With the surprise release of the Alola starter Pokemon gaining access to their Hidden Abilities in a surprise announcement. With Decidueye gaining Long Reach, Primarina getting Liquid Voice, and Incineroar getting Intimidate, these addition to VGC 2018 are going to change the way these 3 Pokemon impact the format and this article will take a look at these Pokemon and how there hidden ability will change how they battle and how they affect the 2018 metagame going into the future.

Important Information
For players with Pokemon Bank, you have until October 31st, 2018 to retrieve your very own Long Reach Decidueye, Liquid Voice Primarina, and Intimidate Incineroar in your copy of Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon. These Pokemon will come have your OT and ID. Check out this YouTube video for a tutorial on how to obtain these Pokemon.

Long Reach Decidueye

Long Reach - "This Pokemon's attacks do not make contact with the target." This means items like Rocky Helmet and abilities like Iron Barbs and Static will not affect your Decidueye.

Decidueye has always been a Pokemon that has never seen competitive success. Both its offensive and defensive stats aren't bad, but there not amazing as well as these stats are very average. Its speed can make Decideye rather slow but not slow enough to turn into a Trick Room sweeper. The Grass/Ghost typing gives Decidueye resistances to Ground, Water, Electric, and Grass while an immunity to Normal and Fighting. While this is good as it allows Decidueye to reliably switch into 6 types without taking too much damage, its weakness to common types such as Fire and Ice as well as Flying, Dark, and Ghost can hurt it as you can almost certain at least 2 of these moves on every team. This means that once you put Decidueye on your teams, its almost sure to double-up on types your team might struggle against.

Once you obtain your event Decidueye, it comes with Leaf Blade, Shadow Sneak, Phantom Force, and Brave Bird which plays into its physical nature in which most Decidueye are physical attackers as a special attacking variant will most likely be forced to use Nasty Plot to subsidize its weaker offensive stat. I don't expect Decidueye to become a much better Pokemon thanks to Long Reach as abilities that affects it, mainly Iron Barbs, is only really seen on Ferrothorn, which doesn't really helps it out much as Ferrothorn isn't a drastically common Pokemon to begin with but the benefits Decidueye could gain from Long Reach isn't going to help mainly because it's not going to activate as much as it would need to.

Liquid Voice Primarina

Liquid Voice - This Pokemon's sound-based moves become Water type. This means both the Storm Drain and Water Absorb abilities will be affected by these moves.

The easiest way to explain Primarina is to think of it as a more offensive Tapu Fini. While Tapu Fini is less offensive but bulkier while being able to perform as a better support Pokemon thanks to its Misty Surge ability and access to great support moves like Haze, Heal Pulse and Taunt to help its partners. Primarina has a higher Sp. Attack, Sp. Defense, and HP stat while a weaker Defense and Speed stat which can help thanks to the newly acquired Liquid Voice ability as well as its stronger attacks like Moonblast and Ice Beam. Being able to resist 6 attacks in Fighting, Bug, Fire, Water, Ice, and Dark thanks to its typing allows Primarina to switch into common types. While only being weak to Poison, Grass, and Electric, Tapu Fini has shown how bulky of a Pokemon it can be and with these being primarily special based attacks apart from grass thanks to the strength of both Tapu Bulu and Kartana, Primarina can surely be trained to survive these hits.

The event Primarina comes with Hyper Voice, Moonblast, Icy Wind, and Perish Song which can be very useful as Perish Song can only be obtained as an egg move which can make it easier when trying to breed a competitively ready Primarina. It's main move in Hyper Voice can become a very powerful spread move that becomes a water type attack which if you face a Gastrodon for example which has Storm Drain, it could allow you to still have a strong attack not deterred by abilities or moves like Follow Me and Rage Powder.

Intimidate Incineroar

Intimidate - Upon entering the field, all opposing Pokemon's attack stat are lowered by 1 stage. This does not affect Pokemon with the abilities Clear Body, Hyper Cutter, and White Smoke.

