Black 2 Kingslocke: Episode 7

Rules are here, and if you’re interested in hearing about the tribulations of other trainers suffering through this ridiculous challenge run I’ve created, check out the current season of the Exp. Share podcast!

This week we fly across Unova with Skyla and Professor Juniper to Lentimas Town, another location exclusive to the sequels.  But before that…

I’m gonna be honest, I completely forgot about Mistralton Cave when I passed through here on my way to Chargestone Cave; I only remembered it even existed when I was a guest on Exp. Share and we talked about it.

…yeah, I was asking for that.

Six – Chicks: You cannot use your male Pokémon (unless you have no female or genderless Pokémon).  This rule is overwritten by drawing a Five/Guys, and ends if you draw another Six.  You may catch the first female wild Pokémon you see in this area.

Well, let’s see which Pokémon we get to catch before heading back to town and reviewing team options.

(It’s so dark in here and the only entry-level job is shoving huge boulders back and forth, for hours at a time, for no discernible reason.  Alanis wanted to be a novelist.  She thinks that’s ironic.  For a Pokémon made of iron, she has a poor grasp of irony, and that is ironic.)

Fortunately, Patracia was de-petrified when we beat Skyla, so she can take up her leadership position once again and continue to SMASH THE PATRATRIARCHY.

As for our other choices… let’s see, uh… we are currently restricted to, um… non-STAB physical attacks with no more than 80 base power (except for Fartstink, who can do whatever she wants).  This is… what you might call bad news.  Invicta’s only non-STAB attack currently is Fly, which is stronger than 80 base power, so she can’t do anything.  Unfortunately, Alanis is in the same position with Take Down.  Unlike the Fours and Strength, Temperance doesn’t automatically give you a chance to learn new moves from TMs if you don’t have any usable ones, so we can’t get out of it that way.  I have four Heart Scales, though, and move reminders are always allowed as long as you can pay for them.  Yu’effoh has a slightly different problem – with a Psychic-type Hidden Power, she has no non-STAB moves.  We can just give her Return, though (which gets around Temperance by technically having a variable base power).

I don’t really want to spend a Heart Scale for Invicta to relearn Gust; I think she’s just going to stay off the front lines for the time being.  I could use one to give Alanis Headbutt instead of Take Down, though; in spite of its technically lower power, it’s probably a better move.

As for the other three female Pokémon currently on my roster, Nefertiti can get around all the move restrictions with Night Shade and her status moves, Patracia is fine with Dig and Crunch, and Pepper can get by on Double Kick and Faint Attack.

It’s not great – and even less great is that, with the Hanged Man in play, I can’t evolve Nefertiti, Pepper, Yu’effoh or Alanis.  But it’s a team, all right!

Lentimas Town has another move tutor, this time one who accepts Blue Shards.  Unfortunately, I have only three of those – not nearly enough to pay for any moves remotely worth having.

Leaving Lentimas Town and reaching the exterior of Reversal Mountain means drawing another card.

Queen – A Ship Came Into The Harbour: …carrying a boatload of Pokémon! Keep catching the first Pokémon you see in this area until you have caught enough to fill your party.  You may choose to skip Pokémon that you know you would not be able to use (e.g. male Pokémon if you have a Six in play, or Pokémon from the wrong generation if you have Justice in play).  If you already have a full party, catch one Pokémon of your choice in this area OR free one petrified Pokémon.

Hey, it’s a living.  I should probably go for a female Pokémon, since that’s what I’m allowed to use at the moment.  On Black 2, my choices for the outside of Reversal Mountain are… let’s see… Spoink and Grumpig, Trapinch and Vibrava, Skorupi, Drifblim, Skarmory… oh, and I guess Audino, technically; Audino live all over Unova.  I dunno that any of those Pokémon are good under our current rules, exactly; heck, I dunno if anything is “good” under our current rules.  In the short term I suspect Skarmory might the least bad choice, but I think we can get more potential in the future by picking…

(It’s no coincidence we drew a Queen in this area; Calafia was queen of this entire mountain until she was deposed by a traitorous plot of her power-hungry advisors.  Patracia suspects the malign influence of the misogynistic Patratriarchy, who are not above funding reactionary coups against effective female rulers with progressive economic agendas.)

