Tommy Y. (tlyee61) placed 2nd in the Seniors division at this year's San Jose, CA, Regional Championships. He shares the team he used to earn $500 and a Bye in the first round of the United States National Championships with Nugget Bridge:
Hydreigon (F) @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 244 HP / 252 SAtk / 12 Spd
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
- Dark Pulse
- Draco Meteor
- Focus Blast
- Fire Blast
Scarf Hydreigon acted as the special side of my offense core. Along with Metagross, Hydreigon formed a fearsome duo that could decimate teams. Originally, I was testing various other Scarfed Dragons that could outspeed and OHKO Timid Latios. Hydreigon can do exactly this. With a Choice Scarf and 12 Speed EVs, Hydreigon outspeeds Latios by a whole two points! As long as Draco Meteor never missed (which unfortunately happened once or twice in the actual tournament) it would get a clean KO on the speedy blue dragon. Draco Meteor can also rip holes in opposing Pokemon, provided that they’re not Steel-types. Dark Pulse is an amazing secondary-STAB move for when I don’t want the crippling Sp. Attack loss. Fire Blast hits Steels that Draco Meteor cannot do much to and provides great coverage for Hydreigon. Unfortunately, Earth Power could not be used with Hydreigon for these Regionals, so I had to stick with Focus Blast. Luckily, it does hit Tyranitar for a nice chunk of damage when it hits.
Thundurus (M) @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 196 HP / 204 SDef / 108 Spd
- Thunder Wave
- Hidden Power [ice]
Like I said, Wolfey’s sets were too good not to use. This Heatran is extremely bulky, even tanking a Fight Gem Close Combat from Hitmontop with enough HP to set up a Substitute! Heat Wave is a great spread move in Doubles, which could net either a double KO or even a burn, which saved me on a few occasions as physical attackers took a burn and lost most of their attacking power. Earth Power is another good move, hitting Rock-types for super effective damage and neutral damage on most of the types Heat Wave can’t hit. Protect is a staple in Doubles, allowing Heatran to defend itself from any other move. Heatran has fantastic synergy with Virizion, covering each other’s weaknesses perfectly.
Hitmontop is an extremely vanilla Pokemon in VGC. However, this did not stop me from using it. It is a great Pokemon to form the “glue” of your team. Fake Out is a great move to stop set up or allow Heatran to get in a free Substitute. Hitmontop was especially crucial in preventing the setup of many Trick Rooms.
A Careful nature and Hitmontop’s EV spread allows it to live Cresselia’s Psychic/Psyshock and Latios’ Psyshock/Dragon Gem Draco Meteor with a few HP left to spare. I pumped the rest into Attack so Hitmontop could still provide an offensive presence. Close Combat is a very strong move, and even though it lowers both defense stats, the sheer power is worth it. Sucker Punch is a good move that provides great coverage with Close Combat, allowing Hitmontop to hit Ghost Types. It also had a cool pairing with Thundurus’ Taunt, allowing it to hit Ghost-types with ease. Detect, a similar move to Protect, allows Hitmontop to guard itself from incoming moves. Even though it has less PP than Protect, VGC battles usually don’t last longer that 8 turns. Also, Detect cannot be Imprisoned by any Pokemon, except Smeargle.
Metagross is the second Pokemon in my offensive core, providing a superb physical presence -- no wonder he’s consistently a Top 10 used Pokemon in the VGC 2012 metagame. His EV spread makes opposing Metagross’ Earthquake a 3HKO, and he tanks +2 Metagross’ Earthquakes with a sliver of HP to spare. Zen Headbutt gets a guaranteed OHKO on Hitmontop, who threatens Hydreigon, Heatran and Virizion to an extent. Meteor Mash is an extremely powerful STAB move, and further boosted with Steel Gem, it absolutely nukes any Pokemon. Earthquake rounds out the coverage, allowing Metagross to hit other Steel-types, including opposing Metagross. Protect helps against Fire- and Ground-type moves. When I predict an opponent will use Heat Wave and Heatran and Metagross are out, I protect with Metagross so Heatran can obtain a free boost!
Virizion was kind of a surprise card added into my team. Seeing as Heatran and Virizion have exceptional synergy, it only seemed natural to have it on my team. The EV Spread allows Grass Gem Leaf Blade to OHKO a multitude of common Pokemon, such as Tyranitar, Terrakion, Rindo Gastrodon, Rotom-W and Politoed. It acts as an anti-weather Pokemon, killing off other weather starters. Also, most Thundurus and Cresselia’s Ice Beams or Hidden Power Ices are only 3HKOs, unless they invest heavily in Sp. Attack. Sacred Sword is another STAB. Before Regionals, I was debating between Sacred Sword and Close Combat, but I decided on Sacred Sword because Virizion already had many weaknesses and doesn't really enjoy a drop in both defenses. Sometimes, I wished I had the extra power, but I feel that Virizion would be too frail after a drop. Helping Hand is a move I kind of just threw on Virizion as filler. When Virizion is in low HP Range, it can assist its partner and boost its attacks. I feel like I could possibly replace it with Close Combat, but having two Fighting moves didn’t really appeal to me either.
Hitmontop allows Heatran to set up a Substitute almost always without taking much previous damage and provides valuable Intimidate support to neuter some of Heatran's counters.
Thundurus and Hitmontop have some nice synergy, with Hitmontop defending Thundurus from Rock- and Ice-types and Thundurus defending Hitmontop from Flying-types. Also, this pair can shut down Trick Room teams. Unless their user packs Mental Herb (which is uncommon in the first place) I can easily just Taunt + Fake Out their leads. If they have a slower Fake Outer / Ghost type TR setter, I fake out the partner. If the TR user is not Ghost, and the partner cannot use Fake Out, I double target the TR user with Fake Out + Taunt.
Virizion and Heatran have great defensive synergy and cover each other’s weaknesses well. Helping Hand-boosted Heat Wave also hurts both of the opponent’s Pokemon.
When I see a Hail team, these are my 2 favorite Pokemon to lead with. They both resist Blizzard, which Hail teams just love to spam. They can also KO all the usual Ice-types on a Hail team.
Metagross and Hydreigon form a sublime offense core. Metagross easily handles the physical side, while Hydreigon decimates with its Special Attacks. Metagross’ Zen Headbutt takes care of Fighting types that plague Hydreigon, while Hydreigon can take care of the Fire and Ground types that hurt Metagross. Ice types are also a pushover, thanks to Metagross’ strong Meteor Mash.
Heatran and Hydreigon are very similar to Metagross and Hydreigon. Heatran handles Ice-types easier -- resisting them 4x -- while Hydreigon can take care of Ground types. Unfortunately these two are both weak to Fighting types… but that’s what partners are for, right?
These are my favorites to lead with when I see a standard Rain team approaching. Virizion’s Leaf Blade kills Politoed with ease, whereas Thundurus can paralyze a Swift Swimmer to slow it down to a reasonable speed. Virizion is also a great counter to common Pokemon contained on a Rain team. Some, such as Rotom-W, Gastrodon and Kingdra all fall to Leaf Blade. It is also a nice counter to the lesser-known Cradily, which is a strong Pokemon in its own right.