Poll: Do you think Emolga will be viable in VGC 2017?
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[VGC] Emolga is Actually Viable This Format?! - with 0kamii
#1
Hey, everyone. I'm 0kamii, and no, you didn't read that title wrong.

As a longtime VCG player, I've grown increasingly tired of seeing the same 20 or so pokemon always shine in the competitive scene. Garchomp has been a major contender in every metagame since its introduction, the elemental genies (Thundorus, Tornadus, and Landorus) were drowning the metagame come Unova with their Therian formes, and now in VGC 2017 we have a surplus of Tapus and Ultra Beast with which to content. The simple fact is that some pokemon are better at VGC than others, I understand this. However, that doesn't mean you can't have an unorthodox team and still manage to shine. My main point of evidence? Se-Jun Park's winning VGC 2014 team, which included a Pachirisu.

I'd like to be clear that I'm not trying to be the next Se-Jun Park. Hardly, he's in a league far above mine. My point is that I'm trying to relay an observation I've made, and hopefully it'll inspire others to think outside the box a little bit come this year's season. Getting back to the title of this forum, Emolga is actually viable this format?!

Let's look at the evidence:

The first thing that drew me into Emolga (Electric/Flying), aside from the fact that it's very cute and possibly my favorite Pikachu clone, was its Hidden Ability: Motor Drive. I, like many people, paid it little attention when it debuted in Unova. Hidden Abilities were frustratingly difficult to obtain then, and so no one gave it a second thought. And while getting an Emolga with its Hidden Ability in "Sun & Moon" is also rather aggravating (it took me three attempts over the course of an hour because it kept knocking its allies out with Discharge), the results were electrifying. Motor Drive, if you don't know, gives the pokemon a complete immunity to Electric-type moves. Not attacks, moves. Not only this, but it raises its Speed by one stage. This gives Emolga a complete immunity to pesky support moves like Thunder Wave and Nuzzle. And while they may see a decline in use thanks to Nintendo nerfing Thunder Wave, there's more to having an Electric-type immunity than you may realize. One of the prominent pokemon this format is Tapu Koko, an Electric/Fairy-type. Tapu Koko may be faster than Emolga (130 vs 103), but from emperical on Pokemon Showdown and at my locals, almost every Tapu Koko runs spread moves like Dazzling Gleam, and wait for it, Discharge. Not only that, but Arcanine is also a very common pokemon, and I've seen many variants running Wild Charge this format to combat threats like Tapu Fini and Celesteela. Since VGC has always been a game of prediction anyway, running a fast, supportive, electric-inclined squirrel to take hits from these powerhouses may throw your opponet off guard, giving you the edge.

I've already breifly touched on Emolga's speed, but I believe it warrents a second glance. Yes, you don't have to tell me, I know Emolga is hardly the fastest pokemon in the tier. However at a base of 103, it has the ability to outspeed a non-Choice Scarfed Garchomp and Salamence, with full Speed investment too. Not only that, but aside from Tapu Koko (130), Pheromosa (151), and Kartana (109), Emolga's respectable 103 Speed let's it outpace every Ultra Beast and Tapu by a considerable margin. Frankly though, I believe only Tapu Koko will be a legitamte concern because Pheromosa and Kartana have the same critical flaw: frailty. Both have 4x weaknesses and meager Defensive stats, making them almost unusable in a such a diverse format. Emolga may have just enough Speed to play that supportive role your team needs, and it's immunity to Electric-type moves really boosts its plausibilty.

The next thing I wanted to cover about the Sky Squirrel pokemon is its weaknesses. Surprisingly, there aren't very many. As the aforementioned Electric/Flying-type, it only has two major weaknesses, being Rock and Ice-types. The only common Rock-type attack used in VGC is Rock Slide, which in doubles does reduced damaged. Along the same line, the most common Rock Slide user I see is Garchomp. Seeing this, I ran a few damage calculations and...I'll put this simply: Emolga can survive a Rock Slide from a fully invested Garchomp, without any HP or Defense investment. But the squirrel isn't impenetrable. It wouldn't be a true competitive analysis if I didn't acknowledge Emolga's weaknesses. Alolan Ninetales is a problem. It's faster, arguable the most common Ice-type in the format, and no matter what set I used, Ninetales always KOed my Emolga in one shot. Therefore, yes, Emolga shouldn't be used against an Alolan Ninetales. Other than that however, Emolga can take hits from VGC powerhouses surprsingly well, but like every pokemon, it can be mismatched if you're outplayed. So be weary.

