Author Archives: Andy

About Andy

I'm a museum science educator with a passion for all things geek and natural science related! Mary and I currently have our own podcast, "Mary and Andy Geek Out," seen here! https://soundcloud.com/user-13309981

Pokemon Sword and Shield’s Amazing Potential to Honor the History of Paleontology

So, Pokemon Sword and Shield have an amazing opportunity that Gamefreak shouldn’t pass up.  And that opportunity is fossils.

As a fossil maniac, I appreciate the many different fossil Pokemon Gamefreak has designed over the years.  Some of them are based on more popular ancient animals, like the T-Rex, and others not as much, like the crinoid and Anomalocaris.  I was very disappointed that Pokemon Sun and Moon didn’t introduce new fossil Pokemon.  But I can begrudgingly accept this as Hawaii isn’t really known for its fossils.  As a string of recent land masses, Hawaii does not have a long biological history.  What fossil are preserved are destroyed as the ocean washes away the oldest islands.

But Galar is different because it’s set in England.  Not only does England have fossils but it represents the beginnings of paleontology and the birthplace of the word “dinosaur.”  Since practically ancient times, humans knew about the existence of fossils but didn’t fully understand what they represented.  They could have been mythological beasts or animals once present in the Garden of Eden.  It wasn’t until the Enlightenment era that scientists, such as anatomist Georges Cuvier, realized that these fossils belonged to animals that were thousands if not millions of years old.  That through gradual change over many, many years, animals come and go and create a succession, of sorts, to the modern era.  Even more astonishingly, some of these animals were unlike anything alive today; they were so wild and out there they deserved their own classification.

Ichthyosaurus.  Image credit: John Sibbick/Science Photo Library

A Plesiosaur

By the early 1800s, English scientists were pushing the field of paleontology from a curious idea to a serious subject.  One notable collector was Mary Anning whose achievements include finding the first Ichthyosaurus (a fish-like reptile), two nearly complete Plesiosaurus (a long-neck swimming reptile), and other fossils such as shells and a Pterosaur.   The Plesiosaurus were especially important as only bits and pieces were found until her discovery.  These additions continued speculation on what these animals are, or were, and how they fit in Earth’s history.

The curious animals became more comprehensive as new specimens came to light.  In 1824, two different fossilized animals were found and described as Megalosaurus and Iguanodon.  These animals, along with the aforementioned Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus, were the inspiration of English scientist Gideon Mantell’s famous paper titled “Age of Reptiles” where he placed these animals in this era and divided it up into three periods which later became known as the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous.  Just a year after this publication Mantell founded and described another ancient reptile which he named Hylaeosaurus in 1832.  However, it wasn’t until 1841 when famed anatomist Sir Richard Owen united Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus into one branch which he named “Dinosauria,” terrible lizard.

This of course is a rather brief review of Paleontology’s early history.  I encourage you to look into as it’s very fascinating.  I like the interpretation of Iguanodon as a lumbering, rhino-like giant iguana, to its modern appearance as a gracile, slender animal with a prominent thumb spike.  There’s also the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs which was possibly one of the first, large-scale interpretations of ancient animals.  The park contains all the previously mentioned animals and more.

Image result for crystal palace dinosaurs dinner

While the park dinosaurs were being built, a New Year’s Eve dinner was held inside the still incomplete Iguanodon specimen which is quite frankly, a great way to start the new year!

But I would like to instead pivot back to the matter at hand.  The fossil Pokemon of Galar.  It would be very remiss of Gamefreak not to include any of these animals as Pokemon Sword and Shield’s fossils.  The way I see it we can go down two, neatly packaged, routes.

The first route is to have fossil Pokemon based on Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus with their respective fossils being Tail and Flipper.  These two animals lived in the same time period in the same habitat so it wouldn’t be surprising to find fossils of them next to each other.  As for typing…well that’s probably the major downside to them.

Rock/Water is the fourth most common dual type combination in Pokemon as of Generation VII.  Both of these Pokemon would solidly be in that category (as a side note, I have very mixed feelings about Fossil Pokemon’s Rock typing so we’re ignoring that for now).  But would our Pokemon have to be Rock/Water?  Sure in Generation I both Kabutops and Omastar were Rock/Water while in Generation III, Armaldo was Rock/Bug and Cradily was Rock/Grass even though their respective animal was definitely aquatic.

With that in mind I would still give the Ichthyosaur Pokemon a Rock/Water typing since it’s just too much like a fish.  It fits it so well!  Yet for our Plesiosaur Pokemon I think we can give it Rock/Dragon without batting an eye.  Just like Armaldo it could still learn Water attacks but it would stay close to home with its dual typing.  But mark my words!!!  If it wasn’t for the Rock requirement our Plesiosaur would be Water/Dragon easily and it would be soooooo gooooood.

Let’s turn our attention to our three English Dinosaurs; Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus.  Hmm…right away I can see a problem…there’s three of them.  Now you could do a scenario where there’s two “regular” fossils and one “special” one like in Generation I but I don’t think we have to worry about that.  Megalosaurus is a therapod dinosaur.  A very iconic group of dinosaurs who were (about 99% of the time) carnivorous and bipedal.  Some had small heads and long arms, others had large heads and short arms but they all had similar body plans.  And as I’m sure you folks can see where I’m going with this, we already have a therapod Pokemon, Tyrantrum.

Left, a modern interpretation of Megalosaurus.  Right, the mid-1800’s interpretation of Megalosaurus.  Image credit: Mark Garlick/University of Warwick.

Unfortunately, as best as we can tell, Megalosaurus was a rather “average” looking therapod.  Nothing wrong with that but it doesn’t really stand out compared to the more outlandish therapods like Spinosaurus or Therizinosaurus.  And although Gamefreak doesn’t mind reusing animals multiple times (and even using a Monkey Grass Pokemon twice!), I think it would be a waste of time for them to reuse a standard therapod when the paleontological record offers so much more.

As a side note, it would be balls awesome if Gamefreak gave us Megalosaurus but based on its original interpretation as a quadrupedal carnivore with a fat-crocodile mouth and a dragging tail.  It would be kind of horrifying and sad for the Megalosaurus Pokemon but really cool!  Like, the lore would be that due to an incomplete skeleton, the reconstructed dinosaur could not resume its original shape and instead pieced together what it had to make its now misaligned form.  That would be wild.

Image result for iguanodon

Iguanodon

Anyway, that leaves us with Iguanodon (Thumbspike Fossil) and Hylaeosaurus (Plate Fossil) and luckily we haven’t had dinosaurs based on them yet!   This is perfect and their body variation can really lend itself well to some cool type combinations.  First, Iguanodon, I imagined three different type combos with them.  Rock/Normal would be my initial suggestion as these guys are one of the most common dinosaurs you can find, they were basically the elk of the dinosaur world.  But you also have that trademark thumbspike that is so well known on Iguanodon that you just have to use it somehow.  Perhaps as an electrical rod?  So maybe Rock/Electric?  Maybe it can be used to inject poison into its foes so Rock/Poison?  Any of these three suggestions would be interesting.

Image result for hylaeosaurus

Hylaeosaurus

As for Hylaeosaurus, the armor plating, trademark of all Ankylosauria, immediately suggests a Rock/Steel type which is a nice fallback.  Hylaeosaurus also had spikes protruding from its sides which suggests a porcupine-esque defense so Rock/Poison would be delightful.  I could also imagine Gamefreak throwing a curveball and making it Rock/Fire similar to how they made Aurorus Rock/Ice.

