A Forceful Approach to Victory
09 Dec, 2011 in Play! Pokémon
Check out another Regional Championships winning team that specializes in brute force over savvy.
The 2011–2012 Regional Championships allowed Trainers to build teams using almost any Pokémon from the National Pokédex. This included exciting new Unova Pokémon like Tornadus and Terrakion, as well as old favorites from previous generations, such as Tyranitar and Zapdos. With the Team Preview feature enabled, Trainers were allowed a brief view of the six Pokémon in their opponents' teams, after which each player selected four of his or her own Pokémon to use in the Double Battle. This added a whole new level of strategy to the competition, as Trainers were given a small opportunity to tailor their teams based on what they thought their opponent's strategy would be.
Previously, we discussed how weather-based teams made a strong showing at the Regional Championships. Not every team needs that sort of unifying theme to be successful, however; Mychael Bryan showed the other Senior Division players in Virginia that a team of strong Pokémon with good type coverage and a touch of disruption could earn him the title of Regional Champion.
This style of team is extremely flexible, but it can also be a challenge to master. The Pokémon selected and the order of their appearance changes in nearly every battle. These decisions are made based on what the opponent's team looks like in Team Preview. The player has to have a good idea of what teams he or she will see in order to make the best choices, though each Pokémon on this team is strong enough to hold its own in suboptimal conditions.
|Held Item||Occa Berry||Wild Pansage (Pinwheel Forest or Lostlorn Forest)|
|Moves||Bullet Punch||Raise Metang to Level 32|
|Rock Slide||TM80—Mistralton Cave|
|Meteor Mash||Raise Metagross to Level 53|
Introduced in Pokémon Ruby Version and Pokémon Sapphire Version, Metagross has a truly impressive Attack stat. An Adamant Nature and the use of items such as Power Bracer and Protein during the training process further boost this stat to staggering levels. The Clear Body Ability is an excellent way to protect this stat, as it prevents Metagross's stats from being lowered by moves and Abilities from opposing Pokémon. With a base power of a mere 40, Bullet Punch provides the slow-moving Metagross with a first-strike move. With Metagross's massive Attack and shared Steel type, Bullet Punch can put a large dent in an opposing Pokémon's HP bar. Meteor Mash gives Metagross a high-powered Steel-type attack and yet another way to boost the Pokémon's Attack stat. Rock Slide lets Metagross hit both opposing Pokémon with a strong Rock-type attack that has a 30% chance to make those Pokémon flinch, plus it provides good coverage against one of this Pokémon's biggest threats—Fire-type Pokémon.
|Pokémon||Thundurus||Route 7, after Opelucid City (Pokémon White Version only)|
|Held Item||Charti Berry||Wild Swellow (Route 13 or Giant Chasm)|
|Thunder Wave||TM73—Nimbasa City|
|Hidden Power (Flying)||TM10—Nuvema Town|
Mychael's Thundurus is very similar to the one on Brendan Zheng's team...with a few key differences. Both Pokémon share Thunder Wave to help cripple opposing Pokémon and Hidden Power to give Thundurus a strong Flying-type special move. However, Mychael opted to help protect against Rock-type moves with a Charti Berry rather than against Ice-type moves with a Yache Berry. Because Mychael was not building a Rain team, the 70% accuracy of Thunder became a liability, so he replaced it with the slightly weaker, yet 100% accurate, Thunderbolt. Protect is an excellent move on several fronts: it protects your Pokémon from its teammate's attacks that damage all of the other Pokémon on the field, such as Surf or Earthquake, and it gets your opponent to waste turns trying to knock out a weakened threat. Despite its power, Thundurus is a somewhat fragile Pokémon; a smart Trainer like Mychael can make excellent use of a well-timed Protect to throw off his or her opponent's strategy while using the other Pokémon on the field to counterattack.
