chansey pokemon vgc 2018

Chansey’s early reign of terror in the 2018 competitive Pokemon season

It may be early into the 2018 VGC format, but there already exists a team so gimmicky that it’s actually viable. Chansey is a Pokemon notorious for just how hard it can be to get rid of due to its high defenses and access to great recovery. This new strategy that centers around Chansey basically ensures that you will not be able to knock it out, because you will simply not be able to damage it or hit it to begin with. There’s a lot of fear in the community surrounding this strategy especially considering that Dallas Regionals are quickly approaching and this team has proven that it can win. Let’s take a look at how you can easily lose to this terrifying gimmick.

How it works

chansey chansey pokemon vgc 2018

The centerpiece of this strategy is Chansey and the team’s goal is to boost Chansey’s defenses and evasion to the point where it becomes impossible to take down. First, you start with Guard Split, a move that averages the defense stats of the user and the target. The two main users of Guard Split are Carbink and Shuckle who are Pokemon known for their high defense stats. Chansey has amazing Special Defense and HP, but its Defense is pitiful, and this is where Guard Spilt comes in. With a boost to its Defense, plus the Eviolite item, Chansey becomes a defensive monster.

The gimmick team golden boy Smeargle is a typical lead for the team as it can disrupt the opponent enough so that Trick Room can be set up for Carbink. Once Smeargle leaves the field, it becomes Chansey’s time to shine.

After receiving the Guard Split, Chansey will then begin to set up Minimize and continue to use Softboiled to regain all of its lost HP during set up. With Chansey at a comfortable amount of evasiveness, it goes from a Pokemon with just amazing bulk to a Pokemon that can’t be touched. Finally, Chansey proceeds to spam Toxic and Seismic Toss while the opponent is hopeless to stop the residual damage as Chansey remains untouched.

This the main core, but the rest of the team has opened itself to some creative options. Pokemon like Reuniclus can use Skill Swap in order to give Chansey Magic Guard which protects it from opposing status ailments. Mime Jr. can use a similar strategy to give Chansey the Soundproof ability making it immune to moves like Roar and Perish Song.

While this team is excellent at stalling the in-game timer, it doesn’t fair too well against the round timer so players who are prepared to beat it should be able to.

It can be beat 

mega gengar chansey pokemon vgc 2018

Here are a few ways that you can tech to beat this strategy if you happen to face it in round one at your next big tournament.

Stopping support moves and stat buffs

Taunt is a move that can be slapped onto a number of Pokemon and can stop both Chansey and its teammates from executing their shenanigans. A lesser used option that had success last year in stopping Eevee teams is Haze which can eliminate all stat changes on the field. Clear Smog works similarly to Haze, but it’s an attack that relies on accuracy and is much less common than Haze.

Sound-based moves

If you’re able to deal with a potential Mime Jr. moves like Roar and Perish Song are solid win conditions against this team. Roar and Perish Song don’t rely on accuracy and can easily phase Chansey out or take it out in three turns as the Perish Song clock slowly winds down.

Brute Force

Like I said previously, Chansey’s base Defense is terrible, which can be exploited early-on to score a quick KO on it. Being a Normal-type, Chansey annoyingly only has one weakness, Fighting. Pokemon with access to a strong Fighting-type attack like Superpower and Close Combat so having a Fighting-type on your team can make this matchup much more difficult for the Chansey player.

While this strategy is a total gimmick, the reason that it is so scary is because that it can win very easily. Many players were not big fans of the timer being shortened to five minutes in the first place and this strategy takes full advantage of it. This team has been terrorizing the online ladder and already won a MidSeason Showdown, so its power is real.

I think I speak for a majority of the community when I say that I would hate to play against this team in a tournament where my hopes for qualifying for the World Championships were on the line. Hopefully with all this new information that exists about this team, players will be prepared to face it, making this strategy just a forgotten blemish in VGC 2018’s early history.

Thanks for reading!



You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Eric! (@aricbartleti)

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Competitive Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon Glitches

How Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon’s bugs are affecting competitive Pokemon

Despite how complete Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon feel as games, some surprising oversights in their programming have made themselves known through the early weeks of 2018 competition. While the Pokemon Company has been quick to patch out some of these issues, a new glitch involving the move Curse threatens to compromise infrared connection-based tournaments due to its capability to make the game essentially freeze. Let’s take a look at how these glitches have created a rocky start to the 2018 VGC season.

Issue #1: Was Wide Guard buffed?

clangorous soulblaze Competitive Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon Glitches

Surprisingly, many players thought that the issue with Wide Guard was actually a buff. Turns out, it was indeed a glitch.

The move Wide Guard essentially serves as Protect against attacks that do spread-damage. This move has become even more popular this year with the re-introduction of powerful Rock Slides from Landorus and Heat Waves from Charizard, as well as veteran users of the move like Hitmontop and Aegislash. In Pokemon Sun and Moon the move Wide Guard had no interaction with the newly-introduced Z move mechanic, but the addition of a new exclusive Z move to Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon changed everything.

Kommo-o is a Pokemon whose viability shot through the roof after it received its new, exclusive Z move: Clagorous Soulblaze. This Z move was the first of its kind that not only deals spread damage to the opponent, but also boosts all of Kommo-o’s stats by one stage. Wait. A spread-attack Z move? Now Wide Guard needed some alteration, but unfortunately this change extended to the rest of the Z moves out there.

Wide Guard was fixed in Ultra Sun and Moon to act similarly to Protect when the user is hit by a Z move, which reduces the damage taken to 25%. Like I said earlier, this “fix” originally affected all other Z moves too, which made little sense considering that all other Z moves were single target attacks.

Thankfully this issue was patched out before official VGC 2018 tournaments were held; but some players were okay with what looked to be an obvious bug. I guess players liked the idea of Wide Guard being better and thus nerfing Z moves, but this change might’ve been too good. Unlike Protect, Wide Guard is able to be used consecutively without fail, meaning that Wide Guard could be spammed indefinitely in anticipation of your opponent’s Z move.

Regardless on where you stand on the issue, two things are certain: Wide Guard and Kommo-o are still good.

Issue #2: A Curse on QR tournamentscurse pokemon Competitive Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon Glitches

Okay, so this issue goes a bit deeper than just the move Curse.

The seventh generation edition of the Pokemon Global Link introduced the ability to create tournaments using QR codes which function on similar software and connectivity of regional-level and above tournaments. Local tournaments, like Premier Challenges and Midseason Showdowns, have now adopted this mechanic in order to streamline things. But after the first weekend of VGC 2018 many issues became apparent.

 

As of now, the QR code generated tournaments that use IR (infrared) connection are very unstable, and are likely to freeze the game if you switch in the wrong Pokemon or even use a move in the wrong place on the battlefield. The move in question is Curse, and many Snorlax users reported that using Curse when Snorlax is in a particular position on the field will cause the game to freeze where neither player is able to make a move.

