Feebas (Poké Monday 8/22/16)

 RNG (Feebas)

Tier: LC
Type: Water
Base Stats: 20 HP, 15 Atk, 20 Def, 10 Sp.Atk, 55 Sp.Def, 80 Speed
Abilities: Swift Swim, Oblivious, Adaptability (hidden)

Usable moves: Blizzard, Double-Edge, Dragon Pulse, Façade, Frustration, Haze, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass), Ice Beam, Light Screen, Protect, Rest, Return, Scald, Sleep Talk, Substitute, Surf, Toxic, Waterfall

Overview

Remember back in the olden days when Feebas used to be extremely rare? In its debut generation, it could only be found by fishing in a select few randomly generated spots in a certain area, so most people back then (myself included) would give up the search for this elusive Pokémon, even if it were for the sake of gaining access to its elegant evolved form, Milotic.

However, in spite of the rarity and evolved form of Feebas, the Pokémon itself is one of the worst in the entire game, let alone Little Cup. At least it stands higher, even if slightly so, than Magikarp due to its access to Adaptability and ability to learn anything apart from its notoriously lackluster level-up movepool of Splash, Tackle, and Flail. Not only does this include TMs and HMs such as Scald and Waterfall, but it also includes Egg and Tutor moves such as Haze and Dragon Pulse.

Although base 80 Speed is respectable for its tier and there are only 15 legal species in the tier that outspeed it naturally, that’s the only redeemable quality of Feebas. Its Special Defense sits at an okay base 55, but its other stats are…to put it bluntly, absolute trash. Access to Adaptability Waterfall or Scald may seem good on paper, but coming from a maximum Attack or Special Attack stat of 12 or 11 respectively…even with Life Orb, even something offensively slated like Bunnelby has a good chance of surviving. That aside, its coverage is nothing to write home about. It only has Normal (and Steel if you include Iron Tail) on the physical side, whereas the special side has Ice, Dragon, and Hidden Power. (Swift is not worth mentioning.)

In short, Feebas might not be the worst of its kind, but don’t expect it to do anything stellar.

Set 1: Special

Feebas @ Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability
Level: 5
EVs: 36 HP / 36 Def / 200 SpA / 200 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 Spe
– Scald
– Ice Beam
– Hidden Power [Fire]
– Confuse Ray

Although Feebas has higher max Attack than Special Attack by 1 point, its special movepool has significantly better coverage. Scald is its main STAB move that has the potential to score a burn. Ice Beam hits Grass-types that can take its STAB for days, even factoring in Adaptability and Life Orb. Hidden Power Fire is chiefly for Ferroseed, which hard-walls this set otherwise. Confuse Ray may be simultaneously filler and a cheap tactic, but it’s the best way Feebas can make use of its above average Speed in spite of the rest of its stats. Beware of Natu, though.

Nothing else really needs explanation. Life Orb and Adaptability for maximum damage output, EVs focused on offense, IVs changed for Hidden Power Fire…all that good stuff. Funnily enough, it requires 36 HP EVs for Feebas to achieve a stat value of 19, through which it can sustain the most possible turns of Life Orb damage.

Set 2: Physical

Feebas @ Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability
Level: 5
Happiness: 0
EVs: 36 HP / 236 Atk / 36 Def / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Waterfall
– Frustration
– Confuse Ray
– Tickle

In spite of Feebas’s lack of coverage on the physical side, this set brings out the best of its…uh…strengths?, notably its slightly stronger attacking stat and respectable Speed stat. Waterfall is physical STAB that, while it lacks the chance to burn, could potentially flinch the opponent, which is another great way to make use of Feebas’s above average Speed. Frustration is for coverage, but sadly it doesn’t hit anything super-effectively. The choice between Return and Frustration is inconsequential in LC, but I feel like Frustration is more appropriate considering the Pokémon in question. Confuse Ray confuses the opponent as if it’s not confusing enough why you’re using Feebas in the first place and could potentially offer a free turn along with some chip damage. Another neat little asset on the physical side is Tickle (not to be confused with Tackle), which makes the opponent more vulnerable to Feebas’s mediocre offensive presence and also increases damage inflicted through confusion. Once again, though, beware of Natu.

In terms of other set details, nothing differs from the previous stat except the invested attacking stat, IVs, and happiness.

Other Options

Iron Tail can be used on the physical set to hit Fairies. Dragon Pulse hits Water-types neutrally on the special side. An alternative choice of Hidden Power (Electric or Grass) can be used to hit said Water-types super-effectively. Surf could be used for more immediate power, but the burn chance of Scald is too invaluable, especially for something as weak as Feebas. Toxic lets Feebas inflict residual damage, particularly to anything immune to burn, but its use is questionable in LC. Blizzard is a stronger but very inaccurate alternative to Ice Beam. Light Screen can make Feebas a team player, but too bad it lacks the other screen. Façade can be used on the physical set as a way to alleviate the event that it gets burned. Haze might prevent it from being setup fodder, depending on the situation.

