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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!


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      Why did I add it? I needed a secondary check to P-Don, but my team was also relatively weak to Trick Room. Krookodile can take care of both with the added ability to weaken Kyogre. Intimidate is also an excellent Ability for my team, and it can back up Krookodile's paper-thin defense.
      What is it weak to? Max Speed Xerneas, which can set up a Geomancy before I can hit it, can easily take down Krookodile. Also, most attacks on the special side, even Icy Wind, can deal lots of damage.
      Also, I can't stress this enough: Don't let Krookodile get KO'd too early. It might look useless but keeping it alive really helps in the endgame, as seen in this replay:
      http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/vgc2016-356239492

      Thundurus @ Expert Belt
      Ability: Prankster
      EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
      Timid Nature
      -Thunderbolt
      -Taunt
      -Hidden Power Ice
      -Protect
      People who see Thundurus usually suspect it of being the far more common support set with Thunder Wave. A coverage set like this works great because it commonly whacks Dragons around with HP Ice, and Taunt just stops stuff trying to set up. Thunderbolt gets great damage on Kyogre because of all the SpA investment. 
      Why did I add it? Breloom is great at hitting Kyogre for lots of damage  (each Bullet Seed does 30-40% damage) but the problem is that it's pretty slow. I wanted something that could beat Kyogre as well as use Ice coverage to its advantage.
      What is it weak to? This Thundurus is pretty frail tbh, so lots of hits you might have thought support Thundurus could take (like Kyogre's Origin Pulse) can OHKO. It doesn't like priority either.

      Mawile @ Mawilite
      Ability: Intimidate --> Huge Power
      EVs: 172 HP / 252 Atk / 84 Spe
      Adamant Nature
      -Iron Head
      -Sucker Punch
      -Swords Dance
      -Protect
      The VGC 2016 monster of choice. Really its abilities say it all, it Intimidates the opposition with its Huge Power. It Intimidates them so much sometimes that it can set up a Swords Dance while they're using Protect! I EV'd it to outspeed Primals and XY cover legendaries at +2 (this can mean with a Tailwind or vs. a paralyzed Xerneas at +2). Really Groudon is the only thing that can take on this mon, nothing else can take a hit from it, except maybe Landorus-T. 
      Why did I add it? Long story short, I needed a mega. I tried Salamence but it kept dying to Kyogre and stuff until I found Mawile. It has the ability to apply massive pressure on the opponent, because Huge Power.
      What is it weak to? Mainly Groudon, because everything else takes a bunch from Sucker Punch. (Hey, that rhymes!) Groudon can just shrug it off and use some Fire move.

