Published on February 5th, 2014 | by Braverius


Vacation on Gourgeist Island: First Place at Florida Regionals

Hi, I’m Zach, and I recently attended the Orlando Regional this past weekend. I booked tickets for the trip the week before Christmas as an early gift from my family. I really wanted to go back to Florida, and what better time than in the dead of winter again? Last year I left Wisconsin as it was 5 degrees outside and ended up in a place 60 degrees warmer, so I figured it would be a great idea for the weather, much less the tournament.

The Team

Credit goes to Snake for most of the team. I’m pretty much a thief.

Talonflame @ Choice Band
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature
– Brave Bird
– Flare Blitz
– Will-O-Wisp
– U-turn

I saw Talonflame on the team and was super cautious since before using this team, I did not like it at all. However, it did pretty well here. It did very well in earlier rounds, taking advantage of teams that didn’t resist Flying-type attacks. U-Turn was nifty for rotating out as well, which was something I needed to do a lot with this team to try and get as many good situations early game as possible to force a quick late-game.

Garchomp @ Focus Sash
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature
– Earthquake
– Dragon Claw
– Rock Slide
– Protect

I’d used this same Garchomp before, so I was decently familiar with it. Snake originally had it holding a Life Orb with Swords Dance over Rock Slide, but I think setup in this generation is usually not very good without priority moves to accompany it, so I went with the more consistent option.

Rotom-Wash @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 60 Def / 28 SAtk / 148 SDef / 20 Spd
Calm Nature
– Hydro Pump
– Thunderbolt
– Will-O-Wisp
– Protect

This Rotom has the same moves and item as Snake had, but with a different EV spread. You can’t really go wrong with Rotom-W, although I felt it was the weakest link on the team. It had its purposes (especially versus Rain and Ground-types) but it wasn’t as universally amazing as it should have been.

Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Scrappy
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature
– Power-Up Punch
– Fake Out
– Sucker Punch
– Return

When I was practicing against other Megas on Pokémon Showdown, I always noticed that I kept beating Kangaskhan because people would not play it correctly. There were a number of ineffective Kangaskhan: bulky ones, Fake Out, Facade, or even really ridiculous things like Double Edge. However, most of the time, the fatal flaw the opponent made was using Fake Out without thinking about the other possibilities, (which are usually even safer) such as eliminating coin flips and forcing a faster late game. I didn’t get much time to practice with it, but I can see why it worked really well for Snake; if you made the consistent, correct play, most of the time you were going to win the early game. A lot of people overthink Kangaskhan and want to be the prediction master or something, but I found taking the simple approach worked a lot better.

I’d thought about running Protect over Fake Out, but I didn’t really see much value in sustaining its length on the field, because sacrificing Kangaskhan wasn’t a bad thing most of the time and could allow me to gain the upper hand on the opponent. I never saw any apparent issues with the EV spread, so I was pretty okay with the really bland 252/252.

Tyranitar @ Life Orb
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Modest Nature
– Rock Slide
– Fire Blast
– Ice Beam
– Protect

This was originally an Aerodactyl, but Snake changed it during the week to Tyranitar to deal with Aegislash and Mawile a bit better. I stressed to him that I wanted to deal with those two, and he pretty much told me Tyranitar was better over Aerodactyl in that case. I did some damage calcs with Fire Blast and was immediately set on using it. I had a dilemma of Timid vs Modest because of the benefits of each, but settled on Modest because I was a lot more afraid of Mawile than Venusaur (and Timid Tyranitar is used to outspeed Modest Venusaur). Fire Blast from Timid Tyranitar doesn’t ensure KOs on most Mawiles, while Modest gives it a very high chance to KO assuming the person isn’t running a defensive Mawile, similar to Ray’s Mawile. Rock Slide and Ice Beam gave me added coverage for things that Gourgeist had issues with mid-game, such as Talonflame and Salamence.

Gourgeist (Super Size) @ Leftovers
Ability: Frisk
EVs: 252 HP / 36 Def / 220 SDef
Careful Nature
– Leech Seed
– Phantom Force
– Protect
– Will-O-Wisp

[10:33:17 PM] Jio Neita: gourgeist just comes out of like
[10:33:20 PM] Jio Neita: the depths of hell
[10:33:24 PM] Jio Neita: and gives you a pat on the back
[10:33:25 PM] Jio Neita: and leaves

And finally, the star of the show. Since XY was released, I’ve been trying to figure out how to use Gourgeist, and had given up on it several times until being given this team the day before regionals. Its late game is stupidly good, as it not only does well then, but it forces late game to start even earlier, putting a lot of pressure on the opponent early. I noticed before the event that the team was naturally geared to take out some of the largest threats to Gourgeist: Talonflame, Charizard, Rotom-H, Salamence, and Chandelure. I had at least three checks for each of those Pokémon, so I’d be in decent position regardless of what I had on the field next to Gourgeist.

