Challenge 4th Generation Battle Facilities Discussion and Records

Decided to go for a 100-win streak in the Battle Tower for the Trainer Card star in HeartGold. On my third attempt, I got 193 wins.

Here's the team:

(*) Starmie @ Life Orb
Timid Nature
Natural Cure
31/0/31/31/31/31
252 SpA / 6 SpD / 252 Spe
Surf
Ice Beam
Thunderbolt
Psychic

Garchomp (M) @ Focus Sash
Jolly Nature
Sand Veil
31/31/31/31/31/31
6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Outrage
Swords Dance
Earthquake
Fire Fang

Scizor (M) @ Lum Berry
Adamant Nature
Technician
31/31/31/31/31/31
6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Bullet Punch
Swords Dance
Bug Bite
Superpower

Typical Water-Dragon-Steel core. The general strat, as you might expect, was very straightforward - each team member was meant to do as much damage to the enemy team as possible while the other two cleaned up afterwards. Scizor's ability to absorb status came in very handy, and it also helped me pull off a ton of sweeps whenever the enemy led with a Grass-type or a specially bulky mon. I usually held Garchomp in reserve to avoid status moves, Outrage confusion, or getting walled by Outrage resists, though it still pulled off some sweeps. Starmie was also a huge asset to the team with its speed, power, and coverage. Super stoked with how this went, although there were definitely some very scary moments, especially as I was closing in on 100 wins.

My last battle (#194) was some classic Battle Tower hax. I lead with Starmie, opponent leads with Rhydon. Turn 1, Quick Claw goes off, Rhydon OHKOs Starmie with Megahorn. Turn 2, I send in Garchomp and set up Swords Dance, while Rhydon goes for the Horn Drill, which hits, bringing Chomp down to 1 HP. Turn 3, Rhydon's Quick Claw goes off AGAIN, and it then KOs Chomp with Earthquake. Turn 4, I send in Scizor and go for the Swords Dance, while Rhydon Stone Edges. Scizor survives, and Bullet Punch manages to KO Rhydon, but then out comes... Heatran. I manage to hit it with a Superpower, but it survives with its Sash and then KOs Scizor with Earth Power. RIP

Here's the proof:

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Oh wow dexterity99 it looked like reading my experience of some months ago!! Same exact team (but slightly bulkier spread on Scizor, and also Sitrus > Lum), after doing this I continued the streak, losing at battle 152 to the same hax as you: double Quick Claw, (double) OHKO-move hit (video).

Anyway, you might be right that Lum can be more useful than Sitrus... I'll think about it if I'll ever use this team again!
 
Anyone here knows how AI behaves in regards to using explosion in doubles? I've been playing Factory doubles on open level and I had a team of Infernape3/Muk3/Salamence3 vs Exploud2/Weezing3/Floatzel3. I double targeted Exploud with Focus Blast Gunk Shot just in case Infernape missed and ignored Weezing. So yeah got the KO on Exploud, then Weezing proceeds to kill everything with Explosion, leaving Floatzel with an easy job vs Salamence.

So why does Weezing go for Explosion there? Bad matchup, just chooses it because it gets the double KO, does the AI know what I have in the back and forces the easy 1v1 scenario, or is it just a random low chance? In singles it felt like they only ever picked Explosion when on low health.

EDIT: I guess it could have been Exploud 3 since both have Facade but Exploud 3 also has Earthquake, so it should have used that since both my Pokemon are weak to it and Weezing is immune and not go straight to Explosion?
 
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If HGSS AI works like in Emerald, then Explosion is among the PowerExtremes group (~40% to get +2 evaluation score) and also encouraged by "Risky" AI (50% chance to get +2 score). This can offset the discouraging effect of high/medium HP, which is not guaranteed to happen (I think there's a ~20% chance for the score decrease to be skipped). The AI does not know your pokémon in the back.
 
Anyone here knows how AI behaves in regards to using explosion in doubles? I've been playing Factory doubles on open level and I had a team of Infernape3/Muk3/Salamence3 vs Exploud2/Weezing3/Floatzel3. I double targeted Exploud with Focus Blast Gunk Shot just in case Infernape missed and ignored Weezing. So yeah got the KO on Exploud, then Weezing proceeds to kill everything with Explosion, leaving Floatzel with an easy job vs Salamence.

So why does Weezing go for Explosion there? Bad matchup, just chooses it because it gets the double KO, does the AI know what I have in the back and forces the easy 1v1 scenario, or is it just a random low chance? In singles it felt like they only ever picked Explosion when on low health.

EDIT: I guess it could have been Exploud 3 since both have Facade but Exploud 3 also has Earthquake, so it should have used that since both my Pokemon are weak to it and Weezing is immune and not go straight to Explosion?
The matchup makes me think you were playing in round 3, before smart AI kicks in full-force. As such, the trainer's move selection is a bit random at this point in time.
 
The matchup makes me think you were playing in round 3, before smart AI kicks in full-force. As such, the trainer's move selection is a bit random at this point in time.
Yeah, it was on round 3. But I thought doubles had smart AI from the get-go? I mean they definitely do some random things, but in general they target intelligently with super effective moves. Does the AI get better from round 5 on?

Also had another encounter in round 2 where Glalie exploded when I had 3 pokes left and they only had 2 with the other one being a paralyzed Armaldo2 on about 50% health, so I guess it's just random.
 
I don't really know much about the doubles move selection AI and how it progresses. However, the doubles targetting AI is what starts off smart. It's part of what makes factory doubles so dangerous - the AI is incredibly unpredictable but it doesn't just target moves completely at random.
 
Hello, it has been a while since I wrote here, I haven't been making progress in the Battle Factory since then, so I'd recently bred and trained my team the best I could to take on the other facilities. I already got 2 gold prints done: the Battle Hall and the Arcade, so it's storytime.

BATTLE HALL (170 WINS)
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When I was younger, this was the most intimidating place, more than the damn Factory. The fact that I had to win against 170 mons of different types with only one mon seemed impossible, but I learned the info and heard tips from you guys in order to have an easier time. Which specific Pokemon were the biggest threats and deal with those asap. I tried using Lucario at first but I couldn't progress much, so I went for Garchomp.

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Garchomp (F) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Sand Veil
Level: 48
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 31/31/26/30/30/31
- Earthquake
- Outrage
- Fire Fang
- Dragon Claw

The order I went for was:
ICE-DARK-WATER-FLYING-GROUND-GHOST-NORMAL-BUG-PSYCHIC-GRASS-FIGHTING-STEEL-ROCK-POISON-FIRE-ELECTRIC-DRAGON

Weavile is the biggest threat so I took out Ice and Dark and didn't run into it. I had little trouble during the streak except for two instances:

H284 | Slowbro | Modest | Sitrus Berry | Water Pulse | Psychic | Ice Beam | Flamethrower | HP/SpA
This Slowbro defeated me once by going for the Water Pulse confuse hax, thus I couldn't attack next turn and killed me with Ice Beam next. I then faces the same Slowbro again, but this time it didn't get the hax. In a higher streak, with higher IVs, I prob couldn't 2HKO with Outrage

H303 | Tauros | Adamant | Persim Berry | Frustration | Iron Tail | Outrage | Zen Headbutt | Atk/Def
This thing seems designed to be a Garchomp counter too. With Intimidate and Def evs, I still got the 2HKO with Outrage but it was close; while Tauros can easily 2HKO with his own Outrage. Maybe if I had Swords Dance I could've scored the OHKO easier?

I got to battle number 170 to face Argenta:

H411 | Scizor | Brave | Focus Sash | Swords Dance | X-Scissor | Counter | Bullet Punch | HP/Atk

This set is evil, and ofc Argenta went for it. Luckily I had Dragon Claw, to do some chip damage and avoid the Focus Sash, and then winning the fight with Fire Fang. If I just went for Fire Fang on turn 1, there's a chance Argenta might have gone for Counter, which brings me down to 1 HP and then she would have won with Bullet Punch. I could've also used the Fire Blast/Flamethower TM to avoid this scenario, but I didn't want to rely on low accuracy, and getting another Flamethower TM is tedious...


BATTLE ARCADE (49 WINS)

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Garchomp (F)
Ability: Sand Veil
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 31/31/26/30/30/31
- Earthquake
- Outrage
- Fire Fang
- Swords Dance

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Weavile (F)
Ability: Pressure
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 31/31/31/23/23/31
- Ice Punch
- Night Slash
- Low Kick
- Fake Out

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Zapdos
Ability: Pressure
Level: 50
EVs: 140 HP / 248 SpA / 120 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 31/20/26/30/26/28
- Thunderbolt
- Heat Wave
- Thunder Wave
- Roost

What an experience! A pretty fun place, mixing elements from the Pike and Dome from Hoenn. You can see your opponent's team like in Team Preview in later gens, and this helped inmensely to know when to unleash Outrage. Your timing is key for the Roulette, and I screwed up a few times in my way to the Gold print. I was careless and landed on the Item button, and I got Black Sludge. Lesson learned, some of the items screw you over, fortunately I got rid of it for the next fight. There was one time I clicked on random roulette, but I got lucky and skipped the fight, clutch! There were two instances where I mistimed and got the Fog weather, which lowers accuracy drastically, and it was on that second fight (battle number 45 I think?) where I nearly lost, because the opponent had:
749,Electivire 3,Modest,Wise Glasses,150,128,87,161,105,147,Thunderbolt,Psychic,Focus Blast,Signal Beam,Sp.Attk/Speed
Which HIT A FOCUS BLAST IN THE FOG!!! Garchomp managed to hit the EQ though

736,Walrein 3,Bold,Lax Incense,185,90,156,115,142,85,Sheer Cold,Fissure,Rest,Sleep Talk,Def/Sp.Def
Oh yeeeees, and OHKO moves aren't affected by accuracy changes, so it hit my Garchomp. Zapdos thankfully hit the tbolt and OHKO'd that ugly monster.

741,Rhyperior 3,Impish,Focus Sash,222,160,200,67,75,60,Horn Drill,Avalanche,Payback,Counter,HP/Def
We're not done yet with the OHKO abuse. Zapdos THANKFULLY avoided all 3 Horn Drills (Pressure coming through!) and after many turns of hitting, roosting and avoiding, Zapdos defeated Rhyperior.

That was close, time to face Dahlia

Pretty easy battle, even without the HP reduction. My plan was to use Zapdos and Weavile as backup against her team if anything went wrong, but Garchomp carried.

As a bonus, here's a trainer that for some reason used a SHINY against me!!!

I didn't know that was possible in Gen 4! Funnily enough I also have my own Red Gyarados which I'm going to use next...
 
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As a bonus, here's a trainer that for some reason used a SHINY against me!!!

I didn't know that was possible in Gen 4! Funnily enough I also have my own Red Gyarados which I'm going to use next...
This happened to me, too, and also in the Arcade. Some Picnicker in an early set.
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I knew they could appear since Personality Values on opponent Pokémon are random, but it was still neat. The only shinies I've ever found myself were in BW.
 
Two more down...

BATTLE CASTLE (49 WINS)

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This place is all about managing resources to get the most CP to use in the later battles. I leveled up all my opponents up for the first 3 rounds to get the most out of it, before the opponents start getting serious. Since you aren't healed in between battles (it also depends on CP), the Battle Castle favors offense above all, strong fast mons to sweep the opponent quickly, so I went for:

garchomp-f.png

Garchomp (F) @ Lum Berry/Yache Berry/Focus Sash/Persim Berry
Ability: Sand Veil
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 31/31/26/30/30/31
- Earthquake
- Outrage
- Fire Fang
- Swords Dance

gyarados-f.png

Gyarados (M) @ Lum Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
IVs: 9/28/24/30/28/26
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Ice Fang
- Dragon Dance

lucario.png

Lucario (M) @ Choice Specs/Aspear Berry
Ability: Inner Focus
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 23/13/31/31/30/30
- Aura Sphere
- Flash Cannon
- Dark Pulse
- Vacuum Wave

Leading with Chomp since its Dragon/Ground STAB is my best choice to go, plus Outrage saves the use of PP, preferably with Lum Berry to avoid any nasty status, but sometimes switched items depending on the occasion. Gyarados is a great backup sweeper which has the advantage against Darach so I lead with it for the final round, and Lucario covers most of the team's weaknesses, is a nice special attacker and Aura Sphere avoids any kind of evasion hax. Ocasionally I had an Aspear Berry if I needed to switch against an Ice mon.

That being said I ran into some problems with this place. I lost twice in Round 7 because of my opponents using dangerous Pokemon combinations that I could've used 'Pass', plus getting absurdly lucky with crits and misses, classic Frontier stuff. But here is much more tedious since it's back to 0 CP and having to raise the foe's levels one by one over and over...I like the idea of the Battle Castle but its slow pace in between battles (leveling up, healing, checking, etc.) makes it a more tiresome experience. Heck I wasn't too safe either in my winning round, in the last fight before Darach I ran into this UGLY tongued blob.

853,Lickilicky 4,Adamant,Lax Incense,217,150,115,90,115,70,Body Slam,Power Whip,Earthquake,Explosion,HP/Attk
When facing my Gyarados, it paralyzed me once with Body Slam (I had Lum berry), it dodged two Waterfalls while it kept attacking me and getting a second paralyze that defeated it. This is why we run Special Lucario. And the other mons were Slaking and Magmortar, which were handled by Luke and Chomp respectively. Onto Darach at last...


No Quick Claws or crits fortunately, I got the Dragon Dance and 3-0 his team, gg. I ended the run with 800-ish CP. I think I only got to Pass 2 fights: one against a Starmie lead and other against a team of Rhyperior3, Walrein3 and Rapidash3; all OHKO move users.


BATTLE TOWER (49 WINS)

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The Tower needs no introduction, given how it's the most straightforward challenge and it has pretty much been in all of the main games. Since you heal each fight and can run items, unlike the Arcade and Castle, this place allows you to balance better your team and setup with more tranquility. So I went for:

Garchomp.png

Garchomp (F) @ Lum Berry/Focus Sash
Ability: Sand Veil
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 31/31/26/30/30/31
- Earthquake
- Outrage
- Fire Fang
- Swords Dance

Weavile.png

Weavile (F) @ Life Orb
Ability: Pressure
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 31/31/31/23/23/31
- Ice Punch
- Night Slash
- Low Kick
- Fake Out

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Suicune @ Chesto Berry
Ability: Pressure
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 15/8/24/28/29/25
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Calm Mind
- Rest

Garchomp is pretty well covered against Ice types/attacks, whether it's Suicune switching in for the perfect setup chance or Weavile entering for the kill (it outspeeds even Starmie, a major threat to my other teams), I felt quite prepared. I changed Chomp's Lum Berry for the final round because I was starting to get plenty of leads with potential Ice attacks, so I switched to Focus Sash and it worked quite well! I think the only time I was close to losing was when facing this Raichu that got the Static hax and KO'd my Weavile, only having Suicune left but it thankfully tanked the Volt Tackle and won.
786,Raichu 4,Adamant,BrightPowder,135,156,75,99,100,152,Volt Tackle,Return,Brick Break,Thunder Wave,Attk/Speed

There was also this Lapras set which got pretty dangerous since it can hit Garchomp with boosted Ice Shard and tank Weavile after a few Curses, luckily it didn't have Water Absorb and Suicune managed to take it out.
466,Lapras 1,Adamant,Leftovers,237,150,100,94,115,80,Aqua Tail,Avalanche,Ice Shard,Curse,HP/Attk

Anyways, here's the Palmer fight, and quite longer than the other fights, which means some things went wrong...


Garchomp was my lead against Heatran or Regigigas, if I got the latter I could set up two SD and sweep his team easily. If I got Cress I switched to Weavile who resists Ice and 2HKOs while taking mid damage from Signal Beam. I got Heatran, which has a Sash and cuts short the SD sweep, so I just went for EQ.

Cress was next so I switched then to Weavile but it got the Signal Beam crit. It's fine tho, I still had my back up sweeper Suicune; which worked well against Palmer. Some Calm Mind and Rest later, and I got the win! The Sinnoh Frontier is done, all Gold Prints babyyyy!
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OH WAIT!
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OMG I DID IT!
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I...honestly never thought I would get this gold print this soon right after I just got the other 4. I just said to myself "haha time for more failed tries and disappointment" "2023 might be the year lol"; but no! This was actually the run!

the 11th circle of hell BATTLE FACTORY (49 WINS)

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This place is notorious for the sheer amount of bs, the phrase "FUCK FACTORY" has been inmortalized in this community. You pick 3 Pokemon from a random selection of 6 and you have the option to swap one mon after the battle. Getting 49 wins is much easier said than done since you don't have control over which Pokemon you are going to get. You can end with very bad sets (looking at you set 2...), you opponent just happening to have a team that seems designed to counter yours, not to mention all the hax like status chances, quick claw, evasion, tl dr there's more variables than ever.

There's one helpful exploit that you guys thought me and I'm very thankful for that: I kept swapping and swapping on the first 4 rounds which gives you the option to get some mons from later sets. This really helps against the first Thorton fight and in round 5, where you get the usually terrible set 2 mons. I'm just going to detail the last 3 rounds, since that's the hardest section of the factory run:

For Round 5 I started with:
495,Swampert 2,Adamant,Lum Berry,207,178,110,94,110,80,Aqua Tail,Earthquake,Hammer Arm,Curse,HP/Attk
721,Exeggutor 3,Brave,Focus Sash,202,161,105,145,85,67,Wood Hammer,Zen Headbutt,Trick Room,Explosion,HP/Attk
678,Abomasnow 3,Quiet,Occa Berry,197,112,95,158,105,72,Energy Ball,Blizzard,Shadow Ball,Focus Blast,HP/Sp.Attk

I later swapped the Abomasnow for a Lucario since I didn't like having two slow Grass types, and later changed it for Gengar:
459,Lucario 1,Modest,BrightPowder,145,117,90,183,90,142,Aura Sphere,Flash Cannon,Water Pulse,Roar,Sp.Attk/Speed
419,Gengar 1,Timid,Payapa Berry,135,76,80,182,95,178,Shadow Ball,Sludge Bomb,Spite,Confuse Ray,Sp.Attk/Speed

Swampert was a good tank with little weaknesses aside from Grass, which the other two teammates could handle well. There was one fight where I was close to losing:
13,Mismagius 1,Modest,Kasib Berry,135,72,80,172,125,157,Shadow Ball,Power Gem,Magical Leaf,Memento,Sp.Attk/Speed
This little ghost can hit SE Swampert with Magical Leaf so I switched to Lucario, which did half damage but Mismagius got the crit. Exeggutor taked the Shadow Ball and set up the Trick Room, then exploded on the next mon, Honchkrow. It was only Swampert left against Gengar, I beat it and swapped it to the team.

