A Subway Skirmish


The Battle Subway is without a doubt the most challenging part of Pokémon Black and White in-game. I was curious to see what this facility had to offer so decided to give it a shot. I realise that most Smogonites are more keen on competitive battling as opposed to battling the AI but hopefully this battle will prove to be somewhat interesting nonetheless. The Battle Subway is a completely different kind of game compared to battling other people competitively so please bear that in mind when evaluating my team composition and decisions throughout the battle. Having said that any constructive criticism is most welcome =) What my Pokémon do will be in Green, what the opponent does in Red and the Spoilers have my thought process in blue.

The Battle Subway

The shady characters found in the Battle Subway are certainly not your run-off-the-mill trainers and will do whatever it takes to pull off a win! Spies are everywhere so don’t be surprised if your opponent always happens to have a lead that is perfect to counter your own. Coincidence? I think not. Continuous hax is also commonplace during battles here, often blindsiding newcomers into brutal losses they would have never thought possible. Evasion, sleep and OHKO clauses do not exist in this place so if you venture to these subterranean corners of Unova you’d better be prepared and have your wits about you!

[SPACE][SPACE]As a quick reminder the Battle Subway rules are as follows:
[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]• 3 v 3 single battle
[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]• Species clause
[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]• Item clause

If you’ve played the Normal Singles Line in the Battle Subway you may have encountered (and probably defeated) me in one of your earlier battles as Rougneck Calisto:

If so, you will have seen Roughneck Calisto was still pretty inexperienced using fun Pokémon like Zorua, Mienfoo and a Heat Crash Tepig. Things have changed since then and now I'm working my way to the top in the Super Singles Line.

When you beat Subway Boss Ingo you can move on to fight in the Super Singles Line. The teams you encounter there are astronomically better than the ones in the Normal Line. So once I made it there I had to step it up a notch and come up with a more solid team if I didn't want to lose. Since it will be much easier to follow the battle having an idea what my game plan is, I suggest having a look at my team before continuing:

[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]Durant @ Choice ScarfvvvGliscor @ Toxic OrbvvvvvvBlaziken @ King's Rock
[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]Trait: Truant vvvvvvvvvvvTrait: Poison Heal vvvvvvvTrait: Speed Boost
[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]Nature: Jolly vvvvvvvvvvvNature: Jolly vvvvvvvvvvvNature: Adamant
[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]• Iron Defence vvvvvvvvvv• Protect vvvvvvvvvvvvvv• Protect
[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]• Entrainment vvvvvvvvvv• Hone Claws vvvvvvvvvv• Stone Edge
[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]• Agility vvvvvvvvvvvvvvv• Substitute vvvvvvvvvvv• Superpower
[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]• Double Team vvvvvvvvvv• Baton Pass vvvvvvvvvvv• Fling

The basic strategy is to Truant the opponent with Durant's Entrainment and subsequently set up Blaziken as a sweeper using a Baton Pass Gliscor.

The Battle

It is time to get started with the actual battle! My opponent is Hiker Jorge, who uses only Ground Pokémon. There are a couple of Ground types that are a bit of a nuisance but most of them can be disposed of pretty easily so right now I expect this to be another easy victory.

However things swiftly take a turn for the worse when I see his lead... Gliscors are not on the list of the Pokémon I want to face. 75% of them run U-Turn or Baton Pass and both can screw up my Truant Baton Pass chain... Hiker Jorge could run any of the 4 sets for the Ground Pokémon he uses, so he will have one of:


If it turns out to be one of the U-Turn sets I will just hope Gliscor won't use it on the first turn. This seems reasonable given that the AI is much more likely to use a move like Acrobatics because U-Turn is not very effective. Unfortunately it does end up being the Baton Pass set because as soon as I use Entrainment Gliscor uses Swords Dance. Before proceeding, what do you think is better between trying to kill of Gliscor with Blaziken or setting up your own Gliscor?

Now I have two options: set up my Gliscor or try to kill his Gliscor with Blaziken. If I attack Gliscor I will Protect every second turn not to get hit by Acrobatics which has a chance to kill me after Swords Dance. His Gliscor has a +Def nature as well as Def and HP EVs, which will make it hard to do significant damage to him! Stone Edge from Blaziken will only do 20-24% of Gliscor's HP if it doesn't miss. The big danger here is if he Baton Passes some Swords Dances and Agilities while I Protect with Blaziken. Many Ground Pokémon have serious physical bulk so chances are Blaziken can't take them out in one move without Attack boosts. If this happens, it would leave me in a very weak position to win the battle.

