TMI Plays Flash Clash – Analysis and Reports

May 5th, 2016 | Posted by ReuvenVGC in Articles | Team Reports

fcmain

The Flash Clash Online Competition on the Pokemon Global Link had a very different, yet extremely fun format for players bored of the standard singles and doubles battles. This online competition carried similar restrictions to that of flat battles, with Mythical Pokemon and Soul Dew not allowed. However, Flash Clash is unique in being a 1 vs 1 format, where players have only 30 seconds in Team Preview to choose their one Pokemon out of six to battle, and 10 seconds for every move. To go with the quick timers, players were also not allowed to hold Mega Stones or Focus Sash on their Pokemon. Unlike in flat battles, Pokemon were automatically levelled to 50, ensuring that there would be no L1 Aron/Magnemite shenanigans.

This format shares many similarities to VGC 2016, the format we play today. Both formats are really fast-paced, where your leads can be game-deciding. But with Team Preview lasting only 30 seconds, you don’t have time to hesitate on your choice. Games can easily be forfeited on the first turn, for example having a Blaziken up against Talonflame. The metagame for this format is categorised into five main archetypes. Other archetypes such as set-up sweepers aren’t really viable due to the fast-paced format.

Metagame Introduction

Hyper Offence

Hyper Offensive Pokemon in this meta are the ones that allow for one-turn-win games. High in power and speed, but paper on the defensive spectrum. These Pokemon usually carry Choice Specs, Choice Band or Choice Scarf. Considering the fact of the format being 1v1, Pokemon can afford to be choice locked into a super effective move with little drawback. Some popular Pokemon that fall under this category include Greninja, Talonflame, Porygon-Z, and Haxorus. Many of these Pokemon have abilities that help increase either their damage output or speed priorities.

Hyper Beam from a Choice Specs Adaptability Porygon-Z can OHKO anything that doesn’t resist it, and even without a damage boost Scarf is still no slouch. Greninja has high base speed and a decent movepool to hit most Pokemon super effectively with a STAB boost from Protean, which can even serve as a defensive tool in a pinch by turning Greninja into a type resisting the incoming attack.

Talonflame is a Pokemon that doesn’t need to worry about speed (except in the mirror) because of its Gale Wings ability. With a Choice Band slapped onto it, Brave Bird can OHKO most Hyper Offensive Pokemon in this meta. Haxorus is picked up by many players because of its Mold Breaker ability. Mold Breaker allows Haxorus to break through frail Sturdy Pokemon and drop them before they can retaliate. In addition to breaking Sturdy Pokemon, Haxorus also slays the common Multiscale Dragonite.

The Tanks

The Tanks are the opposite of Hyper Offence. They are the ones that extend the game duration and hope to win a war of attrition, and are good solutions against most archetypes. Though the one thing everyone would prefer not to see is a tank versus tank match, which can easily be dragged to the full 5 minutes timer. Popular tanks include Ferrothorn, Cresselia, Chansey, and Gliscor. The common items held by these tanks are Leftovers and Eviolite.

Ferrothorn walls any Pokemon without a fighting/fire coverage move. With Leech Seed and Leftovers recovery, Ferrothorn can easily regenerate its health and slowly whittle down opponents. Gliscor is popular due to its unique Poison Heal ability, allowing it to recover health very easily while at the same time trolling opposing Pokemon that rely on Toxic for damage. With its own Toxic and Protect to stall, Gliscor beats most Pokemon that lack ice/water coverage.

Cresselia being insanely bulky allows it to recover with Moonlight and negate most damage done to it. It practices the same Protect and Toxic stall tactic as Gliscor. Chansey, on the other hand, has a few ways to damage its opponent, making it less susceptible to being Taunted. These include Seismic Toss, Toxic and Counter. Counter allows Chansey to destroy most powerful physical attackers.

However, there are some Pokemon that fall in between the Tank and Hyper Offence categories. These Pokemon are well-balanced on both spectra, allowing them to take hits and dish out damage decently. Pokemon like Landorus-T and Dragonite have decently high attack stats, which makes them lean more towards the Hyper Offence category. But unlike the usual HO suspects, they do not need to worry about going first or not KO-ing the opponent in one hit, as their abilities and bulk allow them to survive a blow. Conversely, there are Pokemon that lean more towards being tanks but still have decent offence such as Scrafty and Aegislash. These Pokemon take hits easily and can dish back decently high damage.

