Published on July 22nd, 2015 | by MrJellyLeggs19
Who Needs Protect? A UK Regionals Top 4 Report
Hi, I’m Jamie Boyt, and I recently came in 3rd place at the first UK Regionals. This was quite the achievement for me because not only did I go 8-0 in Swiss, it was my first official tournament apart from a Premier Challenge, where I came 12th. I had been a singles player until X & Y and only properly started VGC when ORAS came out, so my experience is still very limited. However, I had a number of people come up to me during and after the tournament commenting on how cool my team was, and asking what I was using to be doing so well, which was a very surreal experience as I still considered myself somewhat of an amateur.
Would you believe that my team started out around an Assault Vest Shuckle? In the sand, an Assault Vest Shuckle can reach a special defense stat of 697 at Level 50! It had Struggle Bug, Rock Tomb, Infestation, and Bulldoze (which works great with Serperior) and is a lot of fun to use. However, it was far too gimmicky for a tournament, so I swapped some things around, while still trying to keep the fire-grass-water core, and eventually came up with the six Pokemon I would end up using.
Before I get to the spreads, I will just point out something. It’s strange how I didn’t really realise this until after the first game in the tournament, but I only had one Pokemon with Protect on my team. While this may seem very strange, I felt that every move was necessary and I didn’t want to give any of the moves up, so I figured I would just have to rely on my predictions. I also figured that a lot of players would expect Protects here and there, so I could make use of this and go for some fairly unexpected plays, which worked out very strongly in my favour in the end. I don’t recommend having no Protect though, there were definitely points throughout the tournament where it would have been very useful.
Charizard-Mega-X @ Charizardite X
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 92 HP / 220 Atk / 196 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Dragon Claw
– Dragon Dance
Used in 12/13 games, KOed 12/45
The final change I made to the team was changing Charizard from Y to X. Drought did not help my team at all, and hindered Suicune, although the main reason for changing to X was that Heat Wave missed waaaaay too often for my liking, hence the nickname I gave it (HW90%AccHaHa). I also got to bluff Charizard Y, which would put me in a great position as opponents would always predict Y and would choose different moves, and even different Pokemon in Team Preview as a result. This helped me in many games.
Flare Blitz and Dragon Claw are obviously two great stab moves, and Dragon Dance was necessary for very fast, very strong attacks. Earthquake was chosen as the final move as I expected to see a lot of Heatran, which would otherwise completely counter Charizard X. I didn’t end up facing any Heatran in the whole tournament, and only used Earthquake twice, both to not much use, as the power was very underwhelming, mainly because it doesn’t get the Tough Claws boost. After a Dragon Dance, it only did about 60% to a Mega Metagross, so I would not recommend Earthquake unless you really hate Heatran.
The Ev spread allows Charizard to outspeed Scarfed Landorus Ts after a Dragon Dance. After looking at the damage calculations, I didn’t feel that having 252 EVs in Attack did anything more significant than 220 Evs, so I settled with 220 and put the rest in bulk.
Thundurus @ Life Orb
EVs: 84 HP / 4 Def / 156 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk, 30 Def
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Nasty Plot
– Thunder Wave
Used in 12/13 games, KOed 9/45
This was my favourite pokemon of the whole tournament, and the one people were commenting on the most. Everyone was saying how cool it was to have Nasty Plot, and I am quite surprised by this because Thundurus can OHKO most non-resisted pokemon after one boost, so I don’t understand why it isn’t more common. This definitely worked out in my favour though, as there was more than one opponent who predicted a Taunt here and there, which allowed me to set up a Nasty Plot and basically sweep. Thundurus was also chosen over Thundurus-T as 111 Speed is a much better base speed than 101, and after a Nasty Plot, the difference in Sp Atk becomes negligible.
You may notice that there are 8 EVs missing. This was just bad training on my part, it was meant to be 164 SpA. Max speed was necessary to outspeed base 110s, and surprises some people who expect a bulkier Thundurus. I thought I would be fancy and gave Thundurus the bulk it has to nearly always survive a Tyranitar’s Rock slide. I found this bulk added nothing to Thundurus, as it was OHKOed by every strong attack that hit it, so the Evs could have been invested in more SpAtk, which would have helped in the tournament as I missed out on two important knockouts, one of which lost me the first game of the Semis. I will be changing the spread to 36HP, 220 SpAtk, 252 Spd since the extra bulk doesn’t add anything significant, it hits a very optimised 159HP for life orb recoil, and allows Thundurus to survive a Ludicolo Fake Out + Politoed 252+ Ice Beam with two Life Orb hits left.
