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[Challenge] The Date of Birth Challenge

Explorer of Time

Advocate of Ideals
619
Posts
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Years
  • Pokemon X
    Date of Birth Challenge - Rising Star Gregory
    Update 4 (Route 12 -> Coumarine Gym)


    This has been a pretty short update, but I still got a whole bunch of new moves. Braixen learned Light Screen via level-up, though I plan to have him forget it eventually since I'm giving him a Calm Mind build in the long run. Still, it's better than Thief. Meditite learned Power-Up Punch and Rock Tomb via TM right after the Shalour Gym, the latter being another TM I had forgotten about and should've taught earlier. Dwebble got a pair of excellent STAB moves, X-Scissor via TM at Azure Bay and Rock Slide via level-up, and both of these are staying on until the end of the game. Finally, Espeon didn't get a new move but did get the Leftovers, which are excellent for its current Future Sight stall build.

    Serena (Coumarine Battle): This battle was quite similar to Serena's battle in Shalour, only with better luck on my part. Her Meowstic started off by setting Light Screen, then it nearly KOed Dwebble with a Disarming Voice and Psybeam, but he did manage to 3HKO it. Frogadier ended up KOing it the next turn with Quick Attack, though.

    Frogadier hit Meditite with a Quick attack, confused him with a Water Pulse, and hit with another Quick Attack before Meditite 2HKOed it with Return. Meditite did end up hurting himself once, in-between the Returns, and got KOed by Absol right after finishing off Frogadier. Braixen hit Absol with Fire Spin and then Return, but was 2HKOed by Slash. The Rocky Helmet did do a lot of damage to Absol along with Braixen's attacks, so it was weak enough that I could have Espeon simply finish it off with Swift.

    Ramos: This battle was more difficult than I expected, mostly because of Jumpluff's STAB Acrobatics, and it ended up getting healed twice. First off, I had Braixen set Light Screen, but he got hit by Leech Seed, and Braixen hit the next turn with Fire Spin, but Jumpluff outsped and 2HKOed it with Acrobatics.

    Espeon failed to KO Jumpluff with Swift, and took half damage from Acrobatics, and Ramos healed it with a Hyper Potion. Espeon barely survived the next Acrobatics thanks to his Leftovers, and set up Future Sight, then used Protect and got healed by a Soda Pop while Future Sight nearly KOed it. I forgot he had a second Hyper Potion, which he used, and Espeon hit with a Swift that would've KOed it had he not healed, and then set up another Future Sight, but fainted to Acrobatics. I sent out Dwebble, which weakened it with a X-Scissor, but got 2HKOed by Acrobatics, and then Jumpluff finally fainted to Future Sight.

    After Jumpluff and Dwebble fainted, I switched to Meditite, and let him get 4HKOed by Poisonpowder and three Acids from Weepinbell, and revived and healed both Braixen and Dwebble. I then switched to Braixen, and, though he got poisoned by Weepinbell, he 2HKOed it with Psybeam. Then, he hit Gogoat with a Fire Spin but got KOed by poison damage after nearly fainting to Bulldoze. Dwebble then easily survived two Take Downs and won the badge with two X-Scissors.

    Team

    Spoiler:
     

    Eleanor

    Princess Era 🎀
    6,564
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    • Age 24
    • she/her
    • Italy
    • Seen May 18, 2024

    Avril's journey through Kalos, part 1

    🛼 Game: Pokémon Y
    🌸 Team: Poppy (Floette), Acacia (Vespiquen), Hawthorn (Gogoat), Cherry (Meditite)

    I've already been playing ahead and enjoying the game, it's been a long time since I've picked up Pokémon Y and I've avoided it for most challenge runs so far, but this was meant to be. My roleplay character, Avril, is from Laverre City. She is not going to be that open about it but she does like fashion and she's been skating during her (rp) adventure. Probably because letting her do those things was my coping mechanism when I had not yet started skating and looking more into fashion :)

    How will Avril deal with the challenges of her own home region?

    BADGE 1
    Nothing too important here. Avril couldn't even get to a hair dresser to get a pixie cut and look like her usual self, nor get any of the Pokémon that she's supposed to use during this challenge. She spedran the game up until after Viola with her "official" starter, Fennekin, who had very little problems against the first gym leader... to be fair, a Potion was needed during the battle. I'd usually try to avoid items in battle, but for this run, I decided it was going to be ok. Also, because it's me, I just forced all of my rivals to use "Princess" as nickname for Avril. They deserve it for all the dialogs they put me through.

    BADGE 2
    From one Pokémon to four... this stretch of the game is pretty long. Avril was reunited with her best friend Poppy the Red flower Flabébé on Route 4, then she caught a female Combee there too (Acacia), and was promptly put in her place by Prof. Sycamore and his three starters. Even Route 5 proved to be quite a big obstacle because Combee and Flabébé were just so underleveled, until Hawthorn the Skiddo came to the rescue. From there onwards, Avril was once again almost mauled by the Route 7 Snorlax and by the following rival battles, but Poppy came to the rescue. By the time Avril reached Cyllage City, both Poppy and Acacia had evolved once, and the team also gained a new member, Cherry the Meditite... who honestly just stayed back for most battles and got experience through the Exp. All.
    Grant? Hawthorn dealt some damage to Amaura before paving the way for Acacia (somehow) and finally Poppy to defeat Tyrunt. With no Fighting move on Meditite, she just couldn't do much.

    BADGE 3
    This team is not that great against Flying-types and this part of the game just made me despise Hawlucha in particular... Korrina defeated Avril the first time they battled, because of Hawlucha in particular, but the second time, Acacia was able to shrug off the opponent's Flying Press and stall with Toxic (it's a level up move for Vespiquen!). After that battle, Hawthorn (who helped against Mienfoo) evolved too! The Lucario vs Lucario battle was made trivial by the fact that Avril's Pokémon outsped Korrina's, but if that were not to happen, it might have ended differently. Regardless, it was nice to meet a fellow skater and glide on a proper surface. The game lets you skate on everything, including cave floors, grass, even water, and now that I have actually been skating in real life and have terrible flashbacks of that time I had to skate in the rain, this just looks so amusing to me :p
     

    Eleanor

    Princess Era 🎀
    6,564
    Posts
    7
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    • Age 24
    • she/her
    • Italy
    • Seen May 18, 2024

    Avril's journey through Kalos, part 2

    🛼 Game: Pokémon Y
    🌸 Team: Poppy (Floette), Acacia (Vespiquen), Hawthorn (Gogoat), Cherry (Medicham), Iris (Lapras), Tamarix (Stunfisk)

    BADGE 4
    The gift Lapras from Route 12, despite being the token water type of the run, turned out to be the best option against Ramos. Vespiquen would've been just as good if not for Jumpluff's Acrobatics forcing a switch, and after that, Lapras just continued the battle (mostly because of Set mode). That was easy. Plus, the Skiddo ranch was super cute!

    BADGE 5
    Route 13 is skating hell. All the Arena Trap encounters you can't skip with repels, the wind pushing Avril back, the rails that you need to get onto a high speeds but that likely have a Dugtrio popping up right in front of them. The Power Plant made for quite a tense run of consecutive battles and Poppy got some use thanks to all the dark types used by Team Flare, so that was interesting! But nothing too difficult.

    Finally, Clemont. Not a fight I remember particularly well I admit... Gogoat was able to deal with both Magneton and Heliolisk thanks to Bulldoze, while Emolga required some additional help from Vespiquen and her Power Gem. Definitely not a Pokémon I'm fond of fighting against...

    BADGE 6
    This is where I could finally get my last team member, Tamarix the Stunfisk, and where finally Cherry evolved into Medicham! I have no super effective move against Fairy, but Gogoat (again with Bulldoze) was able to power through most of Valerie's team.
    Laverre City is Avril's canon hometown and it definitely fits her personality in the roleplay, but apparently it also fits her fashion sense. This is the first place where I got to change Avril's outfit with a new dress I got from the local boutique. Still addicted to character customization as ever :)
     
    Last edited:

    Eleanor

    Princess Era 🎀
    6,564
    Posts
    7
    Years
    • Age 24
    • she/her
    • Italy
    • Seen May 18, 2024

    Avril's journey through Kalos, part 3

    🛼 Game: Pokémon Y
    🌸 Team: Poppy (Floette), Acacia (Vespiquen), Hawthorn (Gogoat), Cherry (Medicham), Iris (Lapras), Tamarix (Stunfisk)

    BADGE 7
    Things were still smooth sailing up to Anistair City (where I got an even better dress for Avril). The Gym was easy enough but not necessarily because of Vespiquen, who unfortunately is starting to get a bit too slow and "counterable", but thanks to Pokémon like Lapras and Stunfisk, who could exploit the added weaknesses of Olympia's Sigilyph and Slowking. None of the rival fights gave me much trouble up to this point either.

    TEAM FLARE
    I'm so happy that Cherry is in the team. Poppy took more of a backseat during this part of the game but Cherry swept the floor and turned out to be the most important team member when dealing with Team Flare and the various battles at the Lumiose base and the Geosenge hideout. Against Lysandre I had some trouble at first, mostly because of Mienshao, but the final battle was alright.
    Gyarados? Well... this is where I have to point out something about Stunfisk. Usually electric types are so important in a team, at least in my opinion, because they can easily deal with water types, but Stunfisk just can't do that! I was lucky to have Lapras to step in, learn Thunderbolt herself, and do what Stunfisk couldn't, which is dealing with Gyarados... during the Lysandre fight at Lumiose at least. For the final fight, Gyarados mega-evolves into a Water/Dark type, so guess what... Cherry. Again.

    BADGE 8
    I mean... Cherry just swept Wulfric by herself. Who else could've done it, really? The typing of the gym obviously worked to her advantage, but it needs to be said that her crazy attack make her a great choice against every trainer (as long as they don't have Pokémon with typings that screw her over, like Ghost for example). I have to once again report that Vespiquen is not that strong, but most importantly, that she missed three Air Slashes in a row against a random trainer on Route 19. It's a bit frustrating, but mostly because I like Vespiquen as a Pokémon and I wish it was more useful and interesting in terms of its gameplay.
     

    Explorer of Time

    Advocate of Ideals
    619
    Posts
    2
    Years
  • Pokemon X
    Date of Birth Challenge - Rising Star Gregory
    Update 5 (Route 13 -> Lumiose Gym)


    This is going to be a short update, but I finally evolved my whole team. Dwebble evolved into Crustle after beating Aliana at the Power Plant, Braixen evolved into Delphox in Lumiose City, and Meditite evolved into Medicham in Prism Tower. Delphox learned Psyshock and Mystical Fire via level up, and Crustle learned Bulldoze via TM once I made it back to Lumiose.

    Aliana was a pushover, her Mightyena boosted Dwebble's attack with Swagger after it used Swords Dance, and she 1HKOed her only Pokemon with a drastically-boosted X-Scissor.

    Clemont ended up being the easiest Gym Leader so far, too. I led with Crustle, and set Swords Dance as his Emolga Volt Switched into Magneton, then used Bulldoze as it set Electric Terrain. Sturdy triggered and left Magneton with 1 HP, and then Clemont wasted both his Hyper Potions on it, both times being sent back down to 1 HP and lowering Magneton's speed. The fourth Bulldoze KOed Magneton, and then Clemont switched to Heliolisk and KOed Crustle with a Thunderbolt.

    Electric Terrain wore off at this point, and I switched to Medicham, which nearly 1HKOed Heliolisk with Power-Up Punch but got 2HKOed with Thunderbolt. I switched to Espeon, outsped and KOed Heliolisk with Swift, and set Future Sight against Emolga. Clemont had his Emolga use Aerial Ace twice, bringing Espeon down to the yellow, but he used Swift and then hid behind Protect as Future Sight finished off his Emolga and won the battle.

    Team

    Spoiler:
     

    Eleanor

    Princess Era 🎀
    6,564
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    • Age 24
    • she/her
    • Italy
    • Seen May 18, 2024

    Avril's journey through Kalos, part 4

    🛼 Game: Pokémon Y
    🌸 Team: Poppy (Floette), Acacia (Vespiquen), Hawthorn (Gogoat), Cherry (Medicham), Iris (Lapras), Tamarix (Stunfisk)

    League time! It ended up being pretty easy...

    DRASNA
    I started with Lapras and was able to whittle down both Dragalge and Druddigon. Thanks to Iris's bulk I was able to survive a Revenge at 7 HP... but when Drasna had the choice to send in Noivern or Altaria, she opted for Altaria, who is slower than Iris and got knocked out with just one Ice Beam before doing anything. Poppy took care of Noivern in the end, but that truly felt like a bad decision on Drasna's part.

    WIKSTROM
    I was able to deal with him by using just one Pokémon, and that had to be Cherry the Medicham. I taught her Fire Punch, which has 100% accuracy (unlike her STAB moves), and she put it to good use against Klefki, by making Wikstrom use all his Full Restores and only allowing him to set two layers of Spikes. Aegislash was somewhat easy to play around because Cherry could Detect the first turn, prompt the form change, then nail it with Fire Punch before Aegislash would attack again with Shadow Claw. I'd assume Aegislash wouldn't spend time changing form if it could try to go for the KO instead, and I guess it worked.
    Probopass went down with a High Jump Kick and a Fire Punch (thanks to Sturdy) and Scizor also went down to a single Fire Punch.

    SIEBOLD
    I started off with Hawthorn the Gogoat and easily dealt with Clawitzer and Barbaracle. Not sure why Siebold would send out Barbaracle against Gogoat when he still has Gyarados alive and well. Said Gyarados was a bit scarier, since I had to switch to Iris and he had time to set up two Dragon Dances, but Iris was bulky enough to take hits and retaliate with Thunderbolt. For Starmie, I let Acacia the Vespiquen get her only KO of the league with Attack Order.

    MALVA
    Here I wanted to try Tamarix the Stunfisk at all costs, and it worked well enough against Pyroar, but... she's no Iris. Torkoal survived her Mud Bomb and knocked her out before Gogoat (yes, Gogoat) could come in and finish Torkoal off with Earthquake. I sent in Lapras against Talonflame, but she was quite hurt against Chandelure. I tried sending in Hawthorn again, her Earthquake was consistently sending Chandelure into healing range... until a clutch critical hit ended the battle <3

    DIANTHA
    I wish this battle was a bit more interesting but... this was a Poppy sweep. Diantha started with Hawlucha, who is weak to Moonblast. She then sent in Tyrantrum... who is also weak to Moonblast. Aurorus was able to stall Poppy for a bit, setting up screens and freezing her while I was trying to waste time by just clicking Calm Mind and Wish... until Diantha, for some reason, switched in her Goodra. Who is weak to Moonblast. After the screens ran out, Poppy (with all her boosts still there) was able to knock out Aurorus and even Mega Gardevoir with limited damage. And so Avril is the champion of Kalos!

    AZ
    This battle was of course easier than the other ones in the league. I was able to use Tamarix a bit more against Torkoal and Sigilyph, while Iris dealt with Golurk. I guess the battle felt a bit more special, knowing that AZ in the past had a Floette and Avril's best friend is also a Floette (at least in the roleplay).

