mega glalie vgc

Mega Glalie: The Only Legal Mega Evolution in VGC 2018 Without Championship Points

Since the creation of VGCStats, competitive players have had access to a database of all of the Pokemon in the current format that have earned Championship Points. On the front page of their site, you can see the copious amount of points that have been earned by format staples like Landorus-Therian. You can also see how much success some unconventional choices have seen at tournaments.

On Twitter, VGCStats likes to share metagame reports regarding usage and CP earnings after different tournaments or parts of the season. One of the most popular reports was of how many Mega Evolutions that yet to earn any CP. While starting with ten, the list gradually decreased after their first report. The majority of the list, from Mega Latios to Mega Audino, was cleared in a matter of weeks… but there is still one left. The last Mega Evolution to earn CP in the 2018 format is none other than Mega Glalie.

Is Mega Glalie really that bad?mega glalie vgc

In doubles…it’s not great.

Glalie is a Pokemon that got the short end of the stick as a concept. You have a giant, angry ball of ice with mediocre stats and the worst defensive typing in the game.

Actually, scratch mediocre. Glalie’s base 80 stats across the board are pretty rough. But Glalie’s Mega Evolution should have fixed that problem with the 100 base stat total increase that comes with it, right? No, not really.

Mega Glalie gets 20 more points in Speed and 40 points in both its Attack and Special Attack stats, making it a much better offensive threat. It also gets a neat ability in Refrigerate, which turns all Normal-type moves into Ice-type moves with a 20% boost.

Unfortunately for Glalie, it remains a pure Ice-type and its mediocre defensive stats, so it likely won’t last long in battle. Have fun with those Rock Slides and Heat Waves.

Even with the boost to its Speed, base 100 is an unforgiving Speed tier with other popular Mega Evolutions like Kangaskhan and Charizard being right there with it. It also doesn’t help against faster threats like Mega Metagross, Kartana and Tapu Koko, just to name a few. Mega Glalie is fast relative to most Pokemon in the metagame, but not fast enough to be anything special.

Let’s talk about that boost to Glalie’s attack power. Base 120 is pretty solid for attacking stats, but Glalie’s coverage leaves something to be desired. Glalie’s coverage includes. Ice-type moves, Normal-type moves that will turn into Ice-type moves, some Dark-type moves and Earthquake. Beyond that, you don’t have much to work with.

The unfortunate thing is that Glalie has no way to boost its stats, meaning that it’s stuck with what it has. 120 might make those Refrigerate-boosted Returns or Double-Edges hurt, but Earthquake struggles to knock out a Heatran with some bulk in it.

Mega Glalie as a Pokemon is quite underwhelming, but we’ve seen some weird stuff earn CP this season. Maybe there are some good matchups for it in VGC 2018.

Does Mega Glalie have a place in the format right now?

Not really.

If there’s one Pokemon Mega Glalie hates going up against (that just happens to be the Pokemon that most recently took over the metagame), it’s Incineroar. Not only is Incineroar a Fire-type, but Intimidate reduces Mega Glalie’s threat status to a minimum. As an Ice-type that uses only Ice-type moves, Mega Glalie isn’t capable of dealing too much damage.

While one of the most popular Pokemon in the game (Landorus) is x4 weak to Ice, most Landorus users have Choice Scarf and Superpower/Rock Slide on standby. That means that Landorus doesn’t have much need to be afraid of Glalie. One of the biggest rising stars in the metagame is Kommo-o, which is weak to Ice, but it’s also a Fighting-type.

It seems like Mega Glalie’s bad matchups outweigh its good ones, which, admittedly, are very hard to come by.

Hypothetically, if you were to use Mega Glalie in VGC 2018, how would you use it? The best thing you could do would be to go for an all-out attacker with either Double-Edge or Return for your main source of damage. You could throw in Earthquake for coverage and Protect to round out the set.

Your third move? Explosion. Mega Glalie is the only Pokemon with an -ate ability (Aerilate, Pixilate, etc.) that has a boosted Explosion thanks to one of these abilities. It’s meant to be a last ditch move, and it does good damage to everything that isn’t a bulky Pokemon (like Snorlax, Cresselia, etc) or an Ice resistance. The idea of letting your Mega Evolution go boom doesn’t sound too great though, especially with the potential for your opponent to Protect right into your Explosion.

Is there any hope for Mega Glalie?

At this point in the season, the answer to that question is yes and no. Anyone using Mega Glalie to any major success isn’t likely. That said, it isn’t impossible for Mega Glalie to earn Championship Points.

There are still many Premier Challenges and Mid-Season Showdowns left for the season, and there are a fair amount of players that have already qualified for the World Championships. If anyone cares enough to get Mega Glalie the tiniest bit of CP, it will likely happen at one of these smaller events. As for players who are most likely to do it, this author’s bets are on either Jamie Boyt or Ashton Cox. Cox is infamously known for using not-so-serious sets at tournaments when he has little on the line. With that in mind, it’s possible to see him create his own Mega Glalie team.

Currently, this author is leaning more towards Boyt, especially after he teased the world with this tweet:

From the sound of this tweet, it looks like the Mega Glalie dream is dead. But there’s a chance it still lives.

Boyt and Cox have not been afraid to bring crazy spectacles to big tournaments. Considering that they are both comfortably high in CP total, players in Columbus should watch out.

With the season almost over, time is running out for Mega Glalie. While all of Glalie’s Mega Evolved brethren have earned Championship Points, Mega Glalie continues to rot in obscurity. Will someone eventually come to it’s rescue? Time will tell.