 The final starter is the one that saw competitive use before getting its hidden ability, but thanks to finally getting Intimidate, Incineroar has quickly become one of the most popular Pokemon in the 2018 format. Looking at its typing, while only being weak to 4 types in Fighting, Ground, Rock, and Water, being able to resist a total of 6 types in Ghost, Steel, Fire, Grass, Ice, and Dark allows Incineroar to switch in to common attacks and thanks to some of its common items like Assault Vest and healing berries to help Incineroar stay on the field longer. Thanks to great moves like Fake Out to stop a target in their tracks its first turn on the field and Knock Off to remove items and in a Best of 3 scenario, make it easier to play against Pokemon that can reliably run multiple items

The event Incineroar comes with Fake Out, U-turn, Darkest Lariat, and Flare Blitz with Fake Out being really helpful as since its an egg move, it can be easier to obtain an Incineroar that's ready for battle due to Fake Out being a pivotal move on it. Also coming with U-turn can be helpful to cycle out Intimidate to weaken the stronger Pokemon.


Thanks to finally gaining access to their hidden abilities, you can expect these 3 Pokemon to gain some sort of spike in popularity. Decidueye probably won't see to much play thanks to its Long Reach ability not helping it out to much. Primarina will see a small spike in usage because Liquid Voice allows it to better use its offensive potential thanks to finally getting a consistent spread move but if Liquid Voice did manage to give it a power boost to its sound moves, it could become an even better Pokemon. Incineroar on the other hand is already starting to see more usage thanks to Intimidate which allows it to support even more teams than it already could which means it's usage is going to help it out.

In the VGC 2018 Pokemon Spotlight, we look at a Pokemon that's doing well in the format and take a closer look at that Pokemon. Today we'll be looking at Amoonguss, a Pokemon that has always been a mainstay in every VGC format it's been allowed in always doing well at the World Championships for very good reasons so let's take a look as to why it's doing well in 2018.

Basic Information

The Grass and Poison typing is commonly seen with the bulkier Pokemon in VGC like Mega Venusaur. The Poison typing in particular has become much more desirable on teams because of the presence of the Tapu Pokemon which means most teams can be found with at least one fairy type while some opt for two or even three. This means Amoonguss can always find itself being helpful. Its Grass typing however has been relegated to a more defensive role thanks to more and more Amoonguss dropping a grass type attack. While this is happening, resistances to common types such as Water and Ground can make Amoonguss a very strong defensive pivot for teams. Weaknesses to the very common Psychic type has hurt Amoonguss since most teams run at least one Psychic type such as Tapu Lele and Metagross who love their Psychic type moves like Psychic and Zen Headbutt respectively.

Amoonguss has some really strong stats to further strengthen its role as a defensive Pokemon. 114 HP / 70 Def / 80 SpD can allow Amoonguss to switch-in to neutral hits without taking too much damage. This is further supported by its Regenerator ability which means Amoonguss can switch-out and not restore some of the damage it already took. Its Sp. Attack may not be high, but its good enough to where Amoonguss can use it enough to make an impact when dealing damage. A low speed stat can allow Amoonguss to become very annoying under Trick Room.

Notable Moves

Giga DrainClear Smog
Rage Powder
Sludge Bomb
Energy BallFoul PlaySunny Day

Amoonguss has access to some pretty strong moves to help support its team. Giga Drain is a consistent grass move that can be helpful to gain health while still dealing damage. Energy Ball can be a strong alternative that forfeits the healing aspect of Giga Drain but instead deals more damage. Its poison option is between Clear Smog and Sludge Bomb with Clear Smog being really helpful for Pokemon like Snorlax and Tyranitar, 2 Pokemon that love increasing its offensive stats which Clear Smog will rest these boosts, or you can go with Sludge Bomb for more damage.

