I have been playing Pokémon Sun ((late) Whimsical Weekend #6)

(So much to write for such poor time management, so apologies for the late post.)

I made this evident in my update post before Poké Monday 11/28/16 (Mimikyu), but I have indeed been playing Pokémon Sun as of recently, and I wish to dedicate this post to elaborating upon my experience with the game.

To start, here is the team that carried me through the Elite Four:

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As you can probably tell by the word “Objets” (pronounced ohb-zhay) in the bottom-right, I did indeed decide to play the game in French, just as I always have ever since they introduced language selection (which was in X&Y). Although French is a second language to me (my primary language obviously being English), having the game in French isn’t too hindering, and it’s also fun that way. Besides, from what I know, the Masuda Method (a trick to increase the chances of getting a shiny from breeding) is only dependent on the language of the game from which the foreign parent originates, rather than the true nationality of the game. (My copy is North American.) So, playing the game in French is not entirely lying to myself, and it also has its benefits.

Anyway, on to describing the team (which is severely underleveled, and I will explain why later). I tried to make sure that the team was packing at least the following types: Ground, Ghost, Flying, Fairy, Steel, Dark, Fire, Water, and Grass; and, as usual, I wanted to avoid repeating types. Along with the six final team members above, there are numerous candidates that I considered and/or carried along prior to the Elite Four, and I will talk about those as well.

To bring back a certain formatting style from my Omega Ruby progress report two years prior (I can’t believe it’s been that long): Pokémon, natures, abilities, and moves will be named primarily in English with their French names in [] brackets.

Final team members

Algancre the Dhelmise [Sinistrail]
Level after E4: 49
Current level: 64
Nature: Lonely [Solo]
Ability: Steelworker [Expert Acier]
– Power Whip [Mégafouet]
– Shadow Claw [Griffe Ombre]
– Anchor Shot [Ancrage]
– Giga Drain [Giga Sangsue]

While I was considering the Grass part of my Fire-Water-Grass core (I had already decided the Fire and Water parts), this candidate was where my final decision, which I made just before the Elite Four, rested. I encountered it at level 43 and could not be bothered to grind it against wild Pokémon, so I brought it in pretty much as is. While it hits really hard and technically has three STABs (thanks to Steelworker), it is weak to rather common types (including one of its own), is extremely slow, isn’t quite up to par in terms of bulk, and has missed Power Whip way too many freaking times. Name is a portmanteau of “alga” and “ancre” (anchor), because that’s probably what I would have named it if I were in charge of the nomenclature.

snek the Zygarde [Zygarde]
Level after E4: 52
Current level: 64
Nature: Hasty [Pressé]
Ability: Aura Break [Aura Inversée]
– Thousand Arrows [Myria-Flèches]
– Rock Slide [Éboulement]
– Core Enforcer [Sanction Suprême]
– Dragon Dance [Danse Draco]

“A legendary? Blasphemy!” I wouldn’t be surprised if that were a thought lingering in someone’s mind right now. Well, I had been using Zygarde ever since I was able to obtain the 10% Forme on Route 16, mostly because it serves as my Ground-type and has great synergy with the rest of my team. Back when it was 10%, it was very fast and reasonably strong, but also rather frail. Now, however, it serves as nothing short of a backbone for the team. Respectably bulky in spite of its defense-hindering nature, still reasonably fast in spite of its lowered Speed, and still just as strong as ever (well, with a slightly stronger Core Enforcer). Above all else, Thousand Arrows is awesome; Ground has amazing coverage as it is, and Thousand Arrows does neutral damage to airborne targets before they are smacked down. Speaking of airborne targets, Rock Slide has been helpful against some Flying-types (particularly the fiery kind) as well. The nickname “snek” is a deliberate misspelling of “snake” (based on a meme). When this Zygarde was 10%, though, it used to be named FrankerZ after the big dog on Twitch. As for 100%…well, I’m not considering advancing that far until I’m done with the current Zygarde. As I have read, if you combine all 100% of the Zygarde cells, there’s no going back. (Make no mistake, though, I have collected all 100 cells; I just opt to keep the 50% Forme around until further notice.)

Ao the Ninetales [Feunard] (male)
Level after E4: 51
Current level: 65
Nature: Bold [Assuré]
Ability: Snow Cloak [Rideau Neige]
– Ice Beam [Laser Glace]
– Dazzling Gleam [Éclat Magique]
– Psyshock [Choc Psy]
– Nasty Plot [Machination]

Like Algancre, Ao was another member whom I brought on board as late as just before the Elite Four. (Ao, however, was caught at a higher level: 47.) I was considering using the S.O.S. Battle mechanic to go for one with Snow Warning, but I decided that that Ability would be too much of a hindrance to my team as a whole. As for the reason why I included this member in my team…well, to be honest, I had been considering adding Alolan Sandslash to the team ever since my first encounter with Sandshrew, but, 3/4 through the game, I did some research and came to realize a vital and disappointing fact: Alolan Sandslash is Moon-exclusive.

I usually decide what version to buy based on the cover legends and how the titles feel in general, and that led me to choose Sun over Moon; in other words, I paid no heed to any other version exclusives such as Ninetales and Sandslash. To make matters worse, this isn’t the first time I’ve chosen a Pokémon game version preventing me from getting Sandslash; in fact, I would go as far as to say that the Pokémon itself has been eluding my version choices…even as early as Gen II, where I chose Silver (and Sandslash is Gold-exclusive). In Gen III, I chose FireRed, and Sandslash is LeafGreen-exclusive. So…well, after twelve freaking years, the curse of the elusive Sandslash returns anew. (Hey, man, I like Sandslash, and it would have been a great Steel-type addition to the team.)

