8th July 2014, 06:33 PM
URPG TIMES - 8th July!
ISSUE #2 - JULY 8TH
What? This isn't late! Okay, so I was lazy, but so were other people. The important thing is it's up and now everyone can read articles and do the quiz and have a merry time. Congrats to all those who defeated the darkest ruler the last issue. Y'all gunna get something when I do these wages, huzzah! The new target for this issue is our royal highness, @Princess Crow ; She gets to make the rules as long as it's a 4v4 or higher! Defeat her and enjoy the reapings come the next issue!
Team-building Cores and Synergy
So it's come to my attention recently that about 90% of the people who battle in the URPG have never used or thought about cores. It's something never really talked about but absolutely essential to winning battles. People do it without realising when they send the most popular Pokemon, like Togekiss who synergises so perfectly with many 'mons, just because they see it as a good 'mon.
What are cores? A core is any group of Pokemon that synergise well together. Cores can be both offensive and defensive, but if you're playing a 4v4+, you're best to rely on the defensive side to more certainly win. However, hyper offense occurs can work and sweep an opponent in about 6-10 turns if you know what you're doing.
Let's say you want to HO sweep someone. What's a Pokemon that can set up easily, often and nigh impossible to take hits from it when its set up? Blaziken is easily the best example of this, but Weakness Policy/Red Card/Lum Salamence, Metagross, and Dragonite work. But there are a lot more underrated that work just as well like Lucario, Raichu, Azumarill, Eelektross, Slurpuff, and Infernape to name a few.
Okay, so you got your soul-crushing lead. Then what? Well, you have to scout the opponent. Can you begin setting up, do you go for the immediate attack, or do you switch? With Blaziken and good prediction, you never have to switch turn one. You can Sunny Day to live those water moves, Roar, or get into a stat-up war that you should win, Bulk Up to tank a hit, Swords Dance, Protect, etc. From turn 2 out, you can Baton Pass and always be at the advantage with the guaranteed Speed Boost and switch momentum.
But what should your teammates be? For Hyper Offense, you need Pokemon that have types that synergise with your lead stapler (it can punch holes in their team harhar) and continue wearing down their team. Blaziken is weak to Water, Ground, Psychic, and Flying, so Greninja, Starmie, Dragonite, Togekiss, Mawile, Metagross, and more cover some of those weaknesses, can deal heavy damage, or threaten an immediate sweep themselves, before switching on their counter. Synergy works two ways as well, so you can switch your Starmie back to Blaziken on the Bug and Dark moves, and try your sweep again with the opponent's team that much more whittled down. With a team of 6 that synergise perfectly, it'll be very hard to take hits and break your core if you play well.
Here are some example Hyper Offense teams that synergise well:
Dragonite, Gengar, Greninja, Arcanine, Swampert, Togekiss
Dragonite's Rock weakness Swampert covers, Ice Arcanine and Togekiss cover, Dragon Togekiss covers. Gengar's Ghost, Dark, and Psychic are covered by Greninja and Togekiss. Greninja's Bug, Grass, and Fighting covered by Togekiss, Gengar, and Dragonite while Swampert can take the Electric moves. Swampert covers Arcanine's Rock weakness, Greninja and Dragonite take Water, and Dragonite, Gengar, and Togekiss handle Ground. Grass moves aimed at Swampert are covered by Arcanine, Gengar and Togekiss, while Swampert and others handle the Steel, Electric, and Poison aimed at Togekiss, Arcanine takes the Ice.
Not only does this synergise excellently, but Swampert provides Stealth Rock support and Greninja provides Spikes and Toxic Spikes. Entry hazards are crucial for HO teams.
In the URPG though, there can very often be some overlap between HO and Stall because of the way our EV System works. Dragonite can take many hits and provide Defog, Tailwind, and Heal Bell support, while keeping itself healthy and acting as a threatening sweeper. Togekiss can take many hits, provide insane support, and sweep with its grossly inflated stats, and so on, so forth.
The only difference between the team I listed and a more defensively synergised one is the play style. In HO, you aim to stat up and sweep off the bat and continuously, whereas in defensive-inclined teams, you're best playing more conservatively. When you switch your Togekiss in, you might want to Defog their hazards away, Encore something that looks threatening, heal up, or maybe try to inflict status, whereas HO-inclined would opt for the Tailwind/Nasty Plot/Sub/Baton Pass almost certainly if not straight out attacking.
