Pelipper + Golduck: Its place in VGC 2017

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Welcome back to the series where the goal is to analyze a core that's doing well in the VGC 2017 format. Last time we looked at the AFK core which consists of Arcanine, Tapu Fini, and Kartana. Today, we'll be looking at the Double Duck core, which consists of Pelipper and Golduck. This a very strong core that has been having success throughout most of the VGC 2017 season so far and let's take a look on why it's doing so well, what you need to know about it, and how to support as well as beat it. Hope you enjoy and let's begin.

The Core's History?

In the VGC 2017 season, we got 5 Pokémon that now have access to the abilities that auto-set weather when they come on the field. Of these 5, one of them was Pelipper, which now has the Drizzle ability. This was a great thing for Pelipper as it was able to breathe new life in this Pokémon and give it a purpose competitively. This also gave the tried and true Drizzle user Politoed, competition. Now, Pelipper needed a Swift Swim user to support it, but the problem was that the 2 most common Swift Swim users in Ludicolo and Kingdra are not useable this season, so many turned to Golduck to fill this role and thus, this new core was born and it has been doing very well in the 2017 format thus far.

Why use this core?

Different from the old Politoed + Ludicolo Rain core, the core of Pelipper + Golduck is much more offensive in nature, similar to how in 2014, Alex Ogloza was able to win the 2014 U.S. National Championships with a Choice Scarfed Politoed to make it more offensive to perform the job Alex needed it to. Pelipper is a frail Pokémon with 60/100/85 defenses so many have found ways around it and because Golduck is a very frail Pokémon as well so like Pelipper, many have found a way around this. The fragility of this core have been hidden and turned into an advantage by using high-powered moves to overpower the opponent and take out there Pokémon that may threaten your team.

Now let's go into some sample sets to show how many have decided to use these 2 Pokémon in battle.

Pelipper @ Focus Sash
Ability: Drizzle
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Scald
- Hurricane
- Tailwind
- Protect

This a pretty simple Pelipper set to use. The reason is because this Pelipper is designed to use Tailwind to increase the speed of its team for the next few turns. Because its not bulky at all, the Focus Sash is needed to allow Pelipper to survive the turn and use Tailwind on that turn. Scald and Hurricane are chosen as your 2 attacking moves as they have get the STAB-increase for its attacks and Hurricane especially works well with Pelipper's Drizzle ability so it can use a 100% accurate Flying type move. Scald gets the increase under Rain for being a water type move. Pelipper overall functions as a Tailwind and Rain setter for the team to enjoy.

Golduck @ Waterium Z
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Scald
- Ice Beam / Encore
- Hydro Pump
- Protect

Like Pelipper this a pretty simple Golduck set to use, which can make this core easy to understand and use. The goal of Golduck is to take advantage of Golduck's Swift Swim ability to outspeed many Pokemon and then use strong moves to overpower them. The reason Golduck has Hydro Pump is so it can use a strong water move to go with its Waterium Z item to have a strong Hydro Vortex attack. Scald is for when Golduck needs a safe water type move with Ice Beam for Pokemon like Garchomp and Salamence, but Encore works in that slot so it can lock a Pokemon into an attack it doesn't want to be in like Protect. The final slot is for Protect. The EVs is for Golduck to take an offensive role.

Supporting the Core

These are a few Pokemon that can work well with Pelipper and Golduck.

 - Because Gastrodon can threaten this core, Kartana and Tapu Bulu can use strong Grass type moves to deal with it pretty easily.
 - Tapu Koko can take advantage of the Rain by using a very fast Thunder to threaten them.
 - These 2 Steel types enjoy the Rain as it'll reduce the power of Fire type moves that threaten them.

How to beat the Core?

Here's a few Pokemon that can provide answers to Pelipper and Golduck.
  - As Grass types, they threaten Pelipper and Golduck with strong grass moves like Leaf Blade, Wood Hammer, and Horn Leech.
 - Gastrodon's Storm Drain ability can redirect all water moves and renders Golduck's Hydro Vortex null and void.
 - Tapu Koko and Xurkitree can use a powerful Thunderbolt or Thunder to threaten these two.
 - These 3 can provide there own weather with Torkoal and Gigalith being slower so they can set their own weather. Ninetales threatens with a powerful Freeze Dry.
Trick Room - Because this a very hyper offensive and fast team, Trick Room works as a way to turn the fast Pokemon on the team into a weakness.

Success this core has had

  • Antonio Cano got 42nd at the European International
  • Eduardo Cunha got 32nd at the European International
  • Tommy Cooleen got 7th at the European International
  • David Scott got 9th at the San Jose Regionals
  • Aaron Zheng got 6th at the San Jose Regionals
  • Mitchell Davies got 3rd at the San Jose Regionals
  • MrDeusiudex got 3rd in the online Melbourne Challenge

Overall, Pelipper + Golduck is a very strong core. It seems to be an early meta core looking at results where players have learned how to beat it, but it'll be interesting to see if this core can have a 2nd chance at life where many players will bring it to events, but it's definitely something to watch out for in tournament as many do know about it's strength. I hoped you enjoyed this and of course, check out my older content and I'll see you guys next time. Bye!


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