Pokemon Monotype Chart Updated to 2.03

Hey everyone!  Quick update, the Pokemon Monotype Chart is now updated to 2.03.  Thanks as usual to everyone who has send me in corrections!  I appreciate all of you very much!

Monotype Chart Version 2.03

Most of the changes are minor (add or subtract a Pokemon here or there) but there were a few moderate corrections of note.

-Ground and Rock teams in B2W2 went from a “D” to a “C” rating.  In the Castelia Sewers, you can connect to a small leg of Relic Passage before the third gym.  Still not the best to train Rock or Ground Pokemon in those games but it’s still an improvement.

-Apparently, the version exclusive Pokemon in RBY is different from FRLG.  I was very shocked!  Slowpoke, for instance, is absent in FireRed but present in Red, Blue, and Yellow.  That was frustrating to go back and correct…

-You can only catch a Sableye after the championship in Shield meaning your Ghost team is exposed to Ghost attacks.

-In Platinum, although Rampardos and Bastiodon are available, you can only train one and not the other!  It all depends on your trainer ID number.  If the last digit is odd you get a Rampardos and if it’s even you get a Bastiodon.  Boo!

Finally, the chart does not include DLC for SWSH.  I don’t think it’s fair to upgrade the chart if people only have the base game and that’s it.  I might update the SWSH article in the future but I don’t have any immediate plans for it yet.  SWSH already has very good teams so it’s not a huge pressure to change it.

Thanks for reading!

Episode 18: Teen Titans Season 4, Ep 7-8 Review

 

In this episode, we review the 7th and 8th episodes of Teen Titans Season 4, “The Prophecy,” and “Stranded.”  Raven visits her mom and Starfire and Robin hash out their relationship.

Best Pokemon Games for a Rock Type Run

I feel so sorry for the Rock type.  There are many Rock-only runs that are borderline great but fall short due to late availability, limited diversity or weakness exposure.  Yet there are a few Pokemon games that are pretty good for a Rock Monotype Run.  A Monotype Run is a self-imposed challenge where you only catch and train one type of Pokemon in the games.  In this case, you can be like Brock but better!  So let’s take a look which games you should play (and avoid) and which Pokemon you should definitely have on your team!  Let’s Rock and Roll!

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 outside 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.

Monotype Chart Version 2.03

Best Games
Rock’s biggest downfall is its struggle to deliver an early available Pokemon.  There are no starters (yet) that evolve into it and you can’t catch one until after the first gym in over half the games.  You also have a big lack of diversity with a lot of lackluster Rock/Ground or Rock/Water Pokemon filling up your slots.  So (most of) the games I recommend push for that early availability and diversity.

As such, the best games, by technicality, would be Sword/Shield.  Not only do you catch a Chewtle by Route 2, all your weaknesses are covered before the first gym thanks to the Wild Area (which is good since the gym is Grass oriented).  Also, that Coalossal is niiiiice, good way to stick it to your Steel and Grass foes!  You can also get two Pokemon with the Sand Stream Ability (Gigalith and Tyranitar in Shield).

If you can stomach the wait, you might want to consider XY.  Yes, I know the first Pokemon you get isn’t until well after the first gym but holy crap once you get your first Rock Pokemon the rest will come crashing down on you like an avalanche!  You get Dwebble and Binacle back to back; then Glittering Cave gives you a host of them, and then you revive either Tyrunt or Amaura; all before the second gym.  Also, you get the very rare Aerodactyl!!  Y edges out X due to the version exclusive Tyranitar (which again, has Sand Stream), but X gets Aggron so it’s a dinosaur trade-off!

I’m just going to throw this out there because why not but think about HeartGold and SoulSilver.  You get a Geodude very early in the southern tip of Route 46 and an Onix/Geodude in the Pokewalker.  Also, HGSS has Magcargo AND Tyranitar which the original games do not have so that’s cool.  You’re a bit limited in diversity so just keep that in mind!

Worst Games
Oh man, which one should I choose???  They’re all so tempting.  I mean, to be fair, a lot of these games are just riding hard on that meh horse.  Some of the games you just have to wait until after the first gym and then after that it’s fine.

I think I’m going to give it to Pokemon Diamond.  Your full team is a Graveler, Onix, Sudowoodo, and Rampardos so you are exposed to every single one of your five weaknesses.  In fact, the DPP series are the only games where Rock doesn’t neutralized its weaknesses!  I know, crazy, right?  Pearl switches Rampardos with Bastiodon and Platinum gives you Rhydon and Probopass but it’s still not great.  

Also, Kanto games are really rough.  You get a Geodude after the first gym and that’s it for a looooong time.  You have to take that Geodude to Misty (Water), get an easy break with Surge (Electric), and then after catching Onix you face Erika (Grass).  It’s going to take a long time before you can finally go to Cinnabar and revive Aerodactyl and another Fossil Pokemon.

