Published on August 10th, 2014 | by R Inanimate


A Long Shot in the Dark: US Nationals 16th Place Report

This is Randy Kwa. After an exciting Independance Day weekend at Indianapolis for the US Nationals, I managed to finish in 16th Place, clinching an invite to the World Championships in Washington D.C. as the sole representative of Canada for VGC. I had known what I was going to use for Nationals since April Regionals, and I’m sure you’ll be unsurprised when I say that meant that I used the same six Pokémon from my April Regionals team at Nats. To make sure that the team kept up with the competition, I fielded this team for both of the International Challenges, finishing with 1873 in May (2nd NA), and 1803 in June (10th in NA), along with using this team at the first BC Premier Challenge where it took 1st place. Having a good 100+ battles of testing bolstered my confidence in the team, while also pointing out a few spots where I needed work, either by changing my gameplay strategy, or changing parts of my team.

When thinking about Nats, I was also trying to come up with a title for a potential article. If I qualified for Worlds, I thought about using the title  “One Step Closer to World Domination”, following the villainous theme I used with my Regionals report. Although I did get my invite, with how things played out in the US Nationals, I was hardly what you would call a “villain.” As such, I chose a more neutral sounding title. For those who StreetPassed me during the weekend, my Mii’s greeting was “Darkness of Nats”.

The Team

In any case, the team consists of the same six Pokémon as before, with any changes since the April Regionals highlighted in bold. I’ll probably be brief when talking about aspects of the team that haven’t changed. The nicknames this time are based on spells used by Patchouli Knowledge from Touhou.

Blastoise (M) @ Blastoisinite ***Deluge40Days
Ability: Torrent -> Mega Launcher
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature

– Water Spout
– Ice Beam
– Aura Sphere
– Protect

Used in 94/112 Battles in IC
Used in 14/25 Battles at Nats

Turbo Mega Blastoise. Pretty shortly after the April Regionals, I started to wonder if running Timid was a better option for Blastoise over Modest, so I decided to use the May IC as a test run for Timid Blastoise. While the drop in both power and durability compared to my Modest set was pretty noticable, the extra Speed turned out to be an invaluble asset. I didn’t have to worry as much about being outsped by Rotom-H before I could land a Water Spout, and having 143 Speed has the interesting quirk of creeping past all the Pokémon that decide to land on the 140 Speed benchmark in order to outspeed opposing Smeargle. This was especially beneficial during battles where Blastoise outsped the opponent’s Kangaskhan, although this was not something I always relied upon.

Aside from the hefty boost in Speed, Blastoise’s moveset remains untouched. While the IC showed numbers around 85% in terms of usage, Blastoise’s participation rate dipped to 56% at Nationals, as there were a fair number of matches where my other Mega proved more effective.

Smeargle (F) @ Focus Sash ***SilentSelene
Ability: Moody
EVs: 68 HP / 4 Atk / 100 Def / 84 SDef / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature
– Encore
– Dark Void
– Follow Me
– Spiky Shield

Used in 103/112 Battles in IC
Used in 19/25 Battles at Nats

Moody Darkness Supporter. I made two changes to my Smeargle’s moveset after the April Regionals. First off, I replaced King’s Shield with Spiky Shield. Taunt has started to return, so making the adjustment to Spiky Shield was a logical choice. While I like the prospects of dropping Kangskhan’s Attack two stages, I felt confident dealing with Kangaskhan in other ways, so I put Spiky Shield on the set.

The other change may be less intuitive, as I opted to run Encore over Fake Out. When looking over my notes for Regionals, I found myself rarely using Fake Out with Smeargle. As such, I took the risk of removing it off the set entirely and replaced it with an additional supporting move. Encore is a dangerous move that punishes Protects and sometimes Prankster Pokemon going for a Safeguard opening. Encore on Smeargle may also put Aegislash into full lockdown.

During Nationals, Moody performed solidly. Dark Void was a letdown for a number of battles.

Smeargle is often partnered with Blastoise, who is the primary benefactor of redirection on my team. As I ended up using Blastoise less during Nats, there were more opportunities where Smeargle didn’t have to be present in a battle.

Scizor (M) @ Life Orb ***Metal Fatigue
Ability: Technician
EVs: 12 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Bullet Punch
– Feint
– U-turn
– Protect

Used in 70/112 Battles in IC
Used in 18/25 Battles at Nats

Priority offense. Scizor remains largely unchanged from before. Shortly before Nationals, I made a change to its EV spread, providing +3 Speed, -2 Atk, and -1 HP. The added Speed was used to increase my odds of outspeeding Ludicolo outside of Rain, so Scizor can hit it with U-Turn before they have a chance to move. It can also increase my odds that Scizor will outspeed Rotom-W. The Attack drop is fairly negligable, as a 1% decrease in power led to Scizor hitting only about 1-2 damage less per hit. What’s the worse that can happen?

Scizor’s usage went up during Nationals. This may be due to the popularity of Mega Venusaur at Nationals.

Venusaur (M) @ Venusaurite ***Green Storm
Ability: Chlorophyll -> Thick Fat
EVs: 252 HP / 68 Def / SAtk / 4 SDef / 68 Spd
Bold Nature
– Giga Drain
– Sludge Bomb
– Synthesis
– Sunny Day

Used in 25/112 Battles in IC
Used in 10/25 Battles at Nats

A few days before Nationals, I asked in the Nugget Bridge IRC channel whether they thought Protect should be used on Mega Venusaur. I think the majority figured that Venusaur would be better off with it; otherwise, it puts itself in a bad spot against Talonflame. A few hours before my plane to Nationals, I decided to make a judgment call and replaced Protect with Sunny Day in order to improve my match up against Rain. During the tournament, it ultimately didn’t matter much which move I used.

Unsurprisingly, Venusaur’s usage is pretty close to the opposite of Blastoise’s. If I didn’t use Blastoise I normally brought Venusaur, although there were a few occasions where I brought both or neither. As my own Venusaur has a pretty decent match-up against other Venusaur,  I ended up bringing Venusaur quite a bit more during Nationals where Venusaur’s popularity felt higher than expected.

Garchomp (F) @ Lum Berry ***R Trilithon
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature
– Dragon Claw
– Earthquake
– Rock Slide
– Protect

Used in 87/112 Battles in IC
Used in ALL battles at Nats

Did you think that this would have a changed moveset? Too bad! It was just a Standard Lum Garchomp! I’m honestly surprised at my usage numbers for Garchomp during Nationals. 100% pariticipation is nothing to laugh at. The R in its nickname stands for Rage, by the way.

Rotom-Heat @ Choice Scarf ***Akiba Summer
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
IV: 31/even/30/31/31/31
Modest Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Overheat
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Discharge

Used in 69/112 Battles in IC
Used in 14/25 Battles at Nats

Scarf Rotom-H. The only change I made for Rotom-H is that I replaced the unused Will-O-Wisp for Discharge. Some people may look down on using Discharge here, as going for DisQuake can be considered a bit beneath my skill level, but sometimes you need to play low level to beat low level. Besides, Discharge saw a non-zero amount of usage in the IC and Nats, and that’s already better than Will-O-Wisp. Discharge was instrumental during one of my Day 2 Swiss matches as well, so I show no regrets from using it.

