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[DISCUSSION] Worlds 2017 Overview - Top 8 Teams!
#1
Hey, everybody! It's 0kamii, and today I want to revisit the top 8 teams at Worlds this year!

Moving forward, I want everyone to be aware that all of my Friday posts are going to be permanently moved to Saturday because of my new work schedule. As a result, my new posting schedule is going to be Monday, Wednesday, Saturday. Expect posts these days are opposed to my previous schedule of every other day. Anyway, now that that announcement in out of the way, I want to get to the meat of this post! I've already talked about my thoughts on Worlds this year, but I really wanted to go into each team specifically and see what made them work in this passed metagame. Obviously, some worked better than others, but in other cases it was just a matter of who played better. That being said, let's jump in!

 
 
Worlds 2017 Overview - Top 8 Teams!

1) Ryota Otsubo - Winner
[Image: krookodile.png] [Image: whimsicott.png] 
[Image: tapukoko.png]
[Image: celesteela.png] [Image: tapufini.png] [Image: marowak-alola.png]
 
I've already covered Ryota's team in my previous post on Worlds 2017, so I don't think it requires too much explanation. What I wish to repeat however is just how much I love his Normalium Z strategy with his Whimsicott. In case you missed it, his Whimsicott was often paired with Tapu Fini or Tapu Koko, which would in turn change his Whimsicott's Nature Power into an Electric-Type move or a Fairy-Type move, which gave him very situational coverage on an otherwise overlooked pokémon. Then again, most of Gen 5's mons are overlooked, but that's just my opinion. This effectively gave Ryota three different Z-moves, Tentonic Rage, Twinkle Tackle, and Gigavolt Havoc. Aside from his Nature Power Whimsicott, he also brought along an Alolan Marowak with Brick Break as opposed to Bonermerang as we saw throughout the season. This was because he was expect more players to bring moves like Aurora Veil and double screens. Ryota made an excellent prediction, and it paid off in the end against his opponent in the finals, Sam Pandelis, who brought an Aurora Veil Alolan Ninetales. Last thing I want to mention about Ryota's team is that he brought a Krookodile as opposed to Garchomp for his Ground-Type, which I absolutely adore, and that his Tapu Fini was the rare Choice Specs set packing powerful moves Ice Beam, Dazzling Gleam, Muddy Water, and Moonblast. Overall, this team has amazing flexibility, and Ryota played it well. He really is deserving of the title this year.
 
2) Sam Pandelis - Runner-up
[Image: garchomp.png] 
[Image: ninetales-alola.png] [Image: arcanine.png]
[Image: mandibuzz.png] [Image: xurkitree.png] [Image: tapulele.png]
 
The thing that I really like about Sam's team is that it's a mix of standard and non-standard, kind of like my Emolga team from back in May. Seeing Tapu Lele paired with Psychic Seed user Mandibuzz is nothing new. What I haven't seen though was Garchomp using Alolan Ninetales' Aurora Veil to set up a Swords Dance safely. Not only that, but that same Aurora Veil was used to let Xurkitree take advantage of Tail Glow, a move that Xurkitree would be otherwise too slow to utilize. Given the strong presence of Ground-Types this metagame, I'm honestly surprised that Sam dared to bring an Electric-Type that undersped Garchomp. Clearly however, it worked, and was only thwarted by Ryota's Marowak. Something else I find noteworthy about Sam's team was his Ninetales' moveset. Sporting the odd lineup of Roar, Aurora Veil, Icy Wind, and Disable, Sam's Ninetales is easily the most supportive variant of the set I've ever seen. While I don't remember seeing him use Disable or Roar in the final match, I'm sure it must've locked out many an Arcanine's Flare Blitz and Celesteela's Heavy Slam. Not only that, but Roar was great for ridding the field of other setup mons like Mandibuzz and Bulldoze Arcanine. While my favorite part of Sam's team was the Tail Glow Xurkitree, I think it's really cool to see someone blend the conventional with the not-so-conventional, and I hope to see more of it in VGC 2018.
 
