Tuesday, January 17, 2017

VGC '17 Pokemon Spotlight #5 - Porygon2


Welcome back to another Pokemon Spotlight, where the goal is to shine a light about a Pokemon that's doing well in the VGC 2017 format. Today, we'll be taking a look at Porygon2. Porygon2 is a very strong Pokemon, appearing on a lot of teams in the format. Its a very strong Pokemon that you should expect to see a lot of teams in the VGC 2017 format. Hope you enjoy and let's begin.

Base Stats


Because Porygon2 still has the potential to evolve, it can use the Eviolite item. This means that it gets 1.5x boosts to its defensive stats, turning its 85/90/95 defensive stats, which are only pretty average, into a very bulky Pokemon on the likes of Cresselia's bulk, which makes it very bulky. 80/105 attacking stats are pretty decent as with 80 attack, you won't most likely be using its 105 Sp. Attack stat, meaning that you'll have access to really strong special based moves. Its 60 speed stat is very slow, but as you'll later see, it can use various moves to turn this into an advantage.

Notable Moves - Here are some moves that you might see on Porygon2
  1. Recover - Useful to gain HP when your starting to get worn down
  2. Discharge - Strong electric type spread move to bypass Lightning Rod users
  3. Tri Attack - Strong special attacking Normal type move
  4. Toxic - Useful for slowly weakening Pokemon that can be troublesome
  5. Ice Beam - Good Ice type move for Pokemon like Garchomp and Salamence
  6. Protect - Useful for blocking attacks and weakening the power of Z-Moves
  7. Frustration - If you get the Download attack boost, you can have a strong physical move
  8. Thunderbolt - Strong electric type moves for water types
  9. Shadow Ball - Useful for hitting Pokemon like Alolan Marowak 
  10. Thunder Wave - Permanently slows down a Pokemon to help the rest of Porygon2's team
  11. Trick Room - Reverses speed for the next 4 turns so that your team can potentially sweep
Now I wanna go into some sample sets that I recommend on Porygon2. There's only 1 set that I can really recommend as unlike many Pokemon, Porygon2 can only really be played in 1 way.


Porygon2 @ Eviolite
Ability: Download
EVs: 244 HP / 92 Def / 28 SpA / 140 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Thunderbolt/Tri Attack
- Ice Beam/Shadow Ball
- Recover
- Trick Room

This is a pretty simple, most effective set for a Porygon2 in the 2017 format, which is set Trick Room, use Recover to heal up its HP, and cause damage when it needs to. The move choice is ultimately dependent on the team. Ice Beam/Tri Attack is what I enjoy to use as you have Ice Beam for Pokemon like Garchomp and Mudsdale with Tri Attack for STAB. The classic BoltBeam combo of Ice Beam and Thunderbolt is great neutral coverage against the entire meta. Shadow Ball is great for Alolan Marowak. Download is the preferred ability for many Porygon2 as it gives you either the Attack or Sp. Attack boost that will abuse the target's lower defense stat (i.e. Attack for lower Defense stat or Sp. Attack for lower Sp. Defense stat.) The 28 SpA allows it to KO Garchomp if it gets the Sp. Attack Download boost. The 244 HP / 140 SpD allows Porygon2 to survive a base 252+ 185 powered Hydro Vortex from a Golduck in the rain, comboed with 252+ SpA Pelipper's Scald in the rain, assuming they aren't maxed damage rolls. It also allows it to survive 252+ Tapu Lele's Psychic in its Psychic Terrain. The 244 HP minimizes damage from weather like hail and sand, as well as Leech Seed. The reason this set is the best idea for using Porygon2 is that Porygon2 is this format's bulky Trick Room user, so it essentially needs to be able to take multiple, strong hits in 1 turn, which it's able to do with Recover. It has access to the right moves it needs to for a team with enough access to the right moves with Ice, Electric, Normal, and Ghost coverage to help out its team in the ways it needs to.

