Poké Monday 6/29/15: Croconaw

RNG (Croconaw) 

Tier: NU
Type: Water
Stats: 65 HP, 80 Atk, 80 Def, 59 Sp.Atk, 63 Sp.Def, 58 Speed
Abilities: Torrent, Sheer Force (HA)

Usable moves: Aerial Ace, Ancient Power, Aqua Jet, Aqua Tail, Blizzard, Body Slam, Brick Break, Crunch, Double-Edge, Dragon Claw, Dragon Dance, Façade, Frustration, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Hone Claws, Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, Ice Fang, Ice Punch, Low Kick, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Rest, Return, Roar, Rock Slide, Scald, Seismic Toss, Shadow Claw, Substitute, Superpower, Surf, Swords Dance, Toxic, Waterfall

Overview

Once, I explicitly stated that I would not be reviewing Croconaw, but that time was when Feraligatr was NU. Now, thanks to the recent (and by recent I mean about four months old) release of its hidden ability Sheer Force, the big gator has been bumped up to UU, and thus I feel Croconaw is now worthy of an analysis. However, it is simple in that Croconaw does the exact same thing as its evolution does: setting up Dragon Dance and hitting hard with Sheer Force-boosted moves. Unfortunately, its stats are not quite up to par, looking at its base 80 Attack, its 65/80/63 defenses, and its subpar base 58 Speed. Still, it’s not the worst Pokémon out there, and it can deal some nice damage with the right support and some setup.

Set

Croconaw @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 16 HP / 252 Atk / 240 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Dragon Dance
– Waterfall
– Ice Punch
– Crunch

This set makes utmost use of its ability, Sheer Force, in order to deal as much damage as possible with the help of Dragon Dance. This set has 240 EVs in Speed with a neutral nature in order to outspeed max speed base 95s after one Dragon Dance, maximum Attack for maximum power, and the rest in HP. Its Sheer Force-boosted STAB Waterfalls are nothing to mess with, especially backed by Life Orb, with Ice Punch to hit Grass-types and Crunch to pretty much perfect the coverage (I mean, chances are you don’t see Marill or Carvanha every day).

The only thing about this set that really leaves room for explanation is its item choice. The decision between Life Orb and Eviolite is more difficult than it seems; while Life Orb grants it power to KO things with less setup, Eviolite allows it to set up against things that would normally KO it with ease.

Important KOs guaranteed with Life Orb:

  • +1 Waterfall on Electivire (125% minimum as opposed to 96.2%)
  • +1 Ice Punch on Leafeon after Stealth Rock (97.7% minimum as opposed to 75.2%)
  • +2 Waterfall on 136 HP Klinklang
  • 2HKO with +1 Crunch on 252 HP 0 Def Gorebyss(as opposed to 3HKO)

Important KOs avoided with Eviolite:

  • Head Smash from Archeops (89.4% maximum as opposed to 133.4%)
  • Freeze-Dry from offensive Cryogonal (77% maximum as opposed to 115.6%)
  • Wild Charge from +1 Klinklang (93% maximum as opposed to 138.9%)
  • Sludge Bomb from Life Orb Haunter (73.8% maximum as opposed to 109.8%)
  • Psychic from Life Orb Jynx (see Haunter)
  • Close Combat from Choice Band Primeape (87.2% maximum as opposed to 130.9%)
  • Horn Leech from Life Orb Sawsbuck (93.4% maximum as opposed to 138.9%)

Sure, the list of avoided KOs is longer than the list of guaranteed KOs, but I say being able to OHKO Electivire and Leafeon (the latter after SR) is enough of a reason to run Life Orb, especially because the EVs are specifically allocated to outspeed base 95s at +1. Still, it’s a matter of preference, and both choices have their own merits.

Other Options

All I can think of is using Swords Dance over Ice Punch as a method of further boosting power at the expense of coverage. If running Swords Dance, Eviolite is the better choice of item because guaranteeing KOs is not as much of a priority as surviving hits.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/DEFfDFAq – Untested team, most likely flawed.

