Author: crawdaunt

Battle Spot Special Usage Stats – January 2016

Hey there Hat Lovers,

Today’s post is something special. This is VGC with Hats’ 100th post on the site. And for this 100th post, we’ll be reporting some usage statistics from the Battle Spot Special Ladder so far. Nuggetbridge user Ferretsroq has made some more detailed Battle Spot information available, and being the stats junkie that I am, how could I not take a look?

The data are currently not super digestable and while I could look through and pull out Top 20 used moves etc… I think the Top 10 Items, Moves, Abilities, and Natures are fine to get a sense of most Pokemon’s preferences. These data are presented in a far more digestable fashion directly on the Pokemon website’s Battle Spot usage page, so I’d advise using the following list and that page together to get a more complete sense of the metagame.

What I’ll be presenting for everyone today is a list of the most used Pokemon in the format, extending down to Pokemon that appear on more than 1% of teams. These data come from ~39,000 teams entering games on Battlespot and so 1% usage means the Pokemon was used a minimum of ~390 times. These data also come only from Pokemon used in a battle, and not from Pokemon that were simply on a team but never chosen (awaiting 100% confirmation). There were 37 Pokemon used on >1% of teams in this dataset, 18 Pokemon used on >5% of teams, and 11 Pokemon used on >10% of teams.

So without further ado, here are the Top Pokemon used on Battlespot Special in January 2016: (more…)

Ride the Fairy to Victory – 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place report

Hey there Hat Lovers,

This past weekend Max, Mark, and a couple friends from UVic attended the back-to-back Premier Challenges in Vancouver January 23rd-24th. Thanks a ton to Rapha and his family for giving all of us a place to sleep on Saturday night!

Both Max and Mark played Max’s team from the Victoria Premier Challenge for day 1. There were 26 Masters for five rounds of swiss and a Top 8 cut, where Mark made the Top 4 (technically 3rd, re: title) before being ousted by Hongyu; Hongyu won his 6th Premier Challenge of the season on Saturday. Congrats Hongyu! Rapha also made Top 8. For day 2, as a tech to beat some of the Trick Room teams that had dominated on day 1, Max had the idea to change Smeargle to a slow Smeargle that could under-speed Cresselia in Trick Room, giving us the ability to just lead Smeargle and Dark Void on turn 2 after they’d set up Trick Room. This was the Smeargle spread we used:


Player Responsibility: What I’ve Learned Playing Competitive Pokemon

Hey there Hat Lovers,

Today’s topic is something that’s rattled around in my head for a long time now. I’ve been playing Pokemon competitively since 2011, first in the Trading Card Game and then in the Video Game. While I’d played sports as a kid, most of them were team sports. As such, I hadn’t competed in competitions amongst individuals very much, and certainly not at a competitive level. Moreover, sports and “E-sports” are two very different things, and even amongst the E-sports, Pokemon is a totally different beast.

I think my time playing the TCG has also given me a pretty unique perspective on the nature of competitive Pokemon, and becoming a Tournament Organizer developed that perspective even further. As such, I have a very firm opinion on the nature of individual-based competitions, particularly for games of logic and reason. These opinions have been formed from both a player’s perspective, and from an organizer’s perspective as an outsider looking in. Today, I’ll reflect on what I’ve learned about the nature of Pokemon, tournament play, attitude, sportsmanship, and player-awareness.


Original Pranksters: Liepard, Tornadus, and friends in VGC 2016

Hey there Hat Lovers,

Today I’ll be talking a bit about some of the new kids on the block. VGC 2016 has a very different dynamic from previous formats in how important it is to control weather, and how important it is to prevent setup sweeps. This article will go over these Pokemon in detail and talk about a few gems that may be hiding in the rough (or are just bad… I dunno). Not all of these Pokemon actually have the Prankster ability, but they’re Pranksters in spirit. I’ll also talk a bit about how Pokemon like Thundurus can adapt to the new heavy-hitting format.

While I never played seriously until about 2014-on, I’ve been paying attention to the game since 2011, and so I’ve seen Pranksters succeed in every format since their introduction. Hopefully that experience will be good for something (like an article)! I’ll also include their usage stats from the Generation Showdown on

Currently hyped Pokemon


VGC 2016 Worlds Information Announced

Hey there Hat Lovers, just put up the 2016 Worlds information! I wrote about the new Play! Pokemon format and what we might expect a Worlds CP bar to be set at back when the new Championship Points structure was announced. Well, we now know that bar, and holy moly is it low. Way lower than I expected, even granting the possibility that they’d lower it significantly. The 2016 World Championships CP bar for the Masters division is 350 CP. Given how accessible CP are now, with the introduction of Midseason Showdowns, and an increase in the CP payout, it’s incredible that they’ve lowered the bar this much. I’ll be talking about the US and Canada for the rest of the article, but the details for other regions can be found in that link.

What does this mean for the players? (more…)

VGC 2016: A look at what’s in the format

This article is literally just a collection of images from Bulbapedia to better visualize Pokemon that have been added to the format. If you’re like me, you’re not at all used to using Legendaries, and you have little idea of what some of their competitive niches are (especially for Doubles). So hopefully this wall of sprites can help you team-build by reminding you what is in the format, and what you’ll have to watch out for. The idea for this post comes from our VGC cube draft deck.

For some great insight into these new legendaries check out this post announcing the new ruleset, and going over some of the strengths and weaknesses of these legendaries.

This post will be a work in progress and I’ll update this randomly whenever I’m team-building and trying to prepare for changes in the format. I’ll be adding relevant Mega evolutions and top Pokemon as they’re brought up in conversation. With these legendaries roaming about, I’d imagine some viable Pokemon will be hoisted into the limelight as great checks/counters to the centralizing power of the new legendary-based teams.

New legendaries