My Pokemon Gym: Fire

Welcome to the ninth iteration of the My Pokemon Gym series. If you’re new to this series, I take a Pokemon type then build out my team of six Pokemon of that type as if I were the gym leader. Here are the rules:

  1. I can’t use legendary/mythical Pokemon
  2. I can’t reuse Pokemon I’ve used in previous gyms in this series.
  3. Forms of the same Pokémon can be reused, provided they have different typing. For example, if I used Rattata in a Normal gym team, I could use Alolan Rattata in a Dark gym team.

Want to read my other My Pokemon Gym posts? Go read the Fighting, Ice, Psychic, Grass, Dragon, Fairy, Electric, and Bug type posts when you’re done here. All images courtesy pokemondb.net unless otherwise stated.

Oricorio (Baile Form)

Okay. I’ll admit that I’m not much of a Fire type user. The Fire type that is my favorite and that I’ve used the most competitively will make an appearance on another team, while two of the three honorable mentions on my favorite Pokemon list are pre-evolved forms that are useless in battle. With that said, there’s a couple of Fire types I love using in VGC-style doubles battles, including Oricorio. I’m fairly sure Oricorio is a horrid singles Pokemon, but that’s not going to stop me here. It’s a scout, as you might be able to tell with U-Turn. That said, Oricorio’s Fire type movepool is shallow. And by shallow, I mean it gets Revelation Dance1Revelation Dance is a unique move in that it changes type based on the user’s primary typing. This means it could be Fire, Psychic, Electric, or Ghost type for Oricorio, depending on which form you’re using., Hidden Power Fire2Which isn’t even the most useful Hidden Power you could give it., and…that’s it. Oricorio makes this team on so many technicalities it’s crazy. That said, pairing it with Mega Gardevoir or Mega Alakazam in doubles is hilarious.

Ability: Dancer
Item: Choice Scarf
Moves: U-Turn, Hurricane, Revelation Dance, Hidden Power Ground

Magmar

*Flash Gordon plays*

Magmar is the very first Pokemon I learned to do trapping shenanigans with all the way back in Gen I. Granted, trapping was broken in Gen I compared to now, but I still felt the need to pay homage to it with this set. The combination of Fire Spin, Toxic, and Confuse Ray will ensure opponents die a slow death, while the combination of Eviolite and Smokescreen will (hopefully) keep me alive long enough to make a dent on my opponent’s team. A realistic hope? Probably not. But I get to be super annoying while I’m still alive.

Ability: Flame Body
Item: Eviolite
Moves: Fire Spin, Confuse Ray, Smokescreen, Toxic

Castform (Sunny Form)

Alright, I get that this is the second Pokemon I’m putting on this team due to a technicality. But if you exclude legendary and mythical Pokemon, the Fire type is devoid of likeable fully-evolved Pokemon (at least ones I’m not using on other teams3Chandelure, Delphox or that aren’t overpowered and broken4Volcorona, Arcanine. Really this was a debate between Castform and Mega Camerupt, but since I’m already bringing a different Mega Evolution on this team, Castform gets the spot. Realistically, Castform is here to set up Sunny Day. It won’t survive to do much else.

Ability: Forecast
Item: Heat Rock
Moves: Sunny Day, Weather Ball, Solar Beam, Ominous Wind

Magcargo

Okay. I know that Passho Berry is wishful thinking unless a lucky Ancient Power boost on a swap happens. That said, the vast majority of this team is built on getting lucky at the right time. Magcargo will hopefully spread some burn around, but let’s be realistic here — it’s gonna die.

Ability: Flame Body
Item: Passho Berry
Moves: Earth Power, Amnesia, Will-o-Wisp, Ancient Power

Mega Blaziken

Finally! A Pokemon that’s going to do some damage to other Pokemon. Clearly the best way to harness this power on a team full of things that die easily is to give Mega Blaziken a set of moves that nearly ensure it’ll also die quickly. It’s a high risk, high reward set, which is exactly what I’d expect from Blaziken. Blaze Kick’s increased critical hit rate is pretty awesome, but since I’m using Mega Blaziken, I can’t boost it further with Scope Lens. This set is walled by physically defensive Water types — but this is a Fire type gym. What did you expect?

Ability: Speed Boost
Item: Blazikenite
Moves: High Jump Kick, Brave Bird, Protect, Blaze Kick

Houndoom

Oh. You expected someone to be running Solar Beam that can take advantage of my Castform’s use of Sunny Day. Well. Here you go.

Ability: Unnerve
Item: Life Orb
Moves: Nasty Plot, Flamethrower, Dark Pulse, Solar Beam

Fire Emblem: Three Houses – Ranking the Main Cast

Warning – Fire Emblem: Three Houses spoilers will abound in this post. While I’ll try to avoid this in general for most characters, there are some characters (Dimitri, Edelgard, Rhea, Hubert, Mercedes, Dedue, and Byleth come to mind) where spoilers are nearly unavoidable in order to explain why I like or dislike them. This is especially true for Dimitri and Mercedes.

