Thursday, October 29, 2015

VGC Gengar Analysis




Welcome. Today, in the spirit of Halloween, I've decided to cover my favorite and the first ever ghost type, Gengar. Being the first ghost type comes with a lot of responsibility since whoever it is will be setting the stage for all future ghost types as either a major threat, or a total weakling that will be disrespected by all other types. Luckily, Gengar did that job perfectly as a strong ghost type, which is why I want to coverage on him. Without further ado, let's dive in to my coverage of Gengar.

Base Stats
60 HP - While not being the highest, Gengar doesn't need it to be higher because the way you'll be playing it doesn't call for more bulk, although that would be nice.
65 Attack (Non-Mega to Mega) - Not even going to talk about it. Gengar is a Special Attacker so that low attack means that you'll be using special based attacks more often and it has a wider special movepool than physical so that's pouring salt into the wound on why it shouldn't be used.
60-80 Defense (Non-Mega to Mega) - Its a very frail stat. The best I can say about this stat is don't expect your Gengar to be taking powerful hits like they were nothing. They were something and your Gengar will not be enjoying those hits.
130-170 Sp. Attack (Non-Mega to Mega) - This an amazing stat. All it means is that you will be doing some major damage to your foes and for good reason. Since Gengar is a frail Pokémon, it needs a powerful offensive stat to make it usable. Luckily, a powerful offensive stat that gets better as a Mega means Gengar actually has use on certain teams.
75-95 Sp. Defense (Non-Mega to Mega) - Another frail stat. Even though its slightly better than its Defense, Gengar still won't enjoy eating special based hits. Its Mega Evolution isn't making a case for that either.
110-130 Speed (Non-Mega to Mega) -  Very fast. Your Gengar will be zooming around the battlefield at record speeds. 110 base means that Gengar will be getting some amazing outspeeds. Outspeeding threats such as Mega Kangaskhan and Mega Gardevoir so you can do major damage. And after Mega Evolution, you get to base 130, which means that you'll outspeed the majority of the current metagame and can use your 170 Sp. Attack to destroy your foes.

Overall, Gengar is a fast and strong Pokémon that can't  take a hit to well. Now that we know about Gengar on a technical level, let's get into some moves that put Gengar on the market as a powerhouse

Recommended Moves for Gengar
  1. Shadow Ball
  2. Taunt
  3. Protect
  4. Thunderbolt
  5. Sludge Bomb
  6. Energy Ball
  7. Will-O-Wisp
  8. Trick Room
  9. Perish Song
  10. Reflect Type
  11. Icy Wind
  12. Substitute
  13. Disable
As you can see, Gengar has a impressive movepool. From supportive to offensive and everything in between, Gengar can do all sorts of things very well. Now, let's go into some set's for Gengar that make it the threat it is.

Supportive Gengar

Gengar @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Sludge Bomb/ Shadow Ball
- Icy Wind
- Will-O-Wisp
- Taunt/ Protect

This is the standard normal Gengar that was popularized in the early VGC2015 season by Aaron Zheng (Cybertron) after he won a Premier Challenge with it. The idea of this set is to use Gengar's speed to lower the opponent's speed with Icy Wind, get off a fast Taunt, or burn a slower physical attacker with Will-O-Wisp. The EVs for this Gengar is very simple. Max Sp. Attack and Speed allows Gengar to do it's supportive job and support it's team very well. Sludge Bomb or Shadow Ball is for the team. Sludge Bomb allows you to hit fairy types if you feel that's important while Shadow Ball allows you to hit Aegislash. If you choose Shadow Ball, please remember you won't be able to hit Kangaskhan with it and have to rely on Icy Wind and burn damage to take it out 1v1. Focus Sash allows Gengar to take a hit to get off at least 1 hit.

Jon Hu's Mega Gengar
 
Gengar @Gengarite “Saya”
Ability: Levitate -> Shadow Tag
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe, IVs: 27 HP
Timid Nature
-Shadow Ball
-Icy Wind
-Substitute
-Protect


This is the Gengar that Jon Hu (JHufself) used to make Day 2 at the 2015 Pokemon US National Championships and got an impressive Top 32 finish. If you don't know who he is, Jon managed to get Top 4 at US Nationals the year before, losing to eventual champion Alex Ogloza (Evan Falco) This Gengar is the reason I put Substitute in the recommended move section. Let's see what Jon had to say about his Gengar. "Gengar remains the same from my last season, but I’ve replaced Sludge Bomb with Icy Wind to snipe Landorus, avoid redirection, and have another form of Speed control. Shadow Tag as usual works extremely well for my team, as having certain matchups and knowing the opponent won’t be able to switch benefitted me greatly. At one point changing Gengar’s EV spread to be more defensive was considered, but in the end the use of Substitute conflicted with any kind of defensive investment. Gengar would also miss out on OHKOs with Icy Wind if it were running anything other than 252 SAtk." - Jon Hu (JHufself)

Wolfe Glick's Mega Gengar

Gengar @ Gengarite
Ability: Levitate -> Shadow Tag
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Def / 4 SpA / 28 SpD / 180 Spe
Timid Nature
- Shadow Ball
- Perish Song
- Disable
- Protect

This is the Gengar that Wolfe Glick (Wolfey) used to get 1st Place at the 2015 Pokemon Regional Championships in Massachusetts. This Gengar was able to help Wolfe's Perish Trap team with the ability Shadow Tag and the move Perish Song. Because it was never posted into an article, I wanna try something new and show the actual video that Justin Flynn did with Wolfe about his team. Let me know how it works for you.



