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

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Recent teams - a little Japanese influence

Heya Fools! Sorry it's been so long, but life was happening and I had to focus on my studies for the past while. The good news is that I have now passed my Honours degree and start working next year Jan. Truly exciting.

Anyways, I'd like to post a few teams that I've been using recently, and you'll definitely be able to see the Japanese influence from the go. Some of these teams I have used at PCs and have always ended up in top 4 at least. Maybe consider using these teams at a PC near you and have a good time!

Rain + Persish Trap team








Ludicolo @ Assault Vest
Modest nature
159 - x  - 91 - 156 - 121 - 118
Swift Swim ability

- Scald
- Giga Drain
- Fake Out
- Ice Beam








Politoed @ Leftovers
Sassy nature
197 - x - 112 - 110 - 149 - 67
Drizzle ability

- Perish Song
- Encore
- Protect
- Scald








Gengar @ Gengarite
Timid nature
167 - x - 86 - 151 - 99 - 168
Levitate ability

- Disable
- Shadow Ball
- Protect
- Perish Song








Scrafty @ Lum Berry
Brave nature
172 - 143 - 141 - x - 142 - 56
Intimidate ability

- Fake Out
- Protect
- Drain Punch
- Knock Off








Gothitelle @ Sitrus Berry
Relaxed Nature
177 - x - 148 - 115 - 143 - 63
Shadow Tag ability

- Fake Tears
- Psychic
- Protect
- Trick Room

That's this Perish Trap team in a nutshell. Let me elaborate on a few of the choices. Fake Tears on Gothitelle was a nice choice, since there was only one physical attacker on the team. It allowed for some interesting one-off plays.

Lum Berry is ideal for Scrafters, since I needed Protect to stall out Perish turns, and it wasn't necessarily always expected. Scrafty was often times the glue of the team, and it handled Hydreigon and Aegislash, two Pokémon that do well against this team, really well.

Encore on Politoed was pretty cool, and often times Trick Room activating would allow for some hilarious Encore options. I could have used Hydro Pump instead of Scald, but then I wouldn't be using the best move in the entire game.

You've probably noticed that there are only 5 Pokémon in the above team, and that's because I was never sure on what should occupy the last slot.

In some matches I would not bring Mega Gengar, since one of the non-Megas could fare better in that instance.


I used the above team for most of the Pure Fool's Gold matches, and it had a pretty interesting record, only losing to Izak in the fourth round. It was a great team to learn how to use, and my favourite setup was to lead with Poli and Ludi and then immediately switch in Gothitelle and use Perish Song with Poli. Many opponents were caught off guard by this cheap strategy.

----

The next team is one I used at a Premier Challenge a while back. I haven't innovated it in any way from the original team, but I will share the sets.







Smeargle @ Mental Herb
Own Tempo
Sassy nature
155 - 25 - 70 - 40 - 99 - 72

- Dark Void
- King's Shield
- Fake Out
- Follow Me








Clefable @ Kee Berry
Cute Charm
Bold nature
201 - x - 127 - 115 - 110 - 91

- Moonblast
- Minimise
- Cosmic Power
- Calm Mind








Xatu @ Focus Sash
Magic Bounce
Relaxed nature
172 - 80 - 134 - 115 - 91 - 90

- Trick Room
- Simple Beam
- Protect
- Ally Switch








Chandelure @ Leftovers
Flash Fire
Bold nature
167 - x - 156 - 165 - 111 - 91

- Heat Wave
- Minimise
- Acid Armour
- Calm Mind








Slowbro @ Nite
Oblivious
Sassy nature
202 - x - 162 - 120 - 111 - 31

- Psych Up
- Scald
- Psychic / Ice Beam
- Slack Off








Audino @ Sitrus Berry
Healer
Relaxed nature
210 - x - 151 - 80 - 107 - 49

- Trick Room
- Simple Beam
- Heal Pulse
- Protect

Well okay in briefly summarising the game plan: lead Smeargle and Xatu. Have Smeargle use Fake Out and Xatu Trick Room. On the second turn you should wither Dark Void, or switch Clefable/Chandelure into Smeargle's slot and have Xatu use Simple on the Pokémon that's just switched in. Proceed to use Minimise and other stat boosts until Xatu gets KOd and Slowbro switches in. Use Psych Up and sweep accordingly :P

This team was super cheese, but quite hilarious to use too. In my personal experience, it's better to choose Clefable over Chandelure.

The original post can be found here.

Well, Fools, that's all for now, and thanks for taking the time to read this.

Steve and I have recently attended two Premier Challenges and will post our teams up soon enough.

- Jayhonas