Battle Tree Discussion and Records

Honestly have a dedicated "sub 60 base" list would also be cool. I made a partial one with the stuff that threatened me in alphabetic order back when I was doing stuff with guru / incineroar, but maybe you can polish this in a usable way....
##59## - ORANGURU
##58## - INCINEROAR/PRIMARINA
Abomasnow-4
Amoonguss-1234
Ampharos-4
Aromatisse-1234
Avalugg-123
Bastiodon-1234
Bronzong-1234
Cresselia-4
Cofagrigus-1234
Cradily-234
Dhelmise-14
Drampa-123
Dusknoir-34
Escavalier-124
Exeggutor-A2
Gastrodon-1234
Gigalith-1234
Mudsdale-1234
Musharna-1234
Palossand-134
Reuniclus-1234
Rhyperior-14
Sableye-3
Shiinotic-1234
Snorlax-1234
Slowbro-1234
Slowking-1234
Spiritomb-1234
Steelix-1234
Throh-4
Toxapex-1234
Turtonator-123
Vespiquen-124
Wishiwashi-1234
Camerupt-34
Escavalier-3
Ferrothorn-34
Golurk-4
Trevenant-4
##31## - M-ABOMASNOW
Avalugg-4
Carbink-3
Conkeldurr-24
Shuckle-1234
 
What I was thinking was listing the exact speeds like atsync did, and then the applicable AI sets and minimum speeds for both the more popular TR abusers as well as things we’ve put into practice, orthodox or not.

Some numbers have a good bit of overlap, like 45 and 36, while others are pretty much unique to “optimized” player speeds, like 31. While I’ve memorized the lower numbers for the most part, a list would be helpful for me to memorize some of the moderately slow pokes that are still outsped by Primarina and the like, who have been seeing a lot of TR lately.
 
Okay. It's time.

Last year, I said that I would write down everything from my experiences with the Battle Facilities in Generations 2-5 and post it here when it was done. I also said that I would post it at some point this year. Well, here we are.

This became very long so I decided to split it in five parts. It just feels a lot easier and more manageable that way. Then I wouldn't be able to post everything in one single post either, due to the character limit for posts here on the forums.

This is the first part. Here, I'll talk about everything from Gen 2 and about some things from Gen 3. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to keep everything about the Emerald Battle Frontier in one post like I originally wanted to.

Smuckem, I'm tagging you here since I know you are interested in this project. And you are the one who inspired me to create it in the first place. So thank you. I hope you will like it.

StoneDos95, I'm tagging you here as well since you are making a guide for the Emerald Battle Frontier, feel free to look at what I have written about my experiences with it and see if it is of any help to you. I see that you haven't been online for a while now but I hope you will come back and take a look at this to see if it is of any help for you.

I'm not going to tag anyone else in these posts. There are a few reasons. I don't think any of the people I have talked with in the distant past remembers me and it may feel weird for them if I were to tag them for things that happened many years ago. There are also people I'm going to mention that I have never talked to and therefore don't know me at all, so it may feel weird for them to be mentioned by someone who is a complete stranger to them. Everyone I'm mentioning might not be interested in reading this either. Some people I'm mentioning aren't active here on the forums anymore, they might not even be interested in Pokemon anymore. So I have decided to let it be this way.

Before we begin, I need to say a few things. I do not claim that any of the teams or Pokemon I have used are perfect or the best that can possibly be used for the purposes I have used them for. All I will claim is that they worked for me. They worked for the things I intended them for and what I have used them for. Except when they didn't, but I think that some of the teams that didn't work are worth a mention anyway. Many of the teams I used have been inspired by teams used by other people while some teams are the same as other people have used. I will give credit to the original creators or those who have inspired me in those cases.

I'll list everything in chronological order by game, not the order in which I beat everything, that is a bit different. I'll mention the date or an approximation for when things happened in the cases when I don't know the exact date.

Sadly, I have never written down the minor or sometimes even major details for every single Pokemon and team I used for Gen 2-5, unlike what I have done that for Gen 6-7. Looking back, I regret that now but nothing can be done about it. Perhaps this can be a way to remedy that somewhat. What this means for this project is that some details are missing from certain parts, but I'll post all the information I have or remember.

If you read these posts and have any questions about anything, feel free to ask! I will try to answer as best as I possibly can but I may not always be able to give a good answer to every question. I don't always remember everything from my past experiences, especially when it comes to things that happened many years ago. Also, feel free to tell me if there is anything that is unclear or if anything looks wrong, and I'll take a look at it. This will go for all of my posts, I'm saying this now so I won't have to say it again.

I want to apologize if any of my nicknames are terrible, especially when it comes to Gen 3.

I have put all the detailed information in spoiler tags so that those who aren't interested in this can just scroll past my posts.

That should be enough as an introduction.

Let's begin.

Gen 2

Crystal Battle Tower
I don't have a lot to say about this place, but a little at least.

I played the Crystal Tower at various times, mostly around the time when the game was new but also at later points. I know for sure that I did not play it past 2006, probably not earlier than 2002 either. Most of my experiences here were losses. I think I might have been able to win 1, 2 or maybe even 3 battles in a row at best. Can't remember exactly and the battery of my Crystal cart died long ago so I can't go back and check. I'm not even sure if it was possible to check the streaks in the game.

I mostly used various in-game Pokemon I had on the game while battling at the Tower. They were not adopted for semi-competitive battling, their DVs were probably bad and they did probably not have maxed Stat Experience either. I remember that I had several Pokemon at level 100 in Crystal (some were traded over from G/S and R/B/Y), I think I used some of them to try and win at the level 100 mode in the Tower. Sadly, I don't remember any major details for those Pokemon, and I can't go back to check the details for any of my Pokemon on the game because again, the battery of my cart is dead.

The Crystal Tower is the only standard battle facility in any generation which I have never truly beaten. I never had any real goal regarding it back when I played Crystal, though in retrospect I think I at least wanted to win 7 battles in a row on one mode. I remember that I always found it incredibly hard when I played it as a kid, it felt like I had absolutely no chance of ever winning. Looking back at it now, getting Pokemon that were ready for semi-competitive battles were much harder in Gen 2 than any newer generation. There were limited TMs, limited movepools, the Stat Experience/DV system instead of EVs/IVs, and only 251 Pokemon overall. Those things, combined with the Tower being pretty hard to begin with, made it difficult to win here.

Now that Crystal has been released on the 3DS Virtual Console, I have considered buying it from there. Since the battery of my original cart died many years ago, buying a new copy of the game would be my only chance to play it again. Having a working copy of my favorite Johto game would be nice as well, not to mention one that isn't destined to eventually die because of the battery. Though I'm not sure about it. Thankfully I don't have to rush it since the option to buy the game isn't going anywhere, and if the Nintendo E-shop should eventually close down, I guess I'll made up my mind then if I haven't already bought it at that point. One of the main reasons for a purchase would obviously be that I want to try and beat the Battle Tower in the game once and for all. I want to win 7 battles in a row on at least one mode. Preferably all 10 modes, but that might be a little too much. Unfortunately, the project might need more than just Crystal as I may have to get R/B/Y and G/S as well in order to get Pokemon, TMs and other things from those games that may be helpful when trying to beat the Crystal Tower. But we'll see, nothing is set in stone regarding any of that. And I don't have more to say about the Crystal Battle Tower so let's move on to the next generation.

Gen 3

R/S Battle Tower
I don't have a lot to say here either, but a little more at least.

I remember that I tried to beat the Tower on Ruby during summer 2004 when R/S were still the newest games. Though I think I only made one serious try. I remember that I was on vacation in Norway when it happened. Back then, I tried the level 100 mode with a team consisting of Swampert, Gardevoir and Flygon from my in-game team on the game. They did not have good Natures, their IVs probably sucked and they were not properly EV-trained. Their movesets were also terrible. For example, my Gardevoir had a moveset consisting of Psychic/Thunderbolt/Dream Eater/Hypnosis, and an Adamant Nature. Despite all the issues my team had, I somehow managed to make it all the way up to Battle #50. But it ended there. I lost at that battle, the only thing I remember from it is that my opponent had a Wailord. I also have a very vague memory of some sort of hax, because I recall the loss feeling very "unfair", I thought I should have been able to win if it weren't for my opponent doing something unexpected. I got rather angry at the game because of that loss, I gave up a trying to beat the Tower and focused on other things in the games instead. I didn't get back to the R/S Tower again until ten years later.

Fast forward to 2014. Pokemon-wise, this was the year when I went back to some older games in order to complete some things I had left to do in them that I had never done or wanted to do before. These games were FR/LG, Platinum and R/S. Also Emerald to an extent. And B2/W2, but they were still very new at this point, I just took a break from them for a few months while playing other games. But let's not get into all the details about that since it isn't important here. R/S were among those games, and one of the things I wanted to do in them was to win 50 battles in a row at the Battle Tower to get the Trainer Card upgrade that is obtained after doing that. On both games. So that's what I did. I traded over a team from Emerald that I thought should work, entered the level 50 mode, and won 50 battles in a row without losing along the way. On both games. Team details below.

1530290000493.png

Salamence (M) @ Lum Berry ** Brutus
Ability: Intimidate
IVs: Flawless Att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Aerial Ace
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake
- Dragon Dance

1530289985149.png

Starmie @ Petaya Berry ** Zed
Ability: Natural Cure
IVs: Flawless Sp.att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Beam
- Psychic

1530289940692.png

Snorlax (M) @ Leftovers ** Sleeplax
Ability: Thick Fat
IVs: Flawless Defense
EVs: 252 HP / 5 Def / 253 Sp.def
Nature: Careful
- Body Slam
- Shadow Ball
- Curse
- Rest

Streak: 56 (ongoing) [On both games]

I'll discuss this team in more detail when we get to the Emerald Tower since it feels more relevant to talk about it there. For now, let me just say that it worked. I suppose I could call it Team Snormience or something in true Jumpman-style, though I personally prefer Team SSS. Which is also Jumpman-style, in a way. Either way, I was able to win the number of battles I wanted on both games on the first try, which was satisfying. I didn't feel like continuing, you get a Gold Shield for winning 100 battles in a row but I have no interest in that as the TC upgrade is enough. I suppose that if I wanted to win with a more "fair" team, I could have used something else than Snorlax since the opponents in the R/S Tower only use Pokemon that are in the Hoenn Dex. If I had wanted to play under the same conditions as them, I could have skipped Snorlax and used a Pokemon that was in the Hoenn Dex instead. But now I decided to not do that. Being able to have advantages over your opponent is something to make good use of when it comes to battling in battle facilities, that is something I have learned during my years of battling in them.

These two streaks happened in late May 2014. They had absolutely nothing to do with the announcement of OR/AS since I had decided to go back to R/S long before the remakes were announced. Some things I remember from these streaks was that I faced quite many legendaries along the way. I don't remember facing a single legendary during my 49-streak on level 100 mode in 2004, though it happened 14 years ago and I don't really remember much from it in general. From these newer streaks, one other thing I remember is that I once got to face "myself" in the form of my trainer from Emerald with another team I used for the Emerald Tower. It was quite scary battle at first but I managed to win in the end. That probably happened because I had mixed records between my games.

In the end, I thought the R/S Tower was okay. Not the best battle facility by any means but still quite fun and worthy of completion. When I played R/S as I kid, I remember that I appreciated how it was a lot easier than the absurdly hard Crystal Tower. I have both good and bad experiences with the R/S Tower, but not many of either. There isn't a lot more to say about it, so let's move on.

FR/LG
Right now, these games are the only ones in the series which have been released after Crystal but doesn't feature any real battle facilities. That's a bit strange. I'm not sure why, they could just have added the R/S Tower or something, perhaps with a new mode featuring Pokemon from the Kanto Dex. HG/SS and OR/AS copypasted the facilities that the game(s) before them had, yet FR/LG didn't. I don't know why. I like FR/LG, but I feel that their lack of real battle facilities is one of their biggest flaws.

All they have is the Trainer Tower which doesn't really count due to the way it works. I did go through all modes there at least once on both games (most of it happened in 2015 since I hadn't tried it much before that). There is also the Trainer's Hill in Emerald which is similar, and I went through all modes of it in 2015 as well. I don't have much to say about those places though. They aren't really semi-competitive since it is possible to use healing items during battles or go down to the bottom floor and heal your entire team while trying to beat them, so I'm not counting them.

Overall, the Kanto games are the only ones that have never had any true battle facilities at all. It is odd but I guess that's just the way it is. Will this change with the upcoming games?

These games are Yellow remakes and they will take place in Kanto. Will they have any battle facilities? Personally, I doubt it. I don't think semi-competitive players are among the target audiences for them. The Kanto Pokemon are the only Pokemon in these games and none of the previous Kanto games have had any real battle facilities, so I don't think these games will have any either.

I have nothing more to say here so let's move on to the big and important parts.

Emerald Battle Frontier (Part 1)
I have a lot to say about this and since this is the best possible opportunity, I might as well say everything. So let's get started.

The Emerald Frontier is the reason I got into semi-competitive battling in the first place. If I hadn't once been so determined to win at the Frontier, I would never have bothered learning about EVs, IVs, Natures and more complex battle strategies. Though it is quite likely that I would have learned about those things at a later point if not for the Frontier, but now the Frontier is the reason. Because of that, and because of everything I have done at the Frontier, it is very special for me.

Why did I want to win here in the first place? The original reason had nothing to do with obtaining the Symbols. What I really wanted was BP for Move Tutor moves. The most notable was that I had a Gardevoir on Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness that I wanted to teach Thunderpunch and Ice Punch. Did you know that Gardevoir is my least favorite Pokemon? It is, and I will have to say it more than one time. Though Gardevoir was not my least favorite at this point in time. And guess what? In the end, I never ended up teaching those moves to my Gardevoir in XD. Why? We're about to get to that.

After trying the various Frontier facilities with Pokemon from my in-game team, I realized that I wasn't going to get very far and I was wondering if I would be able to get all the BP I needed after all. I needed 96 BP but farming them was not easy, I knew that it was going to take a while. It was much more time-consuming compared to how it is in the modern facilities like the Maison or the Tree. I knew about the existence of IVs, EVs and Natures at this point but I didn't know the exact details for any of these things or how they worked. Though I had a vague feeling I would need to make use of them if I really wanted to win at the Frontier. But since that wasn't my main goal at the time, I decided to ignore them.

Eventually, I experienced a sour loss at the Battle Pyramid. Don't remember it exactly, but it made me angry and mad. At this point, I just knew that if I wanted to win, I had to learn about EVs, IVs, Natures and things like that. So I did. I read up on what I could find on Serebii and learned all about these things. I didn't even know about Smogon at this point, but I don't think the site would have helped me much with reaching my goals at the Frontier since it was quite different back then. Either way, it took some time but I eventually learned what I needed to know about EVs, IVs and Natures. After that, I did a bit of breeding for Pokemon with useful Natures/Abilities and "good" IVs (they were not that good in reality). Then I EV-trained them and did the regular training for them. After that, I started battling at the Frontier. It worked so well that I managed to win more Silver Symbols. Before starting, I only had one, which was from the Battle Dome. The only one I managed to get with a bad team, probably through luck more than skill, but we'll get to that. I continued battling, I also bred and trained more Pokemon when I needed to do so. Eventually, I got to the point where I had all seven Silver Symbols. At this point, the whole idea of getting BP for Move Tutor moves that I would teach to my Gardevoir on XD did no longer exist. I had a much bigger goal in mind. I wanted to beat the entire Battle Frontier and get all seven Gold Symbols.

That's my backstory in short. The whole thing started at some point in early 2006, probably in January because I recall doing some breeding for the Frontier while I was on my winter vacation in February the same year.

Before we continue, I want to go over some general things regarding Emerald. How the game worked and how several things are different in Emerald compared to the games released after it.

Breeding in Emerald is an utter pain compared to all the luxuries we have been gifted with in today's modern games. Emerald is the game that introduced the feature of Natures being passed down through an Everstone, but it was only a 50% chance. And it only worked for Female Pokemon and Ditto, not Male Pokemon. There was a 50% chance of getting the Ability you wanted in case a Pokemon had two Abilities, but it couldn't be changed since Ability Capsules didn't exist. And the worst of all... IVs! The Destiny Knot and Power items didn't exist yet, and because of how IVs was passed down in Emerald, it was hard to breed for perfect IVs in HP and Defense. Basically, the game passed down IVs like this:
- IV passed down
- IV passed down that isn't HP
- IV passed down that isn't HP or Defense
Which made it a pain to get Pokemon with Flawless HP/Defense. I remember spending ages to try to get some Pokemon with those IVs, but it often took so long that I usually gave up and settled for just one of them.

Catching Pokemon with perfect IVs was time-consuming but once you got a Ditto with at least one perfect IV and hopefully a useful Nature, it was usually enough. That said, it was never fun. I have honestly never liked IV breeding at all. Regarding the Pokemon I used for my Gold teams, I usually bred until I got one with 2 perfect IVs in desired stats as well as my desired Nature and Ability, that's what I had the patience for. Sometimes 3 perfect IVs if I got really lucky, sometimes only 1 if I got lazy or bored along the way. I should mention that I have never checked the exact IVs for the Pokemon I used for the Emerald Frontier, I have just listed their best IV(s). The same goes for the Pokemon I used for the R/S Tower. Emerald was the first game in the series to feature an in-game IV judge but the judge in question was far from flawless. If a Pokemon had the same IV in multiple stats, he would only tell you about one of them at a time, forcing you to ask him multiple times if you had more than one Flawless IV. It worked, but it was a bit inconvenient.

Many years later, I learned about RNGing and that it was possible to RNG in Emerald. However, I have never RNGed in Emerald and I can't see any point to learn it now that I have completed most of the Battle Frontier. RNGing perfect Pokemon won't help me for what I have left in the Frontier. And my IV-bred Pokemon worked for what I intended them for, so I don't need it.

EV-training in Emerald wasn't very fun either. As I mentioned, the Power Items didn't exist, so you were stuck with the Macho Brace. Which I, as the idiot I was, didn't always use. There was Pokerus, but since there was no Wi-Fi this Generation you had to either get really lucky and get it yourself or get it locally though another game. I did get it myself eventually, but it wasn't until 2014 when I was done with pretty much all EV-training I'll ever do on Gen 3. Vitamins existed at least, and they were extremely helpful albeit a bit expensive. Thankfully it wasn't that hard to farm money in the game. Emerald also featured the Vitamin Guru having sales at certain days, so it was mostly fine.

There's also the issue with TMs. Not only were all TMs one-time use, several of them were also limited to one per game. Though there were ways to get around this. The Emerald Cloning Glitch was discovered in 2006, it allowed you to get an infinite amount of TMs as long as you had at least one with you. You simply cloned them by giving them as hold items to the Pokemon you cloned, then the TM got cloned with the Pokemon. I have never tried the Emerald Cloning Glitch myself though. In the past, I used to feel that cloning was on the border of "cheating" in the games for me. Later on, I cloned a ton of Pokemon in Gen 4 so I don't really have that mindset anymore.

Another option was to trade over important TMs from other games if you had them. It was also possible to get some good TMs infinitely, such as buying the Thunderbolt/Flamethrower/Ice Beam/Psychic TMs from the Mauville Game Corner. Others could be obtained infinitely in FR/LG, such as Brick Break. There was also the alternative of raising some Pokemon with Pickup to level 91 or above to get multiple Earthquake TMs. I have 5 level 91+ Linoone on both Emerald and Platinum for this purpose. Ultimately, the TM issue was something you could get around, using TMs just wasn't nearly as convenient as in Gen 5-7.

Simply put, everything that we take for granted in the modern games was not as simple or convenient back in Emerald. Looking back now, I'm really happy how the games have improved over the years in terms of breeding, EV-training, TMs with infinite uses as well as other important things that are needed when making Pokemon and teams for battle facilities.

Not everything was slow or painful though. Training Pokemon in Emerald was usually pretty easy. Getting Pokemon to level 50 was something that could easily be achieved by rebattling various in-game trainers through the PokeNav. Using Secret Bases was helpful as well. I have a lot of bases saved on my game since I mixed records with some past friends when R/S/E were new, I also had one certain friend who restarted his game many times. Getting Pokemon to higher levels than 50 was a little harder but still not too bad. Emerald did not give a free Lucky Egg but it was possible to trade over one from XD (or FR/LG if you were really lucky to get one from there) to speed up the training even more.

Emerald had Move Tutors, two different versions existed. First the Move Tutors at the Battle Frontier, who taught moves to Pokemon in exchange for BP. Those featured several really good moves such as Rock Slide, Seismic Toss, Thunder Wave and the elemental punches. The other Move Tutors were various NPCs who could be found in different areas in the game, they would teach a move to a Pokemon that could learn it, but only once. Some useful moves they had were Explosion, Sleep Talk and Substitute. Because they were one-time only, I never used several of their moves. In fact, I have never used my Sleep Talk Move Tutor on Emerald simply because I wasn't sure which Pokemon to teach it to, there were just too many options. I'm not sure if I ever used my Substitute Move Tutor either. Substitute would otherwise be a pretty good move for the Frontier, but none of the Pokemon I raised for the Frontier knows it, this is the reason why.

Originally, I raised a few Pokemon for the Frontier, probably less than 10 in total. I used them to win the Silver Symbols. After that, I decided to raise new Pokemon for the Gold Symbols. The reason being that the ones I used for the Silver Symbols had very bad IVs, I decided to just rebreed some of them and then raise a couple more as well. I raised 12 Pokemon to use for the Gold Symbols at first, then more as time passed. I have raised a total of 48 Pokemon for use at the Battle Frontier (and I had planned to raise even more but I never got around to it). That's much more than I did for any battle facility in any modern generation. However, the majority of them were never used for anything. I'll only list the details for the ones that I actually used for the Frontier. In total, I think I only used about 10 of the Pokemon I trained for the Frontier. However, I can post the details for all of the other ones I have trained for the Frontier as well if anyone wants me to, but I will not do it otherwise.

I never tried the Double or Multi options in the Emerald Frontier that much (the same goes for the R/S Tower). I mostly focused on Single. The reasons being that all of the Frontier Brains appear in Single Mode but not Double or Multi. Some of the facilities doesn't even have Double or Multi formats, and I prefer Single over Double when it comes to Gen 3. Though I do prefer Double over Single in Gen 4-7.

There are many people who inspired me regarding the Emerald Battle Frontier. I was an active member on Serebiiforums during the time when Emerald was the newest game, during 2005-2007. Many people there were trying to beat the Frontier just like me, there were a few different clubs and groups dedicated to it. As well as several really good players that I and others looked up to. One who stands out is a guy who goes under the internet nickname Expert Evan. When I got started at the Frontier, he had obtained all Silver Symbols and 6 Gold Symbols (he eventually got the 7th too). He is considerably older than me and most other Pokemon fans, I looked up to him for that as well. As a young teen, I thought it was really cool to see that there were adults who were serious Pokemon fans as well! Expert Evan is a member here on Smogon too, some of you may know him as he used to be a Mod in the Wi-Fi section and had a Trade thread there. Nowadays he seems to be mostly playing Pokemon GO, you can probably find him in the thread for that game. I'm not tagging him because I don't think he remembers me and I would personally find it creepy if I got tagged by someone I don't remember but knows me from the past. Some others that I can remember were people who went under the user names Volteon, Metagross and Absol 20/20. There are several others as well but I'm not going to mention any more names since I don't think anyone here knows them. I don't remember anyone else who was that important either.

I think that's enough as an introduction. Now, let's move on to the Symbols.
First up, the Silver Symbols. I don't have that much to say about them but some short things. I don't remember all the Pokemon I used for the Silver Symbols or all the details for them. But I remember some things. Apart from the team I used to get the Silver Symbol at the Dome, the Pokemon I used were all EV-trained, had good Natures, the right Abilities and good movesets. But their IVs weren't that good. I never wrote down all the details for the Pokemon I used and it feels pointless to list what I can remember since most of them weren't very good. Several of them were rebred for the Gold Symbols anyway.

First of all, here's the order in which I got the Silver Symbols:

1. Tactics (Battle Dome)
2. Luck (Battle Pike)
3. Bravery (Battle Pyramid)
4. Knowledge (Battle Factory)
5. Guts (Battle Arena)
6. Ability (Battle Tower)
7. Spirits (Battle Palace)

For the longest time, I had mixed up the order in which I got the Knowledge and Guts Symbols. I thought that I had beat the Arena first but it turns out that it was wrong as I beat the Factory first. I only learned about this mistake by going through some very old posts when researching my ancient Pokemon history for this project. This mistake appears to have happened because I got those two Symbols on the same day. Doesn't matter much but I thought I'd mention it at least.

I am pretty sure I got the Tactics Symbol in late 2005. I know that I got the others during the first five months of 2006. I got all of them on Open Level except for the Factory which I'm pretty sure I got on Level 50. As for Open Level, I think all of the teams I used featured Pokemon at level 60 rather than level 100.

I have written down all I remember about these. Don't worry, my memories and archives are much better for the Gold Symbols which I personally find a whole lot more important. I'll go through the Silver Symbols in the order I got them.

Dome: The only Symbol I won with a bad team. As in, a team that wasn't properly EV-trained or adopted for the Frontier at all. It consisted of members of my in-game team on Emerald. I remember that the ones I used was a Starmie with a good moveset of Surf/Psychic/Thunderbolt/Ice Beam, but with a Jolly Nature, as well as a Breloom which I don't remember the details for. Similar to my Adamant Gardevoir on Ruby, it seems that members of my in-game teams often end up having really bad Natures. Still, Starmie took care of everything as it KO'd both Tucker's Salamence and Charizard with Ice Beam and Surf, so that's something. I remember that I hadn't expected to be able to beat Tucker so I was really surprised when I managed to win against him with that team.

Pike: Don't remember anything about this at all. I had obtained it at some point after beating the Dome but before March 20th, 2006, according to an old post. However, I have had many rematches with Silver Lucy throughout the years. During them, I have used a Metagross since it is a great Pokemon against her. It can KO Seviper with Earthquake, then destroy Shuckle with Meteor Mash (her Shuckle's only means of doing damage is though Toxic and Sandstorm, both of which Metagross is immune to), then use Explosion on her Milotic. An alternative is to damage it with Earthquake or let the other members of the team take care of it. Silver Lucy is great for farming BP at the Frontier since you only have to go through 2 rounds at the Pike before you get to fight her.

Pyramid: Like with the Pike, I don't remember this at all. I beat it on March 21st, 2006, according to an old post. I hadn't written down any details for the battle either, but it seems that I found Brandon easier than Lucy since my team was fully healed when I faced him, which apparently wasn't the case when I faced Silver Lucy for the first time.

Factory: Don't remember much from this either, but I do remember that I lost once to Silver Noland before I beat him. I think that's the only case where I lost to a Frontier Brain in a Silver Battle before getting the Symbol. According to an old post, I beat him and got my 4th Silver Symbol on April 11th, 2006. The only details from the actual battle I had written down was that I had a Lickitung and he had a Chansey which kept using Double Team, but my Lickitung eventually beat it with Body Slam.

Arena: Pretty sure the team I used here consisted of Heracross, Alakazam and Snorlax since I had trained these three right before getting this Symbol. Snorlax is obviously not a very good choice for the Arena but I won anyway. Don't think I used Snorlax that much before getting up to Greta. I got this one on the same day as I got the Silver Symbol from the Factory. I had also written down my battle against Greta in an old post, so here's the details for it:

Greta sends out Heracross!
Go! Heracross!
Heracross used swords dance
foe Heracross used rock tomb, it misses
Heracross used rock slide
foe Heracross used rock tomb
foe Heracross used megahorn
Heracross used rock slide, foe heracross fainted!
Greta sends out Umbreon!
Heracross used megahorn, foe Umbreon fainted!
Greta sends out Shedinja!
Heracross used rock slide, but misses
Shedinja used aerial ace, Heracross faints
Go! Alakazam!
Alakazam used fire punch, foe Shedinja fainted!

Decided to keep the exact same awful format as in the original post just for fun. A quite simple battle anyway, no real problems there.

Tower: I don't remember much from this but it appears that I used Blissey, Salamence and an unknown third team member. Probably Starmie as I had trained a Starmie before taking on that challenge. I beat Silver Anabel on May 8th, 2006. Some notes from the battle was that her Entei did not use "the right moves" (whatever I meant with that), and her Snorlax's Quick Claw did not activate a single time.

Palace: The last Silver Symbol I got, and I remember it being the hardest one too as I almost lost against Spenser. It happened on May 17th, 2006. It seems that I had trained a Gengar for this challenge. It had a Hardy Nature, which meant it had a 61% chance to Attack and 32% chance to Support at all times. I'm quite sure that its moveset consisted of Will-O-Wisp and 3 attacking moves, probably Thunderbolt, Ice Punch and Fire Punch. It also appears that the only reason I won was thanks to Gengar's Brightpowder. Winning through hax and luck might not be the best way to win but it worked here.

And that's it for the Silver Symbols. Compared to the Gold Symbols, there isn't a lot to say about them. But they aren't all that important either. I'd say that getting the Silver Symbols is similar to beating the regular Lines at the Subway/Maison/Tree while getting the Gold Symbols is similar to beating the Super Lines. So let's continue with the more important things, the Gold Symbols!
This will just be some general information, I'll discuss them all in more detail under each specific facility.

First of all, here's the order in which I have obtained them, save for the one I don't have which I'll talk about last.

1. Bravery (Battle Pyramid)
2. Luck (Battle Pike)
3. Guts (Battle Arena)
4. Tactics (Battle Dome)
5. Spirits (Battle Palace)
6. Ability (Battle Tower)

Not yet and likely never: Knowledge (Battle Factory)

Unlike what I did with the Silver Symbols, I got all these on Level 50 as opposed to Open Level. This meant I never got to face certain opposing Pokemon such as Dragonite and Tyranitar which evolve above level 50 and can't be used there. Both by the player and the opponents. There are also some specific movesets such as Metagross with Agility which can't be encountered or used at level 50 either. Though it seems like such as set isn't used by opponents in the Frontier at all. There might be others as well, though I'm not sure. One advantage the opposing trainers had against me was that they could use legendaries with good IVs and movesets while I couldn't do the same thing against them. This was mostly because I didn't have the legends in question with good IVs and Natures, but still. I only ever used one legendary during my Gold Symbol teams, but we'll get to that.

I'll go through all the facilities in the order I got the Symbols in. I'll also talk a little about how each facility works. Chances are that most people who are reading this already knows how they work as the information can be found at various places on the internet, but I wanted to write a little about it as well. It feels easier to explain about my own choices and teams if I talk about how the facility works first. I'm also doing it in case there's anyone reading this who don't know how each facility works.

Let's get started!
The first facility I decided to try and win the Gold Symbol at was the Pyramid. I can't remember why I decided to start with it. The theme here is Bravery, you need to be brave and dare to explore as much as you can in order to find your way to the top. Being brave here is good since exploring as much as possible allows you to find more items, helping you towards the top. But you also need to be careful so you don't run into any powerful trainers that you lose to, lose against wild Pokemon, or are forced to use up all your healing items. You never get healed after battles or by nurses, so you need to keep your Pokemon as healthy as possible without those luxuries. When I explored the Pyramid, I think I mostly just tried to look for the teleporter to the next floor while collecting items, avoiding wild Pokemon and trainers as much as I could. Beating the trainers here was usually not that hard since they only have one Pokemon each (except for Brandon). Though they could team up with each other to create Double Battles, which is something that must be taken into consideration when building teams for this place.

The Pyramid is special in many ways. The Pokemon you use cannot hold any items upon entry, but they can be given them hold items that are found while exploring the Pyramid. You can use items during battle, such as healing items and even Revives. You also get to keep the items you had at the end of a round for the next round. But if you lose, you lose all your items. This means that the Pyramid can be a lot easier to complete if you just have the right items. There's also the option to bring a Pokemon with Pickup here and use it to try and find good items with its Ability, but I never did that myself.

You get to battle wild Pokemon here, and which Pokemon you face varies depending on the current round. All of them have a "theme", in the form something that they specialize in. A Hex Maniac inside the Pyramid will give you hints before you enter the current round, but you can obviously just skip her and use the internet to look up detailed information about it instead. That's what I did.

The entire list for all rounds can be found on Bulbapedia's page here. There is also a list of the wild Pokemon encountered in the Pyramid, which can be found here There 20 different rounds, and if you complete the 20th round, it loops back to round 1 again. Which means that round 21 will have the same wild Pokemon as round 1. I'm only going to talk about the first 10 rounds since they are the only important ones if you want the Gold Symbol as Gold Brandon appears at the end of the 10th round. I never continued after the 10th round either, so I don't have any experience with rounds 11-20.

Here's an image from Bulbapedia's page showing the Pokemon and the themes for the first 10 rounds:



What all of this means is that you will need to adapt and change your team depending on what wild Pokemon you go up against, in addition to having a team that is well-built and can handle opposing trainers as well. I didn't find it all that hard though.

Which Pokemon are good for the Pyramid? As said, it depends a little on the current round. But one that is universally good is Blissey. Why? Because it has Softboiled, which lets it heal itself in battle and its teammates outside of battle. Its high HP is great for healing teammates. It also has Aromatherapy to heal status for the entire team in battle, and Natural Cure to heal itself from status by simply switching out. Simply put, Blissey rocks! Items and berries that cure status conditions can be found in the Pyramid as well, so status shouldn't be that problematic.

I think I used Blissey for every round in the Pyramid. I really can't remember all the other Pokemon I used, but I'll go over some general ideas and strategies. Sadly, this will mostly be based on theory rather than practice as I had unfortunately not written down the majority of the Pokemon I used.

Round 1 shouldn't be too hard, a strong Physical attacker with Earthquake should destroy the Electric-types, while Vileplume and Breloom can be beaten with a Flying or Psychic-type move. Salamence feels like it could be a good choice since it has STAB Aerial Ace and learns Earthquake. The trainers here should be easy to beat since it is still early.

Round 2 is similar. Though there are quite a lot of different wild Pokemon here, not all are Poison-types either. Anyway, good coverage all around should take care of the wild Pokemon. A Poison- or Steel-type could be used for extra safety, but it might not be necessary.

Not much to say about Round 3 either. A strong Water-type like Starmie should take care of the Fire-types, it can also heal itself from potential Burns with Natural Cure. Silver Brandon is at the end of this round but he shouldn't be too hard, a well-built team should be able to take down all of his Regis.

Round 4 is the first one to not focus on status. I guess a very simple strategy here could be to avoid battling the wild Pokemon in order to lose as little PP as possible. Another option could be to use Ethers/Elixirs/Leppa Berries if you have stocked up on those. This is also where the opposing trainers will be getting harder so make sure to have a team that can handle somewhat tougher trainer battles as well.

Round 5 has Levitate users. Well, avoid using Ground-type moves against them. Other than that I don't know, it shouldn't be too hard. All of the wild Pokemon except Flygon are weak to Dark, Ghost or Psychic, so moves from those types could be useful here. Water- and Ice-type moves could also work well against Solrock, Flygon and Claydol.

For Round 6, I find Houndoom to be a great Pokemon. It is a Dark-type which makes it immune to Mirror Coat from Wynaut and Wobbuffet, while it can simply outrun and OHKO the others with Flamethrower. My set looked like this.

1530290184385.png

Houndoom (M) ** Toad
Ability: Flash Fire
IVs: Flawless Sp.att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Flamethrower
- Crunch
- Roar
- Protect

Max Sp.att and Speed to outrun everything and hit as hard as possible. Roar and Protect were just fillers since I couldn't think of anything better. I suppose Substitute could be used if you have an extra Move Tutor for that move, or Hidden Power if you can obtain that through RNG breeding. But this set worked for me.

For round 7, I used a Lapras. It has a 4x resist to Ice as well as Shell Armor to avoid Critical Hits. It is bulky, immune to freeze, and it has a access to the same standard moveset as Starmie. The only flaws are that it is a bit slow and doesn't hit all too hard. Be careful around Jynx's Lovely Kiss, or Sing from opposing wild Lapras which can put it to sleep and slow things down. Otherwise it should be fine. My set looked like this:

1530290202396.png

Lapras (F) ** Jojo
Ability: Shell Armor
IVs: Flawless HP / Sp.att
EVs: 189 HP / 153 Def / 64 Sp.att / 104 Sp.def
Nature: Modest
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Thunderbolt
- Psychic

I don't remember what the EVs were for, probably a mix of offense and bulk. I don't think I had anything particular in mind while EV-training it.

Round 8 has Pokemon with Explosion. A Ghost-type might be good here. I might have used a Dusclops, or I might not. Other than that, a Pokemon with Protect to shield itself from the Explosions should work too.

Round 9 has Psychic-types. A Dark-type can take care of them, or a powerful Physical attacker with a strong Shadow Ball, like Slaking.

Round 10 has Rock-types. Starmie is great here. Surf everything except the ones that aren't weak against Water, use Ice Beam or Thunderbolt against them instead. This is also where Gold Brandon appears at the end, I'll talk about that in more detail soon.

That is all I have to say about the rounds. I really wish I could remember the specific team I used for every single round, or that I had written them down, but that is sadly not the case. It shouldn't be all too hard though, just try to avoid doing anything stupid and getting to the top of the Pyramid should be easy as climbing a mountain... or something. From what I remember, it was one of the easier facilities to actually get through since I could heal my team members with Blissey and items when I needed to do.

As for my tries, it went pretty well here. I lost once in the Pyramid on my attempt to get the Gold Symbol. According to my old notes, it was in the fourth round. I had a team consisting of Houndoom, Salamence and Blissey. A Golem defeated both Houndoom and Salamence when I had no Revives, then a Pinsir OHKO’d Blissey with Revenge. On my second attempt, I made it all the way to round 10 and Brandon. I'm pretty sure this was my team against him:

1530290262790.png

Slaking (F) ** Liza
Ability: Truant
IVs: Flawless Att / Def / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Return
- Earthquake
- Shadow Ball
- Aerial Ace

1530290276529.png

Starmie ** Zed
Ability: Natural Cure
IVs: Flawless Sp.att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Beam
- Psychic

1530290294168.png

Blissey (F) ** Cabey
Ability: Natural Cure
IVs: Flawless Sp.def
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 6 Sp.def
Nature: Bold
- Seismic Toss
- Thunder Wave
- Aromatherapy
- Softboiled

Streak: 70 floors (ongoing)

Not completely sure about their hold items, though I remember that Slaking was holding a Choice Band.

Some notes about the team. Slaking is an amazing Pokemon in the Frontier, I used it on half of my teams for the Gold Symbol battles. Give it a Choice Band and watch it destroy almost everything. However, it isn't very good in the early rounds. Why? Because opponents there are more likely to carry Protect which Slaking auto-loses against (as long as they use it correctly). I usually avoided using it for the first five rounds in all facilities, sometimes even longer. Return is a powerful STAB move that destroys almost everything that doesn't resist it, Shadow Ball helps against Ghost-types in particular but also Psychic-types. Earthquake for coverage, it destroys most Fire-, Steel-, Electric- and Rock-types. Aerial Ace in the last slot, mostly as a filler against Pokemon with things like Double Team/Minimize or Brightpowder/Lax Incense. It was rarely used though, and there are other alternatives that I would guess are better. The most notable being Flamethrower/Fire Blast which can be used to nail certain Steel-types such as Skarmory, Forretress and Scizor. Truant is a terrible Ability but if you can kill something every other round, that's usually enough. Especially in the Pyramid where you only get to face wild Pokemon as well as trainers that only have one Pokemon on their team.

Starmie is another amazing Pokemon in the Emerald Frontier, it has a diverse movepool, good enough stats for Gen 3 and a great Ability in Natural Cure. There isn't an optional item for it in Gen 3 but just give it something and it should work. Blissey in the last slot because, as I have already said, it can heal itself and the rest of the team outside and inside of battle. Seismic Toss for offense, Thunder Wave to slow down opponents and support the team. Toxic is an option to use over Thunder Wave in order to beat most things that aren't Steel/Poison or has Rest/some other way to cure themselves from Status. Blissey also has the benefit of autowinning against pretty much any Special Attacker while handling Physical Attackers very well too since most of them aren't that strong this Generation. There aren't a lot of good Fighting-type moves either. Focus Punch can be disturbed by using Seismic Toss while Superpower was limited to Nidoking/queen and the Regis. From what I remember, Blissey never had much trouble against most Physical attackers when I used it at the Frontier.

Their EVs are just standard. Slaking and Starmie has maxed Attack/Sp.att and Speed, while Blissey has maxed HP and Defense to tank both Physical and Special hits as efficiently as possible.

As for my battle against Brandon, I don't remember the exact details, but I recall it being surprisingly difficult. I had read in a guide that he was supposed to be one of the easiest Frontier Brains in the Gold Battles, but I had trouble against him. I remember that I had to use a Revive or maybe even more than one in order to win. Maybe some other items as well. For me, he was probably the hardest Frontier Brain to beat in the Gold Battle. Anyway, I won against him and got my first Gold Symbol! This was a big moment for me since I didn't have any Gold Symbols yet and I wasn't sure if I would be able to get any of them. I remember that I was very happy about it. I got this during summer 2006, it was in early August. I remember that I was on vacation in Norway when I got it.

That's it for the Pyramid.
After the Pyramid, I decided to continue with the Pike. Can't remember why I decided to continue with it. Anyway, this place is a bit similar to the Pyramid. You can find wild Pokemon here, you don't get healed immediately after battles (only sometimes). You can't find items but you can find nurses to heal your team. There is the option to use a Blissey to heal Pokemon outside of battle and status inside of battle here too. Naturally, I used a Blissey here as well, more about that soon.

The theme of the Battle Pike is Luck, so can you guess how I beat it? The answer is... Strategy! Yes. But not only. I needed luck as well. Luck and skill is the combination you need to beat the Battle Pike... as well as every battle facility in existence. Though the theme isn't only about luck. It is different. I think Lucy says it the best in Pokemon Adventures: "I said this facility tests your luck, but really, it tests your ability to influence your luck." That's pretty much how I feel about the Pike. The choices you make here influence your chances of winning. No matter the situation, you always have a choice.
Let's take a look at how the Pike is designed. You get to pick between three rooms, each containing something different. If you speak to a maid outside of the rooms, she will give a hint towards one of them. The hints and the containments can be found on Bulbapedia here.

Here's an image showing the hints and what the rooms might contain, taken from Bulbapedia's page:



According to Bulbapedia, the first result is more likely to happen than the second. I trust them to be correct regarding that.

Which rooms do you want to avoid? For me, it was the ones with "a distinct aroma of Pokemon wafting around it". Why? Because the trainers you have a chance of facing in those rooms are tougher than usual. I remember reading that on Serebii in 2006 and I got scared of those rooms. A stronger trainer than usual meant a bigger chance to lose which in turn meant my streak had a higher chance of ending, which I didn't want to happen. This also meant I never got to face any wild Pokemon in the Pike during my Gold run. The wild Pokemon would probably not have been that tough since I could just have ran away from them. Except from Wobbuffet, but it only appears after room 841 according to Bulbapedia so that wouldn't have been a problem. Though now that I look at all of their movesets, they do seem to be quite annoying. So avoiding them altogether might have been a good thing in the end after all.

My strategy for the Pike was to speak to the maid outside of the rooms and see what she had to say. If she said that one of the rooms had with "a distinct aroma of Pokemon wafting around it", I would enter one of the other rooms. And if she said something else, I would enter the room in question in order to avoid the hard battles. Looking back now, I might have been overly careful and unnecessarily scared of the "strong" trainers. But I just didn't want to lose!

As for the other rooms, I could handle what they had to offer most of the time. Getting hit by a status wasn't too problematic since I could just heal with Blissey's Aromatherapy, Blissey and Starmie could also heal themselves with Natural Cure. Healing one, two or all three members of my team was of course nothing I'd ever say no to. Single and Double battles were usually fine and again, I could heal with Blissey outside of battle if I needed to. Idle NPCs were just like healing, something I never said no to. I can't claim my strategy is the best possible, but it worked. In fact, it worked so well that the Pike is the only facility where I didn't lose a single time before I got to face Lucy in the Gold battle.

Here are the teams I used:

For round 1-8:

1530290325411.png

Salamence (M) @ Scope Lens ** Brutus
Ability: Intimidate
IVs: Flawless Att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Aerial Ace
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Dragon Dance

1530290335504.png

Starmie @ Brightpowder ** Zed
Ability: Natural cure
IVs: Flawless Sp.att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Beam
- Psychic

1530290346188.png

Blissey (F) @ Leftovers ** Cabey
Ability: Natural Cure
IVs: Flawless Sp.def
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 6 Sp.def
Nature: Bold
- Seismic Toss
- Thunder Wave
- Aromatherapy
- Softboiled

For round 9-10, I swapped Salamence for this:

1530290358503.png

Slaking (F) @ Choice Band ** Liza
Ability: Truant
IVs: Flawless Att / Def / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Return
- Earthquake
- Shadow Ball
- Aerial Ace

Streak: 140 rooms (cancelled)

I talked about Slaking, Starmie and Blissey already. Salamence is a standard Dragon Dance set, it can set up and then attack. Aerial Ace for STAB and to hit through any evasion boosts, Earthquake and Rock Slide for coverage.

I used Salamence for the first 8 rounds (don't remember why I kept it for so long, up to round 5 would probably have been enough), then replaced it with Slaking. I used a Scope Lens on Salamence instead of a Lum Berry since I thought you would lose the Berry forever if you lost it during the streak, but I guess it comes back once you complete a round or if you lose. My strategy in battles was pretty simple. If Salamence could set up and sweep, I let it do so. If I got up against strong Special Attackers or against Pokemon with Ice-type moves, switch to Blissey. Starmie helped against various things with its great coverage. Slaking just attacked right away and usually killed something whenever it hit. If Salamence, Slaking or Starmie got badly damaged in battle, Blissey could heal them outside of battle with Softboiled, it could also cure status during battles with Aromatherapy.

As mentioned, I never lost in the Pike during my Gold run, but that doesn't mean it was all easy. There were probably several difficult situations along the way, but I do sadly not remember them. According to an old Serebii post, this was the case before I got to the Gold battle against Lucy: "Before entering the very last room before Lucy, my team was in bad condition. Blissey had fainted, Starmie had 1 HP left and Slaking had around 50% HP left. I spoke to the maid outside of the rooms and she said " Is it...A TRAINER? I sense the presence of people..." about the left room. I hoped it would be a nurse which would heal my team and not a regular trainer. Entered the room and it was a nurse! She healed my team to full health, making me ready for Lucy."

I had also written down my battle against Lucy in the same post, here is how it went:

Lucy sent out Seviper!
Go! Slaking!

Turn 1:
Slaking used Earthquake! (-100%)
Seviper fainted!
Lucy sent out Steelix!

Turn 2:
Slaking is loafing around.
Steelix used Screech! (-2 to Slaking's Defense)

Turn 3:
Slaking used Earthquake! (-70%)
Steelix used Screech!
Steelix attack Missed!

Turn 4:
Slaking is loafing around.
Steelix used Explosion! (-100% / -30%)
Slaking fainted!
Steelix fainted!
Go! Starmie!
Lucy sent out Gyarados!

Turn 5:
Starmie used Thunderbolt! (-90%)
Gyarados used Dragon Dance! (+1 to Attack & Speed)

Turn 6:
Starmie used Thunderbolt! (-10%)
Gyarados fainted!

I won!

This happened a few days after I beat the Pyramid, early August 2006. I was still on vacation in Norway.

Before moving on, there's one other situation I want to talk about. I remember that one of my earliest stall battles happened in the Pike. My opponent had a Male Milotic with Surf, Blizzard, Attract and Recover, holding a Leftovers. Probably as a lead. I sent out Blissey and managed to Paralyze it (in retrospect, I should not have Paralyzed a Pokemon with Marvel Scale) it used Attract and my Blissey failed at attacking with Seismic Toss so many times that the Milotic eventually ran out of PP for Surf and Blizzard. I sent in Salamence, set up 6 Dragon Dances and swept that trainer's team. I also remember that the Milotic survived a +6 Earthquake from Salamence, probably thanks to Marvel Scale and the paralysis. That was one of my more memorable battles from the Pike.

One last thing. Why did I cancel my streak here? The reason was that at some point after beating the Pike, I had to farm a lot of BP, likely for Move Tutor moves. And since Silver Lucy is a great way to farm BP quickly, I cancelled my streak and started from 0 so I could farm BP easily. In retrospect, I wish I had continued on my streak to see how far I could have gotten, but it is too late for that now.

That's it for the Pike.

And that's the end of the first part of this as well. I'll post the next part tomorrow. Probably quite early.
 
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I'd say that getting the Silver Symbols is similar to beating the regular Lines at the Subway/Maison/Tree while getting the Gold Symbols is similar to beating the Super Lines.
Are you kidding?! :D I tried so many times, but didnt even get all silver symbols and only 2 gold symbols if i remember correctly.. Subway Super Line until battle 49 is a pleasant stroll compared to that :D
I did use the exact same team for the pyramid, the only place where at some point you cant even lose and battle forever because you got so many items. But the other facilities were mostly just too hard for me.
And i also remember getting into IVs etc at this generation.. Did catch a perfect Speed/SAtk/SDef Naive Ditto :)
And i remember really enjoying the bossbattle soundtrack.
So that were some random things i just thought of right now, but i lookforward to your further posts... ;)
 
Are you kidding?! :D I tried so many times, but didnt even get all silver symbols and only 2 gold symbols if i remember correctly.. Subway Super Line until battle 49 is a pleasant stroll compared to that :D
That's interesting. It was the other way around for me, I had no problem getting the Silver Symbols for the most part, but I mostly found the Super lines at the Subway to be devastatingly hard to win at (I will talk a little more about this in later posts).

