Emerald Battle Frontier Guide PLEASE HELP DEVELOPING

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atsync

Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon
Thanks so much for the guide. Working through the Frontier now and just aiming for the Silver Medals for now. For the Battle Arena team you suggested, it worked great but for the Silver Run I would suggest to anyone trying to run this team to switch the order and maybe an item too. In my Silver battle, Greta sends out Heracross first. Two Megahorns destroyed Swampert and it resists Earthquake and Surf did pretty much no damage. Alakazam outsped and OHKOed Heracross but is walled pretty hard by Umbreon. I got in two Thunderpunches for little damage especially with Leftovers. Salamence was able to take town Umbreon with Brick Break but was confused in the process. It hit itself in confusion twice in a row and died to two Shadow Balls from Shedninja before I could get off an Aerial Ace.

My suggestion is to lead with Zam and OHKO Heracross. Zam will die to Umbreon. Swampert can Substitute and Earthquake spam and potentially win by referee decision. Maybe a different Pokemon would be better here for the Silver Battle though. Salemence can clean up Umbreon with Brick Break if it is left. Then, use Aerial Ace on Shedninja to win. I would also suggest a Persim Berry for Salamence in this battle to heal a potential Umbreon Confuse Ray. Umbreon has Body Slam though too so maybe for the Silver run use a Lum on Mence to heal a potential confusion or Body Slam paralyze and give Zam something else since it will be leading for that run.

Anyway those are my thoughts. Thanks for the guide and hopefully I can get a Silver win tonight.
Sounds like good advice. I might add this to my original post.

I should explain here (and I completely forgot about this until you posted, so thanks haha) that I actually tried a different team before the Swampert/Alakazam/Salamence run. I can't remember exactly what was on it - I think it was something weird like Metagross/Ludicolo/Houndoom - and I had already obtained the silver symbol with that team, although I lost that streak before reaching the gold symbol battle. Once you beat the silver symbol battle in a facility, you don't get to do it again until you beat the gold symbol battle in the same facility, so for the Swampert/Alakazam/Salamence run, I didn't have to do the silver symbol battle at all, since Metagross/Ludicolo/Houndoom already did it!

Good luck with getting silver!
 
Thanks so much for the guide. Working through the Frontier now and just aiming for the Silver Medals for now. For the Battle Arena team you suggested, it worked great but for the Silver Run I would suggest to anyone trying to run this team to switch the order and maybe an item too. In my Silver battle, Greta sends out Heracross first. Two Megahorns destroyed Swampert and it resists Earthquake and Surf did pretty much no damage. Alakazam outsped and OHKOed Heracross but is walled pretty hard by Umbreon. I got in two Thunderpunches for little damage especially with Leftovers. Salamence was able to take town Umbreon with Brick Break but was confused in the process. It hit itself in confusion twice in a row and died to two Shadow Balls from Shedninja before I could get off an Aerial Ace.

My suggestion is to lead with Zam and OHKO Heracross. Zam will die to Umbreon. Swampert can Substitute and Earthquake spam and potentially win by referee decision. Maybe a different Pokemon would be better here for the Silver Battle though. Salemence can clean up Umbreon with Brick Break if it is left. Then, use Aerial Ace on Shedninja to win. I would also suggest a Persim Berry for Salamence in this battle to heal a potential Umbreon Confuse Ray. Umbreon has Body Slam though too so maybe for the Silver run use a Lum on Mence to heal a potential confusion or Body Slam paralyze and give Zam something else since it will be leading for that run.

Anyway those are my thoughts. Thanks for the guide and hopefully I can get a Silver win tonight.
Salamence with lum berry got me victory here. I swept her team with one pokémon.

Fire Blast is here for occasional Skarmory and Foretress and believe it or not I faced both in one battle. You can swap it with Brick Break, though FB still destroyed all Skarmories and Foretresses with a single hit although it has Adamant nature and no EVS in Special Attack. Second team member is there to counter ice and dragon type so something like Registeel would be perfect, but don't worry, you won't use it that much.

Pokemon - Emerald Version (U)_1519909512660.png
 
Salamence with lum berry got me victory here. I swept her team with one pokémon.

Fire Blast is here for occasional Skarmory and Foretress and believe it or not I faced both in one battle. You can swap it with Brick Break, though FB still destroyed all Skarmories and Foretresses with a single hit although it has Adamant nature and no EVS in Special Attack. Second team member is there to counter ice and dragon type so something like Registeel would be perfect, but don't worry, you won't use it that much.

View attachment 103797
Did you find Dragon Dance useful? With only three turns before referee it was risky so I ran the same set with Brick Break over Dance.

Unfortunately last night I lost in the battle right before Greta last night... Battle opened with Alakazam v Charizard. I got a Thunderpunch (maybe two but idk) in before being killed by Fire Blast. Zard outsped my Swampert who was hit with Fire Blast and burned which pretty much ruined my run. Surf took out the Zard but Feraligatr was sent in. With half power Earthquakes I eventually lost to referee. Salamence cleaned up Feraligtr but the last Pokemon was Crobat so EQ wasn't an option... I went for two Aerial Aces but did not crit. The first Sludge Bomb poisoned me and the second took me out with poison. Reall frustrating loss one Pokemon before Silver. Trial #3 tonight :pikuh:
 
Did you find Dragon Dance useful? With only three turns before referee it was risky so I ran the same set with Brick Break over Dance.

Unfortunately last night I lost in the battle right before Greta last night... Battle opened with Alakazam v Charizard. I got a Thunderpunch (maybe two but idk) in before being killed by Fire Blast. Zard outsped my Swampert who was hit with Fire Blast and burned which pretty much ruined my run. Surf took out the Zard but Feraligatr was sent in. With half power Earthquakes I eventually lost to referee. Salamence cleaned up Feraligtr but the last Pokemon was Crobat so EQ wasn't an option... I went for two Aerial Aces but did not crit. The first Sludge Bomb poisoned me and the second took me out with poison. Reall frustrating loss one Pokemon before Silver. Trial #3 tonight :pikuh:
It did, especially in the first battle when it's easy to set up. One DD makes Salamance powerful, two make it almost perfect, three make it unstoppable. Basically if the target is a pokémon with lower Defence you can use two dragon dances, and if it's something bulky like Sandslash or Umbreon you will want to use one dragon dance and two Earthquakes. It is also possible to use two DDs and one EQ, but you will have to be judged. You will most likely win the skill and body judgment so it's not a big deal if you make a mistake. Brick Break is a solid choice though. I did train my Salamence's HP completely, but dealing with ice types is really risky.

