Pokemon White: my six, my happy six

, | Game diaries

I test the challenge rock with my fist every day.

A quote by Battle Girl Lee. Her Timburr is no more.

I’m not one of these guys who talks smack. When I’m on the court, I just let my playing do my talking. As a coach I generally do the same thing. Yes, it is true that the bulk of my coaching experience involves kids around six playing soccer three-on-a-side, so trash-talk shouldn’t be an option no matter who the coach is. I’m just saying, in general, I’m not much for it. This won’t change here, either.

After the jump, the return of Team Tepig

On the other hand, I’m not like coaches who hide their starting rosters from their opponents–and thus the public–until the coin flip. Guys who mess around with who is on IR and who is not. Certain jerks from the general north/east part of our country who have been known to cheat by videotaping their opponents. I won’t name names, except my own. Though it may hurt me down the road, I’m going to reveal the starting lineup for tomorrow’s rematch with Lenora. Ladies and gentlemen…here is your starting lineup for Teeeeeeeeeeem Tepig!

Er…Team Pignite. Ugh. Team Pignite? Really? It may be time to pick a new captain. Pignite, you’re on notice.

This isn’t going to be the normal Pokemon White game diary post where I whine about grinding and reading and talk about my dreams and feelings. This is about lists and rosters and numbers. One might look at it as fairly Gerykian…absent all the great writing about hexes (whatever those are). This is me laying my forces bare for all to see. Before the big battle. Without further ado, here’s my starting six (level number in parenthesis), their TYPE, and their moves.

1. Pignite (18). FIRE/FIGHTING. Moves: Tackle/Flame Charge/Ember/Defense Curl

Attack=40, Defense=27, Sp. Atk=33, Sp. Def=24, Speed=29

Notes: We’re going through a rough patch, Pignite and me. He just evolved, and while I can’t blame him for this any more than I could blame my star point guard for getting the flu before the tournament, it’s still put a strain on our relationship and on the team. Late in the level grind tonight he fainted out of a pretty simple dual-battle in the dark grass outside of Pinwheel Forest. I can’t say I’m 100% sure he’s ready for this rematch, but he got us here as Tepig, so I can’t abandon him now. You ride the pig that got you here.

2. Blitzle (18). ELECTRIC. Moves: Flame Charge/Thunder Wave/Charge/Shock Wave

Attack=31, Defense=24, Sp. Atk=23, Sp. Def=17, Speed=34

Notes: I had a couple of rough moments with Blitzle in the constant waves of Tympoles over the last couple of days. She’d get confused and use her best move against herself. I now see this as a coaching deficiency. A problem of substitution. We’ve fixed that and Blitzle is humming along nicely. She–that’s right, she’s our one female–is starting to get how to use her Shock Wave with startling dominance. Yes, this is largely against those nasty Pidoves, but still. She is dominating. She’s also coming on strong with Thunder Wave, which is nice. Her coach has little idea what to do with Charge, so we’ll have to see how that plays out.

3. Munna (18). PSYCHIC. Moves: Psywave/Psybeam/Moonlight/Yawn

Attack=18, Defense=23, Sp. Atk=31, Sp. Def=27, Speed=14

Notes: Munna is one of those special players every coach has. Munna is like a walk-on that inexplicably becomes a role player on the team. We rescued Munna and brought him along carefully. His numbers don’t show it, but he’s a key part of the team. Especially now that he’s learned Moonlight. Munna is the first Pokemon to really teach me how to be strategic in swapping out Pokemons in the early part of a battle. Extra Note: the next time Munna wants to learn a new move, Psywave is going to be forgotten.

4. Roggenrola (18). ROCK. Moves: Tackle/Harden/Rock Blast/Headbutt

Attack=35, Defense=36, Sp. Atk=13, Sp. Def=19, Speed=13

Notes: I love this guy’s name, and the way he looks, but to be honest if he hadn’t learned Rock Blast he’d be off the squad. I’m terrible with powers like Harden, and using Tackle and Headbutt is basically a coin-flip. Of all the team members, I really should have swapped him out awhile ago and worked to level up another Pokemon in his place. One like my grass-type Pansage. But capturing Roggenrola was tougher than expected, and I think that’s contributed to how I feel about him on the team. I just wish I’d had a chance to learn him some replacements for those Normal moves.

5. Throh (18). FIGHTING. Moves: Leer/Vital Throw/Focus Energy/Seismic Toss

Attack=39, Defense=36, Sp. Atk=18, Sp. Def=44, Speed=23

Notes: Throh. Judo Pokemon. Did you read that? Judo Pokemon! Sweet. First of all I’d like to thank Wild Audino. I probably should have captured that goofy earring-wearing teddy bear, but I didn’t manage the battle well enough so when he tapped out he basically leveled Throh from sixteen to seventeen in one fell swoop. I’m not kidding. I’m not sure what that’s about, but it was very cool. I never know what to do with moves like Leer and Focus Energy (or Bide…especially Bide), but I’m pretty happy now that Throh has learned Vital Throw. The first time out after learning that he smacked down my hated Tympole in one turn. Seismic Toss is annoying to me because it seems like everybody on my team just wants to throw rocks right now, and I find that boring and annoying. I look forward to seeing what Throh may learn in the future, but for now he’s a solid part of the team. Like a decent linebacker.

6. Timburr (19). FIGHTING. Moves: Rock Throw/Focus Energy/Bide/Low Kick

Attack=39, Defense=30, Sp. Atk=18, Sp. Def=20, Speed=20

Notes: Like Throh’s Vital Throw, Timburr’s Rock Throw has come to be meaningful in battle. I’m no good at using his Focus Energy and Bide powers. Especially Bide. I hate Bide because of the times I’ve used it and gotten the “But it failed” notice. I absolutely hate that. I have no understanding of why “But it failed” happens. None. I don’t understand that anymore than I get why one Pokemon gets to use his move before another. I’m sure it’s all there in the numbers, but I’m not seeing it yet. In spite of all that, and in spite of the fact that I’m dicey on how to attack properly with Timburr, he’s our highest level starter. I’m not sure how that happened, but it did. It’d be hard to leave him off, given that fact.

So that’s the starting lineup. It is surprising to me how tough it has been to design this. Dropping Patrat wasn’t so hard a decision. He was kind of an annoying little character, and nobody on the team was sad to see him go. But everybody balked at dropping Pansage. Everybody thought his Vine Whip was devastatingly entertaining. The fact that I couldn’t figure out how to use it properly was of no concern. He was hilarious and adorable, and I was a heel to drop him. I can’t say this publicly, but I wonder if I shouldn’t have leveled him instead of Roggenrola. I wonder if my secret hope that I would one day be able to work in a Guy Ritchie joke about him didn’t blind me to his usefulness as a part of the team. Would Pansage have been better for the whole? Does some of this come down to my scant grasp on Pokemon types?

I’d like to say that maybe Pansage could rejoin the starting lineup somewhere down the road, but really, at this point it’s clear that such things are simply not practical. And again my thoughts turn to coaching in a way they never have before. I think of the guy who gets benched, and benched deep, and he never develops as a player because everybody just out-paces him by leaps and bounds. There’s no way the team could level up Pansage now, I don’t think.

But games are about choices. They are not like turning back the pages of a Choose Your Own Adventure book. I’ve made my choices. I will have to live with the consequences.

Team Pignite. Lenore is waiting.

Next: high noon
Click here for the previous Pokemon White game diary