If I had my druthers I would make Fossil Pokemon out of Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus and make the Plesiosaur a modern Pokemon.  This works very well thanks to the folklore surrounding Nessie and the occurrence of modern fossil-based Pokemon like Aggron and Tropius.  And the Plesiosaur can be Water/Dragon which would be great!

So there you have it.  Will it happen?  I’m banking on no unfortunately.  Although Gamefreak has been doing very well lately designing Pokemon that are inspired by their respective region, I can’t imagine them going the extra mile to put that paleontology flavor in.  Now a Pokemon based on the Loch Ness Monster?  Sure, I can buy that but I won’t be holding my breath.  We shall see.  Fingers crossed!

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Future of Single Type Run Articles

For the past six months or so I’ve been writing new Single Type Run (STR) articles and updating old ones to ensure they are accurate and up-to-date.  They have been a constant source of views and uses for my website and I enjoy researching and writing these articles.  However, with Pokemon Sword and Shield just around the corner I wanted to give everyone an update on the future of these articles and where I go from here.  This list will be the general order of events as we head into Generation VIII of Pokemon.

1. The next STR article will focus on Pokemon Sword and Shield.

This article will honestly take awhile to write as I predict there will be a lot of things to consider including Galar’s Wild Area and Dynamaxing.  There will also be tons of Pokemon in this region similar to the past two generations so that will slow things down especially when informational websites like Bulbapedia will gradually update.  I also want to play the game blind because I find that enjoyable!

Nevertheless, I will write it but I can’t guarantee it will be out by the end of this year.  Probably by January.  As a comparison, I published my Sun and Moon article at the end of December 2016 when the games came out November 16th, 2016.  But it’s on my list!   The STR on Sun and Moon is my most viewed article ever and I’m predicting my article Sword and Shield will be popular as well.

Single Type Run Chart

2. I will produce a new STR chart and it will include both Generation VII and VIII and a new “S” rating.

This will be the most important step on our list as the original STR article is by far one of my most popular articles.  Instead of writing and publishing a new article I’m going to update the old one as I have been doing.

More importantly, I’m going to incorporate Generation VII AND VIII into the chart!  Previously, I left Sun and Moon out as the lack of gyms made it impossible to apply it to the chart but I’ve been doing some thinking how we can change that.  At this point, I’m thinking our benchmarks will be the first battle against Captain Ilmia, then the Verdant Trial, then the first Kahuna Trial, then leaving the first island.  This works pretty close to previous games’ gym locations and can account for Sun and Moon’s notoriously long tutorial scenes.  There’s also a lot going on on the first Island which is really nice AND you can catch a Pokemon from every type on the first Island which is also incredible.

Thankfully, Sword and Shield is returning to the gym format so, barring any major surprises, we can use Sword and Shield for our chart with hopefully no problems.

The ratings are going to change as well.  After writing and researching so many articles my opinions have changed about what makes a good STR fantastic and by far the most important quality is early Pokemon availability.  So I’m going to change the letter grades to reflect that and introduce the new “S” grade (which will stand for Superior/Starter depending on your cup of tea).
“S” grade=Your first Pokemon is a starter that matches your type or can evolve into said type (like Chimchar for a Fighting Run)
“A” grade=First Pokemon caught is before the first gym/Ilmia battle
“B” grade=First Pokemon caught between first-second gym/between Ilmia-Verdant Trial
“C” grade=First Pokemon caught between second-third gym/between Verdant Trial-first Kahuna Trial
“D” grade=First Pokemon caught between third-fourth gym/between first Kahuna Trial-leaving the first Island
“F” grade=First Pokemon caught after the fourth gym

Gym battles are still important benchmarks for Pokemon games and although they can vary wildly in occurrence or story-placement they can still serve as a model how great or bad the games can be for STRs  Thankfully, my articles focused solely on specific games like Diamond/Pearl/Platinum can offer a richer detail of what to expect for your Run.

Not sure about the number grades yet.  I should change them to make them less confusing but not sure how to approach that.  One idea is make the number grade reflect the number of unique Pokemon that can be caught so Pokemon Moon would have a Steel rating of 10A for 10 unique Steel families but Pokemon Silver would have a 3B rating for just 3 families.  A little “*” symbol can indicate if all weaknesses are neutralized.  This might be way too complex though.  I like the “1A” ratings because it’s simple and gets to the point.  Any thoughts appreciated here.

 

3. Preexisting articles will be more user-friendly and have a consistent template.

This step will most likely be addressed multiple times in the coming months, especially while I’m waiting for Sword and Shield to come out.  With a lot of articles under my belt I noticed a lot of inconsistencies in article designs so I want to harmonize them.

There will also be collapsible text options to reduce clutter and make it easier to read what you want instead of constant scrolling scrolling scrolling.

Finally, long shot, but, it would be really cool to have a clickable link on the chart to learn more about a certain team and what it would look like.  Just cut right to the chase!  Not sure how to pull that one off yet but any ideas are appreciated.

 

4. Preexisting articles focused on just types will include Sword and Shield.

I’ve already written a few articles on types alone like Bug, Grass, and Ground but they’ll need to be updated once Sword and Shield comes out.  These articles don’t get a lot of love compared to their game-focused counterparts so this step is not urgent.

 

5. New Pokemon Type Articles will be written and published.

Finally, I will write new Pokemon Type articles once the previous tasks are done.  Water and Flying are two big types that I will likely focus on next.  I may not even write articles for every single type since some of them are still pretty abysmal like Ice, Rock, and Dragon.  But maybe Sword and Shield will be excellent games for them.  We’ll see!

 

As usual, thanks for reading, everyone!  If you have any suggestions or comments your feedback is as usual appreciated.

Best Pokemon Games for a Ghost Type Run

I know what you’re thinking.

Yes, it CAN be done!  BUT!  If you want to do a Ghost Type Run you’ll have to do a little research first before you dive in because a Ghost Type run can be really rough.  Ghost Pokemon have a habit of showing up around mid-game but the biggest problem by far is their limited diversity which can be very debilitating.  They are the second rarest type  ranking just above Ice Type.  Because of which, trying to find a full team AND neutralize all your weaknesses can be a big challenge.  Fortunately, there are a few great Pokemon games where you can have a fantastic Ghost team who’ll curse your opponents and haunt your way to victory!  Let’s take a look which Pokemon games will be great for a Single Type Run (or Monotype Run) for you and your Ghost Pokemon.  But first…

RULES

  1. Only Pokémon of a certain type may be caught and trained.
  2. You must catch the first Pokémon available of that type if your starter does not match that type (you’ll then have to discard that starter).
  3. You may train a Pokémon that evolves to said type as long as you do it ASAP.
  4. No trading allowed.
  5. Mega Pokémon count as long as you Mega Evolve them as soon as they appear on the battlefield.
  6. Only Pokémon caught before Elite Four are counted.

