Published on November 4th, 2015 | by Eekthegeek10
When In Doubt, Punch It- A Seniors Top 8 US Nationals Report
Good day everybody, I would assume most don’t know who I am, but my name is Stefan Smigoc. I am 15 years old and this was my first and last year as a senior. Some of you may know me as Eekthegeek, the name of my YouTube channel, Twitter and Nugget Bridge account. I have been playing VGC for a few months and have only gotten the chance to compete in two live events, Seattle Regionals and U.S. Nationals where I finished top 16 and top 8 respectively. In this report I will share my team that I used at U.S. Nationals and how the experience went overall.
The Team Building Process
When I first started building this team I didn’t take it too seriously. I started with the idea of building a team that allowed Kangaskhan to be able to destroy teams without being overly reliant on it. I first decided on building the perfect core around Kangaskhan.
When I had originally built this core I thought it was perfect. Amoonguss can redirect Fighting-type moves away from Kangaskhan and disrupt foes with Spore. Then if people tried to Intimidate Kangaskhan to prevent it from picking up KOs, they had to risk dealing with a new bulky monster being Milotic.
This ended up being the first draft of the team. While I had many changes before and after this team, I used this version of the team for the longest period of time not counting the finished product. I added Heatran, Sylveon and Hydreigon with the idea that I would have a complete Water, Grass, Fire core and a Steel, Fairy, Dragon core as well. I soon realized that type cores like this don’t mean much at all. In the end I gave up on the team because I realized I struggle using Hydreigon, Sylveon and Heatran. My huge Fighting-type weakness also made me reliant on Amoonguss every match just to spam Rage Powder. The team did accomplish one important thing; all the Pokemon had decent bulk while still being able to OHKO other threats and I had only one physical attacker being Kangaskhan. I must have really been afraid of Intimidate or something because this was the most anti-Intimidate team I have ever used.
The Final Team
Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite***Imma punchu
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
– Power-Up Punch
– Sucker Punch
At a glance most may think ugh what a boring standard meta game team. To that all I have to say is ‘so what?’ If it’s boring beat me quickly and end your misery. Now Kangaskhan is very standard and so is the spread, but I have strong justification for why I did what I did. Let’s start with the move Power-Up Punch as this swayed my opinion on the rest of the set. I had originally looked at Low Kick Kangaskhan but the damage was disappointing. After trying Power-Up Punch once I fell in love immediately! After one Power-Up Punch, a +2 Kangaskhan could OHKO just about anything. There have been multiple occasions where I simply lead Kangaskhan and Amoonguss and proceed to sweep by spamming Rage Powder and then just punching everything with Kangaskhan. Now one of the most interesting things about this Kangaskhan is the use of Protect over Fake Out. While Fake Out is huge for early momentum swings, it is a waste of a move slot thereafter as you cannot use it again until you retreat Kangaskhan and then send it out on subsequent occasions. With Power-Up Punch, I rarely wanted to switch out in the first place so Fake Out wouldn’t be used often. Also, many people expected Fake Out and either used Protect in both slots or switched out, thus allowing me to get off free Power-Up Punches for more momentum than Fake Out could ever dream of. The Adamant nature is a pretty simple justification, I don’t care about that bit of extra Speed for being Jolly and I didn’t want to rely on Power-Up Punch all the time to ensure Kangaskhan hits hard. Lastly the simple decision of Return over Double-Edge was that I didn’t miss out on to many KOs without Double-Edge and I wouldn’t have to worry about knocking myself out. Oh yeah and if you noticed I had Inner Focus that was me being lazy and not getting a Scrappy Kangaskhan. It actually probably came in handy more because the Dream Ball that Kangaskhan was in meant people assumed it was Scrappy from the outset!
