#RibbonQuest2.0 - Part 3: Master Ball Rank or Bust
It’s kind of poetic, in a way. My very first meeting with Jin, and the beginning of our travels together, was commemorated with the chucking of a Master Ball - a guaranteed capture. It’s a one-of-a-kind ball typically reserved only for one-of-a-kind Pokemon (like Jin). When it comes to capturing Pokemon, the Master Ball stands above the rest as the symbol of infallibility, the promise of success overcoming any and all odds.
Well, we’re gonna need to channel that spirit in our latest challenge, because our success is anything but guaranteed: we have to take on the Master Ball rank in online rated battles for Pokemon Sword and Shield! Among our countless trials and triumphs spanning generations, Jin and I have never actually battled online against other real players. The World Ability Ribbon back in Platinum would’ve been our first foray, but the DS Wi-Fi connection had long been shut down in the time before our quest began.
Keeping with the theme of RibbonQuest2.0, this comes as an unexpected surprise. Jin, like all transfer Pokemon, is ineligible for rated battles; the standardized rules only permit Pokemon born and raised in the gen 8 games. Back when our time in Galar first started, I had never even planned on mentioning the Master Rank Ribbon, simply because we weren’t allowed to try and earn it!
But all of that changed with the release of the Isle of Armor DLC and patch version 1.2. By accepting the reset of your Pokemon’s move pool to only moves compliant with its gen 8 iteration, you’re allowed to mark your transfer Pokemon eligible for rated battles online! The icing on the cake is that Jin’s XD-exclusive purification move, Baton Pass (which I bent over backwards to keep even through all the Pokemon Contests), is now a TR which Farfetch’d can learn anytime. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.
It’s like getting your hand stamped at a concert, but with a side of forced amnesia.
With that, preparations were complete. There was nothing left to do but hop to it and get battling! The Master Ball Rank doesn’t earn itself, and if I’ve learned anything from our past, I think that means we’re going to need some help...
However, in the interest of cutting down on superfluous Ribbon Gang members like (sorry to single you out) Speedrun the Talonflame, I’ll only be honoring the final 5 actual contenders accompanying Jin when the ribbon is earned. Numerous grueling battles will be fought on the path to Master Ball tier and those stories will be lost to time, for only the best of the best deserve to call themselves part of Ribbon Gang 2.0.
I got boxfuls of second-stringers here, for real.
When first beginning in earnest with the July season, I mainly played Double battles, my preferred format for fun. I had a couple different teams, but never climbed any higher than Great Ball. Some teams of note included:
self-proc Weakness Policy Stamina Mudsdale with Skill Link support and Psych Up Stored Power follow up
Entrainment Plus Dedenne alongside Special Attackers with spread moves (coined the “fuck redirects” team)
a strange combo Sandstorm and Round team that was kind of an excuse to see if Refrigerate Aurorus could amount to anything
I was too committed to gimmicks, and at this time still hoped to reach the necessary heights using something built for fun at its core. I convinced myself that whenever I got around to really trying, it’d come together easily enough. In the past I’d do anything and everything to increase my chances of success, and I needed to return to this mentality moving forward.
After burn out from facing VGC competitive teams, several months of distraction with other games, and the arrival of 2021, I changed gears to test out Singles beginning in March. Despite having essentially zero experience with the format, I drafted two main teams during my Singles stint:
a Focus Energy Baton Pass team designed so every other Pokemon is then guaranteed crits with every attack
a Shedinja team with Pokemon like Ditto and Zoroark designed to help determine whether Shedinja can survive the opponents
Still sounds gimmicky, I know. I can’t help it. But a funny thing happened as I continued to chip away at this challenge: the Focus Pass crit team actually kind of... worked. Once you’re critting every attack, you start to notice just how many game mechanics critical hits outright invalidate. Intimidate? Your negative offensive stages are ignored. Bulk stacking opponents? Their positive defensive stages are ignored. Grimmsnarl and Lapras walling you out? Screens don’t apply against crits (although a Shell Armor Lapras did shut me down quite handily once). Honestly, the boosted damage almost feels like an afterthought.
