Mindape’s Journey to the West

A Pokemon VGC Blog

Prologue to the Journey

G'day reader(s), 

Whether or not you may find this interesting, I've decided to procrastinate a little today by doing some story telling.




Why Journey to the West?

Firstly, to explain the name of the blog. My username, Mindape, and my 'Journey to the West', are both based from a Chinese classic novel, the title of which is translated to 'Journey to the West'. It's basically a 500 year old adventure novel, telling the story of a Buddhist monk and his disciples travelling from China to India (i.e. westward) to pick up some Buddhist scriptures. My favourite character from the book is the disciple Sun Wukong, who at other times is called Sun the Novice, and the Mind Ape. He's basically OP, but he still needs to use all his wits to help defeat various foes who are equally as strong throughout the novel - fitting, I felt, for someone who wants to outwit foes in the journey to become best vgc oo. Also, Infernape is based off of this character (as are Goku from Dragonball, and Wukong from LoL), if you're interested.

Another thing I find interesting from the novel is the Buddhist scriptures being pilgrimaged for are those of the Mahayana branch. Mahayana is a sanskrit word meaning 'Great Vehicle', and relates to how they believed people could achieve enlightenment. Basically, and I'm sure I'm butchering the lore, instead of encouraging one to meditate alone for ages and then ascending beyond the mortal plane once enlightened and not having to deal with the earth's grimer any more, it allowed for people who have become enlightened to keep their earthly forms, and basically stay behind and help others to become enlightened (they called these Bodhisattvas). So, I guess in the same spirit, this, and any other VGC related blog could be viewed as people working together to bring Pokemon enlightenment to other members of the community. Although I'd hardly think myself the most enlightened Pokemon trainer, I think the more dialogue there is out there from trainers of a variety of levels, the better the community as a whole will be. This blog will hopefully be the story of my own journey, whatever its ups and downs may be and hopefully I, and others, can improve as a result of its existance.

Yeah, I know, this is very artsy fartsy, you don't have to agree or like it. To me it's just a cool way to justify writing blogs, sharing teams, and generally being a positive contributor to the Pokemon community.


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How did I get in to VGC?

Well, firstly I've played Pokemon since I first got Yellow Version. I didn't ever get to play Gen III or IV on cartridge, but when Black and White came out, I jumped at the chance to get a DS and start playing again. However, the first time I really heard about VGC was not until 2014, when a local regional in Melbourne was announced, and I happened to be free that weekend. I was relatively poor back then, barely bothering with natures and EV's, let alone IV's, and my play on Shoddy Battle and Pokemon Online until then had been amateurish and half arsed. It was Bo3 single elimination, and I lost in round 1, going down 2-1.  From there I decided to invest a little more time in figuring out the doubles game, eventually going to Nationals, which were also in Melbourne. My playing hadn't developed a whole lot to that point, and I went 5-4 with a team of Kangaskhan, Talonflame, Rotom-W, Bisharp, Accelgor and...something. Despite relatively middling performances, I quite enjoyed the challenge of doubles, and resolved to spend more time watching and playing the game. I got an account on Nugget Bridge, and began more consistently reading and watching VGC related things.


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VGC 2015 for Me

With the format change to VGC 2015, I had a whole bunch more learning to do. Without knowledge of VGC 2013, I not only had to explore the new megas, but also catch up on what genies did, for example. Honestly, a lot of teams I made early on in the format were still pretty poor, but on Showdown, and on Battle Spot, I was able to consistently hit in the 55-60% W/L ratio range.

In terms of competitions this year though, I really haven't had a chance to demonstrate improvement. Nugget Bridge lives just haven't fit in with my schedule at all, both because of IRL activities and timezones. And I was overseas for Australia's regional season, and their Nationals. I was in England during the UK nationals, but even forgetting that I was preparing for an important walking race, I had lost my 2DS in Spain due to someone stealing my carry on suitcase at the airport (it really was an odd story), and had nothing to play with. Despite that, I felt my teambuilding and play improved, as I'm now able to maintain a GXE on Showdown in the hight 60's/low 70's.

Since my return I have acquired a new 3DS, and a new Pokemon game, and so have returned to battling, but I guess with the season practically over, it'll be time for more learning, and practicing on Battle Spot, so that I might at least have more things to talk about in future blog entries. Hopefully I can attend events more next season, but if not, I'll still try to be around and participate in the community in other ways.

Thanks for reading, hope I didn't bore you too much.


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