Published on August 4th, 2015 | by FamousDeaf13
A Deafinite Victory: Top 4 in Melbourne Regional and Australia National
Hello! My name is Jackson Lakey, but some of you might know me as FamousDeaf. I’ve played competitive Pokemon since late 2011, with my best friend Nicholas Steer (Flared Ghost) who initially introduced me to the VGC format and I loved it.
Over the past few years, I’ve watched the best players on YouTube, Pokemon Showdown and Live tournaments on Nugget Bridge, and I’ve learnt a lot of stuff from them. In 2013, Australia finally got events that were sanctioned and contributed towards the World Championships. I was a semi-finalist in the Melbourne Regional and top 16 in the National for that year. The format for the events that year were unfortunately single-elimination, but things improved with the structure of events moving ahead to 2014 and this year.
While I was testing on Pokemon Showdown for VGC 2014 I came to find I hated the format because it restricted me too much. I couldn’t find any teams that I completely enjoyed using, and while Charizard-Y/Garchomp or Mega Tyranitar/Amoonguss were decent for me, I still was not 100% satisfied. I had no passion and no motivation for VGC 2014. I didn’t have a good result from either regional or national events in 2014. I decided to have a long break until the next format because of it.
When I found out the format for this year, I came back from my self-imposed break. I really enjoy the format and I wanted to get good results from the regional and national events I planned to attend. Before regionals, I knew I needed to build a good team and test it with the help from the Delphox Cubs. As a result of my preparation, I made top 4 at the Melbourne regional and I was pretty happy about it.
When the Australia National was announced to be a Best-of-three Swiss, me and fellow Australian CatGonk went absolutely crazy on Facebook and Twitter.
Australia Metagame analysis:
Australians have this massive love affair with using Mega Kangaskhan, Breloom, Landorus-T, Thundurus-I, Heatran, Sylveon and Suicune, so these were key Pokemon to bear in mind while team-building. I knew I wanted to have a good match-up against the common archetypes such as Sun, Rain, Trick Room and general good-stuff teams.
Australia’s metagame also tends to have some unorthodox choices; they used random Pokemon such as Whiscash, Serperior and other lesser used options in the regional events. I wanted to make sure to not lose against those sorts of teams.
Because of the nature of best-of-three swiss is affecting players’ decision-making, most would want to go with the safe Mega Kangaskhan and friends, standard sand team or other team archetypes. The Best-of-three format would help to remove a significant portion of the gimmicks and unorthodox Pokemon choices.
Teambuilding and Decision Process:
I was testing a lot of various cores such as Mega Salamence/Raikou, Mega Metagross/Hydreigon/Landorus-T, Mega Charizard-Y/Landorus-T, Mega Kangaskhan/Clefable and lot of other things.
I used this team in the PokeMelbourne tournament and came 2nd overall. This was a really good team and suited my play-style. However the metagame had shifted, with Mega Metagross much weaker compared to the start of the season due to Aegislash, Heatran, Scrafty as well as the Japanese sand team. The team itself was also really weak to Mega Charizard-Y with Icy Wind support and Rain teams in general. I decided to scrap that team.
I used this team on a WiFi Easter VGC tournament, specific to Australian players, where I made top cut and lost to Luke Curtale (Dawg) in top 4. However I was still not happy with my team and decided to scrap it as well as I wasn’t enjoying using it or found it comfortable.
I decided to find a draft team that I was really successful with on Battle Spot, Pokemon Showdown and the live tournaments.
The dual-mega team is a good option but I prefer to have one mega evolution where possible on a team so that I can focus my support around it. Mega Salamence is my favorite mega to use because it’s perfect for my play-style. It has the Intimidate ability, a reliable recovery move in Roost, and is able to set up with a boosting move, have the bulk to survive and is able to hit hard as a result. That’s what I want with everything. I wanted to protect Mega Salamence better otherwise I would have a hard time to find the momentum to deal with the biggest threats
I replaced Mega Charizard-Y for Heatran and Aegislash for Clefairy, and was really happy with how they fit. Heatran is able to control the board with Substitute and is able to do good damage. Clefairy is a good Pokemon for Mega Salamence because of redirecting the myriad of Ice and Dragon-type moves among many to allow Mega Salamence to set up. Heatran/Salamence/Clefairy is a good Dragon/Fairy/Steel core. Additionally Heatran and Salamence have a good offensive and defensive synergy.
