Friday, June 27, 2014

Missingno. Has Inspired Me!

Very few pokémon deserve my respect (one being Rattata), but I like this Missingno. idea. I think we should try to do something about it! I started a petition, a friendly worded one too, to suggest to Nintendo that this may be a good idea. Sign it!

Let's Bring Back Missingno.

I really enjoyed some of the quirks of Red and Blue. There are always aspects of the first game of a series that pull at one's nostaliga heart strings. For me, none pull quite as hard as Missingno. (referred to as MissingNO or Pokémon 000 by Nintendo). For those of you newer to the series, with many new players being too young to have potentially even have played Red and Blue, Missingno. is a glitch in the original games. However, in many ways, Missingno. is so much more as well. To quote Bulbapedia:

"Missingno. (Japanese: けつばんKetsuban) is a dual-type Bird/Normal glitch Pokémon in Pokémon Red and Blue, and a dual-type Normal/randomly named glitch type (which often has '9' in it) glitch Pokémon in Pokémon Yellow. It is arguably the best known glitch Pokémon, [...] it is the easiest glitch Pokémon to find in the localizations."

Missingno. is best known for the part it plays in the "Item Duplication Glitch". When Missingno. is encountered, the item in the 6th slot of the players bag will be duplicated to 128x. People used to use this glitch effect with rare items like Master Balls or Rare Candies, although using the latter to raise a pokémon to 100 would make it weaker than one raised to 100 normally. What has always intrigued me about Missingno. wasn't the ability to exploit the glitch as much as the idea that the game contained another rare pokémon.

Stat-wise, Missigno. had the highest Attack of any pokémon in Red or Blue, but it's defenses were dismal. Missingno. could appear as one of several forms. When caught it will know the moves Water Gun (in attack slot 1 AND 2) and Sky Attack. The best known forms are the "backward L shape" seen above, the Ghost of Pokémon Tower, as well as a fossilized versions Kabutops and Aerodactyl. Catching Missingno. can result in small bugs such as sprites becoming glitched during battle or messing up one's "Hall of Fame". Rarely did the glitch cause any problems worse than this, but there is always that chance it could delete a save file. Nintendo contends that Missingno. is "not a real part of the game" but rather a remnant of something else. In fact, a member of Smogon said that game designer and programmer Shigeki Mirimoto said that Red and Blue were originally going to have 190 pokémon, but many were "saved for later".

Porygon Z acting "glitchy" in Pokémon X and Y.
This almost would make it seem like Missingno. may have been recycled into a different pokémon. In many ways, Porygon Z shares many things in common with Missingno. Both are glitches, although one is an actual glitch (Missingno.) and the other is canonically referred to being abnormal due to the odd programming introduced by the Dubious Disc (Porygon Z). Also, although the Bird-type is not an actual pokémon type (most likely replaced by Flying), Porygon Z does have very bird-like characteristics. In fact, many have likened Porygon Z's appearance to a hummingbird. If Missingno. wasn't recycled to make Porygon Z, then Porygon Z is at the very least a spiritual successor to the mighty glitch.

For me though, this isn't enough. When I look at my National PokéDex I long to see an entry for Pokémon 000. Many games lately have found ways to bring in things to the franshise that are almost "tongue in cheek" shots at their own franchise. For example, the "Super Ultra Dead Rising 3" DLC allows people to play Dead Rising 3 in the style of Capcom's fighting games. I think Nintendo/Game Freak should resurrect the glitch pokémon as a legitimate event pokémon as the same sort of "tongue in cheek" jab and I have some ideas that could be used to update Missingno. for the 6th Generation.

...and it's a ground type.
First of all, Missingno.'s typing will have to change, mainly because "Bird" isn't a real thing in the games. The easiest change would be to swap this to "Flying". As for the Normal typing, it could be left the way it is, but that's too boring. There are WAY too many Normal/Flying Pokémon as it is. I suggest Steel. I don't want to take anything away from Skarmory, so it will be different, but I really want to play up the "computer glitch" aspect. The best way I feel to do that is to make Missingno. robotic. Being a robot would also allow Missingno. to keep its two well known moves Water Gun and Sky Attack. Last time I checked, robots could have guns that shoot various things like lasers, why not water? It can even be on the level up list twice, as that is actually rather common now. Also, robots can potentially Fly. Ask Golurk, it'll agree.

