Published on June 26th, 2015 | by Crow14
Welcome to the New Extreme: A Seattle 3rd & Madison 1st Place Team Report
Hey everyone, Harrison Saylor (Crow) here and I’m joined by Collin Heier (TheBattleRoom) to talk about the team we each piloted at various Regional Championships. So here’s how it’s gonna work – I’m going to talk about the construction of the team and then introduce the actual team. At this point, Collin will jump in and talk about his experience with the team and the changes that were made in between Seattle and Madison (his words will be in italics!). I’m not going to be talking about swiss or top cut matches, as I feel team reports should focus on the team and not the player (and also because I don’t take notes, but gloss over that fact), but don’t worry; Collin will be providing that content. Alright, now that the formal junk is out of the way, we can get to the good stuff!
I don’t like to work alone. I like working with people. This time around I worked with Enosh Shachar (Human). Together we talked about many aspects of the current metagame, eventually coming to various conclusions. Of those conclusions two stuck with us the most – “Why is there only one successful Trick Room team?” and “Dang, boosted Hyper Voice is pretty good”. To the first point I’m sure many of you know exactly which team I’m talking about – the Mega Gardevoir / Amoonguss / Heatran / Thundurus and friends team that originally came out of Japan. It’s a team that I thought was pretty cool when I first saw it, but then passionately hated it once I actually tried it. It was the team most reminiscent to something that could have come out of 2013 and the fact I thought it just wasn’t very good was disappointing. As for the second conclusion, I’m sure we’re all well acquainted to the power of boosted Hyper Voice at this point.
With these two things in mind, we set out to build a team. And we did. But it wasn’t great. We had hit a roadblock, so I did what I tend to do when I don’t want to play games – watch random matches on Pokemon Showdown! In one of those matches I saw a Sylveon use Calm Mind. It lost horribly, but that didn’t matter. I had seen exactly what I wanted, a better way to run Sylveon so we didn’t have to run Mega Gardevoir. From there I created a team skeleton consisting of Sylveon / Mega Salamence / Cresselia / Heatran / Thundurus-I / Escavalier. After showing it to Enosh he made the suggestion that Thundurus be swapped to Rotom-Wash (a decision we would later revert) and Escavalier be swapped to Rhyperior (one of the best decisions we could have made). As luck would have it, I had a Rhyperior set that Zach Droegkamp (Braverius) had given me a month or two before. With a new team in tow, I went to test it. That first battle was a defining moment for me, I had not used a team that felt like it did since 2013. Enosh played some and agreed with my sentiment; we felt we had a team that had the potential to change the way people thought about Trick Room in 2015 as well as becoming an iconic team of the year.
Of course the team isn’t perfect, no team is. Here are the biggest threats to it.
Bulky waters are 100% the toughest matchup for this team. The only water resist is Salamence, which is a dubious resist in the best of cases. Rotom-Wash, Milotic, and general rain teams, etc each provided a unique set of frustrations. While many people have complained to me about Rotom-W, the most annoying in my opinion is rain with a steel type. That combination was by far the team’s worst matchup. How to get around it? Figure it out on the fly. In Seattle top cut I was able to beat Max Douglas (starmetroid) who was using the same rain team I eventually lost to. You have a team of six with options, it’s time to put your pokemon skills to the test and figure something out.
Life Orb Aegislash
The item is important here. The extra power lets Flash Cannon pick up a One-Hit-KO on Rhyperior, so if I end up being slower I can’t hit it in Blade Forme and if I’m faster I can’t KO without a Helping Hand boost. I hadn’t even considered this Life Orb Aegislash, especially on rain, which became painfully apparent at Seattle.
While not nearly as threatening as the two previously listed things, Bisharp wasn’t the most fun match-up. However, as long as I could Paralyze Bisharp or get up Trick Room, Rhyperior could make short work of it, partially in part due to Rhyperior’s massive Defense stat. If Rhyperior or Heatran wasn’t around though, things could get problematic.