Single Type Run Chart

Best Games

The best games, by far, for a Ghost Type Run have to be Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon.  These games just nail it on every front.  First, they have the highest amount of Ghost Pokemon as of Generation VII.  There are 13 unique Ghost families in Sun and Moon and 16 in USUM.  And they are really good Ghosts like Golurk, Gengar, Alolan Marowak, Palossand, Aegislash, and Decidueye.  You also have a nice abundance of Ghost Pokemon on the first island thanks to Hau’oli Cemetery and later Sableye on Ten Carat Hill.  You also have Rowlett as your starter which evolves into a Ghost type which is FREAKING AWESOME.  So far, it’s the only starter that can evolve into a Ghost which makes these games a lot less frustrating for a Ghost run.  Finally, as of Generation VII, these are the only games in the series where you can catch a Gengar.  That’s right!  No need to trade!  Go to the Thrifty Megamart, find a Haunter, use an adrenaline orb on it, chip its health down, and just sit and wait for it to call a Gengar.  It will take awhile (as seen in this handy video) but you will eventually catch one.  It’s because of these reasons that the Sun and Moon games are the best, by far, Ghost run games.

However, it will be tricky, especially at the beginning because Bite and Pursuit is very common for low level Pokemon so they can easily destroy the fragile Ghosts.  Also, the first Totem Pokemon can be an Alolan Raticate so that’s rough.  Thankfully, Rowlett would not evolve into Decidueye by then so you’ll be on equal footing by the time you face off against them.  There’s also a huge abundance of Dark Pokemon on your first island so you’ll need to tread carefully as you gather your team.

There are a few other games you can consider but they rank in “B” territory for me.  Pokemon XY can cover your weaknesses and give you variety but your first Pokemon, Nincada and Honedge, won’t come until after the first gym so you’ll need to be patient.  On the flip side, you can catch a Nincada in ORAS before the first gym but you’ll be starved of Ghost Pokemon until the end of the game (made even worse if you’re playing OmegaRuby as Sableye is exclusive to AlphaSapphire).

Worst Games

Yeah…just avoid Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, LeafGreen.  You only got the Gengar line which is available long after the third gym and you can’t get a Gengar unless you trade.  This is a very terrible run for Ghosts.  Please avoid for your own sake.

I’d also avoid the Johto games as well.  Gold, Silver, and Crystal gives you a Gastly via Sprout Tower before the first gym but you’re still gonna just have that Haunter (HGSS gives you a Misdreavus at least in the Safari Zone).  Black, White, and B2W2, give you a decent selection of Ghosts but you’ll have to wait until after the third gym to catch one.  Finally, Ruby and Pearl are inferior games to their already flawed counterparts due to version-exclusive Ghosts.

Ghost Teams in Pokemon Games

Pokemon RBY and FRLG
Ideal Team: Haunter
First available Pokémon: Gastly at Lavender Tower, after the third gym
Covers weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark moves are not covered

 

Pokemon GSC and HGSS
Ideal Team: Haunter, Misdreavus (HGSS via Safari Zone)
First Pokémon: Gastly via Sprout Tower (or at night at Route 30 in Pokémon Crystal) before the first gym; Gastly can also be caught on the Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark not neutralized

 

Pokemon RSE and ORAS
Ideal Team: Shedinja, Sableye (S, E, AS)/Spiritomb (ORAS), Drifblim (ORAS), Trevanant (ORAS), Froslass (ORAS), Jellicent (ORAS)
Optional Pokémon: Banette, Dusclops, Cofagrigus (ORAS), Mismagius (ORAS)
First Pokémon: Nincada in Route 116 before the first gym
Covers Weaknesses? Yes for Sapphire, Emerald, and ORAS.  However, in Ruby, Ghost and Dark are not neutralized.

 

Pokemon DPP
Ideal Team: Haunter, Drifblim, Dusclops (Platinum)/Mismagius (Diamond), Rotom (Platinum), Froslass (Platinum)
Optional Pokémon: Giratina (Platinum)
First Pokémon: Drifloon on Fridays at the Valley Windworks before the second gym
Covers Weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark moves are not neutralized

 

Pokemon BW and B2W2
BW Ideal Team: Cofagrigus, Chandelure, Jellicent, Golurk
First Pokémon: Yamask via Relic Castle after the third gym
Cover weaknesses? No, Dark and Ghost moves not neutralized

B2W2 Ideal Team: Cofagrigus, Chandelure, Banette, Drifblim, Jellicent, Golurk
First Pokémon: Yamask via Relic Castle after the third gym
Cover weaknesses? No, Dark and Ghost moves not neutralized

 

Pokemon XY
Ideal Team: Shedinja, Aegislash, Rotom, Golurk, Sableye, Chandelure
Optional Pokémon: Haunter, Phantump/Pumpkaboo, Drifblim, Banette
First Pokémon: Nincada and Honedge via Route 6 after the first gym.
Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Pokemon SM and USUM
SM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Sableye, Palossand, Aegislash(scan), Gengar (S.O.S. by Haunter in Thrifty Megamark after the Ula’ula Trials), Mimikyu
Optional: Trevanant, Dhelmise, Froslass, Drifblim, Chandelure (scan), Mismagius, Alolan Marowak
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Sableye, Palossand/Golurk (US), Aegislash(scan), Gengar (S.O.S. by Haunter in Thrifty Megamark after the Ula’ula Trials), Mimikyu
Optional: Trevanant, Dhelmise, Froslass, Drifblim, Chandelure (scan), Mismagius, Banette, Jellicent, Alolan Marowak
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

Image result for Decidueye

Decidueye

At the top of our list is Decidueye, with only four in-game appearances there is a lot going for him.  Mainly, Decidueye is the strongest non-Legendary, non-Mega Ghost Pokemon as of Generation VII.  This combined with their status as a starter Pokemon means you have your strongest team member right from the get-go.

I think your biggest flaw with Decidueye is his rather low movepool diversity.  Don’t get me wrong, the moves it can learn are strong and rather exclusive but…not very diverse type-wise and that’s probably the Grass pairing weighing him down.   Also, there is the elephant in the room with Decidueye being a starter from a later generation so availability is very limited at this time.

As a side note, I feel sorry about Dhelmise which was also introduced in this generation and is also very strong.  Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to shine later, anchor-buddy!

Available in: SM and USUM

Image result for Sableye Spiritomb

Sableye (and to an extent Spiritomb)

At the time of this writing, there are unfortunately no Ghost/Normal Pokemon officially released.  Which is a shame as that pairing can give you a Pokemon that’s totally immune to Ghost moves.  Thankfully, we have Sableye (and I guess Spiritomb) who can solve both your Ghost AND Dark problems!

Spiritomb’s availability is very limited but Sableye is much more common which is why we’re primarily focusing on Sableye.  It’s stats are…okay…and honestly really lacking if I have to be honest.  But it’s a trade off.  You get subpar stats for a much-needed defensive typing and a decent moveset.  Sabeleye can learn Dazzling Gleam which is ballin’ so take that Dark types!  And those Dark and Ghost moves are really nice to stick it to Ghost enemies who may take you down with one hit.

Why not both?  If you want Spiritomb and Sableye you can pick up AlphaSapphire.  It’s one of the few games where you can pick up Spiritomb and not go through all sorts of crazy, underground, shenanigans.  You can capture one before the Elite Four which is nice but…why not train a Mega Sableye instead???  Instantly Sableye’s medicore stats are boosted and you get a great defensive Pokemon ready to shield your attacks.  Poor Spiritomb…at least you got OmegaRuby?

