TL;DR: Should You Pull?
What Does It Do?
It’s been over a year now since Maxie and Archie made their way from Hoenn to Pasio and we saw the first glimpses of the Administrators of their respective teams. We knew that Team Magma and Team Aqua were getting ready for some mischief, and now that the Hoenn Villain Arc has begun, it seems that Team Magma is taking the first steps into the light, and leading the way is none other than Magma Admin Courtney and her trusty Camerupt. Never much of one for words, she’s here for action, and she’ll crack the very earth if she has to just to showcase the fury of Team Magma.
Courtney & Camerupt comprise a Ground Type Sync Pair with a Water weakness. They have fairly decent bulk, middling Attack, and low Speed in their base form, but more on that in a moment. Move-wise they have Bulldoze, which is an attack that every Pokemon Masters player should be very familiar with, as it’s very common to see enemy teams use it multiple times per battle. It’s a 3-bar, Ground Type move that hits all opponents and drops the target’s Speed by 1 when successful, which translates into an AoE Speed drop on every use. Next up is X Defense, which is a boring, old +2 Defense per use. However, it follows up with Ground Wish, which is arguably the crown-jewel of Courtney & Camerupt’s arsenal. This move sets Ground Zone on use, which provides a large boost to Ground Type moves while active. Yup, I’m sure that you can already see where this Sync Pair is going. Moving on from that, we come to Courtney’s main Trainer Move, Delete…, which is a 2-use move that offers +2 Attack, +2 Defense, and +1 Critical Rate per use. We finish the kit off with Courtney & Camerupt’s Sync Move, Analysis Complete Earthquake. This move Mega Evolves Camerupt into Mega Camerupt on use and also provides a boost to Attack and Defense, so it’s on the weak end of the spectrum to make up for that, but it also has a built-in boost based on how much Camerupt’s Defense has been raised, which also makes Courtney’s Trainer Moves above make a little more sense.
Moving on to Passive Skills, the set starts with Defense Crush 2, which has 30% odds of dropping the target’s Defense on a successful attack. This is fairly useful when combined with the AoE nature of Bulldoze, and enhances Courtney & Camerupt’s Tech skills nicely. We follow this up with Chase Down 2, which boosts move damage when the target’s Speed is lowered. Note that this is not “the more that the target’s Speed is lowered”, it’s when it has been lowered at all, making it extremely easy to activate in most cases. Finally, Antifreeze prevents the Freeze status. After Camerupt Mega Evolves, Defense Crush 2 turns into Defense Crush 9, which has 100% odds of lowering the opponent’s Defense, allowing Courtney & Camerupt to reliably snowball their damage with each move while also softening up the opposition for powerful strikes from teammates.
The main reason to use Courtney & Camerupt is the sheer power of Ground Zone, which brings Ground Type attacks to new heights while active. This alone is enough to make them worth using, but that’s not the end of the story, to be sure. Bulldoze’s ability to drop the opposing team’s Speed can encourage the use of weaker moves and/or delay strong moves, making it a useful tool in-and-of itself, and when combined with Defense Crush 2 or Defense Crush 9 post-Mega Evolution, it becomes pretty clear that Courtney & Camerupt have a presence beyond being a Ground Zone drone. And beyond the utility, they’re actually capable of dealing at least decent damage with Bulldoze, and can hit very high numbers with their Sync Move, which finishes off the overall set very nicely. All-in-all, Courtney & Camerupt are designed to set Ground Zone, soften up the opposing team, and deal ever-increasing damage with Bulldoze and Sync Moves to help secure the KO.
On the other hand, Courtney & Camerupt sport sub-par Speed and are limited to a 3-bar move, meaning they’re going to drain the Move Gauge and/or slow down Sync Cycles without the proper support. This is an especially big deal when you also consider that their most stand-out source of damage is from Sync Moves. And while their greatest strength is definitely from having the right pairing with strong Ground Type attackers, the main candidates on this front also tend to have low base Speed, so this issue can easily compound into an outright problem if not managed properly.
Champion Stadium: Master Mode
If paired with the appropriate partners, Courtney & Camerupt can enable ridiculously fast stage clears, even on off-type stages.
