Matt Sensei Noticed Me: A Singapore Nationals Top 8 and Malaysia Regionals Champion Report

January 8th, 2016 | Posted by Poh Yu Jie in Team Reports

Good day to all. I am Poh Yu Jie, a member of the local Pokemon VGC community, The Mirage Island, and I am here to share with you the team that carried me through the VGC ’15 season.

Staring at my 38 CPs before Singapore Regionals, I had to do something drastic to even stand a chance at qualifying for the 2015 World Championships. Due to my O-Levels this year, I didn’t have as much time to create teams and understand the meta well, combine this with unwise item choices such as BrightPowder and I ended up having a very bad start to the season. It was then that I decided to copy what was working locally, namely Kenny’s team (which we now know as CHALK), while making my own modifications.

Singapore Regionals: Top 16

This was the starting point. The core of Kanga and Cress to set up trick room, and Heatran and Sylveon to sweep from there was amazing. It provided a lot of offensive coverage, with Heat Wave and Hyper Voice picking up KOs consistently. As for Landorus and Thundurus, well, the original plan was to use them outside Trick Room. However, they never came into play (except for round 1, in which Kenny thrashed me). In the end, I went 4-2, losing to Kenny Lee and Melvin Keh.

Adjustments were made after SG Regionals. Landorus and Thundurus were removed in favour of Amoonguss and Conkeldurr, who are more operable under Trick Room. Conkeldurr provided another answer to Kangaskhan and Heatran, and does well against rain teams (barring Scald burns). While I only discovered Amoonguss’ niche in the team a lot later, it was still on the team to, well, just be there.

Singapore Nationals: Top 8

The Team

Kangaskhan

Kangaskhan (Matt Sensei~) @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 212 HP / 108 Atk / 164 Def / 4 Sp.Def / 20 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Fake Out
– Frustration
– Low Kick
– Sucker Punch

  • Survives Jolly Terrakion’s Close Combat
  • Outspeeds Adamant Bisharp after Mega Evolving
  • Speed creeps other 0 – 12 Spe Kangaskhan

Kangaskhan, the most dominant mega of the format. Fake Out allows Cresselia to safely set up Trick Room, while the other moves are pretty self-explanatory. The defensive investment to survive Close Combat from Jolly Terrakion is really important. It allows me to win the 1 vs 1 matchup against Terrakion, which an unsuspecting opponent might identify as one of his win conditions. Outspeeding Bisharp is also important, as it presents a big threat to my team, knocking off all my items and killing Sylveon. Inner Focus is chosen over Scrappy due to the lack of ghost types in the meta. Moreover, Inner Focus allows me to punish opponents who Fake Out my Kangaskhan, allowing me to Fake Out the partner. Due to its very low attack investment however, Kangaskhan barely picked up any KOs, and was usually just used to provide Fake Out pressure and chip damage.

Cresselia

Cresselia (B-Ba-Baka~) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 60 Def / 16 Sp.Atk / 182 Sp.Def
IVs: 0 Spe
Sassy Nature
– Trick Room
– Psychic
– Skill Swap
– Ice Beam

  • Able to take 2 Shadow Balls from Aegislash after Sitrus Berry recovery
  • Survives Life Orb Knock Off from Bisharp

Essentially a copied EV spread from Eugene Tan’s Malaysia Asia Cup Qualifers report, modified to fit my imperfect Cresselia’s IVs. Skill Swap is amazing in this meta. Originally used to Skill Swap Levitate to Heatran, it is now used to steal Parental Bonds, Pixilates and many other handy abilities. I ran Ice Beam for the 4x coverage against Landorus and Salamence, and Psychic to handle Fighting types, oblivious to the fact that Cresselia these days opt for only 1 attack, and managed to catch some opponents off guard. Also, I felt that Sitrus Berry is essential for a bulky Pokemon like Cresselia, and slapping on Mental Herb just because my team is too Trick Room dependent was not worth the loss of recovery. At most, if Kangaskhan can’t Fake Out the Taunt-er, I will leave Cresselia in the back for late game Trick Room.

Heatran

Heatran (<3 Shana <3) @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 232 HP / 12 Def / 252 Sp.Atk / 12 Sp.Def
IVs: 0 Spe
Quiet Nature
– Heat Wave
– Earth Power
– Substitute
– Protect

The main sweeper of the team. Quiet 252 Sp.Atk is used to maximise firepower. As for the 12 Def and 12 Sp.Def, well, there is no meaning behind it, other than that 4 Def and 4 Sp.Def is too standard. Around this time, Shuca Berry and Life Orb on Heatran were gaining in popularity. I had 3 reasons for sticking with the old leftovers variant: 1) I had no idea what Life Orb Heatran kills, due to lack of meta experience, 2) Shuca Berry is not needed when I can Skill Swap Levitate to Heatran, and 3) Substitute allows me to punish defensive plays, such as double protecting to stall out the last turn of Trick Room. Heatran and Sylveon provide the main form of offense for the team, pinning my opponent down with almost perfect coverage, except against opposing fire types.

