Spontaneous Saturday 9/26/15: My thoughts on Monster girls

Since the anime Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou finished airing recently, I figured I’d give my honest opinion on the monster girls in the anime, listed from my least favorite to most favorite (but only those who end up in a host family, so Draco, Kii, and Lilith are excluded). The reason why I’m not doing this for Top Three Thursday or as a full-fledged review is because either of those two options wouldn’t give enough credit to the characters—every monster girl has her time to shine at least once in the anime. Also keep in mind that I have not read the manga.

Anyway…

Meroune “Mero” Lorelei

Based on the mermaid, Mero is a firm believer in the story of the Little Mermaid, so her lifelong dream is to part with her true love (i.e., Kurusu) through her death. Simply put, she’s a tragedy freak. She thrives in aquamarine environments, but she requires a wheelchair to get around on land due to having a serpentine tail with a fin on the end (in place of her legs).

She may be cool with her fish-like features (fins on her hands, gills on her side, scaly skin (or so she claims), the aforementioned tail), but honestly, the reason why I find her lackluster is because her personality is similar to that of Marika Tachibana of Nisekoi, which is not a positive point because Marika is my least favorite of the Nisekoi trio. Her status as a tragic freak doesn’t help her cause either.

Tionishia

She’s an ogre…I guess? Apparently, in Japanese culture, what distinguishes an ogre is being a humanoid with a single horn on your forehead. She’s tall, strong, and fast, but her mild-mannered voice and personality contrast her appearance and physical capabilities. However, she’s too minor and too big of a character for me to like. I mean, being a minor character isn’t that big of a deal—not every character needs the spotlight—but honestly, there is such a thing as “too big” in terms of a woman’s size (in any sense of the word), and such a classification fits Tio very well.

Manako

How can a girl have one eye and be such an amazing sniper? I wouldn’t know, honestly. I can’t claim to know what it’s like to lack depth perception, even if I try to close one eye. I can, however, imagine having an eye so big that a chilly breeze would cause irritation to the eye and potentially cause me to close it and prevent myself from seeing anything. I can also understand her shyness, what with her only having one eye, making her not only different from humans but monsters as well. The one unsettling thing about her, however, is—as much as I hate to say it—her appearance. I don’t know…I just find it unsettling no matter how I look at it.

Centorea “Cerea” Shianus

Being a centaur gives Cerea a nice sum of 6 limbs, allowing her to run fast with her four legs while still having human arms in case she has to carry something, cover an exposed area, or use the same form of nonverbal communication that a human would. With her long abdomen, she also has room for someone (namely Kurusu) to ride her as a horse.

The problem I have with her, though, is the same problem I have with Tionishia: her size (notably breast size) is beyond what I consider “too big” for a woman. Cerea’s case is not as severe, not to mention Cerea is significantly less minor of a character than Tionishia, which explains the difference in placement. As for personality… I’d say average. She’s a knight serving her master (Kurusu), but she cracks easily under pressure. Not much worth noting there.

Miia

Supposedly a fan favorite (at least she has the most favorites on MAL), and I couldn’t explain why. Her most notable trait is…she’s the first monster girl to ever appear in the anime. Similarly to Mero, Miia has a humanoid upper body with a serpent-like tail instead of legs, and scales as well. Unlike Mero, however, Miia does not have fish-like features and can move well on land (as well as a serpent can, at least).

While she’s not as much of a tragedy freak as Mero and is not nearly as similar to Marika, Miia has a bothersome personality trait of her own: her clinginess. “Darling” this, “darling” that…it gets annoying after the first few episodes. That’s honestly the only thing bad I have to say about her, though.

Lala

One of the few characters that can be considered a true humanoid. The quality that brands her as a monster girl, however, is that her head can detach from her body. She claims to be a messenger of death, sent to take Kurusu’s life, but thanks to Sumisu‘s intimidation, Lala’s true motive is revealed: to get closer to Kurusu…I guess? That’s what I think; she only appeared in the final episode, so chances are I’m wrong.

Lala is an interesting character, but the main issue is that, again, she only appeared in the final episode, so not much is known about her outside of her demeanor during the first half of the episode, which…is hardly anything outstanding.

Zombina

I’m not usually a fan of zombies—in fact, I’ll probably cringe at any mention of a zombie apocalypse—but there’s zombies, and then there’s Zombina. Zombina may be sewn together, but she is a true humanoid who at least has the brains to make good use of her supposed immortality, and a headstrong personality that is devoid of any fear of death (I mean, technically, she’s already dead). But, much like Tio, she’s so minor that it’s detrimental.

