The 2016 Pokémon Video Game Junior Division World Championships is in the books. Check out the rising stars in the Pokémon video game below. Be sure to check out more Pokémon TCG and video game tournament coverage and analysis at Pokemon.com/Strategy.
After numerous Regional victories and a top-8 finish at last year’s World Championships, Cory Connor was finally able to take home a victory at this year’s World Championships. Two different Pokémon on Cory’s team can boost their Attack stats by using the move Swords Dance. Cory used Togekiss’ Follow Me move and Hitmontop’s Fake Out and Wide Guard to protect these key Pokémon.
Shu Harasaki of Japan also returned to the top cut for the second World Championships in a row. Shu’s team was one of the many that played off of the massive power of Primal Kyogre and Primal Groudon. We don’t see many Whimsicott, but it proved to be very versatile on this team. It could control Speed by using either Tailwind or Trick Room, and it knew Safeguard to help out by preventing status effects, too.
Japan’s Rikuto Noda used the traditional “big six” composition of Xerneas, Groudon, Talonflame, Smeargle, Kangaskhan, and Salamence. This team wasn’t completely what you might have expected from this type of team since early in the season—Groudon was taught Rock Slide, Smeargle knew the tricky Wide Guard, and Salamence’s Nature was the more modern Hasty instead of the classic Naive.
Enzo Reci of the United States also used a classic Groudon and Xerneas team. Talonflame, Smeargle, Salamence, and Kangaskhan aren’t the most exciting compliments to Groudon and Xerneas, but Enzo proved that they still make a powerful combination. Enzo deviated a little from the norm by teaching his Smeargle Fake Out and his Groudon Substitute.
Japan’s Kaisei Ichikawa brought one of the Junior Division’s most interesting teams. The combination of Rayquaza and Kyogre finished the season strong in all age divisions this season, but Kaisei’s build was a little different. Both Kyogre and Rayquaza knew Icy Wind, giving Kaisei many opportunities to gain a Speed advantage the expense of not getting to deal big chunks of damage as frequently. Kaisei’s team also had two different Pokémon that could use Fake Out with Raichu and Smeargle, and an unconventional second Mega-Evolved Pokémon in Mega Mawile.
South Korea’s Chang Joon Seo seemed to be using a pretty typical Groudon and Xerneas team like many other Junior Division players in the top cut, just with Cresselia instead of Talonflame. But don’t let that fool you—Chang Joon Seo’s Groudon is one of the more surprising Pokémon we’ve seen this weekend. Not only does it focus on using special attacks, but it knows Thunder. The accuracy of Thunder is actually reduced by the harsh sun summoned by Drought and Desolate Land, but it becomes perfectly accurate if Groudon is forced to face down Kyogre after losing control of the weather.
American Parker Hurley’s iteration of the Groudon and Xerneas archetype included Thundurus and Cresselia instead of Talonflame or Smeargle. To take on other Smeargle, Parker taught his Cresselia Magic Coat, which can block Dark Void and send it right back at Smeargle and its partner! Parker made a couple of other decisions that differed a little from the norm, including teaching Salamence Draco Meteor instead of Tailwind or Roar and teaching his Thundurus Protect.
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