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Checking off the To-Do List – VGC 2018 Malmö Regional Championship recap

vgc 2018 malmo regional championships

Jamie Boyt had three goals for the 2018 season:

  1. Win his third regional
  2. Receive a paid trip to the 2018 World Championships
  3. Win Worlds

With his regional win in Malmö, Boyt has probably crossed out two out of those three goals. I mentioned in our Collinsville recap that we had a lot of fun metagame stuff to talk about for Malmö, and I wasn’t lying. The British trio of Jamie Boyt, Ben Markham and Barry Anderson that comprised three out of the Top 4 all had interesting, yet effective strategies. Before we get to that however, let’s take a look at the full results from Malmö.

Results & Teams (Top 8)

1. Jamie Boyt [GBR]

Image result for mega charizard x shuffleImage result for celesteela pokemon shuffleImage result for tapu koko shuffleImage result for suicune shuffleImage result for serperior shuffleImage result for persian shuffle

2. Ben Markham [GBR]

Image result for metagross pokemon shuffleImage result for tapu koko shuffleImage result for tapu bulu shuffleImage result for araquanid shufflePorygon2Image result for incineroar pokemon shuffle

3. Barry Anderson [GBR]

Image result for tyranitar pokemon shuffleImage result for tapu bulu shuffleImage result for azumarill shuffleImage result for lucario shuffleImage result for volcarona shuffleImage result for jynx shuffle

4. Davide Cauteruccio [ITA]

Image result for mega manectric shuffleImage result for tapu fini shuffleImage result for celesteela pokemon shuffleImage result for landorus pokemon shuffleImage result for gothitelle pokemon shuffleImage result for snorlax shuffle

5. Nicole Saeed [SWE]

Shuffle006MY.pngImage result for tapu koko shuffleImage result for landorus pokemon shuffleImage result for celesteela pokemon shuffleImage result for gothitelle pokemon shuffleImage result for snorlax shuffle

6. Stefan Somo [SWE]

Image result for mega charizard x shuffleImage result for tapu fini shuffleImage result for cresselia pokemon shuffle iconImage result for ferrothorn shuffleImage result for nidoking shuffleImage result for scraftyshuffle

7. Eric Rios [ESP]

Image result for gyarados shuffleImage result for tapu koko shuffleImage result for tapu bulu shuffleImage result for cresselia pokemon shuffle iconImage result for heatran shuffleImage result for ferrothorn shuffle

8. Teemu Mankinen [FIN]

Image result for metagross pokemon shuffleImage result for venusaur shuffleImage result for tapu fini shufflePorygon2Image result for marowak shuffleImage result for gyarados shuffle

UK Squad Delivers

Results-wise and team-wise, the UK squad in Top 4 delivered. Jamie Boyt and Baz Anderson began a bit of a Pokemon journey which spanned four tournaments including two MidSeason Showdowns, the Oceania International Championships and finally the regional in Malmö. After making it to the Top Cut at both MSS’s (with Boyt winning one of them and Anderson coming second at the same one) the two had a pretty disappointing performance in Sydney. After adjusting their teams, Malmö was a great success for both of them.

Boyt’s Mega Charizard X (and Friends)mega charizard x shuffle vgc 2018 malmo regional championships

Let’s start with Boyt. We’ve talked a bit about Boyt already and we’ve definitely paid extra attention to his crazy teams that end up being excellent meta calls. Mega Charizard X is a Pokemon that Boyt has been playing with since the start of the 2018 season, and has revised iterations of his Malmö team a couple times. Charizard remained as one of the team’s star members, being able to steal games with its boosting ability with the move Dragon Dance and its powerful coverage of Flare Blitz and Thunderpunch. The two other consistent members have been Serperior and Suicune, both are Pokemon that Boyt has been fond of since the 2015 season.

You don’t see many Grass-types in VGC unless their names are Kartana and/or Ferrothorn, but Serperior has a unique edge over the two Steel-types. With its Hidden Ability Contrary, the -2 Special Attack from Leaf Storm becomes a +2 boost for Serperior, allowing it to max out its Special Attack by simply spamming one of the most powerful Grass-type moves in the game. Serperior’s speed and bulk also allow it to be a solid support Pokemon too, as we saw Boyt’s Serperior whip out Taunt as a means of shutting down the opponent’s support Pokemon.

