Tuesday, February 23, 2016

VGC '16 Team/Core Showcase #2: RayOgre

Hey everyone. Today, we'll be covering a team/core that is currently dominating this format and try to tell you all about it. This core is a pretty interesting one as it combines the powerful rain with a very strong wind to disrupt the opponent and overpower them. That's right, today we'll be covering Mega Rayquaza and Primal Kyogre, otherwise known as RayOgre.

The Core we'll be covering
kyogre-primalrayquaza-mega
Why use this core
  • Rayquaza can provide the Air Lock ability to give it a possible non-Mega support option
  • Kyogre can use its Rain to help out a steel type
  • They create an offensive pin that is very difficult to stop
  • The ability to have 2 forms of weather can create some amazing synergy dynamics on the team
Now I wanna go into the standard sets. This time, I'll be using Jamie Boyt's sets. Since it was a video, I'll just watch the video and give you the sets he used and a brief description on what he said the sets accomplished.

rayquaza-mega
Rayquaza @ Life Orb
Ability: Air Lock
EVs: 4 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Dragon Ascent
- Extreme Speed
- Overheat
- Protect

This Rayquaza spread is effectively 252/252/4 but Jamie did take 8 from Attack and added it to Defense & Sp. Attack to improve some calcs as a non-Mega Rayquaza. He also went with a Naive nature over Hasty to live a Double-Edge from opposing Mega Kangaskhan. You also survive Ice Beam from Primal Kyogre most of the time, which is always good. The 4 HP is the most important EVs to give this Rayquaza because in a 1 in a million chances, you will face a Jolly Choice Scarfed Cloyster that will go for Icicle Spear to take you out. With no HP investment, the Icicle Spear will have a 96% chance to knock you out. Add only 4 HP EVs and 4 Defense EVs to your Rayquaza and to suddenly only faint to the Icicle Spear 6.3% of the time, which drops the chance to OHKO it significantly. The 29 HP IVs will corrupt that Rayquaza calc and it just isn't worth it. The moves are pretty simple. Dragon Ascent is required to Mega Evolve, Extreme Speed can help chunk Talonflame for example before it uses Tailwind, and Overheat is for opposing steel types, which Jamie's team didn't have a way to deal with.

Some Calcs Jamie provided

  1. 4 SpA Life Orb Mega Rayquaza Overheat vs. 252 HP / 84 SpD Mega Mawile: 205 - 242 (130.5% - 154.1%) Guaranteed OHKO
  2. 252+ SpA Primal Kyogre Ice Beam vs. 4 HP / 0- SpD Mega Rayquaza in Strong Winds: 156-188 (86.1 - 103.8%) 18.8% chance to OHKO
  3. 252 Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 4 HP / 4 Def Mega Rayquaza: 151-178 (83.4% - 98.3%) Guaranteed 2HKO
  4. 252 Atk Cloyster Icicle Spear (5 Hits) vs. 4 HP / 4 Def Mega Rayquaza in Strong Winds 140-200 (77.3 - 110.4%) - Approx. 6,3% chance to OHKO
kyogre-primal
Kyogre @ Blue Orb
Ability: Drizzle
EVs: 108 HP / 68 Def / 76 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Water Spout
- Scald
- Ice Beam
- Protect

This Kyogre was originally Timid, but the constant OHKO's onto Kyogre forced a chance to a Modest Nature. The 252 in Speed helps Speed-tie with opposing base 90 Primals that are max speed with a neutral nature. The 76 Sp. Attack allows this Kyogre to OHKO Mega Kangaskhan with Water Spout at full health. Jamie said that because of Kyogre massive Sp. Attack stat and the rain, the need to go for max Sp. Attack wasn't needed and he could afford to lower the number to focus more on bulk. The defense EVs weren't really used to hit certain benchmarks, but for more general bulk. Scald was added for more of a 100% accurate water move when his Kyogre's HP was to low for Water Spout to be effective. He did expressive his despise of Origin Pulse because an 85% chance to hit both targets turns basically into the chance of landing a Focus Blast. I assume Ice Beam is just coverage and a move to use when trapped in Groudon's Harsh Sun.

