(Credits to pokedream.com)
Pokémon Stadium was the first time that Western gamers were able to see their Pokémon duke it out in glorious 3D. While it wasn't as refined as its sequel, it nevertheless holds a place in my heart.
Since Pokémon Stadium has received little discussion and is so different from the standard RBY competitive metagame, I've compiled a guide. If you're looking for general information, want to finally beat this game, or are just searching for efficient strategies, this guide has you covered!
II. General Information
Differences from Standard RBY (compiled by me!)
How to Get Surf Pikachu (credits to Azure Heights, posted and credited on Bulbapedia by me)
III. Pokémon Stadium is NOT Standard RBY!
This should be obvious. However, I've seen people play in-game with a competitive mindset for some bizarre reason, so I decided to add a note.
You will never fight a 6v6 level 100 battle in the main game. Every team you face will not contain Tauros, Chansey, Starmie, Exeggutor, etc. In addition, some competitive clauses go out the window. Want to spam evasion moves? Go ahead! If you want to try your luck at OHKOs, the computer won't complain. You can even take advantage of tradeback moves from GSC; although the moves will be highlighted in pink, you'll still be allowed to use the Pokémon.
In addition, Stadium fixes many glitches found in the carts and implements other changes. A list of changes can be found in a link above, but here are the major changes:
- Hyper Beam requires a recharge turn whenever it is used. Obviously, it's not an effective finisher like in link battles.
- Focus Energy quadruples the user's critical hit ratio. Notably, Jolteon has a 100% critical rate after a Focus Energy.
- Substitute blocks all status effects. In addition, HP-draining moves such as Mega Drain will also miss.
- Haze removes all stat boosts and status effects from both Pokémon.
- Bubblebeam has a 30% chance of lowering the target's Speed (instead of 10%).
- Sleep lasts 1-3 turns instead of 1-5 turns.
- When a paralyzed Pokémon's Speed is modified (e.g. Agility), the speed reduction from paralysis is no longer negated.
IV. Other Notes
- While Selfdestruct and Explosion are still powerful suicide moves, they cost you a Continue when used in the Stadium Cup, so use them wisely.
- The opponents' Pokémon in Round 2 do not have max stats. In addition, max stat Pokémon aren't necessary to beat the game. I caught some random Pokémon, gave them vitamins, and still breezed through the Round 2 cups.
- The computer rarely switches in Round 1, but switches in Round 2. In addition, if you spam multi-turn moves such as Wrap, the computer loves to switch.
- In the Poké Cup, use two Pokémon at level 55, and four Pokémon at level 50. (Adjust the levels for the Pika and Petit Cups.) Here's an explanation from SadisticMystic/RJones from his GameFAQs strategy guide:
- Level 55s get an advantage that 51s and 52s don't. Not only is the stat boost almost 10%, but don't forget that level itself plays a direct role in damage calculation. In the (.4 * L) term, L50, 51, and 52 all return a value of 20. Hence giving each Pokemon a 1-2 level boost provides a net gain of 0 in this respect. L53 and L54 return a 21, and only L55 will give 22 in this term. So the 10% boost is maintained here. On the other hand, the failure of a universal 1-2 level increase to provide any boost in the first term of the damage formula actually knocks those levels' damage increases with respect to L50s down, to 1.9% and 3.8%. On a three-Pokemon team, the edge in total percent advantage over L50s is a full 10% for 55-50-50, but only 9.5% for 52- 52-51. 0.5% doesn't seem like a large advantage at all, but as long as it's better than the other option, why not do it?
- Putting your five levels of leeway all into the same Pokemon is known as "efficient resource allocation". To exaggerate the example, let's imagine there's a six-Pokemon tournament where you can use any levels, but the total of your levels can't exceed 110. Who would win: someone who uses a powerful L100 and rounds out the team with irrelevant L2s like Pidgey and Spearow, or someone who believes in the even distribution theory and thus fills the team with levels 18 and 19? I've heard the argument "If your powerhouse goes down, the rest of the team is defenseless." In this case, the even-distributor has a 16-17 level advantage over the allocator's L2s, but in order to bring the powerhouse down just to GET to the L2s, those Pokemon will need to fight into a massive 80+ level disadvantage. Some bad. In a five-level frame, this effect is reduced to the point of near-invisibility, but it's still there.
