Pokemon Masters Guide - 12 Essential Tips to get you Started30 Sep 2019 0
The Pokemon franchise is no stranger to mixing up its traditional battle elements for the sake of its many spin-off titles, and Pokemon Masters (iOS | Android) is the latest attempt that you can try out right now. It may look like a fairly standard take on the franchise with its 3v3 battles, but there's a lot of real-time decision making and new rules in effect here that can trip up even the most dedicated Pokemon fan.
In this quick-fire guide, we'll highlight a few of Pokemon Masters' small mechanical quirks and dish out some helpful tips to overcome its challenges. That way veterans of the franchise won't fall victim to decades of now obsolete knowledge and muscle memory, and newcomers can jump straight in without feeling too overwhelmed.
Want to know what the best Sync Pairs are? We've got you covered.
1. Pokemon Only Have Single-Type Weaknesses
Unlike basically any other title in the franchise, Pokemon are only ever weak to a single element in Pokemon Masters. Veterans of the franchise will have memorized weakness chart in their minds a long time ago, but that's actually more of a hindrance in this game.
Rather than a Fire-type Pokémon being weak to Water and Ground, it might only be weak to one or the other. This is thankfully displayed beside each Pokemon on the field. But when these battles are all about quick decisions and fast fingers, you'll need to keep these strengths in mind before you go using an Ice-type move on a Flying-type Pokemon that's only actually weak to Electric.
2. Resistances Aren't A Thing
Staying on a similar subject, type resistances also go the way of the dodo in Pokemon Masters. Just like weaknesses, Pokemon would traditionally resist other types of attacks based on their own. That's not the case here. Here, there aren't any resistances at all. That includes complete immunity, too. So don't worry about using a Normal or Fighting-type move on a Ghost-type Pokemon. You'll still sock that Ghastly right in the face.
3. Only The AI's Centre Pokemon Will Use A Sync Move
One of the stranger things about Pokemon Masters is how the rules of battle aren't identical between the player and the AI. Where you have access to a trio of Sync Moves to suit the situation, your opponent will only ever have the one.
Only the centre Pokemon on the AI team can execute a sync move. To make up for this, AI sync moves will always hit your entire team rather than just the one target like your own. It's usually a good idea to knock this Pokemon out early to avoid a team wipe in one big blow. Pay attention though - if the centre slot has more than one AI opponent in it, the new incoming Pokemon will pick up the Sync Move count-down from where it was left off. This typically means a situation where a weaker Pokemon starts off in the centre spot, and the replacement will the team's strongest Pokemon - an alternative strategy might be to let the chud fire off it's Sync Move first, before taking it out and the next one before it has a chance to fire it off a second time.
4. Level Caps Aren't Tied To Rarity
Trainers (or sync pairs) eventually reach what's known as a “soft cap” – a point where they can't be levelled up any further without jumping through a few hoops. Similar games usually lock this behind the unit's rarity (or star rank), requiring players to boost the unit's rank to unlock their level cap. Just know that that is not the case here.
While you can upgrade a unit's rank in Pokemon Masters through the Increase Potential menu, unlocking their max level limit is actually done in a dedicated window using completely different items. Firstly you need to have completed Chapter 4 (the one where you get the sync pair Erika/Vileplume) and then you need to go to the Training Area. No matter how many courses are available to you at the time (Supercourses will rotate in and out), at the bottom of the list will be a Special Training option called 'Battle Techniques'. It involves a single fight against an Ace Trainer, and you'll want to take Fighting-type Pokemon. IF you beat him, you'll unlock the Unlock Level Cap option in the 'Team' section.
5. Use Items to Speed Up Sync Moves
In your effort to knock out the opposing team's centre lead before they can get their Sync Move off, using items can really speed up the job. Items don't consume the Move Gauge but do still contribute to the Sync Move countdown.
So if you're trying to get a Sync Move off before your opponent, consider queueing up item uses on other Pokemon while another spams low-cost moves to accelerate the gauge. Remember: a low-cost move increases the Sync Move gauge just as much as a higher one.
