Tag Archives: pokemon sun and moon

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

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Will Salandit Really Corrode the Competition?

When I first saw Salandit, I was immediately drawn to it. In my opinion, it has everything that makes a good Pokémon a good Pokémon; it’s got an interesting design, its name is a pun, and most importantly, it has something that sets it apart from other Pokémon. Salandit wins big in that category, as it has the ability Corrosion. During your first play through, Corrosion might not mean much. But when Salandit enters the competitive scene come November? An ability like that could really shake things up!

For the uninformed, Salandit’s ability Corrosion allows it to poison Steel and Poison types, which normally cannot be affected by the poison status. On a competitive level, the potential this ability has with an imaginative mind is astounding. But before we get carried away, it makes sense that we start to wonder how viable Salandit will be outside of its ability.

I personally feel like base stats will be the main deciding factor in terms of how Salandit is used. I’ve heard many people tell me in detail how amazingly Corrosion would work on a stall team, or against opposing stall teams. But I can’t help but wonder if Salandit will even be built for stalling.

I mean, just look at the thing!

No seriously, look at its appearance. The slender, reptilian design is reminiscent of Heliolisk, Krookodile, Grovyle/Sceptile, Charmeleon, and Feraligatr. I personally feel like these are our closest design comparisons to Salandit. If you think about it, none of these Pokémon are exactly slow, bulky, stalling Pokémon, not even in the slightest. Based on this small sample size, they don’t even really have all that good of access to reliable recovery. (Charizard gets Roost, but Salandit will most likely not be sprouting wings.) So when we look at these Pokémon, we’re talking about speed and offense. It is my prediction then, that Salandit will be a fast special attacker. After all, the three known moves it can learn are Flame Burst, Sludge Bomb, and Toxic. Taking its type into consideration, Fire types have the third highest average special attack among Pokémon types. Meanwhile, Poison type’s best average stat in relation to other types is Speed. Besides, just think about it: Salandit is supposed to be a bandit, right? What good crook isn’t good at getting away?

That puts my approximate base stat prediction at:

  • HP: 75
  • Atk: 60
  • Def: 60
  • SpA: 95
  • SpD: 70
  • Spe: 115
  • BST: 475

So no, Salandit isn’t going to be the stall-god people are purporting it to be, but that doesn’t mean Salandit won’t be able to support its team. Corrosion is still an excellent support ability, and played correctly, Toxic could quickly be spreading to all of your team. When it comes to Smogon tiers, I’m not exactly sure where it could end up, but if it has at least half-decent stats, I could definitely see it being a hassle somewhere.

In draft league format, I think Salandit could definitely have a big impact on the way people draft teams. If Salandit ends up with great stats and a nice movepool, I would expect all of the clerics to get picked incredibly fast. Heal Bell and Aromatherapy will be appreciated more than ever, because so few Pokémon would be safe. Heatran and Mega Aggron, who could normally take Salandit’s fire moves, will now be in fear of poisoning. Defensive Poison types like Crobat, Mega Venusaur, Amoonguss, and Nidoqueen will all need to think twice before entering the field.

There will be innovative answers to handle such a threat, I’m sure. Lum berries, Façade, or Guts could all help in the matchup against it. Magic Guard and Natural Cure can help, too. Let’s also not forget about how Salandit is 4x weak to Ground, making it an easy target for a random Earthquake or Hidden Power Ground. Gliscor is almost a perfect answer on paper with Poison Heal and a 4x super effective STAB Earthquake, but it could always be fearing a Hidden Power Ice. Breloom is there too, but he’s weak to both of Salandit’s STAB types. Chansey could deal with Toxic through Natural Cure or Heal Bell, and sponge up special hits, but then that creates opportunities for set-up sweepers to come in against Chansey.

So overall, I feel like Corrosion could have some interesting applications, especially in draft leagues, but if its stats are underwhelming or if its movepool isn’t brilliant, Toxic on everything won’t be able to get the job done alone. Clever coaches will always find a workaround. However, if Salandit gets some powerful STAB moves, some good stats, and a little diversity in its movepool, Salandit could really steal the show!

… No seriously, he could steal it. He’s a bandit, remember?

