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Thread Description
Do you think you can survive?

Heather

blep
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
265
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
348
Location
Fódlan
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
she/her, they/them works too
Pokémon Type
  1. Water
  2. Cute
Pokédex Entry
This Pokémon is a flaming lesbian under a mountain of gender dysphoria. Wheeeee!
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #41
Keep the pace, the finish line is approaching!

Told you we'd be busy!

Well, we've seen the opening ceremony-time to hit the bricks and head for Turffield! But first, it's a round with Hop! Altina brings down Wooloo with Dual Wingbeat, Beruka deals with Scorbunny via Poison Fangs, and Inigo defeats Rookidee with a double dose of Air Cutter. On to Route 3, where...there are no legal catches at all-not even due to covering most of the Wild Area and Isle of Armor first, sheesh. The route's just a few uneventful Trainer battles.

Galar Mine 1 only has Woobat available, which we already have. Importantly, though, Heavy-Duty Boots can be found here. Hazards aren't that common in story mode, but if you know of places that they make an appearance, like the battle with Klara for the third Master Dojo trial should you decide to undertake it, they can certainly open up your options.

At the end of the mine, though, is the first bout with Bede. *starts bopping*

Unfortunately for Bede, Tharja learns Shadow Ball by level super early so uh, that's three clean oneshots.

We gather the items from Route 4, which has nothing, and arrive in Turffield. Sonia gabs at us about plot for a bit, we go grab the other Expert Belt, and head into the Gym! Turffield's Gym Mission is the best one, don't @ me. We skip the last two trainers, and bring our squad up to 20 with our raid candy stash before heading to the pitch. Ross is present, and evolves as a result.

Onto the pitch! Altina leads on Gossifleur, and it goes down easily to Dual Wingbeat. Jakob, still a Rowlet mind, takes over for Eldegoss. Both sides Dynamax! Thanks to being boosted to DL 10, Jakob takes manageable damage from Max Strike, and retaliates with Max Airstream, which doesn't quite two-shot. Milo for some reason follows up with a Max Overgrowth, which Jakob resists handily. The next Max Airstream makes us faster, so a third and final Max Airstream wins the match with a literal explosive finish! The Grass Badge is now ours, and we can capture Pokémon up to Level 25 in the field! Jakob also evolves into Dartrix. That doesn't unlock anywhere new just yet, though. Giant's Seat requires Level 30 to have just one level available for standard grass, and Motostoke Riverbank bottoms out at 26.

Route 5 is where Galarian Farfetch'd live, and they have a hell of a better chance at holding a Leek than we've ever seen! Just one small problem-no Flying type learns Thief by leveling up, and the TM is stuck in Hammerlocke, which we can't get to until after Kabu. Yowch. Oh well, we'll muddle through. Beruka evolves to Golbat as we clear out most of the Route, and then it's time to replace gift Toxel. With this being one of two gifts left in the game, we should be thinking carefully about what types we're able to cover. As it happens, there is one type that even between the mainland and Isle of Armor, Galar Flying can't cover without the Crown Tundra: Rock. Now, we've used all three Rock-Flying Pokémon there are in one form or another, and I'm probably not taking whatever I choose to Leon if I can help it-that's just a little too easy a way to drop that Charizard of his. So it's about which one will feel the most fun to use. Unfortunately, Minor didn't survive Dexit at all, so it's out of consideration by default. So it's down to Aerodactyl or Archeops. Each has had a performance in a Championship match-though Aero's was in its Mega Evolution, and Archeops has a 1 for 2 record on actually surviving the title match. In the end, I'm settling on Aerodactyl, for the sole reason that Archeops breaks challenges over its knees a little too hard, and some of the mechanics Gen 8 put forward to help certain Pokémon out also had the effect of ratcheting that up to twelve. And so, one quick trip to Bridge Field later, we have:

Eda
Aerodactyl (Female)
Level Met: 1
Area Met: Gift Replacement from Route 5
Nature: Impish
Ability: Rock Head
Characteristic: It takes plenty of siestas!

God I WISH you learned Brave Bird. In any case, I'm going to peruse the Wild Area-between two-star raids now appearing and the Watt Traders, I'm sure to find a number of new TRs to support the team before we go to face Nessa. Now's said good a time as any for a hot tip about the Watt Trader TRs: they're not NEARLY as random as you think. If you want a crash course in finding the TRs you need, read below:

So, the first thing to note when TR shopping is that the Watt Traders have an order of sorts. That order is as follows:

1 Meetup Spot
2 East Lake Axewell (outside Motostoke)
3 Dappled Grove
4 Giant's Seat
5 Bridge Field
6 Hammerlocke Hills (outside Hammerlocke)
7 Giant's Cap

Now, let's take a look at number one on the list-the Meetup Spot Trader. All Watt Traders have in stock a particular variety of Ball and Wishing Pieces, but that's not why we're here. The first TR in the list is the key to everything. It will be a TR numbering between 00 and 49, inclusive. Each day, this offering advances by one number (or rolls from 49 to 00), provided you saved the game the day before. If you're so inclined, the selection also advances one per time the calendar date changes whilst a Max Raid Battle lobby, local or online, is open, meaning advancing five days at once before closing the lobby will still only advance the first TR by one number. The other 4 TRs in the list are procedurally generated following the first's number. Letting X be the number of the first TR in the list:

The second TR will be numbered X + 24.

The third TR will be numbered X + 42.

The fourth TR will be numbered X + 67, modulo 100.

The fifth TR will be numbered X + 96, modulo 100.