- The reason the 55:50 split is best played 4:2 deals with combinatorics. You'll want to have your three-Pokemon subteam right at the 155-level limit, or else you waste potential resources, which is never good. If there are two L55s, the number of different 155-level teams possible is (1C2)*(2C4) = 2 * 6 = 12. With one L55, it's 1C1 * 2C5 = 10, and with three it's 1C3 * 2C3 = 9. Zero is 0, four is 4, and five on up is illegal (there's no way to construct a 155-level three-Pokemon team out of five L55s and a L50). So two 55s offer the greatest number of reasonable team choices.
- What to set at L55? Typically, you'll want your team's mainstays to receive all the bonuses they can get. Annoyers and specialized Pokemon don't really need the bonus as much, since their job is based on moves and not stats, so put it where it can be exploited most.
V. General Rules
Here's a refresher:
- You must enter each Cup or Gym with six different Pokémon.
- Team Preview is on. Before each battle, your opponent's team is revealed, and you must select three Pokémon to battle.
- Sleep, Freeze, and Self-KO clauses are in effect.
- In Stadium mode, if none of your selected Pokémon have fainted at the end of the battle, you receive a Continue. If you lose a battle, you may use a Continue to try again. (The Infinite Continue glitch from Stadium 2 does NOT work in this game.)
- In the Gym Leader Castle, all of the opponents' Pokémon are level 50 by default. If you use any Pokémon above level 50, all of the opponents' Pokémon will be at the same level as your highest-leveled Pokémon.
VI. Quick and Dirty Guide
If you want to breeze through the game, you're in luck. The Gym Leader Castle and half of the cups can be completed with just one Pokémon, and the Mewtwo battles are a joke. Only the Round 2 Petit and Poké Cups require some thought.
A. Gym Leader Castle
Every Pokémon is allowed in the Gym Leader Castle. Obviously, one Pokémon destroys this section: Mewtwo. With the following set, you'll crush every opponent with ease:
(If your Mewtwo is level 100, make sure it has at least 404 HP so that it can make 101 HP Substitutes that aren't broken by Seismic Toss.)
This is the most powerful set in Pokémon history. Period. Set up a Substitute to block any status effects or stat-lowering moves, Amnesia until Mewtwo has 999 Special, and blow through everything with Psychic. Recover if necessary. The poor computer doesn't stand a chance. :)
If you think that Mewtwo is "cheap", just look at the Poké Cup section for advice.
B. Prime Cup
Use Mewtwo in both rounds.
C. Pika Cup
A list of Pokémon you can obtain legitimately can be found here:
(Note: Only Mewtwo and Mew are explicitly banned. With glitches, you can obtain any of the other 149 Pokémon at level 15-20. If you want to use a level 20 Zapdos, be my guest. :) )
Unfortunately, Mewtwo is banned. Fortunately, another Psychic-type is there to pick up the reins: Starmie!
Starmie (level 20)
(Thanks to SadisticMystic for this strategy.)
A level 20 Starmie can single-handedly demolish the opponents in both rounds. Even level 15 Pokémon that are hit for neutral damage will be OHKOed by Starmie's high-powered attacks. The Fisher in Round 2 may give you some trouble due to Thunder Wave, but that's what Continues are for. If you don't fear Exeggutor, you could also replace Blizzard with Substitute since Ground-types are hit by Surf, most other Grass-types are part Poison, and Dragon-types are nearly nonexistent. If your Starmie's Special is lacking, you can also replace Thunderbolt with Thunder for extra power.
D. Petit Cup
A list of eligible Pokémon can be found here:
No Pokémon can single-handedly plow through the Petit Cup, so teamwork is finally required. Fortunately, most of the Pokémon in the Petit Cup are horrible, so it's easy to weed out the trash.
Gastly (level 30)
-Explosion / Substitute
With two immunities, 100 base Special, and 80 base Speed, Gastly is the king of the Petit Cup. It obtains excellent coverage, and can go out with a bang with Explosion or set up a Substitute to make up for its frailty. When one of the Nerd's Pokémon uses Selfdestruct or Explosion, just switch this in and laugh.
Abra (level 30)
-Thunder Wave/elemental punch*
While Abra has the durability of a wet tissue, its 105 base Special and 90 base Speed allows it to demolish many of the Pokémon in the Petit Cup. Like Starmie, it can easily OHKO low-level Pokémon that take neutral damage from its attacks. Substitute is handy, but the other two moves are basically filler.