    TEAM CONSIDERATIONS
    - Poppy: during the game I felt like this evolution line was a bit one-dimensional and with a lot of Grass-type support moves that you just don't get to use much in a normal run. Some Kalos Pokémon seem to suffer from the problem of having just one low power and one high power STAB move in their moveset, leaving them somewhat underwhelming in the mid-game, and Floette was a bit like this. But Florges made up for all of that in the late game and I'm happy to have used her in the challenge. Fairy is also a very solid typing, too.
    - Acacia: I do like Vespiquen, I find it interesting, but for this "Queen" Pokémon that is so hard to find in most games, it feels a bit underwhelming. It's still a strong Pokémon in the early-mid game with a lot of interesting moves, even Destiny Bond at one point, but it's hard to use them well because of Vespiquen's slowness and Bug/Flying type. I haven't used it that much in the late game, but it was very useful when dealing with Grass-types or when Poppy needed some support against certain types.
    - Hawthorn: maybe the Pokémon that impressed me the most. So strong, with a lot of powerful level-up moves, maybe a little straightforward but always useful in a lot of different situations. Somehow held her own even against Malva.
    - Cherry: another very strong Pokémon, but maybe it was easier to see it coming. I barely used it as Meditite, as it was way too frail and didn't learn the moves I would've wanted, but once those arrived, Medicham was basically unstoppable. Being able to learn the Elemental Punches was also very useful, in this case for Fire Punch - my other Pokémon couldn't learn Fire-type moves that easily and there are some situations where it's nice to have those moves available.
    - Iris: the thing that impressed me the most was the bulk, but it's also important to say that you get a nearly ready Lapras by the time you receive it, with Ice Beam already learned and easy access to Surf right after. Add in Thunderbolt later on and this becomes a very important safety net against so many Pokémon. But this was nonetheless a rare, high BST Pokémon from Generation 1... I could sort of expect that already. Surfing on a Lapras was a bit strange at first but it's pretty cute looking back!
    - Tamarix: learning Earth Power by EGG move is a crime against all Pokémon. Being stuck with Mud Bomb was pretty miserable. Like I said in another update, the Ground-type made Stunfisk a bit helpless against the Water-types that her Electric-type would help her to deal with, and her stats just weren't that special. Eventually though, I got to appreciate Stunfisk a bit more as I kept using her and finding the right situations to bring her in. Her defenses got her out of some bad situations too, and it was just very cool to try out a Pokémon I would've probably kept overlooking otherwise.

    I feel like this was a pretty standard team, without any particular typing, gimmick or high set of resistances, but it got me through the game just fine, and for a more chill challenge, it was perfect.
     

    Explorer of Time

    Advocate of Ideals
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  • Pokemon X
    Date of Birth Challenge - Rising Star Gregory
    Update 6 (Route 14 & Laverre Gym)


    This is another pretty short update. I fought Serena on Route 14, easily beat her, then went up to the Laverre Gym and beat that too. Not very many new levels and Medicham didn't even level up once, but I did get a couple moveset updates. When going through TMs after Clemont, I realized I forgot to check the TMs after Ramos and teach Grass Knot to Espeon and Delphox. That was quickly corrected, and then Delphox also learned Fire Pledge via move tutor in Laverre. It's going to be replaced by Flamethrower eventually, but it's a step up from Mystical Fire since I don't need the Sp. Def decrease. Espeon also finally got a non-gimmick STAB Psychic move in... well... Psychic, and also learned Toxic via TM to replace Swift since he doesn't have many other good options at the moment.

    Serena's battle was quite easy. Crustle swept her whole team, 2HKOing Meowstic after a Light Screen and Disarming Voice, 1HKOing Absol after a Bite, and 2HKOing Greninja after it idiotically picked Quick Attack then only hit twice with Water Shruiken.

    Valerie was also on the easier side even though I had a level disadvantage. Medicham took 1/3rd damage from her Mawile's Crunch, then 2HKOed it with Power-Up Punch, the latter being a critical. Unfortunately, he was outsped and KOed by Mr. Mime on its first turn with a Dazzling Gleam, as I was hoping it would set a screen and get hit by a +2 Attack Pure Power Return, which would probably have KOed it.

    Thankfully, I had other Pokemon that could deal with the rest of Valerie's team, and I switched to Espeon, and did a Toxic and Protect while it set screens, then switched Delphox into a Dazzling Gleam and used his own Light Screen. This pretty much made Mr. Mime's attacks do negligible damage because of both Light Screen and a type disadvantage, and Delphox easily survived two Psychics, hit Mr. Mime with a Fire Pledge, and let it faint to Toxic damage. I had Espeon switch in against Sylveon, getting hit by Quick Attack. This battle of the Eeveelutions pretty much involved Espeon starting off with Toxic, then protect-stalling and hitting with two Psychics after the screens wore off, and getting 3HKOed by Dazzling Gleam right before Sylveon fainted to toxic damage. Thankfully, Delphox had already been in this battle a little bit, so the experience points didn't get wasted.

    Team

    Spoiler:
     

    Explorer of Time

    Advocate of Ideals
    619
    Posts
    2
    Years
  • Pokemon X
    Date of Birth Challenge - Rising Star Gregory
    Update 7 (Poke Ball Factory -> Anistar Gym)


    This update saw some huge moveset changes, as every single one of my Pokemon learned key moves that they'll keep for the rest of the run. First off, Espeon learned Dazzling Gleam via TM right after the Laverre Gym battle was won. Delphox learned Flamethrower via level up and Shadow Ball from the Dendemille Town move tutor. Medicham finally got a good STAB special Psychic move in Zen Headbutt from the move tutor, and also learned Fire Punch there as well. This is my planned final moveset for Medicham, but the rest of my team still has some TM moves I want to teach them.

    Crustle also learned Shell Smash from the Move Tutor, turning her from a very risky slow Swords Dance attacker into an absolute powerhouse that can outspeed and sweep pretty much anything that doesn't have priority moves, especially if her opponent doesn't start off with an attack move, and she even has Sturdy on top of that. Like, I knew going in that I'd be getting one of two Shell Smash users from the Route 8 rocks, but I feel incredibly lucky that the 1/3 chance of getting a Sturdy Dwebble ended up in my favor. I am absolutely certain that she'll be my MVP for the run.

    All of the boss battles this time around were pushovers, mostly because of Crustle. She 1HKOed Bryony's Liepard with X-Scissor and easily beat Celosia's Manetric too, set up two Shell Smashes against Serena's Meowstic and 1HKOed her whole team, and easily beat Olympia too. Her gym battle involved her Sigilyph setting up Reflect and only hitting Crustle with a single Psychic, which did send her into the red, but after two Shell Smashes, she was able to 1HKO Olympia's entire team even with Reflect still standing. The only boss battle that Crustle didn't solo this update was Mable, who got her Houndoom 1HKOed by Medicham's Power-Up Punch.

    Team

    Spoiler:
     

    Explorer of Time

    Advocate of Ideals
    619
    Posts
    2
    Years
  • Pokemon X
    Date of Birth Challenge - Rising Star Gregory
    Update 8 (Lysandre Labs & Team Flare Secret HQ)


    I'm going to do a short update here just for the Team Flare battles because I fought a ton of boss battles in a short period of time, and I'm about to get my fifth Pokemon and a new move for Espeon immediately after. My only moveset changes are putting Calm Mind on Delphox and Espeon, getting rid of Grass Knot on the former and Toxic on the latter, and giving Crustle the Earth Plate since Medicham needs the Quick Claw more now that Crustle has Shell Smash instead of Swords Dance.

    Lysandre (1st Battle): I had Crustle set two Shell Smashes while Mienfoo set Swords Dance and trigger Sturdy with High Jump Kick. Crustle then 1HKOed Lysandre's whole team, Mienfoo with Bulldoze, then Gyarados, Murkrow, and Pyroar with Rock Slide.

    Aliana: I started off with Espeon, and nearly took down Mightyena with Dazzling Gleam, but he got 1HKOed by Crunch. Medicham finished off Mightyena with a Power-Up Punch and nearly took down Druddigon with a Zen Headbutt, but also got 1HKOed, this time by a critical Shadow Claw. I had Delphox finish the battle with a Psyshock.

    Celosia: The first time I beat Celosia, Delphox got paralyzed by Thunder Wave and took 1/3rd damage from Thunderbolt, but he 2HKOed it with Flamethrower without losing any turns. Drapion KOed it with Night Slash the next turn though. Drapion then got lucky with Acupressure twice and sharply boosted its defense, then attack, then something else I don't remember. Medicham hit with Power-Up Punch four times but still didn't KO it, and got 1HKOed by Poison Jab when Drapion was done boosting its stats. Espeon outsped and finished it off with Dazzling Gleam. Since I lost to Bryony, I had to rematch her and I don't normally record rematch data, but I won this time with Espeon beating Manetric and fainting to Drapion, and Crustle beating Drapion with 1HP left.

    Bryony: I actually lost my first battle against Bryony, since I didn't know I'd be forced into a second battle immediately after without a chance to heal. I ended up with Espeon leading against Liepard which was the last Pokemon I wanted leading this battle, and Crustle got Taunted and stopped from using Shell Smash, and KOed by Bisharp. The second battle went much better. I had Delphox as my lead and used Calm Mind once before getting Taunted. Delphox then survived a Sucker Punch and 1HKOed both Liepard and Bisharp with Flamethrower.

    Mable: Medicham just 1HKOed her Houndoom and Weavile with Power-Up Punch. Easiest boss fight in the game so far.

    Xerosic: I started off with Espeon, survived an X-Scissor, and 1HKOed Crobat with Psychic. Espeon also did 2/3rds damage to Malamar with Dazzling Gleam, but got finished off by Payback. I switched to Crustle, easily survived a Superpower, and KOed Malamar with an X-Scissor.

    Lysandre (2nd Battle): I had Medicham lead this battle, and his Quick Claw activated and he 1HKOed Mienshao with Zen Headbutt. He also nearly took down Honchkrow with two Fire Punches, but got 2HKOed by Aerial Ace. I switched to Crustle, got hit by a Steel Wing, and used Shell Smash. Crustle then KOed Honchkrow with Rock Slide, then nearly KOed Gyarados with Rock Slide before fainting to an Aqua Tail. I sent out Delphox, finished off Gyarados with a Psyshock, then 3HKOed Pyroar with Psyshock too after barely surviving two Dark Pulses.

    Lysandre (3rd Battle): I intentionally lost the first battle against Lysandre so I could get rid of Xerneas (who I caught with a Quick Ball on turn 1) and lead with the right Pokemon. Espeon 1HKOed Mienshao and 2HKOed Pyroar with Psychic, but got hit by a Fire Blast from the latter and burned. He nearly 1HKOed Honchkrow with Dazzling Gleam too, but got finished off by Night Slash after putting it in the red. I sent out Delphox to faint Honchkrow with Flamethrower and waste Gyarados' Intimidate, and then did a tiny bit of damage with Shadow Ball before he got 1HKOed by Aqua Tail. I switched to Medicham, and put Gyarados in the red with two Power-Up Punches, getting the Quick Claw boost both times and dodging the first Aqua Tail. The second Aqua Tail, however, 1HKOed Medicham. I sent out my Sturdy Crustle, my last Pokemon, and expected her to be brought down to 1 HP by Aqua Tail and win the battle with X-Scissor. However, Aqua Tail missed and Crustle won the battle with full HP.

    Team

    Spoiler:
     
    Last edited:

    Explorer of Time

    Advocate of Ideals
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  • Pokemon X
    Date of Birth Challenge - Rising Star Gregory
    Update 9 (Route 18 -> Snowbelle Gym)


    Now for the second part of the Eighth Badge segment. First things first, I caught a Lairon on Route 18 right after beating Team Flare, then evolved her into Aggron one level later. She has a bad nature, but she does have Sturdy which gives me two Pokemon with this excellent ability. Later, after beating my friends on the bridge and making it to Snowbelle, I caught an Ursaring with my Master Ball just west of Snowbelle. Coincidentally, every Pokemon on my team except my starter has a nature that decreases Defense, though this isn't something I was trying for.

    In moveset changes, all that really changed apart from my new team members was that Espeon learned Shadow Ball and Delphox learned Psychic. I also switched Crustle's held item for a King's Rock. Aggron got a physical attacking moveset with Autonomize as a fourth move to make up for her poor speed. Ursaring also got a Swords Dance Facade build, though sadly I can't get a Flame Orb for her until the postgame.

    Wulfric and Sycamore were both total pushovers. Delphox set Calm Mind four times against Sycamore's Venusaur, which used the useless Worry Seed and did more damage to itself with Petal Dance against the Rocky Helmet than it did to Delphox. Then Delphox 1HKOed Venusaur with Flamethrower, 1HKOed Blastoise with Psyshock, leveled up and learned Psychic, then used it to 1HKO Charizard. Wulfric wasn't much harder. Delphox 1HKOed Abomasnow and then Avalugg with Flamethrower, but didn't 1HKO Cryogonal and ended up getting confused, hurting himself, and getting frozen by Ice Beam. I just switched to Aggron and KOed with Iron Head.

    Shauna, Tierno, and Trevor actually ended up being a little more challenging this time. I didn't record these in detail but Shauna was easily the hardest, fainting Espeon and Medicham and wounding Crustle, while Aggron ended up nearly soloing Tierno before going down to a heavily-wounded Roserade, which just got KOed by my next Pokemon. Trevor's Raichu was beaten in a close battle by Espeon, but Espeon got KOed by Aerodactyl, and Aggron 1HKOed both Aerodactyl and Florges.

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  • Pokemon X
    Date of Birth Challenge - Rising Star Gregory
    Update 10 (Victory Road -> Pokemon League)


    My team has finally beaten the Pokemon League. I'm going to do one more update for the postgame, to get my Mega, fight Serena in Kiloude, and complete the Looker Bureau sidequest, but I've done enough to get my name on the HoF whenever the mods get around to it. My team changes were minor this time around. I got the Stone Edge and Earthquake TMs, taught both to Aggron and the latter to Crustle, switched Medicham's elemental punch to Thunder Punch, and switched around my Held Items a little once Aggron learned Stone Edge. I also turned the Exp. Share on for a little bit to get my team leveled up to 60 so my Repels would work in Victory Road.

    Serena: I sent out Ursaring, who was still Burned from the last battle with the Hex Maniac's Gourgeist, and she 1HKOed everything on her team with Facade. Ursaring's Quick Claw activated three times so the only thing Serena actually did the whole battle was set Swords Dance on Absol once.

    Siebold: Medicham 1HKOed Clawitzer, Starmie, and Gyarados with Thunder Punch, getting outsped by Starmie and hit by a Dazzling Gleam. Thanks to Intimidate, Medicham only did 45% damage to Barbaracle though, and got KOed by Razor Shell. I switched to Crustle, had her set Shell Smash, then KOed Barbaracle too with an Earthquake.

    Malva: This may have been the second League battle, but it was still the hardest. Aggron led the battle, failing to 1HKO Pyroar with Earthquake after using Automize and getting 2HKOed by Flamethrower. I had Crustle set Shell Smash twice while she healed Pyroar and triggered Sturdy with Flamethrower, then 1HKOed Pyroar and Torkoal with Earthquake. Malva then sent out Talonflame and KOed Crustle with Quick Attack. I switched to Delphox, Talonflame criticaled with Brave Bird but barely failed to KO him, and he KOed it with a Psychic after it finished taking recoil and Rocky Helmet damage. Malva then sent out Chandelure, Delphox hit it with a Shadow Ball before getting KOed by Chandelure's Shadow Ball, then Espeon won the battle with a second Shadow Ball against Chandelure.

    Drasna: Espeon led this battle and set 6x Calm Mind against Dragalge. I used a single Full Restore to cure poison between the 4th and 5th Calm Minds, and then 1HKOed everything on her team, outspeeding everything but a Dragon Pulse from Noivern.

    Wikstrom: Klefki set spikes but Delphox 1HKOed it with Flamethrower. I switched over to Medicham, getting hit by a Power Gem from Probopass, then put it in the red with a Power-Up Punch, surviving a Flash Cannon. Wikstrom actually wasted both his Full Restores in Probopass and let Medicham build up 4+ attack before Probopass actually fainted, and then he did 2/3rds damage to Aegislash with Thunder Punch before fainting to a Shadow Claw. I switched back to Delphox, KOed Aegislash with Flamethrower, then 1HKOed Scizor with Flamethrower too.

