Thursday, 23 October 2014

An "Insta-team" tournament report by Acreland


  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:


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.


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.