Sylveon

Sylveon (Desu~) @ Pixie Plate
Ability: Pixilate
EVs: 116 HP / 94 Def / 252 Sp.Atk / 48 Sp.Def
IVs: 0 Spe
Quiet Nature
– Hyper Voice
– Protect
– Hidden Power (Ground)
– Hyper Beam

  • Survives Iron Head from Sash Bisharp

The other main attacker of the team. Sylveon’s Hyper Voice usually does more than 50%, and in conjunction with Heat Waves picks up KOs very often. Hyper Beam is used as a last ditch effort to kill something before Sylveon goes down. This EV spread comes from Aaron “Cybertron” Zheng’s Sylveon analysis as I had no EV spread and this happened to work just fine.

Conkeldurr

Conkeldurr (The Tsundere) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Iron Fist
EVs: 212 HP / 84 Atk / 126 Def / 88 Sp.Def
IVs: 0 Spe
Brave Nature
– Drain Punch
– Knock Off
– Ice Punch
– Mach Punch

  • Survives Choice Specs Modest Sylveon Hyper Voice
  • Survives Adamant Kangaskhan Double Edge

Conkeldurr, in my opinion, is a very underrated Pokemon in this meta. It can operate in and out of Trick Room (but has to come in at full health for the latter). Having a recovery option in Drain Punch while being limited by Assault Vest is rare. Knock Off underspeeds and KOs Blade Forme Aegislash, Ice Punch KOs offensive Landorus, Thundurus, Salamence, etc. and Mach Punch is a strong priority move. Conkeldurr has a lot of bulk and usually stays on the field for half the battle, Drain Punching away or coming in to clean up. It was the perfect glue that my team needed, as it also provides another answer to Bisharp.

Amoonguss

Amoonguss (Notice Me~) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 188 HP / 238 Def / 84 Sp.Def
IVs: 0 Spe
Relaxed Nature
– Spore
– Rage Powder
– Giga Drain
– Protect

  • Survives Adamant Double Edge from Kangaskhan

A copied EV spread from Nugget Bridge, Amoonguss is a very disruptive Pokemon, redirecting attacks and putting opponents to sleep. It wasn’t used at all in my Nationals run, due to lack of experience, but I managed to understand its potential after Worlds.

Battles

Round 1

Swiss Round 1: Pascoe AT Lee (PLAT Crobat), Hong Kong

Game 1

The start was already rough, with me sending out Kanga+Cress against his Salamence+Cress. With Salamence protecting against my Fake Out, his Cress Thunder Waves my Cress, which fortunately manages to set up Trick Room, swinging the game in my favour. Though I have to say luck was on my side, with 3 of my Pokemon paralysed but none of them failing to attack, while his Cress suffered a critical hit Frustration and Heat Wave burn. 1-0

Game 2

This time he leads Salamence+Sylveon against my Cress+Heatran. Knowing that my Heatran isn’t the fastest, I pull a switch into Sylveon to take a potential Hidden Power Ground. He Protects with Sylveon and switches Salamence to Cresselia, while I set up Trick Room. 2 turns later, he kind of screws up when he Helping Hand and Protects his Sylveon, allowing me to Heat Wave and Hyper Voice his Cresselia for free, getting a lucky burn. The following turn, I pick up 2 KOs to go up 4-2.

However with Aegislash and Salamence coming in, it’s pretty obvious his win condition now is to Wide Guard and hit hard with Mence. He smartly waits for Trick Room to expire while double Protecting to bluff not having Wide Guard, this however allows me to set up a Substitute with Heatran. The following turn, Aegislash Wide Guards, while Sylveon survives the Hyper Voice from Salamence and retaliates with Hyper Beam, sealing the game. My opponent played well though, it was the misplays in the middle due to pressure that may have cost him the game. 2-0

1-0

Round 2

Swiss Round 2: Justin Lok (Sonia), Singapore

Game 1

Turn 1, expecting Fake Out onto Kangaskhan, I stay in normal form, but we end up trading Fake Outs, mine on his Kanga and his on my Cress. Next turn, he doubles up into my Kangaskhan with Double Edge and Scald, which I survive with literally 1 hp and KO his Kanga with Low Kick, while Cress sets up Trick Room. Politoad comes out to finish off my Kangaskhan, and I send out Sylveon for my fallen Kangaskhan. Trying to maximise Trick Room usage, I switch Cresselia into Conkeldurr and Hyper Voice Drain Punch to pick up KOs on Politoed and Ludicolo. The end game turns out to be Cresselia vs Svlveon, with Skill Swap coming in clutch by stealing away Pixilate, winning a speed tie in the process. 1-0