Rock Teams in Pokemon Games

Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, LeafGreen
Ideal Team: Graveler, Rhydon, Onix, Aerodactyl, Omastar/Kabutops
First Pokémon: Geodude at Mount Moon after first gym
Covers weaknesses? Surprisingly, yes

Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, SoulSilver
Ideal Team: Tyranitar (HGSS via Safari), Rhydon, Graveler, Sudowoodo, Corsola, Magcargo (HGSS)
Optional: Shuckle, Onix
First Pokémon: Geodude via southern portion of Route 46 before the first gym; via Pokewalker then Geodude (Rugged Road in 0+ steps) and Onix (Rugged Road in 4000+ steps or Dim Cave in 1000+ steps) are available.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes
Note: In HGSS, you can get a Slugma Egg from Primo in Violet City center.  You’ll need to give him a phrase which is dependent on your Trainer ID which you can receive here.

Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, OmegaRuby, AlphaSapphire
Ideal Team: Rhydon, Aggron, Lunatone (S, AS)/Solrock (R, E, OR), Magcargo, Relicanth, Armaldo/Crustle (ORAS)
Optional: Graveler, Cradily, Boldore (ORAS), Barbaracle (ORAS)
First Pokémon: Geodude and Aron (RSE only) via Granite Cave shortly before the second gym
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Diamond, Pearl, Platinum
Ideal Team: Graveler, Onix, Rampardos (Diamond and Platinum)/Bastiodon (Pearl and Platinum), Probopass (Platinum), Sudowoodo, Rhydon (Platinum)
First Pokémon: Geodude either Oreburgh Gate or Ravaged Path before the first gym
Covers Weaknesses? No, in all versions Water, Ground and Fighting moves are not neutralized. In Diamond, the Rock type is additionally weak to Grass and Steel moves.
Note: Please be aware that you can only get Rampardos OR Bastiodon in Platinum!  It depends on your Trainer ID number.  If the last digit is even you get a Bastiodon and if it’s odd you get a Rampardos.

Black, White, Black2, White2
BW Ideal Team: Boldore, Crustle, Carracosta, Terrakion
Optional: Archeops
First Pokémon: Roggenrola via Wellspring Cave after first gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes, if you pick Carracosta over Archeops as it gets rid of the Steel and Water weakness.

B2W2 Ideal Team: Crustle, Corsola, Terrakion, Aggron, Probopass, Lunatone
Optional: Onix, Gigalith, Solrock, Shuckle
First Pokémon: Onix and Roggenrola via Relic Passage (Castelia City side) after the second gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes
Note: You can get a Gigalith from a hiker on Route 7

X, Y
Ideal Team: Tyrantrum, Barbaracle, Crustle, Aerodactyl, Probopass/Aggron (X), Tyranitar (Y)/Lunatone
Optional: Solrock, Aurorus, Relicanth, Rhydon, Onix, Boldore, Carbink, Corsola, Graveler, Magcargo, Shuckle, Sudowoodo
First Pokémon: Dwebble and Binacle via Rock Smash in Ambrette Town.  This is well into the game but is still before the second gym. Get the Rock Smash TM from the girl outside of the Aquarium.  You can then get Rhyhorn, Onix, Solrock, and Lunatone almost immediately afterwards in Glittering Cave with the fossils following shortly thereafter.
Weaknesses Covered? Yes

Sun, Moon, UltraSun, UltraMoon
SM Ideal Team: Rhydon(scan), Aerodactyl, Relicanth/Caracosta(Sun), Bastiodon(Moon)/Probopass, Lycanroc, Golem
Optional: Sudowoodo, Rampardos (Sun), Archeops (Moon), Carbink, Corsola, Boldore, Minior
First Pokémon: Bonsly via Route 1, after the Grand Trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes
Note: You can get an Alolan Golem via in-game trade at the Tapu Village Pokemon Center, you will need a Haunter.

USUM Ideal Team: Tyrantrum (US)/Lycanroc, Rhydon(scan), Tyranitar, Aerodactyl, Relicanth/Caracosta(US), Bastiodon(UM)/Probopass
Optional: Lycanroc, Sudowoodo, Rampardos (US), Archeops (UM), Omastar (US), Kabutops (UM), Graveler, Armaldo (US), Cradily (UM), Carbink, Aurorus (UM), Boldore, Corsola, Minior, Onix (scan)
First Pokémon: Bonsly via Route 1, after the Grand Trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Sword, Shield
Ideal Team: Crustle, Drednaw, Coalossal, Stonjourner (Sword)/Tyranitar (Shield), Gigalith, Solrock (Sword)/Lunatone (Shield)
Optional: Sudowoodo, Rhyperior (Raid), Shuckle, Onix, Barbaracle
First Pokémon: Chewtle by overworld (10%) via Route 2.
Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!  Which is good because it’s Grass, see if you can evolve your Rolycoly before you fight Milo otherwise you might need to lean on Dwebble.  Also, get the Sandstream Ability from Gigalith.

