Last time, I was exploring the deeper caverns of Mount Mortar and had just drawn the Ten of Pentacles, which prompts Jim the Editor to pick a custom rule contributed by a commenter – and perhaps to make some other changes as well.
y’know what, you have to be a little bit insane to support me on Patreon; I don’t know what I expected; thanks, Name (Required)
So we’re losing the Six of Swords and adopting this… explosive rule, meaning our cards in play are now these ones:
I can leave the team as it is for now, but I’ll review my available Pokémon as we draw our next couple of cards and see if it’s possible to take an… expansive view of what this rule asks for.
And, not two minutes later…
For the record, Explodia is a Champion and a distinguished member of our royal guard; this rule has absolutely no hold over her, and she doesn’t have to do anything.
She’s just doing this because she wants to.
Ooh, found a Dragon Scale.
I dunno what I’m gonna do with a Dragon Scale, but I found one.
We must be near the end now… like I said last time, I’ve already made an executive decision on how many cards Mount Mortar is worth, although I do reserve the right to change my mind later if it feels necessary.
I think this is where we want to be…
King? KING? We recognise only our true prophesied lesbian queens! PREPARE TO DIE!
Mind Reader, huh? MIND-READ THIS, ASSHOLE!
There was absolutely no good reason to do that, but I think we can all agree it was the correct move under the circumstances.
Sic semper tyrannis, b!tch.
Now this is what we were really here for.
Stalltwo will be the strongest boxer in the world – stronger even than Stallone.
All right, let’s get out of this dump so we can resume the business of the day.
Hang on, I don’t need to take the long way out; I can just use an Escape Rope.
o hai Suicune
I don’t have anyone with me that knows Cut and I can’t be bothered fetching someone, so Suicune will just have to stay there until it thinks of somewhere else to go.
We’re going to draw two cards in quick succession here – one for arriving on route 27, the east road into Kanto, and another for the Tohjo Falls, the waterfall that divides the region. Once I’ve drawn both cards, I’ll have to reassess my team and figure out what arrangements I’ll need to make in order to have all the necessary HMs to get from here to the Pokémon League. There’s a place you can stop to heal on the next route, but no PC access, so I need someone with Waterfall on my team the whole way (as well as Surf and Strength, but the royal guard have that well in hand). I may just have to take someone I’m willing to leave below level 31 so they can retain Champion status, but it would be nice if I could bring an actual team member. Let’s see what Fate has in store.
Justice: Immediate: Catch one wild Pokémon of each species in this area up to six (if there are seven or more species that you do not already own, you may choose which six to catch). Count evolutions as a single species.
Ongoing: All of those Pokémon are compulsory.
What… actually is there on this route? What is there that I don’t already have? I went back and forth for a long time on whether Justice should allow you to skip duplicates (which is normally standard in the Kingslocke), and eventually decided that it should, but if you already own Pokémon of every species that’s present, you still have to pick one of them to catch. Let’s see…
Oh, oh okay; right, the grassy bits on the other side of Tohjo Falls are also route 27, and they have… yeah, okay. So I’ll need to catch Ponyta, Doduo… Shellder? That’s rough; I only have the one Water Stone and multiple candidates to use it on already. And… oh, you can get Spinarak from headbutting trees, so I have to go for one of them too. We’ll sort all that out once we’re through the falls.
Three – Me: Immediate: You may catch the first wild Pokémon you see in this area, and may teach that Pokémon a TM/TR move of your choice.
Three of Pentacles: You may forfeit your chance to catch a Pokémon in order to free a petrified Pokémon OR revoke the effect of one card in play. This option is not available if you draw this card in an area with no wild Pokémon.
Uh… huh. Well… well, the only Pokémon in here that I don’t already have is Goldeen… who can learn Waterfall, and because I still have the Fool in play, a new Goldeen would be compulsory and have the same priority as Pokémon I caught because of Justice… wait, unless… no, because if I have to go through the falls first to catch some of those Pokémon, they’ll be newer even though I drew Justice first, and the Fool only applies to three Pokémon at a time, so Goldeen would be pushed out, and… uh…
…okay so instead if I just take the forfeit option (because… screw Goldeen anyway, right?) and then revoke Justice (because I think that’s the one I’d go for)… uh…
…but then I’d be revoking Justice before I finished resolving the immediate part of its effect, which…
…can you even do that?
What happens? (he asked, wondering how his own rules work)
I mean, obviously we should be concerned with the spirit of the rule, which clearly… um…
what do the rules say
Cards that describe ongoing rules stay “in play” until something happens to get rid of them, and are then shuffled back into the deck (there is no “discard pile”). Cards with no ongoing effects are shuffled back into the deck as soon as their effects are resolved.
