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Thread Description
Come watch Dee take on Galar with the coolest chess team EVER. It's Chesslocke baby. Ch. 10: Intermezzo [4/8]

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
941
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
Welcome to…

GRANDMASTER


A Chesslocke of Sword version, DLC included! This is my first-ever Chesslocke run (though not my first-ever run of SwSh) and will more or less just be a fun, casual written log to chronicle my journey. (I'm including some screenshots here and there, but this isn't a full screenshot run--and just so you know, my screenshots are just phone pics :p)

What’s a Chesslocke? It’s a custom ruleset based on the rules of chess, of course! The original was invented by @Zaazaa0 way back in 2012; since this is my maiden voyage, I’m going to have a slightly modified version of the ruleset as typical, though broadly it should be very much recognizable as what it is!


  1. Only the first encountered pokemon in any given route or area may be captured.
    1. DUPES CLAUSE: Pokemon belonging to an evolutionary family of one you’ve already captured are ineligible as a first encounter and are skipped.
    2. MANDATORY CATCH CLAUSE: Pokemon which must be captured to progress the story can still be captured for that purpose, but not used unless they meet all other criteria. A mandatory catch that is not used or added to the team does not count as the “first encounter” of an area.
    3. GIFT CLAUSE: Gift pokemon are freebies and do not count as the “encounter” for a given area, though they must still adhere to the Chesslocke rules as described in rule #5. Alolan Diglett rewards in Isle of Armor may be accepted and permaboxed if not used in order to open future gift availability.
    4. IN-GAME TRADES: In-game trades are valid provided the pokemon being traded away was caught legally.
    5. PINWHEEL CLAUSE: Route 2 counts as two separate areas: the initial path, and the lake and small area beyond it.
  2. All pokemon must be nicknamed (I will be using a simple name scheme based on chess to keep everyone’s roles in mind.)
  3. Fainting = death; the pokemon must be permaboxed if it faints.
  4. The run ends when each of the following criteria have been met:
    1. Victory in the Championship battle against Leon.
    2. Final postgame fight against Hop (where he has Zamazenta) is complete.
    3. Calyrex is caught.
    4. Mustard’s final fight successfully defeated.
  5. CHESSLOCKE RULES: Only 16 pokemon can be caught and used in the entire run. Each pokemon will be assigned a chess role. There is one king, one queen, two each of rooks, knights, and bishops, and eight pawns. In-game trades inherit the role of the pokemon that was traded away. If a piece exceeds its level restriction, it must be benched until the restriction no longer applies. This rule does not take effect until a battle is over, so mid-battle level-ups cannot bench a piece. If there are no available roles left to assign catches other than ones with restrictions, and the first encountered pokemon in an area does not meet those restrictions, that encounter does not count as a first encounter. The roles are as follows:
  6. KING: The king has no level restrictions, no moveset restrictions, and can evolve. The king is my starter and must be male (in the unlikely event I get a female, I will reset.) The king must be on the team at all times. The king can Dynamax.
    1. CHECKMATE CLAUSE: Under normal Chesslocke rules, if the king faints, the run ends. To avoid this happening, this clause protects the king’s death from perma-ending the run. If the king faints, another living pokemon will be sacrificed in his stead to keep the run going. If there are any living queens, one of them will be sacrificed first; then rooks; then bishops; then knights; and finally pawns. Promoted pawns are counted as the rank they were promoted to. If there are multiple pokemon in the rank the sacrifice is to be drawn from, a random number generator or a coinflip will be used to determine who is killed. The sacrificed piece is killed at the same moment the king is; the king cannot be resuscitated until the battle is over.
  7. QUEEN: The queen has no moveset restrictions and can evolve. She can match, but not exceed, the king in level. The queen must be female and her final evolution must share at least one type or egg group with the king’s final evolution. She can Dynamax.
  8. ROOKS: Rooks can evolve. They cannot match or exceed the king in level. Rooks can Dynamax. Rooks cannot learn any offensive moves which inflict, or have the chance of inflicting, a secondary effect on the opponent (such as initiating a status condition, causing a flinch, or modifying/lowering the enemy’s stats.) Moves such as Revenge, Night Slash, or Quick Attack are allowed, as their effects do not impact the opponent. They can learn normal status moves just fine.
  9. BISHOPS: Bishops can evolve. They cannot match or exceed the king in level. Bishops can Dynamax. Bishops cannot learn more than two damaging moves at any given time. (If a bishop is caught with three or more damaging moves, then TMs, TRs, or the Move Reminder must be used as soon as possible to remedy the situation.)
  10. KNIGHTS: Knights can evolve. They cannot match or exceed the king in level. Knights can Dynamax. Knights cannot learn any offensive move that exceeds 60 base power. Multi-hit moves like Triple Kick, Fury Swipes, or Bonemarang are calculated by the virtue of the strongest single hit. Moves whose base power is based on stats, weight, or other things that vary from pokemon to pokmeon such as Eruption, Low Kick, Heat Crash, and Gyro Ball are not allowed.
  11. PAWNS: Pawns cannot evolve. Pawns’s levels can go no higher than two less than the king. Pawns have no moveset restrictions. Pawns cannot Dynamax. Fully-evolved pokemon and single-stage pokemon cannot be pawns. (Middle evolutions are okay.)
    1. PROMOTION CLAUSE: If a Pawn defeats the ace pokemon of a boss—defined as: rival battles like Bede, Marnie, Klara, or Hop; Gym Leaders, including League finals; Chairman Rose and Oleana; Leon; legendary pokemon battles that are not cheesed with a Master Ball; Swordley and Shielbert; Peony; the forced encounter with the Dynamax Vespiquen in Isle of Armor; and any battle with Mustard—without being switched in or out, then it can be promoted to a rank other than king. A pawn must otherwise meet the criteria for being a queen to be promoted to queen.




With all that out of the way... let's get started!


Welcome to the world of Galar! My name? Kasparov, of course! If we’re going full chess, who better than the man who spent longer than anyone in history as the World Champion? Let’s see if Kasparov can reclaim the title—not only of chess champion, but pokemon champion as well!



After an intro featuring everyone’s faaaaaaaaaaaaaavorite corporate overlord, we begin our journey in the sleepy town of…



Postwick



We meet Hop, our bestie, and then it’s time to pack up! You know, home sweet home isn’t that bad a place, but I do have one question…



Why doesn’t my bedroom have a door, mom? What the hell?! You know, maybe there’s a reason why you have a Budew and a Munchlax—two pokemon who evolve by friendship—and they’re stuck the same way all game!



—ahem. Regardless. After picking up our bag and beanie, it’s time to head out!



And Hop has the audacity to mock the size of our bag. At least we can fit something bigger than a thermos in there, buddy!







Just look at that thing! Pathetic! You’re gonna tromp all over Galar with that? How you gonna fit a tent in there, Hop? Where’s your curry gonna go? Do you even have a change of clothes? “Oh, I’m Hop! I think that function should be secondary to having a tiny-ass bag that matches my weird bomber jacket whose sleeves barely make it past my elbows. Don't forget the skin-tight pants that show off my skinny ankles!” Pictured below: the face of a boy who knows nothing about roughing it.







Embarrassing!



After Hop “takes care” of a Wooloo trying to break down a fence by failing to stop it from doing that in any way, it’s time to run off to meet Leon, whom I’ve apparently never met—despite growing up next to his family and being best friends with his younger brother? I suppose I was stuck indoors doing chess all my childhood, never to see the light of day until I learned how to properly execute en passant 😔



Actually, before we go, let’s explore. Apparently not giving your children privacy is a Postwick cultural thing, since neither Hop nor his brother get doors either. And speaking of Leon’s room…







Holy moly, how many snapbacks does one guy need? I count 38 total, which is insane!



…actually, given my penchant for playing virtual paper doll in newer pokemon games, I doubt I’ll have room to throw stones once this run is over. Still, though.



Route 1



Nothing to do but take a straight shot until…



Wedgehurst



I do like the names of Galar’s towns. They have a lot of character.



Anyway, Leon’s here and is taller than his Charizard, once again reminding me that the Pokedex is bullshit and official sizes are nonsense. Charizard should be big enough for an adult to ride and I refuse to believe otherwise.



Seriously, check out this nonsense:







I refuse. I refuse.



(Fun fact: the music that plays during this scene is a slightly less intense remix of… the theme that plays when you fight Eternatus with the wolves? Wild!)



Thankfully, Hop is here to stop Leon from getting lost on the walk back to his house… which requires him to merely walk down a straight path… without taking any turns.



God bless this perpetually-lost, fashion-blind himbo. I love him. Still gonna kick his ass, though. And his brother’s ass. And his mentor’s. And—



Postwick



Uhhhh, anyway, here we are—back once more! In a scene I really like, the Champion shows off our starter choices, with us getting a look at their personalities and typings. The starter I pick is going to be our king, so we must pick wisely! I’ve decided to go with… Grookey!







