CategoryVideo Games

My Pokemon Gym: Normal

Welcome to the eleventh 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, Bug, Fire, and Flying type posts when you’re done here. All images courtesy pokemondb.net unless otherwise stated.

Note: This is the first post that I considered Sword and Shield Pokemon for the team. That said, since Sword and Shield really didn’t introduce any Normal types worth considering for this list aside from Dubwool, I didn’t have to make any changes.

Girafarig

Even though I’m not posting it last in the series, Normal was the last of the type teams I came up with the team for. What that meant was having five normal types I loved on this team, but the sixth spot being wide open because I’d used so many part Normal types on other teams. In the end, I picked the screen-breaking, flinch-inducing Girafarig for the team thanks to the fact that it can learn one of my favorite moves, Beat Up. Add in Stomp and Zen Headbutt and this is a super annoying lead to deal with — especially when it can’t be flinched itself.

Ability: Inner Focus
Item: King’s Rock
Moves: Stomp, Zen Headbutt, Beat Up, Psychic Fangs

Porygon-Z

Have you ever used a Pokemon move, only to realize that you completely misunderstood what that move did? That’s Conversion and Conversion 2 for me. My mind always wants one of them to change your Pokemon’s type to the type of the last move it used. Neither one does that though. Porygon-Z’s Download ability is fun to play with on a mixed-attacking set like this one. But I can’t use either version of Conversion on this set. Why? Because it doesn’t do what I think it does. Ever.

Ability: Download
Item: Normalium-Z
Moves: Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Last Resort, Foul Play

Persian

I’m not afraid to admit I cheesed Gen I as a kid with Persian’s high critical hit rate. Sadly, crits don’t work like they did in Gen I anymore. While that wasn’t going to stop me from putting it on this team, it did mean that I had to come up with a new strategy for it. Did you know that Kantonian Persian’s Special Attack stat is only 5 points lower than its regular Attack stat? Time to use a bulky set built around Snore. Why? Because it’s funny.

Ability: Technician
Item: Iapapa Berry
Moves: Rest, Snore, Nasty Plot, Hidden Power Psychic

Mega Lopunny

In my efforts to have a Caterpie sweep the Alolan Elite Four, one of the Pokemon I brought was a Lopunny that used Baton Pass to pass the stats from Agility and Z-Splash to Caterpie. Yes, it was dumb. But the level of effort I had to put towards making that Lopunny tanky enough for the entire premise to work made me really like it. So I’m bringing in the mega form. I had to make some changes to the set since Mega Lopunny can’t also hold a Z-crystal. That said, it gives me an excuse to throw Ice Punch on something, which is always amusing.

Ability: Scrappy (Limber before Mega Evolution)
Item: Lopunnite
Moves: Power-Up Punch, Ice Punch, Dizzy Punch, High Jump Kick

Dodrio

Did you know Dodrio hits like a truck with Thrash? It’s really fun. But it’s even more fun to have Bright Powder on any Pokemon that has an evasion boosting ability. Sure, there are better Pokemon to stick Bright Powder on, but none of them are part of this team. The goal here is to evade, hit hard, and hopefully get confused by whatever berries I manage to steal off of other Pokemon.

Ability: Tangled Feet
Item: Bright Powder
Moves: Swords Dance, Thrash, Pluck, Double Team

Delcatty

Of all of the Pokemon on this list, this is the only one I’ve actually won battles online with. Yes. A Delcatty. I tend to alternate between carrying Wide Lens for boosted Sing accuracy and Psychium-Z to get extra boosts off of Cosmic Power. It’s amusing to me how many random players online don’t understand how to deal with the Sing/Dream Eater combo…particularly because Sing has horrid accuracy. Yet it wins more often than I’d like to admit. Praise be to the neck pillow cat.

Ability: Cute Charm
Item: Wide Lens
Moves: Cosmic Power, Sing, Charge Beam, Dream Eater

One Sneaky Good Unit For Each Fire Emblem Three Houses Master Class

Good lord. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a good word vomit title on this blog. You’re all welcome.