Milotic @ Rocky Helmet***Bell
EVs: 228 HP / 164 Def / 92 SpA / 12 SpD / 12 Spe
– Icy Wind
Oh Milotic, what a gentle majestic creature. Oh? What’s this? You sent out your legendary Landorus-Therian and flying croissant? Well say hello to my competitive Dragon-slaying monster! Milotic is one of the most anti-meta game Pokemon I have ever seen! I fell in love after first use and next to Kangaskhan these two are the cutest, prettiest and most monstrous bad girls in the game. Yeah, I never thought I would say that about any Pokemon I used either! I used Milotic first off for the sole purpose of scaring off opposing Intimidate users. I’ve ran so many different sets here that I still do not have a favorite. Regardless, when Milotic hit the field it made Salamence and Landorus-Therian hide behind their trainer until they were the last Pokemon left and were dragged out to their doom. I ended up choosing to use a bulky Milotic because my team had enough offense and the Choice Scarf was already used up. The move set is simple, Scald is a powerful STAB Water-type move with a chance to burn. Icy Wind provides Speed control. With a Competitive boost, it can OHKO Landorus-Therian and Salamence. Protect and Recover increase my staying power as Milotic’s purpose was to sit on the field, limiting switch options for my opponent. Who knew switch control could be a thing. Here are some calcs for what the EV spread does:
- 148+ SpA Ludicolo Giga Drain vs. 228 HP / 12 SpD Milotic: 84-98 (42.2 – 49.2%) — guaranteed 3HKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Thundurus Thunderbolt vs. 228 HP / 12 SpD Milotic: 159-190 (79.8 – 95.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 252+ Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 228 HP / 164+ Def Milotic: 151-178 (75.8 – 89.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- +2 92 SpA Milotic Icy Wind vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Salamence: 152-180 (88.8 – 105.2%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO
- +2 92 SpA Milotic Icy Wind vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T: 164-196 (99.3 – 118.7%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO
- 92 SpA Milotic Scald vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Heatran: 96-114 (57.4 – 68.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
I never once missed the KO on Salamence and Landorus-T, usually Salamence had taken chip damage or recoil before I hit it or because it ended up being the end game and I had single target Icy Wind. The item choice of Rocky Helmet was me not really caring about the item with the more valuable Sitrus Berry and Choice Scarf option already in use. I hadn’t thought about Maranga Berry until I saw Wolfe Glick use it at Nationals and I ended up realizing that would have been a great idea. Regardless Rocky Helmet was fun and extra chip can be big on Salamence if they are using Return instead of Double-Edge.
Amoonguss @ Sitrus Berry***BestPixie
EVs: 188 HP / 156 Def / 164 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Rage Powder
– Giga Drain
Ugh this Mushroom thing… My least favorite Pokemon to go against but my favorite to use! The idea was simple, Rage Powder all the Fighting, Grass and Electric-type attacks away from Kangaskhan and Milotic and when I feel like spicing things up, throw some pixie dust to put my opponents to bed early. I am sure most of you have seen this thing in action and already know its purpose. Kangaskhan and Amoonguss are two of the most frustrating Pokemon to go against when ran right. Having Protect on Kangaskhan could allow for opportunities where I Protect and Spore getting me out of many sticky situations. With the Sitrus Berry equipped, along with Giga Drain and Regenerator, it is very hard to take out Amoonguss. Here are some calcs on what Amoonguss can live with this EV spread.
- 252 SpA Mega Charizard Y Heat Wave vs. 188 HP / 164+ SpD Amoonguss in Sun: 192-228 (90.1 – 107%) — 37.5% chance to OHKO
- 252 SpA Aerilate Mega Salamence Hyper Voice vs. 188 HP / 164+ SpD Amoonguss: 128-152 (60 – 71.3%) — 90.6% chance to 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
- 252 SpA Mega Gardevoir Psyshock vs. 188 HP / 156 Def Amoonguss: 180-212 (84.5 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery (Psychic does 92% max)
- 252+ Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 188 HP / 156 Def Amoonguss: 180-214 (84.5 – 100.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
The one problem that I had to be careful of was Salamence could OHKO with Double Edge easily. This spread was given to me by a friend and I have no idea where they got it, but it is the spread I stick with because I have no reason to change it and it hasn’t failed me.
Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf***Sera
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Rock Slide
Do I have to explain this this standard Landorus-T setup? All I wanted was a way to OHKO Charizard-Y and have a fast Rock Slide because why not. After Nationals I tested Choice Band Landorus-T on other teams and I have two things to say about it. It is much harder to use but it is way better if played right.
Thundurus @ Life Orb***Zeus
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Thunder Wave
– Hidden Power [Ice]
Now this may have been one of the biggest mistakes of my team. I debated bulky Thundurus for the longest time but I just could not find a spread that I liked. I ended up trying the fully offensive Life Orb set because it was another Charizard-Y counter and alongside Landorus-T I could either Earthquake or Rock Slide whilst using Thunderbolt to pick up lots of knockouts. Thundurus is really fast with base 111 Speed but running the offensive variant was hard because it tempted me to use Thunderbolt or Hidden Power Ice rather than the supporting moves of Taunt or Thunder Wave, unless there was an Amoonguss on the field which would be instantly taunted. Other then that there isn’t much to say about Thundurus, I could have tried a bulky one but I never do well with bulky Thundurus.
Entei @ Leftovers***MyBestie
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 104 Def / 136 SpD / 20 Spe
– Sacred Fire
Oh Entei, my poor baby why didn’t I use you more. At first I used Entei because I thought it would be cool but after testing and coming up with an EV spread I was impressed by what it could do! Entei was the least brought Pokemon on my team yet I believe it may have been the best. Almost every game I brought it to I won and it always put in the most work regardless of the outcome. When I looked at my previous five there was one big thing sticking out to me that I did not like, my team was boring. Pokemon is about having fun and Entei filled that emptiness on my team. Don’t get me wrong, punching everything with Kangaskhan while Amoonguss throws its pixie dust is still fun, but Entei was the real MVP. Here are some calcs to give you a feel for the bulk.
- 252 Atk Tyranitar Rock Slide vs. 244 HP / 104+ Def Entei: 92-110 (41.6 – 49.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO after sandstorm damage and Leftovers recovery
- 252+ Atk Landorus-T Earthquake vs. 244 HP / 104+ Def Entei: 140-168 (63.3 – 76%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
- 252+ SpA Ludicolo Scald vs. 244 HP / 136 SpD Entei in Rain: 192-228 (86.8 – 103.1%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO
- 252+ SpA Life Orb Heatran Earth Power vs. 244 HP / 136 SpD Entei: 159-187 (71.9 – 84.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
The Speed I chose was to outspeed Adamant Bisharp and anything around that speed. Entei really didn’t need any Speed as it could take hits well. Now the biggest question I get is why bulky Entei over offensive Entei? I have two answers to that. First, Entei is one of my favorite Pokemon and I think it looks absolutely amazing! With the bulky set it could survive longer and therefore stay on the field longer so I could look at the majestic beast longer. Secondly, people just don’t know what to do with Entei so they expect it to die after one attack because I am offensive or they don’t attack me thinking it’s not a threat. From there I get a Substitute, burn opposition or get a Snarl off for free. If that happens, good luck to you because Entei can be hard to take out.
I think the move set makes sense by now, Protect is a staple on any VGC team and allows me to get Leftovers recovery. Snarl allows me to weaken Special Attackers, increasing my staying power. Substitute wasn’t used often but came in handy to avoid Spore and other status moves. Sacred Fire was my only decent damaging move and without investment picked up a lot of two-hit knock-outs surprisingly. I could also predict Landorus-T or Kangaskhan switch-ins, giving me a chance to burn them with Sacred Fire and weaken them to a point where another hit often KOs. Now Sacred Fire’s burn chance is only 50% but I didn’t mind not having Will-O-Wisp as I made sure I wasn’t over reliant on the burn winning me the game in the first place. In a best of three I was willing to take the risk. I don’t have much to say about the item choice here; I could have run Safety Goggles and got rid of Substitute, but Substitute and Leftovers is a common effective strategy. I definitely do not regret using Entei as people began to recognize me as that Entei kid even though the rest of my team was boring. Overall I enjoyed using Entei as it was unique and took hits like a champ. He truly was MyBestie.
