VGC 2019 Pokémon Spotlight #5 – Tapu Fini

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Since its debut in VGC, Tapu Fini has long proven to be one of the best defensive Water-types in VGC. Thanks to its ability, defensive typing, and great support moves, Tapu Fini has become a staple Pokémon on many teams. In the past, the most common set was a Calm Mind variant that's meant to become a major damage dealer. Now, Tapu Fini has become a strong supporter that uses many support moves. Let's look at how Tapu Fini plays in VGC 2019.

Ability, Base Stats, and Typing

Misty Surge – "On switch-in, this Pokemon summons Misty Terrain." While Misty Terrain sadly doesn't increase the power of Fairy-type moves, Misty Terrain has proven to be insanely helpful in VGC. Cutting the power of Dragon-type moves by half and making so grounded Pokémon are immune to status conditions is crucial in Pokémon in general thanks to how strong status conditions like Sleep, Burn, Poison, and Paralysis so being able to not have to worry about this is great.

While 70 HP isn't as great for a bulkier Pokémon, 115 Defense and 130 Sp. Defense is great because it allows Tapu Fini to take some big crucial hits. 95 Sp. Attack isn't as strong for an offensive hitter as it essentially means Tapu Fini will deal solid damage to Pokémon it hits for super-effective damage and pretty weak to other Pokémon unless it starts to set-up. 85 Speed is very average as it means Tapu Fini can go pretty fast if it really wants to thanks to speed control like Tailwind or items like a Choice Scarf.

Tapu Fini's Water/Fairy typing is great to complement its bulk. Being able to reliably switch into 7 types in Dragon, Bug, Dark, Fighting, Fire, Ice, and Water is great to help Tapu Fini accomplish its job. While it's only weak to 3 types in Electric, Grass, and Poison, most of the prominent users of these moves in VGC are special with some notable physical attackers, simply either setting up the wrong terrain for the Electric and Grass types or using tools like Intimidate and Snarl can allow Tapu Fini to survive these hits.

Notable Moves 

Calm MindGrass KnotGravity
Heal PulseIcy WindMoonblast
Light ScreenMuddy WaterNature's Madness
ProtectPsych UpScald
SwaggerTaunt Trick

As you can see, there's a lot of moves you might encounter on Tapu Fini. While Calm Mind is still helpful to increase its damage output, with most Tapu Fini having shifted away from the move. Grass Knot is great to threaten both Groudon and Kyogre with super-effective damage. Gravity works well to support Groudon to make sure it doesn't have to worry about missing attacks. Heal Pulse is great to heal its partner to make sure it can survive for a longer period of time.

Icy Wind is a great speed control to help your other Pokémon outspeed a threat to try and KO them. Moonblast is great to hit Pokémon like Yveltal and Zygarde for major damage. Light Screen is a very interesting tech to increase the Sp. Defense for your team for 5 turns, which in most matches will mean this Sp. Defense boost will last throughout the crucial part of the match. Muddy Water and Scald are your main Water-type moves to hit Pokémon like Groudon and Ho-Oh. Nature's Madness is great to cut your opponent's HP in half, which is great to combo for a chance to KO a Pokémon.

Protect is great to take hits and survive more turns. Psych Up is used mainly for if Xerneas uses Geomancy, you can copy its boosts and make your Tapu Fini much more of a threat. Swagger in Misty Terrain is great to increase your partner's attack. Pokémon like Solgaleo and Zygarde are the main benefits of this. Taunt is great to stop Pokémon from using support moves or setting up, and Trick is great to swap items and steal important items from other Pokémon.

Notable Items

Wiki Berry
Mago Berry
Choice Specs
Iapapa Berry

If there's one thing to take away, its that Tapu Fini loves berries. Being able to regain a ton of health back when you get low is great for more supportive Pokémon. Choice Specs isn't as popular but is still great to deal more damage.

