Published on November 18th, 2015 | by BadIntent16
Hyper Offense Analysis – BadIntent’s Evil Thoughts
This is BadIntent’s Evil Thoughts, a VGC series where I will explain advanced tactics or take a stance on controversial issues concerning the VGC Circuit. Today I will be covering Hyper Offense. I have included a video version of this article to go along with this article. Today’s article goes slightly more in-depth, but the video provides visuals on pins better than the article. Both versions will cover the same information. For a quick overview, I’ll be covering:
- What is Hyper Offense?
- How to utilize pins
- Examples of Hyper Offense teams
- The benefits and drawbacks of Hyper Offense
What is Hyper Offense?
Hyper Offense is a play style and team building archetype that focuses on relentless, high-powered attacks. Some properties of hyper offense include:
–Hyper Offense emphasizes offensive synergy and high damage output. A team with good offensive synergy utilizes many spread moves of varying types to hit as many Pokemon as hard as possible. Spread moves eliminate the guessing-game involved with single-target attacks such as predicting the Protect or the switch. This ensures that you get off significant damage every turn. In addition, spread moves generally do more overall damage than maximum accuracy single target attacks. Max accuracy single target attacks such as Ice Beam, Flamethrower, Iron Head usually cap at 90 base power. For example, let’s take a look at Thunderbolt vs. Discharge. Thunderbolt has a base power of 90. Discharge has a base power of 80 and that power gets reduced to 60 in double battles due to the 0.75 spread damage modifier. However, since Discharge hits both opposing targets, it effectively has 120 base power due to the damage it does to both Pokemon. In addition, it still does damage even if one of the targeted Pokemon Protects or switches out. Unfortunately, Discharge also hits the partner Pokemon, but Protecting with the partner erases the damage output advantage gained by using spread moves in the first place since we would lose the potential for combination attacks. Hyper Offense wants both Pokemon attacking whenever possible. Therefore, offensive synergy consists of the liberal use of spread moves AND pairs of Pokemon that are immune to each others’ spread attacks. The classic example is Zapdos and Garchomp. This pair of Pokemon complement each other with immunities to Earthquake and Discharge respectively, allowing them to take advantage of the increased offense without taking collateral damage.
–Defensive pivots such Aegislash, switching, and other passive plays are eschewed in favor of simply overpowering the opponent’s team. I will contrast defensive play with Hyper Offense at the end of this article, but the motto for this playstyle is that “the best defense is a good offense”.
–Paramount to the success of a Hyper Offense team, is the effective use of pins. The pin is a concept I came up with back in 2011, and is extremely effective, but sadly most people don’t utilize well, or at all.
What is a Pin?
A pin is the combination of a high-powered single-target attack (a “nuke” move) and spread move that covers the types that resist the first attack. It is similar to the concept of a pin in chess, because this combination of attacks essentially pins the targeted Pokemon into its position since there is no way to switch it out safely.
A few examples of pins include:
Charizard-Y’s Overheat in the Sun is one of the strongest single-target attacks in the game and it usually takes more than 50% damage from anything that it hits and is used as a ‘nuke’ move. Barring abilities like Flash Fire, Overheat is only resisted by Rock, Fire, Water, and Dragon. To go along with such a strong attack, we need a spread move that can hit all those types for at least neutral damage. One example would be Sylveon’s Hyper Voice, which hits Dragons for super-effective damage, Waters and Rocks for neutral damage, and Fire ,sadly, for resisted damage. Not bad.
Let’s try another spread move. The goal is to create a perfect pin. A perfect pin is the combination of a nuke move and a spread move that hits every type in the game, or at least every type your opponent has on their team. Let’s combine Charizard’s Overheat with Garchomp’s Earthquake. Earthquake hits Rock and Fire for super effective damage and hits Water and Dragon for neutral damage. Unless your opponent has a Levitate user like Rotom, this might be your perfect pin of choice.
Below is an example of a perfect pin in action in a tournament match.