Papi

You might think from my obvious preference of Nowi that I’m into lolis. Well, that’s only partially true. Lolis always seem to have the best personality traits, and, as I said before, if a woman is too big (in any sense of the word), chances are I’ll like her less. Papi the harpy is a cute little birdbrain who also happens to be the only monster girl who can fly (outside of Draco who, again, has been omitted).

On the flip side, her playfulness sometimes makes her seem about as clingy as Miia (if not slightly less), which, again, is pretty annoying.

Rachnera “Rach-neesan” Arachnera

Spiders are cool and all, but spider girls? Eh… Rachnera’s appearance doesn’t appeal to me too much because she can look very menacing at times and, again, too big. Also, she’s such a big fan of bondage that it’s nothing short of disturbing.

I will say, however, that the fact of her being menacing is part of her character, and, even though I just now explicitly mentioned it as a negative trait, it’s actually positive in some ways. Because she’s so menacing, she tends to spin her webs in the shadows, away from human eyes, and sometimes commit taboos that could have her deported if she’s not careful about them (which, of course, she is).

To be honest, Rachnera used to be in the bottom 5 of my list, but then episode 10 happened. Lilith hypnotized Cerea into doing all these weird things with Kurusu, but when Lilith tried to use Rachnera’s “loneliness” to her advantage, Rachnera took it as a request to punish the little devil more.

“I thought you were just a little prankster, but you’re an adult on the inside. An adult can handle real punishment, yes?”

I have to say, that was probably one of the best moments of the entire anime.

Doppel

Her tendency to stay in the nude is not the only reason why I like her (although I will admit it is one). I consider myself, to some extent, a fan of masters of disguise, people who can disguise themselves as someone else and no one, not even the viewer, would be any the wiser (and I guess my recent attraction (so to speak) to Kili is a contributing factor to that). It’s especially great how smug Doppel acts when she unveils her disguise and mocks her victims, especially because she fights with M.O.N. to protect the peace of the town (which means she always succeeds in fooling her victims, right?).

Suu

Man, what’s not to like about Suu? She may be a slime…she may be an airhead…and she may be something of a rapist, but she’s so carefree and cute! (I don’t usually call characters cute, so that’s quite significant, coming from me.) She’s also useful in many ways as well. She can check the edibility of plants (as discovered in episode 12), become a cushion for those who are sent flying at high speeds, and…er, become a food disposal unit of sorts. She can also one-up Doppel and transform into something to help out the gang, like breast padding for Papi, and a set of clothes for Miia and Cerea! In addition, she can use her hair as an extra arm alongside the ones she already has. Oh, and did I mention that she can read minds? She can read minds! That’s nuts, man! That one moment in episode 6, that perverted schemer was called out! Yeah, her mind reading ability is only demonstrated in one episode, but I say one is enough!

Suu can only wear a raincoat to protect her nudity, and Kurusu may accidentally end up drowning in her body, but at least she doesn’t really need to eat as long as she absorbs moisture.

 

So, that’s my rambling out of the way. Sorry this took so long; it took me long enough to think of a topic, and I left myself too little time in the end to write it out in its entirety. It’s done, though, so I hope you enjoyed.

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

Poké Monday 9/21/15: Chesnaught

As irrelevant as it is to this post, since I am a huge fan of Nowi from Fire Emblem Awakening, I just want to say: Happy Nowi Day!

Nowi Wins

Anyway, on with the relevant stuff.

RNG (Chesnaught) 

Tier: UU
Type: Grass/Fighting
Stats: 88 HP, 107 Atk, 122 Def, 74 Sp.Atk, 75 Sp.Def, 64 Speed
Abilities: Overgrow, Bulletproof (hidden)

Usable moves: Aerial Ace, Body Slam, Brick Break, Bulk Up, Dragon Claw, Drain Punch, Earthquake, Energy Ball, Façade, Focus Blast, Frustration, Giga Drain, Grass Knot, Hammer Arm, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Hone Claws, Iron Head, Leech Seed, Low Kick, Pain Split, Poison Jab, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Reflect, Rest, Return, Roar, Rock Slide, Seed Bomb, Shadow Claw, Sludge Bomb, Spikes, Spiky Shield, Stone Edge, Substitute, Super Fang, Superpower, Swords Dance, Synthesis, Taunt, Thunder Punch, Toxic, Wood Hammer, Zen Headbutt

Overview

Exclusive to the Chesnaught line is an ability known as Bulletproof, which protects it from the following moves (bolded moves are usable competitively):

Acid Spray, Aura Sphere, Barrage, Bullet Seed, Egg Bomb, Electro Ball, Energy Ball, Focus Blast, Gyro Ball, Ice Ball, Magnet Bomb, Mist Ball, Mud Bomb, Octazooka, Rock Wrecker, Searing Shot, Seed Bomb, Shadow Ball, Sludge Bomb, Weather Ball, Zap Cannon

That may be a small set of moves, but it’s something. At the very least, it makes Chesnaught a better check to Roserade and gives Poison-type special attackers like Dragalge a reason to avoid running Sludge Bomb. It also provides protection against the two most common Special Fighting-type moves, although hardly anything uses those types of moves without having some sort of coverage option to wreck Chesnaught.

