Thursday, 21 August 2014

[VG] MEGAFUCKINGTAR ANNIVERSARY POST – an Informal Mega Tyranitar Analysis

(Artist: Soleviatis)

...We have somehow survived a full season with it, that totally counts as a year! Anyway, this entry is mostly about what basically was my Mega choice for the whole season and why I still think it's the best choice – for me at least. Following this will be entries featuring the more important teams I used throughout the season, hoping I'm done with them by Christmas or so.

About Mega Tyranitar in General

Or short and in the deserved full capital letters: simply MEGATAR!!!!!! A lot of people, including myself, weren't quite sure what Game Freak were smoking when giving the already very strong Tyranitar another 100 base stats, but it is what it is and that wonderful dictator would have me drooling so hard had I ever dreamed of it. It was the first Mega Evolution I wanted to use no matter what, once they all were known.

So what exactly is the thing about MEGATAR that makes it so interesting? Well, stats, stats, stats and more stats are the simplest reason! MEGATAR could basically combine all Tyranitar sets that we know from 2012/13 into one big, disastrous king of destruction. After one Dragon Dance, it would be about as fast as Scarftar but not even need a nature for it. It would get the Expert Belt boost on its attacks without actually having to hit stuff for weakness. It would have about the same bulk as all slow Tyranitars without even having to invest for that. What then is left are free points to still make it excel in one point or the other!

What most people, including myself, started with is Dragon Dance. Those ridiculous defensive stats help it get to +1 in no time, but that alone is obviously not winning battles. We need some nice support for it mainly so that it sticks around till the game can be locked up. Back when we didn't know the rules, I had Meowstic and Togekiss in mind for the support mons, and that simply changed to Meowstic and Amoonguss upon the news of Kalos-only. Meowstic would set dual Screens, maybe even Light Clayed, to boost MEGATAR's defenses to even more ridiculous heights, and Amoonguss would redirect moves that can still kill or annoy it. (A fun fact about this part: I in fact started out with this duo of supporters, yet eventually ended up removing one of them. Prominent other MEGATAR teams also kept it at one full-time supporter, but then, at the very end, one team with both Rage Powder and Follow Me in it made it through the LCQ and a 4-2 finish in the main event! The Follow Me user was Lucario, so that could at least attack.)

However, that's not even all there is to it, and I'll very well be showing that via all my teams that included it. Oh right, might as well have a look at Wolfe's post about it for the time being, since it does feature some ideas that I will likely not be introducing. If you like to scramble through Google Translate's output a lot, there's also a lot of Japanese blogs featuring MEGATAR used in various different ways.

Why I Decided to Use It and Why I'm Still Using It

The stats, as mentioned, are one thing, but they can't be all obviously. (But one fun fact I still want to add to the mix: With the Special Defense boost by the sand factored it, it technically has better stats than Arceus. Now it's obvious that their movepools are rather far away from each other and stuff, but... I just wanted to get that out!)

What I very much appreciate is how MEGATAR matches up with some of the metagame's typical “cheese”, as in, some combinational things that you better have an answer to. For example, people always liked Tyranitar a lot for its ability to reset the weather, most notably to not let those forever dreaded rain teams have free accessibility to their biggest assets. Apart from that, the sand also helps breaking some Focus Sashes. The other big one is Trick Room: Generally, you shouldn't dedicate too many resources to stopping the setup entirely, but MEGATAR with its natural attributes can OHKO some Trick Room users if not Intimidated or cause trouble with untimely Rock Slide flinches. Even if the Trick Room goes up, you likely let them pay with a lot of damage, so then you just weather the storm with the help of your bulk and clean up later, assuming the team is built well enough to actually be able to do that. Oh right, and Rock Slide again. Redirectional stuff has been a thing all throughout the season, and naturally multi-target moves are a pretty good way to circumvent that.

What's yet missing is a comparison to other popular Mega Evolutions, so let's look at that. Kangaskhan is a motherfucking monster, no denying that. I'm not using Kangaskhan mostly because (the much to be expected) mirror matches are stupid in such a way that uninformed risky plays can be highly rewarding, which is absolutely toxic in a Bo1 Swiss setting. What also doesn't help is the way people tend to prepare for Kangaskhan; especially towards the end of the season this has reached surprisingly unpleasant levels according to actual Kanga users. It hurts a bit that mainly Lucario happens to be pretty good against MEGATAR as well, but whatever... What both MEGATAR and Kang actually have in common is their ability to somehow still just power through the things that were supposed to counter them, haha.

Next one's Mawile. That's probably the most ridiculous one in terms of damage output and typing. I claimed it was the best Mega for the longest time, but there's actually one and only one thing that ruins it by a lot: the necessity of Play Rough and its absolutely horrifying accuracy. Whenever I played around with Mawile for a bit, it never took me long to be heavily annoyed at how dreadful Play Rough is; it hitting or missing a single time literally decided a lot of games. Now you can say MEGATAR has this worst accuracy (that's my synonym for the value 90 in there) as well in form of Rock Slide, but these two moves do have an interesting difference: Play Rough is pretty much only used to do single-target damage, and its side effect mostly doesn't matter (and is worse anyway) because you kill stuff more likely than not. Now Rock Slide on the other hand has the spread attribute and it has a side effect that is so ridiculously good that you can very well afford missing occasionally without questioning your choices in recent life. Play Rough doesn't do that, there's no compensation for it failing.

Charizard Y is somewhat similar to Mawile with the issue of inaccurate STABs, it's inferior in terms of the weather disruption thing and having a Rock problem is probably slightly worse than having a Fighting problem. Venusaur I have never tried, but it being terrible against Kangaskhan, Talonflame and friends is a good reason to use something else. (Oh, I forgot, another pretty sweet thing about MEGATAR is that it doesn't fear Talonflame at all! That's a very big asset in this metagame, believe me.) Manectric feels like an inferior mix of Raikou and Landorus that even costs a Mega slot. I have difficulty identifying with that when I might as well be able to use the real thing later – it's still annoying to play against though. Charizard X looks very much like an inferior MEGATAR to me: Granted, it is a lot better at killing things, but that also sadly includes itself... Gengar I have never tried, mostly because that style is very unfamiliar to me, so I can't judge. Lucario is again something that I deem too frail for costing the Mega slot, and it's another one of those who have a mirror matchup that I'd rather not play if I had the chance. Finally, world champion mon Gyarados, I did use that at the beginning of the season and I always liked it, but ended up dropping it because it's mostly weaker than MEGATAR and tends to match up a bit worse with the metagame (or what is left of it). Sejun is a hero for carrying it to the very end.

So in a nutshell, I'd say MEGATAR is pretty good, believe it or not. Since I'm publishing this rant so incredibly late now, chances are I'm not really adding new insight to the topic with this, but if anything, I can still use it to set the tone for my teams to follow. You can very much look forward to that, because my builds are somewhat unique, and I can promise some nice EV stuff beyond my Anti-Talonflame, too.

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