Anyway, rant aside, since I was so bothered at being unable to obtain Alolan Sandslash, I decided to make do with what I had and get myself an Alolan Ninetales instead. It’s no slouch in terms of offensive prowess (and serves as the only dedicated special attacker of the entire team), but it’s actually slower than Zygarde, presumably because of Zygarde’s Nature advantage and extra EVs. The nickname “Ao” reflects the blue coloration of Alolan Ninetales, and it’s also based on an original character of mine (from a story that I discussed in a former Vouiv-review post) who is elementally affiliated with Spirit and capable of freezing things. (I mean, I couldn’t think of anything else to name a male Ninetales.)

Oh, and also: I had caught an Alolan Vulpix before the one that I ultimately settled upon, but I soft-resetted afterwards because I was not willing to put up with a Jolly-natured Ninetales.

Crusch the Skarmory [Airmure] (female)
Level after E4: 52
Current level: 64
Nature: Quiet [Discret]
Ability: Keen Eye [Regard Vif]
– Steel Wing [Aile d’Acier]
– Aerial Ace [Aéropique]
– Swords Dance [Danse-Lames]
– Autotomize [Allègement]

Named after Crusch Karsten from Re:Zero (my personal favorite character of the series) because of her affinity with wind and steel, this Pokémon was quite an oddity but also quite an asset to the team. I consider it to be an oddity because it possesses a terrible Nature and Ability and runs dual STAB with Double Dance (something that I never normally do in-game), not to mention I have never actually used Skarmory in an in-game team before. It has been of great help, though, with its awesome defensive typing, ability to take hits, and the occasions where it puts in work after setting up. It was caught on Route 17 at level 34, and it has served well since its debut.

Leonardo the Poliwrath [Tartard] (male)
Level after E4: 52
Current level: 64
Nature: Modest [Modeste]
Ability: Water Absorb [Absorb Eau]
– Scald [Ébullition]
– Brick Break [Casse-Brique]
– Psychic [Psyko] after E4; Poison Jab [Direct Toxik] currently
– Work Up [Rengorgement]

The Water component of my Fire-Water-Grass core ever since Brooklet Hill (granted it was after Lana’s trial), I caught this in the wild at level 14, and I was deliberately going for Water Absorb (and for a darn good reason). I also use this for super-effective damage against Normal-types thanks to its Fighting STAB (although it is a shame that I have to choose between Brick Break and Low Sweep—Focus Blast be darned despite the Nature), and Scald is arguably its best Water-type option in spite of the burn nerf as of the current generation. I had Psychic on it during the Elite Four, but after fighting Mina in Poni Gauntlet, I realized that having Psychic on Poliwrath was redundant with Ao having Psyshock, so I decided to replace Psychic with Poison Jab as I began to realize the value of having Poison coverage on the team. Work Up has come in handy on a few occasions, and my primary motive for using it is to prevent stronger Trainers from healing up if Poliwrath does less than half with any given attack. The nickname “Leonardo” comes from a chain association of Poliwrath with Battletoads and Battletoads with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I thought that the name “Battletoad” would be too predictable, so I shifted focus to TMNT and settled on the nickname Leonardo because both Leonardo and Poliwrath are associated with the color blue. (Another nickname idea I had was “Nyoron Cena,” but that sounded stupid the more I thought about it.)

Nyanta the Incineroar [Félinferno] (male)
Level after E4: 56
Current level: 67
Nature: Quirky [Bizarre]
Ability: Blaze [Brasier]
– Flare Blitz [Boutefeu]
– Darkest Lariat [Dark Lariat]
– U-turn [Demi-Tour]
– Flame Charge [Nitrocharge]

Goodness forbid, another anime-based nickname. It’s not even that good of a nickname for the final evolution, considering it’s awfully slow (although not as slow as Algancre) and looks more buff than its namesake, but hey, I couldn’t make a Cena reference because it’s been done before. I probably could have made a JoJo reference based on the French nomenclature of its Nature, but I haven’t watched nearly enough JoJo to dare to do so. I may have had something else come to mind, but I completely forgot, and it was probably dumb anyway.

Anyway, I settled upon the fire cat as a starter, simply because I’ve always been a cat lover. I was considering the grass owl as a secondary choice, but the second form of the evolution line turned me off. As for the water seal…to be completely honest, I just don’t like its design. I will concede that Primarina is the best final-form starter typing-wise and stat-wise, but the design is a like-or-dislike sort of thing, and I have to say that I am on the dislike side. At any rate, the fire cat has been strong throughout the entirety of its evolutionary cycle, but then it slowed down drastically when it hit the final stage of evolution. On most occasions, even Flame Charge couldn’t redeem its disappointing Speed. I think I was also using Flamethrower as primary Fire STAB before I got to Flare Blitz level, which is…perhaps not the best idea, although I would argue better than having to settle with the 95% accurate Fire Fang. The recoil of Flare Blitz is slightly detrimental, but the power side of the tradeoff is well worth the risk. Darkest Lariat is the best Dark STAB option, and U-turn in conjunction with Speed boosts from Flame Charge allows the fire cat to switch with style.

Regarding the name of Incineroar/Félinferno, I don’t really like the English or French name (especially English), but man, the German name, Fuegro, is freaking awesome.

Former team members

Note: These Pokémon are presented in reverse chronological order of being put into the PC. Also, the term “former” does not mean to imply that I did a Nuzlocke, because I didn’t. (I’m not masochistic enough to make a Nuzlocke of my first playthrough of a game.)

