Thursday, 11 December 2014

ORAS tips - updated

Hey Fools! This is just a small tip guide I put together for playing ORAS. You might already be Champion and conquering EV training and completed your dex and so on, but maybe you pick up a thing or two.

Berries

I found myself using quite a large amount of berries for in-game healing and pokeblocks for contests, so I think it's worth knowing where the best berry growing spots are. In ORAS you can actually fly straight to specific routes and locations (like Mount Pyre or Santalune Forest). Route 112 has a few berry spots which are immediately accessible if you fly to it which makes it convenient to pick, grow and repeat. Route 123 has the best berry growing area though.




There are 4 berry gardens like this located around the Berry Master's house which allows you to have at least 20 different berry trees growing at a time! Speaking of the Berry Master, he'll give you two random berries a day so it's worth speaking to him until you have them all. 









Hatching

This time round we have two Daycare Centres which means twice as much breeding! The first one you'll encounter is on Route 117 and the second is on the Battle Resort island. The resort daycare is one you really want because the surrounding area allows you to cycle around and around while you wait for eggs to hatch.




As you exit the Pokemon Centre or Daycare, cycle right to this point and then press up. You can hold it in or stick a coin/paper clip under the circle pad to allow the game to continue cycling. Note that every time an egg hatches you will have to go to one of the corners to restart the cycling process.








DexNav 

You are almost immediately introduced to the DexNav once you start the game and tonnes has been said about it. Serebii has an in-depth page about it, but I'd just like to highlight some of it's features to make sure you don't miss anything.

Once you've seen a certain Pokemon enough you'll start to find them holding specific items such as Lucky Eggs on Pelipper or Absol with Life Orbs and certain egg moves like Boomburst or Brave Bird on Taillow as well hidden abilities. I wasn't sure about this, but I have personally caught both Adaptability Skrelp and Toxic Boost Zangoose after making use of the DexNav and chaining. To form a chain you just have to search for the desired Pokemon with the DexNav and then proceed to catch or KO it. This will almost guarantee that you will find the Pokemon when you use the search function (there are a few slight exceptions which is why I say almost.)


EV training

You'd probably be better off bookmarking links for EV training because you'll probably refer to them quite often once you start breeding and training competitive Pokemon. One thing I can mention is that using Sweet Scent or Honey in sand or rain will still trigger a horde encounter. Another nice thing is that there are only one or two hordes in some areas which means you'll be guaranteed to only encounter the horde you're specifically looking for.


Getting both Bikes

Okay so I won't actually go into depth about this, but I will link you to the video that I followed to get both the Acro and Mach Bicycles. Essentially you have to speak to three different people who will all comment on how you used the bicycles to get to certain places. Then when you go back to the store the owner will say you've done such a good job advertising for him that he'll give you the other one (usually you already have one of the bikes.) Enjoy having access to both, here's the link!

I know it is a bit short, but I'll update the article as I come across any other interesting tips or quirks to the game. Hope this helps and let us know if you have any hacks or tips of your own you'd like to share.

-Stephen

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Tournament report

Hey Fools! It has been the longest time since I've last updated. That's mainly due to my degree's requirements. However, I am proud to say that I am now a qualified accountant and I have made it into the Honours programme so I can become a chartered accountant! Really exciting stuff :D

So onto the tournament. It took place a while back, but I only really found the energy to do this write-up now. The Pretoria Pokémon League hosted the tournament and the prize for 1st place was an eShop game download. Steve and I managed to place 2nd and 1st respectively. How's that for representing?!

I should have used an exciting team that had some funny twists and turns up its sleeve, but since I only finished my Tax exam the afternoon before the tourney, I didn't really have time to sit around and get a brand new team together.

The team I defaulted to was this one:




It's a solid team, but one that I definitely posted before, so I'll just link the deets about it here

My first match was against Ray. He had apparently played in the PFG tournament, so I kept my wits about me.

All his Ghost Pokémon were nicknamed after the Pac-Man ghosts and he used four Ghosts on his team. Somehow, and I'm not surprised this happened, his Cofagrigus passed the team check. We really need to up our game with these team/hack checks :-/

He played really well, but since his team was basically mono-type, I was able to grab 2 quick matches against him. Ray is a great guy and I look forward to battling him in future.

My second match was against Aeron. He goes to the same high school I attended, so I always enjoy playing against him, as there's always conversation to be made.

Aeron had a great team, consisting of Mega Venusaur, Mamoswine, and some other great power houses. Our second match was the closest match of the tourney, and it basically came down to my 15 HP Mawile being able to Sucker Punch his Mega Venusaur for the KO. I certainly hope Aeron focuses on VGC, since he has a load of potential!

My third match was against none other than SteveBaPanda himself! He used Scar's Worlds team, but really knew how to play it well. I had a load of fun playing against Stevey, but when he made a misplay I was able to clean up game two and take the series.

My last match of the tournament was against Giovanni (the prodigal Team Rocket leader :O ).
He used a Greninja and Charizard X in his team, two of my favourite Pokémon, so I was excited to play against him. That and I was one win away from a free game!