6. Rarity Isn't Indicative of Overall Strength
There's no denying that rolling a 5-star character is an exciting prospect, and it's no surprise that people will cram their teams with as many 5-star gatcha rolls as they can. But Pokemon Masters isn't as clear-cut as that.
Just because a story character comes in at 3-star rarity, that doesn't mean they're completely useless by comparison. Any unit can be upgraded to a 5* with enough effort, and some of those story characters can easily rival a 5-star gatcha pull once they're boosted to the same point. So just because they're free, doesn't mean they're at the bottom of the tier list. They just need some TLC to really prove their worth. Don't write them off too soon.
And besides; with type advantages being a thing, almost every sync pair has a use somewhere.
7. Make Use of Status Combos
If you're having trouble knocking out a strong Pokemon before it has time to finish you off with a Sync Move, make sure you're making good use of status combos for some easy extra damage. Tapping and holding an attack or skill in battle will show you it's power, accuracy and additional effects.
Some attacks can inflict common status conditions like Paralysis or Flinching, and certain Sync Moves can exploit these for tons of extra damage. One early example is Flannery and her Torkoal. Torkoal's base attack, Ember, can inflict Burn with enough luck, and its Sync Move deals considerably more damage to a Burned target. It's best to build a team that synergizes well with these kinds of combos to exploit these bonuses and take down foes fast.
8. Items Don't Regenerate Between Rounds
Before you go spamming items early into a zone, be aware that they don't regenerate between fights within the same section. This means if you're going into a story zone with two or more fights, blowing all your items in that first battle to rush out a Sync Move might leave you grasping at straws later on.
9. Use The Suggested Team To Level Up The Rest
The Level-Up Training zone is a great way to boost low-level sync pairs, but you don't need to take them in to reap the benefits. Rather than making the easy fights difficult with low-level teams that can't exploit weaknesses, just use the training manuals rewarded at the end to level up these non-optimal characters. That means you can make quick runs through the level-up training fights with your better teams and use the resulting items to power up your weaker ones.
10. Turn On Battle Order In The Menu
By default, you can't easily see which Pokemon is next in-line to attack. If you absolutely need to know who's about to strike next, you can actually turn on a battle order indicator through the menu mid-fight.
Just open it up through the cog icon on the top-left and scroll all the way down. With the option toggled, an indicator on the right-side of the screen will appear with three slots denoting each Pokemon's position on the battlefield. Enemy Pokemon will show up in red, while friendly Pokemon will be blue.
11. Special Spotlight Store Events Don't Share Sync Pair Pools
We go more into this in our Events Guide, but the gist of it is that the game is always either adding new Sync Pairs, and/or specifically doing a 'Spotlight' on a Sync Pair to give you a slightly better chance of pulling them when you spend the in-game currency. What you have to understand is that each instance of a Spotlight (or other) store event is treated as a separate entity. So if Blue/Pidgeot and Olivia/Lycanroc both have Spotlights running, you have to make sure you've selected the right one from the store menus before making a pull.
Further to that, if a Sync pair is released after a Spotlight event launches, they will not be available to pull via the earlier Spotlight event. Each Spotlight event that goes live uses the more up-to-date version of the Sync Pair pool at the time it goes live. Any new pairs added don't get retroactively included into older Spotlight events, so beware!
12. Pay Attention to the Game News and Change-Log
It's not the most exciting of places, but paying attention to the game news section is actually a really good source of information. You'll be able to see what new challenges and special events are running, but more importantly you'll be able to see what the current major bugs are and what you need to be paying attention to. For example, the developers have advised that Android 10 is not safe to use with Pokemon GO right now. Another tip - recently there were was a major bug that took a little longer to fix, so EVERYONE got given 6000 gems for free. You can afford to do the 10-pair pull in the store twice on that, but only if you claim the gems from your claim box. If you didn't check the news, you might not have known it was there to claim.