Thursday, 29 May 2014

Updated rain team

Hey Fools, yeah it's gonna be an other rain team discussion. I've really started to love using this team the more and more I play with it. And since I'm trying to keep my Nats team sorta under wraps (Stephen knows what it is lol and it's totally the team I use on Showdown! so it's not too secretive I guess) I've been using this rain team a lot instead. I also want to have a deeper look into what opening duos I use and what my basic strategy is when I have no clue as to what to expect from the opponent.

Changes I've made since the previous article

In case you've missed it, make sure to have a look a look at the original team here!

Onto the changes ->

1) I firstly wanted to bring Zapdos onto the team, as I was in love with Zapdos ever since Gen I. It can hit hard, has base 100 speed and has great typing! But having Raichu with Lightning Rod made things rather awkward during team selection, as it greatly limited my options in terms of team mates. Another problem facing my end goal was obtaining the actual Zapdos. I needed to get one with Hidden Power Ice, Modest nature AND decent IVs. So I started a new game on my Pokémon Y and looked forward to getting my perfect Zapdos. 

However, after what felt like a full week, I gave up and turned to a trade thread on Nugget Bridge were I was eventually able to find what I was looking for. With the following IVs: 31-30-31-30-26-31 and Modest nature, I was incredibly pleased with my trade. 

So I dumped Raichu in favour of this thunderbird >
[Kind of need to mention that I'll list two sets as the first one sucked :( ]
Sparrowmon (Zapdos) @ Life Orb
Modest Nature
Ability: Pressure (a lame ability, but it's better than nothing. Static would be cooler).
  •  4 HP / 252 Sp.Atk / 252 Speed
- Thunder
- Ancient Power
- Hidden Power Ice
- Protect
  • 252 HP / 20 Speed / 28 Defence / 156 Sp.Atk / 52 Sp.Def

- Thunder
- Hidden Power Ice
- Protect 
- Roost

I much prefer the second set. It is very bulky, despite the defensive EV investments being random. On that note, the only stat that I gave an inkling of thought to was the speed stat. As I've started to see a trend of slower, bulkier, adamant nature Kangaskhan over the max speed jolly counterpart, I decided to outspeed 4 speed adamant Kanga as well as anything that might try to outspeed aforementioned Kanga. With regards to moves, Ancient Power is kind of meh, but Roost allows me to heal up when facing slower opponents. The first EV spread was incredibly weak and lacked surviving power.

2) I then proceeded to change Miltank to a Meowstic. Miltank fulfilled a purely supportive role, and I felt like it was lacking that vooma to get my team going. So I decided to take Meowstic instead with its Prankster support and AWESOME movepool. If you haven't yet checked out this guy's potential, have a gander at this article.

CremeFraiche (Meowstic-M) @ Leftovers (Sitrus Berry is being used by Gardevoir)
Calm nature
Ability: Prankster
EVs 228 HP / 100 Def / 180 Sp.Def
- Rain Dance
- Fake Out
- Thunder Wave 
- Safeguard

In replacing Raichu, I had lost a Fake Out user. In replacing Miltank, I'd lost my speed control 'mon. Thia little guy does both. As well as MAKE IT RAIN! That's pretty cool I think. it fulfils so many roles and allows me to leave Politoed at home. Seriously, one of the better team building choices I've made.

3) These are the miscellaneous changes I've made. 
  • I removed Safety Goggles from Politoed and replaced it with Eject Button. This allows for rain to get setup and allows for a more offensive switch in once hit by a damaging move. 
  • I replaced Wide Lens (which I really do still like a lot!) with Choice Specs. I then replaced Protect with Ice Beam, and Substitute with Dragon Pulse for the improved accuracy over Draco Miss.
  • I moved the 20 Speed EVs on Mawile to Defence as I strongly feel it makes more sense, since I have never seen nor experienced a speed tie whilst using Mawile.

Opening Leads

Here are the combos that I find the plus utils:

Kingdra + Politoed 
.o/ + \o. = o/\o  
(it's a bit abstract, but those stick men are making a hi five)
This is quite possibly the most obvious lead to choose. I do, however, feel that it is very efficient at applying immediate pressure on the opponent from the get-go.

Mawile + Zapdos
The Intimidate Pressure (lol see what I did there) from this opening is really great, I can switch out Mawile into something more appropriate if I sense that a fire or ground attack is incoming for Mawile. I really like the offensive synergy these two guys have.

Finally, Meowstic + anything

A good team has a lot of good synergy, both offensively and defensively. My opening lead combos aren't limited to the above, as it varies depending on what I feel the opponent will bring. To conclude, I really like how this team has almost evolved according to my needs and play style. And that's definitely one of the many benefits of sticking around with the same core team; as opposed to constantly finding an entire new team every time something goes wrong.