Available in:Ruby and Emerald (Sableye), XY (Sableye), OmegaRuby (Spiritomb), AlphaSapphire (Spiritomb and Sableye), SM and USUM (Sableye)

Image result for Aegislash

Aegislash

Aegislash’s arrival came a hair too late as Steel lost its resistances to Dark and Ghost in Generation VI.  Very unfortunate but not the end of the world.  Aegislash has some of the best stats either offensive or defensive for any Ghost Pokemon.  Many competitive players use Aegislash’s form change to strike hard and strong and play defensive and cool.  It’s super versatile and damn is it a cool Pokemon.  Like Decidueye, its movepool is alright but who cares?? Those attack stats are out of this world (150)!  A STAB Iron Head or Shadow Ball (and to an extent the priority move Shadow Sneak) can just obliterate opponents, throw in Sacred Sword and your golden.

Main issues here are its HP and Speed which are lackluster.  So if you’re in Blade Forme and get hit by something you’re probably out of here.  Bye bye.  Still, the move King’s Shield can lower an opponents Attack stat so you can have them suffer.  Open yourself back up and swish, slash!

Available in:XY, SM and USUM (Island Scan)

Image result for Chandelure

Chandelure

Chandelure is a fantastic, and surprisingly common, Pokemon in its own right and should always be considered when doing a Ghost run.  It has a whopping 145 Special Attack stat which is just incredible.  A STAB Shadow Ball and Flamethrower is enough to carry Chandulure around.  If you want, you can burn your opponents with Will-o-wisp and use Hex which doubles its power to 130 (by comparison, Shadow Ball’s power is 80).

Hex can also be used with one of Chandelure’s abilities, Flame Body which has a 30% of burning an opponent if it physically attacks you.  On the flip side, the Flash Fire ability makes you immune to Fire attacks and charges up your Fire moves instead.  This can work very well if you have Shedinja, Decidueye, Trevanant, Dhelmise, Gourgeist, Froslass, or Aegislash on your team as you can bait an enemy Fire Pokemon, switch to Chandelure, take the hit and use Shadow Ball on them.

Only faults?  This is minor but Chandelure’s Speed and bulk are okay.  Not bad, not good, just average.  You also won’t get an incredible move diversity out of Chandelure besides the usual Ghost, Dark, and Psychic moves that practically all Ghost Pokemon have.  The Grass-move Energy Ball is nice though as well as its plethora of Fire moves.  And who needs diversity when you have Calm Mind?  Use that once or twice and just go to town!

Available in: BW, B2W2, XY, SM and USUM (Island Scan)

Image result for Golurk

Golurk

When you’re doing a Single Type Run, you want to find the oddballs.  The Pokemon who get off the bandwagon and do their own thing.  These Pokemon, like Golurk, can round out your team and give you diversity that’s not just about weakness-neutralization.  Golurk is, to put it simply, everything a Ghost Pokemon is not.  It’s bulky, not particularly fast, has very low Special Attack, and it has high Physical Attack.  Like, really high.  124 to be exact.  Few other regular Ghost Pokemon, except my beloved Dhelmise and Aegislash, exceed that stat.

Here’s the thing.  Golurk can actually use this stat to its full advantage!  Dhelmise and Aegislash, and a lot of other Ghosts for that matter, struggle to reach the movepool that Golurk has achieved.  This combined with Golurk’s Iron Fist ability makes him a BEAST.  Hammer Arm, Shadow Punch, Dynamic Punch, and Focus Punch can be learned by leveling up while the elemental punches and Drain Punch can be taught by Move Tutor (best used in B2W2 or US).  Golurk can also learn Earthquake, Rock Slide, and Heavy Slam; physical moves that other Ghosts don’t even have a chance, a dream, to properly use or learn.

Available in:BW, B2W2, XY, US

Image result for Gengar haunter

Gengar/Haunter

The Gengar line in Pokemon is such a twisted, crazy mess that I debated whether to include them or not.  The biggest thing, by far, that’s holding them back is the required trading to evolve your Haunter which breaks the rules of the run.  If it wasn’t for that they would be top of this list, no doubt.  But they’re not and we have to sort through this to understand why Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar can still be very important to you and your team.

Of course, they are the first Ghosts that were introduced in Pokemon.  And this early introduction combined with Ghosts’ scarcity, makes them the most common Ghost line in all the Pokemon games by far.  They are catchable before the Elite Four in 19 games as of Generation VII (the next most common line, Misdreavus, is catchable in 9 games).  A few of these games are pretty early too!  In the Johto games you can catch a Gastly before the first gym, in Sinnoh it’s shortly after the first gym, and Alola you can get them in the cemetery shortly before the first trial.

Haunter and Gengar can also learn some nice moves like Thunderbolt and Dazzling Gleam.  If you’re training one before Generation IV you can teach them Ice, Thunder, and Fire Punch which they will use very well thanks to their high Special Attack.  Gengar can also learn Focus Blast too.  Sludge Bomb is also great for potential poison damage.

Despite being a second stage, Haunter is quite fast and has a really nice Special Attack stat (115).  However, it’s incredibly fragile and a decent physical attack move can shut it down.  But still, Haunter is really cool!  I’ve trained Haunter several times when I was much younger on Pokemon Blue and it was great!

There’s also some good news for you Gengar purists.  If you want a Gengar you can catch one in Sun, Moon, UltraSun, and UltraMoon!  I mentioned it earlier but if you go to the Thrifty Megamart after its trial and force a Haunter to call for help, there’s a chance it will call a Gengar.  However, this is a very tedious process so be prepared to hang tight and be patient.  This video demonstrates the procedure and how long it takes.  Thankfully, once you catch your Gengar, you are ready to go to town on your opponents with a very powerful, and iconic, Ghost Pokemon!

Available in: RBY, GSC, FRLG, DPP, HGSS, XY, SM, USUM

Best Pokemon Games for a Fighting Type Run

If you want to have a great and fun Single Type (or Monotype) Run I would highly suggest the Fighting type.  This type has steadily increased in diversity since Generation 1 and now contains a plethora of Pokemon that are fun to train and easily available.  But the best reason why you should do a Fighting Type Run is that it’s the most common secondary type for the starters.  As of Generation 7, there are four starters from four separate generations that evolve into a Fighting type.  If you want a Fighting team I suggest those games they are in but I am getting ahead of myself.  Let’s take a look at the teams and the Pokemon you’ll be training for a Fighting Team.  Punch it!

RULES

  1. Only Pokémon of a certain type may be caught and trained.
  2. You must catch the first Pokémon available of that type if your starter does not match that type (you’ll then have to disregard that starter).
  3. You may train a Pokémon that evolves to said type as long as you do it ASAP.
  4. No trading allowed.
  5. Mega Pokémon count as long as you Mega Evolve them as soon as they appear on the battlefield.
  6. Only Pokémon caught before Elite Four are counted.
Single Type Run Chart

Check this chart for Fighting and other possible runs in Pokemon

The Best Games

First, I would give Sun, Moon, and USUM a strong “B” as you have a variety of Fighting Pokemon but you won’t catch you first Pokemon (Crabrawler) for awhile and you’re exposed to Flying weaknesses (Lucario can’t be caught until after the Elite Four).  Still, you can catch a Bewear, Kommo-o, and the starter Pokemon by Island Scan which is really nice.  But we can do better than that.

Image result for Chesnaught

General rule of thumb, if there’s a starter that can evolve into a Fighting type then that game is, at minimal, a fun Fighting Run!  In RSE and ORAS, you don’t neutralize all the weaknesses but the teams are pretty decent and better than what the earlier generations could offer (and ORAS offers some more variety).  As a side note, when you’re playing ORAS, GET A BRELOOM, catch a Shroomish with its Hidden Ability Quick Feet and you’re going to get Technician when it evolves; it’s a lot of fun and you won’t regret it!