** Name: KING **

Male Lv. 5 Grookey (GRS). Ability: Overgrow.

Careful nature (+Sp. Def, -Sp. Atk) “It’s mischievous!”

ASSIGNED CHESS RANK: King




But no time to focus on that. Immediately, we get thrown into our first battle of the game!



BOSS: Hop

Time for the first of many times I will crush this smol boi’s hopes and dreams. King wins a simple damage race against Wooloo, taking a little bit of damage in the process, and levels up mid-battle to level 6, learning Branch Poke! And speaking of Branch Poke, Hop is flabbergasted that I already know about type advantages. I’m aiming to be a grandmaster here, Hop! Get it together! Two Branch Pokes take out Sobble without King ever leaving the green, bringing him up to level 7 in the process. Victory!



Defeat doesn’t dampen Hop’s spirits too much (yet). He wants to take the Gym Challenge, so Leon kicks us forward to get a Pokedex!



But wait, the Wooloo broke through the fence by my house! (Was it… was it tackling the fence all night long? Now that’s dedication!) Naturally, we have to step in and rescue it. But not before we learn some harrowing info…







You know, I don't think the game ever revisits this... which is a real shame, because this is killer backstory fodder. Anyway, with Hop dragging me along, off we go!



Slumbering Weald



I love, love, love the look and aesthetic of this place… and the music too. Wolves are the best instrument 🐺🎺



After some forced encounters against Skwovet and Rookidee, we press further, with Hop and Kasparov expressing concern as to the fact that the fog is so soupy they can’t see in front of their faces. Don’t be so melodramatic, we all know that’s the default state of being for the British Isles~



Anyway, time for a wolf to kick my ass.



BOSS: Mysterious pokemon that definitely isn’t Zacian lmao

This “mysterious pokemon” glares menacingly at me, thinking mad thoughts, until King and I pass out. Must have locked our knees or something.



This match was rigged, I tell ya! It better not affect my FIDE ranking >:(



Leon swoops in to save the day while his Charizard ponders whether to have roast mutton for dinner:







Postwick



Not much here to do except say farewell to mom. Bye! Maybe you can invest in, I don’t know, a bedroom door while I’m gone?!



I suppose I can’t be too mad. She does give me 30k pokedollars after all, telling me to spend it on potions.



Yeah right, mom. We all know I’m gonna blow it all on what really matters:



LOOKIN’ STYLIN’



Route 1



We are barred from progressing by what may be the most adorable roadblock in video game history:







…actually, scratch that. This is the second most adorable roadblock. The GBA classic Golden Sun has it beat:







LOOKIT THE CUTE LITTLE PUPPIES



THEY’RE PLAYING ;w;




So now it’s on to encounter times! Galar actually has decent early-game mons: Wooloo, Skwovet, Blipbug, and Rookidee all have some noteworthy evolutions! But since I’m limited to only 16 catches all game, I have to be careful. My encounter for Route 1 is a Wooloo; I considered catching it, but since it was male and therefore unable to be a queen, I ultimately decided against it. Sorry, Wooloo! Enjoy being adorable... over there. Away from me.



Wedgehurst



After picking up some extra medicine from the mart, it’s time to meet… best girl!







BEST GIRL!!!!



Seriously, I love her design, her personality, her arc. It’s aces all the way down. She is the best 👏 And look at Yamper, being a big help and helping to guide Leon out of the door… he just… came in……



………



Bless this himbo, I love him.







Not really, Sonia—but I can notate the Evergreen Game from start to finish!



Anyway, we pick up a dex and leave the lab, and I indulge Hop by pretending I don’t already know what a Pokemon Center is.







If I’m going to shame him in battle and destroy his hopes and dreams, I can at least give him this. Go ahead buddy, lay it on me.



After he gives his spiel, I run into something that makes my American ass want to lay down and weep…








Oh, to not bankrupt yourself in health care… the dream…



cries in cheeseburger 🦅😭🍔



Not much to do in town—wait, what am I saying? There’s only the most important thing on earth:







Buy.



More.



CLOTHES.




Ah, the conundrum! Drop all my money on that rockin’ Arcanine tee, or save it for later and pick up the smaller stuff? Alas, I think I have no choice but the latter. One shopping spree later, and I’m borderline bankrupt. (I’m not going to change my look this update for consistency’s sake, but expect a new outfit next time—and probably a unique style of dress for every update!)



And with that, we truly are off.



Route 2



It’s that time of every pokemon game you just love—



mAnDaToRy TuToRiAlS



🤦‍♂️



Afterwards, Leon at least has the decency to load us up with poke balls—and then he runs ahead, all by himself! You’re a big boy now, Leon!



And hey, you know what? After he gave us such a delightful speech on the importance of finding new teammates… I think I’m going to take him up on it! Who could Route 2’s encounter be? Who will be the first teammate to join us?







** NAME: P1 **

Female Lv. 7 Galarian Zigzagoon (DRK/NRM). Ability: Gluttony.

Sassy nature (+Sp. Def, -Speed) “It’s somewhat vain!”

ASSIGNED CHESS RANK: Pawn




HEAVY METAL BADGER LET’S GOOOOO



I’m really glad I caught her! I’ve never had a chance to use this line in its Galarian form, but I’m sure it’ll be exciting. And the best part? She’s in the Field egg group, which makes her a queen in the making… once I get her to beat a boss’s ace, that is! But for now she’s the first of my pawns, designation P1. Don’t worry, she’ll gain a more appropriate name once she promotes. Sadly, she’s only one level behind King—so she’s got to stay benched until he gains one more.



Anyway, it’s time to go further down the Route! Sadly, the company here doesn’t seem to be up to snuff when it comes to improving my chess game.







Anyway, let’s continue further. A trainer on this route has something interesting to say!







Holy smokes, someone introduce this girl to Hop stat. This is a trainer who has mastered type matchups.



Anyway, a couple more shmuck trainer battles and we meet the professor, snagging the Payback TM from behind her house on the way. That’s a move P1 will appreciate! Yeah, I know you want me to complete the pokedex, professor, but have you considered instead: a chess grandmaster pokemon master? Food for thought!



Hop rushes outside, and I can do naught but follow! I have no regrets as to the ensuing beatdown.







BOSS: Hop

Right away, it’s King vs Wooloo! King outlevels by a significant amount (he’s lv. 9 while Wooloo is only lv. 6) so there’s little the sheep can do lmao. Both King and P1 level up thanks to the EXP, bringing them to lv. 10 and lv. 8 respectively!



Speaking of P1, it’s her turn to shine against Hop’s Rookidee! P1 outspeeds, so Payback can’t be used to its full potential—but two uses still takes Rookidee to the red while she sits comfortably in the green! A Tackle spells the end of Hop’s bird. King comes back to take on Sobble, and it’s barely even a contest.



Afterwards, Hop talks about how the two of us will need to become acquainted with both victory and defeat to grow… sorry buddy, but only one of us is gonna ever taste defeat, and he's done it twice already. Please accept this now, you'll be happier in the long run.



In all seriousness, Leon gives us both endorsement and we bear witness to what is perhaps the most understated meteor impact in all of fiction. Wishing stars go twinkle plip~



The next morning, Sonia wants to know about the mysterious pokemon we saw in the Weald! Well, Sonia, it was large, cyan, definitely canine, and was surprisingly nonaggressive—



Hop: “it was like super weird idk lmao”







This kid... I do love him, I swear, but Sonia is me rn...



But with that… I think we’re good to call it! Thanks for taking a peek at my Chesslocke, and who knows? Perhaps we might just manage to sculpt the legend of a true chess wizard! See you soon :>

KING
P1


Here's something fun I'm gonna do for this run! I'm fairly knowledgeable about chess, so for each update, I'm going to explain something about the game--particularly the title! It'll always be chess-related, though the specifics might vary--sometimes I might talk about famous games, other times I might talk about terminology or named strategies, and I might even talk about the history and development of chess and its past forms!

This update's title is fairly simple. 1.e4 is the notation for when white moves its king's pawn two spaces forward as their first move. This is by far the most common opening move in high-level play and is generally considered white's most reliable opening, though naming it the "best" is inaccurate as there are other popular openings, such as advancing the queen's pawn, the queenside bishop's pawn, or the kingside knight.
 
Last edited:

Alan900900900

Lurker extraordinaire
Globetrotter
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
183
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
350
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Dark, Ice
Pokédex Entry
This Pokemon is a master of having too many projects at the same time. Also, Pikablu.
Well this ruleset seems interesting already! I'm curious about your decision to make Ziggy a pawn instead of something more important... although you probably have future encounters in mind to fill those roles.

Never been a huge fan of Chess (although I do have a bit of skill in it), but I eagerly await the next update!
 
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Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,963
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
A new run by Dee!?


Full disclosure: I know nothing about chess. I have never even played checkers. Sorry! is my jam, though!

