Kappy’s Spotlight — Fire Pop

It’s that time again: #KappySpotlight time, where I talk about badges/items/partners/etc… that are generally seen as “bad” and not used very often by challenge runners. I dive deeper into why they’re perceived the way they are with some cool strategies centered around them mixed in! Today, I’ll be covering a really unique item in 64 that has an effect most items don’t: FIRE POP!

Before we jump in, I want to relay some sad news — this will be the last Kappy Spotlight…for now. I feel I’ve covered many of the lower-tiered things when it comes to Paper Mario combat and I think it’s time to retire the series for now to focus on other things. I’ve also been busier than ever and finding time to write has been increasingly more difficult. If I’m ever inspired to cover something else, I will, and I’ll still be trying to write a few more things for Paper Mario Talks as well, so do look forward to those! Anyway, enough of that — let’s look at Fire Pop!

firepop

Move: Restores 20 FP and reduces HP by 1.

The “reducing HP by 1” part is what’s interesting. 20 FP is a pretty nice FP heal, but what’s more interesting is being able to finely tune Mario’s HP with an item that can also restore a good amount of FP. When you look at the item, it’s really not amazing by any means. It’s cool, and the effect is unique, but more often than not you can just get to Danger or Peril through being attacked and knowing which attacks to guard and not guard, and it doesn’t have the fine-tuning that, say, a Dried Shroom or Mistake might have when it comes to taking damage over a large number of turns. However, this item could lead to some interesting badge setups. Let’s check out a couple strategies involving Fire Pop!

LAVA PIRANHA STRAT

This is a little bit of a special case, but I wanted to include this because it shows off Fire Pop. Over the past couple of years, the Glitz Pit has done Community Challenges. These were challenges hosted by the server that everyone could participate in. The gist was that every month, we’d proceed through a Chapter and set restrictions for the bosses & mini-bosses (including all optional ones) that came from community members. The restrictions for Chapter 5 for Lava Piranha were:

– Only items with “candy” or “pop” in their name could be used (attacking items excluded)
– Sushie cannot be used
– You cannot equip Ice Power or Fire Shield

– You cannot use multi-target attacks/items

NOTE: We did Chapter 5 in October of 2018, hence the “Halloween Candy” restriction.

Okay, so now that you’ve seen the restrictions, you can probably see why Fire Pop is used. Let’s take a look at the strategy!

10 HP, 10 FP
BADGES: Power Bounce, Hammer Throw, Double Dip, Quick Change, Dodge Master, Power Plus x2, Defend Plus, Mega Rush (30 BP)
ITEMS: Fire Pop, Lemon Candy, Thunder Bolt

T1: Turbo Charge, Fire Pop *Guard only Bud attacks
T2: Power Bounce (4 bounces), Fan Smack [Phase 1 Ends]
T3: Fan Smack, Double Dip (Lemon Candy, Thunder Bolt)
T4: Hammer Throw, Outta Sight
T5: Hammer Throw [KO]

Because of the candy restriction, perfect FP use wasn’t too much of a worry because basically, all the items with “pop” and “candy” in their names restore a good portion of FP. I knew I wanted to use Peril, but I needed a way to get into Peril Turn 1 and in the second Phase since Lava Piranha was guaranteed to attack then. Enter Fire Pop. Because of my restriction on items, I was basically chained to 3 or 5 HP heals. Damage Dodge wouldn’t allow me to get back into Peril off of a Phase 2 attack, so I turned to Defend Plus. I had more than a few ways to get into Peril but decided to make use of Fire Pop. I do want to note that while this is a strategy showing off Fire Pop, it didn’t help me in saving turns or BP — it was more for flash here. Anyway, I added Power Bounce for a quick KO Phase 1 and Hammer Throw for Phase 2 and I was set. Let’s begin the battle!

Turn 1 is setup. We Turbo Charge and Fire Pop to restore the FP lost from Turbo Charge, then get into Peril through specific guarding. Then, we Power Bounce for 30 damage and Fan Smack, ending Phase 1 quickly. Now Phase 2 starts. We Fan Smack and Double Dip Turn 3 with a Lemon Candy to restore 5 HP and our FP once more, along with a Thunder Bolt. I want to note that had we note recovered with the Fire Pop Turn 1, we wouldn’t’ve had enough FP for that Double Dip. Turn 4, we Hammer Throw for 13 damage as Turbo Charge goes away. And guess how much HP Lava Piranha has left? That’s right: 12 HP. We Hammer Throw for now 12 damage to end the fight with perfect damage!

Like I said before, Fire Pop wasn’t the crux of my strategy, but I wanted to show this off because it used Fire Pop to eliminate a guard I needed to pull off to get into Peril and is an actual unique strategy that I used during an actual challenge featuring today’s spotlight, which is, well, rare!

Okay, let’s look at another strategy with Fire Pop!

