Wednesday, August 30, 2017

VGC 2017 World Championships: Metagame Recap + Looking into the Future


With the 2017 Pokemon World Championships having been completed, its time to look at the event and what we saw throughout the event and then look to see what we can expect going into the future at Regionals during the rest of this format's lifespan. The 2017 World Championships is a very interesting event as the metagame wasn't set in stone, but certain cores were appearing and people tried there best to answer it. Hope you enjoy and let's begin.

Note: All Day 2 teams can be found linked here.

The Duo to Beat

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Going into the World Championships the core of Metagross and Salamence was quickly gaining traction. The reason is that by giving Metagross the Weakness Policy item, Salamence could use the move Bulldoze alongside it and since Metagross had the Clear Body ability, it wouldn't lower its speed stat and could if its fast enough it could move before Pokemon like Arcanine and Garchomp to potentially knock them out. This core was favored going into the World Championships due to how difficult it was to defeat when played well, it could tear through teams. We saw players like Alvin Hidayat and Tomoyuki Yoshimura use the duo to win there way through Day 1 of World Championships and Yoshimura was even able to finish in the Top 4.

So Many Interesting Pokemon Showed Up

Many have said that the 2017 format is the most diverse format we had so far with a vast majority of legal Pokemon being useful in some stretch of the imagination. This most definitely held to be true as from the infographic shown, we saw a total of 26 niche Pokemon, some of which like Metagross that wasn't used throughout a majority of the 2017 season, but when the World Championships rolls around, is the 8th most used Pokemon. You also have Pokemon like Alolan Marowak and Togedemaru which have made a large comeback due to how Tapu Koko, who ended up being the most common Pokemon at the 2017 World Championships, appearing on 45 teams, seeing as many of these Tapu Koko would have lacked the move Discharge to be able to abuse its Electric moves. Because of this, their surge in popularity may push many Tapu Koko to find other ways to deal with their appearance in the future. Tapu Bulu has endured a season of appearing as the worst Tapu Pokemon compared to the other 3, but as we saw later in the season, its usage started to rise and appearing on 15 teams, its showing that Tapu Bulu is seeing a resurgence and is becoming a much more prevalent Pokemon to watch out for on teams. Probably most notably, the major reappearance of Politoed shows that many players decided to use the Rain it provides more defensively in order to support their teams rather than using Golduck which uses the Rain much more offensively.

A Diverse Masters Division Finals

Different from any other World Championships Masters Division finals match, none of the 2 players have used similar Pokemon. While they have Pokemon that perform similar jobs, as Ryota Otsubo used Krookodile, Tapu Koko, and Alolan Marowak while Sam Pandelis used Garchomp, Xurkitree, and Arcanine for example, they didn't share any same Pokemon, which meant that this promised to be a very diverse and interesting game, which you can watch a replay of it here. This is probably the result of a much more open format where as stated above, a vast majority of the legal Pokemon has some form of tangible use, which can show that players are becoming much more creative with the Pokemon they choose to use and the way they choose to use them, as well as their becoming much more confident in Pokemon that otherwise may not be the prime choices to use on teams.


Looking to the Future

Now its time to look into the future and see some Pokemon that might thrive in a post-Worlds format.

1. Poison Types 
After each World Championships concludes, many players will generally use the teams that have done well to ride out the time until a new ruleset is announced and this time will be no difference. With a set of Regionals lined up and the European Internationals coming up, all will be played in the VGC 2017 format, we'll see how some players will use the winning team. Because of this, Poison types like Nihilego and Muk, but mainly Muk might enjoy facing these kinds of teams as the winning team included Tapu Koko, Tapu Fini, Marowak, and Whimsicott, all of which are weak to both of the main moves Nihilego and Muk are found in using. If players can smartly play these two, they'll become a huge threat.

2. Snorlax + Support  + /
Every since it started seeing play, Snorlax has been a notoriously difficult Pokemon to deal with, thanks to how its played and the partners its seeing with, mainly Ninetales and Mimikyu. Its partners, Ninetales providing the Aurora Veil to increase its bulk and Mimikyu using Z-Destiny Bond allowing Snorlax to use Belly Drum to max out its Attack stat while Mimikyu also packing Trick Room so it can attack first and KO everything in its path, Snorlax has solidified itself as a Pokemon that needs to be dealt with. Fighting types and Fighting type Z-Moves have been the most popular, but Snorlax can still potential do well if its threats can be managed and as a Pokemon, Snorlax is supported correctly. If it is, then Snorlax will be a major threat.

3. Togedemaru and Alolan Marowak 
The success of these 2 will 100% depend on how Tapu Koko players react to their success at the World Championships. If an opposing Tapu Koko lacks the move Discharge, then both Togedemaru and Marowak will essentially run all-over the Tapu Koko as we have seen these 2 Pokemon supporting offensive powerhouses like Gyarados. Xurkitree's recent success at the World Championships may make these 2 Pokemon much more appealing at future events as the Xurkitree that had success at the World Championships lacks a way to use Electric type moves as its only Electric type move is the single target Thunderbolt, which essentially becomes useless. If Tapu Koko and Xurkitree is carrying the move Discharge, then their effectiveness won't be as strong, but will force them to reveal the move straight away, giving you powerful information on your opponent.

While these are only a couple of examples of Pokemon that might thrive in a post-Worlds metagame, It is important to keep in mind that Pokemon that have previous dominated the format will still continue to do well and should be dealt with, With that out of the way, I hoped you enjoyed this article. The 2017 World Championships was a very exciting event and the metagame after it will be interesting, so watching it will be a treat. Check back every week for potentially new content and see you then. Bye!

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