While not exactly common anymore, Mega Mawile could be a threat to the team. Though, full disclosure, that’s only in my mind and perhaps on paper. I never actually had troubles beating the few Mega Mawile I faced in testing. Regardless, I’m gonna put it on here.
Without any super effective move to KO Sylveon, if you let it get going it could cause massive problems. She has the ability to OHKO or 2HKO all the Pokemon on the team if she has Hidden Power Ground.
Sylveon @ Life Orb
EVs: 164 HP / 108 Def / 192 SpA / 4 SpD / 40 Spe
– Hyper Voice
– Calm Mind
– Hidden Power [Fire]
Sylveon, while not the star of the team, was certainly an important player. It puts a fair amount of pressure on the field with Hyper Voice and creates half of the Fairy/Ground coverage combo that works surprisingly well. Life Orb was the item of choice because without the boost from Calm Mind, and even sometimes with it, Sylveon’s damage output left something to be desired. With Life Orb, however, you could come out of the gates as a serious threat right away. The 40 Speed probably seems a bit odd, but it was to outspeed lower speed investment Aegislash who thought they could be cheeky and be fine in Blade Forme, something that Collin actually found out the hard way on our stream match. Hidden Power [Fire] was chosen over Hidden Power [Ground] because I didn’t really like Ferrorthorn and Escavalier.
When I first started using the team, Sylveon stood out as the MVP and it remained all the way through practice. I never really expected much from it but my god, in Trick Room this thing is a monster. I fell in love with the moveset almost instantly. I got to experience Calm Mind first hand at Seattle and now it was my turn to spread the love. She’s adorable, strong, and seems too friendly to be trustworthy.
Salamence @ Salamencite
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 244 Spe
– Draco Meteor
Hey it’s Mega Salamence! Have you heard of this guy? At the start of the year I had written Mega Salamence off as not good. That was perhaps a little foolish, but also in part due to not particularly liking the Dragon Dance set. Returning to it and trying it with Earthquake completely flipped my opinions on it. The choice to run Adamant seemed like a no-brainer to me since I had Trick Room (and also Thunder Wave, should I desire it). The extra power was easily worth the lower speed, though I do admit being slower than Terrakion’s Rock Slide is always a bit nerve-wracking. Draco Meteor was the final move on the set because, honestly, I just wanted something with which I could hit Rotom-W for a chunk. The fact that it let me hit other Dragons, such as opposing Mega Salamence, was just a bonus.
I found it really hard to find a Mega I liked. I had used Mega Mawile almost all last season. Smith and I went through the entire list of Megas and I thought all of them were bad. Salamence is one of the most interesting megas in my opinion. He has so many viable options and this was just one of them. I really liked Mega Salamence and the moveset was just icing on the cake.
Thundurus @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 188 HP / 192 Def / 92 SpD / 36 Spe
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Thunder Wave
You guys are probably already aware of this guy. There’s nothing too special here. Thundurus is here to help with rain and bulky waters for the most part. Thunder Wave was for when I needed to outspeed things and was without Cresselia. When I ran this team in Georgia, I ran Taunt over Swagger, simply because I used Swagger exclusively as Taunt in Seattle. Swagger is still completely merited in that spot, though. It’s really just up to personal preference.
Thundurus is super boring and just straight up cruel. Swagger and Thunder Wave can be deadly. Thundurus really shone in my match against Ashton and in top 8. Outside of that it was just there for moral support.