CRYSTAL KING STRAT

10 HP, 5 FP
BADGES: Super Jump Charge, Power Plus x2, All or Nothing, Power Bounce, Flower Saver, Mega Rush, Damage Dodge (30 BP)
ITEMS: Fire Pop

T1: Super Jump Charge, Turbo Charge *Guard two bits
T2: Fire Pop, Electro Dash (65)
T3: Chill Out, Electro Dash (60)
T4: Hammer, Electro Dash (43)
T5: Star Storm, Electro Dash (miss AC) (35)
T6: Power Bounce (3 bounces), Electro Dash [KO]

This strat is a little complicated and requires a little RNG, so let’s dive in! As I’ve mentioned before in my Mega Jump spotlight, Crystal King has 70 HP, 6 ATK, and 2 DEF. The goal of this strat was to get into Peril using a Fire Pop and then KO him with a Power Bounce once he was low enough. Because of the 2 DEF, we equip all ATK-increasing badges and Super Jump Charge and lean on Flower Saver and Damage Dodge for support. With this setup and a Fire Pop’s FP healing, we can get away with 10 HP 5 FP against Crystal King!

So, let’s jump in. We set up Turn 1 with Turbo Charge and Super Jump Charge and guard two of the bits. Each bit does 4 damage, so we take one and guard twice (it’s 2 damage with Damage Dodge) to get to 2 HP. Next turn, we restore our FP with Fire Pop and simultaneously put ourselves in Peril! We Electro Dash because Watt has nothing else to do and we don’t have the luxury of Quick Change with this badge setup. This turn, Crystal King summons more ice bits. Next turn, to prevent ourselves from being KO’d, we Chill Out and guard all of the bits. We once again Electro Dash.

Turn 4, we Hammer to pile on some extra damage and set us up for the Power Bounce finisher. This is also the turn that Turbo Charge will end, so we should attack to make sure it wasn’t wasted. Currently, Mario’s base ATK with the Ultra Hammer is 6. With two Power Plus badges and All or Nothing, that’s 9. With Turbo Charge, that’s 10, and with Mega Rush, that’s 14. Factor in Crystal King’s 2 DEF, and we’re at 12 damage. We Electro Dash as well, leaving Crystal King at 43 HP. At this point, Crystal King will summon ice bits again — he doesn’t change phases until he’s at or below 35 HP.

Next turn, we Star Storm for 7 damage, leaving Crystal King at 36, and then miss Electro Dash’s Action Command to put him at 35, just enough to activate the next trigger. At this point, there is some slight RNG which we will not be accounting for — I call these “RNG Chokepoints” in a strategy. Normally, I try to make these at the beginning of a fight and only have one or two maximum, if possible. Sometimes, a strategy needs a little RNG to work, and it’d be too difficult to work around it or working around it defeats the whole purpose of the strategy. Here, Crystal King has a chance to heal since his HP is under 38. It’s not a strong chance since he’s entering Phase 2 and will likely use bit spit this turn, but it’s something to consider.

Anyway, assuming he uses bit spit Turn 5, Turn 6 we KO him. Currently, Mario’s base ATK with Ultra Boots is 3. With the ATK-increasing badges, it’s 6, and with one Super Jump Charge, it’s at 9. With Mega Rush, it’s 13. Subtract Crystal King’s 2 DEF, and we’re at 11 ATK. Crystal King actually has a chance to cap at 3 for Power Bounce without Dodge Master equipped, so that’s the cap we’re going to use. 11 + 10 + 9 = 30 damage exactly, and leaves him with just enough HP for Watt to finish him off with Electro Dash for perfect damage!

Fire Pop is unique and cool and it is fun to build a strategy around/with, so give it a try if you’re looking to manipulate Mario’s HP in a different way!

And that’s it for my spotlights (for now). I hope you all have enjoyed them and maybe learned something while reading them. If you’re wanting to ask me questions directly, Twitter and Discord are the two best ways to reach me, and I’m always happy to help strategize or just talk about combat in Paper Mario!

Just Sayin’

 

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Kappy’s Spotlight — Return Postage

It’s that time again: #KappySpotlight time, where I talk about badges/items/partners/etc… that are generally seen as “bad” and not used very often by challenge runners. I dive deeper into why they’re perceived the way they are with some cool strategies centered around them mixed in! Today, I’ll be covering another badge in TTYD that is a pitiful return on BP investment — RETURN POSTAGE!

Returnpostage
BP Cost: 7
Move: Returns half the damage Mario receives back to direct attackers.
Glitz Pit Rank: FF

OOF! FF tier, the lowest you can get for the Glitz Pit. But really, it’s not hard to see why. For 7 BP, Mario gets a permanent Spite status (basically, attackers take half damage dealt to Mario on direct attacks). Notice how I said “direct attacks”. This status, honestly, is bad, and that makes Return Postage even worse. It can be used against normal enemies to some effect since most have direct attacks, but since Return Postage is the reward you get for completing the Pit of 100 Trials, the only true way to utilize it very effectively is to complete it pre-Chapter 3 and try and utilize it as you go through the game. Now, for challenge runners completing the Pit pre-Chapter 3 is pretty easy, but it’s still not worth it as the reward for completing the Pit when enemies deal pretty mediocre damage until Chapter 6, so you’re at best dealing 2-4 damage back to enemies and bosses…if it even activates. I said that Spite is bad, and that’s because it only affects direct attacks. Any projectile or magic attack is automatically unaffected, but check out what else isn’t affected:

  • Cortez’s Bite
  • Smorg’s Miasmas (tentacle and claw)
  • Dragon (Hooktail/Gloomtail) Stomp and Bite
  • Magnus Von Grapple 2.0 Drill
  • Doopliss’ Mario Hammer attack

…and more! As you can see, most late-game bosses just don’t care about the Spite Status, even if their moves technically make contact. Still, this badge can be put to use against bosses that do inflict direct damage; let’s get to the strat!