Now that I think about it, I suppose I should actually explain the team instead of just leaving a link to it. This team contains:

  • Croconaw (set above)
  • Kadabra with Focus Sash and Magic Guard for revenge killing and to hit Weezing hard
  • Torkoal for hazard control and as a defense against Grass-types
  • Lanturn as a measure against Electric-types and status
  • Audino as a cleric
  • Rotom (normal form) for special offense, as a Scarfer, and for utility with Will-O-Wisp and Trick

Top Three Thursday 6/25/15: Favorite music from Nintendo 64 games

As I was born in 1994, the Nintendo 64 is one of the first video game systems I remember playing, probably at the age of 7. Alas, though, I gave up possession of the N64 when I got a Gamecube, so I hardly have any recollection of playing the games, although I at least know what games I played and some particular moments I shared with them (e.g., being scared by mutated Tootie in Banjo-Kazooie (why I’m not familiar with the series outside of Nuts and Bolts), playing hooky in 2nd grade just to play Mario Party 2, playing Kirby 64 and Donkey Kong 64 at a friend’s house, all of which are only faint memories). Still, thanks to Twitch streams, I am able to listen to some of the tunes that have been lost from my memories, and here are the three I prefer most.

 

3. Boss Challenge II (Diddy Kong Racing)

 

2. Hideout Helm (Donkey Kong 64)

Note that this video has had its pitch slightly altered to avoid being flagged for copyright infringement.

 

1. Ripple Star (Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards)

This track is also remixed in Triple Deluxe (titled Ripple Red), but I personally prefer the original.

Spontaneous Saturday 6/20/15: Thought Dump 5

The quality of my Saturday and Thursday posts has been degrading lately. I just can’t seem to narrow my thoughts down to a single topic. Thus, it’s time for another Thought Dump.

 

Video game happenings

I finally got that IYWP FC that I’ve been pursuing for the last two months!

For about a month and a week, I’ve been on and off about it, but after that time period, I started taking it seriously, and I finally got it. As I mentioned in the description, having a warm-up playlist of Ties That Bind, Chemical Warfare, This Day We Fight, Black Widow of La Porte, Sudden Death, and Fury of the Storm definitely helped.

What made it hard to FC: 40% Guitar Solo 2B, 30% Synth Solo, 15% Guitar Solo 2A, 10% Chorus 2, 5% everything else.

Remaining FCs by estimated likelihood: This Day We Fight, Black Widow of La Porte, Sudden Death, Ties That Bind, Fury of the Storm

Remaining FCs in GH3 by estimated likelihood: The Way It Ends, Holiday in Cambodia, Raining Blood, One, Through the Fire and Flames

 

In Pokémon Shuffle, I have caught every Pokémon in levels 1-200 and EX1-18, in addition to Tropius, Sigilyph, Farfetch’d, Druddigon, Shaymin, and Giratina. Apparently, the EX levels go as far as 21, but I don’t have enough S ranks to access all of them. In fact, I just got enough S ranks to unlock EX19.

In Pokémon Rumble World, I have all species in every balloon up to Pearl, as well as White, with just a few species remaining in the Black balloon. The next balloon costs 90 diamonds, and I am currently at 64. I have done missions 1-19 completely, missions 20 and 22 completed aside from hard mode, missions 21 and 23 completed with 2/3 extra goals, and mission 24 yet to be completed. My current rank is 50, and my most powerful Pokémon is a 1571 Palkia, followed by 1558 Zekrom in second and 1550 Dialga in third.

Keep in mind that all of this is without paying a darn thing. Even though it would probably be more fun if I did pay (more so Rumble World than Shuffle), I regret nothing.

 

Anime happenings

I wish not to dabble too much into the currently airing anime just because they are nearing their end and I want to save talking about them until next Spontaneous Saturday. I will, however, provide a quick word on what I’m excited to see in the finales.

  • Nisekoi: – Ichijou x Onodera! Is it finally happening!? …How would it affect Raku’s other acquaintances? Haru? Chitoge? Marika? Tsugumi?
  • Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic – Nothing in particular, honestly, but I’m still excited. This anime has had me hyped since I binge watched the first season.
  • DanMachi – Things are getting real. What is that giant? Could it be…that one titan defending the above floor, but powered up by Freya? I think that’s what it is… I have a feeling it’s going to be another one of those power-of-teamwork type battles. There will be friendship and stuff. Excited? I can’t say for sure.
  • Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo – I didn’t think I’d get into this anime before I watched the first OVA episode, but I got into it because I started to get interested in the supernatural goings-on. Now it’s more interesting than ever, with Yamada’s friends having forgotten him…until Urara witnesses Yamada kissing Nene and…starts to wonder…who he is? I can kinda see where this is going, although because there are two more episodes, I have a feeling there’s more to it than I can imagine.

