The Strategy of a Champion - Play! Pokemon article on RI Regional Junior Winner

#1
Cruised over to www.pokemon.com this morning to find a new article featuring a breakdown for one of our own. Or one of our own's brother. Not sure, just remember seeing it all over the RI coverage.

http://www.pokemon.com/us/news/op_regionals_vg_strategy_1-2011-11-23/

Sorta blowing up his spot a bit, but a great honor if you ask me.

I really like how they say, "The Hidden Power move can be tricky to use, as its type and attack power are randomly determined based on the Pokémon using it. Brendan managed to get a type that matched its user's type—Flying—as well as maximum attack power.." He somehow managed the impossible lol

Lastly, I really like the Absorb Bulb on Ludicolo. Into it.

Learn the Pokémon video game strategy of the top players at the Autumn Regional Championships!

The 2011-2012 Regional Championships allowed Trainers to build teams using almost any Pokémon from the National Pokédex. This included exciting new Unova Pokémon like Tornadus and Terrakion, as well as old favorites from previous generations, such as Tyranitar and Zapdos. With the Team Preview feature enabled, Trainers were allowed a brief view of the six Pokémon in their opponent's team, after which each player selected four of their own Pokémon to use in the Double Battle. This added a whole new level of strategy to the competition, as Trainers were given a small opportunity to tailor their team based on what they thought their opponent's strategy would be.

Trainers used weather-based teams to help them win at the Autumn Regional Championships by relying on weather-affecting moves such as Rain Dance, Sunny Day, Sandstorm, and Hail to give their Pokémon an advantage or disrupt their opponents. The most commonly seen weather teams relied on rain for a winning strategy. In this article, we'll look at one such team—the team that Brendan Zheng used in Providence, Rhode Island, to secure the title of Regional Champion in the Junior Division.

Teams that depend on weather conditions often have to spend a valuable turn using the move that activates them, such as Rain Dance. Thanks to the Pokémon Dream World, Politoed has access to the Drizzle Hidden Ability. Previously exclusive to the Legendary Pokémon Kyogre, Drizzle sets up an unending rain storm as soon as Politoed enters the battle. This allows both Politoed and its teammate to attack on the first turn and lets the Trainer focus on the battle, rather than the five-turn limit of Rain Dance.

Politoed
Drizzle
Modest@Wacan Berry
Surf
Ice Beam
Psychic
Protect

Politoed is the foundation of the success of Brendan's team. As mentioned before, its Hidden Ability being able to make an unending rain storm is a huge boon. Brendan focused his training on boosting the base stats of Politoed's HP and Special Attack, ensuring that it could make it through at least a couple attacks, while dishing out some major damage. This training complements its Modest Nature, as does the Wacan Berry, which reduces damage from an Electric-type attack by half. The 50% damage boost to Water-type attacks while it is raining allows Politoed's Surf to do considerable damage to both opposing Pokémon, at the cost of damaging the Trainer's other Pokémon in battle. Ice Beam and Psychic give Politoed reliable coverage against a number of threats to itself and its teammates. Protect is always a solid option to help keep a heavily damaged Pokémon in the battle for another turn or to bait an opponent into wasting an attack in an effort to remove Politoed from the battle.

Ludicolo
Swift Swim
Modest@Absorb Bulb
Fake Out
Hydro Pump
Ice Beam
Grass Knot

Available after evolving a Lotad caught in White Forest, Ludicolo is an excellent Pokémon to open with when partnered with Politoed. Its Swift Swim Ability significantly boosts its Speed stat during the rain weather condition. With a Modest Nature and a focus on boosting the Special Attack and Speed stats, this Ludicolo is extremely fast and is a threat to a wide array of Pokémon. The held item Absorb Bulb boosts the Special Attack stat of the Pokémon holding it when the Pokémon is hit by a Water-type attack. Thanks to Ludicolo's Grass type and the Absorb Bulb, a first-turn Surf from Politoed does minimal damage to it. The move Fake Out works well in delaying threats from Pokémon with Trick Room or Tailwind, and the remaining moves target a large variety of Pokémon, with Hydro Pump and Grass Knot doing extra damage, because they share their type with Ludicolo.

