Top Ten Grass-Type Pokemon!

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Despite grass type being one of the most common Pokemon types of all, I often feel that it is generally overlooked. Possibly this is due to grass being pretty weak competitively, being weak to flying, fire, bug, Ice and poison. This makes it pretty tricky to use, particularly with most teams running an ice attack user to deal with the many dragon type threats which are commonly used (Salamence etc) and the prevalence of Mega-Charizard and Talonflame in the doubles meta-game. Another possible reason for grass type often being overlooked is that there are just so many average looking Pokemon in this type. However, I think it deserves better, so here is my top ten favourite Grass, or part-grass, type Pokemon.

  1. Snivy

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This Pokemon makes the list due to its cutesy charm and appearance of haughty aloofness. It doesn’t hurt that Ash’s Snivy in the TV series really was amazing (once it got its attitude sorted.)

  1. Vileplume

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I loved this Pokemon as a child ever since I saw it in glorious 3D in Pokemon Stadium, pirouetting around using petal dance, smiling away. It earns ever more marks from me by looking bad-ass despite evolving from one of the dullest basic Pokemon in the game.

  1. Chikorita

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CUTE!! ‘Nuff said.

  1. Leafeon

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I love all of the Eeveelutions. I think they are all so well designed, lots of thought and effort have gone into the look of these Pokemon. They seem to typify their typing in the way that they look, and Leafeon is no exception to this. It’s a pain to evolve if you aren’t sure where to find a moss stone, but well worth the effort. Surprisingly not too awful stats-wise too, with an impressive attack and defence value. Move-pool not too good though.

  1. Bulbasaur

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BULBA-SAUR! I love Ash’s Bulbasaur in the cartoon, its tough and cute in equal measure. I never could understand why Ash leaves it behind…

  1. Cacturne

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Not only is this Pokemon, incredibly sinister looking, its Pokedex is equally disturbing – “Packs of them follow travelers through the desert until the travelers can no longer move.” Looking at its face, I can seriously believe it. Huge style points on this Pokemon.

  1. Abomasnow and Mega-Abomasnow

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Since I first encountered this Pokemon and its associated mega-evolved form in the snowy cave in the Kalos region, I thought its design was pretty special. Which is saying something as I think that the 6th generation has some really great Pokemon design to compete with, so much so that I wrote a post dedicated solely to this shortly after the release of X and Y (if you missed it, the link is at the bottom of this post.) Who wouldn’t love a giant grassy Ice-monster that looks like it could very well be responsible for all the rumours of abominable snow men?

  1. Gourgeist

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Haunted pumpkin that wanders around cursing people? That’s sounds pretty awesome to me. “Singing in eerie voices, they wander town streets on the night of the new moon. Anyone who hears their song is cursed.”

  1. Ludicolo

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This Pokemon makes it all the way to the top purely because it looks like it is the most cheerful creature on the planet and dances pretty well. Making it dance slower when it has a status problem was a fairly nice touch.

  1. And the winner is…Trevenant!

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This Pokemon has a great little Pokedex entry, stating that it will willingly protect its forest from harm cause by people and Pokemon, which instantly conjures up memories of Ents from Lord of the Rings or Tree Guardians from the Warhammer Wood Elf army. Add in the fact that its design really is perfect, then this ways always going to be the standout winner.

https://theinverselook.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/6th-generation-pokemon-design/

Top 5 Most Annoying Doubles Pokemon

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So, as readers of my most recent blog posts will know, I have recently taken up competitive Pokemon battling, more specifically, competitive doubles battles. This has gone fairly well; I’ve battled my way through the battle spot to become rated in the top 20 in the UK. Those of you who would point out that this may be down to the UK only having 20 competitive players may have a point, but either way its going well. However, one thing that has become apparent is that there are some Pokemon which are so overused or annoying that their mere appearance in a battle is enough to send your blood pressure through the roof. Now, don’t get me wrong, these Pokemon do have their counters, but often they are so limited or specific that if that option has become unavailable for whatever reason, they can become a nightmare to deal with.

5. Landorus
I’ve picked on Landorus here, but really any of the three genie Pokemon could feature in this spot. With good speed and attack power, decent defences and intimidate ability, this Pokemon can hit hard and severely reduce your Pokemon’s attacking capability. This in itself is not a huge problem, but often these Pokemon run the Choice Scarf item which hugely increases the speed of the Pokemon. Given the good base speed it becomes very hard to outspeed this Pokemon. You are then guaranteed to endure rockslide after rockslide to huge damage with a pretty high chance of being flinched and being unable to attack back. This can shut down a battle very quickly if you are caught unprepared. Sadly, this Pokemon is also everywhere, so your chances of running into it are pretty high.