Ability aside, Chesnaught presents itself as a premier physical wall, being one of the few Pokémon naturally resistant to the combination of Stone Edge and Earthquake (a.k.a. EdgeQuake) and sporting some nice physical bulk. It’s certainly not lacking in the offensive department with its base 107 Attack, but its special bulk and Speed are less than average. In terms of movepool, it has some neat support options in Spikes, Spiky Shield, and Leech Seed, as well as some neat offensive options in Drain Punch and Seed Bomb/Wood Hammer.

However, Chesnaught is not without its shortcomings. Once again, it is slow, it has a hard time taking special hits, and its typing leaves it with 6 weaknesses, one of which is a quad weakness (Flying), and several of which are common (Fire, Ice, Fairy). Not to mention its role as a tank/wall is hindered by its best recovery option being Synthesis. Sure, weather is less prominent with the lack of permaweather and the banning of Drought and Drizzle in NU, but even so, 8 maximum PP is hardly enough for a move with the purpose of keeping Chesnaught alive. Also, the lack of Drought is all the more reason not to use Synthesis.

To make matters worse, Chesnaught’s dual STABs are walled by many Pokémon: Poison-types, Bug-types, Flying-types, Chandelure, Doublade, and Whimsicott. This makes it difficult to pose an offensive threat to opposing teams (unlike Empoleon, which already has a leg up just by having Water STAB). It is quite slow and has notable power on the physical side, but it’s not one to carry the title of “wallbreaker” like, say, Dragalge or Darmanitan. Notably, it can’t even guarantee an OHKO against CroCune (the infamous Scald/Calm Mind/Rest/Sleep Talk set of Suicune) with Choice Band Wood Hammer (the chance is 50% without hazards). I suppose, at least, that Choice Band Chesnaught is the most powerful Grass-type physical attacker in the tier (besides Trevenant, which isn’t even worth running offensively, and Torterra, which is hardly worth running at all), and one of the few physical attackers in the tier to even have a chance of OHKOing CroCune without any boosting moves.

As a hindrance to defensive sets, each of its STABs has a problem of its own: Grass has a whole 7 resistances, and Fighting has an immunity in Ghost. Fortunately, the only Ghost-types that don’t mind Leech Seed are Gourgeist and Trevenant, so Chesnaught can afford to run Fighting STAB (Drain Punch) alongside Leech Seed on its defensive sets and pack teammates to deal with the aforementioned nuisances. It’s also worth being careful around Whimsicott because it is immune to Leech Seed, takes Drain Punch cozily, and threatens with the potential of Moonblast. (Even if it doesn’t OHKO, it’ll bring Chesnaught down to a range where it will have a hard time surviving.)

In summary, Chesnaught takes hits and can sometimes deal them back. It also has utility.

Set

Chesnaught @ Leftovers
Ability: Bulletproof
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 Spe
Impish Nature
– Spikes
– Spiky Shield
– Leech Seed
– Drain Punch

With this set, Chesnaught makes the most of its physical bulk to lay down Spikes and inflict residual damage through Spiky Shield and Leech Seed, or direct damage through Drain Punch. Through Leech Seed and Drain Punch, it can keep itself alive as well as inflicting damage, and Leftovers helps the health gain even more. This is as much recovery as it can get without having to resort to Synthesis, although Liquid Ooze is a problem to this set, so avoid Tentacruel at all costs.

As for the EVs, it really only needs 8 Speed on a defensive set, which allows it to outspeed uninvested base 65s, which in itself only applies to Umbreon and Vaporeon. The rest of the EVs are pooled into Defense and HP to maximize physical bulk (obviously).

