Published on April 10th, 2014 | by R Inanimate


Villains Always Plot in the Dark: NB Major Top 32 & Seattle Runner-Up Report

This is R Inanimate. With a new team that I’ve been working on since the January regionals, I ended up reaching the Top 32 in the 3rd Nugget Bridge Major tournament, followed shortly by making a deep run at the Seattle Regional event, losing in the finals, and achieving a 2nd place finish.

If you have seen a few of the streamed NB Major matches where I was a featured combatant, or have heard me talk about my team loosely on the IRC channel, you should already know what team I’m talking about. Yes, it is one that involves a certain Moody sleep inducer.

Since this report will cover aspects regarding my team’s progression and battles from two events, this may end up being pretty long, so bear with me.


At the Salem Regional, I ran Rain team and went 5-2, missing the cut and leaving a bit of a hollow feeling based on how my battles turned out. Going into Salem, I felt that the set up of that Rain team would be pretty much on the level it needed to be to do decently at Regionals, but I could already tell from some practice matches online around that time that it was quickly falling behind the curve of team development for VGC. I was going to be needing a new team, and fast.

Taking some inspiration from Jackson7 D’s California Regionals run where he hit the Semifinals using Mega Blastoise, I decided to give the turtle a try on a bit of a makeshift team. Mega Blastoise was doing pretty well, but the support for it on the team felt lacking. I was also taking the suggestion in Jackson’s report of running Water Spout on Blastoise, but with its middling Speed stat, it really relied on a redirection user at its side to bring out its potential. Rage Powder’s inability to redirect Grass-type Pokemon made it a dangerous choice to use, so I felt like having a Pokemon with Follow Me was vital. I had tested out using Lucario and Pachirisu for the position, but found that they had really little presence to them aside from redirecting attacks, making it way too easy for my opponent to switch around to counter the sole attacker that I had out at the time. This led me to try out Smeargle, and where the team’s story really begins.


As I slowly changed parts of my team over time I have my team divided a bit into 3 parts. The “Team Core”, which were the two Pokemon I had from the start, the “Secondary Team Members”, which were added at the start of the Major and stayed as members, and the “Sideboard”, which changed over time.

Team Core:

Blastoise (M) @ Blastoisinite ***46cm3xCannon
Ability: Torrent -> Mega Launcher
EVs: 116 HP / 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 132 Spd
Modest Nature
– Water Spout
– Ice Beam
– Aura Sphere
– Protect

Bulky Special Attacker. The Mega Pokemon on the team. As mentioned in the introduction, Blastoise was a Mega Pokemon that I wanted to try out. Initially, I had a simple 252 HP / 252 SpAtk spread to Mega Blastoise, since that actually gives it enough bulk to survive Modest 252 SpAtk Charizard-Y’s Solar Beam. But let’s be honest, what is Blastoise going to do back to Charizard-Y with the sun out after taking a Solar Beam? In addition, running Water Spout necessitated having at least some Speed, so in the end I pretty much went with the same spread as Jackson did. The Speed EVs hit 115 Speed to outspeed 252 Speed Adamant/Modest Tyranitar. Doubled, it will outspeed Modest Choice Scarf Salamence, should I decide to run Tailwind with Blastoise. Maxing out Special Attack allows Mega Blastoise to always OHKOs 252 HP Tyranitar, and also will OHKO 4 HP Mega Tyranitar with Aura Sphere.

Blastoise’s moveset isn’t anything too special. I’ve already mentioned that it had Water Spout and Aura Sphere, which provided it a way to do some solid damage both in the form of spread or single target attacks. For my third move, I went with Ice Beam instead of Dragon Pulse for Blastoise, as I enjoyed having a bit of extra coverage against Grass-types. As for its last move, I went for Protect over Fake Out. Blastoise has Water Spout, and was often more focused on getting off attacks, so I felt Protect had more value in the long run, as opposed to the one turn I’d get from running Fake Out.

Nickname refers to a 46cm Naval Cannon, which was the highest caliber cannon ever used on a ship. Times three, since Mega Blastoise has 3 cannons.

Smeargle (F) @ Focus Sash ***Tsuyuri
Ability: Moody
EVs: 68 HP / 4 Atk / 100 Def / 84 SDef / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature
– Fake Out
– Dark Void
– Follow Me
– King’s Shield

Multipurpose Supporter. There are two things that I’ve learned over time when using Smeargle:

1. There are people who really, really hate fighting against Smeargle.
You know that something isn’t right when during practice on the simulator ladder you’ll occasionally have people immediately snap at you going, “yams you, not another Smeargle”.

2. It is way too easy to make jokes about the usage of Smeargle.
Too easy for me to write a joke about how you need skill to “control the darkness”. Too easy to joke about nap time. Too easy to joke about Moody, etc. So instead I’ll tell you nothing, and leave you in an empty void — Oh, wait.

The EV Spread improves on Smeargle’s defensive durability slightly compared to a regular 252 HP / 252 Speed spread. It also ends up being pretty close to what Arue used, though created independently. The moveset is pretty standard stuff as far as a Focus Sashed Smeargle is concerned. How Smeargle fits itself with the team will be something I’ll talk about later.

Nicknamed after a character who enjoys taking naps.

Secondary Team Members

Initially, I tried out using Pokemon such as Life Orb Talonflame, Choice Scarf Mamoswine, Sitrus Berry Rotom-H, and Gourgeist to go with my team core. It worked decently well, but also felt like it had blatant gaps in its coverage, displayed in a situation where I gained 100 points to go from about 1700 to 1800 on Battle Spot, followed by falling back to 1700 shortly after through marathon of facing one of each of my unfavourable matchups, and losing every single one. After a bit of team shuffling, I ended up with two more members that fit nicely onto the team.

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

Standard Garchomp with a Lum Berry. Garchomp is a Pokemon of few words. You don’t need me to explain something you’ve likely seen a hundred times. Lum Berry on Garchomp is very nice to help delay status spreaders like Rotom-W, or when faced against Venusaur or Smeargle.

Nickname means “Heaven Dragon”.

Rotom-H @ Choice Scarf ***Karen
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 20 HP / 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 232 Spd
IV: 30 Speed
Modest Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Overheat
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Will-O-Wisp

Choice Scarf Special Attacker. Having Fire/Electric/Ice offense moves allows Rotom-H to hit fast and hard on a wide variety of Pokemon, and can allow me to maintain an offensive pressure game that I enjoy. Since its Speed EV is 30, I just gave it enough speed to outspeed positive natured Base 70 Speed Pokemon that are holding a Choice Scarf. I had a few options on what I could use for Rotom-H’s final move and just decided to go for Will-o-Wisp. The utility of a high speed burning had some merit to it on rare occasions.

At around the point of the NB Majors Top Cut, I replaced this Rotom with a new Rotom having 31/even/30/31/31/31, and changed the EVs to a simple 252/252 Spread. The moveset remains unchanged. The reason for the change was to ensure that my Rotom-H can outspeed Mega Manectric, as I found that Mega Manectric can be extremely annoying for me to deal with. Especially ones that Volt Switch all over the place to avoid taking damage while throwing around Intimidates.

As for its nickname… it was originally supposed to be on a team with a Talonflame named Tsukihi, as a reference to the Fire Sisters. I removed Talonflame from the team, and forgot to bother changing nicknames for the Rotom-H, as such, it is Karen.


These were members that participated in at least one battle in the Major in order of first appearance.

Gourgeist-Super (M) @ Leftovers ***Jester’s Cap
Ability: Frisk
EVs: 252 HP / 60 Def / 196 SDef
Impish Nature
– Seed Bomb
– Will-O-Wisp
– Leech Seed
– Protect

Used in Major Swiss Rounds 3, 4, and 5

Defensive Support. Pretty straightforward physical defensive Gourgeist. It has Defense EVs to survive Life Orb Brave Bird from Talonflame, with the remainder of the EVs thrown into Special Defense. I’m sure you’ve seen a few of these to know what kind of role it plays. Gourgeist sits around, burning targets and draining health with Leech Seed. If you don’t have any hard hitting Special Attacks or Super Effective Physical attacks, it is a real menace to take out. It was a solid member of the team and played its role well, but over time it felt like its effectiveness was diminishing. Opposing teams started having a few more answers than before for dealing with pumpkins, and the Pokemon that Gourgeist was effective against tended to be Pokemon I felt I had a solid game plan for anyways, so I eventually dropped it.

There is no special meaning or reference to Gourgeist’s nickname.

Bisharp (F) @ Choice Band ***Kongou
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 100 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SDef / 148 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Sucker Punch
– Iron Head
– Night Slash
– Stone Edge

Used in Major Swiss Rounds 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8

The return of Choice Band Bisharp. The moveset is essentially the same as what it was when I ran it in 5th gen and is fairly self explanatory. STAB, STAB, Priority, Coverage. The EV spread is also essentially the same as before, maxing out Attack, clocking the Speed in at 109 to get a jump over Rotom-W, and placing the remainder into HP. Bisharp is guaranteed to survive a Jolly Garchomp’s multitargetted Earthquake when at full health. To be honest, I probably should have bothered to increase the Speed up to 114 at the expense of a bit of its Attack, so it would outspeed Modest Tyranitar before it can roast Bisharp with a Fire Blast. Fortunately, I didn’t end up in a situation where it would have mattered.

Bisharp ends up being a strong Intimidate deterrent, as +1 Choice Banded attacks from it do massive amounts of damage to anything it lands a hit on. However, it isn’t always the easiest Pokemon to get in on the field, and sometimes it can be pretty hard to call who to throw a Sucker Punch at. In general, Choice Band Bisharp is kind of a fun Pokemon for me to use and wasn’t particularly good or bad at solving the existing issues of the team.

Nicknamed after a Battleship. Burning Love~!