With my team looking pretty good and ready to go for Nationals it was time to know my threats and certain win conditions. I decided to use the team in the June International Challenge for Senior division practice a week before nationals as I figured no one would recognize my name. It was a good thing I chose to use the extra practice as after finishing 26-4 I noticed that all my losses had Cresselia on my opponents team! This was huge as I was then able to note that Cresselia would be a problem and had to be dealt with.
Now this wasn’t because my team was necessarily bad against Cresselia, but that I don’t know how to deal with it efficiently. The lack of powerful Ghost or Dark-type moves allowed Cresselia to always stick around for awhile. I knew I could chip at it with U-turn Landorus-T and Return Kangaskhan but even that couldn’t KO and potentially Rocky Helmet could punish me hard. That, in combination with Icy Wind or Thunder Wave to badly cripple my team and give my opponents’ valuable momentum. After going against so many Cresselia throughout my run with this team I found ways to work around it and win! Sometimes that meant Power-Up Punching my own Amoonguss to later get a powerful Return or Sucker Punch.
Rotom-Heat was always annoying in opening game of a best-of-three set. Overall I didn’t mind it too much but it could still prove to be a problem. It commonly runs either Sitrus Berry or Safety Goggles; both are annoying. Safety Goggles allows it to Will-O-Wisp past Amoonguss into Kangaskhan or Landorus-T. It also can go offensive with Overheat or Thunderbolt to really punch holes in the majority of my team. Whether it has Sitrus Berry or not just changes my Rock Slides and Returns from 2HKOs to potentially 3HKOs, allowing it time to burn or hit me more than I would like. I soon realized I could double target it with Kangaskhan and Landorus-T or straight up wall it with Entei.
Other then that I honestly never lost to anything consistently and had answers for just about everything besides Ben Piercy’s team (but we will get to that later). Any other threats I saw were easily dealt with a +2 Kangaskhan hence where I got my catchphrase for nationals: When in doubt, punch it.
Being my first Nationals and my last event as a Senior I was definitely nervous as the stakes were high. Going into Swiss I had no idea what to expect and whether I was even good enough for top cut. Many people seemed to know each other and I felt alone for the first half of Swiss and even the day before watching the Masters play. I don’t remember much from my matches but I did right down my opponents teams and a few key things so i’ll give my best run down of Swiss.
Match 1 vs. Devan Brown
Looking at Devan and his team I knew I wasn’t going to get an easy start and I believe Devan may have nearly made top cut.
The first game made me feel really good about myself as I got a clean 3-0 win, taking out his Politoed, Mega Metagross, Thundurus and Scizor with ease. The only problem was I didn’t get enough information out of the game and in game two he retaliates with a 3-0 victory of his own. At this point I had identified important things such as Hammer Arm on Metagross plus Light Screen and Toxic Cresselia. That game he brought Scizor, Metagross and Cresselia and I was only able to take out Scizor. After noticing his rain wasn’t a good choice to bring to the battle, Entei helped beat both his Steel-types in game 3 for a 4-1 victory. This time he opted for Rhyperior, Cresselia, Scizor, Metagross. The Cresselia and Rhyperior combination was a problem, but Milotic was able to deal with it quite well.
Win 2-1 (Record: 1-0 (2-1))
Match 2 vs. Carson Confer (FootballFreak99)
Winning my first game gave me a huge boost. At Seattle Regionals I actually lost my first game, so being able to finally start off positive was nice. Congratulations also to Carson for getting top 16. Looking at my opponents’ team I was ready as it had similarities in the team I faced in the previous round.