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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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)

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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)

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Wind Lugia

What to expect from your limited edition Wind Lugia

Dedicated Pokémon fans are getting a lot of rewards in 2018. They can claim a free legendary Pokémon once a month for the duration of the year. It was recently announced that anyone with a subscription to Pokémon Bank would be able to get their hands on the first ever Hidden Ability Alola starters. Now, as part of the promotional for the upcoming movie Pokémon the Movie: Everyone’s Story, they have released a limited edition Lugia.

First seen in Pokémon Gold and Silver, Lugia remains one of the franchise’s most popular legendaries. This makes it a common addition to a lot of teams.

But this version is going to be unique.

Its unusual moveset and rumours surrounding Everyone’s Story have led fans to affectionately nickname it the Wind Lugia.

How to get your Wind Lugia

Wind Lugia

Announcement of Wind Lugia page in CoroCoro, taken from Serebii.net

Wind Lugia is a limited edition Pokemon that is only available for a brief period of time.

Between April 13th and July 12th 2018, anyone who pre-books a ticket to see Pokémon the Movie: Everyone’s Story will also receive a free Lugia code. You have until September 30th to redeem it.

Codes will be distributed with the pre-booked ticket and can be redeemed through the Mystery Gift functionality.

They can be downloaded onto any Generation VII game. This means that anyone with Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun or Ultra Moon has a chance to get their hands on this exclusive Pokémon. Unlike the legendary Pokémon distributed throughout the year, it does not appear that Wind Lugia will be any different between the original Pokémon Sun and Moon and their Ultra counterparts.

Every Lugia will be distributed at level 100.

 

Stats

Wind LugiaNo information has been officially released about what trainers can expect from their Wind Lugia’s stats. However, there are tangible reasons to hope that you’ll end up with a truly powerful Pokémon.

For starters, Lugia has incredible base stats anyway. Totaling 680, its stats make it a wonderfully tanky Pokémon. Attack and Special Attack are its lowest, standing at a still respectable 90 each. It has solid Speed (110).

But its defences are where it really shines. With 130 base Defence and 154 Special Defence, Lugia is built to be able to withstand a blow. Its bulk gives it the kind of durability that many Pokémon can only dream of.

Since Generation IV, any Pokémon in the Undiscovered Egg Group has been guaranteed to have three IVs. Particularly valuable for legendary Pokémon, which can’t be bred at all, this means that you’ve got a decent shot at great stats without having to invest so much time into breeding them into your team.

This gives you an even better chance of a monstrously powerful Wind Lugia. Depending on which stats get this natural boost, this could shape the fighter your Wind Lugia will become. It could pull up its Attack and Special Attack Stats so that it can pack more of a punch. Or it could end up doing even more to barricade those already stunning defences.

 

Ability

Wind Lugia

Lugia from the anime, from Bulbpedia

This event Pokémon is equipped with its Hidden Ability Multiscale. Multiscale only ever appears in the game as a Hidden Ability, and only on two Pokémon – Lugia and Dragonite. It reduces damage taken from damage-dealing moves by half when the Pokémon with this Ability is at full health.

Lugia’s first ability, Pressure, is already pretty impressive. Most commonly found in legendary Pokémon, Pressure reduces the PP of any move targeted at the Pokémon with this Ability. This hurries your enemy through its move set and forces it to Struggle much sooner than usual. It can really make a dent in those low PP, high power moves that cause the most damage.

But Wind Lugia’s guaranteed Multiscale can be more valuable still.

It gives you an opportunity to make the most of Lugia’s already impressive defensive stats. You can go into battle knowing that Lugia will be all but untouched by the first move thrown at it. Or any move coming its way after a recovery. That gives you an opportunity to set up the situation you need to make the most out of your team.

It means you’re near guaranteed a turn or two that you can dedicate solely to tilting the scales in your favour.

 

Move set

Wind Lugia

Wind Lugia details in CoroCoro, taken from Serebii.net

Part of the origin of the nickname Wind Lugia, this legendary is distributed with exclusively Flying type moves. It comes equipped with Aeroblast, Defog, Tailwind and Hurricane.

Aeroblast makes a lot of sense, as Lugia’s signature move. It blasts a vortex of air directly at the foe. In Triple Battles, it can hit non-adjacent foes. It has base power of 100, with 95% accuracy, and a boosted chance of a critical hit. Aeroblast is the perfect attack for a move set built around the Flying type.

Defog is kind of move that can undo anyone’s carefully built boosts. It lowers the targets evasiveness by a stage and clears away any fog on the field. As well as fog, Defog will clear protective moves like Light Screen, Reflect and Safeguard. It also removes popular competitive moves like Spikes and Stealth Rock. This might seem like a detraction, but since Generation VI, Defog has been able to remove Spikes and the like from the user’s side of the field too. Defog is a beautiful move for competitive play.

While Defog focuses on dragging down on your opponent, Tailwind shares its advantage with your entire party. It doubles the Speed stat not only of the user, but of its entire party for three full turns. Given Lugia’s comfortable Speed already, this could make for some fierce fighting.

If used with Flyinium-Z, it also ups your critical hit rate by two stages. In conjunction with Aeroblast, this makes Wind Lugia a dangerous foe.

Hurricane has caught the attention of a lot of Wind Lugia’s fans, as it is not a move that Lugia can usually learn. With a base power of a whopping 110, it deals a ton of damage. It also has a 30% chance of causing confusion and can hit non-adjacent targets in Triple Battles.

 

The verdict

Wind Lugia

Lugia, from Bulbapedia

With this combination of moves, ability and pure base power, Wind Lugia makes a fearsome addition to any competitive team.

Although they’re not popular among competitive players, Wind Lugia looks like it’s ready to wipe the floor in Triple Battles. But generally in any format, it’s got the makings of the kind of Pokémon that you can depend on battle after battle after battle.