Other Options

Chesnaught can try to go the offensive route and carry a Choice Band, but, as mentioned, it’s just not strong enough to be considered a wallbreaker. I mean:

252+ Atk Choice Band Chesnaught Superpower vs. 252 HP / 16+ Def Filter Mega Aggron: 181-216 (52.6 – 62.7%) — 70.7% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock

-1 252+ Atk Choice Band Chesnaught Earthquake vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Arcanine: 174-206 (45.4 – 53.7%) — 2% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ Atk Choice Band Chesnaught Wood Hammer vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Cresselia: 178-211 (40.1 – 47.6%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ Atk Choice Band Chesnaught Superpower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Forretress: 160-190 (45.1 – 53.6%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

There’s a handful of defensive threats that it would hate to face one-on-one. In fact, I say the best way to use Choice Band Chesnaught is to bring it in on something it scares and hit hard. It is worth noting that the best way to EV an offensive Chesnaught is with 172 EVs in Speed to creep past CroCune. An alternative creep is 228 Speed to cut past defensive Roserade (which is especially essential if running Overgrow over Bulletproof).

Sure, Chesnaught can use Swords Dance instead of Choice Band for more power and freedom to switch moves, but there are problems with that too:

  1. It would have to give up a coverage move (preferably Earthquake so it doesn’t get hard walled by Flying-types).
  2. It requires a turn to set up, which can be easily ruined with strong enough attacks, especially on the special side, or status conditions (notably burn and paralysis).
  3. Superpower would be something of a liability with the stat drops.
  4. Its Speed is too low to exploit Swords Dance properly.

Although…

+2 252+ Atk Chesnaught Superpower vs. 252 HP / 16+ Def Filter Mega Aggron: 243-288 (70.6 – 83.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

+1 252+ Atk Chesnaught Stone Edge vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Arcanine: 260-308 (67.8 – 80.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+2 252+ Atk Chesnaught Wood Hammer vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Cresselia: 238-282 (53.7 – 63.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+2 252+ Atk Chesnaught Superpower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Forretress: 213-252 (60.1 – 71.1%) — 99.6% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

…and all of these calcs are without a boosting item. Another note: If using Swords Dance, it might be better to go full 252 to outspeed defensive Arcanine.

Also mentioned before is Synthesis, which gives it a reliable form of healing that isn’t exploitable by Liquid Ooze, although, again, the PP is ridiculously low, and it provides worse healing against most weather teams. (I mean, weather isn’t very common in UU, but hey, it’s a possibility.)

Taunt is another utility option that prevents defensive sets from being setup bait against hazard setters (notably Toxic Spikes Dragalge) and setup-heavy Pokémon like CroCune. Support ‘mons like Florges should also be wary of this option.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/QstsQrSR – In testing this Chesnaught build, I had two battles: one against someone who “play[s] for funsies” and another that I ended up losing due to a few misplays. Overall, it’s effective at doing what it does: staying alive and dealing damage.

This team contains:

  • Chesnaught (set above)
  • Blissey to take special hits that Chesnaught hates
  • Forretress for Stealth Rock and hazard control
  • Arcanine to take physical hits and Intimidate the opposition
  • Florges because I saw fit to add a Fairy-type to the team
  • Krookodile (initially Mega Beedrill) with a Choice Scarf for offensive pressure, especially on offensive threats this team hates, like Chandelure and Dragalge

Top Three Thursday 9/17/15: Labyrinths in Persona Q

Before reading the following, keep in mind that I have only played from the Persona 3 hero’s perspective.

 

3. You in Wonderland

First impressions are very important, and I must say, You in Wonderland provides a great idea of what to expect from further progression. Creepy atmosphere, music to match…

(also refer to 1-09 “Sweets and Cards” and 1-11 “Shadow in Wonderland”, which are, in my opinion, creepier than the track above)

…wacky enemies including FOEs, and plenty of exploration and puzzles ahead. You could also consider it the tutorial labyrinth in a way, because it provides a basic understanding of the game’s mechanics, not to mention the end of it introduces characters from the other Persona game. I don’t know about the whole thing of the game forcing you to fight with those other characters on the fly (from P3 perspective, P4 hero, Yosuke, Chie, and Yukiko fight Card soldiers alongside you)…and the boss? I don’t know. I didn’t know what to expect from a boss fight, so I just went all trigger-happy with my SP right off the bat, which is probably what made the battle bothersome more than anything, especially with the minion summons that I did not expect (although, looking back, such behavior befits the Queen of Hearts). At least the whole crossover thing didn’t occur for the whole boss battle, but rather just a brief moment.

All in all, You in Wonderland is a neat tutorial labyrinth that provides a good idea of what to expect, although, because it’s a foundation, it’s not that stellar as a whole.

