A Paper Mario Challenge Runner’s review of Bug Fables’ combat

SPOILER WARNING: This review contains spoilers! Don’t read further if you haven’t played the game! I just had a great idea: go play it right now, then come back and read this! Seriously, go play it.

As one of the best in the Paper Mario challenge running business, I’d had my eye on Bug Fables for a while. Once people from my community really started getting into it and recommending I stream it, I decided to take the plunge and wound up playing a very impressive spiritual successor to the first two entries in the Paper Mario series. I liked the story and the characters; honestly, I thought they were better then any Paper Mario game. The music is good, the art is fine, the side quests are great — bottom line: If you’re a fan of Paper Mario, you’re doing yourself a disservice NOT playing this game.

But that’s not what this review is about. This is a review of the game’s combat in regards to challenge running potential and high-level game play. I highly suggest you go play the game first before you read this (or at least have some idea of the medals) because some of these strategies will likely spoil you.

As a disclaimer: when I first started the game, my entire chat told me “Hey, equip the Hard Mode medal, it’s the way the developers intended you to play the game”. If that’s how they wanted it to be played, then I had no choice to oblige. This review is about combat with that medal equipped at all times.

Let’s go over the combat basics. Like Paper Mario and TTYD, you’ve got HP, TP for special attacks (FP), and MP for medals (BP). You fight with Kabbu (a beetle), Vi (a bee), and Leif (a moth). Each one has their own unique basic attacks (Kabbu pierces DEF, Vi can hit flying enemies, and Leif can hit underground enemies) and special skills that use TP and you can equip medals that affect either the entire party of just one character. You can swap the positions of characters at any time (even when a character is knocked out!) as long as all active members haven’t used their turn. However, you only have three set formations: [Vi/Leif/Kabbu], [Kabbu/Vi/Leif], and [Leif/Kabbu/Vi]. Why is this important? Because the character in front gets a natural +1 to their attack power and is targeted more often. 

There are lots of cool medals (badges) you can use!

You can also relay your turn so another character can attack twice, but at a cost of -1 attack power per extra attack a character does. This is an amazing new feature. Got 3 flying enemies? Relay with Kabbu and Leif to Vi and take them all down in one turn. Have a character use a skill, then relay to them to use it again…or use a different skill. It’s pretty sweet.

Relaying a turn to another party member is an essential tool in your arsenal of abilities

Okay, that’s it for the basics. In short… the combat is great. I love the turn relay system combined with the already solid Paper Mario foundation; it all gels together really well with how you approach normal fights and bosses. Being able to relay turns when needed to better utilize a character’s strengths and position them accordingly to better use your medals was very satisfying. I loved being able to figure out strategies and bosses completely blind with only my previous experience to guide me. That was very fun, and I think anyone will feel rewarded once they figure out some dope strategies.
 
Balance wasn’t really a problem as far as normal fights are concerned. I always felt like if something wasn’t working, I could find a way to make it better or had other options to choose from. The bosses and superbosses all had cool moves and one or two unique things about them for the most part. But that’s where the cool stuff ends and my issues with boss AI begin. Maybe this is a “Hard Mode” thing, but a lot of bosses had this pattern: Do things -> start buffing/attacking twice forever/summon minions after x HP is lost. Maybe sometimes they’d use a new move in conjunction with the above, but for the most part many bosses just started attacking more and buffing themselves. Now, of course, not all bosses were like this, but I would say it was enough to be over saturated.

What this lends itself to is the same strategies working all of the time. Tank Do Nothing Kabbu combined with Danger/Poison Vi is ridiculously strong and can wipe almost any boss pretty quickly if you’ve got enough TP-restoring items or both TP Cores equipped. Near the end of my playthrough, I found myself using those strategies to basically obliterate bosses. I was in real danger of a game over maybe a couple times near the end, but honestly, it didn’t feel like it. I felt like I had a pretty easy time because nothing could really stop the aforementioned strategy. This is a pretty big contrast to early and mid game, where bosses felt much more dangerous and I definitely felt in danger of a game over most of the time.

The second issue I had with bosses is that their AI is completely random (for the most part). Now, obviously, bosses have some triggers that are static and you know will come. The problem is that everything else is random, so while you can cook up cool strategies, you can’t fine-tune them like you can in Paper Mario and TTYD. This dampened the experience for me because there are only a few ways to get to an optimal state. I’m totally fine with random boss AI in most other games, but in a game where damage can be so finely tuned, I think having truly random boss AI like this actually takes away from it instead.
  
In Bug Fables, getting into Danger or being Poisoned is where it’s at for damage and defense for your primary attacker. There are a few items that will put you down at 1 HP, but other than that and Weak Stomach, you have to basically wait until a boss deals enough damage (and if you aren’t Kabbu using Taunt, you need to be targeted in the first place). This is how late-game boss battles looked like for me:

1) Attack until bosses put Vi into Danger -> Spam Tornado Toss (you could sub another move here — didn’t really matter)
2) If Vi dies, use Pep Up; otherwise, Do Nothing on Kabbu to restore HP/keep DEF up
3) If Leif is alive, buff Vi or rally to Vi always. Rarely, use Cleanse on beefed up boss

Exhibit A of the aforementioned strategy

This cycle basically destroyed every boss in EX Boss Rush mode without me healing between rounds or using items. I put Miracle Matter on Leif just to make bosses go faster by letting Vi attack more. I would always keep Vi in front because I didn’t care if she died. She took 1-3 damage most of the time thanks to Last Stand x2 and I’d deal 30-50 in one turn if I also gave Kabbu’s turn to Vi. You could supplement other things around this, but the core is the same.

There are definitely other cool strategies I haven’t explored that utilize Sleep or something or using Berserk or what-have-you (I used a really dope Taunt Kabbu HP Regen setup on the Mini-Boss Rush and it was pretty effective and fun), but the core of my problem is… there’s not a lot of cool ways to get to the state you want to be at to activate Medals you have. You’re either using Big Mistake/something to active Weak Stomach or the status you want to inflict on yourself, or you’re waiting for bosses to just deal enough damage to put you in that range. If they die, just use Kabbu’s Pep Up which puts them in perfect Danger (and waiting for a character to die just so Kabbu can do that is RNG and…yeah). It’s very samey, and because bosses are basically random you can’t manipulate cool positioning or damage you deal to direct them as the battle goes on and you’re just waiting sometimes for things to start happening while not even feeling threatened. The only way to really do that is through Kabbu’s Taunt, but sometimes they could roll to use AoE moves and ruin that anyway. You could be waiting 2-4 extra turns just to get your strategy rolling unless you use one of the few ways to force it to start.

This is a stark contrast to TTYD, where you can do some pretty wild stuff to get into Danger/Peril while also taking/dealing the exact damage you need to and using the exact amount of FP you have to emerge victorious. Point Swap + Double Dip, using a move + Point Swap, KO’ing a partner with Point Swap to force attacks onto Mario, Trial Stew, Poison Shroom, manipulating specific phases that give you extra turns to setup, taking damage on purpose while Charging, using clever DEF to go from full HP -> Danger -> Peril… there are a LOT of ways to craft a cool or interesting strategy or one that just gets into Peril, and that to me is more interesting than what I did for most of Bug Fables’ end game.