The moves it comes with complement each other beautifully. They cover all the bases for competitive battling. There’s something to boost not only Wind Lugia itself, but its entire team. It has something to tear down the defences of the enemy. There are two enormously powerful attacking moves that have the stats to back them up. There is even the not inconsiderable chance to confuse.

Wind Lugia combines a natural bulk with a move set that takes advantage of its typing. Although it doesn’t do anything to take advantage of Lugia’s Psychic side, it showcases the very best of what its Flying typing can do.

As well as being another treat for your Pokédex, Wind Lugia has the potential for some brutal competitive action.

 


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Images from Bulbapedia and Serebii.net

Hidden Ability

How the Hidden Ability Alolan starters perform competitively

It was announced this week that Hidden Ability Alolan starters are finally available. Exclusive to Pokémon Bank subscribers, they can be collected from Pokémon Centres the same as any other Mystery Gift.

All players need to do to claim their Alolan starters is log into the Pokémon Bank app with a Generation VII game in their console. Each trainer will receive one of each starter in its fully evolved form at level 50. This is the first time that these Pokémon will appear in the game with their Hidden Ability.

No end date for the distribution has been announced.

Along with the legendary Pokémon distributed each month, this offers trainers a new way to shake up their competitive teams.

 

Decidueye with Hidden Ability Long Reach

Hidden Ability

Decidueye, from Bulbapedia

Decidueye doesn’t stand out as a particularly powerful Pokémon for competitive teams. It has fairly average stats with disappointingly low speed. At a respectable 107, its Attack stat is its highest. Its 100 base Special Attack and Special Defense isn’t awful, but it also isn’t amazing.

Decidueye’s signature move, Spirit Shackle, can pack a punch. It offers a solid 80 base damage as well as STAB. It does lock in opposing Pokémon so they can’t be switched out. But, thanks to Decidueye’s generally average stats and typing, this isn’t a particular threat to many opponents.

Its Z-Move is more powerful still, with a lot of base power offering one of its biggest blows.

There are a few decent move sets available to Decidueye, if you know how to strategise around it.

Its typing is as unremarkable as its stats. While it is resistant to some common types, including Ground and Water, it has more type-based weaknesses than strengths. While it resists four types, it is weak to nine: Flying, Ghost, Fire, Ice and Dark. The immunity to Normal and Fighting types comes in handy, but it’s not enough to make up for its vulnerabilities.

Hidden Ability

Decidueye typing, from Bulbapedia

The Decidueye available through Pokémon Bank comes with Leaf Blade, Phantom Force, Shadow Sneak and Brave Bird. This move set comprised of powerful physical moves takes advantage of that high Attack stat. It also offers a little bonus in the form of Brave Bird, which Decidueye usually can’t learn until level 55.

Decidueye’s Hidden Ability, Long Reach, prevents effects caused by contact moves. This Hidden Ability only appears in the Rowlet evolutionary line.

Long Reach means that Decidueye won’t take recoil damage from moves like Brave Bird. It also prevents the effects of abilities like Poison Point and items like the Rocky Helmet. There are items that can do this for Decidueye, but this Hidden Ability frees up the item slot for something else. With some creative thinking, this can definitely be used to your advantage.

Decidueye’s Hidden Ability gives it more scope for competitive play. It means that its most powerful moves won’t take so much of a toll. This can be very valuable with the right strategy. But it may not be enough to make up for the vulnerabilities that have kept Decidueye out of the competitive sphere so far.

 

Primarina with Hidden Ability Liquid Voice

Hidden Ability

Primarina, from Bulbapedia

While it is also not likely to stand out as particularly powerful, Primarina does have fair stats. Its 116 Special Defense stat gives it a fair amount of bulk. At 126, Primarina’s Special Attack stat is the highest of the Alolan starter Pokémon. It is slow, but tanky, so does have potential on the competitive scene.

The signature move, Sparkling Aria, offers a base damage of 90, with 100% accuracy. It has the ability to heal the burn of its target. While this might not seem advantageous when directed at an opponent, a creative strategy could make it a strong asset, particularly in doubles.

Primarina is also blessed with the most powerful Z-Move out of all the Alolan starters.

Primarina’s typing gives it decent coverage. Although it is weak to Poison, Grass and Electric types, it is resistant to more types than it is vulnerable to. It has a type advantage over Fighting, Fire, Bug, Water, Ice and Dark, which gives it an edge over some very popular Pokémon. The immunity to Dragon types is especially nice.

Both Primarina’s types offer STAB to some fairly powerful moves. It has access to a decent range of attacks that can combine to make up some solid move sets. Its move pool includes a lot of popular moves for competitive battles, including Charm, Protect and Amnesia.

Hidden Ability

Primarina typing, from Bulbapedia

The Primarina available through PokémonBank comes with Hyper Voice, Moonblast, Perish Song and Icy Wind. Perish Song is notable in particular as it isn’t a move that Primarina, or any of its prevolutions, can learn through leveling alone. Usually, Perish Song is an egg move that can only be bred into a Popplio.

The Hidden Ability, Liquid Voice, turns any sound-based moves into Water type. This Hidden Ability only appears in the Popplio evolutionary line.

Liquid Voice means that both Perish Song and Hyper Voice, usually Normal type moves, will gain STAB when used by Primarina. This move set gives Primarina three out of four moves with STAB, as Moonblast already benefits from it as a Fairy type move.

Primarina’s move pool gives it access to some attacks that can really take advantage of its Hidden Ability. A lot of attention has already been drawn, in particular, to Round. While it has a base power of 60, that gets doubled when used immediately after another Pokémon. Added to the STAB afforded it by Liquid Voice, this could become very powerful in doubles tournaments.

Thanks to its combination of decent stats and typing, Primarina already has some potential for competitive play. The introduction of its Hidden Ability gives it a chance to exploit some high damage moves.

