Thursday, 11 December 2014

ORAS tips - updated

Hey Fools! This is just a small tip guide I put together for playing ORAS. You might already be Champion and conquering EV training and completed your dex and so on, but maybe you pick up a thing or two.

Berries

I found myself using quite a large amount of berries for in-game healing and pokeblocks for contests, so I think it's worth knowing where the best berry growing spots are. In ORAS you can actually fly straight to specific routes and locations (like Mount Pyre or Santalune Forest). Route 112 has a few berry spots which are immediately accessible if you fly to it which makes it convenient to pick, grow and repeat. Route 123 has the best berry growing area though.




There are 4 berry gardens like this located around the Berry Master's house which allows you to have at least 20 different berry trees growing at a time! Speaking of the Berry Master, he'll give you two random berries a day so it's worth speaking to him until you have them all. 









Hatching

This time round we have two Daycare Centres which means twice as much breeding! The first one you'll encounter is on Route 117 and the second is on the Battle Resort island. The resort daycare is one you really want because the surrounding area allows you to cycle around and around while you wait for eggs to hatch.




As you exit the Pokemon Centre or Daycare, cycle right to this point and then press up. You can hold it in or stick a coin/paper clip under the circle pad to allow the game to continue cycling. Note that every time an egg hatches you will have to go to one of the corners to restart the cycling process.








DexNav 

You are almost immediately introduced to the DexNav once you start the game and tonnes has been said about it. Serebii has an in-depth page about it, but I'd just like to highlight some of it's features to make sure you don't miss anything.

Once you've seen a certain Pokemon enough you'll start to find them holding specific items such as Lucky Eggs on Pelipper or Absol with Life Orbs and certain egg moves like Boomburst or Brave Bird on Taillow as well hidden abilities. I wasn't sure about this, but I have personally caught both Adaptability Skrelp and Toxic Boost Zangoose after making use of the DexNav and chaining. To form a chain you just have to search for the desired Pokemon with the DexNav and then proceed to catch or KO it. This will almost guarantee that you will find the Pokemon when you use the search function (there are a few slight exceptions which is why I say almost.)


EV training

You'd probably be better off bookmarking links for EV training because you'll probably refer to them quite often once you start breeding and training competitive Pokemon. One thing I can mention is that using Sweet Scent or Honey in sand or rain will still trigger a horde encounter. Another nice thing is that there are only one or two hordes in some areas which means you'll be guaranteed to only encounter the horde you're specifically looking for.


Getting both Bikes

Okay so I won't actually go into depth about this, but I will link you to the video that I followed to get both the Acro and Mach Bicycles. Essentially you have to speak to three different people who will all comment on how you used the bicycles to get to certain places. Then when you go back to the store the owner will say you've done such a good job advertising for him that he'll give you the other one (usually you already have one of the bikes.) Enjoy having access to both, here's the link!

I know it is a bit short, but I'll update the article as I come across any other interesting tips or quirks to the game. Hope this helps and let us know if you have any hacks or tips of your own you'd like to share.

-Stephen

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Tournament report

Hey Fools! It has been the longest time since I've last updated. That's mainly due to my degree's requirements. However, I am proud to say that I am now a qualified accountant and I have made it into the Honours programme so I can become a chartered accountant! Really exciting stuff :D

So onto the tournament. It took place a while back, but I only really found the energy to do this write-up now. The Pretoria Pokémon League hosted the tournament and the prize for 1st place was an eShop game download. Steve and I managed to place 2nd and 1st respectively. How's that for representing?!

I should have used an exciting team that had some funny twists and turns up its sleeve, but since I only finished my Tax exam the afternoon before the tourney, I didn't really have time to sit around and get a brand new team together.

The team I defaulted to was this one:




It's a solid team, but one that I definitely posted before, so I'll just link the deets about it here

My first match was against Ray. He had apparently played in the PFG tournament, so I kept my wits about me.

All his Ghost Pokémon were nicknamed after the Pac-Man ghosts and he used four Ghosts on his team. Somehow, and I'm not surprised this happened, his Cofagrigus passed the team check. We really need to up our game with these team/hack checks :-/

He played really well, but since his team was basically mono-type, I was able to grab 2 quick matches against him. Ray is a great guy and I look forward to battling him in future.

My second match was against Aeron. He goes to the same high school I attended, so I always enjoy playing against him, as there's always conversation to be made.

Aeron had a great team, consisting of Mega Venusaur, Mamoswine, and some other great power houses. Our second match was the closest match of the tourney, and it basically came down to my 15 HP Mawile being able to Sucker Punch his Mega Venusaur for the KO. I certainly hope Aeron focuses on VGC, since he has a load of potential!

My third match was against none other than SteveBaPanda himself! He used Scar's Worlds team, but really knew how to play it well. I had a load of fun playing against Stevey, but when he made a misplay I was able to clean up game two and take the series.

My last match of the tournament was against Giovanni (the prodigal Team Rocket leader :O ).
He used a Greninja and Charizard X in his team, two of my favourite Pokémon, so I was excited to play against him. That and I was one win away from a free game!

He had great difficulty combatting my Rain lead, and they were pretty much able to clean up both  games rather quickly. Giovanni is a cool guy and talking smack with him was loads of fun.

All in all, a rather fun tournament and getting my hands on Smash Bros. was a great way to start my holiday. I've been playing all holiday so far, and I love playing as Diddy Kong, Jigglypuff, R.O.B and Villager. Sorry for the really boring post :(. I haven't got any notes or battle vids to show off.

Hope you all have a cracer of a holiday and enjoy playing ORAS!

-Jayhonas


Friday, 5 December 2014

Lessons Learned

A few weekends ago I had the privilege and joy of attending two Pokemon events - one VGC and the other TCG. I won't go into tonnes of details, because I instead want to specifically highlight some things I took notice of/learnt.

