Let's Play! [FINISHED] Pokemon Emerald - Let's use them all! - Playthroughs with each available Pokemon

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Let's give each Pokemon a chance!
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After watching some of Imported Cheese's tier list videos (great Poketuber btw, check them out), I got interested again in ranking Pokemon of older gens based on their in-game performance, or how well they help you getting from your house to the beating the Champion. On the one hand it is a fascinating topic to nerd out about, and on the other hand, it gives me an excuse to replay some of the old classics. Pokemon Emerald caught my eye especially, and I did several playthroughs and write-ups for the local Smogon In-Game Tier List project of RSE.

Even with the required write-ups for that thread done now, I decided to just keep doing new playthroughs of Emerald. Doing research, preparing teams and the looking how it pans out is very fun! So in this thread I will shortly document the playthroughs I have done, team by team, and give some overview on what I noticed for each Pokemon. My goal is to do at least one playthrough with each available Pokemon in Emerald* (more on that later).

Of course some Pokemon will have appear repeatedly, as there are only three starters and only so many Pokemon with Fly and Surf / Dive / Waterfall that you can use.
I won't repeat their overview for each playthrough unless something unique happened that is worth of note. But for the most part, at least 4 Pokemon on each new team were never used before.

I think it is also a good idea to give you all a rough overview on how I like to play Emerald, so you know where I am coming from:
  • I always play with a team of 6 Pokemon.​
  • I don't have multiple of the same Pokemon on a team.​
  • I don't use pure HM Pokemon that don't participate in battles.
    HMs are usually spread over the whole team as moveslot 4. And since Flash, Cut, Dive and Waterfall become irrelevant at some point, only Strength, Rock Smash, Surf and Fly are really needed long term. And Surf and Fly are decent in-game moves anyway.​
  • I try to not have Pokemon with overlapping types on the same team.
    Say Swampert and Starmie on the same team. I like to have a team with many different types.​
  • I usually collect most items and fight most trainers available.​
  • I use available TMs and spent items and money on my team with no regard on saving stuff for post game content like the Battle Frontier.​
  • I try to end my playthrough after the Champion with no team member above level 50 when possible.​
  • I usually do a playthrough in the regular order and don't skip stuff for later like skipping Brawly.​
  • I don't use X items like X Attack.​
  • I play in Set mode.
    So no switching before the enemy Pokemon gets on the field.​
  • I tend to buy a lot of Repels to avoid random encounters.​
Lastly, I will also post a counter overview here and in the individual team posts on how many Pokemon I have already used and how many are still missing.
This one here is a GIF of the whole journey, and the ones in the team posts are the state on how many Pokemon I had used at that point.

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Some notes:
  • Grey ones will not be used.
    This is because they are either not available in Emerald, are locked behind post game, are event Pokemon, or are baby Pokemon.
  • White ones are Pokemon I have not yet used.
  • Green ones are Pokemon I already have done a playthrough with
  • Yellow ones are pre-evolutions of Pokemon I already used.
With all those details out of the way, I hope you enjoy my posts about the teams I used below. Feel free to comment.
 
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Team #1
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Torchic is the second best starter for in-game playthroughs. Even though, Fire / Fighting starters became a meme, this typing is absolutely amazing. Hitting from both sides of the spectrum in gen 3 with high mixed offenses and mostly great moves. Overheat, especially, is such a giant nuke after just the fourth gym. Flamethrower is an expensive Game Corner TM but is much more solid than Blaze Kick (if not as cool), and Brick Break is a needed better Fighting STAB move than Double Kick. For some reason Blaziken doesn't learn Sky Uppercut until level 59. Gen 3 level-up movepools are weird (you will hear me say that a lot in the future). Blaziken also learns a lot of other useful moves, but doesn't really need them. Its STAB moves are good enough for nearly everything and the TMs are better saved for other team memebers. My only gripe with Torchic is that Combusken falls a bit off shortly before it evolves similar to Marshtomp. It just is a bit slower and frailer than you think before it gets to Blaziken. Overall though, absolutely great Pokemon and probably my favorite starter to use for playthroughs.

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Tentacool is pretty good for the most part. But man, its level-up movepool and early game are awful. For some reason, it only gets its first water move at level 25. Before that it struggles by with Acid and Cut from Tentacool's bad attack stat. Ugh. If you want to use a Tentacool, you should really only catch one later on the water routes after you get Surf. It will be around level 25 then, which means you skip its bad early game, it evolves soon and it can get great moves in Surf, Sludge Bomb and Ice Beam immediately. Even with Tentacool's bad early game, after the 5th gym it is nothing but up for Tentacruel. Great stats, great typing and great moves to bully other water types. It can also carry plenty of HMs. Pretty solid for the rest of the game after that.

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Cacnea is pretty decent as far as Grass types in gen 3 go. Needle Arm is solid and has more PP than Giga Drain. But just like Faint Attack it has low base power, unfortunately. So, even with Cacturne's great high mixed offenses, its offenses are a bit lacking because it is also frail, slow and has common weaknesses. But those can be worked around to some extend and a Grass and Dark typing are both great. Sub Focus Punch is a fun set but not really needed. It can carry some HMs in its last moves. I mostly picked it for my first team because I remembered that Dark types are so good in gen 3 and Cacturne mostly proofed that for me again. You really wish its stats were better distributed, though.

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Baltoy's stats kind of suck but fortunately, it isn't too long until it evolves. Claydol's offenses aren't great but its typing, ability and movepool are just amazing. It learns a ton of useful coverage options like Ice Beam and Shadow Ball and STAB Psychic and Earthquake are just really nice to have. Claydol is never blowing you away with its performance but it is solid throughout the rest of the game after it evovles and can help with tons of fights, even if the Ghost and Darkness weaknesses suck. To make the best out of Claydol, it also needs some important and also costly TMs, so make sure something else on your team doesn't need them more.

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Magnemite is shallow but just very solid. Like all Electric types in gen 3, its entire movepool mainly consists of like 2 or 3 good moves. But hey, Spark, Thunderbolt and Thunder Wave are all great moves and Magnemite's Steel typing does a lot of useful stuff. Magneton is plenty powerful and Electric types are even better in Hoenn than Electric types usually are in in-game playthrouhgs. Wallace's Milotic will just roll you over without a type advantage. Not much more to say about Magneton. It is kinda boring but does its job amazingly.

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Doduo is likely the best Normal / Flying bird ever for in-game playthroughs aside from Swellow before gen 4. Dodrio is fast and strong, its lower bulk mostly doesn't matter. Its STAB Return and Drill Peck hit like a truck. Sadly, it comes quite late due to being in the Safari Zone. And while it doesn't have many type advantages left in the remaining fights, its neutral STAB moves are good enough to kill almost anything. Maxing out its friendship this late is a bit tough, though. Steel Wing also takes care of some remaining Rock and Ice types. Another Pokemon that is mostly uneventful but just really solid throughout.

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Team #2
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Treecko is pretty clearly the worst starter in Emerald. Which is a shame because its design is really cool. Its biggest problem is just the movepool. It is a Grass type in gen 3, so of course it can't have even a decent STAB move for a long time. Until you get its signature move in Leaf Blade at level 29, it has to make do with gen 3 20 base power Absorb or 10 base power Bullet Seed. Which means its best special move until nearly level 30 is the non STAB Pursuit, that doesn't hit anything super effectively early. It doesn't look much better on the physical side. Cut, Strength and Rock Tomb are its only okay moves early. That is sad. And even once it gets Leaf Blade, its movepool is still very barren. It learns a lot of sweet moves with TMs. But sadly nearly all of them are at the end of the game. Dragon Claw, Earthquake, Brick Break are all behind the 7th gym. So for most of Treecko's time it either has no good moves or only has one good move. Once you get to the Elite Four it has finally a good move set. But I don't want to bash Treecko too much. It has solid attributes too. It is still a starter. Being a Grass type is very useful and having a great Grass STAB move is even better. It really shines in the later parts of the game. But compared to the other two starters, Treecko just has more low points than them.

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Aron is strange. It has a lot of really good things about it but also some rather big downsides. Its evolution levels are really high and its typing is sketchy defensively. It is basically just a worse version of Geodude. It evolves later, Steel STAB is worse offensively and defensively for the major battles and it gets worse moves. But it turns out a worse Geodude is still pretty good because Geodude itself is really good (look out for its review later). Yes it has two crippling weaknesses to Fighting and Ground, so it has to skip some important fights. But having a Steel Pokemon before the second gym is really, really nice. Aron is one of the best route cleaners available. It is like a more offensive Skarmory. It resists a ton of stuff and has great physical stats even as just an Aron. It also has a surprisingly good level-up movepool. Early Headbutt and Metal Claw are great and Take Down and Iron Tail are options for big damage before level 30. Aggron can also make use of Earthquake for great coverage. Sadly, it is also a gen 3 Rock type, so that means no good Rock moves since Game Freak was really afraid about giving Rock types access to Rock Slide without the Battle Frontier move tutor for some reason. But Rollout or Rock Tomb are okay STAB moves for early and mid game if you want them. Overall, I rank Aron a lot higher than some other people. Its downsides can be worked around and it has some really solid advantages.

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Since Numel is a Pokemon that one of the evil teams uses, it starts out with bad stats. And even Camerupt's stats are worse than you would think. It is a slow, mixed attacker that has not much bulk for some reason. Defensively, it's typing is also not great. So that doesn't boat very well so far. But Fire and Ground are great offensive types and Camerupt might have a top 3 level up movepool. Ember and Magnitude as good early STAB moves. Then you get natural Rock Slide upon evolution. Natural Earthquake at level 37 and Eruption at level 45. These moves are legit amazing and getting access to those rare and powerful moves just with level up, so you don't need the Earthquake TM for exmaple is huge. Camerupt can also learn the solid Flamethrower and powerful nuke Overheat via TM. Both before the 5th gym. Just crazy. So IF Camerupt moves first, it probably kills the opponent. Its movepool is just that good and its mixed offenses are good enough. But that speed is certainly a problem. If you are overleveled a bit, then it shouldn't be too much of a problem but towards the end of the game, it can't outspeed most things anymore. Still, in the mid game, Camerupt is great and if you have so many amazing moves, you can always hope to do something good.

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Carvanha did catch me by suprise. I did not know how frail this thing is. For context, Deoxys-Attack is bulkier. Yes, that famous Uber Pokemon that dies when you breath on it. It has the same defenses as Carvanha but has 5 more base HP. Let that sink in. So you will be shocked how fast Carvanha gets knocked out even with resisted hits. Luckily, its offenses are good, so you can just knock the enemy Pokemon out before it hits you. It has Crunch and Surf as soon as you can catch it. Two great STAB moves that last it through the entire game. Sharpedo is also just a few levels away, where it gets some much needed bulk, so it can actually switch into things. Water and Dark are of course amazing types for this game. Sharpedo's only real downside is that both its STAB types are special in gen 3, so it can't make good use of its much higher attack stat unless you give it some powerful physical TMs. Otherwise, there isn't much else to say about it. It does what you expect it to well and its typing and access to many HMs is just very useful. Good Pokemon.

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I think Natu and Xatu are not generally viewed as good Pokemon but you might be surprised at Xatu's stats. They aren't that bad. Average bulk and attack, and just beneath base 100 special attack and speed. You can work with that. The real kick in the teeth is their level up movepool. I don't know what they were thinking in gen 2 but why would it need to wait until level 65 (!) for Psychic? It's only other special STAB move via level up is gen 3 Future Sight. So, lets be honest, you need to stuff this thing with TMs to make it usable. But honestly, it learns some really useful ones. Shadow Ball and Giga Drain are good coverage options for the Pokemon it will soon encounter and Fly and Psychic have good coverage too. It's stats aren't that high but with these good moves Xatu is strong enough to still contribute in almost all fights before the Elite Four. Not a bad Fly Pokemon option.

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Heracross is unsurprisingly pretty solid. Even if it comes a bit late in the Safari Zone, its stats are just very good. Fast enough and great attack. Unfortunately, it will have to wait until level 53 for Megahorn. It comes with STAB Brick Break right away which is great but it doesn't have much variety of physical options. Mostly Fighting and Normal moves. So, you can think of it as a Machamp, that you don't have to evolve. For the remaing part of the game, there aren't many favorable matchups for it anymore, but even with neutral damage, Heracross is strong enough to do good damage to most Pokemon. It isn't very flashy but for how late you get it, it is usuable right away and is a help for most remaining things.

