The 'Shroom:Issue 111/Strategy Wing
Hello, friends and readers. Welcome to Issue 111's edition of Strategy Wing. As you no doubt know by now, this issue is being dedicated to the late Walkazo (talk). It has been three months since her passing, but the tremendous hole left from the loss is still being felt greatly around the community. I could write for hours about what she meant to me, but I don't think this is the place to do it, and I am operating under very pressing time constraints anyway. I can say with certainty though, that she will never be forgotten by our members. Her influence on us all was beyond what I could merely express with words. All I can ask is that we all try to keep her memory alive as best as we can.
I will be stepping down from Strategy Wing Director after the release of this issue, and I will also be resigning from all of my permanent posts across The 'Shroom — From the Mushroom Vaults, The Stoob Tube, and 8-Bit Amphitheater (though I have contributed a farewell chiptune appropriate to this issue). I have a busy year ahead of me, and I wish to prioritize my personal life a bit better. My creativity has taken a nosedive in recent months and I'd like to get my passion for creating music back on the right track. There are also people very special to me that I feel I should be spending more time with, especially in light of recent events. I care about Strategy Wing and The 'Shroom very much, but I wish to be with my friends and loved ones much more. I am also moving to Seattle at the end of summer and am going to need a great deal of time in order to make things work.
Crocodile Dippy (talk) will also be stepping down from her posts across the paper, but she still has contributed a Pocket Handbook for this issue, which you can find below. Both of us will still return to submit guest pieces for special issues in the future, so don't think we are permanently gone! Still, we have left you sort of a parting gift in the form of an enormous 100-entry countdown of songs. Please check it out, as we have put roughly half a year's work into it.
'Shroom Mafia III has finally ended. I don't know if the game will be closed on the forum at the exact time of this issue's release, as there are some special drawings and jokes I would like to share with you all (they are still being worked on as I write this), but you can check out the results of the game right here. It was an honor hosting the game, and I would like to thank the participants from the bottom of my heart for their work, creativity, teamwork, and patience. Someday, I may host another 'Shroom Mafia — but I sincerely hope that it would not end under such grim circumstance again.
In closing, I would also like to thank every writer who has contributed to this team under my Direction: Crocodile Dippy (talk), GBAToad (talk), MrConcreteDonkey (talk), Paper Yoshi (talk), Roy Koopa (talk), Superchao (talk), Super Mario Bros. (talk), Tucayo (talk), and Yoshi876 (talk). You all have helped Strategy Wing grow into an eclectic database of gaming knowledge, which is exactly what I wanted for this team. I wish the same fortune and more to the next Director of this team — may he, she, or they see Strategy Wing blossom even greater than in this team's very fun first year.
Peace out, everybody.
Section of the Month
Tips and Challenges
Enter Neo Bowser City. Will you use the Blue Shell or Red Shell?
Find out exactly how Skarmory is steel flying after all these years.
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, ATV or even tyres and gliders that you can use hopefully for racing success.
This month's Kool Kart is the Tyrant. The Kart excels in its Speed, Weight and Items stats, but starts to fall behind in its acceleration and handling stats.
This means that at the start of the race you'll find it hard to get up to your top speed, but when you get there you will be flying, well, up until the corners, if you're not drifting then due to your poor handling you might be going off of the track, but don't worry if you do, your high item rate means you can probably get some Triple Mushrooms to catch right back up with the field.
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 time we're going to take a look at Bowser's Castle from Mario Kart 64, well its appearance in Mario Kart Wii. To get the usual out of the way, the graphics has majorly improved since its Nintendo 64 version, and now onto the actual changes. Lava columns have been put in around the pits that surround the track and will spin racers who come into contact with them, however, sadly the Thwomps have changed. The green Thwomp has been removed and has instead been replaced by a generic one and the sliding Thwomps no longer laugh, they just make their usual angry expressions and rumbling noises. The bridge near the end of the lap is also broken.
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 issue I bring you a shortcut from Neo Bowser City.
This shortcut takes you straight into the air, and over the barrier if done correctly. All you need to do is go left once you launch off of the glider pad and head toward the floating fan, it will propel you upwards and over the barrier.
You... don't need me to remind you of the circumstances. You really don't. By now, you know who this issue is devoted to and what the overarching theme is, so even tho I had long since resigned from my post as the community's leading Pokémon enthusiast, I want to return to honour her memory by talking about her favourite Pokémon, Skarmory, and exactly why it's a truly fearsome support Pokémon in the competitive space, sitting comfortably in the top tier rankings with its avian brethren Talonflame and Zapdos, so let's get right down to it.
