Tuesday, 24 January 2017

January VGC17 Report : Part 2

Hi guys today I am back with another part of my monthly January report, this time bringing you some more of the archetypes that I used in this month, without further ado let me tell you that in the last, first part of my report I wrote about my experience in using teams like snorlax belly drum as well as a hail team I made, now I am back to present some more teams I wanted to test out here, without further ado lets get started with this report:

Buzzwole Team:
So buzzwole, a pokemon that I really wanted to use since I saw its stats, we have a lot of ultra beasts that have quite some unbalanced stats, second to celesteela buzzwole is something that seems to have the most balanced stats in their list. That is why I really wanted to test out this pokemon in this season so I was right off to building a teqm around this pokemon. Following is its teambuilding process, without further talking about its viability let me tell you in detail ahead:

Teambuilding Process:
So I start off with a paper and a pen (of course) and write down buzzwole I was quite feeling fresh and not tired at the time I build this team that is why its teambuilding process was quite a short one and o my own surpise I was quite surprised that I build a good team in such a short time, in such a complex format, this doesn’t happen much often.
First thing I put around buzzwole and the only concept I had around buzzwole from a hypothetical intention was pairing it up with a tailwind partner. That is why I put crobat on paper, which I thought learned tailwind but actually as of by now doesn’t get it though. And then I write down what I would need, tapu lele was also a pokemon I haven’t used at all this season, seeing two psychic weaknesses I thought it might be a good defensive option and will fit in well also this guy would take a god slot in this team by benefiting from the tailwind. Then came raichu to pair up with lele and to provide disruption for buzzwole’s function. I knew that arcanine pairs up well with lele so put it there and thought it would come to good usage.
Last up pairing it up with a toucannon (a pokemon I had quite my eyes on I put it on) for the second tailwind user and thought it had quite the niche role I wanted and loved it to fulfil. By doing just the first test I realized well, crobat doesn’t get tailwind also the tapu koko + garchomp was giving me trouble, fast poison coverage was desirable therefore I put on nihilego and it completed the team there, another poekmon I got experience in using from this team and was quite happy about this team, following I explain this team with its individual members:

The Team:



Buzzwole @ Fightinium Z 
Ability: Beast Boost 
Level: 50 
EVs: 244 HP / 196 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 60 Spe 
Adamant Nature 
- Superpower 
- Poison Jab 
- Earthquake 
- Protect 

The main focus of this team has to be buzzwole, I really want to explain this pokemon’s individual potential in this format, so lets start of with it: buzzwole is a pokemon that has good stats as well as can get an extremely good niche role of having the sure ability of taking down porygon 2 in one hit and that happens through the fightinium z move, going through the base move of superpower, not only that it is an extremely strong move that can do loads of damage to any pokemon in this format. After that it gets some really solid coverage like poison jab which can hit the all popular tapu pokemons this season for a lot of damage. Other coverage like earthquake and leech life as form of it are less viable as there are generally better alternatives on the team for it.
Now to explain my own individual buzzwole, I will say that I chose these moves at buzzwole individually didn’t had the best of stats on field hence I strongly felt the need for it to have protect. Other than that you do see the lack of leech life, bug coverage on this mon, that is so as I felt like poison jab as well as earthquake covered more essential mons other than the leech life, despite it being a good way of recovery and since oranguru importantly being the only pokemon to get super effectively hit from it, I didn’t felt it was needed much as it has greatly lessened in usage. Then for my fighting type move I gave it the move super power for a sec its questionable so let me explain it, buzzwole works similar to a tactic of pokemons that are used to dish out just maximum damage to any team, one example can be taken in salamence where it mostly always carries the draco meteor + dragonium z so that it is able to throw off two really strong attacks, with buzzwole it only gets better in combination with its beast boost ability as well as the generally really high physical defense stat.
Now for its spread, the speed that I invested in this pokemon was to make sure that it outspeeds a pheromosa after a tailwind as well as outspeed the general and the popular tapu fini as well as the tapu bulu sets running around. Item choice was explained above already.



Nihilego @ Focus Sash 
Ability: Beast Boost 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe 
Timid Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Sludge Bomb 
- Power Gem 
- Protect 
- Hidden Power [Ice] 

Next up is nihilego which makes this team my first double ultra beast team and since you guys don’t feel interested in reading the teambuilding process I’ll put it here once again that why I ended up ultimately choosing this pokemon . By doing just the first test I realized well, crobat isn’t efficient to verse against tapu koko also the tapu koko + garchomp was giving me trouble, fast poison coverage was desirable therefore I put on nihilego and it completed the team there and I also felt quite comfortable with it.
Nihilego forms as an individual mon on this team as a more flexible attacker, to be honest before testing it out with this team I never really saw it as a good ub and I thought people only use it for the purpose that they feel interested in using it as well as people utilized the little potential it had. However with this team I realized exactly how good nihilego was, is main role happened to be more of a flexible attacker in this metagame. With all the useful coverage it gets it can cover a big number and a number of more popular pokemons around in combination with the beast boost that it gets makes it even better. That is why I also have this pokemon with the item focus sash to that it can stand up against the more offensive metagame as well as switch around its attacks when getting the beast boost. Also its ability to get the speed stat which puts it exactly one point up against garchomp makes it really satisfying to use.
Nihilego forms the mon of leads surely on this team it helps me against a lot of the popular lead combination in this format and is a constituent member to use it paired up with some pokemon, just for an example my koko + chomp, double ducks as well as lilligant + torkoal counter is the nihilego + raichu  lead, torcoal + oranguru is nihilego + arcanine. And this mon indeed helps me greatly against a lot of the number of teams that have really popular and strong metagame choices.
Moving on here we discuss the tapu lele, by the tapu pokemon I haven’t used this team before. Its reason of why it was originally put on this team didn’t change much at all though, which was to cover up the psychic weakness of my first two mons. Original version of this mon actually had light screen to cover up the what I thought was naturally terrible special defense which when I found out it wasn’t that bad at all, I replaced it with taunt which perfectly counters the hariyama +porygon two lead that has been gaining a lot of popularity lately and I felt really comfortable with this pokemon against especially those team.


Tapu Lele @ Psychium Z 
Ability: Psychic Surge 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe 
Timid Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Psychic 
- Dazzling Gleam 
- Taunt 
- Protect 

Cybertron inspiring loads of people also did inspire me to use this variant of tapu lele, I used the timid nature with the psychinium z item as it does ko marowak, indeed a great threat to this pokemon as well as verse the tapu lele matchups 1v1 better as most tapu lele happen to be the modest nature nowadays. Now against dazzling gleam is quite questionable on this tapu lele, the solid reason for it being a thing on my team was that during my tests I realized that there were a lot of situations arising in the game where especially with lele’s presence on the field where I needed a spread attack and my opponents were both in the loosing zone of their health but due to not having a spread move I had to target them individually therefore i fixed this moveslot by giving it dazzling gleam over the commonly suggested and used moonblast.
I often do say this that in pokemon when you start off building a team weird like buzzwole in this case you end up with a weird team, many teams of mine in the past especially the lugia one last season happened to be quite a nice example of that statement, raichu here comes to be the best example in this case and when you wonder, no this is not a meme of the 2016 all popular raichu nor is this a good choice for the metagame and is purely team specific and that is why I will not recommend using this, this raichu came to be the best member choice which actually eneded up becoming the last member choice after I rebuild the team and was much move effective over a gastrodon which would have made things a lot more passive.


