Let's Play! Merritt Gets Smacked About by Pokemon Vega [COMPLETE]

I'm torn. Tyranitar is my favourite Pokemon, so I feel I should give a gentle nudge in its direction. But then, it's been around since Gen II and I'm pretty sure I know how it plays.

So I guess just keep going, you know I'll be reading either way. :D
 

Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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rssp1: I'd prefer not to use Necrosia both because I feel like I use it too often (it's really good) and because then there'd be pretty heavy type overlap. For tyranitar, well you'll see. also hoothoot broke into my house last night, broke both my legs, 3 of my ribs, and stole my alarm clock before warning me that any use of hoothoot would see further consequences. sorry.

yourDeadGrandad: re:ttar, see update


A new challenger approaches.



Are you ready, daidog? Paleobreath has a 60% chance to raise Special Attack.




Man Larvitar's level up movepool is so good. But is that all you've got daidog?



i'm listening



Welcome to the team Commander daidog.



The rest of the team gets some training too of course. Only because Double Kick has 100 accuracy I'm not learning this. I value that accuracy for route clearing, and if we need power there's always HJK.



And two items we didn't grab last update. The Lift Key is hidden, the Poke Ball on the table we can't grab yet.



And now we're ready to smash a gym.



This gym is by far the most difficult puzzle in the game before postgame. It's strength puzzles on ice, where the first part is all about pushing boulders onto red teleport pads that take them elsewhere. The blue teleport pads are for us.



After we get all the boulders onto teleport pads we can advance to this section. Yes, all those boulders are moving around on the icefloor. We have to intercept them partway through and use that to change our direction. It's incredibly frustrating to do.



Eventually though we reach the leader.



yada yada saw us coming in a vision yada yada discount sabrina yada yada. There's some pretty powerful Psychic types in this game and she would be a huge challenge if we weren't appropriately leveled. Let's take a look at her team.

Kinegasus @ Quick Claw L54: Psyburn/Thunder Wave/Diamond Blast/Heat Wave
Metagross @ Scope Lens L55: Hammer Arm/Meteor Mash/Wood Hammer/Zen Headbutt
Bakeko @ Focus Band L55: Rampage/Giga Spark/Fire Blast/Bug Noise
Starmie @ King's Rock L54: Ice Beam/Discharge/Surf/Bug Noise
Folifarig @ Brightpowder L56: Signal Beam/Psychic/Hyper Voice/Confuse Ray

Kinegasus is the evolution of Psycolt with a Moon Stone, and like I mentioned quite a while ago now is a Psychic/Flying type with 90/84/69/109/71/72 base stats. I find it's generally pretty mediocre and the same is true here, this is definitely the easiest member of the team to beat. It's bulky enough that it can be tricky to OHKO and Psyburn will hurt, but it's not overly dangerous.

Metagross is a massive threat. Fantastic coverage, outstanding attack, great bulk, and acceptable speed all wrapped up in a little package of death. Walling this is nearly impossible, at least in part due to Scope Lens. Fortunately it's not particularly fast so it's possible to just wear it down with SE or strong neutral attacks, and Skarmory does a good job at eating attacks if you wanted to grab one from the Safari Zone and train it up.

Bakeko is still a Fire/Dark type. I don't know what it's doing here. It's got some strong moves, but it's still frail. It's not a non-threat like Kinegasus is, but it's definitely not something to be worried about as long as you don't bring something silly like 6 Ghost types.

Starmie's back and fortunately not quite as murder-happy as it was back with Brooke in gym 3. It's still fast and its moves will hurt and it's got great coverage but it's not quite as overpoweringly strong as it was when we first saw it since we've improved quite a bit. It's also absolutely hilarious when it paralyzes itself with Bug Noise.

Folifarig hits incredibly hard and has good speed to use alongside its Special Attack. Confuse Ray is confusing, it's basically there just to screw us over if Folifarig wants. Paired with Brightpowder it can be legitimately annoying, but Folifarig itself is strong enough that it doesn't really need Confuse Ray at all, its STABs will do a ton of damage to anything that doesn't resist. It's got a crippling inability to hurt Steel types though and ultimately isn't as dangerous as Metagross is.

This fight would be significantly more difficult if we weren't at equal or higher levels than her entire team.



Bring it.



It's a Flying type. It eats an Ice Beam and dies instantly.



And here's the bad boy. Nobody on the team can really 1v1 it, so the plan is to smack it with HJK (assuming it doesn't miss) and hope that Zen Headbutt misses. If that fails then plan B is to wear the thing down with the rest of the team and eat the casualties.

Neither HJK or Zen Headbutt miss, and deadeye drops while Metagross is left with about 35-40% left. Because daidog is Jolly we're probably able to outspeed, and Earthquake will KO from this range or 2HKO if the leader heals. daidog doesn't disappoint and Earthquake finishes off Metagross.



Starmie comes out, hoping to catch Tyranitar, and Aisha outspeeds and OHKOs with Energy Ball. Much better than his last bout with a Starmie.



you're still not a psychic type

It outspeeds and nails Daidog with Giga Spark, doing decent damage, before Grand Boulder erases it from the face of the planet.



Or it would, but stupid Focus Band. It doesn't matter fortunately, since the sandstorm claims its life.



Let's finish this. Folifarig outspeeds and blessedly goes for Signal Beam which does nearly nothing since Vega has the sandstorm Special Defense boost for Rock types working. Crunch eats up Folifarig in a single bite.



And that's that.



Psychic is a good move, although like Air Slash it's a little tarnished by the fact that we could already get it from the game corner. A free one is still great to have though. She heals us (????) and we're free to leave.



if you attack me i swear to god

He doesn't, and instead tells us that the giant warehouse filled with DH grunts we were blocked off from entering earlier is the DH hideout. What a shock. Mosmero then heads off to be a bad role model for children some more.



We can now pick up that Pokeball from the Scope Lens house and get ourselves a Beldum. Metagross is very useful, with access to a bunch of good moves, especially from the move tutor. Although Impish is a good nature we probably won't be using it unless people request it since we've already got Tyranitar on the team, but it's definitely a viable choice for the team.



Inside the DH hideout we can see the obviously evil guy from way back on Route 503 on the first basement floor! He's blocked off by spinning tiles and we need to go from the bottom of the entire hideout and walk up to get to him though.



And to get to the bottom floor we need to use the elevator which requires the Lift Key. Fortunately we've already got it, but if you didn't know its location then you could be stuck for quite a while.



The grunts upstairs give a hint that is less than helpful, only letting us know that it's inside the city somewhere. If you don't have the easily missable Itemfinder then it's a huge chore to find.



For the most part the DH grunts are incredibly boring, although one of the DH grunts uses this. This is the Psychic/Steel Sun Stone evolution of Psycolt, with 70/104/76/89/61/95 base stats. I personally believe it's rather mediocre, although it's better than Kinegasus.



They're good for some experience at least. None of these moves are worth learning over what each of them already have.




There's also some nice items to be had throughout the building. The Poke Flute would have been nice to get earlier but it's free Awakenings so whatever. The Heart Scale is another tutor move so that's very welcome. TM22 is Poison Jab and TM05 is Thunder Wave - both are alright TMs though perhaps not the best ever.



There are exactly three notable trainers throughout the hideout. This guy is the first mostly for his level, while most of the grunts are working with levels around 45 this guy's working with ~54. It's the strong plot grunt we've been fighting for a while now, and while he's not anywhere near Reginald or leader level he's definitely on par with PAPER in terms of difficulty. That is, not particularly.




He's using some interesting Pokemon though. Not too problematic, but he's not a pushover like the other grunts.



The next is after finally getting through the building. Reginald's back, and he's ready to actually fight this time.

Houndoom L57: Discharge/Raging Flame/Dark Resolve/Thunder Wave
Starmie L56: Nasty Plot/Hydro Pump/Psychic/Ice Beam
Gengar L57: Hypnosis/Possess/Dark Pulse/Dream Eater
Skarmory L58: Drill Run/Brave Bird/Metal Blast/Rock Slide

Houndoom's back and the same as ever, though Dark Resolve punches a massive hole in everything. As long as you go in with a good lead matchup then you'll be fine.

Starmie is slightly more threatening than the gym one, since Hydro Pump does a lot more than Surf does. It's also capable of sweeping with Nasty Plot but much like the gym Starmie we're at the point we can handle them.

Gengar is pathetic. Possess is the Ghost type Focus Blast pseudoclone I mentioned before - 120/70 special Ghost with a 10% chance to confuse. Gengar's still hopelessly walled by Dark types, although Hypnosis is as annoying as ever.

Skarmory's upgraded its STAB moves but Skarmory's fallen off a lot since we first saw it. It's no longer the bastion of bulk it was before gym 3 and its Attack isn't impressive at this point.

Reginald isn't a particularly difficult fight, even compared to the lower leveled gym leader we just beat.



Maybe you'll prove me wrong though.



This is a less than perfect lead matchup. Because I don't particularly want anybody else to have to eat a hit from Houndoom I have Aisha stay in, eat a Dark Resolve (the AI knows it'll do more damage than Raging Flame to the Thick Fat Aisha), and 2HKO with Air Slash.



Starmie goes for Nasty Plot, a huge mistake as lucy OHKOs with Crunch.

I then apparently spaced out and didn't take screenshots of Gengar or Skarmory sorry. Gengar did nothing to diadog with Possess after a 3 turn Hypnosis sleep and vanished off the face of the earth due to Crunch. Skarmory took some 80% from coco's Ice Beam, failed to OHKO with Metal Blast, and was taken down by a second. And that's Reginald.



After some brief healing, we're ready to take on the mysterious Turner who half the grunts ever since Shamouti have been hyping up as the best thing since sliced bread. You'd better not disappoint.



But do you have what it takes to make that happen?

Cloyster L58: Surf/Star Freeze/Shell Smash/Explosion
Magmortar L59: Energy Ball/Fire Blast/Psychic/Raze Earth
Nidoqueen L60: Earthquake/Gunk Shot/Wild Charge/Rampage
Magnezone L60: Thunderbolt/Thunder Wave/Magnetic Wave/Icy Wind

Starfreeze is a 120/70 physical Ice type move with a 10% chance to paralyze. It's ok.

Cloyster, terrible Special Defense aside, is unthreatening if you've got a decent Water type since it can't do anything to them without suiciding with Explosion. Shell Smash seems somewhat threatening on paper, but what it actually does is turn Cloyster's defenses into something easy to shatter, as long as you can take the boosted hit. Or lead with a special Grass or Electric attack and don't let it set up in the first place, that works too.

Magmortar isn't bad, it's got excellent super effective coverage moves, but its speed is a bit low for this point in the game. It'll hurt if it manages to hit something, but that's definitely an if.

Nidoqueen is kind of similar to Magmortar, but weaker and bulkier. Anything moderately bulky can take a hit from Nidoqueen and hit it on its exploitable weaknesses to Water, Ice, Ground, and Psychic. As long as we don't throw something weak to Ground at it, we'll be fine.

Magnezone is also incredibly mediocre, Icy Wind being nearly useless since Ground types are universally hit as hard or harder by Magnetic Wave. Magnezone's also got some weaknesses that aren't difficult to come by at this point, and with its low speed it's not difficult to take down.

Aside from his very high levels, Turner is barely more of a threat than Reginald. He is the reason we went so high leveled though, so that we could go straight from the gym to here without worrying about grinding at all.



Let's get this over with.



While Houndoom was a mediocre matchup for Aisha, Cloyster is a great one. Energy Ball throws it through one of the walls.



You know the drill at this point. If it's weak to Ice, coco's going to take it down. In this case, Ice Beam OHKOs.



Commander daidog reporting for duty. Proceeding to outspeed and destroy the target with SE STAB Grand Boulder. Minor damage from Flame Body sustained, but target eliminated.



Might as well prove that no measly burn's going to stop daidog from destroying everything in her path. Due to the burn Magnezone does survive Earthquake with around 20% left. Magnet Force meanwhile does roughly 50% back because the SpDef sandstorm boost is amazing. A second Earthquake breaks Magnezone and leaves daidog victorious.



Turner's remarkably calm about the whole loss thing, and declares his destination to us for some reason. Overconfidence after losing horribly I guess? Regardless, he gives us the hideout and leaves.



Seems like he forgot somebody though. Waterfall's given us access to some very very uh, interesting stuff.

Let's just say the next update's going to be a little unusual. And we'll finally get to meet a new member of the team.
 
ayy ttar is here

looking forward to the 'interesting' stuff as you put it. not sure how vega can surprise you any more at this point but expect the unexpected i guess.

sorry to hear about the hoothoot incident buddy, get well soon :(
 

Merritt

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rssp1: I got a bit more of a surprise than I expected to this update.

Bummer: I try my best! I really do like Vega a lot, but it's not the most pleasant romhack ever.

Cobalt Empoleon: It'd probably result in significantly more deaths, especially in these later gyms. A lot of how I've been able to avoid mass casualties is by going immediately to the advantageous matchup - so many of the pokemon in major battles do more damage than would be sustainable to tank if I had to switch.


Waterfall in hand, we're finally on our way to New Island.



The waterfall north of Shamouti is our destination and on the other side is a ton of swimmers and other water trainers.

They almost all use unevolved Water types around level 43ish, so they're so little of a threat that there's absolutely no reason to show them.



Above the waterfall is a watery pathway leading to these three islands, Fire to the west, Ice to the north, and Lightning to the east. New Island is even further north than Ice Island, but we've got business here. Every single island has a cave and a small specialty shop.



Said shops are absolutely outstanding. The ball store is the worst of these, since Dusk and Quick Balls don't exist yet, but Net Balls and Timer Balls are still pretty good. The berry shop doesn't include the EV reducing berries unfortunately, but includes Leppa, Lum, and Sitrus berries. This means we no longer have to worry about PP or status. This would be why the Poke Flute we just got was mediocre. The TMs are, in order, Magnet Bomb, Poison Leaf (70/100 physical Poison type move with a 40% chance to poison), Haze, Brick Break, Discharge, and unseen is Feather Dance. Some of these are questionable, but all in all decent enough for buyable TMs.



It's barely more than the cost of a full restore to buy two sets of 99. Brick Break is a pleasant upgrade over Double Kick at long last.



And now, into the caves. There's a lot of new Pokemon in these caves.




Like wow levels of a lot.

Embird is an extremely good choice, evolving into a fast Fire/Dragon type with excellent Special Attack. It also has access to Dragon Dance and Baton Pass for a more supportive role if needed. We want to grab one with Flame Body instead of Flash Fire since that becomes Levitate when Embird finishes evolving.

Magby, Elekid, Spheal, and Magnemite are much the same as standard, just with better coverage moves. Magmortar and Electivire are Fire/Thunder stone evolutions, while Magnezone is a happiness evolution. Maneko would be better if we weren't post 7th gym.

Most of these aren't worth bothering with - Magnemite and Embird are probably the most worth it at this point in time.



The evolved forms of most of the pokemon, along with other previously available mons like Willisp, Plasmox, Glachild, and Houndour also appear.



Every island also has three move tutor moves...



And a TM as well. TM44 is Will-O-Wisp, TM46 is Magnet Force, and TM26 is Zap Cannon.



oh hello there



my word you're actually a good level

Zapdos is actually even better than usual in Vega, since it gets access to a special Flying type move at long last through the Air Slash TM.