---

Here's the second part of my experiences with Battle Facilities in previous generations.

This time, it will be about the remaining things I have to say about the Emerald Battle Frontier.

Smuckem, StoneDos95, and everyone else who might be interested. I don't think there's a need for any longer introduction this time so let's just continue.

Gen 3


Emerald Battle Frontier (Part 2)
After the Pike, it was time for the Battle Arena. I have a vague memory of beating the Dome first but I must remember wrong since I beat the Arena first according to my old posts and archives. It doesn't matter anyway. Before going to the Arena, I remember that I took a break from the Frontier. After I had beaten the Pike, I decided to breed and raise some new Pokemon before doing any more battling at the Frontier. So that's what I did. Several of the new Pokemon I raised became ones that I ended up using at the remaining facilities.

The theme at the Arena is Guts and that's just what you need to have. My Heracross had that Ability. Like the previous facilities, the Arena is special. You can't switch Pokemon during the battles, and a battle between two Pokemon never takes more than three turns. This is because after three turns between two Pokemon has passed, the game will judge the performance of in three different categories: Mind, Skill and Body. Mind is the offensive performance, Skill is based on accuracy and Body is based on how much HP you have left. Bulbapedia has more in-depth information if anyone wants to read more about this. Once the judging is over, the Pokemon with the higher score will stay alive while the other one faints. In case of a tie, both Pokemon will faint (according to Bulbapedia, not sure if that ever happened to me). Personally, I never really thought about the way the Arena works all that much. I just tried to beat my opponents quickly, before the three turns had passed. If it came down to judging, I just had to hope for the best. I think I usually did quite well in the judging.

The three-turn limit meant that Pokemon that were fast and strong felt like the optimal choices here. I decided to not use Slaking since a three-turn limit and Truant did not sound like a good combination. I looked at some teams used by others and decided to use a team consisting of Heracross, Gardevoir and Salamence since Expert Evan had used a similar team. I mentioned that Gardevoir is my least favorite Pokemon and I am about to get to why. Either way, the first team I used for the Arena looked like this:

1530343320573.png

Heracross (M) @ Choice Band ** Brave
Ability: Guts
IVs: Flawless Att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Megahorn
- Brick Break
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake

1530343549506.png

Gardevoir (F) @ Lum Berry ** Gardermoen
Ability: Synchronize
IVs: Flawless Sp.att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Timid
- Psychic
- Thunderbolt
- Fire Punch
- Calm Mind

1530343411329.png

Salamence (M) @ Leftovers ** Brutus
Ability: Intimidate
IVs: Flawless Att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Aerial Ace
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Dragon Dance

Heracross could hit hard and nail the opposing lead at least, the moves gives it great coverage with good power. Gardevoir could set up a Calm Mind or two and then attack, Salamence could do the same with Dragon Dance. I went with a Timid Nature for Gardevoir since Expert Evan's Gardevoir had had a Modest Nature and it had been outrun by Greta's Breloom, which I didn't want to happen to me. I also went with Synchronize instead of Trace since you never know what Ability you'll get with Trace. It is rather luck-based and I don't like that.

Unfortunately, this team didn't quite work. There were a few reasons. Choice Band is not a good item in the Arena since locking yourself into a move can be risky. If the opponent's next Pokemon is immune/resistant to the move you are locked into, it gives them an opportunity to set up and sweep or defeat you while you can't do much damage in return. Heracross was also a bit slow, 85 base Speed isn't terrible but it got outrun by several opponents. Then there's Gardevoir. Where do I even begin? This thing is just awful. Too slow even with a Timid Nature, too weak without a Calm Mind boost and it doesn't have time to use Calm Mind since the opponents will kill it in the meantime. This meant Salamence often had to clean up messes that shouldn't have happened in the first place. I am a little unsure about the hold item I had on Gardevoir but it was probably a Lum Berry to avoid Status and use together with Synchronize.

I made five tries with this team, and I have written down all the losses. The details weren't always all clear, but here they are:

1. Battle #40, the trainer had an Exploding Glalie that OHKO'd Salamence.
2. Battle #31 against a Ninjask and an Ursaring.
3. Battle #44 against a Slowbro with Quick Claw and a special sweeping Porygon2.
4. Battle #32 against an Aerodactyl that got a CH with Ancientpower on Salamence.
5. Battle #14 against a haxing Crawdaunt and a Grumpig.

Five losses might not look like much, but I was disappointed. After these losses, I decided to try with a slightly different team. I changed Heracross's hold item and replaced Gardevoir with Starmie (best idea ever!). The new team looked like this:

1530343326309.png

Heracross (M) @ Focus Band ** Brave
Ability: Guts
IVs: Flawless Att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake
- Brick Break
- Megahorn

1530343364529.png

Starmie @ Petaya Berry ** Ralhix
Ability: Natural Cure
IVs: Flawless HP / Sp.att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Beam
- Recover

1530343415928.png

Salamence (M) @ Leftovers ** Brutus
Ability: Intimidate
IVs: Flawless Att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Aerial Ace
- Dragon Dance

Streak: 56 (ongoing)

Focus Band feels like a much better item for Heracross (too bad Focus Sash doesn't exist this generation as it would have been even better). I dislike using hax items but sometimes you don't have a choice. I remember that it helped Heracross survive extra moves occasionally but not very often. Starmie replaced Gardevoir, this time I went with a different Starmie compared to the one I used at the Pyramid and Pike. This one has Recover instead of Psychic. There is no optional item for Starmie this generation but I went with a Petaya Berry. It could get itself into Petaya range occasionally, Recover could be helpful with this if I used it correctly. When it was at +1, it was as if it was holding a Choice Specs but with the ability to use any move, which is pretty good. Salamence stayed the same as before.

So, how did it go? During the 55 battles it took me to get to Greta (which was on the first try with this new team), Starmie only fainted once, which was in Battle #55. Here's how that battle went according to an old post:

Battle #55: A Heracross had defeated Heracross & Starmie, I sent out Salamence. Dragon Dance, then Aerial Ace, the opposing Heracross fainted. My opponent sent out Flareon. Earthquake, Flareon fainted. Trainer sent out Exploud, Earthquake again. Exploud survived and used Mega Kick, leaving Salamence with 43 HP left. I used Earthquake again and the Exploud Fainted.

In short, Starmie outclassed Gardevoir. This, combined with my bad experiences with Gardevoir on Ruby and XD made it into my least favorite Pokemon, while Starmie rose even higher on my list of favorite Pokemon. Nowadays, it is one of my top 5 favorites from Gen 1 at least. In comparison, I have never used a Gardevoir for any serious battling outside of Battle Factories (where you can't be biased if you want to win) after my experiences in the Arena. And I don't think I ever will either. I can't stand it anymore. There are 806 other Pokemon that I like better than it in every possible way.

But we're not done yet! How did my battle Against Greta go? Here's the battle log, taken from an old post:

Start:
Greta sent out Umbreon!
Go! Heracross!

Turn 1:
Heracross used Megahorn! (-100%)
Umbreon fainted!
Greta sent out Gengar!

Turn 2:
Heracross used Rock Slide! (-35%)
Gengar used Psychic! (-70%)
Gengar recovered with Leftovers. (+3%)

Turn 3:
Heracross used Rock slide (-35%)!
Gengar used Psychic (-30%)!
Heracross Fainted!
Go! Starmie!
Gengar recovered with Leftovers (+3%).

Turn 4:
Starmie used Surf (-36%)!
Gengar fainted!
Greta sent out Breloom!

Turn 5:
Starmie used Ice Beam (-100%)!
Breloom fainted!

I won against Greta and got my third Gold Symbol. It happened in early September 2006. This took considerably longer to get compared to getting the Gold Symbols at the Pyramid and Pike. I remember being a bit frustrated with all the losses but I was so happy when I made it all the way to Gold Greta in the end. Heracross, Starmie and Salamence rocked. Gardevoir can go to the garbage can where it belongs.

And that's it for the Arena.
After the Arena, I continued with the Battle Dome. Like the others, it has special rules. You get to see some information about the opponent before a battle. Not all details, but some things. The most important thing is that it shows what Pokemon your opponent has. It also gives some information about their battle style but I never got anything out of it since it doesn't really say anything unless you know exactly what each statement means.

Before battle, both you and your opponent pick two Pokemon to enter in the battle. My strategy was to look at which Pokemon the opponent had and then pick the two from my own team that was the best against all three of my opponent's. I also tried to pick the best possible lead so that I could get an advantage over my opponent from the beginning if it was possible. The rounds here were very short since there are only 4 battles every round and each battle only featured 2 Pokemon. The theme here is Tactics and you can play really tactically here which is a lot of fun, strategic and tactical thinking has a high focus here. Because of all this, the Dome is one of my favorite facilities in the Emerald Frontier.

IIRC my team was this, haven't written it down anywhere from what I could find but I remember most of it at least. Technically it is three teams, or maybe just one team that changes over time? I guess it can be either.

For round 1-5, the team was this:

1530343422938.png

Salamence (M) @ Lum Berry ** Brutus
Ability: Intimidate
IVs: Flawless Att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Aerial Ace
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake
- Dragon Dance

1530343371100.png

Starmie @ Petaya Berry ** Zed
Ability: Natural Cure
IVs: Flawless Sp.att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Beam
- Psychic

1530343337508.png

Heracross (M) @ Salac Berry ** Set
Ability: Swarm
IVs: Flawless Att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Reversal
- Megahorn
- Rock Slide
- Endure

For round 6 and on, I swapped Salamence for this:

1530343528224.png

Slaking (F) ** Liza
Ability: Truant
IVs: Flawless Att / Def / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Return
- Earthquake
- Shadow Ball
- Aerial Ace

For round 10 (and later on 15 too), I swapped Heracross for this:

1530343512857.png

Shedinja @ Lum Berry ** Faith
Ability: Wonder Guard
IVs: Flawless Attack
EVs: 252 Att / 6 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Shadow Ball
- Silver Wind
- Return
- Swords Dance

Streak: 15 rounds (ongoing)

Note that I don't remember everything in clear detail. I might have used different sets on some of these (Recover instead of Psychic on Starmie, and a Choice Band set instead of the Dragon Dance set for Salamence). I am not sure about all the hold items either.

How did this work? At first, not that well. I lost several times. According to my notes, here are the losses:

1. 3rd round, 3rd trainer: Regice fainted, allowing Nidoqueen to OHKO Sceptile with Sludge bomb. [It appears that I used a Regice and a Sceptile here on some sort of team I can't remember at all]
2. 5th round, 4th trainer: Accidentally let Slaking use Return against a Banette which led to my loss.
3. 8th round, 4th trainer: A Quick Claw/Horn Drill Rhydon OHKO’d Starmie, then my Heracross got beaten by a Salamence.
4. 7th round, 4th trainer: Heracross missed with Megahorn against an opposing Starmie and got OHKO’d by Psychic in return.
5. Unknown battle: A Ludicolo defeated my Starmie with Thunderpunch.
6. Unknown battle: A Rapidash defeated my Heracross with Quick Attack.
7. Unknown battle: A Venusaur put my Slaking to sleep, and it wakes up just to be defeated by a Sludge Bomb.

Then, on my 8th try, I finally got all the way to Gold Tucker. How did that battle go? It was without any doubt my easiest Gold Symbol battle ever. It was all thanks to Shedinja. It is amazing against Gold Tucker because none of his Pokemon has any moves that can damage it. In the battles before Tucker, I simply used Starmie and Slaking to beat the regular trainers. When I got to Tucker, I sent out Shedinja. I let it use Swords Dance three times, then it destroyed Tucker's Pokemon so hard that it is insane. I don't even remember which of his two Pokemon he used. Technically I wouldn't even have needed to use Swords Dance, just attacking right away should be enough to win. The Shedinja set doesn't really matter much, I went with the best possible STAB moves and then Return for coverage. For EVs, only max Attack is needed, I put the rest in Speed and Sp.att since Shedinja doesn't need HP or defenses (technically it doesn't need Sp.att either). And that's how I got my fourth Gold Symbol. This was also in early September 2006, a few days after I beat the Arena.

As said, I really like the Battle Dome because the battles go by fast and it is reasonably easy to win at, it is the only facility where I have continued on my streak after getting the Gold Symbol. Doing so allowed me to face Tucker once more at the end of the 15th round. I beat him with Shedinja in that battle as well. In that rematch, he used Swampert and Metagross. Said rematch happened in April 2011.

That's it for the Dome.
Another place with specific rules. The theme here is Spirit but I can't think of anything good to make out of that. You need spirit to watch your Pokemon battle instead of giving them actual commands, I guess. After beating the Arena and Dome, I took a quite long break from the Frontier and focused on other things in Emerald. I also got Pearl on the release date in July 2007 and played it a lot when it was new. Because of that, I didn't get my next Gold Symbol until September 2007, a year after my previous one.

As for this place... You can choose what Pokemon to use, their hold items, moves and everything, but you can't choose their moves in battle. At the Palace, all moves are divided into three categories: Attack, Defense and Support. A Pokemon's Nature determines the chance it has to perform moves that are either Attack, Defense or Support. For several Natures, the percentages change when the Pokemon's HP goes below 50%. Check the image below for the exact percentages for each Nature.



Taken from Bulbapedia's page, which can once again be found here. As always, I trust them to be correct.

The way moves are categorized is quite simple. Moves that deal direct damage are classed as Attack, moves that target the opponent without dealing direct damage are classed as Support, while moves that only affect the user are classed as Defense. From my own experiences, I remember that the Pokemon do care about type effectiveness and things like that. When they use Attack moves, they will usually if not always use the most effective move they have.

So what team should I use here? I thought about creating a team where each Pokemon had at least one move that was Attack, one Defense, and one Support, which meant that they would never "waste" any turns. Because that is something that could happen. If a Pokemon doesn't have moves from all three categories and the game decides that it should use a move from a category that it doesn't have any moves from, it would do nothing (displaying various messages such as "it is incapable of using its power"). I think I trained two or three Pokemon that I had planned to use as my team for the Palace, but I didn't end up using them. Instead, I used a sort of "standard" team but made sure each member of the team had moves from at least two categories. This was also the only time in the Emerald Frontier where I used a legendary Pokemon on a more serious team.

Here's the team:

1530343434772.png

Salamence (M) @ Lum Berry ** Brutus
Ability: Intimidate
IVs: Flawless Att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Aerial Ace
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake
- Dragon Dance

1530343378406.png

Starmie @ Petaya Berry ** Ralhix
Ability: Natural Cure
IVs: Flawless HP / Sp.att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Beam
- Recover

1530343490784.png

Regice @ Leftovers
Ability: Clear Body
IVs: Outstanding Defense
EVs: 254 HP / 144 Def / 68 Sp.att / 44 Sp.def
Nature: Bold
- Ice Beam
- Thunderbolt
- Thunder Wave
- Rest

Streak: 42 (ongoing)

I talked about Salamence and Starmie during previous facilities, but I want to talk about Regice a little. In my Gen 3 games, I did not try to catch the legendaries with good Natures since I caught all of them before I even knew what Natures did and how important they were for semi-competitive battling. Once I had learned about their importance, I went back to my games and found some interesting stuff, like this Bold Regice I had apparently caught on Sapphire. I decided to raise it for the Frontier. I also had some other good stuff like a Bold Kyogre which I obviously can't use for the Frontier but I EV-trained it and then trained it to level 100 as well, just for fun. The reason the Regice doesn't have a nickname is that I traded over it from Sapphire and I couldn't be bothered to trade it back just to give it a nickname.

Regice is quite good as it has great Sp.def and decent Sp.att. BoltBeam gives it good coverage, it can also cripple opponents with Thunder Wave and heal itself with Rest. Regice was the only one that had moves from all three categories which meant it never "wasted" any turns. According to the old post from when I first got this Gold Symbol, I had written some things about the others as well. Salamence worked well, it seems like it handled many battles all by itself. Starmie was still good even if it used Recover most of the time.

As for their Natures... Adamant is a pretty good Nature for a Physical set-up sweeper since it has a 38% chance to Attack above 50% HP, and a 31% chance to Defend (in this case, use Dragon Dance). When it's HP falls below 50%, it only has a 15% chance to Defend but a 70% chance to Attack! That's really good. 70% chance of doing damage... you can do much worse.

Modest isn't quite as good but it still worked. It gives the Pokemon a 35% chance to Attack above 50% HP, as well as 45% chance to Defend. Below 50% HP, it has a 34% chance to Attack and 60% chance to Defend (and in this case, use Recover and bring its HP back to above 50%). So it wasn't the best, but it worked.

Regice was Bold, which gives:
30% chance to Attack above 50% HP
20% chance to Defend above 50% HP
50% chance to Support above 50% HP
32% chance to Attack below 50% HP
58% chance to Defend below 50% HP
10% chance to Support below 50% HP

Which isn't optimal but Regice had moves from all three categories which meant it always did something.

And how did this go? Pretty well, actually. I only lost once before reaching Spenser, which was against a Blissey which knew Fire Blast, Blizzard, Calm Mind and Softboiled. It defeated Salamence with Blizzard, then Starmie and Regice couldn't do anything against it. This was in the 6th round according to an old note, but I don't remember exactly which battle. The battle in question appears to have happened in early May 2007.

After that, I made another try, though that wasn't until September, as said earlier. Now I got all the way to Spenser. How did my battle against him go? Like this:

Spencer sent out Arcanine!
Go! Salamence!
Salamence's Intimidate cuts Arcanine's Attack!
Arcanine's Intimidate cuts Salamence's Attack!
Arcanine recovered with White Herb.

Arcanine used Extremespeed! (-40%)
Salamence used Earthquake! (-50%)

Arcanine used Extremespeed! (-40%)
Salamence used Earthquake! (-50%)
Arcanine fainted.
Spencer sent out Suicune!

Salamence used Aerial Ace! (-10%)
Suicune used Blizzard! (-20%)
Salamence fainted.
Go! Starmie!

Starmie used Thunderbolt! (-50%)
Suicune used Bite! (-40%)

Starmie used Thunderbolt! (-40%)
Suicune fainted.
Spencer sent out Slaking!

Starmie used Surf! (-50%)
Slaking used Yawn!
Starmie became drowsy.

Starmie used Recover (+40%)
Slaking is loafing around.
Starmie fell asleep.

Starmie, come back!
Go! Regice!
Slaking used Shadow Ball! (-20%)

Slaking is loafing around.
Regice used Thunder Wave!
Slaking got Paralyzed! It may be unable to move!

Regice used Ice Beam! (-40%)
Slaking is paralyzed! It can’t move!

Regice used Ice Beam! (-10%)
Slaking fainted!

I won!

Looking back at it now, this was a quite easy victory. Not a single turn was "wasted", my Pokemon did something every turn which was great. Spenser's Pokemon weren't too hard to beat either.

And that's it for the Palace. Next up, the big one.
The Battle Tower, the standard facility in the Emerald Frontier. The way it works is very simple, I don't feel like there's any need to explain it. Yet I will still have a lot to say about it. The theme here is Ability and I don't know what to say about that. You must have great ability in order to actually win 70 battles in a row. That's quite a bit more compared to Gen 4-7 which only requires 49 or 50 wins before you get up to the second battle against the facility boss. I think the Tower is among the hardest facilities in Emerald. Unlike in Gen 4-7, you can't just TrickScarf, TruAnt, Kangliscune or Aegimensey yourself up to the boss and auto-win. Making a good team isn't easy. I tried so many times with various teams before finally making it all the way.

I remember trying to win with a team consisting of Gengar, Slaking and Milotic which I'm pretty sure got me past the eighth round on two occasions. The highest I got with it was 60 wins in a row, which was my best streak for a long while. That was in May 2008, according to the archives. After that, I didn't play the Tower much because of various reasons, the main one being that newer games existed and I played them instead. Then, in late summer 2014, I finally got back to the Tower. I didn't play it much at first, but continued a little during the autumn. In early November that year, I finally got the Gold Symbol I had so long been after. In the end, it turned out that my "standard" team worked the very best. That surprised me quite a bit since I struggled quite a bit while trying to win with the team at first. I already posted it when talking about the R/S Tower, but here's a quick recap:

1530343440111.png

Salamence (M) @ Lum Berry ** Brutus
Ability: Intimidate
IVs: Flawless Att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Aerial Ace
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake
- Dragon Dance

1530343384620.png

Starmie @ Petaya Berry ** Zed
Ability: Natural Cure
IVs: Flawless Sp.att / Spd
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Beam
- Psychic

1530343458364.png

Snorlax (M) @ Leftovers ** Sleeplax
Ability: Thick Fat
IVs: Flawless Defense
EVs: 252 HP / 5 Def / 253 Sp.def
Nature: Careful
- Body Slam
- Shadow Ball
- Curse
- Rest

Streak: 70 (ongoing)

And now, it is time for a proper team writeup. I have already talked about Salamence and Starmie but I want to say more about them, as well as talk about Snorlax.

Salamence is a great Pokemon. Ever since its introduction in Gen 3, I have used it at least once in some sort of battle facility in every generation. What makes it so great? Many things. High Attack, good enough Speed (especially by Gen 3 standards), good typing, a great Ability in Intimidate, decent bulk and only three weaknesses (one which is 4x). No Physical Dragon-type moves was never really a problem this generation since QuakeSlide gives it great coverage, allowing it to hit everything but Flygon, Claydol and Breloom for at least neutral damage. Those are handled by Aerial Ace anyway, which is the best possible Physical STAB move for Salamence in Gen 3. It doesn't hit anywhere near as hard as a Mega Aerilate Return in Gen 6/7, but it doesn't matter. Hidden Power Flying is an alternative, it has slightly more power and is commonly used during online play in Gen 3, but I'd say Aerial Ace is the move that should always be used for the Gen 3 Battle Tower/Frontier. Why? It has the added benefit of always hitting. This means that opponents which are holding Brightpowder/Lax Incense or have used Double Team/Minimize to increase their Evasion will still be hit. It is hilarious to watch the opposing lead set up 6 Double Teams while I let Salamence Dragon Dance 6 times and then destroy the opponent so hard that it is laughable. Getting HP Flying isn't all easy either. I suppose you could get it easily through RNG breeding, I really don't want to think about what it would be like to try and get it through traditional breeding. Setting up one Dragon Dance with Salamence was usually enough to allow it to sweep, but more than one, or rarely none at all, could also be a way to win a battle. Lum Berry is the item of choice to get a one-time immunity to status. It was mostly used in combination with Dragon Dance. I use Dragon Dance while the opponent uses a status move, then I could sweep or at the very least damage them. Overall, Salamence is a great Physical sweeper that was very useful in many situations. I used it at least once along the way in every facility from which I have obtained the Gold Symbol. The only real problem with Salamence was that the inaccuracy of Rock Slide could let me down at times, but it was usually not that bad.

Starmie is a fantastic Special sweeper. It has a wide movepool with great coverage which lets it hit everything except Shedinja for at least neutral damage. It also hits a ton of Pokemon for super effective damage. 100 Base Sp.att is quite good by Gen 3 standards, and it is really fast with base 115 Speed. With a Modest Nature, max Speed allows it to speed tie with max Speed positive base 100s (not outrun them as it does on level 100, sadly). That said, Starmie was probably the least used member of the team since I usually let Salamence or Snorlax take care of things. But it was a very good backup since it could handle several situations where the others couldn't do much. Notably against Rock/Ground/Steel-types which Salamence and Snorlax might have trouble dealing enough damage to. There is no optimal hold item for Starmie in Gen 3 but I gave it a Petaya Berry. As I have said before, if it can get down to low HP and activate the Berry, it will be like a Choice Specs boost but with the ability to switch between moves. That didn't happen often but I still prefer it over any hax item. Status was not a problem for Starmie as it could just switch out and heal itself with Natural Cure. I had a Starmie on my team for all of my 6 Gold Symbol teams and it ended up being helpful in 3 or 4 of the Gold Symbol battles.

Then there's Snorlax. The last but not the least. If the opponent started with something that I suspected knew an Ice-type move, or a general powerful special attacker which Salamence might have trouble against, I switched to Snorlax. Unless the opposing special attacker had a setup move like Calm Mind, they couldn't touch Snorlax. I let it Curse 6 times, then it was game over for them. Snorlax is an absolute monster in this generation thanks to Curse and good enough special bulk. The only thing that has any hope of beating it is hax. Physical attackers can't do a lot once it sets up a few Curses, there aren't any good Fighting-type moves this generation either. Superpower is limited as I have said before, while Focus Punch can be disrupted. Most other moves doesn't do enough damage once Snorlax has set up a few Curses (unless they get a Crit). As for the set, Body Slam was the main STAB move which is powerful enough and has a chance to cause paralysis which is never bad. I originally had Return but changed it to Body Slam since I had to trade over Snorlax to R/S and use it there (resetting its Friendship, thus lowering the damage of Return). I thought about re-raising Snorlax's Friendship level and teaching it Return again, but I never did that. And I'm quite happy that I kept Body Slam since it ended up being surprisingly useful against Anabel. Shadow Ball for coverage, most notably to hit Ghost-types, but also to nail Psychic-types. Earthquake is an alternative to make things easier against Steel- and Rock-types, but using it means Snorlax can't win against Gengar or Misdreavus, so I prefer Shadow Ball. Curse is the setup move which doesn't need any explanation. It lets Snorlax kill opponents. You don't faint when you are defeated by a Snorlax that has set up Curses and is at +6 Att/Def, you get brutally murdered. Snorlax can't hit Steel-types for neutral damage but most of them can't take that many +6 Body Slams. In the worst case, I could let Starmie take care of them. Rest in order to recover and beat any status. Thick Fat is the chosen Ability which makes Ice- and Fire-type moves less effective, the former being very useful against Ice-types that threaten Salamence.

Note that the EVs for the team are not optimal. Salamence could possibly go with less Speed and more HP, something like 108 Speed which gives it 134, which in turn gives 201 after a boost, allowing it to outspeed max Speed positive base 130s after one Dragon Dance. I found Salamence to be faster than most opponents even before it used Dragon Dance, so a bit less Speed and more bulk might actually be a better spread. I never checked the Speed Tiers in the Frontier before EV-training it, don't think I had access to them back then either. Starmie could possibly go with the same, less Speed and more HP. Maybe something like 140 EVs in Speed to outrun max Speed neutral base 100s. Again, I don't really know, just theorizing a bit. Snorlax could also be EV'd differently. I just went with max HP and Sp.def to increase its Special bulk, that was the standard back when I trained it. It doesn't need Speed or Sp.att while Curse raises both Attack and Defense. Still, there are alternate EV spreads that should work just as well or perhaps even better. The EVs for the team might not be optimal or the best possible, but they worked.

Still, the team is far from flawless. From what I can identify myself, it has one big weakness: Hax! Unfortunately, it is quite hard to make a hax-proof team in Gen 3. There is no good way to avoid most forms of hax. I found OHKO moves to be the absolute worst since there is no way to avoid them, you just have to hope that they miss. Critical hits are also annoying, especially from Physical moves if Snorlax has set up a bunch of Curses. Hax items like Brightpowder, Quick Claw, Focus Band and others can be very annoying as well. The same goes for getting flinched though it did thankfully not happen that often since Salamence and Starmie are faster than most things, it was worse for Snorlax. At least it doesn't take much damage most of the time. Double Team and evasion was usually not that much of an issue as Salamence could destroy them with Aerial Ace after a few Dragon Dances. Snorlax could just set up and when it eventually hit them, they would go down.

I think that's about it for the team. Now to the next part. How did it work in battles?

I was originally not planning to include any of my losses from the Tower but I decided to do it anyway, at least the ones that are rather recent and that I had written down. It felt weird to write about how amazing this team is and then how I lost with it. But I didn't want to leave anything out. After I got back to playing in the Emerald Tower in late August 2014, I experienced several losses. First once in the following situation:

Battle #44. My opponent started with a Snorlax which is a horrible Pokemon to lead with from a player perspective, but pretty terrifying when the opponent leads with it. Even worse, it was a Curselax which is a nightmare to face. It defeated my Salamence. I then defeated it with my own Snorlax, but both my Snorlax and Starmie fell to the Granbull my opponent sent out afterwards. I might have been able to win if I had done things differently, like setting up a Curse or two with my own Snorlax before defeating the opponents, or if I had used Starmie to defeat the opposing Snorlax instead of my own Snorlax.

Then I took a break from Emerald for a while. I got back to the Tower in October and lost a few more times:

Fourth round, hadn't written down exactly which battle. My opponent started with a Miltank that defeated my Salamence, then continued with a Lanturn that defeated both Snorlax and Starmie. The hax in the Tower can be insane. Normally, a Lanturn wouldn't have any chance against Snorlax, but this one decided to start with Parafusion (probably Thunder Wave + Confuse Ray) which made Snorlax unable to move, it then continued by getting two Critical Hits in a row with Surf, putting Snorlax at so low HP that the next move was enough to KO. Starmie had no chance either, it also got haxed to pieces.

Battle #44: A Walrein froze Snorlax, it wouldn't thaw and then the fourth Sheer Cold hit. Starmie defeated the Walrein but my opponent sent out a Snorlax afterwards which destroyed Salamence. Starmie could have defeated it but the Snorlax's Quick Claw activated, leading to my loss.

Battle #14: Embarrassingly early. An Octillery stalled Snorlax and lowered its Accuracy to -6. Snorlax defeated it and the Magneton that appeared afterwards, but my opponent's last Pokemon was a Ninjask which swept me. I would have won if Salamence had hit it with Rock Slide instead of missing. I should have used Aerial Ace instead.

Battle #34: An Ursaring KO'd Salamence and itself at the same time with Double-Edge. My opponent sent out a Vaporeon, I sent out Starmie. Managed to 3HKO the Vaporeon with Thunderbolt. My opponent's last Pokemon was a Glalie with a weird set. Starmie didn't KO with Surf and the Glalie got faster thanks to Icy Wind and the Salac Berry it was holding (one of them would probably have enough), it then KO'd Starmie on the next turn. Then it used Endure and Explosion against Snorlax, leading to my loss. I'm not sure how things are decided when two Pokemon faint from one attack at the same time in Emerald, but I guess the outcome is not favored towards the player. Either that, or I lost because Snorlax fainted before the Glalie.

With this, I had made a few tries to beat the Tower, but it never went that well. Those losses did not raise my motivation, nor did they show me that my team worked. I was considering trying with a different team or making some changes to the team (such as Return over Body Slam for Snorlax, as said earlier) to see if that would work better. But I never made any changes. Then, in late October 2014... I got past the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds in the Tower (usually the hardest rounds to get past). Continued and got past the eighth round in the Tower for the third time, then I got past the ninth round for the first time in my life. I started on the tenth round and made it all the way to Gold Anabel... only to lose against her. It was a quite terrible experience. I did not write down the battle in full detail and I no longer have the video saved, but here are some notes according to an old post:

"Her Raikou OHKO'd my Salamence with a Critical Hit Thunderbolt on the first turn and things didn't get better from there. I sent out Snorlax afterwards and it managed to defeat both her Raikou and Latios, but it didn't have much HP left afterwards. I wasn't sure what to do against her Snorlax and played a bit stupidly, both of our Snorlax set up 6 Curses and started attacking. Her Snorlax was more powerful than mine, it also has Return while mine has Body Slam. Her Snorlax could 3HKO mine, which couldn't do the same to hers. Then her Snorlax used Rest and woke up with the Chesto Berry, defeating mine on the next turn. Afterwards, Starmie had no chance of winning from there. So I lost."

A rather bad experience, and the only time in Emerald where I have lost in a Gold Battle against a Frontier Brain. During the 8 years that had passed between my Silver Battle against Anabel and this battle, I had imagined my victory against her in many different ways. But I had never thought I would lose. Things weren't all bad though. The positive with this was that it showed me that my team had the potential to get all the way up to the Gold Battle against Anabel. Now I would just have to do it again, and hopefully win this time. To my own surprise, I made it all the way up to her again on my very next try. How did the battle go this time? I wrote a battle log of how it went back when it happened, decided to post it here along with my original comments from back then. Also, as you probably know, Emerald was the first game in the series which allowed you to record battle videos and save them so you could view them again. Unfortunately, it was never possible to upload them to the internet. Fortunately, there's nothing stopping me from recording the video with a camera and then upload it to YouTube. So that's just what I have done! I had never uploaded a video to YouTube before this project, this has given me new experiences in life for sure. Below, you can find the battle log and then the video of the battle. Choose whichever interests you the most. Or both.
Anabel sent out Raikou!
Go! Salamence!
Salamence's Intimidate cuts Foe Raikou's Attack!


After my previous battle against her, I learned that my Salamence was faster than her Raikou even before a Dragon Dance. And since I would just have to switch out as she sends in Latios afterwards, why should I bother dancing? Attacking right away would be better, even if it doesn't kill.

Salamence used Earthquake! (~75%)
Foe Raikou used Thunderbolt! (100%)
A Critical Hit!
Salamence fainted!


Same as last time, almost feels like it is predetermined that her first Bolt gets a Crit. Oh well. Snorlax, time to show what you can do.

Go! Snorlax!
Foe Raikou used Rest!
Foe Raikou went to Sleep! (+75%)
Foe Raikou's Lum Berry woke it up!
Snorlax used Curse! (Att/Def+1, Spd-1)


Back at full HP, but it no longer has its Lum, and I got a Curse off. This isn't that bad.

Foe Raikou used Reflect!
Snorlax used Curse! (Att/Def+1, Spd-1)


As expected, it goes for Reflect. I want to use Curse one or two more times at least, so let's go for that. Thunderbolt shouldn't do much unless it gets another Crit. It might also be dangerous if I get paralyzed, but that can be rested away and shouldn't be too hard to handle. The worst thing she can do here is Calm Mind, so let's hope she goes for attacking right away instead.

Foe Raikou used Thunderbolt! (~20%)
Snorlax used Curse! (Att/Def+1, Spd-1)


She did, and that didn't do much... Which is good. Now I have Cursed three times, let's see what this can do. From now on, Snorlax will also recover with Leftovers for a while, but I didn't bother writing that down.

Foe Raikou used Thunderbolt! (~20%)
Snorlax used Body Slam (~35%)
Foe Raikou is Paralyzed!


Didn't do much, as expected due to the Reflect. But it got paralyzed! Now that is awesome. I'll Curse a bit more and wait for its Reflect to wear off, then I'll start attacking again.

Foe Raikou is paralyzed! It can't move!
Snorlax used Curse! (Att/Def+1, Spd-1)


Awesome. Finally I get to have some luck with paralysis.

Foe Raikou used Thunderbolt! (~20%)
Snorlax used Curse! (Att/Def+1, Spd-1)
Foe's Reflect wore off!


And here we are. Now I am at 5 curses, going to try and get the last one as well and hope it doesn't use Reflect again, then it will be time to hopefully destroy everything.

Foe Raikou is paralyzed! It can't move!
Snorlax used Curse! (Att/Def+1, Spd-1)


Yes. The best possible thing. She deserves this hax after what she and the rest of the Frontier has done to me. I'm now at +6 and have very much HP left, I have learned how unstoppable a Snorlax is at this point. Time for her to learn it as well.

Foe Raikou is paralyzed! It can't move!
Snorlax used Body Slam! (~65%)
Foe Raikou Fainted.


Couldn't have gone better. One down, two to go.

Anabel sent out Latios!
Foe Latios used Calm Mind! (SpA/SpD+1)
Snorlax used Shadow Ball!
Snorlax's Attack missed!


Argh! Stupid Brightpowder. But it can't really hurt me even with one Calm Mind, and I'm convinced that a +6 Shadow Ball will be more than enough to take it down.

Foe Latios used Calm Mind! (SpA/SpD+1)
Snorlax used Shadow Ball! (100%)
Foe Latios Fainted.


Yes. Now I have my Snorlax at +6 while she only has hers left, and it is without any boosts at all, this should do it.

Anabel sent out Snorlax!
Foe Snorlax used Curse! (Att/Def+1, Spd-1)
Snorlax used Body Slam! (~70%)


Her Snorlax is insanely bulky, I don't think I would have KO'd even if it hadn't used Curse. Either way, this seems to go my way. All I could think at this point was: "I've won this." At some point here, my Snorlax had also recovered back to full HP with Leftovers.

Foe Snorlax used Rest!
Foe Snorlax went to Sleep!
Foe Snorlax's Chesto Berry woke it up!
Snorlax used Body Slam! (~65%)


There. She blew her Chesto Berry which is what screwed me last time. I've won this.

Foe Snorlax used Rest!
Foe Snorlax went to Sleep!
Snorlax used Body Slam! (~65%)


I've won this.

Foe Snorlax is fast asleep.
Snorlax used Body Slam! (~35%)
Foe Snorlax fainted.


YES!
I did it! I beat Anabel! Got my revenge (two days old, although it was more than 8 years since I beat her for the Silver Symbol, so that counts as something), and I won't ever have to face her again. Unless I want to, but that is unlikely.

Here's the video:


And that's how it went. Snorlax is the best. My team worked in the end, I was (and still am) so happy about it. I'm glad I didn't change Body Slam back to Return since it was surprisingly helpful against Anabel. Team SSS forever!

I think that is it for the Tower. Let's move on to the last parts of the Emerald Frontier experience.
I don't have much to say here. Knowledge is the theme of this place. Well, I have never had enough knowledge to beat the Factory. As said earlier, this is the only facility from which I haven't won the Gold Symbol. I'm not sure how many times I have tried, but if I were to guess, probably not that many. I have mixed views regarding the Factory on the whole. I like how it is challenging and difficult, but I am just not that good at it and I find it very frustrating to try and win there. Using rental Pokemon to win is just not my thing. I have heard that the Emerald Factory is supposed to be easier than the Gen 4 Factory, but that doesn't help me much.

Even if I haven't beaten the Factory, there are a few battles/situations that I want to talk about. First of all, my highest streak is 34, which I got on Level 50. It happened on May 25th, 2006 according to an old post. That's quite long ago. I don't remember any details from it and I hadn't written any details in the old post either. Another battle happened on May 3rd, 2007. The original post I had written was this: "lost at the 34th battle in the Factory against a Claydol with Psychic/EQ/Cosmic/hax. i could have won but...Double team sucks :(" In that post, "hax" was Double Team and I didn't write Power after Cosmic for some unknown reason. I remember that the battle in question was an insane stall battle. I had a Swampert and my opponent had a Claydol with the moveset described above. The Claydol was holding a Leftovers while the Swampert must have had a Shell Bell or a Quick Claw. The Claydol set up 6 Double teams which meant my Swampert couldn't hit it, but at the same time, the Claydol was not powerful enough to cause any damage to Swampert. In the end, both (or at least the Swampert) run out of PP and started struggling. But due to the Struggle mechanics of Gen 3, it created an endless battle, and I was forced to retire. It was quite frustrating. I'm quite happy they did change the Struggle mechanics in Gen 4 to avoid this from happening in future games, but it scared me to the extreme once I learned about it... more about that in a later post. For the longest time, I had mixed up those battles as I thought my record at 34 wins was the same as the Swampert/Claydol battle, but they were two different battles. Going through parts of my old archives while working on this project showed me how it really was. Just thought I'd say that.

My best streak for Open Level is 22. It happened quite recently, in April 2015. Here are some details from that battle according to a post:

"Continued on my Battle Factory streak from last week. Made it to battle #23, which is where I lost. Had a team of Forretress, Snorlax and Ludicolo, I lost to Hypno, Skarmory and Dodrio. There was a bit of hax and my opponent made several good decisions, which made me lose. I also got a bit fooled by the Snorlax as I had traded it from the battle before and thought it was going to be awesome because it had Curse, but it didn't have Rest or Leftovers and therefore no way to recover HP, so it wasn't as good as I had thought it would be. I could have won the battle if things had gone differently, but now they didn't and I lost."

Apart from this, I have a bunch of other losses from the Factory recorded but I decided to not post any of them here. That said, I can go back to the archives to dig up the most recent ones and post them here if anyone is interested in reading about them.

In the Battle Factory FAQ by Werster (I will post a bit more about this guy and his achievements in the next part of this post), there are some very interesting things to be found about the Factory (I trust this FAQ to be correct). According it, the IVs of the Pokemon you get choose at the start of a round go up as you continue (it seems that trading does not affect this at all). I have no idea about if trading does give you better odds of finding "good" Pokemon or if it affects anything at all. It does according to Serebii, but considering how old their pages for the Emerald Frontier are, I can't trust them to be correct. According to Werster's FAQ, it seems that the IVs of opposing Pokemon are based on your current streak at the Battle Tower, which is really odd (but Emerald is really weird when it comes to how certain things are programmed, so I guess it isn't all too strange). Basically, this means that if you have a high streak at the Tower, your opponents will all have high IVs, and if you have a low/no streak at the Tower, their IVs will be low. Good to know. If I ever decide to go back to the Emerald Factory, I might have to consider ending my Tower streak first.

In addition to this, it seems like you can RNG abuse which Pokemon you get to start with at the beginning of each round. Which is really cool. I guess I should have thought about that being possible, but I never considered it. I'm a bit unsure about it too. It sort of feels like "cheating" says the person who has RNG abused a ton of Pokemon in Gen 4 and 5, but considering this is the Battle Factory, why should you not do everything in your might in order to win? I guess I might consider it if I decide to go back to the Factory.

There are some more things I remember from my own experiences with the Factory. It seems that you can actually have 2 (or possibly even 3) of the same species of Pokemon on your team at the same time. I recall once where I had the opportunity to use two different Fearow sets at the start of one round. I think the same goes for hold items as well, you can have the same hold item on two or all three of your Pokemon. I'm not completely sure about this though since I might just be remembering wrong. Either way, neither of this is possible at the Gen 4 Factory, so the Emerald Factory is a different regarding this. The person who gives you information before a battle might not always give you the correct information either. If the trainer you are about to face has two or more types appearing on two or more Pokemon across their team, you will not be given any information about the types. For instance, if the opponent has both Gloom and Ivysaur (both are Grass/Poison, thus they have 2 Poison types and 2 Grass types), you won't get information about either. I'm not sure what would happen in such a situation in the Gen 4 Factory though. The information you get regarding the opponents battle style appears to be somewhat better, I'm not sure if it is flawed as well. The list of possible opposing battle styles (as in, their movesets) can be found on Bulbapedia here.

I don't have anything more to say about the Factory. I don't really have any motivation to try to beat it nowadays. I think it has been 2-3 years since I tried it last time. Right now I'm busy with other things, and in terms of Pokemon, I need to focus on US/UM.
Before we move on, there are a few more things I want to say about the Emerald Frontier.

First of all, I have several threads and resources which might be helpful for others who want to try and beat the Emerald Frontier. I decided to include all of them here.

Note that if you see any old posts from me in some of these threads from Serebii, please remember that I was young and stupid! Don't take everything I said seriously! There are several things said by the past me that the present me does not agree with.

The Golden Summit
An old Serebii Club with a focus on beating the Emerald Frontier (it also contains small pieces of information for the D/P Tower and the Platinum Frontier). Many strategies and a lot of general information can be found there. It is a bit unorganized, but I know that the first few pages has a lot of information. The search function could work for finding specific information there. Most posts (at least early on) also have a "title" about what they contain, which makes it a little easier to find specific things. Though I'm not sure if that works anymore since the forums recently upgraded to a new platform.

Expert Evan's post about how he got all of his Gold Symbols
Pretty much that. Unfortunately not perfectly formatted anymore after the forum platform upgrade, which changed some things from how they used to be. Anyway, these are all the Pokemon and teams Expert Evan used to get his Gold Symbols. As you can see, many of the teams I used where inspired by his teams. It also has a link to a video showing his Gold Battle against Noland which is definitely worth watching.

Battle Frontier Help/Discussion Thread
An old discussion thread for the Emerald Frontier on Serebii. Very long and unstructured but it contains bits of important information here and there. Again, using the search function is probably the best way to get something useful out of it.

PB88's Battle Frontier Tips and Tricks
By Powerful_Blaziken88.
A guide to the Emerald Frontier. Has some useful information but I think most of it can be found at other places. Might still be worth checking out for those who are extremely determined to beat the Frontier.

The Battle Frontier, Beginning Trainer Help Thread
By Absol 20/20.
A guide for beginners, has some good information for people who are new to the Frontier or to semi-competitive battling in general.

Bulbapedia's page for the Emerald Frontier
I have posted it before but decided to post it again. Lots of useful information can be found there.

Pokemon Emerald - All Gold Symbols Speedrun in 19:04:14
By Werster.
This guy got all Gold Symbols in 19 hours. That's really awesome. I haven't watched the video since I don't have time, but I would assume that it is definitely worth it for those who are interested. He also has a FAQ which can be found here, which in turn contain links to each individual facility (I linked to the Factory part earlier). The information there is very useful so be sure to check it out.

Battle Frontier Max Stats Pokemon Database
By Peterko.
A database about which sets the opposing trainers use in the Emerald Frontier. It doesn't seem to be complete but it has most of the opposing sets listed at least. Be sure to check the last page of that thread as well as it has some very good info about the Emerald Frontier, thanks to Hozu. Speaking of which, a more complete list for all of the opposing Pokemon sets can be found here. I'm not sure if either of these are complete since Peterko has listed some details for certain sets which I can't find in Hozu's database. Either way, both of them has tons of information about opposing sets.

Emerald Battle Frontier Guide PLEASE HELP DEVELOPING
By StoneDos95.
A guide which was posted a few years ago. Has some good strategies. I hope StoneDoes95 will come back to the forums so he can continue developing it. Said thread also contains a post by atsync in which he describes everything he used to get all 7 Gold Symbols. Said post can be found here. It is definitely worth reading. His strategies and sets are a bit more modern compared to the ones I have used.

That's it. I might have more but the links above should be enough.

I kind of wanted to do a summary of how I got my 6 Gold Symbols similar to what Expert Evan did, but I can't do it in the same way as he did. So I'm doing it a bit differently. The Dome was without any doubt my easiest Gold Symbol battle (Shedinja=OP), while the hardest was probably the Pyramid. I really wish I could remember more from it, or that I had written down even the tiniest detail from it. The Tower wasn't super hard but still nerve-wracking since I had lost to Anabel in my first Gold Battle against her. The Pike, Arena and Palace were quite easy though one Pokemon on my team fainted in each of these battles. Reaching any of the Gold Symbol Battles never took me that many tries either. I'm quite sure the Tower required the most tries, followed by the Dome.

Which are my favorite facilities? I like the Dome and the Pyramid the best, no contest. I sort of have a love-hate relation with the Factory, as said earlier. The Tower, Pike, Palace and Arena are all okay, not my favorites, but I don't dislike them either.

I think you already know this, but... I really like the Emerald Battle Frontier. It is not only my favorite thing from Emerald but from all of Gen 3 in total as well. Battling at it was a ton of fun. Still, I regret not spending more time battling at it. Which might seem like a weird thing to say considering all the time I did spend at it. Emerald is the game I have played the most of all the Pokemon games I own, as well as the game where my play time is the highest. I'm not sure whether I should be happy or sad about all the hours I spent playing it. Yet, a majority of the time I spent playing the game was not spent at the Frontier. I spent most of the time just breeding and training Pokemon. Which I have to say was fun (at least the training, not so much the breeding), even though I never ended up using most of the Pokemon I trained for anything special. But it was fun, so I guess it's okay. Though, if I had spent all that time battling at the Frontier instead, I would probably have been done with it years ago and had my final Gold Symbol by now.

Even if I really liked the Frontier, I didn't miss it in OR/AS. Why? Because playing through it once was honestly enough. It might have been fun to play through it again with updated game and battle mechanics, but chances are that it might not have been as fun as the first time. Besides, I'm not sure if I would have wanted to play through it twice more. Also, playing through the Maison twice more after X/Y, but with the ability to try the new Megas as well as some new strategies I didn't try in X/Y, was fun enough. So I don't mind OR/AS not having the Frontier, the Maison was enough. And if I wanted to try the Frontier again, I guess I could just go back to Emerald to play it again there. In the end, I like Emerald but I prefer OR/AS for various reasons, mostly because they are more modern games and going back to Emerald or R/S after playing the remakes feels like a downgrade.

I suppose I could say more. I could ramble even more about my experiences in the Frontier, I could go back and dig more in the archives and try to remember more things from everything I have done there. But I won't. Everything must end and what I have to say about my experiences with the Emerald Frontier up to this point will end here. Instead of saying anything more, I'll leave you all with this:



...

That's it for the Emerald Frontier, Gen 3 on the whole, and the second part of this project.

As for the next part of this, I'm planning to post it in around a week from now. Probably next Friday if everything goes according to plan.
 
