The Video Game Senior Division top-8 was loaded with talent at the 2016 US Pokémon National Championships. Multiple former tournament winners were in familiar territory as they battled once again for title of Champion. Be sure to check out more Pokémon TCG and video game tournament coverage and analysis at Pokemon.com/Strategy.
Carson St. Denis’s take on the Rayquaza and Kyogre archetype featured a number of exciting twists. He taught both the Rayquaza and his Scizor Swords Dance, which gave him the opportunity to quickly gain a dominant position in matches. He was one of the few players who chose to use both Chesto Berry and Lum Berry on his team, which reduced the potential impact of an opponent’s Dark Void, and he was one of the only Trainers to use Hitmontop or Togekiss, too.
The Xerneas and Groudon team used by Mihrab Samad was one of several that added Weavile. With both Weavile and Kangaskhan, Mihrab had two different Pokémon that could use Fake Out to help Xerneas use Geomancy or Groudon to use Substitute. Mihrab’s Weavile was also holding King’s Rock, which allowed him to get a second guaranteed Flinch with Fling.
The former Junior Division World Champion brought put some interesting twists on the popular Xerneas and Groudon archetype. Unlike most players, Brendan Zheng gave his Smeargle a Mental Herb to hold instead of a Focus Sash, helping him against opponents using Taunt. Instead of Smeargle, Brendan gave his Focus Sash to Whimsicott, a Pokémon we haven’t seen from many other Trainers this year. Brendan even taught his Whimsicott Endeavor, a move that can take even the most powerful Pokémon down to 1 HP after Focus Sash activates.
The team used by Mostafa Afr features a number of unconventional Pokémon. Very few Trainers have selected Terrakion this year due to its weakness against both Groudon’s Ground-type and Kyogre’s Water-type attacks, but Mostafa was able to take Terrakion all the way to the top cut. His team featured many ways to trouble Xerneas: his Terrakion knew Poison Jab, and he had three different Pokémon that resist Fairy-type attacks with Gengar, Crobat, and Primal Groudon.
The team used by Riku Toyohara stands out most for including Mawile on a team with both Kyogre and Groudon. If Riku is able to set up Trick Room with his Cresselia, Mawile can help out the team by doing massive damage to Xerneas, on top of having the Intimidate Ability prior to Mega Evolving.
The team used by Edward Chen can perhaps be seen as the prototypical Double Primal team. He combined Groudon and Kyogre with both Salamence and Kangaskhan as potential options for Mega-Evolving Pokémon, Bronzong to help the team with Trick Room, and Thundurus to help the team with Taunt and Thunder Wave.
The Groudon and Xerneas team used by Joseph Costagliola was very similar to the team used by eventual finalist Mihrab. The teams differ in the item Weavile holds, as Joseph chose to give his Weavile a Life Orb to maximize the amount of damage it can do. He also used Cresselia instead of Smeargle, which aided his team with Skill Swap, Gravity, and Trick Room.
The Pokémon Company International is not responsible for the content of any linked website that is not operated by The Pokémon Company International. Please note that these websites' privacy policies and security practices may differ from The Pokémon Company International's standards.
Your request could not be completed. Please try again. If the problem persists, please contact Customer Support.
You've been awarded 0 Token(s) for watching Pokémon TV!