Published on April 2nd, 2014 | by R Inanimate


Rain Story: An Oregon Regional Report

2014 has brought in a new generation, and with it a new set of rules for VGC. The Salem, OR Regionals were the first Regionals with the new ruleset that I had the opportunity to play in. In a situation where players needed to go 6-1 in order to reach the Top 8 Cut, I ended up with a 5-2 record, and missed out on the Top Cut along with a large handful of other known players.

The team I ran is a team that I had been using for the last month or two before the Regional. I had a core of four Pokemon that were already decided on, and two other Pokemon that I kind of shuffled around with to try to fill in the gaps. While I wasn’t super confident in my match up against certain strategies or Pokemon, I felt that they wouldn’t be common enough at the moment for me to dedicate too much effort into trying to have a solid answer, and just decided to improvise if I ever fell into such a situation.

As always, my Pokemon are nicknamed, even if you can’t see them. All of my Pokemon are named after characters from the Monogatari Light Novel/Anime Series. So let’s start the story:


Politoed (M) @ Choice Scarf ***Araragi
Ability: Drizzle
IVs: 31/xx/31/31/31/31
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
– Hydro Pump
– Surf
– Ice Beam
– Hypnosis

I’m not sure if this is necessarily where my story starts, but it does provide the setting. Politoed provides a way for my team to summon the Rain. Since Politoed has lost supportive moves in Helping Hand and Perish Song, and has also lost the accessibility of Water Gem, I went back to my Rain team roots of 2012 and ran a Choice Scarf Politoed. Hydro Pump and Surf take advantage of the Rain boost, and give my Politoed an option of either a spread move or a high-power single target attack. Ice Beam was for coverage, and Hypnosis was a desperation move. Historically, when I’ve run Scarf Politoed, I’ve tried using Focus Blast or Psychic on the moveset, but the situations where either move is useful are few and far between.

Ludicolo (M) @ Life Orb ***Oshino
Ability: Swift Swim
IV: 31/31/31/31/31/31
EVs: 4 HP / 68 Def / 236 SpAtk / 4 SpDef / 196 Spd
Modest Nature
– Energy Ball
– Hydro Pump
– Ice Beam
– Fake Out

What’s a Rain team without a Pokemon with Swift Swim? Perhaps this is where my story starts. Politoed could use some help, and Ludicolo provides it. Originally, I ran Choice Specs Ludicolo, with the goal of OHKOing Rotom-W. However, that plan was scrapped as Calm Rotom-W gained in popularity, and people started Speed creeping up their Speed EVs on the washer. My old Ludicolo would end up getting the KO on 252 HP / 148 SpDef Calm Rotom-W about 75% of the time, and was Speed tied with Rotoms that had 20 Speed EVs. It was no longer a reliable option, so in the end I scrapped the old idea entirely and switched to a Life Orb Ludicolo instead. While I enjoyed the power boost from holding Choice Specs, being able to choose moves flexibly was more important for Ludicolo when faced against stronger opponents.

The moveset is pretty standard for an offensive Ludicolo, but let’s talk about its EVs. 196 Speed EVs translate to a Speed stat of 115, doubled in Rain to 230. This allows Ludicolo to outspeed base 100 neutral-Natured Choice Scarf Pokemon in the Rain. 236 Special Attack EVs were to hit  astat of 154 Special Attack for the extra stat point. The remainder of the EVs were placed into Defense rather than HP in order to reduce the chance of being OHKO’d by a +1 Mega Kangaskhan Sucker Punch (~5/256 chance, barring a critical hit), or similarly, a +1 Bisharp Sucker Punch (1/16 chance KO).