If two different cards give you conflicting instructions, obey as many as you can, for as long as you can.
Cards with ongoing rules remain in play even if it’s impossible for you to follow their rules right now!
When a card’s rule is revoked, that rule is no longer in effect and the card returns to the deck.
Okay; I think… I think the immediate part of the effect is locked in once you draw the card; that still happens even if something else dismisses the ongoing part of the card’s rules.
Right. I draw Justice, it tells me to catch those four Pokémon, I burn Justice, but I still catch them, and the last three will still be compulsory because of the Fool. Got it. Let’s use Pikobalt to climb the waterfall, catch the Pokémon we need, then review.
Oooh, Moon Stone. But what’s this?
Nothing here but a broken radio. Back in the day, if you lived in a country that got Nintendo events with some regularity (which New Zealand was not; no, I will never stop being salty about that), you could receive a special Celebi that would take you back in time to the Team Rocket takeover of the Radio Tower. At that time, Giovanni is hiding out in this cave, listening to the radio broadcast and preparing to rejoin his followers. When you defeat him, he decides to give up on restoring Team Rocket and never goes to Goldenrod City – and that’s why he never answered his followers’ call.
Now, where were we?
I have no idea what that special character is supposed to be; Bulbapedia suggests it’s a cloud (because, y’know, that’s an important thing to be able to put in a nickname), but I’m gonna use it as an ampersand.
Okay, let’s review – my four Vessel Pokémon are still Champions and compulsory, so they’re sticking with me no matter what, but for the last two slots, I ideally need… two Pokémon of opposite genders from the same egg group, who aren’t Fire, Electric, Dragon, Bug or Dark types (unless they’re dual-typed with Water, Poison or Ghost)… and if possible, one or both should be from the last three Pokémon I caught (it’s not gonna be both; Ponyta is Field, Shellder is Water 3 and Spinarak is Bug; there’s no way to make that work)… and I also need Waterfall (that’s the other reason I can’t use two out of three of my newest Pokémon; none of them can learn Waterfall and I need it to move forward, so even if I paired Parker with Explodia and Landbiskit with Hannah, which I can’t even do because Landbiskit is a Fire-type, that wouldn’t work)…
who do I even have that’s Water 3…? Just Long John Ruby and Antares, I think, and Tentacruel can learn Waterfall, but there’s no way I’m breaking up their marriage to pair John with some big-tongued pearl-toting hussy!
I was really hoping I’d be able to properly fill those last two slots, but I think the best I can do is to just take Pikobalt along to be my Waterfall guy and leave him below level 31. I guess for now this is a job for the royal guard; I may not be able to fill the final two slots until I actually reach the Pokémon League.
Between the special status of the royal guard, the fact that I’m only dividing experience between four Pokémon rather than six, and the fact that I… arguably overprepared for Clair a little bit, this area is pretty smooth sailing.
Now the road turns north, so I draw another card. The odds of this changing much are not particularly high, but let’s see.
Uggggghhhhhhhhhhh, I just had to say it, didn’t I?
The Hierophant: Ongoing: Whenever you heal at a Pokémon Centre or other healing location (including after losing a battle), 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, the Hierophant excommunicates you; this rule is revoked and you must draw three more cards.
The Hierophant is one of the few cards that is enough of a bastard to keep screwing with you even when you have a team of Champions. There are no Pokémon Centres out here – just a rest stop – but even then, the Hierophant keeps track of how many times you take a full party heal and demands that you pay all your tithes in full the next time you get to a shop. With all eight Johto badges under my belt, he’ll take 8000 ₽ every time I heal.
This is the rest stop, but I’m not going to heal here until I really have to.
Oh look, a cute little house with seven cute little beds belonging to seven weird dwarfs who just really like the seven days of the week. These seven weirdos each appear in a different area of Johto on a different day and hand out weird little trinkets like poison barbs and magnets. No matter what day it is, none of them can ever be found here. I assume when it is not their assigned day, they simply phase out of existence.
You’re damn right they are. All you useless rubes are hanging out here with, like, two or three Pokémon each in the low-to-mid-30s? I mean, yeah, you’re better than anyone else in most of Johto, but you’re gonna get destroyed if you go up against Will with teams like this.
This is the entrance to Victory Road. Before I head in here, I’m going to backtrack to that rest stop and mark up one tithe I owe to the Hierophant.
This gatehouse also leads west to Mount Silver and east to Viridian City, but at the moment our only path is north.