For Round 6 I started with:
865,Leafeon 4,Adamant,Quick Claw,140,178,182,72,85,115,Leaf Blade,X-Scissor,Aerial Ace,Bite,Attk/Def
875,Crobat 4,Adamant,Razor Fang,160,156,100,81,100,182,Cross Poison,Brave Bird,X-Scissor,Zen Headbutt,Attk/Speed
834,Houndoom 4,Timid,White Herb,150,99,70,162,100,161,Overheat,Dark Pulse,SolarBeam,Sunny Day,Sp.Attk/Speed

Later swapped Houndoom for:
631,Swampert 3,Modest,Expert Belt,207,117,110,150,110,80,Muddy Water,Earth Power,Ice Beam,Counter,HP/Sp.Attk

I confess I only lead with Leafeon because the first opponent "seemed to be good with the Water type", but it really shined all the way through because I also got "Rock type" and "Ground type" enjoyers which leaf could handle very well. This Crobat was amazing, insanely fast, powerful, decent bulk, etc. I didn't get to use Houndoom much so I later swapped with Swampert, which really helped in battle 42 against a Magmortar and Rhyperior.

Finally Round 7, started and stayed with:
832,Heracross 4,Jolly,Salac Berry,155,177,95,54,115,150,Megahorn,Earthquake,Reversal,Endure,Attk/Speed
748,Milotic 3,Calm,Wide Lens,170,72,99,152,194,101,Hydro Pump,Blizzard,Mirror Coat,Recover,Sp.Attk/Sp.Def
780,Forretress 4,Adamant,Lax Incense,150,156,192,72,80,60,Explosion,Double-Edge,Earthquake,Rock Slide,Attk/Def

Round 7 in particular gave me a lot of trouble for one particular reason: the starting selection could have any set from 1-4, and most of sets 1 and 2 are very bad at this point against the opponents, whose AI is at max at this point and can carry the dangerous set 4 mons. Thankfully I got a great selection this time: Heracross 4 is a nasty sweeper which can KO near anything that doesn't resist it (except Feraligatr4 apparently...); Milotic, while unreliable with its attacks, is a great special tank that covers Hera's Fire weakness; and Forretress, a good physical tank which despite not having STAB attacks it's a good Explosion user. This team could take anything, but I was close to losing against this old enemy of mine:

864,Umbreon 4,Impish,BrightPowder,170,85,178,72,182,85,Payback,Trump Card,Curse,Moonlight,Def/Sp.Def
It it gets enough Curses, which is very easy to do with its insane bulk, Moonlight and Brightpowder, it's over. I already lost a run to this thing once and I even had a Steelix. I lost Hera already and it was all up to Milotic landing one Hydro Pump against a battered Umbreon who just tanked an Explosion. It hit, crisis averted.

I finally made it to battle 49, it was unreal. Thorton came in and boasted this trio only had a 25% chance of sucess. Let's see if that holds up, asshat...


For the Gold Print fight, Thorton used:
893,Garchomp 4,Adamant,Persim Berry,183,200,115,90,105,154,Outrage,Earthquake,Crunch,Fire Fang,Attk/Speed
777,Mr. Mime 4,Modest,Choice Specs,115,58,85,167,172,110,Psychic,Charge Beam,Shadow Ball,Focus Blast,Sp.Attk/Sp.Def
947,Latios 4,Modest,White Herb,155,99,100,200,130,162,Luster Purge,Draco Meteor,Hyper Beam,Surf,Sp.Attk/Speed

Hera vs Chomp. I was doubtful, "this could be Garchomp3, a set with a Focus Sash and can cut short the Hera sweep!", "no but what if it is Garchomp2 and goes for the Flamethrower against Forretress?". I decided to switch to it just to be safe and it was set 4 thankfully. This reveal also informed me his other mons were set 4 too, so I confidently went for the Endure+Reversal against Mr Mime, not wanting to risk a Megahorn miss (besides Mr Mime defense just plain sucks). Finally, only Latios was left and I wasn't sure if going for the Megahorn, or Reversal and leave the rest to Milotic. I was confident Milotic could handle a full HP Latios so I clicked Megahorn...and the battle was over.

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If I had a nickel for each time a final battle against a Frontier Brain depended on a Hera landing Megahorn against a Latios, I would have two nickels. Which isn't a lot, but it's weird that it happened twice, right?

Once again, thank you guys for being a great help, also for reading all my posts lol. I finally obtained the 5 gold prints and the Sinnoh/Johto Frontier was conquered, all before Legends Arceus is oficially released, nice! I will continue my ongoing streaks, both here and in Emerald, just to see how far I'll go, but that would be on a later time.

UPDATE: Lost at 53 wins against Lopunny4 and Abomasnow4. I had Salamence2, Venusaur3 and Lanturn4. Not much I could do against that Abomasnow, it counters Lanturn so well...oh well, at least I got past 50 wins.
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Hello, everyone!

Posting to report Gold Print streaks on retail in all facilities in Platinum and SoulSilver. With the exception of the Factory, but I also have qualifying streaks there. I also completed >100-win streaks in the Battle Towers of Platinum, SoulSilver, and Diamond.

The postgame facilities were always a lingering annoyance for me from when I played these games as a kid. After getting to the point where I was pretty easily clearing Nuzlockes, romhacks, and other self-imposed challenges, and spurred by speedruns such as Werster's All Gold Prints run in SoulSilver, I decided to go back and seriously tackle these once and for all, alongside other 100% stuff like the National Dex. Gen 4 being the closest to my heart, I started there.

That sentimentality extended to placing a lot of the work onto my ingame team members in Platinum, controlled for some decent IVs and EV-trained with the reducing berries (I failed to understand the true impact of Natures until the Frontier beat it into me). You can thank the relative power of the Sinnoh Dex in that regard. This post is more the journey of an everyman, with all the scares, disappointments, and triumphs therein, than a record-breaking team analysis. But I've kept it organized into smaller chunks.

A few months back, I made a similar post celebrating my completion of the Battle Frontier in Emerald. I took on a lot of these challenges concurrently with Emerald--that's what the GBA slot is for!--but held off on detailing Gen 4 because of that damn Factory. In the end, I'm opting to do it now because I've taken a long break from Factory attempts and didn't want to forget the details of everything else. The streaks themselves are mostly ongoing, but I'm finished with them--I'd rather go out on a win.

Thanks, and I hope it's an entertaining read!

181 wins, achieved on November 7, 2020.
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(Chariot) Garchomp (M) @ Choice Band, Focus Sash (depending on Set)
Ability: Sand Veil
Level: 94
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 24 HP / 28 Atk / 12 Def / 30 SpA / 14 SpD / 17 Spe
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Fire Blast

Sashed Dragon is pretty much the gold standard for Hall runs, isn't it? CB also came in handy for types that were bulkier and/or less of an offensive threat. Of course, some stuff was so bulky that the item didn't matter, like that damn Sitrus Berry Slowbro I straight-up had to dodge, and Naive made me miss out on quite a few OHKOs. "I wish I was Adamant" was the mantra of early attempts.

Fire Blast is for the downright-evil abundance of Focus Sash + Counter users, including Scizor, Meganium, and I think Forretress.
In a way, I appreciate how the Hall lets you frontload the difficulty--Sash Ice Shard Weavile being what it is, Ice and Dark first are required--but it does make it that much more tedious to get a run going. The first time I got past Argenta Silver was the streak that got the Gold. Normal had some tanky, scary threats, and I thought I was cooked before tanking Lickilicki's Ice Punch.

Without fail, I always cleared out an entire type each Set. It seemed foolish to save anything tough for later, with higher levels.

I wish I could describe the final streak better, but it was early in this quest, and I was pretty much rolling along without looking up enemy sets. And I got lucky. "What could possibly go wrong in Fire?", I asked, blissfully unaware of Choice Scarf Dark Pulse Houndoom. I only know about it now from exhaustively researching threats in SoulSilver.

I do remember the Argenta fights--talk about the ultimate chance for the game to give you the middle finger. Imagine the pain of rolling Weavile on Gold. Instead, I got Exeggutor for Silver--2HKO, but not too scary beyond Wood Hammer crits--and Ninetales for Gold. Earthquake, dead. Ironically, it would've outsped me if I was Adamant. Imagine losing to that damn thing and its Confuse Ray.

Eventually, Chomp bit the dust against a Donphan(?) at fight 181, but this set the tone as it definitely being the Platinum superstar. It was the first time I'd earned any Gold Symbol or Print in any game, and what finally made this whole multiple-gen journey feel doable. All it took was an Ubers mon.
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Just for fun:
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Achieved on January 23, 2021.
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(The Hermit) Gyarados (F)
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Hardy Nature
IVs: 20 HP / 27 Def / 19 SpA / 3 SpD / 13 Spe
- Waterfall
- Ice Fang
- Earthquake
- Dragon Dance
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(Chariot) Garchomp (M)
Ability: Sand Veil
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 24 HP / 28 Atk / 12 Def / 30 SpA / 14 SpD / 17 Spe
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Swords Dance
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(Magician) Staraptor (F)
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Serious Nature
IVs: 18 HP / 21 Atk / 14 Def / 7 SpA / 10 SpD
- Brave Bird
- Return
- Close Combat
- Quick Attack

Ah, yes, the mansion. The one with the blonde who stays inside all day, with otherworldly powers.

The Castle is strange in that the optimal strat for 49 wins is not the same as an extended streak. Why play defense and focus on healing when you can level-boost the babymons to 55 and build up crazy CP, then spend it all to almost completely skip Sets 5, 6, and 7? Once the competition got tougher, Gyarados lead was to DDance on the lead and thus take no damage from the other two. It usually worked, and I just had to heal up Gyara afterward. The other two were to counterteam Darach. Common, buddy, no EQ resist?
It absolutely floored me to learn that the "Pass" option straight-up gave you a win. If the Battle Castle were in Emerald, it would've cost 80 CP and merely replaced your upcoming opponent with a different one, and I bet Darach would've called you a pussy.

You can imagine how I didn't run into much trouble given the limited sample size of opponents, though I did get trolled by Darach Silver's Double Team Staraptor one run. Darach Gold was a matter of, well, Earthquakes. No sense DDancing on a Quick Claw lead.
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Achieved on January 26, 2021.
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(Iggy) Tyranitar (M)
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 6 Def
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 28 HP / 20 Def / 1 SpA / 28 SpD / 8 Spe
- Crunch
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
- Thunder Punch
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(Chariot) Garchomp (M)
Ability: Sand Veil
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 24 HP / 28 Atk / 12 Def / 30 SpA / 14 SpD / 17 Spe
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Swords Dance
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(Hierophant) Gengar (F)
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hardy Nature
IVs: 3 HP / 29 Atk / 12 Def / 29 SpA / 10 SpD / 28 Spe
- Shadow Ball
- Sludge Bomb
- Energy Ball
- Destiny Bond

Used in earlier Sets:
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(Magician) Staraptor (F)
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Serious Nature
IVs: 18 HP / 21 Atk / 14 Def / 7 SpA / 10 SpD
- Brave Bird
- Return
- Close Combat
- Quick Attack

(If you're wondering where "The Fool" is, it was a Weavile I used ingame but couldn't find a use for against the Brains. It had its chance to shine in Beauty Contests.)

My thinking for this was, there's no items, so I couldn't use Pokemon that rely on theirs to function. TTar gets a SpD bonus just from existing, so why not use Sand Stream? Even better, Garchomp can benefit from Sand. Gengar is there to wield some fast Special attacking power, slice through bulky Grounds, and Destiny Bond fools, which is useful even without a Sash. Sand luckily never screwed me there, though it made opposing Garchomp pretty scary.

Bulky Waters were pretty scary for this team, as is anything that outsped Chomp and Gengar (more on that in the Tower). So TPunch is there to mitigate the issue, though there were better options in retrospect.

Staraptor happened to play well against Dahlia Silver, so I subbed it in each go-round in Set 3.
It speaks volumes that the so-called "Luck Facility" was in fact the one time the Frontier hasn't felt like a complete dice roll. Why, why, why doesn't every facility give you the Team Preview the Arcade does? And why does it suddenly decide to be so charitable in the facility where you can cripple your opponents regardless?

My approach to the board, which I was pleased to discover was almost entirely skill-based, was to avoid risk unless necessary. Better to get nothing than to cripple myself, because I could beat most teams without any extra advantages.

A hidden bonus for Sand Stream was that it invalidated all weather spaces! Fog is devastating to the average team, but it's a free space for TTar. Instantly replaced by my lovely Sand blanket. I had a few dumb deaths here and there, like crits or landing on Team Swap, but I knew this squad could do it. It would just take the "blessed run"--in my mind, a Sand Veil dodge. And it finally happened at the end of Set 6 against an Ice Punch Ambipom, not to mention it was only a 68.8% range to die to Outrage.

In a post here a few months ago, I described the Dahlia Gold fight and Blaziken's bizarre AI making it averse to Superpower. There wasn't much else to comment on.

So much for Dahlia the Gamer.
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Achieved on February 23, 2021.
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(Hierophant) Gengar (F) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hardy Nature
IVs: 3 HP / 29 Atk / 12 Def / 29 SpA / 10 SpD / 28 Spe
- Shadow Ball
- Sludge Bomb
- Energy Ball
- Destiny Bond
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(Chariot) Garchomp (M) @ Lum Berry
Ability: Sand Veil
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 24 HP / 28 Atk / 12 Def / 30 SpA / 14 SpD / 17 Spe
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Swords Dance
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(The Star) Infernape (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 158 Atk / 100 SpA / 252 Spe
Hardy Nature
IVs: 7 HP / 18 Atk / 16 Def / 24 SpA / 27 SpD / 17 Spe
- Overheat
- Grass Knot
- Mach Punch
- Close Combat

You can probably see the strategy with this team. Do you see the flaw? Tragically, I did not until a few brutal Set 7 deaths in a row: it's too damn slow. So inscrutable were IVs to me that I massively overvalued their importance when choosing team members (not that I had particularly high standards there, either) when in fact Natures are the most important factor. And among them, Speed-boosting Natures are key because Speed is all or nothing, and tons of Tower sets run +Speed. It's the one statistical advantage you can eke out against them, and without it, even stuff 10-15 Base Speed below you can run circles around you. If anything faster than Gengar came out once its Sash was broken, it tore the other two apart. I knew just how bad I'd fucked up when a Floatzel punked me in Set 4.

I might've realized this sooner when I ran a nearly-identical Focus Sash/Destiny Bond team to get 49 wins in the Diamond Tower, but either it's generally much slower there or I got extremely lucky, because stuff like Tauros, Infernape, and Crobat were destroying me left and right in Platinum, and god forbid a Starmie popped out.

Maybe TBolt would've been better on Gengar, but I was a lot more afraid of Water/Grounds than Flying types, and the backups dumpstered pretty much any Steel Gengar couldn't touch. Chomp also switched in on likely status moves, especially TWave.

The real tragedy is, knowing what I do now about Natures, I could've just used Chimchar's Taunt to snap up some Synchronize Abras on Route 203, right at the start of the game, and be set from then on. Even a Choice Scarf on Chomp would've helped patch things up, but I stuck to Lum/SD because of the matchup against Palmer Gold.
Most battles, i.e. the ones without any +Spe Base >100s, went off without a hitch. 2HKO the lead, Destiny Bond the second, clean up the third. Most deaths were in Set 7 thanks to hax like King's Rock Infernape, crit Infernape, and Zen Headbutt Crobat (on fight 48!!). On the winning streak, I finally got my revenge on that damn Jolly Infernape4 (read: didn't get haxed) and faced down a Life Orb Ambipom3 in fight 48. Here we go again--it blew past the whole team. I decided to exploit the AI and switch in on resisted hits until it wore itself down into Mach Punch range--which circumstances forced me to risk when it was at 70%. 50/50 on the damage range.

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"Draw."

Next was the blond bastard himself. It was a tough but winnable set of matchups for this team, and very dependent on what the lead was. I got Cresselia.

If you've seen that Werster run, you know that even 31-IV Modest Specs Shadow Ball from Raikou was not 2HKOing Cress, so my neutral-Nature Gengar's 20-meter Shadow Ball wasn't getting the job done, either. He fired off his final Destiny Bond and breathed his last.

Chomp/Heatran on the double down. I knew the AI probably wouldn't pick Explosion at full HP, but I also knew my Naive Chomp wouldn't tank a crit Flash Cannon. I switched in Infernape and let it break the Sash before it went down to Earth Power.

Chomp/Gigas 1v1. Now this was some metal shit.

Gigas being Gigas, he moves and attacks like he's in stopped time or something. I'd already run calcs and knew I needed two SDs to guarantee the OHKO, and tanked a Crush Grip and EQ in the process.

In his broken, pathetic state, Palmer's last chance at victory was trying to throw Bright Powder in my eyes. I clicked Outrage.

Thus, there was one reason he lost.

Just one reason.
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Achieved on March 1, 2021.
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(Red Tails) Latias (F) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 6 SpD / 252 Spe
Serious Nature
IVs: 27 HP / 28 Atk / 12 Def / 28 SpA / 7 SpD / 16 Spe
- Trick
- Thunder Wave
- Charm
- Recover
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(Euro) Registeel @ Leftovers
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 126 Def / 132 SpD
Careful Nature
IVs: 29 HP / 25 Atk / 5 Def / 22 SpA / 15 SpD / 25 Spe
- Iron Head
- Curse
- Amnesia
- Substitute
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(Bloodline) Salamence (F) @ Lum Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 6 Def / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature
IVs: 9 HP / 26 Def / 14 SpA / 2 SpD / 29 Spe
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Substitute
- Dragon Dance

Bloodline so named because I bred it in Emerald--the only mon that was actually bred and not caught. Had to get DDance somehow.

