Thursday, 30 January 2014

Steve's VGC Essentials! - pt.1

Hi everybody! Yes, you may immediately be wondering, "Why is Stephen writing something to do with the VGC?" Well, two reasons:
 1. We have Cities this coming weekend and I will write an article about that and all TCG related thoughts when that's wrapped up, but I wanted to get some thoughts and ideas out and onto the web so long.
 2. I'm actually quite decent on the DS. I mean I became Champion of the Kalos region and everything. :')

Back to business though, I just have a couple opinions to share concerning breeding, EV training and move choices.






Which move is the right move?

Now some move choices are no-brainers, like Earthquake on Mamoswine, Spore on Amoonguss or Fake Out on Kangashkan, but the moveslots of other players doesn't always have to be the moveslots you go with. Obviously depending on the role of the Pokemon in question (I'll get to that now now) certain moves make more sense than others, even if they are weaker or support moves. I highly recommend checking out websites like Bulbapedia and Serebii to find out what egg moves a Pokemon can learn before breeding.

They might not all be top class choices, but did you know Ghastly can learn Fire Punch, Togepi Nastly Plot, Squirtle Aura Sphere and Scraggy Dragon Dance? This all depends on their respective egg groups, so looking up the moves certain Pokemon can learn can be worth it. Pokemon I'm waiting to breed is a Dratini with Extremespeed and Timburr with Ice Punch. These are unfortunately only possible and available once Pokebank is released, so I won't waste time and breed them now without those moves. My Japanese isn't good enough to try and negotiate for them, so I'm just going to sit tight for now.




I choose who?

In the same manner many moves are obvious choices, there are certain Pokemon that specifically fulfill certain roles. Reuniclus is a great Trick Room setter and Ferrothorn is an absolute troll with Leech Seed and its array of resistances. Copying and pasting a top cutting TCG deck does not guarantee you a winning deck automatically, because the original builder chose certain cards due to the meta he expected and made the necessary choices to counter that meta. In a similar way, you have to choose what role you want a Pokemon to have on your team. Do you want it to be a support 'mon or a speedy, straight out attacker? For example, you might actually find yourself having both a Timid Charizard (+speed, - attack) and a Calm (+spD, - attack) Charizard to choose from depending on how you put your team together.




It is like I don't even know you?

This brings me to my last point: EV's and natures. Once you've settled on an idea of how you'd like your team to function, it also important to breed the correct nature and then EV train the 'mon in the required areas. Ray Rizzo mentions in his article on Nuggetbridge his reasoning behind the Mawile he used for the Virginia Regionals. Usually trainers dump 252 stats into HP and attack, but Ray used a different spread to suit his needs. Another example our own Gavin brought to my attention is Rotom. Rotom-W or Rotom Wash, usually bred with a Modest nature, is a pretty OP pokemon with really good coverage moves and only one weakness thanks to its Levitate ability . That weakness does unfortunately leave it KO'd by a Solarbeam from the blazing Mega Charizard Y and evergreen Venusaur (not entirely sure about the 'saur, but bear with me). Now if you instead go for a Calm Rotom along with EV's invested in Special Defense, you find that you probably can survive a Solarbeam and then strike back with either Hydro Pump or Thunderbolt.




I hope my thoughts weren't too all over the place for you to follow, but remember to consider the moves, nature and EV's of a Pokemon before just jumping on the bandwagon and breeding. You might be surprised to find a certain Pokemon and move combination that counters a lot of the current meta or helps fills a gap in your team. I will get a TCG article up in the next few days, but until then peace out!
-Stephen




P.S. Please share and retweet the blog! We're not expecting miracles, but we are doing this to get our thoughts and ideas out to the Pokemon community at large. Hopefully in some small way raise the level of Pokemon trainers in South Africa.. or something like that xP

P.P.S. The Cities Championship tournament takes place at Brightwater Commons, Johannesburg and registration starts at 10h00!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Team Report

Hey guys, Gavin here. This is my team report for the team I used at the unsanctioned tournament on 25 Jan at the Pretoria Pokémon League. I went 4-1 in swiss, losing to my friend Rogan in the last round.











