VGC 2016 Review: How the Season Went

I want to talk about what happened during the VGC 2016 season overall. What happened throughout the entire season overall, whether it'd be controversial or quite boring. We'll start in January and end in August while only talking briefly about September-November as it isn't as important, but still needs to be covered. Hope you enjoy it and let's start by talking about the beginning of the season.

August 2015 --> December 2015

While nothing major happened, we got the 2016 CP payout for all events. The problem was that the CP payout wasn't to many players liking, so after talking to TPCi, it was changed and was much more reasonable. We also got word of a new type of event called a Midseason Showdown, which were essentially a type of event which is in the difficulty level between a Premier Challenge and Regionals. We then had our round of Fall Regionals and many players earned a large chunk of Championship Points and some players even passed 300 points, which would later prove to be a good thing. Many events also started to have an entry fee, which was mainly $20 in the US or something like that at many Regionals across the world. When December came around, we got a new ruleset, which allowed 15 Legendary Pokemon to be used in battle, and also a CP Bar. While the new ruleset and CP Bar would later prove to be controversial, it wasn't changed at all and something we had to deal with throughout the season. 

January 2016

In January, we started to incorporate the new ruleset in sanctioned events, but because we had access to these legendary Pokemon, there was a new problem that some players would accidentally bring either 3,5, or 6 Pokemon, which would cause them to lose a match in non-sanctioned events. We also got the creation of the "Big 6" team ( groudon-primal   salamence-mega ), which would prove to be a very dominating team taking many events. We also had the chance to play in the January International Challenge, which was actually pretty cool as you could take a team and play up to 45 battles with it to learn what to change with the team. 

February 2016

When February started, so did a set of Regionals as well. We saw a new Pokemon that hasn't had success in VGC since 2009, Bronzong () used by both Alex Gomez and Aaron Zheng to win their respective Regional. We would later find out that Bronzong would be a staple member in the VGC 2016 season as a whole, which is cool as Bronzong hasn't had VGC success since 2009. 2 Restricted Pokemon cores in RayOgre ( kyogre-primal) and Dual Primal (groudon-primalkyogre-primal) would prove to be very dominate cores and a staple of the VGC 2016 format. We would also learn of a

March 2016

When March started, the new type of event, called a Midseason Showdown, started to happen throughout the season. While how many should occur and attendance numbers we're a bit controversial, many players earned their invite to the World Championships, due to doing well at the events.  A new restricted Pokemon core in Kyurem-White + Groudon (proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pokestadium.c groudon-primal) also started to appeared, with Barry Anderson (Baz Anderson) being the main person that was piloting it. It was a cool  as you could use Gravity efficiently and spam Blizzard/Precipice Blades and try to whittle down their offense. We also saw Mewtwo () start to appear on teams and became a threat quickly due to its damage.

April 2016

April was pretty dead for the season except for the core of Yveltal + Primal Groudon (groudon-primal ) gaining popularity due to how it has a positive matchup vs Dual Primal.

May 2016

When May came around, so did the start of various National Championships. The first one was the UK Nationals in England. Many players earned their Day 2 invites including Jamie Boyt (MrJellyLeggs) and William Tansley (StarKO) who finished in the Top 8 and Top 4 respectively. But in the end, Alex Gomez (PokeAlex) would win the whole event using Dual Primal (groudon-primalkyogre-primal) after defeating Ethan Hall (Jhon) in the Finals And also securing his Day 2 invite as well. Sadly, favorite to win Joseph Richardson (Gogogo Golems) finished in the Top 32 and bubbled out of the Top 16 CP Chart at 17th place and lost out of a Day 2 invite despite winning 3 Regionals in 1 season. The very next week, another Nationals event was held in Germany. Many players like Florian Wurdack (DaFlo) and Alexander Kuhn (Hibiki) who finished in the Top 8 and Top 16 respectively showed their skills, but in the end, 2013 World Champion Arash Ommati (Mean) defeated Till Bohmer (Dark Psiana) managed to win the event using YvelDon (groudon-primal )  and earn the triple crown, which is when you win all 3 major events.

June 2016

When June happened, 2 more major Nationals happened, one in Italy, and the other in Japan. In Italy, players like Alessio Yuri Boschetto (PokemonZone) and Alberto Gini (Matty) both showed their skills and finished in the Top 8, but Javier Señorena (Proman) managed to win the event using a new restricted core in XernRay () as well as locking up his Day 2 invite. Interesting enough, Mark Duó and Gerard Curto both finished in the Top 4 and Top 8 respectively using RayOgre, but both opted for a Choice Scarf Kyogre. In Japan, as their qualification system is different, we saw Koutake Hideo (zzLiarzz_muteki) win the event using a rather interesting restricted core in RayDon (groudon-primal) alongside a Sylveon to win the event. We would later see this core used by another player named Stefan Smigoc (EektheGeek) at US Nationals to finish in the Top 8.

