Black 2 Kingslocke: Episode 10

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!

Here we are on the road to the Pokémon League!  We’d better draw a card.

oh, god, not this bull$#!t again

Four – Elements: Your Pokémon may not use attacks that get a Same-Type Attack Bonus, unless they have no un-STABed damaging moves (note that moves with fixed damage like Dragon Rage and Nightshade do not have STAB).  Pokémon in your active party with no un-STABed attacks must learn one as soon as they can (using a TM/TR if you have, or can easily buy, a compatible one).  This rule ends if you draw another Four.  You may catch the first Pokémon you see in this area that does not share a type with any of your current party Pokémon.

So, that’s… no Surf for Woshua, no Hyper Beam for Alvin, no Discharge for Lieutenant Derby, no Surf or Ominous Wind for Shoal and no Shadow Ball for Nefertiti.  Pizza Rat, fortunately, has no STAB moves to lose, since Endeavour and Super Fang deal fixed damage.

As for a Pokémon that doesn’t share a type with anyone in the party… well, Woshua rules out anything from the river, but our team at the moment doesn’t exactly have a lot of type diversity, so once we can climb out of this canyon…

Dark/Flying… yeah, this qualifies!  Not going to be much good if I can’t evolve her, but you never know what could happen next.

(It’s a family name.  Her family likes bones.  You can just call her Ribs, though.)

A possible revision to the way the Hanged Man works that has just occurred to me, because I don’t think I’m quite happy with what it does now: maybe instead of just saying “Pokémon can’t evolve,” it petrifies any Pokémon that evolves?  You can evolve your Pokémon, but if you want to evolve several of them, it’ll take you a long time to get them back.  The current version of the card tends to leave you with a very large number of Pokémon that are technically usable but totally unviable because of their bad pre-evolution stats.  That means you keep using the same handful of Pokémon that are fully evolved already, which is kind of against the chaotic principle of the Kingslocke.

The really fun thing about having an Ace in play alongside a Four and the Magician is that sometimes you just wind up in a place where you aren’t… fµ¢£ing… allowed… to do… anything.  Alvin’s only legal direct-damage move is Thunder, which Ground-types like Stunfisk are immune to, and I’m not allowed to switch him out either.  I think technically if I can run through all his Thunder PP, I might be allowed to use Hyper Beam?  Should make my mind up about that when I write the next version of the rules.

The next area is Victory Road.  I don’t think there are actually any trainers or wild Pokémon in this exterior zone in Black 2 and White 2, so we won’t draw a card just yet.

Go through the cool magic badge gate…

…and now we should draw.

The Emperor: Catch the first Pokémon you see in this area.  That Pokémon ignores all other rules until this one is revoked.

Ooh.  A new Champion could be just what I need right now, if I get one who can form a Lovers-compatible pair so I don’t end up with an orphaned sixth slot.  Without Surf, Woshua’s arguably not worth having to bring Alvin along, so I’d be happy to let them chill in the PC for a while.  Let’s see who the Emperor chooses…

Hell yeah, I’ll take a Golurk.

Although no-one truly knows whether ROBOT can feel love, it is a gender-neutral Pokémon in the Mineral egg group, making it technically a valid partner for any Mineral Pokémon on my roster, regardless of gender – that means Nefertiti (who already has Shoal as a romantic partner/co-conspirator for world domination), Fartstink, Madi Gascar the Vanillish, Sally Shale the Crustle or Melies the Lunatone.  None of these choices are without problems, because ROBOT’s partner would not be able to ignore my other cards.  Sally Shale’s name starts with an S, making her incompatible with Shoal under the Wheel of Fortune, and I’d have to teach her Hyper Beam for her to have a legal move.  Madi Gascar can’t evolve into Vanilluxe because of the Hanged Man, and for an un-STABed special attack she’d be relying on the sub-par Mirror Shot.  I think the realistic choices are Melies, who would have to learn Ice Beam, and Fartstink, who would have to learn Psychic.  Neither Garbodor nor Lunatone is really what you’d ever call a “good” Pokémon, but I think right now Melies seems like the better choice; I have an un-STABed Psychic from Shoal already (I mean, I also have an un-STABed Ice Beam from Pizza Rat, but… well, exactly) and Lunatone’s special attack stat is much better than Garbodor’s.

(What love can blossom between ROBOT and MOON?  When MOON gazes down from the night sky, does MOON dream of what it is like to be ROBOT?  If ROBOT could dream, would ROBOT dream of MOON?  If ROBOT flew to MOON… would MOON return with ROBOT to earth?)

(Pizza Rat advises her boyfriend not to think about this one too hard.  She’s much more interested in the still-open question of whether the moon is made of cheese.)

