mega blaziken

Mega Blaziken Fires Up the Metagame! – VGC 2018 Underrated List

Ever since Incineroar showed up, it has been hard for other Fire-types in the 2018 metagame to find a place on a lot of teams. Mega Charizard Y has dominated the Fire-type Mega Evolution slot for years. Only a couple other mega evolution appearances include the likes of Mega Camerupt and Mega Blaziken.

Mega Blaziken seems like it’s turning into one of the most popular anti-meta Pokemon in the format. The sheer amount of offense Mega Blaziken teams possess can easily overwhelm a team that isn’t prepared. However, with such a focus on offense, using Mega Blaziken means you can rarely play safe or defensive. Let’s see how a Pokemon built on the strategy of “high risk, high reward” fares in VGC 2018.

Stats & Typing 

FireFighting

mega blaziken

Being a Mega Evolution naturally means that Mega Blaziken has solid stats across the board. As mentioned before, Mega Blaziken’s focus is on offense, which is reflected in both its Attack and Special Attack. This gives Mega Blaziken the ability to not adhere to just one side of the attacking spectrum, as it can use both physical and special moves effectively. One of the biggest upgrades it gets is in its Speed stat which is 20 points higher than normal Blaziken. This allows Mega Blaziken to out-speed many common threats even before a Speed Boost. Base 80 in HP and Defense aren’t too bad, considering Blaziken’s defenses receive a slight boost from Mega Evolving. However, you shouldn’t count on this Pokemon soaking up a lot of hits.

Fire and Fighting is an amazing offensive typing, and Mega Blaziken has both the stats and moves to back it up. Other than Incineroar and the occasional bulky Water-type, Fire-type attacks have very few resistances in the metagame, allowing Mega Blaziken to inflict a lot of damage. The other half of Mega Blaziken’s offense comes from his Fighting typing. This allows Mega Blaziken to approach in many different ways. Mega Blaziken is fortunately one of the few Fighting-types that can deal with Fairy-types better, thanks to it being half Fire-type.

Even though Mega Blaziken has a few defensive advantages, it still has to deal with all of the other woes of being both a Fire and Fighting-type in VGC 2018. Being a Fire-type means that Mega Blaziken struggles to break through bulky Water-types like Tapu Fini. Fighting-type attacks may do well against Pokemon like Porygon2 and Snorlax. Though, compared to the rest of the metagame that’s dominated by Fairy-type Pokemon and bulky Psychic-types like Cresselia and Gothitelle, using a Fighting-type becomes a bit more challenging.

Move pool

Mega Blaziken can find use for both moves on the physical and special side, so that’s how we’ll be dividing up this category.

Physical

  • Flare Blitz: The go-to Fire-type attack for most Fire-type physical attackers. While there’s recoil that makes this move risky to use, Mega Blaziken’s focus, again, is to inflict as much damage as possible. With that in mind, this move delivers very high damage, and showcases Mega Blaziken’s offensive capability quite well.
  • High Jump Kick: One of many of Blaziken’s high-damaging Fighting-type attacks. Though, this one is probably one of the least advised to use. The reason being that Protect and the high chance of missing, meaning you could easily whiff this move and lose half of Mega Blaziken’s HP for nothing. If you want to gamble like a Pheromosa in VGC 2017, then feel free to try out High Jump Kick.
  • Rock Slide: A fast Rock Slide is never a bad option in VGC, and Mega Blaziken can deliver. Having this move available usually solves most Mega Blaziken teams’ matchup against Mega Charizard Y, so its worth it for coverage.
  • Superpower: Not as risky as High Jump Kick, but definitely not a means of consistent damage output. Superpower may be 100% accurate, but you do have to deal with the drops in Attack and Defense after a successful use of it. A good option for a Swords Dance set where you can boost your attack to the point of not worrying about the single stage drops to Mega Blaziken’s Attack stat.
  • Low Kick: The physical Fighting-type attack with the most “consistent” damage output. While Low Kick never misses and doesn’t lower stats, this move’s power is entirely dependent on the weight of your target. Great for Pokemon like Tyranitar and Snorlax. Not so great for Porygon2 and Kartana.
  • Thunder Punch: Thankfully, Mega Blaziken has a way of dealing with bulky Water-types, though the damage here isn’t the greatest. Mega Blaziken that run ThunderPunch usually have a Tapu Koko on their team for the Electric Terrain boost.
  • Swords Dance: If your team has the proper means of support, Swords Dance can be devestating for an opponent. After just one use of Swords Dance, Mega Blaziken can start picking up one-hit-KO’s left and right. Many players usually like to opt for coverage over set-up on Mega Blaziken, but Swords Dance is by no means a bad option.

Special

  • Overheat: The go-to Fire-type attack for Special and mixed variants of Mega Blaziken. Like Superpower, this move drops Mega Blaziken’s stats (this time a two stage drop to Special Attack), but the damage output is worth it. This works out fine on mixed sets that have physical moves to work with, so the drop in Special Attack doesn’t matter too much.
  • Focus Blast: If you’re feeling as risky as High Jump Kick, Focus Blast is pretty much the Special equivalent. 70% accuracy often feels like 20% after some extended play with this move, causing many competitive players to advise against using it.
  • Hidden Power: Hidden Power might be a move that every Pokemon has access to, but Mega Blaziken is a solid candidate for Hidden Power Ice. With Mega Blaziken’s Special Attack, it can easily pick up one-hit-KO’s on two of its biggest counters in Landorus and Mega Salamence.

Mega Blaziken’s Physical move pool is a lot better than its Special one, leading many players to opt for mixed sets rather than just strictly Special ones. Physical-based sets are the most popular right now, but mixed sets are effective enough to not be discounted when seen.

Ability: Speed Boost

The ability that got Mega Blaziken (and normal Blaziken) banned from Smogon’s OU singles metagame is what also makes it a huge threat in doubles. Speed Boost raises Blaziken’s Speed by one stage every turn. This is insane, coming from an already fast Pokemon. What’s even better is that Protect is even more usable in doubles, making turn one pretty much a free speed boost for Mega Blaziken. With just one boost, Mega Blaziken can out-speed a lot of common Choice Scarf Pokemon. With two, it can even ignore an opponent’s Tailwind in most cases. This ability is amazing, and it allows Mega Blaziken to become a huge threat after being in the battle for just a single turn.

Checks and Counters

Bulky Water-types

tapu fini mega blaziken

Even though Thunder Punch is an option for Mega Blaziken, it surely won’t pick up KO’s on Pokemon like Tapu Fini, Milotic and Suicune. To handle this weakness, Mega Blaziken appreciates a Grass or Electric-type teammate.

Cresselia

Mega Blaziken cannot touch Cresselia at all, making it a hard counter to it. Not only that, but Cresselia can easily spam Icy Wind to negate Mega Blaziken’s speed boosts or just set up Trick Room to flip the speed order.

Landorus-Therian

Intimidate+Earthquake is a horrible combo for Mega Blaziken to go up against. Luckily, Mega Blaziken can out-speed even the fastest of Landorus after one speed boost and do massive damage with Flare Blitz. If you want to OHKO Landorus-Therian though, then consider having Hidden Power Ice.

