Category Archives: Pokemon

Best Pokemon Types for a Single Type Run in Sun and Moon

When Pokémon Sun and Moon was released I wanted to do another Single Type Run (or Monotype Run) analysis on these games similar to my earlier article on previous generations. The purpose of this project was to determine which types were the best for a Single Type Run in Pokémon Sun and Moon? With just two games to tackle, this question is easier to answer than before however, I had to change my setup as Trials and Kahunas were added and Gym Leaders were removed. I had to tackle this problem a little differently but I think I succeeded. If you want to find out what a team of Bug or Psychic Pokémon would be like in Pokémon Sun and Moon just scroll down past these next few paragraphs and find that type.

Image from pokemon.com

RULES: As in my last article, a Single Type Run assumes you don’t trade (so no Golem or Alakazam for instance) to yourself on Pokémon Bank or to other players. If you’re doing a run like Electric, you must capture the first available Electric Pokémon (Pichu) and box your starter. You may capture a Pokémon that will evolve into a certain type (like Pichu for a Psychic-type run) but you must evolve it asap. Only Pokémon that can be caught before the Elite Four are counted (so no Lucario).

So overall, how did Sun and Moon do compared to earlier games? Unfortunately, although Sun/Moon provides players with a diverse set of Pokémon fairly early on, these games are worse at covering weaknesses than XY (but roughly the same as ORAS). XY scored 32 out of 36 (18 types times two games) for neutralizing cover as opposed to SM’s 25 out of 36. Mind you, this is still pretty good when compared to other generation-premiere games as the next best is Ruby/Sapphire with a score of 16 out of 34.

What types did better in these games?

image from bulbagarden.net

image from bulbagarden.net

Right off the bat, the two types that benefited the most were Fairy and Ghost. This is the first time we have starters that evolve into those types. This combined with their neutral coverage makes them great types for a Single Type Run. This is one of the few times a Ghost-type run has neutral coverage so I urge you to try it out here. Also, you can catch a plethora of Ghost Pokémon on the first island including Drifloon, Gastly, Misdreavus, and Sableye; great Pokémon that will go far with you. Fairy types received a nice, mix bag of Pokémon such as Klefki’s weakness neutralization and Primarina and Mimikyu serving as back up.

I would argue that Sun and Moon are probably the best Pokémon games for an Ice-type run. You can get a Crabrawler somewhat early and from there you can get a Delibird and a Shellder and then an Eevee on Aklala Island. The biggest thing to consider is your Sandslash and Ninetales exclusives. Both of which neutralize certain weaknesses (Rock, Steel and Fighting respectively) but other Pokémon can cover them so it’s not a do-or-die situation. The biggest drawback is many of your powerhouses won’t be available until RIGHT before the Elite Four so that’s too bad.

I need to mention Fire type as well but only for Sun. There’s been only one game in the history of Pokémon where Fire’s weaknesses are neutralized and that’s Pokémon Black. Sun has offered a second chance at a fun Fire-type run thanks primarily to the Sun-exclusive Turtonator. It will still be a difficult run but fun nonetheless.

Electric, usually an okay type for a Single Type Run, is blessed with neutral coverage AND an early-available Pokémon via Pichu. Both of these things do not happen often for Electric, much less when they are together. If you’ve been holding out for a good Electric-type game, now’s the chance to try it out with such picks as Magnezone, Vikavolt, Eelektross (scan), and the Alolan variants of Graveler and Raichu.

Finally, we have our usual types that do well for a Single Type Run such as Water, Normal, Steel and so forth.  In particular, Water is probably the best type in Pokemon Sun and Moon for a Single Type Run.  A huge diversity combined with a great starter makes Water Type stand above the rest.  From Gyarados to Aquachnid, from Slowbro to Gastrodon, Sun and Moon gave us a type that can fill many rolls (special defense, physical attacker, status inflictor) and is there with us from the beginning.

What types did worse in these games?

image from bulbagarden.net

As expected, some types took a hit and aren’t as efficient in a Single Type Run as in previous games. For instance, it takes a looooong time before you get a Rock Pokémon so that’s a big disadvantage. Bug’s probably the biggest loser here though as it’s great recent record has finally been broken with glaring weaknesses to Rock attacks. This isn’t to say that a Bug-type run is bad as you still get a lot of new and interesting Pokémon to work with such as Golisopod or Vikavolt, but you’ll have to work hard to make sure you aren’t being torn apart by hikers.

Fighting type also took a hit due to FINALLY losing a starter that gains it as a secondary type. It takes awhile before you catch your first Fighting Pokémon (Crabrawler) and your team will have to watch out for Flying Pokémon (usually, a Lucario would watch your back in previous games but not this time around, they’re available after the Elite Four).

Types

Bug

Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Golisopod/Aquachnid, Romblebee, Parasect, Masquerain, Scolipede (scan)

First Pokémon: Caterpie, Ledyba, and Spinarak via Route 1

Cover weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized.

 

Dark

Ideal Team: Incineroar, Sabeleye, Hydregion (scan), Honchkrow, Muk, Pangoro

Optional: Krookodile, Absol, Weavile, Raticate, Sharpedo

First Pokémon: Litten via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Dragon

Ideal Team: Salamence, Komomo-o, Garchomp, Hydreigon (scan), Exeggutor, Drampa (moon)/Turtonator (sun)

Optional: Flygon, Haxorus (scan), Goodra

First Pokémon: Bagon via Route 3

Cover weaknesses? Nope, Dragon is not neutralized in both versions and Fairy is not neutralized in Moon.

 

Electric

Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Graveler, Magnezone, Eelektross(scan), Raichu, Oricorio

Optional: Electivire, Togedemaru, Jolteon, Lanturn

First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Fairy

Ideal Team: Primarina, Klefki, Whimsicott/Shiinotic, Mimikyu, Wigglytuff, Togekiss (scan)

Optional: Sylveon, Granbul, Ninetales, Carbink, Ribombee, Azumaril (scan)

First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Fighting

Ideal Team: Crabominable, Emboar (scan), Poliwrath, Bewear, Kommo-o, Pangoro

Optional: Primeape, Passimian (sun), Hariyama

First Pokémon: Crabrawler via Berry Fields

Cover weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized

 

Fire

Ideal Team: Incineroar, Arcanine/Turtonator(sun), Talonflame, Salazzle, Marowak, Emboar (scan)

Optional: Flareon, Chandelure (scan)

First Pokémon: Litten via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Only in Sun thanks to Turtonator. In Moon, Water is not neutralized.

