VGC 2015 Cresselia Analysis

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Welcome everyone. After doing Gothitelle, it occurred to me, as suggested by HyperTHD that the other supportive Psychic type needs some recognition. So, it's finally time that the other competitively viable psychic type, Cresselia gets it own analysis. Cresselia is a very strong Pokémon, both defensively and offensively. The defensive set is very powerful, doing well at multiple Regionals, Nationals, and even at Worlds in multiple years, making Top Cut and winning across all age divisions when it's legal. So without further ado, welcome to the VGC Cresselia Analysis. Let's look at those stats.

120 HP - An amazing stat to start off, this stat combined with it's amazing defenses means don't expect to be one-shotting Cresselia any time soon, cause it won't work.
70 Attack - Not worth talking about since Cresselia is always caught using Special based hits when its attacking, which will be less than many other Pokémon.
120 Defense - Another fantastic stat, this is a really solid stat. Since Cresselia often struggles with physical dark type moves like Sucker Punch, Knock Off, and Night Slash, and physical bug type moves like U-Turn and X-Scissor, a high stat like this means you can start turning them in 2HKO or 3HKO depending on the users.
75 Sp. Attack - It's not the best, but it is usable since Cresselia is very dangerous with the Calm Mind set that ravaged the US during the Fall Regionals.
130 Sp. Defense - Another amazing set, Cresselia having such high defensive stats means that it can take some good hits while not taking a major amount of EV investment as well.
85 Speed - Despite not being the access, with access to Thunder Wave and Icy Wind means that without investment, Cresselia can get some nice outspeeds.
Overall, Cresselia has some nice stats, outstanding defenses and overall awesome power. Now, let's see what Cresselia has in terms of viable moves you can run and still be successful.
  1. Moonlight
  2. Psychic
  3. Moonblast 
  4. Psyshock
  5. Calm Mind
  6. Hidden Power [Ground]
  7. Sunny Day
  8. Ice Beam
  9. Protect
  10. Thunder Wave
  11. Trick Room
  12. Helping Hand
  13. Icy Wind
  14. Skill Swap
  15. Swagger
As you can see, Cresselia has a wide selection of moves it can run. From supportive to offensive, expect Cresselia to have trouble picking the 4 moves to use, so you'll be relying on the team to dictate the moves to run. Now, let's go into some viable sets. This will help see how Cresselia's moveset was primarily based on the team it's used with. Let's go into those sets.

Ray Rizzo's 2012 Worlds Cresselia

Cresselia @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 220 HP / 108 Def / 180 SpA
IVs: 0 Spe
Sassy Nature
- Ice Beam
- Swagger
- Psyshock
- Trick Room

This is the Cresselia used by Ray Rizzo to win the 2012 World Championships in the Masters Division. Let's see what Ray had to say about how this Cresselia functioned on the team "This Cresselia set is pretty standard. Unlike some Cresselia, however, it isn’t as bulky as it could be. I opted for a more offensive Cresselia which could stand alone as a threat. The 180 SpAtk EVs let it OHKO 4 HP Salamence 100% of the time with Ice Beam, while Psyshock was added to counter the Specially Defensive builds most Pokémon. Swagger sets up a Metagross sweep in Trick Room as well as acts as a defensive move against Special attackers. The Sassy Nature and 0 Speed IV puts Cresselia at 81 Speed, an important Speed tier to hit to make the most out of the next Pokémon." -Ray Rizzo (Ray)

Brendan Zheng's 2013 Worlds Cresselia

Cresselia @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 220 HP / 36 Def / 156 SpA / 96 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Ice Beam
- Sunny Day
- Helping Hand
- Trick Room

Tish is the Cresselia that was used by Brendan Zheng to win the 2013 World Championships in the Junior Divsion. Let's see what Brendan said about this duck and why it was so successful for his team "I wanted my Cresselia to OHKO 4 HP Landorus-T, so I started off with Sassy nature for max bulk and min speed and added 156 Special Attack EVs. 220 HP is to minimize sandstorm damage like most Cresselia, and I put the rest in Defense and Special Defense. With a 0 Speed IV and Sassy nature, it reaches 81 speed, which will come in handy later with my Heatran. This Cresselia strangely doesn’t have Psychic/Psyshock. I felt that I didn’t need it because Hitmontop, Conkeldurr, and any other Fighting-type Pokemon would lose to Cresselia’s Ice Beam one on one anyway. Sunny Day was to make Rain less effective, get rid of the Sandstorm Special Defense boost for Rock-type Pokemon, and most importantly, boost Heatran’s Fire-type attacks. Helping Hand and Trick Room are self explanatory. Helping Hand serves as a Gem and can prevent Sucker Punches, while Trick Room reverses the speeds of my Pokemon, making it much easier for me to sweep." - Brendan Zheng (Babbytron)

Alex Underhill's 2015 US Nationals Cresselia

Passion Pit (Cresselia) @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 220 HP / 100 Def / 188 SpA
Calm Nature
- Psychic
- Ice Beam
- Helping Hand
- Trick Room

This is the Cresselia that one of my friends, Alex Underhill used to get Top 8 at US Nationals in the Masters Divsion. Let's see what Alex had to say about this beast "This is a Pokemon I have been using all season. The bulk is comfortable and helps make easy switch ins, while offensive coverage is fairly decent. Cresselia filled an important role on this team. Ice Beam helps a lot against one of Sand’s greatest weaknesses: Landorus-Therian. I chose Psychic over Psyshock as most Amoonguss and Mega Venusaur were often built for Physical hits. Psyshock would have helped against Terrakion in Sand, but that is about all that I can think of. When I build teams with Earthquake, I like as many Ground immune Pokemon as possible. Cresselia could switch in on my own Earthquakes and provide Excadrill with a Helping Hand. Lastly, this team built to have a Trick Room aspect and Cresselia is my favorite Trick Room setter. I wouldn’t have changed any move on it for anything else, despite having such an impressive move pool. The main reason I ran Leftovers was just to counteract Sandstorm damage. Many times I considered swapping Gastrodon, Rotom-Heat, and Cresselia’s items around, but I think they fit best where they are. Cresselia saw a lot of usage at Nationals. This is because Trick Room was a great option against many teams and caught a couple of people off guard. Also, when Intimidate is present, I prefer to bring my Trick Room Core as they are much less susceptible to Intimidate. The support Cresselia provided was unmatched by any other Pokemon. Helping Hand was even more useful in tournament than in practice, turning 2HKO’s into OHKO’s and 3HKO’s into easy 2HKO’s. I wanted Cresselia to tank hits while still providing threatening damage to ice weak Pokemon. The spread is one I’m sure you’ve all seen before, I found it in Aaron Zheng’s Cresselia video and haven’t looked back. It’s effective and although people do damage calculations for it, it still works. Having 223 HP also minimizes Sandstorm chip damage." Alex Underhill (Lexicon)

Other Successful Cresselia in VGC history
Boomguy's Cresselia - Link
Baz Anderson's Cresselia - Link
Conan's Cresselia - Link

I hope you enjoyed this analysis on Cresselia and I also hope that you learned a thing or two about Cresselia from this as well. If you have a suggestions on what Pokemon you want me to do, you can contact me on NuggetBridge under my username SamuelTemple2 or on Twitter @KurokyuneVGC, and you can also follow me on there as well, which is pretty cool as well. I'll see you next time everyone, on whatever I do. Bye


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