Deafinate Victory to the Top : A 2015 Australian Pokémon VGC Nationals Top 4 Report

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Hello! My name is Jackson Lakey, but some of you might know me as FamousDeaf. I’ve played competitive Pokémon since 2012, after Nicholas Steer introduced me to the VGC format, and since then I have loved it.

Over the past few years, I’ve watched the best players on YouTube, Pokémon Showdown and the Live Tournament on Nugget Bridge, and have learnt a lot of stuff from them. In 2013, Australia finally began to schedule events that allow you to go to Worlds. Personally, I made the semi-finals in Melbourne’s Regional and placed top 16 in Nationals. Unfortunately, they were single elimination format. However, since then, the format has improved for the events in 2014 and 2015.

When I was testing on Pokémon Showdown for VGC 2014, I hated the format as I found it restricted me too much. I couldn’t find any teams that I 100% enjoyed; teams like Charizard-Y/Garchomp or Mega Tyranitar/Amoonguss are decent for me but still not teams I 100% enjoyed. This led to me having no passion and no motivation for VGC 2014, which resulted in a poor Regional and National placement that year. Due to this, I decided to take a long break before returning to the Pokémon community.

When I found out the VGC 2015 format, I came back into the game from my break. I really enjoyed the format and I aimed to get good results from Regionals and Nationals. I love writing posts on the Delphox Cubs’ wall about results from testing, blogs and RMT, also I love to help the other Delphox Cubs (Catgonk, Cobalte, Boomguy, Prof Teak, ZzamanN, Bargens and Chiron).

Quick jump to sections of my report:

Australian Metagame

I know Australians love to use Mega Kangaskhan, Breloom, Landorus-T, Thundurus-I, Heatran, Sylveon and Suicune. I wanted to make sure I had a good matchup against all of them. I also prepared for sun teams (Mega Charizard-Y/Landorus-T/Heatran), rain teams and also some random matchups.

The Pokémon mentioned above affected my decision process in teambuilding and I wanted to get ahead of not just Australians, but also some Singaporeans who were doing really well at Regionals and Nationals.

Team Building and Decision Process

I began by testing a lot of cores such as Mega Salamence/Raikou, Mega Metagross/Hydreigon, Mega Charizard-Y/Landorus-T, Mega Kangaskhan/Clefable and lot of other Pokémon.

I used Mega Metagross/Volcarona/Hydreigon/Landorus-T/Rotom-W/Virizion at PokéMelbourne tournament and came 2nd, they were a really good team that suited my playstyle. However, the metagame soon shifted and Mega Metagross became much weaker in comparison to the start of the season, so I decided to scrap that team.

Before Regionals began, I tested most of my Pokémon to find the most efficient team. I tested Mega Salamence/Raikou/Volcarona/Azumarill/Aegislash/Rotom-W during/on the WiFi Easter VGC tournament (an Australian tournament). I made top cut and lost to Luke Curtale (Dawg) in top 4 or 8. However, after the tournament I was still not happy with my team and decided to scrap it too.

I couldn’t find a team that I enjoyed or was comfortable with. I decided to find a draft team that I was really successful with on Battle Spot, Pokémon Showdown and Live tournament. The team: Mega Charizard-Y/Mega Salamence/Ludicolo/Aegislash/Terrakion/Thundurus-T.

The dual Mega team is a good option but I preferred to have one mega. I prefer to focus more on supporting my mega evolution. Mega Salamence is my favourite mega to use because it’s perfect for my playstyle. It has Intimidate, a reliable recovery move, a boosting move, and the ability to hit hard and take hits well. That’s what I want; everything.

I replaced Mega Charizard with Heatran and Aegislash with Clefable, and was really happy with the replacement choices. Heatran is able to control the board with Substitute and also do good damage. Clefable is a good Pokémon for Mega Salamence because of its ability to redirect enemy attacks to allow Mega Salamence to set up. Heatran/Salamence/Clefable is a good Dragon/Fairy/Steel core. Heatran/Salamence have good offensive and defensive synergy.

I was not happy with Ludicolo and Terrakion because Ludicolo is not a good Pokémon anymore. Most of the time, Ludicolo was deadweight and couldn’t do a lot of the damage I wanted. Terrakion has good STABs, and the ability to apply offensive pressure and provide support with Quick Guard and Taunt. Unfortunately, Mega Charizard-Y, Talonflame and Bisharp were dropping in usage, whilst Scarf Tyranitar, Excadrill and Salamence, all threats to Terrakion, were increasing in use. The metagame had shifted and become unfriendly towards Terrakion, which is why I decided to drop it.

