Everybody's Shuffling: Pokémon Shuffle

By skylight. Art by LifeisDANK.
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Pokémon Shuffle

An Introduction to Pokémon Shuffle

Genius Sonority, the creative minds behind popular Pokémon titles such as Pokémon Colosseum, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, and Pokémon Battle Revolution, developed Pokémon Shuffle. The title was released globally for the Nintendo 3DS on February 18, 2015. The free-to-play puzzle game has since been downloaded over 5 million times. Pokémon Shuffle Mobile, released globally in August 2015, has also been downloaded over 5 million times.

Like with most Pokémon games, your goal is to catch them all, and this game is no different. The game is based around the "match 3" puzzle game concept. Weaker Pokémon are available early on, and stronger Pokémon with a higher Base Power are available if you complete harder puzzles. Stronger Pokémon will aid you in completing harder puzzles too, which can help you complete Expert and Special Stages.

With that said, here's why you've got to be next to download it!

Why is Pokémon Shuffle so good?

It's incredibly easy to get into. Events are repeated often (except Jirachi, which we've accepted is pretty much impossible by now, rip), and you're still able to obtain a reward without having to spend too much time on the game. Every fortnight extra content is added to the game. Sometimes if we're lucky only three new Pokémon are added. Other times? You'll face an Escalation Battle, which starts from level one and progressively rises to about level 200 or 300. It's not all bad, though, because Escalation Battles will give you Mega Speedups, Raise Max Levels, Level Ups, Coins, Hearts... they're pretty good. If you're not facing an Escalation Battle, you might face a Pokémon Safari, which contains rare Pokémon and pretty much mirrors the main games. There's also the chance that 50 more main stages will be added, or a daily Pokémon(which changes every day from Monday to Friday during the event period). So with that said, you'll also never really run out of things to do in this game... unless you've been playing from the beginning and have every single Pokémon released. In which case, good job! Additionally, unless you're rich, you're probably not going to waste consistent hours on it due to only regenerating five hearts every 2.5 hours, so becoming addicted isn't a huge concern.

Items Breakdown

Tips for New Shufflers

Making Money

Level 37 Meowth is great for grinding coins. A good strategy is to use a Fighting-type Pokémon and three Pokémon that do neutral damage. Otherwise, the Swarm and Last-Ditch Effort abilities are your best friends. Power of Four works great, too. It'll allow you to try setting up coins for matching and not worry about doing damage. The best way to make money is to save every single jewel you have and only use it on Sunday Meowth. It'll allow you to play the level an extra three times. Five lives is nothing compared to at least a 16,000 coins profit. The team most likely to generate coins is generally Mega Mewtwo Y and Psychic-type Mega Boosters. Match the Mega Booster Pokémon until Mewtwo Mega Evolves, and avoid matching coins. The game will do the rest of the work. Alternatively you can use Mega Blaziken, Mega Swampert, Mega Sceptile, or Mega Gengar. All of them work fairly well, but Mega Mewtwo Y is preferred, as it generally yields more coins. If you don't have access to Mega Boosters or any of these Mega Pokémon, you can use anything that doesn't interfere in disruptions in any way. Quirky Pokémon are also good too. Don't forget to use Moves +5 on Sunday Meowth, too!

Grinding EXP

The best way to grind Pokémon is on Ampharos. Pokémon with lots of moves to start with (50 or over) generate huge amounts of EXP points. Unfortunately, for the most part that's only really going to be Ampharos and Snorlax; the latter generally generates too many disruptions to be useful, but Ampharos is generally really easy to beat. Mega Garchomp comes in handy here, as you won't need to worry about losing due to its power and Mega Ability. You can also grind on Buneary if you haven't unlocked Ampharos yet. The other way to grind happens every Saturday. When you battle Victini, you'll get a lot of EXP but keep in mind it's also hard to beat and you're not going to get many combinations due to constant rock disruptions. Make sure you have at least one super effective Pokémon, and select Exp Points x1.5 (to increase the EXP gained). Using Jewels on Victini is generally pointless because, unlike Meowth, you need to pay a Jewel to unlock it each time (whereas in Sunday Meowth one Jewel will unlock three extra attempts).

Smogon User Testimonies

"What I like about Pokémon Shuffle is that it is a simple addictive casual game with Pokémon elements that's free to pick up and is entirely possible to complete fully without opening your wallet with the way it is designed. With a constant stream of events that come and go and come again as well as constantly updating features, the game has significant longevity, as evidenced by the many players who picked it up long ago and still play today. The levels also have a bit of everything in variety, including breather levels, challenging levels, dedicated grinding stages, pure puzzle stages, and timed stages that test your reflexes and your ability to think quick. For a freemium game, it's actually fairly well designed, and if you are looking for a good casual match-three game and like Pokémon, then give Pokémon Shuffle a try!" - Its_A_Random
"I like Shuffle because it merges many of Pokémon's core aspects into a simple yet extensive puzzle game; you can catch, battle and even train your Pokémon as you take on harder stages. While some stages are so simple you can brute-force them with anything that's "super effective," others are ridiculously hard and heavily RNG dependent, there are also others that are meant to be beaten by specific team compositions and abilities you might usually overlook or just be pure puzzle stages where you must follow a specific pattern to solve it. Despite being a freemium game, it gives quite a bit of options to gather your resources without spending any real cash on it (only if you manage them properly, though), while the constant release of new content and weekly events can end up helping you beating stages at a faster rate, so there's basically always something to do or to look forward to, and the community has grown fast enough that many can guide you even if you're just a beginner." - zero2exe
"I love playing Pokémon Shuffle for several reasons. First, the game is very simple and can be played quickly during a break, on vacation, or in transportation, as it only takes 5-10 minutes every three hours on average! The concept of the game Puzzle is a classic, adding the Pokémon effect with the "Catch All" to compete against other players, and the strategy is important as training your favorite Pokémon. Finally, there is a Pokémon game with updates every week, which helps to keep the novelty effect every week! The microtransaction part is not needed, it's just a bonus for some players! I only play 3DS version, but the extension on mobile has allowed the community to grow bigger and bigger! To summarize, a very addictive and simple game!" - antihaxxer

Why do you need to download it right now?

Both mobile and 3DS Pokémon Shuffle users have access to over 400 main Pokémon stages, a ton of Expert stages, and at least one new Special stage every fortnight. Mission Cards (over 15 challenges) were recently added on both versions, which encourages you to go back and play older stages. There's also Survival Mode if you want to get the most out of three hearts (you get access to more moves as you progress until you run out of moves). Other than that, right now you now have a 2% chance of catching a shiny Pokémon! The bad news? It's going to be either Magikarp or Gyarados. There's other cool Pokémon in the Safari, but make it a priority to search for these two in particular. Kabutops, Omastar, Dialga, Tornadus, Landorus-T, and Gyarados (yes, normal Gyarados is available too) can also be grabbed right now. What better reason to get Pokémon Shuffle?

Now go play!

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