Month: December 2013

BC PokéCenter Battle Spot (Close Beta) VGC team

Hello Hat Lovers!

Today I bring you another VGC team analysis. I’ve been testing it online and brought it to an online tournament to take 2nd place.

This team features many of my go to Pokemon when making teams this generation, though it would be fair to say most members of this team became go to Pokemon after using the team. This team has a lot of things I like.There are a total of 4 moves with under 100% accuracy and none of them drop below 85%. There are two users of Intimidate. There are two Pokemon with hit and switch moves. There’s a Pokemon with a boosting move. Theres Rage Powder. Theres Spore. Finally, the team encourages defensive switching.

I don’t always use Fire attacks,
but when I do I prefer Overheat

Manectric (F) @ Manectite
Ability: Lightningrod
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Volt Switch
– Snarl
– Flamethrower
– Protect

Manectric is easily my favourite Mega Evolution so far. Sporting high speed, Volt Switch, and Intimidate make Manectric useful for dealing with a metagame focused around physical attacks. Manectric fits my play-style well, Intimidating the foe before using Volt Switch to deal damage and switch into a bulky Pokemon.

With a base Special attack of only 135 and a base Speed of 135 one would think that a Modest nature was the way to go for Manectric. However, having a Timid Nature ensures that Manectric will always out speed base 100s and Garchomp on the turn of Mega Evolution. After Mega Evolving Timid allows you to out speed Talonflame and prevent a Flare Blitz from going off and ruining your day.

One way to increase Manectric’s damage output that I will pursue is trading Flamethrower for Overheat. When choosing moves for the first time I generally try to go with moves that have 100% accuracy. After my testing with Manectric I’ve found that I don’t use Fire moves very often and when I do I’d rather have the extra power to reach for the OHKO.

Snarl is a neat move that lowers the Special attack of both the opponents Pokemon while dealing damage (and getting through Substitute.) Hidden Power Ice would seem like the default third attack for Manectric but its only good against Garchomp, Salamence, and other Pokemon with a 4x weakness to Ice (plus getting the right HP is a pain.) Snarl allows my Pokemon to survive hits they normally wouldn’t and this can catch opponents off guard.

Manectric’s best pal Gyarados is also on the team. The two have great synergy as Manectric can draw in Electric attacks and between the two of them Intimidates really add up.

Gyarados captions. 

Gyarados (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 92 HP / 196 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SDef / 212 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Waterfall
– Taunt
– Dragon Dance
– Protect

This Gyarados isn’t the same one as my last. I’ve put a heavier investment in attack and put a bit more speed in to keep Gyarados as much of a threat as possible. I’m sure I had some benchmark in mind when I decided on the attack and HP but I’ve forgotten what it was.

Gyarados is still running Dragon Dance, I like to have some sort of set up move in VGC to capitalize on predicted Protects. For the third attack I thought of all the moves Gyarados could learn. Stone Edge has 80% accuracy, so that wasn’t going to fly. Earthquake hits too many of its partners, my policy on Earthquake is to have at least two other Pokemon on the team that are immune to it. Ice Fang is just too weak to justify using and still leaves gaps in coverage.

I faced Randy Kwa in the finals and his Gyarados ran Return, a move I hadn’t even considered. While it doesn’t deal super effective damage against anything it has near perfect coverage against Kalos when paired with Waterfall.

Instead of using a secondary attack I decided to put Taunt on Gyarados to help deal with Trick Room and annoying Pokemon such as Amoonguss.

Speak of the devil…

Grass types are annoying

Amoonguss (F) @ Black Sludge
Ability: Regenerator
Level: 50
EVs: 212 HP / 140 Def / 156 SDef
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spd
– Giga Drain
– Protect Sludge Bomb
– Spore
– Rage Powder

This Amoonguss is the same set as the one I used on the Perish Trapping team. Built to be bulky on both sides, Amoonguss is a Pokemon that sticks around if you don’t get rid of it right away. Without Togekiss in the format Amoonguss is the only good user of Rage Powder / Follow Me left. Rage Powder prevents Sucker Punch from working and redirects electric attacks targeting Gyarados. Due to its low speed Amoonguss serves as a Trick Room check as well. Its very difficult to win when the fastest Pokemon in play is using Spore on you.

