8 Things Only Hardcore Pokémon Players Will Understand

There are people who play Pokémon, and then there are Pokémon players. Normal players play through the story, beat the Elite Four, and set the game down. Another game done and dusted. Not the hardcore players. The standard story is just a long drawn tutorial stage. The real game begins after you become champion. Hardcore Pokémon players might be a rare breed today with so many Pokémon Go players diluting the pool. Nevertheless, if you are like me, and bother about IV breeding your Pokémon, then maybe you can relate to this list.

For everyone else, here are 8 things that you might be missing out:

1. You restart your DS over and over again to ensure the Pokémon you get is of the correct nature

Meme of Pokemon DS

You might never understand the frustration of having to re-catch a Xerneas just to ensure that it is the correct typingA Pokémon’s nature is possibly one of the most important aspects of playing the game. What use would additional Special Attack be on a Scizor? And what more at the expense of its Attack? Choosing to be particular about the nature is absolutely important to get a good foundation in your game.

The issue is with Pokémon that are obtained through special events: starters, legendaries, promotions. Because you cannot simply just re-catch the Pokémon, you will have to continually reset your device until you get the desired nature. I remember sitting at my sofa for two whole hours to ensure my Mystery Gift Gible was Adamant and/or Jolly. But to no avail. The constant resetting can be absolutely frustrating, but having a really strong Garchomp at the end is definitely worth it.

2. You fight hundreds of Magikarp/Rattata/Other basic Pokémon to make sure that your Pokémon’s EVs were maxed out

Image of Roggenrola, Wailmer, Petilil, Yungoos, and Alolan Rattata

Beyond the Pokémon’s nature are its EVsIn short, EVs are bonus “stat points” that you get for beating other Pokémon. Some, like Yungoos, would give you bonus stat points in Attack, while others like Wailmer, in HP. In order to optimize stat gain, you need to ensure your Pokémon beat other specific monsters to attain particular stats.

Ideally, Pokémon should specialize in two major stat points – Speed and Attack for example. But calculation can be a real bitch. You need ensure that you don’t over add a particular stat in a Pokémon and so you need to know how many you need to beat in order to maximise your stat gain.

Can you imagine? Killing off 100 Magikarps, just to ensure your Deoxys is optimised for speed? Sounds stupid right? But yeah, hardcore players need to resort to such things to ensure the competitive advantage. Hours spend mindlessly killing off these poor innocent wild Pokémon  have turned my brain into mush. But at least I have an overpowered Gengar to show for it.

3. You carry only Pokéballs with you, and only use them to catch your Pokémon.

Image of PokeballsMaybe I am speaking for myself over here but – I only catch Pokémon with Pokéballs. There’s something about the look and feel of the classic Pokéball that is simply irreplaceable. Is it it’s red and white colouring? Or the fact that it resembles Voltorb and Electrode? Are the other balls too flashy for my eyes?

I don’t know.

All I know is that I would rather spend 1 hour throwing stupid Pokéballs at a Groudon than take 15 minutes using Heavy/Ultra/Timer Balls.

There is nothing more personally satisfying than having to throw out legendary Pokémon in Pokéballs. The opponent might not even notice. But what the heck – I sure am proud of myself.

4. You strive to catch every single Pokémon, only so that you can get the Shiny Charm.

In-game image of player getting the Shiny CharmShiny Pokémon got introduced into the game during the Gold/Silver versions with Red Gyarados as the first prominent shiny. Of course the Lake Of Rage resident was a freebie for all players – it gave them a taste of what owning a shiny was like.

These mis-coloured variants are definitely a prized commodity in the commodity due largely to their rarity (1/4056) chance of encountering one. Wouldn’t you like to own a FULLY GREEN ROWLET??

Anyway I digress. The Shiny Charm essentially increases the odds (from 1/4056>3/4056) of getting a Shiny Pokémon encounter. It is a reward for completing the entire Pokédex. Yes. The. Entire. Pokédex. You have to literally catch ‘em all, before you can catch ‘em all in their shiny form. This is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Players will have to devote tons of energy to complete their Pokémon collection before they can begin on their shiny variants.

