POKEMON TEAM REPORT: 23rd place at Madison, WI

A couple weeks ago, I attended the Play Pokemon Madison Regional in Wisconsin. Generally, on the competitive Pokémon site I frequent, Nugget Bridge, the players who top cut (generally top 16 or top 8 depending on the regional) will write a report about their team. I got 23rd place at this regional, and while I don’t think this team deserves a spot as an article on Nugget Bridge, I do want to try and write one to help myself write a good report once I do top cut or win an event. So, without further adieu, let’s begin!

Since the beginning of Pokémon XY, I had been fascinated with Mega Ampharos and Gourgeist, and so had been playing a team centered around them. My team did well, but it had some really bad match ups against Azumarill, Mega Gengar, Mega Venusaur, and Malamar. I kept losing, and got so frustrated that I made a team made to beat everything I was losing to that consisted of Gourgeist, Mega Ampharos, Rotom-Heat, Gardevoir, Scrafty, and Scizor. After a couple modifications, my team was complete and ready for regionals!

The Team:

 

rotom-heat
 

 

Rotom-Swag (Rotom-Heat) @ Safety Goggles

Ability: Levitate

EVs: 252 HP / 16 Def / 180 SAtk / 16 SDef / 44 Spd

Modest Nature

– Overheat

– Thunderbolt

– Protect

– Will-O-Wisp

Almost every team has a Rotom. Whether you chose Heat or Wash was up to your team, but I’m not a huge fan of Wash and I think with the rising usage of Mega Venusaur it’s becoming harder to use the washing machine, so I chose Rotom-Heat. Rotom-Heat was my primary answer to Amoonguss, Ferrothorn, Venusaur, Bisharp, and Mawile. With Safety Goggles, Rotom is unaffected by spore and powder moves, the most notable being Spore, Sleep Powder, and Rage Powder. Being able to bypass Amoonguss’ Rage Powder was super clutch in practice, although in the actual tournament I only played one Amoonguss. The spread had two goals: One Hit KO (OHKO) Ray Rizzo’s Mega Mawile 100 percent of the time, and outspeed Rotom that were speed creeping standard bulky Rotom by 1 point. I dumped 252 into HP to complement Rotom’s natural bulk, and then split the remaining 32 EV’s in both defenses just because. Rotom was really clutch, able to live a good chunk of hits even with no Sitrus Berry or Leftovers, and was a great switch-in on Fairiy-types.

 

ampharos

——>        ampharos-mega

Swagaros (Ampharos) (F) @ Ampharosite

Ability: Static

EVs: 188 HP / 136 Def / 28 SAtk / 156 SDef

Quiet Nature

IVs: 0 Spd

– Dragon Pulse

– Power Gem

– Thunderbolt

– Protect

My main Pokémon. Mega Ampharos, in my opinion, is a sleeper mega. He has a monstrous 165 base Special Attack with a good offensive typing in Electric and Dragon.  Many brush him off as bad, but I think it’s because everyone’s using him the wrong way. Everyone seems to go to speed control or Cotton Guard, but I think that’s the wrong way to go. Mega Ampharos excels at something no other Pokémon in the current meta can excel at: beating some very common Pokemon 1-on-1: Aegislash, Mega Charizard Y, Rotom Heat and Wash, Talonflame, Amoonguss without Sludge Bomb, Mega Charizard X, Mega Manectric, Azumarill, Timid Salamence, and Garchomp. On top of taking a hit (or more) from every single one of these Pokemon and OHKO’ing or 2HKO’ing them back, he’s one of the slowest Pokémon in the format, so he also functions as a Trick Room counter like Amoonguss. I brought Mega Ampharos to nearly every single game because he always had a purpose. It’s not a Pokémon you should be building a team around, because it takes too much set up. Just rely on its bulk and strong power to sweep once its checks and counters are gone.

This specific spread was made to live a Timid Choice Scarf Salamence Draco Meteor 100 percent of the time, and to live Adamant Azumarill’s Play Rough 15/16 times. 28 Special Attack EV’s ensures the OHKO on 252 HP Azumarill, all dragons. Power Gem, while some might think is a “bad” move on Mega Ampharos, is the only way to 2HKO bulky Rotom-Heat and to ensure the OHKO on bulky Mega Charizard Y.

 

scrafty

 

 

 

Swagty (Scrafty) (M) @ Assault Vest

Ability: Intimidate

EVs: 252 HP / 220 Atk / 36 Def

Brave Nature

IVs: 0 Spd

– Crunch

– Drain Punch

– Fake Out

– Stone Edge

At this point, I knew I wanted a physical attacker that had Intimidate and Fake Out. Hitmontop isn’t legal in VGC 2014, so Scrafty was the natural choice. I decided that Scrafty was bulky enough that it didn’t need Detect, and I wasn’t too afraid of Talonflame or Liepard and Meowstic-M for Quick Guard, so I knew I would be running three attacks and Fake Out. I had heard that Matt Sybeldon (bearsfan092) had run Assault Vest on it and I wanted to give it a try. With that 1.5x boost to his special attack, Scrafty was able to take Draco Meteors like a champ, and was a fantastic switch-in to Special Tyranitar, able to sponge any attacks from it and recovering the damage with Drain Punch. Scrafty is the slowest possible for a couple reasons: 1) Trick Room, and 2) to beat Aegislash who thought they were safe. Almost every Aegislash I faced fell to my Scrafty because my opponent thought my Scrafty would be faster, and I ended up OHKO’ing their Blade Forme Aegislash with Crunch.

