BX8B Pokémon League: Ethan Vs. Xander

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Long before I was invited to take over for Grimlock on The Legend of Retro, I was given the keys to BX8B’s tumblr account. They asked me to write about whatever came to mind so long as it was gaming related. Some nights I got bored, played an old video game, and wrote about my experience (like playing Mega Man 2 in reverse order on the difficult setting). One particular night, I had an intense Pokémon battle with Deadite as part of our BX8B Pokémon League and was inspired to write out what happened in the battle as if I were telling a story.

I recently went back and re-read the story and was reminded of how awesome it was and how I was probably the only person who ever read it. So now (3 and a half years later) I’m reviving it so you all can read how great the battle was, or maybe I’ll be the only one to read it again. At any rate, it’ll be easier for me to find in another 3 and a half years. Enjoy!

BX8B Pokémon League: Ethan Vs. Xander

They stood on hallowed ground. Two men ready to unleash their warriors on one another. They both had recently come from flawless victories, so theirs would be a glorious finale to the 4th round.

Ethan stood confident, staring at his opponent from across the field. He had earned five points so far, four points from two uncontested victories, and one point from his defeat at the hands of Elle, who had been sitting comfortably atop the leaderboards since day one. But Ethan had done something that no one else had been able to do yet; he’d shown that even the mighty can stumble, even if she hadn’t fallen yet.

Ethan lowered his head while he pushed his glasses up to rest on the bridge of his nose. “It all comes down to this, my friend. Are you ready?”

Xander brushed away some debris off of his cap then placed it back onto his head. He’d just scored the tying point in this best of three brawl and was feeling a little better about his chances in this round. Xander had a rough start, failing to take even one point from Elle in the first round. He felt discouraged at first, but came back with a vengeance against Chops, knocking him out in consecutive matches. Xander’s victory had been so impressive that it caused Chris to exit the competition in fear of another defeat.

Making sure his cap was in place, Xander confidently tossed his pokeball in the air and caught it with the other hand fully outstretched in Ethan’s direction. “Only one of us will walk away with 2 points, and we’ve had a hell of a go so far. May the best man win!”

The two locked eyes and flashed half smiles as they threw out their first Pokemon into the center of the playing field. Ethan’s Mawile was the first to appear but was soon covered by the shadow of Xander’s Pangoro as it stood tall and balled its fists ready to strike.

“You’ve got this, WinterWarlock! Crush that tiny-” Xander’s words were interrupted by a bright flash. Ethan had tapped his bracelet to have Mawile mega evolve! This new larger form caused the mighty WinterWarlock to take a step back, but it still stood tall and was ready to fight. It threw its fist like a heavy hammer swing at Mega Mawile. Mawile recoiled from the attack but was hunched over.

Proud of its power, WinterWarlock grunted a little, as if it were laughing at the so-called mega Pokemon. Mawile lifted its head and flashed a smile. In the blink of an eye, it counter attacked by playing rough with the cocky Pangoro. Xander’s eyes widened as his Pangoro dropped to the ground, unconscious before it even hit the ground.

Xander called the limp Pangoro back into its ball, then reached for the ball labeled “Cookie Monster.” The once quiet battlefield erupted with the roar of Xander’s Exploud. Xander shouted out a command, but Ethan couldn’t hear it over the new challenger. He quickly recalled his Mawile and sent out Emboar to make quick work of the cacophonous beast.

Ethan couldn’t help but smile as he finally realized what Xander had shouted to his Pokemon. With another ear rupturing noise a blast of fire was launched at Emboar. The only thing louder than Exploud’s voice was Xander’s frustration with the well timed Pokemon swap on Ethan’s behalf.

The barrel-chested Emboar threw a punch with enough force to break bricks into Expoud’s agape mouth. Cookie clenched its four teeth as it absorbed the blow then opened it’s mouth even wider as it fought back. Oddly enough there was no noise. Ethan looked a little confused, but suddenly Emboar grabbed it’s head and fell to its knees from the extrasensory attack. The next noise was the flaming body dropping face first into the ground.

Ethan pulled out the next pokeball as he called back his fainted ally. The next pokeball he threw opened as it hit the ground. The Pokemon flew high into the sky before Xander could even see what it was.

“Cookie! Boomburst! Hit that thing wherever it’s hiding!” Exploud nodded in agreement with Xander before bellowing a mighty roar that made the walls of the arena shake - but nothing happened. Exploud looked around confused when suddenly Ethan’s Crobat came hurling down from the sky knocking the confused Pokemon on it’s back. Exploud’s mouth was still wide open, but its eyes were shut tight - knocked out by the winged foe.

Unsure of how to counterattack, Xander threw out his Clefable next. “Come on, Otzenfree! Let’s put that metronome to good use!”

As quickly as it appeared, Crobat flew back into it’s ball as Ethan sent out Gothitelle to fighter against Xander’s fairy friend. Clefable had intended to psyshock Crobat, but the attack hit Gothitelle instead. Unimpressed with the weak attack, Gothitelle countered by flexing it’s own psychic muscles.

