Ever make a joke that sticks in your head after you and your friend are done laughing at it? Then the more you think about it, the more it seems like a good idea? Maybe even a great idea! This was the story behind Team Copycat, my first themed Pokémonster team.
It started with me blurting out, “What if I made something really crazy like…five Skitties and a Ditto?” Aside from sounding like a Poké-sitcom, the idea was so appealing that I thought it was worth trying. Skitties are cute, happy little cats and Ditto is…a blob of jello with a face. Winning team, right?
Meow – Level 29
Skitty – Level 34
Conec – Level 34
Eneko – Level 37
Skitit – Level 41
Ditto – Level 42
There wasn’t any EV training for this team as it was more or less proving out how well a theme like this could work. A mostly-uniform team like this is tricky because you can’t fall back on type-variety or even stat-variety without using TM’s and stat boosters. My theory was that having them learn different moves from Skitty to Skitty should alleviate that; it made sense at the time. To level them up, they battled wild Pokémon in Mirage Spots and some secret base trainers. Problem was that they were either severely under-level or just…Skitties. I wasn’t giving them additional help with extra training or boosters, so most battles ended with my supply of revives depleted and one or two fainted Skitties. That should have been a red flag right there.
Team Copycat was not meant for Victory Road. Eventually grinding up 5 of the same Pokémon became mind-numbing and a little depressing as I would over-estimate what they could do and then watch their little health bars empty. It was time to test them and confirm that they really were as bad as I thought. Aaron was kind enough to face me with the team he had put up against the Elite 4 (so I was fighting their proxy, kind of) and, since online and local battles bump everyone up to level 50, I figured I had some kind of a chance.
Which was why it was heart-wrenching to watch my first Skitty, Meow, get toasted by Aaron’s Charizard.
I didn’t have much time to mourn, however, as I sent out Eneko and watched in horror as it was beaten to death by Charizard’s outrage. I changed tactics and sent out Ditto, hoping to fight fire with fire. Ditto successfully transformed into Charizard before getting hit and losing two-thirds of its health. Almost hopeful, I looked at the copies of Charizard’s moves and thought that if I could just get one good bite, I’d salvage a little dignity from the battle. Aaron, however, tactically recalled the fire-type Pokémon only to send out the water-type, Greninja. Since “transform” also copies the target’s type, Ditto was now weak to water and went down quickly. Skitty (the only one without a nickname) was next, followed not long by Skitit which was when Greninja was swapped out for Pikachu. Desperate to knock out one of his team, I told Skitit to use “double edge” right away, knocking the electric mouse out in two turns. Latios was the next up, and efficiently dragon-pulsed Skitit and finally Conec into unconsciousness.
Score: Aaron – 6, Deb -1
Aside from just the theme, I approached this as an experiment with both a uniform team and one of normal Pokémon. Up until now, I’d never bothered to carry many normal Pokémon on my teams because they have no super-effective moves and are kind of bland overall. With exceptions such as Chancey, Wigglytuff and the like, normal Pokémon weren’t my first picks when making a team. Ditto was supposed to be the ace up my sleeve because “transform” can be extremely useful in the right situation, but the Pokémon itself needs better support to really flourish in battle.
I have to concede that this wasn’t a fair test of normal Pokémon, and I plan on making a better thought-out one in the future to see how effective they could be. What I can say is that uniform teams are usually a bad strategy and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a human player use one in my time playing the games. The other key here was evolution. Around level 25 or so, it really starts to matter as you see more evolutions (a lot of Pokémon are able to evolve to their second or final evolutions around this point) and consequently higher stats and more powerful moves. If I had evolved the Skitties into Delcatties or even used Delcatties instead, I may have had a better chance.
Hindsight is 20/20, so hopefully I’ll be able to apply some of this wisdom to my next team and maybe even win this time. Make sure you check back to hear the tale of Team “Garden Variety”!
While I ruthlessly trade and battle Pokémon until they have no more PP, Aaron will be lovingly catching them and giving them homes in his Pokémadness articles.