Both styles are very effective though. HO makes games a lot quicker but is often less reliable as when attempting to deal as much damage asap; you can lose stat up wars and risk being counter-swept. Defensive is my preference, even though it's gonna take longer, you'll almost certainly beat opposing HO teams if you have the correct checks to their sweepers and your wits about you.
Hopefully this gives people at least some insight into team-building and using cores. Sending 6 random Pokemon that seem good puts you at a disadvantage, making battling a littler harder and stressful.
If y'all got any core, team building, or synergy questions feel free to ask ya boiii syn!
You had never been so low.
Sitting now, with your heart tacked to some tree in the forest and your mind too high in the sky, you cease to exist. You flung your home miles in one direction and any marks of humanity in the other like severed arteries that bleed across the trail you devastated: trampled undergrowth rots in the twilight, sending into the air the must of mold and decay. You want to forget how you got here, make your memory an obsolete device. This plan to forget is the only plan that’s worked for months.
You can’t place exactly what it is you feel. The bile building in your throat is nothing compared to the sores spread throughout you. Each black mark is another bull’s eye for your demons. But even knowing this no longer makes you run. You mistook it for numbness once, but you experience emotion on some deeper level. It is as if someone handed you a glass from which you see yourself, nerves detached, and the battered reflection of yourself walks back into your soul and brings the feeling reeling back.
Suspended between anesthesia and sensation, memory and dementia, you cannot seem to stand. You pull another cigarette out from some bottomless void and light up to prove to yourself you can breath life into something. The thick smoke suffocates the tops of the trees, which curl their spiny fingers away in withered gray branches. The world is an ashtray and you are the butt of the fire. When you hear coughing and sputtering that isn’t yours, your head wildly whips towards the source.
Hanging upside down from a branch is a Caterpie curled like a decapitation hook. Its red antennas, once inflated like a giant victory sign, droop downward and knot together in a show of defeat. Jaundiced yellow rings line its body, its underbelly sickened. The tiny purple veins beat savagely from within, blurring into huge black eyes so blank they define death.
With tears in your eyes, you watch for one second longer as the smoke from your drug cocoons the dying Caterpie in a sepulchral embrace. You stomp your foot on the half-finished flame stick, the pain of it jolting up your foot. For once, you feel the pain so acutely that the world seems a shade brighter.
You continue to watch as the smoke solidifies around the Caterpie. Locked away in a cocoon, it mumbles slightly before all sound ceases. The world is a black vacuum, changed only by the fact that you trapped another living being with you. You blink once, twice, three times, feeling that you must do something to save the Caterpie that now depends upon you for its life. A chipping sound follows, tiny cracks of the cocoon’s membrane suddenly falling apart. The whole fixture shakes and you feel your head pulsating like it too will split open.
A tiny green fist smashes through the cocoon.
“Hey, ya out there?” a voice speaks from inside, so tiny the high-pitched sound wave barely caresses the fine hair on the outside of your ear.
“I kinda need ya, girl.” The fist unclenches, waving its tiny green hand in a strange hello. Committed to a strange mercy, you reach towards the cocoon and gently pry away, layer by layer, the hardened cocoon that you created. With each sticky layer that reeks with the scent of ashes, your hands become cleaner. Your fingernails are steadily chipped away to a tidy length, your hands softer with each second you spend helping.
From the cocoon jumps a nude green man no larger than the size of your thumb. His circular spectacles, with lens each the size of a pin’s head, do not disguise blue eyes that shine as they look up at you. A shock of matching green hair shakes as your breath passes over it, and you hold a hand up to your face in shock.
He finds your last cigarette in your pocket, leaping back into the palm of your hand. He positions the cigarette like a spear in his arm and throws it at your face!
“First, no more of that! Ever!” With an extraordinary athleticism, he jumps onto your ear and mightily pushes a few strands of your hair behind your ear. “I am your Muse, and none of that junk can possibly be motivation! You have called upon me. I’m late, but ya have to be there for yourself before calling upon me.”
