My Pokemon Gym: Dragon

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

Kingdra

People love running Swift Swim shenanigans with Kindgra, and if it were on my Water type team, I totally would. With that said, Rain Dance doesn’t have a strong place on my Dragon type team, leading me to have a Sniper Kingdra bent on critical hitting everything in sight. Octozooka is a particular favorite move of mine, meant to hold off any Pokemon that a Sniper-boosted Dragon Pulse or Ice Beam can’t handle. With any luck, Kingdra will take a out a couple of my opponent’s faster threats, which serves the rest of my team well.

Ability: Sniper
Item: Scope Lens
Moves: Laser Focus, Octozooka, Dragon Pulse, Ice Beam

Alolan Exeggutor

I love that Alolan Exeggutor can still learn Explosion. It makes absolutely no sense. Why would something that big and stupid looking explode? It’s amazing. Alolan Exeggutor gets on my team just by that — though I do love running a Curse/Outrage set on it, even if it is completely walled by Mimikyu.

Ability: Harvest
Item: Sitrus Berry
Moves: Curse, Recycle, Outrage, Explosion

Goodra

Okay, fine. I guess I could have done some Swift Swim shenanigans had I used a Hydration Goodra. That said, for as cool of an ability as Hydration is, it’s probably my least favorite of Goodra’s potential options. I’m going with Gooey over Sap Sipper because most people wouldn’t bring Grass types against Dragons anyway, but make no mistake — Goodra is here to stall you out. The Quick Claw is more a precaution than anything else, though I’m only attacking with Flamethrower anyway. If I could get away with running four non-attacking moves, I’d drop Flamethrower for Acid Armor, but then I’m just Taunt/setup bait.

Ability: Gooey
Item: Quick Claw
Moves: Toxic, Protect, Rest, Flamethrower

Kommo-o

One of the final additions to my team gets the spot because of how much I like its weird moveset. Did you know Kommo-o gets Stealth Rock, Bide, and Belly Drum? What in the world is that combination? As a Gen VII representative on my team, I feel like giving Kommo-o a Z-crystal is fitting, even if it is coming off of Dragon Claw rather than Outrage.

Ability: Soundproof
Item: Dragonium-Z
Moves: Belly Drum, Dragon Claw, Poison Jab, Earthquake

Dragonite

I always found it weird that Lance’s Dragonites in the original game focused so much on using Hyper Beam. Yeah, it was the most powerful move in the game, and yes, Dragon moves got the short end of the stick in Gen I. But considering the physical punch Dragonite can pack, it’s weird to me. I’ve chosen to make good on this by making my Dragonite a beastly physical attacker, but also to pay homage to the ridiculous damage Hyper Beam deal out by putting some massive variation in my attack types.

Ability: Multiscale
Item: Kebia Berry
Moves: Superpower, Rock Slide, Iron Tail, Aqua Jet

Mega Altaria

Mega Altaria is typically a stupid-fun mixed attacker, but I quite like running the physical variant that boosts its own stats a lot. Considering I’ve got plenty of Pokemon on the team to deal with my team’s inherent Dragon weakness, I figured Mega Altaria could be a late game cleaner, particularly one that aims to take out anything that isn’t a physical wall.

Ability: Pixiliate (Cloud Nine prior to mega evolution)
Item: Altarianite
Moves: Dragon Dance, Earthquake, Return, Cotton Guard

My Pokemon Gym: Grass

I guess this is a thing now. And by that, I mean I’ve already done three Pokemon types in this format — why not do all of them over time? In all seriousness, I love the adventure that is theorycrafting. It’s something I’ve done for a while on other games, but I’ve kept that madness to spreadsheets in my Google Docs, safe from the sight of others. There’s not a ton of people that want to read about theorycrafting for Fire Emblem or Brave Frontier anyway. But oddly enough, Pokemon theorycrafting gets a lot of clicks and interaction. So why not keep trying? As I’ve done on previous Pokemon team/gym style posts, I’ll be sharing the six Pokemon on my team, along with their held items and moves. I’ll also be giving a little additional background into why I’ve chosen each of these Pokemon. I won’t be using legendary Pokemon on my team, as has been the case in previous posts. Additionally, I’m not going to use Pokemon I’ve used in previous team posts on this list. As we get deeper into the type list, this could prove more challenging1I’m going to be saving Normal and Flying for the end for a reason.. That said, I also tried to mirror this team to how I play Grass types in games. Want to read my other My Pokemon Gym posts? Go read the Fighting, Ice, and Psychic type posts when you’re done here. Thanks to Stephanie for suggesting that Grass should be the next type in this series.

