Part 17: Vs. Justy (Pre Gym, Phenac City)Mini-Update: Vs. Justy (Pre Gym, Phenac City)
Today, we only have one opponent, but it's one that causes many players frustration, from trying to beat him as soon as they have six non-Shadow Pokemon. His team is a rather high level for someone trying to take him on, right after Agate Village and getting the Small Tablet (for Purifications).
Plusle takes an honorary spot on our team; the stars of this update are Dunsparce, Hitmontop, and Feraligatr.
Hitmontop gets Brick Break to replace Triple Kick. Not only is it stronger, but it has more PP, something of a rarity with move replacement/upgrades.
And here we go.
PREGYMLEADER JUSTY, P$2,520
Cacnea (Lv.41, M, Sand Veil)
Gligar (Lv.41, M, Sand Veil)
Azumarill (Lv.40, F, Huge Power)
Sandshrew (Lv.41, F, Sand Veil)
Nosepass (Lv.42, M)
Sunflora (Lv.40, F)
So, let's start getting into the nitty-gritty of Justy's team. First, three of his Pokemon have the Sand Veil ability. What does this mean? When a sandstorm is in effect, a Pokémon with this ability gets a 20% evasion increase. In addition, if a non-Rock, Steel, or Ground-type Pokémon has this ability (such as Cacnea, a Grass-type), it will not take damage from sandstorm. Combine this with the attack Justy likes to spam, Double Team, which further boosts evasion, and you have Pokemon that are difficult to knock out, not because they're defensively strong, but because your attacks just can't connect with them. Most of his Pokemon also know Sandstorm, to set up the weather again, in case it wears out, or is changed.
For this reason, I elect to go with Focus Energy on Hitmontop; if later, the chances end up low of hitting, it might as well be higher for a critical hit. Dunsparce's role is primarily offense in this battle, save for two exceptions. I knew that Justy's would faint from Hitmontop's attack, and that Yawn would hit the next Pokemon to come in. This would guarantee Sunflora would fall asleep if it wasn't switched out. Justy subsequently did switch out, to avoid the status, thus eating up one turn during which he could have attacked. The other time, when Dunsparce used Glare, it statistically had a very low chance of having connected.
Another thing to look out for, Azumarill's Focus Punch attack really stings if it connects, especially if it hits the Fighting-weak Dunsparce. Making this fact even worse for us is Azumarill's ability, Huge Power, which doubles the species' weak base 50 Attack stat into something that can viably hurt. Fortunately, as the video shows, hitting it interrupts the attack, preventing it from occurring.
You know what happens when you hit a brick with a sledgehammer?
Yeah, pretty much this. Hitmontop shatters Justy's signature Pokemon with a critical hit. Nosepass has more than a few ways of turning this match into a protracted stall-fest if not taken out quickly.
So, besides the prize money, we get another TM, this one for the Normal-type attack Return, featured on Espeon. However, we now have some Pokemon with decent Attack stats that can put this to better use. Its maximum base power is 102, when the invisible happiness stat is maxed out by things such as walking around with a Pokemon in your party, not allowing it to faint, using items like the Vitamins on it, and massaging it with Scents, the latter of these being unavailable in the handheld games. Happiness returns to its base level when a Pokemon is traded from the game to another.
Our best candidate for this TM is Dunsparce, who gets a same-type attack bonus on it (1.5x damage compared to if it was a different type), has a nature that boosts Attack, and would much appreciate not killing itself from the recoil of the weaker, less accurate Take Down attack.
We'll be getting back on-story with the next update.