Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Pokemon of Unown Potential; Part 3

Unown Shuriken Forme
This week I have been exploring the implications of giving Unown a new forme. The reasons why, at least in terms of battle strength, are obvious. Unown couldn't Hidden Power its way out of a wet paper bag that also has a giant hole in it. I would go so far as to say that Unown's Hidden Power is so well hidden that not even Unown itself can find it. It's sad, because I think the lore and mystery of this pokemon warrants at least SOME battle potential, if only for the sake that it's just so weird. Over the last two days, I have written why I think it deserves a new forme and to be considered legendary as well as how I think those new formes should be handled. The final thing I want to touch on is moveset. This will be brief, as there's isn't anything to change... just attacks to add!

STRENGTH IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Actually, it's not. It's put up or shut up. Good thing Unown lacks a mouth, because it'll be really easy to shut up. Yesterday, I talked about how I think the Unown should change formes based on the words they spell. I'm not going to reiterate that, so if you missed it just go back and read yesterday's article. I make some good jokes. Instead, today we are going to focus on Unown's laughable movepool.

Did I say laughable? I meant nonexistent. Unown can only know Hidden Power, which itself is pretty weak coming in at a low 60 base power. The type is variable, depending on the stats (IVs) of the individual. On the right pokemon, and with the right type, Hidden Power can cover a weakness or increase coverage of other types. Many electric types that are used competitively are bred to have Hidden Power (ICE) to cover Ground types. Unfortunately for Unown, the only type that matters is Psychic. It needs that type so it can at least hit for the STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus). With the addition of new formes that add a secondary type, however, then having Hidden Power of other types become somewhat worth it. The new formes would also add new attacks, which is something Unown desperately needs.

BY THE POWER OF GREY SKULL!!

Unown is a gimmick pokemon. If you go and change it to be some amazing crazy battler, it takes something away from it. It needs to still be gimmicky, but could be somewhat formidable in certain scenarios. To extend it's gimmickyness, I think it should only learn 3 kinds of moves: Power moves, Eye moves, and Battlefield moves. Basically, it will be able to learn different types of "power" like Hidden Power, Secret Power, or Nature Power. Next, Unown is all about being a giant eyeball so I think we should play that up, and show everyone that Unown is really good at staring. Finally, as we saw in "Pokemon the 3rd Movie", Unown is really good at creating different mirage-like environments, so moves that change the terrain or weather would be fun. Most of the time, this would likely mean Unown Incantation (the name I gave the new forme(s) yesterday) would probably be used often as team support. Below is the list of moves I think Unown Incantation should learn, regardless of which particular Incantation it is.

Level                                     Attack                           Type                 Physical/Special/Status
-                                             Decipher                      Normal                           Special
-                                             Hidden Power              Normal                           Special
-                                             Leer                             Normal                            Status
-                                             Mean Look                  Normal                            Status
-                                             Baby-Doll Eyes           Fairy                               Status
15                                          Ancient Power             Rock                              Special
20                                          Glare                            Normal                           Status
25                                          Electric Terrain           Electric                            Status
30                                          Nature Power              Normal                            Special
30                                          Secret Power               Normal                          Physical
33                                          Power Split                 Psychic                            Status
39                                          Miracle Eye                Psychic                            Status
39                                          Future Sight                Psychic                           Special
40                                          Grass Terrain               Grass                               Status
45                                          Power Whip                 Grass                             Physical
47                                          Power Trick                Psychic                             Status
47                                          Power Swap               Psychic                              Status
50                                          Misty Terrain               Fairy                                Status
53                                          Earth Power                Ground                             Special
56                                          Super Power               Fighting                           Physical
63                                          Stored Power              Psychic                             Special
65                                          Decipher                     Normal                             Special

As you can see, the only new move that I have come up with is "Decipher". In my mind, this would be Unown Incantation's signature move. It would be similar to Arceus' Judgement in that it would depend on Unown Incantation's type, in this case it's secondary type. It wouldn't be as powerful as Judgement though with only a base power of 90. At least it would always give Unown Incantation a second STAB move behind all of it's Psychic moves and allow it to be offensive if need be. In terms of TMs or Tutor moves, I doubt Unown Incantation would be able to learn many. In my mind, it would only be able to learn certain energy based attacks similar to pokemon like Kadabra. In that case, I wouldn't be surprised to see it being able to TM for things like Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, and Psyshock as well as a few status moves like Calm Mind. Unlike most pokemon, however, it wouldn't be able to learn any moves for recovery and have to rely on items.

Anyway, I hope that you all have enjoyed my articles on Unown's untapped potential! I don't expect any of this to ever happen, but I can always hope!

Go to Part 1 | Go to Part 2

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Pokémon of Unown Potential; Part 2

They see you when you're sleeping...
Unown is a weak alphabet pokémon with as much mysteries lore as Arceus or Rayquaza. Why, then, is it treated like such a weakling? It has stats on par with pokémon like Magikarp and learns only a single move. When it was released, it was nothing more than a gimmick to get kids to print them out and spell with them, often being words they shouldn't be spelling. It would made sense that after the loss of the Game Boy Printer to time and space that the story of the Unown would be done. However, in Diamond and Pearl two new Unown were added! Why?! If anything, it simply begs for them to be revisited a final time and elevated to the legendary status they have longed for. Previously, I explained why I think they deserve it, now I'm going to talk about how I think it should be implemented.

THE SPELL OF THE UNOWN

The punnyness of this title is without question. I think you should "spell" out a word to produce a "magical spell". Many legendaries have been afforded new formes when new areas, items, or mechanics are introduced. Giratina gained the Origin Forme when the Distortion World/Griseous Orb were released in Platinum. Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus can now change to their Therian Formes using the Reveal Glass. The list goes on an on. It would make sense that, maybe as of Gen VII that a new item be released that allows Unown to change formes. However, I think it should be more complex than simply changing when selecting a key item.

Unown are known for one thing: spelling words. I think to change their forme you should have to take them to a particular ruin and interact with a stone tablet or similar item to the puzzles from the Ruin of Alph. When you do, it would allow you to arrange the Unown in your party to spell a word. Obviously, this opens up a lot of possibilities, so it would have to be toned down. First, the word should be 5 letters long to represent 5 spots in your party. I'll get back to the importance of the sixth slot. Next, the forme change can only occur when certain words are made. For example, if you spell "POOPS" text indicating "Nothing Happened" would occur. If you spelled out a correct magical word, however, then things would get interesting!

