How good are the Island Guardians?

by: Wutpulver

After Generation 6 broke with the tradition of having a legendary trio Sun and Moon are bringing the first true quartet to the pokèmon series. Probably in an attempt to redeem X/Y. Since we know about their typings and abilities it’s about time to speculate their strengths and to prematurely answer the most pressing question of them all: Wich Tapu is the best?

Similarities 

Like most legendary families the Island Deities share some characteristics. All of them have a fairy typing, set terrain on entry and have the same signature move. This signature move is Nature’s Madness which halves the opposing Pokèmon’s HP. It pretty much works like Superfang. I am a little disappointed by it and don’t believe that it will be a commonly used move. Fairy is one of the best typings in the game and part of the infamous fantasy core (Fairy/Dragon/Steel). It favors special attackers more since Play Rough does not have wide distribution and has a chance to miss unlike the superior Moonblast.

Typings

The best typing of the bunch probably belongs to Tapu Koko with the unique combination of Electric and Fairy. Poison and Ground are its only weaknesses and all of its resistances ( Dark, Electric, Fighting, Flying) are incredibly useful in the current metagame. It can stop bird spam, takes Knocks Offs and gladly endures Volt Switches. Its typing will most likely allow it to use Volt Switch as well wich is another big advantage of this combination. A+

Next up is Tapu Bulu the Grass Fairy. The immediate concern is its 4x weakness to Poison. Poison is not exactly a common offensive typing but it is still a problem. Its other weaknesses (Fire/Steel/Flying/Ice) are frequently found on offensive pokèmon and really don’t help the bull fairy. The resistances Fairy brings to the table are still very good but all of these pokèmon benefit from it to the same degree. C

Tapu Lele recycles Gardevoir’s typing with Psychic/Fairy. Psychic seems a bit redundant on a Fairy type, at least offensively. They are both effective against Fighting and both struggle against Steel. Granted Fairy helps against Dark Pokemon and Psychic can deal with Poison types but there are far better combinations out there. Psychic isn’t that great defensively either. It’s most valuable resist is probably itself. Psychic Pokemon usually have a plethora of useful utility moves like Trick or Thunder-Wave (which is still going to be amazing even though it only halves speed now and no longer sports 100% accuracy) so I don’t want to completely dismiss it. C+

Last but not (maybe) least is Tapu Fini and its Water/Fairy typing. Bulky Water is a common and powerful archetype which mainly benefits from only being weak to two kind of attacks. Since Water pokèmon usually also have access to Ice Beam they can even deal with Grass which is supposed to be one of their main counters. Scald is one of the best moves in the game as well. Fairy is a great defensive typing which mainly benefits from only being weak to two kind of attacks….. wait a minute. If we put these two together we get one of the best defensive type combinations. A

Terrain

Electric Terrain boosts Electric attacks of grounded Pokèmon by 50%. That has the potential to be huge and could make Tapu Koko one of the scariest threats to face in any format. Stopping grounded Pokèmon from falling asleep is neat but fairly niche. However this could be the end of Amoonguss` stint in OU and might even cause Breloom to drop as well. B

Grassy Terrain boosts Grass attacks instead but Electric is just a better offensive typing. It also provides recovery for grounded Pokemon but since both teams will receive additional Leftovers this Terrain is largely useless. Secret Power becomes a Grass attack with 70 base power which gets boosted even more by the terrain. The cherry on top is the additional 30% chance to put targets to sleep. C

Psychic Terrain protects grounded Pokemon from priority attacks and boosts Psychic attacks. It is fairly niche but neat nonetheless. C+

Misty Terrain prevents status infliction on grounded Pokemon and reduces the power of dragon attacks. Since the Island Guardians are Fairies anyway this will be useless. D

Roles

I do not know any stats so far so this is the most speculative part of the article. All I have to go on is their typing, revealed moves design and lore. I predict Tapu Koko to be a fast attacker, Tapu Bulu to be a slow bulky physical attacker, Tapu Lele to be a special defensive wall and Tapu Fini to be a mixed wall.