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Team #3
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Mudkip is widely known as the best starter in RSE but I personally am not that excited about it. From the three starters, it is my least favorite choice. There just are some things that annoy me about it. Swampert is the final evolution of the starters with the lowest special attack and speed by a significant margin. And for a Water type to not resist Water and Ice moves of other Water types is kind of cumbersome. Particularly for me, because I don't like to use Pokemon with the same typing on the same team. So I can't use another Water type to cover for those attacks. It learns Earthquake by level up, but it is beyond level 50. Which means you will most likely use the TM on Swampert. Otherwise its best Ground STAB for most of the game is Mud Shot or Dig. Swampert just has a couple of annoying attributes. But I don't want to dunk on it too hard, as I still think it is the best starter choice overall. Its typing is of course amazing, with basically no weaknesses as Grass attacks are very easy to cover. It also has great matchups against pretty much every major trainer besides Tate & Liza. As a Water type it also gets access to the usual good Surf and Ice Beam. I can't deny these fantastic strengths. But for me Mudkip is not the best starter by much. It just barely gets to be above Torchic for me. Just barely.

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Ninjask is one of those Pokemon that gets a much harsher review because of the level-up movepool of its pre-evolution. For some reason, Game Freak decided that having to lock certain moves behind not evolving a first stage Pokemon for about 30 to 40 levels was a totally reasonable choice. But in Nincada's case, it isn't even something poweful like with the starters or Shroomish. No, typical early game filler moves like Mud-Slap, Metal Claw and Dig are locked behind level 30 with just Nincada. Just why? So, Nincada has basically no good moves at all. Its "best" early move is the Dig TM. Which is locked behind the thrid gym. So it is a Ground type that is useless against the Electric gym, as it is walled by Magneton. Not much better against Manectric with 45 base attack and non-STAB Cut as your best move. Nincada is also in the Eractic level group, which means it takes a ton of EXP to level it up. Even once it evolves into Ninjask, it still has no moves. You gotta waste your TMs on this thing. With Aerial Ace, Shadow Ball and Dig coupled with Swords Dance, it can at least do something. And due to its crazy high speed it actually one of the only Pokemon to make good use out of the Macho Brace. But Ninjask never really makes up for its terrible early game. It starts out bad and eventually becomes usable. Pretty sad resume. It is so much worse to be bad early than to fall off later.

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Makuhita is kind of boring but weirldy good. It levels up very fast, has an early evolution and learns a good early move. A STAB 70 base power Fighting move at level 13 in Vital Throw is kind of insane. It doesn't mind the negative priority of the move so much, because it is rather slow anyway. Hariyama has impressively good stats for a Pokemon that you get that early. Great attack and good bulk to compensate the low speed. Bulk Up is also perfect for it. Unfortunately, its movepool is a bit lacking as with most Fighting types. It basically can't hit Ghost types and its coverage is almost entirely Normal moves. The Rock Tomb TM can help against Flying types but it isn't great. For some reason, it can learn Surf. It doesn't really do anything because of its terrible special attack but I guess if you are searching for a Surf user, then Hariyama can do that. Its very high HP also means it requires stronger healing items but overall, Makuhita is just solid from the moment you get it until the end. Few moments of true glory but also very few moments where can't contribute something.

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Skarmory is a Pokemon that shows that defensively oriented Pokemon are just underwhelming in general. There pretty much isn't a better in-game Pokemon wall than gen 3 Skarmory. No physical weaknesses due to how the types work and a gigantic defense stat. So this thing just doesn't die. How good is that? Not that great as it turns out. You have to actually knock out the enemy Pokemon at some point, not just sit there. And Skarmory just isn't very good at it. Even the damage output of the best move it will ever learn, Steel Wing, is just very mediocre. Otherwise you get Fly and I guess Return. Its offensive movepool is very lacking. Despite Skarmory's base attack actually being not that low, all this thing ever does is slowly chip down targets. And in Emearald where major trainers have multiple HP recovery items, that means it takes Skarmory forever to finish the job. Granted, it will eventually win against basicly every pure physical threat, but it just takes way to many turns. It also comes rather underleveled when you get it and grows up slowly. You can use this thing, but outside of a challenge run like a Nuzzlocke, I wouldn't bother. It is just cumbersome.

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Seviper has very similar attributes to Camerupt. Good offenses, good movepool but low speed and bulk. Typcial Hoenn slow, frail, mixed attacker. But at least Seviper doesn't need to evolve and is usable right away. It also comes underleveled but it doesn't need long to catch up. And I promised good moves, and it gets them. STAB Sludge Bomb alone is really powerful, but it also gets Crunch, Flamethrower, Giga Drain or Earthquake to cover any types you want for your team, along with plently of useful support moves. It is very unique. Of course you notice its low speed and bulk sometimes but its great coverage can make up for that. You also get it decently early, so it has lots of time to contribute. Never an all-star but pretty solid until the late game.

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Girafarig is suprisingly solid. Its stats aren't anything amazing but they are usable. Decent speed, decent bulk and decent mixed offenses. It would be a lot better if it came earlier and not just in the Safari Zone. But its typing is pretty good for the late game. Being immune to Ghost, resisting Psychic and Girafarig has access to Thunderbolt and Psychic to fry almost everything in the Water routes. STAB Strength and Shadow Ball on the physical side. Later, you even get Crunch by level up. Not bad. It is a pure late game Pokemon, so there is a limit to how good it can be overall, but it is usable right away and almost has no low points for the last part of the game. If you are missing a final team member when you pass the Safari Zone, then Girafarig is honestly a pretty good choice.

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Team #4
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I already wrote about Torchic before. The only thing different on this team was that it had to keep Double Kick because the Brick Break TM was already reserved for another Pokemon.

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Seedot is a very unfortunate Pokemon. It's a Pokemon that you get in the early game but really isn't suited for that part of the game. Its strength are in the later stages of the game. Okay, lets not beat around the bush, Shiftry is decent later, but Seedot and Nuzleaf are awful! It is really strange. In Emerald, Seedot is a very rare 1% encounter, as if its some powerhouse. And you would think, since it is an early game Pokemon, that is has a good level-up movepool. Nope! Your only damage dealing move until Seedot evolves is Bide. What? Well, at least it is in the game with an early Grass TM in Bullet Seed, so it can at least beat the first gym.
And hey, it has a really early evolution at level 14. It's second stage must be pretty good. Right? You wish. Seedot's stats were already terrible, and Nuzleaf's stats are still bad. Still frail, still on the slower side, and its best stat is attack, when both its STAB types are special. But what really kills these two is the movepool. You have to rely on the pathetically weak Bullet Seed and Thief (via TM) until level 31 when it finally learns Faint Attack. Which is also rather weak. You know it is in trouble if non-STAB Strength is its best move until it gets Faint Attack. Sad.
And it is such a shame too. Because its signature move Nature Power is so close to being good. Have you ever actually looked up which moves it can actually call? Almost all of them are great. Rock Slide, Shadow Ball, Earthquake, Surf, Hydro Pump, Razor Leaf. All great moves and Nuzleaf and Shiftry are basically perfect for Nature Power due to being mixed attackers and how the called moves can cover important types for them. The massive problem is that for like 80% of the time, it won't call any of these cool moves or the move is useless. You get Surf on the Water routes but that isn't helpful against the Water Pokemon there. You can get Razor Leaf for a decent Grass STAB but only in the very rare long grass. And only if you stand in it, not besides it. It is all just a big bummer. Getting Earthquake on the few beaches is really nice, but overall Nature Power is unfortunately just Swift with some upside.
Once you get Shiftry with the Leaf Stone before the sixth gym, it actually becomes decent. It is similar to Cacturne but trades some offensive power for very important speed. As I mentioned with Cacturne, Grass and Dark are very useful types for the late game, even if the type combo has many weaknesses. Some later TMs like Aerial Ace, Shadow Ball and Brick Break finally give it some actual moves. If it has the Chlorophyll ability, it can even go with Sunny Day + Solar Beam and set up sweeps. Otherwise Giga Drain is a bit underwhelming for a Grass STAB. Shiftry never becomes amazing but it is pretty decent later. But Seedot's and Nuzleaf's horrible early game is a big problem.
I know this section was a bit longer, but there is just so much to cover with Seedot (also Lotad, but that is going to have to wait until next week).

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Slakoth is very underrated in my opinion. Normal types are actually not that bad early because they get good STAB moves in Cut and Strength. Brawly bodies them of course but otherwise they are fine. Yawn, Encore and Slack Off give Slakoth some big utility super early too. Unfortunately, it levels up slowly but thankfully it evolves very early into Vigoroth, so it Slakoth isn't too much of a slog because unlike some other EXP investment Pokemon, Slakoth can actually fight alone. Vigoroth is basically the defintion of okay. Good speed, decent attack, okay bulk and good STAB moves early. It also looses Truant, so it has no problems to bridge the levels until you finally get to Slaking. At which point the game is over. I am serious. Slaking is of course the butt of the joke in competitive because giving your human opponent free turns with Truant is absolutely horrible. But against dumb in-game NPC opponents, Truant really isn't a big issue. I play with Set mode but if you don't you can just switch out on the Truant turn once you killed a Pokemon to almost completely negate its negative ability. But frankly, you don't even need to cheese it like this. Slaking is just unfair. It solos basically the rest of the game by itself. It has absolutely massive attack and bulk, and even good speed. It just kills everything. Normal move, Shadow Ball and Brick Break cover basically everything (damn you, Sableye). You can even go with Hyper Beam for an even stronger nuke since its downside is almost irrelevant with Slaking. I am pretty sure Slaking is the only Pokemon that can OHKO Wallace's Milotic. And with its bulk and only a single type weakness, this thing just never dies. It even has good special attack and a great special movepool too. So, while it isn't needed, you can also throw out some very powerful special attacks. Slaking is just great. Fast, super powerful and bulky, versatile and self-sustaining. Its only real downside is that battles just take a bit longer, even if it still sweeps everything. But that isn't much of a downside for getting this powerhouse. Really good Pokemon line for in-game runs.

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Zubat is infamous for being terrible but I think many people look at it the wrong way. It is true that Zubat sucks, but even Golbat is actually a totally fine in-game Pokemon. Poison / Flying is a surprisingly good typing for early to mid game. Unfortunatly, Zubat's level-up movepool is terrible. Even the Steel Wing TM can't fix that with Zubat's horrible stats. So, you will have to babysit this thing until level 21 when it finally learns a Flying STAB move, Wing Attack. One level more, and it evolves already into Golbat. From that point, it is almost entirely self-sustaining and honestly pretty decent. But we want to go to Crobat of course, which has much better stats. But that is a friendship evolution, and those are weirdly hard to support in Emerald. There are berries that raise friendship by a small amount, but they have the horrible downside of reducing your EVs. Gaining 10 (or less!) friendship for -10 EVs isn't really worth it, imo. And the only other option for raising friendship is the Soothe Bell. To get it we need to show a woman in the Pokemon Fan Club of Slateport City a Pokemon with 150 or more friendship. That isn't too hard but you will mostly likely have to backtrack from Mauvile City after clearing the third gym. With it equipped, Golbat is likely going to evolve in the early 30s. Crobat's movepool isn't stellar but STAB Sludge Bomb, Giga Drain, Steel Wing and Fly cover most things besides Steel types. You can give it a strong Return too if nothing else wants the TM. Crobat is one of the best Fly HM users. Its great speed is really good. Even the Macho Brace is an option. Crobat falls off a bit in the very last stages of the game, but it isn't a deal breaker. While raising Zubat is a bit cumbersome, I would say the return is worth it.

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I find Trapinch to be underwhelming. Its stats suck outside of its good attack. 290 base stat total is just pathetic. It is super slow and very frail for the part of the game you get it in. And its movepool sucks too. No Ground STAB other than the horrible Sand Tomb. So, you absolutely need to save your Dig TM for it. The Vibrava evolution is more than 10 levels away. And Vibrava is one of those Pokemon that has lower stats in some areas than its pre-evolution. For some reason Vibrava loses 30 attack points. And its other stats are not much better. It is still super frail, and its attack and speed are just average. It gets DragonBreath upon evolution but with base 50 special attack, it is so weak. Then you have to struggle until level 45 to get Flygon. It finally has decent stats, but probably still much lower than you would think. For some reason, Flygon has the same exact attack stat as Trapinch. And its special attack is just 80, very underwhelming. Flygon's typing and Levitate ability is very nice but all you are ultimately getting for all that effort of raising Trapinch, is a Ground type with just 100 base attack that can throw out some mediocre special attack damage. And you will have to give it very important and expensive TMs like the Earthquake and Flamethrower TM as well because it doesn't learn its best moves by level-up. Flygon is kind of good but you would expect it to be so much better than it actually is.

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Staryu is so unfortunate in Emerald. It is available so late. You need the Super Rod from Mossdeep City and backtrack to Lilycove City to fish one up. And then you can't even evolve it right away, because the Water Stone is locked behind the Dive HM. Either from the Abandoned Ship or the Treasure Hunter. So, no Starmie for the 7th gym. And Starmie's best moves are all powerful TMs. Either you save your Ice Beam, Thunderbolt and Psychic TMs or you buy them for a lot of money from the Game Corner. But once you get it and power it up with TMs, Starmie is incredible. Super fast, strong, and insane moves and coverage. Also very good for most parts of the remaining game. The Psychic typing doesn't offer too much, though, besides a stronger Psychic, and leaves it weak to Sidney and Phoebe. Staryu would be the best Water type of the game if it came earlier and the Water Stone didn't require Dive. But as it is, even with how good Starmie is, it just comes so late into the game, that it can't contribute much anymore, and is also a big investment. Being this late also means it will barely get any EVs. Trurely a victim of its location. Rather sad for such a good Pokemon.