Rotom-H is probably the only one on my team whose usage statistic didn’t really change at all between the ICs and Nats.


The general strategy of this team hasn’t changed at all since April; what worked then still works now. This thought is backed up by my successes during the International Challenges.

Threats, Updated

Instead of listing a bunch of things, I’ll cut this down to only putting three things I feel most threatened by when I play this team.



Azumarill is only really safely dealt with by Mega Venusaur on my team, but there are a lot of different Pokemon Azumarill can be paired up with to make my life miserable.


Choice Scarf Politoed

There were a stretch of battles during the June IC where I lost 5/6 of my games, and three of those losses were to Rain teams. One of the ways I could handle rain is by taking a hit with Smeargle and using Dark Void, as Politoed usually is slower. Choice Scarf Politoed takes away this option from me, making it extremely difficult for me to last through a 5-turn Rain opening. Sunny Day does help me out a bit against this however.


Kangaskhan + Meowstic

This one is a bit more of a skill-judgment related problem. Some people will just go straight for Safeguard with Meowstic and use Fake Out on Smeargle, but this match up can be a lot less predictable than I would like it to be. Due to the nature of the lead, I can put myself well ahead of my opponent if I can make the right move on Turn 1, but I can also easily kill myself if I guess wrong. Unfortunately, burning a turn Protecting with both my Pokémon will usually put me a bit behind in the battle.

Swiss Day 1

In total, I played 25 battles at Nats. I tried to take the effort to write down what my opponent and I did on every turn, so I have a fairly detailed play-by-play of each of my matches. Take a seat: it will be a long ride.

Round 1: Rick Thomas

My first round of Swiss is on Table 206. I was wondering where the tables beyond 200 were at the Player Meeting, but apaprantly there was an entire set of tables, coloured in orange, which held Tables 200+. Needless to say, I hoped I would never have to play in this area after Round 1.

My opponent asks me whether this was my first Nationals tourney. While an innocent question, that probably gave me way too much information about my opponent.

Team Preview:

The team looks kind of like Trick Room. I felt no reason not to lead Blastoise + Smeargle. Garchomp looked pretty strong here with a lot of Rick’s Pokemon being weak to Ground and I rounded the team out with Rotom-H so I could freely Earthquake.

I expected my opponent to lead with Klefki so that he could prevent my Dark Voids with Safeguard. Instead, he sent out an Amoonguss and Conkeldurr lead. I hit the Dark Void + Water Spout button. My opponent doesn’t Protect and gets put to sleep. This is over… Or, it would be over, but Dark Void decided to be uncooperative. I missed against Amoonguss who put my Smeargle to sleep, and hit Conkeldurr who appeared to hold an Assault Vest. Naturally, Conekldurr woke up immediately after and attacked my Garchomp on the switch-in. I traded Garchomp for my opponent’s Amoonguss, then sent out Rotom-H while he sent Klefki.

The next turn was a turning point in the battle; Rick tried to switch in Blastoise to take an oncoming Overheat, while I focused on Conkeldurr, which I felt was the bigger threat on the field. I downed the Conkeldurr with a Water Spout and Overheat, and the remainder of the match was mostly me cleaning up the battlefield. Klefki showed some resistance by paralyzing my Blastoise with Thunder Wave, but since it did not have Swagger, it could not stop my Rotom-H from taking out Blastoise with Thunderbolt after I switched it out to reset its Special Attack.

While I managed to pull the win in this game, that was probably a lot closer than I would have liked it to be, no thanks to Dark Void.

1 – 0

Round 2: Corey Esmeier

Now that I’m out of the Orange Tables, I’m a little bit more comfortable. It was still pretty early in the tourney, so I could really face a wide variety of things for this round. My next opponent was Corey Esmeier.

Team Preview:

From Team Preview, I could probably expect Weakness Policy Dragonite, Mega Venusaur, and for my opponent to lead Meowstic and open with a Safeguard. I went with Blastoise, Smeargle, Scizor, Garchomp.

My opponent led with Dragonite and Meowstic. I punished the Safeguard with an Encore, as I dropped a Water Spout to deactivate Multiscale. I knocked out Dragonite next turn, as he switches Meowstic out for Scrafty. He let me Encore his Fake Out, and from there I simply have way too much of a lead on my opponent, so it just becomes a matter of me slowly chipping away through his dual screens until I won. A critical hit on his Scrafty with my Scizor helped speed things up.

2 – 0

Round 3: Kyle Morris

Kyle Morris’s name sounded a bit familiar when I saw my match pairing. I then remembered that this was the person who had played my brother, Team Rocket Elite, in Round 1 and won. Entering this battle, all I knew was that he had a Tyranitar, Kangaskhan, and Ludicolo.

Team Preview:

Outside of Ludicolo, the remainder of Kyle’s team could be crushed hard by Blastoise, so I started with my usual lead. I also brought Scizor and Garchomp in the back.

This was a game where I ended up being ahead the entire match. I think there were a few situations where Kyle could have tried to do some other things, but this match was pretty much over on Turn 1 due to his choice of four Pokémon. He led Gengar and Kangaskhan against Blastoise and Smeargle. I double Protected to get around Fake Out, as he used a couple of attacks. Smeargle may have gotten a Speed Boost from Moody after this turn, but I actually missed the boost I got. I ended up playing safe and let Smeargle absorb both of Gengar and Kangaskhan’s attacks as I dropped a Water Spout bomb on them, KOing Gengar.

I sent Garchomp in while Kyle sent Rotom-H. Blastoise and Rotom-H both Protect as Garchomp used Dragon Claw into a Tyranitar that switches in. Tyranitar revealed a Choice Scarf by outspeeding and knocking out my Garchomp, but this action was punished by Blastoise wiping out Kyle’s line with a Water Spout. I then had a 2v1 against a 50% HP Mega Kangaskhan, and it was an easy clean up from there.

I sort of wondered if he knew that I was TRE’s brother, but after the battle ended, he gave a comment of “It looks like you’ve avenged your brother.” I’ll take that as a yes.

3 – 0

Round 4: David Mancuso (Mancuso)

David was my first opponent whose name I recognized. I was facing Mancuso in Round 4.

Team Preview:

I faced an uphill battle with Azumarill and Venusaur. When I think about it, I’m not sure why I didn’t bring Venusaur to this match, but in the end, I decided on bringing Blastoise, Smeargle, Scizor, and Garchomp to this battle.