I’ve also been trying to get into other anime. I got around to watching the Gurren Lagann movie (Gurren-hen), and I say it was worth it. The first half seems like a recap with only the plot-important elements included, but the second half was actually quite a twist. I honestly didn’t expect the three generals and Viral to team up, and I especially liked the part where Yoko was fighting Adiane—despite Yoko having her top stripped off, she kept fighting without showing any embarrassment (and Boota fetched it right after). So, yeah, it was something of a refresher on what I’d watched before, but it wasn’t entirely a repeat. Simply put, it was good.

I tried two episodes on Punch Line, but I don’t think I could watch the rest of it. Even though I was wondering what would occur with Yuuta’s power in terms of how it could be worsened or potentially alleviated, but overall, I just lost interest.

Upon finding out through the Summer 2015 preview that Non Non Biyori was getting a second season, I decided to give the series a try. The first episode was somewhat boring to me, but I think my interest grew after watching the second episode. Renge seems to be a fan favorite from what I’ve seen, but I have to say I prefer Hotaru. I thought of her as a Yuuko Nishi look-alike, and they’re not too different, what with being from another area, having long black hair, and having a sweet voice and personality. Still, it’s slice of life, so every character shines in its own manner. I just find Hotaru to be the best of the main quartet. I’m not sure whether I’ll watch more episodes; that decision is to be determined later.

I’ve also been planning to watch JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, the problem being I don’t know when the appropriate time would be.

 

Nowi Wins Something something, apology for lateness… À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Poké Monday 6/15/15: Tornadus

RNG (Tornadus)  

Incarnate forme
Smogon official tier: BL2 (not UU by usage, but too broken for RU)
Type: Flying
Stats: 79 HP, 115 Atk, 70 Def, 125 Sp.Atk, 80 Sp.Def, 111 Speed
Abilities: Prankster, Defiant (HA)

Therian forme
Smogon official tier: OU
Type: Flying
Stats: 79 HP, 100 Atk, 80 Def, 110 Sp.Atk, 90 Sp.Def, 121 Speed
Ability: Regenerator

Usable moves: Acrobatics, Aerial Ace, Agility, Air Slash, Brick Break, Bulk Up, Crunch, Dark Pulse, Extrasensory, Façade, Focus Blast, Foul Play, Frustration, Grass Knot, Hammer Arm, Heat Wave, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Hurricane, Knock Off, Protect, Psychic, Rest, Return, Sludge Bomb, Sludge Wave, Substitute, Superpower, Tailwind, Taunt, Toxic, U-turn

Overview

Tornadus’ main claim to fame is being the only Pokémon with a pure Flying typing (other than Sky Plate Arceus, of course). This separates it from typical Normal/Flying types that it resists Fighting-type moves (such as Mach Punch) at the expense of losing a Ghost immunity and Normal STAB; a trade for the better, I say. It doesn’t have the best movepool, but it definitely has enough to get by.

Incarnate forme

Tornadus-I is more offensive than its Therian counterpart, despite its lower Speed stat. While its main ability, Prankster, is not suited for an offensive role, its hidden ability, Defiant, makes it the best Defog blocker in UU. It also makes for a solid saboteur with Taunt, Knock Off, and U-turn at its disposal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any better physical Flying STAB than Acrobatics, for which it has to sacrifice an item slot. On the special side, it can fire off Hurricanes with Heat Wave and Grass Knot for coverage, but not much else beyond that. (Unlike Thundurus, Tornadus does not get Nasty Plot.) Its Prankster ability can also be used for Tailwind, but Tailwind is generally not used in Singles.

Therian forme

Tornadus-T sacrifices offense in favor of an increase in Speed and bulk. Then why is it OU instead of BL2? Two reasons: 1) better Speed tier, and 2) Regenerator. As a matter of fact, its Speed is so impressive that it doesn’t even need full Speed investment; in fact, it only needs enough investment to outspeed Jolly Choice Scarf Tyranitar. The extra EVs can then be put into its Special Attack and either its Attack or its HP, depending on what variant it is. More interesting is its Regenerator ability, which heals 1/3 of its HP every time it switches, which works very well in conjunction with U-turn. In fact, Tornadus-T happens to be the only Pokémon besides Mienshao with access to the combination of U-turn and Regenerator (although Mienshao is slower, less bulky, and has arguably worse STAB). Still, just because Tornadus-T has increased bulk compared to its Incarnate counterpart, as well as a superior defensive ability, don’t expect it to be taking every single attack for the team. I’m just comparing its bulk to that of frail Pokémon, plus it’s weak to Stealth Rock. Sure, it can easily heal the 25% it loses on switch-in, but beyond that it only has 8.3% of health to preserve in order that it can fully heal on the switch out. Therefore, when using Tornadus-T as a defensive anything, be sure to not underestimate your opponent and also bring hazard control. These issues are not as vital if using a wallbreaker Tornadus-T, but they are still worth noting.

