Welcome to Nugget Bridge - Premier Competitive Pokémon VGC Community

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

  • entries
    12
  • comments
    281
  • views
    685

Graduation Day: 2012 Seniors National Championship & 2013 Philadelphia Masters Runner-Up Team Analysis

blog-aaronzhengphilly.pngGreetings everyone! My name is Aaron Zheng, and I'm a big fan of Pokémon! I've been playing VGC since it started in 2008, and I've qualified for 3 World Championships in the 5 years I've played. I'm not going to bore you with a long introduction, so let's get started right away. The team I will be analyzing in this article is the team I used to win the 2012 Pokémon VGC US National Championships in the Senior Division this past summer. Variants of it have also performed very well last season, such as Wolfe Glick's 1st Place finish at US Nationals in the Masters division, Kamran Jahadi's 5th place finish at Worlds in the Seniors Division and Brendan Zheng's 3rd place finish at Worlds in the Juniors division. I recently placed 5th in the 2012 Autumn Friendly with it.

The team also swept varous Regionals throughout the country this past weekend: Kamran Jahadi (kamz) won over in San Jose Regionals with it in the Masters Division, Brendan Zheng (Babbytron) won on the other side of the country at the Philadelphia Regionals with it in the Juniors Division, Edward Fan (iss) finished in the Top 4 at Philadelphia with it, and of course, yours truly piloted it to a 2nd place finish in the largest and arguably most competitive Regional in the country in my first tournament in the Masters division. Let's get onto the actual analysis!

Team Building

I think one of the most important parts about a team analysis is how the player built the team, so I'll talk briefly about how I constructed my team. It started all the back in May after I placed 3rd in the 2012 Spring Philadelphia Regionals. Nationals was approaching, and I had no more good teams or ideas left. I found myself constantly laddering on Pokémon Online with my Regionals team, consisting of Hitmontop, Tyranitar, Garchomp, Volcarona, Zapdos, and Cresselia. However, I was not pleased with it at all and knew it would not do well at a National level tournament. I also didn’t like the team as it was overly offensive, leaving me with few options in terms of battling.

In the meantime, my very good friend Wolfe Glick (better known as the following: super Pokenob, 2x US Masters National Champion, 2012 Worlds Masters Runner-up, or Wolfey) and I often had practice matches, mainly for him to practice his Nationals team. He used some really weird stuff in those matches, like Expert Belt Hidden Power Fire Cresselia and Psycho Shift Togekiss, but he would also beat me around 75% of the time. After losing to him over and over again, I realized I had to focus and actually get a team for Nationals. But where do I even start? It would take a miracle for me to build a team for Nationals in time.

I finally got a spark of inspiration after videos of Korean Nationals took place. Although 2012 was only Korea's 2nd year participating in VGC, there are some incredibly talented players there, most notably Sejun Park (2011 Worlds Seniors Runner-up and 2012 Worlds Masters 5th Place). Their metagame is also very different from the American metagame. I have a few Korean VGC friends who were able to link me to the final matches there. This proved to be incredibly helpful as most of the American players did not have access to these matches, allowing me to keep my team a secret.

I noticed that Wonseok Jang, their National Champion, used a really interesting team with Choice Specs Cresselia, bulky Thundurus, Dual Chop Life Orb Garchomp, Focus Sash Volcarona, Hitmontop, and Ferrothorn. I took the team to PO and changed his LO Garchomp to the Yache Garchomp I had used at Regionals as I felt more comfortable with it. I instantly fell in love with the team. However, as I continued to play, I realized that I didn’t like how my only Steel-type Pokémon was Ferrothorn because it isn’t nearly as offensive as the others in this metagame (Metagross, Scizor, Heatran). I built the team on Wi-Fi, and although it won the majority of its battles, I still wasn't comfortable with it.

In the meantime, I continued to practice with Wolfe and he commented on how we ended up with similar teams despite not working with each other at all. After a couple of games, he showed me just how strong of a Pokémon Swords Dance Scizor was. He gave me his EV spread and moveset, and I knew it was the perfect replacement for the Ferrothorn I was struggling to use. I finally had an answer to stuff like Metagross and Cresselia, and the pure power of a +2 Steel Gem Bullet Punch is absolutely fantastic.

My team looked something like this now: Choice Specs Cresselia, bulky Calm Thundurus, standard Hitmontop, standard Garchomp, Volcarona, and Swords Dance Scizor. Despite using Volcarona on my Regionals team, I found that it barely did anything for me. I honestly just could not find a replacement for it and finally decided that Tyranitar would probably fit the team better. At this point, Wolfe's team and mine had very minimal differences. We had a couple of different EV spreads and movesets, but the playstyle was pretty much the same. I still didn't feel very confident going into Nationals, especially since I went something like 2-6 in practice battles the day beforehand, but the team clearly worked!

