Hello Hat Lovers!
The VGC w/Hats crew did well for themselves at the Vancouver Midseason Showdown. Kelvin, Rapha and I all used the dual primals archetype and got 1st, 2nd and 7th respectively. Rapha also won the Premiere Challenge the day after.
Due to the low CP bar this year I haven’t been trying very hard to develop new teams or ideas. I’ve been playing big six since late December and figured that if I played well the team would carry me to worlds with ease. This had been working out reasonably well so far but the dual primal team that was developing countered the team and was a tough match-up.
Knowing that dual primals was going to be popular at the MSS, I couldn’t justify playing “The Team”. I didn’t have anything else I wanted to play so I decided to use double primals myself. I played a team like this in the last IC so I was somewhat familiar with it, but I was still inexperienced with this team for the level of tournament I was entering.
I’ll be withholding my EV spreads for this team. The speed stats for this team are important and there is a good chance I’ll be using some of these at Washington Regionals.
Groudon-Primal @ Red Orb
Ability: Desolate Land
– Precipice Blades
– Fire Punch
– Rock Tomb
I’ve never used a team without Groudon this season. For most of the format I’d been using special Groudon for its reliable accuracy, despite knowing that it isn’t as strong against some of the biggest threats in the metagame. At the last MSS I made the switch to physical Groudon and while it has to rely on Precipice Blades I recognize that it is much stronger.
Precipice Blades and Fire Punch are almost mandatory on physical Groudon, but the last move is pretty open for preference. I’m of the opinion that Groudon needs a Rock move to hit Flying types regardless of a potential Kyogre switch in. I’ve been a big fan of Rock Tomb as another form of speed control. Rock Slide and Stone Edge can present their own win conditions, but the win conditions Rock Tomb brings are more reliable.
Kyogre-Primal @ Blue Orb
Ability: Primordial Sea
IVs: 0 Atk
– Water Spout
– Ice Beam
I’ve never used Kyogre in a tournament before this weekend. I’ve played around with Kyogre on teams using Rayquaza or Xerneas early on in the format but I haven’t liked either. Kyogre is a pretty straightforward Pokemon to use so this wasn’t an issue.
Unlike Groudon, Kyogre doesn’t have to rely on inaccurate moves. Water Spout has the highest potential damage output of all of Kyogre’s moves and is devastating if you can keep Kyogre healthy and give it the speed advantage. Scald is the best option for a secondary Water move IMO. I really don’t dealing with Origin Pulse’s accuracy and Scald plays around Wide Guard. Thunder is an option for beating other Kyogre but it would leave our Kyogre helpless in the sun.
Salamence-Mega @ Salamencite
– Hyper Voice
You don’t have a winning team until you have Salamence. This Salamence is the same one I’ve been using all season, except now I have Tailwind instead of Draco Meteor (and yes, I did actually use Tailwind this time). Having the speed advantage is very important for this team so I wanted as many options as I could. This is especially true for Kyogre, which can take full advantage of Water Spout when moving first.
Kangaskhan-Mega @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Inner Focus
– Ice Punch
– Low Kick
– Fake Out
While Kelvin and Rapha opted to use Mawile instead, Kangaskhan was more familiar to me and gives me more options against Smeargle. On this team Return was used over Double-Edge because I was Adamant and wanted to preserve Kangaskhan’s health. I had Ice Punch for Salamence, because any opponent that could’ve won the tournament had Salamence on their team. Low Kick was for Jolly Kangaskhan that didn’t invest in bulk. The lack of Sucker Punch never caused any problems for me, but I wouldn’t mind having it back. Because I wasn’t max speed I chose Inner Focus so I could ensure a Fake Out if need be.
I’d like to explore Mawile as an option on the team in the future, its typing compliments Salamence well and it is fantastic against Yveltal which is tough for this team to deal with. Another Pokemon that makes Mawile seem appealing is Weavile. I hate facing Weavile as you never know if your opponent is the type to go for a safe Fake Out or try and get a free KO with Feint.
Thundurus @ Sitrus Berry
IVs: 0 Atk
– Thunder Wave
Like Rapha said before, Thundurus was very underrated early in the format. Thundurus matches up well against many of the top Pokemon, like Salamence, Kyogre and even Groudon depending on the set. Thundurus also patches up some problematic Pokemon with Thunder Wave and Taunt. Thunder Wave was very important when not using Trick Room to keep the speed advantage in my favour and Taunt shuts down Pokemon like Smeargle that I’d rather not deal with.
Rapha and Kelvin had Hidden Power Water instead of Protect so that they could KO opposing Groudon (provided they aren’t heavily invested in bulk). Rapha told me that Protect was better in general and that they only used HP Water because they had Mawile on their team and needed more protection against Groudon. I’ve only played with Protect Thundurus this season and try to make a point of having Protect on at least four of my Pokemon so I took his advice. Protect is nice for Pokemon like Kangaskhan, but HP Water completely flips the table in the Thundurus VS Groudon scenario.