 

Incineroar with Hidden Ability Intimidate

Hidden Ability

Incineroar, from Bulbapedia

Incineroar’s stats make it a fairly decent tank, as far as its role in competitive teams goes. Combining 95 base HP with 90 Defense and Special Defense makes for solid cover. The addition of 115 base Attack seals its tanky reputation.

Incineroar’s signature move, Darkest Lariat, makes very good use of its high Attack stat, with 85 base power.

It has a solid move pool that is boosted by some very nice egg moves, if you’re prepared to invest some time in breeding. Capable of learning a lot of strong physical attacks, there are some interesting move sets available to anyone looking to get creative with Incineroar.

It doesn’t have a huge amount of versatility. Most of its move sets are going to be based primarily around its high Attack. But Incineroar is at least good at what it does.

Its dual typing of Fire and Dark offers fair coverage against other types. It is resistant to more types than it is weak against. The advantage of Fighting, Ground, Rock and Water isn’t amazing, as they all have some popular powerful moves. However, its resistance to Ghost, Steel, Fire, Ice and Dark does make up for that a little. Its immunity to Psychic types also helps.

Hidden Ability

Incineroar typing, from Bulbapedia

The Incineroar released via Pokémon Bank is comes with Fake Out, U-Turn, Darkest Lariat and Flare Blitz. This is a decent move set, all things considered. Fake Out typically appears as an egg move for Litten’s evolutionary line. Flare Blitz is usually only learned at level 55. This offers a bit of an advantage over home-grown Incineroar.

The Hidden Ability Intimidate is the only one of the Alolan starters that isn’t exclusive to their evolutionary line. It has been available to a wide variety of Pokémon since Generation III. In terms of competitive use, it’s not uncommon, but not unpopular either. It lowers the Attack of all opposing Pokémon.

Given Incineroar’s decent defensive stats, Intimidate can be very valuable competitively in adding to this. If you’re not going to lean into Incineroar’s literal fire power, then its Blaze ability won’t offer too much of an advantage. Intimidate, on the other hand, weakens opposing Pokémon, making it tougher for them to break through Incineroar’s defenses. It is also helpful in Double Battles, if Incineroar’s partner isn’t especially well endowed with high defense stats.

It doesn’t much affect the move sets you might choose for it, but Incineroar’s Hidden Ability could give it the edge it needs to make a mark on the competitive scene.

 


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Images from Bulbapedia and Game Radar

Legendary Pokémon

How do the March legendary Pokémon perform competitively?

As part of the year long celebration of Legendary Pokémon, trainers around the world can effortlessly get their hands on either a Regigigas or a Heatran for the duration of March. Anyone who signed up to the Pokémon Trainer Club newsletter will already have had their download code sent to them.

Trainers playing either Pokémon Sun or Ultra Sun will receive a Regigigas. Trainers playing either Pokemon Moon or Ultra Moon will receive a Heatran. Two extremely coveted and popular legendary Pokémon, both make for a treasured addition to any collector’s Pokédex.

Like all legendary Pokémon, Regigigas and Heatran are blessed with a number of gifts that make them truly formidable opponents.

They are both officially categorised as Sub-Legendary Pokémon. This means that they are allowed in Battle Facilities and Video Game Championships.

But how do they fare competitively?

 

Heatran

Legendary Pokémon

Heatran, from Bulbapedia

Coming in with a similar total to most legendary Pokémon, Heatran has a decent spread across its stats. The total of 600 is fairly evenly split, peaking with an impressive 130 Special Attack stat.

Its typing is incredible. It is resistant to an immense nine different types of Pokémon, plus a total immunity to Poison. This is incredibly rare. In the current competitive climate, being resistant to Fairy type Pokémon is a particularly valuable asset to any team.

Its type advantages are boosted by its Flash Fire ability, which also makes it immune to Fire type moves.

It only has three weaknesses, but they’re not uncommon. Water, Ground and Fighting all boast some very powerful moves, too. You’ll definitely want to be wary of moves like Earthquake if you’re fighting with Heatran.

Generally, these weaknesses aren’t especially difficult to cover with a decent supporting team.

Heatran’s versatile move set means that you can use its advantages to complement almost any team.

The level 60 Heatran you’ll receive if you’re playing Pokémon Moon comes with a fairly basic move set. You’ll likely want to change it around if you want to take your Heatran to competitive battles. If you do, you’ve got a lot of room to be creative.

It comes with Crunch, Scary Face, Lava Plume and Fire Spin, which aren’t bad moves by any stretch. Lava Plum and Fire Spin both get an advantage through STAB, and could even get an additional boost through Heatran’s Flash Fire.

Legendary Pokémon

Heatran’s type matches, from Bulbapedia

Heatran’s move pool includes attacks like Stealth Rock, Toxic, Taunt and Protect. These can all be very advantageous to a strategic team. You’re definitely granted plenty of scope to craft yourself an unpredictable Heatran that does a lot of lingering, long-lasting damage.

Pokémon Ultra Moon players will receive a level 100 Heatran equipped with a very powerful offensive set that is more suited to competitive play. It comes with Magma Storm, Earth Power, Heat Wave and Flash Cannon.

Again, its Flash Fire ability gives two of its moves a potential boost. Its combined Fire and Steel typing means that three out of four of these moves get assistance from STAB. The inclusion of Earth Power gives you a solid edge over anyone else bringing their Heatran to the competitive stage thanks to its weakness to Ground type moves.

There’s no denying the obvious reasons that Heatran is a popular pick for competitive teams. Whether you’re playing Moon or Ultra Moon, you’ve definitely got scope for an incredible addition to your strategy.

 

Regigigas

Legendary Pokémon

Regigigas, from Bulbapedia

Despite not often being used in the competitive sphere, Regigigas is blessed with incredible stats. They even blow most other legendary Pokémon out of the water.

