Spontaneous Saturday 10/24/15: Cavalry vs. Asterisk – part 1

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 9.03.12 PM

As you may or may not be aware, two very similar anime are airing this season: Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry and Gakusen Toshi Asterisk (henceforth referred to as Cavalry and Asterisk, respectively). They both involve schools with weapons and magic and romance and ecchi and stuff, but just how similar are they really? That is what this review series aims to analyze. I will post one part per four episodes aired of each anime, and this is the first. Keep in mind that these will be released late on the Saturday they’re due because I have to spend a whole day thinking and writing about the last of the series of four episodes.

As a final note, this review may contain spoilers. Please proceed with caution.

11/21 EDIT: Part 2, where I talk about how episodes 5-8 have impacted my thoughts, is released. Click here to view it.

12/19 EDIT: Part 3, where I sum everything up from start to finish, is released. Click here to view it.

Opening and Ending themes

  • Cavalry OP: “Identity (アイデンティティ)” by Mikio Sakai – Of all four themes between both series, this has to be the best one. It’s not really a diamond in the rough, though. 8/10.
  • Cavalry ED: “Haramitsu Renka (波羅蜜恋華)” by ALI PROJECT – Not my type of song. I’d say about average in terms of quality, and the PV with the slow scrolling and roses and random nudity isn’t doing it any favors. Sure, the slow scrolling in the PV is fitting for what it’s worth, but the relative loudness of the song ruins that impression. 4/10.
  • Asterisk OP: “Brand-new World” by Shiena Nishizawa – It seems cool at first, but then the vocals come in. Sadly not the first cool-sounding opening theme to be ruined by vocals (here’s looking at you, Rally Go Round). 6/10.
  • Asterisk ED: “Waiting for the rain” by Maaya Sakamoto – Definitely not my type of song, but the combination of slowness and softness is a nice change of pace from the craziness that goes on in the anime. 5/10.

Main Characters

The duo of a dark-haired boy for a protagonist and a reddish-haired tsundere girl for a deuteragonist is an obvious common theme between these two anime. In fact, it’s not even a new concept (see also: Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance, Trinity Seven, maybe even more that I haven’t watched). Still, the main two characters are different…in a way.

  • Cavalry protagonist: Ikki Kurogane – If there’s anything I really like about this character, it’s that his first instinct when stumbling upon a half-naked girl is to take off his own clothes in an attempt to make it even. Even aside from that, he’s not that bad overall, what with his determination to rise to the top in spite of being branded “Worst One” (seems familiar…), and his ability to calculate the weak point behind his opponent’s battle tactics.
  • Cavalry deuteragonist: Stella Vermillion – I’ll be honest: Stella is not my type of character. Her hair, her breasts, and her generic tsundere personality are unsettling to me. What prevents her from being a bottom-tier character is the resolve she shows in episode 3 and 4 by stripping for the sake of hostages and sticking up for Ikki when the crowd was bad-mouthing him, respectively. It’s also admirable how she and Ikki promise to get stronger together and eventually fight each other in the Battle Festival. What I’m saying is: Stella is an okay character for her purpose, but there are some points about her that prevent me from liking her.
  • Asterisk protagonist: Ayato Amagiri – Compared to Ikki, Ayato seems rather…generic to me, if only because of his way of handling the whole stumbling-upon-a-half-naked-girl situation—his more obvious flustered reaction. That doesn’t mean I don’t like him, though. At least he’s willing to fight for what he holds dear, even if it means putting himself in danger. Plus, I honestly have no reason to dislike him.
  • Asterisk deuteragonist: Julis-Alexia von Riessfelt – Julis is a more bearable deuteragonist than Stella because the former is more attractive and has a less bothersome personality, not to mention she has a more subtle figure. I will also add that she has a better voice. She may seem like a damsel in distress in these first four episodes, but she certainly knows how to defend herself, and she provides great support for Ayato in episode 4, showing off the ability to fly him around while he’s holding her.

Other Characters

Any characters not mentioned in this section are not introduced yet, don’t need a description because they’re so minor, or cannot be described without spoiling anything.

