Author: raphaelbagara

Survivor Bias in Pokemon: Why Analysing Top Cut Teams is a Flawed Practice

Hello Hat Lovers!

Analysing top cut teams and drawing conclusions is a common practice in VGC. However, this is an imperfect process for many reasons, one of them being that it falls victim to survivor bias.

Survivorship bias or survival bias: the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to false conclusions in several different ways. It is a form of selection bias.”

The intent of this article is not to shed light that the definition of “good” in VGC is dynamic because of meta-game progressions, and it is not to contradict the specific, flawed conclusion that any successful team must be good because of its success. Rather, it is to bring attention to how survivor bias can mislead any conclusion people reach when analysing results.

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Double Rock, Double Bubble – 9th Place Oregon Regional Report

Hello hat lovers!

I recently attended Oregon Regionals and went 6-2, finishing 9th place, the second time that this has happened at this regional. Unlike 2015 Oregon though I actually had aspirations of making it further in the tournament, and I felt really good about the team I used and the preparation that lead up to the event. Sadly I didn’t make cut, but sometimes doing well involves uncontrollable factors going your way, and I have no regrets about my play and team decision for the weekend. It was also great to see that three Canadians ended up being the ones who made cut at 6-2. I also finished second in the Premier Challenge that was held right after Swiss ended (a moral victory on its own given that I haven’t been to many events this season).

This team is similar to the one Max and I used at the Vancouver MSS last month, though despite having 4/6 of the same Pokemon, my Oregon team took inspiration from a Japanese team Kelvin sent me. Heading into Oregon I was looking at different variants of Gigalith teams and this was the one that piqued my interest the most, because the six Pokemon on the MSS team didn’t appeal to me enough to bring to Oregon (though ironically, Max used the same team and did better than me at Oregon, finishing top 4). I still wanted to use Gigalith out of comfort given that I’ve been using it since late January, and looking at all the high ladder teams I’ve seen that had it gave me multiple perspectives on how to build a Gigalith team. The team Kelvin gave me had Trick Room Nihilego, and at first it made zero sense to me how this team could do as well as it did on the ladder, because double Rock types seemed to just compound on weaknesses. After trying it though, I felt very comfortable with the team and liked a lot of elements it had, despite the atrocious defensive synergy of the six Pokemon. It’s also a fun thought that this is a Sand team, of sorts. Three Pokemon take advantage of Sand, and even Arcanine can benefit from it, as the sand chip damage helps activate Mago Berry.

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VGC With Hats does Oregon

Hello hat lovers!

Much of the VGC With Hats crew recently attended Oregon regionals. The group did well enough to make it on stream several times, as eight of the fourteen streamed matches featured hatters. You can find all of those sets below. Big thanks to NuggetBridge for streaming the event, Duy, Zach, and Kimo for commentating, and JT pkmn for uploading all of the streamed sets on YouTube!

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Which Fiwam Berry Should You Use?

Hello hat lovers!

In VGC 2017, there are five berries that have become a staple on teams. While these five are largely the same, there are some differences that many players don’t know about, leading to some confusion about which of them is the best choice on certain Pokemon. These berries are the Figy Berry, Iapapa Berry, Wiki Berry, Aguav Berry, and Mago Berry. They are sometimes referred to as pinch berries or Super Sitrus berries, but memorising the acronym “Fiwam” and calling them Fiwam Berries will help you learn which berry not to use on some Pokemon. Beyond understanding the berries’ mechanics, there is also an information advantage that you could have by not using certain berries, even if they don’t confuse your Pokemon.

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Song and Dance: Top 16 Melbourne Challenge Report

G’day hat lovers!

I recently participated in an online grassroots tournament hosted by Sam Pandelis, with a $1500 cash prize for the winner to go to the Melbourne International. I managed to top cut, and while there was no prize for my finish, I still felt it was worth writing about.

This team of course, was taken from San Jose regional runner up Enosh, who I owe a big thank you for helping me and letting me use his team. I ended up changing a lot of details he had from San Jose, but the team remained fundamentally the same, and much of the changes I made were simply some personal preferences. Yejiang (@Yejiang_CHN) also topped the BattleSpot ladder with a similar structure, and I took some inspiration from watching some of his replays as well.

In other words: I am a team thief but I combined different ideas from different people to make it look a little less obvious that I am a team thief. I am a big fan of the team because I think its suits my playstyle well, and after playing 2016, I am so so so glad to again be able to use a team that has no attacks with imperfect accuracy (well, I had Guillotine, but that move is used far differently from the others)

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2017 Season Information: Format, Rental Pokemon, Live Competitions, Timer Rules

Hello hat lovers!

We had several big changes announced for the 2017 season, everything from official confirmation of the format, new features, and changes to old systems. Much of this is overwhelmingly positive in my opinion and I’m very glad to see the progression that this game is taking in Sun&Moon to make VGC a greater experience. I will be posting the most important news in regards to VGC and my thoughts on them. I will be leaving some stuff out though that I believe are less important, so to see the entire everything that was announced, be sure to visit http://www.pokemon-sunmoon.com/en-us/new-pokemon-global-link-features/

(also, evolutions for the starters were released. The Rowlet line is still the best)

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