How To Get Into VGC - Printable Version
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How To Get Into VGC - AbruptFury - Dec 5, 2016
Not sure if anyone has already made a thread on this, though people do tend to like having multiple sources to get information from because then maybe it will just click with them.
I will list off a bunch of things that I think are quite important for any VGC player.
#1: Know The Threats
The main threats right now are Tapus and certain UBs. Why only certain ones? What makes them work where the others don't? I'm glad you asked that question italicized text. So I will explain with examples.
Celesteela - amazing bulk and typing, recovery through Leech Seed, walls Fairy type attacks from the Tapus (except for Nature's Madness of course), access to Wide Guard, has synergy with Earthquake users as it is part Flying type, Beast Boost to boost your best stat which tends to be Attack or Special Attack with the ones I've battled.
Pheromosa - Strong attacker but very frail (would be best to go with a Life Orb or Focus Sash probably, as it will not survive many hits), Fighting/Bug isn't very good for hitting the Tapus (It does get Poison Jab however, weak to Intimidate spam, which could be used as coverage against the Tapus as it hits them all supereffectively), gets other niche coverage options such as Ice Beam (useful against Garchomp), access to Quick Guard and Feint, Beast Boost to boost your best stat which tends to be Speed.
So with this side-by-side comparison, you can see that Celesteela doesn't require quite as much support to function as Celesteela. This is why Celesteela is one of the most used Pokemon in VGC 17 right now. I will make a list of the top threats later, me thinks. Otherwise, this thread might get SUPER long.
#2: Speed Tiers
Speed tiers are VERY important. It can dictate who wins and who loses if it comes down to two Alolan-Marowak facing off. Sometimes, people go as fast or as slow as they possibly can just so they know they have the edge in more situations than not. i.e. My Trick Room Alolan-Marowak is as slow as possible with a Brave nature and 0 investment on Speed (not even IVs). So if I have Trick Room up, I can guarantee that I am faster under Trick Room than most other Alolan-Marowak. At the worst, it would be a speed ties, but at least I still have the chance to go first. Sometimes people "speed creep" by 4 EVs so that they may outspeed the same Pokemon and take them out first because some Pokemon may not run any investment in speed. People may even speed creep a speed creep if they notice a lot of people opting for 1 Speed point up. There are a lot of options with this. Testing is the best way to find out what works for your team.
Tailwind and Icy Wind support isn't big this year, on account of those moves not being given by move tutors in Sun and Moon. But Trick Room is very popular, because there are so many slow Pokemon to take advantage of it. Thunder Wave is a little harder to depend on now that it is no longer 100% accurate, and doesn't drop the speed of foe to 1/4 of what it should be, but never count the "yellow magic" out.
Reference material: http://pokemonforever.com/Thread-VGC-Pokemon-Sun-Moon-Speed-Tier-List
#3: Calculating Offensively and Defensively
You may notice if you read up on Pokemon builds, there tend to be offensive and defensive calcs (also known as benchmarks). Keeping these in mind can be very handy in battle when put against a foe you are calc'd to survive (barring crits), or a Pokemon you are guaranteed to one or two hit-KO. I will use a build from a recent CybertonProductions (Aaron Zheng) video as an example.
Pelipper @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 148 SpA / 108 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk
- Ice Beam
252+ SpA Salamence Draco Meteor vs. 252 HP / 108 SpD Pelipper: 126-148 (75.4 - 88.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
148+ SpA Pelipper Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Salamence: 200-236 (117.6 - 138.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
It takes the hit, heals up with Sitrus Berry, and OHKOs Salamence with Ice Beam or sets up a Tailwind. Depends on whether Salamence feels like a threat or not. But it is a pseudo-legendary. So I guess it can't help but be. Plus, it can be annoying having it Intimidate your physical attackers every time it comes in. Anyway, I'm rambling.
#4: Team Synergy and Preparation
It's good to have options.
What I mean by this is that you need different Pokemon playing different roles to succeed, like in tiers. You have spinners, clerics, sweepers, etc. In VGC, good support can come in the form of Fake Out, Wide Guard, Quick Guard, Intimidate, Snarl, Tailwind, Trick Room, sweepers, redirection from Follow Me or Rage Powder, Spore, Thunder Wave, Swagger.
Note: Some things work in VGC, and some things work in tiers. Toxic and Stealth Rocks aren't really worried about in VGC because they take time to do damage. They are too passive. And trying to stall out two Pokemon can be difficult. Walls don't really exist unless they are bulky on both sides like Cresselia and Celesteela.