Mancuso leads with Garchomp and Staraptor. I double my Protects once again, in order to scout what move Staraptor will lock into, as he throws a Close Combat at Smeargle along with an Earthquake. Moody kicks in and provides a Speed Boost, but unfortunately, things were not meant to be; Dark Void misses against Staraptor, and hits into a Lum Berry on Garchomp, causing me to lose Smeargle, while an Ice Beam takes out Mancuso’s Garchomp.

I send out Scizor to try to capitalize on the Defense drop, while Mancuso brings out his Venusaur. He switches out Staraptor for Azumarill, who takes a Water Spout and a Bullet Punch down to about 50% HP, while Venusaur puts my Scizor to sleep with Sleep Powder. I spend the next few turns trying to play defensively, waiting for Scizor to wake up. Scizor ends up sleeping for the maximum number of turns, though, and it was unable to wake up to finish off Azumarill before it knocked out my Garchomp with a Play Rough. Blastoise and Scizor try their best, including a turn where I hit a Protecting Azumarill with Feint and finish it off with Aura Sphere, but eventually I’m left with a -1 Scizor against Venusaur with Synthesis, and lose the game 0-1.

3 – 1

Round 5: Hanna Coder

Between Round 4 and 5, we had a decently long Lunch Break. A fairly large group of Nugget Bridge members grouped together and went off to the Circle Center Mall’s food court to get something to eat. We also had time to catch up with other players to see where people were at so far during the tourney. After lunch, we headed back and I discovered my opponent for round 5 was Hanna Coder.

Team Preview:

Definitely a team with some unusual Pokémon choices. Although there were a lot of Pokémon on the team that made Smeargle not particularly useful, I still felt the need to bring it in order to assist my Blastoise. I ended up bringing Blastoise, Smeargle, with Scizor and Garchomp in the back, for the third time in a row. This match was not my proudest moment in the tourney; some moves that I thought wouldn’t matter too much ended up costing me greatly in the end.

Hanna leads with Talonflame and Slurpuff. I open the battle with a Follow Me and a Water Spout, and am slightly surprised as Talonflame reveals a Focus Sash and Slurpuff shows that it holds Choice Specs, locking itself into Dazzling Gleam. The next couple turns will end up being my undoing, as I choose to double Protect, not putting enough confidence in my initial thought of switching it for Scizor. Then on the following turn, I chose to use Water Spout with Blastoise not really expecting it to get a chance to move. I’m caught off guard as Hanna switches out Talonflame instead of sacrificing it, sending out Tyranitar who takes a Water Spout from a 25% HP Blastoise and activates a Weakness Policy.

On the next turn, I try to correct my mistake. Not falling for the Slurpuff’s retreat to Kangaskhan, I go for the Bullet Punch against Tyranitar, but unfortunately for me, it survives the attack on the edge of its life and takes my Scizor out with a Rock Slide. While I try my best effort to bring the match back, she’s able to get Tailwind back up using her 1 HP Talonflame, and sweeps the remainder of my team with Slurpuff.

While Hanna played this battle smartly, I felt like the ball was in my court for this match, and I had a miss. I do end up amused on the fact that my change in Scizor’s EV spread may have actually COST me this battle, depending on just how much Tyranitar surived my Bullet Punch with. And just like that, any sort of buffer I have for my matches is lost. From here on to the end of the day, it’s “Do or Die” for me.

3 – 2

Round 6: Jonathan Neill

I would have liked to have had gotten at least to 4 or 5 wins before having to take a second loss. With me having to win another 4 matches to survive the day, it was more important than ever for me to remain calm and play the game how I want to be.

Team Preview:

This was probably one of the worst things I could have seen on Team Preview. My opponent has both Kangaskhan + Meowstic, along with Azumarill on his team. I couldn’t properly bring Venusaur as everything on his team outside of Azumarill is fairly hostile towards it, so I was forced to bring Blastoise. I ended up with Blastoise, Smeargle, Scizor, and Garchomp and prayed for the best.

Jonathan led with Kangaskhan and Meowstic. This was not a time for hesitation, so I immediately went all-in on plays for this match. I switched out Smeargle for Garchomp, who took a Fake Out, dealing double Rough Skin damage to Kangaskhan, who then took an Aura Sphere from Blastoise down to an inch of its health. Meowstic set up a Safeguard.

Next turn, Kangaskhan Sucker Punches my Garchomp for a single hit and downs itself to Rough Skin damage, as Meowstic puts up a Reflect to reduce Garchomp’s Earthquake. Azumarill is sent out next. I was a bit worried about Belly Drum Azumarill, so I switched Garchomp back out for Smeargle, in order to get some redirection support to buy some time for myself. I was surprised to see both Meowstic and Azumarill launch attacks at me: Meowstic used Psychic to bring Smeargle down to half, and Azumarill used Superpower, which effectively tells me that I’m safe from a potential Belly Drum. Azumarill switches to Hydreigon to reset its status, while I sacrifice my Smeargle to a Psychic and drop a Water Spout. Hydreigon reveals a Choice Scarf to finish off my Blastoise on the following turn, while my Garchomp criples it with a Dragon Claw. After this point, just about everything on Jonathan’s team is within range of being downed by Scizor, so I proceed to pick them off one by one to take the game.

4 – 2

Round 7: Sam Smith

Round 6 was a really close call. I felt like I wouldn’t have made it through that match had the Meowstic been able to harass me with Swagger, or if the Azumarill had Belly Drum. My next opponent was Sam Smith.

Team Preview:

Looking at the team, as long as I could deal well enough with Rotom-W, Mega Blastoise could do a real number to his team. I was a bit worried about Gourgeist and Mawile, so I ended up bringing Blastoise, Smeargle, Garchomp, and Rotom-H.

Sam leads with Tyranitar and Talonflame. Since the sand will break Smeargle’s Focus Sash anyways, I go straight for the offensive on Turn 1. Tyranitar reveals a Choice Scarf, and goes for a Dark Pulse. Blastoise avenges Smeargle’s sacrifce with a Water Spout, KOing Talonflame, and dropping Tyranitar into the red. I send out Rotom-H while my opponent brings out Rotom-W. Both non-Rotom Pokemon switch out to a Garchomp on the next turn, aborbing an Electric attack, although mine used Discharge, so it still deals a small amount of damage to Rotom-W.

On the following turn, I have Rotom-H retreat for Blastoise. My Garchomp takes a Dragon Claw from the opposing Garchomp, then covers my Rotom-H’s retreat with a Rock Slide, flinching the opposing Rotom-W. Next Turn, Blastoise Protects from a Dragon Claw while my own Garchomp Dragon Claws into the enemy Rotom-W and is taken out with a Hydro Pump. I send in my Rotom-H, KO Garchomp with Hidden Power, KO Rotom-W with Aura Sphere, then clean up Tyranitar on the following turn to win the game.

5 – 2

Round 8: Chris Goad (bluesage)

Still Alive. Moving on to the 8th round, I’ve been pretty much trying to make an effort to calm myself before and after each match. The goal is getting closer, but I still need to take everything one match at a time. My next opponent is Chris Goad, who later on messaged me on the forums to introduce himself as bluesage after the tourney was over.

