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Beating Reborn with 6 Pokemon

Imperial Potatoes

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Hello everyone.
So I've been wondering if it's possible to beat Reborn with just 6 Pokemon for a long time. I know there is a YouTuber who uses the same team for a good chunk of the game (shout out to the guy/gal/person who made me want to try Espeon after watching Espeon and Glaceon steamroll the game) but they used several other Pokemon until they reached the final team. I intended to try with just 6 Pokemon. I completed it earlier today and just thought I'd share the results since I always find reading about challenge runs interesting.
To preface this, I've played reborn at least 3 times, am well versed with normal competitive play, and usually play Rejuvenation on intense. (Although this by no means is meant to imply that Intense is better than the other modes. I just use it because I like to min/max things)
So I'm farily experienced on the way these games play out.
I started by deciding on a couple of rules.
  1. I can use whatever other pokemon to get through any parts of the game (like Zoroark with night daze to change the overworld field, or Volcarona with heatwave) if necessary. But in any battles, it had to be the same team of 6 Pokemon. This was so that if I somehow managed to drag myself to something like Gym 17 without a full team of 6, I could reward myself with something like scizor, gengar, or salamence, without worrying about my team not having the moves to change the overworld.
  2. I also allowed myself to breed better moves or mons whenever necessary, so long as they were the 6 intended pokemon. However, like many of you on this forum, I am an adult with responsibilities and limited time. So I used debug to speed things up. Essentially, this meant if I wanted to use Delphox with hypnosis, I first had to have a female Fennekin line pokemon, and then a male pokemon with hypnosis that could breed it onto the Fennekin. So something like Patrat. Once I had these two pokemon in my party with the correct moves, I was free to just debug the mon to reflect this change.
  3. Additionally, once that Pokemon was available, I had to add it to the team or it would be skipped. Essentially, this meant that if I struggled against someone like Charlotte, and still had a spot on the team, I could only add something that became available in the split between Charlotte and Samson.
  4. This wasn't exactly a hard and fast rule, but I wanted to utilize mega evolution, so I had to pick a pokemon that could mega evolve and essentially lug it through the game until it started to pull it's weight.
  5. Like with all my runs through these games, no items in battle. I just don't enjoy the PP stall tactics and stuff that can be employed as a result (Throwback to how I beat Ciel the first time I ever played Reborn when Togekiss' air slash OHKOed my whole team).
  6. I also used the TMX mod and unreal time mod because I like seeing the time change and because I wasn't about to limit myself in this challenge because of HMs.
Now the first battle we have is against Cain, followed by a battle against Victoria. As these are major battles, this meant that my starter would become a permanent part of my team. So I shelfed the game for a week to study for an exam and then spent the afternoon after said exam scouring the movepools, typing, and stats of the 21 starters to shortlist the best ones to pick.
For anyone who wants to know my reasoning for them, I've put it in a spoiler tag.




The mons I eliminated without thinking too much about it.


1. Squirtle: I've actually used Blastoise in Rejuvenation V12, AKA the days when Neptune handed you a Blastoisinite for beating her plus a Popplio, and then you could shove it in your bag so your Blastoise could remain mediocre as usual. Water Spout is cute but the turtle is dead weight.

2. Chikorita: In Rejuvenation, the crest makes Meganium a monster. In Reborn with its army of early poison types though? No thanks. 

3. Turtwig: In Rejuvenation, even the crest wasn't enough to make me like this turtle. Too many weaknesses, not enough power or bulk. 

4. Tepig: I just don't like Emboar aesthetically :(

5. Oshawott: Same with Samorott really :(

6. Chespin: I didn't even like Chesnaught when I played it in X and Y. And those are the easiest games by far. Plus I just think it looks dumb.


Everything else had some sort of a niche that made me consider it:


1. Bulbasaur: Venusaur has so much utility with leech seed, status, chlorophyll shenanigans, et cetera. The one thing it didn't have, is sludge bomb. So it was axed.

2. Totodile: Now with sheer force and life orb, this one actually got a lot of consideration. He was actually one of the last to get axed before the top contenders. But really, Feraligatr is just too slow and DD comes too late. I'd have to fill several other slots to get through the early game for a mediocre final result. 

