Saturday, 30 May 2015

Speed Game:

Hey guys I am back with another article, recently I was really out of ideas on what to write about, maybe some top-10’s maybe some teambuilds or revelation of Pokéwork. I finally thought of writing about an article entitled “speed game” in Pokémon, I was trying to focus on writing about it way long ago but got time to do it now. Speed is a most important value in Pokémon’s competitive play, enough blathering about it, let’s get started:

Speed: the most important stat

Why?
You must have heard playing competitively that speed game is really very important in Pokémon. Ever thought of it? I myself do too consider speed as the most important stat that would be because of its complexity; ranging from numbers from 1-100 which make all the difference. Under speeding or out speeding a Pokémon is the question of winning or losing a battle. E.g. I am left in a 1 on 2 conditions with a mega charizard. e.g. I am having the opponents ferrothorn and breloom if I out speed both would be able to shot them down in one hit with a heat wave before they make me faint with moves of their own.

Difference between speed and priority:

You may also have heard the term priority and may be wondering about how it works; sometimes you may confuse the both, so I just thought it would be good to include the differentiation between the two. Infact speed and priority are two completely different terms. There are two kinds of priorities known as priority - and priority +, priority – goes after any speed from 1- so on whereas priority + goes before any speed. The following introduction to the stats may help out; it’ll be familiar because it is generally taken from a post I made on stats
Speed:
                    Speed is really an important value in a Pokémon, sometimes over which the battles are decided over. Many teams in VGC do feature speed control moves like trick room , tailwind, thunder wave, dragon dance, icy wind and so on, the thing to notice about these moves are that all these either increase or decrease speed of a Pokémon. The speed of a Pokémon in a perfectly healthy condition would be considered as “1” , an increase in speed or say a +1 (in speed) would make “1” go to the value of “1.5” , +2 would make it “2.0” and so on. Whereas on the contrary a decrease in speed stat would make the value of “1” go down to “0.67” and a -2 would make it “0.5” and so on. Speed like all the other stats can be increased or decreased to 6 stages.

Priority:
                       Priority is not affiliated with the speed stat, priority is out of bound from speed control moves like, trick room, tailwind, thunder wave etc, infact there are no moves to increase or decrease the value of a priority “the values come as set permanent”, however some abilities may affect the priority level. Priority “+” is above the speed stat and will always go before any value of “speed”, whereas the “-“ priority is below any value of the speed stat and “+” priority and will always go after speed or positive priority. Abilities such as prankster, gale wings and stall put an effect on the priorities of a Pokémon. Faster/ Slower Priority: Being fast or being slow may look like something to do with speed but here it really not only affiliated only with speed. I should put it in this way a move being priority +1 would always obviously be going after a move with the priority +2, but whenever two moves of the same priority e.g both being priority +1 are at a clash, they would cancel their priority but only between themselves not on any other Pokémon’s on the field, e.g a talonflame’s BB with a thundurus’s thunder wave, then it would come down to their speed stat, whereas tflame out speeds a thundurus it would move before the thundurus’s prankster t-wave.

Priority “+”             +7, +6, +5, +4 ,+3 ,+2, +1
Speed                            < 0.67, 1, 1.5 >       
Priority “-“                -7, -6, -5, -4, -3, -2, -1

This table shows the numeric values of +/- priority and speed. You should remember that speed is not affiliated with any priority value, priority + is after where speed ends, priority – is before the speed starts.

Difference between Speed & (+/-) Priority:

Speed
+ Priority
-     Priority
Speed can be changed by means of pokemon moves.
Priorities come with a fixed value
Priorities come with a fixed value
Speed can be directly compared
Priorities (if equal) cancel their own on each other and depend on speed.
Priorities (if equal) cancel the effect of each other and depend on speed.
Speed is the middle value (before – and after +)
Priority + is the greater value (before both speed and – priority)
Priority – is the lesser value (after both speed and + priority)

Speed game:

  Ok so now is the point where the real post starts, imagine that all that above was to have an intro what are we talking about. Speed stat has two conditions applied on it 1 is fast and the other is slow, fast may be the idea for many but being slow also pays off sometimes, following are some terms, natures; items and moves taking speed control and all so common questions that why? Slow or fast and what should I go with? with detailed answers, let’s just get started with our details:

Speed tiers:

Speed tiers are basically what Pokémons out speed each other, say a list of Pokémons that tells you if you are slow or fast from a particular Pokémon. This list is usually very helpful as for remembering what are the ones going to hit before or after yours, however sometimes unusual EV’ing or specialized sets may not obey the usual tiers. It is usually easy to tell from the base speed stat of a Pokémon to say what speed it would be at, or popular EV spreads are also dependant on the amount of speed it would carry. It is a most important thing to keep in mind while building a Pokémon VGC team and also while EV’ing. Here I would give an example of Marcus Stadter’s mega-kangaskhan as compared to a normal 252/252/4 jolly nature mega kangaskhan; and as Marcus said:

Let’s take a look at Speed: with Speed, it is dichotomous: your Pokémon is either slower or faster than the opponent’s. As such, there is much more potential for wasting EVs in Speed because of the fact that there are only two steps. There is no damage roll. Let’s take a second and compare my Nationals spread to the “standard” 252/252 Jolly Kangaskhan:
Mine: 207 HP, 181 Atk, 121 Def, 133 SpDef, 125 Speed
Standard: 181 HP, 177 Atk, 120 Def, 120 SpDef, 167 Speed
So that means that my Kangaskhan had +26 HP, +4 Atk, +1 Def, +13 SpDef at the cost of -42 Speed. Now what this means is that my Kangaskhan had 44 total stat points more than other Kangaskhan at the cost of going second to some Pokémon. Now if you take a look at common Speeds [from the VGC ‘14 metagame] and common EV spreads, I am sure you will realize that there is not all too much in between 125 and 167 Speed that is worth outspeeding, except for Pokémon such as Smeargle, bulky Charizard-Y and other bulky Kangaskhan. The latter two could also be 167 Speed should they decide to run maximum Speed, so you couldn’t be sure whether your Kangakskhan would outspeed or speed tie even with maximum Speed. And my team had plenty of ways to deal with Smeargle, so I saw no need to outspeed it.
Marcus felt like that 2 common spread kangs would tie and give off a 50-50 effect on the speed, hence he gave up for a waste of speed against a mega-kang to some bulk and power, his 125 speed mega-kang wasn’t getting out speed by any possible meta-threat so he EV’s as he liked.

Next I would give an example I myself ad made in a team of mine with speed:

 
Raikou @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 64 HP / 4 Def / 252 Sp. Atk / 4 Sp. Def / 184 Spd
Modest Nature
- Volt Switch
- Thunderbolt
- Thunder
- Hidden Power (ice)

   “Raikou is quite a more complex Pokémon than it looks, once again I would say that it would be pretty similar to the few choice scarf zapdos ran back in 2014, with success, the thing I like more about raikou was that no one would ever really expect it to be scarfed, other than think it would be a screen setter support, or other stuff sometimes. I specialized its EV’s to always out speed scarfed lando-t one of the biggest purposes that it fulfilled and of course the non-scarfed dragons and OHKO them, right after I was able to outspeed the threats for raikou and maximizing its special attack to land loads of damage, the rest of the EV points were putted into its bulk as I didn’t needed them for other stuff.”
As you read that lando-t was a big threat to my team at the time, I did needed something to OHKO it even before it moves once, the answer was only one thing, scarfed raikou; while drawing a lot of attention to itself from landorus-t’s EQ, prevented it from switching out most of the time hoping to score an OHKO on it, while got smashed completely by raikou every time, there wasn’t much to out speed after lando-t except scarfed salamence, not worrying me to much for being a special variant with weaker moves (non specs), and raikou’s strong sp.def.


Speed creeping (EV’ing)

Speed creeping is basically always out speeding a opposing Pokémon of the same kind and isn’t used for two different species of pokemon, obtained as always by EV’ing and aiming to make an important move before the other one, there are countless examples of this happening by switching one or two stats or a nature for increasing EV’s in speed to outspeed at a certain rate. Speed creeping is usually out speeding the opposing Pokémons by 1 stat point, others aim for different natures to make this happen, following are some examples for both creeping through natures and EV’s
Example 1:
Hydreigon @ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 84 HP / 12 Def / 236 SAtk / 4 SDef / 172 Spd
Nature: Modest
– Dark Pulse
– Draco Meteor
– Flamethrower
– Earth Power
This spread was used by Alex Ogloza in his 2014 nationals team, pretty standard right? Hydreigon’s arch enemy was garchomp, alex’s rain mode was certain to take care of things as such.
Hydreigon @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 12 HP / 108 Def / 132 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Flamethrower
– Dark Pulse
– Draco Meteor
– Protect
This one was used by Wolfe Glick having both politoed and ludiculo to take care of garchomp, also he did had a gothitelle on his team, which was easily OHKO’ed by opposing specs hydreigon, Glick’s smart EV’ing made his hydreigon out speed others and counter back and OHKO with draco meteor.

Example 2:
  
As the season started rotom carried the usual 4 EV’s in its spread, some people jumped up to 12 EV investments to outspeed the usual 4 speed one’s. as these 12 speed ones became notable among many the 12 speed was bumped up to 20, similarly boosted up to 28-36 and so on, while some avoided it, people found these ones from 12 EV’s – 36 EV’s were all outspeeding the 4 EV ones until it was realized that the EV’s were really going to waste in speed.

