Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Saint, 2 Kings and 3 Espers: A Nuggetbridge Major Top 16 Team Analysis

My name is Simon and I just got Top 16 in the Nuggetbridge Major. I've had a rough season in the Real CP Circuit and the only thing keeping my spirits up was the Major and "I was happy with how I performed. I wish I could've gone deeper but DeVon just played much better than I did. I wanted to post a team report because I think I should finally "retire" the team after 4 months of playing nothing else.

I'll first introduce my Team as well as explain their sets and Spreads before moving on to Team Synergy.

All my Pokemon are named after characters from the Accel World and Index/Railgun Series. I'm also going to "pull a Randy" and explain nicknames now that I'm apparently an anime girl now.

The article name comes from the two Mega's on my team being "Kings" from Accel World and the other 4 being  from the To Aru series. This was not intended but ended up happening anyways so why not.

Garchomp(<3Kinuhata<3) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Rough Skin
Level: 50
EVs: 204 Atk / 252 Spd / 12 HP / 36 SDef / 4 Def
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Claw
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake
- Protect
This Garchomp uses a fairly standard moveset with a slightly modified EV Spread. The small amount of bulk will always allow it to survive a Timid Mega Manectric HP Ice. The speed was maxed to outspeed base 100's and tie with other Garchomp(might as well speed tie with them since it's 1 point anyways). The remaining 204 Attack EVs allow it to always OHKO 4 HP 0 Def Charizard with Rock Slide.

Kinuhata is an esper that has an ability called "Offense Armor" which allows her to control nitrogen and use it to reflect attacks, similar to how Rough Skin  deals damage to anything that tries to hit Garchomp.

Salamence(Accelerator) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 220 Spd / 124 SAtk / 20 HP / 140 SDef / 4 Def
Modest Nature
- Stone Edge
- Draco Meteor
- Sleep Talk
- Fire Blast
A fairly standard Scarf Salamence set. EV's allow it to outpseed Jolly Mega Aerodactyl. The bulk prevents it from being OHKO'd by Timid Mega Manectric HP Ice and 2HKO'd by Max Sp. Attack Rotom Forme Thunderbolts. I chose Stone Edge over other Rock-type moves because it has the best chance of OHKO'ing Charizard and Talonflame even if they run some bulk. I added Sleep Talk because I decided that Lum Berry on Garchomp (to beat Smeargle) wasn't paying off as much as I wanted it to.
I couldn't really think of a good name for Salamence so I chose Accelerator because they both have wings or something.

Charizard(<3Yuniko<3) @ Charizardite Y
Ability: Blaze
Level: 50
EVs: 164 Spd / 12 SAtk / 108 Def / 4 SDef / 220 HP
Modest Nature
- Heat Wave
- Overheat
- Solar Beam
- Protect
The moveset for my Charizard is nothing special so I'll just get straight to the EV Spread.
164 Speed hits a speed stat of 141 which speed creeps anything that just wants to outspeed max speed Smeargle. The HP and Defense allows it to always survive Adamant Rock Slide from Mamoswine and everything weaker than it including Garchomp. It also survives Mega Kangaskahn Returns as well as Aerodactyl Rock Slides after Intimidate. A Modest Mega Manectric only has a 7/8 chance to OHKO my Charizard with Thunderbolt. The remainder was put into Special Attack.

Yuniko is The Red King and has the Dual Avatar; Scarlet Rain. Scarlet Rain is the Duel Avatar that just hides in a huge Mecha thing and shoots endless rounds of Firepower, similar to how my Charizard is set up.

Gardevoir(<3Misaki<3) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Trace
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 108 SAtk / 4 Spd / 20 SDef / 124 Def
Modest Nature
- Dazzling Gleam
- Trick Room
- Psychic
- Protect
Gardevoir's moveset is different from most. It's very defense oriented as opposed to most. I chose Dazzling Gleam because it allowed me to hit Dragon's on a switch regardless of which position in addition to being able to hit Scrafty and Dragons in the face of a Rage Powder Amoonguss. Trick Room gave my team another options in case I played a team that was ridiculously fast and is often unexpected from a Gardevoir.
The EV Spread allows it to take a Adamant Mega Kangaskhan Return after Sitrus Berry activates. It also always survives a Choice Band Talonflame Brave Bird/Flare Blitz and a max Special Attack Aegislash Shadowball/Flash Cannon. The Special Attacks allows it to KO standard Dragons as well as KO 4HP Talonflame after Brave Bird Recoil ~91% of the time.
Misaki is an esper with the "Mental Out" ability which allows her to manipulate and control the minds of just about anyone that isn't stronger than her. Being a psychic-type, Gardevoir has similar abilities.

Mawile(Kuroyukihime) @ Mawilite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 196 SDef / 16 Atk / 44 Def
Careful Nature
IVs: 4 Spd
- Play Rough
- Rock Slide
- Sucker Punch
- Protect
You'll notice a couple of things that are different from the usual Mawile. First, it has Rock Slide instead of Iron Head. I noticed that I would only ever use Iron Head when I didn't want Play Rough to miss. I also had problem with Charizard when I used my Trick Room Mode so I needed an easy way to deal with it. Rotom-H is probably the single biggest threat to my team and Rock Slide gave me to option to nail one on a presumed safe switch in.
The EV spread is very similar to Ray's but I didn't really value the 15/16 chance to KO 252 HP Tyranitar and had other priorities. The 44 Defense ensures that it would survive a Choice Band Talonflame Flare Blitz after Intimidate. The Special Defense guarantees that it will survives a Timid Choice Specs Fire Blast from Salamence and a Modest Mega Manectric Overheat. You'll also notice that it has a 4 Speed IV, this is was to ensure that I would always move after Aegislash so I could nail it with a Play Rough for about 60% of its health after it switched to Blade Forme.

