The time has come, adventurers. In the last chapter we claimed both the seventh and eighth badges in order to gain access to the Pokemon League. Today, all that remains is to overcome the last few obstacles standing between us and the championship. Fuzz and Block have fought hard for this over the course of fifteen chapters. The time has come to see their journey through to the end.
Funnily enough the first thing standing in our way today will also be the last thing: a battle with Tackle. I’m not sure why Game Freak thought it would be a good idea to have you fight the guy who’s gonna be champion like twenty minutes before you fight him again, but here we are. Tackle doesn’t have his full team for this fight, though, and his Pokemon aren’t nearly as strong as they will be for the final showdown.
I led with Grave the Golem against Tackle’s Pidgeot, a strategy which normally works well for me. This time Tackle used his brain a little: he spammed Sand Attack on my already-inaccurate Rock Slide so that my attacks would miss, and then spammed Air Slash to flinch me out. If I actually managed to not flinch, I still had to break through my dwindling accuracy to try and hit. Thing is since Pidgeot has nothing to actually deal any significant level of damage to Grave, all Tackle really managed to succeed at was drawing things out longer. The only other Pokemon on his team that even tried to give me trouble was Marowak. It set up both Swords Dance AND Focus Energy in preparation for some kind of crazy finishing move, but since Thorn the Victreebel did 95% with Mega Drain Marowak’s only chance would have been to attack after Swords Dance instead of setting up a second time.
Route 23 is a rather boring pathway where you just show eight dudes all the badges that you accumulated over the course of the game. I did make a brief stop here to spend the Rare Candy I had built up over the course of the game. Since grinding in Let’s Go doesn’t have a danger factor like other Nuzlocke runs the only “added challenge” is the added time it takes to catch Pokemon, and I am a busy guy. I had enough Rare Candy to level up each Pokemon twice, which by my calculations would put me at just the right level to take on the champion without being truly overleveled (I was right about that, thankfully).
After route 23 is Victory Road, a much more challenging area to deal with. The coach trainer in the first room has a level 49 Ditto. Ditto transforms into another Pokemon and then uses their moves against you, so I used the lesson I learned against Tackle and allowed Ditto to transform into Vincent, my Pidgeot. Knowing that Pidgeot has absolutely no moves to threaten Grave, I brought him in and used a couple of Rock Slides to wrap things up. Unfortunately, the rest of Victory Road would not be so easy.
Even with my Pokemon being anywhere from six to eight levels higher than my opponents, Victory Road proved to be a dangerous battle of attrition. Up until this point in the game, most trainers – even gym leaders – have a predictable pattern of Pokemon with similar typings that can be swept in a pretty straightforward manner by one Pokemon. The trainers on Victory Road have a variety of types, often types that cover each other’s weaknesses. Whatever Pokemon you have in will probably not be helpful against the opponent’s next Pokemon – in fact, chances are good that you’ll be weak to them. More than during any other part of the run, playing in Set battle mode really caused me some problems here. I regularly had to switch multiple times during a battle, meaning that after nearly every fight I was needing to do at least some mild healing for more than one party member. Over the course of Victory Road much of my medicine supply was depleted.
I had quite a few close calls, too. Against one opponent, Thorn was nearly killed by a Slowbro’s Psychic attack and then ended up missing his Power Whip, forcing me to switch in Runnypants the Alakazam to try to clean things up. While fighting Moltres at the bottom of the cavern, I learned that Grave couldn’t survive two Heat Wave attacks, so I had to switch in Lucy the Golduck to try and take out the legendary bird without the benefit of a 4x effective attack. Immediately after that, I forgot to get Grave out of the front of the party and ended up facing a Dragonair. I was this close to staying in but decided I didn’t want to risk any water or grass moves that Dragonair might get, and sure enough when I got Lucy in Dragonair went wild with a Surf attack. I had another near-miss where I almost switched Grave into battle against a Lickitung that turned out to have Power Whip. This is one of those times where I wish I had a YouTube or Twitch channel to record this stuff rather than just a blog – the amount of panicked gasps that accompanied this play session outnumbered the rest of the Nuzlocke run combined.
There’s a second coach trainer at the end of Victory Road that serves as your last obstacle, and he specializes in the Outrage TM. Outrage is a dragon-type move with 120 power that lasts 2-3 turns and then inflicts confusion on the user. Only steel and fairy resist dragon in any way, so with neither of those on my team I had to hope that all of my Pokemon could withstand a couple of Outrage hits while I switched around to get type advantage. Since the trainer had Primeape, Gyarados, Arcanine, and Tauros, it took a lot of switching around to get into positions where I could win the battles. Once I took out the coach trainer, though, I was able to enter the Pokemon League, heal up, and stock up on items. I purchased 20 Max Potions (which heal your Pokemon to full) and 30 Full Restores (which heal to full and cure all status ailments). I was ready to finally take on the Elite Four.
