Resource VGC '17 Cores V2

Jio

welcome back mahmz :]
is a Tutoris a Forum Moderatoris a Contributor to Smogon
VGC Co-Leader
#1

VGC Cores

With VGC being a Doubles format this naturally leads to many unique pairings. Cores are made up of a group of 2-3 Pokemon that often possess great synergy with each other. Most teams often start out with a Core that defines the team while the remaining Pokemon help to patch out the core's issues and weaknesses. Often there are two types of cores in VGC being Offensive and Defensive. Offensive Cores are a pair of Pokemon that are able to dish out tremendous damage simultaneously while also having solid type coverage between them to be able to hit as many different targets as possible. Defensive Cores consist of a number of Pokemon that have brilliant typing synergy with each other and can thus handle threats and slowly shut down the opponent's options.

Rules
  • Make sure your cores include at least 2 or 3 Pokemon.
  • Be sure to define whether your core is Offensive or Defensive.
  • Please make sure to go into detail about how your core is effective in the current metagame.
  • Please be respectful to your other posters n_n
 

Jio

welcome back mahmz :]
is a Tutoris a Forum Moderatoris a Contributor to Smogon
VGC Co-Leader
#2
Since the last VGC thread is heavily outdated I'll be updating most of the cores myself. There were some notable cores from the previous thread that are still relevant today so I'll include those as well. Of course please post any findings :]

Offensive Cores

- Tapu Lele + Pheromosa

- Tapu Lele + Drifblim

- Lilligant + Torkoal + Oranguru

- Raichu + Tapu Koko

- Eevee + Clefairy

- Pheromosa + Oricorio

- Araquanid + Porygon2
- Snorlax + Mimikyu

- Oranguru + Wailord
- Mimikyu + Hariyama


Defensive Cores

- Arcanine + Kartana + Tapu Fini
 
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Jio

welcome back mahmz :]
is a Tutoris a Forum Moderatoris a Contributor to Smogon
VGC Co-Leader
#4
Going to help get the ball rolling with somewhat popular stuff


Defensive Core
Kartana @ Assault Vest
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 84 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 164 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Smart Strike
- Sacred Sword
- Night Slash

Tapu Fini @ Leftovers
Ability: Misty Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 84 Def / 44 SpA / 124 SpD / 4 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Muddy Water
- Moonblast
- Protect
- Calm Mind

Arcanine @ Aguav Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 244 HP / 188 Def / 76 SpD
Calm Nature
- Flamethrower
- Snarl
- Will-O-Wisp
- Protect

Kartana + Arcanine + Tapu Fini rose to fame earlier this year because of their incredible typing synergy which allowed them to check the majority of the metagame. Calm Mind Tapu Fini was the crux of the core while Arcanine and Kartana were there to cover its issues. Arcanine helps Tapu Fini set up by countering Grass- types and providing Intimidate and Will-O-Wisp while Kartana has the speed to take on faster threats and blow up other Water- types. The sets are pretty interchangeable, but for the sake of this being a "defensive" core these sets work.



Offensive Core
Pheromosa @ Focus Sash
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Quiver Dance
- Bug Buzz
- Ice Beam
- Protect

Oricorio-Pom-Pom @ Flyinium Z
Ability: Dancer
Level: 50
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Revelation Dance
- Hurricane
- Tailwind / Baton Pass
- Protect

This is a core I'm personally really fond of using. The idea is to pass Quiver Dance boosts to Oricorio with the Dancer ability and then have it destroy everything. If Pheromosa is blessed enough to survive past turn 1 then it can destroy everything as well. Pom-Pom Oricorio is chosen because Electric + Flying coverage hits a lot more important threats in the format than any of the other forms. Tailwind helps counteract all the annoying Drifblims, but Baton Pass is cool if you have a strong special attacker in the back to pass to. Also here are some fun Z-Hurricane calcs:
+1 252+ SpA Oricorio-Electric Supersonic Skystrike (185 BP) vs. 188 HP / 44 SpD Garchomp: 232-274 (112 - 132.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Oricorio-Electric Supersonic Skystrike (185 BP) vs. 236 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Lele: 189-223 (108 - 127.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Oricorio-Electric Supersonic Skystrike (185 BP) vs. 244 HP / 140+ SpD Eviolite Porygon2: 118-139 (61.7 - 72.7%) -- guaranteed
2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Oricorio-Electric Supersonic Skystrike (185 BP) vs. 252 HP / 76+ SpD Arcanine: 213-252 (108.1 - 127.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO



Offensive Core
Porygon2 @ Eviolite
Ability: Download
EVs: 244 HP / 76 Def / 188 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Trick Room
- Ice Beam
- Thunderbolt / Toxic
- Recover

Araquanid @ Waterium Z
Ability: Water Bubble
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Liquidation
- Lunge
- Substitute
- Protect

"If you aren't bringing p2/spider to NA regs you're throwing." -Gavin Michaels. Porygon2 + Araquanid has been an incredibly consistent pair and for good reason. It's really hard to take hits from Araquanid and even harder when it's moving before everything else. Porygon2 not only provides that but can check other threats with boltbeam coverage. Substitute is helpful to punish your opponent using Protect to stall out Trick Room, and also gives Spider a free Liquidation vs slower threats like Snorlax, Torkoal, and Gigalith. Porygon2 can run Toxic so that the core isn't completely shut down by Gastrodon.


Offensive Core
Mimikyu @ Mental Herb
Ability: Disguise
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 188 Def / 68 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Trick Room
- Play Rough
- Shadow Sneak
- Psych Up

Snorlax @ Figy Berry
Ability: Gluttony
Level: 50
EVs: 68 HP / 252 Atk / 188 Def
Brave Nature
- Belly Drum
- Return
- High Horsepower
- Recycle

Objectively one of the strongest cores in the format right now. Snorlax is a monster that can not only demolish entire teams after a Belly Drum, but also live forever with Figy Berry Recycle combo. And if +6 Snorlax wasn't scary enough, Mimikyu is able to copy the boosts and become a monster itself. Mimikyu basically guarantees Trick Room by being impervious to Fake Out and Taunt, while also being able to survive one attack with Disguise. The Snorlax spread is standard while Mimikyu is geared to tank a Tectonic Rage from Jolly Garchomp in Busted Form.
 
#5
Balloon Offense


Drifblim (M) @ Psychic Seed
Ability: Unburden
Level: 50
EVs: 12 HP / 236 Def / 12 SpA / 236 SpD / 12 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shadow Ball
- Tailwind
- Will-O-Wisp
- Disable / Sunny Day

Tapu Lele @ Life Orb
Ability: Psychic Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 188 HP / 12 Def / 252 SpA / 12 SpD / 44 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Moonblast
- Taunt
- Protect

This is a core me and Koutesh have been using ever since PokeBank was updated. Psychic Seed gets consumed in Psychic Terrain, which activates Unburden, doubling Drifblim's speed. Thus, Drifblim gets to the field with a +1 Special Defense twice the speed, allowing it to almost always set up a Tailwind. As Drifblim is immune to Fake Out thanks to its Ghost typing, all it needs to worry about is Prankster Taunts coming from the likes of Whimsicott and Murkrow. Furthermore, it gets access to fast Will-O-Wisps, which it can use to burn physical attackers that threaten Tapu Lele, like Kartana and Celesteela. Drifblim also has access to an enormous support movepool, and has a wide variety of options for the fourth move slot, which can be tweaked depending on your team's need. For example, you can Disable your opponent's Steel-type moves so Tapu Lele can function effectively. Weather setting moves like Sunny Day and Rain Dance can be used depending on the rest of your team to make certain matchups easy.

The EVs are designed to maximize bulk. 12 EVs are invested in Speed to outspeed Timid Pheromosa after Unburden's boost. Here are some relevant calcs:

* 180 Atk burned Celesteela Heavy Slam (120 BP) vs. 12 HP / 236 Def Drifblim: 51-61 (22.4 - 26.8%) -- 36.9% chance to 4HKO
* 252 Atk Kartana Smart Strike vs. 12 HP / 236 Def Drifblim: 99-117 (43.6 - 51.5%) -- 6.6% chance to 2HKO
* 252 Atk burned Kartana Smart Strike vs. 12 HP / 236 Def Drifblim: 49-58 (21.5 - 25.5%) -- 0.7% chance to 4HKO
* 252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. +1 12 HP / 236 SpD Drifblim: 186-222 (81.9 - 97.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
* 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Shattered Psyche (175 BP) vs. +1 12 HP / 236 SpD Drifblim in Psychic Terrain: 190-225 (83.7 - 99.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
* 228+ Atk burned Gigalith Continental Crush (140 BP) vs. 12 HP / 236 Def Drifblim: 169-201 (74.4 - 88.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage


Tape Lele serves as the catalyst to trigger Unburden, and can overwrite Misty Terrain if played correctly so Drifblim can spread Will-O-Wisps. Moreover, Taunt is used in this set to stop potential Trick Room attempts, as it can render Drifblim ineffective. It also helps stop Mandibuzz Tailwind or Tapu Fini Calm Mind strategies. Life Orb is given as the held item to maximize damage output, as it can OHKO Tapu Koko and Kartana with a Moonblast. Since this core relies on Tailwind for Speed control, Tapu Lele is invested more in bulk than in Speed to ensure it can take some specific hits like Nihilego Sludge Bomb, etc.