Next, that empty slot on your team. If you have 5 Unown for spelling, you have one spot left to bring someone else. In my mind, that should be a legendary. Unown seems to take power from other legendaries or at the very least is attracted to their power. A key example of this is when Arceus activated the Shinjo Ruins (see previous article). Rotom). Either way, I would assume like fellow fusions Black Kyurem and White Kyurem, this means you couldn't deposit Unown Incantation into Pokémon Bank or trade it. While in Incantation forme, the IVs, Nature, Shininess, Pokéball, etc would be determined by the properties of the first Unown in the word.
If that is the case, it would make sense that you have to have a certain legendary on your team to help the magic word work. Depending on who that legend is would affect the ability and secondary typing of the new Unown forme, which I will from now on refer to as "Incantation" forme. As Unown is a simple pokémon design, I'd expect the concept for Unown Incantation to be equally simple. I've played around with a couple different ideas. First would have the Unown simply spelling a word then basically becoming "one pokémon" the same way Magneton or Dugtrio are one pokémon. You still have the individual letters, but they now only count as one pokémon on your team. Second, perhaps they would merge with the object or puzzle that you use to make the forme. In this case, the word would still be present on the Unown Incantation, but including the merging item as part of the pokémon would open up opportunities for additional design concepts.

Unown Incantation isn't a complex design,
but then again neither is Unown. 
CH-CH-CHANGES

Looking at Unown's ability, I've always found Levitate to be both equally useful and boring on the pokémon that have it. Many are Psychic, so obviously they Levitate I guess. It keeps every floating pokémon from ending up half Flying type (Dragon/Flying Latios? No thanks..) or to end up weirdly floating yet skill get hit by Earthquake as if it was on the ground (Ugh.. Magnezone actually needed Levitate but didn't get it...). Perhaps if it wasn't thrown around so much, I wouldn't be so burned out on it. That being said, I think giving Unown Incantation other abilities would add to its novelty and set it apart from other Psychics. I did my best to choose abilities that exhibit the choice of magic word and the elemental power being drawn the corresponding legendary. I also decided that statistically speaking, it should be on par with things like the Articuno or Registeel which sit at a 580 stat total. Perhaps the stats would spread out differently depending on forme, maybe they wouldn't. However, I feel that 580 at least puts Unown Incantation, depending on typing and moveset (discussed later), in the playable realm without being incredibly overpowered. I may address the stat options in the next article.

Below is the list of Unown spells that would merge the 5 letters into a new forme, the legendary type required, and the ability it would gain. Should the legendary have a dual type, I'd suspect the game dialog would go something like, "The tablet is exuding a strange aura. It almost feels like it is..." then you would chose a type from the two the legendary has.

Unown Incantation Spells: Spell the corresponding words using the Unown on your team and have a corresponding legendary/mythical of the right type. All Unown Incantation are still Psychic and gain the secondary typing of the spell type you use (exculding Psychic) and a new ability.

  • FIRE SPELL: BURN! + Fire Legend = Flame Body
  • WATER SPELL: FLOOD + Water Legend = Storm Drain
  • GRASS SPELL: PLANT + Grass Legend = Leaf Guard
  • ELECTRIC SPELL: SHOCK + Electric Legend = Volt Absorb
  • GROUND SPELL: DUNES + Ground Legend = Sand Force
  • ROCK SPELL: STONE + Rock Legend = Solid Rock
  • FLYING SPELL: WINDS + Flying Legend = Pressure
  • FIGHTING SPELL: VIGOR + Fighting Legend = Sheer Force
  • PSYCHIC SPELL: SOZEN + Psychic Legend = Inner Focus
  • BUG SPELL: STING + Bug Legend = Adaptability
  • GHOST SPELL: SCARE + Ghost Legend = Cursed Body
  • DRAGON SPELL: QUELL + Dragon Legend = Multiscale
  • ICE SPELL: FROST + Ice Legend = Snow Cloak
  • POISON SPELL: TOXIN + Poison Legend = Poison Touch
  • DARK SPELL: SHADY + Dark Legend = Pickpocket
  • STEEL SPELL: METAL + Steel Legend = Sturdy
  • FAIRY SPELL: CHARM + Fairy Legend = Friend Guard
  • NORMAL SPELL: LOOK? + Normal Legend = Frisk
When you're done with the obvious in-game dialog and checked your party, you would then only have 2 pokémon on your team: Unown Incantation and the legendary that tagged along as part of the spell. I would like to point out since the Unown do seem to have a connection with Arceus that you can use Arceus to activate any spell you want, so long as it is holding the right plate (ex: Toxic Plate Arceus can help activate a Poison Spell).

Some of these abilities, and therefore some Unown Incantation, are obviously better than others. However, I did my best to balance that aspect. If every spell resulted in an amazing ability, it wouldn't seem very genuine. Also, I wanted them to fulfill different roles. Normal and Fairy Spell Unown Incantations are better at team support. Rock, Dragon, and Steel Spell Unown Incantations can take a hit, whereas Ground, Fighting, and Bug Spell Unown Incantations can dish it out.

I'd also like to point out that every Unown letter and punctuation is used at least once. This means if you want to be able to potentially cast any spell, you are going to need all 28 Unown. Gotta Catch 'Em All! Of course, if you just want one particular spell for a tournament or something, you just have to go catch the five you need and only the stats of the first one in the word matter.

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Pokémon of Unown Potential; Part 1

Alphabet soup has never been this trippy before.
Unown is a weird pokémon. I'm suppose it's that weirdness that has always left a soft spot for them in my heart since their introduction in Gold and Silver. I even remember the first time I learned about them. It was from a leaked image in a gaming magazine, Beckett's Pokémon Collector, with them being misidentified as Ghost type. My first thought was, "heiroglyphic pokémon, neat!" Sure, they aren't true heiroglyphs, just being essentially a different font for the English alphabet, but I was intrigued. I enjoyed unlocking them in the Ruins of Alph and collecting each letter. In fact, I just did this in Omega Ruby last night using a Mirage Cave I got from Streetpassing people.

Unfortunately for the Unown, after I get the full alphabet they are essentially just box filler. Their battle prowess is basically non-existant since their stats are so bad and they only learn one move (Hidden Power). Plus, you can't even effectively use them in side games like Contests or load them with a few HMs. It would seem that their inclusion in Gold and Silver (and eventually Crystal) was just to give players things to print from their Game Boy Printer. I have a personal tie to the Unown as I used them to propose to my wife. I had a team of Unown I battled her with on Pokémon Battle Revolution nicknamed "Will", "You", "Marry", "Me", "?". When they popped up in team preview I'm sure the first thought that popped in her mind is, "Well, I'm going to win this match pretty easy."