Meanwhile, Platinum is opposite as you have a simple but solid team.  There’s seven Pokemon you can train; Infernape, Gallade, Heracross, Croagunk, Lucario, and Medicham (with Machoke being the optional 7th) and they’re pretty great!  However, you will be stuck with Chimchar for awhile before you can catch a Medicham, Ralts, and Machop.  The most stressful part will be that Heracross which has a 5% of showing up on honey trees but other than that it’s a decent run.

Much better is the following generation; Black/White and B2W2.  Honestly, Black/White doesn’t differ much from B2W2 (Heracross and Lucario are the only major additions to those games) but there’s a VERY strong reason why you should do a Fighting Run in these games and its because of…

Image result for musketeer pokemon

If you are not opposed to training Legendary Pokemon I say capture Cobalion, Virizion, and Terrakion and add them to your team.  They’re strong, diverse and are available before the Elite Four.  And that Cobalion…damn!  It can wall any incoming Psychic or Flying moves that might mess you up.  Beyond the Musketeers you have your starter, Scrafty, and Mienshao which you can trade out for a Heracross in the sequels if you want.  You’re going to have a slow start in Black/White though so be prepared for that (in B2/W2 you can catch a Riolu fairly early on followed soon after by a Scraggy which is nice).

I think the best Fighting games in the Pokemon series though is XY with Y edging X due to the version-exclusive Heracross.  This is perfection.  This is the game you definitely want for a Fighting Run!  You have your starter, Chespin, followed quickly by Riolu and Ralts and the other Pokemon will just fall into place.  This is such a nice run that I played it myself actually.  I couldn’t decide who to keep on my final team and I just kept rotating them in and out.  One Pokemon I kept until the end was Toxicroak, because he’s soooooo much better due to the Fairies!  Here’s a pro tip, breed a Pangoro with Bullet Punch with a Croagunk.  Raise that Croagunk and teach it Sucker Punch and Poison Jab and you’ll have a Pokemon that can destroy Fairy and Psychic Pokemon (Sucker Punch is risky but so satisfying). This is a fantastic team that I am running out of adjectives to describe how stellar it can be!

 

The Worst Games

Fighting is one of those types that slowly got better as the generations progressed.  That first generation was rough on them due to the Psychics and they only modestly improved in the second generation (by the third generation they began to stand tall with diversity and starter-evolutions).  As such, RBY, GSC, FRLG, and HGSS are among the worst games in the series for a Fighting Run as it’s hard to get a full team with unique members, they are very exposed to their weaknesses, and sometimes the first one doesn’t show up until after the second gym.  It’s hard to pick which among these is the best as they are all just bad.  If you have a Pokewalker then HGSS would be the way to go as you can get a Machop through that device and then afterwards, you can start hunting for Poliwag and Heracross and then get the Hitmons after the eighth gym (you would need a ditto to breed with Tyrogue in order to get all three of them).

 

Fighting Teams in Pokemon Games

Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow and FRLG
Ideal Team: Machoke, Hitmonlee/Hitmonchan, Primeape (Red, Yellow, FireRed), Poliwrath
First available Pokémon: In Yellow, FireRed and LeafGreen it’s Mankey on Route 3 before the first gym.  In Red, it’s Mankey via Route 5, after the second gym.  In Blue, it’s Machop in the Rock Tunnel after the second gym.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Flying and Psychic not neutralized.

 

Pokemon Gold, Silver, Crystal and HGSS
Ideal Team: Primeape (C, G, HG)/Machoke, Poliwrath, Heracross, Hitmontop, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee
First Pokémon: Heracross via headbutting trees after the second gym, Poliwag in Crystal via Route 30 before the first gym, or Machop via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Flying and Psychic not neutralized.

 

Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald and ORAS
Ideal Team: Blaziken, Breloom, Heracross, Medicham (R, S, ORAS), Gallade (ORAS), Scrafty (ORAS)
Optional Pokémon: Machoke, Hariyama, Hitmonchan (ORAS), Hitmonlee (ORAS), Hitmontop (ORAS), Throh (OR), Sawk (AS), Gurdurr (ORAS), Primeape (ORAS)
First Pokémon: Torchic via starter
Covers Weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized.

 

Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum
Ideal Team: Infernape, Heracross, Toxicroak, Medicham, Lucario, Gallade (Platinum)
Optional Pokémon: Machoke
First Pokémon: Chimchar via starter
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Pokemon Black, White, and B2W2
BW Ideal Team:
Emboar, Scrafty, Cobalion, Virizion, Terrakion, Mienshao
Optional: Sawk (B)/Throh (W), Gurdurr
First Pokémon: Tepig via starter
Cover Weaknesses?  Yes

B2W2 Ideal Team: Emboar, Lucario/Cobalion, Scrafty, Mienshao, Virizion, Terrakion
Optional: Gurdurr, Sawk, Throh, Heracross
First Pokémon: Tepig via starter
Cover Weaknesses? Yes
Note: Heads up that in White 2 you can only get a Heracross via Hidden Grotto in Lostlorn Forest and even then it has a 0.75% of appearing.  Black 2 they are easier to catch and don’t need the Hidden Grotto.

 

Pokemon XY
Ideal Team: Chesnaught, Lucario, Gallade, Pangoro/Scrafty, Toxicroak, Hawlucha
Optional Pokémon: Medicham, Mienshao, Machoke, Hariyama, Throh (Y)/Sawk (X), Heracross (Y), Poliwrath, Gurdurr
First Pokémon: Chespin via Starter
Cover Weaknesses? Yes

 

Pokemon Sun, Moon, and USUM
SM Ideal Team: Crabominable, Emboar (scan), Poliwrath, Bewear, Kommo-o, Pangoro
Optional: Primeape, Passimian (Sun), Hariyama
First Pokémon: Crabrawler and Makuhita via Route 2, just before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized

USUM Ideal Team: Crabominable, Blaziken (scan), Poliwrath, Bewear, Kommo-o, Pangoro
Optional: Primeape, Passimian (US), Hariyama, Scrafty, Hawlucha, Gallade (scan), Infernape (scan), Chesnaught (scan)
First Pokémon: Crabrawler and Makuhita via Route 2, just before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

Image result for combusken

Your Starter

Of course!  The best way to start a Single Type Run is to have a starter that evolves into your type.  Four games with four starters is a damn good record.  I honestly think, after theorizing and playing many Single Type Runs, that the best runs are the ones where you can get your Pokemon ASAP, especially if it’s a starter.  A lot of people complain about the prevalence of Fire/Fighters but this time it’s a blessing for you.  Speaking of which, that Fire typing is going to save your butt against the Fairies starting Generation 6 so they will be extra helpful.  What’s nice is that you can recapture some of them in the Sun and Moon games thanks to Island Scan.

Anyway, they’re great.  Good stats and good moves gives you an easy start that will glide your way to victory.  Chesnaught has its signature move, Spiky Shield, which further propels its role as a tank.  Emboar can learn Scald which…the hell?  And Blaziken and Infernape are such extreme attackers that they almost make the rest of your team redundant.  Good times.