 

Flying

Ideal Team: Toucannon, Gyarados, Drifblim, Aerodactyl, Salamence, Skarmory

Optional: Braviary(sun)/Mandibuzz(moon), Crobat, Talonflame, Masquerain, Honchkrow, Minior, Togekiss (scan)

First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Ghost

Ideal Team: Decidueye, Sableye, Palossand, Aegislash(scan), Marowak, Mimikyu

Optional: Trevanant, Dhelmise, Froslass, Drifblim, Haunter, Chandelure (scan), Mismagius

First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Grass

Ideal Team: Decidueye, Whimsicott, Parasect, Exeggutor, Roserade (scan), Dhelmise

Optional: Victreebel (scan)

First Pokémon: Rowlet via Starter

Cover weaknesses? No, Ice and Flying are not neutralized.

 

Ground

Ideal Team: Dugtrio, Gastrodon, Mamoswine (scan), Palossand, Krookodile, Garchomp

Optional: Mudsdale, Flygon, Rhydon (scan)

First Pokémon: Diglett in Verdant Cavern after completion of first trial

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Ice

Ideal Team: Froslass, Weavile, Sandslash(sun)/Ninetales (moon), Mamoswine (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Crabominable

Optional: Delibird, Glaceon

First Pokémon: Crabrawler via berry patches in Berry Fields on Melemele Island

Cover weaknesses? Surprisingly yes regardless of version differences.

 

Normal

Ideal Team: Toucannon, Tauros/Drampa (Moon), Snorlax, Wigglytuff, Bewear, Oranguru (moon)/Miltank

Optional: Raticate, Blissey

First Pokémon: Yungoos and Pikipek via Route 1

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Poison

Ideal Team: Muk, Scolipede(scan)/Ariados, Crobat, Tentacruel/Toxapex, Salazzle, Roserade (scan)

Optional: Haunter, Victreebel (scan)

First Pokémon: Grimer near the Trainer School

Cover weaknesses? Heck yes.

 

Psychic

Ideal Team: Oranguru, Slowbro/Starmie, Espeon, Metagross, Oricorio, Raichu

Optional: Hypno, Kadabra, Bruxish

First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1

Cover weaknesses? Nope, Dark is not neutralized.

 

Rock

Ideal Team: Carbink, Rhydon(scan), Graveler, Aerodactyl, Corsola/Relicanth/Caracosta(sun), Bastiodon(moon)/Probopass

Optional: Lycanroc, Sudowoodo, Rampardos (sun), Archeops (moon)

First Pokémon: Roggenrola at Ten Carat Hill

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Steel

Ideal Team: Metagross, Skarmory, Magnezone, Dugtrio, Bastiodon(moon)/Probopass, Aegislash (scan)

Optional Pokémon: Sandslash (sun), Togedemaru, Klefki

First Pokémon: Magnemite near the Trainer School

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Water

Ideal Team: Primarina, Gyarados, Slowbro/Starmie/Bruxish, Gastrodon, Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Golisopod/Aquachnid,

Optional: Whiscash, Poliwrath, Milotic, Lanturn, Sharpedo, Corsola/Relicanth/Caracosta(sun), Azumaril (scan)

First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes

Break the Ice (or how to improve the fragile Ice Type in Pokemon)

Over the past few Pokémon generations, Gamefreak continuously tweaked and balanced Pokémon to the point that weak types (like Poison) were strengthened while other types (like Fighting) were checked.  New moves, abilities, and stat changes made weak or irrelevant Pokémon respectful.  But through it all, one type has remained virtually unchanged since Generation 2 and that’s the Ice type.

The Ice type is notorious for its great offensive lineup but abysmal defense.   The only type it resists is itself and it’s weak to Fire, Fighting, Rock, and Steel moves.  Keep in mind, Fighting, Fire, and Rock moves are plentiful due to the plethora of Pokémon that can learn them.  As such, many hardcore players favor fast, hard hitting Ice Pokémon, like Weavile, if they want to use them at all.  Meanwhile, defensive Ice Pokémon, like Avalugg or Cryogonal, can not fully live up to their tank desires.  Personally, I usually train dual-typed Ice Pokémon to mitigate their poor defenses.

Ice Pokémon as such, are in desperate need for an upgrade.  Gamefreak needs to fully realize this type and bring it into the fold as a well-rounded type.  But how can Gamefreak do that?  In order to answer this question I decided to do a quick analysis of all 18 types of Pokémon and determined which types could be nerfed in order to advance Ice Pokémon.

In short, I compared each types Super Effective (SE) to Not Very Effective (NVE) ratios for both offense and defense.  Some types are better defenders than attackers (e.g., Poison and Steel) while others are vice versa (e.g., Ground and Rock).  In our case, we want to up Ice type’s defense to be on par with the average type.  At the same time, however, we want to ensure that other types aren’t severely nerfed.  After a lot of tinkering, pondering and calculating, here’s what I came up with.

Changes to Ice Type

Steel normally damages Ice

Ice resists Ground

Ice resists Ghost

Hail boosts Ice Type’s defense by 50%

 

This may surprise some of you for my choices so I’ll break it down why I chose these types to improve Ice.  First off, Steel can just get out of here!  Steel is the best defensive type in the game, period.  As such, Steel does not need to be SE against three different types.  I love how Steel is powerful against Fairy as that really plays into the mythical history of fairies and forged weapons.  But Ice???  I don’t honestly see why it’s SE unless you’re a snowplow.  There are plenty of types out there that are only SE against two types such as Electric, Dark, and Poison so we can shove Steel into that category.