Anyway my Salamence worked quite well. Intimidate shuts down Heracross enough for me to use a Dragon Dance. Aerial Ace is an obvious ohko because of type effectiveness, STAB, Salamence's sky high Attack stat and Heracross' awful Defence. I think that Umbreon is not bulky enough to survive 2 boosted Earthquakes. It's one of my first silvers so I'm not so sure. Umbreon's moves are awful though. It's not powerful enough to pull anything off so it's not a big deal. Confuse ray may seem like a problem but I always have a Lum berry on my Salamence. You know, burns and confusion lost me countless games when I was a kid. Luckily getting Lum berries is quite simple, it just requires some patience. Pro tip: never plant Lum berries. Shedinja is self explanatory. An Aerial Ace, even if it's from a Chansey or Shuckle, takes it out in a hit. Since Heracross will use Rock Tomb because it's super effective your speed will be normal after a Dragon Dance. You are going to outspeed her whole team anyway.

Unfortunately I don't have a proof of that wonderful sweep because my recorded battle is one against Spenser (it was the hardest one imo) but if I can guarantee this pokémon to work here.

Salamence @ Lum Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 60
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- Aerial Ace
- Dragon Dance
- Fire Blast

Absolute madman. HP EVs are very important because you want to survive everything after using DD. You'll be surprised how well it will handle physical attacks due to Intimidate. Only thing that can stop you in final battle is a critical hit, but if that happens you can still back yourself up with other pokémon, it's not that hard since Shedinja basically makes this 3v2 battle.

All right I hope I helped. Normal NPCs may give you pain in the S with their Ice Beam users, but as I said Steel types will work pretty good (except maybe Steelix). I used a Suicune, because it resists ice, but it doesn't matter what you use as long as you keep sweeping with Salamence, right? Have fun literally sweeping!
 

atsync

Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon
Unfortunately last night I lost in the battle right before Greta last night... Battle opened with Alakazam v Charizard. I got a Thunderpunch (maybe two but idk) in before being killed by Fire Blast. Zard outsped my Swampert who was hit with Fire Blast and burned which pretty much ruined my run. Surf took out the Zard but Feraligatr was sent in. With half power Earthquakes I eventually lost to referee. Salamence cleaned up Feraligtr but the last Pokemon was Crobat so EQ wasn't an option... I went for two Aerial Aces but did not crit. The first Sludge Bomb poisoned me and the second took me out with poison. Reall frustrating loss one Pokemon before Silver. Trial #3 tonight :pikuh:
I think this kind of demonstrates a significant flaw with using Alakazam as a lead - while it's very strong, it has this habit of just falling short of KOing things before dying because of its frailty. Using it as a back-up was my attempt to get around this. Since Swampert will likely have weakened the lead before going down, Alakazam can capitalise on the reduced HP to finish it off. Of course, you only need 28 wins for the silver symbol, and if you managed to reach the Greta battle for the first attempt and then reached battle 27 for the second one, it seems inevitable that you'll succeed eventually.

You may also want to look into Modest Alakazam if you haven't already - I've sometimes wondered if Modest would be better for Alakazam actually. Modest might give the extra power needed to get more KOs. In exchange, you sacrifice the ability to out-speed Ninjask2 (fairly rare Pokemon in Open level that is sometimes used by Bug Catchers and Maniacs) and neutral-natured, max-speed Sceptile and Dugtrio (but you may still out-speed these during battles 1-28 because I don't the IVs of these trainers are flawless), and you'd have no EVs left over to invest in bulk either.
 
What are the best movesets for frontier Salamence's?

I have a pretty sweet capacity to run all of CB Mence, DD Mence, and Mixed Mence as follows

CB Mence: 27/31/31/x/31/31 - Jolly (the brood mother for my dd bagon's atm but no DD herself sadly)
MixedMence: x/31/x/31/x/31 - Naive
DD Mence: tbd - Jolly (at least max atk/def/spa/spd)

The DD Mence I'm pretty certain I'll be running Aerial Ace/Earthquake/Fire Blast/Dragon Dance but not sure what to do with the other two, especially since I don't expect Brick Break to be particularly necessary here the way that it is in competitive
 
Someone tell me why I never used RNG abuse before...never soft-resetting for a legendary again! 1.5 hours of first-time prep work, barely 30 minutes of actual resetting for a pretty sweet Regice of Modest with 31/29/22/27/30/6

Thinking of going with Ice Beam / Thunderbolt / Thunder Wave / Explosion for the set, maybe Rest of Toxic would be better?
 

atsync

Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon
What are the best movesets for frontier Salamence's?

