Monday, 21 December 2015

[VG] Ending 2015 with Some Semblance of 2014

Hello world. I played my first two proper local Premier Challenges of this season throughout the weekend just passed. On Saturday, I won the thing, re-using my sucessful Regionals team unchanged. On Sunday, I entered with an even more experimental upgrade and I got no more than a pretty forgettable 2-2 Swiss (with amazing resistance actually, because 3/4 of my opponents made top cut on that day, haha). Everyone has their bad days from time to time, you know. I'm sharing this team here today anyway because I think it's interesting and maybe it even has potential -- things that could all be interesting to the suffering souls that are travelling to Leiden!

But before I actually delve into that, and with Nugget Bridge being not as fast as I had hoped... It makes sense to at least release a Pastebin of what's potentially the best team I have ever made, as it brought me to 2/2 tournament wins with an absolutely amazing combined 17-2 games record. The according Report will be released whenever NB is finally up to the task, but since that likely won't be in time anymore, you can ask me things via Twitter if you're interested to run this or a variation in Leiden. And with that out of the goes nothing with the fake 2014 team:


There were a few things about the usual team that I always hated, and one of them is Aegislash's notorious slave moveset. Only Shadow Ball as attacking move is really awkward when Normal or Dark types are running wild everywhere, you know. In that moment when famous people were reminiscing Nikolai's Sub/LO Garchomp of 2014 Senior Worlds in some Internet chat, I remembered that there actually were people who tried Sub/LO Aegislash in 2015. I wasn't one of those yet, but suddenly I just wanted to give it a shot, just for the hell of it and fully knowing that I wouldn't play this format literally only for a few days longer. Bare Life Orb Aegislash is just kinda meh I'd say (and that one I have also used way before), but Substitute suddenly made this more interesting and still bringable against Trick Room. It's quite an audacious set, and it can wreak much pain and terror if left unchecked for too long.

But then we also know: Life Orb is taken. There's no way I would ever run Excadrill with an inferior Item again, so I was looking to just replace Excadrill entirely for the sake of freeing up the Life Orb, and then potentially make further adjustments depending on what I'd end up with.

The Team

I Punish (Aegislash) (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Stance Change
Level: 50
EVs: 188 HP / 252 SpA / 68 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 7 Atk
- Shadow Ball
- Flash Cannon
- Substitute
- King's Shield

Well, I already said most about it in the motivation. This little motherfucker is amazing when he can get (lots of) free turns, but that's not trivial and thus he does qualify as hard to play, probably. I'd test it some more if I didn't have to play this atrocious new format instead, but it is what it is...

AutumnLeaves (Garchomp) (M) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Rough Skin
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake
- Dragon Claw
- Protect

Welcome back, good old Garchomp. Because I still was really fucking afraid of Thundurus no matter what (and rightfully so, if I'm looking back to Saturday's grand final where a lone Thundurus almost succeeded to steal a game with some Thunder Wave jackpot luck!), it was really hard for me to justify using anything other than a (physical) Ground type. With Excadrill gone, next best options are Landorus, Mamoswine and Garchomp. Could all be decent, I just rolled with Garchomp. Don't like Landorus too much for his typing and low Speed (as in Therian; Incarnate can go fuck off without LO as well imo) still and don't imagine Mamoswine doing too well either, again with unfortunate defensive typing and also really bad against Charizard, which I can't exactly afford without further replacements.

And about the Garchomp itself...there's not too much to say. It's pretty fast and it can always take a hit. Typing is still super awkward, I'm never too sure when to bring or not bring it, sadly. Ground/Steel is best Ground at least for use with Salamence/Tyranitar, period...

Oh yeah, and no Sand Veil because it's trash. If you wanna know why, watch my first-round match against Lajo of the 2014 Nugget Bridge Invitational.

L.A.★STAR (Amoonguss) (F) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 140 HP / 172 Def / 196 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 4 Spe
- Giga Drain
- Spore
- Rage Powder
- Protect

With Fairies rising up to be major threats again after those specific changes, it only made sense to go with the (shiny) Sassy Amoonguss again, like I did in the Landorus version as well. At least she looks almost pretty this way.

CosmosCharge (Salamence) (M) @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Hyper Voice
- Double-Edge
- Flamethrower
- Protect

Same as always.

Wings?Horns? (Tyranitar) (M) @ Lum Berry
Ability: Sand Stream
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Rock Slide
- Assurance
- Dragon Dance
- Protect

Same as just before.

HymnsOfLoss (Rotom-Wash) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 60 SpA / 196 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 14 Atk / 30 Def
- Thunderbolt
- Hydro Pump
- Volt Switch
- Hidden Power [Ice]

Same. *cough* Yeah, you'll have to wait for the explanation to this machine some more, I guess. But if you're actually should well be able to figure it out on your own!

Tournament and Review

Round 1 I was up against what seemed to be a mostly standard team, but he had multiple non-standard moveset choices that all caught me off guard just like everyone truly loves it from Bo1 Swiss, heh... I still walked away with the win on a bad move and some Amoonguss luck, but convincing looks different.
Round 2 was I believe Kangaskhan, Charizard, Sylveon, Aegislash and double genies, so that was a very nasty team preview already (which could have been at least a bit less nasty had I run any other of my quicksand teams, haha), which I didn't get out of too well indeed. Then he, too, just let me put over half of his team to Sleep and horrible Sleep rolls for him ended up giving me another bad win.
Round 3 I faced Toby again, after a long time of somehow eluding each other at events actually, and he pretty much destroyed me with how weakly I was playing this whole day. It's a little sad I coudn't give him a real challenge, for he very well may be that one person around who understands STAR and CHALK combined better than anyone else -- so he played the CHALK part in this matchup and knew exactly what to do in order to beat me. Congrats to him again for taking the full 30 CP of that day without dropping a single game.
And finally round 4, I was forced to learn that Gardevoir/Landorus is an extremely troublesome combination after the changes to the team. The old Salamence/Aegislash combination would have handily taken that stuff apart, but the new one...not so much. I still could have actually won if my Rotom hadn't been unlucky two turns in a row, but it's expected that it can't always land its attacks, so that was only fair and ultimately the correct end to this awkward run.

So yeah, the Fairies, the fucking Fairies most of them all again. They are absolutely not impossible to beat with this team, as already shown, but still they're super tricky to beat. Other than that, I still believe that the team does have some potential -- I just won't have more chances to wake it, so no harm in releasing the team this quickly, obviously. If you feel up to the task of continuing this development for me, good luck, and May the 4th maybe be with you depending on whether some event is on that day at all, hahahah. Looking at my own performance though, you should definitely be warned that this team probably is quite challenging to play well. You know, when I have pretty much achieved full mastery of the Excadrill team but then have a hard time with this new variation, something's really different, haha. As a matter of fact, it trades some of its defensive solidity for even more offensive presence -- it's confirmed riskier.

I'm so sad about this format change, 2017 can't come soon enough...

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