Excellent nature too.



you too huh



well that was easy

Articuno does have access to the amazing Frostbite, but it's at the fairly high level 71. The move tutor gives it Hydro Pump which is pretty neat, and of course Articuno can always go for Roost/Toxic for stalling. It's not bad by any means, just not amazing.



I mean, like, I guess?



sensing a theme yet?



I guess I might as well explain what my strategy for these things was. Basically, park daidog in front of them since she takes extremely little from all of em and has Sandstorm to passively increase the catch chance while I toss Ultra Balls until one sticks. If it faints, then reset. No muss, no fuss.

Moltres doesn't get much new in the way of special moves unfortunately, getting Energy Ball and Tri Attack. Its physical moves is where things get interesting though, with Shadow Clamp, Giga Spark, Raid, and Psygatling (which can't burn Moltres!) through the move tutor. It's physical Moltres though, and special attacks are still generally a better idea.



ok or you could get a +attack nature whatever

Well now we've beaten up all the legendary birds! There were signs all over the place saying stuff about "not disturbing the guardians" so now they can't be disturbed ever again. We should tell Melody the good news on Shamouti.



uhhhh no it was PAPER not us



She drags us outside and there's a storm with Lugia down on the pier. Well only one way to handle this.



THROUGH BATT- oh that's an awfully high level

Fortunately diadog doesn't care about most anything Lugia can do. Lugia does have a new move called Deluge - literally Water type Overheat - but it doesn't do too much damage. Ancientpower and Aeroblast bounce off, especially after Deluge lowers Lugia's Special Attack.



Huzzah, we've saved the world.

Now, we should go grab that Embird we wanted back on Fire Island.



ok you DEFINITELY weren't here before



diadog laughs at your pathetic attempts to harm her

Entei is alright. It doesn't really get anything exciting outside Fire type moves. Shadow Clamp and Raid from the move tutor are nice but not amazing. Raging Flame is kind of neat although it does need the TM for that. Entei doesn't learn Flare Blitz until level 92 which is definitely not happening before the league.



Neutral isn't bad.



Like you could guess, Raikou has shown up in Lightning Island.



why are all your moves physical

Raikou has nothing interesting whatsoever. It's got Magnet Force from the TM and Aqua Bolt which has mostly worn out its welcome and that's kind of it. Since Thunderbolt's not a TM anymore Raikou's stuck with the less powerful Discharge too.



sure whatever



And of course Suicune's in Ice Island, despite definitely not being an Ice type.



Apparently it took offense to that.

Suicune is hideously boring, although it learns 5 damaging Ice type moves compared to its two damaging Water type moves by level, including the rather nice Frostbite at level 57. It also has access to Diamond Blast, so despite the middling Special Attack Suicune can run a halfway decent special attacking set.



Certainly a good nature for that too. Net balls OP, no resets necessary for Suicune.



And Melody's got something new to tell us.



That is definitely a Ho-Oh.



I'm not even surprised, just wary.

And with good fucking reason. All in all, Ho-Oh took well over 200 Ultra Balls across 14 attempts to finally catch. Sacred Fire did a ton to diadog and OHKOed most of my team - whenever it burned diadog it would mean a follow up would KO and turns spent healing were turns Ho-Oh wasn't having a ball thrown at it.



And a mediocre nature on top of it all.



Now we can head back to Ravenplume City to stock up on Hyper Potions and find Porygon hanging around outside the Chateau of Time. Might as well go see what's going on.



oh



well that's a lower level than i expected

Dialga can be annoying to catch - Geo Impact and Draco Meteor do a ton to most Pokemon. I'm amazingly lucky coming off the heels of the agony that was Ho-Oh and catch Dialga within 10 Ultra Balls. Dialga's pretty good, as you might expect, with an outstanding TM and tutor movepool but it doesn't even need to bother with those due to its outstanding level up movepool - unfortunately it needs the relearner for Aura Sphere and Earth Power but it's a fantastic Pokemon even without those and just using TMs.



im not even mad just disappointed



your turn

Net Balls are great so Palkia's also pretty easy. Palkia comes with the previously mentioned Deluge and is in pretty much the same boat as Dialga in terms of moves, with several outstanding TM and tutor moves such as Nasty Plot. It's also got insanely high stats, like you might expect from a 680 legendary.



Wouldn't go physical anyways so this is good.

Now where to find Giratina? That's kind of what you'd expect, considering Dialga and Palkia. Maybe the Tower of Darkness? It did have that weird thing at the top.



you aren't giratina



And you're also pretty high leveled wow.

Except catching it is hilariously easy because its only damaging move is Ominous Wind. death can sit in front of it until it starts struggling. Darkrai's movepool isn't bad though, it gets Dark Pulse by level at 72 and has access to a bunch of the strong special attacks. Dark Resolve from the tutor or at level 95 provide a stupidly strong nuke, albeit with an unfortunate downside. Dark Void is great like always until Gen 7 nerfed it into the ground, although Darkrai's stuck with Insomnia instead of Bad Dreams. The absurdly high level helps too.



This is definitely fine.



Well we've done pretty well for ourselves I'd say. Let's actually go catch that Embird now though.















what the fuck



what the fuck



also I got this thing and it has Flame Body but what the fuck

Phantisp is incredibly mediocre but still. What the hell. I'm probably not going to use it - I'm pretty set on Embird and they'd overlap quite a lot - but it's still pretty special to find a good natured shiny.

So team stuff. Embird's getting added and death can finally retire, having served long and well. lucy is on the block though if we're going to add somebody. I'm open to using any of the legendaries EXCEPT the level 70s because they're just way too high leveled and I'd prefer not to use Dialga or Palkia for similar reasons. The rest are fair game, so if you'd like to see one of them go the distance feel free to say why. Or if you want to see me use Shiny Phantisp (I probably won't, it's really incredibly mediocre) then I can't stop you from requesting it. Just don't get your hopes up.

Next time we've got a world to save in the plot climax.
 
Last edited:

Fireburn

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I want to point out that Dialga and Palkia can be tutored Nasty Plot.

I'd prob save your legendary pick until after you deal with the plot shenanaigans, there is one in particular who is a very solid choice against the Elite Four.
 
I'm reminded of Ruby Destiny with all the legendary spam. But at least Vega's are sprited better by comparison.

I think you should totally use that shiny Willisp but it's your call. I've never found a shiny in Altair/Sirius/Vega ;o;
 

Nexus

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always use the shiny :blobglare: also if if you want to a legendary, suicune would also be my pick going off the rest of your team atm. Zapdos would be a close second since this game does it justice with a decent special flying move. Never played this hack through to the end so idk how either will serve coming up.
 

Merritt

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Fireburn: Yeah, too bad they can't get it in standard. Nasty Plot tutor when GF? I'm pretty sure I know which legendary you're talking about and it definitely can pretty much take on the rest of the game immediately.

Felis Licht: Vega's fakemons are generally pretty well done. I'm not a fan of all of them, not by a long shot, but none of them look like they were thrown together in Paint in five minutes.

lucariomaster2: Suicune and Zapdos were definitely the frontrunners from the 580 legendaries. but willisp is so incredibly mediocre blehhhh

Nexus: :blobsad: Suicune actually has a lot of overlap with coco because of the sheer number of Ice moves it has and gets. Surf would be nice though...


I'm going to take Fireburn's suggestion and hold off on replacing lucy for a bit. I tried out Willisp, I really did, but it's just so mediocre and Vega has taken the kid gloves off now that it's handed us level 70 legendaries. Mediocre mons end up on the bench, whether that's in the PC or the back of the team.

Last time we caught a boatload of legendaries but that was just a diversion from our actual goal.



Which is further north past Ice Island through another mob of level 43ish unevolved trainers. Yay.

New Island is dominated by a massive castle like thing with DH grunts lining up outside the door. That would be the gym, but first we'll need to train. A lot.



On the plus side the shop has actually acceptable stock. The lady in the second image gives us a TM for Dragon Beat, a 120/90 special Dragon type move with a 40% chance to raise the opponent's Attack two stages. It's a good move.



We've got some training to do. Away from the island.



(The evolution, Flambent, is a 65/94/64/94/64/91 Fire/Flying type)

The trainers around New Island are all kind of pathetic, mostly because their Pokemon are unevolved. We get much more experience from VS Seekering (VS Seeking?) the trainers on the short route before the 7th gym. Who are using Pokemon around level 36.



It's time consuming and incredibly frustrating, because like I mentioned in the bit before the update proper, Vega is no longer going to be playing completely fair. We're going to go all the way to level 63 in order to match the next gym leader. Dragon Dance, while not particularly useful for nickel herself since she's primarily a special attacker, is absolutely outstanding when paired with the Baton Pass TM and can make some of the late fights much easier.



And at level 45 nickel finally becomes Phenusc. Phenusc is a Fire/Dragon type with 85/70/60/120/70/105 base stats and, since nickel had Flame Body, Levitate as its ability. It's fast, it's strong, and it's got a fantastic typing with a good ability to go with it. The sprite's always looked a bit off to me though.



Not taken because it's not particularly useful. Anyways, this grinding took a few hours. This is by far the worst grind before any gym, including the first, second, and third before we got the VS Seeker. While it might seem excessive to grind all the way to 63, believe me, it's important so that if things go wrong we can still recover.



And nickel is done. Dragon Beat is still a good move so we're definitely taking it over Dragon Rush. There's a few options for the moves other than STAB, but I'll leave the possibility of Baton Pass Dragon Dance for now.



Three moves that aren't particularly useful on them. Agility sucks, daidog has good Special Attack but Dark Resolve isn't particularly justifiable on her, and deadeye has Brick Break for bread and butter and HJK for "something needs to die".



This, on the other hand, is incredibly welcome and long overdue. lucy can finally hit Steel types for actual damage.



Now we're ready.



The gym is your standard spinning tiles maze, only it's unsolvable. There's no way to get to the gym leader. There's only one hint on what to do.



The only way to get to this part of New Island is by surfing up the west side past some rocks that do not look possible to surf past and then talk to this random DH grunt. This is how you know that the Itemfinder is how you solve the gym puzzle. Good thing the Itemfinder was an unmissable item and not just tucked away in a random house on a route earlier in the game. That would have been silly.



And with the Itemfinder's help we can locate this hidden item...



Navigate the spinning tile maze to give it to the Pikachu...



Which opens up part of the wall so that we can get to the gym leader. The last gym was way worse.



And now the gym leader, Mewtwo.



Mewtwo Strikes Back, get it? Mewtwo isn't really a laughing matter though. While its team thankfully doesn't use Mewtwo itself, the Pokemon it does have are extremely strong. Here's the team and sets, as usual.

Pikachu* @ Light Ball L63: Wave Splash/Extremespeed/Raid/Volt Tackle
Scyther* @ Focus Band L63: Brave Bird/Earthquake/Grand Boulder/Explosion
Venusaur* @ Leftovers L63: Hydro Pump/Geo Impact/Dark Resolve/Overgrow
Charizard* @ Brightpowder L63: Bug Noise/Thunderbolt/Earth Power/Heat Wave
Blastoise* @ Quick Claw L63: Flamethrower/Dangerous Poison/Earth Power/Hydro Pump

While these Pokemon do exist in Vega (most of them are National Dex mons), none of them have a fully legal moveset. You see the asterisk by the Pokemon names by the way? They're not shiny, that's because they're not actually those Pokemon, they're in the limbo slots. They've also all got custom sprites which I actually quite like. Here's the team's base stats.

Pikachu* 35/211/25/118/40/121
Scyther* 70/157/80/47/80/136
Venusaur* 111/72/83/146/100/80
Charizard* 78/73/78/140/85/146
Blastoise* 110/72/100/134/105/78

Thankfully the hacked Pikachu's Light Ball doesn't work. An Attack stat higher than Primal Groudon's doubled would be a nearly impossible thing to survive. Either way, Pikachu has sky high Attack and is incredibly fast with great (hacked) coverage. It's frailer than a piece of tissue paper, so the goal is definitely to outspeed it with something that isn't frail and thus vulnerable to Extremespeed off 211 base Attack. Slower stuff meanwhile has to eat Volt Tackle. It's a nasty, nasty Pokemon.

Scyther is arguably even nastier, having even more speed along with perfect coverage. The Attack stat is thankfully not quite as high as Pikachu's but it's still stronger than Groudon, and in return doesn't have paper for defenses. It also has a working item, and Focus Band going off can definitely be a problem. Walling Scyther is nearly impossible, it just hits way too hard, and even generally bulky things not weak to any of its moves are vulnerable to the equivalent 500 BP Explosion Scyther is packing.

Venusaur is fat and unfriendly. Leftovers can help keep it alive and impossible to wear down. Rapid Growth (or Overgrow) is a 100/85 special Grass type move with a 50% chance to raise the user's Special Attack. While Venusaur's got that incredible bulk to make it hard to OHKO it's also hitting back with some absurdly strong moves, everything except Rapid Growth being 120 BP. Dark Resolve is actually legal on Venusaur but it's still annoying since the drawback doesn't affect it. Fortunately Venusaur isn't too bulky so it's possible to take it down by just hitting it over and over and it's thankfully unlikely to sweep.

Charizard is stupidly fast and very strong. Bug Noise thankfully can backfire and make Charizard easier to take down, but it's still able to punch holes in most Pokemon. Unlike the rest of Mewtwo's team though, Charizard has a glaring weakness. Levitate Fire types resist or are immune to all of Charizard's moves except Thunderbolt, and by adding in a Dragon typing like, say, Phenusc everything is resisted while Heat Wave is 4x resisted. This makes Charizard hilariously enough the easiest member of the team.

Blastoise is a butt. It's even bulkier than Venusaur and while not quite as strong has the annoying Quick Claw to get those still very strong attacks off quickly. Toxin Spray (or Dangerous Poison) is a 120/70 special Poison type move with a 20% chance to Toxic the opponent. Blastoise's Hydro Pump is strongest special attack here considering STAB while the rest of Blastoise's moves are catered to hitting Electric and Grass types. It's just flat out annoying to actually beat.



No turning back now.



I've been specifically training deadeye for speed for a while now. She is very fast, and manages to outspeed Pikachu. Due to the 'chu defenses Brick Break drops it like a stone.



While weak to Earthquake, diadog can OHKO and is probably bulky enough to eat an attack. I can't guarantee the same from the rest of the team considering Scyther's moves.



Earthquake hurts like hell but Grand Boulder hurts Scyther more.



Leftovers lets Venusaur not take the sandstorm chip. Nice. Ice Beam might be able to KO, or at least maybe put Venusaur in sand damage range.



Or it could do neither and Geo Impact could make coco extinct.



To help contextualize how bulky Venusaur is, Hyper Potions don't heal it fully despite none of Mewtwo's Pokemon having EVs. Zen Headbutt would 2HKO, but Hydro Pump crits and lucy's out for the count. Thankfully deadeye finishes off Venusaur with Psycho Punch at this point.



Get ready to be walled.



Or Bug Noise could miss and Dragon Beat could crit, that works too.



Ok, so even if Energy Ball isn't going to OHKO it'll still weaken Blastoise enough for somebody else to take out.



Or Quick Claw could activate and let Blastoise OHKO Aisha with Toxin Spray.