Team Preview:

Chris was running a more basic looking team. I went Blastoise, Smeargle, Garchomp, Rotom-H and hoped for the best.

I end up getting a decent amount of luck in this match. Smeargle opens the stage with a +2 Speed Moody boost, but a -1 Accuracy drop. However, it lands an Encore to lock Kangaskhan into Fake Out, then manages to hit two targets with Dark Void at -1 accuracy. This pretty much gives me enough of a lead to win the battle without too much effort.

6 – 2

Round 9: Alec Rubin (amr97)

For my 9th and final best-of-one swiss opponent, I faced Alec Rubin. This was a rare scenario where I was paired upwards for the final round, facing a player who was at 7-1. I had a few people mention to me that I should ask my opponent to throw the match, which I wasn’t particularly comfortable doing.

In the end, when we sat down at the table before our match, I mentioned the situation I was in. A loss for him didn’t mean much, but this match would decide whether my 2014 run would continue or not. Afterwards, he suggested that we would play the battle as normal, but if it looked like he would win the match, he would forfeit.

Team Preview:

Another Mega Venusaur team. My own Mega Venusaur would work pretty effectively from what I could see on his team, I did need to worry about the potential of Taunt on Gyarados, so I decided to go with Venusaur and Rotom-H for leads with Scizor and Garchomp in the back.

I actually did not take many notes for this match. I was pretty focused on the battle since this match determined whether I made Day 2 or not.

The early parts of this match involved a bit of shuffling around with switches. I get some early luck by poisoning his Garchomp, which allows me to take it out and get an early lead. The battle progresses and I end up with a Paralyzed 70% HP Venusaur, Scizor, Rotom-H, and a 30% Garchomp, against a Rotom-H, Venusaur, and 1% Gyarados in the back. I take a risk which ends up losing Scizor, and my Venusaur ends up being fully paralyzed twice in a row, but the battle was still winnable for me. I was trying to figure out a good way to take out the Rotom-H, and try to force a timer stalling situation, however, I didn’t have to think very long about it. Alec’s Rotom lands a critical hit with a -4 Overheat against my Venusaur, taking it out and all but sealing the game in his favour. On the next turn, he sticks to his word and forfeits the match.

7 – 2

I thanked Alec for what he did, of which he simply mentioned that he felt that I deserved to have a chance to play in Day 2. So, in an act of mercy, I ended Day 1 with a 7-2 record, keeping my dream alive for a Worlds invite.

Day 1 ended at around 3PM on Friday. It’s a bit of a surreal feeling when you realize that it’s not even Saturday, and 90% of the VGC contestants for the Master’s Divison are already out of the tournament. This also meant that we had a lot of time to relax before competition continued on Saturday morning.

Day 2

Once again, the Swiss rounds for Day 2 started bright and early at 8AM. The first round pairings were already up by the time the doors open for us, and we get right down to the battles. Unlike in Day 1, some TVs and chairs were now set up along the sides of the competition area, allowing for a crowd to spectate on some matches going on. While all my opponents do have a name they go under on Nugget Bridge by the time of writing this report, the only opponents I actually knew at the time of the Tournament were my first and last opponents. You’ll also notice that those two are referred to by their handles as opposed to their actual names in the write up.

Round 2-1: Omari Travis (BadIntent)

Day 2 starts off on a strong note for me, as I faced off against the season’s CP leader, BadIntent. All I had heard about his team for Nationals at this point was that he was running a non-Water Spout Mega Blastoise. Our match was chosen to be featured on one of the two TVs for spectators to watch. Win or lose, I knew that this would be a pretty exciting battle. While I tend to feel a bit nervous before my matches begin, that feeling tends to become non-existant once the actual battling begins.

Team Preview:

And there it is, another Mega Blastoise. While some people were probably hoping that a Blastoise mirror would occur, I had no such intentions of playing that. I made a call for this game, and decided initially that I would need all of Scizor, Rotom-H, and Garchomp for the match.

Game 1

Our match opens up with my Scizor and Rotom-H against Garchomp and Zapdos. Scizor retreats for my Venusaur to take a Thunderbolt as I fire off a Hidden Power onto the Garchomp. Garchomp shows a surprising amount of bulk, as it is able to survive the Hidden Power with enough HP left to put up a Substitute. We end up trading blows, as I double into Zapdos while BadIntent goes after my Rotom-H. Next turn, I switch Rotom-H for Scizor who takes a Thunderbolt for half its HP, while Venusaur and Garchomp attack each other.

I take a 3-2 lead, wiping out BadIntent’s leads in sacrifice of my Scizor. I end up paying for this dearly, as he brings in Gardevoir and Blastoise, uses Fake Out to set up Trick Room and sweeps the remainder of my team. I lose the first game of the set.

Game 2

Knowing that I kind of slipped up by letting Scizor go down before being able to handle Gardevoir, I changed up my leads to try to conserve Scizor a bit better. Otherwise, I bring the same 4 to this battle.

I switch my lead to Garchomp and Rotom-H, but BadIntent sticks to his Game 1 leads. As my Garchomp is in a bad spot, I switch it out for Venusaur who takes a Hidden Power Ice from Zapdos. BadIntent’s Garchomp Protects this game, but I instead go for a Thunderbolt on Zapdos this time. Zapdos still hasn’t revealed Roost yet, but I still felt compelled to go after it. I continue to launch Thunderbolts at Zapdos, while my Venusaur heals back up with Synthesis. Rotom-H is once again doubled up on and is put into the red. On the next turn, instead of switching out Rotom, I attack at Zapdos with both my Pokemon, sacrificng Rotom-H. Garchomp fires off an Earthquake, looking to try to tag me on a switch in.

I send in Scizor while BadIntent brings out his Gardevoir. This is the turning point of the match as I use Bullet Punch to OHKO Gardevoir. After this, Venusaur is able to pretty easily clean up against Blastoise and Garchomp, with the assistance of my Scizor and my own Garchomp.

Game 3

The one to decide it all. For game 3, I decided to skip the switching formalities and just went straight with Venusaur and Rotom-H, with Scizor and Garchomp in the back. BadIntent once again made no changes, opening up with Garchomp and Zapdos for a third time. I open this battle with a statement, making a hard read and betting that Garchomp would not go for a Protect for this game, after doing so last game. I double up on Garchomp and am rewarded with an early 4-3 lead for my effort.

Gardevoir is sent out. I throw attacks at the Zapdos while a Thunderbolt finishes off my crippled Rotom-H and a Psychic goes off on my Venusaur for about 60% of its HP. I send in Scizor and go for a Bullet Punch against Gardevoir, but BadIntent retreats it for Blastoise to take the attack. Zapdos hits Scizor for a Thunderbolt for about half and Venusaur has an opportunity to heal itself back up a bit.