He had great difficulty combatting my Rain lead, and they were pretty much able to clean up both  games rather quickly. Giovanni is a cool guy and talking smack with him was loads of fun.

All in all, a rather fun tournament and getting my hands on Smash Bros. was a great way to start my holiday. I've been playing all holiday so far, and I love playing as Diddy Kong, Jigglypuff, R.O.B and Villager. Sorry for the really boring post :(. I haven't got any notes or battle vids to show off.

Hope you all have a cracer of a holiday and enjoy playing ORAS!

-Jayhonas


Friday, 5 December 2014

Lessons Learned

A few weekends ago I had the privilege and joy of attending two Pokemon events - one VGC and the other TCG. I won't go into tonnes of details, because I instead want to specifically highlight some things I took notice of/learnt.

The Friday evening was spent jamming VGC in the company of Jayhonas, DalesHand, Snorlaxeon, Bianca and some other Pretoria league players. We had a small 4 round tourney with the normal 2014 VGC season rules.

I went 3-1 and ended second. My night included a tight series against Nimenshi, a really fun battle against DalesHand and a loss against the overall winner Jayhonas, but the crux of my article will be from my third round loss.

The team I used was Tyranitar, Garchomp, Mega Mawile, Zapdos, Gardevoir and Gengar. Everyone assumed this was a pretty bland team, but oh were they surprised. (Sorry Dale. Lol) For example, my Gengar ran Trick Room which allowed my Ttar and Mawile to really do damage, but one of the greatest trump cards was the fact that my Garchomp was running both Fire Blast and Draco Meteor. In truth I did pretty much just copy the team Scar took to World's so please have a look at the NB article here for any more info as well as how he fared with it.


Pretty much how it feels to use DM or FB Garchomp :')

Back to my third round match against Jayhonas. He used Zapdos, Mega Mawile, Ludicolo, Politoed, Talonflame and something.

Anyway, I lost the first game without revealing Fire Blast on my Ttar or Garchomp. The second game I opened with Gengar and Tyranitar against his Mawile and Ludicolo. I let Gengar setup Trick Room and used Rock Slide expecting his Mawile to Protect and then I could keep Fire Blast hidden. His Mawile did indeed Protect and he switched Ludicolo out for Politoed. 

My next turn was where I completely messed up. I either did some random attack with Gengar (Shadow Ball or Will-o-wisp) and then instead of using Fire Blast as I had planned I used Fling to try and get some damage out on his Politoed! Ttar was consequently KOed by Play Rough and my Gengar was pretty much just trolling around due to TR being up. The came eventually came down to my Mega Mawile using Sucker Punch to deal about 50% to his Talonflame used Flare Blitz to knock my Mawile out and then itself out due to the recoil damage, but the win still went to Gavin.

I understand that with the rain being up that Fire Blast would have done less damage, but as far as I remember that if I had gotten more damage on his Mega Mawile earlier it would have swung the match more in my favour. I believe I had made the right move choice and then somehow deviated from that and an inferior choice.

The next lesson I want to point out came from another event I attended on Saturday. This was a TCG tournament hosted by Outer Limits in Pretoria and once again we had 4 rounds, Here I also went 3-1 and ended third. I pretty much just threw together a Steel deck at the venue itself because I really wasn't sure if I was actually going to attend and I didn't have the cards myself.


Deck building at its finest
The pokemon lines I used were 4-4 Bronzong, 2 Dialga EX, 2 Cobalion EX, 1 Skarmory EX, 1 Aegislash EX, 1 Mewtwo EX, 1 Keldeo EX and 1 Cobalion NVI. The pokemon counts are a bit messed up because I literally threw everything together on the spot. I also only had 2 Switch, 1 Lysandre and 0 Muscle Bands to make use of which did affect the way the deck worked. The absence of Muscle Bands hurt the deck quite a bit because I was unable to get any OHKOs on any EX's. Dialga's hits for 150 and without Muscle Bands or any way to snipe I would constantly be short.

On to the lesson I learned on the day. In my third match of the day I faced Sheldon who was playing Darkrai/Yveltal/Hydreigon. We were pretty close in terms of prize cards and then we came to those last final make-or-break turns. Sheldon stacked a lot of energy onto a Yveltal to KO my Dialga and go to 4 prizes. I believe it was just before he KOd the Dialga that he also played Lysandre's Trump Card because he wanted to stop me from having energy in the discard. 

This actually played in my favour because I had already used all my Swtich, Lysandre, Computer Search, Battle Compressor and now had access to them again. My next turn I was able to get energy into the discard and a tonne of it onto my Mewtwo for the return KO to go to one prize. I got rid of all 4-5 energies that Sheldon had in play but through the two different Hydreigon he was playing he got two onto an Yveltal and used Evil Ball for 140.



At this stage Sheldon had the active Yveltal EX with two energy and a few benched Pokemon which included a Darkrai with 80 or 100 damage on it. I had my active Mewtwo with loads of energy and 140 damage and then some benched stuff which included a Dialga with 90 damage on it. My train of thought at that moment was so focused on KOing the Yveltal for the game that I only concentrated on how much energy I had in the discard, in my deck and if I could Switch my Mewtwo, Metal Link to it and then get it active again. I even had the Computer Search in hand and proceeded to get half of what I needed before having to leave my Mewtwo on the bench. 

