The Battle Factory: Tips and Tricks
by, 6th October 2009 at 09:47 PM (4084 Views)
While most people seem to prefer the Battle Tower, the Battle Frontier facility of choice for me is actually the Battle Factory. It was in Emerald, and it is again in Platinum. Oddly, this seems to be most people's LEAST favorite facility, and I can sort of understand why. You're not using your own pokemon. You have no control over stats, natures, moves, strategies, or even which pokemon you can pick from to use.
The illusion of not having control of strategy stems from the fact that you're given a set list of six pokemon to choose from, and they may or may not mesh well together with your normal strategy. But just because you can't pick the pokemon you can choose from does NOT mean that you have no control over your strategy. While I haven't yet beaten Thornton a second time, I think I can offer some helpful tips and tricks for anyone trying to conquer the Battle Factory.
1. Sure-hit moves are your friend
Here's another thing most people don't like about the Battle Factory: it doesn't obey player-made clauses. This means that OHKO moves are perfectly legal, the opponent won't care if more than one of your pokemon is asleep or has the same item, and most importantly, if they have a pokemon with Double-Team, they will spam it.
This is why moves that never miss, such as Swift, Aura Sphere, and Faint Attack, are immensely valuable. Out of all the sure-hit moves, I would say the most useful is Aerial Ace. It's certainly the most common, and if you are given the opportunity to use a pokemon with this move, do not pass it up. Many of the most common Double-Team users are weak to Flying (like Ludicolo, Leafeon), have low defense (like many of the Eeveelutions), or do not have many -- or any -- moves to hit you back with (often like Umbreon), and so you can just wear them down with repeated hits. Other sure-hit moves are invaluable, to be sure, but I simply find Aerial Ace to be the most useful.
2. Don't lock yourself into one strategy between rounds, and be open to pokemon that use strategies you personally wouldn't use for them
My personal favorite approach to battling is to go for an all-out offensive style. But sometimes, especially in the Battle Factory, that doesn't always work. Defensive pokemon have given me some of my best victories. And don't limit yourself to certain theories of which pokemon make "good" stallers; most people, for example, don't see Torterra as a great Specially Defensive pokemon. However, I once encountered (and used) this particular Torterra as a lead:
-- Giga Drain
-- Leech Seed
Turn one: Leech Seed. Turn two, heal with Synthesis if necessary, or start using Amnesia until you need to heal. By the time you get three Amnesias up and heal yourself with Synthesis, the opponent should already be around half health. I usually kept stalling with Amnesia until they got into KO range with Giga Drain to spare PP. I swept entire teams this way, and those I didn't sweep were severely weakened, making it easy for my other two pokemon to clean up. Now, a strong Fire- or Ice-type attack (like Flare Blitz or Ice Beam) could still take it down, and Tentacruel would have walled the hell out of it (particularly if it had Liquid Ooze), but the point is that it is possible to use a pokemon in unconventional ways successfully. Other status effects that drain the opponent's health, like poison or burn, are also helpful, as are field obstacles like Spikes or Stealth Rock, though these are rarer.
3. You can use the same dirty tricks
Are you offered a Shuckle with Toxic/Protect/Double Team/Curse? How about a pokemon with a OHKO move and something like Mind Reader? Take it. So what if you wouldn't use it competitively? You're not bound by the rules players make to keep each other in line anymore. That means you're just as free as the AI to spam Double-Team, or to use lock-on and OHKO moves. If the AI can "cheat," so can you.
4. Cover your weaknesses
This one should be obvious, but I can't stress it enough: cover your ass as thoroughly as possible. You only have three pokemon -- make sure to pick ones with moves and types that can counter it's teammate's weaknesses. Also, try to make sure you have a balance of physical special moves on your team.
5. Don't switch pokemon if you don't need to, but do take advantage of switching when you can
Ever put together one of those teams where two pokemon do great, but one just utterly fails where it should have succeeded? Or one of those long, tense battles that you just barely manage to win? The opponent uses a move that you need on your team, but don't have? That's when you swap pokemon with your opponent. The logic goes that, used properly, the pokemon that gave you such a hard time will also give your future opponents a hard time. Your opponent also probably has a pokemon that can do the job you intended yours to do (until it failed), only better. Do you have a physical Skuntank that lost it, and you're liking the look of your opponent's physical Toxicroak? Swap them out.
However, if your team is balanced and can handle themselves relatively well, then do not feel like you must switch. The only time I recommend switching is if you know your next opponent has a pokemon or move that can annihilate you (your previous opponent had a Gliscor, for example, and your next opponent has a Jolteon with Thunderbolt where you have an Areodactyl, Gyarados, and a Delibird with no damaging moves).
Pick your order carefully
Just note that the order in which you pick your pokemon is the order that they will come out, and this can't be changed. Note that this also applies to switches: if you swap your lead pokemon, the one you swap it for will be your new lead.
Well, there you go. I hope that was helpful. I probably won't be doing this for any of the other facilities, as I don't know them as well. But I do hope that more people will be willing to give the Battle Factory some of the credit it deserves. It truly is a difficult facility, but it can also be fun, if people give it a chance. Most of all, it is a place where any pokemon, regardless of how badly people think of it in the real world, can shine.
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