Charizard the benchwarmer: Washington Regionals Top 4 VGC Report

I didn’t praise the sun much this time

Hello Hat Lovers!

I recently made top 4 at Washington VGC Regionals. I’ll give an overview of the team I used and the matches I had. After going 4-3 at Oregon Regionals with our Swaguard team I started working on a new team. After trying out a variety of teams I began to favour sun teams. Whenever I used Venusaur I would give it a Mega Stone in case I didn’t want to bring Charizard. Eventually I found that Venusaur was becoming my preferred Mega. I was close to dropping Charizard from the team entirely, but in the end I decided to keep it in order to scare away Grass and Steel types and give the opponent the impression that I was a run-of-the-mill sun team.
Charizard @ Charizardite Y
Ability: Solar Power
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
– Heat Wave
– SolarBeam
– Overheat
– Protect

When I was deciding on the set for Charizard I figured I wouldn’t use it much, so I scrapped my bulky set so that I could force the speed tie against Mega Kangaskhan and OHKO with Overheat. I brought Charizard to 3 games all day and only Mega-Evolved it once. Had I gone with my set that runs Ancient Power I would’ve been more inclined to bring it, as it would be able to hit Fire types like Rotom-H. In the end Charizard did its job just by being in team preview, the element of surprise goes a long way in swiss and being able to change strategies in top cut won me a game.

Less speed, more fat.

Venusaur @ Venusaurite
Ability: Chlorophyll
Level: 50
EVs: 156 HP / 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 92 Spd
Modest Nature
– Giga Drain
– Sludge Bomb
– Sleep Powder
– Protect

Venusaur was the star player of this team. I brought it to every game I played. The EVs allow it to out-speed Mega Manectric in the sun, as well as Rotom-A without significant investment. From here I maximized its SAtk and dumped the rest into HP. Considering how little time it spent in the sun I could’ve put all that speed into bulk and be better off for it, but I like having that option.

Unlike in Oregon, this Rotom put in work

Rotom-Heat @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 68 Def / 156 SAtk / 12 SDef / 20 Spd
Modest Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Overheat
– Will-O-Wisp
– Protect

Rotom-H has recently become one of my favourite Pokemon, providing the team with a myriad of resistances such as Fairy, Ice, Fire, Ground, and Flying. This spread allows it to survive +1 Dragon Claw from Mega Charizard X, which was very popular at Washington. I had been testing Thunder Wave on Rotom as a way to cripple Salamence and Mega Charizard X, but I found that a lot of Pokemon could wall me out without Will-O-Wisp.

Excelleshirt can’t be replaced

Salamence @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Modest Nature
– Draco Meteor
– Dragon Pulse
– Fire Blast
– Rock Slide

After Oregon I stopped using Salamence because I started using Scarf-Gardevoir on my teams. I couple weeks ago I revisited Salamence and remembered just how good it was. Intimidate makes physical attackers easier to deal with, and Dragon/Flying has an easy time switching in on attacks meant for the rest of my team. During the whole event Dragon Pulse was usually my goto move. I never used Fire Blast once, yet I’m glad I had it. I would’ve considered using Timid Salamence but Mark got me a perfect Modest Salamence and I didn’t want to breed for another one.

You never have to justify
 putting Garchomp on a team

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

Before the event I wasn’t sure if I wanted Garchomp on the team. It works well with the team but leaves me weak to Ice and Fairy. The day before I decided that I was more used to Garchomp then my alternatives. I’m very pleased with how well Garchomp did, I only lost a single game that I brought Garchomp to.