Legendary Arena & Gauntlet
Strong debuffing capabilities and a devastating Sync Nuke gives Courtney a very real presence in these stages. We currently don’t have any Ground-weak Legendary Arena bosses for Courtney & Camerupt to really cut loose against, but they can still put in a lot of work, even on off-type stages.
Hoenn is not a very well represented type as of this writing, so having an additional option with this region skill could be handy. However, we currently don’t have many Hoenn-based units that can fill Courtney & Camerupt’s unique needs, so this isn’t a particularly strong fit for most players.
Given how slow they are and how little they actually do without Ground Zone active, it’s probably best to leave Courtney & Camerupt out of the Villa.
How To Use It?
These are generally the most important tiles to pick up:
- Towering Force (⅗) is Courtney & Camerupt’s main Sync Nuke tile, and should be a staple for just about every build.
- Team Sentry Entry 1 (⅗) pairs with the above to hit for maximum Sync Move damage all the sooner, and it also helps to keep the team safe, making it a great pickup. And even where it’s not that useful itself, it’s along one of the easiest/most useful paths to Towering Force on their grid.
- Hunter’s Instinct (⅗) is a natural choice for those who want to score more move damage with Courtney & Camerupt, as it takes greater advantage of what Courtney & Camerupt do naturally.
- Earthen Opening Sync (⅗) is great if you want more Ground Zone duration, as Courtney & Camerupt don’t have access to an MP Refresh on Ground Wish.
- Team Wise Entry 1 (⅗) is basically the same as Team Sentry Entry 1, but it doesn’t help Towering Force and is the best road to Earthen Opening Sync instead.
- Bulldoze: Trip Up 4 (⅗) can help bolster Coutney & Camerupt’s ability to capitalize on Speed drops all the faster, making it a useful tile for Hunter’s Instinct builds, in particular.
- Speeding Sun 2 (⅖) is an outstanding tile to pickup if you intend to pair Courtney & Camerupt with a certain someone…
- Healing Sun 1 (⅖) is a bit less useful by comparison, but it can definitely help with longevity.
- Sharp Entry 1 (⅖) allows Courtney & Camerupt to self-max their Critical Rate without having to worry about scoring an MP Refresh, so it’s a nice pickup if you happen to be in the quadrant.
Next are the tiles that are nice to have, but are either niche or not generally worth going out of the way for:
- Bulldoze: Move Gauge Refresh 3 (⅖) has the potential to help out a fair bit, given Courtney & Camerupt’s previously mentioned move gauge management issues, but it’s well on its way to Hunter’s Instinct, and many builds with that focus will opt for Bulldoze: Trip Up 4 instead.
- Healthy Healing (⅖) can be helpful if you want to attempt to use Courtney & Camerupt to tank a few hits in particular, but it generally won’t be outstanding.
- Unbending (⅕) and Flameproof (⅕) can be useful on some stages, with the former protecting the damage buffs that Courtney & Camerupt receive from having boosted Defense and the latter preventing an Attack drop and damage over time, but they aren’t generally high priorities.
- Delete…: MP Refresh 2 (⅕) can be useful for being able to self-max Courtney & Camerupt’s Attack when successful, but in most cases it’s not worth the time or energy.
- Bulldoze: Move Gauge Refresh 1 (⅕) can be helpful when it activates, but the odds are literally ⅕, so it’s fine to ignore it unless you’re determined to maximize move gauge management.
Finally, these are the tiles that are probably best to ignore unless they somehow play into a bigger strategy in some way:
- Fierce Entry 1 (⅖) raises Courtney & Camerupt’s ability to self-buff their attack from +4 to +5. It’s not an atrocious tile, but it doesn’t make a huge impact for the cost.
- Super Syncer (⅗) is very expensive to reach, and offers very little real advantage, as the only time where the Super Effective Up Next effect would be really useful would be when paired with a Sync Move, which would be exceedingly difficult to setup with this.
- X Defense: MP Refresh 2 (⅖) allows Courtney & Camerupt to do what they can naturally do anyway after the use of Delete…, so it’s an easy skip.