BOWSER & KAMMY STRAT

15 HP, 5 FP
BADGES: P-Up D-Down, Mega Rush, Power Rush, Mega Rush P, Power Rush P x2, P-Up D-Down P, Double Dip, Flower Saver P x2, Power Bounce, Jumpman, Return Postage, Double Pain, Quick Change (39 BP, 42 w/HP Plus) **If using 2 Power Plus P instead of a 2nd Power Rush P, it’s 50 BP, 53 w/HP Plus
ITEMS: Point Swap, Power Punch

T1: Double Dip (Point Swap Goombella, Power Punch), Veil
T2: Can’t move due to Veil *Guard Bite, Superguard Kammy attack if it targets Mario
T3: Power Bounce Kammy (5 bounces) [KO], Multibonk Bowser (6 bonks)[KO]

This strategy is pretty wild, so let’s dive in. First off, check out all that BP. We could get away with less BP if we had more Mario HP, but the big problem there is that the more turns we let the fight go on, the more chances Kammy has to ruin our strategy with her magic. So, we need to finish this by Turn 2 or 3. I wanted to really make use of Return Postage, so I decided on a Turn 3 finish because of Bowser’s AI. More on that later. Bowser has 70 HP, 7 ATK, and 2 DEF. He’s a tough one. Kammy’s got 50 HP, 5 ATK, and 0 DEF, so basically, a souped-up Magikoopa that has access to basically all of their magic at the same time. Yeah, she’s a real pain.

Okay, so the big problem to solve here is dealing significant damage to Bowser because 2 DEF goes a long way in reducing damage. To take out both on Turn 3, we’re gonna need some damage. The classic Double Dipping Point Swap will work well, and let’s abuse Return Postage and Double Pain to get Mario into Peril, so we’ll Point Swap our partner. We could use Yoshi, but he needs more ATK to achieve the same damage Goombella can and there’s no way Stampede is taking out both of them unless we invest into way more BP, so let’s use Goombella. Because we’re Point Swapping Goombella, let’s have her take on Bowser since we can include a Power Punch in that Double Dip for a free +2 to ATK. With the above badges, Goombella’s base is 3 – the 2 DEF = 1 + 9 from Mega Rush & two Power Rushes, 1 from P-Up D-Down P, and the +2 from Power Punch gives a whopping 13 ATK. Nice. Mario’s got it a little easier since he’s dealing with Kammy. He’s at 3 + 2 from Jumpman and P-Up D-Down, and 7 from Mega Rush + Power Rush. That gives him 12 ATK total. Alright, we’ve got the damage we need to take on both. let’s get into the fight!

NOTE: We’re assuming you’ve just leveled up off of Grodus, which is why we’re starting with max HP & FP.
 
Turn 1 is setup. To understand why I’m using Veil, let’s look at Bowser’s AI. Bowser has 3 attacks: Fire Breath, Bite, and Stomp. He will use those three attacks in order as long as he suffers no recoil damage. Fire Breath is a ranged move, making it impossible for him to take recoil, and he always uses it Turn 1. Turn 2 he’ll be using Bite, which is a move that, luckily, is affected by Return Postage! So, Turn 1 we prep Goombella with Double Dip, and swap her out for Vivian and use Veil. We’re now at 4 FP because Veil is 1 FP.

Turn 2, we come out of Veil. The way Veil works is that Mario loses his next turn. So, if you use Veil Turn 1 without moving Mario, Mario can move Turn 2, but Vivian cannot. If Mario moves Turn 1 and then Vivian uses Veil, Mario & Vivian can’t move Turn 2. Because of this, there’s literally nothing we can do Turn 2 except take Bowser & Kammy’s attacks. Now, I want to be clear on something — this strategy can be foiled if Kammy…

  • Makes herself or Bowser invisible
  • Electrifies Bowser or herself
  • Buffs her or Bowser’s DEF
She does have a chance of using any of those things on Turn 2. She can also buff her or Bowser’s ATK, but because Bowser goes first, this is of no concern to us. If she does use any of what is listed above, you’ll simply need to reset. Given how many strategies I’ve created thus far that crush Grodus into the ground, it shouldn’t be hard getting back to this point. In fact, this badge setup deals with Grodus quite well — it’d be an easy 1-2 Turn fight as long as you bring an extra Point Swap and a Fire Flower to that fight. Anyway, enough about Grodus, let’s get back to this fight; Bowser will always Bite Turn 2 due to how his AI works. So, he’ll Bite Mario and we guard it since we’re taking 8 damage right now with P-Up D-Down equipped. Guarding brings it down to 7, which is doubled to 14, bringing Mario down to Peril. Bowser takes 7 damage from Return Postage because Return Postage comes after Double Pain is applied to the damage. It’s a nice perk of the badge. Now, Kammy either buffs ATK or attacks. If she attacks Vivian, it’s whatever, but if she attacks Mario, we need to superguard. I always love having some superguarding in strategies, so this is welcome.