On the next turn, I make a prediction that BadIntent would try to Fake Out my Venusaur and throw a Thunderbolt at my Scizor, so I thought to switch in my Garchomp on the Fake Out and Protected with Scizor. I was slightly shocked when I didn’t see a Fake Out occur, but breathed a sigh of relief in seeing that Zapdos and Blastoise both attacked towards Scizor’s spot, likely expecting me to switch from the other spot.

From there, I was able to bring Venusaur back in on Scizor’s slot, then double up on Blastoise to take it out. A scare for me occurs when my Rock Slide to finish off Zapdos misses, but Hidden Power failed to nab a KO, and Gardevoir flinched, so the rest of the battle was all clear for me to wrap things up.

1 – 0

Round 2-2: Alec Bel (PoleCat)

My second opponent for the day was Alec Bel. My opponent for this round will be memorable for two reasons. First, being that he was apparantly feeling sick, possibly due to nervousness, to the point where he was throwing up. And the other reason being…

Team Preview:

Yes, Alec Bel is the infamous “Double Poli Guy” (+ Electrode) guy. While I more or less knew exactly what his strategy would be with the Poliwrath, my team was actually ill suited to deal with it. So while my opponent has been throwing up since the start of Day 2, I think I’m actually the more unsettled person going into this match.

Game 1

I lead Garchomp and Smeargle against Poliwrath and Kangaskhan. Alec Fakes Out into a Spiky Shield and takes an Earthquake as Poliwrath sets up a Belly Drum. Next turn, I switch out my Smeargle, not wanting to take a Return from Kangaskhan, and throw another Earthquake. To my surprise, Alec decides to switch out Kangaskhan to an Eject Button Politoed, setting up the rain and bringing back Kangaskhan. Rotom-H is hit with Fake Out next turn and Poliwrath goes for a Waterfall, hitting my Venusaur for about 90% on the Switch in. Next turn, Poliwrath finishes off my Venusaur and I’m able to get off a Disharcge to take it down before being downed by Kangaskhan’s Return. I bring back Garchomp and Smeargle as Politoed enters for Poliwrath.

I KO Kangaskhan with a Dragon Claw and put Politoed to Sleep. Ferrothorn is sent out. The battle eventually comes down to my Smeargle and Garchomp against a Ferrothorn. I try to play the timer, but I simply don’t have enough HP remaining to really make it work out. While playing the timer, I accidently screw up and end up Dragon Clawing into the Ferrothorn. While that was kind of bad, it did reveal that its held item was a Rocky Helmet.

I think there were a few points at the end of the battle where I might have been able to win if I played more aggressively and just assumed Ferrothorn would stay asleep long enough, instead of trying to predict when it would wake up.

Game 2

In Game 2 I lead Venusaur and Garchomp while Alec goes with the same leads. Once again, a Fake Out occurs and Poliwrath sets up again. I go for a Dragon Claw on Kangaskhan because I need to keep Venusaur healthy. Although his Poliwrath is actually faster than my Venusaur, I predicted he’d go for the same move as he did in Game 1. I intentionally swing into a Protect with Dragon Claw, then reveal SUNNY DAY, cancelling out the Rain he sets up with the switch in.

I think this move catches Alec off guard, and he ends up panicking a bit, as he switches out both Polis for Ferrothorn and Kangaskhan while I bring my Rotom-H in for Venusaur and launch an Earthquake. As a result, there is no pressure from a +6 Poliwrath, and I’m also able to dispatch of Kangaskhan early in the game. This leads to a fairly convincing victory for me.

Game 3

For game 3, I switched things up again and went for Rotom-H and Garchomp. While Venusaur’s Sunny Day saved me last battle, the fact that it doesn’t have Protect makes it hard for me to lead it against Kangaskhan. Knowing that Poliwrath is faster than Venusaur also complicates that option. Alec once again goes for Poliwrath and Kangaskhan. The game’s progression goes a bit similar to Game 1. Kangaskhan uses Fake Out, Garchomp hits Alec’s team with an Earthquake and Poliwrath gets off a Belly Drum. The next turn is where disaster strikes me.

I end up psyching myself out on what Alec’s next move is. While he’s tried to Protect Poliwrath and switch Kangaskhan to Politoed to get his rain for both previous games, I started to doubt whether he’d do it this game. I was planning to switch in Smeargle on this turn and Dragon Claw into an obvious protect so I didn’t Eject out Politoed, but if he went for Return I’d be in big trouble. The problem here is that I took too long to think. Before I knew it, I only had a few seconds left on the move timer. I rush to try to intentionally double attack into Poliwrath’s Protect. But unfortunately for me, my last input wasn’t registered in time.

Alec pulls the same second turn again, and I end up performing the worst move possible due to my inaction. Instead of Thunderbolting into Poliwrath’s Protect, Rotom ends up using Overheat on the Politoed switching in, locking me into Overheat in the rain, and allowing him to bring back his Kangaskhan. Naturally, I got 4-0’d as a result of this. It was not pretty.

1 – 1

Round 2-3: Jason Ihekona (Hona)

While some factors of my loss were silly and easily preventable, I was able to move on pretty quickly past that and reframe my focus for my next matches. My 3rd opponent was Jason Ihekona.

Team Preview:

This round was pretty bizzare. My opponent had a less than expected Pokemon in Drapion on his team, and all throughout this round, there was a gratutious amount of excessively loud cheering from the crowd spectating a match. Rooting for Smeargle of all things. While the cheering likely didn’t affect my playing much, aside from making me play with a smile on my face and feeling very curious… I hear that a lot of other players were less than thrilled at loud cheering hindering their concentration. Try to tone it down a bit next time, guys, okay?

Anyways, back to the Team Preview, Jason’s Mega Venusaur and Azumarill necessitated the presence of my own Mega Venusaur. From there I decided to bring Scizor, Garchomp, and Smeargle. The reason for Smeargle was mostly because his team was largely slow, and thus I could potentially find opportunities to harass him with Encore.

Game 1

I led with Scizor and Smeargle while Jason went for Meowstic and… Drapion. While I know a number of things that Drapion could do, I have zero idea what Drapion would do. As such, I played this a bit conservatively, switching out Smeargle for Garchomp and throwing out a U-Turn against Meowstic, hoping that Drapion wasn’t packing Fire Fang. The result of this turn sort of surprises me as Scizor moves before Drapion and the Meowstic survives a Life Orb U-Turn comfortably in the Yellow, and reveals a Rocky Helmet. I switch Scizor for Smeargle, and Drapion swings down with a Knock Off, which doesn’t even drop Smeargle down to 1HP. Meowstic sets up a Safeguard.

From what I could tell, the Meowstic is full physical defensive, and the Drapion seems to be a pretty bulky build as well. I Spiky Shield with Smeargle this turn and go for the Earthquake, but Meowstic weakens my attack with Charm, and Drapion uses Knock Off on Garchomp. Both of us switch off for Venusaur on the next turn, as Garchomp and Meowstic square off against each other. Next Turn, Garchomp is hit with another Charm, dropping it to -6 Attack before it throws a Rock Slide to finally take the cat off the field. The two Venusaurs both go Mega and Sludge Bomb each other in the meantime. Drapion replaces the fallen Meowstic.

