Friday, 7 April 2017

April VGC 17 Team : Z-Rain Dance

Hi guys today I am back with a different kind of post, nowadays in the 2017 season, in the previous season I have posted teams in the form of individual reports however not much in this season however now they are back! This time I will be putting forward a really interesting team that I built in this season, it is around z-rain dance, and without further ado lets get started:

Teambuilding Process:
So I have been doing this for the past two months that whenever the month starts I retire my older teams and settle onwards a new team. This time I started to build off of nihilego as seeing the official statistics of battle spot, arcanine, garchomp as well as tapu koko were 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively, that is why I started to tend towards building a team around nihilego which could also be able to handle other pokemons in this format really well, its rock type further adds a bonus for it to counter all those flying types. Then my mind thought that why shouldn’t I just build a double ducks team. Then I thought that I was getting quite interested in using a z-weather team mostly z-rain dance which could help me also beat those top three pokemons if used correctly. That is why I started off with politoed, which had water absorb I wasn’t going to put it alone and needed to support it, for it to be the center of my team, I thought of fake out as a good support that is why I put Togedemaru with it which was going to be a better option in its support especially in the popularity of tapu koko, then I thought of the world championship 2016  winning team and previously read about Persian, so I added it, it added an amazing direction to the double fake out support which could help me further cycle these fake out and keep it up. Since seeing the threat of tapu lele, I needed to add tapu fini, especially seeing then I have to add water absorb to rain dance using politoed for it to be efficient then the idea of fast scarf tapu fini with surf came to my head, further seeing that it could support my politoed and take advantage from the rain + give a lot of cover against terrains and status it seemed like the best option to add to the team, with which I completely my core of four.
Then I added celesteela as well as nihilego at first, this was done to add coverage options also I have heard really good things about nihilego + celesteela,I needed to support nihilego with a bulldoze user so that I can lower the speed of scarfed garchomp in case of my own life orb nihilego. From this point on I worked on the spreads, I choose my old celesteela spread and added vest on it which made it survive both tapu koko’s thunderbolt as well as arcanine’s flare blitz, Persian spread was chosen from a team report and fit in the team well, tapu fini had enough speed to outspeed a pheromosa under scarf, that is why its offensive power was a big compromise in my opinion. Politoed’s spread was almost 252/252/4 whereas togedemaru and nihilego had 252/252/4 spreads on them.
I did test the team and was quite surprised by the fact that the concept seemed to work, even though my rating was low a this point, I was happy to see the concept work and wanted to build it with a more solid approach to make it into a much better team. However soon started to see some big faults, I could dominate some matchups but then I was terrible against the others. That is when I decided to put muk and kartana duo in replacement for my double ub combination, both these pokemons were techs, muk could do a lot singlehandedly it could beat all the tapus, beat porygon 2 be a source of bulk, beat kartana, inhibit any opposing muk as well as prevent celesteela from using flamethrower on my kartana, if the situation ever was to occur. Kartana I first tried with sash but lost that 1v1 against arcanines, and needed more power so I tried a fightinium z set to whatever advantage that could give me over a porygon 2 in a matchup. After a whole lot of testing I started noticing having trouble against garchomp, it could easily turn a 4-2 situation into a 0-2 situation fast, especially my pokemon choice against its teams was such that if I didn’t had the right placement, I could easily lose the game, it needed to be adjusted, also the lack of bulk on Politoed was quite bothering. The jobs I chose kartana to do were being handled by muk already and ony needed grass coverage from it for gastrodon, on other points I felt like I was weak to opposing tailwind as well as garchomp matchups, that is why added a z-move whimsicott to this team to further form a terrain abusing lead and help me cover up other problems as well,  did exactly one bo3 with someone who plays well on showdown, after I felt like making suitable adjustments into the matchup I felt like this team wasn’t maybe only for a bo1 setting as I had been thinking about it like that before. Lets get into the individual pokemon analyses:

The Team:

Politoed @ Waterium Z 
Ability: Water Absorb 
Level: 50 
EVs: 84 HP / 4 Def / 164 SpA / 28 SpD / 228 Spe 
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Scald 
- Ice Beam 
- Rain Dance 
- Protect