Game 2

Predicting that I will stay in non-mega form, Justin’s Kangaskhan Low Kicks mine, while I Fake Out Thundurus and set up Trick Room. Next turn, fearing Sucker Punch, I go for my own Sucker Punch on his Kangaskhan and Ice Beam his Thundurus, while he Sucker Punches (and fails) and Taunts Cresselia. Afterwards, his Kangaskhan Protects, and Thunderbolt on my Kangaskhan gets the KO, while Cresselia Ice Beams Thundurus again. Subsequently, Conkeldurr comes in and I pick up 2 KOs with Drain Punch on Kanga and Ice Beam on Thundurus.

Talonflame and Ludicolo come out from Justin’s side. Conkeldurr survives LO Brave Bird from Talonflame [Editor’s Note: Justin’s low damage roll Talonflame strikes again!] and hits Ludicolo with a Drain Punch while Cresselia eats Fake Out. Conkeldurr then falls to the second Brave Bird, and Cresselia finishes the Talonflame off with Psychic. My Sylveon comes in, and the game ends there. It was a hard fought battle from both sides and I hope to have more of such intense battles with you again Justin. 2-0

2-0

Round 3

Swiss Round 3: Tai

Game 1

Due to my lack of meta experience, I get totally caught off guard by Mega Gardevoir as it mega evolves and Hyper Voices. Turn 1, I Fake Out the Landorus and manage to set up a Sub. The following turn, I switch Kanga into Cresselia, eat a Superpower, and fire a Heat Wave which misses the Gardevoir. Afterwards, he switches into his Heatran to absorb my Heat Wave, while I set up Trick Room. Following that, a smart switch into Amoonguss from Gardevoir and Protect from the opposing Heatran stalls out 1 turn of Trick Room. Predicting the obvious Rage Powder, I double up into the Amoonguss with Heat Wave and Psychic to kill it, but at the cost of my Cresselia falling to a Life Orb Fire Blast.

Gardevoir comes out from my opponent’s end while I send out Kangaskhan. Switching into Landorus to dodge the Earth Power and get off an Intimidate, he then switches back into Heatran the following turn to avoid the Heat Wave, costing me a lot of momentum. However, I somehow manage to bring the game back when his Rock Slide fails to either flinch my Conkeldurr or break my Heatran’s sub. 1-0

Game 2

Instead of forcing Trick Room up, I double up into Landorus with Fake Out and Ice Beam, knocking it out, at the cost of a taunted Cresselia. Ludicolo comes out, Fakes Out my Kangaskhan, and Thundurus uses Rain Dance, while Cresselia Ice Beams the Thundurus. Following that, Thundurus Thunder Waves Cresselia while Ludicolo Scalds my Kangaskhan, and a double up into Thundurus with Ice Beam and Frustration KOs it. However, I then make a questionable double switch (as I didn’t know Gardevoir carried Trick Room and Imprison), which ends up working out as Gardevoir uses Imprison. I end up having to sack Conkeldurr with a last ditch Mach Punch onto Ludicolo. Kangaskhan comes in, Sucker Punches Ludicolo and gets a crit (not sure if it would have mattered), sealing the game with Heatran in the back. To my unknown opponent, thanks for the amazing games, I hope to battle with you again in the future as they were really fun. 2-0

3-0

Round 4

Swiss Round 4: Wang Zi Xuan (Zi Xuan), Singapore

Game 1

Going into team preview, it was very scary. I know Zi Xuan personally and he always manages to pull off tricks no one expects to great success. Now I am up against his signature Sun core of Charizard and Typhlosion, with things looking pretty bleak as my team has trouble against his. Game 1 was supposed to be Zi Xuan’s win, however, we disconnected and were told to start again.