I’ve been continuing my various playthroughs of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, desperately hoping that the next round of DLC gives us new classes1Dark Flier, please., a golden path2A path where all of the primary characters of the story live…or at the least have the potential to., or the ability to remove gender locks from certain classes3Is War Master Ingrid or Falcon Knight Hubert so much to ask for?. In doing so, I’ve decided to do a run where I play on Casual mode with the intent of grinding every character I have to level 99. Why? Why not.

In one of my previous runs, I made an effort to try to hamstring my run by making my units fill classes that they would otherwise struggle in. This led to predictably poor results. For example, Gremory Petra is not the most useful magic-user, considering she’s got a handicap in both reason and faith magic. That said, it did lead to me accidentally discovering a couple of units that were shockingly in the classes I stuck them in.

Thus comes the premise of this post. I’m going to take a look at each of the game’s master classes — Mortal Savant, Falcon Knight, War Master, Wyvern Lord, Great Knight, Dark Knight, Holy Knight, and Gremory — as well as the Dancer class and talk about units that are surprisingly good in that end game class. Perhaps you’re playing Classic Mode and need to fill some spaces with some non-class-optimized units. Maybe you’re trying to do a run where your units aren’t in the same class as your last three runs. Maybe you just want to have fun. This list is for you. The units this list are not units in their ideal or even second-best class. But they will be fun to use and surprisingly useful.

Before I get into this list, here are a few honorable mention unit/class combinations I want to talk about.

  • Great Knight Bernadetta – It takes a LOT of work to get her there, but Bernadetta can hold her own in this class. Keep a bow on her and suddenly you have a wall of death. But Bernadetta appears on this list for a different class.
  • Ingrid – Ingrid is so good at so many classes that it was hard to slot her in this list. The classes where I’d consider her are all ones where there’s a clear sneaky good unit that already exists, while all the weaker classes are the classes where Ingrid is a more natural fit.
  • Felix – Has the same problem as Ingrid, with the key difference being he actually has one sneaky good class — Dancer. Too bad there’s three or four units ahead of him for that distinction.
  • Catherine, Anna, and Linhardt – All three of these units suffer from the same problem, in that they all fit better into an Advanced class than a Master class. This may well change with coming DLC4Now that the DLC came out, all three of these units do have a better fit class — but the DLC gave us the Special classes rather than more Master classes. So I’ll call this a wash., but none of them can really be sneaky good at a class when they’re all forced fits in the existing classes.

Mortal Savant – Marianne

It’s always bothered me how some of the students in the game don’t have a logical class pairing that goes well with their crest’s associated relic. For all practical purposes, Marianne has zero business being in hand-to-hand combat. She has the lowest strength cap in the game, the second-lowest strength growth, and one of the lowest defense growths in the game. Yet pair her relic sword, Blutgang, with Marianne’s shockingly strong reason magic list and you’ve got an adept Mortal Savant. Why not Lysithea here? Because everyone is already using Lysithea as a reason magic class thanks to her access to Dark Spikes. Marianne might be best suited as a healer, but her magic-based attacking is nothing to scoff at.

Honorable Mention: Ingrid

Falcon Knight – Shamir

Shamir is broken. She is the only reason I wish the Kinishi Knight class from Fates had made its way over to Three Houses. Throwing her on any flying mount makes her one of the most dangerous units in the game thanks to access to the Alert Stance skills. The most powerful stat trifecta in Three Houses is, in my opinion, the Dexterity/Speed/Luck trio. This set of stats is particularly important for flying classes thanks to the abundance of bows in the game, as it’s kill or be killed. Shamir has the 5th highest combined growth rate in these three stats and third highest among female units (who Falcon Knight is locked to). The only ones with a higher combined growth rate are Petra — one of the two units you could argue are canon fliers — and Leonie, who is the best flying unit in the game aside from Claude. Shamir has better growths here than Ingrid! Just try her out as a Falcon Knight. You’ll thank me.

Honorable Mention: Manuela

War Master – Ferdinand von Aegir

Did you realize that Ferdinand von Aegir and Caspar have nearly identical stats in both growths and max stats? You know how Caspar is an awesome War Master? Ferdinand von Aegir is pretty good at it too, even if it is beneath his noble station. Unlike Felix, he isn’t an obvious choice for this class, nor is he gender locked out of it like Petra, Catherine, and Hilda are. Granted, nothing will be as funny as when I made Cyril a War Master, but he was predictably terrible. Ferdinand von Aegir as one though? That worked really well.

