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VGC Team Review

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VGC Team Review

Post by ResonatingOctave on Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:37 pm

So I figured considering that I have been playing pokemon for a good while that I would share the steps it took me to build my latest team to help share the knowledge of at least how I craft my teams.

The Team At A Glance
The main goal of this team that I was building was to come up with a different way to get rid of Mega Kangaskhan in a different way that still provided lots of coverage. What I ended up coming up with was using Staraptor as I saw a streamer using it on one of his teams. I decided that along with it, I would use Landorus-T to round out my core considering both had intimidate and Landorus-T with Assault Vest is fairly bulky, as well as nice stab Earthquake.

Spoiler:

I decided that my next choice for the team would end up being some tailwind support to help out with more of the speed control. I figured because my core contained two speedy pokemon that also having taunt to get rid of the possible Trick Room that could counter the team made sense. This led me with the options of Talonflame, Whimsicott, Aerodactyl, Mandibuzz, Thundurus, and Noivern. Figuring that priority would be a huge help for this, that left me with the options of Talonflame, Noivern, and Whimsicott. Talonflame wouldn't be a good choice because 3 physcial attackers makes the team easy to be tanked by 1 physical wall. Also Tornadus wasn't a good idea due to its lackluster move pool. This left me with the option of Whimsicott.

Spoiler:

Considering all three had the obvious weakness to Ice, something to get rid of that next would make total sense. I didn't like the Arcanine that the guy was using on his team because that would make my team have 3 physical attackers which was stated why not to before. That left me with the options of running Chandelure, Rotom-Heat, Mega Charizard Y, Typhlosion, Heatran, Mega Houndoom, Moltres, or Volcarona. I decided that due to how much of a glass cannon my team was I would go with the only real defensive pokemon up there, which is Rotom-Heat.

Spoiler:

The next thing that I figured I would cover in my team was my mega. I decided that I wanted another check to Mega Kangaskhan that also still did a ton of damage and had good coverage. I decided to gravitate towards Mega Lopunny because of its insane base speed and base attack stats. After running some calcs I found it had the damage to easily 1 shot Mega Kang, and Bisharp (2 big threats in VGC) 100% of the time, which is huge.

Spoiler:

For my last poke, I wanted to have something that could check all those terrible fairy types running around, as well as a nice check to the ever popular Mega Venusaur and Salamance. This left me with the obvious choice of running Bisharp since it checked all those things and more.

Spoiler:

At the end of team building, I was pretty happy with how balanced the team turned out. I had a nice core as well as good checks to a lot of threats in the game. So, like any person testing anything, I decided to bring it to the field to test. After testing, I managed to notice that I had no 100% checks to common water pokemon, as well as only had one check to other things such as fighting, psychic, and fairy. All of which isn't too optimal. I located that the pokes that were underperforming on the team were Whimsicott, Rotom-Heat, and Landorus. That being said, I decided to replace them with other pokes.

Spoiler:

The first thing that I had to redo was my support poke. I decided that honestly Tailwind support was not important, and rather I could run Icy Wind and just slow down my opponents. With that being said, I decided to use a poke I had been testing on other teams which was Cresselia. It was an amazing, bulky support that could lay down some damage if needed.

Spoiler:

The next thing I wanted to check was the obvious weakness to water types (Which are more common to having Ice moves). That being said, I wanted to use a fast and powerful grass type. In the end I wanted it to be a special attacker as well because of how physical my team was still. This left me with the options of Venusaur, Serperior, Ludicolo, or Roserade. I decided ultimately that Ludicolo was the best option because of its swift swim ability, fake out support, as well as nice special bulk with assault vest while still being able to hit hard on the special side.

Spoiler:

For my last poke to round out the team, I wanted a good check to both fairies and psychic types. This naturally brought me to Gengar due to his dual typing allowing him to win against both, as well as him being a good check to Mega Kang (Which just so happened to be one of my teams whole points).