Ice losing its Steel weakness does not majorly affect Ice as Steel moves aren’t that common as mainly Steel Pokémon use them.  Plus, as mentioned before, Rock, Fire, and Fighting are very common moves so you can easily use these types to take down Ice (Steel Pokémon also commonly learn Rock moves).

Speaking of common attacking types, let’s talk about Ground!  Ice is already SE against Ground so it wouldn’t be surprising if Ice gained a resistance towards them as well.  Sooooo many type combos have this relationship including the famous precedent of Fire-Grass-Water.  Ground and Ice should be similar.  Ground also has the best SE to NVE ratio out of all the types being SE against five types with only two types resisting and a third with immunity.  I ask the court to look at Fighting for my justification as well.  Fighting has five SE and six NVE/immune defending types.  An added resistance would still not place Ground on the same level as Fire.  In short, Ice’s resistance towards Ground would not hugely impact Ground’s usefulness.

Which comes to my final type change, Ice resisting Ghost.  After I decided Ice should resist Ground I was debating whether to even add another resistance.  After all, the Ice Type is a GREAT offensive type.  It’s SE against Dragon, Grass, Flying, and Ground.  A great mixture that leads to quite a few 4x weaknesses.  When compared to other types, Ice is above average when it comes to attacking.  As such, Ice should still be below average when it comes to defense.  But here’s the thing, quite a few types have four or more resistances so having a third resistance would still place Ice in the below-average category.  But which type?

When I first started this project, I leaned heavy towards an Electric resistance as ice in real life conducts electricity rather poorly.  Electric also only has one weakness.  However, Electric already has a rather poor showing in the attacking category as only two types are weak to it whereas three resist and one is immune to it.  I eventually chose Ghost as only Normal and Dark can counter it.  Plus, when Gen VI rolled around, Gamefreak removed Steel’s resistance of Ghost giving it a mild boost.  As such, I don’t think it would harm Ghost that much if Ice gained a resistance out of it.

BTW, what’s the logic behind Ice resisting Ghost?  Well, I kind of feel like it would counter the shiver people get when their scared.  Since Ice types are already cold, they can’t shiver like Ghost Pokémon would want them to, hence, they resist Ghost attacks.

Finally, let’s talk about the weather!  Back in Gen V, weather teams were all the rage.  Thanks to the like of Hippowdon, Ninetales, Politoed, and Tyranitar, weather effects on the battlefield were common except for Hail.  Snow Stream may benefit Ice Type’s and their abilities but that’s about it.  Even Sandstorm gave Rock Pokémon a 50% boost in their special defense.  Why can’t we say the same thing about Hail?  With this addition, Ice Pokémon can “weather” out attacks and stay strong on the battlefield.

Who benefits the most out of this?

Obviously all Ice Pokémon would rejoice if they were to hear these news but these changes would benefit some Pokémon more than others specifically…

Defensive Ice Pokémon

Avalugg, Cloyster, and Cryogonal would now shine in their tanky roles.  Cloyster was already an effective tank but it had to use its Water typing to get an edge.  With this update, Cloyster now resists five types and is weak to four.  Cloyster can be used as an effective check towards such Pokémon as Scizor, Aegislash, and Excadrill.

Alolan Sandslash, fresh off of Sun and Moon, would benefit nicely as well with its 120 defense power.  A Ground weakness is now neutralized leaving a 4x weakness to Fire and Fighting.  This adds up Sandslash’s resistances and immunities to 11, a fantastic, defensive Pokémon.

Thick Fat Users

Thick Fat is an ability that halves damage from Ice and Fire attacks.  Dewgong, Mamoswine, and Walrein all have this ability which helps them tremendously.  The updated Ice Type would definitely benefit them especially Mamoswine.  Now, a Thick Fat Mamoswine would resist four types, be immune to one and be weak to three.  Mamoswine could finally be a decent switch-in against many Pokémon including prominent Ground and Steel types.

Former Ghost-weakness

Froslass and Jynx would now be one of the few Ghost and Psychic Pokémon that have normal resistance to their dreaded Ghost foes.  I feel like Froslass, with its average stats, would profit the most out of the two by gaining some sweet advantages.  Froslass can now Shadow Ball her Ghost comrades and serve as a decent counter to the likes of Golurk, Palossand, and Aegislash.  This is not to say that Jynx wouldn’t benefit as well as now she can serve as an effective status inflictor and a by-the-books offensive sweeper.

Hail users

We saved the best for last.  With a 50% boost in defense in Hail, Ice Pokémon can now become tough-as-nails in their weather.  Plus, many Ice Pokémon have abilities that directly benefit from Hail including Snow Cloak, Ice Body, and Slush Rush.

Let’s start first with Abomasnow.  Ice Pokémon hail their pine tree bro as he gets the party started with his sweet Snow Warning ability!  Abomasnow would be a great switch in to Rain Dance/Sandstorm teams as he could withstand oncoming Ground and Water attacks and dish out a 100% accurate Blizzard (plus it doesn’t hurt that he can Mega evolve).  After you got a decent Hailstorm brewing start throwing in your tanky Ice types to sow anger and discontent among your foes.  Ice Body users like Glaceon and Avalugg will be blessed by their increased defenses while a Walrein with Leftovers would be extraordinarily difficult to take down.

This scenario will make Hail a now viable weather scenario that could be taken seriously among hardcore players.  Hail would still not be as popular as Sandstorm and alike but at least it would be treated respectfully.

 

Could this ever happen?  It’s hard to say in all honesty.  Gamefreak’s continuous modification to Pokémon means anything’s on the table.  Maybe Ice wouldn’t gain these respective resistances but a new type could shake things up and make Ice defensively viable.  Granted, this probably won’t happen until the next Generation which would be awhile and that’s fine.  But until then, fingers crossed!

 

All images from pokemon wiki

Pokemon Go, the National Park Service, and Our Drive to Collect Them All

Author’s note, this article does not necessarily reflect the views of the National Park Service or Fossil Butte National Monument. This is just my own personal opinion.