So, now you have your guideposts, and the means to make precise forward adjustments. But those forward adjustments can be very tedious to do repeatedly, especially if your desired TR is way far out in Meetup Spot's schedule. That's where the order I mentioned before gets into the picture. Letting X again be the number of the first TR in stock, each Watt Trader's X is 7 greater than that of the Watt Trader before them in the order, modulo 50. Simply changing your target Watt Trader can reduce how many days need to advance from the tens, twenties, or worse into the single digits.

Of course, affording those TRs is up to how much work you've put into gathering Watts. I both like and kind of dislike the Isle of Armor for making the whole Honey Watt quest so ungodly expensive that Digging Pa was necessary, because Digging Pa absolutely trivializes Watt gathering. He can literally dig up enough Watts to sate your thirst for a healthy stock of what are obviously meant to be endgame TRs if he gets on one of those random digging sprees, and can get one on the free dig he gives you your first time, which happened to me here. I'm not going to ban myself from Digging Pa because he ultimately saves time and while I'm in the mode of both hunting for a new job and ready to be done with UCL and move on to other projects, I absolutely love me a good time saver, but I am going to exercise restraint in actually using the more expensive/powerful TRs that I get until it's more appropriate. Don't expect me to teach Stone Edge to Eda this early, for instance-she'll have Rock Slide in her level 20s naturally, anyway.

Exceptions might be made for Pokémon I mostly plan to use just for Max Raids though (like Merlinus for...mmmmost if not all of the game, TBH) simply because the upscaling of Max moves has severe diminishing returns once you make the jump from Tackle-level moves to, say, Headbutt/Water Pulse-level. Pretty much everything hangs between 120-140 BP from that point onward, except Max Knuckle and Ooze which will typically punch in about 50 below the BP of their closest counterparts, give or take 5. 150 moves themselves typically don't upgrade BP at all, and the few things that have a listed BP higher, like Explosion, also cap their Max Move power at this number. Interestingly, the OHKO moves' Max variants only punch in at 130, and Multi-Attack, likely due to carrying its Silvally-matching typing into its Max variants, clocks at 95-the only Max Move not listed as the Poison or Fighting-Type to clock a base power not divisible by ten. All of this is to say that at that scale, having Blizzard for a 140 Max Hailstorm over Ice Beam for a 130 one on Merlinus isn't going to make a drastic difference, especially once three star bosses bring shields into the mix.

So yeah. I'm gathering up most if not all of my TRs ahead of time now, but I'm going to wait until the game is more prepared to handle the more powerful ones to actually use them in important fights unless it's just going to be used as a Max Move.

Beruka evolves to Level 23 Crobat during this gathering trip, as it happens, and I happily drop Poison Fang for Cross Poison. The low power of Poison Fang isn't worth the unique Toxic Poison chance when my strategy still usually amounts to "kill the enemy before they can make first contact with the plan."

Anyway, the really nice thing about the EXP candy system is that I can have Eda caught up in a flash. It was a nice feeling to manually catch up a replacement in some earlier runs, but right now, I'm ready to be through.

With everything done, we can wipe up Team Yell and finally get the Rotom Bike, and proceed to our next match with Hop!

Altina smacks down Wooloo with Dual Wingbeat. For Corvisquire, I will actually lean on Kjelle a bit seeing as she's a Steel-type right now, so she can handily resist Pluck and Fury Attack as she spams Wing Attack until it goes down. Then I have Soren handle Raboot, Air Slash doing just under half as Flame Charge crits. I opt to Reflect to keep the damage low, but it pretty much proceeds to use it's new speed to spam Growl and little else against a Noctowl spamming Air Slash. Maybe this is why I'm better, Hop.

On to Hulbury, and a new set of goodies to collect! The Magnet can be found by the picnic tables in the market stall area, though we won't have use for it for a while. The stall on the far left sells Incense. Picking up the Luck Incense will help your wallet if you're not raiding much. However, definitely pick up an Odd Incense first thing while you're here, because the Twisted Spoon is a lot harder to come by in Galar than in many other games. Also, if you picked Scorbunny and don't have the DLCs, the Rose Incense and one of the Sea or Wave Incense will cover your booster item needs for the other points of the FWG triad. As for the Lax Incence...that's up to you. The other nice thing to find, down by the marina, is the Shell Bell. If you're not feeling like going after the Leftovers until you're properly leveled for the area, this can sort of tide you over. The floating docks also have 5 Net Balls, and plenty of fishing to do.

Anyway, Nessa pretty, so let's get on to her Gym! The mission is a fairly simple one, and not anywhere near as entertaining and charming as Milo's. But, one of the Trainers is a Heather so it's not all bad. Dodging the third Trainer is always fun as well. But now it's time to face Nessa herself!

Jakob leads on Goldeen, shrugging off Horn Attack to riposte with a one shot Seed Bomb! Est jumps in for Arrokuda, and I'm actually going to Gigantamax ahead of schedule, walloping Arrokuda with G-Max Befuddle! And Drednaw emerges, Dynamaxes, and fires Max Geyser! Est takes it with aplomb, and fires back with a devastating Max Overgrowth! The Water Badge is ours! With it, our catch level limit has increased to 30. Now, Kabu's Gym steps things up a notch, and thus leveling that high might be a good idea. But managing new captures is something I want to save for our trip to Hammerlocke-get most if not all of it done in one fell swoop, yeah? So let's not go running off to the Wild Area just yet. We have to go have Rose gab at us after all.

