Update: Now focused on weekends

Nowi Wins Salutations. I’m the guy who does this blog thing, and I’m here to bring news. In light of receiving an internship with 7-3:30 workdays and a 1-hour commute (thereby being required to be up by 5:30), I realize that my current schedule is kind of a flop, especially considering Spontaneous Series Saturday never actually happened (but it was spontaneous all the same, if you catch my drift). This was made especially evident last night, when I slept at midnight and woke up 4 hours later, all in a successful although risky attempt to publish the most recent Poké Monday before midnight. I was fortunate enough to not fall asleep on the job, but I never want to take that risk again.

For that reason, I am proposing a new idea for this blog: Whimsical Weekend. It’s like Spontaneous Saturday, only it can be applied to Sunday as well. Every other weekend, I will talk about…basically whatever’s on my mind and in my element.

In spite of what happened last night, Poké Monday will still be running, although I will make sure that I don’t wait until the last minute and instead have installments ready before I sleep (preferably by 11 PM) on the Sunday prior. That’s what’ll be happening every other other week.

Sadly, those are officially the only two series of this blog…but, here’s another budget-quality banner:

wow it's effing nothing

Okay, that’s all I have to say.

Nowi Wins À la prochaine…j’espère. (Until next time…I hope.)

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Dratini (Poké Monday 7/18/16)

 RNG (Dratini)

Tier: LC
Type: Dragon
Base Stats: 41 HP, 64 Atk, 45 Def, 50 Sp.Atk, 50 Sp.Def, 50 Speed
Abilities: Shed Skin, Marvel Scale (hidden)

Usable moves: Agility, Aqua Jet, Aqua Tail, Blizzard, Body Slam, Double-Edge, Draco Meteor, Dragon Dance, Dragon Tail, Extreme Speed, Façade, Fire Blast, Flamethrower, Frustration, Haze, Hidden Power (Fighting, Grass), Ice Beam, Light Screen, Outrage, Protect, Rest, Return, Sleep Talk, Substitute, Surf, Thunder, Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, Toxic, Waterfall

Not listed but somewhat usable: Iron Tail

Overview

Thanks to the introduction of the Fairy type, Dragons are not nearly as viable as they used to be, and Dratini is no exception. Its lack of physical coverage against Steel-types and lack of Dragon Claw or Dual Chop don’t help its cause, although it does have arguably the best all-around stats of its draconic kindred; its Attack is decent, and all its other stats are average. It’s also one of two Pokémon in the tier with access to Extreme Speed (the other being Zigzagoon), giving it the privilege to cut past +1 priority abusers such as Fletchling. Moreover, while Zigzagoon is 10 base points faster than Dratini, the latter can check (weakened) variants that lack Speed investment, which are actually the norm. Another quirk that distinguishes Dratini from its fellow dragons is access to Shed Skin, which grants a 1/3 chance of curing a paralysis or burn that could otherwise put a damper in its sweeping potential.

In essence, Dratini may flop against Fairies and (mostly) Steels, but otherwise it’s a notable priority attacker with decent offensive prowess.

Set

Dratini @ Life Orb
Ability: Shed Skin
Level: 5
EVs: 244 Atk / 36 SpD / 196 Spe
Adamant Nature
IVs: 17 HP
– Outrage
– Dragon Dance
– Extreme Speed
– Iron Tail

This is the primary type of set to run when considering Dratini. Outrage is its most powerful attack and most preferable choice of STAB. Dragon Dance boosts its Attack and Speed to 25 and 21, respectively, letting it cut past all Pokémon in the tier lacking Choice Scarf and giving it some extra bite. Extreme Speed gives it priority to defy faster Scarf users and most opposing priority. Iron Tail is there in case it needs to take out a weakened Fairy on its own; however, having Iron Tail does not mean that you should consider preparing a sweep when the opponent has a full-health Fairy waiting in the wings. Here’s why:

+1 244+ Atk Life Orb Dratini Iron Tail vs. 212 HP / 196+ Def Eviolite Spritzee: 21-26 (77.7 – 96.2%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

244+ Atk Life Orb Dratini Iron Tail vs. 36 HP / 196 Def Eviolite Snubbull: 16-21 (69.5 – 91.3%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

This is assuming that Dratini has already set up a Dragon Dance, and it’s much worse off without. Besides the inability of Iron Tail to be a standalone answer to Fairies, that 25% chance to miss could play a crucial role in how it actually fares against Fairies.