When I was a kid, I would bike to a nearby state park and walk through the woods in blissful delight. I would imagine myself walking through Viridian Woods, a fictional location in the Pokémon video games, and pretend I was catching forest Pokémon that lived in that forest such as Caterpies or Heracross. I would envision myself on a journey; to fight other trainers and travel across the land. This was only imagination but that never stopped me from hoping this might be true one day.

And now, Pokémon Go has given us that opportunity to get as close as we can to capture Pokémon in the real world. So many fans have responded positively to this App that its no wonder Nintendo’s shares have been soaring. There is a real sense of discovery, excitement, and wonder packaged in this app. And this app doesn’t take you to just localized areas in your city but across the country as well. To such places as the National Parks.

The National Park Service (NPS) is currently facing a rather perilous position on park visitation. On the one hand, such great and notable parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Tetons are receiving too much love. The parks are super crowded and the park facilities are strained to their limit to deal with the massive amount of people that visit. On the other hand, some parks and monuments are facing too little visitation or simply aren’t viewed as parks as all. These parks go out of their way, whether it be social media, attending county fairs or visiting local communities, to connect to their local audience and attract those that live miles away. In my opinion, these are the parks that are on the forefront of innovation.

The NPS has had a history of adapting through perseverance. In the early 1900s, train companies would boast what national parks they go by, in the 1920s, roads were built and more eastern parks were established to attract a wider audience, in the 1960s, visitor centers and facilities were built to accommodate the large amount of visitors and in the modern age, parks are using social media to reach out in ways that would be impossible even 15 years ago. Our latest slogan, “Find Your Park,” encourages people from across the country to find nearby parks they should visit.

Now, who’s to say that the NPS shouldn’t use Pokémon Go or other geographic-depending apps?

Pokémon has had a surprising history of bringing people off the couch and together, even outside, since its birth. In fact, the main reason why Pokémon has yet to see a home console release is that the creators firmly believe it would devalue the branding (it is short for “Pocket Monsters” after all). Children would bring their Gameboys around and trade with each other. The DS generation got rid of cables and introduced global trading as well. It’s a very interactive game.

The Pokewalker was the best device that got people outside. The Pokewalker was compatible to Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. You could transfer your Pokémon to this pedometer and walk around outside. Every step you took added another experience point to your Pokémon and as such, I would constantly find myself going that extra thousand steps to ensure my Pokémon would level up and get stronger. And now, people can do this not with the pedometer but with their phones! Hatching eggs and catching Pokémon is out there! They’re walking about ready to be caught! It’s exciting! And this is what the National Park Service should be capitalizing on.

Here’s the biggest reason why I think this could work.

At the National Park Service we sell such things as hiking medallions, pins, patches, and magnets. Each park, for the most part, have their own, unique, collectable items along with the iconic stamping stations. Visitors are incessant on acquiring these stamps and items. It’s sometimes one of the first things they do when they enter the visitor center. Two of the most common questions I answer are “Where’s the bathroom” and “Where’s the stamping station?” No other question even comes close to their popularity. The visitors desire to collect every stamp or item for each National Park they visit (sound familiar??).

And the best part? Sometimes, the stamp stations are the only reason why they come. And when they come they are surprised by what we have to offer. Beautiful fossils preserved almost to perfection. A whole ancient ecosystem of fishes, birds, early mammals, plants, and insects are at their beck and call. Leaves have their veins intact, fishes have their scales, and delicate feathers are still attached to their host. We are unusual, that’s why we are a national monument. That’s why we are here. That’s why you are stamping your station.

Pokémon Go has tapped into that same desire of Catching Them All. We get off our couches and computer chairs and go outside! It’s crazy! Every day I read so many fantastic things that are happening because of Pokémon Go. People are interacting with each other, discovering new places and walking so much their legs get sore. It’s fantastic!

And how do we combine these two? Well, this is the best part (and I’m surprised no one has thought of this yet to the best of my knowledge…)!

As of the writing of this article, we have 57 (counting the three in the upcoming games) Legendary Pokémon. And ALSO right now we have 58 national parks in the United States! That’s crazy! It’s like the stars aligned for us because what if we could find a legendary Pokémon for each of our national parks?

Think about it.

Our national parks are treasured for their uniqueness. There is nothing else like them in the world. As such we protect them to make sure they are preserved for future generations. Likewise, there is only one Legendary Pokémon (i.e., there can be multiple Pikachus but only one Mew). So what if you were to go to say Yellowstone and go through one of the trails and find Volcanion (which is essentially a geyser Pokémon). Or enjoy Denali and find Regice? How about Celebi at Great Smoky Mountains or Heatran at Hawai’i Volcanoes? If your desire to catch them all is that strong then visit us. And be amazed at what you have to find here.

The biggest downside to this though is that Pokémon Go could depreciate the value of parks and even outright insult them. People working at parks that are more scenic or scientifically inclined would likely not care as much about Pokémon Go visitors as those working at monuments that value an emotional event. I certainly cannot imagine a case where the NPS would embrace Pokémon Go at such sites as Flight 93, Battle of the Little Bighorn, or Boston African American National Historic Site and that’s fine. We don’t have to do that. It is a tricky subject and I’m certainly not the guy to try to resolve that situation.

But for those of you that believe that Pokémon Go will devalue the parks consider this. A passage from Interpreting our Heritage by Freeman Tilden, one of the greatest books about interpretation in the NPS.  In chapter 2 Tilden writes

“A roster of the reasons why people visit parks, museums, historic houses, and similar preserves, though a fascinating excursion into human psychology, need not detain us here. All interpreters know from their experiences that the reasons are so many and diverse that merely to name them all would take pages of this book.

I go upon the assumption that whatever their reasons for coming, the visitors are there. What we should determine, then, if we aim at establishing our first principle of interpretation is: now that the visitor is here, in what will be his chief interest, and inevitably his chief interest, while he is with us?

The answer is: The visitor’s chief interest is in whatever touches his personality, his experience and his ideals.”

And from there, we must connect, our experiences, our ideas, emotions, feelings, and attitudes towards the visitor. Pokémon Go can act as a gateway to the NPS. They are here so perhaps we may find some connection with them on a personal level (why can you find an Articuno at Glacier?). And before you do so ask yourself, what is Pokémon all about? How can it be related to the NPS?