Aegislash @ Leftovers

The best option against Gardevoir

Ability: Stance Change
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 172 SAtk / 76 SDef
Quiet Nature
– Shadow Ball
– Sacred Sword
– Substitute
– King’s Shield

Aegislash has been very hit or miss for me. Since its reliant on good prediction I was wary of using it early this season. As the season progressed I began to like it for the resistances it brings to the table and the fact that Kangaskhan can’t touch it. Aegislash was used in most battle that I lost, but I’m glad to have it on the team. If it gets a Substitute up then it becomes a big threat. I ran Sacred Sword because it out damages Flash Cannon against Kangaskhan and Tyranitar. The 76 SDef allows Aegislash to withstand Charizard-Y’s Heat Wave in the sun, Mega Gengar’s Shadow Ball and Tyranitar’s Dark Pulse 100% of the time.

Overall the team was effective, even if it was basically a 5 Pokemon team with a distraction. This was the first tournament where I took notes, so I’ll go over my battles as best as I can.

Round 1: Duy Ha

I probably should’ve run one of these myself

I was pretty scared that I’d have to face Duy first round, and to top it off the game was streamed for everyone to see (There goes the Mega Venusaur surprise.)
Duy’s Team: Charizard / Aegislash / Aerodactyl / Amoonguss / Mienshao / Azumarill
This team looks like a sun team at first glance, but I had a feeling things weren’t as they seemed. This game was streamed and you can find the video here:

 I’ll give my thoughts on the first couple turns that I can remember:

The leads were Charizard & Aerodactyl VS Garchomp & Rotom-H. I’ve used his lead before, so Wide Guard and Tailwind seems likely, but I expect his Charizard to be Mega Charizard X. I’m correct on this prediction but he Sky Drops my Garchomp and dodges the Thunderbolt on Aero while using Dragon Dance with Charizard. Next turn he drops Garchomp and Protects Charizard while Aero goes down to a Tbolt and Rough Skin. Mienshao comes in. Garchomp goes down to a Dragon Claw and Rotom-H Protects a Fake Out. I bring in Salamence and Intimidate him. Charizard retreats for Azumarill and I get some damage on Mienshao. From here I’m able to manoeuvre around him with Venusaur and when Charizard comes back in it never gets a turn to use Dragon Dance, so Salamence takes it out when Venusaur goes down.

Win 1-0

Round 2: Teren Baverman
After facing Duy round 1 I was feeling confident.
Teren’s Team: Salamence / Ferrothorn / Aegislash / Rotom-W / Azumarill / Charizard
Nothing seemed special about his team. My Charizard is able to scare away his steel types so I never have to deal with those. His Charizard also ends up being a Mega Charizard X, so at this point I begin to assume that ever Charizard I see will be. This game was pretty easy for me, Venusaur and Rotom dealt with Azumarill and Rotom-W, allowing my Dragons to combat his.

Win 2-0

Round 3: Kacey Traver
Kacey’s Team: Aegislash / Politoed / Kingdra / Manectric / Mienshao / Ferrothorn
I looked at this team and figured that Mega Venusaur would take it apart on its own. I brought Charizard to this game for some reason, even though I lead Venusaur and Mega’d right off the bat. I ended up foddering it for no real gain, but Venusaur easily takes the game on its own.

Win 3-0

Round 4: Hajime Uyesugi
Hajime’s Team: Scrafty / Amoongus / Rotom-H / Azumarill / Charizard / Garchomp
Don’t think you can fool me, that’s a Charizard-X. Oh wait its Charizard-Y. Okay I’ll wreak it with Garchomp and Rotom-H. I managed to win this game without sending in Venusaur, so he was my only opponent not to know what I was doing at the end of the match

Win 4-0

Round 5: Braden Smith
At this point I figure that I’ll make cut if I win this game one more of the next 3 rounds. I heard R Inanimate bemoaning all the Machamp he saw, but since he beat them I thought I was safe. I wasn’t
Braden’s Team: Machamp / Manectric / Aegislash / Gardevoir / Rotom-H / Garchomp
On the first turn I miss a Draco Meteor on Rotom, and this sets the tone of the battle for the rest of the game. He ran a Specs Gardevoir, which takes out Salamence right away but the rest of my team resisted Fairy so I was able to force I switch. The game came down to Rotom-H and Machamp VS Aegislash. If the Rotom can taken the Draco Meteor I could’ve finished it off sooner. The Machamp’s best move against Aegislash was Stone Edge, so I’m confident I would’ve won if it was one on one. But that’s the nature of the game, and it wasn’t even guaranteed that I would win if I hadn’t missed so many attacks. I got my luck back in spades later in the tournament.