HJK does a massive amount of damage and Blastoise misses with Hydro Pump which turns out not to matter since daidog steals the kill with her sandstorm.



you're a jerk



The prize from the gym. It's rather handy as a "kill something" move, but for certain reasons is less than useful against the Pokemon League.



We're gonna need to heal before we take on the plot.



After healing, we talk to Mewtwo again and after going on a philosophical rant for a bit it leaves and we're free to climb the stairs behind Mewtwo to chase after Turner.



The upper floors are filled with DH grunts who have stepped up their game - they're using Pokemon around level 54. They're no issue at all compared to Mewtwo, but it's nice that they're trying. There's not very many of them before we can climb up another floor in hunt of bad guys.



oh look we found them harassing a purple lion



please do not pet the animals



is that a challenge?

The guy on the left is the plot grunt we've been fighting for ages, the one who has a much stronger team than most DH grunts. The one on the right is Reginald. And Turner is obviously the guy in the middle. They're all actually notable whenever we've fought them in the past, so let's get ready for a back to back fight against all three since this hack definitely doesn't have triple battles. This could actually be a bit tough.



of course it's you. George would be plot grunt.



Turner makes the wise decision to tell the grunt in the back to continue attempting to capture Nemea instead of fighting us. It sounds like things are going well for said grunt, a surprising amount of competence from one of those.



Then again, maybe not.



And then Mewtwo pops in for whatever reason and starts threatening Turner who doesn't seem very intimidated.



And then Jackie shows up with a working copy of the Secure Styler and actually captures Nemea.



Now facing down both Nemea and Mewtwo everybody on Team DH runs away before the gang leaves us to go track down and beat up Turner alone.



that is not a good hiding spot it is literally just down the hall from where we were



I'm sick of your shenanigans Turner. Let's see your team.

Cloyster @ Quick Claw L66: Hydro Pump/Star Freeze/Shell Smash/Explosion
Kinegasus @ Scope Lens L65: Psyburn/Hypnosis/Shadow Ball/Typhoon
Magmortar @ King's Rock L65: Fire Blast/Energy Ball/Diamond Blast/Raze Earth
Nidoqueen @ Brightpowder L65: Earthquake/Gunk Shot/Giga Spark/Rampage
Magnezone @ Focus Band L66: Geo Impact/Thunderbolt/Thunder Wave/Hydro Pump

Turner's added a pegasus and some hax items since last time. Too bad his team hasn't really improved.

Cloyster is still ludicrously frail specially and unable to hurt Water types without killing itself. The only possible threat is Quick Claw Explosion when we threaten to OHKO it on turn 1, but even that removes Cloyster from the battle.

Kinegasus is new and can actually be annoying to deal with depending on our team. Hypnosis is still sleep and Psyburn does hurt a bit. Typhoon came up briefly at the relearner before, but to give an exact effect beyond "increasing and lowering stats" I'm pretty certain it has a 70% chance of increasing Defense two stages, a 70% chance of lowering Special Attack two stages, a 70% chance of raising Special Defense, a 70% chance of lowering Speed, and a 70% chance of lowering accuracy two stages. The fact that it can only lower Special Attack and accuracy makes it definitely not worth using in my eyes, but it's still pretty neat as a single attack before switching out since it's 120/100.

Magmortar hits hard enough but is still frail and not particularly fast.

Nidoqueen is still somewhat bulky and has high powered moves, but still has mediocre attacking stats and middling speed. Brightpowder is infuriating though.

Magnezone has definitely stepped up with Hydro Pump instead of Icy Wind and Geo Impact instead of Magnetic Force but it's still slow with exploitable weaknesses. Focus Band can be annoying because it does hit pretty hard.

Compared to Mewtwo and its roughly 600 BST starters with hacked moves this is a complete joke.



Let's take out the trash.



Quick Claw didn't activate and Energy Ball OHKOed.



While Kinegasus outsped and landed Hypnosis, the follow up Typhoon did maybe 60 damage and lowered Kinegasus's Special Attack so it was no problem whatsoever to just kill with Crunch.



This OHKOed.



Raze Earth did less than 50 damage because sand boost and then diadog erased Magmortar with a giant rock.



Flamethrower OHKOed and Magnezone had nothing remotely threatening anyways.



Empty threats abound on this day.

We may or may not do the final Turner battle - it's postgame only and has an insane requirement so if I do decide to do it it will be through hacking. Turner3 has all hacked Pokemon though, similar to Mewtwo.



And after reporting back to everybody else that Turner's been made a fool, Nemea runs off and we're all set to head to the league.

Well, maybe just a couple things first.
 

Merritt

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This is the last update before the League.

Remember how last time I said we'd be leaving New Island and heading towards the League?



Well, Nemea is just kind of hanging out in Pokemon Castle so it'd be rude for us to leave it behind.



you've clearly not been informed of the level curve mr nemea

Nemea itself is a pure Steel type with 80/135/95/85/110/75 base stats, but it learns several Dark type moves by level up. Pretty much nothing but Dark and Steel, and many of those are special, unfortunately. It learns some decent TMs and tutor moves, but nothing special - to the point of actually being somewhat underwhelming for Vega. It's basically worse in every important way than the already obtainable Metagross, who has overall better (and more) stats and a much more useful movepool.



This nature certainly doesn't help either.

Now that we've caught Nemea, we've also tripped a flag that cause the other legendary Pokemon in the meteoric legendaries trio to appear at previously explored locations.



In the Undersea Tunnel (yes we needed to grab masuls for Flash again) there's this fella.



Suicune, did you lose some weight?

Contrary to looks, Lilapse isn't actually a Water type - it's a pure Ground type with 85/95/75/110/80/135 base stats. Much like Nemea, Lilapse learns a bunch of moves of what would probably be a secondary type from any sane developers, in this case learning a bunch of Water type moves both by level and TM. Its coverage is pretty shallow unfortunately, it definitely wants the Diamond Blast TM, but it gets Earth Power and Hydro Pump at level 49 and 57 respectively.



Ok or it could be Adamant that's fine. While it's got acceptable Attack and a few decent physical Water type moves (Wave Splash from the tutor or Aqua Tail on catch), it doesn't get Earthquake until level 73. Its other physical moves are uninspired at best.

That disappointment aside, there's one more to catch.



Back to Mt. Snowfall we go.



eet's naught a toomah

Ganimede is a pure Flying mon with 75/110/80/135/85/95 base stats, so the typing alone makes it pretty unique. Ganimede is to Psychic as Lilapse is to Water and Nemea is to Dark, learning several decent Psychic type moves by level. It suffers from being stuck with either Air Slash or the likely incredibly detrimental Typhoon (at level 81) for special Flying moves and having few decent physical options if it wants to try and use Brave Bird instead. Unlike Lilapse and Nemea though, Ganimede has a good special TM movepool which lets it work as a great special attacker with its high Special Attack and good Speed.



Honestly one of the best natures we could have asked for, though we won't be using zog since there's a bit too much overlap with Aisha.



And now that that's done, we can finally go shove our badges in this guard's face and head towards Victory Road.



The trainers on Route 523 aren't bad, they're using evolved Pokemon around level 50. Correncid is the final evolution of the water starter and is a Water/Poison type with 100/80/85/110/90/60 base stats. It's got a great movepool, both by level up and TM/tutor, including access to a downsideless Dark Resolve. The trainers aren't really a threat though simply because they're so low leveled relative to who we've been fighting.

And we need Waterfall to enter Victory Road, so we're going to go pick up a few things before entering.



This is Night Slash.



incognito will be joining us briefly in Victory Road. The Exp Share is so that she doesn't blow up fighting the much higher leveled trainers and wild Pokemon.



Victory Road has some interesting Pokemon and trainers around level 53, but I'll cover the Pokemon in a bit. For now there's just two interesting things.



First is incognito's quick evolution.



Second is who's hanging out on the first floor of Victory Road. Mewtwo only appears after encountering all of Lugia, Ho-Oh, Darkrai, and Nemea.



And for a good reason. Level 80 is the same level as the champion's ace, Mewtwo can solo the remainder of the game pretty handily. Catching it can be an issue though because its attacks will hurt like hell.



Or they would. Mewtwo at Level 80 knows Calm Mind, Recover, Psychic, and Aura Sphere, meaning that the only Dark/Ghost type available before postgame, Necrosia, can wall it endlessly while we throw Ultra Balls at it. Since incognito has Pressure instead of Levitate we're slightly more limited in number of balls per attempt, but after a few resets Mewtwo is ours.



oh



Now that we've obtained a Pokemon that can singlehandedly win us the game, let's head over to Porcelia Forest to find that Mew's hanging around now.



At a drastically lower level too.

Mew itself is the same as ever, but it benefits hugely from Vega's excellent TMs and tutors, since it's able to do pretty much anything you want with fantastic coverage. Physical sweeper? Mew can learn the Swords Dance TM and pretty much every type of physical move. Special sweeper? Nasty Plot's with the tutor and Mew's got an equally outstanding special movepool. Support? Mew can grab a Baton Pass TM and run any of Nasty Plot, Swords Dance, Barrier, or Amnesia, set up with its excellent 100/100/100 bulk, and turn everything into a sweeper. Aside from coming underleveled, Mew is definitely one of the strongest options available.



And a perfect nature for doing whatever if we were going to use Mew.

And now, at long last, we're done with legendaries until postgame. Let's head back to Victory Road.




Victory Road is packed with great items. TM25 is Raze Earth. Yes, we could have grabbed the Master Ball and gotten Mewtwo like that instead of parking incognito in front of it, but the Master Ball is better saved for some postgame Pokemon.



Some of the trainers are using new Pokemon. Scimitooth I mentioned earlier, it's the Rock/Electric evolution of Grindon with 70/100/45/120/50/90 base stats - pretty frail but not too terrible. Dragune and Nostratos are the second and third stages of Vega's pseudo legendary. Dragune is a Dragon/Water type with 64/80/55/90/55/76 base stats while Nostratos is a Dragon/Flying type with 89/115/80/135/80/101 base stats and the ability Intimidate. It's got outstanding stats and a perfectly functional movepool to go either physical or special.



And if we wanted to use one, it's a rare encounter by surfing outside Victory Road.



Far more interesting is what's inside Victory Road. Gible is a rare encounter on the lower floors, but unfortunately it only gets Earthquake as an egg move.



And a viable parent happens to be inside Victory Road. We'll be taking both of these, and heading out of Victory Road for a bit.



A Moon Stone evolves Rhydon and doesn't change the level it learns Earthquake at, so why not. Yes, we were grinding a Rhyperior on the water.



And with some time and a bunch of running, we've got our little murderdragon.



this was the first egg what

Anyways, time to quickly grind on old trainers with the VS Seeker.




maltet does learn Dragon Claw earlier, but while Crunch is a good move there's other things planned for her.



Garchomp wishes it got a 110/100 physical Fire type move in standard, and probably would like a Bug type Earthquake too.

We're now going to have maltet solo Victory Road for levels and just because we can.



Not useful when we have Earthquake. This is a significant part of the way through Victory Road.



Then PAPER jumps out from underneath that bridge to ambush us.



Aside from being a lie, this is completely expected from PAPER. The real question is whether or not he'll be a challenge for the first time since the lab battle.

(the answer is no)



While he's a massive level jump ahead of everybody else in Victory Road, he's still not at the same level as Turner was. Abomasnow might be an issue to maltet if maltet didn't have a 4x effective 110 BP move. Raging Flame OHKOs cleanly.



All of these are weak to Ground. So far we've used 0 items and have no switched out from our lower leveled maltet. The Rhydon and Feroceros take two hits to KO and manage to hit back with Earthquakes of their own, the Magneton explodes violently when touched by Ground type moves.



EQ>Fire/Steel types



You were nice exp for maltet at least. Thank for for that I guess.

And with that done it's just a bit further to get out of Victory Road.



And from there it's just a short surf to the island with the Pokemon League. We're only steps away from having to turn around and go grind like mad!



hello again mosmero



Could we not and just say that we did? No? Ok then. Mosmero, unlike PAPER, is actually a credible threat, with a high leveled and well covered, albeit monotype, team. He's basically an extra gym leader, so let's take a look at his team.

Necrosia @ Brightpowder L68: Giga Spark/Rampage/Wave Splash/Psycho Cut
Tyranitar @ Focus Band L67: Grand Boulder/Psygatling/Wood Hammer/Earthquake
Houndoom @ Salac Berry L66: Dark Pulse/Fire Blast/Discharge/Nasty Plot
Goabalt @ Quick Claw L67: Metal Blast/Earthquake/Zen Headbutt/Payback
Dizasol @ Scope Lens L68: Extremespeed/Psycho Cut/Rampage/Raging Flame

Necrosia is here basically so that Mosmero's team isn't 5 Pokemon all weak to Fighting types. It's still probably the most threatening Pokemon on his team, especially to us, considering its outstanding Attack and great Speed. Rampage hurts like hell and is basically all Necrosia needs, while everything else is just coverage. Brightpowder is almost par for the course by now, but god help us if he procs a Wave Splash evasion boost.

Tyranitar does Tyranitar stuff, hits hard with EdgeQuake coverage and is a bulky tank. It's also got Psygatling for any Fighting types that fail to manage the OHKO due to being underleveled or Focus Band activating. It's not the biggest threat on Mosmero's team, but it's not something that can be taken lightly, especially due to its insane special bulk in sand making it hard to take down if lacking a Fighting type move.

Houndoom is arguably the easiest member of Mosmero's team, being both low leveled and not overwhelmingly strong statwise. It's frail enough that it's not difficult to OHKO, but it's also one of the Pokemon who can actually sweep teams if it manages to get both a Nasty Plot and Salac Berry boost. It's not impossible to wall and it's relatively frail and not too fast, so it shouldn't be an issue most of the time.

Goabalt does pretty much the same thing lucy had been doing for us, just hitting stuff really hard and hoping it sticks. It's a second mon with a 4x weakness to Fighting on Mosmero's team though, so it's not too bad to take down. A Quick Claw Zen Headbutt can be annoying though. It's hilarious when Quick Claw activates on Payback.

Dizasol is the same as it was the last time, though fortunately we're now able to outspeed it much more consistently. Rampage hits incredibly hard, while Psycho Cut punishes any slower Fighting types that try and go for the easy KO. Extremespeed is just there for the chance to crit and ruin a faster mon's day, while Raging Flame makes Dizasol not walled by Steel types. Tyranitar does block this incredibly well fortunately.

Overall, Mosmero is incredibly threatening if we don't have a strong and fast Fighting type and can still be dangerous even if we do. He also comes with absolutely no warning, just ambushing us out of absolutely nowhere. We've got some strong, fast, super effective attackers though, so I think we'll be ok.



That's a stupid title.



First up, Aisha's going to try and either take down or weaken Necrosia so that deadeye can sweep. Air Slash doesn't quite do 50% and Necrosia counters with a Wave Splash that thankfully doesn't raise evasion. Energy Ball leaves Necrosia low and the returning Rampage takes down Aisha from 70%.



Crit Flamethrower as Mosmero uses a Full Restore takes down Necrosia, and the path is clear.



Sand's up, and deadeye is in. Focus Band doesn't activate and Tyranitar goes down to Brick Break.



Already in, huh. Extremespeed doesn't do anything to deadeye, and since she's hasty I feel alright about her chances to outspeed. Going for Brick Break proves that right, and Dizasol drops.