The whopping total of 670 means it gets a stunning 160 Attack stat and an impressive 110 on nearly everything else. The only exception is Special Attack, which sits at a still respectable 80.

These kinds of numbers are the type that would usually get a Pokémon banned from competitive play. Regigigas gets around this thanks to its ability Slow Stat. This halves Regigigas’s Attack and Speed stats for the first five turns of battle.

It makes it a little less terrifying for your opponent. But if you’re prepared to invest in your Regigigas, you can make its ability all but pointless. If you’re lucky enough to get a Regigigas with a nature that does it for you, you can boost these stats up to the maximum for some Pokémon that are popular competitively. If you don’t, you can still take some time to focus on your EVs that give those lowered stats a little bonus.

This will mean that even with Slow Start, Regigigas will still have respectable numbers. In five turns, when Slow Start wears off, they will become monstrous.

And Regigigas is enough of a tank that will definitely last that long.

Unlike Heatran, Regigigas doesn’t have the same kind of advantages due to its type. Its Normal typing isn’t amazing. It takes the usual damage from most types and is weak to Fighting. But that isn’t devastating given its bulk. It isn’t resistant to anything, but is immune to Ghost, which is a nice touch.

Legendary Pokémon

Regigigas type matches, from Bulbapedia

Trainers playing on Pokémon Sun will receive a level 60 Regigigas with Zen Headbutt, Revenge, Dizzy Punch and Confuse Ray. This isn’t a bad set up. It gives you a chance to lean into a strategy based on confusing the opposing team.

If you want to get a bit more creative with the move set, Regigigas has plenty of options. At level 100, it learns the STAB enhanced Giga Impact. It can also learn Knock Off and a bunch of elementary punches you can definitely make good use of.

The level 100 Regigigas available to Pokémon Ultra Sun trainers comes with a move pool consisting of Crush Grip, Drain Punch, Zen Headbutt and Heavy Slam. Like the Pokémon Ultra Moon Heatran, this version is more traditionally suited to competitive battles.

The inclusion of Drain Punch gives you a restorative option that can keep your Regigigas going through those Slow Start turns. This is particularly useful as Regigigas is one of the few Pokémon that can’t learn either Rest or Protect. The immensely powerful Crush Grip is boosted by STAB, making for another immensely powerful offensive set.

While typically not as popular in the competitive scene as other legendary Pokémon (including Heatran), Regigigas has a lot of potential if you know how to use it.

How to get your Legendary Pokémon

Anyone who signed up to the Nintendo newsletter before March 1st 2018 will be able to receive one of these legendary Pokémon through the Mystery Gift function. The code has already been emailed out to subscribers. It can be redeemed until March 24th 2018.

Neither Heatran nor Regigigas comes with an item that is advantageous in battle. However, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon players will find their legendary Pokémon holding a Gold Bottle Cap.

In January, trainers could get their hands on Dialga and Palkia. Coming up in April, you’ll be able to get either Entei or Raikou.

 


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Images from Bulbapedia and PokemonLegendary.com

alolan persian vgc 2018

The Purr-fect Partner! – VGC 2018 – The underrated list

To celebrate Jamie Boyt’s recent victory at the Malmo Regional Championships, let’s cover one of the star members of his team: Alolan Persian. The original Persian never really got a lot of love, but Persian’s new Alolan Form has slowly been creeping its way into the competitive mainstream. With a completely new type and a lot of new mischievous tricks, Alolan Persian could be the missing piece your team is looking for.

Stats & Typing

Dark

Aside from its Speed stat, Alolan Persian’s stats are mediocre to say the least. The only thing that changed from normal Persian was the shifting of 10 stat points in Attack to Special Attack which is pretty insignificant. Luckily, Persian doesn’t have to rely on its offense, and the one attack many players use on their Persian turns their opponent’s high stats against them. We’ll get to that in a bit.

That Speed stat isn’t the best out there, but it’s fast enough to put Persian above some of VGC 2018’s biggest threats. Being able to out-speed the likes of Mega Metagross, Kartana and Mega Kangaskhan (to name a few) is huge for Persian’s ability to disrupt the opponent as it will usually strike first.

Persian’s new Dark-typing made it a bit weaker on the defensive side, but it did wonders for its move pool. Having such low defenses means that it is quite susceptible to faster threats like Mega Salamence and Tapu Koko, and the weakness to Fairy-types makes Tapu Koko quite a pain to deal with. Like I said, we’ll get to why Alolan Persian’s Dark-typing is so great once we talk about its moves.

Move pool

Learned by level-up

  • Quash: Let’s start with a bit of a weird one. Quash is a move that suppresses a target’s move so that it goes last in the turn. Usually you prefer this move on a Pokemon with Prankster in order for it to have priority, but Psychic Terrain and Prankster’s ineffectiveness against Dark-types has nerfed the ability quite hard. Luckily, Persian gets around this with its great speed, and has the ability to use this move on a number of popular Pokemon. This move isn’t as effective in 2018 just because of how many faster threats exist, but pair this with a Belly Drum boosted Snorlax and you have a powerful sweeping duo.
  • Fake Out: Again, Persian’s speed does wonders for its role as a Fake Out user. Persian can start its disrupting shenanigans early with a first turn Fake Out to give its partner a much safer turn.
  • Feint: If Persian could have 5 move slots, Feint would be a great fifth move. The ability to break Protect is another tool that Persian has to make it a great partner for a set-up Pokemon, as Feint is one of the best moves to punish defensive plays. Unfortunately, this move doesn’t make it onto many Persian’s movesets just because of how many better options are out there.