Lose 4-1

Round 6: Daryl
Daryl’s Team: Kangaskhan / Meowstic / Talonflame / Charizard / Rotom-W / Garchomp
I see a Kangaskhan and a cat and I think “crap, this isn’t going to end well.” My opponent leads Rotom-W and Cat to my Aegislash and Garchomp. On the first turn Meowstic uses Reflect while Garchomp Protects and Aegislash gets a Sub. Next turn Cat sets up a Light Screen. It is at this point that my fears are alleviated. He starts spamming Thunder Wave after this but His team doesn’t present a threat to me at this point. In the end he brings out Charizard and reveals it to be the Y version and I’m able to clean up with Garchomp and Venusaur.

Win 5-1

For some reason I wrote
 that he had two Scrafty

Round 7: Emilio Orozco
Emilio’s Team: Mawile / Chandelure / Slowking / Scrafty / Rotom-W / Scrafty
This looks like easy Trick Room to me, but I misplay on the first couple turns even though I predicted his moves. In the end its Mawile and Rotom-W VS Venusaur and Rotom-W. Rotom-H Protects and Venusaur misses the Sleep Power and goes down. Had Sleep Powder hit I’d be able to Overheat the Mawile and Giga Drain the Rotom-W for game, but if Sleep Powder could hit ever time I needed it to it would be too good.

Lose 5-2

Round 8: Cory Mitchell
At this point I need to win in order to have a chance at top 16 cut.
Cory’s Team: Charizard / Conkeldurr / Rotom-W / Klefki / Amoonguss / Kangaskhan
This team looks easy to me, but I’m worried about Kangaskhan. He leads Amoonguss and Charizard against my Garchomp and Aegislash, so I expect Charizard-X. I’m right again, and I Rock Slide and Sub against a Rage Powder and Dragon Dance. He takes out Garchomp and Aegislash gets hit off on Charizard. Next turn my Rotom takes the Dragon Claw and Overheats the Amoongus for KO and Aegislash finishes the Charizard. Conkeldurr and Klefki comes out and I’m able to clean up with Venusaur.

Win 6-2

At the end of swiss I have a chance of cut. My losses were late in the tournament and my early wins were good players so I had a good chance. I make it in at 16th seed.

I tallied up all the wins and loses that my Pokemon got me after Swiss

Swiss Statistics:
Charizard: W
Venusaur: WWWWWWLL
Salamence: WWWWWL
Garchomp: WWWWWL
Aegislash: WWWLL

Charizard was a part of a battle I won, even if it was only to distract the opponent for a turn. I saw more Charizard-X today then Charizard-Y, and that includes my own usage of it! Venusaur was a part of every battle. Rotom pulled its weight. Salamence and Garchomp were both amazing. Aegislash was a bit weak, but I don’t blame my loses on its performance but the performance of the team and myself as a whole.

Top 16: Mike Suleski (Omega Donut)
Mike’s Team: Venusaur / Azumarill / Aegislash / Rotom-H / Salamence / Garchomp
I’ve seen this exact team online before, but I don’t know if Mike had posted it before or if he copied it for himself. At any rate its a good team and its almost the same as mine, only he has Azumarill and doesn’t bluff sun.

I bring Charizard game 1 for some reason, but I didn’t like how it fared against his leads so I end up foddering it. I lose a very close game with just a -1 Azumarill with a sliver of health left.

Game 2 I go for my regular strategy and manage to get into a favourable position. Salamence surprises me by getting the OHKO on both Garchomp and Salamence without needing a crit for either. My opponent forfeits before seeing my fourth Pokemon.