Decidueye

Grass is one of the few Pokemon types where I actually have multiple Pokemon I’d use as my lead. I’ve opted to make my other typical choice the anchor to this team (as it’s the closest thing I could think of to being my signature Grass Pokemon2There is a second Grass Pokemon that I’d say fills that role too, but I’m saving it for a later team thanks to its other type.). I quite enjoy that Decidueye gets access to a ton of tempo-changing moves such as Tailwind and U-Turn, making it a surprisingly good lead. The only problem I have with it is the lack of a good item to put on it, so if you have better ideas than Spell Tag for this type of role, I’d love to hear them.

Ability: Long Reach
Item: Spell Tag
Moves: U-Turn, Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch, Tailwind

Tangrowth

Tangrowth: stalling out teams since 2006. In all seriousness though, I love how Tangrowth is such a verstile bulky Pokemon. There’s a ton you can do with it, ranging from being a wall to a physical attacker, to a special attacker, to a mixed attacker. I’ve tried to reflect that in the moveset below. It’s probably not the best set you could have on Tangrowth, but it is the one that epitomizes what Tangrowth is to me.

Ability: Leaf Guard
Item: Assault Vest
Moves: Ingrain, Knock Off, Ancient Power, Giga Drain

Mega Abomasnow

I really don’t like most mega Grass types. I mean, they’re fine, but they’re not what I prefer to use in battle. Kind of like Grass types in general. That said, there are some objectively good Mega Grass types, of which Abomasnow is one of them. Having Mega Abomasnow on the team allows me to pay homage to my favorite type — Ice — while allowing me to have some coverage against a few worrisome types. The beauty to Mega Abomasnow is that it doesn’t care about Speed. You will always outspeed it. It’s here to hit things hard, no matter how that needs to happen.

Ability: Snow Warning
Item: Abomasite
Moves: Earthquake, Wood Hammer, Ice Beam, Iron Tail

Vileplume

I’m very pro-Oddish and wanted to make sure the Oddish line was represented on my team. While a lot of people like Bellossom, I prefer Gloom’s other end stage as the end evolution of this line. Though this team is surprisingly filled with physical attackers and tanks, Vileplume serves as my coverage special attacker. There’s not a ton of coverage against Fire types on this team, and Vileplume continues that trend. If nothing else, it should be able to take out most anything else that it comes across.

Ability: Effect Spore
Item: Leftovers
Moves: Moonblast, Venoshock, Petal Dance, Toxic

Tsareena

Gen VII has some really good Grass type Pokemon…is a sentence I never thought I’d say about any Pokemon generation. That said, nearly all of my cuts from this team came from Gen VII, including Lurantis, Dhelmise, and Shiinotic. That doesn’t even take into consideration Kartana, which is pseudo-legendary. Tsareena is best known for its signature move, Trop Kick3Not to mention being the most likely candidate in Pokemon for Rule 34 this side of Gardevoir., but it’s also a shockingly bulky Pokemon. The goal here is for Tsareena to serve two purposes — to be the Sunny Day setter for my anchor Pokemon, as well as to hopefully take something down with it.

Ability: Queenly Majesty
Item: Muscle Band
Moves: Sunny Day, Trop Kick, Low Sweep, Play Rough

Leavanny

Instead of using one of my favorite scout Pokemon as a lead, I’ve decided to use Leavanny as my cleanup ‘mon. Leavanny is here for all the critical hits ever, driven in part by its Chlorophyll ability. Yes, this is a double-edged sword against Fire types. But it’s worth the boosted speed. The lone downside to this is that I’m choosing to carry Sunny Day as a just-in-case move. While I’d love to get Sunny Day from anyone earlier in this list, Grass type are generally not known for their speed. Using Mega Sceptile over Mega Abomasnow just to set up Sunny Day seemed like a waste, so I put it on one of my bulky team members, kept it on Leavanny as a fail safe, and decided to leave Fell Stinger off of Levanny’s moveset.

Ability: Chlorophyll
Item: Normalium-Z
Moves: Sunny Day, Giga Impact, Leaf Blade, Shadow Claw

10 Pokemon Go Community Day Ideas Based on Shinies

Nearly three years on from its launch, Pokemon Go is still doing quite well for itself. Sure, there are some flaws in the game — like the fact that we never got the footprint tracker from the game’s launch back — but all in all, it’s a pretty interesting game for one that’s closing in on preschool age. One of the big reasons for Pokemon Go’s success is its constant barrage of in-game events. Though some of the events are hit or miss, one of the game’s earliest creations, Community Day, is still going strong.