Mega Salamence

Intimidate+strong Flying-type damage is another combo Mega Blaziken hates going against. Unfortunately, unlike Landorus, Blaziken can’t touch Mega Salamence with Fire or Fighting-type moves, so Hidden Power Ice or a potentially weakened Rock Slide are the only way to damage it.

Good Teammates 

Bisharp

bisharp mega blaziken

Physical-attacking Mega Evolutions in VGC 2018 like to have a Pokemon that does well against Intimidate, and this is where Bisharp comes in. Bisharp does well against the Psychic and Fairy-types that Blaziken hates. Meanwhile, Blaziken can handle Incineroar pretty well for Bisharp. These two have such great synergy that Bisharp+Mega Blaziken is considered an archetype by many players.

Tapu Koko

An answer to the bulky Water-types and having Electric Terrain to boost Mega Blaziken’s Thunder Punch. Tapu Koko’s high speed combined with Blaziken’s high speed make these two a solid offensive duo.

Tapu Lele

Having Tapu Lele paired with Mega Blaziken reminds me of the days of Tapu Lele and Pheromosa back in VGC 2017. The combination of Psychic/Fairy and Fire/Fighting is a strong offensive combo, and these two have the capability to do massive damage if left unchecked.

So why use Mega Blaziken?

mega blaziken anime

If you’re a player that enjoys playing hyper offense, this is the Pokemon to build your team around. With a great offensive typing and solid offensive moves and stats, Mega Blaziken can dent opposing teams without much help. It does have to watch out for the occasional Landorus or Tapu Fini, but it does well against the increasingly common Mega Gengar team archetype.

Also, Mega Metagross is still around, and Mega Blaziken loves that matchup.

 

Mega Blaziken may not be the most consistent or popular Mega Pokemon out there, but the surprise factor and ability to overwhelm opponents is probably why its been picking up in usage as of late.

The last time we did an “Underrated List” piece on a Mega Evolution was for Mega Scizor. Shortly after, it won an International Championship.

Perhaps some big-time success isn’t too far off for Mega Blaziken too.



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 Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, The Pokemon Anime, Bulbapedia, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

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Mega Gengar’s Reign over VGC Continues – VGC 2018 Toronto Regional Championships Recap

The Toronto regional championships came and went this past weekend. As Toronto’s winner James Baek would state via his YouTube channel, Mega Gengar and Kommo-o have won “Baek to Baek” regional titles.

After multiple Top Cuts in various regionals and one finals appearance back in 2015, James Baek finally claims his first regional win in his first attended regional outside of the United States. Baek continued the trend of using Mega Gengar, an ostensibly prominent choice among players at this tournament. With it netting yet another major tournament win, Mega Gengar is becoming the Pokemon and archetype to beat in VGC 2018.

Results & Teams (Top 8)

1. James Baek

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2. Rajan Bal

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3. Kevin Swastek

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4. Alessio Yuri Boschetto

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5. Alex Collins

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6. Stephen Mea

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7. Jairo Contreras

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8. Diana Bros

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Mega Gengar Haunts Torontomega gengar toronto regionals pokemon

We saw a fair amount of Mega Gengar in Toronto. However, all three Gengar teams in the Top 8 took different approaches for their team. James Baek decided to keep it simple with the typical Mega Gengar + Kommo-o archetype, utilizing a second set-up option with Azumarill. We’ve seen modes similar to this with Xurkitree over Azuamarill, but this whole team seems to resonate with Clefairy.

While Azumarill is one of his favorite Pokemon to use competitively, Baek believed that it has a good matchup in the metagame right now. Many teams can struggle against the combination of Clefairy’s Friend Guard and Follow Me support with Azumarill’s Belly Drum set-up.

Rajan Bal gave Baek a tough Finals set with his own Mega Gengar squad. Bal’s team is reminscent of a team used by Joseph Selmer who has been notably piloting Virizion as well. To round out his squad, Bal resorted to Snorlax, a personal favorite of his.

Finally, Diana Bros took an overall more standard approach to her Gengar team. Other than Gengar and Kartana, her team consists of VGC 2018 staples such as Landorus, Incineroar, Tapu Fini and Zapdos. Although this Top 8 finish wasn’t enough for Bros to secure her Worlds invite, her 355 Championship Points put her well within striking distance. If her impressive finish in Toronto is anything to go by, Bros shouldn’t have too much trouble wrapping up her Worlds invite.

Italy Invades Toronto

By Italy, this author is really talking about one player: Alessio Yuri Boschetto. The number one player in the world right now, Boschetto decided to take a trip over to Toronto. He exited this tournament with some more CP to add to his massive total, already exceeding 2000.

Fun Fact: There were more Italian players in Toronto’s Top Cut than Canadian players.

Metagame Highlights

Dragonite: Well, this is a surprise. Dragonite is one of the many powerful Dragon-type Pokemon that often gets overlooked. The last time Dragonite made news was when Giovanni Costa pulled off an impossible 1v4 at the North American International Championships last year. Jairo “Alchem1st” Contreras is quite a big fan of Dragonite as he has virtually adopted it as his mascot. This Dragonite wasn’t your typical Dragon Dance boosting sweeper, though.

Rather, it was a versatile attacker using a surprise Z-move to catch opponents off-guard. Contreras’ Dragonite had a decent amount of coverage between Extreme Speed, Ice Punch and Earthquake powering that Groundium Z. Unfortunately, Dragonite didn’t fare too well in Contreras’ Top 8 match as it found itself constantly being kept in check by Intimidate. At the end of the day, Contreras was just happy to have Dragonite in the Top Cut of a regional, and he sure made a name for the lesser-appreciated dragon.

Venusaur: The combination of Mega Charizard Y and Venusaur is always talked about, but rarely sees much success at big tournaments. Alex Collins believed this combo was still effective, and he was able to pilot it to a Top 8 finish. Venusaur’s Chlorophyll ability doubles its speed in the sun which Mega Charizard Y summons with its Drought ability. This turns Venusaur into a effective sweeper with the added bonus of a fast Sleep Powder.

Braviary: We’ve seen Braviary before in big tournament placings, but it seems to be picking up more and more popularity. It’s usually paired next to a Lightning Rod user in order to redirect Electric attacks away from it and the Tapu Fini that’s usually also on these teams. Braviary’s practicality was captured in Matthew Greaves’ post-finals interview from Salt Lake City. He stated that his team doesn’t have very good switch-ins to Flying-type attacks. Combine that with Defiant to counter the abundance of Intimidate in the metagame, and you’ve got yourself a compelling offensive Tailwind setter.

Looking Forward

With Toronto behind us, we now turn our attention towards Roanoke for the second to last regional championship in the North American circuit. Virginia is usually one of the higher profile tournaments of the season as it sits smack dab in the middle of the highly competitive East Coast region. Mega Gengar looks like it has solidified itself as the Pokemon to beat in the current metagame. Players should be prepared to face a lot of it in Roanoke.

That is, unless they decide to use it for themselves.