Spore has been a staple on Amoonguss because its slow speed allows it to put a Pokemon to sleep which if that Pokemon has already attacked, they'll be forced to take its mandatory first turn of sleep. Rage Powder has also been a favorite because it allows Amoonguss to redirect single target attacks not used by Grass types away from its partner which its bulk allows it to survive these hits. Protect is great for shielding against attacks and weakening the power of Z-moves. Foul Play can be a niche option for taking advantage of Pokemon with high attack stats by dealing even more damage to them. Sunny Day is great for helping out your fire types increase their damage output. This move was used by Shoma Honami (@SHADEviera) on his 2015 Worlds winning Amoonguss.

Notable Items

Rocky HelmetIapapa Berry
Wiki Berry
Aguav BerrySitrus Berry

Amoonguss' best items are defensive due to its supportive nature. Rocky Helmet has been very helpful to allow opponents since if a Pokemon uses Fake Out, they'll take recoil damage which can deter them from using physical moves on your Amoonguss. Amoonguss has always loved the healing berries due to how they can help extend its longevity. Being able to have an item that can give it free health when you've taken damage can be very helpful. Iapapa, Wiki, and Aguav can heal more but when at 25% health or lower while Sitrus is a safer option when it drops under 50% health.

Sample Set #1: Specially Defensive

Amoonguss  sprite from Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Amoonguss @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 236 HP / 84 Def / 188 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Sludge Bomb / Giga Drain / Clear Smog
- Spore
- Rage Powder
- Protect

The first set is a specially defensive Amoonguss that aims to take advantage of the many special based hits in the format. Its moves are pretty straight forward with Spore to put Pokemon to sleep and thanks to being very slow, the Pokemon it puts to sleep won't be able to attack the next turn, Rage Powder for redirection which can be very helpful on teams that need Amoonguss to soak up hits or even sacrifice itself, and Protect to shield against attacks that Amoonguss won't be able to survive. Your main attacking option should be tailored to what you need Amoonguss to do. Sludge Bomb is for if you want Amoonguss to make use of its Poison type to threaten opposing fairy types like the Tapus but if your more worried on putting a stop to the rampant use of set-up in the 2018 format, you can use Clear Smog to get rid of those stat boosts. Giga Drain has always been common on Amoonguss since Grass coverage is amazing to threaten the bulky Water types like Tapu Fini and Suicune.

The EV Spread allows Amoonguss to survive 252 SpA Mega Charizard Y's Heat Wave in the Sun which means you can eat your berry and put Charizard back to sleep. The remaining EVs were dumped into defense for general physical bulk. The speed IV is interesting because what it means is Amoonguss will speed-tie with the really slow Snorlax so it could have a chance to put them to sleep or Clear Smog to get rid of the Belly Drum attack boosts.

Sample Set #2: Physically Defensive

Amoonguss  sprite from Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Amoonguss @ Iapapa Berry
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 244 HP / 196 Def / 68 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Clear Smog / Sludge Bomb / Giga Drain
- Spore
- Rage Powder
- Protect

This second set is more physically defensive which can be helpful you need your Amoonguss to take some major physical hits. The moves are exactly the same from the first set because these moves are really safe to run on Amoonguss. Its EVs mean this Amoonguss survives 252+ SpA Tapu Lele's Psychic, 252 Atk Tough Claws Mega Metagross' Zen Headbutt, 252+ Atk Landorus-Therian's Tectonic Rage (180 BP), and 252+ SpA Pelipper's Hurricane to name a few notable moves Amoonguss can survive. What all of this means is that Amoonguss can become a reliable defensive pivot.

Possible Partners for Amoonguss

Set-Up Pokemon

azumarill.png snorlax.png tyranitar-mega.png gyarados-mega.png charizard-mega-x.png
Access to Rage Powder can help Pokemon that love to set-up and increase their stats. Azumarill and Snorlax can easily use Belly Drum to maximize its attack stat thanks to Amoonguss while Mega Tyranitar, Mega Gyarados, and Mega Charizard X can use Dragon Dance to increase both its attack and speed. What Amoonguss does for all 5 of these Pokemon is it makes it easier for these Pokemon to become bigger threats.