Sheldon then promoted his Darkrai, moved three energy onto it, used Lysandre to bring and KO my damaged Dialga along with my damaged Mewtwo to take 4 prizes and win the game.

Even though Sheldon had used Lysandre's Last Resort which granted me the use of all my vital cards I somehow completely missed that part and proceeded down a tunnel of thought that only saw one win condition. If I had just taken a few seconds to observe the game state I could easily have used my Computer Search to grab my Lysandre, bring up his damaged Darkrai and KO it with Mewtwo for the game. I literally had everything in my favour and the game in hand, but really messed it up good.

Both the VGC and TCG demand concentration and there are times when one has a few different options to consider before using a certain attack or playing a specific card. One has to get used to considering options and making decisions quickly and while under pressure. In both cases, I had kept my mind open to the "right"plays like Fire Blasting Gavin's Mawile or having my resources available to me again in the game against Sheldon, but somehow I got a bit swamped in the gravity of the situation and misplayed.

And these things happen, so don't go beating yourself up about it, but do remember to keep a cool head and give yourself the time you need to consider your plays and make the best decision.
-Stephen

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Phantom Gate Pre-release and quick set review



Greetings, Fools! After being out of the TCG loop and not attending any events or leagues for a few months, I had the privilege of judging a pre-release in Johannesburg
last Saturday. Here are some of my favourite cards from my set and some quick thoughts on how the set will affect the format.


huehuehuehue

Eelektrik is back! Okay no, I lie. The electric eel that so many hate to love or love to hate or whatever has not returned, but we do have a Pokemon with pretty much the same ability as Dynamotor in Bronzong!


Bronzong's Metal Links allows you to attach a metal energy from your discard pile once per turn. You do the math, 3 Bronzong equals 3 metal energies you get to attach to Mewtwo, Aegislash or Dialga Ex, making it a very, very powerful introduction to the format. Speaking of Dialga though..


 It's first attack seems a bland 60, but if the Defending Pokemon is an EX it can't attack next turn. It's second attack deals 150 damage at the cost of discarding two energies attached to Dialga.This behemoth hits like a truck and if you run it with Bronzong (which you should) you could easily get a 150 attack off turn 2. Wishful thinking? If you see your opponent play down a Bronzor,you should be at least a bit worried.

Steel types get a lot of much needed support this set. That includes attackers like Dialga EX and Aegislash EX and the energy accelerator I just mentioned. They also get a stadium called Steel Shelter, which prevents any steel types from being affected by status conditions. Eat that Hypnotoxic Laser.


With Steel types getting so much support and attention, the only logical conclusion is that you'd need a good counter for them. Pyroar is a deck archetype that I'm looking forward to see in action and Phantom Forces introduced a new one.

This Pyroar also has an ability called Flare Command which allows you to discard a Fire energy attached to Pyroar and then you get to bring up one of your opponent's benched Pokemon. It's pretty much a pseudo-Catcher or a copy of Genesect's Red Signal.

This allows Pyroar decks to rely less on Lysandre, opening up more Supporter slots, or less on flips from Catcher freeing up some Item slots. I feel this specifically benefits the Blacksmith energy acceleration method because it helps get energy into the discard pile as well.


This bro is mad, bro


Have a look at this report to see the strength and utility of Manectric and its Mega. Hannes used it it conjunction with Virzion and Genesect and Mega Manectric hits for some really sweet numbers, making it a great addition to the deck. Mega Manectric OHKOs Pyroar, Garbodor, Wobbuffet, Bronzong and Trevenant, has free retreat and allows you to attach any two basic energies to a Pokemon from the discard offering a good source of energy acceleration.

Mega Manectric is also a really good Yveltal EX counter because it has such low energy attacks, lots of HP and hits for weakness. We have all seen how powerful a charged Yveltal can be and this balances the format just a bit once again.





Some of my favourite items are Battle Compressor and VS Seeker. VS Seeker is actually a reprint
from an older card which is now back in rotation. VS seeker allows you to take a Supporter card from your discard pile and put it into your card. Back in the day players used to Skyla for clutch Item cards like Catcher or Switch, now you can use an item card to grab a clutch Supporter like Lysandre or Professor Sycamore.


Battle Compressor allows you to discard any three cards from your deck. There are loads of different uses for this cards. Steel decks can use it to get energy into the discard, Night March and Flareon decks can throw Pokemon in the discard and a final trick I've heard is to throw a supporter into the discard and then use VS Seeker to
grab it back and use it.


Lookin' smug

There quite a few more interesting cards like AZ, Lysandre's Last Resort and the Team Flare Tools along with some tricksy additions in Xerosic and Mega Gengar, but that's pretty much all I've got for now. Hoping to be able to test a bit on PTCGO and in-real life and see what works.