Honorable Mention: Felix

Wyvern Lord – Raphael

First off, the Wyvern Lord class is overpowered. Literally anyone who is even passable with an axe wrecks nearly everything in this class. Raphael — despite all of his limitations in terms of mobility — does not have a bane to his flying stats. This shocked me when I noticed it. Considering he has the single highest HP cap and growth in the game, along with his otherworldly strength, you can beast he’s a beast in this class. It’s hard to have a sneaky good Wyvern Lord, so why not go with the loudest character in the game.

Honorable Mention: Annette with a Bolt Axe

Great Knight – Petra

Part of the appeal to Petra as a unit is that her speed growths are so high that she can double pretty much enemy unit in the game by the fifth or sixth month of the game. It’s impressive. Her biggest problem is that if anyone gets in close on her and she doesn’t double them, her defense is low enough that she’s one relatively easy to take out. The Great Knight class takes Petra from a very good glass cannon to an every-so-slightly slower, but much tankier death machine. It reminds me a little bit of Frederick in the early game of Awakening, only she doesn’t drop off. In terms of utility, she’s arguably the most natural fit into the sneaky good class of any unit on this list. It’s just that she’s so much better at so many other things that Great Knight goes overlooked.

Honorable Mention: Ashe

Bow Knight – Lysithea

Okay, let’s be serious. You’re not using Lysithea as a Bow Knight. You’re just not. The goal here is to get Lysithea some HP and Defense growths in the classes that’ll take her through to get her to a Bow Knight. The Cavalier class and Paladin classes give +20 HP/+5 DEF and +30 HP/+5 DEF growths, respectively. Slap a Magic Bow on Lysithea and she’s a decent Bow Knight. You’re not doing this. I know so. But it’s not going to be as bad as you might think.

Honorable Mention: Hubert

Dark Knight – Claude

Did you know Claude’s spell list includes both Cutting Gale and Excalibur? In fact, he has the exact same Reason spell list as the best non-Dark Magic-user in the game, Annette. Sure, his growths in magic aren’t the best. But with that spell list, he’s going to be hitting a lot harder than you might think. I do also want to call out the fact that the honorable mention unit in this list, Hilda, is one of only two units that can learn the long-range nuke spell Bolting. Who knew the Golden Deer were such a good magic house?

Honorable Mention: Hilda

Holy Knight – Leonie

Speaking of sneaky good magic users in the Golden Deer, Leonie has a surprisingly good set of utility Faith spells. Her natural affinity for Lance and Riding means you can focus her on Faith from super early in the game, allowing you to build magic stats in the Mage or Priest classes. I’ve used Leonie as a Holy Knight in two playthroughs so far and find her to be one of the best secondary clerics in the game.

Honorable Mention: Ignatz

Gremory – Manuela

I know what you’re thinking. Manuela’s canon class by outfit is the Priest class. How is she a sneaky good Gremory? While Faith is one of her boon stats, the think is that the rest of her growths make her a much more natural Falcon Knight. Combine that with the fact that her Reason skill receives a penalty and you’re going to have to put a lot of work into making Manuela a Gremory. But considering she has access to Bolting, Warp, Silence, and Ward, she has a unique spell set that no other unit in the game has access to. I’d argue it’s worth your time, even if she isn’t a top-tier Gremory.

Honorable Mention: Anna

Dancer – Bernadetta

You want to know why so many people like Olivia as a Dancer in Awakening5Other than the fact that she has some of the most revealing official art of any unit in the game. This fact blows a lot of people’s minds when they first notice it.? She’s a Dancer unit that also has access to the Pass ability, allowing her to ignore enemies blocking her path to get to other units. You know who the only unit is that can learn Pass in Three Houses? That’d be Bernadetta. Combine that with the fact that Bernadetta gets access to Physic and Rescue — all while still being able to use her insane bow skills — and you have a unit that can stay way out of everyone’s way AND charge into the frey when she needs to. I personally prefer her as a Dancer to the canon Dancer unit, Dorothea.