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

Tyranitar (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...
Tyranitar

The most powerful non-Mega Rock Pokemon, Tyranitar is the go to guy for your team.  There are just so many reasons why you should have one on your team.  It has incredible stats (600 BST) making it stronger than Legendary Rock Pokemon like Terrakion and it can hit hard and take a beating.  It also has among the best move diversity for Rock Pokemon; it can naturally learn powerful Rock, Ground, and Dark moves and be taught fantastic Electric, Fire, Ice, Ghost, Dragon, Steel, and Fighting moves.  Tyranitar is further boosted by its Sand Stream ability which automatically starts Sandstorm and gives all your Rock Pokemon a 50% increase in Special Defense stats (which a lot of them need).

All the games that I recommend for a Rock playthrough have Tyranitar which is its main problem.  It’s not very common.  Sometimes they’re non-existent or just show up too late like GSC or the Black/White games.  Also, Tyranitar evolves really late (level 55) so you won’t be able to use its Sand Stream ability until the end of the game.  You might have to babysit it for awhile but man it will be awesome when you finally evolve it!
Available in: HGSS, Y, USUM, Shield

Omastar (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...Kabutops Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...
Rock/Water Pokemon

The Rock Type has a ton of weaknesses (Grass, Water, Steel, Ground, and Fighting) yet oddly, every game except the Sinnoh series neutralizes its weaknesses.  And that’s because you have the stellar combo of a Rock/Water Pokemon with a Rock/Flying or Rock/Bug Pokemon.  If you have an Omastar with Aerodactyl or a Carracosta with Crustle on your team then you’re set!  All your weaknesses are covered.

Rock/Water Pokemon like Kabutops, Drednaw, and Relicanth are available in every region except Sinnoh (which is why Sinnoh games are bad for Rock runs).  Having that Water typing gives you some great diversity juice with the likes of Water and Ice attacks.  Unfortunately, some of these Pokemon are lackluster (like Corsola) but you get some pretty good ones!  Omastar has the highest Special Attack stats for all non-Legendary Rock Pokemon and Barbaracle is really strong and further boosted by its Tough Claws Ability.
Available in: Every game except Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum

Armaldo Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...
Armaldo, Crustle, and Shuckle
Paired up with your Water Pokemon are your bugs who neutralize the other weaknesses (Fighting, Grass, and Ground)!  These guys are also relatively common in the series so you could run into one during your journey.  Obviously, Shuckle…not that fun to train!  Great for the metagame but training one on your Rock team…?…bleh.  That’s why Armaldo and Crustle are the go to Pokemon for your team.  Great Attack and Defense stats and just overall very appealing Pokemon!  I like their designs and concepts.  Unfortunately, not a lot of move diversity going on here but at least Armaldo can learn some decent Water moves like Aqua Tail and Aqua Jet.  Also, teach your Crustle Body Press in Sword and Shield; the move’s power is based on the user’s defense which is fantastic for Crustle (125).
Available in: GSC (Shuckle), RSE (Armaldo in all three and Shuckle in Emerald), HGSS (Shuckle), BW (Crustle), B2W2 (Crustle and Shuckle), XY (Crustle and Shuckle), ORAS (Armaldo), US (Armaldo), SWSH (Shuckle and Crustle)

Aggron (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...
Aggron, Bastiodon, and Probopass

Among the best Rock Pokemon for Defense and Special Defense stats, these three Rock/Steel Pokemon are going to be the tanks on your team.  They can also block Grass and Steel attacks but with a trade-off of the 4x weakness to Fighting and Ground moves.  Still, these guys are great.  Really lean into defense and support moves for Probopass and Bastiodon but for Aggron just go all out offense!  It can learn a variety of moves like the elemental punches, Dragon Claw, and Aqua Tail which are all very great and Aggron ranks among the best Rock Pokemon for move diversity.  Unfortunately, you can’t Mega-evolve Aggron in ORAS as it loses its Rock typing but it’s still a great Pokemon all the same.  And who doesn’t want a ceratopsian on your team?!  You can get two here!
Available in: RSE and ORAS (Aggron), Pearl (Bastiodon), Platinum (Probopass and Bastiodon), B2W2 (Probopass), X (Aggron and Probopass), Y (Probopass), Moon and UM (Bastiodon and Probopass), Sun and US (Probopass)

Aerodactyl (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...
Aerodactyl
The fastest Rock Pokemon around with a fantastic 130 stat, Aerodactyl is the must-have flying reptile for your team.  First, it has an immunity to Ground moves and counters Fighters and Grass Pokemon easily.  Pair this up with your Omastar or Kabutops and you’re all set!  But also, Aerodactyl carries some really nice moves like Iron Head, Crunch, elemental fangs, and Dragon Claw.  Aerodactyl can be set up like a revenge sweeper just going in and quickly wiping out the opposing team before they can do too much damage.

