Okay! Final hurdle! Can we beat the postgame Unova Elite Four with… uh… female Pokémon from different generations whose nicknames contain the letter A, with only physical attacks, and also we have to use Pokémon from the Vessel or the Twist Mountain Justice League if we can, but also Pokémon who are exactly level 69 (nice) can ignore all of that and do whatever they want, and also Gliscor is here.
…I truly cannot express how proud I am of how fµ¢£ing stupid this challenge run is. It is everything I ever dreamed it would be.
Grimsley goes fairly smoothly. Timmy Hoffa, Qaqortoq and ManBatBug all have strong Fighting-type attacks, and I still have enough Pokémon at level 69 (nice) to switch around pretty freely and not worry about petrification.
Caitlin is also relatively straightforward; ManBatBug knows X-Scissor, which makes him a nice safety valve here as well.
(ManBatBug is the hero Unova needs, but not the hero it deserves. No one deserves ManBatBug, because ManBatBug is The Night.)
(Maggie was just a sincerely normal Onix who was told by a stoned mushroom that she was the only one who could save the world in the name of Justice. She’s still pretty sure that’s not true and honestly some of Aurelia’s crew seem pretty well-equipped for that, but apparently the world does in fact need saving, so here she is.)
(Qaqortoq has nothing to add to this conversation.)
Aurelia faints against Caitlin’s Metagross, but beating one member of the Elite Four lets us restore one petrified Pokémon, so we can deal with that.
In principle I don’t want to lean too much on ManBatBug but that seems like pretty clearly the right play for Marshal; Acrobatics should wreck most of his Pokémon and they won’t have great options against Gliscor’s great physical defence either.
Easy. Three down, one to go.
Shauntal’s opener is Cofagrigus, who is pretty rough for physical attackers, and most of what I have is physical attacks. I only have one battle left with Lieutenant Derby at level 69 (nice), after which he won’t be allowed to use special attacks anymore (because I have Strength in play) and I’ll be forced to teach him a physical attack to use instead; I kinda hoped I’d be able to save him for Iris but I think I have to use him here.
(Aurelia and Lieutenant Derby’s relationship ended on kind of a weird note, where she went off to become a holy knight in service of the divine light of the Sun and he wound up in an emotionally catastrophic serial dating spiral as their other friends watched in something resembling bemusement. But for all his bad decisions, she still has to respect his competence in the arena, and she’s glad he’s not dead and seems to have a good thing with Pizza Rat.)
This actually raises an interesting corner case in the rules: what happens when a Pokémon’s status changes during a battle? Aside from the Nines and Death, which are straightforward, there’s relatively few cards that can change the rules even part-way through an Elite Four challenge, let alone mid-combat. Jim the Editor’s custom rule on the Ten of Cups is tricky, because Pokémon can reach level 70 (not nice) and lose their immunity mid-battle. I think the Lieutenant can go on using special attacks in this fight (because I have no way to teach him a new move), but will have to learn a physical move afterwards, and if I have to make another run at the Elite Four after this I’ll have to remove him from the team (because he’s male and doesn’t have an A in his name).
I think Shauntal’s team is arguably the most diverse and flexible of Black 2’s post-Champion Elite Four, making this battle difficult to navigate without losses.
There’s also this tremendously fun moment where Froslass dodges a Stone Edge and immediately lands a freeze on Maggie, so we have to use a full restore to help her out.
(That’s one thing Maggie doesn’t miss about Twist Mountain; it was always fµ¢£ing cold.)
For those keeping track, neither the Lieutenant nor Aurelia fainted there, so we still have three victories “banked” to free petrified Pokémon if we lose to Iris and need to regroup.
This actually looks pretty good? I’m not super confident because Iris has a bigger level advantage on me than she did last time, and I need to teach Lieutenant Derby… uh… what physical attacks can Ampharos even learn…? Probably best to just go back to Return, boring as it is. I definitely think I’ll be leaning a lot on ManBatBug; Qaqortoq’s Icicle Crash should be helpful too.
Well… here goes nothing.
Okay, this is… not great, but fine, we can revive ManBatBug later if we need to.
Not nice. Timmy is a physical attacker anyway, but this does mean he’ll be petrified if he faints (and of course if we have to try again we won’t be able to take him with us, because he’s male).
