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What if Pokemon X/Y had Challenge Mode?


Mar 11, 2022
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  1. He/Him
Since X/Y tend to be considered the easiest out of all the main series games, I wondered 11 months ago (when I originally posted this one Reddit) what it would look like if those games had their own Challenge Mode. I'll be using the same "rules" that Black 2 and White 2 did:
  • Increase the levels of trainer Pokemon starting from 1 level and ending at 4 levels (5 levels seems to be exclusive to postgame battles).
  • Add held items when applicable.
  • Give the Gym Leaders and Elite Four members one extra Pokemon each.
Once common criticism, that I agree with, is the lack of NPC characters who use Mega Evolution. As a result, I will include Mega Evolution in some of these teams as you'll see below.


Surskit: Level 11
Bubble, Quick Attack, Water Sport, Infestation
Nincada: Level 11
Scratch, Harden, Leech Life, Mud-Slap
Vivillon: Level 13, Oran Berry
Tackle, Protect, Infestation, Powder

Her team already has a way of countering Fire types so I basically doubled down on that. Since her Surskit knows Water Sport early, it's fair to have her Nincada know Mud-Slap to deal super effective damage to Fire types. Powder is a priority move where the target damages themselves if they attempt to use a Fire type move. Protect is also a better Harden that can stop Rollout streaks for trainers who picked Chespin.


Amaura: Level 26, Oran Berry
Ancient Power, Rock Tomb, Thunder Wave, Take Down
Carbink: Level 26
Smack Down, Reflect, Stealth Rock, Rock Tomb
Tyrunt: Level 26, Sitrus Berry
Rock Tomb, Stomp, Bite, Dragon Tail

Getting rid of Aurora Beam is a weird choice, but it learns Ancient Power at level 26 and I wanted to include it on the moveset. Thunder Wave is necessary due to the surprise factor and low speed. Take Down becomes Ice type due to Refrigerate so its second type still has a STAB move. I included Carbink because Fairy is the new type introduced in X/Y and it has good defenses for a second gym leader's Pokemon. Finally, Tyrunt gets Dragon Tail because its second typing needs to have a STAB move. The held items are based on Roxie's team even though all of Grant's Pokemon are the same level.


Mienfoo: Level 31, Sitrus Berry
Fake Out, Double Slap, Power-Up Punch, U-Turn
Machoke: Level 30
Rock Tomb, Power-Up Punch, Foresight, Revenge
Lucario: Level 31
Swords Dance, Power-Up Punch, Bone Rush, Metal Claw
Hawlucha: Level 34, Sitrus Berry
Hone Claws, Flying Press, Power-Up Punch, Bounce/Acrobatics

I'm conflicted between giving Hawlucha Bounce or Acrobatics. It already has Unburden as its ability so combining that with Acrobatics might be a bit much for a third gym leader. Bounce is part of the level up moveset but still takes advantage of Unburden since it can avoid most attacks during the first turn. At the very least, either move will allow it to damage Ghost types. Lucario was a pretty obvious inclusion. Challenge Mode did not change the strongest Pokemon for the Unova gym leaders which is why Hawlucha is still the highest leveled Pokemon. Machoke has Foresight to damage Ghost type Pokemon without relying on Rock Tomb. Mienfoo has U-Turn to take advantage of Regenerator.


Jumpluff: Level 32, Sitrus Berry
Grass Knot, Acrobatics, Leech Seed, Sunny Day
Leafeon: Level 33
Synthesis, Giga Drain/Quick Attack, Grass Whistle, Grass Knot
Weepinbell: Level 33
Grass Knot, Knock Off, Venoshock, Poison Powder
Gogoat: Level 36, Sitrus Berry
Grass Knot, Take Down/Bulk Up, Bulldoze, Synthesis

If you're wondering why Weepinbell is unevolved, Elesa's Flaaffy in Challenge Mode is level 30 but doesn't evolve into Ampharos. The Leafeon could have Chlorophyll as its ability even though Challenge Mode did not give Hidden Abilities to any of the gym leader's Pokemon. Even with Leaf Guard, it's moveset is meant to take advantage of Sunny Day which is now learned by Jumpluff. I initially included Giga Drain as a way to recover HP without Synthesis or Sunny Day. However, Quick Attack might be better for type coverage and knocking out weakened opponents. I replaced Gastro Acid with Knock Off since it has better utility and can deal super effective damaged against Psychic types. I included Venoshock to take advantage of Poison Powder and still deal super effective damage against Fairy types. Poison Powder also remains to allow further Synthesis stalling.