For those unfamiliar, on Community Day players will have a three-hour window4There have been a couple of exceptions to this rule, most notably Eevee’s Community Day, which lasted 48 hours. where a pre-selected Pokemon will spawn with significantly greater frequency than normal. The Pokemon for Community Day is typically either the base form of one of the various starter Pokemon from the games5Squirtle, Chikorita, Torchic, etc. or a Pokemon that’s known to be overpowered6Metagross, Salamance, Dragonite. or has a special gimmick in the main games7Amphraros, Pikachu.. The end stage evolution of the Community Day Pokemon also gets a special move bestowed upon them that they can’t learn any other time.

The other common thread with Community Day is that it typically coincides with the launch of the shiny forms of that Pokemon’s evolutionary line. Shiny Pokemon do appear at an increased rate, though it is still somewhat low, leading to variable luck between trainers. With the most recent Community Day, Bagon, just wrapping up this past Saturday, I thought it’d be a good time to throw out my ideas for some potential future Community Day Pokemon.

For this list, I’ll be basing all of my entries off of the shiny Pokemon I’d be most excited to see as part of a Community Day. This means that any Pokemon whose shiny has already been released — including my personal favorite, Shellder — are excluded from this list. Furthermore, I’ve chosen to exclude starter Pokemon from this list, as they’re all but guaranteed to eventually get their own Community Days. Additionally, I’ve limited this list to Pokemon from Generations I-IV, as those are the only generations released at the time of writing. All images courtesy pokemondb.net.

10. Voltorb

Voltorb
I genuinely considered cutting this list to nine before remembering that Voltorb’s shiny existed. While it has the same basic color swap as another entry later on this list, the flip from red to blue is simple enough to look good on both Voltorb and its evolution, Electrode. As for its Community Day move, this would be the perfect time to introduce a 1-bar charge move for Explosion, as that’s pretty much Electrode’s entire gimmick.

9. Croagunk

Croagunk
I’m really picky about how I feel about shiny Pokemon with loud coloration. I either love them (see: Shellder, Scizor, Espeon, Murkrow) or hate them (see: Alazakam, Heracross, Masquerain). That said, I quite like Toxicroak’s best attempt at recreating the 1990s Charlotte Hornets jerseys. Croagunk itself is noticeable enough that shinies won’t be hard to spot, so that helps it in my book too. For its special move, I’d give Toxicroak Focus Blast, but only because it already gets most of the good moves it can learn anyway in Pokemon Go.

8. Shuckle

Shuckle
Welcome to the No Fuckle Zone. There would be some people in my local community hyped as hell for this Community Day, in part because of the beautiful artwork that is this shiny. Like a couple of other entries on this list, Shuckle has some other things working against it, thereby keeping it low on this list. It’s the only Pokemon on this list without an evolution, meaning it’ll have to learn the move on Community Day via catch. Beyond that, Shuckle’s offense is putrid, so regardless of what move we give it, it’ll still deal minimal damage. So let’s just give it Rock Slide to mess with people.

7. Weedle

Weedle
I love Beedrill’s shiny. It’s one of my favorites in the entire game. That said, Weedle gets a low spot on this list because it suffers from the same problem that one of my least favorite Community Days — Bulbasaur — had. The regular and shiny sprites look super similar. Granted, this was common in Gen I, but it does hold Weedle down. Beedrill would ideally be the Pokemon to introduce the move Fell Stinger, which boost attack each time it’s used. Think a Bug version of Power Up Punch, at least for purposes of Pokemon Go.

6. Bidoof

Bidoof
Shiny Bidoof is a meme. You cannot evolve a shiny Bidoof obtained on Community Day. It will know Superpower and it will wreck you all. Praise be.

5. Electrike

Electrike
Pokemon whose evolutionary line have wildly different shinies can be a little jarring. Hell, just look at the Shellder line if you want an extreme example of this. That said, while the Electrike line has two very different shiny color schemes depending on where in the chain you are, it works. I like the blue Electrike and the gold/gray Manectric equally well, meaning this would be one of the few Pokemon I’d keep a shiny evolutionary family for. Manectric would ideally be the introduction of Shock Wave to the game, giving it a reasonable reward for not being Luxray.