I think I've bored you enough with how I built my team. Let's take a look at it!

The Team

445.png

Garchomp @ Yache Berry

Trait: Sand Veil

EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd

Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)

- Earthquake

- Rock Slide

- Dragon Claw

- Protect

As you can see, this Garchomp is as standard as it gets. Despite being standard, I did not find the need to use any unique EV spreads such as a bulky Haban spread. I did not find other Dragon-type Pokémon as a major threat since I had so many different checks to them. I also used Wonseok's Life Orb Dual Chop spread for a while, but I did not like the fact Dual Chop could actually miss, and the LO damage wasn't adding anything significant. In the end, I just stuck with a classic Jolly 252/252 Yache spread. I contemplated using Substitute and Swords Dance over Rock Slide and Protect, but I really disliked facing Volcarona and kept this set. Keeping Rock Slide also gave me an out to sticky situations with the chance to flinch my opponents and can be incredibly useful when paired with Thundurus's Thunder Wave.  Yache Berry saved me from random Ice-type attacks, and it proved its worth against Paul Chua during the semi-finals of Nationals this year, where his Gastrodon got a critical hit with its Ice Beam and Garchomp hung on with 24 HP. And we all know just how annoying Sand Veil can be... Overall, Garchomp had great synergy with the team and I found that he worked well with all the other 5 Pokémon on my team.

237.png

Hitmontop @ Fight Gem

Trait: Intimidate

EVs: 244 HP / 208 Atk / 8 Def / 48 Spd

Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

- Fake Out

- Wide Guard

- Sucker Punch

- Close Combat

Wolfe and I both struggled to find a 6th Pokémon for our team in testing: I stuck with Hitmontop while he used a Choice Scarf Chandelure. Hitmontop is a fantastic Pokémon because it provides the team with both Fake Out and Intimidate support, which cannot be found on any other Pokémon in the metagame. Fake Out allowed me to use Icy Wind, Thunder Wave, and Swords Dance more comfortably and often would give me a huge advantage coming out of turn one. Wide Guard was there for attacks like Heat Wave, Earthquake, Rock Slide, Surf, and Blizzard. Sucker Punch allowed me to hit Pokémon like Chandelure and Latios, and Close Combat was obviously his strongest means of offense and offered nice coverage overall, allowing me to hit Pokémon like Tyranitar and Rotom-W with no problem. In the end, Hitmontop hurt me more than it helped me at Nationals as I lost both games I used him in Swiss, but I'm still very pleased with the various options it offers the team.

248.png

Tyranitar @ Chople Berry

Trait: Sand Stream

EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spd

Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

- Rock Slide

- Crunch

- Low Kick

- Protect

Similar to Garchomp and Hitmontop, this Tyranitar is really as standard as it gets. I would have liked to move 36 EVs from Attack to Defense to ensure it would always survive a Metagross' Meteor Mash, but in the end, it did not affect me in either tournament I used this team in. I have seen so many different items used on Tyranitar, such as Dark Gem, Focus Sash, Leftovers, and Sitrus Berry, but I stuck with the classic Chople Berry. The EVs were just to ensure max durability and strength, and with Sandstorm up, he was a specially defensive tank against moves such as Latios' and Hydreigon's Draco Meteor. I didn't use anything special like Fire Punch, Avalanche, Dragon Dance, or Substitute just because I  liked having more coverage and didn't feel the need to have moves that were used only in certain situations.

642.png

Thundurus (M) @ Sitrus Berry

Trait: Prankster

EVs: 196 HP / 60 SAtk / 252 SDef

Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk)

- Thunderbolt

- Thunder Wave

- Taunt

- Hidden Power [ice]

This is where we begin to see the more interesting parts of the team. Bulky Thundurus was something unheard of before Ray Rizzo (Ray) used a Bold Thundurus to win the 2011 World Championships. I took a very simple but effective spread that allowed me to always survive a Timid Dragon Gem Draco Meteor from Latios, which is pretty much as powerful as special attacks go. The rest of the EVs were dumped into Special Attack to do maximum damage. Sitrus Berry was an incredible item, as it would often heal me back to over 30% after incredibly strong attacks such as Draco Meteor. In fact, against Paul Chua in the semi-finals of Nationals this year, Thundurus was able to tank a Dragon Gem Draco Meteor from Salamence, heal its health, and survive a second Draco Meteor the following turn. The bulk was absolutely fantastic, and it would often take multiple shots to take Thundurus down. Thunderbolt is a self explanatory move. Thunder Wave, in combination with Garchomp and Tyranitar's Rock Slide, allowed me to both control Speed and have some hax factor. Taunt was the one move I was debating on, but it proved very helpful as it prevented my opponents from using moves like Trick Room and Protect. I chose Hidden Power Ice over Flying because I really needed a way to hit Dragon-type Pokémon, most notably Garchomp. Overall, Thundurus plays a huge role on the team, and I find that I use it in 95% of my matches.