That's my Gengar analysis. I hope you enjoyed reading it. I also hope you will come back for my next article. Also, check out my older articles if you haven't read them. They're all pretty cool and fun to read. Hope you come back for either a individual Pokemon analysis, team strategy guide, team review, or a guide to help you in some way for real life. I'll see you next time everyone. Bye!

Monday, October 26, 2015

VGC Gothitelle Analysis



Thanks again to HyperTHD for suggesting this. Today, were talking about the supportive powerhouse that dominates the floor with it's ability to trap opponents and let it's partner do all of its dirty work. That's right, today, i'm talking about Gothitelle. Gothitelle is a really powerful support Pokemon. Even though it's locked into a constant rivalry with Cresselia, Gothitelle's edge over Cresselia is its Hidden Ability of Shadow Tag, which locks other Pokemon in unless they are a ghost type or another Pokemon with Shadow Tag. Overall, Gothitelle is a really strong Pokemon and is a big threat when Cresselia isn't around. Now, I wanna go into it's base stats to show you how strong it can be.

BASE STATS'
70 HP - Pretty average. While there isn't anything to impressive in this stat alone, a solid HP stat combined with some good defensive stats means Gothitelle will be staying on the field for a decent amount of time
55 Attack - Not even worth talking about. This stat is bad and you shouldn't be relying on Gothitelle to be using physical base attacks.
95 Defense - A solid defense stat means that Gothitelle will be taking some good physical hits without major investment. The problem however is that Gothitelle will struggle with Dark types like Bisharp because most Gothitelle I've seen will only run a Psychic attack as there one way of doing damage.
95 Sp. Attack - Another solid stat. While most Gothitelle will invest more into bulk, this solid attacking stat means that Gothitelle will be doing some big damage to your Pokemon as long as they don't resist it or are immune to your move.
110 Sp. Defense - Impressive. This is Gothitelle's best stat and it also means that Gothitelle will be taking the biggest hits with only needing moderate investment to do so.
65 Speed - A pretty slow speed stat means that Gothitelle will be an amazing Trick Room setter and Pokemon. While you won't be looking for the biggest outspeeds, you will be helping your partner get the bigger outspeeds and do the major damage you need to help win the game.

Overall, Gothitelle has some solid stats and in battle, Gothitelle will shine the best as a Shadow Tag user and a great support Pokemon. Now, I wanna go into the moves that Gothitelle get that I believe are your best bet to succeed in the world.

Viable Moves

  1. Tickle
  2. Psyshock
  3. Psychic
  4. Charm
  5. Protect
  6. Rest
  7. Trick Room
  8. Heal Pulse
  9. Helping Hand
  10. Thunder Wave
As you can see, Gothitelle doesn't have the biggest amount of moves it can reliably use, but it does have the right moves it can use. One of Gothitelle's problems is that becuase for the most part, you'll be running 3/4 support moves, which means you'll be fearing Taunt users. But you also have enough supportive options to be a big threat if left alone. Now, lets go into some competitive sets. I don't have a personal set, but I will show off some Gothitelle sets that have been proven to work in the past. I'll be showing off SeJun Park's 2014 Worlds set, and Aaron Zheng's 2014 Worlds set. They're all really powerful sets and now, let's dive on into those sets.

Se Jun Park's Gothitelle 
Gothitelle @ Leftovers
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 252 HP / 172 Def / 4 SpA / 76 SpD / 4 Spe
Calm Nature
- Psyshock
- Thunder Wave
- Tickle
- Protect


This is the set that was use by Gothitelle to get first place at the 2014 Pokemon World Championships in the Masters Division. I wanna show why he chose this Gothitelle and what it was able to do for his team. "Originally this team didn’t have Gothitelle, but I added it as a late response to new threats in the metagame. Gothitelle is very good for weakening the Pokémon Gyarados is weak against, such as Salamence and Mawile. I thought paralysis was incredibly useful in the metagame, so I wanted a second way to inflict it. Tickle was great for weakening my opponent’s physical attackers so that Gyarados or Talonflame could easily finish them off. Psyshock synergizes well with Tickle, and deals significant damage to Assault Vest Ludicolo. To be honest, I didn’t mess around with the EVs. Gothitelle has pretty good all-around stats. I knew that many opponents would have Choice Specs Hydreigon. Other Gothitelle users dealt with this problem by investing heavily into Special Defense. Rather than giving up Defense, my solution was to simply prevent the situation from occurring. Due to Shadow Tag, my opponent would have to lead with Hydreigon in order for the situation to occur. In response, I would lead with Gothitelle and Gardevoir and use Dazzling Gleam to immediately knock out Hydreigon. If they chose not to lead with Hydreigon, I had a variety of options. One common one was to lead with Gothitelle and Gyarados for Intimidate, switch Gyarados out to Pachirisu in order to weaken my opponent’s Pokémon with Tickle and Super Fang, then bring Gyarados back in to finish the job with Dragon Dance. I considered using Life Orb Gothitelle to defeat some threats. Even without using Competitive, I could have used Psyshock to OHKO Amoonguss. With Competitive, Gothitelle could knock out 252 HP Mega Mawile with Hidden Power Fire, which was fantastic! But then Gothitelle would always faint first to Sucker Punch." - Se Jun Park

