Thursday, 17 September 2015

Battle Spot season 11 team

Hey Fools! Hope you're all doing well and have buckled down for the non-pentagon Pokémon in the newest doubles format (albeit not officially the format we'll be using for the 2015-16 year).

I wanted to share the team that I used to reach the highest rating I've achieved this year on BS Doubles.

It's not a terribly exciting team however...

I have good taste in Music. 13 is the MVP.

While 1801 isn't a terribly exciting rating or a very good one at that, I am personally really pleased with the achievement. It was my goal to climb up to 1800+ at least once this past season, and I'm really pleased I was able to accomplish that goal. Having focused so much on university this year has certainly hampered me in playing BS as much as I would have liked to. Here's a look at the team more in-depth look at the team: 

 Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Scrappy
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Power-Up Punch
- Sucker Punch
- Return

"God save the Queen|." Patriots the world over.

For those of you that have been been following the blog for a while would know that I have pretty much always advocated using an Adamant nature Kangaskhan over Jolly. I must admit, however, that using Jolly has been a lot of fun! Teamed up with Amoonguss allows for Powe-up Punch to do its thing and it really places loads of pressure on the opponent to deal with Mega Kangaskhan immediately. I certainly did not expect Kangaskhan to do so well at Worlds this year, since it has shared the spotlight with so many other Mega Pokémon throughout the season. I'm glad to see the queen is back babyyy.

Landorus-Therian @ Assault Vest
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 52 HP / 180 Atk / 12 Def / 12 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Knock Off
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Superpower

"Statistics prove that at least 11 VGC players have committed sukonbu due to Rock Slide flinches from Choice Scarf Landorus." website.

It would appear that I have come full circle with the item on Landorus-t. Having used a Careful, Assault Vest Landorus-t was an interesting choice, but Careful was definitely the wrong nature at the time. I can't remember if the EV spread does anything special, but it has worked out alright for me thus far.

Heatran @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA  / 252 Spe / 4 HP
- Protect
- Heat Wave
- Earth Power
- Substitute

"Put Heatran behind a Sub and it's GG." A Pokémon mastermind.

Heatran is a Pokémon that I've used quite often this season, and for good reason. It's easily one of the best Pokémon in the format, and can be run in several different ways too. This is not an terribly flashy Heatran, but it's the one I had on hand. I would recommend the use of someone else's spread as this one isn't terribly specialised.

Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 252 Atk / 12 Def / 4 SpD / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Protect
- Aqua Jet
- Knock Off
- Belly Drum

"Now Azumarill I can get into." Neckbeards on the Internet.

This is the first time I've ever used Azumarill, and the smile on my face certainly speaks volumes. It's such a good Pokémon. And here's why:

  • Azumarill has great typing, both from an offensive and defensive outlook. Especially defensively.
  • The opponent needs to take Azumarill into account during team preview, as a wrong lead could result in Azumarill do more damage to them than is warranted.
  • Belly Drum is an incredible move, and Aqua Jet at plus 6 is just outrageously good.
  • Azumarill can also function really well in Trick Room thanks to the priority of Aqua Jet. 
  • Have I mentioned how great Aqua Jet is, yet?
  • Great synergy with Azuma + Kanga or Amoonguss, as they can allow Belly Drum to activate under certain circumstances.

I thought about including some calcs, but when at +6, that would be both tedious and useless, as most everything gets OHKOed or pretty much ruined between Aqua Jet and Knock Off.

Speaking of Knock Off, I had previously used Frustration, but after losing to a Water Absorb Jellicent, I thought Knock would add more utility than a Normal-type attack.

Amoonguss @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Effect Spore
Level: 50
EVs: 140 HP / 188 Def / 180 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Rage Powder
- Protect
- Spore
- Giga Drain

"Spore is a really under utilised move imo." Every VGC fundi.

Guss is great for redirection, stopping Trick Room crap from taking place, and being an all-round pain in the bum (for the opponent that is). The HP investment reduces residual damage from Burn and Sandstorm.