But it’s not just Curse though. Apparently differences in system models (old versus new 3DS systems) will cause the same issue if Curse is used like previously mentioned or even if Pokemon are switched in and out.

These tweets from Leonard Craft III (@DaWoblefet) summarizes the whole situation pretty well.

Back to Festival Plaza it is, but this solution can’t work forever.

With the 2018’s first batch of regionals just a couple of weeks away, the urgency of fixing any and all bugs and glitches becomes much greater. The “double freeze” glitch seems to only take place during tournaments using the “Live Competition” mode, which every regional-level and higher tournament uses.

Uh-oh.

Having this issue remain would essentially make tournaments unplayable due to the nature of how game freezes are treated in the rules. If a player using Curse is in a losing position they can pretty much save themselves by causing a game freeze. For now, local organizers should use Festival Plaza and Quick Link which does require a bit of extra work on the part of the TO’s and players, but it’s a temporary fix for now.

I anticipate that Game Freak will release a patch in a comfortable time frame before the first 2018 regional championships, so I don’t think we need to be worried about being cursed for much longer.

Thanks for reading!


You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Eric! (@aricbartleti)

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Pokemon VGC 2018 Common Cores

Common cores to get you started for Pokemon VGC 2018 teambuilding

It’s January which means the 2018 competitive Pokemon season is officially underway. As players prepare for the first big tournaments of the season, some may struggle to learn this vast new format. Fear not, because there already have been a number of high-profile Midseason Showdown tournaments across the world meaning we have a pretty solid idea of what the early 2018 metagame will look like. For those of you still struggling, here are some of the most common cores that have achieved early-season success.

Goodstuffs

Pokemon VGC 2018 Common Cores

Basically, using the best Pokemon out there.

For anyone who’s played a national-pokedex format in the past (the 2015 season for example), all of these Pokemon should be very familiar. Mega Kangaskhan may have been beyond nerfed since its glory days, but this Mega Evolution is still a force to be reckoned with. Parental Bond still makes moves like Double Edge and the also nerfed Sucker Punch do massive amounts of damage and can still pick up KO’s left and right. While Kangaskhan has changed from faster builds to much slower and defensive ones, it’s still one of the most versatile Mega Evolutions out there.

Landorus-Therian needs no introduction. Speaking of versatility, Landorus now has an ocean-deep pool of strategies at its disposal. It’s no longer just mindless Rock Slide spam with the Choice Scarf as Landorus players have taken advantage of items like the Assault Vest, Life Orb (for Special-attacking sets) and even various Z Crystals. Landorus is a Pokemon that can be put on a number of teams so it makes sense that it would be on a team with the best.

Cresselia and Heatran have been the bread and butter Trick Room for pretty much every year they’ve been allowed together and for good reason. Cresselia can do a number of things to support Heatran like Skill Swapping Levitate onto it, giving it Helping Hand boosts, and most importantly, setting up Trick Room. Heatran is another Pokemon that has taken advantage of Z moves as it boasts a very powerful Inferno Overdrive. Still, the typical set using Substitute and Leftovers can work quite well too.

The supporting cast

For the first time in a while the goodstuffs archetype has seen many significant new additions to its repertoire. Tapu Fini has remained relevant in 2018 especially after being given access to the Move Tutor-exclusive move Icy Wind. This allows Tapu Fini to play a much better support role, but an offensive build using Choice Specs can also work effectively with this team.

With the fall of Thundurus, Zapdos has swooped into the spotlight as the format’s premier Electric-type. Zapdos actually has really good synergy with Tapu Fini with the introduction of the Misty Seed, raising its Special Defense after it enters Misty Terrain. Oh yeah, Tailwind is pretty good too.

Volcarona is a Pokemon that has picked up a lot of popularity recently as a Fire-type substitute for Heatran. Volcarona also really likes Firium Z and can sweep through an opponent’s team after a couple Quiver Dances.

Example team

Pokemon VGC 2018 Common Cores

https://3ds.pokemon-gl.com/rentalteam/usum/BT-AE02-4C18

Rain

Pokemon VGC 2018 Common Cores

If you thought Rain was scary in 2017, it’s gotten a whole lot scarier.

Rain players rejoice as you now have Politoed and a much better selection of Swift Swim Pokemon. Why is Politoed better than Pelipper? Well players seem to prefer it for its bulk and versatility over Pelipper’s frailness and limited usability. Pelipper still finds use on more hyper offense teams while Politoed’s bulk is preferred for balanced and defensive teams.

The main thing that makes Rain so much better in 2018 is the amount of better Swift Swim Pokemon there are available. Ludicolo is pretty much a staple on Rain teams as its Grass-type coverage is invaluable in assuring that the Rain lead won’t get walled by either Gastrodon or other bulky Water-types. Fake Out is also great for disrupting the opponent, allowing Ludicolo’s partner a turn to support or get off big damage.

Mega Swampert is ironically one of the least popular Mega Evolutions for the Rain archetypes despite it having access to the Swift Swim ability. Good Swift Swim Pokemon exist outside of Ludicolo, but Ludicolo’s value to the Rain archetype makes it nearly staple on all Rain teams and many players don’t want to add many other Water-types outside of their Rain duo. However, Mega Swampert and lesser used Swift Swimmers like Kingdra are still viable, and definitely can help form more dedicated Rain teams.

The supporting cast

Steel-types are the typical first-stop for Rain teams as Steel-types appreciate the nerf to Fire-type attacks. Ferrothorn is especially good and weakened Fire-types makes Ferrothorn much harder to deal with. Aegislash is another option, but Aegislash commonly holds a Z Crystal which many players like to reserve for their Rain sweepers.

Tapu Bulu and Tapu Koko are the most popular Island Guardians. Tapu Koko enjoys spamming 100% accurate Thunder’s under Electric Terrain and its natural speed makes it a huge offensive threat. Tapu Bulu favors more control-centered Rain teams which players have been combining with the Gothtielle/Mawile core (which we’ll get to).

Example team 

Pokemon VGC 2018 Common Cores

https://3ds.pokemon-gl.com/rentalteam/usum/BT-3EF8-4C58

Mega Charizard Y/Landorus-Therian/Cresselia

Pokemon VGC 2018 Common Cores

While you could call this a “Sun” team, Charizard is really the only one who benefits from the Sun directly.

This core really focuses on the Charizard/Landorus combo as this high-power pair has excellent coverage and a lot of combined damage output. Mega Charizard Y is better on the Special Defense side so Landorus’ Intimidate helps Charizard handle physical attacks much better. Landorus likes being paired with two Pokemon that are off of the ground as this allows relatively free Earthquake spam. Cresselia basically gives this team a Trick Room option, but Cresselia’s bulk is helped by Landorus’ Intimidate. Cresselia’s access to Ice Beam helps against opposing Landorus.

Basically, these three cover each other really well and allow the team to branch in a number of directions. That’s the interesting thing about Mega Charizard Y teams, they don’t have to conform to being Sun teams and can be very diverse as a result.