But our trip back to Motostoke takes us through Galar Mine 2, where Bede is waiting for us! Est punks his entire team with Pollen Puff because why is his team all first stagers. Like, they are about to throw a gym leader with a squad of all fully evolved Pokémon at us. Why does Bede not have at least Hattrem by this point? Not enough levels? Given the team comp, I'm blaming Unova Design Philosophy.

But with that done, we have an encounter to make here! We seek, sleep, and secure:

Cormag
Noibat (Male)
Level Met: 21
Area Met: Galar Mine 2
Nature: Gentle
Ability: Infiltrator
Characteristic: It likes to relax!

I'm not sure if I'll be starring Cormag in a League capacity-that will depend on if I have other answers for Dragapult, because relying on fast frail glass cannon dragon to counter fast frail glass cannon dragon means if I miscalculate and Dragapult goes first, or lives a hit? There will be problems. Raphael clears out the various Trainers here-including the Team Yell fight-with some help from Surf (and, once or twice, an Arrokuda Gulp Missile).

Carkol on a job...capitalism extends to the Pokémon now, how dreadful

Our arrival back in Motostoke is heralded by a scrap with Marnie!

Est leads on Croagunk, eating a Sucker Punxh before taking it down with Air Slash! Jakob handles Morpeko with Seed Bomb, though a flinch makes us need to stop and top off with Synthesis. Lastly, Cordelia takes Scraggy with Pluck. It barely holds on, but the returning Headbutt is no object.

But before we handle Kabu, we need to finish leveling the participants to 30, a task heavily slowed by the excessive glut of Wild Area News raids that don't drop exp candy going on, and swap out some held items-namely, equipping some Lum Berries. Miriel evolves to Xatu in the process!

To my knowledge, the Pokémon in Kabu's Gym Mission can in fact be shiny. None for me, though. Also, avoid fighting that Sizzlipede if you can, the Salandit that the Gym Trainer uses likes to use Fake Out on you just to piss you off.

But now we face Kabu, and his silly entrance walk. Raphael leads on Ninetales, dodging the opening Will-o-Wisp and scoring a beautiful KO with Dive! With Gulp Missile loaded and Arcanine next, we switch tack to Surf-which just misses the KO! Luckily, we only take an instantly healed Will-O-Wisp as a result, and Kabu doesn't bother to heal. And Centiskorch Gigantamaxes! Unfortunately for it, we have Eda and a Rock Slide-powered Max Rockfall to say about it-and that's a clean oneshot. The Fire Badge is ours, and our capture cap is up to 35!

This renders a lot more of the Wild Area open to captures! Unfortunately, Giant's Seat only has dupes. But heading north, Motostoke Riverbank has for us by standard random encounter, after another grueling 5% hunt:

Sophia
Sigilyph (Female)
Level Met: 28
Area Met: Motostoke Riverbank
Nature: Lax
Ability: Wonder Skin
Characteristic: It's alert to sounds!

Already got a starring role with a better ability. Box.

For Bridge Field, there are two options: take a standard random encounter and suffer a 2% encounter rate on the only thing available...or go for that same species via a Max Raid Battle, since 1 star raids have not yet disappeared, and have a comparatively better chance at finding it. In any case, we find:

Dew
Togepi (Male)
Level Met: 16
Area Met: Bridge Field
Nature: Bold
Ability: Hustle
Characteristic: It's mischievous!

Bold isn't necessarily something to whine about. Hustle on a Bold nature is just bad. And given that Fairy typing is all things considered an outright bad answer to Raihan's Gym? Box.

Stony Wilderness is barren save for one non-dupe Max Raid Battle encounter:

Percy
Hawlucha (Male)
Level Met: 35
Area Met: Stony Wilderness
Nature: Calm
Ability: Unburden
Characteristic: It's capable of taking hits!

Dusty Bowl is still off limits for encounters per Rule 7b, but it looks like there's nothing new there anyway.

Giant's Mirror I am declaring a Max Raid Battle encounter for, but the particular den that actually has something is on the water. We'll have to come back to it later once we have the water bike.

Giant's Cap, after all that, has nothing new for us.

Hammerlocke Hills is down to only having one Max Raid Battle encounter available, but it's both not available to us at this time, being exclusive to 4 star raids and higher, and not a Pokémon I particularly want to face in a Max Raid environment when it WILL be able to get a number of moves off, because that Pokémon is Rotom-Fan. Would rather not take any Max Lightning, thanks. Besides, we can find the little beastie elsewhere outside of Dens once we get the water bike. I'd much rather Quick Ball that, thank you.

That brings us to Hammerlocke. Bede was a dick to Hop, and We Will Remember That. Also Rose has his fingers in so many pies, I'm sure Nothing Will Come Of That. But more importantly we can buy the Thief TM, and get Joshua his Leek! And with 3 star raids in the mix, we can get Gareth evolved into Charizard, whereupon we can get him some Max Soup and teach him Dual Wingbeat. We can also get Cordelia evolved into Corviknight, and teach her Bulk Up over Hone Claws for when Power Trip strats are needed.

PLOT PLOT PLOT PLOT PLOT PLOT-oh hi opal-PLOT PLOT PLOT

On Route 6, we find Cara Liss, who will assemble two Fossils to give us our last replaceable gift Pokemon of the run-in the odd event of a shiny, I assemble Dracovish, but no such luck.

