Part 17: Seizing StrongholdsColorless Altar
It's me! Ronald! Good to see you again!!
Did you have some trouble in the GR Fighting Fortress's labyrinth? I got sick of waiting for you! Listen, I have new Team GR intel. There's a man called the GR King in the GR Castle just north of here! There's a catch, though. You need 2 coins to meet him. Those would be the GR Psychic coin and the GR Colorless coin! You should get them quickly and attack that castle! But seeing how slow you work, I bet I'll get there first!! I'm off! Later, Minto!!
Who is this again? Not important enough to be in this game much it seems!
We three are the Clerics... Avery! Your attention, please!
We three are the Clerics who protect the Colorless Altar. If your goal is to enter GR Castle, you must fight all three of us! Only be attaining our approval will you earn the GR Colorless coin! We three each require specific cards to be in your deck when challenging. Well, that's all you need to know. Come ye and fight us!
I'm done being GR No.2, though. Would you like to fight me as Avery? I have special deck requirements to prevent me from losing, though. I want your deck to include 4 Dark Pokemon cards. It's the only way I'll agree to have a card battle with you. Okee-dokee! You've got everything I called for. Time to unleash your 6 prize cards! Let's begin.
GR Fort Leader Duel
Yo, Minto! I've got some info about the Colorless Altar! You'll need to defeat the three Clerics there: Seth, Alan, and Avery. Each specifies different cards to use in fights against them. Moreover, after a win or loss, they may change the cards they require! It's quite troublesome... every time you lose, you'll have to change your deck all over again! But anyway... if you find that you're missing a card and don't know what series of booster pack it's in, try checking out the Card Album. Fight someone who gives out that booster series until you have all 4 required cards. By the way, you could always return to our home island to see everyone again and challenge them for cards. If you rush, you may mess up... Ronald (O__O)
Dammit... well Ronald went over everything I wanted to talk about, so that helps! Since we can face any of the 3 in any order, let's shake it up by taking on the leader asap! Like Ronald mentioned, after a battle with them, they can change their requirements for battle, Avery can request 4 Rattata, 4 Meowth or 4 Dark Pokemon in a deck, which can be a pain depending on what cards you've gotten in this game.
Looks like he's stuck on energy, cause I'm tearing through this guy.
And one more Gengar evolution was enough to close it. Avery's deck isn't intimidating, since it has Jungle Pidgeot and Flying Pikachu, along with Vending Tauros and Jungle Fearow, doing a fair bit of Colourless damage, but nothing crazy. He's got Full Heal Energy and Potions, as well as Defenders and Gust of Wind, so he can be tough to crack, but, if like me, he barely does anything, then he's real easy! Still a few too many Pokemon for my liking, but enemy decks are getting better Trainers and energy balancing, so they're getting tougher!
btw, some enemies have text in their sprites, the big images I'm using are from Bulbapedia who use the JP versions since there's no official English translation after all. The victory sprite will always have the same phrase as the regular sprite, it's the lose sprite that changes, but you'll see those in English, so you're not missing anything!
You've defeated me, so you've earned my approval. You'll need the other Clerics' approvals to get our coin, though. Once you defeat the other Clerics, come speak with me again.
Dratini cards! Use them and I'll fight you! But if your deck doesn't have 4 of them, I'll refuse the challenge! So, what say you? Does your deck have Dratini cards? If you do, let us begin this decisive battle! Check! You have indeed heeded my request! Then let us stall no further. Set aside 6 prize cards!
The Bad Dragon deck is back again, that's just how it be sometimes, though Dratini has increased from 1 to 4, while Gyarados and Charizard have been reduced to make room. Alan can also ask for 4 Jigglypuff or 4 Mysterious Fossil. We haven't used the Fossil deck in a while...
So wait, Gyarados resists Fighting, due to its MSG Flying type, but is also weak to Grass? Sure, TCG.
Ah someone's seen the greatness of Dark Dragonair, definitely want to get rid of that quickly!
Let the older sibling show you how it's done. But... what's this? Is the youngest taking me on?
Due to paralysis being bullshit and Giant Tail being an awful move, this isn't that unlikely of a scenario...