Doppel Jr. the Mimikyu [Mimiqui] (female)
Level: 47
Nature: Quiet [Discret]
Ability: Disguise [Fantômasque]
– Play Rough [Câlinerie]
– Shadow Claw [Griffe Ombre]
– Charm [Charme]
– Shadow Sneak [Ombre Portée]

Mimikyu was something that I’d been wanting to use ever since Acerola’s trial, but when I realized how popular it actually became later on, I decided to stray away from it while making changes to the team prior to the Elite Four. I will say, though: It has served well in spite of its subpar Nature, with its extremely useful Ability and awesome three-immunity typing making it a huge help in defeating Totem Kommo-o. (I will provide further detail later.) It’s had Shadow Sneak and Charm ever since I caught it (at level 30), whereas Shadow Claw was taught via TM and Play Rough was learned later, specifically after the Dragon trial (and I had to use Dazzling Gleam for Fairy STAB in the meantime). The nickname is inspired by the character Doppel from the series Monster Musume, and the “Jr.” part of the name comes from how Mimikyu’s disguise does not perfectly mirror Pikachu (contrary to the namesake of this one in particular).

Giroeuf the Exeggutor [Noadkoko] (female)
Level: 46
Nature: Quiet [Discret]
Ability: Frisk [Fouille]
– Grass Knot [Nœud Herbe]
– Dragon Hammer [Draco-Marteau]
– Sludge Bomb [Bomb-Beurk]
– Nature Power [Force-Nature]

I would have named it Girœuf if the in-game keyboard had a œ character, but alas I had to keep the “o” and “e” separate. (Regardless, I will henceforth write œuf because it looks nicer.) I had initially considered the nickname “Giriffraffe,” which is simply inserting “riff-raff” (branding for the craziest allowable posts of the KnowYourMeme forums) into the word “giraffe” (a creature that Alolan Exeggutor strongly resembles), because Alolan Exeggutor’s design is a literal meme. Later, however, I decided to keep it simple and just combine “giraffe” with “œuf,” the French word for “egg.” Like Algancre, it would have been a slow but strong and moderately bulky attacker, but I didn’t want to double up on Dragon-types and thusly ended up ditching Girœuf primarily in favor of Algancre. Speaking of Algancre, Girœuf was also caught at level 43, but since it was a temporary placeholder for the team prior to bringing Algancre aboard, it actually picked up a few levels.

Entoma the Charjabug [Chrysapile] (female)
Level: 41
Nature: Jolly [Jovial]
Ability: Battery [Batterie]
– Spark [Étincelle]
– X-Scissor [Plaie-Croix]
– Poison Jab [Direct Toxik]
– Thunder Wave [Cage-Éclair]

An odd little case, this one. First of all, its nickname is based on a character from Overlord whom I didn’t care about until the Ple Ple Pleiades special, just because it’s a bug and has an oddly shaped but likely-to-devour mouth. Second, I didn’t know how to evolve it at first (because I was trying to avoid looking anything up until just before the Elite Four, at which point I would reflect upon my team ideas and whether or not they’d work), so I just left it in its secondary form and slapped an Eviolite on it. Although I caught it at level 28 on Blush Mountain and took it through (I think) the entirety of Aether Paradise, it didn’t take me long thereafter to decide that its time was up. (I replaced it with Girœuf.) Still, it was fun to use with its paralysis shenanigans, decent bulk thanks to Eviolite, and passable offense.

Puff Mama the Cottonee [Doudouvet] (female)
Level: 36
Nature: Brave [Brave]
Ability: Prankster [Farceur]
– Giga Drain [Giga-Sangsue]
– Fairy Wind [Vent Féérique]
– Leech Seed [Vampigraine]
– Stun Spore [Para-Spore]

Terrible nature and meh nickname (I would have named it “Puff Daddy” if it were male, because the cotton aspect of the Pokémon made me think of the word “puff”), but this ‘mon has been a bulky asset to the team until I decided to replace it with Entoma after obtaining Doppel Jr. (because I didn’t want to double up on Fairies). If I hadn’t traded it off, I would have kept it until it learned Moonblast, but then I recently realized that only its evolution learns Moonblast by level-up (and, unfortunately, not until level 50). Regardless, it was a valuable asset, the Grass component of the imminent Fire-Water-Grass core, since I caught it in Melemele Meadow at level 10. Leech Seed is an amazing move in-game, providing gracious recovery and helpful passive damage at the cost of 10% inaccuracy and being ineffective against Grass-types (and Dark-types thanks to the Prankster nerf), and the STAB moves do wonders in withering down the opposition. Because I didn’t bother to evolve Cottonee while I had it, it was my primary Eviolite holder until Entoma came along, and it was respectably bulky when it acquired the Eviolite. Good times.

Harem the Dugtrio [Triopikeur] (female)
Level: 36
Nature: Naive [Naïf]
Ability: Tangling Hair [Mèche Rebelle]
– Magnitude [Ampleur]
– Metal Claw [Griffe Acier]
– Rock Tomb [Tomberoche]
– Growl [Rugissement]

I caught this as a level 8 Diglett in Verdant Cavern, which I had initially named Blondie (obviously after its hair color and partially after the artist), but then I had the wild idea of naming it Harem after its evolution (because, y’know, it’s a multitude of female heads, and that’s what a harem is all about). My thought process was that it would fill the Steel-type and Ground-type needs of my team, but I came to realize before long that it was too frail considering how much damage it could deal (especially with its low BP moves) and just couldn’t pull its weight as a whole. With that in mind, I eventually set it aside and had Crusch fill the Steel-type role and 10% Zygarde fill the Ground-type role.