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 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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pokemon 2018 salt lake city regional

Why did it have to be Kommo-o? – VGC 2018 Salt Lake City Regional Championships Recap

Everyone’s favorite scaly dragon finally has a regional championship to its name thanks to newly crowned Utah Regional Champion: Matthew Greaves.

Greaves perfectly fit the “home town hero” narrative (dubbed that by commentator Kimo Nishimura) as he finally won the regional title in his home state. Greaves had previously made it to the Top Cut of Salt Lake City twice before this year’s tournament, and was a lot of people’s “smart money” to win the whole thing this year. Needless to say, he didn’t disappoint.

Results & Teams (Top 8)

1. Matthew Greaves

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2. Emilio Estrada

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3. Cade Bowles

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4. Joseph Selmer

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5. James Eakes

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6. Jerry Meyers

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7. Eugene Vizel

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8. Giovanni Costa

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Matthew Greaves’ Team of Tech’skommo-o pokemon 2018 salt lake city regional

Matthew Greaves was not running your standard Mega Gengar team, which seems obvious at team preview. At first glance, despite the odd composition, you’d think you know what Pokemon like Volcarona and Hitmontop are going to do. In this matchup, however, that prior knowledge was (for the most part) meaningless.

Let’s start with the main threat (damage-wise) for Greaves: his Kommo-o. Like 100% of all Kommo-o this season, Greaves’ Kommo-o held its signature Z Crystal that triggers everyone’s favorite 36-second-long animation. However, the Fighting-type attack of choice was… Drain Punch? After that surprise, Greaves revealed Belly Drum.

That’s right, Greaves ran a double set-up Kommo-o with Belly Drum as a secondary means of buffing Kommo-o’s stats. In his post-finals interview, Greaves said that he’s been using a team like this for the whole season and he originally wanted to use Swords Dance on his Kommo-o. Due to the popularity of Intimidate in the metagame, Swords Dance just wasn’t going to cut it.

Running Belly Drum seems like a huge risk considering Kommo-o wasn’t holding any item to help restore its health. That’s where Drain Punch comes in. If Kommo-o is able to achieve this monstrous level of set-up, it has a Speed boost thanks to Clangorous Soulblaze, and it can easily start spamming Drain Punch to regain its HP.

Was it the most practical Kommo-o set? No. Was it fun to watch? Absolutely.

Volcarona was the other major surprise to come out of Greaves’ team, as this Volcarona didn’t do any dancing. This Volcarona was definitively support-focused, with its only attacking move being a powerful Overheat. Rage Powder allowed Volcarona to re-direct attacks from Gengar and Kommo-o, and this Volcarona showed its impressive bulk when it was able to take a double target from Emilio Estrada’s Tapu Lele and Zapdos during the finals. Lastly, this Volcarona was packing Whirlwind which came in clutch during Greaves’ Top 8 match against James Eakes and his Trick Room Gothitelle.

Oh, and the only thing special about Hitmontop is that it had Stone Edge. A Charizard or two were probably caught off-guard with that one.

Who needs six Pokemon?

We’ve seen a few rare examples of players reaching the Top Cut of regionals with just five Pokemon, but in Salt Lake City, there were three. This should be yet another reminder to players out there to make sure your team sheet is 100% correct down to the very last number. Even just one mistake can cost you a member of your team.

Giovanni Costa lost his Scizor in Round 3 due to a stat number being written incorrectly. However, this didn’t phase him. Costa ended up with a Swiss record of 6-1 which actually clinched him his invite to the 2018 World Championships. Despite this setback, this tournament seemed to be a big confidence booster for Costa, as he claimed on Twitter that he was “very close” to perfecting his team.

Eugene Vizel lost a Bisharp somewhere in the Swiss rounds, which actually could have been a key member in his Top 8 set versus Cade Bowles. Bisharp could’ve made the Gengar matchup much easier for Vizel. But despite taking game one in the set, Vizel was no match for the top seed.

Eevee’s Tragically Short 2018 Premiere

eevee sad pokemon 2018 salt lake city regionalFinally, we have the most tragic of the team sheet victims which was Jerry Meyers’ Eevee team. We currently don’t know what Pokemon Meyers lost. But judging by the team composition, the pieces were definitely still there for Eevee to pull off a win. What hit Meyers the hardest was the game one loss that comes with his loss of a Pokemon.

Immediately being down one game is never a good thing, but it’s especially not good for an Eevee player. The element of surprise can usually earn a quick win in game one for the Eevee player, but a surprise tech from the opponent can swing the game the other way as well. In that case, the Eevee player can adjust to the tech accordingly and win the set, but Meyers didn’t have that luxury.

In what was game two of the set, Meyers lost his Eevee on turn one thanks to a Shattered Psyche from Estrada’s Tapu Lele, even after the Extreme Evoboost. At least we got to see the animation.

Also, this author found humor in seeing both Eevee and Giovanni Costa in Top 8, but not together. Perhaps this will serve as some inspiration for Costa to revisit what has become his mascot.

 

Salt Lake City wasn’t the biggest tournament, but it provided some big storylines. Notable Worlds invites were clinched by Giovanni Costa and Joseph Selmer, which makes a total of 29 Americans qualified for the World Championships with three regionals and one International left to go. Kommo-o finally won a regional and Eevee is finally back in the spotlight.

What does this mean for the metagame? We’ll see very soon, as next weekend brings us the highly anticipated Toronto Regional Championships.

 


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

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

latin america international championship pokemon

North America defends its title in Sao Paulo – VGC 2018 Latin America International Championships recap

Former 2016 Senior Division World Champion Carson Confer defended North America’s title as the reigning champs of Latin America. The final match came down to arguably North America’s top two players with Confer’s opponent being the Championship Point leader in the region: Alberto Lara. Even though the tournament crown came down to two Americans, Sao Paulo’s Top Cut hosted quite the variety in national representation. Let’s take a look at what nations these Top 8 players hailed from and what teams they used to reach the tournament’s Top Cut.

Results and Teams (Top 8)

1. Carson Confer [USA]

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2. Alberto Lara [USA]

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3. Eric Rios [ESP]

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4. Melvin Keh [SGP]

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5. Alex Gomez [ESP]

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6. Jean Paul Lopez Buiza [PER]

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7. Raul Ramirez [ECU]

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8. Nico Davide Cognetta [ITA]

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Carson Confer’s run to the top

latin america international championship pokemon

At a 6-2 record after losing the final round of Swiss on stream against Eric Rios, Carson Confer’s hope for Top Cut was shaky. Thanks to his favorable resistance, Confer made it in as the eighth seed where he was matched up against the undefeated top seed Alex Gomez. Gomez and Rios were running the exact same team which meant Confer would have to play against the same team that seemingly mopped the floor with him in the round before.

Confer adjusted his approach to the matchup and was able to beat out Gomez in the Top 8, only to have Rios waiting for him in Top 4. Confer was able to break through the Mimikyu/Snorlax combination that gave him trouble in the previous matches, giving him a game one victory. In Game 2 Rios was on his A-game as he made a clever play by playing into Confer’s Politoed’s Eject Button, catching his Scizor on a switch in to a Flare Blitz from Rios’ Mega Charizard X.