 

2. Group Date Café

Definitely the highlight of Group Date Café is the personality quiz that allows you to find a “destined partner”, and the best part is it can be retaken as much as possible after the labyrinth is completed. As much as I wanted to test all of the possibilities, I figured that would be too much work and instead referred to someone who had it all figured out. (link for reference) From what I tested (i.e., Aigis and Koromaru), I find it funny how the forged image can sometimes present the protagonist as a bride and the candidate as the groom (because all the other outcomes I had—Fuuka, Elizabeth, and Rise—had the protagonist as the groom). It’s understandable with Aigis, because her role is as a bodyguard to the P3 hero, but with Koromaru…eh…how can a Shiba Inu hold a human? I believe I’ve only scratched the surface of the nonsense involved here, but it’s already adequate in humor.

Oh, and I’ve mentioned before (specifically in Spontaneous Saturday 8/29/15) how interesting the boss is. It’s definitely the most fun boss I’ve fought in the entire game, although I don’t know what to expect from the final boss because I haven’t even reached it yet.

That said, the artistic aspects of Group Date Café—atmosphere, music, pre-boss enemy design—are pretty meh overall. Nothing too outstanding about them…at all. I will say, though: the change in atmosphere and music by the third floor is a well-placed reminder that there is danger ahead, and that it’s not all fun and games. (It’s part of a game, but that’s beside the point.) In addition, this particular labyrinth happens to be the only one of the main four in which the save/exit gear is on the penultimate floor rather than the final floor. Still…the labyrinth definitely has its good points, but it’s not the best.

 

1. Inaba Pride Exhibit

Aw, yeah, what better way to celebrate conquering a haunted school building…hospital…thing than with a festival? To make it better, floor 2 really brings the hype music.

The puzzles in Inaba Pride Exhibit mostly involve carrying a torch around, passing through gates, and avoiding gourd-like FOEs and muscular FOEs along the way. Regardless of the puzzles, the hype music, the vibrant atmosphere, and the wackiness of the FOEs inspired me to move forward, complete the labyrinth, and get ready to beat the game. An especially good point about this labyrinth is…the final floor. Rather than being all vibrant and hyped up, it’s a dark and dead night in which the festival has passed and everything has fallen silent (apart from an ominous tune in the background). It is, in my mind, a symbol that all good things must come to an end and that the story is about to shift gear from its overall frivolity to something more serious…and deep. I won’t spoil it, as much as I want to elaborate upon the labyrinth boss (although I will note that a different BGM is used for this particular boss, which, as much sense as it makes, is a bit of a downer).

I do, however, have a few statements against Inaba Pride Exhibit. For one, the enemies, while no more annoying than the ones in Evil Spirit Club, are still relatively annoying. A few in particular that bother me are the Immortal Gigas with Bestial Roar that sometimes (in a seemingly unpredictable manner) attacks twice, the samurai with ridiculous bulk, the “cyclops” thing with Life Wall, the tower thing that spams Lullaby Song, the Okina with Mahama, the tree that has a tendency to ignore Pain-Eater (and, thusly, has caused Chie to take more hits than expected from Agidyne), the dice with their status-inducing slashes and self-destruct sequences, and the Opulent Hands with their Spiderweb, Lullaby Song, and dice-summoning abilities.

More importantly, the FOEs are extremely frustrating, even comparing them to those of Evil Spirit Club. Two of them (namely, the orange gourd and Festival Dudes) have what seems to be cost-free healing in Diarahan, the Festival Dudes use Crazed Slash to deal ridiculous damage to the team (although Pain-Eater alleviates this somewhat), the Sweaty Guy has Bestial Roar, and, worst of all, the green gourd has a frustrating repertoire of Mahamaon, Lullaby Song, and Tentarafoo. Honestly, fighting that darn thing for the first time and trying to keep my team alive at the very end was one heck of a pain.

Still, it all makes sense, and Inaba Pride Exhibit is a great way to conclude what was thought to be a four-labyrinth tour and segue into something significantly more serious. Honestly, I have no complaints aside from the annoyingness of the enemies, and, I must admit, that is a pretty lame complaint.

 

Omitted:

  • Evil Spirit Club – Scary FOEs (especially Lovely Doll), Corrosion + all-encompassing spell users, Bestial Roar users (more like Worstial Roar amirite), Life Wall users, and several complications that actually required me to look up hints (namely the restroom door, the algebraic puzzle (which I was overthinking because of the letters), and the “Convey a Secret Message” request) made this a really annoying labyrinth. As if it couldn’t get any worse than that, the Lovely Doll is scary for more than just jump-scares; it evades every second attack unless you can bind its Agility, and it has Mamudoon. I also have to say the boss of the labyrinth was a step down from the overall scariness of the labyrinth and from the previous boss. Kill the nurses (start with the healing one), kill the doctor. Plain and simple. Heck, I think the only thing I can say good about Evil Spirit Club is about the puzzle where Rei navigates through the darkness. Trial and error puzzles like that are just my cup of tea. In fact, I remember back when I still lived in Canada that in Pokémon Gold/Silver I actually had to help someone with the west-most puzzle in Ice Path. Anyway, I’ve presented my reasoning as to why Evil Spirit Club is my least favorite labyrinth in the game.
  • Clock Tower – It’s not a labyrinth per se. It may be designed like a labyrinth, but I say it doesn’t count. I mean, plot-wise and in terms of structure/substance, it’s in its own league compared to the main four labyrinths. (Plus, I haven’t fully explored it yet.)