For me the two are similar in that they are a sense of discovery, exploration, social connection, and wonder. It harkens back to what I was saying earlier of my childhood. Walking through the forest and catching that caterpie. Now, I can do that for real.

And as for you. Will you Find Your Park today and decide to Catch Them All?

P.S.  Check this video by the National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis.  That’s awesome!

The Best Pokémon Games and Types for a Single Type Run

Self-made video game challenges and runs have been a staple in recent gaming and can create exciting and new ways to replay your favorite games. There are a whole variety of them ranging from a no-kill run in Metal Gear Solid to only using your knife as a weapon in Resident Evil 4. Pokémon is no exception to this rule as one of the most famous video game challenges of all time is the Nuzlocke Run which actually makes the Pokémon games exceedingly difficult. Today, I offer you a different sort of run, one that although is not as challenging as a Nuzlocke Run, is still very enjoyable. I give you, a Single Type Run/Challenge.

Simply put, a Single Type Run is where you catch Pokémon who only belong to a certain type whether it is Water, Bug, Dark, or Dragon. If a Pokémon does not have a type in that category then it’s out.   This is a great challenge I think because you can form a team around your favorite type(s) and not have to worry much about picking your favorites. Your team’s weaknesses are what make this challenging as you have to look out for moves or Pokémon that may defeat you. And to be fair, this isn’t exactly a brand new, exciting concept; many people have done this Run for a long time. That is why today, I’m going in depth and telling you what Pokémon games and types are the best for a Single Type Run. Let’s take a look!

If you want to cut right to the chase, just click the image below that will explain everything to you concisely. Below the chart I have written my methods in approaching this monumental task and the overall best games and types for a Single Type Run.

Pokemon, Pokemon Single Type Run, Single Type Run, Single Type

Before I analyzed a whole bunch of different pokedexes, I had to design a series of rules to make sure I kept my analysis consistent. As such, here are the rules for my version of the Single Type Run.

  1. A type must be selected before starting the game. Upon playing the game the player must make all attempts to capture a Pokémon of that type as soon as possible. Once captured, the previous Pokémon of the party must be disregarded if they are not of that type.
  2. Pokémon that have yet to evolve into that type (e.g., Nidoran in a Ground type Run or Caterpie in a Flying type Run) may be caught but must be evolved as soon as possible.
  3. Mega Evolutions that changes a Pokémon to your type are allowed provided you mega evolve the Pokémon as soon as their battle begins.

Of course, everyone has their own version of the rules and that’s totally fine! This is just how I approached the analysis.

In order to determine which Pokémon games are the best for a Single Type Run I had to design a categorizing system that was nonsubjective. What’s more, I had to find a simple but effective rating system that can satisfy all 406 possible combinations between typing and the games. This was solved by a dual grading system using numbers and letters. Every typing and video game combination has a one letter (A-F) and one number (1-4) grade for how beneficial a Single Type Run would be. Numbers indicate a game’s type diversity. For instance: 1=At least six unique catchable Pokémon, all weaknesses are neutralized/covered; 2=At least six unique catchable Pokémon; 3=Three-to-five unique catchable Pokémon; 4=Only one-to-two unique catchable Pokémon. Letters indicate how early you can catch a Pokémon: A=First Pokémon you can catch is before the first gym; B=Between the first-second gym; C=Between the second-third gym; D=Between the third-fifth gym; F=After the fifth gym. For example, if you were to do a Ground type run in Pokémon Red, you would have a 2A rating (i.e., you can catch at least six Ground type Pokémon and the first Pokémon you can catch is before the first gym (the Nidorans)).

As such, a 1A rating in Single Type Run is the best rating you could get when selecting your type and game. You can catch a Pokémon fairly early on and you can get a diversified team that has all of its weaknesses covered. If that doesn’t bother you and are fine with doubling up, then hey, that’s cool. Surprisingly, given all the strict guidelines, there are a whopping 145 combinations that have a 1A rating. That’s 36%! This is mainly thanks to Generation 6 which had a huge diversity of Pokémon in their respective games (64% of their possible type combinations had a 1A rating).

For the purpose of saving a lot of headaches, trading was not included in the Single Type Run Chart. Trading defeats the purpose of the Run as it’s much easier to get a team of six Pokémon (especially in the later generations) that has all of its weaknesses covered. This is why a lot of games on the Chart (such as Generation One for Bug types) won’t have the full team even if they have the diversity needed (Scyther and Pinsir are version-exclusive Pokémon). Also, Pokémon catchable after the Elite Four were not included as, in my opinion, you’re at the end of the game. I imagine you win the challenge once you beat the Elite Four. True, some games have a lot of content after the Elite Four (such as the Johto games), but this is only after hours and hours of playing the games. Tyranitar in Gold/Silver is a great example as you can catch Larvitar at Mount Silver but that’s only after you acquired 16 badges (and by then, what’s the point?).

The Best and Worst Pokémon Games for a Single Type Run

By far, the best Pokémon games for a Single Type Run are Pokémon X and Y followed by Pokémon AlphaSapphire, and then Pokémon OmegaRuby and Pokémon Platinum. Both Pokémon X and Y had a remarkable 1A ratio of 13-18. That’s unreal! And the other types that did not get a 1A were also pretty good as the worse rating was only a 2B (Dragon). And considering how this is one of the few games that an Ice type Run is actually feasible, I think this is a good bet to go for! Alpha Sapphire is the other game I recommend you play for a Single Type Run. It has a high amount of 1A ratings (11-18) and is the only game in the entire series to have a 1A rating for Ghost! This is thanks to Nincada in Route 116, a Sableye in Granite Cave, as well as the plethora of catchable Ghost Pokémon near the end of the game.