3. Mudkip: Now this may surprise many people, but I think Swampert (despite its amazing typing) is very mediocre in Reborn. I remember catching the Mudkip and breeding a Swampert specifically designed for Titania (with curse and healing via lefties) that fell through completely. And then proceeded to fall through time and time again. That run really killed my appreciation for what was once a favourite of mine. Also, it showed me that by the late game this was going to be dead weight. 

4. Treecko: Sceptile has such a cool niche and one day I'd love to try it for some unburden nature power seed shenanigans. But this was not the run. Really it's just too frail.

5. Piplup: I love Empoleon. It has the best defensive typing, looked cool, is a combo of two of my favourite types, and gets a fun mix of physical, special, utility, and other moves. But this is Reborn and Empoleon is dead weight without TMs. I wanted consistency over a gimmick.

6. Snivy: Leaf storm at 43 is cute, but I can't drag a Pokemon for that long. And the movepool is just lacking in general. 

7. Froakie: Another surprise for many I guess. But the truth is I had used a Froakie before and it was so lackluster. Greninja is frail and just doesn't get good moves without TMs until way too late in the game. The good TMs are even later too :(

8. Rowlett: Such a cool type, but such an awkward stat spread. And an absolutely niche ability that is just useless 90% of the time. I also dislike running mixed stat pokemon (it's my only grievance with mons like decidueye and salamence really). So Decidueye was axed.


And finally, the top contenders:

1. Charmander: Now I despise Charizard with a passion. Always have, probably always will. The only exception is Mega Charizard Y because I think it looks so cool and it works so well in Doubles, which is my preferred format. Additionally, despite a crippling rock weakness, it actually has the second or third best defensive typing of all starter Pokemon (I was surprised too when I realized this). It also gets dragon rage which would help substantially in the early game and allow me to add more later game picks. Plus, as the Charizardite X is currently in the game, it would also fill my mega evolution technicality without being a dead weight mon. And Mega Charizard X is an absolute beast. I ended up picking something else because I felt it had more to offer than charizard, not due to any actual deficits of Charizard. 

2. Cyndaquil: This one probably surprises a lot of people. But in my opinion, Typhlosion is one of the best starters. Give it Eruption via the move tutor and watch it turn fields to flames, get boosted, and then outspeed and wreck everything. I tried it first in Desolation (where it quickly became a favourite) and again in Rejuvenation (where it stayed a favourite and is now always on my team due to the crest). Plus it gets nature power for all the fun shenanigans (jokes on you Adrienne. I might not be able to Eruption your Pokemon, but I can still Sacred Sword them all). I eventually axed it because without the crest, I always have one empty moveslot. Now I could fill it with utility moves (Will-o-wisp, Sunny Day, something else) but I decided not to.

3. Torchic: If you've used this cute thing then you know it's probably the best starter. Torchic was also the first Pokemon I ever used back in first grade when I played Emerald. But at the end of the day, Blaziken just doesn't have good team synergy. I wasn't planning on using a Baton Pass team (which I'd like to try one day). It gets almost no AOE moves, no utility (why run it on it anyways, that's really such a waste) and has an awkward speed tier without protect while being too frail to survive a lot of hits without protect. So sadly the chicken had to go.

4. Chimchar: Now I've never used this monkey but I've heard a lot of good things. I was honestly super interested. After all, there has to be a reason it still isn't available in Rejuvenation, right? But alas, it has Blaziken problems with team synergy. 

5. Fennekin: This one got this far literally just because of two moves: Psychic terrain and hypnosis. It gets both via breeding. It would have been crazy to build a team of psychic terrain mons with hypnosis (hypnosis Milotic would love this) and I'll probably try this out one day. But since I wasn't sure I would actually get through the early game, I held off on this pick.

6. Litten: I hate the stupid furry. I hate it with a passion. But it has so much team synergy. So much. It's bonkers. I really had no good reason to axe it. I just axed it because I hated it that much. It didn't deserve this treatment but got it anyway. And that is a form of justice that I approve of. 


And if you've actually read this huge tag, then you might have realized that the only one left is Popplio. 


Yes, Popplio, I went with Popplio.

And I stand by this decision. 