Obviously, a -6 Attack Garchomp is dead weight, so I switch it out for Scizor. Drapion reveals Rock Tomb and slows my Venusaur down. Both Venusaur decide to heal up with Synthesis on this turn. I finish off Drapion with a U-Turn and switch off to Smeargle who is thrown in the way of a Giga Drain to be taken down. Afterwards, with a 3-2 lead, Jason shows his last to be Azumarill. I win the match by targetting down Azumarill, then finishing off the Venusaur.

Game 2

What I got from the matches played is that Jason’s team has a lot of defensive support, but not actually all that much offensive presence. I decided to bring the same four Pokemon, and lead with Garchomp and Smeargle. The game plan I had in mind was to focus and take down his Pokemon one at a time.

Jason leads with Meowstic and Venusaur this time. I switch Smeargle for Scizor, and throw a Rock Slide with Garchomp. Garchomp is hit with Charm, making the damage minimal, but I get a flinch on Venusaur. Next turn, I switch Garchomp for Venusaur who ends up taking a Giga Drain. Meowstic uses Charm on Scizor, but I U-Turn into the cat and bring back Garchomp, eliminating all the progress Meowstic had done in the last few turns. Garchomp Protects and blocks an incoming Giga Drain and Charm, while a Sludge Bomb from my Venusaur is able to KO the Meowstic.

Aegislash is sent out. Jason tries to catch my Garchomp on this turn, revealing a Wide Guard, but my Garchomp will have none of that as I choose to ignore Aegislash compeletely, and double on the Mega Venusaur. I down Mega Venusaur on the next turn, as Aegislash slams a Shadow Ball into Garchomp dropping it down to 12 HP.

Azumarill shows up as Jason’s last Pokemon. I use Protect with Garchomp, blocking an oncoming Aqua Jet which lets me hit Azumarill with a Sludge Bomb. Aegislash hits Mega Venusaur with a Shadow Ball for about half, and drops its Special Defense. I make a bit of a sloppy play on the next turn, switching out Venusaur for Scizor, and letting Garchomp go. Scizor did not have enough HP remaining, so it was taken down by the Shadow Ball.

After that, I brought Smeargle in with Venusaur. I Encore Aegislash into Shadow Ball and take out the Azumarill. Now, with Follow Me, I simply redirected away all the Shadow Balls into Smeargle harmlessly, and thus had the game on lock down.

2 – 1

Round 2-4: Erik Holmstrom (Cyrus)

After Round 3, we had a fairly long lunch break until 12PM when streaming would start. Instead of heading off to the mall, I instead just decided to stay in the room where the competition was held. I ate a couple of small snacks that I had on me, talked to people who were also still around, and just tried to maintain focus towards my next set of matches. After our lunch break was over, Round 4 started. My fourth opponent was Erik Holmstrom.

Team Preview:

I can’t remember if I explicitly thought about it, but seeing as Aerodactyl is the only potential Mega on this team, I probably just assumed that it was a Mega. Blastoise does a heavy amount of damage to Erik’s team, but there were a few things I needed to be careful of like Amoonguss, Rotom-W, and potentially Wide Guard.

Game 1

I lead my usual Blastoise Smeargle against a Klefki and Rotom-W. Not wanting to have Blastoise take a Thunderbolt, I played things safe and went for Water Spout and Follow Me. Rotom-W Protects and Klefki uses Safeguard. Next turn I get a big turn, as I switch my Garchomp into a Swagger for a free +2 Attack and Encore Rotom-W into Protect. Smeargle gets an Evasion boost to top things off. Afterwards, I use Follow Me to stop Klefki from trying to confuse Garchomp. Smeargle is hit with Swagger, but manages to dodge Garchomp’s Earthquake. Klefki is taken out, and the incoming Amoonguss loses about 75% of its HP. Aerodactyl comes out to replace Klefki.

I get a little bit ahead of myself on the next turn as I try to use Smeargle to redirect attacks away with Follow Me, but it instead hits itself so Garchomp is taken out with an Ice Fang and Smeargle is put to sleep. Scizor is sent out. It dodges a Rock Slide and KOs Amoonguss with a U-Turn as Smeargle is taken out with Rock Slide.

It comes down to Mega Aerodactyl and Rotom-W against my Scizor and Blastoise. I try to bait out a Protect from Aerodactyl this turn and Protect with Scizor, but Aerodactyl goes for an attack on me. Rotom Thunder Waves into a Protect, and an Aura Sphere takes about 40% off of Rotom. Aerodactyl goes for Protect on the next turn, but this just lets me safely KO Rotom-W with a double target, and I clean up Aerodactyl afterwards.

Game 2

For game 2, I decide to switch up my leads. I brought Rotom-H and Garchomp, with Blastoise and Smeargle in the back. This turns out to be a bit of a mistake for me, as Erik brings out Scrafty and Klefki to lead. I’m able to do fairly little to stop a Safeguard + Self Swagger strategy, and Erik is quickly able to gain momentum with a +2 Scrafty under Safeguard.

I actually ended up not taking very detailed notes about this match, but what it ended up with was my Garchomp at -1 Attack vs a Rotom-W. My only real hope was to play for luck. I got a Flinch with Rock Slide, but then found that due to Leftovers recovery and usage of Protect, Erik’s Rotom barely took any net damage. As such, I went for a Dragon Claw and just hoped that Hydro Pump would miss, or that it wouldn’t be enough to KO. Unfortunately, I had no such luck.

Game 3

For Game 3, recognizing that I didn’t want to let Erik set up a safeswagger strategy, I once again led with Smeargle and Scizor with Blastoise and Garchomp in back. Erik leads with Klefki and Scrafty again. I open the match out strong, as I’m able to Encore to lock his Klefki into Safeguard as Scrafty uses Fake Out on my Scizor. I then Encore Scrafty’s Fake Out as I hit the incoming Rotom-W with a U-Turn, switching to Blastoise. Next couple of turns, Scrafty switches back for Klefki taking a Water Spout, while Rotom-W attacks into Smeargle. Then Rotom-W switches back for Scrafty as another Water Spout falls down, leaving Klefki in the red. Klefki Swaggers into my Smeargle due to Follow Me.

This is where things go really bad for me however. I Protect with Blastoise to avoid Swagger and Scrafty hits my Smeargle with Fake Out, leaving me with 1 HP. I was expecting to be KO’d which would have allowed me to bring Scizor in to finish off Klefki. Instead swapping out Smeargle  for Dark Voids if required later, I take a risk and go for Follow Me. Smeargle KOs itself, and then Blastoise is Swaggered and hits itself as well while Scrafty retreats for Amoonguss.

