In the Wedlocke variant of the Nuzlocke challenge, Pokemon are assigned into “pairs” based on gender. Normal catching rules apply (one per route, first encounter only) with the following modification:
If you currently have an “unpaired” Pokemon in your party, only wild Pokemon of the opposite gender to the unpaired Pokemon count as encounters (ex. if you have an unpaired male Charmander in your party, your wild encounters do not “count” until you encounter a female wild Pokemon). Once two Pokemon of opposite genders are obtained in this manner, they form a “couple”, and must follow certain rules in battle:
- Once one member of a couple enters a battle, only that couple may be used in that encounter. You may not switch to another Pokemon that is not your active Pokemon’s partner. Essentially, the couple must fight together as a mini-team, without help from other Pokemon.
- If a Pokemon is knocked out, its partner must “avenge it” or die trying; you may not switch to any other Pokemon. If both members of the couple are knocked out, another couple may be used, and must follow the same rules.
If you currently have no unpaired Pokemon in your party (ie. all Pokemon are in couples) normal catching rules apply, with no gender requirement. If one member of a couple is knocked out but the other survives the battle, the surviving partner becomes unpaired and a new partner must be assigned to it from the box. If this is not possible, it must fight alone (no switching allowed) until it can be paired again with a newly caught Pokemon.
Notes: Genderless Pokemon may not be used in this variant. Feel free to adjust your pairings (male-male, female-female, etc.) if you like, but the pairing rules must be consistent throughout the challenge.
Original variant creator: Marilland
Below are some more optional rules which players may implement to increase the difficulty of the Wedlocke or add flavor. They were suggested by Reddit user u/JCorby17. If you need more information or clarification about these optional rules, check out the original Reddit post explaining these rules and their reasoning.
- Romeo and Juliet rule: If a Pokémon faints, its partner must switch into battle and use status moves, items, or another form of useless action until it faints as well, joining its departed partner.
- Double Date rule: If both Pokémon in a couple have switched into battle and used at least one move, you may switch to a different couple. However, you may not switch from this new couple back to the original couple or to a different couple; the new couple is now locked in until the battle ends or both partners faint.