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atsync

Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon
According it, the IVs of the Pokemon you get choose at the start of a round go up as you continue (it seems that trading does not affect this at all). I have no idea about if trading does give you better odds of finding "good" Pokemon or if it affects anything at all. It does according to Serebii, but considering how old their pages for the Emerald Frontier are, I can't trust them to be correct.
This was something I looked into briefly when I did my various runs. It seems that trading DOES have an effect, but it's more subtle than in the 4th gen factory, where improvements occur every 7 swaps. When I did the 3rd gen factory, I traded after every single round and did not see any changes to my opening draft until round 4, by which time my trade count was 21! After this number of trades, one of my draft in round 4 was a higher ranking set with better IVs (in level 50, set 2 high tier with IV=15 when the default set is set 1 high tier with IV=12). When I went into this round with only 5 swaps during another run, there were no changes to the opening draft (everything was set 1 high tier with IV=12).

I don't know much else about it beyond that (e.g. exactly how many swaps are required to see the first elevation? It's definitely seems to be higher than 14 but is it exactly 21 or slightly lower? Or is it actually 7 like in the 4th gen factory but with the appearance of the elevation being delayed for a few rounds? And how many more swaps would you need to see a second elevation in a later round?). In any case, I can definitely say that trading does have an effect on sets and IVs, but it takes a substantial number of swaps to see the first elevation and ultimately swapping is less rewarding and important than it is in the 4th gen factory.

It seems that you can actually have 2 (or possibly even 3) of the same species of Pokemon on your team at the same time. I recall once where I had the opportunity to use two different Fearow sets at the start of one round. I think the same goes for hold items as well, you can have the same hold item on two or all three of your Pokemon. I'm not completely sure about this though since I might just be remembering wrong.
I can confirm that this is possible - I once had 2 Tauros sets appear in my opening draft. You aren't allowed to take both though. It seems to only happen in later rounds when any set of each Pokemon can be encountered and around the same time legendary Pokemon start to appear. It might even happen slightly earlier if you swap enough to see "better" sets in your draft (e.g. going into round 4 of level 50 and having Heracross2 as your "improved" set and Heracross1 as part of your default options) but I'm not sure. I don't remember seeing it happen with items, but I did have a moment in one streak where I had a Pokemon with Chesto Berry on my team and encountered a second Pokemon with the same item on an opponent's team. I was allowed to trade for it after the battle, thus letting me break item clause! If it is possible to see the same item on multiple Pokemon in your opening draft, you might be able to take both holders.
 
atsync, very interesting information about trading, and thanks for confirming some things about the Emerald Factory.

---

Here's the next part of my project. This time, I'm going to talk about the first battle facility in Gen 4. The D/P Battle Tower. Smuckem and everyone else who wants to read about it.

From here on, I am going to give proper credit to the people whose teams I have used. The reason is that my memory for those whose teams I have used in Gen 4-5 is much better and things are more recent on the whole, compared to Emerald where the main inspiration that I can remember is Expert Evan.

There's no need to say anything more as a general introduction so let's just continue.

Gen 4

D/P Battle Tower
When D/P were released, I had obtained all 7 Silver Symbols and 4 Gold Symbols at the Emerald Frontier. With those experiences, I did of course want to try my skills at the D/P Tower. I was looking forward to giving some of the new Pokemon a try, as well as new and different strategies compared to Emerald.

Several things had became easier since Emerald. EV-training was much easier with the Power Items, it was also possible to use the VS. Seeker to rebattle certain trainers with teams that were good for EV-training in certain stats as opposed to being forced to EV-train against wild Pokemon all the time. Training Pokemon to level 50 or above was not hard either.

IV breeding had unfortunately not been changed, it was still as annoying as ever. D/P did not have an in-game IV checker either which made it hard to see the exact IVs of my Pokemon. Due to this, I have never known the exact IVs of my Pokemon in D/P. I usually tried to get as good IVs as possible in 3 stats but due to low patience and laziness, I often just settled for 1 or 2 like in Emerald. I also chose to not transfer over any of my Ditto with good IVs from Emerald since I was not done with the Emerald Frontier yet at this point. I was also too lazy to try to catch more Ditto in Emerald, I caught a bunch of new ones in D/P instead. What this means is that none of the Pokemon I used for D/P has optimal IVs. I haven't listed their IVs at all since I have simply never known them in close detail.

Unlike the Towers in Crystal and R/S, the D/P Tower had a boss trainer. For the first time ever, we had a single battle facility in a first pair which featured a boss. While there weren't any Symbols or Prints like in the Frontiers, I'll refer to the Palmer battles as Silver and Gold Palmer just for simplicity. Obviously, one of my main goals for the Tower was to get up to the Gold Battle against Palmer and beat him there. Another goal I had was to win 100 battles in a row to get the Trainer Card upgrade. Did I accomplish both of these things? If you want to know, you'll have to keep on reading.

The D/P Tower was quite fun, but not always the easiest. I have many memories from it. I was never really super annoyed at the lack of a Frontier in D/P. When the games were released, I was far from done with the Emerald Frontier and if D/P had had a Frontier as well, I think I would have been a bit overwhelmed. Later though, when I had completed the Tower, it did feel a bit lacking. But at that time the release of Platinum and its Frontier was getting closer so it was never a big deal for me.

I have never really been a competitive Pokemon player but I guess I should mention one thing. I have lurked the competitive scene of Pokemon at various times, notably late in Gen 3, early in Gen 4 and early in Gen 5. Some Pokemon and teams I have used in some battle facilities have been inspired by Pokemon and strategies that have been popular on the competitive scene. I think the most notable is some of the Pokemon I used for the D/P Tower, so I decided to mention that here.

All of the things I did in the D/P Tower happened between Summer 2007 and Spring 2009, when D/P were the newest games. I'm quite happy I completed everything there was to do in them when they were still new since it would have been hard to go back to them afterwards. If I were to try and play D/P today, it would just be "Why am I not playing Platinum instead?". That said, I still like D/P and I think they were good for their time. Also, if I'm allowed to say this... I'm looking forward to the future D/P remakes.

I got burnt out on Pokemon in late 2008, this burnout lasted for a little more than two years. D/P and the D/P Tower plays a small part in this and I will talk about it a little further down as well as in more detail when we get to the Gen 4 Frontier later on.

Similar to what I did on Emerald, I trained a ton of Pokemon to use for various purposes in D/P, one of them being the Tower. And like on Emerald, I didn't use the majority of them for the Tower. Not going to list all of them (again, unless anyone wants me to), I'll just post the ones I have actually used for anything. I made several different teams for the D/P Tower, I'll list the ones I remember as well as how far they got. Most of them were for Single but one of them was for Double. I don't think I ever tried the Multi or Wi-Fi lines. Anyway, let's start. First up is Single.
Team 1 (Pearl):

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Starmie @ Expert Belt ** Zed
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Beam
- Psychic

1530897487431.png

Garchomp (F) @ Life Orb ** Kauma
Ability: Sand Veil
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Jolly
- Dragon Claw
- Earthquake
- Fire Fang
- Swords Dance

1530897517396.png

Togekiss (M) @ Leftovers ** Hikael
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 74 HP / 252 Sp.att / 184 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Air Slash
- Aura Sphere
- Nasty Plot
- Encore

Streak: 65

The first team I made for the D/P Tower. It was in August 2007, not long after I got Pearl. I originally made this team to farm BP at the Tower so I could buy the Power Items in order to make all future EV-training easier. But the team worked better than I had expected.

Starmie was my lead. The moveset is the same as for one of the Starmie I used on Gen 3, it is standard and needs no explanation. This generation finally gave it a useful hold item. Garchomp also has a standard moveset, it can set up with Swords Dance and then sweep. Togekiss has two attacking moves, one with STAB. Then it knows Nasty Plot to set up and Encore to cripple opponents. It could sometimes be hilarious, though I remember having more use with Encore on this Togekiss when I used it in PBR. I don't think I used Encore that much in Pearl. Their EVs are just standard, I don't think I EV'd Togekiss to be able to outrun anything special. That said, this team is far from perfect as it has a weakness to Weavile which can outrun all three team members and hit them hard with powerful STAB moves. I was always afraid of running into Weavile with this team. Can't remember if it ever happened though. With this team, I also had to play carefully against Palmer in the first battle against him since his Milotic could be scary. It was bulky enough to survive a Thunderbolt from Starmie, then it would get faster thanks to the Salac Berry and could put my team to sleep with Hypnosis. I remember that I usually used Psychic on the first turn against it and then Thunderbolt on the next turn for a KO.

This team is memorable because it managed to beat both Silver and Gold Palmer on my very first try, which happened around a month after I got the game. In late August 2007. I remember that in the Gold Battle against Palmer, my Togekiss's Air Slash caused his Cresselia to flinch multiple times in a row, probably 4 or even 6, which allowed me win the battle. In retrospect, I could probably have Encored it into using Moonlight while setting up Nasty Plots instead, allowing for a somewhat easier and less haxy victory. But it worked this way too. My first streak with this team ended at 65 wins in a row, it is my best streak with the team as well. I don't remember anything from the loss battle though. I'm pretty sure I tried with it multiple times afterwards, mostly just to grind up BP for various things. I think I got past Gold Palmer during several of these attempts, but I never got a better streak than my first one.

Team 2 (Diamond):

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Gyarados (F) ** Dragon
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 72 HP / 252 Att / 184 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Ice Fang
- Dragon Dance

1530897564086.png

Electivire (M) ** Ziggy
Ability: Motor Drive
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Thunderpunch
- Ice Punch
- Cross Chop
- Earthquake

1530897586132.png

Rhyperior (F) ** Mira
Ability: Solid Rock
EVs: 252 HP / 6 Att / 252 Def
Nature: Impish
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Megahorn
- Substitute

Streak: Not sure (but below 49)

Not a very good team but I decided to include it here anyway since I remember the details for it. Except for hold items, but if I were to guess, Gyarados probably had a Lum Berry, Electivire an Expert Belt and Rhyperior a Leftovers. I'm not exactly sure when I battled with it but I know it was in 2008, likely in the first half of the year.

This was the first team I made on Diamond. I made it for the same reason as I made my first team on Pearl, to farm BP in order to buy the Power Items. I wanted to try to recreate the feeling from Pearl with my first team there, but I didn't succeed since this team wasn't as good as my team on Pearl. With this team, I managed to beat Silver Palmer, but I never got all the way to Gold Palmer even if I tried many times.

This team has issues. GyaraVire was a popular duo (or a core?) in early competitive D/P. Gyarados lures the opponent to use Electric-type moves which Electivire can switch in on for free, get a Speed boost and then hit many things for super effective damage with its great coverage. I wanted to try it in the D/P Tower as well. But the idea quickly fell from grace on the competitive scene since Electivire wasn't very good. It could hit things for Super effective damage but it couldn't KO much. Or as I remember someone said: "Electivire is walled by the entire metagame". I had the same experience with it in the Tower. Rhyperior was an alternative to switch into Electric-type moves, it could also tank practically any Physical hit. Its Sp.def is terrible though, Solid Rock does not help it survive any noteworthy super effective special hits either. It is also too slow to accomplish anything of importance. Lastly, the team has three Physical attackers but no Special attacker, giving it issues against Physical walls.

As said, I made many tries with the team but I never got up Gold Palmer. I remember that I once lost against a Mismagius, Rhyperior's Stone Edge missed against it and Rhyperior got KO'd in return by Energy Ball. I remember that it made me really angry that I had to lose in such a way, but in retrospect, I know that you shouldn't rely on inaccurate moves. Stone Edge looks cool in theory, but it is terrible in practice. I also remember one other time when my opponent was leading with a Granbull. I switched to Electivire to absorb its Thunder Fang... only for it to miss! I didn't know Electric-type moves could miss against a Pokemon with Motor Drive so that surprised me, but I was also very disappointed.

Ultimately, this team wasn't very good but I decided to mention it since I can remember so much about it, which can't be said for all of my teams. Sadly, I can't for my life remember what team I used to beat Gold Palmer for the first time in Diamond. All I know is that it was not this team.

Team 3 (Pearl):

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Rotom @ Choice Scarf ** Sotom
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 49 Def / 49 Sp.def / 160 Spd
Nature: Timid
- Trick
- Thunder Wave
- Reflect
- Light Screen

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Slowking (F) @ Leftovers ** Inhale
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 212 HP / 46 Def / 252 Sp.att
Nature: Modest
- Surf
- Shadow Ball
- Nasty Plot
- Slack Off

1530897626638.png

Lucario (M) @ Sitrus Berry ** Exhale
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Close Combat
- Crunch
- Extremespeed
- Swords Dance

Streak: Not sure

A TrickScarf team! The first but not the last... and by far the worst. This team, as well as my next team, were both created in early 2009. This was at the start of my Pokemon burnout. It might be weird to say that I still played Pokemon during my burnout, but that's how it was. I had lost a lot of interest and enthusiasm for the games even if I still played them. I had completed literally everything there was to do in D/P (that I wanted to do) and the release of Platinum was still five months away. Since I had nothing better to do, I decided to create new teams for the Battle Tower in D/P. I had seen that TrickScarf teams were popular for those who had the ability to get the Trick Move Tutor from Japanese versions of Platinum, so that triggered the inspiration for me. I had also seen a guy here on Smogon use a TrickScarf team with a lead Rotom, I am pretty sure it was garo and this team, combined with some good advice from Jumpman in the post directly afterwards. This inspired me to do something similar.

After looking at some potential partners, I saw that Rotom, Slowking and Lucario together resisted or were immune to all 17 types. I decided to use that to my advantage and make a team with them. I chose Slowking instead of Slowbro since Slowking learns Nasty Plot which allows it to set up faster. In retrospect, Slowbro would probably have been a better choice since it has higher base Defense while it could use Calm Mind to raise its Sp.def.

The strategy was to TrickScarf the opposing lead as well as Thunder Wave to Paralyze them, then set up Dual Screens. Then I could switch to either Slowking or Lucario, set up, and sweep. Guess I should say that I'm not sure about Lucario's hold item. I had written Expert Belt in the digital version of this team, but Sitrus Berry in the printed version. Don't know which I actually ended up using but I'm guessing Sitrus since the printed version is probably more in line with the truth.

There are some things I should explain. According to my notes, Rotom was EVd to reach 142 in Speed with the rest in Defenses. I don't remember my Rotom's exact Speed IV but it should be around 28-29 (and according to the stat calculator, it seems that Rotom cannot have a Speed stat of 142 at level 50 if it has a Nature that raises Speed, my Rotom has a Speed stat of 143). Either way, this allows it to outspeed everything in the D/P Tower according to a Speed Tier list for the D/P Tower. I trust it to be correct.

Did this team work? Not really. I know I made at least one try but I can't remember how far I got. This team had several issues. First of all, Slowking is, as its name suggests, way too slow. Rotom is not a very good TrickScarfer as it has bad bulk and doesn't have a lot of crippling options. Both Lucario and Slowking are also lacking when it comes to bulk, Lucario doesn't have a recovery move either which made it difficult to set up in some occasions. I don't remember my best streak, checked my game and it showed that my latest streak at Single in the Pearl Tower was 35 (unsure if it is ongoing or not). I may have gotten it with this team or I may not, I don't know. I'm not sure if I ever got past Gold Palmer with this team. I don't remember a whole lot from this team other than that it didn't work well. I know that I once faced a team which had a lead Muk with Sticky Hold which made it immune to Trick. I don't remember if I lost that battle but I remember that I got quite angry in that situation. Out of the two teams I made for the D/P Tower during my Pokemon burnout, this was not very good. Next up is the one that worked a bit better.

Team 4: (Diamond):

1530898828001.png

Sceptile (M) @ Choice Specs ** Ace
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Leaf Storm
- Energy Ball
- Dragon Pulse
- Focus Blast

1530897656088.png

Houndoom (M) @ Leftovers ** Shadow
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Timid
- Dark Pulse
- Flamethrower
- Nasty Plot
- Will-O-Wisp

1530897500422.png

Garchomp (M) @ Life Orb ** Drake
Ability: Sand Veil
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Jolly
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Swords Dance

Streak: 74

Like with my previous team, this was made during the start of my burnout. This team worked considerably better. Lead Sceptile hits like a truck with Specs-boosted Leaf Storm, everything that doesn't resist it or has high Sp.def will take a lot of damage. Energy Ball was for Pokemon that are already weak to Grass and where the extra power isn't needed, it could sweep entire teams if all of the opposing Pokemon had a Grass weakness. Dragon Pulse and Focus Blast for coverage. Though I don't think I used Focus Blast that often since it has unreliable accuracy. Houndoom could cripple Physical attackers with WoW as well as use Nasty Plot to set up and then sweep. Garchomp is very similar to the one I used on my first team in Pearl and works the same way, but with some different moves. I remember that the damage difference between Outrage and Dragon Claw was very big.

This team got me up to 74 wins, my personal best at Single in the D/P Tower. I'm much more happy about it than my second team on Pearl. The only thing I remember from the loss battle with this team is that my opponent had a Porygon2. I had also gotten another streak of 53 on Diamond Single which I don't remember at all. Might have gotten it with this team or with a different one, I don't remember and we will never know.

...

Those are the Single teams I can remember in clear detail. Though I know for sure I tried with many other teams as well. I remember using a Choice Specs Salamence at the Tower once, which must have been in Pearl. Specs Salamence was an extremely popular set in the early days of competitive D/P, before Platinum and HG/SS were released and before Salamence got banned to Ubers. It could beat practically everything in the game except Blissey. And when people realized it couldn't beat Blissey, it got less popular. I think it worked quite well in the Tower when I used it. I also recall using a Cresselia once on a team, which must have been in Pearl as well. I got up to Gold Palmer with it, but I lost against his Cresselia because it knows Shadow Ball while mine has Ice Beam. I also have a vague memory of using a Weavile in D/P against Gold Palmer, but I might be mixing it up with Platinum. There are probably more but I don't remember anything else apart from this.

That's it for Single. Let's continue with Double.
I only used one team for Double but said team worked so very well that I never needed anything else. Here's the team details:

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Bronzong @ Lum Berry
Ability: Heatproof
Nature: Brave
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Att / 6 Sp.def
- Gyro Ball
- Earthquake
- Explosion
- Trick Room

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Starly (M) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Keen Eye
Nature: Mild
EVs: None
- Protect
- Endeavor
- Rain Dance
- Foresight

1530897701184.png

Dusknoir (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
Nature: Sassy
EVs: 252 HP / 58 Def / 200 Sp.def
- Night Shade
- Will-O-Wisp
- Protect
- Rest

1530897722165.png

Exeggutor (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Chlorophyll
Nature: Quiet
EVs: 190 HP / 100 Att / 220 Sp.att
- Leaf Storm
- Psychic
- Explosion
- Trick Room

Streaks:
Pearl: 105 (ongoing)
Diamond: 133 (ongoing)

Trick Room with level 1 Endeavor. When I first heard about this strategy on Serebii sometime in mid-early 2008, I was amazed. I just had to try it for myself. Seeing that I had at this point not yet won the 100 battles in a row at the D/P Tower that I wanted to win in order to get the TC upgrade in the games, what did I have to lose? Nothing. All I could do was win. And that's what I did... mostly. For some reason I can't remember, I never nicknamed any of the Pokemon I used for this team. But I remember that I was on vacation in Greece while breeding some of the team members.

This team was created by Team Rocket Elite here on Smogon, you can find his original post about it here. That said, I would not recommend anyone to use this version of the team since TRE has made several newer versions of it, the newest one (which I also assume is the best) can be found here. If you want to see how the team changed over time, you can find two other versions of it here and here. Those were done between the team I used and the last one TRE himself used. In addition to that, there is one even earlier version of the team, featuring Smeargle instead of Starly. This was the version I originally heard of, but I didn't use it since when I got around to starting on breeding the team members, the version with Starly had already been created. Anyway, you can find the Smeargle version of the team here.

The team is rather simple. Trick Room + Protect on turn 1, then on the next turn, Endeavor+Gyro Ball/Earthquake to take down one opponent, maybe even both in best case. Then explode with Bronzong on turn 3 and if things go all that well, you should be in a 3-1 or 2-1 situation if you haven't won already. You just need to watch out for hax in the form of things like OHKO moves (especially on the first turn before Trick Room is up), Brightpowder/Lax Incense/Double Team and Quick Claw. Not going to do any longer explanation for the team since I think TRE does that way better in his original post. Plus I wouldn't recommend anyone to use this version of the team anyway.

How did my attempts with this team go? Mostly quite well. I used another team I can't remember to win the first easy 21 battles (which were really boring, thankfully they changed it in Gen 5 and forward by creating the Normal and Super lines) then I used this team from battle #22 and on. I didn't only win though. On both games, I lost once before reaching 100 wins in a row. I don't remember either of the situations though I have a very vague memory of one of them featuring a Rhydon or Rhyperior on the opposing team.

However, I do remember one extreme battle which happened along the way on Diamond. It is one of the most memorable battles I have ever had. It was against a Cradily. Sadly, I don't remember all the details. Thankfully, I have written down parts of my memories from it in various posts. The most detailed one is from a post I wrote on Serebii a few years back. It was in a thread where you could post the most memorable or strange battle you have had in the games. Instead of writing something new, I decided to just add that post here (with some extra comments in Bold and [] that I added now to clarify and expand on some things), read it below if you are interested.
My most memorable battle is a battle I had in the Battle Tower in Diamond. It was several years ago, 6th October 2008 according to a post I made on another forum. This battle happened as I was trying to win 105 battles in a row at the Battle Tower (Double battles) in order to get my final trainer card upgrade on the game. I had done this previously in Pearl, using the same team that I was now using in Diamond. In Pearl, I had lost once before making it all the way, and I had at this point lost once in Diamond as well, but was making a second try.

And that's the background of the battle. The battle itself was either battle #99 or #100 on my streak, I can't remember which. Very close to the end either way. I don't really remember that much from the earlier stages of the battle, but I think it involved some hax in form of my Bronzong using Explosion and missing against an opponent due to either Brightpowder or Double Team, and a Floatzel which must have known Quick Attack or Aqua Jet which I believe it used to kill my Starly. In the end, I only had my Dusknoir left against my opponent's last Pokemon, which was a Cradily. It was the Toxic/Double Team/Stockpile/Ingrain@Leftovers set. My Dusknoir knew Rest so it couldn't kill me with Toxic, but it kept using Double Team to get to +6, so I couldn't hit it either. All I managed to hit it with was one Night Shade and Will-O-Wisp which got it burned. However, in the end of every turn, it would take damage from the Burn and then recover the exact damage it had just taken, thanks to Leftovers and Ingrain. I'm very happy that I play with animations turned off, otherwise every turn would probably have taken much longer than they already did, making it even more painful.

In the end, it got down to struggling, and Dusknoir started to Struggle one turn before Cradily, but won since it was at full HP while Cradily only was at 3/4 due to the Night Shade I had hit it with. Had Cradily started to Struggle one turn later, I would have lost. [Before this, I didn't know that the Struggle mechanics had changed from Gen 3, so I got super scared when I saw Dusknoir hit Cradily through +6 Evasion and then lose 1/4 of its own HP due to the recoil.] This is one of the closest and longest battles I have ever had, and therefore it is also the most memorable for me. It also gave me a deep fear of Cradily, I can't help being terrified whenever I face one ever since this battle. It made the remaining few battles feel super fast as the team I was using usually won every battle in 3-4 turns. I also got to appreciate the trainer card upgrade I got afterwards much more due to this battle. There is also a fun thing related to this that happened recently, I had a battle that was similar to this in X where I was left against a Cradily in the Battle Maison, but I won somewhat easier as it didn't go down to struggling in that battle. [XY Battle Video: Q9HW-WWWW-WWW4-PEBB] Still a long and horrifying battle similar to the one in Diamond which made me think back to it. And then, in a few battles later, I lost - against a Cradily! I guess the spiritual successor of the one from Diamond wanted revenge... or something.

If the ability to save battle videos had existed in D/P, I would have saved that battle without any doubt.

So yeah. Cradily. I don't know what to make out of that Pokemon. I'm glad it hasn't been as annoying recently, past those battles in X at least. Though I did lose against a Cradily in the Platinum Factory once, even if I had a Magnezone on my team. It feels like Cradily is one of my unlucky opponents in Battle Facilities.

In the end, I used this team to win 100 battles in a row on both of my games. It happened in Diamond in October 2008 as I mentioned in the old post above. I'm not quite sure when it happened in Pearl. I think it might have been during the summer or earlier in the autumn but I can't remember at all. It doesn't matter that much now either, what is important is that I did it, not when.
I think that was all I had to say about the D/P Tower. It was really fun. I have considered continuing on my unfinished Double streaks (and I did to a small extent in Diamond, as you can see) but I don't think I ever will since I just don't have any motivation to do it right now. I have considered rebreeding the members of that team to get them with perfect IVs and maybe shiny as well just for fun, as well as updating to the newest version of the team. But since I have already accomplished my goal of winning 100 battles in a row and the team I already have worked for that, I can't really be bothered to do anything more with it. Then I can't RNG in Emerald either which would be necessary in order to get a Selfdestruct Snorlax with good IVs and I have no motivation or reason to try and learn Emerald RNG, so I will probably never do anything more regarding that.

I don't have a ton of resources and threads for the D/P Tower like I do for the Emerald Frontier, the main thing I can think of is the old thread here on Smogon for the D/P Tower, you can find it here. There's also the Gen 4 Frontier thread which has some information for the D/P Tower as well, that thread can be found here. Maybe I don't need to link it here since I'll link to it later while discussing the Gen 4 Frontier as well, but whatever.

Battling at the D/P Tower was a great experience. It could be hard and frustrating at times, but it was really fun on the whole. However, it was not the end of battle facilities in Gen 4. In fact, it was only the beginning. Gen 4 had a lot more to offer. Which I will get to in my next post.

That's it for now. This part of the project became rather short, but that's how it had to be. I'll post the next part tomorrow.
 
I hope it is okay to double post (I don't have a choice either way).

Here's part four for my project about my experiences with battle facilities in previous generations. Smuckem and everyone else who is interested. This time, I'll go over the rest of Gen 4. Basically the Platinum Battle Frontier. Here we go!

Gen 4

Platinum Battle Frontier
My experience with this place is very different compared to the Emerald Frontier.

I mentioned before that I got burnt out on Pokemon in late 2008, before the English release of Platinum. I had played D/P so much and I had completed practically everything in them that I wanted to do, having nothing interesting left to do in them. The release of Platinum was still five months away (it was released in May 2009 here in Europe) while Emerald and all other old games were not as interesting for me at this point. Because of this, I got rather bored of Pokemon since I had nothing important to do in my games while waiting for the English release of Platinum.

My burnout continued even after Platinum got released in English and when it was still the newest game, so I didn't play it that much back then. That said, I still did a lot of things in the game. In fact, practically everything I wanted to do in it... except for completing the Battle Frontier.

After playing in the Emerald Frontier (I had all Silver Symbols as well as 5 Gold Symbols at the time when Platinum was released) and beating the D/P Tower (before the release of Platinum, I had done everything in it that I talked about in my last post), I really wanted to beat the Platinum Frontier as well. My goals were to get all the Gold Prints and win 100 battles in a row at the Battle Tower to get the TC upgrade here as well. Unfortunately, I never got around to doing any of it back when the game was still the newest. The main reason being that I was so bored with IV breeding that I couldn't motivate myself to try and breed for any Pokemon with good IVs. I tried to, and I even sent over several of my Ditto with good IVs from Emerald to make it easier. Platinum had an IV judge unlike D/P, which allowed me to check for flawless IVs directly in the game. Despite that, it was just not fun and it took me several months to get all the Pokemon I wanted since I had many breaks in-between. It wasn't motivating at all. I think I started the breeding in September 2009, I was done with the breeding and did the EV-training somewhere around February 2010, then I finally trained the Pokemon to level 50 or above during summer 2010. I originally bred and trained a total of 12 Pokemon that I had planned to use for the Platinum Frontier. I wanted to try and recreate the feeling from Emerald since I had bred and trained 12 Pokemon early on to use in the Frontier there as well. But this time, it just didn't work.

RNGing had been discovered at this point, but back in 2009, I looked at the RNG guides and felt that it was way too complicated for me. Being burnt out on Pokemon and having to learn something extremely complicated just to get back into the series didn't feel very motivating for me back then. Also, RNG during 2009/10 was a bit more difficult compared to just a few years later, or today. I later learned Gen 4 RNG in 2012, that's a different story but it will play a part in this as all but one of the Pokemon I eventually used to win at the Platinum Frontier are ones I have RNGed myself.

I remember lurking these forums back during 2009/2010 and slightly earlier too, the Battle Frontier thread especially. Even if I didn't play the games myself much back then, seeing various people getting extremely high streaks was very exciting. I remember seeing Jumpman make several TrickScarf teams (and one that wasn't a TrickScarf team) which I thought was really cool. First LLL, then CLS, then Drapula V1 and finally, Drapula V2. I also remember the race between him and Peterko which ended with Peterko getting a streak of 2363 after losing against a Gliscor, while Jumpman got to the famous number 2366. Those were really fun and enjoyable times even from the perspective of a lurking spectator.

But that was a long time ago. A lot of things have happened since then. I didn't play Platinum that much during 2011-2013. B/W, B2/W2 and X/Y existed, and I mainly played them instead. I still played Platinum a little during those years, but not very much. And whenever I played it, I did not battle at the Frontier. But at various points during that time, I thought about going back to Platinum in order to complete the Frontier. And in 2014, I finally got around to it. As I said earlier, 2014 was a year when I went back to some older Pokemon games in order to complete various things I had left to do in them. Platinum was one of those games, the Frontier was the one thing I had left to complete in the game.

Now that I have played through the Platinum Frontier, I have to say that I liked it a lot, just like with the Emerald Frontier. That said, I never played it as intensely as I did with the Emerald Frontier, nor did I spend that much time at it. I also found it easier than the Emerald Frontier in general, since you only needed 49 wins for all the Gold Prints compared to how some of the Gold Symbols in Emerald required more than that. Though there were a few facilities in Emerald that required less wins so it was easier there in some instances. That said, it was still not all easy. The Platinum Factory is also considered harder than the Emerald Factory, at least that's what I have heard. I think I will have to agree with that even if I haven't beaten either of them. Winning 100 battles in a row at the Tower was quite difficult too. In general, the Platinum Frontier was fun but my experiences with it are vastly different compared to the Emerald Frontier. I wish I had spent more time on the Platinum Frontier and that I had played through it earlier. But hey, better late than never! I only played Single here, never really tried Double, Multi or Wi-Fi. The main reason being that it is only possible to battle the Frontier Brains and get the Prints in Single, just like in Emerald. I also decided to try and win 100 battles in a row at the Tower on Single here, unlike what I did in D/P.
I don't remember a whole lot about the Silver Prints. After breeding, EV-training and training the 12 Pokemon I had planned to use for the Frontier, I used them a little and managed to get all the Silver Prints at least. I am quite sure I got all of them in 2010, probably during the summer. I can't remember in which order I got them or which Pokemon I used for which Prints. The only thing I know is that I used a Porygon-Z to get the Silver Print at the Battle Hall, but that's it. My memory escapes me regarding the rest and I never wrote anything down regarding it. I'm not going to list the 12 Pokemon I trained and had planned to use for the Platinum Frontier because they aren't very good and not worth mentioning. These Pokemon and the Silver Prints doesn't really matter anyway. Unless someone wants me to post the details for them, then I'll do that. Like with Emerald, the Silver Prints aren't that important, the Gold Prints are the ones that really matter. Thankfully I have written down all the teams I used for the Gold Prints, I have also written down a lot of other details regarding how I got the Gold Prints.

I'll do this like I did for Emerald. First of all, here's the order in which I got the Gold Prints, by facility. Save for the one I don't have yet which is last. They don't have any fancy names like the Emerald Symbols do so I'll just list them by the facility names.

1. Tower
2. Castle
3. Arcade
4. Hall

Not yet and likely never: Factory

I got them during March-May 2014. Don't remember all the exact dates and I didn't write down most of them either.

Unlike what I have done for Gen 2-3 and Gen 6-7, I did look up opposing movesets as I was playing in the Platinum Frontier. Not in every single instance, but most of the time.

Similar to what I did with Emerald, I'll go over the facilities in the order I got the Gold Prints. I'll also talk a little about how each facility works.

Let us begin.
Like with Emerald, the standard facility is the one I have the most to say about. But unlike Emerald, it is first out.

I remember trying to get the Gold Print here in 2010 using a team consisting of Starmie, Garchomp and Togekiss (similar to my first team on Pearl but not exactly the same). Though it never got up to Gold Palmer and I don't think I tried that many times either. I was very burnt out on Pokemon and didn't have much interest in trying then.

When I got back to trying the Frontier in 2014, I decided to start with the Tower. The reason was that I happened to have a team that I just knew would be able to make it all the way to Gold Palmer and win. Below are the details for it.

Team 1:

1530985483005.png

Suicune @ Lum Berry
Ability: Pressure
IVs: 31/23/31/30/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Timid
– Surf
– Ice Beam
– Hidden Power [Electric]
– Calm Mind

1530985517180.png

Latias (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
IVs: 31/7/31/31/31/31
EVs: 114 HP / 204 Sp.att / 192 Spd
Nature: Timid
– Dragon Pulse
– Calm Mind
– Refresh
– Recover

1530985562244.png

Weavile (F) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Pressure
IVs: 31/31/31/24/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Jolly
– Night Slash
– Ice Punch
– Ice Shard
– Low Kick

Streak: 49 (abandoned, later continued with a different team)

This team does probably look rather weird and you may wonder why I would use such a strange team in the first place. There's a reason and I will tell you all about it later in this post, but it will have to stay a mystery for a little longer. For now, let me just say that I used this team and it worked. The main idea was to set up with Suicune and hopefully win, the Lum Berry gave it a one-time immunity to status. Latias could also set up while healing itself with Recover and Refresh. Weavile could just attack right away with good STABs and Low Kick for coverage. The Focus Sash guaranteed it to survive at least one attack. Not much to say about the team since it isn't very good and I do not recommend it.

This team worked, but I lost once before making it all the way. It was in battle #43 against a Quick Claw Bronzong. On my second try, I managed to get up to Gold Palmer and win. Not every battle along the way was easy but I did at least not lose again. I did save and upload the Battle Video back then but it can't be viewed anymore since the Wi-Fi got closed down and I saved other videos over it. The same goes for most of my other Gold Print battles. In retrospect, I regret not saving them on some of my other 4th Gen games while the Wi-Fi was still up. But not much can be done about that now.

That said, I did write down a short summary of the battle back when it happened. According to it, my Suicune took down Palmer's Heatran and Regigigas but fell to his Cresselia, which my Weavile then defeated. I won and got my first Gold Print!

But my experience with the Tower didn't end there as I had one more thing to do. And that was, like in D/P, to win 100 battles in a row and get the Trainer Card upgrade. Due to my experiences with this team, I knew that it wouldn't be able to make it all the way to the top. So I had to make a new team. This was after I had won the four Gold Prints. Below are the details for new team.

Team 2:

1530985538425.png

Latias (F) @ Choice Scarf ** Rosa
Ability: Levitate
IVs: 31/7/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 HP / 182 Def / 76 Spd
Nature: Timid
- Trick
- Thunder Wave
- Charm
- Recover

1530985584352.png

Registeel @ Leftovers ** Metal Man
Ability: Clear Body
IVs: 31/31/31/7/31/31
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Att / 146 Def / 12 Sp.def
Nature: Careful
- Iron Head
- Curse
- Amnesia
- Substitute

1530985598734.png

Salamence (M) @ Lum Berry ** Nate
Ability: Intimidate
IVs: 31/31/31/27/31/31
EVs: 252 Att / 6 Sp.def / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Substitute
- Dragon Dance

Streak: 105 (ongoing)

I didn't think I would be capable of coming up with a successful team on my own, so I didn't even try. I wasn't planning to get on any leaderboards (or even posting the team details anywhere at all), and I wanted to be done with this quickly so I could move on to other things. Because of that, I did the usual. Checked the leaderboards here on Smogon to find a good team that I could use to win 100 battles in a row. I found some really good ones. This is the team I settled for.

Credit for this team goes to Bozo here on Smogon, his post can be found here. Why did I chose his team and not another one, like Jumpman's Drapula, or Peterko's team consisting of Latias/Registeel/Garchomp? There are a few reasons. I had RNGed a Timid Latias on HeartGold, as well as a Careful Registeel on Platinum, then I could just breed a Bagon with desired IVs/Nature as well as Dragon Dance and I would have all members of the team. If I wanted to use Drapula, I could have bred a Skorupi and Gible without problems, but I did not have a Bold Mesprit with good IVs. I could have started playing my second copy of Platinum (which was unplayed at the time, I later played through it in early 2015) and obtained a Bold Mesprit from there. But I didn't feel like doing it back then since I wanted to be done with what I had planned to do in the Platinum Frontier rather quickly as I had other things to do in other games afterwards. So that's why I didn't go with Drapula.

I guess a better question would be why I decided to go with Bozo's team instead of Peterko's (essentially, Salamence instead of Garchomp). I had the Latias and Registeel I needed, and I could easily just have bred a Gible. It was honestly a rather weird choice since I like Garchomp better than Salamence. But after I had read Bozo's posts about his team, I realized that Salamence had some things Garchomp misses out on: Intimidate, slightly higher Attack, an immunity to Ground, better defensive synergy with Registeel, and Speed control (thanks to Dragon Dance). Garchomp on the other hand has some things Salamence are lacking such as Swords Dance (which means it takes a shorter time to set it up fully), an immunity to Electric, better bulk and a good secondary STAB. Salamence doesn't have any of these things. However, Garchomp has a useless Ability, and shiny Garchomp is barely different from regular Garchomp, while I like the look of shiny Salamence despite green not being one of my favorite colors. So in the end, I decided to give Salamence a try. And my goal was to win 100 battles in a row, not 2366 or 2363. Bozo's team felt like it should be enough to accomplish that since he had used it to win 1159 battles in a row. If he could do that, then surely I should be able to win 100 battles in a row with it.

The team is quite standard but I'll say some things about it anyway. Latias's role is to TrickScarf and then cripple the opponent as much as possible. An optimal situation is where the opponent has the Choice Scarf, is paralyzed, and has been Charmed down to -6 Attack. Lowering the opponent's Attack is more important if it is locked into a Physical move or a move with low PP, in order to minimize the damage from Struggle. Recover is important since keeping Latias alive was something I usually did after reading what Bozo had said about the team. If it was possible, I'd rather switch out Latias to Registeel or Salamence as opposed to letting it faint. The reason was that if something went wrong later in the match, Latias could come back and help out more. Say, if Registeel or Salamence fainted, I could send Latias back out and try to cripple the new opposing Pokemon before trying to set up with the other back-up.

Registeel is a standard setup sweeper for a TrickScarf team. Behind a Sub at +6 Att/Def/Sp.def and -6 Speed, very few things can defeat it. The only Pokemon that have any chance of surviving are bulky Steel-types such as Bronzong and Skarmory. But Registeel isn't invincible as it has some problems against things like Hail which cancels out the Leftovers recovery, as well as hax in various forms such as Critical Hits or OHKO moves, they are especially dangerous when it doesn't have a Substitute up. It was the main sweeper of the team, sending it out instead of Salamence felt more safe most of the time. The main issue with Registeel is that it was slow, especially after 6 Curses, but what can you do? Having Rest would have been great too in order to recover more HP, but there's only 4 moveslots and Substitute is more important to protect it from things like Status, OHKO moves and Critical Hits. Looking back now, I see that Registeel is wasting 4 EVs in Defense that could be put in Speed instead, though it probably doesn't matter since I don't think they will help it with outspeeding anything when it is at -6.

Salamence was the second sweeper of the team. It was not used as often as Registeel but it has some benefits. If the opposing lead got locked into a status move, Salamence could switch in and absorb the status with the Lum Berry, then use Substitute and safely set up 6 Dragon Dances. Lowering the opponent's Attack with Intimidate was also great if Latias didn't manage to lower it all the way or at all with Charm. Salamence has one benefit over Garchomp in that it learns Dragon Dance. This allowed the team to have speed control since a Salamence at +6 Speed is faster than everything in the Frontier (except annoying Quick Claw users and priority moves). In comparison, Garchomp has no way to raise its Speed and will get outrun by faster Pokemon. Garchomp only takes 4 turns to set up fully with Swords Dance, as opposed to Salamence which takes 7 with Dragon Dance. But I didn't mind, 3 extra turns doesn't make much of a difference in terms of time. I'd rather take the extra time and win than save time and lose. Salamence's gender is also important. Latias is Female while Salamence is Male, which allows it to set up on Male opponents which starts with Attract against Latias. It also makes it safe to use against Male Pokemon with Cute Charm. I find it really good to have both genders on the team when using a team like this. I remember having a similar experience at various times when I used Kangliscune in Alpha Sapphire, having both genders on the team could be really helpful in certain occasions.

The defensive synergy of the team is really great too. Together, the three of them are resistant or immune to every single type. If that wasn't good enough, Salamence and Registeel alone are resistant or immune to every type except Electric. But the chances of the opposing lead starting with an Electric-type move is rather low since Latias is resistant to it, so it was all fine on that part. Latias and Registeel also have great synergy. Latias is weak to Bug, Ice, Dark, Ghost and Dragon, all of which Registeel resists. Registeel on the other hand is weak to Fighting, Ground and Fire, all of which Latias resists or is immune to, which means the opposing lead is unlikely to use a move from these types.

I think that's it for the team. Some more strategies and general information can be found in Bozo's posts about it. But how did it go when I used the team? On my first tries, it didn't go very well. I lost a few times before I made it to 100 wins in a row. I wrote down quite detailed records of my losses, so I decided to include them here. Below are the losses and in the order they happened:

1. Battle #72 (continued from the streak of 49 I got with my first team), against a PI. They tend to use things like OHKO moves, Quick Claw as well as other haxy stuff which isn't fun to be up against. I managed to set up Registeel and defeat his lead Bronzong, but I then got to face a Rhyperior which knew Horn Drill. While it didn't defeat Registeel, it did break its Substitute. Which meant I did not have a Sub up against the Articuno that appeared afterwards, it defeated Registeel with Sheer Cold. I tried to stall with Latias a bit but got Frozen, then Salamence didn't KO with Outrage and I lost.

2. Battle #50, against a Picnicker. She started with a Yanmega which unfortunately had Tinted Lens. It got two Critical Hits on Registeel which was enough to take it down, though Registeel managed to hit it with one Iron Head which did about 50%. I defeated it with Salamence's Outrage, but Salamence fell to the Luxray that was sent out afterwards and Latias couldn't do anything to win from there.

3. Battle #85, against a Dragon Tamer. He started with a Latios which used Thunder Wave so I let Salamence set up against it. This came at the cost of Salamence losing its Lum Berry, and I don't like having to use Outrage against the first Pokemon without it. I defeated the Latios and the Dragonite that he sent out afterwards, but Salamence got confused and hit itself twice instead of the Charizard it was up against. I remember Salamence surviving the first self-hit with exactly 2 HP left, then it fainted from the second one. I sent out Latias but could only get off a Thunder Wave and one Charm before it got defeated as it was Paralyzed from the Latios's Thunder Wave before. The Charizard's Flare Blitz was strong enough to break Registeel's Substitutes, and it ended up defeating me with Flare Blitz before I could defeat it with Iron Head. This battle taught me the very important lesson that if Salamence gets confused by Outrage and doesn't have its Lum Berry left, I would need to switch out instead of trying to attack in order to minimize the risk of losing, even if I had set up fully.

4. Battle #39, embarrassingly early, against a Rich Boy. He started with an Aerodactyl which froze Latias. I managed to set up with Registeel, but played badly against the Poliwrath that he sent out afterwards and let it use Bulk Up 4 times which made it harder to defeat. I defeated it but had no Substitute up against the Nidoqueen he sent out afterwards. It got a Critical Hit with Fire Punch on Registeel which defeated it, then one more CH with Ice Punch against Latias. I used Earthquake with Salamence but it only did around 90% and Salamence got defeated by another Ice Punch which also got the third Critical Hit in a row. This Nidoqueen was holding a Scope Lens, but 3 Crits in a row requires a ton of luck even with that.

With that, I had lost four times. While there was a bit of hax involved in all of these battles, I felt that I could have won if I had just played differently. So I decided to try again. Did it go better? No, it actually went worse. For battles #1-35, I had been using my previous Suicune/Latias/Weavile team instead of Latias/Registeel/Salamence. But this first team had more flaws than I thought. I started losing with them as well. Two times. First in battle #33 against a Togekiss, then in battle #35 against a Lanturn and a Kingdra. There weren't any hax involved in those battles, just really bad playing from my side. I was now standing at 6 losses in total.

After this, I was mad. I was wondering if I would be able to make it after all. I considered trying with a different team, or changing to Double instead. I thought about trading over the team I had used to win 100 battles in a row on Double in D/P and use it in Platinum as well, or even rebreeding and updating to a newer version of that team. Yet I decided to try again, but with some changes. For battles #1-35, I used a different team. I kept Suicune but swapped Weavile and Latias for a Salamence (a different one than I used for battles #36 and forward) and a Blissey. I'll post the full details for these two soon. With this new team, I won the first 5 rounds. Then I changed back to my actual team to see how it would go...

...And I made it all the way. 10 more rounds, 70 battles, ending at a total win streak of 105.

Back when it happened, I had this to say about it:

"I almost can't believe that I made it, it is now finally over and I'm so happy about making it all the way through. It is such a big relief that I can't put it down in words. It feels like a huge burden has been lifted from me, like a thousand Golurk that stood on my shoulders and now have flown away. It wasn't all easy though, there were quite a few tough and close battles along the way. But it doesn't matter anymore, I did it. There was also a strange thing that happened towards the end. In battle #101, I got to face a trainer with a complete garbage team consisting of Bellossom, Lairon and Misdreavus instead of the usually tougher Pokemon. It was almost as if the game told me: 'Congrats, you have won 100 battles in a row, here is a super easy battle as a reward.' I have no idea why it happened but it is both strange and interesting."

So yeah. That happened on May 17th, 2014. As for that super easy battle that happened towards the end, I have no idea why that happened. I saw someone post about something similar in the Frontier thread here on Smogon, maybe it is a weird glitch or something? I don't know. Don't remember anything like that happening on D/P either.

Winning 100 battles in a row at the Platinum Tower took me seven tries. It isn't that many, but it felt like a lot. Some other things I remember from my streaks is that I sometimes had to improvise a bit. I remember one time where the opposing lead started with Curse, forcing me to switch out Latias without really doing anything and then doing my best from there once the first opponent had fainted. I also remember once that the opposing lead started with Fling, removing the Choice Scarf I had just given them, forcing me to improvise as well.

That's all I had for the Platinum Battle Tower. I had a lot to say about it, but I guess it isn't that strange due to my adventures with it. Yet I haven't said everything I want to say about Battle Towers. There is a little more but we'll get to it later. For now, let's move on to the next Facility.
This is a fun place. I decided to continue with it after the Tower since it felt more strategy-based compared to the Arcade which felt more luck-based, and I wasn't sure if I would be able to beat the Hall at this point. I also wanted to stay as far away from the Factory for as long as possible.

At first, I tried with various teams, can't remember all of them. Either way, none of them worked. I might have gotten up to the 6th or maybe even 7th round at best, but I never made it all the way to the Gold Battle against Darach and Caitlin. I realized that I would have to create a new team that actually worked if I wanted to win. So I did. I went to the Frontier thread here on Smogon to find inspiration. My new team became the following:

1530985605450.png

Salamence (M) @ Choice Band ** Salamander
Ability: Intimidate
IVs: 31/31/31/25/31/31
EVs: 252 Att / 6 Sp.def / 252 Spd
Nature: Jolly
- Outrage
- Aerial Ace
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide

1530985682743.png

Milotic (F) @ Leftovers ** Mirage
Ability: Marvel Scale
IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 6 Spd
Nature: Bold
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Toxic
- Recover

1530985721421.png

Blissey (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
IVs: 31/4/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 6 Spd
Nature: Bold
- Seismic Toss
- Flamethrower
- Aromatherapy
- Softboiled

Streak: 49 wins, with 214 CP (ongoing)

Like with my second Battle Tower team, credit for this team goes to Bozo here on Smogon. His original post can be found here. He had won 1008 battles in a row with this team and I thought that if he had accomplished that, then I should be able to win 49 battles with the team. So that's just what I did. The team is quite simple, Salamence is a strong Physical attacker while Milotic and Blissey are both bulky tanks that can survive most hits and stall out the opponents with their moves. The Castle is a bit unique in that it is one of the few facilities where you can have the same hold item on multiple Pokemon. On this team, both Milotic and Blissey are holding a Leftovers. They can heal themselves with Recover/Softboiled and Blissey can cure the entire team of status with Aromatherapy. In short, the team is designed to beat most opponents while allowing you to obtain large amounts of CP if you use it correctly. Bozo explains the team and the general strategy better than me, so just read his post for more information.

The CP system at the Castle is really fun because it allows you to check your opponent's Pokemon before the battle, you can also raise or lower their level as well as give your own Pokemon hold items, or restore the HP or PP of your Pokemon. You could also skip an entire battle if you felt like it. You need to spend CP to rank up before you can do some things. I don't think it is necessary to go through everything you can do there, all information can be found on Bulbapedia's page for the Battle Castle here. In general, you need to have good management skills so you don't waste CP, but you also need to have a good team that can obtain large amounts of CP so that you can use CP when you need to.