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4. Smeargle
This is one of the most bland and uninspiring Pokemon that I have encountered in a while. Unfortunately it is also used pretty frequently. It can learn any Pokemon move that isn’t ghost type, but there is only one reason that anybody uses this Pokemon: Dark Void. This move puts both of the opponents Pokemon to sleep, rendering you absolutely helpless for anything up to three turns. Unless you have filled a slot with a Pokemon specifically designed to tackle this problem then your options can be pretty limited. Words cannot describe the rage of sitting there as both of your Pokemon sleep away taking an absolute battering. You can switch out of course but that Dark Void will be coming back with a vengeance. I don’t mind gimmicky play, but there is something offensive about it coming from a Pokemon as bland as Smeargle.

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3. Darkrai
This Pokemon suffers from all the same problems as Smeargle only more so. Not only does this Pokemon know Dark Void, but it also has the ability Bad Dreams, which slowly damages all Pokemon who are asleep. Not only will your Pokemon be getting damaged every turn by other moves, but you will also slowly be leeched of health for all the time that sleep lasts. Oh, and Darkrai is tougher and more powerful than Smeargle in almost every way. Fun, eh?

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2. Rotom Wash
Don’t get me wrong, I like most of the Rotom forms, particularly heat and mow. I also like Rotom wash. It is undeniably annoying though. It’s too useful. Its pretty bulky, has good special attack and is only weak to grass due to its levitate ability. Given the other popular Pokemon in doubles, it really is pretty hard to not take this Pokemon. As a result it really is everywhere. Be prepared.

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1. Mega-Kangaskahn
Possibly one of the most over powered mega-evolutions, this Pokemon’s ability Parental Bond allow the Pokemon two attack twice each turn, with the second hit doing a third of the damage of the first hit. This is pretty powerful in itself, but where things get really crazy is that any move which has an effect will happen twice. For example, power-up punch will hit twice and increase attack by two stages. This is stupidly powerful as your next turn you will be able to get two attacks in with your already powerful attack raised by 2 stages. There are ways of taking this Pokemon down, but if you make even a single mistake its game over.

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As always, if anyone wants to battle just drop your friend code into the comments section and we can set something up.

Zoinks! Its a ghost!

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It has readily become apparent to me, after playing through Pokemon X and Y and after examining all of the latest 6th generation Pokemon, that the ghost type has some of the best designed Pokemon in the entire game. Most types have at least a handful of great designs, but the ghost type is absolutely littered with them. This creates quite a problem for those formulating a new team with a desire of including one of these great designs. Which ghost Pokemon do you choose? You are literally spoiled for choice. In my more competitive team I opted for Aegislash (obviously) but this meant missing out on some great Pokemon. In light of this I decided to create a full on 6 Pokemon ghost type team.

Now, mono type teams are always risky for obvious reasons, but if you feel like putting one together then ghost is a pretty good choice. Weak only to dark and other ghost types the low type weakness ratio is a good start. However, dark type Pokemon attacks can be learned by a pretty large variety of Pokemon so beware on that front. However, I have tried to put a ghost type team together which could at least stand a chance against normal Pokemon teams, as competitive teams are a bit beyond a mono type team (usually.) Below I have listed my 6 choices along with their move sets and EVs (and the assumption of at least 4 perfect IVs) along with a reason for selection.

Mismagius (Ghost)

Ability: Levitate

EVs-  220 speed, 180 special attack, 100 defence.

Dazzling Gleam, Thunderbolt, Power Gem, Shadow Ball.

Types covered: Dragon, fighting, dark, water, flying, fire, bug, ice, ghost, psychic.

The choice for a pure ghost type Pokemon came down to a toss-up between this Pokemon and Dusknoir. This Pokemon is a mischievous ghost wizard with a cool hat and so earns a selection. With great speed and special attack, along with a large moveset, this Pokemon will make a great sweeper against a large variety of foes.

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Trevenant (Ghost/Grass)

Ability: Natural Cure

EVs- 250 defence, 250 Special defence, remaining into attack.

Leech Seed, Horn Leech, Phantom Force, Rock Slide.