I have a pretty sweet capacity to run all of CB Mence, DD Mence, and Mixed Mence as follows

CB Mence: 27/31/31/x/31/31 - Jolly (the brood mother for my dd bagon's atm but no DD herself sadly)
MixedMence: x/31/x/31/x/31 - Naive
DD Mence: tbd - Jolly (at least max atk/def/spa/spd)

The DD Mence I'm pretty certain I'll be running Aerial Ace/Earthquake/Fire Blast/Dragon Dance but not sure what to do with the other two, especially since I don't expect Brick Break to be particularly necessary here the way that it is in competitive
I think AA/EQ/FB/DD is perfectly fine for DDmence. In general, I think the "standard" frontier DDmence would probably be:

Earthquake
Aerial Ace/Hidden Power (Flying)
Dragon Dance
Fire Blast/Rock Slide/Substitute

Earthquake and Flying STAB are standard. Hidden Power Flying can be used over Aerial Ace for the extra power (i.e. for a STAB that is actually stronger than Earthquake) but a strong Hidden Power can be annoying to obtain for some players and Aerial Ace still has its never-miss effect which is helpful in the frontier - Double Team and Brightpower/Lax Incense are common enough to justify its use. Last move is mostly filler used to hit particular targets. Fire Blast is mostly for Skarmory but it also hits Scizor and Forretress for more damage and also allows you to kill them without having to worry about a surprise Counter. Rock Slide covers Flying Pokemon more generally but is particularly useful for hitting Zapdos and Aerodactyl. Since EQ/AA already cover a lot of stuff, you could also forgo a third attack and run Substitute to block status moves, possibly abusing AI stupidity to get 6 Dragon Dances against some foes. It also helps guard against any nasty surprises that can occur when going for a sweep, such as a untimely Quick Claw activation. Substitute is kind of annoying to get on Pokemon though since it's a one-off move tutor. I suppose Rest with Chesto Berry could also work in the fourth slot too.

For Choice Band, Salamence doesn't have the widest selection of moves in 3rd gen but with EQ and AA probably filling the first 2 slots, the other slots would likely contain 2 of Rock Slide, Brick Break, Fire Blast and Double-Edge. Fire Blast and Rock Slide have the same uses as on the DD set. Brick Break's coverage seems a bit redundant with Earthquake but at the same time it does hit a lot of Pokemon super-effectively, and given that this is a Choice Band set, it probably isn't the worst thing you could lock into. I mention Double-Edge simply because it's Salamence's most powerful physical attack aside from Hyper Beam, but it doesn't really offer any extra coverage.

Note that I personally don't think Choice Band Salamence is necessarily the best use of the Choice Band item slot for the Frontier. Salamence does have some advantages (mostly Intimidate) but I think Metagross and Flygon give it competition. Metagross benefits from a stronger (abeit slightly riskier) STAB in Meteor Mash and has a better move pool, one that includes Explosion as a "click-to-win" move against the opponent's last Pokemon. Flygon seems weaker than Salamence in terms of stats but it has STAB on Earthquake, which makes Flygon's Earthquake more powerful than Salamence's Double-Edge, and Flygon is therefore capable of more raw damage in most cases (obviously Salamence has the edge when Earthquake isn't used though and of course type-effectiveness can skew things in Salamence's direction, so perhaps it's not completely outclassed).

The closest I've used to MixedMence was the set I ran for my Palace gold symbol run:

Salamence @ Sharp Beak

Hasty
Intimidate
IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/31
EVs: 0/4/0/252/0/252

Dragon Claw
Aerial Ace
Flamethrower
Protect
Feel free to mess around with that if you wish - you probably don't need Hasty or Protect if you're not in the Palace. If you're playing Open level, you may also want to try out Dragonite if you want a mixed-attacking Dragon. Dragonite has less Speed and Special Attack than Salamence and Inner Focus isn't as useful as Intimidate, but Dragonite's move pool is way better (Thunderbolt, Ice Beam and Surf are all nice advantages over Salamence).

Also, I like the idea of Rest on Regice for longevity, although Explosion might be better if you're going to use it more offensively?
 
I think AA/EQ/FB/DD is perfectly fine for DDmence. In general, I think the "standard" frontier DDmence would probably be:

Earthquake
Aerial Ace/Hidden Power (Flying)
Dragon Dance
Fire Blast/Rock Slide/Substitute

Earthquake and Flying STAB are standard. Hidden Power Flying can be used over Aerial Ace for the extra power (i.e. for a STAB that is actually stronger than Earthquake) but a strong Hidden Power can be annoying to obtain for some players and Aerial Ace still has its never-miss effect which is helpful in the frontier - Double Team and Brightpower/Lax Incense are common enough to justify its use. Last move is mostly filler used to hit particular targets. Fire Blast is mostly for Skarmory but it also hits Scizor and Forretress for more damage and also allows you to kill them without having to worry about a surprise Counter. Rock Slide covers Flying Pokemon more generally but is particularly useful for hitting Zapdos and Aerodactyl. Since EQ/AA already cover a lot of stuff, you could also forgo a third attack and run Substitute to block status moves, possibly abusing AI stupidity to get 6 Dragon Dances against some foes. It also helps guard against any nasty surprises that can occur when going for a sweep, such as a untimely Quick Claw activation. Substitute is kind of annoying to get on Pokemon though since it's a one-off move tutor. I suppose Rest with Chesto Berry could also work in the fourth slot too.

For Choice Band, Salamence doesn't have the widest selection of moves in 3rd gen but with EQ and AA probably filling the first 2 slots, the other slots would likely contain 2 of Rock Slide, Brick Break, Fire Blast and Double-Edge. Fire Blast and Rock Slide have the same uses as on the DD set. Brick Break's coverage seems a bit redundant with Earthquake but at the same time it does hit a lot of Pokemon super-effectively, and given that this is a Choice Band set, it probably isn't the worst thing you could lock into. I mention Double-Edge simply because it's Salamence's most powerful physical attack aside from Hyper Beam, but it doesn't really offer any extra coverage.

Note that I personally don't think Choice Band Salamence is necessarily the best use of the Choice Band item slot for the Frontier. Salamence does have some advantages (mostly Intimidate) but I think Metagross and Flygon give it competition. Metagross benefits from a stronger (abeit slightly riskier) STAB in Meteor Mash and has a better move pool, one that includes Explosion as a "click-to-win" move against the opponent's last Pokemon. Flygon seems weaker than Salamence in terms of stats but it has STAB on Earthquake, which makes Flygon's Earthquake more powerful than Salamence's Double-Edge, and Flygon is therefore capable of more raw damage in most cases (obviously Salamence has the edge when Earthquake isn't used though and of course type-effectiveness can skew things in Salamence's direction, so perhaps it's not completely outclassed).