After Confer’s team was heavily damaged by Rios’ Charizard and Tapu Koko, Mimikyu and Snorlax were able to clean up the late game. Game 3 started with Confer at a disadvantage as he led his Rain duo (Politoed and Ludicolo) against the dreaded Mimikyu and Snorlax. Confer was able to KO Mimikyu before it was able to set up Trick Room, and his rain mode plus Scizor was too much for Rios’ remaining Pokemon to handle.

After a tough rematch gauntlet, Confer had one last foe. The reigning Championship Point leader in North America in Alberto Lara. Unlike his previous two matches, this one seemed a lot easier for Confer. Lara’s reliance on Pinch berries on his main means of damage (his Tapu Fini and Araquanid) were easy pickings for Scizor’s Bug Bite. Simply put, Lara’s Pokemon in both games were just unable to break through Confer’s Rain mode and constantly healing Scizor, making the finals a clean 2-0 victory for the former World Champion.

I’m not going to say that I called Mega Scizor winning an International, but my highlight piece on it was very well timed. Confer’s team brought back memories of Rain’s glory days in the 2012 and 2013 formats when Scizor was a staple. Now with a Mega Evolution and a lot of Fairy-types to fight against, Scizor looks like it has made it back to the top. It’s also a resurgence for the Rain archetype which hasn’t seen major success since the days of the 2017 season where it reached the Top Cut of every International Championship. All in all, an impressive run from a player who is just one regional victory away from completing the trifecta.

Only one Incineroar in Top 8?incineroar anime latin america international championship pokemon

Something I didn’t notice initially was the lack of Incineroar in Top 8. In traditional VGC fashion, Landorus was king as it appeared on every team except for the team that carried Incineroar. What happened?

Well if you look closely again at the Top 8 you should notice how many Milotic and Bisharp there are. For those who don’t know, Milotic and Bisharp’s abilities (Competitive and Defiant) raise these Pokemon’s Special Attack/Attack stat when their stats are dropped. That decreased stat is usually thanks to the most popular ability in the VGC metagame: Intimidate.

Many players were skeptical about these Pokemon coming into the season as the format’s most popular Pokemon didn’t boast a favorable matchup for them. However, times have changed and these abilities plus new members to the anti-Intimidate squad like Lurantis are popping up all over big tournaments now. Oh, and I guess since rain is back that makes things even worse for Incineroar.

Does this mean Incineroar’s time in the spotlight is over? I wouldn’t count on it. But this was just a reminder to everyone that Landorus-Therian will always remain top… cat.

Nicknames are back?

In a completely random turn of events, trainers were allowed to display nicknames on their Pokemon. This is a feature that hasn’t been implemented in official tournaments since the early days of VGC, for what I’m assuming are obvious reasons. Surprisingly, everything worked out okay. There was no outrage over any inappropriate nicknames that appeared on stream or anything; heck, we even got some fun ones to chuckle at as we watched the streamed matches. Here are some of my personal favorites.

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  • Alessio Yuri Boschetto’s Tapu Fini: “Tapu Beanie”

– Boschetto’s affinity for beanies is well known throughout the community so this nickname is just fitting.

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  • Carson Confer’s Mega Scizor: “#FreeStratos”

– Wrong nostalgic childhood franchise, but I appreciate the reference. For real though, this card’s been on the ban list for too long.

  • Alberto Lara’s/Ashton Cox’s team members named after his friends.

– The power of friendship.

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  • Frederico Turnano’s Incineroar: “JohnCenaRoar”

– Like if you can hear this nickname.

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  • Justin Crubaugh’s Zapdos: “Frank”

– I’m not sure if there’s some sort of personal connection to this one, but animals with normal-sounding people names always crack me up.

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  • Nico Davide Cognetta’s Clefairy: “ReglaDeTodos” 

-This roughly translates to “ruler of all” which I think is pretty funny considering this is a Clefairy we’re talking about.

 

That’s all from Sau Paulo! As April comes to an end, May brings to us a lot of high-profile tournaments to look out for. We’ve got three North American regionals on the way, an Australian regional and the qualifiers for the Japanese National Championships. A lot of Pokemon action is on the horizon, as the final push towards the last International Championship in Columbus looms in the distance.

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

Teams data collected/provided by Nicholas Borghi 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

mega aerodactyl

Mega Aerodactyl went from 0 Championship Points to over 700 in one day

One Mega Evolution emerged from nothing and is now the talk of the Pokemon VGC community. The Taiwan Open that happened this past weekend saw its Top Cut dominated by none other than Mega Aerodactyl. A Mega Evolution that previously had zero 2018 results to its name earned a grand total of 720 Championship Points in just one tournament. What’s even more crazy is that the four Mega Aerodactyl teams that made it to the Top 8 and the two that made it to Top 16 were identical in terms of Pokemon. Let’s try and figure out what drew players to such an obscure strategy.

Mega Aerodactyl itselfImage result for mega aerodactyl

Thanks to a team report from a player known as “Sayha” who placed in the Top 8 at the Taiwan Open, we know pretty much how the entire team is meant to work. But let’s start with the star of the show. The Mega Aerodactyl moveset is one based on support with moves like Tailwind and Sky Drop. Rock Slide is in there of course because as Sayha mentions in his report “Rock Slide is the best move.”

According to Sayha, Aerodactyl even has utility before it Mega Evolves with its ability Unnerve. Unnerve prevents Pokemon from consuming their berries which comes in handy against a Belly Drum Snorlax. Sky Drop is a move that can disrupt the opponent by carrying one of their Pokemon into the sky for a turn. This can allow Pokemon like Xurkitree to set up a… Substitute? I was expecting Tail Glow, but I guess Sayha thought having Beast Boost would be enough to buff Xurkitree’s attack power. Also Sky Drop’s damage is boosted by Mega Aerodactyl’s Tough Claws ability, but its main means of offense in Rock Slide is not since it doesn’t make contact.

The idea of a support Mega Evolution isn’t crazy, but I don’t think Mega Aerodactyl seems like the best pick. Sure, you’ve got great support moves like Sky Drop and Tailwind, but what you get from Mega Evolving leans more towards offense with Tough Claws. Perhaps the insane amount of speed Mega Aerodactyl gets when it Mega Evolves is the key. At Mega Aerodactyl’s ridiculous 150 base speed, you’re pretty much guaranteed fast Sky Drops and (more importantly) fast Rock Slides. Maybe there is some potential here.

The teamImage result for xurkitree

The Sky Drop strategy with Mega Aerodactyl is mainly to support the team’s other interesting member: Xurkitree. Despite not having Tail Glow, this Xurkitree is easily able to start boosting since it’s holding the Electrium Z. With the immense amount of pressure that both Xurkitree and Mega Aerodactyl put on, Xurkitree’s set up is pretty hard to stop.