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Team #5
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I already wrote about Torchic before. The only thing different on this team was that it took over the role of Strength user.

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Ralts is probably one of the most overrated Pokemon out there. And aside from some questionable fandoms, it is because Gardevoir is very good in-game. Once you get it. What most people don't shine light upon is how truly weak Ralts and Kirlia are. I really need to remind some of you to take a look at their stats. Ralts seriously is in the bottom ten of Pokemon with the lowest stat total, right besides Caterpie and Feebas. And you have to use this thing until level 20. But surely, Kirlia is better right? Nope. It has a lower stat total than Meditite and Mareep. To give you yet another impression on how bad Kirlia's stats are, the baby Pokemon Chingling and the meme Pokemon Unown have better stats. And you are stuck with Kirlia until level 30! They are so frail and slow.
The only reason Ralts and Kirlia are not absolute trash, is because of their Psychic typing and their good level-up movepool. Those positive attributes totally safe them. Psychic types are just good in early gens, and super early Calm Mind and Psychic by level-up is legit crazy good, even if they come from Kirlia's horrible stat spread. And once you get to Gardevoir, it is just slightly better Kadabra. A more powerful Electric coverage move in Thunderbolt instead of Shock Wave, as well as slightly more bulk.
But the big question with Ralts is, why on earth would you use this over Abra? Instead of the very quick, early 10 levels for Abra, Ralts has to climb 25 levels until it becomes good. And it is in a slower experience group. Kadabra is pretty much interchangeable with Gardevoir right from level 16. And if you manage to get Alakazam, then the competition is not even close. So, if the Abra line wasn't in the game, I would be more exited about Ralts. But even then, this thing is far less impressive than some people make it out to be.

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Lotad and Lombre were the first Pokemon that legit made me angry. So, I went into great detail about Seedot's and Nuzleaf's many downsides last week. Somehow, Lotad and Lombre are even worse and have even bigger problems. I didn't even think that was possible. How is an early game Pokemon so lacking? It is not like they were made bad on purpose like Poochyena or the bugs. Everything about Lotad and Lombre is just a massive headscratcher.
So first things first, Lombre has worse offenses than Nuzleaf. Lombre is not a mixed attacker like Nuzleaf, as it has much lower attack. And remember, Strength was one of Nuzleaf's best attacking options it could get early. And at least Nuzleaf had STAB on its weak Thief. Lombre doesn't even get that. So the only things Lombre can do until the Surf HM, are pathetically weak Bullet Seeds and Thiefs with 60 base special attack, and Strength or Nature Power off of 50 base attack. Imagine being a Water type that gets bodied by the Fire gym because it can't get any Water move before Surf.
So, Lombre's early game is hands down one of the worst ones of the entire roaster. But get this. At least with Nuzleaf, it actually becomes pretty solid once you give it the Leaf Stone before the 6th gym and some decent moves. Lombre never got the memo because you are stuck with it until after the 7th gym! Because for some unknown reason, the Water Stone is the only stone (aside from the Sun Stone) that isn't available before the 6th gym. I am convinced somebody at Game Freak just messed up, and put the Water Stone on the part of the Abandoned Ship that requires Dive to access by mistake.
Being stuck with Lombre's horrible stats until Dive is insane. At least it finally gets some good moves after the 5th gym in Surf, Ice Beam and later Giga Drain. But man, it still so underwhelming. The funny thing is, Shiftry is better at being a Grass type too because both only get like two good Grass moves, Giga Drain and Solar Beam. And Ludicolo can't even make good use of Sunny Day + Solar Beam as it would weaken its Water STAB. It can instead use Rain Dance but so can many other Water Pokemon. And because of Giga Drain's low PP, there will be a good portion of the late game where Ludicolo is walled by the things it should beat in the Water routes. Just why is this thing so horrible? But there are some things in the late game where Ludicolo is kind of okay, so it has at least some highlights. But you could use so many other better Pokemon for that without feeling like you were kneecapped the entire game. Awful Pokemon.

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Shedinja is a very weird Pokemon. You get it in a free team slot when Nincada evolves into Ninjask. Which means you have to actually use Nincada and deal with its horrible early game before you can even use this. And as I have mentioned before, Nincada needs a lot of help to level up. You should delay Nincada's evolution until level 25 to get access to Swords Dance. A very important move for Shedinja, that isn't in their level-up movepool, so you can't relearn it later. Shedinja is very different from Ninjask but weirdly is just about as good. Instead of Ninjask's blazingly fast speed, Shedinja is very slow. They have the same offenses but Ninjask gets STAB on Aerial Ace while Shedinja gets STAB on Shadow Ball.
But the big difference of course is Shedinja's unique ability Wonder Guard, coupled with its HP being just 1. That gives Shedinja insane peaks, where it is legit invincible, but also a horrible pits where it can't contribute at all, as it would OHKOed instantly due to its low speed and many weaknesses. So in theory, you could just look up the movesets of each trainer and Shedinja would never get knocked out. But in case you actually want to have fun while playing the game, you probably won't do that, right? There are so many things like Sand, Leech Seed, confusion and random coverage moves out there, that just knock Shedinja out out of nowhere. But then it can also solo some very difficult trainers like the 8th gym as well as Wallace by itself. So, Shedinja is a very inconsistent Pokemon, that is not really worth it unless you are fine with your Pokemon just randomly exploding sometimes. Ninjask is probably the choice you want between the two, but neither is all that good.

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Geodude is one of the best early game Pokemon of all time. Its attributes for in-game runs of earlier gens are just always great and make it a good choice. Having a Normal resistance, Electric immunity, STAB Ground moves and good physical stats is very useful early. Even just Geodude has really good attack and defense. Graveler and Goldem are also slow but they belong in the group of Pokemon that take a hit and then kill the opponent. They have a great STAB combo, a great level-up and TM movepool and also just amazing matchups for most of the game. Like I mentioned with Aron, Geodude is just a better version of it. Taking on nearly everything by itself besides Brawly and some Grass types. It is great against gyms 3 to 6 and also nearly all route trainers. Its Water weakness only really becomes apparent much later, but even then, there are still many Pokemon that it can knock out. I did a breakdown once, and only roughly a quarter of Pokemon after Lilycove City even have Water attacks. So Geodude is just great to good for pretty much the entire game. Barely any low points, and they are even easy to cover. Uncomplicated but Geodude is just always an all-star.

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Swablu is rather underwhelming. First, it is one of those Pokemon that you better catch later, like Tentacool, because Swablu is just awful. Horrible stats, horrible early moves and a late evolution. So, instead of catching it below level 20 at Route 114, it is better to catch it at Route 115 after you get Surf, so it only has a few levels left until it evolves into Altaria. But even Altaria itself, is a very strange Pokemon. Kind of a jack of all trades but master of none. Really good TM movepool but there is always a detail that makes it less impressive in practice. Altaria has a similar stat spread as Claydol. So it is a defensively leaning Pokemon and its offenses are not great. But at least Claydol has better STAB options much earlier.
Altaria's typing makes it a mixed attacker but Dragon Claw is at the end of the game, and otherwise DragonBreath from 70 base special attack isn't impressive. Same for its Flying STAB, Fly or Aerial Ace. Altaria does learn Dragon Dance by level-up but Dragon Claw doesn't get boosted by it, and you don't really want to waste your Earthquake TM on this thing. Even then the damage output isn't great. You are not going to sweep with this. The other option is to just stuff a bunch of expensive special TMs onto Altaria but the damage is also underwhelming. Altaria has no real hard low points but you pretty much will be let down the entire time you use this. Very meh.

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Team #6
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I already talked about Mudkip here.

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Taillow is a pretty good early game bird. As you would expect from its role, it is a pretty straight forward Pokemon. Evolves early and is a great route cleaner. Swellow is blazingly fast, which allows it to make use of the Macho Brace, depending on its nature. It is frail and its attack stat becomes a bit lacking in the last stage of the game, but none of those points prevent it from contributing a ton from very early to almost the end of your journey. Fast, early STAB Return is just very powerful. It can even go with Facade to go with its Guts ability, but it is more of a situational gimmick for challenge runs because of its inconsistency. Its other moves besides Return are mostly filler and for the most part it just spams Return to kill everything. It isn't as powerful as some other Normal types that make use of Return but its very early availability and high speed give it a unique space. As with most early game filler Pokemon, it doesn't have amazing matchups against the gym leaders but it can certainly still help.

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Shroomish is kinda meh until you evolve it due to how weak Grass attacks are in this gen. But it still beats the first gym and it isn't long until Breloom because it evolves early and levels up incredibly fast due to its flucuating level growth. So, it is pretty easy to get Breloom by the third gym. And Breloom is unreasonably good. A Pokemon with base 130 attack that early is kind of insane. It is not quite as unfair as Heracross in gen 2 but having access to these stats so early is really good. And in contrast to most other Fighting types, Breloom actually has a very good level-up and TM movepool. Its Grass typing is not that useful offensively because of its lower special attack but it also gives it great utility moves like Stun Spore and Leech Seed. Spore is basically unobtainable, though. It can only be learned by Shroomish at level 54. So just forget about it. But it also doesn't really matter because why sleep opponents when you can just knock them out with its huge attack stat. Breloom is incredibly flexibel and has many chances to contribute with its typing and access to many HMs. It is without a doubt the best Fighting type in the game and a good case can be made that it is the best Grass type as well. Even with its low special attack, its resistances from its Grass typing and strong physical moves allow it to beat most things that you want your Grass type to beat. Absolute great Pokemon, that I highly recommend.

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Elektrike is one of earliest choices for an Electric type and is one of the best Pokemon in that role. For as interchangable as Emerald's Electric types are, Elektrike is overall probably the best Electric type in the game. It comes very early and is fast and strong. Elektrike only gets its first Electic move at level 20 for some reason but that isn't very far away from the level you catch it. And if you don't want to train it up with the EXP share, then you can just wait until you get the Shock Wave TM to train it. The Manectric evolution is also suprisingly early at level 26. So, this thing is ready to go almost immediately. Apart from the usual Spark and Thunderbolt, Manectric can also learn Bite as an okay coverage move and Strength, which does decent damage from its okay attack stat. Nothing about Elektrike is blowing your socks off but Electric types are just very good in Hoenn. And Elektrike just starts out good, stays good and is useful for the entire game.

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Absol is very similar to Breloom. A Pokemon with a gigantic base 130 base attack stat but unfortunately its STAB type is special. Absol comes also much later. But while these are real downsides, Absol is still pretty good. It is fast enough to sweep and its special attack is actually decent enough to make use of its avaible special attacks. Absol is very versitile and can be anything from a physical setup sweeper with Swords Dance, a special sweeper with Calm Mind and a variety of poweful special TMs like Flamethrower, BoltBeam and Bite, or even an all out mixed attacker. Its level-up movepool is not great but it has an incredibly big TM movepool that allow it to do whatever it wants to. So while the TM investment is big, the return is very much worth it. Absol can also carry a ton of different HMs to help with that. And of course its Dark typing is perfect for the part of the game where you get it. Smaking the Ghost and Psychic types of the late game with Shadow Ball or Bite. Sadly, Absol doesn't learn Crunch, so its Dark STAB is a bit weak. And it is also a bit frail, so you have to be careful if you want to set up with Swords Dance. But with its good stats and great TM movepool, Absol is certain to help greatly with the last parts of the game.

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Vulpix is an okay Fire type overall but in Emerald it just comes too late to be of off much use anymore. Mt. Pyre is very late and you won't encounter many Pokemon that Ninetales is good against anymore. What is nice, though, is that Vulpix can go immediately to Ninetales with the Fire Stone you can pick up earlier in Fiery Path after the fourth gym. So there is no babysitting stage. Which is rare for a late game Pokemon. It also gets Flamethrower by level up if you raise it one or two levels to level 29 before you evolve it. Because remember stone evolutions lose the level up moves of their pre-evolution. Unfortunately, besides having natural Flamethrower and being able to carry Overheat, Ninetales doesn't have many good attributes. Its special attack is much lower that you would think, so it doesn't hit vey hard. And Nintales' movepool is incredibly barren. You can give it the Dig, Iron Tail and some Normal move TMs to pretend it has coverage, but really, this thing is just a Flamethrower button and nothing else. It doesn't even learn Solar Beam until gen 4. Which would be useful much earlier but unfortunately the Bug and Grass types are long behind you at this point. And you will mostly encounter no good matchups for it anymore. Vulpix could be so much better if you could encounter it in like Fiery Path but in the late game it is unfortunately mostly dead weight.

