Monday, 21 December 2015

Messing around with Dialga

Hey Fools! This'll be a short instalment wherein I have a look at a few Dialga spreads and movesets that I theorymonned.

File:Dialga M10 manga.png

I think the Sinnoh cover legendaries are the some of the best looking Pokémon in the game. Dialga being the best looking of the lot, naturally. Apart from its aesthetic awesomeness, Dialga also has some great stats:


The 150 base Special Attack is so awesome, one would naturally think that dumping 252 EVs into SpA would be the most mindless and best option for it. While it is not a bad idea to do so, there are also other worthwhile options available. For example, Dialga along with Palkia are both able to learn Trick Room, and are two of three previously banned legendaries that can learn Trick Room in the VGC format, the other being Mewtwo. So perhaps a TR (Trick Room) set focused less on full frontal assault and more on speed control assistance should be considered.

Due to its unique, fantastic type combination, Dialga has a plethora of resistances, the important ones being: Normal, Water, Grass, Rock; an immunity to Poison; and only two weaknesses being Fighting and Ground. Now in order to make Dialga a worthwhile addition to a team there are some important attacks we need to survive.

A very obvious candidate whose attacks need to be survived, is Primal Groudon.
252+ SpA Primal Groudon Earth Power vs. 220 HP / 108 SpD Dialga: 168-200 (82.7 - 98.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Primal Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 220 HP / 124 Def Dialga: 168-198 (82.7 - 97.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Another attack that needs to be survived is Mega Kangaskhan's Low Kick. Using this great attack survival calculator -> http://pokeasc.appspot.com/, I calculated that 220 HP / 124 Def would need to be used to always survive the attack from Adamant Mega Kangaskhan.

And finally Mega Rayquaza, that damage output monster:

252+ Atk Choice Band Mega Rayquaza Outrage vs. 220 HP / 124 Def Dialga: 166-196 (81.7 - 96.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Xerneas is also a threat since its Fairy Aura boosted attacks dish out tonnes of damage.

+2 252+ SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Dazzling Gleam vs. 220 HP / 108 SpD Dialga: 135-160 (66.5 - 78.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

So, as it stands our spread looks as such: 220 HP / 124 Def / 108 SpD. That leaves us with 56 EVs spend. And we still haven't chosen a nature yet! Quiet synergises really well with Trick Room, but Modest can be used for better functionality in and out of Trick Room. Let me explain why. Both Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre are base 90, the same as base speed as Dialga. Quiet/Brave, 0 IV Primals are not uncommon in this early stage of the format. So out of Trick Room, a Modest Dialga would obviously out speed. This information is important for the best of three format we play (sometimes, and sadly not always Bo3). 

Since we're feeling excessively Foolish today, dump 52 EVs into SpA and the remaining 4 into Speed (with 1 Speed IV and 4 EVs this puts Dialga at one point faster than minimum speed Primals. It should be noted that Draco Meteor from Dialga will OHKO Mega Rayquaza with the greatest of ease:

20 SpA Dialga Draco Meteor vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Mega Rayquaza: 212-252 (100 - 118.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Spr 6x 483 s.png
Dialga @ Adamant Orb / Mental Herb / Sitrus Berry /
Quiet nature - 1 Speed IV
220 HP / 124 Def/ 52 SpA / 108 SpD / 4 Speed
Pressure - ability
- Draco Meteor
- Flash Cannon
- Trick Room
- Protect

Other notable moves: Aura Sphere. Iron Head, Earth Power, Ancient Power, Gravity, Dragon Claw, Outrage. 

Physical Dialga, whilst not the most obvious or common choice, is also viable.

116+ Atk Choice Band Dialga Iron Head vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: OHKO 

So as we can see the "surprise butt sex" version of Dialga is super cheesy, but can catch people off guard. With some speed control support, this celestial behemoth can really do some damage.

For any One Piece fans out there Tenryubito is the best nickname I could come up for Dialga.
Here's a quick battle to show off how unexpected Iron Head Dialga is -> http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/vgc2016-308072447

Hope you enjoyed this short piece!

