Published on January 21st, 2014 | by Human


It was all for chesNAUGHT: A Second Place Virginia Regional Team Report


For the past month before the Virginia regional I had been using a Pledge team, however with the recent New York City grassroots tournament I found out that Pokemon Showdown’s Pledge mechanics were glitched. From that point, I completely restarted my team and looked at everything that might be usable.

During my testing earlier, I felt that most matches were heavily influenced by having a good match up at almost all times so I began by making a team heavily focused on defensive synergy. This team began as Aggron, Gourgeist, Aromatisse, Talonflame, Rotom-W and Krookodile. Choice Band Talonflame was incredible cleaning up games and providing constant pressure, U-turn began putting things closer and closer to the knock out range and it was always a safe move. Choice Scarf Krookodile provided Intimidate, shut down Charizard and Talonflame, gave a spread move, and with the buffs to dark typing both offensively and defensively it became a much safer option. With these two I was able to finish off games the moment everything began taking damage and I felt safe using them both as leads and in the back with their unique typing. However, I had an issue with having Pokemon that generally sat there such as Gourgeist, Aggron and Aromatisse and I went back to building my team.

Starting again, while keeping Krookodile and Talonflame from the previous team, I began using a rain team with Politoed and Kingdra. Kingdra had poor coverage and I felt as though that would leave it outclassed by Ludicolo, so I quickly made that replacement. Another problem with rain though was the Amoonguss match up, and after seeing Amoonguss and Kangaskhan win the recent NYCE4 tournament I definitely did not want to leave myself weak to that. Beginning to look at Taunt users, I had a list of three that I was interested in: Aggron, Mawile and Chesnaught. Aggron did not have the damage output I wanted it to have, and Mawile did not have good synergy with its typing as I felt weak to Rotom-W. Chesnaught with Expert Belt was able to get the one hit KO on Kangaskhan with Hammer Arm, safely switch into Rotom-W and take physical hits very well surviving Fake Out and Return from Mega Kangaskhan.  At this point I had Chesnaught, Politoed, Ludicolo, Krookodile, and Talonflame, which left me with a weakness to flying. I needed to add an electric type and something immune to my own Earthquake. Rotom-W was another grass weakness that I did not want to risk, Rotom-C would not resist electric and that left only two Pokemon I was looking at for the last slot, Zapdos and Rotom-H. Zapdos has higher base stats than Rotom-H and both have limited moves in rain, so between the two I chose Zapdos.

With that final decision, I had my team of six.

The Team


Talonflame @ Choice Band
Ability: Gale Wings
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Brave Bird
– Flare Blitz
– U-turn
– Will-O-Wisp


Politoed @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Drizzle
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Def / 148 SAtk / 12 SDef / 20 Spd
Modest Nature
– Hydro Pump
– Encore
– Protect
– Ice Beam


Ludicolo @ Life Orb
Ability: Swift Swim
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Modest Nature
– Giga Drain
– Hydro Pump
– Ice Beam
– Fake Out


Chesnaught @ Expert Belt
Ability: Bulletproof
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 144 Atk / 4 Def / 60 SDef / 48 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Hammer Arm
– Taunt
– Spiky Shield
– Wood Hammer


Krookodile @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 248 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Earthquake
– Rock Slide
– Crunch
– Stone Edge


Zapdos @ Choice Specs
Ability: Pressure
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 76 SAtk / 156 SDef / 20 Spd
Modest Nature
IVs: 30 Atk / 30 Def / 29 SDef
– Volt Switch
– Thunder
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Ancient Power

EV Spreads Explanation

Talonflame, Krookodile and Ludicolo were just 252/252/4 spreads with the idea of outspeeding and doing as much damage as possible. There was nothing that they needed to do outside of hit as hard as possible and in using them the goal was to avoid taking hits. Krookodile could be slowed down by 36 speed EVs (216 Spe) making it outspeed Choice Scarf Rotom, Choice Scarf Heracross and Mega Manectric, or 72 EVs (180 Spe) making it just outspeed Choice Scarf Gardevoir and base 130s. When it came down to it, one of the reasons I didn’t slow it down ended up being that I tested a Choice Scarf Lucario not too long ago to beat Mega Kangaskhan and with Krookodile’s speed and bulk I did not feel like it would be necessary to miss outspeeding any potential threat for such minimal return.

