Published on August 23rd, 2013 | by Mean


From the Mean Streets to World Champion – Masters 2013 VGC World Champion Report

Hi everybody, my name is Arash Ommati and a few weeks ago I won the Video Game Masters Division Pokémon World Championships in Vancouver, Canada. I’m gonna show you the team that helped me accomplish this result, as well as the step-by-step story of how I managed to get to the top of the most prestigious tournament of the year.

The Team

Mamoswine (M) @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Thick Fat
IVs: 31 HP / 31 Atk/ 31 Def/ 1 SAtk / 31 SDef / 31 Spd
EVs: 124 HP / 44 Atk / 100 Def / 44 SDef / 196 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
– Icicle Spear
– Earthquake
– Icicle Crash
– Rock Slide

Right after graduating, I immediately started searching for the inspiration to start building my Worlds team. My attention was caught by a Korean Nationals match where a player used Mamoswine. The set was completely different from the one I ended up using, but it made me think about the Pokémon itself, and I realized that in the period of highest usage of the genies, that Mamoswine would have been simply deadly with the right set and proper team support.

Why Mamoswine? Because it is one of the very few Pokémon that can give the safety to take out every Landorus-T set 100% of the time (as well as the most common Thundurus-I set). The set has been changed 3 times: I initially used a straightforward offensive set, then I made it bulkier to survive Choice Scarf Landorus-T Superpower and KO for sure after the drop, as well as being able to say that I counter all Landorus-T sets always. In the end, I added some Speed to be faster than max Speed Timid Raikou (to be honest, the Speed was meant to do some damage to Starmie, since once I faced a Life Orb Starmie and it literally destroyed the team on its own). On the special side he is EVed to take every attack from faster Pokémon with the exception of Modest Choice Scarf Latios Draco Meteor (which has a 50% chance to OHKO) and Timid and Modest Choice Scarf Volcarona Overheats (6.25% and 62.5% chances to OHKO, respectively). This set has not been very easy to use, since the low Attack often made it hard to get the KOs I needed, but my choice to use bulk instead of offense was largely rewarded.

Also, why Choice Scarf? Contrary to what you may think, Choice Scarf made this bulky set much more versatile than the classic Focus Sash set. With the rising usage of max Speed Timid Thundurus-I in the Japanese metagame, I thought that there was a good chance to face many of them at Worlds, and pairing Tornadus with a partner that can OHKO them (as well as all the more common Thundurus sets in general) would be great. At this point I had no doubts about running Rock Slide in the last slot because 1) I always like to have at least two ways to effectively deal with every top tier threat, and Rock Slide here only barely misses the OHKO on the bulkiest variants of Volcarona, but the ones I was more worried about were the Quiver Dance ones (Heatran is not a Volcarona counter, maybe in singles, but not in doubles) and 2) After all, I’m Mean, since Mamoswine is so fast I didn’t want to lose the chance to get some useful flinches.

And finally, with Icicle Spear I had a great way to deal with Garchomp (whose rising popularity was shown by his usage stat in the European Nationals) and Landorus-T, who could threaten Tornadus with Stone Edge unless it was Scarfed, but I was sure I wouldn’t face many Choice Scarf Landorus at Worlds. Superpower would only have been useful to take out Choice Scarf Tyranitar, but that was less important than dealing with the genies, and I really needed both Icicle Crash and Icicle Spear to achieve that task, so I preferred to exclude Superpower.


Tornadus (M) @ Flying Gem
Trait: Defiant
IVs: 31 HP /31 Atk /31 Def /3 SAtk /31 SDef /31 Spd
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
– Acrobatics
– Protect
– Superpower
– U-turn

The other MVP of the team. After using Bisharp in our National Championships I realized how good Defiant was, and I decided that from that moment on I wouldn’t use a team with physical attackers susceptible to Intimidate without a Defiant user in this metagame.

Here the choice was obliged, and was even better considering the embarrassingly good offensive and defensive core between Tornadus and Mamoswine: really, one takes out almost all the counters of the other, they’re perfect together. They’re probably the leads I used together the most in the entire tournament. The set is pretty standard, even if it took me a lot of effort to decide what to run in the last moveslot, since there wasn’t really anything I had an extreme need for. After trying many options like Substitute and Role Play, I decided to use U-turn to abuse my defensive core even more. This choice made the team much more comfortable to play.


Latios (M) @ Dragon Gem
Trait: Levitate
IVs: 31 HP/2 Atk/31 Def /30 SAtk /31 SDef /30 Spd
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
– Sunny Day
– Draco Meteor
– Protect
– Hidden Power [Fire]

After deciding the main duo, I had to think about something to counter the most common strategies and the matchups that Mamoswine+Tornadus couldn’t handle.