Sets

Incarnate Set

Tornadus (M)
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Acrobatics
– Knock Off
– U-turn
– Taunt

As mentioned, Defiant makes Tornadus-I a good countermeasure against Defog and Intimidate. Its lack of item simply serves to bump the power of Acrobatics up to 110, making the move its best physical STAB (because Flying Gem does not exist in 6th gen). Knock Off is Knock Off, one of the best utility moves in the game. U-turn is there in case Tornadus finds itself in a bind—that is, up against a wall or a slower attacker that it can’t deal with properly. Speaking of walls, Taunt is an option on Tornadus that prevents anything slower standing in its way from being able to do nasty things like setting up hazards, inflicting status, or recovering lost health. EVs and nature are dedicated purely to physical offense because Tornadus is frail and also needs all the power and Speed it can get.

Therian Set

Tornadus-Therian (M) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 132 HP / 160 SpA / 216 Spe
Timid Nature
– Hurricane
– Focus Blast
– Knock Off
– U-turn

I’m going to come out and say I stole this one from the Smogon Strategy Pokédex, just because it’s difficult to analyze a Pokémon of such oddity as Tornadus-T without a load of competitive experience, which I lack. (In fact, I’d say the farthest extent of my competitive knowledge lies in analyzing Speed tiers, and that’s due to a handy spreadsheet that I have at my disposal.) As mentioned, the Speed investment serves to creep past Choice Scarf Tyranitar, the fastest of its threats that can still be outsped. The Special Attack investment guarantees an OHKO on Keldeo with Hurricane, while the rest of the EVs are put into HP to give it a much needed increase in bulk. Assault Vest and Regenerator make a great combination, Assault Vest substantially increasing the special bulk of its holder while preventing it from using non-offensive moves, and Regenerator giving it recovery that it would otherwise lack. It may seem odd to use a Timid nature on a set that uses physical attacks, but this is so that no bulk is lost, not to mention Knock Off and U-turn are types of moves that don’t really need the extra oomph at the expense of bulk. As far as the moveset is concerned, Hurricane is its main STAB that does massive damage, Focus Blast gives it coverage against Steel- and Rock-types, Knock Off is for utility, and U-turn lets it switch out for some nice Regenerator recovery.

Other Options

Incarnate forme can also use a special attacking set that puts to advantage its access to Prankster Taunt, of which it is the fastest user in UU besides Whimsicott (although note that Whimsicott does not run max Speed). Get this, though: slapping a Life Orb on it makes it more powerful than Mega Pidgeot.

252 SpA Life Orb Tornadus Hurricane vs. 252 HP / 24+ SpD Florges: 140-165 (38.8 – 45.8%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Mega Pidgeot Hurricane vs. 252 HP / 24+ SpD Florges: 114-135 (31.6 – 37.5%) — 0% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

However, I say this is a matter of preference as Mega Pidgeot is bulkier and has access to Roost as well as Work Up. Still, Mega Pidgeot is helpless against Rock-types whereas Tornadus has access to Focus Blast and Grass Knot, so there’s that. Also, as mentioned before, Tornadus also gets Tailwind, but it’s generally not used in Singles. Therian forme, instead of serving as a defensive pivot, can also fill a wallbreaker role. The set in the Smogon Strategy Pokédex suggests Naïve nature, Life Orb, and an EV spread of 76 Atk / 216 SpA / 216 Spe, specifically tailored to OHKO Excadrill and Tyranitar with Superpower. The thing about Regenerator is: not only does it alleviate Stealth Rock damage; it can also heal Life Orb recoil, meaning it doesn’t usually mind having to U-turn with Life Orb in tow. Tornadus-T can also use Taunt, and its lack of Prankster is somewhat offset by its handy Speed tier.

Sample Teams

Incarnate team: http://pastebin.com/zn0TH0br
Therian team: http://pastebin.com/GZpnB44P

These teams have gone through testing, but they are still not much, if at all, better than samples.

Top Three Thursday 6/11/15: Characters I find it hard to like but don’t dislike

Nowi Wins Once again, sorry for the lateness. I should honestly get serious about this, especially now that I only have one class worth of work to deal with.