Lorelei was up first, and she was one of the trainers I was the most worried about. Water and ice together are a tough combination that can offensively hit the majority of types for at least neutral damage. The best weapon against a water/ice Pokemon is another water Pokemon that has a super effective move. For me, that Pokemon was Lucy the Golduck and her Brick Break attack. My plan worked out fine against Dewgong – Lorelei could barely touch me while my attacks did about 33% each. Things got complicated when Jynx came in. Lorelei’s Jynx strategy was solid: Lovely Kiss to put me to sleep, Psychic to damage me while I was out, and Lovely Kiss again as soon as I woke up. Even when I broke through that strategy and managed to do some damage, Lucy’s Surf did so little that I had no choice but to change tactics. I switched in Selkie the Ninetales, who managed to dodge a Lovely Kiss and finish things up with a Flamethrower Attack.
The other Pokemon on Lorelei’s team that gave me trouble was Slowbro. Wait, Slowbro? Not an ice type. Cheater. Anyway, Lucy had nothing that could hit Slowbro for even neutral damage, while Psychic dealt around 40% to Lucy. This forced me to switch in Runnypants the Alakazam to get some Shadow Balls off and finally finish things up. My Lucy strategy was effective against the Pokemon on Lorelei’s team that really were water and ice type, but once she changed things up on me I needed to reconsider my approach. I spent way more medicine than I wanted to on this fight but I managed to press through to Bruno.
Bruno is primarily a fighting type trainer but I knew he carried some rock and ground types too. With that in mind I decided to lean with my trusty starter Thorn – Thorn would be super effective against the rock/ground Pokemon and would resist any fighting types moves thanks to his poison typing. Bruno led with Onyx and he made things complicated for me by setting up Stealth Rock – if my plan turned out not to work and I had to switch around, my Pokemon would be taking damage every time I had to switch out. That made it extra important for Thorn to be able to stay in the whole match.
Bruno’s fighting types ended up being bigger threats than I expected to Thorn. Hitmonchan, for example, ran Fire Punch, so I had that super effective move to deal with while having no super effective attack of my own for retaliation. Luckily I inflicted poison on my first Sludge Bomb, which made things a lot simpler as Hitmonchan got chipped away. Machamp, Bruno’s ace, could do neutral damage with Earthquake, and two hits would leave me with only a sliver of health. I had to keep Thorn healed up during that particular match-up to protect him against critical hits. But ultimately, Bruno proved a bit easier than Lorelai and I was able to move on.
Agatha worried me because I knew she would have some pesky ghost Pokemon up her sleeves. Sure, Runnypants the Alakazam could deal super effective damage to them, but he was a frail Pokemon and if they hit him with a super effective ghost attack, he’d be in the ground. What I forgot about was that the commonality between all of Agatha’s Pokemon is actually the poison typing, which meant that Psychic was a potent weapon in this battle. I kept waiting for that one Pokemon that would be faster than Runnypants and put me in a bind. But Arbok? Blown away in one hit. Gengar? Done. Golbat? One shot, one kill. Weezing? What Weezing? And even against Agatha’s ace, her most powerful Gengar, Runnypants lived true to his name and ran faster than anyone on the battlefield. I swept her entire team with OHKO Psychic attacks, and didn’t even have to heal anybody when the battle was over.
Lance the dragon master came next, and this was my biggest concern. While the other Elite Four members did have some variation in their typings they were tied together by common themes and I could primarily rely on one or two of my Pokemon to get the job done. I knew that Lance had a variety of Pokemon that didn’t actually qualify as dragon type like Aerodactyl, Charizard, and Gyarados. In fact, his Dragonite was the Pokemon I was worried the least about – I figured even without STAB, one Ice Beam from Lucy would wrap that up real quick. I led with Lucy figuring she had the best odds of having type advantage, but naturally Lance led with Seadra, another water type. I switched in Thorn to deal with it and gasped when I saw that Seadra’s chosen move was Hyper Beam, a 150 power normal type move. Luckily Thorn dodged the attack and Seadra was easy enough to wrap up.
Lance chose Aerodactyl next so I switched Lucy back in to deal with it – only for her to get struck by a critical hit Rock Slide. It wasn’t enough to kill but it put her dangerously low, so I had to use some time to heal her up. Luckily she understood what the urgency of the situation was and awarded me with a dodged Rock Slide the next turn. When Lance switched in Gyarados I brought Thorn back in – without an electric attack, neutral grass moves were my best option, and I doubted that Gyarados would have anything to hit Thorn. I was right – so right, in fact, that Lance simply switched his Pokemon and brought in Dragonite instead. It was a smart play – Dragonite has 4x resistance to grass attacks – but it always catches me off-guard when the CPUs switch their Pokemon. I switched to Lucy for my Ice Beam strategy and Dragonite unleashed its Outrage attack.
