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Ray's blog

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Third Time's the Charm: 2012 Masters World Champion Team Analysis

blog-ttarrotom_smallbyryuzaki.pngFor those of you who don't know me, my name is Ray Rizzo (Ray), and I'm the three-time Pokémon Video Game World Champion. In 2010 I became the Seniors World Champion, which then included both today's Seniors and Masters, by defeating Japan's Yasuki Tochigi in the finals, and then in 2011 I defended my title by defeating Italy's Matteo Gini (Matty) in the newly created Masters division. This year, I faced another tough schedule. I came out of the Swiss rounds undefeated, but that only put me up against Jumpei Yamamoto, the Japanese Nationals runner-up, in the first round of the top 8 followed by Joe Pulkowski (sandman), the US Nationals runner-up, and then, of course, Wolfe Glick (Wolfey), the two-time US National Champion, in the finals.

[Read more about Wolfe Glick's team and Worlds experience in his team analysis: Eggscelent Execution. - Ed.]

But you didn't come here for a history lesson. Let's talk about why you're here: the team. Compared to my Worlds team last year which featured such obscure Pokémon as Gothitelle, Bold Thundurus, and Escavalier, this team is a lot more standard. I’ve got a mix of 2 fast Dragons with good resistances and a slow Trick Room portion of the team, utilizing Cresselia, Metagross, and Tyranitar.

cresselia.png

Cresselia @ Sitrus Berry

Sassy (0 Speed IV)

220 HP / 108 Def / 180 SpAtk

-Ice Beam

-Psyshock

-Swagger

-Trick Room

This Cresselia set is pretty standard. Unlike some Cresselia, however, it isn't as bulky as it could be. I opted for a more offensive Cresselia which could stand alone as a threat. The 180 SpAtk EVs let it OHKO 4 HP Salamence 100% of the time with Ice Beam, while Psyshock was added to counter the Specially Defensive builds most Pokémon. Swagger sets up a Metagross sweep in Trick Room as well as acts as a defensive move against Special attackers. The Sassy Nature and 0 Speed IV puts Cresselia at 81 Speed, an important Speed tier to hit to make the most out of the next Pokémon.

metagross.png

Metagross @ Lum Berry

Adamant (14 Speed IV)

252 HP / 116 Atk / 4 Def / 136 SpDef

-Meteor Mash

-Zen Headbutt

-Earthquake

-Protect

Steel-types are a must in this metagame with all the Dragons firing off Gem-boosted Draco Meteors. Whether you chose Metagross, Scizor, or Heatran was up to what team you were using, but you couldn't really get away without a Steel-type. I like Metagross the best, and he fit into my team seamlessly. Metagross' 14 Speed IV puts Metagross at 82 Speed, just one point above my Cresselia. This means if Trick Room is up, Cresselia can Swagger my own Metagross, giving it +2 Attack after the Lum Berry, and then Metagross can attack in the same turn. This ensures that I am making the most of my turns under Trick Room to deal the most damage to my opponents. Having Metagross and Cresselia in the back for a late game clean up sweep in Trick Room can change the momentum of a game completely. The moves themselves are standard. I used Earthquake over Bullet Punch because I expect to be going first in Trick Room, and I need to hit other Metagross hard. 252 HP and 4 Def allow it to always survive +2 Metagross Earthquakes, and the Attack EVs let it OHKO 252 HP / 4 Def Thundurus at +2 with Zen Headbutt.

hydreigon.png

Hydreigon @ Dragon Gem

Timid

60 HP / 252 SpAtk / 196 Speed

-Draco Meteor

-Dark Pulse

-Flamethrower

-Protect

Hydreigon is my favorite and, in my opinion, the best Dragon. It is also the only repeat Pokémon from last year's World Championship team. Its unique resistances pair really well with the Cresselia/Metagross duo, and it has excellent coverage options. The set itself is very simple. Hydreigon's purpose on the team is to hit hard and fast, using Gem-boosted Draco Meteors to tear holes in an opponent who mispredicts or misplays while its coverage moves, Dark Pulse and Flamethrower, hit Cresselia and Steel-types respectively. The Speed EVs give Hydreigon enough Speed to outspeed neutral natured max Speed base 100s (and 102s).