Actually, now that I think about it… this didn’t occur to me until I was done training up Melies, but the Emperor is a Major Arcana card with an ongoing effect, and I already have five in play, which means it boots out my oldest one: the Magician.  I can use physical attacks freely again!  That’s not really a game-changer for any of the Pokémon I’m using right now, although it could make some other Pokémon in my PC a lot more viable in the future, notably Alanis, who thinks that’s ironic.

We need Strength to get through Victory Road, so I think I’m going to have to teach that to… hmm… Pizza Rat can’t use Strength in battle because of the Four, so let’s go with ROBOT.  I think we may need Waterfall later, which could be trickier to figure out.

These exterior parts of Victory Road are definitely a separate area for Kingslocke purposes, so let’s…

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

Yeah, I guess?  I think my choices out here are… Basculin, Floatzel, Tranquill, Audino, Dunsparce, and…

…yeah, yeah, you seem like you could be good.

I would just like to point out here that the combination of the Ace of Pentacles and the High Priestess is absolutely miserable.  Victory Road is populated by Ace Trainers whose high-level Pokémon have real movesets, and I’m not allowed to switch Pokémon to hit their weaknesses or revive my own Pokémon when they faint.  Also, did I mention that one of my Pokémon is a Thunder/Ice Beam Raticate?  Two battles with trainers is often enough to wipe most of my team.  Fortunately I can get them healed by the “best doctor in the world” over here.

These upper caves have a completely different set of encounter tables to the lower ruins, so I think this calls for another draw.

BOOYEAH!  FINALLY!

The WorldAll existing rules from both the Major and Minor Arcana are revoked.  Only petrified Pokémon and Pokémon in the Vessel remain unusable.  Catch the first Pokémon you see in this area OR free one petrified Pokémon.

I think everyone should get to draw this card once in a Kingslocke, just to experience the relief of once again being able to do whatever the hell you want (at least for the next ten minutes).  Pepper is no longer disgraced, my Pokémon can all evolve, I have no move restrictions, even my two legendary Pokémon are released from the Void, and I no longer have to keep parsing goddamn Lovers pairs every time I need to change something else (although obviously the established relationships will continue).  A few things do stay – I still have five Major Arcana “slots” from drawing the Chariot earlier, although all of them are now empty, and my three Vessel Pokémon are still in the Vessel.  I am still just one King away from adopting a Vessel team.  ROBOT is also no long the Emperor’s Chosen and will follow the rules of my future draws the same as everyone else.

The point is, I am free – for now – to pick a whole new team with whatever I want: say, Woshua, Lieutenant Derby, Calafia, Artemis, Invicta and Nefertiti. The World in divination represents culmination and fulfilment.  Some prophecy or other, which we probably would have known about if we’d been paying closer attention, has come to fruition, and our harried heroes’ divine patrons are finally able to make themselves manifest upon this physical plane.

(All that has occurred up to this point has been divine providence, Artemis and Invicta assure Woshua.  Not everything in the future is fixed, and he will have to earn his happy ending, but they are confident he will succeed.  And soon, the true enemy will be revealed.)

And I can catch the first Pokémon I meet here, who is…

(Yes, I am reviving the “Rock Pokémon with just ordinary-sounding human first and last names that are also rock puns” bit that I did with all those fµ¢£ing Geodude in my Pearl run.  I cannot be stopped.)

I’ll need to stop for a while and get everyone in this team up to an appropriate level, of course.

(Calafia has been in exile for far too long.  It’s time for her to start getting answers so she can destroy the conspirators and reclaim her kingdom.  Perhaps the so-called Elite Four will have those answers.)

We still need Strength in here, and at the moment Artemis has the situational and low-PP Retaliate as their Normal-type move, so I’ll just teach it to them.

Here we have yet another large area of Victory Road with completely different wild Pokémon encounter tables and its own complement of trainers, so… well, it was fun while it lasted, but let’s draw again…

Yep, can’t go about with no cards on the table for too long; let’s keep drawing!

Seven – Lucky Sevens: Draw two more cards and follow the rules for both.

Phew, I’m glad I did my level grinding before pushing on deeper into Victory Road…

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.

The HierophantWhenever you heal at a Pokémon Centre or other healing location, you must pay a tithe by buying and immediately throwing away items totalling a certain amount of money.  The tithe is equal to the number of badges you have earned (or Alolan trials you have completed) times 1000.  If you do not have enough money to pay a tithe, you must sell items in order to pay for it.  If you are completely unable to pay a tithe, even by selling items, this rule ends; draw three more cards and return the Hierophant to the deck.