The HP and Defense Evs were to survive a Choice Banded Adamant Talonflame Brave Bird after an Intimidate and OHKO back with Stone Edge. Stone Edge also gave me another option against Mega Charizard Y, which cannot OHKO Scrafty with an Assault Vest. The 220 Atk is to ensure a OHKO on 4HP Mega Gengar, which gave my team problems otherwise.

 

gardevoir

 

 

 

 

Swagevoir (Gardevoir) (M) @ Choice Specs

Ability: Trace

EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 164 SAtk / 4 SDef / 88 Spd

Modest Nature

– Dazzling Gleam

– Moonblast

– Psychic

– Shadow Ball

Gardevoir was my primary answer to Mega Venusaur and dragons. 164 Special Attack with Choice Specs survives all but the bulkiest Mega Venusaur, and it survived a Modest 252 SAtk Mega Venusaur Sludge Bomb. It also outsped standard bulky Rotom by 1 point. Having Dazzling Gleam and Moonblast was a simple matter: sometimes the situation called for Dazzling Gleam, and sometimes it called for Moonblast’s extra power. Trace was an amazing ability, often winning me games simply because I Trace’d Lightning Rod, Levitate, Intimidate, or Parental Bond (which is ridiculously powerful with Moonblast). I brought Gardevoir to nearly every game and it was never dead weight, despite being really frail.

 

mawile——–> mawile-mega

Mawswag (Mawile) (M) @ Mawilite

Ability: Intimidate

EVs: 252 HP / 52 Atk / 24 Def / 180 SDef

Careful Nature

– Iron Head

– Play Rough

– Sucker Punch

– Protect

My second Mega. Scizor used to be in this slot until my good friend Greyson Garren (GreySong) suggested I try Mega Mawile, and after testing it I knew I was going to use it. Mega Mawile was my second Intimidator and my 3rd way to deal with Dragons, as well as a way to deal with Gardevoir. I basically copied Ray Rizzo’s spread because I got him really late and didn’t have time to make a different spread, but it worked out for me splendidly. I only brought Mega Mawile once, but when I did, he did a ton of work.

Choosing between Ampahros and Mawile was actually really easy. I used Ampharos for more common teams, while Mawile was able to rip through Pokemon I didn’t really know enough about, or when there was a Kangaskhan and not a lot of Pokemon that could stop Mawile. All in all, they performed the same role for me – eliminate a threat for the rest of my team. And to that end, they both worked out because they cover a lot of the same Pokemon, yet offer different utility when it came to speed control and maintaining a lead.

 

meowstic

Meowswag (Meowstic) (M) @ Sitrus Berry

Ability: Prankster

EVs: 252 HP / 92 Def / 44 SAtk / 116 SDef / 4 Spd

Bold Nature

– Fake Out

– Psychic

– Safeguard

– Trick Room

I added Meowstic the morning of the tournament. This was a Gourgeist with Safeguard, but I was, for some reason, really afraid of Khan Artist (Mega Kangaskhan + Smeargle lead). So, I took an old Meowstic from my box, gave it Fake Out, and presto, I had some kind of way to deal with Khan Artist. The idea was to send out Meowstic + Scrafty and double Fake Out Turn 1, then Safeguard Turn 2. Psychic was because I had EV’s in Special Attack and didn’t have time to change it, otherwise it would’ve been Charm or Light Screen, and Trick Room was just in case I felt I needed it. I only used Trick Room once, and it only helped me to solidify a win. Still, it was nice to have. This particular Meowstic spread and nature survives a Mega Kangaskhan Return + a turn of sand, and is 3HKO’d by Modest Rotom Thunderbolt. The rest was dumped into Special Attack because I forgot why. I made that spread a long time ago.

Meowstic was more dead weight than anything because I didn’t face a single Smeargle. It set up Safeguard or Trick Room and then died when I actually brought it.

Lead Combinations:

I generally had my leads tailored to the team I was facing, but I had a few favorite and dedicated lead combinations. I didn’t use all of these, but these were the ones I came up with.

Ampharos + Gardevoir:

I would lead this if I felt that nothing could outright threaten the two, or if I wanted to bait my opponent into thinking I was running a Trick Room Gardevoir. This was my primary high-offense team, despite both being special attackers.

Gardevoir/Ampharos + Scrafty:

This was my “bait Aegislash to KO him” lead combo. Gardevoir is such a well-known threat that Aegislash try and KO it, thinking they’ll live the Crunch from Scrafty, only to have my Scrafty move last and get the OHKO. Conversely, I could Fake Out Aegislash’s partner and KO Aegislash with Ampharos if it decided to attack.

Scrafty + Meowstic:

I never used this lead, but in theory this lead was for Khan Artist. Double Fake Out and Fake Out + Safeguard if I predicted a Mega Kangaskhan Power-up Punch.

Scrafty + Rotom-Heat:

My anti-Aegislash, anti-Mega Kangaskhan leads. These two dealt with both Pokémon relatively well, Rotom-Heat having the Will-o-Wisp and Scrafty with Intimidate + Fake Out Support.

Scrafty + Mawile:

Double Intimidate lead. Also my way of drawing out Gardevoir/Dragons and punishing my opponent for leading with them.

That’s the team! Thanks for reading, and hopefully I’ll be writing a real report for a top cut or win I have in a future event. I’ll be doing what’s known as a war story, which is where I’ll write about the trip and every battle during the event if that happens!

Just Sayin’

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