Saturday, April 13, 2013

White2: Nimbasa to Opelucid

So it turned out that the elevator to the Marvelous Bridge was blocked until after the E4, and there wasn't anything in Anville Town except a view of the trains (though talking to the engineer guy about all seven trains will get you one of the "achievement get" medals).

This wasn't a problem though, because the Driftveil Drawbridge was actually where I had to go to catch a Ducklett.  I nabbed a female and named her Odette, for the heroine of Swan Lake (har har har).

Upon reaching Driftveil, home of the many hotels, I held off challenging the gym until I'd done everything else in town and leveled the team up high enough.  At this point I was still trying to keep Bandit and Bester caught up to the primary team, and also took the time to train N's Zorua and evolve it to a Zoruark.

This meant going to Nimbasa's stadiums each day to battle the trainers there, and to Castelia to challenge the Royal Unova passengers, as well as the guys at Game Freak.  There was also quite a lot of running around in various grassy bits and level-grinding.  

In fact, I spent so long traipsing around Lostlorn Forest looking for rustling grass that I caught several of each of the elemental monkeys, plus four Vespiquen and two Roserades.  Those should all be great for the GTS, though I kept a trio of girl-monkeys with flower names for myself.

Speaking of the seems that the DS Lite doesn't get along with the WPA2 wireless security standard.  Which means that either I have to ratchet my network (and all the devices on it!) back to plain old WEP, or forget about using the game's WiFi based features at home. ARGH.

Speaking of WiFi, I also took up management of Join Avenue, an indoor promenade of shops whose development is greatly hastened by use of the WiFi stuff - trading or battling and the like.  

People you've connected with come walking down the avenue, and you can either invite them to open whatever shop they tell you they want to open, or you recommend a shop to them based on what they say.  If you get it right, that shop's popularity goes up, and so does the avenue's.  As the shops rank up, they sell more stuff.

Problem is, of course, that I can pretty much only use the WiFi connection features when not at home, which is really hampering me. Without hooking up with other Trainers, only a couple of fans come to your Avenue each day. I'd even try battles, since I wouldn't mind losing if the battle has an ulterior motive.

It's nice, can buy a meal or a haircut to make your Pokémon more friendly, or basically buy them stat increases, or get Berries or Moomoo Milks or other items not sold at PokéCenters.

Eventually the team was leveled enough to face Clay in the Driftveil Gym.  I still had to use more potions than I liked, though. So once again, I took my time before challenging the Mistralton Gym, going up Route 7 and through Celestial Tower, as well as back to Nimbasa and Castelia to hit the trainers there.

Once the primary team was up to around level 45, I hit the Mistralton Gym.  All the Flying types fell easily to a single shot of Discharge from Tesla, even Gym Leader Skyla's team.  By this time I'd begun to concentrate on my main team and stopped training the secondary and field Pokémon.

At that point most of the team had achieved one evolution, and it was time to start thinking about final movesets. 

-CarterQ: When I realized I didn't really want Flare Blitz (it carries a painful stat penalty for its use), I decided to just let him evolve to an Emboar, and have him remember Hammer Arm (a lvl 1 attack only an Emboar can remember).  I also decided against teaching him Blaze Burn, since it only has 5 PP and has to recharge on the next turn. 

So he ends up with Flamethrower, Flame Charge, Hammer Arm, and Strength, at least until it's time to take on the E4.

-Tesla: I might not actually take him to the E4, but his final moveset is going to be Signal Beam (against Grass types), Thunder Wave, Charge, and....dunno.  I was going to level him to learn Tunder at lvl 56, but Charge Beam might make more sense.

Peculiarly, TMs in this game don't go away when you use them, the way they used to.  Once you've got one you've got it, and there's no penalty for using it as often as you want.  I kinda miss the old way, despite the obvious advantage.

-Clary: I was waiting for her to learn Leaf Storm, but once again, it has only 5 PP and carries a huge stat penalty.  I might just keep Magical Leaf, or again, look for a suitable TM.