Raichu-Alola @ Assault Vest 
Ability: Surge Surfer 
Level: 50 
EVs: 244 HP / 20 Def / 84 SpA / 108 SpD / 52 Spe 
Timid Nature 
- Fake Out 
- Psychic 
- Thunderbolt 
- Feint 

As you guys can read above raichu makes a big part of a lot of my team lead matchups, that cannot be fulfilled by a standard raichu testing a standard raichu made me feel it lacked quit the factor and had major holes in the strategy that I needed it to counter, hence I realized that the correct role of raichu was just disruption as well as staying around longer to provide support as well as providing necessary offensive utility in some cases that I used this mon in, that is why this assault vest raichu became the overall best choice and made its role of a offensive utility as well as of a supportive disruptor. What this spread allows raichu to do is first of all live a hydro pump based, hydro vortex in rain from a golduck, whereas on the physically defensive spectrum it lives -1 garchomp earthquake as well as a -1 burned muk’s knock off, I will tell how is that calc functioning well, the rest was made for the speed which allows it to outspeed a tapu lele and the rest was duped into the special attack stat.
This raichu ended up becoming a much more useful mon to support its partner well and provided me the role I needed for it in every battle that I brought it with.



Arcanine @ Sitrus Berry 
Ability: Intimidate 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 188 Def / 68 SpD 
Calm Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Flamethrower 
- Will-O-Wisp 
- Roar 
- Snarl

Upnext is arcanine, arcanine is such and really such an amazing pokemon to support this team as discussed above tapu lele + arcanine is an effective strategy on the contrary of that. Pairing it up with nihilego is also pretty useful for me against some leads. All the moves this arcanine has have great importance and give arcanine a clear role, for now to explain why I told such a degraded muk calc was that arcanine forms my sure counters to it whenever I see a muk I keep an arcanine in the back of the team, bring it out upon sight and burn it immediately it greatly does degrade the tactics of a muk from my opponents side.
Now to explain other moves, flamethrower almost needs no explanation it becomes such an excellent move for arcanine against popular pokemons like celesteela and more importantly kartana as well as for the somewhat less popular tapu bulu and the even lesser metagross that we see around. Snarl is also a move of great utility. That is surely the reason I dropped down the light screen on my tapu lele on one side  helps out buzzwole’s weaker sp.def and on the other it makes the specially bulky mons on this team even more bulkier. Roar is a move I used less and felt like I already had counter to trick room so I ended up dropping this move for protet a move that helped out in a lot of situations. Apart from its moves as you can see above three defensively weak pokemon take great advantage of its intimidate ability and that is why I think arcanine is such a good pokemon with this team of mine.
For the spread I really don’t kno much of its origins to be honest, this spread was copy pasted from a reported team and I felt like needing s bulkier arcanine, the original set had a aguav berry but I replaced it for a sitrus berry as in a lot of situations aguav berry was not getting the activation and arcanine went down whereas comparatively sitrus berry gave me much better and satisfying results in matches.

Toucannon @ Life Orb 
Ability: Skill Link 
Level: 50 
EVs: 60 HP / 100 Atk / 4 Def / 108 SpD / 236 Spe 
Adamant Nature 
- Brave Bird 
- Bullet Seed 
- Tailwind 
- Protect 

Last but not the least the pokemon that was supposed to be the second tailwind setter and an essential part of the base strategy of this team with buzzwole, a toucannon to everyone’s surprise when walking into this ‘buzzwole’ team may seem stranger ad just ah its put on there, but lets me explain its potential though. No doubt that toucannon ended up having a niche but an effective role on this team and hat is how it happened:
Even thought the main plan of toucannon was to make it all bulky and defensive for a  tailwind setter as opposite to the once thought of crobat, toucannon is having max speed which forms its niche, this helps toucannon great in terms of outspeeding pokemons like tapu bulu with it ko’s and does over 85% to a pokemon like tapu fini which is extremely common in this metagame these days.at fist I was using an expert belt set but as soon as I realized that it formed me a option to do loads of damage I put on the life orb on this mon, bullet seed which was originally the way oftaking down a gastrodon became a way of taking down tapu fini as well. Skill link is an ability which seems really good for this pokemon and makes me feel really satisfied when I go for the bullet seeds onto its opponents.
The bulk on this spread allows toucannon to take a modest tapu lele’s psychic in psychic terrain, I put this general bulk on this toucannon as it made me more confident to bring in this mon as I use it on this team of mine from the perspective of setting up a tailwind more safely in a game other than being ko’ed from one move.

Playing the team overall:
I learned as I developed more into this team and adjusted it loads that it was both important to keep the defensive and offensive momentum in your favor as you don’t wanna waste your z-moves carelessly also preserving great supports like raichu and arcanine for as long as possible can also prove really important in the later stages of the match.
Another thing that I really liked about this team was giving me comfort ability in the team preview section, that was why I immediately knew what iwanted to start off with, like whenever I saw a gastron bringing toucannon was almost a must, similarly arcanine against muk was an obvious choice, nihilego leads and in general for what in should lead was much more clear to me in my mind that in the previous teams of mine that I have built in this bigger more complex format.

Full Trick Room Team:
Right after having a fun and successful build with the buzzwole team. I moved on to what I wrote down on my, to test list; it came to be eeveemancy but really I was not that confident in building such a team again as the last time it turned out actually quite horrible to be very honest, that is why I came back and these were the tough ones for the last, now I tried with a full trick room team, with an archetype as such being regional winner material though in the hand of a pro like komvgc, I really wanted to explore such fun archetypes more by building my own trick room team in this format. Though I wasn’t confident I started brainstorming when I was quite relaxed and excited as well as a bit more confident to build a full trick room team seeing how the last one I build turned out.