Available in: RSE, DPP, BW, B2W2, XY, ORAS, SM (Emboar via Island Scan), and USUM (Blaziken, Infernape, and Chesnaught via Island Scan)

Image result for LucarioImage result for Cobalion

Lucario and Cobalion

If your Fighting team has neutralized all its weaknesses, chances are you have one of these guys on your team.  The Fighting/Steel combo is fantastic as all the weaknesses are accounted for AND the Steel STAB perk gives you extra protection against the Fairies.  Cobalion shows up in all the Black and White games while Riolu sometimes shows up very early as seen in B2W2 and XY (and the latter portions of DPP) so you have a nice mixture of availability.

But that’s not all!  Cobalion has just incredible all around stats that can take hits, out-speed opponents, and attack back.  Lucario, however, I think trumps Cobalion on its higher Attack and Special Attack stats and its sheer diversity of moves.  Psychic, Shadow Ball, Shadow Claw, Poison Jab, Dark Pulse, Dragon Pulse, Ice Punch, and Thunder Punch are some of Lucario’s great moves.  Lucario also has the highest Special Attack stat out of any non-Mega, non-Legendary Fighting Pokemon so he can use these moves flawlessly!  If you have gaps in your team, Lucario will fill those gaps for you.

Finally, one of the most daunting problems that you will face in a Fighting Run is a weakness to birds.  They are so incredibly prevalent that you will run into trainers and wild Flying Pokemon guaranteed in almost every route.  Lucario is also one of the few Fighting Pokemon that can effectively counter Flying Pokemon without being OHKO’d by them.  Practically every Fighting Pokemon can learn Rock Slide but they are usually too slow to use it before they’re knocked out.  Lucario can take care of that for you with Ice Punch, Thunder Punch and the aforementioned Rock Slide.  Have him ready; he’s that important.

Available in: DPP (Lucario), BW (Cobalion), B2W2 (Cobalion and Lucario), XY (Lucario)

Image result for MedichamImage result for Gallade

Medicham and Gallade

I am always happy if I can find a Ralts because that means I can evolve it into a Gallade (if you’re after Gen 3 that is)!  Gallade are the counterparts of Gardevoir with exceptionally high Physical Attacks and very nice Special Defense.  This means Gallade can be thrown into an oncoming Psychic attack, take it fine, and dish back to it an X-Scissor or Night Slash.  Medicham, meanwhile, has an incredible 120 Attack stat thanks to its ability Pure Power.  It can also learn the elemental punches naturally by Move Relearner.  And of course, both of these can Mega-evolves which will come in handy for you in ORAS.

Available in:Ruby and Sapphire (Medicham), DPP (Diamond and Pearl for Medicham and Platinum for both), XY (Both), ORAS (Both), and USUM (Gallade via Scan)

Image result for ScraftyImage result for pangoro

Scrafty and Pangoro

Pokemon Black and White finally answered our pleas and gave us our first Fighting/Dark type via Scrafty.  Scrafty, and later Pangoro, are absolute must haves for your Fighting team.  The 4x weakness to Fairy is pretty rough but the trade off is you are immune to Psychic attacks!  Both of these Pokemon are incredible in their own way thanks to their diverse abilities like Scrafty’s Moxie and Shed Skin and Pangoro’s Iron Fist and Mold Breaker.  Btw, Pangoro can learn Bullet Punch by leveling up so if you want to surprise some Fairies then Punch them!

Available in: BW and B2W2 (Scrafty), XY (Pangoro and Scrafty), ORAS (Scrafty), SM (Pangoro), and USUM (Pangoro and Scrafty)

Image result for heracross

Heracross

Heracross is a bit of a mix bag when it comes to Fighting teams but I think he’s worth it in certain circumstances.  That 4x weakness to Flying is super rough but Megahorn makes up for it.  A STAB Megahorn with Heracross’ exceptionally high Physical Attack stat is one of the best Pokemon-move combos in the game.  Even Pokemon that aren’t weak to Bug moves would very likely be knocked out in one hit from this move.  Another prominent reason why he’s on this list is his availability which not a lot of other Fighting Pokemon can match.  And Heracross sometimes shows up early to mid-game so if you’re still struggling with a weak or limited team then Heracross will come in and give you a nice boost!

Available in: GSC, RSE, DPP, B2W2, Y, and ORAS

Predications for Battlebots 2019 Finale

 

Finally!  After many episodes we are headed to the season finale of Battlebots!  It’s been a great season with many awesome fights and exciting upsets.  The previous episode was no exception and only half of my guesses were correct!  That Minotaur vs Hydra fight was so satisfying to watch but the best battle of the episode had to be that Deathroll vs Yeti which MAN…Deathroll is such a beast!  Woo!

Overall, this is such a classic, solid eight to have here.  All of these robots I nod approvingly.  They are veterans of the field and they have gone far before in the bracket.   Except…Death Roll!  Death Roll is such the odd duck here!  If Death Roll had lost to Yeti then we would’ve seen a very familiar robot-lineup like from the ABC years.  But I’m glad they are here because otherwise it would be too boring!

Alright, let’s reevaluate this bracket and take one last stab who would win.  I’m going to stick to my guns and say Witch Doctor will win the tournament but let’s take a look!

 

Bite Force vs. Lock Jaw- Bite Force by KO in 2 minutes
Bite Force has tangled with Lock Jaw and won before so it’s easy to pick Bite Force as the winner.  It’s a boring but safe choice especially since Lock Jaw has been. Smoking. So. Much. These past few fights.  I honestly feel Lock Jaw will lose not through excessive damage by Bite Force but through just finally giving out after one too many fights.

 

Tombstone vs. Whiplash- Whiplash by KO about a minute
Another rematch and I think another battle that will go to the previous victor.  Whiplash has been really good this season and Tombstone is certainly great but I think Whiplash’s great driver that will be able to out maneuver Tombstone and defeat them.  Although at this rate I wouldn’t be surprised if Tombstone pulled a surprise victory and smash Whiplash and its exposed tires to bits.

 

Witch Doctor vs. Saw Blaze- Witch Doctor by Unanimous Decision
Saw Blaze threw me into a loop when it’s huge ram was able to absorb and reflect SOW’s devastating hammers.  I really need to stop underestimating these guys.  I still think Witch Doctor will win mainly because the Winds of Fate seem to be with them and also they’re just great!  I think they will be able to push Saw Blaze around and shrug off attacks from its hammer saw.  I don’t know if it will be able to KO Saw Blaze but I think it will do enough to get a nod from the Judges.

 

Minotaur vs. Death Roll- Death Roll by KO in 2 min and 30 sec
Look, I’m done underestimating Minotaur.  They are back!  But God damn is this such a wild card match!  I can see this fight go either way but someone is definitely getting KO’d.  After rewatching that match between Death Roll and Yeti I have to give it to Death Roll because I am very impressed how it can keep churning its blade even after going head to head against Yeti and launching them in the air.  I think the main reason why I’m giving it to Death Roll is they have stability on their side and Minotaur not as much with its gyroscopic-tilting drum spinner.  I think if Death Roll can knock into Minotaur from the side a few times it will win but we’ll see.  This will probably be the best fight of the night!!!!

 

Bite Force vs. Whiplash-Whiplash by Unanimous Decision
Whiplash was defeated by Bite Force in the 2018 Semi Finals.  Fate will bring them again together only this time it will be Whiplash who will defeat Bite Force.  I think Whiplash has gathered enough experience and built a great enough robot that they can push Bite Force around and control the match.  It will be very hard to defeat Bite Force especially since they are so powerful but I think they can do it.  Whiplash has the reach, the driver, and the power to win.  Go Whiplash!

