Thursday, 29 June 2017

June VGC 17 Report

Hey guys today I am back, this time around was probably the first that I got to take a break from the vgc 17 format for the first two weeks in June, this really helped me refresh my mind which I often thought was quite burned out on playing the format, without further ado, lets get into ths month’s experience of mine like we always have done for each month this season :P:

Self Swagger Team:
This build has quite somewhat of a back story attached to it thought, when I was going on to stop for two weeks concepts like Nails’ Toronto Regionals self swagger tapu fini team (which I later found out human built, not that big of a surprise) as well as a new team made by babbytron played by cybertron had the concept of self swagger which I thought was kind of a boring and  a bad team but was workable which surprised me a lot when  played it, since concepts that I hadn’t used before was signaling my mind I was quite determined to use this self swagger tapu fini team od my own, which I hadn’t built before. 

Teambuilding Process:
I wanted my tapu fini to be the self swagger user of the team, so first thing was a tapu fini with swagger and moonblast like most teams have it, or atleast most self swagger teams do, then I was looking up for pokemons that gave tapu fini loads of trouble, marowak seemed to be an ideal partner a pokemon that can keep up tapu fini on the field for a long time to, self swagger, then I was deciding for a pokemon that can cover the general weaknesses of marowak, magnezone was quite a good answer there, then i felt like needing a solid way to set up the trick room to partner these two pokemons aforementioned which atleast on paper covered a big majority of the metagame, slowbro was greatly partnered by marowak and I felt using it, since it gives me advantage against ducks and taunt both solid ways to stop trick room from going up. Buzzwole seemed a good offensive counter to snorlax and poryon 2 which I love to keep on my teams also had a great cover defensively on garchomp and offensive with the ice punch, I rounded out the team with needing a rain dance user and a second mode, drifblim seemed to do the job better than others, this also altered the tapu fini set a whole lot and I felt that my team was complete there.

The Team:

Note: I have done this for two other teams in the past, my before-internats teams, similarly for this I’d say if I were to attend by means I would be bringing this team in, this was quite a fun team that fit my style very well and I worked on it for quite a bit of time. One thing you ay notice is the NNs of these pokemons these are supposed to be a joke on the name teams trend that started in the community two week prior, since my name only has five letters… I was sure to be unique with this :P

MY (Tapu Fini) @ Life Orb 
Ability: Misty Surge 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 148 Def / 108 SpA 
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Scald 
- Hidden Power [Grass] 
- Protect 
- Moonblast 

This tapu fini is offensive for two reasons… arcanine and garchomp, sure enough I do have other ways to get around both garchomp and arcanine, but not having one solid offensive counter to them was quite bothering for me, I knew that calm mind wasn’t going to be ideal since the team already was going to like ending up games fast with self swagger tricks, now with already two swagger users, it was best for tapu fini to be offensive especially seeing how big of a part of the team the manual rain dance happened to have become by now. Hydro pump with the special attack investment + z-move in rain does a whole lot of unexpected damage and gives the offensive bit that tapu fini lacks to itself under the drifblim + tapu fini mode, this was something I especially liked as the first variant of tapu fini that I did test, however it still ;acked sufficient offense against pokemons like garchomp with moonblast, gastrodon was quite a threat because a lot of the times I would use the fini as a attacker whch gastrodon could counter well, with that in mind the z-move variant was dropped and the life orb variant with scald (for accurate damage) and then first grass knot and then hp-grass was added because grass knot goes under the same conditions as a base 40 power move whereas hp-grass has bp-60.
Tapu fini’s terrain is the center part of this team and that is why it is brought to most of the matches in which I end up using self swagger tactics in, without tapu fini the team does have other modes to play in but the center piece is possible mainly due to slowbro on this team of mine. The spread allows it to live kartana’s leaf blade with the rest put into the special attack to get max damage output from this tapu fini, slow speed was favorable to keep the terrain set in considering how important it became t the team I had.