Sample Teams

http://pastebin.com/7Wvb8BkY – A team involving the physical set because I prefer the idea thereof over that of the special set; moreover, if I were to create a sample team for both sets, it would basically be the same team twice, just with slightly different Feebas.

This team contains:

  • Feebas (set above)
  • Dwebble for hazards
  • Sandshrew as a hazard clearer, backup Stealth Rock user, and sort of physical wall
  • Larvesta to cover up the Grass weakness
  • Abra for special offense
  • Fletchling for priority and general sweeping
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Another schedule change

Yeah, I’m doing this again. Apparently, as occupied as I am with the internship (which is more than I had initially thought), even limiting my activity on this blog to weekends doesn’t seem to be enough for me. In that sense, all I can think to do is limit it to every other weekend, starting this weekend when I will have the next Poké Monday posted.

Nowi Wins That’s all that I feel like saying for now. Please understand.

My thoughts on Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 2nd season (Whimsical Weekend #1)

It’s been about two months since this anime finished airing, and a review of the second season has been on my mind for about that long, but I had a hard time bringing myself to do so. That said, now is the time to come clean about my thoughts.

Foreword

To start, I shall restate my thoughts on the first season. Gakusen Toshi Asterisk can simply be described as a sci-fi harem with some perverted elements. Perhaps it’s because I’m a sucker for some of these perverted elements that I became interested in the first place…particularly the scene in the beginning where Ayato (the protagonist) accidentally sees Julis (the deuteragonist) changing. Then I was drawn into the lore and all that jazz about superpowers, rankings, six different schools, some tournament, and the mystery behind Ayato’s sister Haruka. Over the course of the anime, the one character that I really came to like was Saya Sasamiya.

Admittedly, though, the problems that I had at the end of the first season were as follows:

  • Most of the perverted moments were centered around Claudia or Kirin, both of whom were two of my least favorite characters at the time (and I have reasons for that).
  • The harem stuck around until the end, which made me hope that such would be resolved by the airing of the second season.
  • The opening and ending theme songs were nothing special.
  • There were still loose ends to tie with regards to the rest of the tournament and Haruka. In particular, Saya didn’t get to exact her revenge on Camilla Pareto, who insulted the legacy of her father.

I suppose that about covers everything for the first season.

Second Season Thoughts

In a nutshell, the second season of Gakusen Toshi Asterisk involves toning down the perverted elements (although not completely) in favor of the continuation and finishing of the tournament (Phoenix Festa), further progress towards uncovering the mystery behind Haruka, and the introduction of new characters and new conflict.

The theme songs are a little more upbeat (and I would argue better) than those of the first season but still not to my liking.

In regards to character likability, I would say that pretty much all of the character evaluations that I made in Cavalry vs. Asterisk part 3 remain unchanged…except that of Kirin. Because of her valiant efforts in fighting AR-D and Wernher in episodes 4-5 and 8 respectively, I’ve warmed up to her enough to assign her a likability percentage of 33% instead of 25%. In other words, now that I think about it, in spite of her annoying character traits, her combat style is appealing to watch.

More than that, they actually managed to introduce a character even worse than Claudia: Flora Klemm. Her voice is the actual most annoying I’ve ever heard, and her contribution to the plot boils down to being someone from Julis’s past and becoming a damsel in distress. If I had to assign to her a likability percentage, it would actually be 2%, and the sole reason for it not being 0% is because…well, she’s a character. What can I say? No character deserves a 0% rating, no matter how trash.

By the way, like I used to in my former anime reviews, I feel like naming off my top three favorite characters:

  1. Saya Sasamiya. She’s been my favorite since the second half of the first season, and I’ve already explained why. To summarize what I’ve said before: great voice, one of few firearm users, kuudere, cute sleepy appearance, indifferent about nudity, and perceptive to injustice. In the second season, she doesn’t seem to have changed much as a whole, but she revealed an amazing trump card near the end of episode 4:
    Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 9.12.39 PM
    …Yeah. A jetpack with dual cannons. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me.
  2. Julis-Alexia von Riessfelt. She has the best voice in the anime and is definitely the one most likely candidate for Ayato among the harem that has developed around him…if only because she’s the first girl that he met when he transferred to Seidoukan. Aside from her voice, her primary distinction amongst the other characters is that her figure is just the right combination of subtle and sexy in that it’s not too flat but not too distracting. Also, she’s pretty cool in general, even if the reason for that is because of the “tsun” part of her tsundere personality. Speaking of which, she never really expresses the “dere” part of her personality except towards what she holds dear, mainly the orphanage from which she was raised. Still a pretty good character all in all.
  3. AR-D. It may seem odd to include a non-human character in my top 3, but AR-D is sentient enough for that to be justified. A bulky automaton built by Ernesta Kühne that not only wields a hefty sledgehammer-like weapon and knows how to use it, but also adapts to the combat styles of others, as evidenced in its duel with Kirin. AR-D, made to fight alongside RM-C in the Phoenix Festa, would normally grant a one-minute grace period to their opponents before commencing their attack, but once its protection was breached by Kirin, they knew that they had to take their gloves off eventually. Speaking of their duel against Saya and Kirin, AR-D and RM-C even had to reveal their special technique involving AR-D using RM-C’s armor to increase its mobility. As a character, AR-D usually puts on a bravado but sometimes ends up becoming the butt of a tsukkomi comment by RM-C. In a nutshell: funny character, strong combatant. (Likability percentages: 80% for AR-D, 75% for RM-C)

Aside from all the characters and whatnot, the conclusion of the anime wasn’t too conclusive, considering there are still some loose ends to tie up, namely: When does Ophelia end up having her curse undone or whatever? When will Haruka regain consciousness if at all? What about the “Gryps Festa” mentioned throughout the season? The Shadow Stars are also not very well explained; all I can really gather about them is that Eishirou Yabuki is a part of them.

That’s to be expected of light novel adaptations, though. The time allotted in regards to episode duration just can’t contain enough to completely explain every little component of the plot, and the only way to get a complete grasp of what’s happening is to…well, read the light novel. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but there are some words that pictures fail to precisely explain. This is why I usually find action scenes in manga hard to follow.

The philosophy as a whole comes from the fact that I watched the Mondaiji anime (my personal favorite) and read the first two volumes of the light novel (from which the anime was adapted), and the light novel told so much that I felt like either I forgot or the anime omitted…not to mention there are even more volumes of the light novel from which to discover so much more of the story that it’s ridiculous.

In summary, not much has changed from season 1 to season 2 of Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, only my thoughts on a select few characters and the gravity of my honest disappointment at the loose ends that remain untied.

Afterword

All in all, I would have to give this series an overall rating of 8/10. It’s not bad, but there’s nothing particularly notable about it except for Saya Sasamiya and the sort of futuristic stuff such as her weaponry and the automatons of Arlequint (which is apparently the actual name of “Allekant”).

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

Sudowoodo (Poké Monday 8/1/16)

RNG (Sudowoodo)

Tier: PU
Type: Rock
Base Stats: 70 HP, 100 Atk, 115 Def, 30 Sp.Atk, 65 Sp.Def, 30 Speed
Abilities: Sturdy, Rock Head, Rattled (hidden)

Usable moves: Body Slam, Brick Break, Calm Mind, Double-Edge, Earth Power, Earthquake, Explosion, Façade, Fire Punch, Foul Play, Frustration, Hammer Arm, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ice), Ice Punch, Low Kick, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Rest, Return, Rock Polish, Rock Slide, Seismic Toss, Sleep Talk, Stealth Rock, Stone Edge, Substitute, Sucker Punch, Taunt, Thunder Punch, Toxic, Wood Hammer

Overview

Pure Rock. With more weaknesses than resistances, it’s not much to boast about. Although Rock is a solid offensive type (no pun intended), the issue with it is that physical Rock-type moves tend to be either relatively inaccurate or relatively weak. Its strongest STAB, Stone Edge, has 100 BP and 80% accuracy. A weaker alternative, Rock Slide, has 75 BP and 90% accuracy. Going even farther down the power tree (no pun intended), Rock Tomb has 60 BP and 95% accuracy. Finally, Smack Down is the only perfectly accurate physical Rock-type move with 50 BP. In the end, however, when it comes to slow Rock-types like Sudowoodo, you’re better off forgoing accuracy in favor of the irreplaceable power of Stone Edge.

Speaking about this wannabe tree, it is obviously unique in its own way, being the only non-Grass-type with access to Wood Hammer and one of only two fully evolved, PU-legal Pokémon with Rattled (the other being Dunsparce). However, the latter quirk is insignificant, as base 30 Speed is very slow even at +1; as such, in terms of Ability choice, Sudowoodo is always better off with its alternatives.

Access to Wood Hammer, on the other hand, is what prevents Sudowoodo from being completely outclassed by other similar Sturdy Stealth Rock users, such as Golem and Gigalith. The main reason for such outclassing is because Sudowoodo’s base stats are so poor that all of Golem’s base stats are equal or better, all of Gigalith’s base stats except Speed are better, and all of Crustle’s base stats except Attack are better. Simply put, if a paltry base stat total of 410 isn’t convincing enough proof of being outclassed, I can’t imagine what else is.