Scizor (F) @ Choice Band ***Red Comet
Ability: Technician
EVs: 196 HP / 76 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SDef / 228 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Bullet Punch
– Feint
– U-turn
– Thief

Used in Major Swiss Rounds 6 and 7, as well as Major Top 64, Top 32

Choice Band Scizor. Essentially copied from Chinese Dood’s January Regional team, which also ran a CB Scizor. The Speed EVs reach 114 Speed, outpacing Modest Tyranitar and giving a comfortable amount of Speed over Rotom-W. Having 114 also avoids a Speed tie with my Blastoise who is at 115, so I know who will go first between them. The remainder of the EVs went mostly into HP, with the remainder to buff up its Attack stat by a bit. I’d have to ask Tony if there was any specific reason for the high amount of HP or not. I think the only thing I do know is that CB Bullet Punch from 176 Attack is guaranteed to OHKO a Gardevoir EV’d to survive Talonflame’s CB Brave Bird, but that’s good enough for me.

The moveset is kind of interesting, even if 90% of the time Scizor is just going to hit the Bullet Punch button. Feint provides Scizor with an alternate priority that both ensures that I can KO weakened targets who try to Protect, as well as trumping faster priority like Talonflame Brave Birds, or Mega Kangaskhan Sucker Punches. U-Turn provides Scizor a way to hit and run, scouting the opponent’s switches, for better or worse. It also provides an out from Perish Trapping. Lastly, we have Thief. While holding a Choice Band. Thief’s power was boosted to 60, making it at least a respectable 90 power move for Scizor to use, which is only really around so Scizor has a real way to deal damage to Aegislash.

Nickname is a Gundam reference.

Goodra (F) @ Assault Vest ***Gravy Train
Ability: Sap Sipper
EVs: 188 HP / 236 SAtk / 84 Def
Modest Nature
– Dragon Pulse
– Flamethrower
– Draco Meteor
– Thunderbolt

Used in Major Swiss Round 7, and Top 64

Assault Vest Goodra. All aboard the Gravy Train. The Special Defensive capabilities of Goodra are pretty crazy, noting how it will still be standing even after taking a direct hit from a Choice Specs Salamence’s Draco Meteor. I ended up taking a bit from HP and Special Attack and adding to Defense, which allows Goodra to survive Jolly Garchomp’s Dragon Claw 7/8 times. But honestly, Goodra shouldn’t bother exposing itself to that if it can avoid it.

Goodra’s moveset isn’t too special. Draco Meteor for damage, Dragon Pulse for accuracy, Flamethrower for coverage, Thunderbolt mostly for Azumarill and Gyarados. Goodra’s role on the team is for helping out in Sun or Rain matchups. It is especially effective against Rain teams, as they very often end up heavily loaded on Special Attackers.

What I eventually found was that while Goodra was excellent at dealing with Rain/Sun components of teams, it ended up pretty poor against the non-weather reliant parts of opponent teams, and just wasn’t as great of a fit as I would have liked it to be. So I had to drop it.

Nickname is somewhat self-explanatory


These three Pokemon were used in my final Swiss match, but the battle wasn’t really a serious battle. They do deserve to be mentioned at least for their participation.

Meowstic (M) @ Sitrus Berry ***Hanekawa
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 255 HP / 48 Def / 148 SDef / 68 Spd
Calm Nature
– Rain Dance
– Charm
– Swagger
– Thunder Wave

Used in Majors T32

I didn’t want to use what I was going to run in the Regionals the day after I played this match, and I also felt like Goodra wasn’t going to work as well as I think it should in my T32 match, so instead I brought this Meowstic. By the way, it didn’t do very much in that match, either.

Nickname is another Monogatari series character reference.

Team Combination, General Strategy

With Smeargle being a multi-purpose supporter, a lot of the team’s success hinges on how well I manage my usage of Smeargle. I mentioned earlier that I would talk about how Smeargle works for the team, so I might as well get that out here before I go any further.


Using Smeargle

When using a Moody Dark Void Smeargle, you’ll be rolling the dice. Whether you want to or not. When I’m using Smeargle, it is extremely important for me to assess what my current situation looks like, and adapt to the odds that I’ve been given.


Moody is a very luck based ability which causes Smeargle to randomly gain +2 in one stat, while simultaneously dropping -1 in another stat at the end of every turn. These stats include Evasion and Accuracy, and a stat cannot be affected twice in the same turn. While it can easily give Smeargle a chance to win a battle it had no business doing much in, it can also cause one to lose grasp of the win they had in hand if Smeargle’s Moody stat changes go south at the wrong time.

Now, why would I want to run an ability that could potentially blow up in my face if my goal is to be able to win consistently enough to Top Cut a regional event, or in the Major? Well, that’s because the negative aspects of Moody largely only affect Smeargle’s ability to follow up on its threat of Dark Void. It does not really affect Smeargle’s ability to redirect moves using Follow Me. So if Smeargle gets a favourable Moody roll, I can go on the offense with Dark Void to try to lock down the opponent with Sleep, where as if I get an unfavourable roll I’m not afraid to simply go for the Follow Me button and give Smeargle a quick exit, or simply just switch out from Smeargle, if I consider it safe enough to do so.

Obviously, this isn’t a perfect solution to unfavourable boosts, as there’s always a time where Smeargle needs to go for Dark Void or else I’d lose. A bad roll can and will be costly in those situations.

Scenarios of Dark Void usage:

When using Smeargle, I find it important to try to minimize on the amount of situations where you absolutely need to use Dark Void in order to gain ground on your opponent. For example, trying to use Focus Sash Smeargle + Fake Out lead, to try to autopilot into a paper-thin guarantee that Smeargle can survive the turn to execute Dark Void regardless of the opponents is a pretty poor plan. Here are three potential situations where I can often consider trying to use Dark Void.

1. Opponent currently has 2 Pokemon slower than Smeargle out.

This one is sort of a half condition. I still have to weigh the consequences to myself should I end up missing with Dark Void on either target, or activating Lum Berries. But since hitting both targets with Dark Void in this situation would also lead to Smeargle preserving its Focus Sash (provided it is still at full HP), and even managing to hit one out of two will likely mean Smeargle will survive the turn (once again if at full HP) the reward for going for Dark Void in these situations is pretty high. One of the few situations where I may consider doing something else would be when I find it more important to guarantee that I can preserve the health of Smeargle’s partner. This usually comes up when Blastoise is with Smeargle, particularly in cases when the opponent has Pokemon that are in a Speed range between Blastoise’s and Smeargle’s Speed stat, and are able to do a lot of damage to the former.

2. +2 Accuracy boost

A Spore on both targets. The risk of missing is gone, so there isn’t really a reason for me not to use it, provided that Smeargle would actually survive to execute the move. Once again, sometimes you need to use Follow Me to cover for Smeargle’s ally, and that will usually take priority over many situations where I’d go for Dark Void, unless conditions 1 and 2 are active simultaneously.

3. Endgame, Dark Void is my only valid move.

If I still have Smeargle around near the final turns of the match, it isn’t too hard for me to measure the outcomes of my move choice options. Sometimes, when you are backed into a corner, you just need to let loose and have the darkness take care of things.


Blastoise + Smeargle

My team’s core duo of Blastoise and Smeargle are the only members on the team that I felt really make a particular combo. They are also often my go-to leads for battles. Smeargle’s presence tends to force the opponent towards running their faster Pokemon as leads, and this in turn can create a shooting gallery for Mega Blastoise. If they choose not to bring faster Pokemon, they take a pretty big risk in taking a Dark Void from Smeargle. Another plus is that for opponents who aren’t as familiar with the team, they may also feel pressured by the possibility that I might just use Fake Out with Blastoise and use Dark Void with Smeargle, when in reality, I don’t even have Fake Out on Blastoise. I often simply Protect with both my leads, then see where the situation goes from there, as Smeargle will get a stat change from Moody. If I get Speed or Accuracy gain from Moody, I can threaten a Dark Void even harder, otherwise I’m more likely just to attack with Blastoise and use Follow Me with Smeargle. This often ends up with a situation where I trade off Smeargle for either KOing one of the opponent Pokemon, or dealing some heavy damage to both targets with a Water Spout. This may seem a bit wasteful at times, but quite often the damages deal from that one turn can be enough for me to coast towards a victory. My remaining Pokemon often served to try to maintain momentum once Smeargle and Blastoise get the ball rolling.



Other Smeargle

Oh the irony, my Smeargle team for the Majors was actually bad at facing other Smeargles. Usually for the kinds of teams that run Kangaskhan and Smeargle, you can tell pretty quickly whether it has much of an early game plan to avoid being locked down by Dark Void, or having Mega Kangaskhan Power-up Punch all over your team. With how my team was set up, I honestly didn’t have a thing to stop a Kangaskhan Smeargle sweep, unless Dark Void missed, or I slept a short time. This was mostly due to the fact that I simply didn’t think I’d run into one in the Major.


Manectric + Azumarill

This combo was a massive jerk to my entire team. Blastoise can’t touch it, and it deals tons of damage to Garchomp and Rotom-H. Coupled with Manectric, who also suppresses my physical attackers while easily being able to handle Garchomp, Blastoise, and Pokemon like Scizor or Gourgeist, it was extremely tough to take out if it started Volt Switching around all over the place. While there were ways I could sometimes outplay my way out of this matchup, it really just wasn’t favourable for me to deal with.



Sun team matchups weren’t very good for my team. While Garchomp and Rotom-H can do some work in keeping me in the game, the fact that Mega Blastoise can’t do much in the battle, along with the threat of simply being outsped by Venusaur and put to sleep with Sleep Powder leaves me with a very thin margin for error.



My matchup against Rain teams wasn’t as bad as my Sun match up, but it still wasn’t something Iwas  too comfortable playing against, as I did not have much in terms of Water resistance on my team.

The degree to which I felt I was weak to these four things shifted depending on what I changed my team’s sideboard to for my battles, but they were pretty much the four threats that I felt made it tough to run Mega Blastoise.

Nugget Bridge Major 3 Battles

When the Major started up, I was placed in Fight 2 for the swiss rounds. There would be 8 Rounds of swiss, and you’d likely need to go 7-1 to cut, until the rules were changed for all x-2s to be allowed to make the cut. Flight 2 was an extremely stacked group, with big names of players going on end. I tended to call it the “Flight of Death” due to that. However, this IS the Nugget Bridge Majors, and traditionally being a famous battler doesn’t mean much here.

Since I didn’t really even start taking notes about my Majors matches until near the end of Swiss when it was likely I could make the Top Cut… I’m going to end up with a few holes in my info at the start, and may mention things that might be in hindsight, so I do apologize about that.

