Monday, May 29, 2017

VGC 2017 Pokemon Spotlight #11: Gyarados


Welcome back to another VGC 2017 Pokémon Spotlight, where the goal is to look at a Pokémon that's doing well in the format and give helpful information on how to both use and beat it. Today, we're gonna take a look at Gyarados. Gyarados has been a powerhouse threat since its debut in the first Pokémon games, so let's take a look and see exactly why people enjoy using it so much.

Base Stats



Looking at its stats, it's easy to see why Gyarados is a strong Pokémon. Decent bulk at 95/79/100 allows it to take hits that aren't super effective pretty well depending on the hit. A 125 Attack stat means that Gyarados can hit very hard with its physical moves. Finally, its 81 Speed stat puts it in an awkward position but allows it to outspeed a lot of Pokemon and Gyarados has the opportunity to outspeed even more Pokemon by increasing its speed stat.

Notable Moves

  1. Ice Fang 
  2. Dragon Dance 
  3. Roar 
  4. Taunt 
  5. Protect 
  6. Earthquake 
  7. Flamethrower 
  8. Thunder Wave 
  9. Waterfall 
  10. Bounce 
Now let's go into sample sets

gyarados.png
Gyarados @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 52 HP / 230 Atk / 60 Def / 4 SpD / 164 Spe
More Optimized: EVs: 52 HP / 212 Atk / 76 Def / 4 SpD / 164 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Waterfall
- Flamethrower
- Dragon Dance
- Protect

This is a set used by Zoe Lou to win the 2017 Oceanic Championships. Its a pretty standard Gyarados set, barring the most interesting move in Flamethrower and its Sitrus Berry item. The berry as Zoe said is that to allow Gyarados to increase its longevity on the field. The 164 Speed EVs + Jolly Nature means Gyarados can outspeed and then KO a Timid nature Tapu Koko after 1 Dragon Dance boost. She says that the spread may not be optimized well as a -1 Wild Charge from Arcanine has a 6.3% chance to KO, so by moving 16 EVs from Attack to Defense, you can accomplish that, so I took the liberty of doing that as in bold, you can accomplish that with a new EV spread. The moves are pretty simple with Waterfall as a strong Water STAB move and Dragon Dance to increase Gyarados' offensive potential. Flamethrower as Zoe puts it, was because since her team had no strong way to damage Kartana, Flamethrower was chosen to do so, but if your team is fine versus Kartana, then Ice Fang or Earthquake works well in that slot.

Because Gyarados in this format has a pretty one-sided role it plays, as shown in the set used above by Zoe Lou, I will link 3 team reports from players who have used Gyarados to success, but have used the same standard set in different ways to support their team.


  1. Alex Underhill (1st @ Collinsville Regionals) - here
  2. Jon Hu (Top 8 @ Collinsville Regionals) - here
  3. William Tansley (Top 8 @ London Internationals) - here


Possible Items

  1. Waterium Z - Turns Waterfall into the Z-move equivalent, Hydro Vortex
  2. Flynium Z - Turns Bounce into the Z-move equivalent, Supersonic Skystrike
  3. Healing Berries - Increases Gyarados' longevity (Includes Sitrus and FIWAM berries)
  4. Wacan Berry - Weakens a super-effective Electric move
  5. Charti Berry - Weakens a super-effective Rock move


Potential Partners
marowak-alola.pngtogedemaru.png - Provide the Lightning Rod ability to help Gyarados deal with Electric moves
garchomp.pngkrookodile.png - Gyarados gives them an Earthquake partner
(Gyarados generally enjoys being surrounded by offensive Pokemon so if its a Pokemon that enjoys offensive power from it, Gyarados may find an enjoyable spot on the team.)

How to beat Gyarados?
tapu-koko.pngtogedemaru.pngraichu-alola.pngxurkitree.png - The rule of thumb is that if its an Electric type, Gyarados will generally find trouble with them
nihilego.pnggigalith.pngaerodactyl.png - These are the 3 most prevalent Rock types as they can use a strong Rock move to threaten Gyarados.
gastrodon.png - Gastrodon's Storm Drain ability makes Gyarados' Water moves null which means it can't use Waterfall

Overall, Gyarados is a strong Pokemon. If you can manage what Gyarados struggles with, then it can become a real threat and make an appearance. Hope you enjoyed this article and check out my older content. I'll see you guys next time. Bye!
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Torkoal + Lilligant: Its Place in VGC 2017


Welcome back to another installment of the this VGC 2017 series, where the goal is to analyze a core that's performing very well in the  VGC 2017 format and tell you everything you need to know about it. Today, we'll be talking about Torkoal and Lilligant. Together, these two have been doing very well, so it's time to talk about why it's doing very well and give you the tools and knowledge necessary to beat it or use it.