Calafia is already equipped with Rock Slide and Screech, allowing her to fight effectively under our current rules, and I can also potentially spend a Heart Scale to teach her Faint Attack (but unfortunately not Crunch, which only Trapinch learns; I didn’t want to catch a Trapinch because evolution is currently off the table).  As for who stays behind… eh, I think it probably has to be Yu’effoh; her physical attack stat is not great.  With the latest probes, you just need a lot more upper body strength to really shove ‘em in there.

Before we enter Reversal Mountain proper, we need to check out the “Strange House” on the outskirts of Lentimas Town… and…

The Empress: Catch the first Pokémon you see in this area OR free one petrified Pokémon, and immediately end one ongoing rule of your choice.

Nice!  Well, first things first: the first Pokémon I encounter in here is…

(Don’t mind her; she’s just here for the food.)

But more importantly, I get to throw out one of my current cards.  I have five to choose from: I could burn the Six of Wands to let the guys back in, or the Four of Swords to get my STAB moves back, or Temperance to unlock stronger moves, or Strength to access special attacks… but with my party looking like it does at the moment, I think there’s really only one obvious choice.  Because the moment the Hanged Man is gone, I can do this:

(One card lets Alanis quit her dead-end job and go on an adventure; another keeps her from evolving and reaching her potential; a third forces her to use a restricted move set; a fourth allows her to evolve after all.  She thinks that’s ironic.  Her grasp of irony has not improved.)

(Pepper’s really not sure how she got mixed up in all this.  She just wanted to open a restaurant with her brother.  Where is he, anyway?)

(For your information, Nefertiti is someone quite important.  She can’t remember who, exactly, but definitely the sort of person who could make heads roll if she wasn’t well pleased – and believe you me, she won’t be well pleased unless someone fetches her half a dozen peasants poached in red wine, quick sharp.  And a couple of goats fried in honey, if you’d be so kind!)

Here we are in Calafia’s stolen domain.  This calls for another draw:

Sounds good to me!

Two – You: You may catch one Pokémon of your choice in this area.

The Pokémon within the mountain are Spoink and Grumpig, Skorupi, Boldore, Woobat and Excadrill.  I don’t feel strongly in need of any new team members right at the moment, but there’s no way Excadrill can be a bad pickup long-term.

(Dr. Ill was Calafia’s minister of health.  Although he is an extraordinarily bad surgeon on account of his massive bladed death-gloves, he was also the only member of her council to remain loyal during the coup.)

Undella Town is Undella Town.  Nothing happening here that we need to draw for; in fact, nothing of importance really happening here at all.

Oh yeah, Hugh’s here.  You know what, Hugh, you don’t get a card; you’re not important enough for a card.  Bring some friends next time.

I’m pretty sure we can’t actually go to Black City yet at this point in the game, but there’s trainers and wild Pokémon down this way, so we may as well check out the route and draw a card.

Another Two!  In this area you can find Golduck, Swablu and Altaria, Absol, Drifblim and Mienfoo.  Again, I kinda think I can afford to take the long view here, so…

(The notorious art thief and femme fatale Carmen San Francisco is looking for her next big score, and she’s been hearing a lot about this “Patratriarchy” lately.  Word on the street is, they’ve got some pretty special pieces in their possession.  She’s not saying anything; she’s just saying.)

In the generation V games, the seasons change on the first day of every month, and like all Sawsbuck, Pepper changes with them.

These guys have nothing to do with the Patratriarchy, or the coup, or Carmen’s art heist, or really anything; they’re just a bunch of morons.

