Published on November 12th, 2013 | by Huy20
Parasect vs. The World: A 2010 Worlds Retrospective
As the curtain drops on another generation of Pokémon, everyone is excited to see what the future holds. While many of you have already started preparing for the future, I thought it would be valuable to take a step back and took a look at one of the last teams that I genuinely put my heart and soul into. This team embodies my thought process on team building. At its core, it’s a run-of-the-mill Trick Room team but the little tricks that were built in helped turn around more than one battle for me and helped me achieve a 5th place finish at the 2010 World Championships.
Keep in mind that VGC ’10 was different from the format now. There was no team preview so you went into game one blind. You had no idea what your opponent’s team was so you had to go in with a strong, solid team, capable of carrying out its intended strategy as well as possible. After game one, players were free to switch their six items and six Pokémon in any way they wish, which lead to some interesting strategies. But you’re here for the team. Let’s get on with it.
Items: Yache Berry, Iron Ball, Lum Berry, Sitrus Berry, Life Orb, Focus Sash
Possible Items: Iron Ball, Lum Berry, Yache Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 6 Def
IVs: 0 Spd
– Rock Slide
– Swords Dance
Groudon is a simple Pokémon. It hits hard and takes hits well. While most Groudons opted to run Fire Punch as the third attack, I chose Swords Dance to apply more pressure. Groudon sets up the team for some weather mind games. It lures out Kyogre for the rest of the team to take care of. Oftentimes, if I got a little lucky with Jumpluff, Groudon could just outright sweep some teams.
Possible Items: Focus Sash, Yache Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Spd / 6 SDef
– Sleep Powder
Jumpluff is Groudon’s perfect partner in crime. It functions as a disabler to help Groudon set up. Sleep Powder and Encore with Jumpluff’s massive speed turns it into a disruptive monster. Players would either have to choose between taking a Sleep Powder or Protecting and getting Encored the next turn. Forcing opponents into not moving helped Groudon secure a Swords Dance and enabled it to do heavy damage. The one attack I want to talk about was Bounce. I had a lot of different moves in this slot for a while including Leech Seed, Helping Hand, and Substitute, but none of them freaked people out as much as Bounce. Bounce allowed me to protect Jumpluff from Giratina. Protect was not an option against Shadow Force, and buying a turn by avoiding it with Bounce was too good to pass up. Bounce also afforded me an option to use against Hitmontop (who were mostly Detect-less at the time) and Ludicolo (who I could force to protect with the threat of Bounce). Admittedly, I rarely ever used the fourth attack, but Bounce gave me a few different options that I will get into later.
Possible Items: Life Orb, Sitrus Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SAtk / 4 Def
IVs: 0 Spd
– Dragon Pulse
– Trick Room
Dialga is my favorite Trick Room inducer of all time. It’s typing paired with its massive attack stats and huge movepool made it the perfect Trick Room inducer. With a slow Groudon and Jumpluff to disable so many Pokémon, Dialga almost had no issue getting Trick Room up. Once Trick Room was up, it was simple. Dragon Pulse and Flamethrower were for consistent damage output. Originally I had Draco Meteor over Protect but I found more often than not that I was okay with taking the 2HKO with Dragon Pulse instead and opted for Protect to keep Dialga around as long as possible.
Possible Items: Sitrus Berry, Focus Sash, Life Orb, Iron Ball
Trait: Snow Warning
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SAtk / 6 SDef
IVs: 30 Atk / 30 SAtk / 2 Spd
– Grass Knot
– Hidden Power [Fire]
Abomasnow was the best unrestricted Pokémon in the game. In a ruleset where Kyogre and Groudon were rampant, there is no wonder Abomasnow was the best Pokémon. The ability to change the weather, resist both STABs, and OHKO back with Grass Knot were huge. Blizzard was just icing on the cake. Abomasnow was picked simply because it was the best. While most Abomasnow ran Ice Shard, I opted out of priority and went with Hidden Power Fire for the Abomasnow mirror. While most Abomasnow mirrors ended up in firing off Blizzards at each other, I decided I didn’t want to deal with speed ties or freezes, and just went with Hidden Power Fire.