Politoed + togedemaru was my favorite lead, Politoed was the start of this team and overall became to be the MVP of many matches and I just loved it! The utility it enables to unlock from itself by togedemaru’s support and using z-rain dance allows it to add more offense to its water type attacks, outspeed arcanines, outspeed garchomps as well as the biggest point it gives you over choice scarf is to switch between moves was just amazing. Up at this point in the format at multiple times I have felt like ‘oh! Manual weather seems very good theoretically’ how ever this was the first time I got to test it in a team and exactly worked as it seemed to, with weather wars being all out in this season, and all four weather conditions being very viable + switching in be free your weather can easily be somewhat combated in a matchup. Manual weather allows you to reset your weather even when you expect them to switch and completely turns around the concepts of using weather counters, especially it feels amazing when it is able to outspeed ninetales at +1 speed and then stops it from setting up a threatening aurora veil whenever it switches in into Politoed.
The main thought was that ofcourse I wouldn’t want to keep the ability drizzle if I was going for the idea of a z-rain dance to start off with this pokemon in the beginning and from looking at other abilities, I gave it water absorb, this may seem underwhelming but proved an advantage in many and many ways. Especially switching into walled water types was quite amazing for me, blocking off offensive options like gyarados and araquanid was quite big for me, that is the sole reason why I later added on a tapu fini with surf which could keep this offensive water duo up for a long time. The offensive water duo may not seem like much however with things rising in popularity like ninetales, arcanine as well as gigalith and nihilego it seems really good to be brought into usage.
The ev spread allows it to outspeed pokemons like kartana and ninetales after the + 1 in its speed stat. at first I started off with a offensive spread and to be honest when I started writing about this report I felt like that it was quite a bad one, especially as it loses all the good natural politoed bulk, I would have loved to make a bulkier spread from it that is why I switched to a somewhat more convenient bulkier spread; 164 special attack stat allows it to ohko a bulky arcanine with scald in rain whereas the garchomp which are standard are most of the times ohko’d by its ice beam. The leftover bulk allows it to almost never survive discharge from timid orb tapu koko which seems very bad however can work if I hang onto the roll

Togedemaru @ Focus Sash 
Ability: Lightning Rod 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe 
Adamant Nature 
- Fake Out 
- Zing Zap 
- Spiky Shield 
- Encore

Moving on definitely have to discuss its partner in crime togedemaru, a tough name to type again and again indeed. Togedemaru is something that rose significantly in usage especially after winning the regionals and I thought it was quite an annoying pokemon but how good can it only be? I struggled a lot with this spread and item choice after switching between weird items like eject button and shuca berry I finally came back to the almost most standard item of focus sash, simply as I don’t understand  from any theory needed that air balloon. Togedemaru was quite amazing to use for more than one reason, it can be divided into the heading of a disruptive role as well as some might think a stranger aspect but a great utility in an offensive role.
Togedemaru was always supposed to be disruptive to its core. All moves it gets have one thing in common they are annoying and disruptive; you surely have to play very carefully around this pokemon when against it. It can most basically use a fake out mainly what was the thought of supporting politoed, in combination with its lightning rod ability to provides great support to my water types as well as almost nullify a tapu koko or whatever electric move users that this format may carry in it. Other than that spikey shield didn’t overall got much usage but was good to preserve togedemaru for its ability. In the end encore got amazing usage as well! Encore is something people don’t expect on togedemaru especially since togedemaru has always been a more popular pokemon for its nuzzle + zing zap paraflinch tactics. Using that mindset to my advantage I really was able to get my opponents all the time with it and it was a complete shutdown for my opponents.
Now with all the juiciness of the supportive or more disruptive role the time todiscuss its offensive role has come! Yay! I also this this was quite an amazing thing, firstly and it might surprise that it OHKO’d most of the drifblim that I faced, moreover on that role, it was able to do a lot of damage to pokemons like tapu lele, a celesteela and well as help its partners by ohko’ing gyarados and pelliper which are 4x effective to electric type attacks. Tapu fini isn’t safe either. The main reason I think why this was good is that my team already has two water types and oppositions can give a whole lot of trouble as they can wall or take advantage from my rain mode, that is why togedemaru was very much even more satisfying.