Anyway, this is the actual path to our next objective: Lacunosa Town, and beyond that, the gym in Opelucid City.  Next draw, please!

I think it’s very important that you all understand that I did this to myself.  At no point in my life has anyone held a gun to my head and forced me to design a convoluted, nonsensically punishing, yet lightly whimsical Pokémon challenge run ruleset based on a deck of tarot cards.  In spite of everything I remain hopeful that no one ever will.  Everything that has brought us to this point is the will of two agencies alone – my own, and that of Fate.  And we both hate my guts.

Nine – Snake Eyes: Immediately box any of your Pokémon that are defeated in battle. They are petrified; you can’t use them again until they are freed.  You may free one petrified Pokémon of your choice every time you defeat a gym leader or Elite Four member (or a totem Pokémon or Kahuna in Alola, or a fellow championship contender in Galar).  This rule is overwritten by drawing an Ace/Waterfall, and ends if you draw another Nine; once it is gone, no more Pokémon can be petrified, however ones that were already petrified must still wait to be freed.

Well, at least I ditched the Hanged Man and evolved all my Pokémon before this, and at least I still have Fartstink as my Champion, making her immune to petrification.  Alanis and Calafia are also close to evolving again if I can keep them out of harm’s way.

Okay, a Castform; this shouldn’t be any-
HOLY $#!T

okay, okay, this is fine, we just need to switch and-

OH COME ON

look, for the record

not only did Blizzard have to hit there, which is already only 70%, Pepper’s special defence and HP are way better than Alanis’, so there is no way that could have one-shot without a crit

I guess this means we bring along… uh… well, Carmen is way better with physical attacks than Yu’effoh, but she also won’t evolve until, like, level 50, and will be pretty weak all around until then.  Yu’effoh is a lot closer.  Speaking of evolution…

(At the start of this episode, Alanis was a tiny, relatively harmless iron lizard-creature, and now she’s a colossal terrifying dinosaur.  She thinks that’s ironic.  People used to tell her that’s not what “irony” means, but now she’s much too scary for that.)

OH GOD DAMN IT

the thing about this rule about not using STAB moves

is that you kinda forget Pokémon have STAB moves, let alone good STAB moves

and then a Vibrava one-shots your Aggron with Earth Power

(🎵 You get petrifiiiii-ied/On your evolution day
It’s the Ground attaaaaa-ack/That hits you in the face
And isn’t it ironic?  Don’t you think? 🎵)

Of course, the trouble we’re in now is that beating Drayden will only give me one Pokémon back.  But hopefully some of our other rules will change between now and then to free me up a bit; Mistralton City to Opelucid City is a long stretch.  In the meantime, I guess Carmen San Francisco is going to bring her unique roguishness to the team after all.  At the moment, her only non-STAB move is Swift, which is a special attack, so we have to teach her something new; fortunately, we’ve just beaten Skyla and picked up the Acrobatics TM – a move that technically has a low base power and can get around Temperance, but is much stronger than it appears.  Carmen didn’t get to be a master art thief by following the rules.

(Th€ BEEing de-sign-8d Yu’effoh haa…aas beGUN 2wo xxxxxperiEnce!!! th?s pLAAnet’s so+cAlLeD {“friendlinessshippings”}. The life-+4rms 0f t#is planET musst enGAGE in ¿fRIENDs¿ be.caUse the”ir PROBING teXnlololgies R so LIMited? aN!d [UNTRANSLATABLE, adj.: reminiscent of a Betelgeusian space-pigeon striking your spacecraft’s viewscreen at relativistic speeds and making a mournful “splat” noise].)

Oh yeah.  This fµ¢£er.