Rhyperior @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Solid Rock
EVs: 132 HP / 172 Atk / 44 Def / 156 SpD / 4 Spe
IVs: 19 Spe / 31 Spe
– Drill Run
– Rock Slide
– Ice Punch / Earthquake
Here he is, the star of the show, Rhyperior! He’s the other half of the Fairy/Ground coverage duo of this team and possibly the most iconic member. For the past few years Rhyperior has struggled to be successful, so why has it been this year? The quick answer is that he simply has good matchups right now. Mega Kangashkan, Mega Salamence, Landorus-Therian, and Thundurus all struggle to do significant damage thanks to Rhyperior’s Defense stat and Solid Rock. It’s very easy to put the opponent in a position where they activate Weakness Policy and from there you’re only a Trick Room away from some serious damage. Physically, the EVs make it so that Landorus-Therian’s spread Earthquake is a 3HKO. Specially, they allow you to survive a Scald from a Suicune that doesn’t have much Special Attack investment. The 19 speed IV’s allow you to underspeed Adamant Mega Mawile, while outspeeding minimum speed Brave Mega Mawile. A change that I would make after Seattle, that would be adopted by Collin, is going up to 31 speed IV’s and investing the 4 unused EV’s into Speed. This allowed Rhyperior to outspeed minimum speed Aegislash, slightly improving its matchup. Although it’s implied by the statements about Rhyperior’s speed, Adamant was chosen because it really needs to work in and out of Trick Room (which is why there’s various speeds on all the Pokemon here; this is not dedicated Trick Room). Ice Punch was ok in testing but I rarely used it and actually never used it in Seattle. Afterwards I switched to Earthquake, another change Collin would adopt.
THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND! I loved using this guy so much. He was the co-MVP of the entire event. Running Earthquake was what led to most of my success. I brought him every single game. When Crow sent me the exportable of the team he accidently had 31 IV’s in speed. I assumed this meant that he wanted to outspeed Aegislash that were minimum speed with a Quiet nature. This didn’t effect me much outside of my match vs Ashton, but with his speed it straight up won me the game. I had so much fun using Rhyperior and I suggest you try him out.
Cresselia (F) @ Rocky Helmet / Mental Herb
EVs: 252 HP / 108 Def / 148 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Ice Beam
– Trick Room
– Helping Hand
Cresselia’s role here may not have been glamorous, but I don’t think it’s wrong to say she was the most important Pokemon on the team. She was the Trick Room setter and general support. I don’t remember exactly what the EVs do, but I think they make unboosted Aegislash’s Shadow Ball a 3HKO. I don’t really think there’s anything super confusing about the moves here, but I’ll take the time to explain Toxic anyway. The idea of Toxic as a way to help deal with bulky waters was an idea Enosh and I were toying around with. I wasn’t completely sold on it until I heard some other players talking up Calm Mind Cresselia. I had no intention of losing to that and realized I didn’t have a stellar way of dealing with it. Since Toxic helped with both, I ran with it. Another option that I was playing around with in that slot was Light Screen. Light Screen was really great at increasing my team’s survivability, particularly against big threats like bulky waters and Aegislash. It was actually very impressive what Rhyperior could take when behind a Light Screen. However, if going the Light Screen route I would run Psychic over Ice Beam. The biggest disappointment here was Rocky Helmet. While great in testing it was activated probably three times during the entire event at Seattle. Before the tournament had finished, I had decided Mental Herb is a much better item for this Cresselia.
Cresselia is my favorite Pokemon in the game. She provides amazing support with her many forms of speed control and support moves such as Helping Hand. I brought her in almost every game I played. At this point in 2015, I felt that most players wouldn’t be as prepared for her as they should be and she was able to stay alive for almost the entire match most times. I chose to run Mental Herb because I didn’t want to deal with Thundurus Taunts. In practice it was amazing but it never activated at the event. Oh and she’s SOOOOO CUTE!!!!
Heatran @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 196 HP / 252 SpA / 60 Spe
– Heat Wave
– Earth Power
– Flash Cannon
Heatran was the least used member of the team, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t important, just that the game right now is very anti-Heatran. Heatran’s main goal was to do, well, typical Heatran stuff; absorb Fire moves, resist Fairy attacks, beat Amoonguss and Steel types, frustrate Sun teams – you get the idea. I had toyed with the idea of Will-O-Wisp over Flash Cannon, but I really liked the Steel coverage so Flash Cannon stayed. I guess I’ll take this moment to talk briefly about how I really like Safety Goggles Heatran for Trick Room. Safety Goggles on something like Heatran really invalidates arguably the best Trick Room response, Amoonguss. It also helps the team out a lot vs other Trick Room teams who I’m likely slower than once Trick Room is up. The best example is the standard Mega Gardevoir Trick Room team. Safety Goggles lets my Heatran target down their Heatran or Gardevoir without fear of Rage Powder or Spore, which really takes away the vast majority of that team’s power.