Praline the Oricorio [Plumeline] (female, Pom-Pom Style)
Level: 36
Nature: Bold [Assuré]
Ability: Dancer [Danseuse]
– Air Slash [Lame d’Air]
– U-turn [Demi-Tour]
– Roost [Atterrissage]
– Feather Dance [Danse-Plume]

Caught at level 9 in Melemele Meadow, this ‘mon filled the Flying-type role for my team for a long time, and I wanted to believe that it could learn an Electric-type move as well, but its gimmick move Revelation Dance takes way too freaking long to learn (and it doesn’t get any other Electric-type attacks). I tried to make do with what I had, though, and I have to say: Even with a hindering nature and base 70 Attack, Acrobatics hit really freaking hard. That said, I decided to shift the moveset to one that plays more off its strengths and uses special STAB in tandem with U-turn and other supporting moves. Nonetheless, it ended up replaced by Crusch due to its way-too-long-lasting lack of secondary STAB and the change in formation of the team in general. Its nickname is based on a character of the same name in Bravely Default, specifically because of its tendency to dance, the white part of its body, and the similarity of its French name to the name Praline.

Agatha the Misdreavus [Feuforêve] (female)
Level: 30
Nature: Mild [Doux]
Ability: Levitate [Lévitation]
– Shadow Ball [Ball’Ombre]
– Psychic [Psyko]
– Charge Beam [Rayon Chargé]
– Taunt [Provoc]

Used to be my go-to Ghost-type until I obtained Doppel Jr. I encountered it at level 9 in the Hau’oli Cemetery, and its decent special offense and three immunities made it a respectable part of the team. Sadly, though, as it remained unevolved for the entire duration when I had it, it just couldn’t pull its weight as the game started to get harder (and Dusk Stone is awfully far through the game, Poké Pelago be darned). Generically named after the Poison-type member of the Kanto Elite Four who is also infamous for using Ghost-types.

MasterSensei the Machop [Machoc] (male)
Level: 21
Nature: Brave [Brave]
Ability: No Guard [Annule Garde]
– Brick Break [Casse-Brique]
– Low Sweep [Balayette]
– Knock Off [Sabotage]
– Foresight [Clairvoyance]

Served as a Fighting-type attacker since obtained via in-game trade at level 9, but it ended up being replaced in favor of Leonardo. I didn’t have any real fond memories of this thing, just that it was there in case Rock-types (or perhaps Normal-types) would become a problem. It would be named Macho if I had decided to play in English, but the French counterpart is MasterSensei (apparently).

Straw the Cutiefly [Bombydou] (female)
Level: 10
Nature: Sassy [Malpoli]
Ability: Honey Gather [Cherche Miel]
– Struggle Bug [Survinsecte]
– Fairy Wind [Vent Féérique]
– Absorb [Vol-Vie]
– Stun Spore [Para-Spore]

This was my designated Fairy-type between Route 2 and Melemele Meadow, before I realized that Cottonee was a better fit for me (and arguably a better Pokémon in general). Plus, its Ability and Nature are evidently sub-optimal.

le toucan the Trumbeak [Piclairon] (female)
Level: 14
Nature: Bold [Assuré]
Ability: Keen Eye [Regard Vif]
– Peck [Picpic]
– Echoed Voice [Écho]
– Growl [Rugissement]
– Brick Break [Casse-Brique]

This is the Route 1 bird, which I planned to keep until it reached its final evolution (hence the nickname), but I lost patience with it when an issue arose with the low BP of its STAB moves and the faultiness of its Nature (and, now that I look back at it, its Ability), so I replaced it with Praline, which had a superior typing and damage output.

Nermal the Meowth [Miaouss] (male)
Level: 7
Nature: Naughty [Mauvais]
Ability: Pickup [Ramassage]
– Bite [Morsure]
– Scratch [Griffe]
– Growl [Rugissement]

Just a seldom used 6th team member until I had a full synergetic team to assemble. Pickup is always nice, but I didn’t want to keep this around because I knew that the Fire starter would eventually evolve into a Dark-type (admittedly because I was spoiled before I started the game). The Garfield reference in the nickname is far too obvious, but I honestly couldn’t think of anything else.

Sacapatates the Makuhita [Makuhita] (male)
Level: 13
Nature: Modest [Modeste]
Ability: Thick Fat [Isograisse]
– Brick Break [Casse-Brique]
– Tackle [Charge]
– Focus Energy [Puissance]
– Fake Out [Bluff]

Haha, Modest physical attacker. This was my initial Fighting-type from Route 2 until the in-game trade Machop in the Pokémon Center thereof (although I believe I conducted the trade after completing the first trial). In spite of its terrible Nature, it served well for what it was worth. The nickname is a shortening of the phrase “sac à patates,” which can be translated to “potato bag,” because that’s just the type of wording I would use to describe Makuhita’s appearance as a whole.

Miracle the Magnemite [Magnéti]
Level: 11
Nature: Quiet [Discret]
Ability: Sturdy [Fermeté]
– Tackle [Charge]
– Thunder Wave [Cage-Éclair]
– Thundershock [Éclair]
– Magnet Bomb [Bombaimant]

Of all the nicknames that I have given in this playthrough, I would have to say that this is the one that I’m the most proud of. The chief reasoning behind it is because of the song Miracles by Insane Clown Posse, which contains the phrase, “magnets, how do they work?” It also fits well because of the Ability Sturdy, which allows the user to survive at 1 HP as if by a miracle. Anyway, nickname aside, this was my designated Steel-type from the Trainer School until I caught myself a Diglett. It was fun to use while it lasted.

Profiteur the Rattata [Rattata] (male)
Level: 7
Nature: Naughty [Mauvais]
Ability: Hustle [Agitation]
– Tackle [Charge]
– Tail Whip [Mimi-Queue]
– Quick Attack [Vive-Attaque]
– Focus Energy [Puissance]

Nickname is a reference to another Bravely Default character, mostly because of the moustache, buck teeth, and black outfit. Only saw a bit of action, specifically because I fear Hustle and, again, didn’t want to double up on Dark-types.