(Timmy ain’t scared of getting petrified. Can’t be any worse than getting a pair of concrete shoes, and as a Conkeldurr everything he owns is made of concrete. The union’s never going to win fair wages for the Pokémon of Twist Mountain if they can’t get back all the gold from that spooky ghost broad. That’s what they’re doing here, right?)
$#!t, that’s one hell of a Life Orb Outrage.
Qaqortoq is also no longer nice, can be petrified and is not allowed to use Surf.
Aside from Endeavour, Archeops basically can’t do anything to Maggie, so this gives us a nice window to revive and heal ManBatBug, and we may as well heal Timmy too (we can’t heal Aurelia, who is petrified; it’s… honestly not super clear to me whether I can spend my chances to free petrified Pokémon mid-battle, but my inclination is that I can’t).
we should be able to-
ah, fµ¢£ you, Lapras
Timmy’s not doing great… I guess I could just heal to try to stall Lapras out of Hydro Pump PP or hope for a miss; I can’t realistically switch to ManBatBug, I certainly can’t switch to Maggie and I don’t think Lieutenant Derby will be much help either since he can’t use Discharge anymore.
I’ve used seven or eight hyper potions and Lapras hasn’t missed once with either Hydro Pump or Blizzard… Thunder does less than 50% damage to Timmy, so maybe I just have to take a chance? I’m almost out of healing, so I can’t keep this up either way.
I hate this.
Oh. Okay. Yeah, I mean… maybe Sing is so terrible that getting Sing to work just once used up all of Lapras’ luck, forcing it to miss twice in a row.
(Luck has nothing to do with it. A union ‘mon never gives up fighting for the workers.)
Aggron is easy.
Haxorus is not easy.
Iris’ Haxorus does have Earthquake, but it’s locked into Outrage for at least one more turn and will be confused after that, so we might be able to just heal Maggie, then smack Haxorus with Stone Edge once or twice.
Well, that could have gone better.
Going for another Dragon Dance there… seems greedy by Iris? If Haxorus can’t one-shot ManBatBug with Outrage, we win.
(ManBatBug doesn’t know how many times he has to say this: ManBatBug is The Night. He’s ManBatBug. He’s half man, half bat and half bug, and he is super cereal.)
I have one more chance here. ManBatBug is still protected from petrification by the Emperor, so I can revive him while Haxorus blows away Lieutenant Derby. If Haxorus finishes its Outrage this turn, it’ll be confused and I’ll have a 50/50 chance to finish it off with Acrobatics.
50/50 for the win…
CHRIS IS A USELESS DUMB IDIOT COUNTER: 7
Well, that was very close… but we can’t just try again straight away, because our position has changed quite a bit.
First of all, after the fiasco of my Elite Four challenge at the end of Pearl, I added a rule that you draw a new card every time you lose to the Elite Four so you can’t get stuck in any kind of unwinnable limbo (I’m pretty sure in the next version of the Kingslocke this will just be every time you lose any battle).
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.
No wild Pokémon at the Elite Four, so this just frees a petrified Pokémon. I also get to free some petrified Pokémon from my victories – I beat all of the Elite Four, but had to revive Aurelia once in the process, so I have three “banked” plus one from the Queen. ManBatBug is also protected, so only one of my five fainted Pokémon actually stays petrified – I think that’d better be Lieutenant Derby; with Strength in play he’s pretty bad.
(The Lieutenant has come a long way in terms of his love life, but there’s one thing he’s known from the beginning: sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the good of your team.)
More importantly… none of my party Pokémon are level 69 (nice) anymore. I need a new team, using only female or genderless Pokémon with the letter A in their nicknames, all from different generations, with no natures that raise the same stat, preferring Vessel or Justice League Pokémon (did you catch all that?). Oh, and ManBatBug is allowed regardless of everything else.
So… we lose Timmy and Qaqortoq because they’re male.
Maggie and Aurelia are still in; Maggie’s part of the Justice League and Aurelia is a Vessel Pokémon, they’re both female, their natures are compatible, they’re from different generations, they both have an A in their names.