Sturdy Revengers

Sturdy revengers can be tricky, but predictable. They have a very strong matchup against most Hyper Offence Pokemon, as their Sturdy ability denies the OHKO moves. These Pokemon commonly hold Weakness Policy or Custap Berry. Weakness Policy is common on Pokemon like Golem, allowing them to dish out double the damage on their opponent after being hit. Aggron, on the other hand, usually holds Custap Berry. It can deal a hefty amount of damage with Metal Burst or Endeavor after taking a hit, and on the next turn, Custap Berry activates, allowing it to go first and finish off its opponent. Donphan employs a similar strategy, using the Sturdy Endeavor formula. However, Donphan has access to Ice Shard, which has a priority of +1, to finish off its opponent.

Tricky Disruptors

Tricky Disruptors can be split into many smaller subcategories. The most infamous among them is Togekiss, which harnesses the power of RNG to beat its opponent with its primary weapon of Serene Grace Air Slash. Whimsicott is similarly irritating to deal with, as a Pokemon that cannot KO it before Leech Seed lands can find itself helpless as Whimsicott alternates between Substitute and Protect while your health drains away. Prankster Taunt shuts down the opponent’s own shenanigans.

Other forms of trickery are dependant on your opponents’ knowledge. Choiced Dusknoir and Cofagrigus follow the same strategy, whereby they trick the Choice item to its opponent and follow up with Disable. This forces the opponent to struggle and kill itself with recoil. Another similar abuser with its high speed is Alakazam, Protecting on the first turn then going for Encore if the opponent does something Alakazam likes, or Disable if it’s something threatening. Alakazam then just has to go for whichever move it didn’t use previously, rendering the opponent stuck in an Encore Disable situation.

Perish Singers

Perish Singers thrive in this format, due to it being 1v1. They follow a very simple Protect formula, where they just need to be slower than the opponent and survive at least 2 hits. They are somewhat similar to Tanks, as they take hits and do not focus on dishing out direct damage. However, everything hinges on them being slower than their opponent, since the faster Pokemon faints first when the perish count hits 0. General formula goes: Perish Song > Protect > ___ > Protect. Common Perish Singers are Lapras, Azumarill, and Murkrow.

Lapras has access to Sheer Cold, which opens an alternative route to beating Pokemon if Perish Song isn’t a viable option. Lapras can also Curse to become even slower if it runs into an opposing Pokemon that underspeeds it. Azumarill has by far the best defensive typing among Perish Singers to go with decent bulk, since Sap Sipper removes its weakness to Grass, and sits at the suitably slow base speed of 50.

Although Murkrow is much frailer than most Perish Singers even with Eviolite, it has the great ability Prankster. Being able to go first, Murkrow can set up a Substitute on the fourth turn to prevent a possible KO move, meaning it only has to take one direct hit on turn one. It can also Taunt before an opponent Taunts to stop Perish Song. Alternatively, Murkrow can utilise a combination of Featherdance and Roost to neuter physical attackers before finally sealing their fates with the song. Murkrow’s relatively high base speed of 91 does limit the range of targets it can confidently beat.

An easy check for this archetype is by using a slower Pokemon like Ferrothorn, or by Taunting them before they can sing, since they offer little in the way of actual attacks. Soundproof Pokemon may not be the most inspiring, but the likes of Bouffalant and Exploud are worth a glance since Perish Singers are a big enough threat in this format. And some Hyper Offensive Pokemon simply deal too much damage for Perish Singers to stay alive, though part of what makes the archetype so dangerous is that even if you threaten a 2HKO, there’s always the chance the Perish Singer pulls a triple Protect.

Community Reports

Reuven Tan

Hi guys, to belatedly introduce myself, I’m Reuven Tan. I’ve been an active VGC player since 2015. My only experience with the 1v1 format was from Challenge Cup 1v1 on Pokemon Showdown. XD Although Challenge Cup and Flash Clash share few similarities, I decided to try out the new format. My preferred playstyle for VGC has always been either Set Up or Hyper Offence Disruption. These playstyles tends to be fast-paced and lead-important. With the Flash Clash format being fast-paced, it somehow suits my playstyle.