The two sources of Intimidate on the team make sense as Xurkitree and Mega Aerodactyl are rather weak on the defensive side. Interestingly, the Landorus on this team has a Jolly Nature plus a Choice Scarf which suggests that this Landorus was valued more for speed than attack power. Incineroar isn’t packing Protect yet its holding a pinch berry, but like Landorus, it carries U-Turn. This duo is likely meant to pivot in and out of battle to not only cycle Intimidates but also disrupt the opponent with Incineroar’s Fake Out and a potential flinch from Landorus’ fast Rock Slide.

The last two members are fairly standard with Ferrothorn and Tapu Fini. The Tapu Fini is a tad different as it carries Haze as a support move and Hydro Pump as its main Water attack over Muddy Water. This is likely due to the Tapu Fini holding the Waterium Z which is something that has been picking up some popularity over in the West as well.

Overall, the team is very focused on setting up Xurkitree, without much offense existing outside of that. Still, Pokemon like Incineroar, Tapu Fini and Ferrothorn are able to score KO’s in the right situation and hey, there’s always Rock Slide flinches.

What a team we have here.

The impact on the West

If it wasn’t obvious already, the results from the Taiwan Open have definitely already caught the western VGC scene’s eye. Usually, us westerners are focused on tournaments from Japan or Korea, but rarely do teams from regions like Taiwan pick up popularity over here. The scenes may be smaller, but regions like Taiwan and even Malaysia have been having quite an impact on the western VGC metagame. And we haven’t even gotten to the main events in Japan and Korea yet.

While some western players will try to directly emulate this team, I predict some will try to adapt it to their own style. Will we be seeing Mega Aerodactyl start to dominate tournaments in the West? Smart Money is on “no”, but there’s no doubt that it’s viable. The Taiwan Open results have shown us that there are still undiscovered strategies and Pokemon that have yet to be explored in metagame that appears to be in its later stages. I’m sure it won’t be long before Mega Aerodactyl drops into another Top 8. Only this time, it’ll be on the other side of the world.

Thanks for reading!

Check out Sayha’s team report here. (It’s written in Chinese, but the moves/abilities are in English)

Also, check out the stream of the Taiwan Open here.

Here are the rest of the teams from the Taiwan Open courtesy of @ChienX2_VGC on Twitter!



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 Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, The Pokemon Anime, Bulbapedia, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

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mega scizor

Mega Scizor is real steel – VGC 2018 underrated list

Recently there’s been a new Mega Evolution that’s been creeping its way into relevance. From Top 32 at North American Regionals to Top 8 at the Malaysia Open, Mega Scizor has been slowly making its way higher and higher in tournament results. Scizor has, admittedly, dropped off since its glory days in 2012 and 2013, and its Mega Evolution hasn’t done much in VGC since its release. In the 2018 format however, some players think there’s hidden potential for this once amazing threat.

Stats & Typing

BugSteel

The main thing that makes Mega Scizor stand out immediately is its beastly Attack stat. This Pokemon is meant to do damage, but it can also take a few hits. The low HP kind of sucks, but the rest of Mega Scizor’s relevant stats (basically every stat besides Special Attack) are very solid. Mega Scizor’s Speed is also fairly mediocre, but Scizor’s claim to fame makes its Speed stat nearly irrelevant. We’ll get to that soon enough.

Mega Scizor’s typing is a huge double-edged sword, but not in the worst way. With a typing of Bug and Steel, this gives Scizor only one weakness to Fire… a x4 weakness to Fire. To be honest I’ll take that trade-off considering how easy that can be to work around. A fairly easy game plan for Scizor is to eliminate opposing Fire-types so that Scizor can win the game.

Offensively, a Steel-typing is great for the plethora of Fairy-types in the metagame. The Bug-typing… not so much. The positive thing for Mega Scizor is that it relies more on its Steel-typing, and its option for a Bug-type move is one of the best ones in the given VGC metagame.

Ability

I preface the move section because Scizor’s ability is what makes its move selection so great. Technician is one of the best offensive abilities in the game for Pokemon like Scizor. Technician boosts the power of all attacking moves with base 60 or less base power by 50%. This turns priority attacks like Bullet Punch into basically a Steel-type Extremespeed (in terms of damage) and Bug Bite into more than just a utility attacking option for Scizor. This wonderful ability basically turns weaker moves that often have utility into moves that can also deal devastating damage.

Let’s talk about a few of them.

Moves

bullet punch

Bullet Punch in action in the anime.

I normally list off every viable move for a Pokemon in this section, but for now we’ll keep it simple. Here are the three moves 99% of Mega Scizor will carry on a typical set (minus Protect of course).

Bullet Punch: The bread to Mega Scizor’s bread and butter attacking combo. This move single-handedly makes up for Mega Scizor’s middling Speed stat since it has priority. While being able to one-hit-KO Tapu Lele, this move unfortunately becomes ineffective if Psychic Terrain is present in the field. If your team has a way of getting rid of Psychic Terrain then Mega Scizor is really able to show off its power. After just one Swords Dance boost, Bullet Punch comes pretty close to KO’ing many common Pokemon. Unless you’re a Fairy-type which in that case you just drop.

Bug Bite: And now the butter. Bug Bite is an amazing utility move for Bug-type Pokemon, but Technician turns this attack into a very reliable means of damage output. In a metagame riddled with berries, Bug Bite allows Mega Scizor to heavily cripple Pokemon like Snorlax by eating its berry. This also works well against popular bulky Psychic-types like Cresselia and Gothitelle which will often just be KO’ed by a boosted Bug Bite from Scizor. With the ability to steal berries, Scizor kind of has access to recovery without having to run Roost, but using Bug Bite comes at the risk of snacking on a berry that might confuse Mega Scizor based on its Nature.

Swords Dance: As if Mega Scizor didn’t have enough Attack power, Swords Dance allows you to double it in one turn. With Scizor’s solid typing, defenses and ability to force defensive play, getting up a Swords Dance is fairly easy to do. Bug Bite and Bullet Punch are still kind of weak even with the Technician boost, but Swords Dance turns many two-hit-KO’s into one-hit-KO’s.

Other options

Even though I said those previous three moves would be on a majority of Mega Scizor movesets, there are a few options that remain viable.

Roost: A recovery option so that Mega Scizor can stick around longer. Replacing Swords Dance or one of your attacking moves doesn’t seem worth it unless you decide to give up Protect.

U-Turn: A solid attack in general that allows you to pivot, but U-Turn is much better in singles than in doubles. Plus why would you want to switch out after getting a boost off anyway?

Superpower: Fighting-type moves are nice in the 2018 metagame, but Bullet Punch can easily handle Tyranitar and Superpower doesn’t do nearly enough to Porygon2 or Snorlax to make it worth running. Again, probably a better option for singles when you have more move slots to work with.

Checks and counters

Fire-typesImage result for mega charizard y icon

I’m sure you saw this coming. Pretty much any Fire-type attack in the game will one-shot Mega Scizor outside of Rain so keeping this thing out of the way of Pokemon like Charizard and Heatran is essential. Like I said, eliminating opposing Fire-types usually means a much easier time for Mega Scizor winning you the game.