Adamant nature maximizes power, but the rest is pretty much a sandbox. The EV spread is a more offensive take, which uses a bit of Sp.Def investment to prevent Download Porygon from gaining +1 Sp.Atk on the switch in, as well as a deliberately lowered HP IV for a stat of 19 (which makes Life Orb recoil do 1 damage).

A more defensive approach, however, would be to use Eviolite with an EV spread of 28 HP / 164 Atk / 76 Def / 36 SpD / 196 Spe. This grants it better bulk while not cutting too much off its Attack stat, although the loss of Life Orb hinders its offensive prowess to some degree.

Other Options

Using its decent Special Attack stat and Fire Blast, Dratini can make a decent lure for Steel-types such as Pawniard and Ferroseed.

196+ SpA Life Orb Dratini Fire Blast vs. 0 HP / 116 SpD Eviolite Pawniard: 18-23 (85.7 – 109.5%) — 75% chance to OHKO

196+ SpA Life Orb Dratini Fire Blast vs. 84 HP / 148+ SpD Eviolite Ferroseed: 26-31 (118.1 – 140.9%) — guaranteed OHKO

Note that it also has the highest Special Attack stat of any Dragon-type in the tier besides Goomy, and therefore one of the most powerful Draco Meteors.

One thing to note when going mixed, however, is that a Defense-hindering nature renders it prone to being KO’d by Pawniard. Therefore, Rash nature is worth the risk of giving Download Porygon a Sp.Atk boost.

That’s about it, though, really.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/F5THnxWy – Keep in mind that I have had no time to test this team because of an internship.

This team contains:

  • Dratini (set above)
  • Foongus as a bulky pivot in general, particularly for Fairies
  • Ponyta for Steel-types
  • Chinchou to complete the Fire-Water-Grass core (a good beginner tactic in teambuilding)
  • Pawniard because it can be slapped on any team (I hate to say it, but it’s true)
  • Spritzee as a cleric and ironic Dragon-stopper

Phoenotopia – How to softlock in less than a minute (Thought Dump Thursday 7/14/16)

This is a neat little application of a glitch in the game known (to me) as Pot Head Clipping, which I have described in detail in Thought Dump Thursday 3/3/16.

The procedure is simple:

  1. Start new game
  2. Exit Gale’s house
  3. Enter leftmost building
  4. Set up pots as follows
    Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 9.56.18 PM
  5. Jump
  6. ???
  7. Profit (literally, there’s a chest with 25 Rai in there )

If you manage to get behind the anchor boxes without the Wooden Bat, there’s no way out. Regardless which anchor box(es) you hit with the chest, the box(es) will not move far enough and will not take enough damage to break. Also, because they are anchor boxes, they cannot be pushed like other boxes can.

For the record, my definition of “softlocking” in this game is forcing yourself into a situation that you can only escape by reloading the page. Keeping this definition in mind, the methodology presented above is the fastest way to truly softlock the game, and one of only two. The alternative method is to roll into a small dead-end passageway that ends up blocked off by some sort of container, an example of which is demonstrated in the GIF below.

On the other hand, there are many more ways you can pseudo-softlock; i.e., force yourself into a situation that can only be escaped by reloading the page or dying. In fact, if you remember this image:

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 8.35.49 PM

This is one such example. Notice that the only way out of the situation is to reload the page or use the Bombs to gradually reduce your HP to 0.

Some other examples of pseudo-softlocking that I can name off the top of my head are: Pot Head Clipping between the two locked doors in Bandits’ Lair; Door Pushing the aforementioned two locked doors (or unlocking one and Pot Head Clipping past the other) and entering the boss door (which resets the doors’ positions and leaves you with no way back but reloading or suiciding); and initiating the Big Eye fight from outside of the barricades (which leaves you in a cut-off place where you can only stand on the right or fall to the left). Speaking of the last case, if you initiate the Big Eye fight from afar and pass through the doorway on just the right frame, you’ll end up on the far right side of the save statue room with an invisible barrier just to the right of the aforementioned doorway. (In this situation, there’s not even anywhere to fall.)

Nowi Wins That’s all for today. I really didn’t have anything special to talk about, so I felt like dropping a little Softlocking 101.

