the ribbons of generation 6
it's time for a reides update!!! this post is going to focus on reides the kingdra's generation 6 adventure!
first of all, you might be wondering why there's no post devoted to the ribbons of generation 5. like i mentioned briefly towards the end of my gen4 post, the gen5 pokemon games have no ribbons in them... not even one for entering the unovan hall of fame! thankfully, this weird lapse in the ribbon trend was relatively short-lived, as ribbons came back in earnest for generation 6! and so the grind continues...!
this generation of the pokemon games includes both the kalos AND hoenn regions. thanks to my friends and our shared memories of playing these games together, i have a whole lot of personal fondness for this generation - so i knew that i'd enjoy this segment of reides' journey. also, since reides hails from emerald version, it meant that he was going to have a bit of a homecoming.
of course, i gotta take a quick moment to mention my other ribbon master posts! they can all be found on my blog page. (i'm starting to think that i should make a devoted section for linking to them in my pokemon shrine... but that's not up just yet, so, we'll see!) as for links to the specific posts: the setup for the challenge is here, gen 3's segment is here, and gen 4's segment is here.
now then, let's get started!!!
luckily, since i got my first file of y to the post-game and never replayed it, i was able to use playthrough from Way Back When in reides' ribbon quest. this saved a whole lot of time, of course! for those who don't know, gen6 of pokemon introduced a somewhat controversial decision. in an attempt to streamline the ribbon page, gamefreak consolidated all of the contest and battle tower ribbons into two fancy plaques. on one hand, this is kind of sad, as it meant that 48(!!!) ribbons were now just... 2. that meant for way less scrolling on the ribbon page. however, on the other hand, it's kind of cool, too, as the contest memory ribbon and the battle memory ribbon are both styled like plaques and are really, really gorgeous.
since reides managed to gather all of the relevant ribbons, he got two shiny gold plaques for his hard work. you can see those plaques in the bottom row of this picture, which i took upon his arrival in kalos.
it's worth noting that, in generations 6 to 8, the golden battle memory ribbon has a requirement of 8 battle tower-related ribbons. in these gens, if you have less than 8 battle tower ribbons, you get a silver plaque instead. a few months ago, however, gamefreak made a FANTASTIC decision and changed the golden battle memory ribbon's requirement to 7 ribbons! this was likely implemented to make up for the now-defunct gen4 wifi servers. it was great news for people who didn't have the means of connecting to the fan servers that i detailed in my gen4 post. regardless, i was still really happy to have the gold plaque at this part of my journey. i didn't regret my decision to take on the world ability ribbon in the slightest... even if the sight of a perfectly normal machamp now makes me tense up out of fear of dealing with a hacked no guard sheer cold user.
anyway, my first order of business was definitely opening up pokemon amie so i could FINALLY play with reides!
i was looking forward to this for such a long time!!! i immediately fed him a bunch of poke puffs and pet him a whole bunch. i would've done this even if i didn't have to do it to get a ribbon - but it turns out that maxing out your pokemon's affection in amie is, in fact, a requirement for one of the gen6 ribbons! namely, you need your pokemon to ADORE you for the best friends ribbon.
there's actually a way to grind for this ribbon so that you can get it pretty quickly! i'd feed reides pokepuffs until he was full, then i'd pet him until he started spawning music notes instead of hearts. at that point, i'd play three rounds of tile puzzle on easy mode so that i could get more pokepuffs, reset his appetite, and get my petting to spawn hearts again. each round of this puzzle game can be completed really quickly, so i figured it was the optimal difficulty for my purposes - but any minigame would definitely work! the tile puzzle game also gives you some cute little pictures of your party as you complete each puzzle, which i thought was a great added bonus! sometimes, additional pokemon would photobomb, too.
for maxing out reides' affection, i got a throne fit for royalty.
i then visited bonnie in lumiose city, where she was chillin over in prism tower. (apparently, she only shows up after you beat lumiose's gym leader - namely, her brother, clemont.) she was impressed with the bond that reides and i shared and we got the best friends ribbon.
we then scuttled on over to the pokemon league, which we challenged in order to get the ribbon for entering kalos' hall of fame. i'm still sad that we couldn't get one in unova, but i digress... maybe someday, be it in a remake or some sort of new adventure set in unova. (since we're going to unova for the upcoming indigo disc dlc, maybe it'll even be there!)
at any rate - i somehow forgot that kalos' league is absolutely amazing! each member of the elite four is so iconic, and they each have BEAUTIFULLY decorated rooms that reflect their respective personal styles very well. i had to take a photo of champion diantha's room; it was just so, so gorgeous. the stained glass flooring reminded me a lot of terapagos' terastal form!
the place's aesthetics aside, reides was pretty much able to solo the league on his own... what a champ! even though he did most of the heavy lifting, my whole party (including this random gengar named gaspar that i got wonder traded way back when; he was in my party when i arrived so i decided that he could come along) got kalos champion ribbons.