Are the Unown being summoned by Arceus or
are they attracted to it's power? Maybe they
just heard it was Palkia/Dialga/Giratina's
birthday and just showed up for cake.
If the only reason to have Unown was to try to sell a feature that doesn't even exist anymore (printing), what purpose do they serve now or in the future? Within the Pokémon universe, we've been led to believe the Unown are legendary. In the "Pokémon the 3rd Movie" they are shown to be able to make tangible illusions and basically re-word reality. It's easy to write this off (LOL), since the movies can make any pokémon seem super important (ex: Munchlax, Bonsly, etc.). I'd even be willing to do so if the games and anime didn't keep throwing their legendary status at us. In the Ruins of Alph, there are various messages written by ancient humans using the Unown text. Various Pokédex entries seem to suggest that their power increases the more you have, stating that an "odd power emerges" when there are "two or more". In "The Rise of Darkrai" the Unown appear to inhabit the same dimension as Dialga and Palkia or maybe Dialga and Palkia somehow entered their dimension. If the latter is true, why do the Unown need their own dimension? Who do they think they are... Giratina? Another weird tie in with Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina also involves Arceus. If you take Arceus to the Ruins of Alph in Heartgold and SoulSilver, the Unown send you to the Shinjo Ruins. They appear again when you allow your Arceus to enter the Shinjo Ruins to create another Dialga, Palkia, or Giratina. These instances seem to present more questions than answers, which is what intrigues me about them so much. They aren't some overpowered creature that controls time, builds continents, or expands oceans. They spell things. Over the next couple of days, I am going to make a case for 1) why the Unown SHOULD be considered tentatively legendary and 2) why they should receive some new forme to raise their abilities to that level. I'm also going to talk about how I think the forme change should be executed to fit in with the lore of other legends as well as the stats and moves Unown would gain. Yes, I said MOVES (plural).

LEGENDS ARE BORN FROM THE STORIES TOLD

"Come on guys.. Can you let me
in the legendary club? Please?"
In terms of lore, the Unown have the most curious lore of all the legends. For the most part, they are simply a way of recording those legendary tales. They have ties to ancient human civilization due to this. Additionally, there's the earlier mentioned ties to Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, and Arceus. In their current forme, they have a lot in common with the odd "maybe it's a legendary/ maybe it isn't" Phione. They are legendary/mythical simply because of their associations. It's like they are trying to use their "in" to become a member of the club rather than actually earn it on their own. However, I think that Unown at least does a slightly better job of earning it for themselves than Phione, simply due to their lore. What's Phione's lore? One night Manaphy made some bad decisions with a Ditto? That's not exactly a legendary story. Even if Unown is essentially just a more offensive version of Wingdings, at least they have a cool story to make them seem like a threat. When you consider some of the other legendary or mythical pokémon, some have far fewer credentials than Unown. For example:
  • Shaymin helped some flowers grow in a field one time. 
  • Heatran may or may not have formed a big mountain in Unova. 
  • Mew is the first pokémon, but not really, and it can learn a lot of stuff. 
  • Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres are birds that aren't Normal/Flying (a rarity at the time) and have good stats. Also they may or may not work for Lugia. 
  • Lugia lived in a tower, but it burned down so now it lives in a cave like a hermit (see: GSC Blaine). If the bird trio gets cranky it may step in, fail, and have to be helped by a 10 year old.
  • Deoxys is an alien virus that hijacked a meteorite ride to Earth and got shot with a laser. 
In terms of story and mystery, these guys don't have much. What they do have that Unown doesn't is power and more than one attack. This is where I think a forme needs to be introduced to fix this little problem.

SPELLING OUT TROUBLE WITH A NEW FORME

I do want to point out I understand it's odd to suggest that we should give a new forme to something that already has 28 different formes, but hear me out. Compared to other formes, the Unown forms add absolutely nothing to it. No type changes, no ability changes, no stat changes, nothing. In fact, they are more akin to gender differences. The different Unown formes are purely aesthetic. In fact, it seems even the Pokédex recognizes this as it refers to each letter as "One Form" rather than calling it something different. So in that regard Unown are just variable, like Spinda, and only posses a single form, the form of a particular letter or punctuation. Adding an additional form would just give it a second form. For this second form, I suggest a word... a word that will unlock the potential of the Unown that spell it!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Atomacon Amiibo Tournament Test

This year I will be hosting an Amiibo Tournament at Atomacon along with a Pokémon Premier Challenge (VG) and a League Challenge (TCG). I have been toying around with either recording the matches or doing a stream. Here is a test.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Premier Challenge Sceptile Season - October Team KO Analysis

Therian Landorus - A continued threat...
The Sceptile Season Premier Challenges I hosted in October are now complete, so it's time to break down some of the things that were commonly seen the past two weeks. Specifically, I will be breaking down the pokémon commonly seen on teams during the past two tournaments. I am counting every instance of a pokémon appearing on a team as a different entry. That means if Billy showed up with Pikachu on his team in Premier Challenge #1 and Premier Challenge #2, that it will count as two Pikachu. Again, this is how many times a particular pokémon was entered into our Premiers so every additional entry is counted even it is the exact same Pikachu. I will continue to do this for all tournaments I host and compile all of the information until we are done with the 2015-16 VGC season. This particular article will focus on Masters level performance as there was only one Senior and no Juniors in these tournaments, however the data from the Senior player is used and included in the statistics.

A lot of common past VGC staples were seen over the past two weekends. Not surprisingly, Therian forme Landorus continues to be a threat in the VGC format. Landorus - T showed up on 36% of all teams entered. Although not the largest percentage, it is definitely the most entered pokémon of all, with the next highest entry percentage being 27%. If this continues for the rest of the season maybe it should be renamed the Landorus Season rather than the Sceptile Season. Every single Landorus entered knew Rock Slide and Earthquake, and most knew Superpower. The fourth move seemed more variable and up to personal taste. For items, the speed increasing Choice Scarf was the clear favorite, with players deciding to focus more on Attack with an Adamant nature over Jolly and the Choice Scarf making up for it. A full run down is in the chart below. Therian Landorus was present on half of the Masters teams that made it to Top Cut.

Click to enlarge.
Tied for second place in usage (roughly 27%)  are the VGC staples Thundurus Incarnate and Kangaskhan. Thundurus continues to be a common Prankster abuser in VGC, allowing to to use attacks like Taunt and Thunder Wave with priority and outspeeding other Pranksters like Meowstic. Kangaskhan, on the other hand, is there for the sheer power that comes along with Mega Evolving and it's signature ability Parental Bond. For obvious reasons, 100% of all Kangaskhan were holding Kangaskhanite. Before evolving, all of the Kangaskhan's entered had the Scrappy ability allowing them to hit Ghosts before Mega Evolving. Kangaskhan was also the most common Mega among Masters in Top Cut with it appearing on 75% of all top finishing teams. Turtle Gaming Premier
Champion Bailey G. instead opted for Manectric.