Your silence communicates everything he needs to know. Bouncing off your body again in a fairy-like fashion, he leaps a mile into the sky and takes back your mind. Tucking the dripping, steaming orb of your mind in his hand, he hurls it back into your body. It absorbs your soul on contact and a river of lost thoughts, inspirations, and ideas unspoken crashes into you. You remember what your emotions are called and tremble at the weight of knowledge.
“T-thanks,” you barely manage to chock out. You clearly hear him, especially when he asks you how you descended this far in the first place. His voice is as clear as a light ray slicing through the clouds on a stormy morning. You turn away, burying your face in your hands.
Again, he leaps towards the forest and moves without a sound. In a second, he returns with the heart that had been tacked to the tree. Greying, almost deflated, your heart beats once when he holds it. He throws this into you, past your cold exterior, through your blemished flesh, into the imperfect blood that makes you human.
With this, you begin choking on your sobs. “I’m afraid,” you finally admit, feeling everything at once. The emotions you left at the corners of your existence are felt and known, now and forever. The tears sting your dry face, burning away the old and revealing the fresh, radiant complexion that lies under the surface. “I… am afraid,” you admit again, each time a holy dunking into the cleansing. Your body becomes fresher, your senses sharper. The pungent scent of the decay gradually drifts away, as does the terrifying white of the dying trees.
“And that fear makes ya stronger,” your Muse replies. “Go on now, my child! Create, and live again!” Muse blinks too, wiping away a microscopic tear at the corner of his eye. As the edges of your imaginative realm begin renewing themselves, his body shimmers as if put on some other plane that can only be seen beyond our light wave spectrum.
Your heart, mind, body, and soul one again, you leap out of your darkest thoughts and towards your biggest projects, afraid but not discouraged, alone yet never lonely, unsure but alive.
When you return to the infinite and dense forest of your imagination, the healthy trees open a path for you. The distant sun flows through them with a tangible energy that you feel through your polished fingers, spread wide. You amble along the pathways, your recent achievements high in your heart, happiness displayed on your face. You reach the spot where you found the Caterpie that hid your Muse.
Reaching the clearing, you spy a storm of Butterfree that flitter up to the canopy and beyond. Their eyes glitter like a thousand rubies in the golden light, a treasure trove that sings as you approach your highest point of genius. Where your Muse once hid, a man sits. You recognize him as the green little man who stood on your ear and found your heart and mind. Now twice as tall as you and purple, he smiles and greets you. His mighty wings unfurl like delicate lily petals lined with black. He grabs you and you fly off together, following your muse into your greatest storm of thought, ascending into another dimension of experience.
Comics and Art
We only got one entry this week, but I thought it was pretty hilarious.
"Zekrom's entry into the Art contest raised a few suspicions"
Gym Leader Interview: Ash
June 11th, 2014. Petalburg Woods Network buzzed with activity, and I as I skipped through the dense undergrowth of the advanced woodland tribal society, I waved and greeted so many friendly members a good morning or a good night. The twin moon and sun overhead landed on fellow PWNers and made their smiles glint like diamonds amidst jade light. I wanted to join in the festivities of the Diary Blogging Event or the Speculation Contest but today I had a mission. I left my Deadpool costume in my inbox and opted for business casual attire before heading towards the Education Center of PWN. I felt an enormous spiritual aura crash over me, and felt that if the age-old adage “knowledge was power” was true, then I was soon to face somebody of nearly unrivaled intelligence and wit in all the land.
Under a huge oak fashioned into a bookcase, Ash K. read a book contentedly to himself. I looked to make sure that no other PWNers were occupying the Education Center before gently tapping him on the shoulder. He agreed to an interview, and I smiled with excitement, not even sure where to start!
“Wow! Elite Four member, Mistralton City Gym Leader, and Kumquat Island Gym Leader! What’s your favorite position, and why?”
“Each has their own advantages and disadvantages, and I like each position for different reasons. I like Kumquat’s rules, but the only one that ever gets challenges is Mistralton to be honest. Even that doesn’t get many because a lot of people seem to be scared of me.” He sighed sadly, his eyes lost in the distance. “It gets really boring when everyone is so scared of battling me that no one ever challenges me anymore.”
I thought that it showed great versatility and expertise of him to dominate all positions at the same time! Curious about his latter statement, I asked him why battlers were scared of him.
“I have a reputation as being one of the best battlers in the URPG, though it seems like other people considered on that list get challenged more often, so it’s hard to say if that’s the only reason.”