5. You think of Pokémon typing not in terms of Fire or Water etc, but in terms of Tanks, Sweepers, and Utilities

Klefki, Ferrothorn and Scizor

While all three are Steel-Type Pokemon, Klefki, Ferrothorn, and Scizor are Utility, Tank, and Sweeper types respectivelyWe all know the classic equation. Grass>Water>Fire>Grass. That’s the equation that the starters are based on. There are others like Fighting>Dark>Psychic>Fighting. These equations are just for newbies of course.

Sure, super-effective moves are great for trying to take a chunk of HP off your foe, but try hitting a Mega Venusaur with a Skarmory, and you will be in for a rude shock even though Flying > Grass. Because Mega Venusaur and Skarmory are both Tanks, their function in the team is not to deal damage. And even though they can be called upon to hit hard, veterans will know that pitting one tank against the other will be pointless.

Each Pokémon has a function in the team – including Pokémon like Raticate (Sweeper) and Alomomola (Defensive Wall). So don’t underestimate and look down on each Pokémon. They all have a place in every lineup as long as you know their value. Rest easy Raticate. People will learn to appreciate you better now.

6. You stay updated on Pokémon Tier lists and see new discussions on strategies

Screen Capture from Smogon’s Website

Contributors discuss the existing metaWhile every Pokémon has a place in a team, tier lists are banded together to fit similar-stat Pokémons together. This means that you won’t expect comparisons between a Mega Mewtwo and a Farfetch’d because, well that would be kiiinda far fetched.

So while I did mention that Raticate has a place in a team, I should make clear that he is in a different tier compared to your usual popular powerhouses such as Blaziken or Aegislash. While Raticate belongs in a tier called NU (Never Used), it is just a category for Pokémon with a certain power level. There are competitive battles with players only using NU Pokémon, which are as exciting to watch.

New strategies develop and evolve as players discover new interactions and game mechanics. With an ever-changing playing field (Mega-Pokémon > Z-Moves) the standards are always changing with the game.

7. You feel that while Pokémon Go is a good game for the franchise, it is ultimately NOT a Pokémon game.

Pokemon Go Banner

Pokémon Go certainly swept the world by storm with its fun and easy-to-learn playing fieldAlright I’ll be honest, I played the game for two weeks. I couldn’t resist.

Pokémon Go has indeed shot the franchise to a level of fame that the regular games probably were unable to achieve. It reached out to the working crowd and older adults. These were people who had no idea what the difference is between Pikachu and Raichu. Nevertheless, they would still mindlessly swipe up to catch whatever appeared on their screen.

However, this game does not capture the complexities of the actual Pokémon games at all. No movesets or held items; battles are made to be simple. This game was developed with a different audience in mind, and that is no fault of the game. However, hardcore players would definitely stay away from the simple battle system of Pokémon Go in favour of the regular 3v3 or 6v6 online battles on the DS.

8. You completed the Nuzlocke Challenge

Nuzlocke Challenge Banner

The Nuzlocke Challenge is the toughest Pokémon challengeThe challenge of all challenges in Pokémon.

This is for people who find competitive battling too pedantic. It is for the people who think catching all the Pokémon is merely too shallow. The Nuzlocke Challenge beckons only the strong-hearted and iron-willed trainers.

As mentioned in an earlier article, the rules of the challenge are simply brutal. Completing the game using based on which Pokémon you encounter is not fun at all. Releasing Pokémon that you have spent so long to train just because they fainted is worse. This challenge is not for the faint-hearted. You really need to have careful planning over how much damage your Pokémon can take, and how hard they can hit – before starting fights.

More than that, you also need a sense of what is coming ahead. Being aware of what Pokémon you will potentially catch would mean a lot in terms of party planning. You have to make sure you have Pokémon that are equipped to learn utility moves such as Surf, Strength and Fly. Without these, some sections of the game becomes unplayable.

This concludes our list of 8 things that only hardcore Pokémon players will understand. Feel that these are still too casual? Have other things that make you a hardcore player?

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Source for images: Youtube, Wikipedia, Deviantart