Turn 1 Normal Gem boosted Fake Out from Hitmonlee onto Cress activates his Unburden ability. Following that, I switch from Kangaskhan to Sylveon to take the Close Combat, and set up Trick Room. Predicting my Skill Swap onto Typhlosion to take its Flash Fire, Zi Xuan switches Typhlosion into Charizard to give me Blaze instead, while Hitmonlee falls to Hyper Voice. His Cresselia comes in for the fallen Hitmonlee. I manage to get a lucky Hyper Beam crit on Charizard (not sure if it would have mattered as I doubled into it with Psychic) and it is pretty much game from there. Once again, sorry Zi Xuan as you were supposed to have won this game and it spoilt your bag of surprises. 1-0

Game 2

Turn 1, Zi Xuan switches from Charizard to Hitmonlee while Purugly fakes out Cresselia, and I score a critical hit non-mega Fake Out against his Hitmonlee that does over 50%. Next, his Hitmonlee Fakes Out Cress again while Purugly reveals Last Resort, hitting Cress while Kangaskhan picks off the Hitmonlee. Charizard comes in, and predicting either the Heat Wave or Overheat into my Kangaskhan slot, I switch into Heatran, while Cresselia falls to Heat Wave and Last Resort.

Kangaskhan comes in and Fakes Out the Charizard while Heatran Heat Waves, scoring a critical hit on the Purugly. Next, knowing from the game that ended in a DC that his Charizard has Hidden Power Ground, I Sucker Punch the Charizard and Heat Wave the incoming Mamoswine in the Purugly slot, knocking it out and ending the game. Thanks for the awesome battle Zi Xuan, sorry that our 1st game was a DC, which cost you a game, but I promised to bring your resistance up, and I did. 2-0

4-0

Round 5

Swiss Round 5: Alan Chia, Singapore

As I was using the stream DS, I can’t remember exactly what happened as I don’t have the battle videos saved. Game 1, I won as I successfully set up Trick Room and proceeded from there. Game 2, however, Alan made the right plays, Hyper Beaming my Kangaskhan but missed, TWICE! Due to that Kanga managed to knock out Sylveon and Talonflame, which it would otherwise could not, so yeah, I won game 2 due to hax, essentially a 1% chance for me to win. So sorry Alan about the hax, I didn’t mean to win the game in this way.

5-0

Round 6

Swiss Round 6: Low Wai Yin (Yin), Singapore

Game 1

Let’s just say, I was completely thrashed. Turn 1, her Talonflame and Kangaskhan double up into my Kangaskhan to pick up a KO while Cresselia Trick Rooms. Next, I Protect with Heatran while Cresselia Skill Swaps the opposing Kangaskhan’s Parental Bond. Questionable play on my end as I could have Heat Waved with Heatran while surviving the single hit Low Kick. She then switches Kangaskhan to Sylveon. The following turn, Cresselia gets double targeted by Hyper Beam and Brave Bird while I switch Heatran to Conkeldurr, and the game was sealed, oh wait, it was sealed after turn 1, lolz. XD 0-1

Game 2

When I could have stayed in non-mega form, I mega with Kangaskhan and end up taking a Fake Out and Brave Bird. Next, Talonflame Brave Birds Kangaskhan for the KO, while I switch Heatran into Sylveon to take the Low Kick. Next, in probably the only good play I make all set, I Protect with Sylveon and Heat Wave with Heatran while the Protected Sylveon gets double targeted. Afterwards, Kangaskhan Low Kicks my Heatran, knocking it out and sealing the game. From these games, I learnt something, that I need a better answer to Talonflame, other than just Kangaskhan. 0-2

5-1

Round 7

Swiss Round 7: Skyler Guo (Skyler), Singapore

Game 1

Seeing that his team is very Heatran weak, I start off the game with the gameplan of knocking out Landorus-T (Which he didn’t bring) and Conkeldurr. So, turn 1, I aggressively Fake Out and Psychic the opposing Conkeldurr, bringing it under 50%, while Kangaskhan takes an Overheat to the face. The next turn, I switch Kangaskhan to Heatran while he switches Conkeldurr (Fearing the Sucker Punch + Psychic, which I did initially consider) to Aegislash. The following turn, Charizard switches to Cress and Aegislash King’s Shields, while Heatran Heat Waves and Cresselia sets up Trick Room. Predicting a potential Shadow Ball to Cresselia, I switched Cresselia to Kangaskhan, but Aegislash hits Heatran while Cresselia picks off the low health Kangaskhan, and Heatran Heat Waves to knock out the Aegislash. Later, the opposing Cresselia reveals Moonlight, but my Heatran sets up a Substitute and Cresselia gets Trick Room up a second time, winning a long drawn-out battle. 1-0

Game 2

Realising how big of a threat Heatran is, he leads with Landorus and Conkeldurr, trying to catch my potential Heatran lead. Predicting the Landorus to switch, I double up into the Conkeldurr with Fake out and Psychic. Next turn, I make a bad play by using Frustration on the switched in Charizard instead of doubling up on the Conkeldurr for the KO with Psychic. However, I catch a lucky break by avoiding Overheat with Cresselia. Next turn, I Sucker Punch the Conkeldurr to finish it off and switch Cresselia to Heatran, as Kangaskhan dodges another fire attack, this time Heat Wave.