Damage Calculations:
252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 252 HP / 148 Def Tapu Fini: 152-182 (85.8 - 102.8%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
108+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Scald vs. 4 HP / 4 SpD Arcanine: 166-198 (100 - 119.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
108+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Scald vs. 244 HP / 164+ SpD Arcanine in Rain: 190-226 (96.9 - 115.3%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO
108+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Misty te Moonblast vs. 28 HP / 52 SpD Assault Vest Garchomp: 174-211 (93 - 112.8%) -- 2HKO
108+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Moonblast vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Garchomp: 187-221 (102.1 - 120.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Nihilego Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Fini: 159-190 (89.8 - 107.3%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO
108+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Scald vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Nihilego in Rain: 166-198 (89.7 - 107%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Nihilego Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Fini: 122-146 (68.9 - 82.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
108+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Moonblast vs. 20 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Buzzwole: 127-151 (68.6 - 81.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
108+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Hidden Power Grass vs. 244 HP / 88 SpD Gastrodon: 146-177 (67.2 - 81.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
108+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Scald vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Gigalith in Sand: 109-133 (56.7 - 69.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
108+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Scald vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Torkoal in Sun: 88-109 (49.7 - 61.5%) -- 99.6% chance to 2HKO


NAME (Marowak-Alola) @ Thick Club 
Ability: Lightning Rod 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 244 SpD / 4 Spe 
Sassy Nature 
IVs: 0 Spe 
- Flare Blitz 
- Bonemerang 
- Shadow Bone 
- Protect 

Marowak had been the VGC favorite of mine for sure in this entire season, especially with its movepool it can hit a lot of pokemons for super effective damage , further allow it the self swagger boost, nothing can stop it then. I mainly love marowak for not one but two of its main roles in a battle, first being of course of the big offensive sweeper and the second one being of a defensive pivot, whether it’s a snorlax’s return or a kartana’s leafblade or a arcanine’s flare blitz marowak can take then for little damage, and my most favorite part is the pivot it provides for tapu koko or other annoying electric type pokemon which it completely nullifies in battle.
This marowak wasfirst a very offensive set put then seeing how often it’d go down to lele or nihulego and with nihilego being a huge threat to this team I gave it a bulkier spread that allowed it to live their attacks and get off one attack atleast, this does make it difficult for marowak to score huge hits as it does on pokemons it does not hit for super effective damage, but the bulk was the correct thing to do for this team especially considering the threat of nihilego.

Damage Calculations:
252 SpA Life Orb Nihilego Power Gem vs. 252 HP / 244+ SpD Marowak-Alola: 148-174 (88.6 - 104.1%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO
-1 4 Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Bonemerang (2 hits) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Arcanine: 104-124 (62.6 - 74.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
-1 4 Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Bonemerang (2 hits) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Arcanine: 104-124 (62.6 - 74.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Figy Berry recovery
252+ Atk Muk-Alola Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Marowak-Alola: 146-174 (87.4 - 104.1%) -- 25% chance to OHKO
4 Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Bonemerang (2 hits) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Muk-Alola: 160-192 (75.4 - 90.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Gluttony Figy Berry recovery
+2 4 Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Bonemerang (2 hits) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Muk-Alola: 320-380 (150.9 - 179.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
4 Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Flare Blitz vs. 180 HP / 0 Def Celesteela: 222-264 (113.8 - 135.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
-1 4 Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Flare Blitz vs. 180 HP / 0 Def Celesteela: 150-176 (76.9 - 90.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
-1 4 Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Bonemerang (2 hits) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Koko: 100-120 (68.4 - 82.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
4 Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Bonemerang (2 hits) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Koko: 148-176 (101.3 - 120.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
36+ SpA Choice Specs Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 244+ SpD Marowak-Alola in Psychic Terrain: 136-162 (81.4 - 97%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
4 Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Shadow Bone vs. 236 HP / 212 Def Tapu Lele: 158-188 (90.2 - 107.4%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO


IS (Magnezone) @ Electrium Z 
Ability: Sturdy 
Level: 50 
EVs: 76 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD  / 172 Spe
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Thunderbolt 
- Discharge 
- Flash Cannon 
- Protect 