Trick Room Setters

cresselia.png porygon2.png gothitelle.png mimikyu.png
Amoonguss can use Rage Powder to help Cresselia, Porygon2, Gothitelle, and Mimikyu use Trick Room. A problematic Taunt, Spore, or any attack that might KO the Trick Room user can be redirected into Amoonguss so they can accomplish their job.

How to beat Amoonguss

Flying Types

salamence-mega.png landorus-therian.png pelipper.png
Since Amoonguss is weak to flying type attacks, they can prove to be an issue. Mega Salamence can use multiple powerful flying type moves like Hyper Voice and Double-Edge thanks to its Aerilate ability. Landorus-Therian can use flying type moves thanks to the addition of Z-moves so it can learn Fly into its Z-move equivalent to KO Amoonguss. Pelipper can use Hurricane to threaten a KO on Amoonguss and thanks to its Drizzle ability, it can turn Hurricane into a 100% accurate move.

Psychic Types

tapu-lele.png gardevoir-mega.png cresselia.png metagross-mega.png
Amoonguss is also weak to Psychic type moves. Tapu Lele, Mega Gardevoir, and Cresselia can use the 2 main special Psychic type moves in Psyshock and Psychic to threaten big damage on Amoonguss which can even KO it at times while Mega Metagross can threaten it with Zen Headbutt.

Fire Types

charizard-mega-y.png heatran.png volcarona.png charizard-mega-x.png incineroar.png entei.png
Amoonguss' weakness to fire type moves can allow these 6 main fire types to exploit this. A Flamethrower, Heat Wave, or Overheat from Mega Charizard Y, Heatran, and Volcarona can threaten KOs on Amoonguss. On the physical side, a power Flare Blitz from Mega Charizard X and Incineroar or a Sacred Fire from Entei can threaten Amoonguss.


Thanks to its reliable stats, great supportive and offensive moves, and ability to support its overall team, Amoonguss has become a reliable support Pokemon on teams ever since its first season in 2011 and has continued to be this way ever since then as proven by how Amoonguss has made at least the Top 8 at the World Championships every year its been legal since then. I hope you enjoyed this article. Check back to the Nimbasa City Post for more VGC related content. 

Since the start of the VGC 2018 format, we have had 4 Regionals, 1 International Championship, and 6 Special Events as well as a multitude of Midseason Showdowns. With that being said, let's look at where the metagame is right now and where it might be heading in the future. This article will talk about the following events held between January 13th and February 10th which includes the following events.

Pokemon Usage Numbers at Events

Check out the full standings here!
This will be updated throughout the season.

This analysis will go more into depth the 20 Pokemon listed above.

1) Landorus-Therian landorus-therian.png

This month's leader is no surprising to anyone. Landorus has always been a Pokemon that is very high in usage in most formats of competitive Pokemon that Groudon isn't legal in. Thanks to the introduction of Z-moves in the 7th generation, Landorus has been given 2 things its always wanted, a very power single-target Ground type move as well as a chance to make something of its flying typing. The combination of the Intimidate ability, well rounded stats, and a large amount of viable moves as shown in our guide, Landorus has proven why its the most used Pokemon in events. According to usage stats,  45% of Landorus hold Assault Vest while the previously most popular item Choice Scarf, is in second place with 27% usage. No matter how the metagame shifts, Landorus is looking like its going to hold tight onto its 1st place position for a long time.