      Ho-Oh @ Sitrus Berry
      Ability: Pressure
      EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpD / 4 Spe
      Careful Nature
      -Brave Bird
      -Sacred Fire
      -Protect
      -Tailwind
      My other restricted Pokémon is great at placing control of the battle in my hands. First of all, Ho-Oh can eat special attacks to no end, thanks to the given investment. Secondly, Tailwind support helps each of my Pokémon become a threat in its own right. Here's how each team member benefits from this support:
      -Zygarde doesn't need to paralyze its foes to flinch them with Rock Slide. It also has an effective 230 speed Glare.
      -Breloom can outspeed pretty much anything and play fun mind games with Spore, Protect and its attacks.
      -Krookodile, being built to outspeed threats, improves more than you'd think. Although it doesn't outspeed many more relevant threats with the aid of Tailwind, it no longer has to outpredict faster threats using Protect, and it's free to fire off Knock Offs or EQs.
      -Thundurus can outspeed Mega Mence and Rayquaza now, OHKO'ing Mence and 2HKO'ing Rayquaza. It also deals with ScarfOgre well.
      -Mawile benefits the most from Tailwind because it can outspeed both primals and the XY cover legendaries, OHKO'ing all of them (bar Groudon). With speed to go with its massive power, Mega Mawile becomes a force to be reckoned with. 
      Why did I add it? I'm not really sure, but it works pretty well.
      What is it weak to? You know this by now. Rock Slide is pretty commonplace (although Ho-Oh isn't, for some reason) and strong physical hits can also deal lots of damage.
      Leads / Combinations
      Some of my Pokémon work especially well together. Each can eliminate the other's weaknesses to a certain extent. Therefore, I often lead with them.
       "Thundile": This pair is probably my best. It can take on both primals (even at the same time). Also, most opposing Smeargle stand no chance against Taunt and/or Earthquake. Thundurus also has a helpful immunity to EQ, and can deal heavy damage to enemies like Landorus-T, Salamence, Rayquaza, etc. that Krookodile can't deal much damage to due to Intimidate. Krookodile, in return, supports Thundurus' weaker Defense with its own Intimidate. This core, however, has only one Taunt, which can be a problem at times.
      "Thundergarde": It beats the Big 6. The vast majority of Smeargle will go for the Fake Out on Thundurus, while Zygarde sets up. On the next turn, I usually end up Taunting Smeargle or phazing it out, then abusing Rock Slide. Luckily for me, Talonflame is a common support Pokémon seen with Xerneas, so I can catch it on the switch more often than not. Lead Salamences don't stand a chance against HP Ice, and Talonflame doesn't like eating Thunderbolts. The match up vs. Kanga is a bit iffy but I can be reasonably sure it won't Fake Out Zygarde. Still, though, let me reiterate that first statement.
      It beats the Big 6.
      It beats the Big 6.
       "Double Status": Each of these Pokémon has a status inflicting move. While Zygarde can slow down an opponent for the rest of the match, Breloom momentarily makes them unable to move. Similarly, Zygarde's strength lies in taking hits while Breloom's specialty is to dish them out. Although it doesn't offer spectacular offensive or defensive coverage, this duo provides a good amount of utility for my other two Pokémon.
       "Bird Spam": While each of these Pokémon has trouble dealing with Groudon and Smeargle, they handle most other threats pretty well. Ho-Oh flat out stops Xerneas (unless it has Thunderbolt, which I saw once; I'm still not sure what they were thinking of hitting besides Kyogre) and Xerneas might not mind having its Attack dropped from a Sacred Fire burn, but the continual damage can be very helpful, as Thundurus can use Protect the next turn to stall it out. Tailwind from Ho-Oh also helps Thundurus beat faster Rock Slide users like Scarf Landorus-T. Thundurus can beat basically all Rock Slide users with Hidden Power Ice (except the aforementioned Groudon).
       "Chaos": 'Use Glare on the thing that can KO Mawile while it uses Protect, then KO it back.' That's how I'm supposed to play this style, but I tend to be a bit more reckless. Now about this duo: As I mentioned before, if Mawile is faster, it pretty much has nothing to fear bar Groudon. Zygarde's longevity is also extended with Mawile's Intimidate, making it even more prepared to take down Groudon. (Seriously, it looks designed for exactly that.) Land's Wrath also doesn't hit Mawile, which is a plus.
      Things I don't like dealing with aka threatlist
      -Gravity Spam: If you want to annoy me you don't have to do much more than use Gravity. By no means does it outright break my team, but dealing with Gravity Precipice Blades and Blizzard (does it ever miss?) can be difficult to deal with.
      -Icy Wind: I hate Icy Wind. It deals too much damage (4 team members are weak to it) and the Speed drop can really be annoying. Luckily for me Gengar (the usual suspect) is pretty frail, but it often carries a Sash. Annoyingness level = over 9000.
      -ScarfOgre: Breloom gets brought to its Sash by this thing. Not good. The only thing I can do is hope Ho-Oh lives through the hit (man, Ho-Oh is a beast!) and retaliate.