Bulky Water-typesImage result for milotic shuffle

We have kind of an Incineroar situation here where you can cripple these bulky Water-types by taking away their berries, but you can’t really do much else. Especially if these Water-types like Tapu Fini, Milotic or Suicune have Scald (which they often do) they can land a burn on Mega Scizor which pretty much makes it dead weight.

Zapdos Image result for zapdos shuffle

Unless Zapdos is holding a berry, Mega Scizor does absolutely nothing to this Pokemon. Combine that with the fact that most Zapdos run Heat Wave making this an almost unwinnable matchup for Mega Scizor.

Viable teammates 

RainImage result for politoed shuffle

Having rain on the field allows you to weaken Mega Scizor’s sole weakness to Fire. Not only that but having Rain reliant Pokemon means Water-types that make it even easier to dispatch of opposing Fire-types. Ludicolo is also great because disruption from Fake Out can allow for a much more free Swords Dance.

Landorus-TherianLandorus (Therian)

While this Pokemon seems like a good teammate for everything, it works well for Scizor as an offensive partner. Intimidate can weaken physical attacks to the point where they’ll be doing negligible damage to Mega Scizor, and Earthquakes from Landorus also help you deal with Fire-types.

Tapu Koko/Tapu FiniImage result for tapu koko shuffleImage result for tapu fini shuffle

These two are here so that you can turn the Terrain into your favor. Both work for different archetypes as Tapu Koko works well on rain-based teams while Tapu Fini works on more balanced/standard compositions. Tapu Bulu also technically works for a Terrain other than Psychic, but the shared Fire weakness makes these two largely incompatible.

So why use Mega Scizor?

Image result for mega scizor gif

While great Steel-type options for teams already exist, Mega Scizor is another one to add to that list. Its typing gives it longevity as long as you keep it away from Fire-types and it has great utility as well as attack power. The way you play Scizor in general is by far one of the most vanilla strategies as far as sweepers go, but it’s nothing short of consistent. With Mega Scizor on your side, you’re usually just one Swords Dance away from Bullet Punching your way to victory.

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 Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, The Pokemon Anime, Bulbapedia, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

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Making a name amongst Europe’s best – VGC 2018 Stuttgart Regional Championship recap

Amidst a tough field in Stuttgart’s Top 8, two lesser known names in the European VGC scene battled it out for the title. Guiseppe Musicco is your 2018 Stuttgart Regional Champion, claiming his invite to the 2018 World Championships with an impressive win. Italy has yet again shown its dominance in Europe with half of the players in Top Cut representing the nation, including the tournament’s champion. Before we dive further in, let’s take a look at the results from Stuttgart.

Results & Teams (Top 8)

1. Guiseppe Musicco

Image result for mega gengar shuffleImage result for kartana shuffleImage result for landorus pokemon shuffleImage result for latias shuffleImage result for incineroar pokemon shuffleImage result for tapu fini shuffle

2. Ernest Azanza

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3. Arash Ommati

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4. Ben Kyriakou

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5. Michele Gavelli

Image result for mega gardevoir shuffleImage result for landorus pokemon shuffleImage result for tapu koko shuffleImage result for tapu fini shuffleImage result for incineroar pokemon shuffleImage result for amoonguss shuffle

6. Matthias Sucholdulski

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7. Robin Langer

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8. Andrea di Tivoli

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Arash Ommati’s 5 ‘Mon runvgc 2018 stuttgart regionals

Rarely do players recover from a team sheet error that costs them one of their Pokemon, but former World Champion Arash Ommati defied the odds after losing his Tapu Bulu. For those unfamiliar with tournament rules, filling out your team sheet correctly is one of the most crucial things to make sure you do. The slightest mistake, even if it was accidental, could cause you to lose one of your Pokemon for the entire tournament.

Ommati carried his squad all the way to the Top 4 before losing to the tournament champion. Although Musicco’s team was well equipped to handle Tapu Bulu, the Grassy Terrain on Ommati’s side would have been crucial in stopping Musicco’s Landorus-Therian from freely spamming Earthquake. Grassy Terrain was a key defensive tool for Ommati, as half of his team could be taken out by Earthquake. This limited the effectiveness of Ommati’s Gengar and Xurkitree which are some of the main damage dealers of his team.

Despite this setback, Ommati’s Top 4 run is nothing short of impressive. Perhaps this is a testament to just how strong the Mega Gengar team archetype really is. Well that and the fact that this team was being piloted by one of the best players in the world.

A finals with new faces

vgc 2018 stuttgart regionals

As previously mentioned, the finals of this tournament featured two players that were relatively new to the spotlight. Guiseppe Musicco had previously had some success at the local level as he earned over 100 Championship Points from MidSeason Showdowns. His regional win earned him his first points from a regional-level event, and those 200 points were enough to push him over 300, earning him an invite to Nashville.

Ernest Azanza on the other hand owes all of his points this season to this second place finish. This puts him in striking distance for a Worlds invite since the cap for Europe is 300, but he’ll likely need a couple more solid finishes to claim it.

Despite their lack of notoriety coming into this tournament, these two played like Worlds-caliber players. Their top cut runs included Musicco’s win over Arash Ommati in Top 4 and Azanza’s win over on of Great Britain’s best in Ben Kyriakou.

The finals set was intense as neither player had a clear advantage over the other. Musicco’s Kartana and Gengar were great answers to Azanza’s Metagross and Snorlax which did wonders in his set versus Kyriakou. After a game one defeat, Azanza used his special attacking Landorus with Hidden Power Ice to turn the tide in his favor to force a game three. After claiming a knockout early on Azanza’s Landorus, Musicco found himself backed into a corner at a 3-2 deficit with Azanza’s boosted Snorlax staring down Musicco’s last two Pokemon. Luckily Azanza’s team was already heavily weakened, allowing Musicco’s Incineroar and Gengar to clean up the game thanks to their speed advantage over the rest of Azanza’s team.

Metagame highlights

Naganadel: We’ve seen this new Ultra Beast here and there, but Ben Kyriakou saw potential and used Naganadel on his Top 4 team. This version was slightly different than your typical Naganadel as Kyriakou’s carried Substitute and Firium Z. With Inferno Overdrive Naganadel can threaten the likes of Mega Metagross or even non-defensive variants of Pokemon like Landorus allowing for a surprise KO and a quick Beast Boost. The ability to set up a Substitute after securing a boost to Naganadel’s Special Attack is big in turning this thing into a massive threat. Another interesting note is that the Beast Boosts were going to Naganadel’s Special Attack rather than its Speed which requires some fiddling with investment in Naganadel’s stats. While watching some of Kyriakou’s matches I wondered if the Speed boost would’ve been more helpful, but without a boosting item like Life Orb, raising Naganadel’s power seems reasonable.

380MS.pngLatias: There were two Latias in the Top 8, but we’re going to focus on Guiseppe Musicco’s non-Mega Latias. This Latias was built for support with moves like Helping Hand and Tailwind. Latias is actually not a bad choice for a support Pokemon considering it’s fast and rather bulky so it can remain on the field for a while if left alone. The boost from Helping Hand helped Musicco’s Pokemon break through Arash Ommati’s Clefairy and its Friend Guard Ability, while Latias’ attacks threatened Ommati’s Kommo-o before it could boost.