2) Tapu Koko tapu-koko.png

In VGC 2017, Tapu Koko was a very strong and popular Pokemon for the same reason its dominating this year. Tapu Koko has some strong offensive stats. The most common moves of Thunderbolt, Dazzling Gleam, Volt Switch, and Protect have proven to be the most common moves to expect on  Tapu Koko in battle as they are the most consistent but Hidden Power [Ice] and even Discharge might find their way onto Tapu Koko to help in specific matchups. Electrium Z has proven to be the most popular item but its not the only item to run as Ashton Cox (@Linkyoshimario) has been seeing success with an Assault Vest Tapu Koko as a throwback to the VGC 2017 format where it was more popular.


3) Cresselia cresselia.png

Cresselia has been a very popular Pokemon in VGC ever since it was released as it has appeared at the World Championships ever year it was legal since 2012. Its amazing bulk and decent typing was covered more in our guide, which showed how Cresselia's moves on a team could be tailored to what its team needed, which is helped by its vast amount of viable support moves. You can find Cresselia commonly running the super healing berries like the Iapapa Berry to give it more staying power which has proven to be very important for a Pokemon that isn't easy to KO on its own. 


4) Zapdos zapdos.png

With Thundurus-Incarnate losing a lot of the tools, Zapdos has stepped up to the plate to take its place. The combination of Tailwind, good bulk, and some strong offensive stats as we talked about in our guide, Zapdos can fill the main roles that Thundurus can do while the roles it can't fill aren't exactly needed. You can commonly find Zapdos holding either the Misty or Psychic seed as its commonly seen on teams alongside Tapu Fini or Tapu Lele to gain the Sp. Defense boost to survive some of the strongest Z-Moves out there.


5) Mega Metagross metagross-mega.png

For one reason or another, Metagross has risen to becoming the most popular Mega Evolution in the 2018 format. While Metagross hasn't had any stat or ability changes between generations, the reason its seeing a surge in popularity is that it undergoes a massive speed increase after Mega Evolving which it gains right away. This allows it to gain the full benefits of its Mega Evolution right away and become a major threat. It also got access to Stomping Tantrum through Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon move tutors which allows Metagross to hit Pokemon like Heatran and Aegislash that otherwise can wall out Metagross.


6) Amoonguss amoonguss.png

Amoonguss is another Pokemon that has always done well in VGC since its release in 2011, always making a large impact in every format its legal. While the way Amoonguss is played has not changed much since its release, its offensive move pool has gained a new tool in Clear Smog which with how this format is becoming infested with set-up moves and abilities, Amoonguss being able to use Clear Smog to reset those boosts can be very helpful. Its most common items have been the healing berries which works great alongside its Regenerator ability.


7) Kartana kartana.png

Kartana's popularity is stronger online as the main reason its usage shot up is it was used 16 out of 22 times in the Oceania Win-a-Trip Challenge which is the primary reason Kartana is at #7. While Kartana hasn't changed much in VGC 2018, it did gain access to Tailwind through move tutors which can be nice. Kartana can be found using Leaf Blade and Sacred Sword for consistent damage while holding either the Grassium Z for a strong attack or the Focus Sash to survive hits it otherwise wouldn't.


8) Tapu Fini tapu-fini.png

Tapu Fini was another Pokemon that many people thought would be even better than it was in VGC 2017. The main reason was getting Icy Wind through move tutors which while its a move to expect on Tapu Fini, its only seen on roughly 15% of Tapu Fini on the ladder. Tapu Fini this season is commonly seen using the same Calm Mind variants that was seen from last season and commonly holding the super healing berries while Leftovers is sometimes found on it as well.


9) Mega Charizard Y charizard-mega-y.png

Mega Charizard Y is another Pokemon that has undergone barely any changes between generations. What makes it a strong Pokemon is that it can still do its job very well. Being able to set the sun with its Drought ability as well as strong offensive stats and a strong movepool as covered in our guide, it can be a very effective Pokemon. Most Charizard can be found using some of these powerful fire type moves like in Flamethrower, Overheat, and Heat Wave as well as Solar Beam mainly for water types.


