Monday, 16 February 2015

[VG] Figuring Out Megawaifu Is Hard

(Artist: Kboomz)

Hello friends, another big weekend of Pokémon just done. The USA had their Winter Regionals and I was playing in yet another one of the BisaBoard Opens -- I ended up making top 8 this time, though I have dropped the team I'm showing to you now right at the end of day 1 already. As nice as it would have been to finally try it out in Bo3s, I wasn't feeling it. Anyway, not too high-level of an article today, just sharing my mostly first draft of a Mega Gardevoir archetype with you, what is good about it and what I hate about it. I think this stuff has potential and could totally be strong in the late season -- just needs some / a lot of work, really.

Ok, Mega Gardevoir. Pixilate. Hyper Voice. You know it all. Why not Sylveon and then a different Mega? My thinking of Sylveon with its horrifying eyes looking the most disgusting one could ever imagine for poor cute Eevee could be one thing, lol, but my more meaningful issue with it is that it's slow as fuck and the superior bulk it has over Gardy is barely noticeable, after having used a team with up to 4 (!) mons that could outspeed and OHKO 252/0 Sylveon myself. So if I really wanted to use Sylveon, I'd be more keen on doing it with Trick Room as the preferred means of Speed control, but then I still dislike Trick Room in this format. Gardy with its acceptable Speed can just use Tailwind and redirection support, isn't forced to use a potentially detrimental Item and that's it. I legitimately feel Gardy is better -- just needs better team building to be worth it.

There probably are multiple ways to do team building with Gardy, which I will not discuss here yet due to lack of experience. The way I've chosen was probably the most obvious one, because what else would you do when something is totally new to you? So I in fact went for double Tailwind, double Rage Powder and a lot of hate on popular Wide Guard users. This is literally it. Here's the team sheet with comments.

Gardevoir @ Gardevoirite
Ability: Synchronize
Modest Nature
- Hyper Voice
- Psychic
- Grass Knot
- Protect

Psychic for hitting popular Amoonguss and Venusaur builds harder than Psyshock would. Grass Knot for removing (Wide Guard) Swampert and dealing with Suicune better. Fun fact is that this actually should have been Energy Ball, but then I didn't have that TM on my game but noticed Gardevoir also learns Grass Knot, which was good enough for my intents. Energy Ball would be better against Wash Rotoms and the rare Vaporeons, still do the job against Swampert but be worse against Suicune. No strong opinion yet on what to prefer, but having a Grass move is nice anyway. For the Ability, I threw away Trace because it causes more bad than good things. Most prominent one is that you don't want to Trace Intimidate when your opponent has Milotic out as well. The Intimidate/Competitive interactions alone basically are weighted coin flips towards the bad outcome, everyone can easily see that with a bit of thought.

Volcarona @ Focus Sash
Ability: Flame Body
Modest Nature
- Overheat
- Rage Powder
- Tailwind
- Protect

Now this little baby is one of the best supporters that Mega Gardy could imagine. Overheat snipes pesky Aegislashes even without a boosting Item, Focus Sash lets you take two hits of anything and the rest is obvious support stuff. But I do wish it had Inner Focus to deal with Landorus's and Terrakion's Rock Slide luck better; that's easily the biggest handicap to Volcarona no matter what...

Suicune @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Pressure
Bold Nature
- Scald
- Ice Beam
- Tailwind
- Protect

It's Suicune, and Suicune is pretty solid. You should probably have seen this set before, so all I can really say is: "yay, more Tailwind!" Well, and it beats Heatran, I guess, have to take care of that stupid lava frog eventually.

Terrakion @ Choice Band
Ability: Justified
Jolly Nature
- Rock Slide
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
- Sleep Talk

Not only Cybertron knows that Suicune generally likes to be partnered with other four-legged mons. Terrakion is one of the best ones at that, and it also fits well to Gardy, protecting it from Kangaskhan. I chose this more experimental moveset just to try it, not sure if it or a more standard one would be better. In any case, this team fortunately doesn't have to worry about Bisharp much for a change!

Amoonguss @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
Bold Nature
- Sludge Bomb
- Rage Powder
- Spore
- Protect

It's Amoonguss. You know Amoonguss. Fuck Amoonguss, Amoonguss sucks. But this team sucks against Trick Room even more, so I had to do something about it. There's Camerupt though, and Safety Goggles are slowly creeping back up to the surface of the Earth... I'll probably have to figure out the Trick Room matchup better in the long run.

Thundurus-Therian @ Life Orb
Ability: Volt Absorb
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Grass Knot
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Protect

I needed something immune to Paralysis, I needed something to hit bulky Waters hard and I needed something to to secure my position against Charizard. This was the most natural choice. Somewhat underwhelming nowadays though, might have wanted Incarnate Thundurus instead for better control.

And that is the team. It's laden with good synergy, it feels beautiful when it plays out as intended. The harsh truth is: There's a high likelihood of it not playing out as intended.

  • I'm completely at the mercy of faster Rock Slides not making my mons flinch. The team isn't exactly solid at handling Terrakion mirrors as well, so for these I tended to end up going full yolo mode. That's depressing. Scarf Landorus is the true villain though.
  • Live and die by the lead matchups and other inherent field positions. Non-priority Tailwind and flawed redirection (would have really liked Togekiss for Follow Me, but the typing is basically unusable for the purpose here) can't gain you momentum always and forever. So it's a defensive trainwreck even with all those powerful legendary mons, it's in dear need of tools like Fake Out or Intimidate.
  • I'm saying it here again because it belongs here as well: Trick Room is a terrible matchup. I wish this were not relevant because Trick Room itself has loads of other nightmarish matchups, but people are not giving up on it -- and they never will as long as heavily Tailwind-based concepts are a thing.
  • Bad physical/special balance. As good as using mostly special attackers seems in theory, it's still annoying when you can't deal with mons like Sylveon or Milotic too well.

Special shoutouts go to Biosci for carrying a Mega Gardevoir team (Gengar, Zapdos, Scizor, Talonflame and something -- was it Terrakion as well? Nugget Bridge will soon have top cut teams anyway, so there it will be) to his Regionals' grand final. Sadly, he got bodied by Scarf Landorus magic there as well. One would think his team, which is probably better built than mine (because I assume he has more, if not much more, experience with using Mega Gardy), shares this one problem with mine, but then it actually was mostly the selection he brought -- he could have used Talonflame after all to get around this! It only would have cost him a full slot immediately if he had no Sash or Charti, and so he probably wanted to avoid exactly that...

And with that I am back to the drawing board. If you're checking out Gardy yourselves or have already done so, tell us about your experiences in the comments!

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