In my opinion, Popplio, torchic, and cyndaquil are the BEST starters by far. 


Primarina looks adorable. It eats hits for days. It hits like a tank that shoots atomic bombs. It has the second-best defensive typing in the game. And most importantly, it gets misty terrain to boost moonblasts and change the super OP fields.


Now usually I don't use the 4 terrain moves. But I made an exception in light of the handicap that I feel I've given myself. 


So yeah, the opera seal wins. 



And so I picked Popplio (resetting for decent speed, sp attack, and female gender). I got lucky after 18 SRs and got the seal of my dreams. And then I kicked Cain and Victoria to the curb.


Now here was the first challenge. I had a water type (a slow one at that) for a battle with Julia. In case you've forgotten, she uses electric types. So Popplio cannot sweep her team. At least not with that stupid electrode. So I had to add some other mons. I thought about it a fair bit, before deciding to hold off and just go through the game. 


Honestly I probably would have added Pachirisu, but I ended up getting Zigzagoon. I considered getting a tynamo with the correct weather, but it wouldn't really help and Eelektross is slow and frail. Swoobat has simple shenanigans, but it dies too fast. And so, I resigned myself to just training and moved on with life. I entered the grass to level up to 7, and the first thing I ran into was a shiny pidgey. It was so ugly. It looked so stupid. I decided I had to have it. So I caught a pidgey that looked like a dead duck and added it to the team. And then replaced the sprite with the ones from Rejuvenation so it was gold and yellow instead of purple and ugly. 

I also decided to try all the other static encounters, and ran into another fabled beast. Now I've heard that if you go to a little house in Peridot at night, you have a bug Pokemon event. Every time I've tried it, it's given me baby Vikavolt. This was the first and only time I got a Joltik. I realised I had a chance to get a compound eyes thunder bug (In loving memory of my compound eyes, sleep powder, hurricane vivillon) and caught it immediately. Now I know what you're thinking "Joltik doesn't learn Thunder by level up and we don't have the TM yet". You'd be correct. I done played myself and made it through the Fern battle before realizing my mistake. AKA a major battle. The bug was here to stay. On the bright side, it got sticky webs on evolution which really was some amazing utility later on. 


And so with my team of mons that really weren't useful against Julia, I beat the factory and challenged her. And got stomped. At least 5 times. 


I almost gave up. I couldn't get through electrode despite out speeding everything else. Until I realized something. Unlike rejuvenation which has a static level cap, reborn allows levelling up past the cap and punishes it with disobedience. Some of you will call this cheating. I call it using mechanics to your advantage. I levelled up my Brionne to 24 (so much pain) where it got bubble beam and then brought it down to 20. Brionne than proceeded to sweep Julia with a lucky crit on Electrode. I did have to EV train it (AKA debug it since the EV mons were available) in max special attack though. 


Essentially, I now had two mons that were dead weight or would become mostly dead weight baring utility for the foreseeable future. I had done goofed, but was just grateful to be done with Julia. 


I then stomped the game until Florina, who became the biggest roadblock in the game. Screw her honestly. I fought her at least 50 times with so much RNG BS in my favour and still couldn't beat her. Sadly, her ferroseed was a wall that depleted my tools leaving me with nothing for Cradily or the Cottonee. I could have probably just added Vanillite to my team or something else but honestly, I wanted better Pokémon than the available options. There were no useful moves either via level up. But, Pidgeotto could get air slash via breeding with a Hoothoot (air slash at level 17) which meant I had a better move than gust. So I decided to do that. And then realized that the daycare exists. 


You see, this was the real solution I was looking for all along. I shoved my mons in the daycare, ran around until I almost levelled up and then pulled my mons out before they learned a new move before shoving them back in after deciding which moves to keep or replace. Like this, I got my Brionne to 33, Pidgeotto to 35, and Joltik to 35. Then I battled a wild Oddish, cycled them in, gave them the 5 XP they needed, and evolved them all. With speed ups, this took a little under an hour. And I had 3 powerful final forms. I levelled them down and used Galvantula to stomp Julia (Signal Beam goes BRRRR).


