Pokemon Black: The Liepard Solo Run

My Pokemon itch awoke lately and begged to be scratched, and I was more than happy to comply. My gaming instinct elected Pokemon Black as the entry that should be played, and it was not long before I stuffed the cartridge in my DSi and created a brand-new save with a male Trainer that I fittingly named Noir. (For the record, my plan is to pick up the female trainer when I play Pokemon White and call her Blanche. Such a perfect set-up!)

I decided right away to indulge in yet another Solo Run, since this is by far my favourite way of playing Pokemon games. The Nuzlocke Challenge can wait a trifle longer! However, my enthusiam was seriously doused by the discovery of the starters, whose bizarre looks didn't please my retinas in the slightest. I finally chose Oshawott, with the secret intention of ditching him as soon as I encountered a more gracious 'Mon. I didn't have to wait long for that fateful encounter: as soon as I set foot on Route 2, I got entangled in a fight with an adorable Purrloin in the tall grass, and there was no turning back. I knew right away that this purple cat would be my One and Only and that we would cruise together all the way to the summits of the Elite Four. Or not—but more on that very soon.

The first two Gyms were quite a pain, I have to admit. My Purrloin—affectionately renamed Purry—had only crappy Normal moves at her disposal and struggled in battles, and I needed to grind a fair bit to be able to conquer both Gyms—so much so that I started fearing that maybe that lovely purple feline was not a 'Mon fit for a solo run. Fortunately, the obtention of the  powerful Dark move Pursuit at Lv.15 made things considerably smoother and I started gaining the upper hand in fights, slowly but surely.

Eighteen hours and a glorious evolution in Liepard later, I can pretty much one-shot every 'Mon crossing my path, and as usual, it feels amazing. I only had a bit of trouble with Elite Four Trainer Marshal, whose Fighting 'Mons knocked my Purry out more than once; but this unexpected struggle made things all the more thrilling. Then came the fight with Reshiram, which was over so fast that I nearly felt sorry for this poor Legendary. I'm always reluctant to capture these noble beasts, and I wish the games would stop forcing me to do so. It feels so annoyingly trivial and disrespectful to capture these unique 'Mons that are nearly akin to deities, and I cannot help but release them as soon as I can—and Reshiram was no exception. And since I'm mentioning this whole subject, I encountered later a Tornadus on Route 12, which I neatly pummeled into oblivion without being aware that this was a Legendary. I would still have pummeled it into oblivion if I had been aware of its nature, mind you; but I would have done so with more reverence.

I am still stationed on Route 12 to this day, and I don't think I will go any further, despite the fact that I technically didn't beat the Elite Four and the Champion. This untimely desertion is solely to blame on the game itself, which had the audacity to force me to fight the Elite Four twice. Such insolence! Infortunately, the first confrontation with the Elite Four was followed by the end of the main story and by the credits, which triggered the usual vertiginous drop in my drive that always prevents me from clearing postgames. Plus, in my mind, I have already beaten the Elite Four as well as an ersatz Champion, so there is basically no need to repeat the whole process. And that's why I've decided to put an end to my glorious Purrloin solo run despite the fact that some towns still stand unexplored and that I've not been crowned Champion yet.

I'm quite glad that I could at long last indulge in a feline Pokemon solo run, for such a run has been a dream of mine ever since I discovered the existence of cat-like 'Mons. The only issue is that my Pokemon itch has not been scratched vigorously enough for my taste, which means that I need to play another Pokemon game right away. I'm not too sure yet which version I will elect, but there will definitely be another Pokemon solo run on the heels of my Purrloin one. See you soon for more Pokemon solo action, dear fellow gamers! Thanks for reading, and be my guest anytime!


  1. You could just dub your Purloin solo run as "Team Plasma Grunt Run", to be honest. Those pathetic guys always carried a Purrloin or a Patrat, or even both!

    I agree on the starters, too. All of them were pretty bad. My personal least favorite ones from all the Pokemon generations. The Oshawott line is probably the only decent one, design-wise.