Magnezone is a pokemon that was under my interest for quite some time by now for both its defensive and offensive capabilities in this format lately, its ability to cover the flying types and the water types, so for the fairy and the rock types in this format is quite amazing. Also taking a fairy type attack or a rock, a steel type attack etc for resisted damage is quite amazing I think for it too. Its tricky abilities also provide well for it. Thunderbolt, flash cannon and protect are seemingly standard on this type of  magnezone button the last moveslot I was somewhat quite puzzled on what to keep for it, I could decide over things like thunder or discharge or magnet rise, even substitute, but then decided on discharge as I brought marowak and magnezone in popular teams’ matchups so that I could use discharge with marowak on the field + it also takes down the gyarados + togedemaru combination well.
I thought I’d end up building some very complex ev spread for this pokemon but in the end it ended up being fairly simple as one should be, the max offense was very much helpful as the calculations do show it, especially as I remember reading that magnezone with lesser offense investment made someone miss out on a lot of OHKO’s magnezone is supposed to e one of my trick room offense options but here I stuck with the evs to outspeed pheromosa under tailwind as well as speed creep celesteela.

Damage Calculations:
252+ SpA Magnezone Flash Cannon vs. 236 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Lele: 134-158 (76.5 - 90.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Magnezone Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 252 HP / 44+ SpD Tapu Fini: 234-276 (132.2 - 155.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Magnezone Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko in Electric Terrain: 156-184 (106.8 - 126%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Magnezone Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 180 HP / 148+ SpD Celesteela: 258-306 (132.3 - 156.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Magnezone Flash Cannon vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Nihilego: 120-144 (64.8 - 77.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Magnezone Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 244 HP / 164+ SpD Arcanine: 148-175 (75.5 - 89.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Figy Berry recovery


ONLY (Slowbro) @ Sitrus Berry 
Ability: Oblivious 
Level: 50 
EVs: 228 HP / 76 Def / 28 SpA / 176 SpD 
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe 
- Scald 
- Psyshock 
- Trick Room 
- Swagger 

Slowbro is niche or maybe some points of viable? I think it is a bit viable especially now when tommy cooleen had introduced brine to the double ducks teams so that it can takedown porygon 2 before it can set up a trick room, other teams prepare for taunt as their obvious counter to trick room teams, since I really needed to set up speed control to execute the strategy, slowbro came in as the ideal choice especially as there was no tapu koko threat with marowak on my side of the field. Slowbro can also take hits well from physical attackers mainly, the only real trouble seems to be given by lilligant whose special grass attacks are a big threat for me and my team. Sitrus berry was a fitting item on slowbro for taking double targets and it was certainly more flexible of an item over pinch berries.
Slowbro’s spread is something I loved because it hit many benchmars, when considering nihilego once building the spreads the offensive benchmark allows it to ohko those not investing in bulk also psyshock got some proper usage atleast, the defensive investment lives kartana’s leaf blade whereas the rest is dumped into special defense which sill allows it to take a double target from the leleblim combination to set up the trick room.

Damage Calculations:
204 SpA Drifblim Shadow Ball vs. 228 HP / 252 SpD Slowbro: 96-114 (48.2 - 57.2%) -- 19.1% chance to 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
28+ SpA Slowbro Psyshock vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Nihilego: 186-218 (100.5 - 117.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
28+ SpA Slowbro Scald vs. 28 HP / 44 SpD Arcanine: 116-140 (68.6 - 82.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
28+ SpA Slowbro Scald vs. 28 HP / 44 SpD Arcanine in Rain: 176-210 (104.1 - 124.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Garchomp Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 228 HP / 0 Def Slowbro: 142-168 (71.3 - 84.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
204 SpA Drifblim Shadow Ball vs. 228 HP / 172 SpD Slowbro: 102-122 (51.2 - 61.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 228 HP / 76 Def Slowbro: 168-200 (84.4 - 100.5%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
252+ SpA Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 228 HP / 172 SpD Slowbro: 112-132 (56.2 - 66.3%) -- 32.4% chance to 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery


FIVE (Buzzwole) @ Lum Berry 
Ability: Beast Boost 
Level: 50 
EVs: 228 HP / 4 Def / 252 Atk / 4 SpD  / 20 Spe
Adamant Nature 
- Protect 
- Hammer Arm 
- Ice Punch 
- Poison Jab 

Buzzwole is strangely the most liked ultra beast by me in this format, probably for it being a fighting type which I feel every team of my needs for ohko’ing a snorlax or a porygon 2 which are both such top threats in this format. Buzzwole can be the second pokemon I could abuse self swagger with + it can have its own trick room mode or even not if it wants to not pay in it. Since offense was supposed to be added by the plays I felt like going for a bulkier variant that survives more hits. this spread is from tommy cooleen once again, the reason its weird is that I am keeping hammer arm and superpower, probably because it was supposedly a pivot for both of my teams’ self swagger speed modes. Superpower can be used in a situation in which speed drop is disadvantageous whereas hammer arm can be used to set up buzzwole for trick room sweeping other attacks like leech life were the ones I wouldn’t see myself using. This was before I realized how painful the bulky set idea became sometimes especially as in my fakepg matchup I didn’t had tapu fini on my side atleast and it was painful to not be able to use the self swagger strategy, lum berry usually a terrible item choice fit in nicely + the larger attack investment allowed it to act as a sweeper.

Damage Calculations:
252+ Atk Buzzwole Hammer Arm vs. 68 HP / 212 Def Snorlax: 212-252 (86.8 - 103.2%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Buzzwole Poison Jab vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tapu Bulu: 188-224 (106.2 - 126.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ Atk Buzzwole Ice Punch vs. 28 HP / 4 Def Garchomp: 204-244 (109 - 130.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ Atk Buzzwole Hammer Arm vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Kartana: 158-188 (117 - 139.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ Atk Buzzwole Hammer Arm vs. 84 HP / 4 Def Kartana: 156-186 (107.5 - 128.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Nihilego Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Buzzwole: 160-188 (74.7 - 87.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Buzzwole: 288-342 (134.5 - 159.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
84 SpA Tapu Fini Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Buzzwole: 186-218 (86.9 - 101.8%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Buzzwole in Electric Terrain: 199-234 (92.9 - 109.3%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO


LETTERS (Drifblim) @ Misty Seed 
Ability: Unburden 
Level: 50 
EVs: 76 HP / 148 Def / 12 SpA / 252 SpD / 20 Spe 
Bold Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
- Shadow Ball 
- Rain Dance 
- Tailwind 
- Swagger 

Drifblim was the thought of a rain dance setter. Looking back at my team at what I needing I realized that most of my team was slow I had no real counters to ninetales’ aurora veil as well, rain could support magnezone and buzzwole defensively as well as provide offensive support to tapu fini and slowbro, at first I thought for going for mandibuzz but it didn’t seem just fast enough for my team though especially not faster than ninetales, so drifblim was added. Drifblim seemed to add a whole new direction to this team of mine providing a whole new mode, one fast self swagger… and the other being slow self swagger. For the moveset shadow ball is exactly obvious as it is, before this I was going to go for a acrobatics variant however I changed over to shadow ball as acrobatics despite being a stronger move goes through a less powerful stat and also is resisted by a lot of things, to get a good chip shadow ball was much better there. The rest are pretty much self explanatory for this team.
This drifblim spread seems strange because mainly of the high special defense investment, this is for the tapu bulu + nihilego matches where drifblim can support really well but tapu fini doesn’t take much effective part it, this one exactly gave me the little edge I needed over those teams and allowed me to set up tailwind and a rain dance even to further degrade the offensive role of their arcanines. Bold nature and defensive investment allows it to take a banded arcanine’s flare blitz and the speed investment helps against pheromosa when it gets the unburden boost.