- Jayhonas

Thursday, 17 December 2015

First VGC 16 team

Hey Fools!

The rules for VGC 16 were relatively recently announced. Some frown and throw tantrums because of the new rules, whereas others have learnt to welcome it. To be honest the former group doesn't matter at all in my opinion. They're the same group of people that cry foul whenever they see a Smeargle, and are the same bunch that sourly retort "But you used legendaries," whenever they lose against a team that isn't next-level dog shit. The latter group however are those of us that are adapting and have learnt to enjoy VGC 16, despite its flaws, for what it is: a super aggro, centralised but not limited, fast paced meta. I do understand that obtaining competitively viable legendaries is a mission. And I feel like that's a downside since most of us would have already caught Rayquaza, Groudon, and Kyogre in our playthroughs without caring much for their IVs and natures. This would leave us up the creek with no canoe, as we would either have to start a new game and soft reset for legendaries, otrturn to the internet for trades and such. The second option might leave us feeling a little dirty since we don't always know 'where' these Pokémon come from, so to speak. Whatever your views on the matter are, I certainly won't tell you what or how to feel...

Anyways, I'd like to share the team I've been using lately. By no means is it ground breakingly special. Nor is it the most consistent team, it is certainly lacking in some fields. It is, however, a nice team to use as a starting point for me. It is fairly simple to use and has several 'game plan' options available. I will try to explain why certain choices have been made too.



Xerneas @ Power Herb
Ability: Fairy Aura
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Protect
- Moonblast
- Dazzling Gleam
- Geomancy

Xerneas is a powerhouse. Once it's used Geomancy, it can clean out entire teams. I have opted not to use a Hidde Power Fire/Ground version, because when teamed up with Primal-Groudon those moves become superfluous. Both attacks benefit from the amazing Fairy Aura boost. A Timid nature is preferred because of the potential speed tie with other Xerneas. Getting Geomancy off first, and subsequently firing off a Moonblast first are a big deal for me in these early stages of the format.



Kangaskhan (F) @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 244 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- Double-Edge
- Sucker Punch
- Low Kick

Not much has changed with Mega Kang, but one  noticeable feature is the ability has changed from the regular Scrappy to Inner Focus. This allows Kangaskhan to deal with stuff like Geomancy Xerneas, and Smeargle better, as these two are usually accompanied by a Fake Out user and not flinching helps throw a wrench in their works. I did not opt for Jolly, as this is a Tailwind-Trick Room team, and I feel that Adamant allows for better versatility in either speed control form. The Speed EVs outspeed 140 Smeargle.



Cresselia (F) @ Mental Herb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Def / 156 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Trick Room
- Grass Knot/Psychic
-
- Helping Hand

Cress is an interesting choice, since it has the bulk to take a few hits from these Primal monstrosities which is much more important now in VGC 16 than ever before. I'm not sure I'm altogether convinced of Grass Knot's utility, but it does alright against both Primals, but obviously extremely poorly against Mega Rayquaza. Psychic is probably a better option for it.



Groudon @ Red Orb
Ability: Drought
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Protect
- Earth Power
- Eruption
- Overheat/Ancient Power

Many claim that this is the best Pokémon in the format. While I'm inclined to agree, I do feel that this has led people to blindly choose P-Don over P-Kyogre (myself included). But, looking at it from an observer's perspective and not a player, it can't be argued against that P-Don has the superior ability of the two. I opted for a Special Attack Groudon, since I feel like Precipice Blades has much too shoddy accuracy to merit use. Remember, I'm in the accounting profession and we tend to be risk averse people. (At least that's how I view us). Earth Power is also superior over PrecBlades, since Wide Guard doesn't block it. Eruption and Overheat are just there to abuse Desolate Land and STAB.


Liepard @ Focus Sash
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 228 HP / 28 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Fake Tears
- Foul Play
- Encore

Liepard is a really great Xerneas partner, and more often that not is pivotal in setting up Geomancy. Fake Tears synergises really well with both legendaries, and Foul Play allows Liepard to deal with Primal Groudon, as opposed to just being complete dead weight.

