Follow Me on a Trip to the Island! – Double Top Cut Report

Howdy hat lovers!

I recently visited Victoria for the last two BC Premier Challenges of the season to pick any CP that I can. I chose not to use my Metagross team because I had honestly gotten bored with it, so instead, my friend OneTrueKing gave me the team he used to reach top 3 in the world on BattleSpot. I thought the team was straight forward enough that I could learn quickly on how to use it.

I went to Victoria with Hao (finished top 8 in Seattle Regional) and simply getting to the ferry was an adventure: somehow, we managed to miss the second bus to the ferry, which should have been impossible because they were supposed to be synced in order for passengers to transfer. Nonetheless, we made it, but needed to call a cab for the last stretch of the ride to the ferry terminal. Also, big thanks to Max for letting us stay at his place for the weekend! This was Hao’s first time in Victoria and it was nice to see the islanders once again.

The Team

Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Return
– Power Up Punch
– Sucker Punch
– Protect

Kangaskhan is a really bland Pokemon, and practising with this team during the week was honestly the first time I’ve used Kangaskhan in a really long time. Given the nature of the team, Protect was preferred because it gives Kangaskhan an easier time to sweep after it sets up with Power Up Punch. I used Adamant to hit as hard as possible and Scrappy wasn’t necessary because I didn’t use Fake Out. I’m generally of the opinion that a 252/252 EV spread isn’t optimal for Kangaskhan, as plenty of attacks (like Scarf Landorus-T’s Superpower) are damage rolls on it, but many of these attacks were moot given that I had Friend Guard and Intimidate. Instead, I chose not to mess around with the spread and kept things simple.

Clefairy @ Eviolite
Ability: Friend Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 236 Def / 12 SAtk / 4 SDef / 4 Spd
Bold Nature
– Moonblast
– Follow Me
– Helping Hand
– Protect

Togekiss is my favorite Fairy redirector, but Clefairy itself is an incredible Pokemon because it owns one of the best abilities in the game. It complements Kangaskhan very well, as Clefairy can redirect Fighting-type attacks from Pokemon like Terrakion, and in general, Friend Guard would turn attacks that would normally KO into things that my Pokemon could tank. The EV spread allows Clefairy to survive an Iron Head from LO Bisharp and also OHKO Hydreigon. I didn’t like Moonblast at all when I used Clefairy and instead would have used Icy Wind in hindsight. The Pokemon that Moonblast would do any respectable damage to are also incredibly prone to Follow Me, thus limiting its usefulness. Overall, though, Clefairy proved its worth during the weekend, and there’s a reason why it’s risen in popularity.

Landorus-T @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 12 HP / 212 Atk / 92 Def / 4 SDef / 188 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Earthquake
– Rock Slide
– U-Turn
– Superpower

I’m generally a bigger fan of Jolly Choice Band Landorus as opposed to Choice Scarf, but OneTrueKing told me he wanted to try Choice Scarf in order to outspeed Salamence, and I just sorta followed the idea. I still greatly prefer Choice Band, but Scarf has great synergy with Thunder Wave and Swagger, and it gave me an easier time vs TerraCott, of which I saw twice that weekend. There’s not much to say about Landorus: The moveset is incredibly standard, and the EV spread allows me to survive a +1 Sucker Punch from LO Bisharp and outspeed Choice Scarf Politoed. The rest I just dumped into attack to maximize damage output.

Thundurus-I @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Prankster
Bold Nature
IVs: 30 Def
– Thunderbolt
– Thunder Wave
– Swagger
– Protect

Protect is really uncommon for Thundurus, but I like using it because most people would be caught off guard by it, and I honestly don’t think Thundurus truly needs anything beyond Thunderbolt and Thunder Wave. Even on a team without a good, immediate solution to opposing Landorus-T, I don’t like Hidden Power Ice very much because I would never find opportunities to use it, and even then, I risked getting bageled (“to flinch”). Taunt was a move I found to be a luxury and not a necessity much of the time, so I used Swagger as my fourth move. As unreliable the move may seem in theory, it’s incredible at how freely I can use it in so many situations, and when used in conjunction with Rock Slide and Thunder Wave, I can either turn a bad situation into a good one, or a good situation into an insurmountable advantage. As evident with my Rain Metagross team that features many flinching moves, I like to use passive effects to play the odds, and Swagger is a lot better than a 45% success rate may suggest. I had a Defense IV of 30 on this Thundurus even when I don’t use HP Ice because I couldn’t get a 5IV one in time for the weekend. Also, I’m purposely leaving out the EV spread, one because I don’t remember it exactly and two because I honestly don’t think the spread is any good. All I remember from it was that it allowed for Terrakion’s Rock Slide to be a 3HKO (not a very useful baseline when I have Intimidate and Friend Guard), heavily speed creep other Thundurus (but was still slower than Smeargle), and the rest I threw into special bulk.

Hydreigon @ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Modest Nature
– Draco Meteor
– Dark Pulse
– Flamethrower
– Earth Power

My least used Pokemon during the weekend, and a Pokemon that I was very close to replacing with Smeargle. Hydreigon was mostly here to round out the Steel-Fairy-Dragon core, but this honestly wasn’t very important given how the team relied on Kangaskhan to sweep, rather than having Pokemon complement each other with their typings.