Initially, it's something of a debate over what the replacement is going to be. But then I hit on a discovery-Emolga does actually appear outside of the Forest of Focus. In Max Raids, of course, which is less than ideal, but with its Hidden Ability, Motor Drive. Electric Immunity in a Mono-Flying run is absolutely HUGE. Whereas if I gift replaced it now, it would just have Static. As for why Rotom-Fan is out of the fast-tracking consideration, bred Rotom always start in regular form. The Rotom form changes in Galar are handled via a Key Item...that's shoved up in Wyndon. Not gonna work. That leaves us with the other option:

Camilla
Vullaby (Female)
Level Met: 1
Area Met: Gift Replacement from Route 6
Nature: Adamant
Ability: Overcoat
Characteristic: It takes plenty of siestas!

Well, we got our wish from Alola-this line finally got better Dark STAB...in Knock Off, only a 5 BP upgrade from Thief. Foul Play is there too, but being reliant on the enemy's Attack when being most effective against types that skew towards special attackers...yeah. Speaking of special attacking, hope you weren't married to the Flatter/Punishment strat, because Punishment got Thanos'd. Anyway, Camilla's probably going to take part in the Championship, because that Dragapult of Leon's is fast, Ghost-Typed, and packing Thunderbolt. Mandibuzz should be bulky enough to live and strong enough to bring the dragon down with her riposte. All that said, with the next three gyms being Fighting, Fairy, and Rock, in that order, Dark/Flying is not in the cards for any of these fights.

In any case, we're to Stow-on-Side! Take note of the bazaar here-if you're lucky, the man on the right will have a type boosting item in stock for 3000 pokedollars. If not, you can see what the next item is. Unfortunately the game can roll the same item twice in a row, and a number of evolution items and other unique hold items are in the pool. Notably, this man is the reason why getting an "authentic" Sinistea actually sucks, because while you can find a Cracked Pot around town for free, the Chipped Pot is exclusive to this entirely random, daily event.

In any case, before we can take the Gym, we gotta take on Hop...who's in a bit of a funk because of Bede Being A Dick. You can tell because Miriel leads on Cramorant, rather than a sheep of any variety. Unfortunately, it gets a Dive off as we Psychic it down, and comes up with a Pikachu, so Miriel winds up paralyzed once it's down. Percy takes Silicobra with Dual Wingbeat, but it requires a double dose and we get Glared in between. Cormag Dragon Pulses Toxel because that species is in no position to do us real harm as we Dragon Pulse it-not even low health Flail is any cause for concern. And Eda finishes Raboot with Rock Slide.

We can pick up the TM for Fly. Interestingly, the Fly TM has the small ovular label present on the sprite of HMs in the past, which no other TM in the game has, to my knowledge.

Shortly after, the gym squad is selected and caught up, and it's time to battle with Bea!

Miriel leads on Hitmontop, and blows it away with Psychic! Pangoro is next, but it is handily dispatched by Dazzling Gleam! Joshua jumps out to face Sirfetch'd, and in the battle of birds...Dual Wingbeat takes it in our favor! Percy steps up and Dynamaxes as Machamp Gigantamaxes! Max Airstream isn't quite an OHKO, but Machamp's Max Strike is anything but, so it's easy to drive home a second and claim the Fighting Badge!

Buuut, I'd say that's as good a place as any to call this update! Next time, we move into the back half of the Gym Challenge! Until then, have this update's League Card!

IMG_0163.jpg
 

Heather

blep
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
265
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
348
Location
Fódlan
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
she/her, they/them works too
Pokémon Type
  1. Water
  2. Cute
Pokédex Entry
This Pokémon is a flaming lesbian under a mountain of gender dysphoria. Wheeeee!
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #42
Here we are at the end.

Lets finish this challenge-once and for all!

First things first, it's another match with Bede, because oh no he's bashing a mural for Wishing Stars.

Camilla leads on Duosion, bringing it down with Knock Off. Est handles Hattrem with Pollen Puff because I am not about to get rekt by surprise Fairy coverage. Gothorita is able to take a Knock Off, but wastes the turn on Fake Tears, and is finished after being healed. Ponyta's Fairy wind is a pittance even at -2, and Knock Off swats it.

And Rose and Oleana show up to DQ Bede for this stunt, but honestly, for me, this is the moment that the Macro Cosmos crew seriously shows their ass as being up to no good. Rose is practically grinning for half the time he's saying he's disappointed in Bede. We saw Oleana give Bede some kind of directions in Hammerlocke, and we're supposed to believe that she lent out one of Rose's Pokémon to Bede without knowing exactly why he asked for it? Not to mention, Sonia outright confirms that this mural is just painted over the ruins of a historical site-even Sonia knows something else used to be there when she first directs you to go there, so that has to be public knowledge that Bede can be expected to know, so it's not like that rock wall in particular has any actual significance anyway! This whole situation reads to me like one of those two (probably Oleana, because Rose doesn't even recognize Bede in Hulbury right away after endorsing them for a highly televised Gym Challenge and having history prior to even that) picked Bede up because Bede was in a destitute situation with no family, used them for their ends, and then contrived this situation to dispose of Bede when finished. Even in Pokémon, we need to eat the rich. Bede may be a dick, but they still deserved better than that. Not to mention, the actual historical site gets revealed to us immediately after this scene, and either Sonia doesn't go back and intercede by saying "hey actually Bede pretty much just single-handedly restored the actual historical site by knocking down the wall that was covering it," or she did and Rose/Oleana didn't care. Like, if the actual statues got wrecked, that would be one thing, but. Sorry, I just have a ton of feelings about this moment.