The insane amount of physical bulk Gourgeist has in a metagame that is heavily run by physical attackers is the main reason it does so well. I put as much Special Defense on it as I could (albeit not max) but I can’t remember why I had Defensive EVs; I took it out of my box the night before and was too lazy to re-EV it. It ended up Will-o-Wisping a lot of the physical threats anyways, so I could usually rely on the burn to take care of the fact that I didn’t invest more into defense.

As for the set?

Snake: wow rot die etc
Jio Neita: wow = willowisp, rot = leech seed, die = phantom force, etc = protect

A lot of people were surprised I wasn’t running Trick Room, but I’m not sure why. I’ve never thought very highly of Trick Room in any format, and 2014 is even less of a good time to run it. It needs Protect to help force some better situations early-mid game and 50/50 out of some bad situations late game. I also was asked why I wasn’t running Seed Bomb, but that was a lot easier to answer; Phantom Force helped Gourgeist keep leverage while essentially getting a free Protect with the move. Coupled with Leech Seed and Leftovers, it made a lot of sense.

The Story

I left Seattle Thursday morning and after little sleep, a 90 minute commute to the airport, and seven hours of flying, I was in Orlando. I got in pretty late, so I had to take a cab because the shuttle wasn’t running past midnight. I ended up staying with Sam (DrFidget) and Tiffany (Shiloh) for the night since I was really bad at planning and didn’t book my own hotel room until the last minute, and knew they had room this night anyways. When I woke up the next morning, I checked my e-mail to see which hotel Hotwire gave me, only to find that to my dismay, the original transaction was never processed. So after figuring out things, I ended up getting a room at the nearby Travelodge for $39 a night, which was a pretty good deal as the room was adequate, even though the hotel itself was quite sketchy.

I didn’t sleep very well again the night before, so I napped away most of the afternoon as everyone was either flying into Orlando or wandering around theme parks. Later Friday evening, I was trying to figure out the last slot on the team I had been working on all week, and simply could not get the team to click regardless of what I put in that slot. I pretty much lost composure and scrambled around to test a ton of different things, ranging from Gavin (kingofmars)’s team to some Enosh (Human) modifications to going back to the team Harrison (Crow) originally had. I didn’t like anything I was testing unfortunately, and was getting extremely uneasy and a little on edge. I thought I would end up just winging it and trying the Charizard-X team, but amidst the chaos I saw a PM from Henry (Snake) on Skype telling me to try his team. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I asked for his team.

17 battles later, I ended up 15-2 on PS (far and away the best stretch of matches I’d had all week), which seems petty but really doesn’t tell the whole story. I was comfortable with almost all of the Pokemon on this team, and I really didn’t have to go around gathering a lot of them either. The team was super straightforward and, other than Gourgeist, was all really standard, no-nonsense stuff as well.

I really made an effort to use Gourgeist at this event during the week, so finding a team that worked insanely well with it was a godsend. Later that night, I went down to Dunkin’ Donuts in my pajamas because the site said it was open 24/7 but they lied. I was distraught so I went to bed.

The next morning, Snake traded me the Talonflame and Tyranitar and a few items I needed, and I just needed to re-breed Jolly Kangaskhan and re-EV the Tyranitar. I made a few edits to his team since I had personal preferences with a few of the mons I’d used previously, but the same six were kept. I spent some of the day aimlessly wandering around Orlando because I was a chump and didn’t go to any of the theme parks since I was worried about my team the night before. Later on, Garrett (araluen7) and TJ (PsyJ) got into town as I was finishing up the last EVs on my team. I noticed that I kept getting a handful of attack EVs on Tyranitar (which I didn’t need), and thankfully Garrett was smarter than me and pointed out that I was accidentally KOing hordes of Cubchoo.