“Come on, Otzenfree!” Xander repeated, “Let’s put that OTHER metronome to good use!” Clefable concentrated for a bit then threw it’s finger into the air. A strange light enveloped both Pokemon. Clefable had conjured up a type reflect attack, changing its type from fairy to psychic. Gothitelle laughed pitifully at its bumbling opponent before hurling a shadow ball across the battlefield.

Clefable, barely standing, concentrated again and raised both arms to the sky. Suddenly gravity intensified as Clefable pulled another random move out of its sleeve. Xander just shook his head and pulled the brim of his cap down. Dumb luck was not on his side this time. He called Clefable back embarrassed, then sent out Tentacruel to get the job done.

Gothitelle had already flung another shadow ball toward the retreating Clefable that hit Xander’s Tentacruel as it appeared. Annoyed at the unexpected attack, Tentacruel used one of its tentacles to launch a sludge bomb at the offending Pokemon.

Realizing shadow balls wouldn’t do too much damage, Gothitelle decided to attack the poisonous sea beasts brain instead. The psychic attack was super effective, but not enough to sink the kraken. Water began to pulsate from Tentacruel and hit Gothitelle. It didn’t hurt much, but Gothitelle suddenly found it hard to concentrate. It had been confused by the kraken’s attack.

“Nice work, Blooper! Now let’s keep dropping bombs on that thing while it doesn’t know what’s hitting it!” Xander shouted excitedly. Gothitelle shook its head trying to make sense of everything, it attempted to use psychic again. The confusion must have helped as it struck Tentacruel much harder this time. Tentacruel lurched forward and threw another sludge bomb and the confused foe, poisoning the poor Gothitelle. It slumped forward as its eyes focused on Tentacruel and attacked psychically one more time.

This time the sea beast dropped, but before Gothitelle could celebrate, the poison had taken its toll and both Pokemon dropped. Both trainers called back their fallen Pokemon and readied the next.

“Back to square one, eh Xando?” Ethan shouted.

“Just wanted to clear the playing field. You ready?”

Ethan smirked and held up his next pokeball and waited for Xander to ready his next Pokemon. Xander looked at the three he had left, looking a little less confident than before. “Well, third time’s a charm I guess. Let’s give it another go, old friend.” Xander sent Clefable back out to gamble on metronome one more time.

Before Clefable could lift a finger, a form flew across the field and shocked Otzenfree with a poisonous strike knocking it unconscious. Xander looked up and saw Ethan’s Crobat flapping its four wings gallantly overhead. Xander mumbled angrily to himself as he grabbed the next pokeball.

Xander’s next Pokemon slowly oozed out of its ball and took on the form of a dripping dragon. Goodra’s special defense had gotten Xander out of some sticky situations before, and with just one other Pokemon left to use against Ethan’s four, he’d needed all the help he could get.

Goodra opened its mouth and ice started to form inside, but before it could fire, Crobat locked eyes with Goodra and Goodra became confused. It closed its mouth and fired the ice beam, hurting itself. Crobat looked like it was laughing before it flew down and bit Goodra with its venomous fangs, poisoning the confused dragon.

Goodra’s mouth was frozen shut, but it kept trying to shoot Crobat with its ice beam, hurting itself along with the poison. Crobat flew cockily around, occasionally spitting more poison and the dripping dragon. Finally, Goodra snapped out of the confusion and leaned its head back. The slime on Goodra’s neck moved and revealed a crude, malformed mouth that launched an ice beam at the taunting Crobat. It lost a lot of altitude, but stopped just short of hitting the ground. Goodra felt the sting of poison from its wound and melted back into the pokeball.

Completely discouraged, Xander grabbed his only remaining pokeball. “It’s all up to you, Gliscor! We aren’t going down without a fight!”

“We’re almost done here. Have some fun, Crobat!” Ethan said, standing a little straighter than before. Crobat flapped its wings violently, shaking loose the ice before locking eyes with Xander’s Gliscor.

Xander’s heart sank as he watched his last Pokemon get the same confused look on its face that Goodra had. Gliscor hurt itself in confusion. Crobat flew up into the sky again as Xander started packing up his defeated Pokemon. Then there was a green flash of light that caught Xander’s attention. The toxic orb that Gliscor held in its tail began to glow as it started to merge with Gliscors body, poisoning it. Gliscor’s eyes focused and looked up into the sky, quickly locating the enemy Crobat among the bright spotlights of the arena. In one quick action, Gliscor hid behind a substitute of itself and awaited the attack from Crobat.

Not noticing the switch, Crobat attacked the substitute and tried locking eyes with it. Before it could realize what it had hit, Gliscor used blinding speed and used an aerial attack to knock Crobat to the ground. The glowing orb on Gliscor’s tail pulsated, and Gliscor looked like it was getting stronger.

