Aurorus is one of my favorite Gen 6 Pokemon – everyone goes gaga over the Tyrantrum line, but Aurorus is way cooler (and also based off the coolest dinosaur). It uh, also kind of sucks, especially for something with 521 BST. Aurorus is slow and has several common weaknesses (most notably 2 4x weaknesses to Fighting and Steel) – not exactly a winning combination. So what better way to use it than by itself, amplifying those flaws? Yeah, I'm not one to shy away from a challenge in Pokemon, as you can probably tell. At least Aurorus does have a ton of offensive and set-up options. So I got an Amaura egg (a direct descendant of the Amaura I used in my Untrained NFE Run) to prepare for this run.
First things first, though - the starter. I decided to pick Litten. This is actually a pretty difficult choice, as starter affects a lot of things in this game. Litten gives Ilima’s Smeargle Water Gun (fine), Hau Rowlet (trivial) and Vaporeon (much less so), Gladion Water Silvally (this doesn’t really matter, honestly), and Kukui Primarina. Kukui is the main issue, as he’s both by far the hardest and too late to grind to some important benchmark (namely evolution). I think Incineroar is the worst option – it’s bulky, resists ice, and has Cross Chop. Even though it’s weak to Rock, Aurorus has much worse rock options than ice ones. Decidueye is easy to KO, but has speed EVs and has a super-effective Z-move. Primarina was what I thought would be the middle option – it still destroys Aurorus and is harder to kill as well, but it’s slow. From how things ended up I’d say Primarina was actually the easiest option, but even as a challenge glutton I can safely say I’m fine with having the easiest Kukui fight, because goddamn that fight sucks for Aurorus.
Back to our adventure - once I got to the first Pokemon Center, I traded over the Amaura egg. Amaura has a Normal resistance and is pretty strong with its STAB Powder Snow, so it starts off well. It doesn’t take long to run into a snag though – Teacher Emily at the Trainer’s School has a Magnemite. Truthfully, I don’t like this fight even casually, as Magnemite is a stupidly obnoxious Pokemon this early on that invalidates a lot of available Pokemon. While her Magnemite doesn’t have any Steel moves, Thunder Shock is still neutral and a straight up brawl with Powder Snow leaves Amaura with too few HP to deal with Meowth afterwards. There’s really nothing to be done here – I don’t like using in-battle items, but it was either that or grind to level 13 for Icy Wind. I opted for the much quicker route and just used a Potion. Thankfully, it was the last time in this playthrough I needed to use an in-battle item.
On to Hau’oli City, home to the greatest TM – Echoed Voice. A 40 BP move that keeps gaining 40 BP for successive uses is amazing this early in the game, and it’s particularly absurd on Amaura. Because of Refrigerate, it also gets a 20% power boost and STAB. Let’s just say this gets a ton of usage throughout this playthough.
The first victim? Ilima. He starts with Yungoos, which is easy bait to start getting Echoed Voice rolling. Smeargle does decent damage with Water Gun, but it’s not enough to save it. Later comes the Totem Gumshoos which doesn’t fare much better – it gets 2HKOd by Echoed Voice. Hau in the meadow meets the same fate. Where’d the challenge go?
Oh yeah, Amaura has crippling 4x weaknesses and I’m about to go toe-to-toe with 3 EV-trained Pokemon that can exploit that. That’s where the challenge went. I got to Hala at level 18, and needless to say it didn’t go well. I could survive one Fighting move (except Crabrawler’s Z move). My initial plan was to take a Karate Chop from Mankey, Echoed Voice it, then quickly ninja kill it with another Quick Claw Echoed Voice. Crabrawler was OHKOd, but even a 192 BP Echoed Voice wasn’t enough to down Makuhita with its Thick Fat and max special defense EVs. The key here was something I’d forgot for a bit – even with Refrigerate, normal moves remain normal with a Z-crystal. And Amaura has a really powerful one this early in Take Down, which is a 175 BP Z-move that wastes Makuhita.
The issue then was getting to Makuhita without the Quick Claw. I realized that I could KO Mankey without the Quick Claw by using Icy Wind first to lower its speed and damage it, then finish it with Echoed Voice. The problem is that this meant Echoed Voice was only at its second turn for Crabrawler, which couldn’t OHKO it without a crit, though it was close. So I opted to grind a bit. While I try to minimize grinding partially for challenge purposes, I also do it because grinding’s pretty bad in this game for a solo challenge – scaling is terrible when you’re overleveled by default. Once I got to 21, I had a 50% chance of the t2 Echoed Voice OHKOing Crabrawler. I grinded up to that in the meadow, which took ~20 minutes even without animations. With the extra levels, I was able to execute my planned strategy on the 2nd attempt, and became victorious on what I anticipated to be one of the biggest roadblocks. Go Amaura!
Anyways, that's all I'm going to write for now. As I alluded to earlier I've already completed this run, but I'll probably just post write-ups island-by-island to keep things more manageable.