Afterwards, I switch Kangaskhan to Cresselia, which eats Overheat and gets KOed. I bring in Conkeldurr to threaten the Landorus, and predicting it to switch, I leave my Heatran there and Heat Wave which pays off. Finally, the deciding part of the game comes when my paralysed (from opposing Cresselia’s Thunder Wave) Heatran needs to Protect from the incoming Landorus Earthquake. Luckily, I managed to pull Protect off, land an Ice Punch and the game ends, with me having somehow qualified for top cut. 2-0

6-1

Top 8

Top 8: Edward Cheung, Hong Kong

Game 1

Turn 1, Gardevoir switches into Amoonguss, while I Fake Out the Thundurus and try to steal Pixilate with Skill Swap, getting only Regenerator instead. Next, Thundurus Taunts Cresselia, and instead of doubling up into the Amoonguss, I knock out the Thundurus, allowing Gardevoir to come in safely as Kangaskhan is put to sleep. Despite Heatran being my win condition, I am forced to send it out, taking a Hyper Voice while Cresselia is put to sleep. Heatran manages to pull off the much needed Substitute, however, to my horror, Amoonguss reveals Hidden Power Ground, knocking out my sub. Next turn, while still thinking if I should sub again to avoid Spore or just Heat Wave, Edward baits me into Heat Waving the Heatran switch in, knocking my slower Heatran out with a Earth Power and sealing the game. 0-1

Game 2

Turn 1, Kangaskhan and Heatran against Ludicolo and Thundurus. I switch Heatran to Cresselia while mega evolving Kangaskhan only to eat Fake Out from Ludicolo, allowing Thundurus to set up Rain Dance. Next, he switches Ludicolo to Amoonguss, causing Kangaskhan to take Rocky Helmet damage, while I switch Cresselia to Conkeldurr. Following that he Protects with Amoonguss, while I double up into Thundurus to knock it out, only to realise how bad of a play that was when Gardevoir comes in for free. Having racked up so much Rocky Helmet damage, Kanga falls, leaving Heatran as my only answer to Gardevoir, and with rain still up, it becomes a long drawn-out battle. But the outcome was clear, Edward beat me hands down, in convincing fashion, ending my dream of getting a new 3DS. 0-2

Post Nationals

After Nationals, I had to get back to studying for ‘O’ Levels, and did not play Pokemon for months. Sadly, though I qualified for Worlds, I could not attend because my parents did not allow me to (which parents in their right mind would send their child overseas, a few weeks before major exams?) as well as financial reasons. However, I did enter 1 PC before my exams, getting top 4 and grabbing top 2 at another one in November, making slight tweaks to my team for both

Thundurus (NSP:BooToPAP) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 226 HP / 172 Def / 4 Sp.Atk / 88 Sp.Def / 20 Spe
Calm Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Thunder Wave
– Swagger
– Taunt

  • Survives Modest Charizard Heat Wave
  • Survives Adamant Kangaskhan Return
  • 20 Spe to speed creep other Thundurus

Thundurus was added in favour of Amoonguss as it handles Talonflame better. Also, it provides another form of speed control in the form of Thunder Wave. Swagger is an awesome move. It turns a completely hopeless situation into a 50-50 game, allowing me a chance to recover. This change allowed me to nab Top 4 in a PC, before disappearing from the scene for a month.

Suicune (<3 Akatsuki<3) @ Chesto Berry
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Def / 76 Sp.Atk / 20 Sp.Def / 4 Spe
Calm Nature
– Scald
– Ice Beam
– Calm Mind
– Rest

  • The EVs were stolen and I forgot what it does.

A set ripped from Wai Yin’s VGC 13 team, replacing my Sylveon. Suicune, or so I originally thought, walls the meta very hard, especially after a boost or two, and provides the much needed Talonflame coverage. Also, as Calm Mind is no longer part of the meta, I can easily catch people off guard, get up to +3, and sweep from there. However, one drawback is that I have to knock out all physical attackers on my opponent’s side before I can set up. Also, if my opponent decides to timer stall, I will usually lose. The addition of Suicune managed to earn me 2nd place at a PC, losing due to some misplays. Credit goes to Martin Tan for lending me the Suicune, even though I only asked for it like the day before.

