Post Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:54 pm

Wai Yin's VGC 2013 Team's Analysis [Top 41 Worlds]

"The team actually works?" - Low Kit Meng, Singapore Elite 4 2012

So uh. People are kinda forcing me to write a report about what happened at Worlds 13 since this team (somehow) managed to clear LCQ, a feat that we Singaporeans have never achieved before, and got into Worlds. Hilariously, said team originally started off as a joke team.

When I first started training for VGC 13, I actually did try to build a standard team. I tried DGDM Latios, Wolfe's Sub-Heatran, Gastrodon, Rotom-W, Swagger Lum Metagross, all the standard things- to no avail. I even dabbled in some really silly Trick Room and Tailwind, all to... less than stellar results. (I did develop a love for bonemeranging Rotom-W and Thundurus/Zapdos under Gravity after a while though, so there was that.) It was then that I realized that I absolutely suck at playing anything resembling standard nugget bridge play, and that none of the teams I built ever reached the same heights of my VGC 12 team online. So it was then I decided to just cook up this really silly idea.

<---- Really Silly Idea

Yes, my original team was meant to support this purple bat thing.

The original team:


Originally the idea was to just abuse Crobat for all it's worth, with the fastest Acrobatics in the game as well as access to Super Fang to take down those annoying bulky pokes (yes, I'm looking at you, Thundurus, Cresselia). Heatran was supposed to be the generic steel and Garchomp was there for dragon support because the one thing I learned was that I absolutely love dragon pokes on my team. It was here that I decided to toss in bulky CM Suicune just because I could. Yes, this team was never actually meant to win anything. Especially since Suicune had no Protect and Garchomp was happily EQing his own team mates.

But then it did. And then Low Kit Meng, my beloved brother and also Elite Four of Singapore, facepalmed and told me if I actually wanted to make a joke team, at least I should put in some effort.

So then, after his suggestions, it became like this:


We never expected it to work. But then it did. It so terrifyingly did.

Team breakdown:

Trowa
Tornadus@Flying Gem
Jolly, Defiant, 252 Attack/4 HP/252 Speed
Taunt
Acrobatics
Superpower
Protect

Tornadus lacks Crobat's speed, but with base 111 speed, it still outpaces the majority of the metagame. Packing Defiant meant that I could abuse intimidates from Hitmontops/Scraftys/Random Gyaradoses and Salamences, or chase them away entirely- something that Crobat could never hope to do- opening the field for Excadrill to nail Rotom-Ws or Thunduruses, the two things I was worried about for stopping Suicune. Tornadus could also support that pairing by acrobatics-ing the things usually meant to stop excadrill/suicune (eg. breloom). At max attack and equipped with Flying Gem, it's Acrobatics packs enough power to dent just about everything that comes in, as well as taking out Latioses, Garchomps, Volcaronas, and most of what the metagame considered 'fast'. Superpower KOs non-chople TTar right off and Heatran after +1 from defiant boost, and Taunt shuts down most support moves(eg. TWave) since people have started straying away from Mental Herb and going with Leftovers/Lum/whatever it is that they're using for their support pokemon. It's frail, but it still can take unstab Ice Beams, but most of the time I focus on trying to OHKO my opponents before they even touch me.


Sleipnir
Suicune@Chesto Berry
Bold, Pressure, 255 HP/255 Def
Calm Mind
Scald
Ice Beam
Rest

The only pokemon I actually trained myself (evident by the 255/255 EV spreads because I'm lazy), Suicune has always been one of my favourite pokemon. With 100/115/115 defenses, even without Sp.Def investment, this thing is capable of surviving Rotom-W's unboosted Thunderbolt and Timid Latios's DGDM- a lesson I learned from VGC 12. However, unlike my previous Modest Tailwind Suicune, I decided to model this guy after the one Suicune I had seen online and had trouble dealing with- the bulky CM set. As a singles player, I used bulky CM Reuniclus during the B/W metagame, so the thought of carrying over the same idea to doubles appealed to me. Because I had no idea how to run bulky CM cune, I drew up on my experience using Reuni back in B/W singles OU two years ago and went with bold max def and max hp. Scald lacked the same damage output as Hydro Pump, but with 100% acc and 30% chance of burning, it was a reasonable tradeoff. Ice Beam was to KO stuff like Thundurus, Zapdos, and the dragons once I got my CMs up, and Rest and CM are self-explanatory. With Rest, I didn't have to worry so much about T-wave, which was being thrown around the entire metagame, and gave me the chance to keep Suicune on the field for a bit longer to auto-ragepowder or distract my opponents, leaving my other members out to go on the offensive. Admittedly the MVP of my team.