I’ve finally done it. I’ve beaten all four paths of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. While I’m waiting on more DLC to come out1Including a rumored fifth path., I figure it’s as good of a time as any to write some of the posts I’ve been meaning to about the game. I’ll have some deeper, more thought-provoking posts on the game in the future, as there’s a massive list of topics I want to write about exploring the various intricacies of Three Houses. That said, I’m not in a position to write most of those posts right now, so you’ll see them trickle out over the next few months, mixed in with less serious posts like this one.

I decided that my first non-review post of the game would be a tier-list of how much I personally like each of the characters. My tiering system is loosely based off of the S-D tier system that TierMaker uses, though I’ve added a few tiers to help make sure that no single tier is too large. Even with that in mind, there are a ton of characters in Three Houses, so I’ve decided to only have characters that Byleth can S-support with in this list. This isn’t a ranking of how much I like each of the S-supports, but I did feel it was a useful place to draw the line. In addition to that, I’ve added Byleth (both male and female) to this list as they’re the main character, as well as Jeralt…for reasons you’ll see as we go through this list. Also, this isn’t a usefulness tier list like my Fire Emblem: Awakening tier list. Three Houses allows way too much customization of units for me to do just a single post about unit usefulness, as you can make nearly any unit as awesome or as terrible as you want2Great Knight Bernadetta is shockingly good, though Dancer Bernadetta might be better than any class for her except Bow Knight..

F: Just Go Away Already

Units: 38. Manuela, 37. Cyril

Let’s get these two out of the way quickly as the rest of the list is much more interesting. Manuela is Mallory Archer’s less-interesting, slightly nicer younger sister. She’s here for fan service/fan disservice3Depending on your view of her., getting kidnapped, and annoying Hanneman. Cyril marks the first time in a long time that the token villager unit is actively bad and annoying to have around. He gets the nod over Manuela because of his slightly better utility.

D: STOP TRYING TO BANG MY DAD

Units: 36. Alois, 35. Rhea, 34. Leonie, 33. Sylvain

Yes. Everyone in this class wants to get with Jeralt. Even Sylvain. Sylvain will hit on anything that moves. He and Leonie get slightly higher rankings than Rhea and Alois because Rhea is essentially non-playable, while Alois is just Cyril with a better starting class and better growths. Thing is, I really wanted to like Leonie. I made her the first character I S-supported in my very first run of Three Houses. But she just won’t shut up about Jeralt. She’s like the boy who got close to Stacey just so he could try to score with her mom4As an aside, I recognize that Leonie doesn’t have any sort of romantic feelings toward Jeralt directly expressed in the game. And many Leonie fans will be quick to point out that she sees Jeralt as a father figure and an idol. All of these things are true. But she also scream obcessive fan girl who will take things too far to me. So while saying she wants to sleep with Jeralt is a bit meme-y…it’s only slightly less creepy than the alternative.. Even her fantastic post-timeskip hair and outfit can’t save her from this tier. I actually somewhat like Sylvain — especially as a Dark Knight — but he just fits in this tier.

D+: Character Development That Makes No Sense

Units: 32. Gilbert, 31. Hanneman, 30. Lorenz, 29. Dimitri

We’ll get to the entry in this tier that’s going to induce a lot of rage from the Three Houses fanbase in just a moment. Before that though, we have a guy who abandoned his daugther5An unforgivable sin in my eyes for reasons I’ll touch on later in this post, even if their supports do slightly redeem him, keeping him out of the F tier., a guy who only cares about Byleth because of their crest, and the character who makes the worst hair choices in the game6If you want to argue Linhardt or Bernadetta’s timeskip hair is worse, I’ll buy that, even if I don’t agree. You could also convince me that Mercedes chopping off her hair was another poor choice.. But these three have character development that ranges from non-existent (Hanneman) to poorly explained (Gilbert) to wait…what (Lorenz’s solo ending).

And then there’s Dimitri. For all of the good writing that goes into Dimitri pre-timeskip, his post-timeskip PTSD is jarring. It makes a lot of sense too, even if it is hard to watch at times. But then he just randomly gets over it after Felix’s dad dies. Because…reasons? It’s so frustrating because he has the potential to be one of the best characters in the game, only to not even be a top-three story in his own storyline. I’d make a strong argument that Dedue, Felix, and Mercedes all have deeper stories in the Blue Lions arc — and you could even make an argument Annette and Ashe’s stories having more coherence. I’m going to examine Dimitri in much more detail in one of the future posts I have planned, but until then, I’ll just say that he’s easily the most disappointing Lord character of this game. The only thing that saves him from being the most disappointing character in the game as a whole is Leonie’s existence.

C: Forgettable, Except For That One Thing

Units: 28. Ignatz, 27. Lysithea, 26. Sothis, 25. Jeralt, 24. Flayn

These characters all bore me, so let’s lightning round the one reason why they’re memorable. Ready, go!