The closest I've used to MixedMence was the set I ran for my Palace gold symbol run:



Feel free to mess around with that if you wish - you probably don't need Hasty or Protect if you're not in the Palace. If you're playing Open level, you may also want to try out Dragonite if you want a mixed-attacking Dragon. Dragonite has less Speed and Special Attack than Salamence and Inner Focus isn't as useful as Intimidate, but Dragonite's move pool is way better (Thunderbolt, Ice Beam and Surf are all nice advantages over Salamence).

Also, I like the idea of Rest on Regice for longevity, although Explosion might be better if you're going to use it more offensively?
Yeah I've been questioning Fire Blast on DAD lately, think I'm leaning Rock Slide now. Hitting Zapdos and the like seems far more critical than the punch on Skarm.

For MixMence I was thinking something along the lines of Dragon Claw/Fire Blast/Earthquake/Rock Slide or Brick Break, lots of options there, not sure what's best

Open further review I like the idea of the Smogon suggested Modest regice set of IB/TB/Rest/Psych Up, psych seems especially good for making sure that I win vs things like Annabel's Raikou

As far as CB optimization it's a non issue, I have multiple and I'm running them in different teams.

Main team has been CB Meta/CM Latias/CM Suicune but I'm planning on dropping Latias for a Flygon with Earthquake/Rock Slide/Fire Blast/Substitute

Second team I'm thinking will be Regice with DD Mence and then probably a Metagross in back, great synergy all around
 
Update on my end, secured the Gold Battle Dome Symbol in a clean run today using combinations of the following Pokemon

Salamence (M) @ Cheri Berry
Jolly, Intimidate
323 / 369 / 196 / 230 / 196 / 320 (27 speed IV, paced to beat neutral 110s i.e. Gengar/Espeon/Lati@s)
- Aerial Ace
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Dragon Dance

Suicune @ Leftovers
Brave (Thanks Colosseum), Pressure
401 / 191 / 267 / 240 / 264 / 171
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Calm Mind
- Rest

Metagross @ Metal Coat (This is usually Choice Band but I decided I valued the move selection when you have limited opportunities to switch)
Adamant, Clear Body
334 / 404 / 268 / 198 / 191 / 201
- Meteor Mash
- Earthquake
- Shadow Ball
- Explosion

Zapdos @ Magnet
Timid, Pressure
314 / 175 / 192 / 346 / 200 / 300
- Thunderbolt
- Extrasensory (Thanks Colosseum!)
- Metal Sound (aka how to 2HKO a Chansey, thanks Colosseum!)
- Light Screen (A good choice but this test run showed me how much I need Thunder Wave in this slot to have a better answer to the Lati@s and mons like Raikou and Jolteon)

Regice @ Leftovers
Modest, Clear Body
364 / 120 / 260 / 289 / 435 / 111 (Side note here, how come I never used RNG seed manipulation before? Fuck SRing, getting good IVs on this was so fucking easy, 1.5h of one time prep work and barely 30 minutes of actual resetting to hit my spread. This has a 31 HP IV, a 3 in Speed, and 26+ across the rest)
- Ice Beam
- Thunderbolt
- Psych Up
- Rest

Salamence @ Choice Band
Jolly, Intimidate
328 / 369 / 196 / 208 / 196 / 327 (A random trainer fucked up my speed training and cost me a point :()
- Aerial Ace
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Double-Edge


Played around with different combinations during the early run to see how some things performed holding Suicune out, ran things like CBMence+Zapdos+Regice for shits and giggles. This ended up pushing me away from Mence for most of the run, as things got bulkier it lost the ability to OHKO a lot of things and so the typing and bulk of Metagross became preferred around round 4 (sidenote: Double-Edge is terrifically strong but I'm coming around on Brick Break for consistency, there are a LOT of Dark and Normal types!).

Conversely though fucking around like this turned me on to Zapdos as an incredible partner for the main core of Metagross and Suicune (previously Latias had this slot), the pure strength of its Thunderbolts was terrific as was the auto-win vs Waters, lots of clean OHKOs and the defensive typing did phenomenal vs threats like Medicham and Metagross. Regice was dropped quickly, Suicune was auto include and there wasn't really a way to include them both in a good team (I'm going to try Salamence+Metagross+Regice as a Tower team, seems super good).

Anyway rounds 4-9 was the usual set up of Metagross+Zapdos+Suicune and we cruised the entire way EXCEPT for the round 9 semifinal where we very nearly lost our run. We ran up against a team of Dragonite / Moltres / Latios and so the team obviously became Suicune leading with Metagross for Latios support. As could be expected Suicune vs Latios was the lead matchup and so we brought Metagross in to eat the Thunderbolt and then had a scare as we tanked an Earthquake before blowing up on Suicune's only threat. Or so I thought. Dragonite came out and though I could have gone for the Ice Beam I had the niggling feeling that it would be fat enough to tank it and then if it could 2HKO with Thunderbolt that would be problematic, so the correct play was Calm Mind which was validated when Dragonite did indeed Thunderbolt, though only for 40%. Problem though. Thunderbolt paralyzed Suicune. And I fully paralyzed. Shit. Now I was a 64% paralyzed Suicune with no guarantee of being able to KO my opp while they had an easy 2HKO. Did the quick maths and counted that if Dnite was doing 40 a pop I'd be sitting at 32% after Leftovers which should be just enough to live one more if I can get the +1 SpD (40/1.5=~28%). Dodged the paralysis and got off the CM, briefly considered Resting before realizing that if I dodge the para I may as well just take the Ice Beam for KO. Dragonite Tbolts and I hold my breath as my HP drops...and stops at 12...JUST eked it out, dodged the para and finished off with the Ice Beam.

