Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pulling the Iron Curtain over Battles

Getting off of work early, I rushed to my room and turned on my 3DS. Yeah, sounds like any other day. But the 2014 April Friendly, an official Pokémon battle competition, was already underway and my team wasn't ready yet! After a 4-hour grind session, my Pokémon were ready to proceed online. I could only pray that my hastily built team could pull some victories.
My team for April Friendly. I didn't have time to nickname them.

The rules of April Friendly differ from previous VGC rules. Each battle is singles, where trainers choose 3 out of 6 Pokémon per battle. Every Pokémon in the Kalos Pokédex were eligible. Yep, that means legendaries like Xerneas, Yveltal and Mewtwo were permitted to wreck havoc on unsuspecting trainers.

The legendary deer in all its glory
I always say fight fire with fire...just make sure you have coverage against Fire-types. With that, I picked Xerneas as my legendary of choice. The set wasn't anything special, just the usual Power Herb+Geomancy combo. Geomancy is Xerneas's signature move that increases its Special Attack, Speed and Special Defense by 2 stages. It usually requires 2 turns to activate, but consuming a Power Herb changes that to 1. As this set was common, I had to prepare myself for counters like Scizor and Talonflame.

Mega Aggron, the Greatest Wall of Ever
And thus, I give you the star of my team, Mega Aggron. He's more of a "Super Ultra Mega Titan Behemoth" Aggron. Seriously, Close Combat tickles him. The idea was to use this Great Wall of Pure Steel to slowly wear down opponents until Xerneas could come in and proceed to sweep. When Mega Aggron's HP got low, I just used Rest and Sleep Talk. Very few Pokémon can reliably 2HKO him. I mainly paired Mega Aggron with Florges or Rotom-Wash to deal with really strong special attackers.

Besides that, I had a Greninja and Talonflame whose task was to break down walls. While straightforward, they did their job well.

Delirious, I recorded my first set of battles. I look quite pathetic, so feel free to laugh and cringe as I perform my rendition of "New York." First match in, I throw away a 3-1 lead by clicking Psyshock instead of Moonblast! I'll never live that down.

The next day, I managed to maintain a winning record. While most of the teams consisted of the same standard Pokémon, I was impressed by the few creative movesets I ran into. Rest Quagsire, a Greninja with King's Rock, and even a Pikachu! Unfortunately, Pikachu couldn't scratch Aggron, but it's the thought that counts.
Sorry Pikachu, you just don't mess with Mega Aggron.

The number of matches dwindled on the last day of battling. Don't get me wrong, I had fun competing. But after fighting match after match of faceless opponents and recording virtually every match, competing became a chore. With my Pokémon-playing friends out of town and my brother deciding not to play, it got lonely. This competition lacked the atmosphere and excitement of a live competition. There was one brief shining moment when I convinced my mom to commentate a battle with me. I felt bad though; I constantly talked over her and I could tell that half the things I said went over her head.

For throwing my team together at the last minute, I managed to squeeze in a decent record and placed in the top 9%. I earned a final rating of 1647 with 27 wins and 18 losses. The inclusion of legendaries was an interesting twist, but most trainers stuck with standard teams. This battle competition was fun, but maybe it's time I take a small break from Pokémon. My fighting spirit has all but vanished, and the time away might be just what I need to reflect and refresh myself for the next competition. At the very least, April Friendly gave me the opportunity to experience Mega Aggron's girth, and I look forward to using him in future teams.
You can watch more battles on my YouTube channel (

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