How good are they going to be?

Their Fairy typing and hopefully above average BST should secure all of them a place in the OU/UU tiers. The best one will most likely be Tapu Koko. Tapu Fini should also have a place in the new metagame as long as it gets decent recovery. Unlike Suicune wich is another bulky Water pokèmon without great recovery it can not fall back on Rest since Misty Terrain prevents you from falling asleep. Tapu Bulu and Lele are most likely going to be quite useful but are also easier to exploit than the other two. I do not believe that they will reach OU unless they will be backed by an insane BST. Just remember that all of this is purely speculation and just an educated guess. The new metagame will be drastically different and will shift a lot of power around. Anyway I will probably be spamming Tapu Koko on the OU ladder as soon as it comes out.

[Oct 31st 2016]

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Decided on Decidueye

by BlameTheBlax

One of the biggest causes of debate when it comes to Pokémon is which starter to choose from. Usually, people will simply choose the one that they like the most, however, there are those who aim only for the most competitively viable. So when Pokémon Sun and Moon came out with Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio, there was bound to be controversy over which one was the best. Sometime later, we received the leaks of the starter final evolutions. While the masses shrugged this off as yet another fan concept, I personally found the art to be far too detailed to be entirely fake. Lo and behold, a month before the game’s official release, the demos were subject to datamining and we found that the leaks were actually valid. While I’m unsure how GameFreak let these be leaked so early on and failed to contain the leak before it spread like wildfire, they did still manage to keep some cards close to their chests, only recently being revealed through a trailer. Let’s see what our starters can offer us.

Starting us off with probably the biggest surprise yet, we have the final evolution of Rowlet, Decidueye. Immediately, I noticed that the name is based off of the words deciduous and eye, which is some clever wordplay on how Decidueye is a Grass type archer. However, the secondary typing is what threw us all for a loop. A myriad of fans assumed that it would stay a Grass/Flying type like Rowlet and Dartrix, a handful or so believed it would become a Grass/Ground type to represent a burrowing owl, but instead it’s a Grass/Ghost type. While this isn’t exactly original anymore, what with the Trevanant and Gourgeist lines being introduced last generation, it’s still a unique and interesting typing with plenty going for it offensively. While I probably would’ve preferred a secondary Flying type, I’m certainly not complaining.

Grass/Ghost is an interesting offensive typing, but we’ve only seen it on weaker and bulky Pokémon. The Ghost typing is great offensively, with only Dark resisting and Normal is immune to it. Meanwhile, the Grass typing is less great offensively, being resisted by Fire, Grass, Poison, Flying, Bug, Dragon, and Steel. However, they work together to hit Water, Rock, Ground, Ghost, and Psychic for super effective damage. It does have the most weaknesses out of all the starters, being weak to Fire, Ice, Dark, Ghost, and Flying, however, it can also hit all of these counters with some Fighting and Rock coverage added on to its STAB attacks.

Like all the other starters, Decidueye has a signature move, Spirit Shackle. According to the official Pokémon website, Spirit Shackle is a Ghost-type physical move. An opponent hit with this move will become unable to flee from battle or switch out for an ally. This is absolutely insane from a competitive standpoint. Switching is such a necessity in our metagame, a restriction placed on switching is essentially a death sentence. However, I’m unsure if this would be a permanent effect or if it would wear off upon Decidueye switching. If it does wear off upon switch, the move probably isn’t worth running unless it has a decent base power. Judging by this signature move and the choice of design, I imagine Decidueye will be a fast mixed attacker, although probably more physically oriented. I can assume it will be getting moves such as Shadow Sneak, Shadow Ball, Giga Drain, Wood Hammer, and possibly even some Flying type moves like Hurricane and Brave Bird due to it being an owl. There’s also a high possibility of it getting Swords Dance like the majority of Grass types do. It may even be a decent support, since Grass types learn Leech Seed and Ghost types usually can learn a plethora of status moves, Will-O-Wisp being the most prominent.