That means she ends up with Leech Seed, Sleep Powder, Giga Drain, and....something.  Either Magical Leaf or something like Energy Ball.

-Clyde: I waited for him to learn Earthquake at lvl 48 before letting him evolve to a Krookorok.  None of the Dark attacks he'd learned besides Crunch were all that great, so I ended up teaching him Shadow Claw. That has an increased crit rate, and he has the Scope Lens, so that should make for a lot of critical hits.  Plus, the E4 is all Dark and Ghost and Psychic and the like, so that should be a good off-type attack for him.

That makes his final set Crunch, Shadow Claw, Dig, and Earthquake.

-Tallow:  I still like the set he achieved many levels ago...Night Shade, Hex, Will O' Wisp, and Fire Burst.  That burn-and-hex combo just works too well to give up. Plus, Night Shade is great for catching lower-level Pokémon without fainting them.

I just found a Dusk Stone in the Strange House, so I should think about giving him his final evolution.  But I want to be sure about Fire Blast first.  I've yet to do the math, but it might also turn out that Shadow Ball would do more damage than even a high-leveled Night Shade.

-Odette: I'm still waiting for her to learn Hurricane at lvl 55, and then she'll have her final set - Surf, Rain Dance, Fly, and Hurricane.

Next up in terms of Gyms is Drayden in Opelucid City. I'll probably want to get everyone up to lvl 50-55 before going in there.

I should probably also train up the cute little Vanillite that I traded from my nephew after scouring the GTS for a Tepig for him.  An Ice type would be a good thing to have against Drayden, not to mention the new Champion, Iris (of all people).  I'll need to look into potential movesets for him.

And then it'll be time to take on the last Gym, which should be the Water gym in Humilau City.  Possibly Tam Plasma will raise its ugly head first.  Guess I'll find out!

In other news, GameStop no longer buys or sells Gen III cartridges.  So there's no hurry to clean any of those games out, because now my only option for selling them is eBay, or possibly the forums on Serebii or Pokéfarms.

I do still want to clear out Platinum, though, and resell that. I'll have to borrow my nephew's clunky old DS, but I'm just grateful I don't have to buy one.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

White2 at last

So I've finally started White2, after letting it sit in the bag since October.

So far I've got 4 badges and 61 Pokémon in my 'Dex (though, as in Sinnoh, Pokémon you've merely seen count for 'Dex purposes) .  Current team is:

-CarterQ: my starter Tepig, who's at lvl 27 T the moment.  I'll want him to replace Ember with Flamethrower at lvl 33 before evolving to Pignite.  After that he doesn't learn anything I want him to have until Flare Blitz at lvl 52.  I might have to evolve him fully before that.  We'll see.

-Bandit:  a lvl 26 Patrat, one of my first catches in the region.  She'll learn Hyper Fang at level 28, but since she already has Crunch which has the same power and is a good off-type attack, I'll want to skip that one.  And since the only useful attack she has yet to learn would be Slam, I can probably just let her evolve and put her away.

Only thing is, she's got Cut, which I don't really want to teach anyone else.  Unova doesn't seem as bad for needing HM moves just to move around the landscape, but I will still need Cut occasionally.  Likely I'll just have to pull her out of the box now and then.

-Tesla: my Mareep, currently at lvl 28 I think.  He needs to get to lvl 32 and replace Thundershock with Discharge before I'll. let him evolve.  I'm not sure yet if I'll be keeping him in the final team; I'd kind of like to beat the E4 with an all-Unova team.

-Clary: the good thing about Petlil is that they're one of those stone-evolvers that don't learn much, if anything, after evolving.  So I don't have to worry about an accidental evolution,just keep going until she learns Leaf Storm at lvl 46.

-Clyde: lvl 28 Sandile.  He's going to learn Dig at lvl 31, and after that the next major move is Earthquake at lvl 43.  Since Krokorrok learns Earthquake at lvl 48 - just a five level difference - I might as well let him evolve right after learning Dig.