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Team #7.1
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This and next weeks team were a quick playthrough for some of the write-ups of the Smogon In-Game Tier List project of RSE that were still needed.

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I already wrote about Treecko here.

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Wingull is an early game bird, that is also one of your earliest Water types you can get, that actually learns a Water move (looking at you Lombre). So despite its pretty bad stats, aside from its great speed, it can clear the first two gyms pretty okay. Not great because you wouldn't believe how little Water Gun and Wing Attack do to Nosepass and Makuhita. It depends on its nature a lot. But Pelipper is decently early, and despite the fact that it loses a lot of Wingull's speed, its stats are pretty okay. Its attack is still pretty low, so the Flying STAB move of your choice is still not doing much, but just think of Pelipper as a mono Water type with a better defensive typing. And for the early game before you get the Ice Beam TM, Wing Attack does the job against Grass types.
But the real interesting point I want to talk about is Shock Wave. You know how some TMs have just a very wide distribution for some reason? Well, Shock Wave is one of those that a ton of Pokemon learn, even ones that have no business doing so. Pelipper is in that group, and honestly, Shock Wave on Pelipper might be the single most impressive coverage move for a Pokemon in the game. I was really taken aback how much this random 60 base power filler move does for it. You get it super early and it gives first Wingull and then Pelipper a great way to do what I think every good Water type should be capable off. Beating other Water types. After you get Ice Beam and Surf, Pelipper has the same great coverage as Lanturn but much earlier and also with better offenses. The fact that Shock Wave never misses also comes up surprisingly often. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised on how well this average looking bird did throughout the game. Definitely a top tier Water type with Shock Wave for me.

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So Abra. I mentioned before that this is just better Ralts. And while catching and leveling it up to level 16 is a bit cumbersome, it also isn't that much of a burden and can be done before Brawly. Kadabra is hands down the single best Pokemon in the game. It is not even close. A Pokemon with 120 base special attack, 105 base speed and a great level-up movepool and typing before the second gym is just broken. And while its TM movepool isn't great (it gets pretty much only the weak Thief and Shock Wave) and there are some Dark types you have to fight, those aren't much of a problem. Shock Wave is a good enough coverage move for the Sharpedo and Mightyena lines, and against other Psychic types it can either just brute force its way through them with its strong Psychics or use Thief. In short, Kadabra is enough to solo 95% of the game by itself.
And while not at all needed, Kadabra is able to evolve again! Now, Trade Pokemon are very hard to judge because their viability jumps a lot depending on when you are able to evolve them. But even if we assume you can only get Alakazam after say level 30 like a lot of modded roms implement trade evolutions, Alakazam is just the cherry on top of an already good cake. Its offenses are just out of this world for an in-game run. And while taking hits was never on Kadabra's list anyway because you OHKOed nearly everything, Alakazam is also surprisingly bulky on the special side and okay on the physical side. Natural Calm Mind helps too. Alakazam is pretty much only threatened by STAB Shadow Ball but there is a good chance you OHKO them before those Pokemon can even attack unless your name is Saybleye. Basically, the Abra line is just way too strong of a sweeper and you should for sure use it at some point.

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Machop is pretty similar to Makuhita. Machamp has slightly less bulk than Hariyama but a slightly better movepool. You also get Machamp a decent bit later than Hariyama because Machop's evolution is kind of late. But otherwise Machop is just your typical slower physically strong wall breaker with a somewhat bad coverage because like most Fighting types, it mostly learns Fighting and Normal moves. But Karate Chop, Revenge and Vital Throw are good STAB moves until you get to Cross Chop and the Brick Break TM. You can give it the Rock Tomb and Earthquake TMs for coverage against Flying and Poison types but it doesn't do all that much for it and its better to save those TMs for other Pokemon that need them more. Flamethrower or Fire Blast are meme moves if you want to have fun but it isn't like Machamp can't give up its fourth move slot. Otherwise Machamp does exactly what you think it does. Take a hit, then kill the opponent if they aren't a Ghost. A bit boring but it does the job.

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Spheal comes incredibly late in Shoal Cave. And while it pretty much immediately evolves to Sealeo, it also isn't very good. The Walrein evolution is unreasonably high at level 44. Walrein is also just okay. A ton of bulk and some okay offenses. But it just doesn't have that much use anymore. The Water / Ice STAB combo is good but not in the Water routes where you will be using it. And it only has Body Slam or Earthquake via TM off of 80 base attack against other Water types. Meh. And that is pretty much it because its movepool is also kind of lacking for other coverage. Walrein isn't bad but there isn't much reason to get it unless you team is super weak against Drake. Spheal just feels very misplaced to be useful anymore. You can use it but why would want to if so many better Water types like Starmie are accessible. Pretty boring Pokemon.

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Team #7.2
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This is the second team for the RSE write-ups that I sandwiched between my planned teams.

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I already wrote about Treecko here.

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(No Trade)
I already talked about Abra last week but that was mostly for the fully evolved line up to Alakazam. Since most players can't get trade evolutions in Emerald nowadays unless you happen to meet a time traveler with a Link Cable, or more likely, use a modded rom, they are ranked in addition to their final evolutions. And as such, I will do a run with them as well to see how much of a difference it makes. The gen 1 trade evolutions that are available in Emerald are pretty close to their final evolutions anyway, and with Kadabra especially you really don't see a big difference. As I already said, Kadabra is solidly the best Pokemon in the game, and there is never really a point where you would even need Alakazam. Kadabra itself is already very strong. You miss Calm Mind via level-up with Kadabra but you can always use the TM for it, if you think you need it. Kadabra is a bit frailer than Alakazam, so you have to look out a bit more but then again, Kadabra likely won't ever get touched because it just kills everything by gym 2 or 3 and never stops. Even if you can't get Alakazam, the Abra line is still solidly an S tier Pokemon and better than the Ralts line.

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I already wrote about Zubat here.

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Voltorb is another Electric type. I can only write so often that pretty much all available Electric types in Hoenn are interchangeable for the most part. But lets talk about Voltorb's unique things anyway. It is one of the later ones, as it is in New Mauvile, but that is still in the mid game, so it is totally fine. Electrode is only a couple of levels away, so you won't have to use Voltorb's mediocre stats for long. And while Electrode's 80 base special attack isn't amazing either, it is perfectly fine with such a good typing. The much more interesting stat is its crazy high speed. Electrode's speed is a very nice thing to have. Being able to outspeed absolutely everything, even in the Pokemon League is very helpful. But more importantly, it allows Electrode to carry the Macho Brace and gain double EVs for each fight, which is a huge advantage that less than a handful of Pokemon can do without crippling their speed. That means it can max out its EVs a lot earlier and makes its unimpressive looking stats a lot better in practice. As for moves, it has the usual Spark and Thunderbolt, that it will use 95% of the time. Thief is mostly filler but I guess if you really need it, it can be used to deal with Ground types. Much cooler is its access to Selfdestruct via-level up or Explosion with the move tutor. Explosion and Self-Destruct really have grown on me over time. Being able to just blow up on difficult boss Pokemon like Kingdra, Salamence or Milotic and take them out instantly is such a blessing. If you had another Pokemon in before you blew up, then you don't even lose the EXP. And while even Electrode's attack stat is low, pre-gen 5 Explosion is just busted and kills things regardless. All in all, Voltorb is one of the better Electric types, with its only downside being that it comes later than something like Electrike.

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Psyduck is one of the faces of the generic Water type archetype. Well, Golduck is, Psyduck sucks. But since you catch it in the Safari Zone only a few levels before it evolves, it really isn't a problem. Golduck has incredibly balanced stats, so it doesn't really excel at anything. But 85 base speed and 95 base special attack is a lot better than some other Pokemon. That stat spread is actually usable. Golduck isn't blowing you socks away with its special movepool, as it only consists of Water and Ice moves, along with the non-STAB Confusion. Its access to Calm Mind is nice, though. Water types with setup moves are rare. Golduck has also a lot of physical options like Aerial Ace and Brick Break, that don't really help it much, but I guess you can use them if nothing else on your team needs those TMs. Lastly, Golduck can carry a ton of HMs if you team is needing that. But because Psyduck comes so late, it isn't that useful. But if you want to rearrange you HMs on you team in Lilycove City with the Move Deleter, then Golduck can help with that. Otherwise Golduck is pretty boring and generic. Never good but also never bad. It is a functional Pokemon. You can use it if you want to. I don't really see why you want to, though.

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Ah, Pinsir. The weirdest Bug / Fighting Pokemon, that isn't actually a Fighting type and also doesn't play like a Bug type. Pinsir is a victim of gen 1's horrible move selection and as such just has to hope that it gets better moves with each generation. In gen 3, it pretty much has only Normal and Fighting moves, and no Bug moves worth using. Pinsir plays a lot like Heracross and Machamp but just doesn't get STAB on its Fighting moves. So while its stats are actually really good, its damage output is less impressive in practice due to no STAB. It gets mostly the same moves as its real Fighting brothers but Brick Break and Swords Dance via level-up are nice. It still has the usual Fighting type problem of being unable to touch Ghost types until it gets Earthquake with the TM. Hyper Cutter is nice against Mightyenas, so its Fighting moves can actually knock them out in one hit. Sadly, Pinsir also has a slow level growth, so it takes a while to catch up once you get it in the Safari Zone. Another okay Pokemon but if you are already in the Safari Zone, then you really should just catch a Heracross instead.

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Team #8
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I already wrote about Torchic before.

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Magikarp is the original investment Pokemon. As in, you have to invest a lot of time, resources and EXP into it for a big reward later. And in contrast to Abra, it is actually a real commitment because Magikarp's evolution level is higher and, more importantly, it is in the slow level growth group. Which means, it really does take a while until you get Gyarados. Most likely some time after the third gym, as the earliest you can fish up Magikarp is with the Old Rod in Dewford Town. Magikarp is also totally useless until you evolve it and due to its bigger investment, you really should get the EXP share. Switch-training just takes too long. So now you got Gyarados before the fourth gym. Was the investment worth it? Unfortunately, I don't think so, no. See I came into this run with pretty high hopes for Gyardos. I have no problem babysitting some early game Pokemon for like 10 levels, when it can stand on its own legs after that. And Gyarados has amazing stats, on par with starters, and a great ability in Intimidate, which give it fantastic bulk and staying power. But when it came to actually attacking things, I was really let down. You wouldn't think Gyarados has 125 base attack with how often it just misses out on the KO. Gyarados is also one of the original physical Water types that can't make good use of its Water STAB moves and good attack stat very well. 60 base special attack is pretty bad but it is kind of okay with STAB Surf. But coverage moves like Ice Beam and Thunderbolt just bounce off enemies. So Gyarados is best off using its available physical options, even if it doesn't get STAB. Unfortunately, here lies Gyarados second big problem. Its movepool is awful. This thing just gets no moves. It will have Tackle as its only physical option until you relearn Thrash with the Move Reminder in Fallarbor Town. You can also give it the Strength HM or Secret Power TM. Return is also an option but it takes a long time until it outdamages Thrash. And that is sort of it, mostly. Gyarados only uses random Normal moves for most of the game. Similarly to Lombre, it has no Water moves before Surf, so it isn't even that great against the fire gym. At the absolute end of the game it gets two useful moves again, in Dragon Dance to setup sweeps and the Earthquake TM, if somehow nobody else on you team needs the TM. In summary, Gyarados was a pretty big disappointment for me. It is similar to gen 1 Aerodactyl. Great attributes but absolutely no good moves to make use of them. At least it can carry a ton of different HMs.

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Gulpin turned out a lot better than I thought. Its stats suck, but fortunately, its evolution is decently early, it can be encountered really early in an area where leveling up early game Pokemon is very easy and it has a fluctuating level growth. Its movepool is also surprisingly good. Sludge is a great early STAB move and Shock Wave and Bullet Seed are good coverage moves via TM. Weirdly, Gulpin also has a lot of utility options in its level-up movepool. Yawn, Amnesia, Encore and Toxic are very helpful for the third and fourth gym, and even beyond that. Swalot's stats are still pretty mediocre but its solid bulk and great moves can excuse its bad speed somewhat. Quick Claw is also a thing. 20% of the time it works every time, folks. Swalot learns Sludge Bomb via level-up, but it is near level 50, so you really want to give it the TM after the fifth gym. Giga Drain replaces Bullet Seed later for stronger coverage against Ground and Rock types. Even Shadow Ball or Ice Beam are options. You can ignore the terrible Stockpile, Swallow and Spit Up gimmick moves at level 40, though. All in all, Swalot was pretty solid. I probably rate Poison types a lot higher than some other people but I value STAB Sludge Bomb really highly. It is just a great in-game move and makes pretty much all Poison types usable, even if they otherwise suck a little bit.