Garchomp @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Att / 252 Speed
Jolly Nature
-Protect
-Earthquake
-Dragon Claw
-Rock Slide

A plain and simple Garchomp set. Rock Slide was used to get the OHKO on Talonflame and Charizard. The Rocky Helmet was for the lols. Someone used a Parental Bond-boosted attack on my Garchomp and lost what looked like more than half their health. It had its uses.











Tyranitar @ Life Orb
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Sp. Att / 252 Speed
Modest Nature
-Protect
-Rock Slide
-Dark Pulse
-Fire Blast

Tyranitar was probably the worst choice for my team simply because it didn't really fit in well. The only thing it provided was a STAB Dark attack which was never really used. I prefer to use a Choice Scarf on T'tar, but since my Salamence was already using it, I had to settle for the LO. The Modest nature was chosen over Jolly or Adamant, because I wanted to try out the Special Attacker T'tar.










Rotom-Wash @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 92 Def / 4 Sp. Att / 158 Sp. Def / 4 Speed
Calm Nature
-Protect
-Will-o-Wisp
-Hydro Pump
-Thunderbolt

Rotom-W is a really solid Pokémon that can fit well on most teams. My EV spread was designed to survive a Charizard-Y Solarbeam (needless to say I never played against any Char Y in swiss) and I just dumped as many EVs as possible into Defence to survive for as long as possible. The Sitrus Berry is fairly staple and keeps Rotom-W on the field for longer.











Ludicolo @ Assault Vest
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 204 HP / 100 Def / 108 Sp. Att / 96 Sp. Def
Modest Nature
-Fake Out
-Scald
-Giga Drain
-Ice Beam

Ludicolo was the MVP of the team. I love what this guy can do, and the Fake Out support is invaluable and allows me to have a more productive first turn than my opponent (unless they have a faster Fake Out user, like Mega-Kanga). Scald was used over Hydro Pump to get the Burn on my opponents, Giga Drain keeps Colo alive, and Ice Beam has an incredibly high chance to OHKO Garchomp and Salamence. The EV spread is strange, because I haven't invested in Speed. That's simply because Colo can't really outspeed anything, so I went for more bulk. With Assault Vest I laughed as opponents did minimal damage with their Special Attackers (I didn't really laugh, but I was mildly amused).










Salamence @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 212 HP / 252 Sp. Att / 44 Speed
Timid Nature
-Draco Meteor
-Dragon Pulse
-Flamethrower
-Hydro Pump

With Intimidate, Salamence can really have a great supportive and offensive presence. The Special Attack moves are used, despite Salamence having a better Attack stat, because without the move tutors Salamence suffers from a lack of moves. I'm not sure what the Speed EVs allow Sal to outspeed, but if I had to guess I'd say a Timid 252 Mega Manectric. Flamethrower was used over Fire Blast because I wanted 2 moves with 100% accuracy.









Mawile @ Mawilite
Ability: Intimidate>Huge Power
EVs: 252 HP / 52 Att / 4 Def / 180 Sp Def/ 20 Speed
Careful Nature
-Protect
-Play Rough
-Iron Head
-Sucker Punch

A vote of originality for me: I shamelessly used Rizzo's EV spread coz I thought he had some great thought process behind it. Mega-Mawile doesn't need a max Attack investment, because it still OHKOs what it needs to.

Okay, now that we know the team I used, let's have a look at who I played against!

Round 1 vs Ethan

He brought: Tyranitar, Garchomp, Charizard and Chesnaught
I used: Ludicolo, Mawile, Rotom-W and Garchomp

Ethan has been an arch-nemesis (people don't really have arch-nemeses these days, unless you're Sherlock Holmes) ever since I beat him at the X & Y midnight launch. Can't recall how the match went exactly, but I was surprised to see he mega'volved something other than his Charizard. I won the match.

Round 2 vs Kian

He brought: Rotom-W, Delphox, Lapras and Kangaskhan
I used: Ludicolo, Mawile, Garchomp and Rotom-W

I lent my Garchomp and Rotom-W to Kian before the tourney started. Wasn't surprised to see Kanga, it was the only mega option he had from looking at the team preview. I don't think he knocked out a Pokémon of mine. Won.