Going into Round 10 I made a risky choice looking ahead to Tucker when I decided that Zapdos was a liability in the fight, only covering Metagross who Suicune already had a handle on and with CM Rest Latias being very scary indeed. So, I decided now was the time to switch Zapdos out for...DD Mence! Scary moment when I scouted the tournament and saw a Lapras/Starmie/Lanturn team but fortunately that went out in the second round, seriously regretted dropping Zapdos for a minute. Anyway cruised through the round into Tucker where I brought the strategy of leading Salamence with Suicune backup figuring that I could get a DD on Metagross and Latias living an attack barring a crit (maybe multiple with Latias), get a KO and get enough chip on whatever came in after for Cune to finish; that if I got Swampert then Suicune could come in and ez sweep; and that if Latias was led Mence was my best chance to kill it quickly before it could get the CM Rest combo off. Swampert lead and we were sitting pretty. Brought in Suicune and started to set up, noted that though Earthquake was doing negligible damage a crit could do 75% and so played around that, it got into range twice and I was just about to roll the dice when I realized WAIT! I can pivot in Salamence! So we did a 4 turn switch chain to burn the last two EQ PP and then Suicune was untouchable. Set up to max, stalled out all the Mirror Coats, OHKOed Swampert and Metagross (didn't even bring Latias smh) for the win and the gold symbol.



Really nice to see the work I've put in lately justified with a first run Gold* symbol, put in a lot of time to get my quad max Mence's and good IV Zapdos and Regice. This run was only even supposed to be a diversion before breeding for a quint/hex Bagon! But it bodes well. Next step I think will be picking up the Silver Arena symbol, thinking of leading with Starmie there and following up with CB Mence, maybe finishing with Metagross. Next breeding project will be Flygon and once I have that I'll be bringing Metagross / Flygon / Suicune into a Tower run, maybe trying out Metagross / Salamence / Regice in the interim.

*This is the second Gold symbol I've picked up on this file as I won the Palace Gold despite severe adversity (metagross exploding into a flying crobat...but Suicune beasting with the pp stall), I have Silvers in all the others except Arena right now so they'll be the next targets.
 
This brings me to another point I wanted to talk about actually, a strategic mindset I've brought in from another game I play, Gwent.

Essentially when you're building and playing you want to take two dichotomous mindsets depending on your situations:

1. IF you are EITHER winning the game OR have the team advantage THEN you want to play conservatively and to maximise the floor of your variance

In essence this means minimizing the impact of luck against you when you should be winning. To give an example, I had a matchup against a team of Tyranitar / Aggron / Aerodactyl, an easy matchup for Metagross and Suicune. In this case my lose condition is having Suicune die to Aerodactyl flinches and then Metagross dying to crits. Thing is Suicune vs Aero lead matchup is almost always a win for Cune so what's the actual threat? It's Tyranitar weakening Cune and then Aero getting lucky. So the correct play is to lead Metagross.

But this isn't where it ends, the opponent did in fact lead Tyranitar and the natural thought is to just go for the ez OHKO with Meteor Mash. But remembering that Suicune is our win con the correct play is to maximize our floor and take an Earthquake 2HKO on Tyranitar. If TTar gets lucky and crits Meta for the kill it's now in range for Cune to OHKO it and to follow up with the OHKO on Aero and Aggron.

However, if we take the greedy play and go for the Mash OHKO, what happens if we miss and TTar crits? We're now in a very bad position where TTar can live a Surf, chip Cune, and leave Aero in a position where it might be able to win by getting one flinch. Now of course, this doesn't mean you should always take the low risk play, should always take moves like Flamethrower over Fire Blast, there are many times where you need that extra power to secure a KO but it's that exactly, understanding what the correct course of play is to maximize your floor that will bring you success in a lot of situations.

This also plays out in the Battle Tower in selecting your lead. Take a fairly simple situation of a team of Magmar / Rapidash / Raichu. Now naturally I choose to bring Suicune for the clean kills on the Fires and I bring Metagross with me. Who should I lead? Not Suicune. You always lead Metagross here because Raichu is your lose condition. If they lead Raichu vs Suicune you're forced into a switch where one crit ruins your run. By matching leads you can cleanly kill with Earthquake. If they lead Magmar, who cares? You bring in Suicune and wall it forever. You can use it as set up fodder or just KO it and still get your fresh Metagross vs Raichu. By leading the counterintuitive Metagross you've successfully played around your lose condition and guaranteed you always win the matchup.

2. IF you are either losing the game OR have the team building disadvantage THEN play aggressively and maximize your variance to give yourself the greatest chance of high rolling your way to a victory.

This concept is more intuitive to the average Pokemon player, any time you use Ice Beam instead of Surf vs a Ground type switching out you're doing this by giving yourself chances to roll for a freeze - this principle is itself fundamental to the highest level of play in RBY and GSC.

From a teambuilding perspective this is a little bit more obfuscated but we can take my example vs Tucker. During the qualifying rounds we chose to use the more consistent team with Zapdos to run through the rounds with no inherent meaning but, during the critical round with a match where we are guaranteed to see a given team set we can identify that Zapdos, despite its strengths, is a weakness vs the final boss. By switching Zapdos out for Salamence we've increased our variance of results, for example we're weaker to enemies like Starmie, but we've significantly increased the upside associated with that variance by maximizing our advantage vs the guaranteed boss fight. This is applicable to all facilities, bring the high floor teams into every round but, if you perceive your team as being at a disadvantage vs the boss fight that you KNOW you will have to fight, consider altering your team to maximize your chances of winning against them.

Of course a key point here is that while you want to maximize your upside you can't simultaneously increase the negative variance to the same degree as the offensive upside. Part of the reason the Salamence for Zapdos swap works well is that although I sacrifice the special attacking prowess and Electric coverage and although Mence is more limited offensively, they play a comparable defensive role that means that threats like Medicham and Marowak (against Metagross and Suicune) don't gain any added upside. If, for example, I had done another switch I was considering, that of Suicune for Regice, my upside against Tucker would have been incredible as Regice would guarantee wins vs Latias and Swampert while Zapdos could cover Metagross and Swampert, but the downsides of losing Suicune would have been so precipitous, losing a defensive stalwart and long-game autowin that my odds of losing in the three matches leading up to Tucker would have been as increased or more as my odds of beating Tucker himself.