Honorable Mention: Ferdinand von Aegir, Edelgard


If you enjoyed the post you just read, please consider supporting me through my Patreon. Memberships start at only $1 and help support the costs for this site, as well as my other creative endeavors. You can also support me by purchasing my book, An Epilogue to Innocence, here. I also offer editing services on this page.

Looking Back on Predictions

Those who have followed this blog for a long time know that I like to do speculative posts at times. These tend to be video game related posts, usually delving just as much into theorycrafting as they do anything else. That said, I like writing them and typically have a lot of fun in the process of creating them.

One thing I don’t do a good job of, however, is looking back at those posts when it comes time to see what I got right and got wrong. I’m not alone in this. Nearly every sports writer or pundit suffers from the same problem. There’s an entire Twitter account dedicated to calling these freezing cold takes out. If you’re a sports fan, give it a read. It’s great entertainment.

With one of the final posts of 2019, I wanted to take a moment and go back and look at my theorycrafting posts, speculative posts, and just general guessing-type posts I’ve written. What did I get wrong? For that matter, what did I get right? I sure as hell don’t remember. Come and discover right along with me.

10 Pokemon Go Community Day Ideas Based on Shinies

The most recent purely speculative post I’ve written is also one of the least successful, if not inconclusive results-wise, posts that I’ve written. Pokemon Go players have received zero of the Pokemon I listed in this post as Community Day events in the time since this post was written in April 2019. Two of the Pokemon listed in this post, Shuckle and Electrike, have had their shinies released, albeit in very different ways. Shuckle got its shiny released as part of an event and featured boosted spawns as a result. While this isn’t Community Day, I’ll still take this as a win. Electrike, on the other hand, didn’t even receive a formal announcement.

What I Got Right – Shuckle (kind of).
What I Got Wrong – Electrike.
Inconclusive – Everything else.

How Smeargle (Almost) Made Me Quit Pokemon Go

In this post, I mentioned how the implementation of Smeargle was the worst thing to happen in Pokemon Go ever, including the original gym system. While I did mention it in the post, I failed to call out that the biggest mistake Niantic had made to that point was actually the failure to re-implement the footstep tracker that allowed you to locate Pokemon in the early days of the game. This is a grievous oversight on my part. On the plus side, my post no longer matters, because Niantic has since introduced the paid Regigigas event, which is actually the worst thing to happen in the game’s history.

What I Got Right – How frustrating Smeargle was until more info about its mechanics were released.
What I Got Wrong – Pretty much everything else.
Inconclusive – How Niantic will alienate its player base next.

Why Your Super Smash Bros Ultimate Main Sucks

This post was a work of art except for one crucial mistake.

What I Got Right – That it’s super inconsistent for mature characters to be banned from Smash, yet for Bayonetta to somehow be on the roster.
What I Got Wrong – Captain Falcon does not shout his own name during sex. The Wii Fit Trainer does that.
Inconclusive – How much rage I’ll have to hear from the Smash fan base when Edelgard is inevitably added to Smash as DLC.

10 New Mega Evolutions I Want to See on Pokemon Switch

For the second generation in a row, we did not get new Mega Evolutions in a new Pokemon game. While Gen VII brought us Z-moves, Sword and Shield brought us Dynamax and Gigantamax evolutions. The latter is…kind of?…like Mega Evolution. Except not. And it’s not as good. But it’s the closest thing we’re getting. So how did the list do?

Of the 23 Pokemon capable of Gigantamaxing, 22 are from either Sword and Shield or from Generation I. The lone exception? Garbodor. Seriously. This list was doomed to fail as a result. But at least there was one exact hit.

What I Got Right – Lapras! I mean, kind of. But I’m counting it.
What I Got Wrong – Everything else, both literally and by my technicality.
Inconclusive – Why Generation VIII isn’t called Pokemon The Ocho.

10 New Dual Type Pokemon for Switch

At last count, there were 25 dual typings left that hadn’t existed in any Pokemon game to this point. Surely one of the ten Stephanie and I picked to theorycraft will show up on Sword and Shield. Right?