Aaron Zheng's Gothitelle

Gothitelle @ Chesto Berry
Ability: Shadow Tag
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 12 Def / 244 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Psychic
– Rest
– Heal Pulse
– Trick Room


This is the set that Aaron Zheng used to get 18th Place at the 2014 World Championships. I'll be including what he said as he can explain it better than I can "When I looked at the list of viable Trick Room users this format, I knew that I wanted to build around Gothitelle. Shadow Tag is one of the best abilities in the game, and gives you a plethora of options while limiting your opponent’s. The EV spread and nature allows it to survive a Modest Choice Specs Dark Pulse from Hydreigon 100% of the time, which was, to me, the most important attack for Gothitelle to survive. The moveset and item choice is slightly different from the other Gothitelle used at Worlds, namely Sejun Park’s and Wolfe Glick’s. In fact, this Gothitelle is very similar to the Cresselia I brought to the 2013 Pokemon World Championships: they are both bulky, Psychic-type Trick Room users with Rest/Chesto Berry.
I opted for the ChestoRest set rather than Sitrus Berry or Leftovers because I was:
  1. Familiar with how it operated after using it on Cresselia last year
  2. I wanted Gothitelle to stay in the game as long as possible, and Sitrus Berry/Leftovers didn’t recover from attacks like Dark Pulse nearly as fast as Rest
  3. It gave me another way to check sleep (especially Amoonguss and Smeargle)
In the end, I didn’t regret my decision one bit. Going back to the Hariyama+Gothitelle lead, it was great getting a free Trick Room up the first turn while taking about 90% worth of damage with Gothitelle, just to heal it all back up the following turn with Rest while Hariyama OHKOed the attacker. (Specs Hydreigon, for example!) It also saved me from Amoonguss, which can give Trick Room teams quite some trouble.
Psychic was Gothitelle’s main and only means of offense, slightly stronger than its counterpart Psyshock. Trick Room was obviously what it was built around. And finally, Alex and I chose Heal Pulse as the 4th move, similar to Wolfe Glick’s Gothitelle. We felt that a well played Gothitelle+Kangaskhan or Gothitelle+Ferrothorn, in combination with Heal Pulse, created so many winning situations and our opponents often just did not have an answer. While I didn’t end up using the move at Worlds nearly as much as I would’ve liked, it was still a great choice. Sejun Park’s use of Tickle really fascinated me, and I do wish I tested that before Worlds because I feel like I would’ve ended up using that move instead, but there’s a reason why he won Worlds and I didn’t! Overall, Gothitelle was my favorite Trick Room user of 2014 because of its diverse movepool (ironic given the fact all four of my attacks were Psychic-type…) and an incredible ability, and was the cornerstone to this team." - Aaron Zheng

Overall, Gothitelle is a really strong Pokemon and can certainly be used.  I highly recommend you try it out and I hoped it helped you out with understanding Gothitelle. I'll see you next time in my next article whether it be a team analysis, individual Pokemon analysis, or just a article. Also, I hope you check out my other articles as they're pretty cool and fun to read. See you next time. Bye!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

VGC Tyranitar Analysis



 




Welcome. Thanks to HyperTHD for suggesting this. Today, I wanna talk about the popular dinosaur, Tyranitar. Ever since its debut in the 2nd generation, Tyranitar has always been a popular Pokemon that holds a lot of power. With solid stats, an impressive movepool and the ability to help out a team when needed, its no wonder Tyranitar made it far in every World Championship it was allowed in and is dominating the Smogon OU tier and VGC at this moment. Now lets dive in to its stats to see what really makes it so powerful. I'll talk about its Mega Evolution as that deserves a mention as well.