The team finally was in my battle box ready to go at about 1:30am. When it was all done, we discussed the Araluensurance plan and tried to help TJ learn how to play 2014, and everyone chatted for a bit about things like Talonflame’s plethora of options for its 4th move (such as Fly, Taunt, and GIGA IMPACT) and we all eventually fell asleep at some point. The next morning, after persuading Garrett to not go to Dunkin Donuts for coffee, we walked over to the convention center to see a massive line outside the door. Turns out this event was pretty big after all, which was a stark contrast to 2013. Registration took about 30 minutes to get through for us, and it was another two hours before the tournament started. I met up with William (Wiretap) and a couple of his friends and talked for a while before it all started. My phone was at about 50% battery before round 1, which was unfortunate, but explains how bored I was while waiting for pairings.

Eventually, pairings went up, and I was paired with William. We’d pretty much told each other our entire teams while talking, so it was pretty awful to run into him right off the bat.

Round 1: William Collins [Wiretap] (6-3)

His four: meowstic rotom-wash talonflame kangaskhan-mega
My four: kangaskhan-mega talonflame gourgeist rotom-wash

This one was back-and-forth the entire match with a few critical hits that I don’t think mattered in the end. I squeaked out a victory by Brave Birding his Rotom-W and started off 1-0 for the first time at an XY regional.


Round 2: Simon Yip [Simon] (6-3)

His four: aegislash charizard-mega-y garchomp gardevoir
My four: kangaskhan-mega tyranitar garchomp rotom-wash

Two rounds in and I already had two really upsetting matchups. I was helping Simon get a flight about 12 hours earlier, so ending up pulling him was not really what I wanted to have happen. He was super tired as he hadn’t slept all night due to his flight getting cancelled and being stranded in NYC. I know we played a pretty straightforward, no-nonsense match. After he double Protected turn one, both of us attacked at almost every single opportunity. I was just barely able to outdamage him for the win.


[9:53:59 PM] Simon Yip: it was lunch break
[9:54:02 PM] Simon Yip: and i was garfield

Round 3: Daniel Brickeen (5-4)

His four: slowbro amoonguss machamp mawile-mega
My four: kangaskhan-mega talonflame gourgeist tyranitar

I saw hard Trick Room and knee-jerk reacted leading Kangaskhan + Talonflame because I noticed he had an Amoonguss but no Fake Out users. He led Amoonguss and Slowbro and didn’t Protect either as I flinched Slowbro and KOd the Amoonguss with Brave Bird. I kept Brave Birding all the things and dealing damage and won pretty convincingly, either 2-0 or 3-0.


Round 4: Boanerges Pineda (6-3)

His four: sableye blastoise-mega rhyperior salamence
My four: rotom-wash kangaskhan-mega gourgeist talonflame

I didn’t know what to do as a lead, but I knew that Gourgeist would be able to swallow him alive if I was able to get Sableye out of the way and Salamence under control. Turn one, I remember being arbitrary Fake Outs. Turn two, I messed up by double attacking his Blastoise as he Protected and Foul Played Kangaskhan. I really made some silly plays here, as I doubled into Blastoise again but used Hydro Pump rather than Thunderbolt, because I was pretty sure Hydro Pump would finish it off if Return didn’t, but looking back on that move I’m not really impressed with the choice or the logic. Return knocked it into Hydro KO range but Hydro Pump missed, allowing Blastoise to finish off Kangaskhan with an Aura Sphere while Sableye burned the Rotom-W. The battle kept getting more and more ugly until towards the end when I managed to force a good scenario: his -2 Salamence with Leech Seed on it and his burned Rhyperior versus 2/3 health Gourgeist. I knew I would win barring a critical hit here, but right as I thought about it, Fire Blast critical hit Gourgeist, knocking it out and winning him the game. This was the only battle where Gourgeist didn’t come through on its job all day.


Round 5: Andrew Raborn (6-3)

His four: politoed gyarados kingdra ferrothorn
My four: kangaskhan-mega rotom-wash tyranitar gourgeist

I was really not too afraid of this matchup since he had absolutely nothing that could 2hko Gourgeist barring something carrying Choice Specs, so I was feeling good going into this match. I also saw the first Ferrothorn of the day and was hoping he’d bring it. He ended up Thunder Waving with his bulky, Wacan Berry Gyarados and didn’t switch too much, allowing me to pick off Politoed conveniently early and force Kingdra in versus my Rotom-W and Gourgeist. The battle ended up with Tyranitar and Gourgeist versus Ferrothorn, and we all know how that ends. We ended up talking after the match for a bit and he asked what he could have done that would have threatened me. I love hearing those types of questions, so I spent a bit of time theorying with him on how to improve his team a bit. It looked threatening to most things, but I just had a good matchup, so here’s to hoping he comes back even better next time.


