Published on August 14th, 2015 | by Boomguy


From Wannabe to Professional: Asia Pacific Circuit Top 2 Report

Hello and thank you for clicking on this report.  My name is Phil Nguyen, also known as Boomguy.  I am a 27 year old part time professional Pokemon VGC player from Brisbane, Australia. OK, I don’t get paid to play Pokemon video games but I treat it as my profession so I can become the world champion. Most of us on this website dream to be the Pokemon world champion, striving to achieve our childhood dreams of being a Pokemon Master recognized by the Pokemon Company Hall of Fame.  Some of you may recall my previous report on November 2014, followed me on Twitter, seen me stream on my Twitch channel, moderate the VGC chat room on Pokemon Showdown or maybe you heard me shout out ‘C’MON!!’ at live Pokemon events. Yeah that was me Australia, Singapore & 2014 worlds.

In this report I will go through a brief story of my of online & regional events at the beginning of the VGC 2015 season where I was in a really dark place with depression.  Then I will show you how I turned my season around for the better at the most important national events where I qualified for the paid invite for the 2015 VGC World championships.

Goals for VGC 2015

The Championship Points system debuted in the Asia Pacific region (Not including Japan or Korea) for VGC this year, with the top 18 players receiving invites to the world championships and the top 2 getting paid invites. My aim was to be in the top 18 at least, and I would do whatever I needed to make it possible. I also wanted to qualify for the Nugget Bridge Invitational again and win the Nugget Bridge Major.  My qualification for the Nugget Bridge Invitational this season was going to be a much more difficult challenge for me, as all the live events were now Swiss tournaments during the weekends with each likely to take 3-4 hours to complete.  My work schedule meant I was only able to play a live event every 2 weeks.  So my best chance of qualifying was to earn my place through the Major or the Dodrio Cup.

ORAS Release and the Rest of 2014

In my previous report I mentioned I was only going to play ORAS for a week, to set up breeding in this game and get to a stage where I could soft-reset for the good legendary Pokemon for the VGC 2015 format. That didn’t happen because I forgot it’s best not to do a career move during December and the 1st week of the new year, so I stayed at my current job during that period.  So I continued playing by testing the new Mega Pokemon & played the Nugget Bridge Circuit online tournaments during December. It ended up being a horrible start to the circuit, bubbling out in a live tournament and a shocking 2-10 record in the Holiday Scramble challenge using a Whimsicott, Terrakion team with Mega Houndoom.

VGC 2015 Team Building Evolution

During the 2014 season all the teams I used were with Pokemon that were either different, that I like or could deal with the meta game.  Then my team building went to Pokemon I liked with Pokemon that were good. How ever I regressed in January by picking Pokemon I liked, plus I liked to be tricky on some Pokemon sets.  I had a team with Mienshao with Regenerator, Thundurus-I, Mega Abomasnow, Heatran, Swampert & Cresselia with Trick Room. This team did work in a best of 1 format on Battle Spot, especially against good players like Billa and Bopper who I defeated on Battle Spot. But it unfortunately didn’t work against some oblivious people who don’t know that Mienshao’s most common ability is Inner Focus and they use Fake Out in it and tends to lead to a loss. That made me realize to not use the tricky stuff at an open tournament where there are more casual players than good players, especially in Australia.

My next team I created wasn’t much better.  It contained Aegislash, Milotic, Staraptor, Mega Heracross, Entei and Parchirisu. Whilst I was playing with this team on Pokemon Showdown, a wonderful man from Switzerland named Daryl Sprenger (Dr Sugus) took interest on what I was using and we helped each other build this team to it’s potential.  While he found success with the team at his local Premier Challenge events in Europe, I found that it instantly failed against the inexperienced players at a local Brisbane Bisharps January VGC event.  I kept trying to use the team due to Daryl’s success but I didn’t feel comfortable playing with it because most of the Pokemon were slow.

With the struggle of creating teams and the Nugget Bridge Major about to start in February,  I decided to play with more standard Pokemon so I could get an understanding on why they are popular and what other trainers were using to counteract them. I was using Mega Kangaskhan, Choice Scarf Landorus-T, Bulky Thundurus with Sitrus Berry, Sash Bisharp and a mixed Life Orb Blaziken.  I left the 6th slot open to anything because I was struggling to find a good fit.  By using this team my results on Pokemon Showdown and Battle Spot started to improve and my knowledge for the meta game was growing. Because of this, I decided to use the Kangaskhan and friends team for the Nugget Bridge Major because it was good for thrashing the more casual players and it was good enough to challenge the good players.

Let the Real VGC 2015 Competitions Begin

The first major tournament of my VGC 2015 season was the Nugget Bridge Major in the beginning of February. The tournament, an online tournament that lasted three months this year, attracted over 1000 players worldwide and the tournament was split into 4 flights playing 9 rounds of best of 3 Swiss.  I was excited to play a tournament this big and I wanted to test myself against the world.  By the time tournament started my 6th Pokemon on the aforementioned team was a Cloud Nine Golduck to counter the weather teams, as I had a huge weakness to them.  My opponent for round 1 was against YouTuber Nipps from New York. Nipps is generally an entertainer more than a serious Pokemon player and he got a real taste of playing a world quality professional player as I gave him his most depressing 2-0 thrashing which you can watch here. Prior to our scheduled match I was watching his YouTube videos and took notes on how he battled which helped me to get an edge.

Back at home the Brisbane Bisharps hosted another VGC throw down in February. By this tournament the 6th Pokemon had changed to Mega Latios so I was running dual megas in a team for the first time in my VGC competitive life. The reason for changing Golduck to Mega Latios was because it wasn’t doing well against the weather teams and Latios has good bulk and offense to survive the weather match up. This event was the event to test my local city of how it can handle against the most standard Pokemon in the meta game.  They handled it really well since most of my matches gave me a good test as I lost 2 games in the Swiss rounds including to fellow 2015 Worlds qualifier mustytkd.  I made it to the top cut stages where the matches were best of 3, winning my first match 2-0 then took revenge against Musty in the semis. A hard fought 2-1 victory in the final against an anti-meta team followed shortly after.

Round 2 of the Major took me to Indonesia and with some information from lolfailsnail helped me take a 2-0 victory as he lost to my opponent in the previous round. Round 3 took me to Chile where I played SebaGomez and this was when I started streaming.  Seba likes to put on a show and I think his nerves got to him as he lost to me 2-0.  I thought I considered myself lucky for avoiding a well known player but that all ended in round 4 as I took on German Lajos Kowalewski . This was going to be a tough battle against a player who I admire and look up to. When I know I have tough competitor in front of me I repeat this quote “To be the best. You have to beat the best”.  This quote helps me take on the challenge and makes me believe that I am the best.  I saved this battle on my Twitch channel here to remind myself of this moment.  In turn 1 of game 1 I was so nervous that I ran out of time. I was happy how I almost recovered to save the game but the Assault Vest Conkeldurr was too bulky that it survived Mega Latios Psychic. In game 2 my fear got in the way that I didn’t stick to a game plan; he consequently dominated the match and I suffered my first loss for the Major.

With my new found understanding of the meta game, I decided to create a 2nd team just in case I was playing someone who wanted to counter team my main team for Nugget Bridge Major. What I learnt about most of the popular Pokemon is that they are strong offensively and defensively and with the right support they can create pressure. So I decided to test what I learnt into a fun team for the February International Challenge, which was the perfect tournament to test a new team as there was no points on offer.  This is what the team looked like for the tournament.

