|The Random Number God has smiled on me this day. Ordinarily, he and I share a playful rivalry where he tries to play the odds to my disadvantage, while I in turn game the system to force my will on the universe. But in this case, it was all Game Freak's lack of foresight, and the RNG took pity on me.
A reminder that I received Pokémon Emerald in the mail just days ago.
See, I've always been a fan of Breloom. Although Poison Heal isn't around in Generation III, I still love the design and the moveset available to it. I mean, come on, it's a Grass type that focuses on Attack rather than Special Attack for a change. It's just that it's one of the Pokémon that appeals to me. I made sure to grab a female Shroomish in Petalburg Woods, since I hate hate hate HATE the fact that every Skitty and Delcatty in the game are female, have Cute Charm and know Attract. That's one of the ways I game the system, you see.
Having learned my lesson from Diamond/Pearl about relative levels between wild Pokémon and the Pokémon League, I went for my usual "just use one Pokémon for the entire game and rack up the Exp" approach that I developed for Generation IV. And, of course, that Pokémon was Breloom. I probably could have thought it through a little better: Breloom is one of few Pokémon that levels the absolute slowest, and being Grass/Fighting, it's particularly weak to Flying types. Like, oh, that Gym Leader Winona.
Another thing I failed to take into account are the Mossdeep Gym Leaders Liza & Tate, the Psychic-type specialists. That's a double battle, you see. And my one Pokémon happens to be weak to Psychic. Nothing like taking two rounds of Psychic (the move) every turn, amirite?
A quick attempt to have a go at it anyway met with failure, so I did what I always do in that situation and went to the Lilycove Department Store to pick up some X Sp. Defs. Hey, guess what? X Sp. Def wasn't invented until Generation IV. It's the only Battle Item that doesn't exist yet. Well phooey, I thought, so I picked up some X Specials instead. I figured I'd use Mega Drain on the Claydol, Lunatone and Solrock with some added boosts coming from my lowbie sidekicks. But then, as it turns out, unlike Potions and recovery items, Battle Items are always used directly on the Pokémon using them... And unlike ordinary double battles, this Gym battle doesn't have a situation where one of the two oppsosing trainers runs out of Pokémon. You get to fight two at a time until only one is left.
The RNG saw my plight and gave me a helping hand. I'd selected Kecleon as my partner since A) I happened to have one and it's level 30 (the Gym battle is level 41), and B) Color Change will help it stay alive. During the battle, every single attack went to the Kecleon, and of course they were all Psychic-type, so it was able to survive. I was able to squeak out of that Gym physically (if not psychologically) unscathed.
Karma will probably come back for me, though. From now on, I can expect to get Burned by Flamethrower on the same turn that Sky Uppercut misses, like usual.