In Cavalry

  • Shizuku Kurogane – Ikki’s sister, who acts affectionately towards him (by kissing his lips and holding his hand) and uses the “I’m his sister” argument to justify it. (Pretty suspicious if you ask me…) In episode 3, it is shown that she can create a protective barrier of water. She claims to know Ikki better than anyone else, and she seems to me like an obstacle in the relationship between Ikki and Stella. As of now, I don’t really like her as a character, but it’s too early to pass judgement now.
  • Nagi “Alice” Arisuin – Shizuku’s roommate. He generally keeps a level head in dire situations, but he has a flamboyant side that even goes as far as to jokingly brand Ikki as a target of his seductive charm. In episode 3, it is shown that he can manipulate shadows using a dagger called Darkness Hermit. Good character overall, maybe even one of the best.
  • Kagami Kusakabe – Representative of the newspaper club, her only good point I find is her glasses. She’s overly energetic, has an annoying voice, and has breasts too big for her height. She’s also annoyingly clingy when she first meets Ikki.
  • Kurono Shinguuji – The director of the academy, who ensures that Ikki’s experience as a student goes as well as it can.
  • Nene Saikyou – An adult-like although somewhat irresponsible loli who wears a loose-fitting kimono and observes Ikki’s development with interest. She also wears a goofy grin similar to that of Akio in Trinity Seven.
  • Shizuya Kirihara – An enemy of Ikki who takes pleasure in watching him suffer. His power makes it so he (and later his arrows) are unable to be perceived by human senses. Coincidentally, he happens to be Ikki’s first opponent in the Battle Festival.

In Asterisk

  • Claudia Enfield – Student council president who gives Ayato important information regarding how things work around the academy. I dislike this character because she’s one of those blond ojou-sama type characters and her breasts are distracting. She’s usually calm and collected, but she shows off something of a dark side in episode 4.
  • Saya Sasamiya – A kuudere loli and an old friend of Ayato’s who shows up in episode 2. She wields a grenade launcher, which she uses to fend off a group of attackers who are after Julis. Sadly, she has not made any appearances since. I appreciate what little screentime she has had.
  • Haruka Amagiri – Ayato’s older sister, who has only appeared in the introduction and flashbacks. Ayato’s motive in enrolling in the academy is finding out what happened to her, and, incidentally, he ends up finding a sword that she most likely used. She has bound Ayato’s powers, most likely so they don’t go haywire.
  • Lester MacPhail – A buff and stubborn fellow student who wishes to challenge Julis but ends up getting rejected every time.
  • Eishirou Yabuki – Ayato’s roommate and classmate, who seems to know the latest news and gives off a sort of Shuu Maiko vibe. As revealed in episode 2, he lent Ayato a sword for his duel with Julis.

The Story So Far

I decided (as of November 26) to relocate these summaries to Google Docs for two reasons: (1) to minimize spoilers, and (2) while I enjoy writing them, I realize that they seem out of place in a review like this, and I wouldn’t blame anyone if they lost interest because of them.

Cavalry 1-4 summary

Asterisk 1-4 summary

As a whole

These anime series have plenty of similarities: reddish-haired tsundere deuteragonist, protagonist stumbles upon her changing, protagonist and deuteragonist want to get stronger together, magic weapons, and competition. However, Cavalry seems to have a lesser male-to-female ratio than Asterisk, the use of weapons outside of school is more strictly enforced in Cavalry than in Asterisk, and the protagonists have different motives: while Ikki’s motive is to rise to the top, Ayato merely wishes to discover the truth about his older sister. Also, Ikki starts off with a weapon and the title “Worst One,” whereas Ayato is more of a blank slate, having just transferred into the school without a title and having to be lent a temporary blade after that unfortunate encounter with Julis. Finally, Ikki is closer to Stella than Ayato is to Julis because the former two are fortunate enough to be roommates while the latter two are not.

It’s too soon to say which I like better, but I am leaning towards Asterisk because of its more interesting story and more bearable deuteragonist. Claudia is still a bother, but I say the other characters of the anime are plenty enough to balance her out. It’s a tentative decision, though, because some characters have not yet been introduced (e.g., the dark-haired girl on the cover of Cavalry), some characters have not had enough time in the spotlight (e.g., Saya in Asterisk), and there is still more plot yet to be revealed.