I won’t go in depth with the team as a whole but I’ll explain the reason for Mega Audino.  I tested Mega Audino when I finished the story in ORAS. Back then I made a supportive Mega Audino with Trick room which didn’t work.  I wanted to re-test it and this time I made an offensive set.  I realised that Mega Audino is one of those Pokemon that doesn’t need Protect; it’s really bulky and I was using Draining Kiss to recover HP. I put Hyper Beam to get KO’s on Pokemon, Fire Blast to help damage Steel types and Calm Mind to increase it’s special bulk and offensive pressure.   What I found with Mega Audino is while it can bulk attacks well, do some decent damage and potentially recover HP from the Draining Kiss, I found getting critical hits against me really hurt Mega Audino. Without Calm Mind set-ups, it was hard to deal good damage. In many respects it’s similar to a Cresselia.  There were multiple games where I couldn’t bring Mega Audino. I finished the International Challenge with a 19-11 record.  I also used this team in March Brisbane Bisharps event as a joke because I didn’t want to win again.  I made one small change by putting Icy Wind on Ludicolo for speed control and surprisingly I won the event.

It was my Birthday weekend during the March Brisbane Bisharps event, so afterwards I had a laser tag party with my fellow Pokemon players and friends outside of the game. So going into my 5th round against Colombian Albus Magus it was the day after my party. I was using my Kangaskhan team but was mentally fatigued in our battle. I didn’t have the brain power to figure out a strategy for game 2 after learning his Specs Sylveon was max Speed Timid and that it out-sped my Adamant max Speed Bisharp and lost game 1 and 2. I was therefore in a familiar spot from last years Major where I lost 2 matches at the same stage. The fight to stay alive got scary in round 6 when I was paired up with a Japanese player.  The game was played at midnight my time so I got a coffee at night to make sure I was mentally aware for the do or die match. After losing game 1, I adjusted well enough to win game 2 and won game 3 by making some gutsy calls that paid off.  Round 7 was against American LPFan which certainly made making the cut harder. I was considering using a different team for this battle because I know LPFan knows who I am and may potentially counter team me even though he has never done that before.  By the time we had our battle I ended up using the Kanga team because I wasn’t confident in the 2nd team and I didn’t want to risk it since I was fighting for my survival in the tournament.  I lost game 1,  LPFan disconnected in game 2 and RNG was too kind to me in game 3.

In round 8 I played against American LudiImpact and again similar to playing LPFan I knew he knows me and this time I had a 2nd team ready.  In this secondary team I wanted to include my favorite Pokemon Delphox which is a real difficult thing to do but I managed to build a team that I was satisfied with.  The 2nd team contained Life orb Delphox, Mega Salamance, Clefairy, Roserade with HP ground holding the Expert Belt, Sitrus Berry Swampert and a Sash Bisharp. Once again I lost game 1 learning about his team.  In game 2 I disconnected so by the rules that meant I lose, but LudiImpact was a champion and allowed a replay to the same conditions as we left off.  So upon resumption I won game 2 and in game 3 he brought his Perish Trap mode.  He successfully trapped my first 2 Pokemon but I knew I could still win the match with my last 2 Pokemon. However, I forgot he had 3 Pokemon left and I ignored his Politoed because I didn’t think it was a threat. He proceeded to Perish Song my last 2 Pokemon and he managed to survive at the end of the song.  I didn’t regret my Pokemon choices it was battling that let me down and this is something I really want to improve on.

Let the Championship Points Hunger Games Begin

The first Australian/New Zealand CP events kicked off with the regional circuit in April, 6 regional events held on consecutive weekends.  After looking at my work schedule and finances I booked myself for four regional events to give myself a buffer in case I failed badly at one of the events, as there is a 3 best finish limit for regional events. I was scheduled to work at the first regional event in my home city of Brisbane, but managed to make a deal with one of my co-workers in order to go. I didn’t want to miss the event because I wanted to reclaim my home title that I won in 2013 when VGC first started officially in Australia.

I planned to use my Kanga and friends team at the regional, but I replaced the Mega Latios for a good old Calm Mind Moonlight stalling Cresselia since our regional events are untethered.  Thanks Dawg for this advice. Days before the regional I played my 9th round dead match of the Nugget Bridge Major with the regional team against Brazilian Henricosta and I defeated him 2-0, so I was feeling confident prior to the event. Brisbane regional had seven rounds of swiss; I won my first 3 matches followed by a loss to a Quash Sableye team in round 4.  I proceeded to recover and win round 5 & 6 with my round 6 match being a carbon copy of my round 4 match that I lost to because the 2 players were friends.  In the last round I was paired down and lost that match and bubbled out of the top 8 cut finishing 9th.  If I had won the match no x-2’s would have made the cut.

Going into the next regional event Sydney I was starting to lose confidence in the team I used in Brisbane and I wanted to use the Delphox team because I was getting better results in practice. But I stuck to my theory that standard Pokemon will be best against Australians and it was half right.  At this event there was 8 rounds of Swiss and the quality of players was much stronger than my home city. In round 1 I was paired against a player I knew that likes to use anti-meta Pokemon. He almost defeated me,  were it not for his Arcanine missing a key Will-O-Wisp and that I won a key mind game call with Sucker Punch from my Bisharp against a faster user. Round 2 was an easy win as my opponent had no answer to Life Orb Mixed Blaziken but in round 3 I got a real challenge against the eventual champion Daniel Pol (Chiron). I got thrashed in 5 turns because I was not expecting Trick Room from a Cresselia when at the time most were using Icy Wind or Thunder Wave for speed control.  I recovered in round 4 to get a win but returning from the lunch break I lost in round 5 to a level 1 Aron/Sandstorm team followed by another loss in round 6 to heavy rain.  I continued playing in the tournament in the hope I could finish in the top 32, which I did by winning my last 2 games.

My next CP event was the April International Challenge.  I was really frustrated about my poor result in Sydney that I wanted to make another team that was suited for a best of 1 format and something I would use in my next regional event in Melbourne. Some of you may remember me streaming my IC run on my Twitch stream and this is the team I used for the competition.

April IC 2015

It was another disappointing tournament as I went 20-10 record in the tournament with a ranking of 583rd in the world. Looking at the team now it was poorly built. There was no speed control, although surprisingly I did get to a final of a side event at Australian Nationals with it, eventually losing to Chris G’s real team.

So it was back to the drawing board again, building a new team for the Melbourne regional which was on the weekend after the International Challenge and I was really struggling.  When the International Challenge results came out. I saw that my best American fan & friend Legacy finished 4th overall in the International Challenge. I asked him for a copy of his team, got testing & made minor adjustments.  The team was Mega Kangaskhan, Sitrus Suicune with Tailwind, Sub Lefties Heatran, Specs Sylveon, Breloom and AV Landorus-T.  The minor change I did was increasing his Sylveon speed to out-speed Terrakion in Tailwind since his IC spread was designed for max Speed Mega Kangaskhan in Tailwind.  I really liked what I saw and I grew comfortable with the team quickly so my confidence was back on a high going into the Melbourne regional, where Australia’s largest Pokemon community is.

Going into the regional with the 4th best team in the West in a best of 1 tournament that only just happened last weekend and none of my Australian rivals knew what a powerful team I have in my game.  I was thinking this tournament is going to be mine. What could possibly stop me?  While waiting for our round 1 matches to start my opponent Zak Tober (Zakdos) who knew who I was, but I only recognize his name through Facebook posts in Australian groups.  He said to me “I’m about to get a thrashing am I?” in the most deflated voice.  So I was feeling good that I was going to win my first game when you got an opponent with no confidence in himself.  Once the battle started he made an excellent call by using Earthquake with his Choice Scarf Metagross against my Kangaskhan and Sylveon, which I swapped into Heatran and it survived.  But things went down hill as he set up Trick Room on his Trevenant and I couldn’t recover.  I was so upset that I slammed my fist onto the table in disgust that I got out played by an inexperienced player. Turns out he went 7-1 in the end finishing 2nd in Swiss, so major props to him.

