FAKE PG: Its Place in VGC 2017

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Welcome back to another article in this series, where the goal is to analyze cores that have had success in the format. Today, I wanna take a look at a newer core called FAKE PG, which has been very dominant since the beginning of May. It's a very prevalent team so I hope you enjoy this and let's begin.

What does FAKE PG even stand for 

F: Tapu Fini
A: Arcanine 
K: Kartana
E: An electric type of your choice 
P: Porygon2
G: Gigalith 

Why use this core?

From digging into a Japanese VGC website called Emolgame, I was able to find 2 articles that provide reference to the team. The earliest article, linked here, shows Togedemaru on the team while a newer article, linked here, shows Tapu Koko on the team, both from a たぷりさ, a Japanese VGC player, which can easily suggest that this player is the original creator of FAKE PG. In short, FAKE PG operates as a "goodstuffs" team, putting strong Pokemon and cores together on 1 cohesive team. AFK (Arcanine, Tapu Fini, & Kartana) , which I previously covered here, Porygon2 + Gigalith as a strong Trick Room option and an electric type in either Tapu Koko or Togedemaru to round it out makes for a strong team.

Now let's go into sample sets. Some of the sets will be from the 2 team reports linked above, but new sets if I find one that I think will function better

Tapu Fini
Tapu Fini @ Choice Specs
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 236 HP / 4 Def / 196 SpA / 4 SpD / 68 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Muddy Water
- Dazzling Gleam
- Hydro Pump

Starting off with a Choice Specs Tapu Fini whose goal unlike most Tapu Fini, is to get off as much damage as possible before fainting. The moves it has allows it to do exactly this. The dual water and dual Fairy moves gives Tapu Fini a lot of offensive power. Moonblast and Dazzling Gleam as your fairy moves to both bypass Wide Guard and have a strong spread move. Muddy Water and Hydro Pump works as your water moves to accomplish the same thing as your Fairy move The defense accomplishes standard things that bulky Tapu Fini will also survive, like Muk's Poison Jab, Tapu Koko's Thunderbolt in other terrains, but not Focus Sash Kartana's Leaf Blade, but if you survive it pretty comfortably for how much damage Kartana does, you can figure out its set. The 68 Speed EVs underspeeds a neutral nature Tapu Lele with no speed investment.

Arcanine @ Mago Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 76 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 164 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Extreme Speed
- Helping Hand / Roar / Wild Charge
- Protect

The second Pokemon is Arcanine. Arcanine mainly is here for its Intimidate ability, which can help Tapu Fini deal with Pokemon like Kartana and Celesteela by weakening their physical moves, then threaten them with a strong Flare Blitz to threaten a KO. The Mago Berry is very helpful as it allows you to continuously use Flare Blitz mainly, which the goal with it to lower your HP with the recoil damage so your HP will drop under 25% faster and eat your berry to heal up a lot and stay a real threat longer. Extreme Speed is your priority move to break Focus Sashes or KO a very weakened Pokemon. The 3rd slot is team dependent but those are the 3 common ones you might face. The EVs allow Arcanine to get off damage and while accomplishing the standard Arcanine defensive benchmarks.

Kartana @ Fightinium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 140 Atk / 116 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Swords Dance
- Detect

The goal of this Kartana is very simple, which is to every turn you can, either getting off damage or using Swords Dance to boost your Attack stat to do even more damage, hopefully KO'ing Pokemon to increase your attack stat with Beast Boost and become a real threat. Leaf Blade and Sacred Sword is helpful to get off damage, thanks to the great neutral coverage you get from it. Fightinium Z can turn Sacred Sword into All-Out Pummeling to KO Porygon2 and Snorlax or you can even play it more defensively and use Z-Detect, which can increase your accuracy by +1.