Round 1: pokebro1000

For the first two rounds of the Major, I was still running my January Regionals Rain Team. So I’ll just touch on these matches briefly.

Team Preview:

My first opponent was someone who was relatively new to the VGC scene. His team had some semblance of a Rain team, although I can’t remember at all what his last two Pokemon were. I know that I played relatively cautiously early on to try to confirm what items he was running, then shifted gears to aggressive offense after I did. I won both games.


Round 2: bearsfan092

Two weeks in and I already face off against a well known player.

Team Preview:

I had known what bearsfan used during week 1, and could have tried to make changes to my team to prepare for that team, which he ended up using for our match, but instead decided I would give my Regionals team “one last fight” before I shelved it, and tried to see if it could handle bears’ team. The battles ended up being the sort of matches where I would need to make one big play to try to break through to win. I wasn’t able to game 1 and lost. Game 2 I was, but luck nearly swung the battle away from me before swinging back at last moment. Game 3 I wasn’t able to, and lost.


Round 3: Amanatsu

Getting a loss this early in swiss led to a situation where I didn’t really feel too pressured to do super well in the Major, since my chances of Top Cutting were reduced at the moment. So here is where I started to try out my new team. My team for the next three rounds will have Gourgeist and CB Bisharp as my last two members. My opponent for round 3 was Amanatsu. Who’s name I sort of recognized as someone who hangs around in the #nuggetbridge IRC channel.

Team Preview:

The team looked pretty straightforward to me, nothing really stood out that could catch me off guard here. I can sort of expect Amanatsu to be a bit wary of bringing Gyarados or Salamence, as I had my Bisharp on my team. For some reason I didn’t save any battle replays for this series. But what I do remember is that what happened in the first couple of turns pretty much decided the outcome of the battle, so my descriptions will be short here.

Game 1:

I went hard on a prediction that turned out to be wrong and blew up on me, causing me to lose. I led Blastoise Smeargle against Tyranitar and Kangaskhan. I thought that Amanatsu would target Smeargle with Kangaskhan leaving my Blastoise open to use Aura Sphere or Water Spout. I took a risk of King’s Shielding Smeargle and attacking with Blastoise. Instead, Blastoise got hit with Fake Out, then Tyranitar hit it with Rock Slide. While I did notice that my Blastoise mega evolved before Kangaskhan, this opening turn put me at too much of a disadvantage and I lost Game 1 handily. Turns out that my opponent did remember me saying that I tended to just double protect my Pokemon for my first turn when I talked about Blastoise + Smeargle on the NB chat. Whoops.

Game 2:

We both led the same leads. But since Amanatsu’s Kangaskhan was slower than Smeargle, I Faked Out Kangaskhan and OHKO’d Tyranitar with Aura Sphere. I think Rotom-W was sent out, and my Blastoise was faster than that too and crushed it with Water Spout. So this game was over very quickly.

Game 3:

Amanatsu led Salamence and Kangaskhan while I still stuck to my Blastoise Smeargle lead. A bit of a lapse in judgment led to Salamence being shot down on Turn 1 by Mega Blastoise’s Ice Beam after it Dragon Pulsed my Smeargle, leading into a sweep situation similar to that of Game 2.


Round 4: TrickSage

For the 4th round, my opponent was TrickSage. There was a bit of a timezone discrepancy so I ended up playing this one in the early afternoon on a weekday, instead of my usual evening or weekend battles.

Team Preview:

I can immediately recognize this is going to be a Perish Trapping team, and that worries me. The presence of Liepard also is something I made note of, since it is something that could make life difficult if I wanted to bring Smeargle.

Game 1:

Thinking that TrickSage would use Liepard, I didn’t bring Smeargle at all, and instead brought Blastoise, Bisharp, Rotom-H, and Gourgeist. He leads with Liepard and Gengar. The lead match up pretty much forces TrickSage to Fake Out my Bisharp in order to let Gengar mega evolve and set up Perish Song. Blastoise proceeds to slam both of them with a Water Spout down to a Sash for Liepard, and about 25% HP for Gengar. He then switches out Gengar for Politoed, which I find out isn’t actually Drizzle, but Water Absorb! This is made worse for me as Liepard Encores my Blastoise’s Water Spout as Liepard gets knocked out, and Mega Gengar is brought back in. I probably would have lost this match, but Bisharp manages to land a critical hit on Politoed, allowing me to knock it out even after it healed some of its HP from my Blastoise’s attack. I got left in a situation with a Choice Scarfed Rotom-H and Gourgeist against a Mega Gengar and Amoonguss, and was able to take Game 1.

Game 2:

I bring the same 4 Pokemon to this battle, not really seeing too much wrong with what I chose. Trick Sage opens with Politoed and Gengar this time. This battle very quickly goes south for me, as he opens the battle by Protecting both his Pokemon and Mega Evolving Gengar, then follows this up by using Disable on Bisharp, and Hypnosis on Blastoise, essentially locking down both my Pokemon. Perish Song is set up, and I’m down 2-4 just like that. Gourgeist, and Rotom-H are sent out, but they really can’t do much of anything to bring this back for me. The second Perish Song goes off, and I simply concede the battle.

Game 3:

For Game 3, I needed to make adjustments. I felt like Blastoise wasn’t working out for me, and that Gourgeist just didn’t have enough presence for this battle. I noticed that Trick Sage didn’t bring Liepard to our 2nd game, and bet on him not bringing it to the 3rd. For our last game, I brought Smeargle and Bisharp for my leads, with Garchomp and Rotom-H in the back. Trick Sage led Politoed and Gengar again. I open the battle by putting Politoed to sleep with Dark Void, followed by using Follow Me to redirect a Disable as I KO’d Gengar on Turn 2. With Gengar down, I could move a lot more freely in the battle. My Smeargle managed to dodge a Hypnosis from Politoed, while in return landing a -1 Accuracy Dark Void on Amoonguss and Politoed. The game eventually had me at a 4 v 2 lead, and it was then just a matter of picking off Amoonguss, then focus on his Scrafty to win the set.


Round 5: Boomguy

After facing a player from Europe in the 4th round, my next opponent in the NB Majos was Boomguy, from Australia. I had faced him once or twice in early XY, and feel like he’s improved quite a bit in the time between then and my Major match. Hopefully he can do well in his Regionals/Nationals.

Team Preview:

The first thing I note is that his team has quite a bit of Water weakness, making Blastoise able to do a ton of damage to him if he isn’t careful. The second thing I note is that Aerodactyl is probably the most likely Mega Pokemon on his team. I felt pretty confident with the match up going into this battle, but would quickly find myself barely scraping by.

Game 1:

I led Blastoise Smeargle against Aerodactyl and Tyranitar, which seemed like a good opening matchup for me. Aerodactyl reveals that it is indeed Mega Aerodactyl as Boomguy burns the first turn Protecting with both his Pokemon. Tyranitar also shows that it is faster than my Blastoise, flinching it with Rock Slide on a turn I was planning to use Aura Sphere to KO it. The battle ends up really suspenseful for me, since my Smeargle was routinely receiving Accuracy drops in a situation where it was the fastest Pokemon on the field and required to hit my Dark Voids to keep my single digit HP Bisharp alive long enough to win me the battle. The match came down to me having to hit Tyranitar with a -1 Accuracy Dark Void, and have it sleep longer than the minimum amount of turns, for me to bring in Bisharp and KO Tyranitar with Iron Head and I was fortunate enough to get it.

Game 2:

For Game 2 I brought the same leads but brought Garchomp instead of Bisharp, while Boomguy leads with Rotom-H and Aerodactyl this time. Once again Boomguy ends up getting up to an early lead against me, in addition to my Smeargle getting more accuracy drops. However, I was able to get myself back into the game due to one pivotal turn where I was able to get my Smeargle back into the battle and Fake Out to finish off his Choice Scarfed Rotom-H, leaving me in a situation with a Garchomp and Rotom-H against an Aegislash behind a Substitute. I manage to make the correct read, Protecting with Garchomp on a turn he attacked it. I then managed not to miss with Overheat, allowing me to take the series.


Round 6: Biosci

After a 1-1 start, I managed to climb back up to a respectable 4-1 record. And with the announcement that all 6-2 records would cut, my odds of continuing in the majors started to look a bit better. My 6th opponent would be Biosci. I think going into this match, I had a vague idea what Biosci was running. And by vague, I mean that I knew he had a team with Gardevoir and Kangaskhan. Because of that bit of info, I swapped out my Gourgeist for Scizor, and gave Bisharp a Life Orb because I couldn’t hold 2 Choice Bands.

Team Preview:

Upon seeing the rest of Biosci’s team, I kind of recognized that I’ve seen this team before, so I already knew at least that Lucario was holding Choice Specs. Blastoise could do a lot of damage provided that I could keep it healthy in order to drop the Water Spout bombs.

Game 1:

I lead my standard Blastoise Smeargle against Lucario and Kangaskhan. I Protect/King’s Shield to burn Fake Out, since Kangaskhan targeted Smeargle it also dropped to -2 Attack. Moody kicks in a Speed Boost for Smeargle, but I sort of felt confident that I could win without having to Dark Void here, so instead I switched out to Garchomp. I think both sides ended up making a few less-than-optimal plays which led to the match coming down to a 1 HP Mamoswine and full Rotom vs 85% Blastoise and full HP Scizor. Since my Blastoise outspeeds Rotom, I take the first battle simply by slugging it out in the end.

Game 2:

I lead Garchomp and Smeargle against Lucario and Kangaskhan once again. I go for a risky play and go for Earthquake with Garchomp and Dark Void with Smeargle, thinking that he’d Fake Out one of them and attack with Lucario. Biosci ended up switching out Lucario for Rotom-W, which would have made my play incredibly awful. But he also misclicked and targeted Garchomp instead of Smeargle with Fake Out. This leads to a situation where both of his Pokemon get put to sleep by Dark Void, and are guaranteed asleep for a turn. Needless to say, the battle wasn’t really even a match after that.


Round 7: Scott

One more win at this point would mean a guarantee for the Majors Top Cut. My 7th round opponent wasn’t going to be an easy one though. Going into this battle, I sort of knew that Scott had at least 2 different teams he could possibly use, and honestly I think both of them had some things about them which would match up well against my team. While I could have tried to switch up my team heavily to improve my match up based on scraps of info that I had, I decided not to run away from the matchup and see whether I could find a way to win. While looking for something to help my sun/rain match up around this point, I decided to give Assault Vest Goodra a go for this week while keeping my Choice Band Scizor.