PokéStar Robot F-00
When I imagine the "glitchy robot" Missingno., I picture the robot that is fought in Black 2/White 2 in PokéStar Studios. It is essentially what I would expect for a new Missingno. to be, a glitched robot. As for ability, as I mentioned before I don't want to take anything away from Skarmory, so I want to make Missingno. very unique. As an event pokémon, I don't feel bad giving Missingno. a signature ability. My idea would be to give it an ability I'll tentatively call "Glitch". Not overly creative I know, but I want to make sure the allusion to the original Missingno. is very heavy. This new ability would be almost like a combination of Stance Change and Moody. Randomly between turns, Missingno. would change to it's "glitched" form that would be similar in appearance to the PokéStar Robot's broken form. Stats would shift, like they do with Stance Change, as well. While in it's normal un-glitched form, Missingno. would maintain the normal event pokémon spread of having 100 base stats across the board. However, when it "glitches out" all stats would shift to Attack and Special Attack at the cost of the Defenses going from 100 across the board to 150 in Attack and Special Attack, 50 in the Defenses. This is very similar to Aegislash, however Missingno.'s ability is random in comparison to Aegislash, and may never activate or activate at the wrong time. I feel this balances it out.

As for attacks, I already mentioned that Missingno. should keep it's Water Gun and Sky Attack. In addition to these, I think Missingno. should specialize in very "computer-esque" attacks as well as weird unpredictable ones. Moves like Lock-On, Zap Cannon, and Metronome come to mind. Anyway, what do you think Missingno. should learn? Do you have a different vision for Missingno. that you think would be good?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Getting the Most Out of Mega Sceptile

Mega Sceptile's design doesn't venture far from the original.
Let's face it. Every generation has one starter that seems to get the short end of the stick somehow. Whether it's few moves or bad type combination, it's always something. In the 3rd generation, most people would tell you that was Sceptile.

I have to admit though, I was pretty happy when Mega Sceptile was confirmed a couple of weeks ago. I've always been a Sceptile fan. Unsurprisingly, Mega Sceptile was a little overshadowed by the confirmation of it's fellow Hoenn starter evolution, Mega Swampert. Mega Swampert seems to have gotten the most love online, with many memes popping up inspired by Mega Swampert's body building strategies. Couple that with the announcement that Mega Swampert got Swift Swim as a new ability and Mega Sceptile only got Lightning Rod and on first glance it would appear that once again, Sceptile was going to be one of those rarely seen battlers. However delving a little into what we do know about this new Mega may actually cause some people, like myself, to take the risk.

First of all, getting a Mega evolution isn't going to help Mega Sceptile's move-pool problem. Sceptile has the odd problem of having a much higher Special Attack than Attack, but it learns more Attack moves. Its defenses and HP are pretty low, and it has a high speed. It's obvious what Sceptile should be doing. It should be attempting to sweep using Special moves. Unfortunately, it's stats are just under-par for doing that. Upon Mega evolving, Sceptile will probably get a 100 base stat point increase (since every other Mega has) putting it with the same stat total as Mega Blaziken. Most likely most of those 100 points will be applied to Attack, Special Attack, and Speed. So what does that mean for it's move-pool? Potentially, it means that Mega Sceptile could prove to be a relatively valid mixed attacker.

Mega Sceptile from Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire
Stand-out attacks from Sceptile's current XY level up and TM move-pool includes: Leaf Storm, Night Slash, Pursuit, Leaf Blade, Dragon Claw, Rock Slide, Earthquake, Focus Blast, Nature Power, and Power-Up Punch. It's egg moves are also interesting which include oddities like Dragon Breath and Crush Claw. Also, it's worth mentioning if you don't evolve your Treecko until lv. 46 it gets Giga Drain. Even from all these moves, there are only a few that I would attempt to use on a Mega Sceptile build. Leaf Storm works well combo'd with 3 attacking moves, as the Sp. Atk drop will not affect the other attacking options. Of course, you could always just choose 4 moves with the widest range of coverage of Mega Sceptile's weaknesses. Ice is a big issue with Sceptile as upon Mega evolution it gains Dragon-typing and a 4x Ice weakness. Rock Slide or Focus Blast could fix this though, so it's a matter of what you think you need.