Items to use on Porygon2
  1. Eviolite - Gives it a 1.5x boost to its defensive stats since it still has the potential to evolve
(This is Porygon2's best item as without the Eviolite, its bulk and what role it plays in the format is essentially gone and it's weakened and easier to deal with.)

Partners - Here's some Pokemon that enjoy Porygon2's company
  • Hariyama - Provides Fake Out pressure to help set up Trick Room to try and sweep the game
  • Garchomp - Garchomp can Earthquake safely next to Porygon2 while it uses Recover to heal back up to full HP
  • Salamence - Provides Intimidate to help set-up Trick Room
  • Alolan Marowak- It's naturally slow so under Trick Room, it'll be ready to start sweeping the game
  • Torkoal - It's naturally slow so under Trick Room, it can start using Eruption
How to beat Porygon2
  • Buzzwole - It can use Hammer Arm to heavily damage Porygon2
  • Pheromosa - It can carry High Jump Kick to potentially KO Porygon2
  • Hariyama - A Guts boosted Close Combat can easily KO Porygon2
  • Z-Moves - Z-Moves boosted off of a very powerful move can do a massive amount of damage to Porygon2
  • Taunt - Since Porygon2 isn't seen with the Mental Herb, Taunt means Porygon2 can't use its status moves like Recover and Trick Room
  • Status - Status conditions, mainly Poison from Toxic are an issue because Porygon2 won't enjoy being able to have to switch between deciding to either support the team or use Recover to keep its HP up.
I hope you enjoyed this. Overall, Porygon2 is a fantastic support Pokemon because of its ability to support its team and be able to take a multitude of hits, which can help it out. It's damage output is amazing for a support Pokemon. Check out the older articles and I'll see you guys next time. Bye!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

VGC '17 Pokemon Spotlight #4 - Tapu Koko


Welcome back to another episode of the Pokemon Spotlight, where the goal is to shine a light on the Pokemon that's doing well in the VGC 2017 metagame. Today, we'll be looking at Tapu Koko. Tapu Koko is a very strong Pokemon and has had a very strong season, appearing on the teams that won both the London International and the Dallas Regional. I hope you enjoy and let's begin.

Base Stats


Tapu Koko has very strong stats. 70/85/75 is pretty mediocre as it won't allow it to take major hits, but it can take neutral hits very well. 115/95 attacking stats is very strong as it allows Tapu Koko to use very strong attacks, although its move pool is pretty lackluster for physical based moves means it has to rely more on its special attack stat to be a damage dealer. Its also very fast at base 130, meaning it can outspeed many Pokemon in the metagame to that may prove to be troublesome for Tapu Koko.

Notable Moves - Here's some moves that Tapu Koko may find useful.
  • Brave Bird - Strong flying-type coverage move to hit grass types.
  • Wild Charge - Strong electric-type move to take advantage of your physical move.
  • Nature's Madness - Great for chunking a bulky Pokemon to pick them off later.
  • Discharge - Great for getting past Lighting Rod users like Marowak
  • Taunt - Great for shutting down support Pokemon like Porygon2
  • Hidden Power [Ice] - Great for KOing Pokemon like Garchomp and Salamence
  • Protect - Great for blocking moves and weakening the power of Z-Moves
  • Thunderbolt - Strong electric-type special move
  • Thunder - Strong electric-type special move to use in the Rain
  • Sky Drop - Great for removing a Pokemon that being's problematic so you can deal with them later.
  • Volt Switch - Great electric type move for switch initiative.
  • Grass Knot - Great for hitting Pokemon like Mudsdale and Gastrodon
  • U-turn - Great for switch initiative.
  • Substitute - Puts up a shield so Tapu Koko can take a hit at the cost of its HP
  • Dazzling Gleam - Strong Fairy type STAB spread move
Now I wanna go into some sample sets. I have 5 sets I wanna show you so I hope you enjoy it.