Skarmory was introduced in the second generation of Pokémon games as an exclusive to Silver version, added as one of the few Pokémon to have the newly-introduced Steel-typing. Skarmory have thick, armoured coats that harden through its youth by scraping against twigs and branches, with adult Skarmory even fully restoring broken wings in a biological process we in the ornithological community call "fuck you, it's metal, it does what it wants". It was intended to be the physically defensive counterpart to Mantine, a similarly dual-typed Flying-type Pokémon that didn't evolve from or into anything, although that would change in Generation IV when Mantine gained a pre-evolution, Mantyke.
Thing is, Mantine sucks at its job due to its limited movepool and horrid defensive typing, while Skarmory - especially as the series has progressed - has proven a far more valuable asset to the team due to its better movepool, stat spread, and defensive typing, with the glorious avian being used primarily as an offensive support. In typical Game Freak fashion, Skarmory's PokéDex entries outright lie about its flight speed, which is said to be over 180mph... contrasted with its utterly below-average 70 base Speed, which is really nothing to write home about. But where Skarmory's strengths lie is in taking damage long enough to set up as many hazards as possible, then disrupting the team at every possible turn, making it ideal for frustrating set-up Pokémon. Here is the very standard build for utility Skarmories, and the one I use on my own Skarmory - nicknamed Walkazo (talk) because... well... let's just talk about the moveset...
Iron Head is just for Same-Type Attack Bonus damage, as it's a decently powerful move and can help deal with Fairy-type Pokémon remarkable, although Skarmory is too slow to make full use of its chance for flinching the opponent... but that's not why you're using it, so who cares? Roost... c'mon, you know my mentality by now; if it can learn Roost, teach it, you cannot go wrong with this insanely potent restoration move. Spikes will be Skarmory's most efficient entry hazard to set up, with the raptor being tanky enough to set up a few layers of Spikes before having to restore with Roost and frustrating the enemy team with Whirlwind, which forces the enemy Pokémon to switch out... which means that whichever Pokémon gets sent out in its place will be damaged by the Spikes, provided it isn't Flying-type or has Levitate. Although keep in mind that Whirlwind does have reduced priority, so if your foe is powerful but slower than you, be prepared to take a hit before blowing them away. Other options are, of course, Stealth Rock, which can be employed as a substitute for Spikes and a means of damaging Flying-types, but its damage doesn't stack so it can be a waste of a move on a Pokémon that can stay in play longer than most due to its tankability. Taunt can be a good substitute for Whirlwind if you're more interested in shutting down set-up sweepers or stallers, blocking them from using any Status moves. Guard Swap is unorthodox and a bit niche, but it can be employed to frustrate Special Attackers that would otherwise try to exploit Skarmory's below-average Special Defense, as the move will swap its defense and sp. def stats around... but yea, very niche. If you're particularly insane, you can toss Iron Head out the window and go straight up Brave Bird for insane damage with the condition that you'll be dealing a shittonne of self-damage in the process, so that's for you juggernaut types out there.
Skarmory has three potential abilities, although it's hidden one is absolutely bloody useless and isn't worth the effort required to obtain it in the first place; that one is Weak Armor, while its two normal abilities are Keen Eye and Sturdy. Keen Eye is pretty niche since Skarmory isn't super concerned about accuracy in the first place, so I would pretty much always get Sturdy, since it'll allow Skarmory to survive a potential one-hit KO thusly giving it the chance to get at least some set-up in before it goes down with the ship. Items are a curious choice on Skarmory, since it all depends on what your biggest fear is on the enemy team. Leftovers is the obvious choice for basically any scenario since additional regen is always good, although if you know your opponents lack ranged moves and have no choice but to make contact with Skarmory in order to damage it, you can try Rocky Helmet instead, especially great if you're running Counter on Skarmory as well, since you can completely fuck up physical attackers then. One of Skarmory's biggest foes is Magnezone with Magnet Pull, as it can trap Skarmory and make short work of it with a super-effective Thunderbolt, so a one-use Shed Shell can be good if you're terrified of your Skarmory being unable to sufficiently set up before fainting. Cell Battery is another one-use item that Skarmory can hold in case it's going up against an Electric-type that isn't as cripplingly as Magnezone, since it'll mitigate an Electric-type move and boost its own Attack stat... but it can only do this once, so it may not be the most useful strategy.