10) Tyranitar tyranitar.png

Tyranitar also has changed much between generations. It still does its job just as well. Its high attack stat combined with both a strong offensive and defensive typing which allows it to threaten common Pokemon with super-effective damage. While its speed isn't as strong, the common Tyranitar either hold the Choice Scarf or use Dragon Dance which both can increase its speed to compensate for its speed.


11) Tapu Lele tapu-lele.png

Tapu Lele is also following the trend of Pokemon that haven't changed much since VGC 2017. The Psychic Terrain that it sets allows this Pokemon to dish out some very powerful Psychic type moves and with one of its favorite items in Psychium Z, a Shatter Psyche in terrain can KO even the bulkiest Pokemon or deal over 60% of damage. Most Tapu Lele can be found using 2 fairy types moves in both Moonblast and Dazzling which serve similar purposes but can be helpful with the threat of Wide Guard.


12) Heatran heatran.png

Heatran has been having a little bit of trouble in the 2018 format. The reason is that to Metagross gaining access to Stomping Tantrum has essentially forced Heatran to hold Shuca Berry to survive a hit from the current most popular Mega Evolution. Other than that, a lot of what Heatran does well is still very relevant. It's Fire/Steel typing gives it a strong matchup versus most Pokemon and its Flash Fire ability means it can wall most Charizard that don't run Hidden Power [Ground]. While Heatran can make use of Z-moves, it would need the support to deal with Metagross before Heatran can consider other items.


13) Tapu Bulu tapu-bulu.png

Tapu Bulu is a Pokemon whose success is dependent on how the metagame shifts. This was big in VGC 2017 as the threat of super-effective moves was to much to use it reliably and the amount of partners it could have was very limited. This year, the threats it used to have mainly Nihilego and Celesteela don't see the same amount of usage anymore. Access to coverage moves like Rock Slide for Charizard and Superpower for various steel types can give Tapu Bulu a better time overall. What it did well in 2017 still holds true this season. In Grassy Terrain, Tapu Bulu's grass type moves can deal some serious damage and with a potential Z-move, they can even threaten KOs.


14) Mega Tyranitar tyranitar-mega.png

This is the first VGC season Tyranitar has really been seeing usage. The reason is that teams including Tyranitar have been finding trouble versus opposing weather so players have realized by slapping a mega stone onto Tyranitar, it can mega evolve if needed and regain weather control. Mega Tyranitar can be seen commonly using Dragon Dance to boost the power of Rock Slide and Crunch to deal serious damage and with the boosted speed, it can remedy its mediocre speed stat.


15) Snorlax snorlax.png

Snorlax was a Pokemon in 2017 that needed to be respected because if your team didn't have a way to stop it from setting up either through Curse or Belly Drum, it could easily KO all your Pokemon in a few turns. While this is still true, Pokemon like Landorus commonly running Knock Off to get rid of its berry can limit how annoying Snorlax is. This season, Snorlax has gained some powerful partners in Gothitelle and Cresselia, both of whom are very reliable supporters as they can learn Trick Room to allow Snorlax to abuse its low speed stat as well as the very annoying Ally Switch.


16) Incineroar incineroar.png

Incineroar is a Pokemon that has risen from almost no usage in 2017 to one of the most common Fire types in VGC 2018. While Incineroar was almost always thrown to the wayside in favor of Arcanine in 2017, VGC 2018 is giving Incineroar its time to shine. Its Fire/Dark typing gives it the ability to beat most of the common Pokemon like Charizard, Aegislash, Heatran, Tapu Lele, and Cresselia as we talked about in our guide. Access to Fake Out can be really helpful and should Incineroar gain its hidden ability in Intimidate, expect its usage to rise even further.


17) Porygon2 porygon2.png

Porygon2 has always seen niche usage in National Dex formats. In 2015, Sam Schweitzer (@SamVGC) used it to finish Top 16 at the 2015 Fort Wayne Regionals. What Porygon2 does well is that in a format dominated by Fairy and Psychic types, Porygon2 doesn't have to worry about fighting types nearly as much.