 

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

Spontaneous Saturday 9/12/15: More spontaneity

Nowi Wins Once again, just speaking my mind here.

 

In Pokémon Shuffle, I have managed to S-rank all of levels 1-220 and, by extension, unlocked all of the currently released EX levels! Additionally, I have caught Terrakion and Virizion (not without the help of power-ups, of course) and am currently attempting to capture Cobalion. Sadly, even though I invested a whole 15k coins into my first attempt at capturing Cobalion (12.5k for all of Complexity -1, Mega Start, and Disruption Delay, and the other 2.5k for a Great Ball), I only managed to reach a catch rate of 16% without the Great Ball and 32% with (which, if I recall, was the result of 16 seconds remaining), so, naturally, I failed to capture it. Thankfully, Cobalion was the only one of those three legendaries that I failed to capture first try with all power ups.

What I don’t understand, though, is those moments when a Great Ball shakes less than a regular Poké Ball. I mean, the Poké Ball I used on Cobalion shook twice, but the Great Ball? Only once.

Anyway, I’m currently accumulating 15k coins again (and I’m really close), and hopefully I’ll perform better next time with my team of Blaziken (mega), Heatran, Moltres, and Delphox. Then, what will I do after catching Cobalion? Keep money grinding in preparation for the next update, of course! You can never have enough coins in that game, seriously…

Quick update: It pains me to say that I have once again failed. At least this time I performed better (22 seconds left; 22% capture rate, 44% with a Great Ball), but it looks like there’s more grinding to be done. Man, this is such a pain.

 

I’m still progressing in Persona Q as well. I’m up to the third floor of the fourth labyrinth (Inaba Pride Exhibit) and still…er…going strong, I guess? I mean, I’m getting annoyed at the tree shadows with their Hamaon, but I guess you could say it’s a taste of my own medicine because I always have Aigis use Mahama (past) or Mamudo (present) turn 1. (Too bad the Iron Dice are immune to Darkness.)

By the way, about the third labyrinth, it’s funny how the boss of the labyrinth isn’t even the scariest thing in the labyrinth. Seriously, the Lovely Dolls are scarier by a long shot. Like, walking into them is honestly the scariest thing not just in the labyrinth, but in the entire game. (I mean, I haven’t played the whole thing, but it’s the scariest thing so far. Fortunately, the jump-scares can be remedied by backing into the FOEs rather than walking face-first into them.) They’re also formidable FOEs that evade like 50% of attacks aimed at them, but thankfully, thanks to Aigis having a Persona with Lethargy Circle (chance of Agility Bind every turn for 3 turns) and Binding Hands (increases chances of binding), it became a much easier feat than normal. That said, to make matters worse, Lovely Dolls have Mamudoon, for which my only two options are 1) Recarm from Aigis or 2) Yomi Return (Leader skill). I still managed to defeat the darn thing eventually, and boy does it feel satisfying.

On another note, the fourth labyrinth, I have to say, is surprisingly the least scary of the quartet. Like, there’s hardly anything creepy in it, if there even is anything. I will say, though, that the encounter rate is pretty high in comparison to the other labyrinths, but maybe that’s just my imagination. Also, for the first time in any labyrinth, I defeated an FOE (specifically the Fast Guy (yep, that’s literally its name)) before completing the dungeon. Twice, even. I thought it was required in order to 100% complete the second floor because for each of the two FOEs, there is a tile that cannot be stepped on without defeating that FOE. (There’s no obvious proof, but through trial and error I have theorized that the tiles are unreachable without defeating their respective FOEs.) There is a third one, but I just decided to proceed to the third floor in hopes that I wouldn’t even need to bother with it (because there’s also a tile to uncover that requires going upstairs from the third floor). I mean, once is fine. Twice, I’ll do it if I have to. Three times…no. That’s where I draw the line. I may be a completionist, but I don’t want to go that far if I don’t have to.

By the way, as of this labyrinth, I noticed Aigis was missing so many times that I actually had to put Aim Goggles on her. I mean, it’s bad enough that she goes last all the time, but I really don’t want to be missing half of my moves, especially with my favorite character. (Missing Mahama or Mamudo isn’t a big deal, but missing something like Lightning Smash is a problem.)