With all of this said, I still found the entire end game experience very fun, but most of the cool stuff that bosses have gets shut down by the same things by then and it’s just a waiting game to get there instead of a cool mapped out strategy you can implement with 100% or near-100% certainty, which was a little disappointing. To add onto this, most of the secret codes to impose extra challenges are only slightly different and probably don’t change this cycle (except maybe for MYSTERY which randomizes all Medals). 

So what does that mean for challenge running this game? In my opinion, I think the game still has a lot of challenge running potential. The secret codes on their own aside as challenges, you can use them to do some other cool things like Level Zero, maybe a “Character Alone” run? You can try and use no Danger/Poison or ban Miracle Matter. You could “lock” your formation and see how to play around that. Some won’t change too much, but the fact I can name all of these right now and feel like I’m only scratching the surface means there’s a lot of potential for this game and that’s really exciting! There are quite a few people in my community and I’m sure the Bug Fables’ community that have been challenge running this game for a while, so there’s definitely interest and the game having built-in modifiers only helps. I’ll definitely be doing quite a bit of challenge running for this game myself because combat is super fun to play despite the few issues I had with it during my first play through. Who knows… maybe my opinion will change once I really sink my teeth into some challenge runs!

Just Sayin’

A Master’s Strategy Guide (Master Quest pre-final release strategies)

A few months ago, a difficulty mod for Paper Mario 64 came out titled “Paper Mario Master Quest”. This mod is made for the best of the best players (basically, elite-level challenge runners and higher). As a way to see how I approach strategizing and show off the mod, I streamed my entire playthrough live, including parts where I strategized. As I progressed, I posted other strategies I found for bosses and mini-bosses along with refined versions of the ones I used on stream. I’ve decided to keep them all here for a general reference on strategizing in Master Quest. These strategies, for the most part, will be obsolete in the final version of Master Quest. However, I do hope you find these useful if you’re looking for some inspiration if you’re stuck on a boss in Master Quest.

I do not have every boss and mini-boss. Many of them I did not need to perform turn-by-turn strategies. However, for the ones I do show, there will also be a video link so you can see some of the strategies in action. Not all of the fights have videos — some of them I created after beating them. If you’re interested in seeing more, I highly encourage you to check out my play through of the mod, which is all up on YouTube.

This will be a long post, so use these quick search terms to find a particular boss or mini-boss.

[KB] — Koopa Bros.
[BZ] — Buzzar
[TK] — Tutankoopa
[TB] — Tubba Blubba
[AG] – Anti Guy
[BLG] — Big Lantern Ghost
[GG] — General Guy
[RR] — Raphael the Raven
[LP] — Lava Piranha
[LL] — Lakilulu
[HP] — Huff N. Puff
[M1] — Master 1st Form
[LEE] — Lee

***
[KB] — KOOPA BROS.
[Classic Double Dip Variation]
STATS
10 HP, 20 FP
Badges: Power Jump, Double Dip (3 BP, 6 with FP Plus)
Items: POW Block, Fire Flower, Thunder Bolt*One of Dennis Hopper’s attacks needs to be guarded.

T1: Power Jump, Bomb [Hopper: 8, Mario: 6, FP used: 5]
T2: Power Jump, Body Slam [Hopper: 4, Mario: 1/2, FP used: 7]
T3: Bomb [Hopper destroyed], Thunder Bolt [Tower knocked down, Mario: 1/2, FP used: 10]
T4: Swap to Kooper, Power Shell [G: 6, Y: 5, B: 6, R: 5, FP used: 12]
T5: Shell Toss, Double Dip (POW Block, Fire Flower) [All KO’d except Black]
T6: Hammer [Black KO’d]

[Mushrooms Galore]
STATS
10 HP, 10 FP
Badges: Power Jump (1 BP, 4 with FP Plus)
Items: POW Block, Fire Flower, Thunder Bolt, Mushroom x2

*One of Dennis Hopper’s attacks needs to be guarded.

T1: Power Jump, Bomb [Hopper: 8, Mario: 6, FP used: 5]
T2: Hammer, Body Slam [Hopper: 6, Mario: 1/2, FP used: 5]
T3: Mushroom, Body Slam [Hopper: 5, Mario: 1/2, FP used: 5]
T4: Mushroom, Body Slam [Hopper: 4, Mario: 1/2, FP used: 5]
T5: Bomb [Hopper destroyed], Thunder Bolt [Tower knocked down, Mario: 1/2, FP used: 8]
T6: Fire Flower, Swap to Kooper [G: 5, Y: 4, B: 4, R: 4, FP used: 8]
T7: POW Block, Power Shell [All KO’d except Green/Black, FP used: 10]
T8: Hammer [Green KO’d], Shell Toss [Black KO’d]
***

***
[BZ] — BUZZAR
[Pro Mode Dizzy Dial Variation] —— Click here to see this strategy in action
STATS
10 HP, 20 FP
BADGES: Power Jump, Double Dip, Damage Dodge (6 BP, 9 with FP Plus)
ITEMS: Dizzy Dial x2, Fried Shroom x2, Cake, Fire Flower

T1: Power Jump, Shell Shot (B: 46, M: 9, FP: 14)
T2: Buzzar uses Grapple Drop (M: 5/9)
T3: Double Dip (Fried Shroom, Fire Flower), Shell Shot (B: 38, M: 4, FP: 10)
T4: Refresh, Shell Shot (B: 33, M: 6/10, FP: 13)
T5: Power Jump, Shell Shot (B: 24, M: 2/6, FP: 7)
T6: Double Dip (Fried Shroom, Cake), Shell Shot (B: 19, M: 2/4/8/10, FP: 16)
T7: Double Dip (Dizzy Dial x2), Shell Shot (B: 14, M: 2/4/8/10, FP: 8)
T8: Power Jump, Shell Shot (B: 5, M: 2/4/8/10, FP: 2)
T9: Power Jump (miss AC), Sky Dive [KO]

[Double Dip Stall]
STATS
10 HP, 30 FP
BADGES: Power Jump, Double Dip, Damage Dodge (6 BP, 9 with FP Plus)
ITEMS: Spicy Soup x2, Fire Flower x7, Fried Shroom x1

*Grapple Drop needs to be dodged T4 or T6

T1: Double Dip (Fire Flower x2), Shell Shot (B: 44, M: 9, FP: 22)
T2: Buzzar uses Grapple Drop (M: 5/9)
T3: Double Dip (Spicy Soup, Fire Flower), Shell Shot (B: 36, M: 3/4: FP: 20)
T4: Double Dip (Spicy Soup, Fire Flower), Shell Shot (B: 28, M: 1/2/7/8, FP: 18)

IF GRAPPLE DROP MISS
T5: Double Dip (Fire Flower x2), Shell Shot (B: 17, M: 3/4, FP: 10)
T6: Double Dip (Fried Shroom, Fire Flower), Shell Shot (B: 9, M: 1/2/7/8, FP: 6)
T7: Power Jump, Shell Shot [KO]

T5: Double Dip (Fried Shroom, Fire Flower), Shell Shot (B: 20, M: 3/4, FP: 14)
T6: Double Dip (Fire Flower x2), Shell Shot (B: 9, M: 3/4, FP: 6)
T7: Power Jump, Shell Shot [KO]

[Gamblers Double Dip?!]
STATS
10 HP, 25 FP
BADGES: Gambler’s Jump, Double Dip, Damage Dodge, Power Jump (7 BP, 10 with FP Plus)
ITEMS: Spicy Soup x2, Fire Flower x4, Fried Shroom x2