Tapu Koko
Tapu Koko @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Def / 156 SpD
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Nature's Madness
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Taunt

Togedemaru @ Focus Sash
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Zing Zap
- Fake Out
- Spiky Shield
- Encore

The electric type slot is more dependent on what you feel the team needs. This Tapu Koko set is helpful for a supportive, offensive Pokemon thanks to Nature's Madness to combo with your Z-Moves, Hidden Power [Fire] to hit Kartana, and Taunt to stop status moves, mainly Trick Room. Togedemaru is great as many Electric types don't run Discharge so if you pair Togedemaru on the field with Tapu Fini, there's a strong chance your Tapu Fini will be safe from Electric moves. With Togedemaru, you get Fake Out pressure, which is always an amazing thing to have on a team, Encore which may force your opponent to play more offensively under the fear of getting locked into an unfavorable move from Encore. Whichever your Pokemon you feel confident with for what you need, I suggest using and seeing what happens.

Porygon2 @ Eviolite
Ability: Download
Happiness: 0
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 188 Def / 36 SpA / 36 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Ice Beam
- Frustration
- Recover
- Trick Room

Porygon2 is great as it allows you a great defensive Pokemon that can switch into an attack, then use Recover to heal off all the damage you take. The choice in both Frustration and Ice Beam makes it so that no matter what boost you get from your Download ability, you'll still be able to make use of it. The EVs are pretty standard as the main goal is to survive the combination of Golduck's Z-Hydro Pump + Pelipper's Scald in the Rain, but when Tommy Cooleen changed Scald to Brine, this benchmark becomes somewhat obsolete, but its still good to survive it for when you come across it. Trick Room is great to either abuse it, which having Gigalith on the team makes this a viable option, or reverse it if your not in the best position unless your not under Trick Room.

Gigalith @ Rockium Z
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Atk / 12 Def
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Rock Slide
- Stone Edge
- Curse
- Protect

The 6th member of the team, Gigalith is going to be Porygon2's best friend as Porygon2 can set Trick Room to help Gigalith set-up to cause a massive amount of damage. Curse helps this as it means you can lower your speed in Trick Room and increase both your attack and defense stats, which means you can use a much more powerful Rock Slide, Stone Edge, and your Z-move, which you'll primarily use as Z-Stone Edge. The EVs are pretty simple with max attack to hit as hard as possible, 244 HP to reduce damage taken from weather like Hail, and the leftover put in Defense to increase physical bulk while the Sand increases your Sp. Defense.

How to beat this core?

scizor.png+hariyama.png: Matt Carter's Top 8 Birmingham Regionals team report shows how these 2 can handle this team, linked here
buzzwole.png: Supported correctly, Buzzwole can put in a lot of work against this team
nihilego.pngtapu-bulu.pngarcanine.png: The B.A.N. core, puts major pressure on this core, as shown in Andrew Nowak's winning Madison Regionals run

Success this core has had at events

  1. William Tansley: Top 8 at the Sao Paulo International Championships
  2. Rajan Bal: Top 8 at 2017 Roanoke Regionals
  3. Robbie Moore: 2nd at 2017 Roanoke Regionals
  4. Edward Cheung: Top 8 at Malaysian Regionals
  5. Michele Gaveli: Top 8 at Treviso Open
  6. Roberto Carbonara: Top 8 at Treviso Open
  7. Donghyeon Kim: Top 16 at South Korean National Championships
  8. Soowoong Jeong: Top 16 at South Korean National Championships
  9. Wonsoek Jang: Top 4 at South Korean National Championships
  10. Alessio Yuri Boschetto: Top 8 at Milan Special Event
  11. Andrea Sala: Top 8 at Milan Special Event
  12. Lukas Muller: Top 4 at Milan Special Event
  13. Brian Zourdani: Top 8 at 2017 Seattle Regionals
  14. Justin Burns: 1st at 2017 Seattle Regionals (Had nihilego.png over tapu-koko.png)
  15. Justin Carris: Top 8 at Madison Regionals (Had tapu-lele.png over tapu-fini.png)
  16. Sam Pandelis: 2nd at 2017 New Zealand Regionals
Overall, I hope you enjoyed this article and understand more about FAKE PG when you either use it or face it. Check out my older content and if you have any questions or suggestions, please ask them in the comment section and I'll be sure to ask them. See you with my next article. Bye! 


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