Don’t Switch Out, Switch Allies! – 2014 Australian Pokémon VGC Nationals Seniors Report

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Hi I’m Matthew, also known as ZzamanN on various sites, and I recently competed in the Australian Nationals only place a disappointing 20th with a record of 5-2. Even though it was a pretty bad placing, I really liked the team, and I felt it would do well if nerves hadn’t got to me on the day.

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The Prototype

The June International Challenge was fast approaching, and I really needed to come up with a team that could handle every situation I was likely to face. This is what I ended up using. I like to think of it as the prototype.

NatsTeam_Matt_2014
I ended up finishing the tournament in 3rd place for Australia in Juniors and Seniors, so I was very confident going into Nationals as I knew the June International Challenge was a good indication of who will place well, and who would not.

The Team

As you can see not much changed between the prototype and the actual team but I still think it felt like a completely different team in the end.

kangaskhan-mega
Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Scrappy
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature

  • Return
  • Sucker Punch
  • Power-Up Punch
  • Protect

The go to Mega of the majority of teams this season. Personally I didn’t want to join the Mega Kangaskhan hype train, but its undeniable strength is something not to be ignored. The set is as standard as standard can be outside of Protect over Fake Out which was just a personal preference of mine. Looking back at the tournament though, Fake Out would of been the better choice, if I had Fake Out I would definitely of used it more frequently then Protect, which was situational at best.

 

gardevoir
Gardevoir @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Trace
EVs: 228 HP / 140 Def / 140 SpA
Modest Nature

  • Moonblast
  • Psychic
  • Ally Switch
  • Protect

After hearing about how well Ally Switch Gardevoir did at the UK Nationals I had to try it out, and I fell instantly in love with it! The amount of times I have caught people off guard, and able to get a free +2 with Mega Kangaskhan while avoiding Fighting type moves / burns is amazing. It was also my fall back lead paired with Kangaskhan, as the two give the team very early momentum. The EVs are an edited version of Simon Standford’s Germany Nationals Gardevoir which allowed it to survive a Banded Talonflame Brave Bird, but with the rest of the EVs put into offences to OHKO standard Garchomp with Moonblast.

 

hydreigon
Hydreigon @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 44 HP / 36 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 172 Spe
Modest Nature

  • Draco Meteor
  • Dark Pulse
  • Flamethrower
  • Protect

Hydreigon was a Pokémon not specifically for the team, but it was a Pokémon I wanted to try out anyway due to its rise in usage. In the time of team building I was incredibly weak to Aegislash so I needed something for it. The set is very reminiscent of VGC13, which is why I enjoyed using it. I much preferred to have non Choiced Hydreigon just because of the amount of times I could of changed the outcome of a game with a Protect. I added Life Orb just so I could still have some of that offensive power that the standard Specs Hydreigon have. The EV spread is a creation of my own, and allows it to outspeed standard Smeargle and survive a standard Garchomp Dragon Claw with the most amount of HP EVs as required.

 

aegislash
Aegislash @ Leftovers
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 180 SpA / 76 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Spe

  • Shadow Ball
  • Flash Cannon
  • Substitute
  • King’s Shield

This Pokémon is the living breathing definition of mindgames. Aegislash is usually a staple on most of the teams I make just because of the amount of resists it has, and the ability to swing the game into your favour with a clever Substitiute or attacking instead of the expected King’s Shield. Paired with Hydreigon the two can literally switch into every type in the game (outside of Mold Breaker Earthquakes) which I found very impressive, and I just had to try it out. The EVs are stolen form Simon’s report, and allows it to survive a Timid Mega Charizard-Y’s Heat Wave. Even though this scenario never actually happened, it did also allow me to increase its longevity, and I often found it surviving attacks which i didn’t expect it to.

