Praise The Sun! A VGC team analysis

Hello Hat Lovers!

Today I have another VGC team to bring to you. I used this team in an online tournament recently. I’ve being trying to make a Charizard team that I liked since the start of the generation, but I’ve just never been feeling it until recently. This team takes a fair bit of inspiration from a Charizard-centric team featured on Nugget Bridge, and uses three Pokemon from it and their movesets (though I did change their spreads.)

There were two requirements for this team: The first was that I needed to cut down on all sub 100% accurate moves as much as possible, unless there no alternative. A competitive player will try to win their games 100% of the time so resigning yourself to lose 10% of the time you should’ve won is something I’d like to avoid. This isn’t a choice I made out of saltiness (Team Praise the Sun doesn’t allow for saltiness) more that my nerves can’t take the suspense of waiting to see if my attack is going to hit its target and then missing for the third time in a row.

The second requirement was that Charizard needed Wide Guard support to work for me, the same as how Heracross needed a Togekiss beside it last year, and Mawile needs a Meowstic this season. I originally tried out a Weakness Policy Aegislash with Wide Guard, but pairing a Fire weakness alongside a Charizard didn’t always work out. When I read the report and NB and saw the Aerodactyl the team used I knew that it was Charizard’s Togekiss. With this I was ready to praise the sun!

Charizard @ Charizardite Y
Ability: Solar Power
Level: 50
EVs: 92 HP / 4 Def / 212 SAtk / 36 SDef 164 Spd
Modest Nature
– Flamethrower
– Ancient Power
– Solar Beam
– Protect

The centrepiece of the team is Mega Charizard Y. Having a strong fire attacker is a great asset in this format and Charizard is the strongest candidate for a fire type right now.

The spread is netted from a team I found on NB. It’s bulky enough to survive most not-Rock Slide attacks, and the lower speed is alleviated by Tailwind. This Charizard is a bit stronger then a timid 252 / 252 spread that has been the standard.

With so many things EV’d to withstand Charizard’s Heat Wave, Flamethrower can get some surprise KOs. Despite the truth of this statement, which was the reason the original team used it, I mostly wanted to avoid using a sub-100% move as my main STAB. We all know how good 90% accurate moves are. Solar Beam  provides coverage. Protect is standard. Ancient Power takes out other Charizard and is your best option against things like Gyarados and Salamence. If you get the stat boost you’ll probably win off of that. Remember to praise the sun while using Charizard for optimal results.

Aerodactyl @ Focus Sash
Ability: Unnerve
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Rock Slide
– Tailwind
– Wide Guard
– Protect

I read about a team that ran Charizard and Wide Guard Aerodactyl on Nugget Bridge and knew that Aerodactyl was the partner I was looking for. These two draw in Rock Slide from the opponent and Aerodactyl protects both my Pokemon from them. Aerodactyl can also take out other Charizard with its own Rock Slide. Tailwind gives me three turns to out-speed the opponent’s Pokemon, which should be enough time to take out their faster threats.

Gourgeist-Super @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Frisk
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SDef
Impish Nature
– Phantom Force
– Leech Seed
– Will-O-Wisp
– Protect

Gourgeist was the other Pokemon I took from the team I found on Nugget Bridge. Gourgeist handles Kangaskhan and Mawile with ease. Kangaskhan can’t damage Gourgeist in any meaningful way unless it pack Crunch, and it will never get off a Sucker Punch because I have Will-O-Wisp and Leech Seed. Against Mawile a burn followed by Leech Seed and dodging attacks with Protect and Phantom Force they will never KO before going down themselves. The one change I made to the set was the nature and speed IV. Gourgeist’s base speed makes it one point faster then 20 Speed Mawile, so Gourgeist can burn Mawile before it gets to use its massive attack stat.

Frisk gives me information on the opponent’s Pokemon. A big challenge in VGC is knowing how skilled a player your opponent is. The information from Frisk can give you a good indication. If the opponent has an item like Quick Claw on one of their Pokemon you can assume they aren’t going to make many clever predictions and it can also save you from running into a Weakness Policy or wasting a turn on a Lum Berry. The alternative is Insomnia which blocks sleep. I carry Wide Guard on the this team and Gourgeist can’t be affected by Spore so sleep isn’t a threat to Gourgeist. Besides, we here at TCG w/Hats get plenty of sleep.