3) Paul Ruiz - Semifinalist
[Image: marowak-alola.png] [Image: tapukoko.png] [Image: celesteela.png]
[Image: salamence.png] [Image: persian-alola.png] [Image: snorlax.png]
 
 
There are two things that immediately jump out to me on Paul's team. The first thing is that he's using Salamence as his designated Dragon-Type, and second, he's using an Alolan Persian, probably my second favorite Alolan form. Most players refrained from using Salamence this year because it lacked damage output, hence the reason almost all variants carried Draco Meteor and Dragonium Z. Instead, Paul took a different approach. Paul's Salamence had a Flyinium Z which turned Fly into Supersonic Skystrike. Providing neutral STAB against much of the format, as well as super-effective damage against common mons like Hariyama, Tapu Bulu, and Buzzwole, the physical variant of Salamence's set was not very popular, but it seems as though Paul put it to great use. Going back to his Alolan Persian, which first gained popularity thanks to Sebastian Escalante at the Oceania International Championships, running the interesting set of Fake Out, Foul Play, Quash, and Parting Shot, Persian's role seemed to be placed firmly as mixed utility. Parting Shot gave Paul a free switch-in whilst hitting his opponent for game-changing stat lowerings, Fake Out for obvious reasons, and Quash is excellent for those slower mons like his Celesteela and Alolan Marowak that need a boost in priority. Something odd about his Persian though is that it doesn't have Taunt to stop Trick Room. Then again, Mimikyu was one of the most popular TR setters this format, so Foul Play may have been his substitute to that. Regardless, Paul had his own share of bizarre choices, all of which seemed to pay off in the end.
 
4) Tomoyuki Yoshimura - Semifinalist
[Image: salamence.png] [Image: metagross.png] [Image: buzzwole.png]
[Image: tapukoko.png] [Image: nihilego.png] [Image: gastrodon-east.png]
 
While I admit I was irked to see two pseudo-legendaries on one team, it's not uncommon in VGC if it's allowed. Ray Rizzo famously won with a Metagross, a Tyranitar, a Garchomp, and a Hydreigon on his team back in 2012, so I suppose I should be grateful Tomoyuki only had two. Something that I really liked about Tomoyuki's team though was that he used a Gastrodon, a pokémon that I personally have some competitive history with (see my post about my Emolga team above). Running Scald, Toxic, Clear Smog, and Recover, the set was clearly designed to chip away opposing mons and to debunk all attempted stat changes with Clear Smog. The other mon on Tomoyuki's team that I really enjoyed seeing was Buzzwole. Arguably my favorite Ultra Beast, Buzzwole saw little use this year because of its weaknesses to common attacking types like Fire from Arcanine, Fairy from the Tapus, and Psychic from mons like Lele and Metagross. Tomoyuki's set was mostly coverage based, with Superpower for STAB, Ice Punch for opposing Garchomp, Poison Jab for the Tapus, and Protect, as is standard. Another thing I want to briefly cover is that Tomoyuki's Salamence was an Assault Vest variant running Bulldoze, intended to be paired with his Metagross, which carried a Weakness Policy. While not uncommon, Arcanine was usually the Bulldoze user of choice, so it was interesting to see Tomoyuki's take on it. Overall, I'd say this team was good as any. In fact, he almost beat Ryota in the semifinals. It would've been interesting to see how this team would've faired agaisnt Sam.
 
5) Nils Dunlop - Quarterfinalist
[Image: mimikyu.png] [Image: persian-alola.png] [Image: snorlax.png]
[Image: arcanine.png] [Image: nihilego.png] [Image: tapukoko.png]
 
The trainer responsible for dethroning our previous World Champ, Wolfey Glick, Nils holds the distinction of being the only trainer in the Top 8 to be using a Mimikyu as his Trick Room setter. Not only that, but it was paired with Alolan Persian (which ran Fake Out and Quash) to virtually guarantee that it was successfully activated whenever he chose. He was also one of three trainers in the Top 8 to bring along a Nihilego. His Nihilego was the Choice Scarf variant with Acid Spray to lower Sp. Defenses, Sludge Bomb, Power Gem, and Hidden Power, though I'm not sure which. I think it's a fair assumption that it was likely Ice to deal with opposing Garchomp that OHKOed it with Earthquake. Nihilego saw medium usage thanks to that 4x Ground-Type weakness, and it's interesting to see a trainer find a suitable work around. Something else that I thought was interesting about Nils' team was that his Snorlax was running Frustration over Return. I'm not sure if this is because it was more time-friendly to decrease the Snorlax's happiness, but either way he opted not to use Facade or Return as most other trainers did. Along the same line, he also ran Belly Drum on his Snorlax, which paired well since his Mimikyu knew Psych Up. Now there's a strategy few saw coming. While I appreciate the use of Alolan Persian, his Koko set was the most common variant, and it just wasn't enough to make it to the finals.
 