Two big setbacks.  The first is that Aerodactyl is pretty awful in learning Flying moves mainly Wing Attack, Sky Drop, Aerial Ace, or Fly.  Not a lot of good choices to choose from.  Also, despite having the Rock Head ability, Aerodactyl doesn’t learn a lot of recoil moves.  Mainly Double Edge and Take Down and that’s it.  Not even Head Smash, a Rock-type move!  Boo!
Available in: RBY, FRLG, XY, SM, USUM

Lunatone Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...
Lunatone

I was really debating about putting this meteorite in but I figured why not.  Lunatone is an overall…alright Pokemon!  It’s the kind of Pokemon that makes you shrug and say yeah, it’s not bad!  For a Rock team, I think it’s pretty special; it has the Levitate Ability (so no Ground weaknesses) and its Psychic typing counters Fighters and gives you some interesting move diversity.  Lunatone ranks among the best Rock Pokemon for Special Attack with an alright 95 power!  Haha.  Not a lot but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.  But with that, it can use all its awesome Fairy moves like Moonblast as well as Shadow Ball, Psychic, Power Gem, and Ice Beam.  Pretty good for a Rock Pokemon!

But where’s Solrock…?  Well…Solrock and Lunatone may be similar with its typing, and ability but its their stats that makes a difference.  Each of their stats are the same but rearranged differently and for Solrock, its Physical Attack is 95.  So two problems, one, a lot of other Rock Pokemon can match that stat or better and two, Solrock FAILS tremendously on its moveset.  Solrock packs mainly Special moves but can’t use them at all with its puny 55 Special Attack stat.  It’s really sad.  That’s why you should go for Lunatone instead.
Available in: Sapphire, Black2, White2, XY, AlphaSapphire, Shield

Episode 17: Teen Titans Season 4, Ep 4-6 Review

 

In this episode, we review Teen Titans Season 4, “Cyborg the Barbarian,” “Employee of the Month,” and “Troq.”  Cyborg goes green, Beast Boy rides a moped, and Starfire confronts racism.

Check out my new website “Fossil Bonanza”

Hey everyone, I just published a new website called “Fossil Bonanza.” It centers around unusual fossil sites around the world called Fossil-Lagerstätten.  If you are interested in fossils or science in general you should check it out!  Also, I’m currently producing a podcast that will go with the website with the same title.  Here’s the logo for it!

fossil bonanza-03

And if you know anyone who you think may like my website send it there way.  Until next time!

Episode 16: Teen Titans Season 4, Ep 1-3 Review

 

In this episode we start our season 4 Teen Titans review and watched “Episode 297-494,” “The Quest,” and “Birthmark.”  We talk about pop culture references, dressing up like Robin, and Raven’s very bad birthday.

Need Input For Future Monolocke Article

Hey everyone, if you’re not here for my Monotype articles just skip this but for everyone else I have an announcement.  Based on a rise in popularity and search histories, I will be writing a Monolocke article similar to my other articles.  A Monolocke Run is a combination of the infamous Nuzlocke Challenge with a Monotype Run.  I have never done one personally but I’ve been thinking about how it could work and which games and types would be the best for it.

However, as there are rule variations of it online I wanted to get some second opinions.  As such if you have any experience in a Monolocke Run, or just have your own thoughts, then I would love to hear from you.  They can be on rules, how feasible it is or which games and types would be the best/worst.  Just leave a comment here or message me for your input!  As usual, I always love hearing from you guys and I hope you will find my article enjoyable once it comes out.  Cheers.

Best Pokemon Games for a Fire Type Run

I think the Fire type is the most difficult starting type for a Monotype Run.  Fire Pokemon can be relatively rare, are not that diverse, and most crucial of all, are again and again exposed to their weaknesses.  However, unlike the Grass type, Fire is an amazing attacking type and you can hit a lot of Pokemon with super effective damage!  You also get some great resistances to Ice and Fairy types!  Although there are some fun runs out there, be prepared to be exposed to at least one of your weaknesses.  Let’s take a look!

Monotype Run 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.

Monotype Chart Version 2.03

Best Games

By far the best game in the series for a Fire run is UltraSun followed by Sun.  No other games except Pokemon Black (and that’s barely because you get Reshiram at the end of the game) neutralizes your weaknesses.  But of course, you need more than just coverage for a great team and these games have it!  By Generation VII, Torkoal gets the Drought ability which temporarily increases Fire attacks, decreases Water attacks, and makes Solarbeam a one-turn attack.  That’s fantastic!  You also get a variety of strong Pokemon such as other Fire starters via the Island Scan feature!  UltraSun wins out over Sun just for having more Pokemon like Volcarona, Charizard, and Houndoom.

There are certainly other games that are great for Fire teams but you won’t have complete coverage against your weaknesses.  Basically any of the games from Generation VI and on I would put on this list as there’s a lot of good diversity and strength in these teams.

Worst Games

I would say Pokemon Yellow is the worst of the bunch but it IS a close call.  Generation I, in general, is very poor for many Monotype Teams but Fire seems particularly crappy because of its homogeneity and restrictive movepool.  More importantly, since Pikachu is your starter (and not a Fire type like virtually every other game) then your first Fire Pokemon is a Charmander right before the second gym so that will take awhile  (then of course you have to face Misty so good luck!!).