Mawile is named after Kuroyukihime whose Duel Avatar is Black Lotus aka The Black King. Black Lotus is one of the strongest DAs in the series just like how Mawile is also one of the strongest.

Aegislash(<3Kanzaki<3) @ Leftovers
Ability: Stance Change
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 172 SAtk / 76 SDef / 4 Def / 4 Atk
Quiet Nature
IVs: 20 Spd
- King's Shield
- Substitute
- Shadow Ball
- Sacred Sword
This is a faily standard Substitute Leftovers Aegislash. I chose Sacred Sword over Flash Cannon because my team has problems with Tyranitar and Pyroar. The 76 Special Defense is NOT for Timid Charizard Heat Wave as most people seem to think. It's for max Special Attack Modest Rotom-H Overheat (which it survives 15/16 times) as well as a couple Rain Boosted moves that aren't as relevant. The 20 Speed lets it speed other Aegislash and underspeeds minimum speed Mega Tyranitar as well as Neutral Mawile and Azumarill so I would get hit in Shield Forme before switching to Sword Forme to attack.
Kanzaki is a Saint/magician that uses a Katana and Metal Wires to destroy things in her path. I named my Aegislash Kanzaki because it's metal... and is half sword.

Honorary Mention

I used Noivern in the first half of the swiss rounds but switched to Salamence because I felt I needed Intimidate as well as another rock-type move.

Noivern @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Infiltrator
Level: 50
EVs: 4 Def / 36 HP / 4 SDef / 252 SAtk / 212 Spd
Modest Nature
- Super Fang
- Flamethrower
- Draco Meteor
- Dragon Pulse
Noivern was used in a way that was very similar to a Scarf Salamence. The difference is that a Modest Noivern actually has more Special Attack and Speed than a Timid Salamence which eliminates the speed tie factor. Noivern had Infiltrator instead of the superior Frisk because I wanted to hide the fact that it was Choice Scarf and get a surprise KO on Scarf Salamences. I actually ran enough speed to Outspeed Scarf Garchomp just in case that showed up. Infiltrator was also useful in hitting Aegislash through Substitute. I used Super Fang when I just wanted to chip large chunksof  health off of my opponent's Pokemon without having to predict too hard.
Noivern didn't have a nickname because I wan't an anime girl at the time but I would probably name it after the Infinite Stratos Unit SilentZephyr or Blue Tears.

Team Synergy/Selection

First I want to talk about the Team as a whole and Team Preview. Most players don't like 2 Mega's on their team because it "limits their options" but I disagree. If anything, running 2 Mega widen's the range of options I have. When you only have one Mega, you're almost forced to select the one Mega every game. You get to pick 1 Mega and then 3 out of 5. With 2 Megas, you get to pick 1 of 2 and then 3 of 4. Megas are arguably the strongest Pokemon in the game and having the variety of choosing between them is in my eyes a bigger asset than being able to select from a wider range of none megas.

The Charizard Mawile Double Mega

I really enjoyed using the both Charizard and Mawile. Charizard had a strong Sun and Rain Matchup while Mawile excels in Sand, Trick Room and Hail. I also enjoyed that both Mega's had the ability to wipe out Mega Kangaskahn from the start.
Gardevoir was probably my most brought Pokemon. It complimented both of my Megas really well. It threatened Dragons that wanted to KO my Charizard and also had the option to set up Trick Room for Mawile.

Double Dragon Double Steel Double Fairy

My team had a very strong Synergy between types because I always had a good switch in due to how Fairy/Steel compliments Dragon or the other way around. I would always be able to switch in Mawile, Gardevoir or Aegislash into Salamence and Garchomp because of this though it was starting to become predictable which is something I feel constributed to my loss.

Trick Room Mode

I used my Trick Room option in about 25% of my games. Most of these games involved Scarf Pokemon and Aerodactyl with Tailwind. I would lead Salamence Gardevoir and they would try to set up Tailwind wanting to outspeed my Salamence and be decimated by a Mawile/Aegislash switch in conjunction with a Trick Room.

Biggest Threats

Rotom-H was by far the biggest threat to my team. They were generally bulky enough to survive multiple Rock Slides from Garchomp and threated the KO on both of my Mega Pokemon as well as my Steels.
Tyranitar was the second biggest threat to my team. I didn't really have an answer to ones with Ice Beam and even with Sacred Sword from Aegislash and Mawile, I'd still have to take a huge chunk of damage to KO. Tyranitar was tricky to beat because it could be a variety of sets, trying to defend against a special set only to have it Dragon Dance is pretty devastating.

Closing Thoughts

I really enjoyed the Major and it helped remind me that I'm still a really good player despite my performances in events "that count." I noticed that my team has a similar playstyle to the one I used in 2013 and that I need to expand my skillset with differnt strategies. I hope I get enough points to qualify for the Nuggetbridge Invitation so I can have another run at the elusive Tournament Win that I've never gotten.

Self promotion time, follow me on twitter at @YopYopVGC


  1. One of the best 2014 teams I've seen tbh, but Noivern > Salamence gosh

  2. Nice team, I like the style of it quite a lot. Did choosing Trace>Telepathy have any merit? I personally prefer Telepathy when I teambuild Gardevoir and Garchomp together.

    1. Absolutely, getting a free Intimidate was always useful. If my opponent had Manectric, I would often lead Gardevoir Charizard and if I traced Lightning Rod, the game would be over from there. There were times where I wished Trace copied something useful instead of Scrappy/Gale Wings but those were situations where Telepathy would be just as useless. I don't think there was ever a time where I wish I had Telepathy whereas Trace has won me many games.