Published on September 28th, 2015 | by VibeZ6
Talonflame Ate Its Charti Berry: Nugget Bridge Major Top 32 Report
Hello, my name is Sheldon Isaac, but I go by Differentology on Showdown. I participated in the 4th Nugget Bridge Major and finished in the Top 32 after going 7-2 in Swiss and winning 2 of my Top Cut matches. I mostly play on the Showdown server although I have attended 2 Philadelphia Regionals. I’m not a big name in the community, but I have been playing VGC since 2013. Prior to my start in 2013, I did not play Pokemon competitively. I was introduced to competitive play by my friends, Chilebowl and Rukario, who have helped me along the way with all their Pokemon knowledge.
Team Building Process and Playstyle
Building this team was not too difficult once I picked the main pillar of offense: Sylveon. I wasn’t quite warming up to the new Fairy type to be honest, but Sylveon continued to shock me while I played on Showdown. It could single-handedly shred teams (my teams) with Hyper Voice, which made me want to give it a try. In order to abuse Hyper Voice I figured that I’d need to shut down Steel-types that would threaten Sylveon. However, I never did find space to fit in a Fire-type attack on my team, so I used Landorus to check Steel-types. After adding Landorus it only seemed right to add Thundurus, so I did. Continuing with my desire to spam Hyper Voice, I threw Mega-Kangaskhan into the mix for some cheap Fake Outs. Lastly, I decided to add Breloom and Talonflame as another duo solely to score some easy Spores. You can see where this is going. Sleeping Pokemon plus Sylveon equals more Hyper Voice.
The strategy of this team was usually to disrupt with my leads and clean up with Sylveon. If Sylveon was not going to be able to clean up, Breloom, Landorus, and Kangaskhan were the Pokemon I’d turn to. But… Isn’t Talonflame your featured Pokemon? Correct, and we’ll see why in the next section.
Talonflame @ Charti Berry
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 252 HP / 92 Atk / 92 Def / 4 SpD / 68 Spe
– Brave Bird
– Quick Guard
MVP. Talonflame is one of those Pokemon that annoys people in team preview because priority Brave Bird is a nuisance. However, as you can see, the Talonflame I used annoyed people for other reasons. Before I go into how amazing this set is, I must give credit where it is due. Thank you to Kyriakou for his post on Eggyemporium! You can see the original article here.
The set was intended to be bulky and is actually a set for the 2014 metagame. Plain and simple, this set allowed me to live practically any Rock-type move, and outspeed Garchomp. Brave Bird was used because you just don’t use Talonflame without it. It also helped me hit Amoonguss, which is a good counter to my team. Wil-O-Wisp caught so many people off guard. This brave bird would stare down any Landorus or Terrakion, eat their Rock Slide after snacking on its Charti Berry, and fire back a Wil-O-Wisp to eliminate their threat to my team. Wil-O-Wisp also served to cause problems for pesky Steel-types that threatened Sylveon. Quick Guard helped to protect Sylveon from Bullet Punches or Prankster Thunder Waves, often buying Sylveon a turn to fire off just one more Hyper Voice. In addition, Quick Guard preserved Breloom’s Focus Sash, proving itself valuable in many instances. Lastly, Tailwind helped set-up Breloom, Sylveon, and Kangaskhan to dominate the field.
If I could go back and change one thing about this Talonflame, I would adjust the Speed EVs to outspeed Jolly Terrakion. I’d take EVs out of Attack since Brave Bird was not my primary reason for using Talonflame. Remember, I was running a 2014 set for the major so I was safe from Garchomp that hit 169 speed, but not Terrakion at 176. Luckily no Terrakion flinched my Talonflame so my Wil-O-Wisp was effective even at a lower Speed.
Breloom @ Focus Sash
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Bullet Seed
– Mach Punch
Breloom was Talonflame’s partner in crime. Breloom under Tailwind is pretty daunting. In addition, with Focus Sash, Breloom was almost always guaranteed to put one of the opponent’s Pokemon to sleep bar a Fake Out and Taunt. In most cases, Talonflame could even block Prankster Taunts unexpectedly with Quick Guard which was not always accounted for by my opponent.