Every team I played required considerable reworking as I’d progress, honing in on specific threats often encountered and dropping low-participation Pokemon who weren’t pulling their weight. There was even a rule set which allowed the use of extremely powerful Legendary Pokemon for a time (a very bad time). But all digression aside, allow me to introduce the team that would eventually carry me higher than ever, swiftly through Ultra Ball tier and directly into Master Ball. They are the new and final members of Ribbon Gang 2.0.
The ones on the left, I mean. This box is just more second-stringers.
First is Gepigop the Togekiss, sporting Super Luck as a core member of the original crit team. Spamming STAB Life Orb boosted Max Airstream is the Singles meta, after all. And he’s from my Y version, same as Speedrun!
Second is PkmnConquest the Kartana, probably the most consistent and useful member I picked up along the way. Give it a Scope Lens and it’ll BEAST BOOST its way to easy sweeps - just pray your opponent isn’t hiding any Fire types in the back...
It goes it goes it goes it goes it goes it goes it goes it goes Guillotine... the Weavile at number three. YUH. She was included as a direct response to the unending hordes of Cinderace and Zapdos I faced. Focus Sash and Counter helped her turn around so many unfavorable matchups, I can’t recommend it enough!
Bringing up fourth is 8008 8008 the Rhyperior. Need an idea of how broken Dynamax Zapdos’ bulk is? Rhyperior is the only Pokemon I found who can one shot it from full HP without needing to Dynamax in return... and even then, only using Rock Wrecker. Seriously.
In our final slot is AZKi the Espeon, because Hololive kept me company through many of my battle sessions, lol. After one too many Focus Passes were blocked by Taunt, I put an end to it with Magic Bounce. You remember that scene in The Incredibles where Syndrome’s robots were revised as they faced off against more and more heroes? She’s basically that.
By the time I was barely breaking into Ultra Ball tier, I found much greater success if I didn’t try to force the crit gimmick every time, but still had it if I wanted it on AZKi, the fourth in the succession of Focus Passers. Yes, after months spent honing my skills in battle, I finally learned that just bringing three Pokemon that can beat your opponent’s is the simplest way to a win. Incredible, I know. And win we did!
The final needed victory in Master Ball tier was secured by PkmnConquest, Guillotine, and 8008 8008, a trio I found myself locking in very frequently.
It’s... it’s beautiful.
With this Master Ball ribbon attached to my Master Ball Farfetch’d, we’ve finally brought our lengthy Galarian story to its conclusion. Having managed to snag this online-exclusive ribbon before these games lost popularity or network support, Jin is once again a tried and true Ribbon Master, and I’ve no unfinished business to worry about any longer.
Until it is time to take up your sword once more,
Rest easy, Jin.
POKEMON SWSH: COMPLETE!
i loved how flabebe used go's head as a flower and steered him around, because it seemed like a throwback to when a flabebe thought bonnie was a flower, and i LOVE PARALLELS
plus, grookey messing goh's hair was hilarious lol
buuut i wish that goh and flabebe had real bonding before it's release, because there would've been more meaning. plus, grookey can make flowers grow, right? and it even helped bellsprout, if i recall right.
Stimboard for me and my bf :] @cricketkultur lov u lov u lov u mmmwah <33
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My side of the art trade for @inukkiarts :3
It’s her new PMD in Rival gates, Team Seasweed.
Looks like Rainey is cheering up Mactha.
I hope you like it, Crissy.
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The VGC Meme Team that wasn’t
In my local Pokemon VGC scene, there is pretty much one tournament a month. It’s pretty sleepy. To keep the relatively limited population going, every other tournament is a new meme format, in which we compete to see who’s the master of a competitive style that no-one ever plays. Past tournaments have included Monotype and Battle Factory/Rental, neither of which went well for me, and the latest one somehow went worse.
Because I didn’t get to go. Because I designed this whole-ass team, but I was up til 2am working last night and so couldn’t get up early enough to show up, and also because uni stuff.