Since Sceptile, a fellow offensive Grass starter, and Chesnaught, the previous starter, both have a BST of 530, it’s safe to assume it’ll be the same for Decidueye. This gives it plenty of wiggle room for balancing out stats, but if I were to decide them, it would look something like 75/100/70/95/70/120. This gives it enough defense to take one or two weaker hits, the speed to outpace the majority of Pokémon it ought to in order to prosper in competitive, and the attack to actually do some damage with every hit. As for hidden abilities, there are countless possibilities with this. My list of ideas is based off of abilities that are somewhat likely, so with that said, here they are: Sniper, Levitate, Technician, Infiltrator. Sniper is an obvious choice, personally I wouldn’t like it, but I could imagine the benefits if it gets Focus Energy. Levitate is also fairly obvious, why would we have a bird that can’t fly? Empoleon makes this idea redundant, not to mention Grass resists Ground anyway, but never complain about immunities. There’s also how Ghosts can levitate, but this holds much less weight due to Pokémon like Golurk and Aegislash. Technician would actually be very intriguing, since Hidden Powers would be boosted and it could run Shadow Sneak with the boost, assuming it gets it. Lastly, Infiltrator would be interesting. While it may not be the best competitively, the ability to ignore Screens and Substitutes is awfully rare and would make Decidueye become even more unique.

With all of this in mind, where do I envision Decidueye in the meta? While I certainly can’t use Future Sight, I can use my imagination and place it as a strong UU for the Smogon tier. Grass types are incredibly valuable in UU due to their ability to beat bulky waters, however, the amount of weaknesses and checks that the type does have usually holds it back. However, the added Ghost typing and the potential of Fighting and Rock coverage allows it to be an extremely strong attacker with little to no counters on paper, not including dual typings. Of course, the amount of Dark types in UU and the threat of Weavile, Tyranitar, and Bisharp would keep it from going into OU. As for its place in the GBA draft format, I honestly can’t say anything definitive. Trevenant is in Tier 4 and Gourgeist is actually at Tier 5, which is a rant for an entirely different article, but they are meant to be walls, not attackers. At this point in time, I’d place it in Tier 3. However, if it gets coverage and acceptable stats, in addition to a decent competitive HA, it’s highly possible to hit Tier 2. In the end, this is mostly speculation. We surprisingly know little about Decidueye, despite learning about it months beforehand. The majority of my conclusions are based off of what I know from the other Pokémon with this typing and the Grass starters with similar, offensive looking designs. Anything is possible for the Green Arrow. Until then, all we can do is stay high-spirited.
[Oct 31, 2016]

Null Money, Null Problems: Silvally in Action

 

Type-Null has been one of the coolest Pokemon that was announced for Pokemon Sun and Moon. With its clear emphasis in alchemy in its design, and the heavy helmet that it wears. it was clear (to me at least) that this science dog would get an evolution that would be better than the usual. Lo and behold, my expectations were confirmed when Silvally was shown off in a trailer for the game, looking just as majestic as it could.

We know a couple of things since Silvally was shown off. One is that since the helmet that Type-Null was wearing was actually holding back its true potential and speed. We also know that it has the ability RKS System, which allows it to be any type so long as it has the corresponding hold item, as well as the move Multi-Attack which changes its type based on Silvally’s current type.

Its pretty obvious that Silvally is going to get a lot of comparison to Arceus, what with basically having the same type of ability, as well as the fact that “RKS System: sounds way to obvious to be a coincidence. It would not surprise me if Silvally would have comparative stats to the God Pokemon with all that it has in common with Arceus. While I doubt that Silvally will reach the vast multitude of stats that Arceus possesses, it wouldn’t be too far fetched if it has base 100 across the board. It would keep Silvally in check with its pure counterpart, as well as still being powerful enough for the competitive metagame that we all know and love.