Skarmory's defensive typing is glorious, having a whopping seven resistances and two immunities, with only two weaknesses... albeit very glaring weaknesses:
Keep in mind, however, that while Skarmory's physical defenses are amazing and it has the resistances to back it up, don't overestimate its tankability due to its subpar special defense and its two weaknesses being primarily geared towards Special moves. Charizard and Manectric absolutely terrify Skarmory due to their speed and incredible special attack prowess, while some mixed attackers like Salamence, Tyranitar, and even Infernape if Skarmory isn't running Brave Bird, can put a real dent in Skarmory's wings. Its biggest threat is without a doubt Magnezone, which as mentioned earlier, can trap Skarmory in with its ability Magnet Pull and then clip the poor bird's wings with any modestly powerful Electric-type attack, given its immense special attack stat. This basically forces Skarmory to run with an offensive Ground-type Pokémon on the team to help it deal with these threats, at which point the supporter becomes the supported, which is a somewhat awkward scenario to be in. But Skarmory's potency as a disruptor and offensive and utility support is such that it can earn a very neat place in almost any team composition, and provided you give it enough love, affection, and support, the steel-clad raptor will be sure to return the favour in combat.
Let's Play Showcase
Hello, 'Shroom readers! Superchao back, ready to introduce you to another LPer that I'm quite interested in. This time, I'm covering Youtube longstay BikdipOnABus! With his dry voice and dry sense of humor, he may seem boring at first, but they combine to make a YouTuber who one can enjoy watching for hours on end. At least, that's what I do, and I hope you'll give the same a try. If nothing else, sometimes the game choices themselves are amazing. While he focuses on many mainstream games, such as Majora's Mask or Super Mario Sunshine, there's also plenty of game hacks that he's LPed to mix it up, so there's something for almost everyone! Unlike the previous entry I covered, BikdipOnABus usually doesn't have a co-commentator, instead choosing to power through many of his playthroughs on his own. However, in at least a few of his LPs, he's been joined by Brynnagiadrosich, or just Brynna. The two of them have some top chemistry, Brynna's more excited nature playing well with Bikdip's dry voice. It's contributed well to some of his LPs, and I think several of them are much better off for it.
I first learned about Bikdip over six years ago, at this point. To be honest, it's been so long that I don't even remember what first introduced me to him - for all I know, it was youtube recommendations. At the time, I watched his Kazio Mario 64 LP, watching the first half and getting entranced as it went. It's six years ago, and I still have fond memories of when I'd rush home every day after school, excited to see what happened next. I'd plunk myself down in front of the computer and watch fifteen great minutes of LP, and it's one of the very few times that I not only found an LP as it was going, but watched it as it happened. It helped that it was only fifteen minute segments, so despite having homework to do, I could always spare a quarter-hour for this!
If there's a couple Bikdip LPs I'd most recommend, well, the first one is that classic I loved — Kaizo Mario 64! With this ridiculously over the top hack of Super Mario 64, he has to deal with everything from too many Chain Chomps, to an overcomplicated Hazy Maze Cave, to one of my personal favorites: completely invisible 1 HP Bowser in the Sky. That last one was quite the spectacle. Regardless of all the random crap hurled at him by the hacker, Bikdip forces his way through, never varying from his usual dry tone and perspective. He does a good job of counterbalancing the insanity of the hack itself, as he provides a low-key nature that still expresses how ridiculous the hack is.
Another good LP of his that I would definitely recommend would be his LP of his own created game, Bikdip's Adventure. In it, Bikdip pushes through a challenge run of this particular Zelda Classic creation, both the first game and the sequel. With low hearts and heavy-hitting enemies, especially in the much crazier second game, Bikdip really has to work for victory here. The first game is a bit slow, as it's not much more than the classic Zelda formula with some new dungeons in the same style. The second game is where it really shines, in my opinion. With everything from sidescrolling dungeons to robot master themed dungeons to climbing up the mountains and the clouds, the second game keeps things exciting and variable. And it's got the developer's commentary over it, too!
If there's one more LP I can recommend, it's the Majora's Mask LP. The first co-production between Bikdip and Brynna, it already shows the chemistry they'll have in the future. Even in a game that's been played through many times by many people, they bring their own take on it. I'm not sure how well a Bikdip solo act would have been for seventy parts of Majora, but the two of them together made for a fantastic combination that made even a long game like this and all the sidequests worth watching — even as I played Majora myself.
Of course, this style isn't for everyone, and it never changes. If you want a lot of emotion in your LPer, then Bikdip definitely isn't the choice for you. He also has a lot of injokes, so watching a few newer LPs might get kind of confusing without the knowledge of the earlier ones to back you up. Additionally, a lot of his LPs tend towards the super long. You can't just casually jump on and watch a few episodes to be done, you'll have to make a lot of time investment. If you're still interested after what I've said, though, then go watch him! I'd recommend the Kaizo Mario 64 LP to start with myself, for the interested, but you should watch whatever you'd like.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the June issue of Mario Calendar! No news on the section this time, so let's check which Mario, DK, Wario and Yoshi games were released in a June day. Here's the list:
That's all, folks! See you next time!!