Adventure Rules ORAS Nuzlocke Journal – Chapter Six: In Which This Challenge Becomes Challenging

Greetings, adventurers, and welcome to the sixth chapter of this exciting journey through the world of Pokemon. In the last chapter, I delivered the Devon Goods to Slateport City and solved the Trick House before having a deadly battle with my rival May. I also kind of glossed over my gym battle with Wattson, and I had one very clear reason for that: it was boring. The Restartlocke challenge is meant to be challenging, and with my team consisting half of overleveled Pokemon Wattson didn’t stand a chance. But getting my third gym badge meant it was time to let some Pokemon go, and I knew exactly what decision I needed to make in order to up the ante.

My team had two Pokemon whose levels were higher than Wattson’s ace: Slick the Marshtomp and Runnypants the Kadabra. Each a champion in their own right, heroes who could easily smash through any opponent who stood in their way. Slick had only one weakness and a great number of advantages with his water/ground typing, and Runnypants could defeat almost any neutral-type opponent with his ridiculous special attack power. Their skill took the challenge out of my challenge – so it was time to say goodbye.

This left me with only two team members to work with: (Negative) Nancy the Minun and MaiMai the Tentacool. These two made a pretty decent pair, with typings that gave them advantages against pretty different types of opponents. However, they had a common weakness that I knew would give me problems fast if I didn’t do something about it: ground types. Ground type Pokemon are sturdy and powerful, and moves like Earthquake are popular for non-ground Pokemon to keep in their moveset. My first mission after defeating Wattson, then, was to go and get my encounters for the nearby routes.

I headed east to route 118 first and there encountered a trainer to battle, an aroma lady named Rose. Rose had two level 16 grass types, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that this was another troublesome type for my team. While neither MaiMai nor Nancy is weak to grass type attacks, grass Pokemon resist both electric and water. Additionally, while MaiMai’s Acid attack could be supereffective against standard grass types, the most common grass Pokemon also have a poison typing that gives them protection against it. We’ve seen it in the past when I struggled so much against Shroomish – unfortunately, I would have many similar problems against Roselia.

My biggest issue is with the combo of Leech Seed and Mega Drain, which gives the opponent a steady stream of healing that proves problematic when I can’t take it out in one hit. Roselia also carries Stun Spore and kept my Pokemon paralyzed. What ultimately gave me an edge this time is Nancy – she can’t be paralyzed thanks to her electric typing, she can inflict paralysis with Thunder Wave, and her Swift attack did decent neutral damage. Still, Leech Seed was a problem, and it took some luck with Roselia getting paralyzed for me to finally finish her off.

Nancy and MaiMai
Aw, look how happy they are NOT covered in paralytic spores and vampiric sprouts.

At this point I was able to see that there was no way for me to get a new encounter on route 118 at this point, so rather than fight all the trainers now, I chose to save them until I had new Pokemon to train up. Instead I traveled back through Mauville City to the west side where route 117 began. Here I was able to navigate around a couple of trainers and make it unbothered to a patch of tall grass. The time had come for me to get my next encounter, and a little rustling around brought before me the bug type Pokemon Illumise.

Illumise wasn’t exactly ideal – yet another weaker Pokemon unable to evolve – but she’d do for now. At the very least, she covered my team’s nasty ground weakness thanks to her resistance. Plus, last chapter I purchased the Struggle Bug TM from the Slateport Market – it’s almost as if I knew I’d be getting one of these! At any rate, I was able to catch Illumise with little trouble thanks to Nancy. The Pokedex described Illumise as having a very pleasant scent, so I decided to name her Cookie. After all, what smells better than a nice batch of gooey chocolate cookies in the oven?

