So I heal up and head over to the PWT, and I get told about a new tournament they are hosting; the Driftveil Tournament of 8 players and if you win 3 single battles, you win the tournament. It looks like this is part of the story, so I enter the tournament along with a few of the other characters in the story, including Cheren, Colress and the rival (who I named Gwyn, I don't think I mentioned that before.) I love tournaments in games, I don't know why. There is something really cool about taking part in them.
Like in some other similar battle tournaments, you have to choose a subset of 3 pokemon from your team, so I go with Genji, Iron Giant and Barioth.
Gwyn is my first battle, and he sends out a lv25 Servine against my Lucario. I thought they were going to automatically level all the pokemon up to lv30 or 50 or something, but apparantely not. I try to get Thunder Wave off from Magnezone, and then Metal Sound as I don't really have a good matchup against a pure grass type which hits pretty hard. After this setup, I manage to oneshot it with Mirror Shot. His next pokemon is a Simisear lv25. I decide to stay in and go for Thunder Wave again, but not really expecting to survive. I actually take a hit from its fire move, and then get the paralysis off on him. Leech Seed (probably my favourite grass move) is still in effect, and that takes Magnezone down to 5 HP. At this point, I might actually switch in to Barioth, who takes a hit from Flame Burst easily. Water Pulse finishes the Simisear off, and I see the next pokemon, a lv25 Tranquil, which I decide to go for Aqua Jet against. This only did about 25% of its HP. I go with Water Pulse next, which finishes him off. Battle 1 done!
The next battle is against Cheren. This should be interesting to see what pokemon he has.
His first pokemon is the fully evolved Stoutland lv25. Still, its a normal type, and I have two steel types on my team, and my water type has a fighting move, so I'm not massively scared, even though its stats might be fairly good. Going with my lead of Genji, and Force Palm, this actually oneshots it. I'm starting to think the level difference is important...my pokemon are at this stage: Genji lv33, Iron Giant lv31 and Barioth lv34. His next pokemon is a Cinccino lv25 (another normal type if I remember rightly) Force Palm again, and this crits and oneshots him as well. His last pokemon is Watchog lv25, and now I remember why all of his pokemon are normal. This is the guy I fought in the first gym! Isn't it? Expecting Force Palm to OHKO, I go for it again. Yep, smooth sailing to the third and final battle!
The final match is against Colress, a researcher we have heard of so far, but not really met in depth. He starts off with a lv25 Magneton, and my Lucario, Genji is a good starter again. Force Palm was about to take it out in one hit, but Sturdy kicked in, making him survive with 1HP. Thunder Wave was a good choice for his first move, and this kind of cripples my speed. I manage to finish him off with Bone Rush after we both missed with our moves for one turn. He then sends in an Elgyem lv25..and I can't remember what this one is type wise...should be interesting (as I'm not going to check as I go along) Psybeam brings me down to 55/97HP, and I hit him with Bone Rush for 75% of his HP with only two hits. I'll try this again, and after he gets Heal Block off on me (preventing Lucario from healing) I take out the Elgyem. His last pokemon is another steel pokemon Klink lv25. Gear Grind is a pretty nasty multi hit attack, and hits twice. Force Palm takes out the Klink after surviving the Gear Grind attack.
So thats it! I won the tournament fairly easily, and was a bit disappointed they hadn't made it more difficult, even lv30 pokemon would have still been fairly easy and a fair bit more challenging.
Looking at my team weaknesses though, I think I need a special attacker that can hit with psychic moves or a physical flyer with a second type. Fire/Flying or Psychic/Flying would be a fairly good fit as a last member on my team. The Ghost/Fire Chandelure line could also be a good switch for Growlithe, but he has come in useful sometimes. He gets some great moves. I'm also slightly weak against Levitating physical tank poison types like Koffing and Weezing.
So after the tournament and some scenes on some kind of Pirate Ship/Team Plasma base (with dual battles and ninja trios!) I find that we can look into the nearby cave, the Relic Passage which I think we had access to earlier (I forget) from a different entrance. Its rather confusing how it all ties together though, so I'm going to do some exploring with a bunch of Repels. I think I got most of the items and pokemon available in this place, and from what I can tell, I need the Strength HM to continue any further (except going into the lower level bit associated with the Castelia Sewers), so I leave and head towards the next story destination. *Edit* Shortly after this, I found that I do have the Strength HM...
And now Surf as well, so we can finally get some more water pokemon (seriously, this game does a good job of preventing that. They only give you a rod after finishing the elite 4) and progress to new areas.
I eventually got through the Chargestone Cave to the next town... there were seriously a lot of trainers in there, and I saw a lot of the weaknesses in my team. Barioth and Terra never seem to take any hits, and I do have quite a lot of shared weaknesses across my team. But hey, towards the end of the cave, Dewott/Barioth evolved into his final form, Samurott. I'm never sure what this is supposed to be based on (if at all), looks like some kind of walrus/narwhal/bearded thing. The flavour text says it has Seamitars on its front legs. I'm not even kidding. Seamitars. Like scimitars. Yeah....