*Gambler’s Jump must deal 5+5

T1: Gambler’s Jump, Shell Shot (B: 40, M: 9, FP: 18)
T2: Buzzar uses Grapple Drop (M: 5/9)
T3: Double Dip (Fried Shroom, Fire Flower), Shell Shot (B: 32, M: 4, FP: 14)
T4: Double Dip (Spicy Soup, Fire Flower), Shell Shot (B: 24, M: 2/8, FP: 12)
T5: Double Dip (Spicy Soup, Fire Flower), Shell Shot (B: 16, M: 2/6, FP: 10)
T6: Double Dip (Fried Shroom, Fire Flower), Shell Shot (B: 8, M: 2/4/10, FP: 6)
T7: Power Jump (miss AC), Shell Shot [KO]
***

***
[TK] — TUTANKOOPA
[Dizzy Chomp] —— Click here to see this strategy in action
STATS
10 HP, 20 FP
BADGES: Smash Charge, Quake Hammer, Double Dip, Hammer Throw (6 BP, 9 with FP Plus)
ITEMS: Dizzy Dial, Dusty Hammer x2, Cake

*Chomp needs to be inflicted with Dizzy T2

T1: Smash Charge, Shell Shot (T: 40, C: 7, M: 10, FP: 15) +2
T2: Double Dip (Dizzy Dial, Dusty Hammer Chomp), Shell Shot (T: 35, C: 4, M:  9, FP: 7)
T3: Quake Hammer, Shell Shot (T: 26, M: 9, FP: 0) [Chomp KO’d]
T4: Cake, Shell Shot (T: 21, M: 8, FP: 11)
T5: Smash Charge, Sky Dive (T: 19, C: 7, M: 8, FP: 10) +2
T6: Quake Hammer, Sky Dive (T: 13, C: 3, M: 2, FP: 7)
T7: Dusty Hammer Chomp, Shell Shot (T: 6, M: 2, FP: 3) [Chomp KO’d]
T8: Hammer Throw, Sky Dive [KO]

[Double Dipped Offense]
STATS
10 HP, 20 FP
BADGES: Double Dip, Flower Saver (7 BP, 10 with FP Plus)
ITEMS: Dusty Hammer x5, POW Block x3

T1: Double Dip (Dusty Hammer x2), Shell Shot (T: 34, C: 7, M: 10, FP: 14)
T2: Double Dip (Dusty Hammer Chomp, POW Block), Shell Shot (T: 27, C: 2, M: 4, FP: 8)
T3: Double Dip (POW Block, Dusty Hammer), Shell Shot (T: 17, M: 4, FP: 2) [Chomp KO’d]
T4: Refresh, Sky Dive (T: 15, M: 10, FP: 9)
T5: Double Dip (Dusty Hammer, POW Block), Shell Shot (T: 5, C: 7, M: 10, FP: 3)
T6: Shell Shot [Tutankoopa KO’d, KO’ing Chomp]
***

***
[TB] — TUBBA BLUBBA
[Charge Attack -> Peril] HEART —— Click here to see the strategy in action
STATS
10 HP, 20 FP
BADGES: Double Dip, Mega Rush, Power Jump, Flower Saver (9 BP, 15 with 2 FP Plus)
ITEMS: Shooting Star, Repel Gel, Thunderbolt, Snowman Doll x2

*Tubba Blubba’s Heart must be Shrunk T4

T1: Double Dip (Shooting Star, Repel Gel), Power Bomb (T: 34, Both RC: 8, M: 10, FP: 10)
T2: Swap to Bow, Outta Sight (T: 34, Both RC: 8, M: 10, FP: 7)
T3: Double Dip (Snowman Doll x2) (T: 26, M: 10, FP: 4) [Both Red Clubbas KO’d]
T4: Thunder Bolt, Smack (T: 20, M: 1, FP: 4) Don’t Guard Charge Attack
T5: Power Jump, Smack [T: 5; Heart Flees]

BODY
STATS
10 HP, 20 FP
BADGES: Mega Rush, Power Rush, Power Jump, Double Dip, Hammer Throw (6 BP, 12 with 2 FP Plus)
ITEMS: Thunderbolt x2, Snowman Doll x2, Mushroom

T1: Double Dip (Thunderbolt, Snowman Doll), Smack (T: 30, M: 6/7, FP: 16) T+1
T2: Double Dip (Thunderbolt, Snowman Doll), Smack (T: 20, M: 1/2/3/4, FP: 12) T+2 Don’t Guard if Body Slam
T3: Mushroom, Smack (T: 15, M: 1/2/3/4/5, FP: 12) Don’t Guard if Body Slam if at 7 HP after Mushroom

IF 1 HP
T4: Power Jump, Smack [KO]

IF IN DANGER
T4: Hammer Throw, Outta Sight (T: 8, M: 2/3/4/5, FP: 5)
T5: Power Jump [KO]

[Red Clubba -> Peril] HEART
STATS
15 HP, 15 FP
BADGES: Double Dip, Mega Rush, Multibounce, Power Jump (5 BP, 14 with 2 FP Plus and HP Plus)
ITEMS: Snowman Doll x2

T1: Double Dip (Snowman Doll x2), Smack (T: 27, Both RC: 12, M: 1, FP: 11) Guard last 3 attacks of multi-attack and/or normal attack from both Red Clubbas
T2: Multibounce, Outta Sight (T: 21, Both RC: 6, M: 1, FP: 5)
T3: Multibounce (T: 15, M: 1, FP: 3) [Both Red Clubbas KO’d]
T4: Power Jump [T: 5; Heart Flees]

BODY
STATS
15 HP, 10 FP
BADGES: Power Jump, Double Dip, Damage Dodge (7 BP, 13 with FP Plus and HP Plus)
ITEMS: Thunderbolt x2, Snowman Doll x3

T1: Double Dip (Thunderbolt, Snowman Doll), Smack (T: 30, M: 12/13, FP: 6) T+1
T2: Power Jump, Smack (T: 19, M: 9/10/11, FP: 4) T+2
T3: Double Dip (Thunderbolt, Snowman Doll), Smack (T: 9, M: 5/6/7/8, FP: 0) T+3
T4: Snowman Doll, Smack [KO]

[Kappy’s Precarious Situation] BODY
STATS
1/10 HP, 25/30 FP, 18 BP
BADGES: Power Jump, Damage Dodge, FP Plus x2, Mega Rush, Power Rush, Power Jump, Double Dip (15 BP)
ITEMS: Snowman Doll x2, Thunder Rage, Cake

*Mario cannot be shrunk T2
**Tubba Blubba must use Body Slam T3

T1: Refresh, Outta Sight (T: 40, M: 8, FP: 30) T+1
T2: Double Dip (Thunder Rage, Snowman Doll) (T: 35, M: 5, FP: 26) T+2 Don’t guard if Hand Slam
T3: Hammer, Smack (T: 24, M: 1, FP: 26) T+3
T4: Jump, Outta Sight (T: 12, M: 1, FP: 22) T+4
T5: Jump [KO]
***

***
[AG] — ANTI GUY
[Bombette First Strike] Click here to see the strategy in action
STATS
10 HP, 15 FP
BADGES: Power Jump, Mega Rush, Flower Saver, Zap Tap, Quick Change (14 BP, 20 with two FP Plus)
ITEMS: Mushroom