Now that I have 8 badges, my tithe to the Hierophant is an eye-watering 8000 Money for every stop at a Pokémon Centre – and that includes Mr. Greatest Doctor in the World back there, who’s taking kickbacks from the church and will tell the Hierophant how many times I use his services from now on.  It’s a good thing I brought a lot of potions and I’m relatively rich at the moment.

Well, fµ¢£, I’m not going in there; it’s fµ¢£in’ dark.

Now, out here… here we have yet another sub-area of Victory Road, the upper slopes, and now that my slate’s been cleared I’ve gotta build up some dumb new rules for my Elite Four challenge, sooooo…

oh jesus christ

The Fool: Replace the highest-level Pokémon in your party with the lowest-level Pokémon in your PC that is currently usable.  You must use the lower-level one and cannot use the higher-level one.  Once their levels become equal, start again with the new highest-level Pokémon in your party and lowest-level usable Pokémon in your PC.  Continue until this rule is overwritten.

Well, it could be worse.  The Fool is confusing as hell if you have other party restrictions in play; I’m actually thinking about changing it to something thematically similar but more straightforward.  At least I know what it actually wants me to do in this situation: zip back down the mountain, deposit either Woshua or Lieutenant Derby (better go with the Lieutenant, we might still need Woshua’s Surf) and pull out my lowest level currently-legal Pokémon, who is… uh…

(Magic Joe’s been telling you this whole time, man; you let the sky break open, you’re gonna get the dream spiders, and they’re not gonna sell your dreams back to you, you’re gonna have to quest for them; stars and gates and fµ¢£in’ lanterns, man.  You gotta try some of this $#!t.)

(Woshua gets bored easily when his boyfriends aren’t around; he is absolutely gonna try some of this $#!t.)

I have to use Magic Joe until he’s level 56; after that, Lieutenant Derby can return to active duty and Magic Joe can go back to the box (if I even want him to), but the cycle will start again with whoever my new highest-level and lowest-level Pokémon are.  I’ll just slap an Exp. Share on him for now.

Just time for one final contest with Hugh before we reach our destination.

I’d like to emphasise here, just because you don’t really “see” it in the format of these write-ups unless I do, that the Aces can really screw you over by not allowing you to switch out of bad matchups.

With all the high-level trainers there are for me to fight in Victory Road, it hasn’t taken very long for Magic Joe to level up quite a bit, so it’s at this point that…

(Magic Joe can see everything.  Everything, man.  Do you even know how many things that is?  It’s, like.  At least forty.)

And here we are at the palace of the Elite Four.  I guess there’s nothing to do now but pay my tithes, heal up, stockpile some medicines and see how far my team can get… after drawing one more card, of course.

Four – Elements: Your Pokémon may not use attacks that get a Same-Type Attack Bonus, unless they have no un-STABed damaging moves (note that moves with fixed damage like Dragon Rage and Nightshade do not have STAB).  Pokémon in your active party with no un-STABed attacks must learn one as soon as they can (using a TM/TR if you have, or can easily buy, a compatible one).  This rule ends if you draw another Four.  You may catch the first Pokémon you see in this area that does not share a type with any of your current party Pokémon.

Oof.  That’s going to hurt everyone; Woshua, Nefertiti and Calafia shouldn’t do too badly without their STAB moves, but it’s going to sting for Artemis and Invicta.  No one immediately jumps to mind who’ll be significantly better off, though; the Fours kinda screw everyone at least a little bit.  Magic Joe actually has no un-STABed damaging moves, so we have to go to the TM pile for him.  As he’s a Grass-type and Grass-Types Don’t Get Nice Things, Normal attacks are basically all he can choose from, so we’re just going to go with the good old Black 2/White 2 standby of Return.

Generation V is the first generation to allow you to face the Elite Four in any order.  I think we’re reasonably well equipped to face Caitlin’s Psychic-types, with an extra little toy I’ve just grabbed for Woshua from the move reminder, so I’m going to try starting with her.

Girl knows how to make an entrance, you’ve gotta give her that.

Calafia really struggles to break Musharna’s defences with Rock Slide and Hyper Beam, and it comes close to running her PP dry, but it doesn’t seem to have any offence itself besides Dream Eater, which is easy to dodge by healing.

Sigilyph predictably one-shots Calafia with Ice Beam, but she gets a hit in first, and Woshua gives it a taste of its own medicine.

HOW’D YA LIKE A MEGAHORN, YOU GOTH PIECE OF $#!T!?

Unfortunately, Woshua misses with his first Megahorn against Reuniclus and isn’t able to beat it.  Invicta doesn’t do too well either, since it has Recover and the only move she’s allowed is Fly.