So, I kick-started my team with the infamous Encore Disable Alakazam and the ultimate hax Pokemon Togekiss. XD I started practising Flash Clash on Showdown the day the format went up. Optimised the team a week after and stopped playing, as games on Showdown were hard to find. And finally I ended up with this team.

reuvenfcteam

Landorus-T



Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Outrage
– Superpower
– Earthquake
– Rock Slide

Having a scarf Landorus-T as one of my main hyper offence mons is pretty important. Without Landorus-T my team would be somewhat weak to Talonflame. Earthquake and Rock Slide are required coverage on Landorus-T, with Rock Slide over Stone Edge for the accuracy. But Rock Slide wasn’t much used throughout the competition. Superpower is a great coverage move to deal with Greninja and Weavile. Knock Off was a move that I dropped for Outrage. Outrage allows Landorus-T to hit the common powerhouse Dragons easier, without risking the accuracy of rock slide.

Talonflame


Talonflame @ Choice Band
Ability: Gale Wings
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Brave Bird
– Me First
– Will-O-Wisp

Talonflame was placed in the team as a deterrence against many hyper offensive mons. It also helps the team to pick up easy game wins in one turn. It’s more or less the all-in choice of the team, it’s either you win or I win on turn one. There isn’t really a reason to use super effective U-turn or Steel Wing as STAB neutral Brave Bird does more than them. Me first allows Talonflame to beat Dragons, like Garchomp, by Outraging them first. Will-O-Wisp isn’t the best option but good enough to beat Counter spam users like Wobbuffet.

Ferrothorn


Ferrothorn @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Atk / 100 Def
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Protect
– Leech Seed
– Power Whip
– Gyro Ball

I’ve tried out many different walls in this format, but in the end I still came back to Ferrothorn. Ferrothorn, being one of the best walls, is a win condition in VGC, and the same can be said here. Ferrothorn can beat many Pokemon one on one with access to Leech Seed. I have observed many teams that only have one way, or sometimes none at all, to deal with Ferrothorn. Ferrothorn is somewhat a guaranteed win if opponent doesn’t have fire/fighting coverage. (Of course that doesn’t account for being hit by a Sheer Cold from Lapras :|)

Togekiss


Togekiss (F) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Serene Grace
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 132 Def / 4 SpA / 108 SpD / 12 Spe
Bold Nature
– Air Slash
– Thunder Wave
– Attract
– Swagger

Female Togekiss! Very important as the genies are male. You may not be able to paralyse all of them but you still have a chance to beat them with the power of love. In this meta there are very few solid counters for Togekiss, even Perish Singers need to pray that they can sing to their god. However, using Togekiss itself is playing with the Devil. If he hates you, your opponent could get past paralysis, infatuation and Air Slash flinch, just to crit you. (Happened to me in one of the games :|) EVs allow Togekiss to survive a Choice Specs Ice Beam from Greninja and the rest go to physical bulk. 12 Spe to speed creep other Togekiss, though quite a number of them are scarfed.

Scrafty


Scrafty @ Assault Vest
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Atk / 100 Def
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Drain Punch
– Rock Slide
– Knock Off
– Ice Punch

Scrafty was picked to have another option to deal with Aegislash. Being slower than Aegislash I can KO it in its blade forme with Knock Off. Scrafty also had a very strong matchup against many offensive Pokemon. With Intimidate and Assault Vest, Scrafty can survive almost any hit.

Alakazam


Alakazam @ Life Orb
Ability: Magic Guard
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Protect
– Encore
– Disable
– Psychic

Encore Disable Alakazam is the set that I’m known for using in VGC15. It’s a pretty tricky and fun strategy to use against players that have no idea what it is up to. Magic Guard allows Alakazam to beat Walls that rely on Toxic for the win easily.

The overall strategy I used for this team during Team Preview is to choose the one with the best matchup with most of my opponent’s Pokemon. For example when I see a team of only one Pokemon with likely fire coverage, Ferrothorn is an easy pick while I pray hard that he doesn’t bring the counter. However, it’s a 1/6 chance that he brings it, so I wouldn’t worry as much. It’s more or less about probability, when it comes to choosing Pokemon in Team Preview. Usually when I see a Slaking on the opposing team, I tend to lean on Ferrothorn or Alakazam. As both these Pokemon carry Protect, Slaking doesn’t stand a chance. Hidden Power Fire Porygon-2 is something I faced which proved troublesome. The only Pokemon that I’m confident to beat it with is Togekiss, since it prevents Porygon-2’s SpA raise with Download.