After this, nothing was a challenge up to Corey, who was also a cake walk with Pidgeot using gust to remove the field and airslash to wreck his team. Sweeping Corey with Pidgeot really gave me a new appreciation for the bird, which was really pulling weight. Now importantly, after beating Corey and finishing the police quest, you get a Growlithe. More importantly, you get the mystery egg. I decided to check said mystery egg and ended up with a female vulpix. It had a trash nature and ability. But I saw the potential. I bred a better vulpix with drought, and added it to the team. And then walked to shelly, changed her field to rainbow via the rain and drought, and stomped her with what was once a purple duck. 


I then had an easy time for a bit but another major battle to prepare for: Solaris. I had three options. 

1. Catch prankster Murkrow with Perish song and use that to beat him.

2. Destiny bond Weezing and reset till stone edge missed to beat him.

3. Some other strategy because I didn't want more dead weight on the team (although I'm very tempted to try moxie Honchkrow) 


Usually, some other strategy doesn't work. This time though, I had two pokemon that could absolutely wreck Solaris' Garchomp. Primarina had baby doll eyes which lowered attack AND had priority. Vulpix had will-o-wisp. And more importantly, before fighitng him I'd have the destiny knot and other breeding items, including the EV reset berries. So essentially, I could now change my EVs to whatever I wanted (meowth with payday meant money was no longer a concern, just a time consumer) and could use perfect IV pokemon. I just needed something that could actually deal damage to him. So I caught a Swinub before Shade (or after, I can't remember), bred Icicle Crash and ancient power via beartic and Dunsparce, and got a mamoswine. I then stomped Shade (charge beam Galvantula and moonblast Primarina were all I needed really), Kiki (air slash goes BRRR) and tried my luck with Solaris. Max HP and DEF Primarina got Garchomp to -2 attack. Pidgeot dodged a stone edge to get it to -6 with featherdances before fainting. Ninetales burned it before dying to EQ. And then Mamo killed Cynthia's legacy with Icicle crash and Ice shard. I've never tried this before, but watching mamo nuke him was very satisfying. 

After this, it was pretty much a free game. Aya took one try (heat wave from growlithe goes BRRR), Serra took one try (EQ, then drought Heat wave spam), and Noel took one try (I was expecting to change the field to rainbow and struggle a bit, but he didn't have rain for some reason so I automatically set his grass on fire with Ninetales and swept him. Found a heat rock while mining too). I also killed several mawiles which was actually one of the Pokemon I had initially planned to put on the team as the eventual mega since it gets a cute niche with stockpile and baton pass (plus intimidate for solaris) before becoming my favourite mega that smacks everything with one touch.


I struggled a bit with Radomas before realizing that Galvantula and Ninetales can wreck him (3 tries), had to try fighting Elias twice (but EQed his field and then beat him with sheer numbers), stomped Luna in one try (I didn't even know that Dark Crystal Cavern gets neutralized by drought until I led with Ninetales) and then got to Samson. Samson has the distinction of being the first roadblock since I had started this winning spree. Why you might ask? Because I had a team of 5, 3 of which were frail, 1 weak to him, and the last was too slow despite sticky webs. I had to use misty terrain to beat him, making him the first leader to require terrain tactics, and one of three who needed them. But he only took 4 tries before I figured this out. And then hurricaned Blake while mamo throw icicles at him. 


And then came Charlotte who was actually one of the few leaders I was most concerned about. I didn't have the daycare available at this moment, so I couldn't change moves anymore. Without a doubt she is the first leader who my utility (the once purple bird and the mistake spider) carried me through. Led with pidgeot to set up tailwind and sticky webs (only got sticky webs up in reality) and then swapped in Mamo and primarina. EQ took out her leads, and primarina fell, allowing me to bring in my flash fire ninetales on a burning field that now got sun when she brought in her drought ninetales. Props to the ability capsule person in Agate circus who made this strat possible. I then heatwave-d and icicle crashed her until she lost. Took one try actually. And so the game continued. Terra got misty terrained and her team fell apart in two attempts (although I did try again without it and won with some RNG in my favour). 


And now the Solaris gauntlet thing with Florina and Julia. 11 vs 12 x3 since I still had just 5 mons. I was honestly expecting to finally add a sixth mon here. Turns out that sticky webs and mamoswine are good enough to carry me though. And so we got to Ciel, who got wrecked by Liquid Voice Hyper voice primarina and tailwind. Jokes on her, I was loud and clear too. 