Round 3 vs Jan-Hendrick

He brought: Gardevoir, Chandelure, Smeargle and Mawile
I brought: Salamence, Mawile, Rotom-W and Ludicolo (I think, I didn't write down the last 'mon I used)

At first I didn't know what to expect from JH, so I played cautiously leading with my two Intimidate 'mons. Which was wasted, since he opened with two Special Attackers. He switches both of his Pokés out. During the match he uses Swords Dance on his Mawile, which I didn't expect at all. He OHKOd my Rotom-W and I was completely gobsmacked, coz the defensive EVs allow it to survive a Mega-Mawile Play Rough, but not when they're at +2 :(

It ends up with his Gardevoir vs my Mega Mawile and I OHKO his Gardevoir with Iron Head. An incredibly close match! Won.

Round 4 vs Armand

He used: Klefki, Kangaskhan, Aegislash, Gliscor
I brought: Ludicolo, Mawile (bit of pattern here with the opening duo), Garchomp and Rotom-W (I think :/)

T1 he mega evolves his Kanga and I was surprised to see he didn't run Fake Out on his set. I think I didn't lose a Pokémon in this match. Won.

Round 5 vs Rogan

He used: Scrafty, Amoonguss, Garchomp, Aegislash
I brought: Ludi, Maw, Salamence and Rotom-W

We knew we were going to face each other this round, since we were both 4-0. Rogan and I trash-talk each other a lot, but it's only because we know the other can take it  :P but I didn't underestimate him a bit going into this match. Our first turn was the least effective turn ever as it had a nett effect of 0. I protect my Mawile, he protects his Scrafty while I flinch his Amoonguss, only for it to heal off the chip damage with Black Sludge. This match goes fairly slowly for me as I have 3 of my 'mons below half health in a few turns. I was taken aback by his Mega Garchomp (since it's rubbish, amirite?) and I knew it would only head downhill when my Salamence missed a clutch Draco Meteor on his Mega-Chomp :(

We end up with my Mega-Mawile vs his Mega-Chomp and Amoonguss. He eventually gets the KO on Maw and that's a gg. Lost.

I hope you found this informative; if not, at least comical! I'd love your feedback, questions, remarks etc. and hopefully we'll get some more articles up from my friends at league. Stay tuned.

-Gavin




Friday, 24 January 2014

Tournament news

Hey all, sorry for being on the quiet side lately. I wanted to remind you all that there will be a VGC tournament today at the Pretoria Pokémon League starting at 3:30.

What this means is that Steve and I will do our best to interview the winner and ask some friends to write up team reports. Stay posted!

I will do an in depth team report and we hope to run a few prize giveaways soon!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

A Glance at Smeargle


 A glance at Smeargle.




Smeargle is one of the most interesting Pokémon in the game. With its move Sketch it can learn any move in the game, barring Chatter and Struggle. It has the most varied movepool available. “With access to the most diverse movepool EVER, why is it not more commonly used?” I hear our beloved readers ask.

Well, Smeargle has some ridiculously lacklustre stats. It’s frail, and it doesn’t out speed all that much… However, Smeargle is a dark horse that can rise out of the ashes with the right choice of movepool and support (just like most Pokémon, right?)
 
I haven’t tested Smeargle all that much, but I really like what it can do from what I’ve seen so far. Its abilities are Own Tempo, Technician and Moody. Moody is the most interesting choice of the three. With Moody, at the end of each turn, one stat gets increased by two stages, while another stat drops by one. This can lead to some hilarious combinations. Technician can also be considered, but it’s less interesting than the ever-impulsive Moody. And if you’re gonna rely on a hax’mon, you might as well do it properly.

Looking at Smeargle’s best choice of moves, I have highlighted a few that stand out as the most interesting.