Tapu Koko @ Focus Sash
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Dazzling Gleam
- Discharge
- Protect

This is a pretty standard special attacking Tapu Koko set that's meant to get damage off really efficiently to pave the way for its other members to finish up. The moves are pretty simple to explain with Thunderbolt and Dazzling Gleam being your STAB moves and Discharge is good because of Lightning Rod users like Alolan Marowak, which means you can use Discharge to still be able to use Electric type moves with it on the field. The EV Spread emphasizes the offensive potential Tapu Koko has, maxing out its Sp. Attack and Speed stats to allow Tapu Koko to get as fast as possible and the Timid nature allows it to get as fast as possible. The Focus Sash is for since this set doesn't run much bulk, you can take a hit and still keep fighting the next turn.


Tapu Koko @ Focus Sash
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Wild Charge
- U-Turn
- Brave Bird
- Protect

This is a physical Tapu Koko set. The idea is to use Wild Charge as your physical attack and Brave Bird for flying coverage to hit Tapu Bulu for major damage. U-Turn is great for switch initiative. The EV Spread covers the same goals as the first set.


Tapu Koko @ Focus Sash
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Taunt
- Protect

This set was used by Aaron Zheng to get 6th place at the San Jose Regional. I'll link his video here. In his video, he said that Hidden Power [Ice] was used to OHKO Garchomp and Salamence and use Taunt to shut down support Pokemon like Porygon2 and Oranguru, but I recommend checking out his video to get his in-depth thoughts on the set.


Tapu Koko @ Life Orb
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Discharge
- Wild Charge
- Dazzling Gleam
- Protect

The idea of this set is that since Tapu Koko has 2 fantastic offensive stats, it sounds like a great idea to run a mixed attacker so you can hit Pokemon on both the physical and special side of the spectrum. This way, Intimidate or Snarl alone won't 100% weaken your damage output. The EV Spread is designed for more of a special attacker, but 4 Attack EVs with the Life Orb allows Tapu Koko to OHKO many Tapu Fini with Wild Charge in Electric Terrain and does 70.6 - 83.6% in Misty Terrain. The max Sp. Attack allows Tapu Koko to do the same thing as the first set.


Tapu Koko @ Choice Specs
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 236 HP / 12 Def / 84 SpA / 76 SpD / 100 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Volt Switch
- Dazzling Gleam
- Discharge

This set is actually from Ray Rizzo, who has done a video on the set and everything it could do.  I'll link his video here, which does a fantastic job of covering everything this set can do, from offensive/defensive damage calcs to why it's doing a great job in the current metagame.

Potential Items - Here are some items that Tapu Koko can use

  • Focus Sash – Allows Tapu Koko to take a hit
  • Life Orb – Gives Tapu Koko an extra boost in its attacks
  • Fairium Z – Turns Dazzling Gleam into their Z-Move Twinkle Tackle
  • Electrium Z – Turns its Electric type moves into their Z-Move Gigavolt Havoc
  • Choice Specs – Gives all of its special attacking moves an extra power boost, but locking yourself into 1 move
  • Assault Vest – Gives Tapu Koko an extra special defense boost, but not allowing it to use status moves
  • Tapunium Z – Turns Nature’s Madness into its Z-Move Guardian of Alola to do 75% of its current HP
Partners - Here are some Pokemon that can help Tapu Koko out
  • Celesteela - Its typing provides a perfect switch for Tapu Koko since its immune to its 2 weaknesses and threatens all 3 of the other Tapu Pokemon
  • Salamence - It can provide Intimidate to help Tapu Koko take physical hits better and handles Ground types
  • Garchomp - These 2 can provide an excellent first turn hyper offensive lead and Tapu Koko can safely Discharge next to it
  • Oranguru - Its Telepathy ability allows Tapu Koko to freely use Discharge, while also having Instruct to allow it to repeat its last move, and reverse Trick Room if need be
  • Gengar/Mimikyu - It can handle Alolan Marowak with Ghost moves, which can prove troublesome for Tapu Koko
  • Politoed/Pelipper - They provide the rain to handle ground types while allowing Tapu Koko to use a 100% accurate Thunder in the Rain
How to beat Tapu Koko?
  1. Alolan Marowak - It's Lightning Rod ability blocks electric type moves and it can KO it with Bonemerang while not taking much from Dazzling Gleam
  2. Garchomp - Since Dazzling Gleam is a 2HKO, Garchomp can use Earthquake to easily KO Tapu Koko
  3. Ground types - Tapu Koko can use electric type moves and fear strong ground type moves from ground types like Mudsdale and Krookodile.
  4. Tapu Bulu - It resist Tapu Koko's electric type moves and is slower to set its terrain up, while also being able to use strong grass moves like Horn Leech and Wood Hammer to cause massive damage
  5. Tapu Lele - It can sets its terrain up since its naturally slower than Tapu Koko, then use boosted Psychic to OHKO it
  6. Alolan Muk - While electric type moves are a threat, it can live it and fire off a Poison Jab to KO Tapu Koko
  7. Trick Room - Since Tapu Koko is one of the fastest Pokemon in the metagame, Trick Room is a nightmare.
  8. Kartana - Its steel type move Smart Strike can easily do massive amounts of damage while being able to take a Thunderbolt or Dazzling Gleam in return.
I hoped you enjoyed this. Overall, Tapu Koko is a very strong Pokemon. Through its access to strong attacking moves, great offensive stats, and variety of ways it can be played, Tapu Koko is a threat to watch out for. Check out my older content and I'll see you guys next time. Bye!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