Why Use This Core?

Very popular at the beginning of this season, the goal of this core is to use Torkoal's Sun to give it a power boost to its Fire type moves, as well as activating Lilligant's Chlorophyll ability, doubling its speed and allowing it to use a speedy Sleep Powder. Remnants of this was seen previously in the 2014 season from the core of Mega Charizard Y and Venusaur, which was much faster than the core we're covering today. Instead, Torkoal/Lilligant is a core that focuses more on having both fast and slow mode. Most people have added Oranguru for a Trick Room mode.

Sample Sets 


torkoal_xy_icon
Torkoal @ Charcoal
Ability: Drought
EVs: 116 HP / 252 SpA / 140 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Eruption
- Flamethrower / Heat Wave
- Solar Beam
- Protect

This Torkoal focuses on simply making the most of its Sun turns. In order to do this, you'll need to make sure that for all 5 turns of Sun you have available, Torkoal needs to be using its strongest Fire moves each turn, Eruption for when your HP is reasonably high and then switching to your second fire move in either Flamethrower or Heat Wave when Eruption isn't the best choice. Solar Beam is to hit water types like Gastrodon and Tapu Fini so your not essentially walled by it. The EV Spread is meant to have a 66% chance to survive 252+ Sp. Attack Psychic from Tapu Lele in Psychic Terrain. Without any defense investment, you do are only KO'd by Bonemerang from 252+ Atk Alolan Marowak 6.3% of the time. The Charcoal item is meant to boost the power of your Fire moves substantially. Maximum Sp. Attack investment to still make the most of your Sun turns.

lilligant_xy_icon
Lilligant @ Focus Sash / Grassium Z
Ability: Chlorophyll
EVs: 124 HP / 252 SpA / 132 Spe
Modest Nature
- Leaf Storm
- Sleep Powder
- After You
- Protect

Lilligant is the perfect partner for Torkoal in this format due to how its the most viable Chlorophyll user due to its already decent stats and at base 90 Speed and base 110 Sp. Attack stat means that it can hit hard and is already pretty fast by itself without Sun. The moveset is meant to mainly help Torkoal make the most of its Sun turns. This helps with the move After You to allow it to move right after Lilligant thanks to its amazing speed in Sun. Sleep Powder is to put a major threat to a Torkoal like maybe Garchomp or Water types to sleep. Leaf Storm is your strong grass move, which if you give Lilligant the Grassium Z, it can use a very powerful Bloom Doom. The speed is meant to outspeed a Choice Scarfed Garchomp under Sun with Chlorophyll activated. The 252 Sp. Attack is meant to hit as hard as possible. The remaining points were thrown into HP for general extra bulk, but isn't meant specifically survive an attack.


Further supporting the core

765MS.png778MS.png - Provides Trick Room for Torkoal to help it sweep if need be.
- Can provide a strong Trick Room mode for Torkoal or a nice switch in for powerful move.
 - A very powerful offensive core.



How to beat the core

 - As a massive wall with its 90/150 for its Sp. Defense, Goodra can sit and easily take an Eruption.
793MS.png- Can use Power Gem to hit Torkoal hard and Sludge Bomb to hit Lilligant hard.
 - As a special wall, it can sit and easily take moves from the 2.


Success the core has had at events
  •  David Koutesh - 28th at London International
  • Francesco Pardini - 29th at London International
  • Roberto Porretti - 40th at London International
  • Daniel Oztekin - 3rd at Dutch Open
  • Joohwan Kim - 2nd at Georgia Regionals
  • Roberto Porretti - 10th at online Melbourne Challenge
  • Matteo Marinelli - 2nd at online Melbourne Challenge
  • Joohwan Kim - 16th at online Sao Paulo Challenge
  • Ashton Cox - 1st at Latin America International
Hoped you enjoyed this. Overall, its a very strong core that's making a slow resurgence into popularity, but should still be watched. Check out my older content and I'll see you guys next time. Bye!
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