Sync Grid Levels & EX Viability
Let’s be honest here and re-hash the obvious: the main draw of Courtney & Camerupt is Ground Zone, and that’s a part of their base kit. The main point of their grid is for better setup/higher damage, which is great, but not generally necessary, as the damage that they can enable for specific teammates is more than enough to get the job done.
- ⅕ is perfectly fine, as this is where Courtney & Camerupt get the majority of what makes them really stand out.
- The big draw of ⅖ is Speeding Sun 2, which can help out with the move gauge substantially. If you’re setting Courtney & Camerupt up with Sun setters, then ⅖ is going to be worth aiming for.
- ⅗ is mainly where Courtney & Camerupt’s tremendous Sync Nuke capabilities come into play, and is where they can fully support the teams that they’re designed to work alongside.
EXing Courtney & Camerupt helps to patch up their low Speed, and also powers up their devastating Sync Nuke, so it’s definitely worth the investment if you intend to use them!
In general, it’s best to just stick with the tried-and-true Critical Strike 2 for its various benefits. Though Weathered Warrior 3 is also a great choice for Courtney & Camerupt due to the fact that virtually all of their best team comps focus on either Sun or Sandstorm support, though this is slightly more limiting, so it won't always be the best bet.
Defense Crush 2 can also be picked up for a more supportive set in order to melt away the opponent’s Defense a bit faster, but this is probably best used before gaining access to Courtney & Camerupt’s Sync Nuking capability from their Grid. Finally, Move Gauge Refresh 2 can be useful for helping out with Courtney & Camerupt’s lackluster move gauge management, though this is only really useful if the plan is to stick with more supportive functions.
We have one very obvious pairing here, and it is alongside Maxie & Groudon. Courtney & Camerupt were obviously designed to support their Team Leader in battle, and they do so very well. Dropping enemy Defense, setting Ground Zone, and filling in a powerful single-target Sync Nuke to compliment Maxie & Groudon’s devastating AoE damage can make this team comp frighteningly strong, though they will need some Move Gauge support to keep any real momentum. For this pairing, the ideal partner is probably Sygna Suit Morty & Ho-oh for their ability to finish off any missing buffs, max out team Speed, and even raise the Sun should it be given a chance to expire.
Sygna Suit Giovanni & Nidoking can also step up to the plate, dropping obscenely strong Max Moves/Sync Moves with Courtney’s help while Courtney softens up the sides a bit with Bulldoze. Even Sygna Suit Serena & Zygarde can moonlight in Ground Type damage and enjoy Courtney & Camerupt’s presence. Cynthia & Garchomp can also put in the work for even more Ground Type options, and are set to see even more utility with their announced upcoming Sync Grid updates, though this team-comp will require that they team up Ingo & Excadrill for some bulky Sandstorm and Move Gauge support.
So it’s pretty well established that Courtney & Camerupt need to be paired with something strong that deals Ground Type damage to truly shine, but once that’s established, what exactly do they need in order to shine as brightly as possible? As alluded to in the previous section, the primary points of interest on Courtney & Caerupt’s wish-list are help with finishing up their incomplete buffs, and help with Move Gauge management. As stated in the previous section, Sygna Suit Morty & Ho-oh and Ingo & Excadrill can work out extremely well in this capacity depending on the team, but they’re not the only options. Sync Pairs that can provide various forms of Move Gauge management, like Fall Caitlin & Sableye, Kiawe & Alolan Marowak, and Sonia & Yamper are virtually must-haves for many teams featuring this Team Magma Admin.
Is It Worth Pulling?
So here’s the basic run-down: Courtney & Camerupt are potentially huge, but only if you happen to have specific Sync Pairs for them to work alongside, all of which are limited units. If you don’t have any of them, then this pair is likely to do little more than warm your bench. However, even if you do have the Sync Pairs needed to make them really shine, it’s probably best to wait anyway. This is a non-limited Sync Pair appearing on the precipice of the 3-year celebration. This is the worst time to drop gems on a normal Five Star unit, so we definitely recommend that you skip this banner and hope to pull her naturally at some point in the near future.
…on that note, I ignored common sense and pulled for her, so best of luck either way!