    1. True! This was a genuine feline run. Cats and panthers everywhere!

      I will probably run with Oshawott when I play Pokemon White. His original form looks quite crappy, but His evolutions are rather sleek and impressive! And I have a soft spot for water starters, anyway.^^

    2. There are a sizable amount of feline Pokémons if you take all generations into account. You can probably make a cat-only party if wanted to.

      Yeah. Oshawott ends being a interesting Samurai-Otter thing with a nice design. I really didn't expect that evolution theme from it!

      Snivy has a decent base design but his evolutions are terrible. I remember sawing so much interesting imaginary evolutions back when it was revealed the first time and all, literally ALL, were better than the official ones.

      The fire pig is generic and terrible all around though.

    3. When I associate "pig" and "fire", I cannot help but think of barbecue. Not the best start for a fulfilling relationship with a 'Mon! :P

      I still have to attempt a solo run of a Pokemon entry with a Grass starter. For some reason, I'm always very reluctant to pick up these 'Mons and picture them as less efficient than their Water and Fire counterparts, but that's probably just prejudice... I already cleared solo runs with Fire and Water starters, so certainly the deed is doable as well with a Grass one!

    4. I remember Tepig having the nickname Hot Bacon sometime when it was revealed.

      Depends on what generation you're talking about. Grass starters are generally pretty good and can hold their own just fine. Specially Treecko (3rd Gen) and Torterra (4th Gen). The rest are very defense-oriented so they don't dish out as much damage though. Specially Snivy and Chikorita who are pathetically weak unless you have them with the best Nature and correctly EV train them.

    5. Hahaha!! "Hot Bacon!! This one cracked me up. :D

      Thanks for that piece of information! That's pretty good to know. One of the greatest pleasures of a solo run is to be able to one-shot opponents, so a weak 'Mon wouldn't do the trick at all. Should I want to try a solo run with a Grass starter, I will thus wisely pick up Diamond/Pearl or Sapphire/Ruby!

    6. Yup, that's the problem. They usually are more support or defense oriented rather than full-on sweepers. And the fact that they have a more restrictive move pool, compared to Water or Fire types, also limits their possible strength.

      Treecko won't disappoint you. I personally did a solo run with him back in the GBA times (Ruby and Sapphire released 13 years ago, god I feel old!) and he pretty much annihilated everything because of his great Attack and Speed. And he'll probably be even stronger in the 3DS remakes since these have the Attack/Special Attack split, something that didn't exist back then and, of course, a wider move pool with more offensive Grass moves and available TMs.

    7. Okay then, my mind is made up: I'll attempt a Treecko solo run when I play Emerald!^^

      Did you clear other solo runs with other 'Mons? As an avid solo runner, I always delight in reading about other players' exploits in that field!

    8. Oh, yes. I did a real big amount of them back in the GB and GBA eras. Ironically, I remember trying out soloing Crystal with Chikorita and failed, proving that she was far from being a decent fighter. I also did a Mudkip solo run in Ruby, WITHOUT letting him evolve.

      Other than that, I also attempted a Nuzlocke challenge when I played Emerald (which I failed at the Elite Four) and also a Bug Type-only run in Pokémon Crystal and a Steel type-only in Emerald.

      The fun thing about Pokémon is that you can easily create challenges for yourself or even adapt the game to make it harder! Try to create self-imposed rules upon yourself, Isleif! Honestly, your Purrloin run actually inspired me into trying out my hand at another solo run in Pokémon Black.

    9. "The fun thing about Pokémon is that you can easily create challenges for yourself or even adapt the game to make it harder": this is one of the series' greatest strengths, I think. Pokemon can accommodate virtually every player as well as every way of playing, hence its enduring appeal!

      So far, my only self-imposed rule in solo runs has been fainting=failure, although I needed to ditch it in Black when facing the Elite Four the first time around. I would never had made it past Marshal without tolerating fainting, since his Fighting 'Mons could pretty much one-shot my Purrloin... Oh, well; it's the exception that proves the rule! :P