BASE STATS
100 HP - A really solid stat to start off this article. 100 HP means that without the biggest amount of investment, you'll be taking a good amount of hits in or out of the Sand.
134-164 Attack (Non-Mega to Mega) - This is absolutely amazing. This means that you'll be doing amazing damage to threats without even breaking a sweat. And once you Mega Evolve, you'll be doing even more damage with ease with STAB moves and coverage moves.
110-150 Defense (Non-Mega to Mega) - One of its weaknesses is that its 4x weak to fighting attacks, which are primarily physically based. A 110 Defense stat means that while you won't be taking them, if you can get some Attack drops on those Pokémon and combine that with some bulk, you can turn OHKO's into 2HKO's. And after Mega Evolving, you gain 40 points and go up to base 150, which means you'll be taking them even better.
95 Sp. Attack (Non-Mega to Mega) - While Sp. Attacking Tyranitar was often thought of as a bad idea, in VGC2014, It suddenly risen to power because of the threat of Intimidate users. After Mega Evolving, the stat doesn't gain, so I don't recommend you use a Special Attacking Mega Tyranitar unless you want the defense and speed boost you get from it.
100-120 Sp. Defense - Tyranitar also has a problem with Water types since it takes Super-Effective damage from it. Luckily Sand improves stat and the ability to carry the Assault Vest means you can take them relatively well. After Mega Evolving, that gets even better, though you should watch out for Scald since a untimely burn can ruin your life.
61-71 Speed (Non-Mega to Mega) - A solid Trick Room stat means that Tyranitar can function in Trick Room very well since Collin Heier (theBattleRoom) got 11th at 2015 US Nationals with a Tyranitar under Trick Room and Alex Underhill (Lexicon) got Top 8 at the same tournament with a Tyranitar under Trick Room. Its also a good stat to combine with a Choice Scarf since you can get some really nice outspeeds at times since Aaron Zheng (Cybertron) got Top 4 at that same tournament with a Choice Scarfed Tyranitar. And once it Mega Evolves, even though it only gains 10 points, you can use Dragon Dance to get some really nice outspeeds while gaining even more insane attack power.

Overall, Tyranitar has some really solid stats. While I wish it has more Speed, i'm overall fine with it since Tyranitar has impressive stats overall. Now, I wanna go into the moves that Tyranitar gets that I believe are usable on Tyranitar. It has some really nice moves it has access to and I wanna show them off. Let's get into it.

VIABLE MOVES

  1. Rock Slide
  2. Dark Pulse 
  3. Crunch
  4. Stone Edge
  5. Ice Beam
  6. Protect
  7. Fire Blast
  8. Thunder Wave
  9. Assurance
  10. Dragon Dance
  11. Fire Punch
  12. Ice Punch
  13. Low Kick
  14. Superpower
  15. Sunny Day (Used by Ryosuke Kosuge to get 2nd at 2013 World Championships)
As you can see, Tyranitar has 15 moves that I believe can be a strong option. From support to either physical or special, Tyranitar has some diversity in moves that make it a strong, offensive threat. Now, let's dive in to my favorite part, the competitive sets. These will be some sets that Tyranitar can use very effectively. If there's an option between 2 moves, i'll go into them since they deserve a mention.

Choice Scarf Tyranitar 


Tyranitar @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 4 HP/ 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Rock Slide
- Crunch/ Assurance
- Ice Punch/ Ice Beam
- Superpower/ Low Kick

This is the standard Choice Scarf Tyranitar that most players opt to use. The reason is that the Choice Scarf takes advantage of Tyranitar's low speed and improves it drastically. You can expect this set on a Sand Team that doesn't opt for Trick Room and is more commonly seen with Excadrill or Landorus-I. The EV Spread is designed to take advantage of Tyranitar's powerful stats while helping it get some really nice outspeeds. Jolly nature is used over Adamant because since your Attack stat is so high and speed stat is still low, you trade the extra power for the extra speed, but the loss in power isn't that noticeable in battle. The moveset is pretty simple, but your Dark, Fighting and Ice attack changes depending on what you need. Rock Slide is your bread-and-butter of attacking moves. You can use Stone Edge, but I wouldn't recommend it since you lose out on the spread damage, but if your really afraid of Wide Guard, you can go for it. Crunch or Assurance is dependent on the team and what you prefer. If you want the outright damage, go for Crunch, but if your prepared to have Tyranitar attack after it's partner to get the boosted damage from Assurance, then Assurance is what you want. Ice Punch or Ice Beam is also dependent on your team and your personal preference as well. Ice Punch is useful to take advantage of its powerful attack stat, but Ice Beam is useful as it's not affected by Intimidate and because of your decent Sp. Attack stat, it makes for a strong stat. Superpower or Low Kick is the final toss-up. Superpower is useful for getting the KO on Kangaskhan and opposing Tyranitar. Low Kick is good too, but you don't get the KO on Kangaskhan, which is something to consider.

Lexicon's Trick Room Tyranitar

Tyranitar @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 84 Atk / 84 Def / 4 SpA / 84 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Rock Slide
- Crunch
- Low Kick
- Protect