Thundurus @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Prankster
Calm Nature
- Thunder Wave
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Taunt
- Thunder Wave

I think years from now we'll look back and be thankful for such a rich, diverse meta in the 2015 format. Truly this has been a wonderful year filled with surprises along the way. I think it can only get better from here on out. I don't know if the genies should be nerfed, or altogether removed. But what I do know is that they had the greatest impact on this format of all the Pokémon at our disposal regardless of what anyone tells you. When non-Megas are as good as, and in some cases better than, Mega Pokémon you know they're going to be incredibly impactful.

I look forward to seeing more news about this alleged "Pokémon Z" game. Hopefully we'll find a remedy to all our problems therein.

Thank you for reading!


Friday, 4 September 2015

Double-Mega / Double-Ghost / Double-Prankster team

Sableye @ Sablenite
Sassy nature
Ability: Prankster -> Magic Bounce
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk; 0 Speed

- Recover
- Will-O-Wisp
- Foul Play
- Swagger

The reason for Sassy nature is to out speed other a lot of other Pokémon in Trick Room. Will-O-Wisp on turn 1 and Mega Evolving can be quite effective, as the priority is still at +1 despite losing Prankster. Learning when to Mega Evolve can also be quite tricky due to the change in ability, and it took a fair bit of practice to get the hang of it.

Swagger and Foul Play are a good combination, and allows Sableye to put in work. It's quite effective against Cresselia, Aegislash and other support/special attacking Pokémon.

Magic Bounce is a wonderful ability and bounces back Swagger, Spore, Taunt and other such status moves. This can be most effectively used when the opponent is not expecting Sableye to Mega Evolve, as Gardevoir would be the more obvious candidate, and has targeted Sableye with a status move.

Sableye has interesting synergy with Gardevoir. Will-O-Wisp takes care of physical attackers which really put Gardevoir in a pinch, even with reasonable investment into Gardevoir's Defence. WOW helps alleviate that threat.


Thundurus @ Sitrus Berry
Calm nature
Ability: Prankster
EV spread withheld
IVs: 0 Atk

- Thunderbolt
- Thunder Wave
- Taunt
- Swagger

There are a few things that I'd like to mention with this Thundurus, namely: Swagger is chosen to allow Sableye's Foul Play to be more effective, and to obviously halt Pokémon in their tracks as they mindlessly hit themselves in confusion; Taunt is a move I use as often as possible on my teams, as shutting down opposing team setups is important to me.

The lack of Hidden Power Ice is noticeable, but Thunderbolt still does a good enough job to not miss it too much.


Amoonguss @ Rocky Helmet
Sassy nature
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 204 Def / 52 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk; 0 Speed

- Protect
- Rage Powder
- Giga Drain
- Spore

This Amoonguss spread opts for the Sassy nature to survive Modest Mega Gardevoir's Psychic most of the time (it's only OHKOed 12,5% of the time). The rest was moved into Defence to survive Kangaskhan's Double-Edge attack. Mega Salamence's Hyper Voice is a guaranteed 2HKO.

I did consider running Sunny Day instead of Protect (à la Shoma) to better handle rain. However, I feel that Protect was too invaluable, as it allows for stalling weather, Will-O-Wisp damage from Sableye to stack up and to avoid obvious attacks aimed at Amoonguss.


Gardevoir @ Gardevoirite
Modest nature
Ability: Trace -> Pixilate
EVs: 252 HP / 116 Def / 116 SpA / 4 SpD / 20 Speed
IVs: 0 Atk

- Trick Room
- Hyper Voice
- Protect
- Psychic

Gardevoir is a Mega I've used earlier in the season quite a bit (since I was practicing with Ray Rizzo's team while using it, I didn't post the team for obvious reasons). I enjoy using it and I'm by no means surprised that it had a strong showing at Worlds recently with two Top 8 placings.

Trace is a nifty ability and makes the most sense out of the three abilities at Gardevoir's disposal. Trace copying something like Intimidate or Flash Fire can really swing the odds in my favour in certain instances.

Hyper Voice does boat-loads of damage, and Psychic does super-effective damage against some Pokémon, like Crobat, that would otherwise resist Hyper Voice.

