Hello Hat Lovers!
Due to lack of major events we haven’t had much to write about, so I’m going to share the team I used to win a PC yesterday. While I made the team from scratch it ended up being a very standard looking team.
Nevertheless! We here at VGC w/Hats don’t turn down an opportunity to make a good pun.
Arcanine @ Firium Z
EVs: 172 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 36 SpD / 60 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Wild Charge
– Extreme Speed
I started this team with physical Arcanine. Special Arcanine is good for reducing the opponent’s damage output but I wanted to be able to OHKO Pokemon like Celesteela. I also wanted to fit a priority move on the team which physical Arcanine can provide with Extreme Speed. Wild Charge was filler, but I didn’t end up putting an Electric type on the team so Wild Charge ended up being useful. If I did end up using Tapu Koko then I’d still be encouraged to use Wild Charge to take advantage of the terrain. Since my Arcanine didn’t have Snarl and wasn’t bothered by Snarl I decided that investing heavily in Speed wouldn’t be worth it. The special defence allows Arcanine to survive Nihilego’s Power Gem.
Ninetales-Alola @ Focus Sash
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Aurora Veil
After Arcanine I was looking for a Pokemon that would beat Garchomp. Ninetales prevents Garchomp from staying on the field making it pretty ideal. Aurora Veil gives Ninetales something good to do even if it doesn’t threaten anything in play. I did all my testing with Encore over Freeze-Dry. From my time with Raichu in 2014 I became quite fond of Encore and the ability to punish Protect and set up moves. In practise I found most opponents don’t respect Encore until they see it, though most of the time I was using it was to lock other Ninetales into Aurora Veil (involving speed ties). Between the last time I tested the team and the PC I decided to use Freeze-Dry. It lets Ninetales damage Fini and handles Gyarados, Pelipper and Gastrodon nicely.
Garchomp @ Groundium Z
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 12 HP / 228 Atk / 12 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Poison Jab
– Fire Fang
At this point I saw a major weakness to Gigalith, so I added Garchomp. At the start of the format we saw what was quite possibly the only time in VGC history that Garchomp was underrated. I didn’t really like it, but it would go on to establish itself as one of the top Pokemon in the format. IMO Z-moves are what really make Garchomp in this format. Having that strong single target attack is something Garchomp has never had and this format is extremely lacking in good Earthquake partners.
On this team Garchomp would often compete with Arcanine for usage of their Z-move. This is something that should probably change but for now the team just requires you to assess which Z-move is more important in a match-up. The EV spread ensures Garchomp survive’s Nihilego’s HP Ice and lowers the chance of being KO’d by opposing Garchomp’s Tectonic Rage.
Tapu Fini @ Leftovers
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Def / 44 SpA / 76 SpD / 36 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Calm Mind
Next I added Fini to the team because I wanted a strong Water type. With Intimidate and Aurora Veil Fini has an easy time getting a Calm Mind or two. Misty Terrain is the only terrain that doesn’t have a proactive effect but it still great for removing other terrain. Status immunity is also greatly appreciated, even if you only notice the effect when it wears off. The EV spread isn’t anything special. 44 Special Attack made +1 Moonblast an OHKO on Garchomp, 76 Special Defence reached an 11n number and the rest went into Defence.
Kartana @ Assault Vest
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 132 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 116 SpD / 252 Spe
– Leaf Blade
– Smart Strike
– Sacred Sword
– Night Slash
I picked Kartana because it has well established synergy with Arcanine and Tapu Fini. The main purpose of Kartana was to deal with Water types and Tapu Lele. I lazily chose this spread because it is what I had in my box. I’ve seen Assault Vest Kartana move towards more special defence over HP, but without doing calcs I don’t see a reason for it. Having higher HP allowed Kartana to take physical hits better, including Return from +6 Snorlax. I’ve seen Night Slash being dropped because it is basically useless, however I decided that another way to hit Marowak was more important than Razor Leaf or Guillotine.
Snorlax @ Figy Berry
EVs: 68 HP / 252 Atk / 188 Def
IVs: 0 Spe
– High Horsepower
In the last slot I added Snorlax for Trick Room teams. If the opponent sets up Trick Room Snorlax can use Curse and run through their team. Return is reliable damage and High Horsepower has great coverage against this format rich in Ground weaknesses. Recycle is basically a better Recover since a 50% heal when you go below 50% is better than healing for 50%.
I brought Snorlax to every match in the PC. Even when Trick Room doesn’t go up a lot of teams have trouble KOing Snorlax while dealing with its partner as well. It helps that we don’t have many viable Fighting types right now. Snorlax was so good that I bought the plush you see above from the shop hosting using the store credit I’ve won from previous tournaments.
Here is the QR code for the team. Keep in mind happiness isn’t carried over, so RIP Return Snorlax. Hopefully GameFreak will rectify this mistake once they realize it.