0 Atk Liepard Foul Play vs. 0 HP / +252 Atk Primal Groudon: 76-91 (43.4 - 52%)



Crobat @ Lum Berry
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Quick Guard
- Super Fang
- Taunt
- Tailwind

With Inner Focus, Lum Berry, Taunt and Quick Guard - Crobat manages to handle a lot of common threats: Smeargle, Kangaskhan and Fake Out in general, Trick Room, Geomancy, to name a few. I think Crobat plays its roles well, and helps contribute to the team's performance. I did consider using Cross Poison for Xerneas, but Super Fang does more damage initially.

0 Atk Crobat Cross Poison vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 78-92 (38.8 - 45.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO



----

Well folks, that's the team. I hope this has at least helped you understand the threats running amok in our brand new format. Since it's still early days, I wouldn't take my statements as the 'be all and end all'. Heck, we haven't even had a VGC 16 tournament yet.

-Jayhonas

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Gauteng Regionals

Hey Fools! Hope you're all having a glorious morning/afternoon/evening.

I recently won the Gauteng Regional, hosted on the 28 November. I had such a great time, and seeing all my friends again was wonderful. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Okay, I'll be quite honest here, I was way too lazy to make a new team, so I just used my Tauros + Friends team again. After using it at a PC, I knew the team was able to get me into top cut at the very least. I was, however, able to go undefeated for the entire tournament. I think it's the stuff of dreams to go unbeaten through five rounds of swiss and three Bo3 top cut rounds.

The top cut standings for the tournament were as follows:

1 - Gavin Jones
2 - Morné Steinmann
3 - Siveshen Chetty
4 - Nikola Radevic
5 - 8 Dale, Clive, Shiven, Luzanne

All in all there were 23 masters (yes, I know, it isn't that much) and I was really impressed at the turn-out, seeing how the tournament was, quite frankly, in the middle of nowhere lol (South Johannesburg if you're at all curious).

I shan't go into too much detail about the team members, since I haven't changed the team at all since I last used it. If you'd like to know more about the team members and their functions, please read this article here.



Lopunny @ Lopunnite
Ability: Limber
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Teeter Dance
- Low Kick
- After You


Smeargle @ Focus Sash
Ability: Own Tempo
EVs: 100 HP / 156 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Storm Throw
- Dark Void
- Spiky Shield
- Follow Me








Tauros @ Kee Berry
Ability: Anger Point  
EVs: 52 HP / 188 Atk / 12 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Return
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Protect


Togekiss @ Lum Berry
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Def / 100 SpD
Bold Nature
- Air Slash
- Tailwind
- Protect
- Follow Me


Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Atk / 12 Def
Adamant Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Knock Off
- Belly Drum
- Protect
- Aqua Jet


Aegislash @ Life Orb
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpA
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- King's Shield
- Flash Cannon
- Shadow Ball
- Shadow Sneak


Round 1: Brett Nel

Brett was a brand new player. He was filling in for someone else who didn't quite feel like playing, but wanted someone to have the opportunity to use his 3DS and team.


Round 2: Dale Schwikkard

Dale used the ever dreaded LieLoom combination, luckily I managed to come out on top with the sheer strength of Tauros. Interestingly enough, Dale used this same team at a Premier Challenge, and didn't do all too well. I'm glad to see he stuck with the team and got gud. 


Round 3 + Top 4 match: Siveshen Chetty 

Sivesh came with a great team to Regionals, and I'm not at all surprised to see him do so well! He puts in the hours, and he reaps his just desserts. He also used Charizard X which is such a gangster Mega! Wide Guard shenanigans played a decent factor in these matches! He has played 6 matches against this Tauros team, and is so far the only player to have neaten this team!


Round 4: Clive Lai

Clive has been on the receiving end of my "haxxy" teams, and he's been a real good sport about all the nonsense I've caused him, hahaha. I was really glad to see Clive was 3-0 at this point, since he's been practicing a load lately, and it's paid off. His Trick Room team was really awesome and I'm glad I got to play against it!