Overhead, profound birds of an ancient sleep roared at each other. I watched, clutching at the grass, as the fossil-Pokémon Aerodactyl flung itself towards a green dinosaur that bellowed in delight as it barely dodged. Its massive body hovered in the air like a jet, green wings stuck out like machine guns. Their motions sent wind rolling through the trees and I shuddered. I definitely didn’t want to be on the receiving end of their attacks, frightened to the bone!
Ash didn’t seem to notice my fear or his Pokémon above as he seemed deep in contemplation. “Flying is a truly terrifying type if you know how to use it, though a lot of people don’t, or at least didn’t, realize that.” His mind revolved as he returned to my previous question. “Elite Four is obviously a position that takes a lot of work to challenge and isn’t expected to be easy to beat. For Kumquat, a lot of people don’t seem to have one of every type and some others seem to avoid Doubles.”
I nodded in understanding. I heard complaints of overall battles decreasing, and thought that it would only get tougher if there were further restrictions. After a thoughtful moment, I spoke up again. “You mentioned flying – is that your favorite type?”
“My favorite type is Dragon. I held Dragon Dojo Sensei for the entirety of our Dojo League, followed by Opelucid Gym for over another year. However, at the time there were only nine Dragons and I didn’t like how few options there were. If not for the introduction of Fairy, I’d be very tempted to go back to Dragon with the addition of Tyrantrum, Noivern, Dragalge, and Goodra, though the fact that the only legal Mega is Garchomp would also be a stumbling point.”
He spoke enthusiastically and I couldn’t help but be energized too! I had never known about his affinity for Dragons and felt happy to learn today. He continued by saying, “When Pidge left Fortree, I decided to switch to it because Flying was a type with lots of diversity where I could still use some of my Dragons. Also, since Pidge had a perfect record in Fortree, it meant that basically no one had that badge, meaning I’d get lots of challengers.”
I couldn’t begin to imagine how strong the URPG Champion Pidge was, but I knew that he and Ash must battle on a similar level. I found it fitting that two incredibly strong battlers had the same gym at one point!
“With Flying, my main regret is that I don’t have more spaces in my lineup. I recently got an Aerodactyl that I’m planning to add in, but can’t decide what to remove, and I’d also like to add in some more niche Pokémon like Honchkrow, Tropius, Emolga, and perhaps Swoobat, though I no longer have one,” Ash replied.
“Wow, all of those are great 'mons! That being said, what’s your favorite 'mon to use in your gym?” I asked, wondering if he could choose a favorite among his great variety. It seemed like such a huge juxtaposition compared to the lack of Dragon Pokémon and I could understand why he switched over.
“The main Pokémon in my gym are Charizard, Togekiss, Dragonite, Salamance, Murkrow, and Gliscor. All of them except Murkrow can sweep a lot of times, while Murkrow is critical for preventing me from getting swept. I really like Hawlucha rental as well and can’t wait to get one owned so I can use it more often than the few times I get challenges and am actually in a position where it’s useful.” He thought about each Pokémon in his head, different expressions flashing throughout his eyes. “It’s hard to pick a single favorite from among those, but if I did I’d probably say Togekiss. Togekiss can do so much and was basically the entire reason I managed to best Pidge for Legend Defender last week. Just a hint: a Togekiss at 20% health and Paralyzed is not a free thing to switch in on.”
I wished him a belated CONGRATULATIONS on Legend Defender! He smiled and thanked me. He continued by telling me that nothing in his gym was unimportant.
“I understand,” I replied, nodding my head. “The whole team has to work together!”
“In most anything, Pokémon or otherwise, I like synergy. When I build a team based off something, I generally try to maximize the benefits of whatever it’s based on.”
I agreed! Balance was the key to most things in life, Pokémon battling especially. “That’s a wonderful strategy! What are the benefits of Flying that make it fun to battle with? What makes a battle really, really fun, as I think your battle with Pidge was?”
“For Flying, the thing that makes it great is diversity. Back when I first got Dragon Dojo, I remember I did 6v6 battles with five Pokémon I used every single time. The last spot was a choice between two Pokémon, a reason that present teams in gym battles gets kind of boring. In Flying, everything in my lineup has reasons to be used and stuff not in my lineup still begs to take spots and be used.