*Anti Guy needs to be Shrunk T1 or T2

T0: First Strike with Bombette (AG: 44, M: 10, FP: 15)
T1: Power Bomb, Power Jump (AG: 31, M: 3, FP: 7)
T2: Mushroom, Bomb (AG: 24, M: 1, FP: 5)
T3: Jump, Outta Sight (AG: 12, M: 1, FP: 2)
T4: Jump [KO]

[Hammer First Strike]
STATS
15 HP, 10 FP
BADGES: Mega Rush, Damage Dodge, Zap Tap, Power Jump, Flower Saver, Hammer Throw (15 BP, 18 with FP Plus)
ITEMS: Hot Shroom

T0: Hammer First Strike (AG: 46, M: 15, FP: 10)
T1: Power Jump, Smack (AG: 34, M: 1: FP: 9)
T2: Jump, Outta Sight (AG: 22, M: 1, FP: 6)
T3: Hot Shroom (AG: 21, M: 1, FP: 6)
T4: Jump, Outta Sight (AG: 9, M: 1, FP: 3)
T5: Hammer Throw [KO]
***

***
[BLG] — BIG LANTERN GHOST
[Mushrooms Are Good] —— Click here to see the strategy in action
STATS
10 HP, 15 FP
BADGES: Defend Plus, Damage Dodge, Double Dip, Flower Saver, Quick Change, Mega Rush, Jump Charge, Power Jump (20 BP, 26 with two FP Plus)
ITEMS: Egg Missile x4, Mushroom

T1: Headbonk, Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (BLG: 34, M: 10, FP: 12)
T2: Jump, Headbonk (miss AC) (BLG: 32, M: 8, FP: 12) [Goombario out for 2 turns]
T3: Jump Charge (BLG: 32, M: 1, FP: 11) +2
T4: Jump Charge (BLG: 32, M: 1, FP: 10) +4 [Goombario can move]
T5: Jump Charge, Outta Sight (BLG: 32, M: 1, FP: 6) +6
T6: Mushroom (BLG: 32, M: 1, FP: 46 +6
T7: Headbonk, Power Jump (BLG: 16, M: 1, FP: 5)
T8: Headbonk, Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) [KO]

[Spicy Spicy Soup]
STATS
10 HP, 15 FP
BADGES: Damage Dodge, Double Dip, Quick Change, Mega Rush, Jump Charge, Power Jump (11 BP, 17 with two FP Plus)
ITEMS: Egg Missile x4, Dried Shroom, Spicy Soup

T1: Headbonk, Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (BLG: 34, M: 10, FP: 11)
T2: Jump, Headbonk (miss AC) (BLG: 32, M: 7, FP: 11) [Goombario out for 2 turns]
T3: Jump Charge (BLG: 32, M: 1, FP: 10) +2
T4: Jump Charge (BLG: 32, M: 1, FP: 9) +4 [Goombario can move]
T5: Jump Charge, Outta Sight (BLG: 32, M: 1, FP: 4) +6
T6: Double Dip (Dried Shroom, Spicy Soup) (BLG: 32, M: 1, FP: 6) +6
T7: Headbonk, Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (BLG: 16, M: 1, FP: 2) +6
T8: Headbonk, Power Jump [KO]

[Double Attacked Peril]
STATS
15 HP, 10 FP
BADGES: Damage Dodge, Double Dip, Flower Saver, Mega Rush, Power Jump (12 BP, 18 with FP Plus and HP Plus)
ITEMS: Egg Missile x5, Dried Shroom

T1: Headbonk, Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (BLG: 34, M: 15, FP: 7)
T2: Headbonk, Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (BLG: 18, M: 9, FP: 4) [Goombario out for 2 turns]
T3: Double Dip (Dried Shroom, Egg Missile) (BLG: 10, M: 1, FP: 1)
T4: Power Jump [KO]
***

***
[GG] — GENERAL GUY —— This is a really complicated strategy and can be hard to follow; this link has it in (hopefully) better formatting: https://pastebin.com/E6Pw5Wim
[Shy Stack Peril]
STATS
10 HP, 25 FP
BADGES: Multibounce, Mega Rush, Flower Saver, Double Dip, Hammer Charge, Quake Hammer, Quick Change, Damage Dodge, Power Smash (22 BP, 28 w/two FP Plus)
ITEMS: Koopasta, Egg Missile x7, Shooting Star x2

T1: Hammer Charge, Smack (SGS: 10, M: 1, FP: 24) +2 *Guard one of the Shy Squad’s attacks
T2: Turbo Charge, Jump [SGS KO] (M: 1, FP: 20)
T3: Quake Hammer [SG KO] (M: 1, FP: 18)
T4: Multibounce, Outta Sight (SS: 6, M: 1, FP: 14)
T5: Multibounce [SS KO] (M: 1, FP: 13)
T6: Double Dip (Egg Missile, Koopasta), Electro Dash (GG: 49, M: 6, FP: 22) Guard only if Bulb

IF PYRO GUY SUMMONED
T7: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Electro Dash [Pyro KO’d] (GG: 38, M: 2, FP: 19) Guard only if Bulb

    IF PYRO GUY SUMMONED

T8: Dizzy Shell, {swap to Watt} Refresh (GG: 38, M: 5, FP: 22) Guard only if Bulb

IF 2ND PYRO GUY SUMMONED

T9: Dizzy Shell, {swap to Watt} Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (GG: 22, M: 1, FP: 15) Guard only if Bulb
T10: Dizzy Shell, {swap to Watt} Refresh (GG: 22, M: 2, FP: 16) Guard only if Bulb
T11: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Outta Sight (GG: 6, M: 2, FP: 10)
T12: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2) [All KO]

IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T9: Double Dip (Shooting Star, Egg Missile), Outta Sight (GG: 24, M: 5, FP: 16)
T10: {swap to Watt} Double Dip (Shooting Star, Egg Missile) [Pyro + Spy KO]  (GG: 10, M: 1, FP: 13) Guard only if Bulb

IF PYRO GUY SUMMONED

T11: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Electro Dash [All KO]

IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T11: Air Lift, Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) [All KO]

    IF NO SUMMON

T11: Egg Missile, Electro Dash [KO]

IF NO SUMMON

T9: Dizzy Shell, {swap to Watt} Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (GG: 22, M: 1, FP: 15) Guard only if Bulb

IF 2ND PYRO GUY SUMMONED OR NO SUMMON

T10: Dizzy Shell, {swap to Watt} Refresh (GG: 22, M: 2, FP: 16) Guard only if Bulb
T11: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Outta Sight (GG: 6, M: 2, FP: 10)
T12: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2) [All KO]

IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T10: Double Dip (Shooting Star, Egg Missile), Outta Sight (GG: 10, M: 1, FP: 9)
T11: Double Dip (Shooting Star, Egg Missile) [All KO]

IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T7: Air Lift, {swap to Watt} Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (GG: 33, M: 2, FP: 15) Guard only if Bulb

IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T8: Air Lift, {swap to Watt} Refresh (GG: 33, M: 5, FP: 18) Guard only if Bulb

  IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T9: Air Lift, Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (GG: 17, M: 1, FP: 11) Guard only if Bulb
T10: Egg Missile, Outta Sight (GG: 9, M: 1: FP: 8)
T11: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2) [All KO]