And difficult rulesets are also my jam. Sword/Shield itself may be an easy game, but only being able to catch 16 Pokemon total still has me worried. :ohdear:

Here's to hoping the Himbo family will be our helpful guides!
Thankfully, Hop is here to stop Leon from getting lost on the walk back to his house… which requires him to merely walk down a straight path… without taking any turns.
On second thought, maybe we should enlist some better help. Sonia, do you want to volunteer? We can talk about your shockingly bare backstory....
 
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redninjapuffle

Probably playing DragonBall FighterZ
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
841
Caught
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
651
Location
Peaceful Plains
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
He
Pokémon Type
Electric, Dark
Pokédex Entry
Redninjapuffles are known to want to create their own nuzlocke stories or comics, however, many have yet to start one.
is sonia your waifu for laifu?
 
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sociopathicotter

Conqueror of the Violet Gym
Pokédex No.
2132
Caught
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
166
Nature
Docile
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Water
Pokédex Entry
enjoys unnecessary anime references and stupid meta humor in webcomics
…actually, scratch that. This is the second most adorable roadblock. The GBA classic Golden Sun has it beat:







LOOKIT THE CUTE LITTLE PUPPIES



THEY’RE PLAYING ;w;
the idea of a chesslocke is super creative, but this right here is definitely the highlight of the your whole post haha. i didn't know there were so many reasons to love golden sun, but you've just added one more! wooloo's got nothing on those adorable gba-era puppies
 
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Reactions: Dee

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
518
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
-new run
-special ruleset
-Dee
-👀

Fully agree with the rage over Pokedex sizes. I refuse to believe it. Not canon.

I am also very excited to learn about chess! :)
 
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Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,587
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
Wolves are the best instrument 🐺🎺
Agreed.
After some forced encounters against Skwovet and Rookidee, we press further, with Hop and Kasparov expressing concern as to the fact that the fog is so soupy they can’t see in front of their faces. Don’t be so melodramatic, we all know that’s the default state of being for the British Isles~
kek
Accurate.

Interesting choice of Zigzagoon for a pawn; it fits the Galarian line's whole thing of being the normal route rodent up until it turns into a heavy-metal badass. Now let's just hope you can keep P1 alive long enough to promote her...
 
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Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
941
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks for the positive feedback, everyone! This is a side project, so it won't have regularly scheduled updates like my storylocke... but every Sunday or so, I think I'll give you all some replies!

Well this ruleset seems interesting already! I'm curious about your decision to make Ziggy a pawn instead of something more important... although you probably have future encounters in mind to fill those roles.

Never been a huge fan of Chess (although I do have a bit of skill in it), but I eagerly await the next update!
Thanks! As for why P1 was chosen to be a pawn... the other roles (especially the queen!) are limited, so I want to give them the most bang for their buck. SwSh makes it easy-ish to game encounters thanks to seeing some of them in the overworld, so I'm going to try to get specific species in mind for specific roles.


A new run by Dee!?


Full disclosure: I know nothing about chess. I have never even played checkers. Sorry! is my jam, though!

And difficult rulesets are also my jam. Sword/Shield itself may be an easy game, but only being able to catch 16 Pokemon total still has me worried. :ohdear:

Here's to hoping the Himbo family will be our helpful guides!

On second thought, maybe we should enlist some better help. Sonia, do you want to volunteer? We can talk about your shockingly bare backstory....
No chess? I'm not judging, but perhaps the end-of-chapter Chess Corners will pique your interest...

And SwSh may be easy overall, but that doesn't mean that fights like Raihan, Leon, or the final Mustard battle are going to be comfy!

The Himbo family... bless


is sonia your waifu for laifu?
Sonia is my SPIRIT ANIMAL


the idea of a chesslocke is super creative, but this right here is definitely the highlight of the your whole post haha. i didn't know there were so many reasons to love golden sun, but you've just added one more! wooloo's got nothing on those adorable gba-era puppies
Golden Sun is a great series! (Or the first two games are, at any rate.) If you like classic fantasy JRPGs, you should check them out!


-new run
-special ruleset
-Dee
-👀

Fully agree with the rage over Pokedex sizes. I refuse to believe it. Not canon.

I am also very excited to learn about chess! :)
Excited to teach you! And yes, pokedex sizes are NONSENSE and I will hear nothing else


Agreed.

kek

Accurate.

Interesting choice of Zigzagoon for a pawn; it fits the Galarian line's whole thing of being the normal route rodent up until it turns into a heavy-metal badass. Now let's just hope you can keep P1 alive long enough to promote her...
Let's hope indeed! I have a few ideas in mind for these early pawns, but you know how nuzruns go--a single crit can ruin hours of planning 😟
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
941
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Wedgehurst



Yep, back here again! But like I promised last time… new day, new me!







Y’know, Urban Smog has got to be one of the best tees in the game… it’s just so great. I can’t stop loving it.



Down at the station, the younger of the Super Himbo Bros gifts me with the Swift TM. Not shabby! Inside, we get ambushed by moms.







Wait… my mom and Hop’s mom know Prof. Magnolia? They’re all maternal types… none of our rooms have doors… even Sonia doesn’t get one… It’s all coming together.







Off we go… for an early stop at the Wild Area!



Meetup Spot



Before we go anywhere, Hop and I get to wince in sympathy as Sonia lays on the millennial curse.







Damn, Magnolia! That’s some tough love, ain’t it? Looks like Sonia’s coming on our journey too—and the more the merrier, I say. We can become chess champions… together!



Oh yeah, and something something pokemon. And speaking of pokemon…



East Lake Axewell



Yep, I booked it straight here! What’s on the agenda? Well, there’s a pokemon I’d like that only shows up in the overworld in this zone… let’s see if I can snag it!







** Name: P2 **

Female Lv. 13 Bounsweet (GRS). Ability: Leaf Guard

Lax nature (+Def, -Sp. Def) “It likes to run!”

ASSIGNED CHESS RANK: Pawn




So I caught Bounsweet… somehow. Holy moly, she seriously took almost 20 balls to capture! I’m blown away, especially because according to Bulbapedia, they have a 40% chance of being caught by a normal poke ball at full health, and I got this one down to yellow and then red. Am I just insanely unlucky, or does SwSh have some weird value in catch calculation I don’t know about?



Like P1, we have a potential queen in the making, but sadly due to P2’s high level, we can’t even use her until King becomes even more of a Buff Boi than normal. Into the box you go, P2!



(Fun fact: immediately after this I beat a Max Raid Tympole with King and the ensuing EXP Candy S takes him from 11 to 14. So. We might not have to wait as long as I thought lmao)



But hey, why stop with one pokemon? The Wild Area has so much more to offer! 👀







** Name: P3 **

Female Lv. 7 Electrike (ELE). Ability: Lightning Rod

Bold nature (+Def, -Atk) “It has a sturdy body!”

ASSIGNED CHESS RANK: Pawn




Man, I love that King is in the Field Egg Group. So many potential queens of so many species! I was really, really tempted to make P3 my queen, but I have a particular species in mind. (If I end up not getting a female of that species I’ll be hella mad tho, haha). Still, it shouldn’t be too hard to promote her, especially early on…



And unlike P2, she’s low-level enough to join right away! (She also got caught in the first ball thrown, also unlike P2. Seriously, that Bounsweet was hell.)



I suppose I should give you my big-brain grandmaster plan—see, pawns are gonna become an increasing liability later in the game, with their inability to evolve or Dynamax and the fact that they have to trail the rest of the party in levels. So I’m gonna use the Wild Area and the Isle of Armor to frontload my party with as many good pokemon as I can and then use the pawns on the aces of weaker early rival battles to promote them. That said, I’m actually all tapped out of the Wild Area for pokemon I absolutely want… though I can still sweep the place for items! Instead of giving you a bunch of areas with a single line each, I’ll just give you a brief list of what I picked up here:

- The Tail Slap and Bulldoze TMs

- Leftovers

- A Thunder Stone

- Several various poke balls, berries, and medicine

- Goodies from clearing some more dens



Now, I could go progress… but where’s the fun in that? I think we could take a small detour…



Wedgehurst



Back at the station, we learn that the train to the Isle of Armor arrives! And a weird diva-looking gal shows up. Why, I’m sure she will be nothing but pleasant and kind c:



A dopey Slowpoke shows up to block the way. As far as I know this is a mandatory catch, so per my rules, I’m catching it and then boxing it rather than trying to use it (you get the items for Slowbro or Slowing waaaaaaaaaaaay too far into the DLC for my liking, haha).



After that encounter, the nice girl heads off, and even says we should hang out if we meet up again! What a pleasant person. I’m sure we’ll be the best of friends :]



Fields of Honor



never mind she’s a total bitch lmao



(Also she apparently forgot who I am despite us meeting literally less than a minute ago. Like damn girl)



BOSS: Klara

P3 vs Venipede! The Electrike paralyzes the bug first turn and is rewarded when it can’t move. Afterwards is a damage race that P3 wins in three turns with Swift! The real treat is going to be P1 vs Klara’s ace, Slowpoke. P1 spams Snarl and Slowpoke goes down easily enough!