Quick Claw activates, but Zen Headbutt misses. There was a plan if deadeye went down here (maltet would finish things off), but it's unneeded since Brick Break OHKOs Goabalt.



Earthquake kills the devil dog, and Mosmero's down.



please never come back



And now we're actually at the league. Time to heal up, stock up, and go grind for some tough battles.



what is wrong with the shops in this region

This is why we haven't been using Revives ever, incidentally. We can't get more until postgame. This means that we've got exactly 6 revivals for the entirety of the Elite Four, 4 regular Revives and 2 Max Revives. We're going to be doing some heavy grinding so that we can actually get through. Or maybe we'll just bang our head against the first couple Elite Four members for grinding, haven't decided yet.

Some Elite Four data. Their types are, in order, Electric/Poison/Steel/Fire, with the Champion having no set type. Levels range from 69 for the weakest of Elite Four number 1 to level 80 for the Champion's ace. We won't be going all the way to 80, but we're definitely going above 70.

Next time: failed attempts mean lost revives
 
Yeah I mean it’s always been a bit silly from a story perspective that, in the extreme case, you can theoretically become the champion in any main series game after Gen I just by buying hundreds of Revives. Obviously it’s ridiculously slow in Gens II-III where Struggle’s recoil is a percentage of damage dealt, but still possible.
 

Merritt

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lucariomaster2: I do like the idea honestly, I'm just annoyed because it means that reviving Pokemon outside of battle is an issue. The lack of Full Restores is somewhat inexcusable though, screw that.

Cobalt Empoleon: An interesting note: by the time I finished grinding I had about $760,000. That's about 506 revives. Considering that I wasn't using the Amulet Coin and was holding the Lucky Egg instead, it's entirely plausible to actually get to 999 revives in the course of grinding, which is more than a bit absurd.


We're at the end of the game. Let's get to it. Be warned, this is a massive one.



This is our team currently. 5 levels below the weakest Pokemon in the League is nowhere near strong enough. We've got some upgrades to make, both in levels and moves.



Off to the tutor we go. Aqua Shock has been too weak for a while now, Hydro Pump (while a little less accurate) is a massive boost in power that coco very much wants. Psycho Punch has seen barely any use whatsoever for deadeye, while Psygatling is less accurate and does have the 10% chance to burn the user it's much more likely to actually be used. Bug Noise is decent enough for nickel, the side effect of 10% paralysis is undesired but it's a good special move. We've got plenty of Lum Berries anyways.



We've still got 2 Heart Scales left, so there's no particular need to feel shy about using the tutor. The 4 Revives and Rare Candies are in case we need them in the League, there's also 2 Max Revives below.



These three are our new best friends. The one on the right uses a Phenusc and Garchomp, the middle uses a Floatzel and Walrein, and the left uses a Noctowl, all of them around level 53. Everybody except Aisha will be grinding on them, since each Pokemon gives an average of 3000 exp after Lucky Egg. Aisha will be grinding on the water trainers to the west.



In the course of fighting them, we run into this. I've never seen this before.

Please don't softlock.



Well that must be painful. We can get out of her just fine though, so just a little oddity.




A bunch of unlearned moves. Most of these just aren't worth learning, but Leaf Storm and Sheer Cold aren't bad choices. Energy Ball's spammability is a little more valuable than Leaf Storm (and it doesn't miss), so we'll be skipping it. Sheer Cold, paired with save states and getting to level 80, wins the game. It's very lame though so we're not going to do that.



And the final team. maltet will be doing much of the heavy lifting, so she's a lower level to account for the extra experience she'll be getting. Aisha is a higher level because I'm not immune to starter favoritism.

Before we go though, a quick trip down memory lane is in order.



ack and doubt get paired together, the pineco sisters. ack got to contribute against the first gym by blowing up, and both blew up against the second. While they suffered from being a slightly lower level than they honestly should have been against the second gym, their contribution was valuable and I'm thankful for their help.



Oh oh. you little ball of destruction and death. Excellent contributions against both the first and second leaders make you one of the most valuable members of the team. Swellow just kind of falls off too hard later on, but oh. was fantastic while she was around, leaving before she even thought of becoming a burden.



Big macho. Machu is honestly a Pokemon who can hang around the entire game and work. masuls got dropped just because there were other things I wanted to use more, but without her the third gym would have been a pretty bad time. She also put in good work against the fourth gym, before the later gyms became a bit too unfavorable to Machu. While not as helpful as oh., masuls was still great.



dance had silly levels of Attack. While she never really got on the team long term, she still did fine against the 6th gym and was available for the 7th if necessary. Not much to say unfortunately, other Pokemon got in the way of really using her.



incognito had one job and she pulled it off with aplomb. Mewtwo made easy. Shame about Pressure but eh.



you were cool but you're so eh



A perfect HM slave. Strength, Rock Smash, Waterfall, and Surf, all in one. Great choice.



death stuck around basically forever. I love Velvelt and Grissly, but ultimately there was just a little too much overlap with the rest of the team. Velvelt does fall behind a bit in the last levels before evolution, but Grissly makes up for it many times over. death had so much power in that small package and honestly could have stuck around until the end of the game were it not for deadeye.



The last and longest running member of the team who won't be joining us in the league. Until Goabalt, lucy was struggling somewhat, having to lean hard on the Steel type advantages, but once she became Goabalt and Dark type she began destroying everything. Her low speed did hold her back, and once we got diadog it became harder to justify sending lucy out, but lucy served fantastically well. I salute you.

And the final 6.



Aisha has been around forever, and while he's never really astounded he has always been somebody I knew I could fall back on. High Special Attack, high Speed, a lack of Fire weakness and only 2x weak to Ice. While he's only using his STABs, King's Rock gives him a 40% chance to flinch with Air Slash and Energy Ball is decent enough.



Look, if Vega's going to constantly throw Brightpowder at me I'm going to throw Brightpowder at it. Aurostice only gets Ice type moves by level up, but that's what coco is here to do. Hydro Pump and Psychic are if things go wrong, but mostly coco is here to use Ice Beam off her great Special Attack. coco's been a consistent member of the team since forever and I'm glad she joined. She's a little frail, but nothing too serious.



I firmly believe that game corner Hantama is one of the top 10, if not top 5, Pokemon in Vega. Perfect STABs, fantastic Speed, great Attack. While deadeye is pretty frail, she's also extremely capable and has been the entire game. If I ever needed somebody to fall back on, deadeye was the one to do it. Brick Break and Shadow Clamp are the bread and butter, Psygatling is specialized for Poison and Fighting types, and Hi Jump Kick is when something needs to die.



Jolly was a huge stroke of luck. diadog might have an incredibly offensive nature and sky high Attack paired with perfect coverage, but she shines as an insanely bulky Pokemon, especially on the special side. The sand boost just makes her nearly impossible to actually take down, while Leftovers just seals the deal. Adding her was an unplanned thing, but I'm very glad I did. Surf is just there because I don't care enough to remove it.



I love Phenusc, and nickel specifically is an excellent example of why. Crazy high Speed, absurdly fantastic Special Attack, and only a couple of weaknesses due to Levitate. Flamethrower is the whatever move, while Dragon Beat is when something has to die. Bug Noise isn't likely to get used much at all but is better than Air Slash honestly, while Dragon Dance is in case we need to cheese by using the Baton Pass TM to start DD passing. nickel's not gotten much chance to shine, but she's going to have some very important work in the league.



I still can't believe the first egg was Adamant. Look at that attack! If maltet hits something then it's going to get blown apart. Breeding Garchomp for Earthquake is incredibly important since the move multiplies its KO power several times. Dragon Claw is just standard, Raging Flame is a fantastic move, and Raid is again, Bug type Earthquake. maltet has some hilarious synergy with diadog because of Sand Veil and the extra status chance on Raid is nice too I suppose. maltet single handedly swept Victory Road, and she'll be doing the heavy lifting against the Elite Four too.



Well that's enough of that. Let's go smack around the Elite Four. Items set, team prepared.



Let's get right into it.



As the first member of the Elite Four, poor Theodore is pretty underleveled compared to the rest of the league. He's not really a slouch though, like every member of the Elite Four he's got some strong Pokemon ready to go.

Magnezone @ Focus Band L69: Geo Impact/Thunderbolt/Bug Noise/Hydro Pump
Electivire @ Quick Claw L69: Giga Spark/Earthquake/Wood Hammer/Icicle Crash
Blitzune @ Salac Berry L68: Nasty Plot/Thunder/Dark Resolve/Aqua Shock
Scimitooth @ BrightPowder L70: Diamond Blast/Raze Earth/Thunderbolt/Mach Bolt
Machu @ Liechi Berry L71: Mach Punch/Rampage/Icicle Crash/Volt Tackle

Magnezone has some incredibly high powered moves to use off its great Special Attack and comes with a Focus Band to potentially save it from its multiple devastating weaknesses, mostly Ground. It's pretty much what we've seen from Turner previously though.

Electivire is pretty nasty. Giga Spark hurts, and with Icicle Crash and Earthquake it's got perfect coverage. Wood Hammer is for stuff like Rhyperior that tries to be cute. While Electivire is already pretty fast, the Quick Claw is an annoyance that means throwing maltet at him can end in disaster.

Blitzune sucks. It's so frail that it has no excuse, it's got mediocre at best coverage and inaccurate moves. It's not even remotely a threat.

Scimitooth is still incredibly frail with exploitable weaknesses but Brightpowder is the same as always to save it from that. Raze Earth and Diamond Blast can be an unpleasant surprise considering how strong it is. Mach Bolt is a 40/100 special Electric type move with +1 priority, so that can KO weakened Pokemon.

Machu is still the best thing ever, except now it's got BoltBeam coverage and STAB priority. Getting hit by Machu hurts, but fortunately it's pretty frail specially and at the level we're at for the rest of the league it's not a real issue.



Let's set them up.



Focus Band doesn't activate and EQ OHKOs.



Because I'm unwilling to risk maltet, nickel's here to deal with Electivire. Flamethrower does a good 80+% while Giga Spark misses. A Full Restore and another Flamethrower set us back to the previous status.



hey hey hey woah what are you doing

Theodore goes Scimitooth, who takes nearly 70% from the resisted move, heals, and dies to Dragon Beat. He then sends out Electivire again so that it can die to Flamethrower. ???



Earthquake OHKO x2



Earthquake OHKO x3



Don't flatter yourself, you're a glorified 'Welcome' mat.



Number 2.



She's a Poison type user. Allegedly at least. She's a lot like Theodore, but she's unlikely to actually beat people since Theodore catches the people who shouldn't be there and people who should be there shouldn't have much more of an issue with her.

Nidoqueen @ BrightPowder L71: Earthquake/Gunk Shot/Wave Splash/Rampage
Jarmit @ Leftovers L70: Big Yawn/Slack Off/Tone Deaf/Double Team
Nidoking @ Quick Claw L70: Earthquake/Gunk Shot/Wood Hammer/Icicle Crash
Gengar @ Focus Band L72: Dark Resolve/Dangerous Poison/Shadow Ball/Hypnosis
Correncid @ Petaya Berry L73: Dangerous Poison/Surf/Raze Earth/Dark Resolve

Nidoqueen, aside from Brightpowder, isn't an issue honestly. She's got some high powered moves, but really doesn't do much in the way of being a threat to anything not weak to her STAB moves - she just doesn't have high enough stats.

Jarmit is still not a Poison type, and remains a Ghost. Tone-Deaf is a 100/100 special Normal type move with a 10% chance to lower Special Defense and a 10% chance to cause confusion. It's learned by a bunch of sound based Pokemon like Chatot, Whismur, and Noctowl for some bizarre reason, Jarmit only gets it by breeding. Here it's going for the full defensive strategy, which is the only thing Jarmit really can do with its terrible stats. As long as it doesn't get too many Double Teams, it's no issue.

Nidoking's a little better than Nidoqueen, but second verse is mostly same as the first.

Gengar is probably the most dangerous Pokemon here, since Dark Resolve and Toxin Spray both hurt a lot. It's not going to be an issue at all for us though.

Correncid's got good stats and good moves. It's like what the Nidos are trying to be, but not mediocre. It's still rather slow, however, so it's not too difficult to take down.



Time for a world of hurt.



maltet's here to go postal. Earthquake OHKO x4



Well that's pretty early for your ace. no issues for maltet, Earthquake OHKO x5




She gets by with a little help from her friends. Crunch does more damage than Jarmit's prepared to handle and it's gone instantly.



maltet v2.0, now featuring Sand Veil. Not that it matters, since Earthquake OHKO x6



Gengar puts diadog to sleep and hits her with a Toxin Spray on the one turn that she sleeps for. It does 25 damage. Crunch does a bit more than 25 damage back.



I'm sure there's better Poison types out there. Maybe check postgame, I heard they have a few.



Three's up.



Who? Anyways, our "cousin" Irene uses Steel types. There's several good Steel types in Vega, so she should have some good stuff.

Feroceros @ Quick Claw L73: Earthquake/Metal Blast/Rock Slide/Giga Spark
Forretress @ Focus Band L74: Metal Blast/Raid/Explosion/Earthquake
Lucario @ King's Rock L74: Hi Jump Kick/Rampage/Psychic/Magnet Force
Skarmory @ BrightPowder L72: Metal Blast/Drill Run/Brave Bird/Stone Edge
Yunesis @ Scope Lens L75: Metal Blast/Wave Splash/Zen Headbutt/Hypnosis

Feroceros is a good Pokemon, limited by its low Speed. Quick Claw (sometimes) fixes that. Neutral coverage is checked, along with two high powered other moves. The main thing here is actually Intimidate, meaning that throwing maltet at the problem might not work.

Forretress is cute and all, but it's awful. Explosion can hurt, but Forretress isn't killing things, let's be real.

Lucario, on the other hand, can kill things. HJK hurts to take, while Magnet Force hits the exact opposite end of the spectrum. It's frail, in traditional Lucario fashion, but it's got good enough Speed to get the hits off when it counts.

Look, Skarmory was a big threat when it first came around before gym 3. It was less of a threat but still somewhat dangerous before gym 4. Offensive Skarmory isn't really a threat anymore. Wow, you've got two 120 BP STAB moves and EdgeQuake coverage. Nice job Skarmory, you get a gold star.

Yunesis isn't really a threat either. Hypnosis is more annoying than anything, and while Metal Blast means we can't just throw diadog at it like we do most Psychic types, Yunesis isn't particularly dangerous to Water types for example. Intimidate is definitely annoying though.



Where has the good steel gone?



We're not exposing maltet to Intimidate this early on. While Quick Claw does mean nickel has to eat a Rock Slide, nickel survives and Flamethrowers back for the first KO.



And immediately into the 4x weak to Fire mon. Excellent decision. Focus Band doesn't make my confidence backfire, and Flamethrower probably OHKOs several times over.



And in comes Skarmory and out goes Skarmory after it gets a blast of fire to the face.



Let's let maltet do something. Earthquake OHKO x7



Even Intimidate can't save Yunesis from Earthquake OHKO x8



I could have sworn there were better Steel types than Forretress out there. Like Metagross. Or Goabalt.



Vega being a FireRed base and all, we've got the dramatic walk to Number 4.



Look, everybody else kind of had something related to their type in their room. You've got these giant fangs. I don't understand, Cole. Either way, you've pretty much caught up to our levels.