 

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

Poké Monday 10/19/15: Flaaffy

RNG (Flaaffy) 

Tier: NU
Type: Electric
Base Stats: 70 HP, 55 Atk, 55 Def, 80 Sp.Atk, 60 Sp.Def, 45 Speed
Ability: Static, Plus (hidden)

Usable moves: Agility, Body Slam, Brick Break, Cotton Guard, Discharge, Double-Edge, Façade, Fire Punch, Frustration, Heal Bell, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Light Screen, Power Gem, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Reflect, Rest, Return, Seismic Toss, Signal Beam, Substitute, Thunder, Thunder Punch, Thunder Wave, Thunderbolt, Toxic, Volt Switch, Wild Charge

Overview

Silver lining, silver lining, silver lining…

Flaaffy hardly stands out as an Electric-type, but it has an interesting combination of moves in Volt Switch and Seismic Toss. The former allows it to keep up momentum, while the latter lets it deal consistent damage in spite of its nearly nonexistent offensive presence. Flaaffy also has a neat ability in Static, which may paralyze an opposing Pokémon on contact, so think twice before trying to Knock Off its Eviolite or using some other common contact move like U-turn or Rapid Spin.

Sadly, Flaaffy has poor stats in general, is weak to Earthquake (which is not a contact move), and is subjectively outclassed by Electabuzz, which has much better stats (although with slightly worse physical bulk) and a much greater movepool. I guess Flaaffy is better in Trick Room? That’s pretty much all I can think of to justify its use (never mind playing the “for fun” card).

Set

Flaaffy @ Eviolite
Ability: Static
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Volt Switch
– Seismic Toss
– Rest
– Toxic

This is the best set Flaaffy can run, utilizing its 70/55/60 bulk with Eviolite (which is effectively 70/105/99 with this build) to pivot with Volt Switch, deal consistent damage with Seismic Toss, and spread status with Toxic (and maybe Static). Its only form of recovery is Rest, so it is highly, highly advised to carry Heal Bell support with this set. EVs are fully physically defensive to take full advantage of Static, and its Attack IV is 0 to reduce damage from confusion and Foul Play.

Other Options

Flaaffy has access to the legendary Cotton Guard, through which it can go fully specially defensive and be able to take on physical attackers if it sets up. However, that is a big “if,” considering Flaaffy’s poor stats, and critical hits are always possible. (On the bright side, nothing commonly runs Storm Throw in NU.) Also, no matter how specially defensive it is, it has a problem dealing with offensive Claydol.

252+ SpA Soft Sand Claydol Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Flaaffy: 170-204 (49.4 – 59.3%) — 99.6% chance to 2HKO

Furthermore, if it ran Cotton Guard, it would have to lose out on Volt Switch, giving up its ability to keep up momentum and ease prediction. Keep in mind, however, that even the strongest Ground-type attacker has a hard time breaking through a +6 Defense Flaaffy.

252+ Atk Thick Club Marowak Bonemerang (2 hits) vs. +6 252 HP / 4 Def Eviolite Flaaffy: 144-172 (41.8 – 50%) — approx. 0.4% chance to 2HKO

In terms of other utility options, it has Heal Bell and dual screens, but four moveslot syndrome makes Heal Bell difficult to slap on a set, and it can’t simply give up its Eviolite in favor of Light Clay, meaning if it ran dual screens, they would have to last 5 turns, or Flaaffy would lose some important bulk.

It can also run Sleep Talk to not require Heal Bell support and to serve as a sleep absorber, but this option is an inconvenience with Toxic, its only method of touching Golurk and Shedinja. Plus, each of its other moves (Volt Switch and Seismic Toss) has an immunity, and moves with immunities are risky with Sleep Talk.

At any rate, the most damage you’re going to be doing with this half-naked sheep is through Seismic Toss and Toxic.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/xS3ib57p – It’s an odd team, but it works.

