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Victory Road x GGToor’s Sinnoh Open Tournament Gives First Look at BDSP VGC

bdsp vgc

The Pokémon Company announced prior to the release of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl that competitive play would remain on Sword and Shield despite the release of the highly anticipated remakes. Naturally, this disheartened much of the player base who was looking forward to playing the Video Game Championships format in a new game with a fresh, yet familiar pool of strategies and Pokémon.

With this mind, the community turned to grassroots organizations to host VGC tournaments and develop a standardized format for BDSP VGC. VGC in the original fourth generation era remains sparsely documented, and VGC of that day and age largely took on a different form. A VGC format existing in BDSP would cater to old heads who were playing the game all the way back in 2008 and 2009, while appealing to the modern age with new moves, available Pokémon and typings.

Victory Road and GGToor held the first major BDSP Tournament, and here is our breakdown of the results:

Link to the full list of Top Cut results and teams can be found here.

A Dance of Dragons

bdsp vgc

A major way this new VGC format resembles the days of old is the dominance of the game’s plethora of powerful Dragon-type Pokémon. Latios once again rules at the top with its fantastic typing, speed and full clip of powerful Draco Meteors to reign down on the rest of the format.

Garchomp settles back in as one of the most consistent attacking forces in the metagame, able to hit hard with powerful spread moves like Earthquake and Rock Slide. What makes Garchomp an even bigger threat is the fact that it can easily pack Swords Dance to double its already impressive Attack stat.

bdsp vgcHonorable mention goes to Salamence who remains the one of the game’s premier holders of the ability Intimidate while also being a formidable attacker in its own right.

Some Pokémon even like to play Dragon, utilizing the powerful boosting move Dragon Dance to kick their Speed and Attack stats into sweeping territory. See Gyarados and Tyranitar.

Follow Me to Victorybdsp vgc

A core strategy that has appeared on a number of successful teams is redirection, usually Follow Me, plus some sort of set-up sweeper. Said sweepers include the aforementioned Dragon Dancing Gyarados and Tyranitar as well as the Swords Dancing Scizor (who currently dominates the format as far as usage goes).

For redirecting partners, Togekiss reprises its role as the premier Follow Me user, but a fan favorite Pokémon from World Championships past has returned to prominent in this limited Pokédex. Pachirisu of 2014 fame returns alongside its partner Gyarados as a reasonably viable sponge for the plethora of Electric-type attacks flying around the current metagame. Pachirisu’s excellent support moves in Super Fang and Nuzzle give it a versatile role on a number of different teams, but Gyarados remains the premier benefactor of its supportive capabilities.

Tangrowth popped up in this Top Cut too as sort of a poor man’s Amoonguss it seems. A less accurate form of Spore in Sleep Powder, the Regenerator ability and access to Rage Powder. If you squint its basically the same Pokemon.

Rain is Back?

Image: Game8

In limited Pokédex formats where Dynamax no longer exists, Rain shoots to the top of competitive viability, easily able to overwhelm the lower power-scaled pool of Pokémon. The usual suspects are back with Politoed and Pelipper being the premier Drizzle setter and Ludicolo (with a bit of Kingdra sprinkled in) being the token Swift Swim sweepers.

Counter rain is necessary for all teams to exist in the format, so Tyranitar and Gastrodon have risen in usage statistics for their ability to change the weather and draw Water-type attacks in for a free boost. Some of the best Pokémon in the format period appreciate the benefits of Rain, for example Scizor for its reduced Fire weakness and Raikou for its ability to spam 100% Thunder.

A New Coat of Paint

bdsp vgc
Image: ScreenRant

Even though the region and Pokémon selection may appear familiar, many of them have taken on different forms since their original heyday of the Nintendo DS age. Togekiss and Gardevoir now have the Fairy-type making them even more valuable assets in combatting and defending against the game’s powerful Dragon-types.

Skillful Shedinja play in recent VGC formats have brought it back here as well, being a pesky Pokémon to handle while existing on primarily Rain teams. Rain teams, as well as others, enjoy the company of Raikou which now carries the excellent support move in Snarl as well as an enhanced coverage option in Scald.


Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl may not be the official Pokémon Video Game circuit’s choice for the competitive scene’s home game, but many players have found a place in a new VGC format of their creation. With more tournaments likely on the way, general disdain for Sword and Shield’s current competitive format and a growing preference to play on the newly released remakes, perhaps its worth for Pokémon’s Organized Play division to consider eventually making the switch over.

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Images from Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Featured Image from Victory Road

1 comment

Victory Road x GGToor's Sinnoh Open Tournament Gives First Look at BDSP VGC - The Game Haus - Pokémon News December 13, 2021 at 1:07 am

[…] The Pokémon Company announced prior to the release of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl that competitive play would remain on Sword and Shield …View full source […]


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