Hardcore Trolled

Sooooo I’m looking at breeding myself a Lucario. Who wouldn’t? Look at him! He’s badass as hell! There is a very good reason why he’s ranked in the Uber tier over at Smogon – with the correct combination of stats, moves, held item and ability, he is an absolute powerhouse sweeper. Want! Wantwantwantwant!

I spent a while reading up and decided my build would focus on Mega evolving Lucario, combined with STAB moves and the priority-STAB move Bullet Punch. I’m not planning on using him competitively, so I don’t need to worry about doing a full IV genetic breeding program, but I do need to get the Bullet Punch bred across from another Pokemon, Hitmonchan, as well as the right nature and ability.

Problem number 1: The only Lucario I had to start off with had the wrong ability. I wanted Inner Focus to make this guy flinch-proof, but my starting point Pokemon had Steadfast. Okay, this is a really nit-picking point here; mega-evolving Lucario immediately changes his ability to Adaptability, which is part of what makes him wicked sick, but if in the future I run him in a team where he isn’t the mega-evolve focus, it would be nice to make him immune to flinching, rather than fliching and missing a turn, even though you get a speed boost instead. Having only a male Lucario, I dropped him off at the day-care with a Ditto and started the breed grind.

Problem number 2: The first step of my breeding program was making a female Lucario with Inner Focus. That lets me cross-breed with a male Hitmonchan, gets the egg move I need on to the babies, gets me the ability I want 80% of the time, and just leaves me needing the right nature. As long as I make sure the egg move isn’t overwritten on Hitmonchan, I’m done as soon as Jolly shows up in the nature slot. Trouble is, Lucario is seven-eighth’s male when you breed it. Getting a female Lucario at all takes time.

Problem number 3: Lucario has an above-average egg hatching time of 5.5k steps. Even with a Magma Armour Camerupt in my team to cut that in half, my breeding rate was quite badly bottlenecked. The day care man stood outside waiting to give me eggs he’d found for minutes at a time while I rode up and down on my Mach bike, desperately trying to hatch eggs and make room on my team for the new ones.

It shouldn’t have been too bad. I should have had a 1-in-16 chance of getting the female with Inner Focus that I wanted. Should have had. After a couple of hours of being trolled by the RNG, I had acquired six females with Steadfast. That’s six 50:50 chances gone the wrong way, a 1-in-64 chance of happening. A little while later it dawned on me that even the males I was churning out had the Steadfast ability the vast majority of the time. What’s going on here?

Problem number 4: I took ten minutes out to do some research and nowhere could I find any hard and fast information on Ditto’s effect on standard abilities when breeding with a male in Gen 6. One of two things was happening here: either RNJesus was trolling the living fuck out of me, or breeding a male with a Ditto gives you the same 80% chance of passing down the ability from the male as you get when breeding an ability down from a female. If the latter was true, that brought my chance of acquiring a female with Inner Focus down to a painful 1-in-40. Aaaah, hells nah!

So, change of plan. If I could use a male and a Ditto to pass down an ability, I could add an extra step – get hold of a male with Inner Focus, switch that in for my male with Steadfast, grind eggs for the 1-in-8 female chance, and 80% it’ll have Inner Focus. Much better odds.

Problem number 5: Under the original assumption my odds weren’t too bad, I’d been releasing everything that wasn’t a female with Inner Focus. Which meant everything. So I needed to grind out more eggs to get the 20% chance of a male with Inner Focus. Fuck dat sheet!

I looked up Lucario’s availability, switched from OR to Y and went grass hunting. With a 5% chance of locating my prey, I put my Spore/False Swipe Breloom in the lead and started running around in the grass. A few encounters in, my first target appeared. I made short work of catching it, it was a male with Steadfast. Never mind. Another ten or so encounters later, I get another shot and again capture it with ease…. and hit the jackpot! Not only did that one have Inner Focus, it was also female. I hit the 1-in-16 on my second attempt. Not bad!

Hold on… let’s back up a second there. I got the perfect outcome on my second capture attempt after I switched from OR to Y, thanks to the RNG. If you didn’t know this already, Pokemon uses a saved RNG seed to step through randomly generated numbers and decisions. That means I could have skipped a whole bunch of hours of fruitless breeding attempts if I’d just switched to Y for the capture earlier.

Damn.

Any way, lesson learned, time to move on, right? Time to get me a Hitmonchan and start the egg move breeding. Right? No.

Problem number 6: Lucario eggs don’t hatch into lv1 Lucarios. They hatch into Lucario’s baby evolutionary form, Riolu, a Pokemon with no egg groups and thus unbreedable. Well, that’s not a huge issue is it? I’ve got a metric fuck-tonne of overlevelled ‘mons I can Exp Share this thing a whole bunch of levels with in no time at all.

Problem number 7: Riolu evolves through happiness boosts, not XP.

I’ll finish this off tomorrow.