wrote a review for the Arts & Entertainment page for my buddy Kaleb, our A&E editor.  As a hardcore newsy person, it’s been pretty nice to let my skills expand a bit this semester, I have to say.  Because of my news-oriented background, I’m sure you all must be asking just what I wrote a review on exactly?

Well, Pokémon Sun and Moon of course.  What else would I write on, I’m pretty much an expert in almost all things Pokémon and have nearly 90 hours sunk into the game. Plus, I almost never get to mix my passions for video games and writing on this kind of scale, so how could I pass up the opportunity to vomit all my thoughts on a page for mass consumption?

Also, when I say vomit all my thoughts, I pretty much mean it literally.  I hit a weird place with this article to be honest.  On the one hand, I know so much about the series and about Sun and Moon that it was simple to run through the list of everything I enjoy and everything I find less than stellar about the games.  However, on the other hand I had to make sure not to get too in depth and nerdy with my writing because I was writing for an audience that probably won’t be as much of an expert in the subject as I am.

Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people that see the article have never even touched Pokémon in their lives – as hard to imagine as that can be for someone like me.

Because of how much I had to say, I wound up writing a fairly long piece about the games, one that I expected to get cut down for spacing concerns.  There wound up being far more room available than we expected in the end however, so the 1000+ word review ended up getting printed just about in its entirety.

I tried not to spoil any plot details or get too in depth with some of the deeper mechanics and things I enjoy about the games, but I still think I put together a really solid little review.  I’ve talked about them more than enough on this site here, so I won’t reiterate much, but it’s a nice summary of a lot of things in a (somewhat) succinct package.  So, check if out if you’ve got the chance, because I’m pretty proud of it!

If you want to see the review in its entirety, you can see it here.  You can also check out my whole archive of work for the Daily Titan through the link over on the right!

Oh, and just FYI, there may or may not be some extra multimedia content on the horizon to go along with this.  But I’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

The first Champion of the Alolan Pokémon League rises

After five days as part of a very conveniently timed Thanksgiving Break and over two days worth of playing, I have officially beaten the main campaign of Pokémon Moon by conquering seven Island Challenge Trials, four Grand Trials staged by the Kahuna of the islands in Alola and taking on the newly completed Alolan Pokémon League.

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I don’t have any fancy screen capturing equipment to take pictures of my game, so phone camera pictures will have to do for now.

Though I haven’t had the chance to start the post-game content as of yet, the main story alone has been absolutely wild as far as some of the twists and turns that were taken.  I won’t spoil anything on the off chance anyone sees this who hasn’t played but wants to of course, but the region is gorgeous, the Pokémon that were introduced are awesome (including those we were not shown before the official release), the characters that inhabit Alola are just as vibrant as the environment itself and each new mechanic and feature adds so much more to love.

For the most part, at least.  I’m not a huge fan of the new fishing system and the S.O.S. Pokémon summoning can be a pain to deal with when you aren’t looking to use the chaining features.  I haven’t had the chance to use it very much, but there are already plans in the work for some competitive teams I would like to build, so those should be seeing the light of day sometime soon.

Speaking of teams, I would be remiss not to talk about the group of six that got me through the story.  I spent a long time talking about who I wanted to use before the game came out, after all.

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One realization I’ve come to is that my team isn’t exactly a great cohesive unit.  There are a lot of holes in my type coverage/type resistances that became very clear as I took on the Elite Four.  For the first time I think ever, there are no Fire-types or Ground-types on my team, and though this made for new interesting combinations, it also led to problems fighting certain types.  Like Grass-type Pokémon or Steel-type Pokémon, for example.  Part of this may have admittedly been due to being a little under leveled toward the end of my journey, but really the lower levels made bigger fights at the end might more exciting in my opinion.

A lot of the move sets I’ve used for them are also a bit gimmicky or have conditions on how to work well, so I can see them working well with other teams, but not necessarily together.

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I love each individual member to death, however, and as far as in game immersion goes I would not have done things any other way.

Niles the Decidueye

My boy.  The first.  The one and only.  Niles the Decidueye.