I was looking for a Pokémon that would be a threat to Water-types, Mega Kangaskhan, Heatran, Tyranitar and many other Pokémon. Virizion was the perfect Pokémon, it was exactly what I wanted. Virizion is a perfect partner for Mega Salamence/Heatran because Virizion/Salamence can apply a lot of offensive pressure.

I had one slot left available for my team. I was looking at different bulky Water-types, none of which could fit into my team. I spoke with the Delphox Cubs about it, and Lionel Pryce (Catgonk) suggested I test Aegislash again. I decided to have a go with Aegislash as it provided Wide Guard to protect my team from spread moves and more switching options. It did mean I had 2 Steel-types (Heatran and Aegislash), but they do completely different things.

clefairy

Finally, I finished my team and I was pretty happy with it.

The Squad

salamence-mega
Salamence @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 52 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 20 SpD / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Dragon Dance
– Double Edge
– Protect
– Roost

Salamence is my favourite Mega evolution for a good reason. Dragon Dance allows me to set up when it’s next to Clefable, as the opponent’s Pokémon can’t do much to it and it is then able to put on more offensive pressure after Dragon Dance. I prefer Double-Edge over Return because it can OHKO a lot of Pokémon at full HP or after chip damage with an unboosted Double-Edge. It is able to OHKO 252HP Sylveon and some Mega Charizard-Y. Protect is an obvious move: it allows me to scout my opponent’s moves and allow Salamence to mega evolve without unnecessary damage. Roost is a filler move, but it allows me to have a better end-game chances against Pokémon such as Rotom-W, Bisharp (without defiant) and Heatran (without Flash Cannon).

It has a high chance of surviving 2 Rock Slides from 0+ Terrakion. It’s able to survive some of Suicune’s Ice Beams, depending on Special Attack EVs and some random Hidden Power Ice. After Dragon Dance, it can outspeed everything relevant in the metagame, including Jolly Breloom in Tailwind, which is important because Breloom is everywhere in Australia.

aegislash

Aegislash @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 236 HP / 252 SpA / 20 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Flash Cannon
– Shadow Ball
– King’s Shield
– Wide Guard

Aegislash is a really good Wide Guard user with plenty of resistances and immunities. Aegislash’s resistances to Ice, Dragon and Fairy are really important for my team. Weakness Policy allows it to take a Super Effective move and hit hard back. Aegislash’s moveset and item are straightforward. I wanted to have Aegislash outspeed other Aegislash; Mega Salamence’s Double-Edge and Aegislash’s Shadow Ball come close to OHKOing 252HP Aegislash.

heatran

Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Heat Wave
– Earth Power
– Protect
– Substitute

Heatran is pretty standard. I love Heatran’s ability to control the board with Substitute. I felt that outspeeding Breloom and Smeargle is really important. I couldn’t see how I need Modest to have more damage output; I felt Timid Heatran was the better choice for my team. Heat Wave is obvious, its spread is important. Earth Power is to hit opposing Heatran, Tyranitar and Aegislash. Heatran is a very important Pokémon for my team.

virizion

Virizion @ Life Orb
Ability: Justified
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Close Combat
– Leaf Blade
– Stone Edge
– Protect

Mega Salamence and Heatran had an issue with Water-types such as Rotom-W and Suicune. Virizion can deal with them. Virizion is one of my favourite Fighting-types in the format because of its brilliant STABs. The moveset is standard. I tested a variety of other moves such as Taunt, Quick Guard and Double Kick before settling with Stone Edge for Virizion’s final attack. I felt hitting Thundurus-I and Mega Charizard-Y with Stone Edge was important. The Grass-Type legendary never disappoints me.

clefairy

Clefairy @ Eviolite
Ability: Friend Guard
Evs: 236 HP / 212 Def / 12 SpA / 44 SpD / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
-Protect
-Moonblast
-Follow Me
-Helping Hand

I used Clefairy in Regionals because Friend Guard is amazing in how it supports my Pokémon. Moonblast is for just chip damage without being deadweight from Taunt. I was not happy with Clefairy in Regionals because it wound up being deadweight in a lot of matches. I was desperate to have Ice Beam and Sitrus Berry, so I decided to replace it with Clefable.

clefable

Clefable @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Unaware
EVs: 244 HP / 164 Def / 28 SpA / 68 SpD / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
– Ice Beam
– Protect
– Follow Me
– Helping Hand

Clefable is one of the best Follow Me users in the format. This Clefable is a carbon copy of DaWoblefet’s; it’s what I needed to survive and OHKO Landorus-T. I feel Helping Hand is an important move to OHKO Pokémon such as Cresselia, Suicune and +1 Mega Salamence.