This team contains:

  • Flaaffy (set above)
  • Xatu for Magic Bounce and coming in on Earthquakes (and a VoltTurn core with Flaaffy)
  • Audino (Mega) for walling and Heal Bell/Wish support
  • Mesprit for Stealth Rock and Healing Wish
  • Hitmonchan for hazard control and Fighting offense
  • Lilligant for destroying Ground-types and sweeping in general

Top Three Thursday 10/15/15: Responses to failure to meet a deadline properly

3. If the assignment has a penalty, compare its gravity to the worth of a hypothetical on-time submission

This is a recent happening. I had a project due at noon today, but I put it off too long and couldn’t get any more than half of it finished, even after I tried to stay up all night working on it, so I figured, “Hmm… For programming assignments, the professor takes 20 points off for each week it’s late. Well, why turn in a half-baked submission for such a low score if I could instead give myself a week to ameliorate it and potentially get an 80? (not likely)” To be honest, though, it doesn’t really help that I’m putting a handicap on myself by refusing to use the Windows software required for the course and instead stubbornly using alternatives that work on my Mac. (I refuse to run Windows on my Mac; it’s not that I’m strictly anti-Windows, it’s just that I don’t want to use it if I don’t have to.)

2. Get a rough draft up on the deadline and polish it up afterwards

This really only applies to my blog posts here, though. As I try to keep up with this once-per-two-weeks routine, sometimes I may happen upon circumstances through which I just can’t think of a topic (writer’s block) or was constrained by the due date of one or several assignments. A recent example is my MonMusu character evaluation, of which I posted a rough draft at 11:50 pm featuring only the bit about Meroune, and I stayed up between 5 and 6 am finishing the darn thing. Thought Dump 4 I actually ended up posting at exactly 12:00 am on Sunday, May 10, where the scheduled deadline was the day before, which was (and still is) the first post where I failed to post the original on time.

1. Do what little I can in what little time I have left

It’s basically what I’m doing right now. I have done it for many assignments, including one I submitted not too long ago (and actually got a 95, which is surprising, considering I had no idea what I was doing). I have also done it on many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, so many of my posts up to now. Again, I don’t know what I should be doing about my poor time management. I can dismiss it, saying “It’s just me,” but at the same time, time management is very important in the workforce, of which I will soon inevitably be a part. My mind is just so fickle, though, that it’s difficult to focus on any one thing. That’s the main thing I blame.

 

Short version: I find it hard to keep up with this routine and real life, but I try my darnedest to make something work whenever I’m in a pinch.

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

Spontaneous Saturday 10/10/15: I have so much on my mind…

(10/8)

…and I can’t retain it all.

Ugh, senior year. In high school, it wasn’t so bad, but in college…

I start to take it easy at first. What could possibly go wrong, right? I encounter a few bumps here and there, still taking it slow. Then, before I know it, I’m buried up to my neck in assignments and responsibilities that I just feel like I can’t handle all at once. Heck, even when I start to think I can’t handle it, that’s when it gets tougher. I mean, it’s as if I’m expected to be a superhuman or something. I have an internship application to take care of. I have to be up by 8:00 am tomorrow. I have an online test to finish by the end of the day. I have some project work to do. I have a bunch of things to do on the same day, including an assignment that I apparently should have started on a week ago. Man, how am I supposed to enjoy Fall Break with all this crud piled on my shoulders? On top of that, my computer’s had some connectivity issues as of late (thankfully not since Wednesday)!

But hey, it’s just life, I guess. Every time I’m stuck thinking about one thing and putting aside a bunch of others, suddenly a new obstacle comes my way. For example, just recently, I looked back through one of my previous drafts (Spontaneous Saturday 6/6/15) and saw this:

Uh…what? Under construction? I thought I’d finished this darn thing long ago! Ah, well, I’ll get to it as soon as I can. (Key word: CAN.)

The thing is, obstacles in life are not all the same. You gotta have some sort of priority order. Some things you can (or have to) get taken care of immediately, but others you’ll have to set aside for a later time (like the one I mentioned above). In the latter case, however difficult it is to bear, you just gotta set the issue aside and move on to bigger and better things.

Therein lies a problem from my perspective, though: I’m not one to just let things slip by. As someone who likes seeing things built properly and without gaping holes, it’s embarrassing to know that a publication of mine from 4 months prior hasn’t even been finished. Still, I have to set it aside because I still have more pressing issues to take care of.

This sort of thing also accounts for my sleep deprivation. If something comes to my mind while I’m trying to sleep, chances are, at least 90% of the time, I will settle that thought lingering in my mind before I fall asleep.