 

gyarados
Gyarados @ Lum Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 44 HP / 252 Atk / 212 Spe
Jolly Nature

  • Waterfall
  • Ice Fang
  • Taunt
  • Protect

Support Gyarados was also another Pokémon I just chucked onto the team just for the sake of using it. I much rather preferred Ice Fang over Thunder Wave as I often found myself taunting Amoonguss’s, and then KOing myself with Rocky Helmet damage as I didn’t have a reliable way to hit Grass types as well as Garchomp. Since I didn’t have any other Pokémon on the team that could handle Dark Void or had a Lum Berry, I decided Gyarados was the Pokémon to do so. The EVs compliment the spread as it was designed to outspeed standard Smeargle in case of my Lum Berry not being available like in a Smeargle / Aerodactyl lead.

 

rotom-wash
Rotom-Wash @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Def / 184 SpA / 28 Spe
Modest Nature

  • Hydro Pump
  • Thunderbolt
  • Thunder Wave
  • Protect

This last Pokémon was really a difficult decision to make. I had tried some pretty weird Pokémon in this slot, from Aurorus to Rotom-C. In the end, I found myself using Rotom-W as I really wanted the Pokémon in this slot to be able to switch into Talonflame Brave Birds in which Rotom-W does. I don’t think it was the best way to use Rotom-W, and if I had access to Sitrus Berry, I would choose it over Safety Goggles in a heart beat. The EVs are standard on Rotom-W allowing it to survive a Play Rough from max attack Mega Mawile and speed creep other Rotoms.

The Day

Round 1 vs. Kenan
Talonflame, Mega-Charizard-X, Pangoro

From team preview I knew I had an instant advantage, as the team looked like either a bad attempt at an OU team, or an in-game team. The game was fairly simple with Kangaskhan and Gyarados picking up 2 KO’s each against Pokémon like Surf Pangoro and Flamethrower Mega Charizard X. The kid was 11 as well so I really felt bad when I wiped the floor with him but hey! That’s Pokémon I guess. This also probably didn’t help my resistance either as he probably dropped a couple of rounds later

Win 1-0

Round 2 vs. Troy
Klefki, Mega-Kangaskhan, Gengar, Garchomp, Mamoswine, Rotom-W

After round 1 I knew I was going to have to verse someone decent, and going into team preview I didn’t like my match up. Gengar was going to be a huge problem so Hydreigon was a must. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t bring Aegislash this game due to the threat of Taunt Gengar. After the first turn however, the game had instantly lost itself when Hydreigon gets OHKOed by a Dazziling Gleam from Gengar which sealed up the game for Troy. I really felt bad for losing to such a clutch Gengar move, and even just the threat of Gengar itself scared me half to bits.

Loss 1-1

Round 3 vs. Julien
Abomasnow, Zapdos, Salamence, Talonflame, Delphox, Mega-Tyranitar

This next match had a very threatening line-up of Pokémon. The Zapdos I knew was going to be a very big threat to my team if I couldn’t contain it. Going into this game I knew Kangaskhan, Rotom-W were going to be my best leads. I don’t remember much about the match, but I do know that I switch Kangaskhan into Gardevoir as the Tyranitar mega evolves and Rock Slides as the Draco Meteor goes into the Kangaskhan as I paralyze his Tyranitar. From their Gardevoir KOs Salamence as Tyranitar Crunches only for Gardevoir to survive with a sliver off health. From their Gardevoir dies off due to Sand Stream as Kangaskhan comes in to finish off the game.