Lugh
Latios@Dragon Gem
Timid, Levitate, 252 Sp.Attack/4 HP/ 252 Speed
Draco Meteor
Protect
Substitute
Psyshock

So. Silly thing. This guy has HP Fire IVs, so it will never ever outspeed opposing Latioses, which is why Tornadus was there to begin with. Originally it ran HP Fire, until Low Kit Meng convinced me that Substitute was far more useful against stuff like Breloom, or to abuse the protects that Latios tends to invoke from the opposition. I didn't think of getting another Latios because at least the knowledge that you will never outspeed opposing Latioses forces you to play a bit more conservatively rather than trying to flip a coin during a speed tie. Your typical Latios, spamming powerful attacks, with Substitute to hide away from annoying Bisharp Sucker Punches. It replaced Garchomp as my dragon type because it dealt a whole lot more damage, and even a max HP Metagross wouldn't want to have half of it's HP gone taking a DGDM while facing my team. Also because it wouldn't earthquake its own teammates. Psyshock was because it worked better against Blisseys or something stupid like that. Yes, I have weird reasons for dumping things on my team.


Croquette
Excadrill@Ground Gem
Adamant, Mold Breaker, 252 Attack/4HP/252 Speed
Drill Run
Protect
Rock Slide
X-Scissor

Kit Meng suggested Excadrill as a replacement for Garchomp and Heatran because a) it has a single-target ground attack, b) it's also a steel type, and c) it gets Mold Breaker. Although nowhere as bulky as Metagross or Heatran, Excadrill turned out to be quite an anti-meta pokemon. At base 88 speed, it outspeeds both Rotom-W and Metagross. Although Drill Run lacked the immediate power to OHKO Max HP Rotom or Metagross, boosted with Ground Gem, it easily KOs two of the most popular pokemon in the metagame. Added to that, its immunity to Thunder Wave made it quite an excellent Thundurus counter, since most Thundurus don't run speed and while HP Ice/Grass Knot is a 2hko on me, Rock Slide is a 2hko on them and I outspeed them if they're running the bulky set. With 135 base attack, Ground Gem Drill Run also makes a decent physical move to fall back on when I have nothing else to do, and while it takes up to 35% from Dark Gem Sucker Punch from Bisharp, it still outspeeds and KOs that as long as TR is not up. X-Scissor is just because I really hate Cresselias and want to make them suffer with everything I have. Unfortunately, X-Scissor never seems to crit against them.


Mooncake
Cresselia@Leftovers
Calm, Levitate, 252 HP/28 Sp.Attack/228 Sp.Def
Sunny Day
Trick Room
Icy Wind
Psyshock

This Cresselia was originally meant for another team, a long time ago. Max special defense because I hate Volcarona and because if everyone's expecting Cresselias that can tank physical hits to survive Scizor's Bug Gem Bug Bite or something, sp.def Cress could prove more threatening. 28 Sp. Attack to KO Hitmontop after the stat drops from Close Combat, and Icy Wind for speed Control. Sunny Day to counter opposing weather (EAT DRACO METEOR, TYRANITARRR, EAT 50% REDUCTION TO YOUR WATER ATTACKS, POLITOEDD), and Leftovers because I heard somewhere that Leftovers on Cresselia worked out better for long battles. Unfortunately, apart for fighting rain teams, I rarely brought Cresselia along, although the mind games that the presence of Cresselia invokes on team preview prompts people to bring their Cresselia counters (Ttar, Bisharp, Liepard, Scrafty)- all of which made it easier for me to predict them. Trick Room existed to reverse opposing Trick Room, or as a last minute game thing when Suicune is outsped by the entirety of his foes and needs speed support. Cresselia (surprisingly) was the one member I was never fully comfortable with using, but I had no idea what else to do with the slot, especially since it helped with speed control and Sunny Day support.


