Two Spooky: Victoria Premiere Challenge Double Report

Hello Hat Lovers!

I attended two Premiere Challenges in Victoria last weekend. Being in Victoria, these Premiere Challenges wouldn’t have as many players as the Vancouver PCs. On top of this I’m friends with everyone that was going so I knew everyone in Victoria and everyone that was making the trip from Vancouver. Because of this I had a good idea of what I was going to face.

Since I won the last Premiere Challenge in Vancouver and posted my team I was a little worried that someone would try and counter-team me. I hadn’t been playing much in the weeks between the events so I decided to stick with what I was confident in and change one of my Pokemon to deal with the local metagame.

Saturday Premiere Challenge:

Charizard @ Charizardite Y
Charizard-M-Y-ShinyAbility: Blaze
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 12 Def / 20 SpA / 12 SpD / 212 Spe
Modest Nature
– Heat Wave
– Solar Beam
– Overheat
– Protect

This is the same Charizard I used last time. There isn’t much to say about it.

RaichuRaichu @ Focus Sash
Ability: Lightningrod
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 16 Def / 236 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 28 Atk / 30 Def
Timid Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Feint
– Fake Out

I bred a better Raichu between the last Vancouver PC and the first Victoria PC. The last Raichu had 30 HP and 24 Atk, while this one had 31 HP and 28 Atk. Even though I posted my team after the last tournament I still felt Feint was the best choice for Raichu.

Aegislash @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Stance Change
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 92 SpA / 156 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 20 Spe
– Shadow Ball
– Wide Guard
– Flash Cannon
– King’s Shield

I breed a Shiny Aegislash before this event. The spread is the same as before, but because I had a random speed IV I now out speed min-speed Gothitelle, Scrafty and Tyranitar. I wasn’t worried about this being important and I wanted to use a Shiny so I rolled with it.

MamoswineMamoswine @ Life Orb
Ability: Thick Fat
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Ice Shard
– Earthquake
– Icicle Crash
– Protect

This is the same Mamoswine I used last time.

LudicoloLudicolo @ Assault Vest
Ability: Swift Swim
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 84 Def / 148 SpA / 12 SpD / 12 Spe
Modest Nature
– Scald
– Giga Drain
– Ice Beam
– Fake Out

I was considering replacing either Ludicolo or Zapdos to make room for the final member of the team. I was planning to leave Ludicolo behind, but right before registration I decided that Scrubchu probably wouldn’t work on any of the stronger players and Ludicolo would help with some of the common Pokemon that give my team problems. Ludicolo didn’t end up being too useful, though it did help me win the one game I brought it to.

313e3-mega-gengarGengar @ Gengarite
Ability: Shadow Tag
Level: 50
EVs: 20 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 228 Spe
Modest Nature
– Sludge Bomb
– Taunt
– Will-O-Wisp
– Protect

I won a Shiny Mega Gengar plush at the last PC, so that made me want to use Gengar at this event. Having double Ghosts seemed thematic given that Halloween just passed. Unfortunately I couldn’t breed a 31/x/31/31/31/31 shiny in time and had to stick with a regular Gengar.

The EVs put Mega Gengar above positive natured base 110s, putting me above my Raichu, other Gengar and Tauros (more on that later). Special Attack was maximized because I knew I was going to have to hit as hard as possible and the rest was dumped into bulk. Gengar only came to battle against one opponent, but it’s presence in team preview would hopefully deter Kangaskhan and Gothitelle from being brought.

The first tournament had 13 masters. We had 4 rounds with a top cut of 4. Only three of the four players with a 3-1 record would make top cut. This means I needed to win out in Swiss to guarantee my spot in cut and couldn’t sandbag to hide information from another player likely to make cut.

Round 1: Charline Dumais

Charline’s Team;248445131663

I brought: Raichu, Aegislash, Charizard, Mamoswine

She brought: Tyranitar, Talonflame, Lapras, Garchomp

On turn one I use Feint to lift Tyranitar’s Protect and get a critical hit with Sacred Sword to OHKO it. This pretty much seals the game on the first turn and the game would’ve been much tougher without it. Thankfully I’m able to defeat the only player that brought Tyranitar to the tournament and eliminate my worst matchup.

Win 1-0

Round 2: Murray Chu (MrScaryMuffing)

Murray’s Team: 663303373

I brought: Raichu, Aegislash, Charizard, Mamoswine

He brought: Gothitelle, Hariyama, Salamence, Mawile

Murray seems to have copied part of Aaron Zheng’s team, so I expect him to play it the way Aaron would and go for a Knock Off on Aegislash on the first turn. I call it right and get a King’s Shield to drop Hariyama’s attack while Raichu uses Fake Out on Gothitelle. I then remember that I want to be slower then Hariyama so I can take the next attack in Shield Form so I go for another King’s Shield just to avoid switching moves. Murray ends up doubling into Raichu anyways so I come out looking silly. I’m still in a good position as Trick Room hasn’t gone up and Charizard & Mamoswine can clean up.