In game one my opponent leads with Metagross and Volcarona, Politoed and Thundurus-I in the back. I don’t remember much except that the game was close but I always felt a step ahead of my opponent. A Scald burn on his Metagross consolidated my position, wrapping up the game for a 2-0 victory. Game two came along and my opponent made great adjustments by using Thundurus to deal with my Milotic which gave him trouble in the first game and Scrafty to Intimidate Landorus-T and Kangaskhan, two big threats to his team. I managed to work around it and pulled another 2-0 victory. I could tell that the burn in the first game got in his head; he was still talking about it when we were walking away from the table.
Win 2-0 (Record: 2-0 (4-1))
Match 3 vs. Jake Skurchak (Pokebeys)
Jake finished as the second seed at the end of Swiss and it was definitely a good thing I didn’t know he was so good at the time or I would have freaked out. I believe he finished in the Top 4 so congratulations Jake! At this point I was a pro at going against rain as this was the third one in a row!
In our first game my opponent leads Ludcolo and Politoed and being more then ready for rain I get a fairly easy win (3-0) beating his Mawile and Thundurus in the back. Sadly I don’t remember much of how I won and lost these matches but in the second game he lead Mawile and Terrakion which absolutely destroyed me 0-3. I was so focused on the next battle I didn’t even right down the Pokemon I took out on his side and what else he had sent out after that. Game three was much better and we both played our best. He lead with Terrakion and Ludicolo and had Mawile alongside Thundurus in the back. The match was very close and I pulled off a 1-0 win. Jake’s only loss during Swiss was to me and he personally told me I was his hardest match up. That made me feel very accomplished.
Win 2-1 (Record: 3-0 (6-2))
Match 4 vs. Logan Honts
As soon as I saw my opponents team my jaw dropped to the floor! It looked absolutely insane and I knew my opponent wasn’t going to be easy! Obviously he had been doing something right to start his day off 3-0.
Game one my opponent leads Charizard-Y and Rhyperior with Dragonite and Sawsbuck in the back. Offensive Thundurus was amazing against his team as I could Hidden Power Ice or Thunderbolt the majority of his team for OHKOs and whatever was left was easy pickings for the rest of my team. I won game one 2-0. Other than Thundurus putting in work and Kangaskhan punching half his team to death I don’t remember much of the matches as I was too busy gawking in awe of his awesome team. Game two he leads with Ninetales and Sawsbuck leaving Charizard-Y and Rhyperior in the back. While Sawsbuck was fast and threatening with coverage that hit my entire team for super effective damage, it simply didn’t hit hard enough and was too frail. I won game two 3-0.
Win 2-0 (Record: 4-0 (8-2))
Match 5 vs. Kylie Chua
I assume you all know who Kylie is because I sure did and I was scared going into my next match. Also, congrats to Kylie for finishing in the Top 16! As soon as I saw her team I knew it would be tough as the teams were very similar.
I barely remember our first two matches as she lead with Thundurus and Sylveon to absolutely destroy me and finish me with her Kangaskhan for a quick 0-3 loss. I made great adjustments and was able to take down her squad of Landorus-T, Thundurus, Sylveon and Kangaskhan in game two for a narrow 1-0 victory. The third game I decided to bring Entei which I had not the previous two games and it proved to be a great choice as her Sylveon was able to wreak havoc on my team otherwise. With Entei putting in the finest of work I was able to wall her lead of Kangaskhan and Sylveon and punish her Landorus-T and Thundurus in the back. Eventually it came down to the wire but a critical hit Hyper Voice took out my Landorus-T when I needed it to live, in order to Rock Slide for the win next turn as Kangaskhan punches her last. Sadly I walk away with my first loss but I was OK with it as I knew Kylie Chua is a great experienced player.
