I don't post about other games very much on here anymore, but that doesn't mean I'm not playing them!
Since I was a kid, I've always wanted to "Catch 'Em All!" Well, last week, I did! And not just completing the pokedex, but actually having one of every single kind in my bank at once. With new storage functions only recently available which allow you to send your collection to your other (and, I'm assuming, future) games pretty painlessly, it seemed like it was finally time to give this a shot. 11-year old Mike is so pleased! So is 28-year-old Mike, but it is kind of a clouded victory.
It took a LOT of time. Way more than I thought it would. But, once I started getting close, I just had to keep going. Lots of researching, trading, battling, leveling, catching, breeding, and everything else. The new trading utilities within the game make pretty much everything easier than the old games, but that's countered by the sheer number of pokemon now (720). Additionally, fewer and fewer pokemon evolve from just your standard "raise level to X." There's tons of other requirements, including ones that has to be leveled at a certain times of day or certain in-game weather. There's even one where you have to level it up and then hold your gameboy upside-down for it to trigger the evolution.
I was going to share some screenshots, but then I put off publishing this post for like two weeks. Plus, it'll look to same no matter what. It looks just like this, except it's my username and not this guy's.
I'll also share some general "how to get the pokemon you want" tips.
In Game Trading
There are kind "tiers" for how a Pokemon can be traded. It's not based on rarity so much as convenience/effort to obtain a pokemon. From highest-inconvenience to lowest it goes as follows: Mythical pokemon (which aren't tradeable on the GTS, but you can still request them for some reason) -> pokemon that evolve by being traded while holding a certain item -> legendaries -> pokemon evolved with stones or friendliness -> pretty much everything else.
1. You can deposit a Porygon with its Up-Grade item attached, and get pretty much anything you want. It's a great way to get legendaries that you need or want a duplicate of.
2. You can get any 'standard' pokemon with a Magby or Elekid. They're a pain to get, but once you have one, you can evolve it once and duplicate the crap out of it. Whatever you have to trade to get one, you'll get a good return on the investment.
3. More on Magmar...you can trade this guy for literally anything except a legendary or the aforementioned "trade with item" revolutions.
The Pokemon Plaza subreddit is amazing. You can get pretty much any pokemon you can imagine, with any stats/moves/whatever by making a deal on there. There are also lots of giveaways, which can be a lot of fun. It's also pretty much the only way you will ever obtain all of the mythical (not obtainable in game, only through events from Nintendo) pokemon. Just ask someone to hack you one of each and trade them to you via Friend trade (which lacks the restrictions that GTS has).
The Breeding Dittos subreddit's sole purpose is to give away Dittos with 6IV's for breeding. Save yourself a ton of trouble and go get one.
Secret Base Leveling
Also online, you can use QR codes to manually import other players' secret bases into your game. So here's my guide for high-octane low-effort leveling.
1. Get five of these bases where the owner has three level 100 Blissey's with a Toxic Orb equipped (they're worth a ton of exp, can't attack, and will eventually kill themselves),
2. Add all five to your "Pals" list or whatever, so they appear in your base.
3. Get a "level release" so their pokemon won't be capped at 50.
These horribly-named abilities don't make or break you, but they can sure help keep things moving. Get yourself a party of 6 Magby's, pop the Exp. Boost and Befriending boost, and Bam! One battle later and you're looking at 6 Magmar's, which, I repeat, can be traded for just about any other breed of pokemon (or literally any other breed if you give it a Magmarizer before you attempt to trade it).
Sure, almost all of your in-game computer is labeled and ready to go for all your pokemon, but it helps to be able to see it on a real computer screen and see where you are and really get a sense of your progress and what you have remaining.
I had a hard time finding just one app that really did everything that I wanted. LivingDex is great because it's light, easy, and travels with you wherever you go. PokeCheckList is also great because it lists each pokemon, has some sorting functions, and lists how to obtain every pokemon. However, it only works in one browser and if you clear your cookies, it all gets cleared out. Why isn't there one app that does it all? I don't know.
But yeah, that's all of my tips for getting pokemon. I'm not sure I'd really recommend to anyone else that they do it too, but hey, I've officially got them all. And with Pokemon Bank, I'll hopefully have them forever and never have to do anything like this ever again. Win-win!