This format is really fun as the mind game comes during Team Preview, especially when you’re facing someone you’ve fought before. The best part is that you’re not going to have enough time to think deeply enough through Team Preview given only 30 seconds. XD I finished with a final rating of 1773, placing #30 in the world. My goal was to reach 1800, as I was confident in my team that had achieved a decently high ladder ranking on Showdown. However, 1773 is still a decent rating, so ‘close enough’.

reuvenfcposition

Matthew Hui

Reuven and Ronald were so enthusiastic about the Flash Clash format during one of our PCs that I couldn’t help but be interested. I read up about the general mechanics of 1v1 (prior to this I had just assumed I would run Toxic stall on everything), and decided to build a team that mixed meta and anti-meta.

matthewfcteam

Aegislash


Armityle (Aegislash) (M) @ Air Balloon
Ability: Stance Change
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 140 Atk / 116 SpA
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– King’s Shield
– Shadow Ball
– Shadow Sneak
– Sacred Sword

Standard mixed Aegis. Shadow Sneak loses utility with no Weakness Policy, but priority is useful in a pinch. Sacred Sword makes Aegis an ok Chansey counter by pushing through any Minimize nonsense while immune to its main damage dealers (Toxic, Seismic Toss, Counter), though you don’t actually out-damage the 16 pp Soft-Boiled which can make the endgame iffy. Shadow Ball hits a wider range of targets, but not having Flash Cannon made fighting Sylveon a pain for the entire team.

Air Balloon swings your matchup against a lot of physical attackers, especially if Choiced, by forcing them to throw a contact move into King’s Shield instead of Earthquake, Dragonite and Haxorus being among these. Also allows you to beat Donphan safely even if they underspeed you since they don’t get the EQ on your blade forme.

Basculin


Bad Toy (Basculin) (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Mold Breaker
Level: 50
EVs: 28 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 220 Spe
Modest Nature
– Surf
– Aqua Jet
– Taunt
– Ice Beam

All my 2011 trauma in one place. Tried my best to not have to breed this abomination, but sadly nothing else can quite fill its niche. Speed outruns Jolly Dragonite (rare but eh) and HP gives it a Life Orb number.

Basculin’s main advantage over Haxorus as a Mold Breaker user is the easy OHKO on Donphan, which I believed would be the most common Sturdy mon, as well as Golem, neither of which Band Adamant Haxorus can OHKO (though it can Guillotine!). Picks up the same KOs on things like Aggron, Dragonite and Shedinja, has a better matchup against Avalugg and Gigalith, but loses out on Sawk and Magnezone while having more trouble with Bastiodon and Probopass.

Surf is Basculin’s strongest STAB attack since it doesn’t get Hydro Pump, Ice Beam hits Dragonite, and Aqua Jet even with a -ve nature helps to pick off weakened things like Custap users without their own priority. Taunt is a last ditch solution when up against tanks you have no business taking on as well as Perish Singers, though if they have an actual attack and aren’t forced to Struggle, there’s a good chance Life Orb kills you before them anyway. At least you stop most Whimsicott.

Whimsicott


Watapon (Whimsicott) (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 164 Def / 164 SpD / 180 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Substitute
– Leech Seed
– Taunt
– Protect

Standard SubSeed hellspawn. No HP investment to maximise % recovery with Leech Seed, speed outruns Liepard so you can Taunt first. Taunt is important to shut down Chansey, but do note that even though you can stop Perish Song from happening, Sap Sipper Azumarill is immune to Leech Seed so you lose anyway.

Donphan


Delteros (Donphan) (F) @ Custap Berry
Ability: Sturdy
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 188 Atk / 68 Def
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Endeavor
– Counter
– Ice Shard
– Earthquake

Standard Sturdy Donphan set, though a few of my opponents seemed to have forgotten it learns Counter. Defence EVs give it a better chance to take Fake Out + High Jump Kick from LO Medicham, though dropping the Attack does make matchups that rely on Donphan KOing with EQ+IShard (water type Greninja) more iffy. Minimum speed lets you hit Aegis in blade forme and ties Perish Song Azumarill for a nerve-racking finish.

Counter physical attackers (generally a KO in itself), Endeavor special attackers and hope they do enough damage to trigger Custap Berry. Ice Shard with Custap gets the jump on opponents with their own priority move to finish them off first, if there’s no danger of priority then you can just end it with Earthquake. If you suspect that the opposing special attacker is going to go for a weaker first attack to break Sturdy, then you might have to bank on them being frail enough to be KO-ed the traditional way with EQ+IShard.