Some Calcs Jamie Boyt provided

  1. 76 SpA+ Primal Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Kangaskhan in Heavy Rain" 184 - 217 (101.6 - 119.8) - Guaranteed OHKO
  2. 76+ Primal Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs/ 0 HP / 0 SpD Xerneas in Heavy Raain (92.5 - 109,4) - 56.3% chance to OHKO
  3. 252 Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 108 HP / 68 Def Primal Kyogre: 153-181 (80.9 - 95.7%) - Guaranteed 2HKO
  4. 252 Atk Life Orb Mega Rayquaza Dragon Ascent vs. 108 HP / 68 Def Primal Kyogre: 172 - 203 (91 - 107.4%) - 37.5% chance to OHKO
  5. 252+ Atk Huge Power Mega Mawile Sucker Punch vs. 108 HP / 68 Def Primal Kyogre: 87-103 (46 - 54.4%) 53.1% chance to 2HKO
Possible members to add to this core
  1.  - With a slight problem with Xerneas, Ferrothorn, Aegislash and Scizor use either Gyro Ball (Ferrothorn and Aegislash) and Bullet Punch (Scizor) to do a ton of damage to Xerneas.
  2.   - A lead Raichu and Kyogre can function well as Raichu can use its Lightning Rod ability to draw in Electric moves and can also retaliate with a Volt Tackle to OHKO it.
  3.  - Togetic and Togekiss can function with Rayquaza to help redirect moves to have Rayquaza spam Dragon Ascent with little to no worry. They can also use Tailwind which is cool.
  4.  - They can use Tailwind to help Kyogre use Water Spout as healthy as possible. Crobat can use Haze to cancel out Xerneas' stat boosts.
  5.  - Cresselia and Gengar share this spot as they both get Skill Swap to help keep the weather up. Gengar can also use Sludge Bomb to help handle Xerneas.
  6.  - Sceptile can provide a better answer to the Dual Primal Core as when it Mega Evolves, it can  use Grass Knot to beat Kyogre and  can chunk Groudon with another Grass Knot.

What to do if your trapped under Trick Room?
  1. Hope that the other 4 members on your team can stall out Trick Room. Kyogre and Rayquaza are very fast so they won't enjoy the Trick Room.
Proof of how strong this team is
  1. Jamie Boyt got 1st at the Wakefield Regionals and 3rd at the Glasgow Regionals
  2. Alexander Kuhn (Hibiki) got 4th at the Preganziol Regionals in Italy
  3. Lee Provost got 2nd at the Glasgow Regionals
  4. Ben Grover got 4th at the Glasgow Regionals
  5. Adam Mack got 6th at the Glasgow Regionals
  6. Edward Glover got 6th at the Glasgow Regionals
  7. My friend Stephen Morioka got 8th at the Collinsville Regionals in the US
  8. Sam Johnson got 3rd at the Anaheim Regonals in the US
  9. Javier Parada got 4th and Manuel Juarez got 5th at the Centro de Lima Regionals in Peru
How to handle this team? (Got this from Hydreigone so thanks for posting this earlier)
  1. Choice Band Landorus-T with Explosion. Click Boom. It OHKOs 4 HP Mega Rayquaza and Primal Kyogre (and Thundurus, Talonfame, Crobat who are usually on these teams). Intimidate stops Rayquaza from OHKOing you unless it has Draco Meteor. Of course this is more of a best of one out, and doesn't work every time, but it is a viable tool to run through these teams in Swiss. 
  2. Mega Salamence and something with Fake Out like Raichu or Weavile can usually pin down Rayquaza + Fairy type or Kyogre. Raichu especially can 1HKO Kyogre with Volt Tackle (boosting item like Zap Plate or Life Orb is needed) and has access to moves like Feint and Nuzzle to help Salamence beat Rayquaza. 
  3. When I tested Ray Ogre I had massive issues dealing with Dialga. There is no way for Rayquaza or Kyogre to KO it, and it deals back massive damage. Xerneas is also an issue, since it out speeds Rayquaza before mega evolving and Geomancy is of course extremely threatening. 
  4. Thundurus can Thunder Wave and do Thundurus things. Resists Flying as well. Takes advantage of Delta Stream too. You can run a physical set with Wild Charge and a Life Orb to OHKO 4 HP Kyogre. 
  5. Mega Mawile works great under Trick Room or Tailwind but otherwise it's a pretty poor counter since both Rayquaza and Kyogre can OHKO Mega Mawile (Overheat and Origin Pulse). You'll also want something like Helping Hand to KO Kyogre with Play Rough. You also risk Play Rough missing. Mawile is not bad by any means but it is not the best way to deal with Ray Ogre IMO. 
Ending
  1. Hope you enjoy the 2nd analysis on a core that has had success in this metagame.
  2. Let me know what you wanna see in the future,




