The rules – for those who dare to read them – are here.
Just as a little bit of housekeeping: as with my Pearl Kingslocke, I’m playing on an emulator and using one of the features of the Universal Pokémon Randomiser to give alternate evolution methods to Pokémon that normally have to be traded, like Boldore and Gurdurr. The game is otherwise unmodified. Black 2 and White 2 have some interesting features if you link them up with a completed save on the original Black and White, but I’m not going to be talking much about the story on this run anyway, and playing on an emulator makes it easier to get screenshots. To be honest, I also don’t 100% remember whether my White 2 game card has Pokémon on it that I might want to keep (…probably not, but not sure?).
Grass-types are my normal preference, and I am generally a Snivy enjoyer, but since the Exp. Share hosts Josh and Tanner picked Snivy and Tepig, respectively, I think I should go for Oshawott this time. There’s plenty of other Grass-types in Unova for me to pick up.
In Black 2 and White 2, we receive Pokéballs right away, even before leaving Aspertia City for the first time, so there’s no point in waiting – let’s draw that first card.
Five – Guys: You cannot use your female Pokémon (unless you have no male or genderless Pokémon). This rule is overwritten by drawing a Six/Chicks, and ends if you draw another Five. You may catch the first male wild Pokémon you see in this area.
My Oshawott is male, so that’s no problem. Let’s see what we get to catch!
Patrat – bland, but serviceable; STAB Tackle is very strong in the early-game of generations V and VI (it has a base power of 50, which is up from 35 in generations I-IV and gets nerfed back down to 40 in generation VII). This is a good start, as Kingslockes go; we have a second Pokémon and a restriction that doesn’t mean anything to us at the moment.
No reason to draw for Floccesy Town, as far as I can see.
But for route 20 there certainly is.
Two – You: You may catch one Pokémon of your choice in this area.
Nice; I think this is already shaping up to be better than what I inflicted on poor Tanner and Josh. My choices here should be… let’s see… Patrat, Purrloin, Pidove, Sewaddle or Sunkern. The Pidove line is pretty meh even by Generic Bird standards, I don’t really have any strong need for a Purrloin and Sunkern is perhaps the worst Grass-type in the entire game, so let’s go for a male Sewaddle.
Low level’s a touch disappointing, but you’ll do.
We have to find dear, sweet, unproblematic Hugh and give him his Town Map, and he seems to have left route 20 already and come to Floccesy Ranch, so let’s consult the deck once more…
The Lovers: Your party must consist of opposite-gender pairs of Pokémon that share an egg group. Genderless Pokémon may be paired with a Pokémon of any gender that shares an egg group. If both the Lovers and a Five/Guys or Six/Chicks are in effect, you can form same-gender pairs, but must still pair Pokémon that share an egg group. You may catch one Pokémon of your choice in this area that would form a valid pair with any Pokémon that was in your party when you drew this card.
Okay, now things are getting interesting! (And yes, I am extremely pleased that the deck has made my run gay before even hitting the first gym)
Patrat and Oshawott both belong to the Field egg group, so we are now officially shipping Woshua and Alvin. Mulberry has no other Bug group Pokémon to pair with, but the full rules page also includes this special concession:
If you cannot make more than one valid pair with the Pokémon you have, or cannot make any at all, you may include unpaired Pokémon to bring your party up to 3 members.
So Mulberry can stay with the party as a third wheel for now. Unfortunately, Floccesy Ranch has no wild Pokémon in the Bug egg group, so we can’t find him a boyfriend.
Interesting rules question here – I “may catch one Pokémon of [my] choice in this area that would form a valid pair with any Pokémon that was in [my] party when [I] drew this card,” and there are definitely more Field Pokémon in this area. Woshua and Alvin are already paired, but another Field group Pokémon could hypothetically pair up with either of them – I think this means I’m allowed to start a gay love triangle in this Pokémon game. The Field egg group Pokémon in this area are Lillipup, Patrat, Psyduck and Mareep (there are also Riolu here, and Lucario is a Field Pokémon, but like all “baby” Pokémon Riolu can’t breed at all – it would be irresponsible of me as a trainer to permit any inappropriate conduct with a minor).