What We Got Right – Zen mode Galarian Darmanitan, at least in terms of that specific typing existing.
What I Got Wrong – Literally every other guess.
Inconclusive – There’s bound to be a part two to Sword and Shield. Just like there was Emerald to Ruby and Sapphire and Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon to Sun/Moon. So this list isn’t quite dead yet.

My Pokemon Gym: Flying

Welcome to the tenth 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, Bug, and Fire type posts when you’re done here. All images courtesy pokemondb.net unless otherwise stated.

Swellow

Swellow is one of the few Pokemon that Pokemon Go caused me to like significantly more than I liked it from the original games. Maybe it’s because of Emily Dickinson, but the Taillow/Swellow line was become arguably my favorite first route bird at this stage…with the possible exception of the next Pokemon on this team. Popping a Toxic Orb/Flame Orb on Swellow with the Guts ability makes it a great scout, particularly with the combination of Protect to setup the status condition and U-Turn to change momentum. Brave Bird and Return fill out the last two slots for STAB1Same Type Attack Bonus, but that’s not the primary purpose for Swellow anyway.

Ability: Guts
Item: Toxic Orb
Moves: Protect, U-Turn, Brave Bird, Return

Fearow

Fearow was my original Gen I Fly bot, so it makes this team for nostalgia purposes. I didn’t realize Fearow got Throat Chop until making this team, so I’m throwing that on Fearow because it’s hilarious. My current favorite use of Fearow is Z-Mirror Move shenanigans, so it’ll be the only special move this otherwise physical type attacker will pack.

Ability: Sniper
Item: Flyinium-Z
Moves: Mirror Move, Steel Wing, Drill Run, Throat Chop

Delibird

Delibird is trash. But it’s my trash. And it’s adorable. I’d love to tell you it’s here to do some damage, but frankly it’s only around to have a high speed stat, live on a Focus Sash hit, then take someone down with Destiny Bond.

Ability: Vital Spirit
Item: Focus Sash
Moves: Freeze-Dry, Water Pulse, Destiny Bond, Hidden Power Psychic

Sigilyph

Sigilyph carried much of my first run of Pokemon Black because it’s a shockingly competent Pokemon. My hope is to have it come in on something that likes throwing around status and stalling — think Blissey types — then Psycho Shift the ailment off. Cosmic Power helps with survivability, while Air Slash and Shadow Ball are here for flinches and coverage, respectively.

Ability: Magic Guard
Item: Sitrus Berry
Moves: Psycho Shift, Cosmic Power, Air Slash, Shadow Ball

Crobat

Cave Herpes grew up and got…good? Crobat has always been a Pokemon that interested me, but never one I regularly used. The Inflitrator ability allows Pokemon with the ability to pass through Substitute, which is very situational, but very useful. That said, the primary purpose to this set is using up the Normal Gem with a Quick Attack to start off Crobat’s time in battle. This will allow a double base power Acrobatics, which can hit like a truck coming from Crobat. If only it had the Unburden ability like another Pokemon that just missed the cut for this list2But only because it’s going to be on a different list.

Ability: Infiltrator
Item: Normal Gem
Moves: Leech Life, Acrobatics, Cross Poison, Quick Attack

Honchkrow

WHY CAN’T I FIND A SHINY MURKROW IN POKEMON GO? WHY? IT’S BEEN NEARLY 1500 MURKROW NOW3When I wrote this post in September, I was in the high 1400s of Murkrow seen without a shiny. It is now December 2. I’m at 1675 without a shiny.!

Honchkrow is here to deal out critical hits. All night, all day, crits all the way. Combine the critical rate boosting Scope Lens with a critical rate boosting Super Luck, then add the increased critical rate of Night Slash and fun happens.

Ability: Super Luck
Item: Scope Lens
Moves: Night Slash, Superpower, Torment, Drill Peck

5 Quality of Life Improvements I’d Like to See in Pokemon Go

While I’ve been one to talk about Pokemon extremely frequently on this blog — I have a monthly post dedicated to the game at this point, after all — I’m not one to heavily talk about Pokemon Go. While I’ve played since its launch day in the US, I’m not one to do a lot of theorycrafting about the game. After all, you’re much more limited as to what you can do in Pokemon Go in comparison to other games in the series. There’s just not as much to possibly talk about. Combine that with the fact that there are bloggers like PokeTraveller Lola who do a fantastic job with this already and I feel like there’s not a ton for me to say on the matter.