Win 2-0

Round 3: Tony Cheung (Chinese_Dood)

Tony’s Team: 310445

I brought: Raichu, Aegislash, Charizard, Mamoswine

He brought: Sneasel, Manectric, Garchomp, Venusaur

I see Sneasel on Tony’s team and I don’t know what to think at this point. On turn 1 I make sure not to Fake Out the Sneasel because I didn’t know if it out-sped Raichu. This ended up being the right call as while Sneasel didn’t use Fake Out I later found out that it has Inner Focus. He uses Snarl on both Manectric and Sneasel, but Aegislash’s Weakness Policy is able to cancel out two uses of the move.

Win 3-0

Round 4: Hongyu

Hongyu’s Team: 006445479w681

I brought: Raichu, Charizard, Mamoswine, Ludicolo

He brought: Garchomp, Charizard, Scrafty, Aegislash

At the start I say that I’m going to sandbag so that I can avoid giving away info. I checked the standings and realized we’d have four 3-1 records along with a 4-0 record so if I sandbagged here I could miss cut. I still tried to avoid revealing information about my team, so I left Aegislash and Gengar behind. I find out that he uses Mega Charizard-X, and I end up revealing Feint to seal the game.

Win 4-0

Top 4: Tsukasa Wakabayashi

Game 1: X87G-WWWW-WWWA-D7BQ

Game 2: WLHW-WWWW-WWWA-D7BU

After winning 2-0 against Tsukasa in the last challenge I felt like I was the favourite to win. I forgot that he had Talonflame on his team before and without Zapdos it was tough to deal with.

Tsukasa was able to make good reads throughout the games when it really mattered and he was able to win 2-0 this time.

So I end the first tournament with a 3rd place finish. I know that if I’m going to win the next day I’m going to need to scrub up again.

Sunday Premiere Challenge:

Charizard @ Charizardite Y
Charizard-M-Y-ShinyAbility: Blaze
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 12 Def / 20 SpA / 12 SpD / 212 Spe
Modest Nature
– Heat Wave
– Solar Beam
– Overheat
– Protect

RaichuRaichu @ Focus Sash
Ability: Lightningrod
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 16 Def / 236 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 30 Atk / 30 Def
Timid Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Feint
– Fake Out

The night between the two tournaments Raphael asked if I could clone his 31/30/30/31/31/31 Pichu. I was happy to oblige, and cloned two spares for myself.

Aegislash @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Stance Change
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 92 SpA / 156 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 20 Spe
– Shadow Ball
– Wide Guard
– Flash Cannon
– King’s Shield

MamoswineMamoswine @ Life Orb
Ability: Thick Fat
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Ice Shard
– Earthquake
– Icicle Crash
– Protect

ZapdosZapdos @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Pressure
Level: 50
EVs: 80 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 172 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 Def
– Thunderbolt
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Discharge
– Volt Switch

After the last tournament I decided Ludicolo wasn’t needed on the team to deal with the Victoria metagame at all and Zapdos would put in way more work against the field.

313e3-mega-gengarGengar @ Gengarite
Ability: Shadow Tag
Level: 50
EVs: 20 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 228 Spe
Modest Nature
– Sludge Bomb
– Taunt
– Will-O-Wisp
– Protect

The player I had Gengar for got second place the previous day, showing me that the rest of the tournament couldn’t reliably deal with his team. This reassured me that Gengar would be worth the spot. I also knew that Ludicolo wasn’t great against the Victoria Metagame so I wouldn’t miss it.

The second tournament had 12 masters and once again had 4 rounds with a top cut of 4. One 3-1 player would miss cut again.

Round 1: Colin Peterson

Colin’s Team: 006373130094

I brought: Raichu, Zapdos, 2 other Pokemon

He brought: Salamence, Gengar, Skarmory, Charizard

I used Scrubchu. He didn’t launch an attack all game.

Win 1-0

Round 2: Raphael Bagara (Rapha)

Raphael’s Team: 310303184635

I brought: Aegislash, Raichu, Mamoswine, Charizard

He brought: Aerodactyl, Azumarill, Manectric, Hydreigon

I know that Raphael favours Mawile over Manectric from watching him play Battle Spot the night before. Raphael insists that he’s going to bring Manectric to this game and I insist that he won’t. I’m pretty sure he would have Manectric but I wanted to keep up the mind game. He gets Azumarill set up but I’m able to avoid getting hit by it and KO it. He does nab a Lightning Rod boost at some point but he’s forced to Overheat and lower his Special Attack anyways. I’m able to clean up with Mamoswine and Charizard.