 

Witch Doctor vs. Death Roll-Witch Doctor by KO in 2 minutes
Two undefeated robots will fight each other but only one will win.  That robot will be Witch Doctor.  Witch Doctor is stable, durable, and hits incredibly hard.  Witch Doctor is also quick and agile.  I think it can outdrive Death Roll and push it onto the screws.  If I were to guess, Witch Doctor could take out that weird hand that belongs to Death Roll and prevent it from flipping over causing WD to get the KO.

 

Witch Doctor vs. Whiplash-Witch Doctor by KO in 1 min 30 sec
The final battle will also be the final rematch of the season.  Whiplash and Witch Doctor fought each other earlier this season with WD getting a win by Judges’ Decision.  I think this battle will go quicker with WD cranking up the aggression factor by 11 and pummeling the Whiplash into submission.  I think Whiplash will sneak in a few hits but it will be Witch Doctor who will take home the giant nut.

 

Looking forward to tomorrow!

Witch Doctor is my pick for the 2019 Battlebots Champion (Sweet Sixteen Bracket)

BattleBots-2019-Bracket.jpg

Man, this was a rough bracket to fill.

With so many good robots participating this year I struggled picking which bot would advance and which would go home.  Nonetheless, I am (mostly) confident that Witch Doctor, if not Tombstone, would be the winner of this year’s Battlebots.  Let’s take a quick look at my reasonings.

Sweet Sixteen
Biteforce vs. Uppercut- Biteforce by KO in less than 2 minutes
Biteforce has been a near unstoppable force this season while the rookie Uppercut has struggled to deliver satisfying KOs.  I think Biteforce will end Uppercut in less than two minutes and move on unscathed.

Black Dragon vs. Lockjaw- Black Dragon by UD
This was a tough call for me as these two bots have shown sturdiness and ability to deliver strong hits.  But who to choose?  Rookie team from Brazil or the veteran driver?  Based on Black Dragon’s last four matches, I’m giving it to Black Dragon for a mild upset.  I think both bots will be aggressive and have nice control but BD will win by Unanimous Decision by the Judges.

Tombstone vs. Quantum- Tombstone by KO, 1:20
Now, I can see Quantum winning like it did against Valkyrie by tanking hits and pushing its foe around the arena until the bell rings.  But Tombstone…is no Valkyrie!  That weapon is crazy dangerous and I think no amount of bite force will save Quantum.  I bet Quantum’s jaw will even go crooked like a sad croc when its done from this match.

Huge vs Whiplash- Huge by UD
Huge has improved so much since last season to the point that if you’re not a horizontal spinner than you’re in for a bad time.  If it wasn’t for the Hypershock vs Huge match I would’ve given it to Whiplash but now…I have to give it to my man, HUGE!  Whiplash will have difficultly controlling the match while Huge will just wail at it until its bruised, bruised, bruised.

Witch Doctor vs. Blacksmith- Witch Doctor by UD
Blacksmith’s luck may have turned in the nick of time by the end of the season but I’m afraid his luck will run out against the 4-0 Witch Doctor.  The hammer hasn’t been shown to be too effective and it would be hard to accurately pound the very agile Witch Doctor.  I think Witch Doctor won’t be able to KO Blacksmith but it will still win the match easily.

Son of Whyachi vs. Sawblaze- SoW by KO, less than a minute
Yes, I know, I know, SoW can be flipped and KO easily but I honestly think it can damage Sawblaze to the point of destruction before it could have a chance to flip it.  That saw is just begging to be torn and bludgeoned off.

Hydra vs. Minotaur- Hydra by SD
This will probably be the closest match for the Sweet Sixteen.  Minotaur is basically unflippable and Hydra would have to win by flipping Minotaur out of the arena, which is entirely possible, or by simply dominating the match by flips after flips.  Minotaur can easily win though by aggressive and chipping away from all sides.  However, I honestly can’t see Minotaur do too much damage due to Hydra’s low design and smooth armor.  I think Hydra will win if by Split Decision if it can’t flip Minotaur out.

Death Roll vs. Yeti- Death Roll by SD
This was also a very hard match to decide and if it was any other year and even six episodes ago I would have easily picked Yeti…but now…?  I don’t know…I feel like Death Roll has been such a chaotic force this year that I think it will be this bracket’s Dark Horse.  Yeti on the other hand has been…alright…not great but good.  I think Death Roll will do some crazy upset that will throw everyone for a loop by damaging Yeti until it starts smoking by the end of this match.  Weirder things have happened this season.

 

Elite Eight
Bite Force vs. Black Dragon- Black Dragon by KO in 2:35
That’s right!  I’m calling it here!  Bite Force will lose to Black Dragon in a surprise upset!  The desperado team will continue their wins by a long but strong match against the champion.  There will be many clashes and collisions and both bots will be heavily damaged but I think Black Dragon will throw us for a loop and flip Bite Force onto its back and win with a KO.

Huge vs. Tombstone- Tombstone by KO, less than a minute
There are two bots in this bracket that can defeat Huge, Tombstone and SoW.  If Huge doesn’t fight them he will win.  But unfortunately, Huge will have to fight Tombstone and he will lose to that ferocious horizontal spinner.  Perhaps Huge will have a different set of wheels than what we’re used to but I think it will be fruitless against the former champ.

Witch Doctor vs SoW- Witch Doctor by KO in about one minute
Witch Doctor and Death Roll are this season’s most improved bots.  I think Witch Doctor will continue her reign by defeating another improved bot, Son of Whyachi.  Witch Doctor’s record can be spotty, yes, but I think this will be one of those matches that will be done in less that five hits.  One solid hit by Witch Doctor’s vertical spinner will send SoW up…and onto its back.

Hydra vs Death Roll- Hydra by KO in 1:40
However, Death Roll’s luck will end here.  With two 4-0 bots fighting each other someone has to bow down and it will be Death Roll.  I think Hydra is just too experienced and intense for Death Roll to handle.  Death Roll will have a hard time damaging Hydra and a few good flips from Hydra I think will wreck Death Roll.

Final Four and Championship
Black Dragon vs. Tombstone- Tombstone by KO in about a minute
Black Dragon will be the talk of the town as the rookie who made it to the semi-finals.  However, it will fight Tombstone and, unfortunately, the Duck’s good luck powers will run dry.  Tombstone will wallop and destroy Black Dragon with a quick KO.

Hydra vs. Witch Doctor-Witch Doctor by JD
I think some of you might say I’m inconsistent here with Hydra beating Death Roll and Minotaur but lose to Witch Doctor.  You are…correct!  But!  Witch Doctor has been really good this season!  Reddit likes to shit on Witch Doctor (which was very much undeserved even before this season) but it’s a good bot on a good team!  I think Witch Doctor is sturdy and strong.  I think it has a good shot of taking down Hydra by chipping away, avoiding the flipper, and controlling the match.

Witch Doctor vs Tombstone- Witch Doctor by KO, in about a minute

I rest my case.

 

And as a bonus, here is Mary’s bracket!