|Pokémon||Hydreigon||Victory Road, as Deino|
|Held Item||Chople Berry||Pokémon Dream World|
|Dark Pulse||*see More Information below|
|Dragon Pulse||Raise Deino to Level 32|
This three-headed, six-winged Pokémon can be one of the most difficult to obtain in Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version. Its basic form, Deino, is found in an area that can be accessed only after you've defeated all eight Gym Leaders, and it doesn't even start evolving until Level 50. However, once you've put in the time and effort to evolve this Pokémon to Hydreigon at Level 64, you've got a Pokémon with a huge Special Attack stat that is completely immune to Ground-type attacks, thanks to its Levitate Ability. Mychael boosted its Special Attack and Speed base stats while training this Pokémon to let it strike fast and hard. Hydreigon's two types, Dragon and Dark, work in conjunction with the powerful Dragon Pulse and Dark Pulse moves to pulverize opposing Pokémon. Flamethrower is an excellent selection for Hydreigon, as its other two attack moves are resisted by popular Steel-type Pokémon, such as Metagross, Scizor, and Ferrothorn.
|Pokémon||Hitmontop||*see More Information below|
|Held Item||Life Orb||Gear Station—48 Battle Points|
|Moves||Fake Out||Hatch a Tyrogue Egg|
|Sucker Punch||Move Tutor (Pokémon Platinum Version, Pokémon HeartGold Version, or Pokémon SoulSilver Version)|
|Mach Punch||Egg Move (breed Hitmonchan with Ditto)|
|Detect||Raise Hitmontop to Level 46|
The Handstand Pokémon is the oldest on this team list, harkening back to Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version. It's also the most challenging to create for the current tournament format. Check out the More Information section of this article for how to get Mychael's Hitmontop. Its Adamant Nature, training with Power Bracer to boost the Attack base stat, and training with Power Weight to boost the HP base stat ensures Hitmontop's power and longevity. With moves that attack first, Mychael did not need to worry about training to improve Hitmontop's Speed. The Technician Ability helps to maximize the power of moves with a base power of 60 or less, which helps both Fake Out and Mach Punch.
At first glance, Fake Out may seem like a poor move choice since it can be used only during Hitmontop's first turn in battle. However, its power to disrupt an opponent's opening turn by causing one of his or her Pokémon to flinch should not be underestimated. Hitmontop typically switches to the quick Mach Punch move after the first turn, which is boosted to a base power of 90 thanks to Technician and the same type bonus.
Sucker Punch goes first if the Pokémon it's targeting is using a damaging move that turn. This Dark-type move allows Hitmontop to land supereffective hits on Ghost-type Pokémon, which are immune to Fighting-type attacks, as well as Psychic-type Pokémon, whose Psychic-type attacks are super effective against Hitmontop. Detect is essentially the same as Protect; however, very few Pokémon know this move, so using it is a safer choice against the effects of moves such as Imprison.
|Pokémon||Amoonguss||Route 6, 7, or 10|
|Held Item||Coba Berry||Wild Sunkern (Route 12)|
|Moves||Spore||Raise Amoonguss to Level 62|
|Rage Powder||Raise Amoonguss to Level 54|
|Giga Drain||Raise Foongus to Level 28|
Trained to boost its HP, Defense, and Special Defense base stats, and with just enough training in Speed to act before some of the big, slow threats in the metagame, Amoonguss is a tank with some of the best disruptive moves in this year's VGC format. Its role is to put Pokémon to sleep and absorb attacks while its partner does the bulk of the attacking. Of the moves that cause a Pokémon to fall asleep, Spore is the only one with 100% accuracy, quickly turning the battle into a two-on-one scenario. On the turn that Amoonguss uses Rage Powder, any attacks that were targeted at its teammate will automatically target Amoonguss, allowing a damaged teammate to escape an attack that would otherwise knock it out. After Amoonguss takes a couple of hits, it can patch itself up using Giga Drain to recover HP equal to half the damage it inflicted on the target. This is especially effective against Rain teams thanks to the high number of Water-type Pokémon they tend to include. This move set is rounded out with Protect to help keep Amoonguss in the fray for as long as possible.