That said, I did want to take a swing at suggesting some quality of life improvements I’d like to see in Pokemon Go and how they could be implemented. My ultimate goal with this post is not to get Niantic to change the game. Let’s face it, my 150 Twitter followers are barely enough to get me the occasional double digit liked tweet. What I would like to see come out of this though is discussion. While my ideas are just things I’d like to see, I’m sure they could be built off of and turned into great ideas.

I’ve decided to limit myself to five total ideas for this post, as well as to spread those ideas out so that no more than one idea is present per major game mechanic. I could have written a whole post based on improvements I’d like to see to the current raid system or friend-related activities, however I feel like that would come off as bashing those two aspects of the game1While the friendship system is flawed in many ways, it’s better than how a lot of mobile games handle friends. That said, raids are bad right now. I’ll get into why below.. That certainly isn’t my intent with this post. I do generally enjoy Pokemon Go even though I’m currently sitting at 1550 Murkrow wild/hatched encounters without a shiny2Technically, I’m at 1650, but I know that I was in the high double digits before shiny Murkrow was released. For ease of math, I just make it an even hundred.. I’m not bitter at all.

Friendship – Allow Remote Trading

The Idea: Allow trading between friends who aren’t in the same room.

How to Implement it: Ideally, this is a system where the better friends you are with someone, the further distance you can trade with them from. Good and Great friends might have very short distance limits like the current structure. However, Ultra friends could have a 1,000km trade distance limit, while Best friends could trade from anywhere on the globe. If there needs to be some sort of limitation for Ultra and Best friends, maybe there could be a one trade per day limit for trades where the friends are located more than a certain distance apart.

Why This Should Happen: I currently have six lucky friends on my friend list. Of those six friends, four of them are people who aren’t local to me in Northeast Ohio. One is in North Carolina, one is in Canada, one is in Spain, and one is in Australia. Many Go players have sought out friends online from other countries in an effort to get 7km eggs from far away places, only to end up with lucky friends they’ll never be able to trade with. This remedies that.

Why It Won’t Happen: Of all the items on this list, I feel like this is the most likely to happen in some capacity, even if it isn’t the exact why I’ve described it.

Gyms – Give Defense Bonuses to Themed Gyms

The Idea: The first trainer to place a Pokemon in a newly defeated gym sets a theme. If that theme is followed, the stats of the Pokemon defending it are buffed.

How to Implement it: Upon defeating a gym and dropping their Pokemon in, the first trainer to place a Pokemon in a gym gets to choose from one of three themes generated based on the Pokemon they pick. These would essentially be themes of escalating difficulty. Let’s say our first trainer puts Squirtle in the gym. A one-star theme would be simple to follow (Water types). If followed, this theme would give a small bonus (say 5%) to one stat (say Defense) of all Pokemon in the gym. A two-star theme would be a little more complex (Water- type starters), and would give a bigger bonus to a single stat (say 10% to Defense), with a smaller stat boost for other stats of the defenders. A three-star theme would have the most complex difficulty (blue Water type Kanto Pokemon), but would provide the biggest boosts.

Why This Should Happen: Let me tell you how boring it is fighting a gym with Chansey, Blissey, Slakoth, Snorlax, Metagross, and Dragonite for the ten thousandth time. I love seeing gyms with good variety. Did a group of people manage to create a gym with only first-stage Flying types? Awesome. You can bet that I’m not attacking that beautiful thing unless I have to.

Why It Won’t Happen: Considering how little attention has been given to this feature since the rework in 2017, I feel like Niantic might have forgotten gym battles exist.

Battling – Merge the Team Go Rocket and Team Leader Battle Concepts

The Idea: Take the Pokemon battle variety and strategy that the Go Rocket battles provide and move it out of the Pokestop setting — making Go Rocket a fourth team leader battle option.