Turn 3, we go in for the kill. Mario Power Bounces Kammy for an exact 50 damage with 5 bounces (12 + 11 + 10 + 9 + 8). We’re now at 1 FP because Power Bounce is 3 FP and we’ve had 4 since Turn 1’s Veil. We swap to Goombella, and Multibonk 6 times. Bowser has 70 HP, but after Return Postage he’s at 63, and Multibonk right now does a perfect 63 damage (13 + 12 + 11 + 10 + 9 + 8). With two Flower Saver P badges, Multibonk is 1 FP. Both are KO’d Turn 3. Perfect damage, perfect FP use, and with Return Postage! Does it get any better than this? Yes, but is it flashier? Absolutely not!

I want to point out that a different strategy with Mario locking Bowser into Bite with Return Postage (because he’ll always take recoil, and thus never move onto Stomp) is also a really cool way to utilize Return Postage, but you could also just use Zap Tap. At the end of the day, Return Postage is just a terrible badge when it comes to normal combat, but it’s really, really fun to use, and that’s something I actually really appreciate about the badge. If you’d like to see more Return Postage use, check out my Return to Sender run on YouTube, where I played through the game casually with Return Postage after beating 10 HP No Mega Rush P Pre-Hooktail Pit. It’s a good time.

I’ll be taking suggestions again for the next one, so be on the lookout for that Tweet/Post!

Just Sayin’

Kappy’s Spotlight — HP Drain

It’s that time again: #KappySpotlight time, where I talk about badges/items/partners/etc… that are generally seen as “bad” and not used very often by challenge runners. I dive deeper into why they’re perceived the way they are with some cool strategies centered around them mixed in! Today, I’ll be covering another badge in TTYD that definitely drains you just for thinking of using it — HP DRAIN!

HP_Drain_TTYD
BP Cost: 1
Move: Decreases Mario’s ATK by 1 in exchange for recovering 1 HP after attacking.
Glitz Pit Rank: E-

Yikes, E-. But, after viewing the comparatively broken HP Drain in 64 (where you restore HP for every attack up to 5 max) and coupled with Last Stand being slightly worse than its 64 counterpart, it’s easy to see why HP Drain is ranked so low. It’s really hard to fit onto a strategy. Most of the time, you could just recover more HP, or use a Dried Shroom/Mistake with Double/Triple Dip for more versatility. And when it comes to looping through Peril/Danger with HP, it’s hard to justify it when you can KO most bosses in 2-3 turns anyway, and those 1 or 2 turns are generally spent setting up and not in Peril. The dip in ATK is also really hard to deal with for such a small reward. Once you get to larger HP values, it becomes even worse since you have larger healing in the form of Sweet Treat/Feast & items. Really, this badge doesn’t do a whole lot for Mario. With that said, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and we can definitely still implement a cool Peril loop with the right support. Let’s see what we can do against one of the toughest bosses in the game!

BONETAIL STRAT

10 HP, 5 FP
BADGES: Last Stand x2, Mega Rush, Power Rush, HP Drain, P-Down D-Up, Defend Plus, All or Nothing, Power Plus x3, Flower Saver, Power Bounce, Quick Change (47 BP)
ITEMS: Horsetail, Dried Shroom, Mistake x5, Courage Meal
 
*Only Guard Breath
 
T1: Hammer, Bomb (190)
T2: Horsetail Mario, Courage Meal (186)
T3: Spin Jump, Mistake Mario (163)
T4: Spin Jump, Mistake Mario (140)
T5: Power Bounce, Mistake Mario (100/120)
T6: Power Bounce, Mistake Mario (60/80/100)
T7: Power Bounce, Mistake Mario (20/40/60)

IF 20 HP

T8: Jump [KO]

IF 40 HP

T8: Power Bounce [KO]

IF 60 HP

T8: Power Bounce, Dried Shroom Mario (20)
T9: Jump [KO]

And here we are, a nice Peril loop with a ton of support. Check out the crazy item spread that’s being used. Here’s the breakdown: Bonetail has a massive 200 HP, 8 ATK, and 2 DEF. Ouch. We need a lot of ATK to deal good damage, so we get back up to 3 with a Jump and equip an All or Nothing and Power Plus. Now, we’re Peril looping with HP Drain, so let’s see what we can do to achieve that. With two Last Stands, damage is divided by 3 in Danger and it rounds up, not down.

8 divided by 3 rounds up to 3 damage.
7 divided by 3 rounds up to 3 damage.
6 divided by 3 is a flat 2 damage.
5 divided by 3 rounds up to 2 damage.
4 divided by 3 rounds up to 2 damage.
3 divided by 3 is a flat 1 damage.