Team Preview:

After seeing the Pokemon on Scott’s team, I knew that my matchup wasn’t super great. While I do try to make an effort not to bank hard on the Dark Voids, the team situation really left me with that as my best option, as Scott’s Pokemon were mostly slower than Smeargle. But, even then, it took a lot of effort to try to get opportunities to deal significant damage to those Pokemon.

Game 1:

This battle had a situation where I made a careless mistake early on and didn’t realize that Moody dropped my Smeargle’s Speed on turn 1, but then it bounced back in the battle with a chain of having minimum sleep, getting its Speed back, then hitting -1 Accuracy Dark Void on two targets, which pretty much stole Game 1. Me landing two criticals shortly after simply twisted the dagger. Not really much you can say or do for something like that happening.

Game 2:

This battle was once again pretty bad on the heavy sleeps. I could describe how this battle played out… or I could just give you this lovely gif, courtesy of Scott. Thank you Smeargle for creating situations where everyone except Smeargle has been put to Sleep, and Smeargle just sits around doing nothing. I ended up losing this game.

Game 3:

Our final game was a bit cleaner. I decided to drop Goodra for Rotom-H in this match, and it helped me out in this battle. Smeargle only fired off Dark Void once, and was into a burned Scrafty and a Protecting Charizard.

The battle opened up with both of us trying to switch around to try to position themselves into a better position in the battle, with me losing ground slightly over time. A turning point in the battle occurs where my Rotom-H dodges a Heat Wave, allowing it to hang around long enough to allow me to gain back momentum in the battle. A Sleep Powder from Venusaur ends up putting my Garchomp to Sleep, and revealing my Lum Berry for the first time in this series, letting me keep ahead in the battle to eventually take it.

Overall this set was not a fun one, and certainly the sort of battle we kind of fear to have show up on a Regionals Top Cut stream. The one thing I can say this set does do is display a vast array of reasons why people dislike Smeargle, both in terms of facing one and using one. With this win though, I was guaranteed to be in the Top Cut.


Round 8: makiri

For the last Swiss Round, my opponent was makiri. Since all 6-2s will make cut, I decided to change my team up for this round. By this point, it’s pretty publicly known that I’m running a Smeargle team. Also, makiri is a big fan of Smeargles, so there was a possibility of a Smeargle vs. Smeargle match up happening. Sounds pretty dark, doesn’t it? I decided to add some extra dark to my team, subbing out everyone except Blastoise and Smeargle, and adding in Tyranitar (dark), CB Bisharp (dark), Trevenant (dead tree), and Choice Scarf Staraptor (acts in a “dark” way).

Team Preview:

I committed to this team, not knowing that makiri would end up bringing what was roughly the Perish Song team used by YT. Needless to say, with all the dark I added to my team, this ended up kind of one sided.

Game 1:

Game 1 started off in a silly situation where I ended up getting my +1 Choice Band Bisharp disabled, so it ended up having to try to KO makiri’s Mega Gengar with Struggle. My Smeargle also ended up with probably the most ridiculous string of Moody boosts, as it first buffed its Accuracy, then its defenses so Scrafty’s Drain Punch barely did half its HP, then gained Speed just as Gengar woke up. Somehow Struggle always targeted Gengar, despite being a random targeted move, so this battle just ended up being all kinds of silly. Thanks Moody. The battle closed with me locking down opponents with accuracy boosted Dark Voids while Mega Blastoise rained the Water Spouts down. I finished the battle by Final Gambit bombing Azumarill.

Game 2:

I led Staraptor and Trevenant against Amoonguss and Gengar. I end up in an early 4-2 lead after Turn 2, as Amoonguss and Gengar both Protect turn 1, followed by Staraptor taking out Amoonguss at full ramming speed with Brave Bird, and Gengar being given a back scratch by Trevanant using Phantom Force, but not before Disabling Staraptor. After that it was just a matter of slowly picking away at Azumarill and Gothitelle with my team until I won.


Top Cut Top 64: DaFlo

After the swiss rounds ended, and the top cut bracket was released, I found that I was in one of the most up-in-the-air 4-packs which contained kingofmars, Andykins, and DaFlo, along with myself. It was possibly one of the worst places I could have been in for the bracket, as I had a frighteningly bad track record against German players throughout the 2013 season for whatever reason. Plus it had another potential run in with kingofmars, for the 5th time in a large-scale tourney where my record against him is 1W-3L, and almost all our games go down to the wire. However, let’s focus on my Top 64 opponent, which was DaFlo. I stuck with my team using CB Scizor, and Goodra for this round.

Team Preview:

Looking at DaFlo’s team, His team could be hit pretty hard by Blastoise’s Water Spouts if he lets me get going with those. I felt pretty confident that having Smeargle present on my team would force him to bring along Klefki, at least for a game, maybe two. I’d say Mamoswine was one of the Pokemon I was most worried about dealing with from his team. I decided to go with Smeargle and Blastoise to lead, with Scizor and one other in the back. I eventually chose Rotom-H and started Game 1.

Game 1:

I lead Smeargle and Blastoise against a Talonflame and Klefki. What was a decent lead match up for me quickly turns into a disaster, as Blastoise gets Thunder Waved into inactivity for 3 turns putting me into an unrecoverable situation. I do see that DaFlo has a Mega Tyranitar on his team, and that Klefki’s entire moveset was Thunder Wave, Swagger, Foul Play, and Safeguard. Aside from that, I didn’t see much else. This is what I get for not playing the opening turn a bit safer.

Game 2:

I lead the same Pokemon, but instead of bringing Rotom-H I go with Garchomp instead. DaFlo leads Klefki and Salamence this time. I didn’t really want to have any of that Thunder Wave spam on my Blastoise for a second time, so instead I did what I should have done Game 1, Turn 1. I used Follow Me to control Klefki’s Prankster Shenanigans and dropped down the Water Spouts on DaFlo’s party. The change in strategy allowed me to stay relatively in control of the battle I was in. I also had a turn where I ended up flinching DaFlo’s Mega Tyranitar with Rock Slide, but I don’t think it would have changed the outcome of the battle, unless it was one that had Ice Beam. Swagger was thrown into my Garchomp at one point, but Lum Berry meant that Garchomp would have none of that.

Game 3:

I bring the same Pokemon as I did in Game 2. Honestly, I expected him to bring Mamoswine this time, which would be a bit tough for Garchomp, but felt like I didn’t have many other options. DaFlo leads Tyranitar and Talonflame.

Expecting a double Protect on the opening turn to break my Focus Sash, I made a big risk in switching out Smeargle for Garchomp, and use Aura Sphere on Tyranitar. To my surprise, Talonflame tries to use Quick Guard, and Tyranitar goes down to Aura Sphere before it even moves, giving me an early 4-3 lead. Mamoswine is sent out. I continue to go hard on the offense, causing a trade of losing my Blastoise while DaFlo’s Talonflame gets taken out.

It goes down to Zapdos and Mamoswine against my Half HP Garchomp, Scizor, and Smeargle. We continue to trade blows and it ends up coming down to Zapdos and Garchomp. A single targeted Rock Slide ended up doing less than I expected as Zapdos ended up being able to survive 2 hits after some Leftovers recovery. The match came down to whether I could get the flinch or a critical with Rock Slide, and I end up getting a flinch. A Dragon Claw afterwards secured my victory.

Top Cut Top 32: kingofmars

And here we are again. I sort of knew that he had a Sun based team, and that he’s been primarily using a Sun based team for the entire season, although I didn’t actually remember all the details about the team. This match would happen on the same weekend as the Regionals, and we were also both going to the same Regionals. We decided to play the Major match the night before the event. While there was a possibility that we’d face in the Regional itself, it would be pretty annoying to get our match done if we didn’t, and miss our chance to play it live. I didn’t want to show off the last minute changes I had in store for Regionals, so instead I went with the half-hearted decision of adding a Rain Dance Meowstic over Goodra for this battle.

Team Preview:

And here comes the Sun. While I’d prefer not to bring Scizor so much against the Sun, it is pretty much necessary for me to handle Mamoswine. Aside from that, I really didn’t have much of a game plan sadly.

Game 1:

I brought the Meowstic. I then found out that his Scrafty had Taunt. This match ended up pretty one-sided, as I spent most of the time just switching around, and could never get a foothold to create any meaningful offense. Meowstic also missed with Swagger. It came down to just my Meowstic, Taunted, and kingofmars let me Struggle to death. I was a bit surprised to note that he didn’t bring Mamoswine at all.

Game 2:

For Game 2, I decided to throw caution to the wind a bit and bring Mega Blastoise. A Dark Void miss and a Rock Slide miss on Charizard to open the game put me in a really rough spot, but a few good switching plays in mid-game lets me get to a situation where I had Blastoise at full HP in along with Smeargle to support it, while kingofmars’ Charizard was asleep and Venusaur was crippled. This situation surprisingly lets me pull a comeback victory to tie the series.

Game 3:

We both ended bringing the same Pokemon as in Game 2 for Game 3. I miss an opportunity to make a big play in tagging Venusaur on a switch in with Ice Beam from my Blastoise, but instead chose to try to Aura Sphere into Rotom-W who ended up Protecting. Near the end of the battle, I had a Garchomp at 75% HP, and a Full HP Smeargle out against a ~50% Scrafty and Charizard. My Smeargle gets a +2 Speed Boost when entering the battle, making it faster than both Charizard and Scrafty. kingofmars goes for a high risk play of attacking with Charizard, and switching out Scrafty, confronting my prediction that he would Protect with Charizard head on. He was rewarded greatly for this, as Charizard lands a Heat Wave and Burns my Smeargle, KOing it through its active Focus Sash, as I doubled up on Scrafty’s position with a Fake Out and Dragon Claw. That play, along with the burn pretty much won him the battle. but not before Garchomp threw out a double missing Rock Slide for the road.