Possible Items: Iron Ball
EVs: 252 HP / 42 Atk / 4 Def / 212 SDef
IVs: 0 Spd
– Trick Room
These last two Pokémon are what I feel make my team very unique. I had been toying around with the idea of Trick Room Mewtwo for a long time after playing Fish with it a few times. I liked the idea of turning something that everyone expects to be fast and strong into something slow and bulky. I wanted to take advantage of them not expecting what would happen turn one and force them to backpedal. Sassy Mewtwo does this. While it may seem like a huge waste of Mewtwo’s sheer power on the offensive side, it offered me a huge trump card that many didn’t see coming. I initially tried Gengar so I wouldn’t have to use a restricted Pokémon slot, but Mewtwos natural bulk is what put it over the top. I spent a long while tweaking the EVs on Mewtwo to get it to where I wanted, and even to this day, I’m not sure if this is the exact spread I decided on or not. I still have about 10 different Sassy Mewtwos on my Heart Gold cartridge so I can’t say for sure that this is the exact spread anymore, but I do remember what I wanted it to do, at least. I had EV’d Mewtwo to survive Helping Hand boosted Water Spout from Modest Kyogre and Choice Specs Draco Meteors from the Modest Sinnoh Dragons. This allowed me to survive many of the turn one ‘nukes’ that were popular at the time and allowed me to get Trick Room off. After Trick Room cam into play, Mewtwo could fire off Blizzards alongside Abomasnow, or if I felt like it was a good time, it could Selfdestruct and catch a switch-in or a Pokémon not protecting because they thought they would outpace Mewtwo. Mewtwo offered two surprises and if one didn’t catch the opponent off guard, that second one almost always would. Blowing up Mewtwo also had its merits. It allowed me a free switch-in for one of my Trick Room Pokémon. The most important one being…
Possible Items: Life Orb, Yache Berry, Focus Sash
Trait: Dry Skin
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 HP / 6 SDef
IVs: 0 Spd
– Seed Bomb
Parasect. Long forgotten, and let’s face it. It should be forgotten. Its typing is awful, its stats are terrible, and it has those little beady eyes that make you feel like you can never trust it because it will always turn on you. But 2010 was its time to shine. After seeing Arti‘s impressive victory with it at the Seattle Regional, it always floated around in the back of my head. It had such a powerful ability, it had access to some good STAB attacks for the ruleset, and most importantly, it had access to Spore. Parasect definitely had its niche in 2010 and it fell perfectly into place on this particular team. With Jumpluff on the front lines, it would burn any Chesto and Lum Berries before Parasect had a chance to come in and Spore everything. With Abomasnow and Groudon on the team, it forced opposing players to play the weather war and try to set up their Kyogre or their Tyranitar. This sets up Parasect to come in and wreak havoc. Kyogre stands no chance against Parasect in the rain and Tyranitar has a hard time dealing with Parasect once it falls asleep. The two STAB attacks make Parasect particularly dangerous once things are asleep. Between X-Scissor and Seed Bomb, many of the common suspects (Groudon, Kyogre, Tyranitar, Mewtwo, Cresselia, Abomasnow, Ludicolo) simply were not safe. Unlike today’s Amoonguss, Parasect had the offensive presence to be an effective threat in Trick Room on the offensive and the defensive side.
This was my standard game one mode. Groudon would lead with Iron Ball to get the sun going and Jumpluff would start disrupting. This allowed Groudon to sweep or allowed Dialga to come in and set up Trick Room. This mode was very straightforward. Simple and effective.
While Abomasnow/Mewtwo was a common lead at the time, it was almost always a fast Mewtwo and a slow Abomasnow to sandwich the opponent in Blizzards. More often than not, opponents would switch in a weather changer to gain the upper hand or protect a Pokémon to bring in something that can handle the Blizzards. This allowed me the perfect opportunity to set up Trick Room and have my slower Pokémon do what they do best. Put things to sleep and attack.
While those were the two modes I used most often, I had a few more that I would pull out when the situation warranted. If a team was comprised of mainly middle speed Pokémon, I could lead with Jumpluff and Mewtwo. This gave me the chance to disrupt with Jumpluff and just attack with Mewtwo. Even with no investment, Mewtwo did decent damage with Blizzard. Once I felt like I got as much as I could out of the leads, I could Trick Room with Mewtwo and Bounce up with Jumpluff. This allows me to Selfdestruct before Jumpluff comes down and allows me to get a little bit more damage and maybe keep Jumpluff around for a turn or two more. I had also led with Dialga and Parasect if I felt like it would be safe for me to just Trick Room with Dialga and Protect the Parasect. While the team looks very straightforward on paper, I had a lot of different options I could play with depending on the matchup.
Team Choice and the Worlds Metagame
Going into Worlds 2010, I felt like I needed to use something tailored for Worlds. While Regionals were dominated by TopOgre (the famous Hitmontop/Kyogre combo), I knew that would not be sufficient going into a field of players that knew exactly what they were doing. My Nationals team was good, but it was too one dimensional for this. I looked at what players were using at Nationals, and I took a look back at what I saw from the Japanese in 2009 and I came to a conclusion. If i wanted to do well, I’d have to be able to handle both.
For Japan, I knew that bulk was the key. When I had played the Japanese players in 2009, I saw a lot of Thunder Wave and bulky Pokémon being tossed around. That’s when I decided that Trick Room was the right play (and it was. See: Ray’s 2010 team). From watching a few Japanese videos in 2010, I also decided that Kyogre was probably going to show up a lot. While Kyogre had fallen off quite a bit in North America, it offered a lot more to Japanese teams than it did to American teams. While in America Kyogre was just tossed onto teams because it would hit hard, teams in Japan were built around supporting Kyogre, so I needed efficient ways to deal with it.
For North America, I did a lot of player targeting. I EV’d my Mewtwo to take Choice Specs Draco Meteors specifically for Deagle. I knew Blissey was coming from Alaka, skarm, and Ninahaza. I knew BadIntent was playing around a lot with Yanmega and Tyranitar.
I did a lot of research and tailored my team to deal with a lot of these threats that I knew would show up. I loaded up on physical attackers so that Blissey would not be a problem. I decided on Groudon/Jumpluff so I could deal with Tyranitars. I carried a Lum Berry to prevent one turn of Toxic. I ran with Swords Dance so I could catch a Counter Blissey off-guard. Every decision I made with the movesets, EVs, and Pokémon were to give me an upper hand. More often than not, I knew what was going to come from my opponents but they would always be caught off guard when my Mewtwo exploded, or when they were so happy to get their rain up after fighting through Groudon and Abomasnow only to stare down a Parasect in Trick Room with the Rain healing it every turn. My items would move to pick up different KOs, or to give myself a different team outlook if one wasn’t working. The Life Orb moved between three different Pokémon to get three different sets of KOs, the Sitrus Berry could turn an offensive Pokémon into something that I can switch in and out more. Iron Ball let me change speeds on my Pokémon so I could use my faster Pokémon in Trick Room or to help me control the weather war. While the team looks very straightforward on paper, I felt like I had an answer to everything, an option for every different situation, and while it probably does have some holes, especially if you take it out of the Worlds 2010 vacuum that it was designed for, this is still a team that holds a special place in my heart.