I bring Scizor back out, switch Blastoise for Garchomp, and finish off Klefki. However, Scizor gets hit with Spore. Scrafty returns to the field dropping the attack of both my Pokemon, and at this point my team simply lacks the offensive pressure it needs in order to do anything properly. There’s a lot of switching and shuffling around by me to get something to work. I manage to KO Rotom-W, leaving just Scrafty and Amoonguss. It gets down to a point where I’m against a 70% HP Amoonguss, and 60-70% HP Scrafty against a 40% HP Scizor who’s slept for two turns, 40% Blastoise and a Full HP Garchomp in the back. I end up trying to go for a U-Turn, but scizor ends up sleeping for the maximum amount of turns, and is taken out. In the end, I am unable to break through the Amoonguss and Scrafty, leading to my second round loss of the day.

What I didn’t realize was that there was actually only about a minute left in the game’s timer at this point, so I actually had another option where I tried to keep myself with 3 Pokemon alive in order to win by tie breaker. However, I ended up so focused on the match, and how I could possibly turn around a losing situation that I was completely blind to this until I noticed the timer tick down to zero seconds during the animations of the final turn. While the end result of the battle, if it kept going, would have still been a loss for me; this was my first loss by Timer since 2011 Nationals Top Cut.

2 – 2

Round 2-5: Toby Mullins (Boogle)

Once again, I’m back to a do-or-die situation. I can take some solace in the fact that I only need two more wins, instead of four to make it to where I wanted to be. My next opponent was Toby Mulins.

Team Preview:

I’d been hearing about a person who had Weavile and Hawlucha in Day 2. I would have never imagined that I’d be facing that person in the tournament. Toby’s team had a lot of frail, high speed Pokemon on it, so I figured that Scizor and Rotom-H would be key for my success. I wasn’t too big on the idea of bringing Blastoise or Venusaur to this match initially, so I brought Scizor, Rotom-H, Garchomp, and Smeargle. I figured that I could use Smeargle as redirection support in some way.

Game 1

Toby leads with Rotom-W and Weavile. Not wanting my Rotom-H targetted too early on, I switch it out for Garchomp. However, my play is seen through and Toby doubles up on Scizor with a Fake Out and Will-o-Wisp. The lead he gained from Turn 1 quickly vanishes, as he doubles into Garchomp’s Protect and Scizor lands a critical hit U-Turn to take out Weavile. I bring back my Rotom-H and feel like I’m in good position.

Charizard is sent out. While a bit strange to say so, Toby performs an expected misplay of mega evolving his Charizard-Y, and firing a Hydro Pump into my Rotom-H. The Sun allows my Rotom-H to survive the attack, and I pretty much spend the remainder of the match running over his team with Discharges and Rock Slide.

Game 2

For Game 2, I decided that I didn’t need to bring Smeargle and brought Venusaur instead. I led with Scizor and Garchomp against Weavile and Meowstic. I switch in Rotom-H to take an Icicle Crash, while Scizor is Charmed by Meowstic before it U-Turns off the cat to Venusaur. Overheat KOs Weavile and Sludge Bomb drops Meowstic down into the red as it sets up a Safeguard.

Hawlucha is sent out and I’m actually a bit worried about my situation. Fortunately for me, Toby decides to go hard on taking out my Rotom-H, swaggering Hawlucha for a +2, and swinging a High Jump Kick at my poor Scizor who took Rotom’s place. This gave me the opportunity to finish off Meowstic and prevent any more Swagger shenanigans.

Rotom-H returns to the field and Charizard is sent out. Hawlucha Protects this turn as I go for the Discharge and Sludge Bomb on Charizard. Charizard tries to finish off my Rotom-H with a Dragon Pulse, but falls short. Venusaur gets paralyzed from my own Discharge, but it doesn’t matter as it is still able to get the job done.

At this point, it is 3v1 and I just throw attacks at Hawlucha until it is down.

3 – 2

Round 2-6: Toler Webb (Dim)

With one more match left to decide the future of my 2014 career, I could only hope that I got paired up with someone I could be confident I could defeat. However, I guess I already used my freebie to get myself into Day 2 in the first place. My 6th and final opponent for Day 2 was 2012 Senior Division World Champion, Toler Webb.

I didn’t actually know how much CP Toler had going into Nationals, so I thought both of us were playing here in order to get our invite to Worlds. It’s probably one of the worst feelings to play someone you know at the end of the day, where both players are highly skilled, and one will potentially be walking home empty handed. With that sort of feeling in mind, I played potentially my last official match of the season.

Team Preview:

Looking at Dim’s team, I could expect a rough fight. He has two different Megas, and his team has a lot of firepower backing it. Being a bit unsure which way he would plan to go to open this set of games, I started off with my usual Blastoise and Smeargle lead. To go with it, I chose Scizor to handle Gardevoir, and Garchomp to help handle a potential Charizard — and because it can do a decent number to almost all of his Pokemon given the opportunity.

Game 1

Blastoise Smeargle squares off against Double Dragons. I open the match with a double Protect expecting the Hydreigon to be Choice so I could see what move it locked into. Dim goes for an Earthquake and a Draco Meteor, so I go by the assumption that Hydreigon is holding Specs. In the mean time, Smeargle buffs up its Evaasion. I perform Follow Me on the next turn. Smeargle dodges the Earthquake, and is hit by Draco Meteor while my Blastoise takes down Garchomp with Ice Beam.

Next turn, Gardevoir is sent out. Hydreigon finishes off my Smeargle with a Draco Meteor, but takes an Aura Sphere for over 80% of its HP as Gardevoir sets up a Trick Room. I send out my Scizor at this time and basically play to burn through the turns of Trick Room and steer the battle towards a winning scenario once Trick Room ends. There was a turn where Blastoise managed to get off an attack where I wasn’t expecting it to that made things all the more simple for me as I was able to bring his Mawile’s HP down enough to handle it safely.

Game 2

For Game 2, I decid to reverse my leads. I go for Scizor and Garchomp with Blastoise and Smeargle in the back. Dim makes the adjustment to bring Charizard this time and leads with Charizard Garchomp. I take an early 4-3 lead with a Feint and Rock Slide, breaking Charizard’s Protect and KOing it. However, this lead is quickly lost as I lose the speed tie to Garchomp on the next turn and both my Scizor and Garchomp are taken out with an Earthquake and Thunderbolt. Smeargle and Blastoise are sent out, but they can hardly do much in the situation and quickly fall.

Game 3

Game 3 goes by just as quickly as Game 2, as both sides pretty much say screw it to defense and charge at each other at full speed. I lead with Blastoise and Rotom-H against Charizard and Garchomp once again. The match is decided on Turn 1 as a Critical Hit Thunderbolt takes out Charizard, and my Blastoise OHKOs Garchomp with an Ice Beam. Zapdos and Hydreigon are sent out, and I proceed to double up on Hydreigon, then finish off Zapdos.

