21 September 2010

Pokemon Battling Guide By VGAL

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Have you ever wanted to be the best? Like no one ever was? Me too, and I was, at least one time when I won a tournament at a local Gamestop. It was back when Diamond and Pearl were released, so you can assume any information I provide you with is relatively up to date.

Below I've provided a list of my most top secret, ultra-useful tips for winning at Pokemon. Believe me, my victory over a group of elementary school kids ought to serve as a testament to the validity of my list. Without further delay, here is how to dominate the competition:

1. Legendary Pokemon do not guarantee you victory. In fact, if you use a legendary Pokemon, chances are high that you are just looking for the quick and easy victory. In Pokemon, there is no quick and easy victory. Victory comes only to those who are willing to endure long, grueling preparation and training. Basically, if you go out and catch a legendary Pokemon, you've forfeited your opportunity to custom engineer a weapon of Poke-destruction.

2. Maximize your Pokemon's level. This ought to be self-explanatory, but it is the sad truth that if a Pokemon has even a ten level advantage over another Pokemon then the higher leveled monster will likely win. Just sayin'.

3. Now things get interesting. Tip three is DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, PUT WURMPLE ON YOUR TEAM. This will assuredly lead to misery and a dropped ice cream cone. What I'm saying is, if a Pokemon is not in its final evolutional form, just give up. Take whatever Poke-Balls you have and just put them back in Professor Birch's backpack where you found them.

4. Remember what I said about training? Here's where that becomes important. You need to EV train all your Pokemon. In general, this means maximizing two of your Pokemon's stats by repeatedly fighting a Pokemon that will give EV's to a particular stat. Other guides exist which explain the process. The benefit of putting EVs into only a select few stats is that they accentuate a Pokemon's specialty. Infernape's naturally high speed and attack mean that you should put EV's into those stats and deem him your sweeper. Defensive Pokemon like Blissey are walls. Actually, a more appropriate term for Blissey would be a sponge due to its ability to practically absorb damage.

5. All of my tips so far haven't even been battle-related. Hopefully now you are learning that most amateur battles are won before the match even starts. Here's a real honest to goodness battle tip. Predict your opponent's move. This is the essence of Pokemon battling. If you have Rhyperior and your opponent has Infernape, you can predict that your opponent will use a Ground or Fighting move to take care of your slow guy in a hurry. The real magic comes in if your opponent knows that you know that. Then, you might consider NOT switching out your Rhyperior to take advantage of a free attack if your opponent tries to catch you off guard by not using a move to take care of your Rhyperior.

6. Know your items, and which Pokemon are likely to hold which items. A common setup is to have a Focus Sash on a baton passing Pokemon like Ninjask. This setup basically ensures that the Pokemon can create a scenario where stat boosts can be passed on to another Pokemon without fail. A masterful Ninjask user will consider NOT using a stat boosting move and instead attacking to really throw his or her opponent for a loop.

7. Create unique and unpredictable beasts. An Infernape can be a physical or special sweeper. What makes Infernape so good is that he can be formidable as either kind of attacker, so your opponent is really at your whim until you unleash your first physical or special move.

8. Create a diverse team. This goes for Pokemon's types as well as specialties. You want a good blend of sweeping, walling and support. You also want good coverage. Basically, think about your situation. You have Infernape against a bad match up like Staraptor. You can anticipate bad match ups like this and include Bronzong in your arsenal. Bronzong can pretty much take whatever Staraptor can throw, so you know you're going to be alright.

9. Pokemon abilities are worth taking advantage of. For example, Electivire has an ability which speeds it up if it gets hit with an electric type move. You would be surprised how easy it is to activate this when you opponent does not know you have an Electivire on your team and you can predict that your opponent will toss out an electric attack. You can build Electivire around this scenario and not EV train him as much in speed and instead put those values into attack and special attack. That way, your speed boosted Electivire can serve as a truly dual threat. You might also consider including Ninjask on your team to boost Electivire's speed knowing that he just won't be as fast as other sweepers.

10. My final tip is to not take Pokemon battling seriously. Unfortunately, this is difficult because you can spend an incredible amount of time customizing a team and studying Pokemon match ups and still not win. If I were the developer of the game, I would make the game more geared towards experimenting with Pokemon move sets and abilities rather than having to take the time to breed and level up your beasts. Until the developers realize this dilemma, (which may be never, considering they probably won't change their formula as long as they are making money, which is currently the case) you should remain unattached to becoming the very best there ever was. Also, make the developers aware of the problems with the game. I would really challenge the review scores which give the game high marks when really the "game" aspect of Pokemon should not receive anything higher than mediocre marks.

There you have it. I hope you have found my battling guide useful, and along the way gained an understanding of the love-hate relationship I currently have with Pokemon. With a little constructive journalism, my hope is that we can convince those stingy guys at Game Freak to make changes which reflect the views of the people who truly enjoy their product.

Matt Remmele is an avid video game player and author who specializes in examining JRPGs and other games whose development originates in Japan. Games in the Final Fantasy and Pokemon series are just a few examples of games which Matt spends many, many hours playing and writing about. To read related articles, please visit Matt's website Video Games Are Life.

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