Moving on to typing, once again Mega evolution has posed a problem for Mega Sceptile. By going from Grass to Grass/Dragon once Mega evolving has changed it's type matchups. It's no longer weak to fire, but it is now 4x weak to Ice as well as gaining Dragon and Fairy weaknesses. Ice can be resolved, although it has to be done carefully like I mentioned earlier. An Ice Shard could end Mega Sceptile pretty quick. Dragon is a little bit less of a threat only because Mega Sceptile should be faster than most Dragons AND it would likely have Dragon moves to hit its opponent with, but you'll still likely find yourself switching. Same goes for Fairy.

Finally, we have the new ability Lightning Rod. It was an odd choice for Mega Sceptile for sure. Sceptile is already resistant to Electric moves, so this seemed like it's pidgeon-holing Mega Sceptile into being an exclusively Doubles Rain team member. On the upside, it can have it's single battle benefits too. After Mega evolving, it makes for a good switch in for pokémon that are weak to electric. The biggest benefit is likely the new found immunity to Thunder Wave, so Mega Sceptile is all but immune to being paralyzed. Grass types are already immune to grass type status moves like Stun Spore, but with Lightning Rod, Mega Sceptile not only ignores Thunder Wave but also gets a Sp. Atk boost. Because of this, Mega Sceptile's amazing speed won't be dropped due to paralysis unless the offender uses Glare or gets lucky with Body Slam. Keep in mind, the only ability worth having on Sceptile before Mega evolving is Overgrow. If you have the Hidden Ability Unburden on Sceptile, the ability will never activate because you're holding a Mega Stone. You could use an Unburden Sceptile along with other Megas, however, to make them unsure of which pokémon you plan to Mega evolve.

I'm sure by this point you're thinking, this all still sounds pretty bad. How could I even use a Mega Sceptile? Well, I can tell you now, I doubt it'll ever be game breaking. I doubt competitive gaming sites will ban it like they did Blaziken in 5th gen. However, I think it is quite usable. Here are two movesets I would suggest. One is legal using the "Kalos Native" rules. The other takes moves from older generation games to make the best Mega Sceptile from a combination of moves from Generation 3 all the way to Gen 6 and, with a little migration, could be fun to play. Again, these movesets assume that with the stat boost brought on by Mega evolution, that Mega Sceptile will be relatively good in both offensive stats.

Kalos-Native Mega Sceptile
Nature: Hasty or Naive
Ability: Overgrow/Lightning Rod
Attacks: Leaf Storm, Rock Slide, Pursuit, Dragon Claw
Strategy: Pretty straight forward set. Rely on the physical moves for the most part, however Leaf Storm is there for a really powerful hit. Leaf Storm will get weaker every consecutive time it's used. If you're in 2v2, you can have a partner help build Mega Sceptile's Special attack with Discharge. Finally, Dragon Claw is another STAB move and Pursuit hits those trying to escape. Nature Power deserves an honorable mention here, as in battles VS your friends, Nature Power will always be Tri Attack. That means Mega Sceptile will have a move that could either Burn, Paralyze, or Freeze the opponent.

Old Gen Mega Sceptile
Nature: Hasty or Naive
Ability: Overgrow/Lightning Rod
Attacks: Dragon Pulse, Iron Tail, Thunder Punch, Leaf Storm
Strategy: Thanks to the move tutors in Black and White 2, this Mega Sceptile can counter almost all of it's weaknesses as well as maintain two strong special STAB moves. If the weakening of your Sp. Atk stat is something you just can't stand, Energy Ball can be used to replace Leaf Storm... however the power loss is pretty obvious.