How to Implement it: I like the Go Rocket battles. They’re one of the harder non-PvP battle options in the game without requiring the massive people investment of a big raid. But players in Pokestop-poor areas may have limited chances to battle team Go Rocket. So, at least for three battles a day3The reward acquisition limit for team leader battles., move the Rocket grunts into the team leader screen and let players battle them from there. Keep the random type and Pokemon choices. Keep the shadow Pokemon reward concept the same. Just give those who don’t have access to Pokestops a chance to play this mode more frequently.

Why This Should Happen: After you’ve done ten or twenty Go Rocket battles, they become boring and tedious. Just like the team leader battles. At least make them like the team leader battles and allow me to do them from my couch rather than having to leave in the winter.

Why It Won’t Happen: Niantic is leaning HARD into the Go Rocket battles in game right now. They clearly think they’ve struck gold here. If anything, I could see team leaders getting moved out of their current implementation and out to gyms or Pokestops, making things even worse for rural players.

Raids – Introduce a Scaled Difficulty Raid System

The Idea: Make every raid beatable regardless of group size…just scale the difficulty based on the Pokemon you’re fighting.

How to Implement it: The current raid system has a suggested number of trainers that should fight each raid boss. Most tier 1 raids are easily soloable, while tier 5 raids range from 4-6 high level players to typically beat4Attack form Deoxys can be soloed despite being a tier 5 raid. I’ve done it. It is not worth the effort for such a bad Pokemon.. This requires coordinating with medium to large groups — which isn’t always practical aside from Community Day for people who can’t afford to spend their entire day playing Pokemon Go. Instead of this, make all raids where the stats of the Pokemon you’re battling are determined by the number of trainers in the raid lobby. From there, tier 1 raids would remain the easiest (and can be beaten with limited, underleveled Pokemon) all the way to tier 5, which will be difficulty to beat within the timer unless you have a fully optimized team.

Why This Should Happen: People have lives. I’ve done one tier 5 raid outside of Community Day in the last 3 months. It’s not worth the effort, especially for Pokemon that are largely just Pokedex fillers. Unless it’s a tier 1 to tier 3 raid, I straight up ignore raids at this point. For a feature that has such awesome potential, it might be the worst feature in the whole game.

Why It Won’t Happen: You know how Niantic does the weekly legendary raid hour? And how an significant percentage of the raid hatch pool is 5* raids? And how Darkrai is effectively the first 6* raid? If anything, Niantic is already going as far away from this suggestion as they possibly can.

Acquiring Pokemon – Thin the Current Spawn Pool

The Idea: Create a limited, rotating set of Pokemon that spawn at a given time in the wild.

How to Implement it: With the start of Generation 5 rolling out in Pokemon Go, there are 500+ Pokemon available in Pokemon Go. While some of these Pokemon can only be acquired through raids, there’s still several hundred possible Pokemon that can appear in the wild. My thought is to thin the pool out — similar to how current type-specific events have boosted spawn rates — and then remove all non-pool Pokemon from the spawns. You could keep a pool active for a month or so, then rotate to the next set of Pokemon. This could even be built within the current event structure5You know, if any of the events had a consistent length with one another.

Why This Should Happen: Gen V’s Pokemon release REALLY made the problem we have currently with a diluted spawn pool hit home for me. I live in a VERY Grass/Rock/Poison/Rock heavy biome (think Mt. Moon in Gen I). In the just over 1 month since Gen V was released in Pokemon Go and when I wrote this6I finished the post on October 25., I’ve seen 6 Drilbur, 10 Foongus, and 2 Ferroseed. TWO. When half of the spawns I see on a daily basis are Bellsprout/Hoppip/Diglett/Cherrim. I get that some Pokemon are more common than others, but if you’re actively advertising that new Pokemon have been released, at least make them spawn frequently. That is to say nothing of the problems with the current egg pools…Gible….

Why It Won’t Happen: There nearly always seems to be an event running in Pokemon Go messing with the spawns. If we could get two weeks straight without an event, this might happen. That said, the last time that happened was….2016? I wish I could give an accurate timeline of this, but it certainly feels like there’s constantly been an event of some sort going on for at least two years straight now.