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.
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.
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.
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.
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.