Persian-Alola @ Mago Berry 
Ability: Fur Coat 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 HP / 84 Def / 4 SpA / 204 SpD / 212 Spe 
Timid Nature 
- Fake Out 
- Foul Play 
- Taunt 
- Parting Shot

The next pokemon came upon the idea of plotting a team which was going to be like wolfe glick’s worlds team core of raichu + hitmontop, I also read good things about Persian so it came naturally to the team, in addition onto that the dynamism that they share allows Persian to take onto the attacks of a garchomp whereas togedemaru can take up many fairy type attacks from a tapu koko. This Persian spread was chosen from a report and fit well into this team as it allowed my Persian to survive one dazzling gleam from opposing tapu koko, heal and then switch out to a better option. Persian was also mu amazing like togedemaru in terms of its supportive or disruptive importance, cycling of fake out usage was the main job of this ‘cat and mouse’ core, in addition to that persian’s rather unexpected taunt was able to shut down many opponents relying on set-up or supportive status moves. Parting shot was even more useful acted as a move such as u-turn or volt switch but instead of damaging allowed me to cut down the offense of my opponents. And allow me to make better switches. Persian’s foul play allowed it to do more useful things, especially with things like kartana and snorlax posing a threat to this team, Persian was able to handle them nicely with its foul play, it also came in handy against many other physical attackers as a form of utility offense. Switching into the all popular tapu lele + drifblim core was a favorite move of mine when keeping Persian as a part of the gameplan.

Tapu Fini @ Choice Scarf 
Ability: Misty Surge 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 244 Spe 
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Scald 
- Moonblast 
- Surf 
- Heal Pulse

Moving onto the next pokemon I have a tapu fini which is very strange, that is why firstly I’ll not jump write into the variant and would like to explain the importance of its terrain, its terrain can do a whole lot of things for this team, firstly it can stop drifblim or any other pokemons from inflicting my team with status moves, its importance increases especially as I do sometimes rely on togedemaru’s offense, and politoed or fini getting paralyzed can be very troublesome for this team of mine. Now that we are done with this ore talk, I should move into the rest of this tapu fini set.
The most surprising thing about this pokemon happens to be its item choice of choice scarf, it sounds very strange but believe me that it gave me all the essential utility that I needed, ofocurse no one in the world expects a scarfed tapu fini and I surprised all of my opponents by showing them and catching them off guard by the fact that how fast tapu fini was, this speed allowed tapu fini to comfortable ko any koko or kartana switch in’s as it 2hko’s them if I catch them onto any switching which usually becomes very predictable with a tapu fini on the field, this also allowed me to ohko most standard garchomp on the field with its moonblast as well as more offensive versions of arcanine. Overall I didn’t had a feeling that thi variant was a bad choice in some case, other than the few late game decisive choice locks that I have again my opponents.
Scald and moonblast are predictable and obvious single target stab attacks whereas surf has the importance of going very well once politoed sets up a rain dance, as politoed recovers its hp tapu fini adds onto the offensive pressure as well as help in defense of politoed at the same time, however this was somewhat concerning on those few times I had to surf into my own pokemons but didn’t bother me all to much. Heal pulse seems like a discussable option the thing with this team was, that with other teams usually u get to keep multiple counters to the same pokemon but so wasn’t the case for this team of mine, so therefore to preserve my win con in a bad spot or in other words keep up a pokemon essential to the matchup I felt like heal pulse was good, especially given that muk doesn’t have protect to not take damage and Persian and togedemaru can enjoy longer trips on the battle field.
Its ev spread is also very strange, firstly I was using a bulkier spread with a lot less special attack which made tapu fini a very bad pokemon to use as it gave me very less offensive pressure and was often inefficient, since I figure that tapu koko is already handled well by muk and whimsicott and togedemaru, I really didn’t needed that bulk and my strategy around kartana was always going for the muk switch in or be fast to attack it and I figured soon that I didn’t needed bulk on this spread of mine the offense works very well, the speed that this tapu fini reaches allows it to outspeed a 

Muk-Alola @ Figy Berry 
Ability: Gluttony 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Atk / 108 Def / 84 SpD / 20 Spe 
Adamant Nature 
- Poison Jab 
- Knock Off 
- Flamethrower 
- Imprison