Saturday, February 13, 2016

VGC '16 Team/Core Showcase #1 - The Showdown Special

Welcome to a new series. The idea of this series is simple. With some popular teams and cores out there, why not do a series where I take a look at each of them and write about what they can do and maybe shed some light on them. The first one is the one I like to call the Showdown Special. This team is the standard and the best intro team in my opinion to use when you start playing VGC '16.

The team we'll be talking about today
kangaskhan-megagroudon-primalxerneastalonflamesalamence-mega
Why use this team?
  1. Easy to use if your trying to get a better understanding of this team or the format in general
  2. Can function either under the opponent's Trick Room or it's own Tailwind
  3. A very versatile team
  4. Multiple viable lead combos to consider using
Going into each individual member
groudon-primal
Groudon @ Red Orb
Ability: Drought
Level: 50
EVs: 228 HP / 188 SpA / 92 SpD
Quiet Nature
- Earth Power
- Eruption
-  Flamethrower
- Protect

This is a simple special Groudon set. It's designed to hit hard and be slow to try to get it's sun up. The reason it has a slow speed stat is for Trick Room. Groudon can stay slow and benefit from both forms of speed control in Tailwind and Trick Room. It works really well with Xerneas since it can deal with Pokémon that resist Xerneas' stab like Ferrothorn and Bronzong. The EV Spread is designed to survive Earth Power from opposing Timid Groudon and from Timid Landorus-Therian holding a Life Orb, but if it's from Landorus-Incarnate, you might want to watch out.

xerneas
Xerneas @ Power Herb
Ability: Fairy Aura
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Geomancy
- Moonblast
- Protect
- Dazzling Gleam

The standard way of running Xerneas, it relies on getting that Geomancy set up and thanks to that Power Herb, it can turn a 2 turn set up move into a 1 turn set up move. Moonblast and Dazzling Gleam are the best for Xerneas. I have seen Grass Knot and HP Ground, but those are pretty niche moves and should only be used for those situations when it's needed. The EV Spread is designed to hit hard and hit fast, which if you can set up a Geomancy, you'll most certainly be doing that.

kangaskhan-mega
Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Scrappy
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Double-Edge
- Low Kick
- Sucker Punch
- Fake Out

A pretty simple Kangaskhan set that uses it's natural bulk to deal damage. A 252 in Attack and Speed and a Jolly Nature allows Kangaskhan do major damage and take those hits. You can use an alternative EV Spread of 4 HP / 172 Atk / 76 Def / 4 SpD  252 Spe that takes a Low Kick from Mega Kangaskhan and while it wasn't calced for, you can take Dazzling Gleam from +2 Xerneas after the drop from spread damage. Double-Edge is the best move for a Jolly Kangaskhan since Return just doesn't do enough damage unless you have a Adamant Kangaskhan. Low Kick is your move for steel types and opposing Kangaskhan. Sucker Punch is your way of hitting things before they can try and attack, and then you have Fake Out to help with set-up, which I'll go more into later.

talonflame
Talonflame @ Life Orb
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Brave Bird
- Flare Blitz
- Tailwind
- Protect

