Sunday, September 27, 2015

VGC Guide to Sun Teams (2015)


Welcome everyone. After my guide to Sand, Rain, and Trick Room teams, I decided to post my guide on the last viable Team Strategy guide. I won't be doing one on Hail since the only viable Hail team I've seen is a combo of Hail and Trick Room by Cypher, but the team wasn't strong enough, as admitted by Cypher who said the team wasn't strong. Without further ado, lets get on with my analysis on Sun teams. Lets get started!

What is a Sun Team?

  • Uses the bright sun to win the game & the overall match
  • Can be activated the ability Drought or the move Sunny Day
Why use a Sun Team?
  • Increases the power of fire type moves by 50%
  • Allows Solar Beam to be used instantly
  • Activates the abilities: Chlorophyll, Dry Skin, Flower Gift, Forecast, Leaf Guard, Solar Power, Harvest
  • Guarantees Harvest will restores a held berry
  • Prevents Pok√©mon to be frozen
  • Boosts the effects of: Moonlight, Synthesis, Morning Sun, & Growth
  • Decreases the power of water type moves by 50%
  • Lowers the accuracy of Water type moves by 50%

Now that we know more about the Sun teams and the effects and benefits a Sun team can provide, I wanna show you a few Sun teams that have done well in the past. This should show off how strong a Sun team can be.

Omari Travis' Sun Team
Team:
Accomplishments: 1st at 2014 Long Beach Regionals
Setter: Mega Charizard Y
Abuser: Venusaur
Everyone Else: Scrafty, Garchomp, Rotom-Wash, & Mamoswine

Matt Swanson's Sun Team
Team:  
Accomplishments: 7th at 2015 Madison Regionals (Masters Division)
Setter: Mega Charizard Y
Abuser: Venusaur & Cresselia
Everyone Else: Heatran, Rhyperior, and Scrafty

Mario Serrano's Sun Team
Team:
Accomplishments: 8th at 2015 Madison Regionals (Masters Division)
Setter: Mega Charizard Y
Abuser: Venusaur & Cresselia
Everyone Else: Rhyperior, Scrafty, & Sylveon

Stephen Brown III's Sun Team
Team:      
Accomplishments: 17th at 2015 Athens Regionals (Masters Division)
Setter: Ninetales
Abuser: Shiftry
Everyone Else: Salamence, Mamowsine, Sableye, & Thundurus-T

Mark McQuillian's Sun Team
Team:     
Accomplishments: 1st at 2015 World Championships (Senior Division)
Setter: Mega Charizard Y
Abuser: Cresselia
Everyone Else: Landorus-Therian, Machamp, Heatran, & Sylveon


My Sun Team
Team:
Accomplishments: 8th at a Premier Challenge, 1271 on the VGC Showdown Ladder
Setter: Mega Charizard Y
Abuser: Venusaur & Cresselia
Everyone Else: Landorus-T, Thundurus, & Conkeldurr


How to know it's a Sun Team?
  • Setter: Mega Charizard Y, Ninetales, Prankster users with the move Sunny Day
  • Chlorophyll Users: Venusaur, Tangrowth, Sawsbuck, Shiftry, Victreebel, Exeggutor, Jumpluff, Lilligant
  • Fire Types
  • Sun Sweepers
  • Support Pokemon
How to beat a Sun Team?
  • Sand Teams: Tyranitar, Excadrill, Landorus, Hippowdon, etc.
  • Rain Teams: Politoed, Ludicolo, Kingdra, Kabutops, etc.
  • Trick Room
  • Opposing Fire Types
  • Dragon Types
  • Rock Slide & Earthquake users
Overall, Sun Teams are very strong and powerful. With the right set up, you can go far with Sun during a tournament like the upcoming Regional level tournament or various Premier Challenges. I hoped you enjoyed reading this. Now I got a question for you all. I wanna continue doing team strategy guides, but I need your suggestions on what Team Strategy guides you wanna see. Leave your suggestions in the comment section and i'll see you in my next team strategy guide, whatever it may be.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

VGC Entei Analysis

Welcome. After the support for my Thundurus-T analysis, I decided to cover a fire type that has picked up popularity at the 2015 World Championships. Today, I'll be talking about Entei, one of the 3 legendary dogs along with Raikou and Suicune. I'll start by talking about its stats.