Houston VGC 2013-14 Fall Regional Final
Utilizing pins is the true hallmark of Hyper Offense. Now that we’ve taken a look at the properties of Hyper Offense, let’s look at some examples of the team style over the years.
Examples of Hyper Offense Teams
Paul Hornak (makiri) used this team to win the first 2010 Regional Championship in Seattle. The team hits incredibly hard and utilizes spread moves efficiently. Even Abomasnow is more of an offensive switch-in tool than a defensive pivot. makiri used Abomasnow to transition from Water Spout assaults to Blizzard assaults.
This is the team I used to win the 2013-14 Fall Houston Regional. I also used it to get second place in the 2013-14 NorCal Fall Regional. This team has good spread options along with fast and heavy hitters. The spread moves on this team are specifically designed to take advantage of pins, such as Hydreigon’s Draco Meteor and Mamoswine/Landorus-T’s Earthquake as well Tornadus’s Flying Gem Acrobatics + Earthquake. Tailwind Tornadus adds speed control to set up sweeps with the aforementioned pins. Mamoswine’s Ice Gem Ice Shard provides priority to KO Landorus-T before it can flinch the team with Rock Slide. Three of the six Pokemon are holding gems to further increase their damage output.
Southern California is known for its plethora of strong players who have mastered the Hyper Offense style of play, such as Alberto Lara (CaliSweeper), however, many of them do opt to use one steel type defensive pivot like Ferrothorn or Aegislash in order to get an edge against other overly-aggressive teams.
Sweeper won both the 2015 SoCal Regional and 2015 Utah Regional with different variants of this team. In his tournament report, Sweeper mentioned how the combination of Charizard’s Heat Wave and Sylveon’s Hyper Voice created an almost inescapable blitz. We don’t use the same jargon, but Heat Wave and Hyper Voice is basically the pint that we looked at earlier. This one just utilizes two spread moves instead of one. Some other pins on this team are Mega Salamence’s Double-Edge + Landorus-T’s Earthquake, and Charizard Y’s Heat Wave + Landorus-T’s Earthquake.
This last example is from 2014. This is one of the last Hyper Offense teams I created and it won the Winter 2014 Long Beach Regional Championship. It is s a Sun team that pressures the opponent with the Overheat + Earthquake pin and maintains speed control with Chlorophyll Venusaur. This team was extremely successful, but over the last year and a half, I’ve been experimenting with other styles of teams to try to mitigate luck. After experimenting with almost every style of team, however, I’ve finally gone back to Hyper Offense because I think does the best job of reducing luck, which brings me to my next point.
The Benefits (and Drawbacks) of Hyper Offense
-“Hax” Prevention. One of the qualities of Hyper Offense is out-speeding and knocking out opponents before they can hit you. This means you will take less hits and therefore have less opportunities to get harmed by secondary effects such as Scald burns and critical hits. Speed control or priority moves get around Rock Slide flinches proactively unlike Wide Guard. Unfortunately, Prankster Thunder Wave and Swagger cannot really be contained by any style of team. Hyper Offense can at least drop Thundurus in one hit to stop the spread of status early.
–Hyper Offense also creates consistency by shutting down setups before they start. Instead of trying to figure out all the different strategies your opponent can possibly have and attempting to adjust on the fly with very limited information, you can bypass that game altogether. Just knock everything out! Less overall practice time and match-up knowledge is required, and even for experienced players this is good because there are so many different variants of teams, it is impossible to have match-up experience against everything. With Hyper Offense, your powerhouse threats can knock out so much of your opponent’s team so fast, they have to abandon their strategy and play defensively against your strategy, which you are thoroughly familiar with, forcing them to play your game.
Problems with Defensive Play
In contrast to Hyper Offense where you want to hold your ground whenever possible, defensive play relies on switching which leaves you vulnerable to secondary effects. There are not many things that are more irritating than switching in your Aegislash into Ice Beam just to have it freeze. Defensive set up moves are also prone to secondary effects and critical hits since the Pokemon are taking repeated attacks.