Game 3 was full of hax for me. I got a crit that mattered, two Rock Slide flinches, and he missed a critical Sleep Powder. I was also pretty good at getting the turn 2 wake when I really needed it, and the time where I got 4 turns it was on Aegislash which wasn’t as important. Throughout the three games he hadn’t missed a Sleep Powder yet, never flinched from a Rock Slide (and I launched a ton of Rock Slides in game 1) so I don’t feel as bad about it as I normally would, but to get as many things in one game must’ve been hard on him. It wasn’t the way I’d like to win game 3 in top cut but that’s the game we play and I’m just glad it didn’t happen to me.

Win (LWW)

Top 8: John Rust
John’s Team: Vaporeon / Garchomp / Azumarill / Aegislash / Charizard / Manectric
I take one look at this team and realize I’m going to top 4. If my Dragons and Rotom and take out the Charizard Venusaur will be able to clean up the rest of his team.

Game 1 he uses Manectric as his Mega, which is fine with me because I have Venusaur and Rotom-H which can’t be touched. I don’t lose a single Pokemon this game.

Game 2 I expect him to change things up and bring Charizard. I play carelessly in this game and end up bringing it down to the wire. I still think its a sure thing but his Charizard goes Mega and Air Slashes my Venusaur. If he got the flinch on that turn he would’ve been able to win the game right there but fortunately Venusaur gets its attack off and we end up with Rotom-H and Venusaur against Charizard, all with very low HP. He goes for the Heat Wave in hopes that he can finish off both of my Pokemon but Rotom survives and finishes the game.

Win (WW)

Tony made me give a Raichu

Top 4: Tony Cheung (ChineseDood)
Tony’s Team: Gengar / Scizor / Gyarados / Staraptor / Rotom-H / Raichu
Tony has been known to bring a lot of creativity to the game and his team reflects this. There are three potential Megas and while I could guess what his Pokemon would do on their own I have no idea what this team’s overall strategy is. Surprise must’ve taken Tony a long way in Swiss but in best-of-three top cut I knew he’d also have the skill to win without it.

Game 1 is complete and utter domination for him. His Gengar goes Mega and uses Perish Song, while Raichu hinders my movements with Lightning Rod, Fake Out, and the threat of Encore. I forfeit at 2-4 so avoid giving away information.

Game 2 I do something I hadn’t done all day: I use Mega Charizard. I get an early KO on Raichu, and he knocks out Rotom-H using Final Gambit Staraptor. I’m able to take the game with Charizard and Venusaur against his Rotom-H and Gyarados. Gyarados didn’t have a good way to damage my Pokemon in the sun, but Rotom was a pain without Ancient Power. I managed to take them out in a close finish.

Game 3 I decide to go YOLO with Charizard & Venusaur and end up against Rotom and Raichu. This completely backfires on me and while I’m able to take out a couple of his Pokemon we end up with Charizard and Aegislash versus Rotom and Gyarados. I don’t have a good way to beat Substitute Rotom-H on my team and its able to win the game for Tony. It was only in this game that I find out Raichu didn’t use HP Ice and my Dragons would’ve been safe to go for a rampage against his team.

Lose (LWL)

Top Cut Statistics:
Charizard: WLL
Venusaur: WWWWWLLL
Salamence: WWWWLL
Garchomp: WWWW
Aegislash: WWLL

Garchomp didn’t lose a single game in cut, and it would’ve put in work in top 4. Charizard won the game that I praised the sun it Mega Evolved in, and lost in the two that it didn’t. Everyone else did about as well as they did in Swiss.

I end the day in 4th place, I get a box and a trophy so I’m happy with how things turned out. It never feels good to lose but I’m glad it was to a friend and I’m glad BC dominated the tournament. It feels great to have done so well after bombing Oregon at 4-3. Plus maybe now Nugget Bridge will post a battle video that I won in.

I did my best and have no regrets, except that I forgot my water bottle at the event. I wish I still had that on the ride home.

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