    Diantha: Crustle set Shell Smash twice against Hawlucha (which used Swords Dance and then Flying Press) and 1HKOed her whole team. This includes her Gardevoir, who she Mega Evolved when not Mega Evolving it would have let it keep the Sturdy it Traced and KO Crustle.

    AZ: Crustle set Shell Smash and 1HKOed Torkoal with Earthquake, but got 2HKOed by Torkoal's Stone Edge and Golurk's Phantom Force after the latter survived an Earthquake. Delphox finished off Golurk with a Shadow Ball and 2HKOed Sigilyph with Shadow Ball, with a Cosmic Power weakening the latter attack.

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  • Pokemon X
    Date of Birth Challenge - Rising Star Gregory
    Update 11 (Postgame)


    Not much really changed here, other than the fact that I finally got my Medicham's Mega Stone, and a Flame Orb for Ursaring. I shifted my Quick Claw over to Delphox now since everyone else has held items they need more.

    Serena's final battle was quite tough since she had a Mega and I didn't. I had Ursaring 1HKO Meowstic with a Guts-boosted Facade after a Fake Out, but Clefable 1HKOed her back with Focus Blast. Aggron failed to 1HKO Clefable with Iron Head and got 2HKOed by Focus Blast, too.

    I switched to Medicham and KOed Clefable with Poison Jab, and then 2HKOed Altaria with Zen Headbutt, flinching it to stop it from moving. Medicham missed Flareon with a Zen Headbutt and got 2HKOed by Fire Blast, but he at least managed to hit Flareon with his second Zen Headbutt before fainting.

    Espeon then finished off Flareon with a Dark Pulse, survived a Dark Pulse from Greninja, then brought it to 1/3rd HP with Dazzling Gleam. Greninja then fainted Espeon with another Dark Pulse, so I switched to Crustle and KOed it with X-Scissor after Hydro Pump triggered Sturdy. Mega Absol then KOed Crustle with Quick Attack, 1HKOed Delphox with Night Slash while I used a Max Revive on Ursaring, then nearly KOed Absol with Brick Break after it used Swords Dance. I let Ursaring get 1HKOed too and used a Max Revive on Aggron, which survived a critical Night Slash because of Sturdy, and finished the match with an Iron Head.

    Essentia's battles were all significantly easier than Serena's. Ursaring easily swept through her first and third battles, Delphox swept her second battle, Espeon finished off her fourth battle, then her Crobat in the rematch, then Crustle finished off Malamar in the rematch.

    Final Thoughts:

    Delphox:
    For a starter Pokemon, Delphox was amazing in the early game but kinda fell into mediocrity later on. Still, I needed a second special attacker on my team so that the only one didn't end up being Espeon.

    Medicham: Medicham is a great Pokemon, but one I've used in two recent runs, so I'm a little sick of it now. That being said, this Medicham got to differentiate himself from the previous two with Power-Up Punch, which combos well with his Pure Power ability, and Poison Jab to deal with Fairy types, as well as actually getting access to a STAB physical Psychic move in Zen Headbutt.

    Crustle: She might have been weak as a Dwebble, but Crustle is undoubtedly the most powerful Pokemon on this team. Shell Smash combined with Sturdy is an utterly amazing combination even despite Crustle's poor base speed, and she was basically unstoppable if given time to set up. She soloed and 1HKOed Diantha's entire team with only two moves of setup.

    Espeon: Let me be frank, Espeon had a bad movepool up to around the 6th gym. Past that, he was more useful than I expected because he was the only Pokemon on my team who could learn Dazzling Gleam, which gave him a niche that Delphox didn't have.

    Aggron: I expected Espeon to be the team's LVP, but Aggron ended up being unexpectedly worse this go around. I caught her too late in the game to make much of a difference, her typing wasn't exactly what I needed at the time, and she was the only Pokemon on my team that couldn't boost her own attacking stat when necessary.

    Ursaring: Well, she was great while I had her, but I didn't have her very long. She was only available right before Gym 8 and never saw battle in the League because I had burned her beforehand and was saving her for Diantha, but then Crustle swept through Diantha easily because she used Gourgeist and Gardevoir very stupidly. Still, Guts STAB Facade was super powerful when I could get it.

    Overall: This was a fun challenge, which got me using a few Pokemon I normally wouldn't use in the monotype runs I usually play, like Espeon and Ursaring. It wasn't too hard, but I still lost two non-Battle Maison battles (not counting an intentional loss to Lysandre to fight him with a team of four), one to Grant, and one to Bryony of all people in the Lysandre Labs.

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    Name: Devalue
    Game: Moon
    Pokemon Team: Route encounter, Salazzle, Stoutland, Alolan Ninetales, Seaking, and Parasect.

    Hid the math. Randomized the order too.

    Quick notes:
    • Will trade in four Alolan Vulpix eggs and take the best. Cannot obtain it in Moon. Works well, due to zero team members on the first island. (Bodes ill for Hala, though.)
    • Technically should have an Ultra Beast. Only appears in Sun's postgame. Could trade one in...at level 60. Exceeds the champion's highest level (58). Vetoed that. Halved the number again.

    Read a Smogon thread about Seaking being one of the least used Pokemon in playthroughs. Appears in lots of games. Competes with other (better) Water types, including starters. Looks forward to trying to use it.
     
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    Update 1: Start - Totem Salazzle​

    "Quick" personal rules:
    • Limit 3 items per battle. No X items or in-battle Revives.
    • No Z-moves
    • Limit 1 Leftovers.
    • Set mode
    • Restricts Refresh to 2 hearts
    • Soft level cap. Tries to be at these levels for the specified battles. Will not bench anyone over the cap for that fight, though. Likely ignores the numbers for Totem Raticate and Hala, due to being solo.
      • Totem Raticate: 12
      • Hala: 15
      • Totem Wishiwashi: 20
      • Totem Salazzle: 22
      • Totem Lurantis: 24
      • Olivia: 27
      • Totem Vikavolt: 29
      • Totem Mimikyu: 33
      • Nanu: 39
      • Hapu: 48
      • Lusamine Round 2: 50
      • Elite Four/Champion: 55

    Team for this challenge: Route encounter, Salazzle, Stoutland, Alolan Ninetales, Seaking, and Parasect.

    Random number: 7. Picked the female trainer, third from the left. Named them "Anni", short for Anniversary.

    Sighs. Engage chicken hat. Kind of looks like a party hat, though. Rolls the female trainer a lot for this game.

    Chose Litten. (Probably should have randomized that, but too late.) Was this Litten any good? ...Rash. Good Speed and Special stats. Middling on hitpoints. Awful Attack and maybe weak Defense. Eh.

    ...Why do you battle Hau on the path? Could have gone to the arena fifteen steps away.

    Received the Rotomdex. Can you even catch Rotom in Alola? ...No, not in the original Sun/Moon. How peculiar. Ordered it, but even so.

    Unlocked trading. Sent over four Alolan Vulpix eggs. Put the stats into an IV calculator. (Gives ranges for most stats, especially at level 1.)

    • Vulpix 1: 11/5/5/6/6/5 for stats. Sassy. 31 IVs in Special Defense. Unknown to lower-half for everything else.
    • Vulpix 2: 11/5/5/6/6/6 for stats. Docile. Okay to good Special Attack. Unknown to lower-half for everything else.
    • Vulpix 3: 11/4/5/6/6/6 for stats. Timid. Good Special Defense. Unknown to lower-half for everything else.
    • Vulpix 4: 11/6/6/6/5/6 for stats. Naive. 31 IVs in Hitpoints. Upper-half Attack and Defense. Unknown on the rest.

    Yeah, Vulpix 3 for the Timid nature. Named it "Cake". Finds that at a birthday party.

    Boxed Litten. Officially begins the challenge. Deals with a rough start at level 1. Ran away from the level 3 Alolan Rattatas. Beat up a level 2 Spinarak in five Powder Snows. Fainted to a level 2 Rattata (while at level 2) after failing to run away. Found some Pikipeks after that to be at a safe level.

    IV update: 18 Special Defense. 8-23 Hitpoints, 0-16 Attack, 4-19 Defense, 17-19 Special Attack, and 10-18 Speed. Pretty average, overall. Wondered if these Vulpixes would be kinda strong. Bred it with a 4 perfect IV Japanese Ditto and a freshly-caught Vulpix (no held items for either of them). Clearly received none of the good IVs.

    Barely weathered the Trainer School Alolan Grimer. Remembered it being nasty. Took five Powder Snows to bring it down, despite being a level higher than it. Lost half of Cake's health from a Bite (plus Poison Touch immediately). Knocked it down to -2 Attack. Still burned three Potions (the limit). Ended at 4 hitpoints (6 after the level) and poisoned.

    Lucked out so hard on the Trainer School principal. Fainted Magnemite after two Potions and six Powder Snows. Immediately Baby-Doll Eyes'd Alolan Meowth, then healed with the last Potion. Apparently moves slower than Alolan Meowth. Flinched on two consecutive Bites. Fell to 2 hitpoints. Accepted the loss...and then got a Powder Snow freeze. Locked down Alolan Meowth for two turns. Fainted it before it unthawed.

    Recorded the Ilima battle.
    Spoiler: Ilima Battle

    Turn 1: Cake: Powder Snow (20%) / Yungoos: Tackle (19/28)
    Turn 2: Cake: Powder Snow (25%, freeze) / Yungoos: Frozen
    Turn 3: Cake: Powder Snow (25%) / Yungoos: Frozen
    Turn 4: Cake: Powder Snow (20%) / Yungoos: Frozen
    Turn 5: Yungoos: Potion (heal to 75%) / Cake: Powder Snow (critical, 45%)
    Turn 6: Cake: Powder Snow (20%) / Yungoos: Frozen
    Turn 7: Cake: Powder Snow (the rest)
    (Level up.)
    Turn 8: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Smeargle: Tackle (12/30)
    Turn 9: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Smeargle: Tackle (5/30)
    Turn 10: Cake: Potion (heal to 25/30) / Smeargle: Tackle (18/30)
    Turn 11: Smeargle: Tackle (9/30) / Cake: Powder Snow (25%)
    Turn 12: Cake: Potion (heal to 29/30) / Smeargle: Tackle (20/30)
    Turn 13: Smeargle: Tackle (13/30) / Cake: Powder Snow (30%)
    Turn 14: Smeargle: Tackle (6/30) / Cake: Powder Snow (25%)
    Turn 15: Cake: Potion (heal to 26/30, final item) / Smeargle: Tackle (19/30)
    Turn 16: Cake: (Quick Claw) Powder Snow (the rest)

    Reached the item limit yet again, despite the good freeze. Distrusted Ice Shard to finish off Smeargle. Was in the red, but even so.

    Chose Litten, so no Ember. Wonders if that would have done more.


    Dreads the Hala fight even more. What about Totem Raticate, for that matter? Takes way too much damage from an Alolan Rattata's Quick Attack as-is (25-33%). What happens when one uses Hyper Fang?

    Finds out now. Enters the Totem Raticate fight at level 13. (Tried to not go too far over the cap. Barely avoided being level 14.) Handed an Oran Berry to Cake. Definitely saved.
    Spoiler: Totem Raticate

    (Totem Raticate's aura: +1 Defense)
    Turn 1: Cake: Powder Snow (15%) / Totem Raticate: Scary Face
    (SoS call: Alolan Rattata.)
    Turn 2: ARattata: Quick Attack (24/34) / Totem Raticate: Bite (12/34) (Cake's Oran Berry to 22/34) / Cake: Flinched
    Turn 3: ARattata: Quick Attack (12/34) / Totem Raticate: Tail Whip / Cake: Powder Snow (40% to ARattata, 10% to Totem Raticate)
    Turn 4: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / ARattata: Quick Attack (18/34) / Totem Raticate: Bite (0/34)

    ...Yep. Checks out.

    Clearly relies on luck here. Is it Confuse Ray time? ...Maybe on Turn 1? Gets two freeze chances with Powder Snow, not to mention good damage on Alolan Rattata. Sighs. Nerfed confusion at a bad generation. Reloaded. Round 2.

    (Totem Raticate's aura: +1 Defense)
    Turn 1: Cake: Confuse Ray / Totem Raticate: Scary Face
    (SoS call: Alolan Rattata.)
    Turn 2: Totem Raticate: (No longer confused) Bite (19/34) / ARattata: Tackle (9/34) (Cake's Oran Berry to 19/34) / Cake: Powder Snow (35% on ARattata / 10% on Totem Raticate)
    Turn 3: ARattata: Quick Attack (9/34) / Totem Raticate: Tail Whip / Cake: Powder Snow (critical on Totem Raticate)

    ...Stopped recording. Was dying to the same thing as last time after a heal while writing stuff down.

    Hates you too, Confuse Ray. Baby-Doll Eyes this time? Only delays the problem at best. Needs to take down Alolan Rattata immediately. One more Confuse Ray attempt.

    (Totem Raticate's aura: +1 Defense)
    Turn 1: Cake: Confuse Ray / Totem Raticate: Hit itself
    (SoS call: Alolan Rattata.)
    Turn 2: Cake: Powder Snow (35% + freeze to Alolan Rattata, 10% to Alolan Raticate) / Totem Raticate: Bite (19/34) / ARattata: Frozen
    Turn 3: Cake: Powder Snow (40% to Alolan Rattata, 10% to Alolan Raticate) / Totem Raticate: (No longer confused) Scary Face / Alolan Raticate: (Unthawed) Focus Energy
    Turn 4: Totem Raticate: Bite (4/34) (Cake's Oran Berry to 14/34) / Cake: Flinched / ARattata: Tackle (miss)
    Turn 5: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Totem Raticate: Bite (21/34) / ARattata: Tail Whip
    Turn 6: Totem Raticate: Bite (0/34)

    Closer. Stupid flinch. Really needed that attack. Would have taken down Alolan Rattata.

    Attempt 4: Same strategy. No confusion hits. Flinched on the turn 2 attack. Died on turn 3. Dealt precisely 0 damage to them.

    Attempt 5: Fine. Baby-Doll Eyes. Does not fix getting demolished by flinches. Aaaand nope.

    Attempt 6: Heads out to level if this fails. Powder Snow or bust. Nope. Fainted to a critical Quick Attack. Leveling time.

    Psh. Backtracked to a level 9 Makuhita trainer. Knew Arm Thrust, Tackle, Focus Energy, and Sand Attack. Went down to -4 accuracy. Also had to deal with their Full Restore. Fainted on a 3+ hit Arm Thrust, two of which were criticals. Lost the rematch too, after 10 straight Powder Snow misses. What are you supposed to do about that?

    Left the Makuhita trainer alone. Leveled to 15 on wild Pokemon. Learned Icy Wind over Confuse Ray. Should help the speed issue. Probably two-shots Alolan Rattata now too.

    ...Hold on. Said you could not leave Verdant Cavern without leaving the trial. Waltzed right in, back to the Totem Pokemon. Handed Cake an Oran Berry and saved once more.

    (Totem Raticate's aura: +1 Defense)
    Turn 1: Cake: Icy Wind (25%, -1 Speed) / Totem Raticate: Scary Face
    (SoS call: Alolan Rattata.)
    Turn 2: ARattata Quick Attack (28/37) / Totem Raticate: Bite (16/37) / Cake: Icy Wind (60% to ARattata, 30% to Totem Raticate, -1 Speed to both)
    Turn 3: Cake: Icy Wind (the rest to ARattata, 25% to Totem Raticate) / Totem Raticate: Scary Face
    Turn 4: Totem Raticate: Scary Face / Cake: Icy Wind (the rest)

    Decided in four turns yet again, but for the better.


