Just Another Progress Report (Monthly Musing, May 2019)

My month has been hectic and largely work-focused, so my thoughts have been all over the place. You know what that means…

First things first, ever since I completed Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 in early 2017, I’ve set up for myself a tradition of sorts that I call NepJune. The simplicity of the pun equates to that of the concept: I start a new Neptunia game every June. Since I started Re;Birth 2 in 2017 and Re;Birth 3 in 2018, I’ll start the next installment (Neptunia U: Action Unleashed) this June. (Then will be Mega VII, Sega, and 4GO. I plan to do Hyperdevotion Noire and MegaTagmension Blanc at my leisure before and after Mega VII, since those are evidently spin-offs. All games mentioned are ones that I got on sale.) Re;Birth 3 was a doozy to complete as far as Quests, level 999 grinding, Plans, and Colosseum battles, yet I was considering grinding Challenges until I realized how short my time was (and how tedious some of the Challenges are, especially Marathon Runner). Anyway, here’s the take-away: Next Monthly Musing will be dedicated to the Re;Birth 1-3 mass review that I’ve been planning for months on end. (This also includes the animated adaptation, so I’ll have to watch through that again.)

Second, I have found the inspiration to complete Part 1 of LUMP (Lana’s Unprecedented Mashup Pilgrimage), which I kinda foreshadowed last month. It entails the events of Melemele Island and can be viewed here. (For the record, I did intend for the prologue to be integrated in there.) I owe the inspiration mostly to Isekai Quartet airing this season while the Sun/Moon anime is still ongoing.

Other things…

  • Persona Q2 is coming out in a few days (i.e. June 4), so odds are I’ll be playing through it starting then.
  • Phoenotopia: I want to complete a Most Dangerous Arsenal run one of these days (because it’s the only category that currently has no runs under it), and the thought occurred to me earlier this week when I was thinking about what to do with the paid leave that I had put in for the week (which I decided based on my workload this month and the next). I recently got a run up to Dread Lands, where I had forgotten so much of the route and flubbed enough that I got fed up with the run.
  • Cinq du Soleil: Even though I have inspiration in spades to write LUMP (partly because I’m excited to write out what I have planned for Akala Island), I can’t say the same of Cinq du Soleil. In the midst of writing Chapter 14, with all the ideas running through my head about planned and written chapters alike, I figured I’d want to write a prequel to the story. It will be called Cinq du Passé (“passé” meaning “past” and rhyming with “soleil”), and it will entail the lives of the five female protagonists before they became part of the team. Thing is, I’ve written a decent chunk from Yue’s perspective, but that’s where the news ends, i.e. there’s no telling what will happen from there.

 

À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Piplup (Poké Monday 5/13/19)

Type: Water

Base Stats:

  • 53 HP
  • 51 Attack
  • 53 Defense
  • 61 Special Attack
  • 56 Special Defense
  • 40 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Torrent Piplup deal 1.5* damage with Water-type attacks when at 1/3 HP or less.
  • Defiant Piplup have their Attack boosted by 2 combat stages if the combat stage of any of their stats is lowered. (Hidden Ability)

Notable special attacks: Ice Beam, Icy Wind, Scald

Notable status moves: Defog, Stealth Rock, Yawn

Overview

Arguably the strangest Water-type starter Pokémon due to its access to Defog and Stealth Rock (and also one of the most out-of-place Stealth Rock users in existence, alongside its generational rivals Turtwig and Chimchar). It should only be used as one team member with both moves, as it otherwise faces competition from other Water-types in its average stat layout, its dearth of offensive options, and its lack of reliable recovery (and the lack of any pivoting move makes it a momentum sink). Defiant would be interesting if it got Aqua Jet like Empoleon, but alas, it is situational at best.

Set

Piplup @ Eviolite
Ability: Torrent
Level: 5
EVs: 92 HP / 172 Def / 228 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Scald
– Defog
– Stealth Rock
– Ice Beam

It is only by access to both Defog and Stealth Rock that Piplup even remotely avoids being outclassed by other Water-types in its league. As Water-types do, it carries Scald as its main form of offense for the decent power and rather high chance to burn. Ice Beam hits Grass-types such as Lileep and Foongus that don’t particularly care about Scald, as well as a good portion of opposing Defog users.

EVs and Nature produce the following stat spread: 23/9/14/12/16/10 (21 Defense and 24 Special Defense after Eviolite). Torrent is the preferred Ability for Scald to deal higher damage at low HP.

Other Options

In place of Ice Beam, Icy Wind can contribute to speed control and alleviate pressure against opposing hazard setters/removers, although the power drop is significant. Hidden Power Fighting may be used to hit Pawniard, the most tried and true Defog punisher in the metagame. On the non-offensive side, Yawn can prove useful in forcing switches or disrupting the opposition.

Defiant set with AgilityWaterfallDrill Peck, and Power Trip or Brick Break seems interesting in theory but is actually one of the least effective Defog punishers in existence.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Beware the two most offensive super-effective attackers. Snivy is particularly pesky for its Scald resistance, Contrary boosting its super-effective Leaf Storm and having potential to exploit Defog and Icy Wind, and access to disruptive tools of its own such as Taunt, Knock Off, and opposing Defog.

And here are the two most defensive. Chinchou is resistant to Scald and Ice Beam, while Ferroseed resists the former and is neutral to the latter. Both are scary with Volt Switch / Thunderbolt and Bullet Seed respectively.

Be careful what moves you use when Abilities such as Defiant (Pawniard, Mankey) and Guts (Timburr) are amok. The former punishes Defog, while the latter may exploit the burn chance of Scald.

Alongside Defog, even Stealth Rock can be exploited by Prankster Encore. Cottonee additionally has Grass STAB, while Purrloin can U-turn out into something more threatening. Both also have access to Knock Off to remove Eviolite.

Partners

Croagunk, Gastly, and Ponyta are all capable checks of Snivy and other Grass-types, therefore good allies for Piplup. Croagunk is preferable because it also has a way of dealing with almost everything else. Gastly, meanwhile, can additionally block Rapid Spin.

If running a Fire-Water-Grass core with Ponyta, Foongus is the suggested Grass-type due to its Fighting resistance and Regenerator, alongside secondary Poison STAB to hit Cottonee.

Diglett can trap and KO Electric-types such as Elekid and Chinchou, and other grounded Pokémon if they’re weakened. Sash Abra and full HP Fletchling have potential to stop a rampant Snivy or Defiant/Guts abuser.

And of course, considering Piplup’s lack of reliable recovery, Wish support is very much essential. On that front, Spritzee is the most apt, but Lickitung is considerable if Fighting-types are not an issue.