it was then time to take on one of my favorite little mechanics introduced in the kalos games: super training! while ev training off wild encounters is my usual go-to nowadays, i really like this feature. back in the day, it pretty much introduced me to the concept of ev training, so i feel like it deserves a whole lot of my respect, haha. i had all of the courses unlocked thanks to my training in the past, but i still had to clear all 30 of them with reides. i got to work on that while i was doing some super training of my own - i.e. while i was walking on a treadmill. lmao.
eventually, reides had all 30 of the necessary medals for the training ribbon. i hopped in a cab to go see the character who'd give it to me and learnt that super training is a whole Thing in kalos; the term 's.t. meatheads' had me losing it.
though i put it off for as long as i could, it was finally time to face gen6's battle tower - the battle maison. thankfully, gamefreak realized that they went a little too wild with gen4's six battle tower-related ribbons and i only had to get two battle maison-related ribbons in gen6. the first of these ribbons would be from beating one of the normal battle modes (namely, emerging victorious against the chatelaine at battle #20 of it). the second one was for achieving a streak of 50 on one of the super battle modes, which would require beating the chatelaine at battle #50.
i decided to take on the single battle mode for this ribbon master quest, which... may have been quite the choice. it was my first time taking the maison on, and i heard (both from friends and from various posts made by people online) that the single battle mode was the hardest one. you may be wondering why i opted to choose that mode, then. unfortunately, i don't really have an answer for that. I Just Did. HAHA.
speaking more seriously, i'm generally more comfortable with battling one-on-one, so i opted to go with what was familiar to me versus what would be easier to me. as it turns out, the first battle maison ribbon (the skillful battler ribbon) was incredibly easy to get on reides. i used the same ol' team of albatross, origin and reides and yoinked it on my very first try. after breezing through it, i had one HELL of an ego. "gen4's tower was way worse," i told myself. "if my team got through that, they can get through anything."
I WAS WRONG.
AND THIS SMALL CHILD WAS RIGHT.
my streak in the super singles battle mode broke several times in the 30s; more times than ever before!!! my team was being hard-countered. even when i opted to replace reides with persana the suicune (you only need your ribbon master for battle 50; it's fine if you don't have them present in your party for the full streak), we were still having an incredibly hard time. i knew that i couldn't brute force my way through the maison if i wanted to get through gen6 in a timely manner. so i opted to try out a very, very popular little strategy for grinding wins in it.
this strategy involved none other than the cute steel bug known as... durant.
(fair warning: this part of my post is gonna get a little technical!)
wild durants typically have the swarm or hustle abilities. however, truant is available to durants as a hidden ability... and a truant durant is the absolute crux of this strategy.
truant is a strange little ability that makes it impossible for your pokemon to attack consecutively; your truant pokemon can attack on turn one but will then spend the entirety of turn two lazing around. this ability sounds like it'd be absolutely useless on a durant, right? it probably would be... if our awesome little bug didn't learn entrainment at level 44.
entrainment allows your durant to change its target's ability to match its own ability. this isn't permanent, of course - a pokemon who got its ability changed by entrainment gets its ability back to normal once it's switched out, or after the battle ends. but pokemon in the battle maison are very rarely switched out, so... you see where i'm going with this, surely!!!
the truant durant strategy basically relies on outspeeding your opponent and landing entrainment on them so as to pass the traunt ability to them. after doing that, you swap your durant out for another pokemon. it can't just be any pokemon for this strategy to work, though. you'd need one with the move protect, as well as a stats-boosting move, such as dragon dance or shell smash. by using protect on the turns that you expect your opponent to attack on and using your stats-booster on its traunt-afflicted turns, you can safely max out your pokemon's stats and proceed to sweep the entire enemy team. the general pattern is therefore as follows:
1) your durant uses entrainment, giving the opponent traunt
2) you swap to your stats-boosting pokemon*
3) your stats-booster uses protect, avoiding damage from the opponent
4) your stats-booster uses its stats-boosting move*
5) repeat 3 and 4 until your stats-boosting pokemon has maxed out stats
* = your pokemon takes no damage, as it is a traunt turn for your opponent.
please note that this order shifts a bit if your durant gets knocked out on turn one! if it does, you get a free swap *into* a traunt turn, so your stats-boosting pokemon doesn't need to start off with protect and can get right to boostin'.