Ah fuck this, let's end this using the third and final dragon! Well technically none of them are actually Dragon... Alan has Dark Dragonair, but only Clefairy and Dratini evolve, since he has Onix and Hitmonchan otherwise. With Super Potions and Potion Energy he's a real pain and his Pokemon don't take too much to set up, especially if he gets Dragonair up, so get rid of it asap.
A loss is a loss. I'm not ashamed to admit it.
Create a deck containing 4 Spearow cards, then! If you complete that requirement, you shall have your card battle! Fail to do so, however, and I will refuse your request. If you fulfill that criterion, let us begin the fight! Set aside 6 prize cards! Beat me, and I'll give you a booster pack!
Oh goody, he has other massive blobs that aren't Snorlax. We'll be bringing back the Pidgeot and Raticate deck from the first half of TCG Island, though it's been tweaked for the specifications, since we need Spearow. He can also suggest 4 Pidgey, as well as 4 Double Colorless Energy, but since there isn't a Dark Pidgeot, alas, let's try out Dark Fearow.
Wow, a shittier Dark Dragonite! Even the Super Fang Base Raticate has is better than this, cause being this fragile means your attack shouldn't fail on a coin flip! Otherwise yeah, it's a Bad Raticate, this was as good as it was gonna get.
I hate this guy so much... stall was an annoyingly good part of the meta... not as bad as Gen 2's MSG meta... but boy do I hate my life right now...
Of course, stubbornly using a coinflip attck is similarly painful. Thankfully he isn't drawing enough energy to make my life hell. Yet.
And of course he has Lickitung! God what a miserable card to fight on top of this!
Fly High: During your next turn, Dark Fearow's Drill Dive attack's base damage is doubled.
Drill Dive: During your next turn, you can't use this attack and Dark Fearow can't retreat.
This GB exclusive was made into a real card as an insert for the strategy guide for this game and it's... alright. At least when it comes to Drill Dive's effects, it's easy to ignore with a Switch and then a free retreat bench Pokemon, but you can usually survive one hit to get Fly High going. Still, attacks with effects like this mean you're only doing 20 damage every turn which is terrible for a card as fragile as this, but when you want to drag something in and oneshot it, this is definitely a way to do it!
I couldn't have picked the two worst cards to be doing this with, but we're slowly but surely making it through this, Super Fang makes it so much easier. If you thought you could be clever and bring in the small basics to snipe, well Lickitung is it, Chansey, Lickitung, Snorlax and Kangaskhan are his only Pokemon. This is what's called the fourth circle of Pokehell.
Always pack a Pluspower or 4, kids!
Quick Attack: Flip a coin. If heads, this attack does 20 more damage.
Drill Dive: Flip a coin. If tails, this attack does nothing.
You had one job Vending Fearow! It's like the Bad version, but bad, like anything relying on coin flips to FUCKING ATTACK!!! Still, you have to go for these big plays or you're not a real gamer. Just adds a bit of variety if you want to potentially attack every turn, but it's still not great.
Ugh, there we go, it took forever, but I beat up 6 beefy mons. He had one of each energy and 4 of each special energy, as well as Super Energy Removal and Scoop Up. Fuck this guy, I hope I never see him again in my life...
Well I'll be. It's been a while since I've lost. The next time you come to fight, I may change my card requirements.
The only person who has that coin is Claire in the GR Psychic Fortress. So go on over to the GR Psychic Fort!
GR Psychic Fort
Man the Altar had some right weirdos, thankfully I've never met a weird Psychic user in my life, so this should be good.
Good trade, I think we're nearly done with last game's promos, but still plenty to go otherwise!
...uh, hello? Is anyone here? Well guess this means I don't need to get this place's coin, off to the castle we-
You've indeed come far. I won't praise your efforts, though. I assume you've set your sights on GR Castle? Well, you've got to get through me first, kid. I won't go easy on you. However, if you happen to beat me, I'll admit my defeat. Allow me to introduce my fellow stronghold members. First is Clyde, to my left!
Easy, Victoria! Please wait for me to complete my introductions.
I wasn't thaaaat loud... you don't have to be so strict!
There you go again. You don't listen to a word I say!
Okay, okay! Stop it, pleeease! I'll be quiet...