“Another advantage is there isn’t really anything that screws over my whole lineup. Back in Dragon, if Weavile managed to get off a Swords Dance the only thing it couldn’t OHKO was Kingdra, which couldn’t do enough back.” I nodded, listening quietly. He spoke fluidly of such specific events and I thought then that his memory must be incredible!
His eyes lit up as he thought of what to say next. “As for what makes a battle like LD vs. Pidge really fun, I’d say it’s the head-to-head battle of two amazing battlers. Pidge is someone I’d been scared of facing for a while, and that battle showed me that perhaps I do have a chance of beating him for Champion someday. Any battle can be fun though, especially those that are challenging, and I don’t have to beat myself up for making stupid mistakes.”
Wow, I hoped I could get that strong one day! PWNers from Europe were beginning to roam around the Education Center as their exams had finished for the day. I asked Ash for any last words, as I knew he was busy and probably needed to go too.
“I seem to find myself using too many Flying types in stuff that isn’t Mistralton. At one point, my Elite Four lineup contained five. That’s something I need to get better about fixing. To be honest, I think it comes not from the fact that they’re so well EM’d because they’re in my gym but because I’ve seen how good they can be from using them so much in my gym.”
“Oh wow! That’s a perfect example of how having a gym truly opens one’s eyes about a certain breed of Pokémon,” I said, my voice spiking slightly as I beheld the Flying Pokémon in the sky screech again. I thanked Ash for the interview, and he put his book onto the neat shelf. He smiled, and seemed to speed up time; a white feather flashed before my eyes, and the next second Ash was flying far in the sky atop a majestic Togekiss. I could only wonder what his next adventure would hold in store for him!
Q1. On the games, Pokemon only explicitly attack people three times. Where and who are those?
Q2. Due to certain glitches, it is possible to completely skip two gym leaders. Who are they?
Q3. What are the only two Pokemon to have a scientific name, and what is it?
Q4. What is the strongest player that can be faced in the biggest number of games, and what are those games?
Q5. List all four “first Pokemon.”
Q6. What are the damaging moves that will always confuse the target?
Battle Scenario – Use your imagination.
Imagine there is a Pokemon called “Sandbag,” Sandbag is genderless and has URPG stats 419/1/419/1/419/1, has as ability “Fair Fighter,” which makes all attacks that would be SE hit neutrally in return of never dealing super effective damage itself. Assume this Pokemon is Water-type and is holding an item that will bypass immunities. Sandbag weighs 5 pounds and his only moves are Counter, Mirror Coat, and Taunt. Slp/frz/ohko/eva and acc clauses are on too.
Now assume you're doing a battle with someone else, you have two Pokemon left: your lead has full health but was toxed on entry due to Toxic Spikes while your other Pokemon is poisoned and will die if sent out. Due to the battle rules, recovering moves like Moonlight and Recover will fail. Your opponent only has Sandbag left, but he will always use the right move in response to your send. Assuming your lead is fully EM'd and is using an item available in URPG, list a Pokemon that, satisfying these conditions can possibly kill Sandbag before dying to Toxic damage (it takes 6 turns for normal toxic damage to add up to more than 100%) while avoiding being killed by Sandbag itself; please show your work.
Codes and logic puzzles
Looker, agent of the Interpol, was investigating a group suspected of smuggling goods into Unova. He made a shocking discovery and sent his answer, codified to the HQ, so if intercepted, it couldn't be read. You're a new cryptographer, discover the real message. Looker's letter is as follows:
Sorry to bother you with something as ominous as this, but I fear for my health lately. Attached is my revised will, please add padding as you see fit, for I'm not very good at legalese as you:
'I, Steve Fawkeston, retired POKéMON trainer, leave the remainder of my wealth to my remaining heirs, combining my money in my secret accounts, all my belongings and my 201 Pokemon it comes to 52,067,078,170,178,272 Pokédollars.
And remember, that among my Pokemon, I'd like my precious pet Hawlucha, my favorite of all to have its likeness engraved upon my casket. So I can, with him, be forever and ever.'
Also, can you make sure they'll put “don't underestimate zeros, for they are the beginning of everything” on my tombstone. I used this quote as my life philosophy so I would like it to be there for all eternity.
Pokemon of the Week: Toxicroak
The Trivia Section with Swift
Who’s that Pokemon?! …Also Why is it Called That?