This is the Tyranitar used by Alex Underhill (Lexicon) to get Top 8 at 2015 US Nationals so i'll include his reasoning behind this pick "Tyranitar caused the most damage this Independence Day. Scarf variants of Tyranitar are weak and limiting. With Fighting, Dark and Rock coverage, there was a lot Pokemon Tyranitar could cover. The factor that sets my Tyranitar apart from most was the item choice. Weakness Policy activated many times throughout the event, nearly every set I played. Because Tyranitar has so many weaknesses, it gave me a lot of chances to set it off and dish out damage. Hyper Voice, Earthquake, Power-Up Punch, and Scald were some of the many moves that fail to OHKO Tyranitar, which gave Tyranitar the chance to OHKO back. My team lacks an effective way to deal with Kangaskhan, as it has only one fighting move. Low Kick either OHKOed Kangaskhan after it tried to Power-Up Punch me, or chipped it enough that Sandstorm damage would KO it in a couple of turns. Helping Hand from Cresselia also helped if Tyranitar could not get the Weakness Policy Boost. A +2 Attack Rock Slide or Crunch would do a lot of damage to Pokemon that did not resist it. Once my opponent knew about Weakness Policy, they had to fear setting it off or face the consequences. The Trick Room mode of the team was quite commanding during the event, and Tyranitar was the head of it. Often times I could lead with him, get a Weakness Policy boost, and wreak havoc one Trick Room was set up. He also helped out during the fast mode, as Excadrill can be quite lackluster without him. Two times I successfully activated my own Weakness Policy and benefited, which I’ll go into during the respective battles. Finally an EV spread I created on my own. 4 EVs were put into Sp Atk because they would be wasted elsewhere. Sadly Tyranitar sits at a base speed of 61, leaving him just above common Trick Room Pokemon and Aegislash. Despite that, having minimum speed ensured I always win the weather war, bar the uncommon Hail. I had a lot of goals for this Tyranitar when I first came up with the idea, so I could make as much use of Weakness Policy as possible. While it may look silly to have 84 EVs in 3 stats, it accomplished everything I wanted to.

Mega Tyranitar (Created on Eggy Emporium)

Tyranitar @ Tyranitarite
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 180 HP / 12 Atk / 132 Def / 4 SpD / 180 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Rock Slide
- Crunch
- Dragon Dance
- Protect

This is the Mega Tyranitar set that is currently on Eggy Emporium and currently use it on my teams, I'll show you what they say about this set, but keep in mind, it was created in VGC2014 so that's something to know "This is my personal Mega Tyranitar EV Spread, and I think it warrants some explanation. While it might seem strange to not fully capitalize on Tyranitar’s enormous Attack or boosted Speed, I find this spread to be more effective. The EV’s allotted into HP and Defense make Jolly Garchomp Earthquake Never 2hko after Mega Evolving. Additionally, with 252 EVs invested in Attack and an Adamant Nature, Mega Mawile Iron Head only OHKO’s Tyranitar 3/16 Times. Ray’s Mawile EV Spread does a maximum of 89 Percent with Play Rough. The move choices are the Standard ones, with both of Tyranitars STAB options, Dragon Dance and Protect. Ice Beam or Flamethrower could aid Tyranitars coverage, but it is difficult to give up a moveslot." Also, this set is best used with a Pokemon that has access to redirection. Amoonguss, Clefairy, Clefable, and Togekiss all jump in mind when I think off good Pokemon that compliment this Tyranitar with Rage Powder or Follow Me. You can use Pachirisu, but the issue with Earthquake users will be a issue you will have to face.

I hope you enjoy this Tyranitar analysis. I think it's an awesome Pokemon and I hope that it will continue to be used for its natural and offensive power it can provide to a team. I will see you next time in another article whether it be a individual Pokemon analysis or a general dicussion on a debate that many people have and which I give my opinion. See you later and I hope you come back. Bye everyone.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Infernape vs. Blaziken: Who do you Choose?








Welcome. Per the request of another awesome NuggetBridge user by the name of  AlphaArroz, I will be talking about a question I've seen asked a lot and give my take on the matter. Infernape and Blaziken are 2 fire-fighting Pokémon introduced in the 3rd and 4th gen competitively. Since they can do very similar, if not the same thing in VGC, people often wonder who is better. Well the wait is over. Without further ado lets get into it. I wanna start by talking about their base stats and after each section, i'll rate each one and give each Pokemon a letter grade. The Pokemon with the best overall grade will be the winner.

My Letter Grade System
"A" is amazing and doesn't need to change.
"B" is great, but could leave a very small change.
"C" is  average and can use some change.
"D" is pretty bad and could use a major change
"F" is terrible and in need of serious change,

BASE STATS
Infernape














Infernape's stats scream a frail, powerhouse, offensive sweeper that can wreck your life if it can. 76/71/71 is very frail so you won't be aiming to survive many hits. But, 104/104/108 for your offenses mean you'll get some pretty nice outspeeds and can do some major damage thanks to your ok movepool because even though you don't get the widest selection of moves, you do get the right amount of moves to do your job efficiently for a BST of 534, which is very respectable since in the 4th generation, GameFreak started to pay more attention to competitive battle because of Wi-Fi connectivity.

Blaziken













Like Infernape, Blaziken's stats scream a frail offensive sweeper that will end your life in a minute. 80/70/70 is frail, but not very different compared to Infernape. 120/110/80 for offenses is very deadly, but the main difference between their offensive stats is that Blaziken will hit harder even on a resisted hit, but Infernape wins in the speed department since Blaziken will need to take advantage of its ability, Speed Boost to be effective while Infernape relies on its natural speed to be effective. Blaziken reaches a BST of 530. While it has better offensive stats, its defenses are what really lower its potential, but doesn't outright kill it.