-Tallow: lvl 28 Litwick, newly traded from my dear sister.  I might actually like the moves he already has...Hex, which does heavy damage to a status-inflicted targe, works very nicely with Will O' Wisp. Flame Burst is a decent Fire-type move, and you can't go wrong with Night Shade.

But keeping those moves means passing up Shadow Ball, and later he can learn Inferno, which inflicts a burn AND does damage.  Only thing is, it also has an abysmally low accuracy of 50.  I'd have to give Tallow some kind of item that significantly increases accuracy to even consider that move.

And from there...I'm not sure.  I missed my chance to catch my Braviary on Monday, and that was my planned Flying type.  However, I did catch a Sigilyph to give me something to teach Fly to in the intervening week.

Though really, I should consider a Ducklett/Swanna instead, if I can manage to catch one;  they're Flying/Water which would help balance out the slight Fire/Ground bias that my team is leaning towards.  ...Heck, if I was actually planning for the E4 I should just train that Sigilyph.  The Unova E4 is Ghost, Dark, Psychic, and Fighting, so a Sigilyph would probably be more useful. Choices, choices.

Of course, I'd based my team planning much less on what makes sense, and much more on which Pokémon I could stand to look at.  ;)

So next up is trying out the many facilities of Nimbasa, then trying to figure out which direction to continue in.  The road kind of forks from there - I can go to Driftveil, or towards the Marvelous Drawbridge ( which is where I might be able to catch a Ducklett), or maybe even take a train for Anville Town.

Whichever way I end up going, Unova awaits!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


So it turns out that the third version of B/W comes out in October.  Or at least, it would have been a third version, but the games are too fundamentally split to combine.  Instead, the "third" version will be Black v2/White v2.

Rather than play two Unova games in a row, and risk region burnout as with Sinnoh in Platinum, I'll probably just wait until October and get White v2.  And it's probably best to start with a new cartridge, so there's no prep to do before starting the game.

Also, I'm not sure what happened to that second cartridge of LG.  As far as I can tell from the entries here, I was intending to trade it in to fund the purchase of FR -- but I don't remember if I actually DID, nor is there anything here saying so.

Looking more closely at Emerald, I had just three -- three! -- Pokemon left to complete the National 'Dex in Emerald:  Crawdaunt, Cradilly, and Armaldo.  That answers the question of why I was raising a Crawdaunt in FR, and where that Magikarp in the party came from in Emerald II.

With just a little more work and some trading, then, I should be able to pick up my two Hoenn starters.  There might be some second evo's that I'll have to catch/obtain again, but hopefully that won't take too long.

It seems I still need to Pal Park my Entei up to Pearl;  while I'm at it I should take a look at Platinum to see how much it'd take to clear that out.  Maybe I'll only take the main team and the legendaries (did I ever catch Mesprit? do I care?)  Unfortunately, I'll need another DS to clear out the cartridge, but my finances at the moment are such that I shouldn't even consider buying one unless I sell something else to do it.

DS Lite:  new $79, refurb $69
White v2:  $35
Trade-in value of FR, Sapphire, and Emerald II: ??

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Catching the Poke-bug again

Between three games of LeafGreen, one of FireRed, and two of Emerald (while at the same time trying to play SoulSilver), I really wore out my Pokefandom for a while there.

And then, well, there was also Minecraft -- but that could be a whole other blog of its own, and shall therefore be off-topic here.

But I've finally gotten the itch to dive into Pokemon White.  Maybe it was the show that did it -- I'm getting slowly used to some of the Gen V designs as we watch through the episodes.

So the plan is to have my lovely sister breed me up a Rufflet and a Litwick, so that I can have a Braviary (pre-release name Wargle) and one of those chandelier ghosts on my team from the get-go.  I picked my Unova starter months ago -- a Tepig, whose name will probably have something to do with barbeque or bacon.

Then, of course, I'll have to get hold of a cartridge.  Given the money to do so -- and all that, too, is a whole other story -- I need to decide whether to buy new or used.