The Smogon Bird from VGC '14 makes a triumphant return onto another standard team. Talonflame is caught doing the same thing from VGC '14: Hit hard while killing itself. It can do that with it's staple moves of Brave Bird and Flare Blitz. Another heavy offensive EV Spread allows Talonflame to do damage while killing itself with recoil damage. Tailwind is the supportive move to use for speed control and use it's ability to do it quickly. Other options are Quick Guard, Will-O-Wisp, and Taunt to help your Talonflame play a bigger role.

salamence-mega
Salamence @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 4 Atk/ 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Naïve Nature
- Hyper Voice
- Draco Meteor
- Double-Edge
- Protect

Salamence is your other Mega for the team. It's main job is to be brought to situations where Kangaskhan wouldn't have a good time. The moveset is ripped from Aaron Zheng's (Cybertron) 2015 US Nationals set since it still functions in this metagame. Hyper Voice is the spread move for causing major damage to 2 targets, Draco Meteor is your Dragon stab for Pokémon like Mega Rayquaza and opposing Mega Salamence, and Double-Edge is essentially your nuke move for just blasting targets of the battlefield.  The EV Spread has changed those. A slower or less offensive spread isn't the best since you need to outspeed opposing Salamence and Rayquaza so you can try to take them out with a Draco Meteor.



Smeargle @ Focus Sash
Ability: Moody
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dark Void
- Wide Guard/ Follow Me
- Fake Out
- Spiky Shield

The last member is without a doubt, the most controversial Pokémon in this metagame. The reason is that Smeargle is the only Pokémon that has access to Dark Void and Moody, so it can bulk itself up, increase it's accuracy, and make it faster so Smeargle can be more annoying. The EV Spread was made by Randy Kwa (R Inanimate) and after a Defense boost from Moody, you can survive a Power-Up Punch from Mega Kangaskhan. Dark Void is your most known move, and for a good reason. 80% chance to put a target to sleep and you can do that to both targets makes it 2 good to pass up, as well also better than Spore. Wide Guard was changed from Follow Me because it can help with the rampage of spread moves (Eruption, Precipice Blades, Origin Pulse, Water Spout, Dazzling Gleam, etc.), which is helpful. Fake Out to help set up. Spiky Shield is your Protect, but also when a target's physical hits that go into the move, they'll take a little damage. Follow Me is still a good option instead of Wide Guard.

Other members to consider
  1. for: A bulkier Tailwind setter
  2. for : A more focused Trick Room option
  3. for: If you choose Cresselia, then you can use it as a Trick Room option
  4. for : Bronzong creates a slow mode that can help a slower Groudon and also adds another answer for Xerneas, which Cresselia doesn't help with to much
Possible Lead Combos to consider
  1. : An offensive pin of Eruption/Flamethrower from Groudon and Dazzling Gleam from Xerneas that is hard to stop once it starts. Groudon can take the steel types out of the picture while Xerneas sets up and sweeps.
  2. : Khan-Artist. Kangaskhan can use Fake Out while Smeargle goes for Dark Void. Very prominent duo from way back in VGC 2014.
  3. : Smeargle and use Fake Out while Xerneas goes for Geomancy. Smeargle can also Follow Me to help Xerneas set up.
  4. : Talonflame can use Tailwind so Groudon can get off powerful Eruption. This lead is weak to Kyogre if it can get it's weather up first.
  5. : Kangaskhan can use Fake Out while Xerneas can use Geomancy. Functions very similarly to the Xerneas/Smeargle lead above. Also like the VGC 2014 lead of Kangaskhan/Gardevoir or the VGC 2015 lead of Kangaskhan/Sylveon, just with a new Fairy type to use.
  6. : Talonflame can use Tailwind to help Kangaskhan get off guaranteed hits. Functions similarly to Talonflame/Groudon, just more off a physically offensive lead.
What to do if your trapped under Trick Room?
  1. Your slow Groudon will be able to move early to use Eruption with good health
  2. Talonflame can use priority Brave Bird
  3. Xerneas will be bulky enough to take hits and dish out more hits
Proof of how strong this team is
  1. Markus Stadter was able to win the 2016 Stockholm Regional with these 6
  2. Randy Kwa has piloted a variant of these 6, just swapping Kangaskhan for Espeon
  3. Consistently makes the top of the ladder on Pokémon Showdown and Battle Spot
  4. My friend Nelson Pinero got 10th Place with this team at the Wakefield Regional, which was his very first Regional
  5. It has won 3 Regionals with these 6 and has made Top Cut at many events with these 6 or variations
How to beat/ handle this team
  1. Kyogre and Ferrothorn: can use it's bulk and take control of the weather
  2. Alex Gomez's Regional Runner Up team from Wakefield was equipped with ways to handle these 6. His team was Bronzong, Groudon, Kyogre, Smeargle, Talonflame, and Mawile
  3. Trick Room can turn the possible fast nature of this team into a disadvantage
  4. Ho-Oh can handle the team to an extent, but if Groudon carries a Rock move, it can be pretty difficult
  5. Thundurus can handle 4/6 of the team (Thundurus, Talonflame, Smeargle, & Xerneas). Being able to Taunt Xerneas, and Smeargle. Be careful though since they can act very aggressive to your Thundurus and its frailty in this new meta can be painful
Ending
  1. Hoped you enjoyed this
  2. Let me know what you wanna see in the future for this series
  3. Special thanks to: CSFlare, Acetrainer196, voodoo pimp, Markus Stadter, and Hibiki, as well as everyone else who commented on the thread I made to help with ways to beat this team.