I bet you never suspected the famed GR No.4 could be so pretty, eh? That's right! Cute little Victoria was GR No.4 the whole time!
If you can manage that, I'll turn my elevator on for you. I'll be waiting for you in the upper room.
Battles with me are a bit extreme. I use a custome rule for resistance. Instead of the usual -30 resistance, all resistance is a -10 reduction. If you feel confident with -10 resistance, let us start the duel. 4 prize cards.
Team GR Duel
What a host of wacky characters! Team GR is honestly great, I really like grunts with personality and this game goes like 4 steps further. Anyway, each member has their own rules and Kevin's is the lightest, don't need to think about it if we use a deck that is neutral against Psychic!
Ow, not a good start, so let's drag this in. We're using a Dark Ninetales deck, cause it's pretty damn good!
But this kicking chop is too much, Ninetales is pretty fragile. So what are we pairing with this mon?
We'll go over this card's history in a moment but yep, Dark Venusaur is in this deck called Brushfire by Kemix. They don't mix in the slightest, they're just 2 really good cards, so hell yeah that makes a good deck, why not? I really like this card, consistent damage and it can screw over your opponent no matter the roll. If it lands paralysis then they can't do anything but take 90 damage, 30, 20 from Poison, another 30, another 10 from Poison, it's so good. If they don't wake up, whoops that's another 90 free damage and if they get confused and hit themselves, wow, 110 free damage! Of course switching out ruins it all, but it pins your opponent and is something they can't really prep for since the effect is random. God this card is good!
Anyway, this was made into a physical card the same month as the game's release as an insert in Pokemon Card Trainers magazine Vol. 10, in Mar 01. It was reprinted in the Web expansion and made available in English via Battlezone events in May 03, with a "Winner" stamp in the corner if you won enough matches.
Psy Crush: Does 10 damage times the total number of [P] Energy cards attached to all of your opponent's Pokémon.
This is only the 6th Mewtwo we've gone over, what of it? This is the first Vending Mewtwo, the second one we haven't seen yet! It crushes opposing Psychic decks since they usually go to 3 energy for their attacks, but 50 damage for 3 energy is still absolutely nuts. A welcome addition to Psychic decks to overcome their Colourless resistance.
And Dark Venusaur crushed Kevin pretty similarly, though he could've crushed us similarly. With Hitmonchan, Kadabra and Dark Hypno, he sets up very quickly and does a lot of damage for little energy, it's pretty scary at the start! He's got a lot of energy searching so he usually gets to attack and he doesn't have to bother with evolving Machop or Kadabra, so he doesn't get bogged down trying to find the evolutions. Of course, once he's out of cards, due to 2 Bills, he's usually out of steam.
It's rare for my psychic powers to be so inaccurate. Oh, I guess I should activate my elevator switch for you, then. When 3 of the elevator's lights are lit, you can use it to meet Claire. You can't reach her any other way, I'm afraid.
Alriiight! I'm a strong, serious and determined fighter! There's no way you'll be able to top my deck this time. Nope! My challenger requirement is a restriction on energy type! The only energy cards you're allowed to use are Psychic energy cards! I hope your deck is made with the Psychic-type in mind! C'mon, c'mon! Let's fight!! I'm gonna blow you away! Hah! Your deck's energy cards are all Psychic-type! Then let's start this show right with 4 prize cards!
Back to the Clef/Gengar deck for a bit, mainly because we have to, and also because the Alakazam/Hypno deck had its time.
Nice as this is, could we get an evolution maybe?
Well at least Kadabra doesn't beat me anymore.
We'll finish off with Gengar, cause why not, Dark Gengar seems a bit shy rn. Victoria has a lot of Pokemon, like Dark Golduck, Dark Alakazam, Mewtwo, Dark Raticate and Kangaskhan a lot. She can get her Dark Pokemon easily enough with The Boss's Way, otherwise with 1 Oak and 2 Bills she usually has a hard time, as she just showed. At least she only has to bother with Psychic energy since Dark Golduck uses that despite being Water and can do a lot of damage if she gets setup. The keyword for Pokemon heavy decks is if, ah well.
It's no wonder I lost so badly in our prior confrontations! Hey, I'll activate my switch. You can thank me later! When the three lights are lit, the elevator is activated. But I'll bet you already knew that from before, riiight? You already beat me with your stupid superhuman abilities!! You have to defeat other members now if you want to go on!!