Here are some calcs:

* 252+ SpA Magnezone Flash Cannon vs. 188 HP / 12 SpD Tapu Lele: 134-158 (79.2 - 93.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
* 252 SpA Nihilego Sludge Bomb vs. 188 HP / 12 SpD Tapu Lele: 134-158 (79.2 - 93.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
* 252+ SpA Nihilego Sludge Bomb vs. 188 HP / 12 SpD Tapu Lele: 146-174 (86.3 - 102.9%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
* -1 180 Atk Celesteela Heavy Slam (120 BP) vs. 188 HP / 12 Def Tapu Lele: 134-162 (79.2 - 95.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
* -1 252 Atk Kartana Smart Strike vs. 188 HP / 12 Def Tapu Lele: 128-152 (75.7 - 89.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
* 252 Atk Garchomp Poison Jab vs. 188 HP / 12 Def Tapu Lele: 114-136 (67.4 - 80.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
* 252+ Atk Arcanine Flare Blitz vs. 188 HP / 12 Def Tapu Lele: 124-147 (73.3 - 86.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


This core have proven to be quite versatile, as it won the Oceania Internationals, and top cut several other events. Many Pokemon can be run with the core depending on your play style, like Nihilego, Magnezone, Garchomp and even Buzzwole.

PS: Credit to Koutesh for the EV spreads.
 
#6


Oranguru @ Mental Herb
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 252 HP / 140 Def / 20 SpA / 92 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Trick Room
- Psychic
- Instruct
- Protect



Wailord @ Splash Plate
Ability: Water Veil
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Water Spout
- Ice Beam
- Protect
- Surf

After seeing how effective Torkoal + Trick can be at rapidly eliminating targets I thought about how effective would a Water Spout variant of that core would. And while it lacks the extra power provided by Drought + Eruption it still finds ways to put holes in teams, if not outright sweeping teams that don't have a strong bulky water with them. I choose Inner Focus over Telepathy for I can get the jump on Raichu/Tapu lead teams and OHKO the next turn with Instruct + Water Spout.
 
#7


Offensive Core
Mimikyu @ Mental Herb/Ghostium Z/Fairium Z
Ability: Disguise
Level: 50
EVs: 188 HP / 236 Def / 84 SpD (if Relaxed) or 220 HP / 60 Atk / 228 Def (if Brave) or 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe (if Jolly)
Relaxed/Brave/Jolly Nature
IVs: 0 Spe (if Relaxed or Brave)
- Trick Room
- Shadow Claw/Taunt
- Protect/Psych Up/Shadow Sneak/Taunt
- Play Rough

Hariyama @ Flame Orb
Ability: Guts
Level: 50
EVs: 28 HP / 252 Atk / 108 Def / 116 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Fake Out
- Close Combat
- Heavy Slam/Poison Jab/Knock Off
- Protect/Knock Off/Feint


Simply the best TR lead ever. The main hub of this core is combining Disguise and Fake Out to set almost always the TR in the first turn, using two pokémon which have thousands of uses depending on the team they're part of.
 
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#8


Offensive Core
Mimikyu @ Mental Herb/Ghostium Z/Fairium Z
Ability: Disguise
Level: 50
Relaxed/Brave/Jolly Nature
- Trick Room
- Shadow Claw/Taunt
- Protect/Psych Up/Shadow Sneak/Taunt
- Play Rough

Hariyama @ Flame Orb
Ability: Guts
Level: 50
- Fake Out
- Close Combat
- Heavy Slam/Poison Jab/Knock Off
- Protect/Knock Off/Feint


Simply the best TR lead ever. The main hub of this core is combining Disguise and Fake Out to set almost always the TR in the first turn, using two pokémon which have thousands of uses depending on the team they're part of.
You forgot the EVs in the importable bro :)