First of all, I thought about how to counter Rain teams, and here my dear friend Christoph Kugeler (drug duck) suggested I try out Sunny Day Latios. It was a great choice in my opinion, because it enabled me to bring Pokémon that would normally have trouble against Rain teams when I battled them. I’d have liked to play a slower set with more Special Attack to get KOs on Pokémon with spreads designed to take the omnipresent Dragon Gem Draco Meteor from Timid 252/252 Latios, and enough bulk to take Tornadus Flying Gem boosted Acrobatics, but in the end I chose to run this set to outspeed and OHKO non-Focus Sash Terrakion, a choice that was decisive in one of my swiss round matches. The Hidden Power was basically there because I had problems dealing with Scizor and not with Fighting-types, as well as because of the recent cut in Hitmontop’s usage.


Amoonguss (M) @ Lum Berry
Trait: Regenerator
IVs: 31 HP/0 Atk/31 Def /31 SAtk /31 SDef /7 Spd
EVs: 252 HP / 108 Def / 148 SDef
Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk)
– Spore
– Rage Powder
– Giga Drain
– Protect

Latios alone was not enough to take on Rain, and I decided to pair him with Amoonguss. In addition to redirecting Kingdra’s Draco Meteor and making Latios’ job easier against Rain, this guy is also an incredible asset to every standard team, countering Trick Room and sometimes Rain on its own, even without Latios’ support. That’s not even all, with a Lum Berry he’s a GREAT solution to the omnipresent Swagger (though I have to take care of the enemy Swagger user very quickly) as well as for deceiving dumb Breloom. The recovery I lose from not using Black Sludge or Sitrus Berry can be now played around by abusing the fantastic new ability, Regenerator. The Lum Berry seems a specific solution to certain threats, but its really useful in a huge number of situations.

Also, instead of running the classic 0 Speed IV Sassy set, I went for a Modest one with a 7 Speed IV to be one point slower than minimum Speed Gastrodon, who is often used by Trick Room teams, as well as to be faster than everything with the exception of Reuniclus, Musharna and Dusclops (all not used), Escavalier and Ferrothorn (who I couldn’t outspeed regardess of what I did anyway), and Iron Ball Tyranitar (who doesn’t give me problems anyway), while being faster than minimum speed Amoonguss in return, who are usually used to counter Trick Room rather than on Trick Room teams, so I could Spore them without wasting the Lum Berry.


Heatran (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Flash Fire
IVs: 31 HP /0 Atk/31 Def/31 SAtk /31 SDef /31 Spd
EVs: 212 HP / 4 Def / 36 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
– Substitute
– Heat Wave
– Protect
– Earth Power

Since I had Latios setting Sunny Day, the team would be stronger if I included a member to abuse the manual weather, and after some searching Heatran turned out to be the best to fulfill the task. Since Heatran is so threatening in the Sun, it was often easy to put a Substitute up on a switch or Protect, giving me a great position (at first I tried an Expert Belt set I designed for a Wi-Fi tournament, which was cool, but I realized that it was not what I was looking for).

Max Speed Timid Heatran is good because it is faster than the standard Excadrill out of the sand (and Breloom, obviously), and Heatran is able to get the KO on Excadrill with Heat Wave and only a little help. The HP is obviously high in order to take the highest recovery possible from the Leftovers, and with the Special Defensive investment the Substitute is able to take a Scald from bulky Politoed most of the time without breaking when the Sun is up. Making Heatran bulky was a great choice, since it gave some balance between offence and defence in the team.


Conkeldurr (M) @ Sitrus Berry
Trait: Iron Fist
IVs: 31 HP/31 Atk/31 Def /0 SAtk /31 SDef /31 Spd
EVs: 212 HP / 32 Atk / 12 Def / 252 SDef
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
– Drain Punch
– Ice Punch
– Mach Punch
– Protect

Conkeldurr was the last member I picked for the team. It wasn’t an easy choice: I was looking for something very versatile, something I could easily bring in many battles, and with something that fulfilled specific tasks: rounding the team’s defensive core, being good against Sand teams, and giving me a second way to counter Trick Room teamss (or just a way to counter them better). In other words, I needed a bulky attacker with some particular features.

In the end I chose Conkeldurr, but I didn’t need an heavily aggressive Conkeldurr like the ones played now on Trick Room teams, I needed an attacker that was able to take heavy hits and strike back for OK damage, more like the ones played in Japan in the late 2012 VGC season. Also, the item choice was anything but easy. After a lot of thinking I realized that I really didn’t need a formidable offensive presence, so I started thinking about a defensive item. What I found? ..Nothing, there was really nothing I was especially worried about, so I decided to make a Sitrus Berry set on the Conkeldurr to work on his only mediocre bulk.