I'd like for your deck to have a total of 6 Gastly and Haunter cards. Any combination of the two is fine. 3 and 3. 4 and 2; whatever works. Of course, you're free to even use 4 Haunter and 2 Gastly if you want. Anyway, when your deck has at least 6 of these Ghost cards, I'll duel. So are you ready to fight? Feel free to build a new deck if you need to. Yeah, you've got a combination of 6 of the cards I requested! With that aside, let's duel with 4 prize cards. Well, shall we begin?
Oh goody, the nightmare is back. We're basically forced into a Gengar deck for this, but they're good cards so can't complain.
Main issue is these Hypnosis Haunter, maybe this Vending Haunter works out, 20 damage plus 10 more for each prize card your opponent has taken, definitely something to think about late game.
And here's the problem again. Man, do we have nothing for this???
Well maybe if we'd gotten Confusion instead of Sleep 3 times we could've made it less likely to attack, you see that energy building up. It also woke up immediately 3 times so it could keep drawing cards, bah.
Well back to this again...
But hey, knocking out Dark Clefable gave us just enough to clinch victory! Anyway, this boy has Push Power Gengar as well as Dark Hypno, not that you'd notice since he just uses Hypnosis Haunter and Long Distance Hypnosis Drowzee endlessly, god he's lame. Still, I'm very glad we took him down before a deck exhaust win! 4 Sleep!, 2 Full Heal and 4 Full Heal energy for when he gets tagged by Long Distance Hypnosis makes him even more of a fucker.
But how could I lose...? Boo hoo hoo... oh, I'll turn the final switch on. Since this means the elevator is now operational, you can move on. Claire should be waiting for you at the top of the stronghold.
Hey guys... did you know... if you beat 3 trainers... you can take the lift up! Just making sure. Of course, we're gonna fight all 4, why wouldn't we?
You chose me to be one of your required opponents, correct? In that case, I must ask you to follow my own personal rule. Please do not include any Trainer cards in your deck for our battle. This means you can't have any cards like Potions or Clefairy Dolls. If even 1 is included in your deck, I will refuse to battle you. You have followed my request most admirably. If you would please, place 4 prize cards so we may begin.
We left Heidi to last because her requirement is pretty nuts! Trainers is like the main reason I do so well. Still, we're both under the same restriction, so if it's gonna be slow going, then it'll be for the both of us. There's a few ways around it, using the max 4 of all Pokemon in a deck and then filling it with energy means you might get lucky, obviously one energy type helps a lot here. Otherwise, using Pokemon that have abilities to help search for others and energy are real nice, especially if they don't take much to do damage.
Buuuuuuuut, well, I got lucky and she didn't. This could've gone either way, so it was pretty fun to think about. Her deck will never have Trainers, even when you face her in the GR Cup, bet you didn't notice! I didn't... Her Pokemon are mostly self-sustaining, Rocket Slowpoke can get a Psychic energy from the deck, while Base Kadabra can get them from the discard. She also has Dark Dragonair to help her along, if she can find it. She also has Dark Persian since you don't have Full Heals, while she has Potion and Full Heal energy. It's not a bad deck, though the AI is very bad at it, but they're also bad with Trainers, so who knows. Try it yourself sometime!
Mother, I hope it is alright... your daughter has lost... I suppose I should still follow the protocol for activating my switch. ...even though the elevator is already available for use.
Well wasn't that fun, onto the final GR Leader!
Before we start our battle, allow me to summon the fort's special guest. He's a young man my members happened to kidnap. He'll be here shortly.
I can't say for certain! We can only get confirmation by watching the future unfold. Well, I'm ready for our battle, Minto!
I'm fairly certain you do not have the capacity to defeat me in battle. It's a whole different experience when you battle against me. Normally, you discard a K.O.'d Pokemon and its energy cards. Under my rules, the discarded basic energy cards return to the hand. So? Do you understand my terms? Then I suppose you'll be challenging me to a duel next? We'll use 6 prize cards.
