The 'Shroom:Issue 101/Strategy Wing
Hello, folks, and welcome to this month's issue of Strategy Wing. After the massive size of Strategy Wing's debut last issue, we'll be presenting considerably less this time. After our introduction in Issue 100, I expected to see people lining up outside my practice to sign-up for this team. However, days and eventually weeks went by with no new employees, so now I am finding myself having to resort to more drastic measures. Therefore, I am offering free medical care to any Strategy Wing writers! I know I might just be "the new guy" to most of you, but soon I'll be finding ways to make Strategy Wing the best team ever; however, the best way for that to happen is for you writers out there to sign up.
Moving on... Due to unfortunate circumstances beyond my own control, I will not be writing From the Mushroom Vaults this month. A few weeks ago, I had a mysterious hard drive failure spring up out of nowhere... I am half-convinced some poor Spy mistook me for an Engineer and sapped my computer. Regardless, this won't be an issue next month as I am now on a new hard drive. Besides, nothing says "I'm baaaaack" like failing to send in my own section, right? Of course I'm right.
I am hopeful that in Issue #102, I will be able to present some great surprises for all you readers. There should be new (or, at least, returning) Strategy Wing sections as well as advancements in medicine!
Anyway, to be completely serious for a sentence or two, I know the number of sections took a hit this month, but that should not be taken as any indication of what future editions of Strategy Wing will be like. I would like to thank Crocodile Dippy, Paper Yoshi, and Yoshi876 for their contributions to the team this month — you've done better than I!
Slightly outside of our usual scope, I would like to say that if you haven't signed up for 'Shroom Mafia III yet, do it now. It's going to be a fantastic game and the more active players there are, the more fun it will be. If you are new to Mafia, don't be afraid to sign up anyway — I am the Strategy Wing guy after all, I can walk you through these things.
Also slightly outside our scope, but still relevant to the community, I'd like to thank everyone who oversaw and participated in this year's Awards ceremony. I know it was a really stressful time for a lot of people, but the turnout was fantastic and the presentations are among my favorite I've ever seen. Without a doubt, it's been my favorite ceremony so far, and it was a fantastic way to celebrate this wiki's 10th birthday.
I suppose that's the end of my notes for this month. Please do send me a demo if you have any interest in submitting content to Strategy Wing, even if it is for only one month. You'll still get that free medical care I offered!
Section of the Month
A big round of applause to Crocodile Dippy (talk) for being the first Section of the Month winner for Strategy Wing! Her Pirates of the Gamer Plebians guest section was the most popular submission we received last month. Tying for second place are MrConcreteDonkey (talk) for his guest section Beta Blockers and Crocodile Dippy (talk) once again for her Strategy Wing mainstay, Pocket Handbook. Congratulations to all three (oh...wait...two?) of you!
Tips and Challenges
Follow Yoshi876's advice and become a great Kart driver in no time!
Mario Kart: Wheel Tips Corner
Hello 'Shroom racers! And welcome to Mario Kart Wheel Tips Corner, here I plan to give you just some extra tips to help you with your racing, or just some changes in a track that might catch you off guard if you aren't prepared for them. So the lights are out, let's start racing.
You can't race if you don't have a Kart to do it in, so in this section I'll give you some facts about a Kart, Bike or ATV that you can use hopefully for racing success.
This month's Kool Kart doesn't come much cooler as it is the Cucumber, Yoshi's secondary Kart in Mario Kart DS. The Kart has strengths in Acceleration, Handling and Items; however, it suffers in the Speed and Drifting departments. So how would you win with this Kart if the Speed stat is so low? Simple, get in the lead as quickly as possible, now whilst this is obviously easier said than done it is possible. If you manage to get a good Rocket Start then the race should theoretically be yours, as the Cucumber has a high acceleration stat it will reach its top speed before the other Karts, and if you manage to get an Item Box due to the high Items stat you should be able to get Triple Bananas, so unless a Spiny Shell heads your way you should be well defended. However, race tracks have corners and with a low Drift stat getting round them could be tricky, thankfully the Handling stat is quite good so as long as you don't drift you should be able to take those corners quite tightly.
Retro tracks are now a huge portion of the Mario Kart games, typically amounting to half the courses in the game. But usually these courses change some things up, so in this section I'll help you find out "What's Changed" in the retro tracks.