BattleBots-2019-Bracket Mary

Battlebots 2019 should be a 24-Seeded Tournament

After the Battlebots’ 2019 season Desperado Tournament, there was a constant discussion between the hosts, Kenny and Chris, about whether a 2-2 bot could make it post-season.  The problem is, there are an incredible amount of bots that have scored this 2-2 record.  These bots have seen a variety of opponents and as such, no 2-2 bot has the same path.  So when the most recent episode, episode 13, ended the Battlebots’ main season, many people are wondering…who’s in and who’s out?

Unfortunately, we are not given the whole picture as there are a lot of bots who’s battles haven’t been televised.  So we have to work with what we know.  And the crazy thing is…we already have a rather clear idea which bots would be in a 16-seeded tournament.

First, Black Dragon is the automatic in as it won the Desperado Tournament.  Also, at the time of this writing, there are four bots with a 4-0 standing (Deathroll, Hydra, Biteforce, and Witch Doctor).  There are also 11 bots that have a 3-1 standing (Lockjaw, Sawblaze, Tombstone, Huge, Uppercut, Rail Gun Max, Skorpios, Son of Whyachi, Hypershock, Whiplash, and Yeti).  Automatically, we have 16 bots that we could easily pick and add to the tournament.  There might be some backlash but it wouldn’t be very controversial.

Deathroll of Team Deathroll

This poses a problem because there are sooooooo many good robots that have a 50% win record that are majorly missing out.  I’m talking Minotaur, Duck!, Cobalt, and Copperhead.  We’re missing some interesting bots that could upset the tournament.  Without these 2-2 bots, we’re losing some potential dark horses.  Something should be done that includes these prominent robots that got unlucky breaks.

It’s not surprising that we see a deluge of 3-1 bots for this season.  This season has the largest selection of robots yet for the competition clocking in to 68 robots (2017 had 55 robots, 2016 had 44, and 2015 had 28).  The increase of just 13 robots made the field incredibly competitive to the point that if you were not 3-1, you would be hard press to make it post-season unless you had some incredible wins.  Because of which, Battlebots should expand the 16-seed bracket into a 24-seeded tournament to include those incredible 2-2 robots.

A 24-seeded bracket actually works out really well when you do the math.  The first round would have 8 battles with 16 robots fighting each other.  Due to the 2-hour long episodes, you can easily squeeze these 8 battles in.  This also gives the top eight robots a free pass so they can sit back and relax while their opponents kick the crap out of each other.  There’s also about 17 robots that have a win record near or at 50% (Desperado robots like War Hawk have extra battles under their belt).  Eliminating those robots down to eight would be fun and exciting similar to the last-chance rumbles from last season.

So the next question should be.  Who deserves the top eight seeds, who will get in automatically for the middle eight seeds, and who should fight for the last eight seeds?  This is difficult to answer because, again, we don’t have answers to all the fights that happened this season.  But given what we have seen so far, we can have a pretty good idea where everyone would fall on this hypothetical 24-seeded bracket.

Hydra of Team Whyachi

The Top Eight

Obviously, the 4-0 bots are here; Deathroll, Biteforce, Hydra, and Witch Doctor.  Some fans argue that Deathroll doesn’t deserve a top four spot which, sure, the robots it defeated weren’t top tier but three of those matches were by KO which is impressive.  Even so, Deathroll more than qualifies for a top eight spot.  Hydra and Biteforce are interesting as who deserves the number 1 spot?  If we include Biteforce’s history then it should get the #1 spot.  However, in this season, Hydra has four KOs as opposed to Biteforce’s two!  True, Hydra fought more mid-tier robots but still, I’d have to give it to Hydra for #1.

The trickier question are the 3-1s.  Who to choose? Son of Whyachi and Hypershock should be an easy pick.  All three of their wins were by KOs and their only loss was by an equally good robot.  I would also pick Whiplash as a top eight bot due to being the only bot that KO’d SoW with its one loss to Witchdoctor, a 4-0 bot. Finally, Black Dragon, the Desperado winner, should be on here as the eight seed.  It has a 4-1 record which is pretty good.  One of those wins is against Minotaur who was back in his prime!  It also has three KOs which is fantastic.

Black Dragon of Team Uai!rrior

The Middle Eight

Most of the rest of the 3-1 bots will find their spots here.  Tombstone would probably be a 9 seed.  Despite its lackluster fight with Gruff and the surprise upset by Rotator, it easily KO’d Lockjaw and Sawblaze.  Unlike Bronco and Minotaur, this veteran is still packing punches!  The rest of the 3-1 bots, Lockjaw, Sawblaze, Huge, Uppercut, Rail Gun Max, Skorpios, and Yeti should be able to squeeze in.  However, if I were to pick one bot here that doesn’t deserve the middle eight it would probably be Sawblaze as none of its wins were by KO’s.

Below is a list of my top 16 bots in a hypothetical bracket.

1. Hydra
2. Biteforce
3. Witch Doctor
4. Deathroll
5. Hypershock
6. SoW
7. Whiplash
8. Black Dragon
9. Tombstone
10. Yeti
11. Skorpios
12. Lockjaw
13. Huge
14. Uppercut
15. Railgun Max
16. Sawblaze

Railgun Max of Team Atom

The Lower Eight (and what matches could be fought to determine this)

Okay, this is where the real fun begins!  Whereas the top 16 bots are basically shoe ins.  The lower eight is debatable on bot placement.  In order to determine who would be in the 17 to 24 seeds we’ll need to have some qualifying rounds and rumbles!

However, if there’s one bot we should include in the bracket it’s Minotaur, Minotaur started off reeeeeeeally rough this season but got better and better until he was back to his old self.  I think he deserves to be in the tournament after the hell he went through.

Okay, what about the rest?  Who to choose?  Ribbot, Rotator, Duck!, War Hawk, Cobalt, End Game, and Mammoth are robots who have KOs under their belt and fought some incredible matches.  Most of them lost to the robots listed above so their certainly not pitiful losses.  You even have the likes of Rotator upsetting Tombstone which was soooooooo goooooood.  Further down the tier, I think Valkyrie, Deep Six, Copperhead, Shatter, Wan Hoo, Blood Sport, Quantum, Blacksmith, and Free Shipping, should be given chances as well.  This gives us 16 robots to narrow down to 7.  Although we can pare down our list by randomly drawing bots to fight each other, there are a few matches I would like to see happen.

Mammoth vs Deep Six: A looooot of people want these giants to fight.  Having these two tangle would be a very satisfying match to watch.  With practically 95% of the competition sharing the same box-like design with a spinning weapon, it’s nice to see some variety and these guys deliver it!  Have them fight to determine who is the king of height!

Shatter vs Quantum: What happens when we have a bot whose gimmick is biting through armor fights a robot whose gimmick is peeling armor??  This match has the potential to be entertaining although both bots have had issues this season implementing their unique weapons.  This battle could be a shot at redemption for them.

Warhawk vs End Game vs Ribbot: Similar to last season’s three-way rumble, this battle would pit three vertical-spinning robots that have done well, but not great, this season.  We already have a lot of vertical spinners on the field so this battle could eliminate two of those robots.  These three robots have proven they can deliver KOs…they just weren’t able to consistently do that.  Of the three, I would put money on the kooky Ribbot to win.  Go Ribbot!

Quantum of Team Robo Challenge

It sounds like this next episode will mix things up according to the episode synopsis.  Good!  I was hoping they would pull the rug from us.  I would be surprised if they went this 24-seeded route but these past few seasons of Battlebots have given struggling robots a second chance which is great to see.  Here’s hoping for Duck! to win the tournament!