A new cartridge gives me all the packaging and manuals, and a cartridge that is pristine and wholly mine.  But I never really do much with the packaging except look it over and put it aside somewhere, and while there's always some risk in condition and functionality with a used cartridge, I could perhaps salvage some Pokemon off of it -- maybe some max evo's, or a legendary, or their starter?

I guess it'll depend on what they've got in stock, and I should charge up ye olde DS and bring it along.

That leads to another question.  I really shouldn't spend the money at the moment, but if it's cheap enough, it'd be really nice to have a second DS to use for trading to myself.  Guess that one will depend on how much they're going for, how much I'm willing to spend, and perhaps how much I can get for trading in other stuff.

Like FireRed, for example.  Or the second Emerald game.  Or Platinum -- which I kind of don't really care about, as long as I've caught all the important stuff.  Possibly also Terrence's Sapphire game, though the batteries might be failing on that one.

Which brings me to, what the heck was I doing in all those games??

FireRed, as far as I know, is a wrap except possibly for Mewtwo, if I even feel like going for yet another one.  That cartridge should definitely be cleared out for resale.  Might check first to make sure that I've got all the exclusives traded over.

I believe I've got two LeafGreens?  There's the Rue one, which is the primary cartridge I've been trading everything over to, and that one I'm keeping.  Should check the Pokedex in that one to see if there's anything I need from FireRed.

I know I've got two Emeralds, and the Sapphire cartridge.  These are a little more tricky.  Long-term, I'll be wanting to keep the primary Rue game.  But first I need to complete both 'Dexes and pick up my two Hoenn starters -- a Chikorita, and a Totodile (since I've got Cynder in SS).

After that's done, though, I'll want to clear out the second Emerald cartridge for resale.  As for the Sapphire cartridge, I should Pal Park anything off that I want to keep, and throw them in the Ranch.  Then I can resell that one too, if they'll take it without a working battery.

I can probably clear out Platinum, too;  trade things into SS or Pearl.  Pearl's the important one, since that's the one that lets me put stuff in the Ranch.  I will be keeping Pearl for a loooong time.

When clearing I should probably put emphasis on max evo's, regional exclusives, and legendaries;  along with TMs and other rare items.  But that should give me one FR, one LG, one Emerald, one Sapphire, and possibly one Platinum to trade in, and Pearl, SS, LG, and Emerald to keep.

Guess that means that I've got a bit to do before I can begin White, then.  Too bad I'm too much of a packrat to simply ditch the cartridges without worrying about what's on them!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

FR - An Entei of my very own

Stop the presses and break out the history books, 'cause pigs are gonna fly, beggars are gonna ride, and hell's about to freeze over....I finally, FINALLY caught Entei.  Ladies and gentlemen, behold, the Volcano Pokemon in all his fiery glory!

And it only took, what, two years...?  >_<

But still!  persistence pays off!  Gen III Entei is miiiine.   I spelled his name wrong -- Eihwaz (strength) instead of Ehwaz (movement) -- so I'll have to visit the Name Rater, but eh, details.

After innumerable tries using the Repel method, all it took was a few trips out to Rt. 7 to train a Corphish I'd traded over from the second Emerald game ('cause they only learn Crunch in FR/LG).  Go figure.  Maybe Ash's Pikachu from TRU brought me luck.  Or those shiny Suicune we picked up from Gamestop.  Either way, the long quest is finally over.

So that finally wraps up my FR game.  I'll probably go in after Mewtwo -- and I used the Master Ball for Entei so that won't be exactly fun -- but I can start transferring the random catches up to Pearl for import to the Ranch.  Then I can clean out FR and sell it back (or maybe start a Nuzlocke run?)

And then I can go finish my Hoenn 'Dex...but that's another post.

(artwork found at the way, did you know that the legendary beast trio are based on foo dogs?  who knew!)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Emerald II - Legendary round-up and the EV grind

It's been a while since the last post -- not sure I can remember what order things went in.

Anyway, I've done the rounds and collected the legendaries.  Kyogre and Groudon weren't too bad, the Regis broke out of a slew of Ultra Balls as usual, and once spotted, Latias was a pain to both track and catch.  There was yelling and complaining.  Still, like I shouted at the game numerous times, it was gonna happen, and now they're all safely tucked away in the Specials box on the PC.