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Anorith is pretty bad. There are just so many things that hold it back. Firstly, it is a Relic Pokemon, which you need to revive in Rustboro City. It comes at level 20, which is a bit underleveled. But more importantly, Anorith is in the terrible Erractic level growth group, just like Nincada. Pokemon in that group take even more EXP at lower levels than Pokemon in the Slow EXP group. And you have to level up Anorith to level 40 to evolve it! Absolutely terrible. It takes forever. Now, Anorith's stats suck but at least its offensive stats, attack and speed are okay. The problem is that Anorith has probably the worst typing for Hoenn. Rock / Bug is just horrific. Aside from its bad defensive aspect, it also means it doesn't have access to any good STAB moves, because Rock and Bug types where the types that Gamefreak bullied the most this gen. Nobody likes to use Rock Tomb as its best move. Is Anorith really such a powerhouse that it has to wait until level 55 (!) for a better STAB move than Ancient Power? And if you evolve it, then Armaldo has to wait until level 64 (!) for Rock Blast. Good Lord. So, you struggle to level 40. Is Armaldo any good? Not really. It gets a great attack stat but loses nearly half its speed for some reason. It becomes a slow tank Pokemon instead. But with that typing, getting hit first is a big downside. Also, it still doesn't have any better attacks than Ancient Power, so its damage output is still pathetic. You can pretty much "waste" your good physical TMs of Brick Breack, Earthquake and maybe Iron Tail on it to make it less horrible but it never becomes good. So all this thing ever does is use incredibly weak moves while it hopes no enemy Pokemon notices the big target on its back due to its bad stats at first, and its bad typing. It also just doesn't have like any good matchups besides maybe Norman and Winona. But Anorith is too frail and weak for them. And once you get Armaldo, you will mostly surf the seas. Almost everything came together to make life hard for Anorith. Truely a big victim of circumstances.

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Tropius is pretty medicore. Despite its stat total being on par with other good Pokemon like Breloom, Camerupt and Sharpedo, the distribution of its stats is just horrible. Why does this thing have the same attack stat as Goldeen and special attack stat of Unown? All for some fake bulk with a bad typing and speed. So this thing isn't even a jack of all trades. You really struggle to find something it can do well besides use HMs and sit at the back of your party forever. But then again, you only encounter this after you likely already put at least Cut and Rock Smash onto other Pokemon, so it isn't even all that helpful in that aspect for some time. Its movepool is actually not that bad with Magical Leaf and Body Slam plus natural Solar Beam and Synthesis. You can give it the Sunny Day TM but with its bad special attack and speed, this thing is going to sweep no one. All this thing can ever do is take on some weak Water route Pokemon. It is as if Skarmory was even worse. Worse typing, worse offenses and worse availbility. There really is almost nothing to recommend about Tropius. It isn't completely unusable but it struggles through pretty much every fight and takes forever to level up.

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Shuppet is underwhelming. It comes really late, around Mt. Pyre. And its evolution is even later, at an unresonable level 37. At least Shuppet has a fast level growth, so it doesn't take long to catch up. Shuppet is incredibly frail, almost as bad as Carvanha. Shuppet also comes with no good attacking moves, so you need to give it the nearby Shadow Ball TM to make it usable. But you probably still need to babysit it until it evolves. Banette is better, but also not great. Good attack stat but otherwise mediocre stats. It is still slow and frail. Its movepool is also lacking, as besides Shadow Ball, it only has random Normal moves for physical coverage. And maxing out its friendship this late into the game is almost impossible. So something like Secret Power is its best bet. Otherwise it has to dip into special TMs like Psychic and Thunderbolt. But non-STAB special moves coming from its worse attacking stat, that don't really hit any important targets, is not really very useful. Despite Shadow Ball being a good attacking move for the late game, Banette's slow speed and low bulk make it a lot less impressive in practice. Against Phoebe for example, it is pretty much a crapshoot if Banette is useful or useless depending on its nature. Tate & Liza are also not nearly as good as you would think because a +1 Psychic cleanly OHKOs it. And beyong that, Banette has not much to offer anymore. It can fry some Water types with Thunderbolt I guess but you are better of giving that task to a more suitable Pokemon instead.

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Team #9
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I already wrote about Treecko here.

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Wurmple is the generational early game Bug of Hoenn and is sort of weird because it can evolve into two different Pokemon based on a value that is completely hidden from the player. So if you want to end on a specific Pokemon, you are better off catching their second stage like 5 minutes and 3 levels later (but still two levels below their normal evolution level). Early game Bug types are its own archetype. They get a power spike early because of their very early evolution levels that give them their end stage stats very soon. But they usually fall off later into the game because while their stats are good in the early game, they can't compete with other better Pokemon later. The gold standard is Butterfree because Sleep Powder and Compound Eyes give it access to basically Spore before level 20, which is super good. Beautifly isn't quite as blessed. In contrast to gen 1, the Rock gym really does have Rock moves this time around, so Beautifly has to wait until Brawly to make use of its power spike. But sadly Hoenn is not friendly to Bug types at all. Gyms 3 to 6 absolutely destroy Beautifly. It can sort of annoy Tate & Liza with Silver Wind but its low stats really start to matter at this point. Still, 70 and 90 base offenses aren't the worst and is good enough for normal route trainers up to a point. Beautifly also learns some good moves via level-up like Stun Spore, Morning Sun and Giga Drain. It is even one of only three Pokemon to learn Mega Drain at a reasonable level. For some reason that move is super rare in Hoenn. The Psychic and Aerial Ace TMs give it some better moves too. But overall, Beautifly is exactly what it says on the can, and plays exactly how you think it does. Hoenn just hates Bugs.

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Sableye would seriously be up there in A or even S-rank if its stats weren't so disappointing. It is slow and its bulk and damage output is underwhelming. But it comes super early in Granite Cave, and more importantly its typing might be the best one in the game. And I am not even talking about it not having any weaknesses because it also barely has resistances. But Dark / Ghost is such an amazing typing for in-game runs, especially in Hoenn. Having 3 immunities to some of the most common attacking types is great and Sableye can solo Brawly, Norman and Tate & Liza by itself. It also has a pretty solid movepool with Faint Attack and Shadow Ball being good STAB moves, and Brick Break offering good coverage. You can even go with a Calm Mind set with Psychic. So while you notice its stats falling off a bit in the later parts of the game, Sableye's amazing other traits make it always able to do something. It can even go toe-to-toe with Sidney and Phoebe of the Elite Four. If anything, it is a very fun mon to use.

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Solrock is such a cool Pokemon. A Rock / Psychic type with Levitate but also elements of Fire types is really unique. Its stats are a bit meh, especially its low special attack. And it is also in the routes between Wattson and Flannery, so of course it comes totally underleveled. But at least if levels up fast and is good against the upcomming fire gym immediately. Rock Throw and Confusion are good early STAB moves, and Rollout from the move tutor can allow it to set up sweeps early. Later it gets Rock Slide, Explosion and even Solar Beam via level up. The Overheat TM after gym 4 is very nice as a nuke. It is also wise to give it the Psychic TM from the Game Corner after gym 5, even if it is expensive. You have the money for it at that point. Earthquake, Shadow Ball and Sunny Day are all legit options for gyms. While Norman is not as good as you think because some of his Pokemon have Faint Attack, Winona, Tate & Liza and even the Water gym with Sunny Beam are all solid to good. It isn't of any use in the Elite Four and you do notice its low stats in the later parts of the game but if you are a fan of Pokemon with unique coverage moves like I am, then you will have great fun with Solrock.

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Wailmer has suprisingly usuable offenses. I thought it mostly was a big Water blob but even Wailmer has base 70 in both offenses. Given the point you catch it, that isn't half bad. Sadly it is a Good Rod encounter, which means you need another Surf user first to get the Good Rod, and also you have to deal with the annoyingly wide encounter range for those Pokemon. For some reason the level range for Good Rod Pokemon is 20 levels wide, with the lowest being level 10, which is just unusably underleveled for being past gym 5. Maybe Game Freak did it to give Vital Spirit's overworld effect more use but either way, you really want to catch a Wailmer of at least level 22. At least it levels up fast, but its evolution is also really high at level 40. Wailord, however, is pretty decent. 90 base offenses means it has the tools to take care of other Water types with physical options like Earthquake via TM or Double-Edge via move tutor, while also being solid at doing normal Water type stuff like spamming STAB Surf and Ice Beam. Wailord also has access to an incredibly powerful move that only Kyorgre learns otherwise - Water Spout. A base 150 special STAB move with great typing that doesn't miss is amazing and a real selling point of Wailord. Sadly, it didn't get a speed buff upon evolution, so it will not always be at full health, but with its good bulk it isn't much of a problem. Of course high HP means, Wailord also needs stronger healing items, too. But overall, Wailmer turned out to be far less generic than I thought at first, and was a pretty good Water type, that can actually do something in the later parts of the game.

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I already wrote about Swablu here.

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Team #10
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I already wrote about Torchic before.

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Oddish is an early game Grass type. And while that isn't saying much, because most Grass type, outside of Breloom, are pretty mediocre early on. And that is almost entirely because Grass moves are so terrible in gen 3. But as far as Grass types go, Oddish is pretty alright. Sleep Powder is a massive boon. Sadly no Sludge, so it has to use the weak Acid until the Sludge Bomb TM. As always its Grass attacking options are very medium. You are certainly not going to wait until level 44 for Petal Dance. Not that its any good in gen 3 anyway. But Vileplume can relearn Mega Drain once you evolve it with the Leaf Stone, which is nice. Giga Drain or Solar Beam + Sunny Day are its best Grass STAB moves, with the later even allowing it to fix its bad speed somewhat due to Chlorophyll.
Gloom and Vileplume are pretty good against most early game route trainers but not so good against the gym leaders of that part of the game. Wattson's Magneton walls it, Flannery cooks it, Winona is bad as well. Not even Norman is all that good because Gloom's stats are pretty mediocre, so it can't take those powerful Normal attacks well. Its low speed and Sleep Powder being unreliable are also problems. Its Poison typing also becomes more of a problem than a help in the later game. Besides a stronger Sludge Bomb, it doesn't do much. Vileplume's attack also isn't nearly as good as its great special attack. Vileplume is functional, but nothing more. Not a lot here to get excited about.

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Speaking about getting excited. I was nervous about Volbeat. It has some really interesting selling points, but then again it is also a pre-gen 4 Bug type, so it has to have bad stats, as by Game Freak's law. But I was very pleasantly surprised by Volbeat. As a matter of fact, I will even go as far as saying, that this thing might be my new favorite underdog Pokemon of Hoenn. I had so much fun using this!
So lets get the bad things out of the way first. In Ruby and Emerald, it is a horrible 1% encounter. No way around that unless you play Sapphire. But at least it is available early, before the third gym. And like I said, its stats are on the lower side. Especially its special attack, which is below 50. But its other stats aren't THAT bad. 85 speed is decent, its bulk is okayish and 73 base attack isn't the worst. There are are a lot of other Pokemon in Hoeen that have worse stats.
But now, lets get to the fun part. The things that made be love this Pokemon. Its movepool. Volbeat has access to two absolutely amazing moves. Signal Beam and Tail Glow. A lot of Bug and other Pokemon would kill for these moves. And while Bug isn't the best attacking type, and Tail Glow only boost its bad special attack by two stages in gen 3, these two moves give Volbeat a truly unique role in Hoenn. It is pretty much the only "real" Bug type you can use. Heracross can only use its Bug move for like 10 minutes before the game is over. Meanwhile Volbeat can use it for the entire game once you babysitted it for around 10 levels. Any other Bug moves are terrible. And a base 75 STAB move from a 73 base attack isn't nothing. Bug also hits a lot of the Grass, Dark and Psychic types you encounter. Once you get Volbeat to level 25, it has a great moveset of Signal Beam, Tail Glow, Shock Wave and Moonlight already that makes for a very fun and decent setup sweeper. Later, Giga Drain can replace Moonlight for better coverage and being less passive. Volbeat is suprisingly useful for a ton of the game. It has to skip most of the harder fights due to its stats but its legit solid. It is kind of hard to describe it. You really have to try this thing for yourself. Very fun Pokemon!

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Castform is a gimmick Pokemon. And as is tradition, Game Freak gives those bad stats. So nothing but boring 70s across the board for Castform. But hey, as far as gimmicks go, weather effects are pretty powerful, and Weather Ball is a 100 base power STAB move in weather that gets boosted further by STAB and Sun or Rain. Castform has a lot of options. Its Ice form is pretty solidly the worst because Blizzard doesn't bypasses accuracy checks in Hail in gen 3 yet, and besides that Hails has no advantage like the other weather effects do. The Sun form with Solar Beam is also okay. But the Rain form with Thunder and Ice Beam as coverage is probably its best bet. Castform can also learn Hail, Sunny Day and Rain Dance by level-up and comes with two already. For some reason it has to get up 5 levels for its signature Weather Ball, though. Weird. Castform is alright and can contribute reasonably well with its strong moves, but its biggest problem is that it really needs to setup weather in order to do anything. 50 base power Weather Ball and non-STAB coverage from 70 stats just ain't going to cut it in the upcoming late game. So make sure to save some PP Ups or a PP Max for its weather move, as you will be using them a lot. As far as gimmick Pokemon go, Castform is pretty alright, but this isn't a high bar to clear.

