The past couple weeks have been a double dose of roster additions to Pokemon Shuffle, both in the primary mode and in the special arena. Last week saw the addition of a new stack of catchables and a new Mega Evolution stone for Aerodactyl, and also pushed the main track to the edge of the current area. A new, stony area crisscrossed with train track tiles awaits another update, and will hopefully bring new background music with it. Beginning on 4/20/2015, the Pokemon Safari in the Special stages adds a new twist on things by randomizing what Pokemon you go up against.
For the specifics on both new items, read on.
In the main game, the following new Pokemon stages were added following Milotic:
- Solosis (Psychic)
- Honedge (Steel)
- Drilbur (Ground)
- Larvitar (Rock)
- Shuppet (Ghost)
- Rufflet (Flying)
- Bergmite (Ice)
- Mightyena (Dark)
- Snubbull (Fairy)
- Lickitung (Normal)
- Timburr (Fighting)
- Banette (Ghost)
- Tangela (Grass)
- Pupitar (Rock)
- Mega Aerodactyl (Rock)
For the most part, the Optimize button can handle things and provide you with the means to beat each one. The only strategy I recommend keeping in mind is, when playing Solosis, try to clear at least the two top frozen Solosises (Soloses? Solosi?) as quickly as possible. Chances are, you can do so and swap for matches with your own Pokemon in the process, which helps. Once you clear them out, combos come in hot and fast, and there’s a good chance those clears will break at least one other Solosis out with Solosis’ ability.
I’ve also been using Solosis as a training ground for my anti-Mewtwo crew in the hopes of making an eventual Mewtwo S-Rank that much easier. With Mega Gengar and some bugs, you can wreck house, though you’ll have to rotate your fourth Pokemon in sometimes. It’s only a three-‘mon stage. I think my biggest combo there’s somewhere in the low 70s at this point. Seriously, it’s a blast.
Also of note is that currently, Groudon is available to fight/capture in the special area for at least the rest of this week. Again, Optimize and some luck should get that taken care of. I’m pretty sure I got him within my first five tries, catch-wise.
Then there’s Pokemon Safari. This replaces the daily Pokemon stages for the time being, and is represented by a “?” image in the Special Stages. Instead of fighting a set Pokemon, you are randomly assigned one from a limited pool. From what I’ve seen, the available Pokemon are Carvanha, Sharpedo, Spinda, Cherubi, and Cherrim. All stages are limited to three Pokemon, and most have very few moves available to clear. Also, the Optimize button is disabled on account of randomness, so just bring your best team.
I’ve been going at it using my anti-Mewtwo squad (Mega Gengar, Scyther, Scizor, Heracross) and doing just fine, especially given the bugs’ brutality against Cherubi and Cherrim. Gengar helps a lot once it goes Mega, as its “clear all Gengars” ability sets off siiiick combo chains. So yeah, beating whatever shows up isn’t that difficult, though catching can be. If you want to type-counter Carvanha and Sharpedo, keep in mind that they’ve been assigned Dark and not Water for their types in Shuffle. Spinda’s a Normal-type, for similar purposes. Also note that things may get annoying once you finally catch a few, as I now find myself praying for Carvanha or Sharpedo to show up after a stack of Spindas.
The other nice thing is that the rotation of Safari Pokemon doesn’t change each day, so you can keep plugging away at it until you get all of them. At least, until they move in the next batch of critters.
Regardless, kudos to Nintendo for upping the pace a bit when it comes to keeping things interesting for long-running Shufflers. Looking forward to more content as the game wears on, as we’re still only at 231 of 721.