Hall of Fame pt. 3

Okay, okay. It’s been a minute, I know. I’m a bit behind. The holiday season (which, if you work retail, is Sept-Jan) has been rough on me this year. But I am TRYING to get back on track with posting and I appreciate the patience!

Though, my job has not been the only reason I haven’t been posting. I have also, unashamedly, spent most of my limited free time playing Pokemon Shield. It’s been a wonderful journey through the Galar region for me, and I can now say that I have become the league champion! I’m currently enjoying filling my Pokedex, and, for the fourth time since Diamond/Pearl, my Pokemon have contracted the Pokerus virus!

But here is my final team!

1.) InteleonSarge
I always pick the water starter, and I was super pleased with Sobble and its evolutionary line. While I’ve breezed through games with other water starters at the helm, this one actually gave me a nice, but not too frustrating challenge at times, which allowed some other team members to shine. Plus, the secret agent/spy theme Inteleon has going on is pretty cool – definitely an upgrade from Primarina.

2.) CorviknightRook
I caught my brave bird as a Rookidee way back at the start of the game and he stayed with me through the end! Even though HMs are no longer used for their traditional functions in Sword and Shield, so a bird was not necessary for the move ‘Fly,’ it would have felt strange not having a flying type on my team, and Corviknight was easily the coolest option.

3.) BolthundScamp
I had a corgi growing up, so I had to catch a Yamper when they popped up on route 4. Scamp ended up being the ace on the team once she evolved, and when I began swapping team members out after the sixth badge, Scamp was the only one who had a guaranteed spot.

4.) DragapultMerry
It took me wayyyyyy too long to find a Dreepy, but I knew I had to have this beautiful creature on my team and the two hours I spent hunting it was worth it. A Dragon/Ghost Pokemon that launches two smaller dragons from its head as a weapon? Uh, YES PLEASE.

5.) Galarian RapidashMana
It’s a FAIRY-TYPE UNICORN, people. Why wouldn’t I have one on my team??? She was a bit of a late addition, but from the moment Galarian Ponyta was revealed, I knew I would have one on my team. She is beautiful, and kicks butt too!

6.) CoalossalRiga
I had no intentions of using this Pokemon one I was able to preview the dex, but I caught a Rolycoly fairly early on and she grew on me! She is now my main egg-hatcher, since she has the flame body ability, but she can also totally wreck the competition.

Honorable mentions:
ThievulThistle
He still pops in now and then to max raid fight, but I swapped him out for Merry before the end. He also crushed the ghost gym.
AppletunFiji
I didn’t catch an Applin until right before I fought Raihan, so Appletun didn’t make the cut… but he is a treasured member of my secondary Dragon-only team, which I am currently developing!

 

Hall of Fame

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were released for the Nintendo 3DS way back in 2014, and, like a good Pokemon trainer, I bought my copy of Alpha Sapphire in advance so it would arrive on release day. But Hoenn has always been my least favorite region, so, as video game burnout set in for me, I played the game for only a couple of sessions and then stopped completely.

I had three badges when I set it down, and my team consisted of a Swellow named Fio, Marshtomp named Warin, Aron named Raze, Mightyena named Jolly,  a Numel named Bram, and an Electrike named Volt.

Recently, I’ve had the itch to play Pokemon again. And I’ve been in a general slump, so I’ve been looking for some things to boost my mood. So last week, I dug out my 3DS, charged it up, and booted up the ol’ Alpha Sapphire save file, five years later.

I can now proudly say I am the champion of the Hoenn League, twice over! But this time I did things differently. I stuck to a few of my general rules, such as keeping the starter on my team the whole time, fully evolving my starter before the fourth gym, and having the entire team be lvl, 60+ before entering Victory Road.

Whenever I played the original games, I had the same team – Swampert, Swellow, Mightyena, Aggron, Absol, and Skarmory. Every time. I always tried to get a Manectric and Camerupt, but always gave up on it, every time. Like I said, Hoenn is my least favorite region, and I never really gravitated toward many of the Pokemon that were added in gen 3. Besides Mudkip, of course. But this time, when I kicked off again, I put Mightyena and Swellow in the box, and replaced them, over time, with a Swablu named Loom and a Girafarig named Griff. I’d always wanted to use both, but never achieved it, so they became main team members, and I hung onto both Numel and Electrike until they evolved. They ended up being the two best Pokemon on my team, stats wise.

And so, now that I’ve swept the League twice, done all the optional mini games and quests, and caught all the legendaries available to me without trading, here was my Hall of Fame team! I was pretty proud of them, so I’m documenting them here!