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Chinchou looks a lot better on paper than it is in practice. Of course it has some amazing traits. Awesome typing, great moves, perfect enemy Pokemon to fight when you get it. But the thing is, Lanturn's stats are just so bad. It has a great HP stat but everything else is just unacceptable for the point of the game you get this in. Defense and and Speed around base 60, and 76 special attack and special defense. Horrible. I clearly remember how shocked I was when Lanturn's STAB Thunderbolt was only a 4HKO on Wallace's Milotic. I know that Milotic is the bulkiest Pokemon and a massive wall to overcome, but your Electric type really shouldn't be walled by the Pokemon you got it for. Lanturn's offenses are just so mediocre. The high base power of Surf, Thunderbolt and Ice Beam are the only reason, it can deal real damage. Because remember it is also a pure seaweed encounter. Which means it is super duper late to the party and will get barely any EVs to buff up its bad stats. It can still contribute somewhat okay due to everything around it falling into place well, but if you want a good late game Water type, then you really should just get a Starmie instead.

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Bagon is a post-game Pokemon that didn't get the memo. It is legit the last Pokemon (besides Mawile I guess) that you can catch before the League. It has the worst availability of any Hoenn Pokemon. And the worst part is that it isn't even ready to go. Salamence's evolution level is 50, so you will have to raise Bagon at least 15 levels, possibly 25! That is unreasonable high. And don't think about using Shelgon for the last few parts. Bagon and Shelgon are unusable. They can't contribute anything until they get to Salamence. There are about 13 Rare Candies in the game, that you can pick up before the League, so you can skip the highest levels before the evolution. But you will still have to give Bagon a ton of EXP to get it there.
And is the return worth it? No! Not at all! Of course Salamence's stats are out of this world, but keep in mind that it will barely have any EVs due to being so late. And you also have to save your powerful TMs like Brick Break, Earthquake and Dragon Claw for it unless to want to spam Fly against the Elite Four. So you need to invest a crapton of resources into Bagon to make it usable. And then you can use it in like 10 battles. Or even just in the League. And the funny thing is, it isn't actually all that good in some of those. Phoebe's Dusclops beats it, Glacia of course sends it back to the ice age, Drake can be really dicey if you got the wrong nature and didn't give it some Vitamins as well, and Wallace is also not a great matchup. So it isn't even a pay-to-win Pokemon. Bagon really should have been a post-game Pokemon like Beldum.

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Team #11
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I already wrote about Treecko here.

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Poochyena is bad. I don't think that is coming as a big surprise to a lot of people. It is one of the main Pokemon of the two evil teams, and was made bad on purpose because of that. Even so, you probably will still be shocked how not a single stat of Poochyena besides attack is higher than 35. It is so weak, frail and slow that it even has trouble killing early game Pokemon. At least it evolves rather soon at level 18 but it is still a slog. Mightyena almost doubles its stats but they are still very average. 90 base attack and 70 base speed are okay but 60 special attack for its Dark moves is pretty sad. So its non-STAB physical moves and STAB Dark moves are about equally weak. Not that it has many options. Bite and Strength are its best attacking moves for 90% of the game. Later Return and Crunch get added to its movepool but with everything else around it getting bulkier too, its damage output is lacking from start to finish. Shadow Ball is another physical attacking option but Crunch already hits everything Shadow Ball hits harder, so there is no point. And other than that it doesn't have much else since its movepool is pretty barren. Howl is a sad setup move but at least it has one, and with its good Indimitate ability it can at least slowly setup sweeps vs some early game gym leaders with Potion support. It probably should carry Rock Smash too because Mightyena has barely four moves worth using long-term. Poochyena starts out bad and never really gets much better. It is underwhelming the entire game.

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Skitty is oddly similar to Poochyena. Skitty also has horrible stats, despite the fact that it is a very rare 1% encounter. You will be stuck with it a decent bit longer too because Delcatty is a Moon Stone evolution. And the Moon Stone is located in Meteor Falls, when Skitty will likely be around level 20-25 already, where an early game Pokemon like it should evolve anyway. So it doesn't even gain an early power spike like the Moon Stone evolutions in gen 1 did. The Stone evolution is pretty much only downside because it also causes Skitty to lose all its level-up moves. Not that it misses out on much, though, because its level-up movepool is pretty bad too. Tackle or DoubleSlap and then Secret Power will legit be its best STAB moves until it evolves and can learn Strength. Otherwise, Sing and Attract are is only support moves. And if you don't wait until level 27 for Faint Attack, then Delcatty will have no way of hitting Rock and Ghost types until you reach the Shadow Ball TM much later. And you will have to stuff TMs into this thing anyway to make it do anything of value. Return is a must, Shadow Ball likely too, and some kind of special coverage like Ice Beam or Thunder is probably also a good idea. But the return is about as bad as Mightyena. All Delcatty will every be is a weak Return button with decent, but also weak, coverage. Its Cute Charm ability and Attract turned out to be surprisingly relevant, though. I did not know that infatuated Pokémon have a straight up 50% chance of being "immobilized by love" each turn, turning each opposing attack into a literal coin flip. That is honestly not bad. Doesn't save this Pokemon but it is interesting.

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Grimer is another evil team Pokemon but not nearly as bad Poochyena and Skitty. Its stats are also not good. It is super slow and frail on the special side. But at least it starts out with a decent attack stat. And Muk's stats are honestly pretty good outside of its still low speed. I has a stat total similar to starters. But being slow is of course a very big deal and more importantly, its evolution level is really high at level 38 for no reason. And while its stats are kind of okay early, still fighting with a Grimer against Winona is kind of pathetic. Poison is also not a good type but at least that gives it a good early STAB move in Sludge and access to Sludge Bomb with the TM later. Its physical movepool doesn't have many coverage moves besides Dig and later Brick Break. It also has access to Thunderbolt, Flamethrower and Giga Drain for special coverage with TMs but you really have to wait for Muk for those attacks to do any damage. One big thing it has is Explosion, though. Not being a Rock type and having good bulk, gives Muk the ability to blow up and take out difficult Pokemon like Kingdra, Milotic and Salamence. That is a legit useful and rare trait to have. Its slow speed is a constant problem, though, so Quick Claw is a useful item for it. But the Macho Brace can also be used since it will go second each time anyway. All in all, there are a lot of things present that hold Grimer down, but it isn't the worst and is at least functional and decently strong.

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I will start out by saying that Feebas is less unobtainable than I thought going into this run. It is infamous for being hard to get, and because of that people have written a ton of guides on how to make it less horrible. Grimer's Sticky Hold made fishing less time consuming and with the Old Rod I managed to fish up a Feebas after about 15 minutes, which was lucky. The chance to get one within an hour, if you only fish once in each tile, is pretty high, though. And evolving it to Milotic is also not very complicated. The 6 Kelpsy and Bluk Berries from Route 115 are enough to easily make strong enough Pokeblocks with even just a single NPC to raise Feebas' Beauty high enough to evolve it. And while the berries aren't out of the way much, the Berry Blender certainly is. At least in Emerald, where you only get the Pokeblock Case in Lilycove City, about an hour after you caught Feebas. And then actually blending and feeding the Pokeblocks takes a lot of time too. It is likely that it takes about 2 or 3 hours of time commitment to finally have a Milotic, that can finally contribute because Feebas is deadweight.
Milotic is pretty alright, though. A Water type with good enough speed and a good special attack stat. It has a ton of bulk and access to Recover which are nice but don't matter all that much for a regular playthrough. Most importantly, Milotic's movepool is pretty lacking. Besides Ice Beam, it has basically no other coverage moves, so it struggles to defeat other Water types in a reasonable amount of time. Toxic is probably its best bet for that. Hydro Pump via level-up is also nice. But for all the huge effort required to get a Milotic in the first place, it is kind of underwhelming even once you have it. Another Pokemon that just isn't really worth getting unless you like it.

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I already talked about Natu here.

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Really enjoying this thread but it legit took me by surprise that you hadn't used Poochyena yet (not a complaint at all: I like that you're doing this in a fairly scattered order)
If the OP image is to be trusted, Linoone is still out in the cold. Poor baby.

Ah well, at least there's the Azumarill and Nosepass run to look forward to.
Might seem weird that Pokemon like Poochyena and Zigzagoon come up so late but I moved the Pokemon I had the most interest in using towards the top. Also I have to keep some early game Pokemon in stock for the later teams, otherwise I need to solo the entire early game with my starter before I get to the new Pokemon.

The image in the OP is up to date. The teams are all planed already. Currently on the run with team 16. Zigzagoon will get its spotlight in team 19. Look forward to it.
Also Azumarill is coming up next week :psysly:
 
Team #12
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I already wrote about Torchic before.

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Marill is good. Among the physical Water types of Sharpedo, Crawdaunt and Gyarados with no actual physical STAB moves, it is most likely the best physical attacker out of them. Of course we are only talking about Huge Power Marill here because Thick Fat Marill just has not good enough offenses and it really doesn't need the additional defensive help.
Gauging the actual attack of Huge Power Pokemon is always a bit hard. But Marill's Strength is about as strong as Makuhita's Strength in the early game (roughly 60 base attack). Once Marill evolves into Azumarill, its Strength becomes as strong as Gyarados' Strength (roughly 125 base attack). And it only gets stronger over time as additional attack EVs count twice for Azumarill. That is to say Huge Power Azumarill hits incredibly hard on the physical side, even with no STAB.
It also has good bulk with a good HP stat and solid defenses along with its good pure Water typing. That bulk is important, though, because sadly Marill and Azumarill are also pretty slow. And while it is mostly going second, it isn't in a speed tier yet, where it will never outspeed anything, assuming it will be a bit overleveled. Which is very easy to do because in contrast to Magikarp, Marill is in the fast level growth group, meaning it levels up super fast and will evolve super fast due to its low evolution level.
And most importantly, Marill actually learns good physical attacks early, which was Gyarados' biggest flaw. Rollout and Double-Edge are great moves via level-up, and despite the fact that Azumarill's special is equally as low as Gyarados' special, it actually learns a STAB move in Water Gun before Surf, which is really helpful between gyms 3 and 5. Azumarill also learns a crapton of HMs if you are looking for that. As usual Return is the strongest physical attacking option for these kinds of Pokemon, while Strength or Secret Power hold you over during the mid game until you reach high enough friendship. Later, options like Dig and Brick Break are also available. Surf and Ice Beam are decent enough for most of the game, and in the later parts of the game, where you notice the low special stat, its physical attacks are better anyway.
All in all, Marill is just great. Available super early in Emerald, levels up fast, evolves early, very strong for an early game Pokemon, useful typing and attacks, good bulk. Pretty much useful for the entire game and can take down several major battles by itself.

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Plusle is another Electric type, but it is also among the better ones. Sadly, due to being a Pikachu clone, its stats are on the lower side. It is frail, especially on the physical side but thankfully its offenses are perfectly fine. Not as good as Manectric but 85 base special attack and 95 base speed is good enough for the role of an Electric type. Plusle's big selling point among the availble and nearly equally viable Electric types is its movepool. Most Electric types have barely four moves they seriously like to consider using. But Plusle has other good moves besides the usual Spark, Thunderbolt and Thunder Wave. Encore, Fake Tears and Helping Hand are all useful utility moves. Even Agility and Baton Pass to set up sweeps for slower team members are an option. And all of those are learned via level-up. Very good support mon. It also learns Thunder at level 37, which is nice but not really necessary, since it is less reliable than Thunderbolt and Spark, and the TM is very cheap anyway if you want it.
I want to quickly shine light on Fake Tears, though. It turned out to be strangely effective and allowed it to blow past usual Electric resists in Grass and other Electric types. Plusle can be effective with it against Wattson already. In combination with Encore and Thunder Wave, it also allows it to straightup beat some strong Pokemon like Slaking, Altaria and Kingdra, that other Electric types struggle with, if you catch them on the right turn.
Other than that, Plusle does the usual Electric type stuff of frying all the Flying and Water types, which makes the Electric type to good in Hoenn. Definitely also a good choice due to also being available early.

