Friday, September 26, 2014

More On Being A Good Sport

Click to Enlarge
This morning I noticed there was a new post by Kotaku showing a Dorkly comic that addresses the "7 Types of Pokémon Players" and it does a good job of spearheading some of the stereotypes that go along with people who play. As always, people in the comments have decided to bash one play style or defend their own. One such conversation does a good job of showing what I currently have the biggest problem with in the community. Someone who places themselves in the competitive "EV Trainer Group" takes the opportunity to point out that people who are in the "Play for Fun" group are smug. While I don't deny that some are, the way he explains himself shows exactly how smug he is:
"Oh, you actually put thought and effort into your team? Well isn't that nice. Yeah, I just play for fun."
This statement seethes with smugness on its own. By saying this, he is insinuating that anyone who plays for fun puts no thought or effort into their team. I personally take offense to this as even though I don't always use top tier pokémon, I do put a lot of effort breeding and EVing my pokémon. I find using unexpected pokémon is fun for me, so I'm playing for fun. Most players, like myself, likely fit into several categories. I have story teams of pokémon I just caught to beat the game that aren't EV trained. I have a ton of shinies I just caught and raised, despite them not being perfect. I also have fun teams and competitive teams.

Being a jerk is being a jerk, I don't care what side you're on. If you can't be a good sport, then I want nothing to do with you. I don't know when "fun" became a bad word, nor do I know when "competitive" did either. Someone, somewhere, decided to be a jerk to somebody for having a different way of doing things and people like "Tygore" continue to perpetuate it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why I Dislike "Legal Hacks"

People who are self righteous about
cheating give me a headache.
I've been playing pokémon "competitively" for years now. Notice how I used quotations? Well, if you asked some people within the battling community they would strongly disagree that I'm competitive. Here are some of the things that make me "a filthy casual".
  1. Although I know about Smogon, and go there from time to time, I don't always follow their tier lists or ban lists for my teams. I typically don't use what they consider "uber" legendary (Mewtwo, Kyogre, etc), but that's typically where the similarity ends.
  2. I don't play Showdown. I figure if I'm going to play Pokémon, that I'll play the actual game. I have nothing against Showdown personally. I used to play NetBattle, but that was more because you couldn't play Gen III games online. If I wanted to battle friends elsewhere, Netbattle was the way to go.
  3. I don't use 3rd party software/hardware to edit my pokémon for tournaments. I have used things like GameShark in the past, however. The thing is, I never entered tournaments with it and actually after hacking a couple shinies I got bored with hacking. It took something away from the game for me.
I'm not even going to bother addressing the first two issues, mainly because I'm tired of having to defend myself when I feel I shouldn't have to. I don't battle in Smogon tournaments or play Showdown so I don't see why I would have to meet some kind of requirement for those two things, but if I ever post a moveset that involves Quick Claw or Double Team my post usually gets lit up with negative comments. Instead, I'm going to focus on the third.

Responses to "Why hack a
Parental Bond Mega
Those who know me know I am strongly opposed to hacking. Initially, I just didn't want to face someone who had things that would exist outside of normal gameplay. For example, at league during the Diamond and Pearl era I faced a fellow college student with a Water Absorb Entei. When he inevitablely beat me as several of his pokémon had illegal moves and abilities I was understandably annoyed. When I asked if he wanted to have a normal battle without hacks to see who really was the better of us he declined by simply saying, "why would I do that? I won didn't I?" This put a shadow of doubt in my mind vs anyone I fought who had something I deemed fishy (like a team of pokémon all in Master Balls). If that person could hack one thing, who is to say they didn't hack more to ensure their victory? One example of taking it to the limit is this video where a player hacked up a team of megas with abilities they can't normally have. The original poster to Google+ simply asked, "Why would someone do this?" The responses basically say, "because we can" as you see above. When I began proposing the idea that hacking, in this case, was a very obvious form of cheating people got angry. Really angry. Suddenly I was stupid for not allowing them to do whatever they want. I even argued I don't care what they do in their game as long as they don't take it online. One user suggested I should just not battle passerbys anymore if I was worried about people hacking. Now who is restricting whom? Now I am unable to enjoy a feature normally in the game because someone decided to alter their's to have something that is NOT a part of the game? Awesome.