If you were trying to get the most out of Mega Sceptile, what would you do? Would you go all out with Special Attacks since that's what Sceptile is stronger in, would you try to make it's Physical moveset work, or would you go to the middle ground with a mix? Any other ideas? Post them in the comments section.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Featured PKMN: Eeveelutions and the 2014 July Eevee Friendly

Recently, Play! Pokémon and Nintendo have been pretty creative for rulesets for online tournaments. Earlier this month, the Pokémon Global Link site hosted one of these tournaments, the Think Fast Challenge. In this challenge, participants only had 10 minutes to have single format battle, 30 seconds to chose the Pokémon with which to battle with, and 15 seconds to select moves. This challenge returns next month as a double battle tournament. I participated in it and enjoyed it, although I didn't do particularly good or bad. I ended up with a rating somewhere around 1500, which is what you start with. This past weekend was an International Challenge, which runs every month (roughly) and follows VGC format: double battle, Kalos native/dex Pokémon only.

Next week, registration for the next online tournament, the Eevee Friendly will begin (July 3rd, 2014 - July 10th). The tournament will run from July 11th - July 14th. The Eevee Friendly, as you might have guessed, is only open to Eevee and its evolutions. The Pokémon also have to have been caught or bred in Kalos, so Black and White Tutor moves are not available. The battle format is Rotation, which doesn't see a whole lot of use. The most interesting aspect of this tournament, in my opinion, is there are only 9 usable Pokémon. Not only that, Eevee and it's evolutions aren't known for having wide movesets so finding ways to utilize the limited resources to the best of one's abilities will be very interesting to see. Unfortunately, the entry prize isn't as good as some of the past tournaments. Anyone who plays gets 1000 PokéMiles, but I don't know many people hurting for PokéMiles. Regardless, this looks like it could be a fun tournament to play in.  Since the tournament was announced, I have been planning a team to use, as I've never made a Eevee team. I'm almost done with it, so I'll likely raise each of Eevee's evolutions so I have a couple alternates if I feel the team isn't performing the way I would like.

Matt's Eevee Team:

Leafeon (Male)

  • Ability: Chlorophyll - Doubles speed in strong sunlight.
  • Item: Shell Bell (?) - Heals a little HP based on the damage dealt.
  • Attacks: Swords Dance, Substitute, Leaf Blade, Aerial Ace
  • Strategy: Leafeon is a Pokémon who doesn't see a lot of play usually, however in this format I think it'll be decently good. It resists Jolteon's strong electrical attacks and lands super effective hits on Vaporeon, and since it's likely a lot of people will run these two and rain, I can see Leafeon being a good counter. Aerial Ace is just there for people who want to spam evasion, which is allowed. Shell Bell is still being debated, as it's recovery isn't super reliable... however I'm using Leftovers on a different Pokémon so it's the next best thing to heal my Substitute HP use. I also intentionally chose a male Leafeon to counter Male Cute Charm Sylveons.

Jolteon (Male)

  • Ability: Volt Absorb - Absorbs electrical attacks to heal 1/4 HP.
  • Item: Expert Belt (powers up super effective hits) or Heat Rock (extends sunlight from 5 turns to 7)
  • Attacks: Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt, Hidden Power (Ground), and Sunny Day
  • Strategy: Since there are no ground Pokémon to nullify electrical damage, Jolteon itself is the next best thing... to counter other Jolteon. In fact, with HP Ground it does super effective damage to other Jolteon as well as Flareon. Other Jolteon will also likely run Rain Dance, so my Jolteon can rotate in on a Thunder, absorb it, and then dispel rain with Sunny Day. This also supports Leafeon's ability. I'm still unsure of what item it should hold, however since well timed rotations into electrical attacks could heal it, and I have wish support, it will likely be a damage increasing item like Expert Belt or Heat Rock to extend Sunny Day.

Flareon (Female)

  • Ability: Guts - Doubles attack power if poisoned, paralyzed, or burned.. but Flareon can't be burned. Ever.
  • Item: Toxic Orb - inflicts the "badly poisoned" status on the holder after one turn.
  • Attacks: Flare Blitz, Façade, Flame Charge, Protect
  • Strategy: Guts Flareon is a BEAST. Using Protect, I get a free turn for Toxic Orb to take effect. Once Flareon is poisoned, it gets an attack boost as well as it can no longer be put to sleep or paralyzed. Flame Charge allows for a boost to Flareon's rather low speed while landing a good hit. Façade will likely be the most utilized move as it doubles in power when Flareon is poisoned. Flare Blitz is a last ditch "one last KO" move as the recoil and poison will likely do Flareon in. However, that one last mighty hit against defensively strong Pokémon like Leafeon, Glaceon, and Umbreon may be needed. On the plus side, it's super effective against Leafeon and Glaceon as well. Flareon's fire attacks also get a boost if Jolteon's Sunny Day is still in effect. I also intentionally chose a female Flareon to counter female Cute Charm Sylveons.