This is another cave area where it’s not obvious how many cards we should draw. Victory Road has three floors, but only one trainer battle at the very end, and the wild Pokémon encounter tables are the same throughout the cave. I think it probably just about deserves two – and here’s the first.
Ooh; I don’t think we’ve actually seen what any of the Queens do in the Advanced Rules yet.
Queen – A Ship Came Into The Harbour: …carrying a boatload of Pokémon!
Immediate: You may keep catching the first wild Pokémon you see in this area, until you encounter one you have already seen in this area (do not catch the repeated one).
Queen of Cups: If you have already drawn the King of Cups, and you caught at least two Pokémon from this card, any two of them that you choose are married (if you caught four or more, you may create multiple pairs). For the rest of the game, as long as either one of them is banned or petrified, the other one is automatically banned. However, while they are both in your party, they ignore all battle restrictions (their moves cannot be locked, they can switch freely with an Ace in play, they can be healed with the High Priestess in play, they ignore any custom rules from a Ten/Rule Card that limit battle actions). They are always considered a compatible pair by the Lovers card and any other card that references the Lovers, regardless of gender or egg group.
Each of the Queens in the Advanced Rules has a special effect that only triggers if you’ve drawn the corresponding King. I’ve drawn all my Kings already, so all of the Queens are online.
Anyway, there are two Pokémon in Victory Road that I don’t have yet… let’s see if I can get both without a break in the chain.
Eh, I have a Geodude; I don’t feel like I have to catch this. As normal, you can skip duplicates if you don’t want a second one, but if I meet another Graveler, that will still break the chain.
No Golbat could ever compare to Nadja!
…and that’s a break. Oh well. No Donphan or Rhyhorn for me, I guess.
Up we go…
And up again, and…
Up, down, up, down…
I think I’m about halfway; another card at this point seems reasonable.
Ugh; I hate it when the clergy gang up on me like this.
The High Priestess: Ongoing: You may not use healing items either in or out of battle. This includes status healing, revival and PP restoring items.
Well, at least my royal guard can still use healing items… the High Priestess is a pretty rough card to draw with the Elite Four just ahead.
Up ladders, down holes, what am I, a yo-yo?
Here’s the end, but…
It’s time for one last confrontation with This Douchebag!
Not a great matchup, but Nadja is a higher level and Sneasel is fragile…
Again, not ideal, but if Nadja can just one-shot it…
And once again – got ‘em!
Magneton would be rough if I were stuck with Nadja, but since she and Hannah are both Champions, the Ace of Pentacles can’t prevent them from switching. And Hannah can do this:
Should be simple enough…
Typhlosion is big and mean, but Doc is slow and wet.
Last one. Golbat vs. Crobat should be a foregone conclusion.
Yeah, well, they didn’t make him the Champion for nothing.
And here we are – the Indigo Plateau!
I’ll just pay my tithes… one for back at that rest stop, one for the Pokémon Centre here. 16,500 ₽ is a little over, but we’ll call it an investment in my eternal salvation.
Fun fact: there’s a character in Red/Blue who has a similar line to this, and when I first played Blue Version as a kid of about 10, I assumed at first that “if you lose, you have to start over” meant you really had to start over – that the Elite Four would take all your Pokémon and dump you back in Pallet Town with nothing.
Anyway, I think I should call it here and leave my first attempt at the Elite Four for next time – possibly after some level-grinding – but I do need to draw one more card before crossing the threshold.
I’m really not going to be able to use anyone but my Champions, am I?
Death: Ongoing: Any of your Pokémon that are defeated in battle are petrified. No petrified Pokémon may be freed (including ones that were petrified by other cards), except by the effect of the Sun.
In many ways, this actually makes it very simple. With Death and the High Priestess in play for an Elite Four challenge, it’s almost pointless for me to even try using anyone other than my royal guard. So basically, the challenge the cards have dealt me is nothing more or less than a four-Pokémon Elite Four run with a semi-randomly chosen team.
…assuming I don’t lose and have to draw more cards, that is.
Also, I still have to try to get some of my three most recent Pokémon into the team to satisfy the Fool, even if I have absolutely no intention of letting them fight. Now that I don’t have to think about which HM moves I need, I suppose I may as well bring along…
He’s just had such a huge crush on Explodia ever since he first saw her explode something. It’s a little intense but mostly pretty sweet. She’s just going to do her best not to get him killed.
And one final piece of business: thanks to the King of Wands, my Poison Pokémon can use TMs any time they want. I’ve mostly refrained until now because I wasn’t sure whether I’d still have my four Champions when I actually got here, but now that we’ve arrived, I have a couple of… interesting ideas for Hannah.
Lock and load; we’re going to war.