After being ill for the last week or so, I finally managed to get my fat ass into gear and finish the Looming in the Shadows quest, which actually took longer than I expected, mostly because of a complete lack of Team Rocket Pokestops. After all, how am I supposed to fight the Team Rocket Leaders if I can’t actually find them?
Yeah, this quest has been a bit bumpy for me. You need to do 6 normal Team Rocket Pokestops, defeating the Grunts that are there, so you can get 6 Mysterious Components and combine them into a Team Rocket Radar, which you can then use to locate and fight one of the three leaders. For the Looming in the Shadows quest, you need to defeat a total of 18 grunts to fight all three Team Rocket Leaders, and after that you can fight Giovanni himself.
But unlike the Grunts, the Leaders are actually pretty difficult, and so is Giovanni. Actually, I take that back, Cliff and Sierra are pretty easy, Giovanni is a tough nut to crack if you go in blind, but Arlo is a massive pain in the butt.
Why are Cliff and Sierra pretty easy? Because they don’t have a Scyther who attacks insanely fast and throws out a ton of charge attacks. That and most people have at least one high level Machamp who will kick the shit out of Cliff’s Meowth and Sierra’s Sneasel with ease and will still do plenty of damage to whatever they bring out next before dying and also has the beneficial effect of a fast-charging charge attack to take out shields. Arlo’s Scyther will do to you what you do to Cliff and Scyther, and if you’re unlucky, he’ll then bring out a Magnezone which is insanely tanky, even to moves that should be super effective against it.
To put it another way, I beat Cliff in two tries (as I went in blind), I beat Sierra in one try (despite going in blind aside from the Sneasel). It took me about 10 attempts to defeat Arlo for the first time.
Giovanni on the other hand, with his Persian, Rhydon and Articuno, is also incredibly tough but for different reasons. Mainly because I had NO IDEA what Pokemon he used, aside from Articuno, and that Articuno was 12000cp. The Persian is alright, it died pretty easily but Rhydon and Articuno are incredibly tanky and take a lot of damage to bring them down. Rhydon was actually the worst because, unless you can lock him in place with charge attacks, he will kill things in a couple of hits. My winning combination for the Giovanni fight ended up being Machamp with Dynamic Punch, Mamoswine with Powder Snow and Avalanche and Moltres with Sky Attack. The Moltres was a bad pick though, I wouldn’t recommend it (since ice resists flying) and would instead pick a steel type like Metragross, which is resistant to flying and ice.
But my second attempt was insanely close and I was beaten by just a slither of health thanks to Scizor. Scizor was actually aabicus’s recommendation to me for beating Arlo (I’d ended up using two Machamps and Hornier) but I did use my Scizor against Sierra to great effect. The tactic is simple: it doesn’t matter how much damage both Scizor’s fast attack and his charge attack do, you can throw out so many that the opposing Pokemon doesn’t have a chance to fight back. And when he does die, Scizor has almost certainly cleared out any pesky shields. Heck, in the fight against Sierra, he took out TWO THIRDS of Sierra’s Houndoom’s health despite being doubly weak to said Houndoom’s attacks.
So now I’m looking for other Pokemon who do similar things, having really quick fast attacks and spammy three-bar charge attacks. And hopefully having a couple powered up and ready to go without wasting too much stardust.
Anyway, the Looming in the Shadows quest is now over. I got my Articuno. It’s an alright Articuno but I legitimately only have 10 Articuno candy, partially due to the fact that I didn’t know Shadow Articuno is an instant catch as long as you hit it (same with shiny Legendaries from raids) and gave it a golden razberry… and partially due to the fact that this is the second Articuno I’ve ever caught.
Now to wait for the exact same quest to appear next month, so I can get a shadow Zapdos. And then again in January to catch shadow Moltres.