Types covered: Water, rock, ground, ghost, psychic, fire, ice, flying.

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, I love this Pokemon. It looks fantastic; an ent-like cursed tree which could have been taken from an awful horror film. Fulfilling a more defensive role, this Pokemon’s ability to use leech seed and horn leech to replenish health, coupled with higher defence and special defence stats means that this Pokemon will be more able to take hits. Phantom force allows Trevenant to replenish health whilst being out of harms reach and also offers a way to bypass and potential protects used by the opposition. A fair attack stat coupled with rock slide allow Trevenant to have a decent chance at taking out Pokemon which it is weak against. The potential for using a sitrus berry combined with the Harvest hidden ability offers further HP replenishing opportunities.

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Chandelure: (Ghost/Fire)

Ability: Flame Body

EVs- 160 Special Attack, 250 Speed, 100 Special defence

Flamethrower,  Shadow Ball, Energy Ball, Will-O-Wisp.

Types covered: Grass, Steel, Ice, Ghost, Psychic, Water, Ground, Rock.

Another sweeper with good special attack and speed, this Pokemon has a varied moveset allowing it to take on a multitude of foes. Very few, if any, Pokemon will have a resistance to all of these attack types, and the status move and flame body offer huge potential for inflicting burns as a last ditch move when low on health.

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Aegislash: (Ghost/Steel)

Ability: Stance Change

EVs- Defence 250, Special Defence, 250

Shadow Sneak, Sacred Sword, Sword Dance, King’s Shield.

Types covered: Ghost, Psychic, Rock, Steel, Dark, Ice, Normal.

A Pokemon worthy of any team, Aegislash was always going to feature on this ghostly line-up. Far more technical to use, this Pokemon offers huge potential. Extremely high special defence and defence offer protection for setting up a few sword dances which will allow Aegislash to take out all but the strongest Pokemon in one hit, aided by the stance change which switches attacking and defensive stats depending on the move used. Shadow sneak offers priority to guarantee first move except against moves with higher priority, and King’s shield offers a way of switching back into the defensive shield form and the potential to lower the opponents attack. If used right, this pokemon is to be feared.

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Gengar: (Ghost/Poison)

Ability: Levitate

EV’s- Speed 200, Special Attack 200, Special Defence 100.

Shadow Ball, Dazzling Gleam, Sludge Bomb, Thunderbolt.

Types covered: Ghost, Psychic, Dark, Fighting, Dragon, Grass, Fairy, Water, Flying.

High speed and special defence coupled with a varied moveset make Gengar a great multi-purpose hitter able to take on a variety of foes. The potential for mega evolution with this Pokemon give it an edge in a potentially tight corner. Note that the mega form negates the levitate ability leaving it vulnerable to pesky earthquake users such as Garchomp.

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Spiritomb: (Ghost/Dark)

Ability- Pressure

EVs- Special defence 200, Defence 200, Attack 100.

Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch, Hypnosis, Toxic.

Types covered: Ghost, Psychic.

Decent defensive stats coupled with a grand total of one type weakness have made Spiritomb a more defensive selection. The toxic/hypnosis moves should help to cause some serious status problems, and the priority moves of both shadow sneak and sucker punch allow Spiritomb to mete out at lest some damage as well.

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Do you agree or disagree with these selections? What type would you make a single type team out of? Let me know!

6th Generation Pokemon Design

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Still brimming with enthusiasm for the newly released X and Y I have decided to have a closer consideration of the new 6th generation Pokémon. In total 69 Pokémon were released (so far) for this generation, the fewest number of new Pokémon with any new generation release. But are they any good? Well, on the whole, yes I think they are. The final evolutions of the starter Pokémon are all excellent, featuring a fire wizard, water ninja and a grass/fighting golem figure respectively. Obviously, it is crucial to have starter Pokémon full of personality and, uniqueness, but it is also important to have a strong roster of supporting Pokémon alongside them. With this in mind here are my top ten Pokémon designs from the 6th generation:

 

Aegislash:  Steel/Ghost Type

Joining the ranks of excellent looking ghost Pokémon is the sword Pokémon Aegislash and its prevolution Doublade. It’s a ghostly, floating sword and shield with a single staring eye. Switching between sword and shield stance this Pokémon is tactically very useful and looks sleek and deadly.