Round 5 + Top 8 match: Luzanne

Liz had a pretty good idea in making sure to bring Tyranitar to our matches, since the Sandstorm chip damage broke Smeargle's Focus Sash. Her Extreme Speed Arcanine also caught me off guard. The Amoonguss and Gardevoir combo is pretty potent, luckily Dark Void didn't allow for too many shenanigans from the duo.


Top Cut finals match: Morné

Morné has a tendency to be overly humble! It's such a great quality to possess. He was kinda bummed after his first round loss, but swiftly bounced back to end swiss 4-1. This man is hands down the best player in our country, and I won't hear anything to the contrary. His predictions and strategising are top shelf stuff. His team seemed to lack speed control, but he obviously managed without it! Conkeldurr is easily Morné's signature Pokémon, and for good reason too: it's so powerful! 


And well, there we have it folks. I might upload the battle videos at a later stage (but to be honest I'm not sure if anyone watches them lol!).

Pros:
  • Managed to go undefeated to become the Gauteng Regional champion;
  • The turnout was great;
  • Vast variety of interesting teams;
  • Venue was really great;
  • One Punch Man fans;
  • No Mega Kangaskhan in Top Cut; and
  • Judging staff were great!

Cons:
  • Travelling to the middle of Nowheresville;
  • Stephen's absence; and 
  • Hyper Beam being mentioned as a good move ;~; lol jk I'm sure it's good /s
Thanks for reading, Fools! See you on the flip side.

- Jayhonas



Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Tauros and the Gang: the bullish adventures of +6 Pokémon!


Hey Fools, the PFG Tourney ran by Daleshand is nearing its end. Izak and I are in the finals. Here below is the journey I had to take. There has been omitted (due to the picture being a screen shot) the fact that the first time I faced Izak I lost and was knocked into the losers' bracket, where I had to face Johannes.


I saw that a Japanese player: Shinon (Jimon on his Japanese Twitter) had posted about his Tauros team, and this piqued my interest to say the least. After reading up on his experiences with the team, I also read Braverius' blog post about his version of the Tauros + friends team.

Needless to say both iterations of the team got the job done. And having used a lot of cheesy teams very recently, I thought "why the heck not?" Therefor at a Premier Challenge on the 20 Novemeber in Pretoria I used the following team (I will give an analysis of each Pokémon too, and their roles in  the team):

Lopunny (F) @ Lopunnite  
Ability: Limber  
Level: 50  
Shiny: Yes  
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  -> 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Speed
Jolly Nature  

- Fake Out  
- High Jump Kick -> Low Kick
- Teeter Dance  
- Entrainment -> Encore -> After You

It's no secret that I'm a Mega Lopunny fan. And seeing that the Tauros teams used Mega Lopunny was great, as I am quite familiar with most of its tricks and such. As you can all see, I changed from a very defensive spread to a more offensive one, and I am so glad I made the change.

I would often be able to fire off Smeargle's Dark Void succesfully on turn 1, and would no longer need Lopunny, as I could switch in Tauros into Smeargle's Storm Throw. Thereby resulting in Mega Punny playing a role which required less presence from it, and therefor it didn't need to be so defensive.

After my first PC win with this team, I realised that the (*now) outdated Lum Berry, Double Kick Terrakion would give this team a tough time. I also don't enjoy relying on moves that only have 90% accuracy and result in a figurative butt-tonne of recoil damage should that move miss (*hint hint, HJK) to deal with the aforementioned threat. So, I decided to rely on Low Kick to deal with Terra:

252 Atk Mega Lopunny Low Kick (120 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Terrakion: 234-276 (140.1 - 165.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO

The change was quite welcome, and it also helped against Johannes in our PFG tourney match a lot, since I was left with a burnt Togekiss and paralysed Mega Lopunny against his Recover Sableye and Low Kick combined with Air Slash was able to take care of it!

The support moves are also pretty nifty. Teeter Dance naturally combos quite well with Smeargle's Own Tempo, and Encore/After You are also great. The former, since it dissuades opponents from Protecting on the first turn, and the latter, because even if the opponent does double Protect on the first turn, After You should normally allow Smeargle to fire off another Dark Void. So yes, there was a learning experience in using a team that wouldn't otherwise require one to think too much lol.