In terms of attacks that Silvally can learn, since it starts off as a Normal type, we can assume like almost every Normal Pokemon, it will learn a good amount of moves across the type spectrum. We also can safely assume that because of the name “Multi-Attack” that the move will hit multiple times. Since those moves are usually not great besides when the Pokemon has an Ability that makes it hit every attack, unless its a powerful move I doubt that it will have much effect in the metagame. My hope is that it will be a good utility Pokemon, like Mew in that it could hold its own either defending or attacking. Base 100 stats, while not the best, can have opponents guessing on just what type of Silvally was trained.

Honestly, I doubt that Silvally will have much use with its Ability. Unless a team needs to have a specific type tank, or if Multi-Attack  does enough damage, most people will probably slap on a Life Orb for more damage dealing. Perhaps another attack will be in the main games that will cause more damage depending on the type, but it would have been shown as such. However, if the current theory that Silvally is a clone of Arceus holds true, then it may get access to Judgement, which is quite a powerful move no matter the opponent.

While we may not have gotten all the information that we wanted from the Pokemon Sun and Moon Demo dataminig, it still allows us fans to speculate on just what Pokemon will be the cream of the crop, and that is for the best. We will know if Silvally can hold up to its potential come November, and that’s enough of a wait.

 

[October 20th, 2016]

Scaly Dragon Skepticism: How Strong Will Kommo-o Be?

Everybody knew that Jangmo-o would become a monster, but I don’t know if anybody quite expected what we got in Kommo-o. Our tiny heart-headed dinosaur turned into an armor-plated beast that is sure to be a powerhouse when Sun and Moon come out.

One issue I have though, is that people are claiming that the Kommo-o line is our pseudo legendary family for this generation, but I’m not entirely convinced. There’s evidence that Kommo-o could not be our pseudo for a couple of reasons, the biggest being that we are normally not shown pseudo legendaries before the game comes out. We were never shown Goomy in CoroCoro, let alone Goodra, were we? While Jangmo-o gives off vibes reminiscent of Larvitar or Bagon, I think a more accurate example would be the Flygon or Haxorus line. But the consensus in the community appears to be that this is our pseudo legendary Pokémon, so maybe everybody is on to something? Only time will tell.

So with that out of the way, what exactly can we expect from Kommo-o? Well for starters, I can almost guarantee that Kommo-o will be a mixed offensive attacker. This doesn’t exactly require a stretch of the imagination though; Kommo-o has been shown using Sky Uppercut, but its signature move Clanging Scales seems as though it will be a special attack, as all sound-based attacks are. So even though Kommo-o looks to be a brute strength behemoth, Kommo-o will likely get a respectable special attack as well.

And how about those scales? Kommo-o is called “The Scaly Pokémon” after all. Those scales are bound to provide high defenses, which will also make its signature move a bit spammable. I could also imagine Kommo-o having at least a fair HP stat due to that plated armor.

But that’s probably the end of Kommo-o’s fortune. Its scales will probably not protect it too well from special attacks, and its speed will likely be lackluster. This makes sense from a design and competitive standpoint. All those scales are bound to weigh you down, and why would you give a Pokémon high marks in every stat? It’s bound to have some weaker stats to keep it balanced.

My prediction for a stat distribution would be:

  • HP: 80
  • Atk: 110
  • Def: 120
  • SpA: 110
  • SpD: 60
  • Spe: 60
  • BST: 540

Now this is obviously going away from the assumption that Kommo-o is our sun and moon pseudo. What we have here is a stat distribution reminiscent of something like Tangrowth or Carracosta, with high stats in everything except Special Defense and Speed. This means Kommo-o could be an excellent Assault Vest user, assuming all of this speculation is correct.

With mixed offenses, there’s limitless possibilities of Kommo-o’s movepool. Being a Dragon and Fighting type, we can expect Kommo-o to get a lot of notable moves like Draco Meteor, Outrage, Focus Blast, Superpower or Close Combat, and maybe even the Elemental Punches.

It should be notable then, that Kommo-o’s abilities are somewhat useful. Not only because with Soundproof Kommo-o can avoid those 4x super effective Pixilate Hyper Voices, but because with Soundproof and Bulletproof, Kommo-o can avoid an opposing Kommo-o’s Clanging Scales or Focus Blast respectively.

While two Kommo-o fighting each other isn’t going to happen in league format (unless your opponent has a Pokémon that can learn Transform) there is still a lot of potential for this monster. Soundproof and Bulletproof are both excellent abilities for a Pokémon with a low special defense, and will give the team a couple of key immunities that will force draft format opponents to prepare differently.

A weak point of Kommo-o’s is that it has a 4x Fairy weakness, but this actually isn’t as bad as it sounds. I’ve repeatedly stated to friends of mine that a 4x Fairy Weakness is the best 4x weakness to have. This is mainly because there are only a handful of Fairy Pokémon, and even then only some of them are viable, but another great reason is that there is no Hidden Power Fairy, unless they change that during Generation 7. Even still, a Roseli berry could fix that problem easily, so defensively, I don’t see this thing having too many problems because of its typing.

Kommo-o’s offensive typing is absolutely phenomenal, though. It will have the ability to spam Dragon moves, especially if it does end up having mixed offenses, and when a Steel type comes in to take the hit you have Fighting STAB attacks to work with as well. I would also be incredibly surprised if this thing didn’t get a good Poison move, since many Fighting types get Poison Jab, and one of Kommo-o’s inspiration, the komodo dragon, has oral venom glands. With a poison move, Kommo-o would be able to handle Fairy types, and would have amazing coverage options against all kinds of would-be threats.

With a great typing, abilities, and hopefully good stats and movesets, Kommo-o certainly looks to be one of the most promising new Pokémon revealed so far.

So will Kommo-o be a pseudo-legendary? Debatable. Will it be strong no matter what? Absolutely.

 

 

Mucking About in Alola

by BlameTheBlax

Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon have already ushered in a new era of competitive play. With the introduction of Alolan forms, totem guardians, and the brand spanking new abilities on their recently revealed Pokémon, the tier lists of both Smogon and this League will undoubtedly go through a paradigm shift. The real question isn’t how the game will change, but rather how it won’t. More news was recently released and countless things stand out, but I was a little slow on the draw, so now I’m analyzing another familiar face that changed under the Hawaiian sun. Alolan Muk.

Let’s stick with the basics of what we know. Alolan Muk has a Poison/Dark typing, something only seen previously by the Stunky line. While this was a gigantic disappointment when compared to the “leaks” stating it would be a Fire type, this does mean that Muk only has one weakness in Ground. It also carries an immunity to Psychic and four resistances. It may lose out on the benefits from a Fairy resist, but it still hits them like a truck. As for movepool changes, it seems pretty clear to just about everyone that this version of Muk will be able to run Crunch, based on the information from the official Pokémon website (Note: After watching the footage from the trailer, I can confirm it does use Crunch). I could also anticipate it getting Sucker Punch, Pursuit, Assurance, and possibly even Foul Play. While Skuntank may suffer in the metagame, this is more due to a poor BST of 479. Meanwhile, Muk carries a more respectable BST of 500, which isn’t necessarily superb, but certainly gives it an advantage over a myriad of lower tiered Pokémon.