I was still angry with myself after the match that everyone could see in my face that my ego was damaged.  When round 2 was posted I regrouped as it was still possible to make top cut, but meant I must win all my remaining matches.  Round 2 opponent was a complete random to me and he had a fairly decent looking team on preview.  I got myself in a commanding lead setting up tailwind and getting myself to +2 attack on Kanga with his Terrakion KO and his Aegi behind a sub who wouldn’t like to be snarled.  In the next turn he protected his Raikou from getting KOed from Kangaskhan but my Snarl missed Aegislash and it proceeded to KO my Kangaskhan. I was fine with that because I got Landorus in the back and Tailwind is up. I sent in my Landorus and I was 100% sure he wouldn’t have Wide Guard on Aegislash having already revealed Substitute and Flash Cannon, so surely his last 2 moves were King Shield and Shadow Ball. Also since my team has zero ground-immunity partners surely he wouldn’t think I would be crazy enough to Earthquake my team mate.  Then I got a shock of my life when he reveals Wide Guard and KO’s my Suicune, then I got to see the Shadow Ball the turn after. So I lost to a King Shieldless Aegislash. I got full on depressed with tears after that match because I knew my tournament was over. Cutting from 0-2 is near impossible and I didn’t believe he was good enough to get more wins to make my resistance good.

I told Legacy the bad news online, put my hoodie up, ran off to a place where I wanted to be alone and no one could see me crying. Not only I was upset of my loss but I was really down with how my season was going in general because I had achieved just average and bad results. My ego took a huge bruising and I was just lost mentally. I kept saying that I suck, I’m not good enough, I am a loser and whatever negative self talk you can think of.  I decided to play on in an attempt to get some points from the event.  Going into round 3 I had my hoodie up looking and feeling deflated sitting at the back tables alone where all your friends are at the front tables because they were winning. Prior to the start of the match my friend Jesse walked past me and saw the distraught look on my face. So he tried to cheer me up saying “It’s OK”, I snapped back at him and said “It’s over.  I cannot make the top cut now with 2 losses already”. I was facing another Trick Room team in round 3 and with the mental state I was in.  I proceeded to lose the match and of course I wanted to get away to hide myself from the public and cry.

It didn’t take long for my friends to know what happened to me.  First FamousDeaf saw me crying at the spot I choose to hide and he asked “If I was OK” in my best attempt in translating sign language.  Then when I got up to play round 4, walked into the playing area and I saw Luke (Dawg)  & Bockers (Zyihk) along the way.  Luke surprised me with a hug to cheer me up.  It was good to know that I had people to cheer me up.  In Round 4 I defeated my mate Jesse girlfriend Samantha, then we had a lunch break.  After the match Jesse and Sam talked to me to snap me out of my depression which I really appreciated.  One of the keys things to beat depression is to think about others and help them.  At the lunch break I saw Bargens and he was really looking defeated after losing the previous round.  So we chatted about his previous match, talked about what he can do for future matches and I reassured him that he is a good player.  Looks the pep talk did the trick because he didn’t lose another Swiss match defeating Lejn in the final round.

My mood was slightly lifted afterward but I still didn’t want to be in human contact and Jesse saw me sitting alone.  So he invited me to sit with him to have a chat which helped lifted my mood a little. Without Jesse actively looking out for me who knows what could of happened. Thanks from the bottom my heart mate for helping me get out of the darkness and checking up on me through out the event. I did get one good feel good story at the tournament.  I thrashed Yourf in our 6th round match by making gutsy plays at the start of the match that paid off.  I consider Yourf a greatest threat mentally because he is very smart and is mentally strong since he can play very good mind games.

On the plane ride home I was again depressed about my season, too much alone time on flights has that effect, considering how much time into the game I’d invested with very little reward. So I got home, called in sick from work the next day because I got home late, and I was really depressed.  Things didn’t improve the next day at home because I had no energy for my life. Going into work the next morning my fellow co-workers saw me depressed about my weekend. As I was doing my job caring for others problems and solving them, by the end of the shift my mood improved dramatically and I had energy for my life again.

When I got home from work I went though my collection of business improvement books and I decided to start a reading habit of a chapter a day.  So I started reading a new book called “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” by John Maxwell.  By reading the first chapter that night it opened my mind and inspired me for my future as a Professional Pokemon player.  I also restarted listening to some business talks from various entrepreneurs and coaches around the world. That night I choose to listen to a series called “Overcoming Temptation of leadership”.  It made realized why my season was average and also learnt what let me down during the Melbourne regional.  These were things I learnt from my season:

  1. I was assuming I was going to succeed automatically and easily, just because I had some experience of success in the past
  2. My pride literally killed me in Melbourne regional.  It’s good to have confidence but it is dangerous to have too much confidence where you become too arrogant and lazy to improve because you feel like you don’t need to learn.
  3. My battling skills is still my biggest weakness and I need to commit to a growth plan.

So I went into action to improve myself everyday by first of all changing the way I think about life.  I deleted the word easy in my vocabulary because everything we want in life will be hard. The other mental change I needed to do is to balance my confidence and not get arrogant and also committed reading a chapter each day and applying each law into my Pokemon profession. I also limited my Battle Spot to 8 battles a day made sure I was playing like I was in a tournament with a notepad and seated the same way.

I kept using Legacy’s team because I still believed that the team was good and worked in the current metagame. Everyday I was starting to see small improvements that 1 week into my growth the 9th season of Battle Spot ended and I finished in the worlds top 100 for the very first time of my playing career, defeating a mirror match against Legacy and Portuguese player EmbC as my last 2 matches of the season. I was getting excited to test the new and improved Phil at the Adelaide regional that weekend.

BS top 100 first time

Even at Adelaide I made sure I committed myself to growing so I read my book early in the morning I only played 1 or 2 matches on Battle spot prior to leaving for the regional event.  At the regional we played 7 rounds of Swiss.  I won my first match 4-0 then going into round 2 my assumption that a +2 Return Kangaskhan can OHKO Cresselia almost killed me because it lived the attack. Thankfully it stayed asleep so I won the match in the end. In round 3 against Luke (Dawg) the hax was in my favor as I froze his Amoonguss that never thawed.  Luke tried to Swagger me to win the game but to no avail. Round 4 was against Bailey (Bargens) and our teams almost match. However Bailey outplayed me and I brought the wrong Pokemon.  In the fifth round I took on Chris G (TheBatman) and I did have a good start against him but a few wrong moves cost me the match.  So mentally I was a mess going into the next round, but I refocused to win the match with my newly learnt skills of how damage calculation works.  I learnt that Sylveons Pixilate Hyper beam does more damage than Shadow Ball to a Mega Charizard Y.  In the final round I played against Nathan (Cappa) and played the most perfect match against him.  I finished 5-2 and bubbled at 9th for the 2nd time this season scoring 110 CP from the regional circuit.

Bubbling again did kind of hurt me but at least it was better than my Brisbane regional 9th and least I was growing as a trainer, so that is more important to me.  I spent the rest of the weekend watching the German Nationals and Utah Regional in the USA to get inspiration and watch how others battle, which is important for development as a player. On Monday night the pain of my regional failure was still lingering so I spoke to my mate Jesse who helped with my depression in Melbourne about how I was feeling because I didn’t want to keep it to myself and I knew he cared about me. He showed me this video to keep me inspired and I suggest everyone to watch it.

The Completed Team

Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Scrappy
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 140 Atk / 76 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Fake Out
– Sucker Punch
– Return
– Power-Up Punch

This is the original spread that Legacy used in the April IC.  This spread was very good especially against the Kangaskhan mirror matches where I got good recognizing the opponents Kangaskhan spreads.  We noticed in the April IC stats that there was more Kangas were Adamant nature so when I get into a mirror match I had the confidence that my Kanga was going to be faster.  The Jolly nature also surprised some opponents because usually when you see Kanga in a Tailwind team you assume it’s an Adamant Bulky variant.  This spread also helped against the Tailwind mirror-match.  As for the defenses EV’s. It helped against the Jolly Kangaskhan mirror-matches as it can survive Low Kick from Jolly Kangaskhan’s and if other Kangaskhan gets the KO using Low Kick then that means it’s Adamant nature.  I also can survive Max Attack Landorus-T Superpower.