Click to Enlarge
Tied for third in usage (roughly 23%) are another pair of VGC staples, Aegislash and Cresselia. Despite this, Aegislash wasn't a favorite for top finishing Masters. None of the Masters who made it to Top Cut used Aegislash at all. Cresselia, on the other hand, was on one of the top finishing teams for Masters as well as for the single Senior, Jaylen J. Jaylen won 1st place overall at the first Team KO Premier this year at Starlite Gaming, so it shows that Cresselia is potentially a good choice. All teams that used Cresselia opted for mostly support, grouping moves like Helping Hand, Light Screen,Thunder Wave, and/or Skill Swap with Ice Beam. Ice Beam is obviously meant to help counter Therian Landorus and other common VGC staples with Ice weakness like Thundurus Incarnate or Garchomp. A full run down of all pokémon that commonly appeared in this month's Team KO Premier Challenges can be seen below.

All pokémon who appear in the previous summary appear on three or more team sheets. Pokémon with two or less appearances are not included. Three appearances was chosen as the minimum to potentially remove any pokémon whose usage was inflated simply because someone participated in both tournaments with the exact same pokémon. With the minimum being 1 degree higher than the number of tournaments, this means at least two people would have had made the conscious decision to use it. Additionally, even though the data includes which form of Landorus and Thundurus were, it doesn't include Rotom formes. Forme isn't a required bit of information for team registration, so many didn't include it. The formes for Landorus and Thundurus can be deduced from the ability the player registered, as they change ability when they change formes. Rotom always has Levitate. If forme information is more common for Rotom in the future, it will be included.

More information will be added to this as more tournaments are conducted. The next Sceptile Season Team KO Premier is taking place at Atomacon in North Charleston on November 15th. You can confirm going on the Team KO Facebook event, however you will also need to purchase admission into the convention to participate. There are weekend and daily rates available.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Team KO Premier Challenges

Once again Team KO is running several Premiers this year in South Carolina and southeastern Georgia. So far I've only got the SC locales squared away. Additional locations will be added later. I'm planning on hitting middle-SC (Columbia) as well as the Statesboro/Savannah GA area and possibly even a NC location. These are waiting approval, so if the sanctioning links aren't up and going yet you can get details from their associated Facebook event pages.



Just make sure that you...

1. Bring your nintendo 3ds, a copy of Pokemon Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire, and a charger. Some of these tournaments can run long, as the Honts' masters attendance varies anywhere from 20-40 players!

2. All tournaments have a 5 dollar entry fee except the North Charleston tournament. It is being held at a Sci-Fi/Gaming convention and is free with entry to the Con. Single day entry is $15. See http://atomacon.org for details.

3. Have fun! Premier Challenges are an easy way to secure Championship Points, meet new people, and grow your local scene all at the same time!

Additionally, I am attempting to raise money from my league members/tournament frequents to purchase a capture card. I doubt we'll have it in time, so if anyone wants to bring theirs and stream contact me at pkmnbattlefront@yahoo.com and we will discuss it.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekend Recap: Zygarde, Greninja, and Premier Challenges

Zygarde core and Zygarde cells look
roughly the same. The difference being
there is only one core, and it's internal
organ is red. The cells have a green
organ and are many.
Earlier in the year the next pokémon movie was teased and involved a new "green blob" pokémon and a new giant shadowy pokémon. We now know they are both formes of Zygarde. This isn't exactly anything new, as many fans had already speculated that would be the case. In fact, I was pretty sure that it was Zygarde myself. Recently, it has been the trend for the "third legendary" of a series to have some unique forme or Mega. The trend began in Platinum with Giratina getting its Origin forme. This has continued with Kyurem getting its fusion formes and Rayquaza getting a Mega that doesn't require a Mega Stone. What is unique about Zygarde is that we now know it isn't a single pokémon. Instead, Zygarde is composed of many smaller "Zygarde cells" and a "Zygarde core". The core is the green blob from the earlier announcement.

Zygarde, being composed of many smaller organisms, changes appearance based on how many Zygarde cells are present. The more Zygarde cells you have, the more imposing the Zygarde forme. How this will be handled in the video games in uncertain, but most likely it will be location based. If you want to change your Zygarde's forme, you may have to go to its cave so more Zygarde cells can be added. The next forme shown was Zygarde 10%.

Zygarde 10%. Apparently if you
only give 10%, you turn into a dog.

Oddly enough, this forme looks like a dog. I personally like this forme the least. I think that is mainly because, to me, Zygarde is a snake-like pokémon. It's original appearance, which is apparently "Zygarde 50%", is obviously a snake. Even the core and cell formes are snake-like, or at the very least Dunsparce-like (YAY!). This 10% forme is supposedly speed and attack based. That's neat an all, but I doubt anyone would actively decide to use this over the other formes. If it's 10%, I would assume its strength overall would be 40% weaker than the standard Zygarde, and hardly anyone uses that version already. Also, for an additional creepy factor, this dog doesn't have eyes. Just white hexagonal scales where the eyes would be. No thanks, I'll pass. If you can get multiple formes in one game, I'll get this one for my Dex and then box it forever.



Perfect Zygarde giving 100%.
Gohan is Super-Effective against it.



Finally, in terms of Zygarde formes, we have "Perfect Zygarde". This forme seems to pull from Dragonball Z's "Perfect Cell" at least a little. The head and color scheme along with the whole "absorbing things the become perfect" scenario. Zygarde keeps its typing throughout this whole process (yes... this means the dog is Dragon/Ground), but the end forme has shed a lot of its dragon-like characteristics. The arms, "wings", and tail are pretty much the only dragon-like things about it. In fact, it looks like someone trying to pull off a Zygarde gijinka cosplay (look it up). That being said, the design isn't terrible, its just far and removed from what we would expect looking at the original Zygarde. Then again, so is Zygarde "puppy forme". Since this Zygarde is "perfect" it is said to surpass Yveltal and Xerneas in power. This seems like a clear indicator that we are getting one more Kalos based game. The Pokémon TV series is being renamed from Pokémon XY to Pokémon XY & Z, so it seems like a Z game may be on the horizon. I'm hoping for a sequel in the vain of Black 2/White 2 rather than a rehash like Platinum.. but we'll have to wait and see.

From a biological standpoint, the core is the actual organism. The cells are like drones that operate off of a hive mind, which is coming from the core. The reason that Zygarde can take additional formes is due to adding more cells to the hive mind. The idea here is more cells equals more mass (which isn't always true in terms of biology, but then again a salamander able to breathe fire isn't biologically accurate either). Therefore, using the more cells equals more mass hypothesis, Zygarde can take on larger more imposing forms by having more cells. The core is essentially "Zygarde 0.1%", there is only one involved. Zygarde 10% (dog mode) is with more cells added, Zygarde 50% (snake) adds even more, and then Complete Zygarde contains all of the Zygarde cells in the world. I'm assuming there are 1,000 seeing as it's signature moves are Thousand Waves and Thousand Arrows. This also means, hypothetically, there are formes for 20%, 30%, 40%, 60%, etc however they are likely just skipped for production reasons. Maybe they'll get added somewhere along the line. Anyway, the take home message here, Zygarde Core and Zygarde Complete are the true Zygarde. One represents the most basic component, and the other is with all possible components added. Any forme in-between is simply build up. In this manner, Zygarde is similar to a Portuguese Man O'War, a jellyfish that isn't actually a single jellyfish.. but rather a colony of many zooid animals.

