Month: January 2016

Battle Spot Special Usage Stats – January 2016

Hey there Hat Lovers,

Today’s post is something special. This is VGC with Hats’ 100th post on the site. And for this 100th post, we’ll be reporting some usage statistics from the Battle Spot Special Ladder so far. Nuggetbridge user Ferretsroq has made some more detailed Battle Spot information available, and being the stats junkie that I am, how could I not take a look?

The data are currently not super digestable and while I could look through and pull out Top 20 used moves etc… I think the Top 10 Items, Moves, Abilities, and Natures are fine to get a sense of most Pokemon’s preferences. These data are presented in a far more digestable fashion directly on the Pokemon website’s Battle Spot usage page, so I’d advise using the following list and that page together to get a more complete sense of the metagame.

What I’ll be presenting for everyone today is a list of the most used Pokemon in the format, extending down to Pokemon that appear on more than 1% of teams. These data come from ~39,000 teams entering games on Battlespot and so 1% usage means the Pokemon was used a minimum of ~390 times. These data also come only from Pokemon used in a battle, and not from Pokemon that were simply on a team but never chosen (awaiting 100% confirmation). There were 37 Pokemon used on >1% of teams in this dataset, 18 Pokemon used on >5% of teams, and 11 Pokemon used on >10% of teams.

So without further ado, here are the Top Pokemon used on Battlespot Special in January 2016: (more…)


Ride the Fairy to Victory – 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place report

Hey there Hat Lovers,

This past weekend Max, Mark, and a couple friends from UVic attended the back-to-back Premier Challenges in Vancouver January 23rd-24th. Thanks a ton to Rapha and his family for giving all of us a place to sleep on Saturday night!

Both Max and Mark played Max’s team from the Victoria Premier Challenge for day 1. There were 26 Masters for five rounds of swiss and a Top 8 cut, where Mark made the Top 4 (technically 3rd, re: title) before being ousted by Hongyu; Hongyu won his 6th Premier Challenge of the season on Saturday. Congrats Hongyu! Rapha also made Top 8. For day 2, as a tech to beat some of the Trick Room teams that had dominated on day 1, Max had the idea to change Smeargle to a slow Smeargle that could under-speed Cresselia in Trick Room, giving us the ability to just lead Smeargle and Dark Void on turn 2 after they’d set up Trick Room. This was the Smeargle spread we used:


Epic Games & More 1st Place Premiere Challenge Report

Hello Hat Lovers!

I won the first BC Premiere Challenge of 2016. This was the first VGC 2016 tournament in BC so I didn’t know what to expect people to be playing. I decided to go with a team of Groudon, Xerneas, Kangaskhan, Salamence, Talonflame and Smeargle. The team is very strong and I’ve been playing with it for the last month so I figured I’d get a good finish from it.


Player Responsibility: What I’ve Learned Playing Competitive Pokemon

Hey there Hat Lovers,

Today’s topic is something that’s rattled around in my head for a long time now. I’ve been playing Pokemon competitively since 2011, first in the Trading Card Game and then in the Video Game. While I’d played sports as a kid, most of them were team sports. As such, I hadn’t competed in competitions amongst individuals very much, and certainly not at a competitive level. Moreover, sports and “E-sports” are two very different things, and even amongst the E-sports, Pokemon is a totally different beast.

I think my time playing the TCG has also given me a pretty unique perspective on the nature of competitive Pokemon, and becoming a Tournament Organizer developed that perspective even further. As such, I have a very firm opinion on the nature of individual-based competitions, particularly for games of logic and reason. These opinions have been formed from both a player’s perspective, and from an organizer’s perspective as an outsider looking in. Today, I’ll reflect on what I’ve learned about the nature of Pokemon, tournament play, attitude, sportsmanship, and player-awareness.


Player Flaws and the Anatomy of Poor Results

Hello hat lovers!

This topic will be more rambly than usual, and some aspects of it will be less Pokemon specific. I wanted to highlight some flaws I thought people had when it came to approaching the game. I had meant to write this a lot sooner but didn’t quite know how to structure the post, so the tangents I go off of will be informal, but I figured it was the best way I could simply spew out my thoughts on this kind of topic.

Also, all of the examples here will be related to the VGC 2015 format and not 2016, because I’m not overly familiar with the new format just yet. 2015 is also the more developed meta game which makes it easier for me to determine what is actually effective instead of more creative ideas people have but have fairly untested success.


Early VGC 2016 Metagame Primer

Hello Hat Lovers!

Before we officially start the 2016 format I’m going to look at some of the top Pokemon in the early VGC 2016 metagame. This is meant to be a guide for anyone unfamiliar with the format to help bring them up to speed with the most common threats in the metagame.

Restricted Pokemon:

The biggest part about figuring out the format so far is understanding how the restricted Pokemon interact with it. We only get two restricted Pokemon per team so a big aspect of team-building will be figuring out what combinations of restricted Pokemon are good.

I think almost all of the restricted Pokemon are usable, but since we only get to use two per team the most powerful ones will make it harder to justify using the rest. Here are the four restricted Pokemon that are currently the most used and will likely stay at the top throughout the season: