Hello Hat Lovers!
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.
Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
EVs: 212 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 52 Spe
– Power-Up Punch
– Sucker Punch
– Fake Out
Many people use a faster Kangaskhan when they pair it with Azumarill, but I chose to go with the bulky variant. This allowed me to switch it in and out of the battlefield without having to worry about it taking too much damage. When I was testing the team prior to the regional, I found myself not using Low Kick often, so I switched to Power-Up Punch as a backup plan to power through the early rounds of swiss. The EV spread is the standard bulky one with a little extra speed to outrun most Rotom sets.
Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 196 HP / 252 Atk / 12 Def / 4 SpD / 44 Spe
– Aqua Jet
– Play Rough
– Belly Drum
Azumarill was also fairly standard. The EV spread is the one Alec Rubin used at the beginning of the year with some EVs shifted into speed to make sure it moves before any other Azumarill I might run into. I considered Knock Off over Play Rough, but my matchup with Salamence was already pretty shaky and I sometimes needed Azumarill to deal damage without setting up a Belly Drum, so I kept Play Rough.
Amoonguss @ Rocky Helmet
EVs: 188 HP / 164 Def / 156 SpD
– Sludge Bomb
– Rage Powder
The EV spread on Amoonguss is also from Alec Rubin’s team from February. I asked Rapha if he still liked his EV spread from Nationals and he said no so I went with this one. I ran Sludge Bomb over Giga Drain so I could hit most Grass and Fairy types for good damage as well as chip away at Thundurus in order to not be completely shut down by its Taunt. I became a huge fan of Sludge Bomb in the 2015 format as soon as I made the switch to it. Combining Regenerator with Kangaskhan’s bulk allowed me to switch back and forth between the two in order to get more Rage Powders and Fake Outs to help Azumarill sweep through teams.
Heatran @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 68 HP / 188 SpA / 252 Spe
– Heat Wave
– Earth Power
Heatran was possibly the most important member of the team because I had few ways to deal with opposing Steel types and the rest of the team couldn’t switch into Pixilate boosted Hyper Voice well. My favorite part of this set was that it could outspeed my own Kangaskhan and OHKO opposing Amoonguss with Overheat, which prevented them from redirecting any attacks from Kangaskhan. The HP investment allows it to survive any unboosted Earthquake from Landorus-T.
Landorus-Therian @ Assault Vest
EVs: 44 HP / 204 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Rock Slide
– Knock Off
I switched to an Assault Vest Landorus-T because I preferred the flexibility that a Choice Scarf couldn’t provide. The set is what Blake Hopper used to win the Texas Regional the week prior to Lancaster. As bad as this sounds, I’m not sure what the bulk part of the EV spread does, but I liked it while testing it at the last second and it didn’t disappoint during the regional. I didn’t have a single resistance or immunity to Ground aside from Landorus itself, so I’m glad I chose to not use a Choice item!
Gardevoir @ Gardevoirite
EVs: 204 HP / 20 Def / 124 SpA / 4 SpD / 156 Spe
– Hyper Voice
While testing for this regional I was conflicted with which mega I wanted to use. Kangaskhan was obviously the stronger choice, but I was more comfortable with using Gardevoir. One night I was thinking hard about which one I needed to bring when I realized that both options worked well with the rest of the Azumarill team I was testing. Conan Thompson used a team with Kangaskhan and Gardevoir back in May, so the idea was also already somewhat proven. I replaced Thundurus with Gardevoir because I felt that it was the least vital to the team. It was a little difficult adjusting to having two megas, but I think it ended up paying off a lot more during the Regional. The EV spread was made by Sam Schweitzer, and was piloted by Jake Muller and Ian McLaughlin at the Texas Regional and its premier challenge. It can survive a -1 Double-Edge from Jolly Kangaskhan or Salamence, outspeeds Smeargle, and is slightly above the 11n Special Attack stat that helps in various damage calculations against Kangaskhan. I actually never used Encore during the regional or the premier challenge that was held the night before, but I did end up using it in NPA and at a local premier challenge so I don’t regret having that option.
The team itself was incredibly standard with none of the EV spreads being anything unprecedented, but I thought the idea of double mega was relatively unique. One of my favorite aspects of the team was its ability to mitigate luck through the use of Fake Out, redirection, and priority attacks. Since I didn’t have any moves that could control speed, finding other ways around the genies was important when dealing with them. Coincidentally enough, Wolfe Glick ended up winning the same regional using 5 of the 6 Pokemon I had, with the 6th being Life Orb Thundurus, the Pokemon that I swapped out in favor of Gardevoir. Since I’m finishing this up so late, I won’t discuss my matches since I only remember a few details from each one now. I went 8-1 in swiss and lost to Paul Chua in top 8 on the tournament stream. I’m not satisfied with losing early in top cut again, but I was relieved to make it back into top cut after a rough stretch of tournaments. With the new format rolling around soon, my team isn’t as relevant or exciting anymore, but I think it does add another perspective to the “Kang/Azu” teams that dominated fall regionals.