  • Ignatz – Really good painter than may or may not make an erotic painting of Ingrid in their A-support.
  • Lysithea – The Death Knight fears no man. He does, however, fear a 15-year-old who learns the only anti-cavalry magic spell in the game7While I realize that Hubert also learns Dark Spikes, Lysithea is the only unit that gets it early enough to use in the first battle against the Death Knight. Even then, you’ll need to either feed her battles or grind free maps to death to get it in time..
  • Sothis – The cutscene where Byleth becomes the Fell Star is fucking amazing. Sothis is boring otherwise.
  • Jeralt – (To the tune of Everybody Wants to Be a Cat) EVERYBODY! EVERYBODY! EVERYBODY WANTS TO BANG YOUR DAD!
  • Flayn – She, like Manuela, gets kidnapped, but at least there’s a reason for her abduction.

C+: Characters Held Back By a Character or Gameplay Trait

Units: 23. Caspar, 22. Marianne, 21. Seteth, 20. Ferdinand Von Aegir, 19. Ingrid

Lightning round 2: electric boogaloo!

  • Caspar – Strong unit that does well in melee combat but is so forgettable that I didn’t get him an A-support until the last minute in my Church run.
  • Marianne – Frail but very good mage unit that I’d like a lot more if everything she did didn’t remind me of Fluttershy.
  • Seteth – Even in the run where he’s supposed to matter (the Church run), Seteth feels like a background character. Which is a shame, because he’s one of the most memeable characters in the game.
  • Ferdinand Von Aegir – I want to love Ferdinand Von Aegir because the memeiness of Ferdinand Von Aegir is off the charts. Sadly, Ferdinand Von Aegir is arguably one of the weaker mounted units you’ll end up with, especially if you recruit everyone. At least Ferdinand Von Aegir and Marianne make a cute couple.
  • Ingrid – The jack-of-all-trades who can fill most any role you need her in within Three Houses and be at worst above average at it. Too bad she’s a walking Avenue Q song.

B: Amusing One-Note Characters…and Hubert

Units: 18. Raphael, 17. Hilda, 16. Ashe, 15. Hubert, 14. Catherine

Okay, I get it. Raphael just eats. Hilda is lazy and cunning. Ashe just screams LORD LONATOOOOOOOO mournfully. Catherine kills people for the Church. They’re all boring on the surface. But they’re much more than that if you get into their supports. Raphael is a giant (literally) sweetheart who just wants to eat and train his muscle so he can protect those he loves. Ashe is a former orphan and thief who is kind and pure to everyone he meets. Catherine kills people for the church, but she does so with nails painted whatever color her secret life-partner Shamir asks her to8My ranking of non-Byleth same-sex relationships in Three Houses is 1. Petra/Dorothea, 2. Shamir/Catherine, 3. Everyone else.. Hilda is lazy and cunning and…well, it’s funny how much she can convince other people to do work for her9The internet also seems to like Hilda because puberty hits her like a truck post-timeskip. Thing is, she didn’t need the help.. Plus the fact that she chants for herself after winning a battle won me over. Hubert is evil. That’s his gimmick. Except when he’s not, which you don’t really learn about unless you play routes other than the Black Eagles route. I really like the way Three Houses chooses to limit what you know about characters based on what story you’re playing. Hubert is interesting in that you actually learn more about him if he isn’t part of your team than if he is. I can’t say I’ve ever encountered a non-villain character whose story we learn quite like that in a game before.

B+: Child Abuse is Wack

Units: 13. Bernadetta, 12. Edelgard

Full disclosure: If I liked Lysethia more, she’d 100% be in this category too.

Holy fuck, Three Houses does not shy away from child abuse as backstories for characters. Bernadetta’s was dark enough that the most recent DLC patch actually had to tone it down some. Meanwhile, Edelgard is essentially a massive science experiment gone right…and yet it basically destroys who she is. The tragic backstories make Bernadetta and Edelgard who they are, both for better and for worst. While they aren’t my favorite characters in the game, they are two of the best-written characters. They’re a major reason why I’m glad I played the Black Eagles route as my first run, as it made me much more understanding of how the rest of the game’s routes played out.

A: I Don’t Have a Good Title for This Tier

Units: 11. Linhardt, 10. Felix, 9. Male Byleth, 8. Female Byleth

Linhardt is basically the one-trait character turned up to 11. The dude’s sleepy. He has so much he wants to learn, but he just needs a nap. He’s my entire mood some days. Felix is a tsundere Domino’s delivery driver trapped in a medieval swordsman’s body. The two Byleths also make this tier because they’re so important to the story and some of the best units in the game. The thing is, they’re basically wordless characters. Yes, their story is interesting, but their character itself isn’t, keeping them from a higher ranking. Bylass gets a slightly higher ranking than Boyleth because her pre-timeskip outfit is attractive. I’m not above being pandered to10Hi Shamir..