Luxray and Drifblim are underrated

by: Wutpulver

There are some features that make a Pokèmon very desirable in draft leagues.Some of the more well known ones are Electric types, Defoggers and versatility.The biggest upsides for Electric as a typing are the lack of weaknesses (only weak to ground) and Volt Switch.The momentum gained from it is crucial in the format since teams usually have a few star pokèmon that do the heavy lifting. Protecting these from damage and enabling them to apply pressure is one of the best things low tier pokèmon can achieve and these two tier 5 “losers” do it very well wich makes me wonder why they have not been used so far.

How to use them

Luxray

Actually that is not true. El Scizor and the Borussia Donphan picked up Luxray in the 4th week of season 5. However, it was not used a lot and since it did not get drafted initially in any season, I think it is still eligible to being called underrated.

Even though its best stat is the 120 base attack, Luxrays main role is that of a defensive pivot. Intimidate is a great ability to have on weaker pokèmon since it always cripples physical attackers regardless of the actual power of the user. This also applies to other chip damage/crippling abilities like Rough Skin, Flame Body and Static. Here, it allows Luxray to take physical attack surprisingly well and a slow Volt Switch is great to gain momentum or bring in vulnerable pokèmon like Weavile or Talonflame. It has many attacking types in its arsenal but often has to settle for the inferior version. Instead of the elemental punches it only has the fangs and instead of Close Combat is has to be content with Superpower. Wild Charge as the main STAB-move is also suboptimal since the recoil will keep Luxray from sticking around longer. The best items are probly Rocky Helmet, Assault Vest and Sitrus Berry to improve your chip damage, bulk or staying power.  A few more interesting moves are: Roar, Snarl and Thunder Wave. An offensive set with Guts and Facade is also possible but lacks the speed to really make use of Luxrays attack stat.

Drifblim

I’ll be honest. The reason I wanted to include Drifblim in here was Defog and Aftermath. Suicidal utility is very effective coming from low tiers. Once I started looking into its expanded movepool it became clear that it can be extremely effective and I am going to make the bold claim that it is in the TOP 10 OF TIER 5 POKÈMON.

Let’s calm down for a bit and look at what it actually has to offer. The base hp of 150! seems tempting but the underwhelming defense stats hold it back quite a bit. The overall bulk is still decent in tier 5 but it could have been so much more. The ability Aftermath is one of the best you can have on this type of pokèmon. Potentially losing a quarter of their max health to a sack will make people very cautious around the DEMON KING DISGUISED AS A BALLON! Ghost/Flying is an amazing typing as well. Important immunities to Fighting/Normal and Ground are great to have. Spin blocking is especially useful. Speaking of hazard control Drifblim learns Defog wich any team enjoys in their lineup. Utility in general is probably its biggest selling point. Not convinced? Well I have this list: Clear Smog, Haze, Baton Pass, Calm Mind, Memento, Disable, Knock Off, Pain Split, Sucker Punch, Thunder Wave, Destiny Bond, Trick, Will-O-Wisp, Icy Wind, Skill Swap, Magic Coat and Weather Ball. Drifblim is a damn swiss army knife.

I guess I failed at that calming down part. Anyway this MONS… I mean underrated low tier Pokèmon obviously has some downsides attached to keep it in check. One of the biggest problems is lackluster recovery. Drifblim is one of the few Flying types that do not learn Roost. There are other options available like Stockpile/Swallow and Rest (Resto-Chesto into Unburden anyone?) but they just dont feel the same. Pain Split is largely useless due to its insane hp stat anyway.

The offensive movepool is functional but not outstanding. Hex and Knock Off are probably the more effective options but Drifblim is not supposed to be a sweeper anyway. You can still use Unburden for some offensive plays but it does not allow for attack enhancing items like Life Orb wich really stops any sweep attempts. The most effective Unburden triggers are probably Chesto/Resto, Power Herb/Phantom Force/Fly and Natural Gift. Still Drifblim can do so many things on a slim budget that you are guaranteed to get a lot of bang for your buck.