Teambuilding process:
I list down a number of pokemons I wanted to use, I did actually use kom’s team and liked it so I felt like I will trace its footsteps to build my own one thing that shines out to me about gavin’s team was the concept of of a fast trick room setter and a reliable one as well as there being two of them on the other hand he had amazing switch in synergy as well as some mons that do not necessarily need trick room to function in every situation.  And I really wanted to end up with a tea that is a bit different than gavin’s so the first pokemon that piqued my interest was actually a gengar, it was quite a pokemon I had my eyes on upon it having tons of useful coverage moves hence it formed the base of my team.
Moving on I had it in the back of my head that I needed something really anti porygon 2 as well as a anti-gigalith sort of pokemon so I put on a fightinium z hariyama on my team to kinda counter those two mons specifically as well as give me a move that does tremendous amounts of damage to its opponents. I also had the base concepts of maing disruption on the team to degrade my opponents’ offese with abilitites like storm drain and lightningrod, with alolan marowak and gastrodon having them and having the ability to somewhat function good without the trick room made me really confident about using them on my team, alolan marowak I also was thinking of fitting in sicnce the start as I felt like it could cover a big part of the metagame as well as abuse the trick room on my team. Vikavolt in my opinion was needed for the raising popularity of tapu fini as well as a secondary way to counter the popular and annoying celesteela, also it getting the ground immunity saved two of my teams’ ground weak mons from those attacks. Now time for the reliable trick room setter, what should it be though? Hmmm after not thinking for quite so long the idea of the best trick room setter, porygon came to me and I felt like it would also be a very fun experience to use this pokemon here as it is something that I haven’t tried out before on a team of mine and will be good in the metagame as well. So with that I had the following on paper team with the copy pasted spreads that I could find from around :P there it is and now time to test it:

After testing out my team I realized, ofcourse as with all teams there are some problems, however I was quite surprised to see that the archetype was generally working, I had some games in which I even won without using the trick room and through the disruptive abilities like thick fat, storm drain and lightningrod marowak had great effect. I was quite happy with the team but there were some problems, of course as of by now I had only used copied spreads and didn’t ran calcs for my own so after seeing that it did work, I would love to work with some spreads, from the tests I saw a lot of potential in this team and was willing to take the time to adjust it.
Like my past teams however the problems weren’t as clear and needed attention and then seeing in different games I got trapped with my gastrodon and never used the poison jab slot on my hariyama too also he pokemons that gave me problems were the arcanine as well as the kartana found on the same team, arcanine could cut down my teams’ offense or disrupt with roar whereas kartana covered a lot of my team, hariyama seemed my only chance, so after considering the above test problems, following is the team update I came up with next:
I did change quite some things my uncomfortability in gastrodon situations was solved by giving it the hp-fire + the added bulk of assault vest helped too. Changing poison jab to stone edge was just a beauty, it worked in a lot of team matchups especially with the added effect of the thick fat ability which saved me in tons of games. Changing the porygon 2 calcs was also efficient for this team and also putting on taunt and the timid nature on my gengar made it do loads of significant work against threats, otherwise will-o-wisp gave me more problems in decision making than it actually ended up solving.
Following is the team analyses with each member’s individual analyses, since I did gave a lot of attention to this team I also may add the individual mon analyses with the threats to this team:

The Team:

Gengar @ Focus Sash
Ability: Cursed Body 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe 
Timid Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Shadow Ball 
- Sludge Bomb 
- Taunt 
- Trick Room

First up I will be discussing the first choice that surely did shone out in this team. As I did explain before that tracing the footsteps of the regionals winner team I did felt the need for a fast rick room setter and gengar was something I was very much interested into and wanted to try out. Gengar fills more than one and really useful roles in this team. First to start of its offensive potential, you can tell by looking at the mons’ coverge that it can cover loads of mons in this format especially having the stab poison coverage through a strong move as sludge bomb can cover all the tapu pokemons which are all very much common in this format. On the other end shadow ball can hit a lot of pokemons in this format for offensive damage whereas sludge bomb lacks, there were many situations in my matches where I did tricked my opponents upon switching my moves as they felt that they were going to take the sludge bomb for little to no damage switching in ground and steel types, however shadow ball did a significant amount, it was a tricky adjustment on the offensive end I made to this gengar.
When I bring out gengar in games mostly it does cover the lead combinations where it can do loads of things against my opponents with the package of taking one in the two slots present on the lead. Trick room is an obvious team strategy choice, whereas taunt has loads of explanation and I felt it was quite much useful over the will-o-wisp slot on this pokemon. Taunt has loads of usage and what is it? Basically taunt fills the roles on this team where u get to counter the big opposition of opposing taunts as well as the whirlwind pokemons which basically destroy the core strategies of this team having fast taunt makes me able to counter them well, there were games in which I did lead porygon 2 + gengar to implement this trick room strategy safely. Other uses of taunt are very specific as well as useful upon closer inspection of team testing I realized I was quite weak to the ninetales’ around, especially them having the aurora veil on them made my team suffer a lot as the basc mode of this team was to utilize as much offense to end the game before things go too defensive or in favor of your opponents. Taunt stops the move amazingly and doesn’t make my team suffer much against it. Other uses of taunt are to stop trick room reversers from playing games with me.
The nature of this gengar had quite questioned me long but finally I decided upon giving it the timid nature which gave me better options than other things around it. I liked modest quite a lot for some time as it got a lot more damage off on my opponents than having the timid nature and loved it in those damage rolls. Over time I realized that ninetales and kartana are quite significant pokemons that are needed to me handled quicker that is why the timid nature was the best choice for this gengar which makes it outspeed both present on this team.

Gastrodon-East @ Assault Vest 
Ability: Storm Drain 
Level: 50 
EVs: 164 HP / 92 Def / 252 SpA 
Quiet Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe 
- Scald 
- Ice Beam 
- Sludge Bomb 
- Hidden Power [Fire] 

Up next is the gastrodon. You do know the main points I have for why I choose this gastrodon, however I’ll tell about it once again. I felt that creating defensive disruption through abilities as well as types can be extremely useful for this team, where the types fill in all their roles the abilities can ofcourse only add to the effect of it. Therefore I choose this mon specifically for the special reason that it could also create disruption through its abilities as well as its typing. So here I am going to explain the importance of its ability. Unlike pokemons like marowak it can also make offensive use of this ability through the slot. Where the population of tapu fini and the all threatening waterium z and dragon dance gyarados being all around which can ko most members of my team with a z-move being big threats of the format, gastrodon can come in any time and help out greatly in my favor, there one quite situations where the gastrodon switch ins were really good and made my opponents punish for their one wrong move.
Talking more about the gastrodon gaining the offensive boost through its ability activation now let’s discuss its offensive potential as well. It does do a lot of coverage with its moves, scald is common stab attack that most gastrodons run it was extremely helpful against foes like arcanine and marowak as well as others weak to it, ice beam is a great coverage move in this format with things like garchomp and tapu bulu being at their peak in this format in terms of popularity and viability, talking more on the tapu bulu, coming over to further cover the tapu pokemons sludge bomb works really well against them especially against the gastrodon ohko’r tapu bulu and does a lot of good work against it. Then moving on to the more interesting coverage options on this pokemon, the hp fire tactics, I did tell before and now once again since u didn’t read how this team came together. Kartana had me cornered in most of my games also the core of kartana + arcanine and fini was a trouble maker for this team, hp fire being able to ohko a kartana and better than that that it was able to keep it locked in into surprise that it will not be most likely having any kind of fire coverage was also pretty solid for the ohko tactic surprise that it packed.
Now about this spread of gastrodon, honestly I really don’t know about what it really does. I did copy this spread from Sejun Park’s popular team this month, I think in one game it did survive a garchomp’s tectonic rage, so maybe it was designed for that, max special attack came in handy a lot of my games and was very useful for me as a move.