Suicune @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 212 SpA / 4 SpD / 36 Spe
– Ice Beam
– Calm Mind
Used in 9/13 games, KOed 7/45
After a random match on Showdown, where my Suicune was left against three opposing Pokemon and still won, Suicune has become my favourite Pokemon in VGC and a staple in most of my teams. It is definitely one of the best Tailwind users as it has amazing bulk, while still having decent attacking power, and I prefer it to Zapdos as it lets you have a Thundurus on your team as well. My team was already fast, but Tailwind ensured I could outspeed anything that wanted to try and boost its speed, had a Choice Scarf, negate Icy Wind’s speed drop, or match an opposing Tailwind. Calm Mind was used as more than once in practise I was left with my Suicune against an opposing Cresselia, and I wanted to be able to ensure a win in this situation.
The EV spread was my favourite one I made. I wanted max HP for the most benefit from the Sitrus Berry, enough SpAtk to OHKO standard Mega Salamence with Ice Beam, outspeed Scarfed Landorus Ts under Tailwind while creeping other pokemon trying to do the same, and have all this while having a Bold nature. Achieving these goals left me with 4 Evs for each defense stat, which I found very satisfying indeed.
Serperior @ Meadow Plate
EVs: 132 HP / 4 Def / 116 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Leaf Storm
– Light Screen
Used in 7/13 games, KOed 7/45
The only Pokemon I had on my team with Protect. I’m surprised there aren’t more Serperior around, not just because of Contrary Leaf Storm, which is amazing, but because of its base speed of 113, which outspeeds so much of the Metagame, so it can get off a base 130 power move off before them. Serperior was very strong in a lot of my games, where it was just able to sweep. In one of my games I managed to get up to +6, and effectively sweep with just Serperior.
Since I figured that I would be having Sylveon’s Hyper Voice Syndrome with Leaf Storm, and I prefer Pixie Plate as opposed to Choice Specs on Sylveon, I did the same for Serperior and gave it a Meadow Plate. Having Choice Specs would mean I would have to have three other attacking moves that I would almost never use, so Meadow Plate was used so that I could have supporting moves, which ended up being Reflect and Light Screen, and allowed Protect. When I settled on dual screens, I considered Light Clay, but removing Meadow Plate would mean I would have to give up considerable bulk for the SpAtk stat I wanted. I did consider Glare instead of Protect, which would really live up to the team name, but I already had Prankster Thunder Wave on Thundurus, so I didn’t feel it was necessary.
The EV spread was effectively chosen as a Terrakion counter, with maximum speed to even outspeed Mega Lucario. 60 SpAtk Evs is enough to KO 252 Terrakions, but I gave Serperior 116 SpAtk Evs to KO a certain Substituting Terrakion, as I thought that people would want to copy the spread since it was successful at the Arnhem Regionals (Hint hint). The rest I put in bulk, while keeping an odd HP number in case any Super Fangs came my way.
Lucario @ Focus Sash
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Close Combat
– Bullet Punch
– Follow Me
Used in 6/13 games, KOed 5/45
I hate Trick Room, you have to alter your whole playstyle to try and counter it, and my team was very fast, so I needed to find a way to stop it, and I wanted to be able to do it with one Pokemon. After many failed Taunts into Mental Herbs, and many times being Faked Out by the Trick Roomer’s partner, I found what I believe to be the single greatest counter to Trick Room, Inner Focus Lucario. It can bluff Mega Lucario, possibly attracting Fake Outs, which then don’t work thanks to Inner Focus, and can then just Roar away the Trick Roomer since Roar has one more priority than Trick Room. With Focus Sash, even when the Trick Roomer’s partner goes for the KO on Lucario, it will still always be able to get the Roar off. This worked very elegantly in one of my Swiss games, and I was almost disappointed that that game was my only battle against Trick Room, which is usually a weird thing to say. A quick mention should go to Dragonite, Crobat and regular Kangaskhan, as they also have Inner Focus + Roar/Whirlwind (But who is going to use regular Kangaskhan with Roar?).
Lucario also played another huge role in my team: it countered Mega Kangaskhans. It couldn’t be faked out by them, and worst case scenario speed ties with them before Mega-Evolving, and always outspeeds Adamant Kangaskhans. This meant that I could lead with Lucario against a Kangaskhan and pretty safely Close Combat it, in a lot situations KOing it without it doing anything. Adamant Lucario would almost guarantee a KO on even the bulkiest of Kangaskhans, but Jolly ensures you speed tie at worst. Bullet Punch was good priority, and Follow Me came in handy for allowing a teammate to set up, especially since my Togekiss was not running it.