Suicune is a Pokemon that many UK players have enjoyed using in 2018 as it fits the role of a bulky Water-type with access to Tailwind as an added bonus. With this increased speed, Suicune can start firing off Snarls in order to lower the opponent’s Special Attack or Scalds in order to start racking up burns. The newest additions to the team are Tapu Koko, Celesteela and Alolan Persian. Tapu Koko runs pretty similarly on Boyt’s team, using the Electrium Z in order to get massive damage on most of the metagame while in the Electric Terrain. Celesteela benefits from the Terrain as well, holding the Electric Seed which boosts Celesteela’s Defense after it is consumed. Alolan Persian is a great Pokemon to pair with sweepers like Mega Charizard X and Serperior, using moves like Fake Out and Parting Shot to weaken the opponent’s Pokemon allowing for easy set-up.

This is just the beginning of Boyt’s creativity in the format, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

Anderson’s Jynxjynx vgc 2018 malmo regional championships

Barry Anderson started off the season rather slow, but the 30 year-old veteran made a statement with Jynx on his team. Jynx is a curious choice, but Anderson saw a ton of potential in Jynx’s many useful tricks. Ice-type damage coming from an Ice-type Pokemon is hard to come by sometimes, but an Ice Beam from Jynx makes even the bulkiest of Dragons and Landorus fear for their lives. Anderson’s Jynx used the Adrenaline Orb item to counter the plethora of Intimidate with the Adrenaline Orb giving Jynx a speed boost when its Attack is lowered. Jynx even makes use of a great ability in Dry Skin which makes it immune to Water-type attacks with a bit of healing to go along with it.

With Skill Swap, Anderson was able to Skill Swap Dry Skin onto his Volcarona making it a hard counter to any Water-type that threatened it before. If you want to know a bit more about Anderson’s Jynx, I highly recommend checking out his recent video explaining his thought process behind why he decided to use it. One more interesting bit about Anderson’s team is his use of Lucario. Anderson’s team is very set-up focused with Belly Drum Azumarill, Quiver Dance Volcarona and Dragon Dance Mega Tyranitar. Lucario has access to Follow Me which bypasses the Grass-type immunity that Rage Powder has, making Follow Me a much more reliable form of re-direction. This team just has so many cool forms of synergy, and like Boyt, I’m eagerly anticipating the next team that Anderson has success with.

Markham’s Araquanidaraquanid vgc 2018 malmo regional championships

Finally we come to Ben Markham, who may not have had the craziest of tricks, but his team featured a bit of a throwback to last year that might pick up some steam. Markham used the popular Porygon2 and Araquanid combo that won four straight regional championships in North America last year, and nearly came close to winning one this year. This time, Araquanid is back and bigger than ever. Literally. The now obtainable Totem Araquanid is the preferred option for players not only because of its monstrous size, but the extra pounds it has over a normal Araquanid. The simple in-game benefit Totem Araquanid has is that it is unaffected by Sky Drop allowing it to more freely spam its Water Bubble-boosted Liquidations much more freely. Could this combo come back in 2018 with four straight tournament victories? Some players seem to think so.

An Updated List 

After pretty easily cleaning up his first two goals on his initial list, Boyt has since updated his 2018 list of goals. All of them looking like they’re in reasonable reach.

At 840 Championship Points, Boyt cements his spot in the Top 8 of Europe’s Championship Point rankings and is in a strong position for a Day 2 invitation to the 2018 World Championships. Unfortunately he was a bit late for travel stipends to the Latin America International Championships, so he’ll be absent from Sao Paulo. However, he will have one more shot for the International crown this summer in Columbus, Ohio for the North American International Championships. To quote Boyt on Twitter he said, “I’m coming for you Ohio” but that will likely change very soon to, “I’m coming for you Nashville” as we’ll likely see him in Day 2 battling to complete his final goal.

Thanks for reading!

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

Teams data collected/provided by Nicholas Borghi and Trainer Tower

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