So now the calculations, what is this set meant to do? Everything! As I said, the only specific role of Conkeldurr was dealing with Tyranitar, something that’s largely done without any great EV investments. That’s why I made Conkeldurr’s spread simply trying to cover everything was used in the game in that moment: I tried to turn as many OHKOs and 2HKOs in 2HKOs and 3HKOs, respectively, as well as trying to not miss OHKOs and 2HKOs by a few points, and I tried to make use of the Sitrus Berry in the best way possible. The Ice Punch is there because was simply the best option to round out the team’s offensive core.

Finally, with an Adamant nature and 31 IVs in speed I outsped a lot of threats out of Trick Room, like minimum Speed Tyranitar, Scrafty, and Porygon2, and Gastrodon and Rhyperior with 0 Speed EVss and a neutral nature. The first thing faster than me that is actually used is 0 Speed EV neutral Scrafty sitting at a 78 speed stat, which is 13 points faster than me and not something I really cared to outspeed. In other words, this set’s aim is just to be good (…or at least, the idea was that). This should probably seem trivial, but it ended up working exactly like I expected it to, being the member I brought in the highest number of games in the tournament and working perfectly in each of them.

This team isn’t particularly defensive (to be honest, it isn’t defensive at all) but since now the games are 20 minutes long, I preferred to bring only shiny Pokèmon to timestall if there was the need, since I have some ways to restore my hp.

Fun fact: I planned at first to have a completely shiny team with just Tornadus and Mamoswine bringing the Pokèstar studio stars, the former because it just can’t be shiny, the latter because his shiny version is obnoxious.
So I started doing the in-game part to get the stars (I already had the star on Tornadus because I received one that had it already) on the Saturday of the week before Worlds… nothing much to explain. On Monday, I quit the mission, it was just too long and boring. I know it wasn’t a tragedy to not have a time-wasting shine on only one of my Pokèmon, but I’m kinda paranoid about these things, especially since It was for Worlds. In the worst scenario, I would at least have been remembered for using mustard-Mamoswine.

Swiss rounds

I don’t take a lot of notes while playing, so bear with me.

Round 1: vs Lee Provost [Osirus]


Other than being a top 4 and top 16 finisher in Birmingham and Bochum, respectively, my opponent has the reputation of being one of the best UK players, so I took a deep breath and went straight to my table.

Game1: The first thing I thought after seeing his team in team preview was “Oh ****, Mamoswine got mainstream”. I remember having a great start and keeping the early advantage, even if my opponent played well. hings suddenly went down when I did a risky move targeting his 10-20% hp Hitmontop with a Draco Meteor and targeting the other Pokemon with Mamoswine, but the meteor missed and my Mamoswine went down to a Fighting Gem-boosted Close Combat. From there I remember I had two chances to get back: the first with a double Protect and then by trying to timestall by hoping for a Heat Wave miss from his Heatran. Neither of these things worked and I lost my very 1st game of the tournament[0-1]
Games 2-3:At that point I just forced myself to dispel the panic (after my top cut match in Bochum, I was determined not to be the kind of player who gets put down by a loss in the first game of a best-of-three set).
Unfortunately, I don’t remember what happened afterwards very well, just that I played safer than before, managing to get the win in two clean games.[2-1]

I think this early win mattered a lot by convincing me that I’m able to recover after losing the 1st game.


Round 2: vs Rina Purdy


I’ll be honest, after seeing the pairings I relaxed a little.

Even if my opponent has been good enough to get the qualification, I knew she wasn’t exactly a top player, but I needed to not relax too much and lose the chance to get a 2-0 start.

Game 1-2: They were both pretty easy games (I even got lucky in the first one). There are two things I mainly remember:

  • This being the only set in which I made use of Sunny Day (to give my Heatran a safe presence on the field, without worrying about Rina’s bulky Rotom’s weak Hydro Pumps).
  • Her getting surprised by seeing her Scrafty intimidate raising my Tornadus attack. [2-0]


Round 3: vs Barry Anderson [Baz Anderson]


I loved this pairing when I saw it on the board. I mean, I obviously wanted to do well in the tournament, but I also wanted to play with the best players in the world, and Barry has definitely proven to be one of those in the last year.
During the Nugget Bridge circuit Baz and I played each other twice, sitting at a 1-1 score, so this was a match I was kinda expecting eventually, but this taking place at Worlds was a huge surprise.