For their stats, I'll have to give the Blaziken an overall stat letter grade of  "C+". Its stats are fine, but could use some defense buffs and its defenses are a point lower than Infernape Infernape gets a "B-" as well for the same reason but its slightly higher defenses warrants Infernape a slightly better grade

Infernape's Movepool Highlights
 
  1. Flare Blitz
  2. Taunt
  3. Mach Punch
  4. Close Combat
  5. Protect
  6. Hidden Power [Ice]
  7. Fire Blast
  8. Overheat
  9. Grass Knot
  10. Fake Out
  11. Fire Punch
  12. Thunder Punch
  13. Helping Hand
  14. Torment
Blaziken's Movepool Highlights
  1. Flare Blitz
  2. High Jump Kick (Please don't unless you really need it)
  3. Protect
  4. Hidden Power [Ice]
  5. Fire Blast
  6. Overheat
  7. Superpower
  8. Thunder Punch
For movepool, Infernape gets a "B+". 13 viable moves means that Infernape has a pretty nice options when picking a set, but only 6-8 are actual viable. For Blaziken, it gets "A-" While Blaziken has less move options when picking a set, all of its moves are at least somewhat useful. Now, lets go into some moveset suggestions. I'll show 2 sets for each Pokemon can give each one an individual letter grade. First up is Infernape.

AlphaArrowz's Infernape

Infernape @ Life Orb
Ability: Blaze
Level: 50
EVs: 116 Atk / 140 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Fake Out
- Close Combat
- Overheat
- Protect

This set was suggested by AlphaArrowz, so thanks for the set. Since this is his set, i'll use his explanation in the set. "If you wanna run Infernape, mixed is the best way, Blaze is the more popular option, because well a Blaze boosted Overheat deals so much damage. Fake Out and Close Combat is a must, and you can run Overheat or Heat Wave for Fire STAB, now the final option if difficult due to Infernape's ridiculously long list of support moves: Feint, Helping Hand, Will-O-Wisp, Protect, Stone Edge, etc. Feint is usually the final option, but i went for Will-O-Wisp. In testing i found Will-O-Wisp to be useless and only used it once but even that was pointless, this i went for Protect, i do not regret using it for Feint as there was never an instance where i wished Feint was an option. But Feint is perfectly viable. You literally only have two item options, Focus Sash or Life Orb, i prefer Life Orb to increase damage output but Sash is good too to have at least another chance of attacking.
EV spread KOs bulky Kang (120/52 defensive spread) and 252/4 Amoonguss with Overheat. You need Max Speed to speed tie Terrakion, but you can run Naughty nature to boost Attack to OHKO Heatran." -AlphaArrowz. For this Infernape set, i'll give it a "A-". Platying this set, it feels like playing the standard, mixed-Blaziken set, but without the reliance of an ability to give you the outspeeds you need.
My personal set

Infernape @ Life Orb  
Ability: Iron Fist  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  
Jolly Nature  
- Protect
- Fire Punch  
- Fake Out  
- Close Combat

I made this set and it was pretty fun to use. As you can see, its a physical attacking Infernape that relies on its natural power. The EV Spread is very simple. Max Attack and Speed allows Infernape to be the fast, offensive threat it needs to be to succeed with this set. Iron Fist powers up Fire Punch and combined with Life Orb, Infernape starts to become a threat. Fake Out can help it's partner either set up or get off a powerful hit onto the opponent. Close Combat is for Kangaskhan. Protect is for protect as Infernape is frail and needs the help. For this Infernape set, i'll give it a "B". Infernape is know in Single Battles as a powerful physical, attacker in Smogon UU.

Aaron Zheng's 2015 Worlds Blaziken
Blaziken @ Life Orb  
Ability: Speed Boost  
Level: 50  
EVs: 4 HP / 56 Atk / 204 SpA / 244 Spe  
Naive Nature  
- Overheat  
- Superpower  
- Hidden Power [Ice]  
- Protect

This is the set that Aaron Zheng used at the 2015 Pokemon World Championships. This was used becuase even though Blaziken is a very difficult Pokemon to use, if used well, it can be a very strong anti-meta Pokemon. Overheat, Superpower, and HP Ice is used to hit all of the common Pokemon in the format like Landorus, Kangaskhan, and Amoonguss. The 56 Attack allows Blaziken to KO 4 HP/ 0 Def Mega Kangaskhan with Superpower. The 244 Speed allows Blaziken to outspeed Landorus-T after one Speed Boost. The 204 Sp. Attack is leftover, but 208 is wasting a point, which is where the 4 HP went. For this Blaziken set, i'll give it an "A-". This set allows Blaziken to get the KO's it needs to, but is a very frail Pokemon and needs to be supported correctly and used correctly. 