 

I’ve also been working further on the any% route of Phoenotopia after discovering Loot Duping. My plan with the route is to stop at the honey shop only once and to only buy what’s necessary and faster (Rolling Technique Scroll, 6 Jars of Honey, Talkinator Juice, Iron Hammer, and Floatation Device), and I routed it in such a way that factors in all of the required funds without even having to raid the palace’s secret stash earlier than intended. The problem now is mastering movement through the rest of the game, starting at Misty Gorge.

What about 100% progress? Well, I feel routing 100% is more boring than I thought originally. I’ll get back to it after I’m done thinking about any%, but not right now.

 

On a final note…

…Suu is best MonMusu.

 

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

Poké Monday 9/7/15: Darmanitan

RNG (Darmanitan)  

Standard Mode
Tier: UU
Type: Fire
Stats: 105 HP, 140 Atk, 55 Def, 30 Sp.Atk, 55 Sp.Def, 95 Speed
Abilities: Sheer Force, Zen Mode (hidden)

Zen Mode
Type: Fire/Psychic
Stats: 105 HP, 30 Atk, 105 Def, 140 Sp.Atk, 105 Sp.Def, 55 Speed
Ability: Zen Mode

Usable moves: Brick Break, Bulk Up, Earthquake, Encore, Façade, Fire Blast, Fire Fang, Fire Punch, Flame Charge, Flamethrower, Flare Blitz, Focus Blast, Frustration, Grass Knot, Hammer Arm, Heat Wave, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Overheat, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Psychic, Rest, Return, Roar, Rock Slide, Stone Edge, Substitute, Superpower, Taunt, Toxic, U-turn, Will-o-wisp, Zen Headbutt

Overview

Zen Mode is an exclusive ability to Darmanitan that increases its BST by 60 when its HP is below 50%. This comes with a significant increase in bulk and an extra STAB in Psychic at the expense of a lot of its Speed and a bothersome switch in offensive stats. Simply put, it’s not worth it. Let’s move on.

Darmanitan is notorious for being the hardest-hitting Fire-type attacker in existence thanks to its ridiculous base 140 Attack and its Sheer Force ability…or at least it used to be, but with the rise of Mega Evolutions, perhaps it has met its match. For example, Mega Charizard X gets Tough Claws, which grants the exact same boost in power as Sheer Force while leaving the burn chance of Flare Blitz untouched, while Mega Houndoom gets Solar Power, making its Fire Blast hit harder under the sun than it would after a Nasty Plot. What keeps Darmanitan special, however, is its freedom of item choice, meaning you could slap a Choice Scarf on it to patch up its below average Speed, or a Choice Band to augment its nuking power. (I mean, Mega Charizard X gets Dragon Dance, but it’s OverUsed, so no use using it as a comparison factor.) Also, it doesn’t need setup; it can just come in (on something that fears it, of course), click Flare Blitz, and deal some massive damage. What’s more is that it can sustain plenty of recoil damage from its Flare Blitzes thanks to its high base HP. Of course, Flare Blitz isn’t Darmanitan’s only tool; it also has access to U-turn, along with a number of strong coverage options. Sadly, it lacks the ability to hit bulky Waters (notably Suicune) for super-effective damage (unlike Victini (with Bolt Strike) and Houndoom (with SunnyBeam)), it’s weak to Stealth Rock, and its frailty and below average Speed make it easy to revenge KO.

On a more frivolous note…this Pokémon has “MAN” in its name. That should say enough about how strong it is.

Set

Darmanitan @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Flare Blitz
– U-turn
– Rock Slide
– Earthquake

Choice Scarf Darmanitan is a solid revenge killer with a deadly combination of speed and power that can punch holes through the opponent’s team. Flare Blitz is its main attack, which has its base power boosted to 160 (with the negligible side effect of removing burn chance) thanks to Sheer Force. U-turn should only ever be used as a scouting move for predicting a switch or some other obvious play; no matter the target, STAB Sheer Force Flare Blitz always has a greater damage output than U-turn. Rock Slide mainly serves to hit opposing Fire-types like Rotom-Heat, but it also hits Flying-types like Salamence for significant damage. (Also note that Sheer Force Rock Slide has the same base power as Stone Edge, with half the chance of missing!) Earthquake breaks through Dragalge and Mega Ampharos, and it presents a more reliable way to hit opposing Fire-types (given they’re grounded).