These two principles, maximize your floor when ahead, maximize your ceiling when behind, can be applied both to Pokemon and to almost any game and when mastered will take your strategic thinking to new heights and guaranteed success to match.
 

atsync

Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon
I got bored and decided to continue my Battle Pyramid campaign beyond the 10 rounds I'd already completed for the Gold Symbol. I just successfully made it through Round 11 with the following team:

1521103657843.png


Crobat

Adamant
Inner Focus
IVs: 31/31/31/14/30/31
EVs: 12/252/0/0/0/244

Sludge Bomb
Wing Attack
Shadow Ball
Hidden Power [Ground]

1521103795419.png


Steelix

Adamant
Sturdy
IVs: 31/31/31/27/30/31
EVs: 76/252/4/0/176/0

Earthquake
Rock Slide
Hidden Power [Steel]
Rest

1521103858047.png


Grumpig

Timid
Thick Fat
IVs: 31/4/31/31/31/31
EVs: 0/0/4/252/0/252

Psychic
Fire Punch
ThunderPunch
Rest

This round focuses on Fighting-types and pretty much any decently strong Flying- or Psychic-type is good here. I went with Adamant Crobat because it also had Shadow Ball (for Medicham) and STAB Sludge Bomb (for Breloom) in addition to Wing Attack, providing plenty of PP to deal with everything. In the case of Breloom, having a non-contact move to deal with it whilst avoiding Effect Spore was nice too. I chose Wing Attack over Aerial Ace also because of its much higher PP. With a Choice Band equipped (and I have 3 of them in my Pyramid Bag at this point), Crobat trivialised this round.

I chose Steelix as a back-up for its type syngergy with Crobat. I liked the idea of a Psychic-type as a third team mate and went with Grumpig specifically because of Thick Fat providing Fire and Ice resistances to cover Crobat and Steelix. Unfortunately, I never actually got the opportunity to send Grumpig into battle since I never needed to, and Steelix was used just once.

This round was fairly uneventful. I only encountered 3 trainers. The first had an unknown set of Starmie which was OHKOed by Shadow Ball (only one of the 8 possible Starmie sets can survive it). The second had Salamence2, which was walled by Steelix and was even courteous enough to give Steelix a free Swagger boost (I gave Steelix Lum Berry to utilise Rest more easily). The third was Whiscash3 with Surf and Fissure which I just swatted at with Wing Attack until it died - this was the only time I needed to use a Hyper Potion. I also found 2 Sacred Ashes, making 4 total, and with the many Hyper Potions and Ethers I have I'm currently in a pretty good position. I only have 2 Revives though so hopefully I can get more of those later on.

I'm thinking I might keep this Pyramid run going. It would be cool to at least beat Round 20, since this is the last unique round before it loops back to Round 1. The next round focuses on weather abusers - I'm not sure what I'll use here yet, but I probably won't be able to just cover everything with just one Pokemon like I did in the previous round.

Also, I ended up trying my old Battle Tower team...

Team:

Jolteon @ Brightpowder

Timid
Volt Absorb
IVs: 31/4/31/31/31/31
EVs: 132/0/60/252/4/60

Thunderbolt
Thunder Wave
Charm
Sand-Attack

Initially, I thought about using a Trick lead with Choice Band (probably Alakazam since it’s the fastest Trick user in 3rd gen), but I then changed track and focused on stat lowering. Jolteon seems like an odd choice for this role but I found it to work pretty well because of its Speed and access to useful options like Thunder Wave and Charm. Volt Absorb is also nice to protect against Electric moves since my team is otherwise a bit vulnerable to those.

Timid with 60 Speed EVs puts me at 173 Speed, enough to outspeed all base 120 Pokemon that appear as opponents in the Frontier, with Arena Trap Dugtrio being the most important one of this group (none of them run Speed-boosting natures). The Frontier is notoriously slow compared to later gen facilities: the only sets that outspeed this Jolteon under regular conditions are Ninjask (both sets), Crobat (sets 3 and 4) and opposing Jolteon (sets 1 and 4). I also maxed out Sp. Atk to pump up Thunderbolt and then invested the remaining EVs into bulk. If preferred, a Modest Jolteon can achieve the same Speed with 180 Speed EVs and benefits from more power, but this sacrifices some bulk.

Registeel @ Leftovers

Sassy
Clear Body
IVs: 23/23/31/3/30/31
EVs: 252/0/176/0/80/0

Hidden Power [Steel]
Curse
Amnesia
Substitute

This Registeel was RNGed in Sapphire rather than Emerald. It’s not completely flawless. The ideal spread for a set like this would be Careful with 31/31/31/x/30/31, but such a spread doesn’t exist on a frame that could reasonably be reached and so I had to settle for something else. Specifically, I wanted something with a usable nature (I’d be fine with Impish/Relaxed/Careful/Sassy, Adamant/Brave would also be acceptable), Hidden Power [Steel] with high power (preferably 60 as an absolute minimum) and just highish values in the IVs themselves. I managed to find the Sassy, 23/23/31/3/30/31 spread on frame 122232 (requires about 34 minutes of wait time, kind of long but not out of reach) which grants a max power Hidden Power [Steel] and meets my nature requirements too.

This set functions similarly to the equivalent Iron Head-using set seen in gen 4. High bulk combined with its resistances and support from Jolteon allow it to set up easily on lots of stuff, and once it has set up Amnesia and Curse it is very difficult to lose. Substitute is nice to have to protect against hax; obviously OHKO moves and badly timed crits can ruin this set. It’s important to note that getting Substitute on Pokemon is a bit of a pain because it’s a one-time move tutor move. I use it on a lot of my Pokemon and am able to because the move tutor also exists in FRLG, but this required having to play through FRLG multiple times which requires a lot of spare time (the fact that FRLG adamantly refuse to let you trade in non-Kanto dex mons until you unlock the National dex just adds to the pain). If Substitute is too much of an inconvenience to obtain, Rest is probably an acceptable replacement.