Learned by TM

  • Taunt: A fast Taunt is another plus for Persian. If your opponent decides to lead with a Pokemon with Trick Room or Tailwind, Persian can usually shut them down with Taunt. This move is also a great tool against the ever popular Amoonguss as it shuts down Amoonguss’ ability to re-direct and put things to sleep. It also works against offensive threats by not allowing them to boost with moves like Dragon Dance. If Taunt isn’t somewhere else on your team, Persian is a great Pokemon to have it on.
  • Thief: Like Quash, this is more of a tech or a fun move to use. With the plethora of “pinch” berries in the metagame, Persian can make use of a fast Thief in order to steal and heal using another Pokemon’s berry. As if Persian wasn’t a great answer to Snorlax already.
  • Swagger: I wouldn’t advise using this move, but since Persian has access to Foul Play, it may not be too terrible. The chance to confuse is great, but by boosting your opponent’s Attack, you give Persian an even more powerful Foul Play too. Again, this move is the definition of a gimmick and I would use it at your own risk.
  • Snarl: Persian gets access to a better stat-decreasing move, but if you want a move that can hit both of your opponent’s Pokemon, Snarl isn’t a bad option. This is the first of many great new moves that Persian has access to thanks to its Dark-typing.

Learned by Breeding

  • Foul Play: Easily the go-to offensive option for Alolan Persian. Foul Play is a move that does damage based on the opponent’s Attack stat, and with the plethora of strong physical attackers in VGC 2018, this move can be devastating. If Swagger potentially exists somewhere on your team, this becomes an even better move for Persian.
  • Parting Shot: This is Persian’s claim to fame. Parting Shot is a bit of a lesser known move with the great power to not only switch Persian out of battle but also lower the target’s Attack and Special Attack. With Persian’s excellent Speed, this move becomes one of the best ways to pivot and re-position your team. It doesn’t have the best synergy with Foul Play, but the ability to weaken your opponent’s team and switch out into a potential sweeper is huge.

Learned by Move Tutor

  • Knock Off: After its buff in power back in the sixth generation, Knock Off is easily one of the best moves in the game. Is it great on Persian? Not really. Persian’s speed is another great thing for this move, but trying to fit it on a move set can be a challenge. Plus, Knock Off relies on Persian’s offensive stats which will end up putting out pitiful damage even with the boosted damage.
  • Icy Wind: Did anyone else know that Persian got this move? Well Jamie Boyt was on top of this great tech. Having access to both Icy Wind and Parting Shot on the same Pokemon is what made Alolan Persian the perfect pick for Jamie Boyt’s team, and it is a fantastic combo of moves.

Abilities

Fur Coat: This new ability for Persian gives it some pseudo defensive bulk. The reason I say “pseudo” is that Fur Coat only applies to moves that make contact, so attacks like Rock Slide and Earthquake still might hurt a bit. Still, Persian welcomes this natural boost to its bulk, allowing for more investment on the special side to round out its defenses.

Potential held items

TagMago.png“Pinch” Berry: Persian may not have the best defenses, but you’d be surprised how often it gets knocked into the range for “pinch” berry recovery. Increasing Persian’s staying power just makes it even more annoying to deal with, and that’s exactly what you want.

Black GlassesBlackGlasses: Jamie Boyt used this item on his Alolan Persian simply to boost the power of Foul Play. This tiny extra boost helped a lot of his Swagger+Foul Play damage calculations, but that extra damage can also be crucial for picking up a KO on Mega Metagross. This item will certainly become less useful when players start running more defensive variants of Mega Metagross, but right now this item is pretty good.

Darkinium ZDarkinium Z: A Z move on a Pokemon with no offense? Well our main concern here is Z-Parting Shot. Z-Parting Shot not only gives you the effect of regular Parting Shot, but it also fully heals what ever Pokemon you switch into with Persian. This is a very good late game move that can easily catch your opponent off-guard.

Checks and Counters

Fairy-typestapu koko Alolan Persian VGC 2018

All of the Island Guardians (bar Tapu Bulu) give Alolan Persian a hard time. Any form of strong, Fairy-type damage like Moonblast, Dazzling Gleam and/or Play Rough are attacks Persian doesn’t enjoy taking. Some Persian are built to survive an unboosted Dazzling Gleam from Tapu Koko, but you can forget about taking a Moonblast from Tapu Fini or Tapu Lele.

Special Attackers

Fur Coat only protects Persian on the physical side, making Special Attackers the bane of its existence. Along with the plethora of Fairy-types, Persian doesn’t deal well with Pokemon like Mega Charizard Y or Mega Salamence with Mega Salamence being especially troublesome since it out-speeds Persian. Don’t rely on Persian eating up any Special hits unless the opponent has been Parting Shot-ed a couple times.

Good Teammates 

Set-up Sweepersmega charizard x Alolan Persian VGC 2018

One of the main reasons you would use Alolan Persian is if you have a Pokemon that can set-up and sweep. Parting Shot gives these Pokemon an extra layer of defense, making their set-up all the more free. Good examples include, and are not limited to:

  • Mega Tyranitar (or normal Tyranitar)
  • Mega Charizard X
  • Mega Gyarados
  • Tapu Fini
  • Snorlax

So why use Alolan Persian?

alolan persian anime Alolan Persian VGC 2018

If you intend on using any Pokemon that likes to set-up using Calm Mind or Dragon Dance, Alolan Persian is an amazing partner. The disruption ability that Alolan Persian brings to a team with the combination of Fake Out, Parting Shot, Taunt and Icy Wind makes it one of the best support Pokemon in the game potentially. And probably one of the most annoying. This Pokemon might be underrated, but I expect it to be on many players’ radar after its regional victory thanks to Jamie Boyt.

Thanks for reading!



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Pokémon Day

Is Nintendo building up to Switch release announcement on Pokémon Day 2018?