Since I'm worried about Gliscor Baton Passing while I'm forced to Protect with Blaziken, I decide to take my chances setting up my own Gliscor instead. With the opponent being Truant I should have some advantage and be able to set up faster. Gliscor also runs Substitute which means he can Baton Pass the turn after the opponent Baton Passes without putting Blaziken in any danger.

The first couple of turns of this battle proceed as follows:

[SPACE][SPACE]Turn 1: Durant used Entrainment. [SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SACE]The foe's Gliscor uses Swords Dance.
[SPACE][ScczE]Turn 2: Calisto switched out Durant and sent out Gliscor. [ccccC][The foe's Gliscor is loafing around.
[SPACE][SPACE]Turn 3: Gliscor uses Substitute. [SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]bThe foes' Gliscor uses Agility
[SPACE][SPACE]Turn 4: Gliscor uses Hone Claws.[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]bThe foe's Gliscor is loafing around.
[SPACE][SPACE]Turn 5: Gliscor uses Hone Claws. [SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]The foe's Gliscor uses Swords Dance
[SPACE][SPACE]Turn 6: Gliscor uses Hone Claws.[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]bThe foe's Gliscor is loafing around.
[SPACE][SPACE]Turn 7: Gliscor uses Hone Claws. [SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]The foe's Gliscor uses Baton Pass, Hiker Jorge sent out Golurk.

[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]Current stats: Gliscor = Substitute, +4 Attack and +4 Accuracy. Golurk = +2 Speed +4 Attack


Woah, a Golurk! I'm sure glad that I didn't waste too much of my Stone Edge PP on Gliscor earlier by attacking him. That could have been a disaster with Golurk being immune to Superpower and resisting Stone Edge! Still, things aren't all great now either as I only managed to get 4 Hone Claws in. At this point a Stone Edge will do about 110 damage to Golurk if I Baton Pass to Blaziken. For all Golurk sets Stone Edge is not enough to KO but Fling + Stone Edge is. Fortunately Fling is super effective or I would probably be in trouble! The possible Golurk sets are:


There is no reason to keep Gliscor in now because it risks losing the Substitute which is the free turn needed to Baton Pass to Blaziken. While Baton Passing Golurk uses Rock Slide, destroying the Substitute. Both Golurk 2 and Golurk 3 have Rock Slide so at this point I can't be sure which it is. Golurk 2 is Brave and will be slower than my Blaziken who got a Speed Boost after the Baton Pass. Golurk 3 is Adamant and will be at a Speed tie of 150 with my Adamant Blaziken because of that +2 Speed from Agility.

I'm not going to take a 50-50 chance for a win so I use Protect to get another Speed Boost from Blaziken. Then Fling + Stone Edge will finish off Golurk regardless of which set it is. Surprisingly Golurk uses Curse on this turn! This limits how long I can keep in Blaziken but at least it means I won't have to waste my Fling on Golurk because now a Stone Edge finishes him off. The battle goes as follows:

[SPACE][SPACE]Turn 8: FGliscor used Baton Pass, Calisto sent out Blaziken.SPACEThe foe's Golurk used Rock Slide, Blaziken's Substitute faded.
[SPACE][SPACE]Turn 9:F Blaziken used Protect. SPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]bThe foe's Golurk used Curse.
[SPACE][SPACE]Turn10: Blaziken used Stone Edge. SFPACE][SPACE][SPACE][SPThe foe's Golurk fainted, Hiker Jorge sent out Donphan!

[SPACE][SPACE][SPACE]Current stats: Blaziken = +4 Attack and +4 Accuracy. Donphan = N/A


Jorge reveals his final Pokémon, a Donphan that looks really really pissed off! Gliscor and Golurk already gave me enough trouble and now the asshat decides to mix it up with a Sturdy Pokémon boasting huge physical stats and maybe even Quick Claw + Fissure. The possible sets are:


I'm not happy about this, not one bit! At least he isn't immune to the STAB Superpower from my +4 Attack Blaziken. Superpower is enough to take out Donphan but I would need to get rid of Sturdy and a potential Focus Sash with Fling first. If Fling + Superpower is the plan, the Att drop and two Curse turns would leave Blaziken at exactly 1 HP and +3 Att facing Gliscor.