Watching my impish natured Decidueye grow over time has been one of the best parts of playing through Moon so far.  I’ve been so excited to use this Pokémon for so long, and using him hasn’t disappointed.  I do wish he was a little faster, but considering the rest of my team his speed is actually one of his more superior selling points.

Utilizing a Scope Lens critical hit boosted STAB Leaf Blade and the signature Spirit Shackle attack, Niles is always ready to party hard.  On top of that, he always has that smug look on his face, which is what led me to his name.  Niles, after all, is the smug and caustic bisexual archer from Nohr in Fire Emblem: Fates.  In my opinion, the name fits really well, and now I can’t imagine calling him anything else.

Well, I might aim for a female Decidueye and name her Nina after Niles’ canonical daughter in the game when I breed Pokémon to use competitively, but I’m a fair bit of time away from doing that at this point.  Plus, I already have an Altaria nicknamed Nina after one of my high school friends, so who knows.

All and all, Decidueye kicks a lot of ass, and Grass/Ghost continues to be a wonderful type combination.  Though Generation 7 introduced another new Grass/Ghost-type we weren’t told about, I’m glad that I chose this one to spend my time with.

Remus the Lycanroc

Raising Remus has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, honestly.  Getting to find Rockruff in Ten Carat Hill was great, and he was the first partner I took on after Niles, but I felt like it took a long time to get to the point where I could catch one.  Granted, that may have just been from how excited I was to take in anything and everything when I started playing, but still.

He was fun to use even as a small pup, and though I had to use my sister’s copy of Pokémon Sun to get the version of Lycanroc I wanted, he continued to be a blast to fight with.  Accelerock is a great move, being priority-based and having Rock-type STAB, and the wolf turned out to be a great Stealth Rock/Roar switcher, as I discovered throughout my playing.

Using this strategy made Lycanroc a bit of a one-trick pony unfortunately, but that’s where my required dosage of Z-Power came in.  Continental Crush isn’t the most powerful it can be when used with Accelerock, but it still hits hard enough to do a lot of damage when combined with further priority attacks.

His name comes from the mythological founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus.  In the Roman mythos, the twin brothers were discovered by a she-wolf after being abandoned, and then they went on to find the great city of Rome.  That’s where the name comes in well for Lycanroc, for me.  As far as being Remus specifically, in the same mythology he was killed by his brother for mocking the wall built around Rome.  Though I don’t see Midday Lycanroc fitting a mocking characteristic, I do see Midnight Lycanroc fitting a murder-happy characteristic.  Thus, a pair of Pokémon twin names was born.

Sebastian the Crabominable

Aptly named after the crustacean companion from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Sebastian was pretty much a Crabrawler up until the very end of my journey.  After catching him on Akala Island with a powerful adamant nature, the purple puncher beat his way through trainer after trainer, serving me and my team well while taking up an even bigger place in my heart over time.

Toward the end of the Island Challenge, his defenses gave me some trouble, as he was taken down more often than not before I could Power-Up Punch my way to an intensive sweep.  I waited for forever to see him evolve, knowing he did but not wanting to spoil how.  Then, after starting my trip into the Pokémon League, the cold environment allowed for an evolution into the formidable Crabominable.

Admittedly, I was more disappointed and surprised when I first saw the evolution.  I was so used to Crabrawler that such a jarring change took some time to get used to.  However, the unique Fighting/Ice-typing is super cool (pun only slightly intended) and his movepool has a ton of variety to allow him to be a formidable fighter.  He has quite a few weaknesses, and with a slow speed that can be an issue, but his attack is so sky-high that I’d say it more than makes up for it.

He’s the most powerful member of my team, even more than the enigmatic Wishiwashi.  Speaking of…

Pandora the Wishiwashi

My relationship with Pandora started off a little rocky.  Hoping to get a relaxed nature, I spent a long time fishing in Brooklet Hill encountering Magikarp after Magikarp between each Wishiwashi I found.  On top of that, I felt compelled to catch a female fish after concocting a story in my head about hordes of male Wishiwashi coming to her aid.