Elimiated: Top 32

And with that, I was out from the Major. While I would have loved to continue playing in it, and keep winning with some of my fellow NPA Seafoam Islanders teammates, at least my loss was to someone I’ve faced a number of times in a match that was pretty entertaining, and ended in a ridiculous way. Besides, I had no time to lament about the Major when I had a big event happening on the next morning. In a sense, the games played for the Major were a prologue for the team I used in the Seattle Regionals…

Seattle, WA Regionals

For Regionals, I made a few of changes to my team. First off, I changed my Scizor from a Choice Band set to a Life Orb set. While I could be pretty confident in not having to run into Smeargle much in the Majors, thus getting away with my team being a bit lax on having a check against opposing Smeargle, I felt that this wouldn’t be as much of a case when it came time for the Regionals. By changing to a LO Scizor set, it allowed me to open a battle using Scizor and Garchomp, and have a pretty safe answer to an opponent who leads with Smeargle, while taking minimal risk of being locked down by Sleep.

My Second change is that of an entire Pokemon. If you were wondering why Venustoise is featured in the Article picture despite there being no mention of Venusaur yet for my team in the major… it’s because Venusaur was added to the team about 3 days before the Regionals. Lastly, I changed my uncoordinated nicknames to fit a nicknaming scheme. It was a return to the Emerald City, so I went with a nickname scheme of the Battle Frontier Brains from Emerald version. I used 6 of the 7 titles, leaving out the Battle Tower’s Salon Maiden, because the 7th title would be for the trainer, who is from the Ability Region (Canada). Oh right, I also spend the days coming up to the Regionals to increase my Battle Point Earned statistic to hit a nice palindromic number of 20002BP.

Anyways, to recap, here’s my team again with the changes applied:

The Team (Again):

Blastoise (M) @ Blastoisinite ***Dome Ace
Ability: Torrent -> Mega Launcher
EVs: 116 HP / 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 132 Spd
Modest Nature
– Water Spout
– Ice Beam
– Aura Sphere
– Protect

Used in 13/18 Battles

Tactics Region. Speed EVs to outspeed Modest Tyranitar by 2 points. Blastoise was my go-to Mega Pokemon for the Regionals. Unfortunately, it isn’t always viable to bring to battles, and the matches when I don’t bring it can be pretty rough for me because Blastoise just provides so much fire power to my team, even if it isn’t necessarily the fastest on the block. My tactics in managing to keep my mega artillery around to fire off Water Spouts were key in my team’s success.

Smeargle (F) @ Focus Sash ***Pike Queen
Ability: Moody
EVs: 68 HP / 4 Atk / 100 Def / 84 SDef / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature
– Fake Out
– Dark Void
– Follow Me
– King’s Shield

Used in 18/18 Battle
*DARK VOID USAGE COUNT: 4 uses in 8 battles in Swiss, 11 in 10 Battles in Top Cut,
15 total

Luck Region. With Moody as an ability and Dark Void on its moveset, Smeargle is essentially a walking embodiment of luck factors. Add in the fact of how much people dislike “luckhax”, the negative perception people have of Smeargle, and the uncertainty of potential negative feedback from the community in watching a Smeargle on stream for a Top Cut match… you could say that I was kind of playing a role of a villain in this Regional. Smeargle had yet to Top Cut at any Regionals, so people kind of question a bit on whether it was actually a Pokemon to worry about. I wanted to show that in the right hands, it is something that is threatening, that it can potentially just run off the fears of Dark Void along with Moody boosts, and that it isn’t very fun to watch in battles.

Perhaps I didn’t play my role well enough though, since the streamed matches I won had me not even use Dark Void, while the match I lost was the one I did… but hey, villains are meant to be defeated right? I’ll just go back into the darkness to prepare for my next plan.

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

Used in 14/18

Guts Region. Sometimes you just have to stand your ground, and show that even if everyone knows what you are capable of… that you’ve got the guts to go toe-to-toe with anyone.

Rotom-Heat @ Choice Scarf ***Factory Head
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
IV: 31/even/30/31/31/31
Modest Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Overheat
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Will-O-Wisp

Used in 10/18

Knowledge Region. Honestly, Scarf Rotom-H tends to catch people by surprise, so you have to have to make calls based on how much knowledge you think the opponent has about your moveset. I didn’t bring Rotom-H quite as much as my other Pokemon, but it is still pretty important for me to have in the sense that it is the only Pokemon on my team that Garchomp can freely Earthquake beside.

Did you know that a -1 Life Orb Feint along with a Hidden Power Ice has about a 50/50 chance to OHKO 4HP Garchomp? The more you know

Scizor (M) @ Life Orb ***Pyramid King
Ability: Technician
EVs: 20 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SDef / 228 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Bullet Punch
– Feint
– U-turn
– Protect

Used in 12/18

Brave Region. Brave enough to stare at the Sun and come out on top. As mentioned, I changed my Choice Band Scizor into a Life Orb one, replacing Thief for Protect. Having not even used the Life Orb Scizor prior to this tournament, I was extremely impressed with how Scizor played out in my battles. U-turn was a really good move for it that allowed it to do respectable amounts of damage to Rotom-W while retreating to avoid taking a Will-o-Wisp, while Bullet Punch and Feint gave Scizor so many ways to boss around opponents who are weakened or are trying to Protect/Wide Guard to avoid my attacks. Despite the large loss in durability compared to my Choice Band Scizor, my Life Orb Scizor somehow managed to always have just enough in it to get its job done.

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

Used in 5/18

Spirits Region. If you looked at the threats section for my Majors team, you’ll see that it had 4 key issues: Rain, Sun, Smeargle, and Azumarill + Manectric. The change to Scizor comfortably lets me handle Smeargle. The other three were sort of dealt with by me adding Mega Venusaur, as a big reason why they were threats was that they shut down Mega Blastoise. While a lot of my team is all about the high-octane offense plays, Mega Venusaur is something that takes things in a different direction. It serves to try to be the insurmountable wall to try to crush the spirits of the opponent in the cases where Blastoise would be a poor choice to use.

Venusaur’s EVs have it so that it will survive Life Orb Talonflame’s Brave Bird, and that it will have 109 Speed in order to outspeed Rotom-W, with the remainder of its EVs placed into Special Attack. Having Giga Drain, Sludge Bomb, and Protect are pretty self-explanatory. There were a few options for my final move, and I eventually decided on Synthesis. The team already had Pokemon like Smeargle to deal out the Sleep, and I wasn’t too big of a fan of using Leech Seed, even though it wasn’t a bad choice. By having Synthesis, Venusaur could win battles even after getting Burned, and could also ruin Pokemon who think they can just throw Overheats or Draco Meteors to wear it down.

As Venusaur would only see play when Blastoise wasn’t used, it ended up only showing up for 5 of my battles.

Team Strategy and Threats:

The general strategies of the team are largely the same as it was in the Major, the only difference is that I actually got around to patching some of my large team weaknesses. However, with the changes, it will always shift what I consider to be threatening. So some things that I worried about facing with my team were as follows:


Sun Teams were still something that I felt threatening to me, but was something a bit more manageable. A lot of the Pokemon on these teams actually end up having a tough time dealing damage to Mega Venusaur outside of Charizard itself. So if I could get Charizard out of the picture, things would fall into place for me.


The issue I had with Rain before still was a bit unchanged. I think Rain matchups are one of the very few times that I may actually consider bringing both Blastoise and Venusaur, simply because of how hard it can be to keep some of my other Pokemon alive long enough to outlast the Rain. Damp Rocks scare me.


Since Scizor no longer has Thief, and Venusaur can’t do anything against Steel Types, my match up against Aegislash is actually kind of scary. It’s not something that can just show up and auto-win against me, but it is something that easily lose me the game if I slip up.


If it wasn’t for this Regional, this probably wouldn’t have been here. You’ll get to see why later.


Another one that probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Regional. It threatens my team by outrunning and Encoring Pokemon, and the only Pokemon I have faster than it can get its Electric attacks redirected by Lightning Rod. As a support Pokemon, Raichu is surprisingly terrifying to my team.


And with this, lets finally get to the battles of the Regionals itself. I ended up facing the weirdest set of opposing teams throughout the Regionals. Ran into 3 hard Trick Room teams, 4 Machamps, 3 Raichus, a Mega Blastoise, a Mega Heracross, and didn’t face a single Salamence or Mega Kangaskhan until the Top 4. Also, all my opponents had some semblance of skill. No silly in-game teams, and I think everyone I faced likely had Protect on their Pokemon somewhere. The skill level of people have certainly come a long way.

Round 1: Emilio Orozco

Team Preview:

My first opponent ran a hard Trick Room team. There were a few members that I was worried about, like Sableye and Slowking, but in the end he didn’t even bring those two Pokemon. I brought Smeargle and Blastoise with Scizor and Garchomp in the back. The battle’s progression for me went like clockwork. Well… until the last turn of Trick Room where I decided it would be smart not to just Double Protect for the turn. I Bullet Punched Emilio’s Mega Mawile, and in return took a Fire Fang and lose Scizor. I was really scared of potentially losing my first match because of that one aggressive play, but my opponent doubles up into my Garchomp’s Protect on the next turn, which seals the game in my favour.


Round 2: Jonathan VanWinkle

Team Preview:

When I saw my opponent’s team, I recognized the Sun portions of it and sort of wrote off the rest. I payed dearly for that. I started this battle off on the wrong foot against Machamp and Raichu, and was never really in the game as I ran into Protects, hit myself in confusion, let my Smeargle get Encored on King’s Shield, and lost my Garchomp to an unnecessary speed tie confrontation. Put bluntly, this battle was not pretty for me.


Round 3: Casiano Atienza III

With that early round loss, There was some extra pressure for me not to drop any more matches. Getting in on x-2 would be pretty tough unless my last loss comes in late in the tourney, and all my opponents do decently well.

Team Preview:

My 3rd opponent, Casiano, is someone I’ve faced last year in the Top 4 in Salem, OR. This year, I get to face a team that put my last two rounds together. Hard Trick Room AND Machamp. I noticed that he had a Meowstic on this team, so I expected that to lead in this battle. I went with what I used in Round 1, Blastoise, Smeargle, with Scizor and Garchomp in the back.