Magmortar @ Petaya Berry L76: Heat Wave/Wood Hammer/Magnum Punch/Confuse Ray
Bakeko @ Focus Band L74: Psyburn/Flare Blitz/Bug Noise/Night Slash
Astignite @ Brightpowder L75: Geo Impact/Fire Blast/Giga Spark/Psygatling
Phenusc @ King's Rock L75: Dragon Beat/Fire Blast/Energy Ball/Nasty Plot
Phantisp @ Quick Claw L77: Fire Blast/Hypnosis/Sludge Wave/Dark Pulse

Magmortar isn't really much of a threat. Magnum Punch is a 95/100 special Fighting type move with a 10% chance to lower defense and a 10% chance to flinch. Confuse Ray is confusing, for lack of a better word, and Magmortar's so frail that it feels like the Focus Band or Quick Claw or Brightpowder would be better here to make us potentially flip a table.

Bakeko is absurdly frail, on the other hand, and not really strong enough to be too much of an issue. It's got fantastic coverage though.

Astignite is actually fairly threatening due to its high powered moves and excellent bulk. It's cripplingly weak to Ground type moves fortunately.

Phenusc is fortunately not quite as fast as nickel in the AI's hands, otherwise it could be very problematic if it manages to get the Nasty Plot boost, because then it's able to OHKO most everything and has a chance to flinch those things it doesn't.

Phantisp perfectly bears out why I didn't use the shiny Willisp. It's profoundly terrible here, despite its high level. I can see it being an issue for some teams, but for us it's not a problem in the slightest.



Smoking's bad for you, you know.



It would be at this point that I realized that I forgot to Leppa Berry Earthquake, and it was sitting at 2 PP left. This would turn out to be an issue, but not here. Earthquake OHKO x9



While Energy Ball could actually do some decent damage to diadog, Phenusc gets greedy and goes for Nasty Plot. It pays by being crushed under 50 tonnes of rock.



Normally I would have thrown maltet at Bakeko, but instead deadeye gets to come out and OHKO with Brick Break.



And here's where the forgetting to use a Leppa came back to bite me. Brightpowder worked, and now maltet was out of Earthquakes against a thing that was cleanly 3HKOing with Geo Impact, and switching somebody else in was liable to get them killed. Raging Flame was a go, and then it missed the 2HKO by what had to be less than 10 HP before Cole healed. A few Hyper Potions and maltet finally managed the KO but that was much more painful than it should have been.



This was a complete joke though. Hypnosis hit and diadog slept for the max number of turns, but Fire Blast (Phantisp's strongest move) was doing 3 damage after Leftovers recovery. Dark Pulse and Sludge Wave would do negative amounts of damage. Non-SE Crunch finished off Phantisp when diadog finished her nap.



Elite Four down.

Champion left, after we remember to use Leppa Berries.



This is Gina. She's actually from the prequels, Altair and Sirius, and she's several times nastier than any of the Elite Four. Maybe it's the not being restrained to monotype. Either way, she's the bear of the league.

Aerodactyl @ King's Rock L77: Brave Bird/Metal Blast/Raid/Giga Spark
Serplant @ Leftovers L76: Blizzard/Energy Ball/Surf/Shell Smash
Necrosia @ Brightpowder L78: Rampage/Chomp/Raging Flame/Cross Chop
Folifarig @ Petaya Berry L78: Psyburn/Signal Beam/Hydro Pump/Nasty Plot
Metagross @ Leichi Berry L79: Metal Blast/Zen Headbutt/Wave Splash/Giga Spark
Nostratos @ Salac Berry L80: Typhoon/Hydro Pump/Diamond Blast/Dragon Beat

Things kick into high gear immediately. Aerodactyl is one of those Pokemon we don't really have a solid answer to - it's too fast to guarantee an outspeed with coco and we need coco alive for later and it does way too much to diadog, while Grand Boulder's 75 acc is bad enough that it'd be a bad idea to risk it. Aisha and deadeye are obviously a poor idea, being weak to STAB Brave Bird, so it's up to one of our two dragons. Even less specific to us, Aerodactyl is a threat with Rock Head Brave Bird and high powered coverage options. It's also incredibly frustrating when it flinches and it's by far the best user of King's Rock in the league due to high speed.

Serplant cannot be allowed to set up Shell Smash. At +2 it's very fast and extremely strong - it's possible to survive with high Special Defense Pokemon but our local special wall is weak to Water. Stopping the Shell Smash is actually a challenge too since Serplant is incredibly bulky and doesn't have particularly easily exploitable weaknesses for our team.

Necrosia is difficult every time we see it, and when it's got an even higher level than last time this is no exception. Brightpowder exists to make things harder while Rampage throws things through nearby walls and Shadow Clamp's 30% sleep chance is there for yet another table flip. Raging Flame keeps Steels at bay, while Cross Chop means diadog needs to stay far, far away. Otherwise, Necrosia's the same high Attack, high Speed Pokemon we've fought and beaten before.

Folifarig is honestly not astounding - it's definitely the least threatening mon here. It's still a moderately fast, 130 base Special Attack mon with a 120 BP Psychic STAB and Hydro Pump for coverage. It's very likely to go for Nasty Plot and Signal Beam is fairly weak, so most Dark types can handle it fortunately. This is why we want diadog to not fight Aerodactyl however, since taking +2 attacks from Folifarig is very difficult.

Metagross is a very threatening Pokemon. Its STABs put in plenty of work and it's got strong enough coverage for the usual ways to fight Steel types. Actually taking hits from Metagross is a pretty strong demand, although it is possible to wall semi-successfully.

Nostratos allows Gina to continue what's probably tradition at this point of Champions using pseudo legendaries. It's fast, it's strong, it hits hard. Typhoon can be exploited to usually weaken Nostratos significantly but it's still hard to take any hits from a 135 Special Attack level 80 mon. It's also pretty fast, but we're going to bet that coco is faster and freeze the dragon. If not, then diadog's hopefully up for another fight.



Let's go.



Of course it's maltet fighting Aerodactyl, who else? She actually outspeeds Aerodactyl and 2HKOs with Dragon Claw, despite taking a bunch of damage from Brave Bird.



In comes big threat #1



Threat neutralized. Right up until this moment I was actually trying to decide whether or not to go for the flinch or bet that Serplant would go for Shell Smash instead of Blizzard and use Fly so that Aisha could hit after -1 Defense drop. The 40% flinch carries through though, and I'll just pretend it was going to use Blizzard this turn and Shell Smash the next anyways. Energy Ball finishes off Serplant.



Necrosia comes in and so does maltet. Dragon Claw does a little over half and Rampage takes down maltet, finally ending her own rampage over the league. deadeye comes in and finishes off Necrosia with Shadow Clamp.



Scope Lens was an excellent idea. Flamethrower was going to do a ton anyways and Metagross doesn't have anything too strong to hit nickel with, but it's nice to eliminate the uncertainty, especially if Flamethrower would have put Metagross in Leichi range.



Nostratos is out now. Time to see if coco can actually outspeed.

She does, and Ice Beam performs as expected.



Out comes Folifarig and daidog's ready to wrap this up. Folifarig fires off a Hydro Pump, doing a good 40% to daidog before eating a Crunch and closing out the battle.



That's it. We've beaten Vega.



Professor Holly hops in, not to check our Pokedex though. He's not wrong, but our team was absolutely incredible by the end here.



...



Nice job, team.



The credits are edited somewhat, but the names are the original FireRed staff.

I'll talk a bit about my thoughts on Vega now I guess. Feel free to skip and just look at the action poses of the Vega starters.



I've said it before and I'll say it again: I really, sincerely enjoy Vega. It's got fantastic fakemon, almost all of which are well balanced and designed, and good variety between the fakemon and the actual Pokemon. There's no areas that feel too full or too empty of fakemon imo, and the game does a great job of making the fakemon feel appealing to use, be it by design, stats, or kicking your ass by having a gym leader use one. Similarly, the new moves are generally pretty interesting - a lot of them are similar to existing moves in that there's a 40 BP priority Dark and Electric type move, but the stronger ones use a concept that I personally really like by having them all have some kind of drawback. There's the usual stuff like the 120 BP, 70 Acc moves, but also things like Psygatling or Bug Noise with their 10% chance to cause status on the user. Dark Resolve is a fascinating move and I wish that we had one like that in standard. Some of the moves are a bit unbalanced (Raid has no downsides whatsoever and Raging Flame's 10% confusion chance on the user isn't bad enough), but as a whole I like them.



Vega is not a perfect game. The disparity between the gym leaders and the normal trainers is too high - when the leader is 10-15 levels higher than even the gym trainers then something is wrong. They could have easily held back a bit on that, something like ~5 levels higher, and just gone with the already challenging custom (but legal! I really appreciate that they are for the most part legal!) sets. The sets are already largely tailored towards beating whatever the player could have obtained up to that point, so there's no need for the insane level disparity, especially when items are as limited as they are. I understand why not allow Revives at the league, I really do. I can't forgive keeping Super Potions until the third gym and Hyper Potions until the sixth, and no Full Restores until postgame irks me. Healing items are really powerful, sure, but with the level disparity and the strong sets and the lack of items it's just not fun at times. The grinding can be painful and feel really necessary - it's not really necessary to go as high as I did several times but it's likely to mean several defeats. This isn't limited to gym leaders either, while PAPER is generally terrible he was still 11-13 levels higher than everybody else in Victory Road, while Mosmero was 13-15.

On a different note, Vega also does a lot of ambushes and really poor puzzles, at least in my opinion. The ambushes most just get old after a while (although the last Mosmero and the Undersea Tunnel ambushes are unforgiving), but some of the puzzles are good, like the 4th gym. Some are very bad. The first gym requiring you to look in a window to get to the leader is extraordinarily dumb. I've harped on it a lot, but the easily skippable Itemfinder being basically required in three different places isn't good. The 6th gym (the dark tileset gym) isn't really very well designed because the rule of walkable tiles appearing after defeating trainers is never said. The 7th gym. Just. My god, the 7th gym moving strength boulder bit is awful. If you've never played Vega it's hard to describe just how bad it is.



For all the things Vega does wrong or badly in my opinion, there's a thing they've done stunningly right or amazingly in my opinion. They got the Physical/Special split working - something that eluded the english community for ages. Sand gives a Special Defense boost. You're allowed to run inside centers, which is a small thing that I love. There's so many of the gen 4 and 5 moves ported over and the developers really do know how the system runs because they didn't just steal animations from other moves, they made them mostly unique if limited by what assets were in moves already. They almost never went overboard on the fakemons or fake moves, with basically the only exceptions being postgame - no 200/100 Dark type move off a 1010 BST Pokemon here. On the contrary of feeling overloaded with fakemons or that they were too strong, there's a ton of them in the postgame that I'd have loved to see available earlier because they simply fit in so well.



Vega may not be objectively the best romhack out there, but it is my favorite, and I'm glad for the chance to share it with you all. Thanks for joining me.




...

...


Well maybe it's not the end just yet.
 
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Such a great playthrough with just enough details on the Fakemon and region to keep it interesting. Also breeding EQ onto Garchomp was an interesting in-game tactic, glad you ended up using it and TTar to show how brutal this game is.

I'm curious, since you say yourself the necessary excessive grinding was tedious at times, how much in-game time did you rack up by the credits? Compared to regular Pokemon games this one seems more like a 70+ hr playthrough console game haha.

Looking forward to any postgame shenanigans if you get around to it.
 

Merritt

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Bobbery: Breeding for egg moves is definitely unusual for ingame runs, but it's definitely justified (in my eyes) for Vega. Total playtime as of beating the league was 75 hours, although some of that time was definitely spent with just the game open. If I had to guess, I'd say that it was actually about 70ish hours of total time, although that's partly due to fast forward grinding at 3x speed.


The End might have come but we're not done yet. Not by a long shot.



After beating the game, a whole bunch of flags are set and we're given the National Pokedex. Yep, Vega's a 386 hack, not just limited to the normal 151 of the Kanto Dex. On the subject of 151, we've actually seen every single Pokemon in the regional dex, which is kind of cool.



First off, we're off to the league to stock up on their new items - Full Restores. They're still not selling Revives but that's ok. Somewhat. We've got money to burn, so 99 Full Restores it is.




We can also head back to some previously explored places in order to get new stuff! We'll be reviving the Wing Fossil in the future and I'll talk about it then. Super Rod man is on Ice Island, and the fish we can get with the Super Rod are extremely high quality. The man in the third image is on New Island and he gives us the Analysis Map - Terubim is a Castform replacement with more useful stats.

What we're actually going to be doing this update is getting our new (and possibly last) team member. Most of the flags I mentioned were related to opening up areas in previous dungeons that we couldn't access before. I've pointed them out a couple times in the past, but they're usually a ladder or stairway that was blocked off.



Our first destination is right back in Victory Road.

Victory Road's 4 new floors are all massive and mazelike. This is a pattern for most of the new areas, they generally double or even triple the overall size of the dungeon and are very easy to get lost in. They're also packed to the brim with new Pokemon.



A few of them also have trainers, and they've stepped up their game. This is the very first trainer in the new Victory Road floors, and it's a Leftovers Dusknoir. While they're fairly low leveled relatively speaking (only the level of the first Elite Four), they can be a nasty surprise. They're also indoors, so no VS Seeker grinding on them.




Many of the trainers are using National Dex mons. There's a bunch of others I'm not showing here because we'll be encountering them later, but here's a few of the notable ones.

Tentyrant is a Tentacruel evolution and is a Water/Dark type with 90/70/65/95/135/110 base stats and either Clear Body or Immunity as its ability. It's still somewhat frail physically and doesn't have particularly crazy Special Attack, but with Immunity it can spam STAB Dark Resolve all day long. Nymphrost is an evolution of a Pokemon we'll actually encounter relatively soon. It's a Bug/Ice type with 90/85/55/100/55/75 base stats. While its stats are unimpressive at best, it does have access to Quiver Dance and Compoundeyes, which make Blizzard and Hydro Pump incredibly reliable.

Darca and Narwhail are personality evolutions of the same Pokemon. Darca's a Water/Dark type with 85/105/60/65/85/85 base stats, while Narwhail's an Ice type with 80/71/50/99/80/105 base stats. Neither are good at this point in the game. Cocrouge is an evolution of a much faster Pokemon and is a Dark/Bug type with underwhelming 90/90/75/40/75/60 base stats.




Of course the trainers aren't the only ones with new mons. There's a bunch of new encounters, along with a few Rhyhorn on the upper new floors. Mienfoo and Cacnea are pretty much the same as usual. Mienshao's not bad, but Cacnea's way outgunned by this point. I personally despise Rubball but it's not the worst thing ever as long as you catch one with Huge Power instead of Sturdy. It's a Rock/Ground type with 85/65/130/50/80/60 base stats and gets access to Rock Polish by level. Wombaton is a Ground/Ghost type with 80/103/72/78/61/81 base stats, not terrible but just not particularly good.

Modra and Ambilade both evolve, so I'll be catching each to show off their evolutions. Modra is a pure Poison type with 45/75/60/40/45/60 base stats. Ambilade meanwhile is a pure Steel type with 50/90/65/50/55/60 base stats. Ambilade is a 1% encounter on the bottom two floors of Victory Road and is a personality evolution to two different mons so bleh.