garchomp.png

Garchomp @ Haban Berry

Jolly

36 HP / 116 Atk / 4 Def / 196 SpDef / 156 Speed

-Dragon Claw

-Earthquake

-Substitute

-Protect

Garchomp, in comparison with Hydreigon, has a slightly more unique set. Just like Hydreigon, Garchomp's EVs allow it to outspeed neutral base 100 and 102 Pokémon. The 36 HP / 196 SpDef EVs, along with Haban Berry, maximize the chances of surviving Dragon Gem Draco Meteors from Latios, while the 116 Attack EVs ensure that Garchomp can OHKO Latios back with Dragon Claw. Substitute is a great move for Garchomp as it allows me to outpredict versus opposing Dragons and Ground weak Pokémon. It can also abuse Swagger and Sand Veil to increase the chances of getting a Substitute up if it comes down to it, and a Garchomp behind a Substitute is something no one wants to be facing down.

tyranitar.png

Tyranitar @ Chople Berry

Adamant (0 Speed IV)

252 HP / 124 Atk / 36 Def / 96 SpDef

-Rock Slide

-Low Kick

-Fire Punch

-Protect

This Tyranitar is a little different than most. Most obviously, this Tyranitar is Crunchless. I felt my team was pretty Scizor weak, so I went with Fire Punch as a semi-check for Scizor instead of using the standard Crunch. Luckily, I didn’t face a single Scizor (though I must have faced 4 or 5 Hidden Power Fire Cresselia). The 36 Defense EVs lets him always survive Metagross' unboosted Meteor Mash, and the 124 Attack EVs allow Tyranitar to always OHKO Scizor with Fire Punch. I put the leftover EVs into SpDef to let him switch into Thundurus, Salamence, Hydreigon, and other Special attackers more easily. Tyranitar has a 0 Speed IV both to make it more effective under Trick Room and to help it win weather wars against Politoed as a 0 Speed IV Tyranitar will underspeed minimum Speed Politoed, keeping Sand in play and Rain out of play.

rotom-wash.png

Rotom-W @ Choice Specs

Modest

228 HP / 4 Def / 12 SpAtk / 12 SpDef / 252 Speed

-Thunderbolt

-Hydro Pump

-Hidden Power [Grass]

-Thunder

Rotom-W was the Pokémon I used the least. I only brought him against teams that fell in the middle speed tier where he was able to outspeed most of their team or if they had a Rain team. The Speed lets him outspeed Modest 252 Speed Kingdra out of Rain, made easier thanks to Tyranitar, and the HP and SpDef EVs let it survive LO Kingdra Draco Meteors. It already had enough Special Attack from holding Choice Specs, so I didn’t feel I needed much SpAtk investment. Hidden Power Grass is for Gastrodon since he walls my other attacks, and Thunder was purely for Rain teams, since I never used Trick when I had it.

All in all the team I used was pretty standard, but it worked really well, and I felt like it had a lot of synergy. I had a few unique sets tailored to the Worlds metagame which helped. Scizor was the only Pokémon I was really scared of playing, but no team in this metagame is flawless, mine included. Hopefully some of you reading this learned a bit about how I think about the game, and I will try to come up with something cooler next year like I did in 2011 when I defend my World Championship once more in Vancouver.

Article image created by ryuzaki and used with permission by Nugget Bridge. See more of ryuzaki's artwork on deviantART.


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      Ability: Drought  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 100 Atk / 156 SpD  
      Brave Nature  
      IVs: 0 Spe  
      - Precipice Blades  
      - Fire Punch  
      - Substitute  
      - Protect
      Here is my first restricted mon, and arguably one of my favorite mons to use this year. Red orb is an obvious choice because I want to use primal-forme, as well as the first 3 moves in Precipice Blades, Fire Punch, and Protect being staples for physical Groudon. The 4th move is something that I've liked a lot in testing, a well timed Substitute can often end the game for your opponent.
      The EV's survive a modest max SpAtk Primal Groudon Earth Power 100% of the time, with an attack dump. I also wanted a Brave nature and a speed IV of 0 to let me abuse trick room as much as possible.
       