Looking at those numbers combined with Bonetail being able to use breath, we set a baseline for 6 damage. Unfortunately, without farming P-Down D-Up badges, we can’t reliably get Breath to 1 damage in Danger, so we’ll have to think of something else. So, let’s get to 6 damage. Bonetail has 3 attacks: a Stomp and Bite that don’t pierce and his Breath that pierces. All attacks deal 8, so let’s equip P-Down D-Up to reduce the Breath’s damage to 7. With a Guard, that’s 6, allowing us to take 2 in Danger. Now, the Bite is unguardable, so we equip an extra Defend Plus to make that 6. As shown above, Guarding the Stomp doesn’t matter since it’ll be 2 anyway, but we won’t Guard anything but the Breath since Stomp inflicts no status effects.

Okay, with that out of the way, we need to bring our damage back up to 3. With HP Drain and P-Down D-Up, we’re back at 1 ATK, so we equip two more Power Plus badges. Lots of BP, but it’s necessary to not have this drag on for 10+ turns, although it’s totally possible with 20 items. Okay, we’re at 3 with a Jump, and with a Mega Rush and Power Rush, we’ll be at 10 with a Jump in Peril. That’s 20 damage with a Jump and 40 with a Power Bounce. To loop Peril, we need to get to 3 HP every turn, so our partner will be healing Mario with Mistakes and Dried Shrooms. Nice, love using these items. Okay, we’re set. Let’s get into the fight!

We need to get Mario into Peril first. Right now, Bonetail will deal 6 no matter what, so we Hammer and Bomb for 6 + 4 for 10 damage. Mario’s now at 4 HP. Next turn, we use a Horsetail to heal 3 damage and put Mario at 7, allowing us to get to Peril after Bonetail attacks. We also use a Courage Meal with our partner to deal 4 damage. Turn 3, we Spin Jump to deal 10 + 13 damage. With Flower Saver, Spin Jump is 1 FP, and we’re at 2 HP thanks to HP Drain. We use a Mistake to heal 1 HP and 1 FP, putting Mario at 3 HP and back at 5 FP. We Spin Jump again to deal 23 more damage, which coincidentally is 46 with the previous turns damage, giving us a nice clean 50 damage in 3 turns, and we heal with another Mistake. Bonetail’s now at 140, so we Power Bounce for 2 FP for 40 damage and heal with a Mistake, putting Mario at 4 FP. At 100 HP or less, Bonetail has a chance to heal 20 HP, and he can heal twice for a total of 40 HP healed. This doesn’t really matter besides the very end. We do this two more times, putting Mario at 2 FP. At this point, Bonetail has either not healed, healed once, or healed twice, leaving him with 20 HP, 40 HP, or 60 HP. At 20, we just Jump to end with perfect damage. With 40, we Power Bounce and end the battle with perfect damage and perfect FP use. At 60, we Power Bounce, heal with a Dried Shroom, and Jump for perfect damage and perfect FP use. Not bad, not bad at all! By the way, Quick Change is there for if you need to swap a partner out to take more Breath attacks. Due to RNG, you may not even need it, but it’s there just in case.

I won’t show the strategy, but I also highly advise you check out Koop’s Even Turn No Superguards fight against Magnus Von Grapple 2.0 where he utilizes HP Drain. It’s awesome.

HP Drain isn’t great. As you can see, it requires a lot of support to really make it effective. However, I do think this badge is awesome to strategize with and definitely challenges you to get creative. Give it a try if you’re looking for something interesting to use!

Just Sayin’

Kappy’s Spotlight — Ms. Mowz

It’s that time again: #KappySpotlight time, where I talk about badges/items/partners/etc… that are generally seen as “bad” and not used very often by challenge runners. I dive deeper into why they’re perceived the way they are with some cool strategies centered around them mixed in! Today, I’ll be covering a partner in TTYD who’s…ugh, the worst: Ms. Mowz…

Ms._Mowz
Moves:
Love Slap — Deals piercing damage to a single enemy (2/3/4 damage) [Front only]
Kiss Thief [2 FP] — Steals enemies’ items and badges.
Tease [3 FP] — Inflicts Dizzy on enemies.
Smooch [10 FP] — Heals Mario for 10 HP.
Glitz Pit Rank: 7th (of 7 Partners)

Ouch, the worst of all partners, but it’s easy to see why. Ms. Mowz is not a combat-oriented partner, so of course she’s the worst, but that might be because she’s entirely optional. If you decide to pick her up, you’ll find subpar HP, lackluster damage, and the ability to steal things from enemies, which makes her worth it all on its own. Unfortunately, being able to steal things translates more to a switch in, steal, then switch out situation because her combat options are, well…terrible. They’re terrible. Let’s break down those moves!

LOVE SLAP

Love Slap isn’t bad, but it’s not great. It pierces, which is awesome, but it only does 4 at Ultra Ranking, meaning even with 1 DEF Bobbery, Vivian, and Flurrie are out-damaging it with their base moves. What really gets me here is that she can’t hit front-spiky or fiery enemies. Don’t get me wrong, others can’t either, but when this is her only move that deals damage. To add onto this, the Stylish command for this move doesn’t actually work. A lot is actively working against her here in this move. Still, the piercing can be quite good, and makes Ms. Mowz and easy third choice in Level Zero runs against Gloomtail, Bonetail, Grodus, Bowser, and the Shadow Queen behind Vivian and Bobbery!