There are many memes regarding Diamond and Pearl’s incredibly awful Fire Pokemon and it’s frankly deserved.  You get Chimchar (good start), then a Rapidash (alright…) and that’s it.  Just two Pokemon!!!  Seriously??  At least Infernape is excellent so you might as well do a Single Pokemon challenge and just grind your starter.  Don’t even bother with that Rapidash…

Fire Teams in Pokemon Games

Red, Blue, Yellow, FRLG
Ideal Team: Charizard, Arcanine (Red, FireRed, Yellow)/Ninetales (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Magmar (Blue, LeafGreen), Flareon, Rapidash, Moltres
First Pokémon: Charmander via starter or via Route 24 after Mt. Moon in Yellow.
Covers weaknesses? No, Rock or Water not neutralized.

Gold, Silver, Crystal, HGSS
Ideal Team: Typhlosion, Magmar, Ninetales (S, SS)/Arcanine (G, C, HG), Flareon/Magcargo (HGSS), Rapidash, Ho-Oh (G, HG), Entei
First Pokémon: Cyndaquil via starter
Covers Weaknesses? No; Rock, Water, and Ground (besides Ho-Oh) are not covered
Note: In HGSS, you can get a Slugma Egg from Primo in Violet City center.  You’ll need to give him a phrase which is dependent on your Trainer ID which you can receive here.

Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, ORAS
Ideal Team: Blaziken, Camerupt, Magcargo, Ninetales, Volcarona (ORAS), Arcanine (ORAS)
Optional: Torkoal, Flareon (ORAS), Magmar (ORAS), Rapidash (ORAS), Ninetales (ORAS), Darmanitan (ORAS), Primal Groudon (OR)
First Pokémon: Torchic via starter
Covers Weaknesses? No, Water and Ground not neutralized.  In OmegaRuby, Water can be taken care of due to Primal Groudon’s Ability.

Diamond, Pearl, Platinum
Ideal Team: Infernape, Rapidash, Flareon (Platinum), Houndoom (Platinum), Magmar (Platinum)
First Pokémon: Chimchar via starter
Covers Weaknesses? No, Ground and Water not neutralized

Black, White, B2W2
BW Ideal Team: Emboar, Darmanitan, Chandelure, Volcarona, Heatmor, Reshiram (B)
Optional: Simisear
First Pokémon: Tepig via starter
Cover weaknesses? Only in Pokemon Black and even then it happens at the very end when you get Reshiram.  Otherwise you’re exposed to Water moves in both versions.

B2W2 Ideal Team: Emboar, Arcanine, Magmar (B2)/Camerupt (W2), Darmanitan, Volcarona, Chandelure
Optional: Flareon, Simisear, Darmanitan
First Pokémon: Tepig via starter
Cover weaknesses? No, Water is not neutralized

XY
Ideal Team: Delphox, Talonflame, Charizard, Pyroar, Houndoom (X), Chandelure
Optional: Simisear, Flareon, Magcargo, Torkoal, Heat Rotom
First Pokémon: Fennekin via Starter
Weaknesses Covered? No, in Pokemon X, Rock is not neutralized.  In Pokemon Y, Water and Rock are not neutralized.

Sun, Moon, USUM
SM Ideal Team: Incineroar, Arcanine/Turtonator (Sun), Talonflame, Torkoal, Marowak, Emboar (scan)
Optional: Flareon, Chandelure (scan), Salazzle, Magmar, Typhlosion (scan), Oricorio
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Only in Sun thanks to Turtonator. In Moon, Water is not neutralized. However, you can cut back on Water’s strength if you train a Torkoal which now can learn the ability Drought.

USUM Ideal Team: Incineroar, Arcanine/Turtonator (US), Charizard (scan), Torkoal, Marowak, Blaziken (scan)
Optional: Flareon, Chandelure (scan), Pyroar, Talonflame, Infernape (scan), Delphox (scan), Salazzle, Volcarona, Magmar, Houndoom (US), Oricorio
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Only in Ultra Sun thanks to Turtonator. In Ultra Moon, Water is not neutralized. However, you can cut back on Water’s strength if you train a Torkoal which now can learn the ability Drought.

Sword, Shield
Ideal Team: Cinderace, Torkoal, Centiskorch, Coalossal, Heat Rotom, Turtonator (Sword)/Arcanine
Optional: Flareon, Ninetales, Salazzle, Chandelure, Heatmor, technically Darmanitan in Zen Mode
First Pokémon: Scorbunny via Starter
Weaknesses Covered? Sadly no, Shield is weak to Water and Rock.  Sword is weak to just Rock thanks to Turtonator.