The last thing I wanted to cover when analyzing Emolga were the alternative choices. Now I know what you're thinking, "Why would you spend all this time analyzing Emolga only to suggest different pokemon to use in place of it?" A good point, but to that I say: there aren't any. Since Emolga's subpar attacking stats won't be dishing out any kind of substantial damage, it's only function will be in support, namely with moves like Encore, Nuzzle, Light Screen, et cetera. To my knowledge, there are only three pokemon in the format that can arguably do what Emolga does better: Alolan Raichu, Alolan Ninetales, and Salazzle. All of these pokemon are faster, and they get Encore like Emolga, but two of them share the same problem. Alolan Raichu does get Lightning Rod, which gives it an immunity to Electric-types moves as well, but it's weak to one of the most common strategies in VGC. Earthquake. Base 100 power, learnable by virtually every hardhitting attacker in the game (Garchomp, Salamence, Mudsdale, Gyarados, Krookodile, et cetera), Alolan Raichu and Salazzle wouldn't survive a hit from these without holding a Focus Sash, which in turn wastes your item slot. Especially Salazzle, given its 4x weakness to it. Alolan Ninetales does a little better with its base 109 Speed, but a 4x weakness to Steel-types hurts it consiberably, especially with Steel-types like Celesteela running rampant. It also has a weakness to Fire-types like Arcanine, another common VGC pokemon, and Rock-types are sure to pick up presence once the PokeBank update finally drops, i.e. Aerodactyl and Gigalith (which gets Heavy Slam now). Overall, with only two weakness (Rock and Ice), two immunities (Ground and Electric, with Motor Drive), and a surprising five resistances (Fighting, Flying, Bug, Steel, and Grass), Emolga may actaully be the best at what it does. At least, for this format.

Again, I'd like to reiterate that I'm not overly ambitious about unothordox strategies taking over VGC 2017. Emolga is good Speed control if you have the faster mons, but I will admit that its place on a Trick Room team still eludes me. In total, I defintely think that Emolga has a good chance of being a sleeping monster this metagame, if used properly. I will continue to run it on my Pokemon Showdown team and bringing my personal Emolga, named Kili, to locals and observe how she does. She's already caught many a player off-guard, and sometimes that's all you need to win. Thanks for reading everyone, and I'll see you next time!

- 0kamii
[Image: 250px-587Emolga.png]
My personal Emolga Set: Kili
Ability: Motor Drive
Nature: Timid
EVs: 88 HP/164 DEF/4 Sp. Atk/252 Spd
Item: Electrium Z (experimentive, sometimes Leftovers)
Moveset:
Protect/Roost - (Choose at your discretion. Personally, I prefer Protect.)
Volt Switch
Nuzzle
Encore

Update: 1/24/2017 - 7:30pm

Thank you to all the people who have voted on the poll. So far, it seems there is a 50/50 split on whether or not the people believe Emolga may be viable. Keep the votes coming, and I'll be sure to keep updating on Kili's performance. Thank you again, and have a great one!

Update: 1/25/2017 - 12:09am

It seems I've made a slight error in my analysis above. One of the alternative Encore users, Alolan Raichu, does not get Lightning Rod. This was pointed out to me by viewer @RebornFX, so thank them for the correction. It turns out, that if you breed a Hidden Ability Pichu and evolve it into Alolan Raichu, it will lose its Hidden Ability and gain Surge Surfer in its place. It's worth noting that it gets other support moves like Fake Out and Wish to compensate for this. However, this does not change my opinion on Emolga, or its possible niche in VGC 2017. And you're still free to experiment with all alternatives at your discression. Happy battling everyone!

Update: 1/29/2017 - 6:27pm

After a week of preparation, my efforts at locals were wasted. Only my friend and I showed up to compete, and thus the tournament was cancelled. Unfortunately, this means I can't give an assessment of my Emolga's performance, but I can end off by relaying newly learned information. If paired with a Tapu Koko that knows Discharge, Emolga's Speed can sky-rocket to 255 after a single use, easily letting it outspeed Alolan Ninetales and even Pheromosa. Something to consider. Sorry for the ill-report, but hopefully next week will be better. On another note, more votes are in on the poll, and 5 of 9 total voters believe that Emolga will be viable. Thanks for the votes everyone, and keep on battling!