Defensive play is also vulnerable to read-heavy players. By playing reactively, you extend the invitation for your opponent to choose what angles they want to attack you from. Certain players make a living off of hard reads and predictions and tend to snipe switch-ins or double-target the Pokemon they don’t think will Protect. Reads based players can only get away with this if you allow them the breathing room to make these decisions. Hyper Offense pigeonholes them into a narrow line of options or they will eaten alive by your pins.
Drawbacks of Hyper Offense
The biggest problem with Hyper Offense is that if you don’t have an aggressive attack combination on the field at all times to stop a set up, you are left helpless. Set ups like Calm Mind Cresselia and Perish Trap are naturally built to wall Hyper Offense teams. Diligent team building and match up mapping are required to ensure that you always have an offensive threat on the field to KO those Pokemon as soon as possible.
Extra bulky offensive Pokemon are also an issue, Sylveon is an abnormally bulky Pokemon people have trouble defending against because of its powerful spread move, Hyper Voice. It is very hard to stop when paired with a heavy hitter like Mega Kangaskhan. Simply knocking it out in one hit is very difficult. The most common defensive pivot players resort to is Aegislash, because its unique typing and stats make it one of the only Pokemon that can switch into both Kangaskhan and Sylveon. Hyper Offense, however, has no room for defensive pivots. Stance Change also really slows down the pace of the game which is another negative trait for this style. You’ll need a more offensive way to knock out Sylveon such using Metagross or Scizor which can be much harder to fit onto a team.
Hyper Offense is a very powerful play style and team building archetype. The strength of Mega Evolutions, the 45 second and 15 minute timer, all discourage defensive play and make Hyper Offense the most viable play style in VGC right now. Have fun building your own Hyper Offense teams, and remember to use pins and consider anti-set up tactics like Taunt to your advantage. This has been BadIntent’s evil thoughts. Thanks for reading!
16 Responses to Hyper Offense Analysis – BadIntent’s Evil Thoughts
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Great article, really useful. I now know that pins are not always silver…
This was a great article. It made me think a lot more about how I battle and it gave me insight to a specific battle style. We need more articles like this.
Really cool stuff about the “pin” concept. It’s something a lot of players use already, but without necessarily realizing what they’re doing or thinking about it deeply. The fact you coined a term for it and explained it makes it much easier to understand and team build with said pin concept in mind.
A really nice article, and lovely analysis there. A pin is, however, more hard to pull off than it may seem at first. There are many conditions that need to be fulfilled, main being that your pokemon are faster and don’t risk getting knocked out back… and with hyper offense, that does not happen often. In the video, the pin is perfect, but if the Tyranitar did protect instead, its partner would have taken no damage. Also, a pin does not necessarily need to be a nuke attack and a spread move. There are situations in which you safely double target with two different moves that have perfect coverage, so you either kill what stays or what comes in.
I’m wondering since you’ve written this article, if you’ve changed any of your previous stances on the social aspect of things? I know you used to seem pretty against team sharing and such but I’m wondering if that’s just isolated to specific information or if it was general helping each other through these sorts of resources. Just curious! I’m glad to see you writing articles since you always have something incredibly intelligent to say.
I watched the video version and I am incredibly excited to see more from you. Like cali said, you did a great job of putting something known but clunky to describe into a simple term. I’ve transitioned into a bulkier style but that’s been rougher for me than when I used to win PCs because I was using hyper offense teams, so I may need to consider going back to it and just improving my understanding of pins.
Great read. This style seems great or Bo1/Battle Spot.
One combination I always have trouble with is Landorus-T + Charizard, since Intimidate makes it even harder to take one of them before they deal too much damage. With combos such as these, is there any hope for defensive/bulky teams?
I’ve been using this team style a lot since 2014 worlds. I feel like the biggest metric of the strength of a HO team is how quickly and decisively it deals with Aegislash + Amoonguss, because that combo is exceptionally good at shutting down offense between Wide Guard and Spore and forcibly slows the pace of the game. I think I’ve only ever come up with one HO team that doesn’t have a significant amount of trouble with that pair, which is why I generally use more defensive teams now.