Round 6: Kolby Golliher (6-3)

His four: meowstic kangaskhan-mega salamence ferrothorn
My four: kangaskhan-mega tyranitar gourgeist rotom-wash

I managed to pull another person I was talking to a lot, William’s friend Kolby. I saw the Meowstic and I was super concerned about the cat doing some really unspeakable things to me, because Kolby had told me earlier that he was getting lucky today. I don’t remember the exact details, but I know Kangaskhan was fully paralyzed for three of the first four turns, and I couldn’t get rid of the annoying cat. He then began to use Swagger after everything was good and paralyzed, at which point I was seriously worried I’d lose the battle the same way I did round one at Salem.

I had one last dying hope towards the end; Kolby made a really good play by protecting Ferrothorn the turn I protected Tyranitar, forcing me to eat a Swagger if I wanted to attack it, and I knew the odds of hitting were just a slight bit better than the odds of me firing off a double Protect, so I went all in and Fire Blasted the Ferrothorn on the field next to Meowstic, which hit it and knocked it out through confusion and paralysis. Kangaskhan attacked Meowstic, knocking it out, leaving him with just his Choice Scarf Salamence with low HP in the back. He brought it in and Hydro Pumped as I Sucker Punched… or not. Kangaskhan was, once again, fully paralyzed. His Hydro Pump critical hit my Tyranitar, knocking it out from almost full health. I realized that if Kangaskhan did not move on one of the next two turns, I was doomed, so I Sucker Punched and and it hit, landing the KO on Salamence.


Round 7: William Siner (5-4)

His four: ???
My four: ???

I totally forgot the details of this battle, but I remember I was at table 99 and the guy was pretty chill. I knocked out four Pokémon at some point.


Round 8: Justin Stipe [Panko] (7-2)

His four: meowstic mawile-mega / didn’t see the last two
My four: kangaskhan-mega tyranitar gourgeist garchomp

I sat down and realized this was the guy who I sat next to during two of the previous rounds who was having a really good time. I was pretty pumped to play him as the last few matches had been relatively quiet, along with the long breaks between rounds. He introduced himself as Panko on PS, a name I definitely recognized. I remembered he played with Meowstic and I shuddered, fearing the worst. I also remembered that he was not running a super bulky Mawile from playing him the night before, so I knew my Tyranitar’s Fire Blast paired with Kangaskhan’s Power-Up Punch had a relatively good shot to knock it out. I led Tyranitar and Kangaskhan, and he led Meowstic and Mawile. I used Power-Up Punch and Fire Blast on Mawile turn one, but Fire Blast missed and he nailed my Tyranitar with a Play Rough. From here on out, he absolutely demolished me with Safeguard and Swagger, and after asking kindly if I could spite KO his Meowstic and him kindly obliging, Gourgeist got one-shot by some Mawile STAB move and he took the victory handily. This was the cleanest loss I took over the course of the last two tournaments up to this point. The Fire Blast miss wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d wisely used Fake Out and not been greedy. It was my own fault I was in that situation and he took total advantage of that. Kudos to him.


Round 9: Matthew Bray (6-3)

His four: rotom-mow gyarados? marowak greninja
My four: talonflame kangaskhan-mega gourgeist rotom-wash

I saw his team and realized it was far and away the most favorable matchup I’d had all day. I knew I could roll through him with Kangaskhan and Gourgeist if I didn’t make any mistakes, and ended up doing so. I remember his Rotom-C was bulky and didn’t KO my Rotom-W with Leaf Storm, and Gourgeist cleaned up most of the match. He had a shiny Greninja which was cool.


Top 16: Alison McDonald [Fishy] (7-2)

abomasnow chandelure hariyama mawile-mega aromatisse azumarill

I pulled Alison for my first series in top cut. I played her in Swiss last year and made the play of a lifetime and she still almost brought it all the way back, so I knew I had to tread lightly here. I heard something about an Abomasnow before the battle but nothing more than the fact it was there, and that scared me a bit since everything except Kangaskhan and Talonflame was weak to one of its STAB moves.