Win 2-0

Round 3: Murray Chu (MrScaryMuffin)

Murray’s Team: 303479w663373

I brought: Zapdos, Aegislash, Raichu

He brought: Hariyama, Talonflame, Rotom-W, Salamence

Murray had been using Rain teams throughout the season, but he recently stopped using it since the local metagame seemed to be countering rain. Having dropped the Ludicolo from my team I was a bit worried that he would switch back to it after yesterday, but the only change he made to his team was his Rotom’s form. I didn’t want to lead with Scrubchu against him but his leads ended up being weak to it, so I switched in Raichu on T1 and used Discharge. After that I was able to continue Scrubchuing for the rest of the game.

Win 3-0

Round 4: John Westwood (Eliwood_Emblem)

John’s Team:591115310

I brought: Gengar, Raichu, Aegislash, Mamoswine

He brought: Kangaskhan, Smeargle, Tauros, Amoonguss

This is the one team that Gengar was useful against. The goal of this team is to use Storm Throw on Tauros to boost it’s attack to +6 with Anger Point and then spam Follow Me/Rage Powder while attacking with Tauros until everything on the opponent’s side has been OHKO’d. The team can either lead Kangaskhan/Smeargle and threaten to switch in Tauros at any point as well as roll the dice with Dark Void or it can start with Manectric/Sylveon and use Round before trying to set up the Tauros sweep. Fortunately a Gengar & Raichu lead with Aegislash in back shuts down both strategies handily.

I was tempted to sandbag here to avoid revealing Mega Gengar, but there was the chance that a 3-1 would miss cut so I had to play seriously. I lead Gengar and Raichu against Kangaskhan and Smeargle. I Fake Out the Kangaskhan and Taunt Smeargle as he switched Kang for Tauros and Storm Throws it to boost it’s attack to +6 with Anger Point. Next turn I’m not confident that Gengar can OHKO Tauros by itself so I Protect Gengar and sack Raichu to a Storm Throw and whatever Tauros did that turn. I then send in Aegislash and spam Wide Guard while Gengar is free to pick off his Pokemon with Sludge Bomb. Kangaskhan gets burnt and Amoonguss gets Taunted when they come in, shutting the team down completely.

Win 4-0

Top 4: Randy Kwa (R Inanimate)

Randy’s Team:681445479w

Game 1: VFPW-WWWW-WWWA-D7DD

Game 3: 7JLW-WWWW-WWWA-D7DA

Before these games Randy assured me that Scrubchu was going to destroy him. After seeing team preview I was inclined to agree. As it turns out, his Mega Aerodactyl was Jolly instead of Adamant so it out sped Zapdos and made life tougher for me. Losing game 1 gave me this important information, and games 2 & 3 were pretty close games as a result. I’m not sure what the point of running Jolly Mega Aerodactyl was if he wasn’t planning to out speed 252 speed Scarf Zapdos or Salamence, but knowing Randy I’m sure there is a reason.

I had some hax in game 2 by flinching his Rotom-W with Icicle Crash to prevent it from KOing my Mamoswine, and I dodged an important Hydro Pump later on. I’m able to win game 3 as well and advance to the finals. This also marks the first time that Randy didn’t dream-crush me in the first round of top cut.

Finals: John Westwood (Eliwood_Emblem)

John’s Team:591115310

Game 1: 5LEG-WWWW-WWWA-D7D6

Game 2: SKKW-WWWW-WWWA-D7D5

These games were being streamed, which is kind of tragic looking back on it because my Gengar’s nickname is a One Piece spoiler.

After Kangaskhan/Smeargle didn’t work for John in round 4 I figured he would try his luck with Manectric/Sylveon. Feint + Sludge Bomb OHKOs Sylveon and Tauros is sent in. With Sylveon gone and Smeargle unable to switch in John is unable to use either of his combos and I’m able to close out the game.

The second game is much closer and hopefully more exciting to watch. I’m able to trap and KO Kangaskhan early, and then trade Gengar for Amoonguss and a Shadow Ball on Sylveon. At this point I just need to make sure Aegislash doesn’t take any attacks in Blade form and I’ll win. I get Raichu in and am able to use Fake Out and Shadow Ball to bring Manectric down to red HP, which can be taken out with Feint. Sylveon’s Hyper Beam is really scary though, and might’ve KO’d Aegislash if it got a critical hit.

Conclusion:

I think this weekend really proved Mark’s point from his post about local metagames. Going into day 1 everyone knew what I won with last time and most players knew about John’s team (and by day 2 everyone did) and yet no one tried to counter either of us. You can justify being weak to Raichu/Zapdos or Kangaskhan/Smeargle at a Regionals, but at a Premier Challenge where you know you’re going to face one of these on your way to the top you had better be able to deal with them.

I ended the weekend with an extra 66 Championship Points, bringing my total to 120 out of the 200 I can receive from PCs. I’m aiming to get a travel stipend to Nationals again this season. I’m currently in the Top 32 for North America (and #1 in Canada) and hopefully I’ll be able to stay there with a good finish at Oregon/Washington Regionals.

~Max out

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