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More Quick Tips: Pokemon Shuffle Mobile

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Let's diglett deeper

Earlier this year, Pokémon Shuffle released on 3DS and Chris Carter handed out some tips for success in the free-to-play match-three puzzler, despite the fact that he didn't care much for it. He's so magnanimous.

Pokémon Shuffle Mobile launched a couple weeks ago, so now an whole new set of players are jumping into it. However, with certain changes in the mobile port, most notably the bumped up item prices, some of the advice could use an update. Not only that, but it can certainly be expounded upon. Let's diglett deeper into the strategy.

First things first: the time-sensitive stuff

If you read nothing else of this guide, this is what you should take away.

  • Enter the code 65607110 under Settings > Code for Lucarionite. This code expires on September 30, 2015. Lucarionite will let you Mega evolve Lucario, which is a huge help throughout the game. I'll explain why in detail later.
  • Your first long-term goal should be to capture Groudon. Groudon is currently part of a special event set to expire on September 25, 2015.
  • Opportunities for both of these are likely to show up in the future, but obtaining them now will be a great help for getting through the early, mid, and late game.

Matches

The game explains the basics of making matches, but leaves a lot of nuance for the player to discover.

  • Moving a Pokémon on the board almost always involves swapping two Pokémon. On a board with few disruptions, you can frequently make matches on both ends of the swap.
  • Taking the above into account, double-ended matches do not occur simultaneously. The Pokémon being dragged into place matches first, while the one swapped back by default matches second. This can come into play if you want to control how surrounding tiles fall. In general, by swapping from the bottom up, you can increase your chance of getting lucky as the dust settles.
  • When matching a single Pokémon both horizontally and vertically, precedence is given to the larger match (for example, a match of four will clear before a match of three). When the horizontal and vertical matches are equal in size, the horizontal match will take precedence. This can be very important when matching certain Mega evolutions.

Abilities

Short descriptions of abilities are given, but some could use more explicit explanation.

  • With a few exceptions, abilities are usually activated for only the first Pokémon matched in a single combo.
  • Exceptions include powering up a Mega evolution and activating a Mega ability. These will occur no matter how far down a combo the match occurs.
  • Power of 4 (Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Kangaskhan, and more) will activate every time a match of four is made for the first match of a combo with the corresponding Pokémon. Most other abilities activate some fraction of the time, with bigger matches (fours and fives) increasing the chance the ability will activate.
  • Before playing a round, take the time to familiarize yourself with your Pokémon's abilities. When making a double-ended match, it's better to take a chance on a random ability like Opportunist than waste a first-match-in-the-combo on Block Smash when there are no blocks around.

Types

The Pokémon Shuffle type chart follows the X/Y type chart. Here are some important notes.

  • Unlike classic Pokémon, Shuffle has players building teams of four specifically to fight a single type at any given time. Instead of taking a team that covers a wide set of types, you want a whole team of Super Effective (double damage) Pokémon for the task at hand.
  • Fighting-type is the only type Super Effective versus Normal-type. This is partially why obtaining Lucarionite for Mega Lucario is so helpful. Thus far, Lucario is the only Fighting-type that can Mega evolve.
  • Ground-type is the only type Super Effective versus Electric-type. This is partially why capturing Groudon early is so helpful. With Groudon, you can build an all-Ground team after Stage 101. Without Groudon, you can't have an all-Ground team until Stage 136.
  • All other types have at least two types that are Super Effective against it, so it is much easier to build an appropriate team.
  • Some levels feature weak Pokémon as a fixture and are easier to complete if those Pokémon are brought along as part of the team. Togekiss is easier to beat with Togetic along. Milotic is basically impossible without bringing Feebas to the party. Don't forget this is an option; several stages use the trick.

Mega evolutions

Mega evolutions are a big part of Pokémon Shuffle, but strategy is key.

