I’m Demitri, or as I go by online, kingdjk. For the most part, I had a successful season last year, and I really only used one team with slight variations for the entirety of VGC ’15 (barring Worlds, where I made a pretty large change). I really love the team, and it has results behind it, so I thought a season report about it would be fun for me to write, and interesting for you guys to read. With the format finally coming to an end, I’d really like to share my experiences with it and my thoughts on the format. I finished in top 8 at Oregon Regionals, top 16 at Nationals, and went 3-3 at day one of Worlds.
Today I’ll be talking a bit about some of the new kids on the block. VGC 2016 has a very different dynamic from previous formats in how important it is to control weather, and how important it is to prevent setup sweeps. This article will go over these Pokemon in detail and talk about a few gems that may be hiding in the rough (or are just bad… I dunno). Not all of these Pokemon actually have the Prankster ability, but they’re Pranksters in spirit. I’ll also talk a bit about how Pokemon like Thundurus can adapt to the new heavy-hitting format.
While I never played seriously until about 2014-on, I’ve been paying attention to the game since 2011, and so I’ve seen Pranksters succeed in every format since their introduction. Hopefully that experience will be good for something (like an article)! I’ll also include their usage stats from the Generation Showdown on 3ds.pokemon-gl.com.
As I’m sure you’ve seen the VGC 2016 ruleset has been announced. The rules are the same as last year except now we get to use two of the following on our team: Mewtwo, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde.
This format is effectively VGC 2010 on steroids, what with Primals, Mega evolutions, and a greater diversity of Legendaries and powerful Pokemon. Here are some first impressions from the VGC w/Hats crew: (more…)
For those who may not know me, my name is Justin Burns and go by Spurrific online. I’ve been playing VGC since the fall of 2014 where I placed in the top 8 at the first regional I attended. For the rest of the 2015 season I never advanced that far in a big tournament, but I earned enough decent results to receive an invite to the World Championships in Boston, where Max added me to the VGC with Hats crew.
Following a 1-5 performance in Day 1 of the World Championships, I spent most of September trying to find a strong team I could play comfortably with. For a few weeks I was using Mega Gardevoir, but when October rolled around I had switched to trying out Kangaskhan.
The team was very standard, but it originally had some interesting quirks, such as Explosion Choice Band Landorus and Life Orb Thundurus. Although I dislike Choice Scarf Landorus, I switched my set to that because I felt like I was lacking in speed and needed a way to deal with faster threats I might see at regionals such as Weavile or Terrakion. The team was starting to win at a greater frequency, but I still felt like something was missing. I was keeping my options open during the week leading up to the Lancaster Regional, but ultimately I decided that I needed to take this team if I wanted to do well. After testing quite a bit and making some changes, here is what I came up with.
If you are active on Twitter you may know of the recent arguments that have arisen regarding Dark Void, unquestionably everyone’s favorite aspect of VGC. If not, to recap, some people have called for the move to be banned whereas people on the other side of the issue see the clamoring as nothing other than a symptom of a lazy team builder.
On some level this is true, but I’m really not a fan of the cherry picked targeting towards the poorly thought out arguments made by a fraction of people that happen to share a common opinion, and using that as a way to dismiss the idea. Unfortunately with a platform like Twitter, the people who are best heard aren’t those with the most compelling arguments, but rather who shouts the loudest, which is unfortunate because there are valid reasons as to why VGC would benefit from a banning of Dark Void.
This is a problem: discussions should be about whether or not Dark Void is beneficial for the game, not whether or not those who want a change from the status quo should be labelled as idiots or if they’re actually worth listening to. There’s responsibility on both sides to keep this civil and actually informative, but it often devolves into wah-wah-wah on one hand and shaming on the other, and the targeting of the people on the extremes only escalates the problem.
I’m going to do my best here not to come across as being whiny, entitled, or misinformed about how to approach problems posed during team building. Admittedly, I have also not played the VGC 2016 format yet, and my opinion on Dark Void will be on how it affects the game as a whole, not how it pertains to this rule set specifically.
I would be in favor of a Dark Void ban – Just because I share an opinion with several of the whiny people you may have seen on Twitter it doesn’t mean I represent or advocate that approach to an issue. Dark Void has issues that extend beyond just the problems with a player, and I’ll do my best quell some anti-ban arguments.
Pokemon.com just put up the 2016 Worlds information! I wrote about the new Play! Pokemon format and what we might expect a Worlds CP bar to be set at back when the new Championship Points structure was announced. Well, we now know that bar, and holy moly is it low. Way lower than I expected, even granting the possibility that they’d lower it significantly. The 2016 World Championships CP bar for the Masters division is 350 CP. Given how accessible CP are now, with the introduction of Midseason Showdowns, and an increase in the CP payout, it’s incredible that they’ve lowered the bar this much. I’ll be talking about the US and Canada for the rest of the article, but the details for other regions can be found in that Pokemon.com link.
This article is literally just a collection of images from Bulbapedia to better visualize Pokemon that have been added to the format. If you’re like me, you’re not at all used to using Legendaries, and you have little idea of what some of their competitive niches are (especially for Doubles). So hopefully this wall of sprites can help you team-build by reminding you what is in the format, and what you’ll have to watch out for. The idea for this post comes from our VGC cube draft deck.
For some great insight into these new legendaries check out this Pokemon.com post announcing the new ruleset, and going over some of the strengths and weaknesses of these legendaries.
This post will be a work in progress and I’ll update this randomly whenever I’m team-building and trying to prepare for changes in the format. I’ll be adding relevant Mega evolutions and top Pokemon as they’re brought up in conversation. With these legendaries roaming about, I’d imagine some viable Pokemon will be hoisted into the limelight as great checks/counters to the centralizing power of the new legendary-based teams.