Moves related:


Trick room

Trick room would be ranked by me the most dominant theme overall, trick room is not only a move but a theme though, many came and got out of the play where trick room really did stood up against everything. Trick room is a move that reverses the speed tiers of the Pokémons for 5 turns, in this way the slower ones move the first and latter come the fast ones. Trick room’s advantage is that it cannot be subsided by any other weather or move interruption, of course it resets itself wherever used 1 after another. Trick room itself being a -7 priority move (the slowest one) goes last for the setter up. Trick room is a reason giving slower Pokémons of the game given a chance; usually strong and bulky, oh yes! Now they move first!

                          


Tailwind

Tailwind I the exact opposite of trick room mentioned above, yes it’s effect is to double the speed of its ally Pokémons, yet only for 4 turns not like trick room doing it for 5 turns, similarly it can’t be interrupted nor be reset, tailwind plays an important part in backing up Pokémons with a medium base speed like bisharp can be taken as an example.
                           


Thunder wave

Thunder wave known also as t-wave it an equally good status to burn, as burn drops down the attack stat, t-wave with paralyses shuts down the speed stat; Pokémons with t-wave on them are usually called utility support or speed control, some like cresselia and thundurus carry it on popular. In addition to shutting down speed stat and forcing to Pokémons to move last it can also turn luck to your side by freezing the Pokémon’s turn, it’s just extreme annoyance! in addition to annoy your opponents it can also help out by slowing down your team in TR situations by favoring you.
                            

Icy wind

Icy wind is a move least likely to be seen in competitive battling, usually used by Pokémons like clefable and suicune for support speed control. Its advantage is that it is a double spread move hitting both Pokémons from the opposing sides lowering their speeds. However abilities like competitive and defiant are a pebble its way.

                          Icy Wind.png


Natures related

As brief as it can get, natures have an inverse effect on any two of the Pokémons stats however some are neutral natures. The following natures effect the stats of a pokemon:

Brave: + atk, - spe
Hasty: + spe, - def
Jolly: + spe, - sp.atk
Naïve: + spe, - sp.def
Quiet: + sp.atk, - spe
Relaxed: + def, -spe
Sassy: + sp.def, - spe
Timid: + spe, - atk

Items related

Choice scarf: choice scarf elevates the speed stat of a Pokémon form 1.0> 1.5 of say it increases the speed stat by 50%. The Pokémon can only use the first move it selects, choice scarf is one of the most common items nowadays with pokemons like landorus, staraptor and so on.

                                

Iron ball: iron ball halves the speed of a Pokémon. Iron ball is very rarely seen and if seen only on TR tyranitar with fling hoping to smash powerful hits, an iron ball can really pay off in countering trick room situations.
                                    
                                 


Why slower the better?

Trick room

Oh yes trick room again got into the discussion, as trick room inverses speed tiers it is really important for one to have slower pokemons like mega mawile and scrafty, in such ways the trick room user can really out speed others when he/she sets up the trick room in favor. In other ways it would be countering trick room to be the slower the better. No one forces to stop you from making a super fast team with tailwind on it, but what if opposing trick room gets set up against you? You are defeated very easily. Hence it is important to have atleast one slow pokemon. With reference to 2014 season mega mawile was the only popular trick room mega, e.g I did had a gigalith to use wide guard and protect charizard from rock slides, in trick room situations by brave natured gigalith actually outspeed mega mawile and OHKO’ed it back with a single earthquake before it ever made a move; similarly people also keep a slow amoongus with priority rage powder support, hence amoongus also carries the move spore and is super slow in trick room it would actually be faster and would have the potential to put opposing Pokémons to sleep before trick room ends.

Weakness policy

                             Weakness policy also demands slower Pokémons like tyranitar and aegislash. Weakness policy works in a different way, it boosts up the special attack and physical attack stat of a Pokémon when it is struck by a super effective hit. What is my point here? : a Pokémon carrying weakness policy is more efficient to be slow because for the activation and the attack that would be made after activation; a Pokémon struck by a strong super effective attack is not gonna hold on long hence the usage of weakness policy is wasted, I should have a slower Pokémon to atleast survive one super effective shot after being attacked by the others that moved before it, so when my turn comes I can hit back with much more greater of a force. Weakness policy demands slower Pokémon, meant not to outspeed others (and is not compatible with trick room tactics)
                                    

Weather

                Weather is again another major factor in under speeding others. The thing is when two weather condition which are sand, hail, rain and sun interact with each other on a lead e.g on a comparison of politoed and tyranitar, the faster weather bearer sets up his/her first but later the slower one’s do their which overcomes the faster one. As obviously politoed is naturally faster than tyranitar hence meaning that rain would be overcome by sandstorm condition.
                            