AGGRON Raze
lvl. 77, holding the Aggronite
Moves: Rock Slide, Rock Smash, Ice Beam, Iron Head
HP: 208
Atk: 202
Def. 294
Sp. Atk: 113
Sp. Def: 139
Speed: 111

CAMERUPT Bram
lvl. 85, holding the Cameruptite
Moves: Fissure, Flamethrower, Will-O-Wisp, Earthquake
HP: 248
Atk: 229
Def. 163
Sp. Atk: 193
Sp. Def: 157
Speed: 123

MANECTRIC Volt
lvl. 80, holding the Manectite
Moves: Bite, Charge, Thunder, Thunderbolt
HP: 233
Atk: 141
Def. 137
Sp. Atk: 202
Sp. Def: 137
Speed: 237

SWAMPERT Warin
lvl. 86, holding the Swampertite
Moves: Earthquake, Surf, Hammer Arm, Scald
HP: 302
Atk: 234
Def. 175
Sp. Atk: 181
Sp. Def: 159
Speed: 141

GIRAFARIG Griff
lvl. 84, holding the Amulet Coin
Moves: Crunch, Psychic, Zen Headbutt, Strength
HP: 249
Atk: 170
Def. 136
Sp. Atk: 201
Sp. Def: 129
Speed: 178

ALTARIA Loom
lvl. 100, holding the Rocky Helmet
Moves: Fly, Moonblast, Dragon Pulse, Draco Meteor
HP: 289
Atk: 215
Def. 206
Sp. Atk: 159
Sp. Def: 252
Speed: 209

 

Maybe I’ll replay Y next…although, I never did finish Moon…

Pokemon World

When I was a child, we truly lived in a Pokemon world. Pokemon was EVERYWHERE. One of the greatest Christmas presents I’ve ever received is the Pikachu-themed Gameboy Color with Pokemon Yellow Version. With the recent release of Pokemon Sun and Moon, I’ve been reflecting on my history with Pokemon quite a bit, from winning $90 on a bus trip to NYC when I was a kid and spending all of it on Pokemon merchandise at FAO Schwarz, to watching the latest Pokemon movies over Skype with my best friend while away at college.

Though I’ve fallen out of the fandom as far as the training cards and anime go, I’ve played the games from each generation; they never seem to lose their charm for me. But nothing can erase the glory of the first generation – the original 151 Pokemon. So, I thought, as a child of that era, I would compile a list of my favorite Pokemon from the first generation, and here they are!

1.) Gengar
Gengar is my boo, man. Sadly, I’ve not always been able to procure a Gengar for my team, 600px-094gengarespecially back in the early days, when trading wasn’t quite as easy as it is now. As in, back in the prehistoric era of trading via cable, not the wireless deal we’ve got these days. Gengar is equal parts adorable and terrifying, which is all I need in a Pokemon, and I think Ghost types are severely underrated. Plus, he’s PURPLE. With the right training, the Hypnosis/Dreameater combo can be lethal. And I totally buy the fan theory that Gengar is Clefable’s shadow. It’s not quite as credible as the “Cubone was originally intended to be a deceased Kangaskhan’s baby” theory, but it would be cool regardless.

2.) Alakazam 
Alakazam is a staple for my team, if it’s possible to catch an Abra in-game. Getting it to 065alakazamthat phase is a pain (Abra only knows Teleport, so getting it to evolve to Kadabra can be a trial, then I always have to enlist someone to trade with to evolve Kadabra into Alakazam) but I’ve always found it beneficial to have a strong psychic type on my team. In my Diamond/Pearl days, I had a lvl 100 Alakazam and it was a total boss. Currently, in Moon, I have a Kadabra I’m waiting to evolve so I can get the brilliant spoon-bending fox-like psychic master back into my squad. AND it can learn Charge Beam! So if you find yourself bereft of an electric type on your team, Alakazam can fill that void. And it carries spoons, so if you find yourself with a bowl of soup and no utensil to eat it with, you’ll be set!

3.) Blastoise
I admit, I am biased toward water-type starters. I have almost always started with the 600px-009Blastoise.pngwater starter on my initial run of a game, with the exception of Pokemon Moon, where I couldn’t resist Litten’s adorable charms… and I wasn’t a fan of Popplio, to be honest. But, as much as I loved Feraligatr, Samurott and Empoleon (Feraligatr is great, an Empoleon with Pokerus was my first lvl 100, and I think Samurott is awesome) Blastoise will always claim the top spot in my list of favorite starter evolutions. So many people love Charmander/Charizard, but Squirtle has always been my preference.  I mean, Blastoise is a massive tortoise with water cannons on his shoulders. What’s not to like?!?!