A+: More Than Meets The Eye

Units: 7. Mercedes, 6. Petra

Major spoilers for Mercedes here. Her brother is the Death Knight. You don’t learn this fact unless certain conditions are met. But if you do learn it and you’re playing the Blue Lions route, holy hell does it add a ton of depth to her story. One of the weird things about Three Houses is that you can have quite a few characters fight/potentially kill people they’re close to over the course of the run. And while many of them are torn about it, most of them do it without questioning it, only having second thoughts after the battle. Mercedes has her mental blue screen of death IN BATTLE with the Death Knight…potentially several times over, depending on how you play each level where he appears. This really sold me on a character I started out not liking. Petra is basically a hostage who could kick the asses of everyone she needs to in order to get free. The thing is, she stays at the Officers Academy as a way to help keep the peace between Adrestia and her home nation of Brigid (which is a vassal state of Adrestia). Many of her endings make her queen of an independent Brigid, which is one of the best feel-good endings you can get in the game.

S: The Ideal Buddy Cop Film

Units: 5. Dedue, 4. Claude

Dedue is the straight-laced behemoth of a man who just wants to protect Dimitri from all harm in the world. Claude is the joking trickster who loves nothing more than a good prank. I would watch the hell out of Fodlan 911 with these two on the police force. Plus both characters are more complex characters than you’d think. Dedue is an amazing chef. Claude just wants to go full Aladdin and show you the world. Dedue struggles with direct racism being a foreigner in a land he’s less than welcome in. Claude is hellbent on breaking the walls down between Fodlan and the outside world. Dedue’s sacrifices in every non-Black Eagles path make me wonder whether Dimitri is the deserving leader of his nation. Claude’s voice actor has the best Twitter account…and he writes books with the best taglines ever. You cannot go wrong with either of these two.

S+: The (Un?)Holy Trinity

Units: 3. Dorothea, 2. Shamir, 1. Annette

The gap between the units in the S+ tier and the S tier (at least in my mind) is bigger than you’d think. Don’t get me wrong, Three Houses is filled with some amazing, compelling characters. But these three take the cake. Dorothea, in addition to being the smoothest flirt you will ever come across in a game, manages to deliver the single saddest monologue in the game if Ferdinand Von Aegir dies battling against your army. She is arguably the game’s canon Dancer unit, but she’s versatile enough that you’re not stuck using her that way. Plus her supports are so good that you’ll want to recruit her on every run — not to mention the fact that she’s the only female character that pretty much every female can have a romantic paired ending with. Shamir is more than just an attractive assassin. She’s the best non-student unit you can get in all paths of the game, with only Catherine giving her a run for her money (and you’re locked out of recruiting her in certain paths). Plus her S-support with Byleth involves her coming up with wedding vows on the spot, which goes to reinforce how smart and caring her supports make her. That said, the best character in the game is Annette. She’s everything Shamir is in terms of a fighting unit, only without the over-the-top sex appeal. She’s caring to a fault and makes up the best songs in the game even though she isn’t a particularly good singer. We must protect War Goddess Annette at all costs.

My Pokemon Gym: Electric

Welcome to the eighth iteration of the My Pokemon Gym series. If you’re new to this series, I take a Pokemon type then build out my team of six Pokemon of that type as if I were the gym leader. Here are the rules:

  1. I can’t use legendary/mythical Pokemon
  2. I can’t reuse Pokemon I’ve used in previous gyms in this series.
  3. Forms of the same Pokémon can be reused, provided they have different typing. For example, if I used Rattata in a Normal gym team, I could use Alolan Rattata in a Dark gym team.

Want to read my other My Pokemon Gym posts? Go read the Fighting, Ice, Psychic, Grass, Dragon, Bug, and Fairy type posts when you’re done here. All images courtesy pokemondb.net unless otherwise stated.

Zebstrika

Despite Electric being a type full of speedy Pokemon, I chose not to have a dedicated lead on this team1Apologies to Electrode, which was my last cut from this team. I originally had Electrode on this team, only to then realize that I liked it more because of its memeiness in Smash rather than actually liking it in the main series games.. Zebstrika would be the functional lead for this team, meant more for busting holes in weak physical leads than anything else. I’m taking a gamble with the Sap Sipper ability, though it’s because Zebstrika’s other abilities don’t really play into a physical build. I do love Bounce on Zebstrika, particularly when powered up with a Z-crystal. That said, most of the damage here will be dished out via Thrash and Wild Charge.

Ability: Sap Sipper
Item: Muscle Band
Moves: Thrash, Bounce, Flame Charge, Wild Charge

Heliolisk

Heliolisk is a terrible fit synergy wise with the rest of this team, but I swear it has a purpose. Considering the number of Ground Pokemon that benefit from Sandstorm, Heliolisk is meant to bait those Pokemon in and hit them hard with Surf, all while avoiding their hits with the combination of Sand Veil, Double Team, and Bright Powder. Gimmicky? Sure. But considering how much Ground types scare off Electric Pokemon, I feel like I need some way to deal with them.