New Pokemon aside, our goal is actually to get down the the B6F where the former champion Gina is waiting for us with Latios, Latias, and a little grey thing.



Which can talk perfectly well. This would be Ordina, who was somewhat more present in the prequels Altair and Sirius. General concept is that it's vaguely similar to Mewtwo in that it's a human made Pokemon, except Ordina was a human.



Gina's just kind of hanging around down here. She's apparently had to fight all the trainers that we did too (which was a lot of trainers), so understandably she's not really in the mood to battle.



Instead she gives us (back) Ordina.

Ordina is arguably the third strongest Pokemon in Vega. No qualifying statements, just flat out what I think as the third strongest Pokemon in the game. This is behind the very last Pokemon available and a Pokemon that breaks the game completely. Ordina itself is a 100/100/100/100/100/100 Ghost type that evolves via happiness. Yes, it's an evolving legendary. We'll be doing a couple resets for a decent nature (either neutral or boosting SpA/Spe).



Got em. wish will be joining our team on a permanent basis, replacing either Aisha or deadeye, haven't decided quite yet.

So, about the Latios and Latias that are just kind of hanging around down here?



oh ok



A Tyranitar's in the lead spot, same deal as with catching the other legendaries.



Coming at a mostly appropriate level? What trickery is this?

Latias is rather good. Despite the lack of Soul Dew in the game, Latias and Latios still manage to be extremely solid choices, getting Calm Mind at Level 75, coming with Dragon Pulse and Psyburn, and getting both Psycho Boost and Draco Meteor by level up later. Vega throws a lot of very strong mons at us in postgame, but Latios and Latias are some of the best.



Basically a whatever nature.



your turn blue



Latios does basically the exact same thing as Latias, just punchier while she's bulkier. Catching Latios is a bit more painful though, since it has Dragon Dance and Dragon Claw to hurt diadog a lot.



Good enough. We won't be using the Latis though, we've already got two good Dragon types, and while they could replace nickel, she's got a level advantage and somewhat more sentimental value by now.



Time to start training up wish. Ordina's starting moveset kind of sucks, so this helps a lot. While Ordina does learn Shadow Ball and Psychic by level, they're both after level 60 and I just don't want to press the B button that many times.



Training isn't exactly hard, and at Level 30 evolution begins.



Ormaria retains Ordina's Ghost typing but increases base stats to 100/120/100/120/100/120. Ormaria can honestly do pretty much anything, with an astoundingly large TM and tutor movepool and access to fantastic setup moves like Swords Dance and Quiver Dance. The only real downside to physical sets is that Ormaria doesn't get Shadow Clamp from the tutor for whatever reason, which is why we're going with a special set.



We're not going to go all the way up to level 70+ for wish right now, instead just bringing it up to level 65. wish will be leading our team for most of the dungeons, so she'll still be getting plenty of experience.



And speaking of dungeons, our next destination is the Chateau of Time. When we enter, we see a short cutscene of Porygon walking down these stairs.



Following down said stairs traps us in a Flash maze with no way out except via Escape Rope or completing the thing. It's a massive maze. We want Flash for this.



those sure are efficient stairs, yep

No trainers are in here, but there's a bunch of Pokemon around.




Not pictured is Duskull, who's the same as usual aside from Dusknoir being a level evolution instead of an item trade. Banette gets a new evolution, which like the other evolving Pokemon I'll be catching and covering at the end. Haungyo is a pure Ghost type with 65/80/50/30/45/50 base stats who evolves with a Thunder Stone. Keebo is actually part of a trio, each of them appear in only one of the parts of the dungeon at a ludicrously low encounter rate - the other two are a violinist and a trumpeter. All three are pure Normal types, Keebo has 105/70/70/85/95/60 base stats, Rumpet has 70/105/60/70/85/95, and Olvin has 85/60/95/105/70/70 base stats. They learn a bunch of sound moves by level and have a wide TM movepool.

Pumpkid, aside from being very cute, is an evolving Grass/Ghost type with 65/41/35/70/75/59 base stats. It's also only found in the maze, which I'll cover in a bit.

There's also one more Pokemon in these areas, rare in the early sections but semi-common in the maze.



This is Phantonate. It is the best Pokemon in Vega.

Phantonate is a Normal/Ghost type with 55/100/50/60/50/120 base stats. It's got a very shallow level up movepool and a largely special TM movepool. It does get some good physical stuff from the tutor though. So why is it the best Pokemon in Vega?



Phantonate has two abilities. The first, seen here, is Shadow Tag. Paired with its natural learning of Perish Song and Memento, this is a somewhat useful ability that would be far better in competitive than ingame.

The second ability Phantonate has is Wonder Guard.

Catching Phantonate is a trial in itself, as it has a 15 catch rate and the moves it knows in the wild are Memento/Explosion/Perish Song/Destiny Bond. It's got a 50% chance of killing itself every turn and a 75% chance to kill itself within 3. It's not overly rare in later parts of the dungeon, so it's perfectly possible for us to just throw Ultra Balls and eventually catch one before it kills itself.



Or we could savestate confirm that it doesn't have Shadow Tag and use this. (it turned out to be calm so we're going to be using a different one I managed to Ultra Ball)



Phantonate breaks the game clean in half and as such, we will not be using it except in dire circumstances.



Anyways, after a large amount of spelunking we finally find the lost girl and her Porygon. The cave behind her leads to the maze, a large, well, maze.



Fortunately Porygon knows the way through so we can just follow her lead to get out. Not so fortunately, we need to make a brief sidestop to grab something.



This diary tells the somewhat unsettling tale of a young girl whose entire family dies and leaves her alone with only a Porygon.



and then she gets possessed or something and goes insane before filling up the pages with GET OUT



well thanks for that



After following the girl and her Porygon through the rest of the maze, we finally get upstairs and meet the Lavender Town ghost. The girl's no help, she's moaning about her head splitting apart, so we've got to fight a ghost.



Fortunately our Nightmare Diary Silph Scope makes this fight possible, and the uncatchable level 70 Dusknoir goes down fairly easily to wish.



A shocking reveal that she was ghost all along that totally wasn't already made obvious by the diary!



And after we get out the back exit, we can get Porygon to join us. Fortunately this area it's waiting in is accessible from the outside world so we don't need to go back through the Chateau of Time.



maybe if it wasn't level 30 and terrible we'd even use it

And now let's end with a whole bunch of evolutions.



Komoragon is a Poison/Dragon type with 70/115/100/60/65/95 base stats. It's actually pretty decent although it definitely doesn't want to evolve before level 54 so that it can get Gunk Shot. It's one of the better choices as postgame mons go.



We got the Steel/Rock evolution with 105/145/70/85/60/40 base stats. Absolutely absurd Attack and actually usable Special Attack if we wanted that for some reason, but a mediocre at best typing and terrible speed make it the worse of the two evolutions.

The other evolution is called Mercenade and is a Steel/Fighting type with 75/125/95/45/65/100 base stats. It's actually very good by virtue of good Attack and Speed and a useful typing. Too bad the evolution is personality and therefore random.



Thuntem is an Electric/Ghost type with a chance of having Levitate as its ability and 100/125/80/40/70/80 base stats. It's got access to the elemental punches through the relearner. I personally think Machu is better due to higher Speed and Attack, but Thuntem's not the worst mon ever.



Ranconette remains a pure Ghost type and has 69/140/75/93/73/75 base stats. It's shockingly similar to Mega Banette, only with slightly less Attack and a worse design imo.



Wikkin remains a cute Ghost/Grass type and has 90/50/61/105/110/84 base stats. It's honestly not great but I like it.

And that's everything for Victory Road and the Chateau of Time. We've got a lot of dungeons with extra areas to explore though, so we're nowhere near done.
 
I love the musician trio~ they've got the most unique cries and Rumpet was my personal favorite in Altair; it wrecked quite a lot when I did a playthrough.
Me thinks they're based off of the Prismriver Sisters in Touhou, much like how Hantama and Yukaria are (in a way) expies of Youmu and Yukari respectively.

Given that Phantonate has Wonder Guard, would its only weakness be Dark or does its half Normal typing make it immune?
 

Merritt

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Felis Licht: That's not a bad theory honestly, I could certainly see it. Unfortunately I'd say Rumpet is the worst in Vega - the phys/special split means that it's stuck with Strength as STAB instead of being able to use the good Tone-Deaf. CPU is correct, Wonder Guard Phantonate is weak to Dark and only Dark.

CPU: Yep. As we get into the postgame battles keep an eye out for mons that don't have a Dark type move and think to yourself 'Phantonate beats that'

Altissimo: why


Before we get in, I found what I'm reasonably confident is some of Vega's concept art, so I'll be sharing a few images from it in future posts.


Champion Gina and Ordina


So it's been requested that we go find the other two musicians. Like I said last update, they only appear in specific parts of the Chateau of Time, but fortunately they're also 5% encounters so they shouldn't take too long, right?



Took about 45 minutes. We covered their stats with Keebo last time, so we're not going to talk about those again. Olvin is probably the best of the three, since it's decently strong specially and not the slowest one of the trio.



Even decided to catch them because why not.

It was at this point that I decided that we should go and catch some other Pokemon for this update.



The next five and a half hours were spent in the eastern part of the Safari Zone.




The Safari Zone has a lot of new Pokemon to find. Lickitung and Scyther both evolve by level rather than their usual requirements, which makes Scyther in particular much easier to use. Nincada is the same as usual, evolving into Ninjask and Shedinja. Ninjask can still try to do Baton Pass stuff, but the lack of Protect and generally improved trainers makes this not particularly effective. Shedinja is worse than Phantonate, but it's in the game because dex slot 292 is still hardcoded to have 1 HP in Vega. Pinsir gets a brand new evolution, so we'll be catching one and evolving it.



Two other fairly common encounters, Bisos on land and Rivird in the small ponds of course. Bisos is a Tauros pre evolution, a Normal type with 45/65/60/20/40/75 base stats. It's a friendship evolution, so it makes the already not outstanding Tauros just that much more painful to use. Rivird meanwhile is a Water/Flying type with 40/55/30/60/30/65 base stats. It does evolve and we'll be catching one. More than one actually, because they have a 5% chance to be holding an exclusive item and we're going to encounter a lot of them anyways.



It's basically a Thick Club, but unlike Marowak Rivird's evolution is decently fast. It's a must have for using Rivird honestly.



This would be the main appeal of the Safari Zone, however. The Vega starters all appear at a 5% rate here. They're also pretty frustrating to catch due to their 45 catch rate and relatively high chance to flee. We will still catch Peyero and Liquiput because why not.



Also here are the three starters from the next game, Procyon and Deneb. They're also 5% encounters with a 45 catch rate. Katuna, in particular, took over 3 hours to finally successfully catch, and that was after giving up and savestating to guarantee that it'd be caught after the first two ran away.

Basille is the Grass starter with a chance of having the ability Static (guess what type it becomes on evolution) and 50/43/43/63/50/59 base stats. It's actually fairly decent, despite the difficulty in obtaining it.

Fluffoo is the Fire starter with a chance at Flame Body, and it becomes a Ground type when it evolves. It's got 55/61/55/40/50/51 base stats. If you've played what's been released of Procyon and Deneb then you might already know that it got a drastic redesign there, which I find a little unfortunate since I kind of like Fluffoo's Vega design.

Katuna is the Water starter and can have Swift Swim which is less than outstanding. It's got 40/64/60/40/50/64 base stats and becomes a Ghost type when it evolves. I personally think it's the best of the three, but it's also by far the most infuriating to catch since the ponds are fairly small and the water encounter rate is pretty low.



With the starters finally caught, let's see what the Super Rod can give us. Luvdisc is a source of Heart Scales of course, but it also has a happiness evolution. Luvdisc itself also gets access to Deep Yawn, a significant buff for one of the worst Pokemon in the game. Lizzle is a fairly rare encounter, but it's also pretty much the best non-legendary Water type available once it evolves, since it has Drizzle. It also gets Ice Beam and Thunder by level. It can be fished up outside the Safari Zone too, so it's not at the whims of running away either. We'll catch both of these to evolve them.



Before we get to evolving things though, we can head back to the Route 502 gate and find the Winstrate siblings are up for a rematch. It's not a gauntlet this time, and they're actually somewhat threatening if we had gone there immediately after the league since they all use Pokemon ranging from level 73-75.



A couple new things too. Majiety is a Fire/Psychic mon with 80/60/80/115/90/90 base stats and a decent special movepool with interesting coverage options. It's pretty much everything Ninetales wishes it was, although it does lack Drought. Chillato is a single stage Ice type with 75/40/75/100/80/105 base stats. It doesn't really have an impressive movepool or ability to make it worth using over Aurostice in my opinion.



Each of the siblings give us one of the Kanto starters after we beat them. They're all level 5 and have a chance of getting their secondary abilities of Chlorophyll, Flash Fire, or Rain Dish. They're all somewhat mediocre, not least due to their level, although they do get some interesting options, such as all three getting Nasty Plot from the tutor and Venusaur having access to Dark Resolve.



Now we can get down to some exp share grinding. wish gets several levels while helping everybody else evolve. Calm Mind, while a good move, is completely eclipsed by a move wish will get later on. Shadow Claw is a buyable TM.

And evolutions.




Astignite and Correncid are both the same as they've been the entire game, but they're much easier to justify using than Caudaleaf in postgame due to their stats, movepool, and type. They do come at a pretty low level, however.



Mingola, along with being very pink, remains a Water/Flying type with 70/80/55/90/55/100 base stats. Paired with the Pink Soap, it's able to hit incredibly hard with Brave Bird. Unfortunately it doesn't get a physical Water type move outside of Aqua Jet, but it's still capable of hitting incredibly hard.



Pinchor gains the Ground type to become a Bug/Ground type when it evolves. Much like Scizor, Pinchor doesn't actually get a higher BST on evolution, having 65/135/90/45/70/95 base stats, losing 10 Defense and Special Attack for Attack and Speed. Pinchor has access to Earthquake by level up and some excellent physical attacks from TMs and the tutor, so aside from the low level it's a pretty solid option.



Lizzle, on evolution, keeps Drizzle but gets 70/85/75/105/85/80 base stats and the aforementioned Ice Beam and Thunder by level. It can stick with Surf or learn Deluge at level 65 or Water Spout from the move reminder. It's fantastically good and provides support for a huge number of Pokemon with Drizzle.



Basield remains a pure Grass type and has 60/56/56/88/70/75 base stats. Basilux adds on an Electric typing and has 80/75/80/115/90/95 base stats. Basilux actually has a fantastic movepool, learning Thunderbolt and the 120 BP Petal Dance naturally, but also getting moves like Psychic, Sludge Bomb, Raze Earth, and Focus Blast via TM. It's arguably the best Grass type available due to its good Special Attack, Speed, and acceptable bulk.



Going from mouse to lion to warthog is kind of weird but ok. Gardeo is still a Fire type with 70/90/70/55/60/60 base stats. Regardian becomes a Fire/Ground type with 90/120/100/70/75/75 base stats. It learns Earthquake and Flare Blitz naturally and gets some interesting tutor and TM options like Giga Spark or Shadow Clamp. It's a little slow and very weak to Water, but it's rather strong and decently bulky making it a fine choice. I'd say Astignite is somewhat more useful though.