That brings me to the concept of a "legal hack". In the pokémon community, a legal hack is a pokémon edited or generated using 3rd party software and/or hardware, but doesn't necessarily exist outside of the game's normal programming. Some would say this is ok, but not me. Although it doesn't break the normal parameters of the game, I feel it takes away from some of the integrity people should have as players. Competitive events often ban "hacked" pokémon, but those that are "legal hacks" may or may not flag a hack checker depending on the strength of the check and the severity of the hack. That leads to people "slipping by". I have a problem with this and I openly promote, "just because you get away with it doesn't make it right". Technically, you can go to the bathroom at a restaurant and not flush or wash your hands, however I think some people may take offense to that regardless of how much time you personally save. When I try to express my view point, many like to point out that I am not competitive or I must be stupid since I don't think "legal hacks" are ok. I'm assuming their stand point is that if I'm not willing to skirt the rules on a technicality, then I'm not a competitor. This infuriates me, and has led me to despise the very concept of hacking. If it were not for the rampant elitism that seems to come with being a competitive hacker, I'd probably just be rather annoyed rather than openly angry. I would like to point out that I'm not saying that elitism is only restricted to one side of this argument, it has just been my experience that it is heavily weighted on the hacker side.

I actually play the game to get what
I have. I must be a noob.
The other issue is I get tired of seeing all of the perfect shiny teams. They all have perfect IVs for what sites like Smogon say are best, they are all shiny, their moves have all been maxed with PP Ups, etc. I'm sure people will either reply or email me about how "being shiny doesn't affect competition!!!1!! You know nothing!" No, I actually know that. Being shiny is simply a palette swap. However, my point for this is it is supposed to be rare, at the very least rarer than the normal coloration. It's pretty much the opposite at organized events. That shows just how much control hacking gives the hacker. In my opinion it's too much. I will never buy into the "well I don't have enough time/am not patient enough to raise my pokémon". That is not a valid argument. Taking the time to make sure you have six max stats on a pokémon that only even utilizes three or four is optional. Ensuring your pokémon is a rare color is optional. So why do people do it? Bragging rights. I have had so many people butt into my conversations to tell me about how awesome their all shiny max stat team is or how they just got an Ice Hidden Power Zapdos from Powersaves that I want to hurl. You can cheat. Good for you. So can a lot of people apparently. No need to butt in and belittle the fact I caught a shiny Scraggy that is less than perfect, or bred a shiny Honedge that is missing that crucial 31 in one stat. It was rare and I got lucky. Why can't I be allowed to enjoy that fact? Oh yea, because you as a competitive player are more important and all of your stuff is perfect. Got it. I guess I'll just have to continue to hope I hatch/catch shinies, hopefully win the lottery for more PP Ups and PP Maxes, and actually spend more than ten minutes making a team.

The Tenants that make up the
"Spirit of the Game"
UPDATE: As expected I'm getting a good bit of hate from people who hack about this. Again, I was simply expressing why I don't like hacks and the fact it gives people some false sense of superiority. I have been called "a filthy casual" which is no surprise as well as a "bane of the game" which is a new one. A couple people even admitted to not reading the article at all, but felt the need to bash me based on the title alone. That's the sort of elitism I dislike. I can't say anything against "legal hacks", but people who hack can say whatever they want about me. I would like to point out that there is no such thing as a "legal hack" which is why I use quotations. It is a misnomer. They are currently undetectable hacks. That doesn't make them legal, it just means they are hard to catch. It'd be the same thing as someone who eats grapes before buying them and then puts the bunch back instead of purchasing. It's not "legal", but short of actually witnessing it, it is pretty impossible to prove. Now, if that person started talking down to me like an idiot for not doing their grape swipe method, then I would have a problem. Referring to someone as a "filthy casual" or "dirty hacker" is a violation of the "Spirit of the Game" as set forth by The Pokémon Company, plain and simple.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Primal Groudon and Kyogre In Game Footage