And hey, what’s this? Did one of my pawns just beat a boss’s ace?



P1 has been promoted to Queen! P1 has been renamed “Royal.”




Royal! I’m pleased as punch to have you here. Welcome to the big time!



But hey, now that I’m here in the Isle of Armor… there’s a pokemon that’s a guaranteed spawn right by the station. A pokemon that complements King very nicely. A pokemon I’ve had my eye on…



And lo and behold, I catch her. Yes, her. She’s female. She’s part of King’s egg group. And she’s gonna be the new queen, no promotions needed!







She’s here!







She’s incredible!







She’s…



** Name: Queen **

Female Lv. 15 Rockruff (RCK). Ability: Keen Eye

Modest nature (+Sp. Atk, -Atk) “It’s highly persistent!”

ASSIGNED CHESS RANK: Queen




…she’s modest. Welp. Just my luck.



But y’know, I’ve made it work with pokemon that have unideal natures before. In two separate runs of Black, I managed to score an Adamant Sigilyph, an Adamant Litwick, and a Modest Sawk, and you know what? Each and every one of them were invaluable teammates.



Welcome to the party, Queen 💖



Afterwards, I take a quick jaunt back to the Wild Area to run rings around the place, fighting low-level dens and picking up goodies. In fact, I even decide to mount a daring mission into the northern reaches! 😱 The pokemon up here are 2tuff4me, but other than a single scare with a Snorunt that was more than double my team’s level (thanks, Poke Doll!) I dodged danger handily. While up there, I picked up more goodies, like the Bulldoze TM, a second set of Leftovers (they’re a rare drop from the trees under the bridge guarded by the wandering Greedent), and lots of sell fodder. Also, by happenstance, a Macro Cosmos employee happened to sell the Thunderbolt TM…



You’d better believe that’s going on P3 right this second.







God mode activated. Holy moly. (Note: the art I used for Electrike above came from here!)



Oh yeah, and this happened!







** King has evolved into Thwackey! **



Thwackey is… uh… look, let’s just say that the Grookey line hits the Totodile style of design for me where I love the first and third stages and the middle evolution leaves me politely confused. (That’s also the case for the Chespin line. And the Rowlet line. And the Charmander line. And—)



By the time we’re finished, my team ranges from lv. 13 – lv. 15, P2 is in the party where she belongs, and I sold a buncha shit like Comet Shards (plural!) and Pearl Strings and Balm Mushrooms, which left me with enough money to buy every single thing I wanted from the Wedgehurst clothing store while having some money left over. In other words all is right in the world. So let’s resume our exploration of the Isle of Armor!



Moving up towards the dojo, we get stopped by a sidequest—Alolan Diglett! It belongs to a guy who really likes Diglett. A lot.








Like, he just can’t get enough of them. Pity he lost them all! Don’t worry, guy, I can help you track down—







Wait. Hold on.



You caught 151 animals. (Moles, nonetheless—notoriously destructive!) You took them to a completely separate location. And then you lost every. Single. One.



MY GUY OVER HERE SINGLE-HANDEDLY ANNIHILATING THE ISLE OF ARMOR’S NATURAL ECOSYSTEM



You ever hear of pythons in the Everglades? What about rabbits in Australia? Holy moly, this is an ecological disaster waiting to happen. And you expect me to do this? By myself?



Dude! You’re the worst, man!



Anyway, stepping on up, we move up to the dojo where Klara is overjoyed to meet us!







Pictured above: me when I pour cereal and realize I’m out of milk :(



Anyways, after some toxic temerity from Klara, I poke around a bit and pick up an Expert Belt and a free Focus Blast TR. I also hunt down some Diglett, and the trainer rewards me with an Alolan Meowth and a normal-ass Slowpoke! Per my rules, I’m not gonna use these as one of my sixteen, so to the box you go, weird sassy cat and psychic… hippo… thing. (Seriously, what’s Slowpoke supposed to be, anyways?)







After all’s said and done, Honey invites us into the dojo! Is it a chess place? Will I learn instruction in the ways of the 8x8 grid?



Oh… it’s a martial arts training center? Alright… maybe if I ever go into the world of chess boxing, the skills here will be useful.



(By the way, I’m not joking about chess boxing. It’s a real sport, and exactly what it sounds like. Look it up.)



Honey’s son gives us an Exp. Charm (cause that’s definitely a problem in Galar: too hard to level up pokemon. lol) and then we meet the dojo master himself: Mustard.



No lie: I love this old man. I love him to death. He’s great. And hey, guess what—he wants to test our admission to the dojo with a battle!



BOSS: Dojo Master Mustard

Just like with Klara, I open with P3! But this time, she has an ace up her sleeve… a mighty move known as Thunderbolt! But uh… Mienfoo’s Fake Out+Force Palm combo leaves her with a measly 2 HP, and Thunderbolt failed to KO… P3, get outta there!



I swap to King, who takes a not-insignificant hit from Force Palm on the way in (that kung-fu weasel hits hard!) and then KOs Mienfoo with Double Hit. I keep in King against Shinx—yeah, it throws away an opportunity to promote, but P3 is in a bad state, and I’m not sure P2 can handle it! They’ll get their moments in the sun later on. Even after an Intimidate, King still out-damages Shinx, and easily wins a damage race against the little lion cub.



Afterwards, I get rewarded with a dojo uniform! It’s spiffy, but I have consistency-per-update to maintain, Mustard—let me get back to my original style, stat!







you didn’t see thissssssssssss



Nearby, Mustard and Honey’s son wants to invent a machine that will revolutionize recycling. I guess they’ll need it after all the invasive Diglett running rampant across the Isle of Armor… 😬



While I’m over here, I notice a trio of beds—one red, one green, one blue! A fun little detail :3







And matching dishes!







Anyway, we got a new uniform, but Klara got squat. Time to chase down some Slowpoke to get it back for her! Because we’re just good samaritans like that, I guess.



Soothing Wetlands



You know, something tells me these places would be a lot more soothing if Slowpoke weren’t poppin’ wheelies and zooming around like kittens hyped up on 2am zoomies. Chasing around the Slowpoke also gets me some goodies, like a whole bunch of sellable items and the Endure and Muddy Water TRs (which for my intents and purpose are, uh… sellable items.)



Other side note: I really like the music for the Slowpoke battle! It’s catchy 🎶



After we round up all these rascals, it’s time to head back to the dojo!



Fields of Honor



Klara’s a miiiiiiiiiiiiiight salty that we got the uniform all on our lonesome! Oh well, too bad so sad~



Anyway, as a reward we get to choose our own little critter!







So… even though there are three dishes and three beds, there’s only two options! But then, I think we all know who picked that Charmander back in the day…



Anyway, I already have a Grass-type starter on my team, so there’s only really one choice… and yep, it’s going to be an actual capture!







** Name: Knight **

Male Lv. 5 Squirtle (WTR). Ability: Torrent

Jolly nature (+Speed, -Sp. Atk) “It’s capable of taking hits!”

ASSIGNED CHESS RANK: Knight




Yep, Squirtle joins our team—and as a knight! As a reminder, knights are allowed to evolve and can be one level lower than the king, but they can't learn moves with over 60 base power! That makes them the trickiest piece to assign, but I think Squirtle'll make a good choice nonetheless with moves like Bite, Flip Turn, and Water Pulse! That lower level isn’t ideal… but then, Galar is just lousy with free exp, haha. We can pull this off sure thing!



Speaking of Flip Turn, the dojo tutor is available—and Honey is even nice enough to give us five pieces of Armorite Ore right off the bat! (I’ve also been collecting some from dens here and there.) While I take the advantage to teach Knight Flip Turn, I must say I’ve always enjoyed how salty this guy gets when you don’t want to learn a move haha







Get mad, stay mad 😎



Afterwards, Mustard lays the second task on us—mushroom picking! But I’m actually going to hold off for now. I don’t want to advance things too much. But then again… there might be one last pokemon on the Isle of Armor I have my eye on…



I’ll meet you there, k?



Forest of Focus



Okay, I lied. This isn’t my destination, but as I was traveling through, I picked up some goodies like a Shed Shell and a Sticky Barb—and then Digging Ma wasted some of my ore! 😧



Why does life have to be so cruel?



Oh, one other thing I feel I should note: I actually found a mint on the path; a Serious Mint! While I was mighty tempted to give that to Queen, I ultimately decided doing so is against the spirit of the nuzlocke challenge, so I won’t be changing my pokemon’s natures with any mints, nor will I be using any ability capsules (which are easy to farm from the Cram-O-Matic.) We’re doing things the old-fashioned way here, folks!



One other thing: I just had to stop and do a double-take when I read this. Remember, this quest is to find mushrooms to make soup!







THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: FOONGUS ARE FRIENDS. NOT FOOD.



Training Lowlands



Okay, we’re here for real! I wander around until I encounter the pokemon I want…







And here he is!



** Name: Chevalier **

Male Lv. 17 Scyther (BUG/FLY). Ability: Swarm

Hardy nature (no stat chhanges) “It likes to run!"

ASSIGNED CHESS RANK: Knight




Yep, we have our second assigned knight—Chevalier! Not gonna lie, I was reeeeeally hoping for Technician… but I’ll take Swarm. Scyther learns plenty of good moves with 60 base power or lower, and in fact I plan on taking Chevalier right back to the dojo for Dual Wingbeat! Oh, and since I don’t actually have pokemon transfer… don’t expect a Scizor in this playthrough. Scyther for life! Let's box P2 for now.



And that’s it for real. I think we had a lot of fun messing around—but let’s be honest, it’s probably about time we, I dunno, advanced the plot? See you all next time when I get my chess-playing ass over to Motostoke for the opening ceremony!

KING
QUEEN
ROYAL

KNIGHT
CHEVALIER
P3


In reserve:
P2


Last time I talked a little bit about how opening with the king's pawn is usually considered white's safest move, and is the most common opening in high-level play. A common response to this is for black to open with their kingside pawn. The two pawns are both facing each other and both white and black have access to immediately move their queen and kingside bishop onto the board. This is called an "Open Game" (the capitals are important because an "open game," sans capitals, is something else entirely). An Open Game was once black's most favored response to white and was considered exciting and dynamic for leading to flashy, often spectacular offensive play, but has fallen slightly out of style in favor of a more cautious, conservative approach.
 
Last edited:

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,587
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
Am I just insanely unlucky, or does SwSh have some weird value in catch calculation I don’t know about?
Like P1, we have a potential queen in the making, but sadly due to P2’s high level, we can’t even use her until King becomes even more of a Buff Boi than normal.
And that's your problem. For some odd reason, SwSh makes it much harder to catch Pokemon that are a higher level than your team, even if it's legal to catch them.
Thwackey is… uh… look, let’s just say that the Grookey line hits the Totodile style of design for me where I love the first and third stages and the middle evolution leaves me politely confused. (That’s also the case for the Chespin line. And the Rowlet line. And the Charmander line. And—)
As a longtime fan of the Chespin line, I feel ya.
Wait. Hold on.



You caught 151 animals. (Moles, nonetheless—notoriously destructive!) You took them to a completely separate location. And then you lost every. Single. One.



MY GUY OVER HERE SINGLE-HANDEDLY ANNIHILATING THE ISLE OF ARMOR’S NATURAL ECOSYSTEM



You ever hear of pythons in the Everglades? What about rabbits in Australia? Holy moly, this is an ecological disaster waiting to happen. And you expect me to do this? By myself?



Dude! You’re the worst, man!
Headcanon: this is EXACTLY why Galar has such strict restrictions against non-native Pokemon entering the region.

Because of this guy.

This guy is an unprintable word. Possibly several unprintable words.
THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: FOONGUS ARE FRIENDS. NOT FOOD.
Also, they are Poison-types, which means you'll probably die from eating them, or at the very least wind up tripping.
 
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Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,963
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
Before we go anywhere, Hop and I get to wince in sympathy as Sonia lays on the millennial curse.



"I'm just trying to survive, Gran!" 😭

Yay for Wild Area catching montage! Wait, are there any gen 8 starters that aren't in the Field egg group? 🤔 *checks* Phew, they're all in Field and a second egg group. Scorbunny's other egg group is actually Human-Like, which generally has fighting and psychic types—as opposed to Sobble and Grookey getting Water 1 and Grass, respectively, which really don't do much to widen the type selection of their potential queens.

All hail to the queen! 👑


now to ev train you to work out that modest nature


isle of armor has no pokemon smuggling laws smh 😔

If Slowpoke are hippos, they're the nicest hippos in the world! Hippos in our world are among the deadliest animals. Good thing these zoomie lads and ladies are not real-life hippos. ._.

Thank you for your service to the royal family. ⚔
 
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sky_

life is a trip alright
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
181
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
482
Location
A place to nap
Nature
Gentle
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Ghost, Normal
Pokédex Entry
This ghost tries to be studious and businesslike, but will squee or keysmash easily. They would love to cuddle every adorable cat in the world.
hello this looks interesting! and it's so neat to see so many typings on an early-game team, good on Sw/Sh xD
After some forced encounters against Skwovet and Rookidee, we press further, with Hop and Kasparov expressing concern as to the fact that the fog is so soupy they can’t see in front of their faces. Don’t be so melodramatic, we all know that’s the default state of being for the British Isles~
zgkjfdkghdfjgh oh no how did u know ;pppp
Just look at that thing! Pathetic! You’re gonna tromp all over Galar with that? How you gonna fit a tent in there, Hop? Where’s your curry gonna go? Do you even have a change of clothes?
roast him roast him roast hiiiiiim
We are barred from progressing by what may be the most adorable roadblock in video game history:
hello those wooloo are my adorable children, i love and wish to give them all epic cuddles, they should have an epic snooze
Damn, Magnolia! That’s some tough love, ain’t it?
s;kfjsajkfhsdjg the attacc, poor sonia is every 20-something out there right now including me
You caught 151 animals. (Moles, nonetheless—notoriously destructive!) You took them to a completely separate location. And then you lost every. Single. One.



MY GUY OVER HERE SINGLE-HANDEDLY ANNIHILATING THE ISLE OF ARMOR’S NATURAL ECOSYSTEM
s\fkjdskfjsd;kgvhdfkj we love to see it, as if alolan dugtrios weren't common enough in alola already as the default ground type
 
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Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
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Jun 30, 2019
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1,587
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Gatto Region
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Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
s\fkjdskfjsd;kgvhdfkj we love to see it, as if alolan dugtrios weren't common enough in alola already as the default ground type
I mean, if my as-of-yet unpublished Pokemon Moon run is any indication, they won't be hard to eradicate.

And I actually originally wrote that as eraticate.
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
518
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
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she/her
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Fairy
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It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
Huh, I would have never thought a Bounsweet would be so hard to catch! I'm glad I consulted the comments for more information about that! I think the most fun thing about this ruleset is how, since you're carefully choosing each teammate, you have such a colorful and diverse team! I love it! Also super awesome that you were able to teach Elektrike thunderbolt early on. I remember them being such a pain to train in earlier gens because it took them so long to learn a good STAB move and they're just so frail.
 
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Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
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Team Alpha
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147
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Jun 26, 2019
Messages
941
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Zion National Park
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A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Welp, I was pretty bad about posting replies in a timely manner--so we're going to both reply and update, cause why not!

And that's your problem. For some odd reason, SwSh makes it much harder to catch Pokemon that are a higher level than your team, even if it's legal to catch them.

As a longtime fan of the Chespin line, I feel ya.

Headcanon: this is EXACTLY why Galar has such strict restrictions against non-native Pokemon entering the region.

Because of this guy.

This guy is an unprintable word. Possibly several unprintable words.

Also, they are Poison-types, which means you'll probably die from eating them, or at the very least wind up tripping.
Huh! I didn't know about that! You'd think that if SwSh allowed you to catch a pokemon at all, it wouldn't add the penalty... the more you know, I guess. And oh my gosh, you're right. It's him. He's the reason.

...death is too good for him 💀


"I'm just trying to survive, Gran!" 😭

Yay for Wild Area catching montage! Wait, are there any gen 8 starters that aren't in the Field egg group? 🤔 *checks* Phew, they're all in Field and a second egg group. Scorbunny's other egg group is actually Human-Like, which generally has fighting and psychic types—as opposed to Sobble and Grookey getting Water 1 and Grass, respectively, which really don't do much to widen the type selection of their potential queens.

All hail to the queen! 👑


now to ev train you to work out that modest nature


isle of armor has no pokemon smuggling laws smh 😔

If Slowpoke are hippos, they're the nicest hippos in the world! Hippos in our world are among the deadliest animals. Good thing these zoomie lads and ladies are not real-life hippos. ._.

Thank you for your service to the royal family. ⚔

Yep, Scorbunny definitely gets the best spread of potential queens under my moveset, though Field in general should be enough to carry all but the most greedy player! I did in fact know that about hippos--they're scary! And as always, I'm in love with your GIFs, you always find the best ones!


hello this looks interesting! and it's so neat to see so many typings on an early-game team, good on Sw/Sh xD

zgkjfdkghdfjgh oh no how did u know ;pppp

roast him roast him roast hiiiiiim

hello those wooloo are my adorable children, i love and wish to give them all epic cuddles, they should have an epic snooze

s;kfjsajkfhsdjg the attacc, poor sonia is every 20-something out there right now including me

s\fkjdskfjsd;kgvhdfkj we love to see it, as if alolan dugtrios weren't common enough in alola already as the default ground type
This comment had a smile on my way the whole way through.... thank you for checking in and I hope you enjoy the run!