12/13 EDIT: Fixed a few broken images.

 

In video games and anime alike, there is a vast selection of diverse characters which people have the choice to like, dislike, or dismiss without any strong opinion. Opinions vary from person to person, and that’s the crux of this topic. Sometimes there are characters I like that others dislike (e.g., Big the Cat, Birdo), and sometimes there are characters I dislike that others like (e.g., Sena Kashiwazaki, Tharja), but the characters I will talk about in this post are characters that I dismiss without any strong opinion but people seem to like. The thing about it is that I resent them for some reason but I can’t truly hate them for some other reason. What’s the basis for the list arrangement? Well, let’s just say it’s in terms of how indifferent I feel towards the character. Anyway, on with the list.

 

3. Camilla (Fire Emblem if)

Honestly, the only reason why I can’t hate this character is because she’s from an unreleased game. People seem to like her for her breasts, but that’s actually one of the reasons why I don’t like her. It’s not so much the size of them as it is a combination of the size and the degree of exposure. That is, I’m not a fan of big breasts that are exposed to the point where it’s obnoxious, and that’s just what Camilla seems to embody. Still, I don’t know her personality or her competency as a unit (if applicable) because the game is not released yet, but I have to say as of now that she is the reason why I would rather choose Hoshido than Nohr. That’s not to say that I hate her; I’m just not a fan of her…at least for the moment.

 

2. Hestia (DanMachi)

As is the case with Camilla, I’m not a fan of Hestia because of her big breasts and high-exposure outfit. Not only that, but she’s also a so-called “goddess”, which conflicts with my beliefs. Still, I can’t truly hate her because she has her voice and, to some degree, her personality going for her. She kinda reminds me of Kana Minami from Minami-ke, what with her being energetic and having twin-tails and all. Like, if I ignore the breasts and their high exposure, I can easily stand her.

 

1. Niko Yazawa (Love Live)

Going by MAL statistics, she is the second-most favorited Love Live character behind Maki (830 to 1348), but personally I find her to be my 8th favorite of the nine main characters. I mean, she’s not that bad, but…her personality can get pretty annoying at times, and that “Nico Nico Nii” catchphrase gets old fast. Besides that, she hardly stands out among the nine except that she’s one of the shortest members, if not the shortest member, despite being a senior, her voice is decent, and she’s kind of cute.

(For the record, Kotori is my least favorite because she’s definitely the most bland of the nine.)

Spontaneous Saturday 6/6/15: Tapping methods in Guitar Hero

Note: This post will only cover Guitar Hero 3 (henceforth called GH3) and Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock (henceforth called WoR), as they are the only two Guitar Hero games I have (excluding On Tour, which I suck at).

 

As I was working on “If You Want Peace… Prepare For War” on WoR, I thought of creating an in-depth analysis of tapping methods. First, however, I wish to list some terminology that I will use.

HOPO: Short for Hammer-On/Pull-Off, this term signifies a note that can be hit without strumming as long as the previous note has been hit. In WoR (unlike GH3), you cannot hit a HOPO if the fret is being held prior to its timing window.

Slider: Slider notes (which are not in GH3) can be hit without strumming no matter what. Using the slider neck on post-GH3 guitars to hit these notes is entirely optional (and I generally have that deactivated anyway because it interferes with some of my tapping methods).

Tapping: the concept of using one’s strumming hand to hit HOPOs and sliders. There are two forms of tapping: standard tapping (tapping only one fret at a time) and alt-tapping (tapping multiple frets at a time). There’s also double tapping, which is the concept of using both the fretting and the strumming hand in unison in order to make repeating patterns (such as triplets and trills) easier to hit.

Anchoring: holding down a fret such that pull-offs are easier to hit (i.e., by simply releasing the above fret rather than tapping the fret again)

GRYBO: abbreviations for green note, red note, yellow note, blue note, and orange note, respectively; used to explain the composition of note patterns

Quad/Quint: a sequence of four/five notes that can be classified as ascending or descending (ascending quads: GRYB, GRYO, GRBO, GYBO, RYBO; descending quads: BYRG, OYRG, OBRG, OBYG, OBYR; quints: GRYBO, OBYRG)

More terms may come up throughout this post, but they will be explained within.

 

Now, why tap? Simple: in order to hit sections that are difficult (or impossible) to hit with one hand. In my case, this generally encompasses sections that would otherwise require too much use of the pinky or too much fretting in general. Note that it’s also important to have enough room between strums if you want to tap; this can also be achieved by elbow strumming, which refers to the practice of strumming with your elbow such that your strumming hand is of immediate proximity to the frets.