  • 252 Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Low Kick (100 BP) vs. 36 HP / 76 Def Mega Kangaskhan: 154-184 (83.2 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252+ Atk Landorus-T Superpower vs. 36 HP / 76 Def Mega Kangaskhan: 150-178 (81 – 96.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Breloom @ Focus Sash
Ability: Technician
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Protect
– Spore
– Mach Punch
– Bullet Seed

Basic Breloom spread. Breloom was one of my outs for Trick Room. Having a fast Spore user provides great offensive pressure.  With Rage Powder being a common re-director Breloom was a good threat against the partners.

Suicune @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Pressure
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 100 Def / 108 SpA / 20 SpD / 36 Spe
Bold Nature
– Tailwind
– Snarl
– Scald
– Ice Beam

The speed stat is designed to out speed a Choice Scarf Adamant Landorus-T under Tailwind and the Sp. Attack is enough to KO it as well. Bulk-wise it has enough to live Life Orb Thundurus-I and gave many Pokemon a tough time taking down Suicune besides. Snarl is a great move in doubles to annoy special attackers.

  • 252 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. 244 HP / 100+ Def Suicune: 108-127 (52.4 – 61.6%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
  • +1 252 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. 244 HP / 100+ Def Suicune: 160-189 (77.6 – 91.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Thundurus Thunderbolt vs. 244 HP / 20 SpD Suicune: 172-203 (83.4 – 98.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery

Sylveon @ Choice Specs
Ability: Pixilate
Level: 50
EVs: 100 HP / 252 Def / 84 SpA / 4 SpD / 68 Spe
Modest Nature
– Hyper Voice
– Shadow Ball
– Hyper Beam
– Psyshock

The set that Legacy originally gave me had less Speed and more Sp. Attack. The original speed set was only faster than Mega Kangaskhan under Tailwind, but I felt it was important to be faster than Terrakion at least so it doesn’t get Rock Slide flinched by it. Sacrificing some Special Attack for the Speed wasn’t ideal, but it was still enough to KO a max HP Mega Kangaskhan:

84+ SpA Choice Specs Pixilate Sylveon Hyper Beam vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Mega Kangaskhan: 211-250 (99.5 – 117.9%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO

The bulk means Sylveon can survive Neutral Nature max Attack from the 2 most popular mega Pokemon and also Adamant Scizor.  If the megas are Adamant Nature then Intimidate is required to survive these attacks:

  • 252 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. 100 HP / 252 Def Sylveon: 148-175 (80.8 – 95.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 100 HP / 252 Def Sylveon: 153-182 (83.6 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252+ Atk Life Orb Technician Scizor Bullet Punch vs. 100 HP / 252 Def Sylveon: 151-182 (82.5 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Landorus-Therian @ Assault Vest
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 156 HP / 84 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– U-turn
– Knock Off
– Rock Slide
– Earthquake

Same set Legacy gave me since April.  I always liked Landorus but didn’t like being choice-locked into a move.  I was an immediate fan of the Assault Vest variant because it gave me the freedom to pick whatever move was necessary. It can survive all non STAB Ice-type attacks and can survive most rainy water attacks depending on the user.  The EVs are designed to live +1 Life Orb Bisharp Sucker Punch.  I loved having max Speed just in case I have Tailwind up and when people use Icy Wind on it.  I love the mind games against people that don’t know my set.  Most people assume I’m a using the Choice Scarf which helps against the Mega Gengar match-up.  People do ask why no Superpower? Knock off is really handy to have to remove items plus I really needed U-Turn for the Cresselia match up because my other Pokemon cannot damage it well and I can do the old hit and run to it and escape traps.

Rotom-Heat @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 116 HP / 252 SpA / 140 Spe
Modest Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Overheat
– Will-O-Wisp
– Protect

So this is the only Pokemon change I did to Legacy’s team after Adelaide regional.  I found that I was having problems against Amoonguss Spore and Breloom is my only safe Spore switch.  I could of slapped the Safety Goggles to Heatran but I really wanted a Earthquake-immune partner for Landorus and the Heatran mirror is fraught with issues.  The EV spread, 252 Sp Attack is to maximize my chances of OHKO Amoonguss with Overheat, 140 Speed is 2 points over 252 speed adamant Bisharp and the rest was just dumped into HP. The other benefit of this change is that I know have 2 Pokemon immune to Thunder Wave paralysis. So with this change my team was starting to look like Billa’s team because we share 5 Pokemon that are the same but we have different sets on our teams.

Australian Nationals

About 2 weeks prior to Australian Nationals I made a commitment to only play 4 battles on Battle Spot a day whilst focusing on my growth plan. I only missed 2 days of training and I played around 50 games in a 2 week period including 2 games on the morning of Nationals. I was 38 wins and 12 losses on Battle Spot in practice, a 76% win ratio and I was the Australian number 1 on the ladder. The week before Nationals I managed to organize a Premier Challenge with one of my local Tournament Organizers with 3 days notice and we had enough people that turned up to the event.  I went undefeated at the event scoring the important points I needed.  During the week of Nationals we were told  that it was going to be Best of 3 Swiss, which was very good news to me as I prefer the format. I got to work asking my friends from other countries for best of 3 battles so I could get used to that format again without exposing myself to other Aussies. I’d like to thank Pephan from Chile, American pyromaniac720 for using the Japanese Sand team, DrSugus from Switzerland and Britons Wyrms Eye for the training. I got myself to Melbourne on the Thursday morning to enjoy the great food and I spent 2 hours in the library on Thursday, Friday and Saturday reading, growing and practicing.

Round 1: Romany Coventon W 2-0

For the 2nd time in a row at Australian Nationals my first round opponent is a girl.  She was full of energy and fell in love with my Delphox plush, so I continued to use my rugged charm against her. But she was playing rough when we battled and I wasn’t going to let her dominate me.  She started Salamance, Clefairy in both games and things got tricky in the start as she had Dragon Dance on Salamance and her Clefairy had Thunder Wave.  Both matches were hard fought but I got my goal correct to remove the Clefairy quickly so I could set up Tailwind and dominate.

Round 2: Richard Buckley (Arahpthos) W 2-0

Standard-looking team from the preview but there was a few strange things. His Rotom-H was slower than my Suicune and it wasn’t holding a Sitrus Berry, his Amoonguss didn’t have Rocky Helmet and his Mega Kangaskhan was slower than my Landorus.  In game 2 I got the luckiest automatic move selection when I ran out of time in turn 1.  My Rotom-H’s first move is Overheat and it targeted Richard’s Thundurus which KOed it after my Kangaskhan faked it out and I was able to capitalize from that lucky break to win the game.

Round 3: Theron Ho (BlazingSceptile) L 2-1

First time I got to play against a player from Singapore.  In game 1 he took control of the battle by taunting my Suicune with Thundurus and paralyzing my team. His Terrakion was a massive offensive threat with it’s Focus Sash and he was also predicting my switches really well, so I proceed to lose game 1. My plan for game 2 was not to be obvious in the switch outs but I wasn’t on the defensive at the start, as I had the stronger leads with Kangaskhan and Sylveon whilst he led with Thundurus and Bisharp, with Kangaskhan and Terrakion in the back. Despite the good start he did make it tough for me by making some good calls on my obvious plays but I edged him out in the end. In game 3 I lead with Kanga/Sylveon again whilst he started with Bisharp/Terrakion and I was already on the back foot from the start. I decided to Power-Up Punch the Bisharp whilst I was going to swap my Sylveon for Landorus so I could survive the Close Combat and KO the Bisharp before it gets any attack off.  I thought it was a clever idea because not many people are crazy enough to give Bisharp a free Defiant boost. But he actually saw it coming, Sucker Punching and Close Combating my Kangaskhan to knock it out and the game was over.  I was annoyed at myself that I didn’t commit to the gutsy stay-in aggressive play. He kept doing the non-obvious move meaning he wasn’t going to Iron Head my Sylveon. But my stupid fears got in the way and made me pick the safe moves which killed me.