Huh, I would have never thought a Bounsweet would be so hard to catch! I'm glad I consulted the comments for more information about that! I think the most fun thing about this ruleset is how, since you're carefully choosing each teammate, you have such a colorful and diverse team! I love it! Also super awesome that you were able to teach Elektrike thunderbolt early on. I remember them being such a pain to train in earlier gens because it took them so long to learn a good STAB move and they're just so frail.
Yep, that Thunderbolt TM was a great boon! To be honest, I was not looking forward to raising P3 without it... GF always does Electrike so dirty for moves and frailness, I don't understand it! And a diverse team is good for any nuzrun... :)


Fields of Honor



Welcome back! Since you’re here, I’d like to mention a few things I did off-camera, as it were. First, it’s a new update, which means yet another new look!







Next, I spent a little bit of time grinding out Watts and Armorite Ore at the Isle of Armor. In doing so, Knight picked up some great new moves like Rapid Spin, Bite, and Water Pulse. He also evolved!







** Knight has evolved into Wartortle! **



I’ve always liked Wartortle. It has one of my favorite middle designs of any starter (like I mentioned last episode, I tend to think that the middle designs of most starter lines leave something to be desired). I especially like its feathery ears and tail, and those little fangs!



But that’s not all we did! I collected several dozen apricorns and farmed for unique poke balls. Didn’t get any, but I have a bunch of Ultra and Great Balls now! By the way, have you ever taken a good look at the Cram-O-Matic?







I know that Hyde says it runs on Watts, but doesn’t it look like it’s hooked up to a... gas can?



One last itty-bitty thing to note about the Isle of Armor… I swept the place for Diglett. Diglett after Diglett after Diglett. Did you know that this guy out here actually knows how many are missing and where they’re at?







I already hated this guy for losing the Diglett in the first place, but now it’s clear that he could go hunting for them (he knows where they are!) but he just… doesn’t? His solution is to get a kid to single-handedly avert an ecological catastrophe he caused? And his reward is to give away more invasive species?



This dude’s almost as bad as the American Acclimatization Society. (That’s the group that deliberately introduced the European Starling, one of the most wide-spread and destructive invasive species in North America, to the United States.) Forget Chairman Rose—if I could throttle anyone in Galar, please let it be this man.



Anyway, he rewards me with tons of pokemon I instantly banish to the box. These don’t count as legit catches under my rules, and I haven’t bothered to name them or even look at their stats. But there is one pokemon I’ve added to my team—and I think it’s time she said hello!







** Name: Rook **

Female Lv. 30 Alolan Exeggutor (GRS/DRG). Ability: Harvest

Hardy nature (no stat changes) “It’s somewhat vain!”

ASSIGNED CHESS RANK: Knight




Peeking at this thing’s movetable, I was blown away by how perfectly it lines up with the Rook role. Rooks, as a reminder, cannot use damaging moves which inflict secondary effects on the opponent, whether that’s lowering stats, causing flinches, or inflicting a status ailment. That shuts down a lot of fully-evolved pokemon, especially special attackers. But Alolan Exeggutor has the perfect moveset for it! Dragon Hammer is strong, accurate, and has no secondary effect; Giga Drain’s healing effect is allowed; Psyshock is a good coverage move that doesn’t lower enemy stats, unlike Psychic; and it learns a wealth of support moves like Light Screen and Leech Seed! Best of all, Alolan Exeggutor’s naturally even-spread offensive base stats are complemented by Rook’s neutral nature, and the fact that she’s fully evolved means that almost her whole movepool is available from the move relearner. She’s a perfect fit for the role!



That said… if you take a look at her level, she’s higher than King, my highest-leveled pokemon, by a full dozen levels. She can’t be used until she is underneath him in level, so into the box she goes for now—but I’m excited to get to use her once that time rolls around!



(Oh, and I’m well aware that this is now the third Grass-type pokemon on our very limited team. While I love the Grass type and think it’s underrated, I don’t plan on getting anymore if I can help it!)



With all that said and done… are we finished in the Isle of Armor? Not quite. In the station, there’s this dapper fellow who needs our help getting off the island.







I’m sorry, what? You can’t afford the fare? Bull! Shit! Look at this dude, he oozes 1% energy! I bet you have stock options and six-digit passive income! And here you are, bumming off a kid. Shameful!



Ah, well. At least he gives us a new set of clothes. That’s something, at least.



And with all that said and done… I’m finally ready to progress the story! Are you ready to head to Motostoke… on episode three? :p



Motostoke



We’re finally here! Look!







I do like the old-school, red-brick industrial aesthetic of Motostoke. It’s a cool-looking place! And speaking of cool:







Best Girl is back again! Normally I’d call shenanigans on her making it here before us, but I did just spend several days cleaning up an invasive species problem on the Isle of Armor, so I’ll let it pass… this time :’p



Inside, she shows off the card maker! I admit, this thing is a lot of fun, but I’ll try not to get hooked on it. Don’t expect a new card every update like I do for the outfits! But I think one is fine:







I also pick up five each of X Attack, Defense, Sp. Attack, and Sp. Defense while I’m in. I’ve got the money for it!



Outside, I want to go left, but… this counts as a roadblock, I guess?







There’s… there’s two guys. They’re not even blocking the bridge. They’re just talking about how much like they like Motostoke. I mean, if you’re gonna do a nonsense roadblock, at least pull a B2W2 and give me a line of singing dancing fat men.



Anyway, Sonia wants us to check in at the stadium, but I say that there’s more important things to do.



Like shopping!







Is that how that works? I thought Growth just grew the pokemon.







But forget the flower shop. There’s only one store that I need.







And look! Sonia’s here too! I knew there was a reason I liked you, girl!



The clothes shop cleans me out and I don’t even get everything I wanted—and I walked in here with just under $300k 😭 Fashion, why are you such a cruel mistress! Still, though, Motostoke is the place with all the plaid stuff. The green, monochrome, and navy plaid clothes are my jam. They rule!



In a nearby café, the game shows me that I’m not alone in dunking on the Himbo Bros by doing it for me!







This line was written by a member of the dev team who was overruled regarding Leon’s design. That’s my headcanon and you won’t change my mind!



I explore more stores, and can I just say that it’s a crime that you can’t actually enter the bookstore? I need an almanac of World Championship games! A biography of Capablanca! A compilation of current FIDE rating! What is this bullcrap 😤



And nearby, we see some hero worship of a certain chairman…









Yeah, I’m just gonna leave this here.





eat the rich



Afterwards, we run into our favorite Champion by the lift! Leon says he couldn’t have made it to the stadium without Charizard’s help. The stadium that’s… just a straight walk down the road from the town entrance…



…bless this man.



He gives us a Miracle Seed, and then we head up. I want to explore but I actually hopped into Hop’s (heh) line of sight, so plot advancement it is.



Inside the stadium, we get introduced to our newest rival…







Bea Arthur.



After Dorothy struts away, Hop gets all flustered. Don’t let her get to you, Hop! I don’t think she can even play chess.



After that, it’s time to register and get our uniform numbers all set up. For me, there’s only one choice… the number of pieces on the board.







32 for life, baby.



Hop bolts off, but we play Spot the Main Character among the other attendees! Among a bunch of generic trainer classes wearing bland white uniforms, we also have Himbo Jr., a girl with an accent in punk rock clothes, and some jerk rocking a magenta overcoat.



Can we figure out who the bully is supposed to be? 🤔







By the way, this isn't a dunk on Galar. Pokemon's always had it bad in this regard. Remember when we were supposed to be shocked that this guy was our antagonist?







But I digress. The League wants me to go to bed, but first, we have a Minccino to find! This little sidequest yields one of my favorite moments in pokemon history:







Sir? SIR??? Why are you bathing fully clothed in a public fountain? (Actually strike that, I’m glad about the fully clothed part.) What. Is happening.



The other fountain has the missing pokemon, by the way.



More exploring yields a Silk Scarf (though I think I’ll keep the Leftovers on Royal for now). Down below, we run into a shop that sells more clothes—this time, the outfits of the minor league gyms! No lie, I like the minor league as a worldbuilding concept… though I wish you actually got to visit them in-game. Ah, well. And the outfits here are all $18k a pop…







I’ll come back for you, outfits! Wait for me!



A little more searching uncovers the Pay Day TM, and then when all’s said and done, it’s time to go back to the Budew Drop Inn.



Inside, Sonia gives us a little history lesson on the hero, the Darkest Day, yadda yadda. Though the music during this scene is pretty good! Can Sonia handle it all by herself?







