Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Good things exist to be ruined.

I was coming back from work, and on the radio they were talking about a Montreal restaurant that started selling poutine burgers. You read that right, POUTINE BURGERS. Seriously? Poutine is the meal of the gods, so why is everyone so desperate to create new and innovative ways to tarnish it, from replacing the gravy with spaghetti sauce to putting it in a bun? And besides, how are you supposed to hold such a burger? Typically, things you put in a bun are consistent enough to stay in it without dropping off, which of course isn't the case of fries and cheese curds drenched in gravy.

But still, POUTINE BURGERS. What next, poutine ice cream?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wait, traction is important in MK8?

So apparently the setup I use (the infamous 4.25 speed/4 accel one) is total crap because it has 1.75 traction. That's not me saying it, though. They say it's a death sentence on tracks like Dolphin Shoals and Sherbet Land, but to be quite honest I never really noticed anything in the latter (unlike N64 Sherbet Land in MKW with the Flame Runner, where yeah, you're fucked), and as far as Dolphin Shoals goes I only really feel the lack of traction in that one sharp turn before the !/$?$%ing segment with the pipes, and I'd say the reason why I struggle with this track is because I just suck at it. So as far as I'm concerned, traction's use is extremely marginal.

And even so, even if it was a huge difference maker on these two tracks, I'll gladly take sucking at them in exchange for better performance in the other 30. MKW had the same notion, where Sherbet Land and to a lesser extent Shy Guy Beach were misery for the best vehicles, and yet I don't remember anyone serious about winning using the Magikruiser just for these two tracks. It was Flame Runner and Mach Bike as far as the eye could see, Sherbet Land and Shy Guy Beach be damned.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Who the fuck is Hatsune Miku?

And why should he/she/it be in SSB4?

Monday, July 14, 2014

The full scoop on Mega Metagross and Mega Diancie

When the first CoroCoro scans leaked a few days ago, some people were able to figure out that Mega Metagross would get Tough Claws, despite how blurry the scans looked. This has been officially confirmed, meaning Metagross basically gets a free Life Orb boost on every move it commonly uses bar Earthquake (at the cost of getting hit by Intimidate if you care about that, I suppose). YES PLEASE. Perhaps more important, though, is the fact that we have details on the stat boosts it will boast, with a significant boost to speed as the highlight. And with 100 points to distribute in five stats, if Speed gets the biggest cut it will definitely be enough to land it in triple digit territory. We've seen the good it did the likes of Gardevoir, Medicham and Lucario, so if anyone still has doubts on Metagross' return to OU, I don't know what can convince you. Also of note is the fact that every stat will get boosted, including some wasted points in special attack. Oh well, this thing looks like enough of a beast already, we don't want it to be sent to ubers before the end of the year, right? Still, remember that Metagross is currently out of the top 100 in OU, and is in the lower half of the UU tier, so it absolutely needed help.

As for Mega Diancie, a drastic shift in stats has been suggested, with "extremely high attack and special attack" and "blindingly fast attacks" offset by drops in both defenses. Considering regular Diancie has 100 in both attack stats and 50 in speed, something tells me we're going to be dealing with very significant boosts, especially in speed, which means the defense losses won't be as marginal as Garchomp's speed drop (from a numerical standpoint, I know that speed drop cripples Mega Garchomp greatly in practice). And since Carbink and Diancie have both been all about multiples of 50 so far, my educated guess is that Mega Diancie will be having 50 in HP, 100 in both defenses, and 150 in both attacks and speed. Basically Deoxys-RS without the obscene movepool, but with workable defenses and freaking Magic Bounce. Speaking of which, it really does look like Gamefreak really wants to avoid making an incredibly bulky Pokémon with Magic Bounce, hence this major shift. Otherwise we would've seen a Mega Diancie capable of setting up some Calm Minds with impunity, then putting on the hurt with its admittedly few special attacks.

Now, with that stat shift in mind, how would such a Pokémon be used? Calm Mind sweeper anyway? Maybe use that speed to set up Stealth Rock and screens like Deoxys-E did? I'll be honest, it's hard to say, for the simple reason that ORAS will likely bring about several tutors, and some of them are bound to help Diancie. So it's definitely not guaranteed that Mega Diancie will be going in with nothing but Moonblast, Psychic and Ancient Power on the special side, and Diamond Storm and Return on the physical side. Besides, it's a Pokémon with a BST of 700 and Magic Bounce of all abilities. People will find a way to make it work somehow, that's a guarantee.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Smogon bans Deoxys support forms, Aegislash next?

To nobody's surprise, Deoxys' Leaf Green and Emerald forms were banned with a near unanimous verdict. Can't really say I'm surprised, those guys were exceptionally good at what they did, which not only includes setting up Stealth Rock but also mess with opponents further with screens and assorted stuff, since they have enough defenses/speed to do it.

So that means next up is Aegislash. And while there IS some debate going on, it seems to me like it's going to have to pack its bags and leave soon. The big problem here appears to be King's Shield's added effect, which greatly reduces the amount of moves you can use to damage it without crippling yourself in the process. Some Pokémon would LOVE to use moves that grant more coverage, but are forced to use Earthquake just so they can deal with Aegislash, such as Mega Pinsir with Close Combat for example. And it pains me to say it, but keeping aside two or three moveslots out of 24 JUST for Aegislash is the perfect illustration of brokenness. Of course, the ability to swap between 150 attacks and 150 defenses at will (while being so slow happens to be beneficial, no less) is also commonly cited, but if King's Shield didn't screw over contact move users not named Bisharp, it just might have been okay.