And with this, the lockout ended and I finally added the sixth pokemon that I'd been planning on. This is actually my favourite pokemon and took sooooooooo long to get with its catch rate. If you figured it out with that small clue, good for you. I got a beldum, meaning I now had an absolutely adorable metagross to decimate everyone and everything. I got through the Devon Corp gauntlet (turns out it isn't challenging when I resist the urge to just walk and actually change the tiles slowly) without any losses.


At this point I was so used to using this team that it really wasn't much of a challenge. I fought Adrienne and had so much fun using xeir strats against xem with tailwind and bullet punch (6-0) and then marched up the desert to fight Titania. On the way Taka fought an Aegislash after healing my team a good 9503940 times and joining me on a trek to find a stone that let my purple duck become a fabulous chicken. And then I fought Titania who took 15 retries because heat wave kept missing. But eventually my moves landed and she lost. She was also the second leader who required misty terrain. 


I then got the Mega Ring, allowing Pidgeot to finally mega evolve. With this (and now the final form of my team), I challenged Amaria after some strategizing and buying a lot of airballoons. And then beat her in doubles in two attempts with the power of solar beam Ninetales and blizzard. And Metagross electrocuted her stupid Lapras with thunderpunch when the field got EQed back to water. She was a challenge though, taking out 5 of my mons despite all the advantages I utilized. 


And now the glass gauntlet, what many consider to be the hardest part of the game. For this team though, just 5 tries. I just had to figure out the correct lead actually, and then it was over. Mega Pidgeot and Ninetales had drought boosted heatwaves to OHKO everything once the right set up was reached, and Hurricane plus solarbeam for the occasional stragglers. Luna was actually the hardest since I had to minimize my losses to set up for the final battle. 


Solaris got stomped in Agate (Ninetales and mamo counter the entire team after sticky webs) and then finally, I got to Hardy. If there are any eagle eyed readers still with me, they might have noticed that I have a horrible match up with Hardy. So far, I've been relying on speed, weather, heatwave spam, or other utility to beat my opponents. Hardy however, has a super fast, much higher levelled team that spams rock slide. In doubles. Against a team with 3 mons weak to rock, 2 neutrals, and 1 who can  resist it. I had been so worried about this throughout the game and legitimately was expecting to get stomped by him. But instead he took one try, as the final leader who required misty terrain to beat (I retried him without it and couldn't beat more than 4 of his mons). But turns out misty terrain followed by a burn on his Gigalith means I can meteor mash and bullet punch his whole team to death because the multiple rock weakness incentivize him to spam rock slide. And yes, I know you can't burn Gigalith on misty terrain. I definitely did not forget and try it and lose Ninetales as a result.


And yeah, that's pretty much the end of this huge post.


That's how a team of Primarina, Pidgeot, Galvantula, Ninetales, Mamoswine, and Metagross beat Pokemon Reborn. I recognise I got a fair bit of luck with Ninetales, who undoubtedly made so much of the game easy. I ended up with only 2 of the 6 Pokémon I had hoped to use but I grew to really enjoy the team nonetheless. If anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to answer. If anyone has any similar experiences or other thoughts, I'd be happy to hear them too. 


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Hey there, that was one EPIC journey. Kudos to you. Seriously, I take my hat off to you my good sir.


I don't really read on the forum, but beating Reborn with 6 pokemon took my attention faster than one can say Pokémon Reborn. I think I know the videos of the person who used Glaceon at least and I considered it impressive already with so few team changes, but holding on the the same team all game long is a real challenge. It looks like you enjoyed it and I enjoyed reading through it.


The fun part is that few of these pokemon are absolute monsters in terms of stats, but are great thanks to their utility.

And you have similar taste in pokemon as me (hate charizard, love typhlosion and similar opinions on most of the other starters).


Again, excellent job!

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Hey man! Great work you've got there, congratulations.


I started playing Reborn back at E15, when Adrienn was the last leader you could beat. At that time, my only knowledge about beating a pokemon was the experience I got from first to third generation, so I suffered a lot just to get to Adrienn, just to get my ass beaten once again. At this point I started studying base stats, natures, EVs, IVs, egg moves, breeding and which mons were best on Reborn.