Then there are those in-your-face opportunities that you end up missing because you’re completely focused on something else. I was supposed to ask my mother about formal attire for an important meeting tomorrow, but it completely slipped my mind because I was too focused on figuring out a way to arrange getting there in the first place, as well as completing the internship application.

I don’t want to say Vouiv-review is hindering it because, truth be told, I brought it upon myself, not to mention it helps me to reflect upon notable mental developments like this. Poké Monday is purely for my amusement, but Spontaneous Saturday and Top Three Thursday definitely give me ample freedom to express my thoughts in the form of a typed document. Speaking of which, if there are times when I miss the deadline, these issues are most likely why.

(10/9)

I don’t know about my tendency to slack off. It is always nice to take a breather every now and then, but sometimes I feel like I’m taking my breaks too frequently or spending too long per break. I could try to cut down on the amount of anime I watch (limiting myself to Heavy Object and One Punch Man) or sometimes suppressing the urge to prevent overhauling hearts in Pokémon Shuffle so that I can get some extra work done and/or stay subtle in the classroom, but…well, I don’t know. I couldn’t say whether this is really a problem or not, honestly.

Man, my brain was overflowing overnight yesterday, but now it’s slowed down to a near halt. That’s another tendency I have: to get a bunch of work done, set it aside for a while, and come back to it not knowing what the heck I just did. This is, in fact, one of those cases. Still, there are some times when I can jump-start my brain (so to speak) and transition on to another thought, like how I have a secret hobby of making mock Guitar Hero drum charts for songs with particularly enjoyable percussion.

Even though I just finished the test I mentioned earlier (and got a 96), I still feel burdened because of (1) work I have to do for a team project, (2) an assignment due on Wednesday, (3) an assignment due on Thursday, (4) the supposedly “extra difficult” assignment due on Thursday, (5) a test on Thursday, and (6) a quiz to be done by next Sunday (which honestly isn’t a problem, but man, so many responsibilities to take care of in not much more than one week, let alone with a laptop with sporadic connectivity problems…). But, well, I suppose I’ll turn to this song for encouragement:

When in difficult times, leave it to God to make them seem less difficult than originally perceived. This has held true many times in my life, and I pray that it will continue to do so.

Man, what am I doing, suddenly bringing up God in an otherwise secular writing? Whatever. It’s not like I haven’t disclosed my faith before, and I couldn’t care less what people think of me because of it. If anything, I’d say I’m not vocal enough about my faith, although there’s not much I can do about that because I have high-functioning autism.

This is the conundrum of my life. My train of thought is a convoluted one, which takes relatively long to reach its stops, given its frequent tendency to go nowhere fast. No accidents happen on the train, though. I don’t know what I was thinking with this metaphor.

 

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

 

Poké Monday 10/5/15: Groudon

RNG (Groudon)  

Groudon
Tier: Uber
Type: Ground
Base Stats: 100 HP, 150 Atk, 140 Def, 100 Sp.Atk, 90 Sp.Def, 90 Speed
Ability: Drought

Primal Groudon
Tier: Uber
Type: Ground/Fire
Base Stats: 100 HP, 180 Atk, 160 Def, 150 Sp.Atk, 90 Sp.Def, 90 Speed
Ability: Desolate Land

Usable moves: Aerial Ace, Ancient Power, Body Slam, Brick Break, Bulk Up, Double-Edge, Dragon Claw, Dragon Pulse, Dragon Tail, Earth Power, Earthquake, Eruption, Façade, Fire Blast, Fire Punch, Flamethrower, Focus Blast, Frustration, Hammer Arm, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Hone Claws, Iron Head, Lava Plume, Overheat, Power-Up Punch, Precipice Blades, Protect, Rest, Return, Roar, Rock Polish, Rock Slide, Seismic Toss, Shadow Claw, Stealth Rock, Stone Edge, Substitute, Swords Dance, Thunder, Thunder Punch, Thunder Wave, Thunderbolt, Toxic

Overview

On Poké Monday 2/23/15, I talked about Kyogre and the ins and outs of primal and non-primal weather. As a reminder, primal weather is different from regular weather in the following ways:

  1. If not overridden, it stays up as long as the user stays in play.
  2. It cannot be overridden by any non-primal weather (i.e., weather summoned by Drizzle, Drought, Sand Stream, Snow Warning, Rain Dance, Sunny Day, Sandstorm, or Hail).
  3. It nullifies a certain type of move (specifically, Desolate Land nullifies Water and Primordial Sea nullifies Fire). Note that this only applies to offensive moves (for instance, Primordial Sea does not nullify Will-O-Wisp).

