Post Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:54 pm

2014 VG Autumn Regionals (Pleasanton, CA) Battle Report

Hello there! For those who don't already know, I participated in the 2014 VG Autumn Regional at Pleasanton, California last Sunday (13-Oct-2013), which was the first regionals that I have ever attended. Out of 109 players who attended that day, I made top 32 with a record of 4-3-0, one point short of making to the top cut to play in the quarter-finals (top 8).

As we all know Pokémon X and Y was released on 12-Oct, the 2014 Autumn Regionals was set to be the most brutal of all regionals as more serious players would be able to resist playing XY to participate in a one-day tournament which had to use the 'older' games (Pokémon Black 2 & White 2). Not to mention that the Pleasanton Regionals was the only regional taking place this week, which meant that players hungry for Championship Points would definitely make an appearance, to raise the standard of competition.


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The Team



Teambuilding History



This team came about earlier this year when I was randomly fooling around with R Inanimate's Team to test the Togekiss-Excadrill combo for one of our in-house tournaments. However, after playing with the team for a while, I figured that hyper-offence wasn't really my kind of playstyle because I kept Swords Dancing at the wrong times, DGDM always runs into Protect and everyone tells me I shouldn't Band my Bisharp if I didn't want to keep losing it to random fighting moves. But interestingly, I was quite comfortable with Togekiss, Breloom and Scarf-Tyranitar, and so when I returned to teambuilding later on, I kept these 3 in.

Later on I introduced Thundurus and Landorus-T to the team because Therian Formes are cool, the Japanese players use it, and after figuring out the right genie combo for the team, I introduced Heatran. So my team looked like



This was the team I playtested the most extensively and felt most comfortable with it. Soon after the 2013 International Challenge - June, hints of the team's weakness became apparent. Against hardcore Rain and Trick Room team, I had great difficulty due to the lack of speed control and poor resistance to Water + Ice, and switching Tyranitar in and out to change the weather wasn't going to be a viable solution. Ground types were also a problem because I didnt have anything else other than Breloom to hit them with (you can't just have Breloom be the solution to everything), and in particular Mamoswine, which Scarf variant was made popular after Arash's win at Worlds 2013.

Just when I was about to retire the team for XY, I realised at that time that I might be able to participate in the Pleasanton Regionals, and so decided to keep this as a team as an option. I tried to find a satisfactory team by modifying parts of this team, testing other teams, and was even offered the option of using Zong Ying's team, but alas with no proper connection to Nintendo WFC (for trading and Random Match) and with the limited amount of time I had, I decided I would just go ahead with the team I was more comfortable with, which will be described below.





Team Details

Notation
From its context, you should be able to tell which stat I'm referring to. Defensive stats is either HP/Def or HP/Sp.Def
[i.e. "survive a 252 Conkeldurr Mach Punch" (Atk), "KO a 252/0 Amoonguss with Fire Punch" (HP/Def)]

+/- behind a number indicates a boosting or inhibiting nature




Togekiss (F) @ Lum Berry [191/63/133/140/158/107]
Serene Grace, Calm (+Sp.Def, -Atk)
244 HP / 140 Def / 72 SDef / 52 Spd
Calm Nature
- Air Slash
- Tailwind
- Protect
- Follow Me

I easily got used to Togekiss's Follow Me support, which was kind of like how Analyse the Amoonguss (VGC11) usually works. Also, Air Slash flinch is awesome!

The moves, spread and nature were all R Inimate's Togekiss', except with more EVs shifted towards Def so that it can survive a +1 Ttar Rock Slide with 1 round of Sandstorm. Care was taken to ensure that it also survives 252+ Hydreigon Dragon Gem Draco Meteor (DGDM), which by extension will survive a 252 Timid Latios DGDM.

Lum Berry is an item I am experimenting with. While most of the time I would have preferred the Sitrus Berry boost, I gave the Sitrus to Gyarados.




Heatran (F) @ Chople Berry Leftovers [198/99/142/170/126/109]
Flash Fire, Modest (+Sp.Atk, -Atk)
252 HP / 128 Def / 36 SAtk / 92 Spd
- Heat Wave
- Earth Power
- Substitute
- Protect

This is the standard Leftovers-Substitute Heatran, but as fighting types become more and more prevalent in the post-Worlds metagame especially with Conkeldurr, I placed a Chople Berry there and EV'd it to survive things like 252+ Conkeldurr Fight Gem Hammer Arm or 2 Life Orb Mach Punches from 252+ Conkeldurr (after the berry activates). Unfortunately, I overlooked its Chople Berry when I was rearranging my team, so while it was meant to be the standard Lefty-Sub Heatran, it is still a standard Lefty-Sub Heatran.

109 Speed was supposed to outspeed Mold Breaker Excadrills, but I should have re EV'd it since Sand Rush Excadrills are still very common and I have a Ttar to help boost their speed.

Also, the best Amoonguss that can resist 2 Heat Waves and take 1 turn of Sandstorm damage is 252/212+




Breloom (M) @ Focus Sash [136/182/100/72/80/134]
Technician, Jolly (+Spd, -Sp.Atk)
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature
- Spore
- Mach Punch
- Bullet Seed
- Protect

Standard techni-loom. I was experimenting with the choice of item and thought Focus Sash was better as a lead before Ttar came in. I had also deliberated on the use of Breloom as compared to say Virizion or Amoonguss because its super frail and everyone will most probably carry Lum/Chesto on their team which made it super hard for me to decide if I should Spore something or not. However, I believe its speed, its threat to Spore and its Technician-boosted priority Mach Punch were necessary for this team to deal with things like Metagross, Politoed and Tyranitar.

Also, Bullet Seed has a weighted average of 3 hits. This means after taking probabilities into account, using Bullet Seed 100 times would have fired off roughly 300 seeds on average, although I usually count damages with 2.




Tyranitar (M) @ Choice Scarf [175/178/139/103/120/124 (186)]
Sand Stream, Jolly (+Spd, -Sp.Atk)
188 Atk / 68 Def / 252 Spd
- Rock Slide
- Crunch
- Ice Punch
- Low Kick

This is the standard Scarf Ttar but EV'd to survive 252+ Scizor Steel Gem Bullet Punch. Rock Slide is standard because its great for flinches when Ttar is really fast, while the other 3 moves are usually for coverage. Ice Punch because I have trouble with Ground types (to some extent Dragons), while Low Kick is great for Heatran, Mamoswine, Rhyperior, Terrakion (base 120), Magnezone, Hydreigon, Ferrothorn (base 100), and other Tyranitars if I can outspeed them.

On a side note, Ttar can also survive a 252+ Landorus-T Earthquake, 252+ Rhyperior Earthquake and 252+ Volcarona Bug Buzz in Sand.





Mamoswine @ Choice Band [201/175/100/81/80/135]
Thick Fat, Jolly (+Spd, -Sp.Atk)
124 HP / 200 Atk / 184 Spd
- Earthquake
- Icicle Spear
- Icicle Crash
- Ice Shard

If you can't beat them, join them! While my previous team had a glaring weakness to Ice-types and had trouble attacking Ground-types, Mamoswine seemed to cover this weakness very well. Also, given the prevalence of Thundurus- LandorusT combos everywhere, this acted as a kind of check, just in case.

The EV spread attempts to accomplish 2 things: outspeed and KO Breloom through Sash with Icicle Spear, and survive 252/+ Conkeldurr Iron Fist Life Orb Mach Punch.

I chose to Band Mamoswine given the Scarf variant's popularity so I could pull a bluff if I needed to, and I found out that Thundurus can never survive an Icicle Crash even if it were 252/252+. Amoonguss needed to be minimally 252/180 to survive, but I doubt most people would do that.

Ice Shard was chosen over Rock Slide because the rest of my team can handle Volcarona quite well, and given that I may need to switch Mamoswine out and back again, a power-boosted Ice Shard would help if Mamoswine switched in to a situation where it would not be able to normally outspeed anything.




Gyarados @ Sitrus Berry [202/145/137/72/127/101]
Intimidate, Impish (+Def, -Sp.Atk)
252 HP / 204 Def / 52 Sp.Def
- Waterfall
- Ice Fang
- Protect
- Thunder Wave

Gyarados was the last member of my team to be added which fulfiled the role of LandorusT. It had access to Intimidate, is immune to ground moves, and provided Water STAB for whatever intents and purposes I could think of, although it was the least tested member of my team. In which case, Gyarados was EV'd very defensively to survive 252 Latios DGDM and 3x of Ttar Rock Slide (without Intimidate).

Thunder Wave was chosen, hopefully, as a form of speed control and with the hope of incapacitating Cresselias that stayed too long on the field (as Zong Ying says: given the law of large numbers, Cresselia is bound to be paralyzed if it stays too long in the field).

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Registration
Registration was done in about 5 minutes and it was exceedingly fast in my opinion. Maybe I had pre-registered, but it could be because there weren't too many people.

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I recognised a few people on Nugget Bridge who were there, because you see them regularly in articles and reports. But as I was kind of nervous and shy at the same time I took the time to compose myself until the matches began.

The organization of the event was quite good: all the participants were seated at the tables at the start and the team of staff started to introduce themselves. For a moment I thought our first matches were paired alphabetically, but I realised that they just sat us on the tables to organise us. Not before long, the pairings were announced.


Battle Matchups

Round 1: BYE
There was a 1/109 chance I would get a BYE, which meant that I was already using a lot of luck at the start. Oh well. This gave me the opportunity to walk around too, to see what was going on. From observation, everyone's team looked really serious and intimidating, so different from our regular tournaments in SG. Indeed, it was living up to the expectations of being one of the hardest regionals in the season.

Not before long, the round 2 pairings were announced.

1-0-0


Round 2: Mike Suleski (NB: OmegaDonut)
I wasn't told Mike was OmegaDonut until the round ended, maybe thats why he was smiling when shiny Togekiss came out?



Led with:

I led with Mamoswine and Togekiss and Mike led with Politoed and Thundurus.

I can't remember most of the match except the following:
  • On turn 1, I feared opp. Thundurus Electric Gem OHKOing Togekiss, but I had to protect Mamoswine as it had a slight advantage over most of Mike's team. I used Follow Me, opp. Thundurus followed with a Thunder Wave, but Lum Berry cured Togekiss' paralysis. Politoed moves before Mamoswine with Hydro Pump, indicating that it had a Choice Scarf.
  • opp. Scrafty switches in to take an attack, revealing Intimidate and Leftovers. This allowed me to Spore Scrafty if I needed to.
  • I switched in Breloom to take an attack for Mamoswine, but Politoed's Hydro Pump missed.
  • opp. Thundurus Taunts Breloom, but Breloom went for an attack on its partner instead. opp. Thundurus takes down Togekiss with Thunderbolt on a subsequent turn.
  • Mike's last Pokémon was Amoonguss

2-0-0


Round 3: William Zeng


Led with:

I led with Gyarados and Breloom while William led with Tyranitar and Excadrill.

I also don't remember much about this battle, but here are the notes:
  • opp. Excadrill was on Sand Rush and had a Life Orb.
  • Breloom Mach Punched opp.Ttar, revealing its Chople Berry. It Protected on a subsequent turn.
  • Gyarados moved before opp.Ttar, which meant that Ttar did not invest EVs into Speed.
  • opp. Latios had Psychic, opp. Cresselia had Helping Hand, but those were the only moves I was able to figure out.
  • opp. Cresselia had a Sitrus Berry
  • For one of the last turns I had Ttar out as my last 2 and had to lock it in a move. I chose Low Kick because William's had Ttar benched and it was one of those moments where I Low Kicked a Cresselia :/

3-0-0


Round 4: Zach Droegkamp (NB: Zach)
Before the match I only knew him as Wai Yin's friend, and it seems like he picked up a Suicune. Was it due to Wai Yin? Hmm...


Led with:

I led with Mamoswine and Tyranitar while Zach led with Tyranitar and Cresselia.

I have the match recorded in my VS recorder, but I'm currently unable to upload it. Here's what happened:
  • Opening: opp. Ttar sets up the sandstorm. Since mine is scarfed, Zach's much be scarfed too.
  • T1: I switch out Ttar for Togekiss because I didn't want to risk the speed tie in case opp. Ttar Low Kicks. Zach was probably thinking the same and switched his out for opp. Amoonguss. Mamoswine Earthquakes, opp. Cresselia uses Psychic.
  • T2: I try to Earthquake again but opp. Amoonguss Protects. Mamoswine gets taken down by opp.Cresselia. Togekiss Air Slashes opp. Cresselia. I send in Ttar.
  • T3: opp. Amoonguss switches out for opp.Excadrill. For some reason I chose to Ice Punch, thinking Amoonguss would stay in. Opp. Cresselia uses Psychic on Togekiss, Togekiss Air Slashes opp. Cresselia.
  • T4: opp. Excadrill uses Substitute. Ttar Ice Punches opp. Cresselia, opp. Cresselia uses Psychic on Togekiss until it has 7HP. Togekiss Air Slashes Cresselia for the KO, but is taken down by Sandstorm instead. Zach sends in Amoonguss, I send in Breloom.
  • T5: opp. Excadrill protects behind the Sub as Breloom attempts to Mach Punch it. Ttar Ice Punches Excadrill but fail and opp. Amoonguss Spores Breloom.
  • T6: Ttar attempts to Ice Punch opp. Amoonguss, but opp. Amoonguss protects. Breloom remains asleep and Excadrill Earthquakes.
  • T7: Breloom remains asleep. opp. Excadrill Earthquakes (on Amoonguss as well) and KOs Ttar. opp.Amoonguss Giga Drains Breloom until it has 1HP and Breloom faints to Sandstorm.

After the round was over, I felt that I wasn't playing optimally. The fact that opp.Cresselia outspeeds Togekiss should be a cause for concern, but somehow I kept thinking of 'Air Slashing to flinch Cresselia'. However, Zach has shown to be quite unpredictable so I couldn't anticipate most of his moves. I shouldn't blame the timer, but I might like to add that the timer was running (never made moves so fast before!), so I was also a little pressurised to make moves because I was always thinking about the timer. I need more practise with the timer!

3-1-0


Round 5: Leonel De Anda


Led with:

I led with Togekiss and Mamoswine while Leonel led with Thundurus and Umbreon.

I don't remember most of the match, but here is roughly what happened
  • Thundurus tries to paralyze Togekiss with Thunder Wave, but Togekiss recovers with Lum Berry. Mamoswine uses Icicle Crash on opp.Thundurus, but opp.Thundurus survives with 1HP using a Focus Sash.
  • At one point, opp. Umbreon started Moonlighting and opp. Thundurus used Rain Dance.
  • opp. Suicune comes in once opp. Thundurus went down. It Surfed its partner and OHKO'd Mamoswine.
  • opp. Umbreon Helping Handed at some point
  • opp. Sharpedo came in when opp. Umbreon went down. It protected for Speed Boost.
  • Breloom OHKO'd opp. Sharpedo with Mach Punch.
  • The last few turns had Breloom up against opp.Suicune, which was asleep. If opp.Suicune woke up and (if it had and) Ice Beamed Breloom, it was more or less GG, but Breloom Bullet Seeded 4x for the OHKO.

That was intense.

4-1-0


Round 6: Kimo Nishimura (NB: TFC)
Its matches like these when you remember what Matthew once said: 'no team is supposed to be weak to rain'. Oops.


Led with:

I led with Togekiss and Breloom while Kimo led with Kingdra and Politoed.

Rain was one of my team's weakness, but with very little practice with rain with the post-Worlds' meta, I think I played very badly this round. In summary, this is all that happened:

  • opp. Kingdra uses Muddy Water all the time, unless threatened by Spore, to which it Protects
  • opp. Politoed switches out for opp. Scrafty. Intimidate activates.
  • opp. Scrafty switches out for opp. Politoed. Rain activates.

On T1, I made a bad call to switch Togekiss out for Ttar, which made me kept switching to recover a favourable position. On hindsight, Togekiss should have stayed in to Tailwind to regain the speed advantage rather than use Ttar to cancel the weather, but I was rather paranoid over 'Breloom getting KO'd by random Ice Beam' that i kept switching until i got 0-4'd. I didn't even get to see his last Pokémon.

4-2-0


Round 7: Gavin Michaels (NB: kingofmars)
Round 7 will go down as one of the worst matches I have ever lost in my battling career.


Led with:

So it happened like this:
  • Opening: I led with Gyarados and Mamoswine while my opponent led with Scizor and Thundurus. Opp. Scizor is intimidated.
  • T1: Gyarados Protects. Opp. Scizor Swords Dances to +1 and Mamoswine moves first, OHKO-ing opp. Thundurus with Icicle Crash. Opp. Rotom comes in.
  • Between T1 & T2: My opponent locks in his move first, while I am still thinking. Then, with 12 seconds on the clock, I was about to switch Gyarados out and still deciding what to do with Mamoswine, when my opponent suddenly says, 'double switch?' Somehow, I completely forgot what I was doing with Gyarados and Mamoswine. In a game like Pokémon where you had to consider what your opponent was doing, and in a tournament where you don't know your opponent, that was information your opponent was giving you. But then again, it could be a bait. What if its not true? What if it was true?
  • And then the timer starts yelling. A patch of red on the screen and I remember that I'm supposed to be making a move. What do you do when you have less than 10s to make a decision, and don't have time to think?

  • Instinct.

  • Don't trust strangers. Don't take things from people you don't know. DON'T SWITCH OUT.
  • And so, I set Gyarados and Mamoswine on a course for attack

  • T2: opp. Scizor Steel Gem Bullet Punch OHKOs Mamoswine, opp. RotomW Tbolt OHKOs RotomW. At this point my opponent was smiling.
  • Watching my opponent's exuberance was demoralising. How foolish I had been, indeed, to have stayed in. On hindsight, a switch would have been useful: Ttar could take opp. Rotom's Tbolt, and Gyarados could come in again to intimidate opp.Scizor.
  • T3: Breloom and Ttar comes in. Because I have to lock Ttar into a move and I don't know his last Pokémon (it could be Ttar), I chose Rock Slide. Regrettably, Crunch would have been a better choice because Breloom had an advantage over opp.Ttar. So, opp. Scizor protects, Rock Slide comes from Ttar and Breloom goes for the Bullet Seed on opp.RotomW, KOing it. Opp. Latios switches in.
  • T4: Breloom protects. Opp. Scizor Bullet Punches Ttar, but it survives and pulls a Rock Slide. Opp. Latios tries to Psyshock but fails.
  • T5: Because Ttar will be KO'd by the next Bullet Punch, my best play would be for Breloom to Mach Punch Scizor, and hope it crits and KOs. In this situation, opp. Latios would take out Breloom, but Ttar can continuously single-target Rock Slide and attempt to KO. So I go for the Mach Punch, it crits (!!!), but opp. Scizor survives with 1HP (!!!!), and Ttar and Breloom gets KO'd accordingly. (i should have Life Orbed my Breloom)

4-3-0


With that, the tournament ends for me and I place 28th.

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At the end of the event, I was feeling rather low, so I apologise to anyone reading this that felt I should have introduced myself during the event or afterwards. I think that to improve as a player I guess I definitely need to learn how to handle psychological pressure better, but for now, I shall end my report here.

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"Did you know that PIDOVE is DROOLING?"
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Trading!
BW Pokédex: 618 Obtained/ 623 Seen
Runner-up, Pokémon Black & White Elite Four Tournament 2011