212.png

Scizor @ Steel Gem

Trait: Technician

EVs: 172 HP / 252 Atk / 84 Spd

Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

- Bullet Punch

- Bug Bite

- Swords Dance

- Protect

Scizor is hands down the strongest part of this team. As I said previously, I originally struggled to find a good replacement for Ferrothorn, but Scizor had everything I wanted: a bulky Pokémon that could switch into various attacks and hit most of the metagame for massive damage. Swords Dance is what really made it unique. Although setup moves are uncommon in VGC, Scizor was able to take advantage of Swords Dance because of the multiple resistances and bulk it had. When I realized my opponent had no good way to hit Scizor with their two Pokémon, I would bring it in, set up a Swords Dance, and proceed to sweep their team. I found the core of Cresselia and Metagross was incredibly difficult to face, but Scizor made it a lot easier to deal with both of them. After a Swords Dance, Steel Gem Bullet Punch would KO full health Pokémon such as Garchomp and Latios. Bug Bite allowed me to hit every other Pokémon for a ton of damage and often netted me Sitrus Berries. The Speed EVs were made to outspeed Metagross, Politoed, and Hitmontop with no speed investment. The Attack EVs are self explanatory, and the rest were dumped into HP. The HP EVs are actually super helpful as it allowed Scizor to live through 2 Garchomp Earthquakes. This allowed me to Earthquake and Swords Dance on the same turn, KOing both of my opponent's Pokémon and setting up to sweep any incoming Pokémon. Scizor is hard to use because of how weak it is to Fire-type attacks, but the trick is correctly assessing whether it can punch holes through your opponent's team and bringing it even if your opponent carries Pokémon with Fire-type attacks or realizing that it's probably better for it to just sit out a match. Although Hidden Power Fire Cresselia and Heatran became a lot more common after Nationals this year, I still really liked how powerful Scizor was, and it is my favorite Steel-type Pokémon of VGC 2012.

488.png

Cresselia (F) @ Choice Specs

Trait: Levitate

EVs: 132 HP / 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 120 Spd

Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)

- Psyshock

- Icy Wind

- Hidden Power [Fire]

- Trick

And finally, we arrive at Choice Specs Cresselia. Offensive Cresselia was an incredibly bizarre idea prior to US Nationals, but it became a lot more common at Worlds this year. Choice Specs allowed it to do so much damage to pretty much anything that didn't resist it's attacks. Psyshock OHKOed Hitmontop and would often give me a huge 4-3 lead. It was also just a great offensive option, doing over 50% to even Gastrodon. Icy Wind hit Zapdos, Thundurus, Garchomp, Hydreigon, and Latios for massive damage and lowered their Speed. Speed control is huge on this team with Tyranitar and Scizor, and Icy Wind allowed me to weaken my opponents and slow them down before finishing them off with a sweeper. Hidden Power Fire was mainly there for Scizor, but it also allowed me to hit Metagross and Abomasnow more effectively. I chose Trick over Grass Knot / Energy Ball because I liked having the option to hamper my opponent's physical sweepers: especially Metagross. I did not end up using it at all at US Nationals but having the option was nice and worked out great in practice. The best thing about Choice Specs Cresselia is that it would always catch my opponents off guard and leave me with a huge advantage right off the bat. Kamran used Life Orb at Worlds and Regionals, and Wolfe used Expert Belt at Nationals. All three are excellent items, but I'm glad I stuck with Choice Specs for Nationals. Overall, she was definitely my favorite Pokémon in the VGC 2012 metagame, especially with this set.

Philadelphia Fall Regionals, 2013 Season

For Regionals, I made two minor but very important changes to the team that I would like to share with you. Since I did not have too much time to prepare for Regionals, I decided that I would just use my Nationals team for one last shot of glory since it is, in my opinion, the best team I have ever constructed. I kind of regret not using it at Worlds this year, but that's all in the past now. I used my experience from the 2012 Autumn Friendly to slightly edit my team in order to improve it.

237.png

Hitmontop @ Fight Gem

Trait: Intimidate

EVs: 244 HP / 208 Atk / 8 Def / 48 Spd

Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

- Fake Out

- Wide Guard --> Stone Edge

- Sucker Punch

- Close Combat

I decided to replace Wide Guard for Stone Edge for two reasons:

1) I almost never used Wide Guard because any smart player would predict into it, wasting a turn for me.