Malaysia Regionals Champion

To be honest, I never expected this. Not only did I not practice, I was more interested in Comics Fiesta, the wider convention of which Regionals was a part (since I could abuse my early entrance to get limited edition stuff), and did not really prepare to do well at all. Lame though it may sound, it wasn’t on purpose, I just happened to get lucky. XD

The Team

Kangaskhan

Kangaskhan (Matt Sensei~) @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Scrappy
EVs: 212 HP / 116 Atk / 164 Def / 4 Sp.Def / 12 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Fake Out
– Frustration
– Power-Up Punch
– Sucker Punch

  • Survives Jolly Terrakion’s Close Combat
  • I accidentally EV’ed my Kangaskhan wrongly and speed tied with opposing Bisharp

I was running Protect over Fake Out after Nationals, so I thought changing back to Fake Out might catch people off guard. Also, by this time, almost everyone knew that I was running Inner Focus Kangaskhan, and with this knowledge, I purposely switched to Scrappy for Fake Out, mainly to deal with Nicholas Ng’s team, which totally walls mine. After Nats, I realised that with such low attack investment, Power-Up Punch would be better than Low Kick as Kangaskhan had lacked offensive presence in most battles, allowing it to set up and be the powerhouse it should be.

Cresselia

Cresselia (B-Ba-Baka~) @ Mental Herb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 60 Def / 16 Sp.Atk / 182 Sp.Def
IVs: 0 Spe
Sassy Nature
– Trick Room
– Psychic
– Skill Swap
– Ice Beam

  • Survives Life Orb Knock Off from Bisharp

Mental Herb was used as Sitrus Berry was taken by Azumarill. Mental Herb allows me to take a Taunt while Kangaskhan Fakes Out the opposing heavy hitters (Like Landorus, Aegislash). However, it never activated for the entirety of the tournament so maybe Safety Goggles or BrightPowder [Editor’s Note: No] would have been a better alternative.

Heatran

Heatran (<3 Shana <3) @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 232 HP / 12 Def / 252 Sp.Atk / 12 Sp.Def
IVs: 0 Spe
Quiet Nature
– Heat Wave
– Earth Power
– Substitute
– Protect

  • Same Heatran as the one above.

Conkeldurr

Conkeldurr (The Tsundere) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Iron Fist
EVs: 212 HP / 84 Atk / 126 Def / 88 Sp.Def
Brave Nature
– Drain Punch
– Knock Off
– Ice Punch
– Mach Punch

  • Same Conkeldurr as the one above.

Amoonguss

Amoonguss (Notice Me~) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 188 HP / 238 Def / 84 Sp.Def
Relaxed Nature
– Spore
– Rage Powder
– Giga Drain
– Protect

  • Same Amoonguss as the one above.

Only realising how much of a threat Amoonguss was to me after Nationals (Thanks Edward), I needed a counter for it. Seeking advice from Kenny Lee, he said that the best way to counter Amoonguss is to use Amoonguss, and so, I added the little spiky mushroom back, giving me the old VGC ’14 duo of Amoonguss+Power-Up Punch Kangaskhan. It also provides an answer to Rotom-W, which apparently my team has trouble against. Rage Powder was somewhat useful, but obviously the main point of using Amoonguss is Spore, probably the best move in the game. Sporing left and right while packing considerable bulk, Amoonguss proves to be a nuisance to opponents not well prepared to handle it.

Azumarill

Azumarill (<3 Yoshino <3) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 180 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 Sp.Def / 70 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Belly Drum
– Aqua Jet
– Knock Off
– Protect

  • Outspeeds Nelson Lim’s Azumarill

Well, I saw on stream that Nelson’s Azumarill has a HP stat of 200, so I thought that he invested all the other EVs in speed (which he didn’t), causing me to have a HP stat of 198, while pumping a whopping 70 EVs into Speed to speed creep other Azumarill and Mawile. Knock Off was used instead of Play Rough as I had enough Salamence and fighting type checks, and Knock Off also KOs Shield Forme Aegislash at +4. Azumarill was added as apparently, I already have the supporting cast for Azumarill with Kangaskhan’s Fake Out and Amoonguss’ Rage Powder, and it would be a waste not to create this deadly core, right? This allowed me to play outside of Trick Room, with +6 Aqua Jets flying around, while the rest try to provide support.

Battles

Round 1

Swiss Round 1: Nief, Malaysia

Well, during team preview, my first thought was Terracott and Encore Disable, but apparently, the mega was not Gengar but Sableye? Turn 1, I Scrappy Fake Out the Sableye while Whimsicott protects against my Ice Beam. My objective is to knock out Whimsicott, set up Trick Room, and let Heatran sweep, but to my horror, he reveals Gravity Grasswhistle, which totally catches me off guard. Heatran suddenly falls asleep, and the opposing Terrakion starts Close Combating my whole team to oblivion. However, I manage to get a lucky 1 turn sleep with Cresselia and knock the Amoonguss wannabe out, and with Trick Room going up a second time, Heatran is able to win me the game. I did make an unnecessary Skill Swap on Gengar, thinking he was going to mega Perish Trap me, but it never happened, and I wasted a turn, where I could have knocked out the -3 Sp.Def Terrakion.