Chips
Scrafty@Chople Berry
Adamant, Intimidate, (embarrassingly, I only know his EV spread as the Latios DGDM surviving adamant EV spread)
Drain Punch
Detect
Crunch
Fake Out

Nicknamed the 'redheaded stepchild of the team', Scrafty doesn't pack the same offensive presence as the others, but where he lacks power, he makes up for it in utility. I came into the metagame learning that 'fake out is and always will be important if only for the pressure of it' and now that Scrafty gets intimidate in B2W2, I get to use this guy instead of Hitmontop. With Chople Berry, this guy won't go down easily from fighting attacks, allowing me to switch him back for another intimidate or to waste one turn of my opponent's time. Intimidate makes it harder for physical attackers to get through Suicune, and allows some of my ice-weak pokemon to survive Ice Punches from Weaviles or some other silly physical ice attacks like that. Although he is easily the slowest member of my team and plays more of a support role, his very presence threatens things that would happily wreak havok on my team (I'm looking at you, Ttar) and with the investment in special defense, he can survive one turn against Latios or rain-boosted surfs from rain teams. He felt iffy for the longest time, but the reason I kept him on was because Cresselia could easily run rampant through my team if I went with Hitmontop or another Fake Outer- and I'm old school and like my Fake Out pressure.


Partners:



One of my favourite leads, Latios-Tornadus devastates most of the non-scarfed meta leads. Since most people wouldn't want to bring their Intimidators (and most likely their fake outers), this lead easily gains control of the offensive momentum as long as there are no steels or scarfers in their lead. Flying Gem Acrobatics and DGDM can OHKO certain Cresselias, and if I predict a double protect or a scouting turn, it's easy for Latios to get a Substitute up in this situation, carrying over the momentum to the next turn.



Tornadus and Excadrill work swimmingly together. Most steels/electric pokemon that resist Tornadus's Acrobatics can't happily take on Excadrill, and with intimidate users scared off from Defiant, Excadrill can spam its Ground Gem Drill Run on something or other on turn 1 or spam Rock Slide or something. Tornadus can also absorb the +1 intimidate from Landorus-T and KO back with Acrobatics. Unless it's scarfed or sashed or something.



My weather leads, and easily one of my safest. With Sunny Day, Cresselia can easily steal the weather advantage away from Politoed or TTar, and with Trick Room, this could also double as a TR lead. Although Scrafty doesn't do much damage on its own, these two can whittle down the opponent for the rest of my team to take on if they fall. Intimidate is fun too.



Strangely enough, despite Suicune being my MVP, these three are the ones that function the best as my offensive core. Absorbing each other's weaknesses, they can switch around and still maintain offensive momentum, or avenge their former comrades with powerful, devastating attacks.

Final Thoughts:

The first time I 'tested' out this team was during the last international wifi tournament. Unfortunately, Tornadus wasn't available at that time so I was forced to use Crobat... which cost me more than a few matches. It was then when I decided to switch from an all-out-attacking Scrafty to the slightly more defensive spreads because of its survivability, but to be honest, I didn't actually think that the team would work.

I never expected to go as far as I did. After finishing at number 26th last year in the local June tournaments and constant attempts to ladder always ending in failure, I had thought that my time in Pokemon was up, and to be honest, the only reason why I went to Worlds and LCQ was more of a "why not, it's a once in a lifetime gig", especially since I'm not even sure whether I can make it to another LCQ or Worlds ever again. I know I didn't do as well in Worlds as I could have (2-4, I couldn't even split even?!), and perhaps that could be partially due to exhaustion and my lack of experience fighting the European metagame (I know it's noobish, but I really didn't even expect to see Zapdos or Suicune or Tornadus), but I know that the experience has taught me many valuable things- that I need to have more confidence in my abilities and that sometimes, venturing off the beaten track isn't a bad thing. It's obvious that I probably need to spend more time thinking about how to make better meta-calls and dealing with them, and if anything, I regret learning only now that I had the capability of going further than I had originally thought.

Still, I take some measure of pride in my achievement. The experience just re-affirmed to me one of the first things I learnt about pokemon: that having a good team, having good movesets, EVs, IVs, strategies- all of that is only as good as the trainer himself.

Before I close, I would like to thank my teachers- my brother Kit Meng, Matthew, Zong Ying- and my friends/sparring partners Eugene, Isaac, Nelson, Shawn, Justin, Shang, Wesley, Theo, Max, and my family, who have been wholly supportive of my silly endeavour to sidetrack and go off to play a pokemon competition that nobody ever expected for me to enter.