Friday, 26 May 2017

May VGC Report : Part 2

Hey guys today I am back and I am here to share my current month’s VGC experience for you guys hopefully you guys will really like it and will be learning something from, it like January I also wanted to take the few last days of this month and go into a phase of testing for the pokemons I had yet to try out, lesser for the pokemons and more for the newer and more well defined archetypes that had made their way into the metagame, without further ado lets get started with this post:

Xurkitree Team, Finally:
As you guys may have read in the past blogposts of mine that I had attempted to build xurkitree in the past with a really bulky team however really didn’t get enough of it out there to call it a very good team, well this time I did got the opportunity to rebuild around this pokemon I really tempted to have a solid team around, especially after seeing recurrent occurrences in the top cut of regional events I felt like it was the time in the format that xurkitree could use some recognition and had a place in this metagame:

Teambuilding Process:
Surely enough I needed to use a xurkitree but before that I had to made certain adjustments for me to test it, I soon realized he correct form for usage in xurkitree, it needs to get the stat  boosts to pick up and sweep through teams with good speed control and an opputunity to setup from, which meant I would need something like tailwind and a move like fakeout to help set it up, I was testing a delibird with it that had freeze dry, fake out, destiny bond and theif with sash, but I soon realized that it worked majorly for its own surprise factor with delibird I tested a physical gastrodon inspired from a team that I saw on Toronto regionals’ stream and a physical band arcanine. After seeing that I realized that arcanine + gastrodon with xurkitree had some nice place in the format. Then came a celesteela because it went really well with the arcanine + gastrodon core as well as beas garchomp which was a major threat to my first three, then after some testing I settled upon using the duo of mandibuzz and tapu lele to round off the team, then I came back to make a switch from arcanine to incineroar to adjust the team after which it worked really well.

The Team:

Xurkitree @ Wiki Berry 
Ability: Beast Boost 
Level: 50 
EVs: 52 HP / 236 Def / 92 SpA / 4 SpD / 124 Spe 
Timid Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Thunderbolt 
- Dazzling Gleam 
- Tail Glow 
- Protect

Gastrodon @ Groundium Z 
Ability: Storm Drain 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk 
Brave Nature 
IVs: 0 Spe 
- Waterfall 
- Earthquake 
- Curse 
- Recover

Incineroar @ Mago Berry 
Ability: Blaze 
Level: 50 
EVs: 220 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 36 Spe 
Adamant Nature 
- Fake Out 
- Flare Blitz 
- Darkest Lariat 
- Protect

Celesteela @ Leftovers 
Ability: Beast Boost 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD 
Careful Nature 
- Heavy Slam 
- Flamethrower 
- Leech Seed 
- Protect

Tapu Lele @ Life Orb 
Ability: Psychic Surge 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA 
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Psychic 
- Moonblast 
- Protect 
- Taunt

Mandibuzz @ Psychic Seed 
Ability: Overcoat 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD 
Careful Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Tailwind 
- Foul Play 
- Roost 
- Taunt