The Pokémon Company International has released a new video showing the new Megas as well as Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre in action. Here are some key points:
  • Primal Groudon gets the new ability Desolate Land. Desolate Land creates the new weather effect "harsh sunlight". This is different than the "strong sunlight" generated from Drought or Sunny Day. Harsh sunlight completely nullifies ANY water moves rendering them useless. It also stays in effect the entire time Primal Groudon is in play and weather changing attacks do not affect it. It would seem the only way to nullify it would be to bring in a Primal Kyogre...
  • Who said Kyogre was better? Ready to eat those words?

  • Primal Kyogre gets the new ability Primordial Sea. Primordial Sea creates the new weather effect "harsh rain". Like harsh sunlight, this is a powered up weather effect. It completely nullifies fire moves and attacks that change weather.
  • Primal Groudon gets the new signature move "Precipice Blades" and Kyogre gets "Origin Pulse". 
  • Although this isn't mentioned in the video, I would like to point out that ability activation is based on speed. That means if Groudon is sent out the same time as Kyogre and they both Primal revert, then Primal Kyogre would activate Primordial Sea, but then Primal Groudon (being slower) would nullify it with Desolate Land. This means that Primal Kyogre would not be able to use any water moves. Primal Groudon is confirmed to be Ground/Fire, but this 4x weakness to water wouldn't matter if water couldn't be used. It seems that Groudon is now on Kyogre's level. 

  • The video also highlights Rayquaza, but doesn't show anything new about it. This makes me think there is something that is going to be special about Rayquaza either announced soon or when the games come out.
That's all! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New Mega Impressions: Gallade, Sharpedo, and Camerupt

Just kidding guys. Chill.
Yesterday we got three new Megas: Gallade, Sharpedo, and Camerupt. This furthers the number of Gen III Mega evolutions to a whopping 18. The next gen that's even close to that kind of representation is Gen I with 13 Megas. That said, X and Y introduced 28 Megas total and so far we only have 13 from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (ORAS). That means we could see up to 15 more, or even more than that if Game Freak gets ambitious. I wouldn't predict too many more for Gen III since they are already so far ahead, but who knows? I know people are still foaming at the mouth for Mega Flygon.

Just like before I will be attempting to predict the usefulness of each of the newly revealed Megas. I will be rating them on their play-ability and design, as these are the two things that really govern if we will be seeing them or not. Basically, if someone is using it, they are using it because it's really good or looks cool.

Maybe those rips in his cape wouldn't
be there if he trimmed his elbow talons.
Mega Gallade - Mega Gallade is not that big of a shocker. Mega Gardevoir exists, so having a Mega for its branch evolution is reasonable. It would also appear that Wally (one of the rivals from ORAS) may have one at some point. I guess someone at Game Freak decided that Wally's male Gardevoir needed to go. It is quite likely they didn't want another major trainer to have a Mega Gardevoir, as Diantha already has that cornered in X and Y. Mega Gallade retains it's Psychic/Fighting type combo, which in my opinion is a blessing and a curse. The two types work well together, but it is now the third Mega to have that type combo. Unfortunately for Mega Gallade the competition for that one Mega spot on someone's team is going to be hard to win. If someone wants a Psychic/Fighting Mega they can choose between Mega Mewtwo X, Mega Medicham, or Mega Gallade... and it's hard to imagine why anyone would choose Mega Gallade over the other two. First of all, Mega Gallade gets Inner Focus as its ability. Not bad, but not great. Mega Mewtwo X gets Steadfast. Sure it may flinch, but then it gets a speed boost. It's already so fast, that it will likely outrun whoever is trying to flinch it next turn, therefore no more flinches. As for Mega Medicham, it has Huge Power, which doubles its attack. Yeeeaaa... Inner Focus can't hold a candle to it. Stat-wise, nothing has been said of M. Gallade's stats, but they will likely be raised similar to M. Gardevoir. Gardevoir gets a slight boost in attack, with other boosts in special attack, special defense, and speed. Gallade will likely get a slight boost in sp. attack, with other boosts in attack, special defense, and speed.
  • Design: 4 out of 5. It took me a day to warm up to the design. One of the first leaked pictures had his arms at a different angle and it made his blades look dull. The picture I included gives a better view and I like him more for that. He still has crazy hips though. I guess since he's a knight you can be sure that his hips won't lie.
  • Usefulness: 1 out of 5. I really just don't see it right now. Pretty much everything he could do is done better by Mega Mewtwo X or Mega Medicham. In a non-legendary tournament, he has more status and support moves that Mega Medicham, so maybe that will be useful? I dunno.
  • Overall: 2.5 out of 5. 