    Feels like calculating out Hala's Crabrawler. Wants to know how many trainers to fight en route. Rarely maths it out before a fight. Warrants it, after that massacre. How much damage would Hala's level 15, 31 Attack IV, Adamant Crabrawler do on its Z-move versus...a level 17 Alolan Vulpix with middling IVs? Sure. ...176.1 - 214.2%. Ruh roh. What level does Cake have to be to not instantly faint? Level 25 at a 3 in 8 chance.

    Problem-solving time. Is there a way out of massive overleveling? Cannot learn any TMs besides Confide (useless). Sees no others ahead. Banned Z-moves, X items, and Refresh. Learns no helpful moves (Dark moves? Seriously?).

    Oh, right. How much does Baby-Doll Eyes prevent the impending disaster? Survives 25% of the time at level 19 with Crabrawler at -1. Okay, assume level 21. Lives 93.7% of the time. Hits with Icy Wind for...39.6% - 47.1%. Cannot even two-shot it.

    What about items? Spies a Nevermeltice in Seaward Cave. Enters possible two-shot range with Icy Wind. Are there any other wild hold items available? No (thankfully, due to 5% chances for most). No Ice Stones before Poke Pelago either.

    Beat up every trainer on Route 2 and grabbed the NeverMelt-Ice. Handled Hau no problem. Passed on learning Payback. Fainted to a trainer's Growlithe on a critical Ember. (Almost two-shots Cake without the critical, despite the 5 level advantage. Knew it was here somewhere. Thought it was the Red Card trainer.) Won the rematch.

    Struggled through the Red Card trainer. Went to the item limit, yet again. Swears on sleeping the maximum turns for every Yawn. Probably slept over 10 turns that battle and, plus one confusion hit. Defeated Slowpoke after 7 Icy Winds, 2 Powder Snows, and 1 Ice Shard. Scored a freeze on Slowpoke, only for the trainer to have a Full Heal. When does Vulpix actually do good? (Non-spoiler: Not Hala.)

    Gave Hala a shot with Cake at level 19. Wanted to see how bad it really was. Saved beforehand.

    Spoiler: Hala

    Provides a quick rundown of Hala's team. Explains the road ahead.
    • Mankey (Lv. 14)
      • Nature: Adamant
      • Ability: Anger Point
      • Moves: Karate Chop/Pursuit/Focus Energy/(None)
      • IVs: 31/31/15/15/15/31
      • EVs: 252/0/0/0/0/252
    • Makuhita (Lv. 14)
      • Nature: Adamant
      • Ability: Thick Fat
      • Moves: Arm Thrust/Sand Attack/Fake Out/(None)
      • IVs: 31/31/15/15/31/15
      • EVs: 252/0/0/0/252/0
    • Crabrawler (Lv. 15) @Fightinium Z
      • Nature: Adamant
      • Moves: Pursuit/Power-Up Punch/Leer/(None)
      • IVs: 31/31/31/15/15/15
      • EVs: 252/0/252/0/0/0

    Attempt 1
    Turn 1: Cake: Icy Wind (50%) / Mankey: Karate Chop (13/45)
    Turn 2: Cake: Icy Wind (the rest)
    Turn 3: Cake: Powder Snow (25%) / Crabrawler: All-Out Pummeling (0/45)

    Saw no point in healing for the inevitable one-shot. Lost three-fourths of its health to a non-critical Karate Chop. Fares worse against a 100 power Z-move for sure.

    Returned to Melemele Meadow to grind. Encounters decent sources of experience there (Oricorio, 1% Butterfree, Metapod), not to mention some Special Attack effort values. Leveled to 22. Survives a non-crit, All-Out Pummeling guaranteed...at full health and -1 Attack for Crabrawler. Seems more winnable. Maybe.

    Attempt 2
    Turn 1: Cake: Icy Wind (75%, -1 Speed) / Mankey: Focus Energy
    Turn 2: Cake: Powder Snow (the rest)
    Turn 3: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Crabrawler: All-Out Pummeling (7/51)
    Turn 4: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Crabrawler: Power-Up Punch (31/51, +1 Attack)
    Turn 5: Cake: Icy Wind (55%, -1 Speed) / Crabrawler: Power-Up Punch (1/51, +1 Attack)
    Turn 6: Cake: Icy Wind (the rest)
    Turn 7: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Makuhita: Fake Out (45/51)
    Turn 8: Cake: Icy Wind (miss) / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 9: Cake: Icy Wind (miss) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (4 hits, 12/51)
    Turn 10: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full, final item) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (2 hits, 35/51)
    Turn 11: Cake: Icy Wind (25%, -1 Speed) / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 12: Cake: Powder Snow (20%) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (4 hits?, 3/51)
    Turn 13: Cake: Powder Snow (20%) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (0/51)

    So close! Hoped for a freeze to bail Cake out. Saw no other way out. No luck (especially on that 5% Icy Wind miss). Should have Baby-Doll Eyes'd Makuhita.

    Attempt 3
    Turn 1: Cake: Powder Snow (50%) / Mankey: Karate Chop (19/51)
    Turn 2: Cake: Icy Wind (the rest)
    Turn 3: Cake: Powder Snow (45%) / Crabrawler: All-Out Pummeling

    Also needs Mankey to cooperate and/or freeze. Still hits way too hard.

    Attempt 4: Same as Attempt 3, but less damage on Karate Chop.

    Attempt 5 and 6: Dropped to 27/51 on the first Power-Up Punch. Stood no chance of surviving the next blow. Tried for a freeze. Nope.

    Attempt 7. (Trimmed it down.)
    Turn 4: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Crabrawler: Power-Up Punch (27/51, +1 Attack)
    Turn 5: Cake: Powder Snow (40%) / Crabrawler: Leer
    Turn 6: Cake: Powder Snow (45%) / Crabrawler: Power-Up Punch (0/51)

    Pulled out Leer now? Could have fainted it with Icy Wind x2. Just as well, perhaps. Makes Makuhita even worse.

    Grinded one more level, to 23. Decided to learn Feint Attack over Ice Shard. Already moves pretty quick. Theoretically helps against Sand Attacks (and Glaceon later). (Also discovered Makuhita has Thick Fat. Come on.)

    Attempt 8 and 9: Karate Chop from Mankey on turn 1 (critical on attempt 9). Healed once, in hopes of Focus Energy. No. Continued on the off-chance of a freeze. No.

    Refers to the above as "the usual" from here on out. Basically loses any attempt with turn 1 Karate Chop, barring a freeze.

    Attempt 10
    Turn 1: Cake: Icy Wind (critical, 100%) / Mankey: Fainted
    Turn 2: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Crabrawler: All-Out Pummeling (9/51)
    Turn 3: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Crabrawler: Power-Up Punch (33/51, +1 Attack)
    Turn 4: Cake: Icy Wind (65%, -1 Speed) / Crabrawler: Power-Up Punch (3/53, +1 Attack)
    Turn 5: Cake: Powder Snow (the rest)
    Turn 6: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Makuhita: Fake Out (47/53)
    Turn 7: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 8: Cake: Icy Wind (miss) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (4 hits, 23/53)
    Turn 9: Cake: Icy Wind (30%, -1 Speed) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (4 hits, 0/53)

    Gambled on not getting another 4+ hit. Still deals a lot of damage, even at -1 and a full 9 levels under (14 versus 23).

    Attempt 11 and 12: The usual. Dropped to 11 hitpoints on the critical Karate Chop. Still waiting for that Crabrawler freeze.

    Attempt 13:
    Turn 1: Cake: Powder Snow (60%) / Mankey: Karate Chop (27/53)
    Turn 2: Mankey: Super Potion (heal to full) / Cake: Powder Snow (60%)
    Turn 3: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Mankey: Karate Chop (critical, 15/53)
    Turn 4: Cake: Powder Snow (the rest)
    Turn 5: Cake: Powder Snow (50%) / Crabrawler: Leer
    Turn 6: Cake: Icy Wind (the rest)
    Turn 7: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Makuhita: Fake Out (44/53)
    Turn 8: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 9: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes (miss) / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 10: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes (miss) / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 11: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes (miss) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (3 hits, 20/53)
    Turn 12: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes (miss) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (2 hits, 4/53)
    Turn 13: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full, final item) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (3 hits?, 29/53)
    Turn 14: Cake: Powder Snow (20%) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (3 hits?, 5/53)
    Turn 15: Cake: Powder Snow (miss) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (1 hit, 0/53)

    ...What even happened? Never used a Super Potion before. Brought Mankey down to lower health in previous attempts. And no Z-move? Might have been able to win by hitting Feint Attack, rather than trying a second Baby-Doll Eyes. Was at -1 Defense this time, though.

    Attempt 14: Turn 1 Icy Wind miss. Turn 2 Karate Chop critical.
    Attempt 15: The usual
    Attempt 16: The usual, but with a Super Potion on Mankey again this time. Will never understand this AI.
    Attempt 17 and 18: The usual. Regrets dropping Confuse Ray.

    Attempt 19:

    Turn 1: Cake: Icy Wind (90%) / Mankey: Focus Energy
    Turn 2: Cake: Powder Snow (the rest)
    Turn 3: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Crabrawler: Leer
    Turn 4: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Crabrawler: Leer
    Turn 5: Cake: Powder Snow (50%) / Crabrawler: All-Out Pummeling (critical, 0/53)

    Calculated it. Could not survive the -1 Attack Z-move at -1 Defense. Became pretty grim for Makuhita after the second Leer. Thanks Hala for saving the critical on a Z-move that would have killed regardless.

    Attempt 20: The usual. How much do more levels help? May one-shot Mankey after 2-3 more. Came close enough to not want to. Surely freezes Crabrawler before that, right?
    Attempts 21, 22, 23, 24: The usual. Demands to speak with the manager about this freeze chance.
    Attempt 25: Turn 1 Icy Wind miss. (Hopes to bait the Super Potion or get the critical sometimes.) Beat Mankey at 3 hitpoints. Saw Crabrawler's Pursuit for the first time.
    Attempts 26, 27, 28: The usual.

    Attempt 29:

    Turn 1: Cake: Powder Snow (70%) / Mankey: Focus Energy
    Turn 2: Cake: Powder Snow (the rest)
    Turn 3: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Crabrawler: All-Out Pummeling (11/51)
    Turn 4: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Crabrawler: Power-Up Punch (33/51, +1 Attack)
    Turn 5: Cake: Icy Wind (75%) / Crabrawler: Power-Up Punch (critical, 0/51)

    Attempts 30, 31, 32: the usual.

    Attempt 33
    Turn 1: Cake: Icy Wind (90%) / Mankey: Karate Chop (27/53)
    Turn 2: Cake: Powder Snow (the rest)
    Turn 3: Cake: Powder Snow (50%, freeze) / Crabrawler: Frozen
    Turn 4: Cake: Icy Wind (the rest)
    Turn 5: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (5 hits, 1 critical, 7/53)
    Turn 6: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (5 hits, 13/53)
    Turn 7: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 8: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (5 hits, 23/53)
    Turn 9: Cake: Powder Snow (20%) / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 10: Cake: Feint Attack (20%) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (2 hits, 11/53)
    Turn 11: Cake: Powder Snow (20%) / Makuhita: Arm Thurst (2 hits, 0/53)

    ...What garbage was that? Finally got the freeze. Three 5-hit Arm Thrusts in a row?

    Calculated how much leveling needed to happen to one-shot Mankey during attempts. Estimates a 3 in 8 chance at level 25.

    Attempt 34:
    Turn 1: Cake: Icy Wind (90%) / Mankey: Focus Energy
    Turn 2: Cake: Powder Snow (the rest)
    Turn 3: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Crabrawler: All-Out Pummeling (15/51)
    Turn 3: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Crabrawler: Power-Up Punch (33/51, +1 Attack)
    Turn 4: Cake: Powder Snow (50%) / Crabrawler: Power-Up Punch (3/53, +1 Attack)
    Turn 5: Cake: Icy Wind (the rest)
    Turn 6: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (2 hits, 37/53)
    Turn 7: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (3 hits, 19/53)
    Turn 8: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 9: Cake: Feint Attack (20%) / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 10: Cake: Feint Attack (20%) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (3 hits, 1 critical, 0/53)

    Bah. Hoped to be able to wait through one more Arm Thrust

    Hm. Might actually be a 6-shot with Feint Attack. Could use a Super Potion and ruin everything too.

    Attempt 35: Leer from Crabrawler. Missed the killing Icy Wind.
    Attempts 36, 37: The usual.

    Fiiiiine. Spent a solid two hours trying to beat Hala (across all attempts). Leveled to 24. Did not really move the needle. Remains outside of one-shot territory for Mankey. Survives All-Out Pummeling at +0 at a 1 in 8 chance now. Handles Makuhita a little better, maybe?

    Attempts 38, 39, 40: The usual.

    Attempt 41
    Turn 1: Cake: Icy Wind (90%) / Mankey: Karate Chop (29/55)
    Turn 2: Cake: Powder Snow (the rest)
    Turn 3: Cake: Powder Snow (60%) / Crabrawler: Leer
    Turn 4: Cake: Powder Snow (the rest)
    Turn 5: Makuhita: Fake Out (20/55) / Cake: Flinched
    Turn 6: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Arm Thrust (3 hits, 2/55)
    Turn 7: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (4 hits, 31/55)
    Turn 8: Cake: Icy Wind (25%) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (5 hits, 1/55)
    Turn 9: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (5 hits, 25/55)
    Turn 10: Cake: Icy Wind (25%) / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 11: Cake: Icy Wind (30%) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (3 hits, 1 critical, 0/55)

    ...One Icy Wind away (ignoring a possible Super Potion). Really needs to stop getting these criticals and 5-hit Arm Thrusts.

    Attempt 42
    Turn 1: Cake: Icy Wind (95%) / Mankey: Focus Energy
    Turn 2: Cake: Powder Snow (the rest)
    Turn 3: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Crabrawler: All-Out Pummeling (17/55)
    Turn 4: Cake: Super Potion / Crabrawler: Power-Up Punch (35/55, +1 Attack)
    Turn 5: Cake: Powder Snow (55%) / Crabrawler: Leer
    Turn 6: Cake: Powder Snow (the rest)
    Turn 7: Makuhita: Fake Out (26/55) / Cake: Flinched
    Turn 8: Cake: Baby Doll Eyes / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 9: Cake: Icy Wind (miss) / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 10: Cake: Feint Attack (15%) / Makuhita: Sand Attack
    Turn 11: Cake: Feint Attack (20%) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (2 hits, 14/55)
    Turn 12: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (3 hits, 37/55)
    Turn 13: Cake: Feint Attack (20%) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (2 hits, 23/55)
    Turn 14: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full, final item) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (2 hits, 43/55)
    Turn 15: Cake: Feint Attack (critical, 30%) / Makuhita: Arm Thrust (3 hits, 25/55)
    Turn 16: Cake: Feint Attack (the rest)

    Finally. Ends the nightmare. Might honestly be Cake's third critical in all 42 attempts. Remembers very few. Froze the opposing Pokemon only twice, despite plenty of shots at it.

    Almost experienced some heartbreak. Wrote down bits and pieces for the first six turns. Forgot about the first Super Potion until after the battle. Almost used a fourth item by mistake, which would have been a sad, sad reset.

    Lost 51 battles currently, by the way. 41 from Hala, 2 from the Makuhita trainer, 1 from the Growlithe trainer, 6 from Totem Raticate, and 1 from a level 2 Alolan Rattata at the start.

    The short version of the Hala fights in the spoiler: Incurred many losses because of Turn 1 Karate Chop from Mankey. Faces Crabrawler directly after Mankey. Must be at full health and hit Crabrawler with Baby-Doll Eyes to survive the Z-move. Dealt with Thick Fat Makuhita and Sand Attack after that, which was not great either. Leveled Cake to 24 in the process.