Emolga: Level 38
Volt Switch, Quick Attack, Aerial Ace, Thunderbolt
Dedenne: Level 38, Sitrus Berry
Play Rough, Volt Switch, Nuzzle, Thunderbolt
Magneton: level 38
Thunderbolt, Electric Terrain, Flash Cannon, Tri Attack
Heliolisk: Level 40, Sitrus Berry
Thunderbolt, Quick Attack, Grass Knot, Surf

Dedenne is included for the same reason Carbink was added to Grant's team. It also has the Sitrus Berry to take advantage of Cheek Pouch. Skyla and Marlon both give the first Sitrus Berry to a Pokemon that is not their lead in Challenge Mode so Clemont can do the same. Play Rough is included as STAB for its second type and Nuzzle is meant to paralyze opponents. Magneton's Mirror Shot is now upgraded to Flash Cannon. Heliolisk learns Surf for extra coverage against Ground types and it's unlocked after beating Korrina.


Mawile: Level 41, Sitrus Berry
Iron Head, Play Rough, Crunch, Sucker Punch
Florges: level 42
Dazzling Gleam, Misty Terrain, Petal Dance, Wish
Mr. Mime: Level 42
Light Screen, Reflect, Psychic, Dazzling Gleam
Sylveon: Level 45, Sitrus Berry
Dazzling Gleam, Moonblast, Psych Up, Last Resort/Quick Attack

Mawile needed some STAB moves. In addition, it has Sucker Punch to at least deal some damage before being hit by a super effective move. If the Mawile had Intimidate, I would have kept Iron Defense to make it serve as a physical wall. I added Florges because it's a Kalos Fairy type and is somewhat common in the early game. Surprisingly, none of the gym trainers use a Floette or Florges. It has Misty Terrain because terrain moves were introduced in Kalos so it makes sense for the Fairy type gym leader to use the corresponding terrain. Sylveon has both Moonblast and Dazzling Gleam because Moonblast is learned at level 37. I decided to include Psych Up to make it copy any stat boosts that the opponent uses and Last Resort is a much stronger attack than Swift. Quick Attack can also be used for taking out weakened Pokemon.


Sigilyph: Level 48, Sitrus Berry
Psychic, Air Slash, Light Screen, Reflect
Slowking: Level 49
Psychic, Calm Mind, Surf, Yawn
Espeon: Level 49
Psychic, Calm Mind, Dazzling Gleam, Morning Sun
Meowstic: Level 52, Sitrus Berry
Psychic, Calm Mind, Fake Out, Shadow Ball/Dazzling Gleam

I replaced Power Gem with Surf since Slowking is a Water type and should have a STAB more for it's primary type. I chose Espeon over Malamar because Malamar is a Dark type used by Xerosic, who is part of Team Flare. Espeon has Dazzling Gleam to deal with Dark types and Morning Sun helps it recover HP while setting up with Calm Mind. Meowstic and Sigilyph have good moves in my opinion so I didn't change them. However, giving Meowstic Dazzling Gleam would be helpful against Dark types and a much needed upgrade over Disarming Voice.