Eagle-eyed Pokémon fans will not have missed that people behind Pokémon are making a big deal about Pokémon Day 2018. They’ve posted a countdown on Twitter complete with a cheeky winking Pikachu, original content each day on the official website and plenty of throwbacks to generations past.

One of its most recent Tweets feels designed purely to generate nostalgia. It takes us back on a little journey through every generation so far, from Kanto to Alola.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The last time things felt this nostalgic was in 2016, on Pokémon’s 20th anniversary, when it released the heart-wrenching trailer for Pokémon Sun and Moon.

The eerily similar approach to promoting Pokémon Day 2018 has got a lot of fans speculating about what Nintendo could be up to. Many think that this feels like they’re ramping up 22 years of Pokémon passion for a reason – building to something more than just any old Pokémon Day.

In fact, a lot of people think that Nintendo are planning on releasing big news on February 27th 2018.

But what could it be?

It feels too close to the fairly recent release of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, not to mention the upcoming release of Detective Pikachu, for it to be a full announcement. But a lot of fans think that we might be about to get a glimpse of how the Pokémon world will evolve into its eighth generation on the Nintendo Switch.

A Tweet from Serebii.net has confirmed that the footage from the newest Pokémon movie will premiere on a Japanese Variety Show on Tuesday February 27th. At the moment, there’s almost no information about what this footage will feature, apart from the inclusion of Lugia.

Again, this feels very similar to the build up to Pokémon Sun and Moon, which reintroduced classic Pokémon in an all new way through their Alolan forms. People are theorising that this film could usher in a new age for more much-loved Pokémon. Perhaps the beloved second generation legendary will be revived in Gen VIII.

The film could be the first we see of the anime heroes reconnecting with these old favourites. This could pave the way for the games to revisit them. Pokémon Day is rumoured to provide the first real glimpse we get into what to expect.

Between Pokémon GO and Pokémon Sun and Moon, Nintendo have hit on a goldmine with these revivals. Each new generation will of course bring new wannabe Pokémon Masters into the fold. But by bringing back Pokémon rich with nostalgia, they’re reconnecting to an existing audience, some of whom may have drifted away from the franchise. But now, as adults with their own money, rather than kids begging their parents for games for Christmases and birthdays, this market is ready to buy.

There is no reason for Nintendo not to capitalise on this by continuing with this trend. The promotional patterns based on nostalgia are clearly repeating themselves, albeit with Tweets rather than full trailers this time around.

With Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon still quite recently released, and with Detective Pikachu on the way, it makes sense that there will still be a bit of a wait for another new Pokémon game. But the Switch is now nearly a year old and its popularity is booming. It’s only going to be a matter of time before Pokémon makes its way there.

There is speculation that Pokemon Day 2018 could see the release of a trailer, or a teaser, of a revolutionary Generation VIII. The subtle nature of Tweets rather than a full length trailer suggests that we won’t be getting a lot of information just yet. But could instead be the first look at a Pokémon adventure unlike anything we’ve seen or played so far.

Through island trials and Alolan forms and other new ways to play, Pokémon Sun and Moon paved the way for a new approach to classic Pokémon. It prepared people for a whole new way to explore and interact with the Pokémon world made possible by the Nintendo Switch.

So what does this mean for competitive battlers?

Honestly, at this early point, it could mean anything.

The resurfacing of Lugia as a central character in a movie suggests that there are going to be new ways to battle with classic Pokémon in the games. Similarly to the way the Z-moves and Mega-Evolution gave some Pokémon a new foothold in the competitive scene, the new generation could offer another change to gameplay that restored old favourites to their former glory. Only now, they’ll have a fighting chance aginst more than just the original 151.

There is already a lot of suspicion out there that CoroCoro is due to release new information about Lugia’s role in the next generation. This is reminiscent of the CoroCoro leaks that introduced the world to Mega-Evolution through the first ever glimpse of Mega-Evolved form of Mewtwo.

While this isn’t confirmation, the similarities are generating a lot of excitement about the future for Lugia.

How Pokémon will translate to the new, more complex console is still a something of a mystery. The basic mechanics of the game have remained similar throughout the generations, but there is definitely scope for evolution with the move to the Switch.

Every new generation updates something. Developments have been quickening their pace recently, with Mega-Evolutions and Z-Moves and Island Trials coming in quite rapidly.

It’s not unreasonable to think that by reintroducing a Pokémon as popular as Lugia, they’ll be boosting it with a completely new way to battle and maybe even using it to usher in all new mechanics.

So although the answers aren’t there yet, it’s still a lot of fun to contemplate. The countdown to Pokémon Day 2018 is getting tenser by the minute.

 

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Images from @SerebiiNet on Twitter.

vgc 2018 oceania international championships

Italy takes another International – VGC 2018 Oceania International Championships recap

The nation of Italy adds yet another International Championship title thanks to an impressive run from Alessio Yuri Boschetto. With this win under his belt, Boschetto is now the global leader in Championship Points at 1377. There was a lot of great action from Syndey including some great sets, Rock Slide flinches and off-meta Pokemon making it to Top 8 and beyond. But first, here are your results and teams from the land down under.