VGC '17 Pokemon Spotlight #3: Arcanine


Welcome back to another edition of the Pokemon Spotlight, where the goal is to cover a Pokemon that's having success in the VGC 2017 format and tell you everything you need to know about it. Today, we'll be talking about Arcanine, which has been having a lot of success recently, even appearing on both of the teams in the finals of the London International. Its a really strong Pokemon and I hope you enjoy.

Video Link: here

Typing













Looking at its stats, Arcanine has some really solid stats for a offensive and defensive Pokemon. 90/80/80 is decent, but with its Intimidate ability and access to moves that can lower the opponent's attacking stats, it can turn Arcanine into a really bulky Pokemon very easily. At base 95 speed, Arcanine is actually one of the faster Pokemon in the format since a lot of Pokemon are on the slower end of the spectrum. 110/100 for offensive stats are very nice as it allows Arcanine to act as a physical attacker, special attacker, or even a mixed attacker if need be.

Notable Moves - Some moves that you may see on an Arcanine you might face.
  1. Extreme Speed - Strong priority move to either break a Focus Sash or pick-up a KO
  2. Roar - Forces a Pokemon to switch out. -6 priority so it goes before Trick Room
  3. Protect - Blocks an attack and weakens the power of Z-Moves
  4. Flamethrower - Standard, 100% accurate fire type move
  5. Overheat - Very powerful fire type move to nuke a target
  6. Will-O-Wisp - Useful to weaken the power of physical attacking moves
  7. Wild Charge - Strong physical Electric type moves to damage Water types
  8. Snarl - Useful to weaken the power of special attacking moves
  9. Burn Up - Strong fire type move that removes the type of the user
  10. Close Combat - Fighting type move to handle threats like Porygon2 
  11. Flare Blitz - Strong physical fire type move
  12. Heat Wave - Strong fire type spread move
  13. Morning Sun - Useful to gain HP, heals more in the Sun and less in other weathers
  14. Helping Hand - Useful to power its partner's move
  15. Crunch - Useful for hitting Pokemon like Alolan Marowak and Oranguru
Now I wanna go into some sample sets that I would recommend trying on Arcanine.