Damage Calculations:
252 SpA Life Orb Nihilego Power Gem vs. 76 HP / 252 SpD Drifblim: 198-237 (84.2 - 100.8%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. +1 76 HP / 252 SpD Drifblim in Electric Terrain: 187-221 (79.5 - 94%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Golduck Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. +1 76 HP / 252 SpD Drifblim in Rain: 160-189 (68 - 80.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Choice Band Arcanine Flare Blitz vs. 76 HP / 148+ Def Drifblim: 198-234 (84.2 - 99.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
28 SpA Drifblim Shadow Ball vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kartana: 102-120 (75.5 - 88.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
28 SpA Drifblim Shadow Ball vs. 236 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Lele: 78-92 (44.5 - 52.5%) -- 18% chance to 2HKO
28 SpA Drifblim Shadow Ball vs. 164 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Lele: 78-92 (46.9 - 55.4%) -- 64.8% chance to 2HKO

Matchups:

FAKEPG:
Slowbro + Buzzwole (Lead) with Marowak and Magnezone:
The purpose of the lead is to threaten the entire team offensively with buzzwole hitting 5/6 pokemons for super effective damage and then slowbro threatening arcanine, they form the ideal lead, further slwobro can provide support of trick room and support of self swagger to enhance buzzwole’s offensive positive, with marowak and magnezone in the back, I basically seem to double check my counters to this team in case slowbro or buzzwole are lost early, they can give a big fighting chance to me.

Goodstuffs Team:
Tapu fini + Drifblim (Lead) with Buzzwole and Marowak in the back.
Since most goodstuffs teams feature ninetales I gave to lead with my drifblim alongside tapu fini to stop their aurora veil + drifblim complements fini to handle arcanine and garchomp offensively, which then again being said was its main job on the team. Marowak acts as an ultimate pivot especially to tapu koko and celesteela for this team whereas with buzzwole and even marowak the general self swagger strategy seems to shine through.

Nihilego + Arcanine + Bulu:
Drifblim Lead without Fini:
Though not being the most popular core or archetype I felt like this shuld really be mentioned here as it forms a big part of drifblim’s spread a lot, drfblim can support well and really well in the matchup in the form of rain dance and tailwind for my team, however bringing tapu fini isn’t ideal of a choice, therefore I gave it a spread to survive life orb nihilego’s power gem to set up a tailwind and then support my team with self swagger or even rain dance

Japan nationals:
Japan nationals featured a whole lot fo surprises in the top cut that it had, first of all the format strangely enough for this tournament was bo1 as compared to the bo3 format usually used, this caused a huge inflow of bo1 teams, or otherwise known as meme teams which do feature alot of surprises on them, even after every team having loads of surprise factors onto it to help the person atleast make top cut, they did saw a few similar trends in them, following are some points I picked up from the teams:
·         Fightinium Z was a big trend in the Japanese nationals top cut, particularly beng a favorite item choice of buzzwole, or specially offensive pheromosas fightinium Z found other attention here and there as well, pokemons that carry fighting type moves like tapu bulu, kartana and surprisingly as used, a tsareena also had this item choice on them, maybe its finally time when people have decided that answering pokemons like porygon 2 and snorlax offensively and quickly is the best way to, atleast in the best of one format.
·         Stranger grass types like tsareena and the ever bad rep tpu bulu wee also found in the top cut, especially tapu bulu being a part of a total of three teams was quite surprising to me, Japan has shown trends a few different than elsewhere, such as them using more mega manectric in VGC 16 or using CHALK cores since the beginning of the season were quite some things, maybe this year they know how to play their tapu bulu well?
·         Celesteela found some interesting item choices as for the usual leftovers and few assault vest sets that are ran, thought there was a leftovers celesteela, item choies like misty seed with the move acrobatics and especially choice scarf seemed quite a bizarre trend for this slow staller, maybe the advantage it could give people to attack before the arcanine goes far too strong in the bo1 format and gave celesteela its promising position that it got

Conclusion:

So guys this was it for my post for this month, only featuring one team however overall a team I really like, with Nationals being straight ahead, we can expect a whole lot of really cool things, mainly I’d expect more buzzwole and especially a whole lot more of tapu bulu in this metagame after its recent findings in the top cuts around. I also wait to experiment a bulkier team with shiinotic afterwards. Hopefully you guys really liked this post and enjoyed going through it, I’ll be back with more, Bye for now!

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