Kingdra
Swift Swim
Modest@Haban Berry
Protect
Dragon Pulse
Surf
Rain Dance

Brendan worked on raising Kingdra to have high Speed and Special Attack stats. As with Ludicolo, Kingdra's Swift Swim Ability makes it one of the fastest Pokémon available. Kingdra uses Protect to keep it safe from Politoed's Surf and from opposing attacks. It uses Dragon Pulse and Surf to dish out massive damage. Kingdra also has Rain Dance in the event that an opponent uses another weather condition-causing move, such as Sunny Day, to put an end to Politoed's rain. Kingdra's Dragon type neutralizes the standard Water-type weaknesses to Grass- and Electric-type moves, allowing it to last through hits that would otherwise make a Pokémon faint if it didn't have this advantage.

Toxicroak
Dry Skin
Adamant@Focus Sash
Fake Out
Sucker Punch
Drain Punch
Taunt

Toxicroak is one of a handful of Pokémon that are not Water type but still gain an advantage in rain. Its Dry Skin Ability allows it to heal 1/8th of its HP while it's raining. But it loses 1/8th of its HP while it's sunny. Brendan chose to raise his Toxicroak with a focus on the Attack and Speed stats. His Toxicroak holds the Focus Sash to ensure that it stays around long enough to do some damage. The moves Fake Out and Sucker Punch are both excellent ways to get an early hit on a faster Pokémon, with the intention of disrupting the opponent's strategy. Drain Punch gets boosted damage, because it and Toxicroak share the Fighting type. It also serves to heal Toxicroak in addition to its Dry Skin Ability. Taunt is an excellent counter move, which can keep opposing Pokémon from using disruptive moves, such as weather condition-causing moves as well as Thunder Wave and Trick Room.

Thundurus
Prankster
Modest@Yache Berry
Thunder
Thunder Wave
Hidden Power (Flying)
Rain Dance

Brendan focused his efforts on training his Thundurus for high HP to maximize the number of turns it would stay in play, and on the Special Attack stat to increase its damage output. Its Prankster Ability helps Thundurus act first in battle when not using a damaging move. This allows the Pokémon to cripple opposing Pokémon with Thunder Wave before they get a chance to attack, or to replace an existing weather condition with rain before an opponent has a chance to KO Thundurus. The move Thunder's awesome base power of 120 is held back by having an accuracy of only 70. However, if rain is in play, the accuracy raises to 100, giving Thundurus a very dangerous and accurate attack that can hit for big damage, even when the move isn't super effective. The Hidden Power move can be tricky to use, as its type and attack power are randomly determined based on the Pokémon using it. Brendan managed to get a type that matched its user's type—Flying—as well as maximum attack power, ensuring that Thundurus had a strong Flying-type move to help counter some of the team's weaknesses.

Jellicent
Cursed Body
Modest@Choice Scarf
Water Spout
Ice Beam
Shadow Ball
Protect

Brendan took advantage of Jellicent's already high HP stat by focusing his training in this area. He also boosted the base stats for Special Attack and Speed, and gave Jellicent a Choice Scarf to ensure that it could deliver a powerful attack before other, slower threats could act. The drawback of being restricted to only one move may seem significant, but a hard-hitting Water Spout can do significant damage to both opposing Pokémon. Ice Beam and Shadow Ball provide solid coverage against Jellicent's weaknesses. While Protect may seem out of place in this set, it allows Jellicent to switch into an opponent's attack, take some damage, and distract the opposing team while its teammate clears the field with Surf. Should Jellicent be defeated in battle, its Cursed Body Ability has a chance to disable the move that KO'd it. This can give the rest of the team a brief respite from a significant threat, such as Thunder Bolt or Grass Knot, both common moves for taking out Water-type Pokémon.

In nearly every instance, Brendan began battle with Politoed and Ludicolo. The remaining two teammates were more flexible, chosen based on what he saw on his opponent's team during the Team Preview. The first two turns usually involved two consecutive Surf moves by Politoed, and a first-turn Fake Out and second-turn Surf by Ludicolo. This combination will unload a world of hurt on the opposing team, often resulting in a double KO. Now that you've seen what a master Pokémon Trainer can do, try out the strategy for yourself. Then, make adjustments to fit your game and watch your Trainer skills improve!
 
