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The first battle went pretty much the same as last time, Strider being a level lower didn't really change anything.  In fact, this fight went the same way too, except Heat Wave actually hit this time and Scizor obviously died in one hit.  Next he sent in Tyranitar, so I went to Randall to get Reflect up.  Earthquake did a bit under half damage to Randall, so I would be able to get one more move in before having to switch.  Knowing Light Screen was useless because his entire team is physical (another embarrassing mistake from the last time I fought him) I go for Sunny Day.  That's right, I still haven't put Thunder Wave back on Randall, and this time it's on purpose.  Tyranitar had changed the weather to Sandstorm, and since Excadrill has Sand Rush it's in my best interest to get rid of it as soon as possible.  I switch the almost-dead Randall out to Diggersby, who's weilding a Muscle Band for now since Strider's already got the Z-move covered.  She hits Tyranitar for his 4x weakness with Brick Break, and-


I knew I should have gone for the Fist Plate instead.


No big deal, I tank another Crunch and finish him off next turn.  Next is Gyrados, and I go for Return hoping to tank the Waterfall since it's weakened by the sun.  I don't, and Gyrados gets a free Moxie boost.  Okay, maybe it is a big deal I didn't use the Fist Plate.  Fangorn is able to take him down though, so I guess it's all good.  Next is Excadrill, and even though Reflect's faded by this point I don't care.  Without a sandstorm, he gets outsped by Abigail and she Life Orbs him (she stole it from Scizor).  He has a Focus Sash and takes her down in response, but it's no biggie because Strider's faster than him too.  All that leaves is Garchomp, and I switch to Randall.



Randall puts Reflect back up before dying, and I bring in my Trump Card.


No, not THAT one.  The other one.




THIS is why I titled it the "rematch of the century".  Not because I was fighting Solaris again, but because Strawberry finally gets to go a second round with that Garchomp he famously bested over four years ago.  Like last time, he starts by setting up Cotton Guard.  Solaris apparently remembered our fight so long ago and came prepared, and Garchomp started spamming Swords Dance.  I hit him with two Fake Tears and by then, he was at +6 attack to match Strawberry's +6 defense.  His Earthquake almost killed, but Strawberry pulled through like the total badass he is and took out over half the thing's health with Draining Kiss (restoring more than enough HP to survive another Earthquake).  He went for the kill, and Solaris used a Full Restore, but it only delayed the inevitable.  A few turns later, Strawberry was 2-0 against his old rival.




God I love Slurpuff.  And this is WITHOUT his crazy Belly Drum + Unburden set, imagine what he'd be capable if I was allowed to use it!  Anyway after that Taka comes in and helps out before running off, in a scene that I'm sure would be VERY different if you hadn't fought him at the Water Treatment Center.  Now I can go off to confront Lin-



...Right after I double back to a PC and put my HM slave on the team.


P.S. Yes I remembered to put Thunder Wave back on Randall this time


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UPDATE 96:  Not much, really


Ame is pretty evil, but even she isn't so evil as to drop a big boi boss like Lin on us while forcing us to carry an HM slave.  Instead she proves herself to have reality-defying godmode powers (something that's foreshadowed throughout the past couple episodes if you look close enough) by magicking the Relic Stone out of nothing, bringing Gossip Gardevoir back to life (under her control), and yeeting Samson out of existence.  Oh no, not Samson.  I cared so much about that character.  How could I go on without his... uh... what did he do again?  I remember he sat on a couch and made sex jokes with Ciel and Terra.  He punched a Meteor Grunt in the face that one time?  I think Lin might have targeted him because she knew he was the least relevant gym leader in the game.  Watch out Ciel, you're not far behind.


Since he's gone though, shouldn't that mean our badge from him is invalid?  That's what they said the other two times we watched gym leaders die.  Maybe they'll address it in episode 19 and we'll have to fight Victoria one more time, I think she was the reserve leader after Kiki.  Ironically if that's the case, it'll be the most relevant to the plot Samson has ever been.


Oh by the way, you can get a second Lucky Egg here as a hidden item.  Or the first one if you never did that stolen Pokemon quest.


Story-wise, all that's left is to fight Hardy.  There's a couple things to do before that, though.




First up is to laugh at this chick because holy crap did I dodge a bullet by picking Froakie as my starter.  She gives you Froakie for 300 Pokedex entries, so if I had chosen Chespin or Fennekin I'd have to run around catching 276 randos, then release every single one, just to finish the Kalos dex.  It'd SUUUUUUCK.  Other than that, the only type of monogen run she'd be relevant in is 4th gen with her first reward being the Galladite.



Bro, if you've heard about me then you shoulda heard about how I ONLY use Kalos-native Pokemon.  Get outta here.



In a normal game, this would be where I can breed Belly Drum onto Slurpuff and wreck everything.  Of course I can't, because rules.  Don't feel bad Strawberry, you're still awesome.