Togekiss @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Dazzling Gleam
– Air Slash
– Aura Sphere
Used in 6/13 games, KOed 5/45
This Togekiss was originally a standard Follow Me and Tailwind Togekiss, but since I already had both of those moves on my team, I opted for a Choice Scarf variant, which caught a lot of people off guard and got a couple of surprise KOs. People were coming up to me saying to me about how they had heard about my Scarfed Togekiss, so it was the other celebrity of my team.
The moveset is pretty standard for a Scarfed Togekiss. Air Slash flinches more often than not, and is coming from a Pokemon faster than Landorus, which can be game-changing. I chose Flamethrower over Fire Blast as I wanted all my moves to be as accurate as possible. I gave it Max Speed Timid so I would creep Scarf Landorus Ts, and the rest in SpAtk for as much power as possible, which, in the end, turned out to be pretty underwhelming.
Round 1 vs David Williams
I was already nervous going into this match as David won the Premier Challenge that I had done so poorly at. I chose Charizard and Serperior as they were my best counter to rain, thanks to my Y bluff, and in the first turn of the tournament it came into play as he proceeded to Ice Beam my Serperior barely missing the KO, allowing me to OHKO Kingdra with Dragon Claw and set up a Light Screen while his Politoed went for Rain Dance. He then brought Swampert, which I knew had to Protect to get the Swift Swim so I Leaf Stormed Politoed and switched to Suicune, while Politoed Icy Winded, KOing Serperior. Helping Hand Rock Slide OHKOed my Thundurus, leaving Zard and Suicune to face his last three. Another predicted protect on Swampert let me set up and eventually 1v1 Swampert with Suicune.
Round 1 vs Nigel Baker
I was no longer nervous going into this game, as I had redeemed my awful Premier Challenge and won a game, so I would at least be satisfied with however the tournament would turn out.
This was a cool looking team, and I knew it was Trick Room, so I led with Lucario to Roar away Reuniclus or Jellicent, and Serperior since he was very weak to grass. Roar worked perfectly, and I swept with Serperior’s Leaf Storm, a very simple game.
Round 3 vs Lyndsey Swift
This was the only match I forgot to take notes for, so I can’t remember the other two members. I switched Lucario for Charizard to avoid Will-O-Wisp and got Faked Out by Liepard. Liepard paralysed my Charizard and Rotom protected, but I doubled on Liepard for the KO. Kang came in and I switched Thundurus for Suicune while Zard got Faked Out and Suicune dodged a Will-O-Wisp. Kangaskhan KOed Charizard, Suicune Scalded Kang and Rotom revealed Hex. Lucario Close Combated the Kangaskhan after a failed Sucker Punch on my Calm Minding Suicune. Follow Me stopped a Brave Bird on my Suicune, which scalded Talonflame, leaving Rotom against Thundurus and Suicune, giving me the win.
Round 4 vs Brandon Ikin
Thundurus dodged a Rock Slide and barely missed KOing Charizard, while it Flamethrowered Thundurus for the KO, while Serperior set up a Reflect. I brought in Togekiss, and decided Drought boosted Flamethrower would be my strongest attack, which worked amazingly, as Bisharp came in for Landorus, and was brought to its Sash. Serperior Light Screened as Charizard Protected, which was a perfect turn. Togekiss’ Flamethrower then swept the rest of his team, with Charizard KOing the Sylveon, Dragon Dancing in normal form to reduce Hyper Voice’s damage.
Round 5 vs Jake Birch
The one time Earthquake can be useful, and he doesn’t bring his Heatran. Intimitdated Lucario fails to KO Kangaskhan as Thundurus is Faked Out and Lando U-turns. Cress comes in and I switch Lucario for Serperior as Kangaskhan swaps for Rotom. I Hidden Power the Rotom as I expected Lando to come back in, and Serperior gets a speed boost from the Icy Wind. I predict the Protect from Rotom and switch Thundurus for Lucario and Leaf Storm the Cresselia. I then KO Rotom with Leaf Storm, and chip Cresselia with a Close Combat as Cresselia Psychics Serperior. Kangaskhan comes in, then is brought straight back out for Lando, as I Leaf Storm that slot for the KO. Serperior Protects to avoid the Fake Out, then proceeds to sweep.