Heatran was the least valuable Pokemon on the team at the event for me. Although, this doesn’t mean I regret running him. I only brought him to one match, and it happened to be the only game I lost in swiss to Chuppa. Heatran gave necessary resistances to fairy and it gave the team ways to deal with uncommon Pokemon such as Scizor and the ever present Aegislash.
Before the Seattle Regional I saw Enosh practicing on Pokemon Showdown with the very same team, and I immediately took interest in it. I took the Rhyperior and Cresselia out of the team and focused on building around them. I couldn’t get the team to work as well as I wanted to, so I abandoned it. I ended up using Terrakion, Cresselia, Heatran, Thundurus, Aegislash, and Mega Gyarados at Seattle. I played Crow in the second round and ended up getting destroyed. I finished 18th missing cut. After the tournament, I was able to pick Crow’s brain and really figure out his team. I normally make my own teams, and I take pride in this. I never intended to use Crow’s team, but it seemed liked the best fit. I began to build around Rhyperior and Cresselia because they made the most sense in the current meta. They helped deal with so many of the common threats that are running rampant. I spent two weeks playing with these two and tried all I could to make them work. I kept coming to something very similar to Crow’s team. Once Oliver and Chuppa arrived in Wisconsin, I felt like I had nothing even though I worked as hard as I could for two weeks. Twelve hours before the tournament, Oliver was asleep, Chuppa was skyping, and I was panicking. I decided to put my trust in Crow and threw it together as fast as I could. I practiced until 4 AM with Crow’s team. It felt like something I could easily play even though my practice matches didn’t turn out so well. I slept on it, but when I got up I decided on Crow’s team. Oliver and I scrambled to get the team ready in game. With 10 minutes to spare, I locked my battle box.
Round 3: Mangosol
This was my first opponent whose name I recognized. This match was important because I was able to leave Cresselia in against a Thundurus and just set up Trick Room because of my Mental Herb. Once Trick Room went up, Rhyperior and his best friend Sylveon were able to KO everything in the 4 turns.
Round 4: Chuppa
This was my only loss in swiss. Chuppa stayed at my house and watched me practice for almost the whole night, so he knew how I liked to play and what I liked using. I also helped Chuppa get all his Pokemon so I knew all of his items and spreads. I played turn one very poorly, giving Chuppa a massive advantage. Chuppa played really well and deserved the win. This loss put me at 3-1, which meant that if I lost one more I wouldn’t be able to cut, so I had to spend the rest of the day playing at my best.
Round 6: Whitney Johnson
Seeing this match up kinda scared me. I knew this guy just got Top 4 at Kansas City, so I knew I was in for a tough match. I led Sylveon and Cresselia into Nidoking and Kangaskhan. Whitney said “ You brought the wrong Pokemon to this match up.” I knew his Nidoking held a Choice Scarf after learning about the teams from Kansas, so I protected Sylveon and used Trick Room. Cresselia flinched from Fake Out and Sludge Bomb went into my protect. I proceeded to switch into Rhyperior and use Trick Room again. He brought in Ferrothron and I decided to switch in Salamence to let Rhyperior survive Power Whip. Rhyperior actually had a really good chance of surviving it with the HP it was at, but it fainted. Next turn Sylveon came in and decided to crit Whitney’s Ferrothorn with Hidden Power Fire, so I was able to come back.