18) Scrafty scrafty.png

Scrafty is the only fighting type really seeing usage right now, which is mainly due to its Intimidate ability as well as moves like Fake Out and Knock Off. It can commonly be seen on bulkier teams that appreciate what it can provide. Teams with Pokemon like Gothitelle and Snorlax absolutely love Scrafty because it can switch in and Intimidate the opponents and use Fake Out to help out. You can find Scrafty holding either one of a berry, Assault Vest, or even the Eject Button.


19) Mega Kangaskhan kangaskhan-mega.png

Kangaskhan was once the most popular Mega Evolution but thanks to the nerf of its Parental Bond ability, losing Power-Up Punch, and Sucker Punch's base power dropping, Kangaskhan has dropped from its throne. What Kangaskhan does well is despite the nerf to its ability, it can deal a decent amount of damage and what players are finding is that Kangaskhan can get pretty bulky with a decent amount of investment.


20)  Azumarill azumarill.png

The final Pokemon is Azumarill, a Pokemon that most thought wouldn't be popular in 2018 due to the popularity and existence of Tapu Lele who sets Psychic Terrain which can stop its main move in Aqua Jet. Azumarill first saw success this season from Brendan Zheng (@Babbyton) who won a Liberty Garden Midseason Showdown and went 9-0 in Swiss to finish Top 16 at the 2018 Dallas Regionals. What Azumarill does well is after using Belly Drum, it can use strong moves like Aqua Jet, Play Rough, and Knock Off to KO most Pokemon. To use Azumarill effectively, it needs the support of other Tapus like Tapu Koko and Tapu Bulu to get rid of the problematic Psychic Terrain.


Common Cores (Jan. 13 - Feb. 10)

1) Mega Charizard Y Teams

charizard-mega-y.png +landorus-therian.png+tapu-koko.png
This core sets out to support the Charizard. These types of teams are very diverse but Landorus-T and Tapu Koko have been commonly found on most successful Charizard teams. Landorus is found because it naturally works well. Landorus provides Intimidate to allow Charizard to take Rock type moves that it otherwise wouldn't as well as Charizard's flying type allows Landorus to use Earthquake next to it. Tapu Koko can use Gigavolt Havoc form a very strong pin alongside Charizard's Overheat which when both of those moves are targeted into the same slot, it can KO most Pokemon.

Common Partners: cresselia.pnggothitelle.pngporygon2.pngtyranitar.pngamoonguss.pngkartana.pngsnorlax.png
These are 7 most common Pokemon seen on teams with the core above. Cresselia, Gothitelle, and Porygon2 are mainly added because of their ability to use speed control to support the main 3 as well some of the other Pokemon on the team. We saw Alberto Lara (@Alberto310) use the Gothitelle and Snorlax combo on his Top 8 Oceanic Internationals team. What Gothitelle does for Snorlax is thanks to its Shadow Tag ability and Heal Pulse to allow Snorlax to use Belly Drum then sweep. Porygon2 can be seen alongside Tyranitar as Dallas Regionals semifinalist Carson Confer (@carson_confer) and Dallas Regional Champion Cedric Bernier (@TalonVGC) have shown how well these 2 can work well together since Porygon2 can help Tyranitar by setting Trick Room. Amoonguss is a strong support Pokemon with Spore and Rage Powder while Kartana's strong offensive power can be very helpful.