To recap the rules for legendary Pokémon in the Kingslocke, which I wrote after finishing my Pearl run: legendary Pokémon are always catchable, but you cannot use your Master Ball on them, and they start out in a special limbo state, which is not the same as petrification and can only be cleared by a handful of things (rule cards, the Empress, the Tower, the Sun, the World, potentially the Devil).  More pertinently to my situation, they can also petrify your Pokémon just as well as any trainer can.  But… y’know, I can’t not try anyway, right?

okay I did not think this through

I was so terrified of Cobalion murdering me with a crazy strong Iron Head or something that I reflexively used Will-o-Wisp to dampen his physical attacks, and, uh… well, to catch a legendary Pokémon in generation V (aside from Reshiram or Zekrom) you kinda need to be able to sit there with its HP in the red zone throwing Ultra Balls for 15-20 turns.  Cobalion does respawn if defeated, but not until after the end of the story.

MOVING RIGHT ALONG

There’s… a Team Plasma battle in Lacunosa Town, but I dunno if that’s worth drawing for.  Let’s just keep this show on the road.

The Chariot: You permanently gain two additional “slots” for ongoing rules from Major Arcana cards.  The Chariot returns to the deck after being drawn, and drawing it multiple times continues to give you more slots.

I am so glad I got rid of the Hanged Man.  For the rest of this run I can have up to five Major Arcana cards in play at once – the only thing that can get rid of extra “slots” from the Chariot is if Jim the Editor decides to have mercy on me the next time I draw a Ten.

Although Village Bridge is more of a town than a wilderness route, there are several trainers you can battle here, as well as wild Pokémon in the river, so I think it deserves a draw.

…oh boy.

The Magician: Your Pokémon may not use physical attacks, unless they have no special attacks.  Pokémon in your active party with no special attacks must learn one as soon as possible (using a TM/TR if you have, or can easily buy, a compatible one).  This rule is overwritten if you draw Strength.

Uh… okay… the Magician cancels out Strength.  That means I need to switch as many of my Pokémon as I can over to special attacks, while still keeping to non-STAB moves with a base power no greater than 80.  Fartstink can keep doing what she’s doing as my Champion; so can Nefertiti, whose main attack is Night Shade.  Patracia has no special attacks at all, while Yu’effoh and Calafia have no non-STAB ones, so they’ll need to pick up some new moves.  Unfortunately, the best I can do with my TMs is Charge Beam for Yu’effoh and… Struggle Bug… for Calafia.  I have enough Red Shards for one of them to learn Signal Beam from the move tutor back in Driftveil City… I think that has to be Patracia; there’s nothing else I can give her right now.  The Lacunosa Town Pokémon Centre sells TMs for Fire Blast, Blizzard and Thunder, but not only can I not afford those right now, they don’t work with Temperance.  Yu’effoh will just have to make do with her standard-issue ray gun.  As for Calafia… I’d almost rather deposit her than teach her Struggle Bug, but I don’t have a lot of good options to replace her.  Invicta would have to spend a Heart Scale relearning Gust, and my only other female Pokémon is Pizza Rat, who… I guess could at least learn Charge Beam?  Ugh, why does this game give you so few options for special attack TMs?

One more route… one more route before Opelucid City.

yeah, I guess this might as well happen

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.

Except for wise, loyal Fartstink, all my female Pokémon have to get back in the kitchen.  Which means we now have to figure out all that bull$#!t again for the guys.

Sergeant Derby, for once, is in a pretty good position with Power Gem and Signal Beam.  I have enough Blue Shards now to teach Woshua Icy Wind in Lentimas Town (that should actually be pretty handy in the Opelucid Gym!).  Looking up Watchog and Leavanny’s movepools… I’m actually pretty sure that once all my Red and Blue Shards are used up there are simply no moves I have access to right now that can let them obey all the rules I have active.  Mulberry can satisfy Temperance and the Magician by flouting the Four of Swords (a less important Minor Arcana card) and learning Struggle Bug (…yaaaaay…), but Alvin can’t even do that because Watchog learns so few special attacks.  I’ve made a good faith effort, and the best I can do with him is to obey Temperance and the Four of Swords using the moves he already knows – Crunch and Dig.  As for my sixth team member… I have three choices, all of whom are in the same boat as Mulberry – it’s currently impossible for them to follow all the rules, but they can obey both Temperance and the Magician.  Dr. Ill would have no choice but to spend a Heart Scale relearning Mud Slap, the only special attack available to him, so he’ll remain in an advisory role for now.  Pepper’s brother Salt would be forced to learn Echoed Voice, which is not a good move but is not the worst I’ve been saddled with so far.  Finally, the nameless Zorua would have to learn Snarl.  That seems like the clear least-worst option.

