The Journey continues after the jump!
Caught: Amoongus, Rufflet, Bouffalant
Cheren challenges you for the last time and after yet another ass-whupping finally admits your superiority. Bianca shows up too and gives you some Max Revives which are way better than Cheren's lame gift of potions you could buy in any damn shop in every city.
Caught: Durant, Heatmor, Deino, Fraxure
This is a pretty cool dungeon, the best thing being there are no goddamned bats, just lots and lots of goddamned ants.
Well I got here not having healed, completely missed the Pokémon Center which was camouflaged by an evil rock facing and got locked in with four vicious trainers. Fortunately, I had enough potions left, but I would have to be very careful indeed. You can take them on in any order you like, since this is
Shauntal - As soon as you enter, there's this horrible cackling laugh which nearly made me jump out of my skin. I led with Excadrill and she tried to mess up my strategy with Will o' Wisp but while setting up Swords Dance we had enough defense to hold on and heal up. From there it was simple to Earthquake the crap out of the rest of her pokes.
Marshal - I tried leading with Silgilyph but he had a nasty surprise in store with rock attacks combined with extra bulky pokes. This was a good spot for Serperior - it's own strong defense allowed it to stand up to the fighting types heavy offense and give back while Silgilyph healed up and returned for the finishing blows. The speedy Zebstrika was also handy in stopping his Mienshao.
Caitlin - An expy from the Battle Frontier in Platinum, she totally looks like a character design I did of a main villain in one of my shows. The heavy lifting here was done by Excadrill again. After Scrafty's horrible failure, the Drill came in and with the same strategy again, Swords Dancing up before Earthquaking (Rock Slide for her Silgilyph), it was over quickly.
Grimsley - The final combatant caught me out early with Krookodile, but Serperior again showed up to save the day with its superior (aha) defenses. Bisharp and Liepard fell quickly to non-boosted Earthquake. I must say, the rooms each combatant faces you in is damn awesome, I bet previous Elite Four members wish they had cribs this plush.
Oh yeah, so when you go to face Alder, it turns out N already beat him, and summons his castle up from the ground! How in the hell did it get there? Is it like Figaro Castle? Are N and Ghetsis Masters of Mecha? It's never explained because really, there's not a lot going on inside the castle. Team Plasma members are just lolloping about revealing their organizations darkest secrets for free. They're not really all up for liberating Pokémon, they just want to get rid of everyone else's so the path will be cleared for them to take over the world. Well, duh.
The various Gym leaders show up from around the world, except the ones from Striaton City because apparently Bianca went to get them which was a huge mistake because she obviously failed. Anyway, they occupy the
N - Zekrom automatically takes the lead spot to battle Reshiram and its an easy victory because N is thick and insists on trying to use fire against you even though it's not very effective. Vanilluxe was next out and created problems for me with its Blizzard. This was the first time in the endgame that Excadrill was wiped out easily and lacking any counters for ice I had to stall for time and let just about every poke I had die until the Hail it had summoned ended at which point I brought Zekrom back out to kill it. Zekrom also took down Zoroark and Archeops and Excadrill healed up to take down the last two.
Ghetsis - Excadrill whacked Cofagrigus easily but then he brought out Hydreigon. Ugh. The stupid dragon killed every single one of my pokes except Zekrom. I had to switch some poor other poke in to take a beating from the dragon while I healed Zekrom. When the sacrifice was killed, back it came out to get in a hit on Hydreigon before having to come back out because after jsut one Dragon Pulse, it was down to 12 (!!) health. Eventually, Hydreigon fell. Bouffalant was no easy task but Serperior managed to outlast it and it easily took out his Seismitoad too. Eelektross with its lack of weaknesses and excellent offensive coverage wiped out whatever was left after healing from Hydreigon but I was able to chip away with Zekrom until it fell. His final poke, Bisharp went down in one Excy Earthquake.
Well during that fight it's key to note that from Hydreigon onwards, I never had more than two pokes at a time alive period, forget about even being at full health. One critical hit and it could all have been over! But thanks to Max Revives Bianca gave me, we survived and took down the ultimate evil! So she's good for something after all it turns out. Cheren and Alder show up to drag off Ghetsis, goodness knows where and N, finally realizing the real plot behind Team Plasma gets all philosophical and
Serperior - Lv 48
Excadrill - Lv 50
Zebstrika - Lv 47
Scrafty - Lv 45
Silgilyph - Lv 48
Zekrom - Lv 52
Seen - 139
Obtained - 93
Excadrill is the best pokémon in the game for the regular story hands down, and one of the best in the series period. This is a good set up for the final rounds -
Ability: Sand Rush
Moves: Sandstorm, Swords Dance, Earthquake, Rock Slide
Item: Smooth Rock (get from a girl on Route 8)
Sandstorm can be replaced with Slash if you like, but with a sandstorm in place, its speed doubles allowing it priority over everything you're likely to face during the game. If you can find something good to set-up against like Cofagrigus or Zekrom which can't really hurt you (Steel typing is the best) two Swords Dance is enough to sweep through absolutely everything.