22 Jan

Pokémon Spotlight: Mareep Family

year of the sheep

Artwork by 電竜ライ

It’s the year of the sheep! Back when Gold and Silver first came out, Ampharos was my favorite Pokémon, and I’m happy to celebrate this Pokémon family as we coast into the new year.

As a note, we’ve ramped up the work on the 1.05 update for Pokémon Tabletop United, which is why this post has taken a while to surface. It’s also why the blog will be going on a partial hiatus until we get the update done. I may still post once or twice before the release if I find topics I really want to write about, but don’t count on much.

Mareep’s fluffy coat of wool rubs together and builds a static charge. The more static electricity is charged, the more brightly the lightbulb at the tip of its tail glows. – Mareep Pokédex Entry

Flaffy’s wool quality changes so that it can generate a high amount of static electricity with a small amount of wool. The bare and slick parts of its hide are shielded against electricity. – Flaaffy Pokédex Entry

Ampharos gives off so much light that it can be seen even from space. People in the old days used the light of this Pokémon to send signals back and forth with others far away. – Ampharos Pokédex Entry

Mareep Family Plot Hooks

An Ampharos serving as the beacon for a lighthouse has fallen ill, and the only medicine that can cure it is…wait a second, that’s been done. Let’s try that again.

A rancher has had problems with wild Mightyenas attacking and eating his Mareeps and Flaaffys, but rather than post guards around his ranch, he came up with another solution: train his flock to grow strong enough to defend themselves against their would-be attackers.

However, now he’s run into a new problem: his Pokémon are evolving into Ampharos one by one, driven by their experience fighting off the Mightyenas, and he can’t sheer wool off of them to run his business! He can’t afford a batch of Everstones (or Mega Stones for the Ampharos!) for all his Pokémon, especially with his reduced supplies. How will the rancher save his business, and can the players help?

Pilots have reported laser interference while flying over a busy region of airspace at night, leading to several close calls and emergency landings. Investigation reveals that a large population of Mareep, Flaaffy, and Ampharos have moved into the fields in the region and have been sending light signals up at passing planes out of curiosity and in an attempt to communicate with those funny lights moving across the sky. Can the airlines reach an understanding with the curious Pokémon and stop these well-intentioned but ill-fated attempts to chat, or will another solution need to be found?

One by one, Mareep are appearing in the streets of a quiet mountain town, each of them with a numbered tag, presumably to identify them. No one in town seems to know where they’ve come from, and they’re quickly growing so large in number that no one knows where to keep them or who should be taking care of them anymore. Where did these sheep come from? Are they escapees from a nefarious hidden lab performing experiments on Pokémon? Or perhaps introducing them into town slowly is its own social experiment.

Mareep Family Builds

The Mareep line is pretty straightforward to build for. At its final evolution, Ampharos is a powerful Special Attacker with a Mega Evolution that increases its already impressive Special Attack. In addition to its Electric-Type Moves, it gets Signal Beam, Power Gem, and Dragon Pulse naturally for a pretty fantastic amount of coverage without needing Tutors or TMs. The rest of its moveset can be filled with utility Moves like Thunder Wave, Light Screen, and Confuse Ray from its Level Up Moves, or with TM and Tutor Moves like Swift, Seismic Toss, and Focus Blast which give it different offensive options.

A Physical Ampharos is more difficult to build, but it’s wholly possible with access to Egg Moves and Vitamins. Thunder Punch gives is its only great Move from its Level Up list for this build, but it can get Body Slam and Iron Tail from Egg Moves, and Fire Punch doesn’t take up a TM/Tutor slot for it either. That leaves you the flexibility of grabbing Moves like Outrage, Brick Break, Bulldoze, and Power-Up Punch using its TM/Tutor slots.

The Mareep line is also one of those lines that has a unique Ability at lower evolutionary stages which is lost later on – Fluffy Charge. This makes building a Flaaffy or Mareep an interesting and different option, which can focus more on Moves like Cotton Guard and various Blessings to build up tanky defenses while launching powerful Electric attacks every other turn.

Variants and Shinies

1. Rampharos: High up in the mountains, a population of Mareep line Pokémon has developed strong, rocky horns and a much more physical disposition than the normal specimens of their species. They take great pleasure in butting heads along the sheer cliffs of the mountainside, and their glowing tails let them easily navigate the labyrinthine cave system of the region as well.
Mechanics: Electric/Rock Type. Swap Base Stat values for Attack and Special Attack throughout the family line. Overland and Jump values are increased by 1. Focus and Stealth are lowered by 1 Rank in exchange for increased Acrobatics and Combat. Replace Thunder Boost with Rock Head and Sequence with Cave Crasher. Replace Cotton Spore with Rollout, Electro Ball with Spark, Power Gem with Rock Tomb, Discharge with Wild Charge, Thunder with Volt Tackle, and Dragon Pulse with Head Smash.

2. The Comfiest Mareep: This Mareep variant has the comfiest wool coat, so comfy that even looking at it is enough to make someone feel like taking a nap, nevermind actually trying to count these Mareep. Students who have one of these Mareep variants should be careful lest they sleep through all of their classes!
Mechanics: Replace Static with Comfy Wool. Add Yawn as a Level 1 Move. Adjacent foes to this Pokémon do not automatically wake up from Sleep when hit with a damaging Attack. Instead, they roll a Save Check against Sleep with a +4 bonus and wake up on a 16+ as usual. Each subsequent damaging attack grants them a further +4 bonus to their Save Check.

Comfy Wool
Scene – Free Action
Trigger: The user is hit by a Melee Attack
Effect: The attacking foe falls Asleep.

3. Fluffy Ampharos: The rancher in the first plot hook would have loved to have these! Some genius of Pokémon breeding figured out how to breed a line of Mareeps who keep their wool even when they fully evolve into Ampharos – and without needing to Mega Evolve either. Not only has the agricultural industry been in a frenzy over this innovation, but the fluffier and cuddlier Ampharos variant has been popular with children of families rich enough to afford an egg. Among these families, the particularly fashion minded have taken to giving these Ampharos different “haircuts”, similar to a Furfrou.
Mechanics: Ampharos keeps Fluffy Charge rather than gaining Illuminate as an Ability. Plus is replaced by Stylish Fluff.

Stylish Fluff
Effect: The user’s Ability depends on its current hairstyle. The user’s hairstyle can be changed as an Extended Action at an appropriate hair parlor.

Excessive Fluff: Thick Fat
Adorable Fluff: Cute Charm
Sleepy Fluff: Deep Sleep
Shielding Fluff: Shield Dust
Garish Fluff: Interference

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