Follow Me allows Mega Salamence set up without worrying about Ice Beam and Dragon moves. You never want to let Salamence set up and then sweep or heavily damage your team. Ice Beam over Moonblast is awesome because you can OHKO 4/0 Landorus-T 15 out of 16 times, and hit Mega Salamence harder. It was a pretty good replacement, I was really happy with it.

thundurus-therian

Thundurus-Therian (M) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Hidden Power [Ice] – Grass Knot
– Volt Switch

Thundurus-T is the least used of my team but it’s nonetheless an important Pokémon to use against Landorus-T, Thundurus-I, Water-types, Salamence, Mega Charizard-Y and many other Pokémon. The moves are standard. Volt Switch is a good move for my team, allowing me to gain momentum with it. I can switch to Salamence and use Volt Switch, and then switch in Salamence for a second Intimidate, or one of my Steel-types.

Team Synergy

Heatran/Aegislash/Salamence

This is one of my favourite combos. Heatran and Aegislash are both Steel-types but they function completely differently. Both provide good switching options. Aegislash is able to use Wide Guard to protect Heatran from Earthquake. Heatran/Aegislash can be used against Landorus-T, forcing it to use Superpower, and then it can switch to Salamence to set up on it, or Intimidate Landorus-T to allow Aegislash to better tank Earthquake and OHKO back.

Salamence/Virizion/Heatran

These Pokémon provide a lot of offensive pressure, and can set up Substitute and Dragon Dance. Virizion is able to beat Water-Types, Tyranitar, Heatran, Mega Kangaskhan and Hydreigon. Mega Salamence is able to beat Talonflame, Sylveon and Landorus-T, and soften a lot of physical attackers. Heatran is able to beat Aegislash and switch into Mega Charizard-Y.

Clefable/Salamence

Clefable can provide good support and protect Mega Salamence with Follow Me. No one wants to let Mega Salamence set up Dragon Dance and sweep. It can also use Helping Hand to boost Salamence’s power straight away if Dragon Dance isn’t needed.

Everything/Everything

I don’t have any MVP Pokémon because everyone works so well together. They all have good synergy both offensively and defensively.

How My Team Deals With The Common Archetypes

Sun

My team has a really good matchup against Sun teams. It can scout out Mega Charizard-Y in case it has a surprise Hidden Power Ground. I found it’s also important to scout out Heatran’s and Landorus-T’s items. Aegislash is really useful if the team relies on spread moves from the likes of Landorus-T/Mega Charizard-Y/Heatran. Mega Salamence and Heatran are almost 100% guaranteed to be brought against sun teams.

Rain

Salamence/Clefable is a pretty good lead against Politoed and Ludicolo/Kingdra, as they can Follow Me/Dragon Dance and then outspeed Ludicolo. Mega Salamence is unable to outspeed Kingdra after Dragon Dance but it can use an immediate Double-Edge (with Follow Me support to avoid a Draco Meteor) to OHKO Kingdra. Aegislash is pretty important if the rain team has Mega Metagross or Mega Mawile. Thundurus-T is also useful if they have Landorus-T and/or Thundurus-I. And Virizion is good against rain teams with Mega Kangaskhan. However, I would NEVER bring Heatran against it.

Mega Kangaskhan/Thundurus-I or Zapdos/Landorus-T/friends

This is one of the most common archetypes in Australia because it’s highly successful and easy to use. It’s really important to prepare for them. Sometimes I don’t bring Mega Salamence against them because Landorus-T can intimidate it and Thundurus-I/Heatran (if the latter has Flash Cannon) can also threaten it. Aegislash/Heatran is a really good duo against teams like Chiron’s Regional winning team because it can limit damage from Sylveon and Landorus-T. Virizion can be brought against them, as it can threaten to OHKO Mega Kangaskhan/Heatran with Close Combat. Clefable can be helpful against Thundurus-I/Mega Kangaskhan/Heatran as well, as it allows Heatran to set up Subsitute or Virizion to attack without worrying about Thunder Wave. Thundurus-T is really good against a double-genie lead, but other than that, I usually don’t bring it.

Clefable/Mega Salamence Mirror Match

First, I scout out for Earthquake on Mega Salamence. Heatran can be really good against this archetype provided Earthquake is not an issue. Thundurus-T is an amazing Pokémon against Mega Salamence because it can outspeed and use Hidden Power Ice before Salamence can do anything unless it’s next to Clefable. Virizion is not usually brought against this archetype unless the team also has Terrakion/Bisharp/Suicune/Salamence. I encountered such a team at Regionals. I have to get rid of Salamence before I can bring it.