Bronzong @ Lum Berry
IVs: 0 Spe
– Gyro Ball
– Skill Swap
– Trick Room
Bronzong owes it existence to Xerneas and Smeargle. Bronzong isn’t nearly as bulky as Cresselia, though it does have some useful resistances. Bronzong’s saving grace is that it can threaten Xerneas while Cresselia is a sitting duck.
Using Safeguard over Gravity on Bronzong is a sign of how big of a problem Smeargle is in this format and how it forces teams to be weaker in order to stop it. In the end we did what good players are supposed to do: adapt and not just let Dark Void decide our fate.
Round 1 VS Kelvin Koon (lyingliepard)
Round 2 VS David Kappele
Round 3 VS Hongyu Zhu (fivepointstars)
Round 4 VS Bram
Round 5 VS Randy Kwa (R Inanimate)
Top 8 VS Jordan Erickson (JLeoL)
Top 4 VS Hongyu Zhu (fivepointstars)
Finals VS Kelvin Koon (lyingliepard)
Kelvin and Rapha’s Version
Going into the Midseason Showdown, we had decided to stick with the team we felt most comfortable with while making adjustments necessary to handle Pokemon that began seeing popular usage (such as Yveltal and double primals). Since Max’s team was quite similar in composition, we’ll be discussing the differences and match-ups specific to our version.
Groudon-Primal: Rock Tomb -> Rock Slide
Rock Tomb has many interesting applications, primarily as a nifty form of speed control, bypassing Wide Guard, and being more accurate than Rock Slide. Generally, I would consider Rock Tomb to be the superior choice for the aforementioned reasons. However, the value of spread moves made Rock Slide hard to pass up, especially considering the finite number of Tailwind and Trick Room turns. With the team already packed in the speed control department, maximizing damage output was more valuable.
Thundurus: Protect -> Hidden Power Water
As mentioned earlier by Max, having Mawile on the team meant that Hidden Power Water would be greatly appreciated. In particular, having Hidden Power Water helped immensely in the Yveltal Groudon matchup in practice (and in Top 4). Being able to check Groudon for Mawile to come in safely often put my opponent in awkward situations. Furthermore, this change improved the primals mirror, as Thundurus would be able to exert offensive pressure to both targets. However, the most mileage with Hidden Power Water was found in how the opponent’s had to respect the option. Against opponents who knew of the tech, they would be more inclined to over-extend by catching on Kyogre switching in. Knowing they had to respect the option let me make riskier decisions. Protect was used in this slot at the beginning of the season and is something we considered going back to. You can afford to bring Thundurus against Big 6, as you would be able to burn Fake Out and proceed to support the team. Furthermore, Protect is a more useful slot against Ray Ogre teams (especially for baiting Extreme Speed). Alternatively, removing Taunt for Protect was briefly discussed, as the presence of Mental Herb and Crafty Shield has recently seen an increase. However, Taunt was considered too valuable in shutting down gimmicks and removing defensive options.
Mawile @ Mawilite
– Play Rough
– Iron Head
– Sucker Punch
The choice between Kangaskhan and Mawile comes down to which matchup you would like to strengthen. While Kangaskhan (particularly Max’s variant with Ice Punch) provides more options against Big 6, Mawile was a better choice against Palkia, Giratina, Yveltal, and Kyurem-White, with the latter two becoming increasingly popular. Our argument to run Mawile was due to how our team’s remaining members already gave us a plethora of answers to Big 6, as well as making educated guesses to what people would bring. With BC adopting dual primals and Yveltal over Big 6 (for the most part), we tended towards adapting to what was popular in our region. Although a matchup to such a common team as Big 6 can always be improved, we felt confident in handling the team given our practice sessions. Mawile was particularly effective in Top Cut, where it was chosen in match-ups where Salamence felt threatened.
Round 1 VS Max Douglas (Starmetroid)
Round 2 VS David Powell (lucariomaster2)
Round 3 VS Alex Cheung
Round 4 VS Conan Thompson (conan)
Round 5 VS David Kappele
Top 8 VS Raphael Bagara (rapha)
Top 4 VS Nicholas LaCrampe (The Fifth Whisper)
Finals VS Max Douglas (Starmetroid)
Round 1 vs Wesley Warthe-Anderson (dreadpirateroberts)
Round 2 vs Bennett Piercy (Qertyk)
Round 3 vs Yuanhao Li (Hao)
Round 4 vs Hayden McTavish (enigne)
Round 5 vs Hongyu Zhu (fivepointstars)
Top 8 vs Kelvin Koon (lyingliepard)