Abomasnow: Level 60, Abomasite
Ice Beam, Ice Shard, Energy Ball, Blizzard
Cryogonal: Level 59
Ice Beam, Recover, Flash Cannon, Freeze-Dry
Lapras: Level 60
Ice beam, Surf, Perish Song, Safeguard
Avalugg: Level 63, Sitrus Berry
Avalanche, Recover, Curse, Earthquake

Mega Evolution is appearing this late because the first NPC who uses Mega Evolution after Korrina is Lysandre and that battle only happens after beating Olympia. Abomasnow is the Mega Evolution of choice since you get the Abomasite beforehand. It also has Blizzard to take advantage of Snow Warning. Cryogonal now has Recover to give it some longevity and Freeze-Dry to deal with Water types. Lapras is the new Pokemon since you get it as a gift Pokemon after defeating Korrina and it helps deall with Fire types. I gave it Perish Song and Safeguard to force switches or make things more tense and prevent status conditions, such as a burn on Avalugg. Avalugg no longer has Gyro Ball because Avalanche is always a higher base power (180 vs. 150) due to STAB. Earthquake is also included to help cover 3/4 of its weaknesses.


Pyroar: Level 67, Life Orb
Fire Blast, Hyper Voice, Will-O-Wisp, Wild Charge
Torkoal: Level 67, Leftovers
Rapid Spin, Lava Plume, Stone Edge, Earthquake
Chandelure: Level 67, Expert Belt
Flamethrower, Confuse Ray, Energy Ball, Shadow Ball
Talonflame: Level 67, Charti Berry
Will-O-Wisp, Flare Blitz, Brave Bird, Roost
Houndoom: Level 69, Houndoominite
Nasty Plot, Fire Blast, Dark Pulse, Destiny Bond

Since Caitlin changes her strongest Pokemon in Challenge Mode, I'm allowing Malva to change hers as well. It also makes sense to give Houndoom the Mega Evolution since some of the higher ups at Team Flare use Houndoom as well. Ability changes are also allowed, unlike the Gym Leaders, so in this case Torkoal will have Shell Armor instead of White Smoke. Rapid Spin is included to get rid of any Stealth Rocks set by the opponent. I gave Chandelure Energy Ball for extra coverage against Water types. Talonflame and Torkoal are designed to be a bit more defensive this time. I could give Talonflame Gale Wings but the Unova Elite Four only change one ability at most so it's only a possibility. Houndoom has Destiny Bond as the final nail in the coffin. Just when you think you've taken it out, it takes you down with it.


Klefki: Level 67, Leftovers
Spikes, Magnet Rise, Flash Cannon, Dazzling Gleam
Probopass: Level 67, Weakness Policy
Power Gem, Stealth Rock, Flash Cannon, Discharge
Scizor: Level 67, Choice Band
X-Scissor, Iron Head, Bullet Punch, Night Slash
Aggron: Level 67, Aggronite
Heavy Slam, Earthquake, Roar, Head Smash
Aegislash: Level 69, Expert Belt
Sacred Sword, Iron Head, King's Shield, Shadow Ball

Probopass now has Stealth Rock to stack hazards with Klefki. The weakness policy is included since it has two 4x weaknesses and combines well with Sturdy to give it a powerful attack or two before fainting. I made Aggron the Mega Evolution instead of Scizor because the loss of its Rock type and the ability Filter were more interesting in my opinion. Roar pairs with Stealth Rock and Spikes since opponents would be forced out. Either ability before the Mega Evolution should work fine with the moveset. I replaced Shadow Claw with Shadow Ball for Aegislash because it's a more powerful move and also demonstrates that Aegislash has mixed attacking stats.


Dragalge: Level 67, Choice Specs
Sludge Wave, Scald, Thunderbolt, Dragon Pulse
Altaria: Level 67, Wide Lens
Dragon Pulse, Moonblast, Sing, Cotton Guard
Druddigon: Level 67, Rocky Helmet
Dragon Tail, Revenge, Glare, Fire Punch
Ampharos: Level 67, Ampharosite
Thunderbolt, Dragon Pulse, Focus Blast, Agility
Noivern: Level 69, Yache Berry
Flamethrower, Boomburst, Air Slash, Dragon Pulse

I could have given her a Mega Garchomp since Caitlin has a Metagross in Challenge Mode but Mega Ampharos has the surprised factor which makes it more interesting in my opinion. Agility is included to increase its speed and make it more challenging to fight. Scald replaces Surf due to the burn chance, which can combo into Altaria's Cotton Guard. Wide Lens is given to make Sing more accurate, just like Iris in her Champion fight. Druddigon has the Rocky Helmet since its ability is Rough Skin. Glare is included to slow down opponents while Fire Punch is better coverage.