Trick Room

My team has a pretty decent matchup unless the opposing team has Mega Gardevoir, Scrafty and Heatran, as mentioned on my threat list below. Heatran and Aegislash are the best Pokémon against Trick Room teams. Wide Guard is amazing against Rhyperior, Abomasnow, Sylveon and many Trick Room sweepers. Heatran is also able to set up Substitute before Trick Room is set up. Mega Salamence/Clefable can be used against Trick Room due to Intimidate and offensive pressure on Scrafty/Amoonguss if the opponent leads with either. Clefable can use Follow Me to allow Mega Salamence use Double-Edge or even Dragon Dance in the last turn of Trick Room.

Japanese Sand

This matchup can be tricky because Heatran, Aegislash, Thundurus-T and Virizion are good against the generic Japanese Sand team of Mega Salamence/Excadrill/Tyranitar/Rotom-W/Aegislash/Amoonguss, but they can be good against my team too if played right. Heatran/Aegislash is amazing against Excadrill/Salamence because they are able to limit sweeping with spread moves. Virizion is normally good against sand teams, provided I can get rid of Salamence and Aegislash. Salamence/Clefable is rarely used against Japanese Sand because they usually have 3-4 Pokémon that resist Flying attacks. Excadrill/Aegislash and spread moves make Clefable useless.

Mega Venusaur Team

Mega Venusaur is uncommon in the Australian Metagame but my team usually has a good matchup against Mega Venusaur teams. Heatran and Mega Salamence are almost always led against these teams because they can force Mega Venusaur to either play really defensively or switch out. I can then force them to use Mega Venusaur against either Mega Salamence or Heatran in the end game. Aegislash is useful, as it’s another Pokémon that can switch into Mega Venusaur, and it is also able to protect my Mega Salamence and Heatran from spread moves from the likes of Landorus-T.

Threat List

Mega Gardevoir/Scrafty or Fighting-type/Heatran

I really hate these matchups. Mega Gardevoir is able to set up Trick Room or Icy Wind with Scrafty’s Fake Out. Aegislash can’t protect my team for long because of Scrafty and Heatran. Matthew Jiwa (JiwaVGC) and Callum Witt (CruiseVGC) beat me with them in Swiss Rounds. JiwaVGC recognised them as threats and couldn’t see how I could win against them. That matchup is pretty much a harsh or auto-lose matchup, depending on its teammates.

Rotom-W

I don’t like playing against it. I rely on Virizion and Aegislash to deal with it, and I need to OHKO it ASAP. However it’s not as big a problem as Mega Gardevoir.

Landorus-T

You may think my team is a bit weak to Landorus-T, but actually my team is a good matchup against it because Heatran (with Aegislash’s Wide Guard), Clefable’s Ice Beam, Salamence, Thundurus-T and Virizion are great against it.

Summary of my Experience in the Event

My experience was amazing in both Regionals and Nationals. The events were run smoothly, thanks a lot to Jamie and his staff! I am looking forward to next season. I am really happy with my strong performance at Regionals and Nationals because I came back really strong from my horrible season last year.

I had some amazing matches at both Regionals and Nationals. My best battle was against Saamid Zikria (Yourf) in our Top 16 match at Nationals. I wish it was on stream. They were nail-biting and close matches. I also had a good battle against Sean Ronzani and Matthew Roey (RoeySK) in Top 8 and 4 at Nationals, respectively.

Russell Peters asked me to battle with CatGonk for an exhibition battle. Luck wound up being a huge factor in our matches; for example, Ice Beam froze Zapdos and let Mega Salamence set up a second Dragon Dance, after which the game was over quickly. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed our result. The link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovpYDdSJszc.

Shout-out:
  • The Delphox Cubs who helped me to build a team and suggest a Pokémon.
  • Luke Curtale (Dawg), Mitch Kendrick (MitchVGC), Saamid Zikria (Yourf), Matthew Bockman, Martin Larumbe, Edward Trinh, Sam Pandelis (ZeldaVGC), Nihal Noor, Matthew Jiwa (JiwaVGC) and Jimmy Yao Long Chen who made the weekend more fun catching up with them. They are all awesome people.
  • Jamie and the other Nintendo staff who organized the Regional and National Championships. They ran much smoother and better than previous years. I can’t wait to see you organizing the events for next year.

About Stacey

Owner of this website, and control freak. Stacey formats PokeAus articles, and deals with back-end maintenance. Her aim this year is to collect data and write up usage stat articles for both the TCG and VGC community to enjoy.
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