The supporting cast

Honestly, three out of the four Island Guardians (sorry Fini) work well on Mega Charizard Y teams. Tapu Koko and Tapu Lele favor more offensive team compositions while Tapu Bulu, again, really supports more defensive play. Tapu Bulu and Tapu Koko are preferred since they help deal with Water-types which Charizard can hate going against without the Sun.

Wide Guard is almost a must-have in order to stop Charizard from getting hit by Rock Slide. Aegislash is fairly common as these teams appreciate both the Ghost and Steel-type attack coverage, but Stakataka is also a great option which can add to a team’s Trick Room mode.

Lastly, Fighting-types are common teammates as they help mainly against Tyranitar, which can get rid of the Sun thanks to Sand Stream. This slot has a lot of fun options like Hitmontop who can also use Wide Guard and give your team another Intimidate user. Thanks to its new Z Move, Kommo-o has become much more viable and a lot of players have noticed some great synergy with Mega Charizard Y.

Example team

Pokemon VGC 2018 Common Cores

https://3ds.pokemon-gl.com/rentalteam/usum/BT-FDD8-4079

Mega Metagross/Tapu Lele/Hydreigon

Pokemon VGC 2018 Common Cores

When previewing Mega Metagross for the 2018 format, I mentioned how strong the Mega Metagross and Tapu Lele combo is, and players have noticed. Psychic Terrain, Tough Claws boosted Zen Headbutt coming off of Mega Metagross’ base 145 Attack stat can OHKO a lot of the metagame; but the shaky accuracy of Zen Headbutt always makes it a high-risk/high-reward play.

Tapu Lele is known for damage and it still does a lot. Tapu Lele is mainly here for Psychic Terrain as the terrain not only boosts the power of the team’s Psychic-type attacks but also protects the team from priority moves.

Finally, Hydreigon completes the Fairy/Steel/Dragon core and provides valuable Dark-type coverage for the two Psychic-types. Having Hydreigon allows Metagross and Tapu Lele to have a switch-in for the inevitable Aegislash encounter which Hydregion is able to deal with rather easily.

These three form a fairly offensive core that looks to score KO’s fast. They can be rounded out with either more offensive Pokemon or some more defensive and supportive ones to maintain the consistent damage output.

The supporting cast

Some players have been substituting Hydreigon for Tyranitar, which does break apart the Fairy/Steel/Dragon core, but shows that maybe the Dark-type coverage is more valuable than Dragon-type synergy. As mentioned previously, Metagross and Tapu Lele struggle versus Aegislash and other Ghost-types, so having a powerful Dark-type attacker is important for this team.

Amoonguss has also become common on these teams which may play into the more support-oriented supporting cast. Amoonguss works well with Tapu Lele as Psychic Terrain is able to override the Sleep-preventing Electric and Misty Terrains. Amoonguss can also redirect attacks away from damage-dealing teammates with Rage Powder.

Zapdos also works here with Psychic Seed over Misty Seed to reconstruct the threatening Tapu Lele plus Tailwind combo. Plus, Zapdos gives you a way of hitting Water-types, mainly Tapu Fini which can easily get rid of Psychic Terrain.

Example team

Pokemon VGC 2018 Common Cores

https://3ds.pokemon-gl.com/rentalteam/usum/BT-4A8D-B6EC

Gothitelle/Mega Mawile (aka GothMaw)

Pokemon VGC 2018 Common Cores

A duo that was hyped up long before the 2018 season began, GothMaw has proven itself as a threat. This duo focuses on trapping your opponent’s Pokemon with Shadow Tag while Mega Mawile feasts under Trick Room. Gothitelle can support Mawile with Helping Hand and Heal Pulse while Mega Mawile pretty much sweeps by itself. Players usually combine Intimidate, Fake Out and even weather in order to disrupt any and all team compositions.

Trap and sweep is the name of the game with these two, and this combo is becoming increasingly popular just because of how consistent it can be.

The supporting cast

When I mention weather, Rain is the one players usually opt for. This is mainly for two reasons. One, Gothitelle can easily trap a Mega Charizard Y and switch in Politoed making Charizard essentially useless. And two, Politoed has access to Perish Song which can give this team a Perish Trap mode as well. Also with Mawile being a Steel-type, weakening Fire-type damage helps it a lot.

Tapu Bulu has been the go-to Guardian for these teams (especially with the Rain modes) because Tapu Bulu fits well with the controlling nature of the team. Grassy Terrain helps heal the team and can disrupt opposing Terrains while Gothitelle traps the poor Tapu. Like Mega Mawile, Tapu Bulu is another Pokemon that can deal massive damage and can easily sweep while Gothitelle traps the opponent’s Pokemon.

Example team

Pokemon VGC 2018 Common Cores

https://3ds.pokemon-gl.com/rentalteam/usum/BT-7E9F-4522

(I know that this is the third team with a Rain mode, but Rain is really popular right now so you’ll be seeing it a lot)

Now that you have some basic cores to start teambuilding, get out there and start practicing for the new season. While these are the most common cores out there, there are still a ton of unexplored Pokemon and strategies that are waiting to break the metagame. With the first big tournaments of the season coming up, we’ll just have to wait and see which core proves to be the best.

Thanks for reading!


You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Eric! (@aricbartleti)

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pokemon vgc 2018 rutgers fireside open

The first ever VGC 2018 tournament: Rutgers Fireside Open recap

Our first tournament for the 2018 season comes to us in grassroots form thanks to Rutgers University Esports. Even though there were no Championship Points on the line, this tournament gave us a very important glimpse into what the first few months of the 2018 format could look like. Being held in the northeast was a plus as the tournament featured many of the best players in the region such as Paul Chua, Chuppa Cross and the winner of the whole thing, Stephen Mea. Mea managed to win this tournament without even owning a copy of the game, having to borrow a copy and a team just for this tournament. Mea pulled off an impressive win versus Chuppa Cross in an intense three-game set in the finals, with a team archetype that you’ll see a lot of in this tournament’s Top 8.

Results & teams (Top 8)

1. Stephen Mea

2. Chuppa Cross

3. Paul Chua

4. Mihrab Samad

5. Bryan Tong

6. Irving Johnson

7. Will Vega

8. Steven Lasso

Rain reigns supremepolitoed pokemon vgc 2018 rutgers fireside open

As many predicted, the Rain team archetype is going to be a very popular choice in the beginning of the format. Rain has a bunch more options now with the return of Ludicolo and better Steel-types to take advantage to the nerf to Fire-type moves. Ludicolo might be a tad weaker than its fellow Swift Swimming duck Golduck, but Ludicolo’s Grass-typing plus its access to Fake Out makes it the far better choice as a rain partner.

