The second island started to show properly how things would largely evolve in my challenge: you find many more pokemon available (like Lillipup or Mudbray) and you need to choose which ones you leave for later and which ones you draft immediately into your party. I decided to catch Lillipup (Take Down, Baby-Doll Eyes), Miltank (Stomp/Milk Drink), Igglybuff (Pound/Copy Cat) and Grubbin (Spark, Bug Bite). I knew Mudbrays appeared later in the game so I am hoping to catch one that has coverage moves instead of just Ground moves.
During this time I decided to sack my first two pokemon: Peck upgraded Fairy Wind into Fairy Kiss and Tackle made my Lillipup evolve into Herdier. The logic between this moves were that if I kept all my pokemon to get final moves I would not get to play many middle-level moves such as Fairy Kiss and that they were simply better for advancing through the game, while the Lillipup line is one of my favorite normal-type lines in the game, so I considered keeping them until the final evolution. In the midst of my training I fought Gladion for the first time by leading with my Roggenrola (Headbutt, Harden), I defeated his Zubat but he kept me at low Defense because of Weak Armor. Then I realized that Gladion’s Type:Null used Pursuit as his coverage move, so I was there losing defense and eating damage, praying for a flintch that never came until Headbutt died on the field. Thundershock came forward to deal with Type:Null but he ate some damage before winning the match. Then instead of going back to Healing I decided to push forward to the pokemon center which led to a double battle against two flying types (Rufflet and Vullaby) and I was leading with my own Rufflet (Wing Attack/Fury Attack) and Cutiefly (Fairy Kiss/Stun Spore). Normally switching Cutiefly out to put Magnemite (Thundershock/Magnet Bomb) at its place would’ve been the safest bet, but since he was hurt I opted to aim at a double ko in the first turn by using Fairy Kiss on Vullaby (super effective) and Wing Attack on Rufflet. To my dismay they both survived and Fairy Kiss outsped both, so when they ganged up on him later in the round they netted a kill. Only after my mistake I realized that ganging up in one of the targets would’ve been the right choice, so I lost both my Cutiefly and the poke I sacked to invest in its movepool.
Before going to the water challenge I stopped a bit to grind and to get proper Grass coverage (which in my eyes was necessary to safetly pass it now that Disable was banned from my movepool). I got a Fomantis with Razor Leaf and Fury Cutter, which seemed promising enough. Before going to the cave I spent sometime grinding outside with my newest adquisitions and realized that fragile pokes had a hard time surviving the Take Downs used by wild Lillipups. I identified the level 16 as the point where the dogs learned that attack and proceeded cautiously against those. Nevertheless, at one point I was discussing with Cécile and playing quite distracted and only noticed that I was engaged with a level 16 Lillipup one moment too late, as I had commanded my attack from Igglybuff and the opponent koed it by calling upon Take Down at that very point.
Despite having lost a good chunk of my active Pokemon I settled on sacrificing a few more to further improve movepools and evolve my pokes: Water Gun went to give me Hex on Misdreavus (Psywave and formerly Spite) and Fake Out evolved into a Persian by letting my started go. Then I miscalculated the bulk of my Fomantis and lost it to yet another aggressive Take Down from a Lillipup despite being three levels above it. I then ventured into the cave and caught a Morelull (Mega Drain, Moonlight) so it could tackle the Totem battle with it. I grinded and scanned the zone for a while realizing that I was not very impressed by what I found (Psyducks were kind of lame, Polywags had potential but I had no means to find if they had water absorb, I decided against catching either). Since I could not push my roster further, I decided to sacrifice my last couple of underperforming pokemon so Morelull and Grubbit could evolve both.
Shiinotic was more than a match against the totem Wishiwashi that was in the cave. Easily Healing his own Hp by draining the helper Pokemon that Wishiwashi summones, it only took a few hits to put everyone down by only stacking a small amount of damage as a result. When the totem was gone I switched into Charjabug that quickly dealt with the non-School boosted Wishiwashi that was summoned in the end.
Number of Pokemon lost: 11 (5 killed, 6 sacrificed).