1-0

Round 2

Swiss Round 2: Jack, Malaysia

Seeing the lead of Greninja and Abomasnow, it reminded me of our first Malaysia Invasion, during their first PC, where Ryan Loh got double frozen by double Blizzard. Going into the game, I choke really hard on turn 2, forgetting Greninja’s Dark typing and attempting to kill it with Sucker Punch, needless to say it didn’t, and Heatran pays the price by getting Low Kicked. Surprisingly, the Greninja was Safety Goggles. The game was pretty much sealed when Cresselia took 2 Brave Birds and a Blizzard, living with literally 1 HP, and set up Trick Room.

2-0

Round 3

Swiss Round 3: Lucy, Malaysia

Well, we see a Kanga+Breloom lead from my opponent, and staying in on turn 1 against my Kangaskhan pretty much screams SCARFLOOM, so yeah, karma. [Scarfloom was once Yu Jie’s signature mon] With that said, the game plan was to knock out the opposing Kangaskhan, send in Heatran, set up Trick Room, and sweep. Things were a bit off when, forgetting that I am no longer Inner Focus, I keep Kangaskhan in non-mega form, and get flinched by a Fake Out. However, once Cresselia wakes up from its 2 turns of slumber to set up Trick Room, Heatran comes in to clean the game up.

3-0

Round 4

Swiss Round 4: Nelson Lim (OmegaOddish), Singapore

Well, this was bound to happen but I was glad to know my Azumarill outspeeds his. Turn 1, Amoonguss falls to a Brave Bird from Talonflame while Azumarill is left with 38 HP after Belly Drum and Earthquake damage. As I wasn’t paying attention, I didn’t know that Talonflame was banded and thought Amoonguss died to a crit. Therefore, I use Frustration with Kangaskhan instead of going for Fake Out and Aqua Jet to pick up 2 KOs. The turning point of the game comes when Nelson makes an unnecessary over prediction which I catch. Kangaskhan switches out for Landorus to take the predicted Mach Punch (which would KO Kangaskhan), but I make the obvious play to Ice Punch the Kangaskhan slot, leaving Landorus with a tiny sliver of HP. If it had gone, Kangaskhan would be able to come in again with Fake Out pressure and I would have lost, so yeah, this is when running defensive Landorus is bad. So kids reading this, start running 252/252 Landorus. 😀

4-0

Round 5

Swiss Round 5: Theron Ho (Blazing), Singapore

Guessing that Theron will not fake out my Kangaskhan, I switch from Azumarill to Amoonguss to take the Fake Out, but my Kangaskhan gets Low Kicked while I Power-up Punch his, and the opposing Gengar switches to Terrakion. On the next turn, I Sucker Punch Kangaskhan for the KO and put Terrakion to sleep, and from then on, Azumarill wreaks havoc. Good game Theron, will definitely want to have more battles with you in the future.

5-0

Round 6

Swiss Round 6: Melvin Keh (Shaman), Singapore

As expected, we came to Malaysia Regionals to self kill, as the only 5-0 Singaporeans left, we were really sad about this pairing, however, we knew that whoever won would be guaranteed top cut. The game itself saw safe plays from both sides, with momentum swinging back and forth. I somehow manage to put Terrakion to sleep, indicating that it is carrying Focus Sash instead of Lum Berry. Kangaskhan reveals both Protect and Fake Out, and Aegislash carries Hidden Power, all information that will come into play later. I somehow manage to win the game and secure a place in top cut.

6-0

Round 7

Swiss Round 7: Stephen Tan (Stephen), Malaysia

Though I had already secured a place in top cut, I was determined to win this round as I had a lot of friendly fire matchups in the previous rounds of Swiss and wanted to strengthen the resistance of my fellow countrymen. The start was a little rough, with Clefable holding the Rocky Helmet and the opposing Azumarill setting up to +6. However, through the power of the VGC ’14 duo, the fairy tales (fairies and dragons) were knocked out and I hang on to a 7-0 record, going undefeated in Swiss, and now, under the mercy of the Swiss curse.