Ability: Sand Veil
Item: Bright Powder
Moves: Sandstorm, Parabolic Charge, Double Team, Surf

Stunfisk

Stunfisk is ugly. In a type that’s full of way-too-cute Pokemon, I kind of like Stunfisk. It’s got the same stigma that Raichu has2Where the Pokemon is hated more than it should be for no good reason., only with a much better move pool. Givin Stunfisk a set of moves aimed on delivering status effects seems to fit its reputation of being something players want to shy away from, as does its recovery being Pain Split. There’s not a great item to use with this moveset, so I’m giving it Expert Belt. I considered Assault Vest, but then I couldn’t use recovery moves, hence not equipping that item.

Ability: Static
Item: Expert Belt
Moves: Scald, Sludge Bomb, Pain Split, Discharge

Alolan Golem

I don’t know that Alolan Golem is actually that good if I’m objective. Yeah, it can trap Steel types in. And yes, it has Earthquake coverage that much of my team lacks. But I’m always comparing Alolan Golem to its Kantonian counterpart in my mind. When doing that, it just doesn’t stack up. Am I doing this wrong?

Anyway. Z-move coming off Thunder Punch. Brick Break. Protect. Awesome facial hair.

Ability: Magnet Pull
Item: Electrium-Z
Moves: Brick Break, Earthquake, Thunder Punch, Protect

Mega Ampharos

The single most glorious mane in Pokemon is here. I always knew Mega Ampharos hit hard, but it wasn’t until making this post that I realized that it has a thumping 165 base Special Attack. Holy hell. Get a pair of Charge Beams up and everything is dead. Could you imagine Baton Passing Calm Mind or evasion boosts to this thing? Damn. Hidden Power Poison is there for Fairy types, while Dragon Pulse should hit pretty much everything else hard.

Ability: Mold Breaker (Static prior to mega evolution)
Item: Ampharosite
Moves: Charge Beam, Dragon Pulse, Cotton Guard, Hidden Power Poison

Jolteon

There are a lot of Pokemon that can claim they got so much better once we got past the first two generations of the game — what with the introduction of abilities, held items, mega evolutions, and expanded move pools. Jolteon is not one of those Pokemon. Its abilites range from underwhelming (Volt Absorb) to terrible (Quick Feet). Its move pool can’t even take advantage of the latter ability because of its weak physical attack. And most of the non-TM moves added to its move pool since Gen I are lackluster. So why have it on my team? It was the only Gen I Electric type I could reliably use when I played those games. Magneton didn’t get good until it became a Steel type and got an evolution. Raichu got overshadowed by its pre-evolution. Electrode is a meme. And Zapdos breaks my no legendaries rule. So Jolteon makes the team despite its shortcomings. We’ll try to use it to fight the power3Row, row anyway.

Ability: Quick Feet
Item: Flame Orb
Moves: Synchronoise, Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt, Hidden Power Ice

The Worst Fire Emblem Awakening Play Through Ever: Chapters 10 and 11

The following post is part of my series “The Worst Fire Emblem Awakening Playthrough Ever”. Spoilers ahead for a six year old game.

NOTE: This will likely be the last edition of this I do for a couple of months, as I need to clear out a backlog of other posts on my schedule. The series will resume at some point in the near future (November? December?)


Welcome back to the worst Fire Emblem Awakening play through ever. When we last left the Shepherds, I took the time to do a couple of paralogues as a breather from the main story. We gained an underleveled farmhand as part of our team, as well as having met the walking symbol of Ylissean capitalism. We’re headed back to the main story where we get to play one of the best written chapters in all of Fire Emblem1Fight me, pre-DS Fire Emblem purists., as well as one of the most annoying chapters in the game for reasons I’ll get into as we go.

Chapter 10: Renewal

We bring the chapter by seeing Basilio leading our intrepid heroes through a giant ribcage, which isn’t ominous or anything. Chrom is incapable for forming sentences, which is annoying, especially since we’re ambushed by the Plegian army. And that’s it. That’s the entire cut scene before selecting units.

After selecting our units, we’re introduced to the boss for this level, a Plegian general named Mustafa — not Mufasa as I originally read it on my first playthrough. He offers us mercy if we surrender, which Basilio immediately scoffs at. Mustafa says Emmeryn wouldn’t have wanted this bloodshed, further proving that the bad guys in this game sometimes make more sense than the protagonists. Chrom gets angsty because his sister is dead, but then Mustafa admits that Emmeryn’s sacrifice profoundly impacted him and many other Plegians. Mustafa then offers to protect Chrom and our army if we surrender, only for the normally calm Frederick to shoot down the offer. Mustafa resigns to having to fight, beginning our actual fight.

This level is one of the stranger level layouts in the game, basically looking like a series of groceries store aisles full of enemies. I decide to take Chrom, Sumia, Maribelle, Frederick, and Vaike up the right side of the map to clear out the aisles, while everyone else (Cordelia, Libra, Donnel, Tharja, Gaius, Sully, Nowi, and Kellam) go down the bottom of the map to help draw out some of the aisle dwellers. Maribelle, Sumia, and Tharja take out units on the first turn, but we’re largely too far away to do much.

Between turns, Mustafa gets upset that there are thieves stealing stuff from the battlefield. He wants to give justice to the theives, but instead says his army needs to focus on the Ylissean army. The enemies advance, but can’t do much. On turn two, we take out quite a few of the advancing units, though Donnel takes more damage than I’d like.