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Dragalge: Dragon/Poison Type

Evoking memories of the awesome Kingdra, this Pokémon is of a similar design and then some. There are some excellent looking Dragon type Pokémon out there and Dragalge deserves to be counted among one of the better designs.

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Aurorus: Rock/Ice Type

This resurrected fossil Pokémon is pretty awesome. Big, almost Loch Ness monster esque in its appearance, this Pokémon just looks perpetually cheerful looking and good natured. It also has sails on its head.

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Tyrantrum: Dragon/Rock Type

Another resurrected fossil Pokémon, this Pokémon could not be more different Aurorus. Where that Pokémon looks cheerful this Pokémon looks permanently bad tempred. A T-Rex figure, this Pokémon brings to mind the terrifying dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. It is not hard to imagine this Pokémon hunting people across jungles and fields.

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Goodra:  Dragon Type

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Big, giant, purple dragon. Job done.

Trevenant Grass/Ghost

Not only does this Pokémon look scary and bad-ass but its Pokedex entry makes it sound like an Ent, and Ents are amazing. The size and ferocious looking nature of this Pokémon and its slightly ethereal looking appearance have made this a regular on my online team.

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Gourgeist: Grass/Ghost Type

Another excellent ghost type, this Pokémon is made to look like a macabre, sinister, flaming Pokémon.

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Yveltal: Dark/Flying Type

It was a hard choice picking between the two main legendaries in this game, but on balance the poised and dynamic look of this Pokémon just managed to edge it. Don’t get me wrong, this Pokémon is a pain to play against online and I refuse to use it, but it looks amazing.

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Zygarde: Dragon/Ground Type

This Pokémon reminds me a bit of the serpent mages from Dark Souls and that in itself is enough to make this list.

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Sylveon: Fairy Type

I like all of the previous Eevee evolutions, and this latest evolution doesn’t disappoint. It was one of the first fairy types to be confirmed and, I think, is one of the best!

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Agree/disagree? Let me know! Happy Pokémon catching! If anyone wants to battle online then comment below and we can sort something out!

Pokemon X and Y: Belated Impressions

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So, the holidays have been and gone, and this has given me the chance to catch up on some of the latest 3DS releases of the last few months. Despite Pokemon X being released several months ago now, after completing the game I feel that the time is right to throw my opinions into the mix. First things first, this is a Pokemon game. There is almost no need to write a review of any kind as the basic formula of the game has remained unchanged since its first appearance in the nineties. For those who are not a fan of the series, there is little in this latest instalment that will change your mind.

With the move from 5th to 6th generation there have been a few changes, relatively minor though they may seem. First of all, this generation introduces a new type, the first since Dark type. In my opinion the introduction of the fairy type has changed the game for the better and is not, as many feared, just introducing a new type for the sake of it. The introduction of fairy type has corrected the overpowered dragon type that has been prevalent in the last few generations. Not only is fairy type super effective against dragon Pokemon but it is also completely resistant to dragon type attacks. It also has a useful resistance to the numerous fighting and dark type Pokemon and moves in the game. Fairy type is weak to both steel and poison type attacks, which offers an incentive for using these two types of Pokemon which have typically been only of limited use and effectiveness. Considering the nice design of the steel and poison Pokemon this has always been a shame. Overall the type system feels more balanced than ever and offers more variety in terms of strategy and Pokemon choice.

The next important change involves the introduction of the mega evolution mechanic. To some this seemed to be a cheap gimmick to give the illusion of the series moving forward. I don’t agree, however. I think that overall the mega evolution mechanic offers a new level of depth and complexity to battles. The benefits and drawbacks of stat and type changes that can occur with mega evolution activation, and the fact that only one mega evolution per battle can be used, result in a greater variety of tactics that can be used in battles, particularly in online play. Not to mention the fact that most of the most of the evolutions look pretty bad ass. Gengar and Abomasnow’s mega evolutions in particular look pretty great.

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Other changes? Well, Pokemon are more varied and easier to find on the game map. In some past generations most areas were populated exclusively with Sentrets, Pidgey’s and Zubats. In this generation more of the Pokemon that you might actually want to use are pretty liberally distributed across the game from the beginning. Not only does this make random encounters less frustrating, but they also encourage people to switch Pokemon more often and come up with more varied Pokemon teams. This is aided by the new experience share system. The exp share is found pretty early on in the game and experience is now shared between all Pokémon on the team rather than just the Pokémon holding the exp share device. This makes it relatively easy to train up multiple Pokémon teams, encouraging players to experiment with different Pokémon. In the past the time it would take to train low level Pokémon was a deterrent to trying out newly caught Pokémon.