That will work against Donphans 1-3 as well as Donphan 4 if his Quick Claw doesn't activate on BOTH turns. After killing Donphan I would switch out and stall the enemy Gliscor's Acrobatics PP with Protect + Substitute with my own Gliscor. When he is out of Acrobatics PP I can safely Baton Pass to my 1 HP Blaziken and finish him off in style! This seems like a good plan with a high success rate but can I do anything about the Quick Claw Donphan? If my Blaziken dies after quick Claw activation neither Durant nor Gliscor have any damage moves so his Donphan and Gliscor will certainly finish me off.

Switching is my only alternative if I don't keep Blaziken to face off against Donphan. I'm only worried about the Quick Claw set and I don't see how switching to Gliscor can help much against that. Stone Edge, Seed Bomb and Quick Claw from Donphan are not exactly a perfect situation for Gliscor to set up, at least not better than the chance of Quick Claw not activating two turns in a row. Even if I do set up it doesn't help because a +5 Blaziken with Fling or a +6 without Fling can't OHKO Gliscor with Stone Edge 100% of the time anyway!

So what if I switch to Durant? If I can use Entrainment on Donphan this battle will be a sure win. Durant can take an Earthquake from Donphan but not two of them. Assuming it is the Quick Claw Donphan I would need him not to get a Critical Hit on the first turn and no Quick Claw activation on the second. So switching and staying in is effectively comparing Quick Claw + Quick Claw versus Critical Hit + Quick Claw. Therefore switching offers like slightly better odds than staying in because a Quick Claw activation is 18.75% and a Critical hit 6.25% (in theory at least).

This holds true assuming a switch doesn't cost against Donphan sets 1-3, in that case staying in would mean a 50% higher chance of losing! Donphan 2 simply can't do enough damage to Durant to prevent him using Entrainment so that set is harmless. For Donphan 3 I can stall the PP of Gyro Ball and set up on Fire Fang. Then Baton Pass on a Fire Fang, which will not do enough damage to break Blaziken's Substitute. Two Stone Edges will do at least 165 damage and Donphan has 164 HP! A Fling + Stone Edge will then do 190+ damage to the Gliscor which has 182 HP. Close but good enough! Donphan 1 is a bit annoying because it might start using Defence Curl but there are still reasonable chances. Anyway one Critical Hit Earthquake from Donphan 1 would not be enough to sway the odds in favour of keeping Blaziken in at this point so I switch!

[SPACE][SPACE]Turn 11: Calisto switched Blaziken and sent out Durant.AfCEThe foe's Donphan used Earthquake. Critical Hit, Durant Fainted!
[SPACE][SPACE]Turn 12: Calisto sent out Gliscor, Gliscor used Substitute. fSThe foe's Donphan used Rollout.
[SPACE][SPACE]Turn 13-End:
Gliscor uses a combination of Substitute + Protect while using Hone Claws and Baton Passes to Blaziken. Blaziken can hit Donphan once with Superpower before losing the Substitute. Then switch Gliscor into an Earthquake to keep Blaziken alive (who can't OHKO Donphan yet). Gliscor repeats the maneuvre until a +6 Blaziken can take out Donphan in one hit. Must be +6 in order to be able to take out Gliscor next with Fling + Stone Edge.


Harrumph!! That is exactly how I felt when I realised that my decision to switch to Durant turned out to be the only way not to get a certain win! This was a rough battle from beginning to end
and I was quite surprised by how good the opposing team was considering Hiker Jorge had only 23 Ground Pokémon with fixed movepools to choose from! Hopefully I won't be running into Hiker Jorge again any time soon!
This was an interesting read. I like how you've inspected all the variable aspects that could happen, and shown that the AI can sometimes bring up a useful counter.
"Let's hope a critical hit doesn't happen!"

*Switch to Durant, CRITICAL HIT!*

Freaking subway. Not really sure how to rate this since this isn't a usual war story, but interesting nonetheless.

Edit: Though, unreleased DW Truant Durant? Tsk, tsk.
Wow. A strategic AI? On a Pokémon Game? I had no idea that was possible. That was the best battle against an AI I've ever seen (or read) even with the hacked Durant. I can't wait for Gra(e)y to come out so I can battle these amazing AI's. Are there AI's like this in the Battle Frontier? Like after you win the gold print (or symbol)?


Keep moving forward
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I went into this thread expecting a rather boring Subway battle. I was wrong. Great job and good presentation.

Y'know, these situations are where a Water-type such as Milotic works really well...
This was an incredibly enjoyable read!