If you have access to tradebacks, the elemental punches are also nice. Exeggcute is ruined by Fire/Ice Punch, but otherwise, Psychic will suffice. Even against opposing Psychics, the 30% Special drop is handy.
Meowth is godly with tradebacks. It has 90 base Speed, Amnesia to buffer its Special, and a hard-hitting STAB Slash. Very fun.
Dragon Rage is killer in the Petit Cup, as it easily 2-3HKOs most Pokémon. If that doesn't strike your fancy, Dratini can buff its Speed with Agility and slowly kill the opponent with Wrap. While Wrap has sub-par accuracy, Dratini has the bulk to take a hit.
Other decent Pokémon include Geodude, Sandshrew, Dragon Rage Pokémon, Surf Pikachu, and Amnesia Psyduck (though you get the last two very late).
E. Poké Cup
The Poké Cup is the most skill-intensive Cup, as you can't breeze through with one Pokémon and there are a myriad of viable choices. Fortunately, this Cup is similar to standard play, so your bog standard team will work here!
Here's the team I used:
Obviously, I used Starmie/Tauros and two level 50s in every match. I prefer Golem in standard play, but went with Rhydon in Stadium since Explosion costs a Continue. While I used Blizzard on Starmie for the Old Man's Dragonite, Thunderbolt is also a good choice due to the myriad of Water-types.
With a decent team, the Poke Cup isn't too hard.
Mewtwo is a piece of cake. With Rentals, there's a Round 1 strategy that's guaranteed to succeed, and a Round 2 strategy with an 83.2% minimum chance of success.
Select Electrode, Exeggcute, Onix, and Rhydon. Lead with Electrode, and paralyze Mewtwo with Thunder Wave. Then, just lower Mewtwo's accuracy with Flash until Electrode faints.
Send out Exeggcute and use Selfdestruct. Mewtwo will be damaged, but will be unable to attack. Then, send out Onix and use Selfdestruct. Finally, send out Rhydon and use Earthquake to seal the deal.
I don't know Mewtwo's stats, so I can't provide any damage calculations. However, I've tried this battle multiple times, and I've always succeeded.
Mewtwo is stronger, so the previous tactic won't work. However, you can still cheese your way to victory with OHKOs. In Generation I, OHKOs only work if the opposing Pokémon is slower. So, you'll need to paralyze Mewtwo, then fire off OHKOs until Mewtwo falls.
Select Electrode and five other Pokémon with OHKO moves, such as Dewgong, Seaking, Omastar, Rhydon, and Kingler. Mewtwo is faster than Electrode this time; however, it always starts with Amnesia, so you can safely Thunder Wave. Then, use Flash until Electrode falls. From there, fire away OHKOs until one side is defeated. You have five chances to fire off OHKOs for an 83.2% chance of victory. Keep in mind that Mewtwo may be fully paralyzed or miss due to Flash, and I've seen Dewgong live an Amnesia-boosted Thunderbolt, so you may have more chances to fire off OHKOs.
When Mewtwo faints, congratulations! You've beaten a Nintendo 64 children's game!
VII. Notable Tradebacks
Here are some notable moves gained through tradebacks, courtesy of Bulbapedia and Pidgeot500's tradeback guide (http://www.smogon.com/rb/articles/tradebacks). NYPC moves are excluded since the vast majority of readers don't legitimately have access to them. Some notable examples are:
Rock Slide Charizard
Amnesia, Hypnosis Persian
Elemental punches Alakazam
Amnesia, elemental punches Hypno
Elemental punches Gengar
Elemental punches Electabuzz
Hydro Pump Dragonite
Here's a comprehensive list for the Petit Cup:
Sleep Powder, Razor Leaf (level 27) Bulbasaur
Drill Peck Spearow (learns Drill Peck at level 29 in RBY)
Focus Energy Nidoran(F)
Fire Spin Vulpix
Razor Leaf Oddish
Slash, Spore Paras (learns Spore at level 27 in RBY)
Sleep Powder Venonat
Slash, Amnesia Meowth
Elemental punches Abra
Razor Leaf Bellsprout
Hypnosis Gastly (learns Hypnosis at level 27 in RBY)
Sleep Powder Exeggcute
Rock Slide Cubone
I could provide sample movesets, but it would basically be, "Less Hyper Beam, more Substitute, Focus Energy, and Double Team". Now go and thrash the computer!