Bambi may have been “The Kalos Konquerer,” but how would their game play in Hoenn?
When we last left Ollie, he was a celebrating a Nuzlocke triumph over Pokémon X, leaning on his team “Bambi and the Xerneaires” to dominate the Kalos region. The way Ollie’s crew crushed the hopes and dreams of trainers around the region made me wonder: Where did these Pokémon rank in the pantheon of my championship six-stacks?
There was no easy way to answer this question against Ophilia’s Hammer-led squad, or my superstars from Sinnoh, or Unova, or Johto, or even Tressa’s Eevee-fronted Kanto crushers. I did, however, have two G6 games handy that might test Ollie’s mettle: Y, and Omega Ruby. While Kyle’s team from Y was higher-leveled, I was more intrigued by the potential matchup against “Kelly” and her Hoenn-based team:
Although Kelly had her own legendary leader in Bernie “The Revolution” Latios, its Dragon typing meant that Bambi would eat it for breakfast if the pair ever met in battle. Instead, it was Amy the Dustox that seemed like the most interesting matchup: Not only did she have a solid staller moveset (Toxic, Protect, and Moonlight) that I’d used to beat several legendaries in online battles back in the day, but her Poison typing and Toxic/Venoshock made her a real threat to even a tough Fairy Pokémon like Bambi. (The rest of the team was no slouch either, with both Blaziken and Gardevoir sporting solid track records.)
However, at the time I made the decision, the Omega Ruby team was a fair bit lower-leveled than the X squad (low to mid 70s vs. mid 70s to low 80s), so Ollie decided to help make the fight fair by offering his Lucky Egg to Kelly to speed up their training. In return…
A quick trip back through the Hoenn Elite Four and a little wandering through the Battle Resort brought level parity to the battle, although it turned out not to be necessary once the rules were established.
Speaking of which…
- Each player would choose three Pokémon to participate.
- All Pokémon levels would be reset to Lv. 50 (gee, I wish I’d remembered sooner that the game would do this automatically).
- Special Pokémon (like Latios and Xerneas) are allowed, but items are not.
Since both players would be limited to three monsters, they would have to make some hard decisions about who to send out.
- Bambi starts the battle. Full stop.
- With Amy a likely pick for Kelly, it might be nice to have someone with an advantage against bugs. Nala fits that bill.
- Travis the Blaziken is probably coming out too, so Katie better be around to counter that pick.
- Amy starts the battle. C’mon, it’s the matchup we all want to see!
- Wait, does Ollie really want to see that matchup? He could use someone like Nala or Thumper to counter Amy easily. And wait, he doesn’t have any Flying-type counters either! Put it all together, and Willard seems to be a logical choice.
- Hoskins scares me too, and I’m not comfortable relying on Willard’s Hurricane to deal with him. I’d better bring Travis along too.
With the teams decided, it was time to settle this matter on the field!
Round 1: FIGHT!
The battle began with the marquee matchup of Bambi vs. Amy, and Ollie decided to lean into the fight rather than back away, confident that once the Dustox was gone, the rest of the battle would be a cakewalk. Making a Dustox go away, however, would be hard when you only have one move (Thunderbolt) that the poisonous moth doesn’t resist.
The first round brought a Toxic from Amy and a lightning bolt from Bambi, and while Thunderbolt did some decent damage, it just missed turning Amy’s health bar yellow, which likely meant a 3-hit KO. Amy’s follow-up Protect let Toxic work its magic, and she prepped for Round 3 confident that Bambi couldn’t do enough damage to knock her out.
…Except that the crit hit monster wanted in on the action, and sided with Ollie for a change. Thunderbolt #2 did the trick, and Amy went down.
Round 2: Mutually-Assured Destruction
Kelly’s choice for her next monster was really no choice at all: As a Fighting-type, there was no way in heck that she was letting Travis face Bambi straight-up, so Willard was called to take the mound despite a 4x weakness to the Thunderbolts that had felled Amy.
However, Willard had an ace up his wing: Like Amy, he also counted Protect among his moves, and after three rounds, the damage from Toxic was starting to add up. Could he stall Bambi long enough to let the poison work its magic?
With few other options, Willard pulled out his shield…and in yet another astounding turn of events, Protect actually worked twice in a row! Without a great counter to the big-billed bird, Ollie stuck with Bambi to the bitter end, but not even “The Franchise” could stand against five turns of Toxic.
In an astounding final act, Bambi gutted out one last turn, and KO’d Willard with one last Thunderbolt before succumbing to the poison. Who would have though a Pokémon battle against myself (which would normally be the sorriest thing ever) would be so exciting?
Round 3: Mistakes Were Made
Kelly had no choice now: Travis had to face the music, and the conductor would be Katie the Floatzel. The battle, however, was far from over: While Ollie’s starter had been a bit of a disappointment, Travis had been a workhorse for Kelly in her own League challenge, and he also had an ace up his sleeve: His Blazikenite meant he could Mega-Evolve to boost his stats (and hopefully his chances of survival).
The problem was that even with both a two-level and a Mega Evolution advantage, Katie was still faster than him, and she opened with a powerful Hydro Pump.
Hydro Pump connects!
Wait! Travis survived! He can retaliate with…
…wait, he’s using Brave Bird?!
In perhaps the saddest moment of the whole spectacle, I managed to overthink my “opponent’s” moves, bypass a perfectly-usable option in Sky Uppercut, and instead choose a non-STAB, recoil-inducing move as my attack. Katie survived; Travis didn’t. It was all over, and Ollie had emerged victorious.
Upon Further Review…
Unlike Little Texas, I couldn’t help but think of what might have been. Why didn’t I choose the right move? After kicking myself for a good five minutes over the decision, I decided to replay the situation and see what would happen if Travis had used Sky Uppercut instead of Brave Bird.
So was Kelly’s fate sealed no matter what move I had selected? Well…the truth is a bit more complicated:
- Kelly was faster in Round 1, but Mega Blaziken’s Speed Boost ability would have been enough to allow Travis to go first in Round 2. He would have gotten a chance at a second Sky Uppercut.
- However, Sky Uppercut is only a 90% accurate move, which means connecting twice in a row would have not been a sure thing. (Note that Katie’s 80% accurate Hydro Pump missed in the above test, which is why Travis remains at full health.)
- Even if Katie went down, wouldn’t Nala have had a say in all this? Based on my tests, no: Speed Boost would all but guarantee Travis first strike, and one Sky Uppercut would KO Nala.
Throw in the critical Thunderbolt and the miraculous double Protect, and it’s clear that the biggest factor in deciding this battle was sheer dumb luck (with some operator error thrown in for extra flavor).
There is one solid conclusion we can draw from all this nonsense: As good as Bambi is, they weren’t able to dominate the competition like they had in the official Nuzlocke run. Truth be known, this is part of the genius of Pokémon: With level parity, no one monster is all-powerful enough to run roughshod over the field.
So, is this the end of my summer Pokémon series? Well, Pokémon Y is still out there for challenging, but I’m not sure it’s worth extending this Nuzlocke series for it. This was an interesting thought exercise, but at it’s core it’s just a guy playing both sides of a Pokémon battle.
If this does turn out to be the end of the series, I certainly had fun with it, and will have to look for another game for next summer’s series. You know, I’ve never actually played through Pokémon Black 2 or Pokémon White 2…