Game 1: What I saw was a new version of Barry’s usual team, so I went into this game with a more or less defined idea of what I should have expected.
The first game ends quickly and I am able to get an early win. Even if it was a close one, I remember I never felt like I was in a bad position.[1-0]

Game 2: What I remember of this is that my opponent got an early advantage and almost managed to come back. In the end of the game it comes a turn in which I have my Latios(30% HP) and my Heatran(50% hp), both with a drop in Speed, against his Cresselia(high HP) and his Terrakion (50% HP). Predicting his Terrakion to try to put up a Substitute instead of attacking, I went for the double target on him. As I expected it puts the substitute, but his Cresselia used Icy Wind and got a critical hit on my Latios, taking it down before he could break the Substitute and dooming me to the loss.[1-1]

Game 3 : Here I lead with Mamoswine and Amoonguss with Latios and Heatran in the back, while Barry lead with Liepard and Breloom with Cresselia and Terrkion in the back.
After a really close game we came down to a turn in which I had my Latios (50%) and my Heatran (about full life) against his Terrakion (full life) and his Cresselia (about full life).
He probably expected me to make a Protect+Substitute expecting an Icy Wind+Protect, but I expected him to expect me to expect that, so I just went for the Dragon Gem-boosted Draco Meteor on his Terrakion and…IT WORKED! We were left with my Latios and Heatran against his Cresselia and at that point, the result of game was pretty decided.[2-1]


Round 4: vs Benjamin Rothman [Nightblade7000] (Featured Match)


The match of truth” If I was able to win this, I would have good chances to get into the tournament’s top cut phase, but Ben is one of the players I had the toughest time facing online. So I had to stay focused.

Round 1-2-3:I’ll tell how the set basically went.

He went for a heavy Sand mode, always bringing Tyranitar and Excadrill, probably the worst matchup for my team. At a certain point in game 1 I tried to set up the sun, but he took my Latios down before I could do it.
The first game is a total failure for me. Really, there are only a few games in my life in which I got crushed so hard. He literally outplayed me every turn. Good job Ben, good job… [0-1]
I surprisingly managed to win both the second (4-0) and the third game (3-0). Seeing how my playstyle didn’t pay off in the first one, I tried to fix it in order to help me against this opponent, and as the result shows, it clearly paid off. [2-1]
Very good games, Ben.
*(Also, I think I never handshaked so many times during a match).


Round 5: vs Enosh Shachar [Human]


Game 1: Don’t remember much here, not a very close one tough, I managed to get the win.[1-0]
Game 2: Here I made my worst error of the tournament: I relaxed. Not belittling your merits Enosh, you played an amazing set of games, but I literally threw away every chance that I had to take this one, each turn [1-1].
Game 3: One-sided match. My opponent starts with the right lead (Hitmontop and Latios vs Mamoswine and Tornadus), and while I miss the OHKO on his Latios, scoring 3 icicle spears instead of the 4 I needed, he manages to Fake Out my Tornadus and set up the Tailwind. From there I tried to play defensively to stall it out, but my opponent didn’t give me much space and I couldn’t manage to pull off anything.[1-2]

What can I say… I have to admit that I liked Enosh’s team a lot and that he played it really well (Sorry, Ray).
There’s a good reason if this has been the only match I lost in the entire tournament. Gg Human!


Round 6: vs Christoph Kugeler [drug_duck]


This was a match that I didn’t want to play; not only for Chris being a friend of mine and the one who helped me most to prepare for the tournament, but also because I suddenly realized that my tiebreaker may not be strong enough to bring me to the top 8 if I lost this match.

Game 1-2: I don’t remember much from these games, except that the first was a close one and that in the second we had a sort of mirror match for like 2-3 turns (same Pokemon and same moves) in which I had an early huge advantage by winning a speed tie with my Tornadus outspeeding his Tornadus and taking it out with a Flying Gem-boosted Acrobatics. Later in the game there was a situation in which he had Cresselia+Heatran, and expecting his Protect+ Icy Wind, since my Heatran was faster than his, I went for the Substitute before he could Icy Wind me. That gave me the win. [2-0]

I had the matchup to let me win these games and I didn’t played badly to throw my advantage away, that’s all that happened.

Once the match ended I was finally sure to hit the top cut, and I headed with Baz to the store to buy something to eat and to recover off a little, since I was really tired.
While we were heading there we realized that there wasn’t a break at all, and then something happened… no one but the administrator of Nugget Bridge Rushan Shekar (Firestorm) offered to buy a cookie in my place.
Just saying this: …I am moved.


The Top Cut

Aaron (Cybertron), Matthias and Luigi, and I were led to the left corner of the hall (Sejun and Kosuge went right on the stage) where it was a proper game area with two tables and four seats, it was incredibly bright and surrounded by cameras. Then we got paired: Me vs Matthias and Aaron vs Luigi, and as they told us, we started playing.

Quarter Finals: vs Matthias Hellmoldt [Tyvyr]


Let’s just say, if now I’m known in the Latin American community as “the Spore guy”, Matthias should be named “the WoW guy”, since he brought his Sableye for all the three games, and the only move I’ve seen from it was WoW… very annoying.