The rest are filler members: Nom the Yungoos [Manglouton], Foxy Grandpa the Ledyba [Coxy], and Wormy the Caterpie [Chenipan]. They honestly just filled up space while I was in the process of assembling a team of six.

Honorable mentions

Pokémon that I may have considered before but did not end up making the cut:

Fire-types that I would have considered using if I hadn’t picked the Fire-type starter.

Same as above, but substitute Fire for Dark.

My teambuilding process was so immunity-centric that I didn’t bother with types like Alolan Raichu, but perhaps I would have considered it otherwise.

The Water/Flying typing and regular access to Drizzle were tempting, but I’m sure I’ve used a Pelipper before, and I didn’t plan on using one again. Besides, Drizzle would have had bad synergy with my starter.

Similarly to Alolan Raichu, my teambuilding process was too immunity-centric for this thing.

I like the idea of Accelerock, but I find pure-typed Pokémon to be less preferable over dual-typed Pokémon.

An alternative Water-type that I would have considered if not for the reasoning above.

Ground-type and has an interesting Ability in Stamina, but again, it only has one type. Moreover, I couldn’t possibly grind a Mudbray up to a comfortable level for the Elite Four at the point I was at while deciding my final team.

I was a fan of stuffed toys when I was a wee lad (and I still have pretty much my entire collection), and Fluffy is a very interesting Ability, but I had already decided that Poliwrath was going to be my Fighting-type before I could even encounter a Stufful. I won’t knock the design of this one, just because of how funny it is in the anime (and the moments with the Bewear and Team Rocket led me to appreciate its appearance more than I ever could have imagined).

Definitely an interesting ‘mon in terms of its typing and unique Ability in Water Compaction, but I had the same sort of too-little-too-late syndrome to deal with as I did with Mudsdale.

I might have considered this if not for how late-game it is (in spite of its pre-evolutions being in the demo) and if I hadn’t already been using Zygarde and Poliwrath.

Hypothetical alternative team

You know, the previous section has me thinking: What if I had chosen Moon with Rowlet as my starter? Then perhaps the final team would look more like this:


Gaebora (Decidueye)
Ability: Overgrow
– Leaf Blade
– Spirit Shackle
– U-turn
– Roost

Cocytus [Hokuto if female] (Sandslash-Alola)
Ability: Snow Cloak
– Icicle Crash
– Iron Head
– Earthquake
– Protect

Kirche (Salazzle) (F)
Ability: Corrosion
– Flamethrower
– Sludge Bomb
– Dragon Pulse
– Toxic

Ty [Saya if female] (Pelipper)
Ability: Drizzle
– Hurricane
– Scald
– Tailwind
– Roost

Teddy (Bewear)
Ability: Fluffy
– Hammer Arm
– Facade
– Shadow Claw
– Pain Split

Intérieur (Krookodile)
Ability: Intimidate
– Earthquake
– Crunch
– Rock Slide
– Taunt

Legendaries and similar

Thought I was done talking about obtained Pokémon? Nah, man. I still haven’t covered the legendaries (and similar) besides Zygarde. (Note: All of them have their default movesets.)

During the main story, of course I had to catch this. Because I didn’t have any Adamant Synchronize users at the time, I had to soft-reset for the Nature the good old-fashioned way. It didn’t take too long, considering Quick Ball had a good chance of capturing and, failing that, I could just weaken it with snek and capture it in a Timer Ball or similar. The whole legendary-catching process makes me glad for two new mechanics:

  1. Upon capturing a Pokémon and being taken through the nicknaming process, you can view its status before sending it to the PC or including it in your party. This means no more having to put up with the rest of the game’s crud before being able to access the nearest PC. I feel like checking status could stand to be before the nicknaming process, but hey, you can’t win ’em all.
  2. Hyper Training means not having to worry about IVs anymore (barring Hidden Power types, and IVs kept purposely low (such as Attack for strictly special attackers and Speed for purposely slow attackers)).

I generically named this Solgaleo “King” for lack of anything better.

I don’t know whether to call this a legendary. There is only one, and it cannot be bred, but it can evolve into a Pokémon that has rather poor base stats for being fully evolved and is not banned in battle facilities or online play. Just as I have my doubts about it being a legendary, I named it “Gry” even though it’s not exactly a gryphon.

I also got the Nature for this one without Synchronize, and I went for Jolly, keeping in mind that I would evolve it into a Silvally. I mean, Eviolite Type: Null theoretically seems better, until you realize that not only is its Speed significantly lower, but it lacks reliable recovery. Taking that into consideration, my initial idea would be to run a Choice Scarf set with Return / U-turn / Parting Shot / Explosion (even though apparently Parting Shot, along with Memento, is banned from online play due to a glitch with Z-Parting Shot and Z-Memento that mysteriously causes the battle to disconnect…though I personally think it would have been a better idea to ban Darkinium Z). A set taking advantage of RKS System would be nice too, like with Ground Memory and a set of Swords Dance / Multi-Attack / Rock Slide / Fire Fang.

On the flip side, now that I reflect further on the potential of Arceus 0.5, perhaps a Timid nature could have worked with Z-Heal Block working as a makeshift Nasty Plot and benefitting its respectable Special movepool notably containing Tri-Attack, BoltBeam, Surf, Flamethrower, and Shadow Ball.

Prior to catching Nihilego was when I decided to go to the Hau’oli Market and go through the painful process of catching one Synchronize Abra for every Nature excluding Gentle, Lax, and the neutral Natures. Afterwards, it was obvious what Nature and nickname to give Nihilego. Its base stats have “Timid” written all over them, and its appearance has “Lilie” written all over it. (Her French name only has 1 L in the middle.) I decided to go for Hidden Power Ground as well, because it seemed to have the greatest coverage with its dual STAB. (I was also considering Hidden Power Fighting, but that Hidden Power is impossible on legendaries in Gen 6 and onward due to the mechanic of always having at least 3 perfect IVs.) This was reasonably easy to weaken with Leonardo’s Brick Break.