Results & teams (Top 8)

1. Alessio Yuri Boschetto [ITA]

Mega MetagrossMega TyranitarTapu LeleLandorus (Therian)ZapdosAmoonguss

2. Jans Arne Mækinen [NOR]

Mega MetagrossLandorus (Therian)TyranitarRotom (Wash Rotom)TogekissNidoking

3. Isaac Lam [NZ]

Mega GyaradosLandorus (Therian)Tapu KokoCresseliaIncineroarTsareena

4. Ashton Cox [USA]

Mega SalamenceTapu KokoTapu FiniAegislashAmoongussTyranitar

5. Alberto Lara [USA]

File:Mega Charizard Y.pngCresseliaLandorus (Therian)CelesteelaGothitelleSnorlax

6. Nico Davide Cognetta [ITA]

Mega GengarCresseliaHeatranTapu BuluHitmontopKommo-o

7. Javier Valdes [CHI]

Mega MetagrossNihilegoScraftyGastrodon (West Sea)VolcaronaWeavile

8. Luke Curtale [AUS]

Mega MetagrossMega TyranitarTapu FiniLandorus (Therian)AmoongussZapdos

Metagame highlights

Nidoking: We’ll start off with the Pokemon that made it the farthest. Nidoking is an off-meta choice I’ve had my eyes on ever since it was allowed back into the VGC metagame. While it suffers from a painfully awkward Speed-tier, it excels in how much damage it can deal. Sheer Force is an amazing ability which boosts the power of moves that have secondary effects, in exchange for those effects not ever activating. This allows Nidoking to deal tons of damage with attacks like Sludge Bomb, Earth Power and Ice Beam which Jens Arne Mækinen used on his Nidoking’s move set. These three moves provide excellent coverage against the metagame, making Nidoking a terrifying opponent for the Island Guardians, Heatran and even Landorus.

Tsareena: This is a Pokemon no one expected to come back. After winning the Japanese National Championships back in 2017, Tsareena once again faded into obscurity. Isaac Lam, despite his public dislike for Tsareena, took this Pokemon back to the top.

Despite being rather weak, Tsareena has some great tricks to take advantage of. Tsareena’s signature move, Trop Kick, guarantees an Attack drop on the target which makes it a pretty spam-able move against the plethora of physical attackers. Feint is a move that Isaac Lam made very good use of, being able to break opposing Protect. This allowed his Mega Gyarados and Tapu Koko to score big KO’s if Lam’s opponent decided to go on the defense. Oh, and Tsareena’s ability Queenly Majesty blocking priority moves is nice, although priority hasn’t been as popular since Tapu Lele came around.

Weavile/Nihilego: Javier Valdes often led this duo which is why I’m putting them together. Valdes’ Weavile was carrying Life Orb rather than a Focus Sash which made Weavile much more prone to being KO’ed, but gave it a big damage boost. Even Weavile’s Fake Out was doing a lot more damage, but the combination of Ice Punch and Knock Off is probably what Valdes valued in his selection of Weavile.

Nihilego stuck to its main role as a Special sweeper, but it was finally revealed in Valdes’ Top 8 set versus Ashton Cox that Nihilego was holding an Adrenaline Orb. When Cox led with his Salamence, the Intimidate gave Nihilego a boost in speed which explains why Valdes’ Nihilego was slower than a Tapu Lele we saw in an earlier stream match. Adrenaline Orb makes sense considering how Nihilego’s Speed has become more average with many more faster Pokemon being introduced into the metagame. Without having to worry about investing into its Speed stat while holding an Adrenaline Orb, more can be invested into Nihilego’s bulk which suffers heavily on the physical side.

A good tournament for Rock Slide

vgc 2018 oceania international championships

The clutch double flinch from Boschetto visibly upsets Cox.

No move generates more hype and simultaneous disgust than Rock Slide. That 30% chance to flinch the opponent’s Pokemon can be game-deciding, and no one knows that better than this tournament’s champion. Alessio Yuri Boschetto experienced both the good and bad side of Rock Slide with both instances deciding sets. Our first instance came in Swiss Round 4 where Boschetto was matched up against fellow countrymen and defending European International Champion, Simone Sanvito. Boschetto and Sanvito were running nearly identical teams making the set an intense back and forth between two of the world’s finest players.

Game 2 came down to a Landorus/Zapdos mirror match where luck with Rock Slide would decide the game. Sanvito had only Landorus left against Boschetto’s Choice Scarf Landorus and healthy Zapdos. Sanvito’s Landorus dodges a Rock Slide while Boschetto’s Zapdos uses Roost, allowing Snavito’s Landorus to score the KO on Boschetto’s. With Boschetto’s Tailwind gone, it came down to Sanvito’s Landorus at 20 HP versus a Zapdos at nearly half of its HP. With the speed advantage, Sanvito connects his first Rock Slide but doesn’t flinch. Instead, Boschetto’s Zapdos misses a Heat Wave which all but sealed the game up for Sanvito. This would be Boschetto’s first and only loss throughout the tournament.

As you know by now, things eventually went well for Boschetto, as the RNG gods smiled in his favor in his Top 4 set against Ashton Cox. In game three, Cox had the advantage with his Amoonguss and Aegislash (with a Mega Salamence in the back) against Boschetto’s Landorus and Zapdos. Boschetto needed a double flinch in order to prevent either Amoonguss putting his Zapdos to sleep or Aegislash KO’ing his Zapdos. Boschetto got the double flinch. There was still a speck of hope for Cox, but another Rock Slide flinch on his Aegislash allowed Boschetto to set up Tailwind, sealing up the game from there.

Later, Boschetto admitted on Twitter that Cox had outplayed him and that the flinches were necessary for his victory. Look, you can hate on the fact that Boschetto got that lucky in such a crucial moment, but hey, it’s Pokemon. My only question is: why wasn’t anyone using Wide Guard?

The two biggest things that we learned from Sydney were 1) Italy is yet again the force to be reckoned with and 2) Rock Slide is busted. We also learned a lot more about the potential diversity of the VGC 2018 metagame, and why you should be using Mega Metagross if you want to win tournaments. In all seriousness though, congratulations to Alessio Yuri Boschetto for his big win in what was such an exciting tournament to watch. Rock Slide flinches and all. Tournament season continues next weekend where we’ll have coverage from two major regionals in Collinsville, IL and Malmo, Sweden.

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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