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)


Fire Starters
Of course!  Your starter!  Really, what saves the Fire type from abysmal Monotype Runs is Charmander and friends.  They make a HUGE difference in your Monotype Run.  And the best part is, starters rank among the strongest for their types and are packed with awesome moves, great type combos, and wonderful stats.  You won’t be disappointed with them.

The Fire starter has more dual types in its line up than the other two starters.  This automatically improves your diversity and, in some cases, eliminate a weakness.  Of course, you have the three Fighters, Blaziken, Infernape, and Emboar.  They neutralize Rock attacks AND the Fire+Fighting STAB is one of the best dual offensive moves in the game (also Emboar can also learn Scald which is nice against your Ground and Rock foes!).  The classic Charizard gives you immunity to Ground attacks and gives you some nice Dragon moves and if you have Charizard X you can have a soft counter to Water foes.  Delphox and Incineroar, while they don’t give you any resistances, still give you move diversity along with unique, level-up attacks.  Typhlosion and Cinderace unfortunately get overshadowed by these starters but at least the Typhlosion line is adorable!

Also, don’t forget to catch other Fire starters in Generation VII!  The Island Scan feature is amazing and is one of the reasons why you can cover your weaknesses thanks to the Fighters.
Available in: Every game.  Only in Pokemon Yellow and the Let’s Go games do you not get a Fire starter but Charmander still appears in those games.

Arcanine (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...
Arcanine
The most perfect boi is the most perfect team member.  I kid you not, Arcanine is the strongest non-Mega, non-Legendary Fire Pokemon.  Like, what?!?!  Seriously?  That’s awesome!  And Arcanine is one of the most common Fire Pokemon in the entire series!  Super spectacular.  Arcanine also gets progressively better and by Generation V really becomes a must-have as it can learn Outrage and Wild Charge and a few other cool moves.  Arcanine’s biggest weakness is its single typing which doesn’t give you a diversity boost but has far as downsides go that’s not bad!
Available in: Red, Yellow, Gold, Crystal, FireRed, HeartGold, B2W2, ORAS, SM, USUM, SWSH 

Volcarona (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...Centiskorch - #851 - Serebii.net Pokédex
Fire Bugs
Volcarona and Centiskorch I think are great members that will add a nice flavor to your overall vanilla team.  First, they offer a soft counter to Ground Pokemon and Centiskorch can learn a lot of anti…anti-Fire Pokemon moves like Powerwhip, Scald, and Thunder Fang.  Volcarona is also among the strongest Fire Pokemon and pair that with Quiver Dance and Fiery Dance means you can easily set up and sweep opposing teams.  Volcarona is pretty common too and you can get a fully evolved one in B2W2 which is fantastic.  Of course, there’s a foreboding 4x Rock weakness which is tricky when you fight Ground foes.  Also, Volcarona evolves very late so you’ll be stuck with Larvesta for quite awhile in many of the games…
Available in: Volcarona in BW, B2W2, ORAS, USUM and Centiskorch in SWSH

Chandelure (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...
Chandelure
The wonderful Chandelure has among the highest Special Attack stats out of all Fire Pokemon with a whopping 145!  Even STAB attacks that deal neutral damage will still deal a great deal of pain to your opponents.  You can also teach it Energy Ball so immediately you have a counter to all your Fire foes.  Chandelure’s Ghost characteristics come through and give it a lot of great status moves like Calm Mind, Will-O-Wisp, Hex, and Confuse Ray.  Chandelure is also surprisingly common and you can find it in many games from Pokemon BW onwards.  The biggest trade off is Chandelure is a bit fragile and not that fast so it may faint on you before you can even do anything.
Available in: BW, B2W2, XY, SM, USUM, SWSH

Torkoal (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...
Torkoal
Some Pokemon are here through a combination of their stats, their moves, or their availability; Torkoal is here solely for its ability.  Starting in Generation VII on, Torkoal can learn the Drought Ability which gives it automatic Sunny Day status for five turns once it enter the battle.  This means you don’t have to set up a Sunny Day move and instead go right into using boosted Fire attacks and an instant Solarbeam on your opponents!  Also, Torkoal has one of the highest defense stats (140) out of any Fire Pokemon and considering Fire’s defense is among the weakest for the types that’s pretty nice.  Torkoal can also learn strong Ground and Rock moves too which is a plus.  Still, not much else to talk about Torkoal AND it’s pretty slow so just keep that in mind as you’re training with one.
Available in (with Drought): SM, USUM, SWSH

Turtonator (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...
Turtonator
Any Swimmer you will face will be a constant struggle of agony and hardship.  There are frankly very few Fire Pokemon that neutralize their Water weakness (as of Generation VII over 3/4 of the Fire teams are exposed to Water attacks).  Charizard X is going to be one of them but given its rarity you might be better up with Turtonator.  On the whole, there’s not a lot going for Turtonator besides its Dragon typing.  It has okay stats, it’s only in three games so far, and it has an alright ability (Shell Armor which protects against Critical Hits).  Still, it’s better than nothing and you can at least teach it some good Rock and Ground moves.
Available in: Sun, UltraSun, Sword

Episode 15: Bug Fables Review and Discussion

 

In our first review for the podcast we talk about the charming indie video game Bug Fables.  Please be aware that we cover mild spoilers up until the 8 minute mark and after that we go into full spoiler territory!