Anyway. Glimwood Tangle has nothing for us to catch, so it's really just straight on to Ballonlea-but first, I need to replenish my EXP candy stock, because it's running a bit low at the moment, and Beruka's sat out a few Gyms, and given her Poison typing, she'd be a good backup to have for this Gym if nothing else. For those who have been in more active rotation, Opal doesn't go all that much higher than Bea did, so only a few extra levels will really be needed. Once everyone is up to speed, it's onto the wackiest audition you've ever seen!

Eda gives Weezing a double dose of Iron Head. The quiz question that follows boosts our Speed, so that Rock Slide can get a nice quick oneshot on Togekiss. Cordelia deals with Mawile with Iron Head, and then it's time for Alcremie! G-Max Finale's healing can be a little irritating, so I opt to Gigantamax Gareth in response: G-Max Wildfire ought to cut enough out that it still two shots, and it does! The Fairy Badge is ours!

With that mission done, it's back to Hammerlocke to begin the trek to Circhester. While there, Opal recruits Bede to be her successor. Lucky for her that half of his team last we saw him is already scheduled to be the right type once they evolve. But seriously, Opal knows what's up, calling Oleana out on her bullshit-too bad she's not actually there to hear it.

Also yeahhhhh right after this whole scenario, something goes bang hard enough to shake Hammerlocke Stadium, and oops now there's a Dynamax Spot in the middle of the city. Surely whatever it is Rose is "testing" won't turn out to be catastrophic and/or evil.

On Route 7, it's another match with Hop. Eda leads on Trevenant, oneshotting with Wing Attack. Jakob takes over for Boltund, though it Roars Eda back in after surviving Leaf Blade. Hop heals, though, and the free Wing Attack and a Rock Slide equals a KO. Beruka whittles down Snorlax with Cross Poison, using Leech Life and Black Sludge to recover HP and stay well in the green. And Raphael handles Cinderace with Dive, and subsequently Heatmor with Surf. Onward!

Nothing new in the wild all the way to Circhester, so it's just a straight shot through before we're preparing for the next Gym Battle! If this all seems rushed to you, that's because it is ingame-three star Raids was maybe a little too early to throw the second largest denomination of EXP candy at you, especially when the back half of the Gym Challenge has very little new to explore or see between Gyms until you get the Water Bike and have a reason to backtrack to some places.

Much like with Opal, not too many levels are needed here. Hell, some of my Pokémon are already at the benchmark just from having gone through Opal and Routes 7 and 8. Cormag though, I push a little higher, since I'm not using him in this Gym, and that extra push gets him to evolve!

On to the actual match with Gordie, after suffering through that abomination of a Gym Mission. Jakob cuts down Barbaracle with Leaf Blade, and Cordelia bangs on Shuckle with Iron Head, taking a paltry 6 damage from Rock Tomb. Raphael washes Stonjourner out with Surf. Dynamaxing him to face Gigantamaxed Coalossal unloads Gulp Missile, but one Dive-Powered Max Geyser annihilates the thing anyway-and every VGC player cheered.

More plot with Sonia, and then it's another Hop match! Dubwool is back at the front of the party but-OH, Flying Press is 100 BP now, THATS why it's so late, okay. Gareth melts Corviknight with Flamethrower. Jakob takes Pincurchin with Leaf Blade, though Hop heals about it. Raphael Dives to beat Cinderace, but he takes a Mega Kick about it. And Percy's Flying Press wipes Snorlax with a dead-on crit.

BUT HEY HO THIS MEANS WE GET ACCESS TO THE WATER BIKE. So we've got a few things to do!

First up, scratch the Max Raid in Giant's Mirror, as the Pokémon in question can be found via overworld encounter on Route 9:

Amelia
Mantyke (Female)
Level Met: 39
Area Met: Route 9
Nature: Modest
Ability: Swift Swim
Characteristic: It's a little quick-tempered!

Would make an excellent Mantine, but we're still starring Cramorant. Sorry!

Before we really go off, though, I want to establish a landing point in Spikemuth, which means fighting Marnie.

Altina X-Scissors Liepard, and Morpeko doesn't fare any better. Miriel knock Toxicroak out with Psychic, despite the Sucker Punch, and Altina handles Scrafty with Dual Wingbeat.

But now, it's back off to the Isle of Armor-we've got a catch or two to make!

First, it's off to Workout Sea, where we will make an overworld encounter of:

Robin
Rotom-Fan (Genderless)
Level Met: 50
Area Met: Workout Sea
Nature: Quirky
Ability: Levitate
Characteristic: It's capable of taking hits!

And they have the Cloudy Mark! Like any weather Mark, that's only a 1 in 50 chance, given I don't have the Mark Charm! So Robin gets to go into battle as Robin the Cloud Watcher. Somehow a fitting name for one who "takes naps" on the ground.

With that sorted, it's to Loop Lagoon, where in a Max Raid Battle, we will face and capture:

Emma
Emolga (Female)
Level Met: 50
Area Met: Loop Lagoon
Nature: Mild
Ability: Motor Drive
Characteristic: It's mischievous!

Caught in a Love Ball because I LOVE HAVING MOTOR DRIVE! mbisonyes.gif

Anyway, with all that and a few levels sorted, time to take on Piers! A Dynamax-free battle is honestly a breath of fresh air.