  • Several of the early Mega evolving Pokémon (Audino, Kangaskhan, Lopunny) are Normal-type. They are not Super Effective versus anything. Due to its higher base attack power, Mega Lucario is preferable to the Normal-type Megas unless fighting Poison-, Flying-, Psychic-, Bug-, or Fairy-types.
  • If you hit the Optimize button repeatedly when building a team, it will cycle through different Mega evolving Pokémon. It is up to you to determine which one is actually most appropriate for a given level.
  • In shorter stages (10 moves or less), it is often advantageous to leave out a Mega evolving Pokémon entirely. Since it takes time to Mega evolve, it is generally better to bring a Super Effective regular Pokémon as opposed to a normal damage Mega. Sometimes it can even be better to switch a Super Effective Mega out for a different Super Effective Pokémon with a greater attack power.
  • Mega abilities are not created equal. Mega Gengar is great for stringing together big combos, but terrible for taking out unbreakable blocks. Mega Aerodactyl is great for taking out blocks, but useless in stages without those disruptions. Don't just take what Optimize gives you.

Grinding

In general, you won't want to grind, but here are some tips for when you should.

  • Usually, the path to greater power is to capture stronger Pokémon. A single Pokémon's power can increase up to 20 points by leveling up to MAX, but base attack power can range from 30 to 90. Capture Pokémon with a base attack power of 60 or above instead of grinding your 40s and 50s.
  • You can reasonably make it up to Mega Glalie (Stage 120) without grinding or using items. If you haven't already, this is a good time to switch to Expert stages to catch some of the upper tier Pokémon. Moltres, Blaziken, and Entei would specifically help against Mega Glalie.
  • Getting S ranks on Main stages unlocks Expert stages. I can be worthwhile to go back to previously completed stages in order to bump the ranking.
  • Experience is awarded in proportion to the number of moves a level contains. Buneary (Stage 21) is the best stage for grinding experience until Ampharos (Stage 130). Snorlax (Stage 183) technically awards the most experience of any main stage, but it is much more difficult to complete than Ampharos.
  • An uncompleted stage still awards experience, but it's less than if the stage were completed.
  • Meowth (Stage 37) can be played repeatedly to grind for coins. You only keep the coins if you beat him, so you have to be able to balance matching coins and attacking, but not attacking too quickly.

Spending

You can still play Pokémon Shuffle Mobile without spending a dime, but you'll have to be smart about it.

  • Check in every day for 500 coins. Make sure to play the Special stages during the weekends for Meowth's Coin Mania. When making coin matches, a match of three is worth 100, a match of four is worth 300, and a match of five is worth 500. It is more profitable to get one match of four than two matches of three.
  • Patience is the greatest asset in Pokémon Shuffle. You will be tempted to use a Great Ball often, but it is almost always better to save those coins. Even something as low as a 10% capture rate means (on average) ten tries to get it, or five hours of waiting. A single Great Ball on Mobile costs 3500 coins, or seven days of checking in.
  • One thing I keep in mind when going for captures with low percentages is a comparison to a standard six-sided die. If you have a 17% catch power, that's like rolling a 6 on the die. It's not exactly likely, but if you roll the thing enough times you're bound to hit it eventually.
  • The best time to use a Great Ball is when it triggers Super Catch Power on a particularly difficult battle. If you can't consistently beat a stage and you get Super Catch Power, it's probably worth it.
  • Save your coins for the competitive events. These are often the only ways to get certain Mega Stones, and they are only awarded to a fraction of participants. Attack Power+ is an easy way to make sure you're in that group.
  • When you do spend your coins, spend them wisely. Some stages are only difficult because of disruptions. Use a Disruption Delay on these. Some begin with a huge obstacle but get easy once that is cleared. Use a Mega Start (and an appropriate Mega Pokémon) on these. Determine the main problem of a level and use the tool best suited to tackle that problem.
  • For the Main and Expert stages, you should not need items at all until you start going for S ranks. Be patient with your captures, be smart with your matches, and wait for that one really lucky run.

So there you have it. Now that I have this all written out, it might not really be a set of "Quick Tips," but you should now be better prepared to take on the addiction that is Pokémon Shuffle. Good luck!

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Darren Nakamura
Darren NakamuraAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011. While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strateg... more + disclosures


 


 


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