Base Stats

115 HP - Incredible. This means with the right investment,  Entei will be be taking hits for a very long time
115 Attack - Also incredible. As well as taking hits, it'll be doing major damage to various Pokemon if it can hit them for good damage.
85 Defense - Respectable. While not the greatest, it's still means Entei can take some hits, barring from really powerful Earthquake and Rock Slide from the wrong Pokemon.
90 Sp. Attack - Okay. While it's not as strong to be a main powerhouse option in terms of damage, it can be used, but keep in mind Scrafty's attack stat is 90, but he's used as a physical attacker with supportive options.
75 Sp. Defense - Ouch. By that I mean a weakness to Hydro Pump and more notably Scald hurts Entei's viability a little bit. Luckily since it can learn the move Snarl, it can have that easily covered.
100 Speed - Nice. Base 100 Speed means Entei can potentially speed-tie with Mega Kangaskhan and Metagross before Mega Evolution. While that can be an issue, enough speed control on that team and this average Speed stat is not a big issue.

As you can see, our buddy Entei is a very bulky fire type with impressive offensive power. It's also one of the only viable physical attacking fire types in the metagame along with Arcanine, Infernape, & Mega Charizard X. The main problem with Entei is the viable moves it can learn. My main complaint is that it doesn't learn Earthquake and Rock Slide. It does learn Bulldoze and Stone Edge, but Bulldoze after spread reduction for its power is weaker than a Mud Shot and Stone Edge can be very useful to hit Pokemon like Charizard and Thundurus. But even with all of that, Entei is still a threat with the moves it can learn. Now let's go into those moves. I'll list some Sp. Attack it can learn since I did say it's something to do to surprise your opponent in battle.


Viable Moves to consider

  • Sacred Fire
  • Protect
  • Snarl
  • Substitute
  • Stone Edge
  • Bulldoze 
  • Extreme Speed (Only on the 5th Gen event Entei)
  • Iron Head
  • Iron Tail
  • Swagger
  • Will-O-Wisp
  • Fire Blast
  • Extrasensory
  • Calm Mind
  • Solar Beam
  • Heat Wave
Now let's go into some sample sets
Alexander Kuhn's (Hibiki) Entei set
Entei @ Safety Googles
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 244 HP, 116 Attack, 12 Defense, 12 Sp. Defense, 124 Speed
Adamant Nature
1. Sacred Fire
2. Stone Edge
3. Snarl
4. Protect

This is probably my favorite example of a good Entei strategy. What I like about it is how Hibiki managed to piloted it to a Top 64 finish at his National and did it very impressively. The speed outspeeds all forms of Breloom expect the Choice Scarf variant. The defense survives Double-Edge from Kangaskhan, along with Earthquake from Scarfed Lando-T. The rest was dumped accordingly into the remaining stats. 

Now I don't have a personal Entei set as this the set I currently use as I use Hibiki's set, but changing the item to fit my team.


Personal, Entei is a very strong Pokemon and a physical Fire type. I'm happy it got popular around 2015 Worlds and it's certainly a Pokemon that should be watched out for. Landorus-Therian is a good answer to Entei as Earthquake and Rock Slide handle it really well. Water types also do well against it. I have a question for you awesome people to answer. I wanna take your suggestions on what Pokemon you wanna see me cover. Leave them in the comment section below. Now fair warning, if the Pokemon isn't as common in VGC, I will have to do some research on the Pokemon, but I will do it. Thanks and see you in my next individual Pokemon Analysis


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Friday, September 25, 2015

Guide to VGC Sand Teams (2015)


Hello. After my guide about VGC Sand Teams, I decided to keep the trend on VGC Team Strategy Guides and move on to my 3rd VGC Team Strategy Guide with Sand Teams. Sand Teams have always done well in the past, which is why I want to do this. With Regionals fast approaching in the US, I want to get all of these VGC Team Strategy Guides so that you can have a better time picking what team strategy to build around for Regionals. Without further ado, lets get on with my VGC Team Strategy Guide on Sand.

