Battle Tower

I've been spending a lot of time in the Battle Tower in Emerald lately. I'll talk about why more at another time, but I wanted to make a thread for some of the more amusing battles that I've experienced. I might just end up converting this into a general Battle Frontier thread at some point, too.

One thing I really enjoy is when the opponent sends out Wobbuffet first. Wobbuffet is a weird Pokémon in that it can't actually hurt you if you don't hurt them first; they know CounterMirror CoatSafeguard, and Destiny Bond. Like, they literally can't learn any other moves, it's super weird, but hey Counter and Mirror Coat can be pretty strong. You really want your first move against a Wobbuffet to end them because otherwise they might just knock you out.

Most of the time, though, my lead Pokémon in Battle Tower has been my Salamence, which knows Dragon Dance. Dragon Dance raises your Attack and Speed, so that I can lead into a stronger Aerial Ace or Earthquake. Thus, while Wobbuffet waits for me to attack, I just use Dragon Dance 6 times to max out my Attack, and then completely destroy it with Earthquake! This also has the bonus of the next two of the opponent's Pokémon being Really Easy to destroy (with some exceptions).

This did backfire on me once, though. The Wobbuffet turned out to be holding a Focus Band, which activated and prevented it from fainting. It was all good, though, because the Wobbuffet had foolishly attempted to use Mirror Coat that turn instead of Counter, and so I got to knock it out the next turn.

That was a weird battle. The opponent started with Gardevoir, which put my Salamence to sleep and Dream Eater'd away most of its health. I then switched to Miltoic and used Toxic, but Gardevoir's Synchronize poisoned Milotic back, and given the amount of damage Milotic had already taken, I had to switch out. Luckily, Gardevoir fell to Toxic damage soon.

Their next Pokémon was Donphan. I had Steelix out, and knew that it wouldn't be a good idea to let a Ground type move hit, so I switched to Salamence. However, it had really low health, and I didn't want it to fall to a Rock type move, so I switched back to Steelix next. Salamence didn't get hit when Donphan tried to use Earthquake on Steelix, and Steelix took infinitesimal damage when Donphan tried to use Ancient Power on it. Utilizing this knowledge of how the AI would work, I just switched back and forth between the two Pokémon for a while. This did three things for me:

  • Heal Salamence ever-so-slowly thanks to its Leftovers
  • Minimize Donphan's Attack thanks to Salamence's Ability, Intimidate
  • Drain Donphan's PP

After a while, Donphan was at -6 Attack stages (the minimum), Salamence was doing well health-wise, and Donphan was out of PP for Earthquake and Ancient Power, leaving only Swagger and Rest. From there, it was pretty easy, and the opponent's third Pokémon (Armaldo), was easy to deal with as well.

I suppose what I like about this is that, since I'm battling an AI rather than a human, I can predict its actions and plan my strategy around them. That makes it feel more like a puzzle to me, which is fun.

This actually happened in the Battle Dome, not the Battle Tower, so the rules were a little different. Within the context of the battles, though, not much is different -- you just have two Pokémon instead of three. I had a three-punch Alakazam and a Toxic/Recover combo Milotic. The opponent had a Vaporeon and (shudder) a Kingdra. This battle got down to the wire.

First, I keep forgetting how defensive Vaporeons are. My Alakazam Thunderpunch'd it twice, but only got it down to red before being defeated. Luckily, that was enough for my Milotic to take it out with Ice Beam. Alright. Then, however, I'm left facing a Kingdra with just a Milotic. I thought, alright, I'll wait it out with Toxic/Recover. Nope. The Kingdra knows Rest.

That's usually the point where everything becomes a futile drain, but for some reason I didn't give up. Here's the situation. Milotic is paralyzed because of Dragonbreath. Surf only does a tiny bit against Kingdra, but the same is true the other way around. Milotic's Ice Beam does more to Kingdra than its Ice Beam does to Milotic, but still not really enough. Kingdra would use Rest whenever it got into the yellow. I'd use Recover whenever Milotic got into the low yellows. For reference, here's my Milotic:

Rest has 10PP. The only chance I would have of defeating the Kingdra would be to get it to use up all of its Rests. The problem is that Toxic also only has 10PP. I'd managed to get it into the yellows using only Ice Beam twice before I ran out of Ice Beams. Eight Rests and ten Toxics. The strategy was to use Toxic when Kingdra woke up, spam Surf until it's in the yellow, use Surf or Recover while it's asleep, and repeat. The only way something like this had a remote chance of working was because Milotic was paralyzed, so it could occasionally idle turns without wasting precious PP.

The fourth or fifth Toxic I used missed, which was terrifying. It meant that there were exactly enough Toxics left to run out Kingdra's Rests and then Toxic it one last time. Amazingly, every one of my remaining Toxics hit. Milotic and Kingdra both started Struggling right after this, and a few turns later, Kingdra fell to Toxic. Wow! I really did not expect to win that battle, but my reign in the Battle Dome continues. I hope it ends up being worth it and I can get up to that Silver Symbol!