Hello Hat Lovers!
Now that Worlds is over I’ve been thinking about what VGC 2015 will be like. It’ll be impossible to get a good idea of what the format will be like until we know the ruleset and see all the new Mega Evolution, but its fun to look ahead based on what we know.
The first question that comes to mind is whether or not we’ll get another restricted Pokedex. Some expect us to only be allowed to use whatever is native to Hoenn. I think that the chances of this being the case is incredibly slim and we’ll likely get a format like 2012 or 2013 that allows everything that isn’t banned in the Battle Maison. If we do get a restricted dex that means the Hoenn dex is going to be at least twice as big as it was in RSE.
Whether or not we will see the return of cover legendaries has also been brought into question. Being able to use Pokemon like Groudon and Kyogre would give us a format similar to 2010. The reason people seem to expect this is the new Primal Reversion mechanic, but Pokemon Fusion didn’t mean we got to use legendaries in 2013. I expect cover legendaries to remain unusable next season.
The only thing I can say for certain is that the Blue Pentagon rule will remain in effect. This will prevent us from using old move tutors and Pokemon that can’t be caught or hatched in a generation 6 game. This may lock out some legendaries such as Cresselia, Heatran and Thundurus if we can’t encounter them in Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire even if the ruleset doesn’t expressly ban them.
Top 5 Pokemon I want to have in the format
Latios & Latias are almost guaranteed to be in ORAS so they should be legal this next season. Latios was feared in previous years for its Choice Specs boosted Draco Meteors dealing way too much damage. Latias generally played a more supporting role but was still plenty strong. The introduction of Fairy types, the nerf to Draco Meteor, and the popularity of Sucker Punch means these two won’t be as potent as they once were, but they’ll still be great Pokemon to have. They also have Mega forms hidden in X&Y that boost their base stats but keep the same typing & abilities so I don’t expect them to be worth the Mega slot when their base forms are already so good.
5. Mega Metagross
Metagross is one of my favourite Pokemon and is also good, so I look forward to having it back. The nerf to Steel types has left Metagross with some unfortunate weaknesses to Ghost and Dark. This combined with Metagross’s waning popularity when it was legal and you have a Pokemon that might not make a huge splash when it returns. That is, if it wasn’t getting a Mega Evolution. What Gamefreak does with the stats determines how much hype I put into it. If Mega Metagross gets at least 110 base speed and they don’t waste many points on Special Attack then I can see Metagross being a great mega next season.
4. Mega Salamence
Mega Salamence has been confirmed to have Aerilate as it’s Ability, so we get to use Frustration on it. Salamence has never had a good Flying STAB move and this will be an appreciated addition. Salamence also gets Intimidate before it Mega-Evolves just like Mawile and Gyarados which will be a major boon to it.
We don’t know what kind of stats Mega Salamence will have, judging from its design it’ll be getting a big speed boost. If Salamence can get past 110 speed it’ll be above Latios, which is very important for it. If it goes as fast as 130 speed that’ll be even better. Since Salamence gets Aerilate it’ll probably gain physical attack over special attack. Salamence starts with a BST of 600 so raising that by 100 is going to give it some great stats unless Gamefreak goes out of its way to ruin things (see: Mega-Garchomp.)
Milotic hasn’t seen much use in previous seasons, so why am I excited to have it back? Milotic received another Ability this gen that will make it Competitive (see what I did there?) In case you didn’t get the joke, Milotic gets Competitive as an Ability now. This will make Milotic a great asset on teams that don’t like to get Intimidated. Wigglytuff is the most well known user of Competitive right now, and Milotic boasts much higher stats and while its doesn’t have as many offensive attacks to choose from it has its own options that make it a stronger user of the Ability. Milotic has much higher stats all across the board. While Milotic has much lower HP the defences make it bulkier overall. Milotic also reaches a respectable special attack stat without a competitive boost and has the common attack expected of a bulky Water type. Milotic also has access to Recover and unlike Wigglytuff it doesn’t need an Assault Vest to have great special bulk. Milotic is also a logical candidate for a mega evolution, which will be exciting to see.
|Max doesn’t acknowledge
the almighty Pachi
Oh how I’ve missed Togekiss this season. Togekiss has been my favourite support Pokemon in 2012 & 2013 and I look forward to using it again. Togekiss has undergone a type change this generation and being a Fairy type will do it a lot of favours, such as having a Fairy attack to hit Dragons with, resisting Fighting and Dark, and being immune to Dragon. Follow Me support has been lacking this season, with Amoonguss and Smeargle as our best options. We currently can’t teach Togekiss Tailwind, and while betting on a move tutor bringing the option back is a pretty safe bet I won’t assume we’re getting it back just yet. Without Tailwind Togekiss loses some utility but it has plenty of moves to use instead.
If you know me you’re probably surprised Togekiss wasn’t number one on the list, but I’m actually more excited for Infernape. Infernape has a lot in common with Raichu, my favourite support Pokemon this season. Both have a fast Fake Out, Encore and Feint. The difference is that Raichu has Lightning Rod to help its partners and Infernape has higher offensive stats and attacks that allow it to deal damage on its own. Infernape can Fake Out before Kangaskhan and OHKO it with Close Combat. Infernape has a fantastic movepool and can attack from both sides of the spectrum, making it an exciting prospect for the new format.
Gamefreak has been known to nerf moves and mechanics during a generation. In Diamond & Pearl Thunder had a chance to go through Protect during the rain. This was correctly noted as a bad idea and removed from all future games. Hypnosis was also nerfed from 70% accuracy to 60% between DP and Platinum.
The overwhelming power of Mega Kangaskhan this year has had some expecting Parental Bond to get a nerf, making the second hit deal only 1.3x damage or something along those lines. While this would’ve been great for this year I don’t think it will be as important in an non-restricted format. The amount of answers we’ll have to deal with Kangaskhan will increase. Still, Kangaskhan will still be good next format and a minor nerf would help prevent it from ever dominating the way it does now. This is the most probably nerf we’ll see, if any.
Another change players have been asking for is to re-ban Dark Void. Between the low accuracy of Dark Void, the unreliability of Sleep, and having to use Smeargle most high level players don’t use Dark Void (the most notable exception being Randy Kwa). Relying on your luck to last throughout a tournament is a risky strategy, so we haven’t seen much Smeargle usage in tournament play, however it is still a popular option amongst low level players and doesn’t bring anything positive to the game. Despite this I don’t expect Dark Void to get banned or nerfed, it doesn’t ruin the game and doesn’t show up much at tournaments.
It’ll be fun to see how many of my predictions come true next season. I think that I made all the reasonable and probable calls, but you never know what Gamefreak is going to do with these things. At the very least Milotic, Metagross and Salamence will all be legal so I’ll get to play around with those.