I get to an early start in the match by Faking Out Reuniclus as Casiano Safeguarded with Meowstic, and then redirecting Swagger away from Blastoise Turn 2, letting me get 2 Water Spouts dropped down without any damage done to me. On Turn 3, Casiano had Tyranitar and Machamp out. Not wanting to expose my Blastoise to Dynamic Punch, I Protect with it, and try to Dark Void with Smeargle, to try to put Pokemon to sleep, not really caring much if it fainted or not. I succeeded in executing Dark Void… except that it missed Tyranitar and there was a Safeguard active that I completely forgot about. Whoops.

Choosing the wrong Pokemon to use Feint on led to a situation where the battle ended up a bit closer than it needed to be. Made even closer looking when Reuniclus hangs on after taking a Dragon Claw to set up Trick Room. But I don’t think I was ever actually in a position to lose the game, even if I ended the battle with only a 22HP Mega Blastoise left standing.


Round 4: Christian Nieves

Team Preview:

Three in a row. I know that Enigne was participating at this Regionals, but… when did Machamp become so popular? Venusaur could actually do quite a bit of work against Christian’s team, with the exception of Scizor. The one catch is… Scizor can be a really big problem depending on just what it has. I went with Rotom-H, Venusaur, Scizor, and Smeargle for this battle.

This battle was extremely tense, and probably for the wrong reasons. The match opens up with me getting a Critical Hit Overheat on Christian’s Machamp, only for it to do only 80% of its HP. This set the tone for this battle, as a few turns later Christian’s Scizor lands a Critical Hit Aerial Ace on my Venusaur who survives with about 20HP remaining, also revealing that his Scizor held a Life Orb. I pretty much had to sacrifice Venusaur or Smeargle at this point depending on who he decided to go for. It ended up being Venusaur.

So I had a 12 HP Rotom-H, a Scizor and a 1HP Smeargle, against a sleeping Scizor and sleeping Rotom-W. I KO Scizor to make it 3 vs 2, while switching Smeargle for Scizor. Next turn I switch Rotom-H back for Smeargle as he Protects with Manectric and Rotom-W sleeps for another turn. I get an Accuracy drop on this turn.

In this situation, the best play I had was to Fake Out Manectric, and U-Turn into it to try to weaken it for the KO later on. Fake Out MISSES, leading to Smeargle getting taken out by Manectric. Scizor gets a U-Turn off for 50% of its HP and switches out to Rotom-H. Rotom-W wakes up and I think that it is over, but it uses Will-o-Wisp thus leaving my Rotom-H alive. The next turn I go for a double target on Manectric, but end up getting another Critical Hit to KO it with Feint, thus changing my Rotom-H’s target for its Thunderbolt. The last turn was my 70% Scizor against a 60% HP Rotom-W, and U-Turn gets the KO. My hands were shaking a bit by the end of that battle, since I was really certain I was going to lose that on so many occasions at the end, yet managed to come out of the battle the victor.


Round 5: Ewan McNeil (Itoxi)

Team Preview:

This team looked a little bit more manageable to me. At least, compared to all the Machamps. If I could keep Ludicolo in check, Mega Blastoise could handle the rest.

This battle was done in a short and sweet fashion. I got a bit of help from Smeargle Evasion boosting to dodge an attack, and called an Ice Beam that was targeted towards Garchomp. But everything else was all Blastoise. There was a bit of hesitation at a point when faced off against Rotom-H without my Smeargle, but I just assumed that the Rotom-H was slower than my Blastoise since it wasn’t Choice Scarfed.


Round 6: Nathaniel Buck

Team Preview:

I start to doubt what I know about the metagame at this point. I’ve seen more Mega Blastoise, Machamp and Raichu than Kangaskhan or Salamence today. My opponent’s team is pretty interesting, but I’m not entirely sure what his team’s game plan actually is. I suspect he could be using Trick Room Gourgeist along with Water Spout Mega Blastoise, but he did not bring the pumpkin against me.

Once again I go for Blastoise Smeargle, who faces off against a Talonflame and Raichu. I double up my Protects on the first turn, while Nathaniel does a bit of a strange move in Quick Guard and Fake Out on Smeargle. Smeargle gets a +2 Speed boost this turn. Even so, I use Follow Me to protect Blastoise from harm, as Smeargle takes a Feint and Brave Bird to be knocked out. Blastoise retaliates by dropping a Water Spout, KOing Talonflame and leaving Raichu at 1 HP.

Nathaniel sends out his own Mega Blastoise this turn while I send out Rotom-H. I KO his Raichu with a Hidden Power Ice, and launch an Aura Sphere at his Blastoise for about 40%. Even with the damage though, his Mega Blastoise’s Water Spout is more than enough to down my Scarf Rotom-H. Down to two on each side. My Blastoise and Garchomp, against his Blastoise and Hydreigon. Turtles and Dragons everywhere. I expect Hydreigon to be Scarfed which I assume I was correct as it launches a Draco Meteor into my Protecting Garchomp before being shot down by Blastoise’s Aura Sphere. Afterwards, a simple double targeting ends the battle.


Round 7: Jesse Alexander (KingDedede16)

At this point I’m 5-1, and I also hear that feathers had faced my first round opponent and lost due to Emilio making some completely unexpected moves. So at this point I actually end up having some hope that I can make Top Cut. If I win my next battle, I can be pretty sure of it, and if I lose, then win I may have a small chance.

Team Preview:

Once again, another situation where I felt that I could do quite a bit of work with Smeargle and Blastoise, as my opponent will likely scramble to Safeguard to block Dark Void. Things go a bit smoothly for me, as I take out Klefki, but I end up facing a bit of a road block offensively as Jesse has a Gyarados and Rotom-W in play. I sort of kept Smeargle around and used King’s Shield and Follow Me so I could try to safely switch in my Rotom-H. Instead, Smeargle somehow survived for two turns, so I shifted gears and swapped it out to bring it back in to Dark Void Jesse. After Safeguard wore off, I had my Rotom-H out with my 1HP Smeargle, and was facing off against Gyarados at 30% HP, and Rotom-W at full HP. Predicting that he’d Protect with Gyarados, I went for a Dark Void and a Thunderbolt on Rotom-W. However, Dark Void misses against Rotom-W, allowing it to take out my Smeargle. This essentially costed me the battle.


Round 8: Jacob Curtis

At 5-2. I felt that I still had a chance, but things didn’t look too great. Not that I actively went and looked at how well my opponents were doing, though.

Team Preview:

For my final opponent for swiss, I had one more hard Trick Room team for the road, with a Mega Heracross, Why not?

I stuck to my guns once again, with Blastoise Smeargle against a lead of Gardevoir and Meowstic. This time, I actually decided to Fake Out Meowstic instead of the Gardevoir, letting my opponent set up a Trick Room sooner for me to stall it out, and also because I didn’t want to take any chances in this battle of Meowstic lashing out at me with Swagger from the start. To my surprise… Meowstic was holding a Red Card, which dragged out my Scizor, making my situation even better.

I use Feint to KO Meowstic, on Turn 2, as Gardevoir Psyshocks into Blastoise’s Protect. Then Bullet Punch to KO Gardevoir on the next turn, as my opponent’s Heracross goes for an Arm Thrust on Scizor. Even with a critical in the mix, Arm Thrust fails to KO and leaves my Scizor at 4HP. Jacob’s last Pokemon is Exploud, and the match is pretty one sided from here. At one point, I go for a Dark Void, but end up missing both opponents.


I ended the Swiss rounds with a record of 6-2. I felt that my chances of making Top Cut were low, but not impossible. While I did end up with a pretty early Round 2 loss, I felt that all my opponents during Swiss were players that had a decent level of playing skill to them, so there was a good chance that a lot of them could have a decent swiss finish to keep my resistance high enough for me to make the Top Cut. Fellow Canadians friends Arti, starmetroid, and Chinese Dood were also 6-2 at the end of swiss, but their losses came in a lot later in the rounds. In the end all 4 of us managed to make the cut. I was 14th place after the Swiss rounds. My fanfare was a bit short lived though, as I then looked to see who was 3rd, and thus would be my Top 16 opponent…

Top 16: Gavin Michaels (kingofmars)

Yes, the destiny match happened. I just faced against Gavin for the Majors the night before the Regional. We sort of joke about the fact that we ended up facing each other in tourneys quite a lot as this would be the 6th time. We were probably close to just saying that we should just play the Majors match when we meet up in the Regional. Who knew that we’d actually have to play each other in it? The series can be viewed here.

Team Preview:

Gavin has been running a Sun based team for quite a while, so the general idea of what it does isn’t anything surprising. I had also faced this team the day before, so some of the nuances of the team were still fresh in my mind. Venusaur was added to my team to improve my chances against Sun teams, so it was time to field test that hypothesis.

Game 1:

I got to display my team change here in using Venusaur. Mega Venusaur did quite a bit of work for me by taking out the Mamoswine on Gavin’s team, and proceeding to survive a Sun boosted Overheat with 7 HP remaining. I don’t know the EV spread his Charizard has, but I based on what I think it was close to, it was a 11/16 chance to survive Overheat at worst. However, I let that survival get to me a bit and got ahead of myself, letting Venusaur get KO’d because I momentarily forgot that my Garchomp had been intimidated. The battle came down to a situation where Gavin needed to land 2 Hydro Pumps to win, and he missed the first one.

Game 2:

Moody happened in this one. And flinches as well, just not against me. I think that my odds of winning in Game 2 were pretty high as soon as I managed to land the Rock Slide to drop Gavin’s Charizard-Y into the red, as it would leave him with Rotom-W and 3 Pokemon that were KO targets for Scizor. However, the one-sided luck factors changed an open result to one of certainty.

Top 8: Braden Smith (dop3 alien)

In the Top 8 of Seattle, 75% of the players were from British Columbia. Braden was one of these players. I didn’t recognize who Braden was, and found out after the Regional when looking at the Seattle Top Cut bracket that he goes by the name dop3 alien on the forums.

Team Preview:

Oh god, another Machamp. Just when I thought I had gotten away…

Machamp and Mega Manectric were my main concerns from Braden’s team, but any of his Pokemon could potentially show up against me, so I needed to proceed with caution. This match was not streamed, so my descriptions will be a bit more indepth.