One interesting thing to note was the popularity of Politoed over Pelipper. Although Pelipper ended up winning the tournament, the favorite Drizzle user was clearly Politoed. In favor of the fast, aggressive play that Pelipper promotes with Tailwind, it seems that many players took the defensive route by using Politoed. Politoed is able to stay on the field a lot longer than Pelipper, but it also has a bunch of different support moves it can utilize such as Icy Wind, Helping Hand and a favorite for this tournament, Perish Song. I think Politoed’s bulk and versatility will slowly make it the favored rain setter in the upcoming format.

Image result for ludicoloAs for countering Rain, you can definitely see evidence of it here. Chuppa Cross opted for a more standard team, using Zapdos and Tapu Fini in order to utilize Zapdos’ Misty Seed. The Special Defense boost from Misty Seed enables Zapdos to live the onslaught of rain-boosted Water-type attacks including Z moves as we saw Cross’ Zapdos take a Hydro Vortex from Mea’s Ludicolo no problem. Bryan Tong tried to use Gastrodon to redirect Water-type attacks using its Storm Drain ability, but something tells me that Gastrodon didn’t appreciate the abundance of Grass-type Pokemon on these rain teams. Finally, Steven Lasso decided to change the weather altogether with a team featuring Mega Charizard Y.

 

Overall, Rain came out on top, but as official tournaments get under way, players will continue to find ways to shut this team down.

Every Tapu has a placetapu bulu pokemon vgc 2018 rutgers fireside open

A rare sight in VGC 2017 took just one tournament to show up in 2018. Every Island Guardian was represented in Top Cut. Oddly enough, Tapu Bulu was the most popular, which again, was a rare sight in the previous season. The team compositions here give a pretty clear indication of how each Tapu will be played. For example, Tapu Bulu fit on rain teams with more defensive Pokemon that benefited from the gradual HP recovery from Grassy Terrain, with the Grassy Terrain also boosting the power of Ludicolo’s Giga Drain. Tapu Lele fit on to more hyper offensive teams utilizing the power of Mega Evolutions like Metagross and Mawile to deal big damage fast. Tapu Fini was interestingly only seen on one team, but its role as a bulky attacker and support Pokemon can fit on a wide variety of teams. Tapu Koko seems like it is the same way, mainly being a solid fast, attacking option with players like Mea taking advantage of Electric Terrain boosted Thunders that have 100% accuracy in the rain.

Right now, I think it’s fair to say that all of the Island Guardians have their place in the metagame which is great for promoting diversity in teambuilding. Tapu Bulu seems like it has a great start, with Tapu Fini likely still being the most popular. Considering the popularity of Landorus-Therian, I expect to see these two being the most popular for a while.

The return of Mega Evolutionsmega mawile pokemon vgc 2018 rutgers fireside open

Considering the popularity of Rain at this tournament, the most used Mega Evolutions seem to reflect that. Mega Mawile ended up being the most popular, with players like Mihrab Samad and Paul Chua taking advantage of the Goth/Maw combo which aims to trap your opponents in with Gothitelle’s Shadow Tag as they’re devoured by Mega Mawile under Trick Room. Of course the rain from Politoed helped with Mawile’s weakness to Fire-types, but Politoed also has another role on this team by being able to set up a late game win condition with Perish Song and Gothitelle’s trapping ability.

 

Speaking of Shadow Tag, a one-off choice for a Mega Evolution came from Stephen Mea’s use of Mega Gengar. Mega Gengar is usually on teams which take full advantage of Perish Song in conjunction with Shadow Tag in order to slowly lock their opponent’s Pokemon into KO’s. Mega Gengar can also provide a solid offensive role as well, as its coverage with Sludge Bomb and Shadow Ball deals with the plethora of Fairy-types and other popular Pokemon like Aegislash and Cresselia.

There was only a single Mega Kangaskhan which would’ve been unheard of a couple years ago. Mega Kangaskhan appeared on the team you probably expected it to, as it was accompanied by the VGC 2018 standard. One interesting thing to consider is how this standard has changed from the worlds-dominating CHALK archetype from 2015. We still have Kangaskhan and Landorus, but instead of Cresselia and Heatran, we now have Tapu Fini and Volcarona that are beginning to define the “goodstuffs” archetype. Mega Kangaskhan’s narrative will be an interesting one. Will the nerfs finally catch up to it or will it still be one of the best choices for a Mega Evolution?

The Rutgers Fireside Open was a great introduction to the potential of what the 2018 metagame has to offer. While there was a dominance from the downpour of rain teams, we saw a diverse representation of the Tapu as well as a good variety of Mega Evolutions which gives me hope that 2018 will be a great year for teambuilding.

Huge shoutouts to the Rutgers Esports organization as well as their Pokemon team which will continue to host great events for the 2018 season. VGC 2018 is just under a month away, but one more 2017 regional is coming up in Memphis, Tennessee which will serve as our final goodbye to the 2017 format. If this tournament showed us anything, it showed us how excited we should be for the 2018 season.

Thanks for reading!


You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Eric! (@aricbartleti)

Images from Pokemon Sun and Moon, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

Featured Image from @aProjectCypher on Twitter

Teams data collected/provided by Nicholas Borghi, Michael Bailey and Trainer Tower

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pokemon vgc 2018 san jose regional championships

VGC 2018 San Jose Regional Championships recap

Jirawiwat Thitasiri is your 2018 San Jose Regional Champion. Despite the rather important implications of this tournament, the event flew under many people’s radars due to the lack of a stream as well as it occurring right after Thanksgiving. Despite the lack of direct coverage, there are still a few interesting story lines worth talking about from this past weekend.

Results & teams (Top 8)

1. Jirawiwat Thitasiri

Alola Formhttps://i0.wp.com/www.trainertower.com/wp-content/uploads/pokedexminisprites/750.png

2. Emilio Forbes

3. Rene Alvarenga

4. Matthew Greaves

f:id:Yuuichi_u1:20170619221113p:plainAlola Form

5. Karim Dabliz

Alola Formhttps://i0.wp.com/www.trainertower.com/wp-content/uploads/pokedexminisprites/778.png

6. Patrick Smith

7. Mitchell Davies

Alola Form

8. Sam Pandelis

As there was no stream, there isn’t much to say specifically about the interesting Pokemon or teams that made it to San Jose’s Top 8. One thing of note is that both Mudsdale as well as Muk have been picking up late season popularity. Other players seem to have resorted to teams resembling the FAKEPG archetype as a means of achieving consistent results this late into the season.

International impact

Fun fact: three out of the eight players in the Top 8 are players from outside the U.S. The overall champion, Jirawiwat Thitasiri, is a name you’ve probably seen before as he’s been in a couple Top Cuts throughout the 2017 season. He is a player from Thailand who is currently attending university in San Francisco. This is his first major tournament win, putting him at 250 Championship Points out of the 300 he needs to qualify for the World Championships.

Another international player who was present in the Top 4 was El Salvador’s own Rene Alvarenga. Coming off his 7th place finish at the 2017 World Championships, Alvarenga has been attending a few tournaments here in the states. His finish in San Jose puts him at number one in Championship Point standings for Latin America, which has earned him a travel award to the 2018 Oceania International Championships.