For Chesnaught I first invested in HP and Defense in order to survive a Fake Out Return combo from Mega Kangaskhan. I then invested in Attack to get a knock out on said Kangaskhan with an Expert Belt Hammer Arm. The special defense was used to survive an Overheat from Charizard-Y in Rain and that left the remaining EVs to go into speed and speed tie with uninvested base 70s, outspeeding some Scizor and Tyranitar.

Unlike Chesnaught, for Politoed defense was not the first priority. The Special Attack was the minimum in order to guarantee a one hit KO on Garchomp by using Ice Beam. This primarily made it a lot safer for Zapdos and Talonflame. Then, I invested in HP as HP increases my overall defense the most, and in doing so I set out to survive a Mega Kangaskhan Return at first, but then looking at other physical threats I decided that I should also put enough investment to take Mega Mawile Play Rough. The 20 Speed EVs were to avoid speed ties, including with my own Chesnaught, and outspeed bulky Mega Tyranitar that has only 4 Speed EVs. The remaining 12 EVs were put into Special Defense for general bulk and to weaken Rotom-W Thunderbolt by any amount that I could.

Zapdos first of all was intended to take special attacks. As I was making my team I realized that Rotoms would not mind using thunderbolt against me and just in general special attacks would be doing as significant amount. While I was set on using Choice Specs due, I needed to ensure that it would be able to take special hits. While I was able to outspeed and knock out most special attackers before they could become a threat by using Ludicolo in rain, Hydreigon, specifically Choice Specs Hydreigon, would have been able to put a dent on anything on my team, so I made Zapdos survive that 100% of the time as any extra damage would begin putting it into the KO range for the more offensive Pokemon on my team. Although I did not happen to face a Hydreigion I am glad that I made that choice to take special attacks well. The speed was to outspeed neutral base 70s, however I wish that I added another 8 Speed EVs to outspeed mega Tyranitar as it was something I did not consider as much as I should have in my team building. The rest of the EVs were thrown into Special Attack. If I manage to get a flawless Hidden Power Ice Zapdos, I would still hit the same important Special Defense benchmark, but I would also get the extra speed. Zapdos served its job perfectly though, so major thanks to Simon for soft resetting to get a Modest HP Ice Zapdos, it did very well.

How It Worked

Let’s start off with Chesnaught. It was definitely not something I brought often, and for good reason. I knew that there would almost always some sort of check on their team to both grass and fighting types as offensively it is resisted by so much, and with its limited coverage Chesnaught just found itself walled as often as it walled the opponent. Chesnaught was a niche pick and was meant to beat specific team compositions and provide a Taunt support option. This meant for swiss I almost completely avoided bringing it and the team’s core was mostly built upon the other five.

Wanting to keep and get lead advantages, I wanted a lot of options to switch in and out and keep my options open. Leads such as Ludicolo paired alongside Talonflame or Zapdos were able to get a KO on the first turn with a U-turn or Volt Switch allowing a switch into Politoed as I fired off a Rain and Life Orb boosted Hydro Pump on a target. Additionally using Ludicolo’s coverage I had other double target options and was also able to cover switches. Similarly, U-turn with Talonflame and Thunder from Zapdos was able to get a lot of KOs against things such as Rotom-W. That same lead also had the option to switch around a lot with U-turn and Volt Switch to keep momentum.