4. Tangela

Tangela
Green spaghetti. We all support this, right? Cool. Give Tangrowth Power Whip and we’ll call it a day.

3. Seedot

Seedot
Have you seen the shiny Seedot line? They’re all amazing. All of them. Seedot’s silver and orange color scheme in particular is one of the more unique shiny sprites in the game, which is a shame, as it’s wasted on a line that’s not particularly good in Pokemon Go. In an ideal world, Shiftry ends up with Grass Knot as its charge move on Community Day, but if I’m realistic, it’ll end up with Leaf Tornado, which might be the single biggest dumpster fire of a move in Go right now.

2. Riolu

Riolu
Let me tell you how much I’d love to see a Community Day for a Pokemon that typically only hatches from an egg. Whether its Riolu, any of the baby Pokemon, or the Alolan types that only come from eggs, it’d be a great way to increase Community Day interest. Riolu is recognizable because of its evolution’s presence outside of the Pokemon main series, not to mention that Lucario has a bevy of moves we could give it. That said, my main reason for picking it over other egg-based Pokemon is because of that yellow and gunmetal shiny. I know it’s not everyone’s taste, but it works in this case.

1. Hoothoot

Hoothoot
If memory serves, the first shiny Pokemon we saw in the anime was Ash’s Noctowl. How Hoothoot hasn’t gotten a Community Day yet solely based off this fact alone is stunning. But here’s the thing — Noctowl is an awesome shiny. The gold and rust coloring is a huge improvement over Noctowl’s normal brown coloration and is (at least in my opinion) one of the best looking shiny Pokemon of all generations. Giving Noctowl Air Slash as a quick move for Community Day would be a nice touch, as it’s one of Ash’s Noctowl’s signature moves.

My Pokemon Gym: Psychic

I came to a startling realization the other day. For the first time in well over a year (if not more), I had no drafts in my blog’s Drafts folder. Everything I had started as a draft was finally complete, had been merged into something else, or is something that I ended up scrapping for parts for my work in progress. Well shit. Now what do I do? Since I’ve done two different My Pokemon Gym posts (Fighting, Ice) to this point, I feel like it’s about time to revisit this concept. This is in no way because I was desperately hoping Fire Emblem: Three Houses would be out by now so that I could review it. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

In preparing for this post, I decided to pick a type that wasn’t one I feel super strongly about one way or another. Instead, I picked my type thanks to the single best written character in the first season of the Pokemon anime, Sabrina. She was a difficult gym leader to fight in the Gen I games8Mostly because of how broken the Psychic typing was in those games., though she could be managed if you had something that could outspeed her. While Psychic typing has fallen off in later games, it’s still one of the better typings in the game, not to mention one I struggled to make a team for without repeating Pokemon I’d used on other teams.

As I’ve done on previous Pokemon team/gym style posts, I’ll be sharing the six Pokemon on my team, along with their held items and moves. I’ll also be giving a little additional background into why I’ve chosen each of these Pokemon. I won’t be using legendary Pokemon on my team, as has been the case in previous posts. My main goal in this post was to not reuse Pokemon from the other teams I’ve done, which means no Jynx and no Gallade9To give you an idea of how little I use the Fighting type in games, I had this post completely finished with this rule in mind, only to go back and notice I had used Gallade in my Fighting type gym post.. That said, I also tried to mirror this team to how I play Psychic types in games. While I love elemental coverage on Fighting types and love troll-y, trapping, instant killing Ice types, you’ll see my Psychic strategy below.

Meowstic

The first of three pure Psychic types to grace this team features a struggle that all Psychic types face — how do you hit Dark types? Female Meowstic struggles with this in particular, as it doesn’t gain access to Miracle Eye like its male counterpart. That said, Meowstic is the scout of my team, as the rest of my team is intent of taking out the ever dangerous Dark type, along with Psychic’s other weaknesses in Bug and Ghost. Meowstic is a lead to see what I have to deal with.

Ability: Infiltrator
Item: Choice Scarf
Moves: Fake Out, Signal Beam, Shadow Ball, Psychic

Hypno

I lacked friends as a kid10Read: I lacked friends who had Pokemon and a Link Cable., meaning I was locked out of the possibility of getting Alakazam, Golem, Machamp, and Gengar. As a result, my Psychic type of choice in the original generation of games was nearly always Hypno. Its tanky nature made it superior to Kadabra’s frailness, plus it has a shockingly good Attack stat for a Psychic type. Barrier does a bit to help its lackluster Defense stat, but the goal is to help Hypno live as long as possible by any means necessary in an attempt to stall out an opposing Special Attack ace.