July 2016

At US Nationals, we saw a rather interesting site as Aaron Zheng (Cybertron), who was a favorite to do really well, join the commentary team. We also saw Wolfe Glick (Wolfey), another favorite to do really well, miss out on Day 2 by finishing 5-4 in Swiss, but he made it up at the World Championships. Interesting, Grant Weldon (Velocity), had a dominate performance and made it all the way to a well-deserved Top 4 finish, but in the end, Chase Lybbert (I am a Rookie) defeated Aaron Traylor (Unreality) in the Finals using the ever so popular XernDon ( groudon-primal ), but Aaron also had a rather interesting sight in using both Cresselia and Bronzong on his team to help in many different matchups that certain Pokemon struggled in. Sadly though, days after the event, we lost the Battle Spot ladder for VGC '16 to Flash Clash, which is essentially a faster paced single battle without Mega Evolution. 

August 2016

Its August and the World Championships took place. We saw Wolfe Glick (Wolfey), Markus Stadter (13Yoshi37), and Baris Akcos (Billa) use the same team to finish 1st, Top 4, and Top 8 respectively. We also saw Aaron Traylor (Unreality), as the only player that started in the Day 2 that finished in the Top 8. We also saw Eduardo Cunha (EmbC) as a surprising player that finished in the Top 4. Jonathan Evans (Ezrael), Justin Carris (Azazel), and Barry Anderson (Baz Anderson) also showed a dominate performance, finishing 2nd and Top 8 for the latter 2. In the Top 16, we saw Giovanni Costa (The Gio), Jamie Boyt (MrJellyLeggs), Blake Hopper (Bopper), Sam Pandellis (ZeldaVGC) Edward Kh Cheung (HarbingerAegis), and Matthias Suchodolski (Lega) all showed that they were very strong players. To wrap up the Top Cut, we saw Patrick Smith (Salamenace), Alejandro Jimenez (Legacy), Andrew Nowak (Nowakgolf), Conan Thompson (Conan), Dane Zieman (AgentOrangeJulius),  Wonseok Jang (KrelCROC), and Till Bohmer (Dark Psiana) all made the Top Cut, which showed how good they were. We saw 24 players that all win at least x-2 and made the Top Cut. Also, Edward was the only player to defeat Wolfe in all of Day 2.

This will wrap up the review, but I want to give my overall opinion on VGC 2016 as a whole.

My Opinion on this format
I actually enjoyed this format, but I do understand the criticism of this format. I was really happy because this format really confirmed my playstyle in Pokemon in general, which is a more bulky playstyle, using Pokemon that can take a couple hits and deal a good hits in return. Pokemon like Suicune fit this example really well because Suicune can take a strong neutral hit pretty well and use Scald and Ice Beam for a good amount of damage. During VGC 2016, I used mainly Dual Primal because it felt very comfortable to play because of its bulk and also helped me make better switches and more efficiently, which was helpful. I was also happy to be able to use these Restricted Legendaries like Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza for example, which I feel that people missed and I hope that I'm still involved in VGC when we get this opportunity again. When we go to the Alola-Pokedex format, I hope that strategy and more defensive play is something that's more prevalent with more focus on the type chart as I feel it makes for a more interesting metagame when Fairy type moves aren't doing 50% to everything in the format when it gets 2 stages of increase, but that's a wish. I also hope that hax and luck isn't as big of a thing because if it isn't, then skill can take its place and battles can be decided more on which player made the better calls and reads rather than who got lucky.

That's gonna do it for this VGC 2016 review. I hope you enjoy and something that I want to know is what are your overall thoughts on VGC 2016 as a format and what changes would you like to see happen in VGC 2017. Let me know and I can't wait to see what your changes are. Check out my older VGC content and I'll see you guys next time. Bye!


  1. I think my buddy Edward Cheung from Hong Kong (@HarbingerAegis) deserves a shoutout for finishing Top 16 at Worlds this year, Masters division, and being the only player in the entire tournament to take a set (Bo3) from Wolfe Glick (in Swiss, Day 2).

    Not judging or anything, but I think more coverage on the non-European/North American regions would be nice. Stuff like no Japanese players managed to make it into Top Cut at Worlds this year. That way the 'report' could cater to a larger audience.

    I'm really excited for VGC17 as well!!

  2. Really cool article!
    This is just a general nitpick for most articles I see, most likely due to a lack of knowledge, but it would be really cool to see something like this for Seniors, even if only because my Top 4 at UK Nats with Palkia will be mentioned :D
    Still, this was an awesome article to read. Keep up the good work!