Because there were two Buzzwole in the Ultra Beast saga, I decided to get one Adamant and one Jolly, named “JOHN SQUITO” and “Protein” respectively. Base 79 Speed might not be all that impressive, but neither is base 53 Special Defense, even fully invested. It’s a shame that Pheromosa is Moon-exclusive (because Pheromosa is much more my style), but hey, at least Buzzwole presented a great opportunity for a Cena-inspired pun. I believe I weakened this one with Ao’s Dazzling Gleam and let Crusch take hits during the catching process.

Another Ultra Beast that presented itself as a pair. Obviously, I wanted both to have Hidden Power Ice, with one Timid and the other Modest. (The Timid one is named “Lanky” based on its body structure, and the Modest one is named “Créé” after another original character from the story I mentioned earlier.) This was easily weakened with the help of snek.

Okay, now this is just overkill. Not one, not two, not even three, but freaking four of the same Ultra Beast, let alone one of such a predictable nature as Kartana. Because it can really only play a role of semi-fast physical attacker based on its stat distribution, I decided to catch two Adamant and two Jolly—named “o,” “ri,” “ga,” and “mi” because I couldn’t come up with anything else. I used Crusch to weaken this one, and I have to say that Leaf Blade does impressive damage even when quad resisted.

Now this was a real pain to get, not only because of the reduced catch rate, but also because of the requirements that I imposed for it. Specifically, I wanted it to be Brave-natured with an exceptionally low Speed IV (0-2, tested based on turn order using Algancre’s Speed at the time) because…well, its stats are really weird, and I figured the best use for it would be as a Trick Room-based slow attacker. Its attacking stats are not all that impressive, but it is sluggish and lacks a reliable form of recovery, so an offensive set is honestly the best way to go with it. I was considering a set along the lines of: Draco Meteor / Crunch / Heavy Slam / Protect (with Life Orb). As for the nickname, I decided on “Utsu-P” based on their song EAT.

After the very annoying process of obtaining the right Guzzlord, it was the perfect time to redeem the event Magearna. What intrigued me most about this Pokémon is that it is the new slowest user of the rare combination of Trick Room and Volt Switch. With that in mind, of course I would go for Quiet Nature with low Speed. Surprisingly, after just a few resets, the Speed IV turned out to be in the 4-5 range! (No nickname, obviously, because it’s an event Pokémon.)

Then came the Tapus. Tapu Koko is another unfortunate case of having stats and movepool mixed up. Although its Attack is higher than its Special Attack, its physical movepool is pretty much limited to Electric/Flying/Bug (it gets Steel Wing and Thief, but those are pretty weak), whereas its special movepool is notably more colorful and actually has Fairy STAB. Sure, it could be possible to run a mixed set, but I felt like it would be better to go purely physical with a set like Wild Charge / Brave Bird / U-turn / Roost. Nicknamed “Falco” because it’s bird-like and lives on Melemele Island (which very much resembles “Melee-melee,” and Falco is a notable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee). By the way, I’m so glad that the game allows you to re-challenge Tapu Koko if you KO it after the Pokémon League.

Timid, please. Psyshock / Moonblast / Focus Blast / Taunt, or perhaps some other fourth move. As easy as it was to come up with a set for Lele, nicknaming it was not so easy. I mean, it’s supposed to be based on a butterfly, but what’s so “butterfly” about it? I dunno, I just ended up choosing its nickname based on the fact that it seems to be hiding in a pot-like shell…thing. Therefore, I named it “Magick Pot” (after an enemy in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 that behaves similarly).

Another addition to the physically-oriented-Fairy-that-doesn’t-get-physical-Fairy-STAB club. Honestly, why do they still not have a physical Fairy attack besides Play Rough? Regardless, I was debating what nature to run on Bulu, whether to just roll with Adamant or go with something bulkier, or perhaps faster in spite of its base 75 Speed. Even after a bit of research, I ultimately settled upon Adamant, and I nicknamed it “Wizpig” (after the villain of Diddy Kong Racing).

Argh, this one was such a pain to deal with. I had three difficulties in trying to get the right Tapu Fini:

  1. Catching it. I circumvented this difficulty using the Master Ball, and I will explain why. The primary reason is because of this darned move called Aqua Ring. The passive recovery makes it so that I would have to burn it to keep its capture rate in check, and obviously it’s protected from burn as long as Misty Terrain is in effect. My normal capturing process is to use Leonardo (taking advantage of the fact that Nature’s Madness is Tapu Fini’s only damaging move that works, courtesy of Water Absorb) to weaken it using Poison Jab and its STAB(s) to reduce it to as low HP as possible without KOing it, applying burn if it uses Aqua Ring. Even though all Tapus have the same capture rate (3), Fini is the only one against which I had occasions of failing to capture it before it KO’d itself with Struggle.
  2. Getting the right Nature (Timid). 50% is lower than you may think.
  3. Getting the right Hidden Power type. I was initially considering Fire based on research, but I feel like Ground has the best coverage overall. I mean, the only resistant typings to both of its dual STABs are Grass/Poison, Grass/Steel, Water/Poison, and Water/Steel; and Volcanion is resistant by Ability. Fire covers the Grass-types and hits Water/Steel neutrally, but it’s resisted by Water/Poison and (quad-resisted by) Volcanion. Sure, Shadow Ball hits all five neutrally, but Ground hits the Water-types super-effectively and the Grass-types neutrally. Regardless, of the 42 possible odd/even IV combinations on any given legendary Pokémon, 3 yield Ground, so the chances of getting such a Hidden Power are roughly 7%. (Note: Special Attack and/or Special Defense being perfect is a clear indication that it does not have Hidden Power Ground, so if it’s obvious which 3 IVs are perfect and SpA or SpD is among them, or if I see a characteristic like “Coquin” or “Un peu vaniteux” (which mean “Mischievous” and “Somewhat vain” respectively), I know to soft-reset and repeat the capturing process.)