      -Mewtwo: Mewtwo is fairly uncommon but is bad news. I usually need Krookodile and Ho-Oh to deal with it. Mewtwo is really fast for some reason, so Krookodile needs to use Protect on turn 1 while Ho-Oh throws a Tailwind. Krookodile and Ho-Oh is a less-than-ideal strategy because of bad offensive synergy (you can't hit Dragons) so it sort of restricts my flexibility.
      Replays: I don't have a lot of them
      Tailwind in general
      http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/vgc2016-351170526
      Thundergarde
      http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/vgc2016-359762973
      http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/vgc2016-359764656
      Thundile
      http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/vgc2016-349490390
      http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/vgc2016-353871302
      Double Status
      http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/vgc2016-347326031
      Chaos
      http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/vgc2016-353741567
      Thanks for reading my team! I hope you enjoyed it  Please let me know if you have any comments on either the quality of the team or that of the RMT as well, as I want to improve both. Have a nice day!
    • VGC '16 - Regionals - Kansas City - May 28-29
      By TeeJay
      Date/Schedule: 
      SATURDAY, MAY 28th - Swiss & JR/SR Top Cut  10:30am - Check-In 11:30am - Check-In closes -- Any players not checked in by this time will be entered with a First Round loss 11:45am - Player Meeting 12:00pm - Play begins SUNDAY, MAY 29th - Masters Top Cut & Premier Challenge Top Cut start time TBD PC start time TBD Location: Overland Park Convention Center. 6000 College Blvd, Overland Park, Kansas, 66211 (same as last year) https://goo.gl/maps/fQzH4AC1HaM2
      Registration: ALL PLAYERS MUST register at this link http://labs.pokegym.net/register/16-05-000063
      Entry Fee (Cash only): 
      $20 per player, all divisions $10 if you are a parent with a child playing in any division (limit 1 discount per person) Hotels: Only one hotel is offering a group rate. Many events in the area are causing hotels to fill up fast this weekend.
      To reserve a room at the group rate, please CALL the hotel directly and ask for the Pokémon Regionals group rate. All rates are per night stayed and do not include associated taxes.
      Hotel with group rate
      Spoiler 435 Overland Park Place
      7000 West 108th Street, Overland Park, KS (5 blocks from OPCC)
      Group Rate: $79
      Reservation Phone: (913) 383-2550
      Please book by May 16 to receive group rate
      Hotel Website: http://www.435opp.com/
      Our block at 435 Overland Park Place contains 20 double rooms and 3 king rooms. Amenities include:
      * Two (2) Breakfast Buffet coupons each day stayed. Buffet includes scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, Belgian waffles, fruit, cereal, yogurt, and more! Additional coupons can be purchased at the front desk for a discounted rate of $5.00 plus tax.
      * Nightly Happy Hour from 4-7pm
      * Free WiFi
      * Outdoor pool with BBQ grill
      * On-site fitness center
      * Local Shuttle Service within 3 mile radius
      * Complimentary coffee service 24 hours a day
      Hotels in walking distance with NO special group rate
      Spoiler  
      Sheraton Overland Park Hotel at the Convention Center
      6100 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS (attached to OPCC)
      Hotel Website: http://www.sheratonoverlandpark.com/
      Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City/Overland Park/Convention Center
      11001 Woodson, Overland Park, KS (directly across the street from OPCC)
      Hotel Website: http://www.marriot.com/mcicv
      Hilton Garden Inn Overland Park
      5800 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS 66211 (directly across the street from OPCC)
      Hotel Website: http://www.overlandpark.hgi.com/
      Chase Suite Hotel Overland Park
      6300 West 110th Street, Overland Park, KS (1 block from OPCC)
      Hotel Website: http://www.chasehoteloverlandpark.com/
      Holiday Inn & Suites Overland Park/Convention Center
      10920 Nall Avenue, Overland Park, KS (1 block from OPCC)
      Hotel Website: http://www.ihg.com/…/…/us/en/overland-park/mkcov/hoteldetail
      Drury Inn & Suites Overland Park
      10963 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS (3 blocks from OPCC)
      Hotel Website: https://www.druryhotels.com/…/drury-inn-and-suites-kansas-c…
      Pear Tree Inn Overland Park/Kansas City
      10951 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS (3 blocks from OPCC)
      Hotel Website: https://www.druryhotels.com/…/pear-tree-inn-kansas-city-ove…
      Extended Stay America
      5401 West 110th Street, Overland Park, KS (3 blocks from OPCC)
      Hotel Website: http://www.extendedstayamerica.com/…/kansas-city/overland-p…
      Overland Park Marriott
      10800 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS (4 blocks from OPCC)
      Hotel Website: http://www.marriott.com/…/tra…/mciop-overland-park-marriott/
      Comfort Inn & Suites Overland Park/Kansas City South
      7200 West 107th Street, Overland Park, KS (1 mile from OPCC)
      Hotel Website: https://www.choicehotels.com/…/ove…/comfort-inn-hotels/ks077
       