Round 4: Jordan Taskovski W 2-0

This was the case of ‘my Tailwind team is faster than yours’ and ‘why are you using Tailwind and Aegislash in the same team?’  Of course I caught his Kangaskhan being Adamant and bulky. I was able to dominate the match as he just made the obvious plays of protecting his weaknesses and attacking the obvious targets.

Round 5: Luke Hey W 2-1

This was the most interesting team of the whole day. From the team preview it was really anti-meta having both Bisharp and Milotic just to prevent Landorus-T.  Mega Gallade was there to scare Kangaskhan.  Going into game 1 he lead with Rotom-M and Thundurus, whist I lead with Kangaskan and Rotom-H. What I noticed straightaway was that his Thundurus was not holding a Sitrus Berry and his Rotom-M was holding the Choice Specs as Volt Switch did 50% to my Kangaskhan.  I noticed his Gallade in non-mega form was slower than Rotom-H. I wasn’t quite sure on normal Gallade’s Base Speed (Editors Note: It’s Base 80), but knew Mega Gallade hit a Base Speed of 110.  The biggest surprise was his Gallade knew Skill Swap and stopped my Sylveon cold to win game 1.  Game 2 I lead Kangaskhan/Breloom whilst he lead with Rotom Mow/Bisharp.  I dominated game 2 by putting most of his Pokemon to sleep and I crucially learnt that my Jolly Mega Kangaskhan was faster than his Mega Gallade.  Going into game 3 I knew every single item his Pokemon were holding and none of them were anything to prevent Spore.  Also knowing that my Kangaskhan was faster than his Gallade, I dominated game 3. After the match he admitted that his Gallade is only faster than 252 Speed Adamant Kangaskhan.

Round 6: Ben Munroe W 2-0

I wasn’t quite sure if Ben was trying to reinvent the Japanese Sand team or this was his own idea. I took it as if it was his own idea because it looked worse than the Japanese Sand team on team preview. Game 1 saw his Mienshao miss the Hi Jump Kick into the switched-in Landorus and noted it was holding the Safety Goggles as it took no damage from the Sandstorm. My Suicune sets up Tailwind and I dominate game 1 without revealing my 4th Pokemon.  Game 2 he readjusted by leading Tyranitar and Clefable so he could set up a Dragon Dance on Tyranitar, but I took control of the speed once again and got a lucky Scald burn on his Tyranitar.  He did surprise me having Ice Punch on Tyranitar just to KO enemy Landorus. But as he was burnt I lived the hit and I went on to win game 2.

Round 7: Shawn Tang W 2-1

Another match against a player from Singapore. His team confused me on what speed method was he going to use. I expected it to be Trick Room because of the Amoonguss. Gothitelle are always scary to play against and he did bring it to all 3 games.  In game 1 he was very protective to Gothitelle and I learnt that my Mega Kangaskhan was faster than Mega Metagross and that its attacks were Ice Punch, Protect, Bullet Punch and Zen Headbutt.  His Gothitelle revealed it held the Safety Goggles with the moves of Psyshock and Tickle; despite not showing his 4th move I was very sure it was Trick Room because of the Mega Metagross being notably slow. Shawn decided not to set up Trick Room and brought Terrakion, which helped him win game 1.  In game 2 I lead with Kangaskhan and Landorus whilst he started with Gothitelle and Terrakion.  It was a ideal start for me as his Terrakion cannot KO Kangaskhan in 1 hit whilst intimidated.  I vaguely remember this battle but it was tense and no Trick Room was set up. I learnt that my Landorus was faster than the Mega Metagross and I popped his Air Balloon Heatran on a switch in, so he had a really bad Landorus match-up and I won the game.  In game 3 he led with Gothitelle and Scrafty and I lead with Breloom and Landorus.  This time, Shawn sets up Trick Room and all I remember is that I managed to put his Metagross asleep in the Trick Room. I managed to stall out the Trick Room and somehow won by making good moves because I shouted “C’Mon!” a lot. I only tend to do that if I make good moves or escape confusion/paraflinch hax which he doesn’t have. Needless to say, the Singapore people at home were not happy about the result!

Defeating Shawn tweet


Round 8: Chris Giagozoglou (TheBatman) W 2-0

I have known Chris ever since I got into VGC tournaments in Australia. I know how he behaves and plays.  I have never known Chris to be an especially good team builder for himself and he tends to stay with the same team all season which he did in 2013 & 2014. This happens especially if he has been winning with it because he thrives on his confidence which turns into ignorance.  The night before at the TCG event there were side tournaments and I was only playing just to fill the numbers, so I played using the May IC team. Chris was playing in the tournament as well and used the same team he has been using all season.  He and I made the finals of the side tournament and I got thrashed as to be expected because I was using a bad team.  I managed to save our battle and later that night I analysed his team using the mock battle feature to find out his spreads and if he had made any subtle changes. Coming into this battle I was loaded with information after finding out that I was playing Chris. I saw Saamid (Yourf) who defeated him in the earlier rounds and asked for his advice.  He told me to stay aggressive which reaffirmed my game plan and I just recently played Chris at the Adelaide Regional, so I knew the mistakes I made there.

Going into game 1 our leads was a deja-vu of Adelaide. I lead Kangaskhan and Breloom and he leads Kangaskhan and Sylveon, the exact same leads in Adelaide Regionals. Our moves were also the exact same in Adelaide.  He swapped his Kanga for Landorus, whilst I use Power-Up Punch on the Kangaskhan slot and spored his Sylveon.  In turn 2 he did the exact same thing as our previous match. He used Superpower onto my Kangaskhan which it survived, then I used Return to KO Sylveon because it destroyed me last time and I stayed in with my Breloom this time to spore his Landorus because on the previous occasion I switched it out to reset the Intimidate. So this was looking like a much better start for me and I didn’t get let go to that lead. In game 2 he changed his leads to Kangaskhan and Landorus whilst I kept the same leads, so he had the early advantage and this was going to test me. I wanted to stick to my game plan by standing my ground and being aggressive, because going against my original game plan failed against Theron. I know Chris likes to recycle intimidates using U-Turn and he certainly did that in turn 1, swapping into Amoonguss.  I think I used Fake Out and Spore into his Kangaskhan because I have sleep turns for it written in my notes. Next turn I swapped my Kangaskhan into Rotom-H to reset the attack drop and protect it from a possible Spore which he end up doing. All I remember about the rest of game 2 that it was really tense and longer than the first game but I still took control the game to win the match.

Round 9 : Nicholas Bingham (Spiritbomber) L 0-2

Seeing how I was paired up against the only undefeated player, I felt comfortable about making the cut win or lose. But I wanted to win because I tend to bubble at x-2. Nick is also one of my best fans and he did offer to drop to me since he was already guaranteed cut but I refused his offer after seeing Theron winning his last Swiss match. During the tournament all day I felt like throwing up, I couldn’t eat a proper meal so I was left snacking on protein bars, nuts and coffees.  I have spent a lot of mental energy on my battles that I don’t remember much on this match.  My note taking this this match was minimal as well and all I remember is that I was close to winning game 1 but I lost due to either lower damage roll or a miss.  I got dominated in game 2.

I was super nervous and worried about the top cut results. We had to wait a long time for the results and to my shock I made the cut and not bubble but I was also shocked that I was ranked 14th. I was expecting to be seed higher because I lost to 2 players with great Swiss results but I was wrong. I make a mental note for myself to make sure I don’t go x-2 in any future Swiss rounds.