2) I absolutely hated Volcarona for some reason, especially after a Quiver Dance. Since most Quiver Dance Volcarona carry Lum Berry, I would lead Hitmontop + Garchomp against Hitmontop + Volcarona leads, allowing me to get a KO with either Stone Edge or Rock Slide right away even if my opponent uses Fake Out, providing that the attack hits.

I only used Stone Edge once at Regionals against Daniel Litvin (TalkingLion). Since my Hitmontop was Burned from a Flame Body switch-in the previous turn, Stone Edge did not KO. However, it did do enough damage to help me win the game so I'm pleased with my decision overall. I contemplated using Feint or Detect, but as I did not do any testing between Worlds and Regionals, I decided Stone Edge was probably the safest move.

488.png

Cresselia (F) @ Choice Specs --> Expert Belt

Trait: Levitate

EVs: 132 HP / 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 120 Spd

Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)

- Psyshock

- Icy Wind

- Hidden Power [Fire]

- Trick -->Protect

The two changes on Cresselia were minor but very significant. I knew that going into Regionals that anyone who has ever played me online would recognize my team immediately and associate my Cresselia with Choice Specs. I used this bluff to my advantage and switched Choice Specs to Expert Belt. Although I really liked the amount of damage Choice Specs allowed me to dish out, there were too many situations where my opponent would lock me into a move such as Psyshock against a Metagross and Cresselia and force me to either switch or let Cresselia faint. With Expert Belt, I was still able to do the damage I wanted to while getting a few more options with it. I had never used Expert Belt, so I was unconfident going into Regionals with it, but it proved very handy as I was able to switch between Icy Winds, Psyshocks, and HP Fires.

The second change was Trick to Protect. Without Choice Specs, there was no point in using Trick. I contemplated using Grass Knot / Energy Ball, Helping Hand, Protect, and even Skill Swap, but figured my safest option was Protect. Most players don't even expect Protect on Cresselia because there are a lot of better moves for it, but this played out great with my Choice Specs bluff. It also saved me in a ton of games at Regionals, so it was by far the most helpful switch. With Choice Specs, I found that Cresselia would often get one or two hits off before fainting. I was able to play a bit more defensively with Protect, and it offered me a lot more options. Definitely the most helpful and significant change I had made for Regionals.

Team Synergy

This is a tough section to write because all the Pokémon on the team worked really well with each other. With that being said, here are some of my favorite lead combinations.

642.png

Cresselia + Thundurus

This was by far my most common and effective lead. Offensive Cresselia and bulky Thundurus offer so many different options, and I would often use the first turn to figure out what my strategy for the rest of the game would be. Cresselia allowed me to blow holes through my opponent's team by getting surprise KOs right off the bat against Hitmontop. I also enjoyed the speed control the lead offered me as I could Icy Wind and Thunder Wave right from the start. This lead was very effective due to the amount of bulk and offensive they offered me. The goal with this lead isn't to start getting KOs right away but to put my opponent in a very tough spot by means of speed control. This would allow me to later bring in Tyranitar, Scizor, and Garchomp to get the KOs I needed. The only Pokémon that really gave this lead trouble was Tyranitar, but with my own Tyranitar, Scizor, Garchomp, and Hitmontop in the back, I could easily double switch. This lead was also really nice because of the fact it isn't affected by Intimidate at all. As I use 4 physical attackers, it was crucial to keep them safe in the back to do maximum damage. Overall, I probably ended up leading with these two 90% of all games I've played with this team because of the synergy and strength they offer.

237.png

Cresselia + Hitmontop

This is a combo that has been common ever since European Nationals. Fake Out support is great for Cresselia to use moves such as Thunder Wave, Icy Wind, and Trick Room. In my team's case, this allowed me to Fake Out a faster Pokémon such as Garchomp, Icy Wind, and KO it before it even gets a chance to attack the following turn. I did not like this lead back while I was using defensive Cresselia because the two don't offer very much offense, but with Choice Specs and Expert Belt, I could start attacking safely from the start. Hitmontop offered Intimidate support and hit Tyranitar and Volcarona for KOs, both of which threaten Cresselia. A common but safe and effective lead at the same time.

248.png

Cresselia + Offensive Sweeper

Cresselia is such a great Pokémon that she works well with any Pokémon on my team. Although Thundurus and Hitmontop were often used to slow down my opponent and gain momentum before sweeping with the rest of my team, I also enjoyed starting the game with a menacing sweeper right away. By having an offensive sweeper, my opponent would often panic and try to KO the sweeper right away. This allowed my to safely Protect while using Icy Wind with Cresselia, setting both Pokémon for a KO the following turn. My opponents would almost always target the sweeper and ignore Cresselia, leaving me with an excellent advantage right from the start.