On the enemy phase, one of the Plegian soldiers makes a case to Mustafa to stop this battle because he doesn’t see the justice in fighting the Ylisseans — going so far as to accept any punishment Mustafa has for him. A second soldier starts screaming at the first one, saying he’ll be killed for insubordination, but Mustafa calms the first soldier by telling him that a soldier is there to deliver judgement not to judge. He empathizes with the soldier, who was there when Emmeryn gave her last words. Mustafa then tells his soldiers that any soldiers who aren’t willing to fight are free to leave, but that he will fight on because he must obey the king’s orders, as Gangrel would murder his wife and kid if he ran. Mustafa’s soliders stay to fight with him because they wish to be loyal to him, serving as a reminder that in times of war, people can do the wrong thing for the right reasons2Holy fuck this chapter hits me hard every time..

Turn three begins and I start sweeping through the enemy units in earnest with Sumia, Maribelle, Cordelia, Sully, and Gaius picking up kills. Mustafa shouts for the reinforcements to be called in, but this battle isn’t going to last long enough for that to happen. Chrom, Maribelle, and Cordelia get our only kills of the player portion of turn four, but the enemy turn goes much better, with Tharja racking up three kills by herself. Frederick begins turn five by engaging with Mustafa by himself, though he doesn’t quite get the kill. Fortunately, Libra is there to pick up the pieces, ending the level as Mustafa pleas for us to spare his men.

Suddenly, an allied unit teleports in. Her name is Olivia and not only does she seem to know Basilio, but she apparently can fucking teleport. Olivia is apparently a smuggler, making her the Han Solo of this game, only significantly more annoying. Olivia insists we get on our way, formally ending the chapter.

Just kidding. It was just a save screen. We’re in Castle Ferox where Lissa is sobbing while Christopher Robin and Frederick are lamenting our failure. Flavia and Basilio are bickering about what to do next. Christopher apologies to Chrom that his plans couldn’t save his sister, and Chrom…thanks him for trying?

Wait. Hold up. Chrom is portrayed as a hothead for most of the last two chapters and yet he doesn’t feel like Christopher has ANY responsibility for Emmeryn’s death? This isn’t consistent with his character at all.

Chrom then starts saying how it’s all his fault, which is more consistent with his character. There’s a lot of talk about sacrifice from Chrom before Christopher gives a buddy cop version of the halftime speech trope. This is followed by pretty much every recruited character telling Chrom how they wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for Chrom — except for Virion, who spends most of his dialogue talking about himself before I reach through the screen and hit him with a shovel. Chrom then asks everyone to help him take down Gangrel, which is met with Lissa wanting to punch people in the face. We get yet another line of people saying they’ll fight, including Flavia promising to give the backing of the Feroxi army. Olivia — who is also here still, apparently — pledges her support because Emmeryn did her a favor once. Because of course she did. It’s plot convenient. Basilio encourages Chrom to start cracking skulls and raise hell. This FINALLY marks the end of the chapter.

Between chapters, I’ve reclassed Panne from a Taguel to a Thief. She’ll be the recipient of some grinding at some point after chapter 11.

Chapter 11: Mad King Gangrel

Before this chapter, I did a couple of rounds of reeking box battles so Donnel could hold his own here. Hence bringing him. That said, he’s still woefully underleveled and it almost went very badly.

We being with Aversa and Gangrel overlooking the battlefield discussing the fact that the Shepherds are on their way. Gangrel makes a fart joke3Seriously., which Aversa promptly makes fun of. Gangrel talks about how a man is either strong or dead in this world, which will in no way foreshadow anything. A Plegian scout runs up to advise Gangrel and Aversa that their army is deserting them.

We cut away to Frederick, who is bringing news of the desertions to Chrom and Christopher. Chrom is confused before a few lines before realizing that it’s all because of his sister’s sacrifice. Apparently she’s become a Plegian folk hero according to Frederick. This caused me to look up whether or not a folk hero could be a famous person and apparently it can. Who knew? Chrom laments for a bit about Emmeryn’s passing, but my ice cream sandwich is melting, so I ignore him in favor of eating that.

After choosing units, we cut to a talking head of Chrom and Gangrel shouting at each other from across the entire battlefield map. Gangrel tells Chrom he doesn’t know the first thing about peace — and he kind of has a point. Granted, Gangrel doesn’t either, but Chrom REALLY hasn’t grown that much across the last few chapters. But then suddenly, just to prove me wrong, Chrom admits he has flaws, but he’s trying. He goes on for a bit about the Power of Friendship before Gangrel tells him to shut up and fight. We’re then joined by Olivia, who is a dancer. Dancers allow you to use the Dance command to make another unit have a second turn. The downside to this is that Olivia is as frail as Miriel was back in Chapter 2, so we really won’t be able to use her if we want her to live.