Scrafty goes down in a Dual Wingbeat and a Flamethrower, but that Payback damage is worrying. Emma Thunder Waves Malamar...and misses, and Foul Play forces us to flee to Camilla, making it a battle of attrition-but Pluck wins out over resisted Foul Play into Eviolite any day. Percy steps up for Obstagoon, which somehow just lives Brick Break, but blessedly only retaliates with Shadow Claw. Obstruct can't stop the finishing blow after that. Raphael Surfs on Skuntank after taking a Sucker Punch. But we're faster as we drive it home with a Drill Peck, as Aftermath damage only brings us to yellow. There's the Dark Badge!

And things are going boom again. Looks like that rogue Dynamax spot bit us in the ass, quelle surprise. Aaaand Leon's handled it in the twenty seconds it takes to run over there.

All this leads us right back to Hammerlocke, but don't go gunning for Raihan just yet! Take the time NOW to collect the remainder of the EXP and/or Rare Candy you think you might need. Five-star raids will begin appearing once you've beaten Raihan, and while they can drop the highest denomination of EXP candy, they're practically impossible to do solo, which makes doing them en masse really slow. Not to mention, you'll start seeing shiny den bots at a higher rate if you're using the Y-Comm, and they usually don't take kindly to underleveled Pokemon or Dynamaxing. Exercise good judgment about whether or not you want to put up with all that noise.

Once I cobble my stock together, it's back to Hammerlocke. The Gym Mission Double Battles are a cakewalk, between the forces of Robin, Eda, Cordelia, and Raphael. But the big man lies ahead yet-it's time to slug it out with Raihan. And his fight is a doozy-there's a couple places that I'll probably need a Gulp Missile to shore up damage, but given all the Rock coverage flying around on this sand team, I think I'm going to have to overlevel Raphael something fierce to make sure he can actually take the hits.

Gigalith and Flygon are lead on by Raphael and Eda! Eda drops a nasty Earthquake on Gigalith, while Raphael Blizzards. Flygon is wiped out immediately, but thanks to the Sandstorm, Gigalith holds on, though in the red. Sandaconda emerges! We dodge Glare by Diving to load Gulp Missile, and switch in Cordelia, because we're not Dynamaxing in this Gym-I couldn't fit a good Dynamax matchup on the team when accounting for the Gym Trainers. Dive's hit wipes out Sandaconda as we start Bulking Up Cordelia. Gigalith tries to Rock Blast Raphael, but gets knocked out by Gulp Missile on the first hit for its trouble. With the double KO leaving Duraludon solo, Raihan actually has special text for this situation! We Dive again as it Gigantamaxes into a literal Skyscraper, dodging Max Rockfall, and set up one more Bulk Up. Dive Hits, but so does Max Rockfall! Thankfully, due to being leveled more for a Champion Cup fight than an 8th Gym fight, Raphael is barely able to take it, and slap Duraludon with Gulp Missile as Sandstorm is set to fade! Even that defense drop doesn't quite take a 4-boost Power Trip to a KO through Dynamax, but we're able to hide in Dive again next turn to dodge Max Rockfall 3 and finish the beast! The Dragon Badge is ours, albeit via some cheese, and all that remains is Wyndon!

We level up as needed and head into the semifinals! Our last bout with Marnie is up first!

Liepard Snarls on Est to lead. We recover the drop with Quiver Dance, and Pollen Puff-but it gets Torment off. But with Morpeko next, a Sleep Powder was needed to stave off the danger anyway! Pollen Puff takes it! We Sleep Powder Scrafty so we can squeeze another-oh, Shed Skin some ot up and wiped the Speed boosts off with Scary Face. We're still fast enough to wipe it with Air Slash though. Torment is still in effect, so we Sleep Powder Toxicroak before Air Slashing it. And now, Est and Grimmsnarl both Gigantamax-but G-Max Befuddle takes it in one fell swoop! And that's an endgame-level battle swept by a Butterfree under Torment.

And now, one last time, let's bop to Hop!

Percy leads on Dubwool, laying down a Brick Break oneshot! Emma takes over for Pincurchin, wearing it down with Energy Ball. The poor urchin knows it's outmatched as it only goes for Curse in the meantime. Percy returns for Snorlax, and busts it down with Flying Press! Emma handles Corviknight with a succinct Thunderbolt. And for Cinderace, I couldn't fit Raphael for the semis, so Gareth steps up, Gigantamaxing as Cinderace Dynamaxes. Max Airstream from Gareth...doesn't quite clinch it! Max Ooze is a pittance in comparison, though, and Full Restore isn't going to save you! We're through the semifinals!

And now we have to go rescue Leon from his Intense Business Conversation. Once we're actually in Rose Tower, I teach Gareth Heat Wave so that he can roast the double battles ahead. Also, Storming Rose Tower is a BOP.

As for Oleana, Gareth leads on Froslass, and knocks it down with Blaze Kick. Emma zaps Milotic with Thunderbolt. Miriel beats back Salazzle with Psychic. Joshua crushes Tsareena with Dual Wingbeat, and Miriel Dynamaxes to meet Garbodor's Gigantamax, putting it to bed with a killer Max Mindstorm. Fun fact, there is a Master Ball buried in Gigantamax Garbodor's trash heap.

Anyway, it's on to the finals...which are promptly interrupted by Bede.

Cordelia leads, and makes use of Mawile's poor matchup to set up several Bulk Ups before dispatching it with a swift Iron Head. Gardevoir and Rapidash are handled much the same, and with a Dynamax against Gigantamax Hatterene, +2 Max Steelspike blows this one out of the water! Now, the Finals properly begin!

First up, Nessa! I wish I could hype this fight up, but Emma just straight up swept it with four Thunderbolts and a Max Overgrowth for Gigantamax Drednaw.