This issue we're going to look at what's changed in Toad's Turnpike. This track first appeared in Mario Kart 64, before returning in Mario Kart 8, and there are quite a few changes. The most obvious is the vastly improved graphics, and that it's not in an actual location (Mushroom City) rather than some random place in the mountains. The small little area in which player started the race in Mario Kart 64 is now gone and the race now starts in the middle of the road, traffic now drives on both sides of the road rather than always being oncoming traffic, the school buses are now transport buses and the pick-up trucks have been removed, in their place are trucks with glider pads and some with surfboards (both of which can be jumped off of), trucks and buses have stunt ramps on the top of them, and some walls have been turned into anti-gravity sections that can be raced on.
In this small section I give you a way to shave a few seconds off your time, whether you know about it or not. Be warned, most of these shortcuts will require a Mushroom.
This shortcut can only be done in the Wii version of Mario Raceway. After the long corner with Piranha Plants is a small, winding section. On the left of this is a ramp, if you use a Mushroom you can boost onto and ramp and perform a trick for an extra speed boost when you land.
G'day, mates, and here we are again with another installment of Pocket Handbook, where I tell you what what's right and wrong about each Pokémon. After the waiting game feature of last month's Pocket Handbook wherein I covered the defense-oriented Mandibuzz, I figured I'd end the Summer with a much more action-packed Pokémon. Well, Summer for you lot, as it's still Winter in Australia, and I am freezing my tits off down here, but... well, anyway, that's beside the point. The point is that I want to cover a 'Mon more offense-oriented, and since it's the end of The 'Shroom's Summer, I'll cover one of the embodiments of the sun; Volcarona!
Volcarona evolves from the little tyke Larvesta at Level 59 (and you thought Mandibuzz was bad), and both mons have quite the pedigree behind them. Larvesta are said to have been born from the sun itself, cocooning themselves in fire when they evolve into Volcarona, whom were used in ancient times as a substitute for the sun when volcanic ash blacked out the skies, a testament to their significance throughout Pokémon history as emblems of the sun. Hell, even Volcarona's six wings resemble the Seraphim of Christian and Judaic myth, whom are even considered the highest ranking officials in the Christian angel corps! Not the actual name, but it sounds cooler. Indeed, this sort of divine association is nothing to sneeze at, as if ever there existed a Pokémon to disprove the assumption that Bug-type Pokémon are mere child's play and nothing more, then Volcarona sure as shooting is that 'Mon.
This little bugger (GET IT?!) once held the highest total base stats of all non-legendary Bug-type Pokémon until Mega Evolution became a thing, and this did not go unnoticed by the wider competitive community in Generation V where it sat comfortably at a high tier position, laughing at all the other tiny bugs. Except Scizor, that mofo be crazy. Volcarona hasn't enjoyed quite the same sort of success in Generation VI, partially due to power creep with the advent of Mega Evolutions, as well as the reduced efficiency of weather-based teams which Volcarona thrived on, but it still has plenty of tricks up its sleeve. My Volcarona - named Sun Ra after one of the wackiest and imaginative jazz musicians in history - follows a somewhat traditional, but nonetheless effective, moveset build:
Like most powerful fighters, Volcarona has an emphasis on set-up to maximise its combat potential, which makes it all the better that it has access to one of the best buff moves in the entire game, Quiver Dance. Quiver Dance allows Volcarona to boost its Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed stats by one stage in a single turn. Even just two of those can set it up for life, so you can imagine what might happen with a Volcarona that’s been given free reign. One bastard thing I once did with Gamefreak75 (talk) in a doubles match was have my Greninja use Mat Block to protect his Volcarona as it set up, allowing it to go bonkers from then on out... we lost that round anyway, but the idea was sound! This then segues brilliantly into its two powerful STAB moves, Bug Buzz and Heat Wave – which, incidentally, hit both opposing targets in double battles – which are among the most reliable of their types, and have the added bonus of potentially reducing the opponent's Special Defense in the case of Bug Buzz, or burning the target in the case of Heat Wave (which can prove especially useful for making up for Volcarona’s rather shite Defense stat). Finally, I top it off with Giga Drain so I have some nice bonus type coverage (particularly in dealing with those pesky Rock and Water types that otherwise give Volcarona so much trouble), plus the lifesteal is nice for sustaining Volcarona in the heat (GET IT?!) of battle.