Round 6 vs Stephen Gibbon
The nerves started to come back going into this game as I realised how well I was doing. Going into the tournament, I was hoping for at least a 4-4 record, and I had already done better with my 5th win, so the tournament suddenly got a lot more intense for me.
Metagross had to Protect to get the speed boost and I expected Thundurus to Thunderbolt Charizard expecting Y, which is exactly what happens as I Dragon Dance and Nasty Plot. His Thundurus paralyses Charizard and he switches Metagross for Suicune to take a Flare Blitz, which doesn’t happen as I Flare Blitz the Thundurus and Thunderbolt the Suicune for the double KO. I then misclick and Hidden Power Metagross instead of Breloom as it puts Thundurus to sleep. Zen Headbutt then misses the KO on Thundurus and Earthquake breaks Breloom’s Sash and Halves Metagross’s HP. I switch Thundurus for Togekiss to take a Mach Punch, and Charizard faints to an Iron Head. Togekiss then cleans up with Flamethrower.
Round 7 vs Yan Vianna Sym
* Yan’s Report can be found here.
I Air Slash the Zapdos to try and stop Tailwind and get the flinch as I Thunderbolt the Aegislash switch. I switch Togekiss to Suicune to take the Flash Cannon and Thunderbolt the Zapdos, which Thunder Waves Suicune and Aegislash actually Shadow Balls Thundurus. I predict him to stay in Blade Forme, and KO with a Thunderbolt as Suicune takes a Thunderbolt and sets up Tailwind. A second Thunderbolt misses the KO on Zapdos after its Sitrus Berry, Suicune takes a Dark Pulse, Heat Wave KOs Thundurus and Ice Beam KOs Zapdos. I then realise that Charizard Y can’t touch Charizard X, so I KO the Hydreigon with Dragon Claw, and then KO the helpless Charizard Y.
Round 8 vs Andy Waddell
*Andy’s Report can be found here.
This was a game where I was both relaxed and nervous, as I was guaranteed top cut, but I could also get a perfect Swiss, which would be amazing for my first big tournament.
Terrakion was scared out by Serperior, Aegislash comes in, only to see my Thundurus set up a Nasty Plot and Serperior set up a Light Screen, while Cresselia paralyses my Serperior. I then KO Cresselia with a Thunderbolt crit which mattered, but the worst Cresselia could have done was Ice Beam, which from the later report turned out to be the case. but with my Light Screen and the SpAtk Cresselia had, the worst it could have done was 38%, but Aegislash could have KOed it afterwards, but I was Leaf Storming Cresselia as well anyway, but I got fully paralysed, so it was important because of the full paralysis. Terrakion comes in and switches straight to Hydreigon to take a Leaf Storm, but I get fully paralysed again and Thunderbolt KOs Blade Forme Aegislash. I then Thunder Wave the Hydreigon in case it was scarfed so Charizard could clean up as Thundurus faints to Dark Pulse, Terrakion Protects, and I set up a Reflect. Charizard then KOs Hydreigon after a Rock Slide, Leaf Storm KOs Terrakion, and I have just gone 8-0 in the first ever UK Regional.
Quarter Final vs Eden Batchelor
The match is available to watch here.
*Eden’s Report can be found here.
I was very nervous going into this game, as I had never played a best of three match before, and I felt that my team was much more suited to best of 1, as I had a couple of surprises in the team. It was also the first time I had ever been on stream.
The first turn he sets up Tailwind and Protects, as I close Combat into the Protect and Thunder Wave the Latios. Thundurus then faints to a Double-Edge as Lucario KOs with Close Combat, and Psychic brings me to my Sash. I bring in Charizard as he brings in Sylveon, then he switches Latios for Entei and Protects Sylveon as I Bullet Punch and Flare Blitz into the Protect. Lucario then Follow Mes away a Stone Edge and Charizard KOs itself after taking a Hyper Voice, while missing the KO on Sylveon, revealing a much bulkier Sylveon than usual. Scarfed Togekiss can’t do anything to the rest of his team so I forfeit after a Dazzling Gleam, which I probably should have done before so I didn’t reveal my Scarf, but this was my first best of three, so I made the mistake.