|Pokémon||Abomasnow||Poké Transfer from Pokémon Diamond Version, Pokémon Pearl Version or Pokémon Platinum Version|
|Held Item||Choice Scarf||Gear Station—48 Battle Points|
|Moves||Blizzard||Raise Abomasnow to Level 47|
|Focus Blast||TM52—Wellspring Cave|
|Grass Knot||TM86—Pinwheel Forest|
|Sheer Cold||Raise Abomasnow to Level 58|
Abomasnow is a great example of a situational Pokémon chosen when the Trainer pays attention to Team Preview. Snow Warning sets up an unending Hail weather condition when Abomasnow enters play, which damages all non-Ice-type Pokémon every turn. Typically, a Trainer would be hesitant to damage his or her own Pokémon every turn. However, if Team Preview shows that the opponent has a Politoed or a Tyranitar, there's a good chance that he or she will be running a weather team. It's often far better to take a small amount of damage every turn than to allow opponents to take advantage of a beneficial weather condition of their own choosing. Between the Timid Nature, which raises the base Speed stat, and the Choice Scarf, Abomasnow is a surprisingly fast Pokémon. The downside is that it's locked into the first move that it uses after it comes into play due to the Choice Scarf—so, choose that move wisely. Thanks to the Hail kicked up by Snow Warning, Blizzard's accuracy is boosted from 70% to 100%, making it an incredibly powerful Ice-type attack, capable of taking out everything from a Garchomp to a Tornadus in one hit. Focus Blast provides solid coverage against the highly resistant Steel-type Pokémon, which can do significant damage to Abomasnow. Grass Knot provides a strong counter to Rain teams that focus heavily on Water-type Pokémon, as well as Ground- and Rock-type Pokémon that are pervasive on Sandstorm teams. Sheer Cold is a massive gamble with only 30% accuracy; however, the payoff is that the opposing Pokémon faints immediately if the attack lands. This is really a last-resort move when the battle is winding down and Abomasnow is up against a dominant opponent.
Mychael's team provides us with an excellent opportunity to discuss the lengths to which some Trainers will go to breed a perfect Pokémon. Every new Pokémon game introduces a new list of level-up moves, Egg Moves, and Move Tutors for nearly every Pokémon. In most cases, all of a Trainer's team needs can be met using Pokémon Black Version, Pokémon White Version, and the Pokémon Dream World. However, there are some instances where getting a Pokémon to learn a specific move requires a resourceful Trainer to dig into the back catalog of Pokémon titles. Thanks to the Poké Transfer feature, Trainers can bring those Pokémon into Pokémon Black Version or Pokémon White Version, creating new opportunities when training a team. Of course, only the Pokémon make it over via Poké Transfer—you can't transfer held items!
Dark Pulse can only be learned as a level-up move, or via breeding, in Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version. Unfortunately, there are no Pokémon that learn Dark Pulse by leveling up and are able to breed with Hydreigon. Fortunately, Poké Transfer provides a solution to this problem. Here's how Hydreigon can learn the move:
- Teach Dark Pulse to a male Ekans, Arbok, Gyarados, or Seviper in Pokémon Diamond Version, Pokémon Pearl Version, Pokémon Platinum Version, Pokémon HeartGold Version, or Pokémon SoulSilver Version using TM79.
- Transfer it into Pokémon Black Version or Pokémon White Version.
- Leave it with a female Deino, Zweilous, or Hydreigon at the Day Care Center.
- Hatch the resulting Egg to obtain a Level 1 Deino that knows Dark Pulse.
If you thought getting Dark Pulse on a Hydreigon was tricky, Hitmontop is sure to teach you a lesson in resourcefulness! All of the work to get this Hitmontop is done in Pokémon Platinum Version, Pokémon HeartGold Version, or Pokémon SoulSilver Version.
- Evolve a Tyrogue into Hitmonchan by raising it to Level 20, with a higher Defense stat than Attack stat.
- When it evolves, take it to the character in the game that allows Pokémon to learn moves from their earlier levels, and give him a Heart Scale to teach Hitmonchan Mach Punch.
- Drop Hitmonchan and a Ditto off at the Day Care Center.
- Hatch Eggs until you receive a Tyrogue that knows both Fake Out and Mach Punch and has the Steadfast Ability.
- Evolve the new Tyrogue into Hitmontop by raising it to Level 20 while its Defense stat is the same as its Attack stat. The Steadfast Ability will turn into the Technician Ability.
- Take Hitmontop to a Move Tutor and teach it Sucker Punch.
- Raise Hitmontop to Level 46 and teach it Detect.
- Use the Poké Transfer to send your Hitmontop to Pokémon Black Version or Pokémon White Version.
As you can see, a lot goes into putting together a winning team. Hard work, a solid strategy, and a strong knowledge of Pokémon history can earn you the title of Champion!