The games to avoid would definitely be the Generation 1 games and that’s not surprising given the games’ initial lack of diversity. Pokémon Blue and Yellow only have one 1A rating (Normal) while Red has that and Electric. Ironically, the Electric type only sometimes acquires a 1A rating given their low diversity. If you want to do an Electric type Run in Yellow, catch a Pikachu and later catch a Magnemite, then Jolteon, Electabuzz, Voltorb, and Zapdos. I wouldn’t recommend this though given the mentioned Pokémon have a rather low movepool (look towards B2 and W2 if you want an Electric type Run).

The Best and Worst Types for a Single Type Run

Normal, Normal, Normal, Normal! The Normal type is the only type that has a 100% 1A rating. This is thanks to Normal type having only one weakness (Fighting) which it can easily cover! Oh, and guess what! The Normal/Flying type combination is the most common type combination in the games. Every generation has introduced one and you are more than likely to run into one in the game’s first route. Boom, Normal’s commonality combined with its low weaknesses and early route availability makes it the perfect type for a Single Type Run. I recommend going old school and do a Normal type Run in Generation 1 as you can catch a plethora of iconic Pokémon like Jigglypuff, Pidgey, Tauros, Kangaskhan, and Snorlax. You will have a fun time as they are strong and can learn a variety of moves.

If you don’t want Normal I would then recommend a Water type Run (although Ground, Bug, and Flying are also good). Again, their commonality and low amount of weaknesses make them a great type to do a Run. Water/Ground and Water/Flying Pokémon are surprisingly common and are introduced in almost every generation. These two potent combos cover Water type’s weaknesses and more than help you have a good time. If I were to recommend some games they would be Pokémon Sapphire, Emerald, and Alpha Sapphire. Pick Mudkip as your starter (Water/Ground), catch a Lotad (Water/Grass) in Route 102, and Wingull (Water/Flying) in Route 104 and you are set. From there, you are given a huge range of great Water Pokémon. Some off the top of my head are Gyarados, Crawdaunt, Sharpedo, Lanturn, Tentacruel, Marill, and Relicanth.

Ice and Dragon type are the worse types for a Single Type Run. This is not surprising given they are usually available fairly late in the game and their diversity is rather lack luster. Surprisingly, Ice type received a 1 rating in Silver and Crystal but is severely marred by their late game status. If you want to do an Ice type run go for X and Y. Pick up the Sail Fossil, resurrect Amaura, and start catching some great Ice Pokémon. Unfortunately, Dragon type never gets a 1 rating although it has come close. As for which game, I’m honestly torn between XY and ORAS. On the one hand, you can get a Mega Sceptile/Altaria in ORAS although in X you can get a Mega Charizard X. Tough call.

Trivia

-If you want to do a Water type Run in Pokémon Yellow, your first Pokémon will be a Magikarp from the Pokecenter salesman outside of Mount Moon. Have fun!

-In general, the third game in a series (Crystal, Emerald, Platinum, and B2W2) will have an increase in 1A ratings due to an increase in diversity. The only exception to this is Pokémon Yellow.

-Remakes’ (FRLG and HGSS) ratings are generally similar to their original games as Pokémon availability are generally the same. The major exception to this is ORAS which introduced the National Dex before the Elite Four and not after. ORAS has a 1A rating of 11/18 (61%) while Ruby and Sapphire averages out to 6.5/17 (38%).

-Despite being introduced in Generation Six, Fairy type has a 1A rating of 100% in all four Generation Six games. This is thanks to the variety of Pokémon from previous generations changing to the Fairy type like Mawile, Gardevoir, Marill, and Wigglytuff.

Final Thoughts?

So that’s the article! I worked on this for a couple of months, whenever I had time to kill or just wanted a break from my normal work load. I double checked my sources although I know I might have messed up a rating so if you spot something that’s incorrect, let me know! Happy playing!

Crazy Theory: Missingno. is in Pokemon Sun and Moon

Okay, crack theory time.

In the latest Pokémon Direct (February 26th, 2016), the Pokémon Company revealed that you can transfer your Pokémon in Red, Blue, and Yellow, from their Virtual Console games, to Pokémon Bank, and to the newly revealed upcoming games, Pokémon Sun and Moon. This is exciting news. As I’m sure you are aware, fans were very displeased when Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire were released as you couldn’t transfer your Pokémon from Generation 1 or 2 to these games. You had to leave your old Pokémon behind.

But now that’s changed. Not only can you replay the original Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow games, now you can play them and transfer them to new games and still be with them.

And in all of the excitement of transfers, I would like to bring up Missingno. which has been confirmed, via fan footage, that you can capture this “Pokémon” again in the new virtual console games. The question though begs to be asked, can you transfer this glitched Pokémon to Pokémon Bank?

In Generation 1 when you transfer Missingno. to Pokémon stadium, it can become a ditto or a substitute doll no matter what form. Will the same thing happen to Pokémon Bank? In this case, will Missingno. turn into a ditto upon upload?

I (like to) think not and here’s why. One, Nintendo knows that Missingno. exists as evidenced by their Customer Service account. Two, since they do know it exists, and the potential harm Missingno. can have on saved accounts, why would they bother to still keep it in the game? At the very least they probably programmed it so you can capture a Missingno. and still have infinite items without messing up your data.

As such, I propose my very crazy theory in that Missingno. will be an actual, for real Pokémon, in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Not only will it be a Pokémon, it will be an story driven Pokémon that the evil team will use to glitch the world into their favor. Maybe they won’t use it in Sun and Moon (perhaps in a sequel), but the possibilities of Missingno. are endless as the evil team could use this Pokémon to create infinite items, say Master Balls, and use the Pokémon to exploit the world you live in. And if they’re not careful, could throw the whole world out of whack. Super scary thought for sure.

Although the above scenario is highly unlikely, I still find the upcoming events of Missingno., Virtual Console, Pokémon Bank, and Sun and Moon quite interesting so keep an eye out for that when more information is revealed.

The Pokemon Riddle Challenge

So last year, I talked about the Seven Deadly Sins Riddle Challenge that I gave to my friends on my 21st birthday.  I basically challenged my friends to solve seven riddles with each riddle based on  one of the Seven Deadly Sins.  If you solved all seven riddles then I rewarded you with a prize.  When everyone wanted a sequel, I decided to rehost the challenge again on my 22nd birthday but this time, with a little extra flair.  As you can guess from the title, that year’s Riddle Challenge theme was based on Pokémon and this one was really cool in my opinion.