Thanks for reading this far, and if you get the spare time, have a look at these battle videos to see the team in action (you may even be able to pick up a few pointers, and learn from my mistakes) > 
  • VDVW - WWWW - WWW7 - K423
  • 3BLW - WWWW- WWW7 - GFDD
  • BNYG - WWWW - WWW7 - L2SY  -- this battle is against a really great South African player called Dale. He placed second at the Gauteng regional. I really expect him to do well at Nats, so keep an eye on him.
  • I would have posted my battle video against Stephen here, but I think he'd like to keep his team under wraps until he gives me the green light lol.
As always, keep it real. And if any of you guys would like to write an article for the blog, don't hesitate to contact us!

-Gavin

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Get your Enigma Berry now!

Hey Fools, for those of you who participated in the May International Challenge, you are now able to collect your Enigma Berry from the PokéMileage Club on the PGL.
This is likely the only way to get an Enigma Berry (or from someone who breeds berries in their spare time), so for those Berry fanatics out there: make sure to get it now :D

In other news, it's almost exam time again, so news from our side should be a bit slow, but Steve and I will tweet whenever we get a new article up, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

We've also got a project in the pipeline to get shirts with our logo printed on them. If they turn out nicely, then we'd like to sell them them to you, our loyal and totally Foolish fans ;).

-Gavin

Saturday, 24 May 2014

TCG + VGC Nationals Alert!


Nationals

Howdy, Fools! For those of you that are not aware, Nationals is less than 4 weeks away! That's right! In less than a month it will be time to prove your mettle in either the VGC or TCG (or both)!
Here is the facebook link for the event as well as the link to the Pretoria Pokemon League's calendar. Keep an eye out on both of those for any further updates and any more information!

So far I can tell you that the TCG will be taking place on the Saturday, 14 June, with Top Cut matches being played on the Sunday, 15 June. The VGC Swiss and Top Cut rounds will also be played on the Sunday.
Registration will probably be quite early and the days long, so prepare yourself mentally and financially to keep yourself well rested, fed and warm throughout the duration of the days.

ALSO! Bring a few friends or siblings along to join in the Pokemans craziness! The whole point is not necessarily to just win, but to be exposed to the competition at a higher level and to have fun. This is the biggest event of the year on a National level (see what I did there? ;) in South Africa so you might as well go big or go home.

Last night there was a tournament sponsored by BuyPokemon in preparation for Nationals. I had planned on playing something crazy, but my friend Clinton could not make it so I was not able to get the cards I needed to finish up the deck. I played a Darkrai/Yveltal/Zoroark deck instead that consisted of  a sketchy 1 Darkrai, 2 Yveltal EX and a 3-3 Zoroark line as well as inadequate supporter line. In spite of winning one match with an Evil Ball for 220 I could see and feel the deck was too haphazardly thrown together.. I even lost to Brian Murdoch's Miltank + Friends deck! ;_;

Deck-building essentials:

1. Enough Supporters
2. Enough Pokemon
3. The right items to fit your strategy/goals

Just wanted to make mention of those few things for those of you trying to choose a deck for Nats ^

The Road to Nationals

I have a few exams and projects that need to be completed within in the next few weeks, but I (maybe with some assistance from whoever) will try and go over some decks that you should consider or be on the look out for! I am certain Gavin will also cover a few VGC teams/moves so be sure to check in and see what your local Pokemans semi-expert guys have to offer!

Keep it real for now and all the best with any initial testing you do so long.

Peace out
-Stephen

Monday, 19 May 2014

International Challenge team

Hey Fools! At the time of writing, I have played 25 matches and won 19 of them. Let's get right into it!

Gardevoir
  • Psychic
  • Fairy
Lv. 50
  • Protect
  • Ally Switch
  • Psychic
  • Moonblast
Ability:Trace
ITEM:Sitrus Berry
Miltank
  • Normal
Lv. 50
  • Seismic Toss
  • Helping Hand
  • Thunder Wave
  • Milk Drink
Ability:Sap Sipper
ITEM:Leftovers
Kingdra
  • Water
  • Dragon
Lv. 50
  • Protect
  • Substitute
  • Muddy Water
  • Draco Meteor
Ability:Swift Swim
ITEM:Wide Lens
Politoed
  • Water
Lv. 50
  • Protect
  • Perish Song
  • Scald
  • Ice Beam
Ability:Drizzle
ITEM:Safety Goggles
Raichu
  • Electric
Lv. 50
  • Protect
  • Thunderbolt
  • Encore
  • Fake Out
Ability:Lightning Rod
ITEM:Focus Sash
Mawile
  • Steel
  • Fairy
Lv. 50
  • Protect
  • Play Rough
  • Rock Slide
  • Sucker Punch
Ability:Intimidate
ITEM:Mawilite

Kingdra
Majority of rain teams run this guy, so I decided to give it a shot. With base 95 Sp.Atk this guy can hit pretty darn hard!