The middle stage is called Maelstream and is a Water type with 55/80/70/50/60/90 base stats. Skelachone is a Water/Ghost type with 75/100/85/70/75/120 base stats. It learns a weird number of special moves for how bad its Special Attack is, but it does get both Shadow Clamp and Wave Splash without needing to use the tutor. It also confusingly has access to Raging Flame. Its Speed and good enough Attack make it a pretty good choice for the rest of the game, I'd say it's at least as good as Correncid if not better.

I did find it pretty funny that CAP decided to make their starter trio include a Grass/Electric and Fire/Ground Pokemon, considering this starter trio. The designs and stats are definitely different, so it's just an interesting coincidence.



The last one for now. Luvdisc is a happiness evolution, so this took another good while of running back and forth at the highest speed to grind friendship. Valentide, for some insane reason, is a Water/Normal type with 73/45/65/85/75/127 base stats. It's actually not bad as long as it has Deep Yawn, although it needs to stay as Luvdisc until level 59 since Valentide itself doesn't learn the move, getting Deluge at that level instead. The Special Attack is still rather low, but overall Valentide has much more to offer teams than Luvdisc.

Next time we'll be doing a lot more battles.
 
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Merritt

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Altissimo: you are welcome




Designs for Mewtwo's Kanto starter clones.


So with both deadeye and Aisha almost completely retired, we're looking for a final member of the team. I asked around a couple discord servers, partly to figure out where we'd be going next, and got an interesting (though split) result.



We're heading back to the Pokemon Castle, which has had several new floors open up. We've got something to do at the top, but the upper floors are full of both Pokemon and trainers to deal with first.



The trainers aren't quite as strong as the Victory Road ones, being roughly level 64-68 instead of 68-70, but partway up wish gets Quiver Dance. This move pretty much instantly turns wish into an incredibly threatening sweeper so we're very enthusiastically taking it.




There's also a bunch of new Pokemon to catch. Not shown are the also fairly common Skarmory (outside the Safari Zone at last) and Rubball.

Sandile and Klink are pretty much the same as normal - Klink gets some new physical moves from TMs and the tutor at least and Sandile has access to Rampage for a much stronger Dark STAB, but in return loses out on Moxie so no snowballing. Terubim is the Castform replacement, and is a Normal type with Forecast and 100/80/60/80/60/75 base stats who learns an absurd number of elemental attacks by level. With the Analysis Map to double its Special Attack it's rather strong, although it does suffer from rather underwhelming speed and very much wanting weather to be up but overlapping with permaweather mons if used alongside the Drizzle or Drought ones. Billserk is a 1% encounter on the top floors, and is a Flying/Fighting type with 82/110/75/50/75/103 base stats and either Intimidate or Rock Head. It gets Close Combat and Brave Bird by level and can be taught Wood Hammer if you get one with Rock Head. It's honestly pretty good, although the Attack can be a little disappointing at times.

Our new teammate is fortunately not quite as rare as Billserk but is definitely more fun.



DUX

Farfetch'd is one of the best Pokemon available. Getting one with Keen Eye is really good, and it only takes us two tries to get one. We'll be grinding up Farfetch'd immediately in order to get it on par with the team.



A brief grind later, and ergo gets his strongest attack. He's just about ready to go forth and conquer.



Ok, now he's ready. R'duckulus is a Fighting/Flying type with 106/75/65/58/72/116 base stats. It's also got a pretty good movepool, having access to Leaf Blade via the reminder and both Close Combat and Superpower by level up. It also does still learn Brave Bird by level, just notably later than Farfetch'd. While that base attack might seem dismal for postgame standards, there's a reason why we wanted a Keen Eye Farfetch'd.



Which would be because Keen Eye turns into Pure Power. Very fast, outstandingly strong, R'duckulus is ridiculously good and I'm thrilled to be using one to fill the Flying and Fighting type void deadeye and Aisha left.



Some quick movepool things for ergo. Brick Break is the spamming move, and we'll be using Close Combat instead of Superpower so that ergo can keep hitting things for absurd damage. ergo gets a quick grind to level 70 before heading back to Pokemon Castle, at which point he has over 320 Attack after Pure Power.



On the top level is this guy with what's definitely not a generic sprite, so he's important.



At the end of a lot of the new areas, the gym leaders are waiting to take us on with a stronger team. While we haven't fought Francis before, he's the gym leader who Mewtwo beat up so that it could become a gym leader. Since Mewtwo's a bit indisposed, being caught by us and all, Francis is here to take its spot. He's a Fighting type gym leader, so let's check out his team.

Grissly @ Leftovers L80: Earthquake/Cross Chop/Chomp/Belly Drum
Hitmonchan @ Quick Claw L80: Blaze Kick/Icicle Crash/Close Combat/Rampage
Mercenade @ Lansat Berry L82: Psycho Cut/Earthquake/Metal Blast/Wood Hammer
Machu @ Salac Berry L82: Volt Tackle/Wood Hammer/Raid/Fake Out
Ledybulk @ Focus Band L81: Hi Jump Kick/Raid/Stone Edge/Wave Splash
Mienshao @ Lum Berry L83: Hi Jump Kick/Raid/Stone Edge/Psygatling

A team of 6 at a higher level than the champion was. This is pretty much the theme for all the gym leaders and explains why the Victory Road trainers went so high - they're still 10+ levels lower than the leaders.

Grissly can hit hard, but Belly Drum tends to cripple it more than it helps. If it sets up then slower things will die, but fortunately by this point it shouldn't be a big deal to outspeed Grissly.

Hitmonchan is back and nowhere near as dangerous as it was at Gym 2. Quick Claw is more annoying than anything, but Hitmonchan itself doesn't hit supremely hard happily. Things that are weak to its moves will get hurt pretty bad, but it's still not particularly dangerous.

Mercenade's the Steel/Fighting 75/125/95/45/65/100 personality evolution of Ambilade. Psycho Cut is way too weak to actually hurt opposing Fighting types but overall it's still fairly fast and Metal Blast hurts like hell. The Skarmory infesting the tower are hilariously a fantastic way to deal with this if necessary though.

Machu tends to kill itself pretty quickly. Fake Out does hurt once, but after that it's not too bad. If we don't OHKO and Machu manages to put itself in Salac Berry range that is an issue though.

Ledybulk is a Bug/Fighting evolution for Ledian with 70/120/60/75/90/80 base stats. It's got a fairly sleek design, and while this Ledybulk has good coverage it just doesn't quite have the speed or bulk to really use that excellent Attack, although Focus Band is something to always keep in mind. Fun fact, Ledybulk gets HJK, Stone Edge, and Raid all by level, no egg moves required.

Mienshao is cool I guess? It's fairly fast, it hits very hard, it's just incredibly frail. It's got fairly good coverage here but it is very vulnerable to Necrosia.

Note: Hitmonchan is the only Pokemon on this team who can hurt Phantonate. Our strategy will not be to use Phantonate, but instead a strategy that can be summed up in a single image.



over 450 attack let's go



Let's get started.



While Brave Bird OHKOs everything on Francis' team, ergo isn't made of HP and doesn't really want to take hits while healing. We're going to use Close Combat to take down Grissly instead.



And, as somewhat expected, out comes Hitmonchan for Quick Claw shenanigans. wish has to eat a Quick Claw Rampage, but takes it like a champ and takes down Hitmonchan in retaliation.



While ergo could certainly have fought Mercenade, nickel can beat up the Steel type instead with a Flamethrower OHKO.



It begins. Brave Bird probably OHKOs four times over here.



ergo is very fast, so even at a 12 level disadvantage still outspeeds and OHKOs with a second Brave Bird.



Since R'duckulus has a chance at having Inner Focus (which is entirely inferior to Pure Power for obvious reasons) I think the AI decides not to go for Fake Out. It's the only explanation I can think of for why ergo takes down Machu with his third Brave Bird of the fight and is left with 4 HP.

And that's Francis.



With Francis done, we're off to grab utility and fight another gym leader, so back to the Flash Mansion, where we can now access the basement.



The Spirit Mansion's new area is actually rather small compared to the other newly opened areas, as it's only the one floor. It's also filled with these blast doors which are blocking our access to the leader rematch.



There's trainers here but they're all fantastically terrible, having Pokemon in the low 60s. Pachirikku is a Pachirisu evolution who's still a pure Electric type and has decent 60/40/80/85/120/125 base stats. It's a bit on the weak side, but very high speed and great special bulk make it an interesting choice, better than Pachirisu at least.




Whismur and Spinda are both similar to standard, which means Spinda is awful and pointless of course. Exploud does get a new toy in Tone-Deaf and has access to a bunch of good physical moves from TM and tutor, but doesn't appreciate the loss of the Ice Beam and Flamethrower TMs. Takuni evolves twice, so we'll be catching it, but we'd be catching it anyways because it is (I'm relatively sure) the only Pokemon who learn Covet by level up. We'll need to relearn or breed it at this level, but stealing mushrooms and heart scales is very good compared to having to catch Luvdisc or the mushroom mon.

Ralts has the usual Gardevoir and Gallade split, only instead of Gallade being a stone+gender evolution it instead has a mechanic similar to Hitmontop, where only if Kirlia has equal Attack and Defense will it evolve into Gallade. This is the only evolution that is more inconvenient than it is in standard. It doesn't even make it so that you can have a female Gallade, since they're still male only - female Kirlia that evolve into Gallade turn male. Gardevoir is interesting due to having a massive special movepool via TMs, but the actual new thing about Ralts is that it has a third evolutionary line now. If Ralts has high happiness before level 20, it will evolve into a third path, which takes a very support oriented approach. We'll need to catch and breed a Ralts for this.



New mons done, to get the blast doors up and access the leader is simple. We just have to hit the switch on the back of this statue twice



hit the switch on the back of this statue once



and then hit the switch in this potted plant that nobody hints at whatsoever. easy.



Doing that allows us to access this invisible maze so that we can get to the gym leader. Fortunately it's not a "wrong space makes you fall and restart" kind of invisible maze, just walls we can't see so it's a matter of trial and error to get through.



It's you again.



You'd better not still have that Hitmonchan (he doesn't). Our first fight against Geoff was won on pure luck, let's go for something a little more decisive this time.

Ganerth @ Petaya Berry L80: Raze Earth/Psyburn/Nasty Plot/Focus Blast
Rhyperior @ Quick Claw L82: Icicle Crash/Earthquake/Raging Flame/Giga Spark
Stunfisk @ Leftovers L81: Hydro Pump/Thunder Wave/Thunderbolt/Magnet Force
Dugtrio @ Liechi Berry L82: Stone Edge/Earthquake/Raid/Night Slash
Jinxeng @ Focus Band L82: Coil/Power Whip/Grand Boulder/Raid
Krookodile @ Salac Berry L83: Rampage/Wood Hammer/Earthquake/Psycho Punch

Ganerth is a Psychic/Ground type with 79/80/74/90/106/46 base stats. It's really not very impressive, and actually is going to provide us with excellent setup fodder. Nasty Plot can let it actually start doing damage and its moves are high BP but the stats just kind of let it down.

Rhyperior has BoltBeam coverage instead of EdgeQuake for whatever reason, but it's effective so sure. Quick Claw can be annoying, but Rhyperior does have low Special Defense still and is very vulnerable to Water and Grass types.

Stunfisk is a cool dude. It's bulky but otherwise, sure. It's Stunfisk.

Dugtrio is not particularly strong any more, and the Liechi Berry is more a joke than anything. Dugtrio's not really taking attacks and getting into Leichi Berry range. Dugtrio's still fast so it can take out weakened stuff, but it's not really 1v1ing anything healthy and at a decent level.

Jinxeng is a Grass/Ground type with 113/99/71/56/64/77 base stats. Complete disregard for multiples of 5 aside, it's really not particularly good. Its HP makes it kind of fat but it's fairly slow and only decently strong. It also takes Ice type attacks terribly. Much like Ganerth, the low stats are Jinxeng's enemy. Coil can be annoying for pure physical attackers though.

Krookodile is definitely the tricky one of the team. It has excellent coverage with its high powered STAB moves - Rampage hits like a runaway train - to the point that it really doesn't need Wood Hammer or Psycho Punch. It's thankfully walled by Skarmory though.



Alright, let's jam.



For this one, our strategy involves abusing wish's fancy new move, Quiver Dance. wish sets up comfortably to +2 while Ganerth Nasty Plots twice. While we could probably go all the way to +6, there's no need to risk getting crit by Psyburn. +2 Shadow Ball sents Ganerth packing.



Dugtrio's pretty fast but it's not +2 Ormaria fast. Shadow Ball OHKOs.



And Geoff goes Krookodile. Since wish's moveset is Shadow Ball/Psychic/Diamond Blast/Quiver Dance at this point in time, we're going to have to go for the 2HKO with Shadow Ball and see what Rampage does. Answer: a lot, but wish lives.



Ok so we're not going to risk Quick Claw things and try to stunt with 24 HP. Full Restore, and Raging Flame does not particularly much before wish finishes with Shadow Ball.



Uprooted.



Stunfisk actually survives Shadow Ball, though barely, and Thunder Waves back. It proceeds to do nearly nothing with Thunderbolt while wish Quiver Dances again and KOs with the next Shadow Ball.

And so Geoff falls, and we've got some Pokemon to evolve.



First though, this guy gives us the other new fossil. We'll go revive both the Wing and Dark fossils now.



Ptervus is a Rock/Flying type with 45/95/50/35/40/70 base stats and either Intimidate or Sturdy. It also evolves, so we'll be doing that. Tyranos is a Rock/Dark type with Rock Head or Intimidate who doesn't evolve but has 90/150/50/75/50/85 base stats. Since there's no Head Smash it's stuck without a particularly impressive Rock type STAB, although it can put the hurt on things with Rampage. It's pretty frail and not outstandingly fast unfortunately, but it's not a bad choice.



First things first. Hatching a Ralts and giving it a Soothe Bell. There's a lot of happiness to grind here.



On evolution Ptervus keeps its Rock/Flying typing and becomes a weird Archeops with 60/130/75/55/60/95 base stats. Brave Bird hurts a lot off of 130 base Attack and it's got good Speed, but it's not amazing due to its low bulk.



Percussoon is nowhere near as cute as Takuni and is still a pure Normal type with 62/95/70/55/60/73 base stats. It's just a step in the road though.



I rather like Tanuking's design, and it's honestly not a terrible teammate with 72/110/90/70/70/93 base stats. With the last of our mushrooms, we can make it so that we can get more with relative ease by learning Covet. Only a whole game too late to have gotten the Upgrade. Oh well.



Way too much happiness grinding later, Ralts finally evolves into Kirgishia, a Psychic type with 78/35/110/65/115/50 base stats. Awfully defensive, and a huge step up from Kirlia. By giving it a Moon Stone it evolves into Glamarde, who has 108/35/125/80/130/40 base stats and Battle Armor instead of Synchronize. It has access to a ton of support and defensive moves, learning Recover, Heal Bell, Cosmic Power, Block, Hypnosis, and both screens by level up. It also has access to Shell Smash through the reminder, Baton Pass via TM, and Nasty Plot from the tutor, leaving it as probably the best stat passer in the game. It's unfortunately rather passive all things considered due to its mediocre Special Attack, but Nasty Plot can turn it into a slow but strong and very bulky attacker.