Considering the time and energy I spent on this meme dreme teme, I figure I might as well get some content out of it. So anyway, the format was Not Fully Evolved (NFE) doubles, with the only ban being the Eviolite item (since it makes most things just way too bulky). You were bound to get a bunch of underappreciated mons out of that, and that’s exactly what I was doing.
The idea for the team was kinda based on something I’d been meaning to try out in regular VGC for a while. It should get relatively obvious once I reveal the first ‘mon.
(Nickname: 5 Irons in a U is how you make a Minecart in Minecraft.)
Coalossal is a Pokemon you see relatively uncommonly in VGC, usually through it’s main gimmicks- Steam Engine, and G-Max Volcalith. The former I get to use with the pre-evolution, Carkol- whenever it’s hit by a Water or Fire move, you get your speed quadrupled, so if you set up right you don’t need to worry about investing in speed, even on a slow mon. That left spare EVs for Defense, so I could get that Body Press going, letting this bad boy protecc and also atacc simultaneously. I don’t get Volcalith, so for the extra kick (and for a little spice) I decided to go with Power Herb/Meteor Beam. Now, typically the pick with Coalossal is Weakness Policy, since you’re targeting it with a weak Water move usually so you can pop that and Steam Engine in the same turn. And therein lies the difference, because I’m not hitting it with a Water move.
(Nickname: Magmar’s Japanese name is ブーバー which translates to Boober. Yup.)
I think everyone just forgot Fire Plume exists, which is a shame, because it’s a genuinely amazing move on the right setup. Hits both opponents (and your ally) with a 30% to burn? Sign me the fuck up, and with Carkol as a partner, you don’t need to worry about burning it. I guess part of why you don’t seem much Lava Plume is because not that many things get it- the Magmar line, Flareon, Torkoal, and a few legendaries- and most of them are either bad or have better things to do. But the thing is, in NFE, Magmar gets a nice advantage, as being an NFE Pokemon that used to be a fully evolved, single stage mon- so it’s overall stats are much more impressive than most of the competition. I…put AV on this because… I don’t remember? I just like Assault Vest, I guess. But at this point it was like, hey, two Fires, this could be the start to a great Sun team, and you know who else likes Sun and is also a former single stage?
(Nickname: Tagliatelle is a noodle-like pasta, and has like half of Tangela’s name in it)
That’s right its everyone’s favoured shoe’d noodle boy, Tangela. This thing hits like a truck (relatively), and Chlorophyll means its doing that much quicker than you’d estimate. Life Orb for that extra bit of kick, and some coverage moves because…frankly it’s moveset is Not Good. The only other coverage it can get out of Special Attack is Confusion, which…No? I guess I could use Knock Off, but it doesn’t seem great. Tangela is also super bulky- most of the things on this team ended up physically bulky, to be honest, which might have been a mistake, but eh.
I had half of a Sun Team, but no setter. And it turns out, there really were not a lot of options for setting Sunny Day in this format. The only Drought user was Vulpix, but I really didn’t want to be running triple Fires. That only really leaves Prankster users (or just really fast things, but that didn’t occur to me at the time), of which again, there aren’t many good ones. Cottonee would have been OK, but redundant as far as weaknesses, and Morgrem doesn’t even get Sunny Day. That only left two options, and one of them had better support options than the other, sooooo
(Nickname: get back on two legs you dumbass cat, you’re doing it right in the official art why cant you do it in the model)
I have such a love-hate relationship with this cat. On the one hand, it sucks and I had to deal with this line in the Factory, but on the other hand I took it to the E4 in a White Nuzlocke last year and really enjoyed it. On the other other hand, they fucking ruined its design in the transition to 3D by making it bipedal, on the other other other hand it’s the best option I had in my opinion. Prankster Sunny Day, along with a pile of useful priority support moves in a format with basically no Psychic Terrain couldn’t get passed up.