To elaborate, Desolate Land and Primordial Sea work more independently than Drought and Drizzle, weather teams are much more difficult to use in Ubers, and Primal Groudon is only weak to Ground while Desolate Land is up (barring Cloud Nine or Air Lock).

With the benefits of its new primal weather and its boost in Defense and offensive power, there is no doubt that Primal Groudon is one of the dominating forces in the tier. Its typing makes it immune to Will-O-Wisp and Thunder Wave, making it a top-notch physical attacker. To further aid its offensive prowess, it gets a new signature move in Precipice Blades, which is a 20 BP improvement over Earthquake at the expense of 15% accuracy. (Using Precipice Blades over Earthquake not only increases the expected damage output (102 over 100), but it also guarantees a 2HKO on 248/252 Bold Primal Kyogre (given 252 EVs, Adamant or Jolly).)  Also, there is no reason not to use Primal Groudon because it doesn’t need Choice Scarf (due to Rock Polish) unlike Kyogre, and if you really want to use sun support, might as well go with Ninetales in OU.

So, Primal Groudon may have all these advantages, but what does it suffer against? Well, that all depends on the set. If it’s defensive (which is pretty much guaranteed if it sets up Stealth Rock), Rash Life Orb Landorus-I has at least a 75% chance to OHKO with Earth Power, regardless of Primal Groudon’s spread. (Keep in mind that Primal Reversion happens instantly, meaning Groudon can’t just stay in its base forme to take the hit.) Cloud Nine Golduck can guarantee an OHKO with Hydro Pump on any variant (on extra specially defensive variants, Surf is not enough for the guarantee), and it can switch into an uninvested Earthquake, even with Stealth Rock on the field, but it must be wary of Precipice Blades (which is a guaranteed OHKO with Stealth Rock and a 25% chance without), and…well, it’s Golduck. Choice Band Rayquaza can switch into anything but Stone Edge and, in return, guarantee a 2HKO (unless it gets burned by Fire STAB) with Earthquake on any variant. Even if burned, it has a good chance to 3HKO specially defensive variants. Ground Arceus can OHKO most variants with +2 Earthquake (and has a 68.8% chance of doing so against 248/252+), but it would be a shame if it got burned, and it doesn’t take Primal Groudon’s Fire STAB very well.

0 Atk Groudon-Primal Fire Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Arceus-Ground in Harsh Sun: 172-204 (45.1 – 53.5%) — 35.2% chance to 2HKO

0 SpA Groudon-Primal Lava Plume vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Arceus-Ground in Harsh Sun: 157-186 (41.2 – 48.8%) — guaranteed 3HKO

Also, defensive Primal Groudon hates Primal Kyogre switch-ins.

If it’s offensive and it has Rock Polish and/or Swords Dance, however, that’s kind of a problem. If it’s Adamant and already has a Rock Polish under its belt, it speed ties with max speed base 120 Choice Scarf users, meaning…maybe Scarf Darkrai can shut it down with Dark Void? Maybe Scarf Shaymin-Sky can flinch it to death? The conundrum, though, would be figuring out whether it’s Adamant or Jolly. If it’s Jolly, you would need base 140 Speed to cut past it with a Choice Scarf, which sucks because no intelligent Deoxys-A would run Choice Scarf (and, if it goes this unwise route, it has a 62.5% chance to OHKO with Psycho Boost).

If it has Swords Dance, first off, keep in mind that Unaware users are not checks.