Arr.. I'll keelhaul ye!
Mega Sharpedo - One of the Megas that everyone saw coming, Mega Sharpedo. People have been making the claim that Archie had a keystone in his chain necklace since he was featured in a trailer. It would only make sense that someone with a keystone would have a Mega. In Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, Archie and Max essentially had the same team. The only difference was Archie had Sharpedo and Archie had Camerupt. Because of this, people have made TONS of fanart for these two as Megas. I don't think the fanartists saw this Mega Sharpedo as a possibility though. They seemed to have been inspired by the sawtooth shark aka the sawfish, and decided to give Sharpedo a bigger nose and teeth extending from it. It also looks like the "Bully of the Sea" has been in a lot of fights recently. Sharpedo keeps its Water/Dark type combo and gains the ability Strong Jaw. Mega Sharpedo shares its typing and Mega status with Mega Gyarados, so it has some serious competition. Strong Jaw is a good ability, and when paired with a Speed Boost Sharpedo, could be pretty fun. Basically, Protect one turn to get the Speed Boost, Mega evolve next turn and have access to a Strong Jaw boosted Crunch. Sounds great to me. It has also been leaked that Mega Sharpedo gets a boost to all stats. With Sharpedo's frail defenses, I don't see a defense boost really doing much for its bulk, but more attack and speed could make for a pretty ridiculous glass cannon. Just watch out for priority and outspeed them with Mega Sharpedo's own priority move, Aqua Jet.
  • Design: 4.5 out of 5. I really enjoy the design. The only problem I have was it still has no tail. I know I'm being nit-picky.. but a shark with no tail has always bothered me. I know Sharpedo is more propelled by shooting water out of its rear (Ew) like a torpedo. That doesn't mean I have to like it.
  • Usefulness: 3 out of 5. I'm optimistic here. Trying to compete with Mega Gyarados for a team slot is tough, but I feel Mega Sharpedo is different enough to warrant it some consideration. One thing it can do that Mega Gyarados can't do really well is hold it's own against many Fairy types. Access to Poison Jab is nice.
  • Overall: 3.75 out of 5. 

Somehow even less camel like than
Camerupt itself.
Mega Camerupt - Like I said before, this is one of the Megas everyone saw coming. However, I personally am no where near as impressed with it as I am Mega Sharpedo. It has no competition for typing, as it maintains its Fire/Ground typing. The thing is, it has no competition because no one wants to be in that race so it wins by default. Well, unless you count Primal Groudon I guess. In that case, I'd suggest going with Primal Groudon. Better yet just go with different fire type combo altogther like Mega Charizard Y. On the plus side at least it didn't become Fire/Rock. Mega Camerupt gets access to Sheer Force, and a boost to all stats except speed, which gets dropped. This likely puts it on par with things like Shuckle in terms of speed, which is crazy slow. Many people would tell you speed is the most important stat in the game, and it can be, but Trick Room does exist. You could turn Mega Camerupt into a beast on a Trick Room team, but that's the only place I see it doing well. Sheer Force is nice, but the primary reason to have that ability is to abuse Life Orb. Mega Camerupt can't have a Life Orb since it is already holding a Mega stone so that's out. It does have some good moves for Sheer Force like Rock Slide, Heat Wave, etc.. I just don't know if it will even get to attack. It's defenses were subpar as a Camerupt (plus it's 4x weak to water). It's going to need to get some crazy boosts in those stats to be seen at all.