The Latias I named Skye, and she will be the companion to the original Emerald game's Latios, Cloud.  Not sure if I'll name the others, except Rayquaza (his name is Serpentine, and he's my Fly/Surf slave).  I've noticed that folks trading for legendaries don't always like them to come with nicknames.

During all that, I had to trade over Hugh and Sockeye from the original Emerald to unlock the Regis, since I hadn't caught a Relicanth and didn't feel like raising another Wailord.  So I took a look at what Pokemon I still needed to raise, and traded some of their first forms between games so that they'd earn Exp faster.

Being me, I've been stupid enough to go for EV training on some of them.  So Portabella finally got raised up to a Breloom with Spore (and I'm in the midst of training her mate Foolscap), and got her Effort Ribbon.  I've also raised a Skitty and used my only Moon Stone in that game to evolve him to a Delcatty;  when I trade him back I'll name him Dandy (he's got Attract, Assist, Faint Attack, and Heal Bell).

I'm currently working on Foolscap (Portabella's future mate), Igloo (a Snover), a Cacnea that I'll probably name Prickle, and a Grumpig whose name I haven't come up with yet.  After that, I have a Numel to raise, and those dang fossils.  Plus I've got two more fossils that I have to restore.  Gotta go get the second one from the Desert Underpass.

I also need a Masquerain, but Surskit can't be caught in Emerald.  Which leaves me the choice of catching one in Sapphire and trading it over to raise, or maybe breeding one that could have one of my Emerald trainer IDs.  I should look up Surskit's egg moves.

Another thing I've done is to go pawing through the Abandoned Ship in both Emerald games and fetch the Scanner for Capt. Stern.  That gave me the Deepseatooth in one game and the Deepseascale in the other, which are attached to lvl 25 male and female Clamperl respectively, all ready for trading back and forth for 'Dex credit for Huntail and Gorebyss.

With all of that done, that should finally see my original Emerald 'Dex completed.  The second game will take a bit longer, since there's some first and intermediate forms I don't have on hand, and will have to catch, trade, or raise.

Still.  Very close now!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Emerald II - We are the Champions

Well, it took two tries, but the Elite Four are down.

I'd turned on the game to do Yet More Training and thought, eh, what the heck, why not just try it.  So I gave the E4 a go.  To my surprise, I made it all the way up to Wallace without too much difficulty.  His Ludicolo was tough, taking out half my team before I finally got it down, but I still had Samson to pit against Wallace's Gyrados.  I was within one hit of winning it when I found out the hard way that if you use something like Detect or Protect against Hyper Beam, the user does NOT have to recharge on the following round.  Ouch.

Afterwards, I found myself standing on the steps of the Pokemon League with all my Pokemon intact.  I was about to reset, but my team had all gained a level or two in the battle.  Sure, I'd lost half of over 200K Pokeyen, but regaining those levels would mean SO much instead of resetting, I saved.

And then I trudged back into Victory Road and continued training.  I got everyone up to lvl 58, except Tabasco who I raised to lvl 59 so I could have him forget Rock Smash and learn Sky Uppercut.  Then I fed everyone a Rare Candy to celebrate, and headed up to the Pokemon League again.  To guard against monetary loss, I bought up a whole bunch of potions and full restores and revives.

This time, things went much more smoothly.  My Pokemon were mostly going first due to their higher levels, and type advantage took most opponents out on one hit.  Wallace's Ludicolo was still a bit of a pain, but Samson got his Gyrados down on the recharge round this time, and it was over.

Hall of Fame, ribbons all around.  My time was something like 85 hours, but eh.

After the credits rolled, I went back in long enough to get the Nat'l 'Dex, the SS Ticket, and the call from Scott about that place he'd like me to visit, i.e. the Battle Frontier.  Oh, and Mom:  that Pokemon they were talking about on TV?  It's red.  :)

So that gives me two completely open Emerald games.  I should be able to catch up the second 'Dex with the first by trading, and then I've only got nine Pokemon left that I'll have to hand-raise to complete them both.  I'll also be able to catch an extra round of legendaries, and my own Latias.  And once both 'Dexes are complete, I'll have the opportunity to collect both of the other Jhoto starters.