Game1: I won, I’don’t remember anything here except the result and a slow scarf Volcarona that REALLY surprised me (not caught off-guard, just surprised). [1-0]

Game2: He lead with Landorus and Sableye while I chose Latios and Tornadus. On the first turn he went for the Protect + WoW while I double targeted the Sableye. Great start, except for the fact that it was followed by my second worst error in the tournament: I forgot that his Volcarona had Overheat, so he took out Tornadus turn 2. I tried to play smart to recover from that, but many turns afterward I found myself in a situation in which I had Latios and Heatran against his unlocked Volcarona and Terrakion, and at that point there was nothing left to do. He had the possibility to win the game without taking risks and he did it. I gain a loss in this second game. [1-1]

Game3: Possibly the closest game of the tournament. Not just because of the game itself, but also for the atmosphere: there was no rivalry between me and my opponent (before the set have started we friendly with a handshake being like “may the best win”, the chances of Europe would weigh on the shoulders of the winner of our match). I think both me and Tyvyr played really well here, we always did the best choices and the outcome was unsure until the last few turns.
Here, I was only had been able to take the win by managing the game in order to leave his last Pokèmon, Volcarona, against my last Pokèmon, Heatran.[2-1]

Also, I remember hearing Aaron some time during my second game, who was seated behind me, complaining about luck (this made me smile since I knew he was the latest of Luigi’s paraflinches victims. Don’t misunderstand me though, I was rooting for Aaron).

Then I went out of the area for a few minutes, the only the time to inform my friends of my win and cheer a little. Meanwhile, Aaron also went out from the area smiling for his fresh win and asking me about how I did, as I told him of my win we rejoiced together a little and before going to play our respective semi-finals, we promised each other that we would meet in the finals. The judges called me back and I had to re-enter in the game area, where the other semi-finalist was already waiting for me…

Semi-Finals: vs Ben Gould [Ben91293]

Not too much to say here, the tension was high, and as I took my place at the table we started our battle.


Game1: This kinda embarrasses me, since I usually tend to remember the games I lose in to the minutest details, but here I cant say if he got lucky, if it was a close one, or if I made errors. The only thing I can say is that I lost. [0-1]

Game2: A straight game, I managed this game much better than the first one, and I grabbed the victory quite easily. [1-1]

Game3: Here, something terrible happened. I played decently and was on the point of winning the game when he went for blizzard with his Abomasnow, getting both the critical and the freeze on my Conkeldurr, who was up to score the decisive hit on his Rhydon, who is able to put himself behind a Substitute instead (Conkeldurr survives with 20%hp thanks to the bulky spread, and its able to return to a decent HP range thanks to the Sitrus Berry). The game was still 3-4, but if I couldn’t thaw out in the next turn I had really next-to-zero chance to win this game.

…But this story has an happy ending: in the next turn Conkeldurr thaws out, breaking the Substitute with a Mach Punch while I go for the U-turn with Tornadus, KOing Ben’s low HP Abomasnow and allowing me to send in my third Pokemon, Mamoswine, while Ben goes for the Rock Slide with Rhydon, doing low damage to Mamoswine and negligible damage to Conkeldurr. He replaced Abomasnow with his Volcarona.

From there, I had the win in two turns by taking out his low health Rhydon with Mach Punch while Mamoswine Rock Slides into Volcarona’s Protect. On the next turn, the Rock Slide goes down on his Volcarona and Latios, putting the Volcarona in the one turn hail-KO-range and doing like 20% to Latios. Both his Pokèmon flinched (the first flinches I got in the whole day). Ben seemed quite disappointed; this kind of surprised me since without that critical hit-freeze a few turns earlier, I would have had an easy win, but I was quickly getting too happy to argue about that. In the next turn, I closed the game with an Ice Punch on the Latios. [2-1].

Its not easy to explain what happened after that. Possibly the best moment of my life. After reporting the result to the judge I put my DS, my notebook, my pen and my bottle of water in my bag and I went out of the area.
I was even too stunned to smile, so catatonic that my friends didn’t immediately understand if I got a win or a loss. So they asked me how it went, as I told them of my win suddenly everybody around me started cheering loudly.
But there wasn’t too much time for that, since Aaron was still on the stage and I went to see him playing Ryosuke in the 3rd round, just in time to see him bending under the Japan Champion SWAG.

If on the one hand I was sorry for my friend Aaron, on the other one I really had to prepare myself for the Finals. After resting a little in “my” room, everyone fell asleep, tired from the long and exhausting day. I know I’m going a little off-topic with all these details, but before moving on to the finals I’d like to publicly thank to a person. Even if he was almost unable to stand up for the fatigue, Matteo Gini (Matty) stayed awake all the time it was needed to help me prepare the leads and the gameplan for the match the next day. Thank you, pal! Now I just had to win.

The Final: vs Ryosuke Kosuge [Gebebo]

thundurus landorus-theriancresseliaconkeldurrheatrantyranitar

Game 1

Really, if these may have been interesting games to watch, they weren’t as interesting to play, but I want to comment on the most important turns.

Turn 1: My Mamoswine was EVed to OHKO 252 HP/0 Defense Calm Thundurus 100% of the times with Icicle Crash, and Conkeldurr was an easy OHKO for Tornadus. Here, I just went for the double attack to ensure that my opponent couldn’t get an early Ko.