Lastly, our current World Championship runner-up, Sam Pandelis was in attendance in San Jose. Pandelis funnily enough wasn’t using his team that earned him that second place trophy back in Anaheim, but I’d say his team was pretty good according to popular opinion. Like Alvarenga, Pandelis is another player who has been attending events here in America who has finally earned a solid result post-worlds.

Travel awards decided

The current (approximate) Championship Point standings for North America. (Image credit to @Pd0nZ on Twitter)

November 30th is the cutoff date for deciding travel awards based off current Championship Point standings. San Jose gave North America two more Worlds invites, bringing the total to six. The current Top 4 will receive full travel awards to Melbourne while the rest of the players in the Top 8 will receive stipends.

One notable player that earned his stipend this weekend was Ray Rizzo. Rizzo unfortunately missed the Top 32 in the Regional tournament, but thanks to a Midseason Showdown victory, Rizzo’s Championship Point total of 370 was enough to place him in North America’s Top 8.

Just like old times

Another veteran player who came back to competing was official Pokemon commentator Duy Ha. Seeing Duy Ha and

Duy Ha spotted at the top tables in San Jose. (Image credit to @MudhiManVGC on Twitter

Ray Rizzo competing in the same event made this tournament feel like it was happening back in 2012 or ’13. Ha’s 5-3 finish in Swiss put him at 28th place, just above Rizzo, who finished at 34th with the same record. Prior to, as well as during the tournament, Ha’s use of the hashtag #TheComebackKid could mean Ha is potentially interested in returning to his competitive roots. I wonder if any other commentators are planning their own comeback.

While San Jose was a tournament without much coverage, it was still a tournament full of a lot of fun story lines. The travel awards for Melbourne may have been decided, but we still have one more North American regional championship to go before VGC 2018 takes over. I know, I know VGC 2017 is beyond old news but hey, at least Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are out and we’re finally able to really practice for the 2018 season. For now, we’ll be keeping you up to date with everything VGC 2017 and 2018.

Thanks for reading!


You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Eric! (@aricbartleti)

Images from Pokemon Sun and Moon, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

Teams data collected/provided by Nicholas Borghi, Michael Bailey and Trainer Tower

To continue enjoying great content from your favorite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon

pokemon vgc 2018 europe international championships

Italy takes home 2018’s first international title: VGC 2018 European International Championships recap

Simone Sanvito is your 2018 European International Champion. Sanvito was a player known for his shaky confidence in his play going into this tournament, but he was able to overcome his doubts by taking the European title. Not bad for someone who didn’t have a team prepared until he landed in London. Sanvito also managed to flip the narrative of last year’s tournament in London with the Italian vs. Spaniard finals going to Italy this time. Let’s kick off our coverage from London with your Top 8 results.

Results & teams (Top 8)

1. Simone Sanvito [ITA]

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2. Alex Gomez [ESP]

3. Carson Confer [USA]

4. Davide Cauteruccio [ITA]

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5. Lorenzo Semeraro [ITA]

6. Jamie Dixon [GBR]

7. Davide Carrer [ITA]

8. Flavio Del Pidio [ITA]

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Simone silences the haters (himself)

Something that was pointed out repeatedly during Sanvito’s run in London was that he was a player known for having serious doubts in his skill as a player. Take some of these tweets from the tournament as examples:

Sanvito had it all wrong despite an early round loss. He ended up finishing his first day of Swiss with an 8-1 togedemaru pokemon vgc 2018 european international championshipsrecord, putting him in a great position for the next day. Sanvito went on to only drop one other game, capping a 12-2 record with a Top Cut appearance as the 2nd seed. We all know the story from there.

Sanvito’s team seemed like a lot of Pokemon that we’ve seen before, but there were some tricks to these already established team members. One of the main moves Sanvito utilized throughout his run was Encore, which he had on both his Alolan Ninetales as well as his Togedemaru. With two Encore users, Sanvito found many opportunities to lock down his opponent’s Pokemon into either set up moves, like Trick Room or Curse, or attacks that couldn’t do damage to Sanvito’s available switch-ins.

One of the prime examples of this control playstyle was in Sanvito’s Top 4 match against Carson Confer. In this set, Sanvito was able to mitigate Confer’s ability to set up Trick Room for his Gigalith, while also shutting down Gigalith’s ability to boost its stats with Curse. With his Pokemon stuck into less-desirable move options, Confer had to continuously react to Sanvito’s plays, while Sanvito could easily maneuver his team into a winning position.

Encore also came in clutch for Sanvito in his finals match against Alex Gomez, where, with the help of Tapu Fini’s Haze, Gomez’ Snorlax was unable to maintain its Belly Drum boosts. After locking down his opponents, Sanvito was easily able to clean up the game with either his Choice Specs Tapu Fini, Garchomp or his Celesteela.

Italy’s invasion

Like previously mentioned, Italy as a whole had a strong presence in London’s Top 8. Five of the original eight positions belonged to Italy, with the first seed coming out of Swiss and the tournament’s overall champion belonging to Italy. Does this mean Italy is the region to be reckoned with in Europe? Some players seem to think so:

 

Alex Gomez brings back Magnezonemagnezone pokemon vgc 2018 european international championships

We saw a lot of familiar teams and Pokemon in London, but Alex Gomez decided to fall back on a Pokemon that brought him success in the past. Well, more like an entire team that brought him success in the past.

Alex Gomez was one of two Tapu Bulu players in the Top 8, piloting a team very similar to the one that earned him a second place finish at the Sheffield Regional Championships earlier this year. This team featured many Pokemon that benefited from the Grassy Terrain as Pokemon like Nihilego and Magnezone appreciate taking less damage from Earthquake. For now, let’s focus on Magnezone.

Magnezone seemed like the perfect anti-meta pick for London. Celesteela was quite the popular choice for many teams, which Magnezone enjoyed. Magnezone has two solid abilities with the option of Sturdy to give Magnezone a pseudo-Focus Sash or Magnet Pull which can trap opposing Steel-types. I think you can see which one would be better against Celesteela. But, Magnezone’s combination of Steel and Electric-type attacks made it a perfect check to each of the other Tapu Pokemon, which already have a tough time dealing with Tapu Bulu. With two VGC 2017 regionals left to go, I think competitors should keep Magnezone in mind when teambuilding.

With 2018’s first International behind us and the release of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, we now begin our proper transition into the real 2018 season. Those looking to compete once again on the international stage have their sights on the Oceania International Championships which were announced to be hitting Melbourne, Australia this February. Until January rolls around, we still have two more VGC 2017 tournaments taking place, but in the mean time, players can now start officially training for the 2018 season in Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Perhaps now is the time to uncover what the new format has in store for us as 2017 comes to a close in the coming months.

Thanks for reading!