Round 8: Ashton Cox
Ashton had three things to hit my Cresselia super effectively, so I knew she wasn’t coming to the party. All day I heard tidbits such as special Kangaskhan and Choice Specs Gengar. I went with Thundurus as my form of speed control for this match. I led Thundurus and Sylveon into Gengar and Rotom-Wash. I had Rhyperior in the back so I knew Rotom was going to be an issue. I knew he was going to double up on Thundurus but I played it safe and protected Sylveon. After several turns of trading KOs, it ended up with my full HP Rhyperior and Salamence vs his Aegislash and Kangaskhan. He used Ice Beam on Rhyperior, activating my Weakness Policy, and my Rhyperior outsped the Aegislash and KO’d both it and the Kangaskhan, giving me a chance at defending my title once again.
252+ SpA Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Ice Beam vs. 132 HP / 156 SpD Solid Rock Rhyperior: 100-118 (48.3 – 57%) — 90.6% chance to 2HKO
252+ Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Low Kick (120 BP) vs. 132 HP / 44 Def Solid Rock Rhyperior: 126-150 (60.8 – 72.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
This is what you get for running Ice Beam Kangaskhan.
Top 8: Nic Sefranek
Cresselia didn’t seem to be thrilled to attend this party either, so once again I went with Thundurus. I felt completely in control in both games and took both rather easily with the same four Pokemon: Rhyperior, Thundurus, Sylveon, and Salamence. Game 2, he mistakenly used Dragon Dance. Sylveon screamed all over his team and I moved on to top 4.
Top 4: Wesley Morioka
I haven’t had this much fun in a Pokemon match in a while. Wesley was a blast to play and I enjoyed talking to him and the judge. Rotom-Wash was a massive issue, so I knew I was going to need to focus on taking it down every time he brought it. Game 1 he didn’t bring Rotom-Wash, so I won pretty easily. Game 2 he changed it up and brought Rotom. I messed up my momentum completely, forcing myself into Trick Room with Salamence on the field. Wesley punished any chance I had of switching so I wasted my 4 turns. Game 3 I focused on setting up Trick Room and really abusing it, and I was able to win.
Finals: James Baek
This was the kind of stuff that I needed to be ready for. Clefairy had Healing Wish, but outside of that it was stuff I expected. I was able to handle his Calm Mind Cresselia very easily with Toxic. He had no super effective hits for my Cresselia, so she was free to support my team to the utmost extent. I got a few flinches on his Cresselia Game 1, but they didn’t matter that much in the end. Game 2 my Sylveon dodged a key Icy Wind, allowing me to secure the match. I found out afterward that I would have survived anyway.
The Core 4 (Collin’s opinion)
These four Pokemon were the four I brought almost every game. I felt like the synergy between these four stood out so much that I needed to mention it. I felt that with these four, I could handle almost any team. I had a convincing non-Trick Room mode with Salamence and Sylveon, and a very threatening Trick Room mode with Rhyperior and Cresselia. I have been playing Trick Room since the beginning of my competitive career. Trick Room makes the most sense logically, why run any speed if you can run all attack and bulk? Salamence also was able to function in Trick Room if I needed him to because of his exceptional mega bulk. Sylveon and Rhyperior were able to really shine with Cresselia and Salamence supporting them.
I’d have to say I agree. The combination of Cresselia/Salamence/Rhyperior/Sylveon was in almost every case the most threatening combination. Not only that, but the combination works significantly less well with even just one of the the pieces removed, which I think really speaks to it being a “core”.
I felt I needed a huge win and Madison did this for me. I put myself in a good Championship Point range and I was happy to defend my title. I loved the stream, and Crow’s team felt so comfortable in my hands. Thank you to Crow and Enosh for creating such a beautiful team! I finally won a regional with my favorite Pokemon, Cresselia! This was her party to attend and she attended it like a true princess.
Overall I think the team was a huge success. Not only did I take 3rd place at Seattle and Collin take 1st at Madison with it, but it accomplished the main goal Enosh and I originally set out with – create a new, successful, Trick Room team that hearkens back to 2013.
Want to know more about the team? Have suggestions about it or a different version you run (and no, Pledge with Cresselia and Rhyperior does not count)? Have you played the team to success elsewhere? Let us know in the comments!