Illumise Pokedex

Cookie was much lower-leveled than my other Pokemon, so I knew it’d take a while to train her up. Before I started that, though, I wanted to go ahead and get the other easily-accessible encounter nearby on route 111. That required me doubling back to Mauville and heading north. Unfortunately for me to make any progress on this route, I’d need the help of the Rock Smash HM, a move that none of my current party members could learn. For the first time in this Restartlocke, I’d have to go catch a Pokemon specifically for the purpose of using an HM in order to progress,

I ended up catching a Zigzagoon over on route 117. Knowing it would not be an official capture for the purpose of the playthrough, I named him Breaker 1 9 – you know, like that weird phrase truckers say over their CB radios. Anyway, with Breaker 1 9 in tow I headed back to route 111 to bust some rocks – and BAM, there was my next encounter, tucked away inside of a boulder: a Geodude.

Now this was a good encounter! Geodude has a pretty solid defensive typing. Sure, I’d have to watch out for water and grass Pokemon, but my other teammates could handle that well enough. I really needed a Pokemon who could tank some hits for me, and Geodude would be perfect for just that. Plus, as a ground type, he’d be great for helping me to conquer other defensive Pokemon like Rock and Steel types. He posed a threat to my team, so I was pretty worried about trying to catch him, but it turns out I was worried for nothing – he just used set-up moves while I beat him down and gratefully accepted his Great Ball when the time came.

Geodude Pokedex
D’awww, just like my heart!

Because the Pokedex described him as craggy, I wanted to name Geodude after the god of the cragnons in Super Paper Mario, Big Rock Who Watches. However, that doesn’t fit in the name slot, so instead I went with cragnon explorer Flint Cragley. As is the tendency for Pokemon who join my team, Flint Cragley had a terrible nature – it reduced defense, the very stat I was excited about when I caught the goofy thing. However, you gotta take what you can get in a Restartlocke, and I had a good feeling about my boy Flint. I checked my TMs and it turns out Flint Cragley could learn Rock Smash, so with that I went and said farewell to Breaker 1 9 before beginning the training of my two new teammates.

I headed over to Route 118 to finish dealing with the trainers there. My first opponent was Fisherman Wade, whose Pokemon of choice was Carvanha – uh oh. Last time I fought one of these guys, it very nearly tore MaiMai to pieces. This time, though, I had Nancy, and boy did that make a difference. With Cookie watching to learn some new tricks, Nancy put to use the new TM we obtained from Wattson: Volt Switch. Volt Switch is one of my favorite moves in Pokemon, allowing you to deal heavy special damage and then switch out into another Pokemon. It’s great for switch training, for keeping offensive momentum in battle, and apparently for leaving Carvanha in a sizzling heap on the ground.

My next opponent was a guitarist by the name of Dalton, and his opening Pokemon was a level 16 Magnemite. This was a bit problematic for me; my fully-trained team members don’t really have any tools to deal with Magnemite. Flint Cragley had a pretty decisive type advantage, though, so I switched him in. Just to annoy me, Magnemite led with Supersonic and got Flint all confused. On the next turn, I tried to attack but Flint hit himself in confusion – and then Magnemite used Sonic Boom. Now if you’re not familiar with this attack, it’s pretty bad news early game – it always does 20 damage, totally ignoring type advantages and disadvantages, stats and defenses. It left Flint Cragley with pretty low health, so I healed him up to full with a soda pop. Magnemite kept up the offensive pressure and used Sonic Boom again. At this point I had 23 health – not enough for a Sonic Boom to kill – so I went for Bulldoze. Sonic Boom hit and put Flint Cragley at 3 HP, and then a horrifying realization hit me as a line of ducks circled around Flint’s head.

Guitarist Dalton
Cease that discordant noise, you monster!

“Don’t hit yourself, don’t hit yourself, don’t hit yourself” – it didn’t matter. Flint Cragley, in his first ever battle, struck himself hard in the face and reduced the rest of his HP down to zero. He collapsed in a heap on the ground, and I lost my brand new defensive Pokemon before I ever really got to use him. I now had a pretty big problem in that no one had type advantage over Magnemite. Nancy was my only real option here, so I switched her in to use Swift again and again, occasionally healing with a Soda Pop when Sonic Boom put her dangerously low.

The moral of the story after this death? Watch out for Sonic Boom, and by golly don’t forget about it when you get confused.