Aegislash

              Aegislash literally is the most difficult Pokémon to play. Aegislash is an individual explaining why slower the better for it. Aegislash has the stance change ability which changes its shield form to blade form whenever it attacks, and returns back to the shield form whenever it uses the move king’s shield. Whenever it is in the shield form it has the defense variants of base 150, others are base 50 and whenever it turns back into the blade form both its offense variants become 150, the others automatically become 50. Then why slow? Attacking with base 150 power faster than others is good, isn’t it? Well…. No not really for aegislash. Aegislash works with a systematic approach, it stalls out the turn whenever others make a move keeping its stance to shield and defenses higher, when everyone has attacked it changes back to its blade form and attacks with higher attack, don’t worry no one’s going to attack now; then on the start of next turn it goes up with the priority +2 king’s shield changing back to defense/shield form. Aegisash is also ran popularly with the item weakness policy.
                            


Why faster the better?

To OHKO:
One of the most obvious reasons to be faster than an opposing mon is to 1 hit knock out it, doing so is considered really important in competitive battling; imagine taking out a big threat to yourself and your team member’s before it even attacks. This is an obvious thing as said, the examples like that of have been explained before this like hydreigon and raikou, however a favorite of mine would be again given as an example.
Mawile @ Mawilite
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 92 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 164 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Play Rough
– Fire Fang
– Sucker Punch
– Protect
This was Ryosuke Kosuge’s mega mawile that he used in 2014 world championship. Pretty much a weird mawile. His team was themed to be tailwind, with aerodacyle’s support. With 164 EV’s in speed his mawile reached a total speed stat of 91 which under tailwind was an equivalent of 182, with such a speed stat ryosuke had an opportunity to outspeed and OHKO opponents like mega-lucario with fire fang and dragon like hydreigon, garchomp before taking a great amount of damage or being OHKO’ed.


Inflicting status moves:

Inflicting status is also another reason you should outspeed others, but really why? E.g. I EV’d my rotom-w to outspeed a bisharp and burn it (cut down its attack stat) with will-o-wisp, so that it becomes potentially weaker than it was, making it useless. In another way it can be used to taunt an opposing threat before it makes a move, forcing it to only attack. For example I EV’d my sableye with 4 speed investment to make it outspeed the usual 0 speed EV one and in return taunt it before it moves.


Faster priority:

Oh wait…… this looks familiar, let me recall what I had said earlier in the post: “Faster/ Slower Priority: Being fast or being slow may look like something to do with speed but here it really not only affiliated only with speed. I should put it in this way a move being priority +1 would always obviously be going after a move with the priority +2, but whenever two moves of the same priority e.g both being priority +1 are at a clash, they would cancel their priority but only between themselves not on any other Pokémon’s on the field, e.g a talonflame’s BB with a thundurus’s thunder wave, then it would come down to their speed stat.” hence through speed creeping even if a priority variant can save you in emergency situations. A beautiful example is, when Alex Ogloza gave his talonflame jolly nature to outspeed other talonflames, he was carrying the item choice band on it which like many life orb’s worked well as a trade for jolly nature. Moves like fake out, quick guard really depend on the speed tier of two pokemons.

Using Speed, Speed Synergies:

Speed is a most complex stat now you do know that, but did you reading through also did noticed that many of the examples above were also synergetic? Weakness policy on individuals and wolfe glick’s outspeeding hydreigon favored his team. Speed is an important part of the competitive scene, it is an important thing to keep in mind whenever making a team; many artistic combinations can be made through speed. Using the two phases fast and slow countless synergies can be created in lead combo’s and to OHKO. E.g an example made in a team of mine recently would be taken as an example:

  +  Image result for gothitelle
Looks like some kind of weird trick room lead right? But only at first glance and it is, how does speed play an important part here? The thing is that my blastoise generally outspeeds gothitelle, after the trick room is set up gothitelle becomes the faster one out of the two of them, cresselia keeps heal pulsing into blastoise, whereas blastoise launches off stronger than ever water spouts with max HP, thanks to gothitelle and also sometimes helping hands into blastoise. Just like this you may or may not have noticed such combinations in your opponent’s teams or even reading about people’s teams

Learning Outcomes:

. Importance of speed.

. General knowledge of speed effects: moves, items, natures.

. Using speed to your advantage.


Conclusion:


                               So another post ends here guys, hope this one helped a lot. Speed as I said before, always was my interest to write something about it, finally got time to do it, hope I covered up many aspects that may help improve skill to some beginners and help make more synergies and probably lead them to a better team. Hope you liked it! Bye for now!

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