I was not happy with Ludicolo and Terrakion because Ludicolo is not good Pokemon anymore. Most of the time, Ludicolo was dead weight and doesn’t carry enough offensive pressure. Terrakion has good STABs and was able to apply offensive pressure and provide a supportive role with Quick Guard and Taunt. However, a combination of its best match-ups, Mega Charizard-Y, Talonflame and Bisharp dropping the usage and the Japanese Sand team becoming a thing, meant that Terrakion struggled to carve out a purpose for itself. Terrakion was a mediocre Pokemon in today’s metagame. Me and the Delphox Cubs had a discussion about them; they agreed with me and so I dropped them both.
I was looking for Pokemon that threatened Water-types, Mega Kangaskhan, Heatran, Tyranitar and many Pokemon besides. Virizion was the perfect Pokemon, acting as a perfect partner for Mega Salamence and Heatran on the team. Virizion and Salamence can also apply a lot of offensive pressure.
At this stage, I had one slot available for my team. I was looking at bulky Water-type such as Swampert, but none really were a good fit onto my team. I needed to find another Pokemon able to give more protection for Mega Salamence to fulfill its role. I was talking with the Delphox Cubs about this, and Catgonk was suggesting me to test Aegislash again now that the team had changed. I decided to have another go with Aegislash. Its ability to provide Wide Guard support to protect my team from spread moves and more switching options was incredibly helpful. I had double Steel-types on the team, Heatran and Aegislash, but they are doing different functions. Aegislash was a perfect Pokemon for my team.
Finally, I finished my team and I was pretty happy about it!
Salamence @ Salamencite
EVs: 52 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 20 SpD / 196 Spe
– Dragon Dance
– Double Edge
Salamence my favorite mega evolution for a good reason. Dragon Dance allows me to set up when it’s next to my re-direction or when the opponent’s Pokemon can’t do much to it and it’s able to bring more offensive pressure after the Dragon Dance. I prefer Double Edge over Return (or Frustration if your that sort of trainer) because it can OHKO a lot of Pokemon at full HP, or after some chip damage with without a boost. It’s able to OHKO bulky Sylveon and some Mega Charizard-Y too. Protect is an obvious move, it allows me to scout an opponents’ move and allow Salamence to mega evolve without taking unnecessary damage. Roost is a filler move that is more defensive. It provides a better end-game option against threats such as Rotom-W, Bisharp (without defiant boost) and Heatran (without Flash Cannon) and provides survivability. While Earthquake is a good move to hit Heatran, my team only has one immunity to Earthquake in Thundurus-T, and it was the least used member in both the regional and national.
Defensively, it has a high chance to survive two Rock Slides from 0+ Attack Terrakion. It’s able to survive some Suicune’s Ice Beam occasionally, depending on the investment into Special Attack, and also some random Hidden Power Ice users, but I normally retreat it rather than taking the hit. The 20 Sp.Def was leftover, it’s allowed to take a special hits bit better. After Dragon Dance, it can outspeed everything relevant in the metagame. It’s able to outspeed Jolly Breloom in Tailwind after a single Dragon Dance which it’s important because Breloom is everywhere in Australia. It is able to 100% OHKO 252 HP Sylveon unless it is EV’d to survive my Mega Salamence’s Double Edge.
Aegislash @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 236 HP / 252 SpA / 20 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Flash Cannon
– Shadow Ball
– King’s Shield
– Wide Guard
Aegislash is a really good Wide Guard user, with plenty of resists and immunities. Aegislash’s ability to resist Ice, Dragon and Fairy-type moves, as well as Rock Slide are really important factors for my team. It has a nice synergy with Salamence by being able to protect my Salamence from spread moves plus the Ice and Dragon-type moves. Wide Guard is one of the best moves in VGC at the moment; it’s really important to have.
