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.
Groudon-Primal @ Red Orb
Ability: Desolate Land
EVs: 4 HP / 4 Def / 244 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Earth Power
I decided to go with special Groudon because I didn’t want to rely on the inaccurate Precipice Blades. Special Groudon also has Eruption, which is the strongest attack Primal Groudon has. Earth Power OHKOs non-bulky Groudon, something Precipice Blades can’t do. Flamethrower deals consistent damage and gives me a Fire STAB that isn’t reliant on HP. I don’t like that special Groudon can’t deal a lot of damage to Kyogre and Xerneas, but it was better than relying on an 85% accurate move. Groudon’s job is to deal with Pokemon that can resist Xerneas’s attacks. Fire and Ground have near-perfect coverage with Fairy, and Groudon can destroy the Fire, Poison and Steel types that resist Xerneas’s attacks.
Xerneas @ Power Herb
Ability: Fairy Aura
EVs: 4 HP / 12 Def / 236 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Dazzling Gleam
There isn’t much to say about Xerneas. Set up and win. Everything else on the team has something to help Xerneas’s job. I did find that I would go for attacks immediately during the PC, sometimes you need your Xerneas to trade with a Rayquaza rather than try to set up a sweep.
I can’t remember why I had the slight defensive investment I did, but I know there was a reason. It did save me a game where Xerneas survived a Brave Bird and Extreme Speed with 1 HP, which is more of a testament to the #FlawlessOrBust mentality than the EV spread.
Kangaskhan-Mega @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Low Kick
– Sucker Punch
– Fake Out
Kangaskhan was an obvious mega evolution for the team. Whenever your strategy relies on set up moves Kangaskhan helps out not only by using Fake Out but also be applying offensive pressure of its own. Even though Kangaskhan has been the best mega evolution in both the 2014 and 2015 formats I’ve never been able to get the hang of it.
Despite using Scrappy in testing I decided to use Inner Focus at the last moment since my Scrappy Kangaskhan didn’t have Double-Edge and I really didn’t feel like teaching it. I think Inner Focus is the better ability right now. Inner Focus won me game two of the finals when a Liepard used Fake Out on it instead of my Xerneas and I got to Fake Out their partner and Geomancy.
Salamence-Mega @ Salamencite
EVs: 4 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 244 SpA / 252 Spe
– Draco Meteor
– Hyper Voice
Same Salamence as in 2015, different EV spread. Double-Edge doesn’t pick up many OHKOs anymore so it isn’t worth the attack investment. Hyper Voice is nice for setting up KOs and weakening Groudon’s Eruption. While Kangaskhan can be hard to turn down because of Fake Out Salamence does have a lot going for it. Salamence brings Intimidate to the team, a rare ability this format. Salamence’s typing allows it to wall common Groudon sets and STAB Draco Meteor does a ton of damage to the Dragon type restricted Pokemon.
I didn’t bring Salamence once at the Premiere Challenge. I don’t think Salamence was a bad choice for the team but Kangaskhan was better against all of my opponents because of Fake Out. All but one of my opponents had Xerneas as well, which is the main problem Salamence faces this format. If you lead Salamence against a Xerneas + Fake Out lead you’ve granted them the Geomancy. The sad part is that all but one of my opponents also had Rayquaza, which Salamence is great against.
Talonflame @ Life Orb
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Brave Bird
– Quick Guard
Talonflame is an excellent utility Pokemon this format. With Groudon summoning harsh sunlight Talonflame can deal massive damage with Flare Blitz.
The Win Button Brave Bird continues to be a great source of damage with priority and can keep an opposing Xerneas from running through your team after setting up. Tailwind gives the team speed control, and because of Gale Wings you can use it even if your opponent has set up their own Tailwind and threatens Talonflame. Quick Guard is great for stopping opposing priority moves aimed at Xerneas. Against Prankster Encore you can set up a Geomancy and then Protect Xerneas while switching in Talonflame. If Talonflame survives it can block Encore next turn and if it faints you can bring in a Fake Out user and cover their Encore that way.
Smeargle @ Focus Sash
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 Spe
– Dark Void
– Follow Me
– Fake Out
– Spiky Shield
Originally this slot was a Togekiss (Its the start of a new format, of course my first team had a Togekiss). The plan was to use Follow Me & Geomancy and hope for the best. After reading Randy’s blog post on Nugget Bridge I decided to try out Smeargle. Like Randy said in his blog, Smeargle is best when you don’t rely on Dark Void. Fake Out and Follow Me are the moves Smeargle actually uses. The strength of Dark Void isn’t using it, but the fact that your opponent is forced to respect it.
I went with max defence instead of HP so I could survive Kangaskhan’s Fake Out and punish greedy players using Power-Up-Punch. Since this Smeargle doesn’t use Transform the HP really doesn’t matter. Moody will occasionally win you games with boosts in speed, evasion and accuracy.
The teams was about as standard as you can get right now, but it got me the win and that’s what matters. I’d have liked to use a spookier team but I didn’t have any better offers than this team.