After a long time I eventually gave up the nature search and went with Quiet, boosting her Special Attack in exchange for a deficit to her already pretty abysmal speed.  Her name, Pandora, comes from the Greek myth in which a single girl, the first woman, unleashes all the evils of the world from her box.  The way my Wishiwashi brings chaos and destruction in her wake is meant to reflect that.

On that note, I found that Wishiwashi is a pretty incredible Pokémon stat-wise.  Despite having low health and low speed, both offensive and defensive stats in the physical and special realm are so high when in Schooling Form that everything in her wake (literally) doesn’t stand a chance.

When I go for a competitive breed, the plan is to focus more on defense to keep the Schooling ability active as long as possible.

Grodd the Oranguru

Originally a Lurantis was meant to fill this slot.  However, Decidueye became a hardcore physical Grass-type attacker, so I didn’t want to have two on my team at the same time.  So, instead, the Normal/Psychic-type Oranguru took her place, and he proved his power pretty much right away.

Grodd, named after the highly intelligent and psychically-powered Gorilla Grodd from the DC comics universe, came equipped with Stored Power right from the get-go.  Soon enough he learned Nasty Plot, and the stage was set for an extremely highly powered STAB boosted Psychic-type attack that quite literally wrecked lives.  Soon after collecting him from the Lush Jungle, Grodd was strong enough to take on both Plumeria and Akala Island Kahuna Olivia all by himself.

After adding Charge Beam to his roster, Grodd’s strength continued to prove invaluable and his attack set didn’t change for the rest of my journey.  Though it could be a pain to set up Nast Plots on every opponent, especially with a middling speed stat, whenever he was ready to go the battle instantly became a joke.

Therefore, when I build a competitive Grodd, I’ll have to have him on a doubles team where he can be protected long enough to kick ass and take names.

Charlotte the Mimikyu

Though I was disappointed in how long it took to find her, the last but certainly not least capable of my additions was Charlotte, my Mimikyu.  I adored Mimikyu far before the games came out, and that much never changed as I played through the game, even though you don’t see any appear until the third island.

Her name comes from the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica, which I’m sure I referenced in the past when talking about Mimikyu, in which Charlotte is a witch that hides as a tiny, innocent looking doll.  Her appearance in the show is a painful moment to say the least, but I couldn’t imagine a better name to reflect the Pokémon.

Plus, Charlotte is just a cute name.  A cute name for my adorable little girl.

I set my Mimikyu up as a Swords Dancer, which only buffs her already pretty great attack stat way higher than it is during a protected turn with the Disguise ability.  Really, Mimikyu wound up being one of the best Pokémon on my team, and she has awesome stats overall, so building a competitive Mimikyu should be a blast once I get started.

I can see it now… Disguise, Focus Sash.  Two turns of protection instantly to use Swords Dance.  Then, a highly boosted speed stat to ensure she can get attacks off.  It will be beautiful in execution – at least I hope.

Might I add, one of the coolest things I discovered about Mimikyu is that the Disguise substitute actually protects against Z-Moves as well.  It literally never stops being funny to watch a Pokémon use a huge, time-consuming attack only to have it fail.


Now I can begin my trip through the Post Game content, including the Battle Tree and Pokédex completion.  I have some final papers to work on, so my zeal for playing might not be as strong as it has been for the past week, but I will continue all the same.

I did just want to leave things off with one last note, however.

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I caught Lunala.  With a Moon Ball.

The Emissary of the Moon.  In a pokéball.  Named after the Moon.  Built by the great Azalea Town pokéball-crafting Kurt I can only assume.

I just find that hilarious and figured I would share.  But now I shall let you all continue on with your lives.  However, if you’ve been playing Sun or Moon since their release, let me know how your experiences with the games have been in the comments below.

Are you in love?  Are you disappointed?  Is Team Skull not the greatest enemy team ever?  If you don’t think so, I might say you’re wrong, but I’m still willing to hear why you think so.

My (currently planned) Pokémon Sun and Moon team

My (currently planned) Pokémon Sun and Moon team

A game series like Pokémon, in which there are over 700 individual characters to choose from when pulling a team together, really lends itself to choosing favorites.  Everyone who has ever played a Pokémon game undoubtedly has a favorite monster, be it for their competitive viability, the strength of the character building and lore around them or simply the nostalgia factor.

Personally, my absolute favorite Pokémon of all time is the Hoenn native Psychic-type Gardevoir for a combination of all three. A powerful and feared hyper voice using Mega Evolution with a newly adopted Fairy-typing, a wonderful design alongside descriptors about emotional closeness with the its trainer and a consistent reminder of my childhood days visiting my Grandparent’s house in Florida, playing Pokémon Sapphire and catching a Ralts on Route 102 that would stick with me for the entire journey.  I always taught my Gardevoir the move Shock Wave in those days.  Not entirely sure why, but I did.

While I don’t know exactly how many Pokémon will be added to the National Pokédex in Generation 7 (As I’m still avoiding the data mining spoilers), I’m going to assume that the total number of  monsters will probably top 800 by the time we’ve counted through all of them, from Rowlet to the mysterious Crystalline Prism creature we were shown not too long ago and beyond.  That adds a lot of new favorite Pokémon for both series veterans and newcomers to choose from.

In that same vein, I’ve seen many people putting together videos and lists of what Pokémon they’ll be using during their initial journey through the Alola Region.  I did the same kind of forward thinking when X and Y were on the horizon, and I’ve honestly been doing the same thing while Pokémon have been unveiled over the last couple of months, so I figure why not talk about them here?

I actually do team building quite often, both for casual gameplay runs and for competitive team planning, something I started to do a lot more in Alpha Sapphire.  Typically, I try to follow some personal rules when doing so for either kind of play:

  1. All members of the team will typically be entirely different typings, no overlap whatsoever is preferred for the sake of variety and diversification of moves/abilities.
    1. On occasion, teams may deviate from this rule if the typing diversity in a region isn’t phenomenal when using dual-typings or if there are some Pokémon I can’t avoid using that happen to be the same type.
    2. Usually the exceptions to this rule will only apply once.  Mono-type teams tend to be avoided at all costs unless the team is being built specifically for a competition with that rule in place.
  2. The make-up of my teams tend to vary based on region.  So, more often than not a play through of Black and White will have a Unova team consisting entirely of Generation 5 Pokémon, a play through of Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald or the remakes will have a Hoenn team consisting entirely of Generation 3 Pokémon and so on.
    1. Rare exceptions do exist for this rule as well, such as in X and Y where I considered Mega Evolutions to be Generation 6 Pokémon.  Thus, Mawile was on my initial team despite originating from Hoenn.
  3. Movesets, abilities and items used on each team member are usually decided on with single battles in mind, both for casual play and competitive building.  There are a few Pokémon I’ve built competitively that specifically exist to team up with another, however.
  4. While Pokémon can usually be either male or female (besides those with no gender or only one gender option), I tend to specifically pick a gender for a Pokémon that feels right to me and stick with it.  Thus, some I might refer to as he or she depending on how I personally picture that monster.
  5. No legendaries.  As much as I love legendary Pokémon in their own rights, I’m not a fan of mixing them into my team compositions.  Never really have been, it always seemed kind of cheap to me.  Sorry Lunala.

These rules are more my own attempts to make my life harder on myself, honestly.  Just choosing any Pokémon willy-nilly would be too easy, so it’s more fun to set up rules for myself as a way of encouraging more critical thought as far as building things ahead of time goes.

With that said, and without further adieu, I introduce the six Pokémon that will be accompanying me during my first adventure in Pokémon Moon.  Under this read more, naturally.  Could be some spoiler-y stuff for people avoiding any and all information, and  this post is already taking up a lot of space.

Continue reading “My (currently planned) Pokémon Sun and Moon team”

New Sun and Moon Information: Our final last new Sun and Moon information, for sure this time

When the final evolutions of the three Alolan starter Pokémon were released, I was happy letting everything else in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon stay secret, ready to be discovered through regular gameplay after Nov. 18.  Of course, there was all the data mining, but like I’ve said before I have no desire to spoil every detail for myself like that.