I would add a 2nd set, but this is the only Blaziken set that is actually viable, just changing the EV Spread to suit your needs, but it is a good basis on what a set should look like

Now, that we know all the important info about Infernape and Blaziken, I think its time that we see who I believe is better. Before I say who it is, I want to say that each Pokemon has their strengths for the team. If you need a fast, offensive threat that needs to Protect at the right moment, go for Blaziken. If you need a fast Fake Out Pokemon that will move before Mega Kangaskhan, go for Inferape. Now, for an overall score, Blaziken got a 3.2, or a "B-". It has a lot of strengths, but its frailty highly knocked down from its place. For an overall, Infernape got a 3.2 as well. So that means that in my opinion, they both have their strengths and weaknesses, but the function so similar that its hard to decide who's better.

I hope you enjoyed this article. It was really fun to do. I wanna say thanks to AlphaArrowz for the set and article idea as well as freezehaxVGC for suggesting Infernape. I hope you'll comeback for my next article. Bye.

PS. - Tyranitar will be invading my blog in a way. Hope you enjoy how he invades this blog. Bye for real.



Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pokémon Team #3: VGC2016 Charizard Y/ Venusaur Team



Hey everyone. I've recently been playing with this team & I've absolutely loved it. This is definitely a team I recommend you try out or at least this team's strategy and if I need a team for Nationals, Regionals, or any tournament in the future,  I will definitely consider using this type of team. Without further ado, lets get into how this team came to be as I put a lot of thought into using this team and the final 6 Pokemon I came up with.

MY TEAMBUILDING JOURNEY
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I originally started off with this team core of Charizard/Venusaur. I had the hardest time figuring out what I wanted to bring, so I went with something I knew I could play well with.
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I added Landorus-Therian because Landorus-T had an amazing matchup with Heatran, but I did prepare for Heatran with the Charizard/Venusaur core so Heatran isn't the bane of my existence with it,
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I added Thundurus as my main way of Speed control. I may be mean person, but I wanted to use "hax" to my advantage since i'm playing multiple Best of One matches on Battle Spot and at Premier Challenges and I want to help my matchup.  
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I added Heatran as my 5th member because Heatran is a really strong option on a Sun team as many Sun teams that have done well in the past have had both Charizard and Heatran on the same team. It also improved my Fairy type matchup, which was helpful.
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Conkeldurr was the last member I added. I added Conkeldurr because my Mega Kangaskhan matchup wasn't the worst, but it also wasn't amazing. I tried Scrafty but the 2 Intimidate users on this team meant that Defiant users like Bisharp and Milotic were becoming a problem so I didn't want to make that an issue.
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I tried Mega Venusaur instead of the normal Venusaur but I barely used it so I went back to normal Venusaur, which was honestly the right idea since normal Venusaur was really helpful throughout my matches.
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I decided to switch Heatran for Sylveon because I felt that I was forcing myself to bring Heatran and Sylveon improved the team matchup so well that I couldn't honestly complain that much. 
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 I decided to switch Sylveon to Cresselia because I found that in testing, Cresselia added a reliable bulky, supportive Pokemon that the team needed and while Sylveon wasn't a bad member, Cresselia added what team needed as a Pokemon that can help carry the team to victory and stall out when needed to. This is the final version.

That's how I came to the team I used that weekend. I had a lot of fun and now, I want to go into each individual member and how they really do. Each member brought its own individual piece that all together, made an entire team that I feel really proud about.

EACH INDIVIDUAL MEMBER



LeBurn James (Charizard) @ Charizardite Y  
Ability: Blaze   
EVs: 252 HP / 148 Def / 24 SpA / 64 SpD / 20 Spe  
Modest Nature  
- Flamethrower  
- Solar Beam  
- Hidden Power [Ground]  
- Protect

Charizard was a Pokémon I really wanted to use since I felt really comfortable playing it. I played it back in the VGC 2014 season and absolutely loved it. The nickname is from one of my friends, (agentorangejulius on NuggetBridge). Its an awesome nickname from an awesome person and I don't regret using it. When I was choosing the EV Spread, I wanted Charizard to survive Rock Slide from Adamant Landorus-Therian, which when used on my Charizard, is a 2HKO. It also have enough Sp. Attack to KO the standard, Heatran that isn't holding the Shuca Berry with Hidden Power [Ground] with the Modest Nature. Flamethrower was used to do major damage onto enemy Landorus-T, which also bypasses the Wide Guard Aegislash and has a significant chance to KO it with the Flamethrower. Solar Beam is my main way of handling water types with Charizard since it gets the Drought ability upon Mega Evolving.