Adamant nature raised an issue in the testing. Most Mamoswine run Adamant nature and still outspeed my Breloom, but at the same time not that many people ran Mamoswine so I did not feel threatened. As a result I stuck with Adamant Breloom because I loved the power that it packed. In more than one instance Breloom was able to OHKO opposing Sylveons with enough hits from Bullet Seed.
Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
EVs: 84 HP / 204 Atk / 28 Def / 4 SpD / 188 Spe
– Fake Out
– Low Kick
– Sucker Punch
I borrowed this set from Level 51 in his report which you can read here, and I am so glad that I did.
I needed a Mega on my team and some Fake Out support, and Kangaskhan fit the bill perfectly. Kangaskhan being bulky with this EV spread was just an added bonus. I mainly used Kangaskhan for Fake Out leads with Sylveon, or if I needed an attacker that would deal heavy damage to carry a game. Under Tailwind, a Double Edge became extremely threatening for my opponent. Low Kick was used for pesky Heatran that hide behind Substitutes, and Sucker Punch was used to pick off easy targets that were faster than my team. This Kangaskhan spread was most importantly helpful in mirror matches because of its bulk, but it was annoying when the opposing Kangaskhan’s Fake Out went first.
Sylveon @ Choice Specs
EVs: 92 HP / 116 Def / 236 SpA / 64 Spe
– Hyper Voice
– Shadow Ball
– Helping Hand
Damage. I pretty much used one move with Sylveon for the whole tournament. In some cases I used Psyshock to deal with Amoonguss or Helping Hand for an ally Pokemon. I don’t even think I used Shadow Ball once. Hyper Voice was the key to victory, sometimes taking out whole teams without me switching Sylveon out from the lead.
The EV spread of this Sylveon was borrowed from Cybertron’s Choice Specs Sylveon analysis on YouTube which you can find here. However, I modified it slightly. Instead of running 252 SpA, I moved some extra EV’s into speed to bump Sylveon’s speed to 88. This was to speed creep other Sylveon set borrowers by one point, or simply being faster than Cybertron’s set by 2 points. The investment was worth it because I out-sped practically every Sylveon that I faced. This Sylveon lived a Jolly Kangashan Return, and an Aegislash Flash Cannon.
Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Rock Slide
Pretty much a standard Landorus-T, so I’ll tell you how it functioned specifically on my team.
First, I used Landorus for
flinching scouting. Leading with an Intimidate user allowed me to check for scarfed Pokemon. Also, if the matchup was unfavorable I could always U-Turn out into a more suitable Pokemon. Second, I used Landorus for Intimidate support which is always helpful. Third, I used Landorus to switch in for incoming Electric attacks aimed at my precious Talonflame. Lastly, Rock Slide hax is always a good way to turn unfavorable situations into favorable ones, especially with an ally Thundurus spamming Thunder Wave. I did actually win a match because of the amount of flinches Rock Slide scored, sorry to my opponent. Earthquake and Superpower were just used when needed.
Thundurus @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 236 HP / 104 Def / 60 SpA / 108 Spe
– Thunder Wave
– Hidden Power [Ice]
The second half of the infamous duo, Thundurus played a mostly filler role in my team. The EV spread was also borrowed from Level 51’s report. I borrowed this set because I wanted this to be a team in which my Pokemon had some way to stay on the field for more than one turn. The set had enough bulk to withstand an Adamant Kangaskhan Double Edge after Sitrus recovery. This bulk gave my Thundurus ample time to get in, spam Thunder Wave and get out.