CHEVAL (M) @ Wide Lens
Modest Nature
252 Sp.Atk / 252 Speed / 4 Hp
- Draco Meteor
- Muddy Water
- Protect
- Leftovers

I decided to run Wide Lens over something like Life Orb or Choice Specs, because both of Kingdra's attacking moves have sketchy accuracy, and I wouldn't want to miss a crucial attack. I do somewhat regret making this choice, as Choice Specs allow me to dish out truck load's of damage, but this is how we learn I guess. Muddy Water works really well with the boosted accuracy from Wide Lens, and if you're fortunate enough to get an accuracy drop on your opponents it can really prove to be clutch.

Politoed
I wouldn't have a rain team without someone that could initiate rain, so Drizzle was absolutely necessary and since Politoed is the only VGC legal Pokémon that carries it, it was an obvious choice.

Poliswag!!!1! (M) @ Safety Goggles
Bold Nature
172 Hp / 172 Def / 164 Def
- Scald
- Ice Beam
- Perish Song
- Protect

I really don't know why I had Perish Song on this guy... the one time I did use it I was able to pull off a victory, but not because I used it effectively. And that EV spread... Not even sure what I was thinking. The item choice was also not really ideal, I should perhaps have ran a different spread with Choice Scarf. So basically this Pokémon was the one that pulled through the least. That being said, I would definitely use it again, just with a better idea of what I want it to do. The Safety Goggles came in handy, but not enough to merit re-use.

Mawile
HITS LIKE A TANK! Mawile really has such a sky-high attack stat, which I've repeated many a time before, and that partially drove me to run this guy on my team. The other main reason is because fire type moves aren't terribly strong in rain, allowing this guy not to have to run in fear of them.

Mawile (M) @ Mawilite
Careful Nature
Ray Rizzo's spread
- Rock Slide
- Sucker Punch
- Protect
- Play Rough

I opted for Rock Slide over Iron Head, because rock moves are really great in this meta game as they are neutral against a lot of types.

Miltank
I was super surprised to see that Miltank has some pretty amazing stats (taken from Bulbapedia):

HP:95
155 - 202300 - 394
Attack:80
76 - 145148 - 284
Defense:105
99 - 172193 - 339
Sp.Atk:40
40 - 10176 - 196
Sp.Def:70
67 - 134130 - 262
Speed:100
94 - 167184 - 328
Total:490  Other Pokémon with this total  

It has an incredible HP and Def stats, it's in the 100 Speed tier, so should that route be taken it can definitely catch a lot of common Pokémon off guard. I really wanted to run Miltank ever since I battled against it on Showdown!. It has amazing abilities in Thick Fat, Scrappy and Sap Sipper. Honestly, any of those three are really good options. Scrappy helps beat Aegislash, Gengar, Trevenant and Gourgeist; whilst Sap Sipper gives Amoonguss, Ferrothorn and Venusaur a tough time when they try to use Sleep Powder/Spore/Leech Seed.

myMILKSHAKES (F) @ Leftovers
Impish Nature (+Def / - Sp.Atk)
Sap Sipper
252 HP / 252 Sp.Def / 4 Def
- Thunder Wave
- Milk Drink
- Seismic Toss
- Helping Hand

Miltank really fulfilled the support role very well. Speed control really helps Mawile function, and Helping Hand maximises damage output. I had to be careful when choosing my opening partner for Miltank as Raichu's Lightning Rod once absorbed my T-wave, resulting in a wasted turn. I will definitely use Miltank again in future, I really enjoyed using it :D

Raichu
The best electric mouse in my opinion (Pachirisu gets 2nd :P ). I really wanted to have a super fast Pokémon that had Fake Out access, and this guy fits the bill perfectly.

LT. SPLURGE (F) @ Focus Sash
Timid Nature
252 Speed / 252 Sp.Atk / 4 Hp
- Fake Out
- Protect
- Thunder Bolt (Should have used Thunder instead)
- Encore (should have used Feint instead)

This guy was usually leading with my Mawile, since I'd expect my opponent to prepare best for the Poli + Kingdra opening. Fake Out helps to get the ball in motion for my team from the word go.

Gardevoir
I've used a Gardevoir for majority of the season, and I have gotten quite used to what it can do now. It hits dragons hard and for the OHKO. It can also have several cool support moves like WoW, Ally Switch and Taunt, giving it a support role in addition to the offensive presence against dragons.

