Hi all, this is my report for the Singapore vs Taiwan international friendly tournament, which was played using the VGC’14+ format (VGC’14 with ORAS move tutors available). I ended the tournament with a score of 2-2 – while it was the joint-highest amongst the Singaporeans (come on guys we can do much better than that x_x), I was hoping to do better. Still, the experience from the tournament was invaluable in giving me some insight into not only my team, but also my playstyle and quirks as a player.
Hydreigon @ Choice Specs
EVs: 28 HP / 36 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 188 Spe
– Draco Meteor
– Earth Power
– Dark Pulse
The anti-Aegislash and nuke of the team. The EV spread was taken from Collin Heier’s Choice Specs Hydreigon. The key thing that I was looking for was a spread that survived Garchomp’s Dragon Claw 100% of the time whilst still maintaining max firepower and sufficient speed, and his spread was what I was looking for. I opted for Flamethrower over the tutor move Heat Wave as I wanted a 100% accurate Fire-type move to hit the 4x weaknesses that I might encounter, like Scizor and Ferrothorn.
Garchomp @ Lum Berry
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 172 HP / 12 Atk / 4 Def / 68 SpD / 252 Spe
– Dragon Claw
– Rock Slide
This Garchomp set was created by fellow Singaporean Shang Loh (slyx183) as a bulky alternative to the offensive Garchomp, trading in the attack power for the longevity in bulk. The Lum Berry also helped me deal with possible Kanga-Smeargle combinations, and has been used successfully in a past tournament. Whilst it played quite differently from my own Life Orb Garchomp, this set grew on me and I eventually swapped to it, as the constant pressure over time it provided helped the current setup of the team more.
Mawile @ Mawilite
Ability: Intimidate -> Huge Power
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
– Iron Head
– Sucker Punch
– Play Rough
The same Mega Mawile that I’ve been using all season. I’ve always stuck with twin STABs + Sucker and Protect as all of the other moves (even the new tutor ones) are too situational for Mawile to warrant taking up the moveslot, and my team can handle those threats in other ways. If something isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Mawile was originally the primary Mega of the team, but the more I used it, I ended up leaning towards Mega Gengar and Mawile became the alternate option. It at least gave me the reassurance of a very solid backup that I’m experienced with and, more importantly, can fall back on should Mega Gengar fail to make that impact.
Zapdos @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Heat Wave
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Volt Switch
A Zapdos with three times the passion and the successor to my Choice Scarf Rotom-H in all things but name. Choice Scarf Zapdos was originally selected because ‘hey look I don’t die to Mega Gyarados’ Earthquake!’ but proved its worth in its own right. It provided the fast Thunderbolt pressure that Rotom-H did and maintained enough (no pun) firepower in Heat Wave to threaten the necessary Steel-types, and could do so without dropping its Special Attack. The spread move nature of Heat Wave also added to its versatility.
Before I go on to the last two Pokemon, I’d like to talk a bit about this particular combination. The Azumarill-Gengar combination was formed as a combination of two reports: Adam/GiraGoomy’s Top 4 Australian Seniors report and Jon Hu/JHufself’s 2014 National Championship Masters Division report. I adapted the concept of Helping Hand Azumarill from the first report, and the Mega Mawile/Mega Gengar dual Mega combination from the latter.
What brought the two together was actually Gothitelle – or rather, how I would deal with it, as Choice Specs Hydreigon was not a guaranteed counter due to its rather predictable nature. The Mega Gengar/Azumarill combination solved that by simply killing the Gothitelle on turn one – the turn that most people usually Fake Out the Azumarill (or target it in general), leaving Gengar free to act. Another benefit to this combination is that it turns the tables on the Gothi-trap team in the worst possible way – Gothitelle’s partner is now the one trapped thanks to Mega Gengar. The combination also saw use outside of the Gothitelle matchup, being the pairing I tended to default to in game 1s.
Gengar @ Gengarite
Ability: Levitate -> Shadow Tag
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Sludge Bomb
– Shadow Ball
– Destiny Bond
Straightforward EV spread, maximum speed and firepower. Mega Gengar in my opinion is a Pokemon whose potential is brought out by both its moveset and the player using it. I experimented with various moves for the third slot such as Dazzling Gleam (for Hydreigon’s eyes only), Substitute, Disable, Will-o-Wisp and even Spite (to cut Sucker Punch’s PP down), before eventually going with Destiny Bond. Destiny Bond opened up an interesting option for me, which was to lead with Gengar and Destiny Bonding to take down something with it, and then bringing in Mawile to clean up. Admittedly, things didn’t go quite as planned with Destiny Bond in the tournament, but hindsight is always perfect.
Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 236 HP / 172 Atk / 36 Def / 60 SpD / 4 Spe
– Helping Hand
– Play Rough
– Aqua Jet
While I originally started with the bulky spread in GiraGoomy’s report, I was often frustrated at the lack of power that Azumarill had. I thus modified the spread, which was originally designed to survive both 252 Atk Double-Edge by Mega Kangaskhan and 252+ Special Attack Solar Beam by Mega Charizard Y. I transferred some Special Defence EVs into Attack as I already had plans for how to deal with Mega Charizard Y that did not involve Azumarill getting hit by one of its Solarbeams.
Azumarill not only provided support with its Helping Hands, but also threatened with its priority Aqua Jet and the Fairy-type Play Rough and also gave me a switch-in option to Dragon-types. If there was one thing I’d edit further, it would be to transfer 8 EVs from Special Defence to HP to make the HP number even so as to fake a possible Belly Drum set, especially if matches are being streamed and my HP values are on display for the world to see.
Important note: Forgive me for incomplete/partial battle reports. Battles tend to be a bit of a haze in my mind. x_x
Round 1: vs Li Cheng Feng (李承峰)
I honestly cannot remember much about this round except for the fact that I was expecting Mega Kangaskhan and instead got thrashed by Mega Manectric. On hindsight, I could’ve played this round much, much better, but the next round is a fresh start. Nonetheless, a loss is a loss, and kudos to my opponent.
Round 2: vs Lin Shi Xuan (林士玄)
The first thing I see on the opponent’s team is Gothitelle-Hariyama and I have a strong suspicion that that would be the lead for game 1 – or at least, a Gothitelle start. The rest of the team also resembles Cybertron’s Trick Room Gothitelle team, which some of my friends have utilised variants of in the past. I start with the Gengar-Azumarill combination and manage to get a commanding lead early on, quickly closing game 1 relatively unscathed (and suspecting Dragalge is carrying Choice Specs). Game 2 involved my opponent adjusting and adapting to my lead before eventually getting Trick Room off from Gothitelle and cleaning up from there, and Game 3 was me adapting to his adaptations and trying not to let anything I didn’t want trapped with Gothitelle be trapped (as he would not fall for the reverse-trap again). I can’t remember the specifics of the later two games, but I eventually managed to win Game 3.
1-0 1-1 2-1
Round 3: vs Cai Qian Qian (蔡千骞)
My memories are a bit hazy for this match as well, but I remember thinking that the Gyarados on the opponent’s team could be the Mega with the Lucario and Amoonguss providing Follow Me and Rage Powder support. Mr. Mime also caught my attention for a bit, as I’ve had friends who have tried it out on their teams and it brings some interesting options to the table. It turned out that the Lucario was also another Mega Evolution, one that fortunately was now also prey to my Choice Scarf Zapdos thanks to Heat Wave. Both of the games were relatively clean and hax-free, and while my Zapdos was put to sleep in game 2, I was not too worried as Zapdos remained relatively safe for the duration. I thus left it in until it awoke and resumed its Heat Wave pressure, which eventually secured me the game.
Round 4: vs Bai Yu Ping (白宇平)
This match was put on stream and I wanted to put on a good showing for everyone, both Taiwanese and Singaporean and any other nationalities watching the stream (I had a few American friends watching the game, so that might’ve been extra motivation).
Game 1’s start was pure chaos, with one Pokemon on each side fainting immediately off the bat. The trade ended up leaning in my favor and I brought in my Scarf Zapdos to clean up the rest, eventually closing the game.
Game 2 was a comedy of errors on my part with my start – looking back, starting with Destiny Bond was much too risky, even for my taste. I did manage to gain some valuable information from this game, namely the Ally Switch Gardevoir (along with pretty much its entire moveset) which proceeded to wreck me that game.
During my start for Game 3, I was debating if I should Dragon Claw the Kangaskhan or Rock Slide in addition to the Thunderbolt, as the anticipated Hidden Power Ice from Rotom-H would not be able to take out the Garchomp barring a critical hit, Eventually, I went for the Rock Slide, which put me in a very awkward position with Kangakshan barely surviving it all (and returning to haunt me later on with Sucker Punch mindgames). Personally, this match should not have come down to the Ally Switch/Sucker Punch/Protect/Aqua Jet/Leer mindgames, but it did and I eventually came out with the shorter end of the stick. Nonetheless, it was a great showing and a great set of games and I felt I learned so much from it, both metagame and player-wise (namely, be willing to change up leads even when you win, and standing by your predictions).
1-0 1-1 1-2
I’d like to thank Zong Ying and his family for hosting us at their home, and all the organisers and admin staff of the event (Zong Ying, Matthew, Shang, Wai Yin, Cheeryl). Without you guys, this experience wouldn’t have been possible. I’d also like to thank all the Taiwanese players, those that I played with and those I didn’t, for battling with us and helping us broaden our horizons.
Lastly, and as always, I’d like to thank Reset Bags for existing because they let me check my EV spreads.