Where to start with tapping? I would start with Through the Fire and Flames on GH3—doing the section “They’re Hammer Ons” on Slowest. The method I prefer is to anchor green with my index finger and tap all blue and orange notes, minimizing pinky use and instead working only with the index, middle, and ring fingers. An elbow strum is not necessary, but it makes things easier.

As for alt-tapping, I’ll get to that later. For now, I shall list the sections of GH3 and WoR (covering on-disc songs only) in which I use a tapping method that has succeeded at least once. Note that complexity is on a scale of 1-3, while consistency is on a scale of 1-5; more stars = greater magnitude.

 

GH3

Stricken

  • Solo: There are two ways to do the 9th and 10th measures of the section (which are the only ones I tap); both work to reduce the effort required of the pinky.
    • Method 1 (complexity ★, consistency ★★★★★): tap all blue and orange notes until the first one of the 11th measure (where the notes start slowing down), anchoring yellow until the descents
    • Method 2 (complexity ★★, consistency ★★★★): a variation of the previous method which boasts nothing but style points; for the pattern in the 9th measure, alt-tap the orange and yellow notes while hitting the quads with your fretting hand

Cult of Personality

  • Start Soloing! (complexity ★, consistency ★★★★): After the first blue sustain, there is a pattern that goes GROGRB. I find it efficient to tap the orange and blue notes in that particular pattern in order to make it easier to hit the quint afterwards. Complexity and consistency values may vary depending on one-handed skill.
  • Keep Soloing! (complexity ★, consistency ★★★★): At the very end of the section, there is a pattern that goes YRGRGRYBYRYRYO B B Y. At the YRYRY point, tapping the last two yellow notes makes it easier (at least for me) to hit the orange note afterwards.

Cliffs of Dover

  • Intro Solo B and Solo D (complexity ★, consistency ★★★★): For the triangular (or so I call them) patterns, tap orange every time (except for the first, which will give you time to move your strumming hand to the frets). Note that in Intro Solo B, you might have to elbow strum the strum note.

The Number of the Beast

  • Solo 1 (complexity ★★, consistency ★★★): Well…just watch the video below. It’s mostly just standard tapping, but there is an alt-tap towards the end. It’s really mostly just to reduce the amount of bothersome one-handing required in that section.

Impulse

  • Indescribably Beautiful Solo (complexity ★, consistency ★★★★): On the last measure, anchor blue and tap orange.

Through the Fire and Flames

  • They’re Hammer Ons (complexity ★, consistency ★★★): I already mentioned this in the overview: anchor green with index finger, tap all blue and orange notes.
  • Blackest Waves / Dreams of Freedom (complexity ★, consistency ★★★★): For the YRGRYRYRGRYRYRGR patterns and the similar BYRYBYBYBYRYBYBY, tap the high notes and leave the bottom two notes to your fretting hand. You could just one-hand these parts, but it’s more efficient to tap them. Also, beware of the BO in Dreams of Freedom
  • What The…? (complexity ★★★, consistency ★): I did this one on video. It was a random method I thought of, and I can’t even do it anymore. It involves alt-tapping, sometimes with three fingers.

 

WoR

Because there are significantly more sections worth tapping in this game, I wish to exclude the songs that I am far from FCing (Black Widow of La Porte, Fury of the Storm, Sudden Death). Moving on…

Burn

Outside of the many trills that exist in the song (especially in Sodom Solo A), there is only one other section I tap.

  • Gomorrah Solo B (complexity ★, consistency ★★★★★): When the green-orange trills begin, tap the high note for the entire rest of the section. For those who don’t have GH3 or find TTFAF too imposing or too much of a bother to unlock, this would be a great place to start learning how to tap, especially because the entire section is composed of sliders.

Chemical Warfare

  • Solo 1 (complexity ★★★, consistency ★★): I have this one on video too. In fact, I actually have a video tutorial on it. And, hey, the first two measures are good for alt-tapping practice.

  • Solo 2B (complexity ★, consistency ★★★): The taps are simple, but the execution is difficult due to high BPM. At the RGYGBGOG part, tap the high notes, and at RYRYRYRBRBRO, tap the blue notes.
  • Solo 2D (complexity ★★, consistency ★★): On the green-red trills, start by double tapping, then standard tap the YGBGY after. Now, the unorthodox part of this method, which simultaneously augments complexity and consistency, comes after the GRYGRYBRY part: alt-tap the OB afterwards. It may leave little room to reach the strum bar, but to me, it’s easier than trying to one-hand it.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

12/29/15 EDIT: Nowi Wins Hey, what the heck is this? “Under Construction?” Really, I thought for sure I had already finished it by the deadline. Okay, time to finally pick it back up. I’m excluding Setting Fire because my method for Verse 3B is complete crap and depends entirely on luck.