Nice chops bro.

Also announced with Zygarde is a weird new Greninja. Supposedly it's a new forme based off of Ash, which is really weird. Apparently, Ash and Greninja become super besties and start dressing alike. Currently, I have no idea what that is even supposed to mean. Outside of having some mad sideburns similar to Ash's hair, it doesn't share a ton in common with him. This is probably a boon for Greninja.. you really don't want to aspire to be Ash Ketchum. He's a cool guy, but seriously, aspire to be like a Gym Leader at least. Design-wise, people are throwing around the possibility that it is a Mega and just as many people are saying its too similar to its original version to be a Mega. Slight aesthetic changes aren't uncommon for Megas though. Just look at Mega Kangaskhan, Mega Sableye, Mega Ampharos, etc. They aren't too different from their non-Mega versions. Of course, this Greninja could turn out to be a show exclusive thing. Pokémon in the anime have worn clothes in the past that haven't translated into the games (the Squirtle Squad, Ash's Krookodile, Serena's Pancham, etc). Time will tell on this one.

On a side bar from these new formes, the new season for Video Game Premier Challenges has begun this month. I have started looking to scheduling for these tournaments and am shooting to start holding them at the end of September. One has already been scheduled to be held at Atomacon in North Charleston, South Carolina. Once I have a full schedule, likely by Friday Sept 18th, I will post it. The schedule will include all Premier Challenges I plan on hosting during the Sceptile Season which lasts from Sept to November. To learn more about Premier Challenges and how you can earn Championship Points to participate in Pokémon National and World tournaments, visit Pokemon.com. We are currently trying to raise money to buy a capture card to stream our Premier Challenge matches.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pokémon GO! - My Cautious Optimism


Nintendo and The Pokémon Company International, along with the creators if Ingress, have announced a new pokémon game coming to mobile Android and iOS devices in 2016. This game, Pokémon GO,  is an augmented reality game similar to the Pokémon Dream Radar for 3DS and in another aspect, it's also similar to the PokéWalker for HeartGold and SoulSilver. The additional accessory, the Pokémon GO Plus, alerts you when you're near a pokémon via a rumbling feature and LED light. This means you don't have to stare at your phone the whole time. Essentially, the game let's you go to real world locations to battle, trade, and capture pokémon. Hypothetically, it sounds great. I'm not yet 100% convinced though. I'll admit, the main thing holding me back is that it is "Free to start". 

Microtransactions have always bugged me. I'd prefer to pay outright rather than deal with microtransactions. With pokémon games, I often log hundreds of hours playing a particular game. For example, I have logged over 999 hours in Pokémon Y since it came out a couple years ago. That only cost me $35 - 40.

In terms of Pokémon GO, I feel like microtransactions would hamper my play time. It would make the most sense that, like other "Free to start" games, you would be given some starter resources and then after playing for a couple minutes would be required to wait until the resources replenished themselves. In Pokémon GO, which allows you to capture pokémon, I would assume those resources would be pokéballs. If that is the case, what happens when you run out of pokéballs? Most likely you would get a prompt to buy more with real cash or have to just run away from the pokémon you are trying to catch and wait for your pokéballs to be replenished. That seems awful frustrating. I'd also assume that getting rarer pokéballs (Great, Ultra, etc) would require you purchase them. If you are attempting to get even 150 pokémon, that could get pricey.

It's not all bad though. If the microtransactions are reasonable, or handled well, then it could be a huge success. I had initially worried about Pokémon Shuffle and Pokémon Rumble, but I did eventually break down and download them and so far I'm happy with them. Although the microtransactions have hampered how much I play them, I have been able to play them for a good bit for free. I've gotten farther in Pokémon Shuffle than Rumble, primarily because the resources are better handled. Essentially, I can play more with just the free resources in Shuffle than in Rumble. If I spend roughly $30 over the course of these kinds of games and can still get a good bit of enjoyment out of them, then I'm happy. If this game is compatible with main series games, like the PokéWalker and Dream Radar were, then I'll gladly drop some coin on them. Currently, that isn't known, but there have been hints of some sort of compatibility.

  • Pros: 
    • You can capture pokémon "in real life".
    • The graphics look nice.
    • It does have battle and trade features.
    • The Pokémon GO Plus alerts you when you're near a pokémon, so you don't have to stare at your phone the whole time.
  • Cons:
    • Microtransactions
    • It's currently unknown how this game works with main series games.
    • Most likely has some sort of resource time limit.
    • Currently appears to only showcase Gen 1 pokémon.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Get Your Shiny Rayquaza before Sept 14th!

Mega Rayquaza is a beast. Seeing as
every new game has at least one
super-powerful pokémon, I shudder
to think what could out beast this thing in
the next set of games...
Just a reminder to everyone, you'll want to get your Shiny Rayquaza before September 14th. You can download it from Mystery Gift when you connect to the internet. The Rayquaza already knows Dragon Ascent, so it can Mega evolve. However, this event is only for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and if you wanted to trade to X or Y you'll have to get rid of Dragon Ascent for a different move. It is still fully compatible with Pokémon Bank though, you just can't withdraw it to X or Y if it knows Dragon Ascent.

This Rayquaza is likely a tie in to the the previously released Ancient Origins card set, as the set has a shiny Mega Rayquaza EX card. Oddly enough, there is no Shiny Rayquaza EX so by Mega evolving you are essentially turning a regular Rayquaza into a shiny. Same goes for the Shiny Primal Groudon and Kyogre EXs from the set. It doesn't really matter so much, it's just a funny circumstance.

For those of you without Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire, only X and Y, I will be downloading a few extra in my Alpha Sapphire. I've never actually started a file on it, so I just use it to get events. I download the event, get my pokédex, dump the event on Bank, reset, and download again until I get tired of it. If you happen to have a spare of a different event, I'll gladly get you a Shiny Rayquaza, teach it something to get rid of Dragon Ascent, and trade it to you. I'm a nice guy like that.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Interview with Nationals Junior Division Winner: Aiden McKinney

Aiden and his small army of Bulbasaur.
Pokémon National Championships are always an exciting endeavor. Every year participants from all over the US travel to Indianapolis, Indiana to compete in trading card and video game tournaments. This year one of Team KO's own participated and brought home the gold in the Junior division. Matt got a chance to interview Aiden and ask him some questions about his experience at Nationals.


Matt: Briefly, when did you start playing Pokémon, when did you start playing in tournaments, and in which states have you participated in VGC-style tournaments?