One of the best switch-ins on my team was Krookodile with Rock Slide and Intimidate  which minimized the threats of most physical attackers such as Talonflame. This was able to help shut down sun alongside Talonflame and was one of the best ways to slowly whittle down the HP of opponents to place everything on the opponent’s team in the KO range of high damage attacks. In fact, my main strategy was to clean up games by using Choice Band Brave Bird, Choice Specs Thunder and rain boosted Hydro Pumps once the Pokemon on their team were eventually weakened and put into the KO range. Politoed assisted with this by bringing Rain and having Encore making slow, bulky Pokemon essentially useless as they could no longer Protect or support the rest of their team and that meant that they were also threatened by a KO. Against Kangaskhan one of the options I had was to lead Politoed Ludicolo and use Hydro Pump Encore to either get a knock out with Hydro Pump or lock them into Fake Out. Offensively Politoed was able to one shot Garchomp with Ice Beam and helped me beat Talonflame.

Overall, I am more than satisfied with a second place finish, it is a step up from my usual third place finishes and it’s great to be in the finals. This also marked my tenth top cut, which has been one of my biggest goals since I began approaching it last year. I’d like to thank Snake, Metabou, Calm_Lava, lucariojr and Zach for getting me the Pokemon for my team and to thank Zach, Crow and especially Mean for helping me come up with the team.

About the Author

17 Responses to It was all for chesNAUGHT: A Second Place Virginia Regional Team Report

  1. Evan Falco says:

    Grats man. What a nasty team haha.

  2. Legacy says:

    Nice team. I like how you used one of the new trio starters. Good job using something different and getting far with no mega.:)

  3. BrewCrew says:

    Lol so much props for the chessnut.

  4. Arti says:

    Really loved how well you explained your reasoning here, hopefully it will show some people that it’s not about using all of the “top” pokemon, but more about countering the top pokemon.

  5. Mikewando says:

    Thanks a lot for the report. I was really curious what the logic was behind the chesnaught.
    One small point though: “Rotom-C would not resist electric” should probably be “Rotom-C would not resist flying” since of course Rotom-C has a 4x resist to electric.

  6. SublimeManic says:

    Much congratulations and kudos for your team and success. Pretty sure when you said ” Rotom-C would not resist electric” you meant Flying, though, right?

  7. pball0010 says:

    I actually used chesnaught because I saw you use it and its great for getting past the super annoying Kanga-Amoonguss combo. Wish I would’ve thought of using Expert Belt to secure those KOs though…

  8. Human says:

    Thanks a lot for the report. I was really curious what the logic was behind the chesnaught.
    One small point though: “Rotom-C would not resist electric” should probably be “Rotom-C would not resist flying” since of course Rotom-C has a 4x resist to electric.

    You’re right, that’s something that I should have noticed and edited but it didn’t seem like it was that tough to figure out what I meant instead.
    I’ll try to get it fixed.

  9. feathers says:

    that was probably my fault since i read over it but i tend to notice spelling/wording errors over things like that. will fix :U

  10. Oryx says:

    Congrats on your finish Human! 
    I really liked how thoroughly you explained your team outline. When I first saw the Top 16 Teams and I saw Chesnaught in Top 2, I admit I did a double take but the fact that you managed to maneuver a niche choice so well in addition to not having a Mega Evolution on your team is really impressive. ‘Grats again.

  11. break says:

    * sigh *

    still having mixed feeling about the ID (intentional draw) ruling.

    oh and nice team…looking forward to seeing the updates at nationals/worlds.

  12. nUmbreon999 says:

    Great team, but how did you get a good zapdos? Soft resets until it was the right one?

  13. nUmbreon999 says:

    Oh. Sorry. I missed that part

  14. Crawdaunt says:

    Man… 3 Choice users. Man’s got some Poke-balls! Congrats!

  15. Xenoblade Hero says:

    What a fascinating team. Congratulations on doing so well

  16. DynoQuilava says:

    Congratulations!!!! I honestly really like this Rain Team. Good luck in future tournaments!!! 🙂

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