Next up, Bea! It's a Dual Wing-Beatdown, as Percy takes Hawkucha and Grapploct, Joshua takes Sirfetch'd and Falinks, and Percy wiped Gigantamax Machamp out with Max Airstream-oh? Machamp just holds on! Alas, Max Flare does a pittance, and healing won't stop the inevitable.

And last up-Raihan! Eda leads on Tortola-Rock Slide just misses the KO, but it does flinch! Full Restore won't save it now, a double dose of Earthquake brings it in! Gareth rips Goodra apart with Dragon Claw! Turtonator tries She'll Trap on Eda, but Rock Slide oneshots before it can go off! Raphael Blizzards Flygon, and Percy enters against Duraludon! Dynamax meets Gigantamax as Max Knuckle is...a critical-hit one shot knockout!

And now it's time to-be interrupted by Rose going full mask-off evil! Time to go to Postwick and do PLOT PLOT PLOT before we head to Hammerlocke to face down Rose! Except Rose didn't earn the drama of this moment in the least, so getting his entire team oneshotted by Gareth is all he gets.

As for Eternatus, Miriel steps up! Cross Poison's not too bad, but Psychic fails to KO-luckily, it only goes for a repeat of the last round and is consequently knocked out. But oops it's not done yet, so we have to summon the armordogs to get us out of this bind-it's time for the ultimate Raid Battle!

The armordogs leads off with a Howl and Light Screen-and good thing, because Max Wyrmwind does over half to Miriel despite that as she lays out a Psychic. From there, the dogs do their behemoth moves, I keep spamming Psychic, and Hop keeps on with Double Edge. Zacian takes a Max Flare, and Dubwool gets obliterated by another Max Wyrmwind, but we're able to land the finishing Psychic!

Don't use anything other than a standard ball on Eternatus, it's a guaranteed catch.

But now, it's time to end this adventure, and this UCL, for once and for all! And that means picking out the team that will carry us to victory!

Gareth: We're bookending this long journey with one last Charizard performance! More to the point, even when Adamant, he's got a better Flamethrower than a Talonflame would for dodging King's Shield.

Camilla: The hope is to take whatever heat Dragapult is packing, and then send it packing with Knock Off.

Cordelia: Resists all of Haxorus' moves, and is otherwise a defensive bulwark against a huge portion of Leon's team. Hop was using a Corviknight for good reason!

Joshua: Our starter replacement, and the little bird that could! What better way to show your stuff than to take on the unbeatable champion of the region that decided you were so bad you needed a regional form and an evolution thereof?

Est: The modern era has been super kind to Butterfree, and while this battle isn't conducive to a QD sweep, I think I made a good point of how potent it can be against Marnie to boot.

And Raphael: Water beats Fire, even G-Max Wildfire. Nuff said.

Leon's a real tough cookie, though, so I'm leveling into the low 70s, and Joshua into the high 70s, just to make sure his matchup doesn't pull any funny business. But with all preparations made...let's have a champion time on our way to The Top!

Gareth sears Aegislash with Flamethrower...just shy of a KO! Shadow Vall crits for about 60 percent, and we promptly finish it! Joshua takes Rhyperior in stunning fashion with a critical Leaf Blade! Camilla takes Dragapult, and while Knock Off doesn't oneshot, she's bulky enough to take two Thunderbolts with ease! Haxorus next, and Cordelia shrugs off Outrages as she Bulks Up before delivering a KO Iron Head! Est takes Rillaboom, who tries Endeavor with higher HP, and blasts it with Pollen Puff. Gigantamax meets Dynamax as Raphael takes the field! Raph takes Max Overgrowth easily, and drowns Leon's win streak with a Max Geyser for the ages! VICTORY IS OURS!

Oh man. Galar is very clearly an experimental step in the series. So many new things were tried, to varying degrees of success. I honestly would have preferred if the Wild Area were more central to the region geographically, because the way we got it made it super frontloaded with encounters that were technically guaranteed but at low spawn rates, which was really frustrating, and led to most of my later encounters simply being what few things were left over. I feel like if you were more directly encouraged to explore the Wild Area more bit by bit than in two huge chunks, the pacing would have been better overall. And the Isle of Armor honestly fits best as a post-Gym 1 experience, if not post-Gym 2, as evidenced by how many catches I made there that were only barely legal for a no-badger. And yet, if I wanted Rowlet, I needed to do all of the stuff I did anyway pretty much just to get all those Diglett. Despite all this, the raiding system and its rewards made keeping a team's levels on track and in line easier than ever before, even with a large crowd. I think before going into Leon, my active rotation had about 15 Pokémon on it, when before I'd usually been picking from 8 or 9 for a League team. It's crazy!

As far as Dexit goes, I don't think it terribly impacts casual play or regular Nuzlockes. The mainland Dex has 400 species and the only ones you can't get before Leon are the box art guys-and that's good, because the behemoth moves snap practically every challenge in the game over their knee. But on a monotype run, having such limited options even with one of the most common types in the game? I was feeling the squeeze something fierce. Flying is a common type that intersects with every other at least once, but I honestly would have preferred to have another round with Minior than use Aerodactyl again, for instance Speaking of, Rock and Poison makes two whole types whose Flying intersects are Crown Tundra exclusive, which I do begrudge the DLC for. Without the gift replacement rule, we'd have had a much harder time in a few areas. I'm also really not a fan of Dexit as a concept these days because one of my biggest pet peeves about a lot of older games is "I really think it would be fun to raise this Pokémon here, but it doesn't exist yet in this game." And one of the big reasons I liked ORAS so much is that, even if a little late, it embraced the idea of newer-generation Pokémon joining you on your main adventure. But if remake rosters are going to start looking like BDSP's, then we'll never see that attitude again, and I think that's a huge shame.