445.png

Thundurus + Garchomp

Although I tend to use Cresselia as my lead in almost all my games, there are some times where Cresselia just can't do anything against my opponent, and I leave it out of the match. Thundurus and Garchomp was a great lead that works similarly to how the Cresselia and Thundurus lead works. Thundurus allows me to gain speed control from the start with Thunder Wave against Pokémon like Latios, while Garchomp hits Pokémon that threaten Thundurus with no problem. Leading with these two also allowed me to start Thunder Waving and Rock Sliding from the start, adding a beneficial hax factor to my team.

Closing Remarks

If you've made it this far and actually read the entire article, props to you! It's lengthy, but I think I gave a pretty good explanation on how the team works. I'd like to just make a few comments on the team in general before we conclude.

To start off, this is by far my favorite team of all time, and I think it is as good as a team can get in the VGC 2012 metagame that fits my playstyle. After my performance with it this weekend, I regret not using it at Worlds, but I'm still pleased to have represented Wolfe's team well in the Seniors division and place in the Top 8 in the world. I find that often after tournaments, I look back and see what I could have improved about my team. For this team, I was incredibly content both after Nationals and Regionals, and everything about it worked perfectly for me in both tournaments. That is, for me, the indication that I have reached a perfect team. No Pokémon team is ever truly perfect, but I was content with everything in my team.

Second of all, the strength of this team is unparalleled to any other team I've played or used in VGC 2012. I remember when Wolfe and I were practicing for Worlds... I beat Wolfe in like 8 out of 10 games using this team while he used our eventual Worlds team. When I played Kamran Jahadi Round 5 at Worlds this year, I knew his entire team since I had built it, but I still couldn't find a solid strategy to beat him. All 3 games in that set were won due to intense hax on both sides, but the fact that I knew my opponent's team down to every single moveset and EV shows just how powerful the team can be. Or maybe it just means I'm a bad player. Yeah, probably that...

Third of all, the team has so many options that it's hard to put into one article. While writing about the lead combinations I realized that I've used every Pokémon with every other Pokémon as a lead combination before. That just shows how many different modes the team can play in! I found that Cresselia and Thundurus was the safest, lead but I even used stuff like Garchomp/Tyranitar with Hitmontop and Thundurus in the back. It's all dependent on the opponent's team in the end.

Fourth of all, the team has really nice synergy overall, especially in terms of switching. I could switch Hitmontop into Tyranitar for Psychic-type attacks, Scizor into any Dark, Dragon, Steel, or Ice-type attack, Garchomp into Electric-type attacks (especially Thundurus's Thunder Wave!), Tyranitar into any special attack, etc. You can see just how well this team is able to switch in

of my 2012 National Finals against Jonathan Hiller (MrFox).

Fifth of all, the team dealt with hax quite well and was also able to have a hax factor. At Regionals, I had luck go against me in almost every Swiss match as I saw myself get paralyzed by Discharge and fully paralyzed for 3 turns, frozen by Blizzards out of Hail, burned by Scald when I would have won immediately without the burn, two Icy Wind misses in 2 turns, crits on a smart switch in, etc. I still won almost all of those battles because I was able to play smartly with the rest of the team and come back from a tough situation. There are just some situations where hax makes the game impossible to win, but this team handled it pretty well. I was also able to get hax on my side with the use of Rock Slide, Thunder Wave, and Sand Veil Garchomp. Although I do not like depending on hax to win a match, I will admit that having these factors on my team make it a lot easier to play when things go my way.

Finally, this team has an incredibly strong showing in tournaments as I have explained before. Personally, I went 6-2 with it at US Nationals in swiss, losing to Daniel Litvin (TalkingLion) and Caleb Ryor (BlitznBurst) due to timely critical hits on their side. In the top cut, I beat Jacob Burrows 2-0, Henry Maxon (Snake) 2-0, David Arnold 2-1, Paul Chua 2-1, and Jonathan Hiller 2-1 in the finals for a 5-0 best 2-of-3 record and an overall tournament record of 16-4. I recently placed 5th in the world in the 2012 Autumn Friendly with an overall record of 84-6. And just last weekend at Philadelphia Regionals, I went 7-1 with it in Swiss. I beat Patrick D. (Pd0nz) in Top 8 2-1, Enosh Shachar (Human) in Top 4 2-1, and lost to Matt Sybeldon (bearsfan092) in a very exciting finals 1-2 for a top cut record of 2-1 and an overall tournament record of 12-5. Variants of the team have performed consistently well in Nationals, Worlds, and Regionals, and I'm proud of how strong of an impact it made on the VGC 2012 metagame. First at US Nationals with it and second at the largest Regional in the country in Masters with it? I'll take it.