252+ Atk Groudon-Primal Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Quagsire: 220-261 (55.8 – 66.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ Atk Groudon-Primal Precipice Blades vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Clefable: 241-285 (61.3 – 72.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

That aside, physically defensive Giratina can take Primal Groudon’s hits pretty well, as long as the latter is not at +4, and use Dragon Tail or Roar to phaze it out. Lugia can take a Stone Edge with Multiscale intact (at all stages except +6, in which case it has a 25% chance to OHKO) and can force Primal Groudon out with Whirlwind, but without Multiscale, it does not appreciate a +2 Stone Edge. (Fire Punch is not so much a problem, so Lugia is a much better stop to Primal Groudon that lack Stone Edge.) Speaking of which, Ho-Oh resists Primal Groudon’s dual STABs, but it obviously gets wrecked by Stone Edge. Skarmory can take a hit with Sturdy and force Primal Groudon out with Whirlwind, and it can wall variants that lack Fire Punch (unless they set up to +6). Better yet, Air Balloon Heatran can completely halt variants that lack Stone Edge.

Simply put, Primal Groudon is a threat for which every Ubers team should be prepared.

One thing I failed to mention in my Kyogre post is that Primals, unlike Mega Pokémon, are not restricted to one per team. This means you can use Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, and…say…Mega Gengar on one Ubers team.

All right, that’s enough ranting. On with the sets.

Set 1: Defensive

Groudon @ Red Orb
Ability: Drought
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Earthquake
– Lava Plume
– Stealth Rock
– Roar

Once again, with its wonderful typing and Ability combination, Primal Groudon is effectively only weak to Ground, and it offers some useful resistances in Fairy, Fire, Steel, and Bug, not to mention its immunity to Electric and Will-O-Wisp, as well as a situational immunity to Water. That, along with its sheer bulk, gives Primal Groudon a relatively easy time setting up Stealth Rock to benefit the team. Earthquake is reliable STAB with decent offensive coverage, and Lava Plume is alternative STAB that has a good chance of causing burn and actually does slightly more damage than Earthquake under harsh sunlight (fun fact). This also makes it easier to deal with physically defensive Steel-types like Forretress and Skarmory. Roar is used in the last slot to prevent it from becoming fodder to setup sweepers. EVs are allocated to patch up its weaker defense and so that it takes slightly less residual damage from Toxic and hazards.

Set 2: Offensive

Groudon @ Red Orb
Ability: Drought
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Precipice Blades
– Fire Punch
– Rock Polish
– Swords Dance

Again, Primal Groudon’s typing grants it immunity to Thunder Wave and all forms of burn, making it a fearsome physical sweeper with its sky-high base 180 Attack. Precipice Blades is its strongest STAB move, slightly outdamaging Fire Punch in the sun. Its dual STABs have few resistances, all of which are Flying-type, and those can be broken through with the help of Swords Dance. It can also use Rock Polish to patch up its middling base Speed. Jolly nature is mainly to cut past Choice Scarf Darkrai and Shaymin-S after a Rock Polish. Max Attack and Speed are required for maximum offensive prowess.

Other Options

As mentioned, Stone Edge can be used to take care of Flying-types and prevent it from being stopped by Air Balloon Heatran. Dragon Tail can be used over Roar on the defensive set so that it can phaze out Taunt users (and Soundproof users, but they do not thrive in Ubers) and deal extra damage; however, Fairy-types like Xerneas cannot be forced out in this manner. Thunder Wave is an option in case Speed control is necessary, and then there’s Toxic for wearing down things that cannot be burned by Lava Plume. Substitute can be used on an offensive set as a one-time stop to priority users like Extreme Killer Arceus and Mega Kangaskhan, although that’s really the extent of it.

Sample Teams

http://pastebin.com/8rM67Nqg – team 1; contains defensive Primal Groudon

http://pastebin.com/LjUdcXwJ – team 2; contains offensive Primal Groudon

Both teams have been tested only once, and I can only conclude that the Uber tier is littered with players who have less of an idea what they’re doing than me, and that’s saying something.