Artemis does a little better, but predictably gets squashed as well (remember that the Ace of Cups dictates I have to use Pokémon in party order; Artemis happens to be ahead of Nefertiti right now, so they have priority).

Easy enough for Nefertiti to finish this off.  The Elite Four aren’t super difficult in this generation; they only have four Pokémon each, rather than five as in most other games.  Still, an Ace and a Four can make practically anything complicated.

(Nefertiti demands to know who these people are and why they aren’t bringing her gold.  Or peasants’ hearts.  Or golden peasants’ hearts.  She doesn’t think she’s picky.)

Let’s try Marshall next; Invicta ought to be able to do some good work with Fly and Nefertiti should be pretty dependable against Fighting-types.

Okay, Invicta did not do good work with Fly.  Throh has way too much physical bulk and a Rock attack; she was nearly strong enough to win anyway, but couldn’t quite make it.

Fortunately, Nefertiti was able to mind-crush Throh, Sawk and Conkeldurr with her terrifying ancient magic.

Artemis got straight-up murdered by Mienshao’s Bounce, but then when Calafia came in, Mienshao just flung itself into a wall and died.

(Calafia empathises. She too is often surrounded by idiots and wishes to fling herself into a wall and die.)

Let’s try Grimsley next.

I was really hoping Artemis would do well with Swords Dance, but unfortunately Liepard has a Flying attack and Strength wasn’t quite strong enough to one-shot it even after a Swords Dance.

Invicta finishes Liepard fairly easily, but loses to Scrafty’s Rock Tomb.

Calafia finishes Scrafty off with Hyper Beam, but the recharge turn gives Krookodile an opening to trounce her with Dragon Claw.

Woshua takes down Krookodile with Ice Beam, then loses to Bisharp.

That leaves us with Nefertiti, who isn’t an obvious candidate for this job, but can burn Bisharp to weaken its attacks and then chip away at it with Night Shade.  It takes some healing from me, but she’s able to wrap this up.

I’m actually running out of revives.  It didn’t occur to me when I was buying supplies that the Ace of Cups would, of course, lead to a lot of knock-outs, since the only way I can switch Pokémon is to lose one.  I should have enough to patch the team up after fighting Shauntal, but I’ll have very little left in the tank for Iris.

The Cofagrigus-off ends in favour of the one who’s allowed to use Shadow Ball.

Cofagrigus is extremely tough, especially against physical attacks, and Shauntal using her full restore here is kind of a worst-case scenario for me.

Invicta can’t beat it, and Woshua has to clean up with Ice Beam.

Ice Beam is a good answer to Drifblim as well; unfortunately it has its own super-effective attack and is able to make the fight very close.

Chandelure beats Woshua easily, but gets smashed to pieces by Calafia’s Rock Slide.

Golurk is… a problem.  It’s another physically tough enemy, and Calafia will struggle to beat it with Rock Slide.  Artemis only has Strength, so they’re dead weight, and Magic Joe has been advancing quickly but is still only level 46 – not high enough to stand a chance of wearing Golurk down with Toxic.  I don’t think I have any choice but to do a combat revive on Woshua.

Just in time, too.

Easiest battle of my life.

I have to admit, my confidence here is… not great.  I have one Max Revive left.  Iris’ team doesn’t have the level advantage that a lot of previous games’ Champions do, but she has a diverse team of Pokémon, each with a powerful spread of different move types.  My Pokémon cannot use their STAB moves, and I cannot switch freely.

We’re gonna fµ¢£in’ die.

I opened with Nefertiti because Iris’ Hydreigon doesn’t actually have a Dark attack.  This is a brutal fight, but it’s not powerful enough to straight-up blow Nefertiti away with Dragon Pulse, so I’m able to wear it down with Will-o-Wisp and Night Shade while keeping her healed.  Iris spends a full restore here as well.

Cofagrigus’ epic physical defence is way too much for Aggron, especially once it’s been burned.  It takes another hyper potion to get Nefertiti through this, but it’s basically an easy fight.

Now Iris is bringing out the big guns.  I’m surprised to see Haxorus out so early; I was fully expecting Nefertiti to get blown away by one of Iris’ other special attackers before now.  Even if she doesn’t beat Haxorus, landing a burn on it could be critical.

Okay, it turns out even with a Dragon Dance boost, a burned Haxorus cannot overcome Nefertiti’s ridiculous gold-plated armour.  This is, uh… honestly going much better than I expected.