Aegislash’s move-set is straightforward, the Weakness Policy is used as Aegislash is able to take a ‘Super Effective’ move and can retaliate hard. I wanted my Aegislash to outspeed other Aegislash, as Mega Salamence’s Double Edge and Aegislash’s Shadow Ball onto opposing 252HP Aegislash comes pretty close to a guaranteed knockout. I’m not that bothered whether the Sylveon is faster or slower than my Aegislash, its unlikely to be a threat in the long run.
I’m almost always bringing Aegislash against Trick Room teams because it is able to threaten Cresselia while being slower than it. Wide Guard is amazing in Trick Room match-up, it’s able to protect my team from Abomasnow, Camerupt and Rhyperior as they are the main Trick Room sweepers that are seen.
Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Heat Wave
– Earth Power
My Heatran is a pretty standard set. I love Heatran’s ability to control the board with Substitute. I felt like outspeeding Breloom and Smeargle are really important. I couldn’t see how I needed the Modest nature to have more damage output and Timid Heatran felt like a good choice for my team. Substitute allows me to set up on Amoonguss that try to get off a crafty Spore and provides me the potential to set-up a better match-up against Trick Room.
I tested Flamethrower and Fire Blast for Heatran’s primary STAB, but I feel like spread moves are an important tool to have on a team, and the team would otherwise lack a spread move. I needed it because it’s able to do some damage on both opposing Pokemon to allow Mega Salamence, Thundurus-T and Virizion to pick up key knockouts. Earth Power is there to hit opposing Heatran, Tyranitar and those Aegislash that attempt to use Wide Guard.
Virizion @ Life Orb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Close Combat
– Leaf Blade
– Stone Edge
The fact that Mega Salamence and Heatran have problems with Water-types such as Rotom-W and Suicune, the need for something to cover this issue. Hence choosing Virizion for the team, who can deal with them effectively. I used Virizion over Breloom because the 108 base Speed is really important to outspeed Mega Kangaskhan, Mega Charizard-Y and Timid Heatran since it’s become popular, all of which usually outspeed Breloom. I also don’t really like Breloom either, because it doesn’t fit my playstyle. Virizion is a decent Pokemon to deal with Thundurus-I, able to largely tank hits and reply back with Stone Edge.
Mega Salamence and Virizion has one of the best offensive synergies in my team, they cover each other to beat a lot of Pokemon. Life Orb is needed to hit extra hard with its various attacks; to OHKO Mega Kangaskhan unless it runs a crazy bulky setup. The move-set itself is standard. I was testing various moves in the 3rd slot such as Taunt, Quick Guard and Double Kick. I felt that hitting Thundurus-I and Mega Charizard-Y with Stone Edge is important, thus I chose Stone Edge. The Grass-Type legendary continues not to disappoint.
Clefairy @ Eviolite
Ability: Friend Guard
Evs: 236 HP / 212 Def / 12 SpA / 44 SpD / 4 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
I used this Clefairy in Regionals because its Friend Guard ability is amazing and provided support to my other team members. Moonblast is just for chip damage without being completely dead-weight from Taunt. The remainder of the move-set is straightforward enough. The EV spread is one from the Nugget Bridge forum that I found. It can survive Bisharp’s Iron Head, Aegislash’s Flash Cannon a large majority of the time, Mega Kangaskhan’s Double-Edge, Mega Salamence’s Double-Edge and Life Orb Heatran’s Flash Cannon most of the time.
I was not happy with Clefairy in Regional because it’s being dead-weight in lot of matches in the Regional. It lacks any presence in the team preview stage, because it has a lack of Ice Beam, Sitrus Berry and the Unaware ability. I was desperate for Ice Beam and Sitrus Berry, so I decided to replace it for its evolved brethren for those benefits.