Team 1 contains:

  • Primal Groudon (set 1 above)
  • Palkia as a switch-in to Primal Kyogre
  • Greninja for hazards and Taunting
  • Xerneas as a Fairy wall, Sleep absorber, and cleric
  • Mega Salamence for hazard control and a Ground immunity
  • Scarf Zekrom for Lugia, Ho-Oh, Kyogre, and strong offense in general

Team 2 contains:

  • Primal Groudon (set 2 above)
  • Deoxys-Speed for lead purposes
  • Zekrom for the same purpose as in team 1
  • Diancie for Magic Bounce
  • Dialga for backup Stealth Rock
  • Klefki for Prankster T-wave and Spikes

Top Three Thursday 10/1/15: Advice I would give to new Twitch users

Twitch.tv is a top streaming website where people stream media (mostly video games) live and receive input from a chat full of users talking amongst themselves or to the streamer. However, for those who are new to Twitch and have never used chat before, I have some advice. (Keep in mind that this may apply to not-so-new Twitch users as well.)

3. Know your emotes

If you don’t know your basic emotes, like Kappa , FrankerZ , and BibleThump , educate yourself at twitchemotes.com. It may save questions about “emoji”, and most of the global emotes have descriptions when you click on them, so that you won’t have to ask about the origin of emotes either. For instance, when you click on Kappa, it shows this:

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 2.19.44 PM

Also, if an emote code appears as text, it means one of three things:

  1. The emote code has at least one non-space character adjacent to it. For example, typing “OpieOP/” appears as “OpieOP/”, not “/”. This update occurred a few months ago, but some people still don’t seem to get it.
  2. The user does not have sufficient privileges to post the emote. This applies to Twitch Turbo emotes (KappaHD, MiniK, copyThis, pastaThat, imGlitch) and subscriber emotes.
  3. The emote is either FrankerFaceZ or BetterTwitchTV, and you have not downloaded the extension in question. This is why you may see text like “ZreknarF” (FFZ) or “FeelsBadMan” (BTTV).

On that note, it’s important to know your extensions, and I mean study the settings thoroughly. In FrankerFaceZ, click the gray  icon in the chat box, which will pull up a menu not only showing the channel’s custom emotes but three other menus as well. The gear is where the settings are found. A feature of which I would especially like to raise awareness is the “Enter Emoji By Name” feature.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 11.21.26 PM

FrankerFaceZ emote tooltips are capable of showing emoji codes, but typing the codes won’t result in emoji unless this setting is turned on. Hopefully now I’ll see less “:+1:” (for instance) as plain text.

BTTV settings can be found by expanding the left pane and clicking on the upside down red Twitch icon beside your username.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 11.27.01 PM

For users of BTTV, remember to turn on “BetterTTV GIF Emotes” before asking what happened to “SourPls” or “(ditto)” or whatever.

I guess the main point is: look before you leap.

2. Respect the streamer and the other chatters

They’re humans, and you are too (most likely). Don’t just belt out an insult and expect to get away with it without a fair warning. Don’t post random/obscure links without permission, and use emotes carefully. Remember: adding  to the end of a hateful comment doesn’t always (if ever) justify it. If you get purged or timed out for doing something wrong in chat, don’t do it again. Above all, don’t complain about how the chat is moderated; it only makes things worse. What can I say? Use common sense. It’s not that hard. Some streamers handle misconduct better than others, but it’s safest just to be as careful as possible, which brings me to my next point…

1. Read the title and/or info before asking questions

Even if you’re on mobile…at least try. Or, just use mobile exclusively for the streams you’re familiar with. I’m tired of seeing, “Oh, I’m on mobile so I can’t read the title” as an excuse for a question that can be answered by reading the title. Look before you leap. (Also, I wouldn’t recommend Twitch mobile unless it’s your only resort. Then again, I’ve never used it.)

If you enter a stream for the first time, the first place you want to check is the info, which can be found by scrolling down on a normal web browser. The info should tell you everything you need to know about the streamer. Some combination of FAQ, rules, social media, etc. can be found down there. Don’t ask questions before reading the info, or else your question may be one that can easily be answered by the info.

 

Man, all I’ve said in this entire post is along the lines of “use common sense” and “look before you leap.” Well, sometimes obvious advice is the best advice. Still, though, I’m not trying to be forceful; I’m just giving advice. I will admit that I’ve had my share of dumb mistakes, and I’m not even going to pretend that I’m perfect. It’s…again, just advice. (Also, I could have posted this earlier (and maybe better), but my laptop lost its ability to connect to WiFi during classes. Thankfully, it’s all fixed now.)

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