VGC Metagame Changes: Episode 1 - The New and Popular Crowd

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Welcome to a new series. The idea of this series is to examine the VGC metagame, point out the changes in the metagame, and show them to you. Today, we'll be talking about the new Pokemon that have been gaining popularity, why they have, and some popular sets that players have been using, as well as a link if available. Without further ado, let's dive into this by talking about a team strategy that has been getting popular. 

Smeargle & Tauros
Smeargle & Tauros is a strategy that has been gaining massive popularity throughout the world. Created by Shinon64, a Japanese VGC player, the idea of this team is to use Storm Throw Smeargle to activate Tauros' Anger Point ability to get it to +6 Attack. After that, you use Tauros' good attack stat and decent speed to dish out high powered attacks and win the battle. The Tauros also carries the Kee Berry to increase its Defense, making it a very powerful threat. This has been used by Zach Drogekamp (Braverius) to win 2 Premier Challenges and get 3rd Place at one more all this month. What makes it so strong is that since Tauros has a 110 speed stat, your firing off fast Rock Slides, making it just as annoying as Landorus-Therian, with more power, but requiring set up to pull off. I'll put links to Shinon64 and Zach's team reports on how they decided to use them and how they made them effective.
Shinon64's Report - Link
Zach's Report - Link

Porygon2 is a Pokemon that has picked up popularity throughout the US Fall Regionals and for very good reasons. It has access to Ice Beam to KO Lando-T and do major damage to Thundurus. It also has Hidden Power [Ground] to hit Aegislash. Part of its power comes from its ability Analytic, which if you don't know what it does, it gives you a 1.3 times power boost if you attack after your ally. It also is commonly found using Toxic to combat the rising popularity of Calm Mind Cresselia since it'll be put on major timer on how it should properly manage it turns left. It also has a very reliable way to regain lost HP with Recover. Porygon2 has had some good luck in the US with Sam Schweitzer (Sam) and Mario Serrano (Mario C) getting Top 16 at Ft. Wayne with it and Andrew Burley (Andykins) getting 2nd at Ft. Wayne with it, just to name a few accomplishents. I'll link Sam Schweitzer's NuggetBridge Team Report below to show you how effective it was for him.
Sam Schweitzer's Team Report - Link


This is the famous CHALK team that has dominated the 2016 metagame doing extremely well at the 2015 World Championships and winning the Masters Division under the guidance of Shoma Honami (ShadeVIERA). Since then, it has done extremely well at Regionals with Kamaal Harris (Kamaal) getting Top 8 at Ft. Wayne with a variant of it. Gavin Michaels (kingofmars) also got Top 4 at Arizona with a variant of it. The idea of this team is to use a safe team with strong, offensive options. The common final Pokemon is generally either Thundurus for support, Azumarill as it works well with CHALK. I'll link a team report of how this strategy has done so well.
A 3 person Ft. Wayne Team Report - Link

Azumarill & Amoonguss
Azumarill & Amoonguss is the final major change that has happened in the VGC metagame. as a sub-strategy of CHALK, it has it strengths. The idea is to use set-up Belly Drum to get Azumarill to +6 Attack. Amoonguss comes in handy since you can use Rage Powder to set it up safer. After your at +6 Attack, you use priority Aqua Jet to get KO's on a majority of the metagame since very few Pokemon can take the attacks. You'll mostly find this strategy on CHALK as Azumarill will be the sixth member to that team. In order to use it, you'll need to EV Azumarill in HP so that when it uses Belly Drum, it'll be brought down to an even amount of HP as it'll activate the Sitrus Berry to get it up to 75% health. If your brought down to an odd amount of HP, your Sitrus Berry won't activate so this is VERY IMPORTANT to keep in mind.

Some minor things in the metagame that changed.

  1. Mega Charizard Y and Sylveon are using Hidden Power [Ground] for Heatran
  2. Landorus-Therian can be holding the Assault Vest, Life Orb, or the Choice Band 
  3. Thundurus are using Protect and Swagger over Hidden Power [Ice]
  4. Cresselia are using Calm Mind and holding the Kee Berry
  5. Machamp is a lot more common after Mark McQuillian won Worlds in the Senior Divsion with it

I hoped you enjoyed this. Episode 2 will come out when new things changes come out and enough happen to warrant the 2nd Episode. It's hard to say when that will happen, See you next time. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TempleVGC and check out my other articles on the blog as they are all really awesome.


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