First of all the star of the team xurkitree deserves to be discussed. Firstly I’ll be explaining the attention seeking ev spread choice that I had for this xurkitree, I knew that people use really bulky xurkitree however didn’t knew a way to solidfy the bulk or a standard to invest into then I saw in the Toronto regional finals that Joshua was using a xurkitree that survived a spread earthquake from a  garchomp, I had a general idea that most people use pinch berry with their xurkitree that is why I decided to opt for using the pinch berry variant, with all that said above, the ev spread defensive investment allows me to survive a spread damage earthquake from an adamant garchomp. The speed investment comes from someone telling me that the lele/fini speed creeps range from the numbers of 120-130 so I invested in such a number that allows me to  outspeed all of them the rest was dumped into the special attack.
Now for the moveset, I was starting out the earliest tests of this team with discharge + marowak combination with a tapu koko core but that seemed super underwhelming after I saw in some tests that what wonders the tail glow boosts brought I dropped the discharge idea and stuck with thunderbolt as my source of offense. I was previously using hp-ice but then converted the slot to dazzling gleam given that ti can hit a lot of pokemons for neutral damage that thunderbolt can’t touch, mainly pokemons like garchomp and gastrodon as well as provides for a heavy damage dealing spread move when used with the acquired boosts that it has. Protect is a staple to conserve xurkitree.
Upnext is the physical gastrodon that I am so in love with, id din’t even knew that gastrodon learned something called curse, and before this set I always felt like it was a b tier pokemon that was juststanding there to disrupt certain matchups like rain or provide chip damage, but this spread whereas it counters rain, also can take greatly onto the late game stallers, such as celesteela and snorlax, gastroon even though when having the popular toxic + recover sets was the most inferior of the late game pokemons but curse makes it soo much more amazing especially with the recover, it also becomes such a solid pokemon to counter the pesky muk with its z-move now, when I’ve used pokemons like curse snorlax or muk I’ve tried them out with as a trick room counter of mine which is exactly what gastrodon was doing too and knowing the fact that it was working really well against main trick room sweepers like gigalith and araquanid was even more confidence boosting then ever!
The ev spread if quite simple and I didn’t needed much else from it, one regret of this set was often feeling like not having a recovery item or not having the move protect once gastrodon has taken a lot of damage when doing some damage also the core was somewhat more weak against garchomp with gastrodon not having ice beam, with all the pokemons mentioned above that it counters, don’t leave out its great matchup against a nihilego.
This was supposed to be an arcanine but it came to be an incineroar and I’ll explain for all the reasoning why. Arcanien Is undoubtedly the best pokemons in this format with its flexibility provided from one end of the metagame to the other and with all the things it can do on a teamand how flexibly as well, but this team needed something a bit different than rcanine, also I noticed that I wasn’t using arcanine’s intimidate that much as with tapu lele I would always go for tailwind before attacking and with xurkitree it was a let down as it doesn’t prock the pinch berry after a earthquake putting xurkitree in an even more frailer position, which I didn’t like, the setup of tailglow with xurkitree was also risky and compromised, tapu lele wasn’t my most fun matchup also driflele was a very tough thing to go against with this team of mine. In all these circumstances incineroar was the best call for this team of mine.
 Incineroar is a much better option over arcanine for this team and can cover all the problems mentioned above. Incineroar’s spread allows it to live a garchomp’s earthquake from spread damage and then procks the pinch berry, the speed evs are there for it to speed creep opposing celesteela, darkest liarat can allow it to do a bit more to certain snorlax matchups and is very situational overall but good against drifblim atleast and then will-o-wisp was added on to cover up for the lack of intimidate for whenever I needed my opponents’ attack down, which wasn’t really needed much.
Moving on we have celesteela probably my least favorite pokemon to use on this team as I always will look at myself as an absolute terrible celesteela player, but it works when it works, I mainly found myself using celesteela as a switch in pivot, I was using a physically defensive celesteela but realized that I didn’t need it much there also special defense boosts were needed in certain late game scenarios that is why I opted to go for a more classic ev spread, celesteela was mostly doing its defensive tanky job, but when in the hands of a much terrible player like me it couldn’t really be to its full potential. Late game stalls are generally more straining for me whenever using celesteela against pokemons like snorlax and porygon 2.
Upnext is the duo of tapu lele and mandibuzz, I knew that I needed another duo that had solid answers to garchomp because everyone was leading them against me, without the xurkitree or gastrodon setup this team overall had a very defensive side to it and I needed to step up this team in terms of offense, terrain wars against my team were terrible and tapu koko was annoying to go up against, in all these circumstances tapu lele steps in as the 5th member to handle such issues. This spread is basically very simple and is supposed to be paired up with tailwind users, I always usually go for the defneseive investment to survive kartana, but this offense that the set provided me was much fun to use as well. There isn’t really much to say about tapu lele from this point tother than that I was also glad that it formed a big and more fun and flexible lead for my somewhat reactionary style team.
Mandibuzz is the last surely but not the least at all, many people think that drifblim is the solution to all the remedies with tapu lele, but generally as of trying out drifblim before I have found that it is not my style at all, I have liked mandibuzz much more and very much on every team that I have used it on before this. Drifblim requires a specific style of play that I didn’t do well with, mandibuzz also has a more flexible approach on the format other than just supporting its partner in tapu lele, mandibuzz’s main selling points have to be overcoat which provides it safety from spore or sleep powder and destroys such pesky matchups. Other than that it can provide tailwind for the team’s support which surely was the best form of speed control for this team of mine, foul play is much of a favorite of mine and takes out vaairants that are knwin to turn around games, namely as in garchomp with swords dance and snorlax with belly drum in one hit after they setup and before they get to attack dealing much damage. Roost allows for the longevity of this mon which definitely helps. Having taunt on two of my pokemons is confusing and I too was planning to use something like toxic or even manual rain dance on the last slot of this mandibuzz but after I realized how terrible of a matchup was a trick room snorlax that had belly drum setup on it, I needed to go for double taunt on this team to surely counter trick room users like mimikyu that carry mental herb, especially as some were invested to live a celesteela’s heavy slam from full health after the disguise is busted.