We start off by matching Tailwinds, and Serperior sets up a Reflect and takes a Double-Edge. I then Leaf Storm the Kangaskhan and get KOed by Double-Edge. Latios Psychics Suicune which sets up a Calm Mind. Thundurus comes in and KOs Kangaskhan with Thunderbolt, and takes a Psychic while Suicune Ice Beams Latios, bringing it to red. Sylveon comes in and Latios switches out for Entei. I ended up doubling on Sylveon, bringing it to red as it Hyper Voices for the KO on Thundurus. Charizard comes in and Earthquakes to knock out Sylveon and do decent damage to Entei, while Suicune sets up a Tailwind after taking a Sacred Fire to ensure I outspeed both his Pokemon next turn, and I proceed to KO with a Dragon Claw and a Scald, bringing the match to 1-1
I predict a change in leads for the final match, so I ended up bringing Lucario since I still thought he would lead with Kangaskhan, and bring Charizard to try and set up straight away. I go for Close Combat on Kangaskhan for the KO, which switches into Latios which takes it nicely. I don’t Mega-Evolve Charizard so that it can take Hyper Voice better and set up a Dragon Dance, and Sylveon ends up Protecting anyway. Charizard then KOs Latios and Lucario Bullet Punches only doing 40% to Sylveon, while Hyper Voice brings me to my Sash and about 30%. Kangaskhan comes in, and I predict the Sucker Punch on Charizard, so Follow Me to redirect it, which ends up working perfectly as Sucker Punch fails and Flare Blitz KOs Kangaskhan while KOing Charizard from recoil, and Hyper Voice KOs Lucario, so it comes down to my Suicune and Thundurus vs his Sylveon and Entei. I make a huge prediction as he has shown that Sylveon has Protect, and double target the Entei expecting Sylveon to Protect, which is exactly what happens. Thundurus brings Entei below 50%, activating its Sitrus Berry. Entei then Reveals Snarl, lowering Suicunes SpAtk enough that Scald Doesn’t KO. I then double target Sylveon as I know all of Entei’s moves, and I realise that Sylveon can’t Protect, and if its Suicune vs Entei I would win, so I don’t mind Thundurus taking a Stone Edge. Thundurus ends up critting Sylveon for the KO as Entei Protects, and then I take the match with a Thunderbolt on the Entei. I did some calcs after the tournament, and the crit theoretically mattered since Thunderbolt and Scald would not have KOed Sylveon, but since Sylveon wasn’t Specs, he wouldn’t have KOed either of my Pokemon, so I could have just Thunderbolted Entei and Scalded Sylveon the turn after, so in the end, I don’t think the crit mattered. I go into the top 4 amazed that I managed to pull through.
Semi Final vs Philip de Sousa
This match was not streamed, and I am very pleased it wasn’t. I was still so shaken by the fact that I had made it to the Semis that I did not register with me that, if there is a Whimsicott, the Gengar is Mega, and I foolishly assumed it was sashed for some reason. I end up Thunderbolting Gengar to “bring it to its Sash” and Dazzling Gleam to KO it, but he just Mega-Evolves, survives both attacks and gets off a Perish Song, while setting up Tailwind with Whimsicott. I then make another stupid play as I know he will double Protect, so I go for a Nasty Plot, which I obviously get Encored into, while he Disables my Dazzling Gleam. He then switches Gengar for Terrakion, Beats Up, and sweeps with Terrakion. An embarrassing loss.
I am very shaken by the first loss, that I don’t really feel that I can recover. I change leads to Lucario so I can Roar myself out to avoid Perish Song. I double on Gengar with Bullet Punch and Thunderbolt, which fails to KO as he Beat Ups and Shadow Balls Lucario, missing the KO. I then predict the Protect on Gengar and double on Whimsicott, KOing it after it sets up Tailwind. He then brings in Terrakion and uses Quick Guard to stop my Bullet Punch, Shadow Ball KOs Lucario, and Thundurus Thunderbolts Terrakion for 60%. Zard then gets critted by Rock Slide which I thought might have mattered at the time, but Shadow Ball would have KOed Charizard anyway, which is a shame, as I was going for Earthquake, which would have KOed Gengar and Terrakion, leaving Zard and Suicune against his Suicune, so I would have stolen the second match. Rock Slide also KOs Thundurus, and seals up the game for him as Suicune cannot take on his last three. I give him a scare by saying that I was using Surf to KO both his Pokemon, and that at least gives me something to smile about as I am knocked out of the tournament.
In the end, I was over the moon with where I had placed, as I had not even expected to top cut, or even win more games than I lost. This has encouraged me to attend more tournaments, as the regionals was very well organized and a lot of fun, and it was a great experience to have all these world class players saying how much they liked my team and congratulating me on my place. Hopefully this won’t be my only report I post on here, although I’m expecting that as much as I was expecting to get 3rd in the first UK Regionals, but we now know how that turned out 😉
Update: So I ended up qualifying for Worlds; how did that happen?