Those familiar with the teams topping the BT leaderboard here will see an obvious TrickScarf team--Trick a Choice Scarf onto the lead, send in Registeel on a (likely) resisted hit or Mence on a status move, set up, Sub up, and sweep. Pretty fast, pretty reliable--not ironclad, but definitely good enough for 100 wins. The most important thing, and the biggest potential point of failure, is nursing Registeel's Subs against the second and third mons that aren't crippled, since it's so slow and easy crit bait in the face of dozens of attacks. And plenty of Pokemon are surviving even a +6 Iron Head--here's looking at you, Magnezone. Magmortar with Flame Body, Blaziken with high-crit Blaze Kick, Nidoking with Fissure--just awful. Mence fights were much quicker affairs.

Other threats include:
  • Curse users that resist Iron Head, especially coming out second
  • Klutz/Sticky Hold users
  • Taunt users
  • Psych Up users
  • Explosion leads
  • Phazers
  • any crazy strong attackers that don't care about resists (Rampardos, Heracross, Outrage Dragons)
  • anything with low-PP moves and a high crit rate or high physical Attack (my poor Mence subs)
  • any Ice attacker, because a frozen Registeel is one that might not be able to set up before the lead Struggles to death

This particular team was lifted from Bozo--the setup just happened to tickle me the most compared to the first-place Drapion strat, although I definitely understand the value of its being immune to crits.

The 6 Def on Mence was because 6 HP put it right at 160 instead of 159. I felt like a genius for noticing that that was actually worse because it was divisible by 4.
This took three attempts, including the one continued off from the Gold Print win, but it was just bad luck rather than misplays or team flaws. Registeel got frozen for approximately 100 years against a Set 11 Mamoswine with Ice Fang, and I Tricked a Choice Scarf onto Set 8 Rampardos holding...Choice Scarf. Head Smash criticals will melt even Registeel.

I'm sure anyone who's completed this themselves has also noticed the bizarre phenomenon where one trainer in Set 11 has Set 3 Pokemon. Between this and some of the NPC dialogue, they really don't expect anyone to actually take this crap on, do they?

I still remember Fight 100's lead: Sunny Day Arcanine. I was so happy, I started Dancing.
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47 wins, c. October 2020

I hate the Battle Factory. I hate it in Emerald, I hate it in Platinum, and I hate it in SoulSilver. Everyone here already knows how bad it is, so I'll spare you one of the hundred rants I've made to myself and my friends about how stupid this place is. TL;DR it feels like it was designed by a completely different person than the rest, someone who didn't play Pokemon, gimping you the hardest while providing none of the tools the others give you to succeed. Maybe they felt as if dumping these shitty rentals on you was somehow a charity, which, going purely off the info the game provides you, I guess is sort of true. What's an EV, again?
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(Swampert4) Swampert @ Rindo Berry
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk
Adamant Nature
IVs: 21, I think?
- Earthquake
- Aqua Tail
- Avalanche
- Mirror Coat
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(Slaking4) Slaking @ Muscle Band
Ability: Truant
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk
Adamant Nature
IVs: 21
- Giga Impact
- Earthquake
- Hammer Arm
- Shadow Claw
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(Heatran4) Swampert @ Focus Sash
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 SpA
Quiet Nature
IVs: 21
- Magma Storm
- Flash Cannon
- Earth Power
- Explosion

This was probably under a dozen attempts in, when I wasn't even looking up enemy sets yet. I was thrilled to get such a good Set 7 team and put away the Factory first like I wanted before moving on to the "hard" facilities.
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How did I lose with this team? Leadoff Lopunny crit me, that's how. I think we all know how important Speed is. Swampert got crit, I valued Heatran's Sash way too much and sent in Slaking to revenge kill, out comes Toxicroak, now I'm valuing Slaking way too much and try to switch again, and it just wipes the floor with me from there. Who knows what was in back or if I should've played different. I committed the cardinal sins of a) being slow and b) getting crit. Never saw Thorton Gold, never got it that good again. Over a year later, a few months of which had very steady attempts, I've only made it back to Set 7 twice. Neither got this far.

Now, whenever I eat yet another loss, I think about that Lopunny.
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45 wins, c. October 2021
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(Slaking4) Slaking @ Muscle Band
Ability: Truant
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk
Adamant Nature
IVs: 21
- Giga Impact
- Earthquake
- Hammer Arm
- Shadow Claw
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(Starmie4) Starmie @ Expert Belt
Ability: Modest
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 21
- Surf
- Psychic
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Beam
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(Ludicolo4) Ludicolo @ Expert Belt
Ability: Modest
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 21
- Surf
- Giga Drain
- Ice Beam
- Rain Dance

How does that Slaking keep jinxing me? It was my spirit animal in Emerald, even in the Factory when it wasn't my own. It truly isn't welcome anywhere outside a Gen 3 meta. Here, I keep getting it in Set 7, I keep picking it, and I keep getting counterteamed. Sad part is, I pretty much wrote off this attempt because my initial draft was crap like Life Orb Armaldo, and unbelievably, I got good matchups long enough to fully swap into this one by Fight 45.
Being spoiled for choice among my opponents' rentals became my undoing just as I put together a pretty decent team myself. First up was Infernape4, which with Jolly and TPunch was not a monkey Starmie could switch in on. Slaking had to face down a Jolly CB Tauros4 next (how do I keep getting outsped even with a Starmie on the team?), which should've spelled the end for me if it just locked itself into Return. It actually picked Zen Headbutt! What a blessed run! Last up was Swampert4. Free win for Ludicolo, right?

Wrong. Rindo Berry, Mirror Coat. Starmie couldn't finish it off. In hindsight, I should've picked Rain Dance to power up Starmie's Surf and secure the 2HKO. But on the other hand, that Tauros should've blitzed me regardless. Go figure that I made the smallest error with a rental team I got two minutes ago.

I think the greatest indictment of this godforsaken facility, as a "Test of Knowledge," is that the best run I've had to this day is the one where I barely knew a damn thing about the place.
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Achieved on May 5, 2021.
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(AquaNcklce) Gyarados (F)
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 23 HP / 21 Atk / 28 Def / 4 SpA / 2 SpD / 23 Spe
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Ice Fang
- Dragon Dance
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(Bloodline) Salamence (F)
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 6 Def / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature
IVs: 9 HP / 26 Def / 14 SpA / 2 SpD / 29 Spe
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Fire Blast
- Dragon Dance
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(CrazyDmnd) Feraligatr (M)
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Sassy Nature
IVs: 2 HP / 12 Def / 27 SpA / 7 SpD / 8 Spe
- Waterfall
- Superpower
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch

Used in earlier Sets:
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(RHCP) Raikou
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 6 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
IVs: 21 HP / 30 Atk / 14 Def / 5 SpA / 12 SpD / 25 Spe
- Thunderbolt
- Shadow Ball
- Extrasensory
- Signal Beam

I love Gyarados, so why not let the Red one join the fun? Nice and easy stationary encounter. And if there's a better Gen 4 Gyara moveset, I can't think of one.

The luxury of hard-counterteaming Darach here meant I could throw in my starter Feraligatr from ingame. The others at least got a chance to swing in the Battle Hall and the Pokeathlon.

If Platinum had left me utterly sick of any Frontier experience (besides the Factory), it was getting outsped by all those damn Jolly Tauros. I was well aware at this point that +Spe Natures were essential to putting this mockery to rest. I reset for five hours at the Burned Tower, mashing through the Eusine cutscene and painstakingly biking in and out of Route 37 checking the map (the Poketch made this so much easier) to catch a Raikou that would be fast enough to always, without question, 100% edge out every single one of those stupid bullshit bulls. And when it arrived, I didn't care that it was squishy on defense and had SpA as its lowest IV, because god damn it, it was fast. Boy, I wish you could Synchronize roamers.

Mence could've been one of many Earthquakers, but hey, two DDancers are better than one here.
A lot like the Platinum Castle--build up CP early with Level 55 mons, then blow it all halfway through to skip to Fight 49. I did start having the sense to make the (one) L55 mon the third instead of the lead later on so Dancing was easier. L55 Flygon lead is no joke.

Imagine my feeling of utter vindication when, on Fight ~28 or so, the last before I'd amassed enough CP to skip to Darach Gold, second up and threatening to revenge kill Gyara was ol' Three-Tail, Mr. Gen I Superstar. I took great pleasure in outspeeding and frying it to a crisp with all 5 of my SpA IVs, and even more when the back was a piddly little Golduck.

No hiccups on Darach Gold, just Waterfalls and Earthquakes galore. It's still extraordinarily stupid that I still had to sweat out any potential Quick Claw Blizzard crits/freezes from Empoleon. I'd like to find the guy who invented Quick Claw and roll a 20% chance to punch him in the balls.
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Achieved on May 18, 2021.
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(Red Tails) Latias (F) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 6 SpD / 252 Spe
Serious Nature
IVs: 27 HP / 28 Atk / 12 Def / 28 SpA / 7 SpD / 16 Spe
- Trick
- Thunder Wave
- Charm
- Recover
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(Euro) Registeel @ Leftovers
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 126 Def / 132 SpD
Careful Nature
IVs: 29 HP / 25 Atk / 5 Def / 22 SpA / 15 SpD / 25 Spe
- Iron Head
- Curse
- Amnesia
- Substitute
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(Bloodline) Salamence (F) @ Lum Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 6 Def / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature
IVs: 9 HP / 26 Def / 14 SpA / 2 SpD / 29 Spe
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Substitute
- Dragon Dance

I didn't even bother with the "ingame team" thing in SS, since I did that already. I went straight for the TrickScarf squad, and ended up giving Mence a little extra time in the limelight down the line in other facilities. I really fell in love with that thing.
The trip just to the Gold Print went as swimmingly as you can imagine, though I ironically cocked up the fight itself. I can't remember exactly what happened, but I think I tried to set up on Gigas's Stone Edges, it ran out of PP and Struggled to death before I could get too far, and wasn't sure if Mence or Registeel was the best choice since Heatran walled the latter so hard. Gigas died without enough setup, somehow Cresselia went down, and I had to stall out Heatran with switching/Recover--which I didn't expect to succeed, but it did! And when it was eventually forced to Explode, it missed--thanks to the Bright Powder I stole from Gigas.

Then on Fight 50, I immediately ate three Sheer Colds in a row from the Scarfed Articuno. I imagine that was the game itself going "That was bullshit and you know it." Fair.

Like in Platinum, this took me three attempts, both deaths due to bad luck. Once in Set 8 as mentioned, and once in Set 14. That one was so brutally bullshit that I did a salty runback to Palmer Gold immediately after, just to blow through the early sets again. Long story short, Hippowdon Ice Fang lead, Registeel frozen forever, TWO consecutive crits on Mence's sub limiting me to one DDance, Armaldo second, 50/50 to be the Armaldo I can't guaranteed OHKO, 50/50 to live Outrage, Donphan in back to kill Regicesteel. Fight 93. Absolutely devastating.

Funny thing is, it was the culmination of a streak full of tense moments, while the successful attempt that followed had almost no bad fights at all. "That was bullshit and you know it."

Speaking of bad fights:

  • Lopunny Klutz lead Fire Punching my poor Registeel (please, Lopunny, just leave me alone)
  • Explosion Shiftry lead into Blizzard Glalie (had to Sub with Mence and pray for a miss)
  • Mence killing itself in confusion partway through a sweep, forcing me to paraflinch the Raikou I was facing
  • Bulk Up Poliwrath hitting 4/5 DynamicPunches (I won because the back was Probopass, a mon who exists to do nothing and die)
  • PP Stalling Rhyperior1 (Roar, Crunch, EQ, Rock Wrecker, Focus Band) via switching
  • Golem crit EQ on naked Registeel, Dancing on it by Tricking it the Choice Specs I got from lead Hypno
  • Explosion Weezing lead, Rhyperior3 (Counter, Avalanche, Payback, Horn Drill, Focus Sash), Psych Up Magnezone

I happen to remember Fight 100's lead in this game, too: Zoom Lens Ampharos. This time, Registeel brought things to a Head.

As a final note, does anyone know why the opponents seem to briefly reset to around Set 3 in Set 9, whereas it happens in Set 11 in Platinum? Either way, I'm not complaining.
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185 wins, achieved on May 21, 2021.
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(Bloodline) Salamence (F) @ Focus Sash, Choice Band, Choice Scarf (depending on the Set)
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 100
EVs: 252 Atk / 6 Def / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature
IVs: 9 HP / 26 Def / 14 SpA / 2 SpD / 29 Spe
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Fire Blast
- Dragon Dance

With the Tower streak finished, I was free to change up Mence's moveset a bit. Why DDance in a 1v1, especially when I was Banded half the time? Because it's an Egg move, and I wanted to use Mence in future TrickScarf Tower streaks (see Diamond below). Substitute is a TM you can buy again with BP, and any advantage something like Stone Edge would give me would be marginal at best. Fire Blast, as before, is for the Sash-Counter users, not to mention Steelix, who's too tanky for its EQ.

Having run both Mence and Garchomp in this place, I have to say that an Adamant Chomp would be the best of both worlds. Mence's benefits included Intimidate and being stronger overall--which helped on a few Outrage ranges, but the lack of STAB Earthquake (and having a Rock weakness) made so many of those same physical attackers much scarier. Rock was a joke with Chomp, and a big chokepoint for Mence. Electric was much scarier, too.
While I lucked out with good matchups for Chomp playing mostly blind, I ran damage calcs for Mence, both Banded and Sashed, for damn near every Rank 6+ Pokemon in this place. Often, the choice between Band and Sash came down to "slightly more chance to lose to 3-5 Pokemon" or "guaranteed loss to 1 Pokemon." I usually chose the former, and still have written down the exact order I took:

  1. Ice, Banded (fat Water/Ice types, probably dead to Weavile either way)
  2. Dark, Banded (Weavile)
  3. Rock, Sashed (Regirock with Sitrus was pretty much a loss unless it missed Stone Edge; Intimidate let me live Rank 10 TTar's Stone Edge even with Sand!)
  4. Water, Banded (Water means Ice, and also Slowbro)
  5. Normal, Banded -- I noticed there was extra strategy at play in choosing which type(s) you face Argenta on, since she replaces the Rank 10 fight. I did not want to face down Counter Slaking.
  6. Ground, Sashed (awful, Lax Incense everywhere on these bulky pieces of shit)
  7. Psychic, Banded (Metagross and Slowbro were the threats here)
  8. Ghost, Sashed (Bright Powder Froslass, Hypnosis Razor Fang Gengar, end my suffering)
  9. Steel, Sashed (Metagross, Scizor, Steelix)
  10. Electric, Scarfed (this left the scariest threat as the Sashed Manectric, which dropped a Thunder right on the dome, but no para)
  11. Fire, Scarfed (purely for the Scarfed Dark Pulse Houndoom)
  12. Poison, Scarfed (Gengar, Crobat)
  13. Bug, Banded (the "threats" are mostly just bad ranges or crit chances at this point)
  14. Fighting, Banded
  15. Grass, Banded
  16. Dragon, Sashed (I think this is the one type where nothing can go wrong--the Latis don't even run Speed EVs)
  17. Flying, Sashed (Sash is the best bet against Argenta, and I wanted to dodge Crobat, Zapdos, Articuno, etc.)
Since my Mence here has perfect +Atk, the damage calcs I did are pretty relevant for other players, as well. I hope you can consider this list a useful resource if you intend to challenge the Hall with your own!

(It's extremely annoying how so many Frontier sets seem to be invested in one defense or the other instead of HP, just to screw you over.)

Argenta Silver used Liechi Berry Gliscor--whatever. There's no feeling quite like watching Argenta stroll up for Gold, knowing she matches your level and could bring literally anything.

(Pressure)














Rapidash.

If the Factory didn't exist, I'd call this the luck facility.

How'd Mence ultimately die? Some bulky Ground, I think. Maybe it was Donphan again. I knew from all my damage calcs that it was a matter of time against all those Rank 10s. And despite my 1000-total streaks across two games, I don't think I've ever actually lost to Argenta. This does not make up for my Factory luck.
ss hall.jpg

Just for fun:
ss hall 1000.jpg
Achieved on June 1, 2021.
tyranitarhgss.png

(Iggy) Tyranitar (M)
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 6 Def
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 28 HP / 20 Def / 1 SpA / 28 SpD / 8 Spe
- Crunch
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch
gyarados-fshiny.png

(AquaNcklce) Gyarados (F)
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 23 HP / 21 Atk / 28 Def / 4 SpA / 2 SpD / 23 Spe
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Ice Fang
- Dragon Dance
raikou.png

(RHCP) Raikou
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 6 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
IVs: 21 HP / 30 Atk / 14 Def / 5 SpA / 12 SpD / 25 Spe
- Thunderbolt
- Shadow Ball
- Extrasensory
- Signal Beam

It's Iggy again! I caught him in FireRed, so I figured he could earn the "Lifetime Achievement Award" across several gens. Currently he's gearing up for the Battle Subway. More importantly, I loved not having to worry about all those weather spaces, even if the team itself didn't benefit from Sand.

I wanted Raikou to really nail Waters, but its lack of defensive utility meant the many EdqeQuake users were scary prospects. If only I had HP Grass! Or any useful Hidden Power. No illusions about that likelihood.

With Raikou around to zap all those Waters, I replaced TPunch with Ice Punch so Garchomp wouldn't turn the tables on me so hard, plus a better percentage play on Zapdos. I've already replaced Stone Miss entirely in Gen V, because I clutched out a win here by banking on it hitting, and I think that's all the good fortune I'll ever get out of it in this lifetime.
In Platinum, I knew the "blessed run" would come down to a Sand Veil dodge. Here, it ended up being a Stone Edge miss, after several Set 7 deaths to the other 80%. Shoutouts to Aerodactyl thawing out turn 1 and living TBolt thanks to my own Sand.

Replaying the Arcade really nailed it down as my favorite facility by an absolute country mile. No Bright Powder, no Quick Claw, full Team Preview, complete control over the board as long as you git gud. Beautiful. I'm actually exceptionally proud of my board execution overall--I even had a death where I got Lagging Tail on the item space, nailed another item space the next board, and only lost because it was Lagging Tail again. In the Set 7 that took the Gold, man, I was paralyzing Infernape leads, preserving TTar so it could outspeed a Snorlax in back, making intelligent decisions, I even got some skips. It's like I was playing a video game!