Gym #6 - Flying
I quite like the quirk of this gym, it involves high powered wind that will prevent you from moving and kind of blow you towards the back of the gym if you don't use the walls to block it. Sort of timing style puzzle from what I can tell. The first battle on the right side is a trainer who just has one pokemon, a lv37 Swoobat, no match for my Magnezone which oneshots it!
I realised I'm kind of getting ahead of myself. I was meaning to have a look into the nearby Mistralton Cave. So perhaps the gym will come later on.
After checking out Mistralton Cave and Celestial Tower, I'm pretty confident about my team and this gym. Here is my team as I go back into the gym. Magnezone "Iron Giant" lv41, Samurott "Barioth" lv39, Lucario "Genji" lv39, Krookodile "Terra" lv40, Growlithe "Ghost" lv40.
|Swag as fuck.|
The first guy I fight after coming back here has a Sigilyph lv37. And if I remember rightly, this thing is quite bulky, but it is easy enough to take out in one hit with Magnezone's electric attacks. The second trainer/third trainer has an Archen lv36 and Unfezant lv36, the latter of which takes a hit from Iron Giant's Spark attack, something that could be important later in the gym if other people have this pokemon. The next guy has an Unfezant at lv37, and this time I try out Electro Ball to see if I can do more damage. This attack very nearly oneshots it, I think due to the speed difference. Electro Ball is an interesting attack which does more damage if the opponent's pokemon is faster.
The next guy takes me a while to get to, navigating and timing my way through the puzzle this gym has to offer. He is apparantely the trianer before the gym leader, so this place already seems a bit shorter than the last gym, strangely. They have a Ducklett lv36, something Iron Giant will definitely oneshot, hitting it for 4x damage. (Ducklett is a Water/Flying type)They also have a Swoobat lv36, which is a bit more difficult, and it outspeeds me, but thankfully I still take it out in one hit. This takes the last trainer out, onto the gym leader!
Skyla has three pokemon, and starts off with a Swoobat lv37, which I decide to go for Electro Ball against, hoping it is quick and will die to this in one hit. It uses Heart Stamp against me, a move I'm not entirely sure of the effects it has. This takes the Swoobat down to around 5% or so, and me down to 106/119. I kind of expect her to use a Potion of some kind, so I go for a weak attack, Flash Cannon. She does heal it with a hyper potion, and after my Flash Cannon, the Swoobat is back down to around the same HP as before. I go for Spark again, and this finishes it off. Her next pokemon is a Swanna lv39 (this is the evolved Ducklett) which I decided not to switch in against. I decide to go for Spark this time, as I'm guessing 4x damage is enough to oneshot anything. She goes for Featherdance which greatly lowers my attack and outspeeds my Iron Giant. After that, Spark (a physical move) only hits for about 60% or so damage. With nuked attack stats, I think its best to go for Electro Ball next, which is a special move, and gets its damage mainly from the speed difference. I take a Bubblebeam from the Swanna with not too much damage, and then KO the Swanna with Electro Ball. Next up is one of my favourite pokemon, a Skarmory. At this stage, I have the option to switch to one of my other pokemon. Growlithe would be good against the Steel/Flying typing with it's special type Fire move, and Samurott could also be good, as Revenge or Surf could hit it quite hard. I decide to go for Genji, the Lucario, which is a bit lower level, but I am quite confident about the matchup. Skarmory turns out to be lv37, and I go for Swords Dance off the bat. The Skarmory goes for Agility. So I've boosted my attack, and he has boosted his speed stat. I know Skarmory is strong defensively, so at this point I consider going for another Swords Dance. But I kind of want to gauge how much damage a +2 atk Force Palm with STAB will do. I go for Force Palm, and it does about 50%, whereas the Skarmory's Air Cutter crits and takes me down to about 75% health. Incase she does any other potion shenanigans, I go for a Swords Dance, and the next attack should hopefully win it. Air Cutter takes me down to 51HP, and then Force Palm finishes the battle for me. The Jet badge is mine.
Play Time - 75:12
Pokedex - Obtained: 67, Seen: 122
Gym Badges - 6
Protip #6 - At this point in the game, HMs haven't been as required as other games, but HM pokemon are still important to consider. Surf, Strength, Cut (seriously, I've not found any use for this so far) and to a lesser extent Flash (its not a HM, but it functions the same way), giving effects in the field or dungeons which let you progress (more easily.) So far, I've not had one of these HM dedicated pokemon on my team permanently, so I've been able to switch between the ones I need as required. For example, I can switch out Joltik, which knows Cut and Flash with my flying type with Fly if I need to get further afield. But I have Strength and Surf on my team members, which makes things a lot easier and might even negate the need for a 'HM slave.' If you are going to put HMs on them, make sure it is a good fit eg Strength should be someone physically strong, perhaps lacking a move like Slash in their movepool. Not so much a protip, but carefully consider the use of HMs. They can be avoided on your main team members, but they can also be good additions. I have Surf on my Barioth, and Strength on Ghost. They've actually worked quite well, in and out of battle.
Quite the badass. (Although how does he eat?)