    Left Melemele Island immediately. Picks up three Pokemon before the next trial. But first...Sina. Dealt with Glaceon fine in an Icy Wind battle. Escaped without using an item.

    Caught four Lillipups. Disregarded the two Pickup Lillipups. (Would have gone until the first Vital Spirit Lillipup, if all four were Pickup.) Lost out on a Lillipup with pretty good IVs (1/31/21/23/21/13), but oh well. Values Intimidate over that.

    • Lillipup 2: 14/25/5/20/31/3 on IVs, approximately. Naive nature (+Speed / -Special Defense). Decent.
    • Lillipup 3: 28/13/22/4/5/10 on IVs. Timid nature (+Speed / -Attack). Not bad, outside of the nature.

    Chose #2 and named it "Friend". Invites those to birthday parties. Expects Friend to be the team's strongest member, in time.

    Only knows Bite, as far as attacking moves. Trained it to level 15 for Take Down before proceding. Turned off the Experience Share to limit Cake's experience...hopefully. (Still hit level 25.)

    Cleaned up the route with Friend. Took more damage than it should have because of trash luck. Missed two Take Downs (out of six total?). Also got flinched from Bite both times and one fully paralyzed. Beat Hau in town, albeit with Cake in the lead accidentally. Tossed Friend in, who got Static'd by Pikachu. Sent Cake back out for Dartrix.

    No major problems with the Carbink or Sableye trainers (with Full Restores). Grabbed the Hidden Power TM. Turned out to be Steel type for Cake. Finally, something positive for Cake. Taught that over Powder Snow.

    Was impressed by Gladion's Type: Null. Smacked it for about half health with a +1 Take Down (with Silk Scarf). Resorted to Cake to finish it. Noticed Friend's levels creeping up (19 before Brooklet Hill). Dodged as many trainers as possible.

    Hm. Stands slightly corrected. Cannot get Goldeen until after the Water Trial. No matter. Waited several hours for daytime for Paras. Caught four. Scouted for Effect Spore, as able. Wound up being all Dry Skin without ever triggering Effect Spore, so all the better.

    • Paras 1: 20/27/18/10/5/15 IVs. Nature: Jolly.
    • Paras 2: 27/13/15/6/22/3. Nature: Quiet
    • Paras 3: 9/13/10/2/0/5. Nature: Timid.
    • Paras 4: 6/10/24/13/25/13. Nature: Bashful.

    Hoped for better natures here. Will likely never outspeed anything with base 30 Speed as Parasect. Ignores Special Attack with an underwhelming base 60. Borders on neutral natures, at least. Deliberated for a while between #1 and #2. Chose #2 for the better survivability. Named it "Balloon". Kind of looks like that after evolving into a Parasect. Just squint a little more.

    Regrettably chose the Paras with the lowest level of the bunch (14). Fortunately handles some of the local Pokemon well. Gobbles up those Water moves from the Psyducks and Poliwags via Dry Skin. Faced the same bad luck as Friend, though. Missed four straight Absorbs after a single accuracy drop from a Barboach. Fainted itself later, from confusion, versus a trainer's Goldeen.

    Leveled Balloon the Paras to 20. Brought Friend the Herdier to 21 unwillingly (see: Spider Web from wild Dewpiders). Did not really matter, though. Planned to win with just Balloon.

    (Totem Wishiwashi's aura: +1 Defense. Rain active.)
    Turn 1: Paras: (Quick Claw) Poison Powder (miss) / Totem Wishiwashi: Water Gun (absorbed)
    (New enemy: Wishiwashi.)
    Turn 2: Wishiwashi: Aqua Ring / Totem Wishiwashi: Soak (absorbed) / Paras: Poison Powder (on Totem Wishiwashi)
    Turn 3: Wishiwashi: Helping Hand / Totem Wishiwashi: Growl / Paras: Poison Powder (miss)
    Turn 4: Wishiwashi: Helping Hand / Totem Wishiwashi: Growl / Paras: Poison Powder (on Wishiwashi)
    Turn 5: Wishiwashi: Helping Hand / Totem Wishiwashi: Soak / Paras: Absorb (10%) (Totem Wishiwashi's Sitrus Berry)
    Turn 6: Wishiwashi: Feint Attack (44/49) / Totem Wishiwashi: Soak (absorbed) / Paras: Absorb (10%)
    ...

    Blah blah blah. Continued until turn 9 or so. Suffered negligible damage from Feint Attack. Healed about that much from the rain and Dry Skin. Was basically invincible. Knew about the power of Paras for this totem well beforehand.

    Earned the fishing rod for beating the totem. Put it to use immediately to catch Goldeens. Notes one interesting quirk about Goldeen. Calls Seaking for help 13% of the time. Normally evolves at level 33, despite being at level 10-16. Represents a huge early stat boost (320 base stat total versus 450) with no downside. Scored one.

    (All Swift Swim too, by chance. Wanted that anyways.)
    • Goldeen 1: 1/2/16/19/10/10. Relaxed nature.
    • Seaking: 3/11/7/27/3/18 IVs. Docile nature.
    • Goldeen 2: 25/2/26/20/6/10. Naive nature.
    • Goldeen 3: 6/25/3/13/3/4. Adamant nature.

    ...Yikes. Totals of 58, 69, 89, and 54. (Expects 93, on average.) Tosses out #1 straight off.

    Case for Seaking: Strong now (relatively). Helps versus Totem Salazzle and Olivia. Lacks great answers for them, outside of this Pokemon.
    Case for Goldeen 2: Much better physical defense and better Speed.
    Case for Goldeen 3: Hits considerably harder than the others. Represents about a 12% damage boost over Seaking (after evolving). Needs that damage badly, given base 90 attack. Suffers until Waterfall (the only physical Water move it learns) at level 32. Hits almost half as hard with Scald than Seaking right now (~55% of Seaking's damage).

    Selected Goldeen #3. Cannot resist the better long-term choice. Surpasses Seaking just in time for Totem Mimikyu. Faces a bumpy road until then. Trusts in Swift Swim to cover the poor Speed. Named it "Card", also. Has a point, much like a birthday card can be a little pointy.

    Grabbed the Scald TM and taught it to Card. Leads to question #1: does Scald or Horn Attack hit harder? Answer: ...Identical. Wow. Picks Scald, naturally, for the burn chance. Boosts it with Rain Dance later too.

    Reached Royal Avenue. Bought a super pricy Rain Dance TM for 50000. Synergizes well with Swift Swim and Dry Skin. Wanted to buy Hail too, but oh well.

    Picks up the fifth party member now: Salandit. Settles for the first decent female Salandit here, rather than four. Set the chance for female Salandit at 1 in 9. Hates fighting these things. Calls for help pretty often. Also learns Dragon Rage at level 13 for some dumb reason.

    • Salandit #1: 19/23/18/0/11/12 IVs. Nature: Mild. Ehhhh one more.
    • Salandit #2: 12/9/5/19/31/19 IVs. Nature: Lonely.

    What is the equivalent IVs for a neutral nature versus 0 IVs and a positive nature? Looks like 19-24, roughly. Good enough. Selects Salandit #1. Named it "Candle". Adorns most birthday cakes (or substitutes). Also has Hidden Power...Fire. Beats Ember right now.

    Backtracked for a Thief TM, Acrobatics TM, Expert Belt, and Leftovers. Cleaned up some old trainers on Akala Island too. Progressed through Wela Volcano Park. Mentions a little trouble versus the Kadabra trainer. (Hit it for maybe half its health with a rain-boosted, Mystic Water boosted Scald. Should have Horn Attacked.) Learned Spore on Balloon, which is a great boon for it. Leveled everyone to 22. Benched Cake, expecting little contribution and trying to keep it close to Totem Lurantis.

    Strategy: Lead with Card (Goldeen) for the trial lead-up. Likely enters the totem fight pretty hurt. Will set up Rain Dance and try to get off a Scald. (...Does that do more damage than Horn Attack? Maybe not.) Sends in Friend (Herdier) with a Pecha Berry when Card faints. Should be able to finish it with a Take Down. Please do not miss. Has Candle with Dragon Rage, if need be.

    Activated Cursed Body on Alolan Marowak. Only has one non-Normal attacking move. Wasted three turns. Dropped to half health already.
    Healed on Magmar. (Does not count against Totem Salazzle's items.) Hit Magmar for about 80% with Scald in the rain. Took some damage.

    (Totem Salazzle's aura: +1 Special Defense)
    Turn 1: Totem Salazzle: Toxic / Card: Rain Dance
    (Toxic damage to 36/53?)
    Turn 2: Card: Scald (at Totem Salazzle, 40%) / Totem Salazzle: Venom Drench / Salandit: Venoshock (0/53)
    (Friend's Intimidate)
    Turn 3: Totem Salazzle: Torment / Friend: Take Down (at Totem Salazzle, 40%) (Totem Salazzle's Petaya Berry) / Salandit: Poison Gas (Friend's Pecha Berry)
    Turn 4: Totem Salazzle: Flame Burst (34/63) / Friend: Bite (at Totem Salazzle, 19%) / Salandit: Taunt
    Turn 5: Totem Salazzle: Flame Burst (12/63) / Friend: Take Down (at Totem Salazzle, the rest, level up) / Salandit: Venoshock (0/66)
    (Rain over.)
    Turn 6: Candle: Dragon Rage (75%) / Salandit: Scratch (49/56)
    Turn 7: Candle: Dragon Rage (the rest)

    Literally had Totem Salzzle on 1 hitpoint. Forgot about the Petaya Berry.

    Fiddled with Poke Pelago a little. Mainly just set up berries (1 Sitrus, 4 Leppa, 1 Oran). Will likely not bother with anything more.

    Spoiler: Party

    (Stats: Hitpoints / Attack / Defense / Special Attack / Special Defense / Speed)

    Card the Goldeen
    Level: 22
    Nature: Adamant (+Attack / -Special Attack)
    Ability: Swift Swim
    Stats: 53/42/32/19/27/34
    Moves: Scald, Horn Attack, Rain Dance, Flail

    Candle the Salandit
    Level: 22
    Nature: Mild (+Special Attack / -Defense)
    Ability: Corrosion
    Stats: 56/30/23/39/25/42
    Moves: Hidden Power (Fire), Ember, Dragon Rage, and Smog

    Balloon the Paras
    Level: 22
    Nature: Quiet (+Special Attack / -Speed)
    Ability: Dry Skin
    Stats: 53/39/32/29/33/15
    Moves: Fury Cutter, Stun Spore, Spore, and Absorb

    Friend the Herdier
    Level: 23
    Nature: Naive (+Speed / -Special Defense)
    Ability: Intimidate
    Stats: 66/48/36/25/37/36
    Moves: Take Down, Bite, Baby-Doll Eyes, Work Up

    Cake the Alolan Vulpix
    Level: 25
    Nature: Timid (+Speed / -Attack)
    Ability: Snow Cloak
    Stats: 57/27/30/41/42/48
    Moves: Icy Wind, Hidden Power (Steel), Feint Attack, Baby-Doll Eyes
     
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    Update 2: Totem Lurantis - End​

    Team: Cake the Alolan Vulpix, Friend the Herdier, Balloon the Paras, Card the Goldeen, Candle the Salandit, and an undetermined route encounter.

    Quick addition to the personal rule list: No in-battle Revives either. Forgot to put that in.

    Switches up talking about the major fights too. Sticks battle logs and commentary on failed attempts in spoilers, given how long they can get. Discusses anything about the winning battle outside the spoiler. Leaves some shorter logs outside of spoilers. Doubts a whole lot of interest in the longer logs (and maybe the shorter ones too).

    Cruised through Route 8 without much trouble. Beat the Miltank trainer with Balloon the Paras without taking damage. (Spammed Bide.) One-shot the Archen with a rain-boosted Scald from Card the Goldeen as well.

    Leveled everyone to 24 (the soft level cap for Totem Lurantis). Brought Cake the Alolan Vulpix back to the team, only a hair overleveled (25). Evolved Balloon into a Parasect. Temporarily took the lead in Hitpoints, Attack, and both defenses. May not be terribly useful versus Lurantis, however, due to X-Scissor on it and Rock Blast / Sunny Day + Weather Ball on its allies. Replaced Candle the Salandit's Hidden Power (Fire) with Flame Burst, also.

    Strategy: Lead with Friend the Herdier for Intimidate. Baby-Doll Eyes on turn 1. Focuses on the enemy Trumbeak next. Taught Rock Tomb. Will probably use the harder-hitting Take Down, though. Debuffs Lurantis more after that, with a heal thrown in. Swaps to Candle to finish Lurantis. Might use Card to beat Castform.

    Spoiler: Totem Lurantis

    (Totem Lurantis's aura: +2 Speed. Friend's Intimidate.)
    Turn 1: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Totem Lurantis: Solar Blade (Power Herb) (38/68)
    (SoS call: Trumbeak.)
    Turn 2: Totem Lurantis: Solar Blade (charging) / Trumbeak: Supersonic (miss) / Friend: Take Down (at Trumbeak, 90%)
    Turn 3: Friend: Super Potion (heal to full) / Totem Lurantis: Solar Blade (38/68) / Trumbeak: Supersonic
    Turn 4: Totem Lurantis: Solar Blade (charging) / Trumbeak: Pluck (22/68) / Friend: Crunch (at Trumbeak, the rest)
    Turn 5: Friend: Switch to Candle / Totem Lurantis: Solar Blade (51/61)
    Turn 6: Totem Lurantis: Razor Leaf (46/61) / Candle: Flame Burst (45%)
    Turn 7: Totem Lurantis: Synthesis (heal to full) / Candle: Flame Burst (at Totem Lurantis, 40%) / Castform: Headbutt (16/61)
    Turn 8: Candle: Switch to Friend (Intimidate) / Totem Lurantis: Synthesis (heal to full) / Castform: Headbutt (9/68)
    Turn 9: Friend: Super Potion (heal to full) / Totem Lurantis: Razor Leaf (56/68) / Castform: Weather Ball (38/68)
    Turn 10: Totem Lurantis: Solar Blade (charging) / Friend: Take Down (at Castform, 70%) / Castform: Sunny Day
    Turn 11: Totem Lurantis: Solar Blade (2/68) / Friend: Crunch (at Castform, the rest)
    Turn 12: Friend: Switch to Cake / Totem Lurantis: Solar Blade (27/57)
    Turn 13: Cake: Baby-Doll Eyes / Totem Lurantis: Solar Blade (0/57)
    Turn 14: Totem Lurantis: Solar Blade (9/57) / Card: Rain Dance
    Turn 15: Totem Lurantis: Razor Leaf (miss) / Card: Flail (15%)
    Turn 16: Card: Switch to Balloon / Totem Lurantis: Razor Leaf (61/69)
    (Dry Skin heal to full)
    Turn 17: Totem Lurantis: X-Scissor (critical, 9/69) / Balloon: Fury Cutter (25%)
    (Dry Skin heal to 17/69)
    Turn 18: Totem Lurantis: X-Scissor (1/69) / Balloon: Fury Cutter (55%)
    (Rain over.)
    Turn 19: Totem Lurantis: X-Scissor (0/69)
    Turn 20: Totem Lurantis: Synthesis (heal to 50%) / Candle: Flame Burst (45%)
    Turn 21: Totem Lurantis: Synthesis (heal to 55%) / Candle: Flame Burst (50%)
    Turn 22: Totem Lurantis: Synthesis (heal to 55%) / Candle: Flame Burst (50%)
    Turn 21: Totem Lurantis: X-Scissor (13/69) / Candle: Flame Burst (the rest)
    (Level up.)

    Whew. What a battle. Did not expect Balloon to survive that X-Scissor. Shame about no Quick Claw proc, but still not bad. Spaced on sunlight removing the charge time on Solar Blade. (Remembered it powering up Synthesis and activating Leaf Guard, though.)