in order to get a traunt durant, i knew that i'd have to use sweet scent in order to spawn horde encounters. within hordes, pokemon have a small chance of having their hidden ability. however... i also needed that durant to have a speed boosting nature so that it could outspeed whatever enemies it faced. ideally, i wanted a jolly one; one that would have reduced special attack for increased speed. i COULD have simply caught a small army of truant durants, but i was wary of testing my luck like that and decided to test it in another way that was, hopefully, less time consuming. basically... i hatched ralts eggs until i got a jolly one with synchronize. with this ralts leading my party, the pokemon that i encountered had a 50% chance of being jolly natured, themselves - even while the ralts was fainted. i then grabbed my sweet scent user - a cute little spritzee - and got to challenging hordes of durants. after catching 3 truant ones, i finally managed to get my hands on a jolly natured durant with the traunt ability. i named her 'donatella.'
then came the matter of my stats-boosting sweeper pokemon. i went through my boxes and noticed that i had a ton of leftover pokemon from various breeding projects during my y playthrough. (just as this gen opened my eyes to ev training, it also opened by eyes to iv breeding!) i saw that i had an adamant dratini with perfect ivs, as well as its hidden ability. i knew that dragonite's hidden ability, multiscale, would give it some tankiness in the battle maison (it reduces the damage that the pokemon takes when its hp is full), and i also knew that dragonite could learn dragon dance (a move that increases both speed and attack) as well. i decided that it was finally this little dratini's time to shine after spending years and years in my pc. i named her 'venus.'
finally, there was the matter of my third pokemon. using one of my already-trained pokemon was definitely an option, but i saw a LOT of people online talking about how cloysters with the skill link ability can easily hard-counter the super single battle chatelaine's team. to employ strategy, you give your cloyster a focus sash and have it use shell smash on the first turn of the battle. the focus sash keeps your cloyster safe from being ohko'd on that first turn, and, after getting the shell smash buffs, it can outspeed most of the battle chatelaine's team. skill link allows cloyster to land the MAX NUMBER!!!! of hits for multistrike moves, giving its icicle spear attack a whole lot of power - enough power to k.o. the chatelaine's tornadus and thundurus. while the chatelaine's choice scarf-wielding landorus potentially poses a problem (as it may outspeed your cloyster and potentially finish off the last of its hp), you can easily circumvent this by using ice shard on it, instead.
this little strategy works consistently, so i figured i'd raise a skill link cloyster, myself... just to be safe. while trying to hatch a jolly ralts with synchronize, i actually hatched an adamant one with synchronize, too - so i used him for my little shellder hunt. i fished a suitable shellder up from the sea in no time at all and named her 'applause.' here is a picture of my new battle maison warriors, all ready for the training grind:
i ev trained this trio of pokemon by giving them power items (which boost the amount of evs that you get per battle) and by taking on hordes via sweet scent. since i had the same ev build in mind for all three of them AND since gen6 introduced the party-wide exp share, i was able to ev train them all at once. i took out weepinbells on route 19 for attack evs, wingulls on route 8 for speed evs, and hoppips on route 7 for special defense evs. you can make this process SUPER fast if you use a high-levelled pokemon with earthquake or surf, as you can take out all 5 members of the horde with one use of the move!
once everyone was all ev trained, i levelled them up by repeatedly challenging cafe le wow in lumoise city while keeping the party-wide exp share on. it was during this training-fest that reides finally hit level 100, too!
in the end, this was my battle maison team:
donatella the durant (choice scarf)
evs: 252 atk, 252 speed, 4 sp. defense
- iron head
venus the dragonite (lum berry)
evs: 252 atk, 252 speed, 4 sp. defense
- fire punch
- dragon dance
applause the cloyster (focus sash)
ability: skill link
evs: 252 atk, 252 speed, 4 sp. defense
- shell smash
- icicle spear
- ice shard (for landorus)
this team worked like a dream for the whole maison, and i was able to get my streak of 50 wins on my very first attempt with it.
admittedly, i kept applause the cloyster in my pc until the final battle, during which i swapped donatella the durant out for her and slotted reides in, as well - but i was just so relieved to maintain an unbroken streak. there were a few thorny situations, so i don't think this team is entirely unbeatable or anything of the sort, but i definitely recommend the truant durant strategy if you're struggling with the maison. it felt SOOOO great to finally get through it... i did NOT expect it to be as difficult as it was.
also, in hindsight, i could have likely sped this process up a whole lot more if i followed donatella up with applause the cloyster rather than venus the dragonite. i seriously underestimated skill link; that thing lets icicle spear hit like a TRUCK! furthermore, venus needed to use dragon dance 6 times to max out her attack and speed stats, whereas applause's shell smash would only need 3. so... you know. i do think that dragonite offered better coverage, at the very least, so all's well that ends well, i guess. while it may have taken longer to clear the maison with venus, i'm really happy that i was able to raise her properly. that alone is a huge reward, since i LOVE dragonite. more pals sharing in reides' ribbon master journey is always a good thing, too, right?