Espeon (Female)

  • Ability: Magic Bounce - reflects stat altering and status moves back at the opponent.
  • Item: Light Clay - extends the time that Reflect and Light Screen are in effect.
  • Attacks: Reflect, Light Screen, Psyshock, Dazzling Gleam
  • Strategy: Espeon is mostly support. Magic Bounce protects it from status like Will-O-Wisp from Flareon, Thunder Wave from Jolteon, Burn from Vaporeon's Scald, or Toxic from essentially any Eevee. It then sets up Reflect and Light Screen to decrease damage to it's team mates. Psyshock is a good same type move and it does damage based on the defense stat instead special defense. Since most Eevee evolutions have lower defense this works great. Psyshock was suggested by Team KO member Patrice. Thanks Patrice! Dazzling Gleam is there so Espeon can land an OK hit on anyone who thinks they can switch in Umbreon safely.

 Umbreon (Female)

  • Ability: Inner Focus - this Pokémon will never flinch from an opponent's attack.
  • Item: Leftovers - heals a little HP each turn.
  • Attacks: Curse, Payback, Wish, Toxic
  • Strategy: Ideally, Synchronize would be a better ability here, as the only flinching move that Eevee evos currently have available to them is Bite. However, while breeding I got a Hidden Ability Eevee that was perfect for an Umbreon so I couldn't say no. Additionally, you can't use Ability Capsule on Pokémon with Hidden Abilities. Oh well, it means I can't be Faked Out in Non-Eevee Friendly matches and King's Rock won't be an issue for Umbreon (lol, I doubt anyone will use it, but they could). Umbreon is a pseudo-supporter. Toxic can poison essentially every Pokémon on the opponent's team, and Wish helps it's team mates. Curse builds up it's Attack and Defense, with it's defense already being pretty high, and cuts speed. This works perfectly with Payback. If it's used after Umbreon is hit, it boosts to a 100 power move. As it cuts it speed, that's highly likely. Most Eevee evolutions (Jolteon, Flareon, Vaporeon, Espeon, and Sylveon) have pretty low defense, so this set is meant to take their hits and return fire pretty hard. Espeon's screens help it say in longer too.

Sylveon (Female)

  • Ability: Cute Charm - may infatuate an opponent if they make physical contact.
  • Item: Rocky Helmet - deals damage if opponent makes physical contact.
  • Attacks: Protect, Toxic, Wish, Moonblast
  • Strategy: Another pseudo-supporter, Sylveon is meant to outlast the opponent, and with help from Espeon's screens that's quite possible. Sylveon's Special Defense laughs off special hits like they're nothing, however it's defense is pretty low. Because of that, just about anyone who knows what they are doing will use physical attacks. That's where Rocky Helmet comes in. With the combination of Reflect, Sylveon's pretty high HP stat, and the Helmet, physical attackers won't have the easy time they are expecting. Combo that with Toxic and the ability to heal itself with Wish and there might be a lot of people who forfeit or disconnect out of frustration. Not to mention that Cute Charm could infatuate their Pokémon giving Sylveon the chance to heal. Eevee evos are roughly 88% male, so unless some seeks out females for their team, they aren't very likely to have many and are thus could find themselves Charmed.
Like I mentioned before, I'm also planning to raise alternates.. namely the only three other Pokémon allowed in the tournament.