Sample Sets

Luxray

  • @Chesto Berry
  • Ability: Intimidate
  • HP 252 Atk 12 Def 244 Relaxed
  • Volt Switch
  • Superpower/ Ice Fang/ Fire Fang/Signal Beam/Hidden Power
  • Wild Charge
  • Rest

 

  • @Flame Orb
  • Ability: Guts
  • Atk 252 SpDef 4 Speed 252 Jolly
  • Facade
  • Wild Charge
  • Quick Attack
  • Crunch/Ice Fang

Drifblim

  • @Chesto Berry
  • Ability: Unburden
  • Atk 252 SpDef 204 Speed 56 Careful
  • Rest
  • Defog
  • Destiny Bond
  • Acrobatics

 

  • @Rocky Helmet
  • Ability: Aftermath
  • Def 252 SpAtk 4 SpDef 252 Bold/Calm
  • Clear Smog
  • Will-O-Wisp/Thunder Wave
  • Hex
  • Thunderbolt

 

Conclusion

There are still many hidden treasures buried deep in tier 5. Most of them should only be used as enhancing talent to your core but every man with two hands has a fighting chance. The choice of your benchplayers is more important than most players realize and they often offer the crucial bit of spice to really unlock your teams potential. They are more than just waterboys.

[Oct 3rd, 2016]

 

[Sun and Moon Speculation] – Alolan Ninetales

 

by Ben Hyman

With the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon on the horizon, there’s still a lot of things we don’t know too much about. Ultra Beasts, Z-Moves, the possibility of Mega Evolutions disappearance or return, and much more. Will Game Freak shake up the type matchups again like they did when Steel received its nerf, or will the status quo remain the same? There’s so much to speak on regarding this, but for now I’ll focus on what I’m personally most excited for: Alolan Forms!

When Alolan Forms were first revealed, I nearly lost my mind. I mean how couldn’t I? Alolan Exeggutor is the most ridiculous thing! Being a fan of Ice types far more than is probably competitively healthy, I also instantly fell in love with the Alolan Sandslash/Ninetales lines….And I’ll be primarily focusing on the latter today. Alolan Ninetales is an interesting beast, and it’s time for some rampant competitive speculation. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

To start, let’s go over the non-Alolan form. Ninetales has always been an interesting pokemon. With pretty much average or below average stats all around, save for base 100 Sp.Def and Speed, there needed to be a very good reason to use the crafty fox. Then, Generation 5’s Dream World came and blessed it with the amazing ability of Drought. Bringing the Sun for a ride whenever it came into play was a metagame changing event, one that warped Black and White’s meta, for better or for worse. So, what can Alolan Ninetales get to make it better than its brethren?

Let’s start with stat distribution, shall we? Ninetales stat-line is as follows: 73/76/75/81/100/100. Not too impressive, as it stands. Assuming Ninetales receives only buffs to important stats and/or decreases from irrelevant stats to put into relevant stats, we may end up with something along the lines of: 73/51/65/101/105/105. Much more fitting of an Ice/Fairy type, right? Ice types are generally fast and decently strong, whilst Fairy types tend to be weaker on the physical side whilst very strong on the special side, a nice mixture! Speaking of that Ice/Fairy typing, it’s definitely a double-edged sword. Defensively, you are now 4x weak to Steel, gain a Poison weakness, are now neutral to Fighting, and gain a Dragon immunity. Seems pretty good to me, you weren’t staying in on Steel types anyways! Offensively, there’s really not much to say other than holy crap. Two of the best offensive typings in the game on one Pokemon? Sign me up! Watch out for those dastardly steel types as per usual, but Dragons beware, a new Dragon Killer has usurped Azumarill.

As for moveset, this is where things get interesting. Assuming Alolan Ninetales (Now referred to as A. Ninetales for convenience)has its only ability available at the start to be Snow Cloak, it effectively has no ability since it cannot afford to set up Hail on its own. Awkward. Moving on, we can assume it’ll get both Ice Beam AND Moonblast, so that’ll likely be on every set. At least part of Ninetales normal move-set will carry over…which isn’t too useful but will give us some neat options like Dark Pulse and Psyshock. Really, anything to hit Steel types neutrally is what we want. Calm Mind is also an interesting option, boosting that speculated Special Attack stat even higher, threatening many a wall with the possibility of just getting blown away by a +1 Moonblast or Ice Beam. On the other hand, the rest of the support move-pool will likely be…lacking. Unless Game Freak blesses A. Ninetales with Will o Wisp, there’s not much else this icy fox is going to be able to do. It’ll be one dimensional, but it’ll be very very good at its job.

Now, for probably the set it’ll run 90% of the time

Alolan Ninetales @ Life Orb

Ability: Snow Cloak

EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Timid Nature

– Ice Beam

– Moonblast

– Calm Mind

– Dark Pulse

 

Keep in mind, as with all speculation none of this is even REMOTELY confirmed, so keep your ear to the ground and eyes to places like Serebii, you never know what info might pop up.

 

[September 13th, 2016]