Last time, we’d just drawn the Ten of Wands, giving the first commenter a chance to change the rules. Let’s see what we got…
So, commenter and esteemed Patreon supporter hugh_donnetono has chosen the path of chaos.
Perhaps the meaning of this comment and rule change is not immediately clear to you. Hugh_donnetono has mostly just removed several rules I had to follow – is this not good? But observe.
The Emperor is purely good for me; it lets my Hippopotas, Sandra ignore other rules. Without the Emperor’s blessing, she’s subject to the Five of Wands, which says I can’t use female Pokémon, so she’s going back to the kitchen to plot revenge against the patriarchy. I suppose she wasn’t going to be much use in a Water-type gym anyway… oh well, see you later, Sandra.
More importantly, we’re losing the Knight of Wands. This is the card that reminds us that Effie the Unown has lost the Knight’s Challenge and is disgraced. Meanwhile, Justice is still on the board and says I have to use Effie if other rules allow it. With Effie restored to honour, there’s only one thing to do…
(Also, just insult to injury here, remember that Effie’s Hidden Power type is Ice, and we’re heading into a Water-type gym)
Losing Death is mostly good for me; going into a gym with the combination of Death and an Ace could have lost me a lot of Pokémon. However, as hugh_donnetono pointed out in a subsequent comment, having Death in play would have given me an easy way to get rid of Effie again.
Finally, the Hermit has been expanded once again: instead of just banning Pokémon whose natures match (which would already have forced me to box Karpe Doom, since he and Effie are both gentle), it now bans Pokémon whose natures penalise the same stat. Let’s see where that leaves me…
Otto is rash; that’s minus special defence. Brighteyes is relaxed; that’s minus… uh… speed, I think? Uh… crap, I have the Moon in play, I’m not allowed to check. Um… yeah, yeah it’s speed, because lax is the one that’s plus defence and minus special defence. Divine is hardy, that’s neutral (when we had a version of this rule in play before, where I couldn’t use Pokémon whose natures boosted the same stat, I decided that one Pokémon per party with a neutral nature would be allowed, no matter which one it was). Jerry is careful, that’s minus special attack, and Effie is gentle, which is minus defence. So, by sheer good luck, none of my other Pokémon interfere with each other.
I just have to find a sixth Pokémon to replace Sandra, one who’s male and has a nature that reduces, um… what’s the last stat? Attack. So that would be modest, bold, timid or calm. Turns out I have three: Guy Gneiss is modest, while Mr. Sandman and Harvey are both timid. Well, Guy is only level 6, and he and Mr. Sandman would both be dead weight in the Pastoria gym, so…
It looks like this is the squad!
And one final adjustment: I’m not allowed to use attacks that get STAB, but Harvey here has no direct-damage moves that don’t, so I have to do my best to teach him something he’s allowed to use. Scrolling through my dwindling supply of TMs (I’ll have to go back to Veilstone and restock before moving on from Pastoria City…), it looks as like all I’ve got is Thief, so it looks like Harvey Bird is going to become an outlaw. I’ll also take him back to the Seven Stars Restaurant (which has new trainers every day) for a few double battles so he’s not so far behind everyone else; I think that’s fair.
In the course of this training, it rapidly becomes clear that Otto has perfect accuracy with Thunder in dumb training battles that don’t matter. This does not bode well for the gym challenge.
Now, where were we?
The Pastoria Gym’s gimmick is its variable water level, which you can raise and lower by stepping on big, brightly-coloured buttons. As the water rises and falls, so do the pontoon bridges that connect the various platforms in the gym.
Thief is a terrible move and only has 10 PP; fortunately, Endeavour is actually useful (and because it does fixed damage, I’m allowed to use it even with the Four of Pentacles on the board).
To reach Crasher Wake, the water has to be at the highest level.
Unfortunately, Endeavour requires you to be at very low health to use it effectively, and Double Team is only good for stopping attacks when the AI uses it (I have no reason to think that the game actually gives the AI a better dodge chance than the player with Double Team, but since I can’t look up any information on the evasion mechanics to check, I’m just going to assume that this is true). But hey, Harvey setting ‘em up so Effie can knock ‘em down isn’t the worst strategy I’ve ever come up with.
Of course, the problem with Harvey setting ‘em up so Effie can knock ‘em down is that Effie is also aggressively terrible and can’t Hidden Power their way out of a wet paper bag.
(to be fair here, Marill has a de facto double-resistance to Ice thanks to Thick Fat)
Effie did win this fight, but I think when a Pokémon is down to red HP and confused, it doesn’t really count as you winning if it slaps itself to death.
Barboach is just about the only thing in this gym that Effie can confidently fight alone, thanks to their Ice-type Hidden Power.
Of course, sometimes Harvey just straight-up gets wrecked after being confused by Water Pulse, and then Effie has to come in anyway and lose horribly, because I’m playing with an Ace and have to use my Pokémon in party order.
I think some of Wake’s gym trainers come here to fish in the swimming pool, which seems possibly some combination of pointless and dangerous.