Now let’s look at my move choice. Thunderbolt actually packs a nice punch with 60 SpA. Swagger was picked over Taunt because I’m terrible and I like to roll the dice sometimes. I still wanted to apply pressure and keep some of my gimmicky playstyle with this team so I opted to use Swagger. I actually do not regret using Swagger over Taunt in this tournament at all, because there were rarely any occasions where I actually needed to Taunt my opponent. Also, I did win one round when Thundurus KOed 3 Pokemon with Swagger all by itself. Thunder Wave was used for speed control. And Hidden Power Ice helped me clean up Mega-Salamence and Landorus which were big threats to my team if my Tailwind was not up.
Breloom and Talonflame was definitely my favorite and most versatile lead. Although I did not get to lead these two often, when I did, the match tended to be in my favor, because I’d get at least a Spore and Tailwind setup for Sylveon to come in safely. Focus Sash on Breloom allowed me to get a free Spore off, barring the presense of a Fake Out user that was faster than my Talonflame. Talonflame’s Quick Guard protected both itself and Breloom from potential priority, disruption. Another option, was a turn one Protect from Breloom + Tailwind from Talonflame. This would set Breloom up to potentially be the fastest Pokemon on the field the following turn, and score a free Spore. I also felt very safe leading these two if I was unsure what my opponent was going for. Lastly, this lead was very effective in the best of three format since I could switch things up with Talonflame and surprise my opponent round 2 and reveal that it was actually a support Talonflame.
Dual Genies was another lead I went to if I was unsure of how my opponent’s team functioned, and if Talonflame + Breloom appeared to be unsafe to lead. I could always scout with Landorus and control speed with Thundurus. Also, there was my hax backup plan, which involved Rock Slide and Thunder Wave. If the combination of those two moves was not enough, I could always throw a Swagger into the mix.
My go-to aggressive lead. If my opponent had no way of stopping a Fake Out + Hyper Voice lead from these two I’d lead with them. A Fake Out + Hyper Voice followed up by a Sucker Punch and possibly another Hyper Voice turn 2 usually sealed games because of the insane damage output. In the best of three format, if my opponent was unable to deal with these two the first time around, I’d lead with them again and switch my back Pokemon according to who they brought in round 1. Sometimes, leading with these 2 consecutively even threw off opponents who overpredicted and tried to guess my “adjusted” leads round 2.
The biggest threat to my team was a faster Sylveon, which I actually had the honor of playing in my flight. My opponent ck49 who was my first loss had practically the exact same team as me bar 1 Pokemon if I recall correctly. I remember us leading identically in one round and his Kangashan and Sylveon were faster than my two. The round went downhill from there as I was unable to stop his Hyper Voice + Fake Out combination from decimating my team. All in all playing a faster version of my team is scary because it runs through my team which is not too defensive. However, I was afraid of running a speedy version of my team because I liked to have some bulk to rely on if I ever misplayed.
Redirection and sponging up my Hyper Voices really hurt my team. I had no real way to KO Amoonguss quickly other than Talonflame, which was not even designed to be dishing out damage to my opponent. After a Brave Bird, the recoil plus most likely Rocky Helmet damage really put a dent on my Talonflame. Sylveon didn’t do much either because Amoonguss could always take a Psychock and Spore Sylveon.
Mega-Gardevoir is pretty much a faster Sylveon.
I feel as if this Pokemon threatens everyone’s team. Anyway, Mamoswine (depending on the moveset) hits two-thirds of my team for super-effective damage.
This team finished top 32 in the NB Major 4 and was built around Sylveon. Talonflame just happened to be the MVP because of its surprise factor, being a support Talonflame.
For the record, I just want to stress one thing to newcomers to VGC: this team is a best-of-three team. A lot of its success came from its ability to adjust in rounds two and three of a match. The movesets utilized gave me a lot of options and are different from how I’d make a best-of-one team. This team was built to adapt and apply pressure.
Chilebowl and Rukario for teaching me the way of hax!
- Kyriakou for his Talonflame spread!
- Level 51 for his Kangaskhan and Thundurus spreads!
- Cybertron for his Sylveon spread!
- ck49 for having the exact same team as me!
- Lajo for having two of my biggest threats on the same team!
Thank You for reading!