With route 118 cleared I decided to head west to route 117 and Verdanturf Town. A pair of young ladies was waiting down one of the nearby forks in the path, so I went ahead and took them on. Cookie wasn’t ready for battle against their Makuhita/Zigzagoon combo, so I switched her out for Nancy while MaiMai held down the fort. I did my best to target down Zigzagoon first, fearing its Headbutt attack more than anything the Makuhita could do. Once again I found myself losing track of important details during this battle – Zigzagoon used Mud Sport, which halved the effectiveness of Nancy’s Spark attack. Luckily, neither opponent was that dangerous and this particular mistake didn’t cost me a life.

Anna and Meg
Listen, game, I’ll decide who challenges me and who doesn’t.

The biggest thing to watch out for on this route during your own playthrough is the pair of Pokemon Breeders here. Unlike anyone we’ve met so far, these two have full teams of six Pokemon. That’s a lot of experience to gain, but also a wide variety of Pokemon to fight against. You’ll have to be careful and switch your Pokemon intelligently – if you’re playing Set battle style for extra challenge, it’s going to be even trickier. Cookie gained a ton of experience during these fights, as I was able to switch her in and out at will while letting Nancy and MaiMai handle the difficult stuff.

Reaching the end of route 117 brings you to Verdanturf Town, the place where Wally lives. This is also where Rusturf Tunnel (the area we didn’t get an encounter because it only has Whismur) leads to. As long as you have a Pokemon with Rock Smash, you can bust up the rocks in the tunnel so that the star-crossed lovers can reunite. If you do so, they’ll give you an Aggronite, the mega stone for Aggron. You can also get an Intriguing Stone by finding the Shroomish belonging to the little girl in the south of town – just look at the town’s welcome sign after talking to her and you’re set.

This guy with his jokes. Also, stop talking about crags – you’re making me miss Flint!

At this point I headed for Route 111, the path leading north from Mauville. Living on this path is a little family called the Winstrates, and every member is a Pokemon trainer. If you face all four of them, you get a present – not to mention lots of money and experience points. It’s certainly worth the effort, but it can be a risky battle if you don’t have a balanced team to handle a variety of Pokemon. I decided to risk taking on the Winstrates and steeled myself for the battles ahead.

My first opponent, Victor, used a Taillow and a Zigzagoon. Taillow was pretty easy to take out due its electric weakness – Nancy shut it down pretty quick. Zigzagoon was a little tougher but nothing that a good ole Volt Switch couldn’t take care of. Victor’s wife Victoria was a bit more problematic – she had a Roselia, a Pokemon that I am quickly discovering is as problematic for me as Shroomish. I tried to leave in Cookie to use Struggle Bug for neutral damage, but her attack barely did any damage at all and Leech Seed was going to be a problem. I ended up settling on Nancy for this fight, as her Swift attack was able to do a decent amount and slowly whittle Roselia down.

Victoria Defeated

After winning this fight, MaiMai learned the move Acid Spray. This is a 40 base power move just like Acid, but instead of having just a chance of lowering special defense by one stage, it is guaranteed to lower special defense by two stages. That’s a huge improvement and will make it easier for MaiMai to take out opponents who my team struggles to damage. I quickly replaced Acid before going on to fight the other Winstrate family members.

The next trainer was Victor and Victoria’s daughter Vivi. She had a three Pokemon team of Goldeen, Numel, and Shroomish (ugh). Goldeen was easy enough to deal with thanks to Nancy, and Numel wasn’t a problem thanks to MaiMai and Water Pulse. That left only Shroomish to give me some trouble. It wasn’t as bad as my past experiences have been simply because Cookie’s Struggle Bug was super effective, so I was able to take it down with relative ease.

The final Winstrate is the family matron and grandmother to Vivi, Vicky. She only has one Pokemon, a particularly powerful Meditite. Cookie has a natural resistance to fighting so I decided to leave her in for this match, using Struggle Bug to test the waters. Fighting resists bug but psychic is weak to it, so the attack did neutral damage to Meditite – but not much. It also lowered the Pokemon’s special attack, reducing how effective it would be with a psychic attack like Confusion. While I whittled it down with Struggle Bug, it built up attack power with Meditate. This would be bad if it had an attack effective against Cookie – she could sweep my whole team if I wasn’t careful. After building her attack two stages she hit Cookie with Force Palm – it did a ton of damage, but thanks to Cookie’s fighting resistance she was able to hold out and win the day.