Okay, so… hmm. I think Wake’s Pokémon are Gyarados, Quagsire and Floatzel, and I’m pretty sure he uses them in that order, but thanks to the Moon card I’m not allowed to check. Otto’s Thunder is going to be important for taking down that Gyarados, but with the Four of Pentacles preventing him from using Stomp or Psybeam, he’s completely helpless against Quagsire. And I can’t switch Pokémon in battle; I have to fix my team order when I heal before the fight. So… basically the question is, how sure am I that Wake opens with Gyarados?
Pretty sure, as it turns out.
DAMNIT OTTO I SAID THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN
It’s fine, it’s fine; Bite does a lot of damage to Otto but doesn’t one-shot.
Hmm. Using Floatzel next rather than Quagsire is an odd choice. Obviously no-one’s told Wake that Otto is only allowed to use Baton Pass and Thunder. Floatzel will probably open with Wake’s signature move, Brine (I might have said Scald in an earlier episode, and you might not have corrected me because you knew I wasn’t allowed to check it, but of course it’s Brine, Scald isn’t even a move yet in this generation), which does massive damage to targets under 50% HP, so if I heal Otto and deny Floatzel that bonus damage, there’s some chance he’ll be able to get another Thunder off.
Oh. Or maybe Floatzel knows a Dark attack and I’m overthinking everything. Still, it wasn’t enough damage to two-shot, which means…
I SWEAR TO BIRD JESUS OTTO
See, what did I say? Perfect accuracy with Thunder in training battles is an extremely bad omen. Well, sorry Otto; I can’t sit here healing you and hoping Floatzel doesn’t get a critical hit.
Well, it turns out an unboosted Brine does about yay much damage to Harvey, and Floatzel is faster so he’s not going to get a chance to use Endeavour unless Wake does something really weird and stupid now.
…such as miss with Ice Fang instead of just finishing Harvey with Brine.
Floatzel had a Sitrus berry and healed up a bit, but on the next turn, Wake once again failed to finish off Harvey and used a super potion instead, so I got to repeat the Endeavour and bring Floatzel down to 19 HP all over again.
Well, Harvey, you did your best – and honestly way better than you had any right to. I guess now we find out whether this Floatzel is badly wounded enough for Effie to finish off.
Why would you not just use Pursuit, why would anyone use Swift here? Not that it matters; the damage from Hidden Power was nearly imperceptible.
Oh, I get it, you’re mocking me. Well, listen up, buster; you like mockery? You can’t stand up to one more Hidden Power; if I heal Effie and you don’t finish them with your next two attacks, you’re gonna see some mockery.
…yeah okay never mind.
Swift is such a bad attack on Floatzel; its special attack is so low. At least Brine gets STAB.
I get the feeling I know which way this one’s going to go.
Or maybe not… that was a spicy crit from Return, and it looks like Quagsire doesn’t have a Ground-type attack; Slam is the best it can do.
And that is just enough to secure the win. I think I would have been fine anyway – Quagsire has good special defence, but Divine can work with Confuse Ray and Flash, not just direct damage, and Jerry’s Dig would have been nasty as well – but that final crit was still nice.
Fen Badge in hand, the next destination is back to Hearthome City, but this time we’ll be going by the south road that connects Hearthome to Pastoria. New territory to explore means a new card, and that card is…
Judgement. Remember this guy?
Judgement: When you draw this card, choose one: you must use Pokémon that are all from the same generation, OR you must use Pokémon that are all from different generations. If you are playing a game that only has Pokémon from one generation (Red/Blue/Yellow, Black/White), ignore this card and draw another.
I think I’ve progressed far enough, and have enough Pokémon to choose from, that “all from one generation” is the only choice that makes sense (the “one from each generation” option is basically for if you’re playing X and Y or later, or if it’s early enough in the game that you’re not likely to have a full party anyway).
Fortuitously, my party is currently composed of three Johto Pokémon and three Sinnoh Pokémon. Less fortuitously, Justice still says I have to keep using Effie as long as that’s still possible under other rules, so I have to pick generation II. After depositing Harvey, Brighteyes and Jerry, I now need to replace them with… uh… let’s see… male generation II Pokémon whose natures don’t penalise defence, special defence or nothing.
My Wooper, Mudd, unfortunately has a gentle nature, so he can’t join us as long as Effie is still here. But my Hoothoot, Tiktok, is impish (minus special attack), and he even has a Psychic attack that he’ll be allowed to use with the Four of Pentacles in play. Should evolve on his next level up, too; I think Hoothoot is supposed to evolve at 20?
Sooo… here’s the team.
This is fine.
One Pokémon from each generation would also be a theoretical possibility here, with Guy Gneiss the Geodude or Comet the Ponyta from generation I, Effie from generation II, Smeagull the Wingull from generation III and any of several possibilities for generation IV, but I think picking “all from one generation” will be more flexible in the future.
I’m not entirely sure how Judgement should work with cross-generation evolutions. If I were to find a Dusk Stone (which I don’t think I will for a while yet, but if I did), would I be allowed to evolve Divine into a Mismagius? My immediate instinct is no, but I can see how someone might think an exception was warranted.
Well, we haven’t made a lot of progress, but we’ve certainly had a lot of changes and a pretty significant milestone, so I think that’ll do for this episode. Hopefully next time we can make it back to Hearthome City and challenge the next gym leader, Fantina!