Lastly as regards Galar, the TR system is a fantastic concept that balances the repeatability Gens 5-7 got us hooked on, with the scarcity that GameFreak felt the more powerful moves should have been treated with. The Isle of Armor fouled that up a bit, though. I hope that Scarlet and Violet can craft a system that holds up a little better to whatever DLC they're going to release alongside it (because you know they will).

But, now let's look back on UCL as a whole. Was UCL enjoyable? Oh, certainly. Any playthrough of a Pokémon game is a chance to use the knowledge I have, and gain even more knowledge and experience. I'll admit, there were some moments I dragged my feet, mostly with long grinds during times I was overwhelmed with work and school, or just particularly boring segments of certain games where I couldn't muster the attention span. But overall, the globetrotter experience is a fun one, if a little draining and having me ready to get it done and have time for other projects by the end. That being said, this UCL has also firmly put me off of Monotype runs, at least for a good long while. I've mentioned this elsewhere in passing, but a lot of the fights that were less advantageous were huge points of stress for me, because if I didn't have a good plan, I'd end up letting someone die, and then I'd have less to plan with in future, harder battles, which could lead to more deaths or even a full wipe, in my head. As such, as the challenge wore on, I stopped having the personal attachments the Nuzlocke Challenge was meant to foster, and started seeing my Pokémon as assets, as rare jewels of their secondary typings or Abilities, and the runs themselves as chores to work at in order to avoid having to repeat huge portions of them. I had thought of writing stories for one or more of these runs back when I was starting out, but now I know I just can't. I can't tell a compelling story having gone through so much of this challenge that way. I likely will participate in a UCL again-maybe not necessarily the next one (or at least not right away), because I definitely want time for my own projects, like I said. But the next time I do one, it won't be under a monotype ruleset. I think one of my next projects will be giving a spin to RubyClaw's Lorelocke ruleset, and seeing how I like it, which I may or may not document. Who knows, if I like it enough, I may decide to use it for my next UCL. But that's enough thinking about that. For now, with a deathless run of Galar, UCL 3 is finally complete! And now...

FULL VICTOR'S VILLAGE:
KANTO: Charlotte-Charizard-Lv 5-66
Donnel-Gyarados-Lv 5-66
Desmond-Golbat-Lv 10-66
Moira-Dodrio-Lv 18-66
Mizuchi-Dragonite-Lv 18-67
Dylan-Aerodactyl-Lv 5-66

JOHTO: Mystique: Dragonite-Lv 61
Cory: Yanmega-Lv 60
Clair: Fearow-Lv 60
Jason: Crobat-Lv 60
Nicki: Delibird-Lv 61
Iormu: Gyarados-Lv 60 *SHINY*

HOENN: Abby: Gliscor-Lv1-64
Aldo: Archeops-Lv1-64
Genji: Masquerain-Lv5-65
Percy: Pidgeot-Lv1-64
Tsuruya: Skarmory-Lv16-64
Unagi: Gyarados: Lv10-64 *SHINY*

SINNOH: Cole: Honchkrow: Lv 1-66
Tammy: Gliscor: Lv18-62
Sylvia: Salamence: Lv 1-60
Raymond: Mantine: Lv 1-60
Benny: Togekiss: Lv 1-60

UNOVA: Apollo: Sigilyph: Lv 5-69
Charles: Braviary: Lv 25-70
Raquna: Skarmory: Lv 36-70
Lavenza: Gliscor: Lv 37-69

KALOS: Staccato: Chatot-Lv 23-74
Cal: Togekiss-Lv 1-74
Jolyne: Hawlucha-Lv 19-74
Kratos: Aerodactyl-Mega-Lv 20-73
Dyson: Rotom-Fan-Lv 1-74
Dragonforce: Noivern-Lv 45-74

ALOLA: Bertrand-Skarmory Lv 27-66
Amethyst-Minior-Purple Lv 27-66
Riza-Talonflame Lv 18-66
Blathers-Dartrix Lv 5-66
Sam-Toucannon Lv 2-66
Olivia-Oricorio-PomPom Lv 10-66

GALAR: Gareth-Charizard Lv 1-74
Joshua-Farfetch'd-Kanto Lv 1-77
Cordelia-Corviknight Lv 6-74
Camilla-Mandibuzz Lv 1-74
Raphael-Cramorant Lv 20-74
Est-Butterfree Lv 9-74

Heavenly Host:
Johto: Hallie: Zubat-Lv 2-20
Bonnie: Jumpluff-Lv 6-44

Hoenn: Joseph: Beautifly-Lv2-39
Gregory: Tropius-Lv23-48

Sinnoh: Ophelia: Vespiquen: Lv 10-28
Barlow: Staraptor: Lv 3-56
Rosalinde: Vespiquen: Lv 14-52

Unova: Grace: Emolga: Lv 22-45
Zellie: Crobat: Lv 16-50
Emmaline: Emolga: Lv 31-69
Torrin: Archeops: Lv 1-69

Kalos: Flo: Jumpluff-Lv 7-40

Alola: Barbara-Crobat Lv 11-58

And lastly, the League Card that carries the culmination of everyone's efforts!

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That's all, folks. Heather, OUT!
 

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