…so.  The team is:

And, you know what?  We’ve got some training to do, while being very careful not to get anyone petrified, but I think once that’s done, we’re probably in a slightly better position than before.

(If Woshua’s honest, he can barely keep track of what they’re even questing for anymore.  Fartstink said something about a deposed queen, and an art thief, and a singing dinosaur who keeps talking about irony – some of those might be the same person, he’s not sure – and he guesses that all ties in with the Patratriarchy somehow?  Fµ¢£ the Patratriarchy, obviously, but at the end of the day he’s mostly just glad he and his boyfriends are together.)

(It’s weird, but Sergeant Derby is actually really grateful for the time he’s been able to spend with Woshua, Mulberry and Alvin, out on the road and in limbo.  He’s been defining himself by his relationships too much and not allowing himself to breathe and grow as his own person.  He thinks he’ll try taking up a hobby; Mulberry’s offered to teach him how to knit.)

And because he’s been allowed to evolve at last, he can also get that final promotion…

Pronounced “leftenant,” by the way, because the real sheep he’s named after was British.  Derby is pronounced “darby” for the same reason.

Oh, and I almost forgot – I get to catch the first male Pokémon I see on route 11.

Bubbles has the Huge Power ability, so there’s a chance we’ll see him in the future, but with the Magician in play I don’t think he’s a better choice than any of the Pokémon I have with me now.

Okay.  Now this is the team.

(Zorua is now Zoroark.  When did that happen, and how?  Maybe he was Zoroark all along.  Maybe you should forget you ever saw Zorua.  That’s not a threat.  It’s just an enhanced suggestion.)

Oh.  $#!t.  Right.  You’re here too.  Let’s, uh… let’s be more careful about this one.

thAT WAS THE FIRST GODDAMN BALL

legendary Pokémon in this era are either a walkover or you die mad at them; there is no in-between

Artemis has chosen to offer their legendary patronage to our party’s multiple complicated causes.  For now, they will be suspended in the place I have just this moment chosen to call the Void – but who knows what the future might hold?

Finally, Opelucid City.  Let’s get to the gym.

Queen – A Ship Came Into The Harbour: …carrying a boatload of Pokémon! Keep catching the first Pokémon you see in this area until you have caught enough to fill your party.  You may choose to skip Pokémon that you know you would not be able to use (e.g. male Pokémon if you have a Six in play, or Pokémon from the wrong generation if you have Justice in play).  If you already have a full party, catch one Pokémon of your choice in this area OR free one petrified Pokémon.

Well, there’s no Pokémon to catch here, so that’s a bust, but we can free Pepper from petrification.  Assuming no one else faints in the gym (which… might be a big ask), we can free Alanis as well once we beat Drayden.

This gym is awful.  Half the Pokémon in here know Dragon Dance, all my moves are terrible and constantly switching up my team has left my Pokémon underlevelled.  I thought I could give Mulberry (whose only damaging move right now is Struggle Bug) something to do by being clever and using him to set up Reflect before switching out, but against enemies with Dragon Dance that carries a real risk of doing more harm than good.  Fartstink being able to switch in and take bullets for my other team members is my one saving grace.

To be clear though, this is also the most unbelievably metal gym in the known Pokéverse.

