Hello Hat Lovers!
Today I’m going to show the team I used to get 7th place in Washington Regionals and 2nd in Utah Regionals. Mark also took 2nd at Washington Regionals with this team (be on the lookout for his report on Nugget Bridge). Originally we were only going to Washington but once the Nationals Stipends were announced we decided to fly to Utah to give us a better chance of earning a stipend.
Going into Regionals I didn’t know what I wanted to play. My goal for Washington and Utah was to get enough points to earn a travel award to Nationals and to get a Worlds invite without needing points from Nationals. Getting two top 16 finishes be good enough so I decided I needed a team that would be able to go X-1 in Swiss reliably.
This team started out as the Jolly Rocks team I used to win two Premiere Challenges in Victoria and Mark used to get top 8 in a Vancouver PC. I helped modify this team for Mark to use in the last PC in Vancouver where he made top 4. With another PC worth of experience and some advice from Randy Kwa we made the final adjustments to the team before Regionals.
This team only had two moves with imperfect accuracy, both of which had 90% accuracy. Most of the Pokemon on our team have high speed stats so we are at lower risk of getting flinched or receive a critical hit before we get the chance to attack. The team is also pretty bulky despite being very offensive. All of these factors made it easier to consistently win games throughout the tournaments.
A week before Washington Regionals Randy Kwa recommended we try out mixed Salamence with Hyper Voice. The idea behind using Hyper Voice is that it most Pokemon in the format are able to survive a Double-Edge with a small amount of HP remaining and Hyper Voice provides chip damage which sets up the KO for Double-Edge. Hyper Voice tripped up a lot of players I faced. If I used Double-Edge first players would think they could handle Salamence with Intimidate and Burn and when I used Hyper Voice first they wouldn’t expect Salamence to be able to pick up a OHKO with Double-Edge later.
For the third move I stuck with Earthquake. In hindsight I probably should’ve used Flamethrower so I’d have a way to OHKO Ferrothorn. Most of the Pokemon I would want to use Earthquake on aren’t threatening to this team anyways.
In Washington I had a sore throat and I didn’t do a lot of yelling. I was feeling better in Utah and I was yelling in nearly every game. I’m sure this was just a coincidence, and not me subconsciously avoiding forcing Salamence to yell at the top of its lungs when I could barely speak.
Mark was looking to replace Scarf Metagross on Jolly Rocks to something that was less weak to Sucker Punch and Trick Room, so I suggested Aegislash. We decided to try out Life Orb and Shadow Sneak instead of the standard Weakness Policy and Wide Guard. I haven’t been a fan of Weakness Policy since Oregon Regionals because it is easier to play around and Wide Guard isn’t that important on this team. Life Orb works in conjunction with Shadow Sneak because the combination of a boosted Shadow Ball and a boosted Shadow Sneak can KO so many Pokemon that are out of regular Aegislash’s range.
I usually run a fair amount of Special Defence on Aegislash, but because of Life Orb I wanted to maximize my damage output. The Speed IV is random because I had a Shiny Aegislash I wanted to use and I figured this way I’d never speed tie with other Aegislash and Sylveon. Aegislash was the MVP of the team and I didn’t leave it behind for a single game.
Since Metagross was taken off the team we were able to put a Choice Scarf on Politoed. I used to like bulky Politoed in theory as I figured it was important for Politoed to have as much survivability as possible. In practise I find Scarf Politoed to be the most effective set. Scarf Politoed can stand on its own in battle while support Politoed only exist to active rain.
Scald and Ice Beam were the only moves I used and I never wanted anything else. I chose Surf over Hydro Pump because I’m just never going to lock into Hydro Pump. 80% accuracy is so bad and its not like it even wins you the game very often. I’ve found that if I needed to lock into Hydro Pump to win I would need to hit 2-3 Hydro Pumps to win anyways. This team doesn’t have a lot of spread moves so when you get the chance to use Surf it is greatly appreciated. Rain Dance was there to slow down Charizard leads.
Ludicolo goes hand and hand with Politoed. In addition to being a general threat in rain Ludicolo also helps with some match-ups without needing rain. Ludicolo is one of the best counters to bulky Water types in the game. Ludicolo also helps shut down Trick Room leads with a faster Fake Out.
The whole VGC w/Hats crew were using Ludicolo for Regionals, and there was a big debate over what the optimal Ludicolo spread was. We wanted to hit an 11n-1 number for special attack, but 236 didn’t seem to accomplish anything special so we stuck with 156 special attack. 156 Speed brings Ludicolo up to 110 speed which aims to creep Rotom, Suicune and Togekiss. The main source of angst was whether or not we wanted to use more Defence over HP. Mark wanted to increase the odds of surviving Kangaskhan’s Return but I didn’t value that chance if it meant having less special bulk. I was going to invest 12 Special Defence in order to get an extra stat from Assault Vest, but Rapha showed me that increasing HP actually makes Ludicolo take special attacks better than investing in special defence would.
Thundurus is here to do all the things that make people hate facing Thundurus. Taunt is one of our team’s only ways to stop Trick Room, as well Tailwind and opposing Thunder Wave. Thunder Wave is the team’s only form of speed control, and combos well with Swagger and Rock Slide. Swagger frustrates special attacks and support Pokemon, powers up Terrakion and gives me a chance to steal games I had no business winning. There were two times where I swaggered a physical attacker and the game came down to whether or not they hurt themselves in confusion and I failed both times. Swagger showed its worth in my T4 match in Utah where my opponent had a bunch of bulky Pokemon with low damage output that I could Swagger and Thunder Wave without fear of retaliation.
We went with a Bold Thundurus so we could take hits from Kangaskhan more effectively. With Sitrus Berry we’re usually only 3HKO’d by special attacks. The downside of Bold Thundurus is that Charizard and Hydreigon can OHKO you with Overheat and Draco Meteor, but we weren’t especially worried about these two. This Thundurus reaches 137 speed. From what I’ve seen Thundurus either stop at 136 or go all in and give up more bulk than I was willing to. 137 speed will outrun the conservative Thundurus and the faster ones will be faster but they’re losing out on a lot of bulk in order to do so.
Terrakion is on the team primarily to deal with Kangaskhan and Thundurus. We’ve been considering changing Terrakion’s item to Focus Sash, but we decided Lum Berry was better for dealing with players who use status on Terrakion anyways and giving Thundurus the opportunity to Swagger Terrakion. We’ve also been looking at moves that could replace Quick Guard, but I decided that Quick Guard is the best move for this team. I only blocked one priority move with Quick Guard over the two tournaments, but there were several times where I guarantee the win with Quick Guard.
Due to the nature of this team and the teams I faced Terrakion was the least used Pokemon. Salamence and Aegislash come to almost every game, bringing Politoed or Ludicolo encourages the other to come along and then Terrakion still needs to compete with Thundurus. While Terrakion is the least used Pokemon it was greatly appreciated in Utah were I mostly faced Kangaskhan and Charizard teams.
With another second place finish and a top eight finish I’ve reached 460 CP which puts me in the top 16 for North America for Nationals Stipends and makes it likely that I’ll get my Worlds invite. This team had several great runs for us but I think it’s time to retire the team. Both of the teams we lost to in finals were tough match-ups for this team and I expect more teams of this calibre at Nationals.
- Mark: We build all of our teams together and I wouldn’t have done as well as I have this season without your influence.
- Randy: Randy was the first to use Double-Edge & Hyper Voice Salamence and convinced us to use it. Hyper Voice was fantastic and I couldn’t have gone as far as I did without it.
- Rapha: Thanks for showing me that more stats doesn’t make for the best Ludicolo spread.