BLAZEM8 (F) @ Sitrus Berry
Modest Nature
252 Hp / 116 Def / 60 Speed / 4 SpDef / 76 Sp.Atk
- Protect
- Moonblast
- Psychic
- Ally Switch

Hope you guys enjoyed reading this!

-Gavin



Tuesday, 13 May 2014

New Set: Rising Fist/Furious Fists!

Hey Fools! The next TCG set has been announced and it looks like Fighting types are on the rise again! The big Mega this time around is Lucario!  The pack art depicts Mega Heracross, Tyrantrum, Hawlucha and Mega Lucario. The normal Lucario EX actually has 3 attacks which makes it the first Pokemon to have more than 2 since BW was introduced. Mega Lucario only has 1 attack, but early translations are putting the damage at 140 or something, so it seems worth it.
Credits to WakefieldTCG Pokemon League for image.

I quite like Kangaskhan from the latest Flashfire set, but it looks like Lightning/Normal types (weak to fighting) have something to fear again! Fighting hasn't made a huge impact in the format since Terrakion stopped seeing play and Landorus + friends couldn't keep up with the latest additions. There are rumours of a special Fighting energy as well. Some say it might act like a double Fighting energy when attached to Fighting types and others think it might increase attacks like Special Darkness from HGSS.


Quite a lot of peeps are excited for this one and I would not mind getting hold of a Lucario myself! The karate kid fox has always been a favourite of mine since I saw him in the anime. Keep an eye out on any more releases, translations and news on Pokebeach, Bublbanews and SixPrizes!


Peace out for now,
-Stephen

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Inspirational Pokémon Quotes

Hey Fools! I  stumbled across some really interesting quotes from the Pokémon games as well as the franchise that you can kinda relate to when practicing, battling, winning, losing. It might be a bit cheesy, but that's how we at Pure Fool's Gold roll.
These next few are from Grimsley, the Dark Elite Four trainer: 

"A real warrior doesn't dash off in pursuit of the next victory, nor throw a fit when experiencing a loss. A real warrior ponders the next battle." 

Here's one especially for our TCG readers :D I won't forget to give you guys a little love...

"It's more important to master the cards you're holding than to complain about the ones your opponents were dealt. Let us begin. And may the best Trainer win! Contests like this are proof that you are really living..."

I find these next few very applicable to anyone that's ever played Pokémon competitively. No-one likes playing against sore losers, or sore winners for that matter. Sometime we fall victim to being a complete bidoofhead (probably don't need to spell out what 'bidoof' was a euphemism for :P ) about losing, and sometimes we rub it in our opponent's face when we win. Don't let that define you as a player, because it's incredibly difficult to change a first impression!

"There are bad ways to win - and good ways to lose: What's interesting and troubling is that it's not always clear which is which. A flipped coin doesn't always land heads or tails. Sometimes it may never land at all..." 

"If somebody wins, the person who fought against that person will lose (Gav's note: DUUUUH). That's battle. A good contender just seeks the next victory without bragging after winning, and without getting upset after losing."

"Where there's a winner, there's also a loser. It's pathetic to make a big deal out of losing if you weren't prepared. If you're a true Pokémon battler, you'll reflect upon your loss and think about how to win next time!"
-The philosopher himself.

Phew, now that I'm done quoting Grimsley, here's something from Meowth to lighten the mood:

"We do have a lot in common. The same Earth, the same air, the same sky. Maybe if we started looking at what's the same instead of always looking at what's different...

...well who knows?"

Man, this is getting emotional! ;_; #2deep4u

                                   
From Alder, we have this one before closing off. ->       

"Even if we don't understand each other, that's not a reason to reject each other. There are two sides to any argument. Is there one point of view that has all the answers?"


I hope you were able to take something out of this. And I promise to never publish something as soppy as this again. Ever. XD

Oh, and also:

                          "Charmander, char. Char char --- mander."  
     - Charmander

Very deep, very moving.

-Gavin 

    Friday, 9 May 2014

    Updated Mega Tier


    Hey Fools, hope you guys enjoy this update!

    Kangaskhan

    The most used Mega in the metagame.
    S-Tier

    Charizard

    Both Charizard X and Y fall into this category.
    A-Tier

    Mawile

    Hits hard (very hard), but not fast. Perfect for Trick Room.
    A-Tier

    Venusaur

    This guy is bulky and has a great ability.
    A-Tier

    Manectric

    Great ability and works well in a Rain team.
    A-Tier

    Gyarados

    Mold Breaker helps take care of Rotom and Steel types with EQ.
    B-Tier

    Tyranitar

    With the right support, it can set up Dragon Dance and sweep.
    B-Tier

    Blastoise

    With access to Fake Out, this guy can help with Smeargle’s Dark Void.
    C-Tier

    I don't think I missed anything too important :P

    -Gavin