Anyway, I hope that provided some insight on one of the most successful teams in VGC 2012. I had a lot of fun using it and even more fun building it. You can even battle it next week in Pokémon Black / White 2 as Brendan will be a downloadable character in the Pokémon World Tournament! Thanks to Nugget Bridge for hosting my article and improving the VGC community one step at a time. Huge shoutout to Wolfe for helping me out with the team and allowing me to practice with him. I've had some really amazing games with this team, and last weekend's finals against Matt was nothing but incredible... congrats to him for taking down the team in a non-haxy best 2-of-3!

Beautiful people and beautiful Pokémon. See you all in Virginia this winter!


Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


1 Comment


Guest How To Do The Nugget Bridge Glitch - HappyForever168

Posted

[…] Graduation Day: 2012 Seniors National … – Nugget Bridge – Greetings everyone! My name is Aaron Zheng, and I’m a big fan of Pokémon! I’ve been playing VGC since it started in 2008, and I’ve qualified for 3 World …… […]

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now


  • Similar Content

    • By MudkipVGC
      so i sadly dident TC this year due to a miss play but i still had fun. but the way this team works is pretty much switch gain momentum until a primal can sweep. most of the time i follow the rule of chose Thundurus or Cresselia chose if you want both primals if not take both intimidaters if so pick 1. since the team only has Mawile as a mega and theres matchups you want Landourus over Mawile you have to learn to play at a slight disadvantage. when bringing TR mode i like to lead Landourus Cresselia so T1 i can U-turn and TR and then i chose a primal. when bringing Thundurus theres a lot more switching involved. Mawile is mainly my mega of chose because it works well in TR and it gives me answers to Yveltal and Xerneas. 
       
      Groudon-Primal @ Red Orb  
      Ability: Desolate Land  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 196 Atk / 60 SpD  
      Adamant Nature  
      - Protect  
      - Fire Punch  
      - Precipice Blades  
      - Substitute  
      Kyogre-Primal @ Blue Orb  
      Ability: Primordial Sea  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 204 Def / 52 SpA  
      Quiet Nature  
      IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe  
      - Protect  
      - Water Spout  
      - Scald  
      - Ice Beam  
      Mawile-Mega @ Mawilite  
      Ability: Intimidate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD  
      Brave Nature  
      IVs: 0 Spe  
      - Protect  
      - Play Rough  
      - Iron Head  
      - Sucker Punch  
      Thundurus @ Focus Sash  
      Ability: Prankster  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe  
      Timid Nature  
      IVs: 20 HP / 0 Atk / 29 SpD  
      - Protect  
      - Taunt  
      - Thunder Wave  
      - Thunderbolt  
      Cresselia @ Sitrus Berry  
      Ability: Levitate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 92 Def / 164 SpD  
      Sassy Nature  
      IVs: 0 Atk / 9 Spe  
      - Trick Room  
      - Gravity  
      - Skill Swap  
      - Ice Beam  
      Landorus-Therian @ Choice Band  
      Ability: Intimidate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe  
      Jolly Nature  
      - U-turn  
      - Rock Slide  
      - Earthquake  
      - Explosion  
    • By TheChaotician
      Looking for:
      Bold Cresselia (31/X/31/31/31/31)
      Bold Suicune (31/X/31/31/31/31)
      Adamant Landorus (31/31/31/X/31/31)
      Timid Heatran (31/X/31/31/31/31)
      Luxury, Dusk or matching balls preferred, but all offers considered!
      For trade:
      Redistributable Legends: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RvmgtxqSh8Hfb5cFUX0E4ti-8dm9gGYRlRbejaHlesc/htmlview
      Breedables: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UuepyqrQy1xoe4NDJ2TonNHHqluWXw_zsUozlzjwoUo/htmlview
      Thanks for looking!
    • By styrofoameon
      The (Big) 6 Groups of 2016 Nationals Preview
       
      There are currently about 446 players registered for VGC. While some of them are seniors and juniors, most will be masters. This means, as in the past there are in all likelihood 9 rounds and somewhere in the vicinity of 27-36 players (based on 300 to 400 masters) will cut day 1.
       