  • Design: 2 out of 5. I'm being kind of generous here. It went from a dopey cow with some volcanoes on it's back pretending to be a camel to being a smug volcano backed corgi. I like the area around the volcano, as the blue circles on Camerupt never made sense to me, but that's about it. Well, and the "M" on it's head. That makes it clear it's the Team Magma "go to guy". I kind of wish Mega Sharpedo had a stylized bone "A" on it somewhere.
  • Usefulness: 0 out of 5. Yea. I went there. I'm one of the first guys who will try to make a pokémon work. I want to make a fun moveset for every pokémon to perform to the best of their abilities, but right now I have nothing for this guy. I can't figure out how I could use it effectively at all. I gladly welcome ANYONE to propose ANYTHING to make this guy useable. Once ORAS comes out, do some battles with him and post the battle video codes. I would love to see anything making this guy seem less tragic.
  • Overall: 1 out of 5. Ouch.

Well there you have it! The most recently released Megas for ORAS. Here's hoping for more! I'm still holding out for Mega/Primal Regigigas. You can also see what I thought of Mega Altaria, Mega Salamence, etc.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Getting the Most Out of Regigigas

Poor Regigigas. It just has such a hard time getting things going. Sometimes it's hard to think a of a use for a pokémon like Regigigas. There are just so many pokémon that does what it can do so much better. Well, what do you do if Regigigas is one of your favorite pokémon and you want to use it anyway? You make the best of it, and that's what we do with the "Getting the Most Out of" series!

Now, you can't talk about Regigigas without highlighting it's biggest problem, Slow Start. Regigigas is the ONLY legendary to have an ability that straight up hinders it. It's almost like someone in game production hates him. Slow Start halves Attack and Speed for 5 turns. Anyone who plays Double or Triple battles knows lasting that many turns, especially without recovery moves, is extremely difficult to say the least. Oh, did I not mention that Regigigas practically has no recovery? Well it doesn't, outside of Drain Punch. Normal typing is rough too, seeing as Fighting moves are so common.

Not everything is terrible for Regigigas though, it's just hard to cut through all of the bad. First off, Regigigas has a great movepool like most Normal types. Real standouts include the elemental punches, Power Up Punch, Drain Punch, Return, Payback, and Knock Off. It even has some moves that can help it outlast Slow Start like Double Team and Substitute. It's stats are nothing to scoff at either. The only stat that is below a base 100 is Sp. Attack, and even then it's an 80 which isn't too shabby. Stat-wise, Regigigas is solid.

So, Slow Start? What do we do about it. Well, there are a couple strategies. For singles, run it alongside Cofagrigus. Have Cofagrigus with Red Card come out vs an offensive pokémon. If the pokémon hits Cofagrigus its Mummy ability will take effect and replace the opponent's ability. Red Card will then allow you to swap for Gigas. Next, have Regigigas hit the opponent, now Gigas has Mummy instead of Slow Start. It's stats will be back to normal immediately plus any other offensive pokémon that make direct contact with it will lose their ability which is pretty handy. This is sort of a one trick pony, but it may leave your opponent surprised as Regigigas starts wailing away on their pokémon.

As for Doubles or Triples, getting rid of Slow Start is a little easier and more consistent. Moves like Worry Seed and Entrainment will replace Regigigas with either Insomnia or the user's ability. Entrainment has the most promise. For example, Hawlucha can use Entrainment to give Regigigas Unburden. Combo this with a Regigigas holding a Normal Gem and you are going to end up with quite a speedy wall. Additionally interesting is Mega Lopunny. With Mega Lopunny you can give Gigas Scrappy, which with its large number of potential Normal and Fighting moves, Gigas could definitely become a major threat that's no longer blocked by Ghost types.