Game 1

Her four: chandelure hariyama mawile-mega azumarill
My four: talonflame kangaskhan-mega gourgeist tyranitar

I figured I’d lead Kangaskhan and Talonflame to help deal some early damage and force her hand. I knew if she led Hariyama that I’d have an upper hand and reveal one of her Pokémon right away (assuming Hariyama didn’t use Protect). She led with Chandelure and Hariyama. Turn one was straightforward; she made a wise switch into Mawile as I Faked Out Chandelure and Brave Birded the incoming Mawile. I don’t remember the turn-by-turn from here on out, but it was relatively close at the end. She missed a Play Rough on my Talonflame towards the end that might have given her a small chance, but I did still have an upper hand even if it hit. I squeaked a win out and we started game two.

Game 2

Her four: mawile-mega aromatisse abomasnow azumarill
My four: talonflame kangaskhan-mega gourgeist tyranitar

I brought the same four again as I saw no flaw in the plan, and then about halfway through this match I saw the flaw that almost lost me this one. She wisely led Aromatisse and Mawile, and rotated things around a bit. She played very well early in the match, and her Aromatisse took some heavy damage yet still survived to get off a Trick Room, allowing for Abomasnow to start getting up in my grill very quickly. She had the game pretty close to sealed; all she had to do was hit a Play Rough on my (I think Tyranitar) on (I think a switch) and it ended up missing. I felt really fortunate here as I probably was doomed had it not missed. I felt bad taking the win that way, especially since I made the mistake of forgetting that Tyranitar needs to be faster than Mawile and Abomasnow to actually do anything to either one…

Overall, it was a really fun series. We both were pretty much just relieved and glad that we made top cut which helped calm the nerves a bit. Both of the matches were pretty intense, but we got a few laughs out of it. A series like that is what you look forward to when playing the game, regardless of how it turns out on the Pokémon side of things.

Top 8: Ray Rizzo [Ray] (9-0)

mawile-mega ferrothorn salamence tyranitar garchomp rotom-wash

I saw this matchup was in my path once the top cut bracket was created. Everyone wants to say they’d like to have a chance to play Ray, but when the matchup actually happens, he’s probably the last person you want to pull due to his insane consistency. After getting absolutely demolished by him at Worlds, I was not too confident going into this match. I wasn’t too sure I could keep up with him, especially since I was already struggling with the 45 second timer. I knew I’d have to get a little lucky since he’s definitely a few notches above me as a player, but I was hoping that my decent team matchup could abate that.

Game 1

His four: ferrothorn salamence mawile-mega rotom-wash
My four: kangaskhan-mega tyranitar gourgeist garchomp

I was pretty sure he’d be looking to scout for information here, so I was a bit cautious on that note, as there were a few things (such as Garchomp’s item) that could have helped me if kept them a secret. I don’t really remember the turn-by-turn of the early game here, but it was a pretty anti-checkmate environment for the first few turns. I think the only out-of-place thing that happened was a Fire Blast burn on Rotom-W, which probably didn’t end up mattering. I got the game down to my Garchomp (which was Leech Seeded) and Gourgeist versus his Ferrothorn. I figured I could timer stall for the win condition and didn’t really think twice about it, but it turned out I could have easily out-damaged the Ferrothorn and won the game more quickly. I ended up going the timer route and felt a little silly after he pointed out the other option after the game, but either way I got the win.

Game 2

His four: mawile-mega rotom-wash / salamence garchomp
My four: kangaskhan-mega tyranitar gourgeist garchomp

I brought the same four as I saw no need for Talonflame and didn’t have much reason to bring Rotom-W either as I needed a second answer for his Salamence in any scenario. This game felt wrong all the way through, starting at turn one with me timering out of my move and having the game auto-select Tyranitar’s move. Tyranitar ended up Protecting itself as Kangaskhan Faked Out his Mawile (the move I actually chose), and Rotom-W Hydro Pumped into Tyranitar, effectively drawing a dead turn but also pretty much making me the rookie of the day. I had meant to Fire Blast the Mawile, which actually would have given me a weird situation considering it would not have been knocked out (and Tyranitar would have had quite a bit of damage on it from that Hydro Pump), so my own gaffe cancelled out a potentially stupid play. I needed a bit more time to think about that, which likely is my own fault since I’m pretty sure a bit more practice with Tyranitar in that scenario would have helped me make that decision a lot faster.

The battle remained in his favor almost the entire time as he made a solid play burning my already -2 Kangaskhan as I Protected Tyranitar (I could have gotten a free attack), and ended up putting himself in excellent position. However, the next turn I used Return on his Rotom-W; the first hit critical hit and the second hit also critical hit. I’m not sure if I can really put into words the awful feeling of guilt I had after that turn. His Rotom-W somehow survived after that but, if I remember correctly, Sandstorm damage finished it off. I ended up a turn or two later with full-health Tyranitar and Gourgeist versus Garchomp, and Ice Beamed for the KO.