On turn one, we’re out of range to attack (or mostly to be attacked, so it’s spent pairing up and advancing most of our pairings forward — save for Nowi and Kellam who will be hanging back for the inevitable reinforcements that will show up in the forts to the upper left of the map. Some of Gangrel’s troops move forward, but nothing interesting happens on their turn. Frederick and Ricken open up turn two with some kills, with Ricken picking up an additional one on the enemy phase. Stahl takes a good bit of damage on turn 3, but most of the turn is spent with Sumia, Christopher, Frederick, and Ricken taking more of Gangrel’s units out. On the enemy phase, Stahl probably shoiuld have died, but two different mages with 85%+ hit rates both miss. You might be surprised to learn this trend continues on turn 4, only with Sumia, and only slightly more explainable, as she’s in a fort. That said, it’s four straight misses in her case. I can’t even make this up, because it would seem too unrealistic if I made that up.

The reinforcements finally come on turn 5, but Nowi deals with them easily. Panne’s new Locktouch ability comes in handy to pick up a Goddess Icon from a chest. By turn 6, Gangrel comes charging out of his protector fort — because remember, he’s insane. We let a bunch of other units take out everyone around Gangrel (well, most of them at this stage), but then have Lissa — who has been Christopher’s pair up buddy to this point — fight Gangrel, because she’s a much better story for avenging her sister’s death than Chrom. She doesn’t get the kill, but is low on health. Then, for reasons I don’t fucking understand at all, Gangrel decides to attack Sully WHO CRITICAL HITS THE FUCK OUT OF HIM. He really was a mad lad.

Turn 7 is just some cleanup, leading us to beat the map. The rest of the Plegian army surrenders once we take out the last unit. Chrom accepts their surrender because he’s learning and it’s adorable.

We cut to a discussion between Flavia, Basilio, Chrom, and Christopher talking about the end of the war with Plegia and the coming rebuild of Ylisse and Regna Ferox. A new cinematic plays talking about how Chrom and Christopher are working tirelessly to restore Ylisse’s glory. Chrom has decided not to take up the title of Exalt, but he does marry. There’s a royal wedding between he and Sumia, only for us to get an omnious line.

But then, two years later…

We save the game!

Also, there’s a messenger from Regna Ferox come to see Chrom. It’s Raimi — the Feroxi knight who we had to fight back in chapter 4. Flavia has requested a summit between Ylisse and Regna Ferox because the Fire Nation attacked. Er…the western nation of Valm attacked. Frederick and Chrom agree to meet with Flavia, but are stopped by Sumia. Sumia says she’s coming with Chrom, despite the fact that her and Chrom’s daughter, Lucina, is newly born. Chrom wants Sumia to take advantage of Ylisse’s generous mandatory maternity leave laws, but Sumia insists she needs to come to the summit. Chrom and Christopher talk about Chrom’s growth as a person, but I’m going to ignore that and post my favorite meme related to this scene.

We cut to Arena Ferox for Flavia’s summit. She advises us that Valm is, indeed, attacking with warships. Basilio greets us like Broken Matt Hardy only to say he knows someone who can tell us why Valm is attacking. It’s Virion, who’s not quite dead yet despite my best efforts. Apparently he’s been lying to us the whole time — he’s not just an asshole archer, he’s the Duke of Rosanne AND an asshole archer. We should really keep the Ambien away from him. Virion’s servant, Cherche, is also here. She’s not only more likeable than Virion by an infinite amount, but she also info dumps why Valm is attacking, as well as the fact that they attacked Virion’s country first. Apparently Virion is the rightful ruler of Rosanne, however I would never subject Sara Gilbert to that. Our new big bad that we’re going to need to worry about is Walhart the Conqueror and if his Smash Ultimate fight is any indication, he’ll likely be a bitch to kill.

Cherche gets some verbal slaps to Virion in here as well, but he keeps interrupting her. That said, Cherche has zero time for that, as she’s not only trying to seek aslyum, but she’s also very willing to kick Valm’s ass. Virion tells us that we’ll want to fight the Valmese army with units that have experience fighting against cavalry, but little does he know that we have a limited roster of characters to choose from, not to mention some more shipping to do. Chrom offers to volunteer Virion to fight the Valmese army himself, which not only formally ends the chapter, but also causes me to respect Chrom slightly more.

End of Level Recap

There was a bit more leveling up in these two chapters than I expected. Add in the couple of reeking box levels for Donnel — as well as the collateral experience other units gained — and the squad as a whole is in a good place for chapter 10 when we get back to the main story.