KISS THEIF

Ms. Mowz actually has amazing utility in Kiss Thief. Being able to steal items and badges from enemies is no joke, especially if you get lucky and an enemy is holding a nice badge like P-Down, D-Up P, Power Plus, Close Call, Power Rush (P), etc… with extra badges that you can’t normally get, you can do a lot more than you normally could. Also, it never hurts to steal Life Shrooms, Boo’s Sheets, and the like if an enemy is holding it. You can even steal coins if an enemy isn’t holding anything, but that’s not really useful. For 2 FP, it’s absolutely worth it, and this move alone makes her worth picking up as a partner.

TEASE

Dizzy as a status isn’t amazing. It’s…okay, if not slightly underwhelming. So, Ms. Mowz has a move, like Vivian, that just inflicts status to all enemies, and it’s Dizzy. I’ll admit — I actually think this is better than Infatuation; the issue I have is that this move totally could’ve dealt light piercing damage as well and still function nearly the same while giving Mowz the ability to hit more enemies and get past the spiky/fiery enemy issue that Love Slap has…and, y’know, not only hit the front grounded enemy. Alas… this is an okay move to use in the Pit because a surprising amount of deep Pit enemies can be inflicted with Dizzy. If you don’t have Stop at the ready, this isn’t a bad alternative, and it’s only 3 FP.

SMOOCH

And here we are — the worst partner move in the game. For 10 FP, Mario recovers 10 HP. 10 FP. Can we let that sink in? 10. FP. What was going on when this move was created? It’s such a horrible heal for the FP cost. Even with two Flower Saver P badges, I wouldn’t use this move. Why? because I can Sweet Treat and get 7, or Double Dip two Mushrooms which is only 4 FP, or use a Super Shroom, or do literally anything else. Yeah, this move is bad. I understand that items are limited, but let’s be real… it’s her Ultra Rank move, and with only 10-20 HP, challenge runners don’t need to spend 10 FP to heal what a Super Shroom can or what Sweet Treat can basically heal. If this were less FP or healed way more, I’d consider it usable.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…let’s try a strategy out with Ms. Mowz! One that uses Smooch!

GLOOMTAIL STRAT

15 HP, 15 FP
BADGES: Jumpman, All or Nothing, Mega Rush, P-Up D-Down P, Power Rush P x2, Feeling Fine, Feeling Fine P, Flower Saver P x2, Double Dip P x2 (33 BP, 42 with two FP Plus and HP Plus)
ITEMS: Point Swap, Power Punch, Hot Sauce x2

T1: Triple Dip (Hot Sauce x2 Mario, Point Swap Mario), Spin Jump (67) *Don’t Guard
T2: Spin Jump, Smooch (48) *Don’t Guard
T3: Jump, Power Punch Mario (32)
T4: Spin Jump, Love Slap [KO]

This strategy aims to have Mario get to every trigger with an attack starting Turn 2 and finish Gloomtail before he can attack with Megabreath. Look at all that BP we need! Let’s get into it:

In order to use Smooch and actually do some damage manipulation with Mario and Ms. Mowz, we needed Mario at 15 HP and can’t guard any attacks, or else Mowz won’t be at 5 HP T4. So, because Mario’s at 15, we need to get creative with how he’s getting into Peril. Luckily, Triple Dip costs 8 FP, down to 6 with two Flower Saver P badges, putting us at 9 FP, which is perfect for a Point Swap. We Point Swap and hand Mario two Hot Sauce badges to temporarily increase his attack with Spin Jump. Remember, Gloomtail’s got 80 HP, 8 ATK, and 2 DEF. We circumvented the DEF with Jumpman and All or Nothing, but we need to make sure we’re dealing 32 damage total Turn 2. After the swap, we’re at 15 FP again with Mario at 9 HP. We then Spin Jump, dealing 5 + 8 = 13 damage. We then opt to not guard Gloomtail’s breath and take 8 damage (Mowz 9 damage). Feeling Fine (P) prevents both from being poisoned. Now, Mario’s at 1, and Ms. Mowz is at 16 since Ms. Mowz at Ultra Rank has 25 HP total. Turn 2, we Spin Jump under Peril, but without the Hot Sauce since we burned them Turn 1. 8 + 11 = 19 damage, which, when adding with the 13 we dealt previously, is a perfect 32, putting Gloomtail at 48 and setting off his first HP trigger. We Smooch as well, putting Mario at 11 HP. Now, Gloomtail always uses Earthquake at 48 HP per his trigger, so he uses it, and deals 10 damage to Mario (11 to Mowz). Mario’s in Peril once again, and Mowz is in perfect Danger, sitting at 5 HP. Turn 3, we do a normal Jump (8 + 8 = 16 damage) to get Gloomtail to his next trigger at 32. We then give Mario a Power Punch for his next attack. As per his 32 HP trigger, Gloomtail charges up for Megabreath. Turn 4, we finish it. Spin Jump now does 10 + 13 = 23 damage, and Ms. Mowz is at 9 ATK thanks to the 5 from two Power Rush P badges and P-Up D-Down P. 23 + 9 = 32 damage total, and with a final Love Slap we take down Gloomtail, Mowz style!