4.) Marowak
How about a creature in a legit skull helmet, with a bone it can use as a boomerang? I 600px-105marowakabsolutely love Marowak, but, to be honest, I usually don’t end up with one on my team. By the time I encounter a Cubone, I usually have a pretty good idea of where my team is going to go, and even if I catch one, it just ends up in the box. The whole plotline in the game with the sad baby Cubone and the vengeful Marowak ghost is absolutely heartbreaking, though. However, I do currently have an Alolan Marowak on my team in Moon, and I adore him, even though he is currently the weakest link on my squad. The Alolan version is black and has a flaming bone as a boomerang, so it’s even cooler than the normal version!

5.) Raichu
I was actually disappointed that you were forced to follow the anime’s plot in Pokemon 600px-026raichuYellow, and could not evolve your Pikachu into a Raichu. But ever since then, if it’s possible to catch a Pichu/Pikachu in game and acquire a thunderstone along the way, I always have a Raichu by the end of the game. Having an adorable electric mouse with a cool-looking tail has often come in handy on my travels, especially when Water-type gyms are involved. However, as much as I love Raichu, I usually end up keeping one on ‘reserve’ instead of on my main team. I currently have a Pikachu on my main team in Moon, and will soon have an Alolan Raichu, though I think I like the original a bit more than the new version.

6.) Ninetales
Ninetales is as beautiful as it is useful, and often serves as a valuable member of my squad. 600px-038ninetalesSince I typically don’t select the Fire starters, I try and nab a Fire type during the game, so if Vulpix is able to be caught, that is often my first choice, unless it isn’t available until late in the game. Ninetales is just so graceful and elegant, and it can be a total boss in battle if trained appropriately. I had a lvl 100 Ninetales at one point and it was equal parts tough and gorgeous to look at – I used it in double battles with my lvl 100 Alakazam and they were quite the team to reckon with. I haven’t managed to snag an Alolan Vulpix in Moon yet, but Alolan Ninetales looks even prettier, so I look forward to getting one!

7.) Tauros
Although I find it to be one of the most badass of the original 151, Tauros is the only 128taurosPokemon on this list that I’ve never taken with me to the Elite Four to grace the Hall of Fame. However, I always make sure to catch one if it’s possible, no matter how many hours (and I mean hours) I have to spend in the Safari Zone. Tauros just looks so intimidating and cool. Unfortunately for me, I’ve never been able to train one to actually be good and it usually just ends up dying in every battle, so I typically just catch one and leave it in the box. But if I could get a Pokemon to have in real life, Tauros would be one of my first picks, because I think it would be cool to roll up to work in the morning on the back of a Tauros. I could also take out my enemies with a well-placed charge!

8.) Vaporeon
Of all the Eeveelutions, my favorite is probably Espeon, but since this is a list of my 600px-134vaporeonfavorite original Pokemon, and Espeon wasn’t around until the second generation, I’m including my favorite from the first gen, Vaporeon. As far as I can remember, you can only get one Eevee in the original games, and  I’ve always chosen to evolve it into a Vaporeon, but if it’s possible to get/breed multiple Eevees, then I make Vaporeon my second selection (after Espeon). I also had a holographic Vaporeon Pokemon card back in the day, and I deeply regret that I gave it away.  I mean, Vaporeon’s got fins on its head AND tail – that’s pretty convenient. I imagine it would be very useful to take on a swim.

9.) Rhydon
Of all the Pokemon types in the original games, Rock and Ground are probably the ones I 600px-112rhydonused the least, and likely still use the least. There just aren’t as many Rock type Pokemon that appeal to me, so Brock and I probably wouldn’t get along very well. But if I had to finagle a Rock or Ground type, my first choice would be Rhydon. Well… technically, the first choice would be Rhyhorn, which, in my experience, is a complete pain in the rear to catch in the Safari Zone. But Rhydon is the bomb, and he’s got a drill on his snout, which I would imagine comes in pretty handy. I’m not terribly fond of the next evolutionary form, Rhyperior, but back in my day, Rhydon was the final form… and I like to pretend it still is.

10.) Pidgeot
As many aspiring trainers know, in several of the games, it is necessary to have a Flying 018Pidgeot.pngPokemon, because at a certain point, you get HM02 (Fly) and get to fly back to all the places you’ve already visited. Due to this, I almost always make a bird Pokemon a staple of my team, and the original choice was always a Pidgeot. I mean, it’s not like it’s hard to catch… you practically drown in Pidgeys at the start of the early gen games, so you get your pick of the roost. I once picked a Spearow instead of a Pidgey, intending to bring a bit of variety to my squad, ended up with a Fearow, and it just wasn’t the same – it didn’t feel right. I picked a HootHoot in Gold version, as well, but Noctowl just couldn’t cut it either. Maybe because Pidgeot’s got such a regal mane of feathers, and I admire a good haircut on a Pokemon.

*Photo credit to Bulbapedia!

REMINDER:
There’s only a week left to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for a copy (out of five available copies) of my debut YA novel, I’m With You – here is the link to enter!