As for the remaining three slots… uh…
I think we’re allowed to use Carmen, who is another Vessel Pokémon; that rules out all the remaining Justice League Pokémon, who are all from generation V. Cumulus the Altaria is actually level 69 (nice) so we can bring him along, at least for one attempt. And the final slot has to go to…
…um… no-one else is level 69 (nice), so…
we need someone from generation III or IV… female or genderless… an A in the name… nature that’s +attack, +special attack or +special defence… preferably good with physical attacks…
I think Aukume the Nosepass technically works, but Probopass is pretty bad with physical attacks… and is Probopass…
There’s also Waffles the Happiny, who is… level 1… and a Happiny…
(Alanis has been sidelined for so long, and now they’re all depending on her. She thinks that’s ironic.)
Alanis is only level 48, so we’ll need to do some level grinding with her before we make our second attempt. She doesn’t have a super strong moveset, with Headbutt and Iron Head as her attacks, but she also has Autotomise to increase her speed, which could make her an interesting potential sweeper against some of the Elite Four (her fourth move is Protect).
I don’t think there’s much benefit in keeping Carmen at level 69 (nice); she prefers physical attacks anyway, and if she’s able to ignore Judgement I think we’d be forced to use one of the other generation V Justice League Pokémon instead of Alanis. Actually, along the same lines, if we kept Aurelia at level 69 (nice) we’d be able to use another generation I Pokémon, and we could bring Pizza Rat with us… and Pizza Rat would like to help save her petrified boyfriend, which would be the first time in her story that she wasn’t just here for the food… honestly, though, I dunno if Pizza Rat is worth it; I think having Aurelia at a higher level is more valuable.
Nice. Alanis has also picked up Double Edge by this point, which is great on Aggron, because… well…
(🎵 You use Double Eeee-eeeedge/Until your enemy’s dead,
You take no recoooiiii-il/Because of your Rock Head,
And isn’t it ironic/Don’t you think? 🎵)
To be honest I think Iris’ Pokémon are slightly too strong for the whole “69” (nice) thing to be a viable strategy on its own; it’s more of a nice (69) perk that means a couple of my Pokémon will be immune to petrification and I’m allowed to bring along Cumulus (who has some potential as a Dragon Dance sweeper).
I think Grimsley should be the easiest once again; I still have plenty of Fighting-type power to draw on with ManBatBug and Carmen San Francisco on the team.
Missing with Stone Edge gave Honchkrow more opportunity than it should’ve had to hammer Maggie with Psychic; she does resist Psychic, but her terrible special defence means it doesn’t really feel that way.
(Whoever heard of a bird being a psychic mob boss, anyway? No psychic mob boss birds in Twist Mountain, Maggie’ll tell you that for free. And if there were, they’d get a pair of concrete shoes from Timmy right quick.)
(ManBatBug isn’t even going to keep repeating that he is The Night; the enemies clearly aren’t listening if they’re going to try to pull this $#!t on him.)
I dunno what the plan is for Caitlin, exactly; we’ll play it by ear.
I don’t think I’ve talked about Caitlin’s Musharna before; on both versions of her team, it’s a Yawn/Dream Eater set, which… is kind of bad. You can just use awakenings or full heals whenever you fall asleep to block its Dream Eater. It knows Charge Beam too, but hardly ever uses it, even against Pokémon like Alanis who resist Psychic attacks.
I vaguely thought Autotomise might let Alanis flinch-lock some of Caitlin’s Pokémon with Iron Head, but she sent out Gallade second to ruin that plan. Instead, maybe I could try buffing Cumulus with Cotton Guard and Dragon Dance.
But Gallade has attacks with high crit rates, and…
(Alanis thinks that’s ironic. Alanis should shut the fµ¢£ up and learn to read the room, if you ask me.)
Fortunately, because Cumulus is level 69 (nice) this loss doesn’t petrify him.
(And now, just minutes after making that ill-advised crack, Alanis is knocked out by a critical hit too. She thinks that’s ironic.)
Aurelia cleans up Sigilyph, and Metagross goes down fairly easily to ManBatBug.
But Reuniclus is tough, and isn’t quite one-shot by X-Scissor.
(ManBatBug cannot be petrified. You cannot petrify The Night! He’ll be back!)
Aurelia once again comes in to clean up. I’m anxious to avoid getting her petrified, so I switch to Maggie when Aurelia’s health is low against Gothitelle, which turns out to be justified when Gothitelle crits with Psychic.
There. Just fine.
Marshal is where Cumulus gets his chance to shine.