Game 1:

While I thought that Mega Venusaur could be useful here, I eventually decided to stick to my guns, and went with Mega Blastoise for the entire series. I opened the battle with my usual Blastoise Smeargle, while Braden went for Manectric and Machamp. Not wanting to go too far ahead of myself, and to see if Manectric would Protect or not, I just simply King’s Shield and Protect to open the battle. Machamp Dynamic Punches into Smeargle and drops to -2 Attack, while Manectric attacks into Blastoise. Strangely, he didn’t Mega Evolve Manectric. Even more strangely, he didn’t evolve on the second turn, where I use Follow Me with Smeargle. Since Manectric did not gain its extra durability, it gets KO’d on the spot, while Machamp loses a good 2/3s of its HP. Smeargle is double targeted and taken out.

I replace Smeargle with Garchomp, while Braden sends out his Rotom-H. I predict that Machamp is going to go for a Wide Guard, so I Protect Blastoise from an incoming Thunderbolt, and KO Machamp with Dragon Claw. I now have a lead in Pokemon, and Braden sends out his last Pokemon in Aegislash.

I don’t really know whether his Rotom-H is faster than Blastoise, or if his Aegislash may be packing a surprise in Wide Guard. I decide to preserve my Blastoise, and swap out for my own Rotom-H, setting off an Earthquake with Garchomp. Rotom-H Thunderbolts my own Rotom-H for a small amount of damage, and Aegislash does not show off the usage of Wide Guard. Instead, it takes the Earthquake to use its Weakness Policy, and OHKOs my own Garchomp with a +2 Shadow Ball. I send Blastoise back out.

In the current situation, I could probably assume that his Aegislash does not have Wide Guard, or else it would have used it to try to guard from Water Spouts, Earthquakes, or Rock slides. I did not know anything about the Rotom-H, aside from it not being Scarfed. Basically, my only option was to just have some confidence and assume Blastoise can outspeed Braden’s Rotom-H. It does, and I win this game.

Game 2:

Knowing that his Rotom-H is at the mercy of my Blastoise is useful information to know. I make a change of switching out Garchomp for Scizor, as I felt it could help me out more against Braden’s team, now that we both have a bit more information about each other. Our leads for Game 2 are the same as in Game 1.

I end up playing the second match by playing aggressively from the start, which was also somewhat sloppy battling. This time, it is Braden who leads off with a double Protect blocking Smeargle’s Dark Void, while my own Blastoise joins in with using Protect. I get an Accuracy boost on this turn. I switch out Blastoise for Rotom-H, to take a Thunderbolt, as Smeargle puts Braden’s leads to sleep, revealing Machamp’s Lum Berry. Smeargle is struck with a Dynamic Punch and dropped down to having 1 HP and Confused.

As I had a game lead, I just went for the coin flip, and succeeded in executing Dark Void through confusion, putting Machamp to sleep, as Rotom-H fires off an Overheat to put Manectric into the red. I then switch out Rotom-H to recover my Special Attack, while Braden keeps his Intimidate support in Manectric. Scizor and Gardevoir enter the fray, while Machamp takes a snooze, and Smeargle fails to try to hit itself. Machamp sleeps for the max number of turns, as more switching takes place. Smeargle goes out for Rotom-H, and Gardevoir retreats immediately back to Mega Manectric, sacrificing itself to drop Scizor to -1 Attack.

Garchomp is sent out, and I also know that Machamp will be waking up this turn. With Rotom-H and Scizor out, I expected that I could easily KO Garchomp with a Feint and Hidden Power Ice. It turns out that the chances were closer to a 50/50 chance, and Garchomp ends up barely hanging on, throwing a Rock Slide to deal a bit of damage to my party as Machamp used Protect.

Next Turn, Garchomp swaps back for Gardevoir and takes a Hidden Power, while I switched Scizor out for Smeargle who gets KO’d by Dynamic Punch. Scizor returns to the battle, and KOs Gardevoir with Bullet Punch, but is then taken out by Dynamic Punch as well. It comes down to my Rotom-H at 30%, and full HP Mega Blastoise, against a Garchomp who is in the red, and a sizably healthy Machamp. Braden makes a high risk play, of using Wide Guard and attacking with Garchomp, which pays off as I make a risky play of using Hidden Power on Machamp and Water Spout. I end up losing my Rotom-H, and the tides turn. Garchomp lands a flinch with Rock Slide, and that finishes me off.

Game 3:

I felt a bit stung from letting the second game slip like that, and sort of knew that I was playing that a bit recklessly as well. For our final game, I switched things up. I still brought the same 4 Pokemon as in Game 2, but reversed my leads. Braden led with Gardevoir and Manectric. I put a blitz opening turn using Feint and Overheat to KO Mega Manectric right from the word go as it Protects to no avail. Gardevoir Psyshocks my Rotom-H, dealing damage that suggests that it is holding Choice Specs.

Machamp enters the battle. I was sort of expecting a switch out for Gardevoir, to try to avoid being harmed by Bullet Punch, so I instead U-Turn on Machamp, and Switch out Rotom-H for Smeargle. Gardevoir does not Switch out, so Smeargle is dropped to 1 HP, and Scizor swaps Rotom-H back in to be Dynamic Punched over a horizon.

I bring Scizor back in, and KO Gardevoir with Bullet Punch while I throw a Fake Out at Machamp. Garchomp is sent in at this point. Although I am up 3 vs 2 at this point, my situation was a pretty shaky one. But the fact that Smeargle had been given +2 Speed and +2 Accuracy meant that it was a ridiculous force for me at this point.

I put Braden’s Garchomp to sleep and use Bullet Punch on Machamp to drop it below 50% HP. He had a choice of KOing Scizor or Smeargle, and went for Scizor. This meant that the battle was all down to Blastoise once again, sort of like how it was in Game 2.

The situation was pretty tense for me, especially as I ended up wasting a turn of sleep from Garchomp by swinging into Machamp’s Protect, as I suspected that Garchomp would likely be holding a Focus Sash. But I end up having some luck, as Garchomp sleeps the maximum amount of turns, allowing me to KO Machamp and keep Smeargle alive to support Blastoise. Since Smeargle had been sitting around for a decent number of turns, it had also picked up an Evade boost at some point, so even when Garchomp woke up, it ended up missing with Rock Slide, leaving a situation where I had a +(many stats, including Speed, Evasion, and Accuracy) Smeargle against a 1HP Garchomp who confirmed my suspicions of it holding a Focus Sash.

Top 4: Thomas Mifflin (PBB)

It was a pretty long and shaky road, but I was finally in the Top 4 for the Seattle Regionals. My opponent would be an old school VGC player, Thomas Mifflin, or PBB. He was also the last remaining US player.

Team Preview:

It took some time, but I finally ended up facing a team with plenty of familiar faces on the team. I felt pretty confident in this match up, but it still was something that I just needed to keep my head straight and play it turn-by-turn. This match was streamed, and the video can be found here.

Game 1:

PBB made some good reads early in the game, such as Will-o-Wisping my Smeargle to add damage through King’s Shield, and also switching Gardevoir in on a Dragon Claw. The turning point of the match happened when a Critical Hit Bullet Punch and Rock Slide KOs PBB’s Salamence on a switch in, which moves me along towards a comeback from 2 vs 4. The battle would be a bit more open had Salamence not been critical’d, as both Rotom and Salamence would still be on the verge from fainting from attacks.

Game 2:

In this game, I went hard on an early game move to just go all in on an offense Turn 1. PBB did an interesting play in not Mega Evolving Kangskhan, which led to it getting OHKO’d by Aura Sphere instead of barely surviving. This led me controlling the pace of the game and driving it at a breakneck pace as we trade KOs until it was down to my Garchomp and Scizor against his Rotom-W, where I simply needed to hit the attack button chip away at the washer.

Finals: Tony Cheung (Chinese Dood)

In the finals, I faced off against the Canadian National champion, Tony Cheung. We drove down to the Regionals together. While we don’t go to the Regional expecting to lose… I can’t say we were really expecting to both be in the finals.

Team Preview:

Both Tony and I knew the general team strategy of each other’s teams. Though not necessarily anything about potential changes we could have made at the last moment for the Regionals. I think I had somehow convinced myself that his Raichu had Hidden Power Ice, when it actually did not, which likely made things a bit worse for me than it should have been in places. But hey, at least it’s better than the last time I faced Tony when I somehow convinced myself that Zapdos had Heat Wave.

The stream of these battles can be found on the Nugget Bridge YouTube Channel.

Game 1:

I get put into a rough spot right from the start in this battle. Blastoise gets paralyzed into inaction on Turn 1 by Rotom-H’s Discharge, preventing me from opening the battle with a Water Spout. I get bailed out of this battle as Moody provides my Smeargle with a Speed increase when switched in, just after Gyarados had used Dragon Dance. It had also stayed asleep long enough such that it wasn’t able to use Protect on a turn that Tony went for Discharge, thus taking out his own Gyarados.

Game 2:

For Game 2 I thought I should switch up and use Venusaur instead of Blastoise. Venusaur could sort of wall Gyarados, Raichu, and Rotom-H, so I could try to make things work in a battle of attrition. However, things don’t go so well for me in game 2, as Tony makes adjustments to his team selection, and even ends up bring Scizor to this battle, making my decision backfire on me tremendously, as Venusaur cannot win against Scizor 1 v 1. In the end, my team set up was just too slow in KOing anything in order to create an opening for me to do anything meaningful.

Game 3:

I led Rotom-H and Smeargle against a Choice Scarf Gambit Staraptor and Gengar. I couldn’t attack Staraptor with Rotom-H, or else I’d end up getting it stuck using an unfavourable move against Mega Gengar or Raichu. Instead I switched it out for Garchomp, and tried to Dark Void. This led to a situation where I lost my Garchomp, a Pokemon I needed to keep alive, to Final Gambit. On the next turn, I proceeded to use Follow Me to keep from having Dark Void Disabled, but then quickly realized that that was probably the worst option I could have done shortly afterwards, essentially losing me the battle by Turn 2. I decide to play the battle to the end though, at least until I was left with only a Smeargle against two targets that had been put to Sleep, since I had no means of attacking and didn’t want to waste time here. Ironically, the series I had streamed where I DID use Dark Void was the series I lost.