      However, this year, most people have other goals, and can be broken down into groups based on their objectives. For simplicity we will ignore that a few US and Canada players have CP from other nationals, and simply approximate the targets based on the assumption that this is the last CP of the season, and that most players have a nationals slot open.
      ----------------------------------------------------
      GROUP A: Day 2 or Bust (453+ CP, 21 players)
       
      8 players make a free invite to Day 2 of worlds. This is a hugely important goal. By estimating that most everyone in the current T8 will get at least T32 in this tournament, we can find the minimum target for a day 2 invite: 748. However, something like 59 other players can reach that target with a T16. So a more realistic target is about 819, which assumes that at least 5 of the T16 come from that group of 59.
       
      There are about 21 people who could hope to meet that target with a T32. As most of them are among NA's top players anyway, it is fair to say that not achieving a Day 2 invite would be at least a mild disappointment. At least 13 of these players will of course be disappointed, but such is the nature of Pokemon VGC that it would be silly to discount any of these players a chance for an invite.
      -------------------------------------------------
      GROUP B: As Long as We're Here... (384 - 452 CP, 43 players)
       
      Late in the season VGC confirmed that the T64 would receive stipends contingent on them attending and playing in Nationals. Thus most of them will be in Columbus, but for players at the lower end of the T64, cutting day 1 at Nats is almost certainly required for them to earn the right to skip day 1 at Worlds. More realistically they probably need a T16.
       
      In general, one can expect a lot of these players will drop at X-3, possibly opening up some places for some of the below groups.
      --------------------------------------------------
      GROUP C: Why are we here? (350 – 383 CP, 48 players)
       
      By the current count, 112 players in the US-Canada region have invites. Some of these players will be attending, but many will not, choosing to save their dollars for their trip to expensive San Francisco. Realistically these players can try to pay for their trip to Nationals with T16 or better prize money, but they have little else as a target.
       
      Many of these players are here for the opportunity to see friends and so forth, and one might reasonably expect them to drop at X-3, and perhaps even to scoop if paired with a friend with more at stake.
      -----------------------------------------------------
      GROUP D: Thank goodness for T128 (266-349 CP, 76 players)
       
      About 76 more players (down to #188 in the standings) can reach worlds with a T128 finish. This is easily achieved with a 6-3 finish on day 1. Even with 400 players, a 5-4 finish with good tiebreaks can get the job done, as about a quarter of 5-4 players will finish in the T128.
       
      There will be many pairings between these players in possible win-or-go-home games in the final couple of rounds on Day 1, which will lead to more drama than any of these players want. Players at 5-4 will of course be quite interested in how many people drop at X-3. If attendance is low (<320 or so, possible if virtually no one pays the extra $15 on site to play) and a significant number of players drop, we could even see CP awarded to players with losing records at a nationals not located in South Africa.
      -------------------------------------------------
      GROUP E: Nervous about 6-3... (218-265 CP, 39 players)
       
      This group needs a T64 to make Worlds. Somewhere between about half (with ≈350 players) and a quarter (with ≈410 players) of 6-3 will finish in the T64. This group could be most affected by drops by X-3 players, so it is hard to forecast how many will make it, but there is certainly going to be some suspense waiting for the standings after round 9.
      --------------------------------------------------
      GROUP F: Day 2 or Bust (217 or fewer CP, 228th or worse in the standings)
       
      While some of these players can sneak into worlds with a T32 and technically there may be some T32 at 6-3 depending on attendance, for the most part people in this group cannot really think about worlds unless they are playing on Saturday. T16 of course is enough CP for worlds by itself.
    • By TJD319
      Hello everyone, I have been an avid fan of the games for quite some time, and I also have been doing some battling outside of a major competition for quite some time.  This is my first time getting into the real competitive battling and although I have a lot of strategy understood, I just want some advice on how I am applying my understanding to creating my own team.
      So without further explanation, here is my team as follows:
       Kyogre-Primal  /  Kangaskhan / Mega-Kangaskhan  Crobat  Ferrothorn  /  Rayquaza / Mega-Rayquaza  Thundurus  
       
       
      Kyogre-Primal @ Blue Orb
      Ability: Primordial Sea
      Nature: Modest (+SpA, -Atk)
      IVs: 0 Atk
      EVs: 244 HP / 28 Def / 220 SpA / 4 SpD / 12 Spe
      Moves:
      Scald Water Spout Ice Beam Protect Move Decision Explanation:
      EV Spread Explanation:
      Damage Calcs:
       
       
        -->   
      Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
      Ability: Inner Focus / Parental Bond
      Nature: Jolly (+Spe, -SpA)
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Speed
      Moves:
      Fake Out Sucker Punch Double-Edge Low Kick Move Choice Explanation:
      I generally lead with Kang and Crobat, so having Fake Out on Kang allows her to handle the opposite opponent's Crobat in most cases.  This also provides Crobat a free turn to retain stability against the opposing foes.  Because Gengar is immune to my common lead (Crobat + Kang), having Sucker Punch comes in handy when I can taunt Gengar with Crobat to guarantee either a switch, or an attacking move allowing Kang to throw a nice SE Sucker Punch.  Often, Gengar will protect on the first turn to safely Mega evolve.  Usually, Gengar's partner in many cases has been Whims, so they will double-protect for safety on the Mega and to see what moves I will be using.  Because of this, I can often take advantage of setting up Tailwind on Crobat on the first turn, that way Gengar is outsped on the second.  Next, Crobat will attempt to taunt Whims (if not already being locked into Tailwind because of Prankster Encore), and Kang can proceed to through the punches.
       


