Here we go again: Pokemon Gen 8

well I defeated the champion (with Cinderace, Runerigus, Toxtricity, Rapidash, Grapploct, Frosmoth) so here goes overall thoughts I guess?

I like it a lot. Definitely not my favourite pokémon game but, I love pokémon it is what I wanted (i.e. more pokémon)

  • Raihan’s gym is the only remotely interesting one, and by being so makes the previous seven even worse by comparison (I am begging for gyms with more specific/interesting themes than ‘I’ve got a bunch of water pokémon just use thundershock over and over’)
  • the story is incredibly Whatever it’s super phoned in, who cares
  • I didn’t care about the lack of dungeons (I was thinking like tedious Rock Tunnel stuff) until Rose Tower, where you just go up a lift and fight a few people? Then I’m, oh like Silph Co and the Radio Tower were dungeons too. dang. yeah they should bring those back.
  • Hop is Fine. He is like a phoned in Hau I guess. But it’s whatever, I couldn’t even tell you who my rival(s?) in X/Y were.

My main takeaway is, for the first time in ??? I’m actually super enjoying going out and just catching a bunch of pokémon?
I love the pokédex saying ‘hey you should go here and catch these’, giving a little direction so I don’t have to scroll through and go ‘okay I don’t have THIS it’s found HERE and HERE…’
I also love! Fully evolved pokémon just hanging out in the wild! I don’t have to sit here and level up pokémon after pokémon after pokémon to Catch Em All, I can just go out and find and catch a Flygon and a Coalossal and etc
Also evolution stones seem way more common than they have been in the past? which rules!
(Re those last two points, I love the standing stone circle in the wild area that has evolution stones round it - and that this is where wild eeveelutions are found. VERY cute.)

I might go catch 400 pokémon! Why not! Hell yeah!

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I got one through Surprise Trade last night and then had to explain to my partner why I made such a loud screeching sound.

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Dreepy seem pretty common through surprise trade. Definitely worth breeding rare stuff like starters or version exclusives to do some, if you can.

I’m fourteen pokemon away from completing my pokedex. It is frustratingly close, now. All my friends with Sword are going much slower than I did (which is entirely fair, I tore through it in days).

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Alright, I put up a farfetch’d on surprise trade. I’m crossing my fingers!

I could breed an adamant Dreepy right now for trade if need be.
I need to get a non-north american ditto for shiny breeding

I finished catching all the shield exclusives on Monday and would be happy to trade them to folks tonight. I still need all the sword exclusives.

I’ve been using Pumpkaboos for Surprise Trade since I learned that it only evolves into Gourgheist via trading. And then I caught a Gourgheist just wandering around in the Wild Area.

Getting “foreign” pokemon via Surprise Trade is pretty neat, though. I like to keep those even when they’re like Skwovets or whatever.

I’ve been hunting for Gigantamax Pokémon for the past few days, and it’s hell. I found a Snorlax yesterday, and blew my Heavy Ball on it, but it didn’t take. I really hate how Gigantamax is handled.

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The official rules for the VGC2020 season was just announced
https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-news/2020-pokemon-video-game-championships-vgc-format-rules/

The main takeaway is that Gigantamax will be allowed, but ONLY specific ones, starting with the ones that are currently easier to obtain in-game (Butterfree, Drednaw, Corviknight, Snorlax (this one was just released yesterday), etc.).

GMax Snorlax is probably going to become public enemy number one. Snorlax innately has massive HP, so is particularly well-suited to Dynamax. Its unique move allows it to replenish berries that it has eaten, which synergises well with its hidden ability, gluttony, which lets it eat berries at half HP instead of 1/4 HP.

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Update: I’ve caught me two Gigantamax Snorlaxes (I named them Sneakers and Hi-Tops), and one Gigantamax Butterfree (Mimi). That takes care of the event ones, so now I can just hunt for the rest at my own leisure.

For anyone else looking to catch raid Pokémon: Dusk Balls are better than Ultra Balls for raids. Ultra Balls only have a catch rate of 2, while Dusk Balls always have a catch rate of 3.5 in raids because they count as being in caves. If you don’t like how Dusk Balls look, Net Balls (Bug- and Water-type) and Repeat Balls (Pokémon you’ve already caught) have the same catch rate when their conditions are met.