There's a Donphan in the room here which I need to talk about. How do I have a Blissey with good IVs and Seismic Toss if I never learned Emerald RNG? There were many different ways to get one, but for me, the answer is simple. Pokecheck.

For those of you who weren't around when this site was active in the past, I have written an explanation about how Pokecheck worked and how I got my Blissey from there.
Pokecheck allowed you to "upload" Pokemon from the Gen 4 and 5 games to the site to check information about them. Though the actual Pokemon still stayed on the games, the information about it was the only thing that was uploaded. A lot of information about the uploaded Pokemon was shown, such as their IVs, EVs, stats and pretty much everything. There is also a legality analysis which allowed their legality to be checked (though it wasn't 100% perfect, but such a thing is probably very hard to create, if not downright impossible). Pokecheck also allowed you to download Pokemon directly to your game if the owner of the Pokemon in question had made them public. PokeGTS was another site, I don't remember all of its functions but you could upload Pokemon files to it and download them to your game. The benefit being that they would be completely legit (assuming they were to start with), while Pokecheck gave all downloaded Pokemon an extra ribbon which they originally didn't have, making them non-legit. Unless they actually had that ribbon, in which case they would in fact be legit. If there were any Pokemon that had that ribbon, but I assume so. Hope all of that makes sense. Another feature Pokecheck has is that it allows you to view battle videos that has been uploaded to the internet, though this is only for Gen 5. I have a few videos to share from the site, but we'll get to that later on when it is time for Gen 5.

Pokecheck was active from 2011 to 2014 (don't know exactly when it started, don't remember exactly when it closed down). The people who were running it had planned to update it with support for Gen 6 (battle videos at least) but it never happened. And it doesn't look like it ever will, either. Wi-Fi for Gen 4 and 5 also ended in May 2014. Ultimately, Pokecheck closed down. And it stayed that way... until April this year, where it was brought back (by accident!) with all data that it used to have still on the site. This includes all of the Pokemon I had uploaded to the site in the past. I randomly found out that the site was back while working on the project, going back there sure brought back many memories from the past!

So yeah. I got my Blissey from there (as a Chansey), by downloading it from Pokecheck through PokeGTS. Information about it as an untrained Chansey can be found here here or as my trained Blissey here. I decided to make it un-private and public so anyone can download it if you want to (and if you have the ability to do it, I don't really know how alternate WFC works myself). I don't feel super happy about having a public Pokemon on Pokecheck which I have not bred or obtained myself. But seeing as it was "free" on the site to start with, as well as the odds of anyone downloading it now being rather low, I guess this will be an exception. I can do most of my other Pokemon on Gen 4 and 5 public on Pokecheck as well (as long as I had uploaded them to Pokecheck in the past, I can't upload any new Pokemon to the site anymore) if anyone should be interested. There are exceptions though, such as my shiny Latias which I won't make public.

The Chansey does pass the legality analysis but I don't understand how it can have trash bytes from Happiny if it was bred as a Chansey to begin with. It is a mystery, maybe someone knows? There are no guarantees that it is legit but it does pass the legality analysis and I believe it has the OT of a well-known RNG researcher (I think it is Kaphotics, but not 100% sure) so I trust it to be legit. If someone who knows about the origins of this Chansey were to tell me now that it isn't legit, I will become very sad. Looking back, I suppose I could have learned Emerald RNG myself and gotten a Blissey with Seismic Toss on my own for this project, but I was just too lazy and didn't want to spend unnecessary amounts of time. As mentioned earlier, I wanted to be done with the Platinum Frontier rather quickly. I suppose another alternative could have been to try and get a desired Chansey/Blissey through trading with someone who had one, either here on Smogon or on Serebii. But I never did that. Laziness got the best of me and I picked the simplest solution. That is also the reason this Blissey doesn't have a nickname. Out of all the Pokemon I have used for serious streaks at Battle Facilities through the years, I think this Blissey is the only one I have not bred, caught, RNGed or in any other way obtained completely on my own, within my own games.

At this point, I think I have written more about Pokecheck and the Blissey I used than my experiences at the Castle, so let's get back to that.

I mentioned that I made many tries with other teams that didn't work before I used this team. I think the Castle was the facility where I had to make the most tries before getting my Gold Print. But once I used this team, it worked wonders. I got all the way up to Gold Darach and Caitlin on my first try. I don't remember the details of the battle but I had written down some things in an old post. I lowered the levels of their Pokemon before the battle just to make it a bit easier since I just didn't want to lose. I won easily anyway, and got my second Gold Print. Like with my Tower Gold battle, I saved and uploaded the video but I don't have it saved on my game anymore so it can't be viewed.

That's it for the Castle.
After the Castle, I had decided that it was time for the Arcade. I was still not sure about being able to beat the Hall, and as for the Factory... I wanted to wait with it until I had tried all the others. So I headed to the Arcade next. I had no real plan for this place so I just decided to enter with the same team as in the Castle, hoping it would work. A quick recap:

1530985611706.png

Salamence (M) ** Salamander
Ability: Intimidate
IVs: 31/31/31/25/31/31
EVs: 252 Att / 6 Sp.def / 252 Spd
Nature: Jolly
- Outrage
- Aerial Ace
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide

1530985692386.png

Milotic (F) ** Mirage
Ability: Marvel Scale
IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 6 Spd
Nature: Bold
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Toxic
- Recover

1530985711610.png

Blissey (F)
Ability: Natural Cure
IVs: 31/4/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 6 Spd
Nature: Bold
- Seismic Toss
- Flamethrower
- Aromatherapy
- Softboiled

Streak: 49 (ongoing)

Once more, credit for the team goes to Bozo even if it isn't designed specifically for the Arcade.

The only difference compared to the Castle is that they weren't holding any items this time around.

I'm not sure what to say about the Arcade. So I'll say everything I can think of. It is rather luck-based with the Roulette and which event you land on, but thankfully you can try to land on an event that is as good as possible. I never had any major troubles with getting the Roulette to stop where I wanted it to. Making it stop at the right time was very simple compared to hitting delays while RNGing, which requires a lot more precision. Though I still failed to make it stop where I wanted it to a few times and got some disastrous events as a consequence of that, but it didn't happen very often. If we take a look at the possible events that exist, I suppose there is some basic advice. To make it simple, I have added an image of all possible events that exists.



Taken from Bulbapedia.

Trying to land on an event that affects your opponent in a negative way is of course preferable, while landing on an event that has a negative effect on your team should be avoided. Similarly, getting an event which has a positive effect on your opponent should be avoided, while getting one that has a positive effect on your team is something you should aim for. Getting a hold item might be risky since you don't know what you get (I'm not sure if there is a list of possible items, I have heard about Lagging Tails and Choice Scarves which feels like very bad choices). Getting Berries for your Pokemon is probably only good as there are very few berries with bad effects. There's also the "neutral" events that affect both sides, some are good and some are bad. I always tried to avoid letting the board speed up or go random since that made things harder, but I tried to make it slow down if given the opportunity. There's of course also some fun events like skipping the battle entirely, getting BP, or no event whatsoever. Battling in Weather and Trick Room are possible events as well. And of course, swapping team with your opponent. That can be devastating if you end up with a bad team. Knowing what every symbol on the board means shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

I think that's it regarding my suggestions for how to play the Roulette. Let's get back to my own experiences. Before reaching Dahlia, I lost three times in different situations. The first one was because the Roulette landed on the event where I got to switch team with my opponent. I had to use a bad team against my own which caused me to lose. I have a vague memory of it featuring a Tangrowth and a Lucario, but I might be wrong. I then lost in battles #31 and #43, don't remember these situations and I hadn't written down any details from them either. On the next try, I made it all the way to Dahlia. Before the battle, the Roulette landed on an event that froze one of her Pokemon. If my memory serves me correctly, it was her Blaziken. It didn't matter much in the battle though, her Blaziken knows Flare Blitz which allowed it to thaw itself. I don't remember the exact details from the battle and I hadn't written them down, but I won without major problems and got my third Gold Print! Like with the previous facilities, I saved the battle and uploaded it but I do no longer have it saved on my game.

Before moving on, there is one more thing I want to say here. Once during my streaks (probably the first one, before I lost), the Roulette landed on the event where I got to switch Pokemon with my opponent. What Pokemon did I obtain? I don't remember the backups, but this was the lead:

651 | Dewgong | Calm | Salac Berry | Sheer Cold | Horn Drill | Rest | Sleep Talk | HP/Def/SpD

This is the kind of horrible opponent that is never fun to face. Thankfully it doesn't have a haxy hold item and it has rather low base defenses, so it isn't that bad. Walrein is much worse. But that's not the point here. Since I got to use it myself, how did it work? I don't remember the full details of the battle but I did manage to land a hit with the OHKO moves on all three of my own Pokemon (now used by my opponent), which made me win against my own team. I also think Dewgong had to use Rest once during the battle. That was a hilarious battle and I really regret not saving the Battle Video from it.

And that's all I had to say about the Arcade.
After the Arcade, it was time for the Hall. This and the Factory were the two facilities in Platinum which I wasn't sure if I would be able to actually beat, so I left them for last. But it felt like I had a bigger chance at beating the Hall than the Factory (which proved to be correct, beating the Hall was much easier than I thought), so I went here first.

In the Hall, you can only use one Pokemon. Or rather one species, but multiple individual Pokemon as long as they are from the same species. The question was, which Pokemon should I use? I looked at the Frontier thread here on Smogon and quickly found my answer in the form of one amazingly good Pokemon I have used at many other instances, also one of my top favorite Pokemon introduced in Gen 4:

1530985748154.png

Garchomp (M) @ Focus Sash ** Land Shark
Ability: Sand Veil
IVs: 31/31/31/0/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Jolly
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Fire Fang
- Swords Dance

Streak: 170 (ongoing)

Credit for this set and the whole idea goes to Nickm65 here on Smogon, you can find his original post here. He had used a Garchomp to win 283 battles in a row at the Hall, so I thought I should be able to use his strategy to win the 170 battles in a row that I wanted to win in order to get the Gold Print.

It was an easy choice since I had already RNGed a Jolly Gible with perfect IVs on HeartGold. It was also shiny which is unnecessary since shiny Garchomp is barely different from a regular one. Like with Salamence, Garchomp is one of those amazing Pokemon which I have used at some point in some battle facility in every generation since it was first introduced.

The strategy isn't completely perfect since Garchomp auto-loses against Weavile which is faster, holds a Focus Sash and knows Ice Punch and Ice Shard. Garchomp is also likely to lose against Scizor which also holds a Focus Sash while knowing Counter and Bullet Punch. This means it can beat Garchomp if it uses the correct moves in the right order. I don't really know about it though since I never got to face a Scizor myself. There are some other Pokemon that are troublesome as well, such as Poliwrath and Yanmega. Bulky Grass-types like Venusaur and Tangrowth can be hard to beat as well. Nickm65 lists some other problematic Pokemon too, but I mostly remember having a hard time against the ones I listed here. Also, for reference, here is a list of all opposing Pokemon movesets in the Hall, ordered by type. The Pokemon in the Hall uses different sets compared to the other Facilities, every Pokemon in the Hall has one specific set. Credit to Peterko for putting together that list. One thing I remember from using this list as I played through the Hall was that you could first face a tough Pokemon, then a weak Pokemon afterwards even if you had obtained a higher rank in the same Type. I don't really know why but that happened many times.

An alternate strategy to beat the Hall could be to use multiple Pokemon instead of one (but of the same species) to make things easier against certain threats. I thought about doing that, but again, I wanted this to be done rather quickly and I couldn't be bothered to raise more than one Garchomp if that was all I needed to win. I have seen several other people in the Frontier thread here on Smogon train multiple Pokemon of the same species to win at the Hall, so it is definitely an alternative. It is probably better if you want to get very high streaks at the Hall. But for getting the Gold Print, my one and only Garchomp ended up being enough.

Anyway. I got started at the Hall with my Garchomp. I followed the advice from Nickm65, which was to challenge all the types in the following order: Ice, Dark, Water, Ghost, Ground, Grass, Fighting, Normal, Psychic, Flying, Bug, Dragon, Steel, Rock, Poison, Fire, Electric.

Like in the other facilities, I lost a few times before making it all the way. My first loss was in a Silver Battle against Argenta, Battle #50. She had a Tangrowth. According to an old post, it overwhelmed me and I played badly against it, but there was a bit of hax involved as well. On my second try, I lost early against a Weavile, this must have been either during the Ice or Dark type round. There's not much to say, Garchomp auto-loses against Weavile so it was a very simple and straightforward loss. On my third try, I got much further but lost against a Venusaur (likely in the Poison round), it was in a similar situation as the Tangrowth. I played badly and there was some hax involved as well.

Then, on my fourth try, I made it all the way to the Gold Battle against Argenta. Now, what Pokemon would she use against me? I was nervous since she could use a Weavile which would make me auto-lose, or something else that could be difficult to take down. Since this was the last Gold Print I got, this is the Battle Video I currently have saved on Platinum so I have recorded it and uploaded it to YouTube. You can watch the video, or read a short summary of the battle in the spoiler below, or both. Pick whatever you prefer.
The battle started, and Argenta sent out Latios. Out of all the possible Pokemon she could have, was this it? Yes. I clicked Outrage to auto-win, got one of the most unnecessary Critical Hits ever, and it was over.


As Argentha herself puts it: "It's so sad how the truly fun times seem to last only a moment." That's exactly how it went. And that's how I got my fourth Gold Print. It also ended my journey in the Hall. Just one Facility left now, let's continue with it.
I don't have a lot to say here. Like with the Emerald Factory, I haven't beaten it. I have not obtained my Gold Print from this place and I'm not sure if I ever will. The Platinum Factory is just too hard for me, I don't have the skill or knowledge to beat it. And like with the Emerald Factory, I haven't had any motivation to try it lately. I have been focused on other games and I have been busy with other things. Mainly US/UM. Though I guess I have some things to say.

From what I remember, I have played this one a lot more than the Emerald Factory. Or I should say that I have actually tried to beat the Platinum Factory, which I really can't say about the Emerald Factory. Like with the Emerald Factory, I have lost many times and several of my recent losses have been recorded. In fact, a majority of them. I'm not including them here but I can go back to the archives to find them and then post them here if anyone should be interested. I have many memories of battling Silver Thorton, not sure how often I managed to beat him. Maybe half of the time at best, but probably not. Most of my tries here was at Opel Level, I haven't tried Level 50 that much at all.

My best streaks here are 31 for Level 50 and 40 for Open Level. I don't remember anything about that Level 50 streak but I remember some details about that one for Open Level. My team was this:

1530986508999.png
670 | Weezing | Sassy | Lax Incense | Sludge Bomb | Thunderbolt | Dark Pulse | Explosion | SpA/SpD
1530986520697.png
932 | Latias | Timid | Brightpowder | Psychic | Ice Beam | Energy Ball | Shadow Ball | SpA/Spe
1530986535870.png
664 | Froslass | Modest | Expert Belt | Ice Beam | Thunderbolt | Signal Beam | Destiny Bond | SpA/Spe

And I lost because my opponent lead with this:

1530986546026.png
892 | Metagross | Adamant | Quick Claw | Meteor Mash | Zen Headbutt | Earthquake | Explosion | HP/Atk

It swept me completely.

Not sure if I should say anything more, don't think so. Can't think of anything. Instead, I have some resources, posts and threads that might be helpful for others who want to beat the Gen 4 Factory, going to include them here.

Battle Factory Guide
By Glen. A really good guide for the Factory (Open Level mode). I almost always used it while trying to beat the Factory at Open Level. I might not have been able to make it all the way but it did help me get to 40 wins in a row so that's something.

How to beat the Level 50 Factory:
First, this post by Team Rocket Elite. Then this post by turskain.
I saw this strategy when turskain first posted it a few years ago and it is amazing, being able to see exactly what Pokemon your opponent will use at the Factory is incredible. I haven't tried it myself but I think I will give it a spin if I decide to try the Factory again. It worked for turskain, and HeadsILoseTailsYouWin used it to beat the Factory earlier this year, you can find her post about it here.

Memories of the Battle Factory
By Vader_the_White
Not exactly a resource but a thread from a few years ago about the Battle Factory. Give it a read if you are really interested. It contains a post by me which includes some things from both Emerald and Platinum which I haven't mentioned in this post or in my earlier post when I talked about the Emerald Factory.

I think that's it regarding the Factory. Let me just say that anyone who has managed to beat the Factory in either Emerald or Gen 4 has my respect. Maybe I'll be able to beat it myself one day, but I don't know.
I don't have as much to say or as many links to give here compared to the Emerald Frontier since I included pretty much all of the important links in the separate categories for each facility.

First, the few links I do have. There's the Platinum/HG/SS Battle Frontier and DP Battle Tower Records here on Smogon. Already linked to it previously and it is linked in the first post of this thread as well. Various things from this thread helped me so much. It has some info from the D/P Tower as well. Then there's Bulbapedia's page about the Gen 4 Frontier. A lot of useful information can be found there. Those are the only links I have.

Looking back now, the Platinum Frontier was a lot of fun, just like the Emerald Frontier. But I really regret not spending more time with the Platinum Frontier, or playing it more when it was still new. Though I guess I sort of needed a break from Pokemon during 09/10 since I was so burnt out. And besides, getting back into Pokemon later was an amazing experience... as weird as it may sound. I will talk a little more about that in my next post. I think I needed the burnout in order to really appreciate Pokemon again after getting back into it.

I feel that most of the teams I used for the Platinum Frontier aren't that impressive or interesting. I mostly just used teams and Pokemon originally created by other people. And the one I did create myself isn't very good. Guess I could have tried more with original teams but now I didn't and that's just the way it is.

I wanted to do a short summary of my Gold Print battles like I did for Emerald, but... there's not a whole lot to say. The Hall was without any doubt my easiest Gold Print battle. The Tower, Castle and Arcade were not that hard either from what I can remember. The hardest thing for me in the Platinum Frontier (aside from trying to beat the Factory) was to win 100 battles in a row at the Tower. In comparison, getting the Gold Prints were quite easy. Getting up to the Gold Print battles weren't that hard either, I lost one or a few times for each facility but it wasn't that bad.

Unlike with Emerald, I don't really have a favorite facility. I have a love-hate relation to the Factory, and I like all of the others. They were all fun but I don't really prefer any of them over the others.

You already know this, but... I really like the Battle Frontiers in Emerald and Platinum. They were a ton of fun. That said, I don't miss them that much in Gen 5-7. Fun as they were, they feel more like a thing of the past and I'm not sure if they will ever return in any future games, given some recent things that we have seen Game Freak say when it comes to their game design philosophy. It has been many years since the latest release of a game featuring a Battle Frontier. Not sure about everyone else, but I personally feel that Battle Frontiers on the whole are not the be-all, end-all, of Pokemon games when it comes to post-game and content. There are many other things in the games that I think are really fun as well, and if Game Freak can't think of any reasons to bring back Battle Frontiers, or don't want to bring them back, then they shouldn't. That said, I would be happy if they decided to bring back a Frontier in a future game. I'd play through it for sure.

The Platinum Frontier was fun and maybe I'll go back to it again. I have several unfinished streaks, and if I want to start from scratch again, I can always play through it once more in my second copy of Platinum. Though I don't think I ever will. Like with the Emerald Frontier, playing through it once feels like it is enough.

I'm not sure if I have anything more to say here. Instead, I'll do like I did for Emerald and leave you with this:



...

And that's it for Gen 4!

...

Except that it isn't. 2 more main series games were released this generation. While I didn't play them as much as the Sinnoh games (especially not their battle facilities), I do actually have some small things to say regarding them. So that is next up!

HG/SS Battle Frontier
So, I didn't play the HG/SS Frontier as much as the one in Platinum. Why? Various reasons. Without getting into any overly long explanation, let me just say that I prefer Platinum over HG/SS in terms of almost everything the games has to offer. Platinum also had the Frontier first so it has always felt more justified to play it there than in HG/SS. I always wanted to complete the Frontier in Platinum but I never thought much of it in HG/SS. If I ever thought about doing it there, it was never my main idea. If anything, I wanted to complete the Frontier in Platinum first, then in HG/SS afterwards if I ever had a desire to play through it again. I was still burnt out on Pokemon when HG/SS were new and they did nothing to restore my interest in the series. I played them even less than Platinum and from the modern main series games, they are the ones I have spent the least amount of time on.

I will give HG/SS a little credit though. First of all, the fact that they have the Frontier means that those who owns at least one of them can play in the Frontier even if they don't have Platinum. The fact that HG/SS has the same Frontier as Platinum means that my experiences with the Platinum Frontier can be applied for those who wants to try the HG/SS Frontier. RNG breeding is also considerably easier in HG/SS. At least from what I have heard, I have never tried it myself in D/P/P but I have heard it is an utter nightmare there. It is quite easy in HG/SS though. Traditional breeding is also somewhat easier since the Power Items can pass down IVs and Male Pokemon can pass down their Nature through Everstones, neither could be done in any game before HG/SS. The downside being that there's no good place to hatch eggs quickly, at least I never found such a place. These games also have some catchable legendaries which can't be found in Platinum or D/P, the most notable for use in the Frontier (or the D/P Tower) being the legendary beasts and the Lati@s. Most of the Pokemon I used for the Gold Prints and serious battles in the Platinum Frontier were RNGed in HG/SS, the only exceptions being Registeel and Blissey. Finally, HG/SS has a few Move Tutor moves that Platinum doesn't have, the two most notable ones I can think of are Low Kick and Bug Bite. The downside being that the Move Tutors cost BP in HG/SS as opposed to Shards in Platinum. In the end, I prefer Platinum but I guess HG/SS actually deserves a little credit.

I never thought I'd have to say that since I don't have a lot of positive things to say about HG/SS... but that's how it is.

Either way, I never really tried the HG/SS Frontier so I don't have a whole lot to say about it. But there is one small thing I want to talk about. So let's get to that.

Battle Tower Single (SoulSilver):

A team I have already posted. But here's a quick recap:

1530985503947.png

Suicune @ Life Orb
Ability: Pressure
IVs: 31/23/31/30/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Timid
– Surf
– Ice Beam
– Hidden Power [Electric]
– Calm Mind

1530985525566.png

Latias (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
IVs: 31/7/31/31/31/31
EVs: 114 HP / 204 Sp.att / 192 Spd
Nature: Timid
– Dragon Pulse
– Calm Mind
– Refresh
– Recover

1530985567651.png

Weavile (F) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Pressure
IVs: 31/31/31/24/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Jolly
– Night Slash
– Ice Punch
– Ice Shard
– Low Kick

Streak: 49 (ongoing)

The only difference compared to Platinum is Suicune's hold item, Life Orb instead of Lum Berry.

Here's the reason I used that very team in Platinum in the first place. But why did I use it in SoulSilver? There was a reason. I needed BP for a HG/SS Move Tutor move, which was for a Pokemon that I was going to use in the Battle Subway in B/W. This was in 2012, probably during spring or summer, before B2/W2 had been released in English. So in order to get the Move Tutor move in question, I had to obtain BP at the HG/SS Frontier. Looking back, I could have gotten the MT move I wanted by trading with someone who had a Japanese copy of B2/W2, or by trading with someone who had HG/SS and had a lot of BP which they were willing to spend. But I never thought about doing that. I just like getting things done by myself for the most part in Pokemon games. That's not always a good thing but at the same time, I don't like having to rely on others too much either.

Why did I choose SoulSilver and not HeartGold? I think the reason was that HeartGold is the game I used for all RNG breeding on Gen 4 so I wanted to use SoulSilver for something important as well in order to make it somewhat fair between the two games.

Back to the team and why I used it. I didn't really have any good Pokemon for battle facilities on Gen 4 at that time (the ones I had on D/P/P did no longer live up to my standards after I had learned to RNG in Gen 4), and I didn't feel like training any of the Pokemon I had RNGed. But I had trained six Pokemon for a somewhat serious competitive online team on Platinum earlier that year. The team in question was only ever used for one online battle, but that's a different story. Either way, I thought I could use some members from that team to get BP at the Frontier. So I just threw together three Pokemon from that team that had decent synergy together. I decided to try these at the Tower and battle until I had the BP I needed. An alternative could have been to grind BP at the Factory instead, but since I'm not very fond of the Battle Factories, I decided to not do that. It was the Tower or nothing. The team ended up working surprisingly well, it got me up to not only Silver but also Gold Palmer on my first try. I managed to beat him, but the battle was a bit messy compared to how it would go down on Platinum two years later. This got me all the BP I needed. And that is the reason I used this team on Platinum in 2014. It had worked on SoulSilver so I just knew that it would work on Platinum too.

Naturally, I saved the Gold Battle against Palmer on my game and since I haven't done anything more in the SoulSilver Frontier afterwards, I still have it saved. Check out the video of it below if you want to.


I'm not going to say anything more about the battle since I don't think it is relevant enough.

I never did much else in the HG/SS Frontier. On SoulSilver, I tried the other facilities a little apart from the Tower but I only ever cleared one set of battles in each of them (10 battles in the Hall, 7 in the others). On HeartGold, I barely even touched the Battle Frontier. I never tried any of the facilities, and I'm pretty sure I hadn't even entered the area in the game before 2012, when I had to do so in order to go to the IV Judge to check the IVs of my RNGed Pokemon. HeartGold is the only one of my main series games (not counting the extra copies I have of some games) that has battle facilities in which I have never battled in any of the battle facilities it has. I don't think I am ever going to play through the Frontier in these games, but I guess you should never say never. After all, I did go back to complete the Pokedex in HG/SS, something I never thought would happen. It only took five years before I went back to them and completed it. But that's different compared to the Frontier. And we're getting off track, so let's end this here before things get too long.

That's all I have to say about the HG/SS Frontier.

And now we're done with Gen 4 on the whole. Onward to greatness! Though that won't be until the next part of this project, which will also be the last one. I'll post it on next Friday or Saturday.
 
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Smuckem

Resident Facility Bot Wannabe
is a Community Contributor
- Back when it happened, I had this to say about it:

"I almost can't believe that I made it, it is now finally over and I'm so happy about making it all the way through. It is such a big relief that I can't put it down in words. It feels like a huge burden has been lifted from me, like a thousand Golurk that stood on my shoulders and now have flown away. It wasn't all easy though, there were quite a few tough and close battles along the way. But it doesn't matter anymore, I did it. There was also a strange thing that happened towards the end. In battle #101, I got to face a trainer with a complete garbage team consisting of Bellossom, Lairon and Misdreavus instead of the usually tougher Pokemon. It was almost as if the game told me: 'Congrats, you have won 100 battles in a row, here is a super easy battle as a reward.' I have no idea why it happened but it is both strange and interesting."

So yeah. That happened on May 17th, 2014. As for that super easy battle that happened towards the end, I have no idea why that happened. I saw someone post about something similar in the Frontier thread here on Smogon, maybe it is a weird glitch or something? I don't know. Don't remember anything like that happening on D/P either.

- Before moving on, there is one more thing I want to say here. Once during my streaks (probably the first one, before I lost), the Roulette landed on the event where I got to switch Pokemon with my opponent. What Pokemon did I obtain? I don't remember the backups, but this was the lead:

651 | Dewgong | Calm | Salac Berry | Sheer Cold | Horn Drill | Rest | Sleep Talk | HP/Def/SpD

This is the kind of horrible opponent that is never fun to face. Thankfully it doesn't have a haxy hold item and it has rather low base defenses, so it isn't that bad. Walrein is much worse. But that's not the point here. Since I got to use it myself, how did it work? I don't remember the full details of the battle but I did manage to land a hit with the OHKO moves on all three of my own Pokemon (now used by my opponent), which made me win against my own team. I also think Dewgong had to use Rest once during the battle. That was a hilarious battle and I really regret not saving the Battle Video from it.
- Certain Tower/Arcade/Castle opponents are capable of carrying early-round sets later on (which means they're not early-round sets by the strict definition of the word?) (thx to The Foundation, a.k.a. Peterko, for the organization). CHECK IT~!
https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/platinum-hg-ss-battle-frontier-and-dp-battle-tower-records.52858/page-13#post-1901352
https://www.smogon.com/forums/threa...ttle-tower-records.52858/page-13#post-1901352

Beauty Nadia (Set 2): Ivysaur 2, Charmeleon 2, Wartortle 2, Bayleef 2, Quilava 2, Croconaw 2, Grovyle 2, Combusken 2, Marshtomp 2, Grotle 2, Monferno 2, Prinplup 2, Sudowoodo 2, Magcargo 2, Pupitar 2, Sealeo 2, Bibarel 2, Gabite 2, Machoke, Raticate 2, Masquerain 2, Furret 2, Luxio 2, Cherrim 2, Dragonair 2, Mightyena 2, Linoone 2, Kadabra 2, Shelgon 2, Metang 2, Wormadam 2, Mothim 2, Wigglytuff 2, Sunflora 2, Chimecho 2, Gligar 2, Qwilfish 2, Sneasel 2, Swellow 2, Pelipper 2, Lairon 2, Tangela 2, Misdreavus 2, Arbok 2, Persian 2, Seadra 2, Vigoroth 2, Lunatone 2, Solrock 2, Kecleon 2, Rotom 2, Fearow 2, Noctowl 2, Sandslash 2, Venomoth 2, Chansey 2, Seaking 2, Jumpluff 2, Piloswine 2, Purugly 2, Carnivine 2, Golbat 2, Primeape 2, Hitmonlee 2, Hitmonchan 2, Girafarig 2, Hitmontop 2, Banette 2, Dusclops 2, Ninjask 2, Zangoose 2, Seviper 2, Dodrio 2, Sharpedo 2, Camerupt 2, Tropius 2, Lumineon 2, Magneton 2, Mantine 2, Stantler 2, Swalot 2, Crawdaunt 2, Pidgeot 2, Xatu 2, Torkoal 2, Grumpig 2, Clefable 2, Kingler 2, Cacturne 2, Bellossom 2, Octillery 2, Huntail 2, Gorebyss 2, Relicanth 2, Electabuzz 2, Magmar 2, Omastar 2, Kabutops 2, Scyther 2, Cloyster 2
Parasol Lady Angie (Set 2): Ivysaur 2, Charmeleon 2, Wartortle 2, Bayleef 2, Quilava 2, Croconaw 2, Grovyle 2, Combusken 2, Marshtomp 2, Grotle 2, Monferno 2, Prinplup 2, Sudowoodo 2, Magcargo 2, Pupitar 2, Sealeo 2, Bibarel 2, Gabite 2, Machoke, Raticate 2, Masquerain 2, Furret 2, Luxio 2, Cherrim 2, Dragonair 2, Mightyena 2, Linoone 2, Kadabra 2, Shelgon 2, Metang 2, Wormadam 2, Mothim 2, Wigglytuff 2, Sunflora 2, Chimecho 2, Gligar 2, Qwilfish 2, Sneasel 2, Swellow 2, Pelipper 2, Lairon 2, Tangela 2, Misdreavus 2, Arbok 2, Persian 2, Seadra 2, Vigoroth 2, Lunatone 2, Solrock 2, Kecleon 2, Rotom 2, Fearow 2, Noctowl 2, Sandslash 2, Venomoth 2, Chansey 2, Seaking 2, Jumpluff 2, Piloswine 2, Purugly 2, Carnivine 2, Golbat 2, Primeape 2, Hitmonlee 2, Hitmonchan 2, Girafarig 2, Hitmontop 2, Banette 2, Dusclops 2, Ninjask 2, Zangoose 2, Seviper 2, Dodrio 2, Sharpedo 2, Camerupt 2, Tropius 2, Lumineon 2, Magneton 2, Mantine 2, Stantler 2, Swalot 2, Crawdaunt 2, Pidgeot 2, Xatu 2, Torkoal 2, Grumpig 2, Clefable 2, Kingler 2, Cacturne 2, Bellossom 2, Octillery 2, Huntail 2, Gorebyss 2, Relicanth 2, Electabuzz 2, Magmar 2, Omastar 2, Kabutops 2, Scyther 2, Cloyster 2
- Forget whatever I told you earlier today--on the Discord--about my wacky Cradily plans, THIS is what I need to be inspired by! A cold drill cometh...
 
I did some statistical analysis to figure out what exactly the most common leads are in post-50 battles, which differs on a per-game basis because of the different allotment of "famous trainers" available.
Sun: https://pastebin.com/raw/tVpUgFXP
Moon: https://pastebin.com/raw/Rdz2GsGm
Ultra Sun: https://pastebin.com/raw/Dyngst4Y
Ultra Moon: https://pastebin.com/raw/VkRF7tip
Another representation, combining all sets for a given species into one entry:
Ultra Sun: https://pastebin.com/raw/cQ4gQGib
Ultra Moon: https://pastebin.com/raw/vjg856gd

The numbers are only truly accurate for singles; you can make a first-order estimate in doubles (where there are of course 2 leads per battle) by simply doubling these numbers, but it won't quite be accurate because only the first Pokemon on a team in generated truly free of constraints. Everything after that has to respect the item clause against what's already been put on the team, which skews the odds in a complicated way, which would require looking at more than just the "trainer list" sheet in order to properly take into account.

Overall odds for each game are derived by taking a weighting of nine "normal" trainers for every famous one; unless someone manages to extend a streak beyond 9990 (at which point there will be no more famous trainers) you're stuck facing them in those relative proportions, after all. Among famous trainers, Anabel only appears one-seventh as frequently as everyone else, and this is correctly captured in the odds.

From this, we can see the most significant effect of the game-exclusive trainers is that both Kiawe and Plumeria overlap on Salazzle, raising its sets' rank from 379/261 in UM all the way up to 10/6 in US (and also the addition of Kukui in the Ultra grames gives us another Magnezone user to push that past Garchomp and into the overall #1 spot). The most significant bumps from a Moon-exclusive roster are Dexio's Whimsicott/Slowbro/Espeon, but even on the Sun side those sets are still in the top 100. Sina does bump Drampa3 up from #208 to #48, but Abomasnow3 (who gets the same bump) only goes up from near-nonexistence to #400.
 
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I did some statistical analysis to figure out what exactly the most common leads are in post-50 battles, which differs on a per-game basis because of the different allotment of "famous trainers" available.
Sun: https://pastebin.com/raw/tVpUgFXP
Moon: https://pastebin.com/raw/Rdz2GsGm
Ultra Sun: https://pastebin.com/raw/Dyngst4Y
Ultra Moon: https://pastebin.com/raw/VkRF7tip

The numbers are only truly accurate for singles; you can make a first-order estimate in doubles (where there are of course 2 leads per battle) by simply doubling these numbers, but it won't quite be accurate because only the first Pokemon on a team in generated truly free of constraints. Everything after that has to respect the item clause against what's already been put on the team, which skews the odds in a complicated way, which would require looking at more than just the "trainer list" sheet in order to properly take into account.

Overall odds for each game are derived by taking a weighting of nine "normal" trainers for every famous one; unless someone manages to extend a streak beyond 9990 (at which point there will be no more famous trainers) you're stuck facing them in those relative proportions, after all. Among famous trainers, Anabel only appears one-seventh as frequently as everyone else, and this is correctly captured in the odds.

From this, we can see the most significant effect of the game-exclusive trainers is that both Kiawe and Plumeria overlap on Salazzle, raising its sets' rank from 380/262 in UM all the way up to 11/7 in US (and also the addition of Kukui in the Ultra grames gives us another Magnezone user to push that past Garchomp and into the overall #1 spot). The most significant bumps from a Moon-exclusive roster are Dexio's Whimsicott/Slowbro/Espeon, but even on the Sun side those sets are still in the top 100. Sina does bump Drampa3 up from #209 to #49, but Abomasnow3 (who gets the same bump) only goes up from near-nonexistence to #401.
You are the perfect guy for inquiring as to how Gen VI Hex Maniac Mara was able to fairly reliably violate item clause in Triples. If she didn’t run both Reuniclus2 and Cofagrigus4 simultaneously, there would always be duplicate items. Every other item on the team was shared by something else, and there were only those six items spread throughout the entire tiny roster (27 pokes IIRC.) Lum, Sitrus, Maranga, King’s Rock, Leftovers, and of course the Iron Ball.

Actually, if I’m not mistaken, running both Reuniclus/Cofagrigus still didn’t ensure Mara ran only one Iron Ball holder, but it was the only possible combination that could still be legal. Any insight as to how this happened? Does something make the game give up after so many failed checks?
 
So I've got an alolan raichu EV'd to hit 302 speed under electric terrain to outrun Aerodactyl1, and by extension the entire tree. Since aero1 disappears after 40 battles, and by extension can't have 31 IVs, I'd love to know how pre-40 IVs affect its actual speed tier.
 
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As best as I've been able to gather (from just one run of normal tree with an opponent data overlay):
  • Trainers that are introduced into the rotation at battle 1 have straight 19s on all their sets. This remains true no matter when you run into them, even for those who persist into the 11-19 leg (during which time it's possible for them to be interspersed among other trainers which higher IV tiers).
  • Trainers that are added to the rotation at battle 11 have straight 23s. These trainers normally carry sets 1 and 2, but both types of sets get 23s all the same. This bunch of trainers includes Janitors Xaden and Giles, who both persist into 21-29 and are the latest two trainers capable of carrying Aerodactyl1. So with 23s, that set really has 195 speed plus scarf, for a total of 292.
  • Presumably, 27s are then allotted to the set of trainers who enter the rotation at 21, and 31s to those who enter at 31 or later (the entries at 31 are the earliest introductions that get to stick around after 50, so everyone in the rotation at that point will naturally get 31s).
  • Battle Legends and other famous trainers always have 31s, no matter when you run into them.
  • For what it's worth, opponents always have max happiness regardless of the battle number, as there are ten sets in the pool that run Return and none that run Frustration.

So if you face Blue at the end of normal doubles (or normal multi), that is the one and only time you can possibly face an Aerodactyl1 that has the full 300 speed. But because it's normal battle, you can bring your own L100s who can pretty handily beat 300 speed without needing the help of an ability or item.

My spreadsheet is updated so that if you enter a trainer name, it will display the stats according to that trainer's IV tier instead of assuming everything is maxed.
 
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Here we are. This is the fifth and last part of my posts about my experiences with the battle facilities in previous generations. Smuckem and anyone else who is interested. This time, I will talk about Gen 5, primarily the Battle Subway but a little about some other facilities as well.

Unfortunately, I can't get access to Pokecheck anymore, not sure if the site stopped working at some point in the past week. Don't know if anyone else can access it. If anyone can get on the site, please let me know. If not, then that will ruin some parts of this thread since I have linked to Pokecheck quite a lot in this post, but I guess nothing can be done about it if the site doesn't work anymore.

Anyway... let's continue.

Gen 5

Battle Subway
Despite Gen 5 being my favorite, I was never super crazy about the Battle Subway. There are many reasons for that.

Regarding B/W, I just never got around to playing in the Subway until very late. B/W are the games that got me back into Pokemon after my burnout during the second half of Gen 4. They were exactly what I needed to get back into the series. I love how they have a huge focus on everything that is new, as opposed to having a focus on the old once more. I also love the amazing gameplay and the fact that they were a lot faster than Gen 4. Before trying to beat the Subway, I spent most of my time doing other things in these games. First, there were the standard things like completing the Pokedex and exploring the games in general. There was also various side-activities and minigames like the Dream World, Entralink Missions and Musicals, which I thought were a lot of fun. Just generally training Pokemon in these games were also so much fun, much more than in Gen 4. And last but not least, RNG. This was one of the most fun things I have ever experienced. I have already talked about it a little during Gen 3 and 4, but Gen 5 RNG was what I learned first and probably what I have spent the most time on. If you asked me to choose between the Battle Subway and RNG, and I could only pick one, I'd go with RNG any day. No contest. Sorry Subway, still love you though. That said, RNG and the Subway are best friends since RNGing awesome Pokemon to use at the Subway was really great, as opposed to having to get them through traditional breeding. I'm glad I didn't have to do that in this generation. All the Pokemon I used on my serious Subway teams were ones I had RNGed myself. And I guess I should say that after I had learned Gen 5 RNG, I decided to try and learn Gen 4 RNG as well, something I managed to accomplish in early 2012. I spent a lot of time on Gen 5 RNG in the latter half of 2011 and then on Gen 4 RNG during the first half of 2012. Which was a lot of fun, but it delayed my adventures at the Subway even further.

I think those are the main reasons as for why it took me a while to get around to battling in the Subway in B/W. The threshold for getting into the Subway was a little annoying as well since I had to grind up BP in order to buy the Power items for easier EV-training, which wasn't easy since I had no good teams to start with. However, the Battle Subway was always something I aimed to complete. At this point, I had previous experiences with the Emerald Frontier and the D/P Tower. As well as the Crystal Tower, R/S Tower and Platinum Frontier to considerably lesser extents. With these experiences, I wanted to beat the Battle Subway as well. I eventually got around to battling in the Subway in B/W for real, but it wasn't until Summer 2012. With the release of B2/W2 getting closer and the Subway being the only thing I hadn't finished in the games, I knew I had to do it. Sadly, it became a bit rushed, but it was still tons of fun. I also played a bit in the Subway in B/W at later points like in 2013 and 2015, but we'll get to that.

For B2/W2, it also took a while before I got around to the Subway. There was just so much else to do! Which I wanted to do first. Things like the PWT, Black Tower/White Treehollow, Pokestar Studios, Funfest Missions, Medals (the Challenge Medals in particular, especially the way I decided to get them) as well as things that existed in B/W like Musicals, RNG completing the Pokedex as well as just generally training Pokemon and having fun. These games had so much to do and since I had at that point already completed the Subway in B/W, doing it again in B2/W2 didn't feel as interesting compared to doing all the new things these games had to offer. So I didn't get around to playing in the Subway for real until after X/Y had been released, in late 2013. Like with B/W, I battled in it at later points too.

I find the Subway considerably harder to beat and win at than the Gen 4 Tower/Frontier or the Gen 6 Maison. One reason being that you don't have many advantages over your opponent, the main one was that you can use Hidden Abilities while they won't. Other than that, it was tough. But I think that's actually a very good thing, battle facilities are supposed to be really hard. And I was able to beat it in the end. My main goal for all four games was to beat the bosses at the Super Single and Super Double lines. For B/W, this gave me a Trainer Card upgrade, and for B2/W2, I decided that I should do it there as well since I wanted to have done the same things in the Subway in all of my games.

I like the Subway a lot, though I kind of missed Triple and Rotation lines in it. But looking back now, I can live without them. Single, Double and Multi was kind of enough. Also, if there had been Triple and Rotation lines in the Subway, it would have made the Maison a lot less impressive since it wouldn't introduce them but rather re-use them. So I'm satisfied in the end.

One thing I especially liked about the Subway was the fact that they decided to split all the lines in regular and Super lines. This meant that when it comes to the first 21 really easy and boring battles, I only ever had to play through them once for every format in every game, giving me the chance to start on the tougher battles right at Battle #1 for all of my streaks. In comparison, I remember that I sometimes got really bored during the first 21 battles in several of the facilities in Gen 3/4. I am really happy that they made this change and that it has been kept in Gen 6/7.

I also love how the battles at the Subway uses a unique battle theme. It is a wonderful variation of the regular battle theme that sounds a lot more intense which I think is very suiting for the Subway.

I guess that's my introduction for the main facility this generation. Now for my teams. I'll list them by format and not by game since the Subway in B/W and B2/W2 is basically the same.

Like with some parts of Gen 4, I looked up opposing movesets while playing at some points and with some teams, but not all the time.

Here we go!
Team 1 (Black):

1531589108660.png

Dragonite (M) @ Choice Band ** D-149
Ability: Multiscale
IVs: 31/31/31/9/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Fire Punch
- Extremespeed

1531589130724.png

Cloyster (M) @ Focus Sash ** Predator
Ability: Skill Link
IVs: 31/31/31/7/31/31
EVs: 30 HP / 252 Att / 228 Spd
Nature: Jolly
- Icicle Spear
- Rock Blast
- Razor Shell
- Shell Smash

1531589147866.png

Lucario (M) @ Leftovers ** Auradancer
Ability: Inner Focus
IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Timid
- Aura Sphere
- Dark Pulse
- Nasty Plot
- Vacuum Wave

Streak: Not sure (above 49, but not much more)

This was my first Super Single team for Black. Also my first "real" Subway team. I tried with some others before this one but they didn't work very well and I don't remember the details for these teams, so I won't say anything about them. This one wasn't that good either, but a little better at least. Unfortunately, I have lost some details for this team as well. I am not sure about the best streak I got with it. I got past Ingo at least, but I think I lost quite soon after beating him. Not sure about Lucario's hold item either, it might have been a Life Orb instead of Leftovers. This is the second time it happens for Lucario as I am unsure about what item my Lucario in Pearl was holding as well!

Anyway, regarding the team members... Dragonite was a hard-hitting Physical Attacker, Cloyster could potentially sweep if it managed to set up a Shell Smash, the same went for Lucario with Nasty Plot. Dragonite used to have Waterfall instead of Fire Punch, but after running into a lot of opposing trainers that started with Pokemon like Scizor or Forretress, I changed it to Fire Punch. What happened then? After making the change, I didn't see nearly as many Scizor or Forretress! I might also have tried one or a few times with Cloyster in the lead instead of Dragonite, don't remember exactly.

In general, this team didn't work that well, guess that's obvious. I lost many times before making it to Ingo and beating him. The defensive synergy of the team isn't very good and it can't handle status either. It was also rather rushed since I had no idea about how to make something original that actually worked, combined with the fact that I only had a few months to beat the Subway before B2/W2 were released. But it is actually okay since my goal was to beat Ingo and get the trophy, which I managed to do with this team. There's not much more to say about this team, and I honestly don't want to say a lot about it since it isn't good, so let's continue with the next one.

Team 2 (Black, White and White 2):

1531589160889.png

Latias (F) @ Choice Scarf ** Littlepip
Ability: Levitate
IVs: 31/7/31/31/31/31
EVs: 244 HP / 204 Def / 62 Spd
Nature: Timid
- Trick
- Thunder Wave
- Charm
- Flash

1531589174270.png

Registeel @ Leftovers ** Calamity
Ability: Clear Body
IVs: 31/31/31/7/31/31
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Att / 144 Def / 14 Sp.def
Nature: Careful
- Iron Head
- Substitute
- Curse
- Amnesia

1531589184417.png

Suicune @ Chesto Berry ** Velvet
Ability: Pressure
IVs: 31/17/31/31/31/31
EVs: 238 HP / 244 Def / 28 Spd
Nature: Bold
- Scald
- Substitute
- Calm Mind
- Rest

Streaks:
Black: 88
White: 125
White 2: 61

A TrickScarf team which is similar to the one I used in Platinum, but this team was made before the one in Platinum. I got the idea from two different teams by Peterko here on Smogon, the first team can be found here (Latias and Registeel), the second one can be found here (Suicune). Now that I look back at it, that second team was probably what inspired me to use Cloyster on my team in Black as well.

This is a rather standard TrickScarf team. Latias tricks the opponent and cripples them with Thunder Wave, Charm and Flash. Registeel or Suicune can then switch in and set up. Registeel is essentially the same as the set I used in Platinum, it even wastes the same 4 EVs which doesn't matter anyway. Suicune was the secondary backup this time around. I gave it a Chesto Berry to hold since it can heal itself with Rest while Registeel has no other way of healing apart from Leftovers and needs it in order to regain any HP at all. ChestoRest allowed Suicune to heal itself and wake up immediately once a battle, which could be very useful a times. Registeel was the Pokemon I set up most of the time since it felt like the better choice and could damage every Pokemon. Suicune was better against some opponents such as Fire-types or Sunny Day-themed teams which Registeel doesn't like. Obviously, who I chose to set up depended on what Pokemon the opponent started with and what move they got locked into.

This team didn't get me super far but it is the only one of my Super Single teams for the Subway that got past 100 so that's at least something. While playing with it, I noticed that the team had some issues. TrickScarfing isn't quite that effective in Gen 5 since the AI is a bit smarter this time around. If they get locked into a move that the Pokemon I send out afterwards has an immunity to, they will switch. The same goes for status moves if the Pokemon I have out is already stuck with the status in question. This means that they will not keep using Thunder Wave against a Paralyzed Pokemon, for instance. My Suicune set isn't perfect either since Water isn't a very good type for a mono-attacker. Scald as its only attacking move means it can't win against Pokemon with Water Absorb, Storm Drain or Dry Skin. It would be great to have another move such as Ice Beam or Icy Wind instead of Substitute, but that would make Suicune very vulnerable to OHKO moves and Critical Hits. It would also have a harder time dealing with status. Latias could have used Recover over Flash like the set I used on Platinum in order to potentially live longer in some battles, but I'm not sure how much it would have helped.

I made some tries with this team on three of my games. I originally made the team for use in White, but then I tried it in Black too. The reason being that I wasn't very happy about my original team in Black and I wanted to see if I could do better on Super Single there. Later on, I used the team on White 2 as well since I was too lazy to make a new team there.

My best streak happened on White where I got to 125 wins in a row, which happened on my first try with the team. My best (and probably only) streaks on the other games are 88 on Black and 61 on White 2. I do have some details to share for all these losses, so let's get to them in order.