It's also been suggested that giving Aegislash the axe would single-handedly make threats it dealt with dangerous enough to be given their own suspect test afterwards. However, Smogon's official policy is "we'll cross that bridge when we get there", so if they have to test a half-dozen Pokémon just because Aegislash is gone, so be it. A few people who gave their impressions on the suspect ladder claim it's not as likely to happen as previously thought, however, because of the sheer amount of Talonflame spam.

Regardless, it saddens me that for once we have a Pokémon with a cool gimmick that's actually viable, and we're going to lose it because it's just that damn good. *sigh*

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Are you guys psychic or something?

Back when Mega Sableye was first revealed, and we didn't even know its ability, one among you suggested that it and Mega Diancie might get the same ability based on the fact that they were both based on gems.

Whoever you are, since I don't remember, you're a freaking PSYCHIC.

Magic Bounce Mega Diancie, huh? Holy shit this thing suddenly looks insane. Sick defenses so you can't touch it offensively, Magic Bounce so you can't touch it defensively. Even with Diancie's base stats this would be really solid, but with 100 extra stat points? Holy shit we might be seeing Shaymin-S all over again. Absolutely shitty base form, so Gamefreak tries to improve it drastically and ends up going well into overkill territory.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Steel/Psychics primed for a boost?

A Jirachi event has been announced for next month... but only in Japan. What a surprise. And of course, because it's Japan-only it has to be shiny and have an interesting event only move. I say interesting to be vague on purpose, because it could either revolutionize Jirachi play and propel it right back into OU, or do absolutely nothing like Draco Meteor did. I'm talking, of course, about Moonblast. Great choice, considering Jirachi's one of those fairy-like Pokémon that weren't retconned, and Serene Grace makes an amazing combination with it. Imagine a Calm Mind set running this thing. 60% chance of lowering special attack, on top of whatever boosts Calm Mind gets you. I'm drooling at the cheesiness here, even though physical sets are bog standard and special sets, just about never seen. Even so, if there's one thing that could make them more interesting, it's gotta be Serene Grace Moonblast (which Togekiss might also need considering its stay in OU is almost over).

As for Mega Metagross, remember that THIS IS STILL UNCONFIRMED because the scans we have so far are blurry, but it seems it will get Tough Claws as its ability. For the record, this is basically a free Life Orb boost on all of its contact moves, which include, well, every attacking move it ever uses bar Earthquake. Meteor Mash, Zen Headbutt, the elemental punches, Bullet Punch, Hammer Arm... it's safe to say that after the crushing disappointment Mega Sableye was, they knocked it right out of the park here. Unless they end up giving it a big special attack boost like they did Garchomp, I mean.

Unrelated side note: I'm amused at the fury directed at those contest Pikachus. As if we've all collectively forgotten Ukulele Pichu.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Looking ahead: ORAS mega evolutions

So far, the new mega evolutions revealed with ORAS all hold a pattern: there's a logical reason why these Pokémon would be picked. No "man, this is such a random choice" so far. Sceptile and Swampert because they're starters and Blaziken already has one, Sableye because it's Mawile's counterpart, and the latter already has one, Kyogre and Groudon because they're the cover Pokémon, and Diancie because it's an upcoming event and Gamefreak must've realized how crappy they made it.

So, what else do you think will get the mega treatment? There's been a lot of hype over Sharpedo and Camerupt since Maxie and Archie have mega triggers of their own, and it means one of two things: either it's for their respective aces, or it's for Kyogre and Groudon. I wouldn't mind Sharpedo and Camerupt getting a hand, because they really, really need it. Something else I want to see is Mega Milotic, which is in my opinion one of the most likely introductions, because while it's not a version exclusive, it's still clearly Gyarados' counterpart, and it's a kickass Pokémon that also is in dire need of help. I remember being so disappointed when it turned out its typing wasn't changed to Water/Fairy, so there might be a second chance here. Don't screw this up, Gamefreak.

But the one thing I want the most is for Gamefreak NOT to get scared by the prospect of giving huge boosts to weaker Pokémon. While anyone with a brain could've told you Blaziken, Lucario and Gengar would end badly (although credit needs to be given for realizing base Lucario was going to fall into obscurity), before the game came out no one would've imagined Kangaskhan would've wrecked as much face as it did, in major part thanks to the exalted presence of Power-Up Punch. Now I've been told Gamefreak actually acknowledged that they went overboard with it (though I think just preventing the baby from triggering added effects might be all that's needed to balance it), though I have yet to see that for myself, but I don't want to see a whole bunch of megas underperform just because Gamefreak held back to avoid another Kangaskhan fiasco. We've already seen it happen with Mega Sableye. Now think of all those Pokémon that were handed god-tier destruction tools, such as Charizard and Mawile, and STILL aren't gamebreaking. We need more of that kind of improvement to salvage bad Pokémon, and I hope Gamefreak considers the solid hits more than the one miss nobody saw coming.

Edit: Mega Metagross confirmed! Not a huge surprise, being Steven's ace and all, but one can only wonder how Mega Charizard X is involved in all of this. Anyway, here's to hoping for a nice ability. How about Defiant? That'd be great...

Also, a Hoenn Dex expansion has been confirmed. I think everyone saw it coming, considering the Kalos Dex had a massive 450 Pokémon, so going back to 200 would be really lame. Can we hope for better E4 lineups? The originals were littered with duplicates and NFEs, and made for the worst League challenge in my honest opinion.