2) Mega Metagross Teams

These 5 make up the original blueprint for the popular team in the format. While the exact origins of this team is unknown, 2016 Worlds semifinalist Eduardo Cunha (@MeninoJardim) has popularized it and because of this, this team and changes players have made have managed to win some major events including Flavio del Pidio (@PadoVGC) winning the Leipzig Regional and Alessio Yuri Boschetto (@YureeVGC) winning the Oceanic Internationals. The idea of this team starts with the with first 4 in Tapu Fini, Zapdos, Landorus-Therian, and Tyranitar which focuses on strong defensive synergy shown here where Rock is the only type that isn't the safest to switch in to typing wise, but the strong offenses these 4 pack together can be hard to break. Mega Metagross has proven to be a strong fifth member as it resists Rock type moves and its strong offensive coverage can make it a very difficult Pokemon to reliably switch in to thanks to the new move tutor in Stomping Tantrum. Amoonguss can be found as a strong defensive pivot thanks to its bulk and access to moves like Rage Powder and Spore can help it become a strong support Pokemon

Common Partners: tyranitar-mega.png tapu-lele.png celesteela.png
Since no original draft of a team is perfect, players have found some ways to update the team in order to make it better. Due to the issue with opposing weather, mainly rain teams, players have found out by giving Tyranitar its mega stone, Mega Tyranitar becomes a better answer versus rain teams as Tyranitar can surprise the opponent with its mega evolution and once again keep the sand up. Mega Tyranitar also brings the Dragon Dance option to make up for its lackluster speed stat and further increase its attacking power. Tapu Lele has also been found on this team as a replacement to Tapu Fini since the Psychic Surge it can set could power up Metagross' Zen Headbutt as well as allow Amoonguss to make use of Spore which Tapu Fini doesn't allow it do, which both Alessio Yuri Boschetto and Flavio del Pidio used to win their respective events listed above. The final Pokemon in Celesteela only sees niche usage on this team but can be found holding a Misty Seed to make use of Acrobatics which has been gaining traction on Celesteela.

3) Dual Mode Set-Up

This type of team has gained a lot of traction throughout January. This team typically has 2 really strong options it can use to win games. The first option revolves around allowing Snorlax to set-up through Belly Drum and then trying to KO everything with a strong Return. Gothitelle can perfectly help Snorlax out thanks to its Shadow Tag ability, Trick Room, and Heal Pulse to make sure Snorlax can do its job. The second mode revolves around helping Tapu Fini also set-up but with Calm Mind. Mega Manectric can help out thanks to its Snarl + Intimidate combo to weaken damage of all kinds as well as its Lightning Rod ability before mega evolving so Tapu Fini doesn't have to worry about dealing with the common electric types like Tapu Koko and Zapdos. Celesteela finds it way onto this team thanks to being a really solid defensive pivot who can also benefit from Manectric's Lightning Rod ability which allows Celesteela to do its job of walling out most Pokemon.

Common Partnerscelesteela.png landorus-therian.png incineroar.png kartana.png
Celesteela finds it way onto this team thanks to being a really solid defensive pivot who can also benefit from Manectric's Lightning Rod ability which allows Celesteela to do its job of walling out most Pokemon. Landorus can be found on this team thanks to its Intimidate ability which can be very helpful if Manectric isn't brought to the match or can't mega evolve yet. It also can hit very hard with Earthquake and Rock Slide as well as Knock Off for utility. At the 2018 Collinsville Regionals, Louis Milich (@UncleLou21) added Incineroar to his team which can be very helpful thanks to Fake Out and various other support moves which gave him a better match-up versus steel types and it can allow his Pokemon to set-up. Kartana has popped up from Alvin Hidayat (@JibaNOTHERE) showed how Kartana can work well alongside Tapu Fini in 2018. Alvin's Tapu Fini was a Choice Scarf variant with Soak to turn the target into a water type so Kartana could use either Leaf Blade or Bloom Doom to KO them. What Alvin showed is that this combination which we saw in 2017 at the World Championships is that this duo is alive and well in 2018.


The start of VGC 2018 appears to be a bright one filled with multiple strategies and Pokemon doing well so far. As the season progresses, be sure to check back to the Nimbasa City Post for coverage on the forever changing metagame.


Nimbasa Archive

Follow by Email