First, my loss battle on White. I did unfortunately fail to save the battle video since I was quite angry after the loss and misclicked after the battle had ended. Fortunately, I did write down a summary of the battle immediately after it had happened, while it was still clear in my head. Though some details were still lost. Read it below.
My opponent is Nurse Panarat. She starts with an Abomasnow which is bad. Perma-hail sucks since it will damage all members of my team and cancel out Registeel's Leftovers recovery. I use Trick, it uses Protect. Trick again during the next turn, it uses Blizzard which freezes Latias and leaves it with 30 HP left (not sure if this was before or after the Hail). I switch to Registeel, a Blizzard from Abomasnow right now does enough to destroy Registeel’s Sub in two hits. Before Abomasnow kills itself through Struggle, I manage to set up three Amnesia and three Curse, which is not enough and not good.

Out next comes Golurk, which is really bad as it knows Earthquake and Hammer Arm. It goes for one of them (doesn't really matter which it was) which destroys Registeel’s Sub. I use Iron Head which does about 70%. It kills me with Hammer Arm on the next turn. I send in Suicune. I try to use Sub but it breaks after being hit by Earthquake. On the next two turns, I manage to set up a Sub and a CM while it tries to use Fling which somehow doesn’t work, not sure why. The only thing I can think of is that it somehow used up its Iron Ball somewhere along the way, which I missed while originally writing down this battle log. Anyway, Golurk eventually dies from the Hail and my opponent's last Pokemon is an Escavalier... not good.

Suicune does at this point apparently not have a Sub up, but it has 55 HP left which is enough for a Sub, so I go for that. But I realize my mistake immediately afterwards and wish I could regret my action since that was the worst thing I could have done. Suicune sets up a Sub and has 4 HP left, the Escavalier uses Megahorn which breaks the Sub... and Suicune dies from the Hail. I send out Latias which magically thaws from being frozen, but I was screwed anyway. I use Charm and Latias dies to Iron Head.

What could I have done to win here? The obvious answer is: not use Substitute with Suicune during the end. I felt so stupid afterwards, getting so far with this team only to lose in such an idiotic way. Using Rest and then attacking might have allowed me to win the battle. Some damage calculations:

+1 0 SpA Suicune Scald vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Escavalier: 60-72 (33.8 - 40.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after hail damage

252+ Atk Escavalier Megahorn vs. 236 HP / 244+ Def Suicune: 76-91 (37 - 44.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after hail damage

Both of them would have 3HKO'd. In the best possible situation, Suicune could have wasted the PP of the Escavalier's Megahorn with Pressure and Rest, or burned it, or maybe Megahorn would have missed at least once. Using Rest and then attacking with Scald wouldn't have been a guaranteed victory but I would at least have had a chance.

After this battle, the Escavalier set I lost against (set 4) felt like my unlucky opponent because I had lost against it in Super Double in White as well before this loss (I'll discuss the Super Double situation in more detail once we get to that section).

Next up, my loss battle on Black. It is the battle video I had currently saved on the game in question so here is a video of it:


Or you can watch it on Pokecheck here.
The beginning of the battle went without problems, my opponent leads with a Crobat which Latias manages to Trick and then Paralyze before being forced to switch out. Everything continues as usual from there, I send in Registeel and set up fully. Unfortunately, on the same turn as I am about to defeat the Crobat with Iron Head, it gets a Critical Hit which destroys Registeel's Substitute, meaning it doesn't have a Sub up against the next Pokemon. My opponent sends out Metagross next, it uses Earthquake, gets another Crit and Registeel goes down. I send in Latias to try to cripple the Metagross, but it defeats Latias with Bullet Punch before I can do anything. I send out Suicune. I use Substitute, the Metagross uses Explosion, killing itself and taking down my Sub. My opponent's last Pokemon is a Porygon-Z. It gets a Sp.att boost from Download, and at this point I have pretty much already lost. It is faster than Suicune and uses Charge Beam, getting another boost. Suicune survives with 32 HP left, I tried to use Sub since I thought the Porygon-Z would be slower, but that was not the case. Suicune is too weak for the Sub so it fails. Another Charge Beam (as well as another boost) on the next turn, Suicune goes down and I lose.

Not sure if I could have done anything to win that battle. Maybe if I had used Substitute on the turn when the Crobat got a Crit on Registeel, then I should have had a Sub up against the Metagross which should have allowed me to survive even a Crit Earthquake at least once. Though I would still have lost of either of them had gotten a Crit twice in a row, or if the Metagross had gotten a Crit at any point when I had Registeel out without a Sub. I should mention that when it comes to using Substitute on TrickScarf teams like this one, I do not keep track of how much damage the Sub has taken, so I don't know when the one I have up is going to go down and when it is time to make a new one. This has probably put me in several bad situations. Lastly, I could have used something different with Suicune against the Porygon-Z, like Rest instead of Substitute. Though with all the boosts it got, it would only have been a matter of time before I lost anyway. Overall, it feels like my chances of winning that battle were quite small.

As for my third battle from White 2, I don't have it saved on my game anymore. But you can watch it on Pokecheck here.
Not much to say. My opponent leads with a Togekiss which I Trick as it uses Thunder Wave. On the second turn, my opponent switches the Togekiss for a Garchomp... which is immune to my Latias's Thunder Wave. I try to lower its Attack with Charm, but it keeps re-raising it with Swords Dance. I change to Flash instead but it still hits me with Dragon Claw, Latias faints. Suicune and Registeel couldn't do much afterwards, and I lose.

I don't think I could have done anything to win that battle. It was a very simple loss without any real hax or misplay from my side, just a bad matchup for me and good moves from my opponent.

Overall, this team worked quite well but it was far from perfect. Still, it got me past 100 wins in a row on White, it was also the team I used to beat Ingo on White and White 2, so that's something. I can't think of anything more to say about this team so let's continue with the next one.

Team 3 (Black 2):

1531589203883.png

Heatran (M) @ Choice Scarf ** L-Dominate
Ability: Flash Fire
IVs: 31/18/30/31/31/31
EVs: 252 Sp.att / 6 Sp.def / 252 Spd
Nature: Timid
- Overheat
- Flamethrower
- Earth Power
- Hidden Power [Ice]

1531589218813.png

Haxorus (F) @ Focus Sash ** Quaxazquex
Ability: Mold Breaker
IVs: 31/31/31/20/31/31
EVs: 38 HP / 252 Att / 220 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Brick Break
- Dragon Dance

1531589230108.png

Cresselia (F) @ Leftovers ** Leclipsed
Ability: Levitate
IVs: 31/7/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 HP / 138 Def / 120 Sp.att
Nature: Bold
- Psyshock
- Ice Beam
- Calm Mind
- Moonlight

Streak: 66

My third and final Super Single team for the Subway, this was what I used in Black 2. To my own surprise, it actually worked pretty well. I managed to get past Ingo and beat him, not only once but on several attempts. I pretty much just threw together three Pokemon I had RNGed, EV-trained and trained a bit, I wanted to see how they would work in the Subway. The reason was probably that I needed BP for something.

Heatran is a strong special attacker, the Choice Scarf fixes the issue with its low Speed and allows it to outrun a ton of things. Overheat deals massive damage at the cost of lowering its Special Attack by two stages. Flamethrower is an alternative for a weaker Fire-type move, it was mostly used against Pokemon that were weak against Fire. Earth Power and HP Ice for coverage. As for the backups, Cresselia was amazing. It could switch in on many things that Heatran had problems against, set up against them with Calm Mind, then sweep with Psyshock and Ice Beam. Moonlight allowed it to recover HP. It is far from perfect as it has several problems against various opponents, but it worked very well. It can tank Special hits like nothing after a few Calm Mind boosts in addition to taking Physical hits reasonably well. From what I remember, Haxorus was probably the least useful member of this team. I rarely used it since sweeping with Heatran or setting up with Cresselia was more useful most of the time. That said, if I could send it in safely and set up at least one Dragon Dance, it was great. I'm not sure if the hold item was the best, a Lum Berry might have been better to absorb status, or a Life Orb to power up its attacks a bit. Aside from using this team at the Subway, I had great success with it at the PWT as well. I used this team to win at most tournaments, first all the regional leader tournaments, then World Leaders, and finally Champions.

My best streak ended at 66 wins in a row according to my game, I don't remember anything from that loss though. I have no videos with this team saved on my game, but I had saved and uploaded two videos to the internet (and Pokecheck) in the past. You can watch the first one here and the second one here. Both of them feature quite a lot of hax. I was leading with Haxorus when I did those battles but I think I changed to leading with Heatran at some point after this, can't really remember.
The first one was really haxy. The opposing Unfezant gets 4 Critical Hits on me in total, and flinches my Haxorus once. It had Super Luck, but that was still really lucky. The Forretress and Blaziken also gets a Crit each, though my Heatran did get one too. In retrospect, I should have attacked the Unfezant with Cresselia's Ice Beam instead of trying to set up fully, that would have given me a somewhat easier victory. I still won, but this was a very haxy battle. I remember that the hax was the reason I saved and uploaded it.

The second one is a bit more simple. My opponent leads with an Abomasnow which freezes both Heatran and Cresselia, neither of them thaws. Both of them gets defeated and I only have Haxorus left. Guess I should have used Dragon Dance since the Abomasnow was out of PP for Blizzard, but I don't think I counted the PP and I was quite sure that I would lose the battle anyway at that point, so I didn't bother. Instead, I lost.

And that's all for Super Single. Next up, Super Double.
Team 1 (Black):

1531589263284.png

Politoed (M) @ Absorb Bulb ** Cloud
Ability: Drizzle
IVs: 31/14/31/30/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Protect

1531589289199.png

Kingdra (F) @ Leftovers ** Sea Swirl
Ability: Swift Swim
IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/31
EVs: 62 Att / 252 Sp.att / 196 Spd
Nature: Mild
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Dragon Pulse
- Waterfall

1531589300841.png

Jolteon (M) @ Expert Belt ** Wavedancer
Ability: Volt Absorb
IVs: 31/2/30/30/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Thunder
- Hidden Power [Water]
- Signal Beam
- Protect

1531589314678.png

Scizor (M) @ Life Orb ** Red Steel
Ability: Technician
IVs: 31/31/31/27/31/31
EVs: 84 HP / 252 Att / 174 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Bullet Punch
- Bug Bite
- Superpower
- Roost

Streak: 53

This was the team I used for Super Double on Black. Did it work? Not really. The main point was for Politoed to set up Rain which made Kingdra fast and allowed it to sweep. Jolteon was a backup which could switch into Electric-type moves, it had HP Water for coverage instead of Ice or Grass since Water gets a boost from the Rain. Scizor was in the fourth slot to round it up. Obviously, this team had serious issues. Politoed was too slow and not bulky enough, it took a lot of damage in order to activate its Absorb Bulb. Or it had already fainted by that point since it got outrun by other Pokemon. Kingdra also tended to get Critical Hits on Politoed with Surf way too often. Jolteon was too weak and Scizor did not get enough support. This team also had trouble against Ferrothorn according to an old post I wrote. Which isn't that surprising when you look at it since the only way of hitting Ferrothorn for super effective damage is with Scizor's Superpower, which is far from optimal. Both Politoed and Jolteon are also wasting EVs in Sp.att, they could have moved 4 EVs to Sp.def instead.

Overall, this team wasn't very good. I don't have much to say about it since I find it hard to talk about bad teams and I'd rather save my longer texts for better teams. I remember that on my first try with it, I lost extremely early, in Battle #7 or something like that. On the second attempt, it got me up to Emmet and managed to beat him which gave me the trophy and the Trainer Card upgrade I wanted, so that's at least something. Even with that, I don't think very highly of this team so let's move on to the next one.

Team 2 (White, Black 2 and White 2):

1531589268216.png

Politoed (M) @ Choice Scarf ** Bufo
Ability: Drizzle
IVs: 31/18/31/30/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Timid
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Psychic
- Hidden Power [Grass]

1531589355911.png

Ludicolo (F) @ Absorb Bulb ** Spexica
Ability: Swift Swim
IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/31
EVs: 54 HP / 252 Sp.att / 204 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Grass Knot
- Fake Out

1531589371504.png

Gastrodon (F) @ Rindo Berry ** Slugblocks
Ability: Storm Drain
IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/0
EVs: 116 HP / 96 Def / 238 Sp.att / 60 Sp.def
Nature: Quiet
- Surf
- Earth Power
- Ice Beam
- Protect

1531589319482.png

Scizor (M) @ Life Orb ** Red Steel
Ability: Technician
IVs: 31/31/31/27/31/31
EVs: 84 HP / 252 Att / 174 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Bullet Punch
- Bug Bite
- Superpower
- Protect

Streaks:
White: 197
Black 2: 276
White 2: 142

Another rain team. This team was originally created by R Inanimate here on Smogon, you can find his post about it here. My version of the team has a few small differences from the original by R Inanimate, I'll go over them along the way. The team I used on Black was highly inspired by team too, as you might be able to tell. With that team, I wanted to create something original. But as usual, it didn't work. When I made a second team on White, I decided to just go with somebody else's team instead. I later used this team on Black 2 and White 2 too since I was too lazy to make new teams for these games, and I wanted to try this team more after my first attempt with it on White. It managed to get past Emmet on all three games, which I'm really happy about.

Obviously, this team worked much better than my team on Black. Politoed is now fast enough, Timid with max Speed and a Scarf allows it to outspeed positive base 130s and everything below. Interestingly, that is possible on level 50 but not on level 100. The original set by R Inanimate has Hypnosis but I really dislike inaccurate and unreliable moves like that so I chose to not use it. I guess it has its uses but I personally couldn't see any room for it when there are better options. Instead, I went with HP Grass. I originally had another Politoed with HP Electric, but I only used that one for the first 105 battles on my White streak. The details for that Politoed can be found on Pokecheck here if anyone is interested. The reason I changed to HP Grass was that HP Electric once failed to do enough damage to a Gyarados. After running some damage calculations, it doesn't OHKO any of the Gyarados in the Subway.
252 SpA Politoed Hidden Power Electric vs. 168 HP / 168 SpD Gyarados: 108-128 (56.5 - 67%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 SpA Politoed Hidden Power Electric vs. 0 HP / 252- SpD Gyarados: 112-132 (65.8 - 77.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 SpA Politoed Hidden Power Electric vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Wacan Berry Gyarados: 50-60 (29.4 - 35.2%) -- 15.8% chance to 3HKO
252 SpA Politoed Hidden Power Electric vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Gyarados: 100-120 (58.8 - 70.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO [After removing the Wacan Berry with the first hit]
Which means that this is only a guaranteed 3HKO, with a chance of a 2HKO.

252 SpA Politoed Hidden Power Electric vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Gyarados: 92-112 (45.5 - 55.4%) -- 57% chance to 2HKO

Gyarados is also the only useful target to hit with HP Electric. In comparison, there are a ton of Water/Rock and Water/Ground Pokemon with a massive weakness to Grass. I originally thought that Ludicolo's Grass Knot would be enough for them, but it wasn't. So I bred a new Politoed with HP Grass to use instead of the one with HP Electric. I also see that just like on my Black team, this Politoed is wasting 4 EVs in Sp.att. If I go back and play with this team again, I'll probably move them to Def or Sp.def.

Not much to say about Ludicolo, it is more or less identical to the set R Inanimate used. It has a max IV in Attack to do as much damage as possible with Fake Out but I'm not sure if it makes much of a difference. Like with Politoed, I could re-EV it and shift 8 EVs in HP to 4 in Def and 4 in Sp.def for 1 extra stat point overall.

Gastrodon is also more or less the same. Though I still wonder why in the world I decided to go with the West Sea version since I like the colors of the East Sea version better. Can't remember why. Doesn't matter much though. It also wastes 4 EVs in Defense but I don't think it can be EV'd so that it has EVs in all 4 stats without wasting 4 points, I'm not sure how it should be EV'd properly. I just looked at how R Inanimate had EV'd his Gastrodon and did something similar. Making specialized EV spreads is not really my thing.

Scizor is the same as the one I used for my Black team, but with Protect instead of Roost. Like with Ludicolo, I should re-EV it and shift 8 HP EVs to 4 in both Defenses. Otherwise not much to say about it.

The team is quite simple, at least most of the time. Politoed sets up rain which powers up all Water-moves and makes Ludicolo super fast. Politoed is also really fast, thanks to the Scarf. Surf is Politoed's main move as all the others are quite weak unless they are super effective against an opponent. Ludicolo can use Fake Out to stop annoying Pokemon in their tracks while getting the Absorb Bulb boost from Politoed, essentially giving it a Choice Specs boost but with the ability to switch between moves. Gastrodon is a fantastic counter to Electric-types while also handling Trick Room teams rather well with its low speed. It also gets really powerful after a few boosts through Storm Drain, being able to eventually overpower Pokemon like Blissey and Cresselia as the boosts rack up. The Rindo Berry helps it survive some Grass moves. Scizor is the only physical attacker and has some great coverage that the others are lacking, as well as a priority move in Bullet Punch.

Not sure what else to say. This team is really great and it is the best team I have used for Super Double in the Subway. In fact, it is probably the team I have used the most in the entire Subway. I used it to great success on three of my games, getting past 100 battles in a row on all of them and 200 in a row on one of them. The best I got was to 276 on Black 2, my longest Subway streak and the only one where I got past 200 in a row. Probably also my only streak on Black 2, not sure if I tried with this team more than once on that game. I got to 197 on White, which also happened on my first streak with this team. On White 2, I have tried many times but I have three numbers saved. The first one is my best streak on the game, it ended at 142 wins in a row. The second is my most recent on that game (and my most recent in general), it ended at 88 wins. The third is thanks to a Pokecheck video, it ended at 69 wins. The team is really good and I usually got past Emmet on my tries but I have lost before reaching him as well.

I have a total of three Battle Videos saved with this team, one on each game. They showcase the losses from my highest streaks on each game. I was originally planning to make one video which showed all three battles, but I decided to just do it the simple way and make a separate video for each battle. Find the videos below.




You can also watch them on Pokecheck. Or at least two of them. I had uploaded all of them to the internet in the past, so they were saved on Pokecheck as well. Though the first battle video doesn't work on Pokecheck for me. If I'm not logged in, I get a message saying that you must be registered to upload new videos, and if I am logged in, I get some sort of error code. Don't know why this happens. I think this video has worked in the past but I'm not sure. If this video works for anyone else, please let me know.

So yeah. The videos can be found on Pokecheck here (Battle 1) [if it works], here (Battle 2) and here (Battle 3).

There's also a fourth battle video (from White 2) which I don't have saved on my game anymore, but I had uploaded to the internet in the past. It can be found on Pokecheck here.
1. Battle #198, White:

I made one big mistake in this battle. That was the fact that I didn't Fake Out Escavalier on the first turn as I went for Mr. Mime instead. From there, things only went downhill. Escavalier OHKO's Ludicolo on the first turn with Megahorn, it then uses Swagger on Gastrodon which causes Gastrodon to hit itself twice. The Custap Berry also activates, allowing Escavalier to use Megahorn on Gastrodon. Then, the Escavalier finally falls to Politoed's Surf. But Gastrodon also faints as the damage it took from Megahorn and two confusion self-hits was enough to take it down. Then I only have Politoed and Scizor left against Electrode and Altaria. Politoed being locked into Surf is not good since it will damage Scizor every turn that Scizor doesn't use Protect. I tried my best to win from there but it was not easy in that situation since I was up against an Electric-type as well as a Dragon-type which knows Flamethrower, which is a really bad matchup. In the end, I lost. If I had just used Fake Out on Escavalier on the first turn, or if Gastrodon hadn't hit itself in confusion, I would probably have been able to win.

Losing just a few battles before reaching 200 in a row was also a bit sour but I guess that's just the way it is.

2. Battle #277, Black 2:

My longest streak with the team ended with a very embarrassing loss. My opponent leads with Politoed and Gallade, which is not good. The Politoed might have Water Absorb while the Gallade knows Ally Switch, I can't use Fake Out on it either since it has Steadfast. I decide to double target one of them, but somewhere along the way, something went wrong in my head as I attack both with one move each instead of one of them with two moves. In retrospect, I'm not sure if I would have been able to defeat either of them with double targeting anyway. The AI takes advantage of this big mistake and puts Ludicolo to Sleep with Hypnosis as well as defeats my Politoed with Close Combat. It continues with both Scizor and Ludicolo fainting. In the end, I only have Gastrodon left against the last two opposing Pokemon and it has no chance of winning.

What I should have done here was this: on the first turn, use Fake Out on the opposing Politoed with Ludicolo, and Surf with my Politoed. Then I should have switched Politoed for Gastrodon. After that, Gallade should have fainted while I should have had at least 3 Pokemon left against the opposing Politoed and the backups, which should have made the rest of the battle easier. The backups wouldn't have been too troublesome if I had had 2-3 of my own Pokemon left alive.

3. Battle #143, White 2:

My opponent leads with Granbull and Regice. The Regice knows Thunder and Thunder Wave, I expect it to target Politoed so I switch it for Gastrodon. But the opponent targets Ludicolo instead, paralyzing it and making it slower. Gastrodon then faints to Granbull's Double-Edge, while Granbull falls to Ludicolo's Surf. My opponent sends out a Gyarados, I send in Scizor. My opponent then makes a very unexpected move and switches out Regice as I target it with Bullet Punch, it gets replaced by Gastrodon. The opposing Gastrodon then goes down thanks to Ludicolo's Grass Knot and the opposing Gyarados's Earthquake. After that, I defeat the opposing Regice, but both Scizor and Ludicolo faints along the way, which means I only have Politoed left against the opposing Gyarados. There was no way I could win and it eventually defeats me after Dragon Dancing for a while first.

Not sure if I could have done anything to win this battle. Maybe if I had used Fake Out on the Regice on the first turn and Surf with Politoed, then tried to sweep with Ludicolo and Gastrodon. The Gyarados would have been easy to defeat if I had just had Gastrodon left, Scizor could also have helped with Bug Bite and by being a Waterfall bait. This loss is also rather ironic as I would probably have been able to win this battle easily if I had used my original Politoed with HP Electric since it would have had a chance to 2HKO the opposing Gyarados. This is probably the only situation where I regret changing to a new Politoed with HP Grass.

4. Battle #70, White 2:

What can I say? Escavalier. In the Subway, this Pokemon is my unlucky opponent for sure. I suppose you could say it is my Cradily of Gen 5. I use Fake Out on it this time but it doesn't help. Things doesn't go better from there, and I lose. Not sure if I could have done anything to win that battle. Using Surf with Ludicolo on turn 1 might have been an alternative, but after checking the damage calculator, it would not have done enough damage to KO. Guess I could have used Protect with Gastrodon to shield it from Swagger (and prevent it from hitting itself in confusion). Or if it hadn't hit itself in confusion the next turn. I could also have switched out Politoed for Scizor on the same turn to tank the Megahorn. Other than that, I don't know.

As a random bonus, my loss battle for Super Rotation in X involved an Escavalier as well. Don't remember if it was the same set though. Here's the Battle Video for that if anyone wants to see it: BZRW-WWWW-WWW7-9ZAH

In addition to them, there's a fifth loss battle which I don't have saved but I can still remember quite clearly. It happened quite early on the attempt in question, before I reached Emmet. Can't remember the leads but they were two Rock/Ground-types which I easily defeated with a Double Surf. Afterwards, my opponent sent out the devastating duo of Hippowdon and Scarf Garchomp. The Hippo has Sand Stream which cancels my rain, making the Garchomp faster than Ludicolo due to Swift Swim no longer working. Suddenly having an opponent which was faster than me was not something I had expected. I remember that the Garchomp locked itself into Outrage and never hit itself in confusion. I got so overwhelmed by those backups and played badly against them, so I lost that battle.

Before we move on, there's one more thing I need to say about this team. Something I am ashamed about, but I guess I need to confess my wrongdoings since this is the right opportunity to do so. There are a few things related to past-gen battle facilities that I'm not happy about, and this is one of them. Back when I got my original 197 streak on White with this team, I tried to get that streak added to a Battle Subway leaderboard on Serebiiforums that existed at that time. I made a quite long post about the team and the loss battle (but nowhere near as long as my current posts). I did give credit to R Inanimate, but still, I feel ashamed for trying to get on a leaderboard with a team created by somebody else, on a forum that the original creator might not even have been a member of. For better or worse, the team or the streak never got added to the leaderboard there since the thread pretty much instantly died afterwards. X/Y had been released a few days prior, people didn't care much for Gen 5 and the Subway anymore. In fact, my post was the very last post in that thread. I still feel ashamed of having done this since I am not the original creator of this team. After this, I haven't had any desire to get on any leaderboard on any site unless it is with a team I created myself (to an extent, if nothing else). Regarding high streaks, at least (for me, that is 200 or above). Though this wasn't quite 200, but it was close enough and I think it was my highest personal streak ever at the point back when it happened. I know my streak with Mega Salamence/Aegislash/Chansey got added to the leaderboards for this thread but I'm fine with that since I did not get past the original creator or even 200. I'm not even in the top 20 for Super Single here, so that's all fine.

That's all for this team. But we're not done yet, there's more.

Team 3 (White):

1531589390756.png

Infernape (M) @ Focus Sash ** Flamberge
Ability: Blaze
IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 Att / 6 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Hasty
- Close Combat
- Flamethrower
- U-Turn
- Fake Out

1531589432279.png

Rotom-W @ Choice Specs ** Lectro Lux
Ability: Levitate
IVs: 31/2/30/30/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 248 Sp.att / 4 Sp.def / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Hidden Power [Water]
- Thunderbolt
- Shadow Ball
- Trick

1531589464948.png

Hydreigon (M) @ Life Orb ** Draconique
Ability: Levitate
IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 Sp.att / 6 Sp.def / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Dragon Pulse
- Dark Pulse
- Flamethrower
- Protect

1531589496036.png

Metagross @ Occa Berry ** Quadraxis
Ability: Clear Body
IVs: 31/31/31/0/31/31
EVs: 86 HP / 252 Att / 4 Def / 4 Sp.def / 164 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Iron Head
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch
- Bullet Punch

Streak: 53

Third and last team for Super Double. This was made in Spring 2015. Why did I make another team for Super Double in White three years after I had already beaten the line and gotten all I wanted from it? The answer is that this team was not originally made for the Battle Subway, but for the Battle Institute. I wanted to get Master Rank at the Battle Institute on White. I had already done it on my three other Gen 5 games, I will talk about the teams I used on those games later. But I hadn't done it on White. I made some tries using some members of my post-game team there, but it didn't work. And since I had nothing else to do at that time, I decided to make a new team in order to beat the Institute, just for fun. Double felt like the better choice of format since it is easier to get higher scores there compared to Single due to how the Institute works when it comes to scoring.

I looked at the Subway and Maison threads here on Smogon, took some ideas from various teams I saw there and mixed them together. This became the result. Infernape can use Fake Out to flinch an opponent, then U-Turn to switch out or Flare Blitz/Close Combat to hit hard. Rotom was highly inspired by the one turskain used for his 6840 streak in the Maison. It has three powerful moves, Trick was mostly filler but I used it once to cripple a Blissey and it was a lot of fun! Hydreigon was just a standard set. Metagross too, essentially. Don't really know what to say about the team.

In the end, it worked for what I intended it for. I got the Master Rank at the Institute and got a new streak at the Subway too. The reason I used it in the Subway in the first place was because I needed BP for an item I didn't have, probably Infernape's Focus Sash. After I had obtained the BP, I decided to continue at the Subway to see how far I could go. Managed to get past Emmet but lost quickly after him. Didn't feel like making any more tries afterwards.

And that's all I had for Super Double.
Okay, here's the thing. I have never beaten Super Multi in Gen 5. Why? Various reasons. I don't really like Super Multi that much to start with. It is my least favorite format in Gen 6/7 for several reasons that I have explained while talking about my accomplishments in these generations, but I'll go over them again since I guess it is my least favorite format in Gen 5 as well.

Playing with an AI partner has always felt too unreliable for me. Which Pokemon the AI partner picks is also very random in Gen 5 compared to how it is in Gen 6 and 7. Playing with two games and two systems makes things so slow because you are forced to play with animations turned on. I always play with animations off during all other formats in battle facilities, so being forced to play with them on is not something I like. Using 2 systems also drains battery faster since you have to play with wireless turned on. Though it isn't that much of a problem here since the battery life of my two DS Lite is much better than the battery life of my two 3DS XL. And the Gen 5 games on the whole are pretty fast too.

In addition to this, there was never a "3 Trophies Club" for Gen 5 here on Smogon like there was a 5 Trophies Club in Gen 6, which was a very good motivation for me to give Super Multi a try there as I would probably not have bothered with it otherwise. It wasn't as motivating in Gen 5 either compared to Gen 6 because in Gen 6, you have the advantage of using Megas while the opponents won't. There is no such big advantage in Gen 5. Though you still have the option to use Hidden Abilities which the opponent's won't use. Why did I beat Super Multi in S/M then? Mostly because I had already done it in Gen 6 and I really wanted to do it in S/M as well in order to truly complete the Tree... and to get the final Stamp in the Trainer's Passport. Finally, with everything else there was in Gen 5, not to mention how fun it all was... I just never beat Super Multi in the Subway.

Yet I still tried it a little. On Black, I apparently managed to get a streak of 18 together with an AI trainer once. Don't remember anything from it though. I also had a streak of 7 with another player on both Black and White (probably ongoing too). Guess I tried it a little and managed to win the first set of 7 battles with both of my games, but I guess I just gave up afterwards since I didn't like the whole idea of doing it back then.

I never tried Super Multi in B2/W2. Like in B/W, there was no reason to. I just beat the normal Multi line to unlock it. Beating the regular Multi line wasn't always fun either since I use the AI partner for that and they use random Pokemon. I remember that in one of my games, I lost 2 or 3 times in the last set of battles in the Multi line before I finally beat it. That was a rather annoying experience and it made me even less interested in giving Super Multi a try.

With all of that said, I have been toying around with the idea of completing Super Multi on all of my games. I suppose I could just use the main team I have been using for Super Double. My idea is to go with Politoed and Gastrodon on one game, Ludicolo and Scizor on the other. Or maybe Politoed/Scizor on one game and Ludicolo/Gastrodon on the other? I'm not sure. Or maybe I'll try to create another, original team. I am not sure when or even if I'll ever get around to it. We'll have to see.
The Battle Subway was a ton of fun but it was also quite hard. I found it considerably harder than the D/P Tower, Gen 4 Frontier and the Gen 6 Maison. But I enjoyed it a lot. Though I wish I had spent more time playing and battling in it, which I guess is a weird thing to say considering that I did battle in it quite a lot. But it doesn't feel like I played it that much. Guess that's because I spent so much time on other things in Gen 5, or because I have spent more time on the battle facilities in other generations, which makes my time in the Subway feel smaller in comparison.

I have considered going back to the Subway to do some things I have left to do there. I would like to win 200 battles in a row on all four of my games, similar to how I have won 200 in a row on all of my Gen 6 games as well as S/M. I'm also planning to win 200 in a row on US/UM in the future. On Gen 5, the only game I have won 200 in a row on is Black 2, so there are three games left. I have won 100 in a row on White and White 2, but I haven't even done that on Black, despite it being my most played game from Gen 5. I guess I just did a lot of other things in that game, mainly RNGing and just generally fooling around, having lots of fun!

I would also like to try some other teams at the Subway. The most notable being a TruAnt team since I have actually never tried using one. I am pretty sure I did pick up a Female HA Durant in the Dream World when it was still open so I should be able to breed a Durant that I could use for such a team. I'm not sure about other teams but chances are that I'll come up with something if I decide to go back to the Subway. There are also some teams created by others that I would like to give a try, the most notable being Jumpman16's team consisting of Whimsicott/Dragonite/Mesprit.

Last but not least, there is also the Super Multi line which I haven't beaten. I already talked about it a little but I'll say it again. I would like to beat it. There is one thing I would like to find out after beating it. I have always wondered about the color of the third and last trophy. I'm just assuming you get a trophy for beating Super Multi since you get one for beating Super Single and another for beating Super Double. And it looks like there is enough space left in the player's room in the games for a third trophy next to the first two. The Single and Double trophies are colored Red and Blue, so it feels likely that the Multi trophy would be either Green or Yellow... but which? Or is it a completely different color altogether? It is a mystery and one day I might be able to find the answer...

Not sure when, or if, either of this will happen. But I am quite interested in giving the Subway another try. In fact, I am much more interested in trying to beat the Subway for real than I am at making more tries to beat the Emerald or Platinum Factory. Yet, I don't know when or if any of this will actually happen... I do sadly not have as much free time as I used to and right now I'm mostly focusing on US/UM.

I have said at earlier parts in this post that I have "completed" the Subway, but looking back now, I guess that's not really true since I have some big and important things left to do in it. Maybe I will be able to say that I have truly completed the Subway at some point in the future. We'll see.

I have no real links or resources for the Subway like I did for Gen 3 or 4, the only one I can think of is the Subway thread here on Smogon. It is linked to in the first post here in the thread but I'll link to it as well, find it here.

And that's it for the Subway. I'm almost done but there are a few other subjects I'd like to talk about so let's move on to them.

Other Facilities
B2/W2 didn't have a Frontier like Emerald or Platinum, but there were some other facilities to go along with the Subway. Both B/W and B2/W2 also had the Battle Institute. I don't have a lot to say about all of them but a little at least.

First there's Black Tower and White Treehollow. They aren't quite semi-competitive like the Subway so the discussion of them doesn't really belong here. I don't remember all the teams I used to beat them either. They were still a ton of fun though. Going through all 10 floors and getting all the Medals from them was a really great experience. I also love the music in Black Tower.

Then there's the Challenge Medals, but they aren't really semi-competitive either. That said, I have written down all the teams I used to get the Challenge Medals on my games and I can post them here or somewhere else that is more suitable if anyone wants to see them.

There's also the PWT. It is semi-competitive so I guess it can be discussed here. Sadly, I never wrote down all the teams I used while battling at it. I do know that I used my Super Single team for the Subway on Black 2 (Heatran/Haxorus/Cresselia) to beat the regular tournaments at the PWT in said game but I can't remember what team I used on White 2. I know that I used Pokemon from my Challenge Medal teams to beat the Type Expert Tournaments but I don't remember exactly which Pokemon I used to beat all these tournaments. I'm pretty sure I used Gengar/Chandelure/Spiritomb for Ghost and I have some fragments of memories from some of the others. But I'm not sure about all of them and I don't know if anything about them that can be found in the archives. Though I can of course go back and check if anyone wants me too... but only if.

I love the PWT but I regret not spending more time on it since I kind of rushed through it in my games. I also only played Single which I regret as well since I would have liked to give Double a try, not to mention Triple and Rotation. I beat all the tournaments at the PWT at least once, sometimes more. I beat World Leaders 10 times (to unlock Champions) and then Champions 4 times on both of my games. I guess that's it for the PWT.

Last but not least, the Battle Institute. I have a bit more to say about it. Fortunately, the game "saves" the team you used for it as the team that was used during your last attempt can be viewed on the computer in the Institute. It shows your score as well as the mini-sprites of your team. The games also save your High Score at the back of your Trainer Card. My "goal" here ended up being to get the Master Rank on all four of my games. It wasn't something I had originally planned, I got it without really trying on Black and B2/W2, then I decided to try and do it on White as well in order to have done it on all four of my games.

On Black, I remember that I used the Garchomp from my post-game team to get the Master Rank. Here's the details for it:

1531589542195.png

Garchomp (M) ** Land Shark
Ability: Rough Skin
IVs: 31/31/31/11/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Jolly
- Dragon Claw
- Earthquake
- Fire Fang
- Swords Dance

High Score: 6093

Note that it is not the same Garchomp as the one I used for the Battle Hall in Platinum despite the two having the same nickname and similar movesets. I don't remember the hold item, but it was probably a Life Orb, Lum Berry or something like that. Not sure what other two I used alongside Garchomp but it has got to be two of the following since they are also members of my post-game team in Black: Serperior, Chandelure, Starmie, Honchkrow and Porygon-Z. Likely Starmie and Chandelure but I am not sure. Anyway, I remember that Garchomp was the star here as it swept entire teams by itself after a Swords Dance.

Black was the only one of my four games where I got Master Rank on Single. I got just slightly over 6000 points which was enough to get the Master Rank.

I already posted the team I used for White, but here's a recap:

1531589404334.png

Infernape (M) @ Focus Sash ** Flamberge
Ability: Blaze
IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 Att / 6 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Hasty
- Close Combat
- Flamethrower
- U-Turn
- Fake Out

1531589445844.png

Rotom-W @ Choice Specs ** Lectro Lux
Ability: Levitate
IVs: 31/2/30/30/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 248 Sp.att / 4 Sp.def / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Hidden Power [Water]
- Thunderbolt
- Shadow Ball
- Trick

1531589470676.png

Hydreigon (M) @ Life Orb ** Draconique
Ability: Levitate
IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 Sp.att / 6 Sp.def / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Dragon Pulse
- Dark Pulse
- Flamethrower
- Protect

1531589504165.png

Metagross @ Occa Berry ** Quadraxis
Ability: Clear Body
IVs: 31/31/31/0/31/31
EVs: 86 HP / 252 Att / 4 Def / 4 Sp.def / 164 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Iron Head
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch
- Bullet Punch

High Score: 6309

Not much more to say about the team since I talked about it earlier. It worked well and I got a score that was enough to give me the Master Rank with it on my first try, which I'm very satisfied with.

As for Black 2 and White 2, I tried the Institute 50 times on both games in order to get all the medals you could get from there. I remember playing Single a little at first but then switching to Double since it is easier to get higher scores there, and I prefer Double over Single. As for the Pokemon I used... my games and documents tell me the following:

Black 2:

1531589595476.png

Mamoswine (M) ** Mammothize
Ability: Thick Fat
IVs: 31/31/31/30/31/31
EVs: 252 Att / 6 Def / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Icicle Crash
- Earthquake
- Superpower
- Ice Shard

1531589609024.png

Gengar (M) ** Phantom
Ability: Levitate
IVs: 30/30/30/31/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Timid
- Shadow Ball
- Focus Blast
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]

1531589622752.png

Terrakion ** Porthos
Ability: Justified
IVs: 31/31/31/13/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Jolly
- Sacred Sword
- Rock Slide
- Substitute
- Swords Dance

1531589239383.png

Cresselia (F) @ Leftovers ** Leclipsed
Ability: Levitate
IVs: 31/7/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 HP / 138 Def / 120 Sp.att
Nature: Bold
- Psyshock
- Ice Beam
- Calm Mind
- Moonlight

High Score: 6521

Don't remember all their hold items but I would guess Choice Scarf for Mamoswine, Focus Sash for Gengar, Leftovers for Cresselia and Life Orb/Lum Berry/Expert Belt or something similar for Terrakion.

I threw this team together just for fun. It ended up working quite well. Mamoswine and Gengar were a quite good lead duo which could take down many opponents, both were fast and strong. Terrakion and Cresselia were the backups. Cresselia is the same as the one I used for Super Single at the Subway. It was amazingly good here as well. I remember one situation where I only had Cresselia left in a battle where my opponent had three legendaries left, and it managed to defeat them all, giving me the victory in that battle. That was really fantastic. Not much else to say, this team is obviously not properly designed for Double battles or the Institute in general but it got me a high score way above 6000 which I'm really happy about.

White 2:

1531589567799.png

Garchomp (M) ** Kauma
Ability: Rough Skin
IVs: 31/31/31/19/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Jolly
- Dragon Claw
- Earthquake
- Fire Fang
- Swords Dance

1531589637726.png

Salamence (F) ** Kuloresia
Ability: Intimidate
IVs: 31/31/31/30/31/31
EVs: 214 HP / 252 Att / 44 Spd
Nature: Jolly
- Dragon Claw
- Earthquake
- Aqua Tail
- Dragon Dance

1531589652192.png

Togekiss (M) ** Happiness
Ability: Serene Grace
IVs: 31/23/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 HP / 6 Sp.att / 252 Spd
Nature: Modest
- Air Slash
- Aura Sphere
- Roost
- Nasty Plot

1531589336038.png

Scizor (M) ** Tech-Take
Ability: Technician
IVs: 31/31/31/3/31/31
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
- Bullet Punch
- Bug Bite
- Brick Break
- Swords Dance

High Score: 6610

Again, I'm not sure about their hold items. I'm not even going to make any guesses this time around.

This team was what I used on White 2. Obviously, it has serious flaws. The leads alone are hilarious, not just one but two Pokemon with a 4x weakness to Ice! Plus a backup with a weakness to Ice as well. If I ever got to face an opponent with an Abomasnow or something similar that I wouldn't be able to beat on the first turn, it would pretty much be an instant loss. Also, Salamence's EVs just seem so weird to me when I look back at it now. It has Dragon Dance and was meant purely for in-game uses, but the low amount of Speed EVs just looks so odd. Still, this team does feature two strong leads and two strong backups which are all capable of dealing serious damage. Like the one I used on Black 2, this team is not specifically for Double battles. That said, it got me the best high score I have across all of my four games, so that's something. Not sure what else to say.

In the end, I got the Master Rank at the Institute on all four games and I'm really happy about it.

I think that's all I had for these other facilities.

And that's it for the fifth generation on the whole. Now we're almost at the end.
 
Apologies for yet another double post. I have no other choice since there wasn't enough room left to keep everything else I wanted to say in my previous post. Just pretend that this is a part of the same post as above.

There are a few more things I want to say given the opportunity. Mostly just for fun, but I thought I should include them here.
Up to this point, I have gone through all my experiences with the Gen 2-5 Battle Facilities in game order. But what about the actual order in which everything happened? I decided to make a timeline just for fun. Including Gen 6 and 7 as well. But not including things that aren't semi-competitive like Black Tower/White Treehollow or the Challenge Medals in B2/W2.

Here we go!

Various points 2002-2006:
I made an unknown number of attempts to beat the Crystal Battle Tower, but no success.

2004:
At some point during June-August: Ruby Battle Tower, managed to win 49 battles in a row before losing at battle #50.

2005:
November or December: Emerald Battle Frontier, I managed to beat Tucker at the Battle Dome and get my first Silver Symbol.

2006:
January-May: I obtained the other six Silver Symbols at the Emerald Frontier.
August: Got the Gold Symbols at the Pyramid and Pike.
September: Got the Gold Symbols at the Arena and Dome.

2007:
August: Pearl Battle Tower, I beat Silver and Gold Palmer for the first time in this game.
September: Got the Gold Symbol at the Palace in Emerald.

2008:
May: Made a few attempts to beat the Emerald Battle Tower with a team of Gengar, Slaking and Milotic, got to 60 wins in a row at best.
Unknown: Beat Silver and Gold Palmer for the first time in Diamond.
Unknown: Various other streaks with different teams at the D/P Tower (Single).
Unknown, but before it happened on Diamond: Won 100 battles in a row at the Tower in Pearl.
October: Won 100 battles in a row at the Tower in Diamond.
Late December: I get burnt out on Pokemon.

2009:
Burnout.
January-May: Made new teams for the Single line at the D/P Tower and battled with them for a bit.

2010:
Burnout.
June-August: Got all Silver Prints at the Platinum Frontier.
I also remember that I did some more tries to beat the Platinum Frontier later during the year but I never succeeded with anything regarding it.

2011:
This year, my burnout ended and I got back into Pokemon in early March thanks to B/W.
March-April: Played Emerald a little and continued at the Battle Dome, increased my streak to 15 tournaments won in a row.
Otherwise not much. The only other thing I remember doing during this year was that I tried to beat the B/W Subway a little with various bad teams, but I had no success.

2012:
Unknown point during either Spring or Summer: SoulSilver, battled at the Tower and managed to beat Gold Palmer on my first try, to my own big surprise.
July-August: Beat the Single and Double lines at the Subway in B/W.

2013:
February-March: Beat the regional tournaments, World Leaders, and Champion Tournaments at the PWT in Black 2.
April: Beat Super Single in the Battle Subway in Black 2.
May: Beat some of the tournaments at the PWT in White 2.
July: Beat the rest of the tournaments at the PWT in White 2 (not including the Type expert tournaments).
September: Beat most of the Type Expert Tournaments at the PWT in B2/W2 (had already beaten some of types at earlier points).
October-November: Continued a little more at the Subway in B/W, finished some previously unfinished streaks.
November-December: Continued at the Subway in B2/W2, this time for real. Beat Super Single in White 2 and Super Double in both games.
December: Started at the Maison in X.
December: Started on the Battle Institute in B2/W2.

2014:
January: Completed the Battle Institute in B2/W2, ended up having done a total of 50 battle tests on both games.
January-September: Beat the Maison in X/Y, got all five trophies and won 200 battles in a row on both of my games.
March-May: Got my 4 Gold Prints at the Platinum Frontier, also won 100 battles in a row at the Tower.
May: Battled at the Battle Institute in X, got Master Rank and all the Medals that can be obtained from there.
May: Won 56 Battles in a row at the Tower in Ruby & Sapphire.
June-July: Battled a bit more at the Subway in B2/W2 in order to get some more medals from it (as well as more BP).
September: Beat the Battle Institute in Y, got Master Rank and all the Medals that can be obtained from there.
October-November: Got back to the Emerald Battle Tower, lost against Gold Anabel once, then beat her on my next attempt.
November: Continued at the Super Triple line in the Maison in Y (had an unfinished streak of 300 before), got up to 863 wins in a row before losing, which is the highest I have ever gotten in any battle facility to date.
Various points this year: Tried to beat the Battle Factories in Emerald and Platinum, but no success.

2015:
February: Beat the Battle Institute in Black, got Master Rank at Single thanks to my Garchomp.
April: Battled at the Subway with my new team on White, also got Master Rank at the Battle Institute with it.
Various points this year: Tried to beat the Battle Factories in Emerald and Platinum, but still no success.

2016:
January-July: Battled at the Maison in OR/AS, got all five trophies and won 200 battles in a row on both games.
August: Battled at the Battle Institute in OR/AS, got Master Rank and all medals you can get from it on both games.
November-December: Went back to the Maison in AS, played it alongside Moon.

2017:
January-March: Continued on the Maison in AS, got up to 500 in a row on Super Single (ongoing) a few days before I started playing Sun.
January-August: Beat the S/M Battle Tree, got all three Stamps and won 200 battles in a row on both games.
September: Beat the Master Rank at the Battle Royal Dome in S/M.
November: Continued at Super Double in the Tree in S/M, got to 300 in a row (ongoing) on Moon and lost at #275 on Sun.

2018 (so far):
June-July: Started battling at the Battle Tree in Ultra Moon. Managed to accomplish one of my four major goals for the Tree in that game.
This thought occurred to me as I was working on this project. How done am I actually with all the battle facilities in previous generations? The answer is, I'm not quite done with any of these generations yet. Let's take a look at what I have left to do.

Gen 2: I have yet to complete anything in the Crystal Battle Tower, haven't even won 7 battles in a row there on any mode.

Gen 3: Still haven't beaten the Emerald Factory. I could also try to win 100 battles in a row at the Battle Tower in all three games, but I don't think I will.

Gen 4: Haven't beaten the Platinum Factory either. I also have almost the entire HG/SS Frontier left but I don't think I ever will try to beat it.

Gen 5: Haven't beaten the Super Multi line on any of my games, then I also need to win 200 battles in a row on Black, White and White 2.

The only games that I have truly completed in terms of Battle Facilities are D/P, X/Y, OR/AS and S/M. If everything goes according to my plans, US/UM will be among them in the future as well. But what about the rest of Gen 2-5, apart from D/P? Am I ever going to be done with the Battle Facilities in them? Maybe. We'll see what the future can do to redeem the things that are still incomplete in the past.
Just for fun, I thought I should add how many ongoing streaks I have across all of my games. I will not include old and unknown streaks, very short streaks, Open Level in Gen 3, Battle Factories or Super Multi. But I will include Gen 6 and 7. All formats are Single unless otherwise specified.

Gen 3:
Ruby Battle Tower
Sapphire Battle Tower
Emerald Battle Tower, Arena, Dome, Pyramid and Palace

Gen 4:
Diamond Battle Tower (Double)
Pearl Battle Tower (Double)
Platinum Battle Tower, Hall, Castle and Arcade
SoulSilver Battle Tower

Gen 5:
None.

Gen 6:
Alpha Sapphire Battle Maison, Super Single and Super Double

Gen 7:
Moon Battle Tree, Super Double

How many? The answer is... 17! Okay, maybe not as many as I thought but it still feels like a lot. I guess I have a tendency to leave streaks unfinished since I usually don't battle in order to get high streaks, or streaks at all.
Another thing just for fun. I wanted to make a list of my best streaks ever, across all games from Gen 2-7. I decided to include all streaks where I have gotten at least 100 wins in a row. From the highest to the lowest.