Clawitzer: Level 67, Life Orb
Ice Beam, Scald, Dark Pulse, Aura Sphere
Starmie: Level 67, Choice Specs
Psyshock, Ice Beam, Surf, Dazzling Gleam
Gyarados: Level 67, Wacan Berry
Waterfall, Ice Fang, Dragon Dance, Earthquake
Blastoise: Level 67, Blastoisinite
Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, Aura Sphere, Dark Pulse
Barbaracle: Level 69, Choice Scarf
Stone Edge, Razor Shell, Cross Chop, Earthquake

Mega Gyarados is already used by Lysandre and Mega Blastoise is the only other option in the Kalos regional pokedex. Ice Beam is a better coverage move than Dragon Pulse in my opinion and the burn chance for Scald is pretty valuable. Psychic is replaced by Psyshock to deal with Pokemon that have good special defense. Starmie's ability is changed to Natural Cure for obvious reasons. Earthquake replaces X-Scissor for the same reason Ice Beam replaced Dragon Pulse.


Hawlucha: Level 68, Focus Sash
Poison Jab, High Jump Kick, Swords Dance, Acrobatics
Tyrantrum: Level 69, Choice Scarf
Head Smash, Outrage, Earthquake, Crunch
Aurorus: Level 69, Choice Specs
Hyper Voice, Freeze-Dry, Earth Power, Power Gem
Gourgeist: Level 69, Leftovers
Leech Seed, Will-O-Wisp, Seed Bomb, Shadow Sneak
Goodra: Level 70, Assault Vest
Sludge Bomb, Dragon Pulse, Fire Blast, Thunderbolt
Gardevoir: Level 71, Gardevoirite
Focus Blast, Moonblast, Psyshock, Shadow Ball

The Focus Sash allows Hawlucha to get one free Swords Dance before sweeping. Its ability is changed to Unburden to take advantage of both the Focus Sash being consumed and Acrobatics. Tyrantrum also has its ability changed to Rock Head to pair with Head Smash. Aurorus is now more offensive and has a move to actually make use of Refrigerate (Hyper Voice is from the ORAS move tutor and Power Gem is for Rock type STAB). Gourgeist becomes a troll with Leech Seed + Will-O-Wisp + Leftovers. Assault Vest makes Goodra even more of a special wall with Sludge Bomb and Thunderbolt serving as better coverage moves. Focus Blast replaces Thunderbolt since Goodra now learns it. Psyshock is also included to better deal with special walls.
Ok, these seem pretty solid to me, but a few things.
Korrina-Lucario should, and must be the highest Pokemon in the team, and be Mega Evolved. I have always thought the Tower of Mastery meeting and the Gym battle with her should have been swapped.
Olympia-BOTH Meowstic should be in her Team. They essentially function as two different Pokemon. No to Espeon there, as much as I love Espeon.
Wikstrom-His Mega should be Scizor. It fits more with his theme.

Otherwise, I have been a fan of X & Y Challenge Mode for a long time. Good job! Nice analysis.
Ok, these seem pretty solid to me, but a few things.
Korrina-Lucario should, and must be the highest Pokemon in the team, and be Mega Evolved. I have always thought the Tower of Mastery meeting and the Gym battle with her should have been swapped.
Olympia-BOTH Meowstic should be in her Team. They essentially function as two different Pokemon. No to Espeon there, as much as I love Espeon.
Wikstrom-His Mega should be Scizor. It fits more with his theme.

Otherwise, I have been a fan of X & Y Challenge Mode for a long time. Good job! Nice analysis.

Thanks for the response! I totally understand the reasoning behind your suggestions. I'm not sure about Lucario being able to mega evolve since she's the third gym and it would be too early in my opinion to have a powerful Mega Pokemon. In my opinion, the ability to mega evolve should have been unlocked much later such as after the 7th gym leader.
Please note: The thread is from 1 year ago.
Please take the age of this thread into consideration in writing your reply. Depending on what exactly you wanted to say, you may want to consider if it would be better to post a new thread instead.
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