Toxicroak as it appears in X and Y
Another week, another Sinnoh-native Pokemon! Who is it? It's Toxicroak, the Toxic Mouth Pokemon! Like most Pokemon, Toxicroak's English name isn't hard to understand if you've got half a brain. It's just a combination of "toxic" and "croak". Its Japanese name, Dokurog, also isn't that hard to understand...if you speak Japanese that is. Actually, you really only need to know one Japanese word--and that's "doku" which means poison! The "rog" part is actually just part of the English word: "frog"!
Basis and Origin!
The Poison Dart Frog
Toxicroak's design and properties are based on several different species of frog. The main one is the Poison Dart Frog, seen above. Poison Dart Frogs are famous for their bright colorations and patterns. But more than that, wild Poison Dart Frogs (i.e. not the ones at your local dentist's office) are famous for their toxic skin. In fact, Poison Dart Frogs get their name from their use among native tribes that live near their habitats in rain forests. These tribes--mostly Amerindians--carefully apply the poison from the frog to the tips of darts which they then use to paralyze invading tribes or other enemies. This is similar to Toxicroak's ability to poison opponent's with just one scratch and most likely the reasoning for its Poison Touch ability.
Like I said before, Toxicroak is based on more than one kind of frog. Poison Dart Frogs may sound scary, but they're nothing compared to the Horror Frog. "Horror Frogs" is the nickname given to the Hairy Frog. Why the nickname? Well Hairy Frogs have this unique ability that allows them to create claws to defend themselves. How is this done? They break their own bones and shove them through their knuckles. I'm not kidding. It's horrific; hence the name. Toxicroak may not be hairy, but its crimson claws are likely based on those of the Horror Frog.
And finally, Toxicroak's gender difference--the fact that the male has a larger red sac on its chin than the female--draws on the real-life difference between most male and female frog species. The males typically have vocal sacs which allow them to produce sounds that attract mates.
Look, Mom, I’m on TV!
Saturn's Toxicroak as it prepares to storm an airship and steal the Adamant Orb
Toxicroak hasn't had too much focus in the anime, but in the Galactic Battles season, it made its debut under the control of Team Galactic Admin Saturn. Saturn's Toxicroak developed a rivalry with Brock's Croagunk and managed to defeat it multiple times, before finally being bested by its pre-evolution towards the end of the season. Saturn's Toxicroak was powerful; even managing to hold its own against Gary's Umbreon and Electivire during The Battle Finale of Legend. Aside from Saturn's Toxicroak, the Poison Mouth Pokemon had only one other notable appearance in Arriving in Style! where it was used by a Rocker in the Hearthome Collection--basically a Pokemon fashion show. Toxicroak made a few cameos in other episodes of D&P as well as Giratina and the Sky Warrior, but like Bronzong, it has yet to appear outside the D&P series.
A Shiny Toxicroak
Toxicroak and Croagunk are the only Poison / Fighting type Pokemon! They're also the only Pokemon with a double-weakness to the Psychic type.
In the anime, Saturn's Toxicroak as well as the one that appeared in Arriving in Style! were both shown with diluted colorations that more closely resembled their Shiny forms rather than their regular ones. The Toxicroak were in fact not Shiny, but just the way the animators decided to color them for anime purposes.
That about wraps it up for this week! If you want to learn more about this powerful potently poisonous Pokemon, visit this page, which was my main source of research this week!
How Not to Battle like an Idiot
This month, I’m going to expand on the discussion about D/P/Pt, teaching you how to use the turn order to your advantage. Then, as some of you may have seen in an incorrectly posted pre-edited version in the last issue, I’ll talk about good lead Pokemon and the moves they commonly use.
Manipulating Turn Order:
One of the tricks that good battlers will have mastered is the ability to manipulate the turn order to their advantage. The difficulty here is that it’s far easier to change the turn order when you’re sending second, using Protect. However, this is also when you don’t really want to change the turn order.
Forcing a turn switch often isn’t for the sake of the next turn – it may be for the turn after. For example, if you’re sending second and your Pokemon is going to get KO’d, you’ll have to send your new Pokemon AND your move first next turn. In this situation, you may want to Protect, let your opponent kill you a turn later when you have to send first, then send your new Pokemon with a bit less of a disadvantage.
