Month: February 2016

Oregon Regional Preview

Third and final weekend of winter regionals! I swear this isn’t a dare for Florida to have problems with their tournament, but given time zones and whatnot, Oregon will be the regional that caps off an exciting month of our new format.

Difficulty Rating:  / 5
(Three extreme weathers the Pacific Northwest sees everyday)

Location: “Not Portland but at least it’s also not Salem” Clackamas, Oregon (Monarch Hotel & Conference Center – 12566 SE 93rd Ave)

Registration Time: 8 AM on Sunday, February 28th (There will be a Premier Challenge on Saturday, with registration starting at 10:30 AM)

Last Year’s Winner: Conan Thompson (conan)

Residing on what is unequivocally the best coast, Oregon is the home of Voodoo Donuts and will be visited by three former world champions and half of US Nationals top cut. Clackamas will also be invaded by a fleet of beaver loving moose riders known as “Canadians” who will go to battle against the more local competitors of Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, and one ambitious visitor from North Carolina.


Smeargle: Then and Now

Hey there Hat Lovers,

Today’s article is going to take a good hard look at the current upset about Smeargle. I have a hypothesis that I will state outright, here and now: Smeargle is not the problem, Xerneas is. I’m going to look back over the years, back to VGC 2010 and up to VGC 2016. We’ll look at the status of Dark Void bans, and frequency of Smeargle usage. I wasn’t playing in 2010, and 2011 didn’t have Smeargle in the format, so my experience with Smeargle starts around VGC 2012/2013.

My hypothesis is that Xerneas is the problem with this format, not Smeargle, and not Dark Void. How can I test this hypothesis? Well, luckily many previous formats did not ban Dark Void, including VGC 2010. So if Dark Void itself is a major issue, we’d expect Dark Void to have posed problems and annoyances in VGC 2010; again, VGC 2010 was fairly similar to this format, with highly notable exceptions like Sand (and Hail) being viable, and in-between games in a Best-of-3 you could switch your team’s items around. This meant you could put Lum Berry or even Chesto Berry where it needed to be for the matchup.

VGC through the years


“This is The Worst Format Ever” Said Everyone Every Year

Hello Hat Lovers!

Today I’m going to talk about the animosity some players have against the 2016 format. Every year it seems we hear players saying “this is the worst format ever” while using lines like “there’s no creativity” or “every team is the same”. What seems to separate this year from previous formats is that we’re hearing this not just from bad players, but we’ve been seeing some major criticism on the format from highly accomplished and respected players.


Fitting in: Crobat vs. Talonflame

Hey there Hat Lovers,

With the advent of VGC 2016 and Xerneas’ Geomancy shenanigans, both Crobat and Talonflame have risen in popularity to the point that they are now metagame mainstays. The two serve very similar purposes, often running both Tailwind and Quick Guard, and also potentially running Taunt (more common on Crobat than on Talonflame). However, each has a unique and useful ability, and also unique and useful tech moves to run. Today will be a quick summary and discussion of the merits of both, and what teams might find them more effective (spoiler alert, they’re both good).


I’ve played a lot more with Talonflame than with Crobat this generation, so just recognize my perspective might be a bit biased. Here is your cookie-cutter Talonflame set for clarity (taken from (more…)