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[RATE MY TEAM] Time to Adjust VGC17
#1
Just for some backround on my experiance when giving advice, I have played at Nationals multiple times with positive record, top cut at about 80% of the events I play in anymore, often against Worlds level players, but never seem to get the finish. I have won 1 PC. 

Well the London International is happening and were getting better ideas of how things are looking. I had a local at Kent State University and absorbed as much as I could before the tournament on December 3rd. It was a mix of players from the local league and the usual big players I always run into like Ashton Cox and Jeremy Rodrigues. I finished 3-2 and knocked out of the first round of Top 8 by Torkal/Orangu/Last Resort Lucario/ Z-Destiny Bond Gengar shinanigans that ended up winning the whole thing. So I felt pretty good about the overall day but it's time to look back and see what could be better. Let's look at the Pokemon. 


[Image: tapubulu.png]
Tapu Bulu @ Grassium Z  
Ability: Grassy Surge  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def  
Brave Nature  
- Wood Hammer  
- Superpower  
- Leech Seed  
- Protect  

Bulu did what Bulu did. Hit em hard and being as early as it was, surprised a few people with Grassium Z for easy KO's. Not really worried about him, but I will be changing Leech Seed to Horn Leach because I missed that move somehow.

[Image: marowak-alola.png]
Marowak-Alola @ Thick Club  
Ability: Lightning Rod  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 HP / 184 Atk / 4 Def / 68 SpD  
Adament Nature  
- Flare Blitz  
- Shadow Bone  
- Bonemerang  
- Protect  
Marowak was a Pokemon that ended up being a lot less useful in real action. Yea he would come out and smash some heads in but I often found myself holding him in the back hoping to clean up and losing him quick if he had to come out early. Def not the Star I thought he would be. I wanted to breed for Brave and 0 Speed but ran out of time and went with this. 

[Image: muk-alola.png]
Muk-Alola @ Black Sludge  
Ability: Poison Touch  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD  
Brave Nature  
- Poison Jab  
- Knock Off  
- Shadow Sneak  
- Protect  
Another used less then expected Pokemon. Muk just never felt needed in a match and the one or two times I did bring him, he never got much done. His role should be obvious. Hit hard, stick around, pressure tapus. 

[Image: porygon2.png]
Porygon2 @ Eviolite  
Ability: Download  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 HP / 140 Def / 116 SpD  
Relaxed Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe  
- Tri Attack  
- Ice Beam  
- Trick Room  
- Recover  
Porygon 2 came to every single game and lived through just about all of them. He was able to hit hard enough, survive a ton, and set up trick room when it was needed just fine. 

[Image: araquanid.png]
Araquanid @ Sitrus Berry  
Ability: Water Bubble  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def  
Brave Nature  
- Leech Life  
- Liquidation  
- Wide Guard  
- Protect  
I dare call Araquanid the MVP of the day. His bulk help up more then I hoped for, his liqudations hit hard, wide guard came in handy a few times and he came to just about every round. Sadley he was NOT enough to take down Torkal in the sun. 

[Image: celesteela.png]
Celesteela @ Leftovers  
Ability: Beast Boost  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 HP / 140 Def / 116 SpD  
Sassy Nature  
IVs: 0 Spe  
- Heavy Slam  
- Leech Seed  
- Substitute  
- Protect  
Celesteela was used less then I hoped for. Heavy slam just didn't seem to be hitting as hard as I thought it would. At the same time I was nervous about setting up and not being offense so I never did get the Leech Seed Sub going at the same time which I imagine would have helped a ton. I played against a special one I thought was a bit better but I'm torn on how to run this guy for now.

So there we go. What do you think could be improved. My favorite part of VGC is team discussion. Pokemon I'm intrested in trying are Mimikyu, Politoad, Mudsdale, and Garchomp but I'm having synergy issues changing anything in my head. 

BONUS POINTS: One of the most fun battles I ever had took place in Round 5 Game 3. H4HG-WWWW-WWW2-H2UT
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#2
Looking at this team it seems pretty well rounded, the only thing I have to critique is that you dont really have an answer to Tapu Koko aside from A-Mak. While Bulu does resist it, when it faints you have no real check to it aside from Muk who still takes 60% from a thunderbolt. (or 40 outside electric terrain) With those 3 gone it kinda runs through your team.

I like the P2 easily the best TR setter in the meta atm which is the current best way to gain speed control, Tri-Attack is a nice STAB move but Thunderbolt might be a better option with all the water types running around.

Other than that this team is really solid, A-Mak, Bulu, and Celesteela are becoming 3 of the most used pokemon in this format and Porygon 2 is currently the most used mon as of the London International Day 2. Really nice work and I'd love to hear more about how you do as a player! Smile
The Artist formally known as MudkipLegend



#MudkipDefenseSquad
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#3
Overall the team has good synergy, safe switches and solid pokemons, however it has 5 physical attackers and heavily relies on Trick Room because they are all very slow, which means you have to bring Porygon2 every game, leaving only 3 slots left and probably two of them being Tapu Bulu and Araquanid most of the times given how important they are for utility, good positioning and sweeping potential - so even if it's a really strong core it still limits your options regardless of your opponent's team.

In a BO1 format such as Battle Spot this team is really strong and you can safely go for the TR strat and sweep from there, however for a BO3 i think you would need to add something that makes this team composition work outside of TR too, most likely a fast special attacker. During this tournament in London for example we've seen Draco-Z Salamence in most of the teams with Tapu Bulu so you might give it a try Wink
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#4
I understand that this team is supposed to be an all out Trick Room team, however, it would be nice to add at least 1 Pokemon that can perform as a fast attacker outside of Trick Room in case Trick Room won't give you an ideal matchup. There aren't many good answers for Pokemon that discourage Trick Room set up (Gyarados, Tapu Koko, Marowak-A, Drampa, Araquanid etc.) which can make or break games due to your team not being able to properly function outside of Trick Room. There is a common Rock weakness that your team shares as well as insufficient coverage options to beat common threats

Having 5 Physical attackers is pretty bad in this metagame with Gyarados, Salamence and Arcanine having high usage with Krookodile coming behind. In agreement with @"MudkipLegend" you need Thunderbolt over Ice Beam on this Pokemon and maybe even run Shadow Ball over Ice Beam to hit A-Marowak for super effective

252/252 EV spreads generally aren't best for a Trick Room team because you want to EV in a way where you can dodge OHKOs from certain moves and hit hard. Also, I have no idea what 252/140/116 does for Porygon2 and Celesteela

Finally, this team could use a second Trick Room setter. You can't be carrying Porygon2 every game just because it's your own reliable form of speed control. If Porygon2 gets Taunted or knocked out, that's pretty much it for your team. Maybe implement some offensive/defensive modes with the teammates you have
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#5
Appreciate the input guys. Like I said this was a crunched team for an early tourny if that helps explains the oversights. I kinda went for some "goodstuffs" and banked on the fact that a lot of TR teams were expected for me to coast along with. (There were a few rounds I won by not popping TR every game and coaxing them to bring faster stuff and catching them believe it or not.)Trying to surprise and outlast was the biggest factor in building it but I grew to love the core and def would like to expand it longer into the season. Special Salamance seems like a good fit for sure and I agree the TR reliability won't last.
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