Yo but when’s the accuracy lecture? I’m actually on board with the BadIntent school of thought on that one now. Except for Rock Slide can’t say no to the best move in the game.
“Unfortunately, Prankster Thunder Wave and Swagger cannot really be contained by any style of team.”
Don’t wanna toot my horn more than I already have, but my Kabutops hyper-offensive rain team had that covered with Lightning Rod support. Just something to think about.
Absolutely. I see you have an appreciation for Hyper Offense so I will use this post to expand on your point. Pins are undoubtedly easier to talk about than to actually pull off even though they are simple. HO often gets the bad rap of being “brain-dead” or just “pressing buttons”, but the hard part is actually getting into a position to get your pins off safely. This can be done through small things like speed control, but often it simply involves winning the war of attrition against your opponent’s faster or more bulky Pokemon and chipping everything down until you can sweep the remaining Pokemon with pins. It’s an intense jockeying for position that happens for the duration of the game and usually culminates in a safe pin.
As for my example, I used that one mostly because it was one of the few I actually had footage of due to not being able to save tournament battle videos very easily. The best pins occur when either all Pokemon that are immune to the spread move have been knocked out, if the targeted Pokemon Protected the previous turn, or if the spread move already hits every Pokemon on the opponent’s team for heavy damage. That way you are ensured to get damage without being concerned about Protect. Single target moves can also be used as pins, but they always rely on the target having Protected the turn prior and the opposing partner Pokemon not being enough of a threat to risk getting off no damage that turn. That flaw is present in the example video, and something like Charizard Y’s Heat Wave bypasses both of those issues if used as the spread move. I just didn’t have enough footage. Anyway, for those reasons, I focused on nuke moves + spread moves as they are more reliable and easier to set up than combined single-target attacks and stronger than two spread moves. Thanks for the insightful feedback!
You are right about my long standing anti-social stance. A lot of factors went into making this article that would be too boring to read, but here’s the abbreviated version. When I first started playing VGC, I just wanted a competitive outlet. After that I wanted to get a trophy, then I wanted to win a Regional. Lastly, I wanted to be on stream at Worlds. After doing all that and observing players who have won even more and larger scale events than me I realized winning Pokemon events simply doesn’t do that much for you outside of Pokemon. I am still ultra-competitive, but at this point I am fine with making my opposition stronger at the trade-off of using my communication skills to expand into aspects of gaming not solely related to winning tournaments. Thanks for all the positive words and feedback.
Definitely, I agree with that metric and that’s why I am such a fan of Volcarona at the moment. After a Quiver Dance it runs through a ton of Pokemon and OHKOs both Aegislash and Amoonguss. And yeah man accuracy is one of the topics I really want to cover. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can make a max-accuracy team and only have a negligible drop in damage output. With the right stat-up moves, those teams can even hit harder than conventional teams with no accuracy restriction.
Thanks for all the feedback so far. Thanks to Huy for helping to get this up.I have a lot of ideas in my head for my next article (one more is already written), but I want to see how this conversation develops first. I look forward to a continued discussion of Hyper Offense!
Then again Swagger can cause problems even for Raichu and Manectric. But in the end is how you play around that matters
Very nice article, definitely a good read. Will be interesting to see what future ones will cover.
Admittedly, I was one of those players that called hyper offense brain dead and a button pressing simulator, but I was a stall player for years when I still played singles. This article was a nice revelation into the theory behind offensive teams and gave me a greater appreciation for them. Excellent work!
Enjoyable read, especially for the beginning of a new Battle Spot season.
And now that you’ve mentioned Volcarona, I’m interested in tinkering with the bug in a hyper offense team for the next couple weeks
Keep up the good work man. We need high quality content from high quality players like yourself
Really good article and video. I’m using a hyper offensive team and the idea of pins is cemented in the way I play the team
I took a lot of time to read the article, and the Hyper Offense philosophy has already won a place in my heart just because of the continuous offensive pressure it provides. I can back opponents into a corner and force them to make sub-optimal plays or risk massive damage. I really want to thank you, BadIntent, because this article has proved really helpful.