Phantom Force is also really cool because the opponent can’t Protect against it. There was a battle where I have Charizard in back and their only way to handle it was a Rock Slide user with 1 HP left. I could use Phantom Force on the turn they KO’d my current partner then Charizard would Protect and they couldn’t prevent the hit, except I got double flinched twice when trying to do so and ended up winning because their Rock Slide missed Charizard when I had to send it out. Despite this the move was still an option that would’ve given me the game for sure.

Gourgeist breaks the rule of this team by carrying two sub 90% accurate moves. Sadly there isn’t any alternative to Will-O-Wisp when you want to burn the opponent reliable. Thankfully Gourgeist is bulky enough that it can afford to miss once in a battle.

Gardevoir @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Trace
Level: 50
EVs: 52 HP / 4 Def / 196 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
Modest Nature
– Moonblast
– Psychic
– Thunderbolt
– Shadow Ball

When she was added to the team, Gardevoir had one job, to deal with Garchomp and Salamence. Dragon is still one of the best types in the game and while Fairies like Gardevoir are immune to their attacks they still run rampant. This Gardevoir is EV’d to always KO Garchomp and Salamence. Gardevoir also brings a handful of coverage moves to the table to help deal with various Pokemon, such as Gyarados and Amoonguss.

Trace is an interesting Ability to have. It seems to want to copy Intimidate before anything else which is often appreciated. There are plenty of good abilities in the metagame to copy such as Parental Bond. I’ve dodged Stone Edges by tracing Sand Veil and avoided Rock Slide flinches by tracing Inner Focus. In the finals of the tournament I was saved multiple times by Tracing Manectric’s Lightning Rod and Ludicolo’s Swift Swim.

Scrafty @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 196 Atk / 60 Def
Impish Nature
– Drain Punch
– Crunch
– Fake Out
– Quick Guard

For my next Pokemon I wanted a couple things to help round off the team. The first thing I wanted was an Intimidate user. Next I wanted a Ghost / Dark resist, which Scrafty covers nicely. Scrafty has a 60% to 2HKO Kangaskhan with Drain Punch. TBH Scrafty is the Pokemon on the team I bring the least. The metagame isn’t really kind to Scrafty, and his only role is to slow down the opponent with Intimidate and Fake Out. He does cock-block Talonflame with Quick Guard, which is a major concern for my team.

Garchomp (M) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Rough Skin
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature
– Earthquake
– Dragon Claw
– Rock Slide
– Protect

Good old Garchomp, you fit on teams well without needing to be explained. Garchomp was pretty much last minute filler as I was still testing the team when the tournament began. Garchomp is valuable for the Electric immunity, as well as a Rock and Fire resist. Garchomp partners well with both Charizard and Aerodactyl.

Most Common Lead Combinations:

Charizard + Aerodactyl

These are the default leads for the team. Charizard is much tougher to KO without using spread moves such as Rock Slide. Aerodactyl can also set up Tailwind against Charizard / Venusaur which allows my Charizard to out speed their Venusaur while Aerodactyl takes their Charizard down.

Charizard + Gardevoir

Gardevoir supports Charizard by out speeding opposing Garchomp and OHKO’ing them with Moonblast. Trace also seems to preferentially pick Intimidate when its available, so Gardevoir is good against other physical Pokemon with Intimidate.


I took 1st place in the online tournament I played in. The team could still use a lot of work (mostly getting rid of Scrafty, he did nothing for the team) but I love the Charizard / Aerodactyl / Gardevoir core, and will most likely use it for all my Charizard teams from now on.

P.S. I’d like to know what everyone’s opinions on the GiFs are. Do you prefer them to the official artwork I was using or do you like the change?


  1. Q. If I use Victini-EX's “Turbo Energize” attack but choose to attach the two Basic Energy cards from my deck to Sigilyph with “Safeguard”, what happens?
    A. Sigiliph is a valid target for the choice of Benched Pokemon, but since Safeguard prevents all effects of attacks done by Pokemon-EX the energies would be discarded rather than attached to Sigilyph. (Jun 20, 2013 TPCi Rules Team)


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