Turn 2: The most interesting turn of the whole set in my opinion. After the double ko I was in a really bad position, if he doesn’t protect with Heatran he will be probably able to take this game, but he didn’t . The double target on Cresselia, a move that may seem like a prediction, was just the safest option for me (with only 50 hp left, Mamoswine was in the KO range of Psychic, and Kosuge could take it out with a Protect+Psychic or by simply setting up Trick Room and targeting him with any attack while he can’t Protect himself, so targeting Cresselia, giving Kosuge a chance to take out Mamoswine, was by far the best option here. Same story for Tornadus, unless he didn’t use Trick Room, my genie was dead weight.

At first I was not sure about why my opponent chose to Protect with Heatran. It was hard to think he didn’t realize that Mamoswine was scarfed, or even that he didn’t have my team (the day before I used Mamoswine in my featured match with some Japanese watching, I’d be really surprised if no one told him my team). What he did was simply a crazily extra-safe move, Protecting Heatran to avoid a flinch from Icicle Crash followed by Superpower, in some situations that makes sense, but not if you’re down 2-4 !

Turn 3: Here I went for a risky move that led me to take a double KO from my opponent. I just thought that both the Cresselia and the Heatran would have damaged Conkeldurr for barely more than 50% hp, activating the Sitrus, and eventually allowing me to take the next attack, but I was caught off-guard by a low damage roll.
From turn 4 onward there’s not a lot to say, I just always went for the safest option, even for the famous spore on the sleeping Heatran, it was really the only logical choice I could make.

Game 2

Turn 1: Here I thought: “OK, let’s Earthquake dat Heatran”, and then “How can he prevent me from doing that?”, and the answer was “By using Protect+ Trick Room”. So then the question was “How can I counter Protect+ Trick Room?”, and the answer was “By U-turning to Amoonguss with Tornadus”, and that’s what I did. He not only set up the Trick Room, but didn’t Protect with Heatran… the worst move he could have made, let’s say.

Turn 2: Not satisfied, my opponent went for the Helping Hand+ Ice Punch (probably), while I went once again for the safest move by sporing his Conkeldurr (He was probably expecting me to spore his Cresselia to prevent her from reversing the Trick Room. I didn’t ignore that option, that’s why I switched in Tornadus, to secure me the advantage in that case, while sporing the Conkeldurr was meant to simply prevent him from getting any OHKOs.)

Turn 3: Here nothing interesting happened except that I did the worst move of the entire set. I went for the spore+acrobatics, just hoping that Conkeldurr wouldn’t get an early wake up. He didn’t wake up in the end, but this was a dumb, risky move anyway: I had enough space to try a safer move and go for the Rage Powder+ Acrobatics or Spore+Protect followed by Rage Powder+Acrobatics, since I felt that he was not likely to protect with that Conkeldurr and stall out his own Trick Room with a Tornadus on the opposite side of the field.
The game basically ends here, since I went for the extra-safe option by U-turning to bring in Mamoswine and Sporing the Landorus to avoid an eventual critical hit from Earthquake or a freeze from Ice Beam. If this is not enough, “I even got the critical hit”!

Conclusion and Greetings

My final match was followed by two things, which are in order:

  1. An exultation with some Europeans like Yoshi, Massi, Drug duck, Pokèalex, Woopah, Sewadle and others, immortalized in almost every photo and video of the event.
  2. The most awkward interview of my life (I hope). Only after seeing it recorded in the stream could I realize how easy the questions that Evan asked me were and I couldn’t answer X(. Maybe year after year I’ll learn to relax a little…

On a wider note. I sincerely want to thank to everybody attends these events, I want to thank to this great community that makes this much more than a game. Its incredible how many new friends I get in only 2-3 days every time I attend one of these. Thank you all for making this Worlds what it was. See you all next year in DC!

About the Author

Mean has been playing VGC competitively since the late 2012 with the 2013 being his first season. He then topcutted in all the (two) nationals he attended earning an invite for the Worlds held in Vancouver, where he becomes the first European World Champion.

37 Responses to From the Mean Streets to World Champion – Masters 2013 VGC World Champion Report

  1. DaWoblefet says:

    Um… I don’t mean to sound weird, but 31/2/31/31/31/31 IV’s on Latios gives you Hidden Power Dragon 70, not Hidden Power Fire 70. It must have been a mistype…
    But of course, as you’ve heard a bajillion times by now, congratulations on claiming the spot of the new World Champion, and scoring a record for your region and nation by being the first Italian and European World Champion! I can’t wait to see what you’ll have next year!

  2. Die2Distroy says:

    I was actually thinking about using Scarf Mamo early in the season, back then I was still the 252/252/6 EV Spread kind of guy, I might use Mamo again at some point (dependant on VGC 14 Rules) and not throw away a team idea that I have only just put an hour into it. :)
    Edit: How could I forget to congratulate you for being Europe’s first World Champion, great going!