The pull rates from this set seem to be really good or really bad. Seen some people pull insane stuff from their boxes while others, and I speak from experience, open at least 2 blisters and get nothing. Oh well. Happy hunting!


-Stephen

Sunday, 2 November 2014

My thoughts and experience in the Trick-or-Treat online tournament

Hey Fools, Jayhonas here andI recently participated in the Trick-or-Treat tournament. I didn't do exceptionally well, since I just used existing Pokémon, whereas I should have bred new ones if I wanted to do well.


I basically finished with a 50:50 win:loss ratio having only played 16 games. It's disappointing, but I managed to learn a few thing from the tournament. It's also the first time I've actually played in a singles tournament, since I only try out 'random battle' on Showdown! and that's about as far as my singles experiences go.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

An "Insta-team" tournament report by Acreland

Introduction:

  Hey everyone, Acreland here with an unnecessarily long team/tournament report! I recently took part in the inaugural Pure Fools Gold VGC Tournament. Seeing as South Africa only has one set of Regionals, which will only take place after the launch of ORAS, Dale “DalesHand” Schwikkard decided to organize a tournament as a send-off to VGC '14 as well as a great opportunity for South African players to get some competitive games in while North Americans are busy losing to Wolfey at their official Regionals.

  Our hosts here on PFG, Stephen “SteveBaPanda” Botha & reigning National Champion Gavin “Jayhonas” Jones, decided to host the tournament in order to get as many top SA players (and me) involved. The format was best of three, double elimination, with a winner and losers bracket. The idea was for everyone to get at least two Bo3's in and stand a chance of being the overall winner even if you drop a set (this, strangely, did not apply to me - but more on that later). A breakdown of the tournament results can be seen at the end of this report.

  Seeing as Dale is such a nice guy, he gave me the hardest possible bracket to reach the final, let alone win the tournament. Should reputations = outcomes, I would have had to face the SA Nationals bubble finisher, then runner-up, then champion, in consecutive rounds. Again, thanks Dale. Naturally I would need a cunning plan to prevail. So, to make up for my immense lack of skill, I decided I would need the best team in the world...

Team Building:

  So basically I ripped a bunch of separate ideas from some unknowns namely: Ray Rizzo (who may have won some small tournament 3 times), 13Yoshi37 (who is ze German) and Evan Falco (who beat up 13 Honchkrow or something) and mashed them together

Of course, these players are no good *sarcasm* so I had to dedicate a massive 14 seconds to actual team building. What I came up with is this:

Kangaskhan/Talonflame/Garchomp/Salamence/Politoed/Ludicolo

I know, I know. My creativity knows no bounds.
"Would you like some fries with those sets?"

  As standard as you get with sets taken straight from some of the worlds best players; except I had trained these all earlier in the season and some of the EV spreads are, shall we say rather euphemistically, “iffy”. Looking at the finished product, the strangest thing happened: I got a sense of nostalgia. You'll notice that this team is a pretty good summary of what the 2014 VGC season has been about. Putting a Scarf on Politoed and switching Salamence for Mega Mawile would have been a near perfect summary (I may have done so had I committed more seconds to team building). Mega Pokémon (Kangaskhan in particular), Double Dragon, the late arrival Rain mode, the new "Fantasy" core and BRAVE BIRDing EVERYTHING!!! are the hallmarks of this season to me. Imperfect as the team may be, this really made it feel like a fitting swan-song to my first official competitive season. So this is then, in fact, not the greatest team in the world; but it’s as close as I was going to get.


Team In Detail:


Ludicolo @ Assault Vest
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 148 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 100 Spe
Modest Nature
- Fake Out
- Giga Drain
- Scald
- Ice Beam

  Ludicolo was definitely my MVP. I hadn't used it much before the tournament but I’ll definitely be using it a lot going forward. The utility this Pokémon has with such a simple set is remarkable and it carried its weight in every game I brought it to (which was most of them, with or without Rain). Whether it was dealing damage with its solid Special Attack stat and great coverage, supporting with Fake Out, switching into Spore and ignoring Rage Powder, putting pressure on opponents with the threat of Swift Swim and Rain boosted Water attacks, or simply sitting around taking an unlikely number of hits for the team; Ludicolo always proved useful.  

  The moves are straightforward and standard fare for an Assault Vest (or any other) set. The one slightly “non-standard” move I chose was Scald instead of Hydro Pump. Because I opted for a slightly slower build than most and used Ludicolo primarily as a bulky pivot and supporter, I valued the extra pressure of a potential Scald burn and 100% accuracy over the extra fire-power that Hydro Pump offers.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Prepare for trouble and make it double!


Hey Fools, today I've got something interesting for you! I've been doing a lot of playing on Showdown! (I know PS! isn't always that hot...) with a new team that includes both Volbeat and Tyranitar. Let's have a look into why I've found this duo to work.

Volbeat

I once did a segment called Prankster Pokémon. This obviously required me to know which Pokémon had access to the ability. Obviously. So I learnt that both Illumise and Volbeat have Prankster as a HA, and since I'd seen them in my Friend Safari, I knew it was obtainable.