1. 863, Super Triple, Battle Maison, Y
2. 500, Super Single, Battle Maison, Alpha Sapphire (ongoing)
3. 300, Super Double, Battle Tree, Moon (ongoing)
4. 276, Super Double, Battle Subway, Black 2
5. 274, Super Double, Battle Tree, Sun
6. 255, Super Triple, Battle Maison, Omega Ruby
7. 204, Super Triple, Battle Maison, X
8. 200, Super Double, Battle Maison, Alpha Sapphire (ongoing)
9. 197, Super Double, Battle Subway, White
10. 184, Super Double, Battle Maison, X
11. 181, Super Single, Battle Tree, Moon
12. 170, Single, Battle Hall, Platinum (ongoing)
13. 151, Super Single, Battle Maison, X
14. 142, Super Double, Battle Subway, White 2
15. 133, Double, Battle Tower, Diamond (ongoing)
16. 130, Super Rotation, Battle Maison, Omega Ruby
17. 125, Super Single, Battle Subway, White
18. 105, Double, Battle Tower, Pearl (ongoing)
18. 105, Single, Battle Tower, Platinum (ongoing)
20. 103, Super Rotation, Battle Maison, X
21. 102, Super Double, Battle Maison, Omega Ruby

That's 21 times in total where I have gotten over 100 wins in a row. And 8 times where I have gotten 200 wins in a row or more. That's more than I thought. I'm quite happy about that. 7 of these streaks are still unfinished too.
I know these subjects have been discussed earlier in this thread and at other places too. I wanted to say something about them as well. I think this is the best place given the opportunity.

First of all, hax. Do you get haxed in battle facilities? The obvious answer is... Yes! Of course you do! If you play hundreds to thousands of battles in the facilities, you are going to get haxed at some point. For example, OHKO moves have a 30% chance of hitting, so if the opponent uses them 10 times against you, they should statistically hit 3 times. Likewise there's the chance of getting flinched, frozen, paralyzed, confused, Hax items like Bright Powder activating... and so on. It just happens. Sometimes it causes you to lose but if your team is well-built enough it should be able to handle a bit of hax. I personally find it much easier to make hax-proof teams in Gen 4 and forward, I also find it easier to handle hax in Double and Triple compared to Single.

But you already knew that. What actually I wanted to say is this. The question is not whether you get haxed in battle facilities (since you do), but rather if you get haxed unfairly. Do your opponents hit with their OHKO moves more than 3 out of 10 times? Does it seem like their hax items are triggered more often than they should? Do they flinch/paralyze/freeze you more often than they should? Do their low-accuracy moves seem to always hit?

I don't know about everyone else but it has felt like this for me at various times in the games. I can't prove that it actually is this way though. But based on my own experiences and memories, I feel that it was more likely that I got haxed (unfairly) and lost because of that in the earlier generations than what it is in the newer ones. In Gen 3-4, and 5 to an extent, it felt like I lost to hax far more often than in Gen 6-7. While in Gen 6-7, it often felt like I lost because of things like misplay, my opponents having good strategies or my own teams not being good enough. Overall, it feels like most of my losses in the newer generations weren't caused by hax. I have still lost to hax a few times in Gen 6-7 but it doesn't feel like it happened anywhere near as often as in Gen 2-5.

Still, it wasn't completely unfair in the earlier generations either since I have haxed my opponents in many situations too. Like as in my Gold rematch against Anabel in Emerald or my first Gold Battle against Palmer in Pearl. So I guess it might not always be as unfair as it may seem at times.

That's how I feel about hax in battle facilities. If anyone has different experiences and opinions on it, that's okay. Feel free to share them.

Next, counterteaming. This has been discussed in this thread before and here's my thoughts on it. I remember hearing about this way back in Gen 3. I think I read somewhere that the last 2-3 trainers in every round in the Emerald Battle Tower would have teams specifically designed to counter your team. But I don't really think it is that way. I can't say I have ever felt like I have been counterteamed in either Emerald or any of the games past it. The only time that comes close would be in the Subway in Black, which I talked a little about earlier. I first used Waterfall on Dragonite but ran into a lot of Pokemon like Scizor and Forretress, so I changed Waterfall to Fire Punch, only to not see those kinds of Pokemon as much afterwards. And that's extremely minor when you put it in comparison to everything else. I can't think of any other time where it has felt like I have been counterteamed.

Jumpman16 said this earlier in the thread:

"I can say with the confidence and experience of some 30,000 battles in the Maison alone that at no point did I ever remotely feel like I was being counterteamed. But, of course, I'm preaching to the choir here in this thread.

If you think you're being counterteamed, you should probably patch up that hole in your team."

A statement I completely agree with, based on my own experiences.

That's all I had to say regarding that. Not sure if I managed to write down my thoughts on these subjects how I really wanted to express myself, but that's how it will have to be.

...

Before the end of this, I want to say some final things.
Last year, I asked if I am good at battle facilities. The answer I got then, and have now, is yes. Maybe I'm not the very best Battle Facility battler ever. I'm not Jumpman16, turskain, Josh C., GG Unit, Eppie, ReptoAbysmal, Peterko, Bozo or anyone else who has been at the top places on the leaderboards for various facilities throughout the years. Neither am I someone who has inspired tons of other people to try their skills at various battle facilities throughout the years. I used to think that just because I wasn't as good as these people and didn't have a noteworthy place on any leaderboard, I wasn't good at battle facilities at all. But that was wrong. I'm not the very best, but I don't need to be. I'm me, with my own goals and experiences. I should stay that way, there's no need to change since what I have done in the past and what I am currently doing is working when it comes to reaching my own goals.

Despite having written all of these long posts, I wouldn't say that I am super obsessed with battle facilities like several other people in this thread. Don't get me wrong, I really like battling at them and I think they are tons of fun. They are usually among the most fun things to do in the Pokemon games. The thing is, there are so many other things in the games that I really like as well, sometimes I haven't been able to spend as much time in the battle facilities as I would have liked to. And that's something I regret. In fact, the only ones that I have been able to spend all the time I wanted on are the OR/AS Maison and the S/M Tree. Maybe also the D/P Tower. I also regret never trying the Wi-Fi lines in any of my Gen 4/5 games, I can't try it anymore now that Wi-Fi for these generations has been shut down. But in the end, it's all okay. I had a lot of fun along the way even if I didn't invest all the time I really wanted in all of the battle facilities. And I want to say this too: I think it is actually a good thing to be super obsessed with battle facilities. I think it is only for the better to be obsessed with one specific thing in the Pokemon games as opposed to trying to complete everything there is, which is what I usually do.

This whole project became very big but I just had a lot to say about all of this. I really hope I didn't forget anything. There's always a chance that I did but I am quite sure I remembered to include the most important things I wanted to say. If you read all of these posts all the way from the beginning to the end, thank you! I hope you got something out of it. And even if you didn't read everything but just parts of it, I still hope you enjoyed it. As for me, I have to say that writing this was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed writing all of this. Working on this project also brought back many memories from my adventures in the battle facilities in the previous generations. It was a trip down memory lane for sure. I am usually not a huge fan of nostalgia when it comes to Pokemon, but I guess this is one big exception. Once more, I want to give a special thanks to Smuckem for giving me the idea to this in the first place, and encouraging me to write it. I know that I gave you some new ideas along the way, such as Cradily and Dewgong, that was odd and unexpected but very positive. I also want to thank the Battle Tree community on the whole. I have always felt that the Battle Facility communities here on Smogon have been really great, both in the past and the present, it lives on with the current Tree community. I have never been very active in these communitites myself but it feels like that has been changing in recent years. We are a great community. Keep on being awesome, everyone!

And now... this project is over. It feels a bit sad that I will never get to write something like this again but I suppose once in a lifetime is enough. This project also required a lot of time so now that it is over, I can focus on other things. I'm really happy that I got to create it. I guess you could say that this is my Magnum Opus... for now, if nothing else. As a bit of trivia, I should say that I have included a few easter eggs in these six posts. Can anyone find them? Not that it matters as it was just for fun, but I thought I should at least mention it.

Now that we're almost at the end, I guess I should give an update on how far I have gotten in the Ultra Tree. I have started a little on Ultra Moon, managed to accomplish one of my four major goals there. Here's a Battle Video if anyone wants a teaser: 5EGW-WWWW-WWWP-8XVC. I posted the details for this team on Discord earlier this month. But I feel that I gave away too much about this team, I would have liked to kept it more secret instead of revealing everything. Because of that, I have decided to not say anything about my future teams for the Ultra Tree until I am done with it. As for Ultra Sun... I haven't started on the Tree there yet.

It will probably be a while until I get around to completing the Ultra Tree for real. There are some other things I want to do in US/UM as well and I have planned to do a few of them first, then complete the Tree at a later point. If I were to make a guess, I will probably be done with the Ultra Tree at some point next year. Once I am done with it, I will get back here and make a post about my teams, like I did with S/M last year and like I have done with X/Y and OR/AS in the Maison thread. Also, if I should ever be completely done with the facilities in previous generations (the Crystal Tower, Emerald/Platinum Factory or the Gen 5 Subway), I'll post about that here on the forums too. Likely in this very thread or its successor, depending on when any of this should happen.

As for future games and generations, I have some thoughts to share on them as well. I have no interest in the newly announced Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee for the Switch and I will not buy them. They will be the first main series Pokemon games that I will skip completely. The good thing about this is that I can focus more on US/UM and get several things done in them before the next main series games that I am interested in are released. One of the main things I have left in US/UM is of course the Tree. My plan is to be done with the Ultra Tree before Gen 8 is released, I think I should be able to make it.

Regarding Gen 8 (which I'm assuming is what the 2019 games are unless it ever gets stated otherwise somewhere), I'm looking forward to it with cautious optimism. But when these games are out, I will play them differently compared to how I have played Pokemon games up to this point. I don't have as much free time as I used to, real life takes up a lot of it. That's just how it is to grow up, I guess. Sadly, my interest in Pokemon is not at its peak anymore, like it was during 2011-2014. Though I still like the Pokemon games and I will continue to play them as long as I enjoy them. But, starting from Gen 8, I will not be the super ultra hardcore completionist that I currently am since I simply just don't have time to do everything in the games anymore. Maybe I won't even buy both games from a pair anymore, chances are I'll stick with just one from then on. For Gen 8, I will mainly focus on the things I like the very most in the games such as completing the Pokedex, training Pokemon (as long as there are good training spots) and of course, battling in Battle Facilities. All other things will be secondary. Maybe I'll even skip some things completely if I don't have time for them or if I don't find them interesting or enjoyable enough. Technically I am already doing this (mostly) but I will do it on a larger scale in future games. As for US/UM, I have already started on them and I am going to do all the things in them that I have planned to do. Doesn't matter how long it takes, I will get all of it done. There's no need to rush anything either since I'm not sure if there are any other 3DS games I am going to play after I am done with US/UM, and the next new main series Pokemon game that I get will be for the Switch.

That's it. I wanted to end this in some sort of epic or cool way, but I decided not to. Instead, I'll just end this regularly.

This is all I had to say... for now. Everyone, keep having fun in the Battle Tree and other Facilities, do your best to reach your goals! I am going to do that, I hope all of you will too. Until next time we meet. See you all later!
 
Hello everyone, not exactly a new member since my old account got lost but posting in here to showcase an ended streak of 201 wins in the Battle Tree. I was inspired by my friend Collector Togami to do this, but I personally set the challenge to myself on not using Bank/Injected stuff. This is a team I have been brainstorming for a while back from when I used to farm BPs in the ORAS maison. In a nutshell, the team consists of using Garchomp as a powerful lead and the main sweeper to KO stuff around, Tapu Fini as a support/bulky win-con mon to provide status protection with Misty Surge and make Chomp´s sweep easier; she assumes her role as a bulky CM sweeper only if the situation is ideal for it, and Mega Metagross as glue to this team providing fast-paced power (despite Meteor Mash) and defensive synergy:

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


Garchomp (Harribel) @ Life Orb
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 SpD
IVs: 31.31.31.24.31.31
Jolly Nature
- Fire Fang
- Earthquake
- Dragon Claw
- Swords Dance


Tapu Fini (Ursula) @ Normalium-Z
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA / 4 SpD / 4 Spe
IVs: 31.18.31.26.31.31 (Hyper Trained)
Bold Nature
- Surf
- Refresh
- Calm Mind
- Moonblast


Metagross @ Metagrossite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 HP
IVs: 31.31.31.5.31.31
Jolly Nature
- Brick Break
- Bullet Punch
- Meteor Mash
- Zen Headbutt

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Set discussion:
Garchomp is the main lead because of her great match-up against the mayority of the Pokemon seen in the Battle Tree. As someone who has used Garchomp before on the XYORAS Maison, one of its main selling points compared to Dragonite and Mega Salamence would be the helpful immunity against Electric and actually beneficiating from Misty Surge directly. For those who are curious on how Misty Surge mechanics works on Garchomp: Under Misty Terrain, grounded Pokemon become immune to status, to which is the main reason why I run a Life Orb since a Lum Berry becomes now somewhat situational. Another important aspect of this comes from the fact that Outrage becomes unusable under the Terrain: If Misty Terrain is in effect, you will get locked into the move until Misty Terrain disperses and finally get confused. Since grounded Pokemon receive half the damage from Dragon type moves (regardless of whether the user of the move is grounded or not), being locked into Outrage would be disadvantageous. To add on, under Misty Terrain, Garchomp can actually survive against powerful STAB Dragon attacks while being able to retaliate back and KO Flying/Levitating Dragons without fearing the Misty Surge penalty. Grounded Dragons, like Druddigon, Kingdra or Drampa are usually defeated by Tapu Fini. This is really amazing consider that Garchomp can actually win against stuff like Latios 2 who would otherwise outspeed Chomp and KO her:

252 SpA Latios Draco Meteor vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Garchomp under Misty Terrain: 126-150 (68.8 - 81.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (126, 128, 128, 132, 132, 134, 134, 138, 138, 140, 140, 144, 144, 146, 146, 150)

Wait... are you telling me that this thing can actually survive a STAB Draco Meteor now??? MOTHER OF JESUS.

Dragon Claw is not the best STAB move, but it doesn´t locks you into Outrage which means that in case you ever find yourself still under Misty Terrain´s effect, you can switch into moves and plow the opponent´s team with Earthquake if they are grounded. It will still KO most stuff like Charizard-X thanks to the LO boost (outside Misty Terrain) and it´s a great move to hit Flying types and stuff that are immune to Earthquake. A +2 LO boosted Dragon Claw is still nothing to laugh at as it still has a decent chance to KO BrightPowder Zapdos (62.5% chance to OHKO iirc). Fire Fang is for Mega Scizor/regular Scizor, Ferrothorn, x4 weak stuff, Skarmory and Grass types, and it is mainly used for coverage. The EV spread is very simple: Max Speed to creep anything sitting on the 100 speed benchmark like both Zard formes (Y is 2HKO´d by Dragon Claw while X dies to the same move) and Max Attack for more damage.

Tapu Fini is probably the heart of this team and the most important team member. For starters, we are talking about a Pokemon with base 115/130 Defenses and an acceptable base 95 SpA. Base 85 Speed is ok since it makes her outpace a lot of bulky mons in the Battle Tree. However, her meager base 70 HP really lets down her amazing bulk as well as her lack of a consistent recovery method. It took me the longest to think of a decent Tapu Fini set for the Battle Tree. Base 95 SpA imo is not enough to run a bulky/offensive set while using Protect + Leftovers as a way for recovery is less reliable than Lillie´s Bag. When I locked into all of the Z-move effects, my eyes were lit for one thing: Moves like Z-Refresh and Z-Mist gave the user 100% recovery for one turn and since Tapu Fini can´t use Chesto + Rest because of her ability, I wondered why not giving this a try? On paper, it might look shaky: It´s a one-time full recovery and once it is used, you can´t recover HP again but Tapu Fini gained access to both. On one hand, Z-Mist would not only allow Tapu Fini to recover 100% of its health but also protect her teammates from random status drops coming from Psychic/Shadow Ball/etc. Is this necessary considering that Metagross has Clear Body? On the other hand: Z-Refresh not only filled her HP bar full again but also cured her status conditions. This has been really amazing for her because, should the situation call where I need Tapu Fini to set-up Calm Mind on something that can´t really scratch her, Z-Refresh allows her to recover HP and cure status ailments outside of Misty Surge and continue to set-up or proceed to sweep. I should say something important: TAPU FINI IS NOT SUICUNE AND IT WILL NEVER DO THE SAME THING. Suicune can stall out stuff with Pressure and usually has easier time to set-up on many stuff thanks to that beefy HP. However, on Tapu Fini´s case, her job is mainly to support her other teammates with Misty Terrain. I would like to say that her role on my team is more of a dedicated team supporter rather than a bulky win-con to finish the job. I prefer to switch her out most of time just to recover the effects of Misty Terrain and at most, I do 1 or 2 CMs to get her going. The good thing is that Tapu Fini can still set-up on a lot of stuff. For example, she laughs at Mega Blastoise so hard (she resists all of his moves lol), Sharpedo 4, Vaporeon, Politoed 4 and anything else that can´t scratch her but won´t force her to use Z-Refresh more than once. In these specific scenarios, then Tapu Fini can make it to +6, otherwise, just stick to setting up a few times just to get her going on and switch out if necessary because you will never know when Misty Terrain will come at help again.

Surf (rip Scald) is her main STAB move and does great against anything vulnerable to it. Moonblast is her most powerful STAB and the chance of dropping the opponent´s SpA (In case she gets dragged into CM wars) comes in handy. It also allows her to set-up and comfortably beat most Water types. Calm Mind is there to improve her already massive Special Defense and bring her Special Attack to respectable levels. It should be worth mentioning that +2 or +3 is good enough for her to even shrug special Electric/Grass moves and at +6, she´s pretty much INVINCIBLE. The timing of using Z-Refresh is crucial mainly because using this move at the wrong moment can be costly specially if she gets a lot of damage. Would like to add as well that thanks to Misty Surge, confusion and status hax will not work on her and her teammates for 5 turn. The AI might have been improved, however, they will continue to use Confusion/hax moves most of time under its effect. Trust me, you don´t know what real hapiness is until you switch a physical attacker into a predicted Swagger and get a free pseudo-SD boost :D. Misty Terrain means that Tapu Fini doesn´t fears the occasional hax coming from the secondary effects of Flamethrower, Ice Beam, and etc. The same goes for her teammates as long as Misty Terrain is around.

Her EV spread is very simple: With max +Defense investment, Tapu Fini will not be 2HKO´d by Mega Charizard´s X +1 Flare Blitz (37.5 - 44.3%) and thanks to the accumulated recoil, Tapu Fini can actually 2HKO it with Moonblast. 4 Speed EVs are important in this set because they allow her to speed creep Suicune 3 (Suicune can´t use Rest on Misty Terrain which is crucial for her to out-muscle him after he takes damage from Garchomp). Because 8 EVs on a single stat do nothing significant, 4 EVs are distributed to her SpA and Spe to improve her overall stats.

Last but not least. Well, he is the least valuable member of the team, but Mega Metagross complements this team with his useful set of resistances. First of all, thanks to Misty Terrain, Mega Metagross doesn´t has to fear anymore the occasional Static/Flame Body hax (Mega Gross has always been an enemy of status ailments) and having a pseudo x4 Dragon resistance is always neat. Mega Metagross has the perfect combination of power, speed and bulk. Also, thanks to the new Mega Evolution mechanics, Mega Gross does not have to wait for one turn anymore to reach that sexy 178 Speed. Because this streak was pre-Bank, the moves listed above are the most useful as of right now.

Meteor Mash is like that Christmas gift-box you receive from your aunt: You expect that something good will come out of it, but what you get is nothing more than a soul-shattering disappointment. I should say that I was lucky that in most cases where a MM miss occurred, it didn´t mattered because the victory was already pocketed the same way Juventus secures a Serie A title every year. However, on the few times it did mattered, dear God... In fact my loss involves a MM miss although it was more of my fault since I played really bad. Zen Headbutt falls on the same category, but I guess that it´s kinda nice to have a STAB move that can hit Water types (Come on Game Freak, hurry up on Bank). Bullet Punch is for Archeops (nuff said) and for revenge killing purposes. Brick Break, a move that Zari recommended to me while I was theorizing on IRC, is not the 7th wonder of the world but it has the nice niche of getting rid of screens (I see you Rotom) and Aurora Veil. Against stuff that can hit hard my team, like Waterium-Z Primarina or CB Slaking, Mega Metagross is the one who usually receives the heavy damage or sacrifices himself to weaken these kind of threats and let Garchomp/Tapu Fini finish the job. He´s the least used member: Mostly, his role is more limited to a revenge killer or finisher. That´s it. No Nutella in here (at least until Bank is out). Well, if I ever give this team a try again, it will be once Bank is out since Thunder Punch / Ice Punch / Iron Head Mega Metagross would benefit this team so much better.

EV spread is very simple: Max Speed to speed tie with Lati@s, Gengar and outspeed anything below that. Max Attack for the best damage output possible and the rest goes to HP (Probably should go in Sp.Def lol).


Battling 101:
This team is very easy to use. Usually this is what I do:
  • If the AI leads with something that can´t threaten Garchomp, set up a Swords Dance and watch how they start to fall like flies.
  • If the AI leads with something that Garchomp can defeat but can´t risk to set-up against, go for a straight attack.
  • If the AI leads with a status ailment user, switch to Tapu Fini, then switch back to Chomp or Mega Metagross if necessary.
  • Only attempt to set-up multiple Calm Minds with Tapu Fini only and only if the opponent can´t threaten her at all and will not force her to use Z-Refresh more than once even with some crit/flinch hax.
  • If the AI potentially has Mega Gengar on his rooster, treat Garchomp the same way you would treat and love your mother.
  • If the AI leads or carries something that relies on confusion moves: 1) Switch into Tapu Fini 2) Profit $$$$
Usually one Swords Dance is more than enough for Garchomp to sweep past many Pokemon as nothing enjoys eating a +2 LO boosted Earthquake. LO Earthquake will always out-damage whatever Outrage does and under Misty Terrain, it becomes your move of choice most of the time. Dragon Claw is for flying/levitating shenanigans, and as I explained before, its damage will not be penalized against non-grounded Dragons. Also, minimizing risk is important: Don´t let Garchomp take a lot of damage other than his LO recoil. It´s preferable to straight attack the opponent knowing that I will be at an advantage rather than setting up and take the risk of eating a CH or a powerful move that will end his sweep short. Status users are almost always defeated by Tapu Fini, so use her. Switching back and forth between the three also helps if I can get a safe switch-in for Garchomp/Mega Gross or re-activating Misty Terrain. Again, I´m doing emphasis on being conservative with Tapu Fini: Only set-up multiple Calm Mind if the opponent she´s up against will never force her to use Z-Refresh more than once. Differentiating between the opponent´s sets is probably the most difficult part, so analysis of the situation in most cases is important (which I forgot of during my loss).


Threats:
This is what pretty much threatens the team mostly:
  • Mega Gengar: Garchomp has to be in good shape in order to defeat it. Shadow Ball ends Mega Metagross and Sludge Bomb decimates Tapu Fini.
  • Expert Belt Azelf: Can be difficult to handle if Garchomp is not in good health. It barely KOs Mega Metagross (18.8% chance to do so). Usually what I do, in case it leads, is use Dragon Claw on him, then switch into Mega Metagross and finish it off with Bullet Punch.
  • Primarina: She can´t clean my team but the problem relies on the fact that she is guaranteed to take one member out at least. Usually I switch into Mega Metagross to take a resisted hit, Meteor Mash for some damage as he dies next turn (Hydro Vortex and/or Hydro Pump will KO him) and let Chomp finish her.
  • Thundurus: Scouting which is his set is probably the most dangerous threat he poses to the team. Specs is the easiest one depending on which move he is locked into. My loss came to the Electrium-Z set which obliterated my team by himself due to my misplays.
  • King´s Rock Starmie: Surprisingly and luckily enough I never faced this thing during my 201 wins, however, you don´t need rocket science to know how scary it is for my team to handle it. Yes, the worst part is that you have to rely on MM to even be able to 2HKO it. Game Freak, please gib Bank soon.
  • Quick Claw/Cutsap hax:
    Goes without saying.
  • Sheer Force Landorus: Scarf set is the most dangerous one since I lack Ground imnunities on this team. Usually the plan is to Dragon Claw straight away, let Chomp die and then, use Tapu Fini to finish the job.
I could still go on, but these are the ones mostly on top of my head.

Battle history:
Here are some interesting battles that showcases how this team works:
  • RIP Mega Blastoise: P7BW-WWWW-WWW3-PTWK
  • The 100 win benchmark: ZKCG-WWWW-WWW3-PSUS
  • Tapu Fini trolling Double Team Cresselia so hard: PMNG-WWWW-WWW3-UC4Y
  • Trick Room Mega Slowbro at most is a mild threat, this is an example of when attacking with Garchomp is more useful than just switching Tapu Fini into and risk getting critted by Psychic: MJQW-WWWW-WWW3-UC91
  • Don´t take unnecessary risks if you can´t scout an opponent´s set. On this case, should I have used Swords Dance on Garchomp and instead of Mega Scizor turned out to be Scizor 3, things could have gone ugly... TE8W-WWWW-WWW3-UCL2
  • Another situation in which is acceptable for Tapu Fini to get multiple boosts: WGAG-WWWW-WWW3-UBYL
  • This is what happens when you mis-use Tapu Fini. This could´ve been my loss: 5WBW-WWWW-WWW3-UBY9
  • Garchomp cleaning the house: W2KW-WWWW-WWW3-TPPV

Loss:
Funny enough, I forgot to record the 200th win since my original objective was to obtain the Starf/Lansat berry for myself. My original intention was to stay at 200 wins and improve the streak with ORAS Mega Metagross (Ice Punch / Thunder Punch / Iron Head). So I´ve decided this morning that I should upload a video around 200s since I missed it. Battle 201 was to easy to even consider it worthy, however, little I expected to what happened in battle 202. I choked the very same way Arsenal does every year in December. Why the hell I didn´t switch Tapu Fini into Latias since this was a rule of thumb of mine? Probably I was feeling cocky enough to finish her off with Meteor Mash but I was wrong. In the end, Thundurus 4 destroyed me. Who knows, maybe in the future I´ll try the team again once Bank is out.

Video: VDRG-WWWW-WWW3-TQ7E


Special Thanks:

Would like to thank everyone for taking their time on reading my own experience on the Battle Tree. Would like to give a shout-out to NoCheese for his Mega Metagross team in ORAS: I´ve used this team back then to farm Battle Points just to afford tutor moves, items, etc and god, it was amazing. My inspiration for this team came from using his team.

Credits goes to Serebii.net and pokeunlock.com for the sprites.
Finally getting back into the Battle Tree. What kept me so long from continuing? Life, job, a lot of stuff came since I published my post. After a lot of theorymon crafting in USUM I think I was able to reach the 200s mark again on USUM. Of course there are various changes: Poor Tapu Fini, she suffered the most changes on this team ever since I published it. I messed up with her EVs more than what I did with my Bank account. The biggest one is **Mega Scizor replacing Mega Metagross.** A few weeks after finishing my streak back on SM, I heavily considered using Mega Scizor since it didn't had Ground weaknesses, it simply made more sense (Specially with how lucky I got to even get 200 wins lol). I can see some people already beated me up on it now. Oh well, sometimes you miss chances of being first at something. Also, made some minor changes on Chomp, but overall she remains almost the same. Did I ever mention how much I f*cking hate Starmie-4? Every time I see it, I want to put some bleach on my eyes. Good gracious the flinch hax was not an influence yet, but I somehow see myself crashing to that and watch the rest of my team fall down to King's Rock flinching. This hasn't happened yet, and this makes me believe there is indeed a God up in the skies.

I'll make a new update about my team once I get the time for it. Still have some stuff to do, but I hope everyone will look forward it :).
 

Smuckem

Resident Facility Bot Wannabe
is a Community Contributor
I love the PWT but I regret not spending more time on it since I kind of rushed through it in my games. I also only played Single which I regret as well since I would have liked to give Double a try, not to mention Triple and Rotation. I beat all the tournaments at the PWT at least once, sometimes more. I beat World Leaders 10 times (to unlock Champions) and then Champions 4 times on both of my games. I guess that's it for the PWT..
I would HIGHLY encourage you to go back and do so--when I want to unwind and de-stress from the intensity of playing other facilities (and yes, Royal counts in this conversation too), I usually journey back into PWT. Playing this place in Triples is one of the most fulfilling and exciting experiences I have ever gotten from Pokemon as a whole, and I still get those emotions from it today...to the point that I've won some of these over 50 times each, a few over 100. Reading this, in fact, has got me considering crafting some goofy, gimmicky teams to get all of the non-Rental, non-Type Expert formats over the 50-win mark (some of them are not, most notably Sinnoh Leaders and Champions). I would argue this facility is the sole reason I didn't bother even making any headway with Subway Super lines until after I had gotten my feet wet in the Maison.

Oh yeah, Doubles and Rotations ain't bad there either.

I know that I gave you some new ideas along the way, such as Cradily and Dewgong, that was odd and unexpected but very positive
I'm an odd and unexpected person, so...
Also, it probably wasn't the best idea to feed my insanity further by mentioning Escavalier4 so much...

If you ever happen to be around the Boston, MA area sometime in the future, give me a shout, my friend; I don't have my Subway Multis trophy yet either...
 
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Apologies for yet another double post. I have no other choice since there wasn't enough room left to keep everything else I wanted to say in my previous post. Just pretend that this is a part of the same post as above.

There are a few more things I want to say given the opportunity. Mostly just for fun, but I thought I should include them here.
Up to this point, I have gone through all my experiences with the Gen 2-5 Battle Facilities in game order. But what about the actual order in which everything happened? I decided to make a timeline just for fun. Including Gen 6 and 7 as well. But not including things that aren't semi-competitive like Black Tower/White Treehollow or the Challenge Medals in B2/W2.

Here we go!

Various points 2002-2006:
I made an unknown number of attempts to beat the Crystal Battle Tower, but no success.

2004:
At some point during June-August: Ruby Battle Tower, managed to win 49 battles in a row before losing at battle #50.

2005:
November or December: Emerald Battle Frontier, I managed to beat Tucker at the Battle Dome and get my first Silver Symbol.

2006:
January-May: I obtained the other six Silver Symbols at the Emerald Frontier.
August: Got the Gold Symbols at the Pyramid and Pike.
September: Got the Gold Symbols at the Arena and Dome.

2007:
August: Pearl Battle Tower, I beat Silver and Gold Palmer for the first time in this game.
September: Got the Gold Symbol at the Palace in Emerald.

2008:
May: Made a few attempts to beat the Emerald Battle Tower with a team of Gengar, Slaking and Milotic, got to 60 wins in a row at best.
Unknown: Beat Silver and Gold Palmer for the first time in Diamond.
Unknown: Various other streaks with different teams at the D/P Tower (Single).
Unknown, but before it happened on Diamond: Won 100 battles in a row at the Tower in Pearl.
October: Won 100 battles in a row at the Tower in Diamond.
Late December: I get burnt out on Pokemon.

2009:
Burnout.
January-May: Made new teams for the Single line at the D/P Tower and battled with them for a bit.

2010:
Burnout.
June-August: Got all Silver Prints at the Platinum Frontier.
I also remember that I did some more tries to beat the Platinum Frontier later during the year but I never succeeded with anything regarding it.

2011:
This year, my burnout ended and I got back into Pokemon in early March thanks to B/W.
March-April: Played Emerald a little and continued at the Battle Dome, increased my streak to 15 tournaments won in a row.
Otherwise not much. The only other thing I remember doing during this year was that I tried to beat the B/W Subway a little with various bad teams, but I had no success.

2012:
Unknown point during either Spring or Summer: SoulSilver, battled at the Tower and managed to beat Gold Palmer on my first try, to my own big surprise.
July-August: Beat the Single and Double lines at the Subway in B/W.

2013:
February-March: Beat the regional tournaments, World Leaders, and Champion Tournaments at the PWT in Black 2.
April: Beat Super Single in the Battle Subway in Black 2.
May: Beat some of the tournaments at the PWT in White 2.
July: Beat the rest of the tournaments at the PWT in White 2 (not including the Type expert tournaments).
September: Beat most of the Type Expert Tournaments at the PWT in B2/W2 (had already beaten some of types at earlier points).
October-November: Continued a little more at the Subway in B/W, finished some previously unfinished streaks.
November-December: Continued at the Subway in B2/W2, this time for real. Beat Super Single in White 2 and Super Double in both games.
December: Started at the Maison in X.
December: Started on the Battle Institute in B2/W2.

2014:
January: Completed the Battle Institute in B2/W2, ended up having done a total of 50 battle tests on both games.
January-September: Beat the Maison in X/Y, got all five trophies and won 200 battles in a row on both of my games.
March-May: Got my 4 Gold Prints at the Platinum Frontier, also won 100 battles in a row at the Tower.
May: Battled at the Battle Institute in X, got Master Rank and all the Medals that can be obtained from there.
May: Won 56 Battles in a row at the Tower in Ruby & Sapphire.
June-July: Battled a bit more at the Subway in B2/W2 in order to get some more medals from it (as well as more BP).
September: Beat the Battle Institute in Y, got Master Rank and all the Medals that can be obtained from there.
October-November: Got back to the Emerald Battle Tower, lost against Gold Anabel once, then beat her on my next attempt.
November: Continued at the Super Triple line in the Maison in Y (had an unfinished streak of 300 before), got up to 863 wins in a row before losing, which is the highest I have ever gotten in any battle facility to date.
Various points this year: Tried to beat the Battle Factories in Emerald and Platinum, but no success.

2015:
February: Beat the Battle Institute in Black, got Master Rank at Single thanks to my Garchomp.
April: Battled at the Subway with my new team on White, also got Master Rank at the Battle Institute with it.
Various points this year: Tried to beat the Battle Factories in Emerald and Platinum, but still no success.

2016:
January-July: Battled at the Maison in OR/AS, got all five trophies and won 200 battles in a row on both games.
August: Battled at the Battle Institute in OR/AS, got Master Rank and all medals you can get from it on both games.
November-December: Went back to the Maison in AS, played it alongside Moon.

2017:
January-March: Continued on the Maison in AS, got up to 500 in a row on Super Single (ongoing) a few days before I started playing Sun.
January-August: Beat the S/M Battle Tree, got all three Stamps and won 200 battles in a row on both games.
September: Beat the Master Rank at the Battle Royal Dome in S/M.
November: Continued at Super Double in the Tree in S/M, got to 300 in a row (ongoing) on Moon and lost at #275 on Sun.

2018 (so far):
June-July: Started battling at the Battle Tree in Ultra Moon. Managed to accomplish one of my four major goals for the Tree in that game.
This thought occurred to me as I was working on this project. How done am I actually with all the battle facilities in previous generations? The answer is, I'm not quite done with any of these generations yet. Let's take a look at what I have left to do.

Gen 2: I have yet to complete anything in the Crystal Battle Tower, haven't even won 7 battles in a row there on any mode.

Gen 3: Still haven't beaten the Emerald Factory. I could also try to win 100 battles in a row at the Battle Tower in all three games, but I don't think I will.

Gen 4: Haven't beaten the Platinum Factory either. I also have almost the entire HG/SS Frontier left but I don't think I ever will try to beat it.

Gen 5: Haven't beaten the Super Multi line on any of my games, then I also need to win 200 battles in a row on Black, White and White 2.

The only games that I have truly completed in terms of Battle Facilities are D/P, X/Y, OR/AS and S/M. If everything goes according to my plans, US/UM will be among them in the future as well. But what about the rest of Gen 2-5, apart from D/P? Am I ever going to be done with the Battle Facilities in them? Maybe. We'll see what the future can do to redeem the things that are still incomplete in the past.
Just for fun, I thought I should add how many ongoing streaks I have across all of my games. I will not include old and unknown streaks, very short streaks, Open Level in Gen 3, Battle Factories or Super Multi. But I will include Gen 6 and 7. All formats are Single unless otherwise specified.

Gen 3:
Ruby Battle Tower
Sapphire Battle Tower
Emerald Battle Tower, Arena, Dome, Pyramid and Palace

Gen 4:
Diamond Battle Tower (Double)
Pearl Battle Tower (Double)
Platinum Battle Tower, Hall, Castle and Arcade
SoulSilver Battle Tower

Gen 5:
None.

Gen 6:
Alpha Sapphire Battle Maison, Super Single and Super Double

Gen 7:
Moon Battle Tree, Super Double

How many? The answer is... 17! Okay, maybe not as many as I thought but it still feels like a lot. I guess I have a tendency to leave streaks unfinished since I usually don't battle in order to get high streaks, or streaks at all.
Another thing just for fun. I wanted to make a list of my best streaks ever, across all games from Gen 2-7. I decided to include all streaks where I have gotten at least 100 wins in a row. From the highest to the lowest.

1. 863, Super Triple, Battle Maison, Y
2. 500, Super Single, Battle Maison, Alpha Sapphire (ongoing)
3. 300, Super Double, Battle Tree, Moon (ongoing)
4. 276, Super Double, Battle Subway, Black 2
5. 274, Super Double, Battle Tree, Sun
6. 255, Super Triple, Battle Maison, Omega Ruby
7. 204, Super Triple, Battle Maison, X
8. 200, Super Double, Battle Maison, Alpha Sapphire (ongoing)
9. 197, Super Double, Battle Subway, White
10. 184, Super Double, Battle Maison, X
11. 181, Super Single, Battle Tree, Moon
12. 170, Single, Battle Hall, Platinum (ongoing)
13. 151, Super Single, Battle Maison, X
14. 142, Super Double, Battle Subway, White 2
15. 133, Double, Battle Tower, Diamond (ongoing)
16. 130, Super Rotation, Battle Maison, Omega Ruby
17. 125, Super Single, Battle Subway, White
18. 105, Double, Battle Tower, Pearl (ongoing)
18. 105, Single, Battle Tower, Platinum (ongoing)
20. 103, Super Rotation, Battle Maison, X
21. 102, Super Double, Battle Maison, Omega Ruby

That's 21 times in total where I have gotten over 100 wins in a row. And 8 times where I have gotten 200 wins in a row or more. That's more than I thought. I'm quite happy about that. 7 of these streaks are still unfinished too.
I know these subjects have been discussed earlier in this thread and at other places too. I wanted to say something about them as well. I think this is the best place given the opportunity.

First of all, hax. Do you get haxed in battle facilities? The obvious answer is... Yes! Of course you do! If you play hundreds to thousands of battles in the facilities, you are going to get haxed at some point. For example, OHKO moves have a 30% chance of hitting, so if the opponent uses them 10 times against you, they should statistically hit 3 times. Likewise there's the chance of getting flinched, frozen, paralyzed, confused, Hax items like Bright Powder activating... and so on. It just happens. Sometimes it causes you to lose but if your team is well-built enough it should be able to handle a bit of hax. I personally find it much easier to make hax-proof teams in Gen 4 and forward, I also find it easier to handle hax in Double and Triple compared to Single.

But you already knew that. What actually I wanted to say is this. The question is not whether you get haxed in battle facilities (since you do), but rather if you get haxed unfairly. Do your opponents hit with their OHKO moves more than 3 out of 10 times? Does it seem like their hax items are triggered more often than they should? Do they flinch/paralyze/freeze you more often than they should? Do their low-accuracy moves seem to always hit?

I don't know about everyone else but it has felt like this for me at various times in the games. I can't prove that it actually is this way though. But based on my own experiences and memories, I feel that it was more likely that I got haxed (unfairly) and lost because of that in the earlier generations than what it is in the newer ones. In Gen 3-4, and 5 to an extent, it felt like I lost to hax far more often than in Gen 6-7. While in Gen 6-7, it often felt like I lost because of things like misplay, my opponents having good strategies or my own teams not being good enough. Overall, it feels like most of my losses in the newer generations weren't caused by hax. I have still lost to hax a few times in Gen 6-7 but it doesn't feel like it happened anywhere near as often as in Gen 2-5.

Still, it wasn't completely unfair in the earlier generations either since I have haxed my opponents in many situations too. Like as in my Gold rematch against Anabel in Emerald or my first Gold Battle against Palmer in Pearl. So I guess it might not always be as unfair as it may seem at times.

That's how I feel about hax in battle facilities. If anyone has different experiences and opinions on it, that's okay. Feel free to share them.

Next, counterteaming. This has been discussed in this thread before and here's my thoughts on it. I remember hearing about this way back in Gen 3. I think I read somewhere that the last 2-3 trainers in every round in the Emerald Battle Tower would have teams specifically designed to counter your team. But I don't really think it is that way. I can't say I have ever felt like I have been counterteamed in either Emerald or any of the games past it. The only time that comes close would be in the Subway in Black, which I talked a little about earlier. I first used Waterfall on Dragonite but ran into a lot of Pokemon like Scizor and Forretress, so I changed Waterfall to Fire Punch, only to not see those kinds of Pokemon as much afterwards. And that's extremely minor when you put it in comparison to everything else. I can't think of any other time where it has felt like I have been counterteamed.

Jumpman16 said this earlier in the thread:

"I can say with the confidence and experience of some 30,000 battles in the Maison alone that at no point did I ever remotely feel like I was being counterteamed. But, of course, I'm preaching to the choir here in this thread.

If you think you're being counterteamed, you should probably patch up that hole in your team."

A statement I completely agree with, based on my own experiences.

That's all I had to say regarding that. Not sure if I managed to write down my thoughts on these subjects how I really wanted to express myself, but that's how it will have to be.

...

Before the end of this, I want to say some final things.
Last year, I asked if I am good at battle facilities. The answer I got then, and have now, is yes. Maybe I'm not the very best Battle Facility battler ever. I'm not Jumpman16, turskain, Josh C., GG Unit, Eppie, ReptoAbysmal, Peterko, Bozo or anyone else who has been at the top places on the leaderboards for various facilities throughout the years. Neither am I someone who has inspired tons of other people to try their skills at various battle facilities throughout the years. I used to think that just because I wasn't as good as these people and didn't have a noteworthy place on any leaderboard, I wasn't good at battle facilities at all. But that was wrong. I'm not the very best, but I don't need to be. I'm me, with my own goals and experiences. I should stay that way, there's no need to change since what I have done in the past and what I am currently doing is working when it comes to reaching my own goals.

Despite having written all of these long posts, I wouldn't say that I am super obsessed with battle facilities like several other people in this thread. Don't get me wrong, I really like battling at them and I think they are tons of fun. They are usually among the most fun things to do in the Pokemon games. The thing is, there are so many other things in the games that I really like as well, sometimes I haven't been able to spend as much time in the battle facilities as I would have liked to. And that's something I regret. In fact, the only ones that I have been able to spend all the time I wanted on are the OR/AS Maison and the S/M Tree. Maybe also the D/P Tower. I also regret never trying the Wi-Fi lines in any of my Gen 4/5 games, I can't try it anymore now that Wi-Fi for these generations has been shut down. But in the end, it's all okay. I had a lot of fun along the way even if I didn't invest all the time I really wanted in all of the battle facilities. And I want to say this too: I think it is actually a good thing to be super obsessed with battle facilities. I think it is only for the better to be obsessed with one specific thing in the Pokemon games as opposed to trying to complete everything there is, which is what I usually do.

This whole project became very big but I just had a lot to say about all of this. I really hope I didn't forget anything. There's always a chance that I did but I am quite sure I remembered to include the most important things I wanted to say. If you read all of these posts all the way from the beginning to the end, thank you! I hope you got something out of it. And even if you didn't read everything but just parts of it, I still hope you enjoyed it. As for me, I have to say that writing this was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed writing all of this. Working on this project also brought back many memories from my adventures in the battle facilities in the previous generations. It was a trip down memory lane for sure. I am usually not a huge fan of nostalgia when it comes to Pokemon, but I guess this is one big exception. Once more, I want to give a special thanks to Smuckem for giving me the idea to this in the first place, and encouraging me to write it. I know that I gave you some new ideas along the way, such as Cradily and Dewgong, that was odd and unexpected but very positive. I also want to thank the Battle Tree community on the whole. I have always felt that the Battle Facility communities here on Smogon have been really great, both in the past and the present, it lives on with the current Tree community. I have never been very active in these communitites myself but it feels like that has been changing in recent years. We are a great community. Keep on being awesome, everyone!

And now... this project is over. It feels a bit sad that I will never get to write something like this again but I suppose once in a lifetime is enough. This project also required a lot of time so now that it is over, I can focus on other things. I'm really happy that I got to create it. I guess you could say that this is my Magnum Opus... for now, if nothing else. As a bit of trivia, I should say that I have included a few easter eggs in these six posts. Can anyone find them? Not that it matters as it was just for fun, but I thought I should at least mention it.

Now that we're almost at the end, I guess I should give an update on how far I have gotten in the Ultra Tree. I have started a little on Ultra Moon, managed to accomplish one of my four major goals there. Here's a Battle Video if anyone wants a teaser: 5EGW-WWWW-WWWP-8XVC. I posted the details for this team on Discord earlier this month. But I feel that I gave away too much about this team, I would have liked to kept it more secret instead of revealing everything. Because of that, I have decided to not say anything about my future teams for the Ultra Tree until I am done with it. As for Ultra Sun... I haven't started on the Tree there yet.

It will probably be a while until I get around to completing the Ultra Tree for real. There are some other things I want to do in US/UM as well and I have planned to do a few of them first, then complete the Tree at a later point. If I were to make a guess, I will probably be done with the Ultra Tree at some point next year. Once I am done with it, I will get back here and make a post about my teams, like I did with S/M last year and like I have done with X/Y and OR/AS in the Maison thread. Also, if I should ever be completely done with the facilities in previous generations (the Crystal Tower, Emerald/Platinum Factory or the Gen 5 Subway), I'll post about that here on the forums too. Likely in this very thread or its successor, depending on when any of this should happen.

As for future games and generations, I have some thoughts to share on them as well. I have no interest in the newly announced Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee for the Switch and I will not buy them. They will be the first main series Pokemon games that I will skip completely. The good thing about this is that I can focus more on US/UM and get several things done in them before the next main series games that I am interested in are released. One of the main things I have left in US/UM is of course the Tree. My plan is to be done with the Ultra Tree before Gen 8 is released, I think I should be able to make it.

Regarding Gen 8 (which I'm assuming is what the 2019 games are unless it ever gets stated otherwise somewhere), I'm looking forward to it with cautious optimism. But when these games are out, I will play them differently compared to how I have played Pokemon games up to this point. I don't have as much free time as I used to, real life takes up a lot of it. That's just how it is to grow up, I guess. Sadly, my interest in Pokemon is not at its peak anymore, like it was during 2011-2014. Though I still like the Pokemon games and I will continue to play them as long as I enjoy them. But, starting from Gen 8, I will not be the super ultra hardcore completionist that I currently am since I simply just don't have time to do everything in the games anymore. Maybe I won't even buy both games from a pair anymore, chances are I'll stick with just one from then on. For Gen 8, I will mainly focus on the things I like the very most in the games such as completing the Pokedex, training Pokemon (as long as there are good training spots) and of course, battling in Battle Facilities. All other things will be secondary. Maybe I'll even skip some things completely if I don't have time for them or if I don't find them interesting or enjoyable enough. Technically I am already doing this (mostly) but I will do it on a larger scale in future games. As for US/UM, I have already started on them and I am going to do all the things in them that I have planned to do. Doesn't matter how long it takes, I will get all of it done. There's no need to rush anything either since I'm not sure if there are any other 3DS games I am going to play after I am done with US/UM, and the next new main series Pokemon game that I get will be for the Switch.

That's it. I wanted to end this in some sort of epic or cool way, but I decided not to. Instead, I'll just end this regularly.

This is all I had to say... for now. Everyone, keep having fun in the Battle Tree and other Facilities, do your best to reach your goals! I am going to do that, I hope all of you will too. Until next time we meet. See you all later!

Thank you very much for writing all that, it was very interesting and your posts encourage us to keep fighting in the battle facilities ! I didn't entirely read some of your posts but I read the essentials despite the fact that English is not my native language and I don't speak it a lot ha. It was long but I liked reading the account of your adventures in the battle facilities, and you relate the things very well. See you soon !
 
Been meaning to finish this for a while now. Anyway, I’m reporting a 648-win streak on Ultra Moon Super Doubles. This time, we have some sort of Tailwind team. It’s a little thing I’ve been trying to make work for months. The team consists of: Hawlucha, Tapu Lele, Mega Metagross, and Landorus-I! The streak was ended due to a very poor misplay that I will go over in a little. Let’s start off with the team details...

QR Code

Hawlucha @ Psychic Seed
Ability: Unburden
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
IVs: 31/31/31/xx/31/31
Adamant Nature
- Low Kick
- Acrobatics
- Tailwind
- Substitute

First off, we have Hawlucha. When I first built this team back in April, I learned of the Drif-Lele core and wanted to try it out in the Tree. However, I wanted to try out Hawlucha instead of Drifblim. Thanks to Hawlucha’s amazing Speed, I just maxed out his HP and Attack while it ended up being faster than everything thanks to Unburden (except for Aerodactyl-1). Low Kick and Acrobatics are Hawlucha’s best accurate STABs, and both can pack a punch on Pokemon weak to those attacks. Tailwind was mainly to assist the rest of the team in out-speeding a bunch of faster Pokemon. For the final move, I decided to use Substitute instead of Protect. Why? Mainly to help Hawlucha to stay immune to status-happy Pokemon such as Rotom, Uxie, and Spiritomb. However, thanks to his Flying-type, Hawlucha isn’t protected from Psychic Terrain’s anti-priority, and even with the +1 boost from Psychic Seed, he wasn’t tanking much either.