 

That’s a wrap from Stuttgart! This was a tournament full of variety as new players and new Pokemon broke into the spotlight. As far as official events are concerned our attention turns towards Sao Paulo as the Latin American International Championships take place in just a couple of weeks. A tournament that I’m sure will produce an equal amount of excitement.

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 PlayTheChampionships_VG, 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

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

porygon2 araquanid

“If you’re not running Porygon2 and Araquanid you’re throwing” – The duo’s newfound success in 2018

Porygon2 has already made a statement in the 2018 metagame, but one of its old partners has joined it in the spotlight once again. Araquanid is a new Pokemon that made an early in the 2017 season winning four North American Regional Championships in a row. All of them paired with Porygon2.

But what makes this duo so special? Porygon2 has had success with a number of Trick Room sweepers in the past, with some notables this season being Tyranitar and Snorlax. Araquanid seems to be the partner Porygon2 has been looking for, and the duo’s recent success is all but proof of that. According to a recent report from VGCStats, this new team the duo finds themselves on (featuring metagame staples like Mega Metagross, Tapu Koko and Incineroar) has nabbed nearly 1,000 Championship Points since the beginning of March. Let’s take a look and see why that is.

Offensive presenceImage result for araquanid

We have to start this section off with the monster that is Araquanid. Araquanid appears like a mediocre Pokemon on paper, but it was blessed with one of the strongest abilities we’ve seen in the entire franchise. Water Bubble doubles the power of Araquanid’s Water-type moves, weakens Fire-type damage AND prevents it from being afflicted with a burn. This turns Araquanid’s preferred Water-type attack Liquidation at an insane 160 power. Combine that with the Waterium Z, you’re looking at the strongest Hydro Vortex in the metagame. With not many Water-type resistances in the metagame, Araquanid can tear through teams once Trick Room is up, and that’s just its first means of offense. Araquanid is a Bug-type too, so naturally it looks to make use of its secondary typing. While not as devastating as Liquidation, Araquanid’s Bug Bite has amazing disruptive capabilities. Bug Bite is able to consume the target’s berry, making Pokemon like Snorlax a lot less effective when it can’t get its Belly Drum + Recycle combo going. Araquanid users should beware as some berries like the Mago Berry and Wiki Berry can commonly inflict confusion on Araquanid with the applicable nature. Oh right we still have Porygon2 to talk about.

Porygon2 is mainly here to set up Trick Room, but it can still dish out some damage once that’s been taken care of. Porygon2’s ability Download raises its Attack or Special Attack depending on which corresponding defense stat on the opposing side is weaker. In the 2018 metagame, that usually means a Special Attack boost for Porygon2. Not to mention Porygon2 has access to perfect type coverage with Thunderbolt and Ice Beam.

With this kind of offensive power, these two are hard to switch in on. Once Trick Room goes up, expect a lot of damage to come your way.

A formidable defenseImage result for porygon2

Araquanid has stellar Special Defense, but that kind of gets overshadowed by pitiful Defense and HP. As a Bug-type, many of Araquanid’s weaknesses are on the physical side such as Rock and Flying. However, the Bug-type works well in tandem with Porygon2 as Bug is resistant to Porygon2’s single weakness to Fighting. Also, Araquanid’s lousy HP and Defense are workable with more investment being possible in those two stats since Araquanid can fare well without much Attack investment. That and Intimidate do wonders for its bulk. Another plus for Araquanid is that now that the Totem version you fought during the campaign of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is usable, there is a form of Araquanid that cannot be Sky Dropped due to its greater weight.

Back to Porygon2, Normal is an amazing type right now. The sole weakness of Normal is Fighting, however Fighting-type Pokemon have hit an all-time low in viability since the recent surge in Fairy-types. The primary solution players have for this is non-Fighting-type Pokemon with strong Fighting-type moves, but these aren’t the most effective against Porygon2’s massive bulk. Since Porygon2 isn’t fully evolved, it can make use of the Eviolite item which boosts Porygon2’s defenses greatly. A Pokemon with only one weakness with beastly defenses and access to reliable recovery, no wonder its so good.

These two work so well together that they can be splashed on a number of different team compositions and I think we’re starting to see the beginning of that.

The teams

Mega Metagross

(Image from @VGCStats on Twitter)

This team composition is by far the most popular, and variants of this team composition have been winning Championship Points all over the world since March. With Incineroar’s Intimidate ability being legal, this team has only gotten stronger as the combination of Intimidate and Fake Out is beneficial to setting up Trick Room. Switching from Landorus to Incineroar has also given the team room for Tapu Bulu, another Pokemon that appreciates a speed advantage while its Grassy Terrain increases the team’s overall defense. This team is a great balance of both heavy hitters and solid defense, making it a strong pick for upcoming tournaments.

Mega Gardevoir

(Image from VGCStats)

Recently, a newer variant featuring Mega Gardevoir has seen success with Porygon2 and Araquanid. This team used by Benjamin Tan won the Malaysia Open last week, and I expect to see some similar variants emerge in the near future. This team marks a neat convergence in three separate strands of rising stars in the 2018 metagame. You have the merging of Mega Gardevoir, Intimidate Incineroar and finally Porygon2 plus Araquanid which all seem to work together quite nicely. The team works great with a potential Trick Room mode with Gardevoir and Araquanid as the slow hitters while Kartana and Tapu Koko form a solid fast mode that can also set up a Tailwind for Gardevoir.

So far, these have been the dominant archetypes that have featured this powerful duo, but something tells me more variants are on the way. As we saw during the 2017 season, Porygon2 and Araquanid were able to achieve success on a few different styles of teams. The famous quote in the title of this piece, “If you’re not running P2 and Araquanid you’re throwing” rang throughout the world last season, and it appears that this year, it has become relevant once again.

Thanks for reading!

*If you want to see a rather informative roasting of a Porygon2/Araquanid team, I encourage you to check out this thread on Twitter from known Araquanid pioneer Eduardo Cunha



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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kommo-o

Why is there so much hate for Kommo-o?

If you’ve been on Twitter the past couple of days, you might’ve noticed that there’s some hate being directed towards a certain scaly dragon.

 

 

So people hate Kommo-o, and it seems like this is a pretty popular opinion. Kommo-o’s viability has been a debate in the VGC community for a while now, but now there’s some sort of hatred brewing towards it. Personally, I seem to be missing something, as I’m not on the Kommo-o hate bandwagon and I want to try and figure out why this bandwagon exists in the first place. Let’s try to figure out why players hate Kommo-o.

The Clangorous Soulblaze animation

kommo-o z move gif

I’ll start out with this one since it’s a simple complaint, and one that I kind of agree with. Z moves are notorious for their long animations and Kommo-o’s signature Z move is far from an exception. The animation in its entirety clocks in at about 36 seconds, which may seem even longer if you’re on the receiving end of it. While it doesn’t run off any of the in-game timer,  this animation happening potentially three times during a tournament set eats up almost two minutes of the round timer. That doesn’t sound like a lot considering matches have a 50 minute timer, but every minute of a round can be crucial in certain situations. The animation is cool, but having to see it so many times is kind of annoying for players and viewers especially.