Salamence @ Lum Berry

Jolly
Intimidate
IVs: 31/31/31/21/31/31
EVs: 4/252/0/0/0/252

Earthquake
Aerial Ace
Dragon Dance
Substitute

Salamence is not quite as good in 3rd gen facilities because its offensive move pool is not as luxurious as it is in later gens, and so it tends to require more boosts to reliably sweep. Regardless, I find it to be a good choice for this team because of its good type synergy with Registeel and its ability to passively cripple opponents with Intimidate. Not much else to say about it really.
...but I replaced Jolteon with Misdreavus.

1521105476782.png


Misdreavus @ no item

Bold
Levitate
IVs: 31/4/31/31/31/31
EVs: 244/0/252/4/4/4

Thunder Wave
Growl
Taunt
Thief

This was basically to deal with Rhydon more easily. Earthquake and Horn Drill immunity + tendency to encourage Rhydon to use Rock attacks allows for much safer PP stalling through switching between Misdreavus and Registeel. However, outside of that Misdreavus was inferior to Jolteon at crippling (worse stats and move pool) and my team became more vulnerable to Electric- and Water-types. I ended up losing in the 80s. This was mostly my fault since I got lazy and didn't PP stall something I ought to have, and then I had just Salamence left against a Water team which is a recipe for disaster.

I perhaps may have been better off just using a more offensive lead set rather than a crippling one, or possibly even used Gengar instead since it has the same immunities. Or maybe Grudge Misdreavus has merit since it could remove PP of a threatening move to allow for easier set-ups. I probably won't attempt this again though.
 
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Does anyone of you have DOUBLES Teams?

I think it's much more interesting than singles ...

I have not tested any of my teams in long term, so I may just post them here with no further comments. Some of them are stolen across the internet.

1. Port of a Standard Raindance Team from G IV

Kingdra (Swift Swim) @ Lum Berry - Modest
252 KP 252 SA 4 Init
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- HP (Electric) - maybe replace with HP (Dragon) as opposing Kindras are problem with Dragon Breath)
- Raindance

Ludicolo (Swift Swim) @ Magic Water (dont know english name) - Modest
160 KP 252 SA 96 Init
- Surf
- Fake out
- Ice Beam
- Giga Drain

Latios (Levitate) @ Cheri Berry - Modest
4 HP 252 SA 252 Init
- Thunder
- Surf
- Psychic
- Ice Beam - possibly you could think about adding protect here

Now it's a choice between the following both:

Zapdos (Pressure) @ Magnet - Modest
4 HP 252 SA 252 INIT
- Thunder
- HP (Ice)
- Light Screen - no better move ...
- Protect

OR

Starmie (Natural Cure) @ King Stone - Modest
4 HP 252 SA 252 INIT
- Thunder
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Psychic

BIG PROBLEM: Blissey :S Maybe a HP Fighting must be put somewhere here ... sadly Scizor is shit in G III. Any Tipps ??

MAYBE: Kabutops (Swift Swim) @ Choice Band - Adamant
252 KP 252 ATK 4 INIT
- Rock Slide
- Brick Break
- HP Bug ??? (Alternative Ghost)
- Aerial Ace

So bad it cannot learn Earthquake ... for Latios as Partner.



Then I also have a funny Explosion Team with

> Shiftry + Metagross, Snorlax (Selfdestruct), Gengar

And a Intimidate-Setup Team with

> CB-Tauros + DD Salamence, Curse-Lax, CM-Latios



And a Swagger Team with

> Metagross (Lum Berry) + Gengar (Swagger on Metagross, then explode or Destinybond), Tauros, Latios


I may post that movesets if someone is interested. But I have only tested all for some battles.
 
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NixHex

Roasts Scizor
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
Missing Gold in just Arena, Palace, and Factory. SOOO glad Pike is out of the way. I died in the last round on two runs in a row then had some nice luck on the last for the gold.

Lately ive been doing some GC RNGing, got a Bold Suicune 31/30/31/31/31/31 last night! I killed Entei so its nature/ivs are set, but at least I have Raikou to look forward to. I was thinking Hasty with either HP Grass or Ice for Palace or perhaps modest to go with Doubles Rain (thanks for sharing Kitzler !). Any other ideas for moves, particularly for Palace?

Next I will be playing through XD for that Metal Sound Zapdos!
 

atsync

Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon
I was thinking Hasty with either HP Grass or Ice for Palace or perhaps modest to go with Doubles Rain (thanks for sharing Kitzler !). Any other ideas for moves, particularly for Palace?
For Palace, I would advise against using Hidden Power at all. What I learned from my experiences with HP Steel Metagross is that your AI-controlled Pokemon simply don't know how to use Hidden Power and will almost never use it even when it's the strongest attack. I assume it's because the game sees Hidden Power as a Normal attack with indeterminate base power, and so considers it to be inferior to every other attacking move on the Pokemon's set. The only way I could see the AI using it consistently would be if it was the Pokemon's only attacking move.

For Raikou, I suppose a Hasty set for Palace would want to run Protect with Thunderbolt and Crunch for attacking moves. Raikou has no other special moves to run and has no business running physical ones, so I think Thunder Wave would be a good choice for the fourth move. It won't get used much since it's a Support move and Hasty Pokemon hate using those, but it isn't the worst move you could throw out if you do happen to roll the low Support move chance as your selected category for the turn, and at the very least having at least 1 move of each category will ensure that Raikou will never be "incapable of using its power".
 
We're back after a hiatus, after I lost my battle tower streak at 65 I decided I needed more consistency which meant breeding a curselax. That got tedious real fast. Anyway came back to breeding yesterday and decided I wasn't going for flawless but I got lucky shortly after starting the Curse breed and got a 29/12/31/25/25/28 Snorlax, plenty enough to work a standard curselax spread, attack is meaningless anyway when I rarely have time pressures to get the kills.