Lycanroc’s Sand:
So on a random day I saw in ps chat that lycanroc with sand was being mentioned I had somewhat of an interest in building around gigalith with iron ball for a very long time, for this team I won’t be going into the detailed analysis of every pokemons, also with other teams I would be labeling as tests. General idea of how the team was built and functioned would be discussed under a few paragraphs as well as the sets I used will be mentioned here.

Lycanroc @ Rockium Z 
Ability: Sand Rush 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe 
Jolly Nature 
- Stone Edge 
- Fire Fang 
- Snarl 
- Protect

Gigalith @ Iron Ball 
Ability: Sand Stream 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD 
Brave Nature 
IVs: 0 Spe 
- Rock Slide 
- Earthquake 
- Protect 
- Heavy Slam

Cloyster @ Choice Scarf 
Ability: Skill Link 
Level: 50 
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe 
Jolly Nature 
- Icicle Spear 
- Rock Blast 
- Hidden Power [Fire] 
- Razor Shell

Celesteela @ Leftovers 
Ability: Beast Boost 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD 
Calm Nature 
- Heavy Slam 
- Protect 
- Flamethrower 
- Leech Seed

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

Tapu Lele @ Choice Specs 
Ability: Psychic Surge 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 212 Def / 44 SpA 
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Psychic 
- Moonblast 
- Thunderbolt 
- Dazzling Gleam

Ofcourse did start off with a lycanroc midday form as it was supposed to come there, then added in a gigalith the only sand setter allowed in the game right now, I added iron ball to it as it was the idea of countering all weathers, in addition to it being able to now counter all the sun modes by under speeding torkoals naturally the weight increase from iron ball allows its heavy slam to do more damage, especially considering mirror matches and it becomes one of the slowest pokemons in trick room and uses rock slides for damage and for fishing some flinches, celesteela seemed a good pokemon to have in the back for switching and kartana in specific and cloyster was good for garchomp which could be a huge threat, nihilego has a general cover of a lot of the format, tapu lele was once a pheromosa for more coverage but trick room lead with a hariyama seemed somewhat of an auto loss, so tapu lele really helps there.
This team was supposed to be a test for a lycanroc sand team however ended up being more f a spotlight for me in a Cloyster, I think I never realized before this that how good of a pokemon was cloister before I built this team. With the choice scarf it can do a lot more, than it normally would, cloister can help break focus sashes and makes a great counter to very popular pokemons like tapu koko, nihilego, garchomp as well as ninetales, providing this set, the speed it reaches with 252+ investment is 201 which is faster than any speed invested tapu koko, the physical defense of cloister is also quite monstrous, it can allow cloister to withstand even one or two physical attacks despite the terrible hp stat, in this regard it seems quite similar to a kartana’s traits when it comes to physical defense. This team also made me realized how good was a Celesteela as a pivotal switcher especially for the lycanroc and gigalith it took a lot of hits before going down to its opponents’ attacks. 

AFKPEG:
This core is currently one of the biggest ones right now and I really like it, I did used a much similar team to this in the past the only difference was me using goodra over the electric type pokemon, since  already had a somewhat good understanding of how my teams worked I was very much confident in trying it out once more with the addition of an electric type. However it wasn’t the same for this core/team in particular.


 Conclusion:
So guys this was it for my monthly report, hopefully you guys liked going through it and enjoyed reading it, bye for now!

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