Now I had a problem. Unlike the Outrage-themed coach trainer on Victory Road, Dragonite had STAB on its attack, elevating the power to 180. It also was a higher level than any of those Pokemon and probably had higher attack power, too. This meant Lucy could barely survive one Outrage – the attack did a solid 70-80%. I healed up and BAM, once again Lucy was barely hanging on. I needed a break; specifically, I needed Outrage to confuse Dragonite and then for Dragonite to hit itself in confusion. I waited a whole ‘nother Outrage cycle for this to happen before I realized that I needed another plan. I checked the defense of Grave the Golem and figured he could probably live two Outrage hits if neither of them were a crit. It was a risk but it was the only option I had. I sent him in and learned that I was right. Grave could take two Outrage hits, but Dragonite could not survive a second Rock Slide. It was a hard-fought battle, but I was able to defeat Lance and clear the way to the champion.
Turns out the champion is your rival, a “twist” that anyone who played Red or Blue back in the day probably expected. This means that I knew a few things about his strategy: he would lead with Pidgeot, and I knew he had a Vileplume, Raichu, and Marowak. I put Grave out in front and was faced with a Mega-Pidgeot. Unfortunately for Tackle, Mega evolving did nothing to change the relationship between Pidgeot and Grave. There was nothing he could do to me as I poured rocks down upon his feathery head. The next Pokemon was Vileplume, so I quickly switched out to Selkie the Ninetales and even took an extra turn to heal Grave. I knew I would need him at full to deal with Raichu at some point, and Vileplume was certainly no threat to Selkie.
Tackle was smart, though, and he switched out Vileplume for Slowbro. That was bad news – I knew from not one but two Slowbro fights during this play session that I really didn’t have a great answer for it. I brought in Runnypants the Alakazam and Slowbro decided to set up a Reflect to reduce physical damage for a few turns. If he was going to set up then so was I: I started using Calm Mind to raise my special attack and special defense. Unfortunately, the flaw in my setup plan was that critical hits ignore stat boosts, and I very nearly lost Runnypants to a crit Surf. When his HP hit four, I knew I needed to change angles. I healed up, finished off Slowbro with Shadow Ball, and then finished off the already-weakened Vileplume with a Psychic attack.
Rapidash came next, a new member of Tackle’s team but one I knew well how to deal with. I brought in Lucy to resist the inevitable Flare Blitz and responded with a Surf, bringing Rapidash down to a sliver of red. Unfortunately I got burned by Flare Blitz, so both Tackle and I took the opportunity to full restore our Pokemon. The difference was that Lucy had every advantage, and I was able to wrap that up easy. Next came Raichu, which meant it was time for Lucy to go and Grave to come in. As many times as I’ve used the “bring Grave in to cancel an electric attack” trick on Tackle, he never learned to pick a different move and Grave grinned as a Thunder whizzed harmlessly by. Raichu did bring a better move than Double Kick to try to deal with a rock type in the form of Iron Tail, but that still wasn’t nearly enough to prevent Grave from using Earthquake to put Raichu in the ground for the last time.
All that remained was Marowak, and for the final showdown I decided it was time to bring our starter back in for his last hurrah. Thorn the Victreebel easily resisted Marowak’s first ground-type attack and retaliated with a Mega Drain, bringing Marowak low but not quite finishing it off. Tackle had one last trick up his sleeve: Marowak knew Fire Punch. Unfortunately for him, that wasn’t nearly enough to bring Thorn down, and in typical Thorn fashion my starter ended the Nuzlocke how he started it: a wicked critical hit to bring down Tackle’s final Pokemon.
And so adventurers the tale of Fuzz and Block finally comes to an end. I set out to Nuzlocke Let’s Go Eevee despite all the changes it would require to the form of the challenge, and in the end I managed to pull out a victory. After I’ve had some time for everything to settle I may do an article where I talk more in depth about what it is like to Nuzlocke this game and any suggestions I have for others who want to do so, but for now this article has gone on long enough. Thanks for reading, particularly to those who have stuck through this adventure since the very beginning!
Congrats on finishing the LP.
I’ve never been one for Nuzlockes (I already tend to play pretty cautiously, so if I tried it, all it’d lead to would be ridiculous grinding and overleveling, followed by easy wins), but I can see their appeal.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I can certainly see that being the outcome – I tried with this run to find the balance between overpreparing and playing too risky and I think it went smoothly but probably still a bit on the safe side for some player’s preference. It was a fun experience, though!