GR Fort Leader Duel
Minto! It's Ronald! I've acquired some information about the GR Psychic Leader, Claire! Claire is a very wise opponent! She employs a very strange rule. Any time a player's Pokemmon is knocked out in a battle against her, the energy cards attached to it are returned to that player's hand! This means you'll certainly have a lot of energy for this fight. But she's too clever to let you take full advantage of that. To counter this, she has plenty of Energy Removal and Super Energy Removal inside of her deck. She uses those cards to ensure you don't get any energy when she knocks out your Pokemon... and be careful of her Dark Gengar's Push Aside attack!! It can push Pokemon back into your deck! You may have no other choice than to create your own Psychic-type deck with Energy Removal cards as well, just like hers... Ronald (O__O)
So for this duel every basic energy card has the effect of Recycle energy. This is gonna get your hand pretty full, but this makes it all pretty fun. Claire is pretty tough since she uses her rules to good effect, by pulling from the deck, she's basically getting them into her hand when Slowpoke goes down. Still, this Rocket Bulbasaur is great to start off with to Poison stuff immediately.
Ah a beautiful sight, Dark Ivysaur is pretty good, 30 damage to the opponent, but where they choose. Of course, the AI doesn't really get it right, but after enough of these attacks they'll have some tricky choices to make. The description is a little misleading, you remove the markers at the end of turn, you use them in the TCG for a variety of things, but you don't remove the damage. Honestly Dark Ivysaur can work on its own, but when combined with its evolution, suddenly all that extra damage becomes incredibly lethal. Great combo!
Like Dark Venusaur, Dark Ivysaur was a GB exclusive before becoming a proper card in the magazine insert, and then available in English as a prize for the BattleZone events, same as its evolution, of course, otherwise how would you use Venusaur?
She's got a lot of energy now, but I've got quite the prize lead. Her AI also went a little weird and used 2 Professor Oaks in a row, never seen that before. We're in a commanding position, so let's see how she can yank it away!
Ah boy, Dark Haunter would do it. Consistent damage against my fragile deck and removing Trainers I so desperately rely on due to lack of skill. This might be a problem.
Ugh, the Pluspower makes it as if I'm flipping 10 coins, but apparently that wasn't enough! Thankfully we have some backup, but we're also running out.
Alright, both of them are down, she's clawing it back, but we just need one more to win!
How did I get TWO HEADS??? If she keeps spamming this then we'll run out of Pokemon faster than we can build them in a way to knock this out.
Ooh boy, I don't wanna think what would've happened if I hadn't drawn that Grass energy... that was pretty damn scary! Her deck is pretty simple, get energy with Slowpoke, remove yours with Super Energy Removal, Mr. Mime to stall hard hitting decks and Dark Haunter and Dark Gengar to set you back. Also 4 Kangaskhan, but it feels like every AI deck has those. She's tricky, but can't overwhelm you with damage and she's prime Base Blastoise bait if you can get past the Mr. Mime.
That's the GR Psychic coin, a prize that is required to enter GR Castle. Your next objective is to meet with King Villicci in GR Castle. It seems the child is just as you've said: tough and enjoys duelling... I see now why you had no worries waiting here for Minto.
Then honor your promise.
Hah! You're free to do as you wish.
Minto. I'm Grand Master Rod. I was waiting for you to win your way here. It is my belief that only you hold the power to defeat Team GR. I don't think it's wrong to use Team GR's cards. However, taking others' cards away from them is a different story. I'm certain you understand best after all of your fights so far. Go find the GR King Villicci! Find him and defeat him. I don't mean to sound demanding, but you're the only one who can do it. I sincerely hope that this card will help you on your journey.
Ehhhhhh, I'm alright. Like, it's a tankier Dark Dragonite, but its Power ain't too useful and its attack is pretty meh, like all of them when you flip tails. Anyway, this is the final Mewtwo Strikes Back promo and the last All Nippon Airways promo, feels like we've been finding these cards over 2 games. Oh wait.
Once there, we'll begin preparations for the Final Cup. The winner of that Cup earns the Legendary Pokemon Cards. I hope you'll visit once we have everything ready to go. Then we'll see for sure if you have more power than the Grand Masters!
I will remain here in case you would like another battle.
Who cares about those lame cards? We've been building to this since we got to this island, next time we finally meet the king. Time to get overthrown!!!