Tag Archives: pokemon

Minior: A Pebble Full Of Potential

Minior is arguably one of the cutest Pokemon we received this generation, but don’t be fooled by its appearance. Minior is an adorable ball of terror underneath that shell, and I expect it to make a big impact in league format, no pun intended.

The first thing you might notice about Minior is its unique ability, Shields Down. Shields Down means that once Minior’s HP drops into the yellow, its shell breaks away, and some crazy things happens to its stats. Like Aegislash’s ability Stance Change, Minior’s high defenses get delegated to its offenses, and its speed doubles, effectively making it one of the fastest new Pokemon in a generation full of slow, bulky threats. The only difference from Aegislash is that once that shell breaks off, it’s gone for good unless it gets healed above 50%, but it has no recovery moves besides Rest. I couldn’t even begin to describe what it would be like if Minior got a move like King’s Shield to send it back to its shell, but that’s beside the point. The fact of the matter is, with this unique ability and stat distribution. Minior has some great foundations laid to become an interesting defensive and offensive threat.

The first thing you have to understand about Minior, despite how you may have seen it used so far, is that it’s far from being just a one trick pony because of its ability. It’s easy to think of Minior as an excellent Shell Smash sweeper and call it a day, and while it does fill that role excellently, Minior’s potential would be wasted if that’s all it did.

This guy isn’t Crustle or something. (I still love you though, Crustle <3)

Truth is, in a draft league environment, Minior’s potential can be explored to the fullest.

Minior has a myriad of both offensive and defensive moves in its arsenal, and since Minior starts off as a defensive Pokemon, I’m going to talk about the more defensive side of its movepool first. Minior has access to Stealth Rocks, which is always sought after in league format. Reliable Stealth Rock setters tend to go fast; that being said, I wouldn’t rely on Minior to do the majority of your stealth rock setting, simply due to it not being a fully defensive Pokemon. But is it afraid to run Stealth Rocks on its moveset? Absolutely not. Minior makes a great back-up hazard setter if your main one has a bad matchup for a certain week.

Minior also gets access to Light Screen and Reflect, which are great support moves to have, and with 60/100/100 bulk with its shields up, it’s definitely a viable user of these moves. It’s also worth noting that Rest has interesting viability with Minior. It’s not a conventional recovery move by any means, but Rest opens some interesting doors since it’s the only way to get your shields back up. Minior has access to both Calm Mind and Cosmic Power, both of which it can spam until its shields go down. Then, with its shields down, it will be fast enough to go for a Rest and heal all the way back up to full. A set with Cosmic Power, Toxic, Sleep Talk and an attacking move would be the most defensive form of Minior that you could get away with. I’m not saying you should draft Minior just to run this set, but you could catch someone off guard with it if they plan for a more offensive Minior.

Lastly, it’s important to note that Minior cannot be statused while it’s protected by its shell. So not only can Minior serve these more supportive and defensive roles, but it can do that while being a status sponge as well.

But the offensive side of things is even more exciting. Minior, as I already expressed, is an excellent Shell smasher. That’s not only because of its ability, but because of its offensive movepool. Stone Edge and Earthquake are standard options. Acrobatics is a great move if you run White Herb, or even Weakness Policy if you’re incredibly daring. On the special side of things, you have Power Gem or Ancient Power, Dazzling Gleam, Psychic, and even Charge Beam if you are interested in the boosts. Solar Beam is also one more option, which works better on mixed sets (which are very viable) because if you use Power Herb, it allows you to use Acrobatics.

Another more offensive tool Minior has includes U-Turn, which doesn’t work out so well when you Shell Smash up, but it is a viable offensive move and it works well on offensive Stealth Rock sets. Explosion is one last notable option to hit hard on your way out before you die, and can be an effective way of trading Minior for one of your opponent’s more offensive threats in a match.

It’s because of these options that I think Minior has a surprising amount of potential for draft leagues. It has the versatility that makes a lot of good Pokemon great. So even if when tiers settle, and everybody gets used to Minior and realizes it might be “just okay” instead, I think Minior’s unique ability and movepool will keep it off the sidelines in draft league format.

So if you were thinking about drafting this cute little chunk of rock, I say go for it. Who knows? He could just end up being the surprise star of your team. Because just like his design, from a competitive standpoint, there’s a lot more to Minior than what you see on the surface.

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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

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?

Every Granbull has its Day

by Dillon P

 

Every time I look at Granbull, I imagine Denis Leary’s ladybug character from “A Bug’s Life” yelling “So! Being a ladybug automatically makes me a girl! Is that it?!” I’m sure Granbull didn’t ask to be a Fairy type, but we can’t deny the benefits it has brought him.

With the introduction of the meta-balancing Fairy type in Generation 6, many Pokemon were renovated with this new type, either having it added to its original typing or replacing its old typing completely. Snubbull and Granbull were subject to such a change, as their Normal typing was changed to Fairy. This new typing gave the often forgotten Granbull new life in a battling format heavily focused on Fairy types and their new potential roles. However, as many Fairy types were brought to the top of Smogon tier ratings, Granbull to this day is still lagging behind in the Rarely Used tier. Granted, Granbull does very well in this tier, but many players that focus on higher tiers may not be accustomed to the true utility this Pokemon has. Especially in a league format, Granbull’s constant overlooking can be detrimental to anyone foolish enough not to be scared of this thing.