If You Want Peace… Prepare for War

Video FC:

  • Fast Riff (complexity ★★, consistency ★★★★): Simply alt-tap the OB of the OBGBYGYRG triplets on every 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 7th measure. One-handing the GGRYGYRG or GGYBGYRG should give you enough time to reach from the strum bar to the frets, making this section a heck of a lot easier (in my opinion) than if it were done one-handed.
  • Synth Solo (complexity ★★★, consistency ★★): On OBYRYBYRGYRGYRBYRYR (in the fourth measure), alt-tap the notes represented by bolded letters. On the ascending triplets, ascending alt-tap (I do this with my middle and ring fingers to make it easier on me) the first triplet and hit the others with your back three fingers, anchoring green the whole time, as if your back three fingers were hopping. On the last measure (GRYBOBYRYBYRYRGBYRGYBYBY), alt-tap the notes represented by bolded letters.
  • Solo 2A (complexity ★★, consistency ★★★): On the penultimate measure, I hit the OBYRY pattern by alt-tapping the OBY because I find it difficult to intercept while one-handing. Consistency may vary depending on one-handed skill.

Nemesis

  • Solo 1 (complexity ★★, consistency ★★): Summarized in this ScoreHero forum post (which is exactly how I learned it):
    Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 3.25.52 AM
    (red indicates alt-tapping)

Ravenous

  • Insatiable Solo 2 (complexity ★, consistency ★★★): On the BRGYGR (chimney) patterns, tap the yellow notes. Simple, but not easy.

Speeding (Vault Version)

Video FC:

  • Start Yer Engines / Final Lap (complexity ★, consistency ★★★): For the 1st, 2nd, and 4th parts of the pattern, tap the bolded letters while anchoring green – GRYGBGYRGRYGBGYBGOGBYGYBGOGBYGYRGRYGBGYGRG
    For the third part of the pattern, anchor green unless hitting a quint and tap the bolded letters – GRYGBGYRGRYBOGBGYGYBYRGRGRYGBGYRGRYBOGBGYRG
  • Speeding Riff 5 (complexity ★★, consistency ★★): At the slider part, tap the following (alt-tap OY, tap B) – GYOYRGOYOYRGBYRGOYOYRGRYOR
  • Holding the Lead (complexity ★★, consistency ★★): At the slider part, double tap the OBOBOB trill, alt-tap the subsequent OBOB parts and the BYBY parts, and double tap the concluding trills. Tapping the blue before those trills is not necessary; I just do it because that’s how I learned the section.

Suffocated

  • Solo 2 (complexity ★★, consistency ★★★★): Hit the first set of triplets and, for the rest, alt-tap OB and hit the YBYR as if you were hitting YB doubles while anchoring red. For the OYBR part, tap O and B.

This Day We Fight!

  • Solo 2A (complexity ★★, consistency ★★): The only thing I really alt-tap is the YR right after the triplets, to make the HOPOs after it easier to hit.
  • Solo 2B (complexity ★★★, consistency ★): I don’t tap anything until the second measure, but that’s where things get complicated. YRGYBYRGRYOYRBOBR – uses a three-finger alt-tap and an ascending alt-tap because I cannot one-hand this part for crud. In short, this section is annoying. This chart is annoying. Heck, this song is annoying.

(You Can Still) Rock in America

  • Solo 1D (complexity ★★, consistency ★★): Alt-tap the following – GRYGRYBYRGYR GRYRYBOBYRYR – simple but difficult.

 

I don’t feel like making a conclusion section because this should have been finished ages ago.

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Poké Monday 6/1/15: Vivillon

Nowi Wins First of all, happy June! It’s now the anniversary of my first post, so I guess that’s a cause for celebration? Here’s to another year of posting!