Muk is one of the MVP pokemons of this team especially due to te fact that how much work it can put into a whole lot of matchups, normally you would most likely expect a muk to counter all the tapus heas well as porygon 2 this one exactly does that, however some more to as instead of going for the protect + support move slot I went ahead and gave it the move flamethrower which helps it counter kartana and the move imprison that completely shuts down any muk, imprison was also a tech to stop celesteela from using late game fire moves on pokemons like togedemaru which perform really well against it.
Muk is simply a muk and doesn’t really require much explanation to it however as you can notice this one isn’t the most standard thingie you would see, first this in the ev spread of this pokemon is the large amount of bulk, I took this spread from Wolfe Glick’s guide of muk’s competitive usage it makes t survive garchomp’s earthquake which a good amount of health, wolfe showed this spread with those sitrus berry calcs, however figy berry should help this pokemon even more in the bulk regard, 44+ attack allows it to pick up OHKO’s and 2HKO’s on most pokemons on my opponents that I want to target it with. It also enables muk to survive tapu koko’s thunderbolt as a 3hko.
Overall thinking about muk it was almost always brought and kept in the back, the main reason for why I did this so was that I usually planned to use this pokemon as a pivotal or defensive switch in for my other members mainly tau fini and politoed, other times when I brought it on leads I played conservatively with it because it usually had a big importance in the overall matchup. Switching into tapu lele is a fun and satisfying thing to watch.

Whimsicott @ Normalium Z 
Ability: Prankster 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD 
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Nature Power 
- Energy Ball 
- Helping Hand 
- Tailwind

Last but not the least whimsicott, I honestly felt lie I had a lot of things to patch up for this team but pokemons like muk and tapu fini with the choice scarf seemed to make things even more easy, as aforementioned having three main things to accomplish with the last slot on this team were tailwind counter, garchomp counter as well as a grass type move user. The main tailwind + garchomp thing was mostly those drifblim + tapu lele teams which turned really threatening, as I kept up disruption and a defensive stance in the opponents tailwind, but this stall style of play often set be back a whole lot also if garchomp got in and set up a swords dance, it was as expected no good for me. Gastrodon would easily become a mostly and swallow my team whole if it gets those boosts and also is immune to 3x of my pokemons’ attacks and doesn’t care much about two others. As first I tried an assault vest seed bomb celesteela, kartana and then the answer lied within a whimsicott, whimsicott was a very good fit into this team as it was able to sync well with its partners and without destroying any type of disruptive as well as it did exactly the job I was given.
Another thing that comes to my mind while practicing with this team was that I would also need a helping hand user, the main reason for this was when I was reliant on a emergent situation and needed that extra but of an offensive push to take me out of that situation, also in the matchups that whimsicott was brought protect was used very less, that is why I opted to give it helping hand.
Whimsicott can do quite some offensive jobs, it seems like an all out priority pokemon for this team of mine which is why I decided to give it 252 hp instead of speed for whatever bit of bulk it gives it to accomplish, furthermore the offensive priority especially combined with tapu fini’s terrain and boosted by stab + z-move twinkle tackles were really pulling out some damage, it especially helped in the garchomp matchups as well as those trick room situations. Whimsicott I also used a bit for defensive switching such as in cases or ground, water or electric moves. I had whimsicott only for some matchups but in general it added the idea of a double fairy offensive lead where they can put in some work from their offensive potentials.

Modes and Leads:


Togedemaru + Politoed:
It was the main lead of this team of mine and allowed me to counter those garchomp + tapu koko lead with a lot of ease. In addition to that it allowed me to easily set up a z-rain dance and help politoed take out any fire types in togedemaru’s way, with togedemaru’s support on the side poitoed was able to keep itself up for a long time on the field, and use its attacks to take out a big number of opponents.

Double Fairies:
Double fairies wasn’t a part of a lead when I starting building it but came to me after I added on a whimsicott, due to large number of teams carrying opposing terrains I wasn’t able to lead my tapu fini however it often became into a mid game on field mode which helped me really well. Grass + water coverage with speed control and fast hyper offense with boosted offense with helping hand is not a joke and that is why I liked it on field as a mode.


Core of four:
The first four pokemons of this team, which are Persian, togedemaru with politoed and tapu fini are the special core of four, this core does offer a lot first of all offers strategy and then gives a lot of disruption and surprise offense which is why really liked playing it, when I started to use this team, I used these four a lot and they were helpful atleast in those tests. The core covers a lot which is pivotal switching, terrains, as well as weather.


Hopefully you really liked this post and liked going through this team of mine, make sure to give it a try, main accomplishments of this team were winning somehow strangely a BSD tournamnet of ps as well as reaching the semi finals of a VGC tournament on ps . I’ll be back with more content to cover and post, Bye for now!

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