Monday, February 1, 2016

VGC '16 Pokemon Spotlight #8: Kyurem

Hey everyone. Welcome to Pokemon Spotlight #8. Last time, we shone a spotlight on Rayquaza and it's Mega Evolution. Today, we'll shining a spotlight on Kyurem. As a Dragon and Ice type, Kyurem is the 3rd and final Pokémon in the Unova Dragon trio with Reshiram and Zekrom, who the spotlight will come down on them soon. It has some awesome things it can do and today, we'll be seeing what it can do. Let's start this spotlight to take advantage of it before it dies and start by looking at those base stats for Kyurem and it's 2 forms.

Kyurem
600px-646Kyurem
125 HP         130 Sp. Attack
130 Attack     90 Sp. Defense
90 Defense     95 Speed

While that 130 in both offensive stats may seem amazing, those defenses say otherwise. The 125 HP says I'm bulky, but 90 in both defensive stats say I won't be taking hits. 130 offensive stats are nice, but with a lack of good moves to really take advantage of it. 95 Speed is the same for both of Kyurem other forms, only difference is that one can use it better than the other. You outspeed the Primals, but your outspeed by Xerneas. Overall, normal Kyurem's defenses are pretty meh.

Kyurem-White
600px-646Kyurem-White
125 HP         170 Sp. Attack
120 Attack    100 Sp. Defense
90 Defense     95 Speed

Kyurem-White is where it starts to get good. Strong offenses with that 120/170 means that you can technically go for a mixed attacker, but fully special seems to be a better idea to take advantage of that very impressive 170 Sp. Attack stat. It gets 10 points in Sp. Defense so you can take special hits better, but Kyurem-White is still frail when you start using it. 95 speed is still the same as normal Kyurem. Overall, Kyurem-White gets some greatly needed stat buffs that makes it much more usable.

Kyurem-Black
600px-646Kyurem-Black
125 HP         120 Sp. Attack
170 Attack     90 Sp. Defense
100 Defense   95 Speed

I have a problem with Kyurem-Black, but when I show a sample set, I'll explain that. That 170 Attack stat is amazing since you can do some massive damage to threats with powerful physical moves, but also still have a special option, which can be very helpful. It gets 10 points in defense, so it can take P-Groudon's Precipice Blades better. 95 Speed is still the same, never changing, only staying the same. Now, I wanna show off the viable moves to consider using on Kyurem and both it's forms. I'll show off which moves work better on which forms and if it does well on all 3, I won't say something.