Update: 4/17/2017 - 12:21am

Hey, everybody! I'm back! Updates on this thread have slowly decreased as the metagame of this season has developed. I must say I'm thrilled with the prospects that I've been seeing this season with diversity. And with diversity comes more opportunity for pokemon like my little Emolga to shine. Frankly, I've been called out quite a bit on the use of this electric squirrel, but I would like to remind everyone that I'm not trying to revolutionize the metagame. Feel free to ignore me and my posts if you want, but I will stick to my guns and try my hardest to make Emolga a star! I've also seen a surge of Emolga appearing on Battle Spot, which I don't know if I had anything to do with, but it certainly feels good. Anyway, I have a new set I've been testing:
[Image: 250px-587Emolga.png]
Ability: Motor Drive
Nature: Jolly
EVs: 4 HP/ 12 ATK/ 140 DEF/ 100 Sp. Def/ 252 Spd
Item: Electric Seed/Misty Seed (depending on if you pair it with Koko or Fini)
Moveset:
U-turn
Nuzzle
Acrobatics
Encore/Protect (I prefer Encore because you can U-turn out of threatening positions)

This set turns Kili into a more physcial variant, trading in Volt Switch for U-turn to combat the frankly unepexted rise of Kartana and Pheromosa. Acrobatics also doubles upon consuming the Electric Seed, which helps against both of these mons. Yes, I admit it. I was wrong about Kartana and Pheromosa, but what's there to say? No one can expect the direction of the metagame perfectly. Feel free to run the calculations on this set yourself, as I know there are those out there that remain skeptical. This spread basically accomplishes the same as the last, just to pack a little more punch. In terms of the Encore/Protect split, I say go with whichever compliments your playstyle. I prefer Encore, but I've been in situations where Protect made a difference too. So I really can't decide right now. I've also really found success in pairing Emolga with Tapu Koko as an opener. When people see Emolga, they usually take the opportunity to set up or switch because they think she's insignificant. They never see that pesky Nuzzle/Encore coming their way. But that's all for now. I'll make other updates as the metagame continues. Thanks all, and battle onwards!

- 0kamii

Update: 5/13/2017 - 10:26pm

Hey, everybody! 0kamii is back with more updates on Emolga, and I have two pieces of news to share with the you good people today. Firstly, user @EemsRoro pointed out that I never actually made a post featuring my 1st place Emolga team at locals a few months ago. I apologize if anyone actually wanted to see that, and I'm currently in the process of constructing a [RATE MY TEAM] which I'll post to this forum sometime next week. I'll include the link to it from here once it's complete. Secondly, I received information regarding the recent Virginia Regionals, and rumor has it that player Ashton Cox had an Emolga on his team which utilized Speed Swap. I find this enthralling, as I used the very same set on my 1st place team months ago. I never mentioned it because it seemed gimmicky, but it looks like someone actually used it in an official tournament! I think this is very exciting, and I intend to feature my own version of this set once I post my 1st place team. I look forward to your feedback, and thanks so much for reading!

- 0kamii

Update: 5/19/2017 - 1:43pm

Hey, everybody! It's 0kamii, and as promised, I posted the team that my friend and I built in this forum earlier today. It's the very same team that I used back in March to place 1st at a local tournament. You asked, and so I answered! Here's the link: (http://pokemonforever.com/Thread-RATE-MY...eam-Locals). Are you happy now @EemsRoro? Wink  But regardless, I thought I'd throw in the set I used for Kili into this forum as well. So here it is:
[Image: 250px-587Emolga.png]
Ability: Motor Drive
Nature: Timid
EVs: 88 HP/ 164 DEF/ 4 Sp. Atk/ 252 Spd
Item: Focus Sash
Moveset:
Protect
Volt Switch
Nuzzle
Speed Swap

Please keep in mind that this set was designed to be used with a Snorlax after it had used Belly Drum. This mon doesn't have much use on its own outside of that, mainly because it was so specialized for that role specifically. If you want to try it out, feel free. But I'm going to be the first to say that it's a bit gimmicky. I encourage unorthodox strategies, NOT gimmicky ones. Last thing I wanted to mention is that I saw the battle where Ashton Cox used an Emolga. He admitted after the battle that he ran a poll and let his followers decide whether he was going to use Emolga or Guzzlord. Emolga won, and after concluding that Emolga has no offensive pressure, he decide ro run it as a supportive mon. Basically that's what I've been saying about Emolga all along, so good on him for recognizing its supportive potential. Anyhow, I'm super excited to share my 1st place team with you all, and I look forward to future discussions with you all!

- 0kamii

Update: 5/23/2017 - 6:17pm

For those of you wondering, I no longer use images from Bulbapedia because they have a tendency to glitch out or get blocked. That's understandable, and thus I've started using images from PokemonForever's archive. As for my title card images, like the ones I have at the start of my other posts, those are pulled from free websites that have no copyright and are free to be used by the public. If anyone knows anything otherwise, let me know. I have a new VGC analysis planned for next week, and I have a different post planned for either Thursday or Friday. I also have another new and exciting project in development, and I thank everyone for the support over the last few months. I hope to update these posts again soon with further news. Thanks again, and battle onwards friends!

- 0kamii

Update: 5/30/2017 - 7:14pm

Hey, everyone! It's 0kamii, and I just finished making a nifty little post about PC organization. If you can't seem to ever find anything in your PC boxes while making trades or preping for tournaments, go check out my guide on how to neatly organize your PC so that you never have to worry about it again! Link right here: (http://pokemonforever.com/Thread-DISCUSS...ganization). Also, I've taken a look at the poll for the first time in a while, and it looks like the readers think Emolga's viability is about 60/40. That's awesome everyone! Last time I checked the poll it was closer to 50/50. Battle on trainers, and we'll all make Emolga a star together! Read you all soon! Smile

- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
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#2
ill always believe emolga will stand out one day Smile love that little guy <3
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#3
I pulled was in a randomized battle with a emolga and it was realy good.   :D
HIDE YOUR WINDOWS

 
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#4
@Okamii what does the spread acomplish?
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#5
(Jan 24, 2017, 04:19 PM)TheGamingPerson12 Wrote: @Okamii what does the spread acomplish?

A great question, thank you for asking! The spread you see for Kili is personalized for both my team and the local circuits in which I play. Here's a breakdown:

All of Kili's IVs are perfect 31s, FYI.

HP: 88 points
Atk: 0 points
Def: 164 points
Sp. Atk: 4 points
Sp. Def: 0 points
Spd: 252 points

The 88 Evs I have invested into Kili's HP works in tandum with the EVs invested in Defense. Most of what we have in this metagame is physcial, with notable exceptions like Alolan Ninetales and Tapu Koko. With this amount of investment in Defense, my Emolga can actually take a STAB Flare Blitz from a max invested Jolly Arcanine, one of the most common pokemon around where I play. Some additional points in Defense may be required depending on the scene where you play. The max Speed investment I think is pretty self-explanatory, as it let's Emolga outpace common threats like Garchomp, Salamence, Flygon, and even supportive pokemon like Comfey. I suggest looking at PokemonForever's Speed tier list for a more in-depth breakdown of that. The remaining EVs could've been put into just about any stat, but I chose Sp. Attack specifically because Celesteela is by far the most common Ultra Beast I fight, locally and on Showdown. According to Pokemon Damage Caculator, this small investment let's me hit Celesteela for roughly 10% of its maximum health even with max HP investment, and roughly 25% of its health per Volt Switch at max Sp. Defense investment. This helps maintain my team's momentum, and gives Emolga the chance to resurge and Encore-lock an opposing mon. I hope that answered your question GamingPerson, let me know if you have any additional inquires!