    Received the Smart Strike TM from Kukui. Gets to experience one of the rarer Sun/Moon occurrences: teaching Smart Strike to something (Card). Can only do it on the following Pokemon found naturally in original game Alola (not trades): Cloyster, Rhyhorn line (Island Scan), Goldeen line, Tauros, Lapras, Ariados, Togetic/Togekiss (Island Scan), Samurott (Island Scan), Scolipede (Island Scan), some Tapus, Necrozma, and some Ultra Beasts. Teaches it to, at most, 5 different Pokemon when you get the TM (Tauros, Goldeen, SoS-only Seaking, Ariados, and Cloyster with a lucky Water Stone).

    Spent a bunch of cash in Konikoni City, between TMs and clothes. Notably bought Venoshock for Candle, replacing Smog. Picked up an Eviolite off the ground also. Handed that to Friend, as the primary debuffer. Likely changes hands/paws/flippers/claws as needed, for training.

    Will never be prepared for Balloon to outspeed anything (a Jigglypuff, in this case). Shares the same base speed as Slowbro, on top of being a -Speed nature.

    Snagged a Leech Life TM. Taught that over Balloon's Fury Cutter. Speaking of Balloon, when does it get a good physical Grass move? ...What do you mean never? (Receives Seed Bomb via Ultra's move tutors. Other than that...transfer one with Bullet Seed from Sinnoh.)

    Reached Olivia with everyone at 27. Could get ugly. Deals with three Rock weaknesses and zero resists. Has special Grass and Water moves on physical Pokemon. Potentially gets some decent damage from Hidden Power (Steel) on Cake.

    Strategy: Start with Candle against Nosepass. Hopefully lives the Rock Slide. Takes it out with Dragon Rages (plural, because of Sturdy). Swaps to Friend (with Eviolite) for whatever comes next. Hits it with a Baby-Doll Eyes. Switches to Card if Boldore.

    Spoiler: Olivia

    Turn 1: Candle: Dragon Rage (50%) / Nosepass: Thunder Wave
    Turn 2: Candle: Dragon Rage (the rest)
    Turn 3: Candle: Switch to Friend (Intimidate) / Lycanroc: Continental Crush (42/76)
    Turn 4: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Lycanroc: Rock Throw (27/76)
    Turn 5: Lycanroc: Rock Throw (14/76) / Friend: Rock Tomb (15%, -1 Speed)
    Turn 6: Friend: Super Potion (heal to 74/76) / Lycanroc: Rock Throw (59/76)
    Turn 7: Friend: Switch to Card / Lycanroc: Rock Throw (39/63)
    Turn 8: Lycanroc: Rock Throw (15/63) / Card: Scald (15/63)
    Turn 9: Card: Switch to Friend (Intimidate) / Lycanroc: Rock Throw (miss)
    Turn 10: Lycanroc: Rock Throw (47/76) / Friend: Crunch (25%, -1 Defense)
    Turn 11: Lycanroc: Rock Throw (miss) / Friend: Crunch (critical, the rest)
    Turn 12: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Boldore: Headbutt (35/76)
    Turn 13: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Boldore: Headbutt (27/76)
    Turn 14: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Boldore: Headbutt (20/76)
    Turn 15: Friend: Switch to Balloon / Boldore: Headbutt (68/77)
    Turn 16: Balloon: Spore / Boldore: Asleep
    Turn 17: Boldore: Full Heal / Balloon: Absorb (20%)
    Turn 18: Balloon: Spore / Boldore: Asleep
    Turn 19: Balloon: Absorb (20%) / Boldore: Headbutt (69/77)
    Turn 20: Balloon: Spore / Boldore: Asleep
    Turn 21: Balloon: Absorb (20%, heal to full) / Boldore: Headbutt (69/77)
    Turn 22: Balloon: Absorb (20%) / Boldore: Headbutt (69/77)
    Turn 23: Balloon: Spore / Boldore: Asleep
    Turn 24: Balloon: Absorb (20%, heal to full) / Boldore: Asleep
    Turn 25: Boldore: Super Potion (heal to 80%) / Balloon: Absorb (20%)
    Turn 26: Balloon: Absorb (20%, heal to full) / Boldore: Asleep
    Turn 27: Balloon: Absorb (20%, heal to full) / Boldore: Rock Blast (5 hits, 33/77)
    Turn 28: Balloon: Absorb (the rest)

    Handled that Z-move better than expected. May have missed a critical Absorb or something near the end. Took perhaps unnecessarily long, due to not wanting to use items or have Pokemon faint. Feels nice to walk away with a convincing win, especially against a tough match-up.

    Tangled with Nihilego. Barely missed fainting it before it fled. (Would have gone down to the Scald burn.) Lost Card and Candle in the process. Gratefully accepts the Psychic TM as a souvenir (useful for nobody).

    Immediately enters a Hau battle after that, with a full heal, but with no party rearranging. Should have led with Balloon, but nope.

    Spoiler: Ula'ula Hau

    Turn 1: Card: Switch to Balloon / Alolan Raichu: Psychic (25/77)
    Turn 2: Alolan Raichu: Psychic (0/77)
    (Friend's Intimidate)
    Turn 3: Alolan Raichu: Psychic (39/76) / Friend: Crunch (75%)
    Turn 4: Alolan Raichu: Electro Ball (2/76) / Friend: Crunch (the rest)
    (Level up.)
    Turn 5: Friend: Switch to Card / Vaporeon: Quick Attack (53/65)
    Turn 6: Vaporeon: Water Pulse (31/65) / Card: Horn Attack (15%)
    Turn 7: Card: Lemonade on Friend (heal to 75/79) / Vaporeon: Water Pulse (9/65)
    Turn 8: Card: Switch to Friend (Intimidate) / Vaporeon: Quick Attack (70/79)
    Turn 9: Vaporeon: Water Pulse (46/79) / Friend: Crunch (20%)
    Turn 10: Vaporeon: Water Pulse (21/79) / Friend: Crunch (20%)
    Turn 11: Friend: Super Potion (heal to full) / Vaporeon: Water Pulse (55/79, confusion)
    Turn 12: Vaporeon: Water Pulse (31/79) / Friend: Crunch (20%)
    Turn 13: Vaporeon: Water Pulse (9/79) / Friend: Crunch (20%)
    Turn 14: Friend: Super Potion (heal to 69/79, final item) / Vaporeon: Water Pulse (45/79)
    Turn 15: Vaproeon: Water Pulse (critical, 6/79) / Friend: Crunch (the rest)
    (Level up)
    Turn 16: Friend: (No longer confused) Baby-Doll Eyes / Dartrix: Pluck (0/79)
    Turn 17: Cake: Aurora Beam (99%) / Dartrix: Pluck (critical, 12/64)
    Turn 18: Cake: Aurora Beam (the rest)

    Hit way too hard with all of those attacks. Underestimated Alolan Raichu. Really needed Balloon for Vaporeon. Leveled from 27 to 29 on Friend in that fight, also.

    Checked out the Mart. Bought TMs without looking to see if anyone could learn them (Bulldoze, U-turn, and Swords Dance). Replaced Stun Spore with Swords Dance on Balloon. Improves its fortunes by a ton in conjunction with Spore and Leech Life.

    Turned the Experience Share off. Dodged as many trainers as possible.

    Battled Molayne before the trial. Beat Skarmory with Candle (in a much closer match than you would think). Turned to Balloon's new Swords Dance strategy for Alolan Dugtrio and Metang. (Hates Mud Bomb so bad. Inflicted -1 accuracy on the first one. Missed two Spores. Switched out and in just to stop that.)

    Popped into the grass quick to get Balloon to 29, alongside everyone else. Strategy: Burn bugs with Candle. Switch to Friend for Totem Vikavolt. (Prefers it this way to remove the paralysis chance on Friend.) Hates to use Toxic on totems, also. Trivializes the boss. (Does not mind it as part of Venoshock, though.)

    Yikes. Hit Candle for a 40 hitpoint Spark (out of 74 hitpoints, from a Charjabug).

    Spoiler: Totem Vikavolt

    (Totem Vikavolt's aura: +1 all)
    Turn 1: Switch to Friend (Intimidate) / Totem Vikavolt: Spark (critical, 48/81, paralysis)
    (SoS call: Charjabug)
    Turn 2: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes (at Totem Vikavolt) / Totem Vikavolt: Spark (32/81) / Charjabug: Vice Grip (20/81)
    Turn 3: Friend: Super Potion (heal to 80/81) / Totem Vikavolt: Spark (64/81) / Charjabug: Vice Grip (critical, 48/81)
    Turn 4: Friend: Paralyzed / Totem Vikavolt: Spark (~32/81) / Charjabug: Vice Grip (22/81)
    Turn 5: Friend: Paralyzed / Totem Vikavolt: Charge / Charjabug: Vice Grip (10/81)
    Turn 6: Friend: Super Potion (70/81) / Totem Vikavolt: Spark (42/81) / Charjabug: Vice Grip (31/81)
    Turn 7: Friend: Paralyzed / Totem Vikavolt: Spark (15/81) / Charjabug: Vice Grip (3/81)
    Turn 8: Friend: Switch to Cake / Totem Vikavolt: Spark (35/65) / Charjabug: Vice Grip (13/65)
    Turn 9: Cake: Hyper Potion on Friend (heal to full) / Totem Vikavolt: Spark (0/65)
    (Friend's Intimidate)
    Turn 10: Totem Vikavolt: Bug Bite (71/81) / Charjabug: Vice Grip (64/81) / Friend: Rock Tomb (at Totem Vikavolt, 15%, -1 Speed)
    Turn 11: Charjabug: Vice Grip (~57/81) / Totem Vikavolt: Bug Bite (45/81) / Friend: Paralyzed
    Turn 12: Friend: Paralyzed / Charjabug: Vice Grip (37/81) / Totem Vikavolt: Bug Bite (24/81)
    Turn 13: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Charjabug: Vice Grip (16/81) / Totem Vikavolt: Bug Bite (7/81)
    Turn 14: Friend: Switch to Balloon / Charjabug: Vice Grip (~75/81) / Totem Vikavolt: Spark (68/81)
    Turn 15: Charjabug: Thunder Wave / Totem Vikavolt: Charge / Balloon: Paralyzed
    Turn 16: Balloon: (Quick Claw) Spore (at Totem Vikavolt) / Charjabug: Vice Grip (60/82) / Totem Vikavolt: Asleep
    Turn 17: Charjabug: Vice Grip (52/82) / Totem Vikavolt: Asleep / Balloon: Swords Dance
    Turn 18: Charjabug: Vice Grip (44/82) / Totem Vikavolt: Asleep / Balloon: Leech Life (at Totem Vikavolt, 55%, heal to 63/82)
    Turn 19: Charjabug: Vice Grip (60/82) / Totem Vikavolt: Bug Bite (34/82) / Balloon: Paralyzed
    Turn 20: Charjabug: Vice Grip (25/82) / Totem Vikavolt: Charge / Balloon: Leech Life (at Totem Vikavolt, the rest, heal to 42/82)
    Turn 21: Charjabug: Vice Grip (33/82) / Balloon: Spore
    Turn 22: Balloon: (Quick Claw) Leech Life (98%, heal to 68/92) / Charjabug: Asleep
    Turn 23: Charjabug: Asleep / Balloon: Leech Life (the rest)

    What was that? An immediate critical Spark paralysis, followed by Friend being locked down for 5 of 8 turns. Stretched out the battle so long. Landed paralysis way too many times too.

    Headed to Malie Garden for the Guzma battle. Planned to take Golisopod's First Impression with Friend, then wall it and set up with Balloon. Only dealt about 60% with a +4 Leech Life. (Tried to get it before it woke up.) Led to Ariados coming in. Came close to one-shotting Balloon with Fell Stinger. Brought Friend in to beat it. Proceded to faint to a critical First Impression from Golisopod. Foresees some friendship grinding in Friend's future.

    Finally arrived at the time for the sixth party member. Gets only one encounter here. Turns out to be...Mudbray. Definitely appreciates a Ground type. Helps in the Elite Four Olivia rematch. Names it as probably the best encounter here (at least for this team). Really relies on its ability, though. Spored it and caught it in the first Ultra Ball.

    Present the Mudbray
    Level: 26
    Ability: Own Tempo
    Nature: Rash (+Special Attack / -Special Defense)
    IVs: 24/17/15/8/10/8

    Named it Present. Fits the bill as a surprise in the run.

    Bleh. Becomes so much worse without Stamina. Would have tossed it on that, given the choice. Does not like that nature either. Feels okay-ish about the IVs. One positive thing: Does not step on anyone else's toes. Would feel bad to get something like Gyarados and completely overshadow Card.

    Leveled everyone to 33. Entered a new era for the team in this section. Evolved Candle into Salazzle, Friend into Stoutland, Card into Seaking, and Present into Mudsdale. Learned some solid new moves too. Bid Candle's Dragon Rage farewell, in favor of Nasty Plot. Replaced Card's Scald with Waterfall.

    Hold on. Scrolled through Balloon's TM list for other physical moves, after half-regretting passing on Slash. Learns Brick Break and Aerial Ace. What? What other weird things are there? Ooh, Thunder Wave on Friend. Missed Encore in Candle's moveset (move relearner only) too.

    Strategy for Totem Mimikyu: Lead with Friend for Intimidate. Baby-Doll Eyes on Turn 1. Crunch the SoS Haunter on Turn 2 (and not get put to sleep). Tosses in some more Baby-Doll Eyes and a Rock Tomb before switching to...someone. Ideally smashes Totem Mimikyu in one move to avoid messing with Gengar, so perhaps Candle?

    Spoiler: Totem Mimikyu

    (Totem Mimikyu's aura: +1 all stats. Friend's Intimidate.)
    Turn 1: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Totem Mimikyu: Play Rough (77/105)
    (Leftovers heal to 83/105. SoS call: Haunter.)
    Turn 2: Haunter: Sucker Punch (critical, 70/105) / Totem Mimikyu: Mimic (learned Baby-Doll Eyes) / Friend: Crunch (at Haunter, 100%)
    (Leftovers heal to 76/105)
    Turn 3: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Totem Mimikyu: Play Rough (54/105)
    (Leftovers heal to 60/105)
    Turn 4: Totem Mimikyu: Baby-Doll Eyes / Friend: Rock Tomb (Mimikyu's Disguise, -1 Speed)
    (Leftovers heal to 66/105)
    Turn 5: Totem Mimikyu: Baby-Doll Eyes / Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes
    (Leftovers heal to 72/105)
    Turn 6: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Totem Mimikyu: Play Rough (59/105)
    (Leftovers heal to 65/105)
    Turn 7: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Totem Mimikyu: Play Rough (miss)
    (Leftovers heal to 71/105)
    Turn 8: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Totem Mimikyu: Play Rough (58/105)
    (Leftovers heal to 64/105)
    Turn 9: Friend: Switch to Candle / Totem Mimikyu: Play Rough (91/94)
    Turn 10: Totem Mimikyu: Baby-Doll Eyes / Candle: Nasty Plot
    Turn 11: Candle: Nasty Plot / Totem Mimikyu: Shadow Claw (78/94)
    Turn 12: Candle: Nasty Plot / Totem Mimikyu: Shadow Claw (critical, 6/94)
    Turn 13: Candle: Flame Burst (100%)

    Solid. Hoped Mimikyu would copy Baby-Doll Eyes. Weighed whether or not to risk the critical on the third Nasty Plot. Survived regardless, surprisingly (due to its -Defense nature).

    Enjoyed the free rain around Po Town, particularly for some double battles. Used that well-known rain team core of Swift Swim Seaking and Dry Skin Parasect. Felt reasonably strong, all joking aside. Represented the first real chance for Card to show off with its new evolution and physical Water move.