As for Dahlia Gold, I hit Paralysis on her team, so, yeah. Fight over. Even a crit confusion hurt-self Signal Beam from Zapdos lead didn't change things. Iggy got his revenge by finishing off Togekiss with Sand damage, though.

Now, I understand Darach's team, with the connotations of wealth and royalty--emperor penguins, hounds, falconery--and I understand Dahlia Silver's Dance of the Dead thing she's got going on. But what's the deal with her and birds?
ss arcade.jpg
39 wins, Level 50, c. November 2021
Something like Froslass3, Skarmory3, Milotic3.
In a streak where I got bailed out of genuine mistakes twice by hax and dumb AI, I died to Quick Claw/Thunder Wave Absol.

Let me repeat that.

Quick Claw. Thunder Wave.

Anyway, there's no Print and no separate list for Pt and HGSS, so it's not worth describing more in depth. Just figured I'd throw it in. Never even got to Set 7 in SS, though I put way fewer attempts in. I just wasn't having fun anymore. Every time the Factory starts getting fun, something goes wrong, and then it's back to the doldrums of Magnemite vs. Plusle. Thorton must just want to live a quiet life.

You know what, I think I understand why it's called the Knowledge Facility. The only way to beat it is to learn how to RNG Manipulate.
ss factory.jpg
ss prints.jpg

ss trainer card.jpg

ss trophies.jpg

(That's Superfly with me.)
Achieved on July 19, 2021.
latias.png

(Red Tails) Latias (F) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 6 SpD / 252 Spe
Serious Nature
IVs: 27 HP / 28 Atk / 12 Def / 28 SpA / 7 SpD / 16 Spe
- Trick
- Thunder Wave
- Charm
- Recover
registeeldp.png

(Euro) Registeel @ Leftovers
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 126 Def / 132 SpD
Careful Nature
IVs: 29 HP / 25 Atk / 5 Def / 22 SpA / 15 SpD / 25 Spe
- Iron Head
- Curse
- Amnesia
- Substitute
salamence.png

(Bloodline) Salamence (F) @ Lum Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 6 Def / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature
IVs: 9 HP / 26 Def / 14 SpA / 2 SpD / 29 Spe
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Substitute
- Dragon Dance

Does this look familiar? Turth be told, I'm so sick of Registeel getting frozen by errant Ice Punches that I might switch things up and go with a Cresselia lead in Pearl. Of course, that makes Fire and Electric leads scarier...and maybe Registeel deserves to get frozen.

should've called it Stroheim
You all know how slow DP are. If you haven't played them in a while, it's worse than you remember. I routinely completed 2-3 Sets a day with this squad in Pt and SS, but oh man, one was enough in Diamond.

Thank God almighty I didn't eat any losses this time. And despite the DP Tower Sets being (I think?) overall weaker, they're also damn trickier. Sash Rampardos came out against a naked Mence, and I would've been a dead man if it didn't miss Stone Edge. A later sweep hit me with Focus Sash Rock Blast Armaldo, a mon seemingly designed to put Mence in the dirt. Its Achilles heel was that it didn't have EQ, so Registeel just set up in its face and killed the Golem behind it.

And Fight 96--96, even worse than the SS death, and in a far slower game--featured big bro Regice turning Registeel into an eternal popsicle again. Good thing its Struggles were so weak that it couldn't break Mence's Subs, because the whole team was mono-Ice. Fight 99 even trolled me with Protect Dusknoir halting an Outrage sweep, though it couldn't actually do anything to the switch-ins.

Throughout all these 100-streaks, I had an irrational fear that the game would only count it if I actually finished Set 15. Apparently it doesn't, but luckily, I never found out firsthand. Shoutouts to Drapion Flinging that Scarf right back into my dumb face in Fight 102.
diamond tower 105.jpg
diamond trainer card.jpg

diamond trophies.jpg

I'm planning on doing the BT in Pearl, as well, so I figured I'd wait to finish the NatDex in Diamond as Pearl completes its Dex.

Thanks again to everyone here and those responsible for online help tools, like listing out enemy sets and turskain's damage calculator. This experience has deepened my appreciation for the vanilla games I thought I'd utterly exhausted, as well as the knowledge and expertise among the userbase here.

Expect some reports down the line of success in Pearl, and the eventual three-page Ora of Thorton.

Lkinmz.gif
 
Hi everyone,

I'm back to make my once ever 5 years post on the smogon forums. lol. I play many of the old pokemon games on retail for fun pretty often (despite not participating on smogon hardly at all anymore... just not enough time!)

Anyways, I wanted to post here actually because I've had a lot of fun with the battle tower lately for some reason, and also because, with the team below, I got a streak of 100 in Soul Silver on retail on my very first try. There were a few close calls but only because I did something stupid. Otherwise it was very easy. I will show you the team and explain briefly how I chose it (I thought pretty hard about it). There are some variations of the idea which I'll mention. I'll also try to explain why I believe it's probably just about the best option for using offense (which, in my opinion, you should do in the battle tower). The idea follows that of a few other teams posted on here. By the way, I RNG'd all three of these, I'm sure that helps. (RNG manip on retail is pretty fun).

----------Pokemon #1: Latios-------------

Latios  sprite from Platinum


Pathos (Latios) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Dragon Pulse
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
- Trick

----------Pokemon #2: Heatran------------

Heatran  sprite from HeartGold & SoulSilver

Horta (Heatran) (F) @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 28 Atk / 30 SpA
- Fire Blast
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Earth Power
- Taunt

----------Pokemon #3: Salamence----------

Salamence  sprite from HeartGold & SoulSilver


Aero (Salamence) (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Outrage
- Fire Blast
- Earthquake
- Dragon Dance

------------------------------------------------

Why these three? The idea behind the team:

I believe this set of three has been mentioned on this thread once or twice, but not with these exact sets. So I will not claim to have credit for the idea. The idea is very simple: there are very few pokemon who can handle salamence. Specifically, very few pokemon who can deal with the above moveset. We use dragon dance because, at +1, there are essentially no counters in the battle frontier, (except for cresselia, actually). So the goal is to clean/sweep with salamence, be it at +1 or not (ofc, most of the time you won't be setting up).

How do we support mence? Heatran is probably one of if not the best options. It is bulky enough that you can run offensive ev's on it, and more importantly you can run taunt. Taunt is a crucial stallbreaking move; you will run into crazy bullshit in the battle tower, and you will want taunt for that (double team, confuse ray, oh my goodness..). Obviously heatran gives a switchin to bulky steels and general stall mons. You can run leftovers or shuca berry. I do recommend shuca berry though: the reason is a bit complicated to explain why I think it's better than leftovers, but the TLDR is that you need it to help deal with specific pokemon who tend to have earthquake (one of which is tyranitar, which is a huge problem). Shuca berry helped me MANY times. The fast pace of the battle is also an argument for shuca > leftovers. Hidden power grass is very very nice, I would not forego it. It is useful to help do damage to bulky waters, which we also have a little trouble with sometimes. The rest of the moveset is obvious. I guess you can run explosion if you want but I don't recommend it. By the way, I run into cresselia SO MUCH, and taunt heatran always defeats it. Stealth rock isnt an option here, battles are too short and we aren't leading with heatran.

What about a lead? We want a lead who is fast, hits hard, and synergizes with mence. I also wish to have a lead that can have some form of stallbreaking potential (observe that, all three of these pokemon have some method of deadling with stall!). Then two obvious answers scream at you, and one of which is Latios (I'll mention the other option below.) Specs Latios with trick, more specifically. Trick is AMAZING. It allows you to lock something into say, double team, and just bring mence in and get +6 and win the game. It is also more generally useful than that. So, we have another answer for stall (which again is crucial here.) Specs makes latios insanely strong. Dragon pulse for stab, surf and tbolt for coverage (ice beam is redundant, and psychic is less useful than surf here).

The reason I think this is maybe the best strategy to use is 1) the battles are short, and we are trying to get huge streaks, so it will be difficult to sit there and stall through battles (if youre using stall) 2) this is the most powerful brute force offense I can think of.

So that's the team!

------------------------------------------------

Other options:

I think that, taunt timid heatran with shuca and HP grass is extremely good in the battle tower. So I don't have a recommendation for something to put over that. Only that you can use leftovers if you want but again I think shuca is better. For salamence and latios, there are two obvious candidates for replacements:


Starmie  sprite from HeartGold & SoulSilver
Garchomp  sprite from HeartGold & SoulSilver


Starmie is slightly faster than latios and also has access to trick. You would run specs as well, with ice beam tbolt and hydro pump. The reason for hydro pump is to have a chance at killing tyranitar. Starmie also is usually better against those pesky bulky waters. However, starmie is weaker by a lot, needs to run an inaccurate move, and also makes you rather weak to things like raikou and zapdos. There are indeed advantages to using starmie over Latios but I do think Latios is probably overall more useful. I would be curious to know what people think.

That leads me to the second option for mence: garchomp, of course. I think actually if you want to run starmie or garchomp, you may as well swap the other mon (so that your team is now starmie chomp and tran). This is just because of defensive synergy. The chomp set would be life orb SD. Not much else to say, it's just another option/variation for this team, with the same fundamental principle.

------------------------------------------------

Thanks for reading :) I'll keep this post updated with my streak, assuming it continues.


IMG_E4418[1].JPGIMG_44172.JPG
 
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Hi all!

I have been doing the Ribbon Master challenge for a couple of my favorite Pokemon lately, and arguably the toughest part is beating the various modes of the Gen IV Battle Tower. I didn't want to waste time breeding any new Pokemon or use RNG manipulation, which meant relying on the Pokemon I already had from previous play throughs of Gen III and Gen IV games and my various failed attempts at breeding competitive sets on some of my favorites. One of these Pokemon was my Mamoswine, and after using him to carry me through the Wi-Fi Battle Tower (you can find me in room 22), I recognized his great potential in 1v1 matchups. When I didn't see Mamoswine on the Battle Hall leaderboard, I wanted to see if I could fix that.

Wilford Hall.jpg


After a few attempts, I beat 170. Say hello to Wilford:

1657805137384.png

Wilford (Mamoswine) (M) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Snow Cloak
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 5 Def / 22 SpA / 20 SpD
- Earthquake
- Ice Shard
- Stone Edge/Superpower/Iron Head
- Avalanche/Protect/Endeavor

It turns out with proper planning, Mamoswine can handle a large number of threats with minimal risk. To mitigate the potential for problems, I front loaded the toughest Pokemon and challenged certain Pokemon at lower levels where I otherwise had no chance of winning. My strategy and adventure is below:

Water: Easily the toughest type to face. I needed to avoid Poliwrath or hope for a Focus Blast miss. Whiscash, Gastrodon, Politoed, and Swampert have accuracy items and moves which are annoying, but there is a chance for a OHKO if I hit Earthquake and get a range depending on their level. Ludicolo generally goes for Rain Dance first, meaning I can deal with it using Avalanche and Stone Edge depending on its level and ability. Finally, Slowbro is a big issue, as I need to fight it at a low level and either high roll 2 Earthquakes or hit and get decent rolls on a Stone Edge and an Earthquake to avoid the Sitrus Berry. I decided to go with Earthquake, Ice Shard, Stone Edge, and Avalanche, as they provide strong coverage. In the end, I got lucky by avoiding Slowbro and Ludicolo, beating Poliwrath thanks to a Focus Blast miss, and beating Whiscash despite a Water Pulse Confusion.

Fighting: Fought 2nd so a reset due to Poliwrath wouldn't be as annoying. Also, I needed to fight them early to avoid getting defeated by Fake Out and Mach Punch users, along with bulky Pokemon who could survive 2 hits at higher levels. Got through with no problems.

Psychic: Fought early for potential matchups vs. Slowbro, legendaries, and Starmie, Espeon, and Jynx evasion. Bronzong is a threat that I can't beat if it has Levitate, but luckily, I avoided it.

Steel: Speaking of Bronzong, this was an incredibly stressful one. Scizor is a threat with Bullet Punch, so Endeavor is needed. Forretress requires 2 good roll Earthquakes and low levels. Skarmory is a threat that requires Avalanche and low levels. Bronzor requires Stone Edge and low levels without Levitate, while Levitate Bronzong will almost always be a reset. I can't cover all my bases, but luckily, I defeated Bronzor with Stone Edge, defeated Forretress with 2 Earthquakes, and avoided Scizor and Skarmory.

Ground: Not a major threat, but I wanted to fight them next to maximize my chances of OHKOing accuracy lowering Swampert, Gastrodon, and Whiscash with Earthquake before they can attack. I avoided them both.

Argenta 1: Tentacruel went down to a single Earthquake.

Flying: Skarmory still scared me. Also, accuracy could be an issue here with Crobat and Togekiss. No problems here though.

Grass: Fought next to deal with Ludicolo at a lower level. Also wanted to ensure Ice Shard picks up some OHKOs to avoid evasion issues. No major problems here though.

Ghost: Gengar scares me a lot if it hits a Hypnosis, and Froslass has evasion, but I avoided them.

Poison: Gengar, Crobat, and lots of evasion. Again, I avoided the major threats and get through.

Bug: I make the first moveset change of the run, substituting Endeavor for Avalanche to deal with Scizor. Vespiquen's evasion could now be a problem if it is a high enough level, while Forretress is still a problem. I avoided Scizor, OHKOed Vespiquen, and barely defeated a stronger Forretress with 2 Earthquakes.

Fire: I made another change, opting for Protect over Endeavor to better prepare for Infernape's Fake Out. Magmortar is a range to OHKO pending level and can present problems with evasion or a burn. There is a lot that could've gone wrong here with burns from Fire type moves negating the Focus Sash and Stone Edge misses, but I got through in the end.

Normal: I kept Protect in case I face Slaking, but added Superpower for Stone Edge to give myself a much better chance against Snorlax. Pending levels, Staraptor could be an issue if I low roll Ice Shard or it outspeeds me with a Quick Attack now that I'm without Avalanche. I avoided Snorlax and Staraptor, and with Protect, I defeated Slaking easily.

Ice: Froslass and Glaceon scare me with evasion, while Jynx has evasion and Lovely Kiss. With this in mind, I bring in Stone Edge and Iron Head for Protect and Superpower. I avoided the two former and Iron Head OHKOed Jynx.

Rock: This is where it starts to get much easier. I opted Avalanche for Stone Edge to give me better coverage. No issues at all here.

Dark: I substituted Superpower for Iron Head to better deal with Umbreon and Crawdaunt. I avoided them both.

Electric: I brought back Stone Edge to prepare for Argenta again. The only thing that could have ended my run was a Flamethrower critical hit and burn from Manectric. I avoided Manectric altogether though.

Dragon: The moveset I had was the best one for Argenta and covered all Dragons.

Argenta 2: Lapras came out and immediately scared me. On paper, this should have been a 2 hit KO, but I wanted to see if Earthquake could do enough first before risking a Stone Edge miss. Earthquake did just barely under half, and Surf brought Wilford to his Focus Sash, but Wilford's Stone Edge connected for the KO.

How I lost: Rhyperior came out and I clicked Earthquake. I should have clicked Avalanche. Despite the first Earthquake doing a decent amount over half, another Earthquake leaves it with seemingly 1 HP, allowing for Reversal of all things to KO me. Odds were I was probably going to lose in the next couple fights anyways, and I had already gotten to 170, so I didn't really care.
 

atsync

Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon
Nice work, Mamoswine has some issues in Hall and having to swap moves around seems expensive, but being immune to both Electric moves and freezing is a decent niche since it removes some key sources of hax, and Ice/Ground is a potent offensive combo. Mamoswine doesn't have the widest move pool but I think HP Fire is another useful move it can run to deal with Bug/Steels, and Substitute is always useful for Umbreon.

Paaadeli! Starmie + Garchomp is a well-known and proven combo in the Tower, and Steels are a common choice for the third slot since they are decent at covering the disgusting Weavile weakness that Starchomp has. I'm personally not fond of Heatran in singles, at least outside of supporting roles with Torment and Taunt and the like, since it's kind of slow and has awful weaknesses and it can't set up itself either, but I could see Starmie/Garchomp/Heatran being an ok goodstuffs team, albeit one with a relatively low ceiling. The fact that Heatran lacks a weakness to any of the elemental punches is nice since combos with other Steels can have an annoying time against bulkier tri-punch mons that can't be KOed quickly. Starmie/Garchomp/Heatran would be more vulnerable to death by Quick Claw Rhydon though, and Starmie and Garchomp don't cover Heatran's Ground weakness all that well and may end up having to take uncomfortable amounts of damage switching into Earthquakes aimed at Heatran (I guess Flygon could substitute for Garchomp in that case but that means taking a huge cut in power and losing your only set-up sweeper).
 
Hi all, longtime lurker on this thread and casual Battle Hall enthusiast. I'm currently considering trying to get to 170 with a mon which hasn't been done yet, so I was looking over the Hall records and noticed a couple missing that surprised me. How come no one's recorded gold with either of the Lati twins or Lucario yet? Do either of them have unwinnable matchups I'm not thinking of?
 
Hi all, longtime lurker on this thread and casual Battle Hall enthusiast. I'm currently considering trying to get to 170 with a mon which hasn't been done yet, so I was looking over the Hall records and noticed a couple missing that surprised me. How come no one's recorded gold with either of the Lati twins or Lucario yet? Do either of them have unwinnable matchups I'm not thinking of?
While some hall Pokémon have unwinnable matchups, this doesn't really affect a mon's viability at getting Gold, since you can just choose to fight the types at low levels and win by virtue of outlevelling your opponent. The most likely reason there's no leaderboard streaks with Lati@s is that everyone who wants to get gold with a Dragon used Garchomp instead - while it is slightly slower and weaker, it also has a MUCH more useful secondary typing and doesn't have to rely on the 90% accurate Draco Meteor if it wants massive damage.
As for Lucario, it's probably just been overlooked because Infernape pretty much does its job better.
There's nothing wrong with any of those three mons, and you could absolutely get 170 with any of them if you wanted.
average fella is doing a challenge on the discord server where he tries to take every single hall-eligible species in the game as far as he can, in order of ascending BST. Compared to some of the stuff he thinks can get 170 (Marill), or has actually got 170 with (Wormadam), Lati@s and Lucario are leagues better.
 