Tapu Lele @ Psychium Z
Ability: Psychic Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 60 HP / 4 Def / 244 SpA /4 SpD / 196 Spe
IVs: 31/xx/31/HT/31/HT
Modest Nature
- Psychic --> Shattered Psyche
- Moonblast
- Shadow Ball
- Protect

Next, we have Tapu Lele. I decided to have Lele sit at 140 Speed since it was an empty Speed tier, and with Tailwind, Lele will hit 280 Speed and will be faster than everything in the Tree (again, except Aero-1, but this is irrelevant past 40). After dumping 244 EVs into Special Attack, I dumped the rest into HP, Defence, and Special Defence. Lele isn’t super bulky, but it can still take a couple of hits (not many SE hits, but you get my point). Anyway, Psychic and Moonblast are STAB. Shattered Psyche can OHKO almost everything in the Tree thanks to Psychic Terrain, while Moonblast hits any Dark types that Shattered Psyche and Psychic cannot hit. For coverage, I originally had Thunderbolt, but found that it wasn’t being used as much as I had hoped, so I dropped it for Shadow Ball. Thanks to this, it made dealing with things like Bronzong, Uxie, Cresselia, etc a little easier.

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Mega Metagross @ Metagrossite
Ability: Clear Body --> Tough Claws
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
IVs: 31/31/31/xx/31/31
Jolly Nature
- Iron Head
- Stomping Tantrum
- Ice Punch
- Protect

Next up, Metagross. I went with Metagross to help cover the weaknesses of Hawlucha and Tapu Lele. Metagross pretty much covers all of them except for Electric and Ghost. It also doesn’t deal with Dark or Fire-type attacks too well, but oh well. I was thinking of setting up the EVs for bulk, but decided to just go the standard 252/252. Mega Metagross hits pretty damn hard and can deal with the bulk of the Pokemon that Hawlucha and Lele have trouble with. Iron Head was chosen since it’s accurate, and has a nice flinch chance on top of its decent power. Stomping Tantrum is a new toy that Metagross got thanks to the USUM Move Tutors that also gets a Tough Claws boost, and allows MM to hit a lot of Steels and such. Finally, we have Ice Punch mainly for coverage. Not much else to say about this dude.


Landorus @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: HT/xx/HT/HT/31/HT
Timid Nature
- Earth Power
- Sludge Bomb
- Grass Knot
- Protect

Finally, we have Landorus. I really wanted a strong Special Attacker for the final slot, and Landorus seemed like a perfect choice. I had this old Timid one lying around so I decided to use it. Earth Power is the main STAB, while Sludge Bomb is a great secondary attack for Lando. Since I already had Ice Punch on Metagross, I wanted a different coverage option. I opted for Grass Knot, although it really wasn’t used a whole lot. Mostly on Swampert and Gastrodon if Lele was taken down early.

#649 vs Preschooler Reina (Torterra-3 / Venusaur-3 / Primarina-3 / Feraligatr-4): 453G-WWWW-WWWQ-3E87
This was an ugly one. And I didn’t even lose to any of the threats!

Turn 1 – Hawlucha uses Acrobatics on Venusaur, knocks it out. Tapu Lele uses Psychic. Torterra uses Rock Slide.

Knocking Venusaur was easy. Acrobatics always OHKO’s set 3, and set 4 usually uses Substitute since it survives the Acrobatics. A double target next turn would have finished it off if I needed to do that. However, Torterra surviving the Psychic was a little annoying.

Turn 2 – Reina sends out Primarina. Torterra’s Custap Berry activates, and Overgrow-boosted Seed Bomb KO’s Tapu Lele. Hawlucha knocks out Torterra. Primarina uses Moonblast, KO’s Hawlucha.

A misplay. I knew Torterra had a Custap Berry, but I didn’t think it was in the range needed to activate it. And to top it off, it was also in Overgrow range, so Seed Bomb was able to finish off Lele. I KO’d Torterra with Hawlucha, but Primarina returned the favour and KO’d Lucha with a Moonblast. I think using Substitute with Hawlucha would have been a better option since it would mean Hawlucha would survive one more turn, and would allow me to KO Primarina. Oh well.

Turn 3 – Landorus and Metagross sent out. Reina sends out Feraligatr. Metagross Mega Evolves, Landorus uses Protect. M-Metagross uses Iron Head on Primarina. Feraligatr uses Dragon Dance. Primarina flinches.

God, what was I thinking? I think it was this turn that pretty much lost me the battle. I stupidly had Landorus use Protect, essentially wasting its turn. Metagross’ Iron Head didn’t mean much on Primarina, and Feraligatr got a free boost. I should have just doubled up on the Feraligatr and banked on the Hydro Pump miss or something from Primarina. I played this turn like an idiot.

Turn 4 – Feraligatr uses Waterfall, KO’s Landorus. Metagross KO’s Primarina with Iron Head.

The battle was lost, I knew I couldn’t get Landorus to do something. With no Tailwind, Landorus couldn’t out-speed a +1 Feraligatr, and got destroyed by a Waterfall.

Turn 5 & 6 – Feraligatr finishes off Metagross with two Crunches and that was that.

Below is a brief list of the threats I encountered while using the team. Most of them are annoying/tough match-ups that the team can have.

Cresselia-234 – Cresselia is an incredibly bulky Pokemon that has two very annoying Double Team sets and a Trick Room set. Set 2 auto-loses to Metagross though, so it’s best to try and keep that guy alive if facing trainers that can carry it. Hawlucha behind a sub can also deal with it. Set 3 is a big pain in the ass since it carries Swagger, but pretty much the same thing. Except it can actually attack with Future Sight. And Set 4 is the Trick Room set. Normally, Cress can’t get the Psychic Terrain boost because of its Ability, Levitate. However, Cress-4 carries an Iron Ball, so it can get the boost for its Psychic. Very dangerous. Trying to take this thing down before it sets Trick Room can be a pain, so stalling out Trick Room and taking it out after is the best option for dealing with it. Set 1 can also be a problem but only if it’s allowed to set up a Calm Mind or two.

Uxie-1 – Uxie is the other bulky Psychic type it can have problems with. Set 1 carrying Thunder Wave can cripple 3 of the 4 members. I usually used Substitute and Protect on turn 1 if it was one of the leads (depending on the partner it has) to try and waste its first turn or two. Switching out to Landorus is also an option but the AI tends to choose a random target when using Thunder Wave meaning, it can sometimes want to paralyze Hawlucha or Tapu Lele. I had a lot of close calls thanks to this guy.

Magnezone-3 – Like Uxie, this guy also carries Thunder Wave. But on top of carrying it, it also has a god damn Bright Powder! I usually like to double up on Magnezone with Low Kick and Psychic to quickly deal with it, but always be cautious of the Bright Powder.

Liepard-3 – Liepard gets an honourable mention because it can roll Prankster, meaning it can hit you with a Thunder Wave before you get to make a move. Its Red Card can also force out Hawlucha, making him lose his Unburden boost. Treat with caution.

Mawile-34 & Metagross-4 – Mawile and Metagross are mentioned because they both carry STABs that can severely punish the leads, and the leads don’t do too well into them at all. When facing Mawile, I usually liked to Protect with Lele, and either have Hawlucha use Tailwind (if the trainer has fast Pokemon) or use Substitute. Switching out Lele to Metagross is also an option. For Metagross-4, however, it’s almost always the Protect+Tailwind route. I know it’s dangerous to do this since it could mean you’re losing Hawlucha on turn 1, but it’s honestly the best thing I could some up with without losing too hard to it. Landorus is the best option for these two (Tailwind is needed for Metagross-4).

Contact Abilities – Static and Flame Body are pretty big issues for the team since all the Physical attacks the team has are contact moves. Attacking Pokemon with contact abilities with Tapu Lele or Landorus is preferable if you don’t want to risk a burn or paralysis. Effect Spore should also be noted. Poison Point isn’t much of an issue since not many Pokemon carry it in the Tree.

Talonflame-4 – Gale Wings Brave Bird will OHKO Hawlucha, but since he doesn’t carry Protect, it can be pretty dangerous. My best approach is to usually set Tailwind and hope for the Talonflame rolled Flame Body, but switching to Metagross to take the Brave Bird is also an option.

Trick Room – It shouldn’t really be a surprise that a fast team is threatened by Trick Room. Most Trick Room setters, however, are OHKO’d by Shattered Psyche. A combination of Acrobatics and Psychic or Moonblast can also hit all the setters really hard. Slowbro-4 and Slowking-4 are probably the most dangerous ones outside of Cresselia-4 though, since Hawlucha and Lele cannot KO those guys without really high damage rolls. Stalling out Trick Room and attacking whenever it’s safe is the best approach if these guys set the Room. However, in my experience, sometimes they also like to just use Psychic to pick up an OHKO if there is one.

Blissey-4 – Mud Bomb? Toxic? Minimize? The perfect recipe for disaster if not dealt with quickly. An Acrobatics and Shattered Psyche can actually take Blissey out if you need to deal with it as soon as possible. However, Blissey-4 also cannot touch Hawlucha when it’s behind a Substitute so try to get that up before Hawlucha gets poisoned, if needed.

#557 vs Lass Samantha (Cresselia-4 / Thundurus-3 / Raikou-3 / Uxie-3): 9ECW-WWWW-WWWQ-3E9B

Turn 1 – Hawlucha uses Acrobatics on Cresselia. Thundurus uses Wild Charge on Hawlucha. Tapu Lele uses Shadow Ball on Cresselia, Special Defence drops. Cresselia uses Trick Room.

I couldn’t really deny the possible Trick Room so I decided to do as much damage to Cresselia as I could with Hawlucha. Surprisingly, Hawlucha survived Thundurus’ Wild Charge.

Turn 2 – Cresselia uses Psychic, KO’s Hawlucha. Tapu Lele uses Shadow Ball, KO’s Cresselia. Thundurus uses Wild Charge on Tapu Lele.

I wanted to, at least, remove Cresselia from the equation since it’s the fastest thing on the field, thanks to Trick Room. I knew Hawlucha was dead this battle, so I let it faint and had Lele finish off Cress.

Turn 3 – Samantha sends out Raikou, I send out Metagross. Metagross Mega Evolves. Tapu Lele uses Shattered Psyche, KO’s Raikou. Metagross uses Ice Punch, KO’s Thundurus.

Since I had no Tailwind up, my Pokemon were actually slower than Samantha’s, so Trick Room was actually helping me. Raikou and Thundurus fall like dominoes.

Turn 4 – Samantha sends out Uxie. Tapu Lele uses Protect. Uxie uses Shadow Ball on Protected Lele. Metagross uses Iron Head on Uxie.

The Protect was used to scout out the set. The Shadow Ball from Uxie indicated that it was set 3.

Turn 5 – Tapu Lele is switched out for Landorus. Uxie uses Shadow Ball on Landorus. Metagross uses Iron Head. Trick Room expires.

I switched out Lele for Landorus, for no real reason except to make Uxie possibly waste a turn attacking Landorus. There was a chance it would attack Metagross, but I took the chance. Besides, it was the last turn of Trick Room anyway.

Turn 6 – Metagross finishes the battle with Iron Head.


#515 vs Pokemon Breeder Lori (Aromatisse-? / Amoonguss-? / Snorlax-3 / Slowking-4): SL7W-WWWW-WWWQ-3EAJ

Turn 1 – Hawlucha and Tapu Lele attack Aromatisse, taking it out. Amoonguss uses Spore on Hawlucha.

The first turn of this battle was pretty straight-forward. I needed to stop Trick Room from going up, so I decided to double into Aromatisse. However, I think it might have been set 3 since Acrobatics took off about 75% of its HP, so it really didn’t matter. Amoonguss putting Hawlucha to sleep didn’t really help at all.

Turn 2 – Lori sends out Snorlax. Hawlucha stays asleep. Lele uses Psychic on Amoonguss, taking it out. Snorlax uses Double-Edge on Lele, taking it out.

I tried using Low Kick on Snorlax, but Hawlucha stayed asleep, unforunately. Amoonguss going down was purely to prevent any more problematic Spores on my team. Also with Snorlax being set 3, it meant this thing can probably take out my whole team so I had to be very careful. Losing Lele kinda sucked, but I decided to just go with it.

Turn 3 – Metagross sent out. Lori sends out Slowing. Metagross Mega Evolves. Snorlax uses Protect. Hawlucha STILL asleep. Metagross uses Iron Head into Protected Snorlax. Slowking sets up Trick Room.

Oh god. What a nightmare. Not only did Hawlucha not wake up, but I had Metagross use Iron Head into Snorlax. I was hoping Lucha would wake up so I can have both of my Pokemon attack Snorlax and take it out, but Snorlax ended up Protecting anyway. To make matters worse, Slowking set up the Trick Room! Things were starting to look ugly.

Turn 4 – Metagross uses Protect. Slowking uses Hydro Vortex on Protected Metagross. Snorlax uses Double-Edge, takes Hawlucha out.

Not much to say about this turn. Slowking-4 almost always uses Hydro Vortex into Metagross so I decided to predict that and it did exactly what I expected. Snorlax using Double-Edge was also expected, and Hawlucha was kind of a sitting duck since it was still asleep, so I sacced it.

Turn 5 – Landorus sent out. Snorlax uses Protect. Landorus uses Protect. Slowking uses Surf, only hits Metagross. Metagross uses Iron Head on Protected Snorlax.

Another wasted turn. I was trying to preserve my mons the best way I could. Metagross attacking the Protecting Snorlax was a little unfortunate, as I could have used the damage on Slowking. Oh well.

Turn 6 – Psychic Terrain expires. Metagross uses Protect. Slowking uses Ice Beam, takes out Landorus. Snorlax uses Earthquake!

This is the exact thing that I needed. I didn’t want to risk the Protect so I attacked with Landorus, and Slowking took it out with Ice Beam. Oh well. However, Snorlax ended up using Earthquake! Getting some much needed damage on Slowking. Not a whole lot, but it was something!

Turn 7 – Metagross gets another Protect! Slowking uses Surf. Snorlax uses Earthquake, faints to Life Orb recoil.

Oh yeah! Double Protect! I took the gamble this turn since I needed it, and it really paid off! The Surf did just enough damage for Snorlax to KO itself to Life Orb recoil.

Turn 8 – Trick Room expires. Metagross uses Stomping Tantrum, takes out Slowking. Battle over.

That was a really close battle, and very lucky. If that second Protect didn’t work, I think I would have lost as Snorlax’s Earthquake would have done so much damage. Slowking and Snorlax chipping away at each other’s HP also helped a lot.


#403 vs Veteran Dooley (Latios-3 / Cresselia-4 / Terrakion-4 / Garchomp-4): LJVG-WWWW-WWWQ-3EB7

Turn 1 – Hawlucha uses Acrobatics on Cresselia. Latios uses Thunder on Tapu Lele. Lele uses Moonblast on Latios, takes it out. Cresselia uses Trick Room.

This battle started out pretty well. I still can’t really do much to Cresselia so I decided to just get some damage on it while having Lele take out Latios. I expected Latios to either Mega Evolve and use Dragon Dance or Earthquake or use Thunder on Hawlucha. It did end up being set 3, and it did end up using Thunder, but it used it on Tapu Lele instead. Weird. Anyway, I was able to take out the Latios and Cresselia sets up the Trick Room.

Turn 2 – Dooley sends out Terrakion. Cresselia uses Shadow Ball, takes out Lele. Terrakion uses Bulldoze. Hawlucha use Low Kick, takes out Terrakion.

I knew someone was going down here. Cresselia ended up choosing Lele as its target with Shadow Ball and decided to KO it. What’s really confusing, however, is Terrakion opting for Bulldoze. My guess is it’s because Cresselia has Levitate, but the AI doesn’t realize Iron Ball grounds Levitating Pokemon? Anyway, Cresselia takes some Bulldoze damage and Hawlucha OHKO’s Terrakion.

Turn 3 – Metagross sent out. Dooley sends out Garchomp. Garchomp Mega Evolves. Metagross uses Protect. Cresselia uses Psychic on Hawlucha, survives with 11 HP! Garchomp uses Earthquake, crits Cresselia. Hawlucha uses Acrobatics on Cresselia, takes it out.

I opted not to Mega Evolve Metagross this turn and go for a Protect. Cresselia’s Psychic not taking out Hawlucha was a little bit of a surprise, so I was happy. The AI ended up using another spread Ground attack, this time Garchomp with Earthquake though. The EQ crits Cresselia, putting in Acrobatics range!

Turn 4 – Metagross Mega Evolves. Garchomp uses Sandstorm. Metagross uses Ice Punch, KOs Garchomp, ending the battle.


#200 vs Pokemon Trainer Anabel (Snorlax-4 / Raikou-4 / Latios-1 / Entei-1): 924G-WWWW-WWWQ-3EBZ

Turn 1 – Hawlucha leads off with Low Kick, taking out Snorlax. Raikou sets up Reflect. Tapu Lele uses Psychic.

And now we have the Anabel battle. This one was a little unimpressive, so sorry in advance. Anyway, Low Kick taking out Snorlax indicated it was set 4 since set 3 always survives. Since Raikou was holding an Air Balloon, I knew it was set 4 and it would most likely set up the Reflect. Since there really wasn’t anything I could do to stop it, I let it set it up and Lele uses Psychic to get some massive damage on the Raikou.

Turn 2 – Anabel sends out Latios. Hawlucha uses Low Kick, takes out Raikou. Lele uses Moonblast, takes out Latios.

With Lele being faster, that was definitely Latios-1. And a high damage roll too! Moonblast has a 25% chance to OHKO this Latios set, so I felt pretty damn good.

Turn 3 – Anabel sends out Entei. Hawlucha uses Acrobatics. Entei uses Flame Charge on Hawlucha. Lele uses Shattered Psyche to end the battle.

And there we have it! I’ve been thinking up some modifications for this team so I’m definitely going to work on that and hopefully have more to show next time. See ya.
 
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Posting a completed streak of 624 wins in Ultra Moon Super Doubles.



Part I: How the Mighty Have Fallen

This run was born from a slump following my previous 1845 streak. I had initially been very eager to jump back into randoms, as it had been months since I'd used the format. Dusting off the ol' RNG website, conveniently still maintaining my preset customs, I'd dived in headfirst. I'd even brought a handful of new alternate flunkies and even the intent to use a number of faster mega evolutions, if I'd rolled them. And briefly, I did taste a bit of success with some of the sweeter fruit to come of the generator. While they weren't a part of something grand, I must give credit where credit is due!



That Snorlax right there is neither my Pulverizing Pancake variant, nor my suicidal variant; it's my previously unused Belly Drum set. Eisen demonstrated exactly what this behemoth is capable of... while our spreads are not wholly identical, it didn't matter, as it was no less tenacious and ferocious. Instead of Psych Up Dusknoir, I had the opportunity to pair it with Oranguru for Instruct abuse. You know how that turned out. Mega Blastoise and Togekiss were left with scraps, but the floor was spic n' span with them around.



It is here that I realise the AI is onto something with its Steelix4. Utilized properly, with frequent helpings of hands and some Gravity shenanigans, Steelix was demolishing everything in sight. If setting sand for itself wasn't feasible, Primarina usually took the helm. I'm given my first taste of Liquid Voice, and it's palatable. Buzzwole had already teamed up with Steelix during my last streak and I liked the way they played together.



Uxie is like a lighter Cress, but that had little sway over me. For the purposes of tree climbing, their differences weren't too staggering and, besides, I didn't even roll Cress. Emboar did almost all of the heavy lifting here, somewhat surprisingly, leading to many bacon-related puns in the discord. Uxie made ample use of Foul Play, one of the only tools unavailable to its superior sister setter. It's not bad when Helping Hand or Ally Switch have little use. For an amusing little side anecdote, I distinctly remember asking Smuckem to quickly run a damage calc for Wishiwashi but can't remember the target (I was playing at work, where the Showdown calc is slow and obnoxious to use on a phone... I use it myself when needed, but in an active discord, I felt both lazy and reckless.) I know I was choosing between Ice Beam and U-turn.

And that's where my enjoyment came to a screeching halt. Twice in a row, actually, because I felt my fourth team failed so rudely and abruptly that I wanted to let those three highly satisfying teams have another go. My mistake was rerunning the same team as the original failed attempt, which included a Mega Metagross (not blamed for either loss, actually, but I didn't think it coincidental, either.) They were first murdered by Sylvia and her makeshift sun team, thanks to a Kantonian Ninetales2 and its liberal Dark Pulse flinching and Drought-boosted Fire Blast crits. I disliked the manner in which a NINETALES steamrolled me (only Alolan Ninetales-1 is supposed to be a cancerous bastard! Come on!!) and so back into the fray. Teams 1-3 did their jobs as expected, and then Team #4 met Benji, the sand specialist who just HAD to lead his oddball Rotom-Mow4. If you don't immediately recall the moveset off the top of your head, it's the Thunder Wave user, and that's the only info you really need. This loss was probably more aggravating than the last, because paralysis has a way of being less abrupt than weather and crits.

But, no! Repto had not hit rock bottom! Two losses in a brief period isn't even enough to warrant more than a disappointed emoji or two from your discord chums.



Enter Vaporeon. Apparently my fucking 3DS contracted something from my friendly neighborhood policeman Benji because Ahem. Specifically, this Vaporeon: 339 Vaporeon-1 Quiet Quick Claw Wish Surf Helping Hand Shadow Ball Def/SpA

Coasting all the way to Battle #4, Vaporeon lead alongside Drizzletoed-1, and while TR was activated uninhibited, it didn't matter one bit. Vappy activated its Quick Claw four consecutive times and pelted me relentlessly with rain-boosted Surfs, critting at least one that I remember, quickly putting me in a hopeless situation. My Sylveon, the only teammate besides my setter who could stand up to the abuse, was soon hit with Confuse Ray by a Milotic and smacked itself on the turn it would have fainted the Vaporeon. There was no mindless HH usage by the AI- just priority damage and tons of it. I was still active in the discord while this was going on, and some of you fellas might remember I had a bit of a meltdown; lots of obscenities and maybe a bit of self loathing. Losing the fourth battle was a personal record, not that I saved any digital memory of it- I can assure you, I was so angry that I shut the 3DS off before my defeat was even finalized, and had the pleasure of being scolded by the uptight Tree Girl. You can keep your Moomoo Milk! For all I know, you just get 'em from that Hex Maniac, and you know she's on some freaky growth hormones!

I know the way Spidey & Friends rolls by heart; they had coasted easily to 50 during the initial 17x run which indicated I was onto something. If I hadn't already been planning to default to these four, henceforth, it was encouraged by turskain to perhaps mitigate some of the bullshit. If nothing else, they were more synergetic and had dealt with plenty of paralysis. And two of my pokes cared little for Vappy1!

While I quickly lost two more times in the 50s and 60s, using Mega Metagross in yet another team which all but condemned it to the Bank for eternity, it had the effect of being much, much less discouraging than losing before 50. I enjoyed using my OG flunkies, and could reach and shove Blue off his high horse in my spare time at work. And being soundly destroyed by damage instead of slowly eaten in an incapacitated state was more of an energizer than another puncture wound. Because of this, little time elapsed between my trouncings. While I may have lost interest in running 110-speed pokes in TR, I sure as hell was not above running everything else.

Araquanid had murdered her third consecutive rhino, winning a five-minute shopping spree in the process. While she indulged herself, I was left to my own devices. My hands were filthy, there was insanity in my eyes, and maybe a bit of blood. To some, I looked like shit. In reality, I was looking at shit, entire boxes of it. And by golly, I was gonna use it, embrace it, become one with it. And maybe if I could retain a smidge of common sense, conquer the tree with it.

Part II: So Much For Common Sense

Battles 51-60:

Talk about your triple dog dares. Had these been among the flunkies rolled for 151, 101, or even 71, a milestone I had not seen in a while, I likely would have opted to build a much safer-looking squad. On the other hand, I had been meaning to try Aurora Veil Glaceon, and here I had rolled my only supplier of Hail. Paperquagsire loves this move, and the AI uses it every chance it gets.

And the fuss is spot on. I quickly ran into Ezra with this squad and, while Heatran was nowhere to be seen, I did meet P-Z, Espeon, Latios and her own Glaceon, resulting in a violent pissing contest with Jellicent quickly destroyed. Glaceon saved the day, setting AV the following turn; it debuffed their onslaught just enough that a SpD drop from P-Z’s Psychic wasn’t enough to allow Latios2 to score a KO with both of them down.

To my dismay, Wally would lead Cloud Nine Altaria. To my delight, it would mega-evolve and dump its nuisance of an ability and grant me free reign to steamroll his team save for Magnezone, conveniently lacking an Assault Vest.

Jellicent doesn’t look like an S- or A-Class setter, but can be EV’d to survive Tyrantrum4 Head Smash, a baseline for respectable physical bulk. Cursed Body, Scald and Night Shade keep it from being too passive, since it doesn’t have access to my other favorite tools in HH, Gravity or Ally Switch. For randoms, you can do a lot worse than Jellicent.

I don’t remember who Ferrothorn was competing with. It would be helpful to log the entire contents of those rolls for reminiscing much later on.

Battles 61-70:

Fake Out, Low Kick, Flare Blitz, and Darkest Lariat with an Assault Vest. No U-turn, because I’m still not sold on the concept of a moveslot spent on the possibility of refreshing its perks.

The most memorable anecdote for this team involved the first encounter with Stein (Drampa3, Rhyperior4, Carbink3, Araquanid4) since my huge loss to his cretins. The battle was fittingly one-sided, but his Unholy Quadrumvirate did not serve as my opponents, making the revenge a little less sweet. For that matter, with two fire types, it wasn’t even served cold. I considered this another loss and swore that next time would be different.

Battles 71-80:

Don’t assume that just because I ran Cofagrigus/Regirock leads that I defaulted to the boring and frequently safe tactic of setting off Weakness Policy on a hulk with more bulk than it knows what to do with, with an exploitable typing, only to commit suicide with relative impunity or, if need be, spamming Ally Switch while the backline is hastily exposed. I actually ran Nasty Plot with two attacks, and Curse/ElemPunch Reggie, okay? I like to exper yeah fuck that noise lol

They did forego the kamikaze tactic in one interesting battle of note. Mimikyu4/Snorlax4 leads put Cofagrigus to bed early, by way of doubling into it and with an untimely crit. Refusing to use Fissure, for some reason, Snorlax opted to set off the WP with an univested Earthquake and was repaid with a Hammer Arm OHKO. It also wrecked Mimi's disguise, who was subsequently placed near death by Sludge Bomb. Another round of survival sees Gengar3 fall, but my abusers are left with 7 and 8 HP, respectively. Now would be a good time for something slower than both of them, wouldn't you say? Wouldn't you know it, Carbink3 joins the party and eats a nice Sludge Bomb before putting Dragalge down (Reggie felled by Shadow Sneak.) Mimikyu didn't have to throw the game from this point, but this is the AI we're talking about. It used Destiny Bond while Golisopod dispatched Carbink, and attempted Destiny Bond again for an automatic failure, leaving Golisopod to win easily and, were it not for that Rocky Helmet, virtually unscathed.

Battles 81-90:

There is no depth I won’t sink to! Violating all laws of decency imparted by the Alola Convention, I’ve finally resorted to unleashing Togedemaru. Perfect timing, as the PN still has its hands full with Eppie’s genocide. Ten battles would squeak right on by!

Lv1 Togedemaru, with the required ability and egg moves, had been a recent addition to the Alternate Flunkies crew; upon rolling it, I was eager to give it a shot. Aside from maybe Aromatisse, the others were probably not something I'd immediately gravitate toward when assembling a serious Feardemaru squad, but out of the entire roll of mooks they looked to be more helpful than the others. Palossand could delete some poison types and under some circumstances could deal with ghosts. Drampa was still a fantastic endgame nuke. I amused myself with the prospect of hitting it with Endeavor just to trigger Berserk, but the only scenario where this could even be entertained as rational would also force Togedemaru to be taunted. Being amusing doesn't also have to sabotage my progress, so it would never see the light.

However, in all seriousness, Feardemaru enlightened me to some disturbing trends in the AI, changes in their behavior from my Aron days. Namely, they’re much more unpredictable, and don’t necessarily gun for Toge with a vengeance. They frequently used weak priority attacks on the partner, doubled into the partner, protected liberally.. all of these even with a 1HP target available. Moltres2 was my wildcard last gen, but this time I couldn’t often take anyone for granted. Toge outlived all four opponents in a number of battles. In one particular replay, Mismagius3 not only wasted Never-Ending Nightmare on Aromatisse; partner Alolan Ninetales chose to Ice Shard it as well, passing two easy opportunities to remove it.

Helping Hand would not be most players’ first choice as a situational fourth move for Togedemaru, but it was both excellent and useful. Between delivering OHKOs to bulky Ghost weaknesses, or bulky anything with Devastating Drake, or cleaning up a frail backline with Hyper Voice, the move had some good mileage.

Battles 91-100:

That’s right, it’s an all-legend team, just like the veterans use! Guzzlord doesn’t look at all out of place, and neither does that Lando-T! Cresselia might as well be Cress4. Using the AI sets against them feels great, just like Smucks on occasion.

Ranking high up as one of the happiest moments of this streak, Guzzlord found itself frozen with yellow HP and giving several cold stares to lastmon Skarmory4. As most of you will know, Skarm cannot do anything of value against a frozen poke by itself, except spend its own PP. There were scant few awake in the discord during this early morning battle, but we mused over the length the RNG would torment me, while simultaneously spiting Skarm. I spent over a dozen turns without thawing, not that I minded that much.

These fellows complemented each other surprisingly well, not caring a whole lot about that shared ice weakness. Though, Bewear can be a real asshole. Helping Hand and Ally Switch suit these 580 mooks just as well as they do the 450s.

While no battle in particular left any unsavory taste in my mouth, by battle 100 I was already ready to move away from the RNG. I had a number of vague ideas bouncing around, and the long-existing intent to rerun a few short-lived teams. Long term success had stopped being a goal at this point, since I was having so much fun by quickly jumping between teams. But which idea to try first? Paper was rocking his Assault Vest Primarina, Fougeta was getting ready to rock his own TR/Tailwind hybrid, involving what I believe was an initial Specs Primarina, and I had my own sorely underutilized Liquid Voice Primarina. I also had a devious little nugget, a weapon created in the grimy, underground labs of one Extendedfreezer and myself. This seemed like a good time to open the containment unit.

Part III: Fiendish Creations New & Old

It didn’t take long to come up with an ideal setter for a lead LV Primarina, as well as a fourth poke to make good use of Ferrothorn. I didn’t have a set milestone in mind, though I did have enough faith in the squad to handle much more than the ten battles I’d normally allot to the randoms mooks. Speaking of random mooks, I noticed that Musharna gets a pretty disproportionate amount of screen time compared to the other setters. Determined to change that, I contemplated not using Musharna for the remainder of the streak. That seemed too unrealistic, so I resolved instead to not use Musharna for at least the next 100 battles.

Battles 101-200:


Musharna @ Lum Berry, Telepathy
Relaxed (236 HP, 252 Def, 20 SpD)
-Trick Room
-Psychic
-After You
-Helping Hand

You will find my willpower is nonexistent. More people are warming up to the prospect of Gravity, especially my fellow TR afficionados. However, After You still raises a few eyebrows. Its function on this team is solely to allow Primarina to break dangerous speed ties (first and foremost Alolan Exeggutor2 at 58) as well as thwart some much slower things that weasel their way onto wider rosters. Musharna still outspeeds the Curse users after one or two drops, so it was handy for that as well. Otherwise, against certain safer Scientist/Breeder lead pairs and especially Hikers, Mush would forego the TR entirely and assist Primarina in killing. Oh, did this team love the Hikers.

I have impressed upon others the fortitude of Musharna's physical bulk, and I shall do so once more:

252 Atk Sniper Drapion Night Slash vs. 236 HP / 252+ Def Musharna on a critical hit: 174-207 (78.7 - 93.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Choice Band Tyrantrum Head Smash vs. 236 HP / 252+ Def Musharna: 160-190 (72.3 - 85.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Choice Band Armaldo X-Scissor vs. 236 HP / 252+ Def Musharna: 176-210 (79.6 - 95%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Iron Ball Conkeldurr Fling (130 BP) vs. 236 HP / 252+ Def Musharna: 138-164 (62.4 - 74.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
The significantly rarer Tyranitar1's Fling caps at 81%.



Primarina @ Life Orb, Liquid Voice
Quiet (252 HP, 252 SpA, 4 SpD)
-Moonblast
-Energy Ball
-Hyper Voice
-Protect

It’s weird to look at my Primarina with Protect instead of a fourth attack. I also have nagging feelings about the spread, but all Def EVs were removed and put back into HP, with the last four going into SpD. Unfortunately, four Defense EVs are all it takes to break a tie between Def/SpD for my two leads, which triggers unwanted Download boosts to SpA. I learned from randoms that Porygon-Z3 inflicts a frightening amount of damage with just Analytic and an Expert Belt; Download provides an even stronger kick and allows it to put Musharna in the red. If both enemies go for Mush or use a spread move, I’m up a creek. I don’t need P2’s Shadow Ball or Z-Tri Attack being powered up, either. Between Colress, Ezra, Tamah, and the Aethers, the ducks are fairly common enemies. Mush needs all the physical bulk it can get, so Prima had to miss out a little bit.

It mattered when facing strong and bulky Steels, and the exploders. You should have immediately thought of Metagross34, and those two were absolutely at the top of my list. If I ran Hydro Pump for anything (thereby mostly ruining the whole point of these leads,) it would have been for Metagross. Magnezone was also a concern but, as I’m getting ahead of myself, I’ll come back to these threats.

Liquid Voice leaves something to be desired but, thankfully, water weaknesses are everywhere, often with poor SpD. The Life Orb compensated nicely for the spread penalty and easily landed OHKOs on most of these. Primarina enjoyed multiple forms of support in Helping Hand and Acid Spray. Moonblast was used just as frequently as Hyper Voice, since one OHKO was almost always going to be preferable to critically injuring both opponents. Energy Ball on a bulky water will probably never be redundant.

While Primarina doesn’t make the best bait, it was at least much thinner than Musharna and drew its share of attacks. Playing without TR due to blitzing was extremely rare, the way it should be.



Ferrothorn @ Iron Ball, Iron Barbs
Brave (252 HP, 252 Atk, 4 SpD)
-Gravity
-Gyro Ball
-Power Whip
-Acid Spray

There are some things that, once unleashed, can never be put back. This joint project between Freezer and myself is probably the most unorthodox yet successful thing I have ever helped produce, arguably even more than my namesake. In fact, since Freezer was the first person to actually use it, my own Ferro was raised from one of his eggs.

Functionally, it was an extremely simple but strongly adhesive glue for the rest of the team. Slower than every enemy, with a guaranteed -2 SpD at its fingertips prongs; Acid Spray was so effective that it was used nearly every battle. Gravity was not used for Power Whip so much as Focus Blast, as well as cancelling the benefits of Double Team for a number of users. OHKOing Cresselia2 at -6 with Thunderbolt has a way of putting a smile on my face. While Steels and their immunity created some issues, I could reliably outmuscle them. Even Musharna benefitted nicely from Acid Spray, delivering OHKOs to some bulkier Poison and Fighting types. Whereas Mawile and Araquanid gambled around their decent odds of debuffs to Stockpile spammers, Ferrothorn’s opponents accepted their fates the moment it appeared.

Iron Ball increases the damage output of Gyro Ball considerably, even reaching 100 against enemies as slow as Shiinotic (HH still required to OHKO Set3.) The item choice is less unorthodox when you consider that offensive Ferrothorns don’t have much variation in their item selection to begin with, but most still wouldn’t gravitate toward it. I’m happy to have such a solid weapon at my disposal when it isn’t running support.



Ampharos @ Ampharosite, Static
Quiet (244 HP, 12 Def, 252 SpA)
-Power Gem
-Thunderbolt
-Dragon Pulse
-Focus Blast

Amphy provides a good dose of specially-based muscle with different coverage, and a means of hitting Metagross and Magnezone a lot harder with or without Helping Hand. Being backline with Ferrothorn made it the more common beneficiary of Acid Spray. That being said, Primarina typically ripped the opponents apart enough that Ampharos usually claimed only one head for itself, if it were even needed. Still, there were no mega evolutions I'd have rather used with this squad.
Surprise Threat:

Lickilicky was a notable pain in the ass for this team. Too much bulk to be slaughtered by Primarina, and because Prima had forsaken all Def investment, even Set3's Body Slam was enough for an easy 2HKO, made all the more likely with Quick Claw procs. If Set4 lead, there was really nothing I could do to prevent it from exploding its first or second turn. Snorlax was dangerous on a similar level, but lack of a QC and the weak offense of Set4 without Fissure spam (no nightmare anecdotes there) made it seem easier to deal with. I even had the pleasure of nailing Snorlax4 with a single-target Hyper Voice, in rain provided by Politoed, after taking an Acid Spray. It almost looked like Snorlax didn't carry an Assault Vest!

But I digress. Starter teams like Reina's also had potential to be hairy, requiring little more than a specific pairing that would threaten one while giving no safe switch to the other. Several of the starters have a relatively one-sided matchup with someone else on my team. Infernape leads with Fake Out also didn't help one bit.

Battles 201-250:

There's a chance someone remembers this motley crew from the original SM, and its surprise in lasting until Battle 131 before meeting its timely demise. This motley crew was formerly rounded out by Guzzlord and not the drastically less shitty Mega Camerupt. Well, coming fresh out of a streak during which you mowed down a large number of Breeders and their camels will do that. My two muscleheads Volt and Crab do not like encounters with enemy Camerupts, especially in the backline where it's far too late to decline setting TR. When planning to re-run this team, the only thing I could think about was how desperately they wanted to avoid encounters with Camerupt. I refused to change Vikavolt or Crabominable, and so Guzzlord unfortunately had to take a snack break. Of course, having my own Megarupt didn't give me a sure checkmate to my enemies', since it still required other things to go my way, but it was a massive improvement. And sure enough, I did in fact have to destroy a number of them, extremely fortunately under mostly optimal conditions; namely, being able to use my own camel immediately. Cooks provided two, while Iniko and Danby provided the others. If Guzzlord had a better stat spread and could OHKO one with Devastating Drake, I wouldn't have changed the team.



Oranguru @ Lum Berry, Inner Focus
Relaxed (212 HP, 164 Def, 132 SpD)
-Trick Room
-Instruct
-Psychic
-Protect

Still enjoys the benefits of a lead partner weak to Rock Slide! Still has to decide if it's better to Instruct a non-guaranteed OHKO, or throw in an attack of its own!



Vikavolt @ Life Orb, Levitate
Quiet (212 HP, 252 SpA, 44 SpD)
-Thunderbolt
-Bug Buzz
-Energy Ball
-Protect

A different kind of nuke compared to my favorite spider, but still hits incredibly hard. All the more impressive is that this thing evolves from an early route insect which, some generations ago, would have been surely condemned to unusable garbage. I still find myself unfairly grouping it with shitmons for that reason, but I love using it regardless.

Unfortunately, being a lead compels it to run Protect, as there are often situations where Flash Cannon would have allowed for more clean OHKOs (particularly Black Belts Iniko and Arnold with their Ice fetishes.) The moveset as is still left little to be desired, with few enemies being able to simply wall it outright. While a number of fire types are nasty, Incineroar4 ranks among the highest for that blasted Quick Claw and a mere 75% cap on LO Thunderbolt, requiring Instruct. Zard X and Camerupt create more hopeless scenarios, having the slimmest of odds for 2HKOs, but don't have as much capacity for bullshit.



Crabominable @ Wide Lens, Iron Fist
Brave (188 HP, 252 Atk, 68 SpD)
-Ice Hammer
-Earthquake
-Stone Edge
-Close Combat

I like this thing more and more as I continue to use it, and even fight against it. I've even ceased my complaining that it wasn't given Knock Off via move tutor, as I still get lots of mileage out of EdgeQuake (no immediate decision as to which one would be dumped for the move.) While being Ice type was its final nail to half its detractors, it's what makes Ice Hammer such a spammable and deadly move. The other half sneer at its lack of priority, but there's no incentive to use such weak moves on a TR-capable powerhouse that wields two 180 BP STABs. Wide Lens even mitigates Ice Hammer's drawback pretty nicely, and made me less wary of using Stone Edge without Gravity (still sparingly, of course.) That said, its frailty isn't really mitigated by EVs into bulk. Allowing its teammates to expose the backline, ensuring it had a clean path to sweep, was imperative to its success. Unlike Vikavolt, I can still lovably call my Crabby a true shitmon.



Camerupt @ Cameruptite, Solid Rock
Quiet (244 HP, 12 Def, 252 SpA)
-Ancientpower
-Earth Power
-Flash Cannon
-Heat Wave

Now we have the opposite of my earlier Primarina; it was very odd to me to be running a Camerupt without Protect, let alone in the backline, but I was glad I did! Flash Cannon was as useful to Camerupt as it would have been to Vikavolt, perhaps even moreso. Foregoing Protect on my backline pokes under most circumstances is the gamble I often take, with the payout being more momentum in having increased coverage. For some pokes the payout isn't quite as high, and Camerupt could be considered among them. Because of the success I had, I'm probably more apt to try it again, but that requires me to use another team without leading it, and the camel usually makes far too good a lead to pass up. As the Magnemite family learned Explosion well into its lifespan, perhaps someday Camerupt can use Energy Ball without needing Nature Power and terrain.

Anyway, being able to pick up Vikavolt's slack made it the perfect pinch hitter. Be it Magnezone or a handful of dangerous fire types, Camerupt easily cleaned up after it. As I mentioned earlier, it was tasked with destroying a handful of opposing Camerupts; it was able to do so by entering battle before they showed their heads, with TR safely activated. While the speed order being determined after evolving did strip it of a handful of choice preemptive OHKOs, they required it to lead, making it a moot point. Having a constant 22 speed and getting the jump on the likes of Trevenant4 and the Escavaliers is still a giant boon.
Surprise Threat:

Punk Guy Dustin obliged me with my first TR-Free Diet Pill in quite a while by leading Staraptor3, who was more than happy to OHKO Oranguru with Giga Impact. At least when Incineroar lead, it needed to crit with Crunch, or at least double into it while simultaneously resisting the urge to Flare Blitz my insect. But between a recharge turn and support from Tauros3, Manectric3 and Gyarados3, the battle was not quite disastrous. Being paired with a Flying type compelled Tauros to use Earthquake a second time and not Giga Impact, inflicting unimpressive damage and ensuring it fell without inflicting another casualty. While Gyarados being Set 3 ensured that Manectric was going to evolve regardless, Manectric was in the #1 slot and would have out-prioritized it, enabling me to use Thunderbolt with no risk of Lightning Rod. Because Overheat is a guaranteed OHKO on Vikavolt, there remained a chance it would target it first; nevertheless, I risked correctly predicted it would go for -1 Crabominable and swapped in Camerupt to eat the hit. No Waterfall from Gyarados, but a harmless DD; with it down and Manectric now at -2, I had Dustin by the balls.

Close, but no Cigar:

Nice try, Stein! I know a Slowking when I see one, and that ain't no Slowking. Your Jellicent isn't even the right gender! This attempt to satisfy my relentless vendetta was as much a failure as the last. Our feud is far from over.

Battles 251-300:

Functionally, the leads were very similar to the 101-200 Primarina team, albeit with more concentrated brute force. Being much faster than a good number of threats to TR would allow Heracross to get the jump on them, and After You would intervene where speed then became a liability. The lack of a spread move was to be compensated by having a wider list of guaranteed OHKOs and, hopefully, the ability to open enough holes for Stakataka to easily clean up. This team underwent a couple significant changes from its conception at the start of UM, not the least of which the replacement of Oranguru as a setter. Oranguru outspeeds Heracross in TR, but is not a good user of After You. Instruct is devastating with Stakataka (as Josh has amply demonstrated) but Helping Hand serves a purpose nonetheless. The fact is, the types of enemies Heracross and Exeggutor destroy so easily are also highly dangerous with a speed advantage (or tie, as is more common with Exeggutor.) To get the most mileage out of Megacross, I'd have to forego the Instruct. The second not-so-massive-yet-not-insignificant change was the removal of Stakataka's Wide Lens. More on that later.



Musharna @ Lum Berry, Telepathy
Relaxed (236 HP, 252 Def, 20 SpD)
-Trick Room
-Psychic
-After You
-Helping Hand

Since this set has not changed, rather than sing another song about Helping Hand, I'd like to point out that this team had the unfortunate coincidence of playing without TR more than any other team involved in the streak. On the other hand, this team also suffered far less, perhaps not coincidentally. Three battles out of fifty may not seem like a lot, but Musharna is noticeably more difficult to kill than a number of setters I use, which makes such instances stand out. ...well, that and, by virtue of cutting many teams off early, most of them didn't even know what this was like.



Heracross @ Heracronite, Moxie
Brave (236 HP, 252 Atk, 20 SpD)
-Protect
-Pin Missile
-Rock Blast
-Close Combat

I can't immediately recall taking advantage of a reliable OHKO for a quick T1 Moxie boost, and I have no replay of it, which is the strongest indicator that it never occurred. I also really would have liked to somehow fit Bullet Seed onto this set. There are many pokes that are easily slain by this move, relevant threats, not the least of which bulky waters like Wishiwashi and Primarina. But, they still weren't as threatening as a number of fliers, Togekiss and Charizard among them, so Rock Blast was here to stay. Losing Protect was also out of the question. HH Skill Linked Rock Blasts or Pin Missile compensated pretty nicely (especially for defensively poor Fairy types) but it also meant forgoing After You. I was actually more impressed by Megacross' handling of Scientists, Breeders and Hikers than Primarina, probably because the ideal scenarios typically meant Primarina slaughtered both targets. Megacross was able to show off its great bulk as well as its ability to just shred almost anything on neutral hits. Now imagine if evolving took a much larger speed cut, similar to Abomasnow's, and the leftover points were used to fluff its defenses even further. Oh, what could have been!

Even during my 1845 streak, I'd contemplated running Heracross in the back, utilizing Bullet Seed but also allowing Stakataka to be used as bait. Going through many mock battles of existing replays (my standard for trying new ideas without ruining streaks) made me strongly reconsider, both for Heracross' better ability to offensively protect Musharna, as well as Stakataka making poorer bait than anticipated. It also lost some useful coverage by running Protect and couldn't snowball as well without Instruct, which was necessary for it to lead. I wasn't going to go back to using Oranguru as a setter, either.

252+ Atk Heracross-Mega Helping Hand Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Escavalier: 211-249 (119.2 - 140.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
This dish is savory, to say the least, my friend.

252+ Atk Heracross-Mega Helping Hand Pin Missile (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Shiinotic: 195-230 (116.7 - 137.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Leftovers recovery
Oh, you brought dessert! You spoil me!

252+ Atk Heracross-Mega Helping Hand Rock Blast (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Primarina: 195-235 (104.2 - 125.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ Atk Heracross-Mega Helping Hand Rock Blast (4 hits) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mimikyu: 148-176 (113.8 - 135.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO

(moaning, unintelligible gibberish)



Alolan Exeggutor @ Grassium Z, Frisk
Quiet (236 HP, 20 Def, 252 SpA)
-Flamethrower
-Sludge Bomb
-Dragon Pulse
-Leaf Storm

With Instruct, this fellow (fellows?) would make fine use of an Expert Belt. Without any such abuse, I opted for a nuke so it could better carry its own weight. Bloom Doom made a HUGE difference in the battles gone to shit, as it made for a reliable OHKO while its partner made a strategic switch or even a controlled death for the team. Frisk was more useful than I'd anticipated, despite being backline. It saw a lot more action than it did on the Oranguru team, as it was almost always more preferable to Stakataka versus a number of bulkier targets. I'll complain about this more with Marowak, but 45 is such a lousy minimum speed to hit. It ties with too much (AY failing because the game decided you were going to win the tie regardless is also annoying.) I also don't believe it's worth running a single point in speed to beat them outside of TR; it forces a loss with the room flipped, and After You is more of a special case than an option I'd want at my fingertips as often as possible.

Sludge Bomb has enough useful OHKOs against problematic pokes (hell, bopping Shiinotic34 alone is a reason to run it) that I wouldn't bother dropping it for something else, Energy Ball or otherwise.



Stakataka @ Assault Vest, Beast Boost
Lonely (252 HP, 252 Atk, 4 SpD)
-Rock Slide
-Earthquake
-Gyro Ball
-Superpower

The loss of accuracy in Wide Lens was made up for by the nice spike in SpD, which not only allowed it to stand on its four legs a bit better, but allowed it to switch into things for both Musharna (immediate anecdote, Thundurus2 Dark Pulse) and Heracross. It made an incredible difference in the few battles played without TR. Speaking of accuracy, Rock Slide had the sweet coincidence of never failing me when I needed it most, so I'm thankful.

No Wide Guard for fairly similar reasons to Araquanid, with even less incentive as a backline, who should be worrying more about ending the battle quickly. Instead of gambling between Rock Slide and Stone Edge, Stakataka was concerned with the many Earthquake users opting to use their Fighting-typed attack, instead. Superpower has a number of select uses, but the biggest one is Snorlax. Normally would run Stomping Tantrum over Earthquake, since the move becomes more than strong enough after some boosts; the special effect is also amusingly easy to trigger with Instruct, as killing both targets with the initial Rock Slide would force a failure and power it up for any remaining opponent. But I digress. Telepathy and Helping Hand make for useful quake applications.

