Tips for geting better at Pokemon Shuffle

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I love Pokemon Shuffle. And as the above image shows, I’ve sunk a fair wee bit of time into it so far – all without spending a penny. So below are some of the tips I’ve passed on to a few of my pals to help them out. I hope they help you too.

1. Plan ahead

Aye, it sounds quite obvious advice, but when you get into that wee zone of lining up combos and your brain is hanging on every little endorphins pop you get from lining those cute wee buggers up, it’s hard to stop and think “what will doing this get me?”.

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Right, so lets look at the above image. So shifting that Pichu over there seems smart, as it’s sitting in no man’s land and can possibly set up another combo by putting two Espurr(?) together. BUT, see that wee Pidgeotto on column 1? Swap that with that Happiny in column 2 and you’ve got four Happiny and three Pidgeotto gone. Now you’ve opened up your next move to a few different columns. And you can still do that Pichu move again. Always look to what will do the biggest damage, and try and see where the tiles will drop. Try and keep two of the same Pokemon together, and only move the ones sitting out of the way. This keeps your options open and increasing the likelihood of getting a sweet chain. Only on certain challenges are you under a timer, so pick wisely when you have the luxury of time.

2. Learn from defeat 

If you’re losing on the same level, don’t snap your 3DS shut in disgust quite just yet. Keep an eye on the screen after the level and often there are some hints on what particular Pokemon are especially effective against it. Quite often I’ve been struggling and then seen that a Pokemon from earlier that I hadn’t caught was useful for that level. Which leads me on to my next point…

3. Go backwards to go forward 

Sometimes, you’re just not good enough to beat a particular mega-evolution. So lets think of it like a “proper” Pokemon game. When I play Pokemon, I don’t always race straight to the end – I like to meander back and catch Pokemon I may have missed previously, then level them up. The same principle applies here. If you’re struggling and notice that a Pokemon you don’t have is effective against what you’re facing (ESPECIALLY if it can mega evolve), then pop back a few levels and play til you catch it. Perhaps spend a little time levelling it up to a point where it can do some significant damage. It may seem frustrating you can’t blitz your way straight to the end, but have a little patience and it’ll be rewarded!

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4. Know your mega evolutions

Mega evolutions are very often the difference between clearing a level and having to start over. After a couple of tries at a level, you’ll know what disruption the opposing Pokemon is throwing out there, and can react accordingly. When you have a few suitable mega evolutions, you can experiment with who’s best for your given situation. There’s many-a-level that has been smashed due to my wee mega Sableye saving the day. Quick note: Mega Lopunny and Mega Kangaskhan have the same special ability, but working across different sections of the screen. When you know which one is best suited to your enemy, it makes all the difference.

5. Always check-in, regularly say hi to Meowth, and switch on your Streetpass 

An obvious one, but essential. You get a daily 500 coin bonus for hitting the check-in button, this soon adds up! Also, if you check-in for 10 days in a row, you’ll get a 1000 coin bonus. To earn more coins, make sure to check out the special Meowth stage available from Saturday to Monday, which can give your wallet a timely boost. Finally, get your Streetpass activated for Pokemon Shuffle via the settings menu, your first Streetpass will earn you a jewel.

6. Spend your cash wisely 

Barring a couple of tricky levels, you *should* be able to get through all the regular levels without needing to rely on items (try and be patient, and don’t spend your jewels on extra hearts if you can help it). This then leaves you with some cash (and jewels) to spend on the mega evolved “boss battles”. So save up for the bosses, scout them out first of all, then decide which items will be most effective. For example, a disruption delay can be a super helpful (and often cheap!) item for getting your mega evolution up and running without too much hassle from your opposing Pokemon. And yes, even I cave in and buy a Great Ball every now and then…

7. Patience above all else 

Pokemon Shuffle’s energy system may seem frustrating (and an obvious hook to get you to part with your cash for more hearts), but it really just makes me approach the game in little shifts – so I don’t ever really get bored of playing it. If you start planning out your moves more, considering what’s going on with your opponent and spending more time looking through the strengths, weaknesses and abilities of your Pokemon, you’ll find your time with the game lasts longer anyways.

So that’s that. I hope something here proves helpful and if you have any further questions feel free to drop me a Tweet and ask.

 

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