Lance Corporal Derby is Woshua’s extremely fit and attractive ex-boyfriend from the army. Obviously he can’t join the party right now, as that would cause tension with Alvin, but he might show up later.
Back in Floccesy Town, Alder has requested that we help educate two of his young students in Pokémon battling. In the past, I’ve ruled that areas with no wild Pokémon and only one or two minor trainers are insignificant enough not to bother drawing for. However, I also know that Josh and Tanner have been drawing a lot more cards than they actually needed to because of an ambiguity I accidentally left in the rules, so I think to be chivalrous I should draw here.
Ace – Waterfall: You cannot switch Pokémon in battle unless one faints or is forced out of play. When your Pokémon do faint, you must use them in party order. This rule is overwritten if you draw a Nine/Snake Eyes, and ends if you draw another Ace.
And we have our first battle restriction. It’s no big deal against Alder’s apprentices, who just have one elemental monkey each, but I’m going to have to watch out for it in the next area – Alder has also informed us that the gym back in Aspertia City has just opened for business.
And here we are! This calls for another card, and it’s…
Page – Never Have I Ever: Teach all of your current party Pokémon a new move from a TM or TR (if possible, this must be a move that Pokémon has never known in the past). If some of your Pokémon can’t learn any new moves from the TMs you have, do as many as you can.
At the moment I only have one TM – Frustration, a spiteful little gift from a Team Plasma grunt who was causing trouble at Floccesy Ranch – but this is generation V, so TMs are reusable now, and almost all Pokémon can learn Frustration, so all three of my party members are getting it. Frustration is kind of a garbage move because it’s quite difficult to really tank a Pokémon’s friendship value in normal play, which is what you need to do to increase the move’s power. It should be a fair bit stronger than Tackle for now, since my Pokémon haven’t had time to grow close to me yet, but I doubt it will stay that way for long. Still, it’s not like my Pokémon are awash in great moves at the moment.
Gym leader and ex-rival Cheren has two Pokémon: a level 11 Patrat and a level 13 Lillipup, both of whom like to open by boosting their attack stats with Work Up. Alvin easily splatters his opposite number with a Frustration crit, but that Lillipup is vicious. It not only beats Alvin, but crits Mulberry and takes him down before he can fire a shot. Woshua puts up a good fight, but…
I’m telling you, STAB Tackle in generation V is a real threat at the beginning of the game! Lillipup also packs a hell of a punch for its size. At the moment, the Kingslocke doesn’t have any consequences for being defeated in battle, and I wonder if that should change for a future edition of the rules – maybe you should draw another card or two. For now, though, the only consequence we have is this:
CHRIS IS A USELESS DUMB IDIOT COUNTER: 1
I admit it could use some work.
I think we may need to be just a little closer to Cheren’s Lillipup in level before we try again.
Mmm, better. Take 2!
Alvin doesn’t get a lucky crit this time, and even that little extra bit of training seems to have been enough to make Frustration slightly weaker than Tackle; I was kinda hoping I had more time than that before the move became dead weight. Lillipup is still stronger than Alvin, but he gets some damage in, and this time…
Cheren gets way too greedy, going for a second Work Up when Mulberry has already slowed Lillipup down with String Shot. Not bad for a third wheel!
Well, that’s our first big milestone battle, so let’s break for today and review the current state of our team:
I left my whiteboard in New Zealand, so I can’t provide the same highly advanced graphical display for my current cards in play as I did for the Pearl run, but here’s a reminder of what I’m currently working with:
Five of Wands – no female Pokémon
The Lovers – party Pokémon must be in pairs that share an egg group
Ace of Pentacles – can’t switch in battle
okay seriously though, the gay love triangle genuinely has me super invested in this run already