Vicky Defeated

As a reward for defeating them all, the Winstrates grant you the Macho Brace. This is a training item that doubles the number of effort values that a Pokemon wins from fights. It can be useful in a Restartlocke format for quickly loading EVs onto a new team member to catch them up with the other Pokemon, so I’ll hold onto it for later in the game. At this point I’d been doing a lot of training, so I wanted to get my last encounter and wrap up the chapter.

There are a few more trainers on route 111, but honestly at this point my team could handle most of them with ease. Not in a “they’re too strong” way, as all of my team members were only one or two levels higher than what Wattson’s ace had been. But no trainer of note came against me during the time. I was able to reach Route 112, the path towards Mt. Chimney, and look for my last encounter – after a boring conversation with May in which she gave me the Strength HM.

The Pokemon I ended up encountering here was a Numel. This is a pretty decent encounter – it adds fire type and ground type to my repertoire, greatly increasing the number of type advantages at my disposal. Of course, those two typings are also rather problematic for my team. I had to leave in MaiMai and hope that Numel didn’t unleash a Magnitude 10 upon me. Luckily the goofy thing stuck to Flame Burst, and Tank joined the ranks of my Pokemon team!

Numel Pokedex
That first sentence is why I named this oblivious doofus Tank.

Now as I got to looking at Tank’s stats, I noticed something very special about this particular Numel – he has the Simple ability! Now for those unfamiliar with Simple, it makes it so that all stat-altering moves used on Tank have double their normal effect. So if, for example, Tank were to use a move that increased his speed by one stage, it would actually go up by two stages. Instead of Swords Dance raising attack by two stages, it would raise attack by four. This is a fantastic ability when combined with stat-boosting moves, so I’ll definitely want to look out for some of those for Tank.

Tank can also learn both Strength and Rock Smash, giving me someone to carry HM moves so I could finally get rid of Flint Cragley. I used the final moments of this chapter to go and release Flint’s shattered corpse back into the wild. In the next chapter, I’ll be able to explore the areas leading up to Mt. Chimney like Route 112, Route 113, and Meteor Falls. This section of the game may very well be one of the longest segments between gyms, so it may be chapter eight before we reach Lavaridge – but I’ll try to keep things moving as best as I can.

I hope you enjoyed today’s chapter, adventurers! As always, feel free to ask any questions you have about my team, Omega Ruby, or the Restartlocke challenge in the comments below. If you’re using this series as a sort of walkthrough for your own Restartlocke challenge, let me know how you’re doing – I’d love to hear your stories. We’ll be back next Monday with even more Pokemon shenanigans, and in the meantime there’s plenty of other stuff going on here on Adventure Rules, so be sure to stick around! Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Adventure Rules ORAS Nuzlocke Journal – Chapter Six: In Which This Challenge Becomes Challenging

Add yours

  1. I’m surprised you ended up beating Wattson that easily; I remember him being quite difficult in the original GBA version. Then again, it doesn’t help that electric types only have one weakness.

    I can understand wanting to do this kind of challenge with the Gen III remakes. I played through X just now, and I was disappointed with how easy it ended up being; there was never a point in which I felt I had a realistic chance of losing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the newer titles in the series are definitely a lot easier. Which in a way I don’t mind – I think the changes that made the series easier are quality-of-life changes that make the games better. Needing a longer amount of time to grind for levels isn’t a “fun” way to make a game harder, in my view.
      I don’t remember ever having that much trouble with Wattson, but I’ve pretty much always chosen a starter with type advantage against his team. Combusken’s fighting type beats Magneton’s steel type, and of course Marshtomp’s ground typing just wrecks all of Wattson’s Pokemon. So I guess I’ve always had the advantage when facing him.

      Liked by 1 person

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