Hariyama @ Fightinium Z 
Ability: Thick Fat 
Level: 50 
EVs: 92 HP / 244 Atk / 164 Def / 4 SpD / 4 Spe 
Adamant Nature 
- Fake Out 
- Stone Edge 
- Close Combat 
- Wide Guard 

Although all the members of this team did really well in their jobs and were efficient for this team. If I have to pick out one pokemon that was really impressive in this team was hariyama, as I utilized all of its moveset in every game and with the element of surprise as well as being useful in general it was very helpful in most matches. Of course hariyama does go really well with the porygon 2 + hariyama lead combination which as far as I remember were the origins of hariyama in this format. Hariyama and porygon 2 upon leads give off that combination of fake out + trick room, porygon 2 really doesn’t need that fake out favor even however hariyama provides it further cover from moves as well as becomes an extremely threatening option on the means of offense for my opponents as well. Talking more on the offensive potential of hariyama stone edge was a whole lot better instead of a move like poison jab, it did cover threats to this team especially ones like arcanine and others like marowak. Close combat is the basic and strong fighting move of this pokemon.
Hariyama is the pokemon on this team with who you really want to deal heck lots of damage with on this team that is why I gave the hariyama the fightinium z item, moreover on that decision I was thinking right away after I choose the base setup for this team that I wanted to use something that was extremely anti-porygon 2 as well as gigalith, hariyama with the z-crystal came to be the best option on this team, where comes the dealing a lot of damage part, it can ohko the 252 hp muk for most of the times also dealing great amounts of damage to most pokemons in this format its ability to do that is really amazing. Flame orb and guts hariyama are sure a thing but the variant I have especially with the z-move turns into a more defensive pokemon overall, following are some of its defensive aspects.
That was it for the offensive now moving on to the defensive side of this pokemon, firstly I will discuss the thick fat ability. Thick fat provides half damage being taken from ice and fire type attacks, in a format where ninetales, marowak and arcanine being common the ability becomes no joke. Thick fat was extremely important for the use, it saved me in multiple matches especially when facing down arcanine as well as marowak. Adding on more to the defensive aspects of this hariyama lets have a look upon this pokemon’s move wide guard, just like thick fat it saved me tons of times in my games. Especially a move like thick fat being less common with hariyama can counter loads of things probably the most dangerous ones including the torkoal eruption tactics, moveover the discharges, earthquakes as well as the blizzards from opposition and the move came to great use.
Same goes for hariyama’s spread as was for the gastrodon one, really don’t know what it does though, however copied from Gavin Micheals’ team and surely does some effective spread when needed especially inside the trick room modes.

Vikavolt @ Life Orb 
Ability: Levitate 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD 
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Thunderbolt 
- Energy Ball 
- Discharge 
- Protect 

Moving on we see the reflection of Gavin’s magnezone in this vikavolt on my team and honestly I do have some good reasons for why I have it here, I was trying to do something different from the best full trick room team. Lets discuss that aspect of vikavolt first on this team. The reason that I feel that vikavolt is better than magnezone on this team is because it gets the all essential grass coverage, it also gets the great ability of levitate with already there being two ground weaknesses on this team and as I was planning to make this team having good switch in synergy, vikavolt was a great choice over the magnezone.
Now to talk about its similar offensive aspects, with vikavolt gaining a monstrous base 145 special attack stat makes it quite a strong pokemon. From the grass coverage it gets and it being extremely uncommon for a move on vikavolt was often on a gastrodon baiter and a great move against it. Vikavolt further covered the large majority of bulky water types as well as the bulky celesteela to which happened to do loads of damage to as well. Vikavolt served a somewhat similar purpose to hariyama but without the supportive aspects, that in my opinion does explain the life orb item choice, vikavolt’s discharge is very great of a move too though. With there being three pokemons on this team on whose presence I can use the move freely it did loads of damage to many pokemons and surely did its job whenever brought into the game.
To talk more honestly about this pokemon I used the other five pokemons and made them switch around in most battles vikavolt was usually a secondary choice in team preview as well as I needed a gastrodon counter, out of all the six mons if I have to I would say that vikavolt was the least used or in other words also say flexible with the team, but I never did regret its decision.



Now time to discuss some of the more standard pokemon on this team of mine. I do love to say that this idea of a full trick room team also got me to experience some of the most common pokemons in this format like marowak as well as the porygon 2 which I was interested in trying out. That is why I really liked getting some experience in using it. First up is the all-star marowak. Why I call this pokemon the all star is because it really does cover a big part of this format, quite next to stranger pokemons in this format like pheromosa. Marowak is just so easy to play as well as convenient. Firstly I would explain the aspect of marowak that not only it can function really well In the trick room modes of this team, it can also get some use outside of the trick room mode such as against a celesteela, a tapu koko or others like tapu bulu which makes it really convenient to use against some teams. The next common question I will be getting about this pokemon is that why did I chose the brave nature with low speed? That was actually to counter the all popular of nowadays marowak opposition which does tend to speed creep somewhat or run adamant nature, so I wanted a case in which most of the times I don’t go over a speed tie and hence let trick room make me faster than the opposition for sure which tactic worked out really well whenever I used my marowak vs other marowaks.
Moving on further into this now need to copy paste but really want to explain the same concept so really why not though? Therefore I choose this mon specifically for the special reason that it could also create disruption through its abilities as well as its typing. So here I am going to explain the importance of its ability. With pokemons like tapu koko being on its peak it can redirect its strong electric attacks for no damage due to its lightningrod ability and becomes really beneficial for its partners as well. This really does give marowak some disruptive importance.
Now time to explain the spread, basically I think this is the most standard marowak spreads out there, what it does is that it allow marowak to live a tapu lele’s psychic in the psychic terrain which basically makes it a really strong attack to handle and can work greatly in those 1v1 situations.

Porygon2 @ Eviolite 
Ability: Download 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 116 Def / 140 SpD 
Sassy Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe 
- Ice Beam 
- Thunderbolt 
- Recover 
- Trick Room 

Porygon 2 is love for everyone and annoyance for the ones who don’t know how to handle it, what a great opportunity it was to grab myself a porgon 2 using chance with this team, porygon 2 was basically the idea of me having a reliable trick room setter, porygon 2 being the only pokemon that can take attacks even with combinations in this format made me think that it was quite a fun one to use. There is not much to explain this porygon as the specific pokemon other than the thing that I chose to give it the spread out of a variety that makes it live the double ducks strongest double up combination which could really come in handy and the offensive coverage I chose i.e thunderbolt and ice beam gave it a lot of cover over a large number of pokemons in this format.
Now to explain the more common aspect of this porygon that I felt it had in the format and can be abused to utilize it fully. Apart from the reliable trick room setter aspect, porygon 2 can also get a lot of coverage that is very useful too in this format especially when combined with the based boost of special attack further increased its special attack. The form of recovery it gets as in recover is also very much amazing for this format, with all the four weathers being all viable in this format, recovery being free of any weather dependency, it does really well and keeps up porygon for much longer even so longer that it can often set up a second trick room in the same match that it is brought.
Those aspects mentioned above really make it an ideal partner for this full trick room team and really is a summary of all the aspects the team should have and supports it greatly too. Overall it is indeed a top tier pokemon.