    Acquired the last piece of the evolution puzzle: an Ice Stone for Cake. Worked out perfectly too. Learned its last major move, Ice Beam, in the battle before picking up the Ice Stone. Adds a handy Fairy typing to the team.

    Repeated the Guzma strategy in Po Town. (Should have taught Aerial Ace to Balloon. Whoops.) Fizzled even worse than last time. Gambled on Ariados not waking up immediately, getting a Quick Claw proc, or Fell Stinger not killing. (Hit for 70-something before, compared against Balloon's 74 remaining hitpoints.) Lost on all three. Sucker Punched Candle into oblivion next. Dispatched it with Friend.

    Totally forgot about the Gladion battle. Planned to smoke Type: Null after a few Nasty Plots from Candle. Tossed that out the window after Golbat hit for 75% of its health in one Acrobatics. Tagged in Friend for the usual business before handing it off to Present to close out.

    Leveled everyone to 39 for Nanu. Strategy: Lead with Cake. Do Fairy stuff to Sableye, at minimum. Be sad about two of the three Pokemon having Power Gem on a Dark-type leader. ...Might try to get a free Swagger from Krokorok with Present's Own Tempo? Sounds fun.

    Turn 1: Sableye: Fake Out (102/114) / Cake: Flinched
    Turn 2: Cake: Dazzling Gleam (99%) / Sableye: Power Gem (58/114)
    Turn 3: Sableye: Hyper Potion (heal to full) / Cake: Dazzling Gleam (99%)
    Turn 4: Cake: Dazzling Gleam (the rest)
    Turn 5: Cake: Super Potion (heal to full) / Alolan Persian: Fake Out (105/114)
    Turn 6: Alolan Persian: Power Gem (53/114) / Cake: Dazzling Gleam (100%)
    (Krokorok's Intimidate)
    Turn 7: Cake: Switch to Present / Krokorok: Earthquake (80/137)
    Turn 8: Krokorok: Swagger (+2 Attack, Own Tempo) / Present: Iron Defense
    Turn 9: Krokorok: Earthquake (50/137) (Present's Sitrus Berry to 84/137) / Present: Double Kick (2 hits, 100%)

    Escaped without seeing the Z-move. Was surprised by Dazzling Gleam one-shotting Alolan Persian after barely failing to knock out Sableye. Not complaining. And hey, a good Grand Trial for Cake. Nothing at all like Hala.

    Made a quick detour for the Return and Rock Slide TMs before heading to Aether Paradise.

    Handled the Aether Paradise trainers mostly no problem. Suffered a ton of damage at the hands of Bruxish (bringing Balloon down from full to 5 hitpoints in a single Psychic Fangs). Used the same opening of Friend into Balloon for Guzma 3. Planned to switch this time. Became even more obvious against Masquerain. Held no illusions about Balloon surviving a Flying move. Crushed that and a sleeping Golisopod with Cake. Roasted Pinsir and Ariados with Candle to end the battle. Never saw the Z-move.

    Kind of wants someone like Lusamine as the player's mother one of these times. Creates a good reason to go on a Pokemon journey. Probably makes it harder for the character to be an emotionless self-insert, though.

    Started off the Lusamine fight poorly. Fainted Card on a critical Moonblast. Witnessed a rare switch by the AI (from Clefable to Mismagius versus Cake). Sent Friend in to handle that. Faced Bewear after that. Predicted a Fighting move and switched Candle in. Dropped Candle down from full to 1 hitpoint exactly (no affection stuff) on a Take Down. Blasted it with one Flame Burst, thankfully. Dealt with the rest (Milotic, Lilligant, Clefable) with Balloon.

    Sailed to Poni Island. Bought a nice Sludge Wave TM for Candle (replacing Venoshock) and a Calm Mind TM for Cake (replacing Baby-Doll Eyes...later). Appreciates having something that will be able to withstand special attacks. Fretted about having to wait until the move relearner for Cake's Nasty Plot for it to accomplish much.

    Chuckles. Registered Machamp to the Ride Pager. Considered grabbing the Energy Ball TM for Balloon versus Hapu. Has not learned a new offensive Grass move since catching it. Decided to progress the story a little first. The very next wild battle: Giga Drain. Okay, then. (Also, Flamethrower for Candle in the next trainer battle. Handy.)

    Leveled everyone from 43-45 to 48. Strategy for Hapu: Lead with Card. Set up a Rain Dance. Take out Alolan Dugtrio with Waterfall (and hopefully not faint to Sucker Punch). Switch to Balloon for whatever comes next (probably Mudsdale and its Z-move).
    Spoiler: Hapu

    Turn 1: Alolan Dugtrio: Earthquake (37/142) / Card: Rain Dance
    Turn 2: Card: Hyper Potion (heal to full) / Alolan Dugtrio: Sandstorm
    (Sandstorm damage to 134/142)
    Turn 3: Alolan Dugtrio: Earthquake (25/142) / Card: Rain Dance
    Turn 4: Card: Waterfall (100%)
    Turn 5: Card: Switch to Balloon / Mudsdale: Earthquake (critical, 92/132)
    (Dry Skin heal to 108/132)
    Turn 6: Mudsdale: Tectonic Rage (62/132) / Balloon: Spore
    (Dry Skin heal to 78/132)
    Turn 7: Mudsdale: Asleep / Balloon: Spore (failed)
    (Rain over)
    Turn 8: Mudsdale: Asleep / Balloon: Swords Dance
    Turn 9: Balloon: (Quick Claw) Giga Drain (45%, heal to 115/132) (Mudsdale's Stamina) / Mudsdale: Earthquake (91/132)
    Turn 10: Mudsdale: Earthquake (67/132) / Balloon: Spore
    Turn 11: Balloon: (Quick Claw) Swords Dance / Mudsdale: Asleep
    Turn 12: Balloon: (Quick Claw) Spore (failed) / Mudsdale: Asleep
    Turn 13: Balloon: (Quick Claw) Giga Drain (45%, heal to 109/132) / Mudsdale: Asleep
    Turn 14: Mudsdale: Heavy Slam (critical, 0/132)
    Turn 15: Cake: Ice Beam (the rest)
    Turn 16: Cake: Ice Beam (25%) / Gastrodon: Muddy Water (93/139, -1 accuracy)
    Turn 17: Cake: Switch to Friend (Intimidate) / Gastrodon: Muddy Water (104/150)
    (Leftovers heal to 113/150)
    Turn 18: Friend: Return (45%) / Gastrodon: Recover (heal to 85%)
    (Leftovers heal to 122/150)
    Turn 19: Friend: Return (35%) / Gastrodon: Muddy Water (71/150, -1 accuracy)
    (Leftovers heal to 80/150)
    Turn 20: Friend: Switch to Candle / Gastrodon: Recover (heal to full)
    Turn 21: Candle: Toxic / Gastrodon: Mud Bomb (0/135)
    (Friend's Intimidate)
    Turn 22: Friend: Return (40%) / Gastrodon: Muddy Water (34/150)
    (Leftovers heal to 43/150)
    Turn 23: Friend: Hyper Potion (heal to full) / Gastrodon: Muddy Water (98/150)
    (Leftovers heal to 107/150)
    Turn 24: Friend: Return (the rest)
    (Leftovers heal to 116/150)
    Turn 25: Friend: Switch to Cake / Flygon: Earth Power (38/139)
    Turn 26: Cake: Ice Beam (100%)


    Wasted a healing item versus Alolan Dugtrio. Expected it to go for the kill, not a Sandstorm. Would have been very cross if it chose Sucker Punch the second time.

    Expected a Full Heal once and pre-Spored Mudsdale. Nope. Hit Spore by mistake another time, intending to select Giga Drain. Would probably not have changed the outcome, though. Wanted another Swords Dance for Flygon.

    Also, what was that critical Heavy Slam out of nowhere? Spammed Earthquake several times. Figured it would not choose anything else after using it four times. Calculated it now. Hits Balloon (at 83%) for a Heavy Slam that normally deals 57.1 - 68.1%. Boo. (Always killed on the critical.)

    No remorse on that Toxic against Gastrodon. Deserves it for Recover spam and accuracy drops.

    Turned the Experience Share off immediately. Navigates what is essentially Victory Road with only two levels until the Totem and Lusamine.

    What is going on? Critted Balloon twice out of four attacks in the area. What did it to do deserve this?

    Challenged Totem Kommo-o with everyone at 49. Strategy: Ooh boy. Has Alolan Ninetales. Will get demolished by a Flash Cannon. Hates putting Friend in front of a Fighting type, but what can you do? Baby-Doll Eyes on turn 1. Thunder Wave on turn 2. Probably switches to Salazzle next, roast Scizor, then put Cake in to (hopefully) one-shot with Dazzling Gleam. Is not very confident about that one-shot, even with the four level advantage. (Might calculate it later. Would need to search around for stats.)

    (Totem Kommo-o's aura: +1 all. Friend's Intimdate.)
    Turn 1: Totem Kommo-o: Protect / Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes (blocked)
    (SoS call: enemy Hakamo-o)
    Turn 2: Totem Kommo-o: Sky Uppercut (49/153) / Friend: Thunder Wave / Hakamo-o: Automotize
    Turn 3: Friend: Switch to Cake / Hakamo-o: Sky Uppercut (116/141) / Totem Kommo-o: Sky Uppercut (59/141)
    Turn 4: Cake: Dazzling Gleam (100% to Hakamo-o, 75% to Totem Kommo-o) / Totem Kommo-o: Flash Cannon (0/141)
    (SoS call: enemy Scizor.)
    Turn 5: Candle: Sludge Wave (immune on Scizor, 24% on Totem Kommo-o) / Totem Kommo-o: Clanging Scales (29/137) / Scizor: Leer
    Turn 6: Candle: Flamethrower (at Totem Kommo-o, the rest) / Scizor: Pursuit (0/137)
    Turn 7: Card: Waterfall (100%)

    Eh. Went about as expected, minus Hakamo-o instead of Scizor. Found some possible stats for Totem Kommo-o. Suggests 74.1 - 90% on that Dazzling Gleam, assuming a neutral nature. Could have survived a Flash Cannon at full health sometimes too.

    Leveled to 50. Strategy for Lusamine 2: Run wild with Candle. Nasty Plot x3 and sweep...hopefully. Gave it the Leftovers for a little safety. Taught Calm Mind to Cake too.

    (Will not bother listing the auras of all five Pokemon. Boosts one of their stats by one stage. Tends to play to their strengths.)

    Turn 1: Candle: Nasty Plot / Clefable: Moonblast (critical, 112/140)
    (Leftovers heal to 120/140)
    Turn 2: Candle: Nasty Plot / Clefable: Cosmic Power
    (Leftovers heal to 128/140)
    Turn 3: Candle: Nasty Plot / Clefable: Moonblast (109/140, -1 Special Attack)
    (Leftovers heal to 117/140)
    Turn 4: Candle: Nasty Plot / Clefable: Metronome: Will-o-Wisp (immune)
    (Leftovers heal to 125/140)
    Turn 5: Candle: Sludge Wave (100%)
    (Leftovers heal to (133/140)
    Turn 6: Candle: Sludge Wave (100%) / Milotic: Fainted
    (Leftovers heal to full.)
    Turn 7: Mismagius: Pain Split (137/140) / Candle: Flamethrower (100%)
    (Leftovers heal to full.)
    Turn 8: Candle: Flamethrower (100%) / Bewear: Fainted
    (Level up.)
    Turn 9: Candle: Flamethrower (100%) / Lilligant: Fainted

    Aced it. Usually has more trouble with this one. Loves Cosmic Horror Lusamine, also. Would absolutely catch that and use it, if possible.

    Caught Lunala in the first Dusk Ball (after two Crunches and a Thunder Wave). Appreciates it not being a struggle.

    Battled Gladion moments later. Took immediate advantage of the Hail. Dodged Crobat's Cross Poison thanks to Cake's Snow Cloak. Switched to Present to take Weavile's incoming Metal Claw, then flattened it with Double Kick. Defeated Water Silvally with Balloon (in a sketchy fight because of X-Scissor on it). Knew about a possible Z-move. Did not see a Corkscrew Crash coming from Lucario. Predicted the Steel move, however, by sending out Candle. Took the Z-move easily and won.

    Never understood why the wild Pokemon on Mount Lanakila were such weenies. Contains level 42-45 Snorunt, Alolan Vulpix/Sandshrew, Sneasel, and Absol outdoors. Swaps out the Alolan Vulpix/Sandshrew for Golbat indoors, with half of Absol's chance going to Drampa in Moon. Throws Pelippers, Gastrodons, Alolan Raticates, and Granbulls at you in Poni Island, before Hapu (at a similar level). Returned there to grind out the last few levels.

    Taught Candle Encore at the move relearner over Toxic. Seemed fun under the right circumstances. Only used Toxic once or twice anyways. Re-taught Heavy Slam over Double Kick on Present too.

    Stopped at level 54 for Hau. Fell to about 25/169 on Friend with an opening Focus Blast from Alolan Raichu. Returned the favor with a Crunch to faint it. Predicted Komala incorrectly and took a Wood Hammer on Present. Knew what to expect next and switched in Candle to Encore it into Wood Hammer. Set up two Nasty Plots. Planned to sweep. Proved insufficient to one-shot Vaporeon on a Sludge Wave. Fainted each other between the poison from Sludge Wave and a Hydro Pump. Tried to coax Decidueye into using its Z-move on Balloon, then switching to Friend. Apparently had Grassium Z, not the one for Sinister Arrow Raid. Never actually used it, though. Brought in Cake for the victory.

    Finished leveling to 55. Glanced at EVs, out of curiosity. Maxed them out on everyone but Present. Noticed only Cake with maxed EVs before this section's grind.

    Strategy for Olivia: Normally goes left to right for the Elite Four. Begins with Olivia because of Balloon's Giga Drain. Will not be keeping that past this fight. Handles Relicanth (...hopefully). Clears the way for Present. Might bring in Card. Dislikes all the Sturdy Pokemon, not to mention its iffy defenses on Card.

    Spoiler: Olivia

    Turn 1: Relicanth: Yawn / Balloon: Spore
    Turn 2: Relicanth: Asleep / Balloon: Giga Drain (100%) (Asleep)
    Turn 3: Balloon: Switch to Present / Lycanroc: Continental Crush (134/193)
    (Leftovers heal to 146/193)
    Turn 4: Lycanroc: Rock Climb (102/193) / Present: Iron Defense
    (Leftovers heal to 114/193)
    Turn 5: Lycanroc: Rock Climb (89/193) / Present: Iron Defense
    (Leftovers heal to 101/193)
    Turn 6: Lycanroc: Rock Climb (86/193) / Present: Iron Defense
    (Leftovers heal to 98/193)
    Turn 7: Present: Hyper Potion (heal to full) / Lycanroc: Rock Climb (181/193)
    (Leftovers heal to full)
    Turn 8: Lycanroc: Rock Climb (181/193) / Present: Earthquake (75%)
    (Leftovers heal to full)
    Turn 9: Lycanroc: Rock Climb (miss) / Present: Earthquake (the rest)
    Turn 10: Carbink: Reflect / Present: Heavy Slam (65%)
    Turn 11: Carbink: Moonblast (147/193) / Present: Heavy Slam (the rest)
    (Leftovers heal to 159/193)
    Turn 12: Present: Earthquake (critical, 99%) (Sturdy) / Probopass: Sandstorm
    (Leftovers heal to 171/193)
    Turn 13: Probopass: Full Restore (heal to full) / Present: Earthquake (75%)
    (Leftovers heal to 183/193)
    Turn 14: Present: Earthquake (the rest)
    (Leftovers heal to full. Reflect down.)
    Turn 15: Alolan Golem: Steamroller (186/193) / Present: Earthquake (99%) (Sturdy)
    (Leftovers heal to full.)
    Turn 16: Alolan Golem: Full Restore (heal to full) / Present: Earthquake (99%) (Sturdy)
    (Sandstorm down.)
    Turn 17: Alolan Golem: Steamroller (185/193) / Present: Earthquake (the rest)

    An excellent showing. Expected Carbink to follow Relicanth, not Lycanroc.