Aiden: I started playing right before the release of XY. My first tournament was actually the Win-A-Game tournament for XY [a Team KO tournament held in Statesboro, Ga]. I came in 6th place out of 6 junior players. After that, I started going to league every week where I learned a lot about team building, strategy and IVing/EVing. I've played VGC in many states. I bubbled out of cut at GA regionals 2014, then I bubbled out of cut at Nationals in Indiana last year. This season, I won PCs in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and New Mexico. I also hit 4 regionals this season. I finished 5th in Philadelphia, second (to London Swan) in Virginia, second (again to London) in Georgia. I also attended Florida regional, but I brought the wrong team and finished 18th or so.

Matt: How did you decide on which Pokémon to use in the tournament?

Aiden: I had a whole lot of help picking my Pokemon. Kyle Smith [Team KO member, Nationals Competitor 2014] is my mentor and good friend. He had been studying the meta a lot more than I had and thought that sand was a good choice. I'm so glad he helped me! The rain team I was also considering wouldn't have done as well.

Matt: Were there any in particular Pokémon that performed better or worse than you thought they would?

Aiden: Milotic was a last minute switch. I'd been practicing using Rotom-W, but he just wasn't pulling his weight. Milotic definitely saved my other guys! Ludicolo preformed a lot worse than I was expecting. I don't feel like he did anything but absorb hits and faint. I'm going to rework his EV's so he can shine the next time I use him.

Aiden's Team, click to expand.
Source: Pokemon.com

Matt: If you had to give one of your Pokémon a MVP award, which one would you choose?

Aiden: The MVP award goes to Excadrill. He's very powerful and did a lot of work during swiss. I'm glad he also got to shine during the finals.

Matt: Were there any Pokémon or strategies you were particularly worried about facing in the tournament?

Aiden: I was really worried about gimmicky teams. Perish Trap, Terracotta, Dark Void Smeargle, etc. I lost a few game 1's in swiss because I was overthinking and trying to figure out their strategy! I did not have a taunt user on my team, so Trick Room also scared me a bit. My top 16 match was against trick room, and the team did fine with it. I was just nervous.

Matt: How did you prepare for the tournament?

Aiden: I practiced a lot during the weeks before the tournament. Trying out new teams, testing how things work and trying to get a feel for the meta. The 5 days before the tournament I did a least 30 battle spot ranking battles a day! I also studied types, weakness and played with the damage calculator a lot.

Matt: Did you have any matches where something surprising happened that took you, or your opponent, off guard?

Aiden: I misclicked during game 2 of top 8 against Luke Smith's Perish Trap Team. I accidentally shadow balled into Scrafty instead of Gengar. Ouch. T-Tar and Aegislash both fainted but I still managed to win the game.


Aiden is no stranger to
competitive play.
Matt: You’ve faced London Swan before in tournaments, most recently at the Regionals in Athens, Ga (2015). How would you describe facing him again at Nationals?

Aiden: London is a very good player. I was very nervous about facing him again after he beat me in two previous finals. I tried not to be too nervous and just make good choices. I think I only misplayed once, so that's not too bad I guess.

Matt: During your matches, you seem to like to have a whole mob of Bulbasaur hang out with you. Care to explain why?

Aiden: I've always liked Bulbasaur, he is number one after all! I used to carry a different plush to every tournament, but then I realized that I did better when I had the Bulbasaur! My mom started buying every Bulbasaur thing she saw and now I have a huge collection. I think they're all lucky, so I like to carry as many as possible to my rounds. I didn't like that they made me put most of them on the ground! Basically, I like Bulbasaur because he is the best and he is lucky.

Matt: If you had any advice for someone thinking about going to a Pokémon video game tournament, what would it be?

Aiden: Do your best and have fun every round! This is a game and not brain surgery or something crazy like that!

If you want to watch Aiden's final round match vs Londan Swan, it has been posted to Youtube. You can also watch recaps on The Pokémon Company's Twitch feed.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Gamestop Dragonite Event for June and July

Not the rarest event in the world.. but ok.
From today thru July 12 US players can go to GameStop to get a serial code to download an event Dragonite. Dragonite has its Hidden Ability Multiscale, is holding a Lum Berry, and knows Dragon Dance, Outrage, Hurricane, and Extreme Speed. Although not the rarest event in the world, it does let you circumvent having to migrate up an Extreme Speed Dratini (if you haven't already or don't own Heartgold/Soulsilver).
In the past, some Gamestops employees have told customers they have to reserve a game to get the serial code. THIS IS NOT TRUE! If an employee attempts to get a reservation out of you for one of these codes call customer service immediately and report them. The Gamestop customer service number is 1-800-883-8895.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Silly Deck Saturday: Shiftry

Starting this month the Team KO Blog will be running some new stories on weird deck strategies for the trading card game. The current plan is to run roughly two a month, however it will depend on interest. To begin these new articles, we will start off with a card that piqued my interest a long time ago, and has since come back to mind: Shiftry (XY-Flashfire, 7/106)

Free Retreat Cost? Nice.
Two weaknesses? Ouch...
I've always liked Shiftry, even though its nose horrifies me. In the video games, Shiftry is often relgated to some slight usefulness on Drought teams. Lately, even that status has dropped with the inclusion of Chlorophyll Venusaur. That being said, Shiftry has often been an interesting choice in the TCG. In fact, during the 2006 TCG season I ran a deck that utilized Shiftry EX (Crystal Guardians, 97/100) and had moderate success with it. Primarily, its ability to utilize the special Darkness Energy as well as its ability to damage players who heavily utilize powers made it a fun card to play. Compared to our current EXs, however, it suffers from having to be played as an evolution to Nuzleaf (a stage 1) which drastically slows it down. I mention this because it is something the Flashfire Shiftry also has to deal with. In the current format, there is a big push away from Stage 2 pokémon being the primary focus of a deck. Basic EXs are faster plays which allow the users to get their deck to run efficiently without sacrificing turns. Those Stage 2s that are played are typically bench warmers that are utilized primarily for thier ability. This is where we currently see the Flashfire Shiftry situated.

The rhythm is gonna get ya,  the rhythm is 
gonna get ya, the rhythm is gonna get ya... 
TONIGHT!
Shiftry (seen on the right) has made a little bit of a splash when it first came out due to its amazing ability Leaf Draw. For the simple sacrifice of a single Grass energy, Shiftry allows the player to draw 3 cards. With multiple Shiftry, this number can obviously be increased. Getting the energy to feed it isn't that hard either, as Professor's Letter (XY 123/146) gets you two basic energies from your deck. This allows players to quickly draw through their deck, even under Item lock from common deck staples like Seismitoad EX (XY-Furious Fists 20 & 106/111). It's not all sunshine and roses for Shiftry though. Some Seismitoad decks run Garbotoxin Garbodor (various BW sets) which would stop Shiftry's ability to draw. Garbotoxin stops all abilities except Garbotoxin if Garbodor has an item. The recent loss of Lysandre's Trump Card also hampers the draw a bit. If you aren't careful, you could deck out. Luckily, Garbodor decks are dwindling due to Garbodors imminent rotation and a weather eye on your deck size can keep you from decking out.