I do like how sassy they let you be in this game sometimes! A real highlight. Anyway, Sonia futhermore drops this little bomb on us:







Sorry, Sonia, I just don’t buy it. For all his faults, Hop at least seems capable of reading a map. I don’t think Leon had that big an effect on the young boy’s formative years. But more pressing is the ruffians holding up the line! Team Yell? Don’t you know there are important rules of etiquette to be followed in chess? Yelling at the opponent is strictly forbidden! After roughing them up a bit, we get introduced to Sonia’s competition as Best Girl!







Here she is! Marnie!



I think the game did her character arc dirty and didn’t give her enough focus… but I love her all the same!



After she shoos away her fan club (who are infinitely less charming than she is) we hunker down for the night and then get up and ready for the big event tomorrow. After poking around other peoples’ rooms for a bit—look, I had to, uh, brush upon… chess… scores. That’s the ticket—I head straight over to the stadium for the opening ceremony. And hey, look at this:







Stop calling me out, game! Why is this random NPC me?!



And here comes one of my least favorite parts of Sword and Shield: the uniform. Prepare yourselves, minor rant over something minor incoming. I don’t like how they make you wear a uniform for all the big Gym and League battles! Yes, I know, I get it, SwSh’s Pokemon League is based on professional sports so of course pro athletes wear uniforms on the field or in the arena, but… look, ever since X and Y gave me the ability to play dress-up, I’ve never looked back, so it’s sad to spend so much time and energy sculpting a fun outfit only for the game to ditch it in plot-critical scenes. It’s especially not helpful that the basic challenger uniform is the most bland, vanilla set of duds in the game! I mean, at least let me wear the Gym uniforms for a splash of color or something!



—yeah, rant over. I promise. And hey, at least it's fun to see the number you chose on the back.



The intro ceremony is pretty fun, too! I like getting to see all (or almost all, hehe) the Gym Leaders strutting out onto the pitch, and even comparing their body language—the uptight Kabu versus the slightly swaggering Gordie. It’s a fun little preview of their personalities! And in case me gushing over Sonia and Marnie didn’t clue you in, I really enjoy SwSh’s cast. Even Hop and Leon, as much as I rag on them, it comes from a place of affection. It’s just a really solid cast of characters!



Afterwards, we get our first proper introduction to the resident Corporate Scumbag ™. Seeing him and Leon standing side-by-side is a real treat.







I’ll say this about Rose: at least he knows how to dress! Expect no other form of praise from me about him ever.



The crowd bids us farewell as we head west to take the road to Turffield—but first, a familiar obstacle is lying in wait!



BOSS: Hop

Hop, buddy, you know how you booked it right here while I spent several weeks on the Isle of Armor? I might have a leg or seven up on y—okay, nevermind, this is happening, I guess. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.



First up is Chevalier versus Hop’s Wooloo. The poor sheep gets taken out with one Fury Cutter… sorry! Next up is Rookidee. I send out P3… not only do I outlevel the poor bird by five levels, but the Thunderbolt attack crits, just to add insult to injury! 😭 (Though fun fact: Hop has bonus dialogue for when you crit as well as when you use a super-effective move! Didn’t know about that :o)



Last but not least, I keep in P3 against Sobble. Sobble actually does outspeed and manages to land a weak Pound, but then another Thunderbolt clears it out. Sorry Hop… I did try and warn you!



But let’s ignore Hop’s crushing defeat for a moment, shall we? Am I wrong, or did one of my pawns just beat a boss’s ace without switching or any extra help? 👀



P3 has been promoted to Queen! P3 has been renamed “Regina.”




We have a proper smorgasbord of royalty in the team now!



While I could progress the story, I think I’m going to call it here for now. Next time, we’ll head out to Route 3 and keep up the adventure! Both pokemon greatness and chess ascension await!


KING
QUEEN
ROYAL
REGINA
KNIGHT
CHEVALIER



In reserve:
ROOK
P2

Today, we'll move away from strategies and towards specific games! This update takes its name from one of the most famous games of chess ever played: Paul Morphy's "Opera Game."

In the mid-1800s, Paul Morphy was a chess prodigy who was the US champion and generally considered the strongest player in the world. In 1858, Morphy toured Europe, engaging in a number of high-profile matches with various players. On one occasion, Morphy visited the Paris opera, where he was approached by two aristocrats: Count Isouard and the Duke of Brunswick. The aristocrats were both strong players, but they knew they couldn't beat Morphy on their own, so they proposed a contest: they would play together with him on the other side.

Morphy would rather have gone to the opera for the opera's sake, but you couldn't turn down nobility, so he accepted. What ensued was a brilliant match in which Morphy pounced on a relatively minor misplay by Isouard and Brunswick early on to seize control and dominate the board. Despite the nobles' valiant efforts to play defense, Morphy's ceaseless aggression and his willingness to sacrifice pieces to maintain momentum and put pressure on his opponents leave this as one of the most famous of all his games. Some of the most famous moves include sacrificing a rook to another rook to seize a knight, and sacrificing his queen to lure away the nobility's other knight, leaving the king to be checkmated by one smooth move with the help of a piece which had not been touched since nearly a third of the way into the game.

After completely crushing his opponents, Morphy thanked them for the match--and then resumed watching the Opera.

The Opera Game is one of the most famous chess games of all time, possibly the most famous, and is widely taught and studied to this day as an illustration of the value of momentum and why one should not hesitate to sacrifice pieces for dividends. It's truly a magnificent game. You can check it out on chess.com or on Wikipedia, if you would like! I decided to name the update after this because there was also a central performance--the league ceremony--in this update as well :>
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
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Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
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Jun 26, 2019
Messages
941
Location
Zion National Park
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Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
Huh? T-two updates in a week? Yep, that just how it be

Motostoke



Welcome back! Once again—new day new me!







After messing around a bunch in the Wild Area and Isle of Armor and with Hop safely shamed yet again, it’s time for us to finally leave tutorial-land and get our quest fully underway!



Route 3



A lot of pokemon here, but I go out of my way to avoid encountering any if I can help it. After all, a first encounter is a first encounter—I’d like to save it for if (or when) I know I’m going to need a specific pokemon on my team.



Partway down the route is this little thingamajig:







A… dead end featuring some sort of sign about curry? And that’s in? It’s making my inner level-designer cry 😿 If you wanted to be generous, I suppose you could say its point is to tease you with the TM on the ledge above (just out of sight in this pic)… maybe…



Along the way, Royal levels up and learns Pin Missile! That could come in handy! A little further down come a welcome sight:







Thanks, Sonia! I was hoping to make a big enough impression that a grandmaster could mentor me for a little bit. Though since we’re out in the roughs, I gotta a: do you… hike in those heels? Isn’t that like, super impractical? (And murder on your ankles?) Well, I guess you can go home anytime with the help of an Escape Rope—which she gives to us right away! Did I mention that I love that you no longer have to ration out their purchases or uses? Between that and being able to access your box anywhere you want, Galar is so convenient!



And Sonia even heals us too. How nice of her.



Levels are actually getting to be a problem—overleveling, that is! King is always in my party by rule mandate, and he’s already level twenty. He might start acting out if I don’t keep an eye on things! I’ve been avoiding using him and cycling through my other team members, but even that only helps so far. Here’s hoping my whole team doesn’t get too big for their britches before the first Gym 🤞



Heading up the back side of the hill, we find a TM—Beat Up! What a cool move that none of my pokemon can learn. Oh well. Back on the main road, we run into one of my favorite new trainer classes!







Take a look at this jolly fellow! He looks like he just stepped off the set of PBS show. Brings me back to my childhood. And he even has a Delibird helper! Cute!



The battle after that has an unintended side effect. P2 hits level 18, which means she wants to be a Steenee—but she’s not ready to be promoted yet! I’d better find a boss to send her out against soon…



With a little bit more effort, we make it to our destination!



Galar Mine



So uh… I’m a little miffed. This area only has visible encounters, and I walked into the first chamber, wondering if I could farm a specific pokemon I wanted. No pokemon popped in, until suddenly they did—spawning right on top of me! And that’s how I found my first encounter here being a Timburr.



I have nothing against the line, but I didn’t really want a Timburr, especially since I can’t trade, locking me out of its final evolution! I’m going to pass on this one. I must admit, my feathers are still ruffled at how things played out…



Oh well. At least the music here’s funky!



After beating a worker, I take a side path to get some Great Balls. I even return to Route 3 for a split second to grab the Rock Blast TM! (Since I’m literally out there for less than 10 seconds, I’m not going to bother adding it as its own section.)



Back in the mine, a worker gives me a shock by springing a Fighting-type on me when I have Royal out front. Thankfully, Chevalier’s there to step in! A little further down from the fight, I pick up the Scary Face TM in a neat-looking room!







I like how this level looks like an actual mine where people could live and work while still having fantastical touches like those glowing blue rocks in the walls. And while I’m talking about mines, can I just mention it was nice to see the Worker class get back from the earlier games?







It’s always nice to see old trainer classes returning! Now, whatever happened to the Bug Catchers… 😭



This lady happens to use a Diglett, and then she had it use Astonish! Did you know that Diglett have their own unique Astonish animation? It turns around slowly, then snaps back to give you a little jumpscare. Cute!