  IF PYRO GUY SUMMONED

T9: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Electro Dash (GG: 22, M: 1, FP: 15) Guard only if Bulb
T10: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Outta Sight (GG: 6, M: 1, FP: 9)
T11: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2) [All KO]

  IF NO SUMMON

T9: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) Electro Dash (GG: 14, M: 1, FP: 15) Guard only if Bulb
T10: Double Dip (Egg Missile, Shooting Star), Outta Sight [GG KO]
T11: Power Smash [KO]

    IF PYRO GUY SUMMONED

T8: Dizzy Shell, {swap to Watt} Refresh (GG: 33, M: 5, FP: 18) Guard only if Bulb

IF 2ND PYRO GUY SUMMONED

T9: Dizzy Shell, {swap to Watt} Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (GG: 17, M: 1, FP: 11) Guard only if Bulb
T10: Dizzy Shell, {swap to Watt} Refresh (GG: 17, M: 2, FP: 12) Guard only if Bulb
T11: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Electro Dash [miss AC] [GG KO] (M: 2, FP: 9)
T12: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2) [All KO]

IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T9: Double Dip (Shooting Star, Egg Missile), Outta Sight (GG: 19, M: 5, FP: 12)
T10: {swap to Watt} Double Dip (Shooting Star, Egg Missile) [Pyro + Spy KO]  (GG: 5, M: 1, FP: 9) Guard only if Bulb

  IF PYRO GUY SUMMONED

T11: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) [All KO]

IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T11: Air Lift, Egg Missile [All KO]

IF NO SUMMON

T11: Egg Missile [KO]

  IF NO SUMMON

T9: Dizzy Shell, {swap to Watt} Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (GG: 17, M: 1, FP: 11) Guard only if Bulb

IF 2ND PYRO GUY SUMMONED OR NO SUMMON

T10: Dizzy Shell, {swap to Watt} Refresh (GG: 17, M: 2, FP: 12) Guard only if Bulb
T11: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Electro Dash [miss AC] [GG KO] (M: 2, FP: 9)
T12: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2) [All KO]

     IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T10: Double Dip (Shooting Star, Egg Missile), Outta Sight (GG: 3, M: 1, FP: 9)
T11: Shooting Star [All KO]

  IF NO SUMMON

T8: Refresh, Electro Dash (GG: 30, M: 5, FP: 22) Guard only if Bulb

IF PYRO GUY SUMMONED

T9: Dizzy Shell, {swap to Watt} Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (GG: 14, M: 1, FP: 15) Guard only if Bulb
T10: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2), Electro Dash [All KO]

    IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T9: Air Lift, {swap to Watt} Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (GG: 14, M: 1, FP: 15) Guard only if Bulb
T10: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2), Electro Dash [All KO]

  IF NO SUMMON

T9: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Electro Dash (GG: 11, M: 1, FP: 19) Guard only if Bulb
T10: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2) [All KO]

IF NO SUMMON

T7: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Electro Dash (GG: 30, M: 2, FP: 19) Guard only if Bulb

  IF PYRO GUY SUMMONED

T8: Dizzy Shell, {swap to Watt} Refresh (GG: 30, M: 5, FP: 22) Guard only if Bulb

  IF 2ND PYRO GUY SUMMONED

T9: Dizzy Shell, Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (GG: 14, M: 1, FP: 15) Guard only if Bulb
T10: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2), Electro Dash [All KO]

  IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T9: Double Dip (Shooting Star, Egg Missile), Outta Sight (GG: 16, M: 5, FP: 9)
T10: Double Dip (Shooting Star, Egg Missile) [Pyro + Spy KO] (GG: 2, M: 1, FP: 6) Guard only if Bulb

  IF PYRO GUY SUMMONED

T11: Egg Missile, Electro Dash [All KO]

IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T11: Air Lift, Egg Missile [All KO]

IF NO SUMMON

T11: Electro Dash [KO]

    IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T8: Air Lift, {swap to Watt} Refresh (GG: 30, M: 5, FP: 22) Guard only if Bulb

IF PYRO GUY SUMMONED

T9: Dizzy Shell, Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (GG: 14, M: 1, FP: 15) Guard only if Bulb
T10: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2), Electro Dash [All KO]

IF SPY GUY SUMMONED

T9: Air Lift, Double Dip (Egg Missile x2) (GG: 14, M: 1, FP: 15) Guard only if Bulb
T10: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2), Electro Dash [All KO]

IF NO SUMMON

T9: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Electro Dash (GG: 11, M: 1, FP: 19) Guard only if Bulb
T10: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2) [All KO]

IF NO SUMMON

T8: Refresh, Electro Dash (GG: 27, M: 5, FP: 25) Guard only if Bulb
T9: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Outta Sight (GG: 11, M: 5, FP: 19)
T10: Double Dip (Shooting Star x2) [All KO]
***

***
[RR] — RAPHAEL THE RAVEN
[Hustle Drink -> Power Bounce]
STATS
10 HP, 25 FP
BADGES: Power Bounce, All or Nothing, Dodge Master, Mega Rush, Flower Fanatic, Quick Change, Double Dip, Power Jump (24 BP, 30 w/two FP Plus)
ITEMS: Egg Missile x2, Hustle Drink, Repel Gel

Raphael must use Double Stomp T1

T1: Double Dip (Egg Missile, Hustle Drink), Water Block (R: 72, M: 1, FP: 20) *Guard one of the stomps
T2: Power Bounce x2 (both 3-cap), Outta Sight (R: 36, M: 1, FP: 10)
T3: Double Dip (Egg Missile, Repel Gel) (R: 28, M: 1, FP: 8)
T4: Power Bounce, Outta Sight (R: 10, M: 1, FP: 2)
T5: Power Jump [KO]

[Repel Gel -> Outta Sight Loop]
STATS
10 HP, 15 FP
BADGES: All or Nothing, Mega Rush, Flower Fanatic, Defend Plus, Quick Change, Double Dip (23 BP, 29 w/two FP Plus)
ITEMS: Egg Missile x4, Repel Gel x2

Raphael must use Double Stomp T1

T1: Double Dip (Egg Missile x2), Shell Shot (R: 58, M: 1, FP: 11) *Guard one of the stomps
T2: Jump, Outta Sight (R: 44, M: 1, FP: 9)
T3: Double Dip (Egg Missile, Repel Gel) (R: 36, M: 1, FP: 7)
T4: Jump, Outta Sight (R: 22, M: 1, FP: 5)
T5: Double Dip (Egg Missile, Repel Gel) (R: 14, M: 1, FP: 3)
T6: Jump [KO]
***

***
[LP] — LAVA PIRANHA
[Hustle Drink -> Power Bounce] —— Click here to see the strategy in action
STATS
10 HP, 15 FP
BADGES: All or Nothing, Ice Power, Quake Hammer, Fire Shield, Mega Rush, Double Dip, Flower Saver, Power Bounce, Quick Change (26 BP, 29 with FP Plus)
ITEMS: Hustle Drink, Super Shroom, Shroom Cake x2, Snowman Doll x2, Shooting Star