If we could have 9 pokémon per team
in VG.. stuff would get INSANE
As an attacker, Shiftry has yet to really shine. However, I think with the proper build Shiftry decks could be quite viable. "X the Bench" style attacks have always done a lot of damage relatively quickly, and Shiftry is no exception. For a Grass energy and a Double Colorless Shiftry is hitting for 100 if your bench is full. If your opponent has some pokémon on their bench, it's even more. Not only that, but Shiftry has been given a wonderful gift in the form of the Skyfield stadium card (XY-Roaring Skies 89/108). With it in play, each bench now maxes out at 8 pokémon. That means with your side full Shiftry is hitting for 160 damage. That is pretty deranged. If your opponent has one benched pokémon you can OHKO any non-Mega/Primal EX. Currently, Seismitoad EX is seen in most decks, but if you're running Shiftry they likely stand little no chance without Garbodor. Sure they could use cards like Crushing Hammer or Enhanced Hammer which remove energy cards, but they can only do that for so long. As I mentioned earlier, we're losing Lysandre's Trump Card. A few more weeks and it will a lot harder for Toad decks to consistantly remove energies. Not impossible mind you, but a lot harder. People are toying around with Crawdaunt (XY-Primal Clash 92/160) which can remove an energy from the active when played and have seen success, so it could make for an interesting match up.

Other cards which could help Shiftry be interesting include the following:
More useful dead.
  • Forest of Giant Plants (Stadium; Ancient Origins) - Allows players to evolve grass pokémon on the turn they are played or the first turn of the game. This speeds Shiftry up a lot when used in tandem with cards like Ultra Ball (XY-Flashfire 95/106) and Wally (XY-Roaring Skies 94/108). Hypothetically, you could have Shiftry on turn one with the right hand and attacking on turn 2 with a Double Colorless energy.
  • Target Whistle (Item; XY-Phantom Forces 109/119) - Is your opponent keeping their bench low intentionally to reduce your damage? Whistle lets you put one of thier discarded basics on their bench. This also reduces the damage that Night March decks can put out. Just KO the non-Night March pokémon and gum up thier bench with Joltiks and Pumpkaboos from the discard.
  • Exeggcute and Exeggutor (Pokémon; Plasma Freeze) - These cards are rotating in a few months, but for now they could make for fun partners. Exeggcute's Propogation lets you get it back should it be discarded by Ultra Ball or when someone replaces your Skyfield with another Stadium. Exeggutor locks Supporters, which is a burden on any deck and give you time to build up Shiftry.
  • Colress (Supporter; Plasma Blast) - Also a rotating card, this allows you to shuffle your hand and draw based on the pokémon on either players benches. If you have Skyfield that's a max of 16 cards. A huge advantage, but the draw must be used sparringly. Combo that with Shiftry's Leaf Draw and you'll deck quickly. Colress is best as a tech in this scenario.
  • Energy Retrieval (Item; Primal Clash) - Essential after using Leaf Draw to get your energy back. Although it lacks the kick of Super Energy Retrieval (Plasma Freeze) it doesn't require a discard and is not rotating.
Basic Shiftry Deck: This deck is a suggested build for an early Shiftry deck. Obviously, after playing a bit with it you may find ways to improve upon the basic idea given your area's play environment. PLF: Plasma Freeze; FLF: XY- Flashfire; FFI: XY Furious Fists.


Pokémon: 15



  • 3x Seedot (FLF)
  • 2x Nuzleaf (FLF)
  • 3x Shiftry (FLF)
  • 4x Exeggcute (PLF)
  • 3x Dedenne (FFI)
  • Trainers



  • 3x Professor Sycamore
  • 1x Colress
  • 3x N
  • 1x Lysandre
  • 2x Wally
  • 1x Xerosic
  • 3x Skyfield
  • 3x Forest of Giant Plants
  • 2x Ultra Ball
  • 2x Vs Seeker
  • 2x Target Whistle
  • 1x Crushing Hammer
  • 2x Enhanced Hammer
  • 2x Head Ringer
  • 2x Energy Retrieval
  • 1x Sacred Ash
  • Energy: 13



  • 10x Grass Energy
  • 3x Double Colorless Energy






















  • Special Note: Although this deck has no EXs in it, it can hit really hard once Shiftry is going. Also, Dedenne is in the deck for early game to help build up the bench. Its primary attack, Entrainment, allows you to search your deck for 2 pokémon and put them on your bench. In tandem with Wally and Ultra Ball, you could have a Shiftry by turn 2. The Wally number could probably be dropped to 1 and another VS Seeker could be thrown in. Also Dedenne could be swapped for the Pokémon Fan Club supporter, but this reduces the number of pokémon you have to fill your bench.

    UPDATE: The 2015 - 2016 Expanded format was announded and doesn't remove any of these cards from use. That means at all events that support Expanded play (like League Challenges and Regionals) this deck is 100% usable.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    Quick Pokémon Raising in ORAS

    With Athens Regionals coming up at the end of May, many of our writers have been busy preparing teams and practicing on Battle Spot. However, there may be a few people out there who are on the fence about participating in Regional events in the coming weeks and may even be worrying about the amount of time they have to prep a team. Well, if you think that there isn't enough time to "grind" to raise a team, we at Team KO are going to let you know of some easy ways to get a team ready without resorting to cheating (which is bad mmKay!). Truthfully, with the introduction of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire you can have a team ready to go in less than a week, if that.

    I'll be the first to admit, you will get a lot of spam. It's like
    opening a TCG pack, you have to riffle through the commons
    until you get a rare. However, I've gotten GREAT breeding
    guys from Wonder Trade with Hidden Abilities and 5IVs.
    Step 1: First off, breeding the team you want. This is likely the MOST time consuming part of the whole ordeal. Some people would suggest you go and find someone to give you a 6 IV, or Perfect, Ditto. IVs are the numbers that govern a pokémons stats. Higher IVs = Higher starting stats. IVs have a numberical range from 0 to 31. A 0 is the worst, 31 is the best.

    Well, you could do trade for that Ditto if you want, however there's a strong chance it will be hacked. If that bothers you, there is another way. Simply go on to Wonder Trade and begin trading! Often, people who breed for tournaments Wonder Trade their extras away. Spend an evening (I think #WonderTradeWednesday would be the best, check Twitter for updates) and Wonder Trade like mad. You'll likely get several pokémon from various egg groups that have 4, 5, or even 6 perfect IVs. Not only that, if they are from different regions, like Japan, they actually increase your chance of breeding a shiny. Want to breed a Politoed for a rain team? You don't necessarily need someone to Wonder Trade you a Poliwag to start the process. If the male is from the Water I egg group which contains Blastoise, Lapras, and pretty much every non-Fish water type then you have a start. Getting the female Poliwag with the Hidden Ability Swift Swim may be a little harder, but if you spend a minute or two on a trade forum, you can get one pretty easy. You might even be able to find the other pokémon you want for your team as well, and maybe can skip breeding altogether. (Team Knockout is a good place to start!) Another tip: The Destiny Knot item will transfer up to 5 stats (IVs) from the parents and the Everstone will transfer the  nature of the pokémon holding it. Once you get parents with the right stats and natures you are in business to breed to get one for yourself that combines these attributes into exactly what you need for your team!