I’ll be honest…coming up with strategies with Mowz can be quite the challenge, so I actually had some fun making this despite my distaste for Ms. Mowz as a battle partner. Maybe I’m just traumatized by my Ms. Mowz Only run…who knows, but what I do know is that she’s not good in combat, and basically everything she has is outclassed. Still, being able to steal things is cool, and is a utility no one else can boast, so even if you never use her in battle, I do suggest you always pick her up in any runs where you’ll be using badges and items!

Next time, I’ll be going back to 64. Will it be a badge? An item? A partner? You’ll have to wait and find out!

Just Sayin’

Kappy’s Spotlight — Poison Shroom

It’s that time again: #KappySpotlight time, where I talk about badges/items/partners/etc… that are generally seen as “bad” and not used very often by challenge runners. I dive deeper into why they’re perceived the way they are with some cool strategies centered around them mixed in! Today, I’ll be covering a really unique item in TTYD that’s RNG…for Mario! It’s POISON SHROOM!

Poison_Shroom_TTYD.png
Move: Poisons Mario and takes away half of his HP or fully heals his HP

Poison Shroom is an interesting item. Unlike other items that are random for Mario (Mystery, Peach Tart, etc)…this one just looks like it’s awful at a glance. Hurting Mario with an item…why would you ever want to do that? And you can easily manipulate HP with Point Swap and Double Dip. Plus, it could accidentally do the other thing you didn’t want it to do (for example, it could heal you where you’re wanting it to hurt you). The item itself requires quite a bit of cooking to obtain, although that’s not really a huge issue. To break down the chance of both — poisoning Mario and taking half his HP is an 80% chance and the full heal is a 20% chance. That might sound bad at first, but we can actually use this to our advantage. Let’s adapt a couple strategies to use a Poison Shroom!

GRODUS STRAT

10 HP, 5 FP
BADGES: Last Stand, Power Plus x2, Power Bounce, Mega Rush, Power Rush, All or Nothing, Flower Saver, Flower Saver P (29 BP)
ITEMS: Poison Shroom, Fire Flower

T1: Fire Flower, Poison Shroom Mario (M: 1)
T2: Power Bounce (5-cap) (10), Rally Wink, Jump (miss 2nd AC) [KO]

This is a pretty cool variation on the classic T1 Peril strategy against Grodus. With a Poison Shroom, if Mario has 10 HP, he’ll be at 5 and poisoned. With Last Stand and a guard, Grodus’ lightning attack that he always does will do 6 / 2 = 3 damage, leaving Mario at 2. Finally, poison kicks in, dealing 1 damage and leaving Mario at 1. Awesome. We use a Fire Flower with Goombella to get rid of the Grodus X’s T1. With two on the field T2, Grodus has 3 DEF, so we need to make up for that with Power Plus and All or Nothing. Our base is 0 with Ultra Boots, brought back to 3 with two Power Plus and All or Nothing. Mega Rush + Power Rush is 7 extra ATK, leaving us at 10. We Power Bounce T2 5 times for 40 damage, then use Rally Wink. With Flower Saver and Flower Saver P, Power Bounce is 2 FP and Rally Wink is 3 FP for perfect FP use. We then use a normal Jump for 10 +10…except we miss the second Jump action command. A little known fact: All or Nothing requires both Action Commands for Jump, so if you miss the second one, you only deal damage with the first, which ends up being perfect damage on Grodus!

This next one is a variation with Gloomtail!

GLOOMTAIL STRAT

10 HP, 10 FP
BADGES: Last Stand, Mega Rush, Power Rush x2, Power Plus x2, All or Nothing, Power Bounce, Feeling Fine, Flower Saver, Double Dip P x2 (37 BP, 40 with FP Plus)
ITEMS: Poison Shroom, Power Punch, Hot Sauce x3

T1: Triple Dip (Power Punch, Hot Sauce x2 Mario), Poison Shroom (Mario)
T2: Hot Sauce Mario, Power Bounce (5-cap) [KO]

This strategy aims to deal perfect damage to Gloomtail T2 with Power Bounce with a Poison Shroom. Gloomtail has 1 DEF, but that’s okay — with all the ATK we’re stacking, Mario ends up being at a staggering 18 ATK. So, how does Poison Shroom get us into Peril? At half, Mario is again at 5 HP. Gloomtail always uses breath T1, and it does 8 damage, so halve that and we’re at 4. Nice! But, we have a small problem — Poison Shroom also poisons Mario! Luckily, Feeling Fine actively prevents the poisoning part, which allows us to get into Peril T1 cleanly. After that, it’s just stacking on ATK and Power Bouncing T2. Perfect FP with Flower Saver since Triple Dip is 8 FP and Power Bounce is 2 FP with Flower Saver. We could remove a Power Rush and deal 81 damage with a 6-cap, but perfect damage is more fun!

