Join Date: Jul 2009
Thread's been silent for a month, but I checked the rules and I think I'm allowed to bump it if I have something to add. (My excuse is that I'm European so I got the game well after the rest of you.) This thread is mostly talking about main game, not postgame. (The smaller campaigns can generally be defeated in 2 days just by repeatedly winning battles with a squad of 3, leaving room for 3 more to march to the conquered territory and conquer another. This gives you no real choice in what you're using except who goes where; the trick is to use a small number of warriors with a type advantage to start off with, then just throw everything you have left at the remaining territory.)
I think I played the game somewhat differently from everyone else, going through it much faster; all the "awesome when evolved" stuff is irrelevant for anything but stone evolutions and Staraptor, IMO, because I'd already completed the game by that point. (Starly evolves mindboggingly quickly; I had four Staravias by the end of the campaign, and most of those were from "Train" delegations and from things like shopping. I evolved a Magikarp by taking it shopping, too, but that was mostly for fun; I don't think I used the resulting Gyarados because the main campaign was almost over by then.) Instead of grinding when I couldn't beat a battle, I tried to formulate a strategy that worked (things like AI exploits, mostly), which lead to a rather different team than what you've been describing.
I'd first like to argue in favour of Jigglypuff; it's nowhere near the junk many people in this thread have been claiming it is. For one thing, Doubleslap does not deal negligible damage. (And Hyper Voice is one of the most consistent damaging moves, if you evolve it; the damage potential is average but you can frequently hit three or four targets with it.) But more importantly, it's the easiest-to-obtain wall in the game, and it's pretty good at walling; my tactic for getting through the game quickly was "stick Jigglypuff in a chokepoint and do ranged attacks from behind it". You can give Oichi a Super Potion (or even a Full Restore) in order to enhance its walling ability further. Its main issue is a tendency to be oneshotted by Fighting-type moves, but that shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone who knows the games.
As a side-effect, Rhyperior is very good if you have a viable wall like Jigglypuff or Wigglytuff. Its attack is still amazing as ever, the cooldown turn often doesn't matter because it's hard enough to get it in range anyway (you can still move during it, so it's giving Rhyperior an effective range of 4), and you can just hold the enemies up and vaporize them one by one with giant rocks from the sky. (Rock Wrecker is one of the only moves that does entirely respectable damage even when resisted.)
It hasn't even really been mentioned, but I'd also like to speak out in favour of Drilbur. (Yes, seriously.) For one thing, Dig has entirely viable damage. For another, while it's underground, it's a perfect wall; non-flying/levitating/ghost enemies can't move through it's square, even if they're being used by endgame bosses. And finally, Zekrom can't touch it. (Admittedly, my not-particularly-trained Drilbur did only about 35 points of damage to Zekrom, so it wouldn't beat it by itself; the battle would run out of time first. But it definitely helped, being around on a part with what my best neutral attacks would do.) It also has great coverage throughout the later half of the game. I wouldn't want to run Drilbur in multiples, but it's good at what it does. Finally, what else are you going to use if you want a ground type? Wooper? Sandile? (Hint: they both suck unevolved.)
I personally used Jolteon rather than Glaceon for the campaign, although mostly by mistake (I didn't realise Glaceon even existed in the game). I may still have gone with Jolteon anyway, though. Sprint gives it range 5, and its massive speed gives it a lot of evasion, so it has one very important use (especially in places like Dragnor); you can use it to separate the opposing team by luring out some enemies and not others, or causing the back part of the enemy's forces to try to focus it (and hopefully fail) while their front lines go after the rest of your army. I don't think I could have completed Dragnor without this, it's just that valuable; I used it to deal with the first two of Nobunaga's forces and then the last 4. (The attack is mostly irrelevant compared to that feature, but it does respectable damage and has a great AoE shape, so I'm happy with it.)
Without Glaceon, you're going to need other Ice-types, in order to be able to damage down Nobunaga before running out of time. Cubchoo and Spheal are both a little underwhelming, but they're better than nothing, and I actually used them (they're better than the other alternatives there). I'd say their typing is enough of an advantage that they need to be considered for in-game use regardless of their other faults. (I'm not sure if you can get Snorunt in the main campaign, but if you can, do; Froslass is one of the better Ice-types, and it's a stone evolution so there should be no issue in evolving it. Just make sure you have a female Warrior own it.)
I'll also suggest Sewaddle for the early-to-mid game; it's surprisingly bulky (especially with Grass Cloak, on the maps where you can abuse that, such as many warrior recruitment maps), and it's probably the most reliable source of bug-type damage that's at all easy to locate (and in fact, it's by far the easiest of the bugs to get hold of, apart from possibly Venipede but that sucks). (Bug Bite doesn't suck at all. At least, not when you're using it; enemies using it on you is another matter.)
Some less controversial suggestions: Darumaka is great. Mine never had a chance to evolve, but Flame Wheel + Run Up is almost as good as you could want from an early-game Fire type, and it's easily obtainable. Gurdurr is awesome, and as a side note, Fighting is good enough in the late game that you can easily use two Fighting-types (I used Machop as the other one; mine was rather fragile, but use of walls and manipulating ranges so that I always got the first attack meant that I managed to keep it alive most of the way through Yaksha). I think Machop is the second-best fighting type that doesn't require evolution, not that that's saying much; possibly Timburr is. Carnivine is indeed excellent throughout the start of the game, and it indeed drops off later, but surprisingly late.
I guess I might have a different focus from the rest of you (going for speed rather than simplicity), but I think a team that's good at winning at all is the first step along the path to a team that's good at winning easily.
Pokémon spinoffs: Ranger You freak out when you hear a Clamperl; Mystery Dungeon You freak out when you see a Ledian.
<Sunflora> So let me get this straight: you're sending me into a dungeon full of lava, to capture a Haunter which is part poison type?