T1: Chill Out, Water Block (LP: 50, B1: 14, B2: 14, M: 4, FP: 11)
T2: Double Dip (Super Shroom, Snowman Doll), Electro Dash (LP: 43, B1: 10, B2: 10, M: 4, FP: 8)
T3: Double Dip (Shooting Star, Snowman Doll) [Both Buds KO], Electro Dash (LP: 30, M: 1, FP: 5) *Don’t guard
T4: Jump, Outta Sight (LP: 16, M: 1, FP: 2)
T5: Shroom Cake (LP: 16, M: 2, FP: 12) *Don’t guard
T6: Turbo Charge, Refresh (LP: 16, M: 1, FP: 15) *Don’t guard
T7: Water Block, Jump [Phase 1 End] (FP: 11)

— PHASE 2 —

T8: Double Dip (Shroom Cake, Hustle Drink), Tidal Wave (7 buttons) (LP: 45, B1: 7, B2: 7, M: 1, FP: 6) *Don’t guard for Mario
T9: Power Bounce (3-cap), Jump [KO]

[Charged UP!]
STATS
10 HP, 15 FP
BADGES: Damage Dodge, Hammer Throw, Ice Power, Fire Shield, Mega Rush, Double Dip, Flower Fanatic, Power Bounce, Quick Change, Jump Charge, Dodge Master (28 BP)
ITEMS: Snowman Doll x3, Spaghetti x2, Koopasta, Dusty Hammer, Fried Shroom

T1: Double Dip (Snowman Doll x2), Air Raid [Both Buds KO] (LP: 39, B1: 14, B2: 14, M: 4, FP: 7)
T2: Double Dip (Spaghetti, Dusty Hammer) Water Block (LP: 36, M: 6, FP: 7)
T3: Chill Out, Shell Shot (LP: 29, M: 5, FP: 5)
T4: Jump Charge, Smack (LP: 24, M: 4, FP: 4)
T5: Jump Charge, Smack (LP: 19, M: 3, FP: 3)
T6: Jump Charge, Outta Sight (LP: 19, M: 3, FP: 0)
T7: Koopasta (LP: 19, M: 4, FP: 15)
T8: Shell Shot, Fried Shroom (LP: 12, M: 2, FP; 15) *Don’t guard
T9: Turbo Charge, Refresh (LP: 11, M: 1, FP: 15) *Don’t guard
T10: Water Block, Hammer Throw [Phase 1 End] (FP: 11)

— PHASE 2 —

T11: Double Dip (Spaghetti, Snowman Doll), Tidal Wave (5 buttons) (LP: 43, B1: 1, B2: 1, M: 1, FP: 6) *Don’t guard for Mario
T12: Power Bounce (4-cap) [KO]
***

***
[LL] — LAKILULU
[HP Drain (Heavy FP ver)] —— Click here to see the strategy in action
STATS
10 HP, 45 FP
BADGES: Mega Rush, HP Drain, Power Bounce, Last Stand, Quick Change, Damage Dodge x2, Super Jump Charge, Jump Charge, Flower Fanatic (29 BP)
ITEMS: None

T1: Super Jump Charge, Fan Smack (Lu: 70, M: 3, FP: 38)
T2: Super Jump Charge, Fan Smack (Lu: 60, La: 50, M: 1, FP: 31) *Lakilester enters
T3: Turbo Charge, Power Bounce [4 bounces] (Lu: 28, La: 50, M: 3, FP: 24)
T4: Super Jump Charge, Fan Smack (Lu: 28, La: 40, M: 1, FP: 17)
T5: Power Bounce [4 bounces], Fan Smack (Lu: 28, La: 5, M: 3, FP: 9)
T6: Jump Charge, Smack [Lakilester KO] (Lu: 28, M: 1, FP: 8)
T7: Power Bounce [3 bounces], Fan Smack [KO]

[HP Drain (Low FP ver)]
STATS
10 HP, 5 FP
BADGES: Mega Rush, HP Drain, Last Stand, Damage Dodge x2, All or Nothing, Super Jump Charge (19 BP)
ITEMS: None

T1: Super Jump Charge, Smack (Lu: 74, M: 3, FP: 0)
T2: Star Storm, Smack (Lu: 61, M: 1, FP: 0) *Lakilester enters
T3: Jump, Smack (Lu: 37, La: 50, M: 1, FP: 0)
T4: Jump, Smack (Lu: 37, La: 32, M: 1, FP: 0)
T5: Jump, Smack (Lu: 37, La: 14, M: 1: FP: 0)
T6: Jump, Smack [Lakilester KO] (Lu: 37, M: 1, FP: 0)
T7: Jump, Smack (Lu: 19, M: 1, FP: 0)
T8: Jump, Smack (Lu: 1, M: 1, FP: 0)
T9: Smack [KO]
***

***
[HP] — HUFF N. PUFF
[Super Boots] —— Click here to see the strategy in action
STATS
10 HP, 40 FP
BADGES: All or Nothing, Mega Rush, Power Bounce, Dodge Master, Last Stand, Defend Plus, Double Dip, Quick Change, Jump Charge, Super Jump Charge, Flower Saver (29 BP)
ITEMS: Stone Cap x2, Yoshi Cookie, Maple Syrup

T1: Jump Charge (H: 120, M: 2, FP: 38)
T2: Jump Charge, Comfy Cloud (H: 120, M: 4, FP: 28) *Guard on 3
T3: Super Jump Charge, Turbo Charge (H: 120, M: 1, FP: 20)
T4: Power Bounce, Outta Sight (H: 77, M: 1, FP: 12)
T5: Double Dip (Maple Syrup, Stone Cap) (H: 77, M: 1, FP: 19)
T6: Air Raid (H: 71 -> 91, M: 1, FP: 12)
T7: Chill Out, Fan Smack (H: 81, M: 1: FP: 7) *Guard on 3
T8: Jump, Smack (H: 56, M: 1, FP: 7)
T9: Double Dip (Yoshi Cookie, Stone Cap), Fan Smack (H: 46, M: 10, FP: 29)
T10: Air Raid (H: 40 -> 46, M: 10, FP: 22)
T11: Jump Charge (H: 46, M: 10, FP: 20)
T12: Jump Charge, Outta Sight (H: 46, M: 10, FP: 15)
T13: Super Jump Charge (H: 46, M: 4, FP: 11)
T14: Refresh, Water Block (H: 46, M: 7, FP: 14) *Guard on 3
T15: Turbo Charge (H: 46, M: 1, FP: 10)
T16: Fan Smack, Power Bounce [KO]

[Ultra Boots]
STATS
10 HP, 25 FP
BADGES: Mega Rush, Power Bounce, Dodge Master, Last Stand, Defend Plus, Double Dip, Quick Change, Jump Charge, Super Jump Charge, Flower Fanatic (27 BP, 30 w/FP Plus)
ITEMS: Stone Cap x2, Yoshi Cookie, Cake, Spicy Soup

T1: Jump Charge (H: 120, M: 2, FP: 24)
T2: Jump Charge, Comfy Cloud (H: 120, M: 4, FP: 16) *Guard on 3
T3: Super Jump Charge, Turbo Charge (H: 120, M: 1, FP: 10)
T4: Power Bounce, Outta Sight (H: 77, M: 1, FP: 4)
T5: Double Dip (Cake, Stone Cap) (H: 77, M: 1, FP: 15)
T6: Air Raid (H: 71 -> 91, M: 1, FP: 9)
T7: Chill Out, Fan Smack (H: 81, M: 1: FP: 5) *Guard on 3
T8: Jump, Smack (H: 56, M: 1, FP: 6)
T9: Double Dip (Yoshi Cookie, Stone Cap), Fan Smack (H: 46, M: 10, FP: 21)
T10: Air Raid (H: 40 -> 46, M: 10, FP: 15)
T11: Jump Charge (H: 46, M: 10, FP: 14)
T12: Jump Charge, Outta Sight (H: 46, M: 10, FP: 11)
T13: Super Jump Charge (H: 46, M: 4, FP: 8)
T14: Spicy Soup, Turbo Charge (H: 46, M: 4, FP: 11) *Guard on 3
T15: Water Block (H: 46, M: 1, FP: 8)
T16: Fan Smack, Power Bounce [KO]
***

***
[M1] — MASTER 1ST FORM
[Egg Missile]
STATS
10 HP, 5 FP
BADGES: Mega Rush, Damage Dodge, Flower Fanatic, Quick Change, Defend Plus (19 BP)
ITEMS: Egg Missile x4T1: Egg Missile, Charge (Mt: 72, M: 10, FP: 4) +2 [Master @ 1 ATK]
T2: Egg Missile, Charge (Mt: 64, M: 10, FP: 3) +4 [Master @ 2 ATK]
T3: Egg Missile, Charge (Mt: 56, M: 10, FP: 2) +6 [Master @ 3 ATK]
T4: Egg Missile, Headbonk (Mt: 32, M: 7, FP: 2) [Master @ 6 ATK]
T5: Hammer, Headbonk (Mt: 24, M: 1, FP: 2) [Master @ 9 ATK]
T6: Jump, Outta Sight (Mt: 12, M: 1, FP: 0) [Master @ 11 ATK]
T7: Jump [KO]

[Jump Charge]
STATS
10 HP, 10 FP
BADGES; Jump Charge, Mega Rush, Power Rush, Flower Fanatic, Flower Finder, All or Nothing, Quick Change (26 BP, 29 w/FP Plus)
ITEMS: None

T1: Jump Charge, Shell Shot (Mt: 74, M: 9, FP: 8) +2 [Master @ 1 ATK] *Don’t guard
T2: Jump Charge, Shell Shot (Mt: 68, M: 7, FP: 6) +4 [Master @ 2 ATK] *Don’t guard
T3: Jump Charge, Shell Shot (Mt: 62, M: 5, FP: 4) +6 [Master @ 3 ATK]
T4: Power Smash, Shell Shot (Mt: 46, M: 1, FP: 2) +6 [Master @ 5 ATK]
T5: Mushroom, Shell Shot (Mt: 40, M: 1, FP: 1) +6 [Master @ 6 ATK]
T6: Jump, Outta Sight (Mt: 14, M: 1, FP: 0) [Master @ 8 ATK]
T7: Jump [KO]
***

***
[LEE] — LEE
[Sushie] —— Click here to see the strategy in action
STATS
10 HP, 15 FP
BADGES: Super Jump Charge, Power Bounce, Damage Dodge, All or Nothing, Mega Rush, Zap Tap, Flower Fanatic (26 BP, 29 w/FP Plus)
ITEMS: None*Lee must transform into Sushie

T1: Fan Smack, Super Jump Charge (L: 39, M: 1, FP: 8)
T2: Fan Smack, Power Bounce (4 bounces) [KO]
***

Thanks to Emperor_Thamz and the rest of the team for Master Quest for making this mod.

Just Sayin’

Kappy’s Paper Mario Challenge Running Tier List v7.0 (October 2019)

Since the end of December of 2017, I’ve been keeping tabs on the players who challenge run Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. I did this mainly because despite there not being an official list of the best players from the Glitz Pit Discord, there’s still discussion about it. Also, I like tier lists. LOL.

Let’s jump in!

  • + symbol means edge case for next tier up
  • This is my personal opinion; I repeat: this list is NOT objective.

GOD TIER

— The best of the best. The cream of the crop.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
  • Kappy
  • Koop

TTYD

None.

64
None.

ELITE TIER

— Players in this tier are highly proficient in their game of choice. These are some of the best.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
  • Fatguy703+ – Fatguy has almost completed his run of Master Quest. So far, he’s been doing well and has a few creative strategies. There’s not enough for me to put him in God Tier, but we’ll see how the rest of his run plays out.
  • GamerFourFun — Gamer has done a slew of things in Master Quest, a super-tough mod for Paper Mario 64. I was thinking of giving him a + because what he’s done is quite impressive, but I don’t think challenges completed in the mod are enough weight compared to vanilla challenges. He’s easily cemented his spot here with those completions, but the mods tailor a certain play style over others and are not always indicative of player skill over figuring out the designer’s intended puzzle. He also has a “battle first, strategize later” still, which just doesn’t cut it for even an edge-case for God tier in my eyes.

TTYD
  • Dyla — Dyla is back with a nice 10 HP Prologue Pit completion (without Super Jump) not too long ago moving him up to Elite. He’s now doing Impossible Mode and (I hope) more challenges after that. Now, he could very quickly fall back to Great+; we’ll see how he performs in the future.
  • Miccat87 — Miccat recently completed 10 HP Prologue Pit, which is awesome. Only a small portion has been uploaded, so I can’t hand him a definite + just yet, but I do think he could be another contender for God-level in TTYD. Time will tell.

64
None.

GREAT TIER

— Players in this tier are proficient in their game of choice. These are what I would consider to be a “general” challenge runner.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED

None.

TTYD

None.

64
  • Auron Nomcario — Auron recently completed a 10 HP Mario Alone run, officially putting him back into being active for Paper Mario 64! I hope he plays a little more. I could see him going above Elite if he stays active.
  • Miccat87
  • TwoPieRadian — TwoPieRadian is back into challenge running! He recently completed a cool “crit” mod of 64 where enemies could randomly critical and deal more damage. Not enough to jump him anywhere, but I’m glad he’s back! Hopefully, we’ll see more of him.

GOOD TIER

— Players here have breached past what I would consider “casual” and are officially challenge runners (or have the skills to be one). Most new challenge runners will be put her since usually they’ve only completed one or two challenges or are in the process of completing their first one.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED

None.

TTYD
  • Auron Nomcario+
  • DiamondCrafterA — DiamondCrafter is back to try and finish his Impossible Mode run! I think if he finishes it soon I can easily put a + next to his name.
  • Mr_Some1 — Mr_Some1 has come back into the realm of activity with a FP Only run. I hope that he finishes this and continues to do a couple more runs.
  • TwoPieRadian — Pie is also back with TTYD! He’s been doing BP Only right now, which is a pretty standard run for someone at this level. We’ll see how it goes from there.

64
  • Mailguy — Mailguy has come back to activity with a Hammerman run! We’ll see where he stands once the run is finished and if he decides to do more.