Regardless, after many, many grueling attempts at getting the right Tapu Fini, I decided to nickname it “Kraken Zwei” as a reference to the Unlimited Fafnir light novel (specifically starting from volume 7). I don’t want to spoil too much, but the purple coloration, human-like appearance, and silvery hair are what influenced the nickname.

 

Dang, that was a lot, and it’s not even the end yet. I have yet to obtain Necrozma or Cosmog, but I will get to that shortly. Speaking of Cosmog, now that I think about it, Solgaleo with Z-Splash and Flame Charge seems awfully threatening.

Miscellaneous

My in-game identity is a male Trainer named Toru. The reason? I’ve been intrigued by that name ever since the first time I played FireRed, when I gave that name to my rival as one of the defaults. (Ah, the good ol’ days of playing as BEELEE♂…)

As for my experience as a whole, everything before the Elite Four was pretty much touch-and-go, barring a few select battles. Specifically, Totem Wishiwashi took a painstakingly long time to defeat (even with Puff Mama, which was my best bet for taking it on), and Totem Kommo-o was pure craziness. To elaborate further…

Against Totem Kommo-o, I led off with Mimikyu. Dazzling Gleam didn’t do much (especially with Mimikyu’s laughable Special Attack), and I learned that Kommo-o had Flash Cannon thanks to the Disguise. To make matters worse, Kommo-o even called a Scizor as an SOS Partner, so I just had to switch out. I switched specifically into Nyanta, which took negligible damage from Kommo-o’s Flash Cannon and Scizor’s Bullet Punch. Next, Kommo-o went for Sky Uppercut, which Nyanta survived at 1 HP thanks to its affection level and proceeded to destroy the Scizor with its Fire STAB. (I don’t remember whether it was Flamethrower or Flame Charge, but that doesn’t really matter.) Afterwards, I had to sac Nyanta to get a free switch into Leonardo, which inflicted chip damage with Psychic as Kommo-o summoned Hakamo-o and had it set up and clean up shop (mostly the former). Then I felt comfortable finally bringing Mimikyu back in, and it ended up barely surviving Flash Cannon (and apparently Hakamo-o had nothing to touch it) and securing the victory with Dazzling Gleam.

I have to say some of the music is good, especially these three particular tracks:

And speaking of the Elite Four, that is where I really started having problems. Throughout the prior stages of the game, I would use the Exp. Share sparingly, specifically only against Totem Pokémon and major Trainers such as the Kahuna, because of how ridiculous it was in Gen VI. However, when I realized how underleveled I was in comparison to the Elite Four, as well as how experience gain in Gen VII is more akin to that of Gen V, I wholeheartedly regretted not using the Exp. Share more often.

In spite of the circumstances, I did manage to push through the Elite Four without much worry (barring the way too many freaking times Algancre missed Power Whip), but the main issue was that freaking Champion. Honestly, his Primarina alone would have swept my entire team under ordinary circumstances, so I had to go into Algancre, give it my only X-Sp.Def at the time, and—get this—stall it out of Moonblasts. Yep, that was my strategy for eliminating that threat: just spamming healing items until it had used up all 15 Moonblasts. Braviary also gave me grief, considering Crusch was down (I think) and snek couldn’t take two Brave Birds, not to mention Ao wasn’t fast enough to outspeed. Thankfully, Brave Bird has the risk of recoil, which is what ultimately caused it to faint at the expense of Ao. But man, what a painful experience.

The post-game Dexio fight was also quite a bother. In fact, I was so ill prepared for it the first time around that I had to reset the game, and the last time I had saved was after beating the game. Heck, even when I actually gained some levels in the Ultra Beast saga, that Mega Alakazam darn near destroyed my team; I had to stall it out of Focus Blasts using Nyanta and Crusch, and then destroy it with a Darkest Lariat from Nyanta. Thankfully, though, that’s really all I struggled with (outside of the competitive facilities, for which I don’t even have a properly EV trained team). Now I know to actually use the Exp. Share instead of struggling to survive without it.

Another recent post-game project I’ve been considering is breeding for Snow Warning Alolan Vulpix with Freeze-Dry and Moonblast. I already did the Snow Warning part with the help of an Absol that I caught and made my designated SOS Battle abuser.

Kili the Absol [Absol] (female)
Level: 46
Nature: Jolly [Jovial]
Ability: Pressure [Pression]
– Night Slash [Tranche-Nuit]
– Bite [Morsure]
– False Swipe [Faux-Chage]
– Thunder Wave [Cage-Éclair]

Having looked up information about SOS Battles, I learned that three key components are essential: Adrenaline Orbs, the right Ability, and reducing the lone target to the right HP value. Thankfully Adrenaline Orbs are nice and cheap, and the Ultra Beast saga rewards you with a whopping 1 million PokéDollars, so I could just simply buy until I had 99. As for the Ability, Absol is the easiest Pokémon to acquire with any of the three SOS-provoking Abilities (Intimidate, Pressure, Unnerve) that also has access to False Swipe. As a bonus, Absol gets Thunder Wave to prevent a potential capture target (if applicable) from calling for further help and to make said target easier to capture. As for the rest of the moveset, since Dark-type moves have good enough coverage on their own, I decided to run two STAB moves while finding the right balance between PP, power, and not hitting both targets at once. Night Slash and Bite combined have 40 PP total, each having no less than 60 BP and only hitting a single target, making them ideal in this case scenario. Leftovers (stolen from a Munchlax on Route 1) helped in that I wouldn’t have to worry as much about damage taken, because I was hunting for Alolan Vulpix in Tapu Village (which also made it easier to tell whether an Alolan Vulpix has Snow Cloak or Snow Warning). By the way, the nickname “Kili” is another Unlimited Fafnir reference, and its namesake is pretty much the reason why I like the series so much in the first place.