Normally I run Protect on my Amoonguss but after training this Amoonguss I forgot to give it Protect and instead it was left from Sludge Bomb. I only noticed this during round one so I had to live with it. Sludge Bomb never earned its keep in the tournament but I used it a few times when it would hit slightly harder then Giga Drain and I had full HP. Thankfully I never got screwed by not having Protect on Amoonguss, but I’m still going to use it after the tournament is over.

I used Amoonguss a lot last generation and its become a staple for most of my teams this generation. Rage Powder gives you a level of control during your turns that you wouldn’t normally have and blocks most priority moves aside from Brave Bird.

While testing various teams I had a lot of trouble beating Mega Charizard Y and Venusaur. With my next two slots I decided I was going to beat the combo every time I faced it.

Brave Bird for best animation in Pokemon

Talonflame (F) @ Life Orb
Ability: Gale Wings
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Brave Bird
– U-turn
– Protect

VGC has never had a Pokemon like Talonflame. It seems almost silly just how good Talonflame is considering its the starting bird Pokemon of generation 6 and is also the strongest contender for best Pokemon of the generation. Having a priority move with the base power of Brave Bird is unprecedented in the video game. Talonflame may not have the highest attack but it will be dealing a ton of damage due to its high base power moves.

Talonflame has maximized its Attack, which I consider mandatory on any Talonflame set. I originally started with my HP maxed and 4 points in speed, but as I started to consider more and more Pokemon to be worth out speeding without using Brave Bird I kept putting HP into Speed until I decided I might as well maximize my speed and force the speed tie with other Talonflame.

So now I had an answer to Venusaur, as well as a generally good Pokemon on the team. In order to fully counter the Char/Saur combo I need a Pokemon that out sped and OHKO’d Mega Charizard Y. If I had that I could deal with those two whenever they came out together.

Garchomp (M) @ Focus Sash

You know Garchomp is standard
when half of its section is talking
about which items it could use

Ability: Rough Skin
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature
– Earthquake
– Dragon Claw
– Rock Slide
– Protect

The is the Garchomp set I’ve been using since the beginning of the generation, and sans the item choice I’ve been using this Garchomp since Oregon Regionals. Jolly Garchomp will always out speed base 100s and some Pokemon over base 100 that don’t invest heavily into speed.

Earthquake, Dragon Claw, and Protect are standard moves for Garchomp. Rock Slide gets the OHKO and Mega Charizard Y that doesn’t invest heavily in HP or Defence. It also brings a flinch chance to the table which can win games.

Garchomp’s item choice has always been flexible for me. I’ve used Yache Berry in the Battle Maison to deal with the AI that thinks bringing frail Ice types will allow them to beat Garchomp. In VGC 2014 I haven’t seen a lot of Ice attacks so Yache Berry wasn’t a worthwhile item. I decided on Focus Sash to surprise opponents thinking they can score an easy KO with Draco Meteor or similar moves. I’ve seen plenty of Garchomp running Rocky Helmet to deal massive damage to Mega Kangaskhan when it attacks them. I’ve also seen Life Orb and Choice Band variants running around. All of these are solid choices for Garchomp, its pretty much just personal preference.

Garchomp is also a straight-up good partner for Talonflame, as Talonflame flies over Earthquake and most foes that out speed Garchomp can be picked off by a Brave Bird.

After settling on the first five members of the team I thought about a Pokemon that could patch up any weaknesses the team might have. I decided I needed another Rock resist on the team because I already invite Rock Slides with my two flying mons and inviting Rock Slides is a fast way to getting haxed out of games, so I decided that two intimidators and two resisters would keep me from losing to Rock Slide spam too often.