  •       King’s Shield. The signature move of Aegislash works exactly like Protect, but with an added bonus. If a physical attack (think Cruch etc.) hits into King’s Shield, then the Attack stat of the attacking Pokémon is reduced by 2 stages. That is pretty potent!
  •           Fake Out. Flinching your opponent to allow your other partner to get off an attack/get setup is an awesome support ability.
  •         Transform. Ditto’s signature move copies the ability, movepool and EVs of the Pokémon it transforms into. This can lead to some clutch transformations into your opponent’s Mega Pokémon.
  •       Spore. A powder-based, Sleep status move that has 100% accuracy with no drawbacks. This move is somewhat overshadowed by >
  •       Dark Void. Another signature move makes this list. Could I be more unoriginal? Possibly. Darkrai’s signature move has, in past formats, been banned from use. Why would this be the case? Simply because it is so OP. And incredibly haxxy. This obvs restricted Smeargle from using this move in the past, but can now unleash t nightmare of a move. Dark Void has an 80% chance of putting each individual Pokémon on your opponent’s field asleep. That’s a 64% chance of getting both asleep (it’s a good thing I took STK in first year).
  •       Quick Guard, Wide Guard, and Safeguard (I wouldn’t recommend this one as there are better Safeguard users out there) are all other possible options for a competitively viable Smearg.
  •       Whatever else you feel your team might need!


With regards to nature, Timid springs to mind. Minimising the attack stat reduces damage taken from Swagger Confusion. Bold should also be considered as it allows for a bulkier Smearg.

I don’t currently have an EV spread to recommend, but after the next tournament I’ll update this post with the spread I used.


If there are any moves that you would recommend on Smeargle, why not comment them below? Thanks for reading and give us some feedback on this analysis.


-Gavin

Monday, 20 January 2014

New VGC items

Hey VGC fans, today I want to cover three very interesting items introduced in X & Y. Safety Goggles, Assault Vest and Weakness Policy all have interesting and useful effects and I'll explain why considering them as items for your team is a good idea.

Safety Goggles


Safety Googles has an interesting effect in stopping the weather damage from Hail and Sandstorm, which is always useful for keeping your Pokémon around for longer. AND it ignores powder-based moves. That second effect is the reason why SG is amazing. Spore, Sleep Powder and Rage Powder have no effect on the Pokémon holding SG. This completely walls Amoonguss and can allow, Trick Room setters especially, your Pokémon to set up effortlessly. Pokémon that can abuse this will generally be any TR setter, like Aromatisse, Slowbro, Slowking, Reuniclus.

Assault Vest


Assault Vest allows the holder to only use moves that deal damage. So that means no Protect, no Light Screen etc. However, it increases Sp. Def by 1.5 times. I've played a few matches on Pokémon Showdown! with an Assault Vest Ttar and I must say that it becomes a wall to any Sp. Attacker, even without the Sandstorm boost! I currently have a Ludicolo abusing Assault Vest, to great success, on my team and the AV allows it to have more presence on the field. I would say that the most common user of Assault Vest is Clawitzer, weakening both Grass and Electric attacks gives it the opportunity to fire off its powerful aura and pulse-based attacks.

Weakness Policy


Weakness Policy increases both Attack and Sp. Attack of the holder if it is hit by a super effective attack. This is ridiculously cool and allows for a great boost to both attack stats, giving you the ability to net some KOs on unsuspecting Pokémon. Again, most of my testing has been done with Tyranitar, since it generally quite a slow Pokémon, but allows it to get the return KO on a LOT of guys.

I hope you've found this analysis handy and perhaps it's piqued your interest into using one of these items in your next battle. Remember, they can all be bought at the Battle Maison for BP.

Also, the Pretoria Pokémon League is hosting an unsanctioned VGC tourney this coming Saturday (the 25th). Make sure you have your team ready for an awesome tournament! Follow me on Twitter @Jayhonas, and Steve @SteveBaPanda.

 As always, feel free to comment any suggestions you may have for the site. Smell ya later!
-Gavin

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Pretoria City Championships 2014

Greetings dear readers! We had Pretoria Cities today (18 January 2014) and I decided to write a bit of a summary and get down some of my thoughts as soon as possible.

We had 21 Masters, 4 rounds of Swiss and a top cut of 8. I expected more players, but it seems like a lot of guys from Jo'burg were too lazy or busy to make the journey over. I eventually bubbled at 9th place with a 2-2 record. Brief overview of my tournament as follows:


     (random okes (Nardus + Nelis) that returned from the dead and stole out top cut places)


Not going into too much detail, but I played Thundurus and Landorus to spread damage out and then Lugia to sweep prizes.

Game 1: Snorlax/Lugia/Thundurus/Deoxys - win
This game really went down to the wire, but my opponent ran out of resources at the end, made a rather big misplay and I was able to capitalise and take my last prizes. Deck ran well and I got good attackers and energy going.