You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Eric! (@aricbartleti)

Images from Pokemon Sun and Moon, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

Teams data collected/provided by Nicholas Borghi, Michael Bailey and Trainer Tower

To continue enjoying great content from your favorite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon

pokemon vgc 2018 vancouver regionals

VGC 2018 Vancouver Regional Championships recap

River Davis is your 2018 Vancouver Regional Champion, making it all the way with quite the interesting team. Tapu Bulu has another regional win under its belt, but a newcomer to the upper echelon of the VGC 2017 format is none other than Slowking. Vancouver had a fair amount of inventive strategies make it to the Top Cut, which you’ll hear all about shortly.

Results and Teams (Top 8)

1. River Davis

https://i0.wp.com/www.trainertower.com/wp-content/uploads/pokedexminisprites/199.pngAlola Form

2. Demitrios Kaguras

3. Aaron Zheng

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4. Greg Rowson

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5. Hayden McTavish

6. Riley Factura

7. Justin Wan

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8. Gary Qian

Some new faces for Trick Roomalolan exeggutor pokemon vgc 2018 vancouver regionals

Two of the most interesting Pokemon from Vancouver’s Top 8 are both viable options for Trick Room setters.

Let’s start with River Davis’ Slowking. Slowking is a Pokemon we didn’t at all in Davis’ Top Cut matches, but we did see what it could do during Davis’ streamed match against Raphael Bagara. Slowking works pretty well with Snorlax, being able to set up Trick Room and recover Snorlax’s lost HP with Heal Pulse. Slowking itself has a surprisingly diverse movepool, being able to run both a Fire-type and Water-type attack along with support options. Its typing isn’t the greatest on the defensive side, as bulky Water-types haven’t been as popular with the rise of Tapu Koko and Kartana. Luckily, Davis packed Flamethrower on his Slowking’s moveset and an Alolan Marowak on his team to help this niche Pokemon with its bad matchups.

Gary Qian is a player known for his weird strategies, and this tournament was no different. Alolan Exeggutor was Qian’s newest unconventional Pokemon that, unfortunately, did not do a whole lot on stream. What we know about this particular Exeggutor is that is was a physical variant using Wood Hammer as its main means of damage output, but said damage output was not the greatest. Alolan Exeggutor’s defensive typing is kind of bad, and its defensive stats don’t do much to help it either. As a result, we often saw quick KO’s on Qian’s Exeggutor thanks to Draco Meteor and Dazzling Gleam from Salamence and Tapu Koko respectively. One thing that Exeggutor does have going for it is its Harvest ability which can let it eat possibly two Sitrus Berries in one turn. Too bad that extra health does little to stop the onslaught of super-effective damage Exeggutor is forced to take.

One-miss-KO moves everywheregastrodon pokemon vgc 2018 vancouver regionals

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many one-hit-KO moves make it to the Top Cut before. Gary Qian had a Gastrodon with the move Fissure, though in his defense, the Tectonic Rage that Gastrodon gets because of Fissure is Gastrodon’s only means of a strong Ground-type move in this format.

Justin Wan’s team, on the other hand, had two one-hit-KO moves that had little logic backing them. Wan’s Alolan Ninetales carried Sheer Cold on its move set while his Smeargle had the move Guillotine. Both can KO any Pokemon in one hit but both are only accurate 30% of the time.

Fun fact, we saw none of these moves hit in every stream game that involved either one of these players. I wish I knew how many times off-camera either Qian or Wan managed to hit one of these moves. I guess we’ll never know.

Wait, is that Aaron “Cybertron” Zheng?

pokemon vgc 2018 vancouver regionals

Zheng posing with his favorite Pikachu and his semi-finalist trophy. (Image credit to @CybertronVGC on Twitter)

Turns out Aaron Zheng hasn’t left his competing days completely behind him, as he scored an impressive third-place finish in Vancouver. Zheng was actually using a team very similar to one his younger brother used to place in the Top 16 at the Hartford Regional Championships just a couple weeks ago. At this rate, we might end up seeing both Zheng brothers in the Masters division of the World Championships this year, as both are having solid starts to their seasons.

Ray Rizzo – #StopatNothing – Part 2

pokemon vgc 2018 vancouver regionals

(Image credit to @P_dOnZ on Twitter)

Ray Rizzo was in attendance at Vancouver, scoring another X-2 finish in the Top 16. Rizzo has yet to make the Top Cut at a regional this season, but something tells me he’s not very far off. If you watch his YouTube or Twitch content, you can see that he’s putting in the work, and one of these days it’ll pay off.

Final Thoughts

Well, it looks like we don’t have any big tournaments on the horizon for about a month, but next month will be a huge one. Not only will we have the San Jose Regional Championships, but we also the London International Championships AND the release of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. We have a big month ahead of us and we’re quickly approaching the change to the VGC 2018 format coming this January. But for now, VGC 2017 is still our format, and we’ve still got a lot of exciting battles left.

Thanks for reading!


You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Eric! (@aricbartleti)

Images from Pokemon Sun and Moon, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

Featured Image credit to @blckkkkkk on Twitter

Teams data collected/provided by Nicholas Borghi, Michael Bailey and Trainer Tower

To continue enjoying great content from your favorite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon

pokemon vgc 2018 daytona regionals

Eevee finally wins a regional: VGC 2018 Daytona Regional Championships recap

Jeremy Rodrigues has done what no other Eevee player has been able to do; he won a regional with Eevee. With his third straight regional Top Cut appearance, Rodrigues not only claimed Eevee’s first major tournament win, but he also became the second North American player to clinch his invite to the 2018 World Championships. We’ve got a lot to say about Eevee, but let’s take a look at the results from Daytona.

Results & Teams (Top 8)

1. Jeremy Rodrigues

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2. Alberto Lara

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3. Don Czech

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4. Sandy Martinez

5. Carson Confer

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6. James Baek

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7. Ryan Rivard

8. Emily Golub

Eevee’s Top 8 Run

pokemon vgc 2018 daytona regionals

Starting out Top Cut at the 8th seed meant Rodrigues’ trip to the finals would not be an easy one. Eevee started its run versus former Senior world champion and 7-0 first seed: Carson Confer. This matchup was tricky considering Confer’s team had the immense offensive pressure of Tapu Koko and Kartana which Confer lead every single game. The set went to three games, with Confer taking Game 1 and Rodrigues taking Game 2. Game 3 was interesting as Rodrigues adjusted and brought Krookodile over Espeon. Krookodile revealed Substitute which led to intense mind games between Krookodile and Confer’s Kartana as each struggled to gain the Substitute advantage. Ultimately, Krookodile came out on top and was able to spam Earthquake to win the set.

Rodrigues’ Top 4 match ended in a pretty quick 2-0 as Eevee was just too much for Sandy Martinez.

In the finals, Rodrigues had the biggest and most difficult match ahead of him. Alberto Lara, having won a regional the week before in Hartford and having previously beaten Rodrigues in Swiss the day prior.