The rest of the team was just kinda 2 good mons. Like, I couldn’t really think of anything specific to fill the Sun Team holes, so I found two good things that filled offensive/defensive niches, and went with them. So first up it was…
(Nickname: man y’all remember arms for the Nintendo switch did anyone even buy it lmao)
I had my eye on all the Pseudo-Legendary middle forms, and bulky Metang is what I went with. Clear Body is a great ability, it gets really chunky moves, and it’s thicc enough. It’s nice to have a Steel around. Brick Break was a later addition- I realised that a bunch of this format’s direst threats- Porygon2, Type:Null, Sneasel, Magneton- were all weak to Fighting, so I slotted some coverage for that on the team. Speaking of Brick Break, our final team member also has it.
(Nickname: yknow, like the discord emote.)
Scyther is actually kind of a really good mon anyway? Like Technician Banded Dual Wingbeat breaks through just about anything, and it’s also really quick. U-Turn means if I lead it and it turns out it’s not a good matchup it can just chunk something on the way out, and it…unfortunately doesn’t really get anything else to abuse Technician with. Like, Thief, I guess? Double Hit? Yeah so the rest of the kit is just coverage for scenarios where I can’t just Wingbeat to victory.
And that’s the lot of them. Unfortunately I have no idea what the field at this tourney looked like, so I don’t know how well it could stack up. Since this isn’t a real format, I also never got to actually playtest the squad, so uhhhh…who knows? Knowing my luck I’d probably just get my ass kicked by Porygon2 or something but I would have enjoyed doing it.
Holy moly. Forgot to post this. I‘m so sleepy lately. Stupid early shifts xD
My part of an art trade with @tailsluigi
Big Kid Cat with Raymond and his Pokesona TL, giving a high five.
Not accepting further ATs until my next vacation in July. :)
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Pokemon Stadium 2 2 GYM AZALEA
|| OPEN || Requirements : none, other than talking about ( rare ) Pokémon encounters, maybe??
⟡ ═══ ♛ ═══ ⟡ “-and this is a selfie I made, where you can see Tapu Lele in the background… I also got some with the other ones, and their data on my dex,” she shows off. “I didn’t try to catch them, though. I mean… What would happen to Alola if I took off with their guardians, you know…?” Assuming the people would let her leave with them, to begin with.
˙ But what if it would result in disasters upon the islands? She’d feel horrible. It’s not something she wanted to risk, just to gain a Pokémon during her vacation.
Lookit these cuties.
Hey guys! I am streaming today on twitch !
Join me for Pokemon Snap!
i had this dream this morning that DSMP was a pokemon game and it was the most chaotic sh ive ever seen
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My side of art trade with @ask-nayden / @ask-niel-and-pals :3
Two love birds eatting a Sandwich during thier pinici time. ^^
You always hear the question, why is ash ketchum still ten?
Many other shows have a floating timeline where characters dont age.
But those shows usually take place in set locations where continuity is lacking.
But in pokemon the cast travels around and old characters return often times with stronger teams and new pokemon. For those characters to have developed of screen time must have past. But the ages of these character never change.
Pokémon's floating timeline does not really work because the series does not have a stationary location.
Desafio 30 dias de pokemon
Dia 2 , pokemon aquático
Admito que por muito tempo torchic e evoluções foram meu Inicial favorito da 3 gen, porém já tem alguns anos que swampert ganhou meu coração, pois ele é um pokemon de água sem a maior fraqueza de um pokemon aquático, já que ele é tipo solo também ele não é afetado por ataques elétricos 😀
027 - ARMONAKE
Armor Snake Pokemon
TYPE: FIRE / POISON
Male: 50%; Female: 50%
Ability : Snake evil (The attacks that cause poisoning or burn that this pokemon uses, do twice as much damage to the opponent)
It is the evolved form of Lotnake. Their fangs have one of the deadliest poisons in the pokemon world. Its tail emits a purple light, which symbolizes danger to all desert travelers. The plaques on their neck are extremely hard and resistant, and are used to hypnotize potential prey to look at them at first sight.
GREADNAKE < Leven 16 < LOTNAKE < Leven 32 < ARMONAKE
SP. ATK: 110
SP. DEF: 70
Daily dose of art from me this little cutie belongs to Derpy197 on all platforms they have 💙
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