I like Banyardan over Thornita, but Thornita can do more plant-based damage with Nature Dance. Plus if you wail stuff to death, you can switch instead of being locked in. It only gets Acid Slap for poison damage though, and poison is busted in this game. Too many weaknesses, not too many things it's good against. Junanchel isn't bad either. High attack, Solar Conversion to boost its physical stats, sadly no sleep move, but it gets Assault Tackle for some standard damage as well. A bit slow and sorta tankish, but potentially usable.
My Leonatar at level 56 had 122 attack, untrained. I think I like this guy. Its defenses are a tad low, but not brutally so.
I didn't detail the way I beat Octoross because I honestly don't remember much. A good amount of his team is weak to either magic or electric or both. I think I did most of it with Dussoket, and just used about a dozen and a half herbs. Domestress was useless in that fight, but I recall Dussoket, Tarb a and even Elvond having their uses. The team was level 20-22 when I did it, and I didn't have any serious problems. Beat him again this playthrough, with a team near about the same level. Mondevol did a lot of the work, Feefeye and Drabao were damn near useless in that fight, and Reefe didn't have a reliable water move yet.
Gronk gets a lot better to level in Mt. Cinder, with all the flame types running around. It does take a little while to get going because it doesn't have any strong earth or magic moves for awhile, and it's got a pretty big handful of weaknesses.
Coming back to poison for a moment, I think the type needs a revamp.
Should be super-effective against shadow, magic, plant, water and insect
should be not very effective against poison, stone and undead
should be not effective against steel (immunity)
As it stands right now, poison just gets wrecked. Earth and magic are common types, and poison just doesn't pull
its weight. I'd like to see water have more weaknesses than just plant and electric, I'd like to see magic get another weakness, and I'd like to see undead lose an immunity (it's already got one) and steel gain one (steel is another shafted type). If I could justify it, I'd even let poison be neutral against insect.
Right now, having a poison type or a part-poison type on your team is inviting a liability, because there is not a single poison type I've yet seen that really uses its second type well. Ratiera is bad in general and gets...Pollution Solution, and that's it, but it doesn't have the stats to support a toxic-stall set. Sansurgion is pure poison, and not bad actually, but you're limited to Ooze Blast and Takedown, the latter of which does recoil damage. Turoison isn't bad either, but it's fairly slow, fairly defensive, and its only poison move (Toxic Storm) is also air type. So it picks up a couple of weaknesses f or a few small bonuses, not a fair trade-off in my view. Skirial gets Toxic Storm, but Skirial isn't all that good to begin with. Trumer...I'm not sure of his best poison move, but again, see my notes on Skirial (read: not that good to begin with, sorta meh at everything except HP, which is good). I think that's the entirety of the poison spectrum, and magic/earth are just too common. There's a good reason why I breathe a sigh of relief when I see a poison-type manamon; it's an easy death.
My tweaks would make the type more competitively dangerous without breaking it. It would knock undead down just a little, would bump steel up just a little, would weaken water a little as well, and might actually see something like Sansurgion gain a little popularity. I dunno.
I don't even know if Aaron's still reading any of this, or caring if he does.
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