#3
I like how they say where to catch them, then list the Egg moves. xD

I wonder why it listed Haban berry like that, must've been a typo
 
#4
I think I saw this guy's team on Battle Videos getting hax raped in Battle Subway on it's 1000-something battle. I clearly remember the Absorb Bulb Ludicolo.

I love how the article avoids saying "EVs" like a fire.
 

Team Rocket Elite

Data Integration Thought Entity
is a Pokemon Researcher
#6
Not too bad an article. The writer doesn't seem to be completely clueless. It does have a few errors in it, though. Ludicolo's move set has Hydro Pump as the Water type move but at the end it says Brendan was using Surf with his Ludicolo. I also like how article keep trying to say Effort Value without using the term Effort Value. Protect on the Scarf Jellicent seems like an interesting choice.
 
#7
For an official on site Pokemon article, this was shockingly good analysis. Still a bit fluffy, but I think it's a great spring board for anyone towards the competitive side of things.
 

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#8
Well, the audience likely isn't as savvy to all the inner workings as us so it's definitely well-written I think. Although telling people that Brendan trained the Pokemon a certain way but not explaining how you would do that yourself seems like they were struggling with introducing players to the concept of effort values.

Really love how they've explained where to get each move, item, and Pokemon for people who want to try out the team themselves!
 
#9
Explaining EVs even to people that know the game well, has been a struggle for me. It's almost as if the site is doing the audience a service. This analysis creates more questions, but not a ton more.

Perhaps future iterations of the column will shine more light on the specifics. I'm pretty surprised at the strategy the author touches upon. The weather influence on the metagame, how odd it is to run protect on a scarfed Jellicent. It's like they are talking big picture stuff with the intent of maybe narrowing things down? They could make an entire section of that site. What then?

I think there's a good chance that the author of that article is a member here. Thoughts?
 
#10
Well its mainly directed at the junior cast(7-12 years old), who most don't know what ev's are. Its well made imo too. Though I'd like them to make a article explaining ev's, mainly because the younger audience wouldn't know what they mean by effort in blahblah
 
#11
This seriously made my day, a huge thanks to JRank and Biosci for helping Brendan and me out with this team.

I'm a bit surprised they mentioned every moveset/item/nature/Pokemon along with a name since they basically gave his entire team away though, Brendan's like "What if people copy my team now! (or worse, counter team us :o)"

Oh the irony.
 
#12
This seriously made my day, a huge thanks to JRank and Biosci for helping Brendan and me out with this team.

I'm a bit surprised they mentioned every moveset/item/nature/Pokemon along with a name since they basically gave his entire team away though, Brendan's like "What if people copy my team now! (or worse, counter team us :o)"

Oh the irony.
Time to hit the writing board once more Babytron(Err, we really know it's cybertron brilliance there :P) When I saw this I had the same reaction though xD

Don't forget the others who contributed to team Baby ;D
 
#13
Brendan copied 4 of the Pokemon (5 but our Thundurus didn't have Rain Dance) from DadRank and Little Raven's team, wtf is this

And Brendan's the one worried about getting copied, I should keep teams closer to me >__>

edit: I'm kidding aaron .__.
 
#15
Explaining EVs even to people that know the game well, has been a struggle for me. It's almost as if the site is doing the audience a service. This analysis creates more questions, but not a ton more.

Perhaps future iterations of the column will shine more light on the specifics. I'm pretty surprised at the strategy the author touches upon. The weather influence on the metagame, how odd it is to run protect on a scarfed Jellicent. It's like they are talking big picture stuff with the intent of maybe narrowing things down? They could make an entire section of that site. What then?

I think there's a good chance that the author of that article is a member here. Thoughts?
Mike Liesik did say he was often involved with the game/community itself and I know that some of the staff from Nationals are part of Smogon too, so for people involved in TPCi also being members of pokemon communities would not come to me as a surprise. I do wonder who wrote the article though, that would be something interesting, not Smogon account if they have one the name of them to see like if it is someone more involved in VGC that we might know well.

Great job to the number one young and upcoming favorite gaming athlete of the year Brenden Zheng aka Babbytron!