When it comes to choosing moves for Regigigas, it really depends on what you what the behemoth to be doing for your team. If you want to try and outlast Slow Start, then stalling moves like Thunder Wave, Substitute, or Double Team are the way to go. I would suggest a more proactive approach, however, using some of the strategies from above. Anyway, the real gems of Gigas moveset were mentioned above, however I will outline some I would strongly consider:

  • Return: This is Regigigas's strongest attack that doesn't have some sort of ill-effect or unpredictability. With the same type attack bonus (STAB) it is 153 power. You'll have to make sure Gigas's likes you, but raising it usually covers this.
  • Fire/Ice/Thunder Punch: Worth mentioning for covering weaknesses of other team members. Just pick the one(s) you need.
  • Power Up Punch: Regigigas with an attack nature and max attack has an attack stat of 460. However, if you decide to go with a defensive or speed nature, this could be used to make up for the lower attack stat. One or two hits from Power Up Punch, and you're golden.
  • Drain Punch: It is Regigigas' ONLY recovery move. Without it, you are accepting that you will never heal the guy (unless you have a partner with Pain Split or Heal Pulse).
  • Payback: Even at 100 base speed, Regigigas is still slower than a lot of common threats. Payback monopolizes on the fact it would be slower by doubling from 50 power to 100 after it is inevitably hit. You still need to dump Slow Start for maximum effect though.
  • Knock Off: ALWAYS a good choice. Unless you're facing a Mega, you can ensure that your opponent loses that all to important item for their strategy. Knocking off an item also increases the power of the move. Always nice.
  • Thunder: Wait... a special move? Really? Yes really. 80 base Sp. Attack is nothing the scoff at. Also, Slow Start has no affect on Sp. Attack, so Thunder is as good as it could possibly be, Slow Start or not. Seeing as most people who use Gigas would have it on a Doubles or Triples team, run it in the rain. Wynaut?
Knowing this, there are 3 potential movesets I plan on trying out on Gigas personally. There is the walling set, a physically offensive set, and a rain dance variant.

You Fought the Wall.. 
Nature: Impish or Careful
Item: Leftovers
Attacks: Thunder Wave, Confuse Ray, Substitute, Drain Punch
Strategy: Again, I don't care to wait for Slow Start to end, so this would likely be combo'd with one of the ability stripping strategies above. Mega Lopunny works best, but this could be done with the Cofagrigus strategy in Singles too. Although you would think a strong attack stat wouldn't matter for a wall, it does for Gigas. You want Drain Punch to be as strong as possible for maximum healing. Anyway, set up status and stall as long as possible.

And the Wall Won
Nature: Adamant
Item: Normal Gem
Attacks: Return, Knock Off, Fire/Ice/Thunder Punch, Earthquake
Strategy: I honestly just went through and chose Gigas's strongest most reliable moves. The set works best combo'd with Hawlucha giving Gigas Unburden. That way you get the speed boost, lose Slow Start, and have a max power gemmed Return all in one turn. That'll make your opponent shake a little.

Water Golem
Nature: Bold, Calm, Modest
Item: Leftovers
Attacks: Thunder, Icy Wind, Thunder Wave/Confuse Ray, Wide Guard
Strategy: A weird set to say the least, and definitely in need of testing, this is a support Gigas for a rain team. Thunder has 100% accuracy so it's a no brainer. Icy Wind will reduce the speed of both opponents, and Thunder Wave/Confuse Ray are there for disrupting status. Regigigas can't get Protect, but Wide Guard is useful in Doubles and Triples. It potentially protects Gigas for a turn from range moves. It also means that Gigas's partner can use Surf without hitting Gigas.

So there you have it. Regigigas may never be game breaking, but it can be fun. The best way to know is to experiment with it and see what you can do with it. If anyone has any suggestions or battle videos showing their Gigas in action, feel free to comment below!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Trailer

A new trailer has come out for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. It showcases many new cut scenes as well as the currently announced Megas. It also showcases some of the bonuses that come with reserving the game in Japan. It has been confirmed that Europe gets figures for reserving their games, but they look different than the ones in the trailer. The figures coming to the US are so far unconfirmed. We may get ones like Europe, Japan, or our own exclusive set.

Although the trailer doesn't reveal anything to ground-breaking (outside of Primal Groudon... haha!), it does do a good job of further hyping the games. It also let's us know that the Shiny Beldum event will run from the games' release date to January.