Ability: Inner Focus
Item: Muscle Band
Moves: Barrier, Drain Punch, Zen Headbutt, Fire Punch

Mega Gardevoir

I originally had Gallade here as my dedicated Dark type killer, only to realize my violation of my own rule after the fact. I really do like the Ralts line in general, so it’s not like this is a disappointment. Gardevoir relies heavily on Psychic and Fairy attacks, and I’m not going to change that here. That said, I will say I do prefer Gallade in single battles and Gardevoir in double battles. Mega Gardevoir paired with Oricorio is hilarious if used correctly.

Ability: Pixilate (Trace prior to Mega Evolving)
Item: Gardevoirite
Moves: Hyper Voice, Calm Mind, Thunder Wave, Psychic

Delphox

I didn’t have a ton of cares for the Fennekin line until I spent the better part of three weeks breeding one as a present for a friend for her birthday. Delphox is super fun to use in game, particularly because of how thoroughly it scares away Bug types. Laugh all you want, but Bug types are much better now than they used to be11This is thanks in massive part to the buff to Leech Life.. Delphox is here to trap you and slowly chip away at your health, and it will keep living thanks to heavy investment in Defense and Special Defense. Also, I made a massive oversight neglecting to have Delphox on my mega evolutions we need to see list.

Ability: Blaze
Item: Leftovers
Moves: Fire Spin, Rest, Sleep Talk, Toxic

Starmie

The hardest debate I had was for the fifth spot on the team, as I was stuck going back and forth between Starmie, Alolan Raichu, and Exeggutor. In the end, I picked Misty’s signature Pokemon because I’m a bit more attached to it than I am the other two. I can’t begin to tell you how much I wish Starmie got access to Curse, as it’s too fast to use Analytic effectively. I have a plan to deal with it, but I don’t like it.

Ability: Analytic
Item: Iron Ball
Moves: Scald, Cosmic Power, Thunderbolt, Psywave

Espeon

 

The Mountain Dew fox is back! And, like Mountain Dew, things just magically bounce around in its presence — in this case status conditions. I love how stupid this set is. I don’t care if there’s zero way for it to his a Sableye. It’s fun. And that’s the whole point of Pokemon.

Ability: Magic Bounce
Item: Psychium-Z
Moves: Morning Sun, Calm Mind, Last Resort, Stored Power

How Smeargle (Almost) Made Me Quit Pokemon Go

aka: Yes, people do still play Pokemon Go, you anti-nerd killjoy.

In late February of this year, Pokemon Go finally introduced one of the few Pokemon in the first four generations of the series that had not yet been released — Smeargle. While there were still other Pokemon that hadn’t been released in the game to this point, Smeargle’s omission was both peculiar and understandable, all at the same time. On one hand, most of the Pokemon that had featured slow releases in Pokemon Go had either been legendary/mythical Pokemon12Mewtwo, Lugia, Articuno, Mew, Celebi, Dialga, etc., had unique ways of evolving13Evolving via trade with an item, evolving when leveling up while knowing a certain move, evolving while in a certain location, or Feebas’ weird double evolution possibility., or were Spiritomb14The idea behind this — doing a series of tasks based around Spiritomb’s lore — was amazing. The actual quests themselves were tedious as all hell, as everything around Spiritomb revolves around the number 108.. On the other hand, Smeargle feel into a small subset of Pokemon whose entire gimmick in the game wasn’t covered in any way in Pokemon Go. The best parallel was Ditto, which uses the move Transform prior to changing into whatever Pokemon it’s facing.

Smeargle only learns one move in the main series games — Sketch. The move Sketch allows Smeargle to copy whatever move was last used on it and permanently learn that move to its moveset. This means that Smeargle can learn nearly any move in the entire game, save for the moves Chatter, Struggle15Even though Smeargle can’t learn Struggle via Sketch, it can use the move if it depletes the uses of all of its known moves, just like any other Pokemon., and Sketch itself. Considering the largest movepool in Pokemon Go prior to Smeargle’s release was Mew at 39 total moves, Smeargle certainly could have proven to be a challenge for Pokemon Go developer Niantic.