While some hall Pokémon have unwinnable matchups, this doesn't really affect a mon's viability at getting Gold, since you can just choose to fight the types at low levels and win by virtue of outlevelling your opponent. The most likely reason there's no leaderboard streaks with Lati@s is that everyone who wants to get gold with a Dragon used Garchomp instead - while it is slightly slower and weaker, it also has a MUCH more useful secondary typing and doesn't have to rely on the 90% accurate Draco Meteor if it wants massive damage.
As for Lucario, it's probably just been overlooked because Infernape pretty much does its job better.
There's nothing wrong with any of those three mons, and you could absolutely get 170 with any of them if you wanted.
average fella is doing a challenge on the discord server where he tries to take every single hall-eligible species in the game as far as he can, in order of ascending BST. Compared to some of the stuff he thinks can get 170 (Marill), or has actually got 170 with (Wormadam), Lati@s and Lucario are leagues better.
Good to know, thanks. I saw a couple of average fella 's runs and found the Wormadam one both impressive and hilarious. I didn't realize the Discord server was where these were being discussed. I'll check it out. Since my all-time favorite, Nidoking, has been done already, I'm considering my favorite starter, Blaziken, who, despite being inferior Infernape in many ways, I think has the movepool to make an interesting run.
 

atsync

Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon
Just_Peaches it just so happens that I have gotten a 170+ win streak with Lucario. I used 2 sets: one was a female Naive set with Close Combat/Psychic/HP Rock/ExtremeSpeed (stats: 281/291/175/307/157/292), the other was a male Hasty set with Close Combat/Crunch/HP Ice/Counter (stats: 280/311/157/279/176/302), both level 100 with Focus Sash. These sets were my attempt to cover everything as best as possible during the post-170 phase, so I probably wouldn't call them a super-optimal set-up in pre-170. But Lucario can certainly reach 170, and it's actually a pretty fun Pokemon to toy with due to its excellent move pool. It has great STAB options (Close Combat, Aura Sphere), lots of coverage, 3 priority moves, and interesting gimmicks like Counter, so you can get quite creative if you're willing to breed lots of different sets.

It has issues in post-170 because it runs into a bad case of 4-move-slot syndrome - it can cover almost anything it wants but it can't really do everything it needs to across just two sets (I'd say Ground is an especially tricky type for it to deal with since the pool of threats in Ground is quite versatile and it's difficult for a frail Ground-weak Pokemon like Lucario to cover all of then reliably without hindering itself elsewhere). But I think if stuff like Medicham and Gallade can be brute forced to 200 then I see no reason why Lucario can't be with a bit of effort and luck.

To add to what HeadsILoseTailsYouWin has said re: Lati@s, I think convenience also played a part in why it hasn't really been tried much. They are one-off legendary Pokemon so that inherently limits access to different sets for many people, and while some people might have been willing to go the hard yards for it if it seems amazing on paper, it doesn't seem like it would be an improvement over more readily available options like Garchomp if you're trying to go the distance, so why bother? But yes, they are inherently powerful enough that I would expect them to be able to get 170. In terms of threats, these 3 come to mind:

H454 | Weavile | Adamant | Focus Sash | Night Slash | Ice Punch | Ice Shard | Quick Attack | Atk/Spd
H389 | Scyther | Jolly | Focus Sash | X-Scissor | Aerial Ace | Swords Dance | Quick Attack | Atk/Spd*
H411 | Scizor | Brave | Focus Sash | Swords Dance | X-Scissor | Counter | Bullet Punch | HP/Atk*

*Scyther can't OHKO out-right with unboosted X-Scissor so it might use Swords Dance instead, and Scizor can sometimes go for Counter, so there's a chance that they won't attack and allow a win

Lati@s (and many other Psychics for that matter) get check-mated hard by these guys because of their Focus Sashes and priority moves. One way I thought of that might be able to beat them with some consistency would be Trick + Choice Specs to steal the Sash and lock them out of their priority. Lati@s would have to be able to OHKO them after if they choose to attack instead of boost/Counter though, and in the post-170 phase your only option to cover them all would probably be Draco Meteor with HP Fire for Scizor. With that in mind, I guess one post-170 set for Latios in particular would be Specs Timid with Draco Meteor/HP Fire/Trick/filler (needs to be Timid to out-speed maxed rank 10 Weavile), and then the other set is probably a Focus Sash 4 attacks set or something, but would probably have to go over the full pool of Hall mons to see if this would be viable (EDIT: Specs Draco Meteor would lose to Tyranitar in Dark, so you'd have issues already with this set-up). Unfortunately this strategy would be less helpful for Latias since Timid Draco Meteor can't OHKO Weavile so you'd have no choice but to run HP Fighting, in which case you're less safe against Scizor (but again, maybe it'll Counter instead), and Scyther is also only OHKOed by Latias' Draco Meteor with a high roll.

Sorry now I'm rambling lol, but yeah feel free to join the Discord if you want to chat all things Hall!
 
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Just_Peaches it just so happens that I have gotten a 170+ win streak with Lucario. I used 2 sets: one was a female Naive set with Close Combat/Psychic/HP Rock/ExtremeSpeed (stats: 281/291/175/307/157/292), the other was a male Hasty set with Close Combat/Crunch/HP Ice/Counter (stats: 280/311/157/279/176/302), both level 100 with Focus Sash. These sets were my attempt to cover everything as best as possible during the post-170 phase, so I probably wouldn't call them a super-optimal set-up in pre-170. But Lucario can certainly reach 170, and it's actually a pretty fun Pokemon to toy with due to its excellent move pool. It has great STAB options (Close Combat, Aura Sphere), lots of coverage, 3 priority moves, and interesting gimmicks like Counter, so you can get quite creative if you're willing to breed lots of different sets.

It has issues in post-170 because it runs into a bad case of 4-move-slot syndrome - it can cover almost anything it wants but it can't really do everything it needs to across just two sets (I'd say Ground is an especially tricky type for it to deal with since the pool of threats in Ground is quite versatile and it's difficult for a frail Ground-weak Pokemon like Lucario to cover all of then reliably without hindering itself elsewhere). But I think if stuff like Medicham and Gallade can be brute forced to 200 then I see no reason why Lucario can't be with a bit of effort and luck.

To add to what HeadsILoseTailsYouWin has said re: Lati@s, I think convenience also played a part in why it hasn't really been tried much. They are one-off legendary Pokemon so that inherently limits access to different sets for many people, and while some people might have been willing to go the hard yards for it if it seems amazing on paper, it doesn't seem like it would be an improvement over more readily available options like Garchomp if you're trying to go the distance, so why bother? But yes, they are inherently powerful enough that I would expect them to be able to get 170. In terms of threats, these 3 come to mind:

H454 | Weavile | Adamant | Focus Sash | Night Slash | Ice Punch | Ice Shard | Quick Attack | Atk/Spd
H389 | Scyther | Jolly | Focus Sash | X-Scissor | Aerial Ace | Swords Dance | Quick Attack | Atk/Spd*
H411 | Scizor | Brave | Focus Sash | Swords Dance | X-Scissor | Counter | Bullet Punch | HP/Atk*

*Scyther can't OHKO out-right with unboosted X-Scissor so it might use Swords Dance instead, and Scizor can sometimes go for Counter, so there's a chance that they won't attack and allow a win

Lati@s (and many other Psychics for that matter) get check-mated hard by these guys because of their Focus Sashes and priority moves. One way I thought of that might be able to beat them with some consistency would be Trick + Choice Specs to steal the Sash and lock them out of their priority. Lati@s would have to be able to OHKO them after if they choose to attack instead of boost/Counter though, and in the post-170 phase your only option to cover them all would probably be Draco Meteor with HP Fire for Scizor. With that in mind, I guess one post-170 set for Latios in particular would be Specs Timid with Draco Meteor/HP Fire/Trick/filler (needs to be Timid to out-speed maxed rank 10 Weavile), and then the other set is probably a Focus Sash 4 attacks set or something, but would probably have to go over the full pool of Hall mons to see if this would be viable (EDIT: Specs Draco Meteor would lose to Tyranitar in Dark, so you'd have issues already with this set-up). Unfortunately this strategy would be less helpful for Latias since Timid Draco Meteor can't OHKO Weavile so you'd have no choice but to run HP Fighting, in which case you're less safe against Scizor (but again, maybe it'll Counter instead), and Scyther is also only OHKOed by Latias' Draco Meteor with a high roll.

Sorry now I'm rambling lol, but yeah feel free to join the Discord if you want to chat all things Hall!
Oh cool, I didn't see your "road to 10000" post until now, which I see has a couple more streaks. Yeah that Weavile set is cruel and I've lost to it multiple times with several different mons. I'll ask any more questions I have in the Discord. Thanks!
 
Happy to report a streak of 183 Wins in the Hall with Entei!

hall3.jpg

This set was inspired by Actaeon's "Cancerkou" set, designed to PP stall with Raikou in the Gen III frontier. After seeing how effective that set was for fully stalling, I became curious if it would work in Gen IV as well. However, I didn't want to use Raikou since it's already been used for long Hall streaks. Then I considered Entei, who makes a fine alternative because while he's not as fast and has more weaknesses, he's quite bulky and still outspeeds the large majority of the hall, especially when he has a level advantage. Here's the set I used for this entire run:

1658692477309.png

Entei @ Leftovers (Hardy)
EV's: 180 HP / 72 SDef / 252 Spd
Level 44 stats: 177/119/89/93/88/124
- Protect
- Substitute
- Rest
- Flamethrower

I originally planned to use this Entei (which I did not manip and caught during a normal playthrough of SS) only for a test run, then manip a Timid one for the real run, but the test run went so well I realized the Hardy one was all I needed. Max speed is necessary for this build since being able to Substitute before your opponent moves is crucial. The defensive EV's make Entei as bulky from both sides as possible (HP = Def + SDef). I did this at level 44 because that was the first possible level where Entei's HP is 1 more than a multiple of 16 for maximum Leftovers and more Substitutes. I considered several moves for the last slot, but which one you choose is actually not very important: as long as it does damage, has decent PP, and few things are immune to it, it should suffice. Other options I considered are Stone Edge, Mud Slap, and Will-o-Wisp, and if BP/Heart Scales were no issue I would have probably switched this move out a lot.

The gameplan of "Cancertei" is slightly different from that of Cancerkou, partially due to the fact that Struggle recoil is much more damaging in gen IV. Cancerkou tries to stall out the enemy completely to let an ally set up, but Cancertei just needs to stall out the enemy's most damaging moves until they can no longer break its substitute in one hit, then wear them down with Flamethrower. By alternating Sub and Protect, you can consistently drain 30 PP before having to Rest, which is almost always enough to remove any threatening moves. At this point, basically nothing can 2HKO it during Rest. Against slower foes, the general strategy for this set can be codified as follows:

Code:
if (Flamethrower is GUARANTEED to kill)
  Flamethrower;
else if (you did NOT Protect last turn)
  Protect;
else if (you have an active Substitute)
  if (you need to stall more AND don't have enough HP to Sub)
    Rest;
  else
    Flamethrower;
else if (you have enough HP to Sub)
  Substitute;
else
  Rest;
If the opponent is faster, you need to play more conservatively and use Substitute even if you have one active in case it's broken that turn.

Which move you lead off with depends on the opponent. Against enemies with only direct attacks, lead with Protect to stall more while preserving HP. If they may boost, particularly speed boosters like Dragonite and Swift Swim Ludicolo, use Substitute first to either get yourself a free turn or protect yourself from the next hit if they then outspeed you.

There's a couple factors to keep in mind with this set:

If the opponent has Salac Berry, it's generally safer to fully stall it out, since activating Salac without a Sub up may lead to you getting killed. I lost an early run to Gallade this way when Flamethrower CRIT and activated Salac, then he OHKO'd me with +2 Close Combat.

Being able to correctly predict helps this set out a LOT. For this reason, against many mons, facing them at earlier ranks (where they have dumber AI) is actually more dangerous, because you can't guarantee that you'll PP drain their strongest moves first, meaning they might have some PP left when you Rest. This can also lead to dangerous mispredictions vs i.e. Ludicolo. Normally he'll use Rain Dance turn 1, but if he uses Water pulse then Rain Dance turn 2 while you Protect, this may put you in a scenario where he is now faster due to Swift Swim and you don't have Sub to block Water Pulse, which could kill you with a rain buff.

The biggest threats to this set, from my experience, are:

Tyranitar: Almost an auto-loss. This guy is tailor-made to beat this set: Sand Stream nullifies Leftovers, making stalling ineffective AND he has Quick Claw for a potential Stone Edge 1HKO AND he has a lot of PP on strong moves, making him basically impossible to stall. After I got oneshot by a QC Stone Edge from him, I started always doing Rock first round.

Golem+Rhyperior: More Rock types with Quick Claw. These can still be stalled, however, as long as QC doesn't proc on a Substitute turn. Thankfully, there should only be one chance for this to happen due to Pressure, since you can Protect the other 2 Stone Edges/Rock Wreckers.

Starmie: Depending on the level you face it at, this matchup is either a cakewalk or almost unwinnable. If you're still faster, you can easily stall out Hydro Pump and make it Struggle, but otherwise you have to get lucky and hope it either misses a Hydro Pump or Double Teams while you set up a substitute.

Aerodactyl: Similar case to Starmie, but from my experience it often chooses to start with Sandstorm, giving you a turn to set up a Substitute and fully outstall.

Dragonite: This guy outspeeds you after a Dragon Dance and it's almost impossible to PP stall Outrage since it takes 2-3 turns. You won't be able to fully stall Outrage here, so you're at the mercy of RNG. If it confuses itself and gives you a couple free turns by hurting itself, you win. Otherwise if you're forced to Rest, you're almost certainly dead.

Gyarados: Similar to Dragonite, but easier to stall out since Waterfall can be consistently stalled and Bounce has the potential to give you free turns to heal or set up subs.

For my Gold run, I went through the types in the following order, with highlights explained:

Rock
Probopass: very annoying, since he has Sub and Sandstorm and is very tanky. Needed to fully stall out Power Gem, then was able to Rest up and slowly wear it down.

Ground
Dugtrio: since I fought him very early I was actually faster, and could have OHKO'd with Flamethrower, but I didn't know that at the time. Stalled out his EQ's then he could no longer break my Sub
Golem: risky like I mentioned above. However, he didn't get proc QC on Stone Edge turn 2, so I was able to stall him out from there
Whiscash: another annoying fight since both of his STABs can break my Sub and Future Sight ignores Sub. May not be able fully stall before needing to Rest, but he actually can't 2HKO during sleep without a crit
Rhydon: no real threat because he's slower and has very low PP. Just fully stall and he'll die to struggle

Water
Ludicolo: Need to Sub first turn in case he Rain Dances AND has Swift Swim. From there, just stall out Water Pulse and his other moves can't break Entei's Sub.
Slowbro: Not a threat since you can outstall Water Pulse. He's tanky enough that I needed to get him to Struggle though

Dragon
Dragonite: Always a crap shoot like I mentioned. This time he killed himself in confusion though

Psychic
Slowking: surprisingly close because he has 3 moves with decent PP which can break your Sub, so you'll need to Rest. Power Gem failed to 2HKO while asleep though, so I could stall him out from there

Argenta1
Regirock: A free win since he simply doesn't have enough PP to get through my Subs

Dark
Honchkrow: has QC and a lot of PP of fairly strong moves, so stalling would be risky, so I tanked a hit and went for an immediate 2HKO with Flamethrower. Small chance to die here from QC + Crit Drill Peck

Flying
Noctowl: got an omniboost from Silver Wind, but was still slower than me after it. This forced me to fully stall it out to Struggle though

Electric
Jolteon: he's faster, but it doesn't really matter as long as he doesn't start with either Thunder Wave or Discharge Paralyze/Crit. He Double Teamed while I Subbed, then I drained Discharge and killed him

Ghost
Dusclops: has QC and a lot of PP, but doesn't do enough damage to be a threat since he can't consistently break Sub

Fire
Vulpix, Magcargo, Ponyta, Heatran, Ninetales: There are no actual threats in the Fire round, but I ran into FOUR Flash Fire mons, plus Magcargo, who has Recover+Light Screen. All five of these had to be fully PP stalled and kill themselves with Struggle, meaning this round took forever. If I had unlimited Heart Scales and BP, I would have switched to another move just to make this round go faster...

Fighting
No actual threats popped up here

Normal
Fearow+Dodrio: these have max speed, meaning they outsped me due to my imperfect speed. However neither is really threatening so I opted to 2HKO both immediately

Poison
Drapion: This could be scary if he picks up the wrong Acupressure boosts. Thankfully he didn't (got evasion and defense I think). However he's got enough PP that I had to Rest, but he didn't crit while I slept, so I was able to stall out from there.

Steel
Probopass: This time this fight was much closer due to semi-random AI and I was forced to Rest before fully draining Power Gem. He barely missed the 2HKO, though, and I stalled him out with another Rest.

Bug
No real threats appeared here

Grass
Ludicolo: trolled me by not using Rain Dance for several turns, but thankfully did it on a Substitute turn, so I was able to stall out Water Pulse

Ice
Jynx: This could have theoretically killed me if I'd gotten some truly terrible luck. It's got absolute max speed, so it outsped me because I don't have a +speed nature. Thankfully its moves are fairly weak and it didn't go for Lovely Kiss turn 1, so I was able to Sub then OHKO with Flamethrower

Argenta2
Muk: another free win. Easily stalled out Gunk Shot and Frustration, then wore him down while he spammed Acid Armor

After 170, I started doing the types in the opposite order (easiest first) in order to maximize my streak. I'll only elaborate on the ones who didn't simply die to the basic algorithm above:

171 (Ice): Glalie
172 (Grass): Cacturne
173 (Bug): Yanmega: Thankfully had Tinted Lens, so easy to stall out. Couldn't risk Flamethrower because of potential Endure+Petaya+Speed Boost
174 (Steel): Forretress
175 (Poison): Venomoth: very fast to stall because of Choice Specs
176 (Normal): Lickilicky
177 (Fighting): Hitmontop: Intimidate (not Technician), so its moves are quite weak
178 (Fire): Camerupt
179 (Ghost): Banette
180 (Electric): Raikou: he's faster, but Thunder is his only move that breaks my Sub. Like I suspected, he used Reflect first turn, letting me set up a Sub and drain Thunder. From there it's an easy kill
181 (Flying): Ninjask: I misplayed here and Protected turn 1 as he used Dig, causing me to take a big chunk of damage turn 2 (small chance to OHKO on a crit, which it thankfully didn't). Flamethrower OHKO's though
182 (Dark): Shiftry
183 (Psychic): Lunatone: I actually died to this guy once when he got 2 consecutive omniboosts from AncientPower. This time I was careful and Protected 2 of them, and he didn't get the boost hitting my Sub with the 3rd, so it was a free win from there.