I decided to make a new team with this guy (Volbeat can only be male lol) as my surprise factor. It's got a fairly decent movepool, to be frank. With access to Encore, Confuse Ray, Helping Hand, Thunder Wave, Rain Dance, Sunny Day, and Trick there are certainly enough moves here to find something useful.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Move tutor moves are back!

Hey Fools, some very exciting news has transpired over the past day. Long story short, someone managed to access a lot of files in the ORAS demo, and got his hands on data pertaining to tutor moves. These are moves that usually aren't TMs and are moves that Pokémon don't learn as egg moves or as levelling up. The information obtained is available here.

I've taken the liberty of browsing through some of the competitive Pokémon and moves, and some noticeable combos are:


  • Hyper Voice Mega Salamence, STAB Flying spread move.
  • Drain Punch Mega Kangaskhan, pair this up with a possible Substitute set and it look great.
  • Bug Bite Scizor, this once more allows for great use of Technician-boosted Bug move.
  • Tyranitar, elemental punches and Superpower.
  • Loads of support Pokémon get Helping Hand.
  • Heat Wave for quite a few Pokémon, such as Zapdos and Mega Pidgeot. It's a great coverage move.
  • Super Fang is also available. We saw how much of a help it can be when used correctly in the WCS finals.
  • ICY WIND!!!1! This is crazy helpful, since it's a spread move and makes support Pokémon that much more useful.
  • Tailwind for even more speed control.
  • Knock Off is super useful ever since it got its buff and can know be learnt by a lot of Pokémon.
  • Gastro Acid and Worry Seed are pretty cool too, to take away opposing Pokémons' abilities.
  • Skill Swap for some awesome shenanigans.
  • It appears Gyarados gets Crunch via level up! STAB Drak move that isn't Bite.
  • And Snore, which we all know is super handy ;)

Although this is only a handful, I think these are the really cool ones. I'm sure loads more leaks etc. will be made apparent as we draw nearer to the release of ORAS.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Where no South African has gone before - a Worlds VGC report by dot_ninja

Greetings once again, Fools! I know there has been quite a length of absence from PFG's side and to more of an extent, my side. I apologise profusely and we hope to be able to keep the blog running smoothly even though we have other things that also require our attention. All right, enough of sob stories and onto the topic of the day. What a way to break the silence than with a report and not just any report - a World Championships report! Actually, not just a Worlds report - THE FIRST SOUTH AFRICAN AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS' REPORT! #wut #truestory #excite

We are honoured and privileged to have had Johannes Botma, also know as dot_ninja, write about the team he took to Worlds and how he experienced everything. He is not the first South African to have attended Worlds, but he is one of the first who actually earned an invite and participated in the official World Championships themselves. Without further ado, here is what he had to say on the matter:



"Hey Internet,
So I went to the Pokémon World Championships in August, and I came back with only 1 thought,  'How do I go again!?'

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Current team update

Hey Fools. It's time for another update regarding the team that I've currently been using. I need to add that this isn't the team that I used in the PFG tournament, since those teams didn't have the synergy that I had been looking for. I have basically just used this team on Showdown!, but I feel now is a good time to reveal it, since there's a lot of rain hate in the form of Lapras, Tyranitar, Charizard, and other annoying Pokémon.





Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Hawlucha, Sky Drop and the PFG Tournament is complete

Hey Fools! In very exciting news, dotNinja has won the first ever PFG VGC Tournament. His finals match was against my friend, Acreland. Johannes used a very exciting team, and I don't want to spoil it, since I'd like to ask him for a report on his team. He used a team which I also tried using in Gen 5 and without the hard hitting Mega Pokémon back then, it worked out quite well.

In the upcoming week, I'll try and post the team I'm currently using. But for now, let's analyse a really cool Pokémon that throws a wrench in the plans of Trick Room setters.

Meximon Hawlucha

The Wrestling Pokémon, Hawlucha, is a Pokémon that I first saw effectively used by Daleshand. He played a match against me with a team featuring this guy, and I got totally wrecked because of the tricks this guy packs. 

It's Hidden Ability is the best route. Mold Breaker allows moves that would have no effect on a Pokémon due to an ability to take effect. Common Trick Room users like Aromatisse and Slowbro, that have abilities that prevent Taunt and Encore from affecting them, are at the mercy of Mold Breaker Taunt.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Top cards from the upcoming TCG set: Phantom Force

Hey Fools! It's been such a long time since we've had a dedicated TCG article (I think Steve's Nats report was the last one). So, I decided to take matters into my own hands for the time being. For those of you who aren't aware, I was a pretty crappy TCG player who used silly decks like Ho-Oh and Durant (from baaaack in the day) to try and win tournaments. I had marginal success, but it wasn't part of the Pokémon video games, which is what I had actually always enjoyed. When the time was right I made the switch and never looked back.

Anyways, I feel the need to mention this before we continue: I am by no means a great TCG expert and the top 5 cards I've just selected out of my own judgement and scepticism :P If you feel I made some poor choices, please lemme know in the comments.