       
      Nearest major airport (40 minute drive): Kansas City International (MCI): https://goo.gl/maps/iWS6fWxQ1JG2
      Useful Links
      Play! Pokemon link: Tournament ID 16-05-000063 https://www.pokemon.com/us/play-pokemon/pokemon-events/16-05-000063/ KC Pokemon Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/635201656648230/ Player information/preparation sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ubGGjKrq6nrc67uoYL7pyyidhzO8JlUO3QhM3ea4-cY/edit Registration (required): http://labs.pokegym.net/register/16-05-000063 PTO's website: http://www.feralevents.com/default.cfm Note-worthy food nearby
      Joe's KC BBQ (formerly Oklahoma Joe's) (CLOSED SUNDAY): https://goo.gl/maps/58tNXxxAGG32 Fast Casual World famous - Check out the others on this list from Bourdain: http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/must-visit-restaurants Fiorella's Jack Stack BBQ: https://goo.gl/maps/c3Cu1VGsqF42 Upscale sit-down Generally considered the highest quality "gourmet" BBQ in KC Nearest Planet Sub: https://goo.gl/maps/izxNzMBhkr62 Stream: Nuggetbridge Twitch channel. Hosted by TeeJay and Biffster.
       
      Welcome to my hometown. 
       
    • A New Sun Shines: A Chlorophyll Whimsicott Team
      By Lily
      Hello, all! Recently I came up with this team that I'm about to show you. I'm wanting to bring it to a PC that I have in a few days. I've been really liking it, but it obviously has its issues. Aside from the glaringly obvious, I'll tell you the issues I have with it at the end. Without further ado, the first member of the team:

      Mega Heatran (Groudon-Primal) @ Red Orb  
      Ability: Desolate Land  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  
      Jolly Nature  
      - Precipice Blades  
      - Rock Tomb  
      - Swords Dance  
      - Protect
      A pretty standard Jolly Groudon set. I decided to run Rock Tomb over Rock Slide as it provides guaranteed Speed control, whereas Stone Edge has a high miss rate and Rock Slide has a low flinch rate, which I'd rather not rely on. Swords Dance is there over a Fire-type move as I figured +2 Precipice Blades would take care of the threats that Fire Punch would take care of just fine (mainly Ferrothorn and Scizor).
      The EV spread is 4/244/4/0/4/252 instead of 4/252/252 as Groudon's bulk is decent enough to justify investing a few more points into it. I'm running Jolly avoid being outsped by other Groudon, as since this Groudon has very little bulk, it's easily OHKOd by opposing Precipice Blades.
      Groudon is one of the most powerful and the most overused Pokemon in the meta, and for good reason. It has great physical bulk and massive physical Attack, allowing it to plow through entire teams, especially when set up with Swords Dance, although aid is usually provided by Liepard or Whimsicott when setting up. Groudon is threatened mainly by other Groudon, Salamence, Yveltal, and Kyogre (the last of which this team struggles to deal with at times). Overall, I think Groudon is a very solid offensive threat and definitely the most powerful Pokemon on this team.

      New Meta (Whimsicott) (F) @ Life Orb  
      Ability: Chlorophyll  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe  
      Timid Nature  
      IVs: 0 Atk  
      - Grass Knot  
      - Moonblast  
      - Protect  
      - Encore
      A surprisingly threatening offensive Pokemon, Whimsicott is one of my favorite Pokemon and I wanted to try something new with it. I heard that Life Orb Whimsicott was used by at least a few people in the Japan Cup, so I wanted to try it for myself. I gave it the Chlorophyll ability and paired it with Groudon and I was amazed at how well it did, even without a Focus Sash. Although obviously extremely frail, Chlorophyll helps Whimsicott outspeed everything in the meta that isn't boosted by Tailwind, including +2 252+ Speed Timid Xerneas, allowing me to Encore it into Geomancy even without Prankster.
      The moveset is pretty different than the norm as well, of course. Moonblast and Grass Knot are great STAB choices and, when boosted by Life Orb, are able to deal big damage to its main partner's (Groudon) biggest threats, including Primal Kyogre, Primal Groudon, Mega Rayquaza, Mega Salamence, and Yveltal.
      Relevant calcs:
      252 SpA Life Orb Whimsicott Grass Knot (120 BP) vs. 140 HP / 0 SpD Primal Kyogre: 127-151 (65.8 - 78.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
      252 SpA Life Orb Whimsicott Grass Knot (120 BP) vs. 4 HP / 4 SpD Primal Groudon: 103-122 (58.5 - 69.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO 252 SpA Life Orb Whimsicott Moonblast vs. 4 HP / 4 SpD Mega Rayquaza: 151-179 (83.4 - 98.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
      252 SpA Life Orb Whimsicott Moonblast vs. 4 HP / 4 SpD Mega Salamence: 164-195 (95.9 - 114%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO
      252 SpA Life Orb Whimsicott Moonblast vs. 244 HP / 0 SpD Yveltal: 151-182 (65 - 78.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
      As I said before, Whimsicott is one of my favorite Pokemon. I thought the idea of a Life Orb Whimsicott sounded extremely far-fetched at first, but I decided to give it a try and I wasn't disappointed. I chose Chlorophyll over Prankster to ensure I outspeed everything. With that speed, I'm not only able to deal damage, but I'm also able to Encore Xerneas into Geomancy, Kangaskhan/Smeargle/Weavile/Raichu into Fake Out while Groudon Swords Dances and picks up the OHKO.