Grass types are really annoying

Ferrothorn (M) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Iron Barbs
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 68 Def / 188 SDef
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spd
– Power Whip
– Gyro Ball
– Leech Seed
– Protect

After trying out every other viable Steel type in the format Ferrothorn was the last one I had yet to try and it was the one that I had been looking for. With nine resistances and an immunity Ferrothorn takes little damage from over half the attacks in the game. Ferrothorn’s amazing bulk on both ends makes it a pain to deal with.

The EV spread makes for a balanced Ferrothorn, If I didn’t run so much Intimidation I would use more Defence but I’m now free to add to it’s Special Defence some more.

Power Whip and Gyro Ball serve as Ferrothorn’s offence. They’re good for chip damage as well as super-effective hits. Leech Seed allows Ferrothorn to be an even bigger pain by forcing switches and healing while dealing damage. I opted not to use Thunder Wave because the rest of my team either carries a ton of speed or is too slow to benefit from it. Ferrothorn can shut down a lot of attackers in the meta and can beat entire teams lacking Fire attacks. Iron Barbs racks up quickly against multi-hitting attackers like Kangaskhan.

Conclusion:

This team brought me to second place with my only loses coming from Randy Kwa, who won the tournament. I found out a lot about my team from this tournament, mostly that Rotom-H and Mega Manectric are huge threats to my team because 4 Pokemon are weak against either Electric or Fire. I probably won’t be using the team in its current form again for this reason, but I imagine I’ll construct teams in the future that use a handful of these Pokemon.

For those in BC these tournaments will be run on a weekly basis. Check out the British Columbia PokéCenter group on FaceBook for details.

You’re not getting away! Perish Trapping Team

Get back here! You’re not getting away!

Hello hat lovers!

Today I have another VGC team analysis. This team is based around the move Perish Song, which after usage leaves all Pokemon on the field 3 turns to live unless they switch out. If one of your Pokemon has the ability Shadow Tag, the opponent won’t be able to switch out and be forced to lose their first two Pokemon at the end of the 4th turn.

I got this idea from watching battles on Pokemon Showdown. When I saw the team I didn’t think much of it, considering it gimmicky and not fit for a high level of play. After seeing it in action I realized that this team is surprisingly legit. There are a handful of ways to play around perish-trapping (known as PT from now on), but if an opponent doesn’t have any of these they will lose. The teams that can play around PT still aren’t guaranteed the win. When the PT strategy fails the team can still fall back on Gengar’s amazing Special attack and bulky offence.

Only when 3 turns have passed
shall I permit you to die

Gengar @ Gengarite
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
– Perish Song
– Protect
– Shadow Ball
– Hypnosis

Mega-Gengar is the core of the team, being able to use Perish Song and Shadow Tag by itself. Gengar’s favourite partners are Scrafty and Greninja as they offer it a turn of protection while it uses Perish Song. Protect keeps it alive for the second turn, and Hypnosis will give a shot at surviving the third. If Gengar is KO’d on the third turn you can still send in Gothitelle and ensure the first two opponents are KO’d. Shadow Ball is used so that Gengar can deal with opposing Ghost Pokemon that aren’t affected by Shadow Tag. While Gengar isn’t a bulky Pokemon its been able to survive Greninja’s Dark Pulse and neutral physical attacks after Intimidate.

*Perish Song Gengar won’t be available until Pokebank is released.

You came to the wrong neighbourhood

Scrafty @ Chople Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 116 Def / 140 SDef
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spd
– Fake Out
– Detect
– Drain Punch
– Crunch

Scrafty is the default partner for Gengar. Scrafty provides Fake Out and Intimidate support to keep Gengar safe on the first turn. After that Scrafty is pretty much just another meat shield to keep you from sending out one of your reserve Pokemon too soon. Detect is used over Protect because the animation is cooler, and because of the common VGC misconception that someone at a tournament is going to be packing Imprison. Drain Punch and Crunch are used to help Scrafty deal with Dark and Ghost types that threaten Gengar.