“Poison heal, eh? Cute trick, but it’s too little too late. Three to one aren’t the best odds. Time to finish this, Starmie!” Ethan threw out another pokeball. Gliscor wasted little time and used its scissor-like claws to scratch Starmie’s jewel eye. Starmie came back splashing Gliscor’s substitute with scalding hot water melting it away. Gliscor scratched again going for the knockout, but it wasn’t enough to knock Starmie out. Starmie attacked with the scalding hot water again. It was super effective!

Gliscor hunched over and started to fall when the toxic orb pulsated again, giving it just enough strength to stay standing. Gliscor lunged forward at Starmie’s jewel eye one more time, this time shattering it as Ethan’s slippery star fell backward onto the ground.

Xander took his cap off and scratched his head. Gliscor turned around and stood tall on its tail and looked at Xander as if awaiting approval. Xander placed his cap firmly on his head and nodded. This wasn’t over yet!

Ethan adjust his glasses again to make sure he was seeing things right. Had this last Pokemon knocked his lead down from four to two? Irritated, he sent out his Krookodile to finish the job.

Gliscor threw out another substitute to hide behind while using the toxic orb to heal up. Ethan’s Krookodile summoned up sharp rocks from the ground to try to rip the substitute apart, but they weren’t strong enough. Gliscor kept using its scissor claws to cut up his enemy. When the substitute finally faded away, Gliscor would produce another to hide behind while whittling down the mighty sand croc.

“Enough of this! You’re just delaying the inevitable! Come back, Krookodile! Let Mawile finish this!” Ethan shouted as he summoned his mega evolved Pokemon from the beginning of the match.

Gliscor flew out from behind the substitute expected to attack Krookodile again, but was met with the twin-mawed fairy instead. When its scissor claws bounced off the steel flesh of Mega Mawile, Gliscor retreated behind its substitute again to come up with another strategy. Mawile made quick work of substitute and looked angry and ready for the next attack. Its vicious mouthed pigtails snapping at the now revealed Gliscor.

Mawile readied itself to sucker punch Gliscor’s next attack, but it didn’t come. Instead, another substitute was dropped in front of the anxious Mawile. While it was trying to make sense of why there was no attack, the ground below began to rumble and tore open swallowing the confused Mawile. When the dust cleared, Ethan saw his once ferocious Pokemon unconscious. He withdrew the fainted Pokemon and sent Krookodile back out.

“This can’t be happening! Take this thing out, Krookodile!” Ethan screamed furiously.

Xander and Gliscor continued their strategy of attack from behind the substitute, but they could both see a fire burning in Krookodile’s eyes. It unleashed a different attack knocking the substitute away. Krookodile pulled its head back and opened its toothy maw wide, ready to end the battle. But much to its surprise, Gliscor wasn’t behind the discarded substitute.

Krookodile snapped its head back and forth looking for the stealthy combatant. It looked back at the substitute it had just knocked out of the way to see it flying right for him at a tremendous speed. At the last second, the substitute launched straight up into the air and Krookodile watched as it sailed overhead. When it looked back down, it saw Gliscor headed straight at him.

Krookodile closed its eyes and braced for impact. There was a loud whoosh as Gliscor ripped by. Krookodile opened its eyes and looked behind to see Gliscor balancing on its tail next to Xander. Krookodile looked down to see a large X cut into its chest. Krookodile’s eyes rolled back into its head as it slumped to its knees then fell to the ground.

Xander looked to Gliscor and smiled, he gave it a quick nod and reached for the pokeball.

“That was one of the best battles I have ever had the honor to be part of. I’m proud of how we both handled ourselves.”

Xander turned to see Ethan walking towards him, wiping the lenses of his glasses with a cloth before sliding them back onto his face.

“Congratulations, Xander. You battled bravely. But now we’re tied for second place. If you think I’ve fought hard before this- brother, you haven’t seen anything yet! And you!” Ethan turned to Gliscor. “You son of a bitch, you just may be the strongest Pokemon I’ve seen in a long time. Not just in terms of physical strength, but you obviously have a strong bond with Xander, here. You two are going to go far together. Thanks for teaching me a thing or two today.”

Ethan nodded at both Xander and Gliscor before adjusting his glasses one last time and turned to leave.

“Hey!” Ethan turned to see Xander walking after him. When he caught up, Xander extended his hand. “You put up one hell of a fight yourself. I could learn something from you as well. Like what to expect from my fight with JazzE next week.”

Ethan reached out and shook Xander’s hand firmly in respect of a fellow Pokemon master. As he walked away he said “Having faced you both, I expect your fight next week will be quite the challenge.”

Xander looked at Gliscor’s pokeball that he held firmly in his hand and smiled.

“Challenge accepted.”

Man! What a fight! The worst part of it is that I eventually sold my copy of Pokémon X that had the match recorded. Sorry about that. But if you’re really upset about the lack of Xander content, just let me know and I’ll resurface my old Mega Man 2 post about playing in reverse order. If that’s something you want, make sure to let me know in the comment or in our discord!

Matt Alexander