Saturday, 31 January 2015

Rain teams: the need-to-know article

Hey Fools, Steve and I have spoken quite a bit lately and we've got loads of content that we want to get up on the blog over the next couple of weeks. Whether that'll be the case... We'll have to wait and see lol.

So, Steve and I were talking about doing team archetype and support Pokémon analyses, creating more content for you guys and improving the immediate community. We decided to get into a 'groove' and hopefully stay in that groove for a good while. And we managed to rope in Dale (@DaleshandZA) too, so that's one more person to help generate (somewhat :P) decent articles/reports for Pure Fool's Gold. Yay!

What today's article will accomplish is the following: the pros and cons of Rain as a weather effect, why you might want to consider Rain at all, which Pokémon work well on a Rain team and finally an example of a VGC 2015 Rain team.

Rain: the pros

In a battle where rain is currently in effect:
  • Water-type moves' power is increased by 50%. This is really powerful, and the best reason for using rain in my opinion. Moves like Scald, Surf and Muddy Water do tonnes of damage, even if they only hit for neutral damage, 
  • Fire-type moves have their power halved. Threats like Charizard Y and Heatran become puppies with their damage output so severely hampered. This means that Steel-types like Scizor and Mawile aren't at such great a threat from Fire moves,
  • the moves Thunder and Hurricane get 100% accuracy, 
  • Pokémon with the Swift Swim ability have their Speed doubled. Pokémon with Dry Skin and Rain Dish heal health at the end of every turn (1/8 and 1/16 respectively). The ability Hydration cures status conditions like paralysis, burn etc.,
  • causes healing moves like Moonlight and Morning Sun to heal only a quarter of max HP as opposed to 50% max HP (not necessarily a pro, but assuming your opponent will use these moves for example),
  • the 5 turns of rain can be extended to 8 by having the Pokémon with Drizzle or Rain Dance hold a Damp Rock (should have been called a Dank Rock imo),
  • Solarbeam's damage is halved. Good for our Politoed and company.
The list above isn't necessarily exhaustive, it's just what I could find with some digging. From that list, one should be able to see immediately that many Pokémon are affected by rain, whether that be from an ability, reduced or increased damage or being able to hit with a couple of really strong moves 100% of the time.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

My first tourney of 2015!

Greetings, Fools! Things have been pretty chilled over the December holidays and hectic now that everything is back to school, work and varsity! I hope you're all well and getting enough Pokemon in to prepare for all the Premier events coming our way! I'm going to jump straight into this article and then I'll have some dates for you.

I played a Bronzong/Dialga/Aegislash/Cobalion deck at the League Challenge in Jo'burg a couple weekends back.

I initially wanted to try out Pyroar/Seismitoad or Mega Manectric/Virizion/Genesect, but everybody else was using theirs so I had to go with a Fairy.dec or the Industrial Revolution themed steel deck.

My deck is quite similar to what I used last time, but this time I had space for an extra Lysandre and even some Muscle Bands which helped the deck run more to my liking.

I ended the day on 3-2, only narrowly losing to Sheldon's Virizion/Genesect/Drifblim and Moeen's Yveltal/Garbodor. It was a decent result because once again I had to literally throw a deck together at the event - which is actually bad if you didn't know. It is easier to play if you know what your deck is capable of, if you are well aware of what's in it and you've gotten some testing done with it. We did have a really, really good attendance for a League Challenge with close to 20 players showing up. Good job, Pokeworx!

Here are the dates confirmed for some of our major tournaments so far:

Durban – January 31st
Cape Town Cavendish – February 7th
Johannesburg – February 7th
East London – February 21st
Cape Town Bellville - February 21st
Pretoria – February 28th
Port Elizabeth – March 14th

Johannesburg – March 28th
Durban – April 11th
Cape Town – April 25th

Times, venues and dates are subject to change so keep an eye out on, Pokemon TCG South Africa and any of the League's Facebook pages or websites. Also please note that these are only the dates confirmed for the TCG. The VGC side of things still have to be worked out and finalised.

That's all from me for now but do take note that we hope to get a bit more material out to you guys as we lead up to Cities and Regionals, so stay tuned! Peace out.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

VGC 15 is here!

Hey gang, it's been an incredibly long time since I last posted here, but I'm not gonna dwell on that, let's get straight into it!

So a new meta is upon us, and it certainly is an exciting one at that! Although I did enjoy he restricted format of VGC 14, having access to pretty much every Pokémon in the game allows for an even deeper, funner format

From what I've seen, there are definitely some favourites that having already reared their heads. I'm gonna list them (only a handful though) and let you know what I think about them. I've played a handful of matches recently on Showdown! with a team that I really like. So I'll also list that towards the end of the article.

From what I've seen: Rain teams are still quite popular, Intimidate is more rife than ever, Competitive/Defiant on a team are somewhat staple, and Trick Room performs better this format than last year.

Pokémon to look out for (at this infantile stage) in the meta

  • Landorus-Therian
This guy is such a powerhouse. With great offensive presence, Intimidate, great typing (with an immunity to two types it's tough to argue against that), and a movepool that is definitely sufficient, Landorus-T will be prevalent throughout the entire format.

  • Thundurus
Prankster Pokémon always stand out, especially ones that have decent bulk! With access to Thunder Wave, Swagger and Taunt, this guy has all the tools needed to slot into most teams.

  • Sylveon
Sylveon never really stood out for me last format, since it was kinda lacklustre... but this time around, it has access to Hyper Voice! 'So what?' I hear you say. Well, Hyper Voice is a stronger Dazzling Gleam for a Pixilate Sylveon. And it gets STAB too. So even though it get reduced to 75% damage (because of the double format) It gets a 30% boost which makes up for it. I don't believe Sylveon will be the Fairy of choice for the entire format, as I am of the opinion that people will slowly revert back to Gardevoir. We'll have to wait and see.

  • Mega Salamence
I personally don't like this Mega, but that doesn't mean it isn't good. It has incredible base stats, a very wide movepool, and an awesome ability in Intimidate before it Mega Evolves. The popularity will probably wane when the format becomes older, since I think it performs better as a regular Salamence.

  • Mega Metagross
MM has, just like Mega Salamence incredible base stats (being a  pseudo-legendary certainly has its benefits). It loses Clear Body, which is a great ability and allows for a consistent Pokémon on the field, when it Mega Evolves for Tough Claws. Giving up consistency for more power is always a personal matter to be decided. I prefer consistency, but some people LURVE MM. The need for a good, solid Steel type on a team is really important, as they have so many resistances. Metagross, in either form, is definitely a candidate for that slot.