    Strategy for Hala: Wants Balloon to have a shot. Taught it Aerial Ace. Is this smart? Not really. Knows the likely outcome. Will beat Hariyama, but faint to Crabominable's Ice Hammer directly afterward. Deserves a chance to shine, however. Cannot really do that against any other Elite Four member. ...Oh, wait. Spotted Hariyama's Knock Off. Kind of needs its Quick Claw. ...Go go lucky Spores and poor choices? Does this Hariyama still have Thick Fat? Yes!

    Holds Cake in reserve as the likely back-up plan.

    Spoiler: Hala

    (Friend's Intimidate)
    Turn 1: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Hariyama: Close Combat (44/172) (Friend's Sitrus Berry to 87/172)
    Turn 2: Friend: Thunder Wave (miss) / Hariyama: Close Combat (0/172)
    Turn 3: Hariyama: Close Combat (115/151) / Balloon: Spore
    Turn 4: Hariyama: Asleep / Balloon: Swords Dance
    Turn 5: Hariyama: Asleep / Balloon: Swords Dance
    Turn 6: Hariyama: Knock Off (79/151) / Balloon: Swords Dance
    Turn 7: Hariyama: Close Combat (44/151) / Balloon: Spore
    Turn 8: Hariyama: Asleep / Balloon: Leech Life (100%, heal to full)

    (Calculating Ice Hammer...yeah, definitely a knockout. Did not even input the full stats. Undoubtedly becomes more gruesome. Will not outspeed either.)

    Turn 9: Balloon: Switch to Candle / Crabominable: Ice Hammer (43/154) (Candle's Sitrus Berry to 81/154)
    Turn 10: Candle: Flamethrower (95%) / Crabominable: Close Combat (0/154)
    Turn 11: Cake: Dazzling Gleam (the rest)
    Turn 12: Cake: Dazzling Gleam (critical, 100%) / Primeape: Fainted
    (Level up.)
    Turn 13: Cake: Dazzling Gleam (99%) / Bewear: Hammer Arm (miss)
    Turn 14: Bewear: Full Restore (heal to full) / Cake: Extrasensory (75%)
    Turn 15: Cake: Extrasensory (the rest)
    Turn 16: Cake: Switch to Balloon / Poliwrath: Waterfall (immune)
    Turn 17: Poliwrath: Submission (118/154) / Balloon: Spore
    Turn 18: Poliwrath: Full Heal / Balloon: Swords Dance
    Turn 19: Poliwrath: Submission (79/154) / Balloon: Spore
    Turn 20: Poliwrath: Asleep / Balloon: Aerial Ace (80%)
    Turn 21: Poliwrath: Asleep / Balloon: Aerial Ace (the rest)

    Sighs. Such a bad Thunder Wave miss. Opted to keep Balloon for Poliwrath. Enjoys sucking up Water moves with it.

    Also, a Full Heal on Poliwrath, but nothing for Hariyama? Why?

    Strategy for Acerola: Does this Sableye have Prankster? ...No. Lead with Friend. Immediately switch to Candle. Encore Fake Out. Nasty Plot x3. Win. (Ideally.) Probably sends Friend back out if the Encore strategy fizzles.

    Spoiler: Acerola

    (Friend's Intimidate)
    Turn 1: Friend: Switch to Candle / Sableye: Zen Headbutt (84/154)
    (Leftovers heal to 95/154)
    Turn 2: Candle: Switch to Friend (Intimidate) / Sableye: Confuse Ray
    Turn 3: Friend: Thunder Wave / Sableye: Zen Headbutt: (151/172)
    Turn 4: Friend: (No longer confused) Baby-Doll Eyes / Sableye: Paralyzed
    Turn 5: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Sableye: Confuse Ray
    Turn 6: Friend: Switch to Cake / Sableye: Zen Headbutt (144/160)
    Turn 7: Cake: Calm Mind / Sableye: Paralyzed
    Turn 8: Cake: Calm Mind / Sableye: Confuse Ray
    Turn 9: Cake: Calm Mind / Sableye: Shadow Claw (125/160)
    Turn 10: Cake: Calm Mind / Sableye: Paralyzed
    Turn 11: Cake: (No longer confused) Calm Mind / Sableye: Shadow Claw (critical, 41/160)
    Turn 12: Cake: Hyper Potion (heal to full) / Sableye: Confuse Ray
    Turn 13: Cake: Calm Mind / Sableye: Shadow Claw (139/160)
    Turn 14: Cake: Dazzling Gleam (100%)
    Turn 15: Cake: Hit itself (~120/160) / Dhelmise: Slam (76/160)
    Turn 16: Cake: Hit itself (61/160) / Dhelmise: Slam (9/160)
    Turn 17: Cake: Full Restore (heal to full) / Dhelmise: Slam (112/160)
    Turn 18: Cake: Ice Beam (100%)
    Turn 19: Cake: Ice Beam (100%) / Palossand: Fainted
    Turn 20: Froslass: Shadow Ball (99/160) / Cake: Dazzling Gleam (100%)
    (Level up.)
    Turn 21: Cake: Ice Beam (100%) / Drifblim: Fainted

    Took...7 turns longer than it should have. Shrinks even more if the Encore strategy worked. Planned to Calm Mind until no longer confused. Decided to heal off the critical. Went after going up to 6 Calm Minds. Might hit itself, like, once. Noooooope. Waited until the worst moment. Thank goodness for Dhelmise having not having a Steel move like it should.

    Strategy for Kahili: Encore Skarmory into using Spikes. Set up and win, hopefully. Is not too scared of Crobat.

    Spoiler: Kahili

    Turn 1: Candle: Nasty Plot / Skarmory: Slash (110/157)
    (Leftovers heal to 119/157)
    Turn 2: Candle: Nasty Plot / Skarmory: Slash (67/157)
    (Leftovers heal to 76/157)
    Turn 3: Candle: Nasty Plot / Skarmory: Spikes
    (Leftovers heal to 85/157)
    Turn 4: Candle: Encore / Skarmory: Spikes
    (Leftovers heal to 94/157)
    Turn 5: Skarmory: Switch to Mandibuzz / Candle: Nasty Plot (no effect)
    (Leftovers heal to 103/157)
    Turn 6: Candle: Flamethrower (100%)
    (Leftovers heal to 112/157)
    Turn 7: Candle: Sludge Wave (critical, 100%) / Toucannon: Fainted
    (Leftovers heal to 121/157)
    Turn 8: Candle: Sludge Wave (100%) / Oricorio: Fainted
    (Leftovers heal to 130/157)
    Turn 9: Crobat: Supersonic (miss) / Candle: Flamethrower (100%)
    (Level up. Leftovers heal to 141/159)
    Turn 10: Candle: Flamethrower (99%, burn) (Sturdy) / Skarmory: Spikes
    (Faints to the burn.)

    Wrapped that up quickly. Also saw the rare switch.

    Strategy for Kukui: Lead with Card. Has not used it at all in the Elite Four. Hopefully outspeeds Lycanroc with Swift Swim active (and faints it). (What fun is it to calculate the speed?) Brings in either Magnezone or Primarina. Chooses Present for the former and Candle for the latter. Leans in hard on these Encore strategies.

    Spoiler: Kukui

    Turn 1: Lycanroc: Stone Edge (32/165) / Card: Rain Dance
    Turn 2: Lycanroc: Accelrock (0/165)
    Turn 3: Lycanroc: Stealth Rock / Present: Earthquake (100%)
    Turn 4: Present: Switch to Candle (120/159 from Stealth Rock) / Alolan Ninetales: Blizzard (miss)
    (Leftovers heal to ~131/159)
    Turn 5: Alolan Ninetales: Blizzard (65/159, freeze) / Candle: (Thawed) Flamethrower (45%)
    (Rain over. Leftovers heal to 74/159)
    Turn 6: Alolan Ninetales: Blizzard (11/159) / Candle: Flamethrower (the rest)
    (Leftovers heal to 20/159)
    Turn 7: Candle: Switch to Friend (154/175, Intimidate) / Snorlax: High Horsepower (120/175)
    Turn 8: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Snorlax: Body Slam (87/175) (Friend's Sitrus Berry to 130/175)
    Turn 9: Friend: Thunder Wave / Snorlax: Paralyzed
    Turn 10: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Snorlax: Body Slam (106/175)
    Turn 11: Friend: Return (35%) / Snorlax: Heavy Slam (81/175)
    Turn 12: Friend: Return (40%) / Snorlax: Paralyzed
    Turn 13: Friend: Max Potion (on Candle, heal to full) / Snorlax: Full Restore (heal to full)
    Turn 14: Friend: Paralyzed / Snorlax: Body Slam (57/175)
    Turn 15: Friend: Paralyzed / Snorlax: Body Slam (30/175)
    Turn 16: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Snorlax: Body Slam (8/175)
    Turn 17: Friend: Full Restore (heal to full) / Snorlax: Body Slam
    Turn 18: Friend: Return (40%) / Snorlax: Body Slam (134/175)
    Turn 19: Friend: Return (40%) / Snorlax: Body Slam (113/175)
    Turn 20: Snorlax: Full Restore / Friend: Return (35%)
    Turn 21: Friend: Return (40%) / Snorlax: Body Slam (94/175)
    Turn 22: Friend: Return (the rest)
    Turn 23: Friend: Baby-Doll Eyes / Braviary: Tailwind
    Turn 24: Braviary: Brave Bird (27/175) / Friend: Thunder Wave
    Turn 25: Friend: Switch to Present (188/200) / Braviary: Brave Bird (133/200)
    Turn 26: Present: Rock Slide (55%) / Braviary: Whirlwind (switch to Cake, 124/166)
    (Tailwind over.)
    Turn 27: Cake: Ice Beam (the rest)
    Turn 28: Cake: Switch to Present (125/204) / Magnezone: Thunder Wave (immune)
    Turn 29: Magnezone: Flash Cannon (13/204) (Present's Sitrus Berry to 64/204) / Present: Earthquake (99%) (Sturdy)
    Turn 30: Present: Switch to Candle (120/159) / Magnezone: Flash Cannon (61/159, -1 Special Defense)
    (Leftovers heal to 70/159)
    Turn 31: Candle: Flamethrower (the rest)
    (Leftovers heal to 83/162)
    Turn 32: Candle: Switch to Balloon (120/159) / Primarina: Hydro Vortex (absorbed, heal to full)
    Turn 33: Primarina: Moonblast (42/159) / Balloon: Spore
    Turn 34: Balloon: Switch to Cake (83/166) / Primarina: Asleep
    Turn 35: Cake: Calm Mind / Primarina: Moonblast (17/166, -1 Special Attack)
    Turn 36: Primarina: Aqua Jet (0/166)
    (Stealth Rocks to 8/178. Friend's Intimidate.)
    Turn 37: Friend: Max Potion (heal to full) / Primarina: Aqua Jet (160/178)
    Turn 38: Friend: Return (60%) / Primarina: Moonblast (52/178)
    Turn 39: Friend: Return (the rest)

    Quite a battle. Came pretty close there. Messed up on the priority attacks. Thoroughly enjoyed Dry Skin popping up at the start of the Z-move. (Zooms in with the blue background. Cuts in with Dry Skin. Stops the animation there.) Got some good action in on Friend, after all this time debuffing.

    Considered bringing in Candle and trying to Encore Primarina into Moonblast when asleep. Was not certain how it would work.

    The Date of Birth Challenge

    One-shot Tapu Koko at the end with Present's Earthquake. Whoops. Figured it might live that (barely).

    Final time: 30:54. (Includes the end credits.) Spent a lot of time losing to Hala, looking for encounters, and especially leveling them solo. Sped up after that. Played about the same amount of time in each of the updates. Accomplished way more in this one.

    Team thoughts
    • Cake (Alolan Ninetales): Awful for the first half of the game. Faces bad matchups half the time. Lacks the stats for the other half. Became better after evolving. Still felt lacking in every stat, minus maybe Speed. Plans to demote it for the Gacha-based challenge run, if that happens again. (Would be much stronger with egg moves, though.)

    • Friend (Stoutland): Filled the debuffer role unexpectedly. Knew it could help. Tended to be its primary function. Lived up to expectations overall, though. Considered it a reliable switch. Was not an unstoppable force, by any means, but still a solid party member. Dealt pretty okay damage. Hands it the most valuable award for its constant presence.

    • Balloon (Parasect): Tried hard in a region hostile to it. Stacked the deck against it at every turn: X-Scissor on Lurantis (plus Flying and "Fire" allies), a Bug for the Electric trial, multiple Bug or Poison battles with Team Skull, Rock moves on most of the Dark grand trial, tons of Water types with a Poison or Bug typing (Golisopod, Mareanie, Dewpider, Tentacool), and terrible matchups against basically the entire Pokemon League. Hinders it further with zero physical Grass moves. Still managed something here or there. Hands you Leech Life quite early, thankfully. Really needs +20 base stat points each to Hitpoints and both defenses, if not more.

    • Card (Seaking): Found it difficult to use. Becomes reasonably strong in rain. Takes so much damage from switching in and using Rain Dance, though. Does not have the defenses to do that. (Compare its stats with Present below.) Learns its primary move far too late, in a generation with Scald very early. Probably the weakest on the team.

    • Candle (Salazzle): Is a pain to find a female Salandit. Rewards you for the effort, however. Tides itself over the awkward early phase with Dragon Rage. Learns better moves as Dragon Rage starts to wane (by TM or level). Boasts some solid speed to pair with its Nasty Plot for late-game strategies too.

    • Present (Mudsdale): Ragged on it early for the bad nature and ability. Still did okay. Flexed its good physical defense plenty of times. Helped to be a great type for the team too.

    Spoiler: Party stats

    (Stats: Hitpoints / Attack / Defense / Special Attack / Special Defense / Speed)

    Card the Seaking
    Level: 57
    Nature: Adamant (+Attack / -Special Attack)
    Ability: Swift Swim
    Stats: 168/154/95/81/101/104
    Moves: Waterfall, Return, Poison Jab, Rain Dance

    Candle the Salazzle
    Level: 58
    Nature: Mild (+Special Attack / -Defense)
    Ability: Corrosion
    Stats: 162/109/90/157/86/165
    Moves: Flamethrower, Sludge Wave, Nasty Plot, Encore

    Balloon the Parasect
    Level: 58
    Nature: Quiet (+Special Attack / -Speed)
    Ability: Dry Skin
    Stats: 159/141/122/96/113/52
    Moves: Leech Life, Aerial Ace, Swords Dance, Spore

    Friend the Stoutland
    Level: 57
    Nature: Naive (+Speed / -Special Defense)
    Ability: Intimidate
    Stats: 178/162/125/75/116/123
    Moves: Return, Crunch, Baby-Doll Eyes, Thunder Wave

    Cake the Alolan Ninetales
    Level: 58
    Nature: Timid (+Speed / -Attack)
    Ability: Snow Cloak
    Stats: 166/92/109/130/136/172
    Moves: Ice Beam, Dazzling Gleam, Extrasensory, and Calm Mind

    Present the Mudsdale
    Level: 58
    Nature: Rash (+Special Attack / -Special Defense)
    Ability: Own Tempo
    Stats: 204/179/147/91/100/66
     
    Last edited:
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    • Seen today
    Probably never going to do this, but here I go with Pokemon Platinum!
    Glaceon
    Umbreon
    Kricketune
    Geodude
    Glameow

    and then whatevver pokemon I find on route 1

    That was fun! I would definitely do it.
     
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