184 (Dragon): Dragonite: My loss. As I mentioned, I knew this matchup was a tossup going in, and this was my first time doing it without a level advantage. As usual, he DD'd first turn while I Subbed, then used Outrage once (confusion was cured by Lum). From here though, he opted for Aerial Ace every time, and I couldn't drain all of its PP before having to Rest. I think this was due to a combination of smarter AI and its better stats, which made it realize it didn't need to Outrage to kill, so it was able to avoid confusion. From here I knew I was dead. I Rested as it broke my Sub at 1 HP, then it swiftly killed me with Outrage.

I'm happy to have gotten the Gold with a mon I haven't seen anyone use yet, and I think this run demonstrates that most, if not all, things with Pressure can get to 170 with proper PP stalling. When I originally considered Entei I thought I would 3 separate sets: a pure physical one (from the shiny event) with Sash and Flare Blitz/Extremespeed/Stone Edge/Iron Head and probably a sun set with something like Sunny Day/Flamethrower/Solarbeam/HP Ice, as well as Cancertei. Soon after though, I realized that PP stall was effective enough to make it to 170 on its own, even without ideal stats! I think Zapdos should be even easier and I'm considering attempting it next, since it has Roost and the same speed, despite have a little less bulk.
 

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...my Pokemon goal for this year is to finally get the Gold Print in the Platinum Battle Factory. I gave up on that back in 2009, and I still think it might be the hardest in-game challenge in any main-series Pokemon game.
That post was about 18 months ago, but now I finally did it! I'll post my full report within the next day or so; it may end up around 8000 words, and the video will show every battle.

There's one helpful exploit that you guys thought me and I'm very thankful for that: I kept swapping and swapping on the first 4 rounds which gives you the option to get some mons from later sets.
I actually went against that common wisdom that I learned from researching old Smogon posts about Factory strats; I only committed to 14 trades as a bare minimum, and only went for 21 trades if it wouldn't ruin a good current team and/or give me a bad matchup, especially when approaching Thorton at 21. It seemed to work well, as I won 5 out of 6 Thorton silver battles across all my attempts.
 
Platinum Battle Factory Level 50: Gold Print achieved (18 attempts, 27 hours)
I lost on Battle 50, but sadly my streak of 49 can't be included on the leaderboards as it was on emulator.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5wtsgxg_YNdgDymWpZqv-NapcyKFFc1M
Video playlist of my live-streamed Factory run; over 7 hours, with live commentary. In my commentary I sometimes said things that were confused/wrong. There are video chapters for each battle timestamp, and Twitch comments are shown on screen. The footage of the first 5 battles is lost, as I only downloaded the Twitch recordings that were still up after I completed battle 49.

Spreadsheet of stats for the 18 attempts: tinyurl.com/PPBFAL50
- Sheet 1: Where each streak ended, teams I lost to, dates of each attempt (Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/VrHNgl2.png)
- Sheet 2: My initial teams from the drafts of 6 Pokemon at every 7th battle (Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/UCJliZC.png)

My notes about Factory mechanics and tactics based on Smogon forum research (AI, trades, etc), plus the full list of Pokemon movesets: https://pastebin.com/ReX8t2Z2
(Note: I enhanced the Pokemon list by adding the speed stats to each set, which I had to calculate manually due to the different IVs for each set)

Sections of this report:
i. Intro (quick stats, tips, general notes)
ii. Battle Notes (every battle of the successful run)
iii. Losses (how I lost in each failed attempt)

---------- Section i. Intro ----------

Stats for all 18 attempts:
Wins vs Thorton: 6 out of 7 (5/6 wins at Battle 21, 1/1 at Battle 49)
Total Factory playtime: 27 hours 56 mins. It seems like my Factory time was on the low end among all players, as my fear of the Factory was partly due to old Smogon posts by people who said they took up to 300 hours to get the Gold Print! But I wish I’d recorded the hours of my 646-wins Battle Tower streak back in 2010; my total Tower time must’ve been well beyond that…

Stats for the successful Gold Print run, on Attempt 18:
Trades/rentals: 33
One-hit KO moves (e.g. Sheer Cold) that hit me: 0
Me vs Thorton: I won 3-0 in both battles.
AI switches, not counting move-induced switches such as U-turn: 1 (Battle 11, see notes on that battle in Section ii)

Given how rare it is to see the AI switch out, and how it usually doesn’t switch even when it has no good reason to stay in, I almost never consider the possibility of an AI switch when making my decisions.

Apart from around 20 attempts back in 2009 (not counting them as I had less Factory information and was less skilled/smart), my serious attempts started on 21 April 2022, and I got the Gold Print on 20 July 2022, on my 18th attempt. As a completionist, it had been in the back of mind since 2009 that I still hadn’t completed Platinum’s Battle Factory, even though I’d achieved a 5-star Black Trainer Card in the game, which was a huge effort. I wonder if many other Platinum players in the world have both the Black Trainer Card *and* Factory Gold Print; I assume both achievements are very rare?

I’d been dreading a return to the Factory so much that I procrastinated by forcing myself to complete two other ultra-hard gaming challenges first: Celeste Chapter 9 deathless in 2019, and Hollow Knight’s "P5AB" run earlier this year. I expected the Factory to be harder despite being turn-based unlike those games - mainly due to the sheer amount of RNG involved in 49 battles, including the team matchups. So I was very surprised that I finished it so soon, especially as my best streak before the successful run was only 29 wins.

Using a damage calculator greatly reduces the difficulty; I don’t know if I could ever complete the Factory without one, as it gives you the knowledge to eliminate certain possibilities from the AI’s options in given situations, when you know how the Factory AI works. Before starting this challenge, I also spent several hours manually calculating the speed stats of *every* Factory mon for quick reference - had to account for the different IVs depending on the sets. This helped immensely, as you can’t afford to just guess whether you’ll outspeed something. I added the speed stats to the full list of Factory Pokemon sets; I’d be amazed if anyone has achieved the Gold Print without ever using the Pokemon list, especially if they also did it without any damage calcs.

I played Level 50 mode as it’s more familiar to me as a Battle Frontier (mainly Battle Tower) veteran, and I also find it more interesting since you get to use unevolved and weak mons that you’d otherwise never use. Although most of the early battles are easy with such weak opponents and random-move AI, it’s generally more challenging than Open Level (Level 100) because at Battles 7, 14 and 21 you face mons from the next round’s pool, which can mean using unevolved ones against much stronger fully evolved ones. While the "sets from next round" also occurs on Battles 28, 35 and 42, it doesn’t matter as much at that point because it’s the same pool of Pokemon with only their sets and IVs being different… although later movesets can be superior in most cases.

Trading is one of the main strategic elements that can vary between Factory players; it mainly depends on how much you value early-round team strength compared to the value of having more elevated/promoted mons in later rounds. From my research it seemed that most successful players committed to 21 or even 28 trades, but after my first few attempts I only committed to 14 as a bare minimum; I trade every time for the first 14 battles. From there I only aimed for 21 trades if it wouldn’t ruin a good current team, especially when approaching Thorton at battle 21, as his "smart" AI and BST advantage (in Level 50 mode) make him a potential difficulty spike. But I only lost to him once (due to hax), partly because the smart AI is predictable unlike the early random-move AI. That helps as long as your team matchup isn’t terrible; you can do things like switching into immunities, or making use of Counter / Mirror Coat, etc. Having a bulky elevation as a defensive switch-in is especially useful in battle 21, e.g. I was lucky to have Metagross there in my successful run.
I get the impression that the commonly accepted strategy of going for 21-28 trades as soon as possible is due to a "brute force" mentality for beating the Factory; trying to rush through as many attempts as you can with a focus on later-round benefits (more elevations). I prefer to treat each run as a potentially successful run, as I’d rather keep a solid early-round team than risk getting extra elevations later on that might be useless ones, either due to team matchups or just being inherently bad sets. Remember that elevations become less significant in later rounds when both you and your foes have mons of similar value, unlike the early-round difficulty spikes.

Accounting for the enemy AI is another important aspect of Factory strategy - I think the battles from 28 onwards can potentially be easier than the first few rounds, as the "smart" AI’s predictability also encourages you to consider defensive synergy when teambuilding from the drafts of 6 mons. Some sets are less threatening than they should be when used by the "smart" AI, e.g. Jynx with Lovely Kiss and Dream Eater, which seems to always Dream Eater against a sleeping mon, so you get a free switch. Thankfully the AI isn’t programmed to "learn" or adapt as far as I can tell; as shown in my Battle 32, it will keep attempting the same moves no matter how many times you switch to nullify them.
It’s also great to be in a situation where the foe needs to use a boosting move (e.g. Swords Dance, Curse) to get into possible-KO range on your mon, as the AI always seems to go for it in my experience; this gives you a free turn to switch and/or finish it off first, rather than taking a hit if the AI were to just attempt a 2-hit KO.

Risk management is also essential in the Factory - I almost always try to minimise the chance of bad RNG ("hax") affecting my chance of winning, which means not picking sets with inaccurate moves, and not relying on luck unless it’s the only way to escape from a bad situation. While you can certainly lose to bad RNG despite making "optimal" decisions in terms of probability, never underestimate the importance of playing it safe. You also need to develop a sense of acceptable risks, e.g. using sets where the main powerful attacks have imperfect accuracy. In that sense I was lucky with my elevated Arcanine3 in Battles 43-49, as its main attack is the 90% accurate Overheat… that was a worthwhile risk due to its very high power, plus the fact that Arcanine was an Intimidate lead with solid stats all around, and it synergised well with my team. Apart from that I almost entirely stuck to 100% accurate moves, at least after the first few rounds where you have limited options for reliable offensive moves.

---------- Section ii. Battle Notes ----------

Successful attempt’s overall RNG: Lucky. I’m basing that on my RNG ratings for the 45 battles that I still have the video for (Battles 6-50). For my somewhat subjective RNG ratings, I use a scale with five levels as shown below. Here’s how many battles I assigned to each level:

Very Unlucky: 0
Unlucky: 2
Average: 31
Lucky: 11
Very Lucky: 2

I only count 'luck' when it actually affects the battle, so I don’t consider things like crits that would’ve definitely KOed without a crit. The luck is purely from my perspective, i.e. lucky/unlucky for me, not the opponent. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean the luck determined whether I won or lost - in many cases, 'lucky' events just make the battle quicker and simpler. I consider good and bad outcomes to balance each other out, as I’m rating the *overall* positive or negative RNG for each battle. For example, if the foe gets a crit that was needed for a KO, but then I do the same to them, that would reset my rating to "Average" RNG.

At the start of each round of 7 battles, I list how many trades/rentals I had done at that point, which determines how many elevations/promotions you get in the draft of 6 Pokemon. The elevated mons are marked with **, e.g. *Cacturne*.

Enemy teams are listed in the order that each mon first appeared in the battle.

—— Round 1 ——

Battle 6: Togetic, Sableye, Growlithe vs Nosepass, Cyndaquil, Turtwig
RNG: Average
Nosepass reminded me why it’s good to have a mix of special and physical attackers, as it can potentially cause problems due to its very high Def for an early mon.

Battle 7: Togetic, Sableye, Turtwig vs Sunflora, Bibarel, Charmeleon
RNG: Average
Sunflora surprised me with its special bulk.

—— Round 2 ——

Trades before draft: 7 (1 elevation, which I took)
Draft: Mightyena, Venomoth, Kabutops, *Cacturne*, Lairon, Pupitar

This draft looked pretty bad to me, so I took Cacturne despite it being a very underwhelming elevation. Cacturne was replaced with Lunatone which I knew to be very good; so good that it stayed for 6 battles. I also knew Lairon was good, so it lasted the entire round. For the lead slot I chose Venomoth to at least have some speed on my team, and I expected to trade it for a better fast mon. The lead slot ended up changing a lot through this round, as I didn’t have many good choices but I wanted to reach 14 trades by the end of this round, which I always aim for.

Battle 8: Venomoth, Lairon, *Cacturne* vs Machoke, Lunatone, Cloyster
RNG: Average
Funny that I still outsped Machoke after it used Scary Face.

Battle 9: Venomoth, Lairon, Lunatone vs Ariados, Lileep, Snubbull
RNG: Average
Venomoth’s crit-KO on Lileep was convenient, but Lileep only had a 1/4 chance to AncientPower due to random AI at this stage.

Battle 10: Snubbull, Lairon, Lunatone vs Chatot, Omanyte, Teddiursa
RNG: Lucky
Here Lunatone demonstrates how good it can be.

Battle 11: Chatot, Lairon, Lunatone vs Linoone, Prinplup, Banette
RNG: Average
The AI actually switched! It switched out Linoone into Prinplup, while facing my Lairon. Surprising, as there were no type immunities involved on either side… and this was the only AI switch of the whole run. If anyone can figure this one out, please let me know.

Battle 12: Linoone, Lairon, Lunatone vs Spinda, Kricketot, Onix
RNG: Average
Triple L team, but it wasn’t even close to losing. Foe’s Onix died to a single non-crit Confusion, how pathetic.

Battle 13: Spinda, Lairon, Lunatone vs Mime Jr., Parasect, Wobbuffet
RNG: Unlucky
Wobbuffet isn’t much of a threat in my experience, as the random-move AI won’t always Mirror Coat / Counter when it would make sense, but I was somewhat unlucky with its Mirror Coats, and Mime Jr. getting an AncientPower boost. Also, the Parasect is much faster than you’d expect, which is a case that demonstrates the usefulness of the Factory set list.

Battle 14: Parasect, Lairon, Lunatone vs Cherrim, Sealeo, Gabite
RNG: Lucky
A rare case of this Parasect being useful. Gabite is a major threat with Dragon Claw and Earthquake, so Lunatone’s Levitate can help a lot… I was lucky with its random AI using Slash rather than Dragon Claw against Lunatone.

—— Round 3 ——

Trades before draft: 14 (2 elevations, 1 taken here)
Draft: *Metagross*, *Nidoqueen*, Noctowl, Prinplup, Cacturne, Piloswine

Metagross is a very good elevation, so it unsurprisingly lasted the whole round. Glad I didn’t lead with it, as I figured its defensive stats/type made it better as a switch-in from a sweeper lead. I eventually got Choice Band Furret to fill that lead role, but I initially had Noctowl for its defensive synergy with Metagross, plus Reflect which is best to have in the lead slot. The third slot was a choice between Piloswine or the elevation Nidoqueen, neither of which I expected to help much… but it didn’t matter since Piloswine was soon swapped for the fast and strong Purugly, which also had Thick Fat to pair well with Metagross.

Battle 15: Noctowl, *Metagross*, Piloswine vs Girafarig, Purugly, Tangela
RNG: Average
Purugly is quite dangerous, so I was lucky to have Metagross here, which one-hit KOed it with Zen Headbutt. Amazing that Tangela took less than 50% from that same attack…

Battle 16: Noctowl, *Metagross*, Purugly vs Bellossom, Solrock, Golbat
RNG: Average
Priority moves such as Bullet Punch and Fake Out are great against faster Confuse Ray foes, like that Golbat.

Battle 17: Solrock, *Metagross*, Purugly vs Magmar, Gabite, Clefable
RNG: Lucky
Didn’t need the good RNG in this easy battle; it was against set 1 mons, e.g. the Gabite set with Sand Tomb, not the amazing one with Dragon Claw and Earthquake.

Battle 18: Magmar, *Metagross*, Purugly vs Furret, Quilava, Pelipper
RNG: Lucky
That Choice Band Furret can be very dangerous if the random AI selects Frustration, especially since it then gets locked into it. Thankfully it locked into Assist, which called all resisted moves against my Metagross.

Battle 19: Furret, *Metagross*, Purugly vs Chansey, Raticate, Sunflora
RNG: Average
Choice Band Furret easily one-shots their entire team… almost a shame that the speed of the HP bar was increased from Diamond/Pearl, as otherwise I could’ve had a break while Furret one-hit KOed Chansey.

Battle 20: Furret, *Metagross*, Purugly vs Sudowoodo, Sharpedo, Venomoth
RNG: Average
Having some fast, powerful sweepers (Furret and Purugly) backed up with a strong tank (Metagross) works well.

Battle 21: Furret, *Metagross*, Purugly vs Nidoqueen, Slaking, Mismagius
RNG: Average
Thorton plays very differently from the first 20 battles as he has the "smart" AI (see Pastebin link near the start of this post for my Notes file that covers AI). Nidoqueen was the elevation I didn’t pick at the start of battle 15; not sure if unpicked mons (or elevations in particular) from the start of this Round 3 affect the chances of what Thorton’s team will include. The Nidoqueen wasn’t much of a threat, and Slaking was actually made easier by the smart AI - a good thing since this Slaking set is all HP/Def against my entirely physical-attacking team, and it can even heal. Evasion-item RNG happened on both sides, and I wasted Slaking’s attacking turns with Purugly’s Fake Out and switches into Metagross. It was satisfying to 3-0 Thorton despite his team’s major BST advantage, and I also had a 3-0 win in the Gold Print battle.