6) Sebastian Escalante - Quarterfinalist
[Image: politoed.png] [Image: golduck.png] [Image: klefki.png]
[Image: muk-alola.png] [Image: tapukoko.png] [Image: buzzwole.png]
 
Elephant in the room: yes, that is a Klefki. Easily one of the most surprising pokémon we saw over the weekend, no one was expecting Sebastian to come packing this little key ring. What surprised me the most however was the little guy's surprising strategic value. For those of you that don't know, Klefki gets the ability Prankster, which gives priority to all status moves. And Klefki had three of them, double screens, Light Screen, Reflect, and Metal Sound. While I never actually saw Sebastian use his Klefki, I can only imagine the look on his opponent's face when he whipped it out and toppled their strats with the damage reduction. Something else though that I really want to point out is that Sebastian was the only trainer to make it to the Top 8 with a Rain team. The 'Double Duck' team, as it was known became popular after the London Internationals in December last year, was seen periodically throughout the season and preformed consistently well across most of the format. Its only Achilles heel was that it didn't have much of an answer to Trick Room, and it looks as though Sebstian tried to fix that by adding an Alolan Muk onto his team. Not only that, but his Tapu Koko was a bit more offensive oriented than others, sporting a Modest nature instead of Timid and running Thunder instead of Thunderbolt. Last thing that was interesting about Sebastian's team is that his 'Double Duck' core featured a Politoed instead of a Pelipper. This was mostly due to the fact that Pelipper has lackluster defenses, and often needed a Focus Sash. Sebastian probably wanted a more reliable rain setter, and his placement in the Top 8 gives inspiration to me for weather teams in VGC 2018.
 
7) René Alvarenga - Quarterfinalist
[Image: tapufini.png] [Image: tapukoko.png] [Image: celesteela.png]
[Image: arcanine.png] [Image: garchomp.png] [Image: hariyama.png]
 
Easily one of the most standard teams in the Top 8, the power of this team came not from the innovation, but rather René's ability to manage the field and play effectively depending on the situation. His sets for Arcanine, Koko, and Celesteela were all among the most common, and his Fini set featured the Misty Surge + Swagger strategy that gained popularity about halfway through the season. His Garchomp also ran Swords Dance, but René lacked the stability to use it wisely against the other creative teams in the Top 8. He was often overwhelmed by other people's mons because he couldn't protect his Garchomp quickly enough, and having Choice Specs on Koko was either hit or miss. Looking at the roster for his team, it looks as though the goal was to overpower his opponents with strong attacks from the beginning and to retaliate with strategic stat boosts when he predicted a switch. This may have worked against less experienced players, but in the Top 8 you face the best of the best. René had a lot of faith in his abilities to run a team like this, and seeing as how he made it all the way to Top 8 he must've been correct. It'll be interesting to see how he fairs in the metagame this year.
 
8) Dorian André Quiḿones Vallejos - Quarterfinalist
[Image: porygon2.png] [Image: araquanid.png] [Image: kartana.png]
[Image: arcanine.png] [Image: nihilego.png] [Image: tapukoko.png]
 
And lastly, I have the utmost respect for Dorian. Not only does he probably have the coolest name in the entire tournament, but he's the only trainer in the Top 8 to bring along an Araquanid, which is probably my favorite Gen 7 Bug-Type. Unfortunately, beyond that Dorian's team is pretty standard. His Arcanine was the common Bulkanine set with Flare Blitz, Roar, Helping Hand, and Extreme Speed, his Koko was Modest with a Life Orb, and his used a Porygon2 with an Eviolite as his TR setter. His Nihilego did have a Choice Scarf like Nils, but sadly there's nothing much more to comment on here. This team is the pinnacle of early VGC 2017 when everything went and no one knew what to expect. Strategies changed, and tactics evolved, but it seems that Dorian's team didn't. Aside from the Arquanid, it seems as though he planned on running into the same teams that he had all season, which almost everyone knew wasn't going to happen. Poor Dorian. Like I said, I respect him as a player, he did better than I probably ever will, but I just don't understand what he was thinking bringing a team to counter the early metagame when he knew he was going to Worlds. Yes, he made it to the Top 8, which is impressive, but truthfully, that's probably about as high as he could've gone. Congratulations for his best-case-scenario. Well done, Dorian. Well done.
 
Pokémon Usage Statistics:
 
Last thing I want to share is the percentage of pokémon in the Top 8. There were a total of 48 mons used in the Top 8, and the usage for each are below. I've bolded the stats that particularly jumped out to me, such as only one Kartana, two Garchomp, and two Alolan Persian.