Sample Set #1 – Support and Damage

Tapu Fini @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Misty Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 196 SpD / 60 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Icy Wind
– Moonblast
– Swagger
– Haze

Built by Chris Danzo (@ChrisDanzo), this is the Tapu Fini he wished he used on the team he used to finish 14th at Philadelphia Regionals. In his team report, Chris talks about his team benefits from the speed control of Icy Wind and the ability to power up his physical attackers in Stakataka, Incineroar, and Groudon with Swagger over another attacker. While he doesn't note what this EV Spread does, it's probably just general bulk to allow Tapu Fini to stick around longer to do its job.

Sample Set #2 – All Support

Tapu Fini @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Misty Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 76 Def / 4 SpA / 124 SpD / 60 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Light Screen
– Icy Wind
– Swagger
– Haze

Used by Willem Guerts (@AbsurdityVGC) on his Top 8 Frankfurt Regionals team, this Tapu Fini is always going to be supporting its teammates. In his team report, Willem notes that thanks to its natural bulk, wide movepool, and great ability, it wasn't hard for him to find a use for Tapu Fini. He says that Haze is great to remove opposing boosts from moves like Swords Dance and Geomancy as well as negative boosts from his own Pokémon. Icy Wind is great speed control for his team since many Pokémon are around the same speed stats. Swagger is great to boost the attack of your grounded Pokémon. While in theory, Willem liked the idea of Light Screen, he never clicked it once in his matches at Frankfurt and Gravity probably would've been better. The EV Spread, as Willem notes, allows Tapu Fini to survive a +2 Moonblast from Fairy Aura Xerneas and Adamant Groudon's Precipice Blades only has a 9.4% chance to 2HKO.

Tapu Fini's Partners

Groudon loves the benefits it gets from Tapu Fini. Gravity to give it a 100% accurate Precipice Blades, Icy Wind for Speed control, Swagger for the attack boost, and Heal Pulse to regain health are just some of the things Tapu Fini can help Groudon with.

Tapu Fini has often been seen paired with both Solgaleo and Zygarde as a faster Swagger user. The ability to help Solgaleo get an attack boost to have a better chance to pick up KOs. Zygarde is a newer partner to Tapu Fini as many Zygarde will hold a Misty Seed for a Sp. Defense boost and like Solgaleo and Groudon, Tapu Fini can use Swagger to increase its attack, Heal Pulse to regain health, and Icy Wind to outspeed things.

Incineroar is popular alongside Tapu Fini thanks to Fake Out to allow Tapu Fini to do its job, Intimidate to allow it to survive big physical hits better, and its Fire typing means it can threaten powerful Grass-types in the format.

Threatening Tapu Fini

As Tapu Fini is weak to Grass-type moves, these 5 are the most popular Grass-types in the format that threatens it. Amoonguss and Venusaur hit on the special side with either its Grass-type Grass Knot or Poison-type Sludge Bomb. Kartana can use Leaf Blade to threaten an OHKO while Tsareena and Ferrothorn can also use there powerful Power Whip to threaten KOs while all 5 of these Pokémon enjoy the benefit of being able to switch into most of what Tapu Fini does.

As Tapu Fini is weak to Electric-type moves, these 5 are the most popular Electric-types in the format that can threaten it. Tapu Koko can either go physical with Wild Charge or special with Thunderbolt, Thunder, and Volt Switch to threaten Tapu Fini. The physical variants aren't a major fan of Intimidate while special variants rely on having the Electric terrain up.

Raichu can also go either physical with Wild Charge or special with Thunderbolt, Thunder, or Volt Switch although physical variants are vastly more popular. Zekrom is very interesting as a strong physical attacker as it can use either the 85% accurate Bolt Strike or the less powerful but more accurate Fusion Bolt.

Tapu Fini's final weakness to Poison-types is a lot more common thanks to how popular Xerneas is. Venusaur can use Sludge Bomb and hopefully its increased speed thanks to Chlorophyll if the Sun is active. Amoonguss can take multiple his and use either Clear Smog or Sludge Bomb. Nihilego can also use Sludge Bomb and threaten a KO.

Thanks for reading! Follow us on twitter @NimbasaCityPost for updates on VGC content on the website!


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