Alberto Lara’s Repeat halted by Eevee

Alberto Lara’s story line for this tournament was quite interesting as

pokemon vgc 2018 daytona regionals

Alberto Lara’s Mimikyu was a huge threat to Rodrigues’ team. Playing around this scary Pokemon was key for Rodrigues’ victory.

well. His dominant run nearly earned him a second regional victory in a consecutive week, but unfortunately, Eevee stood in his way.

Game 1 went Rodrigues’ way as Eevee easily set up Espeon allowing for Smeargle in the back to Transform in to the boosted monster. Alberto was able to take down the real Espeon, but the transformed Smeargle just proved too much to handle.

Game 2 was Lara’s. Lara was able to use his two best techs to win this matchup: Sky Drop and a Swords Dancing Mimikyu. This game didn’t last very long. As soon as Eevee dropped to a hit from Lara’s boosted Mimikyu, Rodrigues quickly forfeited the game.

Game 3 was another clutch adjustment from Rodrigues as he, yet again, brought Krookodile over his trusty Espeon. Another newcomer was Whimsicott, who was able to Taunt Lara’s Mimikyu, stopping it from setting up those crucial Swords Dances. Not only that, but Whimsicott was able to make itself useful once again as it used Fling to flinch Lara’s Mimikyu allowing Eevee to free itself from Sky Drop and set up. Lara’s lack of Ground resists really hurt him here as Krookodile was able to freely set up a Substitute and freely click Power Trip and Earthquake to clean up the game.

Despite not being able to close out a second regional win, Alberto Lara’s snowball has been rolling for a while now. He’s  already qualified for Worlds, but he’s certainly not done yet.

Eevee is a Best-of-Three team?

Rodrigues’ post-match interview brought up a few interesting points about what playing an Eevee team is like. First off, Rodrigues went into every single one of his matches knowing that his opponents knew exactly what his team did. He had a few unconventional moves here and there, but for the most part, each of his opponents knew exactly what he was planning.

The thing is, Rodrigues didn’t seem to mind. He mentioned that Eevee has very few “auto-loss” matchups which usually involves uncommon moves like Perish Song and combinations of moves that remove stat boosts. Rodrigues claims that most players who have one or two techs for the Eevee matchup don’t actually have as easy of a win as they think. As we saw, Rodrigues’ play put his Eevee play at a whole new level, and I believe that his skill as a player is what won him this tournament.

Perhaps the most controversial claim he made, was that Eevee was not a best-of-one team. In best-of-one play, there are a lot of things you cannot afford to assume about the opponent’s team. One example that Rodrigues brought up is that he’s not able to play around an opposing Tapu Fini having Haze so he’s almost forced to go for the Extreme Evoboost regardless of his assumptions about his opponent’s potential Eevee techs. In best-of-three however, if he sees that his opponent has a move like Haze, he can easily play around it in Games 2 and 3.

Final Thoughts

So now what? Am I gonna face Eevee in every single tournament I go to now? To be honest, a lot of players voiced their frustrations on the growing popularity of Sun teams and now Eevee teams. Realistically, there are still a lot of Eevee haters out there and definitely a lot of inexperienced Eevee players, so I wouldn’t be too worried.

Still, Rodrigues’ win is monumental for the Eevee team archetype, and after nearly 11 months of the VGC 2017 format, Eevee finally has a major win.

Bottom Line: Jeremy Rodrigues proved all of the Eevee haters wrong. It is a team that can win.

Thanks for reading!


You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Eric! (@aricbartleti)

Images from Pokemon Sun and Moon, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

Featured image credit to CriticalHitGG

Teams data collected/provided by Nicholas Borghi, Michael Bailey and Trainer Tower

To continue enjoying great content from your favorite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon

vgc 2018 bilbao special event

A truly special tournament: VGC 2018 Bilbao Special Event recap

Piotr Kedziora takes the first Special Event of the 2018 season, upsetting many of Europe’s best in his Top 8 run. The Special Events are new additions to the VGC circuit as extra events that award regional-level Championship points. Kedziora came to represent his home nation of Ireland, which despite being a relatively small VGC power, is already well on their way to sending one of their own to the 2018 World Championships.

Results & Teams (Top 8 Cut)

1. Piotr Kedziora [IRE]

2. Eduardo Cunha [POR]

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3. Arash Ommati [ITA]

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4. Leonardo Bonanomi [ITA]

5. Alessio Vinciguerra [ITA]

6. Eric Rios [ESP]

7. Barry Anderson [GBR]

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8. Ruben Pereira [POR]

Top Cut Team Highlights

There were a plethora of interesting teams and Pokemon in Bilbao’s Top Cut, and I’d like to start with the champion’s team.

vgc 2018 bilbao special event

Piotr Kedziora’s team is nothing new to post-Worlds VGC players, as it has been picking up popularity to the point where it appeared twice in Bilbao’s Top Cut. Tapu Lele seems to be on the rise since Sam Pandelis used it to make it to the finals of the 2017 World Championships, and the supporting duo of Garchomp and Celesteela is another popular combo that pairs very well with Tapu Lele. Alolan Muk is a surprisingly good Pokemon in the metagame right now. Knock Off plus the immense Poison-type damage Muk threatens with Gunk Shot is a deadly combination with all of the teams that rely on their Tapu and their items. Muk is a Pokemon I could see picking up more usage before the end of the 2017 format.

vgc 2018 bilbao special eventRunner-up Eduardo Cunha’s take on the classic double Tapu, Arcanine, Kartana, Porygon2 and *insert Trick Room attacker here* team archetype was far from standard. Cunha’s Tapu Fini played a hybrid of an attacker and a support Pokemon, being able to utilize both of its types offensively but also having access to Haze and Light Screen. Cunha opted for Mudsdale as his Trick Room attacker/Ground-type, and it was clutch in nearly all of his Top Cut matches. This Mudsdale decided against the popular Assault Vest item in favor of a pinch berry and the option to protect itself. This was an intelligent choice from Cunha, as many players will immediately see Mudsdale as a threat, and having access to Protect likely discouraged double targets into it.

vgc 2018 bilbao special event

Finally, I’d like to examine Barry Anderson’s and Ruben Pereira’s take on the Tailwind+Tapu Lele archetype. Anderson opted for a Fightinium Z Kartana with Swords Dance which likely claimed many KO’s on unsuspecting Porygon2’s looking to set up Trick Room. Pereira’s use of Magnezone was a great call for this tournament, even managing to rattle 2013 World Champion Arash Ommati in their Top 8 set. Ommati, being one of Europe’s top players, was able to beat Magnezone despite its great matchup.

Speaking of Arash Ommati…

Early Consistency

vgc 2018 bilbao special event

Ommati celebrating his 7-0 start in Bilbao. Image credit to @Mean_vgc on Twitter (aka Arash Ommati’s Twitter)

Despite a lacking performance in Anaheim, Arash Ommati has made it to the Top Cut in every major European tournament in the 2018 season. Sitting comfortably at 525 Championship Points, Arash has almost double the amount needed for European Worlds invite and is currently number one in the world in the Championship Point standings.