Venusaur @ Focus Sash  
Ability: Chlorophyll  
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe  
Modest Nature  
- Giga Drain  
- Sludge Bomb  
- Hidden Power [Ice]  
- Protect

Charizard's best friend. Since I was running a Sun team, I sadly couldn't efficiently run a bulky water type like Milotic, Jellicent, Suicune, or Rotom-Wash, which was sad. Venusaur was an awesome Pokemon for the team. It provided a way to handle water types like Swampert and Milotic, as well as Fairy types like Sylveon and Gardevoir. Combined with it's Chlorophyll ability, Venusaur is able to suddenly become a massive, offensive threat. I opted for the Focus Sash because I want my Venusaur to be able to take a hit from something like a Brave Bird from Talonflame or a Hyper Voice/ Double-Edge from Mega Salamence. The EV Spread is pretty simple. Max Sp. Attack and Max Speed is for the highest amount of damage and the ability to get the most amount of speed from this guy. Giga Drain is my main way of getting damage and recovering HP as well. Sludge Bomb is for those pesky fairy types like Sylveon and Gardevoir like i'd said above. Hidden Power [Ice] is the wildcard. I decided that because Landorus-T and Mega Salamence is such a threat, I wanted a way to handle it. Hidden Power [Ice] will do around 90-95% and because of my Focus Sash, i'll take the hit and use it for a 2nd time and faint it. I was told by other people to use either the Life Orb or the Expert Belt, but that would great interfere with the strategy I had when using Venusaur.


Landorus-Therian @ Choice Band
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 164 HP / 20 Atk / 4 Def / 68 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- U-turn
- Superpower

When watching battle videos of people using Mega Charizard Y and Venusaur, I noticed that Heatran gives the duo the biggest amount of trouble because Venusaur has a type disadvantage and Charizard couldn't really touch it if it ran the standard 2 fire type attacks and a grass type attack. Even though my Charizard knows Hidden Power [Ground], it still felt like I wanted a way to have a better way to handle Heatran. Landorus is that Pokemon for me. Landorus offered the Intimidate support to handle physical attackers like Kangaskhan, which is always a threat. The EV Spread is the one that Raphael Bagara used to dominate US Nationals and take 2nd. I chose it because I liked how it traded away speed for power by choosing Choice Band over Choice Scarf and using less Attack EVs for more Speed EVs and a Jolly nature. The moveset is pretty standard as well. Earthquake is my STAB move, Rock Slide to do major damage to Charizard, Talonflame, and Volcarona, as well as possibly get a flinch when needed, Superpower to handle Mega Kangaskhan and U-turn for switch imitative when needed.

 
Thundurus @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 120 Def / 36 SpA / 68 SpD / 32 Spe
Calm Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Thunder Wave
- Taunt
- Hidden Power [Ice]

Since Charizard has it's best friend in Venusaur, Landorus needs it best friend, which is Thundurus. Thundurus was added as my first way of speed control. The combination of Landorus-Therian and Thundurus has been a very annoying duo. It's so annoying that it made Mamoswine a good Pokemon for that duo to face, but the team has more than one way of handling it so it was never a real problem. The EV Spread was made by someone else, but I will say that Thundurus can outspeed Jolly base 70 Speed Pokemon like Breloom. It lives Rock Slide from Landorus-T as a 2HKO. I chose Sitrus Berry becuase since Thundurus doesn't take the biggest amount of hits on its own, Sitrus Berry helps that out since it can stay on the field longer to have fun. The moveset is pretty simple. Thunderbolt is my main STAB move and main way of getting off damage. Thunder Wave is for speed control and helping the team's middling speed stat. Taunt is for stopping status moves from Pokemon like Amoonguss and Cresselia. Hidden Power [Ice] is for Landorus, even though I don't get the KO in one shot.


Conkeldurr @ Assault Vest
Ability: Guts
Level: 50
EVs: 84 HP / 252 Atk / 68 Def / 104 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Drain Punch
- Ice Punch
- Knock Off
- Mach Punch

You may remember this Conkeldurr from my Mega Blastoise team analysis. The reason i'm using this Conkeldurr again is because this Conkeldurr has helped me out so many times in the past that it's ridiculous and awesome, but still cool at the same time. Conkeldurr added a way to handle Mega Kangaskhan as well as a possible threat to the idea of inflicting status onto my Pokemon because of Guts.  The EV Spread survives Double-Edge from Mega Kangaskhan, OHKO's Landorus-T with Ice Punch, or Ice Punch + Mach Punch at -1, and survives Hyper Voice Mega Salamence Conkeldurr honestly works really well since it handles normal types, removes items with Knock Off, and can remove Focus Sashes with Mach Punch. Overall Conkeldurr is the MVP on the team because of what it can do.


Cresselia @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 220 HP / 172 Def / 4 SpA / 92 SpD / 20 Spe
Calm Nature
- Psychic
- Icy Wind
- Skill Swap
- Moonlight

Cresselia is the final member. Cresselia was awesome because it pairs well with Charizard becuase I can possibly use Skill Swap to take Drought from Charizard and set up the Sun for 5 more turns to handle the weather war better. I made the EV Spread a long time ago, but as I was trying it out, even though I forgot what it does, it still does what I wanted it to after all this time. Moonlight and Leftovers means that Cresselia can recover a lot of damage, which is awesome. Psychic is my main STAB move and Icy Wind is my other form of speed control, which is always awesome to have.

That's the team. It was an awesome team to play and I enjoyed playing it. I hope you enjoyed this team report. I hope you will come back for my next article/team review. Also, if you haven't check out my other article. There pretty cool and I will see you next time. Bye.