It’s probably safe to assume that the special attackers I faced were Choiced, since even though they know what’s coming they still erred on the side of caution and go for a strong enough first attack that it put Donphan in Custap range, allowing me to KO with Earthquake next turn. Though one poor Heatran chose the battle with me to discover that his Hidden Power type was not super effective on Donphan, missing a 2HKO. A -SpD nature with 0 IV might be something to think about to increase the chances of special attackers bringing me under 25%, but like Reuven described in his own report, I really don’t want to play more dice with the devil by taking more damage from Togekiss Air Slash.

Azumarill


Akiza (Azumarill) (F) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Sap Sipper
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 172 Def / 84 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Perish Song
– Protect
– Substitute
– Scald

SpD investment to almost always survive Timid Specs Greninja Hyper Beam and make Timid Scarf Porygon-Z a 50/50, rest in physical bulk. Minimum speed to sing.

Perish Song and Protect are obvious. Substitute is actually really important, in the standard Perish Singer formula, Sub on turn two wins the game against HO Pokemon that are forced to go for a recharge move to try and OHKO Azu on turn one but fail (Specs Greninja’s coverage moves beyond Hyper Beam are often resisted). In the rare event you face a set-up sweeper (ie DD Gyarados) that sets up on turn one while you Perish Song, the obvious Protect on turn two means he will likely boost again, granting you a free Sub and game win. When up against something slower you can’t sing, Sub gives you a chance by blocking Toxic and absorbing Metal Burst hits.

For some reason, Smogon players like to run physical attacks like Play Rough, Waterfall and Dive in the last slot which, other than the situational Custap Dive set, confuses me. Without Huge Power Azu’s base SpA is higher than Att, and most of the slower mons are the Sturdy abusers which are physically defensive. You also take recoil from Ferrothorn Iron Barbs, causing you to lose despite the immunity to Grass. Scald’s burn chance allows you to beat Ferro and neuter physical attackers while potentially OHKO-ing 4x weak mons like Golem outright.

Porygon-Z


Pegasus (Porygon-Z) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Adaptability
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Hyper Beam
– Dark Pulse
– Ice Beam
– Trick

Timid to always outspeed Blaziken after Speed Boost (and Modest Yanmega), also catches Adamant Scarf Landorus-T. The damage loss from Modest is noticeable though.

Just hit Hyper Beam and pray that 90% accuracy doesn’t let you down (it didn’t). Dark Pulse and Ice Beam for coverage and to grant the slightest glimmer of hope even in bad matchups with the 10% freeze and 20% flinch chance respectively. Trick locks down Tanks that don’t go for an attacking option, if they Toxic you still have five turns to kill them in which are enough to bring down even Chansey (losing Eviolite means it goes down to 4 Ice Beams + Hyper Beam). Don’t try to Trick Whimsicott, you will lose to Protect + Taunt.

In Team Preview, the first question I always ask is “How many of the opposing Pokemon can break Azu?” If the answer is 2 or less, then it becomes a strong first option. Donphan is also a comfort pick if my opponent has a variety of attackers but looks like he plays straight. Porygon-Z is the YOLO choice, while Basculin and Aegislash sometimes hard counter enough Pokemon on the opposite side to make them safe picks. Didn’t stop me from crossing my fingers going into every single game of this competition until I saw what the opponent brought.

Whimsicott ended up seeing the least play (one game, opposing Gyarados fainting to Leech Seed with 0:00 on the timer), but I like to think it did its job by discouraging Chansey from ever coming out to play (fought against zero despite many seen in Team Preview). Similarly I think Aegis in slot #1 stopped a flood of Sylveon (fought just two) which I only discovered my team was atrociously weak to on day one of the competition. I’m not sure why no one ever brought Talonflame against me.

What Reuven said about mindgames vs people you fought previously is hilariously true, one poor sap who walked into Perish Azu was so scarred he sent his Magnezone into my Donphan both times we fought again. Time-out pressure right from the start of the turn really messed with my head, and I probably should have reordered some of my movesets to put certain moves in the first slot in case I timed out (which happened).

Ended with a rating of 1807, somehow, given the volatility of the format which saw my rating seesaw 100 points at a time, especially on day 3 when I kept getting paired with 15xx players (and losing). Finished #11 in the world, missing the first page of results by 1 rating point. <_< matthewfcposition

Wilson Foong

I was not enthusiastic at first because I had never played this format before and did not know what Pokemon to choose. But after some discussion on potential playable gimmicks with my friends, I decided to give it a try. It worked out pretty well and I had lots of fun. I would like to thank Emil, Melvin, Jon, Ron, and Reuven for helping out with my team, and presented here are the Pokemon I used for the Flash Clash tournament.

wilsonfcteam

Shedinja


Kotomine (Shedinja) @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Wonder Guard
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– X-Scissor
– Will-O-Wisp
– Protect
– Swagger

This Pokemon is a filler. The reason for having Shedinja is to scare or trick my opponent during Team Preview into bringing a Pokemon that will do well against it, but I never brought it out to battle once. People are prepared for it so there is no reason to use this Pokemon.