As for the EVs and nature, Jolly is preferred over Adamant to prevent Darmanitan from falling behind fellow Choice Scarf users with base 83-95 Speed (e.g., Krookodile, Porygon-Z, Heracross), its offensive EVs are maxed out for obvious reasons, and the remaining 4 EVs are put into Special Defense so that Porygon2 with Download will receive an Attack boost upon switching in.

Other Options

Rather than a Choice Scarf, Darmanitan can go a fully offensive route and carry a Choice Band, boosting its already fearsome power to colossal levels, but the loss in Speed makes it harder to bring in against an offensive team, plus it still has to invest fully in Speed with Jolly nature to keep up with the aforementioned 83-95 group. Life Orb can be used to freely switch between attacks (and for the ability to use odd support options in Taunt and Encore), but the power boost is less significant and it sustains 10% HP in recoil if it uses an attack not boosted by Sheer Force (and the only viable moves it gets that are boosted by SF are Flare Blitz and Rock Slide).

Superpower can be used to destroy Snorlax, which can soak up Flare Blitzes for days, but it serves little other purpose otherwise, and it has the obvious drawback of reducing Darmanitan’s stats when used. Aside from that, there is the choice of the support options mentioned earlier, or Power-Up Punch as an odd way of boosting its Attack without an item. (With PUP, it should run Expert Belt or Flame Plate to boost its super-effective or STAB moves, respectively, for freedom of move choice and avoiding Life Orb recoil, and U-turn should not be used. I say it’s odd, though, because Darmanitan’s frailty makes it difficult to set up.)

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/YKGvKCSU – It won its only battle, but that win was by forfeit.

This team contains:

  • Darmanitan (set above)
  • Galvantula for Sticky Web (which supports Specs Yanmega) and Electric offense
  • Ampharos (Mega) as a switch-in against Water-types
  • Florges for pure bulk and supporting Mega Ampharos
  • Donphan for hazard control and Stealth Rock
  • Yanmega with Choice Specs and Tinted Lens for sheer special offense

Top Three Thursday 9/3/15: Hardest things to pay attention to

I’m obviously not perfect, and I will admit that one of my weak points is a difficulty in paying attention to things that confuse me and/or fail to keep my interest. For example:

3. Action scenes in manga

I don’t care how much detail mangaka put into action scenes. If it’s all in black and white (which it usually is), I can hardly tell what’s going on, if ever. That’s the main quality that makes me prefer anime over manga. (Usually, I would only read a manga if I wish to know more about the plot or if there is no anime counterpart. Well, I guess Mahou Sensei Negima is an exception; I’ve read the entire manga, but I just can’t bring myself to watch the anime. I have watched the abridged series, but I don’t think that really counts.)

2. Readings

I’m usually more of a consumer than a producer, but written media is the main exception to that rule. I like writing, at least to an extent, but I dislike reading. It’s not that I find it unbearable; I just find it hard to keep on reading unless the material truly interests me. I’m okay with reading snippets, but if it’s an astounding collection of passages or an entire chapter, I would have to put in quite a lot of effort to pay attention to the beginning and push my way through. Reading comprehension is also one of my weak points. If I were asked to provide a summary of any given passage, I would be at such a loss that I would have no answer other than to quote the passage verbatim (unless it is arranged in such a manner that the main idea is blatantly obvious, which is usually not the case). I have to say also that I significantly prefer reading fiction over reading nonfiction. In fact, if I had to give a rating out of 10 to reading/writing fiction/nonfiction, I would give 8 to writing fiction, 6 to reading fiction, 5 to writing nonfiction, and 3 to reading nonfiction. Note that these are relative ratings, and my ratings of individual works are subject to deviation. Fanfiction? I’m not into that kind of stuff, but it’s not like I would mind writing any of my own. Textbooks, though? I would be hard pressed to keep my focus on those. As far as textbooks go, I only like to pick out the important information that pertains to my assignments. That’s all there is to it.

1. Lectures

In one ear, out the other. I just find it really hard to pay attention when someone is just talking. Like, I can’t keep focus for 30 seconds (as an estimate) without my mind drifting elsewhere. Heck, sometimes, after hearing one person say one little thing, it might take several minutes for it to click in my mind. It’s a sad case, honestly, because it sometimes happens when it’s too late. Anyway, my point is: it’s difficult for me to focus on lectures; either everything just escapes my mind, or I take so many notes that I can’t draw a logical conclusion from them. (This ties back to the “Readings” part.) Sometimes, I end up not taking enough notes and not understanding what little I jotted down. In summary, when it comes to taking notes, I feel that I either get too little or too much out of a lecture, and I feel that I’m not the type of guy who will ever get it “just right.” Yeah, I’m weak in reading and listening comprehension. That’s how I am.

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