Sunday, 11 December 2016

December VGC17 Report: Part 1 Concluding London Internationals.

Hi guys so today I am back to cover the month of December for you guys, this will be very helpful like the last post I did too, you should know the deal for these posts, here I cover up things that have happened on the scene of vgc for this month as well as my own doings in the format, last time I covered up for November, with a lot of things that were really going to be important, however this time e grow more into the format, without further ado, lets get into this post:
It was questioning my mind whether it was okay to write pokemon blogs and use images, I am quoting this answer from support pokemon’s site: I APPLY THIS TO ALL MY POSTS AS WELL, I DO NOT OWN THE NAMES OR IMAGES OF ANY POKÉMONS USED IN THIS OR ANY OTHER BLOGPOST OF MINE.

“Unfortunately we're not in a position to review requests to use the Pokémon intellectual property (including its characters, names, and designs). As a result, we have to ask that you not use it in or associate it with your project in any way.”

Starting of December: Dropping the Anchor in a Garden
So we start of December and if you have been into my last post I was working on a team composite of dhelmise, nihilego, tapu fini, salamence, marowak and tapu koko, we what do you think was made of that? It wasn’t so very successful though, why you ask? I think that the main reason that team failed was not enough coverage between the core, the core in typing was solid but didn’t cover a huge part of the metagame which made it into the big issue; moreover adding marowak and then forcing a special tapu koko was not the idea I was most comfortable with not because I like to use weird mons, but I indeed added these for coverage, I soon figured it gave my team glaring weaknesses to the all big ground typing on three of my pokemons, I needed a physical a tapu koko to be able to hit oranguru for super effective damage and marowak gave me issues so I soon switched to a pallosand, this made the team even worse, and made me think that tapu koko + marowak were the better pokemon in structure overall and I wasn’t even completely satisfied with them, so what is our next step? Build a new team.
This lead me to think what should I build around next? Ting ting ting! I begin looking into the new pokemons that have been revealed; and then suddenly ‘it’ catches my eye, the it was non other than a beautiful comfey. At first impression its ability stats and moves really impressed me, this was what gave rise to my first ever installment of smeargle used spotlight. Comfey was going to be centering my next team, so I start of teambuilding, at this point I have decided that till the London internationals I will be running this team after soon which I will be moving on to a new team after the metagame is more firmly set and determined in such a major and big tournament.
First thoughts on a comfey were the self staller set, even though I was not convinced on the inside to make this set work, I started building off of it heavily based on intimidate support first drafts were adding a krookodile and and arcanine as well, this was going to work for a little bit but the thing was that I soon felt being lazy on that build, this is why I switched over to gyarados and arcanine a somewhat more common pairing, I rounded out the team with tapu koko and celesteela as well as decidueye which I thought will give me good cover for a faster alolan marowak counter (fun thing I ran an electric seed on it) it also had haze for the ever notorious eeveemancy for whenever I will face it and other annoying intimidaters as well; but decidueye was the first pokemon that did not work properly ith the team so I decided to look for a fast substitution. Switching over to alolan marwak or garchomp was going to be surely an obvious pick, but then too many people are aware and keep it on their priority to-counter list when building their teams. That is why I did a different ground type that I haven’t used or tested before but I have seen people test this pokemon out for themselves too, non other than a pallosand. Now testing the team further I noticed big problems and then replaced torcoal for my arcanine for quite a lot of reasons which made my team much better. Following is the team in detail:

The Team:

So the complete team looks something like this:

First of all the supportive star of this team, the comfey; as you know before that its ability and movesets really compelled me to use it, its actual self during the evolution of this team up to the final product struggled a lot in terms of the moveset, like it freakin changed a whole lot, from self staller to trick room setter to healing supporter; and then all into one, I will explain the role of each move, firstly draining kiss, it really does not need much big of an introduction to itself, priority move that heals too but as you can guess it wasn’t strong enough also I had problems using any offense from confey inside a psychic terrain, which blocks priority although good to note that synthesis and floral healing work. Draining kiss 3hkos the dragons in this format and then also provides a chip damage thing to break significant sashes on things such as kartana or ninetales which would then be able to connect an attack , up next I will explain trick room, trick room is very much simple, notes I took while playing this set is that comfey often did set up two trick rooms in one game this was indeed because of its ability to heal up the taken damage and also my opponents not taking comfey as a threat on the field which made them pay for it bad. synthesis and floral healing are really really important to this teams trick room side of the strategy. Synthesis is great for comfey to preserve itself and floral healing for supportive up its partners. The comfey + torcoal combination is something that I can explain from the following: this spread is build to be perfect partners with torcoal, the strategy and thought behind this comfey spread as a trick room setter is that comfey can use trick room to make slower mons go fast, then the main focus becomes the setters side which is usually a sweeper, however with floral healing you can always cover up the taken damage making your trick room stance stronger, also if your opponents figure out your strategy that comfey can use to heal its partner, then comfey becomes the target comfey, therefore I gave it the move called synthesis which now recovers up comfey itself, which keeps up you trick room stance for even more longer. This situation is great with a torcoal as a partner, in sun the healing power of synthesis is boosted as well as the eruption abuser torcoal needs maximum hp to do max damage, floral healing helps it out giving out more powerful eruptions. Also not only for torcoal but in some games it was also useful alongside celesteela to help it keep itself up and keep getting the all important beast boosts.
Upnest has to be torcoal the solution I have for problems more than one, intentionally when building this team I wanted to be keeping away from the torcoal even knowing their synergy but then I decided to put it on for good, I was mainly using arcanine for its burn up potential to ohko a celesteela but that was bad as it wasn’t staying around for a long time, also I needed something that could go well with my pallosand and potentially support it more, with the addition of the floral healing on my team. Torcoal’s supportive aspect counts with setting up the drought for both comfey and pallosand comfey can get stronger synthesis heals with the help of the sunshine whereas it solves my problems with keeping up a pallosand on the field, my main issue with pallosand was that it could not survive much attacks and therefore was able to give out less offensive potential, torcoal’s drought cuts the power of the water type moves in half/reduces them by 50% which makes pallosand worth a go in this format too. On torcoal’s offensive side it was very much useful and provided me with the same role I was mainly requiring from my arcanine it does handle celesteela but better with more bulk and stronger coverage. Torcoal was one of my main trick room attackers and I was quite glad on the decision of keeping solar beam to combat with the higher chances of us facing a gastrodon in this format.
Gyarados is going to become a weird one in this team especially due to the presence of drought but that wasn’t just it, although this gyarados is quite standard I will explain the basics for it in the sake of this format. The spread allows it to outspeed garchomp at a + 1. Gyarados can even do more than 90% from its hydro vortex in sun to a opposing torcoal, mainly when playing my gyarados I have gyarados finish up the water type offensive work again the fire types and if they reveal their fire types late/in trick room pallosand is up for taking the win for me especially noticeably being slower than alolan marowak. Overall gyarados was a useful pokemon forming my common leads with comfey.
Pallosand is the palace of sand pokemon, to make sure it doesn’t become being called a pile of sand I felt good after putting good support around it, as you could have seen pallosand has a weakness policy this is my item choice due to pallosand having a whole lot of weaknesses, a lot of the times pallosand was hit by a super effective attack, that activates it weakness policy; then the pallosand can do huge amounts of damage to any opponents especially with the ground coverage it is quite strong.i switched over to the more offensive option of giga drain as I was having problems against a gastrodon and who knows about when a milotic will pop up in this format, this is why I liked my pallosand even more, giga drain also allowed my pokemon to get its hp back and solve any further issues.
Now time for the legends to be discussed sure does my tapu koko look very interesting from its base but I have a good reason for it when firstly building this team I was palnning to do a bulkier offensive team; so I had a assault vest on my tapu koko to survive for longer in the final versions of this team tapu koko was still pretty good. If someone is wondering then this spread is the same that wolfe glick featured in one of his videos and I straight up copied it from there, two biggest traits of this spread are that it gives my tapu koko enough speed to outspeed a garchomp and then it also gives my pokemon enough special defense to take tapu koko mirror matches better in terms of throwing the annoying dazzling gleam at each other. Tapu koko’s bulk was much I loved and liked for this team, especially when combined with the intimidate support from my gyarados tapu koko was both able to a big amount of damage and also made it do a big amount of switching in and out with such bulk other than being a glass cannon that it is.
Last up on my tea is the celesteela, I chose this mon because I knew it would make good partners with a tapu koko. Celesteela was somewhat going to be specially offensive, to be honest I have tested both physically and specially offensive celesteelas and then I have much liked the specially offensive celesteelas in my play, also I knew that I really wanted to make my celesteela into a specially offensive one with 2 attacks and a supporting move. Which is exactly what became of this pokemon. I gave my celesteela just enough speed to 2hko a maximum bulk tapu lele as well as 2hko a max sdef and hp non positive natured celesteela with my stronger fire move other than the usual flamethrower, fire blast this will help me loads to overcome opposing celesteela stalls. I really didn’t know what I really needed to do with the bulk investment so I kinda just evened out the investment in both defenses, celesteela never let me down, it was a good pokemon to have for sure in my battles and I liked it a lot.
With this team I concluded my pre-London internationals time, now we were to head into the London internationals, following were some of the expectations:

Expected Londons metagame:

Apart from the previous ones used before, gastrodon a few days before the internats was picking up a lot of popularity, this surely made it quite worth a choice for the internationals.

