Post Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:04 pm

Elite Four Challenge 2014 Top 8: End of Champion Reign

Greetings readers!

Once again, I’m back to write another report on my attempt at defending the Champion title for the Elite Four Challenge 2014. Unlike when I won the title in 2012, army commitments meant I didn’t really have the time to practice and play test. As a result, I had to rely on my experience with this team in hopes of defending my title. Without further ado, let’s get on to the team building process!

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Venusaur
Item: Venusaurite
Nature: Calm Modest
Ability: Chlorophyll ---> Thick Fat
EVs: 252 HP, 172 Def, 20 Sp.Atk, 60 Sp.Def, 4 Spe 156 HP, 4 Def, 228 Sp.Atk, 28 Sp.Def, 92 Spe

Protect
Leech Seed Sleep Powder
Giga Drain
Sludge Bomb

Back in early VGC 2014 era, Mega Venusaur wasn’t really as popular as it is now. I decided to give it a try and realized that it has a lot of potential. I first started using Mega Venusaur with a bulky spread to ensure it is able to survive an Adamant Life Orb Talonflame’s Brave Bird 93.7% of the time and survive a Sun boosted Overheat from a Modest Mega Charizard Y 93.7% of the time. However, due to the underwhelming damage output, I decided to change to an offensive set. Giga Drain is able to 2HKO Calm 252 HP, 252 Sp.Def Rotom-W even after Sitrus Berry recovery and Sludge Bomb is able to OHKO a 4 HP Gardevoir. With some practice, I noticed that Giga Drain was able to handle most of the recovery I needed and I rarely used Leech Seed so I dropped it and ran Sleep Powder instead. Despite having a worrying 75% accuracy, the ability to take out an opponent’s Pokemon for at least a turn was well worth the risk. Needless to say, Mega Venusaur became the star of my team.

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Evrae the Gyarados
Item: Lum Berry
Nature: Adamant
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 100 HP, 148 Atk, 84 Def, 84 Sp.Def, 92 Spe

Protect
Taunt
Waterfall
Ice Fang

Mega Venusaur’s partner in crime, Gyarados, provides Intimidate support to further boost Mega Venusaur’s bulk by dropping their physical offense and helps to threaten Talonflame which easily OHKO Mega Venusaur with Brave Bird. This spread allows Gyarados to take a Parental Bond Return from an Adamant Kangaskhan. Gyarados is also able to take 3 Dragon Claws from Garchomp and 4 spread Rock Slides from Garchomp after an Intimidate(3 Rock Slides if there’s no Attack drop). The Sp.Def investment allows Gyarados to take 3 Giga Drain from a Modest Mega Venusaur, while Modest Mega Charizard Y only has 14.1% chance to 2HKO Gyarados with Solar Beam. 92 Speed EVs were given to Gyarados to ensure he’s faster than my Mega Venusaur by one point. This was to allow Mega Venusaur to identify whether Gyarados would be faster than Rotom-H so I could safely use Waterfall to kill 252 HP Rotom-H after the residual damage from Mega Venusaur’s Sludge Bomb. The rest of the EVs go to Attack to give him some offensive presence. I specifically ran Taunt and Lum Berry on Gyarados just to stop Meowstic and Smeargle(screw Dark Void) from becoming a nuisance.

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StreetShark the Garchomp
Item: Rock Helmet
Nature: Jolly
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 4 HP, 252 Atk, 252 Spe

Protect
Rock Slide
Dragon Claw
Earthquake

There’s nothing much to say about Garchomp. He fits pretty well in almost any team. With Rocky Helmet and Rough Skin, any Pokemon that uses physical contact attacks will receive a huge chip damage and its undoubtedly one of my best method to deal with Mega Kangaskhan as more than half of her HP will be gone if she ever tries to Fake Out(or attack) Garchomp. To ensure Garchomp does not take too much damage from Mega Kangaskhan’s assault, however, Gyarados’ Intimidate support is needed. The moveset is the standard Garchomp moveset so I don’t feel the need to explain much. Garchomp is also there to threaten Pokemon that threaten Mega Venusaur which includes Mega Charizard Y, Talonflame and Aegislash.

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Caladbolg the Aegislash
Item: Leftovers
Nature: Quiet
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP, 252 Sp.Atk, 4 Sp.Def
IVs: 0 Spe

King’s Shield
Shadow Ball
Flash Cannon
Substitute

Mega Venusaur’s next greatest bane is Gardevoir which easily OHKOs him with Choice Specs boosted Psychic. With Choice Specs Gardevoir becoming more popular to counter the rise in Mega Venusaur, I decided to use Aegislash as my way of handling Gardevoir. 252 Sp.Atk ensures OHKO on 4 HP Gardevoir with Flash Cannon and Shadow Ball. Substitute is there to protect Aegislash from Sucker Punch which is Mega Kangaskhan’s only way of hitting Aegislash. Combined with King’s Shield and Leftovers, Aegislash is able to recover any loss health from Substitute. The natural bulk from Aegislash’s Shield Forme sometimes also allowed Substitute to take a hit or two. With Quiet Nature and 0 Speed IV, Aegislash functions pretty well in Trick Room and ensures that my team isn’t Trick Room weak. These four Pokemon became the core of my team.

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Rotom-H
Item: Sitrus Berry
Nature: Modest
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 244 HP, 116 Def, 140 Sp.Atk, 4 Sp.Def, 4 Spe

Protect
Overheat
Thunderbolt
Wil-O-Wisp

I always feel that having a Fire Pokemon is always a must on my team. Yet, most Fire Pokemon in the Kalos Dex are pretty underwhelming. Rotom-H and Mega Charizard X/Y(and to a certain extent, Pyroar) are the only consistent ones. I did try Mega Charizard X/Y in my team but I didn’t really like the idea of two Mega Pokemon so I decided to use Rotom-H. 244 HP gives Rotom-H an even number HP to allow Rotom-H to eat its Sitrus Berry after getting hit by a Super Fang and with 116 Def, Rotom-H is able to take Parental Bond Return from Mega Kangaskhan. With 140 Sp.Atk, Overheat will always deplete opposing Aegislash’s health to the point where it can’t create a Substitute assuming it has only 252 HP, 4 Sp.Def. Overheat also easily kills(if not, nuke) Mega Mawile and Amoonguss. Will-O-Wisp is there to burn physical attackers to hinder their physical attack and it’s usually used on Mega Mawile and Mega Kangaskhan.

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Mammuthus the Mamoswine
Item: Choice Scarf
Nature: Adamant
Ability: Thick Fat
EVs: 100 HP, 172 Atk, 12 Def, 36 Sp.Def, 164 Spe

Icicle Spear
Icicle Crash
Stone Edge
Earthquake

I had a lot of trouble selecting my last member of the team. I needed a Pokemon that can easily eliminate Dragons. I tested stuff like Greninja, Goodra, Mr. Mime, Granbull, Wigglytuff and Gardevoir and decided to pick Mamoswine in the end. Mamoswine is a niche pick in my team and he’s rarely used. I ran Stone Edge solely because of wanting to eliminate opposing Mega Charizard Y with Aerodactyl as its ally, protecting Charizard Y from Rock Slide with Wide Guard. With 172 Atk EVs, Mamoswine guarantees a KO on Garchomp with 2 hits Icicle Spear at -1, guarantees a KO on Salamence with Icicle Crash at -1, guarantees a KO on Mega Charizard Y with Stone Edge at -1. The amount of HP and Def EVs invested allows it to take a Parental Bond Return from Mega Kangaskhan. 164 Speed EVs allow Mamoswine to outspeed a max speed Mega Lucario(which I had a bit of trouble with) to hit him with Earthquake. The remaining EVs go to Sp.Def to salvage his poor Sp.Def stat.

War Story!
Round 1: vs Goutham

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Match 1(Replay code: J5UW-WWWW-WWW8-9AMX):

At a glance, it’s pretty obvious that his team is a Trick Room team and expected his Kangaskhan to carry Hammer Arm. He led with Gourgeist and Kangaskhan while I predicted his leads and led with Garchomp and Aegislash. He made a very smart move by making use of Scrappy and used Fake Out on Aegislash without mega evolving his Kangaskhan. As I was predicting that he would use Fake Out on Garchomp, I didn’t use Protect and went for a Rock Slide hoping for a flinch on Gourgeist which didn’t happen and allow it to setup Trick Room.

He mega evolved his Kangaskhan this turn and went for a Sucker Punch on Aegislash, allowing the sword Pokemon to set up a Substitute for free while Gourgeist burned my Garchomp with Will-O-Wisp. Garchomp went for a Dragon Claw on Gourgeist and dealt very little damage. The next few turn, he predicted my moves pretty well and gained himself quite a lot of momentum while Trick Room was still up.

The turn when Mega Venusaur’s Sleep Powder missed Mega Kangaskhan cost me the match as he was able to eliminate my Mega Venusaur on that turn. I have no way to deal with his Clawitzer which was suspected to be holding Choice Specs due to the massive amount of damage he dealt on my Venusaur with Dark Pulse. He won this match eventually.
Result: 0-1

Match 2(Replay code: BPYW-WWWW-WWW8-9AM6):

I had a pretty tough time when playing this match as I was pretty handicapped by bringing in Aegislash again and realized that he had a lot of Dark-type moves in his arsenal. Aegislash became a free kill for him. However, I’m able to turn this match over to my advantage when Gyarados Ice Fang froze his Hydreigon and KO’ed his Clawitzer with Giga Drain. When Hydreigon is down, he sent out Honchkrow and took a Rock Slide from Garchomp. Honchkrow went for a Brave Bird on my Garchomp which KO’ed it while KO’ing himself thanks to Rough Skin, Rocky Helmet and recoil damage. He was left with Mega Kangaskhan with pretty low health and I ended the match with a Waterfall from my Gyarados.
Result: 1-1

Match 3(Replay code: ZXQG-WWWW-WWW8-9AM8):

I’d learned my lesson and told myself not to bring Aegislash this time. Right from the start, I gain the advantage by putting Kangaskhan to sleep with Venusaur’s Sleep Powder while she went for a Fake Out on Gyarados. Kangaskhan switched out to Hydreigon which I double targeted with Sludge Bomb and Waterfall and took quite a bit of damage. It was then strange of him to go for a Will-O-Wisp on my Gyarados even though he Frisked and found a Lum Berry on it. Hydreigon was soon taken down by another Sludge Bomb and sent out Clawitzer next. Clawitzer survived the Giga Drain with a bit of health left and he switched out to Kangaskhan later after KO’ing my Gyarados with Dark Pulse. I had quite a bit of trouble with his Gourgeist and decided to leave it alone for a moment and get rid of his Kangaskhan first. At some point, Mega Kangaskhan went for a Double Edge on my Mega Venusaur which he survived and the Kangaskhan KO’ed herself with the recoil damage. This is when I knew the game is mine. Mega Venusaur decimated Gourgeist with Sludge Bomb and he was left with a weakened Clawitzer and he forfeited the match.
Result: 2-1

Round 2: vs Gavin Thio

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Match 1(Replay Code: 82VW-WWWW-WWW8-9AME):

Well, another Trick Room team again. He led with Meowstic and Chandelure. I was expecting his Chandelure to use Trick Room and Taunted his Chandelure which he fired off a Shadow Ball on my Garchomp(and crit) and setup Trick Room with his Meowstic. On that turn Garchomp used Rock Slide in hopes to flinch and prevent Trick Room from going up. Meowstic started Charming my Gyarados and Taunt revealed that Meowstic was carrying Mental Herb. With Garchomp eliminated, I sent in Aegislash and abused the Trick Room to eliminate his Chandelure. On the same turn, I also withdrew my Gyarados and brought in Venusaur, knowing his team will have trouble dealing Mega Venusaur. Aegislash used Shadow Ball on Meowstic prevent him from giving me more trouble with any Swagger shenanigans. I made a bad move at some point by using Sleep Powder on his Mega Mawile when Safeguard is up. Goodra was quickly taken out from the battlefield with Ice Fang from Gyarados he’s left with Mega Mawile which was defeated in the end to claim Game 1.

Match 2(Replay Code: DYUG-WWWW-WWW8-9AMY):

He led with Scrafty and Chandelure this time while I led with Aegislash and Garchomp. His only option for Scrafty is to Fake Out Garchomp if he wants to setup Trick Room which he did and take chip damage from Rocky Helmet and Rough Skin. However, Chandelure used Heat Wave instead but failed to KO my Aegislash. Aegislash retaliated with Shadow Ball and Chandelure hung on with Focus Sash. Garchomp set off an Earthquake with Aegislash protecting himself with King’s Shield and eliminated Chandelure and Scrafty was barely surviving after the Earthquake and chip damage from Rocky Helmet and Rough Skin after using Drain Punch on Garchomp. He sent out Goodra next and withdrew his Scrafty and sent out Mawile. I withdrew Aegislash for Gyarados to take the predicted Flamethrower. Scrafty fainted at some point and he fired off a Thunderbolt from Goodra to my Gyarados. This came as a surprise, and kudos to my opponent who did a very great job at hiding his Thunderbolt. Mega Mawile health was at KO range(with Giga Drain) after taking a few hits from Gyarados and Garchomp previously. I got rid of Mega Mawile soon and he was left with Goodra, fighting against my Mega Venusaur and Aegislash. Even with that huge Sp.Def, Goodra can’t take much assault from both Pokemon and was defeated soon.
Result: 2-0

Round 3: vs Low Wai Yin

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The battle with Low Wai Yin was the most intense match I’ve ever played in my entire Pokemon career. I have to say, none of our battles were one-sided battle and both of us were on-par with each other throughout the entire match. I shan’t elaborate the match much since the replay can be found on Team Robo YouTube channel.

Match 1(Replay Code: 8FBG-WWWW-WWW8-7SMS):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEb1zNU6M_s
I would like to highlight on one of the turn when I double targeted Rotom-W with Waterfall and Giga Drain and failed to KO Rotom-W because of Sitrus Berry recovery. That move was made because I over-predicted that Wai Yin would switch Rotom-W to Talonflame which she didn’t and it cost me the match.

Match 2(Replay Code: ADNG-WWWW-WWW8-7SNX):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0ObmeYJtz4
Nothing much to say for this match. A short break was given to me and Wai Yin after this match due to the high level of intensity. We were the only participants who took a break before the deciding match.

Match 1(Replay Code: X9JW-WWWW-WWW8-7SN8):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFGm_-zFDPc
Well, the last part was purely prediction, and with the title of Elite 4 at stake I had to play it out flawlessly. There were a few possibilities that I considered at the time.

1. Aegislash uses Substitute while Rotom-W uses Protect and went for the kill with me being victorious.
2. Rotom-W uses Thunderbolt to reduce my health while Aegislash uses Substitute which brings his health near to KO range and stall out Aegislash with Protect since he’s inflicted with a burn status and Wai Yin will nab the win.
3. Rotom-W Protect itself and allow Aegislash to transform into Blade Forme and KO it with Thunderbolt the next turn if I didn’t use King’s Shield.
4. Rotom-W goes for a Hydro Pump, hoping to kill Aegislash while Aegislash might have a chance to survive and KO Rotom-W with Shadow Ball.

I lost the match in end with her stalling out my Aegislash health with burn. The reason why I didn’t go for the Substitute is because of the risk and I fear that she might predict that move so I kept firing off a Shadow Ball hoping that she won’t Protect her Rotom-W.

With me being eliminated, Wai Yin became our new Elite Four. I stayed to spectate the rest of the matches while waiting for the prize presentation. I really feared that I would not even have a chance to defend my title due to NS but I’m really glad that I was able to hand over the title of Elite 4 to such a deserving player through a set of well-played matches. Hopefully, there will be another Elite Four Challenge next year and hopefully, VGC2015 will be a better metagame for us. Lastly, I would like to congratulate the participants who had earned their Elite Four title! =)
Remember me when gazing at the moon. =)