I did this sidequest to see what the items were.  It was just an Ultra Potion, a Blue Shard, and a useless Mega Stone.  Well at least the sidequest itself is neat.



Also picked up the Darkinium Z for Strider.  Nothing else in this sidequest is of use.  Not even the sticker, everything on the new floor I either already have or don't want.


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I would like to say Hardy's gym trainers went down without incident, but one of the guys' Mamoswine wiped my entire team.  Ame diabolically set it up to start the battle with 3 boosts to evasion, and all my attacks missed.  It was embarrassing.  Came back with a Z-move (which always hits) and solved that problem easily.  Now it's time for the "final boss" of episode 18.



I know that Avalugg can trivialize this fight, but I don't want to spend my time training up a new guy if I don't have to.  Let's see if I can win with who I got.


My first idea was to see if I could lead with my two speedsters and outspeed the Mega Aerodactyl.  Nope, it's faster and oneshots them both with field-boosted Rock Slide.  Okay, Next plan is to lead with Randall and Fangorn, and set up Reflect and Trick Room.  Nope, the double Rock Slide kills Fangorn even through the Reflect and Sitrus Berry.  Third idea is to swap Fangorn's Sitrus Berry with a Telluric Seed, and see if that will help him survive the first turn.  Nope, that Mega Areodactyl also has Aerial Ace.  Fourth idea is to lead with Thunder Wave instead and get lucky with the paralysis, and hope Gigalith's Rock Slide doesn't kill Fangorn without Reflect.  Nope, Gigalith oneshots too.  I tried again with the Sitrus Berry just in case him not being at full health was the issue, but he still died.  Theoretically I could get him to survive if he used his +1 Evasion from the Telluric Seed to dodge Gigalith's attack, but considering how many soft resets it takes just to get Aerodactyl to not move, the chances of getting both things to happen are very low.  I need a fifth plan.


After some testing, I came up with one.  I lead with Randall and Strider, Strider protects on the first turn while Randall sets up Reflect.  Turns out Strider can survive one Rock Slide with Reflect, and since he's obviously faster than Gigalith he gets a chance to use Surf while Randall sets up Rain.  It kills both of Hardy's leads!  Randall dies too, but that's just an opportunity to bring in Apollo and bust out the old Surf cheeze.  After all, Mega Aerodactyl is Hardy's fastest, maybe I can outspeed everyone else now that it's gone.


Nope, Shiny Archeops and Dusk Lycanroc are both faster and wipe them out.


Sixth plan is like the first plan, but I instead bring in Fangorn (Sitrus Berry) when Randall dies.  Strider Protects again and Fangorn tries to get up Trick Room.  He actually survives that turn, but it takes several soft resets to actually get Trick Room up because A) We take three chances to flinch and ruin everything, B) unlucky crits, and C) it turns out Gigalith will survive if I get a minimum damage roll on Surf and ruin everything.  I try Telluric Seed on Fangorn like earlier to see if it helps him dodge a Rock Slide, and it worked.  I FINALLY got Trick Room up.



And from there, I'm basically home free.  Fangorn outslows Strider, so he gets to hide while Strider Surfs everyone else to death.  Again.  All that's left is Ramparados and Sun Lycanroc, the former of whom outslows Strider and kills him but at this point it's far too late.  Sword Pun comes in and they don't stand a chance.


Once again, one move makes all the difference.


After the game foreshadows some fourth wall breaking shenanigans in episode 19, I'm done with the current release!  Well, the main story of it at least.  There's still a major sidequest to take care of:  Funding the Railnet and the subsequent quest for the Firium Z.  I don't feel like making a seperate update for that so I'll do it right now.




This, I'm unsure of what to do with.  Strider and Diggersby both only have offensive moves, but at the same time neither Apollo or Abigail have used their status moves in a very long time.  In fact, I've replaced Thunder Wave on Apollo ever since getting the TM and forgot to mention it until now.  But all four of them are rather frail, and use other items better.  Is it worth it?  I guess I'll just use it on an as-needed basis like so many other things.




Now it's time for the Aggron Gauntlet.  These guys' main strategy is to abuse the cave field and cause cave-in after cave-in to cripple your team, so I led with Dashie and nipped that plan in the bud by changing the field.  She then just wrecks the entire first battle with Hyper Voice, none of them are high enough level to withstand her despite type advantage and whenever the mist went away, she'd bring it right back.


Now for the real fight.  My second Pokemon was Strider, and I had Dashie set up Misty Field while he blasted the things with Surf.  Turns out I didn't need the Misty Terrain, or Dashie at all, or anyone else at all.  Strider just wrecked everything with Surf.  That... was actually super easy.  I remember this gave me WAY more trouble in my main file, and that was also after I had beaten Hardy.  I guess it was because I was more prepared this time.  Well anyway, Firium Z obtained.  And the Aggronite, but that's useless to me.


With that, I guess I'll level grind to 95 and see you all when episode 19 comes out!  I hope I don't forget about this thread for another three years lol.


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