Tapu Koko - 7 Used - 15%
Arcanine - 4 Used - 8%
Celesteela - 3 Used - 6%
Nihilego - 3 Used - 6%
Tapu Fini - 2 Used - 4%
Marowak-Alola - 2 Used - 4%
Garchomp - 2 Used - 4%
Snorlax - 2 Used - 4%
Persian-Alola - 2 Used - 4%
Salamence - 2 Used - 4%
Buzzwole - 2 Used - 4%
Tapu Lele - 1 Used - 2%
Krookodile - 1 Used - 2%
Whimsicott - 1 Used - 2%
Ninetales-Alola - 1 Used - 2%
Mandibuzz - 1 Used - 2%
Xurkitree - 1 Used - 2%
Gastrodon - 1 Used - 2%
Golduck - 1 Used - 2%
Politoed - 1 Used - 2%
Klefki - 1 Used - 2%
Porygon2 - 1 Used - 2%
Araquanid - 1 Used - 2%
Kartana - 1 Used - 2%
Hariyama - 1 Used - 2%
Muk-Alola - 1 Used - 2%
Mimikyu - 1 Used - 2%

Overall:

This was definitely the format of creativity. I'm glad that Ryota won, because his team really was one of the most, if not the most creative of the format. He superbly predicted the type of pokémon his opponents would be bringing, and he planned accordingly. The other trainers in the Top 8 had a lot of creative strategies of their own, and I think everyone played wonderfully. There's not much more to say beyond that, every team had its strengths and weaknesses, and overall everyone relied on a mix of prowess and good luck to win. I look forward to what kind of strategies we see in VGC 2018, and I may even be able to let my Emolga rear her pretty little head again, but only time will tell.

See you all on Monday with my next post everyone!

Thanks for reading, everyone! Battle onwards, friends!

- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
Reply
#2
Woooo nice work men very helpful, i have hope to fully understand these teams but for now i have to make my first team and dont rly know how to start.
Reply
#3
I've kind of lost faith in the multiplayer when basically everybody uses at least 1 Tapu. Normally Tapu Koko.

They're all bullying me, an innocent dragon-trainer.
Reply
#4
@TheAlmightySancho

I wasn't too happy to see everyone using a Tapu Koko either, but at least understand why.

If there's a pokémon that everyone uses (in this case Koko), it's because it's the best at what it does. Tapu Koko has a base 130 Speed, making it one of the fastest Special Attackers in the format. Not only that, but it had Volt Switch for momentum and multiple options for spread damage in Dazzling Gleam and Discharge, both of which received STAB. Not only that, but its Electrogenesis ability prevents grounded mons from falling asleep and upped the damage of all Electric-Type attacks. While I don't like saying it, Tapu Koko is a VERY strong pokémon. Thus everyone used one, and everyone brought along counted to it. In this case, people tried a Choice Scarf Nihilego, others like Ryota brought a Krookodile backed by Tailwind.

See what I'm saying? That's how competitive play works. People find the best strategies within the set parameters, then people start incorporating ways to counter people using the same strategies, and then when Worlds comes along the best counter team wins. It's the same every year. It's just a matter of when pokémon are legal.

- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
Reply
#5
I can understand all that, but in my mind the Tapus shouldn't really be legal in multiplayer. They can outmatch most other pokemon that aren't specifically prepped to deal with them.

I've learnt by this point that basically everybody sends Koko in as their number 1 so it's not that hard to counter in normal single battles.
Reply
#6
@TheAlmightySancho

I agree that they shouldn't be allowed, but we all know that if Koko was banned, something else would just take its place and everyone would use that instead. In the Alola Dex, probably Jolteon, or Alolan Ninetales, something to faster than Garchomp, who will probably always be in the top tier of competitive play.

- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
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#7
Ha, too true.

My garchomp is my best teammate for sure...
Reply
#8
Emolga for life. I love my little Kili.  Heart
 

[Image: emolga.png]
- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
Reply
#9
(Oct 8, 2017, 08:53 AM)0kamii Wrote: @TheAlmightySancho

I wasn't too happy to see everyone using a Tapu Koko either, but at least understand why.

If there's a pokémon that everyone uses (in this case Koko), it's because it's the best at what it does. Tapu Koko has a base 130 Speed, making it one of the fastest Special Attackers in the format. Not only that, but it had Volt Switch for momentum and multiple options for spread damage in Dazzling Gleam and Discharge, both of which received STAB. Not only that, but its Electrogenesis ability prevents grounded mons from falling asleep and upped the damage of all Electric-Type attacks. While I don't like saying it, Tapu Koko is a VERY strong pokémon. Thus everyone used one, and everyone brought along counted to it. In this case, people tried a Choice Scarf Nihilego, others like Ryota brought a Krookodile backed by Tailwind.

See what I'm saying? That's how competitive play works. People find the best strategies within the set parameters, then people start incorporating ways to counter people using the same strategies, and then when Worlds comes along the best counter team wins. It's the same every year. It's just a matter of when pokémon are legal.

- 0kamii

Electrogenesis sounds WAY cooler then Electric surge
Reply
#10
@Reis

I know, right? I believe that's Electric Surge's name in the Spanish version of the games.

- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
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