However, if you want to stall a turn when you’re sending first, Protect isn’t a great option. Instead, a common tactic to switch the turn order is to use Fake Out when it is available. By forcing the opponent to flinch, or Protect from the flinch, you can switch the turn order without suffering a disadvantage. For this reason, Fake Out is a popular move to run on team leads, as I’ll discuss a little more later.
If you can’t use Fake Out, Substitute is a more viable alternative to Protect if you want to stall a single turn, and your Pokemon will move first. Unlike Protect, Substitute forces the opponent to make a sacrifice; they can set up and allow you to have the Sub thus giving you an advantage of your own, or destroy it, but lose that same opportunity.
Finally, a self-healing move or a defence boosting move can be used to stall a turn without taking too much damage. You may even come out ahead by healing. However, keep in mind if sending first that this does suffer the same drawbacks as Protect – your opponent will be free to set up.
As mentioned above, what you send as your lead is very important, as it will determine how your opponent will respond. Fake Out is carried by a large number of popular leads, including Infernape and Ambipom. As an additional bonus, Sableye not only carries Fake Out but is also immune to it. When battling in D/P/Pt, a Gym Leader will almost definitely force you to send your lead first. However, if your lead runs Fake Out, they then have to send their move first without knowing if you plan to use it or not. This can sometimes force a first-send-Protect, giving you the opportunity to set up.
Switching moves are another great option to have on a lead Pokemon. If you get severely countered, being able to deal a little damage while switching out is a good bonus. U-Turn is carried by Infernape and Ambipom, and Volt Switch by a large range of Electric types. Because these Pokemon have a high base speed, they can usually deal their damage and escape before taking a hit. As an added bonus, unlike a switch you don’t have to name the target of these moves until they execute. This prevents your opponent from preparing their move to hit the new Pokemon instead.
Entry hazards are also a great thing to consider when sending your lead. Although they can be used at any time, it’s generally best to set them up early in order to maximise their effectiveness. Stealth Rock is used by the common leads Infernape and Swampert, with other options like Spikes and Toxic Spikes used commonly by Forretress and Ferrothorn. Phasing moves go hand in hand with entry hazards, forcing your opponent to make switches and take damage. However, if you use these in D/P/Pt, you’re a giant douche, and I sincerely hope Satan takes a special dislike to you in Hell.
Alternatively, you could choose to go with what I consider an anti-lead, designed to counter the techniques above. Espeon and Xatu’s Magic Bounce is the perfect example of this; reflecting status moves, including entry hazards, straight back at the user. Inner Focus and Steadfast are also great counters to Fake Out, allowing you to deal damage or gain a free speed boost respectively.
What you should choose all depends on the situation. Although Infernape runs Fake Out, Stealth Rock and U-Turn, Crobat with Inner Focus and Acrobatics completely counters it. Swampert runs Stealth Rock and Roar, and both its STAB types are SE against Fire. But a Fire gym will run Sun and Solarbeam it to oblivion. Trust me on that. There are plenty of other Pokemon that I haven’t mentioned which all can provide a viable lead. What will benefit you the most is finding one of your own, and learning what tricks it can pull to put you ahead.
And that’s it for this month. Next issue, I’m going to go back to dumb move choices people make, and what move you should be choosing in certain situations.
Annnnd that's a wrap! Remember to enter the SWC while you still can, challenge this week's target, and collect money for Pokemon of the Week if you own a Toxicroak! As always, send me or any of the other writers a message if you have any queries or just need someone other than your cat to talk to... until next time y'all!
Last edited by Synthesis; 9th July 2014 at 01:29 PM.
8th July 2014, 10:09 PM
Re: URPG TIMES - 8th July!
Collecting Toxicroak money. How much is PotW cash anyways, 1K?
8th July 2014, 10:47 PM
Virbank Gym Leader
Re: URPG TIMES - 8th July!
I can claim Toxicroak money too! When I know how much it is XD
9th July 2014, 02:44 AM
Re: URPG TIMES - 8th July!
12th July 2014, 11:30 AM
Virbank Gym Leader
Re: URPG TIMES - 8th July!
Hannah defended against Morru. Wages for this stay as normal, yes? @Synthesis;
12th July 2014, 04:22 PM
Re: URPG TIMES - 8th July!
Originally Posted by WinterVines