Crobat (M) @ Lum Berry ***Kaiki
Ability: Inner Focus
IVs: 31/31/31/xx/31/31
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpDef / 244 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Brave Bird
– Protect
– Rain Dance
– Hypnosis

Crobat is like a fake Talonflame. But in some cases, it has the ability to surpass the function of the real thing. Crobat’s EV spread is nothing special, essentially being a 252/252 EV spread, but trading a point of Speed to gain a point in both Defenses. 181 Speed still allows Crobat to outspeed 252 Speed EV Jolly Mega Lucario. The moveset used is about as far I can differentiate Crobat from a Talonflame. Both Rain Dance and Hypnosis were pretty key supportive moves on my team. The former allowed me to have a much better matchup against the ever popular Charizard-Y, deceiving them into thinking they have the weather advantage and taking it away from them. The latter provided a bit of a surprise to the opponent in situations where Crobat was unable to do much from an offensive standpoint. Since Hypnosis’s Accuracy is at a shaky 60%, I usually only tried it when Crobat had nothing left it could do, or if the opponent wouldn’t be able to punish me that hard if I missed.

However, if there is one advantage that Crobat clearly has over Talonflame, it’s that Crobat cannot be flinched. If there is one thing I’m reminded about from early play testing in XY, it’s that I really, really hate not being able to punish the usage of Fake Out. Trying to play guessing games as to which Pokemon the opponent will use Fake Out on is a lot more difficult with the likes of Mega Kangaskhan around. Mega Kangaskhan isn’t easily threatened by much, and also does a lot of damage if you predict wrong. Crobat doesn’t care about Fake Out at all due to its Inner Focus, which allows me to move more freely on Turn 1. This was important in that it would allow me to not lose early momentum in a battle.

Manectric (F) @ Manectite ***Shinobu
Ability: Lightning Rod
IVs: 31/e/30/31/31/31
EVs: 4 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpAtk / 12 SpDef / 236 Spd
Timid Nature
IVs: 30 Def
– Thunderbolt
– Overheat
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Protect

The only Mega Pokemon on my Team. There isn’t too much to say for Manectric, since it’s a fairly straight-forward Pokemon. While some people like to use Volt Switch on Manectric in order to jump around and harass the opponent’s team with Intimidate, I felt that my team wasn’t really set up to make good use of this, nor was it a strategy that fit my style of play. So instead, my Manectric is just a simple special sweeper Pokemon. I lowered Manectric’s Speed by a small amount and added it into its Special Defense. This reduces the chances that Mega Manectric will be OHKO’d by Modest Choice Scarf Salamence’s Draco Meteor to a 3/16 Chance. These EVs give Manectric a 170 Speed stat before Mega Evolution, and a 203 Speed stat as Mega Manectric. The former Speed allows it to outspeed Jolly Garchomp, while the latter allows it to outspeed Choice Scarf Politoed and Tyrantrum, as well as Adamant Mega Aerodactyl.

Salamence (F) @ Choice Specs ***Kagenui
Ability: Intimidate
IVs: 31/29/31/31/31/31
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
– Draco Meteor
– Flamethrower
– Hydro Pump
– Dragon Pulse

I felt that my team needed an additional Intimidate Pokemon on my team aside from Mega Manectric. I originally had a Choice Band Gyarados in this spot of my team, but with 3 Water Types, and 3 Pokemon weak to Electric, I didn’t feel very comfortable with that set up, even if I did have Lightning Rod Support from regular Manectric. Instead, I went with a Choice Specs Salamence. Since Salamence is stuck in a massive tie at Base 100 Speed, I felt that I should run a Timid Salamence, especially as more people started to use Adamant Mega Kangaskhan or Modest Mega Charizard. The moveset isn’t particularly outstanding. Dragon Pulse and Flamethrower were added to the set to provide myself a few more reliable attacking options. I had a choice between Rock Slide and Hydro Pump, but settled for Hydro Pump in the end, since I did have the Rain to boost it.

Ferrothorn (F) @ Leftovers ***Ononoki
Ability: Iron Barbs
IVs: 31/31/31/xx/31/00
EVs: 252 HP / 68 Def / 192 SpDef
Relaxed Nature
– Power Whip
– Iron Head
– Leech Seed
– Protect

Ferrothorn wraps up the team as my sixth member. While many players have been using more offensively-oriented Ferrothorn as of late, I decided to just stick to a more classic defensive EV spread, with Leftovers as my item. Ferrothorn is sort of the utility “cover some team gaps” Pokemon on the team, as it is able to handle with a number of Pokemon I didn’t particularly enjoy fighting against. While Gyro Ball is usually the better move, I wanted to use Iron Head to improve my match up against Mega Abomasnow.