Clefable @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 244 HP / 164 Def / 28 SpA / 68 SpD / 4 Spe
– Ice Beam
– Follow Me
– Helping Hand
Clefable is one of the best Follow Me users in the format. This Clefable is a carbon copy of DaWoblefet’s, with investment in what it needs to survive hits from Bisharp, Life Orb Heatran’s Flash Cannon the majority of the time and Aegislash’s Flash Cannon. In response, it’s able to OHKO Landorus-T the vast majority of the time which is very important with it being practically everywhere. I feel like Helping Hand is important move to allow other team members to OHKO Pokemon such as Cresselia and Suicune, among other bulky options.
Sitrus Berry is an important item for Clefable because I want to be able to use multiple Follow Me’s compared to those that run Rocky Helmet and Safety Goggles. Being able to support for more turns with Helping Hand to boost my Pokemon’s attacks also cannot be understated.
Follow Me allows to Mega Salamence to orchestrate my plans to set up without worrying about any potential Ice Beam’s and Dragon-type moves. You never want to let Salamence set up and sweep or rack up a lot of damage your team if your an opponent, so Clefable allows me to apply pressure via Salamence. It’s not just Mega Salamence though, it can support everything on my team. It proved to be a pretty good replacement for Nationals, I am really happy with how it worked out.
Thundurus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Grass Knot
– Volt Switch
Thundurus-T is my least used team member, but it’s good at what it needs to do. Thundurus-T is important to use against Landorus-T, Thundurus-I, Mega Salamence, Mega Charizard-Y, Suicune and Talonflame. It’s able to protect my Salamence from Thunderbolt and Thunder Wave, as well as the other big threats in Thundurus-I, Zapdos and Rotom-W.
The move-set are standard for a Choice set. Grass Knot is important because it has an 88% chance to one-shot 4/0 Terrakion, Swampert and Rhyperior. Volt Switch is a good move for my team, it lets me to maintain or gain momentum with it. I can switch out Salamence and use Volt Switch then switch in Salamence for second Intimidate or one of the Steel-types on my team. I wanted to keep it simple with Thundurus-T’s EV spread because I couldn’t see how it needed any bulk.
If I were to use my team again, I would look to test Zapdos, Thundurus-I and Rotom-W in this slot to provide better support and switching options, which my team would appreciate.
Heatran and Aegislash are the Steel-types here but as I mentioned earlier, they serve completely different functions. They both provide good switching options. Aegislash is able to use Wide Guard to protect Heatran from Earthquake. Heatran and Aegislash can be used as a lead against Landorus-T, force it to use Superpower on Heatran and therefore Salamence can switch in, then look to set up on it or Intimidate Landorus-T to allow Aegislash to take a -1 Earthquake and OHKO Landorus-T or the other opposing Pokemon with +2 Shadow Ball or Flash Cannon.
Salamence/Heatran/Aegislash was used a lot in both the Regional and National events; they can win a lot of games against inexperienced and experienced players, and they are a really good core to use.
This core provides a lot of offensive pressure by being able to set-up Substitute and Dragon Dance. Virizion is able to beat Water-types, Tyranitar, Heatran, Mega Kangaskhan and Hydreigon relatively easily. Mega Salamence is able to beat Talonflame, Sylveon, Landorus-T and soften up a lot of physical attackers with Intimidate. Heatran is able to beat Aegislash and switch into Mega Charizard-Y, with the possibility of catching a Flash Fire boost. They all cover each other offensively and defensively so well.
Clefable is arguably one of the best options in providing a good support, and on this team its role is protecting Mega Salamence with Follow Me to allow it to Dragon Dance. This is a duo I often brought to games against someone who was weak or completely unprepared to deal with Mega Salamence and Clefable.
Honestly, every member of my team was able to work together, and no single member was the MVP because everything worked so well between them.