—— Round 4 ——

Trades before draft: 19 (2 elevations, 0 taken here)
Draft: *Glalie*, Probopass, Garchomp, Slowking, *Charizard*, Flygon

I was glad I didn’t trade away my solid team in the last few battles of the previous round, as an extra elevation from having 21 trades wouldn’t have mattered when this draft had such powerful non-elevations as Garchomp and Flygon. Slowking was an obvious choice to switch into Ice attacks; although Glalie and Probopass also could’ve done that, they seemed like inferior choices. I wasn’t sure whether having "Garchomp plus Garchomp Junior" would backfire, but I assumed there couldn’t be that many Ice-type attacks that would outspeed both of them… Weavile was the main threat I thought of, but luckily it didn’t appear. Flygon was eventually replaced with Salamence; it was amazing to have a full team of pseudo-legendaries, and straight after another pseudo-legendary in the previous round (Metagross).

Battle 22: Garchomp, Slowking, Flygon vs Tyranitar, Kingdra, Porygon-Z
RNG: Average
Easy Garchomp sweep.

Battle 23: Garchomp, Tyranitar, Flygon vs Dragonair, Seviper, Solrock
RNG: Average
Another Garchomp sweep. Swapping Slowking for Tyranitar essentially gave me a full Sand team, which is especially great for Garchomp with its BrightPowder + Sand Veil.

Battle 24: Garchomp, Tyranitar, Flygon vs Dodrio, Ninjask, Bibarel
RNG: Average
Ninjask just Baton Passed straight away as soon as it appeared… and this time it was Tyranitar’s turn to sweep a whole team.

Battle 25: Garchomp, Tyranitar, Flygon vs Crawdaunt, Kingler, Noctowl
RNG: Average
The Factory NPC said the foe would lead with a Crabhammer mon, so I knew it was either Crawdaunt or Kingler… was glad it was the former, as Kingler is more dangerous due to Guillotine. But then Kingler came out straight after Crawdaunt… that trainer will now be remembered as the crab man. I should’ve checked Garchomp’s damage calcs against Kingler, as Earthquake put it into Salac Berry range, which could’ve allowed it to sweep my team with fast Guillotines.

Battle 26: Garchomp, Tyranitar, Flygon vs Porygon-Z, Salamence, Slaking
RNG: Average
Salamence only used Scary Face against me (twice), but it would’ve died to Garchomp’s Dragon Claw anyway if I’d switched Garchomp back in after switching out to remove the Intimidate drop. Slaking with Facade and Shadow Claw couldn’t touch Curse Tyranitar.

Battle 27: Garchomp, Tyranitar, Salamence vs Tangrowth, Rampardos, Electrode
RNG: Lucky
I swapped Flygon for Salamence due to its better defensive synergy with Tyranitar, plus Intimidate - while it was hard to sacrifice a second STAB Earthquake, the Factory NPC warned of an Energy Ball-using lead, which I correctly suspected to be Tangrowth. Salamence with Aerial Ace has a much better matchup than Flygon does against physically bulky Tangrowth, and this trade also got me to 21 total trades, for 3 elevations in the next round. Unfortunately my Garchomp was KOed before Rampardos appeared, but for once Salamence’s Aqua Tail mattered - it got the 75% chance KO.

Battle 28: Garchomp, Tyranitar, Salamence vs Ludicolo, Muk, Vaporeon
RNG: Average
Factory NPC said the foe’s lead had Leech Seed, so it had to be Ludicolo - Salamence’s Aerial Ace was perfect against this Double Team set. I was slightly worried when Vaporeon with Ice Beam was the last foe against my Garchomp and Salamence, but it just used Rain Dance… so maybe this was the last battle where the AI was still dumb/random?

—— Round 5 ——

Trades before draft: 21 (3 elevations, 2 taken here)
Draft: *Staraptor*, Breloom, Machamp, *Swampert*, Nidoking, *Muk*

Staraptor was an easy choice for the lead slot, due to Intimidate and sweeping potential with Brave Bird and Return. Expert Belt Swampert is a solid choice that can also switch into Electric and Rock attacks for Staraptor, and Machamp seemed better than the other options for the final slot, due to the Rock resist for Staraptor, and Focus Sash + Counter can be more useful against the smarter AI from this round onwards. Staraptor and Swampert lasted the whole round, while the third slot changed a few times until I settled on Steelix, which has good defensive synergy with the others, especially Staraptor. It’s also very useful to have a defensive Steel type paired with an Intimidate lead.

Battle 29: *Staraptor*, *Swampert*, Machamp vs Bronzong, Lopunny, Exploud
RNG: Average
Machamp was partly chosen for the foe’s predominantly Normal team that the Factory NPC mentioned… but the foe led with Bronzong. Trick Room was easy to stall out due to Bronzong’s weak attacks, and Lopunny went for Mirror Coat instead of outspeeding and attacking my Staraptor, so I one-hit KOed it with Return. That makes me think that even the "smart" AI in these later rounds can’t use Counter / Mirror Coat wisely; maybe it doesn’t check the physical/special category of your attacks. After all, it’s not like Staraptor would ever have special attacks.

Battle 30: *Staraptor*, *Swampert*, Lopunny vs Venusaur, Glaceon, Mamoswine
RNG: Average
I took Lopunny for the much better speed than Machamp, and because Mirror Coat can be good against the more predictable smart AI. I wasn’t worried about the Ice-type team warning from the Factory NPC, as no Ice-type resists Staraptor’s Brave Bird. Mamoswine would’ve outsped my Swampert, but it went last as it must’ve chosen Avalanche.

Battle 31: *Staraptor*, *Swampert*, Mamoswine vs Abomasnow, Donphan, Yanmega
RNG: Average
Easy one-hit KOs for Staraptor and Swampert. I took Mamoswine due to its much better bulk than Lopunny (this Mamo had Sitrus Berry), and for its very strong Earthquake.

Battle 32: *Staraptor*, *Swampert*, Mamoswine vs Steelix, Tyranitar, Jynx
RNG: Unlucky
Swampert dominated the first two foes, then Jynx turned this into one of my longest battles at 12 minutes… it even has the longest cry of any Pokemon! Jynx landed Lovely Kiss to put my Swampert to sleep, then my Staraptor missed the easy KO (max 250% damage, not even super-effective!) due to Lax Incense, and Jynx landed Lovely Kiss on it as well. However, the "smart" AI is very exploitable with this Jynx set, as it always attempted Dream Eater against my sleeping mons. So I just had to keep switching between my sleeping and non-sleeping mons to make its Lovely Kisses and Dream Eaters fail, until Jynx died from sand damage… which was summoned by the foe’s own Tyranitar! Here it was convenient that weather from abilities is permanent in gen 4. But I still could’ve won without the weather damage, by stalling out Jynx’s PP.

Battle 33: *Staraptor*, *Swampert*, Steelix vs Skarmory, Bastiodon, Tangrowth
RNG: Lucky
This triple S team was solid, if not S tier. I figured it was safest to swap out Mamoswine for Steelix against the team that the NPC warned was mostly Steel type, and Steel types go well with Flying types like Staraptor. Skarmory couldn’t touch my Steelix, but I was concerned when it started setting up Double Teams, especially since it has Leftovers. However, my first Fire Fang that landed also burned it, which made a huge difference. I then made a mistake against the terrible special-attacking Bastiodon set, staying in with Steelix (when I should’ve switched into Swampert) as I forgot to check its speed, so it outsped and used Flamethrower. Luckily it didn’t matter, as Tangrowth loses to Staraptor.

Battle 34: *Staraptor*, *Swampert*, Steelix vs Granbull, Electivire, Jynx
RNG: Average
Steelix swept the first two, then Staraptor revenge-KOed Jynx - it was set 1, so no Lax Incense to cause trouble this time.

Battle 35: *Staraptor*, *Swampert*, Steelix vs Porygon2, Slowking, Altaria
RNG: Very Lucky
The set 3 Porygon2 speed-ties with my set 3 Swampert, and Porygon2 got a Sp. Atk boost from Download… since it could potentially use Ice Beam rather than Thunderbolt on Staraptor, I couldn’t risk switching. I overlooked that it could also use Psychic on Staraptor, since it KOs at +1 Sp. Atk. That still wouldn’t make it safe to switch anything in though. Luckily my Swampert won the speed tie to finish it off, but Slowking was out next, which is specially defensive (bad for this special Swampert) and actually faster than Steelix. But I got lucky again, with my second Earth Power getting the 10% Sp. Def drop; without that, there was only a 2.8% chance to 3-hit KO (technically higher if you factor in the 3 chances to crit, and the possible Sp. Def drops). It was also good that Slowking’s Psychic didn’t crit or Sp. Def drop, so Swampert survived 2 hits… thankfully I didn’t need my low-HP Swampert for the third foe, which KOed Swampert; it was an Altaria set that can barely touch Steelix, even with Earthquake. My Steelix even froze Altaria with Ice Fang (and didn’t get BrightPowdered), which was completely unnecessary… it didn’t even thaw when it had the chance. This may have been my luckiest battle, as I could’ve easily lost without the good RNG and the final matchup.

—— Round 6 ——

Trades before draft: 25 (3 elevations, 2 taken here)
Draft: *Abomasnow*, Feraligatr, *Ludicolo*, *Snorlax*, Umbreon, Politoed

Three Water types to choose from, so I could’ve made a rain team with Rain Dance Ludicolo… but that would be too much type overlap, and Politoed wasn’t worth using. I was concerned at the lack of speed in this draft; almost thought my run would end because of that. It was also disappointing to see Rain Dish rather than Swift Swim on Ludicolo, but I led with this mon for its solid type coverage (especially Ice Beam) and Lum Berry. I partly chose Ludicolo with the expectation of trading it for something better, so I was surprised at how well it performed over the full round; but it was also due to the lack of better trade options that would fit with the rest of the team. Snorlax disappointingly had Immunity rather than Thick Fat, but its special bulk and Life Orb-boosted power made it a superior choice to the other draft options. Feraligatr was my third choice so it could take advantage of possible rain set up by Ludicolo, and Wise Glasses-boosted Hydro Cannon can potentially be boosted by Torrent as well, making it a powerful last-ditch KO move. It also has the very useful Ice Beam, although Ludicolo had that as well. My only trade this round was Feraligatr to Raichu, and neither of them were used much compared to the two elevations. Raichu added some much-needed speed though, as my whole team was below 100 speed before that. I’m surprised that this team survived when it lacked speed or any particularly defensive mon; Snorlax had its least durable set due to the Life Orb and Double-Edge. I didn’t have much defensive synergy this round, but at least there were no shared weaknesses.

Battle 36: *Ludicolo*, Feraligatr, *Snorlax* vs Marowak, Kangaskhan, Typhlosion
RNG: Average
Ludicolo got the easy KO on Marowak, then died to two Dizzy Punches from Kangaskhan (42% chance). Snorlax showed that its bulk is still impressive even with Life Orb and Double-Edge recoil wearing it down.

Battle 37: *Ludicolo*, Feraligatr, *Snorlax* vs Leafeon, Yanmega, Golduck
RNG: Average
Thanks to the "smart" AI, Leafeon wasted its turn with Curse (a rather dumb set, having that on a fast mon) instead of going for the almost-KO with X-Scissor, so Ludicolo got the guaranteed Ice Beam KO… well, guaranteed when you don’t get BrightPowdered. Yanmega could’ve KOed Ludicolo with U-turn but it didn’t go for it, so I wondered if U-turn’s switching out is regarded as a "drawback" move by the AI. However, it didn’t choose Aerial Ace either, which is very strange… it went for Night Slash on Ludicolo, which is also neutral on the rest of my team. Maybe moves below a certain base power (Aerial Ace is only 60 BP) are classified differently for the smart AI, e.g. as "weak" attacks that are lower priority to select? But surely the much higher damage of the super-effective Aerial Ace would be checked first… weird.

Battle 38: *Ludicolo*, Feraligatr, *Snorlax* vs Weezing, Drapion, Raichu
RNG: Average
Didn’t swap out Ludicolo despite the Poison team warning, as the previous foe didn’t have anything better than my team… plus it can Surf most Poison types anyway. Surf’s damage helped me identify that it was the Weezing set with Explosion, but thankfully it died to a second Surf. Snorlax then swept Drapion and Raichu with an Earthquake each; as Snorlax wasn’t in Raichu’s Focus Blast KO range, it used Nasty Plot instead of going for the attack which would’ve KOed if it had been a crit.

Battle 39: *Ludicolo*, Raichu, *Snorlax* vs Rhydon, Manectric, Altaria
RNG: Average
I swapped out Feraligatr due to its poor moveset, especially since its only STAB move Hydro Cannon is unreliable and has a major drawback. Raichu was taken to cover for Ludicolo’s Flying weakness and to have a fast setup sweeper, although I was concerned about its frailty. Good thing I didn’t swap out Ludicolo, as the foe’s lead was Rhydon. Resisted Earthquake deals the same damage as a neutral elemental Punch, but I’m not sure if the AI checks the resistances or just damage… Rhydon used Ice Punch in this case. Snorlax one-hit KOed the rest.

Battle 40: *Ludicolo*, Raichu, *Snorlax* vs Abomasnow, Rhyperior, Crobat
RNG: Average
At first I didn’t want to risk switching against Abomasnow as it could’ve been the Sheer Cold set. It did turn out to be that set, but for some reason it led with Giga Drain and *then* used Ingrain, despite being at full HP both times against Ludicolo. I don’t know why the non-random AI would do things in that order. Snorlax avoided the one Sheer Cold; while it seemed risky to switch in a mon slower than a Sheer Cold user, it would’ve been very difficult to beat Abomasnow with Ludicolo, due to Ingrain and Giga Drain… that would’ve given it many more turns to potentially Sheer Cold. The flinch-set Crobat could’ve been dangerous if my team wasn’t in such good shape when it appeared.

Battle 41: *Ludicolo*, Raichu, *Snorlax* vs Sceptile, Forretress, Metagross
RNG: Average
Due to the Steel team warning, I knew there were two Steel types after Sceptile. Not sure why Forretress was sent out before Metagross (the gimmicky special Metagross set with Sludge Bomb), as Metagross clearly had a better matchup… this battle was easy as Ludicolo outsped the whole team. Although it died due to a Sludge Bomb crit, it didn’t matter as the rest of my team was at full HP.

Battle 42: *Ludicolo*, Raichu, *Snorlax* vs Mr. Mime, Manectric, Dragonite
RNG: Very Lucky
Mr. Mime is a Choice Specs lead that outspeeds Ludicolo - that was quite concerning, but my crit Surf was one of the only times one of my crits mattered; even luckier was that the crit only had a 25% chance to one-hit KO! So it was effectively a 1/64 outcome that I got. Without any crits, there was only a 12% chance to two-hit KO the Mr. Mime. Raichu would’ve had almost no chance to finish it off with one Signal Beam after a hypothetical non-crit Surf, and Raichu then would’ve died to a guaranteed Psychic KO. In that case I would’ve had to tank a hit with Snorlax instead (43% max from a non-crit). Anyway, back in the non-hypothetical situation, Ludicolo was at 44% HP against Manectric, so Thunderbolt had a 6% chance to KO me - but the smart AI only checks maximum damage rolls when choosing between different attacks that could KO, and chooses any such move at random. That’s why it randomly chose Thunderbolt instead of Signal Beam which had a better 37% KO chance, and its possible secondary effect (confusion) would’ve had a higher chance of wasting my turn. I was also lucky that Manectric’s BrightPowder didn’t trigger on its two chances. Although all of Dragonite’s attacks one-hit KO Raichu, I assume it only could’ve chosen Earthquake or possibly Outrage, unless the AI counts Outrage’s lock-in and confusion as a drawback on the same level as Giga Impact’s rest turn and Superpower’s stat drops. Regardless, it was good that it was locked into Earthquake against Snorlax, although it still could’ve ended my streak with an Earthquake crit.

—— Round 7 ——

Trades before draft: 28 (4 elevations, 2 taken here)
Draft: Weezing, *Umbreon* (set 1), *Gallade* (set 4), *Arcanine* (set 3), Claydol, *Drapion* (set 1)

I must’ve forgotten to increment my trade counter one time, so I didn’t realise I was actually on 28 (not 27) trades for 4 elevations. Elevations can actually backfire in this round; whereas non-elevations in this round are always set 4 which are usually the best sets, an elevation here can be any set from 1 to 4, but with 31 IVs. A gimmicky set 2 mon with 31 IVs would generally be much worse than a reliable set 4 mon with 24 IVs. Arcanine was the best mon in this draft, and Intimidate leads are very good in general. Intimidate pairs especially well with a switch-in that has good defensive synergy; Claydol avoids Ground and resists Rock, and the shared Water weakness seemed like an acceptable risk as Arcanine had Sunny Day + Solar Beam, plus Claydol could potentially Explode on some Water types. Weezing was almost a tempting choice due to Destiny Bond and another Levitate, but it’s too slow to use Destiny Bond effectively. Gallade only had one strong attack (Close Combat) which also has a drawback, and it’s very slow for an offensive set. As Drapion shared a Ground weakness with Arcanine and didn’t have much going for it, that left Umbreon which I chose for its impressive mixed bulk and Leftovers, Confuse Ray, and the potential to Baton Pass any Curse boosts, either to Claydol or a possible physical-attacking replacement for Claydol.
My initial team was quite slow, apart from Arcanine which was only moderately fast at 141 speed. Arcanine carried this round, and didn’t miss a single Overheat in the many times I used it. Umbreon didn’t do much before it was traded out for set 4 Electrode, which has a lot more going for it. Claydol served its intended purpose well until I swapped it for Starmie, as I expected Claydol’s rather low speed and power could be a problem, and it was only really being used for Earthquake and switching with Arcanine. It never even got to Explode… this trade also gave me a much better matchup against Water types, and I figured that Starmie’s sweeping potential would outweigh Claydol’s defensive synergy with the rest of the team, especially by beating Ground types for Electrode. The final trade was Electrode for Gengar, mainly because of Thorton’s Ground team warning, although it would’ve been a tough choice between them without that knowledge. The final team sacrificed the defensive merits of this round’s initial team for fast offense, but it at least had Gengar’s Levitate which could’ve replicated Claydol’s switching role with Arcanine.