In the end I placed 2nd at the Regionals and feel quite satisfied with my result. Thanks for sticking around to read such a long report. I hope it gave you a good view of a different perspective of running a Smeargle team that doesn’t involve the usual suspects. How much of my battles were luck? How much of it was skill? I’ll let you be the judge of that. Villains aren’t supposed to win, so a 2nd place finish is as good as it can get in that sense.  It’s time to return to the darkness for my next plot. I shall close off with a poem, quoted from a visual novel character. I feel that it expresses the feelings I have regarding Smeargle:

“Please do not deplore yourself.
Even if the world does not forgive, I will forgive you.

Please do not deplore yourself.
Even if you do not forgive the world, I will forgive you.

So please tell me.
What will it take for you, to forgive me?” – Frederica Berkastel

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.

14 Responses to Villains Always Plot in the Dark: NB Major Top 32 & Seattle Runner-Up Report

  1. LithiumAcid says:

    That Higurashi/Umineko refrence at the end. Very beautiful quote, fitting for such a beautiful team…..

  2. Randy still makes the best articles. I really enjoyed your teams and your thought process behind using smeargle.

  3. Scott says:
    I really like this team for a lot of reasons. At first, I was just attracted to it because you were using Mega Blastoise and I desperately wanted someone with some experience to try to make it work, but thinking about it a little bit more, this team seems like a really good fit with what you’ve done well in the past. Smeargle, regardless of whatever else I think about it, is the most reliable form of redirection in this format with Togekiss banned and Rage Powder nerfed in Gen 6, and you’ve certainly proven what you can do with redirection in the past. Blastoise is a pretty cool cannon to use next to that redirection, and it does have the advantage of one of the best spread moves in the format (maybe the best factoring accuracy?) to put next to it. I was really pumped when I saw your Mega Venusaur the first time on the stream Sunday because it was such a brilliant solution to the problems your team had before, as well. I feel like if you had it against me during Major swiss, the series probably wouldn’t have even been close, since a big part of why I could stay alive at all as was because you basically couldn’t pick your Mega into me at all. The flexibility Venusaur gives you in previously bad matchups was very clever.
    I’m also really glad you got a big chunk of CP in Seattle. I was rooting hard for you in top cut, so seeing loss #3000 to Tony ended up being kind of depressing, but I guess with first and second being only 10 CP apart, the troll value is pretty good, at least. Hope you have another big Nationals run, it’d be strange for you not to be in Worlds at this point.
    As far as our series: that gif is still hilarious to me. I know a few people didn’t read what I wrote after our match in the Major quite the way I intended it to be read, but I hope/think you were reading it as the sort of sarcastic amusement it was, since we tend to be around each other on IRC a lot and you see what passes as humor from me. While that match really wasn’t quite as fun to me as running into you in NPA or SPL was (though the NPA series kinda sucked too because my team choice meant I was never really in it; I let us down in that one), but I thought this series was funnier than anything else. Definitely keeps me in the Dark Void should have stayed banned camp, but what can we do but roll our eyes a little.
    One thing I will say about our series this time though now that it is a few weeks behind me is that while Game 1 was kind of one of those “I think I’ll stick to commentating” moments for me, I did get outplayed pretty badly in game 3 in a variety of ways, which sort of leads to the series having the right result, as close as I felt I was to taking the first two. While I suspected the Lum on Garchomp, having not seen it that late in the series is the sort of series management error by me that should clinch a loss. I wasn’t completely sure which Choice items your Choiced Pokemon had, either, so I felt like you won the information game pretty hard. I had a really tough time getting in a comfortable position in the second and third games (I would say I was the one gradually losing ground early in game 3), but that’s a lot of why I have a lot of fun battling you… we’re both pretty apt to grind a couple turns to open up the big decisive hits, so if nothing happens for a couple of turns it’s pretty nervewracking because one of us will definitely open it up quickly.
    In retrospect, I think the second two games were pretty fun, but it was sort of funny to read your thoughts on the matchup, because I really didn’t like how my team matched up either. I felt like it would be more fun to go at that series without changing anything from what I’d been playing normally even though I expected you to use a team I could have tried to counterteam a little. and it’s sort of funny were kind of in the same situation, since we’d talked about our teams on IRC a bit. I appreciate that.
    also if you ever do this nickname theme again, i suggest a rain team, because kingdra would be great for the spirits region~~~
    also how do you fight three machamps in a row???? i think people took me saying that thing about the limbs and power during the worlds cast a little too seriously….
  4. Sprocket says:

    So much Raichu. A year ago the poor thing was a footnote in the “Who’s Who Among Electric Types” and now its one of the most feared support Pokemon.

  5. R Inanimate says:

    A few after thought about my Regionals in Seattle:
    -Watching AZ, Tony, Len, and Huy play a few multi battles on Saturday was pretty entertaining. Len bringing a bunch of Electric Pokemon, but ending up not using Electric attacks because Huy had a Marowak out was a highlight for me. Since he could have went to the status screen and checked to realize that Marowak didn’t even have Lightning Rod.
    -If you keep asking whether you’ve locked the car, your certaintly of whether you’ve locked it will approach 50%.
    -Dave Coulier = Red Corvette
    -Missing the exit to the highway in Downtown Seattle really sucks. Ended up adding about an hour to what was supposed to be a 20 min drive. And probably giving Tony a few scares while driving lost around the area. Sorry about that.
    -Wth the exception of a printer problem after Round 1, and a pairing error before Round 4, the regionals were run pretty smoothly. A big thanks to all the volunteers and staff running the event.
    -Since I was battling at the time/was at the event during the streamed top cut matches, I’m sort of curious: Was there any sort of reaction to the fact that I was using a Smeargle in my Top Cut matches in the stream chat? Reaction to Smeargle was something I was sort of wondering about when having my matches streamed, even though I kind of ended up not even using Dark Void at all until my set against Tony in the finals, where I lost.
    -After writing this article… I now can’t stop seeing Smeargle as some sort of Power Ranger’s villian who sends out the “Monster of the Day” Mega Pokemon out to terrorize the protagonist, along with the non-Mega team members being their sort of assistant goon squad.

    -With the return of the Seattle Regionals, I was wearing my 2005 Battle in Seattle shirt during regionals. It makes me feel a bit old when I tell people where I got my shirt from when people ask me. Also, wearing the shirt, and seeing the stuff I faced in Seattle, I’m reminded again that the Northwest region of NA has always been a bit off the mark when it came to what does well here. Somehow, Machamps, Raichus, and Lanturns just feel right.

    -Evidently, The guests at Zach’s place were strong, as Gavin, PBB, Tony, and I who stayed at Zach’s place all managed to Top Cut. We also all eliminated each other from the Top Cut until one remained.
    -Please don’t snap my neck for using Smeargle, Keewan. I don’t want a bandage necklace. Thanks.

  6. Dreykopff says:

    All hail the puns. For each one a Smeargle’s soul shall be spared from Keewan’s wrath.

    Now that was one of the more interesting reports to me, content-wise. To me, it mostly poses the question: How did you feel about your team choice before, during and after the (Seattle) event? I was totally feeling that Swiss gauntlet when reading, like it could have gone so much worse (and maybe actually would have on another day, who knows) and in the end you ended up just on the darkgood side of the percents. Things, like so often, seemed to even out at the Bo3 stage, but one obviously needs to get there first. (I’m also asking this because I feel like I’m still really bad at Bo1ing…)

    Looks like Raichu is no longer a secret. I call it “the new Liepard”, even when the old one still is legal, haha.

  7. rapha says:

    You are evil

  8. R Inanimate says:

    @Scott: Yeah, I think after having some time to look back at our series, it quite as terrible as I really remember it being. For Game 2 it really was just the end part of it that went to the Sleep extremes, and Game 3 didn’t even have Dark Void executed. But for Game 1, when getting a double -1 acc Dark Void hit leading to max sleep on both targets, I was feeling like “this could have been a great match, but that string of events really spoiled the mood. I win because of it, but still…” Hopefully the next time we battle doesn’t end up with one side being forced to use a sort of shut-down strat like that Majors match.
    @Fatum: Let’s see…
    Before the Event: I felt pretty confident with my team, somewhat excited to use it at the regionals in fact. But also felt worried, because of my last minute change to LO Scizor and Mega Venusaur as I had done little to no testing on those changes. With people saying Smeargle is inconsistant and skill-less to play, I kind of felt like I had something to prove here.
    During: The Pokemon I faced were certainly not the Pokemon I was expecting to face. I felt like my team matched up pretty well with that I was given, dispite the rough R2 loss, and the near loss I had in R4. As mentioned, it sort of felt like all my opponents were at a decent level of skill, which was a big jump from the usual of facing an ingame team or Singles-made-doubles team in the early rounds. Somehow my first 4 matches were more stressful for me than the last 4. Once I got to the back half of the Swiss rounds just about every match pretty much moved how I wanted them to, (though I did miss due to a Dark Void miss in Game 7).
    After: My initial goal was to at least Top Cut with my team, so getting all the way to 2nd Place makes me very proud. I still think that there are places here and there where I might be able to look at to for making changes, but feel that it is at least solid right now for what the current metagame looks like.

  9. TwiddleDee says:

    Great report! It’s nice to see a Mega Venusaur… or any Venusaur that isn’t Chlorophyll paired with Mega-Zard Y.

  10. Chinese Dood says:

    If I recall this correctly, 3 of the 4 Venusaurs in top cut were Mega Venusaurs. :P (Max had both mega venusaur and mega charizard Y)

  11. Silvershark says:

    Great report! It’s nice to see a Mega Venusaur… or any Venusaur that isn’t Chlorophyll paired with Mega-Zard Y.

    Well, I think it’s safe to say all Venusaur’s have Chlorophyll before mega evolving, even if it’s just in case the other side has Y-zard. Really, who would run Overgrow nowadays?

  12. pokebro1000 says:

    BTW that was not my real team (NB Major R1), my real team wasn’t complete and i was hoping to not face an opponent like you, but…… i didnt get my wish.

  13. darkwings says:

    I’m really curious, why go with Torrent as Blastoise’s ability and not Rain Dish?

  14. R Inanimate says:

    I’m really curious, why go with Torrent as Blastoise’s ability and not Rain Dish?

    Noting how the first thing I do with Blastoise is Mega Evolve it ASAP…
    Rain Dish is extra effort that is entirely unnecessary.

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