Speaking of the stats, let’s talk about Muk’s and what might change with them. Currently, the regular form of Muk has the stat distribution of 105/105/75/65/100/50. To be entirely honest, this is a wonderful stat distribution that makes me personally wonder why Muk isn’t used more, but I digress. If GameFreak were to change anything, I’d think they’d drop the speed. This conclusion was reached by merely looking at the design of Alolan Muk, which is covered in various crystals. I’d imagine that having crystals all over one’s body would cause you to be slower than not having crystals, but what do I know? If I’m right, I could imagine them dropping the Speed to 30 and placing it into Defense and Attack. Once again, this conclusion was reached due to the entry on the official website, which states that it eats a great deal and runs amuck without food. Basically, it eats up hits and deals heavy damage back to the target. This is backed up with the Special Defense already at a respectable base 100 and the Special Attack never being utilized, so I doubt seeing either stat change anytime soon. This new spread, assuming they do change the stats and it is similar to my vision would look something like 105/110/90/65/100/30, making Alolan Muk a real force to be reckoned with.

Finally, we have the abilities. Poison Touch is something Muk already had beforehand, so I don’t think I need to go into depth about it. Gluttony means we could definitely be seeing Muk holding items such as Sitrus Berry for health in dire circumstance, or a Liechi Berry for stronger attacks before death, but it seems like something more gimmicky or matchup based. I’m personally holding out hope for a hidden ability, although I’m not entirely sure what I’d give it. As of right now, I’m biased towards Infiltrator or Aftermath. Infiltrator would allow Alolan Muk to completely ignore opposing screens or Substitutes, effectively shutting them down before they even seize the chance to start up. Aftermath, on the other hand, is what makes Skuntank such a viable threat in the lower tier. This would allow Alolan Muk to be fodder for any physical setup sweeper, Sucker Punching them for damage and letting Aftermath do even more.

With all of this information and speculation out of the way, where will Alolan Muk appear in the metagame? While I doubt it makes an appearance in the upper tiers, it would be a monster in the lower ones. I could definitely see Smogon putting it in UU. In terms of League format, it’s an easy fit into Tier 3 with the potential to shift to higher tiers depending on who drafts it and how they use it. In the end, this is all merely speculation. We know next to nothing about Alolan Muk, the majority of my conclusions are based off of the design and the limited information we have received from our Rotom-Dex. Anything is possible for the Pokémon more toxic than League of Legends. Until then, all we can do is muck around until the demo finally comes out on Tuesday.

 

[October 16th, 2016]

How Emvee broke the format

by:Wutpulver

Emvee joined the GBA for Season 6 and immideately made a splash, without having prior draft experience. He assembled a unique team and abused some of the quirks of the counter team format.

Building a core

In case you need to refresh your memory, here is Emvees draft recap. The first three picks are fairly standart. Dragon/Fairy/Steel cores are very common and for good reason. Notable is the inclusion of Togekiss since it counters the added ground weakness that Mega-Ampharos brought to the trio. These three pokèmon do not leave many holes to be filled by later picks since they have the option to set Stealth Rocks, Defog and U-Turn. So far this isn’t really innovative but it is a solid foundation for whats to come.

Weaknesses

There are only 2 notable weaknesses that I could make out. First is the lack of strong fire attacks. Fire is one of the most important attacking types and a Togekiss or Gyarados Fire Blast is not exactly the strongest Fire coverage.

Second is the lack of recovery. Outside of Togekiss, every Pokémon of the Chimchargers has to resort to Rest to gain some HP back. This results in the team losing steam in drawn out battles.

Set up

Four of Emvees pokèmon are very well known as set up sweepers. Haxorus, Gorebyss, Gyarados and Slurpuff are famous for just that. It doesn’t stop here though. We’ve seen Rock Polish Donphan, Agility Mega-Ampharos and even Swords Dance Keldeo during the season. Almost every Pokémon on the roster can take over a game and be a win condition. This is incredibly important in counter team formats since it is impossible to check every single threat this team presents. What makes set up based teams even more effective is the tier system. No team can consist only out of top tier pokèmon wich makes it very hard to keep up the pressure and not offer too many safe turns. A tier 4-5 Pokemon is usually not able to threaten an OHKO, which opens up a lot more opportunities to run away with the game. In 7 out of the 12 regular season games, Emvee managed to have 1 Pokémon that killed at least half of the opposing team. Together, with Emvees tendency to bring very unusual sets, this team style makes it incredibly hard to prepare and play against it.