The core of any Pokemon’s usefulness competitively is its stat distribution. Granbull has mediocre defense and special defense stats at 75 and 60 respectively, and an even lower speed stat at 45. However, Granbull packs quite the punch with it’s massive 120 attack, a base attack overshadowing higher-tier Pokemon such as Krookodile, Lucario and even Entei.

Of course, an impressive attack stat isn’t enough to warrant much attention from the competitive community. But luckily for Granbull, it has several ways to counter its shortcomings. Its pure Fairy typing certainly helps with its defenses, resisting Fighting, Bug and Dark, as well as being immune to the notorious Dragon type. Aside from this, one of Granbull’s most commonly used abilities, Intimidate, lowers the opposing Pokemon’s attack by one stage, helping Granbull live that one hit and strike back with a vengeance. To make up for its low speed, Granbull has another ability called Quick Feet, doubling its speed from a base of 45 to a much more respectable 90, making it a real problem for many unsuspecting opponents. If Intimidate is too important an ability to give up, having Thunder Wave in a move slot will certainly help, cutting the target Pokemon’s speed to a quarter of what it was.

Speaking of move slots, another key to any halfway decent Pokemon is a diverse moveset, and Granbull has quite the diversity. Of course it knows Play Rough, currently the hardest-hitting (and only, believe it or not) physical Fairy-type move there is, but it knows a plethora of other useful moves: Close Combat, Crunch, Rock Slide, Low Kick, Stone Edge, Wild Charge, Iron Tail, OUTRAGE! Not to mention Thunder, Fire/Ice Punch/Thunder/ Fire/Ice Fang (if you need all of those at once), as well as its best answer to its only two weaknesses in Poison and Steel, Earthquake. Even if you want a bulkier support Granbull, you have plenty of options with the aforementioned Thunder Wave, along with moves like Heal Bell, Reflect, Taunt, Torment and Roar. The best part about this immense diversity is that you can mix and match to your play-style, and THAT is what’s most dangerous about Granbull in a league format.

Many people only see Pokemon based only on their tier ratings and fail to look past OverUsed and UnderUsed for a Pokemon’s potential, but there are many low-tier Pokemon that are low-tier for one reason: someone else does their job better. In Granbull’s case, Mega Mawile, Mega Altaria and Azumarill are very, VERY hard-hitting physical Fairy-type Pokemon, but in a league format, they usually get drafted in the first or second round (Yes, I know Mega Mawile is in Ubers, and it still makes me sad to this day).

So when your turn to draft comes around and you find that your team is made up primarily of special attackers, or your team is particularly Outrage-able, don’t forget about little Granbull sitting in RU. It’s always better to have its fangs facing down the field away from you as opposed to the other way around, as your opponents will surely discover.

 

[October 6th, 2016]

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]

 

Why Extreme Evoboost Will Break Everything Ever In The History Of Everything

by NewGame+

So we already know that Eevee is the toughest shit that makes the girls wet and turns the boys into men. There was no way that a bloodthirsty, ruthless, savage killer could become any more bad ass and cool without wearing a Letterman jacket and driving his Mustang straight into the principal’s asshole. But, soft! Through what light does yonder Z-Move break? It was revealed that Eevee will get a special Z-move in the upcoming Pokemon Sun and Moon games releasing in November. The move is called Extreme Evoboost, and allows Eevee to call upon Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Heart. With those powers combined, he uses Extreme Evoboost to double all of his stats. It’s like Ancientpower, if Ancientpower wasn’t bullshit and didn’t suck.

After this reveal, the entire community started losing their God damned minds, and with good reason;  I mean, how isn’t a move like Extreme Evoboost going to break the metagame forever? Game Freaks stocks plummeted 20,001% upon announcement, and sent Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Disney, MONSANTO, INTERPOL, and the sovereign nation of Azerbaijan into a frenzy.

Everything’s all better now, though.

So let’s take a look  at how exactly this will completely break the meta ’til the end of time:

Eevee has  monstrous 55/50/65 base stats for bulk, allowing it to eat up literally every attack thrown at it; nothing can stop this thing once it’s gotten started. Oh, what’s that? What about Close Combat? Bitch, please. Eevee eats that shit for a snack; every Lucario that’s thrown a CC Eevee’s way could do nothing else but blush and turn away at the pure masculinity of Eevee’s being. I even went ahead and calc’d that shit to save you the time:

252 Atk Adaptability Mega Lucario Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 0- Def Eevee: 0-1 (0.0 – 0.5%) –0.01% chance to 200HKO

See? The science is there. Don’t question it.

After using Super Hyper Ultra Extreme Evoboost Turbo Remix II, Eevee is now free to either bring absolute devastation on this insignificant realm, or he can pass that shit to the left using Baton Pass. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Any smelly old taunt user can prevent Eevee from doing any such thing”. Well, pussyfart, that’s where you’re wrong, since Eevee naturally emanates Taunt itself, thereby taunting the taunters from taunting a taunt. So it’s free to do whatever whatever it God damn pleases, and they’re ain’t shit you can do about it. Bitch.

So, in short, Extreme Evoboost is the second coming of Jesus H. Christ himself. Eevee shall absorb all existence into itself and create a massive hivemind being that shall tear asunder all realities, and all realms shall know the true face of terror.

Eevee’s comin’.

And we’re too late to stop it.

September30, 2016