Nuzlockes are all the rage right now. There are dozens of streamers on Twitch giving them a go, loads of YouTubers are doing them, and many players have been doing them for ages as a way to spice up otherwise repetitive Pokemon playthroughs.
For those of you not in the know, a Nuzlocke is a challenge run with some custom rules. The main ones are that you can only catch the first Pokemon you encounter in each route, if a ‘mon faints it’s dead and has to be released, and you have to nickname all your buddies so you cry when you lose them. For those of you wanting to tackle the pinnacle of generation III, Emerald, then there are a few things to bear in mind to help you out.
The debates surrounding which starter is best are never-ending. Everyone has a favourite for their own reasons. That being said, in gen III, the best starter is Mudkip. It evolves into Marshtomp and Swampert, both of which have an additional ground typing that makes them immune to Electric, so this ‘mon is only weak to Grass types, of which there aren’t many.
There are too many Water-types around to make Torchic viable, and there are loads of Fire-type options in this game, so don’t worry about it. Treecko is fine, but doesn’t really get great moves and isn’t super necessary. Just watch out for your rival fight between Slateport and Mauville, their Grovyle can wreck your Marshtomp, so bring a good counter.
Don’t Sleep On Wurmple
Many people ignore the first route Pokemon, especially the bugs. Well, these weak little Bug-type Pokemon evolve super early, giving them quite an edge over other first-stage Pokemon.
Beautifly and Dustox are both especially useful in the early game, as they’re great against Brawly’s Fighting-type team and your rivals Grovyle. They fall off a fair bit after that, but you should be switching up your team based on your next battle anyway if you want to win.
Catch A Magikarp
Now, Magikarp may not be the toughest Pokemon out there, but its evolution – Gyrados – is a beast. Gen III introduced abilities, one of the biggest changes in the Pokemon formula. Gyrados gets the Intimidate ability which lowers the Attack stat of rival Pokemon by one stage, a fantastic help to you and your team.
It’s also a really strong Pokemon, well worth the switch training you’ll have to do to evolve Magikarp. It works well with Marshtomp and Swampert too, as you can use it to bait Electric-type attacks before switching to the part Ground-type starter who is immune – big brain.
Level Your Team Evenly
Emerald introduces a lot more double-battles than its predecessors. As such, you’ll often get into fights that require two Pokemon. It’s all well and good for you to try and cruise through the game with just an over-leveled starter, but even that won’t be enough in a two against one situation, so make sure you’re giving your whole team love.
You also need to accept the fact that you’ll have to grind, a lot. It’s a sad fact about Pokemon, but the sooner you accept it and train your Pokemon the better.
Get A Solid Grass Or Electric Type
The Hoenn region has a lot of water, some even said it had too much water. Well, those cowards just didn’t have a decent Electric-type on their team. Obviously, you can’t guarantee any Pokemon in a Nuzlocke – that’s part of the point of them after all – but there are some spots good for certain types.
You can catch Electrikes under cycling road, and Magnemite or Voltorb in Sea Mauville. There are also loads of Grass-types around, but the part Poison-type Tentacool and Tentacruel could be bad news for them, so Electric will be better, especially against Team Aqua. Also, since both the eighth gym leader and the Champion are water specialists in Emerald, you’ll need some type advantage over them if you want to win. Check out some of the best Electric-types here.
Switch Up Your Team
Kill your darlings. Not literally, but don’t be afraid to switch up your team every now and then. Ideally, you should be building your team around the next big fight you’ve got coming up. As a rough guide, Team Aqua has Dark, Poison, and Water-types, and Team Magma has Dark, Poison, and Fire-Types. The gym leaders are all obvious as they all specialise in one type, so just go for types that counter them. Every type has powerful Pokemon, so you should always have some good ones.
The league is a bit more challenging as you need one team of six for the whole thing. A good Fighting-type will get you through Sidney, a strong Ghost-type or Dark-type will make swift work of Phoebe, A Fire or Electric-type will melt or shock Glacia, and an Ice or Dragon-type will help take down Drake’s tough team. Wallace is honestly far easier than Steven in the original games. Even without a type advantage, a strong Psychic-type will wipe him out.
Remember There’s No Physical/Special Split
For newer fans to the series, or returning ones who may have forgotten the roots, there is no physical/special split in gens I, II, or III. This means that moves are special or physical and based purely on type.
An easy way to remember this is every Eeveelution and Dragon-type is special, the rest is physical. So Fire, Water, Electric, Grass, Ice, Psychic, Dragon, and Dark-type moves are all special, whereas Normal, Fighting, Poison, Ground, Flying, Bug, Rock, Ghost, and Steel-type moves are all physical.
This does mean that some Pokemon are pretty useless, for example, a lot of the Dark-types in this gen get screwed over by this. Still, if a Pokemon has a great attack stat but is the wrong type, just teach it Strength and carry on.
Next: Pokémon: 15 Best Games To Do A Nuzlocke Run With
Issy is an avid film lover, writer, and game-player based in the UK. He combines his love of film and games in his writing, trying to find as many connections between the two mediums as possible. When he’s not writing, playing, or watching, Issy loves to DJ and look after his growing collection of houseplants, as they make him feel more adult.
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