Battle 43: *Arcanine*, *Umbreon*, Claydol vs Magmortar, Gardevoir, Ampharos
RNG: Lucky
Stayed in with Arcanine at first to check whether Magmortar was the set with Overheat or the Earthquake one; if the former, it would’ve been dangerous to switch into Claydol. Although Umbreon could’ve tanked most of its attacks, it takes a lot from the Focus Blast set. Claydol switched into Magmortar’s second Earthquake then KOed it. Claydol’s low speed already showed its problems here, as it can often be finished off by any faster mon when it has already lost a chunk of HP. I knew Gardevoir had to be the Focus Blast set, so Umbreon wouldn’t be safe… but it was the best option as Gardevoir would otherwise use Energy Ball for an almost-guaranteed KO on Claydol. Umbreon avoided the second Focus Blast to finish off Gardevoir; also good RNG that BrightPowder didn’t activate on its two chances. However, the Focus Blast miss didn’t matter much as Arcanine could’ve finished off Gardevoir with Dragon Pulse, and the last foe Ampharos wouldn’t beat Arcanine and Claydol.

Battle 44: *Arcanine*, *Umbreon*, Claydol vs Gallade, Electrode, Porygon2
RNG: Lucky
After Arcanine took an Intimidated Close Combat to check Gallade’s set, I would’ve used Claydol’s Explosion to one-hit KO Gallade, but I was confused about how elevations, sets and IVs work in this round, so I must’ve made a mistake with the damage calculations. Although Arcanine safely finished off Gallade after, this meant its Intimidate was wasted - an Explosion KO on Gallade would’ve led to Arcanine being sent out at the same time as the next foe. The lack of Intimidate could’ve mattered against the Explosion Electrode up next… the crit Thunderbolt on my Umbreon also potentially mattered by putting Umbreon in range for a KO from the combination of Signal Beam then Explosion.
It was difficult to decide whether to break the Focus Sash with Umbreon or switch out… eventually I decided on Payback, and the Synchronized paralysis on Electrode was significant as it allowed Arcanine to switch in then finish it off first; I assume it would’ve Exploded on Arcanine as Electrode was at ~50% HP, but at least Arcanine would’ve survived thanks to Intimidate. Although the Synchronize-Static outcome was lucky, my luck seemed to go downhill when the last foe Porygon2 not only had Download, but also got the 50/50 Sp. Atk boost against Arcanine’s equal defensive stats. However, Porygon2 would 2-hit KO Arcanine regardless of boosts or abilities, and the RNG was kind with neither of my Overheats missing and no crit or status from Tri Attack. The switch to Umbreon to reset Arcanine’s Sp. Atk was my only way to win, unless I got a crit with the first Overheat. With my last mon Arcanine ending the battle at 16 HP, I think this was the closest battle.

Battle 45: *Arcanine*, Electrode, Claydol vs Abomasnow, Golduck, Lanturn
RNG: Lucky
Convenient to have Electrode to trade for when I was warned of a Water team, and also having Arcanine as my lead against Abomasnow. I figured it was worth setting up Sunny Day against Golduck as I knew there was another Water type in the back, and two of my mons were weak to Water. Since Golduck missed its first Hydro Pump, that meant I couldn’t know whether it had Cloud Nine at that point… but it was still worth setting up sun because of the other Water type. Electrode saved me in this battle, and there were two main reasons why I didn’t swap Electrode into one of my Water-weak team slots: Because Arcanine had Sunny Day + Solar Beam, and Claydol had good defensive synergy with it and Electrode.

Battle 46: *Arcanine*, Electrode, Claydol vs Drapion, Typhlosion, Scizor
RNG: Average
The Arcanine + Claydol combination worked out well for Intimidate shuffling here, although it was a bit greedy/risky to set up Sunny Day before the Overheat that would always KO Drapion without it. It also backfired as the next foe was Typhlosion, which even had Shuca Berry to potentially limit Claydol’s options. Electrode’s Static on the Typhlosion didn’t end up mattering, as I would’ve just Exploded for the KO without that. Quite lucky that the final foe was Scizor against Arcanine.

Battle 47: *Arcanine*, Electrode, Claydol vs Staraptor, Starmie, Meganium
RNG: Average
As Arcanine’s Intimidate went before Staraptor’s, I knew it was set 3 which was just 1 point slower than 31 IV Arcanine. It seemed better to risk an Overheat miss (which didn’t happen) than to waste Electrode’s Focus Sash by switching it in, as Arcanine could take any attack from Staraptor anyway. Electrode is one of the few mons that can safely beat Starmie, so I was lucky with that matchup.

Battle 48: *Arcanine*, Electrode, Starmie vs Weavile, Armaldo, Gengar
RNG: Lucky
Against Armaldo, I had to carefully consider which of my 3 mons to sacrifice… although I almost got away with no sacrifices due to its Stone Edge miss. It’s often tough to decide what to send out when you have to send out a mon before your foe does (in this case because Armaldo died to Life Orb recoil), but I chose Arcanine over Starmie, due to Intimidate. However, that didn’t matter against Gengar, and its 25% chance to KO Arcanine with Sludge Bomb also didn’t matter, as Starmie outspeeds and one-hit KOs Gengar with Psychic.

Battle 49: *Arcanine*, Gengar, Starmie vs Torterra, Mamoswine, Dewgong
RNG: Average
My first time ever reaching the Thorton gold print battle, so I was nervous and had to double-check everything. The Factory NPC warned of a Ground team, so I almost had no choice but to replace Electrode with Gengar (the good old days when it had Levitate). While it was sad to lose Focus Sash and Explosion, I expected Gengar’s Destiny Bond and sweeping potential to make up for it. I was confident in my team, but wasn’t expecting to 3-0 Thorton like I did! Despite the initial fear of his Ground team, it was lucky that both the Ground types were weak to Overheat, and Arcanine still didn’t miss with that move even once. I must’ve had incorrect information as I thought Thorton here only uses set 4 mons, but Dewgong was set 1, so I assume he can use all sets… but can he mix different sets? I never got to confirm the sets of his first two mons as Arcanine one-hit KOed both of them. The surprise reveal of Dewgong’s moveset didn’t matter at all, as it couldn’t beat Starmie.

—— Round 8 ——

Trades before draft: 33 (but elevations don’t exist from this round onwards)
Draft: Golem (set 3), Ambipom (set 2), Lopunny (set 4), Mismagius (set 2), Probopass (set 3), Rhyperior (set 4)

Three Rock types (including two Rock/Grounds), all of which have two quad-weaknesses… and two Normals, both weak and frail. Also a rather slow Mismagius with only one attack… this was an abysmal draft, especially considering that from this round you can get legendaries, e.g. Zapdos and Latios. To make matters worse, Lopunny had the Klutz ability rather than Cute Charm (so it couldn’t uses its Muscle Band), and Rhyperior had LightningRod rather than Solid Rock. The best I could do was lead with Ambipom for Fake Out chip damage and Protect to scout movesets, plus Thunder Wave could work very well with Choice Band Rhyperior. Mismagius at least had some defensive synergy with Ambipom and Rhyperior due to its immunities.

Battle 50: Ambipom, Rhyperior, Mismagius vs Floatzel, Rhydon, Scizor
RNG: Average
I didn’t expect to go far with this terrible team, but the team matchup was also quite unfortunate - Ambipom can barely scratch Rhydon, Mismagius can get one-hit KOed by its Stone Edge, and it speed ties with Rhyperior - I either lost the speed tie or it Quick Clawed; not sure because there’s no notification of Quick Claw when battle animations are off. If my Rhyperior had outsped Rhydon to KO it, I could’ve possibly won by hitting Scizor with an Earthquake then Mismagius’ Shadow Ball, although Scizor 2-hit KOes Rhyperior with non-crit Iron Heads due to the lack of Solid Rock, and there would’ve been the 30% flinch chance. My last hope was my full-HP Mismagius against full-HP Scizor - Confuse Ray gave me a glimmer of hope with Scizor’s confusion self-hit, but then it got the 87% KO with non-crit Night Slash.

To show how bad this matchup was for all the possible teams I could’ve chosen from the draft:

- vs Floatzel: Golem loses, Ambipom wins but takes big damage - same for Lopunny. Mismagius is outsped and has a 75% chance to die from Crunch, Probopass has to Explode, Rhyperior loses because of no Solid Rock.

- vs Rhydon: Golem only outspeeds after using Fling, and can 2-hit KO but almost gets 1-hit KOed itself. Ambipom’s set is made useless, Lopunny only just 4-hit KOs and almost gets 1-hit KOed in return, Mismagius is 1-hit KOed by Stone Edge (and potential Quick Claw), Probopass only 3-hit KOs and gets 1-hit KOed, which can happen first due to speed tie and Quick Claw. Rhyperior speed ties.

- vs Scizor: Golem can only take half of its HP and dies in 2 hits, Ambipom is useless, Lopunny only just 3-hit KOs with Fire Punch (Occa Berry) and dies in 2 hits. Mismagius dies to Night Slash. Probopass loses as Scizor’s Iron Head 3-hit KOs and can flinch, while slower Probopass’ Stone Edge also needs 3 hits and can miss. Rhyperior 1-hit KOs with Rock Wrecker if not Choice-locked into something else first, but without Solid Rock it gets 2-hit KOed by Iron Head, and can’t 1-hit KO with Earthquake.

In conclusion, this battle was doomed to fail! Sometimes you simply cannot win, due to team matchups. Unlisted video of the Battle 50 loss: https://tinyurl.com/2nxvuwfk

---------- Section iii. Losses ----------

Attempt 1, Battle 13: Opponent switched out their Persian (a rare AI switch!) while facing my Magneton, into their Piloswine. My Luvdisc beats Piloswine. Persian Swaggers my Magneton twice, so Magneton soon dies to confusion self-hits. My Zangoose KOs Persian but is at low HP from its Slash, then Zangoose dies to opponent’s last mon, which it can barely scratch: Lairon. My Luvdisc’s Water Pulse leaves Lairon at about 1 HP, and it then Rock Tombs me for the KO.

Attempt 2, Battle 3: Butterfree one-hit KOs my Vibrava with a crit Air Cutter. My Natu finishes it off, but is left at red HP. My Lombre KOs Bonsly but is left at half HP. My Lombre gets Gloom down to sub-50% HP, then dies to Acid. My red-HP Natu misses 95% accurate Air Cutter and dies to resisted Mega Drain… sad.

Attempt 3, Battle 30: Opponent’s Walrein KOs my Passho Berry Magmortar with Aqua Tail crit, then my Absol revenge-KOs it. Foe’s Bronzong Trick Rooms then double-flinches my Absol to death with Iron Head. My Drapion finishes Bronzong, then enemy Probopass finishes my low-HP Drapion (foe moves first due to Trick Room).

Attempt 4, Battle 17: Switched my Metang into Swellow, but foe Wormadam used Psychic for heavy damage, then I stupidly left it alive by using Aerial Ace (no reason to use that over boosted Facade even if I’d checked that it had Coba Berry). My Metang was then weakened by Sealeo, then died to Wigglytuff while asleep. Then my Vigoroth missed Crush Claw and couldn’t quite KO Wigglytuff.

Attempt 5, Battle 10: My Dusclops was weakened after defeating Omastar, then died to Octillery. My Azumarill defeated Octillery but was left weak and paralysed. Girafarig finished my Azumarill, then my Swellow just barely failed to 2-hit KO Girafarig.

Attempt 6, Battle 14: My Wailmer defeats Relicanth, then dies to Monferno. My Sableye KOs Monferno thanks to a crit Shadow Sneak. Fearow KOs my Sableye, then 1-hit KOs my Stantler with a non-crit Frustration. I certainly felt the Frustration.

Attempt 7, Battle 1: My Riolu defeats Swablu but is left at low HP. Riolu almost KOs Delibird with Bullet Punch before dying. My Treecko finishes Delibird, then dies to Beautifly’s Air Cutter. Beautifly then Attracts my Mime Jr., which almost KOs Beautifly but is immobilised by attraction too many times.

Attempt 8, Battle 29: I had an abysmal draft of 6, so the best team I could choose was special-attacker Lopunny, Toxic-stall Forretress, and Victreebel. Of course the enemy lead is a Rapidash when I have 2 mons weak to Fire… I wasn’t sure if Rapidash would go straight for Overheat or first use Sunny Day against my Lopunny; if I’d expected the Sunny Day and hadn’t forgotten about Victreebel’s Chlorophyll, then I would’ve used Lopunny’s Shadow Ball (instead of Charge Beam) to put Rapidash in KO range of Victreebel’s Sludge Bomb while it would outspeed in sun. But the unknown last two foes might still have been a problem anyway.

Attempt 9, Battle 16: The only way the foe’s Qwilfish could beat my Snorlax (which had the amazing Curse + Yawn + Leftovers set) was with crits and fast wake-ups, and both of those things happened. I didn’t even see the foe’s two other Pokemon, as my other mistake was that I’d chosen Gligar on the assumption that it was the good set (Earthquake etc), not the awful first set… so Gligar also died. Then my Weavile died too, as the Qwilfish triggered Focus Band.

Attempt 10, Battle 7: Foe’s Crawdaunt KOs my Luvdisc after being weakened. Then I make the mistake of sending out Murkrow instead of Voltorb to finish off Crawdaunt, forgetting that it had used Harden twice, so Murkrow was almost dead after needing more than one attack to finish it off. My Murkrow then died to Sealeo, which was finished off by my Voltorb, but then Hitmontop one-hit KOed Voltorb with Mach Punch.

Attempt 11, Battle 30: My lead Starmie and my Gliscor defeated Porygon2, then Gliscor died to Blastoise after Earthquaking it. Then my big mistake was to send out Pinsir instead of full-HP Starmie to finish off that Blastoise; I was hoping Blastoise wouldn’t have the "smart" AI that would go for the 1-hit KO Pinsir with Hydro Pump, but it did. Regardless, it would’ve been smarter to send out Starmie for the 77% chance to hit and KO Blastoise with Thunder (Wide Lens), instead of hoping for a 20% miss on Pinsir which couldn’t KO the weakened Blastoise in 1 hit, unlike Starmie. I guess I was focusing too much on Pinsir’s 100% accurate X-Scissor even though my best chance was to 'risk' the 77% accurate Thunder to prevent another attack from Blastoise. After Pinsir died and Starmie finished Blastoise, my yellow-HP Starmie faced the foe’s last mon, Machamp. Sadly this Starmie set lacked Psychic, so I spammed Recover while hoping for a bad AI move or Cross Chop miss (it did use that move), but none of that happened, so I lost. So many questionable decisions in this battle; I can’t blame hax for this loss.

Attempt 12, Battle 10: The AI surprisingly switched out its lead Hitmontop instead of finishing off my weakened lead Primeape… seemed like it knew my team was so weak to Tropius, which it switched into. This loss was partly my fault for not making a different trade to better deal with Tropius, which the Factory NPC had warned me about… I was hoping the bad/random AI would mitigate the threat. My Bellossom finished off Tropius, then just barely missed the KO on Hitmontop, activating the foe’s Liechi Berry which let it KO Bellossom. The last foe was Bayleef, so my Marshtomp couldn’t do anything.

Attempt 13, Battle 24: This loss was mostly my fault for switching out my lead—an amazing Dragon Dance Dragonite—despite having Lum Berry to protect from Thunder Wave and Confuse Ray from the enemy lead Stantler. I could’ve gone for the KO with DD + Dragon Claw (as Stantler didn’t have Intimidate), but I wanted to preserve Dragonite’s HP and/or Lum Berry, so I switched to my 'safe defensive backup' Tyranitar. Sadly it couldn’t do much due to paralysis + confusion hax, and it was the terrible Choice Scarf moveset. After defeating Stantler my Tyranitar died to Gligar; if it hadn’t been paralysed it could’ve Ice Punched Gligar first. Then my Jynx was outsped and 1-hit KOed by Gligar’s Earthquake, and finally my weakened Dragonite also died to it.

Attempt 14, Battle 5: Foe’s lead Butterfree outsped and 1-hit KOed my Croagunk with Psybeam. My Ledian revenge-KOed it but was left at yellow HP. Foe’s Shinx barely survived and finished off my Ledian. My Charmander finished it off and then lost to Nosepass despite a first-turn Attack boost from Metal Claw; a later Metal Claw missed.

Attempt 15, Battle 19: My lead Stantler weakened Gorebyss, then I switched due to confusion from Water Pulse. My Donphan switch-in barely survived Water Pulse then died after nearly KOing Gorebyss. My Magmar finished off Gorebyss, then the foe sent out Grumpig. I used Confuse Ray as I forgot about the possible Own Tempo, which it had - but that at least ruled out Thick Fat. Grumpig used Confuse Ray right back at my Magmar, so I switched to Stantler which died. My Magmar came back in, and only took small damage from Petaya-boosted Grass Knot; luckily that was the best move Grumpig could’ve chosen for me. But the foe’s last mon was Purugly, which outsped and Slashed for a non-crit KO on my almost-full-HP Magmar.

Attempt 16, Battle 4: My lead Porygon got the foe’s lead Corsola down to yellow HP, then died due to a combination of Corsola’s Mirror Coats and AncientPower boosts. My Slowpoke finished it off and then KOed Stunky, but was down to yellow HP. Foe’s Delcatty then KOed my Slowpoke with one Secret Power, then paralysed my last mon Illumise with that move, and finished off Illumise with Faint Attack.

Attempt 17, Battle 21: This was my only loss to Thorton. I traded my lead Electrode for Cherrim here, because of Thorton’s lead Claydol. I hoped Power Herb SolarBeam would one-hit KO, but it was a 68% chance - Claydol just barely survived and Trick Roomed. Thankfully Cherrim had Synthesis to stall out the TR turns (Claydol’s Zen Headbutt is weak), and I used Sunny Day just before TR ended, so I could KO with the next SolarBeam before another TR. Thorton then sent out Staraptor, making me wish I still had Electrode. Staraptor finished off my Cherrim with Return, then KOed my Stantler because it dodged two attacks after just one Double Team. Although my Stantler had Thunder Waved it, my final mon Lanturn missed once and lost 50% HP, before finally KOing the red-HP Staraptor. The last foe was Granbull, so my only hope was to go for full-paralysis from Thunder Wave, but it didn’t happen.

Attempt 18, Battle 50: See description of Battle 50 in the previous section of this report. Shown in this unlisted video: https://tinyurl.com/2nxvuwfk
 

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