So, with a Snow Warning Alolan Vulpix in tow (and a female no less), I just have to get the appropriate Egg moves onto it (and a better Nature considering it’s Jolly). However, therein lies a conundrum: The only conventional way to breed Freeze-Dry onto an Alolan Vulpix is by chain breeding from Aurorus to Lapras to Delibird, and Aurorus is not native to Alola. Therefore, the only (currently) possible way to breed Freeze-Dry onto Alolan Vulpix is by getting a Smeargle to learn it. Still, therein lies another conundrum: Double Battles are not as prominent in Alola as they are in other regions. The best way to circumvent this conundrum is through the use of SOS Battles. In other words, my plan for obtaining a Smeargle with Freeze-Dry is to get a Smeargle to 1 HP, bring in Glalie (which was the easiest way to get Freeze-Dry: to simply catch a Snorunt in the wild and give it a Rare Candy), and, on the turn the 1-HP Smeargle calls in a male SOS Partner, KO the 1-HP Smeargle with Freeze-Dry, allowing the other Smeargle to Sketch that move. As for Moonblast, I initially planned on using the SOS Sketch method (as I’ll call it for simplicity) with Tapu Lele for that move (which is what led to the recent catching spree of Tapus), but I would rather EV train Tapu Lele beforehand, and that would be a real pain considering I don’t even have Pokérus yet. So, I think I would rather raise a Sylveon to learn the move at level 37 (and perhaps make sure that the Eevee is Timid for Nature transfer purposes).

Finally, here are a few closing thoughts:

  • I can think of two minor annoyances in booting up the game:
    1. On non-New3DS systems, the game (as well as the demo) takes an exceptionally long time to boot up for the first time. It’s not as bad as Nintendo Badge Arcade, but still.
    2. I don’t see why you can’t use the touch screen to advance from the title screen to file selection. I mean, the intro starts off covering the bottom screen and leaving the top screen black.
  • How glorious it is that they got rid of HMs in favor of Poké Ride. I never would have guessed such a wonderful change in mechanics.
  • Pokémon Refresh actually convinced me to get into the whole business of affection, just because of the close calls and ability to heal off status conditions during/after battle (especially the latter). Something that annoys me, though, is how affectionate Pokémon tend to fall asleep when you move things around in the PC.
  • Festival Plaza is like Join Avenue 2.0, only it’s marked with a green (!) bubble in the menu when the residents want to talk to you (which is every freaking hour). Also, the shops don’t level up like they do in Unova’s Join Avenue; they’re just randomly suggested by Sophocles every time the Festival Plaza levels up (except for a few major milestones). The green bubble triggers me at times, but I can’t really diss the feature otherwise.
  • Poké Finder is a nod to Pokémon Snap (which, although I don’t remember fondly, I watch 360chrism speedrun from time to time) in that it involves taking up to six photos of one Pokémon and getting points for whichever photo you choose. I did actually get 1,500,000 total points for the Trainer Passport stamp, and the highest score I’ve gotten for a single photo (specifically the Mimikyu photo shown below) is just above 16k.
    mimikyu
    Something I noticed about Poké Finder is that the photos taken make a different jingle for 0-1000, 1000-3000, and 3000+ ranges of points.
  • By the time of the Elite Four, I was honestly expecting Acerola to have a Mimikyu, and boy was I disappointed.
  • Something I find annoying about the game is how it lags so much on any system not named New3DS. Double Battles, Battle Royal, Z-Moves… You name it, it lags the game. But hey, at least Sun and Moon are not New3DS-exclusive games, because that would be even worse.
  • As much as they lag the game, Z-Moves are quite interesting. Supposedly the attacking moves bypass accuracy checks, and some of the status moves have interesting effects (especially Splash and pretty much anything that grants an all-stats boost (à la Ancient Power).)
  • Admittedly, I laughed at every part of the Firium Z trial. Not just the photobombing of the Hiker and Salazzle, but I found the dancing Marowak goofy as well.
  • The Poké Finder segment just before the Totem Mimikyu battle spooked me.
  • Poké Pelago is pretty cool. Collecting beans, finding wild Pokémon from out of nowhere, growing Berries in the most convenient manner possible, hunting for treasures, training Pokémon, and increasing the happiness of Pokémon…all while being reminded of Pokémon who are normally left to rot in the PC. It’s good stuff. (But y’know, I find it odd that you can get Golden Bottle Caps but not regular Bottle Caps through the treasure hunting.)
  • Speaking of Bottle Caps, I feel like a complete idiot because I thought they were undersea treasures returning from B/W (and therefore sold them whenever I happened upon them). It took me until after beating the game to realize that they’re those things that allow you to Hyper Train.
  • It’s so weird that the Move Reminder is so far into the game (just before the Elite Four), but it’s understandable considering this one actually teaches moves that Pokémon have yet to learn.
  • My top three list of favorite characters:
    1. Lana
    2. Sophocles
    3. Anabel
  • My top three list of favorite Gen VII Pokémon:
    1. Mimikyu
    2. Alolan Sandslash
    3. Bewear
  • Overall rating? 9/10. I would say it’s the best installment of the franchise (mostly because I have a high tendency to prefer newer games), but it’s still not quite perfect.

 

Phew, 8000+ words and I’m finally done. What a whimsical weekend it was indeed, considering I had to delay my post until Wednesday. But anyway, I think that’s all I have to say for now.

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

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