Threats and Maybe Common Questions’ Answer:
Tapu lele:
While tapu lele is dangerous even more if it carries a scarf, it has the ability to hit a lot of my teams’ pokemons for a lot of damage and even ohko some of them, with gengar not being able to ohko it, it becomes even more of a threat to my team. If it carries the taunt it can completely destroy the hariyama + porygon 2 leads
Arcanine:
Arcanine’s main supportive job is to cut down the offense in teams. With the moves and abilities like will-o-wisp, snarl and intimidate, it can significantly shut down a lot of pokemons on my teams and give it trouble in terms of being hyper offensive in nature on the downside of being slower than arcanine.
Ninetales:
Ninetales’ main job of disruption is to set up the aurora veil which makes the opponents team really defensive is extremely threatening for my own team in a way similar to arcanine (cutting down my offense) other than that it sets up the hail which gives more damage recoil to my vikavolt as well as breaks my gengar’s sash. Adding taunt onto the gengar proved a much efficient tactic against this combination too.

Common Questions:
Is it not the most efficient decision to use pokemons like mudsdale and muk which seem important to cover these threats? No one really asked me these questions however I do assume that they are quite some ones that need to be answered correctly here. I did think about using some strong ground coverage or a muk for better defensive switching around the tapu lele however if I replaced them with some of my pokemons I realized that they would completely throw the balance off of this team that is why I felt that these six members were indeed the best for the composition of this entire team.
With that team being reported, let me explain my own viewpoint on the

Athens Regionals:
 that did happen the past weekend, the thing was actually that I didn’t had any idea that the regionals was being streamed also there was a MSS going on at the same time, and I confused them also thought that there was no stream for the MSS, however I did end up watching the finals o this regional event and have a lot of info to share:
Day 1: Teams on Stream:
Garchomp, Gastrodon, Celesteela, Muk, Tapu Koko, Arcanine.
Tapu Fini, Muk, Arcanine, Tapu Lele, Porygon 2, Garchomp.
Porygon 2, Salazzle, Mudsdale, Araquanid, Silvally, Tapu Koko.
Porygon Z, Celesteela, Tapu Fini, Arcanine, Kartana, Garchomp
Tapu Bulu, Tapu Koko, Arcanine, Araquanid, Porygon 2 , Garchomp
Arcanine, Tapu Fini, Kartana, Garchomp, Porygon 2, Muk
Kartana, Tapu Fini, Tapu Koko, Krookodile, Marowak , Porygon 2
Gigalith, Garchomp, Tapu Lele, Tapu Koko, Garchomp, Arcanine.
Muk, Celesteela, Garchomp, Arcanine, Tapu Fini, Porygon 2.
Tapu Koko, Arcanine, Kartana, Garchomp, Gigalith, Tapu Fini.
Kartana, Arcanine, Tapu Fini, Garchomp, Vikavolt, Ninetales.
Arcanine, Kartana, Tapu Koko, Porygon 2, Muk , Araquanid.
(analyses of teams’ meta in the section of metagame of January)
And then again I must admit that I surely didn’t got like all of them however I did saw some and here they are, their display is to give a sense of the in-general metagame of this regionals tournament.

Day 2: Surprising teams:
I would have included those teams that the people used and got on stream in the regionals, however there was no need for it as most of these were extremely surprising teams and did not showcase what the in-general meta is going to be.
In day two we did saw a whole lot of crazier pokemon in this format being in use like tentacreul, cloyster, sandslash, buzzwole as well as an incineroar on teams of really good players, however the most surprising team was of Joohwan Kim’s torkoal and lilligant team which earned him the fan given title of ‘sun dude’ this was no ordinary torkoal + lilligant combination in use thought for him, however instead of the usual where the lilligant is used to support the torkoal, Joohwan took a different view on this strategy and made his torkoal support his lilligant, honestly it did seem a team that was build around a lilligant more than any other pokemon. This wasn’t the only thing interesting about that team of his, he had surprising sets which for sure came to serve the best alongside his lilligant, things like a heat rock torkoal with bulldoze, hp-fire lilligant, choice scarf tapu bulu as well as the groundinium z abuser gyarados. All these factors made him even advance to the finals with command, however he could not win the title in the matches he played against Paul Chua whose muk seemed to give his core strategy loads of trouble, also some favorable rng rolls falling in the way of Paul aided him alongside his great plays that made him win the Regionals tournament. His team wasn’t all standard, he did showcase a tapu koko which held a farium z with the z move of twinkle tackle which isn’t all that common.

Eeveemancy Team:
Phew! Finally took a deep breath and went on with this team, so started building it with a more confident mindset as I did happen to ask none other than the Giovanni Costa (Eeveemancy master) for some advice, as if there could be more options good (if not great around the eevee team concept, to which he said some encouraging words and said that there could be more options around an eeveemancy team, also reading online articles about really gave me my notes that I needed to play and make an eeveemancy team, knowing that from the past teams eevee+ clefairy wasn’t working for me, I wanted to try out smeargle with eevee as a thought of that if it could work and started to build the team off from there:

Teambuilding process:
I was quite nervous to start as I knew my crazy mind would add in weird things which don’t fit into these teams. Following were the top of my notes when I wanted to teambuild for myself:
·         Flowchart method to play the team and give useful setup.
·         Hybrid teams can exist.
·         Sample teams: Tapu Lele, Clefairy, Smeargle, Eevee, Espeon, Arcanine (Japanese, full Eeveemancy team) OR Eevee, Clefairy, Tapu Fini, Pheromosa, Tapu bulu and Krookodile (hybrid team of Giovanni Costa)
·         Eeveemancy Counters: Taunt, Haze, Tailwind, Trick room, Perish song, Roar and Whirlwind, Snarl and Intimidate.
·         As individual mons: Arcanine, Kartana and Fini all beat the general teams, hybrid mode was more desirable against that common and popular core.
·         Highly useful with mons that have moves like power trip or stored power.
So then I list down eevee and smeargle and give them some options, I was really interested into using the meta cores of krookodile, tapu lele and celesteela , tapu lelewas something I wanted to use with this team, krookodile is just amazing with these teams, celesteela, as far as I remember was the first mons eevee boost was desired to be passed onto, then I really needed a mon for coverage and came up with the idea of tapu lele, especially as strong spread moves troubled me, like koko chomp combination, to counter incame the idea of a ground type silvally which also has ice beam to counter this combination, the idea of silvally was working , so was the combination of tapu lele and krookodile with ssmeargle and eevee in the front, however silvally lost to quite some mons I could use it effectively against and celesteela was just still bad even after the eeveemancy boost. Then I tried out building another eeveemancy team with my concepts now more clear, I tried brainstorming and the idea of espeon was tempting however when I was about to leave I came up with the six members of the team, smeargle, eevee, talonflame, tapu lele, krookodile, and espeon. Following were the things I wanted to accomplish with my build and it from a first look have these abilitites and characteristics in it:

·         Have hybrid mode which counters the kartana, tapu fini, arcanine core well.
·         Modernize the concept tailwind made it possible and was much helpful
·         Keep counters to counter to eeveemancy, talonflame’s taunt.
With all these characteristics I saw, in this team when testing out espeoon however was a monster and could ko most of the pokemon in this format, however I saw a clear weakness, still to the tapu fini, for that tapu bulu was a useful members as well as a good counter, so I happened to add that pokemon which completed the squad of six really well, following is the individual mon analyses:

The Team:

Eevee @ Eevium Z 
Ability: Adaptability 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe 
Jolly Nature 
- Last Resort 
- Return 
- Protect 
- Baton Pass 

Eevee of course is the pokemon that helps this team be this team, this is the best eevee in the current format, so let me explain basically how eevee works.  Eevee ses its z-move called extreme evoboost   through last resort to make up a strategy called ‘eeveemancy’ (coming from the geomancy tactics of 2016) the z-move increases its stats by 2 stages, then eevee uses the move baton pass to pass the stat boost to another pokemon, which can make great use of these boosts. Generally the full team has pokemons that can use moves like psych up and moves liked stored power or power trip to take great advantage of eevee, there are 1 to two mons mostly clefairy and smeargle that help eevee to setup easily in this format where strong and fast moves come at it.
From the above explanation, you do know what an eevee is generally about, so you do know that baton pass, last resort are a must on this strategy, protect is a staple when you want to protect eevee from incoming attacks. However the last moveslot is quite questionable, I choose to give this pokemon return as if in those well played and unfortunate for you situation when eevee gets taunted and with the popularity of the move raising ue to some other general pokemons in this format it gets rendered useless whereas it can use an attack like return with the adaptability ability to dish out quite some damage if not great, a lot of people go for the option of helping hand as the main job of eevee is to pass its boost down to the allies and when it comes back in isn’t of much use, so it can use the helping hand to power up its partners even further.
252/252/4 spread is the best for an eevee atleast in my perspective as it allows eevee to outspeed the general speed invested tapu bulu as well as tapu fini and also helps it outspeed the fastest pokemons in this format like pheromosa after the boost to pass its boosts before they land an attack and ko the eevee.

Smeargle @ Focus Sash 
Ability: Moody 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe 
Timid Nature 
- Follow Me 
- Wide Guard 
- Spore 
- Fake Out 

Smeargle gets the title of the partner in crime here surely, helping eevee setup is the only job of a smeargle that it why it has no offensive pressure (pretty much all smeargle, ever) moves are the only thing I would probably need on this set to explain. Fake out helps eevee against a faster and slower opponents, where smeargle can fake out the faster one and then eevee goes for the boost, now eevee takes the partners’ attack well with the boosts and I preserve both my mons. Follow me is the idea of this set to provide setup, wide guard is also another extremely useful move and can surprise opponents by blocking their estrng spread moves aimed at this weak duo by completely blocking their attacks, duos like torkoal eruption w/ lilligant r oranguru or kokochomp leads include here. Spore is just an amazing move, a 100% accurate move to put someone to sleep is apparently no joke though, it is even more useful against the teams that no misty or electric terrain, which block the sleep status and the ones that where most of the pokemons are slower than my smeargle.
From the moves I mentioned above, hopefully you got a good idea of where in the flowchart tech it fits, however for more clear explanations I will put forward that I bring it against the teams which mainly have single target attackers/ lack in spread moves and the teams that don’t have tapu fini or tapu koko.



Talonflame @ Wacan Berry 
Ability: Gale Wings 
Level: 50 
EVs: 116 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 132 Spe 
Jolly Nature 
- Brave Bird 
- Flare Blitz 
- Tailwind 
- Taunt 

Moving on we have the return of a big bird, talonflame is the pure reason why I actually liked my team as an eeveemancy one, with the se of eeveemancy becoming more of a threat to the meta and the arcanine, tapu fini and kartana cores being at the peak of their use, eeveemancy teams are sure to get a shake when trying to come into full use, also a lot of people having even if one answer to the eevee + redirection leads, gave my mode a lot of trouble, talonflame checks out all these things for eeveemancy and gives it a more flexible and more of a modernized concept around which it can work in.
Tailwind and taunt really do deserve a thorough explanation of why do I like them so much, tailwind is becoming a sure answer to the eeveemancy teams, with the mons used on the eeveemancy teams not being in general that fast as well as neutering eevee’s speed stat so that it cannot pass the boost that easy became great problem for my team and made eeveemancy hard to execute, there is no general or straight or just say best way to counter tailwind other than the matching tailwind, talonflame does that job extremely nicely and breaks the opponents apart that rely on using tailwind to matchup well against eeveemancy teams. Now its time for the taunt explanation, remember when I said up there that the team counters counters to eeveemancy? Now is the time to explain, taunt especially fast taunt can take out a great number of things that threaten eeveemancy a lot, some of these things namely are status moves like taunt, roar, whirlwind, calm mind fini, perish song and the worst of all trick room and haze, also add in aurora veil for the defensive advantage to my opponents, taunt being fast as well as moving before my opponents blocks and shuts down all these moves.
Talonflame overall proves to be much of a useful pokemon against the tapu fini, kartana and arcanine cores, with taunt it stops the dealing with any cm fini, roar arcanine and with its offensive coverage gives kartana a tough time against it, there were many times where I did lead talonflame and eevee, or even with eevee in the back so that I can use a faster eevee to set up late with tw help and get the boost going. Talonflame with the evs I gave it outspeeds a ninetales and with max attack, I tossed the rest into the bulk, the item wacan berry comes into use against tapu koko attacks which helsps it survive longer and give it potentially more turns to support its partners. The gale wings nerf wasn’t bothering at all.

Tapu Lele @ Aguav Berry 
Ability: Psychic Surge 
Level: 50 
EVs: 28 HP / 4 Def / 220 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe 
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Psychic 
- Dazzling Gleam 
- Protect 
- Psych Up 

Upcoming are the pass utilizers, the pokemons to which eevee loves to pass down its eeveeboost to, first up is the all tempting tapu lele, first off I will explain the stranger or say the more questionable things on this pokemon, aguav berry is my item of choice as in many matches I felt like tapu lele got into such likely of a position where it could have just a little bit of health left or I wanted it to use psych up to copy its opponents and it was left with some little hp number, that is when the aguav berry came into its effect and made this pokemon much healthy, the ev spread is the next questionable thing on this tapu lele, it allows tapu lele to get 3hko at +2 a -1 heavy slam from a 36 attack evs celesteela, that is boosted even more when the aguav berry comes into its effect, this I felt like was a good number to utilize as it doesn’t bother a more hybrid play for tapu lele in its use when I wanted to bring it without eeveemancy.
Now for the general info, I wanted to use tapu lele as wolfe did his eeveemancy demonstration video with a duo of smeargle and tapu lele I felt like that was why it was gonna be a more effective strategy, also tapu lele was the one to get an ability hat does block moves like fake out which can greatly disrupt the functioning of this team, tapu lele was also more offensive of a pokemon which I felt would compliment and make shine my more offensive preference towards the teams I use in the game.