Maractus (Poké Monday 7/4/16)

 RNG (Maractus)

Tier: PU
Type: Grass
Base Stats: 75 HP, 86 Atk, 67 Def, 106 Sp.Atk, 67 Sp.Def, 60 Speed
Abilities: Water Absorb, Chlorophyll, Storm Drain (hidden)

Usable moves: Bullet Seed, Cotton Guard, Drain Punch, Energy Ball, Façade, Frustration, Giga Drain, Grass Knot, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Ice), Hyper Voice, Knock Off, Leech Seed, Petal Blizzard, Petal Dance, Poison Jab, Protect, Rest, Return, Seed Bomb, Sleep Talk, Spikes, Spiky Shield, Substitute, Sucker Punch, Synthesis, Toxic, Wood Hammer

Overview

I wonder whose idea it was to add another cactus to the Pokémon franchise, let alone one inferior to the one introduced in Generation III. Then again, Cacturne is a tier above Maractus, so I guess the latter is the best cactus legal in PU.

Still, that doesn’t make Maractus entirely worth using, even in its native tier. In terms of raw stats, it is the strongest Grass-type special attacker in the tier, but it lacks the secondary STAB (and any non-Grass-type special attack besides Hidden Power) to measure up to the likes of Roselia, not to mention its lead is by the smallest of margins (i.e., only 1 point above Sunflora). On the flip side, its physical movepool is decent—consisting of good STAB and unorthodox options in Drain Punch, Knock Off, and Sucker Punch—but its base Attack leaves much to be desired (and the lack of reliable boosting moves doesn’t help its cause).

In terms of support options, I suppose it’s notable that Maractus is the only PU-legal user of Spiky Shield (brought to you by ΩRαS), but it evidently lacks the bulk to use the move properly. Spikes is also a nifty support option, but Quilladin and Roselia are objectively better users of the move (the former from more of a defensive standpoint and the latter from more of an offensive standpoint).

Maractus is tied with Tangela for fastest specially oriented Chlorophyll user, but Tangela is superior in that regard due to its greater bulk and access to Sleep Powder.

What can I say at this point? I guess you could try to make Maractus offensive, giving it Spikes and taking advantage of its odd movepool and quasi-unique access to Storm Drain (which, although redundant on a Grass-type, is virtually the only boosting option to which it has access).

Set

Maractus @ Life Orb
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 168 Atk / 252 SpA / 88 Spe
Mild Nature
– Giga Drain
– Sucker Punch
– Hidden Power [Rock]
– Spikes

This is a strange little mixed set that capitalizes on Maractus’s relatively high Special Attack, relatively unique ability in Storm Drain, and access to Spikes and Sucker Punch. Giga Drain is its STAB of choice; Energy Ball may be more powerful, but the passive recovery is too good to pass up (especially with Life Orb and no other form of recovery). Hidden Power Rock is (sadly) the best coverage option to go with its Grass STAB, dealing better damage to Fire-, Flying-, and Bug-types. Sucker Punch somewhat compensates for its low Speed tier and deals respectable chip damage even with Maractus’s merely average base 86 Attack. Spikes is a nifty hazard to which few PU-legal Pokémon but Maractus have access, so might as well make good use of it, right?

Life Orb is the obvious item choice to make the best use of its offenses, and Storm Drain is its best “don’t-get-outclassed” Ability option. As for the EVs, the Speed investment serves to creep past uninvested base 70s, even with the Speed sacrifice of Hidden Power Rock. The most notable base 70 in this case is Politoed, to whom this set can deal massive damage with Giga Drain (especially if given a Storm Drain boost) before it gets Ice Beamed. The choice of Mild Nature is to capitalize on its strong Special Attack stat while reducing the least worthwhile stat—in this case being Defense because it will most likely be taking special attacks if anything.

Other Option

The only other option is to not use Maractus. Plain and simple.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/am32eb7j – If I had to name one problem with this team, it’s that it has not much to show for offense aside from Floatzel and…admittedly, Maractus.

This team contains:

  • Maractus (set above)
  • Camerupt as a lure for Water-type attacks and a Stealth Rock setter
  • Floatzel to complete the Fire-Water-Grass core, and for strong offense in general
  • Armaldo for hazard control (and perhaps another lure for Water-type attacks)
  • Audino for clerical support
  • Ditto in case an opposing sweeper goes rogue enough that it’s beyond the control of the rest of the team (IVs tuned for Hidden Power Electric because a faster Water-type attacker is most likely to break down the rest of the team)