Started working through a new tower run with Zapdos @ Magnet: Thunderbolt/Extrasensory/HP Grass/Metal Sound
Snorlax @ Leftovers: Body Slam/Curse/Rest/Sleep Talk
Suicune @ Chesto Berry: Surf/Ice Beam/Calm Mind/Rest

Hopefully this tower run goes better than the last where I lost to Heracross! If you see any inefficiencies please let me know!
 
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Adjustments have been made. Lost the last run at 48 to a team of Metagross/Ursaring/Machamp. Have decided that Suicune has to tank stronger threats and leftovers goes farther for it whereas Snorlax appreciates being able to immediately threaten after it's first Rest. Currently finishing up battle 56. Getting there!

Edit: oh come the fuck on I lost in 56. Leads Venusaur, go to lax and start set up, the second Mon is Heracross but I'm at +2 and can't let it swords dance, slam doesn't kill in one so it weakens me and of course it's last mon is Jolteon. Literally any other electric and zap could have gotten two attacks off to put it in Suicune range. Gahhhhh
 
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Smuckem

Resident Facility Bot Wannabe
is a Community Contributor
Adjustments have been made. Lost the last run at 48 to a team of Metagross/Ursaring/Machamp.
Not much I can offer in the way of advice or suggestions (have never stepped into this Frontier) , but I suppose I should thank you for mentioning these opponents in particular: I am now going to peek into the Emerald Frontier set listings and see if anything...interesting pops up.
 
Who are the target audience of this guide? Do they have the copies of FRLG required to get Snorlax and Aerodactyl? Do they have the time to breed for good hidden powers?
Most likely emulators. You can download a save from GameFAQs that beat the Elite 4, and then edit it with Pokesave to have the exact mons in your box that you see in this thread. I know I'm replying to an old post, but I wanted to point that out to people reading this thread that are hesitant to try because of time investment or finding an old game they might have lost.

The only real good reason to not want to do it is RNG. I got Gold only in Dome, Pike, and Pyramid before quitting. You can really only do so much, and I feel like it's up to the game's dice rolls to ultimately decide whether you make it to Gold or not. Put Aerial Ace on Mence? That's cool, Brightpowder will still kick in as many times as it needs to to kick your ass. And that's tame compared to this webm that I now have the opportunity to share, it's the only one that survived my phone's factory reset:
https://webmshare.com/OX7ya
 
Speaking of Salamence I think it might be correct to put my CB Mence in instead of Zapdos starting from Round 7 on. Covering the crazy strong Fighting types and having a backup vs Elecs seems really valuable, even if giving up the strength vs waters is painful
 
Whee I lost at battle 65 because a Starmie got a spec fall on Snorlax on the resting turn and I didn't get the slam and then crit Suicune through cms

I'm having SO much fun
 

NixHex

Roasts Scizor
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
Whee I lost at battle 65 because a Starmie got a spec fall on Snorlax on the resting turn and I didn't get the slam and then crit Suicune through cms

I'm having SO much fun
Not meaning to shitpost and I have no actual input of my own (at least re: emerald) but it's more to spark discussion. Usually getting high streaks is possible with a team that is immune to hax, or which renders hax irrelevant. One such example is a team that i believe turskain perfected for gen 6 Battle Maison: Durant / Whimsicott / Drapion. From what I remembered it was turn one: entrainment, die, switch to whimsicott memento, then Drapion subs and alternates between Protect and Accupressure until as many boosts as necessary, then sweeps. It took advantage of the AI's relative stupidity with TruANT and was immune to crits. Of course none of those Pokemon exist in Emerald but that's an example of the mindset that might be necessary when going for Tower streaks.

Sorry to hear about Lax losing to Starmie :(
 
I don't have any interest in training up a Trick Band Alakazam, and besides that's not actually playing Pokemon. Just gotta keep grinding until I get to Anabel.

Back to 63 let's DO IT AGAIN
 
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Not meaning to shitpost and I have no actual input of my own (at least re: emerald) but it's more to spark discussion. Usually getting high streaks is possible with a team that is immune to hax, or which renders hax irrelevant. One such example is a team that i believe turskain perfected for gen 6 Battle Maison: Durant / Whimsicott / Drapion. From what I remembered it was turn one: entrainment, die, switch to whimsicott memento, then Drapion subs and alternates between Protect and Accupressure until as many boosts as necessary, then sweeps. It took advantage of the AI's relative stupidity with TruANT and was immune to crits. Of course none of those Pokemon exist in Emerald but that's an example of the mindset that might be necessary when going for Tower streaks.

Sorry to hear about Lax losing to Starmie :(
Well, yes, hax proof strategies became more realistic to make in later games because of bad AI, a less aggressive RNG, Misty Terrain, and gimmicks like Truant. And of course, Substitute is one of many great risk mitigation strategies that can be Baton Passed or allow something like Suicune free setup. But I do not believe a "hax-proof" team is possible for Emerald.
Rant time. I got to the Pike Queen Lucy Gold Medal fight with Choice Band Gyarados/Jolteon/Blissey. Against her last Pokemon, Steelix, I had a weakened Jolteon (with HP Ice) and a full health Blissey with Seismic Toss. Steelix was in the yellow. HP Ice misses because of Brightpowder, he kills with EQ, but surely Blissey can win it, right? Cannot hit it AT ALL so it gets off a free screech and then crits to seal the deal. I was insane enough to try again and got that Gold Medal, but it wasn't fun.

I liken the Frontier to a cheap carnival game: it's rigged to hell and back, while advertising itself as a game of skill, to keep players coming back for "one more try, just one more!". People who complained that it wasn't brought back in OR/AS probably didn't play it.
 

Smuckem

Resident Facility Bot Wannabe
is a Community Contributor
I liken the Frontier to a cheap carnival game: it's rigged to hell and back, while advertising itself as a game of skill, to keep players coming back for "one more try, just one more!". People who complained that it wasn't brought back in OR/AS probably didn't play it.
We were asking for the Gen IV Frontier....which I have played. Still a fair amount of horseshit involved, but it's far more surmountable, I would argue.
 
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