The way Niantic chose to implement Smeargle in the game was ingenious. In another recent update, Niantic introduced its AR camera feature. This feature allows you to take photos of Pokemon already in your inventory with those mons projected in the real world. This feature was already present when you encounter wild Pokemon16Though quite unwieldy, as most players I know completely shut off the AR catching mode to make catching easier., but because Pokemon Snap is a fandom that just won’t die17I adore Pokemon. This blog has plenty of evidence of that. But where I break from the Pokemon fan base is in my distaste for Snap. Not only should Snap not be remade, it’s proof that just because you slap Pokemon on something doesn’t mean that thing will be good., this was a hotly requested feature in Go as well. Smeargle will randomly photobomb your picture with whatever Pokemon your taking pictures of, giving you a chance to capture Smeargle after the event.

Notice I said randomly in that last sentence. Yes, your encountering of Smeargle is at the mercy of RNGesus. This is where my rage-fueled story begins. Most times below are estimated, though I have a few exact time stamps from pictures.

  • Monday, 4:14 pm: I learn that Smeargle is in Pokemon go and how to acquire it. I load the game, take one AR picture of my Alolan Vulpix, see I didn’t find Smeargle, and close the game. I find the feature and encounter mechanic really cool, marking the last time I have this thought.
  • 7:45 pm: After dinner and cleaning up our kitchen, the wife and I begin trying to encounter Smeargle in earnest. My father-in-law texts saying he found his in around 60 photos, so this seems like a fun way to kill twenty minutes or so before I start editing.
  • 8:00 pm: Both the wife and I are around 100 photos without seeing Smeargle. We’re having fun seeing what stupid pictures we can take, so it’s fine.
  • 8:15 pm: After some searching on Reddit and Discord, we learn that Smeargle’s appearances are completely RNG based. While some people are finding them quickly, others are literally in the thousands of photos with no encounters. My heart sinks a little, but we keep going.
  • 8:30 pm: As part of our last search, we learn that Smeargle can get moves from Community Day Pokemon. This leads me to taking the next 100 or so of my pictures of an Espeon I have that knows Last Resort.
  • 8:50 pm: I am now quite tired of looking at Espeon’s face. Both my wife and I are growing frustrated with the process. She’s at around 250 pictures, I’m just over 300.
  • 9:05 pm: My wife wants popcorn and House Hunters. She has since the Smeargle search started. We’ve both grown angry at the lack of HGTV in our lives. We resolve to spend five more minutes trying to find Smeargle before we give up.
  • 9:06 pm: My wife’s mundane super power kicks in and she encounters Smeargle within 60 seconds of the previous discussion. I decided I’m going to finish out our pre-discussed five minutes, go make popcorn, and continue searching for Smeargle, as the asshole has already ruined my editing time.
  • 9:12 pm: Popcorn in hand, my photo taking resumes as we watch a young couple with a $900,000 budget look for a home in rural Ohio. She’s an avant-garde perler bead artist while he invented hand sanitizer for blockchain. They agree on nothing, yet want a place where their pets — which they insist on calling fur babies — can roam free. The pets will be picking the house. Somehow, this infuriates me less than Smeargle.
  • 9:35 pm: My wife goes to bed. The struggle continues.
  • 10:15 pm: Now at over 500 pictures with no Smeargle, I pause for a few minutes to do some research on how Smeargle works. Apparently you’re limited to getting one per day. Which is great, as I still have zero. I find a Reddit post where someone says they’re over 2,500 pictures with no Smeargle. I consider going to bed, but I’m committed at this point.
  • 10:45 pm: After another half hour of failure, I open Smash Brothers to kick the crap out of something out of rage. I go to Spirit Board and Smeargle is one of the first things that pops up. Fuck you.
  • 11:25 pm: I finally relent and decide it’s time for bed. I’m over 780 pictures at this point. I try taking a picture in the dark to see what happens, but Pokemon Go’s AR function can’t recognize a flat surface in the dark. Which is great, because it seems to have a hell of a time doing the same thing in the light, so at least it’s consistent.
  • Tuesday, 7:50 am: I get to work and have a little time to kill before my shift starts. Smeargle hunt, round two.
  • 7:58 am: Eight minutes later, Smeargle finally shows up. It photobombed a Shuckle, because you don’t fuckle with Shuckle. I didn’t get the moveset I want, but I don’t care. I’m done. I’m fucking done.

Listen, I get it. Some games have RNG-based grindfests. And if that’s your thing, awesome. But Niantic? This was genuinely the worst thing I’ve had to do in Pokemon Go. And I was around when the original gym system existed. If you’re going to give us Smeargle in this way, at least bring back the footstep Pokemon tracker. That was the best.