Sunday, 28 June 2015

June International Challenge

Hey Fools! So I've just finished playing all 30 of my IC matches. I didn't do well at all, but I'm not disheartened by that. I didn't go in with the best team possible, and I used a few Pokémon that I wasn't terribly familiar with. But all in all, I had a great time haxxing opponents, getting haxed, and having to play two matches to timers because some people are just stubborn like that! Hahahah.

My most memorable experiences were: using Swagger on a Contrary Malamar, getting DCd immediately against an opponent before I could even take down his name (thankfully the only DC of the tourney), having Ludicolo beat out several Milotic out of sheer hatred for them, and winning a couple games thanks to Lando-T flinches. I can't remember my exact record, but it was something like 18-12. Quite disappointing to be honest, but in my defence I was a little rusty.

So without further chit-chat, here's the team I used to get just over 1610 rating:

There's nothing terribly special about this team. But there are a few things I'd like to comment on. Firstly, I used Imprison on Gardevoir, which was really cool. I caught a lot of Sylveon and opposing Mega Gardevoir off guard with this move. I also used the ever interesting 'DUAL-MEGA', which I don't regret doing, but I do regret using Metagross over Kangaskhan. Arcanine was incredibly lacklustre, and against the hordes of Milotic I faced, I could hardly ever bring the darn dog.

Here's the interesting part of this article. I recorded all the Pokémon that I faced, and made a spreadsheet, as accountants are wont, so I could arrive at some conclusions. All the 'bad' / irregular Pokémon I put in italics. All the Pokémon that I played against over 3 times are in bold. I hope this makes things clearer! :) I'll just include a screenshot of the top 10 for your convenience.

Google Docs file here

So, as we can see from the spreadsheet, the obvious candidates for 'best Pokémon in the format' are pretty much what one would expect.

I think Thundurus not making this list can be explained by the fact that Zapdos performs a similar (note, not the same) role as Thundy, and thus took away from the frequency with which I encountered that Pokémon.

Landorus-T can be argued to be one of the three best Pokémon in the format, if not the best. So, no-one's surprised to see it there.

What did initially surprise me is the fact that Gardevoir made the top ten. Obviously this is taken from a really small sample of 180 Pokémon that forms a MUCH larger population, but I think the rise in popularity can be attributed to a few reasons.

Gardevoir did really well in Japan, nabbing 2nd place as well as a top 4 spot (amongst many other well placing teams!); Ray Rizzo used it on his channel which gave it a lot of well deserved attention. And I think players are realising how good Pixilate Hyper Voice can be!

Milotic also made it in the top 10, and I'm surprised it hadn't gained such huge popularity earlier. It is such a good bulky Water-type with an incredible ability in Competitive,  speed control Icy Wind, access to interesting moves like Recover + LightScreen + Confuse Ray etc., and is pretty much one of the most consistent ways to deal with Landorus-T. I think players should start using Rotom-W more, as it can also counter Lando-T quite well, and beats Milotic too.

Kangaskhan and Charizard aren't a huge surprise, as they are honestly some of the best Mega Pokémon to choose from. I am surprised that I didn't come across more Salamence. Albeit I was fairly low on the ladder, lol, and I think some of the better players (relative to my opponents and myself) would have used it, so again we need to be reminded that this is only a sample of a much larger population and isn't necessarily the most comprehensivve representation of what's actually going on.

Well, Fools, I hope you've found this interesting! Let me know if you like the data and the analysis that accompanied it. To my U.S. friends: good luck for your Nationals!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Results from South African Nationals

Hey Fools! With our VGC Nationals come and gone, we got to see who's the best in our country for the this year. It's really exciting to see that Johannes Botma, 2nd place 2014, was able to prove that he is a very consistent and capable player by winning Nationals this year. I'm sure you're all keen to see the top 8 teams, so let's jump right into it:

1st place: Johannes Botma

 2nd: Kevin Lopes

3rd: Navishkar Deodatu


 4th: Yazied Adams

5th: Doran Crasson

6th: Michael O'Kennedy

7th: Clive Lai

8th: Dale Schwikkard

Well, there we have it folks! I'm really pleased to see the teams look a bit more serious this year than they did last year. Perhaps it's because our metagame is officially over out of it's baby-phase and into the toddler-phase.

If you'll permit me, I'd like to give my thoughts on the Pokémon and teams that appeared...