Win 2-1

Round 4 vs. ???
Gothitelle, Scrafty, Rhyperior, Mega-Blastoise, Conkeldurr, Hydreigon

Instantly  from Team Preview I knew exactly that I was going to see, Scrafty and Gothitelle as a lead which was exactly the lead I saw being sent in on the first turn. The thing even more clutch than getting a perfect lead, was when Gardevoir Traces my opponents Gothitelle’s Competitive, which meant I wasn’t trapped by Shadow Tag. First turn Scrafty Fake Out’s my Gardevoir as I 1 shot his Gothitelle with a Dark Pulse. From their Gardevoir 1 shots his Scrafty as that essentially gets me the win as Conkeldurr gets sent in as a replacement

Win 3-1

Round 5 vs. Andy
Mega-Venusaur, Salamence, Talonflame, Rotom-W, Aegislash, Garchomp

Again from team preview this sort of team gave me a lot of trouble. Going into this game I knew I needed Gardevoir to survive to get a Psychic on the Mega Venusaur. Again I can’t remember much, but I do know that Gardevoir was very clutch in winning me the game just like a wanted it to so thats good.

Win 4-1

Round 6 vs. Aaron (Azza2000)
Aerodactyl, Kangaskhan, Scrafty, Hydreigon, Aegislash, Mamoswine

I knew at one point I was going to have to verse a player known to the community, and Aaron was the one of the people I was trying to avoid versing in the tournament. Again this game I needed to preserve my Gardevoir to KO the Hydreigon, and the possible Aegislash. First turn he leads with Mamoswine and Aerodactyl as I lead with Aegislash and Rotom-W. First turn he Protects his Mamoswine into a Hydro Pump as my Aegislash King’s Sheilds so Aerodactyl sets up a Tailwind. 2nd turn I switch out my Aegislash into Hydreigon as he Rock Slides and Earthquakes as Rotom not only doesn’t get flinched but hits its Hydro Pump on Mamoswine for the KO. As he sends in his own Hydreigon, I instantly have to switch Hydreigon out as I knew a Draco Meteor was inevitable. Unnfortunatly he Draco Meteor’s my Rotom-W for the KO as he Sky Drops my Gardevoir switch in. Afterwards he has to switch out into his Kangaskhan to take my Moonblast which losses 45% of its health as Kangaskhan Power-Up-Punches his Aerodactyl. Next turn a simple double Protect stalls out both his Fake Out and Tailwind. Next turn I make a terrible play expecting a Sky Drop so I Sucker Punch into the Aerodactyl’s Protect. Unnfortunally for me I Ally Switch expecting the Kangaskhan to target my Kangaskhan slot, instead he Return’s into what was the Gardevoir slot and gets my Kangaskhan down to around 25%. Next turn his Aerodactyl Tailwinds as I do expect him not to attack with Aerodactyl but he does make an excellent play as he Sucker Punch KO’s my Kangaskhan as I Moonblast into his Aerodactyl to knock it into the red. Near the end he ends up applying whats called “The Lock” as I can not attack with Aegislash due to Sucker Punch being aimed at Aegislash which ends up losing me the game as he gets a safe switch into his Hydreigon to Dark Pulse KO me.

Loss 4-2

Round 7 vs. Kyle
Charizard, Talonflame, Greninja, Garchomp, Bisharp, Kangaskhan

After losing the last round I knew I had no chance of making Top Cut, especially now that Nintendo had just announced that the Seniors Top Cut would change from 16 to 8 which caused a lot of headaches. I fell back on my Standard, Kangaskhan/ Gardevoir lead. The game played out fairly straight forward being able to Ally Switch and Power up punch the Kangaskhan. Gyarados then switches in while I Sucker Punch the Kangaskhan to get the KO. Afterwards a Protect from Kangaskhan and a Waterfall from Gyarados finished off Talonflame and Greninja didn’t stand a chance.

Win 5-2

The Conclusion

Even though I didn’t do as well as I hoped, I had a lot of fun and got to meet up some awesome people. On another note I do realise that everyone I lost to did make Top Cut so well done to you guys. I’m incredibly grateful that Nintendo of Australia hosts events like these for Australians to have a chance to compete against the world. I wish everyone attending worlds the best of luck!

About ZzamanN

3 comments

  1. Hey 20th not that bad!!

  2. Yo Mikoto’s Aegislash spread is powerful! For sure better than 252/252

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