Round 1 top cut:  Matt Jiwa (JiwaVGC) W 2-0

Figuring out the top cut draw is easy and I knew I was going to play Matt. When I got home I started messaging people that had played Matt during the Swiss rounds to get as much information about his team.  When FamousDeaf told me about the Pokemon on his team, I felt very comfortable about my match up, because I have defeated this Mega Gardevoir Japanese Trick Room team every time I played against it on Battle Spot.  I got more information from Ty Power (Sarkastik) and Nihal Noor (UchihaX96) as they both played Matt during the Swiss rounds.  I was told that the Garchomp is a filler and never used, Heatran has Safety Goggles and Amoonguss was wearing a Rocky Helmet. I asked a couple of questions about his play style as well so I could understand his behavior.

Prior to the match I was planning to bring Kangaskhan, Breloom, Sylveon and Rotom-H. I brought Kangaskhan for offensive pressure, Breloom to prevent Trick Room being set up, offensively scare his Pokemon and he negate Spore abuse. I brought Sylveon because I figured he’d bring Scrafty against me so I needed good offensive pressure against it. Rotom-H was there to provide an additional way to block Spore from Amoonguss and Heatran can’t touch it.  In game 1 I stuck to the game plan and I must of prevented Trick room because I wasn’t counting Trick Room turns on my notes for game 1.  I remember that it ended with Sylveon waking up and finishing off Gardevior and Scrafty.  In game 2 I started with Breloom and Rotom H whilst Matt started with Gardevior and Scrafty.  Matt manages to set up Trick Room immediately, I managed to stall it out successfully and I won the match.  I was the first person to move on to the top 8 and my homework paid off.

Quarter finals:  Matt Roe (RoeySK) L 0-2

I was really happy that Roey won because he pretty much qualified for worlds getting this far and he is a fun person that I really liked. Going into the match I knew I can beat the Japanese Sand teams, as I have played many of them on Battle Spot and I knew exactly of how I was going to play this. I brought Kangaskhan/Rotom-H with Landorus and Breloom in the back whilst Roey led Salamence/Tyranitar with Rotom-W and Aegislash in the back. I ended up losing game 1 as I missed a Will-O-Wisp and made some bad plays. I learnt that he plays defensively and our Rotom Speed tie. At this event I was only 1 point faster than Bisharp. Game 2 we lead the same and brought the same 4 Pokemon. This time he starts with switching in Rotom-W, which made life difficult without Breloom in play and when I tried to switch it in, it got burnt. I did put it to sleep and it got to a point where I was 2-3 down when Roey had his Salamence and his 2HP sleeping Rotom Wash with Tyranitar in the back whilst my last 2 were Kanga and a full HP Rotom-H. I caught him out protecting his Salamence as my Kangaskhan Power-Up Punched my Rotom because I wanted a +2 boost and not 1 from his Rotom.  Then the most unfortunate thing happened his Rotom won the speed tie, woke up and hit Hydro Pump into my Rotom and it was game over.  My Rotom was going to Thunderbolt his Rotom because I knew he would Protect the Salamence. This is the reason why my Rotom-Heat is now 2 points faster than Bisharp.

Once again my arrogance killed me again.  At the time I thought using Suicune was a really bad idea to use in this match up because of the Amoonguss. I know Suicune can be good against this because of the value of Tailwind set up. Generally my match-up against Japan Sand teams is 50/50; it depends on how well me and my opponent plays because some of my Pokemon can destroy some parts of this team whilst they can be destroyed by other parts of the team.

South East Asia Nationals

I was planning to make my decision going to Singapore depending on my Aussie National result.  I knew I was a strong shot of qualifying for worlds as I was comfortably inside the cut-off in CP for Asia Pacific after Australian Nationals so I didn’t need to go to Singapore. I was considering going because this year is my last year of playing unless I win worlds.  The local players were encouraging me to be there plus I haven’t been to Singapore as an adult and I love summer.  It wasn’t until the next day that the organizers announced that their Nationals was also going to be best of 3 Swiss and that validated me going to the event for primarily the battle practice, then social reasons and a chance on getting the paid invite.

Practicing for this National was completely different as I made it very public by streaming my 4 daily Battle Spot battles plus inviting a guest to do a best of 3 battle afterwards. On my days off at work, I organised private battle appointments with American players and I create a schedule of one best of 3 battle every hour for 6-8 hours to simulate a tournament situation.  My Battle Spot results did improve as I entered the worlds top 10 for the first time getting as high as 4th at one point. I wanted to keep battling with that high rating because it was good pressure practice to get to world number 1.  My stay in the worlds top 10 only lasted 3 days as streaming plus battling in the same time can be distracting as you miss some information.

Highest BS ranking

As the event came close, some doubt in my team was starting to creep in as I was losing some matches and was concerned about some match-ups. I asked Luke (Dawg) for some advice and gave me some changes. I was practicing the changes doing best of 3 battles with Americans and it failed badly there.  So I stuck with my old team with the belief knowing I have beaten some of the bad match up Pokemon before and they are rarely seen in the meta game as well for example Mega Venusaur and Clefairy.

The tournament attracted just short of 128 players around Asia Pacific from countries like Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia. We were playing 7 rounds of best of 3 Swiss with only a top 8 cut.  People back in Australia calculated that only x-1’s would make the cut.

Round 1: Melvin Keh (Shaman) W 2-1

I knew I recognized my opponent’s name from the streams of Asian events and he quickly reminded me of our International Challenge match last year where I successfully timer-stalled him. It was my Aerodactyl against his Aegislash where I had no right in winning without the timer. So I knew I was in for a tough battle.  I lost game 1 because of his tricks. His Kangaskhan was Adamant with the Inner Focus ability, Rotom-W had Thunder Wave for speed control which shut down my Tailwind, My Landorus was faster than his, and was holding a Lum Berry. I’d managed to get good information about his team and how he played, promptly using it to my full advantage and made good gutsy plays to win games 2 and 3.  The gutsy play was in the start of game 3 where I used Fake Out on his Kangaskhan because I was pretty confident he was thinking I wasn’t going to fake out his Kangaskhan. Singapore was starting to hear my battle cries really early!

Round 2: Zulherryka Yosuf (Mewzxc) L 1-2

It turns out I’m actually known in the Asian market as young Zul recognized my name and praised me.  His team looked scary as I didn’t want to bring Suicune because of the sun and knocking out Cresselia in the sun is a massive challenge. I managed to win game 1 because I lead well with Kangaskhan/Sylveon against double genies and the game finished with my Rotom’s Overheat in the sun knocking out Cresselia at 60%. In game 2 he started with his Fire-power with Heatran and Charizard whilst I kept the same leads. Things didn’t look good at all and he dominated the match. In game 3 I figured he might want to keep the same Pokemon so I decided to bring Suicune and he knew I was going to do that so he adjusted to that. At the end of the match my Suicune became dead weight in the sun and I lost the game.

Round 3: Ezer Tan W 2-1

Thank goodness for best of 3 because I lost game 1 thanks to his tricks.  This was a full on Trick Room team with his Heatran being slower than Suicune and my Breloom being faster than his Kangaskhan. Game 2 I learnt his Cresselia wore the Safety Goggles and Trick Room went up again, however I successfully stalled it out and won the game. I cannot remember much of game 3 other than me getting critical hits and Scald burns which made my life easier to win game 3.

Round 4: Vishal W 2-0

I was happy in team preview because the team composition looks seriously outdated. Talonflame and Bisharp were past their prime but I promised myself not to be arrogant this tournament so I played with due caution.  First turn of game 1 I faked out the Thundurus and set up Tailwind, whilst his Kangaskhan used Low Kick onto mine and it hung on, which indicated that his Kangaskhan is Jolly natured. Next turn I won the Sucker Punch mind game and he made other questionable plays like not protecting Landorus in front of my Tailwind Suicune which got a free kill.  Game 2 I completely dominated him; he was just doing the safe plays and his team was really outdated in the current meta at the time.