Drayden is going to be a fµ¢£ing nightmare.  His signature Pokémon is Haxorus, whose moves are backed by one of the highest attack stats in the history of the game, and it has Dragon Dance.  His Druddigon and Flygon have diverse attacks that can deal heavy damage to a wide range of Pokémon.  The one bright spot is that, while most of the other Pokémon in this gym use Dragon Claw as their main attack, Drayden’s Pokémon instead all have his signature move, Dragon Tail, which forces switches but does significantly less damage.  In theory, Woshua should be able to do a number on Flygon with Icy Wind, but I don’t think there’s an easy answer to either of the other two.

Against Fartstink, Druddigon decides to fµ¢£ around and find out, opening by using Revenge twice instead of literally any other move on its set.  By the time it thinks to force a switch with Dragon Tail, it’s taken too much Toxic damage to stand up to Woshua’s Icy Wind.

A crit with Icy Wind one-shots Flygon.

I know it’s okay for Fartstink to get knocked out, so my plan is to open with Toxic while Haxorus uses Dragon Dance.  Fartstink then proceeds to squander every last shred of goodwill she’s earned for the entire Garbodor species by missing with Toxic twice in a row (a 1% chance; starting in gen VI this wouldn’t even be possible because Poison-types always have perfect accuracy with Toxic) before getting slapped down with Dragon Tail.  We now have an undamaged Haxorus at +1 attack and speed.

(What can Fartstink say? She’s old, and her reflexes just aren’t what they used to be.)

I have to paralyse this fµ¢£ing thing or I’m just dead.

There’s no point in switching to try to get the Lieutenant out; no one can switch in safely against this thing.  May as well hit it with Signal Beam and pray we confuse it (we do not).

Fortunately, that colossal bad luck on Fartstink’s rolls has to be balanced out somewhere else in the universe.  Haxorus loses a turn to paralysis, then…

…Woshua scores his second decisive critical hit of the battle with Icy Wind.

Phew.  Okay.  That went as well as I could really have expected.  We don’t even lose anyone; Fartstink is still protected by her Champion status and winning the gym battle lets us free one petrified Pokémon, namely Lieutenant Derby (this does mean we have to leave Alanis petrified, but we can’t use female Pokémon right now anyway).

(For the first time since they broke up, Woshua isn’t just seeing Lieutenant Derby as his distractingly hot ex-boyfriend, but as the brave and selfless Pokémon he fell in love with in the first place.  That seems like it should make things complicated, but somehow it doesn’t; Woshua’s just glad they can be friends.  And, y’know, if occasionally they felt like being “friends,” maybe Alvin and Mulberry would be into that…?)

Good grief, how long was this one?  Let’s just stop now before anything else horrible happens.  Here’s the team:

And cards in play:

The Chariot – has been drawn once; up to 5 other Major Arcana cards can be in play

Temperance – no attacks with more than 80 power

The Magician – no physical attacks

King of Wands – Detective Coolumbo the Tranquill is in the Vessel

King of Swords – Aurelia the Growlithe is in the Vessel

Four of Swords – Pokémon cannot use STAB moves

Five of Swords – no female Pokémon

Nine of Pentacles – defeated Pokémon are petrified

Knight of Wands – Fartstink the Garbodor is my Champion and can ignore all other rules

Special – Artemis the Virizion is in the Void

4 thoughts on “Black 2 Kingslocke: Episode 7

  1. The cards stack up for all kinds of fun and convoluted situations as you get closer to the end of the game. More and more rules, love seeing how they interact.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm. You know, other then having a name similar to a real life negative phenomenon, and vague scare quotes, the Patratiarchy’s only concrete act so far is to depose a queen who’s minister of health that’s a bad doctor? Honestly the fact that the only minister that stayed loyal was the one bad at his job screams nepotism to me, at least at a glance.
    Obviously there’s plenty we aren’t seeing but it just makes me wonder. Maybe things aren’t as Black and White as they seem?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh, the other ministers were not better at their respective jobs. Lot of hereditary positions, lot of old money, lot of institutionalised graft that goes back to before Calafia’s reign. The whole thing is a mess, honestly.

      Like

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