- 0kamii

P.S. Here's a link to the damage calculator if you want to check for yourself: https://pokemonshowdown.com/damagecalc/.
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
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#6
@0kamii At first when I saw this post I thought to myself that you must've gone insane but now I've seen the light! First of all, splendid write up in highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of Emolga as well as even making clear that Pokemon do outclass it but it is still a viable option

In terms of using this in a VGC setting, it is a great option with the current metagame we have. It does well against Tapu Fini, outspeeds Garchomp (and is also immune to Tectonic Rage) and has support options such as Taunt, Encore, Nuzzle and even Ion Deluge if you want to create a strategy around that

From what I can see, I still think its important to run Thunderbolt/Wild Charge on Emolga to put out good damage output and Electric STAB is so good this metagame, Taunt is always a good option to cripple defensively oriented teams as well as prevent Trick Room/Tailwind set up where applicable and Tickle is an option to allow physical attackers to do more damage as well as reduce physical damage taken from the opponent. Very critical for netting KOs against bulkier threats

Regardless of what Emolga can and can't do, however, Focus Sash seems to be the best item for this as 55/60/60 bulk isn't taking many hits and Emolga in most cases will either do really good in a situation or use a status move then faint the following turn
[Insert signature here]
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#7
I think the core message of this post is fairly sound, but a lot of what you mention makes it sound like you have a severe lack of understanding about the current metagame. The fact that you say the 3rd most used Pokemon (as well as the 20th most used) on Battlespot is unusable in the same in the same post as suggesting that a Pokemon that hasn't seen any notable success is ludicrous to me. To say that Kartana doesn't have any defensive merit suggests to me that you haven't actually ran any calcs against AV Kartana, which I would say at least 1/3 of them are if not more, and when they aren't they are sash making its defences far less relevant. What I find more irritating is your disregard for what the other Encore users bring to the table. Raichu forms a strong core with Tapu Koko as well as Tapu Lele, outspeeding the entire format under Electric surge and firing off huge Z-Psychics under Psychic terrain, provides Fake Out support and just generally has naturally high speed, has a decent matchup against cores like AFK and double duck and generally can actually put on offensive pressure. Ninetales can set up Aurora Veil, sets up the weather breaking potential sashes, has a rather spammable spread move and has strong neutral coverage with Freeze Dry. It has a strong matchup versus Garchomp and all in all provides a lot more than Encore support. Alolan Raichu also doesn't get Lightningrod. You literally didn't mention a single postitive attribute about any of these Pokemon, as if they are being used because people don't realise Emolga is superior in every way or something.

I won't say too much on whether or not Emolga will or will not be viable considering how ridiculously fast this format has been evolving recently but the information you have provided certainly doesn't provide a balanced argument for why you should use Emolga on your team over something else, even stating out right that it is the last thing you would want to write about.
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#8
@Marcusube I appreciate the input and I'm glad it's made you give the little guy a second glance. You can run a more damaging variant if you want, and that's perfectly okay! The one I use, as stated, is designed specifically for my team. I will try out a Focus Sash variant, though, so thank you for the suggestion. I'll be sure to update this post as I experiment more.

@RebornFX There's only so much you can pack into a post before people get bored reading. I wanted to keep my post concise. But make no mistake, I read your post and I acknowledge that not everything was mentioned in the bulk of my article. However, this metagame is rapidly taking shape, and I see no reason not to try and experiment. As previously mentioned, I'm not trying to turn the metagame upside down, I'm just pointing out something I observed. Lastly, the pokemon I mentioned as being 'unusable' are from empirical evidence of my own gathering. By no means is it collective, and I've mentioned that above. All in all however, since you clearly understand the metagame in a way I don't, my best wishes go with you to your next tournament, and I hope you come out on top. My thanks for your honesty. Smile
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
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#9
Heya! Glad to see another Emolga lover! When SuMo popped out and I was thinking of a possible starting point, I took an eye on this little guy. Other than he's cute I can see potential with the moves he has. Though the stats seem a little to off I think with proper team building this guy can serve a LOT and it was nice seeing you give it a spot and standing up for the barely used ones. I also do try to think out of the "current roster". Bringing that surprise element to a battle makes it worthwhile and fun. I was considering emolga as a speed passer though I might give your build a shot since it seems to function the same way as mine. Thanks to your insight! It was nice to see someone think in the same perspective.
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#10
@markyice94 Please do! I always encourage the use of unorthodox strategies, and I'll be sure to keep everyone updated as I test the set. It's been doing really well so far, so I'm excited to see where it goes. Let me know how it goes. Best of luck!

- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
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