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In addition to more varied wild Pokémon, there seem to be less areas of forced random encounters in the game (such as caves and so on) which greatly reduces the frustration of exploring off the beaten track and hunting for new Pokémon. The battles themselves look great with the new level of graphics power. Your Pokémon look more alive and realer than ever before.

The only downside to the game is that the main quest feels a bit too easy. This is partly down to the aforementioned exp share system which makes it pretty easy to raise Pokémon. In addition to this, the NPC trainers still do not behave as human battlers would. They still resolutely use types which are weak to your own attacks in the face of coming oblivion rather than switching Pokémon. That said, none of the previous games have been especially difficult and perhaps I have just have experience on my side.

The 6th generation makes it easier than ever to connect to trainers around the world for trades and battles. Battles can be found in the battle spot which matches you up with another random battler. Passers- by on the main game screen can be challenged at any point. The Global Trade system and the Wonder Trade system have made it easy to trade with trainers across the globe and to barter and offer specific Pokémon. The one thing that I have realised from playing this game is that I am terrible at online, competitive battling against other players. There is a huge difference between battling NPCs and human players, as they require totally different tactics and strategies which I, apparently, do not have. Apparently the teams that I put together are not especially competitive, but I am endeavouring to improve. Indeed, the challenge of becoming better at online battling is one which I have become mildly obsessed with.

Back to the game, I would recommend this version of the game to old fans and new players alike. New generation Pokémon have always been a bit hit and miss and reception is therefore mixed. I am pleased to report that the majority of 6th generation Pokémon seem to be hits rather than misses. The new legendaries are well designed and full of character. This game is definitely to be recommended and prove that Pokémon as a brand and a game is far from being spent. 

Mega Evolution- An Evolution Too Far?

At this point, with less than two months to go until the release of Pokemon X and Y worldwide, excitement is beginning to build for the release of Pokemon in glorious 3D. Of course, with this being the release of one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, there has also been a certain amount of controversy and criticism created alongside the excitement. This time around the controversy seems to be surrounding the inclusion of a new fairy type and the introduction of the mega evolution mechanic. Gamers across the internet are accusing Nintendo of adding a new type on a whim and that the mega evolution mechanic seems to be nothing more than a cheap gimmick. I have to admit that I was initially skepticalImage when I heard the concept. I was worried that straying from the perfected formula of Pokemon games may lead X and Y to disaster. After some contemplation however, I realised that this was an entirely incorrect way of thinking about it. I applaud Nintendo for trying to add a new dimension to a game which is now nearly approaching the end of its second decade of existence. Making sequels to games which are highly regarded is a tricky business; developers need to walk the fine line between retaining enough familiarity from the original which was loved so much and including enough new material to make the game seem fresh. People commenting negatively on fairy type and mega evolution are probably saying the exact same thing as people who reacted negatively when Dark and Steel was added to the mix of types. It is the same as the negative comments on the ‘new’ Pokemon. Admittedly, some of the character design is not great, (Pidove springs to mind here; sorry but that’s just a pigeon) but a lot of them are simply outstanding. We really want to play a new Pokemon game which only contained the original 151 Pokemon? The point is that we cannot shy away from changes to the Pokemon formula for fear of losing what made the game so great in the first place. If we stick to this mind-set then we will really just end up playing Red and Blue for the rest of our lives. Almost every up-date and new addition to the Pokemon games so far has improved the games a lot (the updates to the way that special attacks and normal attacks correspond to the stats improved so many Pokemon) and brought something new to the table, making the game ever more tactically complex. The Pokemon games, unlike many Pokemon themselves, actually evolve rather slowly. The addition of fairy type and mega evolution is not a massive leap away from previous incarnation of the game but rather is trying to add a bit of freshness into a very familiar formula. Hopefully, this will serve to add a new layer of depth into the combat mechanics of the game, and will make often neglected Pokemon a more viable choice for your team of six. I personally hope that the inclusion of fairy type and the slight re-shuffling of type alignment that this implies will make Poison type more useful. I am very much looking forward to seeing how these changes effect the gameplay of X and Y. For those who aren’t, fear not. I am sure that they will not change the game beyond all recognition. Keep in mind however, that the games need to evolve or they will eventually die out.