The Friday evening was spent jamming VGC in the company of Jayhonas, DalesHand, Snorlaxeon, Bianca and some other Pretoria league players. We had a small 4 round tourney with the normal 2014 VGC season rules.

I went 3-1 and ended second. My night included a tight series against Nimenshi, a really fun battle against DalesHand and a loss against the overall winner Jayhonas, but the crux of my article will be from my third round loss.

The team I used was Tyranitar, Garchomp, Mega Mawile, Zapdos, Gardevoir and Gengar. Everyone assumed this was a pretty bland team, but oh were they surprised. (Sorry Dale. Lol) For example, my Gengar ran Trick Room which allowed my Ttar and Mawile to really do damage, but one of the greatest trump cards was the fact that my Garchomp was running both Fire Blast and Draco Meteor. In truth I did pretty much just copy the team Scar took to World's so please have a look at the NB article here for any more info as well as how he fared with it.


Pretty much how it feels to use DM or FB Garchomp :')

Back to my third round match against Jayhonas. He used Zapdos, Mega Mawile, Ludicolo, Politoed, Talonflame and something.

Anyway, I lost the first game without revealing Fire Blast on my Ttar or Garchomp. The second game I opened with Gengar and Tyranitar against his Mawile and Ludicolo. I let Gengar setup Trick Room and used Rock Slide expecting his Mawile to Protect and then I could keep Fire Blast hidden. His Mawile did indeed Protect and he switched Ludicolo out for Politoed. 

My next turn was where I completely messed up. I either did some random attack with Gengar (Shadow Ball or Will-o-wisp) and then instead of using Fire Blast as I had planned I used Fling to try and get some damage out on his Politoed! Ttar was consequently KOed by Play Rough and my Gengar was pretty much just trolling around due to TR being up. The came eventually came down to my Mega Mawile using Sucker Punch to deal about 50% to his Talonflame used Flare Blitz to knock my Mawile out and then itself out due to the recoil damage, but the win still went to Gavin.

I understand that with the rain being up that Fire Blast would have done less damage, but as far as I remember that if I had gotten more damage on his Mega Mawile earlier it would have swung the match more in my favour. I believe I had made the right move choice and then somehow deviated from that and an inferior choice.

The next lesson I want to point out came from another event I attended on Saturday. This was a TCG tournament hosted by Outer Limits in Pretoria and once again we had 4 rounds, Here I also went 3-1 and ended third. I pretty much just threw together a Steel deck at the venue itself because I really wasn't sure if I was actually going to attend and I didn't have the cards myself.


Deck building at its finest
The pokemon lines I used were 4-4 Bronzong, 2 Dialga EX, 2 Cobalion EX, 1 Skarmory EX, 1 Aegislash EX, 1 Mewtwo EX, 1 Keldeo EX and 1 Cobalion NVI. The pokemon counts are a bit messed up because I literally threw everything together on the spot. I also only had 2 Switch, 1 Lysandre and 0 Muscle Bands to make use of which did affect the way the deck worked. The absence of Muscle Bands hurt the deck quite a bit because I was unable to get any OHKOs on any EX's. Dialga's hits for 150 and without Muscle Bands or any way to snipe I would constantly be short.

On to the lesson I learned on the day. In my third match of the day I faced Sheldon who was playing Darkrai/Yveltal/Hydreigon. We were pretty close in terms of prize cards and then we came to those last final make-or-break turns. Sheldon stacked a lot of energy onto a Yveltal to KO my Dialga and go to 4 prizes. I believe it was just before he KOd the Dialga that he also played Lysandre's Trump Card because he wanted to stop me from having energy in the discard. 

This actually played in my favour because I had already used all my Swtich, Lysandre, Computer Search, Battle Compressor and now had access to them again. My next turn I was able to get energy into the discard and a tonne of it onto my Mewtwo for the return KO to go to one prize. I got rid of all 4-5 energies that Sheldon had in play but through the two different Hydreigon he was playing he got two onto an Yveltal and used Evil Ball for 140.



At this stage Sheldon had the active Yveltal EX with two energy and a few benched Pokemon which included a Darkrai with 80 or 100 damage on it. I had my active Mewtwo with loads of energy and 140 damage and then some benched stuff which included a Dialga with 90 damage on it. My train of thought at that moment was so focused on KOing the Yveltal for the game that I only concentrated on how much energy I had in the discard, in my deck and if I could Switch my Mewtwo, Metal Link to it and then get it active again. I even had the Computer Search in hand and proceeded to get half of what I needed before having to leave my Mewtwo on the bench. 

Sheldon then promoted his Darkrai, moved three energy onto it, used Lysandre to bring and KO my damaged Dialga along with my damaged Mewtwo to take 4 prizes and win the game.

Even though Sheldon had used Lysandre's Last Resort which granted me the use of all my vital cards I somehow completely missed that part and proceeded down a tunnel of thought that only saw one win condition. If I had just taken a few seconds to observe the game state I could easily have used my Computer Search to grab my Lysandre, bring up his damaged Darkrai and KO it with Mewtwo for the game. I literally had everything in my favour and the game in hand, but really messed it up good.

Both the VGC and TCG demand concentration and there are times when one has a few different options to consider before using a certain attack or playing a specific card. One has to get used to considering options and making decisions quickly and while under pressure. In both cases, I had kept my mind open to the "right"plays like Fire Blasting Gavin's Mawile or having my resources available to me again in the game against Sheldon, but somehow I got a bit swamped in the gravity of the situation and misplayed.

And these things happen, so don't go beating yourself up about it, but do remember to keep a cool head and give yourself the time you need to consider your plays and make the best decision.
-Stephen