Round 5: Chi Yuen Fu W 2-0

Playing a player from Taiwan and seeing rain made me comfortable in bringing Suicune to set up Tailwind do some serious water damage. He starts with his rain duo of Politoed and Ludicolo whilst I started with Kangaskhan and Suicune. I escape the Scald burns, noticing he was being very protective to his Pokemon. I took Politoed out quickly so when Tailwind ended I could stall out the rain and take control from there. He lead with rain again in game 2 and the same thing happened, despite using Thundurs instead of Terrakion to control my speed. It was nice to get 2 less stressful wins.

Round 6: Ericsson Marquez (MaximumZero) W 2-1

Ericsson from the Philippines was the next opponent. While on the surface it’s another rain team, this one looked more threatening than the previous team. I dominated game 1 as he started with Politoed/Terrakion against my Kangaskhan/Suicune lead.  I noticed his Politoed was holding a Choice Scarf as Drizzle activated before Suicune’s Pressure.  I use Fake Out on Terrakion and promptly set up Tailwind whilst avoiding a sScald burn from the Politoed. I took control of the match without revealing my 4th Pokemon but the result was the reverse in game 2 where he adjusted by not bringing rain. Going into game 3 he’d brought Mega Scizor both games and he didn’t use rain in game 2 so I left Breloom behind and took Rotom-H with me. I still lead with Kangaskhan and Suicune whilst he started with Weavile/Terrakion. His lead was more favorable than mine but in the first turn things didn’t go as planned for Ericcson. I swapped my Kangaskhan for Landorus whilst his Weavile used Icicle Crash on my Suicune and Terrakion used Close Combat into the Kangaskhan slot, whilst my Suicune sets up Tailwind. From there I took control of the match and won as I correctly assumed he wouldn’t bring rain. At the end of the game, Ericsson said that he thought I was going to swap my Suicune for Landorus so I can make sure Kangaskhan could live the Close Combat and Power-Up Punch his Weavile.

Round 7: Jaryl Chan L 1-2

This must win match was being featured on stream, so I was looking forward to putting on a good show for the world. Looking at team preview I was having concerns of a Calm Mind Cresselia and Charizard Y combo but that was not the case when I lost game 1 to Trick Room, whilst I used Tailwind.  By the time I stalled out the turns, my Pokemon were too hurt that I couldn’t recover. In game 2 I readjusted and brought Sylveon into the party. I made a good call in game 2 expecting his Landorus to switch out for Charizard and it took a Thunderbolt to get the KO. Jaryl ended his Trick Room early when I had my Sylveon out and Jaryl made a comeback thanks to some favorable rolls. My Sylveon was in prime position to KO his Landorus and Cresselia with Hyper Voice. I swapped in my Landorus to make sure I was going to survive his Life Orbed Landorus’s attack but the critical hit Earthquake took out my Sylveon. The organisers gave me the win in game 2 because Jaryl was taking too much time selecting his moves as there was a strict enforcement of the 45 second turn selection rule (Editors Note: This was down to the fact the event was ‘untethered’ – they didn’t have the luxury of the official software). I knew Jaryl was doing this because he looked extremely nervous and tense during the game.  So my game plan in game 3 is to continue applying pressure.

Going into game 3 I knew that my Lando was faster than his. I started game 3 perfectly. I knocked off the Life Orb from his Landorus, preventing a KO to my Kangaskhan from the Helping Hand-boosted Superpower. I took control in game 3 by leaving his Cresselia alone and picking off its partners Landorus, then Condelkurr in the Trick Room leaving me with a 4-2 lead.  His last Pokemon was Sylveon, and had Trick Room turns remaining. My Sylveon and Rotom-H had about half HP left and I thought his Sylveon would just finish me off with Hyper Voice because I thought it was holding Choice Specs.  So I just picked Hyper Voice on my Sylveon because it was choice-locked into it and Thunderbolt the Cresselia.  But to my shock, my Sylveon was slower than his, plus it wasn’t holding a choice item because he used Calm Mind whilst his Creeselia used Moonlight to heal. Then the Trick Room ended. His Sylveon was at about 30% of health and I didn’t know how much damage a Thunderbolt would do to his Sylveon at +1 so I went for Will-O-Wisp so I could slowly accumulate damage because I knew we were going back into Trick Room. But my Will-O-Wisp missed and my Kangaskhan failed to KO Sylveon with Sucker Punch, giving Jaryl the win. The biggest mistake I made in game 3 was thinking that I was going to lose my Pokemon on the turn he used Calm Mind with Sylveon. If I’d said to myself ”What if I somehow lived this attack?’ I would of picked proper attacks against him and not careless ones.

I was pretty sure my tournament was over for me but there were people who dropped out the tournament, so maybe at least 1 x-2 was going to cut. I wanted to find out where I finished because if I finished 9th I was going to celebrate with Bubble tea – thanks Level 51 for the idea! Soon the Tournament Organizer voiced out the top cut line up and he said that there will be 4 different countries representing the top cut. 4 players from Singapore, 2 from Hong Kong, 1 from Malaysia and 1 from AUSTRALIA!!! I was in total shock that I made the cut and but it was no surprise when they showed the tie-breaker resistances on screen. The 2 people I lost to were x-1 plus 3 players I defeated joined me at x-2. Thank you Melvin, Chi Yuen Fu and Ericsson!

Signapore Top cut

Quarter Final: Wai Yin Low (TextFont) W 2-0

So this is it.  The winner of this match would get the paid invite because if either of us got into the semi final no one else in the top cut can catch up to our points and Wai Yin was only 10 CP ahead of me. I was trying to do well in the International Challenge that weekend to negate the deficit, but it was no longer needed because I had full control of my fate in front of me. The Aussies back home were quick to find YouTube videos of Wai Yin playing the Malaysian Regional where she won.  I got back to the hotel after having a real dinner and took notes on how she plays. The morning after I enjoyed a good swim in the Singapore heat and I remembered that Zarif (Hikari0307) the eventual champion played her in Swiss and I got the information regarding her team.

I knew she had a Tailwind team but my team absolutely dominates Talonflame in general. I lead with Kangaskhan and Suicune vs Kangaskhan/Sylveon. In the videos of the Malaysian Regional, I noticed that her Kangaskhan was bulky and it was most likely an Adamant nature. That was true going into our battle as my Kangaskhan outsped hers and it was going to be another case of Phil’s Tailwind team is faster than yours. I dominated game 1 by not giving any control. Game 2 was a repeat of game 1 as she struggled to find an out to Suicune and Breloom. After the match she admitted to me that she forgot to add King’s Shield on her Aegislash prior to the tournament.  So she went 7-0 in Swiss without King’s Shield. Wow. So the 2nd paid invite was mine as my trip to Singapore ended up being a profitable one. The same could be said about Theron Ho after finishing 2nd in Australia and top 32 in Singapore.

Semi Finals : Zulherryka Yosuf (Mewzxc) L 0-2

I knew it was going to be difficult playing Zul again. I started really badly game 1, with Kangaskhan/Sylveon against his Charizard and Heatran.  He dominated me as I had no real switch into the fire attacks so I was stalling game 1 whilst figuring out a plan for game 2 because this was an extremely difficult match up.  In game 2 I led better with Kangaskhan/Landorus whilst he kept up with his fiery duo. In the previous game he protected against the Fake Out so I thought he would do the same in game 2 so I decided to Power-Up Punch my Landorus. To my shock he didn’t Protect and went all offense and it was over for me. My biggest down fall in this match was not committing the same amount of homework that I did against Wai Yin. I had a lot time to do it as well, so it was my own lack of commitment that cost me here.