Smeargle @ Focus Sash  
Ability: Own Tempo  
Level: 50  
EVs: 100 HP / 156 Def / 252 Spe  
Timid Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  

- Spiky Shield  
- Dark Void  
- Follow Me  
- Storm Throw  

Using Smeargle has resulted in one giant collective sigh from the Pretoria VGC crowd! Hahahaha. I know guys, it's a terrible Pokémon and although it isn't often used, it is a reality. Sadly. The main idea here: DV, then Storm Throw self target onto Tauros switch in, then Follow Me until Smeargle dies, or another DV opportunity presents itself.


Togekiss @ Lum Berry -> Leftovers
Ability: Serene Grace  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Def / 100 SpD  
Bold Nature  

- Protect  
- Tailwind  
- Air Slash  
- Follow Me  

Lum Kiss is a pretty good idea, but I found that I derived greater utility from Leftovers. Tailwind is, in my opinion better on this Togekiss than Thunder Wave would be, despite the fact that I generally promote the T-Wave camp. Why do I think its better? Mainly because of Choice Scarf Landorus-T.


Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry  
Ability: Huge Power  
Level: 50  
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 4 Spe  
Adamant Nature  

- Protect  
- Belly Drum  
- Aqua Jet  
- Knock Off  

Leading Azumarill + Togekiss is a nice way to lead in an unexpected manner. Obviously Belly Drum Azu is the other part of the +6 party. I have tried to use both Play Rough and Return in place of Knock Off. However, I find that Knock Off allows for the easy (should read 'easier', because it's never really that easy) processing of Aegislash.


Tauros @ Kee Berry  
Ability: Anger Point  
Level: 50  
Happiness: 0  
EVs: 52 HP / 188 Atk / 12 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  
Jolly Nature  

- Frustration -> Return
- Earthquake  
- Rock Slide  
- Protect  

"And now, the big one!"

One thing to get out of the way quickly: when I used Tauros to win the PC, it did NOT have minimum happiness. Therefor Frustration did not deal out max damage. And it didn't even make that big a difference, since everything was basically one-shot by Frustration in any case... lol. Since it's naturally easier to boost happiness than lower it, I replaced Frustration with Return. Yes, I lost "theme" points, but I did gain irony points, which are always welcome. ^_^

Okay, so whenever Tauros is hit by a critical hit, Anger Point is triggered and its Attack stat is immediately maxed out. Since Storm Throw always results in a critical hit, Anger Point will always trigger, and to add further insult to injury, Kee Berry also activates since ST is a physical attack. This is important since it helps Tauros survive physical spread attacks like Earthquake or Rock Slide better.

I think I must have apologised to every opponent that I steamrolled with this team. Not because I didn't know what the team was capable of, but because I know that tilt can happen, and since the VGC folk in Pretoria are pretty awesome, I didn't want to alienate any of them! 

----

Additional members:

(1) Metagross @ Metagrossite  
Ability: Clear Body  
Level: 50  
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe  
Jolly Nature  

- Protect  
- Psych Up  
- Iron Head  
- Zen Headbutt  

I have learnt the hard way. There are a few Pokémon that I shan't ever use again; Mega Metagross and Hydreigon top that list.

(2) Aegislash @ Life Orb
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpA
Modest Nature

- Shadow Sneak
- Shadow Ball
- King's Shield
- Flash Cannon

Aegislash was put on the team to deal with Perish Trap teams which have been gaining popularity in South Africa surprisingly enough.

Here's the Battle Videos against Johannes. The first match is really clean for me, but the second match was über ugly and I only won because of a critical hit ;)

NRGG - WWWW - WW35 - BQFK

3WSW - WWWW - WW35 - BQHX

Well, there we are folks. If you have any questions on the team, please feel free to ask away. Or, if you feel like debating the really cheap use of Smeargle, feel free to comment below!

-Jayhonas