Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tackling the Battle Institute: advice needed

For those who didn't care enough to try, there are five achievements available in Pokémon X/Y for getting various scores in the Battle Institute, which are 0, 2000, 4000, 6000 and 6500. The first three are a breeze to get and should normally be achieved even by in-game teams, but the last two are a lot trickier.

The general gist of getting a high score involves not only winning the battles, but doing so as quickly as possible while also losing as few Pokémon as possible. It's strongly recommended to do it in doubles, since battles can potentially take less turns while also providing more Pokémon to kill. After looking up what some other people used to try and get 6500, I came up with this first draft, which I wish to proofread first:

Garchomp @ Life Orb
Rough Skin
Jolly, 252 Atk, 252 Spd, 4 HP
- Earthquake
- Dragon Claw
- Iron Head
- Rock Slide

Talonflame @ Sharp Beak
Gale Wings
Adamant, 252 Atk, 252 Spd, 4 HP
- Brave Bird
- Flare Blitz
- U-Turn
- Tailwind

Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
Jolly, 252 Atk, 252 Spd, 4 HP
- Return
- Sucker Punch
- Rock Slide
- Power-Up Punch

Greninja @ Expert Belt
Timid, 252 SA, 252 Spd, 4 HP
- Scald
- Dark Pulse
- Ice Beam
- Extrasensory

Naturally, I'm well aware this team wouldn't last a second in actual competitive play, but that's not what it's meant for. It's supposed to hit AIs hard and fast, nothing else. The main idea is to start out with Garchomp and Talonflame, so that Garchomp can open up with Earthquake while not wasting its partner's time on Protect, instead hitting with priority Brave Bird or Flare Blitz. Unfortunately the Sharp Beak is there as a result of Item Clause, and I decided I'd much rather want the Life Orb and Expert Belt elsewhere. Not that it's a really big problem though, Brave Bird should be my go-to move as much as possible. The last move really is nothing but filler - I decided to go with Tailwind to make the team go first all the time, save for priority. But I suppose WoW and Steel Wing could've done fine - any thoughts on that?

Kangaskhan's moves I'm really not sure of. Return's a foregone conclusion, Sucker Punch is for priority, Rock Slide for spread damage opportunities, and Power-Up Punch is largely responsible for it being sent to ubers - although doubles, and especially the Battle Institute, are a different animal entirely. Still, what amounts to a damaging Swords Dance should always be a good pick, right? Finally, Greninja relies on Protean, the Expert Belt and super-effective damage to get used as my token special sweeper. I had some trouble picking my Water move, to be frank. Surf hits everyone, and since this is the Battle Institute I can't really affort to hurt my partner (especially if it's Talonflame) or waste time with Protect, and Hydro Pump can miss at the worst time, meaning a loss of a turn (and some points) and some more damage on my team (which also costs points, even moreso if something dies). So I decided to go the safe route and use Scald, which has the added benefit of burning the target sometimes. It's better this gen than in the last one too, since Surf and Hydro Pump got nerfed, but not Scald.

Any ideas for improvements? Keep in mind that, as I said, this is supposed to be optimized for the Battle Institute, not human opponents.


  1. I don't know if it's possible for you, but have you considered to give a Choice Band to Talonflame?

    1. Well... as far as fighting the AI goes, especially in such a way, I like being able to switch moves. Especially if, say, a Steel-type pops out next.

  2. Boo! Where's Plusle, Luvdisc, and Sunflora? Give delibird a chance!

  3. As usual, I could think up my own choices but your's are so much better.

  4. You could change talonflame's tailwind to natural gift and give it the corresponding berry for extra coverage.

    1. That's a decent idea, but I also have U-Turn to switch out to other members, so it'd be a bit redundant. Plus, I'd lose some much-needed oomph on Brave Bird, as well as the potential support from Tailwind potentially being a game changer against faster Pokémon. Besides, Natural Gift is only a one-time thing, and with Talonflame's average offensive power, one hit might not be enough.

      As far as math goes, STABbed Brave Bird or Flare Blitz would deal the same amount of damage as super-effective Natural Gift for some types, and even more for the rest.

  5. I was trying to justify Steel Wing, but... I'm not sure of any targets for the move. Brave Bird hits Fairies just as hard, Garchomp easily handles Rocks anyway with Iron Head and EQ, and Ice Types either die to Brave Bird or aren't going to die to Steel Wing.

    Why not Quick Guard, to stop enemy priority like Ice Shard and Aqua Jet users from ruining your lead setup?

    1. Battle facilities are twisted hybrids between competitive and in-game play. What you face there is more practical than the regular in-game crap, but still weird enough that you would never expect it. Not to mention, the AI still seems semi-random in there, as I found out in my Battle Maison run. So overall, it's still much too unpredictable to use something like Quick Guard with any kind of reliability.

  6. Keep in mind that part of the score is also based on how much health you have left, so I would be wary of using too many recoil moves or using Life Orb.

    1. That's true, but at some point the extra damage WILL prevent me from taking hits that would be a lot more punishing, and besides, the point bonus for just keeping the Pokémon alive is pretty big in comparison.