Another worker a little ways in tells me to “use items you pick up. They’re likely a gift from someone.” Next to him are a pair of Heavy-Duty Boots.



Don’t mind if I do!



Ahead, we see a certain Golden Girl… P2’s been chilling in the box, but you know what? I’m feeling sassy. Let’s swap her back in. (I’m boxing Queen for now.) I also toss an Oran Berry on her for safety's sake. Now let’s do this thing!







Shut up, Dorothy!



BOSS: Bede (aka Bea Arthur)

God dammit if this little shitlord’s theme doesn’t slap 👏👏🎹🎵



Anyway, first match is Royal vs Solosis. Solosis’s only damaging move against Dark-types is Endeavor, which cannot reduce HP to zero, so lol get wrecked. Bede then shakes things up by sending out his ace right away! I go ahead and send out P2. Having to cancel that evolution made me antsy; I think I can pull this off! Let’s do it, P2—I want you to be a queen, and stat!



P2 outspeeds Hatenna to land Razor Leaf; Hatenna responds with Confusion. Each hit does about a third of the enemy’s HP bar, but I’m faster, so 😎 After another hit, P2 takes Hatenna to low yellow, and it…



Oh. It crits with Confusion.



…oh.



That’s P2’s HP to 0, then.



She’s… she’s dead.



P2 has been killed by Bede's Hatenna. Rest in peace, P2.




Did... did I lose a pokemon to the first Bede fight? To Hatenna? What is wrong with me—I have a Dark-type and freaking Scyther on my team! This should have been a goddamned slaughter. But instead I got greedy, wanted to promote P2, and now she’s dude because of this smug douchebag and his little hat thing. Fuck you!



I send out Chevalier and one-hit KO Hatenna with a single Fury Cutter. The next turn it does the same to Gothia.



As it should have been.








After the battle, Bede brushes me off and waltzes out, leaving me alone with my thoughts. Sorry, P2… I know I never got to promote you, but you were always a queen in my heart.



...yeah, that’s all I got in me for now. See you all soon.


KING
ROYAL
REGINA
KNIGHT
CHEVALIER


On reserve:
QUEEN
ROOK


Lost:
P2


I had no clue what to name this episode's title going in, but once I lost P2 to Bede, I just knew... I engaged in a gambit to make a queen, and sadly, Bede declined 😔

The actual Queen's Gambit is a common chess opening. If white opens with the queenside pawn (1. d4, rather than the 1.e4 move I discussed in the first episode) then a common rebuttal by black is to advance their queenside pawn the same way, thus blocking the queen's pawn. The gambit comes when white advances the queenside bishop's pawn, inviting black to take it to open up the center once again. This is known as the "queen's gambit" because it's a strategy to bait black into surrendering control of the center of the board in exchange for materiel. Should black not take the bait (usually by reinforcing the pawn they already have out) then you have a case of Queen's Gambit Declined. The typical board after these moves looks like this:

 

Bowser's Family Vacation

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"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
If someone thinks that gas power is electricity, Chairman Rose might have a point about Galar being headed for an energy crisis. >_> All of the invasive Diglett digging up the power lines certainly don't help. ._.

I don't think I've ever seen Alolan Exeggutor used in a Galar 'locke before! :0 The Galar lockes I've seen usually forbid gift Pokemon from Mr. Ecological Crisis higher than the first gift. And look how happy Rook is to be on the team!

:dance:





There’s… there’s two guys. They’re not even blocking the bridge. They’re just talking about how much like they like Motostoke. I mean, if you’re gonna do a nonsense roadblock, at least pull a B2W2 and give me a line of singing dancing fat men.
When your character's politeness screws you over. 😔

Even the Pokemon world is not free of the scourge of billionaire simps. 😭

Down below, we run into a shop that sells more clothes—this time, the outfits of the minor league gyms! No lie, I like the minor league as a worldbuilding concept… though I wish you actually got to visit them in-game.
I'm shocked the minor league gyms weren't part of the DLC. maybe they'll part of galar sequels... or galar remakes

Hop is the upgraded Himbo. Now with map-reading skills! 😤

The intro ceremony is pretty fun, too! I like getting to see all (or almost all, hehe) the Gym Leaders strutting out onto the pitch, and even comparing their body language—the uptight Kabu versus the slightly swaggering Gordie. It’s a fun little preview of their personalities! And in case me gushing over Sonia and Marnie didn’t clue you in, I really enjoy SwSh’s cast. Even Hop and Leon, as much as I rag on them, it comes from a place of affection. It’s just a really solid cast of characters!
I think the body language is actually a big part of the SWSH's cast's charm. :) and i think a lot of the ill will towards the swsh cast is because of the unskippable cutscenes
In Galar, levels are a resource that needs management (lest you overload), and the chesslocke ruleset makes that even harder!

No, P2 never even got promoted..! 😭 You know, something that's interesting about Galar: It kind of forces hard level limits, which makes crits all the more deadly.
 
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Trollkitten

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Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
NOOOOOO!

I haven't nuzlocked Galar properly yet, but I heard from my friends that nuzlocked it that Bede is a killer if you don't have good counters for him. Looks like they're not the only ones who have taken a Bede-ing.

RIP Bounsweet. You were too good for this world.
 
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Spectacles

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It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
Wartortle was always one of my favorite second stage starters too! I like Wartortle even better than Blastoise. And I also agree that second stage starters tend to be a little wanting, like an awkward teenage stage lol. Also, HARD AGREE about the gym uniforms! I was so disappointed that you can’t wear your normal clothes! And it’s such a pain to change in and out of the other gym uniforms they have (unless I’m misremembering and you can’t change the gym uniform at all; it’s been a while since I’ve played SwSh).

Oh no, poor P2! Don’t feel bad, I remember being surprised about how hard Bea’s Pokemon can hit too. ...I’m just realizing that I accidentally typed Bea instead of Bede...I’m gonna keep it. I also like that graphic you made showing the back and forth between you and him! Exactly how that exchange would go, I’m sure.
 
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Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
941
Location
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Nature
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A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
No update, but some Sunday replies!

If someone thinks that gas power is electricity, Chairman Rose might have a point about Galar being headed for an energy crisis. >_> All of the invasive Diglett digging up the power lines certainly don't help. ._.

I don't think I've ever seen Alolan Exeggutor used in a Galar 'locke before! :0 The Galar lockes I've seen usually forbid gift Pokemon from Mr. Ecological Crisis higher than the first gift. And look how happy Rook is to be on the team!

:dance:


When your character's politeness screws you over. 😔

Even the Pokemon world is not free of the scourge of billionaire simps. 😭


I'm shocked the minor league gyms weren't part of the DLC. maybe they'll part of galar sequels... or galar remakes

Hop is the upgraded Himbo. Now with map-reading skills! 😤


I think the body language is actually a big part of the SWSH's cast's charm. :) and i think a lot of the ill will towards the swsh cast is because of the unskippable cutscenes
In Galar, levels are a resource that needs management (lest you overload), and the chesslocke ruleset makes that even harder!

No, P2 never even got promoted..! 😭 You know, something that's interesting about Galar: It kind of forces hard level limits, which makes crits all the more deadly.
Thanks! I'm excited to use Rook (eventually...) I've never used the A-Exeggutor line before, but I think she should be pretty fun! And yeah... crits are scary even when you're overleveled. Since SwSh incentivizes you away from overgrinding... ;w;

NOOOOOO!

I haven't nuzlocked Galar properly yet, but I heard from my friends that nuzlocked it that Bede is a killer if you don't have good counters for him. Looks like they're not the only ones who have taken a Bede-ing.

RIP Bounsweet. You were too good for this world.
Yeah, I've done one other Galar-locke but it was a Bug-type monotype, so Bede's psychic pokemon weren't threats. I definitely underestimated him...

Wartortle was always one of my favorite second stage starters too! I like Wartortle even better than Blastoise. And I also agree that second stage starters tend to be a little wanting, like an awkward teenage stage lol. Also, HARD AGREE about the gym uniforms! I was so disappointed that you can’t wear your normal clothes! And it’s such a pain to change in and out of the other gym uniforms they have (unless I’m misremembering and you can’t change the gym uniform at all; it’s been a while since I’ve played SwSh).

Oh no, poor P2! Don’t feel bad, I remember being surprised about how hard Bea’s Pokemon can hit too. ...I’m just realizing that I accidentally typed Bea instead of Bede...I’m gonna keep it. I also like that graphic you made showing the back and forth between you and him! Exactly how that exchange would go, I’m sure.
Wartortle's design rules! I agree in that I find it superior to Blastoise. Overall, the second starter stages are always pretty underwhelming to me, though you do get some knockouts like Dewott!

And yeah... Bede was tougher than anticipated. I'll need to play more cautiously...
 

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