Gothitelle @ Sitrus Berry

In VGC we also sit across a Gothitelle
waiting for all our Pokemon to die.

Ability: Shadow Tag
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 180 Def / 76 SDef
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spd
– Protect
– Light Screen
– Reflect
– Trick Room

Gothitelle is part of phase 2. If Gengar goes down before the first 2 Pokemon are KO’d Gothitelle steps in to make sure they go down on the third turn. Gothitelle has Trick Room to make everything on the team bar Gengar move first. This allows the team’s slower Perish Song user to attack first and lets Gothitelle set up screens to keep the team alive long enough to win. It is important to mention that If all remaining Pokemon perish on the same turn the player with the slowest Pokemon wins.

I swear, I don’t run Politoed on all of my teams

Politoed @ Mental Herb
Ability: Drizzle
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 180 Def / 76 SDef
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spd
– Perish Song
– Protect
– Scald
– Bounce

Politoed is PT #2 and the second component of phase 2. Once Gengar had taken the first 2 Pokemon down (and I usually have it die itself, while Scrafty gets switched out.) At this point Politoed comes in the use the second Perish Song and put the opponent on the final clock. After the first two Pokemon are down U-Turn users and Ghost types are no longer safe from PT. Scald is used for the burn chance, while Bounce is used to stall an extra turn.

These first four Pokemon are the main four on the team. This team brings these four Pokemon in the order specified most of its games. The last two slot are dedicated to dealing with the team’s counters and throw off the opponent in team preview.

This team is rage inducing

Amoonguss @ Black Sludge
Ability: Regenerator
Level: 50
EVs: 212 HP / 140 Def / 156 SDef
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spd
– Giga Drain
– Protect
– Spore
– Rage Powder

Amoonguss can take Scrafty’s place alongside Gengar. Rage Powder keeps Gengar safe and Spore can end the few turns the opponent has. Even with the threat of Perish Song Amoonguss is not a Pokemon you want to leave alone. Regenerator keeps Amoonguss healthy as it switches out of Perish Song.

Greninja goes down to the mat for its team

Greninja @ Focus Sash
Ability: Protean
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spd
Careful Nature
– Mat Block
– U-turn
– Taunt
– Protect

Greninja is another Pokemon that can take the place of Scrafty. Mat Block shields Gengar on the first turn and once that happens the first two KOs are set up. Having Taunt on Greninja gives the team an way to block other Taunt users as well as hinder Prankster users.

Strategy: Lead Scrafty and Gengar. Mega-Evolve, Fake Out and Perish Song. Use Protect to stall as much as possible. If Gengar goes down Gothitelle comes in and ensures the opponent’s first two Pokemon go down. From there use Perish Song once more and last 3 turns for game.

The opponent gets a total of 8 turns to KO 4 Pokemon, and at least four of those turns are spent using Protect.

Amoonguss and Greninja are pretty much filler Pokemon, but can be useful against certain threats. These two pretty much never see the battlefield so you could pick two random Pokemon to try and draw attention away from the two Shadow Tag users, as well as give the team an alternate win condition. The original team had Kingdra in place of Greninja but it doesn’t contribute to the team strategy so I replaced it.

Weaknesses: If the opponent is using Volt Switch / U-Turn / Ghost types your fun is done. Prankster Taunt shuts the strategy down to an extent. Soundproof is a pain. Gengar and Scrafty will try to get rid of other Ghost types, Volt Switch and U-Turn can be played around to an extent. Greninja can attempt to Taunt other Taunts and Politoed has Mental Herb so it can get the first Perish Song off anyways.

Conclusion: This team is incredibly powerful and will demolish opponents that aren’t prepared for it. Despite the nature of this team, there are legitimate good games to be had with it. PT teams can be a blast to play against as no matter what your team strategy was it has no changed to hyper offence. Don’t let your team be vulnerable to this strategy, or else your fun will be done my son.