      Bacon Bird (Yveltal) @ Black Glasses  
      Ability: Dark Aura  
      Level: 50  
      Shiny: Yes  
      EVs: 244 HP / 28 Def / 4 SpA / 36 SpD / 196 Spe  
      Timid Nature  
      - Snarl  
      - Sucker Punch  
      - Protect  
      - Foul Play
      Pyritie here on NB inspired me to try Yveltal. I saw his set that he posted and thought it looked solid, so I tried it out myself and fell in love. (See his post here for relevant calcs.) I think Yveltal is a really solid Pokemon in this format, able to counter (or at least damage) many big threats such as Groudon, Landorus-T, Salamence, Rayquaza, Kangaskhan, and even Kyogre, just to name a few.
      I tried Tailwind for a while, but eventually settled on using the same moveset that was provided in the post. I feel that it covers a lot of bases. Snarl is a spread attack that gets a Dark Aura and Black Glasses boost, so it deals considerable damage and also drops the target's special attack stat. Sucker Punch is great priority move and the most powerful one, and it's able to pick up some necessary KOs on big threats. Foul Play is the main offensive move on this set and can dish out massive damage to the Pokemon listed above.
      In addition to being pretty solid on its own, Yveltal makes a great partner for Primal Groudon, as it basically hard-counters opposing Primal Groudon and is able to threaten and chip away at a lot of Pokemon that could potentially cause trouble for Groudon.

      Guinevere (Liepard) (F) @ Focus Sash  
      Ability: Prankster  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 Spe  
      Timid Nature  
      - Foul Play  
      - Taunt  
      - Fake Out  
      - Swagger
      Liepard is an interesting Pokemon this format. It's not as fast as other Prankster users like Thundurus and Whimsicott (or 252 +Speed Meowstic, but I don't think anyone uses that), but it gets Fake Out and STAB- and Dark Aura-boosted Foul Play, (Sableye does too, but it's much slower and I'd rather have Speed on this team) which is why I chose it over the Pokemon mentioned previously.
      I first got the idea to use Liepard after seeing peckspec's team here. I used his standard 4/252/252 spread and movset and changed out Thunder Wave for Swagger, as I already had Thundurus for good speed control.
      Focus Sash is so it can survive powerful moves from many Pokemon. Foul Play is used for the same reason on Liepard as it is on Yveltal. Taunt is a great way to stop non-Mental-Herb Smeargle from spamming Dark Void as well as Thundurus, Whimsicott, and opposing Liepard. Fake Out support is great and can prevent crucial KOs on my Pokemon by not letting the opponent attack (this is especially useful when Groudon is trying to set up Swords Dance). Finally, Swagger is a great move as it not only gives the opponent a 50% chance to damage themselves, but it also doubles the damage done with Foul Play, so Liepard can priority Swagger and Black Glasses Yveltal can use Foul Play and pick up OHKOs on even Kyogre.
      +2 0 Atk Dark Aura Yveltal Foul Play vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Primal Kyogre: 180-213 (102.8 - 121.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO

      Tarboosh (Thundurus) @ Sitrus Berry  
      Ability: Prankster  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 52 HP / 4 Def / 4 SpA / 196 SpD / 252 Spe  
      Timid Nature 
      - Thunderbolt  
      - Swagger  
      - Taunt  
      - Thunder Wave
      First off, if you're wondering what a Tarboosh is, it's a sort of fez. Because Thundurus wears a hat sort of thing. Kind of.
      Thundurus is as good as, if not better than, it has been in the past. It's still doing what it's always been good at: paralyzing, confusing, and causing people to lose their sanity. It's a great support option for multiple reasons, as it gets access to Taunt, Thunder Wave, Swagger, even Embargo, Role Play, and Electroweb. I chose it because I needed both a second Taunter and because I felt another Swagger user would better help out Yveltal. The EV spread was taken from Se Jun Park's Generation Showdown team (which I was surprised is not mentioned in the sample teams post: read it here), I just switched around the HP and the Speed and went with Timid over Calm because I felt like max Speed was more necessary this format than it has been in the past. I'm not sure what all of the relevant calcs were, or if he just wanted a specially-bulky Thundurus, but it has a decent chance to survive quite a few attacks.
      Relevant calcs:
      252+ SpA Primal Kyogre Origin Pulse vs. 52 HP / 196 SpD Thundurus in Heavy Rain: 142-168 (88.1 - 104.3%) -- 25% chance to OHKO
      252+ SpA Primal Kyogre Ice Beam vs. 52 HP / 196 SpD Thundurus: 138-164 (85.7 - 101.8%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
      +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Dazzling Gleam vs. 52 HP / 196 SpD Thundurus: 130-154 (80.7 - 95.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
      The moveset is the standard set that almost everyone uses. Thunderbolt is used as the offensive option because it has good base damage, STAB, and a slight chance to paralyze. Swagger's there for the same reason Liepard has it. It has Taunt as a backup or substitute for Liepard. Thunder Wave is a great form of speed control and allows my other Pokemon to outspeed big threats such as +2 Xerneas, Mega Rayquaza, Mega Salamence, and max speed Primal Kyogre, among many other things.
      I think Thundurus is a great choice for a supporting 'mon, as it provides fast, reliable speed control, it can Taunt, Swagger, and take out Flying-types with Thunderbolt due to its good base special attack stat.

      Saladmenace (Salamence-Mega) (F) @ Salamencite  
      Ability: Intimidate  
      Level: 50  
      Shiny: Yes  
      EVs: 4 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 244 SpA / 252 Spe  
      Naive Nature  
      - Hyper Voice  
      - Double-Edge  
      - Protect  
      - Tailwind
      Mega Salamence is one of the most prominent threats in the meta. It's fast, it's powerful, and most of all, it's really cool-looking. (That's the most important part, right?)
      Besides Mawile, Salamence is my favorite mega evolution in the game. It's got solid stats all around and has access to a plethory of offensive and even a few support options. The EV spread is 4/4/4/244/252 because of the same reason Groudon's is. I went with a more specially-biased variant as Hyper Voice is a spread move and it will deal less damage to each opponent in exchange for targeting both of them, so I wanted it to be as powerful as possible, whereas Double-Edge is only single-target and deals great damage even with just 4 attack EVs. In addition to being a powerhouse, my Salamence also has Tailwind to support its team. Tailwind on Salamence is amazing as most people's first instinct typically isn't to Taunt a mega Salamence (although I feel like that will become more common soon), so I can set it up relatively safely, especially with Fake Out support from Liepard or Swagger from either Liepard or Thundurus.
      Salamence is a great option for a mega as it counters two of the four main restricted legendaries: Groudon and Rayquaza. It also can do a lot of damage to most other things in the meta.
      -------------------------
      Alright! Now that the team is done, I'll quickly list what I'm having problems with and share a few battle videos.
       
      Trick Room  The main problem I have, which you probably noticed, is with Trick Room. Everything on my team bar Yveltal has max speed and a +speed nature. It works out well overall, and I can outplay TR if it gets set up, but I'd rather have a much more reliable way of controlling it if it gets set up. The problem is, I don't know who to replace as I feel that they all play a pretty important role in the team.
      Primal Kyogre Primal Kyogre has been a problem occasionally. I feel like a Grass-type might be able to remedy this, but I'm not sure who to choose.
      Xerneas Despite having Primal Groudon, Xerneas is a pretty big weakness to my team if Whimsicott gets knocked out before I can Encore it.
      -------------------------
      Thanks for reading if you made it this far. This is my first RMT on Nugget Bridge, so I hope it was acceptable. I'd appreciate any and all help and feedback. Thank you!
       