In total, there were eight riddles, representing the eight gyms, and each riddle was based on a Pokémon type.  So for instance, a riddle that took place in a nearby state park was the Forest Badge and it represented Grass Type.

Now, this Pokémon-themed challenge would have been fine with just the badges but I had to take it one step further and make this challenge different from the previous year.  In this case, I printed out Pokémon cards that everyone would have.  These Pokémon (Gallade for instance) knew two attacks (Ice Punch and Psycho Cut) which the competitor could use against the badges.  If the competitor was stuck on a riddle and everyone else had already solved their riddle, they could use their Pokémon and bypass the badge to the next riddle.  There are three catches to this though; one, you can only use moves that are super effective against the badge (Gallade uses Ice Punch on the Forest Badge for instance), two, your Pokémon is used up and can’t be used anymore, and three, the final cash prize is cut by half.  I liked the cards so much I even made one for myself to join in the fun (mine was Porygon2).  It was great because so many people got attached to their Pokémon and did not want to use it up even when they were stuck on their riddle (one of my friends was so excited when he got Garbodor while another was confused what the hell a Hippowdon was).  I liked that.  Once I passed out a Pokémon to everyone at my 22nd birthday party, I talked about the usual rules and the first riddle to the challenge.

Unfortunately, I can’t find the original card which makes me very sad. I love Porygon2 and it’s among my favorite Pokemon. It had the moves Thunderbolt and Ice Beam. Image from http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Porygon2_(Pok%C3%A9mon)

Unfortunately, I do not remember all of the Pokémon riddles and the original file that had all of them I think I lost when my old computer crashed on me.  Nonetheless, here are the ones I remembered along with a few in their original state (which you can try at home if you want!).

Badges

Metamorphous Badge-Bug Type.  Here is the riddle in its original form.

“I am famous.

Or do you not know?

Do I have to take you on a wondrous, whimsical trip, in order for you to understand?  I have given you all an invitation to this event and you came with no hesitation.

I am the son of four men!

Certainly, that idiot up there on that pile of dirt understands perfectly clear.  People don’t particularly adore the idiot but he sees the celestial body setting on the horizon and even his own two pupils!  He sees the Earth revolve around its axis.  Revolve, revolve, revolve.

I contain many stories of all sorts, both good memories and bad ones as well.

It has always been my dream to be an author.  But what should I write?  When I figure out, can I give you a sample of it?  It should be good!  True, it is about as long as War and Peace but I think you would like it!

I know my dads’ lives quite well, from their innocent beginnings to their climatic end.

There’s a girl that I adore, how I love her, how I need her!  But alas, she’s too fat.

My favorite numbers are five and six!

What’s that from afar?  It looks like a whole bunch of single people!  They haven’t been in a relationship in a while so they’re kind of sad.  Emily was one of them, that’s why no one showed up to her funeral.

Don’t you know who I am?

I am Humpty Dumpty!

 

Where can you find me?  Well, for starters, my neighbor is Earth!  I’m at a place where the host is a crazy addict whose a bit of a dork.  I hold your riddle!  Come and find me!”

­The answer to this riddle?  The Beetles!  The riddle was hid in the Magical Mystery Tour album in a record store.

Granite Badge-Rock Type.  Pretty standard, this riddle was located in the geology building on campus.  I used the student lounge room and hid it in one of the never-used drawers.  The riddle was a series of codes and letters that filled out the location of the riddle (address, room number, drawer number, etc.)

Forest Badge-Grass Type.  Mentioned this one before but this one was more of a challenge than a riddle as it depended on the first 8 out of 10 people to find the riddle.  The riddle was a simple word game and the trainer had to guess what grass-type Pokémon the words spell out.

Spectre Badge-Ghost Type.  One of my favorite, and most longwinded, of the riddles!  The trainer is given five names, arranged in a pentagram, and that’s it.  The five names are actually tombstones in a local cemetery and the five names surround a tombstone of a person whom a campus library was named after.  I placed a flower basket on that tombstone and it had a code which took the trainer to a book in the said library, inside the book was the next riddle (the book btw, was Legend of the Sleepy Hollow).

Stratigraphic Badge-Ground Type.  The last of the eight riddles, the trainer was simply given the phrase “TM28” along with six Pokémon.  The Pokémon represented latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates based on their pokedex number and “TM28” is the Pokémon move, Dig.  The trainer had to go to this spot and dig up the treasure.

Freedom Badge-Flying Type.  I actually have the original riddle right here “Follow, from beginning to end, the flight of the Jayhawk and on its doorsteps you will find the next riddle.”

The University of Kansas has a lot of Jayhawks, but this riddle talks about our mascot’s evolution which can be seen on the Union Floor.  If you follow their path, you are taken to the doorsteps of the Art Museum which is where I hid the next riddle.

This was the best image I could find on the internet that had the floor….so yeah…storm troopers! Anyway, you can see one of the jayhawks where they are standing. Image from http://www.kualumni.org/tag/kansas-union/

Antidote Badge-Poison Type.  Finally, we get to the Antidote Badge, maybe my actual favorite riddle of the eight.  In this challenge, instead of trainers trying to find a riddle, they are trying to solve a logic puzzle as seen below.  I’ll set out the rules and guidelines, but basically there are nine potions but only one of them is the antidote. You have to drink the antidote (with some exceptions) to move on.  Trainers have to tell me which potion they drink in person and I tell them if they drank the antidote or a poison.  Take a look

Poison Table 2

“Explanation:

There are nine potions in total and they are laid out in the table in front of you as seen in the diagram above.  6 of the potions are poisonous and will kill you instantly (these potions are known as the “Regulars”).  1 is the Antidote which allows you to go on to the next riddle if you choose to drink it.  1 is the Slow Poison which allows you 15 seconds to live before you die.  Finally, 1 is the Sacrifice Potion; the Sacrifice Potion gives you two options, either forfeit your Pokemon or choose another competitor to die in your place.  Either option will allow you to move on to the next riddle.