Next time we'll take on a couple more of the leaders and get infinite mushrooms.
 
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Merritt

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Antgeezy: thanks! I'll try to keep it up.



Glamarde and Valentide designs. I like the outline of where the rest of the body is through the shield arm in what would become the final sprite.


If we're after mushrooms, then there's only one place for us to go.



I think I pointed out the fence blocking our access to the western side of the forest, but that's gone now. We get to see a brief scene of PAPER talking to a young kid before rushing off into this part of the forest. There's some trainers here, but they're rather unremarkable, though at least stronger than the ones in the Spirit Mansion.



Some distance into the forest, we find PAPER fighting two aliens next to a different small child. He's complaining because his styler doesn't work on the new Pokemon. Let's help him out a bit.



are you kidding PAPER you have level 60+ mons you can totally take on both of them

Carnivile, like PAPER said earlier, is indeed Carnivine's evolution. It's a Water/Grass type which still has Levitate and has 89/115/82/105/82/51 base stats. It's not bad honestly, just kind of mediocre. It's a good mixed attacker, but the low Speed definitely lets Carnivile down. We can easily get one by catching this one - unlike Dusknoir there's nothing stopping us.



Interestingly, PAPER does give reference to us catching the Carnivile and explains that everybody on his team had to be convinced to join willingly. He then takes us and the boy back to the main part of the forest before running off, leaving us free to head back into the western forest and do what we want.




Which is finding the many new Pokemon of course. Shroomish and Breloom are pretty much the same, although they do lack Poison Heal. Shroomish comes at a high enough level that it can get Spore fairly easily though. Grubzero is a Bug/Ice type with 55/50/25/60/25/40 base stats - it's the thing that evolves into Nymphrost so it's not too bad, just not great. Carnivine becomes Carnivile which is better than normal at least. Petilil is actually fantastic, doing the normal Quiver Dance thing, but it has more moves to abuse than just Petal Dance, getting Bug Noise and Hydro Pump from the tutor.

Lushroom is a Grass type with 45/73/58/67/48/51 base stats which evolves with a Fire Stone. It's honestly a mediocre mon, even after evolution, but it's not complete garbage. Lushroom serves a more important function though.



Lushroom has a 50% chance of holding a Tiny Mushroom and a 5% chance of holding a Big Mushroom, giving infinite use of the relearner.



This is our main goal though who I totally didn't forget until after I started writing up the update.



We haven't seen Annette in a very long time and back then she was very painful to take on due to our limited options. She won't have that advantage this time.

Tonopper @ King's Rock L80: Bug Noise/Diamond Blast/Giga Drain/Air Slash
Shuckle @ Leftovers L81: Toxic/Leech Seed/Protect/Cosmic Power
Combant @ Liechi Berry L81: Stone Edge/Raid/Rampage/Hi Jump Kick
Shedinja @ Focus Band L82: Confuse Ray/Raid/Cross Poison/Chomp
Nymphrost @ Salac Berry L82: Hydro Pump/Quiver Dance/Blizzard/Psyburn
Crustle @ BrightPowder L83: Earthquake/Counter/Raid/Grand Boulder

Tonopper is a 65/70/60/135/95/105 base stat pure Bug type - it's actually one of the Pokemon replacing the Eevee family in Vega. The main threat of Tonopper here is mainly how strong it is. Bug Noise will put a huge dent into everything that doesn't resist it, and Tonopper's fast enough to outpace most walls and potentially flinch them with Air Slash and King's Rock. It's very frail though, especially physically, so it can be taken out by most fast Pokemon.

Shuckle has gotten a huge upgrade since we last saw it. It won't be KOing anything quickly, but it's a threat nonetheless. Leech Seed is a huge upgrade for Shuckle over standard since it provides very strong healing with Shuckle's low base HP. That said, a level 5 Bulbasaur that's been tutored Toxic can 1v1 the level 81 Shuckle.

Combant is a Bug/Fighting type with 68/111/61/52/86/96 base stats and Compoundeyes, meaning those only somewhat accurate moves it's running are perfectly fine. It's honestly just alright as long as it doesn't get the Liechi Berry boost since it fortunately doesn't have sky high attack. The very low bulk also means that the relatively easy outspeeding threshold provides an easy way to take down Combant.

Shedinja is literally just a type check. Focus Band isn't an issue at all.

Nymphrost isn't particularly threatening until it sets up Quiver Dance, what with its mediocre Special Attack, somewhat low Speed, and bad defenses. As long as it's not in front of something that's particularly weak to Blizzard, it's not a concern.

Crustle is annoying because of how bulky it is physically and that's really it. It's not overly strong, despite its good coverage here, so it can be taken on by most somewhat bulky neutral targets. Water types completely devastate it of course.



We ain't afraid of you anymore.



nickel is fast like always, so she easily outspeeds and OHKOs to avoid any awkwardness with Tonopper.



While we could have let nickel take on Combant too, ergo can fight a Pokemon 4x weak to Brave Bird just fine too and knocks Combant out of the forest.




A 4x weakness to fire is an open invitation for nickel, and Flamethrower performs as expected.



Crustle's up next, and while probably a bad idea, maltet comes out to meet it. Earthquake doesn't OHKO and Crustle hits back hard with Counter that puts maltet uncomfortably low, but a follow up EQ finishes off Crustle.



Raging Flame does exactly 1 damage.

I then somehow managed to miss screenshotting Shuckle even once, but wish fought it off by Quiver Dancing up and Diamond Blasting it into oblivion after being poisoned and seeded.



That's the end of Annette. Like the rest of the gym leaders, we can fight her again but she'll be much stronger.



Before we go fight another leader though, we can head back north and use headbutt for new stuff, unlike before beating the league. A lot of new stuff actually.




Not pictured is Terubim. All four of these get nothing interesting. Ferrothorn's still a decent choice honestly, but less special due to Raging Flame's relative frequency. Murkrow has both Dark Resolve and Typhoon for hit and run tactics but doesn't really get anything else particularly helpful and Sucker Punch doesn't exist in Vega. Happiny evolves at level 20 instead of the usual Oval Stone thing, but Blissey gets nothing cool aside from still being ludicrously fat specially. Spinarak does not get a third stage like Ledyba does.



We've already seen Ledybulk, but Chatot also gets a new evolution so we'll be catching it. Yolkid is a Normal type with 50/50/50/50/50/50 base stats and is rather interesting since it has 4 split stone evolutions. It also learns Shell Smash by level, giving all its evolutions access to the move. We'll be catching 4 of them. Yolkid's also a 5% Headbutt encounter, so this is a bit annoying.



Now that we're done with the Headbutt catching, we can grab masuls for Flash and head back to the Undersea Tunnel and its new area. The trainers are about the same level as the ones in Porcelia Forest, but there's a massive number of new Pokemon.




Dwebble is ok, Shell Smash Crustle definitely appreciates the addition of Raid to its moves, but it's fairly underwhelming without setting up. Sandshrew and Dunsparce both have decent evolutions to make them much stronger choices. Dislichen is a Grass type with 52/30/41/81/42/59 base stats who evolves so we do want one. Golem has nothing new and is an incredibly poor choice at this point in time, alongside being outclassed by Pokemon like Rubball.



Surfing on the bottom floor offers three other new encounters. Stunfisk is the same as usual, just a fairly bulky but slow Pokemon. Pressie is a Water/Ice type with 100/55/50/55/65/30 base stats which evolves into Lapras by happiness, making it just that much more inconvenient to use Lapras. Sealkie is an always female Water/Ice type with 45/66/41/64/53/42 base stats. It evolves into something somewhat more competent, so we'll be catching one.



Using the Super Rod also has three Pokemon. While Stunfisk is the most common and can also be found Surfing, Guppyre is also fairly common and is a Water/Fire type with 55/30/55/80/60/40 base stats. The typing alone is rather unique, and it learns a bunch of Water and Fire type moves by level - it ideally wants to delay its evolution until level 46 when it learns Flamethrower though. Relicanth is a 5% fish but does have a decent new evolution.



Brooke's hanging out in the depths behind some Strength rocks (the first ones in the cave just in case we didn't bring a Strength user), just waiting menacingly.



Second verse the same as the first. Brooke's improved a bit, but so have we. Starmie is thankfully no longer a destroyer of worlds.

Starmie @ Brightpowder L81: Nasty Plot/Hydro Pump/Psychic/Bug Noise
Darca @ Focus Band L81: Rampage/Wave Splash/Icicle Crash/Megahorn
Relicore @ Liechi Berry L80: Grand Boulder/Earthquake/Star Freeze/Zen Headbutt
Valentide @ King's Rock L80: Tone Deaf/Surf/Psychic/Big Yawn
Lapras @ Leftovers L82: Psygatling/Hydro Pump/Ice Beam/Earth Power
Kapwondo @ Petaya Berry L83: Earth Power/Dark Pulse/Aura Sphere/Ice Beam

This Starmie's doing its best to prove otherwise though. Brightpowder is just an annoyance as always, but if Starmie sets up Nasty Plot for free it can be a huge issue to take it down due to Starmie's great Speed. A +2 Hydro Pump hurts most everything to an unsustainable degree. Our team is pretty fast all around and we have ways to abuse Starmie's Psychic type now, but with bad Brightpowder luck Starmie can sweep teams.

Darca is a lot like Nidoqueen on the many occasions we've seen her, it just lacks the stats to be really effective. 85 Speed isn't fast enough and 105 Attack isn't strong enough to put enough pressure on. Rampage will hurt but it's not going to be OHKOing appropriately leveled things.

Relicore is the Relicanth evolution and remains a Rock/Water type with Rock Head and has 115/105/140/50/70/60 base stats. Physically it's incredibly difficult to even dent and it's no slouch specially, although the 4x Grass weakness goes a long way for us breaking through. It's not a slouch physically either, Grand Boulder might not OHKO but it does hurt and Relicore has good coverage.

Valentide takes Luvdisc's usual annoyance role, changes the common confusion to Deep Yawn, and becomes actually capable of doing damage, if barely. We definitely want something fast and strong to OHKO Valentide before it can become an annoyance with Deep Yawn, and 127 base Speed makes that a somewhat tall order for underleveled Pokemon.

Lapras is fat and Leftovers makes it even fatter. It's a struggle to OHKO, but otherwise it's very straightforward, just using STAB and coverage moves to nail stuff. Simple but effective.

Kapwondo is at the point where it's just fallen behind with its jack of all trades but master of none stats. Aura Sphere doesn't have nearly the kick it did at gym 3, and Kapwondo's other moves only somewhat tickle. The Petaya boost can make it a little stronger, but Kapwondo is little issue.

Thankfully Brooke isn't using Drizzlob for this rematch which could make this fight much more dangerous, especially with some patching up of the weaker members of the team for strong Swift Swimmers. If she was then she'd be by far the most dangerous Vega leader rematch.



Come on.



wish is pretty bulky and can set up Quiver Dance to make sure Shadow Ball will OHKO. Starmie goes for Nasty Plot and a +1 Shadow Ball drops it. Honestly we could have probably gone to +2 or +3 and swept right here.



For some reason Brooke decides that Kapwondo is a fantastic choice to fight wish instead of the Dark type Darca. Psychic OHKOs Kapwondo.



There it is. While wish could almost certainly take a Rampage, it'd be unnecessary so ergo comes in and OHKOs with Brick Break.



ergo is really fast actually, so another Brick Break takes out Valentide.



Lapras is bulky enough that it could possibly take Brick Break. Fortunately it's nowhere near bulky enough to eat Close Combat.



Similarly, Relicore is really bulky physically, but Leaf Blade takes it out all the same.

Now for a bunch of evolutions now that Brooke's finished with.





First, some Pokemon we've seen before. The only thing worth mentioning that I haven't said yet is that Relicore has access to Earthquake via the reminder and probably wants Swift Swim instead of Rock Head since there's still not Head Smash in Vega.



Chatot becomes a Psychic/Flying type on evolution but keeps Keen Eye. Operrot's actually quite good with 101/80/60/120/57/111 base stats. It's a bit on the frail side but STAB Psychic hits plenty hard. It's a bit too frail for Nasty Plot in my opinion, but if it manages to set one up then it's very easy to sweep.



Lumoss has 72/40/61/131/67/94 base stats and is a Grass/Electric type that can have either Chlorophyll or Static. I think Basield is a little better personally due to not being so frail, but Lumoss has incredibly high Special Attack to make use of Thunderbolt and Giga Drain (from Dislichen).



Sandrill's design is a little busy in my opinion but it's a very competent Ground type with 81/115/120/59/65/80 base stats. It gets Earthquake by level up and has access to Raging Flame, Raid, Rampage, and Shadow Clamp. Aside from the mediocre speed it's a pretty solid choice with its excellent physical bulk and good Attack.



Lavetta retains Guppyre's Fire/Water typing thankfully and has much better 80/50/80/110/90/60 base stats. It's a bit slow for Eruption unfortunately, but it has excellent STAB coverage and hilariously gets Energy Ball (along with Psychic, Raze Earth, and Diamond Blast) by TM. There's just better choices for Water or Fire types, but Lavetta is definitely fun for the type compression it brings.



[supreme logo here]
Dunsupreme stays a Normal type, but has greatly improved 155/90/85/70/75/40 base stats. A lot of it's unfortunately in HP but Dunsupreme can run a very nasty Coil set if desired.



Selody is an Ice/Water type with 70/101/61/109/78/72 base stats. While mostly better served by going fully special with Frostbite and arguably outclassed by Lapras, Selody isn't particularly bad. It does have a fairly bad typing and relatively low bulk paired with middling at best Speed though.



And now for the many stone evolutions. Samutake is a Grass/Fire type with 60/108/78/92/63/86 base stats. It's kind of completely unremarkable despite the interesting type combination because it's so mostly average. It also only has Effect Spore or Flash Fire, so it can't be run as a strong Chlorophyll sweeper unfortunately.



This is a Water Stone evolution but I messed up the screenshot. Venotreme is a pure Poison type with 105/95/135/65/70/60 base stats. It gets both Toxic and Protect by level, as well as Gunk Shot, but unfortunately has fairly lacking physical coverage options. It's definitely very bulky physically though.



Aeruda is a pure Flying type with 70/105/65/95/60/135 base stats and either Rock Head or Vital Spirit. Recoil free Brave Bird is neat, but almost all its TMs are special (which is perfectly acceptable for Aeruda), and ultimately Aerodactyl is just an earlier and better option.



Hasaga is a Ground type with access to Intimidate and 95/135/105/60/65/70 base stats. It gets Earthquake, Outrage, and Grand Boulder all by level as well as Raging Flame and Shadow Clamp from TM/tutor. It's probably the best at Shell Smash shenanigans due to its good enough Speed, fantastic Attack, and Intimidate.



Tonopper's the same as when Annette used it, a 65/70/60/135/95/105 Bug type. It can have either Compoundeyes or Limber but we'd want Limber contrary to how relatively good the two abilities are since it lets Tonopper spam Bug Noise with no worry. Tonopper actually has really good coverage too, with Air Slash, Giga Drain, and Psychic as options. It's got a very strong case for being the best Yolkid evolution.

That's everything. We've still got 4 more gym leaders to take on (Normal/Ghost/Psychic/Grass and Flying Double), so if you have a preference for which two to take on next time feel free to let me know.
 

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