It’s a Rain team. With the exception of Crobat, it’s probably about as bog standard looking as a hard Rain team can get from Team Preview. I seem to have a bad habit of making my teams be hyper offensive trainwrecks that are only held together by a thin thread known as a player’s skill. A lot of times during practice, I felt like my team was always a step or two away from losing at all times, yet I would also feel like I was in full control of the battle. The team doesn’t really try to do anything too fancy, and was pretty enjoyable for me to use, and that’s what counts.

Rain teams always have an issue involving the use of inaccurate moves. My team has nine moves in total with imperfect accuracy, so it was important to assess the situations I was in and see whether I needed my inaccurate moves for me to win or not. Hydro Pump is a powerful move, but a lot of the time I didn’t have to use it in order to win my battles.

As the team commits hard to a single strategy, a lot of the trouble Pokemon I needed to have an answer to were well defined. As such, it was often easy to predict some of the Pokemon my opponent would bring to a battle.

Things I do not like fighting against:


Dark Void Smeargle

It’s not very easy to determine whether a player is going to run Choice Scarf or Focus Sash Dark Void Smeargle, and the strategy used to deal with Smeargle is different depending on what item is run. I really didn’t want to run into Dark Void Smeargle, since Choice Scarf versions would outrun my own Scarf user, and my only Pokemon with a Lum Berry is Crobat. This is a case where I was glad that Pokebank got delayed, since the delay meant that the only people who would have access to Dark Void Smeargle would also be the people who would find it not consistent enough of a strategy to bring to a Regional.


Choice Scarf Salamence

I don’t really have very good switch options against Scarf Draco Meteors. Fortunately, all of my Pokemon except my own Salamence can survive a Draco Meteor from Modest Salamence. I decided that one of my best ways to handle this was to try to survive a Draco Meteor with Mega Manectric (13/16 chance) and KO back with Hidden Power Ice. Fortunately, I didn’t have to play such a risky move.



My team is pretty fast and frail, so I do rely on switches a lot to get where I need to be. Gothitelle blocks me from doing that, and makes this worse for me by setting up Trick Room on my fast and frail team. Gothitelle is surprisingly uncommon though, so I tried not to worry too much about it.


Trick Room

A team with 5 fast Pokemon is vulnerable to Trick Room? I’m shocked! It was really rare, but if I ever ran into Mega Abomasnow, I’d probably be in serious trouble.



Ferrothorn walls two thirds of my team, and for the most part, I’d have to take out everything else on the opponent’s team before I could get a clean shot at Ferrothorn. I quite literally came up with a plan where I could win against opponent Ferrothorn by not defeating it, instead trying to force a one vs one of Ferrothorn vs Ferrothorn. Since mine has Leftovers, and the HP totals of my Pokemon aren’t particularly high, I’d win by the 2nd tie breaker.


Mega Venusaur

Mega Venusaur is like Ferrothorn, but without the quadruple weakness I can take advantage of. However, it is usually a bit more aggressive with staying in against my team, giving me a few more opportunities to take it out if I play things right. My Ferrothorn could defeat Mega Venusaur one on one.


Assault Vests

My team being heavy on Special Attackers meant that I can avoid being harassed by Intimidate and Will-o-Wisps, but in return I’d have trouble with Pokemon that hold Assault Vests. Goodra is used for this example, since word was that the two finalists of Salem, OR brought Assault Vest Goodra in order to counter my rain team.



Talonflame is probably one of the least of my worries, but it still is something I don’t like fighting much. Talonflame is able to KO Ludicolo before it can move, and do a large amount of damage to many of my other Pokemon, so if it shows up at the wrong time, I can be put in a really bad spot. Oh, and Choice Band Talonflame has about a 50% chance to flat out OHKO both Crobat and Politoed.