Spoiler:

Again, on paper I was rather very pleased with how the team turned out. I was more pleased then the last team realizing that this team was a lot more well rounded and could cover more of the common threats in VGC which bugged my team before. Now came the field test. After doing the field test I found that my only losses were rather from either my opponent predicting better or me just not fully realizing my win condition until it was to late. So overall I was very pleased with how it came out. Now we can discuss each set for each poke specifically.

Team In-Depth
Staraptor Set:
Staraptor @ Life Orb
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 4Hp/252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- Brave Bird
- Facade
- Protect

So lets begin with the poke that inspired this whole team, which is Staraptor. Like I said before, and multiple times over this team was meant to be an effective counter to the ever popular Mega Kang that is running around VGC while still being able to work against others. Staraptor did just that. Staraptor would manage to speed tie with Mega Kang, and with fake out support from something like my Mega Lopunny who happens to outspeed it, can easily one shot Kang with Close Combat. On the same token, the Brave Bird of his allows him to hit strong grass pokes such as Amoongus, or venusaur super hard.

As for his Ev spread its fairly basic. Since He was 100 base speed, which is the same as Mega Kang I figured I would tie his speed with most Mega Kang which they happen to run 252 Speed Evs as well as usually go Jolly nature. Granted, he could be outsped by some threats in the game, overall this spread worked out. Then the 252 Attack Evs are essential for his KO on the Mega Kang.

Going over his item, I tested out with a good amount of them, and decided Life Orb was the best. Granted I take 10% damage each time I use it, it came out to be the most optimal. For starters, I tested out with Choice Band which in turn did 1 shot Mega Kang, but on that same token locked him into 1 move. While that can be useful for some pokes, locking myself into the 1 move that reduces my defenses isnt exactly the best route to take. The other item I tested out was Choice Scarf which allow for me to outspeed Mega Kang. While this did produce results, it didn't effectively solo kill Mega Kang, which was the point of the team, as well as for the reason of Choice Band which locked me into one move.
Mega Lopunny set:
Lopunny @ Lopunnite
Ability: Cute Charm
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- Low Kick
- Return
- Protect

Now, for Mega Support for this team. There was a good amount that I was going to pick from, as picking a mega can be a rough task considering hown many there are and the fact you are limited to a max of 2, since in VGC you bring 4 out of the 6 pokes. I decided Lopunny was the best bet, due to its insane attack and speed stats. While I could of went with Mega Kang (yea Ironic right), I found that Mega Lopunny both outspeeds as well as its Low Kick is a 1 Shot all the time on it, as well as on some other common pokes, such as Bisharp, who can disrupt my team.

For the Ev spread, just like Staraptor it was fairly basic. The idea is essentially the same as Mega Kang just with a different poke (The only reason Mega Kang is better is because of more defenses). With Mega Kang you want to hit as hard as possible and as fast as possible. Considering the already insane base speed I figured that Adamant Nature was the best to go, because most pokes who could outspeed were being made to outspeed Base 100.
Bisharp set:
Bisharp @ Lum Berry
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Sucker Punch
- Iron Head
- Assurance
- Protect

My personal MVP of this team is Bisharp. This guy can and will go at least 2 for 1 if not more as long as you don't screw up. That on a poke is very valuable. For starters as to why I use him is for the nice check to all the common fairy types, psychic types, ghost types, as well as be able to hit everything else super hard. Also, thanks to his ability, even though hes a physical attacker the common Intimidate Support would be useless because of the fact that it procs his ability and puts him at +1 attack rather then -1. One thing on this set I feel is important to go off is the fact that I am running Assurance over Knock Off. Knock Off is always a great move but Assurance in this case is better just for the simple fact that pretty much everything on my team outspeeds it and if I need to double up into something, essentially it does more damage.

For the Ev spread, just like the other two above just gonna hit hard and fast. There wasn't anything that I would need to Ev against that threatned it, so thats why I went with this spread. It guaranteed me to hit all sorts of treats hard, as well as hit all sorts of common pokes hard as well.