Viable Moves
  1. Icy Wind
  2. Ice Beam
  3. Glaciate (Normal)
  4. Fusion Flare (White)
  5. Ice Burn (White)
  6. Fusion Bolt (Black)
  7. Freeze Shock (Black)
  8. Dragon Claw (Black)
  9. Protect
  10. Focus Blast? (Normal)
  11. Draco Meteor (Normal & White)
  12. Earth Power
  13. Blizzard
Kyurem has been blessed with some amazing moves. The coverage it has access to makes it a real threat and much more usable. Now, here's some sample sets for Kyurem and both of it's forms.

600px-646Kyurem
Kyurem @ Choice Specs
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Glaciate
- Draco Meteor
- Earth Power
- Focus Blast

Even though Kyurem is bad, I still wanna give a sample set to only say I have. It's a pretty simple set. The only reason that Kyurem can be very slightly justified usage is Glaciate. Glaciate is a 65 base power Ice type spread moves that lowers the speed stat of any Pokémon it hits. Basically, it's a slightly stronger Icy Wind. That's the only way I recommend someone using normal Kyurem. The other moves are pretty simple. Draco Meteor is your Dragon move, Earth Power for coverage to hit P-Groudon, and Focus Blast for Kangaskhan. Life Orb and Expert Belt can't pick up the guarantee KO so this is your best bet, if you can hit breakthrough 70% accuracy and somehow survive a Low Kick that will KO you 100%. Overall, don't use Kyurem seriously. It's a fun Pokémon to use, but it won't win tournaments.

600px-646Kyurem-White
Kyurem-White @ Life Orb
Ability: Turboblaze
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Ice Beam
- Draco Meteor
- Earth Power
- Protect

This a really solid Kyurem-W set. This set is designed to hit hard and fast. Life Orb is the best item for a Timid Nature for a power boost. The moveset is pretty simple Ice Beam and Draco Meteor are your STAB moves since Kyurem-W doesn't lose anything from not having them. Earth Power is your coverage move to hit steel types and mainly P-Groudon for super-effective damage. The EV Spread is a hit hard and fast spread since Kyurem-W is frail and doesn't have the capability to really take advantage of a bulky spread. Another option is Fusion Flare for Ferrthorn so you don't take a ton of damage from a Gyro Ball. You can also use a Focus Sash if you want to get guaranteed moves off, or a Choice Specs and drop Protect for Fusion Flare, but that's personal preference at that point. Choice Scarf could also be a cool option.

600px-646Kyurem-Black
Kyurem-Black @ Life Orb
Ability: Teravolt
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Naïve Nature
- Dragon Claw
- Ice Beam
- Fusion Bolt
- Protect

This Kyurem-Black set is honestly something I came up with in a minute. The reason is I have never seen one in battle. so I had to come up with this on the fly. If there are better sets, I love to here about it. This is basically the Kyurem-White set, but adapted for a physical variant. Now, you may notice it has Ice Beam instead of a physical ice move. The reason is that the two physical Ice moves that might be good on Kyurem-B in Ice Punch and Icicle Crash, are not available to it. This means that a fully physical variant isn't doable. So we got to take advantage of that Ice Beam to still have an Ice move. Dragon Claw is our physical move since its the best move for Kyurem-B as far as STAB moves go. Fusion Bolt is our tech to deal with P-Kyogre. which takes advantage of that lower physical defense. I see know alternative move that may work, though I could be wrong.

Good partners for Kyurem and all its forms
  1. Steel types - Since Kyurem struggles with Xerneas, a steel type like Ferrothorn, Bronzong, and Aegislash form great partners to handle Xerneas with a strong Gyro Ball to do insane damage
  2. Not sure. Haven't had the largest amount of experience with it, so I'll update this with amazing partners
  3. Meowstic - Meowstic can use Prankster Gravity to give Kyurem 100% accurate Blizzard
How to beat Kyurem and all its forms
  1. Xerneas - Dazzling Gleam and Moonblast can OHKO Kyurem guaranteed most, if not all the time.
  2. Mega Kangaskhan - Low Kick can OHKO Kyurem most, if not all the time.
I hoped you enjoyed this. Follow me on Twitter @TempleVGC for updates when new content comes out. I'll see you next time. Bye.