Arcanine @ Sitrus Berry  
Ability: Intimidate  
EVs: 148 HP / 4 Def / 164 SpA / 28 SpD / 164 Spe  
Timid Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Will-O-Wisp  
- Flamethrower  
- Snarl  
- Protect

This is a supportive Arcanine used by Till Bohmer (@Dark_Psiana) to finish 12th at the London International. If you wanna learn the ways of a supportive Arcanine, which is meant to use Will-O-Wisp to weaken physical attackers like Garchomp, as well as Intimidate them to weaken further, while also using Snarl to weaken special attackers so no one was safe. You also have Flamethrower to have a strong stab move. The EV Spread allows Flamethrower to have a 93.8% chance to 2HKO a 180 HP / 148+ SpD Celesteela with Flamethrower. It also allows Arcanine to have a 6.3% to survive 252 SpA Nihilego Power Gem and is 2HKO'd by -1 Earthquake from Garchomp thanks to the Sitrus Berry. The speed EVs also allows Arcanine to outspeed max speed Xurkitree. I'll link his team report here so you can get a better detail of Till's mindset with his Arcanine,

Arcanine @ Life Orb
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 28 HP / 180 Atk / 4 Def / 44 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Wild Charge
- Crunch / Extreme Speed
- Protect

This is an offensive Arcanine that takes advantage of its attack stat and allows it to take center stage and get off a major amount of damage. The attack EVs allows Arcanine to OHKO 252 HP / 0 Def Celesteela with Flare Blitz. A -1 Wild Charge can OHKO 0 HP / 0 Def Gyarados, and Crunch to OHKO 252 HP / 4 Def Alolan Marowak. The defensive EVs allows Arcanine to survive -1 Bonemerang from 252+ Alolan Marowak. and it can survive 252+ Tapu Lele Psychic in its Psychic Terrain. The moveset is pretty standard. Flare Blitz is STAB, Wild Charge is for hitting water types, and Crunch is for hitting Pokemon like Alolan Marowak and Gengar, but Extreme Speed is great for knocking out Pokemon at a low amount of HP or breaking Focus Sashes. A simple 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe is also great if you need the extra damage output in exchange for no bulk, only relying on Arcanine's natural typing if you want to.

Potential Items - Here's some items you could try on your Arcanine

  1. Life Orb - Increases Arcanine's damage output
  2. Sitrus Berry - Heals up Arcanine when its HP is under 50%
  3. Leftovers - Gives Arcanine residual healing each turn
  4. Choice Band - Majorly increases Arcanine's damage output, but locks it into 1 move
  5. Charcoal - Powers up Arcanine's fire type moves
  6. Firium Z - Turns Arcanine's fire type move into Inferno Overdrive to nuke targets

Potential Partners - Some Pokemon that work well with Arcanine
  1. Gastrodon - Its Storm Drain ability absorbs up super-effective water moves for Arcanine
  2. Porygon2 - Arcanine provides Intimidate to help Porygon2 set up Trick Room
  3. Celesteela - Arcanine provides Intimidate to help Celesteela perform its job
  4. Garchomp - Arcanine can Intimidate threats and weaken them for Garchomp to shine

How to beat Arcanine - 
  1. Gastrodon - It can fire off water type moves to easily handle Arcanine
  2. Garchomp/Mudsdale/Krookodile - It can use Earthquake to KO Arcanine
  3. Pelipper/Politoed - Both provide the Rain to weaken Arcanine's fire moves
  4. Gyarados - It can Intimidate Arcanine and use both Waterfall and Hydro Vortex to KO Arcanine
  5. Gigalith - It can use Rock moves to handle Arcanine
  6. Arquanid - It can use Liquidation and Hydro Vortex KO Arcanine
  7. Tapu Fini/Milotic - As bulky water types, they can handle Arcanine's moves and use water moves to KO Arcanine
  8. Alolan Marowak - It can use Bonemerang to KO Arcanine, although Arcanine can Snarl it for super-effective damage
  9. Golduck - It can outspeed Arcanine and use strong water moves. Commonly seen on Rain team
  10. Nihilego - It can use Power Gem to KO Arcanine
In conclusion, Arcanine is a great support Pokemon. While it isn't the type of Pokemon that can be slapped onto any team and find success instantly, it can perform well on the right teams. It's found the right mix between bulk and offense to be a threat in the metagame, so I would expect to see it on teams in the future. Hope you enjoyed this. Check out my older articles and I'll see you guys next time. Bye!