Units

  • Sumia – Level 17 Pegasus Knight
  • Sully – Level 15 Cavalier
  • Ricken – Level 15 Mage
  • Vaike – Level 14 Fighter
  • Cordelia – Level 14 Pegasus Knight
  • Tharja – Level 14 Dark Mage
  • Chrom – Level 12 Lord
  • Miriel – Level 12 Mage
  • Gaius – Level 12 Thief
  • Nowi – Level 11 Manakete
  • Kellam – Level 11 Knight
  • Gregor – Level 10 Mercenary
  • Christopher – Level 9 Tactician
  • Donnel – Level 8 Villager
  • Stahl – Level 7 Cavalier
  • Maribelle – Level 7 Pegasus Knight
  • Lon’qu – Level 7 Myrmidon
  • Lissa – Level 6 Pegasus Knight
  • Frederick – Level 5 Great Knight
  • Panne – Level 4 Thief
  • Libra – Level 1 War Monk
  • Olivia – Level 1 Dancer
  • Virion – Level 2 Pin Cushion

Supports

  • Tharja & Gaius: A to S
  • Cordelia & Libra: A to S
  • Kellam & Nowi: B to A
  • Sully & Donnel: C to B

Class Changes

  • Panne: Taguel to Thief

I’ll be doing some reeking box grinding before chapter 12 for reasons I’ll get into on that post. Hope you’re enjoying this series and would love to hear what you think in the comments.

My Pokemon Gym: Bug

Welcome to the seventh iteration of the My Pokemon Gym series. If you’re new to this series, I take a Pokemon type then build out my team of six Pokemon of that type as if I were the gym leader. Here are the rules:

  1. I can’t use legendary/mythical Pokemon
  2. I can’t reuse Pokemon I’ve used in previous gyms in this series.
  3. Forms of the same Pokémon can be reused, provided they have different typing. For example, if I used Rattata in a Normal gym team, I could use Alolan Rattata in a Dark gym team.

Want to read my other My Pokemon Gym posts? Go read the Fighting, Ice, Psychic, Grass, Dragon, and Fairy type posts when you’re done here. All images courtesy pokemondb.net unless otherwise stated.

Galvantula

It actively pained me not to put Galvantula on my coming Electric type gym team. That said, what Pokemon is more associated with Sticky Web as a lead than Galvantula? Maybe Shuckle if you’re having it as a pawn that gets taken down to Sturdy, but that’s not the best use of Shuckle (in my opinion). Galvantula has some surprisingly hard hitting attacks, never mind my active decision to swap out the momentum building U-Turn in favor of Lunge. The primary goal is still to get Sticky Web up, however, if I can do some serious damage along the way, all the better.

Ability: Unnerve
Item: Focus Sash
Moves: Sticky Web, Sucker Punch, Lunge, Wild Charge

Butterfree

A while back, I did a playthrough of Pokemon Sun where I beat 3/4 of the Elite Four with an Eviolite Caterpie. Granted, that Caterpie had a metric fuckton of boosts passed to it by Drifblim/Hawlucha/Mega Lopunny/Espeon, but it still did its job. This Butterfree is an homage to that — though with a King’s Rock instead because it can’t get Eviolite boosts. Quiver Dance and Silver Wind give most of the boosts I was passing to Caterpie (save for evasion), while I pair up Air Slash and Hidden Power Water for flinching shenanigans and Rock/Fire type coverage, respectively.

Ability: Compound Eyes
Item: King’s Rock
Moves: Quiver Dance, Silver Wind, Air Slash, Hidden Power Water

Ariados

Ever since I wrote my piece on Pokemon who don’t learn obvious moves, I’ve gained a bit of love for Ariados. It’s a surprisingly hard hitting Pokemon, especially with Sniper and Fell Stinger. In an ideal situation, I could run both Focus Energy and Swords Dance on this set, but I felt that a priority move was more important than Swords Dance considering Ariados’ abysmal speed. If Focus Energy and Fell Stinger boosts are up — and I know that’s a huge if — Ariados becomes surprisingly hard to stop.

Ability: Sniper
Item: Scope Lens
Moves: Focus Energy, Fell Stinger, Shadow Sneak, Cross Poison

Shuckle

Hello. I am here to trap you and stall you out with residual damage and massive defense boosts. Thanks.

Ability: Contrary
Item: Chesto Berry
Moves: Shell Smash, Rest, Sleep Talk, Infestation

Araquanid

This spot came down to Golisopod or Araquanid — two Pokemon whose name I routinely forget how to spell. In the end, I picked the one that I can reliably use all four of its moveslots on more than just the first turn of the battle — not to mention one that doesn’t have a horrid ability. Araquanid gives me two stalling Pokemon on this team, though unlike Shuckle, Araquanid can deal out its fair share of damage too. I decided to drop Aqua Ring in favor of Liquidation because of the combination of the Water Bubble ability and Leech Life, but there’s an argument to be made for even more healing here.

Ability: Water Bubble
Item: Lum Berry
Moves: Toxic, Stockpile, Leech Life, Liquidation

Parasect

This is my first time having a Pokemon gym team that doesn’t have a mega evolution on the team, so I feel like I have to explain myself. I’ve already used Mega Heracross in my Fighting gym, while Mega Beedrill and Mega Scizor will be appearing in other gym types. As for Mega Pinsir…no. So here we are. Parasect saved me in my first runthrough of Pokemon Blue as a kid, taking out Sabrina when nothing else on my team could handle her. It’s not the best Bug Pokemon, but it makes the team as a nostalgia pick.

Ability: Damp
Item: Buginium-Z
Moves: Leech Life, Spore, Knock Off, Aerial Ace