Hello hat lovers!
I recently won back to back PCs in Victoria, putting my best finish limit at 1/1/1/1/1/16E. I used virtually the same team as the one in this article so this post will be shorter than usual. I’ll detail some of the slight changes I made regarding the team, and how those changes affect certain match ups.
Also, big thanks to Max once again for letting me and Hao stay at his place for the weekend!
The most expendable member of the team was Smeargle, so I looked to replace that slot to improve some match ups. In practice I’ve realized that Mawile fixes a lot of issues that this team has versus Yveltal, Palkia, Giratina, and Kyurem. However, with Victoria having a small player base with players that are fairly new, I didn’t expect to see any of those Pokemon, so I instead chose to use Kangaskhan to further improve my match up versus Big 6. I expected Max and Hao to use the team so I wanted to give myself the best chance possible to win against two good players.
Kangaskhan gives me a great match up versus Big 6 because it is the best user of Fake Out in the format, and along with Inner Focus, I can guarantee that Bronzong will be able to set up Trick Room regardless of what my opponent will lead with. Big 6 struggles to handle double Primals under Trick Room, and I also used Safeguard Bronzong and Ice Punch Kangaskhan to cover any sort of weaknesses I had versus the archetype. Safeguard was to counteract slow Smeargle, usually a decent Trick Room counter, and Ice Punch was used to potentially OHKO Salemence, the most threatening Big 6 member to this team. The way I usually try to beat Big 6 starts with Kangaskhan + Bronzong early game and then Bronzong + a primal, and neither of those pairings allow me to KO Salamence in one turn, save for Kyogre’s Ice Beam. Not using Water Spout, however, really diminishes the amount of damage Kyogre can inflict under Trick Room. Aqua Tail on Kangaskhan would have also been a strong choice as a counter measure to Big 6, but I felt that Salamence was a bigger annoyance to stalling out Trick Room turns than Groudon.
Round 1, Ben McDow (2-0W):
Round 2, Max Douglas (2-1W):
Round 3, Evan Wilmot (2-0W):
Round 4, Yuanhao Li (0-0W):
Top 4, Evan Wilmot (2-0W):
Finals, Yuanhao Li (2-0W):
Best of three swiss. I won round 1 in spite of a tough match up versus Palkia. In round 2 I played Max who was unexpectedly not using Big 6 like he has for much of the year, though it makes sense given that he knew I use Bronzong. I lost game 1 fairly convincingly but manage to win two very close games afterwards. I have a very tough match up versus Yveltal but was helped by the fact that his Groudon was slower than both my Primals. I won round 3 due to Thundurus having a great match up, and round 4 was never played because Hao and I were guaranteed cut at 3-0 and we decided not to reveal any team information.
Evan ended up making cut instead of Max, and while I won 2-0, those two games were very close. Unlike in swiss, Evan brought Mental Herb Cresselia and I had to make some reads because his Primals would move first under Trick Room. There was a turn in game 2 where he tried to Skill Swap my Salamence, however, I switched it out to Groudon, and he gave it Levitate. My Groudon never ended up doing anything with the ability, but Evan had to spend an extra turn Skill Swapping again, which helped me stall out Trick Room. I then won 2-0 in finals due in large part to the team match up.
I replaced Kangaskhan for Mawile because several people on the previous day used Yveltal. Of the six other players I could have played (one person dropped), five of them had Yveltal, so I only ended up bringing Salamence to one game. I also used Hidden Power Water on Thundurus unlike the day before because with Mawile, I need more options versus Groudon, and Bronzong also had Gravity over Safeguard. I didn’t expect anyone to use Big 6 on Sunday so I was less worried about having a specific tech against it.
Needless to say with the puny attendance, this tournament was very, very silly. You basically couldn’t lose rounds 1 and 2 otherwise your resistance wouldn’t be good enough to reach a top cut of two. However, for me, making top cut meant that I was guaranteed CP. This tournament was also only BO1.
Round 1, Ben McDow (W):
Round 2, Yuanhao Li (W):
Round 3, Alex Cheung (W):
Finals, Alex Cheung (2-0W):
I played Ben again in round 1, and I was given a scare when his Groudon survived an HP Water in rain and then another HP Water without weather. However, he mistakenly used a very sad Eruption with very little HP remaining and failed to KO Mawile because of it. In round 2 I played Hao, who was using a less serious team this time. There was a lot of RNG involved with me needing to hit two attacks (one of which was
Sword of the Cliff Precipice Blades) through Rock Slide, and also his Lickilicky got a double accuracy drop with Muddy Water on my Groudon and Thundurus, which made Kyogre very threatening. I very luckily was able to land my attacks when I needed to and won. Round 3 and the finals were against Alex and I finished off consecutive PC wins with some fairly uneventful games.
9 and 8 player tournaments are a big part of the complaints people have about the CP system, however, with many of the Victoria player base being new and inexperienced in competitive Pokemon, I just can’t agree with the notion that more events is a bad thing for the circuit. I also don’t care much for prestige and would rather earn CP in any way possible. I’m now at five PC wins for the season, and will look to win one more as we head closer to the last set of regionals and then nationals.