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I finished the Galar Beginnings competition with 27 wins and 18 losses, with a final rating of 1613.

I overall really enjoyed it and many of the matches were quite close. I had a big glaring weakness to electric type going in (3 flying type pokemon on my team, including Gyarados who has the dreaded 4x weakness), but I did much better than I expected. I had ways to deal with Rotom, but the real killers were special-oriented Dragapults and Tyranitars with thunderbolt, and Hawlucha with thunderpunch. There were definitely a lot of similar Pokemon and teams showing up across the 45 matches I played, primarily featuring Tyranitar, Dragapult, Corviknight, Mimikyu, Excadrill, Rotom, and a large number of Hydreigon, Ferrothorn, Galarian Corsola, Togekiss, Darmanitan and some others.

I was surprised not to see many Dracovish at all, after the competitive discourse has been hyping it up for a couple of weeks now. Cinderace was a surprise threat the few times I encountered it. It was nice to see several Pokemon with the “Galar Champion” title, highlighting the tools available to turn your existing Pokemon into a competitive powerhouse using hypertraining, mints, ability capsules, and passing of egg moves. My own Machamp was the one I used to beat the championship.

Speaking of Machamp, I was pleased to be able to do so well with it. It’s no slouch at all, but it’s been underrated for some time, with many preferring Hawlucha, Conkeldurr, or Lucario as the fighting type on their team. Machamp’s evolutionary line has been my favourite Pokemon for over 20 years, so I’ve always used it over other fighting types (I used both Machamp and Lucario together in the X/Y years). Machamp can be used as an offensive utility Pokemon, where its primary role is to remove items from the enemy team with knock off (and put serious hurt on Dragapult in the meantime), and has access to a confusion move that just happens to be able to OHKO Tyranitar, Ferrothorn, and Excadrill. Bullet punch is a useful priority move that can check a weakened Darmanitan or Mimikyu, and stone edge puts holes in flying Pokemon that threaten Machamp, while the high critical hit chance helps break through defensive boosts.

I appreciated seeing a few unusual Pokemon here and there like Butterfree, Falinks, or Quagsire, and a special shout out to the Vanilluxe that obliterated my no guard Machamp with sheer cold. I think there’s a place for more Pokemon than people give credit for. Don’t feel pressured to run with a highly meta team. As long as you check your weaknesses and counters (make sure you don’t have 3 Pokemon weak to electric type on your team), you can make a lot of Pokemon work!

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Congratulations on the wins and thanks for the detailed and cool write-up. Quick question for prep: did you IV breed your team and everything? You mention your Machamp being the one you used in the story but was the rest of your team trained up for competitive play? If the current meta is forgiving in that regard (meaning you don’t need “perfect” pokemon) that seems awesome!

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Nice work. Any further thoughts on how you would construct a team moving forward?

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The main change I would make is to replace Gyarados with Gastrodon or Quagsire (I prefer Quagsire, but Gastrodon admittedly has the better stats and moveset…we’ll see), which negates my electric weakness and is also a good counter to Dracovish. Grass type attacks are extremely rare so I’m not worried about that. I also had an Orbeetle on my team that basically didn’t get used at all, but I initially had that on my team when I was building for doubles, so I’m gonna see how it performs there before deciding if I need to swap that out.

To answer Alveric’s question, besides Machamp, I bred for togekiss, dragapult and orbeetle. Corviknight and Gyarados were simply Pokemon I caught from max raid battles, which come with a number of perfect IVs already (depends on the raid’s star rating) and has a high dynamax level to start with. The Togetic and Orbeetle, along with the ditto I used to breed with, were also from max raid battles, but had fewer of perfect IVs. I received a dreepy with 3 perfect IVs from a surprise trade to breed with.

I used a combination of vitamins, pokejobs (hammerlocke university EV training), and old fashioned wild pokemon battling while holding the right EV-gain power items to get the required EVs.

I think Dracovish is much less potent in doubles. Fake Out and Protect are much more common, switching is much less common, and you can instantly setup Swift Swim and Sand Rush users who’ll be faster than it even with a Scarf. Its Outrage is also much less useful in doubles, so you have to rely on Dragon Rush’s shaky accuracy or hope it hits the target you want.