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Koffing is the counterpart to Grimer. And while it is more defensively oriented, and Muk's stats are probably better distributed than Weezing's, Koffing is likely a bit better than Grimer due to most other things. Koffing also evolves very late at 35 but that is still three levels earlier than Grimer. Koffing and Weezing are also a bit faster, and while still being on the slower side, Weezing can actually outspeed stuff which Muk pretty much can't. The big thing is Koffing's Levitate, though. Not being weak to Ground, but in fact being immune to it, is such a huge deal for a Poison type. That means Weezing only has a single weakness to Psychic. Most Psychic types are also physically frail and waste their first turn with Future Sight, which gives Weezing the chance to just KO them with Sludge Bomb or Shadow Ball.
Which leads us to the fact that Weezing is also a much better mixed attacker than Muk. Losing Dig, Giga Drain and Brick Break is unfortunate but Shadow Ball is a great coverage move against Ghost and Psychic types that a lot of Poison types struggle with. And its Flamethrower and Thunder has a lot more power behind it. Just like Grimer, Koffing's early game STAB move is the reliable Sludge and later Sludge Bomb with the TM. But Koffing also learns the very useful Selfdestruct and Explosion that Grimer doesn't. Selfdestruct especially is incredibly early at only level 17, giving you the option to just blow up and take out some bulky early game Pokemon like Torkoal, Slaking and Altaria.
Granted, besides booming on some ace Pokemon, Koffing isn't that great against gyms 3 and 4, and only decent against gyms 5 and 6. Later, Weezing's typing really becomes more of a downside but is still perfectly fine against most normal trainers. If Koffing evolved earlier and wouldn't be so TM reliant, it would probably fare a lot better.

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I talked about Doduo here already.

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Rhyhorn is a very unfortunate Pokemon and sadly not worth using. The comparison to Geodude is obvious. They share almost the exact same stats, aside from a bit more HP on Rhyhorn's side. But everything else that is good about Geodude is much worse with Rhyhorn.
The evolution to Rhydon is insanely high at 42, while Geodude already evolves at level 25. That alone means you basically have to use a Pokemon with the stats of an early game Pokemon like Geodude for like 15 levels in the late game. And since those are are late game levels and Rhyhorn has a slower level growth than Geodude, it takes a long time to finally get a Rhydon.
Rhyhorn's level-up movepool is also a lot worse. It doesn't learn Magnitude and Rock Throw, which means it has to rely on the weak and inconsistant Dig, Rollout or Rock Blast. It also doesn't have access to Selfdestruct and Explosion. Just like Graveler it also learns Earthquake via level-up, but much later at level 58 instead of 45, which means you will have to use the very important TM for it. And despite losing out on those important STAB moves, Rhydon gains basically no relevant compensation for it besides level 66 Megahorn. So trying to get Rhyhorn up to its evolution level on its own is a huge struggle at the point you get it.
Which brings us to the biggest downfall of Rhyhorn that just kills its viabiliy. It loses out on all the important parts of the game, that make Geodude such an amazing in-game Pokemon, due to being a Safari Zone Pokemon. Which means it will not be present during the early game where Geodude shines. No good fights against Wattson, Flannery, Norman and Winona as well as basically most of the early game, that its typing would allow. Geodude is available before the second gym while Rhydon isn't catchable until several hours later. At a point where all that is left, are levitating special attacking Pokemon, that aren't weak to Rock, and Water types. So even Rhydon just has no use anymore due to its low speed, special bulk and typing. Golem also falls off a bit in the late game but at least it already did contribute a ton before that. Rhydon doesn't fall off, it just never claws out of the pit, it starts in. Even though Rhydon's STAB Earthquake is very powerful, in practice, Golem's is likely stronger due to it having much more EVs by that point.
You can keep this thing on life support with the EXP Share in the back of your party until it evolves but even then it is barely of any use anymore, even after you invest all those resources into it. Pure deadweight. It would at least be usable if you got it around Jagged Pass or something.

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Team #13
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I already wrote about Treecko here.

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Nosepass is simply unusable. It is the gen 3 version of Onix, as it is the ace Pokemon of the first gym leader, who specializes in the Rock type. And as horrible as Onix is, an argument can be made that Nosepass is somehow even worse. At least Onix had decent speed, at least Onix had a second useful typing. Pretty much the only thing Nosepass has over Onix, is that it takes special attacks less terribly. What a claim to fame.
As soon as you try to even get a Nosepass, the pain already begins. Nosepass is an exclusive Granite Cave Rock Samsh encounter. And the TM for it is in Mauvile City. Which means you will need to backtrack from there after beating the third gym, go two stages deep into Granite Cave and try your luck on the breakable rocks. A ~12% to even encounter a Pokemon with Rock Smash, and then 70% of the time it is the much better Pokemon Geodude instead. So the actual encounter rate is about 4%. And if you broke all rocks you have to reset the game or the room and try again. Not a good start at all.
And now that you finally have it, you look at its stats. What can you even do with this? 45 base offenses, 30 base HP and speed on a pure Rock Pokemon. Good Lord. It has good defense (but still less than Onix), but with its horrible HP and speed, this thing still gets destroyed so easily. Nosepass is a perfect example of why being slow is so bad. It will get haxed constantly by confusion, flinches and status moves like Attract and Sand Attack. You know you are in trouble when Zubat and Poochyena are real obstacles.
And its movepool is a travesty too. Its level-up movepool has basically two moves. Thunder Wave and Rock Throw. Later it gets natural Rock Slide too, because I guess they wanted to throw it a bone but it still does no damage, especially in double battles where the move gets a 50% damage reduction. It gets Rest near level 40 too but by that point you will likely already be in Lilycove City, where you can get the TM for it anyway. But why would you even use Rest in a normal playthrough over normal healing items, especially when Nosepass has such trouble even getting it off because of its bad speed. Its TM movepool is not much better. Almost nothing of relevance, given Nosepass' horrible stats. As if you would waste your Earthquake TM on this dumpster fire. The only thing Nosepass can attempt to try to achieve anything, is a cheese strat with Thunder Wave, Double Team via TM and Rollout from the move tutor.
Early on, its bulk is actually not horrendous, so it can attempt to set up sweeps with Rollout. Maxing out Double Team and hoping Rollout will do the job, while hopefully never missing or getting hit, is legit the best thing Nosepass will ever do. It can be so lucky that Rock is a really good typing for the early game in Hoenn up to gym 6. Otherwise this thing would be even worse. The fact that Noespass is able to level up at all, is more of a highlight how Rollout can save a ton of Pokemon. Nosepass is one of the absolute worst Pokemon available. But at least I was expecting this with Nosepass. I didn't get tricked by it like with Lombre.

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Spinda is another underwhelming Normal type among many. Due to its typing, it has the usual good TM movepool that nearly all Normal types have, even if it is mostly a waste to invest those good TMs into those. But Spinda does actually have a decent level-up movepool as well, that doesn't just consist of ten random unusable Normal moves. Early Faint Attack and Psybeam are legit good coverage moves against Psychic, Ghost, Rock and Fighting types until better moves with TMs become available. I wish Dizzy Punch had a higher chance for confusion as it would be a fitting and interesting STAB move for it. But since it doesn't have that, it is immediately outclassed by Strength or Secret Power first and Return later. A 100% accurate Confuse Ray in Teeter Dance is interesting but it is just not consistant enough to be useful, especially because it hits your other team member in double battles as well. Other than that, Spinda can later use the usual Shadow Ball and Brick Break plus special filler move, as is common for Normal types. And it can at least always spam STAB Return. But Spinda's stats are just so mediocre. Base 60s accross the boad. 60 isn't the worst but if you have that in every stat, then it just lets you down in every area. Spinda is not the worst, at least it can do ...something. But its bad stats just don't allow it to contribute in a significant way, despite having some okay traits.

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Sandshrew is pretty solid. It is a slower physical tank Pokemon with a better typing than, say, Hariyama. You get it early enough after gym 4 and it evolves pretty much instantly into Sandslash. Who has good attack and bulk, and actually okay speed for a tank Pokemon. Sandslash is a pretty decent physical beatstick kind of Pokemon. Sadly, its level-up movepool is awful, with only Slash being a good all-around move. You need to give it the Dig TM for an early STAB move, as it doesn't learn any other Ground attacks besides freaking level 52 Sand Tomb. Which means you want to save the important Earthquake TM for it later too, but Sandslash is at least a good user of the move, that is worth investing the TM into. Aerial Ace, Rock Tomb, Brick Break and Iron Tail are TM options but they are mostly unnecessary unless you don't need them for other Pokemon. Rollout is a useful tutor move, though, as Sandslash is great at taking hits while Rollout scales up.
You do notice Sandslash's lower special bulk somewhat but overall it is incredible solid throughout the entire game. Takes physical hits well, dishes out big physical damage, good typing, can even carry some important HMs. Not too much to talk about with Sandslash, but it does the job well.

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Corphish is okay. It is in the club of physical Water types. Sadly, Corphish isn't nearly as good of a crab as Krabby, who starts out with much better stats. Corphish is pretty slow and frail, and its offenses, especially its special attack, aren't great. And because Corphish is a Good Rod encounter, there is a good chance that you will have to deal with its low stats for a while due to the horrible Good Rod level range and its evolution level of 30. Crawdaunt gets a big stat boost and also an additional Dark typing, which are very useful. It has nearly the same offenses as Sharpedo, 120 base attack and 90 base special attack, which are good. But Crawdaunt is significantly slower than Sharpedo, almost half as slow. Crawdaunt is a bit bulkier than Sharpedo but its bulk is still nothing amazing. More importantly, Crawdaunt does not learn any useful Dark STAB move because it doesn't get Crunch before gen 4 for some reason. Knock Off is just too weak to be considered. Being a Dark type that struggles against Tate & Liza a bit (even with Crabhammer) as well as Phoebe is a big disadvantage because those are the trainers your Dark type should excell at. But Hyper Cutter is nice, as it allows it to be a physical Dark type that doesn't get annoyed by Mightyena and Gyarados. Crawdaunt does have some more colorful physical attacking options than most of the other physical Water types with the Dig, Aerial Ace, Brick Break and even Sludge Bomb TMs. But since those TMs don't hit a lot of things super effectively later into the game, and don't get STAB, their damage output just isn't that impressive, and you are better off saving those TMs for another Pokemon that can make better use of them. It is better for Crawdaunt to stick to Return for its physical attacking move. Corphish and Crawdaunt also learn a crapton of HMs if you are in search for that. Overall, Corphish isn't that amazing and since it becomes available at the exact same time as Carvanha, you are better off catching one of those and get better results with Sharpedo.
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I already talked about Natu here.

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Team #14
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I already wrote about Treecko here.

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Graveler is still good but in contrast to Kadabra, who was already plenty strong, you do notice the difference in stats between Golem and Graveler. The loss in attack power and bulk is significant, and while Golem is not fast by any means, the slightly higher speed does allow it to outspeed some more stuff. The good news is that their movepools are the same, so Graveler doesn't need to level up more for its great level-up moves. Just like with Golem, Geodude and Graveler dumpster most of the early game up to Winona. Their typing and movepool are just that good. Good STAB Ground and Rock moves go a long way. Missing out on the final evolution just means Graveler is falling off a bit faster in the late game, when its weaknesses and lower stats become more apparent. It still has some uses just like Golem does but they are more spread out than with Golem. Even with less stats it is still a great physical tank that just allows you to skip past a huge part of the game.

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I talked about Skarmory here already.

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Jigglypuff is just not worth it. It is such a shame that the Moon Stone Pokemon in Emerald are so lackluster. What a fall since gen 1. The Moon Stone is located just a bit too late for them to receive a power spike through an early stone evolution. But Jigglypuff is even later than the Moon Stone. It is on Route 115, which is a bit out of the way and also requires Surf to be accessed. And Jigglypuff really is not good enough to be a post gym 5 addition to your team. So Jigglypuff's stats are just terrible. Awful even. But at least you already have the Moon Stone by this point, so you can go straight to Wigglytuff. But you might not want to do that right away, because Jigglypuff doesn't come with any good moves, and it learns Body Slam after ~10 levels, which will be its best STAB move for quite some time. Strength and Return are also okay but the Paralysis chance is big plus since it is so slow. Wigglytuff is not much better once you get it. Its only good stat is its big HP, which you don't care about since its defenses are still low, so it isn't even a good tank. And its speed is still low and has mediocre offenses. You can basically waste some powerful TMs like Shadow Ball, Ice Beam and Thunderbolt on it. But the damage is still underwhelming with no STAB. Even with a Ghost immunity and Shadow Ball, Phoebe will still laugh you out of her room with it. It just can't get past Dusclops and Sableye. There really is no good reason to use this thing, other than you think its cute. Such a shame they didn't at least give us Clefairy instead.