Game 2: Garchomp/Altaria - loss
I got a good start, but my opponent was constantly discarding my energy and once I got down to 3 and 2 prizes he kept Ning away everything I needed to win. At least 3 times he N'd me into supporterless and optionless hands and he played a good comeback game to take the game. In the end I needed one energy to win, but it was not to be.


                  (Gavin just showing how OP Mewtwo still is (against a theme deck))

Game 3: Porygon-Z/Tornadus/Dialga/Plasma Stuff - win
I got great hands and had loads of options all throughout the match. My opponent unfortunately drew dead a bit and I was able to take the advantage.

Game 4: Genesect/Virizion - loss
I wasn't entirely sure about this matchup, but my opponent had a sluggish start and we pretty much both got stuck somewhere in the middle. I was able to get enough damage out to close the game, but I flipped tails for Catcher twice and my opponent got G-booster in play at the best time possible. I whiffed energy somewhere in the middle which would have helped me take my last prizes, but eventually my opponent mustered enough resources together to win.

Both the games I lost I really only needed an energy to keep momentum, so if I was to play the deck again I know where I could start making alterations. We had a very diverse showing of decks with the top 8 consisting of:
  •  Darkrai/Sableye/Absol
  • Genesect/Virizion - (VirGen)
  • Rayquaza/Emboar/Reshiram - (RayBoar)
  • Darkrai/Sableye/Garbodor - (DarkGarb or Hovertoxin)
  • Snorlax/:Lugia/Thundurus/Deoxys - (The Yeti)
  • Terrakion/Bouffalant/other stuff - (Big Basics)
  • Snorlax/Lugia/Thundurus/Deoxys - (another Yeti)

Not sure what I'll be playing at the next Premier Event, but I shall see what I can throw together. Thanks for reading and be sure to tune in every few days to see what Gavin and I write next! #pretoriacitychamps #whitebois #purefoolsgold


                                                               (da bois)



Friday, 17 January 2014

A look at Pachirisu in the VGC metagame

Pachirisu may seem an odd Pokémon to discuss, or to consider for your VGC team at that. But allow me to explain why it is a viable choice as a support Pokémon, allons-y!

This kawaii, little, squirrel-looking rodent doesn't have phenomenal base stats, with its speed being the most remarkable (base 95 speed). However, it more than makes up for the lack of stats with its great movepool.

With access to Follow Me, Nuzzle and Ion Deluge, Pachirisu can catch the unwary completely by surprise. Follow Me has been nerfed since 5th Gen, since it is no longer a +3 priority move (it was degraded to a +2 priority move in XY [but still incredibly useful]), you will have to outspeed Fake Out users to redirect their Fake Outs successfully.

Pachi gets Nuzzle, which acts like a Thunder Wave that does damage. So why bother with Thunder Wave, amirite? With guaranteed paralysis if the move hits, Nuzzle is incredibly useful and will help with speed control.

Ion Deluge is an interesting move that was introduced in the 6th Gen. It has a +1 priority and turns all Normal-type attacks into Electric-type. Imagine Mega-Kangaskhan using Return on your Pachirisu only to have it heal a quarter of Pachi-boy's health! That's right, Pachirisu gets Volt Absorb as its Hidden Ability. So you can use Follow Me to redirect all that Thunder Wave spam that Prankster Pokémon are abusing to HEAL Pachi. It just comes together like clockwork (well, it is somewhat gimmicky, but we'll get to that later).

For a basic EV spread (note: this is not its best EV spread, but it is a starting point. To calculate a better EV spread I suggest you make use of Showdown!'s calc which I'll link at the end of the article) I would use the following:

Bold Nature
HP 252 EVs
Defence 152 EVs
Sp. Def 100 Evs

Moves: Protect, Nuzzle, Ion Deluge, Follow Me
This is possible the second most simplistic spread to use, after the ol' 252/252/4 spread we all know and cherish. BUT, this spread does allow Pachi-boy to survive a Jolly Garchomp EQ guaranteed.

So we've covered its interesting movepool, its ability, its lack of outstanding stats and a basic EV spread. I think Pachi's choice of item is of somewhat importance. Focus Sash, Sitrus Berry and Shuca Berry (if you're fortunate enough to have one) are all optimum choices for its held item. I would personally lean toward taking Sitrus Berry. It allows a Pokémon whose health has dropped below 50% to heal up to a quarter of it back. I wouldn't use Shuca unless you can change the EV spread in such a way that it would be completely useful.