Tapu koko + Bulu:
These were the two tapu pokemons that I have to say we were seeing quite a lot in the metagame results from different tourneys around the world I thought these two would make quite a good combination that could be possibly popular for the internats.


Just like tapu koko + tapu bulu, pelliper was also seeing quite some usage in the top cut results from the tourneys politoed has cut on quite some usage due to the ability of not being able to use helping hand as well as icy wind which would have made it quite viable but right now pelliper happens to be the best thing in the format for the rain setting comprising of strategies as thunder electric type in the back.

Londons Begins:
So here we are as the dates close in to December 9th fun fact is that I actually thought that internats will start off on the December 11th but it was starting off 2 days earlier than what I had expected, I was as hyped as everyone and ready to see what comes out on the top. As for Internats my favorites were going to be Cybertron, Wolfe Glick and Ashton Cox as always. To my surprise champs like Arash Ommati and Ray Rizzo also competed at this year’s Londons internationals.

Day 1 Notes:
Even though I got in on the stream when something around round 7 was being streamed, I was able to get loads of cool new info in what was going on with the top tier metagame choices, Londons was sure a big whirl on what we actually think of as the metagame and will change it quite more than our expectations, most of them are regarding what was being mainly used in the londons’ metagame:

·         Gastrodon and Porygon 2 in big usage: Biggest surprise in the changing metagame was the hug inflow of gastrodon and porygon 2, this was probably done due to everyone expecting more rain and strong oranguru counters. Porygon 2 especially saw way more usage than oranguru

·         Tapu Usage: Jumping into the stream I clearly saw more tapu koko and tapu bulu being used than tapu lele according to day 1 which was quite a surprise to me as I have seen many people state tapu lele as the best pokemon in this format, but I think for some it doesn’t work that way.

·         Z-Move Garchomp: Another noticeable thing I saw was the use of the poison jab as well as the important tectonic rage on garchomp, this is not what is the thought of a standard garchomp but if the top tier ones in the format say so then garchomp’s new potential has to lie within the groundinium-z power to use the drastically offensive move. This I think mainly was brought in due to intimidates as well as bulky arcanines being a big thing. Poison jab was sure to be a big thing against tapu bulu.

·         Substitute Celesteela: London also clearly had a big number of substitute celesteela, celesteela is being counted in as a win con role in this format at londons, celesteela stalls in the game are a big part of a person’s team. The substitute  tou on the given celesteela mostly does replace the traditional flamethrower or wide guard.

·         Toxic usage in big numbers: A lot of people were also using the move called toxic, we saw it on teams of top players like Till Bomer, Markus Stadter, Billa and Chuppa Cross, in the form of gastrodon, 2 arcanines and a porygon 2 respectively. Most of these toxic users also had a form of recovery and were being used alongside a celesteela team. This toxic stall made the celesteela win con stronger too. This was also done to somewhat counter the teams that take advantage of tapu bulu’s grassy terrain recovery and nerf them.

·         A New Weather, Sand: this was indeed very surprising for many people seeing big numbers of gigallith flow into this tournament, this was explained by chuppa cross in his interview, where I think he explained it as his trick room alolan marowak counter, It also could have been seen taking up the role of the wide guard usage on teams with celesteela that were running substitute.

·         Z-move Raichu: we also saw majority of people using z-crystal raichu with shattered psyche, also we saw more raichu’s usage with tapu lele than with tapu koko as we would have expected to see more.

·         Rain: we did saw a lot of rain too in the metagame of the internats, this wouldn’t be unecessary to saw that all four weathers were seen in terms of good action, hail, sand and sun were their own wonders but most surprisingly we saw weird rain teams, especially we saw a lot of rain teams with golduck and even politoed instead of the traditional as seen before pelliper but it is not correct that pelliper wasn’t among these, now being called as the double duck combination. Politoed was mainly comprising of sets with encore and perish song to stall out opponents mainly with the celesteela stall in a 2 v 3 or 2v 4 situation. Golduck was also being used in teams with electric types in the back, it also does get a fast encore, most likely it was being used with soak in the back wth electric types to pick up kos on many opponents.

·         Magnezone, the new Celesteela counter: until now we have been seeing fire types like torcoal, marowak, arcanine as well as strong electric types like tapu koko and xurkitree being the only celesteela counters, but some people acknowledged the correct roles of the celesteela and realized that it would be always preserved, they formulated magnezone as the perfect counter; magnezone gets the magnet pull ability which does not allow celesteela to switch out of battles and then magnezone can use electric type attacks on it. Most magnezone that we saw as in clear terms three on top tier players’ teams were three of them ran a set of substitute with leftovers ad two stab moves with the partners comprising of mostly of tapu bulu and politoed.