Cotton Guard makes even Throh’s Stone Edge safe enough to heal through; then we can set up Dragon Dance, and…
…that’s a sweep. Not an uncomplicated sweep, sure; Medicham survived one hit and managed to land an Ice Punch, which was frightening, Conkeldurr was a significant potential danger, and I was worried about Stone Edge crits the whole time, but a sweep nonetheless.
(Cumulus told you, he’s been around the block a few times. Winona’s Dragon Dance Altaria from Ruby and Sapphire? Cumulus might have met that Altaria, for all you know. You weren’t there; you don’t fµ¢£in’ know. Cumulus was probably a Feng Shui consultant in Hoenn for, like, eight months or something. He could’ve been, anyway.)
Once again, Shauntal is possibly the most dangerous.
(In retrospect, Aurelia supposes she can’t blame the Lieutenant or their friends for not seeing through Nefertiti’s plan to take over the entire region. It’s not even all that clear she ever had a plan, or that she even knows what day it is. Aurelia thinks it’s probably best to just keep Pokémon like that away from any sensitive centres of political power and hire someone to read them bedtime stories.)
(Shauntal’s Cofagrigus is a different Cofagrigus, obviously. Fighting it just put Aurelia in a pensive frame of mind, that’s all.)
Most of Shauntal’s lineup isn’t too bad, but Chandelure is a bit of a head scratcher. Cumulus can’t one-shot it with Earthquake after a Dragon Dance.
And Carmen San Francisco misses taking it down by a hair.
And it burns ManBatBug as insult to injury.
But Mismagius is no problem for Alanis, who resists everything it can throw at her, and we’ve beaten four Elite Four members, so we can handle two petrifications. Undoing those petrifications mid-challenge means we’ll be screwed if we lose to Iris again, though, so Cumulus and Carmen had better make this count.
(Make this count? Carmen’s already swiped six beautiful silk kimonos from Grimsley’s wardrobe, four of the rarest and most ornate silver cups in Marshal’s trophy collection, a priceless psychic focusing crystal that was hidden under Caitlin’s bed, and a complete set of first edition Jane Austen novels from Shauntal’s library. You’d better believe she’s making this count.)
Second time’s the charm.
Oh yeah. I forgot this doesn’t work. Whoops.
(ManBatBug refuses to work under these conditions. He’s not the hero Unova deserves; Unova deserves a much $#!ttier hero. Like, a man who dresses up as a bat, or something.)
That’s fine; it turns out Carmen can just kick Hydreigon in the head.
Aurelia’s stronger this time and wins her rematch against Iris’ Druddigon.
(Carmen San Francisco stole her ruby-encrusted stiletto heels from Elesa’s high-security wardrobe in a daring heist involving a wedding cake, six false identities, an industrial crane and a musical theatre troupe of seventeen Roggenrola. They are liquid-cooled, reinforced with titanium and engineered by Unova’s foremost scientists for perfect comfort, and are the most lethal article of high fashion ever crafted.)
I was kinda hoping Cotton Guard would let Cumulus set up a couple of Dragon Dances against Aggron and just wreck the rest of Iris’ team, but he’s not quite that strong. Still comfortably beats Aggron, but doesn’t have much left in the tank.
Haxorus is way too tough to take down with Earthquake, but now it’s locked into Outrage, which lets Alanis come in and set up with Autotomise.
(Haxorus totally could have one-shot Alanis with Earthquake, but it knocked itself out instead. She thinks that’s ironic.)
And now Alanis is faster than Archeops and can just wreck it with Iron Head.
(And in a come-from-behind victory, Alanis secures the win and saves the world from… whatever it is we’re saving the world from! No, she doesn’t think there’s anything ironic about that; why do you ask?)
…which means we HAVE WON AT LAST!
The day has been saved by the heroes Unova didn’t need to deserve, but deserved to have needed and needed to have not deserved to have wanted to need! No more will the region have to fear the chaos of random bull$#!t happening whenever I draw a card, or be kept under the ghostly thumb of a gold-obsessed undead fortune teller!
But as always in the Kingslocke, this victory belongs to more than just the six Pokémon who happened to be there at the end. Come back next time for a special epilogue episode and learn the fate of all the Pokémon who contributed to… whatever the fµ¢£ just happened.