Regarding its gimmicky-ness, it is a bit of a one-trick pony. If your opponent knows what Pachirisu can do, then it can be possible to manoeuvre around it. Pachirisu isn't the bulkiest of Pokémon and probably won't last the ntire battle. And the major powerhouses of the metagame like Mega-Mawile can dish out huge chucks of damage to Pachi-san.

With its niche moves, nifty ability and mad kawaiiness, Pachirisu can be a huge help to your team if you use it correctly! Give it a shot.

-Gavin


Thursday, 16 January 2014

A preliminary Mega-Pokémon tier list

A preliminary Mega-Pokémon tier list


This is my first take on how good certain Mega-Pokémon rank in terms of VGC viability. I thought this was somewhat appropriate, seeing that X & Y have been out for just over three months.

I have seen what ranking system other tier lists use, and I've decided that the tiers that I will use throughout this blog will follow this format: S - the absolute cream of the crop, you can't get better and you'll see this on a LOT of teams; A - an incredible powerhouse that you need to be able to counter; B - with the right support it can be a complete menace; C - not as commonly used, but these are the 'mons that will catch you completely by surprise if your opponent uses it correctly, and if you don't know what these Pokémon do; D - for the lesser used Pokémon, you will almost never see this used (this doesn't necessarily mean you should write them off, you will just see them so seldom).

S-tier


Mega-Kangaskhan 
With Parental Bond as an ability, access to Fake Out, Power-Up Punch, Sucker Punch and an incredibly strong STAB in Return, it is not surprising at all that Mega-Kangaskhan is the most popular Mega-Pokémon. 
Other possible moves: Facade (Kanga being a physical attacker will be susceptible to Will-o-Wisp, allowing it to make full use of this attack); Protect. 




Mega-Mawile
Mega-Mawile gets Huge Power when it mega-evolves. This DOUBLES its already rude attack stat. This actually results in Mega-Mawile having the highest attack stat possible in the game without factoring any stage boosts (think Swords Dance). Its Steel/Fairy typing is brilliant and threatens every Dragon in the game. It can pretty much 2-hit KO most competitive Pokémon. It is a monster. However, its defences aren't the greatest, but with some clever EVing it'll be able to survive what it needs to. The most commonly used moveset is: Protect, Play Rough, Iron Head and Sucker Punch.



A-tier


Mega-Charizard Y
A lot of people were skeptical about how good Char Y was going to be. Although it is definitely a fan favourite, it had, prior to its new mega form, seen very little competitive play and for good reason: it is 4x weak to rock moves. This hasn't stopped Char Y from being used to great success. It's ability Drought allows it to summon sunlight for five turns, increasing Fire-type attacks by 50%, allowing Solarbeam to attack in one turn and decreasing the damage done by water attacks by 50%. It also gets an incredible base Sp. Attack spike when it mega'volves. The best way to counter this guy is with Garchomp or Tyranitar. The latter will change the weather to Sandstorm and both Pokémon's Rock Slide attack will net the easy KO. Usable moves are: Heat Wave, Solarbeam, Flamethrower, Protect, FIre Pledge, Air Cutter.

                                      

B-tier


Mega-Venusaur                                                              Mega-Gengar


Mega-Venusaur gets Thick Fat which removes its weakness to Fire and Ice-type attacks, and with its added bulk it can prove problematic to KO. Sleep Powder can be pesky to avoid making Venusaur a nuisance.

Mega-Gengar gets Shadow Tag as an ability and with Perish Trap it can be quite a troll if you aren't able to counter it. Its frail defences are its biggest downfall.


 Mega-Manectric                                                                                    

This speedy guy can provide much needed stat reduction to your opponent's Pokémon. Intimidate is one of the best abilities in the game. It also gets access to Snarl. Just be mindful of its frailty if you plan on using it.                                     

                                         


Mega-Tyranitar 

It's still the same old Ttar we know and love, but with improved stats. It still has Sand Stream as its ability and it gets great STAB moves in Rock Slide, Cruch and Dark Pulse. It can be both a physical or special attacker, making this guy pretty potent.