1) Lysandre's Last Resort


I do totally understand that the text is in Japanese, so I (obligatorily) have also included the Engrish translation:

'Both player shuffle all cards from their discard pile back into their deck (excluding any Lysandre’s Last Resort).'

Imagine that, a card that lets you shuffle back ALL the cards from your Discard Pile. This is going to be a real game changer. RIP Duran... oh wait. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Lapras set and spread

Hey Fools! Just a quick update here about an EV spread I worked out for Lapras.


I've always struggled playing against Rain, as my teams seldom have something that outright resists Ludicolo, Politoed and the lesser used Kingdra. Until now that is!

Vaporeon and Lapras are both useful in countering the rain archetype, since they both get Water Absorb as an ability. However, Freeze Dry is this really cool move that does super-effective damage against Water-type Pokémon. And Lapras gets access to it! So that made my decision easier.

After having chosen Lapras, however, I was really unsure of whether to go for Shell Armour or Water Absorb as my ability. I thought having Water Absorb could prove a bit superfluous, as Lapras already has resistances to water and ice moves (both common on Rain team Pokémon, as we all know).

I needed to take my current team into account when deciding on my ability. There wasn't a lot of bulk on it, and having an out to heal back HP was more tempting than never being hit with crits. So I started with Water Absorb and worked my way on from there.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Interesting Pokémon that we didn't even bother using for VGC 2014

Hey Fools, first off, there are no such things as bad Pokémon, only bad players. I jest! I would never dream of using some Pokémon, ever. Despite this, I think there are some cool 'mons that were introduced in Gen VI that weren't given a shot. Let's get right into it.

Dragalge
When I was first planning my team for Worlds, I was torn between Rain and Trick Room. Obviously that plan fell through, but I was looking at Dragalge as an option for a TR Dragon. It's Poison/Dragon typing is pretty cool, since it takes neutral from Fairy-types. It also has 65 / 90/ 123 defenses which is pretty great. However, there were two huge flaws in using this algae-looking Dragon.

1) It does nothing against Mawile. At all. Short of Hidden Power Fire, it can't touch Mawile. This is clearly a giant flaw, as Mawile is really common and is able to easily KO Dragalge. 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

10,000 views!

Hey Fools! A very hearty thanks from Stephen and I to you, all our readers who have visited the blog over the past 9 months. We started out really ambitiously, then sort of died down a bit, then we had a resurgence when I won Nats, and it slowly lulled back into the slump in which we find ourselves now. 10 thousand views is a lot and I feel the need to apologise to you all. You come here expecting content, and are only met with a rather lacklustre couple of updates over the past few months.

I guess this can be attributed to a few factors, but I think it mostly boils down to: a) Steve and I both have degrees that require our full attention. I have two and a half months left of my BCom Accounting degree and Steve... Well, Steve needs to focus on his art too, I guess :P he's a really talented artist.

b) Since I didn't go to Worlds, I didn't have much to update on regarding that. OTHER THAN: If you look in the Jan/Feb articles I totally made mention to how good Pachi-boy (Pachirisu) is. I'm also incredibly glad Sejun won. I am a huge fan of his, and he performs so consistently. I am glad he is finally able to claim the title as 'Best Pokémon Trainer in the World'. Congratulations to Johannes Bothma who managed to go! Good job repping SA matey.

Pachirisu is god-like
We are well underway with the PFG VGC 2014 tournament. I want to say thanks again to Dale for organising and administrating the entire thing. We here at Pure Fool's Gold basically just get to slap our names on the tournament :P I hope to get a write up from the winner of the whole thing, and naturally, I too will do a write-up of the team I used.

I also see that Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire launch in November, basically the same time as Smash Bros. for Wii U launches. So that's gonna be a total conundrum. But as it stands now, I guess I can get one of them for Christmas (Mum pls ;~; ).

In conclusion

  • will Stephen ever complete VGC Essentials! - pt 2.? We shall have to watch and wait, my fellow Fools.
  • will I ever be able to win a match on Showdown!? Like seriously.
  • who will take away the prize of being titled 'the Biggest Fool of them all' when our tournament reaches it closure? 
  • find out in the next exciting episode of Dragon Ball Z (or as my gf says: Dragon Balls :/ )
  • and of course, thanks again to all our fans and readers who have helped us reach 10k views. I guess, and hope, that the next 10k will come even sooner.
All the best from my side!
-Jayhonas

Monday, 8 September 2014

The Pure Fool's Gold 2014 VGC Competition is live!

Hey gang, I am proud to say that our very first tournament is underway! For those of you who are keen to seen what's happening or just to see who's paired up against who, head on over to Challonge and see what's happening in the tournament.

To all the competitors: best of luck and if you're able to, try to save your Battle Video and send me the Vid no. so we can watch your matches afterwards.

I, for one, am very excited for this tournament. It allows us to have a good send off for the 2014 VGC format and to spend time with our fellow South Africans and create a better, more visible VGC scene for our country.

I've take the liberty of posting some info from an email Dale sent to the participants, in case anyone is curious at all:

You may use different teams for each round but the same team has to be used for match per round.