      Mawile (F) @ Mawilite  
      Ability: Intimidate  
      Level: 50  
      Shiny: Yes  
      EVs: 252 HP / 172 Atk / 84 SpD  
      Adamant Nature  
      - Play Rough  
      - Iron Head  
      - Sucker Punch  
      - Protect
      Mawile is one of, if not my favorite mega evolutions, and its made me super happy that it's good again this year. Play Rough is for general neutral damage, being able to hit a lot of targets for solid damage. Iron head is to help the teams overall matchup with Xerneas, because it can give this team a lot of trouble. Sucker Punch allows me to have access to some very strong priority attacks when paired with Yveltal's Dark Aura ability.
      The EV spread allows me to survive a 252+ SpAtk Xerneas HP Ground, and KO back with Iron Head.
       

      Yveltal @ Life Orb  
      Ability: Dark Aura  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  
      Jolly Nature  
      - Foul Play  
      - Snarl  
      - Sucker Punch  
      - Protect
      Yveltal is something that I always wished I'd had in the 2015 format: a great offensive Dark-type, that's not 4x weak to Fighting (talking to you TTar and Bisharp :/ ). I chose Foul Play because it's a great choice, being able to abuse your opponents attack stat for often times huge damage. Snarl helps Yveltal protect Groudon due to it's lower SpDef stat, as well as a fairly strong spread move. Sucker Punch is there for massive priority damage.
      The EVs simply take advantage of Yveltal's great base 99 speed tier, and maximize damage output with Sucker Punch.
       

      Cresselia @ Mental Herb  
      Ability: Levitate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 244 HP / 172 Def / 92 SpD  
      Sassy Nature  
      IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe  
      - Ice Beam  
      - Trick Room  
      - Helping Hand  
      - Gravity
      Cresselia helps set up Trick Room for my Groudon and Mawile to sweep through unprepared teams. Trick Room is obvious, Ice beam is for patching up my slight weakness to both Landorus-Therian and Mega-Salamence, as they can both give me a little more trouble than I'd like them to. Gravity lets me not miss my Pblades once TR is actually up, as well as letting my hit flying target like Thundurus and Ho-oh. Helping Hand then can boost the damage of Groudon's Pblads, as well as many other strong attacks like Mawile's Play Rough. I chose to not run Skill Swap, as this Groudon doesn't really care about what weather is on the field, as long as it can fire off Pblades. I chose to use Mental Herb as my item so that I can Trick Room in front of the likes of Liepard and Thundurus and still get Trick Room set up.
      My EVs were taken from the NB Damage Calculator, so I don't really know what they do, but it has been great general bulk so far.
       

      Salamence @ Salamencite  
      Ability: Intimidate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 44 Atk / 212 SpA / 252 Spe  
      Naive Nature  
      - Double-Edge  
      - Hyper Voice  
      - Tailwind  
      - Protect
      Salamence gives me another option in a Dual-Mega mode for the team, patching up some matchups that Mawile doesn't really like, like opposing Groudon. Double-Edge and Hyper Voice are typically standard moves on Mega-Salamence, but I opted for Tailwind as the 4th move, as it gives me yet another mode to the team, as even a min speed Groudon is fairly fast under Tailwind. I chose a Naive nature instead of a Hasty one, because in my opinion, one of the best things about Salamence is its great physical bulk when paired with its base forme's Intimidate ability. The EV spread is a standard set from last year.
       

      Thundurus @ Focus Sash  
      Ability: Prankster  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe  
      Timid Nature  
      - Thunderbolt  
      - Thunder Wave  
      - Taunt  
      - Protect
      Last but not least, we have Thundurus. Thundurus is a great asset to this team as it provides some nice speed control with Thunder Wave, as well as great coverage with its STAB Thunderbolts, being able to ohko pesky Talonflame, and 2hko most Kyogre. Taunt is to shut down Xerneas and the omni-present Smeargle, as a taunted Smeargle isn't doing anything 9/10 times. I wanted Protect as the last move in order to help preserve the Focus Sash for longer, being able to Protect in front of a Kangaskhan who thinks is safe to Fake Out is funny too. Timid nature with max speed to take advantage of Thundurus' great speed stat, and max SpAtk to do as much damage as possible with Thunderbolt, as you dont really need bulk with a Focus Sash.
       
      Hardest Matchups:

      This matchup is really hard for me, as there's no real great gameplan against it because of all of the different variants. Normally I can win, but I have to pull out most of my techs, so forget about winning in a Bo3 setting... Any advice on this matchup would be great
       
      That's my team, I hope you guys like it as much as I have. Let me know if you have any suggestions on what should be changed. Thanks in advance
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