Loss 1-2 (Record: 4-1 (9-4))
By this point in Swiss I’d met some awesome new people, one of the nicest being Gavin Gentry (Freckles666666). We talked after nearly every match and I got a bit closer with a few of the other top Senior players. I had at least accomplished one thing: I wasn’t a complete loner at Nationals.
Match 6 vs. Mihrab Samad (megachar10)
I was pumped for this match! Mihrab was an awesome opponent and it was great to talk to him. Sadly, afterwards I was disappointed in how bad our match was.
Game one he leads with Charizard and Lapras with Cresselia and Landorus-T in the back. It was a close match and he ended up winning 0-1. The next match was absolutely terrible! He leads Charizard again but this time alongside Landorus-T with Lapras and Cresselia in the back. I thought my team had a great match up but it was impossible to get things going when his lead really had luck on his side. He quickly won 0-3. I am not one to complain about lucky breaks and Mihrab is a great opponent, but without it we would have had a much better match. That’s Pokemon though.
Loss 0-2 (Record: 4-2 (9-6))
Match 7 vs. Beav Berg
At this point it was do or die. I couldn’t lose any more matches in order to make top cut so I was in full focus. I barely remember my next few matches except that Kangaskhan ruthlessly punched my opponents to death and showed my true rage! Just kidding, I wasn’t that angry. I was already doing better then I would have ever expected and figured only a few months of experience isn’t enough to top cut US Nationals. Regardless here was my opponents team!
Game one my opponent leads Suicune and Thundurus with Charizard and Scrafty in the back. I was so ready for game two I forgot to right down how much I beat him by I think it was either 2-0 or 3-0. Game two Beav uses the same Pokemon only leading Suicune+Scrafty with Thundurus and Charizard in the back. He improved his game but I still came out with a 1-0 win.
Win 2-0 (Record: 5-2 (11-6))
Match 8 vs. Abram Burrows
I knew my opponent was not going to let me get this easy as we were both one win from top cut and one loss from elimination. The last match of the day and the nerves were high. The second I saw his team I took a sigh of relief and proceeded to punch everything.
I sadly never got to figure out what his mega was as his Venusaur fainted on a switch in and he never used Gardevoir. I knew Kangaskhan could OHKO everything on his team save the Zapdos and Venusaur if they were bulky enough. Even then both Bisharp and Tyranitar go down to a Power-Up Punch so the boost would normally allow me to take out Zapdos and Venusaur anyways. The first battle he lead Infernape and Bisharp with Tyranitar and Zapdos in the back. His Infernape was a threat to my Kangaskhan but with a few switches and Rage Powders at the right times Kangaskhan was just able to punch his entire team for a 3-0 victory. Game two comes along and he leads Infernape and Tyranitar with Venusaur and Bisharp in the back. This time the wrath of Landorus-T and Kangaskhan gets another clean 3-0 victory and guarantees my top cut.
Win 2-0 (Record: 6-2 (13-6))
Top Cut Match 1 (Top 25) vs. Kade Karim
This was my first time ever top cutting an event and for it to be Nationals of all places made me ecstatic! As soon as I saw his team I was ready; it was another rain team.
My opponent leads with Ludicolo and Kangaskhan the first match and after the double Fake-Out pressure with no rain right away it was an easy 3-0 victory. I sadly don’t remember much of this match but I can say that he played his Aegislash very well and his bulky support Politoed was also surprising. Game two he leads full rain going Ludicolo and Politoed with Mawile and Aegislash in the back. With his rain lead forcing me not to use Entei and Landorus-T his Mawile and Aegislash in the back put in work but I still pulled out a victory. I was so happy I didn’t even right down the score. Congrats to Kade for top cut!