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Duskull just doesn't have the traits to be a good in-game Pokemon. It is the more defensive counterpart to Shuppet, which isn't a good sign, and Shuppet itself was already not very good. So just like Shuppet, it comes pretty late into the game and has a very high evolution level of 37. And for a Pokemon this late to start out with Poochyena level stats is just horrible. It has decent defenses for a first stage Pokemon but what good does that do if it has the same HP as Magikarp. It has more utility moves than Shuppet but non are relevant enough to make up for Duskull's horrible stats. And even if you drag it to level 37 with the EXP Share, Dusclops is not good either. Firstly, you will have to spend your valuable Shadow Ball TM on it because it doesn't learn it by level-up like Banette did. It just gains the much weaker Shadow Punch upon evolution. Dusclops has much better stats than Duskull but its speed is still crazy low, so it always goes second, and its offenses are mediocre. And while it gained great defenses, its HP is still low. Sadly, it can't even make use of Pain Split, as that is an egg move. So Dusclops just has no good way of taking down opponents. Its movepool is pretty barren. You can give it the Ice Beam or Earthquake TM but with its lackluster offenses these non-STAB moves just don't do enough. Its only option against Dark types is a neutral non-STAB move like Strength. So even weak stuff like Poochyena or Carvanha gives it a suprising amount of trouble. Dusclops just doesn't have the typing, moves or stats to contribute in a helpful manner outside of being okay against Tate & Liza.

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Horsea is a pretty underwhelming Water type. It is shockingly late. You need the Super Rod to fish it up. So it isn't quite as late as the Seeweed encounters since you don't need Dive, so you can do it before the seventh gym. But still, it has the same encounter time as Staryu and isn't nearly as good. It can only be found in the waters of the rapid currents between Pacifidlog Town and Slateport City. So its best to fly to Slateport City, as soon as you get the Super Rod in Mossdeep City, and fish in Route 134, east of Slateport City, for it. Horsea has shocklings low stats. And while the Seadra evolution isn't far away, it too has rather low stats. 95 special attack and 85 speed aren't the worst, and weirdly Seadra has also rather high physical defense. But it has alarmingly low HP and special defenese for a late game Water type. Which means it does have a real problem taking even resisted Water and Ice attacks. Not that it has a good chance of beating other Water types anyway because its movepool is super barren. We are talking worse than Milotic's movepool. Besides Surf and Ice Beam, this thing has absolutely no offensive moves. The next "best" options are non-STAB 40 base power Twister or random non-STAB Normal moves coming from its much lower attack stat. Agility is nice to set up some sweeps but you really wish it could use Rain Dance instead to power up its Surf. But sadly Seadra doesn't have Swift Swim like Kingdra. Just Poison Point. Seadra has barely any highlights anymore in the short part of the game it is usuable in. But fast Ice Beam can at least sweep Drake I guess. But you really have to take several wrong turns before you decide to use Seadra as you Water type on your team. There are just so many better options available.

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Team #15
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I already wrote about Torchic before.

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I talked about Taillow here before.

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Barboach is the Mudkip at home. Pretty much worse in almost every regard. But if you need to be a bad copy, then its better to be a copy of one of the best Pokemon in the game at least. You can get Barboach after the 5th gym, as it is a Good Rod encounter. I already talked about many times why that is not ideal. The level range is just really wide, and its possible to encounter one that is incredibly underleveled. That is extra bad for Barboach as this Pokemon line does not have a middle evolution, and Barboach's stats are closer to Mudkip's than Marshtomp's. So even though Barboach evolves a bit sooner into Whiscash than Marshtomp into Swampert, you will have to make do with Barboach low stats until level 30. Or probably 31. Because you should delay Barboach's evolution by one level. One big advantage that Barboach has over Mudkip is that it learns Earthquake about 20 levels earlier by level-up. Which means you won't have to spend your valuable TM on it if you want to have a better Ground STAB move before the endgame. Which is a huge benefit. It doesn't make up for Whiscash's significantly lower stats but you can't really be too bad with STAB Earthquake and Surf starting from level 31. Otherwise Whiscash doesn't really have any other advantages over Swampert, and mostly plays the same, just with fewer stats. It's typing is great, even if Whiscash misses out on some good matchups in Roxanne, Wattson and Flannery that would make the most of it. Whiscash is still solid against the rest of the game but since it misses a lot of Mudkip's great matchups and it has incredibly middling stats, it is placing a decent bit lower, even if it is basically about 70% as good as Swampert.

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Raichu is one of the latest Electric types, and probably the last one worth getting. Chinchou is just a disappointment. Pikachu is located in the Safari Zone, which is really late and means it misses out on helping you with the Water routes around the starting island. But the Water routes of the late game are coming up very soon, so Raichu still has a role to play. Raichu is a Stone evolution, which means you need to pick up the Thunder Stone in New Mauvile earlier. Funnily enough, you won't need the Thunderbolt TM that Wattson gives you as a reward as Pikachu comes with Thunderbolt already or learns it after you give it a single Rare Candy if you caught a level 25 one. So you can evolve Pikachu instantly after that. You lose out on the other level-up moves but none are really important besides maybe Agility. But Raichu is already fast enough, and you really shouldn't try to fight and level up with Pikachu's horrible stats. Raichu's stats are good. It is mostly just better Plusle and Minun. It has decent special attack and is the Electric type with the highest attack stat out of all of them. So it isn't as walled by Ground types as other Electric types as you can give it some random physical TMs like Brick Break, Dig and Iron Tail, or some Normal moves. But Raichu would still rather not fight against them, as Ground types dent to have good defense and neutral non-STAB moves don't always get the job done quick enough. Raichu is pretty frail on the physical side, so it can't take the attacks of Ground types well, especially STAB Ground moves. Another big thing is that Pikachu doesn't learn Spark but ThunderShock instead. So you might want to give Raichu the Shock Wave TM as a secondary Electric STAB move. Otherwise Raichu is mostly fine. It is just its late availability that is a problem, as it gives it fewer chances to contribute and also fewer EVs. So in practice, Plusle will likely have stronger Thunderbolts, as you get it so much earlier. Raichu is still a decent choice for the upcoming late game. Remember that you have to backtrack to the Safari Zone, though, as you first have to pick up the Pokeblock Case in Lilycove City in Emerald before you can enter it.

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I have no idea why Snorunt is so massively underwhelming. It comes pretty late in the Ice Room of Shoal Cave, but its stats don't reflect it being a late game Pokemon at all. 50s across the board as this point is just laughably bad. And you will have deal with these low stats for up to 16! levels, as the evolution level to Glalie is incredibly high at level 42. 42! What in the world. Snorunt is completely dead weight until you evolve it. And it isn't like Glalie is an investment Pokemon that pays you off for your troubles. Even its stats are too low for a Pokemon this late. Base 80 in everything isn't even good enough in the midgame anymore. And its such a shame too. Because Snorunt's movepool is really solid and interesting. Crunch and Headbutt are good early moves, it gets Ice Beam via level-up in its 30s, and has great TM options in Earthquake, Shadow Ball and even Water Pulse. Rollout from the move tutor allows it to get past other Ice types, like those from Glacia later. So while Glalie offers some pretty good things. Its stats still hold it back. Still, Glalie is sort of functional once you have it, and can actually contribute in the remaining battles, and even in the Pokemon League. But for the massive investment you have to do to get past Snorunt, and how late you get it, you really expect much more as a return. If Glalie's evolution level would be 10 levels lower, I would at least place this over Walrein.

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Gorebyss is one of the latest available Water types, and not really worth the wait. First, you will have to get a Clamperl, which is a pure Seaweed encounter. Which means you will need Dive, so you can't get it before beating the 7th gym. The the encounter range is pretty wide, similar to Good Rod encounters. So there is a good chance that it comes pretty underleveled. This is not made much better by the fact that Clamperl is also in the Erratic level growth group. So it takes quite a while to make it catch up to the other members of your team. To actually get Gorebyss then, you also need to get the Scanner from the Dive section of the Abandoned Ship, exchange it for the DeepSeaScale from Captian Stern in Slateport City, equip it to Clamperl and then trade it. Quite a bit of side tracking, and Gorebyss is not really a big reward considering that. It has great special attack and decent defense but also has bad HP and is very slow for a late game Pokemon. It is pretty clear that you are expected to give Gorebyss the Rain Dance TM, that you also find on the Abandoned Ship, to fix its bad speed with its Swift Swim ability. Gorebyss is a rain sweeper, through and through. Its movepool isn't stellar, only natural Psychic and maybe Hydro Pump are worth it. But it takes quite a bit longer than you would think to reach level 34 with it, so it might still be better off to give it the TM, so you don't have to wait. Since Gorebyss doesn't have an easy time leveling up in the Water routes otherwise because its other moves are going to be Surf and Ice Beam. Gorebyss has some highlights in Victory Road and the Pokemon League with Rain Dance, finally. Strong Rain boosted Surfs and Ice Beams can sweep Sidney and Drake, maybe even Phoebe. Gorebyss is not very exciting and can barely contribute anymore, but in its role as a rain sweeper, it is probably the best choice. At least it can still be useful in some important battles, unlike some other late game Pokemon.

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This has been a really enjoyable read. I’ve been meaning to do the same myself but I’d have to map it all out. I’m curious about your thought processes when you do this :)
Thanks! I am glad to hear that.

You have to plan out some things but until about the halfway point I mostly just went along with the flow. Only towards the later teams I had to reshuffle some Pokemon, so that i have somewhat equally viable teams that don't cause sudden dips in playthroughs.

There are some restrictions that help you plan out your teams. Both from the specific game and your personal preference.

In Emerald for example you just need a plan to get past certain strong trainers. Brawly, Rival fight #2, Wattson, Flannery and to some extent Norman in the early game as well as Tate & Liza, Drake and Wallace in the late game can be big roadblocks if you are not prepared in some way. If you don't have at least one Pokemon that can deal with them on your team before you get to those, then you need to grind up levels with wild encounters which I don't want to do.

The different encounter locations of your team members is also somewhat important. Ideally you want to have some early and some late game Pokemon on a team. That way you don't have to grind the early game with your lone starter on some later teams because only late game Pokemon are left to be used.

HMs are also a concern. While many HMs are optional (Cut, Flash) or eventually have no further use (Dive, Waterfall), some are simply required to get ahead.
Rock Smash is the silliest one, as there is a single breakable rock north of Mauvile City, that means your Rock Smash user can't be past that.
Fly is not required but it basically is if you don't want to backtrack super hard sometimes. You also don't have a lot of different Fly user options, as there are only 9 fully evolved Pokemon before the post game (excluding Rayquaza because it is so late) that learn the move.
Surf is easier since there are so many Water types in Hoenn that I still had to use two on the same team sometimes, even with 20+ teams. But due to the unfortunate location of the Super Rod, you sometimes have to fish up a Tentacruel just for the short surfing trip over there.
All that is to say, unless you want to catch a dedicated HM user, or you are fine with missing certain HMs like Cut for a while, you need to at least plan your team with a Cut and Rock Smash user before gym 3. You can always reshuffle your HMs in Lilycove City with the help of the Move Deleter later.

And lastly, it just depends a lot on how you want to play the game.
Do you want a dedicated HM user or should all Pokemon on your team be able to fight? With how many Pokemon do you plan to do a playthrough? The full six or less? How many trainers do you intend to fight? Are you interested in optional routes and items? Are you fine with overlapping types? What Pokemon are you most interested in using? And on and on it goes. The more restrictions you have the easier it will be to come up with teams. Even a rough draft for a team is usually enough, as often the real team will always look a bit different than you thought from my experience. It is useful to think of a final moveset for each Pokemon, though. That way you don't have overlapping TM or tutor moves that you only notice several hours into the run.

That is how it worked out for me so far anyway.
 
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That makes a lot of sense :) The problem I have is I’m really indecisive being a typical Libra. I wanted to do something similar but with Pokémon Black and White. You don’t mind do you? I’ll put my own spin on it and I’ll credit you also - I’ve noticed you’re final move sets don’t contain many set up moves - is that to make it harder?
Oh, no worries. Go right ahead and make a thread for your in-game playthroughs too. No need to credit me. I am sure you will be putting your own spin on it. I actually intend to replay Black and White as well as Black and White 2, as well at some point in the future. I never finished those games in my youth. I hear they are great games.

I do use some set up moves during my playthroughts. Bulk Up on Combusken is often a way for me past Flannery for example. To some extent I am pretty high on Rollout as a "set up move" too. The next few teams will have some Rain Dance sweepers. But the thing is there aren't that many useful set up moves, that actually are worth using. For the most part you just want to sweep each trainer without even needing to set up. I only really use them when its necessary to the Pokemon or I can't get past otherwise. Since I am not doing a Nuzzlocke, I don't have to be super safe. And by the end of the game most, if not all Pokemon, just have better options.
 
Have to say I'm extremely looking forward to seeing you write up the Regi trio, once you get to them. I've never actually used them in a playthrough but I think I'm right in saying you only need seven badges?
I just finished my first run with a Regi trio member. Regirock was on team#19. Currently on team#20 with Registeel. See the counter in the OP for the progress. You only need to able able to use Dive to access all the Regis. So you can get them after gym 7. And you really should since there is not much game left for them to contribute. I leave the details for the later write-up.
 
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