This combination of Pokemon is one of my worst match-ups, and one that understandably I really hate. Mega Gardevoir is able to set up Trick Room or fire off an Icy Wind with Scrafty’s providing Fake Out support. Aegislash wouldn’t be able to protect my team from Hyper Voice for long because of Scrafty and Heatran. Both Matthew Jiwa (JiwaVGC) and Callum Witt (CruiseVGC) beat me with this setup in the Swiss Rounds. I couldn’t see how I can win against that team unless I make some crazy plays. That match-up is pretty harsh and borders on being an auto-loss, depending on the teammates that complete the roster.
I don’t like to play against Rotom-W, as I need to rely on Virizion and Aegislash to deal with it. I could try to get end-game scenario with Mega Salamence on Rotom-W. Wherever possible though, I need to remove Rotom-W as soon as possible, but its not biggest problem like Mega Gardevoir/Scrafty/Heatran.
I don’t like to play against Rotom-H either to be fair, but it depends on the item it holds. I don’t have any safe switch for it’s STABs and I don’t have a 100% accurate move that hits it for Super Effective damage — only Stone Edge does — which is an issue. If it has the Safety Goggles, it’s a bit easier to deal with it because I can damage it with Mega Salamence, Virizion and Heatran. Clefable can help by providing redirection on the Will-o-Wisp’s and attacks in general. If it’s using the Choice Scarf however, it’s worse for me, basically I would need to OHKO it quickly. Fortunately enough, I only had to battle one Rotom-H at Nationals.
You may be sitting there thinking that my team is bit weak to Landorus-T, but it has a good match-up against it because Heatran can be sat next to Aegislash and threaten to Wide Guard. I also have options all round; Clefable’s Ice beam, Mega Salamence in general, Thundurus-T and Virizion are all great against it.
- My team has a really good match-up against Sun teams.
- I need to scout out my opponents’ Mega Charizard-Y to see whether it has Hidden Power Ground.**
- I need to find out what items are being held on opposing Heatran and Landorus-T if the opposing team has them.
- Aegislash can be really useful if the sun team is reliant on spread moves, particularly from the likes of Landorus-T, Mega Charizard-Y and Heatran who are commonly seen.
- Mega Salamence and Heatran are almost always brought in the battle with such a team.
- Salamence and Clefable is a pretty good lead against the common Politoed and Ludicolo/Kingdra and using Follow Me and Dragon Dance then allows Salamence to outspeed Ludicolo. Mega Salamence is unable to outspeed Kingdra after a Dragon Dance, but I can use Double-Edge to OHKO Kingdra anyways.
- Aegislash is pretty important if the rain team have either Mega Metagross or Mega Mawile.
- Thundurus-T is a good Pokemon to bring against the rain team with the likes of Landorus-T and Thundurus-I.
- Virizion is a good Pokemon to use against a rain team with Mega Kangaskhan.
Mega Kangaskhan/Thundurus-I or Zapdos/Landorus-T/friends:
- This is one of the common team archetypes in the Australian metagame because it’s really successful and easy to use. It’s really important to prepare against them.
- Sometimes I don’t bring Mega Salamence against this kind of team, because Landorus-T can Intimidate it, with Thundurus-I and Heatran (if it has Flash Cannon) can threaten it.
- Aegislash and Heatran make a really good duo against teams that are similar to Chiron’s regional winning team, because it can limit the damage taken from Sylveon and Landorus-T.
- Virizion can be brought against this type of team as it can threaten Mega Kangaskhan and Heatran with Close Combat and the fact it outspeeds both under normal circumstances.
- Clefable can be helpful against Thundurus-I in combination with Mega Kangaskhan and Heatran. By using Follow Me, it can allow me to set up Substitute with my Heatran or assist Virizion without needing to worry about Thunder Wave.
- Thundurus-T is just really good against a double genies lead. Other than that, it’s not usually worth bringing.
- It’s a mirror match.
- I need to scout out whether the opposing Mega Salamence has Earthquake. Sometimes Heatran can prove to be really good against this team strategy.
- Thundurus-T is an amazing Pokemon against Mega Salamence because it outspeeds and use Hidden Power Ice before Salamence can do anything… unless it’s next to Clefable.