(By the way... I've faced Donphan #4 before, one time Quick Claw activated twice and he used Fissure and it hit both times. I was incredibly angry.)
blaziken is your only actual attacking pokemon, and durant has three moves that it wont be able to make use of thanks to scarf, that is sad. keep entrainment and replace the others with some attacking moves, that way blaziken isn't your only attacking pokemon
I really dislike Scarf Truant Entrainment Durants (I believe the guy can do so much more than just letting something set up), and I'm not very fond of the rest of your team either, but that was an interesting read.
Screw Battle Subway, by the way.
Well, this is a unique read...I personally ran into Jorge himself and died to Fissure Donphan. I enjoyed all the considerations you showed and revealed how almost unbeatable some AIs can be with some teams! Fresh, one-of-a-kind and engaging! 9/10!
That was interesting. I'm not sure if you might have made a mistake though? When it was Donphan out vs your +4/+4 Blaziken, my first choice would have been to switch to Gliscor to take the likely ground move and then switch to Durant the turn after, instead of switching to Durant right away, since that guarantees Durant not having to come in on a ground move?
That was interesting. I'm not sure if you might have made a mistake though? When it was Donphan out vs your +4/+4 Blaziken, my first choice would have been to switch to Gliscor to take the likely ground move and then switch to Durant the turn after, instead of switching to Durant right away, since that guarantees Durant not having to come in on a ground move?
Heh, yeah that would have been better!
The hacked Durant kind of ruined it for me, as unreleased DW abilities prevent me from sending Battle Videos (Won against two hackers, the first used No Guard Golurk and the second used either Unaware Clefable or Magic Mirror Alakazam, couldn't tell) that I would've loved to send.. But other than that, I liked the format and how you posted the 4 possible sets for each of the AI's Pokemon (which helps me since I'm getting through the Subway also).

I don't like giving rates as most of the time they're viewed as "too good" or "too bad" number-wise, but I say 8/10 but 10/10 if you had a Hone Claws Hustle Durant, a set that I adore using.
Couldn't you have Baton Passed to Durant when he sent Golurk out, Entrained it (behind your sub), and then back to Gliscor to begin setting up all over again? (Is the AI sophisticated enough to simply switch Golurk out without using U-Turn/Baton Pass?)
Couldn't you have Baton Passed to Durant when he sent Golurk out, Entrained it (behind your sub), and then back to Gliscor to begin setting up all over again? (Is the AI sophisticated enough to simply switch Golurk out without using U-Turn/Baton Pass?)
It wouldn't switch, I'm 99.99% sure of this but then again I also thought Golurk would never choose Curse over Rock Slide facing Blaziken! Assuming he doesn't switch you would sacrifice Durant to the Golurk. I can't see anything wrong with this plan if you can set up an unscathed +6 Att Blaziken with a Substitute and Fling to take on Gliscor and his final unknown Pokémon. In that case a win is pretty much guaranteed, the only possible thing that can go wrong (as it invariably does in the Battle Subway ^^) is if Golurk decides to Curse your set up with Gliscor (bad joke, I know). If you Baton Pass to Durant it might go something like:

Turn c8: Gliscor used Baton Pass, Calisto and sent out Durant. , urThe foe's Golurk used Rock Slide, Durant's Substitute faded.
Turn c9: Durant used Entrainment. used Rock Slide, Durant Calisto The foe's Golurk used Rock Slide, Durant fainted and Calisto sent out Gliscor.
Turn 10: Gliscor used Substitute.is loafing arThe foe's Golurvvvk c The foe's Golurk is loafing around.
Turn 11: Gliscor used Hone Claws (100%, +1att/+1acc, Sub)., CcuThe foe's Golurk used Curse.

Do you switch in Blaziken to get rid of the Curse? If you do, you need to Protect the next turn to guard Blaziken from damage. Presumably you will switch back to Gliscor after that because you need to set up or get a Substitute to take on that Gliscor. It gets problematic if Golurk starts to Curse again at any point here though. He has 164 HP and will faint on the next Curse. That will leave you to set up (possibly Cursed if he does it after your Gliscor switch) against his Untruanted 3rd Pokémon, or worse his Gliscor! This seems quite risky because you need Blaziken at +6 or behind a Sub to take out Gliscor without dying. So it is probably better not to switch out your Cursed Gliscor right away and stay in with your Gliscor. The battle probably being:

Turn 12: Gliscor used Hone Claws (75%, +2att/+2acc, Sub, Cursed). The foe's Golurk hoafing The foe's Golurk is loafing around (50%).
Turn 13: Gliscor used Hone Claws (63%, +3att/+3acc, Cursed). The foe's Golurk ued Rocck SliThe foe's Golurk used Rock Slide, Gliscor's Substitute faded (50%).
Turn 14: Gliscor used Substitute (25%, +3att/+3acc, Sub, Cursed). The foe's Gurckcccis loafiThe foe's Golurk is loafing around (50%).
Turn 15: Gliscor usd Protect (12.5%, +3att/+3acc, Sub, Cursed). The foe's Golurk us cRck SliThe foe's Golurk used Rock Slide (50%).
Turn 16: Gliscor used Baton Pass, Calisto sent out Blaziken (75%, +3att/+3acc, Sub, Cursed). The foe's Golurk is loafing around (50%).
Turn 17: Blaziken used Rock Slide and Golurk fainted (50%, +3att/+3acc, Sub). The foe sent oHiker Jorge sent out Gliscor.

If Blaziken wasn't Cursed, 2 Stone Edges for Gliscor (behind Sub) and a Fling Superpower for Donphan would end this fight from a +3 Att Blaziken. Right now you can only take out one of them before being forced to switch out Blaziken.

If Jorge sends out Donphan next, Fling + Superpower can take out Donphan leaving Blaziken with 1HP after another two Curse turns (yay for 181 HP!). However when you switch to Gliscor you need to pray to the hax Gods and hope he doesn't use Acrobatics because at 12.5% Gliscor won't survive the hit. If he uses some other move it looks like you can set up for a win after stalling some of his Acrobatics PP. This looks like a losing scenario, or does it?

This is a crazy idea but I think you can win this by using Stone Edge with Blaziken, letting him die. Then stall out his Acrobatics with Sub-Protect. Both of you will be using pointless moves for another century or so until you start using Struggle. His Baton Pass, Agility and Swords Dance have 30, 30 and 40 PP respectively so he won't be touching you with his +6 Struggle for a while! By this time you will have Poison Healed back to full HP. His Gliscor will be at 40-49% HP because of the Stone Edge. That is at most 8 turns to kill him with Struggle. Thanks to Poison Heal Gliscor will need 8 turns to kill himself with Struggle recoil in the worst case scenario!

If he sends out Gliscor, it looks like you need to kill it with Stone Edge + Stone Edge because you will be forced to switch soon and the Gliscor is a quite threat if you let it use Agility and Swords Dance. So it continues:

Turn 18: Blaziken used Stone Edge (25%, +3att/+3acc, Sub, Cursed). , Sub, Cursed).The foe's Gliscor used Acrobatics, Substitute faded.
Turn 19: Blaziken used Stone Edge, Gliscor fainted (1 HP, +3att/+3acc, Sub, Cursed). Hiker Jorge sent out Donphan.
Turn 20: Calisto switched out Blaziken and sent out Gliscor. The foe's Donphan used EThe foe's Donphan used Earthquake.

Ironically it looks like this might put you into a similar end situation as the alternative of initially Baton Passing to Blaziken instead of Durant! Gliscor is once again facing the Donphan and needs to set up, at lower HP this time but without the enemy Gliscor still waiting to wreak havoc. Gliscor is only at 12.5% HP though which does make things slightly more complicated to set up. Anything with a Quick Claw (like Donphan) can probably finish off Gliscor now as well as things that outspeed him like Flygon, Garchomp and Dugtrio. If they outspeed Gliscor they also outspeed Blaziken after a Protect. Not a good situation to be in should that happen.

This strategy nets you a win as long as the Golurk isn't the Curse set. There are a lot of factors to take into account but overall Baton Passing to Durant seems to put most of your eggs into one basket. If it is the right basket (not the Curse Golurk) you're in for a win, if not you still have decent chances depending on what is next. It isn't easy to predict entire battles even knowing the some of the opponent's stats and movesets. Maybe there is a case to Protect with Gliscor instead of Baton Pass to Blaziken or Durant, in order to scout for which Golurk set it is?

If I get rid of Golurk right away as in the warstory, chances are very good I can still do the Durant switch two turns later. Durant can most likely take a hit from Gliscor or his final Pokémon before using Entrainment (30 HP and 252 Sp Def EVs). It would be even better to switch into Gliscor first if it is almost certainly an Earthquake, as Chinese Dood suggested! Nonetheless it is a very interesting alternative that I didn't consider at the time, maybe I can add it to the Warstory if I didn't screw up any of my analysis =)