  3. melevin9 says:

    I love that bulky scarf mamoswine and bulky conkeldurr!! As you showed, a way better metagame call than merely going for the simple focus sash on mamoswine and life orb nonsense on a bulky mon like conkeldurr
    The insight you have given us into your play style is invaluable for us, detailing how you would mostly go for the safest play when you have the advantage in a game and how you always countered and compensated your opponents best possible move in a uncertain scenario.
    Im sure you’ve probably heard this a million times by now but a massive congratulations for winning the world championship against arguably the toughest field of competitors ever assembled at a world championships. No mean feat by any stretch of the imagination !!!

  4. kingofmars says:

    I’m going with the theory that Mean had HP Dragon the entire time but never realized it due to him not actually ever using it

  5. R Inanimate says:

    I’m going with the theory that Mean had HP Dragon the entire time but never realized it due to him not actually ever using it

    It wouldn’t be the first time that mysterious non-Fire Hidden Power has shown its face at worlds.

  6. Great article. Congrats on winning!

  7. Cybertron says:

    Congrats Arash!!! It was awesome to meet you at Worlds, you are such a cool dude :) Really glad you won the championship, though I wish I could have been there with you in the finals haha. Wonderful article, see you in DC!

  8. Mean says:

    Um… I don’t mean to sound weird, but 31/2/31/31/31/31 IV’s on Latios gives you Hidden Power Dragon 70, not Hidden Power Fire 70. It must have been a mistype…

    Yeah you’re right, there is a mistake, the correct spread was 31/02/31/30/31/30

    Also, thanks to everybody who congratulated with me even this time ^^

    I’m going with the theory that Mean had HP Dragon the entire time but never realized it due to him not actually ever using it

    I actually think I used it just once against Baz, not sure tough, he should confirm this. I havent faced a lot of scizors haha

  9. Congratulations Mean! And thank you for bringing true prestige to the awesome power of *SHINY* Mamoswine! You are officially my favorite Pokemon Master of ALL TIME! 

  10. Oreios says:

    Congratulations! I really like the Mamoswine and Latios as well as the rest of the team! 

  11. dtrain says:

    Congrats Arash! Nice writeup. Hope to meet you in DC!

  12. R Inanimate says:

    After having a good chance to read through the article, congrats on winning VGC Worlds 2013, Arash! A lot of your matches ended up going to a 3rd game, but you still managed to prevail in the end.
    The team you ran was pretty surprising. Manual Sun Latios as your only form of weather control, and no speed support moves (Tailwind, Thunder Wave, Trick Room, Icy Wind) to be seen at all. The team kind of goes against some team building notions, but made up for it by its effective metagame calls, and being run by a player who knew how to get things done.
    Although it’s a Worlds tournamnet… you somehow ended up facing 4 UK player, that’s half their roster.
    Good Luck in 2014 and XY!

  13. DaWoblefet says:

    Oh good then! It would be kind of silly to have our World Champion not have the correct Hidden Power on his Pokemon! I also assume then that the 252/252/4 EV spread was also a typo or something, because otherwise you’d be wasting 8 EV’s because of the IV drop in Sp. Atk and Spd :D But of course you knew that; you’re World Champion!

  14. Boah says:

    congratulations Mean xP from a unknown guy xd

  15. FamousDeaf says:

    Congrats on winning! I love the team synergy and choice!

  16. AP Frank says:

    Congratulations, Arash! It was so hard to watch you and Ryosuke play it out without being able to see what was going on, but I’m glad to have gotten to see the replays and your reactions 🙂

    Good luck next year, and I’ll hope to see you back on the Final stage!

  17. Daisaku says:

    When I saw Mamoswine, THAT alone kept me,watching the livestream. Congrats at winning worlds Mean

  18. Scott says:
    While I’d seen the actual team before, it was insightful to see it again with your thoughts. I was a little bit surprised when I first saw your team before the finals, but I think it’s neat that you won with the team you did because it plays a little differently than most of the previous winning teams, and I think it’s a good reminder for everyone that instead of trying to force yourself into any general style it’s more important to make your team a good version of what it is. I’ll admit I am a little surprised that you managed to win with zero speed control moves, but I think the speed points your Pokemon started at and the priority moves were a neat way to be able to play around that this time. I feel like there’s going to be a lot of sad players next year who think they can get away with doing the same thing sort of things you did when they play next year who won’t be nearly as successful as you were because they won’t anticipate the metagame nearly as well as you did here though, lol. I was kind of pumped when I saw Sunny Day Latios too, because Ray had been telling me how good he thought that was basically all year. Guess it is!
    I really enjoyed your comments on some of the battles too. Even though you didn’t have really specific notes, the turns you did remember well enough to describe specific were the important ones and did a nice job of showing how the high level thinking in our game works, so thanks for that.
    Congratulations again and thanks for writing the report, it was fun to read!
  19. Havak says:

    A really enjoyable read!