- Virizion is not usually bring against that archetype unless they have Terrakion/Bisharp/Suicune/Salamence pretty much on a single team. I did encounter them in Regionals. As long as I can remove Salamence from the occasion before I can bring it out, then it is a valuable pick.
- This squad has a pretty decent matchup unless Mega Gardevoir, Scrafty and Heatran are all together, as previously mention in the threat list.
- Heatran and Aegislash are the best Pokemon my team has against Trick Room. Wide Guard is just amazing against Rhyperior, Abomasnow, Sylveon and many other Trick Room sweepers. Heatran is able to set up Substitute before Trick Room is set up, providing added security.
- Mega Salamence and Clefable can be brought against Trick Room due to Intimidate and putting pressure on a possible Scrafty and Amoonguss lead. Clefable can also use Follow Me to let Mega Salamence get free damage with Double Edge or even set up a Dragon Dance in last turn(s) of Trick Room.
- This can be a tricky matchup because while a team of Heatran, Aegislash, Thundurus-T and Virizion is good against Mega Salamence/Excadrill/Tyranitar/Rotom-W/Aegislash/Amoonguss, they in return are good against my team.
- Heatran and Aegislash is amazing against the pair of Excadrill and Salamence because they are able to limit sweeping with spread moves.
- Virizion is normally a good pick against a sand team, as long as I can rid of Salamence and Aegislash specifically.
- Salamence and Clefable rarely brought, because the conventional sand team has 3-4 Pokemon that is resistant to Flying-type attacks. In addition, Excadrill and Aegislash effectively helps to render Clefable useless.
Mega Venusaur team:
- Mega Venusaur is uncommon in the Australian metagame but my team is usually has a good matchup against teams built around this behemoth.
- Heatran and Mega Salamence are almost 100% picks because they can force Mega Venusaur to play really defensively or switch out. The plan for the endgame is to force a situation where it’s their Mega Venusaur against either one of my Mega Salamence or Heatran.
- Aegislash is useful, it’s another Pokemon to switch into Mega Venusaur and is able to protect my Mega Salamence and Heatran from any potential spread moves such as from Landorus-T.
My experience was amazing for both the Regional and National events I attended. The events ran smoothly, so thanks a lot to Jamie and his staff! I am looking forward for next season. I can say I’m really happy with my strong performance at Regionals and Nationals because I came back really strong from my horrible season that I endured last year.
I had some amazing matches across these events. I had one of my best battles with (Yourf) in the top 16 at Nationals, I just wish it was on stream or I could have saved the battle video of it. It was nail-biting and were really close matches. I also had a good battle against Sean Ronzani and Matthew Roey (RoeySK) in the Quarter and Semi-Finals of the National.
The staff asked me to battle with CatGonk for some exhibition battles. We weren’t serious in that battle. The battle had a huge amount of luck such as Ice beam freezing Zapdos and it let Mega Salamence set up a second Dragon Dance then the game was over quickly. His Heatran’s Flamethrower was devastating on my Virizion switch in. We had a lot of fun though and enjoyed our result, it was the perfect way to finish the amazing days we had.
- The Delphox Cubs who helped me to build a team and suggested some Pokemon to try. They were able to provide the legendaries I needed to help me to build a team.
- (Dawg), (MitchVGC), (Yourf), (Zyihk), (BaseIn2), (ZeldaVGC), (UchihaX96), (ha1cy0n), (JiwaVGC) and many people who made the weekend so much fun and being able to catch up with them. We usually spend time chilling on a group Facebook chat. It’s sometime less than savory but it’s really fun nonetheless, and they did help me with a few things such as Virizion.
- Jamie, the Nintendo staff and TCPi whom organized the Regional and National events. They were run very smoothly and have improved from last year. I can’t wait to see you organizing the events for next year, I’m sure they will be bigger and better.
- Some people from Nugget Bridge and on Twitter who were supporting me during these events. I got sent numerous private messages saying congrats on making the Semis at Nationals. I really appreciate those who supported me.
- A big thank you also to Zoe (Throwra) for the absolutely awesome article art! I really appreciate how much character the art has.