With enough damage inflicted by Heracross, Stakataka had a pretty easy job. Helping Hand mitigated Instruct somewhat, and compensated for the lack of accumulated boosts. I love this thing and look forward to Triples perhaps giving it a better medium for attempting to shine in a setter or mixed role.
Unsurprising Threat:

Kukui ended this original team many moons ago, Oranguru and all, at 130. While the pokes named are only ingredients in the overal poison cocktail that is his roster, they pose the most immediate threats and don't care who they're paired with to carry out their deadly mission. Incineroar4 is the absolute worst on the list, and paired with Primarina3 is the worst possible lead pairing for this team. Thankfully, they never appeared in that formation. Heracross can tank a number of supereffective hits; while STAB Moonblast is among them, Flare Blitz is not, and it was just begging for a Quick Claw activation. On battle 300, the final intended use of this team, that very scenario played out. Two procs twice in a row; fortunately, Incineroar was paired with the crummy Midnight Lycanroc and Fire Fang failed to burn Stakataka on the switch (wanted to get it in ASAP to rack boosts and otherwise assist Heracross with a difficult trainer.) HH EQ destroyed both his leads, and HH RS the following turn cleaned up Primarina and Braviary. That could have gone much worse! Many of Kukui's possible pairings would have forced me to take undesireable trades.

The battles without TR involved Moltres2 Sky Attack crit and flinch, a SpD drop from Raikou's Shadow Ball followed by Greninja4 Dark Pulse (likely would have killed regardless of drop, but lower rolls could have prevented that) and a Fake Out from Kantonian Raichu paired with Mega Glalie, whom I didn't allow to detonate into Musharna (which it would have survived anyway.) The battles were fun and interesting in their own right, on top of giving my three abusers the chance to synergize without it.

Battles 301-380:

Yes, that is who you think it is. The triumphant return of my unorthodox ballbuster and namesake, Iron Ball Gardevoir. That said, like her debut, she is not the star of the show but a critically important offensive support unit in that show. And that show is all about taking the AI's Explosion feitsh and showing them what it's capable of when properly and sinisterly used. While on its head, the team may look built around Golem and, to an extent, that's true; however, the remaining two abusers brought very important utilities and coverage and, owing to suicide being a one-way ticket, had to do just as much fighting themselves. The tagline for this team comes from one of my favorite things to say when people remarked on IBG and if I'd recommend it to other players.



Musharna @ Lum Berry, Telepathy
Relaxed (236 HP, 252 Def, 20 SpD)
-Trick Room
-Gravity
-Psychic
-Helping Hand

Back by popular demand You again! Now with added Gravity Flavor! While giving Stone Edge and Focus Blast accuracy are among its standard perks, rendering most Rotom formes extremely vulnerable to Earthquake is one of the best uses for the move. Nullifying Hi Jump Kick is another, but it was just as helpful to block one, then switch to Marowak and allow the user to kill themselves. In one instance, Medicham was paired with Bisharp4, who would not lay off the Taunt and forced me to resort to this tactic regardless.



Alolan Golem @ Expert Belt, Galvanize
Brave (188 HP, 252 Atk, 68 SpD)
-Protect
-Earthquake
-Stone Edge
-Explosion

For the record, I generally prefer Heavy Slam + Double Edge Golem and lacking Protect/Explosion entirely. But, like Primarina's moveset issues, the team wasn't going to function any other way and necessitated this approach. This also gave it its biggest weakness.

Unsurprisingly, Golem attracts Earthquake like shit attracts flies. It has the bulk to survive most STABless quakes with the spread penalty, but lacks any and all methods to feasibly damage bulky ground types in return. Neither Gardevoir or Marowak have safe switches into these, which meant some sackin' was in order. Luckily, the teams where this was most likely (Hikers and Breeders) had poor matchups against my backline; if Golem could at least cripple or destroy one enemy, the trade was much easier to stomach. There was some respite in users like enemy Alolawaks, who would use Stomping Tantrum into Protect and then be free to eat a Stone Edge the following turn, passing any attempt to Detect. Others like Mega Sceptile were not as safe, failing to OHKO but requiring HH for Stone Edge to deliver one itself. Mega Garchomp and Palossand not only provided no respite at all, but sacking Golem to send in backup wasn't even guaranteed to take me out of hot water.

Barring that highly common and lethal attack, Electric-typed Explosions are... well, pretty dumb. STAB plus HH plus the nice little kick from Galvanize meant that if the targets weren't immune, there were going to be pieces of them everywhere. Some bulky grass types could barely avoid becoming McNuggets, but the damage was still far too severe to come back from. There's a certain, very real satisfaction in offing targets that ordinarily had no business whatsoever being attacked with such a move, among them Heatran and pretty much all Steel and Ghost types. Golem was often able to take something down without blowing up, and then bring the battle to a swift 3v1 the followng turn. Just as often, Golem didn't even bother with that noise and detonated right away. Like Exeggutor, Golem dislikes its 45 speed but, coincidentally, losing speed ties (with bad results) happened extremely rarely for this team.



Alolan Marowak @ Thick Club, Lightning Rod
Brave (252 HP, 252 Atk, 4 Def)
-Low Kick
-Flare Blitz
-Earthquake
-Shadow Bone

Immune to all Explosions except those of Glalie; though, a bigger perk than being able to safely battle alongside Golem is killing Thunder Wave and Charge Beams from the likes of Zapdos, as well as most useful moves by Magnezone. Marowak isn't built for longevity, making the protection from Lightning Rod somewhat more helpful than Rock Head (at least until Instruct is involved.) Turskain will agree that four-attacks Marowak utilizing Low Kick is more helpful than Protect, as it now has a great damage option for Snorlax as well as Tyranitar or Mamoswine, without having to gamble around abilities (sub-50% kill rate for 252 Thick Fat Mamoswine4, in case you mistakenly thought Marowak had enough raw power to plow through that) or use Helping Hand as assurance.

Marowak loves being able to use Earthquake instead of the single target and missable Bonemerang. This thing eats the Rotoms for breakfast, and uses their bodies to store bones. Shadow Bone is also an excellent and much-needed signature move, though is juuuuust soft enough to miss some important targets, with or without HH. Still, I can't complain.



Gardevoir @ Iron Ball, Telepathy
Quiet (252 HP, 252 SpA, 4 SpD)
-Moonblast
-Energy Ball
-Psychic
-Focus Blast

Not to be underestimated in the least! Falling below 40 speed, she has no fear of tying with negative-natured base 30s, and 125 SpA still has a long way to go before it's as weak as 100 is in modern times. In other words, IBG did plenty of effortless killing, with and without Helping Hand. Given the cleanup she was tasked with, I believe Energy Ball and Focus Blast were statistically used more than anything else. She also took the fewest number of Explosions for the team, though that's to say nothing of the amount of Earthquakes. The original IBG began with Helping Hand before I came to my senses, and the move was not even considered here. Her four attacking slots were too important. Needless to say, I was thrilled with her effectiveness, though constantly wary of the four main users of Bullet Punch making an appearance (which includes both Scizor sets.)
Surprise Threat:

Oh my god. Of all minute details to forget. Of all stupid details to forget until it's too fucking late to prevent your cold, hard rude awakening across the face. I'm talking, of course, about Damp. More importantly, that a handful of things have Damp as their HA. Now, had you asked me to name some things with Damp, I would have told you Swampert, probably Quagsire, maybe even Jellicent. But I wouldn't have thought of Kingdra. Hell, all the times Politoed entered battle without Drizzle, many, many dozens of times during the 1845, I would have assumed it had Water Absorb.

In this particular replay, it gets even better! Golisopod/Kingdra leads, and for reasons that escape me I decided to switch Marowak into the expected First Impression, and detonate Golem immediately to OHKO both leads. Even though Set3's Hydro Pump was a guaranteed OHKO on Golem. Golisopod was in fact Set 3, meaning First Impression was quite a bit weaker and probably worth risking TR, without knowing what Kingdra would do. So, Marowak replaces Mush, takes laughable damage from FI with no LO recoil, and Kingdra Surfs without KOing either target. Everything is going smoothly... ...and my smile is immediately turned upside down as I see that god-awful ability trigger on my screen. I decide to sack both pokes instead of Protect stalling with Golem, which would probably not have accomplished anything. It's now a 2v4, with only negligible damage dealt to Golisopod via resisted Surfs.

Fortunately, sailing was smooth on account of AI stupidity, and plain 'ol bulk. Mush sets TR, tanking two hits, while Gardevoir offs Kingdra and then Golisopod the following turn. Kingdra was replaced by Carbink4, who spent its first turn not exploding, but... ...using Psychic on Gardevoir. Okay. Volcarona3 then replaces Golisopod, and Protect blocks HH + Psychic while Carbink does what it wanted to do originally- detonate. Gardevoir and Musharna are now weak enough to be slain by anything Volcarona can do, regardless of any debuffs it takes from Overheat. And yet, TR is active, prompting Volcarona to Quiver Dance; the following turn, it chose something besides Protect, thereby ensuring that my two Psychics would seal my victory. Only one other battle of this streak was anywhere near as terrible.

Unsurprising Threat:

Closest battle I have had in this entire streak, and so foul tasting that I immediately boxed the team. It began with a misplay and immediately spun out of control.

For whatever reason, instead of sacking Golem and bringing Gardevoir in safely to deal with Garchomp, I switch it in outright. Chomp evolves and Earthquakes, bringing Gardevoir to 37 HP; Milotic Ice Beams, bringing Garde to 5 HP... ...and frozen. That was already a stupid decision on my part, but the trolling from Milotic adds insult to injury, moreso because I've had that exact sort of shit happen repeatedly with Cynthia's Milotic. Without those side effects, it brings so little to her team; so, naturally, it needs to stay relevant in any way it can. Garchomp sets sand instead of killing Gardevoir outright, Musharna uses Psychic for what appears to be little more than 25% (low roll) and Milotic makes a switch to Togekiss. Sand finishes Gardevoir.

Helping Hand Shadow Bone fails to KO Garchomp, which calcs confirm as both attacks rolling extremely low. Garchomp obliges me with another swift death, while Togekiss wastes Musharna's Lum Berry with Thunder Wave. Were it Set 4, Mush would have been easily destroyed here, along with any hope of winning.

Psychic finishes Garchomp, and Golem has no choice but to gamble on connecting Stone Edge. It pays off, and Togekiss is also down. Weakened Milotic and Lucario enter. Luke is going to off Musharna with priority no matter the set, so I use HH to at least do something useful. It Bullet Punches, confirming Set 3, and Earthquake easily delivers a OHKO while critically injuring Milotic. With only two pokes on the field, Surf hits at full power, though weakened somewhat by the small SpD boost from sand. And with TR now deactivated, Golem will have to eat another one.

...and it did, with a single fucking digit of HP remaining. Deserved or not, upon reflection of these 80 battles, I was put into many difficult spots due to Ground types and a moveset that was quite worthless against them. Palossand was every bit as dangerous and Garchomp, with supereffective hits against my entire team. They were much more easily destroyed than Mega Garchomp, but still required sacking and were all too common between Policemen and Breeders. And I was pretty tired of tensing up every time I faced leads like that. The team was an absolute blast at times, but I had seriously had enough of this shit.

Evil Doctor No.1845:

This is unacceptable.

Battles 381-500:

These guys had such a smooth sailing during their ten battles that I wanted to use them again, sooner than later. I didn't waste time by replacing Palossand or Drampa, deciding that reworking the squad to be "more reliable" would only strip it of the quirks that made it stand out all the more. I also didn't want it to resemble Eppie's team in any way.

The problematic trends of the AI semmed to get more and more perverse as I gained more and more experience with the team. Leaving Togedemaru alone, especially with moves the AI otherwise seemed most likely to use on it, was a blessing at times and a vile curse at others. I really valued my predictability. Though, there's something hilarious about Raikou setting Reflect instead of attacking- and finding that the change actually benefitted it. Fake Out, the only physical attack on the team, could no longer reach its cap of 2 damage. Now that's controlling your fate.



Aromatisse @ Lum Berry, Aroma Veil
Sassy (252 HP, 180 Def, 76 SpD)
-Trick Room
-Moonblast
-Thunderbolt
-Odor Sleuth

I miss last gen where megas weren't in the tree, and Relaxed 252/252/4 was quite enough for Aromatisse. Because your Drapions, Kantonian Muks and Metagross are going to be hit with Fake Out regardless, some protection against Mega Gengar's Sludge Bomb seemed the way to go. Heal Pulse was on the original unchanged Aromatisse but didn't serve the kinds of purposes I'd hoped it would, while Thunderbolt actually saw a fair bit of use; Helping Hand was similarly unused, moreso considering Aromatisse frequently fell before Toge or not at all. During the randoms portion, Aromatisse didn't have Odor Sleuth, but relearning it seemed like a no-brainer. It still was not used much at all, but had more purpose than the other two options. I probably would have used Disable if I could have done so without rebreeding. Unfortunately, both my Aromatisse were bred last gen without any egg moves.



Togedemaru @ Berry Juice, Sturdy
Brave (No EVs)
-Helping Hand
-Fake Out
-Spiky Shield
-Endeavor

Togedemaru looks so adorable during its idle animation, where it squeezes its eyes shut, bristles its spines, then opens them and peeks left and right. Maybe that's why the AI often declined to hit it with priority attacks. "Do the thing again! Do the spiky peeking thing again! Awwwwwwwwwwww..!!"



Drampa @ Dragonium Z, Berserk
Quiet (192 HP, 60 Def, 252 SpA)
-Flamethrower
-Energy Ball
-Hyper Voice
-Draco Meteor

While Drampa could have played around with some different coverage moves, particularly Shadow Ball, the set is no less useful as is. Plus, all of these attacks have max PP and because it's a permanent member of Spidey & Friends, I'd rather not change anything between any given point and the next time S&F gets serious.



Palossand @ Expert Belt, Water Compaction
Quiet (244 HP, 12 Def, 252 SpA)
-Shadow Ball
-Energy Ball
-Earth Power
-Destiny Bond

I don't recall using Destiny Bond even once. While I wish Palossand were much stronger, it has the benefit of many of its preferred targets having poor SpD or completely uninvested bulk, like Megagross, which at least allows it to kill things.
Unsurprising Threat:

The one cursed weather Toge couldn't get around, on top of the threat of Ice Shard from a number of these. The scariest battle that went immediately downhill because of a Snow Warning lead involved Vanilluxe. Making matters slightly more challenging, this Vanilluxe would reveal itself as Set 3, much more dangerous to the entire team than 4. Goodra4 was its partner, so in sacrificing Toge to remove Vanilluxe I was likely going to be forced to spend Devastating Drake just to remove Goodra. Thankfully, Dancer Jo's backline was Magnezone and Wishiwashi, which were not too much for Palossand and Drampa to handle (especially with hail damage breaking Zone's possible Sturdy.) Wishiwashi would reveal Set 4, but Palossand had successfully beaten Magnezone and could take one for the team.

Golisopod4 was a frequent enemy for this team and one of the only priority users to happily oblige Toge in its attempts to bait. It even had the gall to open with Rock Slide during battle 400, rapidly setting a 2v4 in motion. It was only due to Golisopod's cooperation that the battle quickly returned to a highly winnable state. Togedemaru even got to inflict a literal KO! I was so proud.

With boredom for Feardemaru setting in heavily, it was time to try something else. I didn't really have any original ideas, old teams I could feasibly rehash (triples would be a different story) or any gimmicks I wanted to borrow from a fellow Smogonite. The only idea that had firmly rooted in my mind was that it'd be worthwhile to begin notarizing the enemies I'd fought, as Coeur had been doing this for some time and it looked interesting to read through. I just needed a team to use. Without any vivid recollection of the thought processes that brought me to this conclusion, I would ultimately settle on running non-randomized, monotype teams.
 
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Part IV: The Thrill of Challenging Oneself

These challenges ended up being far more fun and rewarding than I could have imagined, in no small part due to the rule I had imposed on myself: No repeats whatsoever. If Mega Mawile were used on the Steel team, it could not be used on the Fairy team, and vice versa. This rule applied especially to the setters. The order of typings was loosely decided out of preference, for both my eagerness to use particular Pokemon and the amount of faith I had in the type's ability to succeed. In spite of my interest in prolonging the challenge as long as I could, I also had no desire to use particular types with totally unintuitive, foolishly reckless setters, such as Poison (Nihilego? Gengar? No, no, no no no no.) Naturally, the difficulty ramped up considerably as I began using more unorthodox setters and heavily disadvantaged types (when concentrated in numbers.) And because I wanted to keep track of both the challenges overcome and the luck in avoiding particular enemies, this was the perfect time to begin listing the enemy sets for each battle. While I didn't include anywhere near as much info as Coeur, the sets alone carry a lot of memories and weight.

Battles 501-510:

1- Drapion3/Nidoking3/Infernape3/Dusknoir4
2- Drampa4/Chandelure4/Magnezone4/Porygon-Z34 ***
3- Sceptile4/Ribombee34/Weavile34/Aerodactyl34
4- Ludicolo4/Pelipper4/Shiftry34/Ambipom3
5- Araquanid3/Rotom-Frost4/Rhyperior3/Bronzong4
6- Glaceon4/Leafeon4/Jolteon34/Vaporeon34
7- Salamence3/Slaking4/Typhlosion34/A-Ninetales12
8- K-Muk2/Decidueye3/Rotom-Wash4/Crobat34
9- Bastiodon4/Reuniclus4/Snorlax3/Cofagrigus4 ***
10- Sceptile4/Trevenant4/Lurantis34/Comfey34

Steel, packed with lots of my personal favorites, was a reasonably easy team to use. Escavalier took some opportunities to get Flash Fire boosts for Heatran and wasted others by not wanting to gamble on the sets being their alternates. Thankfully, none of the battles nosedived hard for that. Escavalier's shiniest moment was Battle 9, during which Reuniclus took its Life Orb for naut, failing to prevent it from skewering right through this Breeder's team as if it were butter. Even without the Life Orb, Bastiodon's Curses couldn't prevent the 2HKO from Drill Run.

With such a unique movepool, Empoleon did quite a bit of battling. I've dabbled in a number of useful items for it, but in this iteration it simply used an Expert Belt to good effect. Gravity benefitted it and Escavalier greatly.

Battles 511-520:

1- Raikou2/Dugtrio2/Alakazam3/Sceptile4
2- Registeel3/Uxie1/Azelf1/Regice4
3- Venusaur3/Whimsicott4/Comfey3/Breloom4
4- Ninetales2/Aerodactyl3/Salazzle4/Pyroar4
5- Vaporeon4/Leafeon3/Glaceon34/Umbreon4
6- Hippowdon4/Aggron3/Jellicent3/Terrakion1234 ***
7- Oranguru2/Metagross3/Gardevoir4/Slowking4 ***
8- Shiinotic4/Togekiss3/Florges34/Whimsicott3
9- Hawlucha4/Absol4/Throh4/Barbaracle4
10- Garchomp4/Altaria3/Magnezone34/Gallade34

The perfect time to unironically use Iron Ball Tapu Lele, thwarting any Prankster bullshit and especially Fake Out. Lele and Aromatisse don't cover much by themselves, but this was compensated by the ridiculous damage output of Psychic in terrain, which was boosted by Helping Hand whenever feasible. I had every intention of running Mega Mawile with this squad, but was so afraid of Magnezone that I wanted a quick answer to it, and unfortunately the wafer-thin Granbull was the only TR-worthy Fairy type that could make good use of Earthquake for a guaranteed OHKO. Fire Fang on Mawile has poor odds against the much flimsier Set 3 and caps at 83% against Set 4, so it really had to be Earthquake, unfortunately. If Fire Fang were 80 BP, this wouldn't have been an issue (Fire Punch is also not strong enough, even if Mawile could learn it, which it can't. ...yet it gets the other two.)

Battle 6, VS one of the Hikers, Mega Aggron preferred spreading Thunder Wave around as opposed to easily wiping me out with Heavy Slam, and for that, I was more grateful than amused. All things considered, Mega Aggron was possibly more threatening to the team than Magnezone, at least under these circumstances. During Battle 7, Oranguru Instructed my Togekiss to use Dazzling Gleam a second time. This had the effect of killing Slowking, who was using its turn to reset TR and would have moved before Guru otherwise. I didn't meet up with Magnezone until Battle 10, which was quite simple and anticlimactic. Granbull didn't just dispatch Zone, but had its way with most of Wally's team.

252+ SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Garchomp-Mega: 186-222 (86.5 - 103.2%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO
UNACCEPTABLE

Battles 521-530:

1- Crobat4/Dragonite3/Lucario4/Kommo-o1
2- Latias3/Terrakion34/Entei3/Landorus34
3- Cobalion3/Azelf3/Raikou4/Thundurus34
4- Serperior3/Greninja4/Infernape4/Empoleon3
5- Glaceon3/Jolteon3/Leafeon34/Umbreon3 ***
6- Regirock1/Moltres2/Raikou12/Cobalion1
7- Latios123/Azelf1/Articuno2/Zapdos4
8- Tyranitar4/Terrakion1/Slowbro4/Bronzong4 ***
9- Regirock2/Typhlosion4/Rotom-Heat3/Empoleon3
10- Turtonator4/Slowbro4/Whimsicott3/A-Ninetales2

This actually is not the first time I'd run Mono-Water TR, and my leads were Mega Slowbro and Golisopod then, as well (perhaps this memory is part of what made me want to dip my hands into monotyped TR teams again?) Just as previously, Golisopod enjoyed plenty of lucrative damage opportunities with First Impression. Unbelievably, Serperior3 runs enough bulk to very reliably survive it. Golisopod's Assault Vest and extremely solid defense put in plenty of work, as did Slowbro's average but sufficient bulk, nicely tanking a Thunder from Jolteon. Speaking of Slowbro, Battle 8 featured Tyranitar using the single alotted Mega Evolution, depriving Slowbro4 of Shell Armor. Not only did it eat a crit, it was left with so little HP that sand finished it off. Resetting TR accomplished nothing of value, even more satisfyingly, leaving Bronzong in a 4v1.

These battles also featured plenty of intentional selection of my own water moves with Gastrodon present, as many of these battles presented opportunities for it to cleanly sweep, uninhibited. In hindsight, this effectiveness would make me sort of regret using Gastrodon now and not on the Ground team, since they really could have used that kind of protection. But at the time, I really wanted that Electric immunity, and didn't have the courage to run Swampert.

Battles 531-540:

1- Hydreigon3/K-Exeggutor2/Tyrantrum4/Garchomp4
2- Regigigas2/Comfey4/Slaking3/K-Ninetales2
3- Tangrowth4/Walrein4/Gogoat4/Empoleon4
4- Dusknoir4/Mudsdale4/Gigalith4/Hippowdon4 ***
5- Latias2/Azelf4/Heatran4/Cresselia3
6- Weavile34/Alakazam4/Crobat34/Aerodactyl3
7- Blastoise3/Pelipper2/Rotom-Wash4/Carracosta34
8- Regigigas3/Typhlosion4/Entei3/Flygon34
9- Jolteon4/Umbreon3/Espeon34/Flareon34
10- Comfey3/Lurantis3/Trevenant4/Sceptile4 ***

Attempting to take advantage of Defiant simply didn't pan out; there wasn't even a single Intimidator in the entire set. Braviary still made fairly decent use of Instruct as well as bait. Bewear dumped its Rock Slide for Payback, a decision that ended up benefitting me greatly, and is credited with inflicting the most KOs overall. Drampa on a Normal TR team was a no-brainer.

The two most noteworthy battles are easily #4 and #10. Battle 4 took a train to hell and became a 2v4 in the blink of an eye, thanks to a crit immediately followed by a 25% failure to OHKO. Tasked with damage control, Bewear responded to this disadvantage by freezing two opponents. Battle 10 featured Mallow actually managing to do some real damage, quickly exposing my backline. Given how frequently she's been rolled, and how effortlessly I've beaten her so many times, it was refreshing for her to really put up a fight. For a few turns, at least.

Battles 541-550:

1- Kommo-o2/Moltres3/Cresselia4/Latias4
2- Pelipper4/Sawk4/Houndoom4/Lapras4 ***
3- Whimsicott4/Typhlosion4/Chandelure34/A-Exeggutor2
4- Gyarados3/Salamence3/Incineroar3/Arcanine3
5- Hippowdon4/Gigalith2/Terrakion1234/Slowbro4
6- Landorus3/Gigalith3/Cradily3/Probopass34
7- Venusaur4/Decidueye4/Infernape34/Crobat3
8- Bruxish4/Porygon24/Porygon-Z4/Tentacruel4
9- Ludicolo4/Armaldo4/Jolteon34/Glalie3
10- Magnezone3/Primarina3/Lycanroc-N2/Braviary34 ***

So many juicy options for this one. I had thought of using Jellicent or Mimikyu as a setter, since the main draw of Dusclops outside of its bulk was going to be Ally Switch, which I just didn't see doing a whole lot for Mono-Ghost. Bulk prevailed in the end (I would LOVE a Helping Hand Dusclops with Frisk; alas, it is not to be.) I'd also looked tantalizingly at Marowak and Dhelmise before settling on these three. WP Aegislash still doesn't have too many followers, but it was very reliable and heavy on damage output. I also didn't have to remove a valuable move to fit Protect into there. Chandelure is the only special abuser aside from Aegislash and has no terrible speed tie with Slowbro4, which gave it a solid edge over Marowak. Golurk had a hard-hitting moveset without repeating all of the types already covered by the first two.

These battles were quite the adventure. Aegislash had its Weakness Policy activated often, particularly by Earthquakes. I had gone to some lengths to prevent the Landorus in Battle 6 from connecting one, as it probably would have destroyed it; enter Cradily3, who not only outspeeds it under TR but packs one of the weakest EQs in the tree, setting off WP and bringing Landorus to a swift demise. Battle 8 featured obnoxious Thunder Wave spam, brought to an end by Golurk. Battle 9, I made the idiotic realisation that Ludicolo was not in fact the more benign Set 3 but in fact Set 4, who had not critted Aegislash-Blade but used the much stronger Hydro Pump. I had been typing in the discord and glanced back at the screen to see the "critical hit!" message and Aegis fainting. Until then, Ludicolo was freely spreading around Leech Seed, leading me to the false conclusion that it had nothing better to do. I was definitely looking at the screen when Chandelure OHKO'd Glalie and was promptly murdered afterward. Thankfully, Golurk only needed to hit it once to ensure the battle ended in my favor. Golurk saved the day once more in Battle 10, featuring more Thunder Wave spam and a complete waste of a perfectly good Aegislash as a result.

Battles 551-560:

1- Suicune1/Politoed4/Goodra3/Pelipper234
2- Regigigas3/Darmanitan3/Rampardos4/Slaking34
3- Tsareena34/Rotom-Mow4/Whimsicott3/Venusaur4
4- Thundurus2/Gogoat3/Tyranitar3/Tangrowth3
5- Regirock2/Virizion1/Entei2/Zapdos1 ***
6- K-Muk2/Hippowdon4/Snorlax4/Tentacruel3
7- Oranguru3/Turtonator3/Rotom-Frost3/Drampa3 ***
8- Gengar3/Latios4/Espeon34/Alakazam3
9- Zoroark3/Beedrill4/Gengar3/Hydreigon34
10- Decidueye4/Snorlax4/Incineroar34/Braviary4

My options for Psychic based on what I had and what I'd already used were slimmer than anticipated. I decided to try vanilla Metagross for some much needed physical offense and coverage, and ultimately found that it was actually very useful. I spent a while deciding between an Iron Ball and Assault Vest. The IB would allow me to run Protect, at the cost of Earthquake or Explosion. The AV would allow no Protect and worse speed, but provide two potentially very useful attacks. I went with the Assault Vest, and coincidentally made no real use of Earthquake. But boy, were there a lot of detonations. Incredibly productive ones, at that. That Assault Vest also put in a ton of work, tanking both a Gigavolt Havok and Shadow Ball in the same turn. I've been running Choice Specs Regenerator Slowking since prior to Gen VI and it hasn't changed one bit. Reuniclus has also remained unchanged, running a fully offensive set to great effect. Together, they also avoided overlapping coverage aside from STAB.

Battle 5 featured an asshole by the name of Virizion blocking my TR with Taunt and dragging the battle out considerably, won in part due to Entei preferring to use Will-O-Wisp on a low HP target with Magic Guard. Battle 10 featured a particularly tense and important Explosion, taking down Incineroar and missing a 68% chance on Snorlax4. But taking down incineroar without a fuss was more than I could have asked for, so a critically weak Snorlax made for a good trade.

Battles 561-570:

1- Goodra3/Primarina4/Pelipper1/Empoleon4
2- Drampa3/Toxapex3/Palossand34/Camerupt3 ***
3- Florges4/Tyranitar3/Blastoise3/Aggron3
4- Primarina3/Mawile3/Mimikyu3/Shiinotic34 ***
5- Azelf1/Moltres1/Thundurus1/Raikou2
6- Regigigas2/Archeops3/Rhyperior4/Rampardos4
7- Bastiodon3/Vikavolt3/Steelix3/Ampharos3
8- Bewear3/Ambipom4/Gogoat4/Passimian4
9- Infernape4/Charizard3/Chesnaught3/Torterra4 (Reina!)
10- Braviary34/Whimsicott34/Turtonator34/Passimian34

Small shoutout to HeadsILoseTailsYouWin for musing in regard to unused setters and types shortly after I had reported the Ghost run being a success. The first type and setter she thought of was Ground and Claydol, and with Psychic being the last of the types I would have gravitated toward unprompted, it sounded like a good next step.

Yeah, I really could've used that Gastrodon... yeow. My three alternatives had decent enough coverage, but in a game with Primarina as a common enemy, especially Set 4 with its Protect-breaking Hydro Vortex, Camerupt could have made much better use of its bait. Claydol has enough special bulk to survive Hydro Pumps with a significant amount of muscle behind them (without rain) though defense wasn't ignored. Camerupt did indeed draw any non-spread water moves.

Multiple battles were won because the enemy missed at critically important times. Battle 1, Empoleon missed two consecutive Blizzards (Torterra did not have enough Wide Guard to stall out both Blizzard and Surf, let alone the HP to eat Petaya-boosted anything.) Battle 2, the enemy Camerupt missed a Fire Blast. And shortly afterward, during Battle 4, Primarina would miss a Hydro Pump. Luck was absolutely on my side, because this team likely could not have won on its own. Gastrodon would have prevented each of those scenarios from even reaching the point that a miss was even necessary.

Battles 571-580:

1- Raikou2/Manectric3/Zapdos1/Rotom-Heat3
2- Thundurus2/Moltres1/Tornadus12/Regirock1
3- Darmanitan3/Rampardos4/Slaking3/Regigigas4 ***
4- Steelix3/Cofagrigus4/Escavalier34/Shiinotic4
5- Emboar3/Nidoqueen3/Crobat34/Gengar4
6- Aromatisse2/Florges3/Audino3/Musharna2 ***
7- Gyarados3/Kommo-o2/Carbink34/Empoleon34
8- A-Dugtrio2/Alakazam4/Noivern34/Accelgor4
9- Jolteon3/A-Dugtrio2/Noivern4/Sceptile3
10- Golisopod4/Pinsir3/Toxicroak3/Liepard3

Exeggutor is among the riskiest TR setters that is still able to function pretty well under the move. Because of this, I felt I had no choice but to run Ludicolo for Fake Out support. Ludicolo filled that role better than anticipated, and even did a fair amount of killing with Z-Hydro Pump, Ice Beam and Energy Ball. Ferrothorn is of course the Gravity/Acid Spray set, having opportunities to serve the team well with both. This is also the first time I've used Iron Ball Roserade, having bred it years ago, Banked it before it could be used in Triples, and kept holed away without any real incentive to use it. It was surprisingly useful. With Technician (of course) and Grass Knot, Sludge Bomb, Weather Ball and Hidden Power (Ground) it had a fairly versatile set if conditions were kind to it. This team did see rain set in one battle, but nothing compelling the use of Weather Ball was present by the time Roserade entered. No Heatrans got to taste HP Ground, but Rotom-Heat was a worthy substitute.

The Grass run stood out partially because in none of the battles did TR fail to go up, be it by flinching, death, Taunt, etc. The team had an easier time than the Ground types before them. One of the best highlights of these monotype runs was Steelix3 making a resist switch to Escavalier after eating Fake Out, to find that I had targeted its slot with Flamethrower. An extremely one-sided battle against that Breeder, with Cofagrigus very quickly isolated. The Poison/Fighting female Ace whose name escapes me at the moment lead Emboar and Nidoqueen; I had a nagging feeling about Nidoqueen being Set 3 with Ice Beam, and decided to flinch it instead of Emboar. I was very glad I did, because my fear was right on the money. I did sack Exeggutor in order to damage it while killing Emboar, but her backline provided none of the danger of her leads. When Guzma appeared as the boss of the round, I was initially concerned. Then he sent out his leads, and I was mortified. But I played my cards extremely well and pulled through the battle pretty well. Since I inadvertantly passed on the chance to save a replay, like an idiot, allow me to instead retell the battle as best I can here (I was very anxiously narrating the battle on discord, which helps):

Turn 1: Between a potential Golisopod4 and Mega Pinsir, Golisopod is the bigger threat; Pinsir won't see Thrash as its strongest option yet, and has a guaranteed OHKO on Ludicolo. This assessment plays out in my favor, as Pinsir evolves, Pod flinches, Pinsir OHKOs, and TR goes up.

Turn 2: Ferrothorn enters and Acid Sprays Golisopod, who IIRC attacked Ferrothorn. Exeggutor OHKOs Pinsir with Flamethrower. Toxicroak replaces it.

Turn 3: Ferrothorn sets off Focus Sash with Gyro Ball, which unfortunately means someone is more than likely going to die. And indeed, that someone is Ferrothorn. But before it can take one for the team, Exeggutor utilizes that -2 to Golisopod's SpD and destroys it as well. Liepard enters, and because the Focus Sash was spoken for, it can only be the cancerous Sand Attack/Thunder Wave set. I pray for a lack of Prankster.

Turn 4: My prayers are answered, as Roserade attacks first and destroys Toxicroak. Liepard paralyzed someone, but was in checkmate by this point, not to mention I still had another full turn of TR, in addition to two teammates. I hate that set so much and look forward to the news that Liepard was removed from the Gen VIII facilities.

Battles 581-590:

1- Staraptor4/Vanilluxe4/Mamoswine4/Durant4
2- Greninja3/Crobat4/Ribombee3/Jolteon4
3- Conkeldurr4/Sawk4/Tauros3/Lucario4 ***
4- Lycanroc-N2/Pyroar3/Archeops4/Toxapex3
5- Tornadus4/Virizion3/Latios3/Thundurus34
6- Probopass4/Metagross4/Magmortar4/Milotic4 ***
7- Honchkrow4/Dragonite3/Mandibuzz3/Crobat34
8- Tauros4/Hawlucha34/Passimian34/Barbaracle4
9- Metagross4/Togedemaru4/Sharpedo4/Dragonite4
10- Toucannon4/Lurantis4/Tsareena34/Sceptile4

As with my Ghost run, I spent quite a while mulling over my options. But unlike my Ghost-typed abusers, who gave me indecision due to their wide overall value, I struggled to think of three Rock types that could work together with synergy and not be ruthlessly spanked by the same things. Bulk is their strong suit statistically but laughably underwhelming in actual practice. Determined not to make the same mistake with Gastrodon, especially if I were going to encounter dedicated rain teams, I took the time to raise a Storm Drain Cradily before deciding that it would still be mostly deadweight. That was quite a waste of time. It took me a while to remember that I had a 0-speed Tyranitar available, and my experiences destroying many of them in the tree reminded me that, while Mega Tyranitar doesn't have a particularly good TR speed, it IS bulky as fuck. It also has an excellent movepool and was better than nothing. I was additionally planning to use Carracosta before remembering that I also had an Omastar in Bank. My standard Alolan Golem was fun to use and had pretty well rounded coverage alongside the others (no rock move on Omastar in lieu of Protect) and so just like that, my team was kind of assembled for me. Carbink had run Gravity and Power Gem for randoms play, but given the level of difficulty I was facing, I replaced both with Reflect and Light Screen. This ended up being a better decision than I had expected; better than teaching Low Kick to Tyranitar, which was useful but not used often.

I feared Mega Metagross more than the Fairy team did, and this squad encountered not one, but two of the fuckers as leads. My standard procedure was to anticipate the AI finding Carbink too good to resist, skipping Protect on Tyranitar, and critically injuring Metagross with Crunch. This paid out both times, especially since the first encounter at Battle 6 resulted in Carbink fainting without setting TR. You can imagine my reaction when a second one popped up at Battle 9, and again, with a second Steel type alongside it. However, that one went much more smoothly. IIRC both of these trainers were Aether Employees.

Sand plus dual screens made this team actually seem as though they could eat some pretty nasty hits. Carbink even did its share of attacking with Moonblast, picking up some decent little chunks of damage here and there. Omastar was the real MVP with its Expert Belt-boosted Ice Beam, Scald and Earth Power. Usable special attacking TR abusers that are also Rock type are quite rare. The only other one I've got is Aurorus.


Part V: The Chilling Conclusion

I really wanted to use a Mono-Ice team, but my only option as a setter was the extremely distasteful Jynx. Her bulk is extremely similar to Alakazam's but with even less physical defense, which translates to "absolutely not, it's out of the fucking question." However, there are plenty of Ice-typed abusers I enjoy using in randoms. If I could make do with an all-purpose setter, I would likely enjoy running such a team for a while (if you thought it was going to be anything besides Musharna, you are either foolishly optimistic or have skipped most of this writeup. Not that I blame you.)

By this point, I had a very long list of replays from every other team used during this streak, and wanted to test a number of my frozen flunkies to find three that looked like they could function together fairly well. I was immediately drawn to Mega Abomasnow, Crabominable and Regice, to not only take full advantage of Musharna's perks as a setter but also utilize Aurora Veil whenever feasible. In running through dozens of these replays I found that the team was extremely weak to Taunt and Fake Out in conjunction with higher-end Fire and Fighting types, especially the Inferno Overdrive users. I also found that they were too difficult to predict between choosing to flinch Musharna, or taking the opportunity to murder Abomasnow. Taking several attempts to beat these teams in replays, I was convinced that my loss would come to something very similar. In these specific examples, I was having very one-sided matches against a Bisharp4/Medicham4 pair and a Salazzle4 alongside Mimikyu.

I was also having significant problems with a Pokemon Center Lady Perri replay which my Grass types had steamrolled. Between the special bulk, some supereffective moves, and a Musharna eager to reset TR, it took several attempts and different strategies to find something which worked consistently. It was because of this that I put Flash Cannon back onto Regice, in place of Focus Blast (FC had originally been removed for Aurora Veil.) With these difficulties aside, the team was working surprisingly well and was fun to use, getting excellent mileage out of both AVs (veil, plus the Assault Vest equipped to Crabominable.)



Musharna @ Lum Berry, Telepathy
Relaxed (236 HP, 252 Def, 20 SpD)
-Trick Room
-Gravity
-Psychic
-Helping Hand

Helping Hand primarily for Blizzard, and Gravity for Focus Blast and most of Crabby's moveset. You've seen this thing a million times for a reason.



Abomasnow @ Abomasite, Soundproof
Quiet (252 HP, 4 Def, 252 SpA)
-Protect
-Energy Ball
-Focus Blast
-Blizzard

While baiting Fire attacks is what it does best, actually surviving Inferno Overdrive from Flareon is something else entirely. This occurred twice during the team's short stint; the first IO was survived at 1 HP and subsequently picked off by Quick Attack. The second IO was a solid OHKO through Protect. Part of my pleasure in running mixed MegaSnow was packing Earthquake for Heatrans, which kills them pretty easily with Helping Hand. There was none of that here (my mixed set must run backline in order to fit the necessary moves without Protect) so I would instead resort to critically injuring them with Focus Blast while setting the stage for my backline to cleanup. This worked beautifully at times, and poorly at others. Focus Blast is a wonderful move to have on it, not that most of my chums know what using it willingly is like (hehe) and there's a great deal of satisfaction in exploiting most enemy Suicunes running max physical Defense. Even with Calm Mind, Energy Ball does way too much damage to survive two of them, especially with hail going.



Crabominable @ Assault Vest, Iron Fist
Brave (188 HP, 252 Atk, 68 SpD)
-Ice Hammer
-Earthquake
-Stone Edge
-Close Combat

Almost makes you think this guy can take a hit! With Aurora Veil up, this fellow was actually pleasantly bulky for a frail Ice type. Bulky in the sense that easy 1/2HKOs became 2/3HKOs. It's much better than nothing and allows it to get in a number of nasty attacks before fainting. As I mentioned earlier, Gravity was not only helpful, but crucial with the loss of the Wide Lens. Crabby made full use of its moveset here.



Regice @ Weakness Policy, Clear Body
Relaxed (252 HP, 4 Def, 252 SpA)
-Aurora Veil
-Thunderbolt
-Ice Beam
-Flash Cannon

Relaxed plus the four EVs gave it enough bulk to eat plenty of strong supereffective attacks under the veil, and set off the WP. When it wasn't the recipient of STAB Expert Belt Stone Edges (Midnight Lycanroc) and the like, it took much less damage and was a 5-6HKO for the majority of enemies. Ice Body would have given it healing, but Clear Body prevented all of those untimely stat drops with high rates of occurrence, primarily from things like Shadow Ball and Moonblast. With full SpA investment, it could OHKO things weak to Ice Beam and inflict very good neutral damage outside of that. Even still, the active opponents at any given time could mean Crabominable would be sent out first, which it often was.
These Pokemon battled from 591 up until their loss at 625. Because of their myriad weaknesses to fairly common enemies, I saved replays pretty freely and might as well run through them.

Battle 596:

Things already got off to a good start when evolution mechanics tripped Snow Warning second and killing Drought; with Heatran being Set 2, it wasn't going to simply replace it, either. I sacked Abomasnow to badly injure Heatran, allowing Psychic and Stone Edge to destroy these leads the following turn. With Gravity up, Rotom was fucked six ways from Sunday, a similar fate bestowed to Tangrowth with its nonexistent special bulk. For three our of four dangerous Fire types, this went more smoothly than anticipated.

Battle 600:

I was gambling not only on avoiding a flinch, but also on Lycanroc doing enough with Rock Slide the following turn to entice it into picking Abomasnow off with Accelerock. I wanted to destroy Magnezone first because it still inflicted more damage, but I wanted to preserve Abomasnow in case Primarina was in the back, which it was. Lycanroc would leave Abomasnow in the yellow and decline to Accelerock afterward (Primarina replaced Zone and was defeated second) so things worked out in my favor.

Battle 603:

I VERY recklessly assumed Slowking4 and was promptly murdered by Specs Focus Blast because of it. That said, because of Slowking's nature, I was able to set Aurora Veil before it could move again, and it would miss one of its Focus Blasts. Musharna would hit it with a Psychic, not landing a SpD drop but ensuring that +2 Thunderbolt would KO. Luckily for me, Steelix would enter second and evolve, again giving me an extremely exploitable speed advantage with its 50-49. HH Ice Beam destroys it while Cofagrigus resets TR. This had the unintended side effect of ensuring Escavalier's demise, as Regice maintained its speed advantage and nailed it with HH +2 Thunderbolt. Musharna is ripped apart for my trouble, while hail damage and LO recoil push Escavalier to the brink of death. Crabominable effortlessly picks Escavalier off with an Earthquake, but not before Regice finishes Cofagrigus off with its second Ice Beam.

Battle 612:

It is here I get a real taste of the hopelessness of blocking Inferno Overdrives, as I'm no longer inside mock battles where consequences are irrelevant, and my only guniea pig is Salazzle4. I mentioned that the second time this happened, Abomasnow was destroyed instantly; this is the earlier battle, where Flareon calmly picked it off with Quick Attack. Vaporeon4 had used Shadow Ball on Musharna and I knew the second would KO, so I preemptively set Gravity for Crabominable as its final move. Vaporeon, little fuckknuckle troll that it is, took this opportunity to chain Baby-Doll Eyes back to back, choosing Crabominable each time, making my job more difficult. I assure you, the challenge paled in comparison to the rage boiling inside me. In spite of the first BDE, Stone Edge still took Flareon down. A second BDE, and Espeon took much less damage from Ice Hammer, but enough that it and an Ice Beam took it down as well. Leafeon was obviously no match for Ice Beam, and Vappy finally decided to begin attacking; its antics ultimately cost it, however, as Aurora Veil had been up, making its spread-penalized Surfs do extremely little to AV Crab and the somewhat specially bulky Regice (if by somewhat you mean well over 200 with zero investment.)

Battle 614:
-HAFW-WWWW-WWWQ-57TR

Replay uploaded for Eisen, who faced an extremely similar team with fairly similar behavior, and was interested in testing. Anyway, this Aggron4 used almost nothing but Taunt, starting with Musharna. Lots of switching ensued, with Reuniclus3 (which replaced Wishiwashi3 via U-turn) causing a fairly significant amount of damage before being taken down. However, without that powerful blob around, this Scientist's team fell like dominos, and my intact Abomasnow delivered most of the KOs by itself. Regice had quickly fallen, but not before activating that ever-useful veil.

Battle 615:

Unlike Inferno Overdrive, Rhyperior4's Continental Crush doesn't do anything remarkable through Protect. What made this battle so save-worthy was the fact that Abomasnow froze Regigigas, who would not thaw before its demise; Abomasnow would then again freeze Haxorus in spite of its survival due to the Yache Berry. Merry Christmas, guys!

Battle 618:

This battle was both lucky and close. Metagross3 had no OHKO on Abomasnow with Meteor Mash, but would not explode. Vanilluxe was Set 3 and thus could not Taunt, but that was of small comfort due to it possessing Sheer Cold. I prioritized taking Metagross down first in spite of that, and would sack Abomasnow in the process. An Earthquake (Weak Armor on Vanilluxe, pleased to note) took it down, but things barely looked up as Mesprit would enter, survive HHHammer, and not only U-turn Musharna to its demise but send in Gyarados 3 with Intimidate. I probably could have done with prioritizing Gyarados first, since the worst thing Vanilluxe could do at this point is spam Flash Cannon. Instead, I targeted it first and set veil, giving Gyarados free rein to Dragon Dance not once, but twice. Mesprit would enter and be felled by Ice Beam, and Stone Edge would manage to crit Gyarados for a OHKO. Without it, Gyarados would have begun spamming Earthquake and/or Waterfall, which at +2 would have easily negated AV on my already damaged backline.

Battle 625:

This battle was so anticlimactic and unenjoyable, for the simple reason that it involved the shittiest Lake Trio sets, the Set 1s, and a preventable loss incurred mostly due to Thunder Wave and frequent full paralysis.

Youngster Brady's Heatran was the only Set 2 of the bunch, and because it's Heatran, I figured I was obligated to enact my standard protocol of setting it up for an easy kill for something else. This was a big misplay, not only because Crabominable easily OHKOs it and would have to come in, anway... ...but this would allow Uxie to spam its Thunder Wave all the more freely, which it did. It attacked into Protect with Extrasensory, but the moment TR went up, it defaulted to its usual cancer. In the actual losing battle, Heatran would resist switch from Focus Blast into Azelf, preventing me from even scoring the KO. I would also send in Regice too soon and set Veil, which wasted time and prevented better damage from being inflicted. Uxie would dodge a desperate HHHammer outside of Gravity, then heal up with Rest once it was actually damaged enough. In the midst of all this, I suffered six turns of full paralysis. If the battle sounds as though it came to a swift end, it absolutely did not, and these pieces of shit stalled out two full rounds of TR.

When mock battling, I sacrificed Abomasnow to do ~60% to Uxie with Energy Ball (who missed the Thunder Wave into Musharna for good measure.) Crabominable enters, which it should have done the first time, and easily destroys Heatran while critically wounding Uxie. Uxie declines to Rest in lieu of using Thunder Wave again, which means it faints while paralyzing only Crabominable. From here, the battle is heavily weighted against the terrible Mesprit/Azelf1, the latter of whom would not even detonate to put itself out of its misery. This battle was easily winnable had I done that.

...whether you actually want to read this entire writeup or not, it was the result of a few days worth of writing and organizing, beginning while I was at work. I'd like to thank all of my discord pals for chatting with me throughout all of these ordeals, asking questions and offering ideas, which made playing them all the more fun. An especially large thanks to Freezer for that Ferroseed, which has become quite the weapon in my arsenal. I also hope that Fougeta sees my success with Primarina and takes another crack at it again!
 
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NoCheese

"Jack, you have debauched my sloth!"
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Back after three weeks of travel, and then a fair amount of time catching up on things back at home. I'll get this updated soon!

Edit: And we're up to date. Some really good stuff here!! Was fun catching up. One note: I managed to damage my 3DS while traveling. It freqently turns itself off now if the power button is not being held down. This means that I haven't been able to watch any proof videos, and my Gliscor / Chansey / Mega Slowbro streak, which I was able to grow on the long flight to Europe, is on temporary hiatus, until I either fix or more likely replace my system. (Thankfully, the problem was not revealed while actually battling in the tree, so the streak remains live).

Continued good luck with the streaks, everybody!
 
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