                                           

                                          

C-tier


Mega-Gyarados, Mega-Scizor, Mega-Blastoise, Mega-Aerodactly, Mega-Gardevoir, Mega-Medicham, Mega-Abomasnow, Mega-Lucario, Mega-Ampharos, Mega-Heracross all make this list because they are all reasonable in their respective roles, but miss out on the higher rankings because the others just perform slightly better.

D-tier


Mega-Garchomp (there is no reason whatsoever to use this Pokémon. It loses out on its amazing speed when it mega'volves despite gaining more attack), Mega-Absol (I'll have to do a LOT more testing with this guy. He isn't bad, per se, but I just don't know what its meant to do as of yet), Mega-Pinsir (it just screams 'hit me'. Plus Rock Slide says hi ;) ), Mega-Banette (it's been relegated here because I believe there are better Prankster users available at the moment), Mega-Aggron (its incredible Defence stat does not make up for anything), Mega-Houndoom (possibly the worst Mega despite looking so cool), Mega-Alakazam and, lastly, Mega-Charizard X. Mega Charizard X is my favourite mega evolution. It looks awesome, it has a great ability in Tough Claws and it completely whooped Mewtwo's butt in Origins. I think Char Y will have to have some huge support to fulfil its role as a usable Mega. But watch this space, that's for sure. It has an incredible surprise factor.




Obviously, this list is far from perfect. It is to a degree based on usage stats provided by Showdown!, as well as my opinion. Which has somewhat influenced this tier list.

I hope you have found this interesting and if you have any comments, opinions, ideas and constructive criticism, please feel free to comment! 

-Gavin

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

An Introduction to Pure Fool's Gold

An Introduction to Pure Fool's Gold


This blog is for ideas and ramblings on competitive Pokémon battling. Steve and I will cover both the VGC and TCG spheres, whether it'll be by posting team strategies, deck-lists, tiers, or just our personal opinions and findings on a Pokémon/card etc.

A little bit of background as to the authors of this blog



  I'm Gavin Jones and I've been playing the Pokémon video games since I was 8 years old. I have played every generation of Pokémon, but it was only until the 5th generation installments of Black and White that I actually started taking competitive Pokémon seriously. I have dabbled in the TCG side of the game, enjoying moderate success for the better part of a season (2012-2013), until I decided that the VGC scene in South Africa needed my help (it was something along those lines, and keeping up to date with the latest cards was proving incredibly taxing on my student budget), so why not make the move?

  I met Stephen Botha at our local league in Pretoria. At that stage we were having league in a music store that had the goodwill to host our weekly sessions. Steve looked like he was somewhat my age (turned out he was only a year older!) and we struck it off fairly well. We'd lend (note: I'm not sure whether that should be 'borrow' or not. I'll have to do some research) each other cards, trade deck ideas and just theorise on what cards could do well in general. Stephen is a really good friend to have. He's somewhat of a hipster, likes indie/alternative music and can sometimes dress like an Australian's nightmare.


  As you've heard my name is Stephen Botha, also known as SteveBaPanda on Showdown, Twitter, etc. I got into TCG along with my brother back in November/December of 2011. We found a league and started attending around March 2012, met Gavin there and the rest is history. Well, I suppose I'll have to tell you anyway, my autobiography isn't due for a few years still :') I have been and still am a Professor and I helped run a league for awhile as well. My studies inhibit me attending league as much as I used, but I try and make it to events and tournaments when I can.

  I was only into the TCG side of things for the first while because my brother and I could share cards/costs and neither of us had DS'. I had played Pokemon LeafGreen and Sapphire on the pc via an emulator before, but it was only until just before XY was released that I actually considered getting into the VGC side of things. Through a crazy and blessed turn of events, I am now both a TCG and VGC player. Gavin has really helped cultivate and develop a lot of my VGC knowledge and understanding of the mechanics behind the game, strategies and so on.

Some of my achievements TCG wise include winning the Gauteng/Jo'burg Regionals 2013, making Top 8 and finishing 6th at Nationals 2013, a 16th place at Battle Roads and then some League Challenge wins and top cuts. VGC wise I finished 5th at Regionals 2014 and 9th at Nationals 2014, both times bubbling and just missing cut.