Krookodile @ Groundium Z 
Ability: Intimidate 
Level: 50 
EVs: 20 HP / 156 Atk / 76 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe 
Jolly Nature 
- Earthquake 
- Power Trip 
- Protect 
- Snarl 

Moving on we have a krookodile, and then again I will explain the ev spread as well as the item choice for it. So as I have explained before that kartana is quite a big threat for these teams, krookodile had to live through some of its attacks, that it why I designed this spread in such a way that allowed it to et 3hko’d by a -1 kartana’s leaf blade at +2 defense during the process of which I use power trip on it and take it out before it takes me out, however sacred sword was an issue as it does ignore stat boosts, it still lands a 2hko on it so that’s not that majorly bad after all then. Item choice is the most questionable thing of this pokemon so without saying anything else let me explain that as a first, krookodile is a part of the teams’ hybrid mode which is mostly brought up against the matchups of muk, tapu fini and arcanine teams, also I needed really strong coverage against maorwak, muk as well as arcanine in general also covering up gigalith, so that is why I choose to give it the groudinum z which allows it to take out those pokemons in one shot and it proves quite amazing to my team, lastly the move choice of snarl was made because of the fear of tapu fini setting up offensively against me as well as for general support.
Krookodile does really great on eeveemancy teams, with having moves like power trip that go really well with the boost and ohko almost anything in this format, this pokemon also gets the ability intimidate which allows it to support its partners even further, krookodile was the first choice to eeveemancy into whenever I mostly brought it whereas tapu lele was the one kept to use the psych up into, all these factors make krookodile a great choice, generally tapu lele and arcanine form the better of a dual core, but I just loved lele and krookodile working together and they do work extremely well especially on these teams.

Tapu Bulu @ Leftovers 
Ability: Grassy Surge 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Atk / 108 Def / 4 SpD / 44 Spe 
Jolly Nature 
- Horn Leech 
- Substitute 
- Protect 
- Psych Up 

Last but not the least is the tapu bulu, tapu bulu serves the role of taking down the bulky water types offensively without the eevee boost, tapu bulu also serves as a hybrid pokemon having that generally bulkier set of moves like substitute with the item choice of leftvovers to survive longer with the additional aid of that move horn leech, apart from that tapu bulu can work well with eeveemancy through its moves like psych up and becomes a really good option to use as it gets the further option of self recovery alongside this move which makes it an invincible monster as well as with the fast substitute with double recovery a lot of opponents have a hard time taking it down.
That was it for the traits of tapu bulu, now time for its spread it spread shone brightly to what it was put on the team for. It lives the poison jab from a garchomp in addition to outspeeding a 100 ev invested tapu fini, a which is a spread I found online on a team with a good finish and that number allows fini to outspeed the fastest eevee, especially for when tapu bulu was being brought to beat tapu fini, this number could come in really handle, since bulk was the first thought of this bulu variant, the slightly low attack doesn’t matter a whole lot.
That was it for this eeveemancy team of mine, hope you guys learned something from this team analyses.
So with this I did fnish up on testing a lot of the pokemons that I wanted to in this format, first of all using things like the core of tapu koko, garchomp and celesteela cores, then using and trying out pokemons strategies like hail combination, snorlax belly drum teams with the addition of using pheromosa on it. Further building my own buzzwole team that also got me to use a nihelego and tapu lele as well as a raichu was quite good, moving on having the full trick room team also gave me more experience with certain more common pokemons like porygon 2, marowak and hariyama I also used others like gengar and loved the use of the concept, after some struggle, getting an eeveemancy team together really gave me a better understanding of these teams as well as I learned the power of kookodile in this format. I was quite happy with all I tested in January and was willing to move onto other fun team concepts that I wanted to build around.

Metagame of January:
Usually I put some sample sets in this section of the report, however this time I will discuss things differently by pointing out some cores present in this format that gained popularity in this month
Kartana Cores:
1)      Kartana + tapu koko
Kartana + tapu koko teams took quite a rise in the first regionals of January, where we did saw numerous people using these teams. Especially the updated team of Cybertron from where he replaced the duo of xurkitree and gyarados to this core, this did show that this duo was officially  part of the metagame, not only him , but many other players also had the duo of these two pokemons on their teams which seemed more than a coincidence.
2)      Kartana + Tapu fini + Arcanine:
Oh boy was this core a blast! These cores started appearing in really really big numbers, with the start of the season like we had the all popular dragon, fairy steel core of celesteela, garchomp and tapu koko, now we have the classic fire water and grass type core of arcanine, kartana and tapu fini. Kartana can cover a lot of things whereas tapu fini stands as a safeguard and a wall to many pokemons and helps support on some team variation. Arcanine does a bit of both of support and offense and its roles vary quite much. There is no one variant of this core, but there are teams that have variations between sashed kartana, arcanine varies between physically offensive to supportive sets and tapu fini can have a variety of moves as well as the dependance of the player who carries this team; usually varying between all out offensive with specs to calm mind wall + sweepers or even are ones carrying swagger, heal pulse or even more rare is taunt present on it.
Tapu Fini on the rise:
We did saw a huge rise in the population of tapu fini that is being used in this season. Before January hey could surely be stated as the least used tapu pokemon in this season, however after the days passed and especially in Texas regionals it stood out in half of the top cut of a total of 16 players’ team, varying between a lot of variety in its use as well as the varying spreads. It was then next to porygon 2 which was surely the most used pokemon in the metagame at that time.tapu fini is usually paired up with the core of arcanine and tapu fini, a significant number of tapu fini + ninetales teams have also seen use, where leftovers is the most common item for tapu fini whereas it neuters hail, stalls down opponents and tapu fini gains a lot more bulk thanks to the ninetales’ aurora veil if it successfully gets set up without disruption.
Berry Blasts:
As tapu fini rose in usage, surprising amounts of berries like wiki berry, aguav berry, figy berry and iapapa berry which were seeing most usage on muk and the then present snorlax, now gets to be seen on more and more pokemons in regionals we saw pokemons with these berries like tapu fini and trevenant that both also had the moves like substitute on them. A big number of arcanine especially the ones that are the physically offensive sets, get a lot of flare blitz and wild charge, aguav berry helps them gain more health back and is the most compatible item of arcanine.
Physical Arcanines:
Then again we get the discussion, following is a general spread or say spreads for a physical arcanine. Other variations include these sets having close combat but those are usually just team specific. Firium z or aguav berry is the usual item on these variants and they also provide a big coverage of a lot of pokemons in this metagame:
Arcanine @ Aguav Berry 
Ability: Intimidate 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe 
Jolly Nature 
- Flare Blitz 
- Wild Charge 
- Extreme Speed 
- Protect 

Arcanine @ Firium z
Ability: Intimidate 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe 
Jolly Nature 
- Flare Blitz 
- Wild Charge 
- Extreme Speed 
- Protect 

Mandibuzz buzzing in:
Another trend that we saw it wasn’t a big one, was a bit of a cover of the metagame falling in the way of this metagame. Mandibuzz however is niche roles in this metagame but sure does provide a great matchup against the best eeveemancy leads of either it’s pairing with smeargle or with clefairy. Providing main supports in the means of the all useful moves like taunt and tailwind as well as an aspect of stalling with moves like roost, items of seeds, berries or lefties as well as with the move foul play which works great against the physically offensive pokemons in this metagame makes this pokemon worth it for some teams.
And that is where I will conclude the metagame discussion and trends rising in the month of January however I will now be putting forward one final activity I tried out in the month of January and I do feel sorry already as if it is a boring one again I did rebuild one of my failed teams.