  • Ability: Hydration - heals status if it is raining.
  • Item: Chesto Berry - wakes up a sleeping Pokémon at the end of the turn.
  • Attacks: Acid Armor, Scald, Rest, Ice Beam
  • Strategy: Vaporeon is a walling monster. If I find out one of my other eeveelutions isn't up to snuff, Vaporeon is in. Even in the sun, Vaporeon can be annoying. In the rain? Forget about it. Hydration automatically heals status, so it can Rest and wake up at the end of the turn instead of having to wait 2 turns. If rain ends, or wasn't up to begin with, then Chesto will give it one free Rest. Little known fact, Ice Beam isn't weakened by Sun, it just can't freeze. That means I will still have a valid attacking move in the Sun. Scald is weakened, but it can still burn, so it's still decently valid too. Regardless, I could always just Toxic with one of my other Pokémon and then wait them out with Vaporeon. The nice thing is, if Vaporeon is in the Sun, then Jolteon's Thunders are likely to miss.


  • Ability: Ice Body (heals HP in Hail) / Snow Cloak (increases evasion in Hail)
  • Item: ???
  • Attacks: Frost Breath, Yawn, Ice Beam/Ice Shard, Hidden Power
  • Strategy: If I were to run Glaceon I'd be shocked. Glaceon is probably the Eeveelution I find the least interesting. First of all, with my current theme, Glaceon just plain doesn't fit. Sun makes it take more damage from Flareon, it's slow, and it's abilities require Hail which hurts every other Pokémon on my team. It's not all bad though. Frost Breath is cool. It always lands a critical hit, so it ignores any stat boosts. Thing is, there aren't really sp. defense boosting movesets I'm worried about. Yawn could put stuff to sleep, but I already run Toxic as a primary status. After I poison most, if not all, of their Pokémon they can't be put to sleep. Ice Shard is a priority move, which is something my Pokémon currently lack. However, if I wanted I could always give Flareon Quick Attack... and it'd be stronger. Hidden Power would be required, and I'd likely just chose some type that's super effective against things I'm worried about. Ground covers Jolteon and Flareon, Steel covers other Glaceon and Sylveon, Poison covers Leafeon and Sylveon... whatever. Regardless, Glaceon is only slightly more likely to get on my team than Eevee itself.


  • Ability: Adaptability - increases damage from attacks that match the Pokémon's type.
  • Item: Choice Scarf/Choice Band - boost speed or attack respectively. Lock the Pokémon into one attack.
  • Attacks: Return, Double-Edge, Retaliate
  • Strategy: First of all, if I did this, it would be under the pretense that I accept that I will not be winning ever. You may have noticed all of Eevee's moves are Normal. Well, that's due to the fact that you really shouldn't be attacking with any other type. These get neutral coverage against all of the other eeveelutions, and since there is no ghost evolution, isn't ignored by any of them. Adaptability will also increase the same type attack bonus for all of these to x2. Once you chose one, your locked in, so chose wisely. Return gives the most reliable damage at 102 base damage if Eevee likes me a lot. Retaliate will be 140 base damage if one of my Pokémon was just knocked out, and Double-edge is for when I just don't care anymore. The downside, Scarf Eevee will could out run most of it's evolved forms, but several are bulky enough to take the hit and KO Eevee. Choice Band Eevee hits harder, but will likely be KO'd before it can attack. I also considered an Eviolite version and using Curse to try to bulster Eevee a little, but Umbreon runs Curse more efficiently.

So do you plan on entering the Eevee Friendly Competition? Do you want to make suggestions for my team? Please leave your comment below! Keep in mind, this is for the 2014 Eevee Friendly rules, so make sure your suggestions fall within the guidelines for the tournament. For example, yes, I know teaching one of my physical sweepers Iron Tail would really help against Sylveon.. but that is not a legal move for this format (not Kalos native). Any derogatory posts will be deleted.

UPDATE 6/24: I have changed Espeon from knowing "Psychic" to knowing "Psyshock" as per Patrice's suggestion. Additional reasoning can be found in the Espeon section of this post.

UPDATE Post Tournament: This is the team I finally went with. I made some slight tweeks to Espeon, but that's about it. In retrospect, I should have run Return over Aerial Ace on Leafeon. I went 12/8 in the tournament (60% win percentage). Not particularly good or bad really. It put me at a score of 1554 so I finished 1921 out of 10,000. I have some videos showing some of my rounds, as well as some random Rating Matches that I will post later. I am particularly happy with one Rating Match I had VS a guy that had Thundurus, Latios, and Mega Blaziken on his team. The Eeveelutions really showed that in the right hands they can be decently good.