·         Bulky format: most important of all the notes In my opinion is that we got to see a very much bulky format from the very start of this season. We have seen this happen in the past, but not like this, moreover as we move over to the world championships we start seeing very bulky pokemons in the later terms of format but in this season it has been seen as a trend from the start.

Day 2 Notes:
·         Araquanid: and see now who we have araquanid is actually becoming a serious thing in the metagame, big things to note about this pokemon are that it gets that most of the time hydro vortex z move which allows it to do big damage to any pokemons. Araquanid really seemed the second option for a water type in the same tier that gyarados lies but with a different supportive move, wide guard. Seeing two top players like pokealex and Arash Ommati using araquanid really do make it seem worth something to try out.
·         Taunting Tapus: during the course of day two we saw quite some usage for taunt tapu koko as well as taunt tapu lele being a common thing, after the international championships, it is still going to be a big thing!
·         Muk’s offensive usage: we all expected to see the notorious muk being used as an annoying minimize setter which made it itself a staller aspect of the metagame, however at londons all muks we saw did not have the move minimize but instead were running more offensive sets on them.
·         Celesteela’s defensive aspects: We saw more celesteela that were specially defensive, this was confirmed due to beast boost raising the special defense stat of celesteela often on when it got a knock out.
·         Goodra: we did saw some goodra throughout this tournament and it was really interesting and seemed quite a viable option from this point on in this format. Goodra getting loads of special defense to survive attacks from the specially offensive tapus and then also getting loads of coverage including sludge bomb with the sap sipper ability makes it into quite a worthy tapu counter to use in this format, it also gets coverage like fire type and electric type which also seems of great importance in this format.

Top cut teams:
·         Tapu koko, Celesteela, Arcanine, Garchomp, Gastrodon, Gigalith.
·         Tapu lele, Xurkitree, Gyarados, Alolan marowak, Araquanid, porygon 2.
·         Tapu lele, Celesteela, Arcanine, Krookodile, Gastrodon, Porygon 2.
·         Tapu Koko, Kartana, Gyarados, Alolan Raichu, Gigalith, Porygon 2.
·         Kartana, Alolan Ninetales, Milotic, Alolan Marowak, Hariyama, Oranguru.
·         Tapu Bulu, Salamence, Politoed, Magnezone, Hariyama, Porygon 2.
·         Tapu Koko, Tapu Bulu, Pelliper, Golduck, Alolan Muk, Porygon 2.
·         Tapy Lele, Kartana, Alolan Raichu, Alolan Muk, Peliper, Alolan Marowak  

Overall Favorite teams:
Wolfe glick: wolfe had a really interesting team to start with not only did he brought a magnezone and politoed to surprise all he also had some every other interesting things in his team like having substitute on three of his pokemons and then the most interesting of all, the figy berry gluttony muk which is surely seeking a lot of discussion in the chatrooms right now.
Billa’s team: the most interesting one in my opinion was this very team, it included a lot of aspects to aid celesteela in becoming a wonderful win-condition pokemon, some things we got to see are the toxic and morning sun arcanine, gigalith and the added staller aspect of a tapu bulu running nature’s madness as well as the move snarl we sure to make celesteela into a monster of a pokemon to stall.
Till bomer’s Gastrodon: like other people till was using his own strategy to aid the celesteela, we saw things like toxic and sandstream to help cover up for celesteela but till took it serious with his stockpile recover and toxic combination of gastrodon. Especially using the move z-stockpile to everyone’s surprise (which recovers you to full health and then goes for stockpile) sure was tough for some people to get through the day.
Ashton cox’s Togedemaru: when he was on stream a big part of his team got to showcase the togedemaru which was sure to be an interesting disruptor in the form of fakeout + nuzzle + zing zap + spikey shield which greatly supported his gyarados and interesting swords dance tapu bulu.

Future Inspirations and team plans?
So from seeing all this tournament a pokemon that caught my eye quite much was gigalith outta nowhere! That inspired me to do a team around abusing its weather initial thoughts were stoutland + gigalith but then I found an alolan dugtrio especially after seeing the calculations of the following that it can ohko a tapu lele and mostly a marowak, I have come up with the following set with ofcourse the partner as gigalith:

Dugtrio-Alola @ Life Orb 
Ability: Sand Force 
Level: 50 
Shiny: Yes 
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe 
Adamant Nature 
- Iron Head 
- Earthquake 
- Protect 
- Toxic


This was the first part of my december report, I did this into two parts as I really wanted to cover up the London internationals, I’ll post the second part of December report in the end of this month, hope you enjoyed and learned from this post, bye for now

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