Dragonite


Kiritsugu (Dragonite) @ Choice Band
Ability: Multiscale
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Outrage
– Iron Head
– Ice Punch
– Fire Punch

I used Dragonite in most of the matches during the tournament. With a base attack, maximum investment along with a Choice Band, he can OHKO or 2HKO almost anything my opponent brings out. Dragonite can also survive one super-effective hit due to Multiscale, which makes this Pokemon an excellent choice to obliterate opponents before they even have the chance to strike back.

Togekiss


Gilgamesh (Togekiss) (F) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Serene Grace
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 136 Def / 108 SpD / 12 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Thunder Wave
– Attract
– Air Slash
– Swagger

I present to you the most annoying Pokemon in my team. Togekiss is well known for its paralyse and flinch strategy, so why not bring it up a notch with Attract and Swagger? With at least 2 conditions being inflicted AND 60% chance of flinching with Air Slash, it will be a challenge for my opponent to break through all of them and land a move. Perhaps the only thing my opponent wants to break is my face.

Avalugg


Waver Velvet (Avalugg) @ Mental Herb
Ability: Sturdy
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Mirror Coat
– Crunch
– Avalanche
– Stone Edge

One of my two Pokemon with the ability Sturdy, Avalugg is my counter to special attackers. As its Special Defence is very low, most special attacks can bring this Pokemon down to low health straight away and Mirror Coat will reflect back double the damage to seal the win. However, if the opponent brings a physical attacker instead, it has the capability to tank hits and enough attacking power to KO the opponent before it can KO him.

Sawk


Iskandar (Sawk) @ Lum Berry
Ability: Sturdy
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Counter
– Close Combat
– Knock Off
– Poison Jab

Another Pokemon with the ability Sturdy, Sawk is my counter to physical attackers. For this tournament, I noticed a high usage of physical Pokemon so I used him a couple of times. His main job is to reflect back damage to unsuspecting opposing Pokemon that use a physical attacking move. If the opponent were to send out a Special Attacker instead, he has Knock Off to deal with pesky Psychic types, Poison Jab for fairies and Close Combat for everything else that does not resist it. He also carries Lum Berry to remove status inducing moves that may hinder this strategy, for example, confusion from Machamp’s Dynamic Punch.

Azumarill


Irisviel (Azumarill) (F) @ Wacan Berry
Ability: Sap Sipper
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Perish Song
– Substitute
– Protect
– Dive

Finally, here is one of the main gimmicks I used during the tournament. My Azumarill is not the usual Huge Power + Belly Drum variant, but rather it focuses on using Perish Song. Unlike moves like Destiny Bond, where the user will faint first before the opposing Pokemon hence losing the match, Perish Song causes the faster Pokemon to faint first, followed by the slower Pokemon. So if Azumarill is the slower Pokemon, I will win the match. This is why I had Relaxed nature and 0 IVs in speed on the Pokemon to make it as slow as possible. To boost Azumarill’s survivability during the 3 turns, it has the ability Sap Sipper to negate the Grass type weakness, and holds Wacan Berry to reduce super-effective Electric damage, leaving it only vulnerable to Poison attacks.

So here is how I played it: I will use Perish Song on the first turn, followed by Substitute/Protect/Dive to stall out the 3 turns. As Azumarill is very slow, the opponent gets to attack first. It has to survive at least 2 attacks in order for Perish Song to activate. If I know I am unable to get a Substitute up after the second hit, I’ll go for Dive instead and Protect on the last turn. This gimmick does not work if the opponent is slower than Azumarill (Ferrothorn, Wobbuffet), the opponent has the ability Soundproof (Exploud) or the opponent can KO you within 2 moves. So I will only bring Azumarill out if I am confident the opponent has very few options to stop the blue rabbit’s song of death. 😀

So here’s my Flash Clash team. It has lots of gimmicks, but I got a decent score of 14-6 on day 1. Unfortunately I did not have time to complete the rest of the games during the weekend, but I had fun trying out something new. Hope you have enjoyed reading this article! 🙂

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