Win 2-0 (Record: 7-2 (15-6)) Made it to Top 16
Top Cut Match 2 (Top 16) vs. Gavin Gentry (Freckles666666)
Oh Gavin why did I have to go against you in Top 16. He needed Top 8 for Worlds and I still didn’t know what I would need but it was either Top 8 or Top 4. Gavin was very nice to me throughout the entire team and our match was a lot of fun. It reminded me of why I play Pokemon. His team looked amazing and I was ready for a tough match.
My best matches of the entire tournament were against Gavin. The first game he leads Lopunny and Sylveon with Cresselia and Aegislash in the back. My team doesn’t have any dark type moves other then Sucker Punch so Cresselia and Aegislash were a problem. He also made an awesome play using After You Lopunny to speed up his Sylveon and use Hyper Voice. It was devastating. Regardless, I managed to pull out a 2-0 victory. Game two comes along and after the first few turns it felt over. His Blaziken got a Overheat OHKO onto my Amoonguss and his Cresselia was an impenetrable force with Calm Mind and Moonlight. Eventually I made some great plays, mostly getting Kangaskhan to +2 to beat his Cresselia, leaving us with Landorus-T and Kangaskhan vs a Speed Boosted Blaziken at 90% with a 1HP Sylveon. I knew his Blaziken was hiding the HP ice the entire time and would most likely OHKO my Landorus-T and outspeed. So I took the only option I had and Power-Up Punched his Sylveon for a +3 Kangaskhan and the KO as his Blaziken took out Landorus-T. The Life Orb recoil put him at 80% and it all came down to how much Sucker Punch could do. I picked up the KO and later looked up the calc: +3 252+ Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Blaziken: 121-143 (78 – 92.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO. I obviously hit the high roll and pulled out a narrow 1-0 victory putting me into Top 8 and leaving Gavin with no worlds invite. Sorry Gavin but congratulations on Top 16 hope to see you in Masters!
Win 2-0 (Record: 8-2 (17-6)) Made it to Top 8
Top Cut Match 3 (Top 8) vs. Ben Piercy
I still wonder to this day what would have happened if I had a different opponent for Top 8. Hopefully you all recognize his name as Ben ended up winning it all and became the 2015 US Senior National Champion. I guess if I had to lose to anyone it might as well be the Champion! His team was absolutely amazing and he thoroughly deserved the National title.
The first game my goal was to scout out as much as I could as I knew learning his crazy set was important. I did this extremely well and lost 0-3, but I learned about his scarf Latios and Physical Salamence along with a few other bits of key information. Going into the second game I am extremely disappointed in myself as I went against everything my team was made to do. Firstly, I didn’t use Entei. Looking back, Entei walled half his team and dished out great damage back. Secondly, I was to afraid to punch anything with Kangaskhan as I was anticipating Mach Punch from Breloom the entire time, but never came. The second game ended up being a Latios+Breloom sweep. I could have avoided it by Sucker Punching his Latios for the OHKO with Kangaskhan and Returning his Breloom. The reason why I didn’t was because he started the match with an Earth Power from Nidoqueen onto Kangaskhan putting me into what I thought was Mach Punch KO range. The thing was Ben chose to run Superpower and not Mach Punch. He really fooled me and he totally deserved the win.
Loss 0-2 (Record: 8-3 (17-8)) Ending my Seniors run in Top 8
Let me just say that I more than impressed myself with a Top 8 finish, despite being so new to the format and having zero experience behind me. Several people told me after my Top 8 match that I most likely made Worlds, but I had a gut feeling telling me I didn’t. Later that week when the Final CP rankings were up, there was my name in 47th, 30 points away from worlds. Those 30 points I could have earned from just going to one more Premier Challenge. Well that’s what I get for starting so late! In the end, I don’t mind that I missed out on worlds or a Top 4 finish at Nationals because it was only my first time and I still had many years as a Master to look forward to! Nationals was a great experience and I will remember every bit of it for a long time. Have a great day and I hope to see you all in the Masters Division!
Thanks to http://raizy.deviantart.com/ for the awesome art!