    I remember first playing you in the United Kingdom vs Italy Friendly, and then going on to watch you win one of the Nugget Bridge Live Tournaments. From then on we started chatting quite a lot on Facebook and I knew you’d have a strong showing once you were able to go to Worlds. I’m really happy you won and the team you designed was obviously a very stellar Worlds team. I watched your grand finals matches live and was very impressed with your decision making in what must have been an incredibly nerve-racking situation.

    Thank you for sharing your team and thoughts with us, Arash, it’s a real pleasure. I hope to meet you at a European Event (and Worlds) next year! Congratulations, a deserved and honourable champion!

  20. Baz Anderson says:

    Haha yes, I can confirm it was HP Fire – it was used to finish off my Breloom in our third game just before the decisive turn when I didn’t Protect Terrakion.
    You already know my thoughts; I’m glad you won, and I’m glad we have our European World Champion! 

  21. Osirus says:

    Hey Arash, great read and you already know how much I love your team and what a great shout it was for the worlds Metagame.
    I do need to congratulate you again and say how happy I am for you, all your hard work really paid off, your awesome guy and I look forward to seeing you next season where I hope your success only continues!

  22. lancealot says:

    Great article, I enjoyed every bit of it.

    Your Mamoswine was an absolute BOSS!

  23. Mean says:

    Cybertron: There’s really nothing I can add to what you alredy said. Same for me. Looking forward to see you next year! ^^

    R_Inanimate: Thank you so much. its a shame we hadnt the opportunity to talk a little in Vancouver. I hope we can repair next year. 

    Scott: Exactly. the metagame has been very offensive recently, and with a team which moves quite well in every situation i was able to start my sweep while my opponent was still spreading twaves or setting the trick room, gving me a time advantage.
    Thank you also for fixing the article and putting the shiny Mamoswine sprite! :D

    Havak: Ehm ehm, the FIRST nuggetbridge live, thanks xD
    Next year i’ll probably be only in Milan, make sure that you can come there =)

    Baz & Osirus: Thank you again! ^^  and see you soon!!


  24. TeslaVGC says:


  25. Dreykopff says:


    Shouldn’t it be: FORTE!!!!!!!!! :D

    I was quite surprised when I watched the finals, remembering that you used various Japanese teams throughout the season where none of them were even remotely similar to a team with three super-fast mons. I did see the reign of defensive play crumble with how the metagame unfolded but I still wasn’t sure if an offensive team could win it all — until it indeed happened, and then it was even a revolutionary one at that! Again congratulations and everything, and thank you for the insightful article.

  26. Mean says:

    Oh wait, I’m just realizing the team does lack ways to hit Cresselia super-effectively and most mons don’t have good 1v1 matchup against her as well. How did you feel about that? I recall typical other offensive teams having a lot of Bug/Dark/Ghost STABs and possibly also disruptive defensive moves to discourage Cresselia usage from the start.

    I was not able to do great immediate damages to Cresselia indeed.. but Cresselia itself was not able to give me big problems in return. 
    Against Cresselia I could either try to slowly take it down throughout the game (like I did in the finals for example, I had no pokèmons which were good against Cresselia, but we can easily say that I was in a better position than my opponent during almost all the two games); or simply by cleaning the field for a Heatran sweep.

    Paradoxically a Cresselia on the field often helped me by taking the place of a hypotetical major threat and making me easier to take out the other foe.

  27. BlitznBurst says:

    I was not able to do great immediate damages to Cresselia indeed.. but Cresselia itself was not able to give me big problems in return.
    Against Cresselia I could either try to slowly take it down throughout the game (like I did in the finals for example, I had no pokèmons which were good against Cresselia, but we can easily say that I was in a better position than my opponent during almost all the two games); or simply by cleaning the field for a Heatran sweep.

    Paradoxically a Cresselia on the field often helped me by taking the place of a hypotetical major threat and making me easier to take out the other foe.

    This is why you’re the world champ Mean, I’m awe inspired by this team of yours and your view of Cresselia is amazing. Can’t wait to meet you (hopefully) next year! :)

  28. woopahking says:

    Paradoxically a Cresselia on the field often helped me by taking the place of a hypotetical major threat and making me easier to take out the other foe.

    This is genius.

    Anyway congrats on becoming world champ and the 1st from europe to do so this is a big step in the right direction for VGC

  29. Arti says:

    Congrats again, and a question:
    Have you ever set up Sunny Day and then HP Fired your own Heatran for a Mega Heat Wave?

  30. lalegendex says:

    Congrats Arash and thank you for this awesome report ! We first had the Junior Champion one, then yours, so we now want the senior champion team report ! 😀

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