This was probably the sloppiest, most undeserved game I’ve ever had at an event. It wasn’t the way I wanted to win and I wasn’t really in a celebratory mood. Kudos to Ray for being really cool about it, though; I can’t really ask for a more respectful opponent. I felt the team matchup I had was very good, but the way I played, especially during game two, proved I have a lot to learn yet. Regardless, I had to move on quickly; there was more Pokémon to play.

Top 4: Ashton Cox [Linkyoshimario] (7-2)

diggersby zapdos clawitzer weavile charizard-mega-y garchomp


I met Ashton at 2012 Nationals at a side event. We were multi-battle partners and kicked some butt but now we had to play so that sucked.

Game 1

His four: weavile charizard-mega-y clawitzer diggersby
My four: kangaskhan-mega talonflame rotom-wash garchomp

So we kind of knew what was going to happen as soon as this began and I really don’t have any words for how to explain that. I was worried about Clawitzer, but I got it out of the way early and, in turn, I opened the door for a fast, dirty rabbit to drop a lot of rocks on my head and my Pokémon were just not really okay with that. Rotom and Garchomp were in agony, flinching from the falling rocks from Diggersby, and it was almost over and not in my favor when Rotom decided to open its door and spray water on the fast, dirty rabbit, making it faint. I won.

Game 2

His four: weavile garchomp diggersby zapdos
My four: kangaskhan-mega talonflame rotom-wash garchomp

So, after almost getting destroyed by Diggersby, I was slightly concerned but realized I just needed to get my Pokemon to stop flinching. We said something about CHOMP WARS and we both brought our Garchomps so that was a good time. He made some Substitutes with Garchomp and healed them off with Leftovers because that was a pretty good set. However, I burned it at some point, which made Garchomp much less of a threat. Fast, dirty rabbit came in again from the back after I knocked out Weavile and Zapdos, and this time it did not flinch me as much as it did in the previous game. Sunday was laundry day, and Rotom-Wash opened the door to victory by washing it clean.

And on behalf of Chalkey as well, you’re welcome, Blake.

Ashton’s a really cool guy and gave me a good run for my money to boot, especially in game one. I couldn’t ask for more out of a top 4 match. Also, ironically, I defeated the guy with the longest hair in top cut to unlock achievement: GAVIN’S HAIRCUT.

FINALS: Stephen Scruggs (8-1)

liepard kangaskhan-mega ferrothorn azumarill chandelure rotom-wash

After getting a call from soon-to-be-short-haired Gavin, I had to play in the finals. I knew this team from PS right when I saw it, and man was I scared of that Chandelure. It was probably the only thing standing between Gourgeist and a Champion’s Trophy.

Game 1

His four: kangaskhan-mega chandelure ferrothorn azumarill
My four: kangaskhan-mega talonflame gourgeist garchomp

He led Chandelure and MY GOD I WENT AFTER IT. I wiped it clean with a Brave Bird turn two and Gourgeist happened all over the place because there was also no Liepard. This is the most stupid-sounding explanation of the battle, but I really didn’t have to think much differently after Chandelure fainted. Gourgeist ahoy.

Game 2

His four: kangaskhan-mega liepard ferrothorn azumarill
My four: kangaskhan-mega talonflame gourgeist garchomp

I brought the same four seeing no reason not to. He brought Liepard over Chandelure which I thought was a win condition until I got into a really bad position due to Encore. He had me on lock about 5 turns in with that and I dropped this one hard. Not busting Liepard’s Focus Sash was crucial, and I knew exactly what I needed to do game three.

Game 3

His four: kangaskhan-mega liepard ferrothorn azumarill
My four: kangaskhan-mega talonflame gourgeist tyranitar

What did I need to do game three? Well, simply put, Tyranitar! Yes, Tyranitar – the Pokemon who does absolutely nothing here except break Liepard’s Focus Sash. I knew if I got the Liepard out of the way, Gourgeist could handle the rest assuming I had even half-decent positioning. I ended up going down with only Gourgeist remaining versus three of his Pokemon after my Talonflame suicided into Kangaskhan (burning it also, which made Steve a bit upset until he realized I had only a Gourgeist left and he had Mega evolved previously). I had already burned the Azumarill and Ferrothorn in the back and sacrificed a lot of Pokémon in order to do so, but I knew I could win the game if I landed a Leech Seed on Azumarill. I was already paralyzed, so I needed to hit through paralysis and not get flinched from Ferrothorn’s Iron Head. I flinched the first turn, and knew if I didn’t get it to go one of the next two turns I was doomed. I got the seeds the second turn, had no crits, and the rest was history. Gourgeist stole the show right when I needed it to.