Moving on, Sudowoodo’s unique access to Wood Hammer allows it to deal with opposing Water- and Ground-types better than any other Sturdy Stealth Rock lead. For instance, Wood Hammer guarantees an OHKO on offensive variants of Relicanth, whereas Golem’s Earthquake fails to do so. Additionally, the added effect of recoil at low HP allows it to KO itself and prevent any unwanted hazard removal, granted it moves first (which is usually the case if running Custap Berry). You could use Explosion for that purpose, but Wood Hammer hits Rock-types and Whiscash harder.

Along with access to Wood Hammer, Sudowoodo also has an Ability choice in Rock Head. While this Ability renders Sudowoodo vulnerable to moves that would normally OHKO, it negates the recoil from Wood Hammer, amping up Sudowoodo’s survivability in purely offensive and purely supportive roles, contrary to any offensive support role reliant on Sturdy.

In the end, Sudowoodo may be the first Pokémon to claim pure Rock typing, but its real niche lies in Wood Hammer.

Set 1: Suicide lead

Sudowoodo @ Custap Berry
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Stealth Rock
– Stone Edge
– Wood Hammer
– Explosion

With access to Sturdy, Sudowoodo can guarantee survival of any given attack from full HP. Barring any intervention from Taunt or various status conditions such as paralysis, this allows Sudowoodo to set up Stealth Rock, which deals important residual damage as the opponent switches around. Stone Edge is its strongest STAB and hits decently hard off its base 100 Attack. Wood Hammer allows Sudowoodo to hit Water- and Ground-types harder than any other Rock-type can dream to (and, as mentioned earlier, self-KO due to recoil prevents hazard removal). Neutral Explosion is 10 BP stronger than a super-effective Wood Hammer and is therefore a better last-ditch move in situations where the target is less than four times more resistant to Explosion than to Wood Hammer. (Note, however, that super-effective Stone Edge is 50 BP stronger.)

Nature and EVs are focused on offense to make it hit harder while outspeeding uninvested base 60s. You only need 244 EVs for this creep, but there is no use for bulk on a suicide lead, so you might as well go all the way. Custap Berry forms the essence of a suicide lead, allowing the user to gain +1 priority on the next move when at 1/4 HP or below. This helps for last-ditch attempts at damage, or an extra chance of setting up hazards if a one-turn intervention occurs prior to falling below the threshold.

Set 2: Pure offense

Sudowoodo @ Life Orb
Ability: Rock Head
EVs: 252 Atk / 12 SpD / 244 Spe
Adamant Nature
IVs: 29 HP
– Stone Edge
– Wood Hammer
– Earthquake
– Sucker Punch

This is a more offensive way to run Sudowoodo. Stone Edge for STAB, Wood Hammer as its niche. Earthquake grants coverage against Steel-types that would comfortably take Sudowoodo’s other attacks, and it provides a more reliable way of hitting Fire-, Electric-, and Poison-types. Sucker Punch helps, to an extent, with Sudowoodo’s low base 30 Speed by providing strong priority.

This time around, EVs are tuned for the aforementioned speed creep past uninvested base 60s, while the 29 IV in HP is to reduce its health value to a Life Orb number: 279 (which reduces Life Orb recoil to 27 per turn instead of 28). Choice of Ability is Rock Head so that Wood Hammer does not induce any recoil. Life Orb can be swapped for Choice Band for extra power and lack of recoil, but remember to fix the HP IV if going with this option, and keep in mind that the lack of freedom to choose between moves can be taxing at times.

Other Options

A fully supportive set would consist of Stealth Rock, Stone Edge, Wood Hammer, and Toxic, with a defensive EV spread rather than offensive. That’s about it, really.

Sample Teams

http://pastebin.com/018877PY – Lead Sudowoodo team

http://pastebin.com/0eUUHZc1 – Offensive Sudowoodo team

No time to test these teams because I’m up past the time I should be sleeping.

Team 1 contains:

  • Sudowoodo (set 1 above)
  • Floatzel for offensive prowess
  • Kadabra for the one-time survival factor and strong Special attacks
  • Armaldo for hazard control
  • Audino for general walling and clerical support
  • Misdreavus for the potential to sweep with Nasty Plot

Team 2 contains:

  • Sudowoodo (set 2 above)
  • Leavanny for Speed control with Sticky Web
  • Audino for the same reason as before
  • Misdreavus to cover up the gaping Fighting weakness
  • Armaldo for hazard control
  • Gorebyss for a potential sweep