While I could go into detail, turn for turn, for each of my battles, there wasn’t really too much of note that happened. The one match of interest I had all day was a match that was streamed anyways. As such, I’ll go over a few thoughts I had during my matches, and maybe a few key turns. For the team previews in this article, for Pokemon that Mega Evolved in my battles, if applicable, are indicated. While some cases were pretty obvious what Pokemon would Mega Evolve, this does not necessarily mean I knew what was going to Mega Evolve on every team I faced just from seeing the Team Preview.

R1: Andreo Quiles


Double Prankster. Not the most pleasant thing to wake up to for the first round of the morning. I couldn’t really see any reason not to do so, so I led with my usual set up of Crobat, Manectric, Politoed, and Ludicolo.

My opponent led double Prankster, but I was fortunate enough that he didn’t seem to have Swagger. He Thunder Waved into Lightning Rod Manectric, and that made this match a quick and easy win for me as I plowed through his team, not caring at all about his opening move of Reflect + Light Screen or caring much about his Mega Garchomp and Ancient Power Tyranitar he had in the back.


R2: Frederick Marcos


My opponent had some fast Pokemon on this team, but no weather changers. Normally, this would be a good time to go straight for Politoed and Ludicolo, but Ditto made me think twice about using that lead. Instead, I went for Crobat and Politoed leads, with Manectric and Ludicolo in the back.

My opponent made a bit of a silly play at the beginning of the battle. He lead with Noivern and Clawitzer, Frisked my Politoed’s Choice Scarf, then left Noivern in to get OHKO’d by Ice Beam. Clawitzer KOed Crobat, but not before taking a Brave Bird making it 3-3. I send out Manectric first, as I was worried about Ditto.

Ditto was indeed sent out, and transformed into Manectric. This led to a situation where his Ditto could not attack with Electric moves due to my Manectric’s Lightning Rod, and his Overheat was weakened by Rain. I pretty much spent the remainder of the battle picking off his Ditto’s partner before finishing off Ditto itself.


R3: Darshan Braverman


A bit more Prankster. I had to watch out for Ferrothorn, and also felt as though Politoed and Ludicolo wouldn’t fare too well against this team. As a result, I brought Crobat, Manectric, Salamence, and Ferrothorn.

My opponent lead with Mawile and Sableye. He tried to Sucker Punch Crobat on Turn 1 with Mega Mawile as I tried to Hypnosis, which missed. Fortunately for me, he forgot that Manectric could learn Overheat, so his Sableye went for a Confuse Ray on Crobat and let me get an early KO on Mega Mawile. He then proceeded to miss Will-o-Wisp twice in a row, giving me enough space to easily maneuver around and safely KO his remaining Pokemon. He was pretty frustrated with the multiple missed attacks he had, but it isn’t something I can really prevent from happening, and I felt that it probably wouldn’t have made up the lost ground from losing Mawile so early in the battle.


R4: Tony Cheung (Chinese Dood)

This match was streamed.


I had a pretty bad matchup against Mega Venusaur. Ferrothorn is good against it, but I convinced myself not to bring Ferrothorn. I somehow thought that Zapdos would be able to take it out with Heat Wave, and I knew Rotom-H and Conkeldurr would be able to deal heavy amounts of damage to it. Instead, I stuck with Manectric, Crobat, Salamence, Ludicolo.

Thinking back, I felt that I misplayed the first couple of turns, and could have played those turns a lot more aggressively. I ran out of time deciding a move for Crobat on Turn 3, since I wasn’t actually sure if my Crobat could survive a -1 Bullet Punch. In the end, it didn’t matter too much, since his Scizor landed a critical hit, making me a bit glad I didn’t actually switch to Salamence on that turn. However, even if I was more confident in the calculation, the critical hit did well in hiding the fact that Tony’s Scizor was running a Choice Band.

I was able to start making a comeback in the battle, and thought I had the battle won when it came down to my Ludicolo and Salamence, against his Mega Venusaur and Scizor. But then Scizor manages to finish off my Ludicolo with Bullet Punch, allowing Tony to win in the end with his Scizor at 8HP. I wasn’t too sure of the calculation, but after getting access to a damage calculator, my Ludicolo had a 5/8 chance to survive the Bullet Punch, critical hits aside. The match’s outcome was even closer than I had realized.