TV Interview

After returning from Singapore I contacted an Australian TV show called Good Game and I sent a tweet to the host of the Online E-Sports show called Well Played and pitched the story about the Pokemon World Championships.  I was invited to travel to Sydney and got interviewed to showcase to the audience about high-level Pokemon VGC.  Here is the interview:

Thank Yous

  • Thank you to my awesome and sexy friend from the best coast of USA,  Alejandro Jimenez (Legacy).  Using your team has taught me a lot about the game. I cannot wait to see you at worlds and get your picture & autograph. 😉
  • Thank you to my great mate in Melbourne Jesse Wilsone for always being there for me plus getting me out of the darkness.
  • To the Team Delphox Cubs: thanks for assistance of getting legendary Pokemon, practice battles and bouncing ideas off of each other.
  • Thank you Australia for cheering me on and supporting me.  I have seen the Twitch chat logs of the stream and I have never had so much fun whilst competing.  I will do you guys proud for worlds.
  • To all my international fans: thank you for supporting me, giving advice and battling me.
  • Thank you Nintendo Australia and Russell Peters for organising a successful national event.
  • Thank you to team Singapore for your hospitality and your tournament was equally well ran like Australian Nationals.  I love your dedication for excellence and you all have good team synergy.

Closing Words

Here is commitment to my supporters.  I will be working hard and smart to make sure I do come home with the World Championship trophy. There is still heaps for me to learn to become a champion because I have yet to win a tournament this season despite these great results.  I cannot wait to see all my new friends I made this season and see all the old friends I saw last year at worlds!

About the Author

Boomguy has been playing VGC since 2010 despite not being available in his home country in Australia back then. In 2013 he won the Brisbane Regional VGC and in 2014 he has became Australia's first representative in the Nugget Bridge Invitational.

17 Responses to From Wannabe to Professional: Asia Pacific Circuit Top 2 Report

  1. Zlatant says:

    B-but…where is the interview???

    Awesome report!! Good Luck, i hope you can be the very best in the game.

  2. jvlog26 says:

    So I am just scrolling down the report and I see an Audino
    *slow claps* well down sir, well done

  3. Wyrms Eye says:

    @Zlatant: Should be there now if you refresh the page. If anyone else continues to have a similar issue on this, let me know and I’ll look into it in a little more detail.
    That said, an awesome and tremendously detailed life story year-long report Boomguy once again, and let me again say congratulations on your success this year, especially after the trials and tribulations you had to endure earlier in the season. I remember over the period when you were attending Regional events talking to you about your bubbles at the events and trying to keep you motivated, saying it was just a matter of breaking through and then your laughing (or in your case it seems to be shouting C’Mon!) and to keep the faith. The way you’ve grown mentally as a person in relation to the game has been admirable the low point you had this year. The fact you’ve applied yourself to this is something a lot of people probably should do more of when they are aiming for something. Hopefully you’ve been able to transfer the skills into other, more practical scenarios outside of Pokemon though mate! I’m also honored to get another mention in one of your articles, and as ever it’s always a pleasure to battle you. I think this year you’ve beaten me in every encounter we did in best of 3 though, something I’m hopeful to remedy next year!
    I have to say it would be such a massive shame to see you put down your Pokeballs post-Worlds if you don’t reach your desired result, as your certainly one of the figures I really enjoy talking to about the game, battling in general and just being an all-round friend. I certainly hope that we still get another report out of you yet if you do well at Worlds, just promise me to not make it as long as this one! I don’t think I could take another session of torture like that again! (Just kidding, I was happy to edit it for you!)

  4. EmbC says:

    Hey, Phil! What an absolutely amazing report! I’m really happy that everyone can now read about your experience this season, since you’re such a strong player.
    Huge congrats once again on those outstanding accomplishments! I’ll be rooting for you at worlds!

  5. Mario C says:

    The 48 laws of power by Robert Greene is a great book as well for motivation.

  6. Legacy says:

    Congrats on your excellent run this season Phil. It’s awkward when someone uses a version of your team and beats you with it. Also reading about your depression after some of the losses makes me a bit sad but it’s great to know that you made Worlds!! I am excited to meet you and can’t wait to kick it with you at Boston. :D

  7. Smith says:

    Cool report Boomguy, it’s very cool to track your progress. You remind me a lot of myself actually. I always think of insane team ideas but usually my friends talk me out of them. I also suffered a lot of the same mentality problems you did when I was starting (and tbh my mentality is still extremely bad). The thing about success not being automatic is a realization I distinctly remember having after following up my 2nd place regional with a 33rd place. Also, you used a very similar team to the team I used at Madison Regionals, and we both have lost to the mighty Theron Ho of Singapore. Keep writing and telling us what you think about the game!

  8. R Inanimate says:

    Congrats on managing to turn around your season, and come out of it with a Invite and a Trip to Worlds in Boston.
    It’s been a couple years since Australia’s sudden addition to the VGC scene back in 2013, and it sounds like things have grown tremendously both in interest and skill level of the players down under.
    I look forward to seeing you guys show the world what you’ve learned over the last year in a week from now.

  9. tlyee61 says:

    definitely one of my new favorite reports on the site! congrats on your success Phil, you definitely deserve it based on your sheer dedication. I really enjoyed how deep you went for every battle. this report was almost like a story / autobiography, following your growth as a player along with each passing competition. very well done and I wish you the best of luck at Worlds :D
    the true question is: did you ever find a GAYTIME ice cream m8

  10. MindApe says:

    Fantastic article Phil, and good to read again after seeing it on the Delphox Cubs blog. These season war-stories are a lesson in application for any aspiring trainer to learn from, as well as just generally inspiring. It was great to watch you reap the rewards for your efforts at both Nationals despite the ups and downs of the season as a whole, and I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing how you go at Worlds. You better win it because it’d be a shame if you weren’t back competing next year.

  11. diegodm26 says:

    excelent article, nice teams, very strange butt looks stronge, and nice interview, good luck in the worlds

  12. MaximumZero says:

    Goodluck to your run at Worlds ! I’ll be rooting for our fellow rating zone players . Wish to battle you sometime again .

  13. XacerB8 says:

    Good luck at Worlds Phil, excellent article and good autobiography style. I do have a question though: what was Audino’s purpose on your earlier team given it’s normally a support Pokemon but you seemed to be using an offensive set?

  14. Boomguy says:

    Good luck at Worlds Phil, excellent article and good autobiography style. I do have a question though: what was Audino’s purpose on your earlier team given it’s normally a support Pokemon but you seemed to be using an offensive set?

    Thank you.

    Basically I wanted to make Mega Audino shine in VGC 15 but I couldn’t bring it to many battles.  It’s not a good supporter because basically it’s going to get taunted by any thunderus.  So I wanted to make it offensive as possible.

    definitely one of my new favorite reports on the site! congrats on your success Phil, you definitely deserve it based on your sheer dedication. I really enjoyed how deep you went for every battle. this report was almost like a story / autobiography, following your growth as a player along with each passing competition. very well done and I wish you the best of luck at Worlds  :D
    the true question is: did you ever find a GAYTIME ice cream m8
    Haha yes I did :P 
  15. vgchut says:

    congrats Boomguy. Gl in Worlds

  16. Abarai says:

    A fellow Aussie!, i will be cheering for you at worlds mate =), best of luck and enjoy the awesome experience of being at the world stage regardless of the result.
    Great report,  the length and detail is fantastic!, and that is pretty sweet getting onto good game, well done!.
    Would be sad to see you quit though but life comes first.  Really hope you get the result you want.

  17. NightLight26 says:

    Great article. i’ve dedicated every day to making the world championships next year. This is one of my consistent article read and it’s really well written and i’ve learned a lot already.

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