My second run was more about capturing the mons I'd like to use with the right nature and thinking more about which moves each one would have, EVs, IVs and egg moves were too much work in my vision. I have to say that Floatzel really showed up, even with a moveset not that varied. At the end I could beat Adrienn and I started to understand even better the game an the breeding mechanic, so I spent a lot of time breeding for the right stats and moves. 


My third run started with a box with 30 mons, all with the designs a like, best stats for my playstyle and I could beat E16 with these 30 in rotation. The problem was leveling them all between each gym leader, so I started thinking of try and beat Reborn with only six pokemon. With this last run, I picked the ones that I liked the most and some that people here really liked. The team were Blaziken, Greninja, Roserade, Raichu (Alolan weren't available at this point), Gengar and Staraptor.


My fourth run was calibrating the team. Blaziken, Greninja and Roserade performed great. Raichu, Staraptor and Gengar got out during the run. Raichu doesn't have a good moveset (Alolan is better) and it's not good stat-wise. Staraptor with Reckless and Brave Bird are really good, but that recoil got me down many times. Gengar was a big disappointment: nice design, good stats BUT it relies heavily on TM moves that aren't available on the game to this day (well they were available on the first episodes, but not when I started playing). Even then the team wasn't good enough, as I didn't have response against some types, mainly Electric. I then came to the forum asking for help and I did get it. First position was filled by Excadrill, very fast, very strong, good moveset and fills the role of a setter on my team (with stealth rock. Sometimes Greninja or Roserade help in this regard with Toxic Spikes). The second was filled by Crobat, also fast, also strong, also good moveset (mostly by egg moves) and replaced Staraptor as a flying type really good, the only problem was the repeated Poison type. In the last position came Weavile, the same as the other two, but it started to shine in generation 7, where it started to learn Throat Chop as egg move. I did finish the run, but that small problem with Roserade and Crobat typing got my atention. The solution? Archeops. One more time, fast, strong, excellent moveset and it kept the role of Crobat as scout, using U-turn (which it learns by level up).


The fifth run was on E18, with the team: Blaziken, Greninja, Roserade, Excadrill, Archeops and Weavile. As you may have notice, I don't have a support mon on the team. All of them are very offensive and fast which reflects my playstyle, I like hitting first and hard. With these mons and their moveset I have coverage for everything. One small thing is that I started the run with the six of them, fully bred and at lvl 5 on my box (thanks SWM pack). Maybe it is cheating, but I did work on their breed legitimely looking for testing them the whole game. And that's what I did. With some changing on the lead mon when needed, I could beat all of E18 with only those 6 mons. Of course your rules were much harder and I think your merit is higher, but I'm proud of the team I build and how it performed on the game. One small problem for this team is that Weavile and Greninja have the same role at taking ghost/psychic mons down, but I still couldn't think a good replacement for Weavile, Greninja will not leave the team ha ha.


I also started an other run with a pack of six mons, also bred and lvl 5 at the start of the game. They were: Scyther, Starmie, Krookodile, Breloom, Salazzle and A-Ninetales. The same plastyle and I could also beat E18.


Well, too much of a writing. I hope you keep up the good work.


See ya~

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Well done! You get a whole new appreciation for your Pokemon doing runs like these.


I've done runs only using Eeveelutions and a 6 Random Mons team (Lopunny, Gengar, Poliwrath, Lycanroc, Lycanroc and Rotom-NoForm)


Some of these have become favourites because of those runs. And have no doubt been the most enjoyable playthroughs I've done!


Who was your MVP? Have you, like me, gotten a new-found appreciation for some of your Mons used?

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I'm tired and I haven't read all but it seems like you had a fun journey

I've never played through Reborn (or any game) with more than 6 pokemon because I would feel very guilty to abandon them in a box for the rest of the playthrough. If you can spam yawn you win. If you lay toxic spikes you also win. I've once found a shiny Beedrill and it proved itself extremely useful and beautiful.

Now I would go back to sleep like a Jirachi but sadly I can't even sleep

Goodbye and good luck for your playthroughs!

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