RNG (Vivillon) 

Smogon official tier: NU
Type: Bug/Flying
Base Stats: 80 HP, 52 Atk, 50 Def, 90 Sp.Atk, 50 Sp.Def, 89 Speed
Abilities: Shield Dust, Compound Eyes, Friend Guard (HA)

Usable moves: Acrobatics, Aerial Ace, Aromatherapy, Bug Buzz, Calm Mind, Energy Ball, Façade, Frustration, Giga Drain, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Hurricane, Light Screen, Protect, Psychic, Quiver Dance, Rest, Return, Roost, Signal Beam, Sleep Powder, Substitute, Tailwind, Toxic, U-turn

Overview

Aside from being number 666 in the National Pokédex, Vivillon is notorious for having two threatening moves in Sleep Powder and Quiver Dance. Sure, Lilligant and Venomoth also gets access to this combination of moves, but what distinguishes Vivillon from those two is its access to two key components: Compound Eyes and Hurricane. Compound Eyes boosts the accuracy of its Sleep Powders and Hurricanes to 97% and 91%, respectively, making them much easier to hit with. Do keep in mind, however, that they still miss. (Remember that the 30% boost is multiplicative, not additive.) Meanwhile, Hurricane does ridiculous damage, even coming from a base Special Attack of 90, and its resistances are few and far between, especially in NU.

Unfortunately, Vivillon is set back by its extreme frailty (as expected of a first route bug) and its quad weakness to Stealth Rock, which make it difficult to switch in on anything but an Earthquake or a Close Combat. It also doesn’t have the best Speed tier or the best offense, so setup is pretty much required for it to wreak havoc on an opponent’s team. Finally, keep in mind that Sleep Clause is a thing, meaning that only one Pokémon on any team can be put to sleep at a time (this does not include self-induced sleep through Rest). Even still, don’t underestimate it, and be sure you have a way to handle it (and just Stealth Rock won’t suffice; any smart Vivillon player would bring hazard control).

Set

Vivillon @ Focus Sash
Ability: Compound Eyes
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Quiver Dance
– Sleep Powder
– Hurricane
– Giga Drain

Usually, I would advise running 4 Special Defense instead, but the only NU-legal Download user is Porygon, the usage of which is basically limited to LC (and for a darn good reason). Thus, its extra 4 EVs are put into Defense in order to better withstand physical Fighting-type attacks. HP is left untouched because its HP value has to be odd in order for it to live two Stealth Rock switch-ins. Its other EVs are obviously into Special Attack and Speed because it’s an offensive Pokémon; Timid nature is to ensure that it is as fast as possible, speed tying with fellow Vivillon and outspeeding past base 76 (yep, that’s the difference between Timid and Modest); Attack IV is 0 to reduce incoming Foul Play damage. Ability choice is obvious because Shield Dust doesn’t help frail Pokémon much and Friend Guard is useless in singles. Focus Sash is used as a failsafe in case of a miss or a potential priority attack.

A Vivillon without Quiver Dance is a Vivillon of wasted potential (in singles, anyway). Sleep Powder is another one of Vivillon’s few claims to infamy, literally saying “good night” to any wall that tries to sit in its face with free rein. Hurricane is its best offensive move, boasting a destructive base 110 power and, with Compound Eyes, a decent 91% accuracy. Giga Drain is mainly there for most of the Rock-types that can eat up Hurricanes for days, to regain health lost due to residual or priority damage, and, to a lesser extent, to deal heavy damage to Quagsire (a 50% chance to OHKO P.Def variants, even better depending on hazards). It’s also helpful if you’re afraid to miss Hurricane.

Other Options

Vivillon doesn’t have many other options, but it doesn’t really need many other options. Bug Buzz can be used as supplementary STAB and still hits most Rock-types pretty hard, just as well as Electric-types. If Vivillon is having problems with Bastiodon (but, you know, that’s what teammates are for), it can run Hidden Power Fighting or Ground, but don’t push your luck…

252 SpA Vivillon Hidden Power Ground vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Bastiodon: 120-144 (37.1 – 44.5%) — 99.8% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252 SpA Vivillon Hidden Power Ground vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Bastiodon: 180-212 (55.7 – 65.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
…OHKO is not guaranteed until +4, and even then, Bastiodon runs Sturdy over Soundproof. Roost can be used to be able to get up to full HP after a Stealth Rock switch-in, making the Focus Sash usable even during hazards, and potentially being able to stall out less offensive special attackers, which could be useful if you already put something to sleep with Sleep Powder or by some other means. Finally, Psychic is a niche option if you really hate Weezing (on the P.Def variant, Psychic is a guaranteed OHKO at +1 after Stealth Rock (50% chance with no hazards), which is the only thing it boasts over Hurricane).

 

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/G57Ju1Ln – Only tested once, but hey, at least it won its first battle.