      EDIT: Sorry that some of the sprites are so big! I don't know how to fix that
    • Battle Spot Johto Classic - Help with team
      By MegaShuckle
      So I´ve been trying different teams in Pokemon Showdown for the johto classic and I got to the 1300 with this team:
      Espeon @ Choice Specs  
      Ability: Magic Bounce  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe  
      Timid Nature  
      IVs: 0 Atk  
      - Psyshock  
      - Dazzling Gleam  
      - Shadow Ball  
      - Trick
      Weezing @ Black Sludge  
      Ability: Levitate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe  
      Bold Nature  
      IVs: 0 Atk  
      - Taunt  
      - Will-O-Wisp  
      - Fire Blast  
      - Sludge Bomb
      Scizor @ Occa Berry  
      Ability: Technician  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 108 Atk / 28 Def / 116 SpD / 4 Spe  
      Adamant Nature  
      - Swords Dance  
      - Superpower  
      - Bullet Punch  
      - Knock Off
      Dragonite @ Lum Berry  
      Ability: Multiscale  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  
      Adamant Nature  
      - Dragon Dance  
      - Outrage  
      - Thunder Punch  
      - Earthquake
      Zapdos @ Life Orb  
      Ability: Static  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe  
      Timid Nature  
      IVs: 0 Atk / 30 SpA  
      - Volt Switch  
      - Thunderbolt  
      - Hidden Power [Grass]  
      - Heat Wave
      My problem is that I dont know which 6th Pokemon I should use: I´ve tried Gyarados, Crobat, Piloswine, Donphan, Cloyster, Golem. But everyone of those makes my team always to weak against some type. Any ideas of how can I improve my team? Any help would be thankful.
      (If you are asking why my Zapdos has HP Grass, its my only way of getting rid of Quagsire)
    • UK National Senior Preview
      By FeathVgc
      UK National senior preview 
      Hi everyone I'm Fergus or @FeathVgc and I'm writing my first article on nugget bridge. This preview for seniors has been done before by @Garchompguybut many people felt he failed to capture every aspect a preview needs to contain. I will write this with no bias and will work from knowledge of players and point systems to help me give the best analysis I can of the for coming  UK nationals.
      Difficulty : difficulty is hard to tell with this composition due to the varied success of players across the season also the turbulent nature of VGC makes it hard to call 100% of the time a clear winner. Because of this I will leave out a rating for thi compotition
      Championship points: so as it stands I will order the preview by the rating of CP from 1-10 positions this way I can get a clear order for who needs what place and how they will do.
      1) Fergus Costard (@feathvgc) -554 CP
      At the moment I am currently 1st in the uk in terms or championship points the season started well for me with a 2nd place at the London regional. and also picking up a 1st in the Glasgow regional. I currently lead the UK Seniors and need only top 16 for a paid worlds invite.
      2) Conor Gore (@UnitedCancerVGC) -512 CP
      Conor, despite having only played Pokémon at competitions for only a year, has done very well to earn his 512 CP and his 2nd in UK and 15 in Europe spot. He is the winner of Wakefield regional,3rd at London and took 2nd at the recent Nottingham MSS. he took a fall at Sutton but he has since recovered and is now looking for top 8 nationals and his paid worlds invite. He is a strong player and if he can get his head in the game he can come out with a good result.
      3) Sammy 'o Connor (@m3m3rVGC) -502CP
      Sammy is a strong player with experience from last years national here in the UK. he has amounted his CP via his top 4 placements at both Wakefield and Sutton coldfield as well as being the victor of a MSS showdown. A strong player who needs top 8/4 for worlds and with his level of play can probably do it.
      4) Sanjit Acharya (@TimeRiftVGC)-490CP
      Sanjit has had a mixed season with highs and lows. He played missed cut at both Sutton and London regionals but found success with his 2nd place at Wakefield regionals and MSS win in Nottingham. he has played consistently well this season and can hopefully get his top 4 spot and henceforth world invite.
      5) Calon Stevens (no known twitter) -480CP
      Coming of this paid trip to worlds in VGC15. Calon hit some turbulence in his adaptations to VGC16. He missed cut in his 1st and 2nd regional. he later bounced back with a top 8 in Sutton to go with his top 8 in London and also his top 8 in Wakefield. he is an experienced player who has huge potential and if anyone was to write his off for nationals they would have to be and idiot.
      6) Rhys Stevens ( no known twitter) - 439CP
      Rhys is calon's brother and is the youngest senior competing. Rhys just left the junior division with a top 2 place at nationals last year and has done very well to earn his spot. He is will need  top 2 in Liverpool's national to earn his paid worlds. He had got a top 2 before so who knows. He plays well and has achieved a top 8 at Sutton to help his point total.
      7) Jamie Stewart (@jammiedodgerVGC)- 429CP
      Jamie has had a varied season starting with just missing cut at London and a bubble at Wakefield which came down to the fact all his opponents lost their last games. he also bubbled again at Sutton claiming 9th place and missing the top 8 cut. This said he did have all this bad luck against him I one way or another and the pressure of exams but he still has got his self the chance for worlds with a top 2 for paid invite.
      8) Sam Pickering (@UKsamVGC)- 377CP
      Sam had a decent start to his season by picking up top 4 in London narrowly loosing to me after a heated Bo3 set. He followed up with a solid top 4 at Wakefield and is looking hopeful for worlds. Only problem is he had never won an event. until yesterday when he took a PC win against all odds. despite this he had a poor run a Sutton ending on 1-4  making worlds a hard call with a win at nationals the only thing to save him. He makes good plays and should not be underestimated.
      9) Theo Chevis (@kyogreworlds) -327 CP
      Theo is a strange player who in my opinion is the real wild card here. He has only played me once this season and I 4-0ed him but he goes on to win Sutton regional and also take the Boston open title back in 2015. His lack of tournaments is the reason for his lack of points but he has quite the reputation as a result a player to be feared and to watch. sadly a worlds win will only take him to a possible paid invite so he will have to really pull it out the bag here. Theo is the player to watch imo.
      10) Thomas Gilmore (no known twitter) - 180 CP
      I included Thomas in my top 10 even though he is not strictly top 10 in CP. I did this because Thomas is , like theo , a very odd player. he comes to 4 competitions an takes 1st in London regional 1st in a PC , last in a PC and top 16 in Sutton he is a very good player who just needs more self confidence and he will bloom. he cant make worlds even with a national win but in my opinion he could well take it.
       
