Join Date: Apr 2012
It's been a while, but I think bumping this is an okay thing to do, maybe. I just played through Emerald again, and I'd like to give some input on my team members. (Note that I didn't use an HM slave, so my Pokemon were around the same level as the bosses at the various parts of the game, and not overlevelled ever really)
Torchic: Pretty undoubtedly great ingame, but it didn't really "blaze" through the game for me like it did for JSND, for example. Some matchups can be tough (Brawly's Meditite hits you with Confusion, Wattson has tons of paralysis, Norman is tough to set up against and Slaking has little problem taking unboosted Double Kick for example), although sometimes I wonder if I wasn't really using it right (i.e. didn't have Blaziken by Winona, therefore best Fire STAB was lolEmber because I didn't get Fthrower). Regardless, I found it was pretty hard to get exp. in the later parts of the game with all the Tentas and Wingull/Pelipper around, as well as Tate/Liza and Juan kicking its ass. It's pretty decent against the E4, though, since lolSydney, Phoebe doesn't like powerful Fire moves, Glacia's Glalie are free exp. and you can set up Bulk Up on the Hail, and Drake's Shelgon lets you Bulk Up so much that Flygon's EQ doesn't even 2HKO after a while. Have something else for Wallace, basically. My final moveset was Blaze Kick|Double Kick|Slash|Bulk Up (I also got a Hasty one :D), and it didn't eat up any TMs which is a plus. If it's Top, then it's probably low-Top. In my experience it was closer to High, but it's probably better-used in a smaller team than mine.
Lotad: Why the hell does the article list this thing as High? For the entire first half of the game, your best STAB is Bullet Seed, and that's unspeakably bad. Once you get Surf you can do some major upgrades in the form of Giga Drain and the Abandoned Ship Ice Beam, but Lombre's stats really drag it down fairly soon after that. The super-late Water Stone is really unfortunate, but once you get it, it really gets rather good to take on most Water types, both offensively and defensively. My major qualm is the length of time you have to baby this thing for: until the fifth gym, my moveset was Bullet Seed|Absorb|Nature Power|Astonish. Sure, it was eventually double-Water HM with Giga Drain|Ice Beam, but meh. Something to note is that the things you'll really want to Ice Beam can usually hit you pretty hard (Altaria, Salamence, etc.). It's a decent way to get a Grass move on the team to kill Whiscash without resorting to Treecko, though. For early-to-midgame sucking, I'd put it at Mid, because it redeemed itself somewhat eventually.
Electrike: Aside from the initial grind to get any STAB at all (which isn't too bad if you find a lot of Illumise), it pulled its weight pretty well. Thunder Wave is nice to have for reasons, and Spark/Tbolt hit most things, with the remainder being either easily covered by other team members or a coverage move of your own. Mine wound up with Tbolt|Bite|Strength|Twave, and it didn't miss Strength's moveslot at all. It actually helped me hit a Nuzleaf or two at one point, actually. All those Water- and Flying-types were his bitches regardless. For a solid overall performance with few lapses, it gets a High from me.
Abra: I happened upon one on my way to get Peeko in Rusturf Tunnel, so I tossed a lucky Great Ball at it. Granite Cave isn't the earliest place to get Abra after all. The extra time to bait and switch helped me evolve it shortly after arriving in Dewford, so it was essentially immediately useful in the regard that Abra basically isn't a team member. I tossed Flash on it since I didn't foresee needing much more than a STAB and Shock Wave (which I really didn't). It immediately started OHKOing nearly everything, and got cool coverage after the next Gym. Long story short, final moveset of Psychic|Shock Wave|Recover|Flash as an unevolved Kadabra did pretty damn well, and I can only imagine how Alakazam would've done (with CM or Thief over Flash, I guess). Shock Wave is pretty weak against most things, and Psychic is only an okay STAB, so it's pretty solid High (without trade evo) instead of contending for Top.
Skarmory: The team was around lv. 26 when I got one at lv. 16, but it caught up really quickly actually, since it's really easy to train in Meteor Falls. Steel Wing immediately is great, Swift is actually useful to hit Sandshrew in the desert or Double Teamers, and Peck is at least enough to get by until it gets Fly. Mine had Steel Wing|Fly|Swift|Rock Smash, and Rock Smash was a lot more useful than people give it credit for. It lowers Defense to KO things before an HP restoration item is used, mostly, which is useful against bulky boss Pokemon that you wall, which are plentiful by the way. Skarmory can sit in front of nearly every physical attacker and not give a shit unless it's status-boosted Facade from a Slaking, which came close to 2HKOing mine. The typing is great for walling Golbat, Crobat, most Normal types, most Ground types (all, unless Drake's Flygon has a Fire move, which I don't remember), and the Altaria that you encounter. It's cool and worked well for me without even having a really good moveset, so that's solid High for me.
Trapinch: Oh my god this thing is tough to use when you first get it. It's limited to Faint Attack to reliably hit all the Sand Veil stuff I tried to train off of. It was rough going at first, even with the Dig TM, and it's the only team member I Rare Candied at all (just the last level until each evolution). It sucks as Trapinch, but Vibrava has the right combination of stuff to be useful until it evolves. Those sweet resistances and Levitate make up for the meh defenses, letting it destroy most of the Magma Cavern singlehandedly with Dig and Dragonbreath to holla holla get levels and become Flygon before Tate & Liza even, who both get destroyed by Flygon. I'm pretty sure the Claydol will only ever use EQ, and Crunch does a ton to everything, so focus on everything else and be winning. By Juan you could have EQ if you want, which is plenty strong enough to do some damage to him if necessary (but really, only if necessary because Ice moves). A SE move against Kingdra could help if you can keep the evasion crap down and force it to non-Chesto Rest, but that's pretty much impossible, so yeah. Dragonbreath isn't going to OHKO Kingdra, but it kills a weakened one efficiently if it can hit it. Dragon/Ground/Dark coverage is pretty decent against the E4 I guess. Mine had Dragon Claw|Earthquake|Crunch|Faint Attack because Fire coverage wouldn't have helped much for me, and fuck Double Teamers. It probably works just fine with Dragonbreath and Dig if you don't want to use up some cool unique TMs, although maybe I'm overlooking how weaksauce 60 BP STAB moves are sometimes, but it's also ingame. I'd put it in Mid for horrifying experiences with Trapinch being kinda worth it in the end sort of.
Another thing: the existing article makes me cringe in some places. Chinchou in High seems weird for something only available after the 7th gym with "passable stats," Lotad in High because its "dual STABs have great coverage without need for TMs" when its non-TM Grass STAB is lolAbsorb and the earliest Water STAB is Surf, etc. I haven't used Chinchou at all, so it's just theory, but it stuck out to me, especially since earlier things have their lateness listed as hindrances.