Going over the Item Choice, this was the set where I changed items the most. On most of my bisharps I usually run Focus Sash to allow it to survive the move that is meant to 1 shot it, then hit whoever caused it back hard. On the original squad that wasn't doable because it was on Whimsicott, so I planned on using Life Orb. As we all know, Life Orb was instead used on the Staraptor to make it more viable. That left me with Lum Berry, which honestly didn't produce bad results. Most checks to Bisharp are to either just 1 shot it or to status it. Essentially the Lum Berry throws away that status for at least 1 turn.
Cresselia Set:
Cresselia (F) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 Hp / 100 Def / 156 SpD
Bold Nature
- Icy Wind
- Psychic
- Helping Hand
- Skill Swap

Next up is my support poke Cresselia. This poke is pretty stupid at times with how much it can honestly do. For starters, its honestly such a bulky support, and while like Whimsicott it doesn't have prankster (which woulda gave the moves +1 priority), it carried a better support set. It had Icy Wind, which allowed for speed control on all sorts of pokes, as well as hit Dragon and Ground pokes really hard, so it ruined their day. On top of that, it had Helping Hand which is already a +5 priority, and allows for whoever gets it to hit harder that turn.

For the Ev spread, this is the first and pretty much only one that is complex. The 252 Hp and 100 Defense Evs allow for Cresselia to survive Bisharps Knock Off 100% of the time. While that may not seem so cool, when you think about it, hes the biggest threat to Cress. Then as for the 156 Special Defense Evs, they are there for extra bulk (They were leftover Evs). Overall just allowed for it to be super bulky and fulfill its role as being a big support poke.
Ludicolo Set:
Ludicolo @ Assault Vest
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Fake Out
- Giga Drain
- Ice Beam
- Scald

Now we can go over a personal favorite poke of mine. While Ludicolo isn't the MVP of this team he still puts in work all the time. For starters, he is a nice check to rain teams because of his benefit in rain to boost his STAB water moves more, and give him the nice Swift Swim bonus. He also checks the politoed which is most popular to set up rain. Next, he checks all sorts of dragons and ground type pokes with his Ice Beam which is guaranteed to hit hard if not knock them out. Then on top of that you give him Fake Out, the move that essentially gives you a free turn. It's honestly an OP poke in VGC and its nice why.

As for Evs just like pretty much everyone else it was just meant to hit super hard and go super fast. It allows it to outspeed certain pokes, and hit them hard. It didn't need any defense Evs either because it had Assault Vest (personal favorite item on it), and base 100 Special Defense.
Gengar Set:
Gengar @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Shadow Ball
- Sludge Bomb
- Will-O-Wisp
- Protect

For the last poke, I decided Gengar would be the best. For starters, he is a great check to all fairy pokes with his strong STAB Sludge Bomb, as well as a great check to Psychic and other Ghost pokes. He has insane base speed and special attack and essentially does way to much damage for his own good. At the same time, hes a great check to Mega Kang because of the fact that most of their sets can't even hit him (unless they are running sucker punch) which can be played around.

For Evs, this was just like everyone else where the whole goal was hit as fast and hard as possible. While I am a firm believer in more complex Ev Spreads this team honestly didn't need to have them in order to function well. Overall the basic Ev spreads just help the team more in this situation.

For the items, it was a toss up between Focus Sash, Black Sludge, or Choice Specs. I immediately decided specs wasn't the right item because of the fact that it locked him into one move and would honestly make Gengar easy to deal with. As for Black Sludge, it is a great item on some sets, but this set was focused on doing damage, so 9 times out of 10 he would be 1 shot before Black Sludge could do its thing. That left me with Focus Sash to guarantee that it will survive a turn and deal a ton of damage.

Closing Thoughts

Granted, it took a good little while for me to work out the team and what I wanted to use and not use, I believe I managed to come up with a pretty solid team. You guys can feel free to copy the sets and use them on showdown and try the team out for yourself. I will make the remark that this team may not fit your personal playstyle which is ok because everyone has their own way of playing. If you guys have any questions on more in depth things, or on some of the sets, or even want me to work on a team with you just post a comment below and I will get back to you.

P.S. Sorry it was so long, but lots of info to cover. If you honestly read the whole thing, you deserve some kind of prize.

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ResonatingOctave

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