once i got those final two ribbons, reides' time in kalos reached its end. before leaving, i randomly decided to raise a kangaskhan, because i remembered how cute mega kangaskhan was and wanted one for myself. (shoutout to my friend, rachel, who traded me a kangaskhan with awesome ivs Way Back When and made it super easy for me to raise one of my own!) i named this new kangaskhan 'chips,' since i was snacking on some really delicious sour cream and onion chips at the time, and decided that she'd accompany reides on his adventure, too. (...along with her little baby, of course. that goes without saying!)
with kalos' ribbons handled, it was time for reides' homecoming!
i plopped him back into pokemon bank and then booted up my copy of omega ruby. he was all ready to go home to hoenn.
hilariously enough, i didn't have a file in the post-game for omega ruby. if this ribbon master challenge has taught me anything, it's that i have a shocking amount of pokemon games that i drifted from without ever completing. fake fan alert. (I'M KIDDING!!!!!) but, anyway... i only had to wrap up some wild plot cover-legendary-related business and nab my 8th badge, so it wasn't like i had to replay the entire game. i really enjoyed how everything played out, and it was also a treat to meet wallace again. he's one of my fav pokemon characters ever, and his oras redesign is absolutely incredible!
immediately after getting my 8th badge, i slotted reides into my team and rushed on over to the pokemon league. since my alpha sapphire file is currently devoted to my shiny badge quest (which will hopefully be a post of its own, someday!), it was actually my very first time taking on the pokemon league in the oras games. not gonna lie, i had low expectations, as i figured it'd be a simple 1:1 reskin of the rse league rooms - but it kind of took my breath away.
like the kalos league, the revamped hoenn league was utterly gorgeous. i tore through it with my team until we eventually faced the LEGENDARY steven stone. it was reides' first time facing him as a champion, as, in emerald, wallace was champion, instead. since he was a level 5 horsea while the rest of my team faced wallace in emerald, i gave him a shot at a hoenn champion battle and let him take steven on.
once reides single-handedly took down steven, my team entered the hoenn hall of fame. even though reides already had a hall of fame ribbon from hoenn, he actually got a second one for entering the oras one!
after weeping openly at omega ruby's beautiful credits, we then headed to lilycove city. once there, we took a bit of a break from the ribbon grind and paid a visit to the cove lily motel. it turns out that some small indie company called gamefreak had just checked in. i talked to the game director, who was amazed upon seeing reides. since reides was from emerald version, he noted just how far he had come and gave us the time travel award. as lovely as this award is (you can even put it up in your secret base!), it's worth noting that the art featured on it is inexplicably shiny locked?!?! so reides had his normal kingdra colouration in mine! it's still a beautiful award, though, so i edited it for the purposes of this post!
i put the award up in my secret base and focused on a much-anticipated part of reides' ribbon master quest: the hoenn contests (part two)! the contests on oras are similar to the ones in rse - however, instead of giving ribbons for each and every contest win, the oras contests give a brand new ribbon for each *master* contest win. this meant that reides needed to take on the master contests for each of the 5 contest categories (the same ol' cool, beautiful, cute, clever/smart, and tough ones). like i mentioned all the way back in my gen3 post, oras also took the sheen limitation away, so i was finally able to max out reides' contest stats. since his stats were already really good, i didn't have to feed him too many pokeblocks for him to have the perfect contest spread.
i was so proud of him for finally having everything maxed out!! it's truly what he deserves. the contests themselves were also pretty easy. i'm not sure if it was necessary or if having perfect contest stats meant that they hit a cap, but i went and picked up the red, blue, pink, yellow, and green scarves from the pokemon fanclub in slateport and put them on reides just in case. also, while i couldn't use the amazing rest + snore combination of rse fame, i used the double team + secret power one (which i learnt about thanks to this post on the ribbons subreddit). my general strategy was:
- turn 1: double team for the 1st pumped-up star.
- turn 2: double team for the 2nd pumped-up star.
- turn 3: secret power! (big boost thanks to being pumped up!)
- turn 4: double team for the 3rd pumped-up star.
- turn 5: secret power! (for yet another big boost thanks to being pumped up!)
the audience wasn't too pleased about the repeated double team on turn 2, but that didn't matter, as reides was able to win each and every contest category on his first attempt.
since he got the 5 ribbons for winning each contest category at its master rank, reides also got the contest star ribbon as an added bonus!
this was the last ribbon that i needed in gen6, which meant that reides' time in hoenn had come to an end. after wandering around the region a bit, peeking into various friends' secret bases and seeing the sights... it was time to pack our bags once more and gear up for the next part of reides' adventure.
gen7 has even less ribbons than gen6, but i never thought that the battle maison would end up being such a big challenge in gen6 - so who knows how gen7 will go?! (...i do, actually, because i was slightly evil and grinded out gen7's ribbons before making this post. sorry. i won't spoil it, though.) regardless, i hope you enjoyed reading about reides' gen6 journey!
music: summer sands and cool waves - kirby's return to dream land