What is a Sand Team?
  • Uses the weather Sand to beat down an opposing team with high offensive power and an increase in speed
  • Uses the ability Sand Stream, or the move Sandstorm
Why use a Sand Team?
  • Activates the abilities: Sand Force, Sand Veil, and Sand Rush
  • Raises the Sp. Defense of all Rock types by 50%
  • Damages all Pokemon not Rock, Ground, or Steel type (Except Pokemon with Sand Force, Sand Rush, Sand Veil, Magic Guard, Overcoat, or holding the item Safety Googles)
  • Weakens the moves: Solar Beam, Morning Sun, Moonlight, and Synthesis
How to know its a Sand Team?
  • Sand Setter - Main job is to set up the Sand
  • Sand Abuser - Main job is to take advantage of the Sand with their abilities or the benefits of Sand in order to win
  • Everyone Else - Help the Sand setter and Sand Abuser to win
Now that we got a better understanding on Sand Teams, I want to show you some examples on Sand Teams that have done well in the past. This should help you gain some inspiration of your Sand teambuilding. 

Brendan Webb's Sand Team
Team:   
Accomplishments: 6th at 2015 Australian Nationals (Masters Division)
Sand Setter: Tyranitar
Sand Abuser: Excadrill & Ferrothorn
Everyone Else: Salamence, Rotom-Wash, & Volcarona

Aaron Zheng's Sand Team 
(Version #1)
Team:   
Accomplishments: 9th at 2015 Massachusetts Regionals (Masters Division)
Sand Setter: Tyranitar
Sand Abuser: Excadrill & Aegislash
Everyone Else: Salamence, Rotom-Wash, & Amoonguss

Aaron Zheng's Sand Team 
(Version #2)
Team:   
Accomplishments: 4th at 2015 US Nationals (Masters Division)
Sand Setter: Tyranitar
Sand Abuser: Landorus-I & Aegislash
Everyone Else: Rotom-Wash, Amoonguss, & Salamence

A Japanese Player's Sand Team
Team:    
Accomplishments: 5th at Japanese Nationals (Masters Division)
Sand Setter: Tyranitar
Sand Abuser: Excadrill & Aegislash
Everyone Else: Amoonguss, Salamence, & Azumarill

Matthew Greaves' Sand Team
Team:  
Accomplishments: 4th at 2015 Utah Regionals (Masters Division)
Sand Setter: Tyranitar
Sand Abuser: Excadrill & Aegislash
Everyone Else: Amoonguss, Cresselia, & Gyarados

Angel Miranda's Sand Team
Team:  
Accomplishments: 3rd at 2015 Georgia Regionals (Masters Division)
Sand Setter: Tyranitar 
Sand Abuser: Aegislash & Landorus-I
Everyone Else: Salamence, Azumarill, & Amoonguss

Look for these Pokemon on a Sand Team
  • Sand Setters: Tyranitar & Hippowdon
  • Sand Abusers: Landorus-I, Excadrill, Stoutland, Mega Garchomp, Mega Steelix
  • Can Work well on a Sand Team: Terrakion, Magnezone, Scizor, Lucario, Reuniclus, Heatran, Metagross, Latias, Rotom-Wash, Mega Salamence, Skarmory, Gliscor, Forretress, Quagsire, Gastrodon, Bronzong, AND MANY MORE, (Also Pokemon that gain benefits from having the Sand up)
How to beat Sand Teams
  • Take advantage of their weaknesses
  • Opposing weather (Sun, Rain, Hail)
Overall, Sand is a very strong archetype as a team to build around. Also, the fact that it got really powerful and popular later on in the 2015 season. This shows that if your team isn't ready for it, it will destroy your team. My favorite way to see it played is in a hybrid Trick Room mode, like the way Alex Underhill used it to pilot to a very impressive Top 8 finish. I hoped you enjoyed this article. Expect another Team Strategy article this weekend, along with a individual Pokemon as well. See you later.
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