      Honourable mentions: these are players who perhaps cant make paid worlds but are In the running for something high placed
      1) Jana (@WeeYellowBoy)-370CP
       Jana is a fairly isolated member of the community. Little is known about his apart from his top 2 finish at Glasgow and 5th place bubble at London. No one knows if he will even show up at nats but if he did he would need the win and as result he did not make my list.
      2)Eoin McMahon (no known twitter)-319CP
      Trained by Sammy o Connor, Eoin has performed well this season picking up good results at his events. Eoin and I have never met but his total and what people tell me shows he is a force to be reckoned with and well with in his capabilities to do well at nationals. Needing the win here at UK nationals he will have a tough time making worlds. Tough but not impossible.
      3)Mattie Morgan (@MattieMooVGC)- 301CP
      Mattie is the only worlds hopeful from Ireland. he has been to 2 regionals and picked up 1st at his Irish regional and 2nd at the Sutton coldfield one. I have only seen him play once and he looked ok. but from what I have been told he has improved massively and is truly in the running for the nationals win. sadly even with the national win ,Mattie  still needs a good amount of top 16 to drop out for him to clutch his spot. in the top 16.
      4) Jamie Molyneux (@AssAssinMine)-167 CP
      I put Jamie in this honourable mention place because he plays well and his top 8 at Wakefield reflects this he has not been to as many tournaments as others but I woud under no circumstances write him off at all. He can definitely make a big splash this tournament.
      5+6) AxilotlVGC and Tevin/Otto Arboren (@invicnati and @Hungryspheal )-586 + 552CP
      These two are our confirmed international visitors for the senior division. AxilotlVGC's real name is not known and all that is known is he and Otto must have left Sweden 2 times in order to acquire the point total they have. As the horse betting tip goes you should bet on the foreign horse as it wont have come all this way for nothing. Because of the success in other countries these 2 have had to get 4th and 7th in Europe. these 2 could well be in the running's of winning this thing. they both need top 16 for paid worlds and should be able to do this.
      Conclusion
      To conclude , UK nationals at the moment is really anyone's game and everyone will have to play their best to get to worlds. To call a winner would be stupid and guess work so i will leave it open and here but anyway thanks for reading my article and I hope you enjoyed an insight into seniors and our worlds hopes. Shout out to @Carlos666333VGC and @NacThePro1 who just told me they are coming to the National! c u there
       
      thanks for reading - @FeathVgc 
       
       
        
       
       
       
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