This was quite a thrilling finale, and I was surprised it was as close as it was considering I hadn’t seen Chandelure during the last two games. Gourgeist ended up paying huge dividends here as it had already done most of the day and, to my enjoyment, I watched it take down its lesser counterpart to end the tournament.

Steve made some solid plays during the match, and was clearly quite comfortable with his team. I wasn’t a fan of the Facade Kangaskhan or Ferrothorn, but I guess they are solid mons in general. The Azumarill / Liepard / Chandelure trio looked like it could have been quite the play in Swiss.

So, I got a new 3DS finally and man did I want one of those since the battery life on my current one is laughable. Also, I got some cards and a hat and a brick and stuff.

I went back to the hotel room afterward with Wolfe, Mike (JiveTime), TJ, and Garrett and hung out for a few hours and talked about some really ridiculous things. I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. We discussed things like Talonflame’s Flail OHKOing Mawile, Hidden Power Fire Kangaskhan, the curious case of Eelektross showing the world that it’s actually a windsock in gen 6, and how Wolfe’s microwave messes with his wi-fi. TJ and Garrett headed back home at about 2am, and the rest of us crashed.

The next morning, Wolfe, Mike and I were going to hang out but Wolfe’s shuttle abruptly showed up so it was just Mike and I wandering around for a while. I needed a t-shirt since I just had sweatshirts left so I got one for 2 bucks at a store. I also found a ballin’ sticker there that I didn’t buy because I wanted to save my 10 bucks. We ended up going to a really weak arcade afterward but at least it had mini hoops, so I was glad I saved that $10. We played a lot of games but didn’t make it to the final level which was pretty sad.

After shuttling to the airport and saying goodbye, I boarded for my five hour flight to Salt Lake City. I realized mid-flight that I forgot to do my psychology homework so I did that in the Salt Lake airport while waiting for my connecting flight and got it done… and got an A somehow. After another two hour flight, I was back to Seattle. All of the buses were pretty much done running at that point though so I had to crash at Chalkey, Gabby, and Sam’s place for the night. Chalkey and I went to QFC and bought some chicken nuggets to celebrate the victory. Not only were they chicken nuggets, but they were shaped like animals. Stuffing myself with meat shaped like other meat was definitely an appropriate way to celebrate not having to go vegetarian.

I made it back home to Redmond Tuesday morning after eating a really delicious breakfast at Pike Place. It felt good to be home after a long weekend, but I did miss the warm temperatures and fun times in Florida.

I want to give shoutouts to a lot of people, but need to keep it as short as possible here:

  • Chalkey, Gabby, Sam, Tiffany: for giving me a place to stay at some point during the weekend
  • Jordan, Chuppa, Jio, Arash, William, Tommy, Jorm, Simon: for helping me with the small things with testing and preparing, even if it wasn’t for using that team
  • Enosh, Harrison, Gavin: for the more in-depth testing and stuff, and for putting up with me Friday night
  • Garrett, TJ, Wolfe, Mike: for making the weekend that much more awesome
  • Tristan, Angel, Rick, Matt, Will, Collin: for the support during the tournament (and congrats Angel and Matt on top cutting again!)
  • Henry: for the team, and saving the day and pretty much being the entire reason I even had a chance

About the Author

started playing competitive Pokemon in April 2011. Since then he has been fortunate enough to compete in numerous official live events, qualifying for Worlds in 2013 and winning four Regionals along the way.

22 Responses to Vacation on Gourgeist Island: First Place at Florida Regionals

  1. TKOWL says:

    Good read, definitely missed those opinionated analyses of the metagame. Congrats on getting first place, and am definitely getting more interested in Gourgeist and what it can do. 

  2. Cybertron says:

    Really great read Zach! Congrats again on the win, always a pleasure to read your reports :)

  3. Terrakhaos says:

    Great report,congrats for the win ^^ I’d like to see that flail talon xD

  4. Thunderlock says:

    Ive alwaysed love gourgeist and this post is one of the first i have seen that displays her abliltiy in the competitive scene :D good read loved the use of gourgeist

  5. BrewCrew says:

    I told you guys façade kanga was great, but all I got is hate…anyway good report choice band talonflame dabes(the best).