Heatran @ Life Orb
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
– Heat Wave
– Overheat
– Earth Power
– Protect

Like Hydreigon, Heatran wasn’t a Pokemon I brought very often, but it did quite well when I did. Life Orb continues to be my favorite item on Heatran, as it gives it a ton of offensive power, and I honestly didn’t notice its bulk to be hampered in any way. Most Pokemon that beat Heatran will flat out OHKO it regardless of how much bulk it’s trained to have, and having Life Orb allows Heatran to be able to dispatch of Pokemon like Sylveon quicker. I used Timid to at least speed tie with other Heatran and also outspeed Smeargle, a notable threat in the Victoria metagame.

Saturday PC

I went 5-0 in swiss, but the powers that be is funny in that it cares not for seeding once top cut begins. Despite having the best performance in swiss, I drew Rushan Shekar (Firestorm) in top 8, the only person other than myself who needed CP from that weekend. I got outplayed pretty badly and lost the set handily in two games.

Sunday PC

This time I went 4-1 in swiss, but still made top cut as the 4th seed. I lost in game 1 of top 8 because I made less than perfect plays and allowed for Scarf-Terrakion-things to beat me. In game 2, I KOed my opponent’s Smeargle on turn 1 with a Power Up Punch, and from there, Kangaskhan did what Kangaskhan normally does when it gets a free boost. Game 3 was a fairly eventful game: I take an early advantage as I avoided Terrakion’s flinching prowess and Whimsicott’s Prankster Grass Whistle and take a big advantage vs Doublade and Mega Gardevoir, while I had Heatran and Clefairy out with Kangaskhan in the back. From here I proceed to get outplayed pretty heavily and almost blew the game. I foolishly kept playing into my opponent’s Ally Switch and Wide Guard shenanigans, but I had an easy win condition, to be honest. Gardevoir was at almost no HP after it took an Overheat, and all I had to do was continue using Follow Me and target Gardevoir with an Earth Power. If Gardevoir Ally Switches it means it’s not attacking, and if it does attack, it’ll go down to an Earth Power, then Heatran can clean up the game vs Doublade. Instead what happened was Heatran survived Doublade’s Shadow Sneak with 1 HP remaining and was surprisingly able to OHKO it in return at -2. From there, Kangaskhan finishes off Gardevoir, as I move on in the tournament.

In top 4 I was paired with Hongyu, the fourth time I would play him in top cut this season. Despite having never dropped a set to Hongyu before, I knew I still needed to play this set as well as I possibly can in order to receive any CP from this weekend (I had already filled out my best finish limit and needed to make the finals in order to improve upon it). In game 1, I pick up a swift KO on his Terrakion as he tried to use Beat Up with Whimsicott. I kept insisting to Hongyu throughout the day that my Landorus was holding Choice Band, and I’ve let him know in the past that Choice Band is my favorite item on Landorus, so he definitely wasn’t expecting his Terrakion to go down so quickly. However, I overextended to stop the TerraCott combo, and because I was locked in Superpower, Charizard proceeded to launch repeated Heat Waves and I lose the game. In game 2 Friend Guard really showed its power as my near bulkless Kangaskhan took less than 50% from +4 Terrakion’s Rock Slide as I snuck in a Helping Hand boosted Power Up Punch vs Terrakion, knocking it down to almost no HP. From here +2 Kangaskhan and Scarf Landorus won me the game. Game 3, however, was a game I really wish I could have taken back. Hongyu led Mega Gengar and Whimsicott, a combo that exerts very little offensive pressure and I had plenty of options to take this game. I should have set myself up to have Landorus-T + Hydreigon, as Whimsicott does nothing vs this duo and I can barrel down on Gengar. Instead, I had Clefairy + Hydreigon out, which wasn’t a bad duo to have by any means but I didn’t have as many options as I would have had I had Landorus on the field instead. Hongyu switched his Gengar out to Terrakion as I Dark Pulse into it, giving it a boost because of Justified as he brings his Terrakion up to +5 attack with Beat Up. I very nearly predicted this switch because Gengar was doing little vs Clefairy + Hydreigon, and Hongyu himself admitted that going for Beat Up made little sense (he forgot that I could easily stop that play with Follow Me). Still, though, I should have used Draco Meteor in that slot instead of Dark Pulse, as it’ll KO (or at least heavily damage) anything he had. I proceed to get swept by a +6 Terrakion and fail to pick up badly needed CP from this weekend. Also, Rushan won* this tournament, his fourth BC PC win in a row, as he now sits at a sparkly 200 CP from PCs. Wesley also earned a much deserved invite to the BC invitational the previous day.

Despite heavily regretting my play in game 3 of top 4, overall, I’m still happy with how I played these two days. Maybe it’s a testament to how you can freely use standard Pokemon in a smaller field, but Kangaskhan showed this weekend why it’s not a Pokemon I enjoy using. It can get very brain dead once you pick up boosts with Power Up Punch, especially against newer players, but its exploitable coverage is one that can be beaten by more experienced opponents. I did think this team that I was given was quite good, but it’s not something I would use again, as I now look ahead to team building for the BC Invitational and Nationals.

– rapha

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