You have a week until the results need to be posted, if not a coin flip will determine who proceeds to the next round which will be done on the Monday after the deadline.

If you match is completed beforehand you and your future opponent is known, you may attempt to organise a match before the deadline.

The reason for the deadlines is due to not all people being able to play all games on a specific day.
If you miss more than 2 rounds you will be marked as withdrawn.

A round is best of 3 matches.

Round 1 Deadline - 14 Sept 2014
Round 2 Deadline - 21 Sept 2014
Round 3 Deadline - 28 Sept 2014
Semi Finals - 5 October 2014
Finals - 12 October 2014 (rAge weekend)


Monday, 25 August 2014

Exciting VGC 2014 Tourney

Hey Fools, we're back in action with an exciting new tournament! My friend Dale Schwikkard has organised an awesome online VGC 2014 tournament, and we here at Pure Fool's Gold have the absolute pleasure of hosting this prestigious event :D

The entry form is right ->>> here !!!

We'll be using Challonge to do all the pairings etc. and registrations are open til the 6th September so be sure to sign up and have a blast. We're doing this to build a better, more active VGC community in South Africa.

There will be prizes for the Top 2 players and a random prize for a lucky other contestant. We'll be giving away our super awesome PFG shirts*. If you saw either Stevey or myself then you'd know just how desirable these shirts are :P

We'll update this original post with more information as it arises.
-Jayhonas

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

We'll be back soon!

Hey Fools, sorry for the content drought of late! Steve and I will post more content as the season starts to kick in again. As you all know, we're both very busy with our degrees, but we promise we'll find the time to make more quality content throughout the months to come :D

Keep your ears to the ground and your eyes on our Twitter accounts :(@Jayhonas and @SteveBaPanda). We'll let you all know as soon as we have something good to say.

-Jayhonas

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Signing out for a while

Hey Fools, it is with a sad heart that I say that Steve and I will be putting this blog on hold for the next while. It can be seen as a smart move, since there aren't really any competitions from now until forever...

But, with that said, when the competitions start rolling through again, we will swiftly make this website active again. Maybe we'll even do a playthrough type thing of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Thanks for sticking with us thus far, and we'll see you after the hibernation!

-Gavin

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Improving your Mega Kangaskhan spread

Hey Fools, sorry it's been so long since I last posted, but I was on holiday in Indonesia. Today I want to have a look at going beyond the normal 252 Attack / 252 Speed spread.


In improving your Mega Kanga spread, a great place to start is: how fast and how bulky do I want it to be? Are there specific benchmark speeds that I need it to achieve? What attacks are common and should be EVed to survive?

Speed

Let's start with the Speed stat. If you're running Jolly nature, then I would personally say it's best to run the regular 252 spread. Here are my reasons why:
  • If you're running Jolly, you clearly want to use 252 EVs in Speed. Here you understand that you're going to speed tie with other Jolly Mega Kangaskhan. If you were wanting to outspeed a specific threat, it's best to start at a neutral speed. Max speed Jolly Smeargle that isn't Scarfed reaches a Speed of 139. So using a Jolly nature would require 56 EVs invested into Speed to outspeed Smeargle. Using an Adamant nature, one would have to invest 156 Speed EVs to achieve the same objective.
  • You always want to boost your most important stat. With Jolly, beating other base 100 Speed Pokémon is of vital importance. If you use Adamant, you know you aren't in the competition for the Speed tie. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Dale's National's Report

Hey All

This is the team I used for Nationals. The main goal was not to be too mainstream, pack a few surprises and mostly to have some fun. I also changed from my normal standard of a team in which is made up of 3 special attackers and 3 physical. The format of the new team was 3 support, 2 special attackers and one physical to minimize the amount of impact the intimidators would have, as I expected quite a few.

Basic idea of the team was to disrupt/distract and setup tailwind to take the win with the big hitters.
Raichu @ King's Rock
Ability: Lightningrod
EVs: 252 Spd / 8 HP / 248 SAtk
Modest Nature
- Fake Out
- Fling
- Thunderbolt
- Encore

This guy is here to disrupt and throw you off guard. First turn Fake Out and if they choose to protect, go Encore straight after. Fling to give them a second turn of disable by flinching them, as not much else is faster for a setup.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Updated rain team


Hey Fools, it's been a while since I've last posted on here and it'll probably be another few days until Stephen posts his Nationals - part 2 article. So to keep us all a bit more occupied, I've decided to post an updated rain team. I've made quite a few significant changes to the members of the team. Give it a discerning eye and let me know what you think!

To refresh your memories: the old team consisted of Mega Mawile, Politoed, Meowstic, Zapdos, Kingdra and Gardevoir.

I wanted to try something new, but still stick to the rain archetype. I reviewed the Pokémon that were necessary to make my team function and I concluded that Politoed was the only one that I was going to keep. I'll try and give a description of why I decided to make a change to a Pokémon.

Those Dropped

I'm just going to list the main changes here. As the following Pokémon have been in the team pretty much since its inception.