A great pairing going on right now is Gyarados and Alolan-Marowak. The pressure of Marowak's Lightning Rod alone can make it harder for you to want to outright go for Thunderbolt, even when it's not on the field. Gyarados can setup Dragon Dance and sweep or take out certain things you want out of the way to make it easier for another Pokemon. Like Ground types for Marowak. That's the case with these two too. If one gets beat by something, the other is good against it. i.e. Tapu Koko. Beats Gyarados. Common set can't deal with Marowak too well, and gets beat by Ground type coverage like Earthquake or Bonemerang. Synergy can be found here in typing, Lightning Rod, and a Ground type immunity so that Marowak can just Earthquake away.
Something these two could use might be a way to deal with Rock Slide spam due to both being weak to Rock, and a way to deal with Milotic. It is bulky, can still on the field a long time with Recover, and gains a Competitive boost (+2 Special Attack) from Gyarados' Intimidate.
#5: Monkey See, Monkey Do
I swear, I'm not calling you a monkey D: But one of the best ways I've picked up on VGC is by watching other people play. Trying to get into their mindset, so I can catch up with the veterans of VGC in knowledge and skill. Good examples of VGC content creators are:
- Aaron 'Cybertron' Zheng
- The 2016 Masters division champion, Wolfe Glick
- Baz Anderson
- 13Yoshi37 (Mark Stadter)
- Hibiki (of Hibiking Of The Hill)
- @Jamesspeed1 James Baek (who just posted a video on here recently, I saw :P)
- Jamie Kean, Jamie Miller, and Jamie Boyt of Team Jamie.
- DuncanKneeDeep (he doesn't play as often, but he's good. And he beat me on 2 separate occasions ;-; Am currently still seeking revenge)
- And many MOOOOREEE!!
Again, this is a subject so broad, I'm sure I missed some stuff. You are free to discuss other important things below, and ask questions about VGC 2017 I hope this helps someone out. Thanks for reading! :D
RE: How To Get Into VGC - Black117 - Dec 5, 2016
Thanks for sharing this post @AbruptFury. Its a good summation as of right now, but as the metagames shifts here we'll see more new strategies and team emerge.
RE: How To Get Into VGC - ShawnStyles - Dec 5, 2016
need to make a thread how do you get in VGC if you're not in a country or island that doesn't have pokemon tournamnets
RE: How To Get Into VGC - Wolfy2478 - Dec 5, 2016
Thanks for the advice dude. I will be probably be using some of these ideas durring VGC
RE: How To Get Into VGC - Marcusube - Dec 5, 2016
Great guide @AbruptFury and thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with the community. Celesteela is really one of the biggest threats in this metagame due to how hard it is to take out. Trick Room is everywhere these days. If a team has Oranguru or Torkoal on it, make sure you lead correctly because it is definitely coming. From what I can tell, this year hasn't been very centralized but that's just me talking after 2 weeks since the game got released. It feels so much like VGC 14 where many play styles and modes are viable. Weather, good stuff, all out Trick Room, you name it. With the exclusion of Mega evolution and mythicals (Lando, Cresselia, Heatran etc.), we can also look forward to less centralized metagame which at the end of the day is pretty much what we want. Alolan-Marowak is looking pretty strong right now and so are fire types in general (well Arcanine and Torkoal to be fair) and all the Tapus are viable alongside half of the UBs
One thing I also want to say is that VGC (and Pokemon in general) requires not only to read and breathe speed tiers and common sets but to also observe what other players do as Abrupt says AND from what others do, innovate your own unique strategies. Trial and error till you make it boys!
RE: How To Get Into VGC - WolfScythe - Dec 6, 2016
Very cool advices for someone like me who wants to play in VGC.
There is a ton of info to read, a lot of strategies to try and fun to have. I've been watching many VGC players on youtube and man... so cool.
Thanks for this amazing post!
RE: How To Get Into VGC - AbruptFury - Dec 11, 2016
(Dec 5, 2016, 07:46 AM)ShawnStyles Wrote: need to make a thread how do you get in VGC if you're not in a country or island that doesn't have pokemon tournamnets
Location can be a real problem :[ I live in Nova Scotia. No events out here lol. Gotta head south for the US or west for Central Canada
RE: How To Get Into VGC - AbruptFury - Dec 11, 2016
(Dec 5, 2016, 06:35 PM)Marcusube Wrote:
Celesteela is a big problem. You saw Wolfe. He ran 3 mons with Substitute AND a Magnezone (which was one of the Sub mons as well). That thing is scarier than Ferrothorn was.