    You will want to get down with this
    sickness. Sorry.. sorry for that.
    Step 2: Next up will be EV Training. For every 4 EVs you earn you get 1 stat point (you can track these somewhat on the Super Training screen).This one part people really like to complain about. referring to it as the grind. However, in ORAS, it's SUPER SIMPLE! First off, you will need to infect the pokémon you are raising with Pokérus. If you do the Wonder Trade step, you'll likely end up with one or two guys with 'Rus. Just battle a few things with the 'Rus pokémon at the lead and the guys you want to raise behind it. Eventually, it will spread. When done, put the 'Rus guy back into your computer. Eventually, PokéRus will fade, but not if the pokémon is stored in the computer.

    Giving Pokérus will double the EVs earned after a battle, but we can multiply it further. At the Battle Maison you can use Battle Points to earn Power Items (Power Lens, Power Band, etc) that add 4 EVS for a given stat. So let's say you are going for Sp. Attack with the Power Lens and fight a pokémon worth 1 Sp. Attack point. Power Lens will make it worth 5 EVs (1 for the pokémon + 4 for the Power item), and then PokéRus will double that to 10. The maximum a stat can have is 252, so that means to max it out a stat you will have to fight 26 pokemon that give out IVs in the stat you want. The good news is we can cut that down too.

    Worth their weight in gold.
    Instead of just fighting a random pokémon by running in the grass, you can trigger a battle using Sweet Scent. Sweet Scent can be used outside of battle to attract pokémon hordes. Simply have an Oddish, Bulbasaur, or other grass pokémon that knows it on your team and select it like you would an HM move. If you are in grass or in a cave it will attract the horde, which contains 5 pokémon. Given that each pokémon will be worth 10 EVs with the right Power Item and PokéRus that makes each battle worth 50 EV points! That means after 5 battles with the item you will be at 250 EVs! One match in Super Training or fighting a single pokémon will give you the remaining 2, meaning you maxed a stat in 5 battles! To help you track down some hordes, here are some of the best hordes for EV training in ORAS. Each is worth 1 point in their given stat normally, so if you have PokéRus and the right Power item, each horde battle you finish will be worth 50 EV points. This is a solid number that is easy to use in calculations. If you need less than 50 EVs, each individual pokémon in the horde is worth 10... so just KO the ones you need then run. For example, if you wanted 20 EVs, just KO two then run.


    Step 3: Finally, we having leveling up. If you are battling VGC style, the level is really more about getting to a certain level to have all the moves you need. Flat and Normal rules set the level to 50, so in reality if you get to 50 you're golden. However, if you have one of those guys who learns moves higher than level 50, or you want to use 100s, then we have a trick for that as well. ORAS brought us Super Secret Bases, which are the easiest way to level up. You can go to your base and use your computer to scan QR codes to activate bases around Hoenn. Several people have set up bases where you can fight Blisseys at level 100 that can't fight back (they have non-damaging moves or moves that knock themselves out like Healing Wish), This means you can bring in the guy you need to level up, switch to someone to knockout the Blissey, and then reap the rewards. Blissey has the highest Exp. payout of any pokémon, so of course having a lv. 1 fight one and KO it means TONS of experience. Also, Lucky Egg is held by Pelipper now, so if you use the PokéRadar app in the PokeNav (Bottom screen) to fight Pelipper enough, it will eventually tell you when a Pelipper is holding a Lucky Egg. Swipe the egg and turn on the Exp O-Power and you'll be raking in the experience.

    There are plenty of sites online you can Google to fill your game with Blissey Bases. To get you started, here are three codes that will place Blissey Bases in the Secret Meadow area. If you haven't found this area yet, you will have to use a combination of Surf and Dive to get to it. This Youtube video will show you exactly how to get there. To download the Bases, you need to go to your own Super Secret Base and choose to scan a QR code. If you have scanned a lot of QR codes recently, or have a lot of Super Secret Bases set at favorites you may have to delete some before you can scan. For a larger image, simply click to enlarge. We have more bases for download on the Team Knockout Facebook page, so feel free to like our page and scan our bases!

    If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them on our Facebook! We hope this helps you raise pokémon more quickly and efficiently!

    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    Hoopa Unbound is Revealed!

    Nintendo has released info on Hoopa Unbound. It's nothing ground-breaking, just that the forme exists. We'll likely get more info closer to the release of the Hoopa movie in Japan. I'd expect we'd see an event for it later this year; earliest would be this summer, latest would be this fall.


    Monday, March 9, 2015

    TKO Events of 2015 Starting Off Right!

    This past weekend Team Knockout hosted 3 (YES THREE!) sanctioned tournaments and they all had great turn-outs. Between the 2 League Challenges (TCG) in Statesboro, Ga and the Premier Challenge (VG) in Savannah, we had almost 40 competitors battling it out for prizes and glory!

    For those who do not know the formats, League Challenges are the basic level of competitive play for the trading card game. Essentially, any official league with a tournament organizer can hold one. League Challenges can follow standard format (only cards from the Boundaries Crossed set to the most recent) or expanded (only cards from Black and White to the most recent). Both of the Statesboro LCs were standard this go around. In Statesboro, we were a little behind so we held 2 on the same day to cover the Rustboro and Dewford Gym seasons. Results of those tournaments will be posted later this evening. All players participating received promo cards and winners were awarded special promo cards stamped with either 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place in their division. The Mauville Gym season is coming to a close, so likely what we will do is wait until the end of the next season and do another double header. The next one, however, will be one standard tournament and one expanded tournament.

    Results:


    Premier Challenges are the basic level of competitive play for the video games. Players must battle using a copy of either Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire and follow the rules being used for Worlds that year. The Premier Challenge held in Savannah had an amazing turn out of 25 players and we can only hope that even more players decide to make the journey to The Guild Hall in the future to compete! First place winners per division received a whopping 40 Championship points to put toward earning a place at Worlds. 1st place also received a special 3D printed Black Charmander and several other 3D printed pokémon would given out to random winners.


    All in all, we enjoyed hosting both at Galactic Comics and Games in Statesboro, Ga and The Guild Hall in Savannah. We have another Premier Challenge that will take place on March 22nd in Goose Creek, South Carolina at Turtle Gaming. Make sure to mark your calendars!

    Update: There is an issue with the photos, this will be resolved soon!