“Return of the Obra Dinn” Sequel Ideas (feat. Mothman)

I wrote recently about my love for the hit indie game “Return of the Obra Dinn” (ROD) but now I want to talk about something else on my mind, sequels.  “ROD” has a huge potential for creating other stories set in the same universe (not just the mystery aspect but all the dark, fantastical creatures that reside in this world) that you can easily make a mini series based on the game.  Now I want to say upfront that Lucas Pope, the creator of “ROD,” doesn’t seem like a fellow who would be willing to make sequels.  His previous game, “Papers, Please” was another indie hit that told a story that could only be done through video games.  He seems like a person who wants to create insightful stories revolved around unique concepts which I can respect.

But it’s fun to create sequel ideas for such a fun concept so rather than dwell on the probably-nots, let’s instead dream about the what-ifs.  What would a sequel to “ROD” look like?

Return of the Obra Dinn on GOG.com

First, the Obra Dinn’s story is told and done.  We don’t need to come back to the ship or its characters.  Instead our sequel will revolve around the key item that makes the game work, i.e. the death watch itself, Memento Mortem.  Our “ROD” sequel’s protagonist, who could be the same one as the first game but is not required, will investigate a mystery using the magical watch.

These sequels can also improve the gameplay and story from ROD.  In an interview on eurogamer.net, creator Lucas Pope said

“…I really like I can only tell story through moments of death, the instant when somebody dies. But to relay a story to the player is kind of tricky, because you can only tell them things when somebody dies. So first off, people have to be dying left and right, and you need a reason for people to be dying constantly. And that’s sort of unusual, people don’t generally die all the time. Getting that working with the story in a way that the player can understand took a long time.”

To ease the burden of creating a story through death we can find other ways to tell this world’s story.  First off, we can have more deaths that aren’t human.  In “ROD,” the watch worked not only on humans but on animals (the cow and the monkey) and beasts (the mermaids and the crab soldiers).  If we lean more heavy on the animal deaths, which are more common, we can find ways to continue the story without running out of bodies quickly.

The other way we can expand the story is through old fashion detective work.  When you’re at the scene of the crime, you can read journals and observe items which can clue you in on the victims’ identities.  After all, we’re still trying to answer the two key questions of “Who is this?” and “What was this soul’s fate?”  Reading pages in a journal can clue us in to past events or a character’s actions.  Observing items can help us trace their path in dead memories and see how they went from point A to point B.  The catch of this is that you can only interact with these items in the present and not in the memories.

This is important because we can space out the deaths if needed.  In ROD’s ten chapters, the last seven very likely took place in the span of hours which is incredible to think about.  In the sequel, we can space events further from each other and allow us some breathing room, maybe have a story that takes place over a few days.

So now we need a story.  A story that involves a lot of deaths.

Keeping some consistency with “ROD,” let’s place our new story in the early 1800’s.  It doesn’t have to be exactly 1807 but as long as we hit the ball park range we should be good.  Two ideas come to my head that would create very interesting stories for our “ROD” sequel: a Ghost Train and a Ghost Town.

(love this song, this would be great to have as a theme)

Let’s start with the Ghost Train idea.  The story synopsis would be that a train has just arrived at its station but everyone on board is found dead or missing and you’re tasked to find out what happened to it.  As you can see, it’s very similar to the Obra Dinn structure so we can find some similarities there.  First, train cars will open up to you as you further your investigation just as the Obra Dinn opens up its lower levels.  I imagine that the caboose might be an important part for the investigation given its cargo-holding function.

Next, we can get a wide collection of individuals, mainly passengers, who are trying to get to a certain destination.  And what’s handy is we can have a passenger list with their names, if they bought a first class ticket or not, if they booked a round trip, and etc.  The passengers can be diverse and come from different countries, states, occupations, social standing, and etc.  This can also be the maiden voyage for this train and to celebrate the occasion everyone on board, both passengers and employees, took a (unlabeled) group photograph.

Admittedly, animal death would be minor in this game but I can see a few ways we can still use it.  An (unfortunate) death of a pet would be one but we can also have a bison death which could’ve stopped the train halfway through it journey and unknowingly pick up some hitchhikers.  These hitchhikers may bring with them a curse or amulet or whatever that starts the fantastical shenanigans.  Beside the hitchhiker, you can also have bandits who may attack the train.  Once you find evidence of the bandit attack, you suddenly gain access to wanted posters of them!  You can then pin the bandit faces to their posters which would be cool.

There would be a good potential for fun reading material such as journals, newspaper articles, and other lettering.  You can have a doctor’s notes about an onboard patient, a lawyer’s case files, or even as something as simple as a person’s recipe which contains an allergenic ingredient that kills a passenger!  I like the idea of the conductor taking careful notes about the train where a small, seemingly innocuous detail unravels the whole case.  A lot of fun can be done here.