R5: Sean Webb


I wasn’t really sure what to make out of my opponent’s team. Since he had no weather changer, I felt that my Rain Pokemon would do well, but since he had a number of Pokemon that could be faster than my Crobat, I decided to go with Politoed, Manectric, Salamence and Ludicolo.

I think my play in this battle was a little bit sloppy, but it did its job, for the most part. There was a bit of a scare for me when his Talonflame KO’d my 1/2 HP Salamence but didn’t take LO damage, since I was worried that it may have had a Choice Band. The Talonflame did not have a Choice Band after all, though, and my Politoed was able to survive a Brave Bird and finish it off.

In the final turn of the battle, I had a Ludicolo against a 60% HP Scizor, with Rain and Light Screen on the field.  I declare “okay, it looks like I’ll have to roll some dice” and, naturally, I miss my attack. Scizor takes the time to cut my Ludicolo down, and with it my chance to top cut.


R6: Coleby Calzaretta


I was… very confused on what my opponent’s team was supposed to do. I think Shuckle was probably the Pokemon I was most worried about, and saw that the team couldn’t do much to Ferrothorn. I brought Politoed, Ludicolo, Ferrothorn, and Salamence.

My opponent led with Skuntank and Gengar, so I switched my Ludicolo out to Ferrothorn in case he tried to Sludge Bomb it, or used Explosion with Skuntank. Instead I got hit by Dazzling Gleam, and my Ferrothorn blocked a Toxic. I wiped out his leads on the next turn, then took my time finishing off a Double Team, Rest, Sleep Talk Snorlax, and a Sing Altaria. The battle ended with me landing a Critical Hit Hydro Pump on Snorlax through about four or five Double Teams. In fact, I don’t think any of my attacks missed against Snorlax.


R7: Calvin Bauer


Of all the teams I faced in the Regionals, I think this team was the one that looked the most normal. It only took the whole day, but it eventually happened. I had a few combinations of Pokemon that I thought of bringing to this match, but eventually I decided on bringing Crobat, Manectric, Politoed, and Ferrothorn. Rotom-H and Talonflame were big threats to Ferrothorn, but if I could take both of those threats out, I could probably cruise to a victory.

My opponent led Talonflame and Gyarados, a favourable matchup for me. He let me take out Talonflame on turn 1, while getting off a Brave Bird on Crobat for half its HP. I go for Hypnosis on Gyarados this turn, but end up missing as he Mega Evolves and goes for an Earthquake. My opponent ends up being a bit unlucky on his next turn. His Amoonguss switch in uses Rage Powder, drawing in my Crobat’s Brave Bird, and he manages to KO his own Amoonguss with a Critical Hit from Mega Gyarados’ Earthquake, while my Manectric tags out for Ferrothorn. His last Pokemon is Tyranitar, which I sort of try to scout out whether it had Special attacks or not before really going in for the KO on my opponent. I essentially got to cruise through this battle based on the starting positions of our lead matchups.

5-2, 21st Place

Thoughts and Conclusion

I went 5-2, left with a bit of a hollow feeling from my performance. With the exception of my battle with Tony, my matches felt like they got one-sided really fast, and yet I end up dropping one of those battles anyway. It didn’t feel like I got put into any situations where I needed to play creatively to win a battle. I just ended up playing Rain, crushing opponents, and likely missed cut due to to an accuracy check. Truly a “Rain Story”.

Following up the comment about my opponent schedule, it’s difficult for me to gauge whether 45 seconds was sufficient enough time for my battles. Most of my battles being one-sided meant that I probably spent more time logging down the actions of each turn of a battle than really focusing on what move choice I was going to make. I ran out of time once against Tony, because the timer doesn’t give any warning when it gets low and I was trying to calculate in my head whether or not Bullet Punch would get a KO. However, that turn didn’t cause me to lose very much in the long run.

Looking back at the tourney, I was very surprised at just how many people brought Prankster Pokemon to Salem. I was expecting to face one or two teams with Pranksters. I faced three in seven battles, and just about anyone else I talked to also faced two or three teams that had a Pokemon with Prankster. Even more surprising to me was the fact that none of the Prankster Pokemon I faced used Swagger. I also faced no Mega Kangaskhan and no Mega Charizard-Y throughout the entire tourney.