And then someday, maybe I can get back to finishing SS.....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Emerald II - E4 Prep

Most of the past few weeks has gone much more to spinning plarn and crocheting than to Pokemon.  Maybe it's the mid-winter darkness, maybe it's the allergies, maybe I over-did my last Poke-binge;  but I've just been too brain-dead to play much.

Nevertheless, the full team's up to lvl 55, via more expeditions into Victory Road than I care to count.  I might try to get them up another level or two, and will probably end up feeding them that last round of Rare Candies to save time.  The Champion's highest-levelled Pokemon is at lv 58, so I'll want to get as close to that as I can stand to.

I wish I could get more rematches, both for the XP and for the cash to buy all those Full Restores and Revives I'll need, but Match Call doesn't seem to like me.  I miss the Vs. Seeker.  It's occurred to me that levelling would go faster if I traded the team to another game, but general stubbornness has kept me from doing that so far.

Before I go for it, I'll want to fix Tabasco's moveset.  Poor thing got stuck with Rock Smash so I didn't have to drag along two HM slaves every trip.  I'll want to keep Blaze Kick and leave a slot for Sky Uppercut;  then teach either Brick Break (via TM) or Seismic Toss (which would require a trade to FR).  According to Serebii, Blaziken can in fact learn Dig as well, so I may do that.  Aerial Ace would be another choice.

And then it'll be time to save, and see how it goes.  I'll be very surprised if I win on the first try without totally relying on potions and revives and such -- and if I lose, I'll have to see whether I've the patience to keep trying with this team.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Emerald II - Ready for Victory Road?

Team Aqua is dealt with, the Sootopolis Gym is down, and Rayquaza is caught.   The team's levels were high enough that the Gym wasn't too much of a problem.  Sky Pillar was still frustrating, but not as impossibly so as it was the first time, and this game's Rayquaza wasn't nearly as hard to catch.

Which's time to head for Victory Road and the Elite Four.

The problem with that is, the Hoenn Elite Four are a serious challenge.  In my original Emerald game, it wasn't until my team was lvl 65-70 that I was able to get a truly decisive win.

The team in this game is only at lvl 50 (except for Joelle who I have to catch up from lvl 45).  The trainers and encounters in Victory Road will help some -- at least for the four team Pokemon I can take along with the HM slaves -- but that'd still only get them to around lvl 55.  Maybe.  If I'm lucky.

But I do have enough badges to win the obedience of any level of Pokemon.  Like, lvl 70+ original team. 

So the question becomes:  do I trade in my team from the original Emerald, and use them to blast through this game's Elite Four?  Or do I slog back into Victory Road as many times as it takes to raise this game's team to at least lvl 60?

The first option would be the sanest...but then I'd feel like I've gotten my team all this way just to deny them the ultimate victory.  Knowing me, I'll probably end up raising them to lvl 55 and trying it anyway.

I dunno.  The whole thing will likely have to wait until I'm done fooling around with trying to handspin plarn.   :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Emerald II - An eternity of EVs, and much HM hate

Well, it took six slices of forever, but EV training is complete.  Effort Ribbons and evolutions all around.

Jamie and Drama's EVs were fairly spread out, with a slight concentration in Atk/Sp Atk for Jamie, in Def/Sp Def for Drama, and some extra Speed for both.  For Joelle I divided her points between Atk, Sp Atk, and Speed. 

Once everyone earned their Effort Ribbons, I held off evolution for Jamie until he'd learned Blizzard (I had him forget Surf to learn it) and for Drama until she'd learned Hyper Voice (it was hilarious watching her take down two opponents at once in a team battle, with nothing but sheer noise!).  Joelle was evo'd directly at lvl 37 to get Shadow Punch, then levelled up to match everyone else (the team is all around lvl 45).