I want to draw attention to the fact that Poison Shroom is actually a really cool way to get to peril without the use of Double Pain. Normally, both of these bosses pose a problem getting to Peril T1 with 10 HP. You can easily circumvent this by having 15 HP and equipping Double Pain, but Poison Shroom allows us to do it without those things. Of course, there’s some RNG involved, but since Poison Shroom is used T1, it’s easy to just reset and wait until the desired outcome happens, which is pretty often at 80%.

Besides getting into Danger/Peril from 10 HP or dropping your HP by half if you have higher HP, Poison Shroom doesn’t really offer much use, and even then it’s heavily outclassed by Point Swap as the easy Peril item. That said, it is a really cool way to manipulate your HP, so try it out next time you want to do something weird with your strategies!

Next time, I’ll be covering…Ugh…Ms. Mowz…

Just Sayin’

Kappy’s Spotlight — Charge

It’s that time again: #KappySpotlight time, where I talk about badges/items/partners/etc… that are generally seen as “bad” and not used very often by challenge runners. I dive deeper into why they’re perceived the way they are with some cool strategies centered around them mixed in! Today, I’ll be covering another badge in TTYD that boasts a lot of power, but little use — CHARGE!

Charge_TTYD
BP Cost: 1
FP Cost: 1
Move: Increases the damage dealt from Mario’s next attack by 2.
Glitz Pit Rank: D+

Charge actually almost barely made the cut into C Tier for the Glitz Pit, and it’s not hard to see why. For only 1 FP, Mario can do quite a bit with +2 ATK. The ability to stack charges can lead to insane damage output, and the fact that it stacks with Spicy Pasta and Hot Sauce means you can get away with some crazy charge-boosted attacks in just a few turns with Double Dip or Triple Dip. The big downside, of course, is that it takes up Mario’s turn, and you can easily achieve the +2 with a Power Punch that a partner can use instead of Mario. For the most part, you don’t need the extra +2 ATK to defeat bosses; Power Punch/Power Lift/Power Rush/Mega Rush is really all you need to take down most bosses in 1-3 turns. Still, there’s definitely some use with Charge, so let’s jump right into the strategies!

RAWK HAWK STRAT

10 HP, 5 FP
BADGES: Charge, Jumpman, Power Plus, Power Plus P x2, Power Bounce (24 BP)
ITEMS: Power Punch

T1: Charge, Power Punch Mario (M: 7, Y: 7/10)
T2: Power Bounce (6 bounces), Ground Pound (KO)

This is a nice 2-turn strategy that doesn’t use any Danger. Turn 1 is all setup. At this point, Mario has the Super Boots, giving Mario a base of 2 ATK for his Jump. With Jumpman and Power Plus, it’s at 4. With Charge and Power Punch, it’s 8. Now, Rawk Hawk has 40 HP and 0 DEF, and his attacks won’t even put Mario & Yoshi in Danger Turn 1, so we’re not really concerned if we guard or not.

Turn 2 is where it all goes down. (8+7+6+5+4+3) = 33 damage. Yoshi at Base rank does four bounces with Ground Pound, so we just increase his ATK by 2 so it starts at 3. (3+2+1+1) = 7, which is just enough to KO Rawk Hawk. Easy, and no Danger abuse needed!

GLOOMTAIL STRAT

10 HP, 10 FP
BADGES: Charge, Jumpman, Mega Rush, Power Rush, Power Bounce, Feeling Fine (12 BP, 15 with FP Plus)
ITEMS: Point Swap

T1: Charge, Point Swap Mario (M: 1) *Don’t guard
T2: Power Bounce (5-cap), Rally Wink, Power Bounce (5-cap)

Another two-turn strategy with Charge! It’s Gloomtail (80 HP, 8 ATK, 2 DEF), so we really needed to crank up the power with Peril.

Turn 1, we set up with Charge and a pretty unique way to achieve Peril against Gloomtail on Turn 1 with Point Swap. At this point, we have 9 FP, so Mario will have 9 HP now. Gloomtail always uses Breath first, so we don’t guard to take 8 damage and go down to Peril. We use Feeling Fine to ensure we aren’t poisoned.

Turn 2, we simply Power Bounce twice thanks to Rally Wink. With 10 FP, we have just enough to do this with perfect FP use. We do two 5 bounce Power Bounces for perfect damage. First, Mario starts at 1 ATK with Ultra Boots thanks to Gloomtail’s DEF. Factor in Jumpman, Mega Rush, and Power Rush, and we’re at 9 ATK. With Charge, we’re at 11. So, the first Power Bounce does (11 + 10 + 9 + 8 + 7) = 45 damage. The second Power Bounce deals (9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5) = 35 damage. 45 + 35 = 80. Perfect damage!

Charge is an easy substitute for Power Rush and for a quick boost in power. What holds it back is that it’s just so easy to achieve Danger/Peril already, so you can just use a Power Punch or Power Lift to increase your ATK further than a +2. Still, its ability to naturally use 1 FP and increase ATK is something that can be used cleverly. Feel free to use the strategies I’ve made or adapt them to something else!

I’ll putting up another poll for the next spotlight . Look out for it!

Just Sayin’