Trick Room adds another dimension to speed control and can allow my slower Pokémon, like Amoonguss and Sableye, to get the edge in a match. Trick Room on Gardevoir is by no means revolutionary, as anyone who's played VGC 15 would know that it's rather common.
Hidden Power Ground is another worthwhile option, since Heatran doesn't enjoy it all that much.

The Speed investment allows Gardevoir to out speed Bisharp and other base 70 speed Pokémon after Mega Evolving.

The biggest threats to Mega Gardevoir are Heatran, Mega Kangaskhan, Aegislash, Landorus and Excadrill. Accordingly, Landorus-T was a perfect choice for the next member of the team, since it handles those threats quite well.


Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Adamant nature
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 180 Atk / 252 Speed / 52 HP / 12 Def / 12 SpDef

- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- U-Turn
- Superpower

I did want to use a Modest Landorus-T, but that would have made the team too Special Attack orientated. So I opted to fall back on the Landorus-T I've used for most of the season.

As previously stated, Landorus does a good job covering Gardevoir's threats. It's truly the best Pokémon in the format.


Aegislash @ Weakness Policy
Sassy nature
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Atk / 4 Def / 68 SpA / 84 SpD
IVs: 0 Speed

- Wide Guard
- King's Shield
- Shadow Ball
- Sacred Sword

I'm quite chuffed with this Aegislash spread. For those of you who listened to my voice recording in the previous blog installment, you know that I was impressed with the Relaxed nature Aegislash used by the runner up at Worlds. Accordingly, I wanted to experiment with an Aegislash that had a natire other than Quiet or Modest.

Sassy nature seemed the more obvious choice to me than Relaxed. Most of the threats to Aegislash, barring Excadrill (which only has a 6,3% chance to OHKO with Life Orb-boosted Drill Run) and Landorus-T (EQ will always 2HKO), are special attackers such as Heatran, Hydreigon, Charizard Y. So I've EVed this Aegislash to survive most of their attacks.

Earth Power from 252 Modest Heatran is a 3HKO in Shield-Forme, and Weakness Policy-boosted (i.e. +2)  Sacred Sword will OKHO 252 HP Heatran in return, guaranteed.
It's a very similar story with Hydreigon.

Basically +2 Sacred Sword dishes out loads of damage, and offers pretty much perfect coverage in terms of always being able to deal neutral damage to targets. Against 212 HP, 44 Def Mega Kangaskhan, +2 Sacred Sword has a 75% chance to get the OHKO.

Charizard Y is quite problematic for Aegislash. If I play intelligently, Thundurus and Landorus will be able to deal with Charizard before it runs rampant.

With a Relaxed nature and 252 HP 156 Def investment, Aegislash can survive -1 EQ from Adamant Landorus-T while in Blade-Forme. It might be something worth looking into!


Looking at the team from a team preview perspective, I've purposefully placed Gardevoir and Amoonguss next to each other to draw attention away from the Mega Sableye. I could have opted for a Trick Room-less option and I think the team would still do well. Running four +SpDef boosting natures means that Intimidate from Landorus and Will-O-Wisp from Sableye are staple to allow the team success.

Having touched on the synergy of Swagger Thundurus and Foul Play Sableye, let me focus on something else. In a tight situation against Terrakion, use Thunder Wave followed up by WOW, since Lum Berry is a favourite on Terrakion. Quick Guard is generally a pain to deal with, but grey matter should be applied to work around this.

Dealing with Fighting types and Kangaskhan is made easy with the Sableye and Aegislash combination. Handling Perish Trap is also mindlessly easy with so many ways to work around it: Ghost-types being able to deal super-effective damage and switching out from Gengar and Gothitelle, Taunt from Thundurus and U-Turn from Landorus-T all work in my favour in beating that strategy.

The team as a whole works well, but it is obviously reliant on luck to clinch out of certain conditions. I feel that the match up against weather based teams is quite good, but only when selecting my leads carefully. Gardevoir does particularly well against rain teams, due to its naturally high Special Defence. Landorus and Thundurus can beat out Mega Charizard. And Sableye does well against Japan Sand.

Creating this team has been a lot of fun, but it isn’t very consistent with the current members. I need to fiddle around with the team members some more to get the balance right. Perhaps changing out Thundurus for Zapdos for more fire power, which the team certainly shorts.