INACTIVE TIER

— Inactive Players. Players have their last tier listed for reference.
(sorted alphabetically)
  • A. A. Ran — Elite Tier (TTYD) | Good Tier+ (64)
  • amazydayzee — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • avengah — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Blanket P.I. — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • catbooger — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Codebox — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • DarkMario1000 — Great Tier+ (TTYD) | Elite Tier (64)
  • Dount Cooku — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Feposo — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Gibstack — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Gradis — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Grassdigger — Great Tier+ (TTYD)
  • ilikepieinmouth — Elite Tier+ (TTYD)
  • Jayjar100 — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • JakeTheSnake — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Jdaster64 — God Tier (COMBINED)
  • Jon — Great Tier (64)
  • Lolyuri — Good Tier (64)
  • Mathcat — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Michael The Fox — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • MilesLuigi — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • MellowMathTeacher — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • MorningStar — Great Tier+ (TTYD)
  • ngburns — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • Olmi — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • OmegaRaptor — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Prentiscool — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • simodomino — Good Tier (COMBINED)
  • Skawo — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • Slime — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Starlad — Good Tier (64)
  • StarmanOmega — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • stebbdogg — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • Stylish — Good Tier+ (TTYD)
  • Wayoshi — Elite Tier (TTYD) | Great Tier (64)
  • ThatOneSpyGuy — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Timmy — Great Tier (64)
  • TRex Quisite — Great Tier (COMBINED)
NOTABLE CHANGES & THOUGHTS
  • We’ve seen a slight surge in returning players, which is awesome 🙂 I hope this trend continues.
  • Paper Mario Master Quest dropped, which is an ultra-hard mod of Paper Mario 64 that is designed to challenge God/Elite Tier level players. Honestly, it’s difficult, but due to how most of it is designed, I will not be adding any new players who have completed this mod. If they’re good enough and want to be on this list, they can prove themselves through challenge runs in vanilla.

And that’s it for this version of the tier list! I hope you all enjoyed reading my thoughts on this. If you’re interested in making it on this list, start challenge running (and if I missed you or you think someone else should be added, please let me know via Twitter or Discord DM so I can update this and future tier lists)! A great resource for challenge runners is the Glitz Pit, a Discord server dedicated to challenge running the Paper Mario series. You can also check out my Discord server.

Just Sayin’

September 2018
December 2018
March 2019
July 2019

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’

 

Kappy’s Paper Mario Challenge Running Tier List v6.0 (July 2019)

Since the end of December of 2017, I’ve been keeping tabs on the players who challenge run Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. I did this mainly because despite there not being an official list of the best players from the Glitz Pit Discord, there’s still discussion about it. Also, I like tier lists. LOL. This should’ve come out in June, but I was quite busy that month so it was pushed back to July.

Let’s jump in!

  • + symbol means edge case for next tier up
  • This is my personal opinion; I repeat: this list is NOT objective.

GOD TIER

— The best of the best. The cream of the crop.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
TTYD
None.
64
None.

ELITE TIER

— Players in this tier are highly proficient in their game of choice. These are some of the best.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
  • Fatguy703+ — Listen here, all ye. Fatguy has beaten my nearly 2-year-long record of reset count in Impossible Mode. While his consistency when it comes to the Pit isn’t the best, it’s good, and his superguarding and strategy are great when he’s focused. He’s actually always been great despite all the memes and I think with this he is on the cusp of being a God. How he does in Master Quest, I think, will determine if his foot’s in the door or to the exit; I’ll be watching closely.
  • GamerFourFun
TTYD
  • Gibstack
  • ilikepieinmouth+ — While Pie is still undoubtedly the best superguarder, I just can’t keep him up as a God on superguarding alone. The superguard-heavy challenges he’s completed are nothing short of impressive, but I look for more than just superguarding in amazing players. He’ll likely stay here for eternity until I see more strategy that’s not about reducing superguards.
  • Miccat87
64
  • DarkMario1000

GREAT TIER

— Players in this tier are proficient in their game of choice. These are what I would consider to be a “general” challenge runner.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
None.
TTYD
  • DarkMario1000+ — DarkMario, at this point, is on the level of Elite+ when it comes to strategy. There’s really no way around it — the guy knows his stuff. Still, I’d like to see more footage. Seeing him do a run would really help cement him in Elite. As it stands, I just can’t bring myself to move him up without more concrete gameplay.
  • Gible_V — Coming back from inactivity, Gible has finally completed Impossible Mode. Along with the other Pit challenges she’s completed, I think she’s earned her spot here. We’ll see if she goes any further.
  • Grassdigger+ — Grassdigger’s in the same boat as DarkMario — his breakout performance during the puzzle challenges was quite impressive, despite him taking a small back seat later on. I think he might’ve won otherwise. If he ever decides to start posting more videos, I’m sure he’ll be Elite.
  • Kyle
  • MorningStar+ — Just saw this guy recently, and I like what I see. He recently finished Level Zero Double Damage (including a perfect Gloomtail fight!) and literally finished the Pit with no Strange Sack as I’m posting this to my blog. If he continues, he can only go up.
64
  • Jon
  • Miccat87

GOOD TIER

— Players here have breached past what I would consider “casual” and are officially challenge runners (or have the skills to be one). Most new challenge runners will be put her since usually they’ve only completed one or two challenges or are in the process of completing their first one.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
  • simodomino
TTYD
  • Auron Nomcario+ —  I’d say that Auron’s done enough with puzzles alone to earn him a +. Not enough to jump to Great tier, but he’s really close!
  • Slime
  • Stylish+
64
None.

INACTIVE TIER

— Inactive Players. Players have their last tier listed for reference.
(sorted alphabetically)
  • A. A. Ran — Elite Tier (TTYD) | Good Tier+ (64)
  • amazydayzee — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Auron Nomcario — Great Tier (64)
  • avengah — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Blanket P.I. — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • catbooger — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Codebox — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • DiamondCrafterA — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Dount Cooku — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Dyla — Great Tier+ (TTYD)
  • Feposo — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Gradis — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Jayjar100 — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • JakeTheSnake — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Jdaster64 — God Tier (COMBINED)
  • Lolyuri — Good Tier (64)
  • Mailguy — Good Tier (64)
  • Mathcat — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Michael The Fox — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • MilesLuigi — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • MellowMathTeacher — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • Mr_Some1 — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • ngburns — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • Olmi — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • OmegaRaptor — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Prentiscool — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Skawo — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • Starlad — Good Tier (64)
  • StarmanOmega — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • stebbdogg — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • Wayoshi — Elite Tier (TTYD) | Great Tier (64)
  • ThatOneSpyGuy — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Timmy — Great Tier (64)
  • TRex Quisite — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • TwoPieRadian — Good Tier (TTYD) | Great Tier (64)
NOTABLE CHANGES & THOUGHTS
  • ilikepieinmouth has moved down from God Tier to Elite Tier because he continues to only do superguard-heavy runs when he does play. There’s no question of his superguarding superiority, but…there’s more to playing this game than superguarding. Good strategy cannot be overlooked.
  • Jdaster64, despite participation in the most recent puzzle challenges, has moved to Inactive. I thought about keeping him up because of the puzzle challenges, but he stopped pretty early in the game and he hasn’t done anything with Paper Mario in 3+ months, so Inactive seemed to be the best fit for now.
  • As I predicted, there are a lot of inactive players. C’mon, guys, let’s do some runs! I want to see more new faces!

And that’s it for this version of the tier list! I hope you all enjoyed reading my thoughts on this. If you’re interested in making it on this list, start challenge running (and if I missed you or you think someone else should be added, please let me know so I can update this and future tier lists)! A great resource for challenge runners is the Glitz Pit, a Discord server dedicated to challenge running the Paper Mario series. You can also check out my Discord server.

Just Sayin’

September 2018
December 2018
March 2019
October 2019

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
 

Click here to see the strategy in action!

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’