Also, the Z move is copyrighted, so YouTubers have had to cut it out of their videos to avoid copyright claims. Can’t imagine that content creators like facing Kommo-o either.

Its ability

The main ability you’ll see most Kommo-o using in the VGC metagame is Soundproof, an ability that prevents Kommo-o from being affected by sound-based moves. This includes moves like Snarl, Perish Song and Hyper Voice. My theory is that since the rise of Mega Gardevoir (known Hyper Voice spammer) and Incineroar (a Pokemon that likes to Snarl), the hate for Soundproof has only grown. The Snarl part can be kind of annoying as it makes it harder for Kommo-o’s Special Attack to be lowered after it boosts up. The timing of this hate for Kommo-o seems to coincide with the rising popularity of Mega Gardevoir teams, which probably explains a lot of its haters.

The Pokemon it’s normally paired with are annoying to play againstmega gengar kommo-o

Kommo-o usually finds itself on teams with Mega Gengar and Tapu Bulu, which are two Pokemon that also kind of have a negative reputation. Mega Gengar’s play style is what makes it annoying as Shadow Tag traps your Pokemon in against Mega Gengar and its partner. So if you lead wrong, or maneuver yourself into a bad position, Kommo-o can easily switch in and fire off its Z move for free. This combination of Gengar+Kommo-o has solid offensive coverage as Gengar can deal with the Fairy-types Kommo-o hates and Kommo-o can hit Dark-types that Gengar hates. Gengar also has access to Ally Switch which deserves a whole other article to explain why people hate that move.

Tapu Bulu gets a bad wrap for being the anti-meta Tapu that a majority of teams hate to go against. Tapu Koko and Tapu Lele are normally faster than Tapu Bulu which means Tapu Bulu will usually have the Terrain advantage while Tapu Fini hates the fact that Tapu Bulu is a strong, physical Grass-type. Also, Grassy Terrain adds so much extra time due to every Pokemon (that’s grounded) getting a healing animation at the end of every turn.

So it’s likely not just Kommo-o that people hate, but how it’s used in the metagame. However, does this limited viability warrant so many complaints about people playing against it? Well, this leads in to my final suspected reason.

Many players think Kommo-o is badImage result for kommo-o

To be fair, Kommo-o’s typing was two generations too late. A Dragon/Fighting-type Pokemon would have been amazing before Generation Six and Fairy-types; but in an era dominated by this new type, Kommo-o’s viability takes a huge hit. Prior to the release of its Z move and it having access to Close Combat, Kommo-o had it even worse being a sub-par Dragon with not much going for it.

Kommo-o’s stats are quite good as being apart of the “pseudo-legendary” class means it has a base stat total of 600. These stats are pretty evenly spread, with the only lacking ones being HP and Speed. The Speed part is big as a majority of the popular Dragons that came before Kommo-o (like Garchomp, Salamence, Latios/Latias and Hydreigon) are faster and therefore much easier to use without needing to boost.

The need to boost is probably Kommo-o’s biggest weakness, as it simply can’t do enough on its own. This is probably why it mainly exists on a single team composition since it needs so much support. Even with the boost, Kommo-o’s Fighting and Dragon attacks don’t hit very much of the metagame hard. Kommo-o does get access to coverage moves like Flamethrower, Flash Cannon and Poison Jab, but it’s attacking stats aren’t devastating enough even after the boost from Clangorous Soulblaze.

Other than these in-game, strategic complaints about Kommo-o, many people just seems to hate on Kommo-o for its looks.Regardless, I don’t think Kommo-o deserves the hate it’s getting. Sure the Z move animation lasts just a bit too long and it can be annoying to play against, but it’s still a cool Pokemon. There’s plenty to dislike, but there’s a lot to like as well. Kommo-o doesn’t mind the haters though. It’s got Soundproof to block out all of the Parting Shots its getting from VGC players.

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 Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, The Pokemon Anime, Bulbapedia, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

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pokemon tournaments april

Upcoming April tournaments that players should have their eyes on

For some reason, April has brought a bit of a lull in the action for the Pokemon Video Game Championships. There are only two major official events happening in April, and we’ll have to wait at least another week for them. However, just because April is a slow month doesn’t mean it will be without action. Here’s a short preview of some upcoming tournaments that deserve your attention.

International Friendly: Team New York/New Jersey vs. Team Scandinavia

For our first event, we have a community organized tournament pitting some players in one of North America’s strongest regions against some of the best players in Scandinavia. The teams from each side are as follows:

Team NY/NJ:

Tommy Cooleen

Angel Miranda

Justin Carris

Vincent Montalvo

Sohaib Mufti

Maura Hazen

Summer Hunter

Team Scandinavia:

Ola Norby

Benjamin Tan

Daniel van Diepen

David Barker

Pontus Westerlund

Nils Dunlop

These rosters are actually incomplete as interest for the tournament has allowed for expansion of both teams. The tournament will be played and streamed April 21st. Full information will be coming soon, so to keep up to date with the event make sure to follow the tournament’s organizer Patrick Donegan (@Pd0nZ) on Twitter for further updates.

Japan Championships Qualifiers

Image result for pokemon japan championship qualifier

While not technically happening this month, the Japan Championships Qualifier is a major tournament happening in just over a month. Japan’s unique (but admitted sub-optimal) road to the Pokemon World Championships continues here. This online tournament will function very similarly to the International Challenge online tournaments, only this time top finishers will earn an invite to compete at the Japanese National Championships happening in June. Players over in the west should keep an eye on this tournament as teams and strategies will likely inspire many players outside of Japan. Our last World Champion came out of this nation, so I expect special attention will be paid to many Japanese tournaments going forward.

Stuttgart Regional Championships

Our closest event time-wise is the Stuttgart Regional Championships over in Europe. While this event is in the rather large shadow of our final tournament for this list, this final opportunity to play/learn the metagame before then makes this regional very important. The tournament will take place April 14-15 and will be streamed here courtesy of PlayTheChampionships and team Limitless.

Latin American International Championships

Image result for pokemon latin america international 2018

And finally the obvious tournament to keep your eye on this month is the third International Championship taking place in Sau Paulo, Brazil. Some things leading up to this tournament have gone awry such as the Travel Award fiasco and the controversy with the Sau Paulo challenge, but as with every International, this event has a lot of hype around it. After a crushing defeat in Sydney’s Top 4 and two regional final appearances, Ashton Cox will be looking to defend his title with or without his trusty pineapple. The other major story line of this tournament will be the region of Latin America itself. This tournament should answer the major question on many players’ minds: “Should we be sleeping on Latin America?”

The list of events coming up this month might be small, but they’ll be building up to one of the biggest tournaments of the season. With big events happening in two of the most intriguing regions metagame-wise (Japan and Latin America), big changes could be coming; which means these tournaments should attract your attention.

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 PlayTheChampionships, Pd0nZ, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Pokemon Shuffle, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

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