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:
Smeargle @ Focus Sash
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def
IVs: 0 Spe
– Dark Void
– Follow Me
– Fake Out
– Spiky Shield
If we had more time we’d get a Smeargle that hit 84 speed so we could under-speed base 90s in Trick Room and still out speed Kangaskhan in Tailwind. Unfortunately we decided to make this change on the morning of the tournament, which is why we’re missing 4 EVs.
Mark: I really liked this change for the local metagame, and I felt that the slow Smeargle was as good or better in most of my matches. I’m not sure if I’d take it to say… Regionals. But for the spread of teams in BC, it gave me additional options to pilot the Trick Room matchup.
Max: While I faced a lot of Trick Room teams slow Smeargle never came into play for me. Having slow Smeargle reduced the amount of options my opponents had, but without knowing it my opponents played around it. There was one game in swiss where if I had Jolly Smeargle I could set up Tailwind and then Smeargle could’ve gone for Dark Void to try and win the game, but because I had slow Smeargle I didn’t have the option. I don’t regret using slow Smeargle, the logic behind it was solid even if it never came up.
The result of day 2? We had 24 Masters for another five rounds of swiss and Top 8 cut. And… for the first time ever Max and Mark faced off in Top Cut… in the finals. We saved our Finals battle videos and thought we would upload them to post on VGC with Hats for everyone who couldn’t watch. Let’s just say that the exact mirror match doesn’t make for smooth sailing. You can find the finals video below!
Finals Videos (from Max’s perspective)
Game 1: VDQW-WWWW-WW3E-VUWJ
Game 2: HTZG-WWWW-WW3E-VUXN
Game 3: 5R5W-WWWW-WW3E-VU2B
Smeargle & Dark Void
So far Smeargle has been on the winning team in each of the three BC Premier Challenges; though to be fair Max has won two of them using the same team. But the Top Cut of each tournament has also been made up largely out of teams using P-Groudon and Smeargle, with some interesting exceptions here and there. Notably, Jason (Arti on Nuggetbridge) made the Finals of Day 1 without Smeargle, using a Sableye team; though I suppose he still had P-Groudon/Xerneas.
This weekend was a big success for the two of us. Max brought home another first for his BFL and Mark took a 2nd and T4 in his first two tournaments of the season. The metagame still has a ways to develop before Oregon Regionals in late February, so we’ll have to see what team(s) we take to the event.