If there’s anyone doing World Champion Ryota Otsubo’s team proud, it’s Ommati. While not the exact same team, the elements of Otsubo’s team are there in Ommati’s. The Whimsicott is able to set up Tailwind so Tapu Fini and Garchomp are able to start racking up KO’s, while Celesteela is a perfect defensive pivot for the team.

It’s unlikely that Ommati will deviate from this team for the remainder of the season, but once 2018 rolls around, he’ll be forced to change things up. You have to commend his unbelievable run so far in this very young season.

Meet the New Caster!

vgc 2018 bilbao special event

Labhaosia Cromie (pictured to the far right) waves to the camera with her fellow VGC casters. Image credit to @OneHitKayOh on Twitter

Labhaoisa Cromie recently joined the European commentary team with Bilbao as her inaugural event. Her existing chemistry with the rest of the returning cast definitely showed, and I think she did a great job in balancing analysis with play-by-play commentary. It’s always great seeing new commentators every now and again, and I’m sure she’ll be brought back on for London Internationals next month.

Final Thoughts

There have been a lot of post-Worlds events for the 2017 season and I’m sure we’re all getting a bit tired of VGC 2017, but Bilbao and Hartford proved that this metagame is still evolving. We continue to see the same old Tapu Koko, Arcanine, Celesteela and Garchomp, but its the new ways players are discovering to beat these consistent strategies that continue to make VGC 2017 fun to watch.

For those of you that are still bored of the format, don’t worry, we only have about a month until the release of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. London should be exciting though. Until then we’ve got a couple more North American events to cover so stay tuned for more of our coverage!

Thanks for reading!


You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Eric! (@aricbartleti)

Images from Pokemon Sun and Moon, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

Featured image credit to tournamentcenter.eu

Teams data collected/provided by Nicholas Borghi, Michael Bailey and Trainer Tower

To continue enjoying great content from your favorite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon

West coast player, east coast champion: VGC 2018 Hartford Regional Championships recap (Tuesday)

Alberto Lara, a player based mainly on the west coast, is your Hartford Regional Champion. Lara has been quite a consistent player for the VGC 2017 format, achieving numerous Top Cut placings at the regional level. With this win, Lara is the first player from the United States to earn his invite to the 2018 Pokemon World Championships just a little over a month into the new season. We have a lot to talk about from Hartford, but first here are your Top 8 results.

Results & Teams (Top 8)

1. Alberto Lara

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2. Brady Smith

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3. Jancarlo Samayoa

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4. Stephen Mea

5. Joshua Lorcy

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6. Sohaib Mufti

7. Jeremy Rodrigues 

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8. Kevin Swastek

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*Fun fact: Three players in this Top Cut also appeared in the Top Cut of the Ft. Wayne Regional Championships. However, only one of them used the same team for this tournament.

Alberto Lara’s Dominant Top 8 RunPokemon VGC 2018 Hartford Regional Championships

Alberto Lara’s tag “Sweeper” was fitting for his domination of his opponents in Top Cut. Lara’s team featured a mix of Pokemon that could put out a lot of offense and support each other well. By far the three most interesting and clutch members of Lara’s strategy were his Gengar, Assault Vest Tapu Koko and his Flynium Z Salamence with Dragon Dance.

Gengar is a Pokemon player’s opt to build to support, but this season, the Gengar’s we’ve seen have capitalized on Gengar’s excellent offensive typing. Lara also took advantage of the powerful Sludge Bombs and Shadow Balls Gengar could throw out which proved key in knocking out Pokemon like Ninetales, Marowak and opposing Tapu.

The Assault Vest is an item that recently hasn’t seen a lot of play on Tapu Koko, but Lara showed that this variant is still good. Utilizing moves like Nature’s Madness and Sky Drop allowed Lara to set up his Salamence and other Pokemon to take KO’s on his opponent’s weakened Pokemon.

Dragon Dance variants of Salamence have risen in popularity since Paul Ruiz’s semi-final run at the 2017 World Championships, and its a powerful option for sure. Rather than having a Pokemon like Persian to Fake Out his opponents, Lara relied on his team’s immense offensive pressure to give Salamence free turns to boost.

With all of these counter-meta techs and a highly aggressive play-style, Lara swept through his Top 8 opponents without dropping a single game. With a day one invite already claimed, Lara is putting himself in a great position to claim a day two invite to the 2018 World Championships.

Did I mention that he won this tournament on his birthday? What a great gift to himself.

Ray Rizzo – #StopAtNothing – Part 1

Pokemon VGC 2018 Hartford Regional Championships

(Image credit to @P_dOnZ on Twitter)

Three-time World Champion Ray Rizzo’s quest back to the Worlds stage began in Hartford with an impressive finish to start his comeback season. Rizzo ended with a 6-2 record which unfortunately meant he missed out on Top Cut, but a Top 16 finish is still an accomplishment nonetheless.

Rizzo’s team was nothing new as he was running a team very similar to the team Sam Pandelis used to take second at the 2017 World Championships. Regardless, Rizzo showed us viewers on his streamed match versus Brendan Zheng that he can still play at a high level, and I’m sure we’ll see him in the Top Cut of a tournament before long.

Established YouTubers give VGC Regionals a shot

Pokemon VGC 2018 Hartford Regional Championships

PokeaimMD among popular VGC YouTubers Ray Rizzo and James Baek. (Image Credit to @GramgusVGC on Twitter)

Believe it or not, there were a fair number of popular personalities in the Pokemon community that attended Hartford Regionals. Notable PokeTubers in attendance included PokeaimMD, Emvee, aDrive and MrTalent. The most notable result came from Joey (aka PokeaimMD) who finished with a 6-2 record earning him a spot in the Top 16.

Why is this important? Well, popular Pokemon content creators showing interest in VGC is great for the growth of the scene. Players like aDrive, PokeaimMD and MrTalent already have VGC content on their respective channels, but this could signify a growing interest in VGC in the PokeTuber community.

Final Thoughts

For a post-worlds regional, there was surprisingly a lot of buzz around Hartford. For one, there was a community-wide effort for registration to hit the number required for a Top 16 cut which was just missed by five players. Still, the effort put forward by players and the TO’s shows that we as a community can help tournaments reach these goals, and I hope that this level of initiative extends beyond the northeast US.

Another big shoutout to CriticalHit.gg and CLASHTournaments for providing streams to both TCG and VGC. Without help from the streaming community we wouldn’t be able to grow as much as we have.

That might be it from Hartford, but there was a Special Event over in Bilbao, Spain that received an official stream that we have yet to talk about. Come back this Friday for our recap from the Bilbao Special Event!

Thanks for reading!


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Images from Pokemon Sun and Moon, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

Teams data collected/provided by Nicholas Borghi, Michael Bailey and Trainer Tower

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