So Quiver Dance sits at the top of Volcarona's priority list, and I would absolutely not trade that move off for anything. It's just too damn good. Likewise, Bug Buzz is its strongest Bug-type option, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a better choice in the moveset market. Heat Wave is a personal preference of mine since I most often tend to run Volcarona in double battles where I can reliably get adequate protection and set-up from my other 'Mons, but if your fix is single battles, then absolutely choose Fire Blast instead, as even after its small damage reduction this generation, it still does far more damage than Heat Wave for only %5 less accuracy. Giga Drain is its best bet at keeping itself nourished, but other non-damaging moves like Morning Sun or Roost provide more reliable regeneration and thus tankability. This is, however, at the cost of its damage output, and dealing copious amounts of damage is absolutely what Volcarona thrives on; plus, Morning Sun is at its best in teams built around Sunny Day, at which point you're probably better off going for Solarbeam over anything else for raw damage. Its other decent damaging move is Hurricane, which can provide Flying-type coverage (which doesn't really help cover any of its weaknesses...), and has the benefit of giving opponents a real startle if they plan to minimise your flame emissions by pissing rain down on you... which of course, relies entirely on the enemy running Rain Dance on their team in the first place, so I wouldn't really choose this move in most cases. But it's there, if you want to go for something alternative and hipster.
Volcarona only has two abilities; its standard Flame Body ability, which grants a chance to inflict a burn on the opponent if they use a contact move on Volcarona, and its hidden ability Swarm, which increases the damage output of Bug-type moves by x1.5 when Volcarona is low on health. Swarm is too situational and too tricky to attain anyway, so just stick with the default Flame Body, as most foes will be trying to exploit Volcarona's poor physical defenses thereby increasing their risk of suffering a burn, which in turn will reduce their physical attack thusly allowing some added protection! Easy as sin! Items are a more confusing choice for me in this instance, since there's a fair few that may work well for Volcarona; Expert Belt is my first thought, as Volcarona is a fighting Pokémon first and foremost and benefits from the bonus damage the Expert Belt grants to its super-effective moves, while something like a Passho Berry (for protection against Water-types) or Sitrus Berry (just for decent healing) may offer longer sustainability. I would steer clear from any of the Choice items, since Volcarona really needs access to all its moves in order to be of use... and given the first move you'll likely be using in any given scenario will be Quiver Dance, well, you probably don't want to be stuck using that all round. Strangely enough, for a Bug-type Pokémon, Volcarona has a tremendous amount of important resistances to common attacking types, although its weaknesses are somewhat glaring:
Having a x4 weakness to Rock-type moves is a disaster to Volcarona, especially if your opponent is placing an emphasis on stage hazards, especially Stealth Rock which will devastate it upon entering the stage before its even had a chance to wiggle its insectoid bum. This forces you to put an unhealthy focus on area control with other Pokémon on your team, with good support options being Starmie (whom benefits greatly from Volcarona's type coverages, anyway) or Mandibuzz; this can stall your progression and put a dent on Volcarona's set-up. Dragon-types, especially Goodra, will wall basically everything that Volcarona can throw at them (barring the Hydreigon line, given they're Dark-types as well), and Specially-defensive Water or Fire-types such as Gyarados and Mega Charizard Y will almost universally scoff at Volcarona's pitiful attempts to engulf them in flames; Fire-types will just punch the bugger and steal its lunch money as they're immune to the Burn status ailment, while Water-types will have fizzled Volcarona out long before it's managed to get its tan on. In-game, Larvesta has the longest gap before evolving of any Pokémon to date (a full 59 levels!), and it's geared more towards physical offense than its evolved form, which can prove a bit of a culture shock when you finally get it to break free of its flaming cocoon to become your beautiful angelic arthropod. Plus, Larvesta is infamously a pain in the ass to find in most games, so I'd imagine it'd be far easier to get a mate to just breed one for you, and then trade it over. But hey, all complications aside, Volcarona still has plenty of options available to it, and once it gets its momentum up with just a few buffs, it can quickly spin completely out of control and total entire teams on its own. Truly, they are the envoys of God.
Hello, readers, and welcome to another issue of Mario Calendar! This time around, we have no news, good or bad, so let's check the Mario, Yoshi, DK and Wario games released sometime during August!
That's all for now, everyone!! I'll see you in September!!