(Nefertiti doesn’t know why any of this should be surprising; she was very important in her day, you know.  She used to have so much gold… well, she still has so much gold, but she thinks she might have had more of it at one point, and not having that gold anymore is just about the worst thing she can imagine happening to a person. She’s going to try to take her mind off it by swallowing some peasants whole and digesting their souls over the next four hundred years.)

Druddigon is the only one of Iris’ Pokémon I kind of expected to be a non-issue.  It’s built as a special attacker, which is stupid, because Druddigon has very poor special attack.

Iris is tired of this Ace of Cups bull$#!t and wants me to use a different Pokémon instead of continuously healing Nefertiti, so she slaps us with a Dragon Tail.  I guess it’s Calafia’s turn.

Druddigon was on its last legs anyway.

Lapras is a catastrophically bad matchup for Calafia, but she should at least do some damage with Rock Slide before she goes down.

Or not.

Uh… I’m supposed to return to using Pokémon in party order, but Nefertiti is now in what was Calafia’s spot… so I guess it’s Woshua’s turn. I think Iris’ Lapras knows Thunderbolt, so I’m not super optimistic here…

HOLY S#!T crit with the second Megahorn, I’ll take that!  Five down, only one to go!

Archeops was one Pokémon I actually wanted to use Woshua against; his Ice Beam should make this straightforward.  Archeops has extremely powerful physical attacks, though; it’s not over ‘til it’s over.

See?

I’m not even sure what I was hoping for Magic Joe to do, but I put him in the middle of my party rather than at the end because I figured he might at least tag something with Toxic.

Obviously this does not end well for him.

Artemis is at least fast enough to tag Archeops before going down, but Strength against a Rock-type is not a winning proposition, and Virizion is catastrophically weak to Flying attacks.

Now, where were we before Nefertiti was so rudely interrupted back there?

Mummy is actually extremely counterproductive here: Archeops’ default ability, Defeatist, cripples its offensive power if its HP drops below half.  Fortunately, Nefertiti has her own method for weakening physical attackers.

I’m completely out of potions by the end, but Nefertiti takes the win!

(Wait, why exactly were we doing this, anyway?  Woshua is almost certain Iris wasn’t part of the misogynistic Patratriarchy.  Calafia isn’t sure any of these people are related to the coup that drove her out of Reversal Mountain either.  Magic Joe is so high right now, he doesn’t even know what’s going on.  Invicta and Artemis are just acting all mysterious and ineffable.)

(Nefertiti has basically just soloed Iris.  This leaves her in a position to claim spiritual dominion over the entire Unova Region and usher in a new age of darkness and sacrifice.  Frankly, she thinks she deserves a little terrified worship and servitude after being so bored in that tomb for so long.  Someone had best bring her some of those… whatever those snacks were that she used to love when she was alive.  She doesn’t know, she’s far too important to be expected to remember these things herself.  Quickly now, before she starts devouring souls instead!)

(Yes, the real villain of the entire run is the explicitly evil tomb ghost who keeps demanding to be fed the organs of peasants.  Don’t tell me you’re surprised; this barely qualifies as a twist.)

We have reached the end!  Kind of!  Black and White 2 have an unusually large amount of “post-game” material, including the whole southeastern subregion that actually includes the hometown of the original Black and White player character.  The Exp. Share boys are, understandably, not continuing to abide by Kingslocke rules after defeating Iris, but I think I’ll keep drawing cards as I explore the remaining corners of Unova’s map – and maybe even seek out an endgame boss or two.

Finally for today, let’s review our team and cards:

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

The Hierophant – must pay a tithe to use Pokémon Centres

The Fool – must cycle highest- and lowest-level Pokémon in and out of the team

Ace of Cups – Pokémon cannot switch in battle and must be used in party order

Four of Pentacles – No STAB moves

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

King of Swords – Aurelia the Growlithe is in the Vessel

King of Pentacles – Carmen San Francisco the Mienfoo is in the Vessel

2 thoughts on “Black 2 Kingslocke: Episode 10

  1. Well that was smoother than the Sinnoh League.
    So many plot points remain unresolved though, I hope the post-game covers some of these!
    -Will the evil and naughty machinations of the Patratriarchy come to an end? Will Patracia smash?
    -Will Calafia regain control of her uh kingdom (was it a kingdom?)? Might she have a powerful ally in Nefertiti? Does Nefertiti acknowledge her teammates contributions to the E4 takeover? Is having Nefertiti as an ally in any way useful?
    -Will Mulberry get decent moves?
    -Will Coolumbo ever solve that case?
    -Will Lieutenant Derby keep serial dating or will he finally settle down (with Carmen my one true ship)?
    -How is Farstink’s garden shaping up?
    -Might there be any additional circumstances that Alanis will consider ironic?

    Liked by 1 person

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