Kingdra (F) @ Wide Lens / Choice Specs
Trait: Swift Swim
EVs: 252 Sp.Atk / 252 Speed / 4 HP
Timid Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Muddy Water
- Disable / Substitute / Substitute
- Protect / Dragon Pulse

I found Kingdra too frail at the best of times. Yes, it does it hard and with Swift Swim it is super fast, however, it was very susceptible to the big hitters like Mega Kangaskhan and Pokémon that take neutral/resisted damage from all of it's attacks, like Mega Venusaur.

Knowing that I still needed a lot of Speed in my team I turned to another Swift Swim user...

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Nationals Report - part 1 (TCG)

  As you can see from the title this is my Nationals report from a few weekends ago that I'll be splitting into two articles. This is because I played both TCG and VGC and would like to share how both days went and how I fared with my deck choice for the Saturday and my team choice on the Sunday.

"Something, something, something. Pokemon."

  I'll be going in chronological order so I'll be discussing my TCG thoughts first.

  Due to the sheer power of Yveltal and due to the large presence of Yveltal/Garbodor at Regionals, I decided to 1. Make use of Yveltal and 2. Build a deck that had a good match-up against Garb. Hence I went down the Yveltal/Raichu path. My list consisted of:
Pokemon - 13
1x Absol
1x Baby Yveltal
1x Sableye DEX
1x Darkrai EX
3x Pikachu XY
3x Raichu XY
3x Yveltal EX

Trainer/Stadium - 25
1x Dowsing Machine
1x Professor's Letter
1x Random Receiver
2x Bicycle
2x Pokemon Catcher
2x Switch
2x Virbank City Gym
3x Dark Patch
3x Muscle Band
4x Hypnotoxic Laser
4x Ultra Ball

Supporters - 11
4x N
4x Professor Juniper
3x Colress

Energy - 11
7x Darkness
4x DCE (if it's not HGSS then you're doing it wrong)

Sunday, 22 June 2014

National's Report

Hey Fools! Here's my report from SA's VGC Nats. For those of you who aren't yet aware, I managed to claim the no. 1 spot in our country. I had an awesome day at Nats and I was really privileged to meet a lot of the players from around the country. I plan on starting this off with (another) look at the team I used. I'll explain why I made certain choices etc. Then I'll move onto my matches, who I played against and what they used. Finally, I'll leave you with my closing thoughts, the Props and Slops of the day and a word of encouragement. :P 

My favourite (and least used) Pokémon from the team.

The tournament consisted of 4 rounds of swiss followed by a Top Cut of 8. I was kinda disappointed to see such a small turnout for the tournament (there were only 25 masters :/), but nevertheless, I knew it would be a great day. The organisation and judging of the event were masterfully co-ordinated by the judges from the Pretoria Pokémon League.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Top 8 TCG decks and VGC teams from Nats

Hey Fools! This is gonna be a short and sweet one. Steve and I were able to get ahold of the top 8 teams for both spheres of the recent National event. Without further ado, here they are!

TCG Masters

  1. Yveltal EX / Darkrai EX w/ Garbodor (Aaqil Sedien)
  2. Miltank / Greninja / Kyurem EX (Brian Murdoch)
  3. Yveltal EX / Darkrai EX w/ Garbodor (Gershwin Scheepers)
  4. Genesect EX / Virizion EX (Derek Scott)
  5. Genesect EX / Virizion EX w/ Raichu (Mikyle Raju)
  6. Charizard / Charizard EX w/ Raichu (Curtis Fourie)
  7. Genesect EX / Virizion EX w/ Raichu (Cameron Moonsamy)
  8. Deoxys EX / Thundurus EX / Plasma Kyurem w/ Beartic (Pieter Steyn)
There are quite a few interesting decks here! I definitely know that Brian's deck was a real corker, as I've played against it in a grassroots tourney and got totally recked! If anyone knows the names of the guys that finished in the Top 8, please comment them as I'd love to include them.

Genesect EX did rather well with 3 placings in the top 8.

VGC Masters

  1. Gardevoir, Bisharp, Garchomp, Talonflame, Kangaskhan, Meowstic (Gavin Jones)
  2. Chandelure, Gardevoir, Rotom-W, Charizard, Mawile, Mamoswine (Johannes Botma)
  3. Garchomp, Salamence, Ferrothorn, Rotom-W, Tyranitar, Mawile (Treven Govender)
  4. Greninja, Weavile, Tyranitar, Tyrantrum, Charizard, Trevenant (Nikola Radevic)
  5. Kangaskhan, Smeargle, Azumarill, Talonflame, Garchomp, Rotom [W?] (Erika Steyn)
  6. Greninja, Gyarados, Talonflame, Gurdurr [!], Diggersby tho, Klefki (Adnaan Emandien)
  7. Staraptor, Greninja, Espeon, Goodra, Aggron, Aerodactly (Nikeel Gokul)
  8. Rotom-W, Amoonguss, Kangaskhan, Talonflame, Azumarill, Hydreigon (Morné Steinmann)


Glad to see at least one Azumoonguss combo!
There were a couple singles players in top 8










Really glad to see that SA's metagame is somewhat following worldwide trends, it means we're going places in my books!


-Gavin