  6. camzeee says:

    This is a classic case of ‘don’t overthink it’.  Lots of 252/252/4 spreads but a great player behind the team making smart plays and setting up good match-ups.  I definitely agree with the thought on mega kangaskhan – that lots of players don’t make the right play with it, but if used wisely, it can setup a huge advantage early game that a good player won’t relinquish.

  7. araluen7 says:

    zomg i was using this exact same 6!!1!11!!

    Stuffing myself with meat shaped like other meat was definitely an appropriate way to celebrate not having to go vegetarian.

    Best part of the whole weekend was this. Great Report Zach, and congrats again on the win!! :)

  8. Bopper says:

    I hate you so much right now. 

  9. shinryu says:

    I never did get the whole bulky Kanga thing, must be a singles thing…simple Jolly sweeper spread is all it really needs.

    But yeah, congrats on 1st in what sounded like a very rough field.

  10. matt says:

    Well done homie, On the subject of facade, after the match he told me he sometimes thunder wave’d his own kanga. Wacky stuff
    shoulda played giga impact

  11. Jffurlan says:

    Well done homie, On the subject of facade, after the match he told me he sometimes thunder wave’d his own kanga. Wacky stuff
    shoulda played giga impact

    Yeah, I never understood the logic behind burning/paralyzing your own teammate just to active facade. Swaggering yourself I get, but why not burn paralyze your opponent and just use return lol.
    Great report Zach, and congrats on your win!

  12. R Inanimate says:

    Great report, Zach. You mentioned after the seattle regionals that you were thinking of reporting about stuffs from the last few regionals. But I suppose that would approach Gavin’s National’s report level in length. Are you still planning to talk about those events?
    An interesting thing of note is that the amount of Pokemon with Intimidate in the Florida finals is a grand total of Zero.

  13. Two and a half years later and Snake is just as cute as ever. <3  :wub:

  14. kingofmars says:

    0/10 did not allow me to keep hair

  15. kolbyjayke says:

    Great article Zach! I used mawile on my team (round 6) though, not kanga. I also want to say Wiretap used rocky helmet garchomp and mawile instead of meowstic and kanga, but I don’t know that for sure.
    Anyways, again, awesome job on winning; Gourgeist to victory!

  16. pball0010 says:

    I remembered he played with Meowstic and I shuddered

    I did not know your ability was Anticipation ;)

    Congrats on winning yet another regional and affirming me on the Kangaskhan set that I’ve been using all along is the best one.

  17. Braverius says:

    Great report, Zach. You mentioned after the seattle regionals that you were thinking of reporting about stuffs from the last few regionals. But I suppose that would approach Gavin’s National’s report level in length. Are you still planning to talk about those events?
    An interesting thing of note is that the amount of Pokemon with Intimidate in the Florida finals is a grand total of Zero.

    I was going to do that, but it took me 5 hours to write this amid school and other things to deal with, so I figured maybe some other time as a filler article.

    Great article Zach! I used mawile on my team (round 6) though, not kanga. I also want to say Wiretap used rocky helmet garchomp and mawile instead of meowstic and kanga, but I don’t know that for sure.
    Anyways, again, awesome job on winning; Gourgeist to victory!

    I think there were like 3 or 4 different mons I wasn’t sure on so I made guesses. Whoops :/ 

  18. Arti says:

    I just assumed that Ray scooped for the sake of a Gavin haircut

  19. Crawdaunt says:

    I was laughing out loud multiple times reading it. Major congrats man. Lovin’ the Gourgeist.

  20. Mystery says:

    Not the topic for Facade Kanga arguing but yeah I’ve been singing Gourgeist’s praises for a while. It’s ridiculous how easily it can single-handedly beat most teams once you eliminate the usually singular threat the opponent can muster toward it (Talonflame/Charizard, Tyranitar or such). It’s sort of an alternative Ferrothorn, bulky Leech Seeders are so good right now.

  21. BoanergesTwelf12 says:

    zomg, i cant believe i played you fourth round, and i thought playing Ryan Luu was awesome enough XD. It didn’t even cross my mind till i saw your picture on the top page. Well deserved win with an awesome team, Congrats!

  22. Golden3shards says:

    Oh my god I’m in this article lol
    Well kinda, you didn’t put my team down. I used Mega Charizard Y, Shiny Greninja, Ludicolo, and Rhydon against you. Don’t really remember how it went down but I lost badly.

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