4 – 2

Timid Blastoise being faster than 3 of Dim’s Pokemon that were parked in the 140 Speed range pretty much kept me in the competition. While Dim’s hopes of trying to aim for a shot at the Top Cut were cut off here, he does mention that the CP he gains from a Top 32 finish would still gain enough CP for his invite. Maybe we’ll face each other again at Worlds.


With this, I ended up 4-2. The weakest 4-2. But as people had projected, that was still enough to put me in 16th place and exactly where I needed to be in order to receive an invitation to the 2014 Pokémon World Championships. It was a pretty bizzare run this year at Nationals for me with luck, skill, and nerves contributing to both wins and losses for me, along with the strage way of closing out my two days of competition — saved by the generosity of my opponent Day 1 and saved by the genrosity of the random number generator, that we often hate so much, on Day 2. I’m not really one that properly expresses emotions well when it comes to celebrating things. So it may be easier for me if I just say it in writing instead:

I’m extremely greatful that I’ll once again be able to represent my country in the World Championships for 2014. Thanks to the VGC community for their support, and thank you for reading my report.

Article image created by feathers for Nugget Bridge. View more of her artwork on her tumblr or Nugget Bridge forums thread.

About the Author

R Inanimate is a long time participant in official Pokemon Tournaments, first attending the 2005 Battle in Seattle Tournament. Known for using teams that are a bit off from the standard, and not using RNG'd Pokemon. Avid Battle Frontier fan. Worlds 2013 competitor, known for running Togekiss and Mold Breaker Excadrill.

15 Responses to A Long Shot in the Dark: US Nationals 16th Place Report

  1. Porengan says:

    Great Report, realy great.
    Was fun to read, thanks for it.

  2. Gringo says:

    That was a pretty cool read, congrats on the worlds invite!
    Just curious, what were you aiming to out-speed with your Timid Mega Blastoise?

  3. rapha says:

    Yay Sunny Day Venusaur. Never mind the fact it was a filler move

    Best of luck at worlds Randy. Bring the trophy over the border :)

  4. LLeonard says:

    Congrats on the world invite, and this report is great.

  5. TwiddleDee says:

    Congratulations, Randy! I’m glad you were able to make it to Worlds. Even if your Nats performance was solidified through an act of kindness towards a fellow player (Alec forfeiting when he could have easily won the game from the position described), I’m confident you’ll perform well at Worlds! I wish you the best of luck!

  6. Benja says:

    just a little question, what were you trying to outspeed with 252 evs for rotom and the scarf?? i ask this because i use rotom H, and scarfed too, but i only use 172 evs in speed, because, that way, you can OUTSPEED BY 1 POINT a +252 speed greninja (jolly or timid), and i think outspeeding greninja is a huge benchmark, so i stop there and use the other evs to have more bulk

  7. Hazza says:

    Love the team, especially how it’s not mind numbingly generic yet very successful. I look forward to seeing what you create in the future!

  8. Adib says:

    I was hardly what you would call a “villain.” As such, I chose a more neutral sounding title. For those who StreetPassed me during the weekend, my Mii’s greeting was “Darkness of Nats”.

    Oh, you thought darkness was your ally? Without at least half of your team born in it, molded by it (aka themed after villains), you merely adopted the dark.
    Anyways Randy, congrats on the T16 finish and for qualifying for Worlds (again). I really enjoyed reading the report, especially your battle log. It’s pretty interesting to see how both you and Simon used Fastoise to perform very well at Nationals.
    See you at Worlds next weekend!

  9. Boogle says:

    You are one of my all time favorite Pokemon players and it was an absolute honor to play against you on day two.

  10. Crawdaunt says:

    That was a pretty cool read, congrats on the worlds invite!
    Just curious, what were you aiming to out-speed (aside from Rotom like you mentioned in your analysis) with your Timid Mega Blastoise?
    Edit: Why is this in the Simple Requests section of the forums? Never mind, it got fixed :)

    Isn’t this just a “140 is a benchmark to outspeed +252 Smeargle, so 143 outspeeds the stuff speed creeping around that stat,” sort of thing?

    Major congrats on the invite Randy! I’m super stoked that you’ll get another chance to represent at Worlds! Not to mention that you’ve made it there with the same team for most of the season yet again!
    As an intriguing question about Fast ‘Stoise, if it had been Modest you’d have likely OHKO’d that Hydreigon (Modest is guaranteed OHKO unless they’re a pretty specially bulky Hydreigon). With that in mind, do you think being faster than Hydreigon was more important than getting a (likely guaranteed) OHKO? How often did the 143 speed come up as you outsped things that were likely EV’d to outspeed Smeargle? I can definitely see merits against Kanga as well, as you rarely OHKO them anyways so being faster might net you a KO you wouldn’t have gotten, but after playing so much with it, do you think it’s really the better way to go about things?

  11. seasicknesss says:

    Great report Randy! I love how well your report reads despite it being literally (surprise surprise) the same team throughout the season. What got me was your descriptions of the matches and how your tournament run went. You must’ve made a deal with the pokédevil because luck was definitely on your side in the strangest of ways. That being said, and I’m sure you’re already aware of this, you definitely owe it to your last two opponents to go deep at worlds. Good luck.

  12. Oryx says:

    I love your reports! They’re always incredibly well written – super-detailed to the extent that as the reader I feel that I was there with you; they’re warstory-esque; and often really fun to read.

    It’s cool to see how you were able to grow from your last report and make tweaks to your team based on the metagame. You’re consistency is spectacular and I’m getting a feel for your favouring of redirection moves.

    Congratulations on your Worlds Invite! Canada has your back!

  13. R Inanimate says:

    Thanks guys.
    For Blastoise’s Speed, Crawdaunt does have the right idea about the reasoning, a lot of people place things at 140 Speed, and Blastoise steps a bit ahead of those. While the loss of power is noticable compared to modest, I feel like this trait of outspeeding things in the 140 area is a pretty big thing with how the meta has shifted over time. Also, being faster than other Smeargles is always a plus.
    As for Rotom-H’s speed, going a full 252 allows it to be one speed above Timid Mega Manectric. I felt that was important enough of a trait for me to run the full speed.

  14. Invidious says:

    Hey, I’m your second opponent from day 1. The Snorlax guy lol. My loss to you motivated me to going and finishing 6-3 on day one with my final loss in the last round to Toler Webb of all people! I played 2 amazing players on day 1 in you and Toler, and I will see you at worlds. I’m hoping I learned enough from both of you to do very well in the LCQ! You are the reason I am prepared as all hell for taunts more than ever before! lol

  15. DrDimentio says:

    I haven’t read many team reports lately, but I read this one because teams with some originality (Smeargle + Blastoise) are a nice change from the boring standard teams. Also because I’m a fan of your reports in general. Anyway, I appreciated the very detailed battle descriptions and it was a good read – wish I could take that many notes and still be able to focus on the game.
    It’s also clear why you’re the only successful Smeargle player as far as I know – because you hardly ever rely on Dark Void. That’s probably the mistake everyone else makes when using it.

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