The Slow Poison is special in that you’re given the chance to correct your mistake by either A. drink the Antidote/Sacrifice Potion or B. use your Pokemon to save you from your error.  You are only given 15 seconds to decide though.

All nine potions have two statements that will help you determine which of them is the Antidote.  However, one of their statements is false and the other is true.  It is thus your duty to sort out the truths from the lies and narrow the selection down.

Some of the statements may seem confusing to this paragraph sorts out any inquires you may have.

  • For example, Green’s first statement is “The Slow Potion is not below me or to my right,” therefore, if this was true then the Slow Potion is not Blue, Purple or Brown. If this was false then the Slow Potion is either Blue, Purple or Brown.
  • “Rows” are the horizontal layers.
  • For other statements that mention several potions at once you will have to think carefully on. For example, Yellow’s second statement is “For Red, Blue, Green and Black.  All but one is a ‘Regular’.” If this was true then one of the four potions would be a special potion (the Antidote, the Slow Poison or the Sacrifice Potion) and the rest would be “Regulars.”  If this statement was false then it could be that more than one of them was a special potion or maybe none of them was a special potion.
  • Primary Colors are Red, Blue, Yellow. Secondary Colors are Green, Purple and Orange.”

I was later told by my friends that there are actually two solutions to this puzzle, whoops!  But that’s okay, this was my first shot in making a puzzle like this and it was fuuuuuuun.  I really liked this one because the trainer can be a dick if he or she wanted and kill someone else with the poison so they could eliminate competition.  No one did that, of course, but I figured I would throw it in.  I enjoy this riddle so see if you can figure it out!

In the end, this challenge was a lot of fun and my friends and I enjoyed it a lot.  I didn’t do another Birthday Riddle Challenge after this as I was kind of burnt out on riddles but still, it was great and I had a splendid time.

Pokemon in the Biology Lab

I’ve been teaching introductory biology labs for several semesters now and if there’s one thing that I learned it’s that you have a limited time to teach your students the current week’s material before they get bored. Most of the time, this is not an issue as students have already become familiar with the topic thanks to the lecture. As such, lab lecture is more or less reminding students of the material and less of teaching them something new. After a short introduction we get right into the lab and have some fun.

But for the times when the lab is covering something new, things can get a little tricky. I heard somewhere before that you have five minutes to teach your students the pre-lab material before they begin to zone out. Five minutes, unfortunately, is painfully short and as such, I try to mix things up as best as I can so my pupils can continue to remain engaged (one time I even dressed up as a Eukaryotic cell and asked my students what each of my organelles do to keep me alive).

Such as the case two weeks ago when we tackled the vertebrate diversity lab. One of my favorite labs ever, the students were divided into three groups and each group dissected three different vertebrates; a lamprey, a dogfish, a perch, a mudpuppy, a frog, an anoles lizard, a turtle, a pigeon, and a rat. These animals represented the numerous broad groups of vertebrates; agnathans, chondrichthyes, osteichthyes, amphibians, squamates, turtles, archosaurs, and mammals. The overall message for that week’s lab, through the dissection of the nine animals, was that vertebrates have all evolved from a simple body plan to accommodate their environment and lifestyles.

Now, on the whiteboard, I had drawn a simplified version of a vertebrate phylogenetic tree as provided to the students by their lab book. However, as I was talking about each group of animals, I would slap on a printed-out picture of a Pokémon as an example of that animal such as Eelektross for agnathans.

pokemon phylogenetics, vertebrates, pokemon

Yes, I know this vertebrate tree is highly simplified but this was the level of education the lab was focusing on for the students. The class textbook goes into greater detail about the intricate relationships. All images are from bulbapedia.

Eelektross is always the first animal/Pokémon I would use as it represents the first branch off of the tree. Immediately, once I place this Electric-type Pokémon on the tree, everyone sits up and takes notice. I like to think that I have jarred them out of their sleepy, spaced-out zone and thrust them into something that they don’t know about (if they’re not Pokémon fans) or have much interest in (if they are Pokémon fans). Even if they’re not familiar with Pokémon, I would give my students a real life example of that animal it represents (lampreys) and then explain what sets this animal apart from all the other animals in the small phylum. After doing so, I would continue to the other animal branches and elaborate what makes them so special all the while continuing to slap on example Pokémon on the whiteboard.

Besides doing this for comedic sake, I like to use Pokémon for two reasons. One, using Pokémon is a way to get students interested in the subject manner at hand. Many of my students are pre-Med or pharmaceutical majors and that’s totally fine. But here, at the doorstep of all that is biology, where students are exposed to so many different topics that they will never tackle again in their future, I try my damnedest to show them how awesome those weird and unique topics are even if they may be as seemingly uninteresting as plants or population genetics. I know I will not convince many of my students to change their chosen path in life but if I have just one student that just stopped and ponder briefly whether they should pursue another topic in biology because of my lab, then I have succeeded. Using Pokémon is just one of many ways I try to generate excitement of all that is biology (paleontology is another one as well, of course).

The second reason why I like to use Pokémon is that I try to encourage a friendly, welcoming environment in my lab. I like to have a lab where people can be themselves. My icebreaker question even sets the tone for my labs as I ask each of my students what they’re nerdy about. Let me tell you, this question is great as I get to learn so much from my students and I get to relate to them for that particular hobby at hand or a hobby that’s close to it. I even like to chat to them as the semester progresses about certain news that may pertain to their nerdy hobby such as a recent episode in Game of Thrones or a movie update for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Be yourself and be open to new ideas. As gimmicky as these may sound, I adhere to them like a barnacle on a hard substrate. I don’t know how well these two ideas have been picked up by my students, but I will say that they…I don’t want to necessary say “enjoy”…but certainly like my labs judging by my evaluations. I hope though in the long run, maybe 10 or even 20 years from now, they’ll remember my lab lectures and one day recall, while playing Trivia Pursuit, that Mantine is a manta ray and all manta rays are chondrichthyes and then they’ll win the game! But I’m just fantasizing at this point.