      Crobat @ Lum Berry
      Ability: Inner Focus
      Nature: Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
      IVs: 0 Atk
      EVs: 20 HP / 236 Def / 252 Spe
      Moves
      Super Fang Taunt Quick Guard Tailwind Move Choice Explanation:
      EV Spread Explanation:
      Item Choice Explanation:
      Overall, Crobat has been a solid lead and a very good member to my team to provide support and protection, as well as shutting down opposing status setters, etc.  Crobat's high speed makes it very usable, especially with the Defense investment to often last more than 1 turn, if not longer.
       
       

      Ferrothorn @ Leftovers
      Nature: Sassy (+Sp. Def, -Speed)
      IVs: 0 Spe
      EVs: 252 HP / 52 Def / 204 SpD
      Ability: Iron Barbs
      Moves:
      Gyro Ball Power Whip Protect Leech Seed Move Choice Explanation:
      The idea with Ferrothorn is to be a bulky attacker.  I chose Ferrothorn over Amoongus because I felt that Ferrothorn can be a better offensive presence to my team, despite not having moves like Spore and Rage Power.  It was a trade off, but in the end, Ferrothorn hits fairys pretty hard and has quite a few resistance and less weaknesses than Amoongus.  That said, Ferrothorn idealy is in play when a Talonflame or Groudon are not present.
      If the opponent is successful in setting up a TR, Ferrothorn's low speed will allow it an advantage.  Kyogre having only 12 Speed EVs allows it to still be relatively effective under TR without the Tailwind active, but does require Tailwind for Speed support when TR is not up.
      Item Choice Explanation:
       
       

      Thundurus @ Sitrus Berry
      Ability: Prankster
      Nature: Calm
      IVs: 0 Atk
      EVs: 252 HP / 116 Def / 112 SpD / 28 Spe
      Moves:
      Thunderbolt Hidden Power [Ice] Thunder Wave Taunt Move Choice Explanation:
      Nature & EV Spread Explanation:
       
       
       -->  
      Rayquaza @ Life Orb
      Ability: Air Lock
      Nature: Jolly
      EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
      IVs: 29 HP
      Moves
      Extreme Speed Dragon Ascent Overheat Protect Rayquaza pairs well with Kyogre as I have no means of re-establishing the rain if a Groudon is out aside from withdrawing Kyogre (I do not have a Skill Swap user on the team).  Therefore, it made sense to add Rayquaza in for the Air Lock ability to help Kyogre become more effective in a dire-need situation where weather is crucial to survivability and sustainability. 
      Rayquaza is my second mega option on this team.  This allows me to have a secondary plan in case M-Kang is not able to be used effectively as a mega, or I do not find using her Mega form that game useful.  Rayquaza is a mixed attacker because of the soaring Attack and Special Attack stats, therefore the moveset is of a mixed nature.
      Move Choice Explanation:
      Item Choice Explanation:
      EVs & Nature Explanation:
       
       
       
      The Final Team
                   
       
      After much back-and-forth, I am finally pretty settled-in with the current team.  I thought about switching a few members out for some other, similar, Pokemon who would serve a similar, yet different role (scroll near to bottom of thread for what I had though).  However, after some helpful advise, I decided I would really push this team to its limited and have had much success with the current team.
       
       
      Where I would like opinions or help:
      However, I am always open to opinions and ideas.  My EVs to some may not be ideal, and therefore, I may have opportunities to improve the current teams setup.  Right now, my biggest struggle is against Double-Primal + Mega + Support teams.  The Double-Primal has been rough for me, especially when there is another Mega (3 Mega counting the 2 Primal), then their support Pokemon.
      I also have a little bit of a tougher time in Trick Room.  My Kyogre has a minimal Speed EV investment for TR teams, but becomes extremely dependent upon Tailwind support or Thunder Wave control.  My Thundy has minimal speed to also work semi-decently in TR, but mostly to improve it's own bulk, while sometimes falling short to other Prankster/Priority users.
       
    • By RaineKeeper
      Delete this post please.
       
  • Blog Entries