As for the fantastical element?  I can imagine a few creatures like gargoyle-like bats, a plague of insects, a terrifying spirit, or hell, even dinosaurs intercepting the ride.  What I like in “ROD” was Lucas Pope’s addition of the spider crab soldiers which is so excellent.  Taking an unused animal and giving it horror-filled qualities would be great such as a mutated pronghorn, giant cicadas, or quill-shooting demon-porcupines.  The problem is you can’t have a large beast, like “ROD”‘s the Kraken, because that may topple the train altogether.  Although you never know, perhaps a beast did stop the train and the passengers have to clear or fix the railroad so they can survive another attack; that would be suspenseful!

File:Rainy Blue Ridge-27527.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

My favorite idea though is the Ghost Town which would definitely expand the setting’s scope but will see a huge rise in complexity and game development.  This would definitely be the bigger budget, more manpower, game but would create some interesting ideas.  Now, we don’t have to get too carried away but I feel maybe 80 people or so would be reasonable enough to have for our village size.  After all, in “ROD,” a real crew for a ship of that size would be much bigger (the original crew was 51 plus the 9 passengers) but we maintained our suspension of disbelief easily.  Also, more people does not mean it would be better.  It would make the game too frustrating and hard to keep track of.  So I think 80 people would be fine.  You can even divide the village up into smaller groups like a scene with just the miners or just the farmers to help with the logic process.

Our Ghost Town would take place in the Appalachian Mountains near a mine.  The story is as follows: after a terrible blizzard cutoff all communications with the mountain village of Hellbender, the town was found completely deserted and what few people remain were dead.  Something happened to the villagers.  You are hired by the state government to investigate the town and find out what happened.

You are given the Memento Mortem (of course) along with the town’s census list which documents their addresses, their family names, and their occupations.  You also find within the town hall a painting/photograph of the town’s village celebrating its official opening.  Armed with these few crucial pieces of evidence, you begin your investigation.

Compared to our Ghost Train story and the original “ROD,” Hellbender can give us a lot of fantastic potential for some great game play moments.  First, we can find lettering scattered throughout the village, with many of the same things found on Ghost Train found here like the journals, letters, and etc.  But we can get some other good stuff as well.  A foreman’s official documentation on mining activities, a constable’s notes on recent arrests, or a store clerk’s inventory on their goods.  A doctor’s notes would be especially great given how he would regularly visit most if not everyone in town and have keen knowledge on the town’s overall health and well being.

Obviously, Hellbender’s setting is going to be its best selling point.  The memories in the weird “deadception” pocket dimension of the Memento Mortem will open houses and stores up which may otherwise be inaccessible.  You may even reach the mine to see what exactly happened inside of it.  I also imagine the local graveyard would be a fantastic source for memories since the bodies are just sitting there waiting to be buried.  So the game will have a nice steady progression as more and more of the town opens up to you.

The deaths will be awesome; so many great ways to die!  Besides freezing to death, which will probably happen in the last chapter when the blizzard kills off the last few remaining survivors, we can get other interesting fates as well.  First, although the town is isolated, that doesn’t mean its impassable; unlike the train or ship, it would be easier for people to leave, and try their luck in the wilderness.  How many of these deserters will survive or not is up to the story…

But we can get a huge variety of deaths, too many to list here but include the usual gunshot, explosion (there’s a mine after all…), and the standard disease.  I imagine whatever curse fell upon this town (along with spicy human greed) will give us some great variety like strangulation, stabbing, and bludgeoning.

The creatures and animals though are the real selling point.  Wolves and other feral animals may harass the town but we can get some good, crazy-ass monsters here.  Giant crocodile-like salamanders can prowl the river and man-size naked mole rats can be freed in the mine and wreck havoc!  I also like the idea of seeing bigfoot just randomly showing up and ripping a guy in half (which would be morbidly hilarious).

Mothman - Wikipedia

Obviously, a horror-themed Mothman should be our antagonist (?) that catalyzes the series of misfortunes that fall upon the town.  Imagine this for our first memory.  You find a body at the bottom of a cliff next to the remains of a bridge.  This is the only bridge that connects Hellbender to the rest of the world and its collapse causes the town’s isolation.  In the memory, you see the individual as he makes ground contact but in the background you see the Mothman…eyes glowing brightly.  In fact, his eyes glow just like the shells do in “ROD,” in the memory world where everything seems still, the Mothman’s eyes are ablaze.   And in the rest of the memories, you can find his eyes in the distance, still watching as the town falls prey to whatever supernatural fate fell upon them…

Obviously, these thoughts and ideas are just a fan day dreaming but I nonetheless hope to play another game like “Return of the Obra Dinn.”  What about you?  Would you like to see a sequel?  If so, where do you think the sequel should take place?  Love to hear your thoughts on this excellent, mystery game.