Rock Seattlement – 1st Place Seattle Regional Report

Hello Hat Lovers!

It’s been a while since my last team report due to various circumstances, but that’s finally changed! I won the Seattle Regional, one of the final regionals in North America for the 2017 season, with a team that Rapha had been working on since February and used to place 9th at the Oregon Regional back in March.  Initially I was set on bringing something else to the tournament, but on the Wednesday before the tournament I decided that this was the best team I could take. I didn’t practice too much with it before then, but I had guidelines written by Rapha on using the team and I had watched my friends use this team on Showdown for weeks.

Here is a QR Code for the team.

The Team

Nihilego @ Focus Sash
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 4 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 36 SpD / 212 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Sludge Bomb
– Power Gem
– Trick Room
– Protect

From the perspective of most, Nihilego was the most interesting member of the team. A fast Pokemon with Trick Room is strange to see, but it isn’t too out of the ordinary because Pokemon like Gengar and Mega Gardevoir sometimes carried Trick Room in previous formats. The cool part about Nihilego is that it can reliably set up Trick Room in situations where Porygon2 cannot. Threats like Pheromosa and Tapu Lele can pin down Porygon2 with a super effective attack or Taunt. However, Nihilego threatens those things back with its own attacks and would need to be doubled into if its Focus Sash is intact. Having Trick Room Nihilego along with a more conventional Trick Room setter in Porygon2 was crucial when wrestling for the speed advantage especially since this format lacks strong options that usually help set up Trick Room such as Fake Out and redirection. Modest nature was chosen because without Hidden Power Ice, Garchomp wouldn’t have been threatened by Nihilego anyways. This, along with 252 special attack EVs makes damage rolls more favorable for Nihilego. The speed EVs hit a stat of 150, which outspeeds Timid Xurkitree. The special defense EVs makes Muddy Water from Choice Specs Tapu Fini a 3HKO in sand.

Gigalith @ Rockium Z
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Atk / 12 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Rock Slide
– Stone Edge
– Earthquake
– Protect

Gigalith was the second Rock type on the team and the main Pokemon that abused Trick Room turns. Earthquake was chosen over Curse because certain Pokemon such as Magnezone, Muk, and Metagross were too difficult to beat without it. While Curse is a much better move, Earthquake’s necessity took priority over the luxury Curse provides. Luckily, the team is well equipped to deter common Intimidate Pokemon, so attempts to drop Gigalith’s attack could be punished with a super effective attack. The lack of Curse also required Gigalith to be worked into the field mid-game instead of coming in early to get a Curse in before Trick Room goes up. The EV spread was simple: hit as hard as possible.

Porygon2 @ Eviolite
Ability: Download
EVs: 236 HP / 156 Def / 116 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Ice Beam
– Thunderbolt
– Trick Room
– Recover

Porygon2 doesn’t need much explaining since this is the basic set when Toxic is blocked by the team’s own Tapu. Shadow Ball was a consideration over Thunderbolt for Metagross, but hitting Celesteela and Gyarados was really nice. The EVs allowed it to survive rain spam from Golduck and Pelipper most of the time as long as the latter didn’t have Brine, Bloom Doom from Bulu most of the time, and a -1 physical-based All Out Pummeling from Pheromosa all of the time. Another consideration was using a 29 speed IV in order to underspeed Magnezone and break Sturdy so Earthquake from Gigalith could KO, but that was thought of right before the tournament and I didn’t have time to get a 29 IV Porygon2.

Arcanine @ Mago Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 244 HP / 116 Atk / 36 Def / 84 SpD / 28 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Extreme Speed
– Helping Hand
– Protect

Arcanine was also pretty generic, but I’m still a big fan of the moveset and EVs for this team in particular. Helping Hand was really helpful for boosting both Z-moves on the team as well as pushing Nihilego to OHKO the things it hit for super effective damage. The attack allows it to KO 4 HP Tapu Koko with Flare Blitz + Extreme Speed, the defense lets it survive -1 Liquidation from Araquanid and Adamant Garchomp’s Earthquake, and the 84 special defense makes Muddy Water from Choice Specs Tapu Fini a 2HKO. Originally the set had 236 HP and 36 speed in order to outspeed Cybertron’s Tapu Lele, but I shifted speed into HP in order to make Guardian of Alola or two Nature’s Madness activate the Mago Berry. While I probably should have taken EVs out of defense or special defense for that instead of speed, I did end up playing Alberto Lara, the most notable player to frequently use Guardian of Alola, so it was the correct decision for this tournament.

Kartana @ Grassium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 124 Atk / 132 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Leaf Blade
– Sacred Sword
– Substitute
– Detect

Kartana was definitely the MVP of this tournament. Even though I have a strong disdain towards Pokemon that are especially frail, Kartana’s specific speed and coverage combined with its power put a lot of pressure onto opponents. It could punch holes early, punish backpedaling with a well-timed Substitute, or stay hidden until the end of a game and clean up shop. If my opponent didn’t have enough answers to it, Kartana could stick around on the field for a long time and do some serious damage, even by alternating between Detect and Substitute if it needed to. The EVs allow it to OHKO 4 HP Garchomp with Bloom Doom and survive Life Orb Thunderbolt from Tapu Koko and Tapu Lele’s Psychic. Another EV spread that Rapha considered using was triple 84 on HP/attack/special defense, but that missed out on important KOs that we felt were needed.

Tapu Fini @ Choice Specs
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 236 HP / 4 Def / 148 SpA / 60 SpD / 60 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Muddy Water
– Moonblast
– Scald
– Haze

Tapu Fini was a good Pokemon to have, but wasn’t actually brought to too many games. The previous variation of the team had a Tapu Lele instead, but Fini’s coverage complemented the team much better than Lele’s. Haze, when paired with Kartana and Nihilego, allowed the team to overwhelm Eevee with options, to lead into a safe autowin which is something most teams struggle to do against the archetype. The HP is a 16n-1 stat in order to reduce sand damage, the special defense lets it survive Life Orb Sludge Bomb from Nihilego most of the time, and the speed lets it outspeed 252 Modest Magnezone.

Tournament Opponents and Teams

WLW Round 1 vs Jack Friesen: Alola Form

WW Round 2 vs Alberto Lara:

WW Round 3 vs Cassie Fordyce:

WW Round 4 vs Patrick Smith:

WW Round 5 vs Aaron Traylor:

WLL Round 6 vs Brian Zourdani:

LL Round 7 vs Conan Thompson:

WW Round 8 vs Henry Maxon:

WLW Top 8 vs River Davis:

LWW Top 4 vs Conan Thompson:

WW Finals vs Hayden McTavish: Alola Form

My entire top cut run as well as my round 6 match can be viewed here.

Going into this tournament I needed to win to qualify for Worlds, so I was relieved that I didn’t need to worry about qualifying at the rest of my tournaments. I used the same team for the Madison Regional the following week, but only managed to place in the top 32. Despite the doubts I had for it in early May, this team turned out to be very fun to use and I’m glad I was able to show what this team is able to do, at least in the metagame it was built in.

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