Since Match Call is a pain in the ass, I had to hit the various sea and underwater routes to get them all levelled up that far.  This gave me access to Sootopolis and Pacifidlog.  As to whether you can get into the Sootopolis Gym before the whole mess with the legendaries is cleared up -- no.  The Gym's door is closed, as is the door to Sky Pillar, and that old man is blocking access to the Cave of Origin.   You can swim around all you want, but nothing's going to open up until Team Aqua's been dealt with and Kyogre's loose.

Final movesets for my three new team members are looking like:

Jamie:  Aurora Beam - Ice Ball - Body Slam - Blizzard
Drama:  Stomp - Uproar - Supersonic - Hyper Voice
Joelle:  Shadow Punch - Confuse Ray - Night Shade - something else, not sure yet

So now I've got three more of the Pokemon I need for Hoenn's 'Dex. YAY.  I'll need to trade them back and forth before raising Jamie any more, so I can get 'Dex credit for a Sealeo.

However, this also leaves me with an unforeseen problem:  too many Pokemon, and not enough slots on the team.  Why?   In a word -- HMs.

Technically I think the team at this point would be Tabasco, Samson, Sybil, Jamie, Drama, and Joelle.  Usually, though, I spread out a few of the more useful HM moves throughout the party -- Surf, Fly, and Strength, at the least.  This leaves me with fewer HMs that have to be dumped on a slave, usually Cut and Rock Smash, and that slave generally has enough room for other moves to still be effective as a team member and go to the E4 along with everyone else.

This time, though, since the focus is hand-raising Pokemon for the 'Dex, I've been exceedingly reluctant to just waste their movesets on HMs.  Sure, I've got enough Heart Scales that I can always adjust their movesets later, but somehow I can't bring myself to foist these useless moves off on them.

Instead, I've been using true HM slaves -- Pokemon I don't really need to raise, whose moveset is wasted on HM moves, and who aren't meant to go to the E4.  Problem is, there's so damn MANY HM moves in Emerald that this pretty much uses up two slots on the team, because there's nothing in the Hoenn 'Dex that can learn both Fly and Surf (both of which are indispensable just for getting around).  Worse yet, the HMs that you could do without most of the time in other games (like Cut and Rock Smash) are actually needed fairly often in Hoenn.

Thing is, having to give up two team slots to HM slaves really slows down training ... a LOT.  Unless you don't train the HM slaves up to match the team, in which case you are effectively going around with a party of four.  If your heavy hitters go down, those neglected HM slaves don't have a chance.

The ideal would be to have a single HM slave that had all the moves you need most of the time, and one that had the ones you don't need so often.  In Hoenn, though, you need too many of the moves on a regular basis.  So I guess the best I'm going to be able to do is to divide the moves between two slaves, and just drag them along everywhere.   Yuck.  What a waste of perfectly good Pokemon.

With that said, the division should probably be one for Fly, Cut, Strength, and Rock Smash; and another for Surf, Dive, Waterfall, and Flash.  Too bad that doesn't leave room for any non-HM field moves, like Dig.

I miss my original Emerald team;  especially Meadow and Gossamer, who between them had most of the necessary and useful stuff;  Jubal took care of Surf, and then I only needed one slave for Dive, Waterfall, and Flash.

Or....hmmmm.  I see on the internet that Rayquaza can learn Fly, Surf, Strength, and Rock Smash (plus Flash, Dive, and Waterfall).  Oh ho.  Maybe once I catch this game's Rayquaza, I can make it do HM duty  (one really only needs Cut now and then in certain places) and all I'd need then would be a Water slave for Dive, Waterfall, and Flash.  I could raise my female Chinchou Aurore for that;  I need a Lanturn anyway.   Maybe a Nincada or Anorith for Dig, Cut, Secret Power, and False Swipe.

That way, three Pokemon would get me everything I need;  one for basic getting around, one for the water stuff and Victory Road, and another for the other field stuff.  Ah HAH.

Now I just need to thrash Team Aqua and catch Rayqyaza...ho boy.