Overall, even though I didn’t do as well as I had expected or hoped to, it’s always nice to meet people in the community gathered from around the area to hang out during the Regionals time. Hopefully I can come up with something else new for the next Regionals that I attend.

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.

12 Responses to Rain Story: An Oregon Regional Report

  1. EricOfficially says:

    RIP Kaiki :c
    Not gonna lie, Shinobu is one of my favorite characters and megas.

    Thanks for the read and I’m sure you’ll do better later. (still fanboying over the Monogatari names)

  2. Coolperson59 says:

    Arararagi? Sorry I stuttered. Love the team and the names 🙂

  3. P3DS says:

    Ummm… Doesn’t politoed still get perish song. I think you meant icy wind. Anyway, nice team

  4. LithiumAcid says:

    Oh lord, just want to say I am so glad you made a report. I am a big fan of your “hyper-offensive rain teams”

    Also Mega-Manectric best mega :3

  5. R Inanimate says:

    A bit of a follow up post.
    The team itself now days is pretty out of date. I think if I were to run something like this now days, it would end up looking a bit more like what Keewan has been running for his team. Stuff like Aegislash, and Gardevoir picking up popularity over time really don’t do many favours to Crobat, after all. While the success of the team kind of fell off a cliff shortly after the January Regionals, I ended up wanting to write this report anyways, just to get some team ideas out there at the time, and because I really liked how my nickname scheme fitted with the team if you are familiar with the Monogatari series anyways. I think it ended up being a bit late because I forgot how to submit my article for review since things changed in WordPress.
    A few other thoughts about the regionals itself:
    -It was Prankster time almost all the time in Salem. I think just about anyone I asked faced 2 or 3 Prankster spam teams in swiss.
    -Little kids are very very entertained by things like a vid of a L1 Cottonee soloing Cynthia in BW
    -Not being able to record your battle vids at regionals sucks, having your battle statistics show up is pretty cool though.
    -Is it too early for this reminder? Don’t eat donuts at King Donut’s before you are going to have lunch at Word of Mouth

  6. i love reading your reports. you always have the best nickname themes. :3

  7. KLVkboom says:

    What would be your thoughts on running Encore > Hypnosis on Politoed and Taunt > Hypnosis on Crobat. It seems that some of your troubles come from slower set-up Pokes, TR being one of the bigger ones. Hypnosis is also very shaky, albeit very powerful when it works, but it’s not something you’ll ever want to rely on. Both Encore and Taunt help you abuse any form of set-up by locking them down or forcing them to attack. Not to mention if both attacks hit the same Poke using a non-damaging move, they’ll be locked into Struggle or forced to switch.

  8. What would be your thoughts on running Encore > Hypnosis on Politoed and Taunt > Hypnosis on Crobat. It seems that some of your troubles come from slower set-up Pokes, TR being one of the bigger ones. Hypnosis is also very shaky, albeit very powerful when it works, but it’s not something you’ll ever want to rely on. Both Encore and Taunt help you abuse any form of set-up by locking them down or forcing them to attack. Not to mention if both attacks hit the same Poke using a non-damaging move, they’ll be locked into Struggle or forced to switch.

    i dont think scarf encore really stops anything…

  9. R Inanimate says:

    Pretty much what Sapphire Birch said with regards to Encore. It would be a good option… if I wasn’t scarfed. Also one of the big plays with Hypnosis was to use it on a turn the opponent tries to use Sucker Punch. Taunt doesn’t do anything for me in that regard, and also is something that Talonflame could do as well anyways. The big reason for me to have Crobat was to do things Talonflame didn’t already do, while still keeping that high speed Brave Bird option (though not priority speed).

  10. airbearday says:

    Zapdos does not get heat wave this generation FYI

  11. R Inanimate says:

    Zapdos does not get heat wave this generation FYI

    As I realized about 15 minutes after my battle, yes thanks.

  12. araragii says:

    Love the nicknames and the report!

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