Big rules here, little rules down there, let’s go.
Cycling Road is technically part of route 206, but the ground-level part of the route (which extends up past those trees and underneath the whole length of Cycling Road) seems clearly separate enough to be worth drawing another card.
Well, that turns things inside out.
Strength: Your Pokémon may not use special attacks, unless they have no physical attacks. Pokémon in your active party with no physical attacks must learn one as soon as possible (from a TM if one is available). This rule is overwritten if you draw the Magician.
…so, I guess that Magician rule didn’t last long. Now we’re dealing with the reverse, which is a much better deal for King Louie, probably somewhat better for Jerry and just the same for Brighteyes, who had no special attacks anyway (and of course Andi just doesn’t give a fµ¢£). All my Pokémon know at least one physical attack already, so we don’t need to break into the TMs to comply with thus rule.
Before we actually explore the lower level of route 206, I have a little errand to run back in Oreburgh City.
As a male Pokémon from generation IV with a serious nature, there’s nothing in our current rules keeping this little guy from joining up right away (arguably he doesn’t really add much to my team composition, but it’s not like I’m overflowing with options at the moment).
At the back of route 206 is a little hidden area, Wayward Cave, with a small side quest (there’s actually also another even more hiddener entrance to a different part of this cave, but you need Strength to get in there). And you know what that means…
Death: Box any of your Pokémon that are defeated in battle. You can’t use them again until this rule is overwritten. Pokémon that are defeated while Death and Snake Eyes are both in effect remain unusable until both effects have ended.
This… could hurt. We have five Major Arcana slots now, which means that unless I draw the Empress or the Tower or something, this card isn’t going away until I’ve drawn five more from the Major Arcana. I’m going to have to be careful.
Wayward Cave is so named because it’s designed to be extremely easy to get lost in. It’s dark, so you can only see a small distance unless you have Flash (I have the TM, but can’t use it unless a card gives me a reason to), and every goddamn intersection looks exactly the same, down to having the same pattern of rocks. Fortunately, maps are easy to come by online (is this kinda cheap? Absolutely – but there’s one card in the Kingslocke, the Moon, that forbids the player from using any reference resources outside the game; in case that rule ever comes up, I want readers to have an idea of the kind of things it’ll block me from doing). It’s also full of pairs of trainers who will challenge you to double battles. Why double battles? Because there’s someone in here who needs our help.
Mira here has wandered right into the innermost part of Wayward Cave and, understandably, can’t find her way out. Like Cheryl in Eterna Forest, she’ll join us and give us a full heal after every battle, as well as fighting alongside us with her Kadabra.
Kadabra’s fragile and, as it’s Mira’s only Pokémon, losing it can leave us fighting two against one – but it’s also a devastating juggernaut of psychic death, so you can’t complain too much.
I mean this is obviously fine but you can see how it might not be if my opponents were competent and my own Pokémon took more than a single point of damage from physical attacks.
if your Kadabra can use Flash thEN WHY ARE WE STILL STUMBLING AROUND IN THE Fµ¢£ING DARK LIKE A PAIR OF DRUNK BADGERS
…y’know what, good. You do you.
We saved a little girl! Good for us, or whatever!
We’re now back on route 207, which leads east from Oreburgh City through Mount Coronet and ultimately to Hearthome City. We actually drew a card for this route ages ago – it was the Knight of Pentacles whose challenge made Andi my champion – but since we later decided to allow Andi to complete that challenge in a different area, I think we should probably draw another card now.
Well, then. Now things are going to get interesting.
Justice: Catch one wild Pokémon of each species in this area (counting evolutions as the same species). You must use as many of those Pokémon as possible until this rule is overwritten.
And for the second time, the peculiar shape of the route makes a rule really awkward. All the wild Pokémon here are in that low-ground part of the route by Oreburgh City, meaning their levels are really low. It’s going to take a fair bit of training to bulk them up enough to avoid just… instantly dying. How many species of wild Pokémon are there on route 207, anyway?
Let’s see… Geodude, Zubat (see, I said I’d have more chances to catch one), Kricketot, Machop. And I have to catch the first one I see of each species.
That was the easy part. Now… now I have to figure out how to follow the rest of this rule: use as many as possible of the four Pokémon I just caught, given all the other rules currently in play. Judy and Echo are female, so for the moment at least, they’re right out. I can’t use both Guy and Beetlhoven, because they’re from different generations and we still have Judgement in play (as it happens, they also both have natures that boost special attack – Guy is modest, the best possible nature for a Geodude, and Beetlhoven is rash – so our modified version of the Hermit rule also makes them incompatible), so I’ve gotta pick one of them. Picking Guy makes no sense – not only do I already have Andi, using a generation I Pokémon who isn’t my champion would mean I’m not allowed to use any of my other current party members, who are all gen IV. So I guess I’m adding Beetlhoven to my party.
Unfortunately, this also means I have to stop using anyone else with a nature that boosts special attack – which means that rash King Louie is going back in the box.
I’m gonna be honest here. I’m not super happy with this trade.
I suppose technically I could just deliberately lose Beetlhoven and Guy Gneiss to the Death card; then I’d be unable to use any members of the Justice League and I could just withdraw King Louie again. But I think the injunction to “use as many of those Pokémon as possible” does kinda require me to at least make a good faith effort not to immediately get them killed.
And just to add one last complication: Justice stays in play until something else happens to get rid of it. If my other rules change (for instance, if we lose the Five of Cups), I have to take any opportunity I can to add more members of the Justice League to my party.
Fortunately, I have an Exp. Share now, courtesy of one of Professor Rowan’s wandering minions, so I can move on without putting Beetlhoven on the front lines.
This section of Mount Coronet is separate and different from the cave east of Eterna City, so it gets another card draw.
Ooh, lucky number 7!
Seven – Lucky Sevens: Draw two more cards and follow the rules for both.
Seven again… uh… well then…
…huh. Well, I guess all that juggling over the Justice card was a bit pointless, then.
The World: All existing rules from both the Major and Minor Arcana are revoked; the slate is wiped clean. Only Pokémon in the Vessel remain unusable. Catch the first Pokémon you see in this area.
In divination, the World represents closure, success, fulfilment and movement into a new phase of life, so in the Kingslocke it resets everything – Tippi is still in the vessel, but everything else ends now, including the rules put in place by readers. I can use any moves I want and any combination of Pokémon I want. However, after much long and distinguished service, Andi Site also finally loses her champion status – she has to obey the same rules as everyone else from now on.
Of course, that freedom doesn’t last long, because there are two more cards following the World. We’ve seen both before, but just as a reminder…
The Hermit: You may not have two Pokémon with the same nature in your party.
(We’re back to using the original version of this rule, rather than the one modified by Matt in episode 5)
Ace – Waterfall: You cannot switch Pokémon unless one faints or is forced out of play, and cannot reorder your party except at a Pokémon Centre or other healing location. This rule is overwritten if you draw a Nine/Snake Eyes, and ends if you draw another Ace.
Finally, I get to catch the first Pokémon I see in here. If I just wander around in the cave, I’ll probably only find another Zubat or Geodude, but there’s some water right there…
Seize the DOOM
Let’s do a quick roll call.
The Pokémon I’ve placed in pairs here – Jerry and Goodbuoy, King Louie and Beetlhoven, Blinkerbel and Judy, Testudo and Echo – all share a nature, so I can’t use both of a pair together as long as the Hermit is in play. Anything else is fair game – for now, at least.
Hmm… let’s see how this works out.
I’ll have to take a little training time here, so this seems like as good a place as any to stop – we can do a level update at the start of the next episode and then push on through Mount Coronet to Hearthome City.