Dhelmise Surprise Climbs:
Yeah pretty much if anyone keeps up with the past posts, they should have seen a dhelmise team try, but it was indeed a big and a bad fail on my part. The reasons were that tapu fini really didn’t had provided some real potential, as well as the team having less coverage in general, my terrible understanding of nihilego’s working also the lacking dynamism in the team made it unusable with experiences and now knowing a lot more about nihilego and replacing also my idea of trying out a scarfed garchomp as I felt like that it was pretty good, with my intention of improving the team for laddering generally, I felt a lot of different options and making my team surprising to get some easy wins. Following is the team, maybe the description will be brief:

The Team:

Dhelmise @ Grassium Z 
Ability: Steelworker 
Level: 50 
Shiny: Yes 
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD 
Adamant Nature 
- Power Whip 
- Phantom Force 
- Anchor Shot 
- Protect 

·         Dhelmise was good for quite some coverage, especially its abilities to hit pokemons like gastrodon and tapu fini as well as gigalith and mudsdale for super effective damage and taking them down was extremely good.
·         I choose this pokemon for the z-crystal item choice as I really wanted to land one strong as well as an accurate hit with this pokemon, a lot of the times it helped me out with that loads and loads of power.
·         Dhelmise also gets loads of coverage especially in the forms of ghost and steel type moves, especially its important steelworker ability boosting its anchor shot up to a base 120 power.
·         On the cons of dhelmise it was quite bad for it to lose just the ohko’s on some pokemons like tapu bulu and also marowak sometimes because of the absence of orb as previously I had used. Dhelmise surely doesn’t get brought to every match however it is extremely helpful in most of my matches


Nihilego @ Focus Sash 
Ability: Beast Boost 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe 
Timid Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Sludge Bomb 
- Power Gem 
- Hidden Power [Ice] 
- Protect 

·         Moving on we have nihilego, I ran it ever so terribly with a set of 0 speed investments and modest nature also with the move called trick room, that was as terrible as it sounds, but now for the core value of this pokemon with dhelmise and me having a better understanding of it made this team a whole lot better.
·         Nihilego forms my counter to a lot of pokemons like garchomp, the tapus as well as others like araquanid and marowak and comes extremely handy in loads of matchups that is why I have stated this pokemon one as the flexible sweeper.
·         Nihilego was something I was trying to reconsider, however in the end ultimately it helped me out the most especially in synergy with this team so I choose it on this team finally for the best of it.



Arcanine @ Firium Z
Ability: Intimidate 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe 
Jolly Nature 
- Flare Blitz 
- Wild Charge 
- Extreme Speed 
- Protect 

·         Arcanine was something I changed n this team, my main job for salamence with this team was handling garchomp as well as using strong fire coverage. I knew arcanine went really went well with nihilego and last time I had to keep a supportive sets, I was also fond of keeping the physically offensive spreads so it was a fun experience.
·         Arcanine in my observation provides quite some coverage on a team, on one end of the metagame it is covering all those tapu bulu, celesteela and kartana on the other end it is using moves like wild charge to wile charge to cover flying types, and bulky water types especially in combination with electric terrain it did significant amount of damage to my opponents.
·         Extreme speed was good in the situations where I wanted arcanine to break the opposing pokemons’ sashes.
·         Intimidate ability was extremely useful, at one point I was considering to run an av set with snarl too, however I changed back to this spread and then kept on using the firium z move which got me ohko’s on celesteelas as well as made me cover up against when I needed loads of damage on my opponents, especially since dhelmise wasn’t brought in all games.

Tapu Fini @ Leftovers 
Ability: Misty Surge 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 148 SpA / 4 SpD / 100 Spe 
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Muddy Water 
- Calm Mind 
- Moonblast 
- Taunt

·         Oh hey now tapu fini is good! Tapu fini was the main reason I came back to give this team a touchup in the first place though.
·         The ev spread allows it to outspeed max speed eevee which proves extremely good against a bit of my cover up against those eeveemancy lead matchups that carry the usual redirection. Muddy water was quite desirable from time to time, that is why I didn’t keep scald, moonblast also covered loads of optional as well as provided me with more offense thanks to the misty terrain boost.
·         Taunt has some extremely importance on this set, as you know my other tapu also has taunt, this was done mainly to cover up trick room for surety. Those trick room setter + fake out leads or those double trick room setter leads which I always went too nervous against those matchups, this play countered them near perfect if they don’t have mental herb.

Tapu Koko @ Air Balloon 
Ability: Electric Surge 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe 
Timid Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Thunderbolt 
- Hidden Power [Ice] 
- Taunt 
- Protect 

·         Tapu koko + garchomp that I use is a supposed great counter to the mirror matchups, with the tapu koko having the air balloon making it immune to other garchomps earthquake whereas my garchomp carries a choice scarf, garchomp uses the eq to ohko opposing tapu koko and land some damage on the garchomp, the my tapu koko goes for a single target dazzling gleam which also probably does ko the opposing garchomp made it much desirable for me as I also felt like it was quite a difficult one to counter.
·         Tapu koko originally was a variant carrying hidden power ice because I really wanted it to take on opposing garchomps, but later when I gave this moveslot a serious thought it did do really well with dazzling gleam and it helped me out in more situations than that hp-ice could help me cover. Having air balloon made it a surprising switch in to opposing ground move users.
·         I choose to run a modest nature as I do with most of my tapu koko as there really isn’t much better the timid and modest line that it really essentially needs to outspeed and especially in the lack of having a non-power boosting item, it was the better nature also the tapu koko mirrors weren’t required because of my garchomp.

Garchomp @ Choice Scarf 
Ability: Rough Skin 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe 
Adamant Nature 
- Dragon Claw 
- Earthquake 
- Poison Jab 
- Fire Fang 

·         Following up on the team is somewhat of what became a favorite of mine to use. Just easy wins in bo1 through the simple element of surprise.
·         Garchomp outspeeds mirrors, kartana and most importantly tapu koko was surely a satisfying game.
·         The ev spread allows it to live a dragon claw from the opposing garchomp + the rough skin damage and thanks to the scarf of garchomp I do win the mirror.
·          Tapu koko + garchomp that I use is a supposed great counter to the mirror matchups, with the tapu koko having the air balloon making it immune to other garchomps earthquake whereas my garchomp carries a choice scarf, garchomp uses the eq to ohko opposing tapu koko and land some damage on the garchomp, the my tapu koko goes for a single target dazzling gleam which also probably does ko the opposing garchomp made it much desirable for me as I also felt like it was quite a difficult one to counter.

Conclusion:
With all those teams and a brief explanation of the metagame’s scene, I’ll be concluding this report here. Hopefully you guys liked this report a lot and learned something from it as well. Hopefully next month I will be back with more to share and discuss I hope you guys liked this post, bye for now!


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