Will this change the meta?

I believe that this team archetype is superior to the ones we’ve been seeing so far and fully expect more coaches to try piloting one next season. The more common it becomes, the easier it will be to counter, since phasing will be the best way of working around it and teams will include more and more of these in their plans. I do think that this should have an impact on how the GBA is played and am curious to see how the drafts will develop.

[October 14th 2016]

 

 

Speculation and discussion on rules for Sun/Moon VGC

by NewGame+

Earlier this week, we were treated to a new Sun/Moon trailer. Along with that, the official site updated with the rules for the upcoming VGC ’17 season. The newest and most notable rules are as follows:

  • NO MEGAS WILL BE ALLOWED
  • Each player will have only 60 seconds to choose a move, with a total of ten minutes for the battle. If either player runs out of their ten minutes, they automatically lose.
  • Only Pokemon found in the Alolan Pokedex will be allowed

In this article, I’ll discuss each of the points and what they (could) mean for VGC in the future. Also, before I begin, I recommend reading Wutpulver’s VGC speculation article. In that article he discusses in depth on his thoughts of specific Pokemon on their roles in VGC ’17, so read that one first.

Only Pokemon found in the Alolan Pokedex will be allowed

This is the first biggest rule for VGC ’17. Many people have had issues with the currently allowed Pokemon for a few years, including the very infamous CHALK set (Cresselia, Heatran, Amoonguss, Landorus-T, Kangaskahn). Since these Pokemon were always found on a team in one form or another, the meta began to grow a bit stale. Now, however, assuming that most/none of these Pokemon will be found in Alola, the meta will have a lot more breathing room. Add in the fact that many of the newly introduced Pokemon seem to be oriented towards VGC, and it looks promising as to what kind of teams we’ll be seeing in the upcoming season. And that also leads us to…

NO MEGAS ALLOWED

This is another big one, since many people were upset with the way Megas dominated the format (Mega Kangaskahn in particular). Megas have dominated the scene ever since they were introduced, from M-Kanga, Garchomp, and T-Tar in VGC ’14, to M-Rayquaza, Primal Groudon and Mega… Kangaskahn… again… in VGC ’16. This is fairly huge because

 1) strategies will no longer be oriented around allowing/preventing a Pokemon to sweep as a mega, and 

2) the guessing game as to which Pokemon will be Mega is eliminated. You look at a team with Alakazam, Sableye, Tyranitar, and Garchomp, and there’s no telling which one is going to be the Mega (plot twist, it’s the Audino that you completely forgot about). And now, we move on to the final (and perhaps most important) rules introduced…

Each player will have only 60 seconds to choose a move, with a total of ten minutes for the battle. If either player runs out of their ten minutes, they automatically lose.

VGC ’16 saw quite a few stall tactics in which players would either win by stalling the timer, or would realize they were going to lose unless they stalled the timer. After many complaints by players (and, most notably, a certain wolf), it’s no wonder why they added what’s known as the “chess timer”. Now, for those of you unaware of what a chess timer is, it’s a timer that’s used in chess (as the name implies). Time is granted to each player rather than to both at the same time, to prevent players from winning by stalling the time. Each player has a total amount of time (in this case 10 minutes), and if a player allows this time to run out, then they lose. Period. This is absolutely necessary to stop people from winning via time stalling, and also stresses making plays in a quick and timely manner. This can also help for various official tournaments, as the timer can help matches end quicker and therefore have more done in a single day.

What are your thoughts on what’s in store for VGC ’17? Discuss in the comments below, and if you haven’t, check out Sun/Moon VGC Speculation if you haven’t already.

October 9, 2016