7-0

Top 8

Top 8 Quarterfinals: Zain Khalid (Silver), Malaysia

Game 1

Well, Scald burns everywhere. What to do. The truth is, I was ok with the turn 1 Scald burn as a +6 burned Azumarill still hurts, however, what was most frustrating was that I misclicked, Yep, yet again. Expecting the Goth to protect, I wanted to Knock Off the sleeping Politoed, however I accidentally swing into the protected Goth instead, wasting 1 precious sleep turn and taking unnecessary burn damage. I tried to recover but the game was pretty much sealed with a burn onto Kangaskhan, but it was ok, still 2 more games to go. XD

Game 2

For this game, I was still unsure how I should approach as I still didn’t understand his playstyle well enough. I tried to play mostly straight with a few twists here and there. The Overheat miss on Amoonguss was quite unfortunate and I really apologise. Then again, hax happens and somehow wins the game. I had to reveal Substitute on Heatran, which pretty much renders it useless in game 3 as I now expect Politoed to come back in again. 1-0

Game 3

Game 3 was, well, I lead Kanga+Amoonguss into Mawile+Goth, a rough start. Some stuff happens and it comes down to Kangaskhan surviving a Life Orb Superpower from Blaziken. Did some damage calculations afterwards and depending on the investment, the attack had a higher chance of killing me than not, so I guess you can call it hax. But then again, I am proud of my bulky Kangaskhan so peace. I make a bad play by Aqua Jetting Blaziken despite an obvious Gastrodon switch in, simply because I forgot about Storm Drain, showing my lack of experience. And that’s how this scrub squeezed out a win in top 8, securing top 4 and my Comic Fiesta loot. 2-0

Top 4

Semifinals: Melvin Keh (Shaman), Singapore

Game 1

Knowing that my Kangaskhan outspeeds Melvin’s, I go straight for the Fake Out on Terrakion turn 1, while he picks up valuable Fake Out damage onto my Kangaskhan and Amoonguss puts his Kangaskhan to sleep. Afterwards, Melvin makes a very good read, going straight for the Close Combat onto Kangaskhan, predicting that I will not go for the obvious Rage Powder, knocking it out. However, the Sp.Def drop meant Amoonguss could KO the Terrakion with Giga Drain. I am surprised again when I Spore the Landorus, only for it to be carrying Lum Berry. Subsequently, Melvin makes an excellent play by switching Kangaskhan in for Landorus to take the Spore. I almost make the gutsy call to stay in with Heatran and Substitute, instead, I switch to Conkeldurr and get put to sleep. The game ends when Conkeldurr wakes up after two turns to finish the Landorus off with an Ice Punch.

Game 2

Knowing Amoonguss was a threat to his team, Melvin Knocks Off the Rocky Helmet, turning it into a long and drawn out battle. My Kangaskhan gets gradually worn down by Hidden Power Ice from Aegislash and Giga Drain. Knowing that my team now has no speed advantage and had taken heavy damage, the only option I saw was to timer stall since I had the numbers advantage. And so I did, with Amoonguss surviving with 6 HP, I won the game with both Pokemon Protecting on the last turn to end the 20 mins battle.

Final

Finals: Matthew Marcelinus (Karma), Indonesia

Game 1

Turn 1 Fake Out from my opponent’s Kangaskhan onto my Amoonguss was kind of surprising, as it just took free Rocky Helmet damage and revealed Rotom-W had Trick. So, I just went for Rage Powder + Belly Drum, set up and swept from there. My opponent tried to stop Azumarill, with Intimidate and fishing for burns with Flame Body, but luckily, RNG was on my side and I managed to win the game.

Game 2

For game 2, my opponent tried to adjust by Skill Swapping away Azumarill’s Huge Power, however, a +6 Azumarill still hits hard, able to put a dent into my opponent’s team. I was kind of surprised that Knock Off from Azumarill without Huge Power does not kill Cresselia, as mine died to one (could be because my cress has 25 HP IVs). I tried to play safe for the game, not making any unnecessary calls and closed out the game from there.

Conclusion

So somehow, what was originally a copied team managed to get me to top 8 at nationals and win me my first ever tournament, racking up 150 CPs and allowing me to qualify for Worlds 2016 without playing VGC ’16. I am proud of my final team that managed to do so well, as we move on to face the wrath of VGC ’16.

Thank You notes

  • Matthew Hui: For lending me an Inner Focus Kangaskhan to use throughout the season, giving me tips on my team, helping me carry my Comics Fiesta loots back to Singapore, providing the stray a place to stay during Regionals and supporting me all the way.
  • Kenny Lee: For allowing me to copy your team and modify it from there to suit my play style. Also, thanks for all the tips that you provided.
  • Soon, Wilson and Zong Ying: For planning these Regionals and Nationals, allowing us players to have a chance to participate at such amazing events.
  • Ryan Chiam: For providing me with food and taking care of me during Regionals.
  • Reuven Tan: For helping me carry my Comics Fiesta loot back to Singapore.
  • The others: For helping me carry my stuff back to the hotel from the convention centre and supporting me throughout the top cut. It was a pleasure to travel with you guys for Pokemon events.

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