Then, just over this past weekend, a few pages from this month’s CoroCoro magazine were leaked, showing off more details about some Ultra Beasts and signature Z-Moves for the three starter Pokémon.  After that, I really should not have been surprised that we would be getting another video talking about those things in more detail.  That’s exactly what we’ve gotten.

While it isn’t a lot of new detail, this is presumably the last dump of new official information we’re going to be getting pre-release, so I figure I should still talk about it.  For old time’s sake, if nothing else.  It really has been a hell of a journey these past few months, one that I’m sad to see go… But not sad enough to elongate the wait.

Seriously can the games just get released right now?

Continue reading “New Sun and Moon Information: Our final last new Sun and Moon information, for sure this time”

New Sun and Moon information: Last minute CoroCoro leaks

Alright, I’m assuming that none of this stuff is necessarily new if you happen to be following the data-mined information leaks.  Some people can’t seem to leave things alone so they can be a surprise, so I’m pretty sure just about everything about Sun and Moon is out in the wild, wild West of the internet right now.

I personally want to keep everything not officially released by Nintendo/Game Freak/The Pokémon Company/whoever releases this stuff a secret.  I love having the surprise reveals naturally appear during gameplay, particularly with Pokémon and mechanics we haven’t been told about yet.  Though it certainly seems like there is not much left to reveal after the last few months of videos, leaks like this one we got today out of CoroCoro suggest otherwise. Continue reading “New Sun and Moon information: Last minute CoroCoro leaks”

New Sun and Moon information: Final starter evolutions and endgame content

It’s been a fairly big week for Pokémon stuff so far, or at least for me it has been.  The demo for Sun and Moon has been far more fun than I expected it to be, showing off some cool content and easily succeeding in its goal of getting me hyped for the game by throwing in small secrets to keep me coming back.  Pokémon GO’s Halloween update has gotten me back into playing quite a bit, as I’ve caught at least three Pokémon in the last two days that I hadn’t even seen once in the months before it dropped.  I’m getting close to finally completing the Generation 6 puzzle game Pokémon Picross, which I’ve been playing for literally way too long in my stubbornness about not paying for micro transactions to advance myself.  On top of all that, probably one of the best Pokémon animations ever made in the history of anything was given to the world last Friday.

Then, this trailer dropped.  My god is it a special one, to say the least.

Not only does it officially reveal the final evolutions of the Alolan starter Pokémon (with some plot twists here and there), it also shows off some new Pokémon and a brand new gameplay aspect adding to what already looks like an extensive postgame.  Having a week off from my work on the Daily Titan, I have a little bit of extra time to dedicate to this trailer, but I’ve made myself so busy with other stuff that I’m still a bit late. So, let’s jump into it shall we?

Continue reading “New Sun and Moon information: Final starter evolutions and endgame content”

New Sun and Moon Information: A brand new batch of Pokémon and our pseudo-legendary?

A few days ago, a number of images have been leaked from the upcoming issue of CoroCoro magazine, showcasing a few new evolutions and a new Alolan Form Pokémon.  Then, following those leaks, we were treated with a brand new video, showcasing those new Pokémon we’d seen in the leaks and more!

Continue reading “New Sun and Moon Information: A brand new batch of Pokémon and our pseudo-legendary?”

New Sun and Moon Information: Starter Evolutions and an American trailer

I never seem to be on time with these things anymore.  Guess that’s just the nature of my life right now.  It’s not really that much of a problem since technically we’ve only had new things for a few days, and since I’m really just giving my opinions so it doesn’t much matter how timely I am… But still.  I’m hoping it doesn’t annoy anybody out there reading.

Anyway though, we’re not here to talk about my schedule yet again.  No, we’re here to talk about some new Pokémon news.  Some great news at that, if I do say so myself!  Check out my likely over-embellished thoughts below the cut if you want to see whether or not my feelings on the Alolan starter Pokémon have changed in light of recent developments.

Continue reading “New Sun and Moon Information: Starter Evolutions and an American trailer”